Adonis Diaries

Archive for July 2011

Single precondition for friendship

Can you imagine befriending anyone (regardless of genders or domestic animal) if you feel disgusted physically or behaviorally by the other partner?

We have 5 senses that need to be satisfied with close bodily contacts.

If the smell of smoking generates vomiting instincts, can you befriend an addicted smoking person?

If your partner suffocate your nose with body smell, or exhaling noxious mouth breath, or you feel disoriented with which eye is the valid one, or…

If one of your senses feels revolted by the close contact of someone, how could you “sustain” and maintain the friendship?

Unless you are of the type of “re-educating” the partner, for some mysterious reasons.

Suppose that you had “remote agreeable communication” with someone, and you physically met with the remote individual.  You are turned off physically or behaviorally from this person.  Don’t you think that your further remote communication would be laced with “aggressive undertone“?

The next time you engage a remote communication with the “previous remote friend” will be biased negatively, you will find the logic asynchronous, ideas outdated, opinion not frank and honest…

You don’t have to bemoan that you never graduated from diplomatic foreign affairs schools:  Just be upfront and say: “Sir, it is a sort of physical or behavioral repulsion.  I think it is best that we never mention our names in further remote communication… Since I know your writing style, don’t expect me to comments on your pieces or to dwell on extensive analyses…”

I don’t think you have to rub it deeper with the second sentence:  The first blunt sentence will do the job wonderfully. Anyway, there are plenty of social platforms and plenty of bloggers…

It is funny these repeat scenes in movies where someone is drawing a list of pro and con qualities on the partner, and they are wondering how come the friendship lasted that long…

Let us be frank, the precondition for friendship was solid and stable for the duration:  the check list is a benign exercise,  lest the check list is a precursor for a drastic decision of change in venue

Have you been friend with someone for a long time, and you feel the friendship is now irrelevant, pretty much redundant..?

You make a long laundry list of all the valid differences to convince yourself that there must be a good reason for the break-down in relationship.  You realize that these difference existed and you knew all about them all along, but why you’re feeling that way just right now?

You know that the list of variations in physical or behavioral differences is a crappy excuse:  You know deep down that one of your senses was hugely attracted to your friend, assuming that all the remaining characteristics in your friend were just normal and acceptable.

What changed is that your particular sense has been blunted by age and the valuing scale has be transformed. Or most probably, you want to believe that the attractive part in your friend has changed to the worse.

For example, your friend is involuntarily farting, the smell of his hair has turned vinegar, the skin is showing signs of lost hope in perpetual youth and vigor…These kinds of deficiencies produced by aging…but you refuse to admit that it was these insignificant bestial senses that were the cause for starting the friendship adventure, and the catalyst for the demise of the friendship, vanishing into thin air…

The aging process requires some kind of solitude, of larger needs for more privacy, and of hiding growing deficiencies…

Am I brutal? Isn’t it the power and beauty of having a blog?

Any knowledge of “History of Geography” or world maps?

Do you know that the Chinese cartographers oriented the southern hemisphere to be on the top of maps? Why?

The northern hemisphere (close to where they lived), was very cold and foggy, and the Moguls invaded China from there, thus, devaluing this northern hemisphere and relegating it to the bottom part of a map.

The Arab cartographers adopted the Chinese orientation.

For example, in 1157, Al Idrisi sent a most complete map of 70 double pages to King Roger II of Sicily.  The map detailed the Mediterranean Sea basin.

Obviously, you have to turn the map upside down to visualize it as we currently see it.  For example, if the concept of civilized and barbaric countries were prevalent in these ancient times, as it is now, the southern countries will boast to belong to the southern civilized hemisphere!

In Medieval Europe, top of maps represented the eastern side of the world. Why?

According to the Bible, East was the Eden because Cain was chased eastward toward the void.  Additionally, a belt of fire cordoned off the East portion, not to be accessible to entrance.  Christopher Columbus described the Antilles Islands (East of Asia in his mind) as Eden where people roamed completely naked and rich in exotic fruits.

Mercator, a Dutch cartographer (1512-1594), re-oriented the maps, on the ground that the southern hemisphere is “heavier” than the northern counterpart according to the Greek tradition. Europe was to be located in the center of the world.

Do you know that continents were categorized in two major groups and intermediate regions?

For example, you had the “solid regions” (Sub-Sahara Africa, Northern America, Southern America, Asia, Europe, and Antarctica) and the malleable autonomous regions such as (India, Australia, Russia, and the island of Madagascar).  The other regions were shared portions such as (North Africa, Turkey, Mongolia, Middle East, Central Asia, Central Europe…).  You can guess the geopolitical theme for this division of the world.

Do you know that, even recently in the 60’s, the world was divided as solid geography, liquid geography, and gaseous geography?

For example solid geography (founded by Paul Vidal de la Blanche, 1923) relied on the material objects such as mountain chains, raw materials, types of rocks…in order to describe a country?

The Anglo-Saxon description of geography was of the “liquid kind”, emphasizing space and modeling…a flux representation.

In the 80’s, description of geography included the time-line or history of a region, and thus, gaseous geography!

