Deepak Ramola

ReImagining Wisdom
with Deepak Ramola

Wisdom is another name for the way that the human being, like all beings, participates in the creativity of the Universe in its unique way – less through biological transformation than through culture: we use symbolic language to give meaning – uniquely human meaning – to our world. In this way, we create the world as the ecological world is created through evolutionary processes. In the womb of the ecosystem, relationships are cultivated that give rise to novelty. Human beings enter into this process, too, but add a unique approach: we have the capacity, through the imagination, to give birth in the present to that which does not yet exist.

Imagination is not merely ideas about the future; it is the birthing of possibility in the present moment, the womb of creative potential. The language of the mystic is metaphor and poetry. It is this language that touches us in ways that truly affect our basic assumptions about the world. To give birth to a new worldview requires more than ideas, but also their creative expression. The way we connect to the world is not generally through discursive reason, but through the connections we feel, connections that are evoked through participation in the creative process of the mythmaker.

We have a choice to make: cling to the old stories and descend into fascism or find new stories to bring forth a new world. The role of the poet is to bring forth new worlds with new words. Only a small part of this work is what happens when pen meets paper. The real work is when one encounters the world in novel ways, with the playfulness of a child; when one experiences the texture of the world, its depth and subjectivity; and when one risks falling in love with the world, flawed and sorrowful as it is.

[Originally Published in Imagine]
Theodore Richards

Guest Bio

Deepak Ramola is the founder and artistic director of Project FUEL. He is currently pursuing a master’s programme at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A TED Talks speaker and UN Action Plan Executor, he previously served as the Kindness Ambassador for the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development. His methodology has been recognized among the world’s top 100 innovations in education and has been adopted across five continents. Ramola is also a celebrated lyricist in Hindi cinema, and his songs have been voiced by Amitabh Bachchan, Farhan Akhtar and Rekha Bhardwaj, among others. His first collection of Hindi poetry, Itna Toh Main Samajh Gaya Hoon, received the prestigious Dwarka Prasad Aggarwal Young Writer Award in 2020. His latest book, 50 Toughest Questions of Life, has gone into a reprint two weeks after its release.

A Conversation With Deepak Ramola

by Theodore Richards