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Nihilism Against Transcendence: A Metaphysico-mystical Appraisal of Samuel Beckett

Mohammad` Maroof shah marooof123@yahoo.com 9419546538 Kunan, Bandipore, Kashmir,193502 The present paper critically explores Samuel Becketts nihilistic absurdist metaphysical viewpoint that depicts modern mans sorry state in a world without transcendence. He has echoed certain important Nietzschean-Heideggerrian-Sartrean arguments against both the traditional humanistic and God-centred worldviews. He has depicted a world of characters that show incredulity towards traditional theology and philosophy. He has vividly depicted modern disillusionment with humanistic personalist scientific rationalist progressivist worldview. In this paper it is proposed to situate Beckett in traditional metaphysical (as understood by the traditionalist perennialist metaphysicians) and mystical thought currents. A remarkable convergence at certain levels is discernible between Beckett and the Eastern thought but as will be shown, his antiepistemolgy and skepticism is philosophically quite vulnerable to a number of criticisms. His absurdist pessimist conclusions are based on constricted empiricism. His case against man and God, reason and metaphysics is not logically and empirically very well argued.

Nihilism Against Transcendence: A Metaphysico-mystical Appraisal of Samuel Beckett

The post-Nietzschean literature of the West is fundamentally a rebellion or a lamentation. It is more or less pessimistic. In a world without transcendence modern literature indulges in a bleak parody of the good news and the Kingdom of God or the Idea of Good that had traditionally been advocated by religion. Atheistic existentialism is largely a working out of the key modern event of what Nietzsche called as the death of God. The theater of the Absurd was born in the same environment. Samuel Beckett, amongst the most influential French writers, is a spokesperson for this nihilistic absurdist metaphysical viewpoint that depicts modern mans sorry state in a world without transcendence. He has made, or rather echoed, certain important Nietzschean-Heideggerrian-Sartrean arguments against both the traditional humanistic and Godcentred worldviews. He has depicted a world of characters that show incredulity towards traditional theology and philosophy. He has postmodern distrust of traditional logocentric philosophy. He has vividly depicted modern disillusionment with humanistic personalist scientific rationalist progressivist worldview. He has not provided an alternative philosophy but forcefully problematized the case for traditional picture of it and exposed futility and impotence of all substitutes of God that modernity has been worshipping. He has not argued for resurrecting the traditional God but has demonstrated why modern gods are also dead or are fictions. He has primarily made a case against Western philosophical and theological tradition and has not deeply engaged with the Eastern metaphysical and mystical thought. In this paper it is proposed to situate Beckett in traditional metaphysical (as understood by the traditionalist perennialist metaphysicians) and mystical thought currents. A remarkable convergence at certain levels is discernible between Beckett and the Eastern thought but as will be shown, his antiepistemolgy and skepticism is philosophically quite vulnerable to a number of criticisms. His absurdist pessimist conclusions are based on constricted empiricism. His case against man and God, reason and metaphysics is not logically and empirically very well argued.

Becketts is certainly complex and weird philosophy, if at all one could label it as philosophy. From numerous threads of logic tightly and sometimes loosely woven, from fragmented arguments from Proust and Descartes, from Guenlincx, Melbranche and Schopenhauer, from Dostoevsky, Wittgenstein and Sartre, a complex metaphysical vision is woven by Beckett. all leading headlong towards an inescapable impossibility; all adds up or gives way to Void, Nothingness which is only described negatively. His conclusions show marked affinity to those reached by the East although sometimes they seem to be parody of them and one thing is indisputable -- he despairs of Man and his is a bleak and irredeemably pessimistic vision on the whole which is antithesis of traditional religious mystical and metaphysical vision of the East. Becketts whole endeavor can be summed up in one sentence, We are fallen beings without any possibility of salvation. It is nihilism pure and simple although it may be our inability to be nihilists despite the vanity and meaninglessness of life that he is emphasizing. His whole art is geared towards bringing home the point made by the skeptical author of Eccliastiacs vanity of vanitiesall is vanity and Upanishadic dictum there is no bliss in things finite (and infinite or God doesnt exist for him). Our life is an absurd punishment. Time is a cutting sword, as Shafis famous saying runs forms the refrain of his thought. Time disintegrates everything and nothing, not even art (which for him is an inescapable imposition with no power to save) can defeat it. We are conscious suffering beings. There is no exit. Our journey is from nothingness to nothingness. There is no immortality, no providence, no saving grace, and no cure for pain. History is junk. Life is a poor joke. To be is to suffer and suffer for no cause at all, no sin of ours, for no worthy end. It has no redeeming grace. Death is our destiny. Death consummates everything. Life is a lengthy exile from the self. Only bad eternity is achievable. Of the eternity of which mystics speak Beckett is ignorant or chooses to disbelieve in it. Abul Ala Maaris dictum that to be born is the (wujuduka zambuq) sin is illustrated in the works of Beckett. Both life and art are mysterious punishments for

3 some unknown crime --(that of being born perhaps), each is the vain and unremitting search for an impossible language of the self which would allow one at last to lapse into the silence of eternal self-possession. Our only hope is the hope of the impossible and we are condemned to hope it, or hoping against hope. Having abandoned metaphysics and theology, he has noting to express, no power to express, no desire to express. He is condemned to ignorance and impotence. He knows nothing and the most important thing that he thinks he knows is that nothing is more important than nothing. His ideal is:
Feeling nothing, knowing nothing capable of nothing, want nothing. feel nothing; hear nothing, know nothing, say nothing, are nothing, that would be a blessed place to be, where you are innocent of what, no one knows, of wanting to know, wanting to be able

What does Beckett know about the ultimate questions? As he rejects intellective intuition of the mystic and revelation of the prophets and is committed to rationalism despite his avowed disbelief in it and ultimately seeing its failure to make anything comprehensible he nevertheless trusts its verdict even if he deploys it to destroy its own foundations. Like their creator, Beckettts people, one and all are uncompromising rationalists as Richard Coe has remarked in his insightful reading of Beckett in his paper God and Samuel Beckett. 1 to which this paper owes much. The questions which his people ask, however reasonably, are precisely those which reason, left to its own devices cant ask. Their reason (and they have no other resource at their disposal) cant tell them with certainty a single thing they want to know (what really matters, which is not a piece of information or which science could know); not so much as whether (perhaps) they are already dead, or (maybe) still alive. Of the origin and end of things, of their whither and whence, of purpose and meaning in their lives, of the reasons for which they have been punished, or of the sin they have committed and most importantly of their (or possibility) of salvation they dont know much. They are all strangers and sojourners in the current dimensions of existence; like the narrator of Prousts A la Recherche du Temps Perdu-- in whom most of them have their remoter origins they know themselves exiled from their true domain of being, alienated from their proper selves, imprisoned against their will in space and more particularly in time. They dont know how to escape from these arbitrary absolutes, from the maya jal. Or net of samsara, the hell they are in by virtue of being born. As their attempts of escape are futile they allow themselves to be
mutilated, becoming armless, legless, featureless, in an effort to approximate their quintessential selves they stagger to stand still, now bedridden, now propped up against walls, now stuck in vases like sheaves of flowers, in order to escape from the tyranny of movement and its despotic corollaries, or else they try to die, and dying, strive to detach their selves from the unhappy accident of incarnation, hoping thereby to redeem at last the catastrophe of spatial and temporal identity- only to discover that heir personality, against all odds, survives.2

They neither know how to live nor how to die or how to smile at the face of death and how to die to take rebirth in the kingdom of eternal life and to be in a state beyond both life and death. They dont know theology even if they are always involved in some sort of theologizing (knowing only its exoteric version that holds fast to dualism of creator and created positing a personal interested God as the Absolute) and metaphysics and that is why they ask what unspeakable Being has conjured up a creature who cant know himself, imprisoned for no conceivable reason in a duration which is hard to endure. He rejects materialistic as well as the traditional Christian theistic thesis. Becketts people know from the evidence of their experience and their irrefutable logic that temporal and spatial reality is an illusion, and that their real selves exist in another, non-material

4 dimension. From their standpoint man is an absurdity and God too, in the logical sense is an impossibility, and it is just as impossible that He should not exist as that He should. And in either case, the fault is His. As Fanninza puts Becketts contradictory position:
Hamm puts the case more strikingly,. Let us pray to God, he orders. There is silence, at the end of which he concludes, The bastard! He doesnt exist!- an affirmation which is immediately qualified by Clovs Not yet . But even Hamm, who comes closer to despair than any other Beckettian character, is anything rather than an atheist in the accepted meaning of the word. Hamms black fury is directed at God; Gods non-existence is the last and dirtiest trick which the sadistic Creator has played on his victimised and miserable creation. 3

The evidence of evil is there to prove that the thesis of creator personal God does not stand. A God who could create a world of suffering, absurdity and death, and yet still give man an inherent notion of beauty, happiness and significance (The Unnameable) can only be a being so cruel and so utterly cynical as to pass all human understanding. For Beckettts people, God may well be a monstrous and inconceivable evil. He cant be lightly dismissed Life for Beckett is a continuous flowing in which he appears and disappears in a punctualized, continuing, flowing, fragmentary, and hopeless fight against this flow.
Or , as he seems to say , in a chaotic and caustic symbolism, human existence is an enforced habitation in a jar(Fanizza, 1960). Nature uses or abuses him for obscure ends. The being of this prisoner is lacerated by confusion, humiliation, and pain . He no longer hopes to change his condition. In this strange analysis by Beckett there is a sense of uneasiness, of nausea, of depression and decay that mingles flesh and spirit, and from it all emanates a stink of monstrous, horripant, disgusting and rotten carnality. 4

He aspires to be let loose, alone, in the unthinkable unspeakable, where I have not ceased to be, where they will not let him be( The Unnameable). This is a discovery of a state of annihilation and isolation and of complete alienation recognizing itself as such. As Fanniza quotes Boisdeffre
How many ages of accusation against the world reach an end: mans humiliation, which from Rousseau to Kafka, paralyzes so many writers, culminates here in a world of abjection and ignonimity. Beings judge themselves in the tranquility of decomposition, reviewing their life as if they were already dammed, and mingling forever with their solitude, their humiliation, and their unhappiness before disappearing in an ocean of ordure.5

For Unnameable The essential is never to arrive anywhere , never to be any where the essential is to go on squirming forever at the end of line, as long as there are waters and banks and ravening in heaven a sporting God to plague his creature, per pro his chosen shits (The Unnameable). He finds no nirvana in samsara and in the void of his own self he finds not the Bliss of which mystics speak but something which he doesnt and cant describe and it looks that if it is a peaceful state it is not the peace of Beatific vision or the nirvanic peace but peace of annihilation, peace of death, peace of grave. He cant see the world as the Selfs manifestation or exteriorization. He rightly recognizes that in order to find oneself, one has to situate oneself outside the game, outside the world or samsara. It is not easy to say however where this leads according to him, whether to the new world or to the destruction of the old and nothing more. One feels as if Beckett does only the first part of the job of the mystic which includes turning away from the illusory world of ego and desire. He sees maya as maya and abandons all hope of finding salvation in the world of time and

5 space. He recognizes the necessity of non attachment, of fana, so to say. But he does not reach the other shore of nirvana or heaven and the Bliss Unspeakable that is only in the Infinite. Beckett is haunted by the problem of death and in the majority of his writings he is concerned to find from a non-religious perspective a meaning for that which obliterates all meaning, including its own, and an explanation for that inexplicable. The central theme of the futile and purposeless death of the individual in his earlier works is subsumed in an apocalyptic terrifying vision, not of one man, but of Man, the senseless extinction, not of the individual life, but of all life, leaving a frozen or a burning planet to wander for all eternity in the absurd infinity of space. This echoes Russells oft quoted version of modern sciences view of the probable end of the universe. This, of course, is the main theme of Luckys vision in Waiting of Godot of the earth in the great cold the great dark the air and the earth abode of stones in the great cold alas alas. This vision of senseless final extinction and annihilation reaches its climax in Endgame where Hamm and Clov represent the last of living things in a burnt-out landscape of stones and dust. One thing is painfully brought to the light in Becketts works. Goal is hardly ever reached by his people, though they continue to hover around the threshold. Though reason may in fact know that the goal exists, that there is the light at the other shore but what constitutes human predicament is that the other shore is not reached. Molly, like Hamm, hopes to die but cant (the death is the means of dealienation). Malone, by a complex process of multiplying his various verbal personalities, contrives to detach his I from the pseudo-self he knows as Macmannn, and then watches Macmann diebut this extraordinary feet still leaves the problem basically unresolved, for the death of Macmann is as powerless as the death of Malone to obliterate the apparently immortal Pour-Soi or negative principle. On the other hand the ultimate self needs an ending in order to know itself and escape from the dimension of time, space and language in order to know itself. But time isnt dissolved in Moment or Eternity in Beckett. Man lives in time and dies in time. If time were noty all would be fine but we are condemned to live in time. But there is o salvation in time. But alas! There is no possibility for his heroes to find salvation outside time. The pole of eternity is before them but the question is could it be appropriated. Malone vainly struggles in search of that ending of time. Like Valadimir and Estragon, like Hamm and Winnie, the dimension of eternity into which he attempts to plunge proves a mirage. As they are moving instants slow down towards timelessness, their progressive deceleration means that they take longer and longer to reach the goaland the nearer they reach to that goal, the slower they approach it, so that in a universe controlled by rational logic, it is strictly impossible that they should ever achieve it.5It becomes as impossible as it is for material particle to attain velocity of light. The closer it approaches it greater its weight and thus more and more difficult to accelerate. Coe demonstrates this point in his essay and here is the relevant quote.
Two symbols dominate both the Trilogy and the plays: Zenos parable of the little heap of millet, progressively augmented by half the quantity remaining to be added from the total ( this becomes the little heap of days in Endgame and Winnies mound in Happy Days); and secondly, the recurring decimal or irrational number( Morans sons dentist bears the characteristic name of Mr Pi), which proceeds by ever-decreasing degrees towards a logically definable objective, which objective, how ever can only reach them when zero becomes a positive number. A positive zero can be a solution to the Becketttian riddle. We know that, of necessity, it must exist; we know equally well that we can never reach it(you must go on, I cant go on,you must go on, I will go on, says The Unnameable, you must go on, I cant go on, Ill go on(414); and meanwhile, we can but wait, caught up in the anguish of impossibilitieswait for the end of the decimel, or the completion of the heap, for the materialization of the dynamic Void, or whatever we like to call it. For of course, whatever we call it, it remains by definition that which cant be defined, except in terms irrelevant to itself. So why not call it provisionally Mr Knot or Godot?6

