There Is No Cure For Awakeness

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

Mishima’s Docudharma Times this morning begins with one of the most interesting and heartening quotes I’ve seen in a long, long time.

After almost five years of war, many young people in Iraq, exhausted by constant firsthand exposure to the violence of religious extremism, say they have grown disillusioned with religious leaders and skeptical of the faith that they preach.

“I hate Islam and all the clerics because they limit our freedom every day and their instruction became heavy over us,” said Sara, a high school student in Basra. “Most of the girls in my high school hate that Islamic people control the authority because they don’t deserve to be rulers.

This happened in Ireland. It happened and is still happening in America. It happened in Europe during the Renaissance, in many ways a rebirth in knowledge and a turning from God to man, or at least a rejection of the power of organizational thought control and a repudiation of authoritarianism and a turning towards the fundamental freedom – freedom of thought.

SALMAN RUSHDIE: There are people, as I say, you have to defeat, you know. But I’m talking about the enormous culture of which they’re the pimple on the nose of it. And I think in the end the way in which radical Islam will be defeated is when ordinary Islam, you know, when the regular world of the Muslim faith comes to reject the idea that they will be represented by, defined by that kind of extremist behavior.

BILL MOYERS: But many people say that that kind of extremist behavior is part and parcel of the ideology of the heart of Islam. What do you–

SALMAN RUSHDIE: I don’t think necessarily. I mean, the IRA was not intrinsically– was not somehow arising from something intrinsic to Catholicism. And actually the IRA is a relevant example. Because when the Catholics of Northern Ireland became disillusioned by being represented by the IRA that is what brought the IRA to the peace table. At that moment their power disappeared. And that’s why I’m saying that it is in a way incumbent on the Muslim world to reject Islamic radicalism, because that is what will remove the power of Islamic radicalism.

In the long run there is no cure for awakeness. Things once learned will not be voluntarily unlearned. Enlightenment once experienced will not be extinguished. The flame of freedom once sparked spreads and will not be doused.

A ripple once started spreads forevever, and Nothing stays the same

Heads up. Those aren’t “faint strains of non-darkness” we see on the horizon – those are the edge of the supernova. When it gets here it’ll knock you on your ass. Practice smiling. You’ll be doing a lot of it.

Or practice running. In vain. It’s your choice.

Manuel Valenzuela: The Inevitable Triumph of Progressive Thought

Today is a result of progress, of humanity’s refusal to bestow onto itself dark ages and medieval backwardness. For what is history but progress, always advancing, rarely retreating, always seeking answers according to our collective intelligence and quest for knowledge. Human civilization is advancement, an evolution of society that, though at times might find itself sequestered, never fails to defeat the forces of regressive thought. Over and over again, since the dawn of human existence, progress and backwardness have fought in open hostility, battling for human civilization. Every time, progress has been victorious. Indeed, we would not be living present day society without a triumphant progress raising its proud and colorful flag in victory. Its conquest over the forces of regression and primitiveness is a constant over time, and no matter how dire the world might look, no matter the power of malevolent leadership, no matter how enormous the odds might appear, progress always finds a way. Always. It is a given in life, as constant as rain and sun, and it always reappears to guide human existence past murky waters of times past and into new horizons, using the energy and thoughts of young generations, as well as the experience of those past and aged, to fuse together a more progressive, freer, liberal way of living.

Everywhere one looks the enemies of progress can be seen, homophobic, xenophobic, progressophobic and evolophobic, all unenlightened and ignorant, trapped by the chains of hereditary conditioning and the brainwashing of fundamentalist extremism. Because of their tremendous shortcomings, they fear anything different than them, anything that symbolizes change and progress. The fear is obvious in their desperation, reeking out their pores. They want nothing more than to return America to what it can never be, to times that never existed.

For America was always a nation of change, of progress, of evolution. What the enemies of progress fail to see is that America has from its inception been a nation of evolution, its society and culture progressing according to its environment and ever-changing face. America has succeeded because of progressive thought, because it always sought to move ahead, not regress back. The Founding Fathers could never envisage what was to come, much like we cannot see what the future holds, yet the greatness of this nation is that progress has guided us in time, through dark days and cold nights, leading its glowing candle of light to the vivacity of today, with incredible diversity, talent and potential.

This, the enemies of progress fail to understand, and is why they will fail, just as they always do, to rein in the unstoppable freight train named progress.

In progress can we see history, and in history can we see progress. It is inevitable, as real as the moon and stars, a stalwart energy that, like all forms of evolution, leads to betterment. So do not fear the enemies of change, delusional in belief they remain, their cause is and has always been lost. Yet we must fight their attempts, for progress needs assistance in defeating their overzealous ignorance and growing power. We must not cave in, we must not relent, we must wage battle, for in the end, history and its truths are with us.

