Tag Archive | awareness

Bourne, Tarzan, et al as Chemical Compounds

The Berlin File _2013 Recently I watched the 2013 South Korean movie Berlin File because my favorite Han Suk Kyu is in it. I was very impressed with his Great King Sejong portrayal in Tree with Deep Roots and I wanted to see how he’d look like in a modern setting.

The Berlin File is about two North Korean agents who are a husband and wife stationed in Berlin and were set up for treason by a powerful father and son team taking advantage of the transition of governmental power in their country in order to protect their private agenda. So they worked on changing the personnel at their embassy in Berlin. The plot starts with an international deal involving the Mossad, Arabs, the CIA, and South Korea. There are bits of English, German, and Arabic in the dialogues, and the musical score as well as the action shots reminded me of the Bourne movies. But the flavor of the movie is over all akin to the South Korean films and dramas I have watched. I sort of felt at home with it, so to speak.

To compare-&-contrast and for old time’s sake I looked up on the Bourne films, initially just thinking of re-watching them at some time maybe, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that Richard Chamberlain and Jaclyn Smith did a Bourne Identity in 1988, with a tiny part shot in Regensburg. I will take the time to watch that in full and check out how faithful it was to the Ludlum novel, as some accounts claim.
Bourne _1_ Identity 2002

The Bourne Legacy was the only sequel that I wasn’t able to watch (’til this week) despite having learned that part of it was shot in Manila, so I decided to watch it right away. I felt good when it got to the Manila part, which was nearing the end, because it was done true to the everyday street scenery. I heard Filipino distinctively being spoken, the laughter in the streets, the automobiles willy-nilly. One of my favorite actors, Lou Veloso, is there with just a tiny part and projecting a familiar Filipino aura without over-acting. It was as though what I felt while watching the Manila scenes is similar to Katsuhiko’s pleasure at seeing his face on the screen, in that very charming Japanese movie The Woodsman and the Rain. The Manila scenes reminded me of Bourne in Tangiers. So in order to compare them, especially that now it’s Cross and not Bourne in there, I decided to rewatch all the three prequels, stat. Legacy is in fact not a sequel but, in the timeline, it is at about the end of Ultimatum. There’s a short part in here shot in Seoul.

Ah, so desu ka. There’s always an exciting street chase in each film. Paris, Moscow, Goa, Tangiers, Manila, I forgot the rest. There’s always a pretty and competent female character, and Bourne/Cross consistently provides a way out for them, out of his personal business. Good for Bourne, and Cross, too. I have nothing to complain about them especially that their ruthlessness as assassins are not played up in the plots, and they never display aggression towards the non-enemy.
Bourne _2_ Supremacy

Yesterday Orabeoni Jung (older brother Jung) finished with his doctoral studies (that is, successfully did his Disputation, defended his dissertation) and in the course of the conversation, during the lively lunch celebration given by our Doktorvater, orabeoni’s Regensburger friend Mr. W. said he really likes action films. I had to keep quiet at that point because I didn’t want the attention to be directed to me. Slightly earlier I caught my thumb at the car door, immediately treated it with ice, and everyone had already given me sympathetic words and feelings.

Near the end of the drive home to the dormitories with Orabeoni and Mr. W. (in his car), Orabeoni was heartily thanking him for having been his “driver” the whole day to which Mr. W. jokingly responded as having been his “transporter”. Otoke? (what-to-do?) Whenever I can I have been babbling to my Korean friends about the Korean dramas and movies I’ve seen so far and so without thinking twice I blurted right away, “Orabeoni, Transporter is good, you must watch it.” (Earlier I had been recommending Berlin File to him at the lunch table since we were seated next to each other and it was easy for me to do so.) Mr. W. then added to my remark, “Yeah, and I have seen all of it.” But I couldn’t talk anymore because we were already getting out of the car. Belatedly I realized that he may also have meant the recent Transporter series on television, and not just the three films. I haven’t seen any of the ones on television because I had cut my television addiction about a year ago, and so I wouldn’t have anything to say about it after all.
Bourne _3_ Ultimatum

Since I couldn’t do much with my sore thumb, when I got to my room I simply decided to re-watch the remaining Bourne film I haven’t gotten around to do, and then continued on to the Transporter ones.