He cant say anything but he cant be silent either. Silence has however no beauty for him. No God is revealed in silence. No revelation is communicated. It is nullity and negativity, pure and simple. Language fails him. Past or tradition is valueless. He parodies academics and ologies. He condemns all abstract generalizations. He doubts everything all knowledge claims, scriptures, wisdom traditions. He doesnt know himself either, neither his God. Nothing has any meaning, any purpose. Life is absurd. He is committed to an ideology that rejects all ideology. Only thing that he cant doubt is his consciousness of suffering. He can say no to everything except to lifes summon. He cant be and that is his problem. He cant revolt either but he cant submit in humble submission also. He rejects all supernatural consolations. He has no faith in reason or science either. He has no illusions, even not the illusion of being able to lighten ones anguish by sharing it with others. He depicts man as a lone figure, without hope of comfort, facing the great emptiness of space and time without the possibility of miraculous rescue or salvation, in dignity, resolves to fulfill its obligation to express, weighing absence in a scale, attempting to enclose nothingness is words. He is a builder of ruins who undermines his edifice at the very same time as he raises it. He makes the trajectory of disaster. Every novel is in a way the story of disintegrationeither of the hero, or of time, or of life. He has ventured very far in search of an absolute that is a minus quantity. Everything is ambiguous in the world of Beckett. Nothing is clear cut. Nothing can be known absolutely. He doesnt know there is anything to know. He isnt even interested to know. Gnosis of which mystics speak is something quite unknown to him or a fairy tale. He is obsessed with guilt, the ever present feeling of guilt, of life as a condition of guilt; and the very protestant idea of destination which joins with guilt, judgment, and damnation itself to make them even more intolerable. For him, as we see in Molly, metaphysical cruelty is only a fable invented by man in his state of abandonment, a projection of himself, a reflection of all the things that seem on the human plane to reflect it, all the manifestations of the father figure in human affairs towards the figure of the son in all its various forms. He asks us to admit our absolute solitude and total and absurd responsibility. All this business of a labour to accomplish I invented it all, in the hope it would console me, help me to go on, allow myself to think of myself as somewhere on a road, moving between a beginning and an end So man is alone, and bereft not only of God, but also of the world. Implacable grandeur of life moved Camus but not Beckettt. Becketts work is a ruthless critique of experience. Ours is a windowless monad. The unreality of reality is constantly present; there is nothing, one exists in nothing, The fact is I was never anywhere says the hero of The End, like Ham in Endgame. And what do I mean by see and see again. Logic is utterly impotent in capturing reality. Language also is such a poor filter. The Aristotelian laws of identity non-contradiction doesnt apply in the Beckettian world. Time, the dimension of the absurd is an unceasing hemorrhage of existence. All that remains, all there ever is, is a vague present lost in a double mist of non being: a present in which everything (or rather nothing) takes place, noted in a language as close to it as possible: inchoate, groping, with all the inflections, hesitations, and repetitions of speech.7 That silence which is so full of music, so blissful, so holy and the language of the divine for religion and mysticism is unknown to Beckett. For him silence is only dumbness. There is no echo of the timeless, of the eternal in this moment of silence. This silence is silence of death. It is that kind of silence of which Horatio speaks at the end of Hamlet. Life is an absurd show, full of sound and fury, fret and fever signifying nothing and death is absence of all this and not their transcendence in some nirvana although at some moments he comes close to positive mystical conception of silence. Beckett has experienced the hell the modern man is in and puts all its torments back where they belong, inside mans head. Becketts devils are the imaginary They whom everyone can find in himself. One is sometimes reminded of Dostoveskys and Kafkas terrible and terrifying imagination. He leads us straight into the lowest ditch of hell. His heroes cant face the self. They are all schizophrenic, in a way. No one has discovered the essence of self and thus his identity which alone allows one to achieve silence. Modern man is de-individuated. He is in search of a soul, a self, an integrated self, an authentic existence. But in the Beckettian world An ego changes into a terrible nest of vipers, with an obscure They and an I who is perpetually discovering himself to be someone else, who can never coincide with himself, never be recognized, or completely identified, or wholly absorbed. Becketts Texts for Nothing presents the inner drama in its most inchoate form. In them the inner monologue seems to be the work of hypostatized states of consciousness transformed into strange knots of fragmentary personalities who wrangle with and

mutually disown one another in issueless frustration. The self, in so far as it exists, is the paralyzed spectator of the inept pantomimes that take place in the microcosm without freedom and without hope. As one of his characters says: Where would I go, if I could go, what would I be if I could be, what would I say, if I had a voice, who speaks thus, saying he is! . It is the same stranger as always, for whom alone I exist, deep down in my inexistence, in his, in ours In The Unnameable the defeated ascetic soul longs for immobility, silence, complete re-absorption, and anything that assumes a positive aspect, or moves, is a temptation. Beckett cant accept the Existence, or being as it is. Something very disturbing is at the heart of world. We are thrown into the world and it would have been the greatest good if were not born at all, if the calm of death, of inexistence werent disturbed, if we never had become conscious personalities having an ego separate from the universe as a whole. Hardy quotes Sophocles to the effect that life offers no good than the knowledge that it is the only good not to be born at all. Beckettt along with Schopenhauer would perfectly agree. Suffering (e.g., the suffering of animals) isnt such a stupendous problem but the fact that we are conscious, self-conscious sufferers is the problem. We know we suffer and that is killing. Beckett is effectively saying the same thing. Becketts man knows nothing of the Origin or the End, and of the brief moment that is this life in the world of space and time in souls great odyssey he knows only one thing and that is suffering. He is utterly in a state of disequilibrium, at peace neither with the stars, nor with the trees, nor with himself nor with God. He desperately seeks equilibrium but identifies it with the peace of grave. He unsuccessfully seeks a state which Nietzsche called innocence of becoming. He could never accept his being in the world and neither the becoming. He resented becoming. What he dreaded most is consciousness because he couldnt see it as identical with Bliss. He knew only dukkha and had no faith in the possibility of nirvana. Beckett expresses the penitential nature of the disintegration, that is life in terms of its weary and absurd interminability: . a pebble, a sand to be, under a restless sky, restless on its shore, tiny stirs day and night, as if to grow less could help, less and less and never be gone. His vision is essentially ironical as it must be because he denounces life. This refusal of life leads to refusal to act and that doesnt mean Beckett is advocating mystical via contemplativa. He is skeptical of idea as well as deed, or of faith as well as action. He doesnt believe in prayer or meditation either. What Moran feels at one time is almost universally true about Beckett heroes: Then I was nothing but uproar, bulk, rage, suffocation, effort unceasing, frenzied and vain. Just the opposite of myself, in fact. In fact one could well argue that none of his heroes is really himself. They are all strangers to themselves and strangers to this world. They are exiles. They are all in vain seeking their essence, their true self. And we easily see that their conceptions of their essence, then true self or identity is not what mystics and the East understands by it. It isnt the pure consciousness of a man that is none other than Brahman. In Beckett we find not the silence, but the absence of silence, an incessant murmuring inside each of us, which says nothing and yet incessantly seems to be saying something, in which emptiness speaks itself but without ever adding anything to itself by its babbling and whispering. An inkling of this shapeless terror is found in his prose pieces. Although subject is dissolved in such works as The Unnameable but it gains no Godhood in the process. It dies without being reborn in the kingdom of God. Subject is no more than the empty area of transit of anonymous language and disappears inside it. Beckett sees only darkness and sees no light anywhere. Reason lights nothing. Neither does intuition or revelation. Nothing can dispel the darkness inside our heads and hearts. The mystery of existence Beckett like Camus perceives as absurd, as darkness. Language gives no access to thing in itself or reality, to transcendental signified. No theology or theodicy could reconcile us to the fact of our suffering. Facts are facts, brute facts. They signify nothing. Beckett stubbornly persists in presenting the freewheeling of thought because it wants to put a stop to it. It has the ambition of putting a stop to the whole history of human thought hitherto, which it sees as one long train of terror, by leaving no residue of all of the metaphysical questions which constituted that history. He imagines a Utopia of silent questionless existence. But the problem is only he who has attained to his own identity, can be silent. Thinking can come to stop only when it reaches reality. But no Beckettian hero or character is able to attain his essence, or identity and access to reality is denied to thought. But the tragedy is

that demand for truth is the very raison deter of man. Man is willy nilly a metaphysical animal. He is made for the Absolute and to know the Absolute as Schuon would assert. He lives by it. But for Beckett the demand for truth becomes the more urgent the more clearly it appears incapable of fulfillment. It grows with the effort that wants to disprove it. Thus Beckett, with illusion of an arrival, at the same time destroys that other illusion that the vain quest can end. He lacked that faith, that vision and that light of which mystis speak. And it is the vision of God or what Buddhism calls nirvana and Hinduism knowledge of Brahman that satiates the unnameable metaphysical hunger; all else prove mere idols made by man himself. And Beckett cant believe that this bliss is there, this cessation of suffering is there, apocatastasis is there, this Light of the World is there, this peace which passeth all understanding is there, and that it is attainable here and now, at this very moment. The condition for it which is doing away with the separative principle of ego, and all attachments, all clinging, all dreams, all hope, all comfortswhat Sufis call fana and Buddhism nonattachment and no clinging is also recognized by Beckett but he doesnt believe that what awaits such a salik or faqeer, is Bliss Eternal, the Kingdom of God, but the peace of grave, of utter nullity , nescience and death though he does concede possibility of some sort of nirvana but none of his people could be said to have attained that nirvana or deliverance or beatific vision in the sense in which mystics have attained.
Truth is ever deferred, and thus unreachable. Dieter Wellerchoff thus sums up Becketts failure in his attempt to demythologize In all the strivings of his imagined creatures have the triple ridiculousness of a fool who is looking, with inadequate strength on a wrong road, for a goal that perhaps does not exist at all. But the laughter ceases in the presence of the intensity of the effort. We are watching the compulsive action beyond the reach of irony, a furious mono-mania from which no laughter can liberate us. This is happening in earnest. Beckett himself, who wants to unmark madness, is deeply enmeshed in it.8

