15 November 2006


Before I go any further on the environment series, I want to tell you who we are and where we are.

This is something you already know, this is something every school kid knows, but for some strange reason it doesn't seem to occupy the top layer of our memory.

This would give you a rough idea.

If the history of our universe is ever written, each volume would be the size of United Nation building.

History will be written in dots ........ each dot giving us the history of a thousand years.

Each page a million years

Each volume would be a history of a billion years

There would be 14 such volumes giving us the history of 14 (13.7) billion years of our universe

Our planet earth makes an appearance somewhere in the middle of 9th volume, Our planet is only 4.5 billion years old

We humans make an appearance in the LAST FOUR PAGES of the LAST VOLUME

God that we created makes an appearance in the last seven dots ....... of the LAST PAGE of the LAST VOLUME

The holy scriptures which caused all the bloodshed appear in the last 3 dots ... of the LAST PAGE OF THE LAST VOLUME


Imagine standing alone in Sahara desert.

You don't see the end

pick up a grain of sand, blow the sand away as the single grain of sand is too big

There is dust sticking on to your finger, Our planet is smaller than a speck of dust in the map of the universe, so small that you can't find it with naked eyes.

There are trillions and trillions of galaxies up there or down there, and it is still expanding. We hardly know our own galaxy.

What do we have in this almost invisible speck of dust ?

You are staring at a single tiny speck of dust

what do you see ?

We have kings, I know you are smiling

We have her majesty the queen, Now you are laughing

We have superior race

We have inferior race

We have masters
We have slaves.

We have high cast people
We have low cast people

We have untouchables, touching those unfortunate people is considered a sin.

You see bloodshed, you see people killing each other for silly reasons.

you see pain, you see suffering, you see hunger. you see poverty.
Where did it all come from ?
This is something we have created.

Look around you, you are standing on a vast Sahara desert , the universe, and observing a tiny invisible speck of dust, our world.

You look still closer
you see boundries,
boundries ?
You need passport to cross those boundries
All in a speck of dust ?

If somebody gives you any philosophy, if somebody tells you about enlightenment, if somebody tells you about cosmic consciousness, please pour a glass of water on him.

Humans are the only species that commits suicide
We have created enough material to destroy each other
Do we deserve any kindness ?
Please tell me.




Cari said...

i wont even say that i will ever begin to understand why humans do some things

u earn kindness

and with all the hate that is being spread right now..i don't see people learning to be kind w/ one another...

they are learning about war

Rauf said...

Caroline, That is a brilliant statement. Yes We earn kindness.
Wow! Thanks so much. I'll always remember that. Told you in my last post that I have hopes on younger generation. You belong to that young generation Caroline.

e2d said...

Hi Rauf. Hope you are doing great.:)
I really liked your post but I have some issues Rauf.

First of all-deserve kindness from whom? I didn’t understand.
If you meant from each other (us insignificant humans on this speck of a planet) then yea..I think everybody deserves kindness. Actually I don’t think it is a question of deserving kindness or not but it is a question of showing kindness or not. In other words it is based on each person’s decision or conscience or values or belief.
Also why should we pour water on people who talk philosophy? After all philosophy is simply a way to find answers… trying to question things, trying to understand things, it is a way of thinking; it is a way of life. Even this post of yours is philosophical.
I would say water should be poured on people who try and impose their philosophy on others…in other words you don’t have to agree with anything I said. There should be free choice. :)

Rauf said...

e2dees, do we deserve kindness from nature ?
Do we deserve kindness from the process of evolution for keeping us humans,
do we deserve kindness from the ever expanding universe. Hundreds of stars burn out and become black holes. there is no guarentee that our planet would survive. That is kindness of the nature. we depend on nature for our survival, do we deserve it ?

Please tell me what philosophies have done so far ? Has any philosophy worked ?
Have they given any answers ? why do we exist, what is the purpose of life ? They have succeeded only in adding confusion, causing hatred and bloodshed. poverty hunger pain and suffering is the result of these philosophies e2dees.

Claudia said...

A bit daunting, isn't it, Rauf? The human mind doesn't easily apprehend such vast systems nor realities beyond itself.
Nature is not, nor has it ever been, capable of kindness: every bit of it is has Darwin's "survival of the fitest" principle written all over it. Not much point in doing anything about this except to keep on trying to survive and perpetuate the species using whatever means available (a characteristic that underlies anything in Nature). Even if shortsightedness might lead it to extintion, humankind will never admit that its "superior" rationality and ingenuity could be useless in the end.

