Let us take a break from our series of essays on Anatomy of our experience.
The recent news of earth quake, followed by tsunami, followed by the unstable condition in the nuclear reactors – all of these require each of us to take a pause and reflect on the big picture. These incidents are particularly personal and painful for me. I have made many visits to Japan over the years, visited scores of places, town and universities, both big and small. I have met with hundreds of Japanese and toured through many plants, big and small. I have sat down to eat lunch and dinner with many Japanese and on occasion with their families. These relationships are deep, intense and personal. With all these thoughts, memories and experiences in the background, my feelings for the current situation in Japan are rather intense, deep and personal. All I can do at this time is to request you to join me in our prayer for the safety, security and return to normalcy of some kind, for the nation of Japan, its people and communities.
This earthquake with its epicenter near Sendai is even more personal. I have traveled from Tokyo to Sendai at least twice a year in the past few years with my friend and colleague Mr. Brian Minahan. I can clearly visualize every part of the subway and train station at Sendai. Scenes of the Tohoku University at Sendai, their laboratories, class room, lecture halls do not seem to leave my thinking in the recent few days. My thoughts keep returning to my good friend Prof. Kuriyagawa at this university. I have sent him an e-mail, but have not heard back from him, yet. My thoughts and prayers are with him, his family, his students and every one at Tohoku University. I have heard back from Brian and the safety of his family in Tokyo. Let us pray for the continued safety and strength to cope with the challenges to all our colleagues and friends in Japan.
When a disaster like this strikes, almost every one and everything in the area are affected. It almost feels selfish to wish for the well-being of the ones we know. I am not sure how else one can commiserate?
Over the TV, I was listening to some one describing the constant shifting and moving of the earth during the earth quake which lasted more than three minutes After that there have been over two hundred tremors both big and small. He said, “It felt totally unreal. We expect the ground on which we stand as the stable point, the source and the point of reference. When this stable source starts moving around, how are you supposed to relate to what else is going on around you?”. This is the point we have been discussing under our series of essays on the Anatomy of our experience. What we perceive as real, without a clear comprehension of the laws of nature at work, merely leaves us with a set of experiences that shift and change with time, people and place. If we accept the notion that we are part and parcel of the Consciousness – the laws of Nature at work in a visible or invisible manner – then what is happening at Japan are the laws of nature at work, deep underground, well below the surface. Then everything looks logical, even though I fail to accept the outcome.
All we can do at this time is seek the grace and glory of the Laws of Nature (and their universal presence, the God) such that the people of Japan are spared of further fury, loss and suffering. We can also hope and pray that every one involved in the response will be respectful of all such laws at work and plan for the future that minimizes future losses. Moments like these, with events of magnitude and impact so large, that any rational and analytical mind has to step back and find solace and strength in the comfort of a larger hand, the God. May that God spare the Japanese – a community of gentle, warm and genuinely polite people – any further wrath and fury of nature!