(This has been previously posted in the World Forum. As this subject emerged to me here in Bahrain, I felt it relevant to share it with my friends in the Manama Forum. Love and regards, Muzaffar)
Me vs. the World
A Norwegian novelist Knut Hamsun wrote a famous novel entitled ‘Hunger’. Set in the old Christiania, now called Oslo, it’s an autobiographical account which explores the relationship of outer or physical needs and the inner or psychological state of a human being. I have read this excellent piece of literature several times and have always been fascinated how craft-fully the reader is lead to share the writer’s experience in being observant of his hunger to the effects this hunger causes on his psyche.
Forgot to mention that this was the book that won Hamsun his Nobel Prize and is definitely a work worth reading.
Anyway, the human mind works at its best only when it feels completely secure. And of course, man has been longing for this security through every kind of action. From creating myths and beliefs to forming philosophical and political structures; from fighting and quarrelling for individual or so called ‘national’ interests; from trying to look into the clinical side of the brain or inventing techniques to quiet its inner chattering through yogic exercises, meditation, etc.
But it is obvious that in this pursuit the human consciousness has only become more and more disturbed. Asking for more stimulation which has then resulted in the never-ending methods of entertainment in our times. Much more worrying is the fact that while the overall situation of humanity is deteriorating with each passing moment, we are all caught up in the illusion of protecting our individual interests; as persons, races or nations. In the far louder cries of ‘me, me, me’ the voices of ‘us’ and ‘we’ are becoming less and less audible.
This is what is considered to be 'normal living'.
The question must be pondered with deep seriousness: Are we aware of the fact that we are perpetuating this ‘culture of noise’ which is bringing about disharmony and shattering divisions in our own inner beings?