patience, peace and purity

23 03 2011
Patience

 

Not mad rush, but undisturbed calmness brings wisdom.


44. God travels at a snail’s pace Those who want to do good are not selfish, they are not in a hurry, they know that to impregnate people with good requires a long time. –IHR, 2I.


45. Having flung aside the sword, there is nothing except the cup of love which I can offer to those who oppose me. It is by offering that cup that I expect to draw them close to me. I cannot think of permanent enmity between man and man and believing as I do in the theory of rebirth, I live in the hope that, if not in this birth, in some other birth, I shall be able to hug all humanity in friendly embrace. –YI, 2-4-3I, 54.


46.This is the path of ahimsa. It may entail continuous suffering and the cultivating of endless patience. Thus step by step we learn how to make friends with all the world; we realize the greatness of God-or Truth. Our peace of mind increases in spite of suffering; we become braver and more enterprising; we understand more clearly the difference between what is everlasting and what is not; we learn how to distinguish between what is our duty and what is not. Our pride melts away, and we become humble. Our worldly attachments diminish, and so does the evil within us diminish from day to day. –YM, I0.

Fearlessness

47. Fearlessness connotes freedom from all external fear-fear of disease, bodily injury and death, of dispossession, of losing one’s nearest and dearest, of losing reputation or giving offence, and so on. –YM, 4I.


48. We must give up all external fears. But the internal foes we must always fear. We are rightly afraid of animal passion, anger, and the like. External fears cease of their own accord, when once we have conquered these traitors within the camp. All such fears revolve round the body as the centre, and will, therefore, disappear as soon as one gets rid of attachment for the body. ‘We thus find that all external fear is the baseless fabric of our own vision. Fear has no place in our hearts, when we have shaken off the attachment for wealth, for family and for the body. Nothing whatever in the world is ours. Even we ourselves are His. When we cease to be masters, and reduce ourselves to the rank of servants, humbler than the very dust under our feet, all fears will roll away like must; we shall attain ineffable peace, and see Satyanarayana (the God of Truth) face to face. –YM, 43.


49. The pursuit of Truth is true bhakti (devotion). It is the path that leads to God, and, therefore, there is no place in it for cowardice, no place for defeat. It is the talisman by which death itself becomes the portal to life eternal. –YM,. 5


50. just as one must learn the art of killing in the training for violence, so one must learn the art of dying in the training for nonviolence. Violence does not mean emancipation from fear, but discovering the means of combating the cause of fear. Nonviolence, on the other hand, has no cause for fear. The votary of nonviolence has to cultivate the capacity for sacrifice of the highest type in order to be free from fear. He recks not if he should lose his land, his wealth, his life. He who has not overcome all fear cannot practice ahimsa to perfection. The votary of ahimsa has only one fear, that is of God. He who seeks refuge in God ought to have a glimpse of the Atman that transcends the body; and the moment one has a glimpse of the Imperishable Atman one sheds the love of the perishable body. Training in nonviolence is thus diametrically opposed to training in violence. Violence is needed for the protection of things external, nonviolence is needed for the protection of the Atman, for the protection of one’s honour.—H, I-9-40, 268.

Non-possession

51. If we are to be non-violent, we must then not wish for anything on this earth which the meanest or the lowest of human beings cannot have.—Ceylon, 132.


52. Possession implies provision for the future. A seeker after Truth, a follower of the law of Love cannot hold anything against tomorrow. God never stores for the morrow; He never creates more than what is strictly needed for the moment. If, therefore, we repose faith in His providence, we should rest assured that He will give us every day our daily bread, meaning everything that we require. Perfect fulfillment of the ideal of Non-possession requires that man should, like the birds, have no roof over his head, no clothing and no stock of food for the morrow. He will indeed need his daily bread, but it will be God’s business, and not his, to provide for it .-YM, 34.

mahatma ghandi

from:

http://www.mkgandhi.org/






Le terrorisme culturel est-il toujours de rigueur?

20 03 2011

le choix du silence

Le terrorisme culturel est-il toujours de rigueur?

« At best, styles are merely parts dissected from the unitary whole. All styles require adjustment, partiality, denials, condemnation and a lot of self-justification. The solutions they purport to provide are the very cause of the problem, because they limit and interfere with our natural growth and obstruct the way to genuine understanding. Divisive by nature, styles keep men apart from each other rather than unite them.»

Bruce Lee

La question se fait nécessité alors que la dérive culturelle postulée par Walter Benjamin menace de s’échouer contre une académie d’un popularisme absolu (un popularisme de la connaissance et de la technologie qui permet d’appréhender la sécurité d’une production dont l’existence est justifiée par la consommation systématique d’objets fixés dans la culture selon les schémas méthodiques de l’industrie du divertissement). Le monopole de production en masse n’est ainsi pas forcé sur l’individu mais au contraire insinué dans les schémas de comportement, par défaut.[1]

Face aux formules fixes et absolues qui ont pour fin d’éviter quelque risque ou doute qui puisse menacer la production, la création libre a peu d’espace ou d’opportunités de capter, voire garder l’attention d’un public fragilisé, devenu dépendant d’une facilité de l’échange dont l’épitomie est la télévision: omniprésence, accès facile et instantané nourrissent le besoin de plaisirs immédiats – in media. Le coût réel des instances du service-tout-compris est obscurci par l’acceptance de la multiplication de non-évènements (la douloureuse ne sévit qu’une fois l’an, souvent assumée par la carte de crédit, prélèvement automatique et maintenant, la somme se fond dans le coût de l’immobilier – toute maison se doit d’avoir une tv – pourquoi sortir ?). Aucun effort physique, intellectuel ou émotionnel n’est requis. Volonté et concentration sont victimes de divertissement, transférés vers une immobilité diffuse dans le temps. Le besoin de silence résonne d’échos télévisés de vide, un temps mort qui multiplie l’absence d’esprit.