I’d say the current action films are not much different from those since of the 70’s… they’re on the masculine prowess, attraction to the feminine, human capacity spectrum physically and mentally… Berlin File, Transporter, Bourne stories, The Saint, Hitman, and a hundred others feature the male physique glorified in ancient Greece and Rome, and the female form glorified since the advent of the popularity of corsets and eventually of the runway-hanger body shape. They’re about the alpha male unbelievably overcoming aggression that are stationed at a perimeter of decreasing radius enclosing him. Precise movements, always. Like the way Dae Gil (Jang Hyuk of Chuno) could gracefully orchestrate his disciplined mucles. Frank Martin (of Transporter) reminded me of Lee Bang Ji, Ddol Bok’s Sonsaengnim (Teacher) in Tree with Deep Roots. Aaron Cross’ (of Bourne Legacy) instant improvisations reminded me of McGyver. Simon Templar/Vincent Ferrer (Val Kilmer in The Saint, 1997) is a mathematician and a painter. Tarzan is like all of them: handsome, smart, quick, strong, sleek, and wealthy. The alpha males of the jungles of trees and of concrete, and the Janes who are at the same time weak and strong though preferably ‘complicated’ like in the way the French Inspector Tarconi (of Transporter) would want them to be.
Bourne _4_ Legacy

Wahnsinn. Not Everyman can have the resilience of David Webb (a.k.a. Jason Bourne) and the accomplishments of sweet Dr. Emma Russell (physicist in The Saint, 1997). Not Everyman would stay sane after the behavior modifications experienced by Bourne and Cross. Not only that Bourne undergoes psychiatric crises, a memory yo-yo from brainwashing to amnesia to recovery, but Cross moreover undergoes a viral-induced evolution jump not dissimilar to what happened to the X-Men.

Although I could now chide myself at having loved all of these action films I could not help recalling that, in the academic discussions I’ve come across, this proliferation of adulation for the Tarzan-like prowess is integrated in the way the human psyche copes with the changing times. It’s an offshoot of the way the heads of families, especially in the West, perceived as emasculation, along with the rise of female independence, during the economic upheaval at about the advent of the industrial era. There’s got to be an image that the psyche can hold on to against the encroaching panic at the helplessness over the rise of the huge conglomerates and the societal havoc that result. Thus the popularity of Wild West heroes at first and then of the strong men in popular media. The way Frank Martin can leap and grab at things while falling remind me of Superman sans cape, not that it’s the cape that makes him fly.
Bourne Identity_1988

I like these films because, well, for one, they transport me back home to where my father’s copies of Robert Ludlum et cetera paperbacks are stacked together on the shelf, with the Encyclopedia Americana and the Reader’s Digest Comprehensive Dictionary that were our school-homework staples. Wilbur Smith. Frederick Forsyth. Peter Maas. Robert Ruark. I can’t remember the others and of course I didn’t get to read all of them because I had difficulty in sustaining my interest over plots that I couldn’t visualize, the works that make up the bulk of these novels like high-profile espionage and sophisticated weaponry plus tactical language. Even so then, I did finish the first novel that my father handed over to me to spend away time with while I was not feeling well. It was William D. Wittliff’s Raggedy Man and I was only ten years old so I didn’t understand all of it (it’s about a disfigured ex-soldier coming back to secretly look over his family, so there was lot of emotional undercurrents). But I will always remember that book.
Tarzan of the Apes

