Under Ben Bulben – Poem by W.B. Yeats

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DOLOREM MEUM, GAUDIUM TUO

Este blog ha defendido desde su origen la necesidad de integrar una inmigración ordenada y presta a la reciprocidad. Pedagogía, empatía y la formalización legal de un contrato de residencia que especifique claramente derechos y deberes serían los requisitos de esa integración. La desidia de unos y la inconsciencia de otros han aparcado esta absoluta necesidad en el limbo de las utopías. Rige el “sálvese quien pueda”, que, en el caso de quienes podrían gestionar el problema, la clase política, se traduce en refugiarse en la seguridad de sus mansiones tras de muros, cámaras y vigilancia de cuerpos de seguridad estatales, que, faltaría más, paga el mismo contribuyente que puede ver comprometida su seguridad y la de su familia en las calles. Proclamar un fácil y demagógico “¡Welcome refugees!” desde esa posición es un insulto, no solo a los ciudadanos de a pie, sino también a los propios refugiados, para los que la bienvenida no es más que un gesto vacío, puesto que la gran tarea pendiente, la de la integración, está fracasando ante nuestros ojos.

Adivina adivinanza: ¿Qué líder político vive en el caserón de la izquierda de
la foto? Pista: antes estaba avecindado en Vallecas, pero ha decidido no
codearse con los “refugees” que invita a barrios populares por los que ya
no se deja ver la coleta más que para mendigar el voto.

Estos son los pensamientos que me venían a la cabeza al leer el editorial publicado por Jérôme Bourbon en el número 3373 de la revista Rivarol, publicado el pasado 17 de abril. En él el autor se duele por la alegría, nada disimulada, de muchos musulmanes que han celebrado sin recato en las redes sociales la frustración, el abatimiento y la desolación de los franceses para los que los daños sufridos por la catedral de Notre Dame son una herida íntima:

No todo el mundo llora la ruina de Notre-Dame de Paris. En Twitter, como se podría esperar, hay gente que ha aplaudido a gritos. Sería la venganza de Alá, incluso contra nuestros antepasados, a causa de las supuestas exacciones francesas en África. Una tal Hafsa, miembro de la oficina nacional de la UNEF (Unión Nacional de Estudiantes de Francia), veía en la consternación general ”un delirio de los pequeños blancos” y afirmaba que a ella “no le importa Notre-Dame, como tampoco el resto de la historia de Francia”. La damisela de hecho, se dedica habitualmente a insultar, y pide alegremente el asesinato de blancos, aunque hasta ahora esto no ha entorpecido su carrera en la UNEF. Del mismo modo, siempre en las redes sociales, hay benineses que han acogido estas imágenes de apocalipsis: ”Espero que toda Francia se queme”. Ella es la enemiga de África. ¡Este tipo de desastre tiene al menos el mérito de mostrar los enemigos internos!

A brief summary of who is responding to the tragic Notre Dame fire with ‘smiley faces’ on Facebook. Appalling. pic.twitter.com/OBANPl9Wpv

— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) 15 de abril de 2019

La lectura del texto precedente deja un poso amargo. Ningún ser humano consciente, sea cual sea su religión (o la ausencia de ésta) puede alegrarse por la ruina de una realización artística de la magnitud de la magnífica catedral de París. Si la Kaaba, la Cúpula de la Roca en Jerusalén o la Gran Mezquita de Casablanca resultaran destruidas, todos los que admiramos la inventiva, el ingenio y la creatividad artística nos sentiríamos afectados. El espacio de manifestación de lo sagrado, encapsulado y protegido en suntuosos templos, debería ser reconocido como patrimonio de todo ser humano, al margen de creencias excluyentes. Ése es el mensaje que no ha calado entre quienes, como la Hafsa de la oficina nacional de la UNEF, pueden sentir alegría por algo que supone una mutilación del espíritu del que todos deberíamos participar. Si el dolor del país que te acoge es motivo de alegría, no te has enterado de cosas extremadamente importantes, como que el pasado que símbolos como Notre Dame representan es el que ha generado los derechos, las garantías y la hospitalidad de la que ahora eres beneficiaria.

Los bárbaros iconoclastas no son sólo de otras tradi-
ciones culturales: aquí un botón de muestra de cómo
una feminecia de manual celebra la destrucción de
un símbolo del poder femenino

Alegrarse de la catástrofe sufrida por París puede movernos a legítima indignación, pero también a apenarnos de quienes han acorazado su sensibilidad para no ver amenazada una identidad asumidamente bárbara, que necesita cerrarse a la empatía y a la compasión para no sentirse amenazada. Y esa es la tentación en que cae un elevadísimo porcentaje de musulmanes, quienes representan nada menos que el 10 % de la población francesa, porcentaje que en un futuro sin duda se incrementará.

Si, como cabe dentro de lo posible, llegará a saberse -o simplemente a sospecharse- que lo sucedido en Notre Dame el pasado lunes ha sido fruto de un ataque de venganza sectaria, la quiebra de una convencia cada vez más precaria entre inmigrantes musulmanes y ciudadanos franceses de origen podría convertirse en una dramática realidad.

Recordemos que el 11 de septiembre de 2016 (repárese en lo significativo de la fecha) la policía frustró un ataque yihadista con coche bomba contra la catedral. Y que un año antes se había evitado otro ataque similar contra iglesias parisinas, organizado por un franco-argelino de vuelta de Siria. En juio de 2017 un simpatizante del Estado Islámico agredió a un policía en la explanada frente a Notre Dame. Finalmente, el incendio de tan celebrado templo se ha producido justamente un mes después del 15 de marzo de 2019, en que Brent Tarrant, un fanático supremacista de extrema derecha, perpetró una masacre entre los fieles que asistían a dos mezquita en Christchurch (Nueva Zelanda). Dada la cercanía de las fechas, es fácil ver el principio de acción-reacción operativo en esta trágica secuencia … y entender que sin serenidad y reflexión Francia, y al final Europa, se verá abocada, apenas la bola de nieve siga rodando, a un enfrentamiento social de naturaleza incierta.

El asesino de Christchurch, quien transmitió vía Facebook su macabra “hazaña”

A ese peligro inminente apuntaba el anterior ministro del interior de Emmanuel Macron, Gérard Collomb, quien presentó su dimisión del cargo el pasado octubre ante su impotencia para prevenir un conflicto civil que veía inminente: “Las relaciones entre las personas son muy difíciles, las personas no quieren vivir juntas … Las comunidades en Francia se están peleando cada vez más y se está volviendo muy violenta … Sí, tenemos cinco, seis años para evitar lo peor“. Su apocalíptico dictamen parece menos lejano solo medio año después de haber sido pronunciado.

El pesimista diagnóstico de Collomb viene a coincidir en lo esencial con lo defendido por este bloguero en el primer párrafo de la entrada: es preciso racionalizar la inmigración, tomar conciencia de los desafíos de la convivencia, no esperar a los estallidos violentos mientras se mira hacia otro lado … justo lo que está haciendo un presidente irresponsable y cínico que parece haber asumido que su función es la de “entertainer” de masas mientras el país es gobernado por los consejos de administración de BNP y de la Société Générale. Y al que la catástrofe de Notre Dame viene como anillo al dedo para esconder su torpeza y su altivez -esta segunda calificación fue formulada literalmente por Collomb- envolviéndose en la tricolor y jugando a líder conciliador … de una conciliación que los hechos amenazan con hacer imposible.

“Cuando París estornuda, Europa se resfría” (Metternich)

Cada vez más voces (Eric Zemmour, Christian de Moliner, Michel Houellebecq, …) advierten de la posibilidad de una inminente guerra civil religiosa, que nadie en su sano juicio desea, pero que nadie parece esforzarse en prevenir. En vez de hacerlo, quienes deberían asumir la responsabilidad de advertir a la mayoría sonámbula del peligro que se dibuja en un horizonte cada vez más cercano parecen adoptar el solipsista proceder del hombre que cae al vacío en el deslumbrante prólogo de “La Haine” (“El odio”), el profético film con que, en fecha tan temprana como 1995, Mathieu Kassovitz tomó el pulso a un París sumido en disturbios raciales, un escenario de violencia y desesperanza que nos resulta más cercano hoy que entonces.

“Es la historia de un hombre que cae de un edificio de cincuenta pisos. Para tranquilizarse mientras cae al vacío, no para de decirse: hasta ahora todo va bien, hasta ahora todo va bien… hasta ahora todo va bien. Pero lo importante no es la caída, es el aterrizaje.”

¿Cómo prevenir el caos que se nos viene encima? Este espectador curioso tampoco tiene la solución a esta pregunta, pero cree que escuchar el dolor del otro, no ser indiferente a sus heridas físicas y morales, no pagar con la misma moneda a quienes celebran nuestro abatimiento; hacer de Notre Dame o Palmira, de Niza o Trípoli, del atentado de las Ramblas o del de Christchurch causas comunes en vez de banderas que nos enfrenten; sentir que el otro es una versión distinta de nosotros mismos en diferentes circunstancias … sería, si no una solución, al menos un buen comienzo.

(posesodegerasa)

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EL HOMBRE QUE LA C.I.A. QUIERE QUE OLVIDES

Los hechos:
El ex detective de narcóticos del Departamento de Policía de Los Ángeles (LAPD) y denunciante de irregularidades, Michael Ruppert, pasó años hablando en contra de la CIA por supuestamente traficar con drogas a lo largo y ancho de los Estados Unidos. Fue encontrado muerto en 2014, aparentemente por haberse disparado en la cabeza.
Las preguntas:
¿Por qué seguimos dando credibilidad a agencias como la CIA que han sido sorprendidas abusando de su poder una y otra vez? ¿Quién vigila a los vigilantes? ¿Qué podemos hacer para proteger mejor a los denunciantes cuando se presentan?

Michael C. Ruppert

Michael C. Ruppert era un ex detective de narcóticos del Departamento de Policía de Los Angeles (LAPD) y denunciante de irregularidades que salió en contra de la CIA a finales de los 70’s. Afirmó que trataron de reclutarlo para protegerlo y ayudarlo a facilitar sus prácticas de narcotráfico. Cuando Ruppert se negó a participar y se presentó, dijo que estaba amenazado, desacreditado erróneamente e incluso que le dispararon, pero eso no le impidió hablar.

“Le diré, director Deutch, que como ex detective de narcóticos de la policía de Los Ángeles, la agencia ha traficado con drogas por todo el país durante mucho tiempo.” – Michael C. Ruppert

En una audiencia en el ayuntamiento de Los Ángeles, ahora infame, se enfrentó al jefe de la CIA con una sala repleta de gente de la zona centro-sur que lo animaba entre la multitud. No sólo fue el comportamiento ilegal que Ruppert quería exponer, sino también la increíble hipocresía de la CIA y el LAPD por traer cocaína y otras drogas a la comunidad, y luego encerrar a traficantes y usuarios de drogas de poca monta.

La nota de “sucidio” de Michael Ruppert

Estas drogas importadas estaban destrozando comunidades con efectos generalizados como la adicción, el aumento de la delincuencia y la actividad de las pandillas, las muertes por sobredosis y muchos encarcelamientos que dividieron a las familias, lo que dio lugar a ciclos de delincuencia que se extendieron por generaciones. A continuación puede ver el video de la emotiva reunión del ayuntamiento.

No se detuvo ahí. Michael Ruppert pasó la mayor parte de su vida tratando de exponer la criminalidad a los más altos niveles. Abordar todo, desde el pico de la crisis del petróleo hasta el complejo industrial militar. También creía que la administración Bush permitió que el 11 de septiembre ocurriera.

“El 11-S fue un evento predecible y fue motivado precisa y exclusivamente por el Peak Oil y nada más.” -Michael C. Ruppert (fuente)

Ruppert se convirtió en un autor publicado y ganó más notoriedad por su controvertido libro “Confronting Collapse: La crisis de la energía y el dinero en un mundo postpico petrolero”. Esto terminó inspirando el revelador documental “Colapso”, que es un valioso punto de partida para comprender los profundos niveles de corrupción y encubrimiento que han tenido lugar en todo el mundo.

No importa lo que pienses sobre la legitimidad de las afirmaciones de Ruppert, está claro que no tenía miedo de enfrentarse a los Goliaths del mundo, pero por hacerlo fue tildado por muchos de los principales medios de comunicación como un loco teórico de la conspiración.

“Todos los medios de comunicación corporativos y públicos son nuestro primer y más importante enemigo inmediato.” Michael C. Ruppert

Gary Webb, un periodista incómodo para los tejemanejes del “Estado profundo”

La confirmación

Estamos en 1996 y llega Gary Webb. Un respetado periodista ganador del Premio Pulitzer que comienza a investigar los lazos entre los líderes de las organizaciones nicaragüenses contra rebeldes y la CIA. Webb escribió una serie de tres reportajes de investigación que fue publicada en el San Jose Mercury News. Esto causó un escándalo público, especialmente entre la gente de las comunidades más pobres, donde la epidemia de crack y cocaína estaba destruyendo familias.