Cette description d’un état culturel assiégé de complaisance est bien péssimisée quand on considère les options laissées aux artistes [et j’entends par là, non pas les techniciens créateurs d’une industrie de la surproduction technologique, non pas les interprètes d’un corps de métier simplifié et formalisé – de la star académie au conservatisme académique]. Les symptômes évoqués par Walter Benjamin obscurcissent la ligne de flottaison entre recherche et renforcement comportemental. Mais ces artistes, participants créatifs a une communication, intègres d’échanges réels sont eux aussi frappés d’appauvrisme culturel, du manque de sens qui marque le post post-modernisme, et ainsi sont limités a une prise de position.

Le manque de signification qui stigmatise l’art contemporain est dû a un refus de voir une œuvre comme commentaire, comme métalangage sur la fonction de l’art car, quand l’œuvre n’est considérée que comme expérience pure dans sa simplification, le contexte – son placement dans le temps et dans l’espace – n’est qu’accessoire puisque variable. On voit bien que la validité d’un travail ne se considère que par son mode de consommation, car l’œuvre, contrairement au contexte, contrairement à la relation au moment, la relation d’échange, peut bien être commodifiée, objet de commodité, assujettie a une appropriation propice. On voit actuellement les effets dont je parle ici : c’est un positionnement polarisé nécessaire face à une impossibilité de travailler, c’est-à-dire de fonctionner, d’évoluer, par exemple, en tant qu’improvisateur : manque de lieux, manque de fonds, d’un public déjà aseptisé. Et si c’est l’aspect fiscal qui prime dans les discours, le contrôle outre financier s’effectue de façon bien précise et systématique sur le contenu, sur la production d’une signification réduite à la validité d’un produit technologique.

Ainsi, la multiplication de semblants artistiques, une répétition étirée dans le temps, donne l’illusion de cohérence. Cette cohérence n’est bien sûr que faux-semblant puisqu’elle sécurise le développement, de façon ironique, dans la fixité. La position de l’artiste qui en réponse va favoriser l’instant, le spontané, le changement, est stigmatisée de résistance, c’est à dire de terrorisme. Dénué de l’effet WOW, la fascination pour la technologie (ce qui remplace le zèle de technique), le travail de l’artiste aura du mal a revisiter l’éthique du ‘techno tou biou’, maintenant déplacée, dépassée par un progrès hâtif.

Le langage, propice et actuel, relate l’action des média, dirigée par les élans politiques dont le désir de contrôle est rendu public. Cette dernière, relation politique, inclut industriels et financiers qui systématiquement déforment, déconstruisent et désincarnent les actes de résistance sociale et culturelle afin de les aliéner de la pensée commune. Diviser pour mieux régner, le modèle militaire est bel et bien actif puisqu’il multiplie les manifestations du travail de l’ego – fragmentation, transfert, refoulement – sur tous les plans de l’existence.

D’une position d’affaiblissement, les actes de résistance se doivent d’être courageux, clairsemés et succincts, ciblés. Mais afin d’être efficaces, les actes d’ouverture doivent éviter la menace du doute, de l’insécurité, cette peur de l’inconnu inspirée par un refus d’approfondir, d’appréhender la signification : éviter à tout prix le stigmate de l’agression, de l’invasion de l’intimité, de l’exploitation émotionnelle qui seront instinctivement refoulés puisqu’ils font écho à la structure de l’ego et à celle du capitalisme. En suivant cette avenue, l’artiste du futur se trouve dans l’impasse de l’expression sanatisée, de la communication à l’abri des émotions, dépourvue de sens, de l’échange à l’abris d’écrans géants. Si les fréquences officielles croissent (le La de concert se resserre vers les 442Hz) ainsi augmentant les intervalles, les distances qui séparent les individus, les familles, les cœurs, servent bien l’age de la communication virtuelle. Peut-être voit-on là une dérive naturelle vers l’entropie, ou, comme Freud, une atrophie des fonctions vitales, l’instinct de mort d’un système malade – unisson dans la fugue.

À ces difficultés auxquelles l’improvisation se heurte s’ajoute un problème qui touche tout le monde de l’art. Tout d’abord, on le ressent dans le transfert des structures et des placements de fonds dédiés à l’art et la culture. Le pouvoir de décision des gouvernements locaux est globalisé d’une part, ce qui rend l’accès plus difficile pour l’individu et favorise les schémas de ‘corporations’ où l’individu se fond. D’autre part, le passage de multiples sources à une source nationale s’accompagne d’un amoindrissement prévisible du montant global disponible. De plus, un transfert latéral s’effectue en délégant le pouvoir de contrôle de la création artistique vers des industries multiples (des go-between qui se sucrent au passage et décident des critères de choix) outre celles de l’art et du divertissement  qui ne peuvent plus assumer leur enjeu: c’est maintenant l’art au service de la science, l’art qui justifie les plateformes de la communication moderne, art-objet publicitaire, assujetti aux plans financiers de corporations (voir Beyond oil: the oil curse and solutions for an oil-free future.pdf (pp. 20-3) from: http://www.carbonweb.org/index.asp

see also: http://www.platformlondon.org/).

