This week a conversation started.
I like conversation.
It is in conversation that we ‘become’, feeding on new ideas, discovering different ways of thinking, expanding our own worlds, by inviting in new worlds.
My friend Wendy wrote a post in her blog ‘Half-Formed-Wish‘, I responded with a post entitled “we’ve got to talk about this‘ and many in the blogosphere came alongside, talking, sharing their own ideas and writing down whatever was opened up in them, through our thoughts.
It is an interesting process.
What Wendy said unlocked something inside of me.
What I said unlocked something else in Bjorn and the Faithful Skeptic and Wendy.
Which again unlocked something new in me.
It is almost like and exploration.
A brave Livingstone making his way through uncharted territory, coming upon a clearing, going off in a new direction, finding a river, following its flow, walking up-to the foot of a mountain, scaling that mountain, coming to its summit, seeing a new view, walking down its shadow side, coming upon a waterfall and along the way discovering new plants, new insects, new animals.
All of this changing his perception and understanding of the world in which he lives.
Our conversation reminded me how weaved into our being western thinking is.
I am an African, as Thabo Mbeki once said.
I was born on African soil and found myself a foreigner as I visited England and Scotland and Ireland.
I find myself feeling kinship as I walk amongst the Savanah-plains of Botswana and hear the roar of the Wild Coast’s ocean and live at the top of an African hill.
Western thinking is not the property of people living in England and Europe.
Western thinking has infected Africa.
Through television and film and radio and music.
Through education in the worldview of Plato and Socrates.
Ingrained in everything from learning the Roman alphabet and basics of mathematics and dogmas of Christianity.
It has been woven into African being, creating a silent conflict, most are unaware of.
It works in opposites.
Good and evil.
White and black.
Right and wrong.
Beautiful and ugly.
It believes, life can be organised.
It can be analyzed and categorized.
If this is beautiful, then that must be ugly.
If this is right, then that must be wrong.
If this is acceptable, then that must be unacceptable.
It applies a system.
It is at the heart of democracy.
It is at the heart of organized religion.
It is at the heart of capitalism.
I’ve come to a different place.
For me to be right, does not mean someone else must be wrong.
We can both be right.
In fact I’m concerned about ‘being right’
For Zuko to be beautiful and wonderful, does not mean someone else must be ugly and terrible.
For us to have found a way to share life, which works for and enables us and is filled with meaning for us, does not mean another way of living is less meaningful or less enabling.
Eastern thinking believes two things can be equally beautiful at the same time.
African thinking does not even verballize it.
Not to be judged or categorized.
Purely to be enjoyed.
Not to be subjected or controlled.
To be in awe at.
The ocean’s inexplicable roar.
The winds freedom to blow wherever it wants to.
Its invisible strenght to destroy without regard.
The wonder of new life.
The fragility of existence.
The finality of death.
The power of just listening.
Not agreeing or disagreeing.
Not finding the weakness in an argument.
I think this African-ness is most visible in our love of stories.
Through stories we remember yesterday.
We make sense of life.
We express hope for the future.
There was a boy.
He existed since forever.
He was born into this world uncountable moons ago.
He’d endured forty winters and basked in thirty-nine summers.
He came to this world to embrace.
To see beyond now.
To see not what people seem to be, but what they truly are.
Who they can be in all their immense beauty.
Who they already are, without realizing it or expressing it.
For him to learn of this, he had to endure conditionality.
He had to be subjected to the absence of love for who he himself is, trading compliance for something which resembled love, but was not love at all.
He had to be the agent of destructive thinking in order to unmask it in himself.
Of religious order.
In order to recognize its fallacy.
He had been born many times.
Or perhaps he is still being born.
Every day a little more as this world is giving birth to a new existence.
At night when he lies down to sleep he sees beyond this world for he has discovered new eyes which can see beyond.
He sees people in new places.
He sees his little bit of world differently.
He does not know if what he sees is something which will come, or merely something which might possibly come to being.
A possible tomorrow.
Yet he cannot stop these images of flooding his being.
When he touches someone, when he embraces them in a slow hug, he feels their being.
He experiences their true being pushing hard against him, pleading to be released.
He often cries.
For the keys which unlock are hidden inside.
And he can only hope to contribute in their search.
If there is a search at all.
Help stumble upon the set of keys carelessly lying in some insignificant place.
It is his tears and his laughter all at the same time.
As he stands among the crowd, not the brown rock amongst the white.
Just another rock.
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