From Everything To Nothing

 

by jun asuncion

 

Transparency and accountability are two things that are so earthly. You don’t blame the universe if it’s hard for people on Earth in responsible governmental positions to cultivate these two qualities while in office and having access to the material which the Bible calls the source of evil: Money. But one time I reasoned out that it’s not money but our basic instincts that are the real causes of our “evil” actions- the instinct of hunger, the libido instinct, etc. Later, I realized that instincts per se  are not evil for how can they be evil  if they keep you survive, protect you from dying?

What is the source of evil then, a source that is true for all men? I found out, however, that- to come to a satisfying answer to this question- first we should know what is evil. What then is evil? What  is an evil thought, what is an evil action?

Again, I realized that there are many definitions of evil, depending on the  discipline from which you view it, – philosophical, legal, theological, psychological, etc. I also think that it is indeed a relative case because people from different professions, cultures, and people having different views of the world have different conceptions or even experiences of evil. Therefore, since, I had no intention of writing a  lengthy “Treatise On Evil” for anyway I just wanted to make use of my coffee break  and post my thoughts as soon as it was time to go again,  I’ve concluded that evil is hard to define and so I just went back to the most personal knowledge of  evil or source of evil as I view it.

And exactly here,  I bounced my head against a thick wall  where I no longer knew what I know, where my thinking has failed me and led me  from everything to nothing. But in truth, it was not that there  was nothing left in my head but it was  my thinking that seemed to prevent me from arriving at a quick and simple solution to my coffee break dilemma: what is the source of evil?

About to go back to the music room when I remembered a video clip that was forwarded to me  by my  music teacher some years back. It is called the Black Hole. Alas, I found the answer in the middle of being within a black hole myself. It is Greed, that I think is the source of evil, and evil is the  negative, painful or destructive result or results that it brings to others and to the doer itself. Greed is not a basic instinct but is a distortion of the basic ones. For  there are no greedy animals, only hungry ones.

 And we know of greedy human beings even though they are not hungry. It can afflict everybody, rich or poor, weak or strong, educated or not, religious or not. If Greed is a human problem, then evil is a human problem. If  it’s our intelligence that created human civilization, it also distorted our instincts and the corresponding negative events that accompanied civilization.

 Hence, greed is the distortion of basic instincts by way of the mind. Colonization, wars, etc.. were basically driven by greed. On the personal level, it is responsible for many of our problems in human relationships like failed marriages, felonies of all sorts and even leads us to self-destruction or  self-imprisonment. Let’s watch the video:

Greed among our government officials is the root of all our problems in the Philippines, of all the evils of our society such as poverty. Poverty is evil because it is not supposed to occur in a country with abundant natural resources. It is evil because it leads to many other problems; it is evil because its root goes back to the greed of our political leaders. But at least its the same root that destroys them, the same evil that leads them  from everything to nothing- to their own black hole.

This video speaks the truth.

                                                                                    …end…

11 Comments

Filed under Over a Cup of Coffee

11 responses to “From Everything To Nothing

  1. Jun:

    Magayunon na sample sin “greed” an “The Black Hole” short clip. An kaibahan lang san character sa clip kay naging aggresive tulos siya sa pag-gamit san new discovery niya. The corrupt politician on the other hand does the stealing of money “very clean.” Kaya, masakit mapatunayan an corruption sin sayo na lider sin banwa.

    I hope I could find one of that kind (the black hole) here in New York City. Sa kadaghanan didi sin copying machines, basi pa maka-agi man ako sayo suon na “black hole” sa papel.

    Jess

    • Jess,

      Nice to hear from you again!

      Of course, this video is just symbolic of how office and opportunity distort the basic instincts of man and how corruption by and of the mind destroys him.

      Very clean or not, stealing public money is an act against the people- and in the long run against those who steal themselves, against their name, against their families.

      With election time coming nearer, we just hope that the people are voting for their true representatives and not for a set of thieves who will start the whole misery all over again.

      The Arroyo administration was a big help for those who profited from her mafia-styled governance where everything good in our country was converted to evil, and every evil converted to something profitable, hence, good.

