(Modern) Slavery…

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People bound to their relationships.

Doing things just to please others.

Employees tired to their employers.

Doing things just to satisfy them.

Managers enslaved to their customers.

Adhering to whatever they say as long as they are happy.

CEOs enslaved to their shareholders.

Making everything possible to make them happy.

People bound to their desires and wishes.

Selling their own soul to satisfy themselves.

A cosmos enslaved to progress.

Doing things just to do things.

Look beyond what you see. Search your soul. You used to have a soul remember? Trace back your footsteps. Back to your home. To a place where your were loved. Recall your happiness. When you were in Paradise along with God.

Oppressed and enslaved by the only thing that could enslave you…

Look in the mirror.

Can you still see yourself without crying?

Hey!

Why did you not finish that report yet?!

Sorry boss…

(Why am I smiling?)

Inherited strength & Arrogance in religion, science and elsewhere.

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Σιωπή…

Nowadays we often talk about the arrogance of people in various fields. Arrogant scientists do things simply because they can do them, without thinking about the consequences. Arrogant priests are almost celebrating that they quit the church and “moved on”. Arrogant managers in companies behave unacceptably without any empathy for colleagues or customers. And the list goes on and on for ever. Many reasons lie behind such behavior. But few are the important ones. One being the most basic of them all: The ease with which we inherit power and knowledge. An ease that is increasing as the years go by and we ‘progress’.

You see the scientist today does not toil for what he knows. He just reads everything that his predecessors have discovered and by standing on the shoulders of giants he makes his own discoveries. By finishing university he already knows everything that the leading scientists of the last century knew without even sweating. With such power he feels intoxicated. He gets excited. He can go further! To create something else! It does not matter what! He does not even think about whether or not he should respect some limits because he did not go through years of difficulties to get where he is; time that would increase his humility at the same time his strength also increased. His knowledge increased exponentially along with his arrogance. Similarly, the priest today does not bother to be a ‘saint’ or does not spend years of pain and efforts to reach at new spiritual heights that will allow him to humbly guide others. He reads everything that the Fathers of the Church have written and in a few years he is ready to play his role, spreading the wise thoughts of old sages to his followers. The greatest difficuly he ever experienced? The exams at his school. And if he gets bored, well, he just leaves. But the holy people of the past went through hell to become what they became. For them it was not a matter of reading at a university but a matter of living. For them, it was a matter of life or death. And how can you give up your life or deny your death?

The examples do not stop here. As said above, we could go on listing cases of modern people following the easy path, accepting inherited power and being arrogant because of that. The right president of a company has gone through a lot until he reached his position. Years spent in low positions, years of effort and difficulties. He won his place. For such a president it does not even make sense to ask him if he is thinking of leaving and going elsewhere. Such president makes a great president. But to-day, people are just selected to be CEOs. In the same way you select to buy a gun from the super market. And with that gun you can kill. But the karate teacher who has learned after years of practice to kill with his hands, he never does kill anyone. Because the years that he spent to acquire this power made him the right person to use it wisely.

Alchemists had a reason for requiring years of silent apprenticeship to reach a minimum so as to begin doing your own experiments. Pythagoras the same. Be afraid of the easy way. It leads to monsters. Learn what you learn on your own. And only when you work hard enough to make it your own, dare to talk to others about it.

Until then…

Discard your inheritance.

And shut up.

(Inspiration for the post from Ian Malcolm’s speech in Jurrasic Park novel, written by Michael Crichton)

Christ did not exist! Do you still believe?

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Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

There was a lot of discussion recently on Greek Facebook about a famous and popular priest who decided to stop being a priest. A choice that divided and provoked either positive or negative comments. I will not dwell on this discussion and on whether a priest who does such a thing is doing the right thing or not. Instinctively, I believe that such an act involves more the element of cowardice, as a friend of mine mentioned, than an element that could arouse admiration. Anyway, I did not know the man so my judgment is superfluous and may also be wrong.

This small event though made me think about another much more important issue: What effect does the fall of a person who is nothing more than an idol have on the people who followed him and believed in him as their guide in life? It may sound funny, but many people are looking for such guidance. Many times I have heard people talk about a priest in terms like “He is good, come and listen to him” or “He is an enlightened man” etc. What do the same people say when this priest gives up? Does their system collapse? Do they just… go to the next priest available? And regardless of that, the views these people had and which they based on their… previous idol, have they remained intact? If so, what role did this idol play in their lives? If not, then what role did these views play in these people’s lives?

These questions may seem funny or a little serious – especially to those who follow such idols – but they can be made even more serious by choosing another example: Christ.

Many Christians say they believe because they believe in Christ. What does this really mean? That their faith is based on His Resurrection, which they have believed beyond any doubt? So if they somehow go back in time and discover (hypothetically speaking) that the Resurrection was a complicated lie, then they would cease to be Christians? Or that if Christ suddenly started saying nonsense (again, hypothetically speaking), would they follow that nonsense literally because He says it? What does it mean to have a faith based on your faith in someone, even if that person is God?

