The Send-Off. Wilfred Owen Poem. Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran.

052. The Send-Off. Wilfred Owen Poem. Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 17th Jan 2013.  Short URL http://nut.bz/2m900dvw/

Posted in Wikinut>Essays

Jean Jacques Bebel, the Swiss historian has calculated that in the 5000 years of the recent history of the world, only 282 years were devoid of any kind of wars. Peace is the brief interval between two wars. A shot sent at a visiting Prussian Prince and his wife by a young student at Austria, and the life of millions was shattered and the way of life of the world changed for ever. Horrors of the First World War were sung by thousands but Wilfred Owens’ poems were brought hot from the war front.

The voice of the First World War passed away, knowing not about the fame that was to come to his name.

Owen Send Off 01 War imminent. US Poster. Michael P. Whelan 1914.War imminent. U S Poster by Michael P. Whelan 1914

If World War First had a voice, we can say that it was Wilfred Owen, employed in active service, singing about the horrors of war and killed in action. In his brief life time, only four of his poems were published, but after his death, dozens of them were published and brought out as books. It is believed, many of them have not still come to light. Awarded the Military Cross for bravery posthumously, he passed away in poetic anonymity, knowing not about the fame that was to come to his name in future. Speaking for men in the trenches under his leadership was what he did through his poems, which, it seems, were all written during the last two years of his life, 1917 and 1918.

Soldiers sitting in trains, in funeral decorations, going to war front.

Owen Send Off 02 Pre war breakfast. Ferdinand Max Bredt 1918.Pre war breakfast. Ferdinand Max Bredt.

Wilfred Owen was a British poet who was killed during action in the First World War. Insensibility, Strange Meeting and The Send-Off are his most famous anti-war poems in which he brings out the pity, realism and irony of war, reflecting his and his soldiers’ negative attitude towards war. He sees no romanticism or chivalry in war, but only death, destruction and decay. True, what else is there in war except the glory of victory for a few and the shame of defeat or death for many? But when defense of one’s motherland is concerned, opinions may vary and war may have to be justified. In the poem The Send-Off, soldiers in a mountain military camp are ordered to move out to war front, who sing their way to the railway siding-sheds and line the train with faces grimly gray, meaning faces darker than black. Decorations all white, like wreath and spray, are pinned to their breasts making them already looking like dead men clad in white, sitting in a row, all looking out the train windows. We are forced to think about the tremendous thoughts streaming through those troubled souls, someone’s father, brother, uncle, one among them certainly the poet himself. The strong sentiments these and the coming scenes create in our minds move us and carry us such away that we are forced to weep, cringe and shudder, which is this poet’s victory which he enjoys standing among the stars. How many of these soldiers will ever return?

A few more minutes’ sunshine and mountain air before going to the frontier, never to return. 

Owen Send Off 03 Going to war. Johann Peter Krafft 1813.Going to war. Johann Peter Krafft 1813.

A military camp normally will be a nuisance to the local people there. So exactly there were none there to give them a proper send-off. Those people might only be glad to see them all go and never return. A few dull porters and a lone tramp were the only ones there to see them go and sorry to see them going too, for they were the ones who benefited from the camp, now losing their daily bread and jam. At least the mechanically punctual railway signals, unlike the local human beings, could have shown them a little of mercy by sparing them a few more minutes’ sunshine and mountain air. But they, the unmoved signals too, nodded heartlessly, a railway lamp winked to the guard and the train began to move, all in time. They were gone.

Local girls are what add colour to mountain military camps. Farewell sisters.

Owen Send Off 04 Writing to father in war. Eastman Johnson 1863.Writing to father in war. Eastman Johnson 1863.

True, the soldiers were not soldiers but they were all hushed up heaps of wrongs and evil doings, the poet admits. They did wrong to the villagers and they will be doing wrong on the war front too. Therefore their losses in battle, limb or life, needn’t be regretted. All military movements are secret and under cover of night. So the people never heard to which war front these soldiers were being sent. As everywhere, the local girls were what added colour to the monotonous life in the upland camp. Romances might have budded and nipped. Tears and sighs might have been shed in darkness, and weeping farewells told in whispers. To meet and part, that is the soldier’s life. And they, the village girls, had jokingly asked them boys: cousins, will you ever return? The soldiers had mocked their words then, but after feeling the dead heat of the battle front, the poet wonders, whether they would still be mocking those meaningful words of the village women.

For those who return from field to camp alive, trodden paths would be half-forgotten in their semi-madness.

Owen Send Off 05 Help daddy gone to war. Norman Lindsay 1915.Help daddy gone to war. Norman Lindsay 1915.

Soldiers gone to war front have a lesser chance of survival and returning alive to their camp, the least in those times. Direct combat was characteristic of military operations, till this war ended, when it gave way to covert operations, carpet bombing from sky and if possible, nerve gas and nuclear attacks. But in that dawn of 20th century, war techniques had not progressed much from the primitive. Only a few of them may return perhaps, too few to receive a proper reception of bells and drums and yells. And those who do return will be invalid, silent and thirsty apparitions, not walking but creeping back silent to still village wells, up half-known roads, yearning for a place to lower their weary bodies on. Even the once-familiar roads would be half-forgotten in their semi-madness, after having gone through the unspeakable horrors of war.

Entered the services of the church, found it hopeless for the poor, and condemned it.

Owen Send Off 06 A mountain military camp entrance. US Fed Gov.Mountain military camp entrance. U S Federal Govt.

Wilfred Owen was born in 1893 and brought up in a religious atmosphere by his parents. His full name was Wilfred Edward Salter Owen. Fallen from fortune, this family could scarcely provide for the education of their four children; Owen served as a teacher-student and matriculated. Theologically trained by his mother, the Bible influenced him during this period. In the Reading University, he studied botany and old English. To earn boarding, lodging and tuition fees, he served as an assistant to the vicar at Dunsden parish, this close familiarity leading to contempt of church later. Reluctance of church to get involved in helping and alleviating the pain of the poor was what infuriated him to condemn church. Disillusioned by church, he left England for France and lived there for a while tutoring English and French in private homes when war broke out.

The mother and son stood looking across the sun-glorified sea, looking towards France with broken hearts, saying goodbye to each other.

In France, Owen staying and working near Pyrenees Mountain Ranges remained totally oblivious of war for a time. But copies of The Daily Mail newspaper his mother sent to him from England opened his eyes and he began to regularly go to a nearby hospital, acquaint with a doctor and inspecting war casualties brought there each day. At last he could no longer endure his impatience and in 1915, returned to England and volunteered to fight. He was sent again to France to fight in 1916 where from he was brought back wounded and shocked for recuperating. Before going to France for war, he and his beloved mother Susan Owen ‘stood looking across the sun- glorified sea towards France with breaking hearts, saying good bye to each other’ when the son quoted Rabindranath Tagore’s words ‘when I go from hence, let this be my parting word’. Susan Owen is known to have written a letter to Tagore when he was in England. We don’t know for sure whether her letter reached Tagore after her simply writing ‘Tagore, London’ in the address column of the envelope, but we certainly know about the reputation, efficiency and dignity of the British Postal Service, especially during the war period. 

Publication of his poems in time would have prevented Viet Nam nightmare.

Owen Send Off 07 Reconnaisance before attack. Pedro Americo 1871.Reconnaissance before attack. Pedro Americo 1871.

Enlisted in 1915 into Rifles Officers’ Corps in England, shell-shocked in mortar explosion in a trench in France, and removed of all romanticism for war, he was removed to War Hospital and brought back to England for recuperating. His romantic ideas of war faded when his soldiers and he had to go through gas attacks, sleeping for months in the open in deep snow and frost, loosing friends to death and the stench of rotting dead blanketing the earth all around. War in his eyes now became just a political equation, unbalanced. No wonder he had to be admitted in the psychiatric department of the hospital. His were the same psychic experiences thousands of Viet Nam War Veterans went through decades later. Publication of his poems and experiences in time would have prevented altogether the nightmare we called Viet Nam and resulted in the governments’ adopting a more humane attitude towards soldiers. 

Back to regiment from safety, to die with loved friends and comrades.

Even though Owen from his youth very much wished to become a poet and was impressed by the writings of Keats and Shelley, his actual writing of poems which made him world famous were written during the fifteen months he spent in trenches in the war front in 1917 and 1918. The war which once shocked him then seemed to thrill him, the reason for which can be attributed to the poetic sentimentality and recklessness to be with his loved friends and comrades in the war front in the days of their misery. Certainly like all poets or cowards, on regaining health and fitness, he could have left war and lived in security and safety after released from the War Hospital. He indeed had joined or formed an intelligent literary circle there in Edinburgh during the days of his recuperation. But instead, he returned to his regiment, to be killed days later, just before the war ended. In fact, his friends and family were eagerly waiting for his return when the news of truce reached them. The news of his death reached his village on November 11, 1918 along with the bells of armistice and peace. What horrifies us is the vain death of a brilliant poet in duty who filled his poems with the futility of war. It was the sacrifice of a poetical fame for fine citizenry. 

Would Owen have lived longer if he was recognized as a published poet and also given the Military Cross?

Owen Send Off 08 Burning crops so that enemy won't eat. Emanuel Leutse 1852.Burn crops so that enemy won’t eat. Emanuel Leutse

Rejoining duty on fitness, he was delegated to lead a party to storm the enemy positions in a village in Ors. He seized a German machine gun and used it to kill a number of Germans. He was shot on the bank of a canal and killed while trying to cross the canal, only days before the war ended. He always considered him as a remarkable war poet, who he actually was, but only four of his poems had been printed by any publishers in his life time. That too was only because he happened to be the editor of the magazine The Hydra published by the War Hospital at Craig Lock hart, Edinburgh where he recuperated. And this Hydra Magazine had only a very limited circulation among the patients, doctors, nurses and staff of that hospital, a very discouraging situation for any poet. What would have happened had he not been shell shocked and admitted there but died directly in action? Would fate have changed his destiny if he had been given due recognition as a published war poet by printers…? He always sought in secret the Military Cross for his supremacy as the most talented war poet of his times, but it was awarded only after his death, in 1919. What if Military Cross had been awarded earlier while he lived…?

Personally manipulated a captured enemy machine gun and inflicted heavy losses on the enemy.

Owen Send Off 09 What the other side feels. Horace Vernet 1814.What the other side feels. Horace Vernet 1814.

The citation to the Military Cross awarded to the poet reads: ‘2nd Lt, Wilfred Edward Salter Owen, 5th Battalion. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in the attack on the Fonsomme Line on October 1st/2nd, 1918. On the company commander becoming a casualty, he assumed command and showed fine leadership and resisted a heavy counter-attack. He personally manipulated a captured enemy machine gun from an isolated position and inflicted considerable losses on the enemy. Throughout he behaved most gallantly’. Even after this Military Cross awarded for his gallantry, the world was not willing to acknowledge his poetry. Today, Wilfred Owen is a synonym for war poetry but for having been presented with this much fine war literature to read, we owe our debt to his family. He sent 600 letters to his loved mother who kept them all safe, from which was the war front feelings, emotions and experiences of Owen were discerned later. His sister donated these letters to the University of Oxford where people can still see them. His brother collected his manuscripts and helped bringing out his poems as a book.

Writing boldly about the horrors of war was his catharsis to escape from shell shock trauma.

Owen Send Off 10 American Marines in Belleau Wood 1918 by Georges Scott.American marines in Belleau Wood. Georges Scott.