The familiarity of reading such paperbacks eventually led me to James Clavell, hence Eiji Yoshikawa’s Musashi, to one of Kobo Abe’s, one of Masuji Ibuse’s, and to several more of differing genre that included those of Edward Rutherford, Tolkien (who led me to take a peak at Irish folklore), C.S. Lewis, R. Tagore, K. Gibran, and Pearl S. Buck. Then maybe a couple each of Stephen King’s, Alice Walker’s and Maeve Binchy’s, one from Chaim Potok. Others I can’t recall anymore. Roots. On the U. S. Marines. About a tribe in prehistory Alaska, My Sister the Moon. Earlier than these there were Nancy Drew and Sweet Dreams, which led me to Agatha Christie and Mills & Boon — light ones that could be finished in a day. (I did plow through Jane Eyre, Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Anna Karenina, and attempted The Scarlet Letter. Wahnsinn. Of course I couldn’t understand them the way they should be understood because I had no idea of the pomp of Russian nobility, of the coldness of the prevalent weather there until Siberia, and of the sensibilities of the English gentry. I couldn’t appreciate their literary peculiarities. They were of worldviews at the other side of the globe.) Anyway, simply Wahnsinn. So many words eaten, not properly digested, I simply cannot remember the majority of them. They happened in another lifetime and I was a different person then. However they did teach me the love for the dictionary and hence erased my apprehension for the English language.

With which, all of them, led me to conclude later on that any other paperback fiction on action, fantasy, or love story out there will just be similar to what I’ve already come across. That cured me of fiction addiction and I wasn’t tempted to go back even after more wonderful authors came out. Of which, furthermore, I was not surprised in my conclusion that Bourne, Cross, Martin, Templar, and Tarzan are almost just the same guy. These kinds of films are made of the same stuff. I could say that there’s nothing really new in them. Seen one, seen all.
The Saint _1997

But still why do I like these films? Okay, so, I guess the sound tracks are very good. The Saint and Bourne led me to Moby, of which reading up on him made me better understand his song Extreme Ways (Bourne theme song). It’s one of my favorites and once while listening to it I got really serious. It came to my mind to ask who in the world could afford to say “I’ve seen so much in so many places… So many heartaches, so many faces… So many dirty things… You couldn’t even believe” — where are these people, what are they going through, and could I ever have a very good idea of what they’re talking about… like Jason Bourne who actually retraced his path and owned up to the killing of a girl’s parents, in Moscow, thereby freeing her of the sorrow of living with the thought that her mother shot her father and afterwards commits suicide.

There it is. It’s because these films sit on the boundary between what’s possible, and the dream zone. What’s possible is the caring for children and women, at which Simon, Aaron and Jason do a better job than Frank. Templar, Cross and Bourne can argue reasonably with women without grabbing at their wrists and dragging them forcibly. Except that in the 1988 Bourne film he and Marie (R. Chamberlain & J. Smith) behave the way Frank Martin and his girls do to each other, similar to Tarzan and Jane of the first book Tarzan of the Apes. Seemingly Tarzan’s attraction to Jane overpowers him, but actually it comes out that it’s always Tarzan who has the upper hand. The dream zone is right there: power over someone and something and everything that comes along. That’s the fantasy there: that the odds don’t count. That if one just acts decisively enough, fast, then whatever it is, it is possible. However, in real life reckoning the odds do count.
Transporter 1

More importantly on the other hand, it’s not just the odds against safely landing a car on top of a speeding train, but the odds against surviving a severe  drug dependency, like Aaron Cross. Like getting free from mind manipulation and struggling at forgiveness, like David Webb. Like leading a hopeful life after so much tragedy, like Simon Templar. Like producing almost costless energy source, like Emma Russell. For Frank Martin, well, although he just cares about the money, several times he’s shown to choose ethics that value the person…

…nah, they’re not really nasty guys… they do have soft spots… But how would all these ingredients wrap up in real life? Do such persons really exist, and how many are they? It would be nicer for the world if it were so, and it doesn’t hurt to hope that it were so. That’s the dream part of it. Though, not to be blinded by the nice part, consideration must also be given to the “backgrounds” of the fellows who are “bad” in these movies, the antagonists. If the movie was about that “bad” character then that person could be very well ethically defensible, too… right? … ah, but this is already a quagmire I wouldn’t know how to navigate over… I haven’t read Fletcher’s Situation Ethics. Ajik.

