TO AUNT DOLLY - on my 62nd birthday - WHERE RIGHT IS WRONG AND WRONG IS RIGHT – Part One
Posted 24th December – My telephone has not been fixed as yet although I told Aunt Dolly I will be writing until it is fixed, so here goes and I have plenty more to write about:-
TO AUNT DOLLY - on my 62nd birthday - WHERE RIGHT IS WRONG AND WRONG IS RIGHT – Part One
Adapted from REFLECTIONS – Modern Polictics – The Caribbean, Africa & Asia Minor – 1200 pages Available January 2009
“I cannot stand how Aunt Dolly tells every body what to do I am getting sick of it.” DeCourcey says today.
Sissy and Allan called Aunt Dolly, Anthony Praxeles Brown, after their philosophy. Prax – pratice - Praxean, is to do with fundamental issues of life like ethics: what is morally good and bad - right and wrong - how should we live? Should we strive for our own happiness or that of the society in which we live? Is it right to be dishonest in a good cause? Can we justify living in affluence while elsewhere people are malnourished? What are obligations to family and to other people?
Praxis sees justice and political wisdom as part of religion: with Christians it was about what the Reformation was supposed to be. When Christianity is reduced to performance; a Christians does this and does not do this, it becomes ethical behaviour whereas what a Christian is and supposed to be, when he is, who he is and what he has gone through is what he becomes - how to deal with that?
Praxean is what the Christopher Codrington III’s Trust was and is about (see God Have Mercy by Angela Cole) - how to get back to wisdom before the incense swinging and the little boys holding up priest gowns, in Islam it was and is about the same thing, returning Islamic religion to its source as compared to rituals.
Theodicy is “the justification of God as good when evil is observable in the world.” Similar to the basic doctrine of the Carib: there is good and evil, good will always be good so there is no need to bother; it is evil one must seek protection against.
Aunt Dolly was near to my mother’s age and they grew up like sisters.
Excerpt from REFLECTIONS – Modern Polictics – The Caribbean, Africa & Asia Minor – 1200 pages Available January 2009
In “A Tinkling in the Twilight” Mittelholzer’s semi-autobiographical protagonist is careful to highlight the sources of his thinking: e.g., Yogi Ramacharaka’s Advanced Course in Yogi Philosophy and Oriental Occultism. A cursory examination of Yogi Ramacharaka’s teaching (a broadly interpreted account of Hindu religious philosophy) raises points of interest for his literary critics. Did, for instance, Ramacharaka’s writings (which reveal the Yogi’s unquestioned acceptance of pseudo-scientific racism) have a conscious/subconscious impact on Mittelholzer’s ambivalent racial attitudes? Can it shed any light on the author’s preoccupation with such themes as strength versus weakness and spirit versus flesh.”
Edgar Austin Mittelholzer: A Caribbean Voice …. Posted by Stabroek News on May 28, 2008 by Juanita Cox
Juanita Cox is a PhD student writing a thesis, “Edgar Mittelholzer and the Shaping of his Novels” at the University of Birmingham, U.K. “Pseudo-scientific racism” - what she is trying to say is that people try to analyse racism but there is no scientific explanation; it is attitudinal. A lot of university graduates doing PHDs, especially those, who are literary, just write a lot of high-falsity nonsense that they borrow from several critics.
“As far as I am concerned you inherit memories that go back and that you cannot explain. You do something and somebody says your great grandmother used to do that.” Arthur said.
“Eltonsbody, a novel that was not published until 1960 was, like Of Casuarinas and Cliffs, inspired by a short visit he had made to the Scotland District of Barbados in March 1944.”
… Edgar Austin Mittelholzer: A Caribbean Voice …. Posted by Stabroek News on May 28, 2008 by Juanita Cox
Malvern plantation is located on Hackleton Cliff overlooking the Scotland District. Mittelholzer did “visit” Malvern Plantation and wrote in fiction that there was something mystic at the entrance to the estate house and a few years back a douser passed by and Eric telephoned to say that the douser had found something in the exact place, where Mittelholzer had indicated.
“One of his smallest works, Morning at the Office, is a wonderful book, a work of art. It was set in a little office in Trinidad and it captures the whole Caribbean experience. If Juanita Cox is going to talk about racism then Mittelholzer does capture the racial nuances of the people in the office. I wish he had written it longer. I like those series of books - [Ed. Note. The Kwyana Trilogy, Kwyana is the Carib name for Guyana and it means land of many waters] because they inform something about the Guyanese culture and tradition. He was representing the culture and I swallowed them.” Arthur Gay said.
