The New Indian Express has a section on spirituality in its Sunday magazine. I usually skim through it for my weekly dose of humour. This week (June 17) was no exception, but the first paragraph of one article got me hooked completely and I read and re-read it a few times in the potty. Later, I found that piece on the web, book-marked it and read it on my computer. I still couldn’t wrap my head around it. I am aware of the profound lack of profundity in such treatises, and that is what humours me most of the time. This time I was struck by the usage of the word ‘therefore’, which crops up after a long, rambling “reasoning.”
I am reproducing below the part that boggled my mind. (Yogi Aswini. “Celestial Sound That Perfects All.” The New Indian Express, 17 June 2012: p9.)
The first corporeal manifestation on earth after the Trinity’ birth was in the form of sound. Om (Aum) was the first sound. It arose from the damru of Lord Shiva. Before sound (creation), there was eternal silence and absolute stillness. It was from here that the journey of an individual began. Therefore, sound can be termed as the first dimension perceived in physical creation. From sound emerges the dimension of colours; from colours emerges everything that we see in the physical creation, including our physical body.
I tried to deconstruct the paragraph, but mostly failed. The words corporeal manifestation bugged me for a while. Dictionary entries of corporeal include: having a body or a physical form; that can be seen and handled, etc. This was the first time I heard of seeing a sound. So, sound has a physical form?? Hmm. Let us skip controversial entries such as damru and all and go straight to the next sentence.
Before sound (creation), there was eternal silence and absolute stillness. Now, this is being stated as a fact. And I found myself struggling not to fall off the commode, “of course, eternal silence! How could I miss that?” The next two sentences, however, had me totally stumped. Where and what is the connection with sound, and who is this individual when he says, “It was from here that the journey of an individual began.” And before I had time to digest these concepts, the sentence “Therefore, sound can be termed as the first dimension perceived in physical creation” appears out of nowhere, suggesting a logical conclusion from the preceding drivel.
What he essentially said was, sound came first, therefore sound came first.
It (use of therefore) doesn’t work like that. “I farted, therefore it stinks.” Now, that is a proper way of using therefore in a sentence. If you are doing it after gorging on really spicy channa masala, beef ularthiyathu and beer, then you could elaborate on the premises. “I washed down some nice spicy channa and beef with beer which made me fart and therefore it stinks; royally.”
I slept on it and then the lord appeared to me in my dream and said, “Son, the stink came first.” I thought he was making fun of me. “Everything will be clear to you when you wake up.”
I woke up and walked out and then it hit me – the stink. It was omnipresent, omnipotent and believe it or not, corporeal. It hit me physically. I realized everybody in my city (and perhaps the whole country) worships it. The mayor-ess definitely does. The Chief Minister and the MP too have their own ways of appeasing it. It is there in the piles of raw waste in Big Bazaar bags, etc. placed religiously at various auspicious spots, where pious folks keep coming and leaving their offerings in an unending flow and show of piety. It is there in the railway stations and tracks. It is there in the carcinogenic fumes rising from smouldering plastic and Styrofoam piles, where the devotees make sure that the flames stay lit eternally. It is there in the Amayizhanchan canal that cuts through the city. It is all-pervasive! I bowed before it and I apologized to the lord for doubting his words. Therefore, stink can be termed as ….blah, blah…. “You farted, didn’t you?”