Not recognizing or knowing the intellect (which is to be distinguished from reason) and intellective intuition and knowing nothing of metaphysics, of universal principles, typical Beckettian characters such as Vladimir and Estragon are incapable of anything more than mere beginnings of impulses, desires, thoughts, moods, memories and impression. They are in a twilight state, half conscious and they dont qualify to be human as they arent rational metaphysical beings. They are living on the most primitive levelnay animal level. They have nothing worthwhile to do, to know, to celebrate but indulge in sado-masochistic and absurd games to pass the time. They live the most inauthentic life (authentic life can come only by being oneself. And not alienated and estranged and exiled. Modern man is a stranger or an outsider and indulges in vain rebellion but all this intensifies his fallen and exiled status and makes him incapable of reckoning with the plague of life, not to speak of enduring and contemplating death.) Because everything that makes life meaningful and purposeful is vetoed on a priori terms. The Beckettian world is peopled by not a single Man but by tramps, vagrants, hoboes, and other vagabonds. He disbelieves in all heroism and perfectionism and progressivism. As in his Waiting for Godot, nothing happens, nothing is done, no development is discernible and there in no arrival or end. Time is circular rather than linear. It isnt creativebut sterile. Everything is sterile as there is no life, no carrying forward, no evolution of any sort. But suicide too isnt an option. Heaven is unattainable. So Beckett condemns us to hell on whose door is written, Abandon ye all hope who enter in. There is nostalgia for lost God, lost values and this too is killing. Beauty, grace, truth of the first water, I knew they were all beyond me. And they are beyond modern man as Beckett sees him. Like Pozzo modern man is small bundle of subjective feeling and responses but sometimes indulges in self-pity although represses its fear with narcissistic pomposity: Do I look like a man who can be made to suffer? The universe far from being joyous Leila or play of God, creative exuberance and radiation of goodness of a Being who is all-good as Augustine would characterize the creation, is, a nightmare for Beckett. There is no answer to Pozzos cries for help and Vladimir makes them of universal significance. Man isnt a theomorphic being, a being made in the image of God, or would be God, a potential God, or perfect man of Sufism who appropriates all the divine attributes and houses Gods sirr but bloody ignorant ape for Beckett and he deplores the fact that he isnt prepared for evolution, for psychological and spiritual maturation. Between two nothingnesses, between two nights of the womb and the tomb flickers for an instant the light of life. The panorama of immense futility that life is presented through Pozzos vision of time, which is usually a symbol of life, of growth, of fertility and perfection. Time for Plato is it is the moving image of

Eternity but is cursed in Becketts works. Estragon furiously replies to Vladimirs questionwhy lucky became dumb. Have you not been tormenting me with your accursed time? It is abominable. one day, isnt that enough for you? One day like any other he went dumb, one day I went blind, one day we will go deaf, one day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day., the same second, isnt that good enough for you. But it is one day when one gets enlightened, delivered from dukkhafrom death itself. Here now one could be reborn in the kingdom of God, in heaven. However, that day and that instant never comes for Beckett. God as Godot, on sum, appears more in the role of Shiva (Destroyer) than in the role of Vishnu (Preserver). Modern man is schizophrenic because like a schizophrenic patient he treats reality as if it were strange to him or estranges himself from reality as Beckett is depicting him and it is precisely the acceptance or vital appropriation of reality that constitutes iman and Islam. Iqbal well characterized this modern mans plight. Bachasmai haiwan hain yeh zulmat (that darkness has no elixir). In this wasteland and desert there is no water of eternal life. Modern mans great tragedy is that he is indifferent to the air that is full of cries, as habit is a great deadner; he is reconciled to his hell in a way as flies are to dirt, to use an image of Ibn Arabi, a great Muslim mystic. He is dead to April shower, to rain from heaven as Eliot said. He is complacently wallowing in the dirty waters of hell. Pozzo who despises his slave and victim, is as Metman notes, prototype of modern inflated consciousness rejecting and neglecting the flow of inner processes which happen and constitute the source of spiritual inspiration: But for him [the now crushed lucky] all my thoughts, all my feelings would have been of common things.9 The inner witness could emerge only by appropriating God but our critics see Godot as old conventional God who is preventing the emergence of it, or maturation of consciousness. This transvaluation of values is at the heart of modern mans misery. Goodness and rejuvenation can only come from the original source, from which men have always received it. Onus lies on modern man to be a fit receptacle, a fit subject or vehicle for grace, for divine benediction. If old God appears as Devil, as evil, it is only because modern man is himself possessed by the latter and his vision clouded. His perspective is that of a fallen man. He conceives God in devils image. Caricatures of God and Christ in modern art and literature (as in the figure of Godot) show only the perverted modern sensibility. Man constructs God in his own (devilish) image and that constitutes the supreme idolatry against which all the prophets have warned. And idolatry translates itself as self-alienation. And one hardly needs to prove that all the modern fads for dealienation have failed and Beckett is pessimistic like ONiel primarily for this reason. Modern man isnt able to create new God to fill his spiritual void as Will Durant testifies in his Interpretations of Lives. He has killed only himself by killing old God. He could be revived only if he makes himself child again, unlearns huge mass of modern ignorance (so called modern knowledge). This couldnt be done by reviving exoteric theology of the church but by traditional metaphysics, the perennial philosophy and it is the eclipse of metaphysics ( understood not in Aristotelian sense but as the science of the Invisible, the Supraphenomenal, the Infinite by means of intellection or noetic vision) reflected in the eclipse of spirituality or mysticism in modern age that is behind the eclipse of the sun of the Spirit. This will be discussed later in detail. Man must be a light unto himself and not project his problems and guilt to some metaphysical entity. Salvation cant descend from above. It is man who has to win it. Waiting for the God of exoteric dualist theology is inauthentic approach not only for Beckett but also all traditional religions. If modern man has gloriously misunderstood anything it is his God or religion and its intellectual content, its metaphysical basis. If he is ignorant of anything that is one thing most needful, his ultimate concern, his ground of being i.e., GodGod who is only the other pole, the ideal pole of his own self, his hearing and seeing, to use the Quranic phrase. Modern mans cardinal sin in his spiritual and metaphysical blindness and nothing could dispel this darkness except the coming of light. Beckettian ethic includes such things as the fantasy of Ham of the Endgame in which he refuses to give a man food to save his child because, as he passionately argues, life on earth is beyond remedy. Macmann, like Molly before him, is satisfied with having eluded charity all his days, and is stunned when it is forced upon him. Becketts people have no interest in the ethical aspects of Christianity. The only certainty that Becketts characters know is that of everlasting ignorance of self. In spite of their insistence on impotence and ignorance, Becketts narrator heroes are unable to relinquish the old Greek quest for the metaphysical meanings of the self, the world, and God. But

it is a hopeless quest, to be sure, since there may be neither mind nor body to undertake it, and language may mistake it. The unnamable begins, unbelieving in his I, unbelieving in his beginnings, knowing only that the discourse must go on. Towards the end he asks himself whether I am words among words, or silence in the midst of silence. Implicit in his long monologue is Heideggers haunting question: Why is there any Being at all and not rather Nothing.10 However, Beckett, for all his deep sadness at the sorry and sordid state of affairs that fallen mans life is, doesnt give up the search for life, for beauty, for salvation, for eternity, for essence of self, the timeless self. He isnt an incurable obdurate pessimist. He doesnt take sides; only mercilessly exposes, dissects. Metmans conclusion that in Becketts plays, the carriers of life, future and wholeness prevail over those of negation, despair and defeat, does contain a grain of truth. Pessimism, as William James remarked in his famous essay Is Life Worth Living, is essentially a religious disease. Only a man who is unable to commit himself to absolute despair mourns over mans inability to transcend his miserable state. Beckett makes us aware of the dukkha, of the misery and the vanity of our egocentric endeavor. He demonstrates the truth of the vision of the author of Ecclesiastics vanity of vanities, all is vanity. Life of ego is life of alienation and misery. Our ordinary existence, desiring selfs existence necessarily is fallen, tragic, inhuman. It is the life of suffering. There is no good nor bliss in things finite. In that sense Becketts pessimism is warranted. We need not argue. It is religion that makes us acutely aware of our misery, our fallen state. Although Beckett doesnt share religious mans ultimate optimism regarding mans destiny and its faith in salvation of all humans and end of suffering and eternity but there is a yearning for it. He occasionally approaches very close to religious ideal of nirvana, but on the whole he sees only bad eternity, bad infinity. He achieves only a semblance of salvation. Refusing to look heavenwards, towards the sky of transcendence, towards the Infinite, (key to which is contained in those doctrines or traditional metaphysical wisdom of Christianity which he dubbed as childish myths in true demythologizing rationalist humanist spirit) and pinning his vision on the realm of the finite, he could not obviously be granted the vision of God. We now discuss Becketts vague and confused attempt to achieve what he considered his ideal of questionless existence, or choiceless awareness in Krishnamurts phrase. Gunther Anders in his perceptive study on Waiting for Godot rightly remarks that he attempts to answer how such a life, despite its aimlessness, can actually go on. He answers that
life doesnt go on, rather it becomes a life without time. Since time springs from mans needs and his attempts to satisfy them, that life is temporal only because needs are either not yet satisfied, or goals have already been reached, or objectives reached are still at ones disposal. But in case of Estragon and Vladimirs lives, objectives no longer exist. Events and conversation are thus going in circles. 11

Metman emphasizes the final endurance of the man in the short mime Act without Words. After his total defeat he sits motionless and erect until the curtain falls and this expresses a dignity and concentration which stand in vivid contrast to the meandering semi hopelessness of the figures in Waiting for Godot. Such an enduring Heidegger calls an out-braving the utmost and he says that together with a standing in the openness of Being it constitutes the full essence of existence. 12 But Buddha like enduring and Nirvanic outbraving the utmost is a far cry from this enduring stoic calm and resignation that Beckett may be suggesting sometimes is not comparable to mystics joy and the bliss of Buddhas nirvana. Beckett doesnt abandon himself to meaningfulness and Anders calls tramps of the Waiting for Godot as metaphysicists because they are incapable of doing without the concept of meaning. They conclude from the fact of their existence that there must be something for which they are waiting; they are champions of the doctrine that life must have meaning even in a manifestly meaningless situation. They arent nihilist, rather the incorrigible optimists. Man cant be nihilist, even in a situation of utter hopelessness. However, Beckett cant celebrate lifes essential absurdity and meaninglessness like Osho. Lifes beauty consists of its mystery, its spontaneity, its meaninglessness and purposelessness. This point will be elaborated latter. Anders sees in tramps waiting a demonstration of Gods existence ex absentia. A rationalist would only scoff at such a proof. But God signifies the Mystery, the absence of discoverable meaning, the void, the emptiness also. What cant be grasped, caught, tracked, what always eludes, what is infinitely deferred is

God. Religion is refusal to demystify existence, refusal to logicize reality. It is faith in the unseen, the suprarational, the meaningless, the absurd. What meaning can be imputed to bliss, to heaven, to vision of God. A rose is a rose is rose as Osho has famously remarked. For what purpose does rose blossom and birds chirp. Existence is as it is. It is its own meaning. God is RealityAl-Haqq. He is totality of Existence, both phenomenal and transcendental. To ask what is the meaning of existence is meaningless. Religion calls universe and life Gods ayat or symbol. God, manifestation and thus life is essentially meaningless if meaning is sought outside them. The universe is the play or Leila of God, as Hinduism puts it. Life is a mystery to be lived rather than a problem to be solved as Osho has beautifully put it. This is the essence of Zen approach. From the perspective of Reality or Absolute the question of meaning or purpose doesnt arise in such a disturbing fashion. It arises from the human all-too-human and by virtue of that fragmentary perspective which is the perspective of modernist humanist anti tradition. The question of meaning and purpose cant be asked of God or his doings. It is very anthropomorphic and anthropocentric notion to ask of meaning and purpose. Mystic celebrates life, the innocence of becoming (Nietzsche comes closest to the sublime peak of mystical vision in this regard). He sees existence flowing for no other reason than pure joy of creator. There is no objective for life. It is its own celebration, its own legitimation, its own warrant. Time doesnt exist for a mystic. He is out of time. He is beyond mind, beyond time. It is only the mind caught in finitude and net of thought, and thus essentially a conditioned organ that asks the question of purpose. He has no goals, as all goals are in time and necessitate becoming. The mystic is beyond both. Time cant bleed him. He is immortal. He lives in eternity. He isnt of this world. Neither of the other world. He is not in search of anything. He has seen vanity of all seeking. He has killed the seeking self, the desiring self. In fact he has reached the other shore, merged in the universal self. He has renounced his self thereby having reached his essence, his identity. And that is why he can be silent, not just negatively silent but sing silence. He sees God is silence. Unknown descends only when the realm of the known ceases. All metaphysical questions are answered in silence as the questioning self is no more, it is dissolved. The mystic is a light unto himself. He is in no need of any consolation. It is the absent God that he adores as he denies his selfwill as Simon Weil has pointed out. All supernatural consolations would dilute the misery, the utter loneliness of man and reassert the self that mysticism denies. A mystic is utterly naked being stripped of all outside anchors. He has no anchor. His only anchor is Nothingness. Beckett attempts to reach the timeless. Murphy makes a downward journey into subconscious and reaches a point where he is not free, but a mote in the dark of absolute freedom. Beckett is unable to reach the timeless because his concept of self is tainted with dualism. It is a pebble in the steppe, a tiny plenum in the immensity of the void, and thus something autonomous and separate from the void. Beckett fears the unknown; he cant trust it like a mystic. He cant surrender to the unknown, to existence. He cant accept total dissolution of self. He cant achieve a state of objectless consciousness. He cant be at ease with the void within. He cant assimilate the experience of fana. He fears it. The mystic celebrates his freedom, the absolute freedom because he is one with God, with existence. He appropriates Gods attribute of freedom. Becketts characters have a notion of I which cant conceive of itself except falsely, and so the vain and wearisome business of self-pursuit goes on beyond death, with the old dualism of a non-temporal, non spatial subject in Beckettian perspective, as Ross Chambers notes.13 To approach the self is to embark on an infinite process comparable to attempting to express, the value of a surd to the last decimal point. Life as the pursuit of self thus becomes the endless, hopeless task of pursuing an infinitely receding something. Beckett points out the inescapable absurdity of the ineradicable human belief in a principle of inner lifecall it essence, self, or personality. Ours is an endless exile from the pursuit of an infinitely unattainable self. 14 Beckett is unable to see how duality and exile could be transcended. Living for him is the experience of endless duality and exile, where one knows the timelessness of the self but is yet condemned to life in time, where one senses the essence but is yet condemned to existence. Lifeour real life, is a birth on a tomb, just a small disturbance in the void of death or inexistence, it lies outside of time; but it is a difficult birth, one in which time has a say, and we grow old and suffer; and the whole problem lies there. At the most Beckett captures threshold experience, the region of being where existence and essence, non-self and self, time and timelessness endlessly co-exist, in the strange, ambiguous, inescapable half-world of semi exile that is his image of our human condition. In this ambiguity is the fate of dualism; the more he attempts to convey the