Fernand Braudel demonstrated the interconnections between Time (history of a region) and the Space (land facts) in describing a region…

In this globalization period, the world is divided among the developed countries (West Europe, USA, Japan, China, Russia), the fast developing countries (Brasil, India, Turkey, Iran, Indonesia…supplying the cheap work force), and the third world supplying the raw materials and minerals.

For example, I tend to believe that major rivers, much more than mountain chains, are the determining dividing lines among autonomous countries and representing the character of people.

It is toward major water sources that mankind agglomerated and settled and founded urban centers.  Within two decades, water resources will be scarce and the most important element for survival.  Countries controlling the origin or sources of major rivers will enjoy huge leverage in the geopolitical tag of war. (Read link in note)

For example, China will never relinquish Tibet:  The Himalaya mountain chains are the sources of most of the major rivers flowing in China, South-East Asia, and even in the Ganges (India).

Turkey control the sources of the Euphrates and Tiger rivers flowing into Syria and Iraq.

Ethiopia control the Nile water source…

Note 1:  Article was inspired from an article in the French monthly Sciences Humaines, and written by Christian Grataloup

Note 2:  https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/09/19/lions-and-lionesses-along-the-fertile-crescent-ancient-empires/

Battle of Zahleh (Lebanon, 1982): Revisiting this “melancholic civil war”

The importance of “The Battle of Zahleh” in 1982 is that it will turn out to be a catalyst for Israel to decide invading Lebanon in June 1982, and enter the Capital Beirut.  The battle of Zahleh extended fantastic dilusion dreams to Ariel Sharon:  “We kick out of Lebanon the armed faction of the Palestinian Resistance Movement (PLO), they move to Syria, Syria sent them packing to Jordan, and the PLO establish a State in Jordan.  In the meanwhile, Israel create a stooge State in Lebanon government by Christian militia allies…”  That is how Robert Fisk reported the strategy from an Israeli military reporter, who heard it from Sharon as the battle of Zahleh was in progress.

Zahleh, a medium-size city of 150,000 citizens, the first city you reach as you descends the eastern side of Mount Sannine.  Zahleh is at 945 m in altitude and smack in the middle of the rich Bekaa Valley (representing about 42% of the size of Lebanon).  The main center is divided by the Berdawni River. On the north of Berdawni, an area called Wadi al Arayesh, crowded with countless restaurants, side by side, boarded with tall trees and the sound of flowing fresh water, serving typical Lebanese meals and mezzeh (composed of two dozen small dishes).

Zahleh was founded 300 years ago with the influx of mountain people, from Mount Lebanon and Huran plateau (Syria) and settled by the Berdawni River. Zahleh was burned down in 1771, 1791, and again in 1860 during the internal clashes between the Christian Maronite and the Druze sects.

Train rails were constructed in 1885 to serve the agricultural trade exigencies among the neighboring regions.  There is no more trains, and barely any rails are standing. Zahleh is surrounded with famous vineyards located in Wadi Hadi, Harqat, Bir Ghazour, and Tell Zeina.  The vineyard Ksara in a few miles south.

The very credible accounts of investigative reporter Robert Fisk (see notes) described the battle of Zahleh in his book “Afflictions of a Nation”.  I am reading the Arabic version of the book (the private reading library that I patronize does not enjoy English reading customers) and this diary of an episode of Lebanon civil war is an abridged version, written my own style and my comprehension of this particular history and context.

Until the end of 1980, Zahleh was like an oasis in the midst of this barbaric and incomprehensible civil war that has been dragging since April 1975.  The Syrian troops guaranteed peace and tranquility in Zahleh with a majority of Christian Catholic orthodox.  Young Bashir Gemayel, head of the Christian militia “The Lebanese Forces”, a militia built around the Phalanges Party after annexing by force the other weaker Christian militias, started to plan becoming the next president of the republic. Consequently, he needed to exhibit the image of the leader of all the Christians, everywhere they existed as majority in the country.

Beshir encouraged the Christians in Zahleh to attack and harass the Syrian troops. The Syrian troops responded by shelling Zahleh with tank guns.  The propaganda of the Christian militia that they were confronting Islamic invasion to disperse all Christians from Lebanon failed to generate any reactions from the USA and Europe.  Israel’s major-general Yahoshoa Sagoy, head of Israel intelligence agency, guessed that Bashir is trying hard to draw Israel directly into the civil war.  However, General Rafael Etan decided to down two Syrian helicopters supplying the unit on Sannine.

There was a deal: The Syrian troops were to vacate Mount Sannine on condition that no other force try to retain this strategic location.  The people in Zahleh were not concerned with Beshir Gemayel and very few were members of the Phalanges party.  Beshir decided to build a side dangerous road leading to Zahleh with the intention of dispatching military supplies.

In the winter season of 1981, the Lebanese Forces installed mortar guns on Mount Sannine. Robert Fisk was among the “Christian” forces and he could barely breath from the high altitude and the freezing weather.  The Syrian army got suspicious of Beshir’s purpose, particularly that Bashir boasted publicly of his friendship with Israel. Actually, Israel has been unloading military equipment and ammunition in the port of Jounieh for quite a time. What if this side road is being prepared for Israel to use in a preemptive war against Syria?