C’est à dire que les subventions disponibles aux artistes sont soit de l’ordre privé et donc assujetties à des intérêts ‘justifiés’ qui contrôlent mode de production et objet final, soit ces subventions restent publiques (mais fortement amoindries) et d’autant plus ciblées… et ne sont accessibles qu’aux institutionnels. Comme dans le commerce, les petites et moyennes entreprises disparaissent dans une dérive vers la médiocrité alors que les décisions et choix qui tracent le chemin de la culture ne sont plus d’ordre moral ou esthétique mais purement financier.

Et bien sûr, historiquement, le développement des technologies du divertissement, ainsi que celles de la science et de l’industrie joue un rôle de feedback très positif pour la recherche militaire. Art comme justification à la guerre, à la production hystérique qui réduit la notion de sens, de contenu d’un travail à sa relation au format choisi (ou l’art n’est qu’un pré-texte), au contexte de la diffusion. Les exemples sont multiples, le compositeur contemporain ne trouvera qu’encouragements dans le développement de ‘patchs’ ou autres effets d’interfaces académiques, dans l’exploitation des plateformes de communication comme l’Internet ou les téléphones portables, l’exploration de technologies de diffusion, etc.… toutes dépendantes d’une commodité. Des compagnies de téléphone qui subventionnent les vidéastes du contenu d’une minute, le format pop est aussi ‘in’, et c’est son règne qui domine. C’est aussi celui de l’invitation systématique à la consommation, à la réduction du sens, des sens, dans la satisfaction immédiate.

L’ensemble de ces schémas trace le contour d’une culture de l’entreprise commerciale, seul point nodal entre société et communauté, et donc gérant la nature de toute corrélation entre les deux. Ce qui nous mène très rapidement vers une systémisation de la communauté en tant qu’organisme ; un univers rigide informant toute pratique, où toutes relations sociales sont appréhendées comme au sein d’une entreprise, par le biais de financement, d’appropriation, de bénéfice ludique. On observe, en effet, comme les individus adoptent un comportement similaires aux corporations, une officialité qui valide et justifie l’être.

La boucle du langage, ordre de la symbolique par excellence, est bouclée alors que toute communication linguistique (outil né du commerce) sera marquée du sceau de l’échange intéressé. Dans un contexte d’une telle toxicité, on peut envisager que par extension, toute communication sera réduite au pseudo échange, au financement d’intérêts émotionnels, personnels. On ne peut échapper au travail de l’ego… puisque le refoulé revient au galop.

La réduction formulaique touche aussi la réalité des projets subventionnés qui de façon aussi systématique s’embourbent dans les marécages de la bureaucratie, dépensent plus dans la justification et le compte-rendu qu’ils ne passent dans le développement ou la production et souffrent toujours du petit mal de la date limite. C’est ici que se ressent le manque d’attention pour le développement du travail mais aussi de l’artiste qui devient simple producteur à la demande, exploitant d’art, artisan exploité.

Dans un tel consensus, faut-il opérer systématiquement en dehors et a l’encontre des structures établies, officielles  afin de pouvoir être efficace et productif dans son travail? Foucault préconiserait une réflexion sur ce qui est nécessaire, sur l’économie[2]. Mais sa recherche met aussi la lumière sur les relations de pouvoir à la formatisation, normalisation et sur les principes qui gèrent les établissements qui multiplient les instances de fragmentation, de transfert, donc du refoulement de l’expression libre, de l’activité fluide et créative. Il n’est donc pas étonnant de voir la création reléguée en ligue du superflu, et divertie de son cours.

À l’age de la communication, l’échange réel se fait rare, au détriment de la politique langagière de la finance. Dans Les mots et les choses, Foucault nomme le même phénomène qu’a observé Schaeffer dans The Soundscape; la codification limite toute communication (linguistique ou musicale) l’appauvris dans la pratique et l’habitude jusqu’à la perte de reconnaissance (manque de mémoire-association pleine-riche), la perte de connaissance, c’est-à-dire de la relation au sens, à la cohésion qui reste cachée, bannie derrière la simplification arbitraire du signe. Monopole des schémas dysfonctionnels, ralentissement et perte de temps et d’énergie passée dans la résistance aux blocages ; la similitude à l’état de névrose est frappante. Et nous ne pouvons nous retenir d’évoquer ici la notion d’inconscient collectif, considérée maintenant alors que l’on observe les actes sociaux ainsi que les relations organiques dans leur équivalence.

Le collectif, la société comme système actif, vivant et donc soumis aux modulations du changement qu’elle tente de contrôler en réprimant toute instance d’ouverture, de potentiel créatif pour favoriser la répétition, la fixité, la sécurité, ou tout autre méthode qui mène au blocage, acte ultime de contrôle. Le ça-voir est absolu dans le monde visuel de la fuite et du trompe-l’oeil. Les métaphores de l’ordre symbolique se multiplient, se renforcent, se synchronisent, et résonnent à l’unisson.

Il semble même que quelle que soit l’intention d’un organisme, d’une association, son statut officiel l’assujetti aux règles de fonctionnement imposées, la rend dépendante des structures mères, des pratiques pré-établies. Implications et frais multiples associés au ‘bon fonctionnement’ (on ne va pas questionner l’absolu…) sont une fois de plus portées par l’artiste consommateur de biens et services, et plié au bon vouloir d’organisateurs ou autre point nodal du réseau de financement de la culture.

