Saturday, March 21, 2009


The final scene of the movie, Cast away is difficult to forget. Tom hanks plays the courier man who's marooned on an uninhabited island after his plane crashes into the pacific ocean. He lives in that piece of land for nearly 4 years, without human contact--the memory of his wife is the only thing that keeps him alive, gives him the will to finally brave the brutal waves and find his way back. By the time he returns to civilization, life has moved on. His wife, thinking him to be dead, has remarried. He resumes his job, delivers a packet to a house which is in the middle of nowhere, and on his way back, hits a crossroad. The long roads stretch on all sides and he stands there, looking here and there, pondering... and that geographical place becomes a stunning metaphor for his life at that moment. Where do you go from here? Where have you come from? Why are you here? What's your destiny?

A moment of tremendous pathos. And also a moment of sudden illumination.

Why does illumination arrive only after loss, sadness, emptiness? Why not in the midst of joy, abundance, peace? Why should our journey always be pathos-enlightenment-bliss and not bliss-enlightenment-bliss?

Why this fixation with the positives? What is it in us that makes us scared of losing, of emptiness, of sorrow? If there is something that exists beyond these positives and not so positives, what is that?


  1. I tried to post a few mintues ago and will try again...I think that we only notice the choices and the future when we are empty and bereft of joy. When we are positive we are not looking outside our immediate selves and may miss opportunities.

  2. Conditioning @ fixation with positives. See how people around us behave when we are down and how they are when happiness blankets us. We become addicts of that sense of feeling.

    And, I agree with Tabor above.


  3. What Tabor said is so true. When we are happy, we do not look beyond ourselves. Only unhappiness and loss helps us go beyond and towards enlightenment. Suffering is often a stepping stone, a key to the state of bliss.

  4. Each of us want to be happy and we always want it that way. But when we feel down, we want to get rid of the feeling so we try to think of ways on how to overcome it. Those ways are part of illumination. :)

  5. Thanks for visiting my blog. I am the type of person that tries to find happiness in each day, even if it is only a small spark of happiness to be found.

  6. I always feel that my higher self knows there is more here than meets the I.;-)

  7. Thanks everyone.

    I understand that illumination is something that exists beyond what we normally seek as happiness and what we avoid as pain. The happiness/pain must be something we're dealing with at the surface(ego) level but the yearning for illumination/enlightenment must arise from something deeper in us, something we normally don't recognize.

    And, maybe we recognize this hidden desire only when pain strikes; like fishes, we go deep only when the surface begins to suffocate. So happiness, though we thirst for it, is a hindrance to this illumination.

    Of course we put into words what the wise men always knew by direct experience.:-)

  8. There is an ancient saying: "First you cry, then you see, and then you smile." I think it is a true observation.

    Blessings to you, my dear friend.