OUR BOUNDARIES

You don’t see yourself, because you are yourself and for you that is the normal, natural, only, right and best way and thing to be. You don’t sense or recognise or take cognisance of the thought or perception that you could ‘improve’, ‘change’ or grow into something or someone ‘better’. Your limits are perceived by you as being the limits, borders and boundaries of absolute reality.

The most fundamental first step on the path to self-awareness is the accrual of the recognition that there is a difference between your reality and absolute reality. And between your reality and everybody else’s realities. And between everybody else’s realities and absolute reality.

I have gone too far. ‘Absolute Reality’ is a key term. First you have to realise – i.e. internalise through repeated experiencing – that there is a difference between yours and others’ realities. The next step is considering whether there is an ‘Absolute Reality’ different from and beyond yours and those of others, one within which every consciousness and reality finds resolution, be it in dissolution or in elevation and completion. Third is the recognition that your reality can grow towards Absolute Reality without ever reaching it, for that is the character of the absolute – it forever draws you onwards.

With the recognition that your consciousness is your perception is your reality is changeable comes the realisation that it can also grow away from Absolute Reality, i.e. shrink and become smaller, and its new boundaries become again also the limits of your perception, your consciousness, your reality. We see and live things really according to how we inwardly are. Understanding is a boundary. We say things like “The boundaries of our understanding”, whereas we should probably say instead “The understanding of our boundaries”, or better still: “Our understandings are our boundaries”.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT

Power is, or derives from, an idea into which all concerned subscribe. This idea is the exponent of a recognition to which a people as a collective have come; in other words, a consciousness into which a homogeneous group, a common type, has awakened. This recognition, this consciousness, now becomes a component characteristic of this homogeneous group which as a group has graduated from type to type. The members of the group thus acquire a distinct, distinctive nature that differentiates, distinguishes and distances them from every other group. They thus become a “People”, the rough draft of a nation. And this people, these people, are the children of an idea to which they have subscribed, out of which their world view has been born. And the concept of Power inherent in this idea becomes the foundational notion and nature of Power that determines their politics and their interpersonal relationships.

Because this power is subject to a context into which they all subscribe, rooted in an idea which has become their mother, they are all bound to it and all bow down before it. It thus becomes the socio-political and culturo-spiritual Soul of their national personality.

When this people comes into contact with a different people of different ideology, a culture clash takes place. Communication gaps and mutual misunderstandings become their meeting points. The divergent concepts of power, born over centuries or even millenia out of different recognitions and perceptions, creates a situation where each group has the feeling that the other group is not “playing by the rules”. Whereas perhaps they simply have a different understanding of the concept of “power” and of “power-play”. You only see what you understand; every other  thing remains at best a riddle, if not entirely invisible and impossible to perceive or empathize with in any way. At worst, it is adjudged to be a threat.

This is where the need arises to “learn another person’s language”. The other person’s inner language of concepts. Therein lies the understanding of their concept of Power, and thus of their understanding of what should be the right and balanced form of interpersonal relationships. When two such come to a mutual understanding and meet in the middle, then the product of their new and shared understanding becomes a living guideline and another valuable page in the universal charter of human rights. And responsibilities.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

NATURE OR PROPENSITY

For people who, by nature, are partner-faithful and relationship-loyal (I’m talking Sex here), there exists in their inside a great big Why when they observe how a person who they know really loves his/her partner with all his/her heart can have a sexual interchange with a third party – one time, or for a shorter or longer period, or intermittently – and yet remain totally committed to and in love with their chosen “permanent” partner. Is it a predisposition or a weakness?

It’s like a puzzle, a mystery that defies solution.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THAT SAME OLD GOAL

Parallel worlds. The Radio is whispering coming war – cultural, civil, religious, racial. It’s in people’s eyes, there’s no love for strangers anymore, and suddenly they are everywhere.

