Books and Cinema

Musing: “Got a Gun? Shoot!”

Been reading the book ‘Zen and the Art of Happiness‘ tonight. I came across a concept and it suddenly resonated, like they usually do. Turned out I’d more or less thought on the same lines a few months back. The sentence from the aforementioned book went as follows:

“That’s what happens to a paradigm, and to any belief system, when a hole is blown in it. Everyone flows through the gap in the new way of thinking.”

Below is the post from my old blog.

The fixation with the gun and the sheer force of that little bullet coming out on pressing the trigger is understandable. We humans bow to the greater powers and are instantly intrigued by the unknown. The lesser forces? Those are to be tamed, defeated, crushed beneath the sole or simply dubbed irrelevant. That’s the way we are. That’s the way we have been brought up.
A gun has the power to wipe the smile off our lips, it has the power to send lead crashing through our strongest bones and hallelujah! We worship this brute force. We hold it in awe. We revere it. We are scared of it. Because it showcases power, of one mortal over others.

The man who holds the gun, rules the proceedings.
Because he can kill.
We are scared. Fear for our lives is resident.
What is our life made of?
That’s a different matter altogether!
If we have a gun, we are supposed to shoot it.
A gun is more of an idea. If we believe that the gun we are holding is enough to scare people, we use it to scare people. If we consider it too inadequate a weapon, the gun we are holding is chucked away and a dash for safety is witnessed. Or even perhaps feigned ignorance.

If we have a gun, we are supposed to shoot it.
Hold a gun in your hand. You might feel the potential energy filled up in the spring under that metal. The coiled up powerful spring, ready to uncoil at the slightest command, willing to unleash (or rather- push) a bullet. Anticlimax? Kinda. I’ll get back to it later. So, when one holds the gun, one might understand the sleeping power it holds. Just like a human mind (that’s aware) which holds a large amount of potential energy. When we are not able to do what our mind wills, we can see a substitute in a gun. Only in the sense that it’s is ever willing to do what it’s built to do. Our mind often cannot be mastered by us, unlike the gun. So we use the gun. We ‘use’ it. Like a powerful man uses his subordinates to do his work. Sadly, the gun set to work usually kills.

If we have a gun, we are supposed to shoot it.
Pulling the trigger releases the bullet. That little lump of metal is useless without the speed. Speed of a bullet is lethal. It’s shape, you say? That only makes its speed better. Without its speed, a bullet is harmless. Anticlimax. So a ‘speeding bullet’ is something, a ‘bullet’ is not. What is speed but the delivery of the bullet. If you have an idea, all that matters is how you deliver it to people. If you have a speech to make, all that matters is how you deliver it. If you have food to serve, all that matters is how you deliver (serve) it.

If we have a gun, we are supposed to shoot it.
Like I said earlier, a gun is an idea. A belief that it is dangerous. A bullet is an idea. A belief that it’s speed is dangerous. And even if we directly compare a bullet to an idea, a gun to your head; it all fits. Nicely. No headache with this jigsaw, no sir.

An idea can kill people.
What are people but belief systems trapped in live bodies?
A person is what he believes in.
A person exists as long as he believes in existence.
An individual is an individual because the configuration of his belief system is unique.

So when I say an idea can kill people, I mean to say that a perfectly launched idea can destroy shaky belief systems. A bullet, which knows its target well, never fails. Similarly, if an idea (belief) is strong and without doubt, it is invincible. If this idea (belief) is put against ambiguous belief systems, they stand no chance. Because “they are never too sure”, while this little belief is self-sufficient and sure of itself. Since it believes in itself, it stands strong.

Can we label this killer idea as righteous?
One can argue that since the Self believes it is right, it can be labeled righteous. But then- why play poker with the concept of polarity? All the decisions that we take are apt during one situation while problematic during some other. No polarity. So the idea is invincible purely because it believes in itself, not because it is ‘the right thing to do’. A single idea that believes in itself can shatter those beliefs in denial, those beliefs who lead an illusory existence or even those beliefs that build false constructions. Just like a single bullet that can go through the head of the most headstrong person there is!

I did not use the words ‘completely sure’ and ‘completely believes’ because it makes no sense. Either you are sure or you are not. Either you believe or you do not. Either you stand in the sun or you do not. There are no shades in these cases, unless ambiguity is your way of life. And this is not polarity since believing or not believing is neither positive nor negative. It simply is, an individual’s choice.

Your hesitant hand and enemy’s bullet in your head
We all have read countless number of times in various books that once you start doubting anything, you are creating a favorable environment for those doubts to materialize. If we stop believing, we make our idea weak. This idea (belief) stands no chance even against the shaky belief systems. Just like if we have a hesitant hand over the trigger, the enemy’s bullet reaches our head first. And we die. The idea is shattered, once and for all. Even before the delivery could take place.

“Just pop off a few rounds!”
Our mind does not like the box it lives in. Mainly because it is often, knowingly or unknowingly, made to stay in that box. So it tries to break it open, do what it wants to do and simply unwind. It more or less fails and the result we get is a stressed individual. As in ‘American Beauty’, this stressed individual will ‘use’ a gun which is able to do what his mind can not. This stressed individual will ‘use’ a gun to relieve him of his stress instead of freeing his mind. The vain satisfaction.

Popping off a few rounds is the very thing to do, in fact.
Just that- those bullets should be ‘beliefs’, coming out of a mind that we are calling a ‘gun’. These bullets should shatter the non-existent walls we have built around ourselves. And then we may know what freedom is. Freedom is doing what we like, when we like without imposing our will on others. Debates and healthy arguments is not imposing one’s will on others. That’s where shattering of belief systems comes in.

If you have a gun, shoot it off.
That one bright idea and a strong belief means a lot.
Stuffing it down, blanketing it, doubting it makes no sense.
You wish you had a gun?
“Well you have one in your pocket!”
Your soul’s pocket, that is.
Shoot! Now!

“Better not hesitate when there is a belief system that challenges a logical decision. Blow a hole through it and everyone will rush through.”

love and peace

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