5 of 31 Questions for Reflection. Today’s question is inspired by reading Dṛg Dṛsya Viveka: An Inquiry Into the Seer and the Seen along with reading a novel by Elif Shafak entitled Ten Minutes and 38 Seconds in This Strange World. Elif Shafak is a feminist writer who was born in Turkey, published many novels in Turkish and then switched to writing in English. I adore, admire, and bow to her work.
What question arises when I focus on “10 Minutes and 38 Seconds in this Strange World” as an object of Vedanta meditation?
Elif Shafak did research and found scientific studies that said the brain can be active for up to 10 minutes and 38 seconds after the body dies. This gave her structure for her novel about Tequila Leila, a sex worker who lives and dies in Istanbul during a time period spanning 1950s to the 1990s. After Leila is murdered and thrown into a dumpster, her continuing mind activity give readers moments of her life that reveal her dehumanizing story. But the love and courage her friends show in remembering her after her death restores Leila’s dignity and gives hope, inspires longing for us all to live with more elation and compassion.
All of the writing I have read by Elif Shafak makes a Jnana yogi wonder “If the fact of Existence is the same in the lowest outcast and the highest saint, why is equity, equality, fairness, and justice so hard to achieve in our social systems? If we dwell in the continuing reality of perceiving all as Brahman, what must we do now to make that equality manifest and a felt reality in the realm of names and forms? How do we bring spiritual ideals into embodiment? Can Being, Consciousness, Bliss heal broken political systems?”