Revenge. It’s time to correct history. Power. It’s time to attain victory. And it fills you with despair because humankind never learns. They wait a few Generations, build or buy more lethal weapons, radicalise themselves and their children some more. And then they try again.

Weapons of mis-communication; weapons of mass-Propaganda; weapons of mis-education; weapons of asocialization; weapons of radicalisation; weapons of mass-destruction. Weapons of war.

And if they fail again, they’ll think it’s because their weapons, or their tactics, were not lethal enough. They’ll never question their motives or their hatred. They’ll wait another couple of Generations, and build or buy even more lethal weapons, and perfect their tactics and strategies some more. And then try again. And again.

Until Humanity destroys itself. Completely.

Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

SEX IS NOT THE ONLY FORM OF INTIMATE CONVERSATION

Sex is not the only form of conversation, connection, exchange and sharing, in the course of Intimacy between people. There are other options that may fulfil the need for temporary or permanent oneness more effectively than sexual intercourse, depending on the chemistry between, the story around and the needs of and nature within the people involved.

1. THE NATURE OF CONVERSATIONS
The nature of verbal conversations between people can sometimes be a more powerful form of intimacy than sex, giving room for an inner release of pressures that not even sex can achieve. This often happens between people who feel comfortable enough with each other, or find the courage, to share information about their vulnerabilities with one another, and have found a language in which to do so. Some friendships bear this Quality intrinsically within.

2. SHARED SILENCE
There are some people whose most intimate exchange happens in deeply felt moments of shared Silence. This silence is like a continuum in which their thoughts and intuitive perceptions merge and shape one another. The people involved always emerge from such moments with enriched souls. These are people who of one another often say: we like to be silent together. Silence is their bond.

3. HONEST QUARRELS
A good quarrel – extreme, hard, honest, totally baring – is sometimes the best form of conversation and the most intimate way to exchange the most revealing information between two people or a set of people. I became acquainted with some of my closest friends after a quarrel. I met my wife through a quarrel. It was the quarrel that paved the way for the love. Quarrels are often missed opportunities when the people involved, while quarrelling, are – for lack of trust – not honest with themselves and with the other person. And yet sometimes the fundamental or temporary chemistry between two people is such that only an honest and brave painful quarrel will fulfil the function of the intimate conversation they need in order to take their understanding of one another to the next level.

4. HOMELINESS AND HOME
There are some people with whom we share the most open exchanges and most intimate conversations because the context of our chemistry and the base of our bond is a certain sense of home or homeliness, the type in which the real us feels ‘at home’ when together with these people. Some share this connection from birth, some acquire this in the course of a relationship or a friendship that makes them feel at home with each other. And this sense of home does not require of them to do or say anything extra or particular, or require another form of intimacy. The sense of being at home while together is in itself already their intimate conversation.

5. DISTANCE
There is a curious intimacy in distance that sometimes comes into play between certain people. It is delicate and fine, but also very intense, very strong and very revelatory. Invasion without invasiveness. Penetration without intrusion. An all-encompassing knowing, full of the most sensitive respect. The power of distance as a mediator and form of intimacy is often underrated. And yet there are some people with whom we can only enjoy a feeling and a sense of an intimate conversation when we find and keep the right distance between ourselves. Sometimes such people know us more intimately than the ones closest to us and may sometimes enjoy our rarest trust. It is also not by chance that people sometimes reveal themselves to and connect with less restriction and more satisfaction with Strangers than with those they know – exactly because of the fact that they are, and will remain,… strangers.

6. SEX AS A DEPTH OF COMMUNICATION
Voluntary sex is different things to different people – a power-game, a playful act; or for some it’s deeper, a level of release. There are people however who, apart from or in addition to this, experience sex as a form of conversation. An intimate way of sharing self-knowledge and exchanging sensitive wordless information about what we are in the primitive depths of our fundamental personalities. Just as sex can be used to tell lies, project a falsehood and hide secrets, it can also be used – by people whose bond trigger that chemistry – to communicate. People who experience sex solely in this way have a satisfying sense of communication, or frustrating non-communication, in connection with every moment of sexual intimacy.

