Iran News ...


8/15/03

Political Metamorphosis

Roya's Corner...
By Roya Monajem, Tehran

royamonajem@gmail.com

 

If revolution is shedding of the skin[1], then it is very much like taking off our clothes, casting off our social roles and throwing out our psychological masks at nights when we go to bed. Nothing much happens except experiencing the same old person with the same old mental dialogue, going on between our two warring selves which in one word are our good self and bad self representing God and Devil, Good political Systems and Bad Political Systems, Just Social Systems and Unjust Social Systems, Inhuman World Orders and Human World Orders. And before we fall asleep we most probably find ourselves imploring: Oh please just a little bit of Justice and Love.

 

But it seems that this ' bit' as the amount of justice and love needed to create a beautiful world and beautiful earth has not been enough. And if we do not try to add to this ' bit' we most probably will bring about the promised doomsday soon. A mere glace at our surrounding will prove it with no doubt. What makes up this surrounding?

 

1- Our family

 

How are they? How are they feeling? Are they happy? Are they satisfied? Do they feel at peace? Are they happy to be ALIVE? Do they glorify Life?

 

When we can not glorify life, then how can we glorify our being alive and how can we love our mother earth and...?

 

How much is the social political system responsible for their unhappiness? Are people living under democratic system happier than those living under autocratic systems?

 

Please don't tell me democracy has brought mankind a more joyful state of being! Let us wake up and leave all the dictators and rulers and presidents and religions alone, and just take a fair look at the closest circle of our being. Those we are associating with, our family and friends and colleagues. ARE THEY HAPPY?

 

Which really means: Are they LOVED the way they want and wish and dream of and need?

 

This is our most basic human need throughout the world. It is a need that we can all agree on as being our most basic need, no matter what form of social political system we live under. So it can be the best measurement of our achievements on both individual and social levels. Have our achievements so far brought us the love we need in order to stay healthy and hopeful and joyful?

 

2- Society

 

What about our social surrounding? How do we all feel as social beings?

Has democracy taken us close to love? Is democracy a better choice?

A definite YES is the logical answer, particularly now that we know and have visited and have lived in democratic countries and have heard about or visited or lived in countries run by tyrannical rulers, we definitely prefer democracy to autocracy. There is no doubt in that.

 

But then why aren't the people living under democratic rule HAPPIER? Healthier? Why are there so many LONELY people? Why are there still homeless people dying in the streets? Were they simply lazy to work hard? From the perspective we have chosen to look at the world here, it seems that the life over there - under democratic ruling systems- only has a merely superficial difference with the life over here - that is under an autocratic ruling system and perhaps even one of the worst types, the religious autocracy which is similar to what the West experienced during the Middle Ages as we gather today from the books written in those days, the music that was composed, the plastic art they left and...

 

If we are right to make such a comparison then can we say:

Are they really examples of the rule of God? Middle Ages (read it The Church) and Islamic Republic (read it Islamic Fundamentalism)? Vowwww! What a Heaven to live in! Are they the symbol of the Love of Christ for Life and Earth and Mohammad's Justice? If so then Long Live the ungodly Democracy! At least for the time being.

 

In the west the rule of the Church if not God ended about the time that Nietzche proclaimed that "God is Dead. We killed him ourselves." So can we say Democracy is the rule of Human Beings who consider Religion as a personal affair? Do we enjoy it better? If so why do we all feel that there is still something missing? Lest it is a god we are missing!

 

It is so obvious that democracy hasn't created more Love and Peace and Social Justice either. And because of living in Iran today and being sick of having to choose between bad and worse, it seems I have only two alternatives: Either die or have this hope that there can be another alternative? Surely we are not DESTINED to go through the same inferno that the west went through to reach the place it has reached today, the Representative and Symbol of Human Civilization! Is this truly the civilization that Man had in Mind? Is it beautiful? Is it really our (the so-called backward countries') fate to go through more pain and suffering just to reach where the West has reached now? Is this inevitable human fate, destiny?

 

But surely these were among the first concepts that man denied when he dared to proclaim God is dead. Surely, it is not modern and scientific to believe in things like fate, is it? We have proven that Homo sapiens are the only earthly creatures that can affect and act upon the 'natural' processes and turn them to their benefit? Haven't we? But isn't it from this very egoistic idea of having the power to change natural processes to our own species' benefit, that our basic problems started? And what are our basic problems? The problems of our social, psychological and physical well being! People now seem to enjoy an ever decreasing physical, mental and psychological well-being. The number of healthy middle aged and young people is increasingly decreasing. We are surrounded by physical and mental disturbances. Aren't we?

 

Do we have to try to establish democracy here to reach such a state of being? Can't there be another alternative?

 

3- Our own Self

 

I consider our own self as an integrative part of that which makes our surrounding because it seems we are not a single entity as that on-going inner dialogue experienced most vividly at nights when we take off our clothes and put aside our psychological masks shows. Wherever there is a dialogue, it automatically implies that there are two people. And as mentioned before the dialogue is between our inner and outer self representing our pure innocent ignorant (good) aspect and our socially educated conditioned judgmental self. It has a warring nature most probably because we have not found the love and satisfaction we wished for, and we don't feel as joyous as human beings are worthy of.

 

So those of us who are concerned with such things start a continuous search for a solution and learn about and experience hundred and one different schools of thought and belief systems and spiritualisms etc.

 

In all of them what we hear is that Love is the only solution. Christ as the first world-wide known Messenger of Love said: 'Love your neighbor as you love yourself.'

