Thursday, February 04, 2010

Forward Ho!

When my heart is overwhelmed

Lead me to the rock

That is higher than I

That is higher than I

Somebody asked me the other day “Does Time really heal?”

One does not need to be a very perceptive person to detect the skepticism inherent in that query.

“Most certainly it does”, I told him. “Civilization would not go forward if not for that property that Time has – as a healing agent”

After this short exchange, I spent some time ruminating on this question and arrived at the following conclusions.

Time heals. Time can heal, but it needs our cooperation. We have to feel the need to be healed. We should allow Time to perform its natural function.

If we nurse a grudge, we nurse the wound. We allow it to fester; then time is helpless – as we see in the case of those who are consumed by resentment and anger with the past. They try to correct the mistakes of the past in the foolish hope they can undo them. Past is a reality which cannot be altered. It is best left to historical memory. That’s where it belongs. The implication is, learn lessons from the past but relegate it to the inert memory zone which we can view with a philosophical and stoic detachment, and from where its only function is to help us make informed decisions for the moment.

Ayodhya issue is a classic example. As a people, we don’t want to forget an invasion which was an inevitable part of making of human history. We want to keep the wound open. It is politically expedient to do it. When Time, despite our efforts, inevitably begins to form scabs over the wound as the first stage of the healing process, an election comes around, and we realize it is time to reopen the wound. And we scrape off the scab and allow water and blood to flow.

True, there are certain wounds that should never have been made. But then, that’s what life is all about. Things happen which are seen in proper perspective only in hindsight. We MUST learn to forget and forgive what cannot be changed – that past which cannot be altered. It has already happened. It is not within our power to put the clock back. If we ‘nurse the wound’, keep it alive, it will fester and ultimately poison the system. That applies to a nation or an ethnic group or an individual.

We must move on. Getting trapped in the past will affect the quality of our future. The future is all-dependent on the present – on the moment. We must learn to live in the moment. Celebrate the moment. We must sing and dance because we can, this moment, breathe and walk, eat and sleep. That’s enough. This attitude will take care of our future.

Civilizations evolve through frictions. So too the individual. Life without friction is static – not an ideal ground for evolution. Evolution is the law of nature. Remember the story of the talents. The rich man gave talents (Money) to three people. Two invested it and it multiplied. The third buried it so it wont be lost, and returned it – the same amount- to the master when he came a few years later and asked for accounts. He remained the same. He hadn't evolved. And the punishment for his stagnation was serious. It was eternal fire!

We humans are created to evolve. In our own little individual life or as a community (nation, ethnic group or whatever), we must evolve. There is no evolution without friction and what it entails – wounds, pain. Allow ourselves to wallow in pain, we stagnate. WE must train our minds to view life from a higher plane. Then things fall in place. We see our role in the greater scheme of things. The individual, the nation, human kind – we are caught up in this great drama of evolution.

Only the fittest survive.

And we can be the fittest if we can rise above ourselves. After all, that's what evolution is all about.


  1. Thanks you for an enlightening post, yet again. simple things, simple explanation..well teachers are good at that.
    few of us friends have been discussing from this year beginning the important of living the moment. that is what we have in hand. like you said future depends on what we do with it. past is done deal, what are you going to do with it?

    going to share the post with my friends, hope that is fine by you.
    still freezing in chicago or back at nadu where bandhs/samarams are all disciplined now?

  2. @shy
    back home - thawing - and enjoying it:-)

  3. Time doesn't heal anything, time simply passes. It is what we do with our lives while time is passing that either helps us, heals us or keeps us stuck.Some people seem to have an ability to accept the hurts and disappointments of life and then move on. They have a certain resiliency.
    Others seem to stay stuck in their pain, living as if the painful events of their lives had occurred just moments ago.
    "I wasted time, and now doth time waste me."
    William Shakespeare, Richard II.

    Foegetting the past is another lie.Can you?From which point of time?Dont you want to keep those cherished moments in your life?And then you want to wipe off only the unpleasant ones? There is no fogetting,that is a lie.You can only forgive the past.

  4. What a great post- This is so true!! We have to cooperate with time- situations- etc, if we want to experience the healing. If we refuse to 'let go'- we will just continue to mired in the pain and anguish.

  5. A thought provoking post...

    "We must move on. Getting trapped in the past will affect the quality of our future."

    What you have said it very true..

    nd one must forgive but not forget.. since history will repeat if one forgets.. and here lies the paradox :) how can one forget the wounds? and hence a few may act in defense so that the past is not repeated...

  6. I wonder if individually your arguments may be true but may not be once it comes to societies. If then Israel X Palestine, India X Pakistan would've been best of buddies now.

  7. About Ayodhya, the local population of Ayodhya does not care whether there is a temple or a mosque there. The local Moslems did and do not worship at the mosque. And there are a thousand places in North India which claim to be Sriram's birth place. The Ayodhya thing was a lie politically manipulated by both sides.

    One of the biggest political lies in India is about Gandhiji and Congress. Around 1947, Gandhiji was not listened to and was least cared for by the Congress. The party subsequently became all that is anti-Gandhi. Yet, even now Congressmen claim the legacy of Gandhi. Gandhi himself had given up the Congress before 1947.

    Again, we know that Feroze Gandhi was Ghandi, and not a Gandhi. He was a Parsi, and not a Hindu. Indira and the family changed the name to Gandhi and became Gandhiji's family in public mind; so much so that most children now think that the Father of the Nation was grand dad to Rahul Gandhi. If things had not ended tragically in 1980, 21st century textbooks might even have said that the first name of the Father of the Nation was Sanjay.

    It is just that my lie is truer than yours.

  8. @stoic
    which is my lie?

    @ b k chowla
    a quotable quote.

    @ scorpiogenius
    i was talking of a way out to national conflicts. the present should not be used to settle the scores of the past.
    easier said than done, eh?

    @ happy kitten
    agree that living/dealing with past is a complex problem.tho i sound simplistic, sometimes it pays to be that

    @ anjulu
    yes. "let go'- that's the mantra for peace!

    @ dr antony
    time passes only? dont physical wounds heal with time alone - even without medicines? cant we extend the same analogy to nonphysical wounds?
    'There is no fogetting,that is a lie'.You can only forgive the past'- by forgetting i dont mean total erasure - it means look back without anger, resentment and bitterness.

  9. Not 'your' lie; merely your lie.

  10. lovely post and such a balanced view, loved reading it.

  11. Speaking about unhealed wounds, the Muslims still label Dec 6th as 'Black day' so that they don't ever forget the incident. Conversely, the hindus label it as 'Vijaya dinam'. These upheld contradictions only indicate a never ending hostility between the two religions.

  12. You have analysed the issue beautifully. Wounds do heal, because the system has the capacity to heal wounds naturally. But we want to keep them festering.

  13. well crafted post..only if our politicians knew that they are not helping the cause of healing during every election/contriversy..


Dear visitors, dont run away without leaving behind something for me :-)
By the way, if your comment does not get posted at the first click, just click once more.