Lord Boo said...

Excellent food for thought, Poms ! i loved that line about humans being the only species that commits suicide. True, it's all our own doing. But maybe, it's also cuz we are cursed with so many different emotions. Lovely post, very well-said *lots of hugs*

Anonymous said...

wow! a nice sense of perspective..i cant even begin to answer the questions that you put..but I can say that in every human being, there is an inherent nature to seek the ideal..and the seeking doesnt get over till you see your own reflection. Isnt that one of the names of the divine..that he is kindness personified? if we bring it down to each little speck of dust that we are...its the same space that runs thru it all, there's nature, that worked it all out..all the evolutionary work, our ouwn increasing intelelct, awareness, consciousness is done by her. the true work of our existence.

Ruth said...

I don't know if this is philosophy, Rauf, but I think our inherent nature is beautiful, not sinful, not evil, not hurtful. We have piled up a world of ego on top of that, and so it's hard to find it. But it's there all the same. That's why it's worth looking for. Otherwise, life is meaningless. And I don't buy it. There is something at the center of Life that makes people want to live, but they think it's really about cars, houses, resorts, iPods, high def TV, Gucci and Armani. It's only because they're looking for that one deep connection with something more, bigger, better. It's there, and some people commit suicide to find it, because the veil is just to thick to see through here. We've done a terrible job with what we have. Doesn't mean it's not worth using tools to get down to the heart of things, whether through philosophy, religion, thought, science. Everyone's looking for something, as the saying goes.

Thanks for the compelling post.

Anonymous said...

yay,,the comments problem is finally resolved..:)) didnt even notice it earlier.
Oh..by the way..I have another blog

"Angeldust" said...

Oh, my friend Rauf - I like you each day more...
Love your post/lesson/reminder in history, particularly at this point of "my newest rebelion".
As I have recently, inadvertently - I may add, thrown out the window most of what I have learned thus far.
I found myself simply, gently leaving behind "my beliefs" as if there were no longer "serving/helping" me (or others for that matter - but, that is an individual's journey)
Thank God (?) - lol - I have since chidhood subscribed to Aristotle's famous quote: "All I know is that I know nothing"!!!

Peace, love and joy

PS. It takes time and independent thinking to arrive at this "If somebody gives you any philosophy, if somebody tells you about enlightenment, if somebody tells you about cosmic consciousness, please pour a glass of water on him."
Most people follow like sheep, still...

Rauf said...

Yes Claudia, Nature has to do its job, sometimes it takes cruel steps, still not understood fully by humans. But it has always been kind.
'survival of the fittest' is actually Herbert Spencer's idea. He presented the theory to the Royal academy of science but were not accepted. Almost similar theory
with a different title, 'theory of natural selection' by Darwin were accepted. Unfortunately world does not know Herbert Spencer, just because he chose a wrong title. He was a close friend of Mary Ann Evans, little more than friends actually, Mary Ann wrote in the name of George Elliot (mill on the floss) Thier friendship and Mary Anne's views on soceity, her relationship with her father is very interesting to read. That was
the time some women thinkers brought a fresh wave of thought in English society, Like Byron's daughter, Augusta Ada, who at young age of 17 wrote the first ever computer language(close friend of Thomas Hardy), George Eliot and Mary Shelly (oldest of the lot) Unfortunately the world does not recognise women thinkers. This will come in my concluding post on environment.

Rauf said...

My sweet booey ! read this.

"The Bush administration is contemplating a new crop of nuclear weapons that could reduce the threat to civilian populations"

What a joke !
They are talking of new breed of nuclear weapons reducing the threat not eliminating the threat.

This is amazing Booey, please check the nukes map in wikipedia, the southern hemisphere is pretty safe, northern hemisphere is fully red with nukes, we are actually sleeping with the nukes surrounding us, the most unsafe place on earth is the US and Europe. Canada is free and complete southern hemisphere is free of nukes.

Tell me Booey ! do you understand any of this? why we have created
material to destroy ourselves ?

lots of love and hugs booey!

Rauf said...