La publicidad del mordaz periodismo de Webb contra la CIA es lo que le permitió a Ruppert la oportunidad de ser escuchado a mayor escala, y las conclusiones de Webb incluso lanzaron una investigación federal sobre el tema. Mientras que mucha gente le creía, Gary Webb terminó perdiendo a su editor, siendo calumniado en todas las noticias por exagerar y hasta se le llamó mentiroso. Junto a Ruppert, Webb fue muy franco al decir que había una manipulación masiva de los medios de comunicación en torno al tema.

La sobreatención mediática a un escándalo de faldas como fue
el caso Lewinsky (algo que durante la presidencia de Kenne-
dy hubiera pasado desapercibido, por ser las liberalidades pre-
sidenciales el pan de cada día) se explica por el afán de quitar
protagonismo informativo al verdadero escándalo nacional.

“La versión gubernamental de la historia está siendo difundida a través del Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, … Utilizan la gigantesca prensa corporativa en lugar de decir nada directamente. Si trabajas a través de reporteros amigables en los principales periódicos, aparece como The New York Times diciéndolo y no como un portavoz de la CIA”. – Gary Webb (fuente)

Un trágico final

Gary Webb fue encontrado muerto en su casa en 2004 con dos heridas de bala en la cabeza. Su muerte fue declarada suicidio, pero todavía hay algunas especulaciones considerando el hecho de que no es común que una persona apriete el gatillo dos veces en un suicidio, pero para ser justos, esto ha ocurrido en el pasado. Había una nota de suicidio y su esposa ha declarado que estuvo deprimido por un tiempo por no poder conseguir trabajo en ningún periódico importante.

Un destino espeluznantemente similar fue el de Michael Ruppert. Fue encontrado muerto en su casa en 2014 con una herida de bala en la cabeza. También dejó una nota y su muerte fue declarada suicidio. Al igual que Webb, había misterio en torno a la historia oficial de Ruppert, algunos creen que fue un éxito por decir demasiado o que tal vez estaba en otra gran historia, otros creen que el suicidio fue escenificado y se salió del mapa para empezar de nuevo, y otros toman la historia a su valor nominal y piensan que tal vez ya estaba harto de pelear, de mirar siempre por encima de su hombro.como un hombre que pasó su vida cuestionando la narrativa principal, parece apropiado que hayan circulado diversas teorías de conspiración en torno a su muerte.

Si miras el video de arriba, puedes escuchar a Michael Ruppert mismo acerca de su historia y verlo en acción en la reunión del ayuntamiento donde desafió a la CIA. Su pregunta al jefe es poderosa, preguntándole si encuentra información de actividad ilegal pero es clasificada, ¿lo reportará?

¿Son estas organizaciones a las que damos el poder de hacer cumplir la ley y/o de protegernos por encima de la ley? ¿Existen circunstancias en las que se justifique la actividad ilegal de algunas organizaciones, por ejemplo, si la información es una amenaza para la seguridad pública? ¿Por qué ninguna de las investigaciones internas de la CIA pudo encontrar pruebas concluyentes de las acusaciones contra ellos?

James McDougall
(Fuente: http://bit.ly/2vf6fpC; visto en http://bit.ly/2Ph5AgC)

PD.: Es un “clásico” de la conspiración. Ya antes de Michael Ruppert y Gary Webb la denuncia del uso de drogas por parte de la CIA pudo haberle costado la vida a otro informador cualificado:

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Morire come un dio: lo strano caso del capitano Cook

L’omicidio rituale del capitano James Cook da parte dei nativi hawaiiani è stato al centro, negli anni Novanta, di una polemica “postmodernista” tra un sociologo dello Sri Lanka, Gananath Obeyesekere, e l’emerito professore statunitense Marshall Sahlins, famoso antropologo del Pacifico e dell’età della pietra.

di Stefano Malatesta
pubblicato su la Repubblica, 16 marzo 1997

L’uomo bianco che viene preso per un dio dai nativi (sarà più corretto mettere il termine nella stretta sorveglianza delle virgolette?) è una costante dei libri e dei film di avventura e dei testi di antropologia e di storia delle scoperte. Nell’Uomo che volle diventare re, il racconto di Kipling, un simpatico, megalomane bricconcello vittoriano è accolto come una divinità, reincarnazione di Alessandro Magno, dai cafiri dell’Hindukush e crede di diventare ricco fino al momento in cui tutto precipita. Le storie del Pacifico ci dicono che il grande capitano Cook, quando arrivò alle Hawaii con la “Resolution” e la “Discovery”, durante il suo terzo e ultimo viaggio, venne festeggiato come il dio Lono. Per non parlare di Hérnan Cortés, che Montezuma credeva fosse un dio azteco mandato a castigarlo e a chiudere un ciclo, secondo quanto raccontano gli stessi poeti nahuatl.

Ma sono credibili queste interpretazioni del pensiero selvaggio? O non sono dei miti, da sempre inflitti alle popolazioni indigene e ricamati dagli studiosi occidentali, che mascherano il loro connaturato imperialismo e senso di superiorità dietro teorie solo in apparenza scientifiche e obiettive? E gli hawaiiani (i cafiri, i messicani), sono stati così poco intelligenti, così privi di senso comune e pratico e di razionalità, da lasciarsi abbindolare? Da non capire che quei marinai puzzolenti e carnalmente affamati di donne, così diversi da loro, non erano di natura divina?

Intorno a queste domande non secondarie, da qualche anno si è aperta una furente polemica che, partita da Lono, dalle credenze degli hawaiiani, e da come venne ucciso Cook e perché, ha finito per mettere in discussione tutto il rapporto tra antropologia e nativi e la stessa antropologia come scienza. I due protagonisti dello scontro sono un sociologo dello Sri Lanka, Gananath Obeyesekere, che in quanto “nativo” anche lui, sentendosi solidale con tutti i nativi e credendo di avere una visione privilegiata del pensiero hawaiiano (presumibilmente, quello che accomuna cingalesi e hawaiiani deriva invece dalle influenze culturali dell’Occidente), nel 1992 ha scritto un libro, The Apotheosis of Captain Cook, attaccando la pretesa degli occidentali, visti come agenti dell’imperialismo, d’interpretare una storia non loro. E l’emerito professore Marshall Sahlins, americano, famoso antropologo del Pacifico e dell’età della pietra.

Nathaniel Dance-Holland, ritratto del capitano James Cook, 1775

Chiamato in prima persona a rispondere di svariate malefatte, Sahlins ha risposto con un saggio uscito in questi giorni per Donzelli: Capitan Cook, per esempio (pagg. 287, lire 38.000). Non si capiscono bene i veri termini della polemica se non facendo riferimento ad una ventata postmodernista, chiamiamola così, che ha investito l’antropologia negli ultimi dieci anni. Come spiega Francesca Giusti nella presentazione del libro, questa nuova visione critica, poi abbastanza diversificata, si basa grosso modo sulla convinzione che la storia dell’antropologia non possa essere studiata separatamente dalla storia del colonialismo (la categoria interpretativa adatta sarebbe il conflitto, perché si tratta, in sostanza, di vicende di ferro e di fuoco). E che vadano recuperate tutte le componenti autobiografiche e soggettive, annullate da una pretesa di oggettività del sapere cosidetto scientifico.

Ora la ricerca antropologica al servizio dell’imperialismo c’è sempre stata. I primi, sensibili osservatori delle culture primitive appartenevano quasi tutti a paesi colonialisti: molti avevano in mente, come fine ultimo, la conversione dei nativi ad una religione considerata superiore e spesso erano pagati dai governi perché una conoscenza approfondita delle popolazioni soggette significava un controllo più sicuro. Ma tutto questo non ha significato che i loro lavori non fossero validi per definizione.

Anni fa capitai tra i Bassari, una popolazione che vive all’interno del Senegal, accompagnato da uno strano personaggio, un italiano ex cacciatore di frodo, diventato pittore a Dakar, che parlava la loro lingua. Nel villaggio incontrammo un’antropologa francese del Musée de l’Homme di Parigi che batteva quelle parti da trent’anni e che veniva ancora chiamata “l’etrangère“. L’italiano, in perfetta confidenza con gli uomini e soprattutto con le donne Bassari, mi disse ridendo che i locali si seccavano per tutte quelle domande che l’antropologa faceva e che per togliersela di torno s’inventavano sul momento delle storie. Avevano un fiuto straordinario per adattare i loro racconti alle aspettative della francese.

Ma ho anche conosciuto numerosi altri antropologi che avevano fatto un lavoro splendido: tutto dipendeva dalle loro capacità interpretative, dalla loro pazienza, e dall’amore che si vedeva trasparire verso i soggetti studiati. Le obiezioni dell’antropologia postmodernista sono serie, ma certamente non nuove: si può dire che abbiano accompagnato da sempre, sotterraneamente o in superficie, la ricerca sul campo.

Johann Zoffany, “The death of Captain James Cook”

Nel caso in questione questa causa importante è stata difesa da un avvocato inetto, che si è andato a scegliere un terreno su cui non aveva sufficiente competenza. Il libro di Sahlins è nello stesso tempo una risposta devastante, un bellissimo saggio di antropologia, fin troppo tecnico (per il furore di distruggere il suo avversario anche nei minimi dettagli). E una rivendicazione della legittimità dei nativi d’interpretare i fenomeni come relazione tra cosmologia e storia, in senso genericamente mitico, e della capacità degli studiosi occidentali di comprendere culture anche molto diverse dalla loro. Il realismo borghese basato sul buon senso, se preso come concetto storiografico valido ovunque, è una violenza che si fa contro altre epoche e altri costumi.

La fine del 1778 alle Hawaii coincideva con la festa del Makahiki, l’annuale rinascita della natura, rappresentata come un dramma cosmico primordiale, che prevedeva ad un certo punto l’arrivo di Lono, dio esiliato in quanto re deposto. Quando le navi di Cook comparvero nella baia di Kealakekua, gli hawaiiani gli tributarono l’accoglienza più imponente e festosa mai accordata ad un navigatore europeo, come concordano tutti gli storici. «Ci ancorammo su fondali di sabbia nera, tra un numero sterminato di canoe i cui occupanti cantavano e manifestavano la loro gioia», dice il diario di bordo.

La spiaggia era sommersa di folla, le canoe erano cariche di maialini, frutti dell’albero del pane e di tutti i prodotti dell’isola. Una volta a bordo, la gente continuava a cantare, a ballare, urlando, battendo le mani e salendo e scendendo in continuazione dalle navi e le donne, come riferirà poi il medico di bordo, sembravano particolarmente ansiose di congiungersi con i marinai. Una simile dimensione epifanica poteva essere spiegata solo con l’arrivo di un dio.

John Webber, “The Death of Captain Cook”, 1784

Cook ripartì il 3 febbraio, quando il Makahiki era appena terminato. Sfortunatamente una tempesta abbatté l’albero di trinchetto della “Resolution” e gli inglesi furono costretti a rientrare per le riparazioni nella baia di Kealakekua. Stavolta ad accoglierli c’erano poche centinaia di persone, dall’aria perplessa e non molto festosa. Cominciarono i furti, sempre più numerosi e i capi erano molto insistenti nel chiedere il motivo del loro ritorno e la storia della rottura del trinchetto non li convinceva. Obeyesekere ha interpretato il mutato atteggiamento, che porterà all’uccisione di Cook, con la brutalità dei marinai, con l’infrazione di un tabù costituito da una palizzata sacra che gli inglesi avrebbero bruciato. E con l’insofferenza, diventata ostilità, per le continue richieste di viveri da parte di Cook, che avevano provocato la fine delle scorte degli hawaiiani (ma in realtà nell’isola funzionava il più esteso e produttivo sistema agricolo del Pacifico).

Comunque il problema non era né empirico, né pratico, come spiega molto bene Sahlins: era cosmologico. I polinesiani avevano uno strano rapporto di sottomissione e opposizione con il divino. Lono era invitato nell’ambito umano per concedere la vita e veniva poi bandito, in modo che l’umanità potesse impossessarsi dei benefici divini. Un suo ritorno subito dopo la partenza era sinistro, perché poteva significare che voleva riprendersi il potere che aveva ceduto al re.

La decisione di Cook di catturare il re Kalani’opu’u per ottenere la restituzione di una lancia rubata fu catastrofica e interpretata in queste senso, producendo nell’immagine del capitano una metamorfosi: da essere degno di venerazione a nemico. Gli hawaiiani furono costretti ad ucciderlo. Ma 48 ore dopo la sua morte, due sacerdoti addetti al culto di Lono raggiunsero di notte la “Resolution” e offersero piangendo agli inglesi un pezzo di carne, la parte alta della coscia di Cook.

Il saggio di Sahlins, attraverso infinite prove ben argomentate, non lascia dubbi sul fatto che questa sia la giusta interpretazione della uccisione del più grande esploratore del Pacifico (oltretutto gli hawaiiani non erano i soli a vedere gli europei del “primo contatto” come esseri soprannaturali). È paradossale che Obeyesekere, nella sua pretesa difesa dei nativi, capovolga gli abituali pregiudizi, attribuendo a loro tutta la razionalità che gli occidentali considerano la più alta forma di pensiero, mentre dota gli europei, antropologi compresi, di un atteggiamento irrazionale, che ha lo scopo di riproporre il disprezzato mito, in quanto di genere nativo. Non accorgendosi di riproporre, negando agli hawaiiani la loro visione delle cose, l’egemonia imperialistica mascherata da resistenza dei popoli subalterni.

