when I asked a former Communist fighter from this bordering village with Israel about the now mainstream idea that Palestinian fighters were with time despised by the local population, he answered me that it is Palestinian changing environment that can account for that.
According to him, Palestinians were once the fida’yin hiding and fighting in and from the remote fields of olive trees. They slept under the trees had nomadic ‘revolutionary’ patterns of life, until increasingly efficient Israeli raids pushed them to city locations like Saida and Sour. From there, their whole modes of life changed. They settled in houses even if very poor, started having cars, lived city life, etc. Their social surroundings changed and with it their priorities and the meanings they assigned to specific forms of collective actions.
And with the increasingly institutionalized influence these groups started having in the region, they deployed more efforts at keeping political leverage, at showing who has the weapons and at sinking into intra-fighting between the various groups on the ground, than at a concerted effort to attack Israelis.
In a way this particular reading of ‘what the Palestinians became’ may hint at the fact that what really bothered ‘the Shi’as’ was not so much that the Palestinians were fighting the Israelis from their lands, but all the other practices the Palestinians were engaged in that actually obstructed an efficient strategy of fighting Israel from materializing. It does not mean that all “the Shi’as” held violently antagonistic feelings towards Israel in the abstract sense. But there was clearly, and due to the social niche (and here we can say class to some extent) to which the Shi’as belong to, some type of admiration towards whoever show modesty in behavior and commitment to resistance activities (probably the case for early fida’yin activities).
This can help explain even better what became so attractive in the more ‘just’ ways Hizbullah practiced resistance work. It ultimately explains how such a more ‘purist’ form of mobilization eventually emerged and was prevailing in the available interpretations of what is Hizbullah about (in the language, in discursive terms).
Of course all of this is just one reading, that mostly belong to this particular group of “socially aware” class (like this communist fighter). I assume here that most people of his generation were exposed to similar social activities (also according to his testimony), as the communist party was very active in the area (through public events, workshops, schools, etc.) especially prior to the first Israeli incursion of 1978.
We do not want to clash with the regime, with those who neglect us. Today, we shout out loud the wrongs against us, that cloud of injustice that has followed us since the beginning of our history. Starting from today we will no longer complain nor cry. Our name is not mitwali [a name for the Shi’a that has taken on a derogatory connotation]; our name is “men of refusal” (rafidun), “men of vengeance,” “men who revolt against all tyranny” (kharijun), even though this costs us our blood and our lives. Husain faced the enemy with 70 men; the enemy was very numerous. Today we are more than 70; and our enemy is not the quarter of the whole world….
We do not want sentiments, but action. We are tired of words, feelings, speeches… I have made more speeches than anyone else. And I am the one who most often called for calm… From today on I will not keep silent. If you keep quiet, I will not… We want our full rights completely. not only our posts, but the twenty demands… in the petition, and we will accept nothing else in exchange.
You would think this is taken from a speech made by SG of Hizbullah Nasrallah. Actually it was given in February 1974 by Imam Musa Sadr founder of AMAL (Cited in Norton, AR. 1997. Amal and the Shi’a. Austin: Texas University Press). In a way, Lebanese history can be read as a lesson of political conduct in life. At the end of the day, unequal structures once politicized must be corrected, no demands just disappear (here my emphasis come from the assumption that things must become demands, they must be made socially conscious). And where AMAL failed to address certain of these demands (the half successful piece meal clientelistic recipes of Nabih Berri), another organization arose (Hizbullah), and is hell bent on having a share in the decision making process. What Sadr was asking for, Hizbullah will eventually get.
The particular ways in which this formation of social consciousness is inscribed in specific symbols and language idioms, are what I am after.
This is taken from Hizbullah’s campaign “a victory from God” marking the anniversary of last year’s humiliating Israeli defeat, of which many highly creative billboards have been made. Check out the improvement in artistry, and the power of ideas. It shows Israeli soldiers disturbingly crying with this written in the middle: Lebanon, you fools (literal translation), or “What did you expect you morons? A walk in the park?” (Bech’s translation). Oh and by the way, this billboard was in a Christian area (near Batrun, care of Tayyar). Most of those billboards though were vandalized especially near Nahr el Kalb (where the Kataeb sign hangs above the tunnel).
This is just a couple of pictures from many I got when I was in Aynata (village in the south of Lebanon right next to the Israeli border). These bottles you see are filled with the urine of Israeli soldiers who chose this house to hide during the July-august war.