“Is Cox a Caribbean person? A lot of our authorities are just collators, they collate documents and piece together some sort of things that is not exactly a true story. You have got to live the experience to get inside a society.
“I met Mittleholzer in London. He was writing and he did a lot of work for the BBC. I spoke to him a few times when I used to go to the students union in Earl’s Court. He was a semi mystic to me. It was confusing to me, what he accepted as a philosophy of life. He had no explanations he just said this is and that is that - cut and dry ideas, for instance reincarnations. I do not know, who understood him. Certain social attitudes I agree with him. He was not trying to be radical but he was not conventional.
“I remember there was this formal meeting at Combermere School. Mittleholzer sat up in the front and he wore scandals. I would not say I copied him but when the teachers union had a dance at the Crane Hotel - and for a lot of the fellows this was the first time they went to the Crane - they wore formal suits, I wore my tux and I changed my shoes and put on scandals. At the dance everybody was talking to me and somebody noticed I did not have on shoes and one by one they disappear. It is social snobbery.”
There has been lots of critics on Mittelholzer work. He was of German and Carib ancestry, not black as Cox claims. The most important thing is that he was middle class and his family were never enslaved. Mittleholzer was born in the Guianas, which in itself is a big sociological problem. Not even Australia is there anywhere else that so many different races met and mixed. There were Amerindians, African, free and slaves, European: English, Dutch, Portuguese, French and East Indians.
This was a colonial territory and except for the Caribs, everybody regardless of colour and race were all colonial subjects. The only difference was with the French, they were part of France and the Dutch, the biggest slave traders, had a different system but for a long time there was not open consciousness about the evil of slavery.
Mittleholzer fictionalised his stories [see No: 24 The Last of the Bajan Pirates] but his books are records of what went on around him. He loved Wagner’s music and like Wagner’s music he wrote some of his books in leitmotiv - meaning a recurring theme. He repeated leitmotiv in a literary way. He even made themes within themes. Certain phrases in the text seems detached from the main body but put together they reveal a story, just like in a symphony.
“There is, however, the Carib child, who unlike Mittelholzer, who wrote the story in fiction, set himself afire and burnt to death, has faced their demons, fashioned a flute out of their bones and though the music has long faded has retained the seed and written a modern symphony, not in notes but words.” … [see No: Last of the Bajan Pirates]
“I find Wagner pretty heavy. I do not think I would sit and listen to a whole lot of it for it reminds me of heavy, white, buxom German ladies.” Arthur said.
Lisa, Sissy’s great granddaughter and Aunt Dolly’s granddaughter loves and plays the classical flute and is one of the only two flautist in the youth orchestra.
Some people cannot help having a slant, something to prove and many of these students have to come up with something spectacular even if it is not true but for me Mittelholzer is not a complex person but a very simple person; it is called non-linear thinking. The Theosophical Society teaches that life is the highest art. It is a simplification that because someone studies products of philosophy and is influenced by a philosophy it means that that one philosophy is accepted in total to the exclusion of all others. There is not only one way that is why there are schools of thought.
Praxeas was a priest from Asia Minor, in Rome around B.C. 206. Ibn Taymyh, was born 1263 in Harran, Mesopotamia, was much persecuted and died in 1328 in Cairo. His books are the source of Praxean understanding and Wahhabiyah, founded by Muhammad ibn “Abn al-Wahhad in the latter half of the 18th Century and he wrote “Treaties on Juridical Politics.” Praxis is what some scholars at that time:- Mittlezleholzer, Sissy, Frank Collymore studied and led to questions such as: was Jesus a man miraculously conceived, was he divine or and what about the Trinity? There were two school - one said: sole deity of God the father, that was an extreme monotheistic view, the other held that Christ was a man with high degree of divine wisdom and power.
“Up until the time my father died he had not worked out the answer to was Jesus God?” Said Petra Collymore the daughter of national poet, Frank Collymore was schooled at Combermere and never felt. He stayed and taught and was a real Barbadian man. George Lamming, the writer, went to Combermere and Collymore then, the editor of a magazine, BIM, published George’s work. Collymore founded a theatre company, the Green Room, in which my paternal aunt, Thelma, was an actress and Mittleholzer reviewed.
