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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Fritzof Capra And The Part In Me That Wants To Always Live!


Durga Chakrabortyhttp://oughtsknots.blogspot.in/
The belief lies within me. I am a dancer-turned-anchor-turned-filmmaker-turned-academician - all blended into one. I believe I have four people to thank for my existence. My biological parents (has to be two! obviously), my Guruji who taught me classical dance and last but not the least 'Cinema'. Coincidentally, since my belief is so strong and Universe runs on auto-suggestion, the journey so far has also been truly filmi. Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!!!

For beginners who may not know who Fritzof Capra is, I would introduce him as a visionary who has drawn parallels between modern physics and eastern mysticism. I discovered him when I was 17 in the year 1992, when this part of the world didn’t rely on Google to explore.

I was in my last year of school and fascinated with the concept of the ‘atom’. It seemed to me that the atom was the secret, which would lead me to my answers. I don’t remember how the Tao of Physics landed in my kitty but it sure did , and then led me to consolidate a lot of my notions on the concept of Nataraja and the universe.

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The Tao of Physics is a book authored by Capra, which took me into another world away from where I was living. Cable television was on its way in and so much about my life and many others was to change forever. There was this constant struggle from then on to analyze how much of so-called scientific development actually meant human development or revolution in our civilization. I think most intellectuals have debated that for a while now, among them an entire generation called the hippies.

Well, the write-up was not so much about my individual opinion but how I discovered Capra again exactly 14 years later in a book pile being donated. I had moved on to making that reasonable arrangement with modern science and turning a little consumerist if not an obsessive one. I was going through this pile up for donation and seeking books on film making and mass communication when suddenly my hand reached a dilapidated book with Capra bold and clear.

It was almost like love at second sight!!

The book is titled UNCOMMON WISDOM and written somewhere around 1988. It delves into the questions of science, wisdom, ancient approaches and a lot of eastern thought processes that were rooted on core principles inherent to nature.

The book contains conversations with some of the most renowned scientists in the world but not on a specific invention but on the connections of elements within the universe that we know of. On page 187, is the chapter Death, Life and Medicine where Capra is on conversation with Carl Simonton. Carl was one of the pioneers of psycho-oncology. He worked with cancer patients who wanted to actively support their recovery process. Early in his medical career, Simonton noticed that patients given the same dose of radiation for similar cancers had different outcomes. When he looked into why, he concluded that people who had a more positive attitude generally lived longer and had fewer side effects.

On page 189 of the book are the golden words that resound in my mind. Carl says “My own belief is that we want to live and to die to varying degrees on various days”. He is talking to Fritzof in connections with common notions of death and how patients need to approach cancer, the disease to cancer as a thought.

While I read this, I seem to be interpolating so much of my internal wisdom. I wish that by the time the part of us, which wishes to die, becomes more prominent that the part which wants to live, we are able to understand our place in the universe. As a part of the whole: as probably an atom does with its own indefinable abilities.

If you are the one who is inquisitive, pick this book. The effort will be worth it.

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