Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yunus Emre is my faraway stranger friend, singing in the mountains of Turkey. Sharing his life journey with us, in praising God and helping others. Today we lacked spiritual encounter because too engrossed by materialistic matters.

Take a few minutes of silence, reflection
and prayer to open up another world !

The drink sent down from Truth,
we drank it, glory be to God.
And we sailed over the Ocean of Power,
glory be to God.

Beyond those hills and oak woods,
beyond those vineyards and gardens,
we passed in health and joy, glory be to God.

We were dry, but we moistened.
We grew wings and became birds,
we married one another and flew,
glory be to God.

To whatever lands we came,
in whatever hearts, in all humanity,
we planted the meanings Taptuk taught us,
glory be to God.

Come here, let's make peace,
let's not be strangers to one another.
We have saddled the horse
and trained it, glory be to God.

We became a trickle that grew into a river.
We took flight and drove into the sea,
and then we overflowed, glory be to God.

We became servants at Taptuk's door.
Poor Yunus, raw and tasteless,
finally got cooked, glory be to God.

Yunus Emre, translated by Kabir Helminski and Refik Algan

- 'The Drop That Became Sea'

I admire three things in your faith : Junger

Here is a man who is free.

Embroiled, to the point of risking his life, in the turmoil of the century, he held himself apart from his passions. Nothing can appropriate his name, nor his gaze, unless it be that butterfly in Pakistan which is now called "Trachydura Jüngeri", and which is his pride. For this rebel chases after glow-worms, this soldier writes novels. A philosopher, he possesses an appetite for living which time has not wearied.

Few life works are more diverse, few minds more restless. As inheritor of Goethe, of Hölderlin and Nietzsche, but also of Stendhal, Jünger's thought conjugates the riches of the Enlightenment with those of Romanticism, the rigour of the one with the generosity of the other.

It challenges fashions and attracts disputes. Those fond of systems hanker in vain to find them in it. Truth is to be sought in it like a balance amid contrary forces. Between engagement and resistance, respect for the real and rejection of the predestined, Jünger charts the space of human freedom and its true struggles. Because ist origins lie in the zest for life, it contemplates and faces contradictions: between mind and matter, nature and history, reason and dream.

Likewise with his idea of progress which repudiates alike the prophecies of Hegel and Marx and the pessimism of Spengler. No one has better grasped than him the advent of the world of technology, its benefits and catastrophes. If he deems inevitable the triumphs of science and numbers, he struggles against the excesses of their conquest.

Likewise with his thoughts about religions. He is agnostic, but has a sense of the sacred; he is an entomologist, but is at home with the irrational and affirms his faith in the spirit's survival.

Likewise with his passion for time - "the wall of time" as he likes to put it. He collects hourglasses and has written a treatise on them. Here too, between the temptations of surrender and refusal, Jünger faces the enigma and establishes a kind of wisdom. We talked about all that during our all too short meetings. The man before me impressed me by his demeanour. It is that of a Roman, haughty and simple, unalterable. I salute him and offer him my good wishes for a hundredth birthday in peace. But I know this: he and peace have long belonged together.

The Anarch gives us the means to observe and understand the materialist age we find ourselves in, without jeopardising our own sovereignty. Because the Anarch is the natural form of man, by Jünger's own definition, we should not be mistaken that we are talking about the individualist or individualism as it has become known today. Individualism itself is an extension of the rampant nihilism of our age and therefore an illness to be overcome. The individual is a private being closed in his own world. The individualist even rejects the naturalness of a social milieu free of the exploitation of the modern servile state. If we are talking of the Anarch as a natural man then we must also mean a man who is social in his form. The sovereign individual is always capable of joining together with others of his kind. It means to be an individual only in the truth with which one faces oneself, otherwise it has nothing to due with individualism. Still this Anarch may not find many people who understand him or what it means to be natural. If this figure is a threat to the status quo, he is an Anarch, if not we must suspect the individual.

By extension the Waldgaenger is the Anarch who has had to retreat into the wilderness because he has been exposed as the Anarch, the free sovereign man and is in danger of being killed. So he must range the forest, or the city for that matter, but it requires a style of resistance to the forces of tyranny. He will have to take up the fight and this is the indication that the Anarch again is not an individual in Jünger's meaning, because although the Waldgaenger can and might have to fight alone, it is futile to do it without support, one cannot live the Hollywood film of the lone hero. This is simply a psychological indoctrination for the masses enforcing the nihilistic idea of the individual and must therefore be recognised for what it is, a baseless myth.

The retreat into the forest comes today under certain conditions which Jünger describes for us, "The Waldgang (retreat into the forest) followed upon proscription. Through it man asserted his will to survive by virtue of his own strength. That was held to be honorable, and it is still today in spite of all indications to the contrary. Waldgängers (Rangers in the forest) are all those, isolated by all great upheavals, and are confronted with ultimate annihilation."