Besides the tremendous amount of trash they left behind, and the total (and useless) destruction of furniture in the house, other pictures show these bottles everywhere on shelves, tables, on the floor, and their defecations in corners.
See, they actually chose to block the toilet seat (look attentively at the toilet seat, I had to minimize the size of the pic) so that no one of them would have the smart idea of using it to release their waste…
These Israelis are more intelligent than I thought. They make sure you get the idea that it is them pissing and shitting all over the place. Their way of dealing with their own filth is way ahead of any contemporary civilization. Hereby, I salute these brave and refined soldiers.
Don’t you often hear people say “Christian in Egypt are persecuted”? This is one of the many nice little bullshit myths one hears on the Middle East or on “Islamic” practices. Copts (Christian sect in Egypt) are actually significantly present in parliament (much more relative to the size of their community), and the few Egyptians I know to seem to agree on the idea that there are no sectarian animosity there. In a recent discussion, my Egyptian musician friend Mohammed (who studied for a long time Coptic musical liturgy) explained to me how often enough the media feeds the public with the news of ‘sectarian clashes’ breaking out and once some honest reporter tries to entangle the real cause of a fight he would find behind the ‘sectarian’ element some tribal, social, or personal issue at stake that has nothing to do with the fact that the people were Coptic or Muslims.
Not only that but Coptic Pope Shenouda III has made it clear that the biggest problem in the Middle East is divisive American foreign policy and the growing ego-centric urges of some Copts (Check the rare gem that is Pope Shenouda, here, here, and here are the enemies of Shenouda). For a nice comparison check History of the Maronites in Lebanon 101.
See, American policy have this really nice special feature in that they create new ‘substance’ to re-actionary identities. Thanks to NGOs of all kind and religious rightist groups Christians in Egypt are starting to feel they are in danger because hell they’re Christians. To make sure these fears are crystallized, they are simply financed.
Come on marNasrallah Boutross Sfeir, that is the best role model you can get in this par of the world.
The answer is easy: Because they don’t need it. Because thanks to the confessional system in place in Lebanon, they found everything they could want without having to establish an Islamic state. The skeptic would retort: “But why did they vehemently proclaim all throughout the eighties that they wanted an Islamic state?” Well because at the time they did not know that they could get all their interests preserved thanks to the confessional system without having to go through the painful process of imposing the idea of an Islamic state (of course here ‘interest’ is a term that is at best elusive and must be understood as historically determined, changing according to available opportunities and conceptualizations, so that we avoid making retroactive arguments).
So here I want to first object to the idea that it is out of a process of vague “Lebanonization” of Hizbullah that they decided to drop the idea of an Islamic state. I want to object of course to the idea that they secretly (in a demonizing way for the scared Lebanese) entertain this dream. Actually to clarify what I meant, I would like to accept the “Lebanonization” thesis only by clarifying what Lebanonization mean in the institutional political and social sense by dropping the essentialist bias inherent in the argument. Yaaneh, Hizbullah was never “not Lebanese” and suddenly became “Lebanese”. Hizbulllah starting from an ad hoc group of zealous and enthusiastic few, with sufficient backing, discpline, and favorable local and regional circumstances developed into a fully fledged organization with institutional over-reach. This ‘developmental’ change is key here and nobody (to my knowledge) worked on the intricacies and implications of this change, except from a broad ‘elitist’ and ‘essentialist’ perspective. Yaaneh, scholars focused on the broad political agenda of Hizbullah as a monolithic formation with a leadership making rational decision in the face of changing opportunities. Example: When Nasrallah became secretary general (but already at the time of Moussawi) he saw an opportunity to play by the rules. What does that mean exactly? It means first a conscious decision of the party to get involved in the Lebanese political life indeed, but most importantly it inscribes itself in a process of long-term change that slowly crystallized the idea that ‘we’re much worth it like this’. This last phenomenon was never carefully understood because to do so one needs to understand how Hizbullah slowly became very much dependent on the confessional system.
This requires in turn an understanding of the evolution of not only the institutions and organizations of Hizbullah but in what way the new political class of Hizbullah became very much part of the political system in Lebanon. Actually both these process are intermingled. I don’t have a detailed answer to that, and actually this should be a research project on its own, but I would like to point out on an intuitive basis why this looks like a strong argument.