It’s the old, old story of The Tortoise and the Hare.

In the long run there is no cure for awakeness, and those who try to stem the tide of freedom will drown in the tsunami…


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    • Edger on March 4, 2008 at 14:52

    And once people learn to fly, there is no holding them down.

  1. anecdotal evidence of one life to affirm what you are saying, I’ll put mine on the line.

    In the long run there is no cure for awakeness. Things once learned will not be voluntarily unlearned. Enlightenment once experienced will not be extinguished.

    As you know, I was steeped in the darkness. And as long as I have breath to breathe, I’ll never go back!! I can only hope in my small way to pass it along.

    What an amazingly beautiful essay Edger…THANKS!!

  2. will be taking slightly longer to emerge in my neck of the woods.

    Despite being thoroughly candidate agnostic, I spent several minutes arguing politely with my hairdresser about whether Barack Obama was a Muslim or not. People cling to that “somebody told me” or “I heard” stance quite willingly even when factual evidence is presented that refutes and I would argue ( NL being raised fundamentalist and  having broken free  might actually have a better grasp than I ) people often defensively cling to weak logic especially when given facts because they are directly and personally threatened when their world view is even gently challenged.

    However… really enjoyed the essay.

    • Alma on March 4, 2008 at 17:19

    And the ripple graphic is beautiful!

  3. per usual.

    Regarding the Tortoise and the Hare, one of my closest friends who is a working writer (unlike me, who plays at it), is just finishing a biography of Aesop.  I’ve read the drafts and it’s stunning. Of course, I’m biased, but still…  Should be out sometime next year, at which time, I’ll have to ask her permission to out her just to brag on her */:-D

    On the thought of awareness producing freedom from below, that can be for better or good.  The radicalism we’ve seen in the Middle East comes often from the realisation of lack of options by those under twenty-five, when they then fall under the influence of the wrong influences.  So, it needs both the awareness and the right role models to follow out of the abyss.

    Very well done essay, Edger.  

    • KrisC on March 4, 2008 at 17:32

    cuz I have a video that says just the opposite….”Finally, researchers have found a cure for awakeness!” at the VERY end!

    I am quite sure they were serious!!!!!    /snark

    Great diary edger, I think you/we are really on to something here.

    • OPOL on March 4, 2008 at 17:56


  4. h/t to Nezua

  5. Love that optimism.  I have to disagree with Manuel V., though.  I’m not really a history buff, but I can think of a whole bunch of times in world history when, in fact, humanity regressed from civilization back to feudalism or worse.  And I have to say, three centuries after the Enlightenment, and Goober is the czar of the free world?


    But I love your essay.  How’re you doing?

  6. There is, of course, so much truth therein.  But, it is viewed more in the “aftermath” and that is always a little easier when viewed in retrospect.

    No “progress” so to speak was ever achieved easily or without strife, it simply doesn’t happen by osmosis.

    The good of your diary is that we must believe and hope that after all is said and done, we will be victorious in our “progress.”

    In our current situation, what will it take to turn the tide, if the tide is to be turned at all?

    Whatever, each and everyone can do in our own capacities and abilities, is and should be considered a step toward turning that tide, no matter how seemingly small the effort may be.

    Thank you, Edger!

    P.S.  Hope you and kitty are now a little settled.

    • Edger on March 5, 2008 at 02:33

    but I think Valenzuela is talking over the longer term, you know?

    I’m doing ok! 😉

  7. I believe that we are waking up from the spell

    That those that profit from the fear

    Cast so well

    And good people of the earth now can tell

    There is no us and them

    If not now, when

    If not today then

    What happens tomorrow

    What happens tomorrow

    If you become the change

    You want to see you change

    What happens tomorrow

    What happens tomorrow

  8.   are comfortably and inspirationally settled in.


  9. Thank you for gathering these bits up for me so that I can see the whole.  Every day that human beings win brings me joy.  I love your graphic!

  10. you have returned me to a reality larger then our puny politics of now. The family of man, is the flip side of globalism. The pull of freedom is universal and while people fear change as Kennedy said (yes he was just a flawed silver tongued pol):

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

    The world should not be held hostage to the twisted versions we call democracy and national interest and ‘good’. The truths that were the seeds of our country the self evident ones, apply to all of us. The fact that even the ‘radical’ notion of talking to ones supposed adversary’s is considered traitorous chills my mind  and soul, my body fallows suite. It goes into a place that is numbing.      

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