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Posted by Chokri Omri شكري عمري on March 8, 2011 at 8:30 AM

   Arthur Miller once maintained that “ the real task of the intellectual in our age is to analyse all the illusions in order to discover their causes.” Do they want us to know the truth and forget about it? To tell the truth, these people from whom we fear (they fear I must say) have never cared for our dignity. They have not even cared for our identity.They have just cared for our vulnerability and frailty. Not only have they cared but equally catered for it. The real problem with which we are always confronted is the fact that we are always hurting our selves without our being aware of that. We have never learnt how to learn from our defects. In war, they make slave of us. We fight and die for them being fallaciously and blindly convinced that we do it for the benefit of our own selves. In peace, they make slave of us the poor. We toil for them day and night. They have never toiled for us. They just exhaust themselves by collecting the money out of our work. We sow the corn, as one of them transparently expressed somewhere, and our board is empty. We have chains though no eyes behold them. Through our sunless lanes creeps poverty with her hungry eyes. Misery wakes us in the morning and shame sits with us at night. What an excellent community we have come to form! We never abstain from portraying our selves as being deluded and deviated from the right path. We only know that we are getting weak and consequently driven to a weaponless position. We only know the truth but never profit from it. We are forced to listen to the same song. One day, they will tell us to leave our lands and cause no more scandals. No wonder we will have to be made to believe that it is the proper thing to do. For this reason and this reason alone, let us just start to learn how to moan for the harvest we will certainly be reaping later. Our children will doubtless be proud of us. We are offering and bestowing on them the fortunate the perfect circumstances under which they will certainly rise to see them children eye to eye and then find the right tools to protect and fortify themselves. What an excellent community we have come to form!


 

    We always celebrate being shown how to live, how to give and accordingly what to receive. We have always been led to believe their motto: “ Do or die". We are to them no more than flippant objects of experimentations. Once the experience is done, whether it is successful or futile, we are to be disposed of to be discarded to be thrown off to be made fun of or if we are so fortunate enough to be deployed again when we are needed and in the end to be let to deduce the truth when it is awfully late. Then, they send their social, economic, cultural,educational and political programmes to be taught, set up and installed in our homes, lands, and schools without speaking about our deeply sound society after they have made us duped by their appealingly perfect and useful ways of advertising. We ceaselessly convince them to convince us to sell our souls and brains for some crusts left up on their tables.


 

    We constantly remind our selves to remain silent for only a brief space of time just to be unconsciously silent for only a brief space of ever and a day. They never gave us the truth that has the appearance of illusion. On the exact reverse, they over subsidized us with the illusion that has the appearance of the truth. I have somewhere said that if Right is not might, it inevitably turns out to be evil. This is to be understood in the very sense that we are all invited to take its side. Or else, we will never be able to know it. It is perfectly true that sometimes we find it at stake to practise the components of righteousness. How about practicing and limping the things with which we have never been familiar? Life is becoming to go so fast that accepting would take the place of knowing and believing. This is simplistic and must never then be allowed to be accepted without knowing and believing.


 

    Fundamentally, one does not really need to be smart in order to come to an understanding regarding the attitude one has every reason to adopt towards people and life in general.

The American novelist William Faulkner, in his turn, once stated: “I have realized that if I find someone in a rut, the best thing that I can do to him is to let him stay there.” We cannot really hope to be in proportion with one another or to be, at best and at least, peacefully coexisting while everybody is paying close attention to himself and feeling cold towards the others. We cannot even claim that we belong to the same stock while everyone is pretending not to know his brothers. What is funny but shameful nevertheless, is the fact that when it comes to approach one’s interest from any possible perspective, the outrage presents itself in the form of a jungle in which the weak are to be sent to hell and the strong are to survive at their expense. How can the one of us permit his lungs to push the air into the vocal cords so as to say that life is fair when there is really almost nothing in it in a state of order save chaos and anarchy?


