Thursday, August 02, 2007

Jul 28, '07 9:45
Big Consciouness Talking..
Sep 7, '06 1:16 PMfor everyone
After all the pros and cons commenters wrote on whether Pinoys are traitors or heroes for living abroad, read this. This man's insight is truly valuable. Truly, here is big consciousness talking. Nigerian novelist, Ben Okri, in an interview with Ode Magazine."We lack knowledge; we lack insight. I think it is a kind of imprisonment. We believe that people should only live in the place where they were born. As if you signed a contract with God: 'I was born in Birmingham and I promise never to leave.' This imprisonment has contributed greatly to the ignorance that exists throughout the world, to the prejudices that people have about their neighbours, the next country or another religion—and about 'that tribe' and people of 'that colour.' If people were free to travel more… if someone travels from Birmingham to Thailand, it is not really travelling. That is tourism. But if you travel from Birmingham to Liverpool and live in Liverpool and then go to Ireland and live in Ireland and then come and live in London for a bit and then maybe do a spate of living in Paris and then you visit Africa and then visit Thailand, now that is travelling. Travelling challenges you to change your provincial perspective. Travel begins by altering your sense of the assumptions that you make about the world.Travelling enables you to see how different you are from your next-town neighbour, and how similar you are."That is why it is important to teach children to think clearly, but it is also important to travel with them. I think that moving children gradually away from where they originate is an important influence on freeing the mind and reducing the amount of prejudice. You must deal with the problem of racism in a manner that is not only political. You cannot legislate it out of existence. It is important to understand why people are that way and why they think that way. The problem is not that white people have not met black people. The problem is that people do not leave their neighbourhoods. Real freedom for a Dutchman would be the freedom not to be Dutch and for an African not to be African. It is the freedom to expand your definition of what you think and experience constantly, always allowing new possibilities."It is the freedom to investigate your shadow side, the side that you disown. You need this knowledge in order to find your vocation. You do not just get up and become a photographer. You have to enter into the process. You have to learn and surrender and, at some point, mastery will come to you. There comes a point when your hands are broken, your face is broken and your spirit altered, when you begin to sense the hidden laws of your art. Only then can you start to take photographs and write poems that will be of great value to this world. Only then can you transcend yourself."


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