“BEFORE GOING TO MARS”

AUTHOR: Manisha Sharma, M.A., M.Ed. (SPECIALISATION IN GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING)

 

I remember reading Stephen. W. Hawking’s quotation somewhere that taking over other planets was important for the survival of the human race. Unfortunately I could not find the details anywhere but I remained possessed for the days----. What the great scholar was foreseeing with his superhumanly vision, what exactly he was concerned about. But I think yes, mobility is the rule of nature. If we are not expanding we will be shrinking ourselves. But how we can do this – the task of expanding. Is only reaching on the  other planets is enough that too hurriedly, so that other country or other homosapien does not do it prior to us. What if somewhere out there some another species is seeing these unorganized human efforts and having a good laugh.

 

In this context I want to say that we should be more ‘prepared’ before trying to expand our solar territories and we should do this task in more organized and amicable manner. It is important to educate the people down here first that we all are one, that now the time has come because of the scientific developments and scientific pursuits and aspirations that we try to remain one.  We will have to find logics and reasons to convince ourselves that we all residing on this planet are one.  If hands wound a leg belonging to the same body ultimately the puss will reach up to them through the body. Since mankind now is a tangibly unified, interdependent body, the attempt to improve (economically or politically) our own in groups by harming other parts of mankind leads invariably to harmful results for the whole human race, as well as for our in groups. The same is true for other universal, perennial, moral precepts. If and when they are applied by any group on a tribal scale, the harmful results of such an obsolescence application usually boomerang upon the aggressive group itself, inflicting harm upon mankind as a whole as well.  But just giving lofty speeches using the words like “peace and global welfare” will not work. We will have to show each other by solid gestures and concrete form that the impressive words uttered in big forums are not devoid of content and will not remain empty rhetoric. Problems of obesity in America and hunger deaths in Africa should be solved prior to the turning of scientific imaginations into a reality. The complete humanity will have to make sincere efforts to solve the injustices related to geographical, economical and political inequalities. Psychological problems of one man,  one race or one country to terrorize others will have to be cured by all homosapiens residing on this earth with the solidarity. Come to think of it no one would want to give this planet another name, like say ---- America or anything else for that matter. “Earth---- sounds so good. Let the earth remain earth please. We all Indians, Americans, Bhutanese, and Nigerians can find something better and unique to do for this planet. And also we can each help each other to grow and develop ourselves into a superior living beings on this whole cosmos which we now believe may be inhabited by others too. If Germans can give something to its Tibetan counterparts, I am certain Tibet sure has something unique to gift Germany in return. Well say, it can be the spiritual lessons about finding the inner peace. And believe me it is of utmost importance if we, the homosapiens are conscious about our development and growth.

 

In this planet there are some geographical locations that take more pride in calling themselves countries or nations. How limited understanding and narrow mental outlook man could have!! Was not it a folly of man to divide the humans on the grounds of geographical locations? Was earth really meant to be divided like this?  If these LOCs are products of normal and sane minds then why did all the countries and nations have different LOC just a quarter century back? If we reflect upon the history of the counties and nations we would see continually changing patterns emerging on earth and in each period people of one certain geographical location fought the people of another geographical location very dutifully believing they were fighting for their self defense, for their honor. Just a few years after the mutual slaughter is over the enemies of yesterday are our friends, the friends of yesterday are our enemies and again in full seriousness we begin to “protect” or attack newly labelled geographical locations. Is not it enough to tell us that we are not on the absolutely correct track.

 

Human race tortured the souls of other human being when it invented slavery and thought it was an essential part of “civilization”. It invented jails and torture camps! (We could have thought of the love and sympathy centers). It made the system of police and army too. Some sensible and practical people will rightly give the logic that it was necessary to keep the law and order intact. But an insensible suspicion lurks in my mind what if these very old tyrant traditions and cruel institutions are responsible for giving birth to the very things we want to rectify from the society. As Kahlil Gibran in his story “satan” has written, “We commit bigger sin in return of a small sin. If a person commits murder we kill his soul in return and think we have done justice. If a person steals money to feed his hungry kids we rob him off his honor and go to sleep thinking we have kept law and order intact. If a person strays away from the track of morality, instead of giving him the love that can restore his faith in humanity again we hate him and thus push him deeper in the dirty by lanes of immorality”. Here you can read country too in the place of person.