7. A SHARED GOAL
There may be truth to the saying that there is nothing that binds people together as primordially and intuitively as a deeply-felt and shared Goal. The stronger and deeper the love and loyalty they have for the cause, the more this condition possesses the ability to break all barriers between them and link inner parts of their hidden selves with one another on levels which are never activated in their dealings with other people. That is to say: when people love the same thing and work passionately towards the same purpose, it wavelengths them into a place where only they can go together. The entire context of their relationship with each other becomes determined by that for which they share their truest love and most quiet loyalty, to which they have pledged the very essence their life, and it becomes the underlining hearth of their bond, their quiet intimate conversation.

The individual natures of each person and the chemistry between people, as well as the nature of intimacy possible, mutually desired or needed between them, is what determines the form of interchange between them which permits the realisation of this intimacy.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

TREACHERY

Was I not perhaps there with them, beneath the bombs and amidst the bullets and amongst the kids that died too easily, too early, and never rose again? Was I not perhaps there with them amidst the hoping and the despairing and the neighbours that turned too easily, too quickly, too happily, into foes – was I not really there? Aye, was I not perhaps there too, I wonder, was I not? I sometimes seem to see again the metalbirds dropping parcels of eager death and ripping the way open for birth, the painful birth of a new generation unafraid of guns, bombs and nuclear threats, and wary only of the little lies that neighbours and friends are ever wont to tell.

——————–

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

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WHAT HOLDS A SOCIETY TOGETHER?

1. TENSIONS

What holds a society together?

This question crosses my mind a lot in these times of terror threats and terror attacks, religious fanaticism, right-wing political extremism, left-wing reactionism, fear, reflection, polarization, racism, nationalism, migration, integration, refugeeism, falling wages, widening circles of poverty, animosities, dual nationalities, multi-national companies, cross-cultural love affairs, mixed children and mixed heritages, highspeed long-distance travel, nuclear tests and missile launches, global ease of communication, internet battles between love and hate, and all the rest of that stuff.

Being a part of the German society, the many observations I make everyday trigger intense bouts of reflection and thought within me. These observations are made in the private sphere, at work and in the public domain. While taking in and analysing the news – the content and selection, the context, pattern and nature of the news – over the radio or on TV and while following events on the internet. While interacting with other citizens in sports arenas, on the public transport, in parks and clubs, at the playground, in restaurants and during private events. While playing the requisite roles on the corporate theatre and being politically correct. And simply while living.

It’s hard to miss the tension that exists between those who, genealogically, have for hundreds of years fallen into the category of that which was traditionally labelled ‘German’ or ‘European’ or of such descent, and those who, by appearance, betray some other culturo-geneological descent, in part or in whole. Going deeper, it is fairly easy to feel the palpable front-lines of ancient cultural conflicts, old racial tensions and, above all, very deeply felt religious differences, a clash of political ideologies that seem mutually exclusive. Certain social scientists, broadening the spectrum, may even choose to point out that front-lines also exist in the realm of opposite genders and opposing sexual orientations and indeed even in the age-old question of age differences. By their thesis, the human being it would seem is simply a creature of division and conflict along lines and within groups of perceived primary homogeneity.

2. WHAT IS HOME?

The world appears to be changing faster than our world views, and our self-images, and our capacity to adapt in thought, in action or emotionally seem able to keep or catch up with. Fundamentally the core question to which the times seem to be driving us is the simple puzzle: “What is Home?” To what extent can differentiation within a society go without tearing it apart? The issue of ‘mutual incompatibility’ is a concept that occupies many thinking minds within the context of possible lasting damage to a societal unit. On the other hand, the sense of belonging, of having a stake in preserving the present and future welfare of the nation and the national community of which one feels oneself to be a part creates a feeling of oneness, a binding force, a desire to act beneficially in the cause of the society, that informs the unchanging root intuition in good and bad times.

