Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Francis at Assisi related his surrounding and all worlds as a family, Machiavelli on the other hand not only described world but also created a world. Similarly we did not navigate the route of Bruno, which says everything is life. So clearly as I think, there was one side, which had feeling, imagination, intuition, and emotions art, and there was other side as, mathematics, practicality, economy reality…basically a side to choose between philosophical belies and scientific applications and implementations. The direct and indirect impact is what we see as in how the world has turned out to be.
Last but not the least, the author states that there is a vast difference between knowledge and understanding and that we must experience to understand whereas knowledge is detached. Understanding is the membrane that connects knowledge into something more organized I’d rather say something more complete and solid.
Maybe the time has come when we need to reflect n rethink not only on what we have done and the path we have taken but also all that we have missed out on,to amalgamate the both and complete our world.
So lets recall the forgotten map........
The route that are created earlier makes other to follow, so the decisions made are taken on the decision made earlier which may be the path which is not suppose to be taken. At a precise moment in once life when a given situation occurs may effect on rest of his life. Now what holds for an individual’s holds for communities and whole societies as well.
Our so-called judeao-christian civilisation is result of this bifurcation it say the west would have been something else if not what it is now. The changes that Giovanni bernardone (francis of assisi) took in his life when he referred to the world about describing the world where love was not only possible but made sense and had a universal meaning. Whereas Machiavelli describe it has it is much safer then to be in loved. So where we live today is the world of Machiavelli from which we have constructed social, political and economic conceptions.
With the routes of Descartes we witness the triumph of mechanism and reduction. So every route that we consider has impact on next route we select.
Considering Newton and Galileo for them mathematics was the way to express, whereas for Goethe literature and arts so his scientific contribution are overshadowed by Newton’s and Galileo. Economics is also overshadowed by mathematics .The navigated path gets successes while the route not navigated stays in book.
There are lot of things to study but we lack practically because there is difference between saying and understanding. We only understand the things of which we become part .so looking at different perspective and to learn in order to achieve completeness of our being.
The way country put there dominating language it becomes that of economics as there writing mainly promote true development and overcome poverty.
Finally no matter how far succeed we are incomplete and this gives poverty that makes us realize our existence in world. So we have opportunity to analyse the truth and navigate the map as any path we take there will be hazards and successes. But that will give world an option to decide their route on map. And there can be rescue solution to come out of confusion.
Every route that we take on map should be taken in consideration with respect to all aspect which will make a shift in world. And looking the world with wide understanding.
WHY ARE WE HERE? Life is an unending sequence of bifurcations. The decision I make implies all the decisions I did not make.
We hardly ever hear history described as infallible these days. We are well aware by now that history makes mistakes, that is gets distracted, falls asleep and loses its way. The official history is a mutilated memory, a long ceremony of self praise of those who call the shots in this world. Their reflectors just illuminate the peaks but leave the base in the dark. We chose to live in fear in Machiavelli’s perception of the world rather than love in the world created by Francis of Assisi.
The civilization that confuses clock with time also confuses nature with postcard. We have exploited Nature and just dwelt on a single aspect of science. Science is not only physical but also involves spiritual maturity of faculties such as feeling, imagination and intuition.
Pico della Mirandola, Bruno, Francis, Goethe may have been invisible but the usual invisible beings form part of the scenery of history, like Bollywood extras. It is they, the actors in the real history, the denied, hidden protagonists of past and present reality, who embody the splendid fan of another possible reality.
We are so disillusioned in our present mundane world that the hope of a Utopian world does not astound us but we rather look at ways of escaping into a prison of only virtual realities.
WHERE ARE WE NOW? We have arrived at a point in our human evolution where we know a lot but understand very little.
The progress we have made in the last century has been remarkable, yet we function mainly as machines, trying to guzzle down as much knowledge as we can, thinking its going to fill the void we feel inside. Knowledge itself is not enough. We have to learn how to attain understanding in order to achieve the completeness of our being.
We have been enslaved by the rising economic liberalism and before we realize it, the shackles maybe too difficult to break.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? There is a tendency to perceive ourselves as members of a successful culture. However, the truth is that no matter how much we extend the concept of success, we are still incomplete beings, materially overdeveloped and spiritually impoverished.