… however, for the simplicity of the plots, to be palatable to the viewer who must not be scared away from watching films in the future, who the good and the bad are among the guys must be simply put across so that there’s no ambivalence at the end of the show. Schluß. Weiter. The same formula with Wonder Woman and Star Trek. Things have to be neatly wrapped up in the end so that viewers will keep coming back for that good feeling they get after every show. If I continue with this ramble it will continue onto economics, and I’m not yet ready to explore that. Ajik.
Transporter 2

There’s nothing really new about films of the masculine-prowess genre. Remington Steele. A-Team. Knight Rider. Stingray. Misssion Impossible. McGyver. Airwolf. James Bond, of course. T J Hooker. Even of the procedural genre, like my favorite CSI: Miami reminds me of Hawaii Five-O in my childhood, and Grey’s Anatomy of Doogie Howser, M. D.  But I see, though, that their charms can be found in the tiny human issues incorporated within the plots, in the decision-making parts, in the outcomes of such decisions, in the coping of crises, and in the perception of the individual viewer. This is the facet that has endeared Star Trek: The Next Generation to me. There’s always freshness found in these parts. I’ve actually learned so much from Capt. Jean Luc Picard’s team.

I’d like to think of it as similar to the atoms, at least all the naturally occurring ones, basically known to science, and they’re all just the same everywhere whether be in stars or in the bloodstream, but these few atoms neatly named in the Periodic Table of Elements are able to form the countless number of compounds existing, making up the countless variety of objects around us, in solid, liquid, and gas forms. They’re all the same intrinsically — the same protons, electrons, neutrons, and binding forces — but they do come out differently depending on the combinations and permutations of such parts.

Or, viewing it from another direction also applies: the human dramas, or affairs/concerns, have basically been of the same stuff ever since — fear, doubt, redemption, revenge, bliss, rage, tranquility, want, need, naivety, security, passion, understanding, empathy, camaraderie, love, obsession … — and these basic ingredients are packaged in different ways and come out as the stories that are continually churned out. The action films, fiction paperbacks, and television series will never run out of customers.

Seriously, though, I don’t have a film genre that I would label as favorite. I don’t go gaga over action films as much as I don’t go gaga anymore over the Disney and Marvel ones. I treat them on the same level now. If a film can talk sensibly about the real human situation then it’s fine by me, and it could be fantasy even, either of the fairy kind or of the scientific kind, both of which I also like. However, they shouldn’t be made as lamp posts for morality and ethics because they are heavily influenced by the love for money.
Transporter 3

Stories in the mass media could serve as societal mirrors. But I’m not coming back to my paperback fiction and television addictions anymore. I’ll be content in re-watching, in case I miss them, the American-made movies I’ve already seen. Aeon Flux. Blade. The lot. Only when there’s really lots of extra time will I then indulge in the newer ones, at several years from now. Hopefully, and more importantly, I’ll have the chance to explore those that are popular in the countries immediately surrounding mine — Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the rest nearby. Definitely I’ll go back to R. Tagore and K. Gibran, then take the time to get to know Thomas Merton side by side with the Mahatma Gandhi…

But what I’ll do now, right now, is listen to Moby while I enjoy this marinated duck that Orabeoni gave me, a Korean recipe ready for the pan. I’ve learned from Dae Jang Geum that ducks are good for the health. Ducks are also a delicacy in the Philippines…

This post was especially written as a gift to Orabeoni, who’s going home soon and I’m not sure if I’ll ever see again. It’s a sort of a memory marker for his last day as Herr Student, which is the reason for some events of the day being mentioned here 🙂 Congratulations, Dr. Jung! I pray for God’s blessings to your plans. Stay healthy and live well! Ganbei! Banzai!

  (Thanks to the owners of the posters.)

Adam’s Song (Awit ng Mortal)

“Awit ng Mortal” is a Pilipino song, by Joey Ayala. Awit means song, and so the title can be translated as Song of the Mortal One, or Song of the Mortals. I render it as Adam’s Song because the story of Adam in Genesis is profoundly of one who came from dust and who is returning to dust. “Adam” is strictly not a proper name but is actually a generic term for “one [who is] from dust/ground/earth [= adamah]”. I thought of Adam since I felt that the title emphasizes mortality being a prominent description of humanity.