Was Wilfred Owen overly influenced by friends like Siegfried Sassoon and physicians like Arthur Brock is still a thing of debate, which they did more or less. Sassoon himself was an accomplished poet who advised Owen to abandon the old style he followed since when he was ten years old and turn to more seriously writing about the futility of war. We shall dismiss all critics’ allegations of them sharing an attachment more than manly. Arthur Brock treated him when he was admitted in the War Hospital following shell shock trauma and advised him not to try to forget the horrors of war which haunted his mind, but to go straight continuing to boldly write about them which would serve as his catharsis, a fine clinical advice in those times of Sigmund Freud. Anyway, since joining the army and fighting in the front line, we see a dramatic change in the poetic style of Owen. Every soldier who took part in the world war underwent war horrors and trauma which went untold in the chronicles of historians. With Owen putting them into words after actually experiencing them, recorded them in livid humility for future generations to see and evaluate in times to come.

World War started with liberation, and ended with cessation, annexation and colonization.

Owen Send Off 11 The Dead Soldier. Joseph Wright of Derby 1789.The dead soldier. Joseph Wright of Derby 1789.

Liberation of Belgium was the objective with which the First World War started but war politics soon turned into the objective of grabbing colonies for future which the civilians did not recognize but poets like Wilfred Owens and philosophers like Bertrand Russell did, and they reacted through their writings to rouse civilian conscience. Theirs was not blind rage against wars but mature protest against abandoning the honoured causes of war and turning to use war to grab colonies. Owen’s poem ‘The Strange Meeting’ even went to creating the extreme human situation of a dead American soldier meeting a dead German soldier whom he had killed and listening to his version of the war, the enemy finally becoming a friend.

The front line picture painted by Wilfred Owen in The Send- Off.

Owen Send Off 12 What is left of a war. Juan Manuel Blanes 1879What is left of a war. Juan Manuel Blanes 1879.

Publishers of his times ignored him, perhaps due to their inability to cope with or even go through the great quantity of war poetry poured in each day. He, as an acclaimed poet and as a civil servant dedicated to those soldiers under his care, wanted only for his poems to be read by all and the people to open their eyes to the futility and horrors of war. Who can say this brilliant young man who sacrificed his life for his country would try to limit the circulation of his poems by wishing not to be read here again? We think it only just and fair to include his lines here, without which this appreciation won’t be complete or contained. See the front line picture painted by Wilfred Owen in The Send-Off.

THE SEND- OFF * WILFRED OWEN

Down the close, darkening lanes they sang their way
To the siding-shed,
And lined the train with faces grimly gay.
Their breasts were stuck all white with wreath and spray
As men’s are, dead.

Dull porters watched them, and a casual tramp
Stood staring hard,
Sorry to miss them from the upland camp.
Then, unmoved, signals nodded, and a lamp
Winked to the guard.

So secretly, like wrongs hushed-up, they went.
They were not ours:
We never heard to which front these were sent.
Nor there if they yet mock what women meant
Who gave them flowers.

Shall they return to beatings of great bells
In wild trainloads?
A few, a few, too few for drums and yells,
May creep back, silent, to still village wells
Up half-known roads.

______________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
______________________________

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Tags

Appreciation Studies, Armistice In Ww1, Bloom Books Trivandrum, British Poets, English Poems, First World War, Futility Of War, Irony Of War, Killed In Action, Military Cross, Military Poets, Mountain Military Camps, P S Remesh Chandran, Pity Of War, Reintroduced Literature, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, Soldier Poets, The Send Off, Truce In World War First, War Front Action, War Poems, Wilfred Owen, Years 1917 And 1918

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’.

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Comments

Sivaramakrishnan A
18th Jan 2013 (#)

My fervent hope and prayers are for war and strife to end. Am I being idealistic? So be it! We have come thus far and we know wars kill and affect the most innocent. The heroes who are decorated for bravery also end up with mental anguish at being part of the insane violence. I believe few start wars and incite their citizens. With the help of technology the majority should unite and not fall into their vicious hands time and time again. Like a World War veteran reminisced – what use a piece of paper of peace in the end for those who are killed and maimed? Thanks for this wonderful post – siva

PSRemeshChandra
30th Jan 2013 (#)

War is an unnecessary expense in which nations waste resources and innumerable units of precious time and man power. To defeat another country, we spend unimaginably huge sums of money. Most often those countries could be bought with only a fraction of this money. Such futile and waste is war because it never improves mankind. Thank you dear Sivaramakrishnan A for your informative and inspiring note.

Md Rezaul Karim
20th Jan 2013 (#)

Wow! what a nice piece of article to read, wonderfully attached paintings and pictures. Thank you Ramesh ji.

PSRemeshChandra
30th Jan 2013 (#)

When I saw these paintings and pictures for the first time, I thought they were waiting for the right literary creation. Wilfred Owen’s Send Off suited them most. I am immensely thankful to those painters and photographers who were moved like Owen by the horrors of war, to create these masterpieces. I hope the painters, photographers and the poet would supplement each other. Thank you dear Md Rezaul Karim for caring to leave a comment.

Madan G Singh
22nd Jan 2013 (#)

A wonderful post. You have put in a lot of effort. Congratulations

PSRemeshChandra
30th Jan 2013 (#)

When I read your articles in Wikinut, I feel the same as you noted here. What can I say when a compliment comes my way from an accomplished writer like you? Thank you dear Madan G Singh.

Sivaramakrishnan A
31st Jan 2013 (#)

Thank you RameshChandra. It is time war and violence are removed from the face of the earth. What use making all the arms for them to fall into “wrong” hands! What use a piece of peace treaty for those killed, maimed and orphaned? Even the survivors and victors carry severe scars mentally. Politicians start the war making use of the innocent people creating hatred. And the less said about religious fanatics of all hues the better – all Gods can defend themselves, thank you! They don’t need our help! Best regards – siva.

Madan G Singh
1st Feb 2013 (#)

Thank you for the nice words, but I feel I am ordinary. But I really appreciate your writing.

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The Healing Artist. Scenes From The Life Of Jesus Christ 2. Paintings Of James Tissot. P.S.Remesh Chandran.

051. The Healing Artist. Scenes From The Life Of Jesus Christ 2. Paintings Of James Tissot. P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 31st Dec 2012.  Short URL http://nut.bz/31l0a4s4/

Posted in Wikinut>Essays

Healing is an art, closely associated with divinity. We consider doctors who heal our diseases as gods. It is the learning and spiritual cleanliness of the doctor that heals the diseases in most occasions. To heal the sick, we needn’t possess the required conventional medical qualifications necessarily; the qualities of ardence and purity will do instead. The science and art of healing is closely connected with the word. Word here means, and applications and manifestations of sound.

They taught Jesus the layouts of miracles in the north eastern Himalayan kingdoms of India.

What makes some people capable of doing things which others consider impossible feats and miracles? Some people have the ability to foresee future and know about what is going to happen in the far distant future, near future, or at the next moment, but knowing about future is a heavy knowledge, unbearable to man, something an ordinary man cannot bear. If two persons sit at one place and one of them describes in a song whatever are happening there around them, beginning with what were happening at that place in the past, yesterday, today, and then coming to what is happening around them at that very moment, and then nearly coming to describing what are going to happen at the very next moment, he cannot complete the song for the other person would have passed through a phase of alienation from his self and swooned. First he would suffer nausea, then his knees would weaken, limbs stiffen and then everything would be darkness. We will be bewildered at the power of the word. We cannot even do this as an experiment because what will we do if the other person does not recover but passes away? Human corpuscles are unable to pass through the barriers of time, even for a short while, even while in an experiment. Once we know about what is going to happen next, we will loose our normal self, which is tuned and aligned to a state of knowing not much about the future. Ignorance of future is the bestial bliss which makes possible for life to continue, along with the power to forget, the safety valve which saves the brain from overcrowding and collapsing.

Touch, smell, hearing, sight and taste are not the end of senses; we will gain more as evolution progresses.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 01. He Heals the Lame. James Tissot. 1886-1894He heals the lame. James Tissot.

Knowing about future is a faculty like touch, smell, hearing, sight and taste. When man first made his appearance on earth, he certainly was not equipped with all these five senses. The first amoeba could not certainly see and listen. Senses were gained one by one from mother earth through Aeons as the first inanimate element evolved into an animate organism, then into multi cellular organisms and then into beings with fully developed body systems. During these stages of evolution and development, each capability of sense came our way gradually. Thus we now have five senses. Who believe it is the end? More senses or faculties would be released to us as and when we become riper enough to bear them safely and usefully, after passing through higher stages of many more evolutions. Materials for more exotic senses or faculties are resting in the ground earth for their time to come before they could be passed on to humans and other beings that would inhabit the earth in the future.

If human corpuscles and soil could be brought to the medium of sound, faculties could be exchanged from earth to human body.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 02. The Resurrection of the Widow's Son at NainResurrection of the widow’s son.

Suppose a man, through his perseverance or gift, gains in advance any of these future faculties. It may be the ability to walk above water or see into the future or heel a person in distress. Our normal tendency would be to deny the existence of that very faculty. It is like a blind man sure denying the existence of sight or a deaf man denying the existence of hearing. What we do not have experienced, we tend to deny existing. How can a blind person know that the swan and the milk are white, and how can a deaf person normally know that music is sweet? So, when we hear that a man has walked above water or that a man has seen the Sun enveloped in thick icy clouds, moving lonely through the expanse of the universe in a future time, we will say that it is just his imagination, that he is having fits of delusion, or even schizophrenia. Philosophers and scientists have always believed that, if soil and human corpuscles could be made to come into a common medium, at least for a while, senses and faculties could be gained, taken in or released, exchanged. Many ancient Indian philosophers believed that that common medium is sound, the basic medium upon which the construction of this universe, stone, grass and human body is based, and they, accordingly, even formulated appropriately synchronized sound systems in the right, desirable modulations and frequencies in the form of Mantras, the application of which evidently gained for them those rare unexplained faculties, with which to successfully treat incurable diseases, raise the dead from the grave or take leisurely walks between the realms of space and time. It is also true that every kind of matter, in its final analysis, reveals rapid motion of particles, and that what is on the other side of such rapidly moving particles, functioning as a base for the existence of those particles and also functioning as the prime constituent in the construction material of those particles is sound. Every religion in the world believes that the universe originated from sound. The Indian philosophers went further and even defined that sound which in their opinion is ‘Aum’ which actually has no exact beginning or end as it should be. Long meditations in the still and silent Himalayas might have helped them find this ultimate truth.

Pain, fatigue, fever, irritation and itching make us incapable of calling out energy from reserves and attend to the single task of healing.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 03. The Healing of the Officer's SonThe healing of the officer’s son.

When lame men walk, blind men see, dumb men sing in the presence of holy men, we would consider those as miracles, but to those holy men, these people have just healed. They are here in this world to deliver relief and the only thing the sick and disabled need to have in their conscience is faith. Faith is what gives the ailing person the positive energy to call out all reserve energy from the different parts of the body and soul and move them forward like an army towards the sole objective of correcting the system error and healing the person of his ailment. Numerous distractions such as pain, fatigue, fever, irritation and itching make one incapable of concentrating and commanding all energies from their reserves to get them engaged in attending the single task of healing. Speech and word is very much involved in the healing of the sick. Jesus very much liked to talk and be always with people, possibly always to remain in the middle of them. Travelling through Galilee, talking about the principles of goodness, staying in their synagogues and wayside inns, he moved the minds of peoples to confidence and belief. Crowds came to him bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and the many others, laid them at his feet and he heeled them all with just his kind words and touch. Once they prayed fervently with their soul with concrete belief for their healing, deliverance came their way and the miracle happened. It is their faith that heal them, not actual divine interference.

