Monday, March 29, 2010

Pesach - The Festival of Liberation

From my 1996 Diary, December 03

“One day one of the prisoners in the Johannesburg Zoo committed suicide. It was Brown Bear No 2, and the authorities were very surprised he had managed to do it. After all they had removed everything from his cell: anything green and growing, which he might have swallowed and choked on, anything like a branch or a rock or soil he might have impaled himself on or buried himself in. They left only the bare concrete slabs and a concrete tub of brown water and brown bear sat on his bum, legs splayed out, or lay on his side, without moving, for days.

Hey, visitors would shout at him, hey wena, and would throw things at him to try and get him to perform, peanuts, popcorn, or, when the authorities were not looking, stones and empty beer bottles.”


The Egypt of our times is mindless and excessive consumption. What is called in Hebrew "Tarbut haTzricha" Unnecessarily large motor vehicles that guzzle petrol and hurt pedestrians. Junk food that causes obesity and is created from the pain and suffering of factory farmed animals. The unconscious use of air conditioning when a window could be opened, the use of electric lights and heat when daylight, insulation and other alternatives are available. The consumption of mind-numbing television and formulaic films full of gratuitous violence and parodies of sex, The obsessive consumption of so called "news" that no one needs to know. The inability to be with ourselves and with each other in simplicity, and hence the endless consumption of distractions - magazines, clothes, alcoholic beverages, gambolling, pornography, excessive work, cooking shows, celebrities and the obsessive following of their lives. And along with this consumption the commodification of education, of wellness, of so called "spirituality" - an arena crawling with charlatans of every shape and hue, from Catholic priest paedophiles to take-the-money and run "gurus" and pentacostals who trademark their offerings, to kosher mafioso who use a captive faith community market to enrich themselves personally.

That is why we are all personally commanded to leave Egypt.


I'm afraid of living in Israel
because there's so much reactivity there
so much unconscious stuff
the pain body, as Eckhart Tolle calls it, is so big and solidified
and I'm worried that, because I am not firmly established in clarity,
if I'm there I won't be able to help
I'll just become another part of the problem,
instead of the solution

I was thinking about Freedom as Pesach - the festival of freedom - looms in the distance and it seems to me the most fundamental freedom remains the freedom from thought. I also heard a beautiful quotation on the radio this morning from Eve Ensler, the visionary and courageous creator of The Vagina Monologues, who said "Freedom comes from telling your story, Freedom comes from telling your truth." (I might add that doing this publicly multiplies the liberatory effect)

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