Men should be armed with all the arts of living. Life is not a dream. It is a fact. A real enterprise.

Dr. Jernail Singh Anand

William Shakespeare, in one of his plays, compares life to a stage, and human beings to actors, and the world thereafter has never been tired of using this metaphor over the centuries.  But, if we look into this idea with a keener eye, we shall find that we are overlooking an essential difference between acting and facting: and it is the possibility of rehearsing your role. Moreover, the stage actors are in possession of the knowledge of what is going to happen to them. So, even if someone is to be killed on the stage, he has only to summon the necessary horror and pain, which is meant for the viewing public. He knows he will rise up once the curtain is drawn. When we leave the stage, and think of films, apart from rehearsal, there is the chance of takes and retakes also, and a director sits over your head, ready to shout ‘cut’ when he finds things going berserk.

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Image courtesy: ArtPal

Moreover, whether it is stage or cinema, the action, unlike life, is not linear. Life does not like a man going back and forth, or cutting it like advertisements which force themselves in uninvited. The comparison of human life to a stage does not go far. Yes men enact several roles in their lives. But beyond this, there are so many dissimilarities, that one can go to the extent of rejecting this theory.


Art is the short form of ‘artificial’. I wonder how many will agree with me, that art is the opposite of real. An artist uses his art, and makes the reality palatable, and makes one gulp down truths which, otherwise, one might have just smelt away. Art impersonates life, and enters those domains in the mental reaches of man, where man is all alone, and has no power over himself to articulate his inner being. The artist, with the help of his understanding and intellect, digs deep into the silent layers of being, and comes up with truth which may surprise us.  Art runs parallel to life, imitates it, but as the artist knows it in and out, he is capable of making it more understandable to mankind.

The artificial build-up of life situations in drama or films has a great fan following, because, they can create anything, which is otherwise impossible in real life. The writer of the story has a particular aim, and there is not a single action which goes against the thrust of the story. The editor cuts it down. It looks quite tragic to mention that art is essentially meant for entertainment of the masses, whereas life cannot be dismissed as a tale told by a joker in a circus. Life is a serious business, in which no one can risk the idea of entertainment. Rather, it is a terrain in which men enter to suffer and this suffering is lifelong.

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Tree of Life – Courtesy: Art Lab


If life is compared to a stage, and man to an actor, he should know what his real identity is. Because, all actors, whether in drama, or in films, rehearse for a particular role, and after this role is over, they get back to their original lives. Men, after playing their roles, go back to the lap of death. But, the essential difference here is that the drama actor knows his original existence, while a man has no knowledge where he will go and what he is, from where he has been called for the stage acting.

Acting, as I said earlier, is a part of the ‘artificial superstructure’ that exists, parallel to the factual, and, it is becoming more and more professionalized because it is an industry which gives employment to millions. They keep interacting with life. In fact, art becomes a means to keep the wolf away. Acting is a career, art an obsession, and life, a threatening possibility, which confuses human intellect.


Men should be armed with all the arts of living. Life is not a dream. It is a fact. A real enterprise. But, what we see is that we are not good at living. There are very few who emerge as real super stars in life. Men who can transcend the limits of human existence. But, most of such superstars of life land in the torture cells of the polity. What works in the modern world is a fine blend of the fact and façade. Reality is too harsh and too brittle. It does not accept people who are made up of the best quality living material. That is why, people rush to the art world with dreams of stardom.  It is easy to shine in a world of glamour, where you are expected only to act. It is not a surprise that we can find perfection in the world of art, which is absolutely missing from the real world of fact. In the world, we come across people living like half- truths. Men, who have suspended the pursuit of goodness and perfection. It is a diluted world, in which the essence has been lost, and what we come across are mere shadows. We sound like men, and give the impression of being alive, whereas the fact is that the essence of manliness has been lost, and the life that we are living, too is a travesty. We are just existing at the lowest levels of existence, a bare survival, just from hand to mouth. We have laid aside the capital which we had brought with us, perhaps we don’t even know where it is lying idle and rusting. With second rate education, and an insightful advanced training in immoral behavior, we are best at acting only.

tree-of-life-i-cherie-roe-dirksen Tree of LifeLife is too hard a prize for mankind, and they find it profitable to turn to the art world, where they find release, and catharsis, in addition to the possibilities of perfection and stardom, which are sorely absent from life.

Even when we go to shrines, very few are there in totality. Most of us are just play acting. Our leaders who should be serious in leading the public towards a better world, are acrobats of the worst pedigree. Men and women who are in love, are in love only so long as one can fulfil their dreams. Kids do not value parents who cannot fund their cravings, and parents, who do not have their insurance, are a burden for the young family members. But, go to the world of art. You find best specimens of dedicated wives, obedient sons and daughters, and doting parents. Even gods too are kind. They listen to your prayers and often intervene, whereas in real life, I wonder if gods have ever interfered to save any person in utter distress. Yes, we simply know one great term of literature: Nemesis. But, it is a process which is too tardy. Gods wait too long till they decide to act, and by that time, people have lost their hope, and sometimes, faith too.

Finally, to conclude, let me say, life is too hard a prize for mankind, and they find it profitable to turn to the art world, where they find release, and catharsis, in addition to the possibilities of perfection and stardom, which are sorely absent from life. Here, if you wish to turn a star, you run the risk of the torture chambers.



Jernail Singh Anand- Sindh Courier-1Dr. Jernail Singh Anand, President of the International Academy of Ethics, is author of 161 books in English poetry, fiction, non-fiction, philosophy and spirituality. He was awarded Charter of Morava, the great Award by Serbian Writers Association, Belgrade and his name was engraved on the Poets’ Rock in Serbia. The Academy of Arts and philosophical Sciences of Bari [Italy] honored him with the award of an Honorable Academic.  Recently, he was awarded Doctor of Philosophy [Honoris Causa] by the University of Engg and Management, Jaipur. Recently, he organized an International Conference on Contemporary Ethics at Chandigarh. His most phenomenal book is Lustus: The Prince of Darkness [first epic of the Mahkaal Trilogy]. Email: anandjs55@yahoo.com

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