The Night Begins

He came to her, as he always did, to their chosen secret place, and she smiled as he appeared, breathing heavily from the long walk uphill.

“You’re too happy”, he grumbled, even before she’d managed to greet him.

“Sorry”

He sighed, “Don’t be like that.”

“Okay.”

Damian frowned, but couldn’t bring himself to say anything further. After all, she had returned to see him again, just as she had said she would. He knew it must not be easy. The tired lines around her eyes as she turned to smile at him made him feel a twinge of guilt. But he shivered at the thought of that empty, aching loneliness which was just waiting to envelop him once she was gone for good, and he cast aside those feelings of guilt. Now was not the time.

Cerid was watching him closely, a strange expression on her face as she watched Damian’s distracted frown go through a series of minor transformations, until he suddenly snapped his icy gray eyes on to her warmer brown ones, and even though she smiled comfortingly at him, the haunted look in his tired eyes made her want to cry.

But, Cerid had not cried since the war had ended. Not once. Not even when she had spent two weeks watching Damian destroy everything around him, until the cursing and swearing and whiskey and screaming was all done with, and all that remained in its place was his pale gaunt frame, surrounded only by endless destruction and stony silence. Her heart had ached as she’d watched, but she hadn’t shed a single tear.

Damian liked to believe that it was because she had run out of tears, and not because other people’s agony and pain affected her more than his. Cerid thought it had something to do with the last battle she’d been part of. Because she had had plenty of tears to shed that day. An all of a sudden, the picture of little Remo, lying in a pool of his blood, flashed through her mind.

He had been a day away from his fifth birthday. She had promised to gift him a real kite. He had been counting down the days. The day of the last air-strike… it was Roberto who had found out first. Damian had been in the middle of his own dilemma. Straddling both sides of the war, he had a difficult decision to make. Even though, technically, he would always be of the Shadow Tribe first. Ceridwyn had been at the forefront of the battle. And she had watched Remo die.

Ceri! Ceri!

She opened her eyes to find Damian kneeling over her, eyes full of worry, “Are you alright?”

She laughed, then, suddenly aware of the bizarreness of the situation. “We have to stop doing this”, she whispered, leaning up into the familiar frame of his body. He swallowed, once, twice. “I understand”, he said, “But what am I supposed to do?”

She shook her head at him, despondent and unsettled, “I love you.”

He looked down at her cautiously, then swallowed again, “I have always loved you.”

“And that’s why you can’t stay”, she whispered, smiling up at him gently, even as her eyes sparkled with waylaid tears.

The baby wouldn’t stop wailing. She knew that it was Arianna’s son. Arianna, who had trusted her and helped them escape when the entire kingdom was against them. Arianna, who now lay buried not far from here, shot in the heart with a poisoned arrow, even as her husband fought on in the Outer Circle with the other Marine Corps. Arianna’s son was trapped inside the burning building, and his mother was injured, and there was no one around to help him. Cerid had already lost a lot of blood. But she could hear the shouts in the distance, and it was clear that victory was imminent. She was just steps away from the designated Tower. She’d get medical attention there, and probably be able to send someone for the baby.

But it would be too late.

And as she turned away from the tower and towards Arianna’s home, for some strange reason, she thought of Damian and the last thing he’d said to her.

Dead to me.

He stared at her for a moment, memorizing every detail of her face as she smiled at him encouragingly. “It’s going to be alright. I’m always going to be here, with you.”

“So,” he began, in a shaky voice, stopping to take a deep breath and continue, “What you’re saying is I’ll never be walking alone.”

She beamed at him then, and for just one tiny moment, Damian forgot all about the last night of the Quarter Century War, when he had returned to the village only to find her overwhelmed and outnumbered against Assassins intending to eliminate all the noble-born children.

He had joined in the battle, and afterwards held her blood soaked body in his arms, as the cheer of celebration and jubilation rang out all around them, and the last of her life ebbed away from her. “Forgive me” he had cried, but it had been too late, and the only answer he had was the silence of the blankness in her empty eyes, just as she had promised him.

Sudden darkness. The hill was empty now. A cold wind rustled past the nearby trees, and a whisper trembled at his ear.

