Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Facing Reality Face-to-Face

I was searching for a line from Rilke's novel when I came across this:

"Shakespeare's King Henry IV, Part II, where the former prince has shed his profligate lifestyle to become King Henry V. Visited by his erstwhile drinking companion, Falstaff, the new and mature king says:"

Presume not that I am the thing I was;
For God doth know, so shall the world perceive,
That I have turned away my former self (V,v).

People change by virtue of living, and that's an end to it. However, we change rapidly in times of crisis, some of us becoming different in ground rather than simply in colour or taste and such. The very ground of being heaves, and we are as we were not. For a number of us that personal upheaval happened on 9-11-01. For some the ground of being is still shifting. Others float along on the shifting sands. I will not presume that you are who you were. Nor will I presume that as you are you will remain. The upheavals have not ended, and they won't for us till our time is over. Today we assume new roles and duties. Old masks have fallen, and we assume new identities: being that was is now uncovered as being what is and unearthed as us. Like it or not, many of us are who were might never have been. Now you are discovered and you are called.

Rilke in The Journal of Malte Laurids Brigge, (p.71) writes:

"The mouleur, whose shop I pass every day, has hung two masks beside his door. The face of the young drowned woman, a cast of which was taken in the Morgue because it was beautiful, because it smiled, smiled so deceptively, as though it knew. And beneath it, his face, which knows."

That's not the quotation I sought. That's a quotation for those who do not know. Rilke wrote in the same work that "He" is the mask behind which the author lies as person, and the quotation is illustrative because we act so at our peril. We can look at ourselves and see a false image of our being as we are not but might wish were so. We cannot afford such sentimentality any longer. The masks are slipped. We have to accept our faces and face the world honestly as we now are. Our previous masks of over-sensitive poets hanging gently on our fronts is no longer worthy of us.

For most of us the newness of war is discomfiting and alienating. We have lived so long behind masks of Romance and false feeling that to see what we truly are is to look on horror when we do so. We are, from the deeps, now ourselves.

Recently 17 Muslims were arrested in Toronto, Canada on charges related to a conspiracy to murder at random a mass of innocent civilians. To suggest that people are in denial over this occasion is to mouth worthless cliches and to lapse into passivity and smugness. It's not enough to condemn the fools among us. You are not the person you were, and life will not allow you to pretend in good faith. You know the Muslims will kill you in time, and if not you your children. Pretty is a fashion out of date. Ugly is stylish in the season.

So shall the world perceive,
That you have turned away your former self.

We will meet on Thursday evening in the atrium of the Vancouver Public Library from 7-9:00 p.m. to sit and drink coffee and talk about our new lives and our responses to them. It's time to hang up the old masks of denial and dhimmitude and pleasing the p.c. chorus with pretty noises. We talk about jihad, we talk about socialism, we talk about a new covenant for Canada and for free people in free nations. You'll know us because we wear blue kerchiefs and blue scarves. We are the ones you can sit with to discuss the nature of the new unmasked and possibly beautiful.

VPL, 7-9:00 p.m. In the Atrium usually at Blenz.


dag said...

The movie still of Max von Sydow is from Three Days of the Condor.

D.C. said...

My friend Dag, this is such a beautiful post. Thank you.

The delicate sculpture of young woman is made of a special marble that is very fragile, it brakes easily, perhaps like our identities one could say.

You have talent for words - perhaps you can help me here: Should we not use the term Islamist rather than Muslim, when we recognize the serious threats Jihadists and Islam represent for all of us, Muslims included?
Is this important?

Charles Henry said...

D.c., I won't speak for Dag, but I've been doing much thinking about this idea of using a different term to describe muslims who embrace the dark side of their ideology with full commitment, and those who do not.

I used to think it was imperative to make a distinction between the peaceful and "authentic" muslims, and the non-peaceful "inauthentic" practitioners of the religion, until I actually started reading the koran and the haddiths myself. Now I see no reason to make such distinctions, except to reverse the roles.

The people who plot to decapitate my prime minister, and dream of a world enslaved to a 21st century caliphate, are the real muslims, for they practice their religion properly.

I certainly welcome those that have chosen to abandon much of the authentic teachings of their faith in order to continue calling themselves muslim. Would that they all could allow themselves to be westernized to that point where they recognize the barbarity and impracticality of their nonsensical theology. Only one in a thousand people are destined to get to heaven?? what evil absurdity is that? My god is a common sense god, not an evil god that could create accursed people. If accursed they must be, why not simply create them already in hell, rather than populate the world of the living with them, to torment the "peaceful".
Change your religion and be sentenced to death for it? What kind of evil policy is that? How is that morally defensible? The answer is, it's not, yet it's right there in black and white in their book of instructions, as a suitable consequence for making that kind of "mistake".

I read and listen to what the imams have to say about their faith. Who knows more about where a plane is headed, than its pilot?

I've asked here, and elsewhere, for ideas on how we can assist the heretics in reforming their 7th century religion, so that it ceases being an incubator for discrimination, piracy and pillage.
To those who call themselves muslim who are horrified by the idea of killing innocent people in the name of allah, and are daily deceiving themselves that their religion has been "hijacked", I say: you're the ones who need to do the hijacking. Re-write your book of instructions, and edit out the parts that don't belong in the civilized world.

I'll accept as a substitute, that you put the book back into chronological order, so that narrative context can redeem your claims that "jihad" is figurative and not literal.

Anything less than that, and who is kidding who? Islam, when practiced properly, is barbaric. Who was more "muslim" than mohammed, and look how he lived.

The muslim that I had a beer with the other night, is not a real muslim but he's my kind of muslim. He's the one I want to see flying the plane. I want his heresy to win.

maccusgermanis said...

I have no doubt that muslims are the people most in need of liberation from their voluntary enslavement. Islam is evil, but muslims choose this evil. To allow "muslim" to descibe hypocrits and "islamist" to descibe true adherants does more obscure the true ideological enemy and inflicts no transforming shame on muslims. Neil Young did not wonder what to call "Southern Man" as he suggested to " remember what your good book says." This is no new conundrum. Not all white southerners actively supported segregation and fewer still actively worked against such policies. Shame is a great motivator. If muslims feel shame about their religion then theirs is the responsibilty to change the shameful realities of what islam is.

To settle for heresy sets no guard against revival. A beer drinking muslim, like a beer drinking baptist, should become an episcopalian.

BTW Jim 'n' Nicks Inverness 7pm

D.C. said...

Thank you Charles Henry and maccusgermanis for your thoughts on this.
Your answers prompted many more questions!