Thursday, October 13, 2016

a preamble to the gita

first, the idea of dharma: doing what must be done, its stoic translation is "doing the best we can at all times."

dharma is not passivity. it means pursuing our duty, diligently, intensely. 

which duty? what we have chosen for ourselves; the milieu we've inherited (dna, family, commitments). 

the idea of detaching oneself from the fruits of one's action may seem a bit counterintuitive, particularly in the West. it takes a hierarchical view of things.

krishna admits that one can win or gain, no matter the outcome.

sure, but that's too general. how does it apply to me? the idea of "gain" (profit is a bad synonym) in our post-capitalist times is very entrenched. we're often caught up in a means-to-ends cycle. 

suggestion: how many times one invests and makes money and the general outcome of the investment leaves much to be desired? how many times we've won arguments than in retrospect we wished we had lost? how many actions we choose which we later resent? what cuts through these examples is time. 

we don't have enough time to see the movie because we're in it. only then one can understand krishna's advice.

as we've discussed before, sacrifice (yajna) turns upside-down all received notions of economic exchange: sovereignty. 

yajna is a form of sovereignty. the existentialist metaphor of devenir. in a sense, we're born again every time we choose ourselves. self-rule is a sign of inner development. 

we're born again every time we choose ourselves. self-rule is a great sign of inner development.