To name but a few, electoral processes, municipalities, social welfare (organizations, etc.), schools, hospitals, all work according to confessional categorizations in Lebanon, meaning that it is most of the case a particular religious group that holds decision making in these collective activities. Hizbullah found in this case a haven for his own activities. One can study how this affects identity formation through the daily practices of people in these institutions and fosters even more the marks of confessional ideas meanings and beliefs into the consciousness of individuals. Here I want to stress the “culture” of the confessional system is highly alien to the one of an Islamic state at the very least because of the completely different institutional structures in place.
It is important to point out here that Hizbullah is only imitating what other sectarian groups did before them and first and foremost the Christians. Christian schools hospitals etc. are the oldest, and the political system of confessional piecemeal rule was a Christian innovation. The only difference here is that by controlling key institutions in the State, Christian elites were able to export the idea that they were a ‘secularizing’ force as their management of State affairs was resemblant to what goes on in say European states. But in effect, all the institutions of the State, and the institutions of social life in general were heavily divided along confessional criteria. Slowly but surely, Amal then Hizbullah learned to play by these rules. What’s interesting in the Shi’a example is that because they are new comers you can basically see how the confessional system, first makes it virtually impossible and highly costly to organize collective action outside of it, and second, sucks in new comers to build on the available institutional confessional processes and mechanisms.
Activists who later became Hizbullah starts off from various discursive background (communist, Lebanese public schools, religious, clerical, etc) find a voice in sectarian groups like Amal and then decide that through Amal things are not going to work for them (in terms of conflict with the Israelis, utter marginalization of South and Bekaa etc.). The Iranians say we give you a hand and you can export the revolution. That seemed like enough of a mobilizing element for these few radicals. Then organizational capacity develops, these people starts achieving political and socially on the ground, their affinities with their allies have concrete instrumental implications, but are coupled with their grasp of new ways to preserve their interests or the interests of a broad movement inscribed in newly developed and virulently efficient religious (confessional) institutions (just like any other similar institutions whether Christian or Sunni, just take the Jesuit school Jamhour and university Saint Joseph for a comparison).
Basically Hizbullah learned the correct way to get things done in Lebanon. An Islamic state would probably destroy most of what they built until now. It would transform a situation of mutual interest built on solid institutional ground into a big mess where they will have to start afresh and create such gigantic structures in order to reap the same political economic and social benefit.
Echoing with what I started fumbling about in a previous post, I found this marvelous passage in Derrida’s critique of Foucault’s History of Madness:
Mais Dieu, c’est l’autre nom de l’absolu de la raison elle-même, de la raison et du sens en général. Et qu’est-ce qui saurait exclure, réduire ou, ce qui revient au meme, comprendre absolumment la folie, sinon la raison en général, la raison absolue et sans détermination, dont l’autre nom est Dieu pour les rationalistes classiques ? On ne peut accuser ceux, individus ou sociétés, qui on recours à Dieu contre la folie, de chercher à s’abriter, à s’assurer des garde-fous, des frontières asilaires, qu’en faisant de cet abri un abri fini, dans le monde, en faisant de Dieu un tiers ou une puissance finie, c’est-à dire en se trompant ; en se trompant non pas sur le contenu et la finalité effective de ce geste dans l’histoire, mais sur la spécificité philosophique de la pensée et du nom de Dieu. Si la philosophie a eu lieu – ce qu’on peut toujours contester – c’est seulement dans la mesure où elle a formé le dessein de penser au de là de l’abri fini. En décrivant la constitution historique de ces gardes-fous finis, dans le mouvement des individus, des sociétés et de toutes les totalités finies en général, on peut à la limite tout décrire – et c’est une tâche légitime, immense, nécessaire – sauf le projet philosophique lui-même. Or dans son sens intensionnel propre, il se donne comme pensée de l’infinie, c’est-à-dire de ce qui ne se laisse épuiser par aucune totalité finie, par aucune fonction ou détermination instrumentale, technique ou politique. Se donner comme tel, c’est là, dira-t-on, son mensonge, sa violence et sa mystification ; ou encore sa mauvaise foi. Et il faut sans doute décrire avec rigueur la structure qui lie cette intention excédante à la totalité historique finie, il faut en déterminer l’économie. Mais ces ruses économiques ne sont possibles, comme toute ruse, que pour des paroles et des intentions finies, substituant une finité à une autre. On ne ment pas quand on ne dit rien (de fini ou de déterminé), quand on dit Dieu, l’Etre ou le Néant, quand on ne modifie pas le fini dans le sens déclaré de sa parole, quand on dit l’infini, c’est-à-dire quand on laisse l’infini (Dieu l’Etre ou le Néant, car il appartient au sens de l’infini de ne pouvoir être une détermination ontique parmi d’autres) se dire et se penser. [footnote on page 90-91)Derrida, Jacques. 1967. L’écriture et la différence. Paris: Editions du Seuil
Rest assured, today on LBC news broadcast, the Maronite Patriarch MarNasrallah Boutros Sfeir was asked about his solutions for the current political crisis in Lebanon (two politically very divided camps have to decide on a new president). And so he answered (and I quote approximately but surely my friends), that one should pray the baby Jesus to bring love and reconciliation, and then (he insisted on this point and I am serious) pray a couple of Ave Maria (the prayer for Mary the mother of the baby Jesus), and things will hopefully be alright. Very far aren’t we from the much more effective religious-based discourse to mobilize such as those of Hizbullah and others. No wonder why the former achieves and the other stumbles. Al Islam Howa el 7al as would a very dear friend of mine (Koukou) would say.