If we are ever to feel complete again, maybe we should
And bring from out the ages that have rolled
A few small fragments of those wrecks sublime
That human eyes may never more behold
And let the guerdon of my labour be: my complete self ’
Maybe the miracle that we all have been waiting for is us; to open our eyes and take the road less traveled.
We have constructed our social ,political and economic conceptions on the basis of science which believed that 'nothing that cannot be measured is important'.they never trusted Giordano Bruno's belief that 'the earth is life and has a soul' . Everything is a manifestation of life .
Maybe if we would'nt have discarded his ideas and navigated the materialistic route shown by Newton and Galileo,we would have learned to respect nature instead of torturing her in order to extract from her what we believe is the truth .
Gothe believed that science is not just the accumulation of knowledge of physical world but it is an inner path of spiritual developement and its goal is to arouse the feeling of wonder through contemlative looking and seeing gos in nature and nature in god .
Inspite of the fact that the route we chose had its own fascinating and spectacular achivements and there is much to be admired ,but we are actually accumulating virtual knowledge without understanding .
Knowledge and understanding are two separate things . Knowledge is the information as in definitions and formulas . We can achive knowledge of everything we want while Understanding
is the result of integration and can only be experienced or felt. like we can know as many definitions of love as is given by different people but we can understand it only when we fall in love and actually experience the feeling. Knowledge and understanding are two inseparable aspects and are incomplete without each other .
Although we are proud of our succesful culture but actually we are incomplete beings. Materially overdeveloped and spiritually poor.
Exploiting both people and natural resourses,destruction of the ecosystem and biodiversity ,and extreme poverty is not the sign of a succesful culture .
Its high time now to we need to realize and act. To analyze all the hazards and sucesses , tragedies and glories of the route we adopted in our past . Perhaps this will be helpful to imagine and believe that the earth has a soul and that everything is a life .
We need to adopt a new approach to life ,which is based on understanding and not merely knowledge . May be this new approach could give us the satisfaction of having brought about a new centuary worth living in .
It is all about the choices and decisions that we make. Life throws up a lot of problems and challenges. The way we tackle them depends on us. The decisions that we make have long standing implications….. Selecting a way also includes those ways that I refused to select. As to why I chose something that I chose is a question we all need to ask ourselves if we want the betterment of our lives and the others. Being at a particular place ,at a particular time might be a matter of chance but what we make of it is completely up to us.
The rules that hold good for an individual ,are true for a whole community or society as well. Every generation has its ups and downs. What we need to do at present ,is to sit back and analyze the decisions that were taken or the routes that were chosen by our fore fathers . Have they done us more harm than good? During the discussion ,when we were asked to name some events important to us as individuals or as community ,we more or less mentioned wars ,independence struggles or some kind of revolution. Another major thing for us is the industrial revolution and scientific and technological advances that have made our lives easier( have they really done so is something that we really need to think about). Somehow I feel that it has ended up in making our relatively simple lives complicated. It has caused an imbalance in nature where everything big or small has a role to play and still everything exists in perfect harmony and balance.
Man has been chasing after knowledge for centuries and has amassed great deals of it. But the question that needs to be asked us here whether have we acquired the understanding to integrate all that we know to good application. We cannot understand until we are a part of something or some experience. Understanding is a holistic view. We need to really delve in all kinds of aspects of a situation from materialistic to spiritual, from technological to natural ,if we want to bring ourselves out of the mess that we got ourselves into because of our pursuit of progress or evolution sans understanding and consideration.
We need to look at sustainability in all walks of life. We need a change in viewpoint. Because without it we will be ruining the lives of our generation and as well as that of the coming generations. We need to show the next generations that sustainability is the way of life if they want to improve this current scenario where there is of fragmented knowledge, distortion of realty and confusion in our priorities. It has been proved over time that sustainable development is the most effective form of development.
