Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

a Moment for Wisdom…




“If it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them.

But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.

And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Personal Wisdom:

Do you agree with him?

Do you have experiences of “good” and “evil” in your own heart?

What are the “shadow” sides of yourself that you disown or turn away from or judge as “bad”?

Do you have a perspective that sees a group that consistently commits “wrong” or “evil” deeds? Who are they? What do you propose to do with them?

Societal Wisdom:

In a society, is it possible to separate oneself from the “Other”? Is it desirable to try?

If separation from the “Other” does not work (or is immoral from your point of view), what is your solution when faced with people exhibiting anti-social behavior?

a Moment with Sharif…


Isn’t this the way we act? Don’t we act like we can live in a decent society by removing the “indecent” people? That’s the philosophy that leads America in having the highest incarceration rate of any other country, including those we decry as brutal dictatorships.

This is the way we create two societies: separate and unequal.  The incarcerated are recognized by race (black) and class (poor). In the past, this separation was maintained by first slavery, then by ghettoes, job discrimination… “American Apartheid”. Now, it is maintained by a penal system…

And… don’t we do this in our personal lives? Look at the people you embrace and the people you shun. Each and every one of them is YOU, wearing a disguise.

And… don’t we do this in our most interior lives? Aren’t there aspects of our own hearts that we disown or turn away from?

The way this is healed is by owning both sides of our hearts – both our chosen and public “identity” and our “Shadow” side, the part that fears and hates.



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Sharif Abdullah photo: Lisa Norton

All other photos by Sharif Abdullah, unless otherwise noted.

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One Response to Wednesday, 23 February, 2011

  1. Grace says:

    I have read about “uncivilized” communities gathering together as a whole to consider an “evildoer’s” activity. In this consideration the whole community looks at their responsibility in the action. In the documentary, Flight from Death, they bring up the concept of social death, being without money, vulnerable to others, slavery, homeless, poverty, isolated. These people have lost any concept of feeling of value and violence is an easy path to take. Many of our so called criminals come out of those we, as a society, has marginalized. The battle is going on right now in Wisconsin. Is it all right to devalue the working class so the rich can have more????

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