Also, today, on the same news broadcast, Samir Geagea (head of the extreme right wing Lebanese Forces, and personally involved in the killing of countless innocent civilians) held a press conference to say something totally useless that is not even worth quoting, because he basically says the exact same thing every other day on the same news broadcast through his daily press conference. I want to understand why this guy has press conferences every single day. You can verify this. He’s on LBC news broadcast every day. I think it’s part of his daily work: brush your teeth at 7h, breakfast 8h, etc press conference at 12h to talk about my last thoughts on the political situation in the country. And the worst thing is that there are a lot of people sitting silently at each of these conferences listening to the guy. My theory goes as follows: the guy stayed 10 years or so in prison without talking to anyone except his guard and occasionally his wife (see the documentary done by Gizelle Khoury (phalangist apologist wife of so-called leftist Samir Kassir) on him where he himself plays his own self, along with his wife playing his wife). And suddenly here he is outside and can speak about virtually anything. Plus, he’s got the money to get cameras and people, hell, he’s got stakes in LBC.
Since I started talking to people living in Dahyeh and the South I have been collecting tremendous amount of narratives that opens on various social changes that never received the attention of the media. Here I just want to talk about one such instance. According to a young Hizbullah partisan who, along with friends, had put a tent in downtown when opposition demonstrations started earlier this year, the interaction with other political group partisans was very significant.
This guy explained to me how they used to meet everyday and talk about everything from political views, to hobbies, or life in general, around narguileh tea and coffee in and out of these tents. Just one note on the side: Nobody took money from anyone and people were there out of their own will. Actually it was a nice hang out place for most people. One of the reason why it dropped in level of participation according to this guy is that most of them are students and have exams during this period. I would stupidly speculate that others needed to work and can’t just stay there waiting for the elites to decide on future course of events.
So Hizbullah youngsters used to sit with Tayyar and other (mostly Christian movements) and basically socialized. So much so that thanks to that, this Hizbullah partisan ended up making new friends with whom he occasionally go out. A couple of days for example, he was hanging out in… Sassine.
The ad hoc social interactions that were created following these demonstrations I’m sure run deeper than we think. Lives crossed paths and myriad of new images and expressions ran through the discourse of all these protagonists. This is something that should be further researched.
Another note on the side: During the last infamous Metn elections, I was in Dahyeh (in the run up), and Aynata (the day of the elections), and these places had the orange color pretty much apparent on clothes, flags, etc. In Aynata people were glued to their television sets watching New TV (pro opposition non sectarian Lebanese TV channel) as if this was their own elections. These people were watching the unfolding of a minor intra-Christian petty fight as if it was their own fight. Through the various statements that came out during the day people’s enthusiasm or anxiety was bouncing all over the place. Since when did other Lebanese follow Shi’a politics that closely?