 

But then who decides what crimes, sins and immoralities are. Why only a few have this power of decide? Have you noticed one thing the most rich and powerful decide that what went wrong and who did wrong? Meanwhile “not so significant” people or countries just keep struggling for food, shelter, security, success, money and fame indifferent to the norms and rules of the world.

 

If humans “realized” after centuries that the slavery was wrong, we may realize a few centuries later that there are substitutes for jails, police and army too. It took centuries for some Imperialistic powerful nations to “free some economically poor countries. At present some rich countries think that it is okay and normal to exploit the underdeveloped countries and very soon the time will come when they will be condemned for doing this. Simply because this planet belongs to every one, why do they think it is all right to terrorize the other not so powerful countries. They must learn from history that the tide of time will simply wipe them away from the collage of the earth and then again the new patterns will emerge on the sands of this wonderful planet. Then why not spend the time, energy, money and mainly human intellect in the wholesome development and improvement of the complete humanity as one. And why not use the present to make a better present and a glorious future for all the species living here.

 

But the race needs very very daring people to be able to do that. It is very difficult to make your way against the powerful masses and angry mobs. Remember we crucified Jesus centuries ago. We are still handcuffing an Osho. Scientists like Copernicus who spoke their minds were rebuffed and punished. People who see the futility of being on the either side of America and Iraq or India and Pakistan are not able to evoke on emotion among people the way Saddam and Bush can. Why? Why the human race listens to the people who motivate to kill other human? Why do we have this inability to unite and protect Jesus when he is being crucified? Why “mad John’ in  Kahlil Gibrans story is left unheard. This perhaps because of our inability to think big. We lack the vision to see the whole universe as one. In between stepping on another planets and finding new galaxies the complete race will have to understand and develop the vision and ability to feel interlinked with each other and consider itself an atom in the body of the galaxy.

 

It certainly is difficult to awaken the sleeping consciousness of the whole race. So many visionaries from time to time came and then passed away silently after trying to raise the humanity. First we must think, study and do some research if necessary to understand that who told us to lead the life the way we are leading, who taught humans to rule the earth the way they have till now, what made homosapiens to think that this was the only way. If we ourselves are responsible than surely there is a ray of hope---- NOW we CAN START to think the other way too. Because that is in our capacity. There are no limits to human thought and understanding of the human mind. If till now our thoughts and ideas have not been at its best in the context of humanity, now we can try to meditate to the tunes of the rhythm of the flawless cosmos and catch the more correct, more beautiful, more harmonious, more loving and peaceful currents flowing through the waves of the universe. Creativity is the most important human resource of all.         Without it there would be no progress and we would be forever repeating the same patterns. The daring creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.

 

I am sure things can change. We can have a new beginning and one day they will start changing suddenly. It may be now or it may take years. But the era and time of change and a new thought is soon to come. Why? Simply because even a layman can see and understand the mobility of everything within this planet at least. Our scientists keep informing us about the mobility of the things in the universe or in space. Our philosophers can think out of the boundaries of time and space and see the changing nature of the concepts and theories related to humans. Great saints or the superhuman from every corner of the earth have always known the divine depths and heights of this cosmos and have been giving the same message of love and peace. That is why I feel the procession of human generations are moving towards a different way of life constantly and the present state of anger, suspicion and hatred will have to go too. As I have mentioned earlier leading the civilization was in man’s hand (or mind)); leading it now is in our hands too. We must feel and understand the power of choice and must try to mould it the way it can benefit each and every human being living on earth..

