One of the many problems with the "mental health" framework is that regardless of what you do and what your motivations are, you're going to be accused of trying to manipulate a specific response from the other person ... So, over the years, I have forced to acknowledge that even apologizing and explaining why things happened the way they did – in my best understanding of my self and the world – is an act of manipulation in the eyes of certain groups of individuals. While the bad opinions around me exceeds the commonly observed phenomenon that whenever there is an unconventional achievement denigration by certain groups will follow, and so I do not wish to provide even more fuel to their flames of animosity, I believe "apology", just like "shame", though very wrongly nowadays equated with acts of manipulation, have their right place and their value to human existence; erasing them from the manual of proper conduct, is like castrating yourself, because you've heard how many meaningless fights are rooted in sexual desires. Here is not the right place to discuss why and when these acts are necessary and how they can be abused to manipulate others, so, if you do subscribe to such misleading – or more often than not flat-out wrong – evaluations, you may as well skip the following paragraphs and continue from the music video clip.
Leaving out everyone whose life evolved seamlessly without me and my actions, I wish to apologize beginning from anyone in my environment, to individuals who loved me, who needed me to love them, and to the rest people: starting from individuals I should have helped and I didn't, to friends and relative that I didn't contact simply because I feared I'm going to make another communication mistake and things go the way I didn't intend, nor could anticipate at the moment and me standing there and for months [or on occasions years] afterward wondering what I should have done differently and how to fix it now.
My list could have gone on and on and on, but let's keep it short, and also let's acknowledge that it's not like anybody is missing me that much; otherwise, there would have been a request in one form or the other ...
Anyway; of course, there have been ebbs and flows in my lack of activity and participation in life, both the social aspects of life but also professional and personal areas of life that affects me more than anyone else, and it is well evident in the frequency of my posts on my blog – it was supposed to be every day, or max every two or three days.
The short description for how is: I've been living like a living dead these past years, especially the past three years, more visibly so the last two seasons.
Actually, it was talking with an acquaintance that for describing my situation I used the term "I have been dead the past three years" that I realized, actually, I have. More than three years ago, with all the damage and destruction in my life internally and externally, I was still motivated to take a path that can get me closer to realizing my dreams, at least, the easiest one: Lost Lang. That was the motivation to attend a business school, even though "Lost Lang" is a non-profit and always meant to be a non-profit, but I realized, I'm clueless in everything finance, marketing, and business-related adding my lack of ability in communication, leadership, and friendship in general, I end up without a best-friend/co-founder for Lost Lang. In the years before, I even sometimes felt a romantic interest in women, not because I was anywhere feeling anything romantically positive about that individual but because she was multi-lingual and interested in teaching and stuff like these. In a way, perhaps, when I couldn't find a male-friend from high school to be the business-related co-founder, unconsciously perhaps I was looking for a future wife to fill that role or encourage me to learn those skills and she being part of that co-founder team.
In retrospect, I think, people at such age are so obsessed with sex and so clueless about how it actually functions that they can't imagine for others romance may not be the ultimate goal. And I'm not the only kind of exception, hoping, unconsciously hoping a future wife to be the anchor in all the missed developments in my internal and external life. Other men and women too, use romance as a mean and not the goal. The most prominent examples are men and women who engage in romance because that's good for other aspects of their lives: most famous examples actors and singers whose relationship off-stage increases the coverage of their works and people's engagement with them. Famous people's schemes are just easier to look through, otherwise ordinary people act this way too. More than you would expect, and unlike in the movies, those people don't change once in the relationship, in fact, it is more likely that, once in the relationship, they realize how successful this strategy is and become even better at using it next time with another person, another relationship ...
Anyway, introductions aside, I'm writing this post to say: with a little bit of delay:
What is a celebration without art? So, here is a piece from an artist I love:
No, it's not only because "I'm her fan" that I'm suggesting this music, this is actually my most favorite Christmas song, especially with my state of emotions in this Christmas.
By the way, if my praise-language sounds too intensive for you: it's Christmas times guys, pray for me to find a wife [you can consider it girlfriend in your language, if you think wife is too needy, or too unserious, or whatever] so there can be someone who stops me from saying "I love you" about individuals whom I admire, find inspiration in their works and desire us, at least, to be close friends for each other ...