– Artículo*: Marco Maculotti –

Más info en psico@mijasnatural.com / 607725547 MENADEL Psicología Clínica y Transpersonal Tradicional (Pneumatología) en Mijas Pueblo (MIJAS NATURAL)

*No suscribimos necesariamente las opiniones o artículos aquí enlazados

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Morire come un dio: lo strano caso del capitano Cook

L’omicidio rituale del capitano James Cook da parte dei nativi hawaiiani è stato al centro, negli anni Novanta, di una polemica “postmodernista” tra un sociologo dello Sri Lanka, Gananath Obeyesekere, e l’emerito professore statunitense Marshall Sahlins, famoso antropologo del Pacifico e dell’età della pietra.

di Stefano Malatesta
pubblicato su la Repubblica, 16 marzo 1997

L’uomo bianco che viene preso per un dio dai nativi (sarà più corretto mettere il termine nella stretta sorveglianza delle virgolette?) è una costante dei libri e dei film di avventura e dei testi di antropologia e di storia delle scoperte. Nell’Uomo che volle diventare re, il racconto di Kipling, un simpatico, megalomane bricconcello vittoriano è accolto come una divinità, reincarnazione di Alessandro Magno, dai cafiri dell’Hindukush e crede di diventare ricco fino al momento in cui tutto precipita. Le storie del Pacifico ci dicono che il grande capitano Cook, quando arrivò alle Hawaii con la “Resolution” e la “Discovery”, durante il suo terzo e ultimo viaggio, venne festeggiato come il dio Lono. Per non parlare di Hérnan Cortés, che Montezuma credeva fosse un dio azteco mandato a castigarlo e a chiudere un ciclo, secondo quanto raccontano gli stessi poeti nahuatl.

Ma sono credibili queste interpretazioni del pensiero selvaggio? O non sono dei miti, da sempre inflitti alle popolazioni indigene e ricamati dagli studiosi occidentali, che mascherano il loro connaturato imperialismo e senso di superiorità dietro teorie solo in apparenza scientifiche e obiettive? E gli hawaiiani (i cafiri, i messicani), sono stati così poco intelligenti, così privi di senso comune e pratico e di razionalità, da lasciarsi abbindolare? Da non capire che quei marinai puzzolenti e carnalmente affamati di donne, così diversi da loro, non erano di natura divina?

Intorno a queste domande non secondarie, da qualche anno si è aperta una furente polemica che, partita da Lono, dalle credenze degli hawaiiani, e da come venne ucciso Cook e perché, ha finito per mettere in discussione tutto il rapporto tra antropologia e nativi e la stessa antropologia come scienza. I due protagonisti dello scontro sono un sociologo dello Sri Lanka, Gananath Obeyesekere, che in quanto “nativo” anche lui, sentendosi solidale con tutti i nativi e credendo di avere una visione privilegiata del pensiero hawaiiano (presumibilmente, quello che accomuna cingalesi e hawaiiani deriva invece dalle influenze culturali dell’Occidente), nel 1992 ha scritto un libro, The Apotheosis of Captain Cook, attaccando la pretesa degli occidentali, visti come agenti dell’imperialismo, d’interpretare una storia non loro. E l’emerito professore Marshall Sahlins, americano, famoso antropologo del Pacifico e dell’età della pietra.

Nathaniel Dance-Holland, ritratto del capitano James Cook, 1775

Chiamato in prima persona a rispondere di svariate malefatte, Sahlins ha risposto con un saggio uscito in questi giorni per Donzelli: Capitan Cook, per esempio (pagg. 287, lire 38.000). Non si capiscono bene i veri termini della polemica se non facendo riferimento ad una ventata postmodernista, chiamiamola così, che ha investito l’antropologia negli ultimi dieci anni. Come spiega Francesca Giusti nella presentazione del libro, questa nuova visione critica, poi abbastanza diversificata, si basa grosso modo sulla convinzione che la storia dell’antropologia non possa essere studiata separatamente dalla storia del colonialismo (la categoria interpretativa adatta sarebbe il conflitto, perché si tratta, in sostanza, di vicende di ferro e di fuoco). E che vadano recuperate tutte le componenti autobiografiche e soggettive, annullate da una pretesa di oggettività del sapere cosidetto scientifico.

Ora la ricerca antropologica al servizio dell’imperialismo c’è sempre stata. I primi, sensibili osservatori delle culture primitive appartenevano quasi tutti a paesi colonialisti: molti avevano in mente, come fine ultimo, la conversione dei nativi ad una religione considerata superiore e spesso erano pagati dai governi perché una conoscenza approfondita delle popolazioni soggette significava un controllo più sicuro. Ma tutto questo non ha significato che i loro lavori non fossero validi per definizione.

Anni fa capitai tra i Bassari, una popolazione che vive all’interno del Senegal, accompagnato da uno strano personaggio, un italiano ex cacciatore di frodo, diventato pittore a Dakar, che parlava la loro lingua. Nel villaggio incontrammo un’antropologa francese del Musée de l’Homme di Parigi che batteva quelle parti da trent’anni e che veniva ancora chiamata “l’etrangère“. L’italiano, in perfetta confidenza con gli uomini e soprattutto con le donne Bassari, mi disse ridendo che i locali si seccavano per tutte quelle domande che l’antropologa faceva e che per togliersela di torno s’inventavano sul momento delle storie. Avevano un fiuto straordinario per adattare i loro racconti alle aspettative della francese.

Ma ho anche conosciuto numerosi altri antropologi che avevano fatto un lavoro splendido: tutto dipendeva dalle loro capacità interpretative, dalla loro pazienza, e dall’amore che si vedeva trasparire verso i soggetti studiati. Le obiezioni dell’antropologia postmodernista sono serie, ma certamente non nuove: si può dire che abbiano accompagnato da sempre, sotterraneamente o in superficie, la ricerca sul campo.

Johann Zoffany, “The death of Captain James Cook”

Nel caso in questione questa causa importante è stata difesa da un avvocato inetto, che si è andato a scegliere un terreno su cui non aveva sufficiente competenza. Il libro di Sahlins è nello stesso tempo una risposta devastante, un bellissimo saggio di antropologia, fin troppo tecnico (per il furore di distruggere il suo avversario anche nei minimi dettagli). E una rivendicazione della legittimità dei nativi d’interpretare i fenomeni come relazione tra cosmologia e storia, in senso genericamente mitico, e della capacità degli studiosi occidentali di comprendere culture anche molto diverse dalla loro. Il realismo borghese basato sul buon senso, se preso come concetto storiografico valido ovunque, è una violenza che si fa contro altre epoche e altri costumi.

La fine del 1778 alle Hawaii coincideva con la festa del Makahiki, l’annuale rinascita della natura, rappresentata come un dramma cosmico primordiale, che prevedeva ad un certo punto l’arrivo di Lono, dio esiliato in quanto re deposto. Quando le navi di Cook comparvero nella baia di Kealakekua, gli hawaiiani gli tributarono l’accoglienza più imponente e festosa mai accordata ad un navigatore europeo, come concordano tutti gli storici. «Ci ancorammo su fondali di sabbia nera, tra un numero sterminato di canoe i cui occupanti cantavano e manifestavano la loro gioia», dice il diario di bordo.

La spiaggia era sommersa di folla, le canoe erano cariche di maialini, frutti dell’albero del pane e di tutti i prodotti dell’isola. Una volta a bordo, la gente continuava a cantare, a ballare, urlando, battendo le mani e salendo e scendendo in continuazione dalle navi e le donne, come riferirà poi il medico di bordo, sembravano particolarmente ansiose di congiungersi con i marinai. Una simile dimensione epifanica poteva essere spiegata solo con l’arrivo di un dio.

John Webber, “The Death of Captain Cook”, 1784

Cook ripartì il 3 febbraio, quando il Makahiki era appena terminato. Sfortunatamente una tempesta abbatté l’albero di trinchetto della “Resolution” e gli inglesi furono costretti a rientrare per le riparazioni nella baia di Kealakekua. Stavolta ad accoglierli c’erano poche centinaia di persone, dall’aria perplessa e non molto festosa. Cominciarono i furti, sempre più numerosi e i capi erano molto insistenti nel chiedere il motivo del loro ritorno e la storia della rottura del trinchetto non li convinceva. Obeyesekere ha interpretato il mutato atteggiamento, che porterà all’uccisione di Cook, con la brutalità dei marinai, con l’infrazione di un tabù costituito da una palizzata sacra che gli inglesi avrebbero bruciato. E con l’insofferenza, diventata ostilità, per le continue richieste di viveri da parte di Cook, che avevano provocato la fine delle scorte degli hawaiiani (ma in realtà nell’isola funzionava il più esteso e produttivo sistema agricolo del Pacifico).

Comunque il problema non era né empirico, né pratico, come spiega molto bene Sahlins: era cosmologico. I polinesiani avevano uno strano rapporto di sottomissione e opposizione con il divino. Lono era invitato nell’ambito umano per concedere la vita e veniva poi bandito, in modo che l’umanità potesse impossessarsi dei benefici divini. Un suo ritorno subito dopo la partenza era sinistro, perché poteva significare che voleva riprendersi il potere che aveva ceduto al re.

La decisione di Cook di catturare il re Kalani’opu’u per ottenere la restituzione di una lancia rubata fu catastrofica e interpretata in queste senso, producendo nell’immagine del capitano una metamorfosi: da essere degno di venerazione a nemico. Gli hawaiiani furono costretti ad ucciderlo. Ma 48 ore dopo la sua morte, due sacerdoti addetti al culto di Lono raggiunsero di notte la “Resolution” e offersero piangendo agli inglesi un pezzo di carne, la parte alta della coscia di Cook.

Il saggio di Sahlins, attraverso infinite prove ben argomentate, non lascia dubbi sul fatto che questa sia la giusta interpretazione della uccisione del più grande esploratore del Pacifico (oltretutto gli hawaiiani non erano i soli a vedere gli europei del “primo contatto” come esseri soprannaturali). È paradossale che Obeyesekere, nella sua pretesa difesa dei nativi, capovolga gli abituali pregiudizi, attribuendo a loro tutta la razionalità che gli occidentali considerano la più alta forma di pensiero, mentre dota gli europei, antropologi compresi, di un atteggiamento irrazionale, che ha lo scopo di riproporre il disprezzato mito, in quanto di genere nativo. Non accorgendosi di riproporre, negando agli hawaiiani la loro visione delle cose, l’egemonia imperialistica mascherata da resistenza dei popoli subalterni.

– Artículo*: Marco Maculotti –

Más info en psico@mijasnatural.com / 607725547 MENADEL Psicología Clínica y Transpersonal Tradicional (Pneumatología) en Mijas Pueblo (MIJAS NATURAL)

*No suscribimos necesariamente las opiniones o artículos aquí enlazados

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INTERNACIONALISMO Y PACIFISMO (Jacques du Perron)

INTERNACIONALISMO Y PACIFISMO

La Gauche vue de Droite

Jacques du Perron Ed. Pardès. Puiseaux 1993

Pero, además de estas razones más o menos sentimentales, la izquierda se ve obligado a rechazar a una institución que se opone rotundamente al principio de universalidad de la utopía. Si los utópicos han presentado hasta ahora su ideal en forma de ficción es porque la humanidad está todavía en una fase imperfecta de la evolución de las sociedades, pero esta ficción pretende ser un modelo perfecto para el futuro, destinado a ser imitado por todas las naciones y esparcirse por toda la tierra. Un estado utópico donde reina la igualdad, la virtud, la felicidad, la paz, donde todos los deseos de los ciudadanos se cumplen, no deben soñar en la guerra; por lo tanto se encuentra en una situación de inferioridad, material pero no moral, hacia vecinos menos virtuosos y malintencionados. Conscientes de esta dificultad, los teóricos de la ciudad ideal han establecido siempre su construcción imaginaria en una isla lejana, desconocida para todos. Desde la exploración completa de nuestro globo, esta ficción ya no es sostenible. Por lo tanto, sólo queda una solución, que es la de convertir a los estados vecinos de Utopía cuyo régimen político ejemplar extendiéndose de una persona a otra eventualmente ganará todo el planeta. Eso es lo que decía Fourier en el siglo pasado: “Empiezad por establecer una faltansterio y verás que el ejemplo será contagioso”.

Por lo tanto, la izquierda no puede ser más que internacionalista, no obstante, debe tener en cuenta la resistencia de los Estados que aún no se han convertido y procede por pasos sucesivos. Por lo tanto, su internacionalismo será pues relativo, puede incluso aliarse con el nacionalismo que se supone que es su peor enemigo…sin embargo, la experiencia ha demostrado que el nacionalismo a menudo abrió el camino a la Revolución si no al Comunismo. Así Stalin ha combinado hábilmente el nacionalismo con el internacionalismo, y La historia le ha dado la razón contra Trotsky, a quien le hubiera gustado, muy imprudentemente, saltarse los pasos, intentando hacer estallar la Revolución en todas partes del mundo. Rusia puede, por lo tanto, confundir fácilmente a quienes le reprochan con la mayor facilidad de no haber establecido un verdadero régimen comunista, basta con responder que al estar rodeada de enemigos, se ve forzada a mantener un ejército necesario para su defensa, con todas las desventajas que esto implica, principalmente, el mantenimiento temporal del Estado.

