Sunday, March 23, 2008

Musharraf's Leap

By the worldly-politicky way, I have learned the art of persisting against adversity from none other than our President Musharraf. Millions of people against him, thousands of fires around him - and only One God on his side. No one can see God, or define the nature of Being... but the presence seen secondarily through events eventually working out in the favor of the person whose side Providence is on. And the key to that is the person-in-question's own strength of belief.
Musharraf the man's actions or their results may have been flawed... or yet not fully realized. But he is free of the worst sin of them all leaders: guilt.
I define guilt as:
"The No Man's Land between knowing that something is wrong, and doing something about it."

That definition came into my head when I was on a tour of Khairpur with AZM, and she and I were walking in a paddy field. We were walking on raised stiles between the fields of God-knows-what crop which was being irrigated. While we were carefully avoiding stepping into the puddles that formed in the fields, at some place, the stile just disappeared under water... and we have to jump to reach the ground just marking the boundary of the field.
It was right at the moment of making that jump that I realized: If don't make that jump, and I also don't want to walk through the wet fields, then I can stay here until the Sun itself decides to evaporate the fields. That, however, would not be my choice then. A farmer could continue to route water into the fields and the SUn can shrug off its shoulders, and carry on towards the West. So either I jump, or I stand here stuck, or I walk through the wet field. If I jump, I can still land a foot in the water - but that is a consequence which is independent of and beyond the action that I take. I only jump, and yes, I can calculate and aim my jump.
It was at that moment that "guilt" became clear to me as that consuming force which stops the world's flow in misery. It's about standing on that stile between the wet field and the dry ground, going neither here nor there.
AZM and I were having a general conversation about spirit right then - and I was speaking of guilt.
Then, I told her this definition that had occurred to me.
The right and the wrong of matters, the consequences of our actions, are truly beyond us. What we can govern is the state of our own faith, conviction, and our ability to take what is the best possible action that delivers us out of a situation that we cannot stay stuck in: good or bad.
If guilt is standing in the no man's land - then what delivers us is, quite literally, a leap of faith.

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