Adonis Diaries

Archive for February 23rd, 2009

The road to perdition (Introspection chapter#49)

 

 My brother-in-law, Victor’s assignment, as military attaché of the Lebanese government, lasted barely two years and I had the opportunity to meet with many US officials, the Lebanese community, and Lebanese army officers on training missions.  I was living and working in San Francisco since 1992 and was invited to live with my family in Washington DC, before we relocated to Montgomery County in Maryland.

 

My sister Raymonde prepared countless dinners, all by herself, for dozens of invitees each time. Mother stayed with us for six months and was of great aid preparing dinners.  We toured the USA as a family, a few  Disney’s lands, New York, North Carolina and on.

 

Victor and Raymonde had wider opportunities to tour the USA as invitees of the US military to Hawaii, Colorado, Louisiana, and Niagara Falls and on. I went biking and walking with the kids in the forests.

 

The time came in 1996 for the Choukeir family to leave for Lebanon.  Every member of the family was distraught.  The kids were very unhappy because they experienced a new learning climate for investigative minds; they even learned music and playing musical instruments and tampered with computers.

 

Victor insisted on purchasing and shipping a large gas guzzling van that they used to tour Jordan and Syria in their first year in Lebanon, before it turned a relic, parked and taking space in the parking lot because the kids had grown out of family vacations as a group.

I refused to leave with them.  I had no earning job and I was practically broke; I was plainly conscious that the hardest period is ahead of me, but I refused to succumb yet to a “suicidal life” in Lebanon; I had to make a final push for financial stability.

 

Two months before the order for Victor to definitely return to Lebanon, I had read an announcement that a free course of 3 weeks in Real Estate was opening; this course would permit me to sit for a testing exam that may introduce me into this closed business.

My next four years to the labyrinths of Hell took off, especially for someone with a foreign accent, short, and ungainly, who posted his real estates signs “Dr. Adonis” .  I had a PhD in industrial engineering and was not lying with any title.

I can write a whole book just on my personal experiences in Real Estates business and thus, I would restrain my experience to just a sketchy section of my first two years.  The sign generated many calls from distraught people suffering of physical ailments, but I was of no help.

I have published on wordpress.com five pieces (poems) related to my attitude and feelings on my life in this business, and particular chapters describing my life and the real estates business.

I recall the innumerable hunger, humiliation and indignity I suffered in the first two years in the real estates business, and many more after I started earning a living.

I rented rooms in humid basements.  I finally purchased a decent 4-year old car with my credit card.  I paid the ads of my listed properties with credit cards.  I know how the US lived in the last three decades on just credit cards…

Once, I lost weight and my acquaintances believed I had AIDS.  I got scared and visited a community dispensary and paid $10 for the check up.  The physician sadly told me: “You are not eating properly.”  What can a broke person eat?  I hadn’t discovered any soup kitchen announcement in this ultra wealthy county.

Four years of hell, but I made it with many topics to write about.  Nothing else but frustration and abuse, and many listings generated mostly from 50 calls a day to unknown people, using the phone book, and asking “Do yo care to sell or buy properties?”.  I never liked calling and still don’t.

Nietzsche’s “Thus spoken Zarathustra” (February 20, 2009)

Zarathoustra “The one who owns old camels” (a tradition in antiquity to tone down the status of famous personalities in order to avoid jealousy and the cursed eyes) is considered the reformist Prophet (7th century BC) of the Ahura Mazda religion in antique Persian Empires.This Empire extended from Turkey to the Indus River (Pakistan).

Nietzsche wrongly adopted the meaning of the Greek name of Zoroaster “The Star of Gold“.  The God Ahura Mazda (The Lord or the Wise Spirit) re-organized the Universe in order to lock in his arch enemy Angra Manyu (The agent of evil thinking) in a time capsule. Thus, people in the universe have to deal with the “Devil of lies, confusion, errors, and death” before they are freed out of the time constraint

In the antiquity, Ahura Mazda represented the day, and the Sun was the symbol of divinity, and fire was the medium through which Ahura Mazda listened to prayers and spoke. 

There were countless sub-divinity representing values of Ahura Mazda and many personalized divinities like Mithra (God of justice represented by the Sun) and Anahita (Goddess of the water), and the God of wind, destiny, and so on.  The forces of life and good will ultimately vanquish the forces of evil and death.

So far, there are no historic proofs, archeological or epigraphic discoveries for indices that Zarathustra, Abraham, Moses, or Lao Tseu did exist except in oral traditions. 

It appears that the concepts of angels, the Judgment of the dead, the Holy Ghost are interpreted from the Zoroastrian religious tradition.  The history of humanity is enclosed in three time periods of 3,000 years each:

The first period witnesses the encapsulation of Angra Manyu; the second period witnesses the awakening of Angra Manyu and the terrible confusion and instauration of death; the third and last period experiences the last struggles between the forces of evil and good.  The number 3 in all religions of the antiquity is a divine number, and corpses were laid by three in the tombs.  The number thousand should not be taken literally because it refers to a huge number. 

Thus, when Zarathustra was born he knew that he is living in the last period and that he will not die and would return to Ahura Mazda.  The disciples of Zarathustra claim that their Prophet learned to be in communication with Ahura Mazda.

The Greek philosophers were fascinated with the teachings of Zarathustra and they emulated many concepts of the Ahura Mazda religion for the good life, beauty, the rejection of ascetic life and celibacy, and devotion to heavy drinking. Soldiers would go to combat wearing all their jewelries. The Persian King would revisit his decisions taken when fasting, and would verify his previous decision after he is literally drunk.

