art prose & rhyme

Mushtaq Bhat

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Acrylic on Canvas
100 x 80cm. 2008
Private Collection

Adam & Eve

Knowledge is a fruitful but a cold-blooded companion.

A paradox but maybe a law of nature?

The more knowledge about and consequently more control a human being has upon the forces of nature, the elements, living beings and natural resources and as more and more of the universe becomes physically accessible, bio-chemically capable of being willfully manipulated as well as mathematically verifiable, the less meaning it exhibits. One may even go so far as to say, it tends to appear almost meaningless if not absolutely senseless.

In such a situation, the meaning is essentially sought within the social context, i.e., the social consens, that history has weaved within a entropy-prone linear time, where change is essential but escape from past legacy impossible.

I do not believe that human beings have altogether stopped believing in great myths, legends and inherited religious beliefs with the progressive enlightenment. If they do not believe in God, then they believe in the emperor's new clothes (which is a social consens per se! ) and some enlightened urban citizens believe in... Help!

Of course the snake was not a symbol of reptilian cold-blooded temperament, less so in the non-western cultures. However in the scriptures, it certainly is a symbol of something mean and creeping on the ground _ a haughty look-down-upon by a bipedal mammal. But perhaps the sages knew better since some of them did associate more than that with this reptile; some of whom do have a particular warm-blooded weakness for the dancing flute of a snake charmer. Of course with progressive enlightenment, through which we have lost the primitive ominous fear of such creatures, we tend now toward a more empathetic attitude and some of us, more enlightened than others are even willing to bear hardships in order to ensure their survival, both for selfish and altruistic reasons.

Update Feb.2009

I hope to go a bit deeper into this theme in near future _ the paradox associated with knowledge and progressive consolidation of the physical and biological world. Interested visitor can get a preliminary glimpse of the path I intend to follow by checking out my response to a question raised by Krushna Mavani (Saturday, 05 Jul 2008 07:09 UTC @ Network Mavani wished to know for whose sake Mankind/Life was actually evolving. It is basically a question concerning the meaning of life, the theme of our artwork here. My musings at the forum, do reveal my basic tenants related to this question and are therefore republished at my blog (link below) for the interested art lover and anyone, who like Mavani and myself is not satisfied with just quantitative interpretations of the cosmos and human life. The thoughts expressed here need some further exploration, which I hope to do in an separate article that I hope publish here in Realm Words sometimes in future, since such enquiry begs some basic epistemological conceptualization, that I have hinted at diverse places but never so far consistently formulated at one place. Once I have formulated such a methodology, I hope to analyze the more modern western models and schools of thought that deal with myth and religion with the same critical attitude that I hope to bestow upon the myths and religious thinking itself.

The Sweat Sour Fruits of Knowledge >>

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