Adonis Diaries

Archive for March 15th, 2017

“How did you realize that you had become a man…”?

This question was asked by Lars to his elder brother in the movie “Lars and the Real Girl“.

Lars began by a short introduction stating that his human size doll Gloria has followed rites of passage in her homeland Brazil.

Lars said: “Was it sex that made you feel that you had reached manhood?”

His brother replied with hesitation: “Yes, it was sex. But there are other things that I don’t know. This is a very interesting question and I have to think about it…”

Then the brother said: “It is when you get aware of your responsibilities toward the other people. Like never to cheat on your wife and care for your family…”

Women, always and naturally, go to an unmistakable rite of passage when they get their first menstruation period.  A rite in her own blood and for a few days too, and every month thereon.

A moment of reckoning that the little girl has become a woman, and the family start readying her for marriage.

It is overdoing the rite of passage by mutilating the sex part of a girl, as done in certain traditions, with excuses that are worse than the practice.

Males kids have No natural rite of passage: The rites are mostly faked and never strike the kids as serious.

When wives frequently say: “My husband is a big kid“, they mean that he is still battling with the notion of manhood.

The training at an advanced age to manhood is hard and not effective most of the time.

In many tribes, the rites of passage are violent and the kid has to demonstrate that he can kill a big animal and many other feats of physical abilities.  Mainly, proving that he is strong and willing to obey the community customs and traditions.

Maybe circumcising a male kid when he is over 13 is a better rite of passage than when he is born: Blood is an excellent shock for rite passage. However, harsher mutilation methods could leave worse results than expected.

The female kid has learned many survival skills and more talents are patiently relayed to her to become a wife and a mother: Like seducing, cooking, sewing… and mostly, how to endure loneliness and isolation.

Confounding multilingual with double talks? Lebanon status


La crise économique au Liban, est aggravée par le manque de vision, de projet, et de perspective.
Pourquoi ?
Parçe que notre classe politique ( tous des redoublants ou plus ) ne commande plus sur rien et ne répond plus de rien.
Pourquoi ?

Parce qu’avec les gigantesques gisements de gaz et de pétrole , on nous prendra les commandes des mains , et ce ne leur sera pas difficile car nous ne les avions de toute façon pas bien en mains.
Ah bon ! Pourquoi ?

Parce que nous avons ajouté à l’étroitesse de la surface du Liban, l’étroitesse de nos esprits et nous nous sommes montrés généreux et imaginatifs dans le refus de l’autre.
Comment ça ?

Nous avons confondu multilingue et double langage .
Nous nous fermons à l’autre que nous regardons avec méfiance, juste à travers une ( ou plusieurs ) meurtrières.

Je ne conteste pas certaines raisons basiques et légitimes à cette méfiance , mais nous ” zoomons ” à mort ( ta ye5lass zoomo ) devant l’inconnu non étranger.

Nous le considérons à petit,moyen,et fort grossissement .
J’ai une suggestion : et si on le regardait à l’oeil nu . Ça sera plus authentique non ? Et plus sexy …
( Jamil BERRY )

Pre-emptive war in  ‘self defence’? How this Israeli approach sustainable?

Is Israel’s ‘self defence’ approach sustainable? Violence breeds violence.

According to Dr. Yousef Mousa, the Executive Director of the Union of Health Work Committee in Gaza, up to 80% of Palestinian children who have been victims of the conflict suffer from psychological and behavioural problems including:
– increasing level of violence
– sleeping problems with feelings of fear and anxiety
– changes in attachment to family and community
– various emotional and cognitive problems such as inability to concentrate
– decreasing hope in the future (including suicidal thoughts)

So the physical injuries may heal, but the psychological injuries at community level will take generations to heal.

Note: These are exactly the consequences that Israel wants from its successive pre-emptive wars and administrative detentions of Young Palestinians.


Our pre-judgment problem

Most of us can agree that picking a great team is one of the best ways to build a successful organization or project.The problem is that we’re terrible at it.

The NFL Combine is a giant talent show, with a billion dollars on the line.

And every year, NFL scouts use the wrong data to pick the wrong players (Tom Brady famously recorded one of the worst scores ever 17 years ago).

Moneyball is all about how reluctant baseball scouts were to change their tactics, even after they saw that the useful data was a far better predictor of future performance than their instincts were.