Recently I went to visit the coastal areas of Kachchh using the opportunity to find out more about the chakla balan and its place in the home. The reaction I received when asking people if they would mind showing me their chakla balan and telling me about it illustrates the nature of the object in it's cultural context. It is integrated completely, losing it's importance(as why would you bother questioning about it? its a chakla balan). It is used so much for staple diets - a fact of the Indian kitchen.
Two farming Villages
When speaking to Surendra's wife about their kitchen, the level of laughter was great however they told me happily about the history of her chakla as I played with it. The chakla was a gift to the farmer's wife as part of her dowry. Her mother included it, and it was seen as a practical and necessary part of the dowry. The rolling pin was decorated with patterns to mark the auspicious occasion, it was beautiful and the daughter was very proud of it.
The design of the object gradually thinned towards each end, this according to the woman was to create greater control and could thin out where wanted. It was made of wood and the length was quite small (probably 25cm) and the maximum diameter was 3cm.
If I wanted one could just get from the market. She said there were many different types and many new ones, however was happy with her sentimental one, so I should just go and buy one. The women would share the kitchen however eat separately with their immediate family.The board had small legs on it, this was so one could roll without hitting the edge of your hands on the surface. I should point out that the clearance was enough for smaller hands - a gender integrated object - women will do the rolling!
The next place that I spoke to two women about her chakla balan was in a hindu temple where they supplied food for the surrounding poor every dinner. The amount they were making was a lot more. Again I was greeted with much laughter. They had about twenty rolling pins. The design was different and was used for pressing down harder - this may be due to the courseness of the grain or the style of bread - I am not sure. They were not very decorated which may be due to the fact that kitchen was not a home. This was also designed to be used whist sitting on the floor. Most of the kitchens we observed, the floor was the work area, with the burner, chakla and other necessities. They told me that men do not use the chakla unless it is in large factories. The women were sitting on the floor readying the meals for many people.
The last encounter was within a children's hostel. The women were making dinner for approximately 30 kids in the YMC hostel. Here the design was similar to at the temple however the pin was smaller. The woman was using a small stool as well to sit on whilst preparing the chapatti.
One village was a farming village approximately 5km in land from the coast. The village sustains itself well and has a long history of this way of living for hundreds of years. There are obvious changes, one man we spoke to had just bought a tractor that he used for his own fields and helped in the fields of others. The houses were made of concrete where as they had been made of mud brick a few decades before. Electricity had been installed twenty years before. One of the family's we visited lived in a row of four houses with two shared kitchens facing the verandah area. The kitchens were small with little ventilation.
The farmers farmed juwari (holcus sorghum), wheat, budjri, mung and BT cotton. Juwari and wheat are an old crop: 'The wheat and juwari crops of Upper Sindh may vie in richness with those of Egypt even, where, it may be remarked, they occupy the same positions, being the spring and winter grains.' The use of this crop, farmed in a traditional manner and has for along time formed the staple diet. 'A favourable season for crops depends entirely on the extent of inundation. Wheat is sown in November or December, and reaped in April. Juwari is sown in the latter and reaped in the former, being irrigated the whole time by the river....The other dry grains -are Badjri (Holcus spi-catus) ; Mung (Phaseolus Mungo) ; grain and barley." ['Personal Observations of Sindh'Thomas Postans p91]. Thomas Postans was writing early in the British colonisation to pursuade the British of the welath to be had by infiltrating India. We saw all of these crops being grown still. These grains are used in creating traditional flatbreads, through the use of the chakla balan. The crop is directly responsible for the widespread and integral use of the utensil.
BT cotton is a cash crop and the preference for this due to higher profits and a four year crop cycle. From the farmers we talked to this meant farmers would farm even though they knew it was resource intensive to do so. They were aware that the groundwater was falling rather quickly. Their traditional methods of farming ensured that the land remained fertile and this season would not negatively impact the next. Due to the necessity of working within global markets and want for greater profits the pressure to modernise implicates the crops depleting resources as artifiically supplying the condition for them to produce the yeild.