Oh, by the way, speaking of my favorite Christmas song, and especially if Birdy's cover is too depressing for your taste: okay, let's exchange the act of kindness, here is my most favorite Christmas song before Birdy published that one:
I agree it's not a happy one, but you have to agree it has a rhythm that you can dance to, doesn't it?
Dance aside, especially as the last post on this blog is about using swear words, let's make few things clear:
Art – though the artist has to be materialistically successful enough to be able to produce the works of art he or she aspires to – is not like other areas of life where the demand and customer satisfaction drives the production design. [Wow, you see! Finally, the business terminology has poisoned my routine language!] If an artist is not true to him or herself in whatever it is he or she is creating, that's not a work of art, or it will be one worthy of condemnation. And artists are human beings, some of them come from dysfunctional families, some of them come from childhoods like "the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and only a portion of them come from emotionally healthy backgrounds.
So, creating a work of art that contains colorful language, maybe is appropriate for certain artists. If they come from emotionally or psychologically dysfunctional backgrounds or are currently stuck within one, it makes all sense, to be honest with themselves.
And I think, it is a mercy of the God that ordinary people are blind to the background of these individuals and what their works really mean, so that they just listen to a song and dance with it; Because at the end of the day, every artist is still a human being and they don't need every single one of their audience to actually grasp the depth of destruction in his or her life, only one or two with pure intentions and correct actions suffice.
But it is important to understand that artists have permission that the rest of us don't have. Artists can bring up the most intimate detail of their lives and inevitably reveal private details of the individual(s) who were engaged in those activities, and they can do so on the stage, or works of some of them even outlive their own lives for centuries or millennial, but the rest of us can't and shouldn't. The rest of us shouldn't talk about the intimate matters of our lives publicly, sometimes not even with friends, only with individuals who were party to those interactions or perhaps others who were somehow impacted by whatever happened, and not anyone else. It's not that artist have blank freedom from moral scrutiny, there are indeed duties and responsibilities that come from being an artist, and the morals that artists are subjected to is far more damning than which ordinary people are. But at the same time, they don't and shouldn't be judged or held accountable with the same criteria that a non-artist member of the society would be.
So far about why artists get a pass on using colorful language in public, let's also talk about when non-artist members of the society are allowed to swear and mean it in negative terms and get away with it:
Allah loveth not the utterance of harsh speech save by one who hath been wronged. Allah is ever Hearer, Knower. [4:148]
By the way, speaking of the Quran and foul-mouthing, Quran's suggestions don't stop there, they go even a step further:
Revile not those unto whom they pray beside Allah lest they wrongfully revile Allah through ignorance. Thus unto every nation have We made their deed seem fair. Then unto their Lord is their return, and He will tell them what they used to do. [6:108]
When one reads a verse like this, it is impossible not to feel bewildered that sometimes individuals who call themselves Muslim take offense when non-believers make fun of Islam or Islam-related historical figures. It just doesn't go with the Quran's suggestions. Unfortunately, this verse has been mistakenly used to back up the claim that profanity and foul-mouthing and etc. against the God has to be punished, while in reality, this verse has a totally different logic. Let's demonstrate the logic with a common real-life example: imagine you have married someone against your father's wish and he is still upset about it and, thinking that you have made the wrong choice, is on the watch to find the fault(s) in your spouse. You, however, wish that he sees some of the nice things you see in your spouse. Imagine you have had a fight with your spouse and everything is bitter between the two of you and then your parents are guests at your house; What will you do: you will try to not give a clue as to why you are bitter with your spouse, because if your father sees such a thing, he will make a scene and totally destroy the image of your spouse in front of you and everyone else and you will be faced with the choice to either stand against your father and defend your spouse or otherwise let it go and make your spouse fill like you actually think so horrible about him or her.
The same principles go with this verse. The suggestion of the verse is to avoid evoking retaliatory actions in non-believers by reviling them for praying to other things than the Lord. Because in their anger they will say things that they think aren't that big a deal to be said, but they don't understand how horrible that is. The same way that that father not seeing the good qualities in your spouse is going to exaggerate on whatever bad things he sees and ruin your spouse's dignity in front of you and once he had done such thing, you either have to denounce him as father, or you will have to give up on loving the person who loves you, and you chose to love, because you had betrayed that love by being silent when his or her dignity was demolished.
