Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Western civilization

How a TV Sitcom Triggered the Downfall of Western Civilization

Where are these Gods: Created to humanize Man, at the proportion of human comprehension…?

Thousands of years before the emergence of Greece civilization, the Near-Eastern civilization has evolved within the same process as Greece, from people-centered Gods to the emulation of abstract divine mythology.

The ancient Gods of the Near-East (Levant), and its inheritor the Greek civilization, cut-out a world to man’s dimensions. The Gods were tailor-made to human proportions and comprehension, invented by the spirit of the human.

It was the God that humanized the people and allowed them to sense the real life, before all was demolished at the alter of grandiose drunken power of dominion.

The Gods of this civilization crumbled at the moment man decided to invent an abstract mythology, with a reality too vast for human comprehension.

The current western civilization, as before it in Greece and the Near-East, keeps creating myths, but a living God is nowhere included.

The current world mythology is an abstract model, dis-humanized, knead with the ash of illusory materialism.

We do our best to prove that the universe is a huge void, a task made plausible by our empty logic.

We are after perpetual conquests, and what we conquered had the smell and taste of death.

Henry Miller wrote in in book “The Colossus of Maroussi”: “The most vivid impression that Greece (of the 1938-39) affected me was that this culture behave according to man’s dimensions. Greece is the land of the Gods: And the ancient Gods may have died long time ago, but their presence is still felt

Before landing in Greece, I have been walking blindfolded, hesitant. I was proud, smug, satisfied of my urban false life. The light of Greece opened my eyes and dilated my entire well-being. I have not written a word or read a daily during this year-long visit to Greece as I promised myself, but I managed to restitute the divine character of Man, a citizen of the world.”

The western civilization has broken the umbilical link between what is man and what is divine. This schism in the nature of man is the key to the ever decline and inevitable destruction of western culture. This current civilization has stopped believing that man may ever become a God.

The western civilization can talk its head-off of creating a New World Order, but it will never materialize, until all people are respected and their dignity revised under the angle of the universe.

New World Order means that all people, regardless of ethnicity, are viewed in this vital intricate interconnection that the world is reduced to the dimension of Greece, (small enough to include all the people as citizens, enjoying the same human rights and dignity…)

Otherwise, man will keep creating mythical Gods with this tacit purpose of destroying the species of mankind.

To desire is Not to wish. To desire is essentially to become who we are, and this desire cannot be done without discovering the truth through actions (Maeterlinck). What is needed is to attain a balanced coordination between vision and action, to be ready to accept the proper human proportions, and be ready to give whatever you had received so far.

The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote:
“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been: They will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them.

If there are no gods, then you will be gone, and will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

“Israel Summer” upheaval: 400,000 marching in all cities

In Tel Aviv, renting a small apartment of two rooms jumped from 742 to 827 Euro in one year, way over the 30% of an average monthly income. Social allocated lodging is 8.5 for 1000 citizens; (it is 70 in France).  Since 1960, the rate of social housing fell from 23% of the total real estates building to just 2% in 2011.

The official average monthly earning is 1,400 Euro per month (though employers have wide leverage not to maintain official minimum wages); actually the official minimum is 800 Euros, the hourly wage 4.40Euros, and the poverty scale is set at 450 Euros. The cost of living is superior to the western European States.  A third of the citizens do not enjoy dental insurance and half the people over 65 have no teeth left.  rate of mortality for cases of diabetes type 2 is five fold for the poorer classes.

Daphne Leef, 25 year-old, created a group through facebook to demonstrate against the scarcity of available and affordable apartments.  By July 14, a hundred Israeli planted their tents on Rothschild Ave. A week later, the central main road in Tel Aviv witnessed the erection of hundreds of tents.  On August 6, over 300,000 marchers , chanting”The people want social justice”.

All the political parties in Israel agreed in the 80’s on the monetary dogma of the Washington Consensus as inflation reached 450%. The shekel was drastically devalued, public spending were cut, freeze on salaries of public servants, rights of workers weakened…Liberal capitalism was on the march in Israel.  Netanyahu  is a staunch believer in the power of a free market to even out fluctuations, and he abides by the principle that only by permitting the richest to increase their wealth that growth can be stimulated…and was appointed minister of finance and started wide privatization projects as he became prime Minister in the 90’s .  El Al air company, phone operator Bezeq were privatized. Postal services, ports, railroads, and even industrial military complexes are on the table for privatization.

