Free verse poetry painting a metaphorical Odyssey through the mind. The mind is conditioned from birth by our likes and dislikes. Every experience is weighed on a scale of pleasant or unpleasant. The balance of the two ultimately determines our level of happiness. The road to greater joy travels through each individual's mind. Memorable events cloaked in sounds and visuals have the power to shape our thinking. Memories are created and enjoyed if there is a real life narrative to go along with it. Perhaps the greatest storyteller of all is our own minds. Effortlessly weaving past memories and future plots into the present context, the mind has the ability to make the imaginary appear very real. We are the protagonists in our own life story. The recital of thoughts going through our consciousness may never answer all the hard questions such as the deeper meaning of our existence, but it keeps life interesting. In the end, what really matters is a consciousness brimming with happiness.
Good and evil are part of our world today as they have been for thousands of years. The visible manifestation of these forces is evident in the world. On a deeper level, in the private universe of each individual’s mind, there is a constant raging battle between negative and positive thoughts. The vast memory bank supplies the necessary replenishment for this fight to continue. It is not easy to declare a winner or a loser in this eternal cycle. Our perception of the world is captured in the capsule of the mind, which may be imagined as being larger than our physical universe or smaller than an atom. In this capsule, there is a struggle for supremacy between “contributors” and “competitors”. These translate to thoughts of “what can I give?” and “what can I grab?” respectively. Inner riches come from giving and inner poverty comes from grabbing. Hard as it may seem, it is best if this battle is resolved in the mind, rather than learning hard lessons from the bitterness that eventually follows runaway desires. The Gladiator’s Mind, is a metaphorical analysis, set in a historical context, of this everyday occurrence in the human mind.
The world that we know may be virtually dismantled in our mind, and rebuilt overnight to our liking if we so desire. Every night, just as the sun dissolves from the sky above us, the mind also disappears. So does our conscious perception. The yoke of the mind drags it away from us, bringing sleep in exchange. We are blinded to a real time experience of the pleasantness it offers its depths. A dimension beyond waking, dreaming and sleeping is available to all, but accessed by very few, these are people who don’t wish to “sleep” again. The saint potentially hidden within each one of us may be woken up if we are prepared to truly give up what the mind considers as real or unreal. The problem does not lie not in what is available to our sensory perception from material creation, but the inner potential we make unavailable to ourselves in our mind. Everyday, elaborate thought patterns based on unique individual experiences creates a web, trapping our consciousness. We cling on to it as our reality, while the relentless march of time flings those webs into the basket of the past, whether we consent or not. Whether any situation is pleasant or unpleasant, not letting go turns them into memories. We try to avoid unpleasant memories by getting entangled into another web of thoughts that promise the opposite. Like Grigory Potemkin, who in 17th century Russia was said to have built elaborate settlements along the Dnieper river to create the illusion of normalcy and prosperity in the wake of a devastating war, we often create our own Potemkin villages in our minds and surroundings. This is invariably an effort to overcome disappointments and unhappiness, which we have created for ourselves by desiring something other than what is presented to us at any given moment in time. An exploration into the mind set in free verse. The evanescent nature of our existence is often forgotten. The castles built in the mind can never be permanent dwellings. With mind as the stage, the ultimate reality loves to tease.
An exploration of diverse topics addressing both timeless questions and contemporary concerns affecting humanity. Each individual’s approach to life is unique and different. Collectively, it can either lead to an enhancement of the human experience or destruction of centuries of carefully cultivated civilizations. The common denominator in our expression is the mind. The human potential exists within that realm, capable of immense contributions in art, music and science. The first steps in the realization of that potential are the recognition of the one thread that connects us all, the dance of life. Tango in the Pampas is a poetic exploration of the truths hidden in the recesses of the mind.
Life is about contrasts. We live on a backdrop of opposites. In order to say one has lived a full life, both ends of the spectrum have to be experienced in equal measure. This takes considerable time and effort. There may be another way. It is staying in the center and watching the pendulum of life, as it swings from one extreme to another. It cannot move from one to another without transiting the center point. That is where our attention should be as we watch the drama of life unfold. By giving into this endless and mesmerizing show of dualities one does not get very far in the inner search. If one is identified with either extreme of life, good or bad, there is always a danger of falling, as the mind tries to swing to the opposite end. The mind cannot hold onto those who simply watch from the center, like a neutral referee as the game of life plays on. In this collection of poems, Dr. Seshadri explores a series of opposites that we are frequently confronted with in our daily lives.