To me, a lot of faith is a sign of little faith.

To yourself.

If you believe in the teaching which says “Love each other” (Gr. Αγαπάτε αλλήλους) you should do it not because someone else said it, but because you heard it, processed it and decided that you agree with it and incorporated it into your life. And the interesting thing is that if you did all of the above, it no longer matters who you heard it from or who said it! The seed that Christ sowed, if it eventually sprouts, belongs to each one of us. It no longer belongs to Christ, in the sense that a fool who follows someone else ‘belongs’ to the latter without mind and knowledge. If you believe in the teachings of Christ, then it does not matter if He even existed! Let alone if He was crucified, if He did what they say he did, etc. Because now this love is your own and you are now its self-luminous bearer. By your choice. And even if you took a time machine to go back in time and see that Christ did not even exist (the permanent dream of all hardcore atheists), your Christian values ​​will not and should not be affected. If that happened then we would all be in big trouble and these values would not be actual values to be honest.

So let’s leave all the fake idols.
Let’s stop following them.
Let us ask ourselves simply and honestly.

Would we follow… us?

On the other hand, I may just say nonsense.
Who told you to follow me?

With respect to the dead… [The Coronavirus Sweden example]

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Photo by Lucas Craig from Pexels

Coronavirus crisis has helped in revealing the true nature of people and of states. Crises of such proportions do have the tendency of doing so.

Within the crisis people feared death, people laughed at death, people showed ignorance of epic proportions for basic scientific facts, others just chose to worry about everything while some of their friends were totally cut off from the crisis itself while sipping coffee.

And while dancing in the shadows.

Each man showed his real face…

States over the world similarly exhibited varied reactions to the coronavirus, with some imposing strict lock-downs, others doing nothing and then imposing lock-downs, while others imposed no or very limited measures whatsoever.

And while dancing in the shadows…

Some states revealed a monster.

And unlike fairy tales, monsters in this case were beautiful and clean. Even happy. One could never believe they are monsters anyway. Unless they hear the silence beyond their laughter…

Sweden once again startled the world. By choosing not to impose any measures or general lockdown (with the exception of banning big gatherings/ large events). Sweden and Swedes believe that their strategy was great and successful. They claim that they have managed to keep deaths at a low while not imposing a devastating lockdown which would collapse the economy.

First of all, the claim that they kept deaths low is wrong. The deaths in Sweden due to coronavirus per million are much higher than comparable nations which did much better at containing the new virus (e.g. Greece). Secondly, there is a price for keeping the economy happy. That price is death. And Sweden has a long tradition in doing so.

In the case of the coronavirus, the price is paid not by the people going out for coffee or drinks (without keeping safe distances by the way – no, the cause of the “success” is not in the obedience or the responsibility of the Swedes), but by the elderly. They are the ones who die in the nursing homes for the rest of Sweden to be able to go out and cry “Success!”…

This is not a secret either. It is known to everybody. It is just that there seems to be a prioritization of the economy over life, especially when that life is the life of a person in his late 70’s. As a restaurant owner said “With respect to the people who died, life goes on”.

With respect to the dead…

Sweden kept on doing business with Hitler during WW2, while other countries paid a huge death toll while fighting against the… business partner of Sweden. (See “Allies trading with Hitler – Economic games during World War II” for details)

With respect to the dead…

Sweden had eugenics long before Hitler even considered them. (Check “Evil Sweden strikes back… (or: How to sterilize “inferior” people)” for details)

With respect to the dead…

Sweden chooses to put a price on human life and leave everything uncontrolled because anyway it is the elderly who will die. Elderly who are anyway in nursing homes, so why care right? (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Because at the end what is under question here is not the effectiveness of that measure of the other, but something much more fundamental: The value of human life itself. And Sweden has chosen to answer that question. No, don’e be fooled. It is not that the answer Sweden has given is wrong. The problem with questions is that they contain the answer as Aristotle said. And when you ask the value of human life, you will inevitably give an answer somehow. And this answer will have effects.

And measures will not be taken.

And the elderly will be left alone.

And the businesses will keep on working.

And people will keep on laughing.

While an old man dies alone.

Tell me, young man.

With respect to the people who live…

How can you put a price on the dead?

PS. This is not an anti-Sweden article per se. Sweden just gave a perfect example of how modern civilization measures the value of human life in money today. There are many other nations which think the same way as Sweden. For example in Gernamy Wolfgang Schäuble advocated for a more even calculus between public health and the economic and social consequences of a prolonged shutdown, fearing an overload of state capacities. He also disagreed with subordinating all other concerns to the goal of saving lives, claiming “this in its absolutism is not correct,” as the German constitution’s right to human dignity “does not exclude the possibility that we must die”. (source) That is a great line by the way. If only it was told by the man dying…