Sunday, December 03, 2006

Delivering papers after a storm

So much happens in a day, much of which would make fascinating blogging material. Anything is grist for a writer's or philosopher's mill, even for putative ones. For the past six months I have been delivering newspapers in the early morning hours. For not having performed mangal arati for years, I now spend my Brahma muhurtas throwing the latest prajalpa onto people's porches.

Yesterday was the first bit of real winter weather--freezing rain and violent winds. Observing the many Tempos (temporary winter car shelters) that had been blown away, the broken branches and collapsed trees or TV antennas (there are still a few of those around), I thought that there were plenty of interesting observations to make. But I will stick to my obsession...

Kant himself said that a philosopher is to be judged by the extent to which he lives his philosophy. I have already stated that I am not living by mine, and yet I cannot give it up. This means that I have feet of clay, or feet in cement, as I wrote in my poem. That makes pretty much everything I say moot.

Yesterday, I noticed that my wife had bought a scented candle in a glass that had an epigram caligraphied onto it in various languages: "Suis la voie de tes rêves et ton âme connaîtra la paix." "Sigue la senda de tus sueños, y tu alma encontrarà la paz." "Folge dem weg Deiner Traüme, so finder Deine Seele den Frieden." "Follow your dreams and your soul will find peace."

If you were to reduce the interpretation of the Gita I gave in a previous post to its barest banal bits, it would be this: "Follow your heart."

But this, of course, is one of those popular truisms that is only practicable to a certain extent. Kant's categorical imperative, which states that we should act only if the principle behind our action could be seen as a universally applicable law, means that there are obstacles to following the heart, if one is a moral person. If following one's heart is the whole of morality, then the rational universe collapses.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Immoral is this butchering of others' valuable lives. This bloodfeasting on sacred trust and confidence.

Jagat, does it ever occur to you that perhaps you are to give the vaishnava world a break? Isn't there enough difficulties in our lives without your miserable ramblings?