I especially like the song, both the melody and the lyrics. I want to try translate it into English so that I can share its thought to those who can’t understand our national language. Doing it word for word, or line for line, is rather difficult, awkward, so I kind of tried to get hold of my gut understanding of the statements. (Mr. Joey Ayala, sir, in case you come across this, I hope I did okay. Peace.) Here goes:

Ano ang sukat ng halaga ng isang buhay?
Kayamanan ba o di kaya ang pangalan?
Ano ang titimbang sa husto o kulang
Ng katuparan ng adhikain at paninindigan?
May gantimpala bang dapat pang asahan
Upang kumilos nang tama’t makatuwiran?

What dictates a person’s worth? Is it possessions? Is it reputation?

Against what should an endeavor be weighed? Against which should conviction be gauged? Must there be expected rewards for all good deeds?

Saglit lamang ang ating buhay,
Tilamsik sa dakilang apoy.
Ang bukas na nais mong makita
Ngayumpama’y simulan mo na.

Our lives are just ticks in time, flicks in that great flame; commence today the tomorrow that is your dream.

Ang bawa’t tibok ng iyong puso
Minsan lamang madarama.
Ito ang kumpas ng ating awit
Na sadyang may hangganan.

Each heartbeat happens only once. This beat is the rhythm of the song that is us; that which has an end to it.

May gantimpala bang dapat pang asahan
Upang kumilos nang tama’t makatuwiran?

Must there be expected rewards for all good deeds?

Kat’wan at isipa’y kukupas,
Sa lupa’y yayakap din.
Subali’t ang bunga ng iyong pamana’y
Higit pa sa pinagmulan.

We age, we falter, we’ll succumb to the earth; however, your legacy, in its fruition, will wax beyond you and where you have come from.

Saglit lamang ang ating buhay,
Tilamsik sa dakilang apoy.
Ang bukas na nais mong makita
Ngayumpama’y simulan mo na.

Our lives are just ticks in time, flicks in that great flame; commence today the tomorrow that is your dream.

hello there 🙂 Today is April 22, 2014 and I’m putting a link to this song’s melody that was uploaded by somebody on YouTube. The vocals is by Ms. Bayang Barrios, herself an accomplished music artist. Joey Ayala’s group that performed the song is called Joey Ayala at ang Bagong Lumad [“Joey Ayala and the new native”, for my lack of a better translation … or could also be “alter native”, which is a variant of “alter-native” and which speaks of the band’s genre, alternative music, and which also speaks of the band’s music’s message(s) to its audience. Moreover, I found a site of Ms. Bayang Barrios where you can read some interesting stuff about her:  http://www.bayangbarrios.com/bayang/bayang4.htm .

Here now is the meditative song of above …  Awit Ng Mortal.  Both links lead to the same page.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=mpOSZI-1ePI

or similarly:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpOSZI-1ePI

thanks again! ciao 🙂

 

on communication

I brood over communication. I’m thinking of whether we all of us see the same hues. Since we each of us  are unique individuals with body cells programmed by our unique DNA codes, then we shouldn’t necessarily have exactly similar rod and cone cells in our eyes. Also, only a single pair of eyes can occupy a point from which to view an object. Angles of reflecting and refracting light from source to object to eye would be different then. Hence, the red that I see wouldn’t be the red that you see. The color #b10611 may not necessarily appear similar to any two persons in the world.

love♥  <<< this is in the color #b10611.

We each of us perceive differently and yet we are capable of grasping each other’s perception. I simply find this amazing. When I woke up yesterday the thought of dust-laden mucus being directed by cilia outwards of my body—not anywhere else—made me seriously question as to which of the two, cilia or mucus, should the will of expulsion be attributed to. I thought then that the mucus is a non-living substance. Therefore the life, the willing-to-happen, is in the cilia. The cilia ‘know’ what to do, so to speak, and they do it. Amazing. Billions of microscopic cilia in my respiratory tract ‘talking’ to each other so that the pollution in the air I breathe in is barred from entering my vital functions.

