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Geometric Lessons for Life
by Dr. Vidur Jyoti Bookmark and Share

Measuring one's own successes and failures in terms of achievements of others is fast becoming, knowingly or unknowingly, our yardstick in life. Thus one ends up drawing parallels and true to their geometric definition parallels lead nowhere since two parallel lines meet only at infinity. Let's spare a few moments to go back to our geometry lessons.

The two ultimate events - beginning of a new life and culmination of an existing one - between them encompass a saga of pleasant and unpleasant happenings called life when viewed in totality. Almost every day during our interaction with our fellow human beings and other life forms, nature presents to us unique opportunities for studying life with all its trials and tribulations, in all its hues and draw our lessons from them. Although the innards of human body and to some extent the human mind, cannot escape the incising gaze of any person with an inquisitive intellect yet the phenomenon of life itself that governs the entire manifest and the unmanifested world around us remains most of the times obscure.

All of us keep on following the routine of daily chores, engaged in an everlasting struggle to make both ends meet, torn between dreams and reality, tossed between frustrations and gratifications, trapped in a quagmire of unbridled ambition and elusive contentment. Is this all that one seeks in life? Don't you feel that caught in an unending struggle to earn our livelihoods we should sometimes pause to reflect on the progression of life from just a tiny cell to its finale as a mere handful of ashes? Can't we ever get out of the web of success and failure, hope and despair, mundane goals and ephemeral achievements?

Measuring one's own successes and failures in terms of achievements of others is fast becoming, knowingly or unknowingly, our yardstick in life. Thus one ends up drawing parallels and true to their geometric definition parallels lead nowhere since two parallel lines meet only at infinity. Let's spare a few moments to go back to our geometry lessons. We had learnt that a straight line is the shortest distance between two points and can be extended either way till infinity. And we also learnt that a circle revolves around a fixed point- its center, which is a distinct entity yet an integral part of the circle, equidistant from all points on the circumference. Can this be applied to life? Does life follow a linear progression or a circular motion?

Despite the debate raging about its origin, all life manifestations on earth have followed a cyclical pattern ever since life first manifested on our planet. The sunrise and sunset, phases of the moon, the regularly changing seasons, the blooming of a bud into a flower and maturing into a fruit all follow a cyclical and rhythmical pattern. Right from the time when waves first rose and fell in the oceans, when for the first time cadence of a heart throb echoed in a bosom and when first ever time lungs breathed in and out life has always followed a cyclical rhythm. All life sustaining metabolic and biochemical processes going on incessantly in the human body also follow a cyclical pattern. 

The laws of linear progression do not seem to govern and explain the phenomenon of life. If we keep on drawing and following parallels we force on ourselves an endless wandering, an incessant shuttling between the two points along a line that seem to depict a beginning and an end of the line and yet make us reach nowhere. All attempts at making ends meet while following parallels make us get entangled in intersections. Wherever there is an intersection a conflict can result and true to their inherent nature all conflicts result in a wasteful expenditure of energy, which sows the seeds of discontent and decay.

Life as manifest in a particular physical form might appear a journey between two points - birth and death - much like a straight line but viewed in its totality the march of life goes on and on in a circular manner. Any one point on the circumference of this circle could be the beginning and another point the end. Both these will ever remain identical like any other two points on the circumference. And in the center of the circle is the absolute truth, the certainty of existence, the consciousness - give it any name - but much like the center of any geometric circle it lends completeness to the circle and yet is equidistant from all points on circumference. The entire process of circular motion along the circumference depends upon and draws its sustenance from the center of the circle. All movements along the circumference and governed by the fixed radial distance from the center follow an incessant pattern and a continuum - never beginning and never ending. Any movement away from the radius and away from the center follows a tangential and uncertain course, which could result in an aimless wandering or follow a collision path or end up in the vast space reaching neither any milestone nor a destination. 

With the march of life following an incessant circular pattern, its beginning indistinguishable from the end, where is the destination, if there is any? Milestones or the destination have to be individually definite and distinct entities along the course of a journey. But how about these entities when the path does not follow a linear progression? Is there an initiation or a culmination or a milestone when the travel follows a circular path? The center of a circle, being the absolute unshakeable truth, the ultimate certainty, and the fact sustaining its existence, is the only milestone, the singular destination of a journey that follows an orbital path around it. And the only way to reach this destination is the one that gradually diminishes the radial distance from the center till the eventual merger with it. The result of this distance merging with the destination, traveler becoming one with the travel and the circumferential existence becoming one with the center is the release of a tremendous amount of energy that gives rise to an ever effulgent, ever new and ever perfect existence. Call it a big bang, name it a black hole or give it any fictional or materially scientific name reality becomes manifest at that point in time and thereafter nothing remains to be explored.

So, shouldn't we pause and reflect? 

Why should we follow infinitely stretching lines, draw parallels and reach nowhere? Instead, why not concentrate on the absolute at the center of the circle of life and attain completeness, enjoy a certain fulfillment of purpose of life.

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