The sane common man too has something to do with the flower even though for him it is nothing more than an occasional feel good factor or a way to social networking like the occasions when he gifts flowers to his boss on the latter’s Birthday or a friend who is in a hospital. Or, when he offers them to the stone idols in the hope of reaping multifold benefits for his investment in flowers.
He may even wonder why persons like Pablo Neruda, William Blake or Kalidasa are so much obsessed with the flower. Don’t they have better utilitarian things to do like forcing children to school, opening an NGO so as to beat the drum for being a philanthropist or finding out an investment scheme that tripled their money in three years?
Then there is the scientist. He has a different perspective on the flower. He tries to dissect it to its last chemical composition, or to its last sub-atomic particle. To a scientist the flower is just a combination of some particles that are different in composition from the dead body it adorns. The scientist may miss the sense of beauty of the mystic for the sake of intellectual stimulus. For the poet truth is beauty and beauty is truth. For the scientist all such talks are gibberish. But, then he has his own way of seeing at the truth and developing his sense of wonder.
At least the common man is honest. And the scientist has his own way of seeing the truth without at all being concerned whether it is ugly or beautiful. But the blind man who writes about flowers in the hope of getting a PHD belongs to a different class altogether. Even though he is blind and has never seen a flower, occasionally he has smelled it. He has touched it and felt its textures. Then, to complement his knowledge about flowers he can surf the internet. Lo his thesis is ready. It does not matter if his thesis is ninety nine percent borrowed material. Then there are other blind men who cannot even do this much. So, now he is a hero among the blind men.
But, when a person like Pablo Neruda comes across the thesis he can instantly see that it is all borrowed knowledge. Even a fan of Pablo Neruda can see that it is parroted knowledge. The person has not written it out of his own experience. Other blind men who praise the thesis of the blind man will continue to have the wrong idea about flowers. Their ideas will be so much deviated from the reality that if by chance they get eyesight and then come across a flower they will say, “This is in a no way a flower”.
This puts Pablo in a dilemma – whether to wake up the blind men or leave them as they are, in their own temporary bliss of ignorance and illusion. Jesus must have been more frustrated by such pundits of parroted knowledge than the innocent ignoramus when he said, “ …. nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces”.