Thursday, October 12, 2006

Beyond the Jesus-Way

I am here in Canada since 2002 and usually I am pretty adabtable person. Yet, since I am working, my cynicism about this country and its people is becoming worse and worse. Riding the bus I cannot help but think that people here are extremely vain and only interested in material things and neurotically afraid of even considering talking to the person next to them. My authoritarian side says they should all be forced to be more open minded towards the people around them, less interested in material things and more in their spiritual well being. But of course it is easier to leave things as they are in this democratic society and complain about the decay of morals. Reading Mahfouz' "Children of the Alley" in which he describes humanity's spiritual journey from Adam and Eve onwards, I come to think that people in undemocratic societies were not necessarily less happy and something in me says that they might have had more dignity. But probably they would have been just as egoistic and materialistic as the people around me now. I guess the communist experiment went down to prove just that.

Now the trick is that I am sure some of the people around me have similar thoughts. If only I could know what they are thinking I would see that they are also concerned about their fellow humans and their spiritual growth. How to know that though? I guess I am trying to smile to people around me, to start conversations but it's pretty fruitless for sure. And all this thinking makes me go crazy - I guess I am thinking too much about the people around me. Tell me - am I crazy?

Well, the thing is that I want to work as a community developer and my feeling is that I should be a lot more at peace with all the different types of people which are hopping around. A community developer should help people help themselves to reach whatever goal they determine to be worthwhile. If that happens to be the plasma TV bigger than their very big and wobbely belly so be it. That's what a community developer should be able to do. I however, am very judgemental and underneath a facade of liberalism believe that I really got it all right and everybody else is wrong. More like a teacher than a community developer. But I want to be anything but a teacher. Please tell me: how can I find peace with myself and everyone around me? How can I accept that there's as many ways to happiness as there are people? Here again lies trouble - I do not think the majority of humans TRULY accept everyone around them as equal in every way. So why do I want to be special again and accept everyone as equal - even those who do not grant the same generosity to their fellow humans. I do not like holding the other cheek after the first slap and I know how impossible it is to love one's enemies. The Jesus-way is not sustainable because it makes Man indulge in their victimhood and suffering and it does not give them pride in themselves. It does not teach them how to walk upright and be beautiful. In fact the only way Christianity can imagine humans living together in peace is if everyone forsakes their pride and walks in humility. What a dull world. What we need is a world where we all can live in pride yet also duly respect each other.


Kalin said...


The answer is


(No, no. I'm not kidding. Yes. I am serious.

You just have to read Zindell's _Requiem for Homo Sapiens_ if you don't believe me.

Why yes...)


Anonymous said...

Dear Tobias and Bertine,

I truly enjoyed reading your blogs this sunny aftrenoon in Vancouver. I can simpathise with everything you say, and like you Tobias, I find that I am becoming increasingly more judgmental and think that I know the best way (reuse, reduce, recycle, smile at people, make contact, share experiences, be kind, loving, open), but why are we better or more knowing than others? From the blogs, you and Bertine seem to have the same values as me and it is people like you that I wish others were more alike. Recently I have been discovering that most people are nothing like me (you would have though that I would have relized this sooner) and that felt like a revelation almost. It left me emotianal and sad a few times because others were not willing to listen and try to understand that there is more out there than what they believe in their little lives. And I, of course, believe that I would have listened to them. But who knows. I am naturally biased towards myself.

I am sorry that I didn't have more time today to think this through and tell you exactly what I feel, but I wanted to let you know at least that I thoroughly enjoyed reading your thoughts and do not think that you are crazy in any way, unless I am crazy too :)

Warm hug to the two pensive travelers!