All Right to be Restless?


by Thoithoi O’Cottage

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Things by nature seek to decompose and to decompose they seek the lowest energy level. Human spirits seek rest, happiness where there is the least struggle or friction, if there is no frictionless state as such. Every human struggle, including wars, has this purpose – rest.

There is a vast gulf of difference between how rest presents itself to us self-conscious beings and how it is to inanimate things and non-self-conscious beings, if there is any. When I think of rest/happiness as part of nature, I see a paradox. This paradox dawned upon me while I was teaching the concept of Parts of Speech to some Philosophy graduate students in Manipur. Every sort of actions is in the category of Verb, be it ‘doing’ or ‘being’. Actions demand exertion of us, and exertion or doing something for a long time tires us. Rest and happiness are states and being in a state is an action. Thus, if we rest for a long time we will get tired, and if we are happy for a long time we will be tired of being happy, which is among other causes of worry.

At the same time, being occurs along the axis of time, and we constantly lose our identity and gain a new one, every moment. To the self conscious beings like ourselves, this flux is much more than a mere restful action.

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