Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Know - Don't Know !!!!

It was sheer luck that i came to know about the Kabir Film Festival that was held at the National Film Archives of India on 14th and 15th of November. i had missed the first day of the festival when i came to know about it, so i decided to go for the second day's events. There were two documentaries to be screened namely " Kabira Khada Bazaar Mei" and "Hadd - Anhadd". The director Shabnam Virmani aimed at finding the relevance of the ideology of Kabir in today's contemporary society. Well i don’t know whether the objective was successful or not but i was completely awestruck by whatever unfold before my eyes. It was my first opportunity to watch a documentary and in the process I was completely occupied by the cinematic pleasure and the knowledge it imparted. The documentaries were followed by a Q & A session where the director and the veterans present had a very interesting discussion. With a such a fabulous creation loaded with a sensitive subject, people were bound to discuss it in depth. As the discussion progressed, I was gripped with a sudden feeling of insignificance, because after a particular point, nothing made sense and all was going above my head. I badly wanted to be a part of the discussion and accurately understand the technicalities and the intricacies of film making and the simultaneous thought process that went into it. But I realised, I am too amateur to be in the same league as others. I return back crestfallen. I called my dad. Baba, being an ardent theatre artist since 25 years; I knew he would have answers.
After patiently listening to my puzzlement, he told me that my feelings had more to do with me as a person than me as an artist. There are three areas of human knowledge.
• Area 1 - Things we know, that we know.
• Area 2 - Things we know, that we don’t know.
• Area 3 - Things we don’t know that we don’t know.

Among these, the things we know that we know forms even less than 1 percent of our entire circle of knowledge while things we know that we don’t know constitutes around 2 percent. The rest of the 98% are things we don’t even know that we don’t know. In the process of mental growth and intellectual upbringing, we should always try to increase the things under area one and reduce the things under third one. What I had experienced in the festival was that I had realized that I don’t know a certain thing. Actually i had brought one thing from area 3 to area 2 , which in turn is a promising realization for me as an individual as well as an artist.I realized i am on the right path of growth and development. It was really such an inspiring feeling to think of my lack of knowledge as a step towards growth.

I have started reading more and more about Kabir after that incident and I feel encouraged. But with it now I have realized one more thing – the more u gain knowledge, the more insignificant u feel. i.e. the more you know – the more u realize that u don’t know anything.

So back to level zero again.

The Lost Symbol, The Lost Wisdom . .The Lost Mind

I am just done with Dan Brown’s new book The Lost Symbol. Set in the American capital Washington D.C., this book is an exciting quest to find the Ancient Mysteries believed to be lost to the history. With the anticipated twists and turns, this book proves to be an exceptional mystery. I have zealously read the earlier books by the author and I just love the way he gels the ancient mysteries, architecture and literature with the present. Its nearly impossible to express the feel you get when you actually imagine that the U. S. Capitol building is linked with an ancient mythological secret. And more over, the secret is still being guarded by a group of people all around the world unknown to others. Wow. This is like realizing that the Ferguson College is linked with some ancient mystery and the mystery is still guarded by some of the elite and oldest families of Pune. Human mind is always attracted towards the secrets, towards the unknown. And this books feeds on that.

While reading the book I realized that, the Christian, the Pagan, the Roman and the Egyptian mythology discussed in Brown’s books are equally old as our very own mythologies. There are a couple of references in the book from the Vedas the Bhagwad Gita as well. We, since long have only accepted the Vedas and the scriptures as a part of the legends without questioning. Never have we tried to explore the scientific possibilities in them – which is what exactly Brown’s book do. If he can dig out such powerful plots and stories from a single folklore, imagine the number of interesting novels we can write from our own part of the ancient knowledge and wisdom. More than the novels, it can generate an attitude of curiosity towards our history which is often considered as ridiculous religious beliefs by educated youths. Take for Ex. The Mahabharata which has numerous incidences which seem as “Miracles” of those times but which if rationally thought today can be simple scientific processes. I hope some historian does think that way, as my own knowledge of these things is far less.

One more thing that I loved about this book is the way it describes our human mind to be. I am giving an excerpt from the book to have a exact idea what I am talking about.

For years the ancients’ claims of man’s awesome mental power have been studied, and now science is showing us that accessing that power is an actual physical process. Our brains, if used correctly, can call forth powers that are quite literally superhuman. The Bible, like many ancient texts, is a detailed exposition of the most sophisticated machine ever created . . . the human mind. Incredibly, science has yet to scratch the surface of the mind’s full promise

The ancients already knew many of the scientific truths we’re now rediscovering. Within a matter of years, modern man will be forced to accept what is now unthinkable: our minds can generate energy capable of transforming physical matter. Particles react to our thoughts . . . which means our thoughts have the power to change the world.

All around the world, we are gazing skyward, waiting for God . . . never realizing that God is waiting for us. We are creators, and yet we naively play the role
of ‘the created.’ We see ourselves as helpless sheep buffeted around by the God who made us. We kneel like frightened children, begging for help, for forgiveness, for good luck. But once we realize that we are truly created in the Creator’s image, we will start to understand that we, too, must be Creators. When we understand this fact, the doors will burst wide open for human potential.

It might be the case that many of you may have thought about the mind like this. But still I wanted to put this for people who have forgotten or don’t think like that.