Syrian tanks fired over these mortar installations.  The militia behaved as frightened adolescent every time a tank fired over them.  The Syrian troops managed to stop finishing constructing this military road.  The Christian militia prevented the Syrians from reaching Faraya snow skiing resort.  The Syrian troops acquired the top of Sannine, while the Christian militia were contented of remaining 50 meters below. Fisk looked over the sand bags and could see the entire Bekaa Valley down below.

This was a totally bungled battle, meant principally for propaganda purpose.  The university graduates in the Christian militia were hardly capable of firing properly the mortar guns.  Fisk wrote: “As we were withdrawing in a hurry, using a German truck (the same kinds imported by the Palestinians in West Beirut), a tire blew up.  We had to scramble on slippery snowy ways for 9 miles toward the hotel Mazar Faraya.  This hotel was transformed into a military garrison.  All the utensils were imported from Israel, as well as the military clothes”. The militias were into the new trend of shalom here, shalom there.

After Israel downed the two Syrian helicopters, Syria moved in sort of obsolete anti air missile, freshly painted white, and explicitly exposed to be photographed by the foreign press. and the pictures displayed in foreign dailies.  Israel Begin PM refused to acknowledge the presence of these missiles:  They were of no military threat, and Israel was preparing a “preemptive incursion” into Lebanon.

By the end of July, the case of Zahleh was closed.  Fisk wrote: “The battle of Zahleh was an international tag of war, and not a battle between Phalanges and Syrian troops. About two hundred civilians were killed or injured.  95 members of Phalanges who had residences in Beirut quit Zahleh.  The remaining Christian militia members stayed in peace in Zahleh.”

I was living in Lebanon in that period: No same Lebanese had any illusion of the military outcome of this rediculous battle.  In fact, as Israel invaded Lebanon in June 1982, the Israel military power could not reach Zahleh and was stopped by the remaining Syrian troops in its progress in the higher region of the Chouf district by the town of Ain Dara.  The battle of Zahleh will turn out to be a catalyst for Israel to decide invading Lebanon in 1982, and enter the Capital Beirut.

Note 1: Robert Fisk is one of the famous journalist reporters who covered Lebanon civil war.  He was the correspondent of the British “Times” in the Middle-East till 1987.  He is currently the correspondent of the British daily “The Independent”.  Fisk wrote two books on the Irish civil war and conflicts, and a book on Lebanon’s civil war “Afflictions of a Nation”.

Note 2:  The Zionist lobby in England took to the street denouncing the accurate accounts of Fisk in the Times: “The Times is the new Arabic secret weapon”

Note 3: Fisk reported that Israel invasion of Lebanon in 1982 was the beginning of the shattering of Israel’s image in the eyes of world community:  Foreign reporters and press declined accepting Israel accounts as accurate or credible.  The foreign press has witnessed the atrocities and countless violations of human rights of the Israeli soldiers and officers against civilians in Lebanon.

Note 4: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/israel-is-announcing-to-world-community-i-am-ready-for-another-preemptive-war-back-me-up/

Have you fallen prey to the chain-letters scheme?

Months of 31 days that start with a Friday witness 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, and 5 Sundays. For example, this July would have these 5 stuffs..  Last October in 2010 had the 5 Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  March 2013 and July 2016 will have the same “phenomena”.

What is shameful is that con artists want you to believe that this event happens every 850 years! Nepalnews called this phenomena the “money bags”.  For example, you have to disseminate this ridiculous misinformation in order to receive money within the next four days. Nepalnews is demanding from you to sent chain-letters so that providence will be on your side and generate sizable profit, in cash, obviously.

To add stupidity to ridiculous messages, the site says that if you add your age to the number representing the last two digit of the date of your birth, you will discover that it adds up to 111!  Sure, next year, if you do the same math you’ll discover that the number is 112.  All you do is subtract 1900 if you were born between 1900 and 1999. But 112 is not as striking as 111, for example 1/11, 11/1…

These con artists want to convince the elderly, the most vulnerable section of population, and the adolescents, the most naive category, to join the bandwagon of “money go get it”.

Note: Read this piece of news in the French weekly magazine Corrier International.

The Lesser Depression? Who is Paul Krugman?

“You do not know, my son, with how little wisdom the world is governed.”

Paul Krugman published an article on July 21, 2011 in The New York Times.  Krugman is a Nobel laureate in economics and has been frequently explaining the current world financial problems.  I will exhibit a few extracts with my own editing style, and develop my comments.

“These are interesting times, in the worst way. We are currently looking at not one, but two looming crises, either of which could produce a global disaster. In the United States, right-wing fanatics in Congress may block a necessary rise in the debt ceiling, potentially wreaking havoc in world financial markets. Meanwhile, if the plan just agreed to by European heads of State fails to calm markets, we could see falling dominoes all across southern Europe — which would also wreak havoc in world financial markets.”

“We can only hope that the politicians, huddled in Washington and Brussels, succeed in averting these threats. But here’s the thing: Even if we manage to avoid immediate catastrophe, the deals being struck on both sides of the Atlantic are almost guaranteed to make the broader economic slump worse.

