August 20, 2003

 

Fiction

 

         Apart from music, the one thing that remains popular over the ages is story telling. It is an entertainment that educates.

         What holds the attention of people is the element of education rather than its entertainment. Glenn Doman says children love to learn more than eating or even playing.

         Fiction is a product of imagination.

         Imagination is the most powerful faculty of the mind. Sri Aurobindo says imagination is the faculty that gives life to a future possibility. As it brings the future into the present, it has the characteristic of conquering Time.

         No actual event of history can possess human attention as fictional literature can.

         In the field of management, it was discovered that graduates of literature have a greater sense of judgement. Knowledge of literature helps accomplish subconsciously.

         Literature is life. It easily integrates with life. So far, i.e., until the beginning of the twentieth century, this was true. Literature being an intense extension of life, it finds it difficult to integrate with thought, or any other element of Mind.

         Thought expressed by language moves away from literature and is born as philosophy.

         The peaks of literature such as Mahabharatha or Shakespeare's plays have integrated themselves with the universal truths of life, not thought. It is a fresh domain for literature where it expresses ideas of Mind. It is yet to emerge.

         Magic is a great, accomplished science. In its own field, it has exhibited Perfection. In today's life, the magician does not occupy a respected place. He is not admitted into life, especially social life. When admitted, he brings up the rear. Magic has not acquired a power to accomplish in human life. It remains a showpiece. Its effectivity in life is destructive when it becomes black magic. Accomplishment in life is the index or watermark of the meaningfulness of any power, mental or mechanical. Magic cannot meaningfully accomplish in life.

         Negative accomplishment such as the atom bomb is of no value.

         War is a great event, but it is negative. The war leaders all over Europe were defeated in the elections soon after the war. To win the war is important, yet it does not make war or its leaders adorable in the eyes of the population. Even the party of Churchill who saved the world was defeated.

         Accomplishment is acceptable only when it is positive, wholly positive.

         In a world where nothing is wholly positive, literature has risen to its acme and expressed all truths of life perfectly in a negative atmosphere. The best of Shakespearean plays are tragedies. In the Mahabharata, to establish the rule of dharma, Krishna resorts to the ruses of adharma. Even The Ramayana depicts the destruction of evil. Should literature express truths of life in a positive atmosphere, life must become fully positive first.

         Literature has two great possibilities in the future:

1.       It can express truths of thought rising one step higher from expressing truths of life;

2.       It can express them the truths positively.

 

         Literature could rise to its peak before life became positive because these truths of life are eternal and valid in the positive as well as negative fields.

         Science expresses NOT truths of life, but truths of inanimate objects, the laws of matter. They are discoveries of Mind. To express scientific truths in fiction, literature should raise itself to the Mind or organise itself at the level of Matter.

         As Mind is the next higher plane in the ascent, Matter is the next higher plane in the descent.

         Man's progress has to move from 1) matter, to 2) Life, to 3) Mind, to 4) Spirit. This is the ascent. From there begins the further progress known as descent. It moves form Spirit to Spirit in Mind to Spirit in Life to Spirit in Matter.

         In science fiction, an attempt is made to express science through fiction. Initially it will be popular but the works will be effervescent. As the evolutionary element of science is there in fiction, it will be extremely popular, like film actors such as Rama Rao entering politics. It is the first muddy water of the freshes in the river. One cannot take a bath in that water.

         The earliest kings all over the world were robber Barons. Genghis Khan, Caesar, Napoleon and Alexander would not win the elections in their native lands today, nor anywhere else. Now that the society is civilised, they have become anachronisms. But they were great in that they established empires. Sri Aurobindo was believed to be Napoleon in the previous birth. He called the Emperor a Rakshasa. Stalin is believed to have killed four million people. He was a tyrant. It was the establishment of the USSR that liberated the entire proletariat all over the globe.

         Stalin was an evolutionary leader. Russia needed that tyranny at that time. It does not make him a shining ideal now.

         In the pre-Aryan Tamil culture which the whole of Tamilnadu now looks up to as the golden age, a festival meant two things liquor and meat. The Aryan rituals were presided over by Soma and flesh, the same role now played by drugs. That which can become an addiction has a short life in civilisation and the cream of the society shuns it.

         Harry Potter is extremely popular. It is Spirituality coming to the most receptive section of the population--children, through their idiom of magic. The evolutionary truth that lies behind it is the validity of the Science of Life. Life is a Science. Its laws have not yet been discovered. Humanity is becoming aware of the existence of the Science of life as seen in the total response to Harry Potter. When the Science of Life is accepted by Humankind, magic will no longer be negative, but Harry Potter will not be remembered. One has to discover it for himself, as Trinity could not explain to Neo that he was the One. Science fiction is a phase that we have to outgrow in the march of civilisation.