The Labyrinth of Life

Perfect spheres of glass; sparkling and transparent. That’s what college is.

I remember watching the movie Labyrinth as a child. I was fascinated by the “Goblin King”, David Bowie’s delicate juggling of glittering crystal balls. As he juggles the crystals, the camera zooms in to one of them, and the audience’s attention is focused on the crystal bubble. In the crystal ball, a porcelain doll is trapped in a music box, and she is within her bubble. We are then zoomed in to a world with an alternate reality, where nothing is what it seems to be.

(Watch from 2:05)

Right now I feel like the doll in her crystal ball.

More concrete than a gypsy’s crystal ball, the college crystal ball has more of a connection with my unforeseen future. Yet, trapped in that bubble of an artificial life, I often forget  what is important to me and things that I enjoy doing. I become a mere automaton working on a fixed schedule, with planned breaks and space. Rousseau said in his treatise on the Origin of Inequality that

“The extreme inequality  in the manner of living, the excessive idleness among some people, excessive labour for others, the ease with which we stimulate and satisfy our appetites and our  sensuality, rich people’s overly sophisticated food, poor people’s bad diets, which most of the time they even have to go without, a lack which leads them to over-cram their stomachs greedily when they have an opportunity, staying up all night, every sort of excess, immoderate transports of all the passions, times of fatigue, mental exhaustion, depressions, and the numberless sorrows which people feel in all levels of society and which constantly wear away their souls—there you have the fatal proofs that most of our troubles are our  own work and that we would have avoided almost all of them if we had kept to the simple, uniform, and solitary way of life which nature had prescribed for us”

His description seems to hold true for life in college, which seems to be detached from the real state of nature…
Universities, Colleges, Schools, whatever you call it, have a knack of sucking you in a whir of work, papers, grades and friends. If you’re fully involved in school, say goodbye to your alternate life…Unless you’re Clark Kent or something, and if that is the case, then God bless you :P.

Deeper question: If Dunya is the alternate reality and our reality is the unknown world, then why are we in a perpetual cycle of cog screws and sweat for something that is temporary?


19 Replies to “The Labyrinth of Life”

  1. Ah.. the first slightly pessimistic blog entry. Maha! I’ve never seen this facet of your personality. But I guess America makes you far more realistic. 😀
    I loved the description of that crystal ball but see, if you’re not confined to the crystal ball at this age, you won’t ever get to survive when the crystal shatters. Even Aristotle secluded his students to lonesome places to think, ponder and hope. And an Alexander was born. 🙂

    Lets hope for Maha the Great. 😉

    1. Aww that makes me feel better :D. But Alexander’s greatness is questionable =P, I don’t think conquering the whole world makes you great..That would make the British imperialists great 😛

      1. :O :O MAHA!!!! please!!! 😛 you’re becoming too much like when when you’re “away” from me. 😛 *Ironic. Too paradoxical* I seem to have “far-reaching effects” 😀

        Na Na.!! Being the British requires “treacherous deeds and acts”. 😀 Poor Alexander fell in love, married, settled. Not his fault that the army rebelled. 😛

        And see if conquering the world wasn’t so good, the USA wouldn’t be so interested in it. Would it? 😛

  2. As for the deeper implication.

    Well, Holy Prophet did say, “seek knowledge from cradle to grave”. It is ephemeral but that’s how we’re to live our lives, right?

    I guess if we can somehow amalgamate the spiritual with the materialistic, things wont seem so shallow. Errmm for example, I was thinking if I ever did Phd, I might do it in a subject which would help me formulate the Economic justice plan of the Quran with respect to my country analysis or something… That’s a good enough struggle.. isn’t it? (well but knowing me, I wont be able to do it… maybe you should try it out 🙂

  3. My mother loves this movie and she’ll swear to the ends of the earth that theres life lessons to be learned from it. I never believed her, always thought it was just a silly kid movie, but now I might just watch it.

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