SUNDAY, 1 MAY 2005
1. Define how you see yourself and who you want to be – as well as the associated role you would like to play and end results for which you would like to apply your life; the daily process of Being Who You Are/Who You Defined Yourself To Be as personal religion. In other words, advanced self-knowledge and self-definition lead to the replacement of institutionalised religion, or the replacement of traditional or handed-down “truths” as religion – that is, the mechanism through which you form part of everything that is, has been, and may still come. The self as a personal god? No. To imply that would be to miss the point, or to call a pumpkin a carrot.
2. Religion serves a purpose – identity, belonging to a bigger reality, and so on. Specific content of a religion – traditional beliefs and perceptions of truth, plus ritual, community, etcetera – activates the frankenstein that is religion in principle [religion, any religion, is like the body that is in theory able to do things and produce results; specific content is like the “soul” or life energy that animates the body and even gives it personality]. What does this say then of specific content – the Christ story, or Mohammed and the Koran, or any other specific content?
MONDAY, 2 MAY 2005
(Remember Hatchet Monday, 3 May 2004?)
I am standing in the kitchen, which is looking a little different since last night, still in Lane 2, Number 4-2, Benevolent Light New Village. My bowl of muesli with yogurt, fresh banana slices and grapes is waiting next to my cup of hot green tea for me to finish this note. Savuka is singing Track 5 (“Ibola Lethu”) from my recycled Aiwa hi-fi’s side, the sun is shining nicely, the fan is blowing out its own rhythm, the potted plants on the window sill are coming along just fine, and in the back room [N.] is working out on the exercise bike … Hatchet Monday? Twelve months and a million miles away.
Point 1: Moses did not lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land but only to the border area. To take them all the way was not his calling; it was not his purpose, nor his role or his function. What was indeed his calling, his purpose, his role and function was to guide them through the wilderness and bring them to the edge of the Promised Land.
Point 2: [My friend, E.] and I are standing at Dorex’s counter ordering drinks. I see the tall guy with the shaggy hair emerges – because he can speak English, and his female colleague steps back – because she can’t. I place my order, respond with adequate but not excessive civility, take money out of my wallet, hand it over, receive my change and a receipt and a slip with our order number, and manoeuvre between the tables and some people to where we are going to sit, waiting for our order.
Two thoughts register: 1) I functioned well enough in the environment in which I found myself; I was indeed a reasonable and civilised organic robot; and 2) exactly such a situation and associated functioning could have tipped me over the edge into insanity had the right things not clicked at the right moments.
Point 3: In a so-called communist state only 5 to 15 percent of the population are members of the Communist Party. The rest perform their functions, fill up places that are more or less important, and play their more or less important roles. The members of the Party have, in principle, more important ideological roles to play – they are indeed responsible, or at least more so than the rest of the population, for the success of the revolution.
It made me think that I might be like an idealistic revolutionary who tries to preach the message that everyone is equally important, that everyone has important roles to play, that everyone ought to discover or define their true purpose, role and function and then fulfil these roles and functions to truly give value to their lives.
But, maybe some people are more important than others – in the Greater View of Things. Maybe some people’s callings, roles, functions and purposes they aim to serve are simply more important than other people’s.
Finally, taking into account the idea that being “Brand Smit” is my personal religion, I just want to mention that I am currently not experiencing sufficient ritualistic confirmation of my particular attachment to the Greater Truth. I take notes, I learn Chinese … and I teach my classes and work on EFL material, which is important because it earns me an income which will help me in the process of making my environment and need fulfilment conducive for my primary labour.
However, it is of utmost importance that I return as soon as possible to PRIMARILY writing.