So, for a German citizen, like myself, the question becomes: what is the root intuition that must guide the sense of connection and bonding between a citizen and the nation in order for the citizen to be an authentic bearer of the nation within himself? In other words, what makes me or anyone a German? Is it the language, the passport, a sentiment, an ideology? Is it the colour, the genealogical inheritance, both of which I lack? Is it a ‘way’ of doing things, of seeing things, of feeling things? What is the difference between those who want to keep it the way it is or was, according to their perception, and those who want to change it? And, for those who want to change it: Along what lines do they want to change it? These are terse fields of even if unspoken conflict, and they stir deep passions, especially in these days of the re-solidifying in large numbers of a political machinery of minds that seems to want to define Germanhood solely in terms that exclude anything not of ancient aryan or germanistic culture in its primordial origin.

However, as with everything to do with elementary outworkings of our Humanness, the answer cannot be derived within the drawn borders of the issue at stake alone, because some qualities are neither African nor Asian, nor White nor Red, but are simply basic attributes of human nature and human character, intermittently spotted across history in different peoples at different times to various degrees of expression. However, at various points in time in the seemingly never-ending process of development, groups of people begin to congeal around similar thoughts and characteristics, in the face of similar challenges and experiences, assuming linked group identities. And Nations take shape. The shape-taking never ends, as history attests to, and the global forces at play today put particular, in the entirety of its effects yet unknown, pressures on the process of identity-seeking of nations in the future.

And for the answer to this question – what makes me a German? – there is no logical intellectual formulation of requirements that can express something that exists deep within the soul. The very fact that in order to make this brief literary excursion into reflection, I availed myself of the distance and perspective offered by a foreign language, touches on the Heisenberg-like puzzle that is embedded in any personal attempt at national self-reflection of this nature.

3. A COMMON GROUND

When a society has many living parts, and the parts are not only different each from the others, but indeed stand sometimes in stark contrast to one another, what then is the binding element that holds that society together in a way that brings it together to keep it together, to preserve and protect it, to press forward towards its development in a way that respects human life and human rights and furthers human feeling of belonging and sense of justice?

Ultimately, Nations must rise all to the minimum standard as a basis of nation-building whereby the progress of one nation cannot be tied to the detriment of another. This applies, by extension, also to philosophies and ideologies. This then frees the conscience of every earth-citizen from the potential clash of interests that arises from the question: “In a war, which side do you take, if you have multiple nationalities, or married ideologies, or a deep love for both sides?” Because the only humanity that will avoid self-destruction is one in which the minimum ethical standards of nation-building are above the baselines of the selfish interests and extremist ideological deformities that have birthed our wars. That will then be the true era and definition of the United Nations.

This is thus for me the engine room working within the heart of my Germany. It is an ideal that came to light with the transformation that took place after and as a reaction to the Third Reich. It is an idea that there must be a Basic Law that brings out, protects and furthers the best in us, while simultaneously working against the arising and strengthening of that which birthed the evil monstrosity of the past, in whatever form it tries to cloak itself in the future. It is the awareness that a search for this middle line is a pressing duty for a Nation that wants to ensure that humanity does not go extinct within it, but thrives and pushes towards higher levels of inner and outer development. It is a thrust to travel the harder path – that of applying intelligence in the service of the upbuilding of human capabilities, the liberation of human potentials locked within. Nothing is more fulfilling too for a nation, for a people and for each individual.

No nation and no people on Earth today, politically, intellectually and socially, carries within its soul DNA and its ideological database and its collective cultural memory a greater antidote to the poison of destructive nationalism, self-propagandization and xenophobia than the Germans do. No nation can, and no nation should. No nation has a greater potential to find the answer to how to ensure a balance between, on the one hand the integrity of national identity, cultural heritage and spiritual beliefs; and on the other hand the unending movement and transformation of society, inwardly and outwardly, that continuously takes place in human history on Earth; than just the Germans do. In this regard, Germany has the capacity to lead mankind, by how it resolves the puzzle. We live in times that bring new – or old – responses and solutions to life’s questions.

