2013 ended with a sense of hope.
I think for a lot of people, 2013 was a really hard year to get by. 2013 was clearly the dividing line between how it has been and how it’s going to be.
And because this is true for a overwhelming number of people (seriously, NO ONE told me 2013 was fun for them), I started thinking about the possibility of a cosmic change. Something somewhere in the universe is changing and 2013 marked the beginning of that change.
It’s like the year when a lot of people were born again in some significant way.
When we are born, we come crying. We are yanked out of the comfort zone of our mother’s womb and the light and the people and the unfamiliarity makes us really, really nervous.
We cry because we don’t know what the fuck is happening. In reality it’s too much of a shock, to be yanked out of our pre-natal ecosystem and put into another.
The Oxford Dictionary describes it as: a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment:
If you want a further probe: An ecosystem is a complex set of relationships among the living resources, habitats and residents of an area. It includes plants, trees, animals, fish, birds, micro-organisms, water, soil and people. Everything that lives in a ecosystem is dependent on the other species and elements that are also part of that ecological community.
It’s completely biological and rather homogenous in nature. Every species, every living being thrives in a particular ecosystem. And it perishes if there’s a change in it cannot handle.
Which has happened in the past – ecosystems have changed and that have led to the extinction of species. Some species have been fitter in their battle for survival and have migrated.
Migration or not, we could assume that the species who have reacted to the change and initiated another ‘system’ to make up for change have survived.
There was a process to it and the process helped them live.
In the case of mankind, that process was always more complex. As human beings evolved they became more and more different from other species in way they conducted their lives.
As mankind evolved further, they not only became very different from the other terrestrial animal species, but they became different from each other as well.
The Greeks were different from the Huns and the Oriental though we were all from the same forefathers.
Through centuries of evolution we stand at a juncture when your neighbor could be very different from you in the way he conducts his or her life. Right from his food habits to his ethnicity, his religious beliefs, his job, his taste in things, his orientation, everything could be different.
How did this happen? How did the atoms of the same cluster start behaving so differently?
My answer lies in one word – individuality.
Yes I am a part of an ecosystem or a social system that shapes me. But does not define me.
It shapes me, yes, for I’m a product of an Indian system, I’m a part of it but that’s not my complete identity. If you meet me and then you meet another fellow Indian, you may not find similarities.
In fact if you meet all the 1.2 billion people in India and then you meet me, you may still find me different.
You may find many others who also are very, very different. So different that they will not remind you of anyone else you’ve ever met in any part of this planet.
Something about them will leap out and make you happy that you met someone who’s not like anyone else.
Now, there are certain places in the world where individuality thrives – like New York. Or London. Or in suburbs like Bandra in Mumbai – free agents floating in this universe, dancing to their own songs.
But there are places where individuality is taken as a sign of revolt – like (and I may be wrong in naming these places, I beg for forgiveness if my examples go against your view) China, Pakistan, some other Arab countries …
In some places having your own individual point of view on things can mean treason – if you’re not in compliance with the system of the State then you’re dead.
India, as always (and that’s what I love about my country) is bang in the middle. Certain small pockets India welcomes individuality, certain parts are tolerant about it and large parts are going to pass a verdict basis what you’re being individualistic about.
A large part of the society still goes by tradition – funnily though all the traditions are quite recent: like sex is taboo in the land of Kamasutra (200 BC).
Sometimes we’re allowed to behave like an individual. Sometimes we sense trouble and we keep quiet about it.
There are times when your personal thoughts and beliefs may make you disagree with your ‘system’ but it’s best not to voice your disagreement (unless you anticipate some great collective harm).
Truth is, it’s 2014 and many of us on the planet are pretty comfortable with our biological ecosystems. It is the other kinds of ‘systems’ that we are at cross with.
Social system, judicial system, political system, the system that doesn’t have legitimacy but are thriving – like the system of human greed and corruption.
We hate some of these systems.
But we are a part of it and can’t function without it.
80% of us don’t love our jobs and we hate the system that’s making us do what we don’t like doing. But if, tomorrow morning, we found out that our companies no longer exist, we’ll populate our hospitals.
We are too dependent on things that are sucking our lives out, day in and day out, systematically killing the great life force we once were, dumbing our human potentials down, instead of helping us evolve.
In 2013, I feel, many of us realized that. And looked to break out. Some of us actually broke out.
That led to a very tough year.
Getting out of a system is a near-impossibility. And if you’ve achieved it, you’re already part of something special.
Before you think I’m flattering you and I’m flattering myself in the process, just consider the cosmic dimensions of what you’ve come out of.
The entire universe follows a system.
Orbital force creates a system by which stars and planets and satellites and asteroids are bound in space that is otherwise a big vacuum. Things have been going round and round around something and that entire cluster has been going round and round around something bigger. And it goes on that way, unchanged.
The Moon goes around the Earth that goes around the Sun that is definitely going around something (we don’t know yet, but it’s definitely moving in a larger orbit).
The current of the oceans, they go in the same elliptical motion around the planet.
Our governments, policies, corporations, religions, fashion, cinema, all things are a ‘system’ that makes the rest of us go round and round around something larger and more powerful. And it’s called a ‘system’. And we’re ALL a part of it, knowingly or unknowingly.
The overwhelming truth is that there’s a particular pattern of movement in everything the universe holds – smaller bodies orbiting larger bodies for their survival.
And in 2013, you, you have realized that you’ve had enough of going around something else and you’ve made an attempt to stop and change your personal orbit.
That’s h-u-g-e. That, by itself, is path-breaking.
But that is also quite scary. By establishing your individuality you’ve rebuked the system and it will no longer feed you or reward you.
It would definitely give you a window of time to go back in. Say sorry and get plugged in again. It will take you in and make you pay, by testing your dignity and patience more than it tested before.
Do it then, if you don’t have a choice.
Till then, give yourself all you’ve got.
Be your own Sun. Create your own system.
It’s not going to be easy. Like it hasn’t been.
But the Universe is our true Father; as long as we are in his karmic good books, He will take care of us.
Something about 2014 tells me that we are going to be shown a new way, a new Order.
A very different kind of Order that will make us caterpillars, fly.
We just have to go through it to go to it.