Saturday, May 09, 2009

Heart of Darkness

The memories that seep into one’s consciousness without warning or reason can bring wonderment. I was passing through a mall on my way home when a fable I’d read somewhere came to me…

There were two monks, an old abbot and his young disciple, on their way back to their temple, when they came upon a river and a young girl stranded.

Without hesitation, and to the disciple’s astonishment, the abbot brought the damsel onto his shoulder before wading to the far bank, where they then continued their own journey.

The disciple was much baffled, the abbot having touched a fairer sex, vexed him no end. Like an invisible screw tightening infinitely in his heart, till he couldn't bear it no more, and finally inquired the abbot.

So the wise abbot drawled: “Why are you still carrying the girl on your shoulder, when I’ve long left her at the bank?”

Lesson learnt: Only a chaste soul can bear a chaste act.

Of course, the kindest intention can be misunderstood, but not that it matters to the do-er, for deep down inside he knows he is no sinner, and that is what counts, no matter what the letter of the law says (and the limitation of the law? If its ultimate function is to impute guilt to mend the soul). Having said that, the only moral compass would be the heart, the link of similarity among this self-destructing species. Regardless of cultural, racial or language boundary etc, that is what I think. Although, the world is getting more complicated, all false truths and fables, casting a shadow over the heart, blinding the heart-carrier.

I read somewhere, amid the AWARE saga, how church establishment in history, has stalled our moral development. I'm rather lost in this melee of religion, moral values, really.

"You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world."

- Bertrand Russell, "Why I'm Not a Christian"

I am all gloomy these days. A consequence of reading novels like Bernhard Schlink's "The Reader" and Cormac McCarthy's "The Road"? Perhaps, perhaps, especially the latter. As the darkness of the heart is entwined and raw.

P.S: Part of this post was collated from my diary and little black book.

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