Tag Archives: pride

Five common realities – facts en logic 15

“I think that we have finished our conversation about the paradox within the mind of the warrior in ourselves too abruptly. Although at an earlier age and in another way, I have known the euphoria of the conqueror. As young girl, I had caught a grasshopper in a matchbox. I felt an unknown joy; I would never be lonely any-more, because I would always have a companion in my life. When I had shaken the box, I could hear my grasshopper. The next morning the grasshopper was death. This was my first real loss in my life; herewith I lost my innocence: this started my decay. When I look at the Palace of the Medici, I am reminded of my matchbox”, says Carla.

Feiten en logica 15a.jpg[1]

“I had read somewhere that the family of de Medici – after a short exile from Florence – had wished to use its influence behind the scenes in the 15e centurary and purposely had wished to have a low profile to the outside world. The outside of this palace – build in commission of Cosimo de Medice – shows this strive [2]”, says Man

Carla, Man and Narrator enter the palace.

“In the 15th century the well-off in Florence were aware of the periodic floods of the Arno River, therefore they had their living areas on the first floor. This palace resembles the Ark of Noah [3] from the book Genesis in the Old Testament. In this palace an image was available of all wealth and of everything of value within the de Medici family. Everything in this Palace is a miniature reflection and a reminder of the conquests of the family in the outside world. When the tide goes well, then the reflection and the memory will be brought back into reality. This Palace shows the inner world of the family in all its wishes and with all its expectations”, says Narrator.

feiten en logica 15b.[4]

“In this hall Luca Giordano [5], the aspiration of the familiy – displayed within this palace – shows God-like traits. The paintings on the ceiling of this hall resemble the ceiling paintings in the churches of this city.

feiten en logica 15c.[6]

The second dynasty of the Medici family is depicted by the painter Luca Giordano as a mirror image of the heaven wherein Cosimo de Medici – as the Central father-god – enthrones above his two sons and his brother. Here shows the inner of the prevailing “warrior” the ambition to at least match the Christian Divine Trinity, if not to take the place of God”, says Man.

feiten en logica 15d.[7]

“That is evident. At the height of his power, a warrior feels invincible and supreme: the warrior evades the world of mortals; the warrior can conquer the whole world. At the same time, the world of the warrior is dehumanised; care for the environment and the empathy for living beings and humans disappears. A state of euphoria – a perception of uniqueness and omnipotence, self-centredly focused on the warrior, his compagnons and the world for which they exist – arises. This state of euphoria can be recognised within Arjuna and Kṛṣṇa when they shot arrows with joy at everything that tried to escape from the fire in the Khandava forest, within you Narrator when you as a young warrior with a militia in Central Africa shot at everyone who tried to escape from a burning village, and within Karl Marlantes [8] when he – as lieutenant at the American Marines during the Vietnam war – let the air forces drop napalm on the jungle with Vietcong fighters [9]. ” says Carla.

feiten en logica 15e.[10]

“”The hel are the others” [11], had Jean-Paul Sartre written in one of his plays, maybe also because the others limit the warrior in his omnipotence – and thereby in his freedom”, says Man.

“You explain my feelings of joy and exhileration during the shooting at all and everyone who tried to escape from the burning village very well. But after this euphoria I felt shame and fathomless emptiness. In the first part of our Odyssee to “Who are you” [12] – at the description of the Peloponnesische war – we noticed on on-going cycle of honour/power – pride – wrath – revenge [13] among the parties concerned. In my experience we must add to this cycle “shame and emptiness” that simultaneously is an antipode to honour and power. In the time of my forefathers, the combatants in the old India took their spoils of conquest – usually stolen cattle within the cattle cycle – to their home village. There the loot was shared with everyone during a big feast. Showing the victory to the world was more important for the warriors than the victory itself [15]. After the feast an emptiness began to arise together with an emerging shame about aimlessness. With honour/power as antipode to this emptiness/shame, an urge arose for new conquests to confirm and maintain the inner and outer ego of the warriors. The conquest – or wealth in our time – creates at the same time an emptiness and a lack of something. Wealth creates a lack of richness that is not yet conquered. This hall reminds the living warriors within the family de Medici to the worldly riches which they must defend and expand, and to the richness of the Godlike Kingdom of Heaven that they still do not possess”, says Narrator.

“In this reasoning lies a truth. The decline begins after a conquest, because there is something to defend; the imperator must always conquer more for safeguard what he already owns. From the possession of wealth arises the need for more lasting wealth; also the imperator is subject to the law of nature called “greedy little pig”. Is there a difference between men and women?”, says Man.

“There is a study on the role of women in Mahābhārata. In the Mahābhārata a warrior only acquires immortal fame when fallen on the battlefield at the time women mourn him in shrill cries and weep over his life boasting his former beautiful appearance [16]. The women of the warrior caste put their men into action; the warriors are monomaniacal executors of the wishes of their women. When all warriors are deceased within the Kshatriya caste, the women go to the Brahmins to procreate new warriors. Women have their own role in the mind of the warrior”, says Narrator.

“Don’t we all have a role within the mind of the warrior? What do you think of the Gods and the Bodhisattvas?”, asks Carla.

“Also they, also we”, says Man.

“That is true. Shall we tomorrow – on our last day in Florence – visit Palazzo Pitti where the family of de Medici showed its splendour and magnificence to the outside world”, says Narrator.

