Bliss, understanding, and power

Ten points to those who know which important document the following quotation comes from:

If one group of people wears white clothes in mourning and another group puts on black, the sentiment of each group will be adjusted according to these two colours, i.e., one group rejects the black colour on such an occasion while the other one prefers it, and vice versa.

Such a sentiment leaves its physical effect on the cells as well as on the genes in the body. This adaptation will be transmitted by inheritance. The inheritors automatically reject the colour rejected by the legator as a result of inheriting the sentiment of their legator.

Consequently, people are only harmonious with their own arts and heritage. They are not harmonious with the arts of others because of heredity, even though those people, who differ in heritage, speak a single common language.

The emphasis is mine. And — should anyone have any doubt — the emphasis is made in order to point out not the most brilliant passages but the most amusing ones.

Why this post?

I have two reasons for this post, other than sharing the hilarious ignorance of a powerful thinker.

The Challenge of Communication

The first is that out of the witless crap in the previous paragraphs, comes the following, which is actually a conclusion I can pretty much put my name to, concerning the challenge of learning and communication — in this case, between different cultural groups, but the argument applies to any appropriation of other people’s thought, including music and the arts:

To learn a single language is not the problem, and to understand others’ arts as a result of learning their language is also not the problem.

The problem is the impossibility of a real intuitional adaptation to the language of others.

Between Stupidity and Insight

The second reason is that the book from which the quotations are taken — which by the way is a book not without its importance in the world these days — are full of these: nonsense leading to fully valid observations, or surprisingly clear-sighted analysis leading to utterly delusional conclusions.

Since the author is a man of power, this might lead to a consideration of the complicated relationship between wisdom, reality, power, change, abuse, injustice, and our shared responsibility.

So — who is the author?


Update:

OK, so it wasn’t really that hard. The excepts are from Moammar Qadhafi’s Green Book, written in the late 1970s, and compulsory reading for Libyans ever since. I post it here, in a prettified pdf-version, for two reasons:

(1) It’s better to read it yourself (and then figure out it’s crap) than to be told — perhaps by someone with an agenda — that it’s crap and that the author is a village idiot;

and

(2) It’s better to read it in a format that is pleasing than in one that isn’t.

So here you go: Qadhafi’s Green Book


5 thoughts on “Bliss, understanding, and power

  1. Heh… I knew I could count on you to come up with something like this. Interesting.
    I haven’t read the whole thing, just enough to make sure that it’s not really a strong support of Lamarckism, and hence not either of Qaddafi’s theory of art.
    But nice link!

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