 

Ironically there seems to be a hidden contradiction in this saying. It seems that in contrast to what he really meant he suggests that self-love should be considered as the measurement of love for others? And again quite ironically it is from more or less this point in history that egoism and narcissism and selfish love started to rule us as human beings. Although the self-love Jesus experienced and thus preached was a godly parental-like love and ours is an ego-centered one. In any case, love (whether of god or anything else) is what all religions and spiritualisms propose as the only way of salvation. We are to be filled with love. To transform to love.

 

And we are advised to transcend our egoism (or to overcome ourselves as Nietzche puts it) to go beyond ourselves. Surely this is much more than what revolutions (shedding of skin) can bring about. Here what is needed is metamorphosis.

 

It is so obvious now that our past life of our species as Homo sapiens has proved to be a complete failure. Do we wish to continue our denial and blind ourselves to it? Do we still like to close our ears to Nietzsche's warning: Man has decayed. Isn't the low level of our general health throughout the world the clear proof of it? Do we still prefer to deny Nostradamus prophecies as unscientific? Aren't we really living in a world that religions have described as doomsday, as the time when the earth is filled with evil forces? The Age of Kali Yoga? And so on and so forth.

 

Revolution as shedding of the an old skin and putting on a new one as insects and snakes do in their life cycles and we humans do at nights when we take off our clothes, our masks, our roles just to put on some clean or new ones (at most) on the next day can no longer save us and our earth.

Metamorphosis is what we need individually, socially and politically.

 

Individually, we should be brave enough to go through a pupa life in order to overcome all our past conditionings. The most basic of them are our sexual conditionings. This is the urgent need: To stop this war between our masculine and feminine selves which is reflected in our loving war with our opposite sex. Let us accept that the idea of God and Goddesses produces the same mess. Matriarchy is the same nonsense as Patriarchy. It is true that we have now so little evidence of the nature and quality of life under matriarchy and as it appears from the status of women in all religions, the God that has ruled mankind so far has been a masculine God, but could a feminine god, a goddess have done or do better? 

 

No doubt, it could have not and can not even though in women the instinct of life is stronger than in men because they are the main responsible sex for the survival of the species, so they are naturally less destructive and war-oriented. The most obvious and clear evidence for this claim is the lower probability of a human newborn surviving without a mother than without a father. A simple fact while at the same time we do know and we are aware of the fact that: to every rule, there are always some exceptions!

 

And perhaps that is why women yielded to patriarchy in the first place. It is still a dilemma for me how Iranian women who enjoyed equal rights with men as history proves, surrendered to Islam that considers them half a human being? Why? Was this the Fate or Destiny of our country? And in general is Mankind destined to go through the economic political social path formulated by Marx? Can't we think of a Humankind of social political path rather a Mankind (or Womankind) one?

 

For that I suppose we first need to transform to a human being rather than considering ourselves as a sexual being and for that we need to cease this loving war with ourselves and with our mate as the first requisite. It is the physical basis of that greater metamorphosis. If caterpillars are asexual and then develop sexuality as they go through their pupa life cycle, we should do the opposite. Throw away this historical mask of sexuality and treat it as natural as it is. Who is our first neighbor whom we should love as we love ourselves, as Jesus advised us? Our mate. But even closer than him/her is the other part of ourselves which can be considered as the projection of his/her image. And this is where the story of unconditional love comes which especially when it concerns our own self, we find more difficulty in practicing it. Where is the boundary between self-love in a selfish narcissist way and this supposedly spiritual unconditional self-love?

 

Its practice in relation to ourselves seems harder because we are historically conditioned to confuse love with sacrifice and unconditional love is very close to sacrifice or our conception of it. We can very well sacrifice our 'self' for another (meaning our love no matter what it is), but we can't sacrifice our 'self' for our 'self'? Who can judge which one of them is the higher self? Particularly when we know the most basic cause of all wars is some sort of judgment between good and bad, right and wrong?

 

Again from the perspective we have adopted in this writing to look at the world, this higher self can be distinguished as the one who creates joy for our self and others whenever it gets the chance to dominate us. To me the code of conduct that can take us there can be summarized as follows:

 

See ourselves and only ourselves responsible for your fate, destiny, reality, the world we live in and act from there. We should stop waiting for others to take the first step in making us happy and satisfied. When the god is dead, naturally the Messiah would be dead too. There is not going to be a Messiah. So let us not waste our life anymore. 

 

We can start the breath-taking responsibility of being and living that image of love that we have in mind. What a painful pupa life we have to live in order to reach this point!

 

We don't like beggars because we consider them lazy. So why do we continue begging love from outside? It is indeed very cruel to be so lazy and blame the outside  (socio-political system) for our inhuman life.

 

Politically, Metamorphosis for us backward countries is to cease waiting for a redeemer (in our case whether Iranian or An-Iranian, as the old Persians called the foreigners) to come and save us. We should start looking at the possibility that there can be other paths and alternatives for us. It sounds impossible, but we should start to dream the impossible dream now that we are privileged enough to have the opportunity to see where the advanced countries have reached. For that we first of all need to shed our historical skin of laziness and opportunism and blind imitation of the so-called civilized world of the West. We (all the so-called backward countries) should stop acting as invalids, as some poor nation in need of a redeemer. The West learned and is still learning a great deal from us. And we can learn a lot from the West too. Learning does not mean imitation. The West has always used the East as a source of inspiration to create a better world. And we can do the same only if we start to find out where we really went wrong and simultaneously where they (i.e. the westerners) went wrong that we are all living such inhuman life.

 

Middle Ages seem to have been that pupa life cycle for the West. Hopefully, Islamic Republic would do the same for us. According to an old Persian proverb: "Enemy can bring about goodness, if god wishes!"

 

Once the individual and political metamorphoses take place then social metamorphosis will automatically follow.

  


[1] For more detail, see the article under the same title, that is "Revolution"

... Payvand News - 8/15/03 ... --



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