"Since this could be the fate of many, indeed, of all, another defining characteristic must be added: The Waldgaenger (the Ranger) is determined to offer resistance. He is willing to enter into a struggle that appears hopeless. Hence he is distinguished by an immediate relationship to freedom which expresses itself in the fact that he is prepared to oppose the automatism and reject its ethical conclusion of fatalism. If we look at him in this fashion we shall understand the roll which the Waldgang plays not only in our thoughts but also in the realities of our age. Everyone today is subject to coercion and the attempts to banish it are bold experiments upon which depends a destiny far greater than the fate of those who dare to undertake them."

Here we have it in its essence, we see its nature as broad capable of taking many forms, but all to the same end, the preservation of the dignity and freedom of man in its original and most natural form. This is beyond the polemics of modern philosophy and politics. It is the removal of the coercion that has become characteristic of the modern mega-state and its master the banking titan.

Jünger: "The Waldgang is not to be understood as a form of Anarchism directed against world technology (technik), although this is a temptation, particularly for those who strive to regain a myth. Undoubtedly, mythology will appear again. It is always present and arises in a propitious hour like a treasure coming to the surface, but man does not return to the realm of myth, he re-encounters it when the age is out of joint and in the magic circle of extreme danger..."

The Waldgang is the stuff of myth, but not created by the likes of us. Myth has its root in the disclosure of the divine and it is only the natural man, a man who is beyond the concepts of liberty, fraternity and equality that might achieve this. Where the modern concepts of the Enlightenment prevail, so prevails the tyranny of the state. Here the Anarch becomes potent in his reflection even dangerous, he has recognised the tyranny and if he is exposed he must choose the method of retreat into the forest or pay the price.

In our age we cannot underestimate the heritage that Jünger has left us. All around us we see the levelling effects of technology. It becomes more and more difficult to be free in the golden cage of the world state. Who are the men and women that are still sovereign in this age? It is certainly becoming more difficult to find real ‘Anarchs’ devoted to learning and freedom, but they are there; some of them are the readership that Jünger honours so greatly and others are unaware of Jünger, but possess a natural inclination to his thoughts.

These ideas have never been popular, even with some of his loyal readers. Jünger himself had burnt himself on the hot iron of modern democracy. Naturally those who believe in the saying of Winston Churchill, "Democracy is the worst form of government, but the best we've got," will certainly disagree with Jünger's political analysis, but the further we go down this strange path called the modern world, the more we must realise how much Jünger's political analysis rings true. Modern Democracy is a sham, covering up the all too real and undemocratic exploitation of people, wealth, and resources, siphoning it off into the hands of the few, in the name of the many. We have entered the age of the Anarch and who knows what will come next?

ABDALBARR BRAUN - 7 March 2002

Remembering You

You, beloved, who were lost
before the beginning, who never came,
I do not know which sounds might be precious to you.
No longer do I try to recognize you, when, as a surging wave,
something is about to manifest. All the huge
images in me, the deeply-sensed far-away landscapes,
cities and towers and bridges and un-
suspected turns of the path,
the powerful life of lands
once filled with the presence of gods:
all rise with you to find clear meaning in me,
your, forever, elusive one.

You, who are all
the gardens I've ever looked upon,
full of promise. An open window
in a country house—, and you almost stepped
towards me, thoughtfully. Sidestreets I happened upon,—
you had just passed through them,
and sometimes, in the small shops of sellers, the mirrors
were still dizzy with you and gave back, frightened,
my too sudden form.—Who is to say if the same
bird did not resound through us both
yesterday, separate, in the evening?


Monday, October 26, 2009

Where Are You, My Friend

Where are you, my beloved? Are you in that little
Paradise, watering the flowers
As infants look upon the breast of their mothers?

Or are you in your chamber where the shrine of
Virtue has been placed in your honor, and upon
Which you offer my heart and soul as sacrifice?

Or amongst the books, seeking human knowledge,
While you are replete with heavenly wisdom?

Oh companion of my soul, where are you? Are you
Praying in the temple? Or calling Nature in the
Field, haven of your dreams?

Are you in the huts of the poor, consoling the
Broken-hearted with the sweetness of your soul, and
Filling their hands with your bounty?

You are God's spirit everywhere;
You are stronger than the ages.

Do you have memory of the day we met, when the halo of
You spirit surrounded us, and the Angels of Love
Floated about, singing the praise of the soul's deed?

Do you recollect our sitting in the shade of the
Branches, sheltering ourselves from Humanity, as the ribs
Protect the divine secret of the heart from injury?

Remember you the trails and forest we walked, with hands
Joined, and our heads leaning against each other, as if
We were hiding ourselves within ourselves?

Recall you the hour I bade you farewell,
And the Maritime kiss you placed on my lips?
That kiss taught me that joining of lips in Love
Reveals heavenly secrets which the tongue cannot utter!

That kiss was introduction to a great sigh,
Like the Almighty's breath that turned earth into man.

That sigh led my way into the spiritual world,
Announcing the glory of my soul; and there
It shall perpetuate until again we meet.

@Khalil Gibran