“In fact, policy makers seem determined to perpetuate what I’ve taken to calling the Lesser Depression, the prolonged era of high unemployment that began with the Great Recession of 2007-2009 and continues to this day, more than two years after the recession supposedly ended. Why our economies are (still) so depressed.

The great housing bubble of the last decade, which was both an American and a European phenomenon, was accompanied by a huge rise in household debt. When the bubble burst, home construction plunged, and so did consumer spending as debt-burdened families cut back.

Everything might still have been bearable if other major economic players had stepped up their spending, filling the gap left by the housing plunge and the consumer pullback. But nobody did. In particular, cash-rich corporations see no reason to invest that cash in the face of weak consumer demand.

Nor did governments do much to help. Some governments — those of weaker nations in Europe, and State and local governments here — were actually forced to slash spending in the face of falling revenues. And the modest efforts of stronger governments — including the Obama stimulus plan — were, at best, barely enough to offset this forced austerity.  So we have depressed economies. What are policy makers proposing to do about it? Less than nothing.

The disappearance of unemployment from elite policy discourse and its replacement by deficit panic has been truly remarkable. It’s not a response to public opinion. In a recent CBS News/New York Times poll, 53 percent of the public named the economy and jobs as the most important problem we face, while only 7 percent named the deficit. Nor is it a response to market pressure. Interest rates on U.S. debt remains near historic lows.

Yet the conversations in Washington and Brussels are all about spending cuts (and maybe tax increases, I mean revisions). That’s obviously true about the various proposals being floated to resolve the debt-ceiling crisis here. But it’s equally true in Europe.

On Thursday, the “heads of State or governments of the euro area and the E.U. institutions” — that mouthful tells you, all by itself, how messy European governance has become — issued their big statement. It wasn’t reassuring.  For one thing, it’s hard to believe that the “Rube Goldberg statement” can really resolve the Greek crisis, let alone the wider European crisis.

But, even if it does, then what? The statement calls for sharp deficit reductions “in all countries except those under a program” to take place “by 2013 at the latest.” Since those countries “under a program” are being forced into drastic fiscal austerity, this amounts to a plan to have all of Europe slash spending at the same time. And there is nothing in the European data suggesting that the private sector will be ready to take up the slack in less than two years.

For those who know their 1930s history, this is all too familiar. If either of the current debt negotiations fails, we could be about to replay 1931, the global banking collapse that made the Great Depression great. But, if the negotiations succeed, we will be set to replay the great mistake of 1937:  The premature turn to fiscal contraction that derailed economic recovery and ensured that the Depression would last, until World War II finally provided the boost the economy needed.  The European Central Bank  seems determined to make things even worse by raising interest rates.

The lack of wisdom is on full display, as policy elites on both sides of the Atlantic bungle the response to economic trauma, ignoring all the lessons of history. And the Lesser Depression goes on.” (End of quote)

I am wondering: What if Congress agrees to raise the ceiling of the debt?  How the US government used to pay off, in the first place, the nominal portion of its dept?  It is not through the surplus of its economic activities, or the savings of the citizens, or the slashing of military spending…

The US has been borrowing heavily by encouraging foreign State governments, which managed to save money, into purchasing US Treasury Bills and bonds.  Currently, this mechanism of relying on foreign savings is not working, and the Federal Reserve has been manufacturing money and lending it to the US government to cover short-term and urgent immediate deficit.

The dollar has been effectively being devalued consistently by 10% per year since 1945, and this rate in devaluation is increasing rapidly since 2007.

Do you realize what a deficit amounting to 14 trillion means?  It is more than the total worth of France, if sold stock, lock, and land.  Imagine thousand of years of  labor by millions of “French people” to sustaining a country, who could not accumulate enough wealth to pay off the US public deficit!

All these economic and financial decisions are meant to buy short-term leverage, before the inevitable global crisis fall on our head, very shortly.  How can the US people pay-off this huge deficit if not by “creating a preemptive global war”, as were the cases in 1914 and 1939?

The US has nothing much to offer economically for stabilizing world economy and finances.  What Europe needs from the US are two things:

First, releasing the huge ammunition reserves for resuming the small-scale preemptive wars in Libya and the potential unstable regimes around the Mediterranean Sea and parts of Africa.  It is the abundance of the US military hardware and ammunition that is making NATO organization an acceptable agreement to the EU.

Second, the EU hopes that the dollar will maintain its global status for a couple of years before a basket of currencies is agreed upon. What else the US can be of any help for the time being?

These spring uprising of youth movements around the world have a common denominator: “We want to have a direct say in public decisions”

“Perfect harmonious spheres”

An “East -West” novella of Salman Rushdi

Piece of “fractal” in the Metaphysical puzzle?

I am reading the French version of “East West” by Salman Rushdi, and I liked one of the novellas.  I love stories that have this taste of vivid current background (like recollection or introspection types), this smell of jasmine of an account that keeps revisiting in our life, in all ages.  I will retell the story my own style.

“I befriended Eliot in my last year at Cambridge.  We had nothing in common in activities and passions. I liked heat and warm weather; he preferred humid gray skies.  I wore Zapata mustaches and hair reaching my shoulders; Eliot had red hair, was slender and tall, and wore tweed and velour.  I was interested in experimental theater, inter-racial relationships, and participated in anti-war demonstrations; Eliot spent his week-ends hunting fouls in luxury castle circuits.  Eliot would claim: “Nothing like killing fouls and animals to uplift morale…”  Eliot threw a feast as Edward Heath was elected PM, and I couldn’t stop cringing.

We had two things in common: our singing was off-beat, and we were interested in the “sciences” of the occult, this good old black magic.  Once, Eliot imposed on me a post-hypnotic suggestion every time he said “banana”.  I had to undress as I hear “banana”.  We were in a nightclub and I could not fight off this slumbering urge of undressing.  By the time I was unzipping my jeans, we were kicked out of this “decent” establishment. My wife Mala said: “Say you two guys. You go sleep together. We are going back home…”

The language of the counter-culture was imbibed with terms such as pentacle, illuminates, Maharishi, Gandalf, the secrets of the Great Pyramid, the mystery of numbers, of gold, and complexity of the spiral, ecstasy (Muchu), coma (Shissi), hypnotic transe (Saimin-Jotai), out-of-body experience (Mugen no Kyo)…

For example, Mesmer wrote on the theory of animal magnetism: “There is a significant influence among celestial stars and planets, earth, and all the animated bodies. A universally subtle fluid, subjected to unknown laws of mechanics, is diffused among all the bodies…”

It was Eliot who introduced me to my future wife Mala.  She was studying to be medical doctor and she kept my balance with the real world.  Mala was vegetarian and never drank alcohol or smoked; she was originally from the Maurice Islands in the Indian Ocean, and loved the Romeo-Juliette version of Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, taking place in her original Islands.

My wife was a descendent of agricultural families who immigrated to England after the abolition of black slavery.  Mala spoke an Indian slang of the bhojpuri that no Indian could understand… and Mala never visited India, and my being originally from India (Bombay) fascinated her.  Mala didn’t speak much and looked cold, except at night as sex generated constant loud screams and babbling like: “Come inside you. Enter where you belong…”

In our honey moon in Venice she said: “Get out of all these grotesque superstitions. Stay away from your certified crazy of friend.  You are meeting very frequently and this is not healthy.  Are you following me writer sahib? Drop Eliot like an old pair of socks.  Eliot is incapable of being of any aid to anyone.  Listen carefully, you don’t own Eliot anything for introducing us…”

Eliot had married the blonde Lucy, a rich girl, originally from India.  She was my neighbor in Bombay. I knew her when I was 14 and she 12 of age.  We used to go on camel ride on the beach of Juhu, drink fresh coconut milk, and we kissed.  We parted ways as we immigrated to England. Eliot re-introduced me to Lucy at a chichkebab restaurant on Charlotte Street in 1971.  Lucy recalled every details of our youth, but we never talked about our former friendship and hot kisses.

The four of us, the two close couples, hiked to a hill in the Borders to watch the Jubilee bonfire. Eliot said: “This is not a real “bon feu”. It should be ignited with bones and skeletal of “hetre zumains” (etres humains, of mankind skeletal).  We drank a lot, and Eliot recounted frightening stories.  Eliot was driving 140 miles an hour in our way back. And he stopped abruptly and pointed to a small cemetery downhill where sheep were sleeping, and said: “That is where I would like to be buried.” I said: “This is impossible. You are still among the living!”.  Lucy cut me off saying: “Shut up Khan sahib. You are giving Eliot ideas…”

Lucy inherited a very old boat that was used in 1940 for repatriating the English troops, trapped in Dunkerque (Belgium?), by the Nazi German army. The old motor Thorneycroft Handybilly responded only to Lucy’s.  Lucy baptized this old schooner “Bouguinvillee” in remembrance of her cherished early life in Bombay.  We boarded this boat several times.

Once, Mala refused to join us on a river trip claiming: “Listen, hygiene is priority to me. I love my Dunlopillo mattress and my real WC at home. I cannot withstand pissing in the archaic facilities and spending the night in sleeping bags…”  It happened that Eliot too had a serious excuse to jump out a couple of hours later.  Eliot said that he forgot he had to listen to a conference in Cambridge on the relationship of the Nazi with the occult sciences…

So, Lucy and I were left to continue alone two glorious days, navigating the rivers from Trent, the Mercy canal, to Middlewich, to Nantwich, to Shropshire Union canal.  One night, as I finished the walking adventure of leading the boat through a one-way tunnel, carrying a lantern, Lucy said: “Finally, I made you transgress a law, and I am madly contented with your courage”  In bed, she huddled by my side and said: “Crazy. Love” and she turned her back to me.  It was so close transgressing another law.

Lucy knew that Eliot had mental trouble, sort of schizophrenic paranoid bouts and she agreed to move out of London, where she had a great job, and they purchased a small cottage, which they called “Crowley End” (Allister Crowley founded the satanic circles in the early 20th century).  Once, Lucy called me and said: “Khan sahib, you must come now”  Eliot was caught driving against traffic, wearing a black night band over his eyes, these kinds of things…

For an entire year, I refrained from meeting with Eliot.  Lucy would call me and deliver Eliot mental health diagnostic.  She would fill me in with stories like medicines have good effects on Eliot, except that Eliot refuses to take them; he feels better when he is not writing, but he retrograde quickly when he quits writing…feeling depressed, passive, and inert.  There was nothing I could help with.