Life can be called back before the soul finally decides to disentangle from the body. 

Tissot. The Healing Artist 04. The Healing of Peter's Mother-in-lawThe healing of Peter’s mother-in-law.

Raising dead men from the grave is an easy thing, for those who know how to do it. It is thought to be possible to call back the fleeting life before the soul finally decides to disentangle from the body. Sometimes the life would not have left but have plunged into an unrecognizable coma, the soul sitting on the narrow ledge between life and death. Most often, a strong vocal command or a shake would only be needed to call the life back, provided the voice or shake resembles that of a close person of long intimacy. Doctors who are very kind, considerate and deliquescent to their patients would have many such stories to tell you. Sometimes death deprives a woman of double privilege. A woman who looses both her husband and her son to death is thrown to destitution and poverty with no one to take care of her. While travelling through the city of Nain, accompanied by a great crowd, Jesus saw another crowd coming out of a town carrying the coffin of the only son of a widow. Her grief was such great and uncontrolled that Jesus was moved in his heart and said to her, ‘do not cry woman’. He went up to the coffin, touched it and said: ‘Young man, I say you to get up’. The young man did sit up and begin to talk as if he had not died. Jesus gave her son back to the grief-stricken mother; the first resurrection done by Christ in his earthly life.

Word sent through the wind will reach the target and heal. 

Tissot. The Healing Artist 05. Suffer the Little Children to Come unto MeSuffering little children come unto me.

When the mighty Roman Empire fell, the world rejoiced because such unjust, haughty and cruel was their administration. The famed Roman Justice was nothing but the political and economic suppression of heathens, pagans and other civilized nations and races. No empire since then has been successful in this world in saving itself from falling, for they were all based on and founded upon unkindness. But occasionally in history, here and there, we see officers with good intentions and better understanding, employed by these administrations. Many of them were noble and brave men who believed that Jesus was a saviour. Seeing the sufferings of Jesus during his trial, judgment and crucifixion, we shall not think that all Roman officers took part in them with pleasure. One such officer, a Centurion, walked 20 miles to request Jesus to come to his house and save his dying son, some say it was his slave. 20 miles was not a short distance one way. Jesus had come a second time to Cana of Galilee from Judea, the first being when he attended a wedding there and turned water into wine. The officer pleaded Jesus to come to Capernaum, his village, and save his son. Jesus just told him, you may go, your son will live, do have faith, and that he is not coming. While travelling back, the noble man’s servants met him on the way and informed him that his son was recovering. The time he began to recover was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him that his son would live. Jesus told the man and his disciples that miracles alone would make them believers and so let it be happening.

God does not allow complications or intricacies, which is why he and we resemble children.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 06. The Healing of Ten LepersHealing of lepers in the mountain.

Once, the Disciples of Christ came to ask him who the greatest in the kingdom of heaven is. His answer was, unless we become like little children in their humbleness, we shall never be any where near the path to the kingdom of heaven. Children are the most like god, resembling him most in their humbleness, purity and radiance. The many thousands of children who never have heard his word or name also are equally beloved to him. The line ‘suffer the little children to come unto me’ is a most misquoted and misunderstood one. It does not mean, make children suffer so that they can come unto me, but let all suffering children come unto me. God does not allow complications, or intricacies, that is why he most resembles children.

Mary was the person who healed the person who healed all people. 

Tissot. The Healing Artist 07. The Sick Awaiting the Passage of JesusThe sick awaiting the passage of Jesus.

Mary of Magdalene is believed to be a very chaste woman who led so chaste a life that ‘the devil mistook her to be the one who was to bear Christ into the world’ and he sent seven demons to trouble her and spoil her. She represents the age when Christianity and Church were matriarchal before a Pope was appointed to turn it into patriarchal to suit Romans. In ancient icons, she is portrayed with a pot of ointment, balm for the distressed, and as a wound healer. Actually she was the person who healed the person who healed all people. She was the intelligence against which Christ grinded and sharpened his convictions before preaching them to the world. What Christ lacked in worldly experiences, emotions and feelings, she possessed in plenty, the eve in the garden.

Even when John had confidence in his betrothed, they did not have.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 08. The Ointment of the MagdaleneThe ointment of the Magdalene.

Mary Magdalene was one of the two persons who guarded the tomb of Jesus, the other being his mother, Mary the Virgin. She was the first mortal to witness the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and also the first person authorized to tell the apostles of the resurrection. She spent her last years with Jesus’ mother and her remains are contained in Constantinople. Hers is the life of equality with men, in its holiness and greatness. We know, Pilatos was under authority of the Roman administration. Mary after the death of Christ straight went to see Emperor Tiberius in Rome and made a formal complaint about the cruelty and distinction he showed to Jews. The emperor was convinced Roman justice was denied to Jews in Israel as a result of which Pilatos was recalled to Rome, recalled to what kind of Roma justice we needn’t to know just like we needn’t to know about what Judas did to himself after giving back the money he received for pointing out his master. Mary walked the earth with Jesus, his companion, soother and inspiration. As a grown up Aramaic youth could not walk alone, she served as his answer. She was the beloved, betrothed and the bride of John the Evangelist who, when he became a devoted preacher, ordained his bride on a godly mission. There were stories of Mary was Jesus’ wife but John denied it as a false story. We know, it was not John who betrayed Jesus but Judas Iscariot. In the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries and throughout middle ages, Mary was considered and worshipped as the apostle to the apostles since she was sent to inform the apostles of the resurrection, as confirmed by John’s words. In the early church, an apostle was a person who was delegated to tell the world the good news that he would come again. Mary emerged as the greatest visionary and leader after the death of Jesus. Equally intelligent and dedicated as Jesus in god’s services, Mary but considered him as her master and teacher, the fact which drew John’s admiration that prompted him to make her become the most ideal student and follower. Gospel of John stands out alone as a lasting monument to the intellectual achievements of this trio.

Jesus, Mary Magdalene and Martha at Bethany is the Jewish Roman equivalent of the Greek school of thought. 

Tissot. The Healing Artist 09. Mary Magdalene at the Feet of JesusMary Magdalene at the feet of Jesus.

Like Mary Magdalene, Jesus and John constituted a historical trio in Christianity, Mary, Martha, Jesus and Lazarus constituted an unforgettable quartet. These sisters of Lazarus whom Christ resurrected from the grave, who were born in the village of Magdalene in Galilee and lived in Bethany, marks the women’s work behind the strongest philosophy in the world. They were the furnishers and providers for the travelling ministry of Christ. Both were Christ’s pupils, often competing with each other for his attention and for their positions. While Mary was the philosopher, Martha was the practical who fed the philosophers. Because they were poor, their life was not recorded with care in the chronicles of those times. Martha’s home at Bethany became the usual haunt of Jesus and his followers, for there they would get at least food to go on with their endless debates and philosophic speculations. Martha welcomed, boarded and fed all journeymen missionaries as well. She was a church unto herself. In those times, their culture was a mix of Roman, Greek and Jewish, all male-dominant and considering claiming to be god a heresy, warranting death by burning at the stake. Martha was the first person who boldly declared that Jesus was the Messiah, the saviour whom their prophets and their patriarchs claimed would liberate Jews from yokedom. When all male followers of Christ ran away for fear of arrest during crucifixion, these women were those who stayed, fearlessly. It is not strange to notice that these women’s and Lazarus’ devotion to Jesus was above everything usual and normal for that time. The reason was, it originated from the reverence of healed people to their doctor, which if seen in that sense, anyone in the modern day world can understand. They indeed had problems, and Jesus healed them, and hence their extra ordinary belief, allegiance and loyalty. Once enlightened through Christ’s own teaching, there were none more enlightened than them. It was that simple.

If twenty long centuries failed to understand the meaning of a woman’s act, what can one century of totally fame-thirsty academicians do?

Tissot. The Healing Artist 10. Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Martha at BethanyJesus, Mary Magdalene and Martha at Bethany.

What can a young lady do before her worshipful master is sent to death? We know what Plato did before his master was given hemlock to drink in the prison was weeping, cursing the authorities and pledging to take revenge. Mary also did what she could do at that moment, in her femininity, with the resources available to her which was washing his feet with precious ointment and drying it with her unbound hair, with the whole male population of the town looking, before going to storm the emperor’s gates in Rome with accusations of injustice done on Jews by judge Pilatos. It was her kind of homage to her master who stayed in her home. She truly represents the kind of people Jesus attracted. Learned scholars have inappropriately and unnecessarily gone to the extreme absurdity of finding this woman’s hair as a symbol of her sexuality, and her gesture, a last attempt to seduce Christ. What was this young woman ought to have done as her last service to her loved master who was saying farewell to the world, lying there nailed and pinned to the cross, with the angry throng of emperor’s soldiers yelling for his blood all around? Leave him there, run to the house and bring clothes and water to wash his blood and sweat running from his nailed organs, before sending him clean and presentable to the other world? Pronouncements of many modern day researchers and writers look like Judas Iscariot and Judge Pilatos are reborn every day. Mosquitoes, even below a cow’s milk dugs, will look for blood only.

21st century scholars are now unrolling newly discovered papyrus rolls to prove that it was a wife’s send-off, not a beloved disciple’s, probably some papyrus rolls hidden by the chauvinist church for the exact purpose of to be rediscovered and revealed in modern times. Why is it Christianity still have only male ministers? We have yet to see a matriarchal pope or even a bishop or a vicar. If twenty long centuries failed to understand the meaning of a woman’s act, what can one century of totally fame-thirsty academicians do? Mother Mary and Saint John had confidence in their son and bride, but they do not have!

If Mary seems to get the full credit for saving Christianity, create another Mary and halve her credit.

Tissot. The Healing Artist 11. The Blind in the DitchBlind leading the blind to a ditch.

We know, when we are a child, we are washed by the closely related women in our family, not by men in the family. When we grow up and are able to look after ourselves, they absolve themselves of this responsibility and make us begin to wash ourselves. When they outlive us and we are dead, we again become their child and they wash us before we are cremated. The same thing happened with Jesus also. After lowering from the cross, he was washed by the women of his family, including Mary Magdalene of course, but our learned rabbis in the modern western world, find this as a proof to establish that Mary was Jesus wife, not adopted sister of the family. They adore the mutually respectful associateship of Sartre and Madame Bowery but not Christ’s sacred associations because, new theories for disparaging these ancient philosophers and educators are their stepping stones to instant fame. As a last trick, based on texts which never were written by contemporaries, they tried to prove that Mary Magdalene and Mary of Bethany were two different persons, so that credit due to Mary for saving Christianity would be halved. Actually Bethany with the assemblage of Mary, Jesus, the twelve learners and the numerous visiting journeymen scholars under the patronage of selfless Martha was the Jewish-Roman equivalent of Plato’s Academy in Greece, gone to full swing five centuries earlier. They would even question the relationship between Plato and Socrates, even not considering the existence of Xanthippe as the master’s wife, but considering only the usual male relations prevalent in those times. They never understand philosophers and revolutionaries, male and female, but think those sets of minds are calibrated like their’s. Only those who get exhilarated at the intellectual pleasures of indulging deeply and freely in ideological battles going around them would know about the magnificence of psyche ruling over physique. Academics and scholars of 2000 years strove in vain to defame the philosophic brilliance of this Jewish school of thought but they forgot the single fact that it was western, fraught in the ascetic cast of the east, come to the world to stand. Remember what Jesus spoke in the temple of Jerusalem: god’s intentions are not understood by the learned and the clergy, it is revealed only to the ordinary laymen and children.