This webpage, from where I got this picture from, has an easily understandable explanation.

bronchicilia from bio.davidson.edu

I was about to say that everything that has life communicate with its own kind, but then I realize that the-making-of-things-to-happen is not confined within forms that we tag as having “life”, or alive. I was thinking that all cells withing our body communicate with each other, but then when I get down to the basic building blocks I end up with just aggregates of proteins interacting with each other according to the chemical laws. However, I also think of the virus that’s dead outside a living cell but alive when it’s inside. So the wood particles comprising my table react with each other, yes, but not in the same way as the particles within the pine tree outside my window.

Of course when we really get down on it everything we can observe are nothing but just permutations of chemical configurations, held together by the fundamental forces—at least this is how we know things to be. But the matter of perception-comprehension-communication between us humans are also permutations of possibilities (and so there’s a similarity there, but more). You may or may not be able to understand what I say. You may or may not be able to understand what I say the way I meant for you to understand it. You may be able to grasp something from what I say which is entirely outside of my perception.

happiness is by Charlie Brown

So I find it amazing when love and life and laughter and beauty and hope and friendship is communicated between persons of differing worldviews and backgrounds and experiences and convictions and aspirations.

I say that there is a sort of a quantum gap (my term for that which is traversed in a quantum leap, and I’m using them here for mental pictures only) between a non-life and something  alive. Life is such a profound mystery. This marvel is manifested in the way living things communicate. Their interactions with one another—cell to cell, ant to ant, mind to mind, for instance—might just seem to be on the spectrum of matter interacting with each other but the possibilities defy quantification. Science has been very good at quantifying so many things and has been taming matter for a while now, but Life still defies quantification. It eludes our grasp, cannot be boxed.

Peanuts gang

I’m reminded of what Jesus of Nazareth told Nicodemus, that the spirit like the wind is there but one cannot predict its movement. Whenever I wonder at what moves life I think of this wind and then I am humbled by the many things that I have no comprehension of but yet are evident. It is evident that the world is in shambles, yes, but one has only to look at obscure nooks and one will see that life and goodness and hope are thriving and are spreading, being communicated from one living being to another. Things that deaden are overwhelmingly everywhere—concrete or plastic everything, garbage in mass media, our inner struggles, etc.—yet we only need to look at the green leaves and know that they, too, cover the earth. I only need to remind myself that the next person’s skin is as vulnerable as mine, which means I am among humans who like myself have stories being carried around all the time, everywhere.

This communication thing, it’s as elusive as Heisenberg’s electron, but it can be done and in many different ways. Cells, and humans, thrive by communicating. I realize that communication, in its many forms, is as vital as food and air. No wonder it, too, is so enjoyable.

(Many thanks to the creators of the Peanuts drawings.)

efficiency, too, is a god

 

————————————————————————————————- ————————————————————————————————————–

That man is a success
who has lived well, laughed often and loved much;
who has gained the respect of intelligent men
and the love of children;
who has filled his niche
and accomplished his task;
who leaves the world better than he found it
whether by a perfect poem
or a rescued soul;
who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty
or failed to express it;
who looked for the best in others
and gave the best he had.
Robert Louis Stevenson

————————————————————————————————-

Success has become a god that rules over many aspects of our lives — education, business, politics, sports, to name some. If we devote ourselves to success in one of its many concrete forms, if we pursue achievement with great zeal, we are convinced we can fulfill our life’s purposes. We do not care much that our success often depends on another’s failure. We do not see that the crucial factor is the honest effort we make rather than the result we achieve. Success is a contemporary god. It demands, and often receives, the exclusive service the Mosaic covenant reserves to God alone.” — (The Idolatry of Success) “Out of the House of Slavery: On the Meaning of the Ten Commandments” by Brian A. Haggerty (1978) p.29-30.

to dig is to see the surface

dogwood cutI wanted to get back to my roots because I thought that’s the only way to paint the correct picture. There’s so much to learn. It’s overwhelming. There are so many perspectives. There are so many desires and hopes and dreams. So many wishes. And plans. In the past. In the now. To do something. To prevent something. To participate. Be a branch. A hand. A leaf, even.

I have already started to dig. What I have dug. At each stage. I was struck by the passion, the convictions, the visions, the integrity of purpose I uncovered, between the lines.

