“The biggest danger, that of losing oneself, can pass off as quietly as if it were nothing; every other loss, an arm, a leg, five dollars, a wife, etc. is bound to be noticed.” – Soren Kierkegaard
Fascinating weekend in the stream of life. Beyond questioning “What exactly am I manifesting in the world?”, I’ve sorted some random items together to put some perspective on the current, streaming-by, over the always unseen undercurrent of Aletheia.
First, a story. I was greeted at my front door Friday evening by a heavily tattooed unsavory looking fellow (the tattoos alone did not indicate he was unsavory – it was visible in who he was being) who showed up to do me physical harm for verbally accosting his son who’d participated in some bullying, intimidation tactics toward my son the previous week at the playground next door to our house. He punched me in the throat. I was being at the moment of truth as I ran down the street to avoid getting punched again.
It was fascinating and unexpected.
Now I was certainly over the top in my confrontation with his son, 14 or 15 in age, not slight and not the least intimidated by my requests to know who his friend was that ran off (a resident of the development) so I could speak to his parents about their bullying of my not slight 12 year old. Nor was he intimidated by my loud, rude and obnoxious requests to speak to his parents since he wouldn’t give me his friend’s information. Rather, he informed me that his father would be over that night to beat my pussy bitch ass. He waited a week – it definitely threw me off guard.
This kid didn’t even live in my development, but was a guest in my common area. He and his friends had been admonished two days prior by my wife for throwing around F bombs, racial slurs and derogatory language about the feminine form and I’d considered blogging about that occurrence, coming weeks after the Trayvon Martin ruling and my inability to make any kind of meaningful sense of that whole affair. I thought about writing how we needed to deal with racism at the parks where young teen men (Black, White, Hispanic, etc. – or how is it they put it on those EEO forms? – so correct politically, but so incorrect all around) grow up and learn to share what they’ve already learned at home about race and women. My wife dealt with these kids that day because I passed by with our baby in the stroller, willing to let it go since nobody was getting hurt and I’d been one of those boys at one point in my life. My blogging suffered the same effect – the baby has thrown a wrench lately in any meaningful production.
Great story right? which stands at this point with my waiting to hear from the police and waiting to hear back from the results of any conversation that the president of our homeowners association will have with the board of trustees next week. I don’t have much faith that any “real” change will come of it…as he said, the teen problem will just manifest itself in them vandalizing the signs as they’ve vandalized our community center. Who are they though? And who are we?
Along with that I was voraciously finishing reading “The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler” published in 2002 by James Cross Giblin, a book laying around the house that my wife picked up from the library for my son’s assigned summer reading. I’d always been interested in understanding how all of that happened since the days of my youth watching “In Search of…” with Leonard Nimoy where my memory tells me I saw my first glimpses of life (and death) in a concentration camp. It may have been some other show as my Mother always had a bit of a Hitler “obsession” – perhaps to better understand how my Father came to be or maybe for other reasons.
I found the following passage to be most worth sharing:
In Germany itself, a group of students at a university in Munich dared in 1942 to criticize Hitler’s conduct of the war. The group adopted the name the White Rose, symbolizing purity, and, with the aid of one of their professors, wrote, duplicated, and distributed leaflets attacking the Fuhrer. A typical leaflet, headed “an Appeal to All Germans,” stated boldly that the war was lost and urged its readers to part company with Hitler and his fellow Nazis.
“Prove by your actions that you think differently,” the leaflet said. “Tear off the cover of indifference which you have put around your hearts. Make your decision before it is too late. Do not believe that Germany’s future is associated for better or worse with the victory of National Socialism. Criminal actions can never obtain a German victory.” The leaflet concluded with a vision of the future. “Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, protection of the individual citizen from the arbitrary actions of criminal terror states – those are the foundations for a new Germany, a new Europe. Support the resistance movement and pass on the leaflets.”
At first White Rose members distributed the leaflets only to their fellow students within the university. Then they branched out, stuffing the pamphlets into mailboxes throughout Munich and even traveling to other cities, such as Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Vienna, with the leaflets concealed in their suitcases. Back in Munich, they were distributing a fresh batch at the university when a janitor spotted them and notified the police.
Put on trial for treason in February 1943, the three leaders of the White Rose – Hans Scholl, his sister, Sophie, and their good friend Christoph Probst – were all sentenced to death by beheading. The trio remained defiant to the end. Sophie walked to the guillotine with a smile on her face, and her brother Hans shouted, “Long live liberty!” before he died.
Yesterday I came across the short story Dialetheia* – by Anil Menon which just happened to be set in pre-World War Two Germany and amazingly and eloquently shares a “view” or “taste” of this phenomenon which I attempt to explain while attempting to catch glimpses of it out of the corner of my eye. Perhaps I’ll have to investigate this notion of “inconsistent mathematics” that he mentions.
In reading this book, and this short story I see that we are very much still living in a world vastly shaped by the charisma and actions of this one very determined person. The state of the world today, shaped by the past yesterday – “Time is a partial order!” indeed.
Linking that, one of my facebook friends posted a link to this video. It says a lot, it’s worth watching and it’s worth questioning everything through the video as a lens. Life isn’t clear cut, especially when Love is concealed and your righteousness clouds the view.
Finally, this excerpt from a link from the above interviewee Glenn Greenwald’s page puts a final lens on my thoughts for the weekend and really for the last few months. “Civil rights hero John Lewis, in an interview with the Guardian today, praised Snowden for engaging in “civil disobedience” in the tradition of Thoreau, Gandhi and the Civil Rights movement.” – Read the full article here.
I’ve had a lot of thoughts brewing, for a long time, a lot of unrest – apparently like the rest of us. I thought I’d better start blogging again to begin unconcealing. Perhaps if I can return to, or get closer to, Truth/Love/Aletheia I’ll open my front door next time with open arms and a smile or admonish a bully with a gentle, loving approach. Either way, living life is clear cut. I may get punched and I still love us all.
Wounded with love,