 

It is strange and very mysterious truth that human race has produced great scientific brains, amazing artistic minds even divine saints but not the leaders who could lead them towards peace and harmony for a big phase of time, who had the vision to teach people about the brotherhood around the world, who believed that killing was not the only solution. Or it can be put this way that why the humans around the world made their leaders only those who believed in regionalism and shed blood to “protect” “their”  region. From time to time human race kept producing the believers of the world peace and global harmony in every corner of the earth but we never chose them as our leaders. Humans followed the path shown by those sages  religiously and even worshipped them but never made them the captain of their ships. Why? (Here I will request the scholars of human psychology to a big research in this context). Did these people not have the qualities of being regional leaders? What did the humans always wanted in its kings and political leaders? I think what the general masses expect from their leader is that he will lead them to all round development, complete prosperity and happiness. I do not think science would not have progressed if Jesus was made the King. Neither literature would have suffered if Zarthustra would have been made the biggest authority of his region. Agriculture would not have suffered under the rule of Rumi and fine arts would not have lost anything in the kingdom of Confuscious. Then why, we, despite considering them as great human beings, chose someone else as our leader, some one who held sword and believed in killing. Killing  the ‘enemies’. Yes, generally it was he who decided and told people who their enemies were. Though from time to time LOCs kept changing and so the relationship of the people, but we did not get the message and let the so called leader have his way. We blindly get recruited as soldiers and sing jingoistic songs and believe we are on correct path, after the blood shed is over we read humanistic teachings from world over who give the same message of peace and brotherhood and then we pretend to learn from them. Why? Why do we have the twin ideals? Is this the best way of living? Are we our civilized best and cultured best at present? Can we even not think of more harmony and peace than this in near future? If yes, than we are not adequately prepared to go to other planets. We are doing the things in a bit hurried and unorganized and unsystematic way.

 

In this state of disorientation we can take clues from the nature. All the aspects of nature are adjusted and indulged in doing their respective works without sending harm to others. Also there is a cycle, a system, a rhythm in everything. We will have to learn to harmonize our lives with the tunes of the universe. For that we all have to be very quite and develop the ability to listen. Listen the tunes which are flowing from our souls and are vibing with the nature or the sounds which the neutrons of our mortal bodies are creating to vibe and mingle with the sounds of universe. I believe that in each human being there is a dimension of consciousness far deeper than superficial thoughts. It is the very essence of who you are. But most people spend their entire life imprisoned with in the confines of their thoughts. They never go beyond a mind made personalized sense of self that is conditioned y the past. Finding that dimension may free man and the world from the petty thoughts and beliefs of self-centeredness.

 

It is the responsibility of world thinkers to present the humanistic vision of all religions being different ways of arriving at one ultimate truth in a rational and convincing manner to the whole humanity. Once it is consciously accepted by them it would provide a rationale and a motive for the practice of universal tolerance and goodwill our ancestors have gifted us some invaluable insight of developed human intellect. For example Vedic vision regards the ultimate Truth being one. Even though it is called by many names ( Rig Veda I. 164) in a beautiful passage of Vishnu Puraan (vide Chapter V, section III supra), it is stated that since the same Divine Being is the essence or Self of all living beings, He is the object of all our interpersonal deals. That is to say, if a man loves another, he loves the universal Self; and if he perpetrates violence against another, it is the Self who is the real object of that violence. (Vishnu Puraan, bk III, Ch. 8). If we compare it with the saying of Christ, that man who helps and serves his fellow beings serves Christ, and he who rejects another man in need of help and succour Rejects him. (Matthew 25: 36ff.), we would be able to appreciate that a vision of the metaphysical affinity of all living beings can alone provide a genuine basis for a morality of love and compassion for all living beings. Also have a glimpse on these excerpts from the Writings of Baha’ullah “O contending peoples and kindreds of the earth! Set your faces towards unity and let the radiance of its light shine upon you. Gather you together and for the sake of God resolve to root out whatever is the source of contention among you. Then will the effulgence of the world’s great luminary envelope the whole earth, and its inhabitants become the citizens of one city and the occupants of one and the same throne…. There can be no doubt whatever that the peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, derive their inspiration from one heavenly source, and are the subjects of one God”. 

