The Soul of Heresy
Some time ago I watched a documentary on SBS television and it was story about an old Jewish film maker. I could actually feel the emotion in his voice when he spoke about the suffering of his people and how he described them as being dispossessed. something in his voice made me pick up a pen and scribble out some of his words and later as I was falling asleep his words kept going through my head and in particular his words “the soul of heresy.” It occurred to me that he didn’t have to be Jewish for he could have been anyone whose people had become outcasts or dispossessed. he could have been an American Indian or perhaps an Aboriginal at Sydney Cove when the first settlers arrived.
In the early hours of the next morning (I always write in the very early hours in my own solitude before the mundane daily events of the day clutter the head) I began to write of his experience – it was as if I was traveling as invisible spirit behind him and thus I wrote a dedication to that old man.
This whole experience sparked a truck load of thought about humanity. If God created man in his own image and the bible that man should live by was the ten commandments, then where has it all gone wrong. When we look at the atrocities of history like the second world war and the gas chambers, the American Civil War and the era of slavery as well as the wars with the Indians who endured the same displacement from their land as the Australian Aboriginals.
If we were to delve into history in search of these atrocities which can only be seen under the banner of “the pest control of people” we will find that so many more events come to light under this banner and some even pale the ones I have now mentioned above into insignificance simply because in the above instances, the people or the race survived, but there was in fact some that didn’t.
Since the beginning of time, words have been then basis of communication – each word defined in it’s own use. the word “persecution” and the word “holocaust” seems to only have been defined in the last century during the second world war andbecame defined by a madman as he operated his “apparatus of death.” but these words were not actually invented by the madman as they existed before him and continued after him and it is strange that the mass exterminations during other catastrophic periods seem to not attract the same attention.
I have always been intrigued if not fascinated how one man can become the leader and have such a dedicated and obedient following that obey the most horrible of commands; in one word “kill,” as to their having a following I think that Hitler would possibly have to be placed second to all but Jesus Christ himself. Popular theory seems to come to a conclusion that they were governed by fear of reprisal however I most certainly refute that argument and maintain there in there somewhere was a high pitched fever by the followers in agreement with their leader. At a gathering of thousands he asked “Soldatun and commararden, vost vilt ihr lieber? Butter oder kanonen? (Soldiers and comrades, what would you like? Butter or cannons?” to which there was a most thunderous response: “Kannonen!” the fever pitched following shouted that they would rather starve than go to war and kill.
Not only have been mystified by the “how” but also the “why” Although the Nazi holocaust is the most memorable of humanities there are in fact many other case of genocide in history but they seem to have paled into insignificance but there is a common denominator of suffering by not thousands butmillions and their suffering is now all but forgotten although this new wave of violence by terrorism is certainly a reminder of the other events of catastrophe.Can you believe that in a supposed civilized and humane world, actual races were sentenced to extinction.
The Spanish conquerors slaughtered the native Americans and whole peoples like the Caribs disappeared then following the colonization of North America, the native Americans were massacred by the army and the settlers. Thank God we wouldn’t do anything like that but at some time please make time to delve into Australia’s history.
When I are young I only had a little spark for history for youth does not seem to be interested in the past but only for their “now.” Our parents and teachers would say “learn by your mistakes” but a young man does not makes mistakes. He has no time for mistakes and has no need for anything that is not therebefore him. He has no need for anything he does not enjoy andhistory is certainly not one of these things.
I guess as I got a little older I don’t know if I started to mature or became a little wiser but I started to become somewhat fascinated with history. This started off when I first became interested in our own history and the Aboriginal and then I
stumbled on something that began tearing me apart. I began trying to understand how this little Kingdom of Great Britain began exploratory voyages of discovery around the world and they began collecting terroritory like the world was gigantic game of monopoly only this was no “game” and the stakes were very high and the dice they were throwing were loaded with buckshot and the stakes were human lives. They would sail their tall ships across the ocean, come ashore and plant a flag in the sane and if the local inhabitants who had been thee since time began would not hand it over the land, the invaders they would just shoot them. Yes, as simple as that “give us your country or we will kill you.” Is that not like the devil thief in the night who says “give me your soul or I will take it and you are finished.”
I began looking through history books and the more I read, the more I became astounded with a thing rarely spoken about and that was the “Pest Control of People” and how most of us believe that the founder of that policy was Adolf Hitler because that is the one which we remember because in the relativity of time it is quite recent but we don’t really pay much attention to this policy being alive well before that madman Hitler and his Nazi henchmen..
Hitler embarked on a campaign to massacre and make anyone extinct the Jews, but not only the Jews for he in fact assassinated whole groups of people who were going to contaminate his pure species; homosexuals, political prisoners, prisoners of war and the magnitude of this his extermination program is unbelievable. Was he any different to our sanctimonious white species who embarked on a own campaign to eliminate anyone who had a different coloured skin. “All aboard, see the world, meet black people and kill them.” History’s statistics are staggering and don’t think this happened a long time ago when the world was filled with barbaric raiders who roamed the world and raped, pillaged and plundered for when I look at the era where this occurred and the numbers of people annihilated those barbarians were only apprentices who were having some weird sort of fun of the times.
I have compiled a schedule which I can only title “Statistics of Shame.” Still these statistics do not seem to make a big impact unless you sit and think for in our modern society a million has no great significance anymore. At this very moment there is a Real Estate advertisement on television alerting the public that they should hurry because thee are still blocks of land near Mandurah in a new estate beside the ocean foronly a million dollars. The word million is stressed by the announcer. No, the word million does not mean much anymore and when applied to human beings it pales into insignificance.