   To be longing for something noble and virtuous has now become quite useless in this age of deformity when what is essential is made ridiculous and what is not is vital.They have said it without shame: La vertu ne serait donc que de la làcheté. They have even moved as far as to say without shame: Here only the evil can afford to be good. It ispossibly fair in this respect to say that one has at least to keep his jaw muscles in the closed position against this triviality that people never stop exhibiting. For otherwise, things would be worse than ever before. There is indeed something worse than injustice and that is justice itself when not only does it not have its arms in its hands but also it has its hands in its pockets. Do we really need to be like this in order to live? Of course not. We can be fair with one another andlife will venerate this and never frown at us. It is tremendouslysignificant for us to keep in mind that every now and then we shouldmake mistakes. It is extremely important for us to make mistakes. It isbecause at that moment we can learn and profit. Voltaire, the mostunfriendly french philosopher once stated:

“ Believe me my friend, even the mistake has its own significance.”


   Experience, in its essence, is definitely what we get when we areexpecting something else. L’experience, as they in French, est toujourscouteuse. We are all apt to make those faults and defects in order tosee what is right and what is wrong without delusion and most of allwithout the need of anyone whomsoever to show us the directions. It isreally farcical to accept the flimsy point that we can know what isright without having to take the wrong side or at least to have an ideaabout it. How on earth should I vindicate the fact that this man is notacting and moving through every possible disgrace so as to displayhimself as being good and decent in front of me? Qui pourraitm’assurer? If I don’t have the ability to give and take with him, howam I to know his real personality?


   It is perfectly righteous to say that the value of man resides in whathe is and not in what he has. But what about the attitude we nevercease to have towards poor people? Do they really have to be bad inorder to be appreciated? Do they have to forget about their principlesand immediately address themselves to the act of wearing those severalpainted faces so as to meet all occasions? Do they really have toreduce themselves and sink to the most profound degrees of hypocrisy inorder to rise up to the level of seeing rich people eye to eye? Still,if it is to be put in a clear way, do they have to undergo and movethrough those realms of faked appearance and dirty pride in order to goon living till tomorrow?


   If we can just see the beggar who gets his face and rugs crumbled intothe dust as the rich man’s car goes by, we can understand many and manythings about life. When you don’t feel any respect for the servant whoserves or the villager who sows, but only for those from whom you hopeto get something, try, please, to help yourself by keeping quiet andsilent, for nobody will allow himself to appreciate your nice behaviour.


   One day, devoid of bribery or exceptions, every one of us will face thetrouble of providing an answer to the one single question: Why have youlived like that? We will certainly be called upon to give anaccountability for all that has taken place on this earth whose safetyand maintaining had long been recommended by God. Various answers areto be produced upon this very simple question. To attempt to categorizethem can bring us to two possible perspectives: The oppressors and the oppressed.


   The former will of course find it pretty manageable to meet thisquestion. There go the oppressors of the poor. They will say that theychose to live like that because of those who are oppressed. Theyassaulted, wounded, lied, stole, led and killed for the simple andobvious reason that the oppressed were ready to concede and accept thatkind of business and did nothing to cope with it. They never tried tomake themselves at once useful and effective to confront theseoppressors and reduce them to their own trivial boundaries. Let us justtry to find out the secrecy behind their incredible power and authorityover every one of us. It is very simple to get it out without the needof making any effort. It is because the secret is that there is nosecret at all. The oppressors were too much powerful because theoppressed were too much weak. How could they acquire all thatmetamorphosed influence if the weak were not weak? I, myself, do notseem to know only the very thing which stipulates that it is from theweakness that we can hope to derive power. How can I deprive or preventmy self from having that power if you don’t stop me from doing so? Ausurplus, ce sera mon affaire de mettre les forts dans mes interets, enpartageant avec eux les dépouilles des faibles; Cela vaudra mieux quela justice pour mon aventage et pour ma sureté. Rien ne m’est égalementplus cher que moi. Il ne s’agit pas de m’apprendre ce que c’est quejustice; il s’agit de me montrer quel intéret j’ai d’etre juste. Etpuis après, ou’ est l’homme qui puisse ainsi se séparer de lui-même ? Mais ou’ est cet accord aimable de la justice et du bonheur en un tempscomme le notre ou’ le malheur de l’un fait le bonheur de l’autre ? Youwill say there is justice that governs every state of being. You willsay that this justice is placed in the hands of our representatives andthat it is intensified with our continuous and never interruptedconsent. It is perfect. Who said something different from this? Theyare, indeed, our representatives. They are, by all standards and means,our representatives. But in what? Let us wonder and ask rather thanwait and lose. They will not even make the mistake of listening to us.It is so settled and there is according to them no disputing of thefact that we are asking dolting questions if not absurd ones. It is sosettled and he who is ignorant will never cater for his ignoranceexcept by receiving ready made answers (most of them are bad onesbecause we do not know who undertook the task of making them for us andupon what grounds and with reference to what questions. We are notallowed to ask questions because we are ignorant and if we are not weare to be exposed to a questionnaire because our questions are doltingand may give enough room to disorder and impediment). Theserepresentatives, in short, were they true representatives, and most ofall free from external force or private bribery, nothing could passhere but what we and they (they are the instruments of power not thosewho content themselves with asking questions out of fatigue) think isfor the public advantage. You will also say, to move on to a matter ofmore worth and value, that we are all asked to abide ourselves by thisjustice. Can you please tell me where can I find this justice in orderto pull my self together and get my self swayed under its instructions?Daniel Defoe, in this respect, would quickly come to my rescue againstthis extremely painful speculation and say in A Hymn to the Pillory(1703):