 

Now the responsibility comes on the shoulders of the contemporary noble super human beings who are able to think big. They are already indulged in their tasks of making this place more comfortable and peaceful though they are doing this quietly and disintegratedly. If they unite, coordinate and organize their efforts they will be making more difference and would be able to achieve bigger and better results.

 

Also the poets, sportsmen, musicians, teachers, students, film artists, factory workers and ‘simple illiterate’ truck drivers, and ‘not so educated’ domestic helpers should come forward and take charge. They all should unite in their respective forums and have strong and definite say in all the serious or miscellaneous matter of the world. When this will happen then world peace won’t depend solely on the stupidity or the wisdom of the political leaders. Please, let all these non-political people also say what should be done about ‘ America and Iraq ’ or ‘ India and Pakistan ’ problems. For God sake, for earth sake let us stop listening to these political heads of states. They are there because that is the only field they are expert at- how to defeat others to be able to rule the people. And ‘rule the people’ is the only thing they are interested in. Peace and global harmony is not exactly the field of their expertise or interest. A layman not living in shielded or guarded house would be more interested in efforts for peace around the world.

 

Let the common man come forward; the common man from Namibia who toils hard the whole day to get food for his kids. Let him speak in the world forums. He will give more heartfelt and honest suggestions how to manage food resources of earth so that each son of mother earth gets something. Let a commoner widow from Afghanistan express herself in words – and tears. She will be able to convince the world better that the issue of disarmament of the world should not be left in the hands of thoughtless heads of state. Yes she has more right to give speech at the world conferences of peace than the glamorous political leaders living in armed houses. Let a common American have a say how Iraq should be treated please. Let a small child wonder what a God is (my son is more interested in knowing whether the God never looses a cricket match!! The thought that God is a Hindu or Muslim or Christian has not blemished his innocent mind yet.).

 

I think this is the best way to begin. These innocent young ones are our only ray of hope. Let the children of the world come closer. Oh they will be naturally close. We adults can be enormously helpful by not influencing their flawless thoughts. We can begin by not let the Government backed text interfere with their studies of history, geography, science and religions. The older generation will have to restrain itself forcibly and try not to ‘educate’ the younger generation that which is the best ‘geographical’ location of the world, which country has the most glorious ‘history’, which is the best race on the planet and why it is necessary to imitate accent of the language of certain powerful countries of the world. Let the kids have their own perceptions and then let them express themselves.

 

Present generations of educationists should make forums and decide collectively what should be the text for the next generation and no Government of any state should have any interference in this because now if the humanity is to be saved, it is important to think and make policies with the broader intellect and in the global context. At present school curriculum world over and the children literature other than the school text have a narrow and regional fervour. This leaves a child exposed to the media world over extremely confused. Through science subject they learn what an advanced species we are – discovering new planets. Through news papers they get to know the exciting news of future train rides to moon.  In ‘discovery kids’ they watch the program about the plans of man to reside on other planets. But they also keep getting the regular news that at present which country is at war with which country. Or some fully grown up  man hitting other man down with guns or planes. Isn't it a bit confusing for them? They really can not understand what exactly is going on? I suspect they find it ridiculous, funny, and disgusting, till we the sensible and all knowing adults impose our outdated feelings of jingoistic patriotism in their minds. After that they don’t find themselves confused any more. Their fresh queries of the world around them, their innocent questions related to the people around them get hidden under the dirty layers of the set thoughts of the older generation. Now they ‘know everything for sure’. Because of all this chaos around them I am sure they feel that after a good day at school or playing in the backyard of a neighborhood kids they come back to bear their quarrelsome parents at home daily. No, do not let them disgust their parents please. We parents (older generation) better improve our mannerisms quickly before one day they come home and tell us that their neighborhood parents are (another species in cosmos is ) more civilized than us ( we homosapiens). Knowledge of advanced happenings through the science and the jingoistic self-centered lessons of history can leave a child totally confused. No it is not the right curriculum. No we are not educating a child to be a sensible, responsible and progressive resident of the earth. This kind of misleading and disorienting curriculum may even affect the natural scientific queries and curiosities of pure clean brains of young ones. No the ‘parents at home’ will have to try to search some goodness in each other and try to keep a amicable and healthy relationship so that the kid venture with the world outside with more confidence and chances of more successes. 