      Many local administrations profited from this evil. You may recall the Ampatuan clan in Maguindanao who- with their distorted human instincts and perception- thought it was the highest good to massacre people who opposed them politically.

      Indeed, Arroyo distorted the Filipino instincts and perception, an act which I used to call as insult to the Filipino mind, with a logic which I used to call the logic of greed.

      Let us hope for normal human instincts among the Bulaneños- politicians or not. May they preserve their culture of honesty and compassion and may the incumbent De Castro administration be far away from the black hole that could destroy them totally or insult the Bulaneño mind.

      Insult to the Bulaneño mind? I would be the first to offer resistance.

      —-

      P.S.

      I just read this post today and corrected the many rough writing blunders I discovered.
      As a habit, I just write down my thoughts as they flow and never worry about the tyranny of words or the agony of the choice of expressions. And then I read the post maybe the next day once, at the most, twice. Only that. I never read them thereafter. So don’t ask me about any article I’ve written in the past for I don’t know about them. For me, going back is difficult for it is like opposing the stream of time, writing a new one is easier for this stream helps in getting things done.

      • Oliver Geronilla

        Jun,

        Wow… “The Filipino perception…” Scott and I should have used that phrase when we wrote about diplomacy.

        You might be interested to read that piece which stirred up a hornet’s nest; here’s the link:

        http://koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2010/01/160_59682.html

      • Jun:

        Don’t worry about high-level kind of writing. Even, I, myself write my blogs on free thoughts. Most of the times, I watch a TV show from a TV unit at my right side, while blogging. You could not evade from wrong spellings. So, don’t forget to go back to your blog and edit it, even if it’s already published.

        Free thoughts writing is better than well- researched writing with high-caliber wordings. That’s the best way to capture a reader that would go back to your site and look for your name (or other articles) again. Try reading the books of award-winning writers Landicho and Ricky Lee. Their works are written in Taglish (Tagalog and English), but the contents of their writings are very nice to read. That’s because the writing relates to the level of understanding of readers. Landicho, for example, would write “otomatik” for “automatic.” While Ricky Lee, a screenwriter, would use the same approach of writing.

        In Bulan Observer, you don’t need to write well-written articles. What’s important, they relate to the readers, and at their level of understanding a content.

        Jess

  2. To Jess,

    Thanks for the comments. Yes, to each his own- even in writing. I’m not a writer myself, just happen to have this habit of writing down some thoughts that linger for a while in my head.

    It’s just interesting to observe that usually I notice errors only after publishing a comment or an article.(That’s always the case and I seem to be blind while writing and before publication). I just discovered that my mind seems to complete a faulty sentence- like missing prepositions, verbs, etc. automatically as I review what I am writing at the moment. But this correct form is only in the mind, so in the end I come up with faulty sentences being published. After that, the mindset is somehow different, more sensitive to these lapses, when I read the same article after it has been published.

    So, as usual I tried to correct the errors and for those remaining errors that I failed to notice, I ask those who read not to worry because I’m confident that their minds also automatically correct those.

    But you’re right, we don’t have to worry about high-level kind of writing. What we have to worry about is high- level kind of mistake that would bring miseries to the people of Bulan.

    And I’m glad that until now nobody in Bulan has suffered from our good intentions.

    To Oliver,

    I tried to open the link to your article but it doesn’t respond at the moment.

    Yes, the Filipino Perception, a phrase of no return,-meaning, that just by hearing this phrase, I have the feeling I could write and write about it… but as mentioned, just a feeling.

    A part of this perception is the Bulanenõ perception. This was what I had in mind in inviting any Bulaneño to participate in BO and share his/her own views about Bulan in general and/or about Bulan politics in particular. Though I’m not fond of going back, there will be a time for that when we have to gather all things we have said here and compile them as a document of our “own” time.
    I know that more will be participating in the near future and I’m already excited about that and also thankful to you and the rest for helping in sustaining this site.

    jun asuncion

    • Jun:

      I’m not a writer, too. But I love to write.