Many sincere souls have already come and gone, and yet, the forces that they opposed still proliferate. Greed. Callousness. Hedonism. Pride and Self-righteousness. Exclusivism. Views that polarize. Mahatma Gandhi — we need what you had. We need the brilliance of your honesty. To self. To people. To life. You were like that Jesus who lived in Nazareth, the one who spoke what was needed to be spoken. The one who wanted people to listen to him, on what should be. But, Mahatma, Jesus, great souls, people still would choose to be deaf even when truth is already crying out loud.

I have already started to dig. But, my God, there is too much already buried underneath. How do I sift through all the rubble that are getting in the way? How do I piece together all the pictures, from below, from here, from beyond, from the not yet?

Pictures keep shifting, like shadows, like water, like light between trees’ leaves. The perspectives are kaleidoscopic. To mortals who aim for the absolute, it is hopeless.

I remembered the Garden of Eden, when God warned against eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Violators will die — be expelled — be separated from where the Tree of Life is. I tried to get hold of this part of the kaleidoscope for me. And I understood. My God, I understood.

daisyIt is this. That. Man is crazy to want to really get hold of THE KNOWLEDGE. OF. GOOD. and evil. This can’t be done. This is what we want, but this can’t be done. This will kill us. It will overwhelm our systems. It will crash the system.

If THIS absolute gets into our hands, it will OSSIFY the system. What will happen to the electrons? How will they spin? What will happen to the fractals? Can you imagine a world without fractals?

Clouds will not condense. We will have no rain. Water will not rise up to the tips of the leaves. What will the butterflies eat? There will be no more wind to shift.

I have started to dig. The base is deep and broad. As I dug, so I saw more — and this is the irony — that I had to uncover before I was able to start to see what already was waiting to be seen.

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we had no time to catch our breath

What are you proud of, kabayan?  Why do you say, “Be proud etc.”?  Is being able to speak in English something to be proud of?  Is being trendy? fashionable? artful? musically competent? able to dance? winning international beauty pageants? international sports? international whatever? something to be proud of?  In what way? In the sense that these achievements define you? us? Sacadas? In what do these achievements connect to being who we are? That we can compete with other nations? That we are acceptable in America? in Europe? are we? acceptable? and if so, what significance does it make?

So what if Rizal has a statue in Wilhelmsfeld?  What does it mean to us?  Why should we be proud of ourselves at all?  Do we really know what Nationalism is all about?  Do we really understand what it implies?  Why do we say, “Be nationalistic”? –WE DO NOT EVEN KNOW YET WHO WE ARE.  Did Rizal die for nothing? did Bonifacio? Mabini? and the millions of unknowns who did not even know how to speak Spanish? or English?

Wake up, Sacada.  Before the Spanish came, that’s what we were.  We are.  When the Spaniards came we became an unwilling host to her.  The Spanish went away, then the Americans came, then we had no time to look for our selves.  We had no chance to breathe.  We had no chance to catch our breath.  We had no chance to clean our house, and a new visitor came, and the visitor is now rearranging our house for us.  We eat her food.  We watch her shows.  We laugh at her jokes.  We copy her curses.  We speak her tongue.  We write in her grammar.  We argue and take down notes in her language.  We are so hospitable that we have been giving out our own selves.  Diin na dira ang kita?  Nasaan na diyan ang tayo?  Asa na diha ang ato?  Nawala na ba ang atin? ang tayo?  Have we lost our selves?  Who are we, really, kabayan?

Our psyche is confused, Sacada.  Our worldview is Asian, Australo-polynesian maybe, if we look at the roots of the many words in our many dialects — but we have made a Germanic language an official language.  How do we harmonize these two differing ways of thinking?  Are we really able to express what is inside of us? from our inner thoughts? from our livers? kidneys? bituka? atay? ang halin sa sulok-sulok? sa kaibuturan?

Wake up, Sacada, and heal your self.

Let Live

“Live, and let live.”
The turf isn’t boundless yet the possibilities haven’t yet been fully explored;
and there are possibilities that do turn up fresh from time to time,
it is senseless to yearn beyond the bounds
—  that’s already edging towards greed;
it’s absurd to be wanting to be beyond one’s reach  –let that be–
because, here, sometimes, at your feet, looking up at you,
is something amazing and worth your time.
Sometimes we need to stop looking at the strain-to-reach-sites
because, down here, in front of our face, next to our breath,
something needs our sight. We need to look at it.
Leave out some things. Let your self live.