Para la izquierda, el internacionalismo y el pacifismo están vinculados: en tanto que las patrias no estén abolidas, los riesgos de la guerra se producirán; la verdadera paz sólo puede ser universal, no podrá reinar más que sobre las ruinas de estas estructuras arcaicas llamadas patrias . Lo que supone la formación de un estado mundial capaz de imponer el orden y uniformidad sobre todo el planeta. Un estado que peligra de convertirse en la peor de las tiranía, cuyo declive sería improbable, incluso si se imagina la supresión de las clases sociales y la unidad del género humano – tal es el sueño de la Izquierda-.

Esta, además, no puede prescindir del pacifismo, fiel reflejo de su angelismo y su moralismo, uno de sus mejores activos, porque contribuye en gran medida a asegurarle una alta reputación de idealismo y a ganarle un número de corazones generosos; este idealismo se vuelve irrealismo cuando la guerra es negada como un fenómeno natural y presentado como un accidente, una interrupción, debido a la organización equivocada de las sociedades humanas, Después de haber negado la existencia de una naturaleza humana inmutable, el Partido del Progreso no tiene ninguna dificultad en reducir el instinto de agresividad a un fenómeno puramente contingente, así que no le importan las enseñanzas de Freud sobre la hostilidad primaria que enfrenta a los hombres los unos contra los otrosí, y esos deseos instintivos que renacen con cada niño: el incesto, el canibalismo, el asesinato.

Actitud no sólo antinatural sino también antitradicional, lo que no es de extrañar: la concepción fundamentalmente antireligiosa del mundo, propia de la Izquierda, encuentra aquí otra ocasión de manifestarse. Las promesas de paz universal, prodigada por los nuevos profetas de la Era de 0ro, están en absoluta contradicción con las enseñanzas de la Tradición, como lo prueba inmediatamente el examen de textos sagrados antiguos. Así el Bhagavad-Gitâ, que es parte del corpus de las escrituras santas hindúes, se dirige más especialmente a la casta guerrera para que los obligue a acomodarse para cumplir con su deber y mantenerse firme en la vía que suya, la de la guerra. No olvidemos que el concepto de “guerra santa” es constituye uno de los “pilares” del Islam y que el Profeta dijo que la la sangre de los héroes está más cerca del Señor que la tinta de los sabios y las oraciones de los devotos. La guerra, madre de todas las cosas, según Heráclito, es sagrada porque está incluida en el “plan divino” de la creación, y las civilizaciones antiguas siempre han venerado a un dios de la guerra.

El pacifismo es entonces más importante de lo que parece a primera vista, porque pone de relieve la irreductible oposición que separa dos visiones del mundo: la de derechas basada en la aceptación del plan divino y del sentimiento trágico de la vida, la de la izquierda basada en la búsqueda de la felicidad y sobre una visión optimista.

Pero sobre todo, es importante saber que el Partido del Progreso mantiene un equívoco sobre la naturaleza de su pacifismo, teniendo cuidado de no precisar que es pacifista a largo plazo pero no a corto plazo; debe luchar sin cesar y con la mayor determinación por la causa que eligió. Los obstáculos en el camino que lleva hacia la sociedad igualitaria del futuro son numerosos y están custodiados por adversarios bien decididos. Aunque algunos teóricos presentan a el advenimiento del socialismo como inevitable, el revolucionario se hace un deber preparar e incluso acelerar este advenimiento. También la izquierda no ha dudado en retomar la doctrina religiosa de la guerra santa; hay guerras injustas, son las guerras conducidas por los capitalistas los imperialistas – y las guerras justas – son las guerras revolucionarias. Lenin puede entonces estudiar a Clausewitz cuidadosamente, y preparar con la conciencia tranquila sus instrucciones para grupos terroristas, como prodigará más tarde, después de la conquista de poder, sus consejos a los agentes de la Cheka. Según Hahlweg (Lenin und Clausewitz), la originalidad de Lenin radica en el hecho de que da más importancia a la guerra de clases que para la crisis económica del capitalismo predicho por Engels y Marx. 11En consecuencia el pacifismo de izquierda es una de las cosas de las más relativas y podemos incluso preguntarnos si la Revolución, considerada como una entidad, no odiaría tanto a la guerra como al “guerrero”, el tipo humano tradicional condenado a desaparecer en la Ciudad del Futuro. Lo que establecería un paralelo con el odio que experimentado, bajo el Antiguo Régimen, por el Tercer Estado con respecto a los dos primeros “Estados” o órdenes, religiosos y caballerosos. Los revolucionarios y utópicos, no ignoran los estrechos lazos que unen en todas civilizaciones tradicionales, la casta sacerdotal y la casta guerrera, y tienen una aversión insuperable a lo que podríamos llamar “ética samurai”con todos los deberes que ello implica: desprecio del confort e incluso la vida, el sentido del honor y el sacrificio, respeto por la religión y la jerarquía – deberes que se sitúan forman en las antípodas de la ética burguesa que justifica la búsqueda de los bienes materiales.

Por lo tanto, está permitido acoger con escepticismo los sentimientos altruistas de los pacifistas, como hacía Spengler, que les dedicó unas líneas vengadoras: “Ellos gritan: más nunca guerra. Pero quieren lucha de clases. Están indignados cuando se ejecuta a un asesino sádico, pero en secreto se regocijan al conocer

11, Citado por Carl Schmitt en su Teoría del Partisano.

el asesinato de un oponente político. ¿Alguna vez han objetado algo en contra de los carnicerías bolcheviques? “12 Demos un paso más , y preguntémonos con Berdiaev si las ruidosas manifestaciones de angelismo y moralismo de izquierda no servirían para ocultar una voluntad de potencia, muy poco pacifista, que tendería a para lograr “un muy astuto desarme de los pueblos cristianos y los viejos ejércitos, para formar el nuevo ejército internacional del reino terrestre”.13

12 Olwald Spengler. Años decisivos

13 N. Berdaiev

– Artículo*: Zurraquín –

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Communiqué du Président de la Fédération Compagnonnique Nationale à propos d’un rassemblement de compagnons dimanche 21 avril suite à l’incendie de Notre-Dame de Paris

L’incendie de Notre-Dame de Paris a brutalement ramené au premier plan de la scène patrimoniale les compagnons « du Tour de France » ou « du Devoir ». Sous le coup de l’émotion, l’emballement médiatique et les réseaux sociaux ont produit une surenchère d’articles les concernant, mélangeant les aspects historiques avec les questions relatives à la formation et aux métiers manuels. Certains compagnons ont par ailleurs largement contribué à « sourcer » des idées pour le moins erronés, où l’on saute sans preuve les siècles pour relier sans solution de continuité les bâtisseurs de cathédrales aux compagnonnages actuels, s’accaparant ainsi l’héritage prestigieux des Anciens sur le fond ambigu d’une sacralité des savoirs traditionnels.

© D.R.

Passé le choc émotionnel, et en attendant un article en cours de rédaction où je vous ferai part de mes réflexions quant à l’incendie de Notre-Dame de Paris et au rôle que pourraient jouer les compagnons dans sa restauration, je partage ici le communiqué suivant dont l’esprit est tout à fait conforme à ma pensée, rédigé par le président de la Fédération Compagnonnique Nationale à propos d’un rassemblement de compagnons prévu le dimanche 21 avril.

Jean-Michel Mathonière

À TOUS LES COMPAGNONS DE LA FÉDÉRATION COMPAGNONNIQUE

Copie aux présidents de l’Union Compagnonnique, de l’Association Ouvrière des Compagnons du Devoir, de la Confédération des Compagnonnages Européen.

Nous avons eu connaissance d’un projet de rassemblement des compagnons, suite à l’incendie de la cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris, pour rendre hommage aux bâtisseurs d’hier et d’aujourd’hui, sur le parvis du monument dimanche 21 avril prochain, jours de Pâques.

Cette initiative louable, porté par des compagnons à titre individuel, montre bien l’immense émotion qui a touché l’ensemble de la communauté nationale et internationale, avec une intensité parfois accrue pour les hommes de l’art, descendant par leurs traditions des bâtisseurs de ces ouvrages symboles des capacités humaines en matière de savoir-faire et d’excellence.

Néanmoins, la Fédération Compagnonnique nationale ne s’associera pas à cette manifestation parce qu’aujourd’hui, dans l’effervescence médiatique, il ne lui paraît pas opportun de se livrer à une démonstration qui pourra être interprétée et commentée bien en dehors de la réalité de ce que les compagnons sont et font aujourd’hui.

Toutes les heures, de nouvelles hypothèses et propositions sont annoncées à grand renfort de média pour offrir des solutions réparatrices à l’immense blessure subie par ce monument.

Discrets par essence, et modestes dans leur posture, les compagnons se doivent de ne pas céder à cette déferlante qui risque de les présenter comme ce qu’ils ne sont pas et ce qu’ils ne veulent pas être.

Acteurs dans la cité, héritiers d’une tradition de bâtisseurs exigeante, ils seront bien-sûr présents au côté de tous les acteurs engagés pour relever le défi de la remise en état du monument, dès lors qu’un cadre défini sera proposé par les autorités compétentes.

En attendant, ils proposent de mettre leur engagement et leurs capacités au service des responsables du processus de sauvegarde et de réparation, et demandent à l’ensemble des décideurs à bien prendre en compte l’exceptionnelle opportunité que ce chantier à venir peut-être pour la jeunesse d’aujourd’hui et leur permette à travers la formation et l’emploi d’y être pleinement associés.

La Fédération Nationale s’est déjà régulièrement exprimée sur différents média présentant son regard et ses propositions doit rencontrer dès la semaine prochaine ses homologues des autres associations compagnonnique pour coordonner une réponse compagnonnique représentative.

Dans l’attente de nous retrouver dans les semaines qui viennent sur les « chantiers » qui nous occupent d’ores et déjà, recevez, chers compagnons nos salutations fraternelles.

Le président de la Fédération Compagnonnique Nationale
Jean-Michel DUTREY

Original post blogged on b2evolution.

– Artículo*: Jean-Michel MATHONIÈRE –

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Socrates: The Man Who Knew Too Much

By Jacob Bell, Associate Editor, Classical Wisdom

Socrates loved the pursuit of wisdom more than any other. He valued truth, understanding, and examination of self and life above all else. He believed that the most valuable thing a person could do was question their thoughts, beliefs, and perceived truths. For Socrates, the examined life was the only life worth living.

Bust of Socrates

Even if you know little-to-nothing about Socrates, you have probably heard the famous dictum which states that “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates apparently made this pronouncement at his trial, essentially choosing death over exile.

He thought that living a life in exile would prevent him from taking part in the great philosophical quest for truth.

For Socrates, death wasn’t the end because he believed his soul would continue an existence apart from his body. Socrates believed that the incorporeal-soul was better inclined toward philosophical wisdom, truth, and understanding when it wasn’t weighed down by earthly and bodily desires.

So he chose death over exile.

Socrates on his deathbed.

I can kind of see where he is coming from. After all, my earthly body has already interrupted my writing-flow a few times in the past two hours – bathroom break, drink of water, food… It isn’t easy being a living-breathing organism.

But I would still happily accept exile and be on my merry-way…

Perhaps I am lacking in nobility?

Jump to the 20th century, and we hear a similar pronouncement from the Nobel-prize winning Existentialist – Albert Camus: “Everything begins with consciousness and nothing is worth anything except through it.”

Camus then goes on to describe consciousness as awareness and makes the claim that along with consciousness comes an inherent desire for truth and meaning. Consciousness allows us to illuminate and examine ourselves, the world, and our place within the world…

…And when we tire of all this self-examination, we can simply point our consciousness in another direction, promptly forgetting about all of our shortcomings.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Albert Camus

Socrates’ examined life is one of conscious awareness. Socrates is conscious of our fallibility when it comes to knowledge and wisdom, and he wishes to illuminate such problems through philosophical discussion with the hopes of finding truth. His examined life is possible only through his conscious awareness.

Socrates and Camus share a system of values. They both believe that the search for truth, meaning, and value is an essential activity of life.

They part ways, however, when it comes to choosing death over an unexamined life…

For Camus, the truth is not worth more than life itself. Life is what allows us the opportunity to question and seek philosophical wisdom. Camus, being an atheist, would refuse the notion of an incorporeal-soul. This life is all that we are given – and this world is all that we can know.

Camus cherished life over truth with such passion that he commended Galileo for abandoning his scientific theory of heliocentrism when the church threatened his life for holding such a controversial position.

While there aren’t usually contests about such things, I would claim that Camus knew less than Socrates. By this I am referring to that other famous dictum uttered by Socrates that states “I know that I know nothing.”