Many Mazdi followers fled persecutions in south east Iran in the provinces of Yazd and Kerman in the 10th century and immigrated to India and Bombay. The French explorer Anquetil-Duperron traveled to India in 1755 and learned Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, and Farsi in order to investigate the religion and traditions of the Mazdi followers who were established in the region of Surat (northern region of Pakistan and bordering Afghanistan). 

Anquetil-Duperron published three vast volumes titled “Zend Avesta, the work of Zoroaster“.  There are large communities of Mazdi in California and India. The Bahai followers adopt the Mazdi beliefs in addition to Islam and variant of Judaism.

Even current Iran, the Islamist Republic, celebrates the Mazdi festivities of New Year (Nawrouz) and the Red Wednesday, a festival of fire and pleasure.

In the summer of 1881, Nietzsche was sitting by the lake of Sils-Maria in Switzerland; it is located 6,000 feet above sea level and “far from things human”.  He said:

“I was waiting for nothing.  Beyond the good or evil, I was enjoying of light, shadows, the lake, the noontime, and of no purpose. Then, friend, suddenly one became two and Zarathustra walked by”  That is when the decision to write “Thus spoken Zarathustra” had taken flesh and for over two years, Nietzsche would resume his manuscript where ever he is located.

 Since the Zoroastrian religion professed the duality between good and evil and thus, according to Nietzsche, Zoroaster preached an “extra-morale” doctrine beyond the good and evil and proselytized the eternal return of man, a sort of an extension to the doctrine represented by Dionysus.  The Greek God Dionysus had the power to change and to be transformed into another player; this power is mainly of lightness, perpetual movement, and erotic.

Nietzsche would sign a few of his articles Dionysus. Thus, Nietzsche wrote: “Only the one who can change is related to me.  This life, as you are living it now and had so far lived, you will have to re-live it many other times. You will have to learn to be kind to yourself and toward life. You have got to mark the future of the being with the highest will for power“.

While the German philologists claimed that Zoroaster invented morality, Nietzsche would argue that Zoroaster preached the contrary to morality and that he was the representative of thinker on life. 

Nietzsche contrasted Zoroaster to Socrates whom he judged to cling to a moral set.  (I think Socrates is being evaluated according to what Plato said about Socrates’ teaching.  It is Plato that ascribed to set of moral standards and of eugenics practices for a new Republic.  Socrates wanted to dialogue with people in power to discriminate those who are free thinkers and reflect on prevalent moral standards from those who abide by religious dogmas and current paradigms)

Cholera or Pest or Plague: Never vanished and blooming again (February 23, 2009)

Cholera is back in force and threatening to spread in many neighboring States to Zimbabwe.  Mugabe of Zimbabwe refuses to step down as President and his State is suffering great famine, miseries, and the plague.  Thousands of people have contracted cholera and over 7,000 have already succumbed.   Cholera cannot be controlled; it could not be through the ages and current progress is not at a par with that plague.  Why?  Cholera has the capacity to mutate: an element of AND code new functions for the benefit of the bacteria, modifying its genome and increasing its adaptation to treatments or new antibiotics.

Alexandre Yersin, a French physician and bacteriologist, discovered in 1894 that Cholera is a bacteria but he failed to come up with a curative serum. Yersin still believed that rodents (rats) are the main culprit for transmitting this disease.  Only in 1898 did Paul-Louis Simond confirmed that cholera is transmitted by flea that quit dead rats to other greener pastures by sucking blood elsewhere.  Rats are infected with cholera but they are not affected or transmit it because they rarely bite humans.  Once a man is afflicted with cholera then the main transmitter of the epidemics are men.

So far, medical research has not mapped out all the means of transmissions of the disease.  It is possible that home pets, cats and dogs, carrying flea might be transmitters of the epidemic.  What is known is that older generations of antibiotics such as streptomycin, chloramohenicol, and tetracycline are increasingly inefficient against the bacteria of cholera.  The antibiotic based on fluoroquinolone might be of more effectiveness.

Bubonic plague has a long history, through the ages, to devastating more than a third of populations.  Cholera lands suddenly, kills for a short period and then disappear for no known reasons.  The best remedy was to flee as quickly, as far away as is possible and not to return any time soon.  The Jews in Judea were decimated during David.  The troops of the Assyrian Monarch Sanhareeb, putting siege to Jerusalem in 701 BC, suffered the plague. Greece and Athens in 430 BC was devastated by cholera as Sparta was laying siege to Athens. Ancient Rome was plagued.  Cholera hit Byzantium during Justinian for one century and traveled around the Mediterranean basin; Pope Pelage II succumbed to cholera in 590.  In 1346, the Mogul troops, laying siege to Caffa in Crimea, were plagued and they catapulted infested bodies over the rampart of Caffa.  The Genoa defenders fled Caffa and transmitted the plague to all Europe; Spain, Marseille, Paris, England are contaminated and then Russia ten years later. France lost over a third of its population and Spain as many if not worse.

Cholera crashed London in 1665; the English monarch and his family paid a long visit to the French Monarch, The plague subsided when fire engulfed the better parts of the poorer quarters of London in 1666.  The last time, before Zimbabwe, that cholera expressed its virulence was in 1894 in south east China.

History accounts shows that cholera was carried by the Mogul troops arriving from Mongolia and Central Asia. As they sweep into relatively humid regions then plague settles in during summertime. India, Iran, Iraq, and Syria suffered plague during the Mogul successive invasions. I cannot but figure out a few hypotheses.  Cholera infects people but does not bloom in dry arid regions.  Cholera is virulent in humid regions and during the hot seasons.  Could it be because people sweat profusely? Especially because people failed to wash or take bathes in older days?  Or is it that since sweat excretes most of the salt in the body then cholera has an ideal medium of less salty body fluids to flourish and concentrate during the ripe seasons?


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

February 2009
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