The Laws of Consequences: Karma is “the unseen law which adjust wisely, intelligently and equitably each effect to its cause, tracing the latter back to its producer.” Paul said in his epistle to the Galations 6: 7 “For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
Karman a Sanskrit term that expresses the law of consequences – “of unerring, never-failing justice.” Reincarnation and Karma were part of the early Christian doctrine but unfortunately many, have fallen for the Roman Catholic concept of purgatory, that just before death, with no apology and no amends to victims, sorry can be said to God and the soul passes into purgatory for a while and from there to heaven.
There are a lot of different layers of the truth. On the cross one man said to Jesus: “I am sorry, take me with you.” He could not make amends because it was too late but he was forgiven under the circumstance. Grace is the extension of mercy and returns the wrongdoer to former status as though the offence was never committed and thus the person is purged. It is unearned mercy, where forgiveness is sought, amends made and forgiveness received.
If God/Goddess, Nature or the Great Spirit, call it as you like it, is love and man is made in that image then it shall not be too broad to believe in the innate goodness of man that can be corrupted by his environment. Love works on two levels: love for the human race; certain things that certain people, who have no weight to their existence or who cannot add to cares and concerns, do is like carrying excess baggage, like taking a parcel for someone to find oneself trapped, like a friend, who takes a parcel for another only to find at customs that the parcel contains cocaine.
“As long as we love or hate anyone, we have a tie with that individual which will persist as long as that love or hate continues. So we all come back to Earth together – friends, relatives, enemies – to take up again our joys and sorrow, our work and play, our experiences and lessons in human life.” … .Theosophical Society.
Care must be taken in love and also to erase hate, therefore, removal of self from the orbit or those, who from their youth have had their own way, regardless, and from those whose world evolved around themselves, in the last decade of life they cannot get out of their karma and they will go back the same way they came. Those left behind cannot afford to agonize over individuals, who put themselves out of the boundaries of forgiveness and grace.
The answer to Mittelholzer question, is the new World mad and is it because of the mixing of the races is not about racism it is to look and analyse the behaviour of groups of people, who have socialized together over centuries. Colour is unimportant.
Knowing our ancestors has allowed me to study psycho-history to get in minds of persons to interpret that which my great grandmother and grand-mother did not understand and through this, as a Marxist, to try to make change.
“When I came back here after the war Stanley house was a place to which everyone tried to get an invite. When we made it there we thought we had arrived.” Said Bob and ex-civil servant and Head of the Commonwealth Liaison Unit. When his marriage broke up, he stayed in an apartment attached to the south side of Stanley.
“The Arts Council started at Stanley. Thelma was one of the actresses, she sparkled, and she was a beauty.” Thelma was my father’s younger sister. “We were the only two that Edgar Mittleholzer, mentioned when he reviewed a play in which we acted. I was in love with her.” Barbadian middle-class men, young and old were infatuated with Thelma.
Mittleholzer was a Zen Buddhist to death – his charred body sat in the Buddhist cross-legged position. Sissy’s study of comparative theology led her to practice what every Muslim is required to do: “Will the good and forbid the bad,” to the benefit of the common good - (society) but when corrupted men sit in the seat of corrupted justice what is there to bring? Where will justice be found? What system can be used?
“It is all about money?” Says Marjorie close childhood friend of the family.
The devil, they say comes back for his gift when least expected and so it was that at the time, when money was most needed by the two humans beings that Allan loved most of all that it was taken away.
It must have been with a sense of hopelessness and trepidation that these girls entered into adult life and the option my mother took was to stay besides decadence and decadence done it became “you help me and I help you,” because “that is how it is done since it is like that,” and with pride, the greatest sin, because it is never seen until late, and what meant very little or nothing at that time, down the road became omnivorous.
This binds with people who have a strain of weakness that goes deep and if it is never called into play everything would be all right but with lies, corruption and a chance to make money, gain position or friendships the weakness tells, coordination goes and fragmentation occurs and then anything can happen.
Money accepted and spent, the remainder and property began to be seen as rightful inheritance. An option would have been to pursue the culpable family members and demand amends or a settlement. This was Capio di Capo, blood, and which way to the brown side or stick with virtue?
The point that Mittelholzer makes is that, when one partakes in wrong doings - euphemistically put selling ones soul to the devil - one never knows how long the rewards will last for usually they come to an end at the most inopportune time. Many people are force into causing harm to others by the way in which the society in which they live operates and the society that Allan’s family helped to create and he had helped to maintain turned on his daughters, as the bible says, the sins of the grand father were visited down through to the fourth generation......