sense of timeless essence, the better he describes an existence endlessly excluded from while endlessly tending towards that essence. Time never stops absolutely for human or any other character. Burden of this paper is to argue that Becketts absurdism and pessimism is unwarranted, especially if coupled to his critique of Christianity or religion. Religion is more consistent in its absurdist philosophy. It carries the thesis to its logical conclusion. Religion conceives no salvation in the world of time and becoming. It posits a kingdom of God which is achieved only by total renunciation of self. Its first principle is that in his present state man is in violent disequilibrium or fall or exile, in a state of dukkha and the cause of this is that our consciousness isnt objectless, it is caught up in the maya of space and time. Its Unitarian perspective demands transcendence of all dualisms and dichotomies (such as subject-object, man-God, selfother, self-world dualities). Religion starts and ends at the knowledge of the self, of identity, of essence, of truth Religious man would reject the whole edifice of Beckettian thought and sees his problem as pseudoproblem and his absurdism and pessimism (carried to its logical end) as unwarranted. Beckett affirms diagnostic part of religious thesis but not its treatment. He too sees our life bedevilled with ignorance, sin, guilt and suffering, as tainted with fall. The Easts absolute isnt personal God. It posits no supernatural consolation. It too doesnt value individual. Buddhism rejects the very idea of permanent separate self. It too sees no grace, no heaven in the world of becoming or in the domain of time. It too sees nothing but suffering in store for man (identified with ego, or desiring self). It paints the evil facet of life in its most gruesome and extreme form. It too squarely encounter limit situations in which Beckett was interested. It too has no faith in action or deed. Jinana yoga or irfan or via contemplative do away with action. Its theory of time is also circular. Nobody comes, nobody goesin the mystics desert when he encounters the Divine Darkness,, the Abyss, as he delves deep into the nothingness within. But it isnt awful for him. Nothing happens in eastern mystical world, not once or twice but thousand times. He delights in no-action, in choiceless awareness. He celebrates it. He strips himself of all illusions, even the illusion of ego or permanent separate self. He has no beliefs, no securities, objects to cling to. He stands alone, naked. He waits for none. He is resigned to his meaningless existence. He doesnt even dream of a better life or heaven. He is quite contented with and even grateful for what is. He bears all sufferings that flesh is hier to smilingly. He makes no complaints against anyone or against heavens. He has surrendered to the cosmic will, to the will of Totality or Tao. He has submitted or surrendered i.e., he is Muslim. He has no self to claim anything. He has no demands, because he isnt, because he has realized the vanity of all things, all objects, all achievements. He has seen the nothingness at the heart of everything. He has found emptiness or voidness of everything and God, in the eastern mystical tradition of negative divine symbolizes precisely this emptiness, this nothingness or Shunyata. He is utterly hopeless but that does not mean he suffers from despair. He has no hopes as he has no ambitions and nothing to achieve. He isnt after pleasures even. He doesnt avoid pain. He accepts everything. He is as mirror to existence, just choicelessly aware, pure consciousness. He has passed out of time and of everything that pertains to the realm of time. He is ascetic i.e., he has renounced the world with all its joys. It could even be said that he welcomes or invites misery like Job. More precisely he has attained a state which is beyond pleasure and pain. He has no objectives. He has renounced the past as well as the future. He has renounced both the worlds for the sake of Goda God who is none other than his essence, his inmost self, which is pure objectless consciousness. He sees no other to complain to, to possess, to dominate or to conquer and then to suffer or make others suffer. He is as silent, as resigned as a tree, as a stream. He doesnt desire to be. And that means he cant suffer nausea or angst. He is relieved or delivered of all pain. Absurdity isnt an issue for him. He has already committed a suicide by killing the ego thus having solved the problem that perplexed Camus. Beckett has no metaphysics and thus he has no explanation, no reason for the problem of being. He knows nothing of the origin and the End. He finds no reason, no meaning for existence, for life. Why should he be created and given birth astride of a grave. What is he doing here, on the planet? What for and why should he be and not be. Since the world isnt the creation/manifestation/sign of God (on that ab initio or principle alone would it have meaning)because God incorporates triple values of truth beauty and goodness) it stands as brute fact, fact devoid of any transcendental reference or meaning or value. The universe as Sartre said is gratuitous. Beckett perfectly agrees. Beckett is sure of only one thing, knows only one truththat he suffers and suffers for no reason at all. Like universe, his existence too is gratuitous. It is accident and not substance. It could well not have

been. It doesnt matter. Grave consumes everything and is there to prove our nothingness, our accidentality, our purposelessness.

Like mystics Becketts people cant reply to the question does God exist? This is because if that which exists is positive, or finite, or definable, or in any way verbally to be differentiated from other existent or non-existent phenomena, then God, void, infinite, undifferentiated and abstracted from the dimensions of time and space, is precisely that which doesnt exist; it is the liberation of the finite by the infinite . God cant be named, he cant be characterized. Supraformal Essence has no attributes. No words have defiled the Absolute as Ramakrishna used to say. Nothing answers the question what is It as great Muslim mystic Jili has said. It is utter darkness or the light that never was. It is the impossibility of all signification. Beyond Being neither creates nor reveals nor saves. It doesnt exist or it transcends the category of existence . To name God as does the Preacher in All That Fall, to define his attributes, to circumscribe his essential Non-Being or Beyond Being as though it were a positive phenomenon which could be imprisoned in words and in the logic of time and space, is to defile( in Ramakrishnas phrase) or distort the Absolute into a false absolute, or pseudo-God. Beckett is unable to see any meaning in the concept of the God of conventional theology. For him that which is a lie (and all words are lies) is unendurable. The essential self is timeless and deathless; but they I, the self I know, is condemned to death and suffering It is hier to all the ills that constitute the fact of world-pain. This gratuitous futility and misery can only have been ordained by the cruel caprices of a God who is himself of the same element-words. The true God can only be a macrocosmic equivalent of the microcosmic Void of the true self; the Preachers God- a God who is conceivable- can be nothing but a malevolent and monstrous projection of the pseudo-self, or, in Sartrian terms, either of the InItself or of the Other . If there is a total reality( as all Beckettts people realize there must be), it is the eternal Pour-Soi, the Absolute Unnameable; as soon as the Preacher calls on God, and says what he will or will not do, all he does is to create a corresponding En Soi(the Voids own pseudo-self or vice-exister), concocted out of human words and reflecting human evil 15 Beckett is desperate to decondition his people from words, from everything borrowed so that they encounter reality or self in all its nakedness and horror. Krishnamurti does the same job but he discovers at the end of the journey into the self not horror but what Budddha discovered- peace that passeth all understanding and bliss infinite. Treasures of the Self are unimaginable. He too, like Beckett, refuses all consolations, all bad faith,. He strips all the veils, all the layers that hide our own essential nothingness. Since all thought is in words, the only self that I can know is compounded of words, and out of other peoples words into the bargain, since all words are learnt from others The enforced alienation of the self into the hands of a hostile and elusive congregation of others who, by their very existence, render impossible any real existence for the self, is perennial source of despair for The Unnameable . But Krishnamurti (to whom I refer because he is closest to Beckett in his sensibility and methodology and in his transtheism). He celebrates the unknown that he comes across ( if the formulation be allowed as there is no separate subject when the infinite, the unknown dawns , when God alone is rather only pure experience of bliss is and neither the experiencer nor the experienced. Beckett is also unable to see beauty of language opening into the infinite. The world is not a symbol of God; It is not sacred. Things finite dont reveal or manifest the Principle of Beauty that is its Origin and End. He doesnt see any order in the universe All is chaos for him Thus there is hardly any scope for building a positive theology that alone makes life in all its details worth living, He is unaware of The Sacred that permeates whole of the phenomenal order , that sanctifies it, that makes it a channel of grace. He seems to deny Gods immanence in the world of things. The universe or cosmos (for that matter he has no notion of any entity called cosmos which means order, harmony) isnt a theophany for him. It doesnt glorify or sing the praises of God. He cant bless Existence as Muslims routinely do by

14 blessing the Prophet who symbolizes the Pole of Existence. God is the totality of Existence in the Eastern framework. Only God exists in the strict sense of the term. Eternal order permeates the temporal order through and through and in fact can be tasted here and now, in time. This world though Maya from a certain perspective, reflects or mirrors God also. Otherwise it would not exist. So there is no real turning away, no real asceticism in the traditional religious worldviews. World doesnt fail to reflect the perfection and goodness of the Source. The harmony, order and beauty of the cosmos are the imprint of the absoluteness of the Principle in manifestation. Beckett is unable to celebrate the mystery of existence, and he encounters its mysteriousness as something absurd, as irrational, as the Other. While as religion is belief in or celebration of the mystery of existence and the concept of the negative divine is only a reflection of this sacred mystery. Religion refuses to demystify existence. The Sacred is by definition the Other the mysterious, the mysterium tremendum and for that very reason to be adored. Religion binds this world to the other world, the relative to the Absolute and by virtue of that it delivers us from the finitude. Rationalist in Beckett as in Camus for instance would like to appropriate this mystery, this absurdity in rational terms although he is painfully made aware by encountering the limit situations that the irrational, the impossible is there standing as a brute fact about which nothing could be done. This also helps to approach the question of meaning and purpose of the life and the universe which has bedevilled existentialist philosophers and which is at the centre of absurdist vision of Beckett, Ionesco and Camus, to name only a few of the most important champions. Following few lines will attempt to clarify the point. The question is why isnt Eastreligion in general absurdist and pessimist when it shares Beckettian diagnosis of the things. Is it because religion is wish fulfillment or it is based on hope and what Camus calls tragic hope: if religion a metanarrative, an ideology, a theory about Reality one could well dispute it, or at least be agnostic towards it. Modern mans fundamental error lies in this assumption about metaphysics and religion. Religion talks existence or God and not about existence or about God. God is Reality itself ,Al-Haqq as the Quran calls it and as Sufis interpret it. Mysticism is experience -pure experience of Reality (without the gulf, the distance between subject and object, man and God ) where no thought is to construct a system, an ideology, a theory. It isnt belief or faith in the ordinary sense of the terms. It is experience, it is seeing, it is discovery. Religion (God) is synonymous with truth and this truth necessarily transcends all categorizing, all philosophizing, all theorizing endeavors. God is what is as Krishnamurti puts it. Whatever is or whatever truth known and unknown is, is God. God is Love and God is Beauty. Timeless is whispering in every leaf, in every flower. Everything declares the glory of God. All creation praises Him as the Quran frequently says. Our very choice to be is our declaration of faith. Religion is gratitude; gratitude to God, for existence. Religion is surrender to God and that means acceptance of Reality or Truth. There is no other attitude possible because they are all against the very nature of things, against our normative endowment; against our very being, our very ground of Being or our ultimate concern. Faustus is damned as are all rebels, not because some malicious power from without wishes so but because the very nature of things or what Hinduism and Buddhism call law of Karma and Islam fate demands it. It is absurd gesture to rebel, to rebel against the Truth, the state of things. Rebellion will accomplish nothing except the destruction of the rebel. It isnt the question of returning the ticket to God because God cant take it back. That is all bad faith, or a gesture of inauthentic life. Here comes the vital point of distinction between religion and Beckttian approach. Religion doesnt merely show how life can be worth living but makes it so. It creates meaning even if it isnt objectively there. What existentialists vainly and futilely attempt (i.e., create meaning or values in a meaningless situation or valueless universe) has been so successfully done by religion. It has given meaning to our otherwise meaningless life. It has made life worth living for countless millions throughout history. Even the supposedly life

