Wednesday, January 24, 2007

can you lay shame to rest?

the "other" or "alterity", to use the more academic term, is a pet explanation in latteer day social sciences, together with such concepts as "identity", which explain nothing at all but make you sound like you are saying something deep.

the "other", supposedly, is a projection of what we dislike in ourselves (*) but it is actually a project. it is not something that comes into being of itself, the "other" is deliberately -though not necessarily consciously- construed. the "other" is always functional, and therefore ever present. at times, your mom who suckles you is an "other" if you don't want to suck. so is your wife when she doesn't let you watch the ball game, your best friend when his soccer team beats yours; even your pet dog when it wants a walk in the rain... what we call "other" is that part of our own life we can put aside when we do not wish to brook anything or anyone who differs from ourselves. the other, at best, is a temporary assignation of that status to a subject in our lives. the richer the life, the more temporary the assignation; because difference and diversity is what makes the world go round. without that we designate as the other, we are all practically like the zillions of ken and barbie dolls that come out of the plastic factory and are distinguishable only by what they (are made to) wear.

the zen of it is that, an intelligent being can float and cruise among all those different aspects of existence that potentially are tthe "other", picking at will what suits him, what complements him, what pleases him; in short, whatever is desirable. thus integrating, accomodating his self with all that used to be other, the soul grows, enlarges and encompasses as much of the universe as possible while experiencing its own being.

even then, there is some other - or else, evil would evaporate from human culture altogether. yet, that is an other which life has taught us may become functional some moment of the cruise, therefore not really so alien, so "alter" but merely a spare part of our life-world.

the homo sapiens has grossly failed in its 80-million-year-history to prove itself an intelligent being. earliest findings show it to be a creature whose idea of zen-wise integration is post cannibalistic digestion. every moment of the history of the species is a record of one or other form of self destruction . history tells us there really is no "other", except, we can "other-ize" anybody, even our prophets.

in a sense, hrant dink was being prophet like, fearlessly pounding into our pathetically dwindling vocabulary that "different" is not necessarily "other". because the poorer the vocabulary, the blunter the mind, the more primitive the thought process, we killed him, too, because we refused, chose not to understand. and no, we were not magnanimous enough to protect that we could not understand. we feared him for ignorance is also cowardice.

then we walked behind his coffin, letting out spiritual gases out of our conscience... we walked behind what put us to shame by dying because living and writing, he could not reach us.

the shameless shunned even the walk. there was a thankful absence of politicians . what few there were, were there apparently more for the protocol than the funeral. during his service hrant once more did a service to his countrymen, showed them how much better things can be without the state as we know it. even the security forces belonged to the people during the procession, not to the state.

so we laid hrant to rest. silent but still spreading meaning to life. we were ashamed of his death but we can't lay shame to rest...

so much the better! we must now nourish that shame, lest we forget.

(*) also what we covet, envy and cannot attain; which can be considered a form of evil in itself.

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