The irony was that Eliot knew he had a serious case of mental illness and he seemed very lucid and rational explaining his problems.  For example, he would tell me that he had a case of chemical imbalance, that scientists are close to discovering a treatment, that he is in conference with many specialists in the matter, and that he is doing research on his mental case…

One night, the 32 year-old Eliot lodged a bullet in his brain and left a note on how to clean and grease the gun.  Lucy returned late from work and saw the bloody body of her husband.  Lucy went up and slept as she normally did saying: “It is over”.  She called her brother Bill in the morning, who called the police and then undertook to clean the bits of brain everywhere.

Lucy asked me to take a look at the manuscripts that Eliot left behind.  I went through all the lunatic lucubrations of Eliot’s writings for a week, and gave up:  There was nothing worth publishing but gross and dirty descriptions of Mala, Lucy, and I… Lucy said: “You know, it was not really him writing…”

After the burial in the small cemetery that Eliot had pointed to us on our way back from the Borders, I shook hands with Lucy and never saw her again.

I opened my heart to Mala and could not stop apologizing for not taking her warning seriously, at the first day of our honeymoon in Venice.  I told Mala how she vehemently protested my frequent meeting with this a certified crazy of Eliot, and that he does not owe me nothing in introducing her to me…

I told Mala: “You know, I read the stories he invented, all these stories of strange meetings like the “Last Tango in Paris”-kind, of how he arranged for us Lucy and I to navigate alone for two days, and how he arranged the excuse of listening to a conference in Cambridge in order to meet with you…” Mala stood up and turned her back to me and said: “What Eliot wrote about me and him was not a fable

These perfect harmonious spheres shattered in my frozen heart.” End of story

I preferred the title Piece of “fractal” in the Metaphysical puzzle.

Are you relentlessly striving to see the big picture of what is life and the universe?

Is it a normal urge?  Many accredited crazies have attempted to go for the big picture.  What if the pig picture is just a nauseating repeat picture, a plain portion of this tiny fractal in the puzzle that generates the one of the perspectives of the fancy Big Picture?

What if there is no big picture, and we spend life on the wrong adventure, instead of focusing on comprehending our behavior, passions, weaknesses, and strengths?

Why this urge for metaphysical longing, this hooking to gurus, “masters in special metaphysical” teaching, masters in charlatanism?

Note 1: British author Salman Rushdi, was born in Bombay (India) in 1947. He immigrated to England at the age of 14.

He published his first novel in 1981 “The children of midnight”.  The “satanic verses, 1988″ angered the Mullahs of Iran and a fatwa was issued to assassinate him.  Salman has been under heavy guard and in hiding ever since.  He published “Harun and the sea of stories”, “Fury”… Queen Elizabeth made him Sir Rushdi in 2007.

Note 2: Rushdi mentions a collection of gurus in metaphysical teaching, sort of big charlatans, such as Gurdjieff, Raja Rammohun Roy, Brahmo Samaj, Aleister Crowley, Blavatsky, Dunsany, Lovecraft…

Note 3: I reviewed extensively the two chapters of the satanic verses, related to Prophet Muhammad https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/11/04/satanic-verses-revisited/

Rickshaw or the celebration of promised “Radio Transistor”

What rickshaw, touctouc, cycle-push…have in common?  Do these transport mechanisms conjure the image of a very dense urban center, all transport vehicles of trains, buses, trucks, cars, bicycles, rickshaw…use the same road to reaching even denser quarter destinations?  Most probably, rickshaw gives the image of a strong correlation with poor classes, defined religiously as divinely designated to serve the richer classes…

Salman Rushdi (see note) published “East West”, a collection of novella gathered from the Orient and the western tales.  One of the novella is “The free transistor”.  I am reading the French version, and I decided to retell this novella my own style.

“I am a retired teacher, and spend my time sitting under the large tree, smoking my huka or shisheh or arghileh.  I knew the parents of this young, physically strong, and very handsome Ramani.  Ramani was not gifted to learning reading and writing.

Ramani’s parents died, and he inherited a brand new rickshaw.  he didn’t make much profit from displacing people on his rickshaw, working 12 hours a day, every day, but he had cash money.  Ramani was surrounded by a bunch of young men wearing armband, sort of a local militia supported by the government. These militia youth enjoyed the company of Ramani who paid for their bar consumption, and for being an easy target of their innuendos.  They joked that Ramani is more beautiful than the famous Indian movie stars, and that one day he will take Bombay by storm, displacing all the other movie stars…

I hated the company that Ramani spent his leisure time with, and I warned him several times of associating with these brutal youth.  Youth are bold and fearless, and they need to be among their own peer to have good time.  Women and girls also valued Ramani’s beauty and strong body.