And we do the same thing when we scan resumes, judging people by ethnic background, fraternity, gender or the kind of typeface they use.

The SAT is a poor indicator of college performance, but most colleges use it anyway.

Famous colleges aren’t correlated with lifetime success or happiness, but we push our kids to to seek them out.

And all that time on social networks still hasn’t taught us not to judge people by their profile photos…

Most of all, we now know that easy-to-measure skills aren’t nearly as important as the real skills that matter.

Everyone believes that other people are terrible at judging us and our potential, but we go ahead and proudly judge others on the basis of a short interview (or worse, a long one), even though the people we’re selecting aren’t being hired for their ability to be interviewed.

The first step in getting better at pre-judging is to stop pre-judging.

This takes guts, because it feels like giving up control, but we never really had control in the first place. Not if we’ve been obsessively measuring the wrong things all along.


The Art of Timing:

How to take pleasure of the Present?

Alan Watts on the Perils of Hurrying and the Pleasures of Presence


“For the perfect accomplishment of any art, you must get this feeling of the eternal present into your bones — for it is the secret of proper timing.”

Among the things that made British philosopher Alan Watts not only the pioneer of Zen teachings in the West but also an enduring sage of the ages was his ability to call out our culture’s chronic tendency to confuse things of substance with their simulacra.

Watts had a singular way of dispersing our illusory convictions about such pairings, whether he addressed belief vs. faith or money vs. wealth or productivity vs. presence or ego vs. true self or stimulation vs. wisdom or profit vs. purpose.

In one particularly poignant passage in his altogether soul-expanding 1970 anthology Does It Matter? Essays on Man’s Relation to Materiality (public library), Watts considers another such infinitely important duality — the notions of hurrying and timing.

Echoing Seneca’s ideas about busyness and Bertrand Russell’s famous lament“What will be the good of the conquest of leisure and health, if no one remembers how to use them?” — Watts considers how we cheat ourselves of the joys of the present moment by grasping after the potential rewards of the future:

Just exactly what is the “good” to which we aspire through doing and eating things that are supposed to be good for us?

This question is strictly taboo, for if it were seriously investigated the whole economy and social order would fall apart and have to be reorganized. It would be like the donkey finding out that the carrot dangled before him, to make him run, is hitched by a stick to his own collar.

For the good to which we aspire exists only and always in the future. Because we cannot relate to the sensuous and material present we are most happy when good things are expected to happen, not when they are happening.

We get such a kick out of looking forward to pleasures and rushing ahead to meet them that we can’t slow down enough to enjoy them when they come.

We are therefore a civilization which suffers from chronic disappointment — a formidable swarm of spoiled children smashing their toys.

In a sentiment that calls to mind Mary Oliver’s thoughts on rhythm, Watts speaks to our one saving grace in countering the momentum of this headfirst rush toward disappointment:

There is indeed such a thing as “timing” — the art of mastering rhythm — but timing and hurrying are … mutually exclusive.

Much of our perilous hurrying, Watts argues, comes from the tyranny of the clock — a paradoxical pathology all the more anguishing given how relative and elastic time actually is. Watts writes:

Clock time is merely a method of measurement held in common by all civilized societies, and has the same kind of reality (or unreality) as the imaginary lines of latitude and longitude. (Until drawn on maps and being able to measure the location?)

The equator is useless for stringing a rolled roast. To judge by the clock, the present moment is nothing but a hairline which, ideally, should have no width at all — except that it would then be invisible.

If you are bewitched by the clock you will therefore have no present.

“Now” will be no more than the geometrical point at which the future becomes the past. But if you sense and feel the world materially, you will discover that there never is, or was, or will be anything except the present.

Presence, of course, is essential to our ability to experience the “spiritual electricity” of creative flow, something Watts captures unambiguously:

For the perfect accomplishment of any art, you must get this feeling of the eternal present into your bones — for it is the secret of proper timing. No rush. No dawdle.

Just the sense of flowing with the course of events in the same way that you dance to music, neither trying to outpace it nor lagging behind. Hurrying and delaying are alike ways of trying to resist the present.

Does It Matter? is a superb read in its entirety.

Complement it with Watts on how to live with presence, Sam Harris on cultivating mindful living, and Frank Partnoy on the art of waiting, then revisit Annie Dillard’s ever-timely reminder that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.

Note: Without a project set in the future and well designed and planned, how can we enjoy the moment of its progress?




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