I think Ruskin did marvelous work in this world. I don't doubt that for a moment. Social reform is of great human imperative in society. India has many problems. They are not new problems. They have been around for a long, long time in different guises.
But I think Ruskin has another lesson to teach us. You and I and Ruskin cannot save the world. The imperfection will go on. We can live authentic lives and we can - if we are serious and light-hearted...and whole-hearted - resolve our inner conflicts.
Lord Siva dancing in joy in the midst of catastrophe is perhaps the supreme example and teacher of the one most essential truth... i.e. that in the end we can only account for our own minds.
Ruskin was a visionary - but he was also in many ways tied to learning and to knowledge. Self-Knowledge was what Siva was all about. He found that inner joy which cannot be corrupted. Ruskin, perhaps the embodiment of humanism, slaved away to bring a better life and a better appreciation of life to the masses.
Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavat Gita..."Do your duty, but do not be attached to the consequences." If you do that there can be joy. If you slay your doubts and your intellectual inquiries and your fears...what you do comes from another place; a place of harmony and vision. And if you are not attached to outcomes - then how can there be expectations? How can there be madness?....Ruskin found madness at the end of his toils. Siva and Arjuna found bliss. Knowledge and power most often corrupts. The mind must be fathomed - for ultimately it is the source of the sorrows of our world. For all his genius - I could not call Ruskin an enligtened man, though he was a man of great heart. Ultimately it is only self-knowledge that can bring us insight and joy.
Things to contemplate...
- ► 2008 (31)
- ► 2006 (147)
- He is a man for whom the word "impossible" does no...
- India frustrates me
- The essential nature
- Family Life
- Idealism meets Reality in Washington and Iraq
- Extract from My Father The Spy
- I want to the best at something meaningful
- Most of us die without opening that door.
- The end of Misery
- The Many "I's"
- Further reflections on Ruskin....and Lord Siva
- Waste Not Want Not
- Doubts....doubts, they will come...
- And God said "Be nice to your wife."
- Today's World - the Opposite of Love
- I AM presence
- Book recommendation - towards a cleaner world
- Kill the ego!
- Meditations on Loyalty
- Economist Blames Aid for Africa Famine
- ▼ August (23)