I strongly recommend that you listen to it read by the author.
pas pas paspaspas pas
pasppas ppas pas paspas
le pas pas le faux pas le pas
paspaspas le pas le mau
le mauve le mauvais pas
paspas pas le pas le papa
le mauvais papa le mauve le pas
paspas passe paspaspasse
passe passe il passe il pas pas
il passe le pas du pas du pape
du pape sur le pape du pas du passe
passepasse passi le sur le
le pas le passi passi passi pissez sur
le pape sur papa sur le sur la sur
la pipe du papa du pape pissez en masse
passe passe passi passepassi la passe
la basse passi passepassi la
passio passiobasson le bas
le pas passion le basson et
et pas le basso do pas
paspas do passe passiopassion do
ne do ne domi ne passi ne dominez pas
ne dominez pas vos passions passives ne
ne domino vos passio vos vos
ssis vos passio ne dodo vos
vos dominos d’or
c’est domdommage do dodor
do pas pas ne domi
pas paspasse passio
vos pas ne do ne do ne dominez pas
vos passes passions vos pas vos
vos pas dévo dévorants ne do
ne dominez pas vos rats
pas vos rats
ne do dévorants ne do ne dominez pas
vos rats vos rations vos rats rations ne ne
ne dominez pas vos passions rations vos
ne dominez pas vos ne vos ne do do
minez minez vos nations ni mais do
minez ne do ne mi pas pas vos rats
vos passionnantes rations de rats de pas
pas passe passio minez pas
minez pas vos passions vos
vos rationnants ragoûts de rats dévo
dévorez-les dévo dédo do domi
dominez pas cet a cet avant-goût
de ragoût de pas de passe de
passi de pasigraphie gra phiphie
graphie phie de phie
phiphie phéna phénakiki
phopho phiphie photo do do
dominez do photo mimez phiphie
photomicrographiez vos goûts
ces poux chorégraphiques phiphie
de vos dégoûts de vos dégâts pas
pas ça passio passion de ga
coco kistico ga les dégâts pas
le pas pas passiopas passion
passion passioné né né
il est né de la né
de la néga ga de la néga
de la négation passion gra cra
crachez cra crachez sur vos nations cra
de la neige il est il est né
passioné né il est né
à la nage à la rage il
est né à la né à la nécronage cra rage il
il est né de la né de la néga
néga ga cra crachez de la né
de la ga pas néga négation passion
passionné nez pasionném je
je t’ai je t’aime je
je je jet je t’ai jetez
je t’aime passionném t’aime
je t’aime je je jeu passion j’aime
passionné éé ém émer
émerger aimer je je j’aime
émer émerger é é pas
passi passi éééé ém
éme émersion passion
passionné é je
je t’ai je t’aime je t’aime
passe passio ô passio
passio ô ma gr
ma gra cra crachez sur les rations
ma grande ma gra ma té
ma té ma gra
ma grande ma té
ma terrible passion passionnée
je t’ai je terri terrible passio je
je je t’aime
je t’aime je t’ai je
t’aime aime aime je t’aime
passionné é aime je
passionnément aimante je
t’aime je t’aime passionnément
je t’ai je t’aime passionné né
je t’aime passionné
je t’aime passionnément je t’aime
je t’aime passio passionnément
Ghérasim Luca, 1973
Billy Collins, 1
Mahmoud Darwish, 1
Ounsi El Hage, 1
Ghérasim Luca, 1
Henri Michaux, 1, 2
Marianne Moore, 1
Pablo Neruda, 1, 2
Sharon Olds, 1
Theodore Roethke, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Dylan Thomas, 1
Richard Wilbur, 1, 2, 3, 4
Ok after writing about this I want to move on. I do not want to go back to these issues endlessly. This post is an effort to once and for all establish why it seems like I have a particular problem with some type of “Christian politics” in the country that came to be called Lebanon.
The best way to do this (especially when you’re lazy and supposed to do other more serious things) is by bullet points. So here we go, why Christian politics receives a lot of criticism from my part:
1- The Christians are the main culprits behind the creation of the State of Lebanon. That is what I will call the “original sin” to use Christian discourse. For some it is a blessing I know, and if it is, that is already an indication that something is kind of wrong in the way they understand politics in the region.
2- By creating the State of Lebanon they crystallized the confessional system for the simple reason of being able to dominate the system. This inevitably led to the slow elimination of non-confessional discourse (especially once the civil war has started, when other ‘confessions’ understood that the best way to organize politically, gain power, etc. is to organize the same way). Today the Sunnis are the Maronites of the seventies, the Shi’as the Sunnis of the latter period. Christians were those who inaugurated political expression through confessional discourse.
