Shekhar

Harmony and Disharmony

By Shekhar Kapur

(Courtesy of Shekhar Kapur)

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For those that define Harmony as the natural state of existence, or a state that we should aspire to, I have a question. :

Does the Universe not exist in constant battle between contradictory forces of Harmony and Disharmony ? Like the sunspots of the Sun, the Universe too tends to explode out of itself and then is pulled back by a contradictory force ?

Would the Universe and everything that existed in it not be completely dead and non creative if there was a continuous stable non moving state of Harmony ? And the same would go for us, in any form you may decide to see ourselves. Our consciousness, our soul, or our 'five senses self'. The one law of creativity, of existence, of consciousness, of life itself, all that exists, or potentially exists, does so between extreme contradictions.

After all, Good can only be described in the context of Evil and vice versa. So what is that state that is one of complete acceptance (oops - here we go again in that word) which is neither good nor evil, nor moral or immoral, nor active or inactive, that is neither violent nor non- violent ? That has form but no recognizable form ? A state that defies all adjectives, nouns or verbs we can think of , a state that exists without context with anything else, that is complete within it self yet completely infinite and incomplete ?

For those that claim to have found that state which is often described as 'nirvana (Hinduism) , or 'shunyata' (Buddhism) , or the eternal life (Islam and Christianity), I assume have encompassed the forces of contradiction and disharmony within themselves, battling neither, so experience themselves as the Universe and Eternity themselves. They are neither one nor the other, but part of a stillness that allows the battle to rage within. Knowing it to be an eternal battle, but able to smile upon it.

For me, I am still part of the battle, but learning that being buffeted by contradiction and giving into the contradictory forces is just the first step - the step that gives into the unknown without resistance. Or at least active resistance, for the mind and the ego still rebels. The first step is to accept Chaos as the natural order of things, before reaching and yearning for that which is called 'enlightenment' or inner stillness, or whatever word and religion or philosophy chooses to use.

So forgive me if I question those that seem to emphatically KNOW. I don't. I yearn to experience, and wonder at people that say they know. Is it mere knowledge ? Or is it experience ? Is it intellectual or is it emotional ? The only people I meet that seem to be completely comfortable with contradiction (or duality as it is commonly called) are children , who have not yet been taught to separate completely that which is imagined and that which sensed.

I see everything I write here as huge question mark. A search and questioning, and sharing that yearning with others.

Shekhar Kapur, born 1945 in British India (in an area which became part of Pakistan) is a renowned filmmaker from India. His works include the Oscar-nominated Elizabeth (1998), a semi-historical account of the early reign of Elizabeth I of England, "The Four Feathers" and "Bandit Queen". In 2000, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the government of India.

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