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Farewell to Arms

By Roya Monajem, Tehran

It is wonder-full when one impartially - as much as one can try to adopt such an approach - compares Iranians living and growing up in the Islamic Republic and those who left this country -whether by will or force - after the revolution, and settled down particularly in various western democratic countries. It offers a great opportunity for 'self-observation' and 'self-remembering', if allowed to use Gurdjieff's terms.

For that we have the evidence of the current dialogues going on between us here and there particularly now that by virtue of the resurrecting green wave we have the chance to work on a deeper unification and solidarity regardless of our personal views.

First of all, what applies to all of us in the words of Nietzsche, the founder of positive Nihilism as he describes himself in his Will to Power: What doesn't kill me=us, makes me=us stronger...

Remembering Nietzsche takes me back to seventies when as a teenager I visited Germany and was shocked by the a-political air ruling the country in general and its universities in particular. It was equally shocking to see so much inter-hostility among Iranian-students-opposition-groups, then fighting for democratization of the ex. regime.

Thirty years or so has passed now and it seems Iranians here have learnt better to adopt a comparatively more 'tolerant, democratic and much less exclusionist' political approach than those living under long established democratic conditions. While here the majority are avoiding as much as possible violent forms of confrontation and are in constant search of peaceful means of protest despite being treated in the most inhuman violent way (making the emotional self-control extremely hard), there particularly the veteran political activists appear quite exclusionist and intolerant.

It is really frightening when one experiences it as a fact of life how one's words, thoughts and wishes do get materialized! Could Einstein ever imagine how his discoveries in quantum physics would create one of the greatest tragedies of human history, that is the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, although deliberately or not overshadowed by the Holocaust? Is this the world that all the divine prophets wished us to live? Putting it in another way, it is in itself the greatest human tragedy that we do not realize and cannot know what may be the outcomes and consequences of our even most innocent and positive thoughts, words and deeds for not only our own selves, but the whole humanity. As Nietzsche reminds us, at most we can only see five steps ahead of us which corresponds more or less to the law of unpredictability of Chaos Theory, Mandlbrot's equation, Butterfly effect. Which proves history can not be repeated, in the same way that it is impossible to swim twice in the same river, nevertheless as Kierkegaard's says: the way to change, and to freedom, to use this highly laden word, leads through repetition (wow! so much pedantry!) [1]

Let's read once more Kierkegaard's statement: The way to change, to freedom, to use this highly laden word, leads through Repetition. It perhaps means we should repeat until we reach that unique point of unpredictability in Mandlbrot's equation, when new can come into life. And what a plausible definition Kierkegaard offers for New: the new is a difference without a difference or a difference beyond difference-a difference which we are unable to recognize because it is not related to any pre-given structural code. Can the green wave reach such point?

Perhaps in the same way that communism is being considered as a yet unfinished project by many Eastern European artists, [2] Islam not in the sense of a divine religion, but as a political ideology is an unfinished project, particularly for us Iranians. One might say it is one of our oldest 'discourses.' Since the advent of Islam, this is the third time that we are trying a religious political system. The first happened immediately after the conquer of the Iranian Empire by Arabs, the second time occurred under the Safavid reign when Shiite became the formal religion of the country. Perhaps not very strange when we remember that this dynasty of kings came from an Islamic mystical order and now the Islamic Republic. As it is said in an old proverb: There should be three sets for every game!

Having the advantage of carrying a good part of human civilization behind us and the possibility to closely observe the inexperienced modern part in front of us, the green wave with its natural ebbs and flows has shown a great capacity in uniting all those who wish to say Farewell to Arms and Violence under the very eyes of the suppressive Big Brothers. Its flowing feature is what distinguishes it from all the past movements which evidently were imprisoned in an organization and went through the fatal subsequent metamorphosis. It is a fact of physics that: Entropy is always higher in closed systems.

So far the nights when our cries on roof-tops lower to whispers have been followed by the good morning news of a green happening not only on this very land, but on other continents of the world whether it is about the Stockholm's police force or Italians showering David's with green light, or a long green signed scroll hanging from Eiffel Tower or...

Perhaps by trying to keep it as an open flowing system as the mortal bipeds creating it, it would produce a difference.

While her endless beauty slays countless lovers
Troops arise amorously from the world of invisible

    - Hafez

from his sonnet opening with the verse:

Preachers who boaster and brag on pulpits and altars
Do something else when they go in private

[1] See: Zdenka Badovinac, What Will the Next Revolution Be Like

[2] See the above footnote.

... Payvand News - 09/17/09 ... --

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