15 denying pessimistic religions have made life worth living. Only God, also, like Heaven, Nirvana can make life worth living and a fruitful pursuit. Faith in God signifies faith in meaning, not by virtue of some future life or heaven but by a changed attitude or perspective by virtue of which one sees eternity in this moment and consents to fate, to even eternal recurrence if that were the case, and kingdom of God within oneself. It makes life a celebration, a feast, a joy everlasting. It doesnt merely promise or postpone these things. They are realized here and now. Mystic is pure joy, rather Bliss or Annanda as Hinduism describes it. Ours is originally a state of Bliss. And religion is nothing but remembrance or zikr in the words of the Quran. It shows us our original face, our divine face, our original home in Eden, our original state of Bliss. Mystic identifies God with self or life and thus life becomes a celebration, the supreme value. Religion sanctifies life. That is why it is against suicide, against despair. The Quran identifies despair with kufr (disbelief). Religion by characterizing our life as blessing (as God could be realized or perfection attained anytime) as benediction, as gift of love, an expression of pure joy, the joy of creation or creativity leaves no room for despair. We werent and now we are and that is moment of celebration. Existence as such is good and nothingness is deprivation. The principle of Existence, Reality or God is good by definition and evil comes by distortion of good, by absence of good, by absence of some qualities or attributes of God in that thing. Only God is wholly good because all the Divine Names (attributes) are actualized in Him. All creation displays only some of them and certain others are absent for the simple metaphysical reason that it isnt God. The world isnt God and that is why it is tainted by evil. It cant be otherwise. But everything comes from God and returns to God and thus evil is naughted. Nirvana is the destiny of all creation. Heaven awaits all of us. In the universal apocatastasis (that is metaphysical necessity) evil is no more. Evil is there and it is real at its own level. But in the total or cosmic perspective it is extremely limited in time and space. What is the beauty of the creation is that it has no determined meaning and thus it has infinite signification. Each moment God is in new glory. He never repeats. Each moment is original in the life of God (and the life of universe). Because the universe has no given determinate meaning we can give it one. God isnt the name of an object, an entity, a being, a person. He is Infinite and AllPossibility. One can never exhaust contexts and thus meanings as God signifies precisely this impossibility of exhaustion and determination. One can well ask what meaning Christianity gives to the world and what makes it unacceptable to Beckett (Beckett calls it a mythology, a story that only children could be coerced to believe in). For Christianity (as for Islam) world isnt created as a joke, as it isnt gratuitous. God has created it and history is directional. Man isnt accidental to the scheme of things. He counts. He is divine. He must attempt to realize the kingdom of God. God is the Origin and the End. Now if we explore these notion in depth we will discover something very different than what Beckett and many a critics of religion would believe. God is another name for life. He is described as Eternal living principle by all religious scripture. He is the hearing, the seeing, in the Quranic phrase. The Kingdom of God is nothing but life in all its splendour and glory, life of intensity and depth, life everlasting. It is life with a capital L. One who realizes the kingdom of God within realizes infinitude and goodness of Self. He sees God within as God is only the other pole of man. He discovers transcendence. He appropriates God in his immanence, in the depths of his self. He attains Bliss, as he has renounced the principle of separation and thus sorrow-the ego. When not his but Gods will, the cosmic will, the wholes will or the will of Existence is done then one says that he has attained God. There is no separate experiencer or subject to will otherwise than what God or nature of things or Karma or fate demands. There is no subject to feel absurdity. There is no desiring self and thus any desire for meaning, for purpose, for this or that things. Religion is an act of trust in existence. The mystic simply watches and lets God or Holy Ghost does everything. He becomes a hollow bamboo, a flute as Existence (God is Absolute, totality of existence and not a

16 person in metaphysical mystical perspective) plays the notes and the song is the fragrance of love as ego consciousness, limiting self directed principle of alienation is transcended. When Beckett reaches the limit of consciousness, when Malone is stripped of everything, even body, when Estrogen and Vladimir have no will to do anything, to become this and that, when they are tuned by time as such, then there is no agonizing sense of absurdity. One is beyond absurdists predicament. One has transcended nihilism. One lives despite absolute meaninglessness of situation. However, this way of fighting absurdity is ironically portrayed by Beckett. He sees mans inability to be nihilist and laughs at it. He sees no way out of meaningless situation man is caught in. He is unable to see beyond nihilism. He is through and through a pessimist. The East strips man of everything including ego, but then it shows the way to Godhood also. Atman is Brahman. Pure objectless consciousness is Sat Chit Ananada, the supreme bliss, truth and reality. What drew Beckett to despair and pessimism are mans nothingness, ignorance and misery. But the East shows how consciousness is Atman and Atman is Brahman or man is potentially GodBlissfull, Omniscient and Existence. Neither ignorance nor misery is mans lot. Modern West is obsessed with the idea of nothingness and wretchedness of man. So the idea of superman has been advocated. God has to be killed to let man live or let him usurp His kingdom. Beckett disbelieves in heroism, in all supermanism. He shows us; quite rightly that man apart from God is indeed nothing and wretched. No Sartre or Nietzsche could console us. But where Beckett stops there East (premodern traditional West or Christianity also as the perennialist authors have argued) begins. The East does see reasons impotence and mans (egos) vanity. Man is nothing apart from God. God is rich and man is poor as the Quran says. But man can be transcended, negated, killed. So that only God lives and by virtue of that man also partakes of Godhood. Through fana (dissolution of self) one attains baqa (subsistence, Eternity in God). A drop isnt lost in the ocean but becomes ocean. Beckett however, doesnt believe in universal self or Brahman or God. All there is desiring self and once it is thrown off we get liberated from misery but not nirvana or one doesnt dissolve in infinity but negates ones finitude and that is all. Rest is silence, the calm and peace of death. Becketts journey ends in grave. Consciousness isnt a something worth possessing. It is just awareness of our misery and our suffering. It isnt the principle of omniscience and immortality. It is unwarranted materialist psychology that Beckett believes in ( though he consciously rejects it also at other places) that leads to pessimism and nihilism. If nothing survives death and if suffering is there to stay Becketts conclusions are impeccable. He identifies Atman with Jiva (empirical ego) and that is why he cant see grandeur of man but only his misery. If ego were all there is then Beckett is perfectly justified in his despair. Mystic experiences God. He most surely comes in contact with the well-spring of eternity. He most surely is blissful because he doesnt identify his deepest self with the ego, with Iness. He as a subject isnt there to suffer; it is the ego that suffers. And he lets it to suffer through ascetic exercises. He considers it essential to cross the dark night of the soul. Beckett is enmeshed in the dark night of the soul but he cant see the other shore, the dawn that awaits the seeker. Becketts greatness lies in insisting on the perpetual presence of existence, to make experience existence rather than theorize about it and label it or avoid it. He isnt, like Joyce, writing about something but letting that something itself speak. He distrusts all attempts that try to shape experience or subsume it in any narrative framework, philosophical or theological. He faithfully represents the chaos that experience is. He is neither didactic nor escapist. For him only honest literature is what imposes no pattern on experience, and eschews all external meaning or transcendental signified. Nothing answers our metaphysical quest for centers, for anchors, for order and significance. We cant evade the utter dissolution that awaits everything. There is no permanence in any experiencable thing, in any existent. Emptiness and nothingness at the heart of everything is there to stay and cant be evaded, do what we may, as all the evasions come to

17 nought. We can invent numerous ways to kill time, to distract ourselves from time with theological or mathematical speculations but nothing can be done to avoid being ditched into the hole of death, the Inferno,. As OHara would put it A lifetime becomes a perpetually incomplete process, diversified at first by learning, travel, sex, and the desire for love, but dwindling at length into the mere sex, and the desire for love, but dwindling at length into the mere existence of a mind sick with thought and fastened to a dying animal 16 Here we remember the Buddhas unremitting emphasis on the voidness of everything, the universal fact of suffering. To quote the Buddha on the omnipotence of death (and Russell seems to echo him in his often quoted lines on pessimistic end of universe): Not in the sky nor in the depths of ocean, nor having entered the caverns of the mountain, nay such a place isnt to be found in the world where a man might dwell without being overpowered by death. Radhakrishnan comments The most moral hero and the greatest work of art must one day be cast down and consumed in death. All things pass away. Our dreams and hopes. Our fears and desires all of them will be forgotten as though they had never been. 17 Vanity of vanities all is vanity, cried the author of Ecclesiastics. Everything reduces to dust and ashes. It is existence that victimizes Beckets characters and thus nothing can be done against its absurdity and injustice. Beckett leads to no resolution of lifes problems, its absurdities and pains but merely seeks to cultivate sardonic detachment or detached hopelessness. His art is simply an ironic contemplation of the bleak tragedy, the inchoate and absurd drama, which life presents. Not only is life too painful for contemplation but also too opaque for intelligence. Intelligence is not cut to the measure of absurd mystery that universe and life present. Nothing can justify the ways of God to a finite rational consciousness. Existence cant be analyzed, labeled or understood; it resists all our naming and pigeonholing into some meaningful form. Nothing answers the question what is it. So it is better to believe that there is no problem. There is no key, there is no problem he asserted in an interview when asked whether the preoccupation with the problem of Being posed by the existentialists might not be a key to his works. He isnt seeking any answer to any metaphysical question; for him we need not be metaphysical animals. He declines to be an intellectual and is content to be only a sensibility. To quote from Malone Dies: But what matter whether I was born or not, have lived or not, am dead or merely dying, I shall go on doing as I have always done, not knowing what it is I do, nor why I am, nor where I am, nor if I am 18 And if I ever stop talking it will be because there is nothing more to be said, even though all has not been said, even though nothing has been said 19 God does not seem to need reasons for doing what he does, and for omitting to do what he omits to do, to the same degree as his creatures 20 He is not desperate to solve the riddle of existence; it is reasons vain endeavor to try to scan existence. We are here to endure experience and lament that it is hard and painful; we are not to comprehend it. We need not the lies of philosophy or theology but strength to honourably face the trial that life is, to patiently suffer the punishment for an unknown crime. Why we are born he doesnt know and is not interested in knowing it either. Why we suffer he doesnt know and disinclined to know. He is also not interested in pursuing the inquiry Can there be an end to suffering. He is only aware, painfully aware, that we suffer and are condemned to suffer. He makes a metaphysical assertion, despite his attempt to avoid metaphysics, that we cant be saved, that there is no eternity, that there is no enlightenment. The universe, according to Moran is made of silence, the terrifying silence which seems to be the inhuman reality of stasis. Becketts definition of man is that he is a suffering animal. He is different from other animals only by virtue of his consciousness of suffering; he suffers more intensely and consciously. There is no release from the purgatory of life. The end result of his philosophy is best captured in Pryrhhos words in Lucians Philosophies for Sale as ignorance, deafness, blindness. He reduces man made in Gods image, (God is Intelligence) to the worm. It is the imagery of dogs and worms that figures so prominently in the Beckettian world. Men are apes, not theological and philosophical apes but the apes that suffer and

18 find themselves condemned to hell for reasons unknown. Man is not potentially a god or destined to be some worthy thing in future. No paradise awaits him though he seems to have lost one. For him as an ego only failure is possible it fails to possess and it fails to communicate. I quote certain statements of his characters from his works that are more or less representative of him and express something of his disjointed and inchoate philosophical vision. What is wrong with me, what is wrong with me, never tranquil, seething out of my skull, out of my skull, oh to be in atoms, in atoms(Mrs. Ronney in All That Fall). Are you listening to me? Is anyone listening to me? Is anyone looking at me? Is any one bothering about me at all (W1 in Play) Silence and darkness were all I craved. Well., I get a certain amount of both. They being one. Perhaps it is more wickedness to pray for more (W1 in Play). story if you could finish it you could rest sleep not before oh I know the one Ive finished thousands and one all I ever did in my life with my life saying to myself finish this one it is the right one then rest sleep no more stories no more words and finished it and not the right one couldnt rest straightaway another to begin to finish saying to myself finish this one then rest this time it is the right one. This time you have it and finished it and not the right one couldnt rest (Voice in Cascendo) I forgive nobody. I wish them all an atrocious life and then the fires and ice of hell and in the execrable generations to come an honoured name 21 You are on earth, and there is no cure for that(Endgame) We see abundant images of cursing, of abuses, of disease, of alienation and madness in Becketts works. Nothing human and nothing superhuman are worth celebrating for Beckett. Only transcendence is unalloyed perfection and could be glorified without qualification. But there is no transcendence in his view.. All the beauty and goodness that we see around hardly means much. Beckett doesnt bother to inquire where from has goodness and beauty come despite his rejection of materialism. Trapped in immanence he feels the stink in everything. Beckett doesnt arrive anywhere and isnt interested in arriving either. He has nowhere to go and no worry to go anywhere. Just to endure like Sisyphus. Not a heroic endurance. Not with a stoic spirit of resignation either. He tells stories that say nothing and for nothing. He never finishes telling them because there is no end envisioned, no final resting point, no consummation, no resolution, no point in his stories. Like Heidegger who reported that the world is that in the face of which one experiences anxiety and like Camus who refers to the world as one to which he is opposed by all his consciousness. Beckett puts us in a difficult situation. He wouldnt much approve of suicide but he has not even a single cheer for the will to love either. He sees us in a hell from which there is no exit. He is pained to see himself hurled into life and laments that there is no cure for that. All the great works of human spirit and reason, philosophies, theologies, works of art and countless monuments of human civilization amount to nothing in his scheme. Man, in this bleak vision, is indeed the scum of the earth, the puny little vermin, the sticking dirt. What he aspires to do is not some great artistic or philosophical or scientific work but some trivial amusement. The following description we find in Malone Dies is representative of Becketts vision of the meaning and destiny of man.
But it was not long before I found myself alone, in the dark. That is why I gave up trying to play and took to myself for ever shapelessness and speechlessness, incurious wondering, darkness, long stumbling with outstretched arms, hiding. Such is the earnestness from which, for nearly a century now, I have never been able to depart. From now on it will be different.But perhaps I shall not succeed any better than hitherto. Perhaps as hitherto I shall find myself abandoned, in the dark, without anything to play with. Then I shall play with myself. To have been able to conceive such a plan is encouraging.22 While mysticism has envisaged an ascetic ideal as a means to an end that is a discovery of life, larger life, life glorious and blissful, Beckett seems to envisage asceticism as an end and there is no discovery of