[1] Source image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palazzo_Medici_Riccardi

[2] Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palazzo_Medici_Riccardi

[3] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah%27s_Ark

[4] Source image: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palazzo_Medici_Riccardi

[5] See also: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galleria_di_Luca_Giordano

[6] Source image: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palazzo_Medici_Riccardi

[7] The Apotheosis of the Medici: Cosimo III sat central between his two sons and his brother below him, Palazzo Medici-Riccardi. Source image: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galleria_di_Luca_Giordano

[8] Source: Marlantes, Karl, What it is like to go to war. London: Corvus, 2012 p. 40 – 41

[9] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viet_Cong

[10] Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napalm

[11] In the play “Huis clos”. See also: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Paul_Sartre

[12] See also: Origo, Jan van, Who are you – a survey into our existence – part 1. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012, p. 200 – 209

[13] See: Lendon, J.E., Song of Wrath – the Peloponnesian war begins. New York: Basic Books, 2010 p. 9

[14] See cattle-cycle in: Origo, Jan van, Who are you – a survey into our existence – part 1. Amsterdam: Omnia – Amsterdam Publisher, 2012

[15] See also a contemporary observation by Hannah Ahrendt in: Keen, David, Useful Enemies – When waging wars is more important than winning them. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, p. 9

[16] Source: McGrath, Kevin, STR Women in Epic Mahābhārata. Cambridge: Ilex Foundation, 2009, p 25

Man Leben – interview

In the previous posts you have given a brief description of your life. I may pose several questions on this description before I introduce myself.

“Your life is deeper than I have ever imagined. In your perception your life already starts more than 4000 years ago. In 1933 your parents have moved from Frankfurt am Main to Amsterdam to start a new life in a foreign country with a foreign language and culture. I assume that at home you have spoken German in Amsterdam”, I say.

“That is in partly correct. My parents continued speaking German, but I am raised bilingual. This is extraordinary, because the Dutch of my parents has had a very German accent. In that time I have felt ashamed for this accent, and now I feel ashamed for that shame”, you say.

“In your description the farewell from your parents has appeared relative easy in 1942”, I say.

“In that time I did not have the words and the knowledge to express my feelings. I have experienced this farewell as an adventure or a kind of natural and exciting change. Now I can see clearly that my parents and my aunt have presented this farewell to me as a transitional rite. My mother has said that I would stay away a long time. She said: “From now on you are no longer a boy but a real Man, you are now a real Herr Mann”. She has predicted that it will be a very dark time, but that I need to trust that at last everything will be fine. I have stayed one night at my aunt house. Afterwards a journey of a couple of weeks started before I have come to live in South Limburg”, you say.

“Your change of name, how did it happen?”, I ask.

“I don’t know all the details and I cannot tell the details, because there are people involved who might still be alive. My change of name has happened rather easy.  A boy moves from the population register – under his original name with a personal license including an old photo – in the first city to another city. A few weeks later the same boy – under a new name with a new personal license  including a recent photo – moves from the second city to a third city. The old name is left behind in the second city. Later the old name is probably registered with “whereabouts unknown”. I have moved in this manner several times within a few weeks in order to cover the moves”, you say.

“What did your parents do to find you later. How may your parent show that they are your real parents?”, I ask.

“My new name is closely related to the names that I have received from my parents and family. My parents gave me my first name “Levi”, named after the third son of Jacob and Leah in the book of Genesis. From the twelve sons of Jacob and Leah, the 12 tribes of Israel originated. Levi means: “He will connect” [1]. I have done this my entire life. Looking back, I see with shame that I have often been arrogant”, you say.

“I don’t think you are arrogant”, I say.

“Arrogance has many faces. Later I have read that scholars think that the name Levi is a loanword meaning “priest” or that the name refers to people who are connected to the Ark of the Covenant [1].  When moving in the desert, the descendants of Levi did bear the Ark of the Covenant. The first high priest is also a descendant of Levi. Some scholars think that Levi refers to a tribe that is not of Jewish origin, but consisted of immigrants who merged with the Jews [1]. The descendants of Levi were the only tribe that had no territory in Canaan. Moses and his brother Aaron, Samuel, Ezekiel, Ezra, John the Baptist, Matthew and Marcus are descendants of Levi [2]. According to Chapter 49 verse 7 of Genesis from the Old Testament, the children of Levi will be spread over the Earth. In the testament of Levi [3] – an apocryphal writings that is connected with the Bible – the priests who are descended from the first high priest Aaron (and also from Levi), will be accused of pride. This pride will cause the Apocalypse or the end of times. My whole life I have done my best to avoid arrogance, but many times I failed. Pride is also the main cause of the collapse of my family. Although my grandfather and I are no people of violence, the prediction for the fate of the descendants of Levi also has become our destiny. Apart from violence, the name Levi resembles the way of my life rather well. My new surname is derived from the first name that my parents have given to me. My new first name is closely connected with my family name. Piet Janssen was formerly often named “Johnson’s Peter – or son of John, Peter”. Probably my parents have thought that this reversal would later be successful to show that I am their legitimate son”, you say.

“A human in a dark time sometimes must make difficult choices, if one does not wish to leave the choices to others. I respect your reservation for showing the choices of your family and foster family in South Limburg. May I ask why you moved with your aunt to Holland after your happy and carefree time in South Limburg?”, I say.

“That is obvious. My aunt is the younger sister of my mother. They resembled each other, also in their way of doing. For me she was very familiar. We have started again in Holland. That was not easy as strangers in a country under redevelopment after the war. My aunt had no choice; after the war she was obliged to my parents to take care for me. I missed my life in South Limburg, but nearly every holiday I stayed with my godparents”, you say.

“Let’s continue later with the interview if I may”, I say.

“That is good”, you say.

The following message continues with further questions about your life.

[1] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levi

[2] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levite

[3] See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Testament_of_Levi. The Testament of Levi is is part of the Testament of the Patriarchs.