3- Why? Greed and power, friends and relatives. And one of biggest problem is the Kataeb party and its popular (accommodating adjunct) the Lebanese Forces. These dudes where the most perverse form of this Christian culture. Actually it is an insult to call this Christian because Christianity has had more glorious pasts. So let’s call them political Maronitism (that’s a huge chapter on its own and will not be dealt with here) of the twentieth century (once the Maronite seized to be proud of being Arab and shifted to internalize colonial discourse).
4- Why perverse? Because of their political practices, their killing looting etc. their constant contempt of everyone. Everybody did that of course but the systematic elite driven massacring policy was never as effective as under the Lebanese Forces. They were born for that and are still surviving under the principle of relative hatred. They exist because of their hate for the other and nothing else. It is not something ‘essential’ (by essence) kind of built in them. It is a product of a particular historical juncture that created the possibility for such practices. Other will come and other came before them. But just as an example of how fucked up these people were. My father was a surgeon at the Hotel Dieu hospital in Ashrafieh. He used to tell me that Bachir Gemayel would come with a bunch of guys, or send them to find between the surviving wounded, the Palestinians, ‘Muslims’ etc. in order to kill them in front of everyone. The people they used to kill were handicapped, could not fight anymore. They used to do this every so and so. My father used to come back home in a complete rage saying that on this particular day they tried to kill them inside the hospital but he stopped by trying to call this or that politican, only to find that he could just postpone their death for outside the hospital. It was their idea of ethnic cleansing probably.
5- Last but not least, their extraordinary strength not to change. The discourse you listen to today is the exact same discourse you had thirty years ago. And it is understandable. Their practices did not change. Nothing has been done by these guys to change social structures. Everything is still the same. They got more aristocratic and greedy of their material well being (that sometimes was petty and not much, so they actually lived in the idea of their glorious past). Just listen to Joyce Gemayel speak yesterday, she epitomizes everything that I talked about earlier: rampant feudalism (shit I did not mention that actually), longing for THEIR glorious past (the Gemayel legacy), playing the “tahmish el massi7yeh” card that first got us in this place, condescendence to the others (those who are not on ‘her side’). If you want to understand anything about Christian regressive politicking, just listen to this woman.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the effect of the presence or absence of God in the daily lives of people and the very different aspects of how this give meaning to their daily practices (and thus provides ground for action). While I still don’t have a clear theory of that especially for my interest in understanding social mobilization, I inadvertently had some completely different types of thoughts (of a philosophical nature). It is just that because the idea of God is a language trick in many ways (something to develop on its own account), I cannot help but thinking of some of its drawbacks.
So Yesterday, I had this ‘illumination’: God is the product of reason. Ironically, all religions and beliefs represent divinity as what is beyond reason: At some point reason stops, thought-processes cannot comprehend this phenomenon and so you must believe in God. I would say that it’s actually the basis of our thought process (and so logic, reasoning, or intellectual activity in general) that creates or make the idea of God possible in the first place. Now if you then believe or not is another question. In the first place, if you did not have this capacity to think then you would not have even thought that God is an issue.
So my argument: Thinking is God, the latter being the perfect edge on which the faculties of reasoning must end. God is a pure reflection of our reasoning faculties. It is the ‘natural’ conclusion of the perfection in which we immerse our intellectual faculties.
As long as you think, you are trapped in this equation. It is only when you stop this intellectual dialectical process that God ceases to exist. That God ceases to be an issue. Let’s here hypothesize that internal arts like Yoga (This is probably why Yoga classical literature talks about a god, but one who did not create the universe, and who is only invoked to help with concentration techniques) may help in arriving at this state where the body is the siege of interest.The body is as such, mind being completely instrumental to what the body (the main field of Being) is capable of doing. The question is not anymore whether “God” exists or not (and what are the different arguments based on reason, or supposedly relinquishing reason to arrive at the certainty that he/she “is”). There are no more questions, just raw life forms in their contemplative state (imagine a tree for a nice metaphor). The idea of God (i.e. reasoning) ceases to exist and becomes immersed into the all powerful living body.
Today, while I was at the bank retrieving some money, a Sinhalese (most probably cashing in money for her employer who’s too lazy to come and retrieve the money him/her self) was asked by the cashier if she knew how to sign. The Sinhalese nodded gently and signed.
Beyond all racist consideration this entails will this guy ever know how beautiful and complex is the Sinhalese written language? Will he know how far back in history dates these fascinating forms of expression? No. That the price you have to pay when you’re self-centered. The price of ignorance.