the splendour of the life of Sprit as a result of that. It is asceticism of the one who is frustrated and repelled by the ups and downs of life. It is a cynics asceticism, a kind of Maarian-Scopenharuian asceticism. While the mystic achieves disinterested witnessing consciousness that is utterly at peace with the phenomenal world and even sees it quite transformed and soul ravishing, Beckett achieves at best a lifeless neutrality that just endures without much resentment the succession of phenomena. The mystics doors of perception are opened wide as the Mind at Large becomes activated as Aldus Huxley saw, and perceive the world as if in a dream, more colorful, more refreshing, more lovely, more beatiuful. However Beckett is led to a myopic constricted vision. To quote from Malone Dies again: My sight and hearing are very bad, on the vast main no light but reflected gleams. All my senses are trained full on me., me. Dark and silent and stale, I am no prey for them. I am far from the sounds of blood and breath, immured. I shall not speak of my sufferings. Cowering deep down among them I feel nothing. It is there I die, unbeknown to my stupid flesh. That which is seen, that which cries and wreathes, my witless remains. Somewhere in this turmoil thought struggles on, it too wide off the mark. It too seeks me., as it always has, where I am not to be found. It too cant be quiet 23 While the mystic loves nature as he perceives the essences, the vision of ideal forms being granted to him and he identifies his Beloved with the greenness of the leaves, and redness of roses Becketts characters, rarely find joy in nature and never have loved it or worshipped it. Their view of nature is hardly a match for mystical and Romanic view of the same. To quote Beckett again in Malone Dies: Sapo loved nature, took an interest in animals and plants and willingly raised his eyes to the sky, day and night. But he did not know how to look at all these things, the looks he rained upon them taught him nothing about them. He confused the birds with one another, and the trees, and could not tell onbe crop from another crop The sun, the moon, the planets, and the stars didnt fill him with wonder 24 Sapo is a strange ascetic. In the midst of tumult, at school and at home, he remained motionless in hi place, often standing, and gazed straight before him with eyes as pale and unwavering as the gulls.25 Becket says that man is expiating for an unknown crime or sin. As he writes in Malone Dies The idea of punishment came to his mind, addicted it is true to that chimera and probably impressed by the posture of the body and the fingers clenched as though in torment. And without knowing exactly what his sin was he felt full well that living was not a sufficient atonement for it or that this atonement, and so on, as if there could be anything but life for the living. And no doubt he would have wondered if it was really necessary to be guilty in order to be punished but for the memory, more and more galling, of his having consented to live in his mother, then to leave her. And this gain he could not see as his true sin, but as another atonement which had miscarried and, far from cleansing him of his sin, plunged him in it deeper than before. 26 Similarly Kafka believed that we are summoned to life and are under trial for unknown crime. The East or traditional religion believes in the doctrine of fall, i.e., that man has committed a crime (even if it is just an act of forgetfulness) that has necessitated his fall, led to mans being outside the Divine center and thus made him fragmentary and thus in a state of disequilibrium. To be born is to expiate for the sins committed in former life. We have forgotten that we are the children of immortal Bliss, that our ego isnt atman or self that our home is Eden, that we are, by the very fact of being born in times severed from our timeless essence, that existence and thus becoming has condemned us to a state where essence is hard to be found, that we have usurped the divine privileges and tasted the forbidden fruit of knowledge, separative inductive knowledge and thus direct access of truth, pure intellection or the faculty of intuitive intellection has been lost (though not irretrievably according to mystics). Only in ignorance, in objectless consciousness is their bliss. Beckett too recognizes this fallen state but doesnt believe that we originally were innocent, immortal, pure enjoying our abode in heaven, in company of God. He has no metaphysics to tell him from where he has come; similarly he doesnt believe that we are ever going to regain the paradise as he doesnt know anything of the End either. He is resigned to the hell he is in. He didnt belong to paradise and will not return to one. He has come from nowhere for no reason and has been condemned to hell by devils (they of Unnameable). Because of his ignorance of metaphysics or the knowledge of universal principles, of first

and last things or of the Origin and the End, of the principle of Existence, it is no wonder that he cant explain mans guilt consciousness, the unknown crime that he has committed and which has necessitated his suffering and why he is obliged to express nothingness of his life, why he is here to mourn his state of exile and expiate for the sins he hasnt committed. Needless to say that life cant be but purposeless, absurd a burden, and expiation for sin. Needless to say that he can find no reason for all the beauty, and love in the world. He cant be true to himself because he isnt true to his God and that is why he wants an escape from facing the self in death, in bad eternity. Camus is a different case. He feels at least at home in this world and he paganistically affirms it and loves it so dearly that he finds his salvation here. He finds it so beautiful. He finds ample love here. But in the Beckettian world there is neither beauty nor love. None of his characters is at home in the world. Curse of time is on everything, every existent. Nothing escapes its wrath and it is the principle of disintegration. It brings no hope, no joy and heals no wounds. It only inflicts wounds and until the cup is full when one is no more to complain of its ravages. Beckett abhors generalizations and abstractions and for him metaphysics is exactly these things. He is apparently committed to a sort of phenomenological analysis of experience. He wants to have no distorting spectacles of beliefs, ideologies while perceiving the truth of life. He wants to look at life naked stripped of all illusions. His thorough going empiricism leads him to despairing conclusions. But the East (religion) too is committed to empiricism. Its data too is pure experience. Buddhas is the most thorough going empiricism in the history of human thought. Mysticism or the esoteric core of all religions does away with all ideologies, constructs, propositions, generalizations, abstractions and is committed to pure experience. Husserls phenomenological project is only a crude approximation of mystical method. The mystics distrust of language and logic and thought is linked to his empiricism. His silence has to be understood in this context. But see the great difference in results. Beckett concludes that truth isnt given to man and he is condemned to life of suffering and ignorance and impotence. Only truth brings freedom and deliverance. Since there is nothing to say he may become mute. This isnt the silence of Buddha who knew everything and saw so clearly that saying it would distort the pure perception of truth, of God. He is so full of truth that only silence can contain it. He becomes truth. He radiates truth. He incarnates truth. So he has no obligation to express it. Only in silence is unknown revealed. Infinite cant speak human language. It can be captured only in silence. Silence dissolves and resolves all questions. It answers all metaphysical questions. That is why Buddha became silent. One can live truth but not talk it. One cant say anything, neither is there any need for doing so. Truth is what is, to again use Krishnamurtis phrase. The repose of being, masterfully explicated by Abhinavgupta, captures this truth of what is by disidentifying with samsaric flow and just watching it like a mirror. The mystic is beyond existence and mere living. He achieves what Beckett in vain attempted to. I mean his essence where no problem, no division, no desire, no conflict troubles him. He is on the other shore, transcendent like God, enjoying the bliss of empyreal world. The East has so beautifully solved the problem of existence by positing that it becomes problem only when we approach it logically, linguistically ,propositionally, or when we talk about it or approach it from the head. Problems of life, tensions of good and evil, of truth and ignorance, of God and devil, arise only when we approach it nonexistentially. Language creates problems as Wittgenetein said with reference to philosophy. So he attempted to perfect the grammar. The East facing similar problem solved it by doing away with language altogether. Not only with language but it deals away with the mind also. The mytic attempts to be silent and then on truth takes care of itself.

Some observations on Becketts views of art are in order as here we can see his salvationary scheme in operation. His is a picture not quite unlike Joyce and Proust regarding the vacation of the artist. In fact religions function has been increasingly usurped by art in the twentieth century as Arnold has prophesied. Nietzsche is the greatest champion of prophetic view of artist and salvific view of art. Moran finds peace in anothers ludicrous distress. Far from the world, its clam ours, frenzies, bitterness and dingy light he passes judgments on all those who need to delivered. His artistic vacation seems to be fulfilling his dharma; it is a call from transcendence as he is harnessed to a task which transcends himself as well as the object of his endeavor. He is doing what he does for the sake of a cause, which, while having need of us to be accomplished, as

21 in essence anonymous, and would subsist, haunting the minds of men, when its miserable artisans shouldbe no more.27 Thus the world is saved only through art that pierces the outer turmoils veil, and discerns our quarry and senses what course to follow. Art, the Dinyssian art in which like Nietzsche Beckett consumes himself, reveals the supraindividual and thus immortal essence of man. Music and not Apollonian reason expresses this and Bexckertts esthetric emphasizes this point. Like Prousts protagonist and approximating in certain sense mystical purgatorial path, Becketts hero in trilogy discovers his essence in the inaccessible dungeon of oyur being to which Habit does not possess the key 28As mystics are in search of the repose of being, the still centre at the heart of our being, Mollys quest for his mother is interpretable as quest for the Mothers of Being. Edith Kren sees a parallel to it in Goethes and Nietzsches journey to the Mothers of Being, the ultimate journey to our essence. 29 Both mysticism and art in Dionysean-Nietzschean-Beckettian view break the spell of individuation and then only the Being, the universal, the essence, the timeless, the immortal, the unknown, the transcendent, is sensed. . Reason, causality, time and the accident of individuality are all to be transcended. It is not the individual living in time and space that Moron is but the unmolded, untamed, timeless essence of man that Molly is ans in whose quest Molley proceeds. In the theologians hell nothing burns except the self will as Theologica Germanica records. The mystics burn this self will here on earth . Beckett;s Dionysian aesthetic also insists on the same thing. Deterioration of Mollys body and his advance towards anonymity speaks of the same destruction of individuation. In The Unnameable, the nameless protagonist is reduced to disembodied voice, invaded and usurped upon by other voices, as Anthony Hartley notes quite aptly. Mollys world is a world without will, without causality, universal and nameless.the world of the macrocosm where individual existence shrinks into meaninglessness and human relations are reduced- or heightened to the universal, the subconscious, the mythical. In such a world Molly has small belief in the power of language, the logos, to convey the essences of things.30 There could be no things but namelerss things, no names but thingless names The mystic union with the universe which Nietzsche considered the prerogative of the Dionyssian artist and which, for Proust, in the form of music, embodies the highest achievement of art is at times attained by Molly in his mothers room, though the full splendour of beatific vision, the infinite awareness and infinite bliss that accompany it are still too far from this mystical experience. Of course there is sought to an escape from time, habit and intelligence and Molly is no longer that sealed jar to which he owed his cramped closed well preserved being, the state that is bestowed to a saint or a mystic is quite distant for him.. Beckett has referred to himself in specifically Nietzschean and mystical terms as non-knower and non-can-er. His art, like much of twentieth century art, is a crude and quite inadequate approximation of traditional religious or mystical ideal. He remains tied to a nihilistic metaphysics and that blocks his way to see further into the treasures that are bestowed to those who transcend their limited self. Beckett does the purification work quite excellently but ends in no land of bliss but a sort of neutrality that thougfh freed from the worry that characterizes ego-centred man but has not that bliss of Brahman which exceeds all things that Beckett could imagine as giving us joy. The greatness of Beckettts thought from the Eastern perspective is that this vision of evil and destruction represents not so much the conclusion (Buddha has painted similar picture) of his argument, as its starting point. Beckett gives the evidence, and his people cry out against God (though Buddha would not do this ) yet ultimately they refuse to accept the evidence that they themselves have provided, and their indictment turns out to be an appeal to a different kind of God altogether, and with that, a different kind of death, a different kind of reality, a different kind of meaning. Coe has attempted to describe this different kind of reality in the above referred essay

For, where all is absurd, meaningless and impossible the only ultimate significance must be one which includes, or accepts , the meaninglessness of all recognized values and concepts. If reality the everyday reality of fact, or matter, or personality, or beliefleads only to a state where you pick yourself up and go oncursing God and man then such a reality cannot be other than an illusion. Behind reality lies the Void, the Nothing, than which naught is more real; and it is from this concept of the Void that Becketts people start out on their pilgrimage in search of a new and more acceptable version of God. 31

