‘cocaine for breakfast’

The reason why so-called third world countries exists is because the people have had their souls fractured by the trauma of colonialism. It’s not because of the violence or power struggles per se, but the existential uncertainty in having a foreign and unknown force not only take over but take away the familiar to transplant their environment. Even when countries became independent they weren’t given space, or rather they didn’t recognize the need to have some space to recollect and figure out an organic way to proceed. They jumped ahead into the suits and footsteps of the colonialists, furthering the soul fracture.

You can’t succeed mimicking someone else, nor can you heal.

Where the spirits have migrated

I think that the reason why Africa as a whole hasn’t been able to flourish and progress as expected is because Africans have had a unique connection to the land that I’d argue no other place has. Everyone else has the experience of uprooting and migrating to foreign lands locked in their genetical memory, but Africans retained those strong roots to the earth. As such they developed this kind of symbiosis with the environment, a panpsychism that is like a living aura surrounding all things in interconnected consciousness. This was fragmented and destroyed by colonialism and the Europeans placed the mind as a wedge between Africans and the world ; insisting that the only civilized way of being is through thought and not feeling.

Africans haven’t been able to reconnect to what imbues them with vigor and animation. They were stranded in their minds by the colonizers after they had exhausted their mental force and decided to pack up and go home. They are still dissociated and disconnected from the traumatized land.

Impair the imperialist

We do not know the size and strength of our own manias until they fall upon us and drag us down, or the barrenness of our inner deserts until real loneliness, fear, bewilderment and sun-madness have cast us into them. There is something huge and dark in the African world which can chew through the defences of white men who have not been harnessed to that continent’s almost mindless friendship with suffering and annihilation. Concrete buildings, clinics and city settlements can hide it, almost, but out in the wastes you never forget that the friendly hyena is there to clean you if you should die in the grey grass among the thorns. It is truly a mighty continent and you feel it when you lie down in darkness under the stars, your blanket around you, and you listen to its powerful silence, a silence made up of various small sounds become one steady background drone and clicking, of cicadas, insects of every kind, mosquitoes, all whirring and hissing in one silence peculiar to Africa.

Of all the desiccated, bitter, cruel, sunbeaten wildernesses which starve and thirst beyond the edges of Africa’s luscious, jungled centre, there cannot be one more Christless than the one which begins at the northern foot of Mount Kenya and stretches to the foothills of Abyssinia, and from there to the dried-out glittering tip of Cape Gardafui where the hot karif winds blow in from where the long sharks race under the thin blue skin of the ocean. You can never think of those wildernesses without thinking of daggers and spears, rolling fierce eyes under mops of dusty black crinkly hair, of mad stubborn camels, rocks too hot to touch, and blood feuds whose origins cannot be remembered, only honoured in the stabbing. But of all the races of Africa there cannot be one better to live among than the most difficult, the proudest, the bravest, the vainest, the most merciless, the friendliest; the Somalis.

I knew an Italian priest who had spent over thirty years among the Somalis, and he made two converts, and it amazed me that he got even those two. The Prophet has no more fervent, and ignorant, followers, but it is not their fault that they are ignorant. Their natural intelligence is second to none and when the education factories start work among them they should surprise Africa, and themselves.

I never saw a Somali who showed any fear of death, which, impressive though it sounds, carries within it the chill of pitilessness and ferocity as well. If you have no fear of death you have none for anybody else’s death either, but that fearlessness has always been essential to the Somalis who have had to try and survive hunger, disease and thirst while prepared to fight and die against their enemies, their fellow Somalis for pleasure in the blood feud, or the Ethiopians who would like to rule them, or the white men who got in the way for a while. ¹


Wandering in the Shag were Somalis with some of the sharpest intelligences in the continent, nomads who had been forced into being parasites of the camel, for centuries, and could anyone ever find a way of using all that courage and intelligence? This unique people, with their great vanity, and their touching bravery in the way in which they try and cope with their difficult life, have no palm oil, no cocoa, no coffee, gold, no diamonds to sell, only their camels. ²