The accuracy of this pronouncement is questioned by scholars who know more of the matter than I do. These scholars argue that Socrates doesn’t claim to know nothing, but that he is simply aware of his ignorance on certain matters.

The paradoxical “I know that I know nothing” is actually better translated as “What I do not know I do not think I know either.”

In the Apology Socrates is portrayed by Plato as confident in his knowledge to the point of death. One must ponder the notion that if Socrates was actually the person he is often portrayed as being – the wise sage that claims to not know – his fate might have been different.

His confidence is what sealed his fate. His claim to divine inspiration which consequently led him to interrogation-like discourse with his fellow citizens is far and above an earthly-grounded confidence in one’s knowledge.

Socrates believed that he knew quite a lot. He was so firm in his beliefs that he chose death over exile. For Camus, the truth isn’t so firm, and so dying for something which might not actually be true was fundamentally ridiculous.

Socrates the gadfly.

Keeping all of this in mind, one is tempted to ask – was the death of Socrates really as noble as it is often portrayed? Or does it reveal to us a disharmony and potential ingenuine nature of Socrates and his intellectual stubbornness?

His constant pestering as the gadfly of Athens coupled with his claim of divine inspiration makes him seem less of a noble seeker of wisdom and more like a charlatan.

But who am I to make such accusations?

I leave you here, to question and reflect on this recognizably unpopular position of Socrates and his death… and I thank Zeus that my impious corruption of you, the reader, is unlikely to end in execution by hemlock.

– Artículo*: Jacob Bell –

Más info en psico@mijasnatural.com / 607725547 MENADEL Psicología Clínica y Transpersonal Tradicional (Pneumatología) en Mijas Pueblo (MIJAS NATURAL)

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Can there be any viable substitute for patient and persistent practice of self-investigation and self-surrender?

As I wrote in the introduction to my previous but one article, Is it possible to have a ‘direct but temporary experience of the self’ or to watch the disappearance of the I-thought?, in which I adapted a reply that I had written to a friend who had asked about a portion from 13.31 to 18.04 of a video that David Godman made about ‘Papaji’ (H W L Poonja), there was another issue raised in that portion that I did not specifically discuss in that article but that I said I would discuss in a later one. That issue is the idea that Poonja could somehow give people an experience that bypassed the need for ‘a rather intense, vigilant practice that took place over a long period of time’, which David acknowledged (at 13.53) was what Bhagavan used to recommend, so this is the issue that I will discuss in this article.

If there were a shortcut that effectively bypasses the need for long and persistent practice, why did Bhagavan teach us that such practice is necessary?

Nāṉ Yār?: Bhagavan’s answer to question 19 in the 30-question-and-answer version was that it is necessary for each one of us to attain liberation only by our own effort in following the path that guru has shown

We should never call off the search for our real nature, because this search is necessary so long as we rise and stand as ego, and when ego is thereby eradicated, no one will remain either to continue the search or to call it off

Nāṉ Ār? paragraphs 6, 10, 11 and 12: until ego is eradicated forever we need to continue this practice of trying patiently and persistently to turn within to attend to ourself alone

Why did Bhagavan say even God or guru cannot of their own accord make us merge in liberation?

Grace and effort are both necessary, because grace works by igniting within us the love that drives us to make the effort needed to face ourself and thereby to see what we actually are

1. If there were a shortcut that effectively bypasses the need for long and persistent practice, why did Bhagavan teach us that such practice is necessary?

The idea that Poonja could somehow give people an experience that bypassed the need for long, patient and persistent practice of self-investigation and self-surrender is perhaps the most misleading aspect of the way in which his guidance deviated from the teachings of Bhagavan, and it is expressed by David in the following two portions of this video. Firstly from 13.31 to 15.14 David said:

Papaji thought that you get a direct experience by holding on to the ‘I’, finding out where it comes from, and watching it disappear. In that sense he was preaching from the same hymn sheet as Bhagavan, his guru. But he had a slightly different take on it. Ramana Maharshi used to recommend it as a rather intense, vigilant practice that took place over a long period of time. Papaji was more interested in showing you who you were in that particular moment with him, through making you focus on this ‘I’ and actually helping you to take this ‘I’ back to its source, and then revealing to you the experience that was already there once this ‘I’ disappeared. So, Papaji wasn’t saying, ‘Go off and make this a long continuous practice’. He would say:

Sit in front of me, right now, and tell me who you are. Who is this ‘I’ who is asking me the questions? What is this I? Look at it. Focus on it. Watch it, hold on to it and see what happens to it.

Now that there was something incredibly powerful about that man’s presence. If you took his advice, and if you looked at yourself, at this I-thought, sitting in front of him, with him looking at you, as often as not it would go back to its source and disappear. So in a sense, you were getting a free lunch. You didn’t have to put in all the hard yards of practice to get that experience.

And later from 17.00 to 18.04 he said:

And simply through the power of his presence he could make your ‘I’ thought disappear, and he could give you the experience that countless decades of practice sometimes never did. In that I think he was almost unique. I know of no other teacher in modern times at least who had the ability to take almost complete strangers, park them in front of him and say, ‘Look at your ‘I’, tell me where it goes’, and have them eradicate their ‘I’ temporarily and wake up to a direct but temporary experience of the self. That was his trick, his technique. That’s what he could do all his life, and wherever he went in the world, he had this capacity to make people be aware of themselves. It didn’t last in the vast majority of cases, but in a few cases it did last. He had this capacity to wake people up, and he had this capacity to make people happy. That was his double trick.

This seems to imply that Poonja did not consider long and persistent practice to be necessary, and that he believed that what he was offering was a shortcut that somehow bypassed the need for such practice, but if any such shortcut (or ‘free lunch’, as David called it) was actually possible, why did Bhagavan teach us that we need to practise self-investigation and self-surrender for as long and as persistently as necessary to eradicate ego?

2. Nāṉ Yār?: Bhagavan’s answer to question 19 in the 30-question-and-answer version was that it is necessary for each one of us to attain liberation only by our own effort in following the path that guru has shown

Is it possible for anyone other than ourself to enable us to eradicate ego without our having to patiently and persistently practise self-investigation and self-surrender? The answer to this is clearly implied in the answer that Bhagavan gave to one of the questions Sivaprakasam Pillai asked him, namely ‘கடவுளாலும் குருவாலும் ஒரு ஜீவனை சிவமாக்க முடியாதா?’ (kaḍavuḷālum guruvālum oru jīvaṉai śivam ākka muḍiyādā?), ‘Is it possible for God and guru to make a jīva [soul] become śivam [liberation, the ultimate state in which God exists as pure awareness]?’ This was question 19 in the 30-question-and-answer version of Nāṉ Yār? (the most complete printed record of the teachings that Sivaprakasam Pillai received from Bhagavan, which was published at least three or four times between 1924 and 1936), and Bhagavan’s answer to it was:

கடவுளும் குருவும் முக்தியை யடைவதற்கு வழியைக் காட்டுவார்களே யல்லாமல், தாமாகவே ஜீவர்களை முக்தியில் சேர்க்க முடியாது. ஒவ்வொருவரும் தம்முடைய முயற்சியினாலேயே கடவுள் அல்லது குரு காட்டிய வழிப்படி நடந்து முத்தி யடைய வேண்டும். தன்னைத் தன்னுடைய ஞானக்கண்ணால், தானே யறிய வேண்டும். அல்லாமல், பிறரால் எப்படி யறியலாம்? இராமனென்பவன் தன்னை இராமனென் றறிவதற்குக் கண்ணாடி வேண்டுமா?

kaḍavuḷum guruvum muktiyai y-aḍaivadaṟku vaṙiyai-k kāṭṭuvārgaḷē y-allāmal, tāmāhavē jīvargaḷai muktiyil sērkka muḍiyādu. o-vv-oruvarum tammuḍaiya muyaṟciyiṉālēyē kaḍavuḷ alladu guru kāṭṭiya vaṙi-p-paḍi naḍandu mutti y-aḍaiya vēṇḍum. taṉṉai-t taṉṉuḍaiya ñāṉa-k-kaṇṇāl, tāṉē y-aṟiya vēṇḍum. allāmal, piṟarāl eppaḍi y-aṟiyalām? irāmaṉ-eṉbavaṉ taṉṉai irāmaṉ-eṉ ḏṟaṟivadaṟku-k kaṇṇāḍi vēṇḍumā?

God and guru will only show the way for attaining mukti [liberation], but it is not possible [for them] by themselves [or of their own accord] to make jīvas [souls] merge in mukti. It is necessary for each one to attain mukti only by their own effort walking [or proceeding] in accordance with the path that God or guru has shown. It is necessary for oneself alone to know oneself by one’s own eye of jñāna [knowledge or awareness]. Instead, how can one know [oneself] by someone else? For a person called Raman to know himself as Raman is a mirror necessary?

In order to eradicate ego we need to be aware of ourself as we actually are, and in order to be aware of ourself as we actually are we need to turn our entire attention back withing to face ourself alone. So long as we are aware of anything other than ourself, we are aware of ourself as ego and hence not aware of ourself as we actually are, so we need to attend to ourself so keenly that we are aware of nothing other than ourself.

How can we see what we actually are unless we ourself look at ourself keenly enough? No one else can do so for us. This is what Bhagavan implied when he said, ‘தன்னைத் தன்னுடைய ஞானக்கண்ணால், தானே யறிய வேண்டும். அல்லாமல், பிறரால் எப்படி யறியலாம்?’ (taṉṉai-t taṉṉuḍaiya ñāṉa-k-kaṇṇāl, tāṉē y-aṟiya vēṇḍum. allāmal, piṟarāl eppaḍi y-aṟiyalām?), ‘It is necessary for oneself alone to know oneself by one’s own eye of jñāna [knowledge or awareness]. Instead, how can one know [oneself] by someone else?’ What he refers to as ‘தன்னுடைய ஞானக்கண்’ (taṉṉuḍaiya ñāṉa-k-kaṇ), ‘one’s own eye of jñāna [awareness]’, is one’s own inward-facing attention, so what he implies is that unless we ourself turn our attention within to face ourself alone, no one else can do so for us.

Since the nature of ourself as ego is to attend to things other than ourself, to turn our attention within and to look at ourself keenly enough to see what we actually are requires patient and persistent effort, which is why he says: ‘ஒவ்வொருவரும் தம்முடைய முயற்சியினாலேயே கடவுள் அல்லது குரு காட்டிய வழிப்படி நடந்து முத்தி யடைய வேண்டும்’ (o-vv-oruvarum tammuḍaiya muyaṟciyiṉālēyē kaḍavuḷ alladu guru kāṭṭiya vaṙi-p-paḍi naḍandu mutti y-aḍaiya vēṇḍum), ‘It is necessary for each one to attain mukti only by their own effort walking in accordance with the path that God or guru has shown’.

The effort required to eradicate ego and thereby attain mukti is not just a one-off effort, because in order to look at ourself keenly enough to see what we actually are we must have overwhelming love to be aware of ourself alone, and having such love entails being willing to let go of everything else, so we need to cultivate such love and willingness (bhakti and vairāgya) by patient and persistent practice of self-investigation and self-surrender, which will gradually wean our mind away from its desire for and attachment to things other than ourself. That is, though in order to see what we actually are we need to look at ourself keenly enough for just a single moment, because that is all that is required to eradicate ego forever, we will not be willing to look at ourself keenly enough until we are wholeheartedly willing to give up completely and forever being aware of anything else.

This is why Bhagavan said, ‘கடவுளும் குருவும் முக்தியை யடைவதற்கு வழியைக் காட்டுவார்களே யல்லாமல், தாமாகவே ஜீவர்களை முக்தியில் சேர்க்க முடியாது’ (kaḍavuḷum guruvum muktiyai y-aḍaivadaṟku vaṙiyai-k kāṭṭuvārgaḷē y-allāmal, tāmāhavē jīvargaḷai muktiyil sērkka muḍiyādu), ‘God and guru will only show the way for attaining mukti, but it is not possible [for them] by themselves [or of their own accord] to make jīvas merge in mukti’. That is, God or guru will never force us to give up ego against our will, so until we are wholeheartedly willing to give it up along with everything else, they will patiently bide their time, waiting for us to cultivate such willingness by following the path of self-investigation and self-surrender for as long as it takes.

Following this path is a journey, a process that take time, patience and persistence, as he implies when he says ‘கடவுள் அல்லது குரு காட்டிய வழிப்படி நடந்து’ (kaḍavuḷ alladu guru kāṭṭiya vaṙi-p-paḍi naḍandu), ‘walking [or proceeding] in accordance with the path that God or guru has shown’. How long the journey will take us depends on how far along the path we have proceeded already, but we each have to travel for as long as it takes for us to wean our mind away from all its desires for and attachments to anything other than our real nature. As Bhagavan says in the eleventh paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?, ‘மனத்தின்கண் எதுவரையில் விஷயவாசனைக ளிருக்கின்றனவோ, அதுவரையில் நானா ரென்னும் விசாரணையும் வேண்டும்’ (maṉattiṉgaṇ edu-varaiyil viṣaya-vāsaṉaigaḷ irukkiṉḏṟaṉavō, adu-varaiyil nāṉ-ār eṉṉum vicāraṇai-y-um vēṇḍum), ‘As long as viṣaya-vāsanās [inclinations or desires to experience things other than oneself] exist within the mind, so long is the investigation who am I necessary’.