Beckett quite rightly, speaking from the traditional Eastern perspective, saw the limitations of traditional theistic thesis especially as understood in a crude exoteric dualist theological and philosophical perspective that posits God rather than the Godhead as the Ultimate Reality or First Principle. All his people in a sense are mystics as Coe points out. They are all aware of a force at work within them and about them, a force which goads them onwards towards ends which they themselves would not have envisaged, yet which can neither be analyzed nor rationally explained, which completely eludes the net of words or the realm of the known or thought ( discursive intellect). They all describe God negatively which is familiar to the East in the tradition of the negative divine as Stace phrases it in his Time and Eternity. This is the Upanisadic way of neti neti Watts description of nothing resembles Upanisadic version in its refusal to compromise with anthropomorphic idolatrous instinct. They all possess a strong feeling of being caught up in a pattern of salvation and damnation, of sin and redemption, of guilt and punishment, although their ignorance of or their not taking cognizance of eastern ideas of karma and fate makes all these things incomprehensible or irrational and thus unaccounted for and finally not of much use ultimately. It is not clear to them why God is blasting them as Celia complains or whether the punishment of life is brought about as the necessary consequence of some sin committed previously (such as that of being born as Vladimir suggests) or whether the laws of cause and effect in this case may not work backwards. All here is sin says The Unnameable. You dont know why, you dont know whose, you dont know against whom, someone says to you Macmannn also doesnt know what his sin was although he felt full well living was not sufficient atonement for it or that this atonement was itself a sin, calling for more atonement, and so on. Becketts people all realize that they can never hope to understand God, His purpose, still less His lack of purpose ( God says Malone, does not seem to need reasons for what he does, and for omitting to do what he omits to do, to the same degree as his creatures, does he?until they have understood something of themselves, as Coe notes). And this knowledge of the self ( What is God other than the deepest self of man) though absorbing most of their energies is indeed denied to them or given them only very fragmentarily as otherwise all these questions would have been answered. Any need of theodicy ( in Western sense of the term) hardly arises in the Eastern context although God doesnt cease to be invoked even in His personal aspect. The traditionalist metaphysicians and mystics have well formulated coherent theodicy as God wishes to owe an explanation to man of His doings. Although this theodicy is not carried on the purely rational plane and from a purely rationalist perspective. Goodness and wisdom of God are quite evident propositions from the Eastern metaphysical perspective and one hardly needs to argue that point. It is the notion of Godhead or Beyond-Being that could be invoked to easily refute Epicurus and company. Becketts people know either the life of habit and boredom or the suffering of being which occasionally punctures it .They have hardly any inkling_( at the most at some moments they have a sort of dim perception only) of what East conceives as Self realization. Self realized person attains omniscience and if the question of purposes belongs to the knowable world he by definition knows that also. What Beckett can conceive of is only bad eternity, a state of frustrated or forced silence which is not so full of music, so blissful as it is for Osho and Krishnamurti, for instance a

23 very negative conception of divine without complementary concept of positive divine, a sort of nirvana or self knowledge that is only a crude appropriation or approximation of traditional Eastern conception of the same and hardly reconcilable with Christian and Islamic conception of heaven or Beatific vision (which is analogous to the Buddhist conception of nirvana as the perennialist scholarship has cogently argued).Far from the dynamic and positive conception of Buddhist nirvana, the Plenum Void Murphy can at best only contrive to desire( Nirvana, for that matter is a state that lies beyond desire) that nothing, that colorlessness which is though a rare post-natal treat. Watt through his Wittgenstenian philosophy of silence is only able to register the existence of the dynamic negative which the verbal universe fails to appropriate anyway; to account for it is beyond his power, and it is likewise beyond his power to locate it, save as being somewhere vaguely outside himself .Buddha achieves nothing less than Godhood, the Omniscience, the Bliss Unspeakable in that supreme meditative moment of silence. All the gods are conquered and whole of the universe is appropriated in that vital moment. But about Becketts people one wonders what good their extreme asceticism does to them. One is sure at least of the fact that they lose something (by denying the body, by denying the world, by denying the life -- none of his characters is able to affirm life passionately and sing its songs with that gay abandon unlike Camus, especially the youthful Camus, the author of Nupitals) None of the Beckettian characters is able to achieve complete transcendence of the finitude that is the curse of man as none of them has the perfect intuition of the Infinite. The Transcendent Principle cant be caught in the net of finitude and immanence . Beckett doesnt follow the logic of the Infinite. Within the humanist frame (despite his devastating critique and exposure of its foundations he remains at bottom a rationalist and humanist and tries to speak from the vantage point of human, all too human plane and despite feeling utter disequilibrium in that fragmentary viewpoint) there is no true infinite and no true transcendence. All the major existential thinkers placed transcendence in human subjectivity and thus within immanence. They remained at the threshold of transcendence. The finitism and immanent transcendence that characterizes these philosophies also comes in the way of Beckett to achieve the logical solution to his dilemmas. This is especially evident in his conception of art. The East considers self knowledge to be the beginning of wisdom and unless man knows self he is bound to wallow in misery and ignorance, knowledge of self brings the knowledge of God, the ground of Being or Existence and there is nothing else to know. Self is truth and truth is Self. All we need to know is this. Self is the ground of Existence, Truth and BlissSat, Chit, Ananda. That is why there is no despair, no absurdism in eastern perspective, which is in fact the perspective of all religions, including the traditional Christianity which Becket considers a childish mythology. Eastern man despite having seen truth, the whole truth squarely, despite his encounter with the absurdity and death celebrates life as well as death. Nietzsche said that man cant afford the look at whole truth, it being so painful. He must invent the lie of art to live. But mystic who is superman (impact Ananda Coomaraswamy makes a very insightful comparative study of Buddhist ideal of arahat and Nietzschian superman and asserts that they are functionally one) finds nothing unpalatable. He still finds life a song, a celebration and dances like Rumi and Osho. Experience of voidness of everything, of universal suffering doesnt make him despair of life. Where Western absurdist errs is in his ignorance of self. If he but knew who he is, he would have found all the answers. No skepticism, no agonizing doubt would have troubled him. Only in truth does one become free as Christ said. And absurdist is not free because he doesnt know the truth. In fact it is his utter failure to know and to be free that accounts for his pessimism. The question is finding the love which is the principle of dealienation. The fundamental problem for man is to know love and in love is freedom and love is God. Finding love is salvation. The mystics have always described as inability to love. The principle of self transcendence is

24 another name of love. Mans deepest quest is translatable as a quest for love. Now love is possible by self knowledge and this self knowledge is knowing the truth of annata or denial of the self, or transcending the illusion of separate self and self-will. When ego isnt time is not. And all sorrow presupposes the reality of ego and time. The Kingdom of God is the where time is not as Jesus said. So Becketts problem and quest too is for love or self knowledge. The mystics have found love and sung of it and that is enough proof of their finding the gnosis that delivers, their discovery of Bliss that God is. It is the inability of Beckett to find love that makes him pessimist. Eastern metaphysics with its nondualism that rejects self-other dichotomy and identification of human consciousness with universal consciousness could well be described as the metaphysics of love. Gnosis consists in realizing the illusoriness of ego-directed attitudes and actions. Let us compare two visions one born of love and renunciation of self will and the other born of ones inability to love and thus a state of loneliness that Becketts heroes represent. The mystic is best described as lover and not the one who has ecstatic experiences of superterrestrial beings. The mystics realization of the One is simply translatable as universalization of love. Mystics sing the heavenly song of love, with gay abandon. Is there anything comparable to the following lines of Rumi (that show the discovery and celebration of love as a result of self-transcendence or disidentification of ones consciousness with the ego) from his Diwan-i- Shams Tabrez in Beckett, in lonesco, in Camus, in Sartre:
I amnt of this world, nor of the next, nor of Paradise nor of hell I amnt of Adam,nor of Eve, nor of Eden and Rizwan My place is the Placeless, my trace is the Traceless It is neither body nor soul, for I belong to the soul of the Beloved. I have put duality away, I have seen that the two worlds are one; One I seek, one I know, one I see, One I call.31

The Sufis have sung of love, in fact Sufism is the path of love, song of love. The most beautiful poetry, the most passionate songs and lyricism are found in not any absurdist poetry but in Sufi poetry. One neednt argue this point, it being too obvious for any reader. To mystic is audible the music of the cosmos as the latter is his beloved. God is incarnate in cosmic dance. Beauty universal he sees in the dancing waves of the sea, in the waving of the forests, in the wilderness and the wild. He embraces all and excludes none as he is love. Love like light robes everything with heavenly splendours of light. Ram Tirtha sang Verily, verily, I am nothing but flood and glory of love. I shall shower oceans of love and bathe, the world in joy. Man isnt in exile. He isnt lonely. The stars arent silent. The whole world is man in mysticism. Man encompasses even God (but not the Promethian man but the pontifical man who renounces his ego and passes away in fana only to be reborn in the Kingdom of God, as Jivan Mukta, as the perfect man). He is microcosmos. He is pole of existence. He knows the language of birds and beasts. He can commune with the stars. He sees infinitely beyond the farthest galaxies observed in telescopes. I mean literally and not metaphorically these things. He sees reflection and manifestation of Self or God everywhere and there is nothing besides Him. He is one with the cosmos, with Existence. He has realized unity of God or Tawhid and that makes whole nature a theophany, a manifestation of God. The unity of God is the unity of Reality. The whole of the realm of manifestation is thus enchanted. It speaks so loudly of God, of Beloved. It is his own creation, so to speak, created for the sake of joy. As there is no observer (the observing subject) but only the observed, he can have no sense of exile. He sees paradise in this earth because he is transported out of time through gnosis or intellectual intuition. Exile and alienation is only for little

25 puny creature who thinks the universe as the other, as mute and brute fact, as gratuitous and feels himself thrown or hurled into the world. The mystic has regained the paradise so he isnt haunted by the sense of sin and of guilt. He is in heaven. As it is absurd to speak that God could feel exiled or alienated and encounter other as hell or universe as other, so it is absurd to speak of mystics exile or alienation. He doesnt encounter universe as the other. There is no hell for him. Hell is constituted by ignorance and loneliness or inability to love. But he knows and knows absolutely as he has seen both the worlds as one. All the gods and angels are within me; they are names of my different faculties, said Ibn Arabi, a Muslim Sufi. There are no gods who could condemn man to roll a rock like Sisyphus. I am above all the gods; devas lie prostrate before me said the Buddha. A Muslim appropriates Gods attributes. So it is absurd to kill God so that man may live as Nietzsche did. Mans freedom isnt curtailed in presence of God as Sartre thought. It is only expanded infinitely. God isnt a superperson out there but his deepest self for the mystic. God cant be on leave as Kaflka thought or absent as Heidegger declared. This could be only if man is forgetful of his own self, if he chooses to remain blind. What ails Beckett is divine athambia and divine aphasia, a God who mysteriously punishes and loves in incomprehensible ways. But this is really an expression of mans Western dualist fragmented absurdist mans own impotence, his own distorted receptacle, that cant receive grace, his own blindness. Man must accept total responsibility, the fact that he has to journey from alone to alone. He must be a light unto himself. He must cure his own pain and end his sorrow by his own efforts( although that is actually the work of Spirit indwelling in him). Then he must make his way to heaven and see the face of God. And then he will come to see that God speaks to him, loves him and cares for him. He will have no complaint against heavens as he has crossed the dark night of the soul. Heavenly God is within him and as long as he hasnt realized his own divinity he is condemned, rather self condemned and self excluded from the vision of God. And who can cure the blind? The mystic sees things by the light of his soul, and to him therefore there is nothing outside him. The brighter and purer the light within, the brighter and purer everything appears. If there is darkness inside it is reflected in outer world also. Ram Thirtha declared that red rays of the sun, were his muscles. When anything came across his eyes, he robed it in God and then saw that there was nothing else but God. Ram Tirtha thus addresses winds:
Blow, O breezes, mingle O winds, with these words whose purpose is the same as yours. O laughter! Laugher! I inextinguishable joy and laughter.32 This great mystic was asked in Japan what his religion was and he replied in the words of Goethe: Let me tell you, what is mans supreme vocation there was no world, it is my creation; it was I who raised the sun from the sea the Moon began her changeful course with me.33

How he faced death should be compared to Beckettian heros facing death:

O death! Take away this body if you please! I care not. I have enough of bodies to use I can Wear those divine silver-threads. The beams of moon, And live I can roam as divine minstrel, putting On the guise of hilly streams and mountain brooks. I can dance in the waves of sea. I am the breeze that proudly walks and I am the wind inebriated My all these shapes are wandering shapes of change

I came down from yonder hills, raised the dead, awakened the sleeping, unveiled the fair faces Of some and wiped the tears of a few weeping ones. The Bulbul and the rose both I saw and I comforted Them. Him I touched and her I touched. I doff my Hat and off I am. I keep nothing with me.34

At another place he says:

You are the whole, the infinite the All shine in your pristine glory. For you, o perfect One, there is no duty, no action, nothing to be done, all nature waits on you with bated breath. The World thanks her stars to have the good fortune of Paying you homage, adoring you, please, would you Mind the powers of Nature kneeling and bowing before You! 35

At another place he says:

Live that life within you, live that Atman within you, feel that you are the light of lights, the Lord of lords, the Arbiter of all justice, vigour and beauty, And that all existence is due to god, feel that, feel That! Try these spiritual experiments, and then see! 36

The East has been trying these experiments for so long and found that they work; there is nothing mystical or magical about all this. The East has been practicing the art of Bliss for centuries and it has practically defeated the absurdists conclusions. By becoming a mirror to existence, by becoming a witness (shahid) through renunciation of desire and will and submission to Gods will, one becomes a witness and conquers dukkha and realizes the splendor and bliss of pure consciousness. As Tirtha says:
If you yourself in that state while moving about in the world, that state of the witness in his glory, that state of neutral interest, taking no personal, selfish interest in the world, taking only the interest of the sun, so to say, shedding lustre and life wherever you go, having no personal interest, keeping your-self in true glory of godconsciousness, of god-liness, The same am I, keeping yourself at the home of truth, in the real Self of self, looking at nothing from the standpoint of the little selfish interested ego; if you do that, you will find yourself to be the same supreme power whose commands all the powers in this world must obey.37

Beckett is forcefully demonstrating (presenting) the truth of the Buddhas first noble truth and also the second noble truth. But the Buddha then proceeds to cure the cause of illness. But Beckett now arrives at the other shore. Self remains ever elusive. He never discovers it. Truth is ever deferred. He never arrives. Silent he never is able to be. He shares none of the metaphysical assumptions of the East. That is why he cant say with Krishnamurti: I wanted to understand, I wanted to conquer sorrow, this pain of detachment and attachment, death, continuity of life, everything that man goes through every day. I wanted to understand and conquer it. I have done so, my ecstasy is real and infinite, not an escape. I know the way out of this incessant misery and I want to help people out of the bog of this sorrow. 38 The acute consciousness of pain, of loneliness, and realization of vanity of all things in short the encounter with death is what makes Becketts characters miserable. Beckett cant celebrate death and nothingness. But he is acutely aware of their reality but unable to assimilate them or

27 settle terms with them. The West sees fulfillment or completeness in positive terms, in being, in life and not in the negative, in nothing or in death unlike East which celebrates these negative terms also, seeing them as fulfillment of the positive terms and not their negation. Krishnamurti thus presents this Eastern view:
the effort to acquire is futile, but if you can realize that truth, happiness, exists in all things and that the realization of that truth lies only through elimination. Then there is a timeless understanding. This isnt a negative. Most people are afraid to be nothing. They call it being positive when they are making an effort, and call that effort virtue. Where there is an effort there is not virtue. Virtue is effortless when you are as nothing, you are all things not by aggrandizement, not by laying emphasis on the I, on the personality, but by the continual dissipation of that consciousness which creates power, greed, envy, possessive care, vanity, fear and passion. By being self-recollected you become fully conscious, and then you liberate the mind and heart and know harmony, which is completeness (ISB, June 1931).

Unlike what it means to Krishnamurti (who is not a theologian or a metaphysician whom Beckett strongly rejects) death signifies utter nothingness, the blank and bleak end of all that is beautiful. It is the triumph of ugliness. It razes to ground all human endeavors, dashes all dreams. It is the darkness of void. It is the full stop. It makes life absurd, futile, useless passion, and history a bunk. In contrast the East sees death as blossoming of life, as fulfillment of life. It is an adventure, an experience, the most beautiful and significant experience. It alone makes life worth living and lets it blossom in full splendour. Consciousness, the pure unalloyed bliss of consciousness, or Self doesnt die. The mystic declares in most emphatic terms that there is no death. Mystics often predict time of their death and smile when Beloved calls them. There is absolutely no fear, no resentment and nothing of what Camus would call an encounter with the absurd. In comparison with the experience of death, life seems but very drab affair and even absurd. Only death gives life meaning. Death is the gateway to Eternity, to heaven. I again quote Krishnamurti, who puts Prophet of Islams dictum of dying before death in his own beautiful style in a talk delivered in London, in response to a question I am afraid of death. Can you give me any reassurance?
You are afraid to let go of all the things you have known . You are afraid to let all that go, totally, deep down, right from the depth, of your being, and with the unknownwhich is, after all, death Can you, who are the result of the known, enter into the unknown, which is death of your want to do it, it must be done while living surely, not at the last moment while living, to enter the house of death is not just a morbid idea;; it is the only solution, while living a rich, full lifewhatever that meansor while living a miserable, impoverished life, can we not know that which is not measurable, that which is only glimpsed by the experience in rare moments?...Can the mind die from moment to moment to everything that it experiences and never accumulate? (Krishnamurti: 107)

He was to express the same idea more simply in the second series of Commentaries on Living (1959):
How necessary it is to die each day, to die each minute to everything, to the many yesterdays and to the moment that has just gone by. Without death there is no renewing, without death there is no creation.An old dream is dead and a new one is being born, as a flower that pushes through the solid earth A new strength born of suffering is pulsating in the veins and a new sympathy and understanding is being born out of the past suffering. A greater desire to see others suffer less and, if they must suffer, to see that they bear, it nobly and came out of it without too many scars. I have wept but I do not want others to weep but if they do I now know what it means On the physical plane we could be separated and now we are inseparable .. As Krishnamurti I now have greater zeal, greater faith, greater sympathy and greater love for there is also in me the body, the Being, of Nityananda I know now, with greater certainty than ever before, that there is real beauty, in life, real happiness that cannot be shattered, by any physical happening, a great strength which cannot be weakened by any passing events and a great love which is permanent, imperishable and in conquerable.

28 When mass becomes aware of the movement of his own consciousness he will see the division between negation is the most positive action, not positive assertion. This is a very important thing to understand. Most of men so easily accept positive dogma, a positive creed, because we want to be secure. More than Krisnamurti it is Osho who presents eastern perspective in typical (post)modern existentialistic language and brilliantly demonstrates how one can proceed beyond pessimistic absurdism and nihilism .He appropriates Camus, Ionesco ,Sartre, Kafka Nietzsche, Beckett to argue his case with great dexterity It is in Oshos views on salvation, goal, truth and meaning of life where we find ruthless deconstructionist and absurdist who shares almost whole of the nontheistic and antimetaophysical assumptions of our modern existentialists and postmodern theologians. He approvingly writing about Zen says; Zen has no teaching. Zen has no doctrine. Zen gives no guidance; because it says there is no goal, it says you arent to move into a certain direction. It says you are already there, the more you try to reach there, the less is possibility of reaching .Seeking is the sure way of missing it. Getting it simply means getting the point that it is already available, that it has already happened , that is the very nature of existence (Osho,1971:327). Enlightenment is not the goal but the quality of being herenow (Osho,1978:328). For Zen the immediate is the ultimate and the immanent is the transcendent. This moment is eternity you have to be awakened to this moment, (Osho,1979:329) In his commentary on discourses of the Sufis The Secret he says, There is no final aim of life life has no aim, no purpose. It isnt going anywhere life is already there. The ultimate is the immediate, the immediate is the ultimate. I am not saying that tomorrow you will attain bliss bliss is already here (Osho,1979:626). For him thisness of existence is the mystery to be loved and lived. He quotes a Zen master who was asked what is truth and he answered the cypress tree in the courtyard, what is life? He answered A cup of tea. What is Buddha? And he answered three pounds of flex. For Osho this moment is the answer, whatever it is Truth is herenow. Real religion consists of the obvious. The obvious, the ordinary, is the mysticism. The obvious, that which is always with you, has been always with you, will always be with you, is God. Between you and God there is no distance at all. Not even a single step is needed to be taken (Osho,1979a:638) In a nutshell Becketts philosophy can be summarized in the following points: Human beings cant communicate. They are born alone, they live alone and they die alone. Solitude and exile haunt everyone Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. Man rolls no mass. All is sound and fury signifying nothing There is no solution at all. Nothing can be done to escape the tragic sense of life. No action can save man. He is damned. The sin of being born has to be expiated. The only option available is to laugh away the absurdity of life, an ironic awareness of triviality and futility of all things, all the uses of the world An Eastern critique of all these points can be summed up in the following points Truth is be realized and needs not communication. Need for communication is an imauthentic need. WE should learn to be silent. Desire for communication is an esca[pre from nothingness at the heart of the self. No need to communicate. Truth cant be communicated; it is experienced and not expressible in linguistic communicable terms. Only unimportant non existential things can be well communicated. All that is important and that which concerns us deeply, ultimately is necessarily and expectedly noncommunicable, in the silence before the Word. We have no obligation to express anything. Our obligation consists in being rather than knowing or saying. There is no truth out there that you can communicate; all that can be communicated isnt truth. Just celebrate and listen to silence. The music that will be heard then in silence is what we need to hear and communicate. There is no thou to whom you can communicate and there is no I who can

29 communicate. To live in the symbolic order is to be alienated from the Real.constitutesother to whom Solitude is the royal order to the discovery of self. It is an experience that we neeed to deliberately cultivate so that we reach the other shore, the land of no sorrow. It s only the prior experience of exile that will lead to the discovery of Bliss Supreme. It is Gods cherished device that will lead to aloneness which is the state of Godhead. From loneliness to aloneness mystics travel and come to possess the supreme contentment that they will not exchange for any worldly gain. There is a way out of the hell that man is in. There is a land of no sorrow. There is love. There is unalloyed goodness. Tragedy has not the final word. Indeed samsara itself is nirvana. There is no meaning in samsara while we see samsara alone. People have reached the other shore. They have drunk from the immortal wine. They have exuded the otherworldly fragrance. They have attained the peace that passeth all understanding. They consider all those trapped in the land of sorrow, maya, as ignorant, as diseased. They all suffer from ignorance. They are deluded who refuse to see the paradise that is surrounding them. Absolutizing the fallen perspective we are condemned to suffer. All temporal things are indeed vain. There is no permanence except in the Permanent asserts Islamic shahadah. There is no peace, no rest, no contentment, no fulfillment in any finite thing. Devoid of transcendence, the true world, to use Nietzsches phrase, the apparent workld, the world of scent and colour also loses its meaning. If we deny transcendence we deny everything worthwhile and then indeed there is no point in existence. No flowers bloom, no birds sing. No love justifies the world of pain. Thus we conclude that Becketts conclusions especially his pessimistic absurdism doesnt necessarily follow from his premises. The East ensures salvation of all and the sundry, even whole creation as everything returns to Origin which is God or Nothingness. The last gesture is that of smile in Buddha. Man discovers and has to willy nilly discover at the pain of hell his divinity and original state of omniscience and bliss. Then all existence appears enlightened as Buddha said that when he won nirvana he felt whole existence has already won it. One has every reason to bless the existence or life as its original nature is blessedness I end this paper with the statement of Rabbi Herschel Just to be is a blessing, just to live is holy This is what Beckett could not say and hardly could escape the desire to say it or cherish it in the heart of his hearts. References Chambers,Ross, Beckettts Brinkmanship,in AUMLA a Journal of the Australian Language and Literature Asssocition No !9,1963 Cohn, Ruby Philosophical Fragments in the Works of Samuel Beckettt in Criticism: A Quarterly for Literature and the Arts, 4:1,1964 Mayoux,J J., Samuel Beckettt and Universal Parody(1960)anthologized in Samuel Beckettt: A Collection of Critical Essays Ed. Martin Esslin, Printice Hall of India Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi,1980 Metman, Eva, Reflections on Samuel Beckettts Plays . The Journal of Analytical Psychology, Jan, 1960 Anders Gunther , Being without Time: On Beckettts Play Waiting for Godot anthologized in Samuel Beckettt: A Collection of Critical Essays Ed. Martin Esslin, Printice Hall of India Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi,1980 Coe,Richard N., God and Samuel B ,Meanjin Quarterly ,March 1965 Krishnamurti, Jiddu, Commentaries on Living,2nd Series,1959

30 . Osho (1985)Rajneesh Bible Vol. 1, Rajnesh Foundation International,Oregon,USA . Osho (1979) Take it Easy : Poems of Ikkayu Vol. 1 Rajnesh Foundation International Vol. 1 Osho (1977) Come Follow Me : The Sayings of Jesus Vol.2 Rajnesh Foundation International Osho (1975) Roots and Wings Rajnesh Foundation ,Poona,India Osho (1978) Psychology of the Esoteric : New Evolution of Man, Orient Paper Backs New Delhi Osho (1979a) The Secret : Discourses on Sufis, Rajnesh Foundation International Radhakrishnan in Indian Philosophy,Vol.1George Allen &Unwin Ltd Stace,W.T(1952)Time and Eternity:An Essay Concerning Philosophy of Religion Priinceton University Press .London Whitehead, A.N, Science and the Modern World Ch. 12