The villagers were quite worried about the influence of industry and the rapid approaching industrialisation that loomed closer and closer. The village is near the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) set up to boost the Gujurati economy . This is very much at the cost of the locals. Industrial growth is sucking up the groundwater, polluting the water, air and soil. The factories are encroaching on farmers land without providing any alternative rather to sell as they cut off the local markets by flooding them with global produce. Inflation and migration into the area is huge, within Mundra the town is now made up 0f 80% non-Kachche. Whilst walking in the fields of the farmers the steel factory in the background created a visual analogy. Within the year a nuclear power plant is to be built close by as are many other factories.
This is an interesting framework to discuss the transitions of the chakla balan as an integral tradition in the Indian kitchen as is farming and village life a social foundation. Without this social foundation, the pressure of foreign culture, the way in which the local cultures survive is under serious question.
My point is a utensil is defined by its use. It has a purpose. In the case the chakla balan in Southern Kachchh is directly unified with it's material - the flour, which comes from the fields. This direct linkage is changing, thus the continuity of the culture will also. The nature of the utensil and the strength of food tradition in Indian culture does not point to the extinction of use. The changing realms of the community indicates soon to be changes in preparation & process even at the most basic level of the village.
There are some examples of decisive bifurcations. Always we find a conflict between two routes among which we choose one. Francis at assisi related his surrounding and all world as a family. Machiavelli not only described world but created a world. We followed machiavelli’s route and constructed our social political and economical conceptions. In same way we refused Giovanni’s thoughts that truths are multiple and we accepted Bacons invitation to torture nature for extracting truth. Similarly we did not navigate the route of Bruno which says everything is life.
For scientists nature was mathematics. They don’t relate science with spiritual things. Goethe stated that science has spiritual dimension that deals with feelings, imagination. We are still under influence of Galileo and Newton’s science.
The ways which are not followed are remembered by very few. Universities have chosen routes of Machiavelli, Bacon etc. and Francis, Picot, Bruno, Goethe are remained as footnotes.
Although we have achieved success by the routes which we have followed there are some negative lines to the success. Right now we are in a situation that we know a lot but understand very less. The success we achieved through navigation is the result of knowledge about reasons. Still understanding is a different from knowledge. Because of this people are getting aware about relation between science and spirituality. This realization leads to follow the forgotten path; but language shift is the major challenge in front of us.
Every generation faces certain challenges, events and crisis. Every generation having its own theme or language. The important thing as long as generation’s language is coherent with challenge, everything is fine. This language do influences our perceptions and hence our actions.
From past centuries we have witnessed language of teleological nature, consolidation which is coherent with historical challenges. In 20th century dominant language became economics. In starting, the time was of great depression. This is the result of crisis. The language shift occurs during fifties and sixties. The language was optimistic and happy. The language serves some of the goals successfully. Still in the last three decades of century global poverty has increased.
If we think about success, no matter how overdeveloped we are, but still incomplete because of poverty, anxieties. Now this is the time to analyze our navigation and then unearth the alternative map of the route. For this we have to explore all the routes which we have refused. At the same time we should give more emphasize on understanding.
It is time now to think over the forgotten path which we discarded in favour of the present path. The present path of reductionist science is an approach to understanding the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things, and also neo globalisation which can be described as a process by which the people of the world are unified into a new single society and function together.
Life is one big event full of uncertainties and always gives us bifurcations to see how we choose our path. Some decisive bifurcations thru 12th, 14th, 16th century by famous people like Giovanni Bernardone, Machiavelli, Giovanni Francesco Pico Della Mirandola, Giordano Bruno, Rene Descartes, Galileo and Newton, Goethe said “it is much safer to be feared than to be loved”, “What I see through my window are hats and coats covering automatic machines”, “Science path of spiritual development” and many more always showed us two worlds. And we accepted the one which we felt was easier to follow. Also some particular Universities have chosen the same route that we have chosen and the other people whose philosophies were not accepted have just become historical footnotes. The paths set by these great people have combination of reality and virtuality in their principles.
