Saturday, May 12, 2007

He Is Already Dead

After spending about a month of really trying to understand John Trudell's point of view by listening to his music, watching YouTube videos, watching Trudell:The Movie, reading his poetry, and reading interviews, I think I might have a bit of an understanding of that point of view. After the FBI killed John's family and collected 17,000 pages of information on him, he said that he visited a very dark place for awhile, and what saved him was that some "lines" appeared to him. He has been following those lines ever since. He said they saved his life.

Last night this passage from Derrick Jensen's book, A Language Older Than Words was calling as I was thinking about John's description of the dark universe he visited after his family was murdered (which John says was an act of war performed by the FBI.)

In the seventeenth century the Zen poet Bunan wrote, "Die while you're alive and be absolutely dead. Then do whatever want: it's all good." We are, of course, already dead. There is no hope. The machine is too powerful, the damage too severe. There are too many child abusers, too many rapists, too many corporations, too many tanks and guns and airplanes. And I'm just one person: I can't do anything. You're dead right, so what the hell are you waiting for? An Irish friend of mine once told me his favorite saying: "Is this a private fight, or can anyone enter?" Give up. Capitulate. Realize there's no hope, then have at it. If you're dead, you have nothing to lose and a word to gain.

Trudell died, and now he has "nothing to lose and a world to gain."

This culture clearly has a death urge. We are obviously trying to kill ourselves. Maybe most of us have to die first before we can expect this death urge to go away.

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