We are indebted to two great repositories for keeping these pictures for people’s viewing.

The First Part of this series, Rise Of A Star. Scenes From The Life Of Jesus Christ 1, can be read here.

The next parts will soon be published.

______________________________________________________
Pictures Courtesy: First and foremost we are to thank those citizens of Brooklyn City who took a public collection and kept these pictures in public custody. We are immensely indebted to those two prestigious Institutions Wikimedia Commons and Brooklyn Museum for magnanimously making available these pictures to the public. And our thanks and respect goes to James Tissot for rendering these paintings beautifully for posterity.
______________________________________________________

Link to Brooklyn Museum: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/

Link to Wikimedia Commons page:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Category:The_Life_of_Jesus_Christ_by_James_Tissot

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

To read about the life and people of Kerala, the author’s native land, visit KERALA COMMENTARY here.

For more articles of this kind, visit SAHYADRI BOOKS here or BLOOM BOOKS, TRIVANDRUM.

Tags

Bloom Books Trivandrum, Christ Pictures, Jesus, Jesus Manifests His Power, Jesus Paintings, Jesus Pictures, Jesus Teaching, Jesus The Christ, Jewish Roman School Of Thought, Life Stories, Mary Magdalene, P S Remesh Chandran, Paintings Of James Tissot, Photo Essays, Reintroduced Literature, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, True Stories, Water Colour Paintings Life Of Jesus Christ

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’.

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 Madan G Singh

8th Jan 2013 (#)

An excellent post and very illuminating as well.

Rise Of A Star. Scenes From The Life Of Jesus Christ 1. Paintings Of James Tissot. P.S.Remesh Chandran.

050.

Rise Of A Star. Scenes From The Life Of Jesus Christ 1. Paintings Of James Tissot. P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 28th Dec 2012.  Short URL http://nut.bz/2nuw71e4/
Posted in Wikinut>True Stories

In the modern day world, tracing the life of a great man is not difficult, for there would be photographs of his taken by contemporaries in his time. But what would we do to observe the life of a great man who lived among us before 2000 years? We have the only option of searching for paintings that may exist in castles, caves, churches, monasteries or archives. Luckily, to view the like of Jesus, we have a unique collection of paintings done by a single person, saved at a single repository.

Holy Virgin Mary in her early life, a maiden.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 01. The Holy Virgin in Her Youth. James Tissot.The Holy Virgin in her youth. James Tissot.

There have been thousands of paintings based on Jesus Christ’s life, done by hundreds of gifted painters in all countries, done in all centuries. These paintings include those done by such talented and gifted ones as Andrea del Castagno, Andrea del Verrocchio, Boticelli, Caravaggio, Dieric Bouts, El Greco, Filippino Lippi, Fra Angelico, Giovanni Bellini, Hieronymus Bosch, Leonardo da Vinci, Ligier Richier, Lotto, Mark Antokolski, Nicolas Poussin, Perugino, Peter Paul Rubens, Piero della Francesca, Piero di Cosimo, Pieter Brueghel, Raffaello Sanzio, Rogier van der Weyden, Signorelli, Tintoret, and Titian. Most of them are lost, some of them are in public museums and churches and not a few of them are in private collections. Not one can see them all even if he is blessed with so many lives. There have been artists who attempted picturizing scenes which he liked and admired, and also there have been other artists who attempted painting all the important scenes like a historian whether he liked and admired those scenes or not. There have been much differences in drawing the face of Christ. There have also been much differences in the artists’ research and learning the costumes, backgrounds and body postures in Jesus’ times. There have been excellently bright pictures done in vibrant colours by artists who could afford costly materials. And there also have been equally brilliant pictures done by poor artists on cheap materials who could not afford even the buying of their daily bread. They all shared one thing in common- exhilaration at the simplicity and humbleness of that divine life. If you want to follow the life of Jesus with your eyes, without straining unnecessarily to read printed words, your choice of artists are very limited for the brightness of the picture and the likeness of the face of Jesus changes with each artist. The author’s selection is James Tissot, and the readers can have the privilege of reconstructing the life of Christ with other painters. Anyway it would be a worthwhile attempt for we would be going through everything man was born with, passing through anger, darkness, tears and sunshine, especially learning the meaning and purpose of tears.

Testing of the suitors of the Holy Virgin.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 02. The Testing of the Suitors of the Holy Virgin. James Tissot.Testing of the suitors of the Holy Virgin.

A fine collection of scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, done by a 19th century painter named James Tissot is saved and collected at one place, the Brooklyn Museum. He did these paintings in water colour over a charcoal base on woven paper, all four hundred of them, probably commissioned by a church, taking only six years from 1886 to 1894 to finish them. We cannot all go there and see these pictures and go through the life of Jesus Christ once again, but they magnanimously shared those magnificent paintings with Wikimedia Commons, a few of which are reintroduced here in the order of their happening in the real life of that great revolutionary. We are greatly indebted to both these great institutions for making this endeavor possible. Links to both these institutions are provided at the end of this article to lead readers to these two repositories which made this great service of storing safe the scenes from the eventful life of the saviour of this world, a saviour spiritually and physically.

It is the early life of Jesus Christ that is pictured here, from the girlhood of the Blessed Mother, her betrothal to Saint Joseph, the anointment, the birth of infant Jesus among sheep and cows in a manger, the visit of the three magician priests from the East, the slaughter of all infants who might become a challenge to king Herodes, the flight of this holy family to Egypt, their sojourn in Egypt and their return from Egypt, the presentation of Jesus in the temple and the last picture of Jesus Christ carrying a wooden plank, before he vanished at the age of twelve years. There would be three more articles that would be published here, if circumstances permit. They are Jesus- The Healer, The Story Of A Crucifixion and What Happened After The Cross.

Betrothal of the Holy Virgin and Saint Joseph.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 03. The Betrothal of the Holy Virgin and Saint Joseph. James Tissot.Betrothal of the Holy Virgin and Saint Joseph.

James Tissot, the French painter who lived in Paris and London during the years 1836 to 1902 abandoned all his other subjects when he was moved by the pictorial scopes of the New Testament. He painted nearly 400 of them within the six years between 1886 and 1894, all in the simplest of mediums, opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper. In Brooklyn Museum’s words, these paintings were hall marks of ‘archaeological exactitude and historical authenticity’. To learn the customs, costumes, architecture and landscape of the Holy Land, he travelled through the Middle East and took countless number of photographs and made innumerable number of drawings. These paintings were purchased by public subscription. The people of Brooklyn at the turn of the 20th century took a public collection called out by the newspaper Brooklyn Daily Eagle, purchased the paintings and made them available on public display at the Brooklyn Museum. The world has to thank them three for this great act of theirs which kept these pictures in public custody instead of reaching private archives.

The Annunciation. Fulfillment of divine intentions.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 04. The Annunciation. James Tissot.The Annunciation. James Tissot.

Like all mothers in the world, Mary also was a lovely young girl, attending dutifully the chores of a community life. Like all mothers, she also was betrothed to a person. The only difference was, since it was destined to give birth to a saviour of the world whom she will have to loose at an early age which was known to eastern sages, and also since she will have to undergo the hardest and severest trials in her life which would be shared by a man, her husband had to be carefully chosen to help facilitate the completion of the mission. So, her suitors were tested.

Birth of Jesus Christ in a humble cattle shed.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 05. The Birth of Jesus in a humble cattle shed.Birth of Jesus Christ in a humble cattleshed.

Annunciation, reincarnation, etc are alien to many communities and sects in the world but it was not so with the ancient Egyptians and Indians. Egyptian and Indian beliefs and faith are confident about the truth of both. Are we not all annunciations of our creator irrespective of our parents’ bodily relations? Are we not reincarnations of our ancestors, imitating them in speech, gesture, look, walk, conduct, and nature, everything, made possible by the mysterious messengers whom we call genes?

The adoration of the shepherds.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 06. The Adoration of the Shepherds. James Tissot.The adoration of the shepherds. James Tissot.

Population census in old times was different from now in that now enumerators come to our house but then people travelled to the city for their count and details to be taken. Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem to take part in the census but did not get a place for Mary to give birth to her child. They knocked on every door but could not find a place. Every house and public place been occupied, she got shelter in somebody’s cattle shed. There was none to attend Mary in her pains. God had chosen his son to have the lowliest and most humble place for his birth. The most innocent and worthy beings in the world, sheep and cows, witnessed the birth. Apart from the incessant snow and cold, it was the most stainless birth for a human. It was the simplest of people, belonging to the most ancient of professions, shepherds, who first came to see the baby, with presents of course. Great things start simple.

Three Magician Priests from the East, guided by a star, journeying to see the child.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 07. Three Magician Priests journeying from the East. James Tissot.The Magician Priests journeying. James Tissot.

Three magician priests in the east, probably in India, Tibet and Afghanistan, glimpsed the appearance of a new star in the sky and sensed that a divine birth has happened somewhere in the world. Star watching had been developed by then as a full fledged science among the ancient Indians and the Babylonians. These three magician priests from the east, or Magi in the short form decided to trace the child who would be very divine for his birth to be announced by the appearance of a new star. They decided to follow the path guided by the lonely star, the lode-star, wherever in the world that child might be. Bearing eastern presents like camphor and saffron, suffering hardships all the way, they travelled thousands of miles through snow-clad mountains and parching deserts, accompanied by their people, staff and spies, and finally reached where the star led.

The adoration of the three Magician Priests from the East.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 08. The Adoration of the Magi. James Tissot.Adoration of the Magician Priests. James Tissot.

The presence of so large a group of persons from the east cannot be hidden from the city authorities. They certainly had to pay a visit to Herodes. Either they might have been successful in revealing not the actual purpose of their journey or the exact place of their visit. A king can guess many things in his intelligence or his courtiers can. He already knew there would be challenges to his throne and that the challenge in only newly born. He ordered the killing of all newly-borns. Why the story of Christ is linked with the story of Christna we can guess now. Lord Krishna when he was born, was prophesied to have born to kill his uncle, the king Kamsa. He knew about the prophecy but did not know which child. Therefore he ordered killing of all newly borns. Krishna’s father folded him in a shawl and in heavy rains, while a huge snake provided umbrella protection, took him secretly to safety and hiding. Scholars believed, the names Christ and Jesus were given by the Hindus of India coining from Sanskrit which infuriated the Sanskrit-studied European Max Muller who attempted vainly to disprove this belief.

The massacre of the innocent children by King Herodes.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 09. The Massacre of the Innocents. James Tissot.Massacre of the innocents. James Tissot.

Countless number of newborns were slaughtered by the king’s soldiers to prevent one among them growing up and de-throning him some day.

The flight of Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and Infant Jesus into Egypt.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 10. The Flight into Egypt. James Tissot.The flight into Egypt. James Tissot.

