Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Scream

Scream is a stream of anxious mind....an outpour of an injured heart. Scream is also a deluge of happiness, a rush of joyousness. Scream is emotions, in their extreme form. Sages say do not over-react to situations. They tell us to be calm, to maintain a sort of temperateness of spirit, a spirit that is balmy, still, serene.

I wonder how they do it. I can see pictures of the enlightened Buddha and imagine how gentle he is. Even in the face of adversity. I can read many inspirational stories that tell me to stay calm and unaffected by joy and sorrow. But I do not know how to do it.

I remember the story of Buddha where a woman wailed the death in her family. Kisa Gautami's little son died and she was inconsolable. Buddha asked her to bring a few mustard seeds from the houses of those who had not seen death. Kisa went from one house to another. But she could not get even one. She returned and Buddha made her understand that death and suffering were part of life. There was no escape from that for us mortals. Kisa found solace in the learning and became Buddha's disciple.

I wonder how Kisa did what she did. Maybe the greatness of Buddha was transferred to her. But I do not have that great power around me. What do I do?

In joy, I scream. It is the scream of happiness.
In pain, I scream. It is a scream of sorrow.
When I see some injustice happening around, I scream.

When I read about some horrors that humans wreck on other humans, on animals, and on nature, I scream. This scream has no sound. It is the scream of silence. A silence that is deafening.

Edvard Munch's The Scream is emblematic of all humanity. I am no art connoisseur. But some things just speak to me. The Scream is one such painting. It depicts us humans, the suffering humans. In the expressionist medium, it puts on canvas the plight of our minds. How the entire world comes tumbling down.
We scream. Some scream loudly, some silently. But we all do. We are not the sages. We do not try to be like them. We fail if we try to be like them because we do it with doubt and skepticism, because we do it halfheartedly.

On the other end of the spectrum smiles Mona Lisa. A picture of total serenity, devoid of the dread and angst, free of turbulence, distant from the stormy spirits.

Can we find Mona Lisa in real life? It will be difficult. Can we find the subject of Edvard Munch's The Scream? Almost everywhere.



The Scream (Image Source here)

I remember one more Buddhist fable. Once a man comes to Buddha and abuses him verbally. Buddha asks him, " If you give someone a gift, and that person does not accept it, what happens to that gift?" The man replies, " It stays with you." Buddha then answers, " I refuse your gift my friend. You gift of words." The man is at loss of words. What this fable tells us is to remain unaffected in face of anger. Do not let the other person feed on your reactions. Anger grows when met with anger. Stop the flow of this negativity by refusing to react.

This reminds me of Gandhi and his non-screaming and non-violent ways. This also reminds me of the line that silence is the most powerful scream.



Do spare some time to read my other Blog-a-Rythm entries by clicking the links below:

Silly Stillies

Footprints That Changed My Life


As always, will love your comments!

23 comments:

  1. Indeed. We assume that a scream must be associated with noise. It doesn't need to be. Interesting post, Sunaina.

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    1. hey.... thanks...thanks for stopping by and leaving your feedback.....I enjoyed the story you wrote and wanted to leave my comments there but somehow could not open the comment section....

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  2. Silence is the most powerful scream, I agree. Loved the fables and your thoughts. I scream a lot, mostly quite loudly but sometimes silently too :)

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    1. Hey welcome here.....I am glad you liked what I wrote.....

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  3. I liked reading the story of the Buddha. It made me realize that speaking with anger is not always a solution to let go of the anger inside us.

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    1. thanks Vinay....that story stays within me always.....i often share it with my friends and even my son....

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  4. Simply wonderful read and great interpretations! Loved this post

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  5. Very nice perspective Sunaina. You have so rightly pointed out that the meaning of expressions change with emotions. This holds true for both scream and silence. You can scream with joy or with fright. Similarly you can exhibit a peaceful or a sullen silence.

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    1. Yes Somali, the word 'scream' can be used in such contrasting ways. I am happy I am getting feedback on this prompt.

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  6. A wonderful post, Sunaina :)
    I read a lot of spiritual articles and I do try to maintain calm always. But it is practically not possible. Staying calm on the outside and suffering inside is like bottling your emotions which can burst violently anytime. You said it so right...silence is the most powerful scream and apart from the sages, we all scream. And yeah, the painting is so powerful.

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    1. Yes, it is so difficult to maintain calm attitude....I wanted to highlight that struggle within all of us. It is so difficult to cope with this sometimes. Do read more on Edvard Munch and his work. It is quite interesting.

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  7. Very well narrated. Yes, we scream in different occasions. You 've portrayed those moments, the actual feelings very well... :-) Also liked the way you've juxtaposed these two paintings to establish the contrast. :-)

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    1. Thanks Maniparna....I had initially thought of doing the post solely on the paintings but I lack adequate knowledge on that. So did it like a stream of thought.

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  8. Great account on scream, Sunaina. Liked Buddhist fables :)

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  9. Thought provoking post! Yes, the silent scream is usually the most anguished.

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  10. Thought provoking post! Yes, the silent scream is usually the most anguished.

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  11. Silent screams are the worst, can't express them and they burden us. So many thoughts on scream.

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    1. True Inderpreet....thanks for stopping by...

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