This Intriguing Circle

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“We dance round in a ring and suppose

But the Secret sits in the middle and knows.”

Robert Frost

Dave Eggers’ best seller ‘The Circle’, reached my home because of a Fall assignment. Having finished reading the 491 paged tome, my daughter casually mentioned that I might find it interesting too.

The cover page with its grid like structure, showing an interlocking of  what seemed like fingers, reminiscent of many symbols of power and totalitarianism, with its distinctive C, and the silver circle in the red background, seemed tempting enough.However, it took  a month before I actually ended up reading it. And once I started, I did not put it down.

“Amma, are you going to do a book review ?” She asked, laughing, when I mentioned that I was going to blog about it.

No, I told her. I am going to do something else- think about the idea of individuality in the context of the book.

The Circle is about a futuristic technology company that considers that every human thought ought to be shared with every one else in the world. That they mint money out of it, is a collateral advantage. When they create an atmosphere where individuality and privacy are actively discouraged, a slow monstrous basilisk is unleashed, which can kill with its unblinking stare of technological intrusion into every human moment. And the terror of that future, where  government, democracy and human aspirations are subsumed by a capitalistic, hungry, monolith that takes over the humanity with an evangelism that brainwashes the best of the world into believing in its propaganda- that makes you stand and pause, and may be even look under your bed.

I felt the same keenness  to find out  the ending that I had felt to discover the murderer in Agatha Christie’s thriller- And then there were none.

When a human being cannot exist without being validated constantly, when every thought has to be shared, when every action has to be publicly displayed, when a single vision crushes every thing else around, it is indeed like a Justice gone raving mad. It will end up murdering all who runs off- quoting faults and failings from its scriptures.

Whether it was  George Orwell’s Animal  Farm or 1984, whether it was Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, Mahasweta Devi’s Draupadi, Eduardo Galeano’s Mirrors- you may add on humanity’s treasures of thoughts, individuality, rebellion, alternate narratives, mocking of the system/ the one story/ the only truth/ the grand truth…in different tongues, in different media, in different guises- our  common story has become beautiful-because every strand is differently coloured and not uniform.Any regime based on a single vision, single way, single thought, single religion, single technology…unfurls horror subtly into this divergent world.

Calling a resemblance to the cow following the herd faithfully, raconteurs of yore, including the witty Kunjan Nambiar, had laughed at the unthinking mimicry of the majority and cautioned about the dangers of blind obedience to the Powers That Be.

Here, it happens to be  24*7 technologically exposed life. For every Kardashian who mints millions by satisfying humanity’s voyeuristic urges, there is a horror stricken Mercer of Dave Eggers’ Circle, who makes the reader question, pause and ponder.Ironically, the heroine in The Circle wants something of her life to be left behind, to be remembered, and she finds that craving being satisfied in her way of life and living; under the constant watch of  multiple million pair of eyes.

“All we have is the hope of being seen, or heard, even for a moment.”

In the Circle, Trolls have been driven back into darkness, because anonymity is not technically allowed. With the trolls, madness and hatred apparently have been driven off the cliffs too- to be replaced by another singeing darkness- the obliteration of the human individuality.

The Rule of the Behemoth. The Name Changes. Nothing else actually does.

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5 thoughts on “This Intriguing Circle

  1. Nice concept.

    I was thinking in today’s world there is huge to be politically correct in family with friends and at work.

    This technology ( utopian it is ) removes that requirement. So honest / frank / truth / authenticity can only exist.

    In a world like I think all the effort will be in dealing with truth rather than sweeping it under the carpet and acting as if everything is perfect.

    In a world like that we would make rapid progress.
    Of course each individual now has to standup to his revealed agenda..no more hidden agendas.

    Like

    • Secrets are lies, Sharing is caring, Privacy is theft- these are the slogans of the Circle.
      Really? Sometimes carpets are useful.My right to my own thoughts is my ultimate freedom. You should read the book. Inside the honeyed sloganeering lies an invidious philosophy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Read somewhere related but an interesting perspectice. I am not my thoughts. Who I am is private and only I will know even if someone can read my thoughts.

        On Auras
        I used to be wary of people who claimed they could read auras (the energy body). I worried that they would sense all sorts of things about me – my bright potentials, as well as my blocks and stuck emotions. It almost felt like an invasion of privacy! I felt rather exposed in their company.
        All this concern dropped when I clearly glimpsed that I am not this gross physical body, nor the subtle energy body, nor the causal body of the universe itself. In this clarity there was instant relief and also intense humor. Now the chakras (energy centres / vortexes) were welcome to spin at any rate they wanted, the kundalini (latent spiritual energy) was welcome to rise or sleep, the aura was welcome to be brighter than the sun or duller than charcoal. It was all good. It was all part of the play. It was all okay.
        It dawned on me that only those who have realized they are not their body or subtle body were in a position to properly utilize the knowledge and ability of seeing auras, sensing energies and chakras etc. Else they would again superimpose their notions of good and bad on what they perceived and further wrap themselves and others in patterns of separation, identification and becoming.
        Just like smart folks don’t judge people based on how they look, wise folks don’t judge people based on their auras. Why? Because it is not our true and permanent identity. A person’s aura can completely change in five minutes of meditation or gratitude or selfless actions.
        So love yourself as you are. Love your aura as it is. Wear your relaxed clothes and authentic aura wherever you go ✨💫✨🌈.
        How wonderful!

        Like

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