The widow of the thief hired Ramani for a ride; she was just 25 of age and had five children. She made ends meet by prostituting at low prices.  Ramani fell in love with the widow, and I blamed him for wasting his time and money on this lost case:  Thousands of beautiful and virgin girls would die to marry him…

I confronted the widow publicly and told her that the best she should do was going to Benares, to the widows ashram, and spend the remaining of her life praying.  I told her that she must be very lucky that immolation of a widow is no longer in practice.  She got in such a rage and retorted: “Malediction be on you, senile old man.  The venom of cobra filling your body and mind should have killed you long time ago.  You should know professor sahib that Ramani demanded  to marry me and I declined: I don’t want no more children…”

Shortly after, this truck dispatched by the ministry of health parked under a large tree.  Streams of males entered the truck, while the armband militia guarded the flow of people.  Ramani exited from the truck looking very excited and he told me in secrecy: “Soon, I will receive a brand new radio transistor, free, totally free!”

To make matters worse, Ramani wed the widow: He had satisfied her only condition of “no more children”.  I went into a godless rage and blamed him for selling his virility for a lame radio transistor, and for falling pray to a prostitute widow.  Ramani told me: “I am pretty virile. this small operation didn’t affect my  copulation power.  And my wife is very contented…”

The radio was not forthcoming, but ramani never lost hope: He started imitating Radio India, announcing the news and singing the familiar songs on his rickshaw trips.  People would welcome Ramani as “Here arrives Radio India; Let’s listen to the latest news and hear his beautiful voice…”

Six months later, this health truck parked again.  Ramani entered to reclaim his free radio. He was booted out by the armeband militia, his face bludgeoned.  Ramani kept announcing the news and singing.

A year passed, and Ramani had sold his rickshaw and a he paid me a visit saying: “We are leaving to Bombay, my wife and the five children…”  I received letters from Bombay explaining in details the progress of Ramani in the sphere of the rich and famous Ramani.  The letters were signed by Ramani: Obviously, he was paying handsomely scripts in Bombay to write his stories.

The stories turned out to be credible.  Most probably, it was his wife dictating the good news of purchasing a large villa, and…so that to get her revenge of my low esteem of her abilities of raising her husband to the level he deserved…

Note:  British author Salman Rushdi, was born in Bombay (India) in 1947. He immigrated to England at the age of 14.  He published his first novel in 1981 “The children of midnight”.  The “satanic verses, 1988” angered the Mullahs of Iran and a fatwa was issued to assassinate him.  Salman has been under heavy guard and in hiding ever since.  He published “Harun and the sea of stories”, “Fury”… Queen Elizabeth made him Sir Rushdi in 2007.

Religions being re-defined: Modern trends

In November 2009, I published an essay “Modern Europe re-defines Christianity“.

From the few extensive comments that I received, I decided it is an opportunity to re-edit the essay and include a few other “monotheist” religions or what I call “mono-idolatry” as the trend is in redefining the ancient religious ideology.

A few years ago, the European Parliament was considering attaching a clause in the Constitution that Christianity is the foundation of Europe’s civilization. It didn’t pass.  Europe saved its modern identity as promoter of human rights and human dignity.

How could a religion (one of the many in Europe), one of the various attributes in the vast matrix of a civilization, be the exclusive characteristics of Europe?  Europe is a heterogeneous society of Nordic, Slavic, and Mediterranean climate and cultures and was dominated intermittently by several Empires.

Modern Europe has extended to its citizens a network of basic human rights.  This respect to human dignity was not the case until late in the 20th century:  Respect of man did not evolve historically as a continuum, but in bounds. Retrospective historical studies tend to discover just the illusion of human respect for rights and dignity.

Europeans claiming Christianity to be the foundation for Europe’s new trend for “mercy, forgiveness, and kindness” (trying to attach these attribute to Europeans) forget that for 10 centuries the strongest faith in Europe was based on violence.

For example, the Inquisition that started in Spain and spread to most Europe, the chasing out of the Moslems and Jews from Spain, the Crusading campaigns, the conquest of overseas lands with the benediction of Papal Rome, the division of the conquered lands among the European monarchs by Papal decrees, the religious mass massacres among the Christian sects and factions with Papal consent, the so many wars in Europe where the Catholic Church was an integral party.

And the worst of all, the Dark Age in Europe that lasted from 400 to the 15th century because the central religious power in Rome was apprehensive of rational thinking and forbade the influx of scientific works that might rob it of its temporal power.

There are Europeans claiming that it was Christianity that set the foundation of the individualistic character in Europe, a non-conformist attitude to the collective norms, rituals, and traditions, the will for self-realization rather than clinging to the behavior of rank and file; these chauvinistic Europeans are also relying on entrenched illusions.

The Christian Church was the personification of harassing free thinkers and burning who defied the Christian central dogma for many centuries. Once baptized as a Christian at birth, you had no other alternatives but to obey the Christian laws.  Christianity was the most exclusive religion among all religions:  It coerced colonized people by force into Christianity.

As “Saint” Augustine wrote “It does not matter the faith of a new convert; what counts is what time and rituals will produce in the long run on him and his descendants.

This is exactly the tactics of western globalization that state: “Promote the consumerism of technological gadgets and the world will acquire faith in the superiority of western civilization

It is paganism that disseminated liberal thinking of individuality.

A pagan could worship any other idol in foreign lands (with different name but with the same potency in his mind, like the god of rain…) and he was never persecuted.

A pagan could switch idols that suited his interest of the period, and his community would not persecute him or ex-communicate him on his God’s preferences.

