This and that

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Om Sayed

She was the mother of someone. To be the son of someone who takes care of the doors and the trash makes life for this person not easy. So it is understandable that Om Sayed died alone one night.

Since i am living here there was the smile in the morning then i went to work and in the evening then i came back from work. Recently I saw her getting weaker and less every day. Until there was nothing left.

On the road to work i pass by millions of windows. Behind all these windows there is life and death, happiness and worries, a million times, a billion stories of being alive. On the road i pass by thousands of cars moving to somewhere, coming from somewhere else = a million evolving stories and dramas. Nothing happens only once, every emotion, any thought, one could ever have, was already felt or thought by someone else. Does this not render everything just meaningless?

The universe is in us and only there. We feel it the moment someone smiles at us. This universe is all that matters, it is our ever evolving story..

And for this universe a smile can make a difference.

Rest in peace, Om Sayed.

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Morals and machines

This text is about guilt. More about that in the end.

Cars move alone, drones kill alone, robots are about to make their own decisions and AI goes shopping for us.

Whenever I read about this kind of stuff the most important question seems to be about the morals: What if the machine would do something wrong? What if the machine would cause an accident and kill people? Or what if a drone drops a bomb on my own house?

Yes. Exactly. What if?

Bullshit happens. With machine or without machine. Still there is quite the possibility that a machine does less mistakes than a human would do: A machine does not have emotions but decides based on an algorithm. This algorithm could be wrong in the beginning but will be fixed within the process. Nevertheless machines can make mistakes: Bad view, weird movements, similar shape etc.

For humans (to make mistakes) we need to add their mood, their mind, their general personality, their last meal and if they think they get paid enough for their job. But. Humans have morals.

So what the heck does this mean? It means that we are still looking for someone to blame if anything goes south. A machine won’t bother to be in prison, a machine is hard to blame for whatever it is that might have gone wrong. This means that we need to get used to the idea that bullshit happens with nobody around to blame. Nevertheless if the machine makes a mistake we can still blame the programmer behind the algorithm. At least for the time being.

It does not feel right to get killed by a machine. Still this is because of the idea of guilt and blame. The dead ones are dead. So it is about the ones left behind who need to deal with what happened. I wrote about this before and it is a difficult topic. It should not stop us from using AI wherever we can, Because AI will do a better job and less mistakes just because it is NOT human.

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evolution… please move on!

It is late 2019, the summer comes to an end and a new chapter for mankind is going to start. The scientists and politicians changed their ideas about what was going on and what needed to happen to stop it over an over. At the beginning it was written that the virus is not worse than a cold and then it changed to become the killer within. Some people lost their trust into science and politics. No surprise there.

Science also has an issue with modelling society. This comes as society is more than numbers and tables and rules. And then there are the news! News need to be told and if there are no real news we tell the old ones but make them a bit worse! Bad news sell! 2 years since then and 2 Chinese and 2 European vaccinations later i am still here. Others were less lucky.

Then came the thing we used to call war. And it was a war of information and a power play between all the powers and the Ukraine in between. The president of Ukraine asks his people to fight and to learn how to fight. Nobody in the west complains about that as if is normal that normal people fight as soldiers. Generally tough to tell who the good guys and the bad guys are.

The war went on and more humans were killed. Who counts them? War is a monster and everyone knows that by now. War feeds on itself and creates more monsters. Monsters do what monsters do and nobody should be surprised.

The ones in power tell the story. It was always like that. The ones who pour the blame now were the ones to be blamed if there would have been anyone strong enough to do blaming. Europeans feel with their neighbors and the people of Iraq and Afghanistan and Chechnya are wondering if the Europeans should see a psychiatrist. Dissonance disorder is a serious thing!

3 year that surely taught us one thing: Evolution! Move on! This kind of human can´t be the end. For many reasons.

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no ghost in no shell

Folks are going to their holy places in order to talk to their holy being. Everyone her or his own believe it says. No issue there. I for example believe in pink unicorns and nobody can tell me not to do so. All religions tell you that you need to listen to your inner voice, to your soul, in order to find the real reality. Pink unicorns it is.