Tax on the richest classes dropped to 44%, and enterprises tax break dropped to 25% in 2010 and planned to dip to 16% in 2016, from a high of 36% in 2003.  Israel relies on the export of military hardware, and services in surveillance and maintenance of order… The chasm between the poorer and richer classes is very wide: 20% of the people are estimated to belong to the poor class and they belong to three categories, the ultra-orthodox Jews (57%) among them are poor), the immigrants from Ethiopia and Russia, and the Arab/Israelis (54%) (Arab/Israelis are indeed the Palestinians who remained in their territories in 1948 and refused to flee as refugees)

The Israeli psychologist, Professor Dan Ariely, explained how brain tends to forge previsions and wait for them to be materialized and confirmed: “For decades, we have been prisoners of our waiting previsions of menace of wars and terrorist attacks”.  I contend that the Israeli institutions (political, intelligence services…) worked hard to instill this psychological tendency by actually planning and facilitating a few terrorist attacks, every once in a while, as internal troubles get out of hand.

For example, Jordan’s intelligence services warned a month ago that an attack is being prepared on Eylat. Israel was ready and demonstrated its readiness by crossing the borders into Egypt.  Israel decided to sacrifice a few Israelis in order to cow the demonstrations.  It worked for a week and then fizzled. These temporary exit tactics had long-term catastrophic consequences.

The massive demonstrations in August broke this cycle: Public opinion in Israel are in favor of giving priority to social reforms instead of lavishing funds to the military institution and the military industrial complexes.

Money allocated to housing should be invested within Israel and no longer in colonies outside the 1967 borders, so that the Israeli may enjoy affordable lodging commensurate to the growing economy and the image that Israel is trying to project as a western civilization.

Israelis are feeling asphyxiated for 40 years of frustrated smokescreen tactics of fear against countable attacks, while the citizens standard of living is constantly declining. The successive Israeli governments did nothing to fundamentally confront the real problems of seriously communicating with the Palestinians for a fair and dignified resolution of the endemic problems. No alternative perspectives outside the motto of security were ever contemplated and dealt with, such as actually living in peace with the neighboring States.

The liberal capitalist ideology has been applied since the 80’s at the expense of social fairness in the distribution of accrued wealth.  There is truth in what many demonstrators say that “we are demonstrating to retaining our privileges in this apartheid State.”  Fact is, the poorest classes of Palestinian/Israelis and ultra-orthodox Jews have not participated yet in the marches.

Note 1: Statistical values were extracted from a piece in the French monthly Le Monde Diplomatic

Note 2: You may read the follow-up article https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/israel-breaking-the-silence-movement-soldiers-serving-in-occupied-palestinian-territories/

Transcending a myth:  “Chosen people?”

There is this trend among the vast majority of Jewish communities, within each powerful nation, to associate with the prevalent capitalist ideology of the elite class of the nation. 

In general, they want to emulate the Jewish “dignitaries” or Jewish noteworthy personalities who have contacts with the power to be.

As long as the social and political system encourages professionalism, easy business laws, and education to all minorities then, it becomes irrelevant whether the system is monarchic, constitutional monarchy, dictatorship, apartheid, racist, “anti-semite”, faked democracy, social-democrate, or neo-conservative capitalist.

Once the Jewish dignitaries start feeling the heat of abridged opportunities, they galvanize the rabbis and the Jews in ghettos to supporting reforms that bring the system back to “normal”. 

The Jewish dignitaries have pragmatic spirits:  They want to found the mythical and very weak claim of the “chosen people” of their Bible on firmer grounds and objective realities.  It is the behavior of transcending unsustainable ridiculous historic myth into something very tangible; like assimilating and adopting the culture of the powerful nation they are living in; a culture that has proven and demonstrated its superiority among nations.

For example, Jews in Germany, before WWI and during the period before WWII, had for models and aspirations the Teutonic Wagnerian culture.  Walter Rathenau, the head of the AEG industrial empire of power production, encouraged Jews to be assimilated in German society and civilization.  He claimed that: “My religion is that Germanic faith that transcends all religiosity.” 

The neo-Kant philosopher Herman Cohen published an essay in 1915 haranguing German Jews to defending the notion of German superiority in culture and industry in this modern era of civilization.

