My days with goats…contd…

Posted: January 9, 2013 in Memoir, Vagrant

Part III

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          The Capuchins had a special light in which they see the harsh realities of life. They are very realistic. The capuchin crypts or ossiaries vouch for the fact that they find something remarkably aesthetical in the skeletal remains of the bygone. It is no descration, but the art of attaching only due importance to what is mortal. Would we make a work of art from the skeletal remains of somebody we know? It depends on what we are up to.  The dead teaches the living: to a despot it can be a lesson of coercion and deterrence, to a mortician it can be the sensibilities associated with death, to a pathologist it can be factors culminating on the death and for an ascetic it is the worth of death. The residues of life are hence didactical in monastic tradition. In the movie Samsara, a venerable Buddhist monk shows parchments of erotic drawings to a novice and then holds them in front of a lamp with a nod of complacency and there appears a different layer of drawing underneath which depicts the skeletal nature of the erstwhile entwined bodies. Every discipline is an act of economy of the body, notes Foucault. When one sees the body in terms of its momentariness, one is more inclined to live every moment fully, knowing that the time flows, the air flows, the beauty flows, life flows, bladder flows and bowels flow and we cannot afford to waste any of them. Add to it a sense of transcendence an then you have at hand the first lessons of asceticism. Ascetic life as I know it, is delightful because it sees life in death and not like any other macabre philosophies which see death in life.

 

to be contd…

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