Until now this was not a real problem.

Until corona decided to control our life. Some people decided to listen to science, others did what they were taught: Listen to your inner voice. And the inner voice is scared and can´t deal with the changing world. So the inner voice needs to feel okay and says: All not true. All made up to control you. All just a fantasy of someone out there. I know it, i feel it! What i feel is true!

And then we normal people go to our holy place and pray to our holy being that the others please should wake up and will see the reality!

But my pink unicorn is not listening and there are still so many people out there who prefer to listen to their inner voice! I am wondering why that is. For real.

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Developing story

A few weeks ago I was talking about what could be a general rule for humans to be able to deal with one another.

If we start with the idea that humans can do whatever makes them feel good as long as they do not hurt anyone on the way making us feel good, then all is good. Or not. If we even say that this rule is not only for humans but for all animals and life out there, we are screwed even more.

Whatever we do there is always someone or something that will suffer based on what we did to make us feel better. We eat, we love, we live. If we eat something else needs to die. If we love someone else is not loved. If we live the life we are living half of the planet is missing this life. The list is endless.

The idea to not hurt anyone or anything is obviously impossible to realize. What else then?

Time changes. Knowledge changes. The human is the animal that controls the planet. (Until a stupid virus comes along…) While we are running the show we learn that we are not that special as we thought we are. Like all other animals we are running behind a development nobody ever was discussing or analysing: future happens. Curiosity pushes humans in the future to come.

So. Maybe. It is not about happiness at all. For nobody. Maybe it is not about living a good life and feeling loved and needed. Everything around us is not like that. Why should the animal human follow this idea?

Human ideas like good and bad, gods and demons, souls and the free will slowly fade into the darkness of the past. If we look at all the findings of science during the last decade – it cant be about us as perceived individuals.

But what then? What if nothing really matters anymore? Maybe the movie Matrix was not the nightmare it seemed to be after all. Maybe this would be the only way to give all humans the same reason to live without hurting anyone or anything else. Maybe we do not need to go that far. It might be enough to realize that the universe does not revolve around us. At all. And while realizing that we might show some respect to everyone and everything around us. All living things are prisoners of this round space-racing cosmic bubble.

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The Arab-Israeli Conflict: A Brief Introduction

The Arab-Israeli conflict is a 100-year-old issue. It all started when Britain took over Palestine after the Ottoman Empire was defeated in WWI. Palestine was in fact inhabited by a Jewish minority and an Arab majority, but the tension between the two increased when the international community gave Britain the green light to establish a “national home” in Palestine for Jewish people.

For the Jews, they considered Palestine to be their ancestral home, but Arab Palestinians also claimed it as their land and refused to leave. Between the 1920s and 40s, the number of Jews arriving in Palestine grew immensely, with many escaping the rise in power of the Nazis in Germany, far away from persecution, and seeking refuge after the Holocaust of WWII. This consequently resulted in violence between Jews and Arabs of Palestine, as well as a revolt against British control.

Trying to find a solution, the British suggested the Peel Plan; to create a very small Jewish state and a much larger Arab state. The Jews accepted the plan, however, the Arabs turned it down. Soon after, the British issued the “White Paper” to limit Jewish immigration to Palestine.

In 1947, during the aftermath of the holocaust which resulted in 6,000,000 Jews killed by the Nazis, the United Nations (UN) voted for Palestine to be split into two states; Jewish and Arab, with Jerusalem being an international city. The Jewish leaders accepted the plan but the Arabs didn’t and the plan was never implemented. In 1948 unable to solve the problem, British rulers left Palestine and Jewish leaders declared the creation of the state of Israel. This is when the catastrophe began.

The Jews later managed to gain a lot of control over most of the territories that were given to them by the UN. It was during this period when the first Palestinian refugee crisis was created, or what is called “Al-Nakba”. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians left; some left due to a fear of what the Israelis might do to them, some were no doubt forced to leave or expelled by the Israelis themselves.

