Nothing is absolute friends, nothing. It’s quite an intriguing idea. The statement is paradoxical. Allow me to disambiguate it.
It contradicts itself, i.e. if nothing is absolute, by the same logic, so isn’t this statement. This would imply while somethings are not absolute, some are. But, that’s the beauty of it and that does not make the statement any less true. Like I said, ‘nothing is absolute’!
Mind boggling? Well, it is this thought that miraculously occurred to me on a noble day in the March of 2013, 24th to be specific; that led to the name of this blog. It’s not just a name, it is an idea that keeps me through life.
It is this idea, that helps me realize that a sight is not absolute, it is relative. It is relative to our point of origin, which implies it is seen differently from different point of views. It compels me to see things in broader light with reference to different contexts. It prevent me from drawing quick inferences and judging something/someone. It is this idea that helps me accept multiple truths, multiple realities, multiple sides of a story. It drives me to look at things in totality.
A single story is dangerous. A single outlook to a story ignores its characters, it leads to archetypes of absolute right and wrong, of black and white, of a hero and a villain. To make the world a happier place, I believe we need to overthrow these ideas. None of us are absolutely good or bad. We are all made up of greys and if the world embraces this idea, it will help people fit in much easily being themselves; and help them be a truer version of themselves.
Hence, along the way, this helps me to accept ‘duality in one’ rather than separating them to the extreme poles. It suggests ambivalence in everything that exists.
This idea questions, right and wrong, and the arbitrary standards that define them. Friedrich Nietzsche has puts it well:
“Morality is a fiction created by a herd of inferior men to hold back the few superior men.”
(I would not like to confound him with what he is not, because that is what he hated, but I am pretty sure I am not doing so when I am quoting him here.)
They say ‘he didn’t do the right thing’. Well, it’s not about right and wrong, its about the choices we make. It’s about priorities. There is no absolute right thing to do.
He made the choice that suited him best. Every choice has an opportunity cost, and we know that and so does he. He weighed what he wanted, chose it over what he did not want; and that is the price he paid for the choice he made.
And because they can’t see why he made the choice, so they decide to call it the wrong choice. Just because they cant see good in something, doesn’t make it bad; and similarly, if they can’t see how it seems right to him, does not make his choice wrong.
Well, it is actually as simple as that. But yet, do we all understand this?
The same story may be told from point of view of each character in it, and every time the narrative would be different. It does not make one less true than the other. The same tree may be drawn by a group of students sitting around in an art class. Each drawing looks different because the tree looked different from where they saw it, and how he saw it. Maybe a child was colorblind, and he did not see the same green color like the rest, so he colored it differently. That doesn’t make it wrong. That’s what the child saw, and that’s his version of reality. There is no one drawing that is right, all of them are, differently so.
Let us accept differences, and make this world a happier place.
P.S. If you are wondering about where I begun and where I ended, I will say, blame it on the contemplating brain which link one thing to another and leads you all over!
P.P.S. The idea did not occur as a result of reading any relativist philosopher. Till date, I have not; though I wish to. I arrived at it over writing an article- a narrative of sounds that I heard one fine evening for an hour. The writing appeared on this blog as the first post- ‘An Acoustic Sojourn‘.
P.P.P.S. If you want to belittle it to just a play of words. That would be your choice. It certainly is that as well.
P.P.P.P.S. Brevity has not been my thing!