Wednesday, May 30, 2007

122] Dancing with Desire

Dancing with desire
Azly Rahman
May 28, 07 1:43pm

"The self-controlled soul, who moves amongst sense objects, free from either attachment or repulsion, he wins eternal Peace."
- Bhagavad Gita

In the Golden Age, Rulers were unknown. In the following age Rulers were loved and praised. Next came the age when rulers were feared. Finally the age when rulers are hated.
- Lao Tzu

It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong.

Wealth and power are temptations that erode our character. We should enslave these and put them to good use with the help of the inner self.

Many will fail and suffer when wealth and power become master to one's destiny. The self will be destroyed, families will break down, communities will be in chaos, nations will become violent and turn against each other, countries will go to war and destroy countless millions.

American is one nation that is being destroyed. Malaysia is will be following suit if we do not amputate our desire and stop dancing to its tune.

Inner peace, like what Kung Fu'Tze, Lao Tze, the Buddha, etc taught us begins with the inner self, inner conscience.

In Islam it is called "fitrah" or the "the gift" that has to be known, named, taken care of, nurtured, developed, and fed with good and healthy food of the soul so that this inner self may become larger than the universe outside and will have the energy to conquer evil.

This inner self will be the dictator to inner desire that wants to dominate, plunder, and possess others.

The nurturance of desire

The disease that is destroying us is the inability for the powerful to tame desire. If the plague is merely destroying the selfhood of the corrupt politicians, it is bearable - it is one's righteous self-destruction.

But the problem is powerful and wealthy individuals, knowingly or otherwise design policies, strategies, and schemes to destroy the lives of many people who are helpless and who do not know what is happening to their world.

All they know is that they are happy in this system of bread and circus, of instant gratification, of the here and now, and of shackled existentialism - a world that is constantly being sped up by enabling technologies.

Media, machinery, materialism, mind control – these are instruments of desire that intrude into the inner self, turning it into a temple of madness constructed out of flesh, blood, and bones.

The soul is lost – forever sold into slavery into the media/machinery/material/mind matrix of power and wealth.

The idea that one needs lots of money to be in power is the most dangerous idea in modern politics.

Billions of Ringgit are raised to put desire into power, through undesirable elected representatives. Billions are drawn out of the blood, sweat and tears of those whose lives are constantly transformed by those who owns the means of transforming individuals and institutions.

The curse of general elections

Every four years there is a general election. Between one to another, time is spent to maintain power and hegemony through means that are desirable and undesirable.

It is as if the nation is only interested in who is gearing up for elections and the rest of the time be made to bow down to the Neon Gods or the media that produced 24/7 entertainment, infotainment, or edutainment to forget the daily suffering as a consequence of "hypermodernity".

At every elections come, the promise of a prosperous kingdom comes. Pay raise comes even to the ones undeserving, so that they will continue to pledge allegiance to systems of thought control that shuts both eyes to the practice of massive graft, political-criminal protective system, the closing of the Malaysian mind, and a range of other designs of human behavior that cage the soul; a soul that is "born good and born free", as Jean Jacques Rousseau might say.

What is happening in the mind of the "bribe taker" and in those that do not have commitment to higher goals and inner ideals? What is happening in the mind of those tempted to leave the ideals and join a system that will turn them into pleasure-seeking, ego-building, power-abusing individuals who will continue to want more and more money to buy more and more power?

These are difficult questions for the self. These require us to go back to the drawing board of everything - self, family, schools, communities, formal and informal institutions, the media, etc. - to ask ourselves how we got into this abyss of political mess?

The technologies of dominance

Major projects - from the transformation of society through the Felda scheme, modernisation of the public sector, technologisation of services, multimedia-isation of Malaysia's super corridors, bio-technologisation of this country, and a range of items in developmentalist agenda - all these have been allowed to come to pass unchecked, unmediated, unexamined.

All these have taken their toll on the lives of the individuals and of the different ethnic groups. With these successive mode of production of the different stages of capitalist expansion as it collaborates with the international imperialist agenda comes newer form of addictive suffering and newer form of grand scale psychosomatic illness that impact different ethnic groups in different ways.

These have created alienation of the man/woman and labour. Unlike the padi cultivator whose life traditionally revolves around producing based on the "moral economy of the peasant society" and one in which the human being is close to nature, knows nature well, understands the signs of nature, communicates with it, respects it, and in turn nature does not easily get angry at him/her - the modern Malaysian man in the Age of Biotech Malaysia is alienated by the technologies and "expert knowledge" that alienates him/her in more sophisticated ways.

But all is lost for the farmer and for those close to nature.

Man's "natural self" too is lost in the process, eroded and corroded by the systems of alienation forced by other men who own specialised knowledge and shrewd political means.

All is now decided for the farmer, for the teacher, and for those who once have ownership of their lives.

In a country in which fear has become institutionalised in almost all spheres of life and pleasure-seeking and the distaste for critical sensibility are now the pillars of economic development, the natural self has become the fragmented self.

We have become sick to the soul.

Lao Tzu was right when he said that we " should not have carved the stone..." for the act of carving it spells the beginning of "destruction". The act of creating has in it the act of destroying. It is akin to the Shiva-Vishnu dance in the court of Brahma.

Let us have a hand in orchestrating the dance. For, we must dissolve the line that separates the dancer and the dance.

Man/Woman must become the choreographer of the dance of life.

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