La question n’est pas, faut-il participer ? Car chacun devra décider de la validité de ses actions en considérant le contexte et en observant (ou pas) les bons conseils du père Foucault, par soucis d’efficacité. Ce qui me fascine ici est le phénomène de renforcement disharmonique, fruit des années perdues, de la fascination dans l’horreur qui a marqué les années 80 – années décisives dans la division des cellules sociales, des individus. Un renforcement du réel dans l’acceptance et la répétition de contrats de travail immobilisant l’élan artistique dans des actes déterminés, appauvris par l’effet Benjamin a l’ère de la reproduction mécanique de formules fixes.

J’invite donc le lecteur a une réflexion  sur les phénomènes bien connus, en musique comme en physique, de résonance (sympathique), d’entraînement, de renforcement, de feedback positif ou négatif, en relation au comportement, aux effets de notre participation a l’action des corporations, etc. C’est-à-dire de considérer chaque instance, chaque acte signifiant et formateur au sein de systèmes de champs vibratoires hiérarchisés. Trop souvent les pulsations les plus prononcées, les plus présentes l’emportent, entraînant les plus faibles vers une standardisation, une fixité dans la formulation, au détriment de la formation de savoir, d’expériences. Libérée de l’enclos chromatique, la recherche musicale peut-elle être libre ?

19 Jul 2010

Bibliographie:

Benjamin, Walter. The Work of Art in the Age of the Mechanical Reproduction. 1935

Chanan, Michael. Repeated Takes: A Short History of Recording and its Effects on Music. Verso: London, 1995

Foucault, Michel. Les Mots et les Choses. Gallimard : Paris, 1966.

Foucault, Michel. What Is Enlightenment?.

http://foucault.info/documents/whatIsEnlightenment/foucault.whatIsEnlightenment.en.html

in:

Rabinow, Paul. The Foucault Reader. New York: Pantheon Books, 1984

the Repressive Hypothesis in:

Foucault, Michel. Histoire de la sexualité. Gallimard : Paris, 1994

Lacan, Jacques. Le stade du miroir. 1949

http://pagesperso-orange.fr/espace.freud/topos/psycha/psysem/miroir.htm

see also:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Lacan

Schafer, R. Murray. The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and The tuning of the World. Destiny Books: Rochester, 1977

Moore, Wes. Television: Opiate of the Masses. http://old.disinfo.com/archive/pages/article/id1149/pg2/index.html

Beyond oil: the oil curse and solutions for an oil-free future.pdf (pp. 20-3)

http://www.platformlondon.org/

http://www.carbonweb.org/index.asp

Lee, Bruce. The Tao of Jeet Kune Do. Ohara Publications, 1975

Jung, CG. Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Vol.9, 1ère partie, 2nd ed., Princeton University Press, 1968

Freud, Sigmund. L’interprétation des rêves. PUF, Édition de 1900


[1] “[…] it did not set a barrier, it provided places for maximal saturation” Foucault, the Repressive Hypothesis.

[2] We must try to proceed with the analysis of ourselves as beings who are historically determined, to a certain extent, by the Enlightenment. Such an analysis implies a series of historical inquiries that are as precise as possible; and these inquiries will not be oriented retrospectively toward the “essential kernel of rationality” that can be found in the Enlightenment and that would have to be preserved in any event; they will be oriented toward the “contemporary limits of the necessary,” that is, toward what is not or is no longer indispensable for the constitution of ourselves as autonomous subjects. MICHEL FOUCAULT in What Is Enlightenment?

(http://foucault.info/documents/whatIsEnlightenment/foucault.whatIsEnlightenment.en.html)





technique or technology cannot replace emotions

20 03 2011

“If we study life today – in spite of the great progress of science, radio, telephone, phonograph, and all the wonders of this age – we find that the psychological aspect of music, poetry and art does not seem to develop as it should. On the contrary, it is going backward. And if we ask what is the reason, the answer will be that the whole progress of humanity today is in the first place a mechanical progress. This hinders in a way the progress of individualism.

 

It seems that we are restricted by uniformity, that there is no scope, you will find the same thing in the mechanical and scientific worlds. But in art especially, where the greatest freedom is necessary, one is restricted by uniformity, painters and musicians cannot get their work recognized. They must follow the crowd instead of following the great souls. All that is general is ordinary […] what is called uniformity has become a hindrance to individual development.” (p.98)

 

” When music has become commercial, its beauty is lost; it has lost much of its value.

There was a time in the East when every effort was made by the aristocracy of India to keep the art of music from being commercialised […] The musician was not restricted by his programme. He was left to feel by his intuition what the people wanted. He had to decide at the moment he saw them, and as he went on playing or singing he knew more. The chemical effect of the minds of the listeners told him what they wanted. So at the end it was a spiritual treat.

The secret of all magnetism, whether expressed through personality or through music, is life. It is life which charms, which is attractive. What we are always seeking for is life, and it is the lack of life which may be called lack of magnetism. If musical teaching is given on this principle it will be most successful in bringing about psychological results. It is on the health of the physical body, on thought, on imagination, and on the heart –which is often cold and frozen!– that the psychological power of music depends. It is this life which the musician puts through his fingertips when playing the violin, or through his voice when singing.