Booey ! if you want to lose your sleep please check this. and read the capability and the numbers of each weapon


And booey you're gonna love this

'ZOOM ON DOOM ' world map of nuclear weapons


Rauf said...

Exactly Ruth, 'Will to survive' is they key factor.

Will to survive is the fundamental desire of any living organism. We humans go a bit further as we have priorities

1. survive peacefully
2. survive with dignity
3. survive with love
4. survive with comforts
5 survive with pleasure.

these are the only five I can think of now, you can add more.

I will not think of painting my walls and buying new furniture when bombs are falling and bullets are zooming all around me, here my priority is to survive at any cost.

Under peaceful conditions, one section of human race doesn't want the other to survive peacefully.
One considers itself superior.
which is very unfortunate. This is nothing new Ruth, this has been happening right from the page one, page one is the first of the last four pages of the last volume.

Desire to survive connects us to other desires. Philosphies advocating giving up or control the desire make no sense. If one has no desire, he or she does not survive.

Nature is indeed most beautiful Ruth, at times scary, It is always kind, at times cruel.

Rauf said...

Yes Mystic Rose quite true.

Humans evolved in last volume, appeared in the last four pages. Things were fine till then. I said in my last post that there is no tranquility in a forest, I should extend the statement that there is no tranquility in nature. There is a constant struggle for survival at all levels. Every species,including the strongest of them lived under fear. Still things were fine. There was an inter dependant network functioning well.
Then came humans. The trouble began when a smart human tried to understand life around him. He or She, (She is more likely, it will come in my concluding post on environment) began to ask questions. There began the quest to know more. The first question was, who would have created the sun and all the things in the sky above and the world around, the question still remains unanswered.

The question of why began when they saw death, Death is the most important factor, perhaps more important than life in any philosophy and in any approach to understand life. Why we come only to go ? what is the purpose of life ?

One smart chap created God.
One who created god was a pretty ordinary smart guy. But the one who created devil was not just a smart chap but was an incredibly brilliant mind. Without devil there is no god. You have to know evil to understand what is good.

More problems to come when humans came up with different answers and different versions of god. different philosphies giving their own explainations, giving codes of conduct. The ultimate goal was to control the society, for good reasons. But those reasons were not good enough. We still are facing those problems, bloodshed has not ended mystic rose, Human mind has evolved, but human nature remains the same. Same as the cave man, greed insecurity, hatred, domination, and the most important, the gross misconception of 'I AM RIGHT '

Chinna said...

Maybe we should stop thinking too much.

Anonymous said...

i feel so insignificant. we are just dust in the wind...

Gangadhar said...

So many insightful lines in this post,Rauf! Thank you.
And those are some answerless questions,perhaps..but one should think of those at a particular stage of life.
And e2d said in a right way too regarding kindness and philosophy..Me believe we're all eligible for kindness from nature,as you said..
Philosophies...hmmm.whenevr i think about philosophy..it gives answers to some extent..but those answers in turn lead me to a volley of questions...hehe

Anonymous said...

when you said: "If somebody gives you any philosophy, if somebody tells you about enlightenment, if somebody tells you about cosmic consciousness, please pour a glass of water on him." reminds me of dylans song...the answer my friend is blowing in the wind...

Rauf said...

Hi Angeldust
Been sleeping a lot these days as the weather has gone a bit cooler.

What you are telling me is plain evolution. You have the courage to change and to accept that there has been a room for improvement.
You have evolved as a person and as an artist. Imagination talent and creativity was already there in you Angeldust. Your confidence level has gone up due to your new way of thinking and you have emerged as an excpetional artist.

You get to hear some fancy words these days,
one of them is 'unlearn '
we can't unlearn, we can't erase, our mind is not a hard disk.
We overlap the old with new thinking.

thank you Angeldust. I know you are having a great time.

Rauf said...

Thats what governments want Chinna.

ari4u said...

Very deep perspective Rauf. I often think of this too. If someone from other planet were to look at the earth, human beings would appear like a virus rapidly spreading the face of the earth and they would be doing studies and research on us, just the way we look at a colony of ants and do a research. It doesnt end here... it keeps going on and on and on... The picture is bigger than what we see. There is life everywhere. We only see what is above the earth, we dont see what is below the earth and under water.

If you get a chance, try to watch the Blue Planet series that BBC television produced. It is excellent. Next time i come down to india, i will make copies for you.

Rauf said...