Come with me on a journey into an old Jewish film maker’s mind as he travelson the same train as the Aboriginals who wave the same flag of the soul of heresy.
The documentary I was watching was a black and white documentary on SBS one evening about an old Jewish filmmaker and he was talking about his people and what they had gone through to survive. There was so much intensity in his voice filled with passion that it almost brought me to tears and generally there is not a lot which moves me. He said some amazing and poignant things and I could not but help to jot most of them down for I have a passion for words of feeling that are not from movie script writer’s imagination.
I went to bed but I could not get his words out of my mind and the phrase he used – “The soul of heresy” kept on going around and around in my brain. He was ruining my sleep so I got up and recorded most of his words. The soul of heresy are not my words but his and I realized that he was not only talking about the Jews but he was talking of every single human being who has had been disposed from his lands and chattels and his soul. I also thought it was so appropriate that this presentation was in black and white for they are the main colours in history who have been the perpetrators and the recipients.
The Soul of Heresy.
An old man. a face camouflaged by a long white beard.
A frail old lady sits by his side.
The train departs and she takes his heart in her handThey both stare sadly out the window
Then they take one last look at their lost land.
Hand in hand they leave behind them memoriesw of a lost life.
There is no one else – just an old man and a frail wife.
They are filled with the same sound heard by all
who traveled on those old trains.
Wheels spinning around on cold endless shiny tracks.
soot and steel in every wheel; wheel after wheel after wheel.
A monotony of tired music of a monotone drone of tone.
A slow sleepy monotony of a repetitive rolling scraping hiss.
A symphony of sound playing the same song over and over
Note after note yet each note the same.
The same song of the tired old train.
The man rode this very same train when he was an excited boy,
but that was a time of happiness and joy.
Little boys don’t cry when they are only ten,
they only learn about pain when they grow into men.
Man and wife are both very quiet in that morning light.
People are talking. they are not paying attention;
they are not listening.
The musicians below the carriage floor never rest for as long
as the train rolls along they continue to play the same song.
Hour after hour, day after day and into the night, the music
plays and the old man opens a crumbled brown paper bag
full of memories he has in a dark corner of his mind.
On an old piece of paper he finds his father’s words.
“a man without a soul is not a man
He has lost the race before it ran.
We were born to be martyrs we leave to find our fathers.”
The tired old man turns to his wife
“we were massacred. we were persecuted.
our land was taken and our homes were looted
and as long as we are still men, this story will never end.
Some men are born with sight but they can never see that it is
too latefor they have been living in their own hate,
forever asking “what have they done to me?”
The wheels keep turning around and around
on cold endless shiny tracks.
Soot and steel in every wheel. wheel after wheel.
The monotony of tired music continues.
All the others are silent. They are good friends.
The best friends leave you in peace with your own thoughts.
They don’t bother you in your sad solitude
No one wishes to be bothered when they are sad.
His mind sings along to the tired music of the tired train
There are prayers of hope in his song.
“Our light of truth is everywhere; it is in the air when you care.The lame and the blind are imposing. It was for our strength we were chosen.It is easy to mix religion with suspicion and superstition.
It is hard enough to simply be, and harder to accept humility.
May god let us share in some happiness
and leave behind persecution and wretchedness.
You too were born blind like me but i am fortunate for I can see
just what you have done to me. Now what is to become of me?
What is to become of my wifeDoesn’t she deserve some peace in her life?”
Again she took his heart in her hand
as their feet touched the ground of another land.
The candle is now lit and the flame is bright,
for suffering is the symbol of this old man’s life.
Heavy messages with a symbolic task
but help from god he refuses to ask.
He refutes the help of Satan
for that is when you know all about hating.
Scrubbed down to the soul of heresy
but his soul to Satan he will never give,
before he did that he would rather die than live
He will return in the spirit in his people; that he knows.
You can take a brush and color people what ever color you wish,
but you will never be able to blacken the spirit of our people
Like the soot below the train on every wheel of steelwheel after wheel
A symphony of monotonous tired music –
A monotone drone of tone..
A slow sleepy monotony of a repetitive rolling scraping hiss.
He recalls the ceramics that united their communities
“they were the celebration of our feast days and birthdaysThese were our ways.
The families were poor but they shared their meager soup,
spoon by spoon – scoop by scoop.”
Deep furrows on the old man’s face caused by rivers of tears
that have flowed down over many years.
Now again the flow as he remembers his saddest daywhen his little boy was taken away.
The length of his mourning is a measure of his grief
for that was many years ago
and yet still the rivers of tears still flow.A sad reality that he cannot revoke
and as a spiritual symbol he tears his coat.
Now years have passed and an old lady sits by the window
and she lights a candle.
Children are playing on the road
She is praying to God to share her load.
The old man relives his childhood in the fading light.
It is a very old movie in black and white.
He feels that his life is a penalty – his penance – his sentence,
He is the apprentice to the Merchant of Venice
and for as long as he will live he has no more blood to give.
He looks into the depths of his soul and he does seethere is no parity between sentiment and reality.
He recalls his life; his feelings and his childhood mood.
Little boys running unashamed along the beach in the nude.
He sees a light bring the morning dawn,
that is the way we were all born.