December 03
Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom...


MARCH 7, 2012 12:16PM

Not Morals, Cleanliness

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I had said in an earlier blogpost that I did not care about morality.

Morals change with time, clime, weather and politics. Somethings that never change whether one is with the Bantus in Africa or the bustee dwellers in Mumbai is the longing for cleanliness. 

Most people around the world, at all times have cared about cleanliness in one way or other. "I try to be clean". "I try to stay clean." I think most people have no problems with that. I shall be happy and content and feel ok if I manage to stay clean. Inside and out.

I would be lying if I said I have never been presumtuous in my life. But the struggle in my life has been to keep the inside and outside of it clean and tidy. I can say this much that I have honestly never tried to be "moral" because they said I had to be moral. I tried to stay clean. I pray for moral courage. Later, I picked up another term for the same thing, in the big cities where people that frequently travelledoverseas to Western countries live, they called it the courage of conviction. I think some second language English speakers equate the ability to be "proactive" also with this quality of "being endowed with moral courage to stand up for what one thinks is right and righteous or true". I dunno.

I have prayed for courage to do the right things, knowing fully well that I may fail because what seems right to me might not be right for someone else. But since I have an exalted Mars somewhere in my natal chart and I love a great good fight, I do pray and stand up vehemently for what I believe is right at a given point in time.

Mostly though, the struggle in life has been to consciously, consistently be clean, bhitorey, bahiery, and I have prayed for Him to cleanse me completely whenever I have felt I sullied myself with ugly thoughts or engaged in ugly deeds. For I have an evil temper. And intelligence. I get mad when I feel people are being sneaky (I do not mind snark) or they are trying to go back on their words - the rest mostly I have been able to live with.

I have never been judgemental about friends or family members or even colleagues. I must be able to do what I please with my life, am more than willing to let other people do what they please with their please, long as they are not trying to tell me who to like or who to not like. That I disallow, and it doesn't matter if you are one of the Directors I happen to adore. 


If you like to read, do read this book called Hereof, Thereof and Everywhereof written by a guy called Howard Darmstadter. difficult name to pronounce. It could be one of those books they call seminal or whatever. I painstakingly made hardcopy pages from glimpses you get of the book through Google book previews, on powerpoint slides, printed them out to be able to hold them in my hand while I read them. I had given some pages to one of the Directors to read (review as they call the process here), and I feel sorry that I do not know if anyone ever read them, liked them, appreciate the trouble I took tomake them, and those pages never came home to me. This book could become as big as A Confederacy of Dunces or something if the Pulitzer people happen to spot it (unless they already have a policy against law related books) and if they share the same sensibilities as me of course (JME I wrote that bec am worried that you would jeer). The reason I liked this book is bec in addition to delivering what it promises (to clear some legal writing issues for thegeneral public that understands and cares about the law), it alsoleaves you exploring other areas of your learning with the newfound insight.It is honest, straighforward, hardworkedintoexistence, unpretentious, witty and useful. I wish I were rich. But am not, (at least not enough to let a 4700 rupees law related book lying around on my own bookshelves unless I plan to spend my life here) and I still dont know about that bec I cannot figure out what it might be like with the King gone, would the Princes be as appreciative of what I do or am capable of, once the reins are in their hands? I am not even sure if the King himself might want me another term, in the circumstances, (bec I whored for the book - he has already given me enough books to begin with the project and yet none of them do what this one does - or is as good as the one you do not have or perhaps, cannot have).

I call it that bec after no one would listen to me where I belonged, crazy that I am and stupid and thoughtless, I went out to spaces I did not belong to and to people that I had no business to go to I think (although they say technically they are also on the same plane with us, I think they and us are different bec they have separate meetings and stuff and we do not get invited to be in them). I thought it would be kind of reckless to spend hard earned money on a book that is expensive by the standard of salary I draw even if it be a pulitzer probable.

So, I asked various people to buy it at work and kind of whored for it by asking another department. Later, I felt embarrassed and mortifiedand I guess am putting it up here bec I continue to feel bad about it. I dont know what the king would feel or how he would react when he - well, I must go to him tomorrow myself and fess up and wait to see just how mad he gets when he gets mad and exactly how he reacts. Usually, he throws people over board into the deep dark waters from whence he had pulled them up to save them when he felt kindly towards them.

