As we move ahead in life, chasing the enchanting rainbow of multiple hues, we reach a point where we have experienced every shade of the rainbow. And we realise that the promise of the rainbow didn’t quite match the experience. So whether it was fame or fortune, power or possessions, it does nothing to quench the thirst we started out with. The colours of the rainbow begin to dissipate the minute we possess it.
We now experience what is termed as “world weariness”. The world withholds no secrets from us nor does it have anything new to offer. Also having struggled with all possible relationships, we make peace with our company. And we realise as Upmanyu Chatterjee writes in his book, English August, “men were ultimately islands, each has his own universe, immense only to himself, far beyond the grasp or the interest of others”.
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All we are left with is an aching sense of void at the futility of the entire exercise called life. The world and its trappings of fame and fortune ceases to enchant us and the echo of the nothingness of our life gets amplified. The repetitive pattern, be it seasons or our routine makes us want to throw in the towel in our pessimistic fight with life. So what does one do to appease this sense of nothingness; how does one cure one’s soul of this persistent feeling of void?
There must be a source, which offers something greater than what the material world has to offer. And this is where “higher knowledge” comes to our rescue. An enquiry in the direction of knowing, that which is permanent rather than fleeting in nature, is the way out.
The knowledge of the central principles that govern the cosmos help us make sense of the world we live in and it is through them that we are able to find an exit from this cycle of birth and death.
The very fact that there is a way out of this repetition of repetitions is enough to drive away our pessimism.
And this concept of “moksha” or “enlightenment” is what makes Eastern philosophy an optimistic philosophy.
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