vendredi 23 août 2013
WHO ARE YOU? ASK THE AMERICAN INDIANS ..ANSWER FROM FRENCH ALPS
WHO ARE YOU?
MEDITATING BY THE MOUNTAIN SPRINGS IN THE FRENCH ALPS
I think it was VSNaipaul,one of the greatest artists of the English Language when it comes to its useful expression, who said: People stand in line to be Ordinary..
Was he resonating what Nietzsche had earlier said:
Cheerfulness of a Slave who has nothing of a consequence to be responsible for, who does not value anything of the past or the future higher than the present.
I am sitting by the mountain springs, thinking about what is happening here in Europe, in USA and in Asia.. and of course always being grateful for my association with American Indians and my two good friends in Asia: Brother Joe in Bogor and MC in KL.
When you are traveling through Europe, one sees another face of humanity, changes too rapid that no one has a good understanding of what is happening and how to deal with this new arrivals of humanity and values and perceived threats and loss of values..
Very early on in my life, I had begun to think about Individuality (Free Spirit was a popular term then, Free from What I used to wonder), while still living in Australia.
It did not take me too long to realize that oppression of Individuality was at play everywhere one turned:
How much more ridiculous than the Government of Malaysia (while claiming to represent all religions their concern is Islam), which is now on the brink of banning any one who is not a Moslem using the word Allah to denote God!!
Would they now try to ban Ole and Ojala as well?
The French assure us that they are colour and religion blind and only thing that matters are people are French, thus creating Nothingness to the Other humanity, without realizing Nothingness is where they are headed.
The best example of loss of Individuality among my colleagues: I am a Doctor, meaning without my White Coat, I am nothing.
American Indians have taught me from the beginning of my association with them: I am a friend who happens to know a little Medicine.
Hobbes 16th century pronouncement while in different context, gives us an idea of the Individual Prisons that we build for ourselves.
Individuals ruled by appetites and aversion, pursuing their own interests, and locked in perpetual mutual enmity.
My good friend MC in KL and Brother Joe would immediately recognize this individual attitude to be much against what we had discussed about, of being a Good Person.
Attachment, Aversion, Lack of Compassion, Ego.. the basis of so much unhappiness in this world.
We are so lucky that so much Knowledge and so much Wisdom is so easily available to us…at home and abroad.. among our friends and those who cross our paths.
We must make time to learn..
The greatest gift any one person can give another is TIME.
My brother Joe would include in this gift of Time, his expertise to being in a position to help others. He would add: Impossible to be happy fi you are only helping yourself..
As Dalai Lama has said: If you want to make another person happy, be Compassionate
If you want to be happy, be compassionate..
It is nice to sit here ,listening to the gargle of the springs from the mountains. I am reading through some lectures given by the great Philosopher, Jiddu Krishnamurty in Amsterdam in 1955. I am happy I know about him, the time is ripe to learn and understand his words..
A society that does not pay attention to the “individuals” within that society will decay, that is what happened to the Great Moghul Dynasty, the mighty Ottoman Empire, the Persians, the Egyptians..
It may not be a coincidence that these societies gave rise to greatest nationalists, religious fanatics because there were pools of people with neglected aspirations that could be easily manipulated. (France and Britain to lesser extent are in similar quandary)
To be free, we have to allow the Other to be free, allow ourselves to be free of Religion and Authority… in the ways and words of American Indians Spiritual Belief system transcends them.
I was very naïve when the First American Indians I met asked me: Who are you?
I am a Doctor; those were the words that came out of my mouth.
I didn't ask you what you are, but who are you?
It took me many years of travel, learning about various cultures, meeting some wonderful people, before I could even muster a reasonable answer.
The process of understanding the question was more important than the answer itself.
If I am only for myself, who am I ?, the great Rabbi Hillel had said.
We do not have to decay along with the societies we live in, whether it is France or Malaysia but live in a Mythical World where the expression of our individuality is not measured by your belief or parochial or social or regional measures, but by the Universal measures, which remain the same for all of us.
THAT IS WHEN YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE..