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Life Arts

The Man Who Died

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THIS IS DEDICATED to all the unsung heroes who have tried to change the lot of the average man. Not Socrates, Gandhi, Martin Luther King & Co., but the everyday Joes who never made it into the collective consciousness (whatever that is). Those who, by definition, you've never heard of...

These prematurely enlightened individuals, cursed with altruistic and compassionate intent, laboring long and hard to try and raise humanity out of its pen of barbarism and self-interest, before realizing (or sometimes without ever realizing) that most people are just unimaginative ingrates who simply don't want change. They then invariably die (or are killed) or quit in disillusionment and despair.

"I have outlived my mission and know no more of it...
the teacher and saviour are dead in me;
now I can go about my business, into my single life...
I wanted to be greater than the limits of my hands and feet,
so I brought a betrayal on myself...
for I have died, and now I know my own limits.."

--D H Lawrence "The Man Who Died'

History is littered with such philanthropists (exo humans). And for every one we've heard of, there are dozens whom we will never know. They are here now. They are trying, and dying.. and we continue to be unworthy of their efforts and sacrifice...

D H Lawrence , born in 1885, was an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary critic and painter. His collected works represent an extended reflection upon the dehumanising effects of modernity and industrialisation. In them, Lawrence confronts issues relating to emotional health and vitality, spontaneity, and instinct.

He became disillusioned with modern life and its values and spent several years travelling the world, looking for an alternative. He hated organised religion and sought a return to the pagan outlook with its communion with life and cosmic rhythms. He was drawn to blood mysticism and what he called the "dark gods' that had been repressed by Western industrialised civilisation.

In 1922 his quest took him to New Mexico, where he encountered the Plumed Serpent, Quetzalcoatl, of the Aztecs. Through a revival of this deity and the reawakening of the long repressed primal urges, Lawrence thought that Europe might be renewed. He regarded his novel The Plumed Serpent as his most important; the story of a white women who becomes immersed in a social and religious movement of national regeneration among the Mexicans, based on a revival of the worship of Quetzalcoatl.

Lawrence died of tuberculosis in 1930, at the age of 44.

Music: "Red Wind' by Jan Garbarek & Marilyn Mazur | Also: "My Song" | Brian Eno: "An Ending"

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