      When I was a young kid, my father told me of a big election campaign in Bulan, when the candidate for Congressman was Salvador Encinas. He told me that when Congressman Encinas had his “meting-de-avance” in Bulan with popular Manila actors, actresses, and singers at the stage, the Plaza Rizal (if I remember the name of the place right) was so bright. And because of the brightness at this place, the buraw, kanasi, and other fish at the Bulan sea came out from their hidings, went swimming near the beach towards the direction of Plaza Rizal. The fishermen that night were so amazed by that unnatural (phenomena) happening in the sea. But they’re so happy for their easy catch that evening.

      If you have not heard yet of this urban legend, you should be lucky, it came from a Bulaneno staying here in New York City. I’ll be happy to learn someday that this urban legend came from me. Cheers for this.

      Now, seriously speaking about elections, this kind of expensive campaign should not be tolerated by Comelec. This is the main reason why winning candidates have to steal money once they’re in power, to get back their expenses in their campaign. We could not totally blame this politicians, though, because on election time smart and opportunist voters milk these candidates. Youth groups would ask for basketball uniforms, balls, and even construction of a basketball courts. Individual voters from the barrio would come to the residents of the candidates, with their sick relatives, and ask for hospitalization and medical expenses. I’ve even witnessed in a small barangay in Sorsogon, Sorsogon (before I migrated here in US) wherein the voters were just outside the election precinct from morning to dawn – not voting – because they were waiting for vote-buyers.

      In closing this comment, the reason why our country is in a coma, like a dying person with cancer, is because the electorate themselves are also to be blamed for letting corrupt politicians win in an election. That’s because, they said, you could no longer differentiate an honest or corrupt politician in any election. THEY’RE ALL THE SAME. CORRUPT. That’s what the electorates believe ALL THE TIME.

  3. rudyb

    jess/jun,

    i have said it before (early days of BO) that politics in the Philippines is basically a business undertaking. politicians “invests” and reaps the profit after winning. yes, you’re right the electorate – the voting public, should be blamed for not choosing the right and proper public servant – Filipinos haven’t learned. look at Estrada, after being convicted, has the persistence to run for an office again because there are people who still believe that he is pro-poor, sincere and honest. pro-poor and honest person? oh, my God please spare me, save me from inundation! again, my position here is to zero base, start with a clean sheet program, cleanse the system. identify and hoard the corrupts, prosecute and execute – if you still remember our lively discussion with attybenji. by the way, where is attybenji? is he running for an office?

    just like you guys, i’m not a writer but love to express my ideas while listening to oldies at internet radio or listen to Bulan fm online, it inspires you as you hear the local dialect as if you’re back in our town. i write what comes on my mind.

    • Hi Rudyb,

      Yes, the early days of BO! You were there when we were just defining our position. Thanks for the loyalty.

      Again, just to remind us, Bulan Observer is actually not launched to look for writers- professional or hobby writers- but it’s looking for Bulan OBSERVERS!

      We just touched this theme on writing lately but it’s not all about that, rather it’s all about reacting to the political events in our town Bulan, of sharing our views and concerns, etc., things that we have clearly defined from the beginning.

      Till next time.

      jun asuncion

  4. Justfrombulan

    AMEN! And thats for Jess Guim of New York. Amen brother. I guess i dont have to say farther than that. Well said. Wait i am talking about what he had said about our long time agony, hehe, the Corruption!!!!! Yehey! nothing change, its been an issue in every single candidates specially for those who spend more money. But more than that, another comment about writing an article, you dont have to make your words so deep (that nobody can understand) that we have to use a dictionary so that we can put the words all together. Just use the laymans word. I think if you want to write. It should have a real idea of what it is, be straight forward about the issue(no BS) and it should come from your heart then BINGO! You are a writer now.

    • To Justfrombulan,

      Thanks for your good advice on writing. It would be nice if you would send us a sample of your “straightforward and coming from the heart” writing style in form of a titled article which we could publish here in Bulan Observer. It should just be in line with our objectives. For sure, straightforward Bulan Observers are now eager to know you more.

      jun asuncion

  5. Mr.Bulan

    we all want to change the rules of the games, i mean the rotten political system in the country, but still politicians would still stick to the old rules, as observed, [candidates] everytime election comes, candidates will spend millions to buy votes.

    they will spend millions of pesos to win the election, after the election, rydyb is correct, politicians reap the profit after winning….

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