All posts by kauntee

In a journey from known to unknown.

Harmony of opposites

‘Harmony’ is a consistent, orderly or pleasing arrangement of parts, melody and ‘opposites’ means being different in nature. “Harmony of opposites” is a philologically self contradictory statement. But isn’t it that a harmony necessarily consists two opposite principles which inspite of this opposition has some underlying unity. Let’s take the example of Light and darkness both are opposite in nature. But, still both are needed for each other’s existence. It has been scientifically proved (in the concepts of interference and diffraction) that wherever there is light, there is darkness too. Moreover, perception of one is not possible if the other ceases to exit. Similarly, if we would have not known what SADNESS is like, then HAPPINESS would never have meant anything! Also let’s take the example of music; a music is harmonious only when the beats of different frequencies are present, music of a single frequency will make the it sound too bland.
So, it is by this virtue of opposition that everything in this universe exists. W T Stace in his book ‘The Critical History of Greek Philosophy’ has written that, all things contain their own opposites within them. In this struggle and antagonism between hostile principles consists their life, their being, their very existence. At the heart of things is conflict, if there is no conflict in a thing, it would cease to exist. This idea written above was expressed by a Greek Philosopher, Heraclitus also known as the Dark Philosopher.

Is fire water?

A question always pops into my brain whenever I think about this-” IS FIRE WATER ?” Both Fire and Water are the elements of the Pancha mahabhootas or the five greatest elements along with Ether, Wind and Earth that gives rise to all cosmic reactions.

So in order to answer this question let’s first see how the philologists define fire and water respectively.
Fire is agni, is heat , is………….. It is also the symbolism of anger or rage etc.
Water on the other hand is neer, is paani ,is………… and is also the symbolism of calmness. Hence, if we answer the above question by this phonological definition then, certainly the answer is NO, as the nature of both these elements are contradictory to each other. Where there is fire , water is used to extinguish it.

But, wait will this be the absolute answer. Perhaps no. Let’s now see how science defines fire. Fire, according to them is a combustion reaction in which hydrocarbons and oxygen react with one another and give out carbon dioxide and water. So when there is fire water is released as the by-product. Perhaps, this means that fire is made up of water because, if this was not the case then the by-product would have been something else. Hence, if we answer the above question by this scientific definition then fire is indeed water.

Now, for one question we are apparently having two answers YES and NO at the same time. Two elements Fire and water, with antipodal nature are having the common root cause. What a verbal jugglery! Isn’t it. So, who is to be trusted?The imagery that the philological definition is drawing in our brains is totally opposite to the one that the science supports. Now to satisfy this curiosity of mine I am relying on Jainism’s theory of ANEKANTAVADA concluding, that both are correct in their own perspectives as the theory itself says that, there is no absolute truth in any statement because the notion of truth and reality differs with diverse viewpoints.