And hence all of a sudden we find ourselves always in a world of confusion. We are tempted by two worlds, reality and virtuality.The world in reality is great and really difficult to achieve and hence we desperately seek happiness in technology which gets us closer to the virtual world. We also have reached a point in human evolution where we know a lot but understand very little. We can achieve a lot of knowledge through our scientific means. Just consider for instance will knowing everything about love without actually falling in it help us? The answer lies in this simple statement “We can only attempt to understand that of which we become a part”. Hence understanding is more important and holistic while knowledge is fragmented. We are slowly realizing that Knowledge without understanding is hollow i.e. it has no solid evidence to stand for it, and that understanding without knowledge is incomplete. And hence we need to undertake this shift, but also have to undertake the great challenge of a language shift. Language Shift necessarily doesn’t target any specific language but in a broader sense it means that we have to undergo a huge shift or reformation in consideration to our present selves.Ortego said that “Every generation has its theme “and every generation or historical period is dominated by or falls under spell of a particular form of language. This language should be dominant and coherent with the challenges of that period. Language influences our perceptions and shapes our actions. Examples: During the first three centuries of the second millennium of Western civilization the human actions had to be justified in a way which was superior to the present way i.e. Importance lay in the deed and not in the time it might take. And hence we saw the construction of big cathedrals, monasteries which took their own time to get built as no one was in a hurry and all that mattered was the Deed. Even the language of the century that dominated was coherent with the historical challenge of the times.
In the 20th century the dominating language became economics. The Keynesian language was born and had the capacity to interpret and finally overcome the crisis. During the fifties and sixties emerged the Developmental language which was optimistic, utopian and happy. This language did not achieve the hoped for goals but was partially coherent with its historical challenges. The last three decades of the 20th century saw the emergence of the neo-liberal discourse. This language still dominated over a period in which there was lot of turmoil. And hence this language was absolutely incoherent with its historical challenges and had its own ill effects which left holders of power looking in opposite directions. We always think of ourselves as part of a successful culture though we are still incomplete beings, materially overdeveloped and poor spiritually which has resulted in our present being.
So now is the time to sit and analyse the present route with all its hazards and successes and seek whether the alternative route which we did not take has orientations to rescue us from this present situation. So perhaps all the previous principles which we left on the alternate path can be thought of. And as Goethe said “If we would seek comfort in the whole, we must learn to discover the whole in the smallest part”. We have passionately progressed towards knowledge leaving understanding behind. No understanding can live without a proper language shift. A new language will be needed which will have the power and dominance, and emerge from one’s own self discovery. If we are able to do so then we are looking forward to a century worth living.
In Relation to the class we had on last Wednesday we can relate this article as follows. We had discussed as to why some things that were designed for specific purpose have still retained their shape, form etc? What were the different reasons that triggered the invention of such things? What could have been the history behind a particular design? Why the particular form? And so on.
Even in this age where new things are developing at a fast pace we still prefer some things as they are. Why the pair of tongs used in the kitchen has not changed their design so far or for that matter the knife. And slowly we recognize that in process of fast paced design developments we forgot some old paths and accepted new paths. Some new accepted paths might not have had proper language shifts and hence are unable to coherent with the present environment. So it’s our duty to select proper paths and take important decisions. Have language shifts that will make us to think ,understand and pay more attention on Deeds so that we may discover our true selves and bring about a life close to reality and worth living for.
HISTORY OF DESIGN ASSIGNMENT NO: 1 ROHAN V JADHAV
The passage points out the mistake in the decision taken by humanity which has led to a global crisis. The human race was so near, yet so far from the right decision. A little thought in the right direction would have taken us on a different bifurcation, and hence, on a completely different life.
To cement this truth, the passage tells us about several examples for justification.
Giovanni Bernardone, who would later on be remembered the world over by the name Francis of Assisi described of a world where love was not only possible but also made sense and had a universal meaning.
However the world today follows Machiavelli’s ideas which are based on the ‘it is much safer to be feared than to be loved’ notion and we have constructed our social, physical, political and economic conceptions based on this.
We continue torturing nature in order to extract her from what we believe is the truth. This is in line with Francis Bacon’s idea of belief in absolute truth and in the possibilities of certainty.
We did not navigate the route of Bruno. Rather we chose the route of Descartes and as a result, we have witnessed the triumph of mechanism and reductionism.
Due to this tendency of the human race, feeling, intuition, consciousness and spirituality are still banished from the realm of science.