“You’ll never walk alone.”

Damian fell to his knees.

The night had begun.

Nothing is True

Nothing is True because nothing is known; or at least nothing is known in its entirety. It is important at this point to keep in mind that the statement is intended to be a mere observation of the world rather than any sort of doctrine.

In Ancient Greece, the scholars of the time of Aristotle believed that Stones fell to the Earth because of some sort of “Love” that they felt towards the ground. Today, we know of gravity, but do we know why it exists? Or how it’s possible for a force of attraction to be stronger and stronger the further away two objects are from one another? (And, the love that the Greeks spoke of, it can also be translated as a sort of “attraction” between the falling stone and the ground. Is that not what gravity really is?)

Likewise, we know that millions of birds and animals migrate thousands of miles every year, but we still don’t know how they know their path? or how the Giant Stone Balls of Costa Rica came into existence, or what the hell was up with the Tunguska event, and a million other things. Yes, we know a lot more than we did in the past, and we will know a lot more in the future, but will human beings ever know everything? Perhaps, perhaps not. But, as of now, we do not.

Hence, one cannot make an absolute statement today with any sort of absolute conviction in its truth, because, *Nothing* is true. We know nothing for certain. The Church, the State, these are only institutions that we, as humans, have created for ourselves. “To say that nothing is true, is to realize that the foundations of society are fragile, and that we must be the shepherds of our own civilization.”

The only voice that you should listen to is the one inside you that can tell right from wrong. Make your own path, because it is just as true as every other path anyone might direct you towards. Surely,it is even more so. If every human governed themselves, we wouldn’t be so dependent on all these oppressive institutions that our own immorality has caused us to fearfully establish. We’ve been fueling them with terror and our disgraceful behavior. And States can’t save the millions of people starving of hunger, only other people can. God is not going to stop any War. People have to.

Nothing is True, because something must be, and we have not found it yet.

And, in order to find the truth, One has to proceed on the assumption that nothing one encounters is likely to be the truth. In fact, one should be certain of this. With such an approach, the entire onus of proving itself to be true belongs to the alleged truth itself. In a way, the rationale is quite similar to the Buddhist philosophy of questioning Everything one comes across; It is only thus that we can discover the true nature of anything, including the Truth of Truth itself.

Rise

No one is going to save us. We have to save ourselves.

Humans! I’m talking to you! Yes, you. The now is crucial. The Future is now. It decides everything. Whether we live or perish, whether we can learn in time, whether we can simply stop everything else and realize that everything in this World today, everything that you are part of, every school, office, organization, club, society, judiciary, committee, kitty party, car pool, everything, it’s only pretend.

It’s only pretend!

But, your life, my life, all our lives; each and every one of them is all that is real. If that is not, then everything else does not matter. And if it is, then everything else matters much much lesser. Or should anyway.

There is no one to listen to. But, that’s okay. Listen to yourself. We are not a crazy race of frenzied fanatical bodies always thirsting for blood, nor are we little numbers on the lists of giant mega-corporations.. We are People!

With thoughts and opinions and the ability to logically reason.

We can choose to do the right thing.

Imagine if, come dawn tomorrow, everyone gets out of bed feeling free of every single bad thing that other people have inflicted upon them. Imagine a day where no one murders anyone, no one rapes anyone, no child is orphaned by senseless war, no State sponsored brutality takes place under the very nose, nay, orders, or the leaders of our country.. Imagine no unfair preventive detention, no ‘disappeared’ teenage girls and boys from the Northern regions of this Nation, no domestic helper child tries to kill herself, no children torture smaller animals, and the Courts of Law are Halls of Justice…

It won’t take much, you know…

There are people out there, who don’t think humanity is capable of redemption! They want to watch everything burn to ashes, because they believe that it is what we deserve.

… To be honest… I used to believe that. For a while.