The modern principle of universality (which means that individuals of all genders, races, colors, and origins have the same mental potentials and capabilities as human and that the differences reside in societies) was never a Christian dogma.

Christianity never had this meaning of universality in its dictionary of laws; a slave was a slave by birth and should accept his condition and offers his miseries and plights as sacrifices to God Jesus who suffered for the entire humanity and forgiveness of the “original sin” that never existed.

The discovery by the Europeans of the universality of mankind was due to the de-colonization process, an implicit discourse on the role of society during the 20th century.

How could equality and fraternity have emerged from Christianity in order to claim that Europe’s roots are Christian?

For example, Lactance wrote in 314:

People are born equal. In societies where people are not considered equal justice is not served.  Yes, within the Christian communities there are rich and poor, masters and slaves by the flesh but they are equal in the spirit.”  What a sweet nonsense!  It is plainly a repeat of St. Paul’s ejaculation that added oil to the machinery of the caste system.

The same meaning was offered by Prophet Muhammad: “We are equal in our religious faith…”

For example, the so-called Gregory “the Great” considered charity what was offered to nobles who were reduced to poverty. Why?

Because of the huge suffering the reduced noblemen felt of being considered within the rank of the poor classes.  Thus, the true poor people by birth were so used to their way of life that they didn’t need much charity to survive.

The Western Christian Churches (Catholic and Protestants) supported and maintained the caste system of nobility and the “others” non-noble classes.  The feudal lord had the right to crush his vassals with all the might he possessed as a father had the rights over his kids.

There are many Europeans who claim that it was Christianity that promoted the separation of the spiritual from the temporal power on the basis of Jesus saying “Give to Caesar what is due to Caesar and to God was is due to God”.   This claim is total nonsense.

Most of the wars in Europe were launched by monarchs against the temporal influence of Papal Rome in state matters.  Neither the Catholic Church nor the various Protestant sects relinquished their temporal “rights”.

It does not mean that the previous sentence of Jesus had no influence in the mind of modern Europe; it does not mean also that Christianity willingly relinquished its temporal influence based on that sentence.

Protestantism had this indirect advantage that it weakened the central power of Papal Rome. Consequently, Islam scientific manuscripts were permitted to enter Europe. This new openness to rational discovery was the main catalyst for the Renaissance period and the qualitative jump into modernity.  

The Prophet Mohammad also urged Moslems to acquire knowledge even from China; it worked for 4 centuries; it does not mean that Moslems remembered that encouragement most of the time.

Current Islamic Wahhabi extremist sects have high-jacked the fundamentally rational thinking of early Islam:  Current Islamic salafists are emulating the way the Mogul and central Asia new Moslem converts in the 11th century understood the Coran: Literally, like those Jehovah witness followers… Actually, their traditional and custom belief system is based on the Hadith (what people remembered of the Prophet’s sayings and behaviors…)

The Arab spring uprising is fundamentally directed at the obscurantist Wahhabi (Saudi Arabia monarchy) sect that infused billion in the last 3 decades to redirect Moslem belief according to their own brand of Islam.

There are Europeans, when pressed to give an identity (other than their State), opt for their religious denomination (with utmost reluctance in Europe) and thus, when a European says that he is Christian it is sort of a family name, the latest in heritage, as cathedrals, old churches, and the paintings, sculptures, and music of the Renaissance period.

Christianity cannot be used as identification because it won’t do: most of the US citizens also claim to be Christians, as is the case with Latin Americans.  Does this means that they could also be considered Europeans or of European civilization roots or their civilization emanate from Greece, as Europe would like us to agree on that nonsense?

Modern Europe is democratic, secular, with laws guaranteeing free religious beliefs, free speech, gathering, and opinions, human rights, sexual liberty, welfare states, open borders and travel.  Modern Europe is anathema to the principles and practices of Christian Churches.  Christianity must be glad that the modern European civilization is giving it not just a mere face lift, but a totally different identity.

I received these comments to my essay: “It is a very interesting argument.  I find that much of what is said in the argument cannot be refuted.  I speak as a Christian. However, much of the religious wars fought in Europe were not “religious” in nature at all.”

“Believe it or not, the wars that were launched by bishops and the clergy of the different belligerent forces in Europe were seeking to preserve their tax base.  If the church loses adherents to the faith, that church also lost taxing power.  Therefore, any opposition power that threatened the tax base of the church had to be answered with war.  These wars were over money and power…

“Additionally, I believe in the separation of church and state.  The state has no business in collecting a tax to support a “state sponsored church” or to determine how the governed should worship their creator.  In fact, the clergy has absolutely no business in collecting taxes from the governed people…”

I contend that liberal capitalism is not just a recent concept or phenomena: The base root of liberal capitalism is the creation of monolithic religions, faith in the power of an absolute monarch to be emanating from a most powerful God…that divided mankind into the deserving 10% richest classes and the slave classes to serve the noble classes…

Note 1: This topic was inspired by the last chapter in the French book “When the world became Christian” by late Paul Veyne.

Note 2:  Barely 10 years ago, Europe was the scene of large genocide; not just between “Christians and Moslems” but among Christians of Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox on the basis of “ethnic cleansing” in former Yugoslavia.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2011
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