What the world is seeking, what human souls yearn for, is that life – whether it comes through music, colour and line, or through words. It is that life which everyone desires. It is life which is the real source of healing. Music can heal, if life is put into it. There is no great secret about it, if a person is able to understand the truth in its simplicity. When a person plays mechanically, the fingers running about the piano or violin almost automatically, it may create a temporary effect, but it soon passes.” (p. 100)

 

 

From:

Hazrat Inayat Khan.

“The mysticism of sound and music”. London: 1996, Shambala Dragon Editions





harmony

20 03 2011

“Why is music called  the divine art, while all other arts are not so called? We may certainly see God in all arts and in all sciences, but in music alone we see God free from all forms and thoughts. In every other art there is idolatry. Every thought, every word has its form. Sound alone is free from form. Every word of poetry forms a picture in our mind. Sound alone does not make any object appear before us. (p.2)

[…] for those who follow the path of the inner cult, music is most essential for their spiritual development. The reason is that the soul who is seeking for truth is in search of the formless God. (p.4)

 

Speaking of the harmony of music, I should like to say that the true harmony of music comes from the harmony of the soul. That music alone can be called real which comes from the harmony of the soul, its true source, and when it comes from there it must appeal to all souls […]

When a person learns music, [s]he need not necessarily learn to be a musician, or to become a source of pleasure and joy to his fellow-men. No! By playing, loving and hearing music [s]he should develop music in his [/her] personality. The true use of music is to become musical in one’s thoughts, words and actions […]

 

Why people like or dislike each other is owing to their different stages of evolution […] It is the same in religion. Some stick to certain beliefs and do not wish to evolve beyond. So it is possible that the lover of music may be tempted to keep to a certain sort of music and will not rise further. The true way of progressing through music is to evolve freely, to go forward, not caring what others think, and in this way, together with one’s development in music, to harmonise the life of one’s soul, one’s surroundings and one’s affairs. (pp. 7-8)

 

From: Hazrat Inayat Khan.

“The mysticism of sound and music”. London: 1996, Shambala Dragon Editions.





Satyagraha

20 03 2011

 

rendered into English means Truth-Force. I think Tolstoy called it also soul-Force or Love-Force, and so it is. Carried out to its utmost limit, this force is independent of pecuniary or other material assistance: certainly, even in its elementary form, of physical force or violence. Indeed, violence is the negation of this great spiritual force which can only be cultivated or wielded by those who will entirely eschew violence. It is a force that may be used by individuals as well as by communities. It may be used as well in political as in domestic affairs. Its universal applicability is a demonstration of its permanence and invincibility. It can be used alike by men, women and children.

 

This force is to violence and, therefore, to all tyranny, all injustice, what light is to darkness. In politics, its use is based upon the immutable maxim that government of the people is possible only so long as they consent either consciously or unconsciously to be governed. The use of this force requires the adoption of poverty, in the sense that we must be indifferent whether we have the wherewithal to feed or clothe ourselves. For this exercise, prolonged training of the individual soul is an absolute necessity so that a perfect passive resister has to be almost if not entirely, a perfect man. We cannot all suddenly become such men, but if my proposition is correct-as I know it to be correct-the greater the spirit of passive resistance in us, the better men we will become. Its use, therefore, is, I think, indisputable, and it is a force which, if it became universal, would revolutionize social ideals and do away with despotism’s and the ever-growing militarism under which the nations of the West are groaning and are being almost crushed to death.

 

It should be an essential of real education that a child should learn that, in the struggle of life, it can easily conquer hate by love, untruth by truth, violence by self-suffering.

 

Non-co-operation is not a passive state, it is an intensely active state, more active than physical resistance or violence. Passive resistance is a misnomer.

 

A satyagrahi sometimes appears momentarily to disobey laws and the constituted authority only to prove in the end his regard for both.

 

Disobedience to the law of the State becomes a peremptory duty when it comes in conflict with the law of God.

 

While in passive resistance there is scope for the use of arms when a suitable occasion arrives, in satyagraha physical force is forbidden even in the most favourable circumstances.

 

In passive resistance there is always present idea of harassing the other party and there is a simultaneous readiness to undergo any hardships entailed upon us by such activity; while is satyagraha there is not the remotest idea of injuring the opponent. Satyagraha postulates the conquest of the adversary by suffering in one’s own person.

 

It is never the intention of a satyagrahi to embarrass the wrongdoer. The appeal is never to his fear; it is, must be, always to his heart. The satyagrahis object is to convert, not to coerce, the wrongdoer, He should avoid artificiality in all his doings. He acts naturally and from inward conviction.

 

Whilst we may attack measures and systems. We may not, must not, attack men. Imperfect ourselves, we must be tender towards others and be slow to impute motives.

 

Immediately we begin to think of things as our opponents think of them we shall be able to do them full justice. I know that this requires a detached state of mind, and it is a state very difficult to reach. Nevertheless for a satyagrahi it is absolutely essential. Three-fourths of the miseries and misunderstandings of the world will disappear, if we step into the shoes of our adversaries and understand their standpoint. We will then agree with our adversaries quickly or think of them charitably. In our case there is no question of our agreeing with them quickly as our ideals are radically different. But we may be charitable to them and believe that they actually mean what they say. They do not want to open the roads to the unapproachable.* Now whether it is their self-interest or ignorance that tells them to say so, we really believe that it is wrong of them to say so. Our business therefore is to show them that they are in the wrong and we should do so by our suffering. I have found that mere appeal to reason does not answer where prejudices are age long and based on supposed religious authority. Reason has to be strengthened by suffering and suffering opens the eyes of understanding. Therefore there must be no trace of compulsion in our acts. We must not be impatient, and we must have an undying faith in the means we are adopting.