The German rabbi Mark Dinemann vehemently compared the retreat of French troops from the Ruhr industrial zone in 1930 to the coming out of the Jews of Moses from the desert.   The same attachment to German culture was expressed by Thomas Mann and Albert Einstein before serious anti-Jewish laws restricted opportunities for equal treatments.

Antisemitism was the norm in Germany and Russia but the Jewish dignitaries felt at home and the Jewish communities followed what pleased their noteworthy personalities. 

The Jewish professionals felt at home during the first Arab Islamic Empires, they were at home in Andalusia, then in the Ottoman Empire, in the Persian Empires; they felt at home in Imperial Russia, in Imperial Germany, in Great Britain, during Napoleon reign, in Turkey during Kamal Ataturk, and in apartheid South Africa.

Most pogroms and holocausts were the results of propaganda claiming that the prominent jewish dignitaries were the mastermind of turmoil and revolts to the status quo. 

Fact is, Jewish “notables” in advanced nations swam freely in the climate of vast opportunities and managed to capture key business sectors and educational professions.  Thus, the perception that this minority could manage to reach high position and acquire remunerating professions without tacit political contribution and association was very strong among the large famished and ignorant masses.

As Jews settled in this fabricated State of Israel they had no climate of civilization to emulate

Within 60 years, Israel society is being guided by Orthodox Jewish sects that are no different from the Wahhabi sect in Saudi Arabia or the salafist Islamic fundamentalists. 

For 60 years, Jews who never settled outside of Israel were swimming in stinking streams fraught with all kind of dangerous viruses. Only those who got out of Israel on time and returned to one of the “advanced States” had the opportunity to resuming a healthy moral life away from this degradation into racism and apartheid mentality.

It is no enigma why the US, Russia, and the European States are keeping up investment in Israel and extending the most sophisticated arms: They do not want the Israelis to return to their original Homes.  They want the Israelis to keep the illusion that they are part of the Western civilization. 

It is just an illusion because the environment does not encourage healthy culture and freedom of opinions.  It is no enigma why the Israeli “dignitaries” are not the professors, humanists, or inventors but are the world top traders in drug, arms, prostitution, slavery, and body organs.

It is no enigma why the US Jewish J-Street lobby is trying to counter balance the Zionist lobby.  Moderate and professional Jews in the US are feeling the heat:  The US citizens are ready to believe the strong impressions that it is the Zionist lobby that is cowering the US Administrations into total bias in the Middle East and the Israeli/Palestinian cause. 

The US policies in the Middle East is to keeping this region unstable and in constant state of war but the Zionist lobby wants to perpetuate the illusion and impressions that they are the ones in complete control of the US finance, economy, medias, and foreign affairs. 

The US citizens are in a state of losing confidence in their potentials for drastic reforms and Jews might become the scapegoat of people’s violent tendencies in time of loss of hope for a better future.

Nomad pragmatism versus submission to Allah; (Mar. 30, 2010)

The nomads (or bedwins) in the Arabic peninsula before Islam were highly individualistic, even within their clans.  The idols they came to ask for personal benefits and privileges had to satisfy their desires.  Otherwise, idols were discarded as pure rocks or woods.

The large wood carved idols were very prized by the rich tribes because they were imported and were expensive.

Here you have a nomad from the tribe of Mudar arriving to give sacrifice to a rock idol named Saad (Happiness) around Jedda: he wanted his preferred idol to protect his flock of camels and wanted his stock to fructify.  The camels smelt the blood of sacrificial animals on the rock and got agitated; they fled to the desert.  After gathering his camels the nomad returned alone to his idol and declaimed a poem saying: “We came to Saad to unite me with my camels.  Saad divided and dispersed us. Who is Saad in fact? He is but a stupid rock lost in a sterile desert.”

Another example is told of the famous poet Umru2 Al Qaiss, a leader of a Christian-Jewish sect clan. He came for benediction for his next vengeance raid on a rival clan that assassinated his father. The oracle demanded Al Qaiss to be patient and he got angry and said: “Go suck my father’s dick.  If he were your assassinated father you would have not been consulting me anyway”

Islam of submission to one and all-powerful Allah was hard on pre-Islamic tribes to swallow: they needed control over their idols.

The Prophet Muhammad’s verses, lambasting the arrogance of the Pharaoh of Egypt for refusing Moses message to believing in one God, is memorized and recalled by Moslems when they target dictators “taghia”.  The Pharaoh had retorted: “only senile people and weak in their mind submit to another God but me

It is interesting how Moslems, especially urban living Moslems, criticized harshly and verbally their “taghia” leaders, but practically submit to them as long as he is in power.

