TOPICS: Nature of things

Each and every day carries its own mystery and on the day of the great earthquake it was no different either. After a heavy Saturday lunch I was just lolling about on my bed trying to read a short book entitled “Atheism” by Julian Baggini. Being a humanist and a non-theistic person, it’s the book I have read many times. Hence I was unfolding pages from the middle of the book to get my grasp over again with the concepts like morality, goodness, meaning of life, origin of the universe, charity, love, conduct and difficulties of life away from their significances gathered from unscientific religious myths and narratives.

As I was flipping through the pages of the book I was slowly dozing off, and with my filled stomach, I was ready for a long Saturday sleep. But soon there was chaos, confusion and panic. There was a mammoth dance of the earth and within seconds I was out of my bed, running through the tumbling walls into an open space, and, in a matter of seconds, it was all filled with people with their thumping hearts and frightened faces. Each of us was haunted and bewildered by our own helplessness. Moreover, a day later when I entered my room, inside the room I could sense an awe of metaphorical reverberations filling my room with each aftershock. Here, I was gripped by the showings and the shadows of blind, purposeless, bottomless and indifferent nature in all its aloof and careless motions.

After some time, as I was recollecting and reflecting on my experiences with each aftershock, I was touched by the core essence of the crude assertion from Prof. Richard Dawkins, that punchy line from his seminal work “River out of Eden” — the universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference. The taste of depth and the subtlety behind these lines and the ruthlessness of nature were such that in these pounding moments nature was speaking to us selfish human beings to deconstruct our assumptions about her while she was devastating our expectations and aspirations. Many sleepless nights followed as the aftershocks grew strong and unpredictable, but the truth remained of learning to accept, struggle and stay alive in a universe that is blind, distant from and indifferent to human narratives, expectations, interpretations, meanings, anticipations, fear, and flourishing.