Hannah Arendt

A Quote by Michael Jackson, 1940 on dath, cheating death, memoirs, autobiography, memory, hannah arendt, mortality, natality, injustice, and suffering

I spent a lot of time mulling over what S. B. had told me about his thirteen months in solitary confinement, surrounded by death, and the "wild thinking" that drew him back to his beginnings. It seemed to me that this urge to retrace one's steps nto the past arises neither from nostalgia nor from a need to tell one's story to the world. It is a way of cheating death. An instinct for life in the face of oblivion. For to recollect the innocence of childhood o the viogr of youth in a moment of peril is to retrieve a sense of leife's infinite possiblitiy, ot conjure a period in our life when the wold seemed ours for the taking, and we thought we would never die. It is, in essence, to recapture a sense of our capacity to act and initiate someothing new, for, as Hannah Arendt notes, action is synonymous with our capacity to bring new life into the wold. Mortality is thus conuntermandded by natality, ai ti si this unquenchable desire for renewal, this refusal to go gently into that good night, that explains why we go back, tumbling through the darkness, in search of the light that flooded and filled our first conscious years. The days of wine and roses. When our livesstretched before us liek a field of dreams. But if our imagniation springs to our rescue in such dark times, holding out the promise of rebirth, how do we fare when we are released from darkness, and are returned to our everyday lives? How do we address the injustices we have endured, the life we have wasted, the pain we have so needlessly suffered?

This question was much on my mind the day I wen to see Fina Kamara in the Murraytown Amputee Camp.

Michael Jackson

Source: In Sierra Leone, Pages: 64-65

Contributed by: jess

A Quote by Michael Jackson on war, violence, hannah arendt, terrorism, sierra leone, and west africa

Unless one has been caught up in a war and experienced the terror that comes of knowing that thousands of heavily armed individuals are bent on one's annihilation, it is hard to realize that most violence is not primarily motivated by evil, greed, lust, ideology, or agresssion. Stranges as it may seem, most violence is defensive. it is notivated by the fear that if one does not kill one ill be killed. Either by the enemy or by one's own superiors. Against this constant anxiety, and the acute sense of fear and vulnerabilty that accompanies it, one conjures an illusion of power-- torching buildings, shooting unarmed civilians, firing rocket grentades, smoking cannabis, shouting ordrs, changing slogans, seeing oneself as Rambo, taunting, torturing, and abusing the individuals one has taken captive. But all this display of might-- this weaponry, thse medicines and amulets, this noise, these incantations, both political and magical, these Hollywood images, these drug-induced fuges, these rituals of brotherhood and solidarity -- simply reveal the depth of oen's own impotence and fear. This is Hannah Arendt's great insight-- that while military power consolidates itself in numbers, and in coordinated, automatic forms of mass movement, terrorism seeks power in implements, and is driven not by might but by its absence. And so it is that in the auto-da-fe, with explosions and bomb blasts, fire, noise, and mayhem, that the terrorist, like a child, finds his apotheosis, achieving the recognition, presence, voice and potency he has been denied in the real world.

Michael Jackson

Source: In Sierra Leone, Pages: 39

Contributed by: jess

A Quote by Michael Jackson on war, violence, hannah arendt, terrorism, sierra leone, and west africa

Unless one has been caught up in a war and experienced the terror that comes of knowing that thousands of heavily armed individuals are bent on one's annihilation, it is hard to realize that most violence is not primarily motivated by evil, greed, lust, ideology, or agresssion. Stranges as it may seem, most violence is defensive. it is notivated by the fear that if one does not kill one ill be killed. Either by the enemy or by one's own superiors. Against this constant anxiety, and the acute sense of fear and vulnerabilty that accompanies it, one conjures an illusion of power-- torching buildings, shooting unarmed civilians, firing rocket grentades, smoking cannabis, shouting ordrs, changing slogans, seeing oneself as Rambo, taunting, torturing, and abusing the individuals one has taken captive. But all this display of might-- this weaponry, thse medicines and amulets, this noise, these incantations, both political and magical, these Hollywood images, these drug-induced fuges, these rituals of brotherhood and solidarity -- simply reveal the depth of oen's own impotence and fear. This is Hannah Arendt's great insight-- that while military power consolidates itself in numbers, and in coordinated, automatic forms of mass movement, terrorism seeks power in implements, and is driven not by might but by its absence. And so it is that in the auto-da-fe, with explosions and bomb blasts, fire, noise, and mayhem, that the terrorist, like a child, finds his apotheosis, achieving the recognition, presence, voice and potency he has been denied in the real world.

Michael Jackson

Source: Walking Meditation: The Experience of Peace in Every Step, Pages: 10

Contributed by: Joy Bringer

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