Author's Diction~Vipin Behari Goyal: June 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016

Soulmates at Crossroads

Men and women -- even man and wife are foreigners. ~ Mark Twain

cc at crossroads


You don’t conceal your mind. Not only me who has spent his life with you, but anybody would know about your feelings. You don’t say it in words, but everything is apparent by your gestures. And you dislike when any woman tries to be intimate with me. You have shown your attitude to such woman and frankly speaking, they found no reason to displease you. You are so cordial and submissive that nobody likes to hurt you for no reason. You demarcate your possessions precisely. I hope you remember the Italian girl Giovanna who was tactfully put off by you.

How much time is required when two persons living under the same roof would understand each other? It seems half century is not enough. The bond changes with time. Infatuation, emotions, passions and social-moral bonds traverse through different level of the psyche and consciousness on the path of marriage. When we reach to a conclusion, something happens to shake the foundation of our belief. We are left flabbergasted. I never claimed that I understand you, but at the same time, you were no stranger to me. Simplicity is a dangerous weapon. Innocents have hurt more people than crooks.

What is the saturation point of love? What is the beginning, middle and end of it? I do not know. Nor can I classify my certain emotions as love. I open my heart to every good listener. I love telling stories with wit, sarcasm and humor. I laugh heartily. I earn admiration or sympathy at my will. A negative catalyst can stop this chemical reaction at any time. Why not enjoy the ride while on it?

We were not sure about the destination when we began our journey. Retrospectively, I have no reason to doubt that everything happened for some reason. Some lessons were cheap, others were trifle at great prices. You can’t learn every lesson at the right price. Life is not mathematics, nor it is a business. I found you in a labyrinth and thought you too were lost like me, but now I realize a pattern in it. We spent our life in the labyrinth, but the passage appeared new every time. So I say benefit of experience is limited. Even in the same situation, same option would give different results. Boredom was kept away by the newness in the appearance of the passage, but weariness found its way into the soul. You were cheerful and I was melancholic when we reached to the opening of the labyrinth. May be I had started enjoying the confusions it offered. Or maybe I enjoyed your company in the solitude.

I asked CC what does she think about our relationship. To be precise I asked her, “Do you think I love P_.” You know what was her answer. She said “I see there is respect”. Then she pondered, got perplexed and nodded her head vigorously. She wanted to say something specific, but was hesitant. Ultimately, she said, “Don’t ask me such question, I am confused”. I wanted her opinion since she was good at analysis. I have never asked this question to anybody else, including myself. She has been on her own in this wide, wild world since her early teens. She got her education in the school of the world, which even the best universities do not teach.

If love does not become respect with the passage of time, it is lost. When passions are turned into embers, the companionship keeps the fire alive. Her observation was perfect. Love is not a possession. Love is freedom from bondage. Sometimes I feel like a cage-bird, but I am as addicted to cage as I was to the labyrinth. The security and care are my rewards. Adolescent crisis, Mid-Life crisis and Later-Life crisis is caused by a shift in roles. At the junction you have to play two roles. The commitment to role playing also strengthened our relationship.

It is hard to understand why a man would drop his wife for another younger woman, especially when he is the father of her children. The woman who gave him moral support during his early struggles in career, is deprived of the fruits of his success. He makes financial provisions for his wife and children, but has no time to share emotions with them. I think it is a crime, not only against his wife and children, but against the entire humanity. You cannot lust like animals, when you are supposed to act humane. The sufferings of women are universal. It needs no language, to communicate. They just know when they meet. Why a happy woman should feel guilty for the sufferings of another woman? Because she knows her happiness is temporary.

CC grew up under the cries and moans of her mother. She grew up fighting her insecurities. She loved her father. He had all those qualities, which made her proud of him. In a way, she was of opinion that it was the fault of her mother that she could not keep him happy and contended. She was scared to live life of her mother, so she became melancholic, while her own spirit wanted to be cheerful. So she escaped. Her whole journey is an escape. But she is not running away from a place or people, she is running away from her own self. That is not easy. The past haunts until you decide to confront it. Face to face. It tormented her and made her cry, but she cried on her own, like a brave girl. I hate people who need a shoulder to cry.

CC shared many things with me, which I can’t share with you. That would be a breach of trust. Once, after an intimate conversation she said "I think I should not have told you these things. This is usually shared between two women.” I was happy that she talked with me as she would talk to a woman. If I have that much feminine in me, then my soul can dance in ecstasy.

You like normal, decent people, because you live a normal decent life. You shove the things under the carpet. I appreciate this kind of life. You are like an anchor to my comfort zone. When my ship is on the High Seas, it faces the storm bravely. You are my strength. I falter, but I falter to rise again with more determination. Every war has made me stronger and indefatigable.