3. We should never call off the search for our real nature, because this search is necessary so long as we rise and stand as ego, and when ego is thereby eradicated, no one will remain either to continue the search or to call it off

A documentary made in 1993 about Poonja and with his approval was called Call Off the Search, so presumably ‘Call off the search’ was either an instruction that he often gave or was considered to be an apt summary of his teachings, but it is an entirely inappropriate instruction to be given to anyone, because whenever we are not searching for our real nature we will be searching for happiness elsewhere, since the very nature of ourself as ego is to perpetually seek happiness here, there or somewhere else. Therefore if we call off our search for our real nature (ātma-svarūpa), which is infinite happiness, we will instead inevitably continue searching for happiness in other places, even though true happiness can never be found in anything other than ourself.

Our inclinations to search for happiness in things other than ourself are what are called viṣaya-vāsanās, a term that means inclinations (vāsanās) towards phenomena (viṣayas) and implies desires to experience or be aware of things other than ourself. Such vāsanās are the very nature of ourself as ego, because we seem to be ego only when we attend to or are aware of anything other than ourself, so for our survival as ego we depend on being aware of other things.

Being aware of things other than ourself is what Bhagavan refers to as ‘உரு பற்றி’ (uru paṯṟi), ‘grasping form’, in verse 25 of Uḷḷadu Nāṟpadu, in which he describes ego as ‘உருவற்ற பேய் அகந்தை’ (uru-v-aṯṟa pēy ahandai), the ‘formless phantom-ego’, and says of it, ‘உரு பற்றி உண்டாம்; உரு பற்றி நிற்கும்; உரு பற்றி உண்டு மிக ஓங்கும்’ (uru paṯṟi uṇḍām; uru paṯṟi niṟkum; uru paṯṟi uṇḍu miha ōṅgum), ‘Grasping form it comes into existence; grasping form it stands; grasping and feeding on form it grows abundantly’, thereby implying that we rise as ego, seem to exist as ego and flourish as ego only by being aware of things other than ourself. Therefore so long as we are aware of anything other than ourself we cannot eradicate ego, so the only way to eradicate it is to turn our entire attention back towards ourself, away from all other things, as he implies when he says in the same verse, ‘தேடினால் ஓட்டம் பிடிக்கும்’ (tēḍiṉāl ōṭṭam piḍikkum), ‘If sought, it will take flight’.

Since we depend for our survival as ego on our being aware of things other than ourself, as ego we are naturally strongly inclined to be constantly aware of other things, so viṣaya-vāsanās are the very nature of ourself as ego. Therefore when Bhagavan says in the first sentence of the eleventh paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?, ‘மனத்தின்கண் எதுவரையில் விஷயவாசனைக ளிருக்கின்றனவோ, அதுவரையில் நானா ரென்னும் விசாரணையும் வேண்டும்’ (maṉattiṉgaṇ edu-varaiyil viṣaya-vāsaṉaigaḷ irukkiṉḏṟaṉavō, adu-varaiyil nāṉ-ār eṉṉum vicāraṇai-y-um vēṇḍum), ‘As long as viṣaya-vāsanās exist within the mind, so long is the investigation who am I necessary’, he implies that so long as we continue to rise and stand as ego and consequently to be aware of anything other than ourself we must continue investigating what we actually are.

In other words, we must not call off the search for our real nature, which is what Bhagavan calls ‘நானா ரென்னும் விசாரணை’ (nāṉ-ār eṉṉum vicāraṇai), ‘the investigation who am I’, until ego has thereby been completely eradicated. However, since what needs to search for its real nature is only ego, and since it will be completely eradicated by this search, when it is thereby eventually eradicated no one will remain either to continue the search or to call it off. Therefore ‘Call off the search’ can never be an appropriate advice to give anyone.

4. Nāṉ Ār? paragraphs 6, 10, 11 and 12: until ego is eradicated forever we need to continue this practice of trying patiently and persistently to turn within to attend to ourself alone

Our search for our real nature is a perpetual battle between on one hand our love to turn within, see what we actually are and thereby surrender ourself entirely, and on the other hand our viṣaya-vāsanās, which are what drives our attention to go outwards to be aware of other things. To succeed in this battle we must persevere in trying to turn our attention back towards ourself whenever our viṣaya-vāsanās drive it out towards anything else, because it is only by persevering in this practice that we can weaken all our viṣaya-vāsanās and will thereby eventually be able to attend to ourself keenly enough to be aware of nothing other than ourself, whereupon we will see what we actually are and thereby ego will dissolve forever in its source, our real nature.

The need for us to continue this practice of trying patiently and persistently to turn within to attend to ourself alone is clearly implied by Bhagavan in the sixth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth paragraphs of Nāṉ Ār?. In the first half of the sixth paragraph he wrote:

நானார் என்னும் விசாரணையினாலேயே மன மடங்கும்; நானார் என்னும் நினைவு மற்ற நினைவுகளை யெல்லா மழித்துப் பிணஞ்சுடு தடிபோல் முடிவில் தானு மழியும். பிற வெண்ணங்க ளெழுந்தா லவற்றைப் பூர்த்தி பண்ணுவதற்கு எத்தனியாமல் அவை யாருக் குண்டாயின என்று விசாரிக்க வேண்டும். எத்தனை எண்ணங்க ளெழினு மென்ன? ஜாக்கிரதையாய் ஒவ்வோ ரெண்ணமும் கிளம்பும்போதே இது யாருக்குண்டாயிற்று என்று விசாரித்தால் எனக்கென்று தோன்றும். நானார் என்று விசாரித்தால் மனம் தன் பிறப்பிடத்திற்குத் திரும்பிவிடும்; எழுந்த வெண்ணமு மடங்கிவிடும். இப்படிப் பழகப் பழக மனத்திற்குத் தன் பிறப்பிடத்திற் றங்கி நிற்கும் சக்தி யதிகரிக்கின்றது.

nāṉ-ār eṉṉum vicāraṇaiyiṉāl-ē-y-ē maṉam aḍaṅgum; nāṉ-ār eṉṉum niṉaivu maṯṟa niṉaivugaḷai y-ellām aṙittu-p piṇañ-cuḍu taḍi-pōl muḍivil tāṉ-um aṙiyum. piṟa v-eṇṇaṅgaḷ eṙundāl avaṯṟai-p pūrtti paṇṇuvadaṟku ettaṉiyāmal avai yārukku uṇḍāyiṉa eṉḏṟu vicārikka vēṇḍum. ettaṉai eṇṇaṅgaḷ eṙiṉum eṉṉa? jāggirataiyāy ovvōr eṇṇamum kiḷambum-pōdē idu yārukku uṇḍāyiṯṟu eṉḏṟu vicārittāl eṉakkeṉḏṟu tōṉḏṟum. nāṉ-ār eṉḏṟu vicārittāl maṉam taṉ piṟappiḍattiṟku-t tirumbi-viḍum; eṙunda v-eṇṇamum aḍaṅgi-viḍum. ippaḍi-p paṙaga-p paṙaga maṉattiṟku-t taṉ piṟappiḍattil taṅgi niṟgum śakti y-adhikarikkiṉḏṟadu.

Only by the investigation who am I will the mind cease [stop, subside or disappear forever]; the thought who am I [that is, the attentiveness with which one investigates what one is], destroying all other thoughts, will itself also in the end be destroyed like a corpse-burning stick [a stick that is used to stir a funeral pyre to ensure that the corpse is burnt completely]. If other thoughts rise, without trying to complete them it is necessary to investigate to whom they have appeared [literally, to whom they have come into existence]. However many thoughts rise, what [does it matter]? As soon as each thought appears, if one vigilantly investigates to whom it has appeared [literally, to whom it has come into existence], it will be clear: to me. If one [thus] investigates who am I, the mind will return to its birthplace [oneself, the source from which it arose]; [and since one thereby refrains from attending to it] the thought that had risen will also cease. When one practises and practises in this manner, for the mind the power to stand firmly established in its birthplace increases.

In the tenth paragraph he wrote:

தொன்றுதொட்டு வருகின்ற விஷயவாசனைகள் அளவற்றனவாய்க் கடலலைகள் போற் றோன்றினும் அவையாவும் சொரூபத்யானம் கிளம்பக் கிளம்ப அழிந்துவிடும். அத்தனை வாசனைகளு மொடுங்கி, சொரூபமாத்திரமா யிருக்க முடியுமா வென்னும் சந்தேக நினைவுக்கு மிடங்கொடாமல், சொரூபத்யானத்தை விடாப்பிடியாய்ப் பிடிக்க வேண்டும். ஒருவன் எவ்வளவு பாபியாயிருந்தாலும், ‘நான் பாபியா யிருக்கிறேனே! எப்படிக் கடைத்தேறப் போகிறே’ னென்றேங்கி யழுதுகொண்டிராமல், தான் பாபி என்னு மெண்ணத்தையு மறவே யொழித்து சொரூபத்யானத்தி லூக்க முள்ளவனாக விருந்தால் அவன் நிச்சயமா யுருப்படுவான்.

toṉḏṟutoṭṭu varugiṉḏṟa viṣaya-vāsaṉaigaḷ aḷavaṯṟaṉavāy-k kaḍal-alaigaḷ pōl tōṉḏṟiṉum avai-yāvum sorūpa-dhyāṉam kiḷamba-k kiḷamba aṙindu-viḍum. attaṉai vāsaṉaigaḷum oḍuṅgi, sorūpa-māttiram-āy irukka muḍiyumā v-eṉṉum sandēha niṉaivukkum iḍam koḍāmal, sorūpa-dhyāṉattai viḍā-p-piḍiyāy-p piḍikka vēṇḍum. oruvaṉ evvaḷavu pāpiyāy irundālum, ‘nāṉ pāpiyāy irukkiṟēṉē; eppaḍi-k kaḍaittēṟa-p pōkiṟēṉ’ eṉḏṟēṅgi y-aṙudu-koṇḍirāmal, tāṉ pāpi eṉṉum eṇṇattaiyum aṟavē y-oṙittu sorūpa-dhyāṉattil ūkkam uḷḷavaṉāha v-irundāl avaṉ niścayamāy uru-p-paḍuvāṉ.

Even though viṣaya-vāsanās, which come from time immemorial, rise [as thoughts or phenomena] in countless numbers like ocean-waves, they will all be destroyed when svarūpa-dhyāna [self-attentiveness, contemplation on one’s ‘own form’ or real nature] increases and increases [in depth and intensity]. Without giving room even to the doubting thought ‘So many vāsanās ceasing [or being dissolved], is it possible to be only as svarūpa [my own form or real nature]?’ it is necessary to cling tenaciously to svarūpa-dhyāna. However great a sinner one may be, if instead of lamenting and weeping ‘I am a sinner! How am I going to be saved?’ one completely rejects the thought that one is a sinner and is zealous [or steadfast] in self-attentiveness, one will certainly be reformed [transformed into what one actually is].

In the eleventh paragraph he wrote:

மனத்தின்கண் எதுவரையில் விஷயவாசனைக ளிருக்கின்றனவோ, அதுவரையில் நானா ரென்னும் விசாரணையும் வேண்டும். நினைவுகள் தோன்றத் தோன்ற அப்போதைக்கப்போதே அவைகளையெல்லாம் உற்பத்திஸ்தானத்திலேயே விசாரணையால் நசிப்பிக்க வேண்டும். அன்னியத்தை நாடாதிருத்தல் வைராக்கியம் அல்லது நிராசை; தன்னை விடாதிருத்தல் ஞானம். உண்மையி லிரண்டு மொன்றே. முத்துக்குளிப்போர் தம்மிடையிற் கல்லைக் கட்டிக்கொண்டு மூழ்கிக் கடலடியிற் கிடைக்கும் முத்தை எப்படி எடுக்கிறார்களோ, அப்படியே ஒவ்வொருவனும் வைராக்கியத்துடன் தன்னுள் ளாழ்ந்து மூழ்கி ஆத்மமுத்தை யடையலாம். ஒருவன் தான் சொரூபத்தை யடையும் வரையில் நிரந்தர சொரூப ஸ்மரணையைக் கைப்பற்றுவானாயின் அதுவொன்றே போதும். கோட்டைக்குள் எதிரிக ளுள்ளவரையில் அதிலிருந்து வெளியே வந்துகொண்டே யிருப்பார்கள். வர வர அவர்களையெல்லாம் வெட்டிக்கொண்டே யிருந்தால் கோட்டை கைவசப்படும்.

maṉattiṉgaṇ edu-varaiyil viṣaya-vāsaṉaigaḷ irukkiṉḏṟaṉavō, adu-varaiyil nāṉ-ār eṉṉum vicāraṇai-y-um vēṇḍum. niṉaivugaḷ tōṉḏṟa-t tōṉḏṟa appōdaikkappōdē avaigaḷai-y-ellām uṯpatti-sthāṉattilēyē vicāraṇaiyāl naśippikka vēṇḍum. aṉṉiyattai nāḍādiruttal vairāggiyam alladu nirāśai; taṉṉai viḍādiruttal ñāṉam. uṇmaiyil iraṇḍum oṉḏṟē. muttu-k-kuḷippōr tam-m-iḍaiyil kallai-k kaṭṭi-k-koṇḍu mūṙki-k kaḍal-aḍiyil kiḍaikkum muttai eppaḍi eḍukkiṟārgaḷō, appaḍiyē o-vv-oruvaṉum vairāggiyattuḍaṉ taṉṉuḷ ḷ-āṙndu mūṙki ātma-muttai y-aḍaiyalām. oruvaṉ tāṉ sorūpattai y-aḍaiyum varaiyil nirantara sorūpa-smaraṇaiyai-k kai-p-paṯṟuvāṉ-āyiṉ adu-v-oṉḏṟē pōdum. kōṭṭaikkuḷ edirigaḷ uḷḷa-varaiyil adilirundu veḷiyē vandu-koṇḍē y-iruppārgaḷ. vara vara avargaḷai-y-ellām veṭṭi-k-koṇḍē y-irundāl kōṭṭai kaivaśa-p-paḍum.

