Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Great Dictator

On a day like this, 68 years ago one of the greatest films of all time was released to the theatres...

It was Charles Chaplin's "The Great Dictator", a satire that directly attacked racial and social injustice...

The best, by far, moment of the film was his famous speech at the end... which unfortunately, is extremely valid and in need of realisation even today...

"I'm sorry but I don't want to be an Emperor - that's not my business - I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that.

We all want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.

The way of life can be free and beautiful.

But we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men's souls - has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.

We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in: machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little: More than machinery we need humanity; More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say "Do not despair".

The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people, will return to the people and so long as men die [now] liberty will never perish...

Soldiers - don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you - who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder.

Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate - only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers - don't fight for slavery, fight for liberty.

In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written " the kingdom of God is within man " - not one man, nor a group of men - but in all men - in you, the people.

You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let's use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfil their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness.

Soldiers - in the name of democracy, let us all unite!"

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Principles Part 2, Definitions Part 6-The Principle of the Two Joys - Inheritors and Creators

The Universe has been created based on the so-called "Principle of the Two Joys".

There are two kinds of Joys in the World; the one is carefree, innocent, the childish joy. The other is the mature, the knowing, the toil-born.

Why is the World created thusly? I guess it is necessary for the evolution of the Structures. For change and progress to take place. The "childish" Joy is the force of renewal, the promise of future. The "mature" Joy is the one that builds, the one that gives meaning.

We people, as we are born, grow up and then grow old, we pass through a blend of the Two Joys, first being children and then adults, but, in truth, always partaking in both of them.

Through these two kinds of Joys, emerge two kinds of people: The "Inheritors" and the "Creators".

The Inheritors are the people who are content enough with the World they live in and they thrive in it... they inherit the World... and are more connected with the "childish" Joy.

The Creators are those who cannot find solace in the World they live in, so they are compelled to create new things that express them and make them feel they belong. The Joy they feel more is the "mature" one.

Of course, no-one is solely an Inheritor or just a Creator. We all have our roots, our "yeast" and we all contribute something new to the World we live in.
Still, some people are more happy with the way things are and others constantly envision something new...

I, for one, feel more like a Creator, in case you haven't guessed it already...


“And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.”

Disturbing Thoughts

In the film "V for Vendetta", one of the characters, Lewis Prothero, has a speech at the beginning that has haunted me ever since I first heard it... It is the following (edited) words:

I have to admit that I'm quite pessimistic about the future... not the far one, anymore, but the quite near... I'm not talking about the greed that has caused the recent "imbalance" of the banking system... we will come over it, sooner or later, if not for any other reason, just to be able to repeat it, as we have in the past...
What I'm talking about here is the greed that is quickly and surely turning our Planet into an inhospitable for Mankind environment...

I'm haunted by visions of the future... What if in fifty or seventy years, people, overcrowded in the little land left fertile and habitable, people in war at each other for a few drops of water, gather around a... I don't know, let's say around a 3D TV-net and talk about the bright days of past, the days of overabundance, the days of two computers, three cars and four cell-phones, the days when they flushed their toilets with clean water, when people had everything except the prudence to preserve their most basic needs... fresh air, drinkable water, fertile land...

"They had everything, absolutely Everything!..."

Sunday, October 5, 2008

On Fate

The Wheel of Fate

"Do you believe in Fate?" is a common enough question which, in turn, gives rise to three other:

1) What does "Fate" mean?
2) Is Fate a matter of belief?
3) What are the practical repercussions of such a belief?

As I have written in a previous post, there are many factors that strongly influence our lives. Factors that lie beyond (recognizable) human control and intention.
When these factors present no pattern or reason, they are usually referred to as plain, chaotic, Chance.
If, however, all those external parameters show some kind of scheme and purpose, then we start talking about FATE.

At this point, I think it's helpful to note the difference between Fate and Destiny.
Generally speaking, Fate is comprised of events that lead to the doom of a person. Destiny leads to (relevant) greatness.
For the purposes, though, of this post, "Fate" will mean both.

Whether our lives are determined by a Greater Will or not is an issue that has been tantalising Mankind throughout our entire history as sentient species.
Others define Fate as "things that were meant to happen".
However, since no-one knows what was meant to happen before it does (or does not) and since there is no objective and undeniable way to prove the existence of a Force ruling over our lives, I would have to conclude that FATE DOES NOT EXIST.
None of the events that form our lives and are beyond human intent have any underlying significance, purpose or assurance of happening.


Believing in Fate is like believing in God. The way one defines and perceives God forms the way such a belief impacts his life.
The same is true for Fate. FATE DOES EXIST, if one knows what to watch out for and how to see It.

Needless to say that I believe in Fate.
Someone, once, said that "Fate is a way to justify things that we would nevertheless do".
I usually say: "Fate is written on our DNA".
If EVERYONE has a place, a role to play in the world, then everyone has a Calling to follow...
Isn't that Fate (or Destiny)?
Others say that we form our own Destiny. I wonder if it's the same way that we "form" our character or genetic code...

Perceiving Fate is a very delicate and tricky job. Things happen all the time around us and through this ruckus one has to discern the pattern that people, the Universe reacts to our presence and actions... It is very easy to mingle our desires, ambitions or insecurities with Fate.
The most important thing about perceiving Fate is to realise it as an individual Structure. Fate is not something that verifies what we want to see, but a separate pattern that encompasses the whole of our existence.

In the end, Fate is another tool for us to use... and it's mostly about self-knowledge...

KNOW Yourself

LEARN your place in the World

ACHIEVE your Destiny

Or accept your FATE...

EVERYTHING happens here