Look, the bent head of Mary, tilted down by the burden of the world’s sins and crimes, is what the author of this painting wanted the world to note. To save one’s child, to save the world, to rescue humanity, what persecutions and hardships will a mother have to undergo during her life? Since the birth of the child, never had she got a moment of solace or relief, except when looking at its tiny face.

The sojourn of a Holy Family in Egypt.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 11. The Sojourn in Egypt. James Tissot.The sojourn in Egypt. James Tissot.

It is not the only time in world’s history that holy persons have had to flee. Lord Krishna and Prophet Muhammad Nabi also had to flee from pursuers at one time in their lives. Many have lived in exile, before returning to teach the world goodness. Sree Rama, Pandtava Princes in Mahabharatha and King Nala had to live in hiding for many years. They had to make their living at those times, obeying the customs of the land which gave them hiding, engaging in what occupations were available there.

The return from Egypt.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 12. The Return from Egypt. James Tissot.The return from Egypt. James Tissot.

Now the boy is grown up, nearly twelve years old. Watchful eyes of spies of the Magi might be following them from a distance. They know the boy would be recognized, and are prepared to take him with them to safety.

Jesus found in the temple.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 13. Jesus Found in the Temple. James Tissot.Jesus found in the temple. James Tissot.

Presenting a child at the temple was a custom, not only in Jerusalem but in every ancient community. Jesus also was presented so soon as he was returned from Egypt. We know how authorities will become suspicious when a child 12 years old appears from nowhere all of a sudden, that too 12 years after the massacre of all new born babies in Jerusalem who might grow up as a threat to King Herodes’ throne. We have to assume that there were spies from the east, looking for any threats to the child and report back to the three magician priests.

The youth of Jesus before the time of his vanishing.

Tissot. Rise Of A Star 14. The Youth of Jesus. James Tissot.The youth of Jesus. James Tissot.

There has been debates on where Jesus had been during the years he vanished. It is only logical to assume that the three magician priests from the east took him back considering the child’s safety and the importance of his mission. They trained him in the north eastern kingdoms in India, moved him through Ladakh to Tibet and returned him to his place of mission after 18 years of education. It is not strange to note that most of the people in these north eastern states are now Christian and their native language is now English.

Note:

It is not irrelevant here to include a note of comment by the author, published elsewhere:

‘2000 years back, when this famous carpenter of Jerusalem, fleeing from the traitors and aggressors and wormy authorities of his land to secure his life and save his philosophy till his mission is completed, found safety, security, hospitality, solace and moral fighting powers in the far northern native kingdoms of India. That is how the missing years in the life of Christ is explained. When he was born in a cattle shed, again due to haughty abuse of authority, three magician priests from the east, that is from India, read the stars and found their way through thousands of miles to the west to bless the newborn babe, all this journey guided by a lonely star. In those times star watching had developed as a full practical science only among the Indians and the ancient Babylonians. The spices they brought to the child as presents also denote the land where they came from. In ancient Greece, when the great teacher Socrates succumbed to death in an evening in a prison cell in Athens, Plato wept and decided he would take revenge upon the authorities for the death of his master. When advised by friends to flee from Greece before authorities found and executed him too, he fled, travelled the route Alexander later took and reached India. His missing years were spent in India, learning the philosophies and fighting talents, which he when returned, displayed brilliantly and became the master of kings. We see in history, after the execution of Socrates for criticizing state, after just three generations in the time of Aristotle, Socratic philosophies became the ruling principles of the state when King Phillip of Macedonia appointed Aristotle as Alexander’s master. Many anti-religious people in Asia, especially in countries like communist China do not know India became home to how many thousands of Jews who lost homes during the mad military maneuvers of the two world wars. They do not even know how many millions of Nepalis, Burmese, Tibetans, Kashmiris, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis refugees India received and protected during international power turmoils. During these turmoils, countries like these closed their borders. The Hindus, Christians and Muslims of India, with traditional true Indian hospitality, receive anyone who has lost a home. The honourable Dalai Lama was not the last. He has been living in India with his people for half a century, happily accepting India as their second home. He was not a citizen of China, but he lost his home in Tibet, the most un-Chinese act in the past century from the un-Chinese rulers of China. He will return to his free nation. The people of India will see to it. India can shelter, protect and train every lone bird which has lost its sky and nest. It is a generations- old tradition of India. Every returning bird will capture the world, and India will smile inwardly and go on as before’.

Great people, city and institutions we thank for this endeavour.

Pictures Courtesy: First and foremost we are to thank those citizens of Brooklyn City who took a public collection and kept these pictures in public custody. We are immensely indebted to those two prestigious Institutions Wikimedia Commons and Brooklyn Museum for magnanimously making available these pictures to the public. And our thanks and respect goes to James Tissot for rendering these paintings beautifully for posterity.

Link to Brooklyn Museum: http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/
Link to Wikimedia Commons page:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Category:The_Life_of_Jesus_Christ_by_James_Tissot’

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

To read about the life and people of Kerala, the author’s native land, visit KERALA COMMENTARY here.

For more articles of this kind, visit SAHYADRI BOOKS here or BLOOM BOOKS, TRIVANDRUM.

Tags

Bloom Books Trivandrum, Jesus, Jesus Manifests His Power, Jesus Paintings, Jesus Teaching, Jesus The Christ, Life Stories, P S Remesh Chandran, Paintings Of James Tissot, Photo Essays, Reintroduced Literature, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, True Stories, Water Colour Paintings

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Unmarried and single.

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Comments

Sivaramakrishnan A

31st Dec 2012 (#)

Very thought provoking, passionately written. Lots of events of history and interpretation of religious texts have to be deduced and derived from various sources. I believe nothing are cast in stone as those who record are human too lending themselves to own interpretations. They can be carried away too – siva

PSRemeshChandra

1st Jan 2013 (#)

The changes happening in our being causes us write. And our writing causes us change. I do not know which force is stronger. You would know better. Since I became familiar with the paintings of James Tissot, I had this feeling they had to be reintroduced before a very good reading public. After publishing and seeing them for the first time in the form of a web page, I also discovered one new thing: seeing them by scrolling from down to up provides a new experience, that of going to the past of Christ, he becoming tinier and tinier till he becomes a lovely tiny little baby.

Buzz

31st Dec 2012 (#)

Fabulous Star article on the life of Jesus, dear friend, with beautiful images to boot. Happy New Year!

PSRemeshChandra

1st Jan 2013 (#)

The time draws near the birth of Christ,

The moon is hid, the night is chill,

And Christmas bells from hill to hill

Answer each other in the mist.

Happy New Year to Dear Buzz, and all by Wikinut Friends.

Life Without Fear. Bertrand Russell Essay. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

049.

Life Without Fear. Bertrand Russell. Essay. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 8th Oct 2012.  Short URL http://nut.bz/s6rjyi46/
Posted in Wikinut>Essays

Fear is an ancient feeling of human beings, the right application of which saved mankind from taking too many risks and helped facilitate the continued existence of mankind. Actually fear is the essential pre-requisite to courage. But in the modern day world which is not as danger-prone as the ancient primitive world had been, man fears to even release his breath. World famous philosopher Bertrand Russell analyzes the operation of fear.

Fear can be avoided through the right kind of education.

Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Principia Mathematica, History Of Western Philosophy, and Marriage And Morals are a few of his famous writings. ‘Life Without Fear’ is an extract from his book ‘New Hopes For A Changing World.’ He is discussing how human life is ruled by fear and how fear can be got rid of. He says, fear prevails over man’s dealings with nature, with other men and with himself. Russell is of the opinion that fear can be avoided in human life through the right kind of education.

Fear is entirely different from the rational apprehension of danger.

Fear of danger, fear of no food, fear of death, fear of destitution and fear of other human beings are natural to all men. Fear is a natural basic reaction which is common to all men and animals. But, Russell says, it has no ground. Fear is a kind of foolishness which makes man unwise in his dealings with nature, with other men and with his self. Fear has no rational basis. Fear and the feeling of danger are different. Feeling of danger is logical when a danger really exists. It enables man to think out what kind of action can be taken against the possible danger. Therefore, feeling of danger is desirable. But unreasonable fear prevents people from admitting danger and taking wise precaution against it. A pre-knowledge of danger enables man to adopt different kinds of treatment for different kinds of dangers.

The limitations imposed by nature on man causing fear also can be bypassed.

Nature imposes certain limitations on man which also cause fear. Short supply of food and raw materials and the unavoidable death are fearsome limitations imposed on man by nature. Even Arch Bishops someday thought that drought and excessive rain could be prayed against. People were urged to gather to pray against Plague which only helped to spread the disease. But the days of superstitions are gone. The limitations imposed by nature on man also can be bypassed which are what history is made with. Mankind did not end with recurring floods or the ice age. It continued its march onward, conquering natural obstacles on the way. Discovery of fire and fur and fat helped harness the ice ages. Inventing row-boats helped survive floods. Even natural limitations can be effectively dealt with by science. By more labour, more food can be produced. By better methods, the use of raw materials can be economized. By wise living, death can be postponed. The scientific attitude has the two-fold merit of helping not only understanding the evil but also providing the intelligence to eradicate it.

A man’s fear of other human beings is logical and reasonable.

Fear of other human beings is reasonable and somewhat logical. Aggressiveness has only increased in this world. We all fear, someone will do things harmful to us. We bark at our neighbour for fear that he will attack us, and he barks at us back for the same reason. In such situations, a display of friendliness will do wonders and oil the wheels of life to make them run smoothly.

‘Saying thank you here and there
Saves a lot of strife,
Saying thank you as you go on
Oils the wheels of life.’

There, non-resistance diminishes the aggressive impulses in the other. But in some other circumstances it would be showing courage that would be wiser for the occasion. We cannot flee from facing real dangers. When they come one after another, we conquer them one after the other.

[First prepared in 2004]

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

To read about the life and people of Kerala, the author’s native land, visit KERALA COMMENTARY here.

For more articles of this kind, visit SAHYADRI BOOKS here or BLOOM BOOKS, TRIVANDRUM.

Tags

Basic Reactions, Bertrand Russell, Bloom Books Trivandrum, British Philosophers, Curing Aggressiveness, Fear Of Man, Fear Of Nature, Feeling Of Danger, Life Without Fear, Limitations Of Man, Merits Of Scientific Attitude, Oiling The Wheels Of Life, P S Remesh Chandran, Reasonable Fears, Reintroduced Literature, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, The Forewarning Of Fear, The Rule Of Fear

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra

Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. 

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rama devi nina
1st Jan 2013 (#)

Interesting exploration of fear …

PSRemeshChandra
8th Jan 2013 (#)

Fear not, dear Rama Devi Nina,
Fear isn’t going any where,
It is one ancient primitive bird
Flitting across man’s mortal sky.

Non-Violence. Aldous Huxley. Essay. Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran.

048.

Non-Violence. Aldous Huxley. Essay. Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 21st Aug 2012.  Short URL http://nut.bz/238onx5a/
Posted in Wikinut>Essays

When national policies conflict, there is war. It always has been so, in spite of the world’s nations’ attempts to settle things amicably. Violence is the sister of war and mighty nations are not shameful to unleash violence on their next door neighbours, next day brothers. Non-violence has been the cherished dream of mankind since the first sunrise after the dawn of civilization. Even then the realization of this dream is remaining far distant due to psychological settings of the world’s mind.

A row of successful non-violent struggles before us to imitate; still we are reluctant to adopt this proven principle.

