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Role of Love in Human History

By Roya Monajem, Tehran

The Persian month of Bahman - when the Pahlavi regime fell and Islamic Republic was born as the result - has a very peculiar kind of nostalgia. It is different from the typical Persian nostalgia arising mainly from the thought of past glories and splendor of this country. In those days it seemed we were different people, exactly opposite to what we are today. Then it seemed we no longer had any personal self, but our selves had merged into one big national self fighting for the 'ideal' of putting an end to 'socio-political and legal injustice and inequality.' Gurdjieff describes the time of revolution and war as the time of mass psychosis when that unique 'human' characteristic called 'killing the members of the same species,' not seen in other creatures reaches its climax. No doubt there was lots of absurd bloodshed. Looking at those days retrospectively the term mass psychosis becomes much more tangible and objective. In a way it was the second time in our history that the same 'slogans' - equality and justice- moved us automatically to rise against our ruling system. So in a way, the whole event although occurring in a different time-space, nevertheless it provides an opportunity to reflect upon some of the puzzling questions about human behavior.

For example, when we compare the feminine status and rights of Persian woman before Islam with her Post-Islamic status and rights one wonders why and how could those women surrender to comparatively such humiliating worldview as being considered 'half-human being?' How could women who enjoyed many of the rights that Western women fought to obtain since a century ago keep silent when they were taken away from them by those comparatively 'uncivilized nomadic conquerors?' A few days ago when noticing how speeches of the female winners of the famous Fajr film festival were censored from our national TV and I heard no reaction about it, I thought 'here you are; this is indeed a very good opportunity to discover why your great grand grandmothers behaved so 'sheep-like' then.' Is the motivation behind this 'incredible passivity' fear of 'military machine' of the rulers? Is it caused by the same biological instinct of 'surrender when facing a stronger opponent?' The relatively weaker physical constitution of women makes such instinct even stronger in women. This can indeed be one of the main reasons for feminine passivity toward the inequality and injustice that have been imposed on them throughout recorded history. This is quite understandable. What I can't understand is why women have never used their 'power' as the first educators of human race in changing the sexually biased thinking system of their sons? This can not be solely due to ignorance resulting from feminine historical suppression. Women are no longer ignorant about the imposed sexual deprivations and inequalities. Why do we continue to bring up our 'sons' and 'daughters' in the same old way that perpetuates the same masculine values?

This kind of questioning even when it appears to get nowhere has at least this unquestionable effect that in contrast to the value we attach to what is called 'human consciousness,' it plays a very insignificant role in human psychology when compared with the role that our instincts and 'unconscious' educational conditionings play in our personal and social life. It is here that one loses hope and comes to believe that 'the same old inhuman life' will continue on earth more or less as before.

"De-conditioning" of all that long historical and personal programming is no easy task. Only a kind of 'miracle' can turn an 'automatic robot' into a 'conscious and wakeful' human being? Perhaps if we learn how to do that with 'computers' we will also learn to do it with ourselves.

But until then in order not to lose heart completely and shine at least one single ray of light on this gloomy picture of human impotence and passivity in producing any radical change in their constitution in order to relieve at least a little bit of the resulting suffocating mood of despair, there is one human state of being that indeed can produce 'miracles;' miracle in the sense of finding a unique power to break through as many limitations as possible. It is the only state of being that outside robotic conditionings can disappear over night both on a personal and national plane. And that is the state that love creates. No wonder that love is classified as a mental disease by 'reasonable men.' It is the only state that goes beyond reason and creates 'radical' changes both on a personal and national level. Without love there could be no 'art' 'religion' 'civilization' 'science' 'progress' or any other characteristic human production. The cause of revolution is 'love of an ideal' and the cause of war 'love of fatherland.' And perhaps what has kept women 'passive' against their historical suppression and oppression is their motherly instinctive 'love of man-kind' instead of 'human-kind.'

So far the transformative energy of love- both on personal and national planes- has always acted more or less blindly in giving us the power to break through old imposed religious moral political and personal limitations. Alas that this amazing miraculous power is immediately harnessed by the Old (patterns, habit and old and new power-possessors).

The month of Bahaman -literally meaning "good thought"- is nostalgic because it is the reminder of how that 'love resulting good thoughts' were so tragico-comically abused so rapidly.

... Payvand News - 2/15/06 ... --

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