After CC, Jenny came. Being Asian she had better adaptations. She had locked her past and had thrown the keys in the ocean. (She lived on a yacht as crew). She is ambitious and cannot afford to be emotional. Every traveler has his own search; they find glimpses of it in our home. We live a museum life. Jenny did not find anything interesting in our home. My conversation with her was many times sarcastic. She was hurt by my remarks about her small boobs. She had laughed and pulled her T Shirt forward and peeked inside as if to confirm. I love when people can take even a silly joke in spirit.

You might be bored by now; I will tell you more in my next letter.



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©  Vipin Behari Goyal

Friday, June 10, 2016

Immanence and Transcendence in Literature

When there is no belief in soul, there is very little drama.

~Flanner O'Connor

Thomas Hardy and Edmund Husserl (wiki)

Immanent means 'indwelling' or 'inherent'. Beauty is not something imposed, but something immanent — Anthony Burgess. Spinoza and Husserl, who influenced Wordsworth, Shelley, George Eliot and Beckett gave signs of the Theory of Immanence. Edmund Husserl was of the view that realities must be treated as pure phenomenon. Everything that is not immanent to consciousness must be ruled out.  There is no fundamental substrate reality other than what it appears to us. Thus, sign for the object and the object itself are perhaps one and the same thing. Likewise, Spinoza says the sign is immanent to substance. The implication of this postulate on English literature is taking us in a new direction, where, despite the philosophy the story would be interesting. Literature would incorporate political. Scientific and social advancement in the core to present an expanded homogenous vision of the universe.

 The effect is inherent in the cause. The interpretation of the effect is limited by comprehension and stands at an uncertain point in time and space. To establish certainty we must ignore everything that is beyond our immediate experience. Transcendence is extra objective experience. It is possible due to the causal link between objective immanence and transcendence. In Swastika (Hindu Sign), there is a juxtaposition of immanence and transcendence. The horizontal line represents the immanent which results in “Knowing” and vertical line represents transcendence which results in “Being”.

Thomas Hardy had a conflict of fatalism and determinism in his work. The elements and unstructured forces of nature are unscrupulously appropriated and misused by man. God created country man created town. William Patrick has explored the extraordinary out of the ordinary  in the Tree of Man. The woman is a dangerous natural force and is potentially violent. She represents male inadequacies and fears and in future would shape the destiny of our planet by Immanent Will. 'Immanent will' manifest itself in many ways. Woman is one of them.

Nature acts as setting for those who live a life in perfect harmony with it. The Light, Inertia and Action are the three elements of nature according to Indian philosophy. They have a tendency towards harmony and balance. When we become an instrument of imbalance, the nature plays the role of actor and restores the balance at our cost. Not only one gets what he deserves, but deserves what he gets.

When a writer is in harmony with nature, he does not make any effort to reflect divinity in his work. The divinity pervades the entire cosmos and it automatically transcends into his work. The extraordinary emerges out of the ordinary. And the reader may have extra objective transcendental experience which writer had while writing the book. Life and Death are part of the same 'plane immanence' (Deleuze) so it is not necessary to conclude a story.

Existence of Moral Universe leads to Immanent Justice. Every negative experience is punishment for prior misdeeds. Prior may also mean the prior birth. Plato believed in the Myth of Er in the conclusion of the Republic. This is an account of 'afterlife' experiences of a soldier who died in a war. Hermeneutics sees “interpretation as a circular process whereby the valid interpretation can be achieved by a sustained, mutually qualifying interplay between our progressive sense of the whole and our retrospective understanding of its component parts”. Can we presume that human intellect is progressive? Exposure to knowledge does not sharpen the intellect. The author's intent is not immanent since it has determinants and the reader must experience the inner life of the text to understand and interpret it. Thus, all interpretation would be relative.

Immanent may remain dormant and fossilised as a perspective for a long time and may reveal and manifest itself in an encounter. It may take other centuries when that perspective will be socially acceptable.

If literature is examined and interpreted through the lens of immanence, a new kind of divine message can be read which could shape our destiny.

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©  Vipin Behari Goyal

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Alien Girl

                               Forbidden Navel Show

Jenny The Alien Girl
Dear Jenny,

I would have never come to know that you are an alien, if the topic of a navel show would not have crept up while discussing why people love to post photos of their feet. Your theory that “I am not in the mood to show you my face, see my feet”. I agree to it. I prefer that you have to begin with the feet on a vertical journey at my body. It’s a message, I am proud of my feet; they take me places. Whatever, my suggestion was that the navel is the only source of prenatal existence and we should proudly display it to remind that our microcosm has a definite relationship with macrocosm. The navel has many shapes and is an index of the mind. Decoration of the navel by tattoo and pierce rings is therapeutic. A proud declaration of existence in an otherwise a meaningless and purposeless life. I requested you to show me your navel. Initially you were shy and tried to laugh it off, but when I insisted you declared that you don’t have any navel since you were an alien. It was a shock for me. You were earnest in your declaration. Everything started falling in place and a complicated puzzle was solved. From the very beginning, I was skeptic about your human form.