 

Our motto must ever be conversion by gently persuasion and a constant appeal to the head and the heart. We must therefore be ever courteous and patient with those who do not see eye to eye with us. We must resolutely refuse to consider our opponents as enemies of the country.

 

The end of non-violent ‘war’ is always an agreement, never dictation, much less humiliation of the opponent.

 

A satyagrahi bids goodbye to fear. He is therefore never afraid to trusting the opponent. Even if the opponent plays him false twenty times, the satyagrahi is ready to trust him the twenty-first time, for an implicit trust in human nature is the very essence of his creed.

 

NON-CO-OPERATING, NOT WITH A PART, BUT WITH THE WHOLE SYSTEM

 

567. I was faced with the very question as the author of the Non-co-operation Movement. I said to myself, there is no State run by Nero or Mussolini which has not good points about it, but we have to reject the whole, once we decide to non-co-operate with the system. ‘There are in our country grand public roads, and palatial educational institutions,’ said I to myself, ‘but they are part of a system which crushes the nation. I should not have anything to do with them. They are like the fabled snake with a brilliant jewel on its head, but which has fangs full of poison.’ So I came to the conclusion that the British rule in India had crushed the spirit of the nation and stunted its growth, and so I decided to deny myself all the privileges, services, courts, titles. The policy would vary with different countries but sacrifice and self-denial are the essential points.

 

Non-cooperation in military services and service in non-military matters are not compatible. ‘Definitely’ military service is an ill-chosen word. You are all the while giving military service by deputy because you are supporting a State which is based on military service.

 

You will have to extend the scope of non-co-operation (from mere refusal to serve in war) to (the non-payment of) your taxes.

 

Those only can take up civil disobedience, who believe in willing obedience even to irksome laws imposed by the State so long as they do not hurt their conscience or religion, and are prepared equally willingly to suffer the penalty of civil disobedience. Disobedience to be civil has to be absolutely non-violent, the underlying principle being the winning over of the opponent by suffering, i.e. love.

 

The Right of Civil Disobedience

 

Most people do not understand the complicated machinery of the government. They do not realize that every citizen silently but none the less certainly sustains the government of the day in ways of which he has no knowledge. Every citizen therefore renders himself responsible for every act of his government. And it is quite proper to support it so long as the actions of the government are bearable. But when they hurt him and his nation, it becomes his duty to withdraw his support.

 

Basic Assumptions for Successful Satyagraha

 

1. There must be common honesty among satyagrahis.
2. They must render heart discipline to their commander. There should be no mental reservation.
3. They must be prepared to lose all, not merely their personal liberty, not merely their possessions, land, cash, etc. but also the liberty and possessions of their families, and they must be ready cheerfully to face bullets, bayonets, or even slow death by torture.
4. They must not be violent in thought, word or deed towards the ‘enemy’ or among themselves.
Cultivation of the Democratic spirit Essential for the Satyagrahi

 

A born democrat is a born disciplinarian. Democracy comes naturally to him who is habituated normally to yield willing obedience to all laws, human or divine. I claim to be a democrat both by instinct and training. Let those who are ambitious to serve democracy qualify themselves by satisfying first this acid test of democracy. Moreover, a democrat must be utterly selfless. He must think and dream not in terms of self or party but only of democracy. Only then does he acquire the right of civil disobedience. I do not want anybody to give up his convictions or to suppress himself. I do not believe that a healthy and honest difference of opinion will injure our cause. But opportunism, camouflage or patched up compromises certainly will. If you must dissent, you should take care that your opinions voice your innermost convictions and are not intended merely as a convenient party cry.

 

I value individual freedom but you must not forget that man is essentially a social being. He has risen to his present status by learning to adjust his individualism to the requirements of social progress. Unrestricted individualism is the law of the beast of the jungle. We have learnt to strike the mean between individual freedom and social restraint. Willing submission to social restraint for the sake of the wellbeing of the whole society, enriches both the individual and the society of which one is a member.

 

It is true that in the vast majority of cases, it is the duty of a subject to submit to wrongs on failure of the usual procedure, so long as they do not affect his vital being. But every nation and every individual have the right, and it is their duty, to rise against an intolerable wrong. I do not believe in armed rising. They are a remedy worse than the disease sought to be cured. They are a token of the spirit of revenge and impatience and anger. The method of violence cannot do good in the long run. Witness the effect of the armed rising of the Allied powers against Germany. Have they not become even like the Germans, as the latter have been depicted to us by them?

 

We have a better method. Unlike that of violence it certainly involves the exercise of restraint and patience; but it requires also resoluteness of will. This method is to refuse to be party to the wrong. No tyrant has ever yet succeeded in his purpose without carrying the victim with him, it may be, as it often is, by force. Most people choose rather to yield to the will of the tyrant than to suffer for the consequence of resistance. Hence does terrorism form part of the stock-in-trade of the tyrant. But we have instances in history where terrorism has failed to impose the terrorist’s will upon his victim. It is clear that we must refuse to submit to this official violence. Appeal to the Parliament by all means, if necessary, but if the Parliament fails us and if we are worthy to call ourselves a nation, we must refuse to uphold the Government by withdrawing co-operation from it.