Thomas Arnold Teacher, great grand uncle of Aldous

Here and there a few humanitarians and philosophers have occasionally looked into the prospect of moulding a new world order based on the lines of non-violence. Novelists like Tolstoy, essayists like George Orwell, H.G.Wells, Arnold Toynbee, Aldous Huxley and many others have inculcated the principles of non-violence which is fit to be adopted in international crises management. We have the fine political examples of many mighty empires having been brought down by non-violent revolutions carried out by peasants and agricultural labourers as those led by Gandhi and his contemporaries in India. Still we are reluctant to accept the principles of non-violence as our political problems solving policy. It is due to the devious and treacherous basic traits latent in man as an animal that nations still resort to violence when they have to address a problem, social, political, economical or ethnical.

Aldous Huxley was born into a family of generations of great intellectuals.

Thomas Huxley, senior brother of Aldous Huxley.

Aldous Huxley was a British essayist, novelist and critic. He belonged to a family of distinguished scientists and thinkers. The celebrated scientist Thomas Huxley was his great grand-father and the famous educationalist Thomas Arnold was his great grand-uncle. Poet Matthew Arnold was his grand uncle. His mother was a distinguished educationalist and his father Leonard Huxley was a writer. The famous biologist Sir. Julian Huxley was his elder brother. The Burning Wheel , Chrome Yellow, Brave New World , Proper Studies and Music At Night are a few of his major works. Aldous Huxley was one of the chief intellectual driving forces of his times. His essays are gentle and imaginative. The present essay discusses how non-violence is applicable to individuals, groups, nations and the people of the new industrial age.

Non-violence comes to prisons and asylums in the nineteenth century in England.

Bethlehem Mental Hospital in London in 1896.

Non-violence is the policy of passive resistance. Resistance indeed is there, only that it is not active. It has the power to overcome evil, anger and hatred. The principles of non-violence have been applied systematically in solving social and medical problems which were considered to be completely insoluble. In the past, violence prevailed over the handling of the insane, the criminal and the savage. It made the victim only incurable. Asylums and prisons were places where inmates were treated with cruelty and violence. Asylums were filthy places with dungeons, chains and torture chambers. The insane were subjected to violence as if they were criminals. In 1815 a committee of the British M.P.s investigated the state of Bethlehem Hospital in London and found it appalling. Sine then, non-violent treatment has been adopted, showing kindness and sympathy. Similarly, in prisons, torture made the innocents demoralized and the criminals more criminal. When John Howard began his investigations on prison life in the 18th century, the only decent prisons in Europe were those in Amsterdam, Holland being a country with lesser crimes. Since then, there have been many prison reforms. Thus Huxley adeptly proves that non-violence is applicable in relations of individuals with other individuals.

Missionary gossip and the role of anthropologists in the practice of non-violence.

Torture chamber in Spis Castle. By Dariusz Wozniak

Anthropologists study the origin, development and social behaviour of mankind. In the past they depended on baseless news given by travelling missionaries, i.e. ‘missionary gossip’ to form their theories. Missionaries returning from foreign lands after failed missions won’t attribute reasons for their failure to their wrong policies but would portray people of those lands as brutal intolerant savages holding pagan beliefs who brought down the missionaries’ works. As a result, colonial administrations remained violent and cruel to their subjects in the conquered lands. But later, the anthropologists practically began living with the objects of their study and learned the realities in those lands. They discovered that intelligent and sympathetic non-violence is the best and most practical policy to be adopted on subjects by an administration. Thus the colonial rule of the Belgian, Dutch, English and French became more humane, non-violent and efficient. Only the Italian Fascist Mussolini remained aggressive. His hideous methods of bombs and poison gas employed in the conquest of Abyssinia were brought to light and condemned by all.

Non-violent non-cooperation successfully prevented in England a war with Russia in 1920.

Torture rack in Spis Castle Slovakia. By Podzemnik

Non-violence is applicable in the relations of populations with governments. Gandhi’s non-violent mass movements in South Africa and India were brilliant successes. He effectively trained very large groups of people in non-violent non-cooperation and boycott, who courageously responded to brutal treatment. This impressed all and gained him favour of public opinion and support of the entire world. In England, in 1920, non-violent non-cooperation successfully prevented a war. Labour Movement declared War Boycott and refused to transport men and materials to war front. Faced with this ultimatum, the Lloyd George government abandoned its plans of war on Russia.

Man leads a dual life as a private individual and as representative of a social group.

Spanish boot in Spis castle Slovakia By Podzemnik.

In relations of governments with other governments, non-violence is often considered impractical. Examples of genuine non-violent behaviour between governments are rare. This is because of the dual nature and behaviour of man as a private individual and as member of a group. He has two systems of morality. In private life, man is honest, humane and considerate. But as citizens of a nation, he thinks his nation can go to any extreme. We all do. The nation is personified in our imagination as a being, superhuman in power and glory, but sub human in morality.

___________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
___________________________

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

To read about the life and people of Kerala, the author’s native land, visit KERALA COMMENTARY here.

For more articles of this kind, visit SAHYADRI BOOKS here or BLOOM BOOKS, TRIVANDRUM.

Tags

Active ResistanceAldous HuxleyBloom Books Trivandrum,British AuthorsBritish WritersDual Nature Of ManEnglish EssaysGandhis Mass MovementsHuxley FamilyIncurable VictimsInter Governmental RelationsJohn Howard Prison ReformsMissionary GossipNational CitizensNon Violence,Non Violence In Industrial AgeP S Remesh ChandranPassive ResistanceReintroduced LiteratureResisting Brutality,Sahyadri Books TrivandrumTorture ChambersWorld Citizens

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’.Unmarried and single. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Valley.

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Sivaramakrishnan A
21st Aug 2012 (#)

Thought provoking post that is more relevant now. There are no victors in violence; even those who live to tell the tale of success carry heavy scars in their psyches – siva

PSRemeshChandra
21st Aug 2012 (#)

Standing on a land that is India where the first known poet and philosopher Valmiki wrote Ma Nishada, or You Never Kill, we can certainly speak to the world the gospel of non-violence and human love. The Father of the Nation, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was, along with Rabindranath Tagore and Count Leo Tolstoy, and also George Bernard Shaw, was the greatest proclaimer of the gospel of human love to the world since the time of Jesus Christ. India through the ages disseminated the message of Gods’ affection and consideration for man. Even though somewhat diminished in the rush for prospects and physical pleasures, the tendency to sacrifice one’s life for the welfare of others is still prominent and dominant in Indian lives, especially in the lives of the poor people of India. Gandhi also sacrificed his life for his ideal of embracing the divided Indians and the Pakistanis at the same time. When India spends billions on account of preparing a war and defense machinery against the nation of Pakistan and Pakistan diverts precious national revenue for purchasing missiles and war machines against sister India, Pakistanis think how natural the Indian film stars act and the Indians think how majestic and enchanting the Pakistani Ghazal singers sing. Governments in the modern day world no more reflect the will of their people. Objectives of people which could easily and quickly have been realized through art, literature, music, cinema, cricket and football are objected to by governments, for they wish there shall be two governments to rule, two parliaments to spend time in and two judiciaries to pronounce the same universal human law in two conflicting ways. Unification of the divided German nations is their lesson for the future. Why waste precious people’s money for running two governments? The world is changing, and eliminating the evils of the ill famous Second World War one by one. Aldous Huxley’s thoughts are more important than ever in the present times, as you pointed out, dear Sivaramakrishnan A. Thank you for your valuable comment, which supplements Aldous Huxley’s observations well.

Sivaramakrishnan A
22nd Aug 2012 (#)

Thank you indeed, RC! War is waged by selfish politicians and they use common citizens as their pawns. It is so easy to rouse emotions now, like it was from primeval times! We are easily used by all types of leaders for their ends! Modern technology has made us realise – we are one and the same, but we still go at each other’ s throats at the drop of a hat! siva

A K Rao 21st Aug 2012 (#)

Simply Superb Article Dear Ramesh Chandran Sir!

PSRemeshChandra
21st Aug 2012 (#)

When we read the articles written by many philosophers like Bertrand Russell, Arnold Toynbee, Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley and H.G.Wells, we think how fortunate the world is for having tones of beautiful pages written by learned and tasty geniuses for us all to read without stop. We also will feel lonely at the thought of living at a time, with the total absence of such eminent thinkers and writers continuously conversing to us all around us in our society. It is our solace and luck they wrote profusely before they passed away, so that the intellectually impoverished we can read something refreshing, till the end our days. Unfortunately I cannot convey your appreciation to Huxley. Thank you for your comment, dear A.K.Rao.

Madan
22nd Aug 2012 (#)

Excellent post. Deserved star page

PSRemeshChandra
22nd Aug 2012 (#)

Writers like Arnold Toynbee, Robert Lynd, Aldous Huxley and Bertrand Russell produced excellent literature which captivated generations including mine. But the world now does not read them as frequently and regularly as before. I pay them respect in my simple way of reintroducing them in layman’s terms, for the sole reason they inspired me, so that they will be continued to be read and read and read. No one shall have to leave them unread. The praise goes to those excellent authors who are now gone from among us. We can only keep the world’s interest in them live. Thank you dear Madan for the comment.

Buzz
23rd Aug 2012 (#)

Simply outstanding!

PSRemeshChandra
23rd Aug 2012 (#)

Praise goes to Aldous Huxley really.

Md Rezaul Karim
3rd Sep 2012 (#)

Interestingly when you are equal, the concept of non-violence works. But if the competency or strengths and weaknesses are significant then coercion takes place and the ethics and morality wither away!

PSRemeshChandra
3rd Sep 2012 (#)

The concept of non-violence works when the concerned opponent is somewhat equal or sophisticated. It did work with the British in India when the British became convinced that India would become the country where the greatest number of dead British are burried if violence in India reached its full manifestation. The Irish Republican Army tried non-violence in British prisons by turning to non-eating fasts but found that they were only weakening their body. After the death of seven of their comrades in a days-long relay fast in Maize prison, they returned to guerrilla warfare and violence. Thank you dear Md Rezaul Karim for reading and the comment.

Belief In God. Dr. A.J.Cronin Essay. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran, Trivandrum.

046.

Belief In God. Dr. A.J.Cronin. Essay. Reintroduced by P.S.Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 18th Feb 2012.  Short URL http://nut.bz/2nh_co2x/

Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

Whether God exists is a question people have been trying to answer through the ages. At least once in our life we are asked this question and have to answer. One interesting fellow once observed that if we are asked this question it is always safe to answer that He does exist, because if he does not exist we have nothing to fear but if He does exist, then we will have to fear his wrath and retaliation for denying him. It is interesting to note here what a famous doctor wrote in this regard.

Citadel, the first attack on the evils and corruption in the medical profession by a lone doctor.

Decades back a novel written by a doctor shook the conscience of the world and shattered the misconceptions about the infallibility and judgment of doctors. The novel was ‘The Citadel’ and its author was ‘Doctor A. J. Cronin’. He was literally attacking the fort of medical profession which was considered invincible and impregnable till that time. How a young doctor suffers to establish his practice, how and by whom the first patients are brought to his little consultancy, how misjudging and mean the health authorities are, how wicked a few among them are to sacrifice human lives for riches and personal gains, how prosperity, academic brilliance and recognition in the medical world affects a good doctor’s view points- everything that were considered as a taboo and something unspeakable in human speech and writing- was dissected and made open by this doctor in this famous novel. If someone wishes to read this novel to learn what is in it, it is also good to know in advance about the only drawback of this novel. It will have a very good and optimistic ending if we simply tear away the last chapter. This doctor later in his life had a turning point in his career, of undergoing treatment for a disease and recuperation during which period he wrote a novel to escape from the boredom of leading an uneventful life in a quiet village. The novel became a great success. Then the world saw him settling himself as a writer. All his literary creations are simple, lucid and thought-provoking. This essay is a chapter from his book ‘Adventures In Two Worlds’.