The Somalis bitterly resent the white man, and struggle continually, and admirably, by lies and intrigue, to fight off his influence which spells the end of their peculiar world. You cannot beat them. They have no inferiority complexes, no wide-eyed worship of the white man’s ways, and no fear of him, of his guns or of his official anger. They are a race to be admired, if hard to love. ³


There is no one alive as tough as the Somali nomad. No one.
An askari wounded in a fight in the Haud country walked fourteen miles holding his guts in his hand, was sewn up and lived to soldier again. And the women are as spiritually strong as their men. ⁴


Hanley, Gerald. Warriors : Life and Death Among the Somalis. Eland , 1993. [Scribd version]


¹ pgs.29-31
² pg.73
³ pg.153
pg.117

don’t burn the forest for the trees

 

Filterloop Pro - 2017.06.04, 02 29 54

I don’t think we appreciate the stability and relative order we enjoy in the West. Instead of looking at the (relatively) rare terrorism incidents as reminders of what we’ve taken for granted and what so many of the world’s population are undergoing sunrise to sunset, year after year, generation after generation even though they deserve to enjoy stability as much as we do, we shut ourselves down.

We make it about ourselves and use it as an ammunition against the other. These things visit our shores not because of some mozlamic conspiracy but because our apathy has real life consequences. Whether we agree or disagree, whether we like each other or not- bullets don’t discriminate, nor does the climate or human crises.

I’m not trying to detract from what’s happening, nor am I downplaying the tragedies. But I’m merely putting the pieces together in a bid to retain sight of the forest, and not just the trees. Imagine if the bombing in Manchester went on for hours? Days? Weeks? Months? Schools, hospitals, playgrounds, malls destroyed. People leaving their entire history behind. People not being able to even give their deceased loved ones a proper burial because of the chaos? That’s the state of many parts of the world, and it’s imperative that we don’t take our stability for granted and that we don’t lose our humanity. If that happens, our disease will grow into a third world war. That’s what happens when we repress things – they appear in the world as fate.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who was a Russian writer and a revolutionary who played an integral part in undermining the Soviet Union and Communism by writing about his 8 year experience in the forced labour camps (Gulag) which he miraculously survived – both physically and emotionally, had this to say about the West and the critical point we are in atm, in a Harvard Commencement Speech (1978) called A World Split Apart:

The current Western view of the world was first born during the Renaissance and found its political expression in the period of the Enlightenment. It became the basis for government and social science and could be defined as rationalistic humanism or humanistic autonomy: the proclaimed and enforced autonomy of man from any higher force above him. It could also be called anthropocentricity, with man seen as the center of everything that exists…

This new way of thinking, which had imposed on us its guidance, did not admit the existence of intrinsic evil in man nor did it see any higher task than the attainment of happiness on earth. It based modern Western civilization on the dangerous trend to worship man and his material needs. Everything beyond physical well-being and accumulation of material goods, all other human requirements and characteristics of a subtler and higher nature, were left outside the area of attention of state and social systems, as if human life did not have any superior sense. That provided access for evil, of which in our days there is a free and constant flow. Merely freedom does not in the least solve all the problems of human life and it even adds a number of new ones…

If humanism were right in declaring that man is born to be happy, he would not be born to die. Since his body is doomed to die, his task on earth evidently must be of a more spiritual nature. It cannot be unrestrained enjoyment of everyday life. It cannot be the search for the best ways to obtain material goods and then cheerfully get the most out of them. It has to be the fulfillment of a permanent, earnest duty so that one’s life journey may become an experience of moral growth, so that one may leave life a better human being than one started it. 

It is imperative to review the table of widespread human values. Its present incorrectness is astounding.It would be retrogression to attach oneself today to the ossified formulas of the Enlightenment. Social dogmatism leaves us completely helpless in front of the trials of our times.