 

But Justice is inverted when

Those Engines of the law

Instead of pinching Vicious Men,

Keep Honest ones in awe;

Thy business is, as all Men know,

To punish villains, not to make Men so.

 

Where is justice?


 

   Justice ! my very blood chills even at the mention of its name. Is ittrue that we will bump into it like that without making any effort? Whyon earth have we not bumped into it before? Why am I still wrestlingwith its exact reverse? That is injustice. Mais écoutons ceci: Quand jevois la misère et l’injustice, je mets la main à la pauche gauche etj’aide mon prochain. Quand je vois la paresse et l’indolence, je metsla main à la pauche droite et je constate que je n’ai rien à donner. Decette façon, j’arrive à mettre en équilibre le monde materiel et lemonde spirituel. Am I to wait for it (this justice) till I becomecompletely old and paralysed? I really don’t want to see it when I amon the brink of going to my grave. I simply don’t need it at that time.There is another real justice which I never distrust. But I need thisjustice now and very badly. When I grow old and become aware of that, Ireally want to be deprived of this justice. But as we are all waitingeagerly or contemptuously for that time to come, I prefer to have itnow. Can you just guide me to come across it?


 

   I don’t really see the point of insisting on the fact that we are humanbeings abiding by several principles the absence of which will be thepresence of trouble and nuisance. Speaking about principles, I,however, see much point in saying this; there is absolutely no room forcompromises. There should be no room at all for the like of them.Compromises are out of question in this respect. Has anybody seenprinciples going side by side with compromises? I am dead sure they donot go together neither in good nor in bleak times. There is no needthen to ask such a question: “Is it better to risk defeat in defence ofa principle or hang on with compromises?"


   When one is defending something, one is fighting against somethingelse. This means that that something else is also being defended itselfwith a view of defeating that which it is fighting against. To defend aprinciple is simply to defend one’s dignity. So, there is no defeat indefending one’s dignity whether it be loss or gain. To live in anunprincipled way is to live without spirit. To have no spirit is betterthan to have a compromising spirit. But what is vital and of extremeimportance is to have an uncompromising spirit.


 

    Many people will surely have that kind of tendency to protectthemselves in the same way as the tortures do whenever they findthemselves in trouble. These people, I am clearly stating, will tend toprotect themselves by trying to be out of danger’s way. I reallycongratulate them for this extraordinarily effective way of defence orself-defence but at the same time, I can assure them that if they don’twork very hard upon illuminating and exterminating that danger andtrying to kick it out of being, one day, and I am not prevaricating,they will definitely be in danger.


   Krishnamurti, the Indian philosopher and thinker, once attempted toinquire about several things regarding life. He quickly found himself,by way of premises and reasoning, asking a set of extremely simple butdeep questions: Why is it that most of us are rather sloppy in ourdress, in our manners, in our thoughts and in the way we do things? Whyare we unpunctual and so inconsiderate of others? And what is thatbrings about order in everything, order in our dress, in our thoughts,in our speech, in the way we walk, in the way we treat those who areless fortunate than ourselves? These questions, to render it as a fact, cannot be easily answered.These are questions, Dickens said, that no sagacity could have solvedor could still resolve. We are merely speaking about them. Indeed,nobody has ever had the courage or the fortitude to ask them even. Wereit not for the fact that Krishnamurti asked them, nobody of us wouldfind the time to pay them his attention.