Submission to Allah in Islam is but a continuous and relentless call against arrogance and blatant individualism: Being considered as equal in a society of believers (man/woman, free man/slave, regardless of race and origin) was anathema to nomadic customs and traditions.

The key verse in the Koran is “We created you man and woman; we have constituted you in confederations and tribes so that you get to know one another.”

The quick victories of Moslems in the first century after the death of the Prophet are mainly due to this spirit of equality of believers regardless of race or origins. It swept away caste and clan affiliations and ancient hierarchical privileges in its advance toward Africa and then to Far East Asia.

Equality among believers was the power of Islam until dynasties of Caliphs had to rely on clans, tribes and castes in conquered lands for support to their dictatorship.

The Moslems have this impression that the current Western civilization, especially among the political leaders, doesn’t give a damn about a God, but plainly submit to power and money. The Western leaders acquired this basic knowledge never to admit that they are no believers in one God, but to constantly ask for His benediction before the start of a war or a critical campaign.

Mainstream Moslems tend to agree that Western leaders think like the Pharaoh “Only the weak in the mind (the common people) believe in one God”

What’s with ancient Athens? (Feb. 10, 2010)

            There is this Western civilization tendency of focusing mainly on ancient city-state Athens as the roots of its knowledge (with extension to all kind of knowledge and everywhere!).  The European and northern America civilizations insist that the “Greek miracle” between the 6th and 5th century BC was the cornerstone for dissemination of knowledge and the improvement of human cultures.  Worse, this tendency would like you to believe that enlightenment of city-state of Athens is a unique experience that was never witnessed before, later and in nowhere else at any periods of history!

            Based on that comforting assumption, most scholars gave up attempting to explain this phenomenon and just applied to describing this status as fact.  First, we can explain it pretty rationally. The City-Sates of Byblos, Sidon, Tyr, and countless other eastern Mediterranean cities preceded Athens in enjoying their Golden Ages at least one thousand years before Athens was built. Competition among the City-states for dominance in trade, industry, and schools of learning, and mastery of the seas was the main factor for the changes in their political-economic structures that shifted from monarchy, oligarchy, or democratic systems within the City-State limits. The constitutions were valid for the City-State residents.

            It happened that before Athens’ Golden Age the Phoenician city-states were subjugated by one of the Persian kingdoms.  Scholars and traders immigrated to Athens and transmitted their know-how in trade, learning, forms of governments, and schools of thoughts to the Athenians.  The pre-Socratic philosophers and the sophist teachers were the founders of rhetoric and sciences among the aristocratic Athenian classes who were required to be eloquent and learned in order to vying for political positions.

            This is the same process that occurred to many other Golden Age cities and nations.  For example, Venice and Genoa captured the scholars and artisans fleeing or emigrating from Constantinople after the sack by the second European crusaders.  It is what happened to Germany when the French armies sacked Rome and scholars bolstered the Reformist movement of Martin Luther and disseminated the Bible in the German language and encouraged printing.  It is the same when the French aristocracy fled France to London during the French Revolution and carried with them their knowledge and money and started a new era for the coming industrial revolution.

Customs in the Levant: Figures of speech in the Bibles (March 24, 2009)

Note: The Bibles, New and Old, are packed with parables, stories, and figures of speech based on the customs of the Land in the Levant. 

In the Levant we understand intuitively these figures of speech that the West has hard time to comprehend.  

In the Levant we understand and readily accept the meaning, though it takes a life time to assimilate the true meaning.  

The Bible is packed with stories representing the customs and traditions of the in-land people because the Jews or Hebrew barely had any communication or trade with the coastal urban centers that had versatile and cosmopolitan customs.  Fact is in the time of Moses, Jerusalem was already an urban center 800 years ago. Jesus was born and raised in mostly coastal urban centers such as Haifa, Sidon and Tyr (District of Lebanon at the period)

Jesus said “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a person who is convinced that there is a treasure hidden in a piece of land. He gathers all his saving to buy the land” The preachers in Western civilization would like to interpret this sentence as a gold or silver mine in the land that need to be excavated and they go at great length into legal terms to differentiate among the words “hidden and buried”. 

