Saturday, August 19, 2006

More than Human

I have been getting a little informal education in literature for the last couple of years through my involvement with Literary Discussion Group (LDG) at my college. Although my primary preoccupation remains science fiction, it is almost never discussed at the LDG and therefore I am forced to read a lot of ‘real’ literature too.

What irks me is literature’s preoccupation with the ‘human’ aspects of life. What I mean is this. Most literature that I get to read is dealing exclusively with human emotions, human life and human problems. It places the human on a pedestal higher than rest of the universe and at the centre of the universe. Sometimes I get into the spirit too and feel that that is all that is important in life. Helping the downtrodden. Exposing inequality in the society and exploring misery at all levels. Bring it all out into public consciousness so that the world becomes a better place to live in.

However, every now and then I find myself beneath the night sky staring at the stars. And then I contemplate on the size of the universe and our position inside it. And then I feel how insignificant humans and the little self contained world of theirs is. Their preoccupation with themselves appears almost ludicrous to me. What if, someday, in the wink of an eye, humanity was to disappear from the face of this earth? What difference would it make in the vastnesses of the Universe? Would the earth stop rotating around the sun? Would the heavens stop moving the way they do?

And then I’m also plagued with the questions about who I am and what I am doing here. What is the purpose to my life? What is the purpose to this entire drama that is unfolding beneath the skies?

Are these questions not worth the enquiry? Are there questions not worth taking the trouble of contemplating about them?

Perhaps if have to go without food for three days in a row and have not a penny in my pocket, I’d find that they are not.

The included image is that of the Helix Nebula taken through the Hubble telescope. Due to its shape, the nebula is generally being referred to as the 'Eye of God'.


  1. I ask myself these questions far too often. (I also have dinner every night of course.) Next time we meet, we should discuss this and then get depressed about the lack of our significance.

  2. The crucial question is, when do we meet next time?

  3. Well well, Milind Sir revisited.
    It's almost the same feeling i come across sometimes.And as i said, there are times that i'm very close to asking the correct question,rather than finding the correct answer.