Yes, n how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,

Yes, n how many years can some people exist
Before theyre allowed to be free?
Yes, n how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesnt see?

I love both the songs Kathy, please listen to Sarah Brightman's version of 'dust in the wind'

love and hugs

Rauf said...

I could be wrong everywhere Gangadhar. i never claim that I am right.

Keep the map of the entire universe in mind and erase our planet, what is missing ? Nothing is missing. We are so insignificant.

Rauf said...

Aamir, I have done a couple of posts on what the aliens would think of us, and what would be their report, perhaps six months back in daylight again

our knowledge is limited, only 30% of the species are on land, we don't even know them all and there is no way of knowing rest of the 70% under the sea. Everyday new species are discovered.
Yea I'll look out for the BBC series Aamir

krystyna said...

Hi Rauf!
Your work is absolutly wonderful. My mind was totally untwisted by you writting and specially by comments.
Best to you!

Bobbie said...

Hi Rauf,
Making us think again aren't you? I believe kindness whether to nature or people is payment forward. Be good to someone, mentor or help them and maybe they will help someone else. A little naive maybe but it works for me. Nature is neither cruel nor kind. Those are human traits. Nature just is and should be allowed to be without human cruelty.

Though many people turn to religion for safety and support, it has caused this little planet a lot of pain. Believing in a higher being whatever you call him/her could be very comforting. Letting that belief drive you to suicide, war and bigotry is insanity at it's finest. John Lennon's Imagine works well with Dylan's Dust in the Wind.

Keep making us think...You're the best.

iamnasra said...

What is there for me to comment . you said it all as I stare at that sahara...Mt feet are no longer able to carry me...for if I dive into the desert I see it all...Let me fall here as the starting point of this desert land..for just quick glimses of it I seem to have seen a lot..my hear whirls in pain ...for I have seen enough

Rauf said...

Krystyna, Its not my intention to annoy any one. I may be blunt, blunt knife I call myself, you can't even cut a cake with it. I place the facts to the best of my knowledge, I may connect a couple of unrelated subjects and try to make sense out of it. I am not a philosopher, I don't want to be one. I think in straight lines, I don't understand complications because I have very limited understanding and I am not an intelligent person.

Thank you so much Krystyna for trying to understand me.

Rauf said...

Oh Bobbie ! you are so sweet, I am continuing the subject in my next post.

As Cari said in the first comment we earn kindness. Nature has to do its job. We have nowhere else to go, this is our home. What would you call a person who piles up garbage and damages his own walls, pokes holes in his own roof ? He is torturing himself. We are going to be the ultimate victims of our own actions. By keeping silent over atrocities bloodshed and tampering with nature we are actually supporting it.

Our survival depends on nature's kindness, we have no alternative but to plunder our earth and consume fellow living organism, be it a plant or an animal makes no difference. Nature offers its bounty to us but we have to plunder in right measures and we have to compensate in same proportions which we are not doing.

The cave man survived on nature and after four million years of evolution there hardly any improvement. Our intelligence or wisdom hasn't really worked. No philosophy has worked. I have pinned my hopes on younger generation Bobbie, your little nephew will show you the way.
Thank you so much for your contribution Bobbie.

Rauf said...

Dear Nasra, You have expressed your pain in your poetry. I feel your pain, I can only write about injustice and make my readers aware. There are no solutions of the year 2006 which is just a number we have created. We have to go back to the page one to find a solution, which is the purpose of this post. I had to make my readers bring the buried fact to the surface and make them understand what is page one. Something which they already knew.
I'll make an attempt at some solution in the concluding post on environment. I wish you all the peace in the world dear Nasra. Hope we all have a better tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

you are very lowely man. Your work is really wonderful!

Rauf said...

thank you Krystyna

Anonymous said...

hi Rauf i wish i had your ablility to write, kindness is free its just a crying shame that it isn't used more x

Rauf said...

OMG ! HER INDOORS, please don't tell me that. I don't want to indulge in a wishful thinking that I can write. A good writer makes his imagination a pleasure to read. Here I am pouring my anger my frustrations in a poor language annoying many people.

