Purpose. I remember bringing this up earlier in ‘Coincide‘ and mentioning that different life stages manage to give us short term purposes which leave little time for this line of questioning – a larger purpose of life itself. Like I told a friend recently, as though we took a life API and churned out all these fancy apps that now distract us from the purpose. What happens when you take those out of life? And when I say ‘those’, I also mean the alternate rat race that we convince ourselves is not one.
Turn out the light
And what are you left with?
Open up my hands
And find out they’re empty.
Press my face to the ground
I’ve gotta find a reason.
Just scratching around
For something to believe in:
Something to believe in.
I’ve wondered, even if one loves the work one does, does that become a purpose in itself? Is it really possible to be a karmayogi. Is that what makes a Tendulkar or a Yesudas? A larger sense of purpose? Doing the thing that they were meant to do? But even if that were so, what motivates them, for a karmayogi should not feel any attachment towards the fruit of his actions. Indifference and detachment. There’s obviously a difference, yet to realise it fully.
I have also wondered, actually worried, if its the lack of a larger purpose that drives one to (try to) leave a legacy? Creating something that will perhaps outlive us, in whatever scale ? Does the potential future of a creation give a sense of purpose to the present?
On twitter, @Bhuto asked me whether anyone had asked me if my handle meant “hand in the crypt” (manus being Latin for hand). No one had, the handle actually came into being because I couldn’t get the original spelling as an ICQ handle. I answered that I’d always thought of a grimmer version – of this being an online crypt. I think I’ve mentioned this here earlier. So years down the line if someone discovers this, the lifestream will perhaps convey a life.
You talk too much.
Maybe that’s your way
Of breaking up the silence
That fills you up.
But it doesn’t sound the same
When no one’s really listening
If you think that’s weird, there’s actually a site that has the same idea – 1000 Memories. Or how about a wireless headstone that will share its owner’s story with future generations? Or there’s also the Howard Stark version (when he speaks to his son) ” What is, and always will be, my greatest creation, is you, Tony.” Yep, that’s quite a popular way too.
For those who follow Malayalam movies, as is his wont these days, Mohanlal has already given the answers to ‘purpose’, in Aaram Thampuran, though the question was put differently.
But it is somehow difficult to even consider that life, in whatever way it is lived, is its own purpose.
You’re spending all your time
Collecting and discovering
It’s not enough.
until next time, multipurpose lives?
(Lyrics: Something to believe in, Aqualung)