 

Here educationists, scholars , saints and sages will have to put up a unified, collective and affirm stand. They may have to go through lot of regional resistance and pressures. Sacrifices, not the mere words, will be able to persuade the world slowly but surely.   

 

Many people laugh at Mahatma Gandhiji’s ideology that if some one slaps you on cheek put your another cheek in front of him. By it he meant that instead of retaliating violence and hatred show the person (or the country for that matter) that peace can be the alternative. Try to be understanding about his anger. If you are blessed with superior intelligence and superior intellect then apply it to understand and to solve the problem the violent person (or country) is suffering from.   He may be frustrated because his children have gone to sleep without any food or he may be angry because he himself feels insecure or inferior or humiliated. If you are really superior then you will not only understand the reason of violence you will also try to find out the solution to the problems which led that person (or a few people of a country) to become violent.

 

Remember only brave can forgive because they do not have fragile egos. I have deep sympathy with the people whose near dear ones died in the world trade center on 9/11. I myself remained panicked in India till I received the call from my Doctor sister who was in New York at that time. And I salute the brave people who sacrificed their lives to save many people of different origin, race and caste. But I believe in the ‘bigness’ of America . I request humbly to American Government that instead of punishing Iraq and worrying about their own safety in America they can do something about the problems of hunger, security and education in the countries like Iraq then they really will not feel the need to be so much panicked about their personal safety in their home America .. What leads surprisingly large numbers of young people to follow the desperate course set for them by fanatics and ideologues? A sense of oppression, of humiliation, of marginalization, can give rise to extremism. Some two thousand six hundred people died in the world trade center on 9/11. but some twenty six thousand people also died on 9/11, around the world- from starvation, unclean water and preventable disease. ‘If human beings everywhere’, Mr. Annan wrote, “were given real hope of achieving self respect and a decent life by peaceful methods, terrorists would become harder to recruit and would receive les sympathy and support from society at large”. I have read that most of the American citizen have expressed their sympathy with the common Iraqis. I salute them too. This is superiority and it is required in the present state of tangled relationships among various countries of the world. Same thing applies to all the religious groups, color groups, castes and creeds of our planet. I don’t think that because Muslim invaders had dominated docile and spiritually oriented Hindus centuries back so now we Hindus should retaliate by demolishing ‘Babri mosque’ believed to be a temple originally. I remember I was earnestly assuring my Muslim friend amidst the heating scenario of India during that time saying – ‘no it will never happen, it is just the propaganda of fascist Hindu politicians. In actual it can never happen’... …she quietly told me that it had demolished. (I hadn’t heard the news) I was so ashamed and couldn’t see her in eyes. I was enraged at the people and at the mentality which made me feel that way. I understand how most of the American citizens must have felt when they came to know about the treatment of Iraqi prisoners.

 

No, we can’t afford to give a punch gritting our teeth in return of a slap as the whole humanity is sitting on the heap of nuclear weapons. Also how primitive it sounds and perhaps funny to the new global child. Holding our fingers with his chubby hands that small child is urging us to move  towards a new era of Time, and to new unexplored horizons of space-- even far beyond Mars.

 

 

AUTHOR

 

Manisha Sharma

M.A., M.Ed. (SPECIALISATION IN GUIDANCE AND COUNSELLING)

 

I have kept writing on the contemporary issues for local newspapers and magazines.

I have given some talks on Radio on the topics like national integration and power of peace etc.

Recently assisted my husband Mr. Ashish Sharma in writing the book “HAS THE TIME FOR ELECTRONIC CURRENCY COME” published by Global Book Publishers (Book Surge), South Carolina, America. Publishers website are www.globalbookpublishers.com and www.booksurge.com

I intend to keep writing and start working actively for world peace.

Yes, there is a humble suggestion- your organization can persuade UNICEF at least, to include “peace education” in its most important works around the world  and through UNICEF an exemplary starting can be done, the kind which every person all around the world belonging to any race, religion or class can find suitable.