Be it Arminius and the Romans, be it Bonifacius and the conversions, be it Karl the Great and Widuking, be it Rotbart and the Crusades, be it Martin Luther and the reformation, be it the bringing of innumerable fiefdoms into one German Kingdom, be it the refereeing of the Scramble for Africa, be it the first or the second World War, be it a peaceful split and a peaceful reunification, be it the Euro, the EU, or now the unprecedented displacement and resettlement of peoples, somehow ever and again Germany seems to be thrust – or to thrust herself – into the midst of some of the most incisive shifts in human history. And in every generation, in every constellation and constitution, those who are a part of it, feel very passionate about it. There is always a sense of making history.

4. NATIONS AS INCUBATORS

Every nation eventually is an Incubator of SOMETHING. For me, that is the definition of Nation – Incubation. What do you, as a nation, by your nature and direction, willy-nilly foster and incubate? What is it that must rise to birth and being as a consequence of your internally lived national character?

It is along these lines that every thinking person defines, or should define, for himself his relationship with the society to which he or she inwardly feels himself or herself to be a living part. What am I taking part in preserving or creating?

5. THE BINDING FORCE

Because somewhere down the line, there is only one thing that holds a society together, in times of change and transformation, of movement and uncertainty, of upheavals and tension. It is something stored in the hearts of those who are the parts of that society, who ARE that society. It is the one unifying thing, the point at which every concerned member of that society, no matter how different they each are, all become similar, united in that one intuition. There is one thing they all feel for that society, and it is the one thing that keeps that society together. One simple thing: LOVE.

It is Love that holds a society together – the love the people all individually feel for their society.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

THOUGHTS AT THE DEPARTURE TERMINAL

I will soon spread my wings and fly away. Who will come with me? Whom will I leave behind? What will happen when I’m gone? What will they say? Will the sky still be blue? Will the waters still bear sailing ships? Will the earth still revolve around the sun? Will they remember me here after a little while, or will I fade away in their memories like innumerable disappeared friends from once upon a time? But this is behind me now.

Have I broken hearts? Have I healed broken hearts? Have I quickened hearts and brought adventure into other people’s lives, raw new adventure? Am I a burden on anyone? Then we must part now.

Have I wrought damage beyond salvage? Have I done much more than can be remedied? Am I a ghost? Am I a thing of joy? Am I a precious memory? Am I still there? Am I still there? If I go, will I ever return? Goodbye now.

My life is full these days, full of partings and goodbyes. They come in the form of meetings, unitings and re-unifications; but at the end they shed their cloaks and reveal that they always were, from the beginning, another separation.

Farewell, farewell now.

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Che Chidi Chukwumerije
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SELF-RECONSTRUCTION

If you of a barren eager day switch on the television, assuming that NEPA has provided electricity, and observe the movements of those dancers called politicians, you will before you know it begin to dance along.

If you of a quiet sleepless night switch on your memory, assuming your heart is strong enough to bear this, and remember the days of your emotional sighs and bonds, you will before you know it begin to yearn again for those things for which you have always yearned the most deep within your heart.

And if you of a broken moment in time, broken open, long again for me, I promise you that I will be there, sweetheart. But you must long from the deepest part of you, the part you kept hidden when you told me all those unnecessary lies. And you will, before you know it, have outgrown me and my poems.

It’s not me you love, my dear, you were merely enraptured by the poet in me – and I am a poet.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.

REMINISCING THE CHANGE

What holds people together and transforms animosity into love, distrust into cooperation, disunity into lively oneness? What melts the old barriers and creates new ones? What overcomes us and flows over us? What ever came over us? What is our goal? What can make us agree where once we disagreed?

A force, like a violent wind, whips us away from the old way and whisks us into the new. All we have to do is try. Things end, things begin anew, old things go, new things come, we shall live if we are ready to change.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.