But, then, for every second that we waste wondering whether or not an issue is worth getting into an argument about, for every time we hold back from saying something contrary to popular perception simply because we are afraid of social ostracism, for every moment we ponder or debate upon the merits and vanities of activist discourse, children are dying because they have no food. Because they have had lesser to eat in a week than the amount of leftover food you threw out last night. Children are tortured and killed, children, please throw away the blanket of desensitivity that Television has wrapped us all in; Reality TV is not reality. The reality is bleeding, crying, wailing orphans. They don’t understand this, but they suffer. We can stop it. You and I, and all the others that are out there. We can stop them from dying.

And, all you have to do is wake up.

Please, wake up.

And those children, those people, it could have been you. It could have been me. It could have been the person that you loved. It could be the person you love. Or the one you might have had his life not been brutally ended. For nothing.

It’s all for nothing, can’t you see??

Nothing except the greed of Industrial complexes that I don’t even know what to say about.

All we have keeping us safe is the internet.

As long as our voices can reach each other, no one can completely disappear. No one can be completely erased.

And this scares them. Oh, but that’s for another time. So late it is! Sorry for all the typos, folks. And the abrupt ending, err, if anyone read this far. Anyway, goodnight!!

The Truth

The answer to your question will arise when you no longer need to ask it.” – Al Mualim

Prima facie, this statement appears to be an obvious one. But, of course once you find the answer, you will no longer be asking the question. However, I believe Al Mualim means this in a sense that is more in the realm of abstraction.

Take for instance, the question to be regarding the purpose of life. It is only once that you achieve it, that you will know what it was. Take the absolute truth, it is only once you find it, will you no longer need to ask what it was. But, until you do, that is your question.

I believe what Al Mualim was trying to say is that the Universe unravels itself. And, through life, it teaches you what you need to know, what you want to know. In a nutshell, you will know when you know. And, sometimes, in order to find something, you have to stop searching and start evolving first.

“The Truth is out there. It’s waiting for you. And it will find you if you want it to.

Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted

Not all revolutions involve assassinations and civil wars. Though, I am yet to learn whether all revolutions require the same.. It’s easy to feel like that sometimes; much harder to take a stance and fight for what you know is right, with only your words and your convictions to make a point, not daggers and poison.

Words have always held power, and they always will. Their impact might be diluted by way of our insane levels of connectivity and the need to share and discuss the most trivial issues on public fora, but the same also facilitates a network with the kind of reach that is incomprehensible to even those from times that cannot yet be considered past.

We, the youth of today; individuals who have grown in the midst of a chaotic world where everything is accessible, less and less is permitted, and everyone has an opinion that they scream directly into your ears or shove down your throats, carry a different burden of responsibility. It is an era of change. And change we must, or we shall die.

Apathy, violence, hate, jealousy, greed; none of these is new. But the ability of man to destroy is much greater now than ever before in the past, and that is why things must change.

Earth has borne the burden of mankind for centuries without a complaint, and now that the planet is  falling apart, our careless ways must change.

Corruption and incompetence have long been a part of human history, but we are no longer a new species struggling to survive in a new world. We have been here long enough to know better, and hence we must change.

But, first we must learn what to do. And this cannot be explained or taught to anyone. We arrive on this planet just as clueless as the next newborn infant, and every single person must die. The time in between is yours and yours alone. No one who tells you what to do or how to behave shall ever have to live with the consequences of your actions. Each one of us has been given the ability to think our actions through.

We don’t need anyone to tell us what to do.. We are free to follow our own path. There are those who will take that freedom from us, and too many of you gladly give it. But it is our ability to choose – whatever you think is true – that makes us human. There is no book or teacher to give to the answers, to show you the path. Choose your own way. Do not follow me. Or anyone else.

Amen to that. Brothers and Sisters, listen closely, for it is your life, and not your soul that is in immediate need of salvation. On your deathbed, you shall not remember the Sundays you spent at work, or your highest grades in class; you will remember moments of meaning, and worth, and value. And no one but you can create them. That is the time that is running out.

Live your life. No one else can do it for you. And no one else ever should.

Go in Peace.

~~~
To say that nothing is true, is to realize that the foundations of society are fragile, and that we must be the shepherds of our own civilization. To say that everything is permitted, is to understand that we are the architects of our actions, and that we must live with their consequences, whether glorious or tragic.