But with all these warnings in the Quran, the Quran itself does bitterly criticize non-believers, sometimes even in colorful language. Why? How could that be? Firstly, you have to take into account that this a work of art, and so it goes with the same exemption as other works of art regarding permission to use colorful language. Secondly, the Quran is the God's work, and He can criticize His creations but us as human beings being equal to each other are not allowed to revile each other for the matters that we aren't the party of; the relationship between someone else and the God, especially if you and that someone else aren't close friends or things like that, is their business and the God's business.
But let's take a look at an example where there are terms used in the Quran that some might consider an example of "colorful language", especially as this post is about Christmas, let's take a look at an example about one of the most – or maybe the most – praised women in the Quran:
And Mary, daughter of 'Imran, whose body was chaste, therefor We breathed therein something of Our Spirit. And she put faith in the words of her Lord and His scriptures, and was of the obedient. [66:12]
If you wonder about the foul-mouthing, don't ask me why it isn't there! In fact, Marmaduke Pickthall is one of those translators who try to stick with the exact word for word translation from the original instead of conveying the meaning. The term "chaste" had it been translated word for word would have been something like "protected her vagina."
As said, Mary is perhaps the most praised women in the Quran, so why? To understand the "why" let's look at another place where the Quran talks about Mary's virginity:
(And remember) when the angels said: O Mary! Lo! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a word from him, whose name is the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, illustrious in the world and the Hereafter, and one of those brought near (unto Allah). [3:45]
He will speak unto mankind in his cradle and in his manhood, and he is of the righteous. [3:46]
She said: My Lord! How can I have a child when no mortal hath touched me? He said: So (it will be). Allah createth what He will. If He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! and it is. [3:47]
Just compare the two editions of storytelling-style regarding the same fact: "protected her vagina" versus "no mortal hath touched me." Here is the place where you can blatantly see the quality of being a work of art. You know, "purity" is one of the most conventional and most fruitful qualities a young woman can have and the Quran pays attention to using different terminology when describing things from the perspective of different individuals.
Mary doesn't say I never had sex, or that I'm yet not married, not even she limits her physical interactions about men, by contrast, she says: "no mortal has touched me." Not only she hasn't had sex with a man, but she is also not a lesbian; and again, the other term used in the sentence is "touch": that's not as physical as the kind of activities that can make a woman pregnant, but that's the term she uses.
That's important. That's a sign of being pure. It's nice and beautiful when young people can't use the sex-related terminologies and feel uncomfortable when conversations contain such terms. That's a sign of purity, and that's meaningful. But on the God's end, He isn't ashamed of pregnancy. He knows Mary better than anyone else and so using the term "vagina" when talking about her virginity is not an act of diminishing her respect or dignity as a woman but being exact and precise. Because if the God has used another terminology, imagine He has used the same wording as that of Mary, then there would be individuals who conclude that "women should never be touched by any mortal other than their husband." That's pure bullshit. That's not how society works. Women greet each other! Even in most religiously strict societies women physically greet each other. There, being precise about what exactly the God has protected is very important.
And examples like these can be found all over the place. Even, I, who isn't really a well-published artist yet, I do use a different kind of language at different places. For example, in the short novel aimed at postpartum depression there is love-making sense at the end of the story without any description, without any sex-related terminology. However, in the earliest pieces published at Penumbra Gazette the term "sex" is freely used. I could have not acted differently, and those pieces though may appear extremely different from each other in the use of vulgar terms, they are written by the same person, not because he is suffering from "multiple-personality disorder" but because being an artists calls for the use of language based on what that artwork is supposed to be.
Sometimes artists even change their language based on the audience, too. Justin Bieber's "Love Yourself" is a song written by Ed Sheeran and the lyrics aren't "love yourself" but "fuck yourself," but he's a kid-music star, so ...
But nowadays, the theory isn't perceived as useful on its own, so, let's a bit talk about what these means in the practical term:
An interesting example on top of my mind is Justine Musk feeling being not cared-for and not-loved when she heard that Elon had spoken to his friends and predicted that if his extremely unlikely to success venture don't get enough funding and runs out of money and in bankruptcy, he and his wife and children have to move to live in her father's basement.