You were mysterious from the very first day. You had already left a house without saying goodbye, just because you could read the mind of your host. That was your first alien quality I noticed. After that when I told you about CC and you could presume everything that happened between her and me. You quickly explored CC and found everything about her. I just do not much care about the past of a person, nor I am good like you in drawing conclusions based on casual remarks posted on social websites. Though I admit that all these things have a bearing upon us and nothing happens without a reason. Only an alien could be that potential geek.

When I asked your opinion about the CC’s remark in her letter that she wrote to me “Oh V-, you are not just a good man”, you were hesitant to accept that it was meant to be a compliment. You were fishing for some covert negative meaning in it. I believe in intuition, though you are suspicious almost about everything. It is nice to start a relationship with an element of doubt at every step till the person proves himself trustworthy. I usually do not bother about other’s opinion and act as natural self. You had no reason to trust me moreover; you had recently met an unpleasant situation with another man. It did not put myself under any pressure to act differently than normal self. People are so accustomed to artificial life that anything natural upsets them. Can it be my fault?

I do not know what else am, if I am not just a good man. Jenny I asked you also, but you preferred to remain silent. Being an alien you had some mechanism to dissect the human behaviour by primordial genetic code. You must have been surprised to read my genetic code. It has been mutated by my “will to power”. That makes me a good man without any conditioning of the mind. But you know what, I am sick of being known as a good man. It stops me from freedom of choice to be a bad man. Good men are the big losers.

In the cave temple you were under trance. Apparently, you were communicating with some other world. While returning from the cave temple we did not speak a single word. Your alien character was obvious and I was suddenly happy in your company. Tranquility was communicated. Our plan of revenge had evaporated and aggression had diluted.

You were constantly making me think of CC. Once you told that, you would trail her and meet her. If you do so, I will be grateful to you. I want your perspective about everything. You have a comprehensive approach in analysis like an author. I am not just curious to know everything, but I also hang on your opinion like a thread of breath. You look at our life as if you are viewing a video game. This kind of mechanical neutrality is disquieting for most of the mankind. I think I appreciate it. I believe in the mechanism and eventual failure of it.

Live long, as if you have nothing else to do.

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©  Vipin Behari Goyal

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Perspectivism and Documentary Objectivity

        Art is twice removed from reality ~Plato

Painting By Christine Cormier

If art is an imitation of an imitation, since all objects are imitation, approximation, or instantiation of an ideal form, no Truth that finds its way by any means of expression is an absolute Truth. Hence, we agree with Nietzsche “all ideations take place from particular perspectives.” That is why Objectivism of Ayn Rand that reality exists independent of human consciousness and is perceivable through sense organs is not tenable.

Kim Voynar says “Are documentaries journalism or storytelling, feature-length beat reporting, op-Ed or color commentary — or some combination of those, or even none of the above? Is it necessary for a filmmaker to capture both sides of a given story to be fully objective? And if a documentary filmmaker unabashedly focuses his lens only on the moments or interview bytes that tell the story he wants to tell — or that his subjects want to tell — has he made what can be objectively called a documentary, or has he made propaganda promoting a particular cause or idea?”

Documentary filmmakers are in the same palisade as writers. The dilemma of Non-Fiction writers is greater due to the onus of citations. Perspectivism is the rejection of dogmatism, which has infected literature several times in its history. It refrains writers from being didactic and could help in creating a legislation for mankind, which does not draw a line between ‘ Art for art's sake’ and ‘art with a purpose’.

Even if we forget about gaps in signifier and signified and read a story objectively, it is not possible to overlook emotional perspectives. Who can read Anna Karenina without walking across the boundaries of gender and nations? Even than how you perceive Anna is a perspective, and no two individuals have the same perspectives.

Even Imagist and Impressionist are not able to do justice with images and impressions, since by the time an image is perceived and interpreted by the mind, and the writer decides to pen it down, it has changed a thousand times. Moreover, images and impressions pass through a sieve of the subconscious and unconscious and get tainted. The stream is linear while water drops are spherical or oval, so the flow is only apparent. Virtually, only half of it is content and rest half is a void filled by the imagination. Even if it is an enlightenment, which has occurred after contemplation, description will be of the rays that are made of photons. This incompleteness of expression is three-dimensional. The panorama, the vision and the depth of the human psyche are infinite and human perception is finite. Writers often confuse the sense of time with a sense of duration. It could be interesting to compare Bergson with Nagaarjuna’s theories when they define the time and duration. The eastern Momentism (Buddhist) is more scientific in approach. Can moment be further divided into beginning, middle and an end?

 To create art for art's sake is also a purpose. When art is not kinetic, it compels the intellect for contemplation. Contemplation leads to self-realization, which is the sole objective of human existence. The intellect that defines the purpose of human existence is not a ‘snob intellect’, but a pure ‘intellect’. The prosthetic senses have limitation of perception. The empirical world consists of many layers like an onion and writers strive to reach the core. Writers who reach closer to the core create the immortal legislation of humankind.

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©  Vipin Behari Goyal