Anarcho-environmentalism allegorised

The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

To be a Theist or an Atheist

Twice now in a closed Facebook group in which I am a member we have had raging debates between theists and atheists. These debates were informed with very good facts and reasoning and served to clear up my own assumptions and reasons for choosing to be an atheist. I am putting these down here as they influence the way I work significantly.
Initially like most human beings I was conditioned into believing in the existence of God and praying to that entity to make my life enjoyable. However, after becoming an adult at the age of eighteen I began to think about the nature of this God because of reading the writings of various wise people both atheists and theists. Initially I followed more the writings of the monistic school of Indian philosophy and their postulation that there is only one supreme spirit that has manifested itself in a myriad ways in this world and it is should be the goal in life to spiritually become one with this spirit through meditation on the self. However, this came into conflict with the fact that such an individual enterprise would not allow me to work for ensuring justice for those who are suffering from livelihood problems. Spiritual practice is extremely difficult and requires full attention which does not allow one to work systematically in the material world. At least that was my experience. Therefore I took a decision at the end of my graduation from college not to pursue the path of spiritual transcendence and instead work for justice in the field. I continued to believe in the existence of a Supreme Spirit in the monistic traditon and read various monistic texts regularly.
Gradually, however, I found that this was creating a problem. Instead of the monistic belief in an aloof Supreme Spirit I began to slip into the common assumption that God is all powerful and can influence the goings on in the world in my favour if I prayed to that entity. I was praying not for any personal advancement but for success in my endeavours to get justice for those I was working with. This was a serious mistake. My failure to achieve justice for the Adivasis was due to the increasing power of Capitalism and there was no way in which this could be rectified by praying to God!!! Therefore at one go I decided to move away from monism which I was not practising anyway to a belief that there is no God or Supreme Spirit.
To buttress this new belief I began to read up on the scientific explanations for life on this planet and came upon the fact that this whole universe is governed by the play of chance. Every occurrence has a probability associated with it and in a totally scientific reasoning based on these probabilities, if they are known to us, it is possible to explain life to a great extent even if nothing is yet known about its origin. But since there is such a great play of chance it is very difficult to predict the future. Also since a cause and effect sequence dominates, it trains the mind to look for causes of one's failure and try to rectify them rather than pray to an entity for success. The concentration of the mind then is on enjoying one's activism regardless of its result over which one has limited control. 

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