Even if we are spared destruction by war, our lives will have to change if we want to save life from self-destruction. We cannot avoid revising the fundamental definitions of human life and human society. Is it true that man is above everything? Is there no Superior Spirit above him? Is it right that man’s life and society’s activities have to be determined by material expansion in the first place? Is it permissible to promote such expansion to the detriment of our spiritual integrity?

If the world has not come to its end, it has approached a major turn in history, equal in importance to the turn from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It will exact from us a spiritual upsurge, we shall have to rise to a new height of vision, to a new level of life where our physical nature will not be cursed as in the Middle Ages, but, even more importantly, our spiritual being will not be trampled upon as in the Modern era.This ascension will be similar to climbing onto the next anthropological stage. No one on earth has any other way left but — upward.”

               — ————×———— —

I think globalism and the influx of immigrants and refugees to the West is a sign of a huge paradigm shift that is happening at the individual level; the reintegration of our shadows, the parts of us that we’ve repressed and shunned. The parts of us that we project on others and hate them for it. The parts we blame on others so as to escape reckoning with ourselves.

 
All the tragedies and injustices that have occurred throughout human history can be traced back to an inner imbalance; either a tyrannical attachment to what one is and has, or a nihilistic apathy to life. The former being a symptom of an overdeveloped masculine energy, ( the logos- rational, analytical, distinguishing) and the latter an overdevelopment of the feminine ( the eros – relating, harmonizing, divergence) .
This has led to the overly rational West to shun everything that can’t be controlled or predicted – i.e. the realm of the soul, and this can be seen in the long history of wars and colonialism on their part. The underdevelopment of the eros, the feminine energy, has made Western culture devoid of empathy and harmonizing.

 

However, the underdevelopment of the masculine energy in say, Africa has led to the lack of integrity, organization, critical analysis of social changes, and awareness of self-interests.

 
In other ways, this manifests itself in the collectivist cultures where cohesion of the group is valued above individual boundaries and values. And in individualistic​ cultures, such as the West, society is atomized and centred on competitiveness and the distinction of the individual over the group.

 
By the breaking down of barriers by way of English being a global language, accessibility of the internet and in particular social media, and the efficiency of travel, we know have a world where everything has been pooled in a main space where we either have to discover that we always were interconnected, or we’ll destroy one another in our reluctance to change and transform ourselves.

 
This is beyond who’s wrong or right, or who has a worse track record than who. If the ship sinks, we all drown. And it’s important to keep in mind that what we abhor in the other – the bigot, is an aspect we possess too. And it’s in reconciling with our shadow and our demons that we’ll be able to de-escalate things just by virtue of withdrawing our projections on the world that recreates it in the image of our self-hate and fears.

the civil barbarians

Until the lion learns to write, every story will glorify the hunter

 

For centuries, the White man was the hunter. He sailed across oceans in search of prey, he conned and swindled his way to the top. He dazzled with the bonfire, and then he burnt the lands to ashes. He decimated forests, massacred millions, divided up continents with the simple flick of a pen and a ruler. He mastered the art of deception through capitalism. A magician, the power of his tricks relied on what the audience did not see and did not understand. He was a master strategist who would do all the above without leaving a trace behind.

But now, the curtain is gone. People are privy to the techniques and tricks. The annals of this hunter is engraved in the scar tissue of the decimated forests, on the headstones of mass graves, at the borders of colonized countries. Oppression, ironically, released the people. The internet taught them the language of the hunter. Social networking gave the sheets over to the lions.

And now, the hunter is aghast. The roars are not simply noise anymore. The ground has been leveled, the curtains drawn, the darkness banished. The hunter tries to weasel his way out of the incomprehensible violence and manipulation, he tries to reason that it’s unfortunate human nature. He tries to equate the lion’s hunt for food with his hunt for extravagance. He tries to deflect blame by pointing to what others have done to destroy the earth and its inhabitants.

No amount of gunpowder can mask the stench of the blood of millions, and no smoke and mirrors can mask the soul from God.

