Meanderings by Arief Arman

Letters that form words that create sentences that breed paragraphs that turn to chapters. Such is the beauty of language as a form of expression, insofar as it enables us to comprehend the world around us. I am keen to come to terms. Is there a pure form of knowing or are such ambitions mere attempts to attain a modicum of truth? Whatever it may be, the peoples of the past, the present, and certainly, the future, have, are, and will grapple with the mystery of the Universe, of existence, and of the self. Following are words that are mine, in telling the story as I see it.


I am dying, and no one else realizes it. Then again, why would my life or death, matter to anyone else? I am nothing but a collection of atoms and molecules and atoms and molecules, ad infinitum.

I am nothing but the synapses in my brain. I am a player in this game we know as life. Then again, what constitutes knowing? Every individual has potential with the difference being the actualization of aforesaid potential to action. Then again, then again, then again.

What is next if not constant utterances to profess sentiments? I am tired of my own, of voice, the internal dialogue between mind and body.

The Human Being is an interesting creature for the Human Being knows what ‘interesting’ entails. The appreciation of art, of music, and of the abstract, allows for a sense of gratitude. Many would place this appreciation to a certain deity, a God, to the Big Bang, or to rationality, in itself. Such is the word ‘Universe’. Uni-verse. One rhythm, One, song, One. The emancipation of the soul stems from knowing that there is no knowing. Man is master of his own opinion, and this is the extent of knowledge. Regardless of scientific facts, of the empirical, and of everything in between; the reality is as such that, justification is required, a priori, a posteriori, to substantiate the aforementioned opinion. An attempt for a better future can be expressed through the cognizance of Man, in realizing that the road travelled is never straight, never smooth, and never proper.

The coffee maker is known as a barista. The one that treats patients in a hospital is a doctor. Roles to play, shoes to fill. The fact remains that every individual plays an important part in society, whether that role is deemed significant or otherwise. Society is like a machine with its engine constantly humming to the beat of everyday life, the mundane. The breadwinner arrives home after a tiring day at work to the warmth and comfort of his or her family. How many can say that they have a family, a home? Blessings, count them.
Question after endless question, approaching a more intense inquiry. It is raining now, the sky crying in sympathy for those who are not able to eat today, tomorrow, and the day after.

Pray to reach God to pray to reach God to pray to reach God. As if God is deaf, dumb, and blind. Such is the concern of the ‘pious’, such is the administering of Truth.

From hopes to worries to elation, the spectrum of emotion is wide. We think differently, feel dissimilarly, and experience the non-shared. The stomach grumbles when hunger strikes, the lips crack when there is no water in sight. Signs that we are dependent on the natural world for sustenance. To say that we do not need such necessities is to cheat ourselves, moulding our entire machine to arrogance and deceit.

Pray to reach God to pray to reach God to pray to reach God. As if God does not know the content of the heart He created.

With it comes the disappointment of yesterday, when all the potential is reduced to bygones. As if by a random thought, a flicker of hope ignites in his mind. That is with the travails, comes peace, that is with desperation, comes solace. He created his own God, a conception of an infinite Being, not reduced to ‘holy’ books, to rules and regulations, to a ‘straight’ path. He enjoys the crookedness of it all, in which the stars align to form faces of those who have departed. Again, it is a Uni-verse. When time stands still, to listen to the flutter of a butterfly’s wings, to the river that flows, to the rain that pours. Existing in the present, he found that Truth is not in the distant future!

To think of it in absence, I must first learn to recognize its presence.

Arief Arman is an undergraduate student in philosophy and political science at UQ.

Photo by Bhavyesh Acharya


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