We have arrived at a point in our evolution which is characterized by the fact that we know a lot but we understand very little. We might have achieved all the knowledge that we could ever gained; and some more. But we will some day realize that all this knowledge is nothing without understanding. That we will never understand this knowledge unless practically applying all of it.
There are those amongst us who, in Goethe’s perspective are concerned with the relation between science and spirituality and are becoming aware that knowledge is not enough and that we have to learn through understanding in order to achieve completeness of our being and our science. We have to realize that knowledge without understanding is hollow and understanding without knowledge is incomplete.
The passage also describes the various themes that every generation has followed throughout the ages. This is generally seen in the form of a design language. This language shapes our perceptions and hence our actions.
The first three centuries of the second millennium was influenced by a teleological language. This era saw the construction of great cathedrals and monasteries. This was possible because the people believed that the importance lay in the deed and not in the time it might take.
The language dominating the 19th century was that of consolidation of the nation state. It was only in the 20th century that the dominant language became that of economics, especially during the second half. This saw the emergence of the Keynesian language during the period of the Great Depression.
This was followed by the language of neo-liberal discourse in the 20th century, one which is dominating even today. This is characterized by global poverty, debt burden, brutal over-exploitation of people and natural resources, destruction of ecosystems and accumulation of wealth. The disastrous effect of this language is for everyone to see, although decision makers prefer to look in the opposite direction.
We convince ourselves that we belong to a successful culture. However, we do not realize that we are still incomplete; materially over developed but spiritually poor. And it is this incompleteness and poverty that is responsible for the uneasiness and anxiety that gave permeated the world today.
Perhaps, the moment has arrived to rest and reflect. The time has come to unearth a forgotten map; to start seeing our brothers and sisters surrounding us and to start believing in the possibility of a harmony between many possible truths.
Life in a big context has various dimensions. Life usually deals with two things one is the reality and other possibility. Every point of life one finds bifurcation. The path a person chooses is due to the circumstances that occurred at that particular time ,particular place or because a person appears in at that instance. People believe that” they are what they are”, but there is a possibility that they could have been something else if had chosen other path. In earlier centuries there had been great thinkers, philosophers, scientists each having there own ideology of what living, science, spirituality is. The thinkers had diversity in there ideology. Some believed life and science based on practical principles i.e. mathematics ,and some believed science and spirituality are interrelated. Again there was bifurcation. There was one side of coin which had feeling, imagination, intuition, art and there was other side as economy, mathematics, practicality. The world followed the the path of practicality ,could have chosen the other one with spirituality, feelings. The direct or indirect consequences of which are today’s world. The world with material richness, practical laws, virtual realities, depression, incompleteness, knowledge of subjects without understanding. The roots of which lies down in the coherence of language of each generation with its historical period. Language here is in much larger terms as it shapes the perceptions, beliefs of people.
Probably the time has come to rethink on the way we lived, perceived life and navigate the route we never considered. It will be a paradigm shift and a century filled with spiritual richness.
Transportation and Automobile Design
The article is having a soul, which is trying to come out from the words and want to settle down in us.
The author succeed in pointing out that, how we, the human society got bifurcated in these evolution, revolution, whatever we call as development / modernization. He gave all the relevant examples of different philosophers, scientists and all the others who made us to follow their footprints.
One important thing I would like to mention is that the language of measurement / economy. In the whole life we tries to calculate our each n every minute, which is because an impression we are having beneath us, it is just because we have been nurtured like that, even in such spiritual things, we use to calculate like if I am worshiping some god, then subconsciously I think that, he should fulfill all my expectations.
Till today I was thinking that I am on the right track, but now i…I wont say that, I got the direction, but I’ll say that I am still confused, though I got some kind of inspiration, motto from this particular article.
I think this the time to think beyond…….no not beyond rather it’s the time to reveal the beneath. I would like to thank Suchitra, who gave us such an article.
In this particular article, one thing which pricked my soul is that, the author always called SHE, whenever he talked about earth and that is how he embossed that EARTH is also having a SOUL, which we ever neglected.
(Transportation & automobile design 08-09)