Western science and eastern philosophy meet in closed quarters, to discuss the existence of God.

 

From a time when doctors were gods. 1942.

In the past century, when the individual achievements of science found its peak in the personality of Albert Einstein, after establishing the theory of relativity and gravity, this great scientist startled the world by hinting about the probability of the existence of a God as a Force of Super Intelligence. He once met the famous Indian philosopher and poet Rabindranath Tagore with whom, it is believed, he made a long and deep discussion in this matter in closed quarters, the details of which both these dignitaries kept private till the end of their lives. The world would have very much thrilled to read what this world scientist Einstein discussed with the world philosopher Tagore in the matter of the existence and properties of God. The matter of this discussion is still unknown to the world.

Searching for a soul inside the human body in the coal districts of England.

 

Human body is a wonder but who created this wonder and what intelligence went into the making of it is still a thing of speculation. Like all medical students, Cronin was a non-believer in the Super Intelligence. The human body seemed to him only a complex machine. As he dissected the formalin-impregnated bodies in the anatomy room of his medical college, he searched for the existence of a soul inside the bodies but could not find any. Therefore he used to deny the existence of God. He says that this might have been due to the various distractions and diversions of his mind in the young age. After graduation, when he went out into the world to work in the Coal Districts of England, he saw very poor people suffering hard, but at the same time believing in God. New spiritual values were made apparent to him through slow but regular experiences in his life. He realized that the compass of existence held more than what his medical text- books revealed. The shortness and brevity of his younger outlook was lost with time. He lost his feeling of superiority and became a humble human being, which was his first step towards finding God.

Rich significance of the lowly life of a nurse and the emptiness in the life of a dignified physician.

 

Many things to learn from nurses. A 1942 picture.

Dr.Cronin’s working with the District Nurse Madame Olwen Davies brought him many theological experiences. She was dedicated to serve the poor but was a low-paid employee. Cronin once pointed out this to her and said she actually deserved an increased salary and that God knew she was worthy of it. Then with a smile she replied that if God knew she was worthy of it, then she was satisfied. This revelation made Cronin nearer to God. The rich but humble significance of the District Nurse’s life was revealed to him. And he sensed the emptiness in his life also.

One word of challenge from a simple-minded school boy, and the ignorance of a distinguished zoologist is shattered.

 

An invisible hand behind every creation of beauty.

One half of the world believes in God whereas the other half is peopled by non-believers. No one is certain whether God exists or not. Man denies God in the light of science, but the beauty of the starlit night skies underlines the existence of a primary creator who is very intelligent, imaginative and aesthetic. A Latin tag says ‘Ex nihilo nihil’ which means ‘nothing can come of nothing.’ Dr.Cronin illustrates this in a fine example from his experience. In London, he had once organized a Working Boys’ Club where a distinguished zoologist was invited to give a lecture. ‘The Beginning Of Our World’ was the subject of his speech. In brilliant oration he explained to the boys how the first protoplasmic cell took form from the pounding pre-historic seas Aeons and Aeons ago. The lecture ended in applause. Then one innocent boy asked him how the first sea came there. Nothing can come out of nothing. This suggests that there might have been a primary creator. The orator could find nothing in answer. The logic of this test-tube scientist was crumbled by one word of challenge from a simple-minded boy.

I see my cherry trees in bud, and then in flower, and then in fruit, and then I believe in God.

 

Cherry trees in full blossom.

We often see many good people suffer in this world. This makes us doubt the existence of a God. There has to be an explanation for this injustice. Cronin says that evil and pain in life in this world is justifiable. It is part of the plan of the primary creator. He asks us to refer to the Book of Job in the Bible. Life is not a pleasure-hunt but a preparation for the other world, whether it would be life or anything else for us there in the next existence. Cronin’s meeting with an old man in an Italian church near Fiesole clarified this. Cronin asked the poor old peasant whether he believed in God. His answer was: “I see my cherry trees in bud, and then in flower, and then in fruit, and then I believe in God.”

Note:

‘When we talk with God, it is prayer. When God talks with us, it is schizophrenia.’

Mankind has the companionship of God alone in his long voyages through agonies, sufferings and miseries. He stands just behind those who pine in their hearts and those who sing in their mirth. The designer and creator of this universe certainly was a very imaginative person, a being whose mind was given to supreme conceptions of beauty and harmony.

[Prepared in September 1990]

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

To read about the life and people of Kerala, the author’s native land, visit KERALA COMMENTARY here.

For more articles of this kind, visit SAHYADRI BOOKS here or BLOOM BOOKS, TRIVANDRUM.

Tags

Bloom Books Trivandrum, British Health Services, British Novelists, Coal Districts Of England, Corruption In The Medical Field, Discussions Behind Closed Doors, Discussions Unrevealed To The World, Does God Exist, Dr A J Cronin, Einstein And Tagore, English Writers, Essays Reintroduced, Evils Of The Medical Profession, Ex Nihilo Nihil, Existence Of God, How The First Sea Came There, Is There A Creator, Nothing Comes Out Of Nothing, P S Remesh Chandran, Reintroduced Literature, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, Super Intelligence, The Beginning Of Our World, The Creator Was Intelligent And Imaginative, The Life Of A Doctor, The Life Of A Nurse, Theological Experiences

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Unmarried and single. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Ranges.

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Knowledge And Wisdom. Bertrand Russell Essay. Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran. Sahyadri Books, Trivandrum.

044.

Knowledge And Wisdom. Bertrand Russell Essay. Reintroduced By P. S. Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 10th Feb 2012.  Short URL http://nut.bz/1kqrxzyw/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

 

Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Roads To Freedom, Principia Mathematica, Marriage And Morals, The Conquest Of Happiness, etc, are a few of his famous writings. Here he distinguishes between and defines knowledge and wisdom. Life experiences of a person process his knowledge into wisdom. Knowledge, comprehensive vision, pursuit of purpose, emancipation or freedom and impartiality in opinions and views are what constitute wisdom.

Wisdom evolves from comprehensive vision and sense of proportion. Knowledge may sometimes lead to unwisdom.

Knowledge and wisdom are different things. Wisdom does not come immediately with knowledge. As Tennyson observed, ‘Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers.’ Knowledge may sometimes even lead to unwisdom to illustrate which Russell cites two excellent examples. When man attained enough knowledge to lower the death rate among infants, population increased, food supplies became short and standard of living declined. Thus lowering the death rate of children, in his opinion, was a mistake on the part of medical specialists. Military specialists also have landed in many such follies. When man invented the technique of splitting atom, everyone began to think that mountains could now be moved and the course of rivers and that of history could be changed. But instead of using this new gained knowledge for useful and beneficial purposes, man began to manufacture nuclear weapons. Even after witnessing the horrible mass genocides caused by them, even the advanced as well as the barbarian countries of the world still go on manufacturing them. One day they will wipe out the human race from the face of the earth. Wisdom does not come with knowledge. These are the evil effects of specialization in singular subjects. It is from a comprehensive vision and sense of proportion that wisdom evolves.

It is a distorted history that tells nothing about Mao’s deflowering dozens of girls each week and termination of revolutionaries in Lenin’s time.

A proper knowledge of human history also is needed to gain wisdom. Some history writings we see are distorted ones, fabricated with a view to inculcate some particular feelings or passions among people. People who wrote about Lenin were totally blind to the cruel political assassinations of his times, which gave rise to the ‘theory of revolutions eating out its own children’ evidenced by the death of Trotsky. Worshippers of Mao Tse Tung remained silent about the innocent peasant girls the chairman deflowered each week, as was revealed by the repentant personal physician. Had these acts also were recorded accurately by his historians along with the bold and unending marches of this revolutionary through the incessant rains, we sometimes may have even respected the man, out of the knowledge that he was not a god but only a man. It should be noted here that the greatest sins committed by Gandhi came to the world’s attention not by his opponents mentioning them but from his own autobiography which was rightly titled My Experiments With Truth. Gandhi never hesitated to tell the story of his stealing the gold bangle of his house servant to purchase liquor in his boyhood years. We only respect this people’s leader for the frankness and truthfulness with which he recorded his own follies. That is his greatness and India’s example. That is how and why it came to be written in India’s official seal ‘Truth Alone Will Triumph’ when India became independent. Great men were always truthful in recording their follies. Along with English economics and French socialism, German philosophy served as one of the three origins of Marxism. Hegel was the most followed in the field of German philosophy. Hegel wrote history to prove that the Germans were a master race from the time memorable. Such distorted recordings of history lead to unwisdom and destruction.

To set apart two quarrelling friends would be an act of wisdom. Fill your private life with such small acts of wisdom.

Wisdom has a key role to play in the private life of a man. Man except on rare occasions fails to see his future in advance. He seldom knows what the future has in store for him. He has to live beneficial to the world. Since mankind is a collective reality, animosity among its members cannot help it achieve the benefits of living. By practicing universal brotherhood alone can man gain wisdom and live beneficial to the world and its inhabitants. So, to set apart two quarrelling friends would be an act of wisdom. ‘If you can do this, you will have instilled some fragment of wisdom’, writes Russell. Our private life should be filled with such little acts of wisdom. But millions of men, instead of going after this well defined objective in their lives, have searched for the philosophers’ stone and wasted their lives. No doubt, if they could have found them they would have conferred great benefits on mankind, but it was their lives that were wasted. Russell warns us that we should not waste our lives on such impossible philosophical feats; we should instead fill it with small acts of wisdom. As we grow older we will gain more impartiality. Our horizon will widen. Our thoughts and feelings will become less personal and more detached from our own physical state. It is that stage in human life, which Shakespeare in his poem The Seven Stages Of Man’s Life described as the stage in which man begins to think and act like a judge. Thus we gradually become freed of all selfish motives but begin to think more for the society than for ourselves. According to Russell, this emancipation or freedom from selfishness is the essence of wisdom.

Sunday schools cannot supply wisdom. They can only supplement wisdom if we already have some.

Wisdom can be taught like any other virtue. Even though we are born unwise which we cannot help, we can cultivate wisdom. Sunday schools are not supposed to supply wisdom; they can only supplement wisdom if we already have some. They can only make wise men wiser. Thus, moral instruction and the teaching of wisdom differ much. Wisdom should be planted and nursed in one’s own mind. We are living in a war-stricken world which needs wisdom as it never has needed before. Therefore wisdom should be taught by any means. We cannot al be good Samaritans to our neighbours, but we can certainly reduce our hatred to others. It should be noted here that even nations are now unable to reduce their hatred to other nations. The Russian communists find they are unable to remain good Samaritans to the American anti-communists. But in the midst of all this mayhem and national hatred, a single man can remain wise when the whole world goes unwise.

It is the music lovers and film goers that keep the nations going and standing, not short-living intolerant governments.

