Woven Web of Guesses- Nivedita Yashwant Fadnis

By Nivedita Yashvant Fandis
I start with the predicament of a tramp ( who stumbles upon things without hope). Writing is not my personal suggestion; but there have been days of gestations without any proper structures or directions. Writing, as my friend puts, can be the start of it. I listen to Chopin, Newman and many more as I want to shut out the outside clamour of hobbits. It takes a lot to make my own space here. For many days now, concentration has been an august task which has exhausted me like forced meditation- I’d rather be in melancholy than in meditation. Everyday, first couple of hours are horrendous with multitude of gazes around me, chirping birds and a din of the hobbits. They are energetic in their stage of deterministic sexuality. They are vibrant and confident with their styles, their mannerisms (even if those are poor manners), and their exhuming radiance of youth. I feel I have passed that stage. A greater question is whether at all I was in that stage. As our friend S has put it recently, I am a perpetually curious person. In that curiosity, I have lost many moments I feel. That has made me less conscious. I feel as if  in between the strings of Chopin’s piano; in my own event of vibrations.

So much for the internal activity. Let’s talk about the recent ‘conjectures and refutations’. Yes, I have been reading Mr. Karl Popper. I have been trying to delve into him. I do this, because I have immense faith in my faculty Mr.MK.  Thus my first moment of a little quest has begun with subjectivity; and the quest itself is achieving objectivity. I wonder whether my personal subjectivity of faith will have any subjective effect on believing Popper. It might blind me. It might even save me. I cannot know that. I feel this is what it means to be human. I begin with my subjectivities- love, faith, hope, will, courage and all that goes with it. Anyway, to put the recent readings in a nut-shell, Popper has pondered over sources of knowledge.

The Gods did not reveal, from the beginning

All things to us; but in the course of time,

Through seeking we may learn, and know things better.

But as for certain truth, no man has known it,

Nor will he know it; neither of the Gods,

Nor yet of all the things which I speak.

And even if by chance he were to utter

The perfect truth, he would himself not know it;

For all is but a woven web of guesses.

–         Xenophanes

As always, the Greeks knew it all. I believe in retrospective thinking, we haven’t gone beyond them in last two thousand years. What they said still holds true philosophically. But I do not feel trapped in the age of the Greeks. Instead, I feel the Greek ghosts enter out modern and post-modern bodies to create a balance or an idea of balance.  Popper, at the end of his chapter about sources of knowledge took the most important lesson from Xenophanes. He writes-

‘ What we should do I suggest, is to give up the idea of ultimate sources of knowledge, and admit that all knowledge is human; that it is mixed with our errors, our prejudices, our dreams, and our hopes; that all we can do is to grope for truth even though it be beyond our reach. We may admit that out groping is often inspired, but we must be on our guard against belief, however deeply felt, that our inspiration carries any authority, divine or otherwise.’

Yes I believe there are an infinite degree of connections in this world as we know it. And there is so less we know that searching for the ultimate source is an outright folly. The ultimate source is found everywhere but it is not decipherable to us. This is not a shortcoming of science or of humanity (although some advocate strongly in the human futility of intelligence and faculties). But humans are in between these connections- which is an advantage, as we are constantly woven by the Ultimate (Rangreza).  We are in between the sources of ultimate knowledge, metaphysically, spiritually and scientifically. The journey is backwards and forwards in the network. So like energy, all knowledge is only rediscovered from a source and distributed elsewhere which become other sources. From source to source, from point to point, it is an agglomeration of ideas (of relative truths) which forms our ‘web of life’. As discoverers, we become temporary carriers of information from one point to the other. Thus with many carriers (who work at discoveries with their minds and science), the web is in a state of flux. If simulated, it can be analogical to the galaxy, where in many stars are born and systemized. This might be an overly positive bearing with reference to human existence. But compartmentalization of human society from nature and universe (as has been already portrayed in the debate of civilization against nature), mocks out electronic telescopes used for gazing different stars and galaxies. We are a part of the universe the moment we gaze at it through our scientific instruments just as we are a part of nature the moment we breathe the atmospheric air. What would be unnatural for us would be to be able to create bodies which can breathe in vacuum. So yes, we are wound in the clockwork weaving. Objectivity lies only in our domain of understanding- which is small compared to the inherent knowledge of the world. And every time a scientific  method is employed for research, it is with the purview of increasing our understanding. Science has limitations- which are pushed forward every now and then- our groping for truth.

I remember the caption mentioned in the poster of X-files- ‘The truth is out there.’ The idea is constant hiking into the unknown and known territories. ‘But as for certain truth, no man has known it, nor will he know it’- this could mean eternal hiking.  I sometimes get confused in the real and the unreal in a dazed thought of love and chocolates. Like the thought of ‘eternal return’ put forth by Mr.A. it refers to the process of returning…..that is the constant return. Maybe I have already embarked on that path of eternal return. And the eternal return is to the ultimate source- meaning I’ll backtrack all the web, except that there is no process of backtracking in the web. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I would become a lost soul- not necessarily until I forget the idea of web itself. Whatever questions I ask, it is for that eternal return. I think this notion too is a ‘woven web of guesses’.

  Nivedia has a very curious mind and now days she is thinking (searching also) about architectural research. formally pursuing PhD from  School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal.

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