Saturday, February 11, 2012

On "mind, body, and soul" and related flimsiness

I feel pain. Of the kind which doesn't tell which part of the body it's coming from - but it hurts; cruelly, tediously, steadily marauding your brain to your heart to your soul. It's invisible, like a disease, or like nostalgia; it creeps into every iota of your existence, rendering you worthless, devoid of rationality, reasons, wisdom; occasionally showing its physical presence through moist eyes or choked throat which only the finest of people around can detect. It wriggles you inside out, exposing your self to yourself shamelessly when you are the most vulnerable, and you can witness your own spirit writhing around, tormented, wasted.

I feel agony. I try to shake myself out of this irrational slumber of the ego. I jerk every body part, in an attempt to wake them up, to let them feel some blood flow, to free each of these tangibles from the lost struggle against intangible, but more powerful randomness of brainwaves. I decide to stand up, and physical laws of nature almost slap me, reminding the absence of food / energy / sleep somewhere over last several hours. The pain still does not show up anywhere physically, it has managed to remain invisible somewhere, basking in the shiny embers of a burnt soul.

I start to walk. The sun hasn't set yet, and the air has a slight bit of warmth which could have been described as a gentle breeze with healing properties on mundane days. I walk straight on a road which initially didn't seem to go anywhere, the kind of road which gets half built for some anticipated future usage, but then gets abandoned and left clamoring for resurrection amidst the tramples of occasional passers-by; dejected, like people in a plague stricken town left to die with mute wishes and stoned hopes. I walk, and the pain becomes more prominent, probably getting fueled by the meanderings of a now hyperactive brain, and circulated with renewed ferocity alongside blood, pumped and thrusted involuntarily into every corner of the body by a battered heart.

Judging by the twilight, I think I've walked for an hour. The half-built road had ended into a mud track a while ago, and the chappals stained in dirt tell the story of the graveled track they've recently braved. The pain has started getting substituted with consciousness now - of this strange surrounding composed of shrubs, rocks and absence of humanity. I walk further, in an attempt to complete this quest over pain, to win my own consciousness back. I walk till I get to a railway track, and I feel fully aware of myself. It is getting dark now, and the air has developed a strange, unpleasant, almost repugnant chill. The heart is pumping faster, and after a long time I feel physical realities rather than the metaphysical randomness of past several hours.

I feel fear. Turning around, I start walking again - this time the gravels and the dirt are more prominent, the air isn't completely indifferent, and the reducing brightness outside is complementing the hightened sense of consciousness. As it grows darker, I get more scared. Each sound of a slithering reptile or screeching insect, each rustle of a dried leaf, each sight of flying bats, even the view of the stars in the open sky which could have been described with romantic adjectives on mundane days, instills and emboldens more fear. I start walking faster.

I feel ache. The feet, the back, the shoulders and the head are now suddenly real, and the pain so much visible in all of them. Things are seemingly rational again - I am 'comfortably' back to the physical world which had unceremoniously kicked me out to the realms of soul, the world described largely only on paper, the world which showed me all the agonies of existence and set me 'free'. I am walking faster, amidst fear, angst, ache and those returning torments of the soul.

The old pain is back with a vengeance as I step into my place again. Old thoughts are all back to once again claim my existence, walk all over rationality, and invade my conscience.

But in the last few hours, how successfully I manipulated my emotions through varying intensities of experience. How surreptitiously I do this everyday, at home or work, through experiences of much less intensity. How beautifully the whole of humanity exists amidst this paradox of manipulative reality and incessant pain.