On May 14th, 1948, the State of Israel was declared, and soon after that, the neighboring Arab states attacked Israel. The following year, cease-fire agreements were signed between Israel and neighboring Arab states. However, by the time the fighting ended, Israel controlled most of the territory. Jordan occupied land which became known as the West Bank, and Egypt occupied Gaza, Jerusalem, on the other hand, was divided between Israeli forces in the West, and Jordanian forces in the East.

Since there was never a peace agreement, each side blamed the other. More wars and fighting took place in the decades that followed.

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Inside Lalish: The Mountain Valley and Holy Sanctuary of Iraq

Let’s start this article with a question, what’s the first thought that pops into your head when you hear the word, Iraq? Let me guess, Saddam Hussein? oil, explosions, death, trauma, it can really be anything. Iraq has been only perceived as a war zone. There’s this 18-year-old image that only displays chaos, sadness, and tragedy. It’s time to divert from it and see the other side of Iraq. Yes, war scars still exist, but there’s so much more to learn and understand about Iraq’s cultural and religious diversity, rich ancient history, and the countless hidden gems waiting to be explored.

So, since I’m extremely interested in exploring different religions, I came across a piece written on a village in Nineveh, Kurdistan named Lalish, and what struck me most about it, is the fact that this village is actually home to the holiest temple of the Yazidi faith – a quick summary on Yazidism “it’s a monotheistic faith based on a belief in one God who created the world and entrusted it into the care of a Heptad of seven Holy Beings, often known as Angels.” 

Modern research has clarified that the name Yazidi is taken from the modern Persian word “Ized”, which means angel or divine being, so Yazidi simply means worshipper of god, which is how they describe themselves.

Yasdan is their holy supreme, and he’s considered to be on such a high spiritual level “the Creator of the world” that he can’t be worshipped directly, and since he’s considered the creator and not the preserver, there are seven spirits emanate from him to govern, one of which is considered the greatest, is the Peacock Angel or Malak Taus; the executor of the divine will. His other name is Shaytan, in Arabic means the Devil, and this has actually led to the Yezidis being labeled as the “devil-worshippers”.

Yazidis pray to the Peacock angel five times a day, and they believe that souls pass into forms of transmigration and that slow purification is feasible through repeated rebirth which consequently makes the concept of Hell unnecessary. However, the worst thing that can happen to a Yazidi soul is to be expelled from his/her community. As it means that their soul can never progress, therefore, converting to another religion is not even an option.

The majority of Yazidis today live in disputed territories of Northern Iraq, mainly in the Nineveh and Dohuk, with a large Yazidi community in Germany, North America, Turkey, and Syria as well.

Before you enter the ancient village of Lalish you’ll find a check-point at the gate, with guards asking you to take your shoes off. It’s a tradition to enter the village, which mainly consists of a complex of temples, barefoot. You might think it’s odd to be walking around an entire town barefoot but the stone streets are smooth and clean, and it’s an experience that one should definitely not miss. 

Narratives say that for Yazidis, Lalish’s complex of temples is considered the holiest place on earth, as they believe it is where Noah’s Ark first hit dry land after the flood, therefore the birthplace of the new civilization. And so they’re expected to make a pilgrimage to the site at least once in their lifetime and drink from the holy spring water. So in other words, Lalish is to the Yazidis is what Mecca to Muslims or what Jerusalem is to the followers of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Lalish is, by all means, the holiest site to this minority faith. 

Yazidi faith is a combination of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, only pre-dating them by around 1,000 years. It also has segments of Zoroastrianism, Mesopotamian rituals, and some Sufism. However the religion is very misunderstood that it’s often equated to devil worshipping and the reason behind this belief is unlike a member of the three great monotheistic faiths which consider the devil as an evil angel, Yazidis believe the contrary; that he was in fact forgiven, “his tears of redemption extinguished the fires of hell”. This was one of the reasons why ISIS perceived them as apostates. 