 

Complete civil disobedience is rebellion without the element of violence in it. An out-and-out civil resister simply ignores the authority of the State. He becomes an outlaw claiming to disregard every unmoral State law. Thus, for instance, he may refuse to pay taxes, he may refuse to recognize the authority of the State in his daily intercourse. He may refuse to obey the law of trespass and claim to enter military barracks in order to speak to the soldiers, he may refuse to submit to limitations upon the manner of picketing and may picket within the proscribed area. In doing all this he never uses force and never resists force when it is used against him. In fact, he invites imprisonment and other uses of force against himself. This he does because and when he finds the bodily freedom he seemingly enjoys to be an intolerable burden. He argues to himself, that a State allows persona freedom only in so far as the citizen submits to its regulations. Submission to the state law is the price a citizen pays for his personal liberty. Submission, therefore, to a State law wholly or largely unjust is an immoral barter for liberty. A citizen who thus realizes the evil nature of a State is not satisfied to live on its sufferance, and therefore appears to the others who do not share his belief to be a nuisance to society whilst he is endeavouring to compel the State, without committing a moral breach, to arrest him. Thus considered, civil resistance is a most powerful expression of a soul’s anguish and an eloquent protest against the continuance of an evil State. Is not this the story of all reform? Have not reformers, much to the disgust of their fellows, discarded even innocent symbols associated with an evil practice?

 

It is true that I have often been let down. Many have deceived me and many have been found wanting. But I do not repent of my association with them. For I know how to non-co-operate, as I know how to co-operate. The most practical, the most dignified way of going on in the world is to take people at their word, when you have no positive reason to the contrary.
No Compulsion in Satyagraha

 

Our tyranny, if we impose our will on others, will be infinitely worse than that of the handful of Englishmen who form the bureaucracy. Theirs is a terrorism imposed by a minority struggling to exist in the midst of opposition. Ours will be a terrorism imposed by a majority and therefore worse and really more godless than the first. We must therefore eliminate compulsion in any shape from our struggle. If we are only a handful holding freely the doctrine of non-co-operation, we may have to die in the attempt to convert others to our view, but we shall have truly defended and represented our cause. If however we enlist under our banner men by force, we shall be denying our cause and God, and if we seem to succeed for the moment, we shall have succeeded in establishing a worse terror.

 

We shall also retard our cause if we suppress opinion by intolerance. For then we shall never know who is with us and who is against us. The indispensable condition therefore of success is that we encourage the greatest freedom of opinion. It is the least we can learn from the present ‘masters’. Their Penal Code contains drastic punishments for holding opinions they do not like. And they have arrested some of the noblest of our countrymen for expression of their opinion. Our non-co-operation is a defiantly open protest against that system. We may not in the very act of fighting the restraint on opinion be guilty ourselves of imposing it on others.
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Dovecote tunnel: it’s happening now

20 03 2011

Sounding Out. An exploration of natural acoustics, architecture and sacred sites.
in situ improvisations, inspired by the spirit (and the acoustics) of a location, and by the now.

Being in the moment is possibly one of the most difficult things in modern times. Playing improvisation certainly helps develop a sense, an ear, a feeling for being present and bouncing off whatever comes your way. Hopefully, since we are talking music here, what comes your way is only sounds. If cans of beer and tomatoes (worse, rotten eggs…) start flying, then it’s best not to be there altogether…!

Presence, is of course, presence of mind, focus, and attention to details, to what one is doing. In a live context, as in life in general, this is really a hard task when so much is happening, on stage but also in the audience. Mixed energies, conflicts of personality, multiple melodic lines and cross rhythms… And as a musician, one has to be open, to listen out and respond to all this…

After many years of this exploratory activity, i have played in many types of locations, outdoor, and also inside churches, abbeys – which i still consider outdoors, to a certain extent. By this i mean that it is away from a controlled environment (home or studio), or from an out of control, environment for that matter (like on stage….!) and at best, are just as cold and damp as it is outside… in winter.

And Dovecote tunnel, in Derbyshire, is one of those special places where i like to return again and again. I cannot say it is a pleasant place, like many of the churches i have visited, aesthetically pleasing and peaceful energy. Still, the tunnel is located in a rural area amongst beautiful scenery. It is long enough to feel sheltered and yet in open air. But mostly, it has an outstanding character, built with stone (not concrete, which helps), and a reverb that lasts more than 6 seconds, with its own idiosyncratic tone and colour.

More than anywhere else, the architecture becomes another instrument one has to be aware of and interact with.

All the Sounding Out recordings are based on this very idea of playing with a space, in the moment. And every location imposes a certain mood, an approach to playing, and sometimes specific tones when they inhabit the environment, respond to its resonant frequency(ies).

But here is something special. A tunnel is simply a long tube. So i am blowing my soprano sax (a long tube) inside another one. And the tunnel as its own resonant frequency and strong character that you simply cannot escape. So much that if one plays a note near enough the formant frequency, the space bends the note until it blends and joins in the ‘correct’ tuning of the place.

The sustain is so long that what you have just played is still interacting with what you are now playing. This is beats paradise. The round shape carries sounds perfectly (so everything sounds clear even at a distance, in spite of the MASSIVE reverb) and all sounds are really amplified. Mega-reinforcement and beatings, immersed in sound, it’s better than a massage… this is brain loving cuddles and blowing sweet kisses into your ear lobe.

