Thoughts on the Sea

I need the sea because it teaches me,
I don’t know if I learn music or awareness,
if it’s a single wave or its vast existence,
or only its harsh voice or its shining
suggestion of fishes and ships.
The fact is that until I fall asleep,
in some magnetic way I move in
the university of the waves.
-Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda was deeply in love with the sea. It is easily reflected in his poems, as well his lavish avant-garde homes that face the sea, are decked with wood and provide the ambiance of being on ship.

Who in the world does not love the sea(except those who get sea sick?)

But I want to delve further. What makes us love the sea?





I loved this question(and its answer): Humans have collected sea shells since before recorded history. Why are we compelled to collect sea shells? Does all collecting behavior stem from the same root and are humans the only primate that collects objects?

So is there some deep connection between humans and the sea?
Or is it something like the sky, unreachable hence intriguing?
Why do our nerves relax upon staring at the vastness of the ocean? Why does our breathing become all the more soothing like a musical rhyme? Why do our eyes droop as if having attained moksa?

One, perhaps, is the vastness. There is an evolutionary adaptive sensitivity to bigness that can create the emotion of awe within us. That similar feeling is created when you enter a huge space. Mesmerized. Awed. Speechless.
The second perhaps, is what Robert Henri said.
"It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think.”

The Advaita Vedanta talks about the world through one single reality called the Brahman, which it defines as the whole gamut of the existence of things. A human being, on contrary, is a being- a mode of existence.
What ignorance, perhaps leads us to do, is to attach our perishable body with our immortal self. And that led to the concept of the 'other'. The understanding lies in the realization that self is Brahman. Equally germane is this marvelous piece of story written by Andy Weir-The Egg. There is a certain kind of euphoria indeed that is attached to such a realization. It's not that life becomes meaningless when one tries to detach himself from the so called maya. It is rather that your life attaches itself to meanings, not people, thoughts, fear and ego.

And following is the beautiful analogy I came across.
Consider the Brahman as the ocean, and the self as the waves.
They can not be separated. Only distinguished- at the linguistic level by assigning different words.
You can observe the vastness of existence, the existence of many selves which keep merging into it. You may choose to see them as different waves, but they being part of the blue expanse remains the very truth of nature.

This blog was originally posted on https://vishesh.quora.com/

Sources:
  • Identity Freedom and Empowerment- Theoretical Reflections; Meena Kelkar and Deepti Gangavane.
  • Poetry

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