To hate or not to hate

Few things fire me up like injustice. I’ve been subjected to it all my life in different ways; being bullied in school, being a black Muslim hijabi in Sweden, being mocked and excluded by my Somali elders ( before I kicked in the door with my personal research into Somalia and its language in tow 😛 ), being stigmatized for my mental health issues; I can go on. I’ve been an outsider all my life. I guess the upside to this is that I’m an independent freethinker as I’ve never been a part of a crowd and I do not shy away from speaking my mind. The phrases most used by my parents and extended family in addressing me were; ‘ Alla, madax adkidaa!’ and ‘ Muran baa ka soo haray!’ [ you’re so stubborn, and, you’re so argumentative]
But I say it’s not madax adeyg, it’s determination. It’s not muran, it’s standing up for what I believe and value.
If you’re Somali, I’m sure the recent ‪cadaanstudies‬ campaign hasn’t escaped your attention.
Even after having read the thread that instigated the letter and Markus Hoehne’s op-ed in Sahan journal, I’m not going to pose as some expert. It’s just way over my head.Nor am I taking sides in this.
However, I find the witch hunt that ensued was totally uncalled for. Markus Hoehne said stuff that was prejudiced at worst, but the public bullying and shaming that followed was sickening. I don’t understand the double standards. I don’t understand how things must be black or white. Things were taken out of context and it seemed to me that he was paying a price for all the racists and neo-trio-colonialist wachamacallit that ever existed.
What’s worse is that no other view was allowed to stand without being invalidated and rebuked for being eurocentric and individuals were accused of being self-hating apologists for defending Hoehne.
Such dogmatic stance breeds nothing but hatred. We should be able to hold differing views without there having to be a wrong or right. For healthy and secure adults, a differing view does not entail an attack on their own. Two differing views are not mutually exclusive!
When people flock to either extreme of the spectrum, it’s a sign of lack of original and independent thinking, and that people are swayed by emotions and rhetoric rather than hard facts, and this creates a disconnect in our common humanity that transcends everything else.
Racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, misogyny- all kinds of oppression and attempts at subduing another human being have one common root: fear and hate.
OK, that’s two, but you catch my drift.
The names may change, but the reality is the same. When we can’t step back and look at another human objectively without jumping to conclusion or assuming stuff, then we perpetuate the same hurt and pain that we underwent. All we’re doing is recycling evil and hatred and creating the same world we wish to change.
It’s like the mythical bird Phoenix that is reborn from the ashes of its predecessor. We’re carrying the ashes of cremated pain and hatred. I mean, when we feel threatened by uncertainties, we like to create some sense of control. So we flock to those who are most like us and create an echo chamber, while creating a common enemy, the ‘other’. Fear, then, is the glue that keeps us huddled together.This is why we, as Somalis, are plagued by qabyaalad; we feel safer to stick to ‘our own’ and keep ‘the other’ at bay in the event of another civil war.

This might seem far-fetched, but as long as we fail to investigate patterns and peer behind facades, we’re doomed to continue in a vicious cycle of disconnect and conflict.
That is why I personally sent a message of apology to Hoehne; not for his atrocities for which he received his fair share of rebuke, but because of the undue bullying and slander he received.
Having said that, I am in no way endorsing anything he did, but the reason why I’m speaking about this and not what caused this is because I want to tone down this extremism by representing a different view.
I’m not invalidating or bashing any of the campaigners or those undersigned in the open letter. I don’t have much knowledge about the discussion and it would be highly patronizing for me to speak on an issue that I know very little about, especially when there are people more knowledgeable and qualified to speak on this issue.
This is about being objective in one’s criticism and not let others ignorance or hatred turn us into hateful people.

” Instead of hating the people you think are war-makers, hate the appetites and disorder in your own soul, which are the causes of war. If you love peace, then hate injustice, hate tyranny, hate greed – but hate these things in yourself, not in another.”

-Thomas Merton
Please, let’s keep a civil tongue in our heads. ❤

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