If a normal husband invests his money into a business and losses it all and as a result, his wife and children are forced to live in dire circumstances, you have to think that he didn't love you enough, otherwise, he would have taken cautionary measures and not invested everything in that fucking thing. But that's not true about Elon Musk, not because I want to make an exception for him, but because he is an entrepreneur. He is a real entrepreneur and not a fake one just because in certain circles being an entrepreneur is hype. An entrepreneur risks everything in his new venture, and that's not a reason to think he doesn't love you. That's actually a reason to think he does love you because he is doing the best he can ever be. Being part of an entrepreneur family means facing the risk of dire bankruptcy in case investors don't fund your venture. The AC electricity we use in our homes is based on Tesla's inventions and he was extremely rich at certain points in his life and yet the same person with countless number of patents ran out of money by the end of his life when trying to realize his latest innovation; the reason: the main investor grew impatience with the lack of evidence of the financial profitability of his project in the near future. Who knows, maybe had he received more funding, we were living a totally different state of technology today, or maybe that particular venture would have not been successful in the way Tesla had envisioned it. Nobody can know that, other than if people of the future actually make that technology come to life and can make a judgment whether Tesla could have made it happen back in time, even then that's their judgment and not totally accurate.
If your husband invest a big chunk of his savings into an idea while he has no talent for being an entrepreneur, then you can say "he didn't take you into account, and therefore he doesn't love you enough," but being the wife an entrepreneur means you are going to share the journey of investing everything in your life into an idea that may or may not be successful. Is that a life you can't live? Then you married the wrong person, not that he doesn't love you enough.
It's not to say entrepreneurs don't make mistakes and don't need guidance, support or at times maybe even rejection from their spouses so that they would avoid making mistakes, but investing everything on a project for which there is a high probability of failure is what being an entrepreneur means. And an individual who has always invested in ideas that have become totally successful, isn't an entrepreneur, because if you're always successful, it means you aren't taking risks. If you're taking risks, it means some of those risks are going to end in defeat, so being the spouse of an entrepreneur means sharing those defeats too.
The same principle applies to artists. If an artist isn't creating stuff inspired or even word for word about you, because you don't like your mistakes to be talked about blatantly, probably that person doesn't love you. Because art is in some sense self-expression of the artist, and being honest means at times that person has to describe your mistakes, or things you don't feel comfortable about in his or her works. And the language they use is in service of their profession, therefore as the spouse of an artist, you shouldn't evaluate it in the same way, if that language and those expressions were made by someone who isn't an artist about you.
Artists too, make mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes are about using colorful language when it's not called for, or not using colorful language when it was called for. But if you want to be the spouse of an artist, you should never take personal offense in those instances, instead the only thing you can – and you should – do is to criticize the artistic choices made. To let him or her see that this word or this sentence isn't exactly communicating what he or she wished to communicate.
But once you get personally offended for his or her qualities of being an artist, you lose your license for ever being the romantic partner of an artist. And that's an inevitable result, not that there is any "relationship-enforcement agency" that will take care of it. For example, if you take offense as to why the Quran uses the term "vagina" and talks about Mary's private part, your heart will end up distant from the Quran; You can't be loving to someone when deep inside you, you feel offended by their behavior and believe that their behavior meant they don't love you enough.
Ever since becoming more interested in understanding how dating works, I have noticed a host of interactions that are used as an alternative for expressing you're sleeping or having sex with someone instead of a wedding, and while I do no more believe in my childhood understanding of the world that every relationship and marriage is based on love, but at the same time, I do believe announcing to the public that you're not really committed to one another and yet having sex isn't really the most interesting social status update to be publicized; whether it's a vacation photo on social media or a vulgar language used out of place.
It's not that I'm against unwedded men and women kissing each other in front of a camera, or showing instances of a vacation together, but my exceptions belong to acts of artistic expressions – whether by individuals who are artists by identity and every behavior of theirs is an expression of their artistic talents, or those who commit the high crime of being an artist only on a temporary basis. Kissing someone in front of the camera because the characters you're playing have had sex with each other, is about making a work of art, but kissing someone because you actually had sex with each other – or plan to – is a whole different thing. Should anyone be part of it? I don't think so, other than exceptions when such interactions have ceremonial meaning, like when you kiss someone after being declared wife and husband, or other romantic anniversaries where friends, families and etc. are invited to celebrate it with you. Other than this, it becomes an act of breaking boundaries.