 

   How are we to answer that question? Why have we lived like that? Howare we to account for the kind of dispensation we are adopting orforced by human beings never superior to us save by malice andknowledge which is power to adopt? There are many and many people ofwhom we have often known that they never wept nor prayed, they justcursed and defied. They are to me far and far better than those who notonly refused to weep or pray, but also refused to curse or defy. Ialways wonder what on earth is the use of them or the use of sendingtheir sons to schools when all that they seem to be capable of doing isnothing or no more than to see, witness and then let things happen. The winners make it happen; the losers, however, let it happen. In thisway, we are the losers.


   We are the losers who know the price of everything and the value ofnothing. We are the losers who know who are to be the losers and whoare to be the winners and who are to be the sinners. To be a loser anda sinner at the very same time is really becoming more than one canbear. How are we to answer that question? Why have we lived like that? But before moving to have it met with an answer, we need to make surethat we know to what side we do belong. Is it to the oppressed that wereally belong or to the oppressors? I feel that we go with the latterand never with the former. As a matter of fact, there is no such thingas an oppressed. An oppressed is the cruellest oppressor ever existedin this round earth. An oppressor cannot be an oppressed. Thus, as Ihave come to say, there is no such thing as an oppressed and what ismore; there is nothing further that really needs to be said about this.


 

   “We are all in a theatre where nobody is in a position to walk out andevery body is forced to applause”. If it was a theatre, so much wouldbe the better. The most painful thing is that we are not in a theatrebut rather in a dungeon. Accordingly, it is the proper thing to saythat we are all in a dungeon where every candle is fading out and everyone is going about as blindly as a but trying to look for a way oflooking for a vent from which to escape. We are all in a mall that hasno wall where we are selling what will never be bought and buying whatwill never be sold.


   Never have they scoffed at a fall that can be similar to ours. A fallthat resulted from the unexpected laxness and indolence from the partof the only community whose ignorance the other communities are makingfun of. And why on earth shouldn’t they make fun of our community sincewe are clumsily accepting them as they are and at the same timerefusing our selves? Then, it is always safer to say, as I said before,what an excellent community we have come to form !


 

   Each time I permit my self to think deeply and see how one is fadingaway before his age and dying day after day, I always hasten to preventmy self from dying without thought . I always keep on being grateful toEmerson for having proclaimed in the best of all plain ways: “ So faras Man thinks, he is free.” One has to think before any allowance forfeelings to be spoken out. Il serait superflu ainsi. Toutes lesémotions doivent etre soingneusement évitées avant la pensée. Nobodyseems to be paying enough attention to the fact that to be hospitableand host what should be rejected at any cost is a terrible mistake ifwe conceive of mistakes as being mistakes. As a matter of fact, it is,one is bound to say after Hamlet, respect that makes calamity of solong a life. We must be brave enough to know that we are running to ourown destruction by respecting those who never respected the very ideaof respecting us in return. There is really no acute need to bring ourselves to say that respect is in itself a virtue that has to berespected. This is basically why, Aristotle tells us, some thinkersdefine the virtues as states of impassivity or tranquility. I reallycannot ascribe any meaning to respect when it does not generate anothercompatible one from their part. I will therefore say with all my kindness:

To hell with respect if it brings about nothing but humiliation.


    What ground do we still pretend to have for saying that this is theright way in which we should live? We have to learn how to root outeverything that does not go in conformity with logic and reason. Iffirst, we do not succeed, we need to try reading the directions. Thepoor peasant Tom said. We should not live as they want us to live . Weshould live as we want them to believe. Indeed, we should live and waitfor no one of us to be ready to show that he can be manipulated bythose who never knew how to manipulate themselves except towardsdarkness and destruction. Each one of us has in himself the capacity for making all of this into practice. What stops us? Of course, it is respect that stops us. We belong to a certain order ofthings. In fact, we have been told that we belong to that specificorder of things? The order of being weak and in need of civilization.


   One has to respect every day as irrespectively of anything else aspossible. One has to respect and show his greatfulness to the many andmany philanthropist men of our age. “ If malice and vanity “ Emersonsaid “ wear the coat of philanthropy, Shall that pass?” To respect themis one’s duty in life as a matter of fact. It is basically because onehas to be civilized. Civilization is not as easy as we might seem tothink. We have been told that it does not come like that as naturallyas the leaves to a tree. It is on those philanthropists that it highly depends.