Even in the winter season, i just forget about fingers becoming blue and sax being cold and out of tune… i just can’t leave. It’s like walking into your favourite record shops. Which is bad news cos you are lost to the world for hours. Yet, being lost in sound, still implies complete focus on all waves. Like riding on the crest (yes, my surfer friends). Hearing both tiny details and the whole soundscape at the same time. It is like meditation.

Last time i got lost in sound, this happened:

returning home

swainsley tunnel
derbyshire
soprano saxophone, 08 march 2011

Dovecote tunnel, Swainsley 08 03 2011
hervé perez, soprano saxophone, ⓒ 2011





Electro Magnetic Frequencies

20 03 2011

the future is bright

“section 1-I
You cannot see it, taste it or smell it, but it is one of the most pervasive environmental exposures in industrialized countries today.  Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) or electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are the terms that broadly describe exposures created by the vast array of wired and wireless technologies that have altered the landscape of our lives in countless beneficial ways.
However, these technologies were designed to maximize energy efficiency and convenience; not with biological effects on people in mind.  Based on new studies, there is growing evidence among scientists and the public about possible health risks associated with these technologies.
[…]
Today’s public exposure limits for telecommunications are based on the presumption that heating of tissue (for RF)  or induced electric currents in the body (for ELF) are the only concerns when living organisms are exposed to RF. [But] It appears it is the INFORMATION conveyed by electromagnetic radiation (rather than heat) that causes biological changes – some of these biological changes may lead to loss of wellbeing, disease and even death.
section 1-II  SUMMARY OF THE SCIENCE
The evidence that power lines and other sources of ELF are consistently associated with higher rates of childhood leukemia has resulted in the International Agency for Cancer Research (an arm of the World Health Organization) to classify ELF as a Possible Human Carcinogen (in the Group 2B carcinogen list).
Radio frequency radiation from cell phone and cordless phone exposure has been linked in more than one dozen studies to increased risk for brain tumors and/or acoustic neuromas (a tumor in the brain on a nerve related to our hearing).
Exposure to electromagnetic fields has been studied in connection with Alzheimer’s disease, motor neuron disease and Parkinson’s disease.  These diseases all involve the death of specific neurons and may be classified as neurodegenerative diseases. There is evidence that high levels of amyloid beta are a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, and exposure to ELF can increase this substance in the brain.  There is considerable evidence that melatonin can protect the brain against damage leading to Alzheimer’s disease, and also strong evidence that exposure to ELF can reduce melatonin levels.  Thus it is hypothesized that one of the body’s main protections against developing Alzheimer’s disease (melatonin) is less available to the body when people are exposed to ELF.
Prolonged exposure to ELF fields could alter calcium (Ca2+) levels in neurons and induce oxidative stress.   It is also possible that prolonged exposure to ELF fields may stimulate neurons (particularly large motor neurons) into synchronous firing, leading to damage by the buildup of toxins.
Cancer risk is related to DNA damage, which alters the genetic blueprint for growth and development.   If DNA is damaged (the genes are damaged) there is a risk that these damaged cells will not die.  Instead they will continue to reproduce themselves with damaged DNA, and this is one necessary pre-condition for cancer.  Reduced DNA repair may also be an important part of this story.  When the rate of damage to DNA exceeds the rate at which DNA can be repaired, there is the possibility of retaining mutations and initiating cancer.  Studies on how ELF and RF may affect genes and DNA is important, because of the possible link to cancer.
Both ELF and RF exposures can be considered genotoxic (will damage DNA) under certain conditions of exposure, including exposure levels that are lower than existing safety limits.
The immune system is another defense we have against invading organisms (viruses, bacteria, and other foreign molecules).  It protects us against illness, infectious diseases, and tumor cells. There are many different kinds of immune cells; each type of cell has a particular purpose, and is launched to defend the body against different kinds of exposures that the body determines might be harmful.
There is substantial evidence that ELF and RF can cause inflammatory reactions, allergy reactions and change normal immune function at levels allowed by current public safety standards.
section 17-I
There is reason to believe that children may be more susceptible to the effects of EMF exposure since they are growing, their rate of cellular activity and division is more rapid, and they may be more at risk for DNA damage and subsequent cancers.  Growth and development of the central nervous system is still occurring well into the teenage years so that neurological changes may be of great importance to normal development, cognition, learning, and behavior.  Prenatal exposure to EMF have been identified as possible risk factor for childhood leukemia.  Children are largely unable to remove themselves from exposures to harmful substances in their environments.   Their exposure is involuntary.
Like second-hand smoke, EMF is a complex mixture, where different frequencies, intensities, durations of exposure(s), modulation, waveform and other factors is known to produce variable effects.  Many years of scientific study has produced substantial evidence that EMF may be considered to be both carcinogenic and neurotoxic.
section 17-III
The deployment of new technologies is running ahead of any reasonable estimation of possible health impacts and estimates of probabilities, let alone a solid assessment of risk.  However what has been missing with regard to EMF has been an acknowledgement of the risk that is demonstrated by the scientific studies.  As discussed in earlier sections, in this case there is clear evidence of risk, although the magnitude of the risk is uncertain, and the magnitude of doing nothing on the health effects cost to society is similarly uncertain.  This situation is very similar to our history of dealing with the hazards of smoking decades ago, where the power of the industry to influence governments and even conflicts of interest within the public health community delayed action for more than a generation, with consequent loss of life and enormous extra health care costs to society.”
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