So, ‘Hate Hatred’ should be our slogan. It is indecent for a government to show hatred to other nations or to its people because this world and the humanity in it is built up based on the principles and forces of harmony. But the short-sighted puny little minds that are the governments in many countries cannot understand this as they are nowhere near the much dreamt about concept of Plato’s Philosopher Kings. In many sister nations, even if the people like each other in their hearts, their governments cultivate animosity and hatred. We can point out dozens of modern day examples. The governments of India and Pakistan shout at each other and conduct war rehearsals but the Indian music lovers worship Habib Wali Muhammed, Mirza Ghalib, Fareeda Khanum, Gul Bahar Bano, Iqbal Bano, Munni Begum, Roshan Ara Begum and Salman Alvi who are the luminaries among the Pakistani Ghazal singers, many of them the stars of the undivided India. And Indian film stars like Devanand, Sunil Dutt, Narghese, Raj Kapoor and Amitab Batchan are the favourites of Pakistani film goers. Both governments view these admirers and fans suspiciously, but in the long run, it is not these short-living governments but these admirers and fans of music, literature and films who keep these nations going and standing. That is the importance and relevance of a single man’s stand in the midst of national lunacy. It is when such singular wisdom happened to fuse uniquely with vigour of action that the world was saved several times from near peril.

Powerful personalities in history who combined vigour of action and wisdom and saved the world.

In history we see many examples of active vigour in fusion with wisdom, forming powerful personalities, saving the world. We see Moses in The Bible, professing the Ten Commandments before a people too seduced to be saved. Queen Elizabeth the First in England, King Henry the Fourth in France and Abraham Lincoln in America were very impressive personalities who fused vigour with wisdom and fought the evil. The world has had the luck to have many such personalities in among her people. Abraham Lincoln even conducted a civil war without ever departing from wisdom. It was his vigour of action and wisdom which helped him abolish slavery and prevent the Northern and the Southern states of America from separating in that civil war.

[Originally Prepared in 1995]

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
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To read about the life and people of Kerala, the author’s native land, visit KERALA COMMENTARY here.

For more articles of this kind, visit SAHYADRI BOOKS here or BLOOM BOOKS, TRIVANDRUM.

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Bertrand Russell, Boyhood Days Of Gandhi, British Philosophers, British Writers, Distorted History, English Essays, Falsified History, Frankness Of Leaders, Knowledge, Knowledge And Wisdom, P S Remesh Chandran, People Of India And Pakistan, Philosophical Writings, Political Killings In Lenins Time, Reintroduced Literature, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, The Death Of Trotsky, Threat Of Nuclear Weapons, Truth Alone Will Triumph, Truthfulness Of World Leaders, Virtues And Vices Of Mao, Wisdom

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’. Unmarried and single. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Ranges.

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Chocolate Bus. Robert Lynd Essay. Reintroduced By P.S.Remesh Chandran. Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

041.

Chocolate Bus. Robert Lynd Essay. Reintroduced By P. S. Remesh Chandran.

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum.

By PSRemeshChandra, 5th Dec 2011  Short URL http://nut.bz/dbid7g_4/
Posted in Wikinut>Essays

 

Omnibus was the old name for a bus. When city buses were newly introduced in theLondonstreets, they were uniformly coloured chocolate. Robert Lynd disliked them for their colour which was dull and non-interesting to the eyes and also because they deprived him of the delights of walking. Like A.G.Gardiner’s Bus Conductor, Lynd’s Chocolate Bus reminds us of the many virtues which are leaving us one by one. And buses too may say farewell to us just as row boats did when bridges came into being.

The delight of walking is meeting persons on the way, spending a few minutes with them in small talk and having enough psychological delights for the day.

 Old Timer On London Road. Martin Addison. 

Suppose we are used to walk long distances and we are used also to like walking those distances. We shall meet so many persons of our acquaintance and not, shall spend a few minutes with them indulging in small talk and serious talk, and before we reach our destination, have enough psychological delights for the day. But when buses begin to ply the route we begin to become lonely on the road. Moreover it would be embarrassing for us to see a person whom we passed on the way walking in front of us at another place after alighting from a bus. In no time we will begin to hate buses. That was exactly what happened to Robert Lynd. He began to hate buses. Lynd’s essays are deep in thought but lucid in style. His essays enriched English language and literature much like his counter part Gardiner. Chocolate Bus is included in his collection of essays ‘Solomon In All His Glory.’

Birds of the least brilliant colour may sing the most brilliant songs.

 Bus in old clean London street. Dr.Neil Clifton. 

Do not anyone think that Lynd is blind in his observations, due to his prejudice against the dull coloured Chocolate Buses. He makes several strange observations in spite of these buses denying him vibrant colour patterns pleasing to his eyes and deprives him of the delights of walking. Chocolate which is dull and boring to the eyes of course is charming to the palate. Their delicious taste is savoured by all. Birds of the least brilliant colour would most probably sing the most brilliant songs. Sweets of the poorest favour may sometimes have the richest flavour. In this way perhaps the dull coloured Chocolate Buses also could be of the most beneficial use to mankind.

To see sights for ten miles from a running bus, the focusing muscles of the eyes do the equal labour the biceps muscles of the legs do to run the same distance.

One of the early sensations. Simon Osborne. 

When we travel in a bus most often we will prepare ourselves to see all the sights along the way. So we sit ourselves on a convenient side seat and begin seeing things. If we do it, before we are not over many miles, we will see that our eyes are closed and we are asleep. When we see sights from a running bus, the actual labour the focusing muscles in our eyes do to focus images before our retina to provide a stable picture is equal to what the biceps muscles of our legs do to run the same distance. No wonder the focusing muscles become soon tired and we fall asleep before long.

Thoughts originating while travelling in a bus will have high voltage and decisions taken then would be coming from a very kinetic mind.

First London Routemaster Bus. Luiz Marini.Berlin. 

But travelling in a running vehicle stimulates our thoughts too. The speed of the vehicle adds speed to our thoughts also. We know that weight into velocity is momentum. Momentum of the bus can be spent on the road but we, sitting with our fixed weight without the liberty of movement in the confines of a bus, will feel the momentum enter our mind and take off with it. Thoughts originating from us while travelling in a bus will be high voltage thoughts. Decisions taken then would be coming from a very kinetic mind.

Dante ought to have included bus travels as one of the Torments of the Inferno.

Glasgow Tram Cars Priestley Wrote. Dr Neil Clifton 

Bus travellers will often have bitter experiences. The buses would be overcrowded and there would not be empty seats. Sometimes there would not even be a foot of floor space empty to stand on. The passengers would feel they are imprisoned in a black hole that is a bus that is rocking also on the pot holes. Mechanical vibration of the bus would enter our heel, head and bones. One will wonder whether this is the fulfillment of the travel dreams of the Greeks, Romans and the other civilized races. Lynd says that the South Sea Islander lolling lazily in his lagoon is unfortunate to miss this unique experience of bus travel since there are no buses in that remote part of the globe.

If buses were made prisons the prisoners would object and crimes would cease to happen.

A London Tram Car. Photo John Bennet. 

A bus is a mechanical rhinoceros to travel inside which one has to pay also. Bus travellers get no wind except one composed of half dust and another half other people’s breathe. If buses were made prisons the prisoners would object and crimes would cease to happen. Criminals in the ancient world were put in barrels with spikes and rolled down the hills as punishment which was far lighter than to have been condemned to have a bus travel as the punishment. Lynd wonders why Dante did not include bus travel as one of the punishments among the multitude of torments in hell he described in his classic, The Divine Comedy.

The sheep in the field, the fly on the window, the sparrow on the road, all constantly keep moving. Movement is the manifestation of life.

Two Old Trams In Transport Museum. Dr.Neil Clifton 

When compared to a travel in the bus, walking has a number of advantages. Walking is a rhythmic and pleasant form of movement. There is a natural rhythm in walking. We are free to walk as lazily as an old dog or as fast as a cock picking food. Walking gives us enough time for sight seeing and thinking. One can stop at shop windows and look into things displayed there, or can peer inside. A walking man gets news also. The greatest pleasure of all in walking is the realization that there is no hurry. It is the law of nature that living things must keep moving. Movement is the manifestation of life. The sheep in the field, the fly on the window, the sparrow on the road, all constantly keep moving. This movement of limbs and wings is the very basis of life. It is pleasanter to move constantly like the planets than to sit still like a heap of stones. ‘Man is the only animal that escaped from perpetual motion and stiffened into stillness while he is yet neither a cripple nor dead.’ Sitting inert has now become a habit to man.

The desire of man to travel with the least body movement caused the invention of vehicles. His inertness is now complete.

A 1984 Electric Train. Photo. David Ingham. 

It is the desire of man to travel with the least body movement that caused the invention of vehicles. A survey of the vehicles he developed in their chronological order would reveal his inclinations. First he rode horses which provided an overall rhythmic movement to his muscles. Then came the row boat in which the hands alone had to move and the legs rested. With the invention of the wheel and the sail he became able to move without moving him at all. Cycles and automobiles followed and then came motor cycle, car, bus, ship and aero plane. And now there is the rocket too. His inertness is now complete.

The flowing streams, the playing children and the singing birds no more touch the bus traveller.

Channel Tunnel Train Emerging. Xtrememachineuk. 

It was this inertness and laziness of man that gave a chance to men with mechanical minds to make inventions. Thanks to these vehicles man is now able to transport people in bulk numbers from place to place. In all these vehicles man needn’t move his body. He only has to buy a ticket. But he no more enjoys the various amusements on the way. The flowing streams, the playing children and the singing birds no more touch him. He is now shut inside a box on wheels and carried away at top speed. One has no more life than a posted letter so far as he is sitting in a travelling vehicle. It was great movements of mind and body matter that created renaissance inItalyfour hundred years earlier. Henceforth there would be no renaissance. Riding in buses has killed the kinetic minds in our society. Thus this essay is really Robert Lynd’s ‘Ode to Walking.’

Many fear the channel tunnel will gradually destroy the euphoric and pleasant isolation England enjoyed for many ages.

 

Channel Tunnel Car Shuttle Interior. Tony Hisgett.

However, he is not a cynical critic. He concludes his essay wishing every success to the chocolate brown buses newly introduced in London streets. After these omnibuses the tram cars and the road trains came. Then there was the tube and now there is the channel tunnel which all fear would gradually destroy the euphoric and pleasant isolation the great island nation of England enjoyed for so many ages.

[First written in November 1994]

_______________________________
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
_______________________________

Dear Reader,
If you cannot access all pages of P.S.Remesh Chandran, Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum, kindly access them via this link provided here:
https://sites.google.com/site/timeuponmywindowsill/wiki-nut-articles

Translations of this article in French, German, Spanish and Italian published in Knol.com can be read by clicking BLOOM BOOKS TRANSLATIONS here.

To read about the life and people and their follies of the author’s native land Kerala, read Kerala Commentary

To read more our articles already published in Wikinut visit Sahyadri Books or Bloom Books Trivandrum

Tags

Appreciations, Articles, British Authors, British Essayists, British Writers, Channel Tunnel, Chocolate Bus, English Essayists, English Literature, Essays, Old London Transport, Omni Buses, P S Remesh Chandran, Reintroduced Literature, Reintroductions, Reviews, Robert Lynd, Sahyadri Books Bloom Books Trivandrum, Solomon In All His Glory, Trams

Meet the author

PSRemeshChandra
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of ‘Swan, The Intelligent Picture Book’.

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