The customs in our Land was to bury the jar of saved gold and silver coins in the garden on an unclaimed piece of land because the habitat was small (barely one large room where the entire household sleep and eat in) and could not sustain serious hiding places.  Tribes would hide their treasure in the desert before waging a battle and many would never survive to dig up their treasures.

Thus, the individual who bought the land thinking the jar was hidden in it, he would have to dig up most of the land anyway to find the jar of treasure, if he were correct in his information. 

The meaning is “in order to reach the Kingdom of Heaven you would have to go through the same process of fulfilling a dream by investing money, time, and effort most of your life”. Consequently, faith is a good starting point to sustain the duration in the long haul, but it is not enough if you lack charity in your heart; you have to learn to care and love and support your brothers and neighbors. It is a hard and long endeavor to pass through the “hole of the needle

For example, many predicators in the West tried their best to explain the concept of “a hole in a needle” when Jesus said “It is easier for a camel to go through the hole of a needle than a rich person to go to heaven”.  The preachers in the west invented a more plausible and palatable explanation by saying that “the hole in the needle” was the small door in the huge gate reserved for the passage of individual. They said that a camel could pass through if not loaded with baggage; another nice figure of speech though not correct.

In the languages of the Land, Arabic, Aramaic, or Hebrew the names of the small doors in gates were never called by anything that referred to needle. The language in the Levant is extravagant for describing the almost impossible tasks that require perseverance and ingenuity.

“Kingdom of heaven is like a land that was sawn with good grains of wheat.  At night, an enemy comes and saw “zouan” (a grain that resembles wheat but causes pain, dizziness, and suffering for many days when mixed with wheat grains; it is mostly used to feed chicken). The cultivators (slaves) asked the master permission to sort out and pull out the “zouan” from the field. The master said that it is useless since the whole field is ruined.”  

In dire periods of famine, many would mix “zouan” with wheat to make profit regardless of the consequences.  The honest master would not take the chance of being perceived as a fraud if his good grain was inadvertently adulterated with “zouan”.

In another verse, Jesus told the servants to patiently and meticulously remove the “zouan” from the wheat, then gather around a bonfire to burn the “zouan”

The same idea relates with leaven that was saved in a bag of wheat in order not to rot quickly; in another verse in order to leaven the entire bag of wheat flour.  In ancient periods, people would eat unleavened bread because it was very hard and difficult to keep usable leaven in hot and desert regions.  Thus, leaven had the bad connotation of a spoilage agent, such as when Jesus warned his disciples “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees” but the contemporary people do not understand this figure of speech: they are living at an advanced and urban period when leaven is no longer associated with spoilage but as a good catalyst. 

Consequently, the parable of Jesus “Kingdom of Heaven is like a leaven that a woman hide in 3 bags of wheat flour until all the bags were leavened and ready to bake, refers to the good use of small quantities that can affect large lots.  Thus, a term could be used to convey contradictory meaning if we are not conversant with the customs and period of the saying.

In the Levant, cultivators believe that “zouan” will grow among wheat no mater how careful we proceed in sawing fields. Consequently, it is advisable to rotate the field to grow other kinds of harvests in order to have the opportunity to pull out all the “zouan” that spoiled the field for later wheat harvests.

Jesus said in the Lord prayer “Lord, give us our daily bread” The people in the Levant believe that their daily bread is not just from their labor:  The Lord had participated from start to finish to offering the daily bread.  I cannot help but offer a current and political rapprochement: the successive US Administrations and the media “talking heads” would like us to believe that whatever prosperity is befalling other States it is simply because of US contributions. On the other hand, whatever calamities and miseries the world is suffering should not be laid on the USA: the USA does not bear any responsibility and should not be blamed.

Jesus said “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a woman who had misplaced one of her ten coins.  She searches all nights and all days (when the husband is not home), she searches in every nook and cranny and she sweep the floor until she finds the missing coin.  Then this woman would call up her neighboring women friends to join her and celebrate” (Most of the time they spend more on these gathering than what the coin was worth).

People worked hard to earn a coin and the man of the house would invariable express his displeasure for a missing coin and every women had gone through the same experience many times in their lives and it was a real occasion for women to gather, recount, and recall their daily troubles. 

There are times for anxiety and relentless searches and times for relaxation and sharing.  There are moments for prioritizing our quests and leaving many tasks undone to focus on an urgent one, such as saving our soul in order not to anger our Lord. 

This story is almost identical in meaning to the shepherd who leaves 99 head of sheep grazing unattended in order to find the lost one.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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