Kindness is free, kindness is an attitude. Kindness is a thought then it becomes an action.
I don't know if it makes any sense HER INDOORS

wildpic said...

hiiiiiiiiii raufffff .... some serious posting happenin ai, me been buzzzy with the exhibition that started out as a joke.
yes u have to be there rauf 16-18 dec kalachitra parishad,bangalore.( also all of u reading this !)

rauf, all philosophies are a passtime, could even be a profession. what one perceives as "light at the end of the tunnel" could well be "an oncoming train" ...

holding on to dear life could well be the same as sobbing for the sad ending of a movie ... according to dear nature. but 'i' want the forests, the wild creatures to be available in plenty, cos i get my kicks from it, and i try to use some far out logic to rationalise it.

and ... please do chk this site if u havent already, its too good rauf ... do the slide show on it ... evolution for all sane and insane minds, a visual treat indeed ... Frans Lanting is a very focused man ...


will catch up soon ... take good care rauf ...

Bobbie said...

Hi Rauf,
Her Indoors is right. Some of the best books and articles are written by people who are angry about some injustice or who have an idea they want to share. Based on the number of comments your posts get you certainly inspire people to participate. I don't for one minute believe because you don't have a lot of money you are not intelligent and cannot write. You have a better grasp of English than some people who speak it as a first language.
Happy Day! Bobbie

samuru999 said...

Hi Rauf
You know your posts can make me laugh
they can make me cry...
and they can really make me think and I am not a great thinker!

You asked...do we deserve kindness?
All i can say is that I learn a little more about kindness every day from my son!
He shares his warmth and positive outlook on life with all those whom he comes in contact with!
He is very respectful of nature too!
He is just a young man, but cares so much about the world and the people of this world...he gives me great hope!
His kindness is a true beacon of light in my life!
I know he will contribute to this
world in a most positive way when he is a grown man!

As always Rauf...another wonderful post from you!
Thank you!


Cindy said...

No, Rauf, we don't deserve any kindness and neither do we deserve forgiveness but thankfully we have a God who gives both. I know you and I differ in our beliefs in many ways, but that's okay- I've learned from you and I value you as a friend and I appreciate and enjoy your posts.

Rauf said...

I'll be there Suresh, Haven't informed Asokan as yet, I'll be staying with him. He'll inform other photographer friends in Bangalore, quite a bunch of them. Have to inform Arun too. Please mail me the address. Is there any formal opening ? I'll book my tickets in a couple of days. Wish e2dees was here.

Philosophies are indeed a passtime Suresh, none that I know have really helped like SONY's walkman.
now the iPOD. Other inventions would have come any way. Some like mobile phones are a necessary nuisance which I have avoided so far. Walkman inspired me to go for all India travel and my first trek through the Himalayas. A walkman would have really helped the cave man and the world would have been a better place to live. This idea came to me when I was living in a cave with music on my second or third Himalayan trek. Batteries were my only problem.

Thanks for the link Suresh, The slide show is truly amazing with terrific images and music. I am posting it as a blog next.

Rauf said...

Bobbie,I am really flattered. But sincerely I regret lack of command over the language. Sometimes I feel that I could have been less harsh in conveying my ideas. One can get the idea across in a much more polished and gentle way.

Rauf said...

Yes Maarge! I have faith in younger generation. They seem to have a better understanding. Sometimes when I am hurt or shocked at the atrtitude of youngsters, i always think what I was like at that age. And i always found the younger generation lot smarter. This is plain evolution.

Rauf said...

Cindy, How long do we expect God to forgive us ? Afterall we have created God and we keep forgiving ourselves, for how long ? We have a history of repeating our blunders. One may feel that he or she is not contributing to the damage, but ask them how would they feel if some one damages their walls and poked holes in their roof. This planet is our home, we have no where else to go.
Do you think God would forgive us for radiation leak ? For creating weapons of mass destruction ? for dropping nukes on innocent people ?
Is this why God has given us the intelligence ?

What is the point in God forgiving us after we have gone extinct ?

"Angeldust" said...

Thank YOU for being you, for sharing.

Love and laughter

Rauf said...

Thank you for delighting us with your brush strokes Angeldust and for being there.

Rauf said...

Cindy, I apologise for being harsh. We all want to lead a healthy, dignified and peaceful life. So do the other living organisms, plants or animals, they have the same right as ours.

Imemine said...

Yes, there is no such thing as enlightenment. No one holds the key to heaven or hell.

Rauf said...

Imemine, The only enlightenment I know is the one which makes us aware of our ignorance