Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Complicating Conversation

All of humankind's efforts, everything that we do, is directly or indirectly to escape death--to somehow live beyond the time given for us to occupy this physical space. I understand that this idea is neither original, nor very revolutionary, neither particularly enlightening, but here it is.

We want to be remembered-by someone, for something, after we cease to be. So we raise children, so that someone will carry our names, and our genes, and some broken part of us even when we are dead. We make friends, we marry, and we shun a solitary life, because we want somebody to be our witness-someone to see, and remember that we once were like so. We revere our dead, insist that we show them respect, and in some spaces, even pray to them, their death being qualifier enough for this reverence.

All media is there today because of this one primitive need of humankind-everything- TV, newspapers, radio, cinema, blogs- are in someway or the other ensuring that humankind is not forgotten. They all work to enforce this myth of immortality that we seemingly have achieved.

So we build elaborate discourses on how much we have progressed, how much distance we have covered since human memory stabilized. We are less concerned with where this distance covered leads us to, but we are hoping that it wouldn't be something as banal as extinction. The problem is, that we can only hope.


Goli said...

We want to be remembered by someone not only after we cease to be, but also when we exist. Every time I go to some new place and meet new people, I want people to remember me and feel happy about it. And in turn it makes me happy though I dont know why.

Anonymous said...

bootiful post! Totally agree...

Finally some sense and good write up too.. Post it on shvoong!

Tsu said...

I dont totally agree with that. I know even if I have kids after a certain generation, other than while looking back to the people in the family tree, I would be forgotten. I dont hope to be remember. I know I would be forgotten. there is a difference in the thinking! and hence you be...

It is more self-satisfaction than how I will be remembered. You dont want to forget living thinking and planning how the future will rem us!! I live for myself, how I dont want to be alone, how I want to live not how I want to be known, revered or remembered!

ScrewDriver said...

maybe you are right, maybe you are wrong. But yes we do want something. Living is not enough, we want a reason to life for. What you wrote might be one of the reasons for living.
I am a nerd so i will give a nerdy example. When you are in a system you do not realize much about it. Like when you are in a car you do not realize much about it. Only when you look at the car from outside do you appreciate/disapprove of it.
We need to get out of the system to get a better understanding. Unfortunately this exercise also means being lonely. So most of the common shun this exercise.

crumbs said...

@ goli

exactly. Suppose we all need some purpose, or an excuse for existing

@ lash

right. thanks. :D

@ tsu

It's not about being revered, neither is it about consciously making choices based on how we want our great grandchildren to think about us. It's more about how humankind has fashioned the manner of things. Maybe individually, people think differently, I'm talking about collective imagination and purpose here. I don't think you can say with same about of confidence that things are the way they are because people are only looking to live for themselves. There is a difference between individual and a people right?

@ screwdriver

I'm not sure I agree with what you are saying about looking at the system from outside being a lonely exercise. Don't we need to be a part of the system to WANT to examine it? True, that the view from the outside is more large scale that the view from the inside, but then it is also more surface level right? I think, what we require is a balance of the two. Which means, it need not always require you to be lonely, it just requires you to be able to differentiate between personal and collective space :)

I think I just complicated my own logic =/

sawan said...

complicated indeed!

Saadia said...

That is an interesting and engaging intake of human behaviour, and our fear of death. I do believe that it is not merely materialistic to want to live, to be loved and to be remembered. It is, but, our nature.

crumbs said...

@ sawan

guess it is :)

@ Saadia

Hello! Thanks for dropping by.
It is our nature to be wanted. Maybe self-preservation is in built.

I could not access your blog :(

pj said...

nice post:)