As long as viṣaya-vāsanās exist within the mind, so long is the investigation who am I necessary. As and when thoughts appear, then and there it is necessary to annihilate them all by vicāraṇā [investigation or keen self-attentiveness] in the very place from which they arise. Not attending to anything other [than oneself] is vairāgya [dispassion or detachment] or nirāśā [desirelessness]; not leaving [or letting go of] oneself is jñāna [true knowledge or real awareness]. In truth [these] two [vairāgya and jñāna] are just one. Just as pearl-divers, tying stones to their waists and sinking, pick up pearls that are found at the bottom of the ocean, so each one, sinking deep within oneself with vairāgya [freedom from desire to be aware of anything other than oneself], may attain the pearl of oneself [literally: attaining the pearl of oneself is proper]. If one clings fast to uninterrupted svarūpa-smaraṇa [self-remembrance] until one attains svarūpa [one’s own form or real nature], that alone is sufficient. So long as enemies [namely viṣaya-vāsanās] are within the fort [namely one’s heart], they will be continuously coming out from it. If one is continuously cutting down [or destroying] all of them as and when they come, the fort will [eventually] be captured.

And in the twelfth paragraph he wrote:

கடவுளும் குருவும் உண்மையில் வேறல்லர். புலிவாயிற் பட்டது எவ்வாறு திரும்பாதோ, அவ்வாறே குருவினருட்பார்வையிற் பட்டவர்கள் அவரால் ரக்ஷிக்கப்படுவரே யன்றி யொருக்காலும் கைவிடப்படார்; எனினும், குரு காட்டிய வழிப்படி தவறாது நடக்க வேண்டும்.

kaḍavuḷ-um guru-v-um uṇmaiyil vēṟallar. puli-vāyil paṭṭadu evvāṟu tirumbādō, avvāṟē guruviṉ-aruḷ-pārvaiyil paṭṭavargaḷ avarāl rakṣikka-p-paḍuvarē y-aṉḏṟi y-oru-k-kāl-um kaiviḍa-p-paḍār; eṉiṉum, guru kāṭṭiya vaṙi-p-paḍi tavaṟādu naḍakka vēṇḍum.

God and guru are in truth not different. Just as what has been caught in the jaws of a tiger will not return, so those who have been caught in the look [or glance] of guru’s grace will never be forsaken but will surely be saved by him; nevertheless, it is necessary to walk unfailingly in accordance with the path that guru has shown.

The path that guru has shown us is the path of self-investigation and self-surrender, which are ultimately the same practice, as Bhagavan clearly indicated in the first sentence of the thirteenth paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?:

ஆன்மசிந்தனையைத் தவிர வேறு சிந்தனை கிளம்புவதற்குச் சற்று மிடங்கொடாமல் ஆத்மநிஷ்டாபரனா யிருப்பதே தன்னை ஈசனுக் களிப்பதாம்.

āṉma-cintaṉaiyai-t tavira vēṟu cintaṉai kiḷambuvadaṟku-c caṯṟum iḍam-koḍāmal ātma-niṣṭhāparaṉ-āy iruppadē taṉṉai īśaṉukku aḷippadām.

Being ātma-niṣṭhāparaṉ [one who is completely fixed in and as oneself], giving not even the slightest room to the rising of any cintana [thought] other than ātma-cintana [‘thought of oneself’, self-contemplation or self-attentiveness], alone is giving oneself to God.

To succeed in this path we ourself must patiently and persistently try to turn our attention back within to face ourself alone whenever it is driven outwards by our viṣaya-vāsanās. No one else can do so for us. As Bhagavan says in the first sentence of his answer to question 19 of the30-question-and-answer version of Nāṉ Yār?: ‘கடவுளும் குருவும் முக்தியை யடைவதற்கு வழியைக் காட்டுவார்களே யல்லாமல், தாமாகவே ஜீவர்களை முக்தியில் சேர்க்க முடியாது’ (kaḍavuḷum guruvum muktiyai y-aḍaivadaṟku vaṙiyai-k kāṭṭuvārgaḷē y-allāmal, tāmāhavē jīvargaḷai muktiyil sērkka muḍiyādu), ‘God and guru will only show the way for attaining mukti, but it is not possible [for them] by themselves [or of their own accord] to make jīvas merge in mukti’.

The battle to be fought is a battle within our own will between our love to surrender ourself entirely and our viṣaya-vāsanās, so it is a battle that we ourself must fight. This is not to say that guru’s grace will not help us to win this battle. The grace of God or guru is always present, waiting to help us, but it will help us only to the extent that we make the required effort to investigate and surrender ourself. This is why he says in the second sentence of that answer: ‘ஒவ்வொருவரும் தம்முடைய முயற்சியினாலேயே கடவுள் அல்லது குரு காட்டிய வழிப்படி நடந்து முத்தி யடைய வேண்டும்’ (o-vv-oruvarum tammuḍaiya muyaṟciyiṉālēyē kaḍavuḷ alladu guru kāṭṭiya vaṙi-p-paḍi naḍandu mutti y-aḍaiya vēṇḍum), ‘It is necessary for each one to attain mukti only by their own effort walking in accordance with the path that God or guru has shown’.

Until and unless we are willing to surrender ourself entirely we cannot attain mukti, and we will not be willing to surrender ourself entirely until we are close to overcoming all our viṣaya-vāsanās, because they are what makes us unwilling to do so. Therefore unless we are willing to make the effort required to overcome them, they will continue to overcome us, dragging us hither and thither in search of happiness in things other than ourself. So what is the effort we must make to overcome them? It is patient and persistent practice of self-investigation and self-surrender for as long as it takes for us to wean our mind off its infatuation with anything other than ourself.

Therefore on this path of self-investigation and self-surrender there is no such thing as a shortcut, or ‘free meal’ in the sense that David used the term. As Bhagavan often explained, and as he said emphatically in verse 17 of Upadēśa Undiyār, the path of self-investigation is ‘மார்க்கம் நேர் ஆர்க்கும்’ (mārggam nēr ārkkum), ‘the direct path for everyone whomsoever’, and there can obviously be no shorter cut than the direct way.

When Bhagavan made it so abundantly clear in Nāṉ Ār? and elsewhere that we must unfailingly persevere in making effort to practise self-investigation and self-surrender for as long as it takes to eradicate ego along with all its viṣaya-vāsanās, if anyone else implies that such practice is not necessary or can be by-passed in any way, they are thereby directly contradicting the very heart of his teachings. The need for persistent practice of self-investigation and self-surrender is not just an optional extra but is the essential import of his teachings, so if Poonja ‘had a slightly different take’ on this, as David said, he had clearly not understood his teachings very deeply or comprehensively, and the alternative he was offering was not actually a viable means to achieve complete and permanent eradication of ego, which is the one goal towards which all of Bhagavan’s teachings are leading us.

5. Why did Bhagavan say even God or guru cannot of their own accord make us merge in liberation?

The 30-question-and-answer version of Nāṉ Yār? was first published sometime between 1924 and 1926, and quite soon after that, either in 1926 or 1927, Bhagavan rewrote his answers recorded in it in the form of an essay, which thereby became the principal version of Nāṉ Ār?. While writing this essay he made many changes, both major and minor, to the wording of the 30-question-and-answer version, including adding an entirely new first paragraph. However, some devotees felt that a question-and-answer version would be more popular than the essay version, so sometime in the early 1930s they complied a hybrid version containing twenty-eight questions and answers by adapting the earlier 30-question-and-answer version and incorporating much of the revised wording from the essay version.

In his essay version Bhagavan did not include the first two sentences of his answer to question 19, but he did include the main implication of the second sentence in the final sentence of the twelfth paragraph. However in the 28-question-and-answer version the answer to question 20 was compiled from a modified combination of his answer to question 19 of the 30-question-and-answer version and the twelfth paragraph of his essay version.

What he said in the first two sentences of his answer to question 19 of the 30-question-and-answer version was:

கடவுளும் குருவும் முக்தியை யடைவதற்கு வழியைக் காட்டுவார்களே யல்லாமல், தாமாகவே ஜீவர்களை முக்தியில் சேர்க்க முடியாது. ஒவ்வொருவரும் தம்முடைய முயற்சியினாலேயே கடவுள் அல்லது குரு காட்டிய வழிப்படி நடந்து முத்தி யடைய வேண்டும்.

kaḍavuḷum guruvum muktiyai y-aḍaivadaṟku vaṙiyai-k kāṭṭuvārgaḷē y-allāmal, tāmāhavē jīvargaḷai muktiyil sērkka muḍiyādu. o-vv-oruvarum tammuḍaiya muyaṟciyiṉālēyē kaḍavuḷ alladu guru kāṭṭiya vaṙi-p-paḍi naḍandu mutti y-aḍaiya vēṇḍum.

God and guru will only show the way for attaining mukti [liberation], but it is not possible [for them] by themselves [or of their own accord] to make jīvas [souls] merge in mukti. It is necessary for each one to attain mukti only by their own effort walking in accordance with the path that God or guru has shown.

So why did Bhagavan not include these first two sentences of his answer to question 19 in his essay version? Presumably he decided not to include them because if they were not understood correctly, they could discourage some aspirants by making them think that God or guru cannot help them to attain mukti. He gave this answer to Sivaprakasam Pillai because he knew that he was mature enough to understand that God or guru will not annihilate us until we are willing to surrender ourself entirely to him, but that if we make the required effort to follow the path shown by guru, namely the path of self-investigation and self-surrender, his grace will certainly give us all the help we need.

Though these two sentences may seem to be discouraging to those of us who recognise the weakness of our love to investigate and surrender ourself and therefore understand that we cannot succeed in this path without the help of grace, Bhagavan does not actually say in these sentences that God or guru cannot help us. What he says is that our effort is necessary, and that God or guru cannot by themselves or of their own accord make us attain mukti. The key word in the first sentence is தாமாகவே (tāmāhavē), which means ‘by themselves’ or ‘of their own accord’, and the reason he said, ‘தாமாகவே ஜீவர்களை முக்தியில் சேர்க்க முடியாது’ (tāmāhavē jīvargaḷai muktiyil sērkka muḍiyādu), ‘it is not possible [for them] by themselves [or of their own accord] to make jīvas [souls] merge in mukti’, was to emphasise the imperative need for us to be willing to surrender ourself entirely by making the required effort to eradicate ego along with all its viṣaya-vāsanās, as he implied in the next sentence: ‘ஒவ்வொருவரும் தம்முடைய முயற்சியினாலேயே கடவுள் அல்லது குரு காட்டிய வழிப்படி நடந்து முத்தி யடைய வேண்டும்’ (o-vv-oruvarum tammuḍaiya muyaṟciyiṉālēyē kaḍavuḷ alladu guru kāṭṭiya vaṙi-p-paḍi naḍandu mutti y-aḍaiya vēṇḍum), ‘It is necessary for each one to attain mukti only by their own effort walking [or proceeding] in accordance with the path that God or guru has shown’.

Though he did not actually include these two sentences in his essay version, he did include the implication that we should draw from them in the final sentence of the twelfth paragraph, namely: ‘எனினும், குரு காட்டிய வழிப்படி தவறாது நடக்க வேண்டும்’ (eṉiṉum, guru kāṭṭiya vaṙi-p-paḍi tavaṟādu naḍakka vēṇḍum), ‘nevertheless, it is necessary to walk [or proceed] unfailingly in accordance with the path that guru has shown’. He has shown us the direct path to mukti, namely the path of self-investigation and self-surrender, and in this sentence he makes it clear that in order to be benefited by this teaching we ourself need to unfailingly follow this path. This is the small but essential part that we have to play, and if we play it his grace will take care of everything else.

