R I P...
It is one of the most common acronyms used to indicate different things in different contexts. Same acronym is used, with different meanings, in Biology, Mathematics, Computers, Military, Music, Philosophy and Law.
However, we are concerned here with the layman’s RIP -Rest in Peace, used to wish the dead.
I often wonder why we chose to reserve this most appropriate wish to the dead and gone! Are we supposed to rest in peace only when we are dead? Why not have our rest in peace while we are still alive and kicking, struggling or whatever?
Wishing a dead body anything, including RIP, is rather ironic. It probably supposes a soul different from the body itself, where death is only a process of liberating the soul than destroying it, because the body itself has to but undergo decay/destruction. Even if we accept this belief, how can a soul rest? If so, by now this universe should have been filled with souls of the entire beings that lived and died. Would they be resting as in sleeping somewhere or stacked some place? Are we wishing those souls not to get another life (if you accept the rebirth theory)? Are we praying that the soul get to rest in the ultimate Moksha, as in a sort of retired ‘life’ after the innumerous births?
Well, I have my own beliefs in the matter of soul, rebirth, Moksha etc. But they are not relevant here (and I would prefer to use the subject for another blog). I will not quarrel with anyone wanting to ‘wish’ a liberated soul to be deprived of all the excitement of life and to be wasted forever by being permanently stacked somewhere!
But why deny that pleasure of peace to the living souls, sorry, is it living persons?
The living beings spend their lives in these three conditions; (i) Rushing (ii) Resting or (3) Rusting. All the excitement of being alive and all the struggles associated to being alive ensure that most of us are ‘Rushing’ for most of the time. However, to make the Rushing effective we need to have proper Resting too, in life. I believe that the appropriate balancing of rush and rest is the secret of sustainable success in life.
The third dimension, i.e., Rusting is the worst condition for any living being. These are probably the people who believe that this life is just one in the series of lives that the soul has to go through before the final rest. Therefore, they don’t rush and without rush one can’t appreciate rest. They merely waste their life, with no use whatsoever for either them or others, without any worry about the consequences. They just rust, until their death.
Irrespective of which condition a person is in, he can always do with some peace. Rust, Rush or Rest- do it in peace. Peace is the permanent outlook of nature. It is the living beings that disturb the peace of the nature (ever heard of a dead disturbing the peace, except in Dracula stories and horror movies?). If they manage to find peace in their own lives that will, in turn, take the nature back into its peaceful existence.
What we are doing or going through does not have to affect our peace. Peace is a state of mind. If we can learn to keep peace with ourselves, we will be able to do that with our families, our societies and our nations. No matter what the provocation- nothing will affect us. We have instances that teach us the efficacy of maintaining peace even while we are in the process of resolving worst of worst conflicts. We can master the art of living in spite of all the struggles that we may have to go through in day to day life.
Let the dead worry about their rest.... Let us wish we all enjoy peace, irrespective of what we do. Let us not disturb the peace of this nature. Let us not forget that we are mere tenants here and not the owners. Enjoy as much as we can; but as far as feasible, do not destroy or disturb the order of nature.
May Peace be on all of us in our Rush, Rest and Rust...