   One cannot help wondering how they have come to be civilized ifcivilization does not come as the product of ancient people. Nowadays, it has become highly problematic for people to behave in a simple way.Most of all, it has become very difficult for them to enter moderncivilization without losing whatever is civilized in them. En présencede cette civilisation si avancée qui pour chaque action, siindifférente qu’elle soit, se charge de vous fournir un modèle qu’ilfaut suivre, ou du moins auquel il faut faire son procés, ce sentimentde dévouement sincère et sans bornes est bien prés de donner le bonheurparfait. STENDHAL had rightly put it.

 

History has never ceased to provide us with numbers without number ofinstances that reveal and tell how great people managed to handle thetorch of humanity and how they were always determined to show thecolour of the inside of the one who would think about standing upagainst them. ‘If you come near the boat, I will shoot you rightthrough the head. For I am resolved to have my freedom’. But in so faras we are all of us concerned, no matter how barren and sterile we arebeing presented to the world and seen by others as such, we have toprove them wrong. Most of all, we have to be ashamed of nothing but ofbeing ashamed. It is merely on account of the fact that, so to speak, we do have something like a duty to perform in this life of ours. Ourduty is to be without any duty save that of our Lord. As for earthly constraints, they are just imposed upon us and cancertainly be evaded with hard work. Our duty is to live as we are toldto live and do as we are told to do not by humans but by our creator.No sooner did Man take the life of his brother and the sad film beganto be shown. But again, we all need to go on. Life is a gift in one wayor another. Therefore, we need to profit from it and avoid hurting oneanother. Why should we bear grudgy things against each other when thereis really no need for that? Is it owing to an external force that weare saying things while doing other ones? La feintise, mon dieu, à quoibon avoir la feintise? Pour quelle raison ? En feignant de faire unechose on en fasse en réalité une autre. But how about those who aredoing exactly what they are saying? Do we really belong to them? Aquestion asked which is never answered. Life is a journey in which weare asked to take one way . To try to take more than one way will notbe of any service to us. One way is enough. So let it be the rightone.The right way is one in which we will never feel that we areselfish. Stagnation and inertia are to be given no mind. They can onlydrive to stupidity and procrastination. Life is not a tale told by anidiot full of sound and fury signifying nothing . Life is a novella inwhich many idiots are to be found with no other ground than that ofstanding for nothing but inertia and stagnation. Life is not a play ofpassion. Day unto day, Life wastes and wanes like a candle burning itsoils away till nought but charred wick remains. Indeed, with no need tobe startled at all, very numerous are those who are idiots in this lifethat we take to be ours. They are idiots in the very sense that theirlives are palpably donned with nothing but imbecility and inefficiency.Still, what makes things even worse is the fact that they do not reallyseem to recognize this. However, their idiocies are persistentlyimbedded in them in such a way that they are beginning to feel the soleneed of judging things according to their own short sightedperspectives. They are even oblivious to the fact that things are notreally meant to be judged but rather used and deployed according to ourown needs. Things are meant to be saved, kept, consumed, transformed orsimply discarded or at once thrown away But never judged. It is notreally for us living beings or up to us to judge things without enough knowledge and experience.


   People, these days, do not come across any difficulty in pretending tobe right while they are anything but that. After all, as it must bestated, we are all tasked to stop allowing our selves to judge thingsand see whether they are right or wrong. We are to live and stop makingthings come to their ends before thay have really started. Fourvoyerles choses pour rien et pour ainsi faire mal à nous même. We are tolearn how to live and nothing else. More importantly, we are toaccommodate our selves to the changes of life while having that specialkind of principles’s retention which takes a great deal from itself inorder to imbue this life of ours with meaning and significance. It is akind of resisting and withstanding to the cold and harsh reality, a wayof accepting life not as it is but rather as it really aught to be.Besides, it is undeniably true that any attempt, whether serious orridiculous, at platonizing life is bound to be a great failure. But atthe same time, it will not deprive us of that feeling of confort andsafety in a world that has really started to be a little bit absurd andfutile. Our hope, then, is to be sustained and intensified on the cessof those constant attempts to live as all real men would have chosen tolive. We are really in need to handle a life of our own. A life thatdoes not sound like death. A life that accepts no such thing asstoicism or human suffering.


 

 

Chokri Omri

 

MEDITATIONS

 

Copyright ©2016


 


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