Certain things when damaged it is hard to recover them again, though apology and forgiveness may restore some aspect of it, other aspects of it can never be restored to a version of reality in which those damage[s] didn't take place. I don't want to perpetuate hopelessness, especially in a post meant as Christmas greetings, so let's clarify a bit: Past damage itself can become a source of strength [by divine intervention], just as past success can become a source of devastation. But it's more reasonable to not gamble on possibilities, and that's why it's a good thing to allow the fear [and shame] of consequences of wrongdoings prevent us from walking in their direction.
I wished to talk about using colorful language for many reasons, but also because in the discourse of today's U.S. politicians it's becoming a common practice, though certainly, most politicians don't even remotely meet the minimum criteria of being an artist, save the ones who are best described as "con-artist".
And the fact that nowadays there are representatives who are branded as “Muslim” by the media in the U.S. Congress engaging in behaviors that aren’t just inappropriate by moral evaluations of their peers from the same political party but also prohibited by the Quran in plain text, is really disheartening.
To talk about virginity and its value when preserved due to moral values, wasn't to shame the individuals who has lost their virginity to someone who is a nice person and appeared "funny" in their perception – though I don't really think that's a valid enough excuse as Uncle Joy would put it –, it was my excuse because I'm not that familiar with the text of the Bible to quote more about Mary and Jesus than what I've read in the Quran.
As this is a belated Christmas greetings and being funny is not really one of my skills, and being upbeat isn't really my mood and going to come off as forced and inauthentic, so let's permit me to talk a little dirty as a mean of ending this post, hopefully with a smile or laughter on your head:
Though I'm planning on releasing a more serious initiative that talks about matters like this [if Allah will], but for the sake of this post, as there was talk of kisses and Jesus and the encouragement to young men and women to put a ring on it, instead of other acts that demonstrate affection and intimacy in the public, let's criticize Jesus a little too – I believe every prophet is a human being and unless saved by the God, they aren't free of mistakes, shortcomings, failures and etc. –: though many of the wrongs in the Catholic tradition has nothing to do with Jesus and are rather due to innovations added afterward to his teachings and his story, one thing that does hurt is the bullshit notion of being married to the church and the side-effect of priests abusing children. Had Mary Magdalene and Jesus put a ring on it, instead of kisses in the public, it would have been too hard for greed-following self-described [fake] followers of him to come up with these bullshit concepts; Even if we argue that the missing word in the lost Gospel of Philip is "mouth" or other parts of Mary Magdalene's body, but something is for sure, there are just too many pictures of these two love-birds:
And also speculations, like the one about whether the woman who kissed Jesus' feet was actually Mary Magdalene. Guys, though I believe Jesus was a prophet and encourage you to believe the truth too, but he was crucified too young, so maybe they just didn't find the right time and venue to propose to one another, and celebrate their marriage and consume it with more serious kisses. I mean, look, we aren't being persecuted by the Roman Empire, so let's instead of sitting next to each other on the dinner table and exchanging kisses for the greetings, put a ring on it and be a role model for the reality that just as things like "apology" and "shame" are part of our vocabulary cause they are meaningful deeds, "cunnilingus" and "blowjob" aren't there because people love to go in detail about pervert behavior!
PS. Look, let's not make marriage over-, ridiculously over-serious. Here is not the right place to go into details of it, but I do believe prostitution should be considered as a form of temporary marriage and when such it must be defined and protected by the law. And similarly, I believe divorce has to be more accepted, so that marriage doesn't become such a burden that people have sex without marriage, only because divorce isn't a possibility if a while later you realize he or she isn't really "the one".
- Isenberg, Wesley W. The Gospel of Philip. Coptic Gnostic Library Project. http://gnosis.org/naghamm/gop.html
- Musk, Justine. “Visionaries Are People Who Can See In The Dark," TEDxUIUC. TEDx Talks, Youtube, 1 June 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxA0LESuUDE&t=55s.