The reason why our own effort is absolutely essential for us to attain mukti is clearly implied by Bhagavan in the definition of mukti that he gives in the sixteenth paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?: ‘பந்தத்தி லிருக்கும் தான் யாரென்று விசாரித்து தன் யதார்த்த சொரூபத்தைத் தெரிந்துகொள்வதே முக்தி’ (bandhattil irukkum tāṉ yār eṉḏṟu vicārittu taṉ yathārtha sorūpattai-t terindu-koḷvadē mukti), ‘[By] investigating who is oneself who is in bondage, knowing one’s yathārtha svarūpa [actual own nature] alone is mukti’. No one other than ourself can investigate what we actually are and thereby know or be aware of our own actual nature, so if we do not patiently and persistently make effort to turn within to see what we actually are, even God or guru cannot make us attain mukti.

This is also implied in two clauses from the first two sentences of this sixteenth paragraph, namely ‘முக்தி யடைவதற்கு மனத்தை யடக்க வேண்டும்’ (mukti y-aḍaivadaṟku maṉattai y-aḍakka vēṇḍummukti

it is necessary to make the mind cease’, and ‘மனத்தை யடக்குவதற்குத் தன்னை யாரென்று விசாரிக்க வேண்டுமே’ (maṉattai y-aḍakkuvadaṟku-t taṉṉai yār eṉḏṟu vicārikka vēṇḍum-ē), ‘for making the mind cease it is necessary to investigate oneself [to see] who [one actually is]’. As ego we ourself are the mind that needs to subside and cease, and to make it subside and cease we ourself must investigate ourself to see what we actually are. No one else can do so for us, not even God or guru. Their grace will give us all the help we require, but to avail of that help we ourself must try our best to turn within to see what we actually are.

6. Grace and effort are both necessary, because grace works by igniting within us the love that drives us to make the effort needed to face ourself and thereby to see what we actually are

The real nature of grace is widely misunderstood, and this is one of the main reasons why the need for our own effort is not adequately recognised by many spiritual aspirants, particularly those who believe in the supposed power of people like Poonja. Grace is not a power that comes from some other person or from anywhere outside ourself. Grace is our real nature. It is the love that we as we actually are have for ourself as we actually are.

Grace and effort are not two alternatives, because they work in unison, and neither can work adequately without the other. Grace is always ready to help us, but to avail ourself of its help we must yield ourself to it by turning within to face ourself, the source from which it flows and with which it is actually identical. We ourself are the grace whose help we are seeking, so we can surrender ourself to it most effectively by ‘ஆன்மசிந்தனையைத் தவிர வேறு சிந்தனை கிளம்புவதற்குச் சற்று மிடங்கொடாதது’ (āṉma-cintaṉaiyai-t tavira vēṟu cintaṉai kiḷambuvadaṟku-c caṯṟum iḍam-koḍādadu), ‘not giving even the slightest room to the rising of any cintana [thought] other than ātma-cintana [self-attentiveness]’ (as Bhagavan says in in the first sentence of the thirteenth paragraph of Nāṉ Ār?), or in other words, by attending to nothing other than ourself.

So long as we are attending to anything other than ourself, we are surrendering ourself to our viṣaya-vāsanās and thereby obstructing the help that grace is always offering to us. Therefore we must co-operate with grace by making effort to be as self-attentive as we can be, thereby avoiding the natural tendency of ego to obstruct it.

However, we also need to recognise that even our effort is the result of grace. We make effort to be self-attentive only because of our love to be as we actually are, and this love is not only ignited in our heart by grace but is also fanned and fed by it until it becomes a raging fire that consumes us entirely along with all our viṣaya-vāsanās. In fact this love is grace. It is our real nature, but in the self-ignorant view of ourself as ego it is obscured by our rising as ego and thereby coming under the sway of ego’s viṣaya-vāsanās, which drive our attention out towards things other than ourself.

Grace is the power of love that draws our attention back to ourself, so we can unreservedly yield ourself to it and co-operate with it most fully only by making effort to be self-attentive. Since it is nothing other than our own love for ourself as we actually are, it is not some alien force and does not come from anywhere other than ourself, so it will not and cannot force us to be self-attentive unless we ourself are willing to co-operate with it by making the necessary effort, trying our best to cling tenaciously to self-attentiveness (svarūpa-dhyāna).

This is why Bhagavan says in the first three sentences of his answer to question 19 of the 30-question-and-answer version of Nāṉ Yār?:

கடவுளும் குருவும் முக்தியை யடைவதற்கு வழியைக் காட்டுவார்களே யல்லாமல், தாமாகவே ஜீவர்களை முக்தியில் சேர்க்க முடியாது. ஒவ்வொருவரும் தம்முடைய முயற்சியினாலேயே கடவுள் அல்லது குரு காட்டிய வழிப்படி நடந்து முத்தி யடைய வேண்டும். தன்னைத் தன்னுடைய ஞானக்கண்ணால், தானே யறிய வேண்டும்.

kaḍavuḷum guruvum muktiyai y-aḍaivadaṟku vaṙiyai-k kāṭṭuvārgaḷē y-allāmal, tāmāhavē jīvargaḷai muktiyil sērkka muḍiyādu. o-vv-oruvarum tammuḍaiya muyaṟciyiṉālēyē kaḍavuḷ alladu guru kāṭṭiya vaṙi-p-paḍi naḍandu mutti y-aḍaiya vēṇḍum. taṉṉai-t taṉṉuḍaiya ñāṉa-k-kaṇṇāl, tāṉē y-aṟiya vēṇḍum.

God and guru will only show the way for attaining mukti [liberation], but it is not possible [for them] by themselves [or of their own accord] to make jīvas [souls] merge in mukti. It is necessary for each one to attain mukti only by their own effort walking in accordance with the path that God or guru has shown. It is necessary for oneself alone to know oneself by one’s own eye of jñāna [knowledge or awareness].

Grace itself is both God and guru, so by saying that it is not possible for them by themselves to make jīvas merge in mukti, he implies that in order to make us subside and merge back into and as our real nature (ātma-svarūpa) grace requires our co-operation, and as he implies in the next two sentences, how we need to co-operate with it is by making effort to see ourself by our own ‘ஞானக்கண்’ (ñāṉa-k-kaṇ), ‘eye of jñāna’ or ‘eye of awareness’.

The term he uses in the second sentence to mean ‘only by their own effort’ is ‘தம்முடைய முயற்சியினாலேயே’ (tammuḍaiya muyaṟciyiṉālēyē). முயற்சி (muyaṟci) means effort, exertion, perseverance or diligence, and in this context implies persistent practice of trying to be self-attentive, because it is a noun derived from the verb முயல், which means to attempt, try, practise, persevere, exert or make persistent effort. முயற்சியினால் (muyaṟciyiṉāl) is an instrumental case form of முயற்சி (muyaṟci), so it means ‘by effort’ or ‘with effort’, and the suffix ஏ (ē) is an intensifier that in this context implies ‘only’ or ‘alone’, so by adding it not just once but twice to முயற்சியினால் (muyaṟciyiṉāl), saying ‘முயற்சியினாலேயே’ (muyaṟciyiṉāl-ē-y-ē), he strongly emphasises the absolute necessity of effort.

To further emphasise the need for our own effort and to explain why it is so necessary, in the third and fourth sentences he says:

தன்னைத் தன்னுடைய ஞானக்கண்ணால், தானே யறிய வேண்டும். அல்லாமல், பிறரால் எப்படி யறியலாம்?

taṉṉai-t taṉṉuḍaiya ñāṉa-k-kaṇṇāl, tāṉē y-aṟiya vēṇḍum. allāmal, piṟarāl eppaḍi y-aṟiyalām?

It is necessary for oneself alone to know oneself by one’s own eye of jñāna [awareness]. Instead, how can one know [oneself] by someone else?

We need to know ourself by our own eye of self-awareness (jñāna), which means that we need to keenly look at or attend to ourself alone, and since the natural flow of our mind is to go out towards other things, to attend to ourself alone requires effort on our part. To see what we actually are, we ourself must look at ourself. No one else can look for us, nor can anyone else see for us. This is what Bhagavan means by asking ‘பிறரால் எப்படி யறியலாம்?’ (piṟarāl eppaḍi y-aṟiyalām?), ‘how can one know [oneself] by someone else [anyone other than oneself]?’ Therefore the effort required to look at ourself is an effort that we alone must make, because no பிறர் (piṟar) or other person can do so for us.

This does not mean that grace will not help us. It is always helping us, but it is working from within ourself, so we must ultimately look for its help inside ourself and not outside. So long as we look for it outside, we are perpetuating the seeming separation of ourself from it and thus maintaining a barrier between it and ourself. To avail of its help most fully and completely, we need to surrender ourself to it wholly and unreservedly, which we can do only by turning our entire attention within, which is truly ‘குரு காட்டிய வழிப்படி நடப்பது’ (guru kāṭṭiya vaṙi-p-paḍi naḍappadu), ‘walking in accordance with the path that guru has shown’.

Since time immemorial we have been seeking happiness outside ourself, so it was necessary for grace to appear outside in the form of guru in order to teach us that the happiness we are seeking is our own real nature (ātma-svarūpa), and that the means to attain it is therefore to turn within and merge back into and as our real nature, which is the source from which we have risen as ego. This is the purpose of the human form of guru: to show us that the way to attain the infinite and unalloyed happiness that we are always seeking is to turn our attention back towards ourself and thereby surrender ourself entirely to the infinitely clear light of pure self-awareness, which is grace, the true form of guru.

Therefore the lakṣaṇa (mark, sign or characteristic) that indicates the true guru is that he will always direct our attention back towards ourself and will never attach even the least importance to himself as a person. He will not say, ‘Come to me, because I can give you what you are seeking’, but will instead direct us to go back to ourself, because the happiness we are seeking is our own real nature and can therefore be found only within ourself.

This is clearly illustrated by an incident that happened in Bhagavan’s life. A devotee from Tanjavur called Janaki Mata used to visit him often, and once when she arrived in the āśramam she saw him walking from the cow shed, so she approached him, prostrated before him and held his feet. He looked down at her with a kindly smile and asked her what she was doing. ‘I am holding the feet of my guru’, she said, to which he replied: ‘These feet are part of this perishable body, so they cannot be the imperishable feet of guru. The real feet of your guru are what is shining within you as ‘I’. Cling only to those feet, because they alone can save you’.

From outside grace in the form of guru and his teachings directs us to turn back within to face ourself alone, and from inside the same grace is shining as our own real nature, silently attracting us to return to itself. Therefore the importance of grace cannot be over-emphasised, but it works primarily from inside by gently nurturing within us the love that impels us to make the effort that is necessary for us to swim against the strong outward-flowing current of our viṣaya-vāsanās by clinging tenaciously to self-attentiveness.

Instead of making persistent effort to follow that path of self-investigation and self-surrender that our guru, Bhagavan Ramana, has shown us, if we expect to be able to know ourself by means of பிறர் (piṟar), another person or anyone else, we would be like someone called Raman believing that he needs a mirror in order to know himself as Raman. By depending on anyone other than ourself in order to know ourself we would be looking away from ourself and therefore in the wrong direction, just as Raman would be looking in the wrong direction if he were to look at a mirror in order to know himself. No one and nothing other than ourself can make us see ourself as we actually are, so Bhagavan taught us that by our own effort we must use our own ஞானக்கண் (ñāṉa-k-kaṇ), ‘eye of jñāna’ or ‘eye of awareness’, to look at ourself and to see what we actually are.

There is no other way, and no shortcut or ‘free meal’, because as Bhagavan said: ‘ஒவ்வொருவரும் தம்முடைய முயற்சியினாலேயே கடவுள் அல்லது குரு காட்டிய வழிப்படி நடந்து முத்தி யடைய வேண்டும்’ (o-vv-oruvarum tammuḍaiya muyaṟciyiṉālēyē kaḍavuḷ alladu guru kāṭṭiya vaṙi-p-paḍi naḍandu mutti y-aḍaiya vēṇḍum), ‘It is necessary for each one to attain mukti only by their own effort walking in accordance with the path that God or guru has shown’.

– Artículo*: Michael James –

Más info en psico@mijasnatural.com / 607725547 MENADEL Psicología Clínica y Transpersonal Tradicional (Pneumatología) en Mijas Pueblo (MIJAS NATURAL)

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9-Prātimokṣa-Dalai Lama-Sutra del Corazón

La practica Vinaya de la tradición Theravada, la disciplina monástica está basada en el sutra de la Prātimokṣa
La escritura sobre la disciplina monástica de la liberación individual está basada en la lengua Pali, escritura pali y la tradiccion monastica de Mūlasarvāstivāda, la cual siguen los tibetanos está basada en la versión sanscrita del sutra de la Prātimokṣa.
En la tradición de la Prātimokṣa del pali el Sutra de la disciplina monástica, los preceptos de monje completamente ordenado son una lista de 227 y en la tradición de sanscrito es una lista de 253 y la diferencia entre las dos surge de enumerar de maneras diferentes los preceptos secundarios

– Artículo*: samsaraexit –

Más info en psico@mijasnatural.com / 607725547 MENADEL Psicología Clínica y Transpersonal Tradicional (Pneumatología) en Mijas Pueblo (MIJAS NATURAL)

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