In 2014 ISIS militants attacked the province of Sinjar in northern Iraq -a historic heartland for Yazidis. hundreds were killed, thousands were kidnapped, and half a million were displaced. According to the UN in 2015 the attack was described as a genocide, and an UN-funded international investigation was launched to look into ISIS war crimes in 2018. More than six years have passed now, yet Yezidis still face immense challenges; 250,000 still live in camps in Kurdistan and Syria, over 100,000 migrated out of Iraq, and 3,000 are reported missing.

One of Yazidis’ core and actually difficult pillars of their faith is that they are extremely tied to their land. All of their rituals are tied to Lalish; from the baptism in the waters of the sacred springs to the festivals like the new year which they celebrate in Spring all take place in Lalish. So you can only imagine their displacement and forced mass migration is hurting them deeper than losing one’s home. 

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about the hunt for miracles

A freakin´ virus hunts man king. Nobody seems to feel safe anymore. This feeling of insecurity, the threat of death and suffering, sucks. I get that. I feel the same.

In order to make things easier on us we are looking for hope. A constellation of the stars, a special kind of medication, a way of breathing, whatever might be out there as an idea has the chance to give us hope. Wrong hope. One bubble after the other will burst. Hope makes us feel warm and cozy while it is not, it is cold and dark. Hope is a lie.

Hope sucks. Not knowing sucks more though.

We all hope and cannot not to. We all lie to ourselves that everything might be fine and we tend to use all kind of magic to make us feel better. And in time everything even works out pretty well. We might say most of the time things work out in our favor. Sometimes things go terribly south and we receive the punch of fate. And this is what it is: a punch of fate! In times things suck. And instead of making as a cozy home and fantasy island we should just realize our place on this planet, in this universe!

Hope fills a gap between the realization of a threat or a desire and the moment things become true or do not become true.

We blame the ones who believe in aliens, brain-chips and mind control, in child eating politicians and code words like “pizza”. We blame them for believing in stuff that cannot be true. And many of the once who blame these people go to church every Sunday – praying to a divine being that controls the universe.

There is always hope if we cannot deal with reality.

I will go looking for my unicorn.

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Are they all too stupid…?

…or is it me?

In times it is so hard to even get the tiniest piece of an idea why some people do what they are doing. Their actions seem so stupid and without reason or even worse – against everything we believe in..

Probably they think the same of us.

Humans decide based on emotions. We like and dislike things based on who we became and who we are still becoming. So here we are as the one we are and we need to be. So we act. And as we don´t like to act alone we find people who just feel the same as we do. And everyone tells everyone that they are so right! Welcome to the bubble!

What is wrong and what the fuck is right?

We might ask the people right around us to answer the question. Probably we like the answer and we will feel better to know that we feel the right thing and do the right stuff! Maybe there is the chance to ask someone a bit far from the people usually around us. The answer we will then hear will make as sad or angry or crazy. But it is just another reality for someone we share the planet with.

Still! What the heck?

There are these ideas I personally do not want to share the planet with! At all! Actually there are many of these ideas around. There are people who act and think along roads i would not even put a step on.

So many ideas out there I do not agree with and I do not even WANT to understand. And probably this is the rule for everyone out there. So many believe systems with their very own line of argumentation – within each system the line or argumentation makes sense. (Kind of).

So. How to deal with that.

Behind every fuckin´idea is a human being who thinks this idea and acts upon it. Maybe we start from there. If people feel under pressure it is more likely that they are not able to have a space in their mind to cross-check their emotional reality. Angry people act angry, scared people act in whatever way. So if we start with the human being behind every fuckin´idea we best start with ourselves. Why are we believing, thinking and doing what we are doing? We analyze ourselves and the reasons why we are NOT okay with an idea. After doing so we throw all arguments which are based on dogmatic believe systems (the man on the moon said so!) and pure cultural ideas (my society does so…) into the hazardous stuff container for further analyzation later on. Everything left behind could at least be used as arguments in any upcoming discussion. Once we filtered everything the man in the moon said as well as some cultural amazement there might not be much left though, – but the idea that all humans have the same rights and feeling and desires as we have. This as the core of everything and the basic rule of everything we would at least be able to deal with each other.

This is only valid for the ones who can actually control their actions and think before they act. This would be the end of the rule of man kind. No harm done here.

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