Chapter 1 – Riding Eternity

Photo by Nafise Motlaq
Photo by Nafise Motlaq

It is inherent human nature to question the significance and purpose of being born and why so into a world such as this; and why into such a body as ours. Somehow, we end up consoling ourselves that life is but temporary and that it could all have been worse. Nevertheless, we question why it could not have been better before actually coming into terms with whom and what we are.

Riding Eternity is a journey all of us are partaking and these chapters present as a journey of self-reflection together with you, the reader. It’s not intended to educate or teach anything spectacular but en route to tapping into your conscience, consciousness and awareness; and in a way assuring you that you aren’t alone in your quest for realisation and answers.

Life is so enigmatic and that’s for sure. It’s extraordinarily perplexing and while we linger or live spiritedly, we discover many things and end up being awed and even dumbfounded. We are all left confused and baffled besides having a whole turbulence of emotive and soul-searching preponderance. The concept of “soul” or “spirit” is one of the commonest muse or deliberation. Calling it life-force might be more acceptable since we know that atoms and our bodies are held together by electromagnetic energy fields. Consequently we can accept that the soul is the life-force.

Living includes a combination of emotions we experience in our daily lives and we are encapsulated in so many facets of emotions from joy, happiness, elation on to the feeling of accomplishment, contentment and relief: as well as the more darkly-tinged anger, frustration, bitterness, envy, spite, acerbity, grudge, hatred and a whole lot more negativity. Some of us may have religion to turn to even as our faith might be weaning while some might be capable enough to build a protective shell of apathy and even live in callous denial. Injustice and indecency can easily overwhelm us and we can opt to turn a blind eye or simply look the other way.

Yet at the end of the day, one question begs to be answered and that will always be how much we have learned, experienced and managed to absorb while we live. We are sometimes overcome by fear since we realise that in life we are actually alone. It’s a very personal journey and though we might have families, friends and be constantly surrounded by scores of people and all that’s happening, we are in any event alone. To begin with, our thoughts and feelings are so private and until they trigger reactionary manifestations, nobody actually knows what goes up in our minds and hearts. That in itself is testament enough to conclude that we are all alone.

This journey we will embark together through the chapters that will follow is for the common man. It would be a journey we take together and we would be mental-kins in its duration. We will “travel” many lands and scenes minus the vocabulary-acrobatics that novels normally contain. Rather, it would be one of simplicity and fundamentality. You will feel joys as you will feel sorrow; pain as you will feel anger; gladdened as you may weep and hopefully at the end of the journey your mind would be enlivened. We will also partake in some time-travel and perhaps learn new lessons and to hopefully culminate in a higher level of conscientiousness and appreciation.

Photo by Nafise Motlaq
Photo by Nafise Motlaq

Beyond everything, I am not a profound expert and at times might rely on you for an answer or indication and you would need to come to your own conclusion. But you would be my kin and I, yours; and we will share mental and spiritual intimacy. This journey is about us and about how much we have in common and yet are so very different; and yet not too different from an unfortunate person stricken with polio and rendered physically-challenged; or a wealthy individual hunkered down in abject loneliness.

Our journey would transcend religion into a realm of naturalism. It deals with faith as it deals with scorn and is at times naked – minus the frills and trappings while making no apology for it. Some may be wondering why this blog is entitled Midway through Eternity, what the relevance of it all is or how one can actually ride eternity.

Well, that’s rather simple because eternity is endless where in so far as we are concern, it has no beginning or end. All we can vouch for unanimously is that we are all being consumed by time. Therefore our lives, existence and all that happens with, along and within time and this would be equivalent to riding on eternity and to become a part of it. Whether time eventually ends is way beyond our concerns and comprehension. Whether life like ours exists elsewhere is also another matter altogether. The least we can do is to consciously ride eternity well as it’s now or never.

No matter if you are religious, philosophical or just pragmatic, we all exist in the same world and though our experiences, perceptions and levels of consciousness might differ, we are all nevertheless part of the grand scheme. Essentially, we have more in common than we realise. We will also probe the concepts of opponent and proponent and listen a little to how some minds work as against others and no matter who seems to be in the right or in the wrong, it might be just a matter of opinion, preference, inclination or conviction.

Throughout, you would also discover various quotes from Shakespeare who left this world in 1616. That is 400 years ago. They are classics but these quotes are still adoptively quoted for their applicability all because human nature had hardly changed, if at all. So we start off with this quote:

“Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven”  * William Shakespeare

That is applicable to our journey because we are attempting to comprehend what goes on around us and try to learn from what that has passed. Knowledge is infinite and there are so many facets to what constitutes as knowledge. An intelligent person may not be wise while a wise person may not be intelligent. A cunning person might be wise and intelligent but may not have foresight. Being a visionary is one thing but learning from history is another. Learning too has various facets since different people may look at things from different angles while opinions and perception often do differ and widely so.

Religion is a salvation for many and there are numerous options for those who wish to embrace them. Still many are born into a religion and follow through it for the rest of their lives. Whether the choice we make or the religion we live with is the right one is mostly left to the individual’s faith and beliefs. Some can discuss about it while for some, it’s non-discussable or perhaps even taboo. Then there are those among us who believe in a greater power yet don’t subscribe to any religion.

Some concoct their own pillars and parameters on how to live life with derivatives from an amalgam of religions – often citing that religion teaches us only to do “good” or what is interpreted as good. Then again there are diehard-atheists who harbour the belief that everything is purely accidental and consequential to induced causes. All types of people make the world and it’s each and everyone’s prerogative to choose what they want to believe.

Nonetheless, we humans are so alike and have so much in common yet we still try to be different, distinguishable and special. This journey we shall share would be bringing us together and to reflect on our own faith in our religion and mind-set, with a good probability of ending up appreciating them more than we ever did. This is because what happens in this world is not purely confined to religion and nature does not differentiate us. Neither would the forces of nature bow to religion and man.

Izmit, Turkey
Izmit, Turkey

Thus we are on equal footing and would succumb to the so-called “laws of the Universe” without exception, privilege or prejudice. We shall all age and wither away provided we are not “snatched” away midway through living and be statistically relegated as the prematurely demised. So while we live, we only seek to absorb as much comprehension as possible and strive to excel in the “art of living”. We look beyond, ponder and seek answers – much like a child looking up into the clear night sky and in seeing the stars would try to fathom what lies there. We had begun with Diamonds of Velvet Void dedicated to our child-like quest.

 

Dedicated to the memory of

Duane Ethan Barr

9 June 2007 – 25 May 2011