“business” has many meanings

I musn’t let 12.12.12 go by without marking it here. Three yang-yin’s. Wow.
When the time is right I will express to my people that the word “business” does not solely imply profit.
Today I had the business of sending emails to my two teachers, to two new friends, and to my two siblings. Three two’s. Wow. I hadn’t seen that before now. Wow. What a celebration.
Today I had the business of trying out this wonder tree. Moringa oleifera. Fine green powder on carbon-clarified water. This is how green tea would probably be like, in a Japanese tea ceremony. The smell is, indeed, of green leaves.
When the time is right I will express to my people that the world of health is not confined solely to synergistic products. It is found best in objects that have not been touched by profit, like from a plant that I can grow any time outside my window. Like the Moringa oleifera.
When the time is right my people will see that the world is bigger than the space that has continued to confine us within our sacada status.

I’m In Experience-Society?

I would never have heard of it had I not come here.
Here, where it is being discussed, a long time ago, already.
Here, where it exists.
Though I haven’t read the book yet — by Gerhard Schulze…
Yeah, intuitively, I understand a bit. It’s talking about the post-modern lifestyle centered on thrill-seeking, in intensities that, of course, vary, from person to person, from inner-culture to inner-culture, the one that has evolved from the affluence derivative of industrialization.
As for me, and the rest of the sacadas, we have not even got into the smack of industrialization yet, we have not been “modernized” yet, so to speak. Some of us still make our lamp-oils by hand.  It seems I’ll have a bit of an “understanding-leap” to traverse before I can integrate the sense of this present-day-society-description.

The other week I read of this phenomenon termed “Risk-Society” (from Ulrich Beck’s book), still another description of the present times.  This one is “global” because the potential affectees is everyone around the globe, and this one is “borderless”, because we all share the same air molecules, which never cease to circulate in the atmosphere, and “borderless”, too, in the sense that it describes a situation where class distinctions have been transcended: no more rich-poor, educated-uneducated, whatever-whatever — and this one evolving from the result that Industry-Modernization-and-related-Concepts, that’s supposed to make lives better, has caused the creation of horrendous risks (nuclear leakages, carcinogenic chemicals sprayed on food-plants, stressed-out animals’ meat for staple, proliferation of prescription-at-the-same-time-lethal drugs) plus the fact that there doesn’t exist a rational way of plotting these risks, yet, like the way Newton taught us to plot forces.

In our town one can still harvest one’s sweet potatoes from the yard garden, boil it over a wood fire, a few minutes more be bathed in the heavenly steamy aroma of this tinanok-nga-kamote, broken into half by hand, and ever call it to be one of the best meals in the world… One can still continue to live-breathe-sleep-work-laugh-play without having read even the tiniest Shakespeare, and still be perfectly alive.

Musings of a Sincere Fledgeling

Tayo ay nakasakay

sa Mundong naglalakbay…

Hello world.  It is wonderful to be aware that Earth is floating in space.

It is wonderful to be aware.  It is wonderful, this awareness, of this possibility that has come to pass, of this awareness that other possibilities could have come to pass and of other possibilities coming to pass that we have and would have no way of being aware of.

ang lahat ng bagay ay magkaugnay

Just to be is wonderful.  To be carried on by active-unseen-implied tendencies this way and that.  To be present in the movement, to be moved with eyes open, to be aware of the capability of seeing — this is a wonder.

I have been floating on something.  I lived on where I had been floating.  Some may have defined it as merely thriving, but no-one that we can define knows everything.  I may have had a full life, too.  Or perhaps fulness is merely accidental to being — because I am a sacada, and who would say that I have not lived?

I look back at my life, at our lives, at how we lived, at how we were helpless amidst the interconnected currents carrying us along — because I have become aware of new stirrings — and though I am new to this I am aware that my being legitimizes my presence…

… that is, sacada lang ako, but my story matters, my being cannot be denied.