Next: Science is now so complex that we can no longer ask What? We can now only wonder Why?

This Blog used to be about the question: What is Science?
Now, it asks: What is Happiness?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Jewish Smiths? What next...

How does one keep up with your genetic flotsam and jetsam? One moment Sarah is aupairing in Germany, next fiddling with digital video machines in London and now having bought a Chinese scooter is about to move into a house with a fellow student by name of Syd Smith.
However, in the midst of all this time-bending insanity I had a glance at Syd's blog. Quite a girl!

Next thing, I'm going on a Time Travel expo par excellance and....well, I had to dig something up for my blogspot, lest I get relegated to the dusty walls of the Dakar Museum of Ancient Creatives.

? Why is it that all the really interesting people I know come from somewhere called Lithuania or Latvia? Where the hell is Lithuania anyway?
I don't know how it happened. A dream, I think. Michael Jackson parachuting into the middle of a warzone called Bhambayi, followed by a stage. Instruments and a long power cord. He sings, dances and for a magical 2 killing, no hate. They fly off to Neverland leaving Bhambayi changed forever.....Named after Bombay, because this is also the place where Mahatma Gandhi set up shop and home, here he sat watching the Natal sunsets and formulated Satyagraha. Here too was the original printing Press for the Indian Opinion newspaper.
As a young schoolboy, my motorcycle often took me here to sit for hours on the verhanda (Indian word!) of Gandiji's original wood and iron house...sadly, it was torn down in days and nights of social turmoil...happily, it has been rebuilt...
Gandhi described Satyagraha as follows:
Its root meaning is holding onto truth, hence truth-force. I have also called it love-force or soul-force. In the application of satyagraha, I discovered in the earliest stages that pursuit of truth did not admit of violence being inflicted on one’s opponent but that he must be weaned from error by patience and sympathy. For what appears to be truth to the one may appear to be error to the other. And patience means self-suffering. So the doctrine came to mean vindication of truth, not by infliction of suffering on the opponent, but on oneself.

Origins of Satyagraha
Gandhi coined the term Satyagraha to describe his philosophy of nonviolent resistance. The concept was influenced by the notion of ahimsa in the Hindu Upanishads and the tenets of Jainism, as well as various theorists of nonviolent resistance and nonresistance including Jesus (particularly the Sermon on the Mount), the Imam Hussein, Leo Tolstoy (particularly The Kingdom of God Is Within You), John Ruskin (particularly Unto This Last), and Henry David Thoreau (particularly Civil Disobedience).[2]

Speaking of his initial satyagraha campaign in South Africa, he said:
None of us knew what name to give to our movement. I then used the term “passive resistance” in describing it. I did not quite understand the implications of “passive resistance” as I called it. I only knew that some new principle had come into being. As the struggle advanced, the phrase “passive resistance” gave rise to confusion and it appeared shameful to permit this great struggle to be known only by an English name. Again, that foreign phrase could hardly pass as current coin among the community. A small prize was therefore announced in Indian Opinion to be awarded to the reader who invented the best designation for our struggle. We thus received a number of suggestions. The meaning of the struggle had been then fully discussed in Indian Opinion and the competitors for the prize had fairly sufficient material to serve as a basis for their exploration. Shri Maganlal Gandhi was one of the competitors and he suggested the word sadagraha, meaning “firmness in a good cause.” I liked the word, but it did not fully represent the whole idea I wished it to connote. I therefore corrected it to “satyagraha”. Truth (satya) implies love, and firmness (agraha) engenders and therefore serves as a synonym for force. I thus began to call the Indian movement Satyagraha, that is to say, the Force which is born of Truth and Love or non-violence, and gave up the use of the phrase “passive resistance”, in connection with it, so much so that even in English writing we often avoided it and used instead the word “satyagraha” itself or some other equivalent English phrase.[3]