Anyways, my story notwithstanding, those like JME that like variety in reading, and collect good books, (by good here, I mean readable books), could explore the book. 


It is Holi tomorrow and there was this thing at work and even though I had asked for a leave yesterday I did not get it and therefore was there at it bec of circumstances and as I expected it made me feel depressed, I could manage to hold on to the decency-demands-smile for the length of it all however, it hurt terribly inside and I felt my stomach was churning and it made me bend over in my seat to deal with the spasmodic pain.

I hate attending "functions". It makes me feel lonelier than usual and lost and alone and miserable and depressed and unhappy and it makes me want to curl up and go to sleep. Itmakes me worry about things I dislike having to worry about. Like getting a phone call, saying she is dead. Or being woken up from sleep at night saying she is no more or worse still getting a phone call days later saying your phone was switched off she passed away two days ago and what people do not know, being surrounded by their wife and their own children that are grown up and married or otherwise settled in life and safe, is that some of us proles live in fear and anxiety and come home to empty lives and loneliness that we try to live down with work and books and a cup of tea that usually doesnot come on time ever, or with complaints about not getting running water even when the pump is running (how that happens on a ground floor flat beats me) or with doing things people like us will not normally do like walk the crowded spaces along Aminabad before Holi day with another woman that is as lonely and unhappy but not quite as well adjusted to the realities of life... what they do not realise is some people do not sleep at nights bec they worry -  bec they worry about cruel surprises and "functions" underline the fact that their lives have changed irrevocably, and that they are lost forever and that for them there wouldnever be a home or going back home no matter how many kilometers they travel, that these people are doomed to stay lost bec they stopped "belonging", for people they belonged to, are gone and dead and when that happens youare lost forever and are doomed to stay lost until you die.

People hurt people when they do not stop to think or think from their own perspective. It takes time to notice the realities of other lives and a willingness to learn from lifewhich most successful people do nothave I guess. So one gets hurt and stays hurt and hopes to heal and suffer in silence. 

I wasn't endowed with the gift to suffer in silence. So I came home and crept into bed in the dark and cried. I wasn't endowed with any gift as such I think except a bitof weird strange luck that thunders in when least expected, surprising me, jolting my nerves so much that half the time I fail to see the chances and therefore miss them anyways. But I know I often am lucky in strange ways. And I think that is where humour lies in my life.  It lurks actually. Sometimes I can see it when the sunshines and everything seems safe witht the world.

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It is interesting what you said about being clean. There is a saying here, "cleanliness is next to Godliness. I have had a feeling lately that I just want the truth, even if it is not what I currently believe or want to believe. I want to know and align with the truth completely.
The audience of one in which I sit was awestruck for a time after reading your post, resting quietly in the silence that follows the downpour. Your closing felt like you had stepped from the stage and whispered, making the words that much more powerful. When you were finished, I was drawn back to something you said at the outset:

"I shall be happy and content and feel ok if I manage to stay clean. Inside and out."

This is, for me, a key to understanding you. It tells me that you have a strong sense of which feelings, words and actions are consistent with the shape of your selfness, and which are not, and that you feel unclean, in a very specific way, if you have harbored or expressed what sullies that shape.

Yesterday, I posted to my Wordpress blog a workshop that delves into how thinking about the shape of stories, both those in fiction and the ones we live out, can reveal the integrity of a person or character. (There's a link to this workshop on the page about my metaphysical short stories.) When your feelings, words and deeds are consistent with the complex shape that your core principles give to your character, you feel yourself to be 'clean'. Doing otherwise obscures that cleanliness of self with a kind of grime that those who do not know themselves well might easily ignore. Over time, such people lose their sense of selfness, and ally themselves with people or groups that share the same sort of grime. This is why not being true to yourself is experienced as being unclean.

Be happy and content, then, because you have managed to stay clean, and know what it feels like to be unclean.

Be well. May you always know what to wish for, and may all of your wishes come true.
What Kathy Knechtges said. She beat me to the punch twice in a row. Excellent post and a fine read, Rolling. R