Saturday, April 9, 2011
We are Machines
"We are Machines" - This is a profound realization that I have gotten off late. To go into the moral and religious ramifications of this statement would be opening a can of worms, and that tends to attract a lot of flies. I am in no mood for fly-swatting. So not going into any controversy, I will talk about some of the practical aspects of living life as a machine. To appreciate the rest of this post, the reader will first need to agree with me that we are indeed machines. If this somehow seems implausible, I request you to suspend disbelief and agree with me for a short while.
By bringing up machines, I am not referring to Robots or any of those androidy things that science fiction movies would have you believe. But rather think of yourself as a rusty old steam engine. Yes, a steam engine. A good old steam engine with many moving parts. It's a good analogy. Just like a steam engine needs fuel and water, so do we. In many ways, we are exactly that, a steam engine. But never in their life would anyone consider themselves to be a machine. It somehow degrades this thing called life. It degrades this feeling of self. It makes all our emotions and all our hopes and dreams seem frivolous. It discounts our belief that we are somehow capable of much greater feats. But dear readers, since you have read this far, and you have suspended your disbelief so far, bear me a little longer...
So if we are indeed machines, why do we not feel like one? Why are we not made aware in every footstep and every breath that were are mere machines? The answer my friend is that we are too comfortable. Too cozy and too well fed. Every time you push yourself beyond your comfort zone, the machine creaks and groans, and you are Reminded ever so gently, that you are all but a machine. So the next time you go out of breath trying to climb the staircase, don't curse the elevator, but instead remember to smile. Smile with the knowledge that the machine is complaining.
P.S. I do not believe in a mind-body dichotomy.