Posts Tagged ‘TE Lawrence’

Honor and Duty are noble currency with which nations buy man and his institutions. It was thus wars were won. Here let me quote a passage from Seven Pillars of Wisdom:

“(The account) It is filled with trivial things, partly that no one mistake for history the bones from which some day a man may make history, and partly for the pleasure it gave me to recall the fellowship of the revolt. We were fond together, because of the sweep of the open places, the taste of wide winds, the sunlight, and the hopes in which we worked. The moral freshness of the world-to-be intoxicated us. We were wrought up in ideas inexpressible and vaporous, but to be fought for. We lived many lives in those whirling campaigns, never sparing ourselves: yet when we achieved and the new world dawned, the old men came out again and took our victory to re-make in the likeness of the former world they knew. Youth could win, but had not learned to keep: and was pitiably weak against age. We stammered that we had worked for a new heaven and a new earth, and they thanked us kindly and made their peace.

All men dream: but not equally, Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did. I meant to make a new nation, to restore! a lost influence, to give twenty millions of Semites the foundations on which to build an inspired dream-palace of their national thoughts. So high an aim called out the inherent nobility of their minds, and made them play a generous part in events:….. “( selected: introductory chapter)

Remember the big gestures are made by those who stayed home while the youth and hopes  of ordinary folks were sent to be cannon’s fodder. Did the world fare any better? One evil was replaced by their villainy who have the power to lay down laws and redraw maps and demand restitution from losers. These men deluded by a new ideology, threat of which was alone in their foggy minds unleashed yet Korean War, Vietnam War and much more. Why praise the dead if the living have no desire to change their ignoble mentality?


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Where does life of a man or woman begins? Birth is merely a point, a reference point, a milestone as death is. Influences of life from its parents have already made its own impressions even while it is still a foetus. A life is measured between birth and death as a way of convenience. But it misses the essentials, which are supplied by life. Stendhal in his own time had to put up with indifferent public and conspiracy of silence from literary critics of the day. Nevertheless he kept on with his writing of which a few perceptive minds, Honorè de Balzac was one, were enthusiastic about. Stendhal dedicated his ‘ The Charterhouse of Parma’ to these ‘ happy few,’. He also predicted that he would be read some 50 years hence which uncannily was proved true.
Oneness of things works on a different timescale than we hold. We have a quality time and it is for doing the needful things like our creature comforts. We are simple and misguided to think of success in terms of material riches. It is arbitrary. Creative genius of Van Gogh or Gaugin was such that they had different priorities in life and they outraged the conservative tastes of the day.


Van Gogh sold only one painting in his troubled life and now his works are priceless. Paul Gaugin’s bad luck persisted throughout his life. He left France and Paris the art capital of the world hoping that the king of Tahiti would buy his works. Before he could see him the king had died leaving him to fend for himself to a yahoo life as TE Lawrence qualified any life that was given into ‘ possession of aliens.’ Worse still his only skill, which he possessed was of not much use in Tahiti. He was forced to a life in a limbo entirely cut off from the world of art, which was necessary for him. Three years after his death in 1903 in Marquesas islands, an exhibition of his retrospective works held in Paris was a triumph. It caused a revival and interest in his works. Soon he was judged as one of the greatest painters who had impressed upon the 20th Century art.
One may in course of his or her life come up for many disappointments. What are many missed opportunities or disappointments  of a genius if he is denied what is his due? It is not that the public or the masses are dumb but the sorrows of a genius owe to the fact the public and the genius march to a different beat; The  public have their opinion on tastes and would act as an arbiter of what is good and what is bad. These guardians of morality derive their authority from their perception of finite time: they fashion their judgment to explain their times from their insufficient evidences; they are like automatons sold to the tyranny of time. Creative minds have a different concept of time. As the sage who said, these march to a different drummer than they. Character is what balances a life whether it is done on the coordinates of time or Time. These variable Speeds still give Character its recognizable form. Truth.
Truth is that quality which, like a keystone, holds all facets of a life where influences, what is derived and what is patently homegrown, are in equipoise.

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