Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Monday, 29 December, 2008

Keywords: State of the soul, Corrosion, hatred. passions

Months of chit-chatting, joking and talking with “S”, my Palestinian colleague wasn’t enough to get to know him. it’s only today that I came to the realization that this chap was not really joking when he say things like :”I will kill you if you say this or that”…he was referring to my occasional remarks and curious questions about the war between Israel and Palestine, the conflicts and state of politics in the arab world… Moreso as the violence in Gaza intensified during the last 2 days. I used to think he was saying and acting stuffs only the way of reflecting Palestinian or middle eastern humour I didn’t quite understand. I will always ‘ride on’ with him thinking he understood all was in jest. This time I saw something different –there is no joking.

For the first time I’m seeing a person who I guess will be described by any western media as a typical *** militant full of hatred against Israel. This guy is scary. His language is laced with verbs like “if you say anything good about Israel again, I will kill you”, “destroy israel”…etc.

I was still totally clueless until I jokingly said I will record our conversation and send the file to Mosad, Israel’s version of the CIA. He panicked – literally. He started frantically searching my desk for any hidden tape recorders- shoving my papers and files to see what is underneath. Whew, I realized if this man is not crazy, he is a real militant!

His actions clearly said he didn’t trust me. No matter how remote the possibility of me being a secret agent under the payroll of Israel, he believed it was possible that he was being spied on. Amazing! He just revealed his undercover identity by his actions. I can’t even, in my wildest dreams think of myself as an Israeli spy. Maybe i should apply to become one now. J

Later, I tested him again. We talked about the war and I compared and pointed out similarities between Singapore & Israel. I told him, in asia. Singapore is also a tiny country surrounded by muslim nations who seems to hate us. I continued, Singapore, like Israel is also the strongest military nation in Asean and that the country produces its own sophisticated military hardwares-even exports to Britain and the U.S…he was impressed. I was just feeding him facts…later I jokingly offered to supply him with military equiptments and ammunitions so that he can smuggle it into his country to fight their cause. His reply was one of utter seriousness. He said we(Palestine) don’t have an airport or seaport to receive the supplies. My Goodness gracious! I’m dealing with an undercover militant and this is a real deal! Anyone for quick mega-bucks?

I better keep my mouth shut and stop joking too much about such issues with this chap or I might end up being in trouble myself…this is the type of Arabian adventure I’d rather not experience.

Later I changed topic and said to him, “your heart is full of hatred, why?” he ignored everything I tried to say and continued with his verbal abuse on Israel and the grandiose and ambition of pulverizing Israel someday.

I always believe Merton when he says hatred for neighbour begins with a dislike or hatred for self.

The Red Sea never fails to fascinate me about its endless variety of sea creatures. I’m discovering the seemingly endless variety of human beings and point of views as well…When it comes to moral issues, what may be unthinkable to one person is casual and normal to another, like killing another person.

I’m still very much fascinated by how the Church suggests that our soul can be ‘corroded’. Isnt it true that when you have never lied before, telling your first lie in kindergarten was difficult and ‘scary’ and sends you into cold sweats? The 2nd lie becomes slightly easier. The 3rd lie becomes casual. The 4th lie becomes normal and until the act of lying becomes so natural it is not considered a ‘sin’ anymore but a necessity. One cannot live a normal life without lying. Lies are true and truths are lies.* Our hearts becomes dull & hardened becoming blind to the truth. This effect is true for any other form of ‘sin’ or moral acts.

Just this morning a long time friend of mine casually asked me if I’d like to sell pornographic videos and that he can hire actresses to produce the videos in Manila.…nothing surprises me anymore nowadays but I realized if he can say such a thing casually and seriously, the state of his soul’s oxide coating must be at least 5mm thick now….many years ago when I knew him back then, it was much lesser.

So I try to remind myself of the eternal wisdom of the Church’ teachings: “if you don’t want your soul to be wrapped in corrosion, do not start the first act. Because the first actt will make the 2nd act much easier until you are hooked it will take equal years of anti-corrosion cream or hot-dipped galvanizing to reverse the effect. This is how the devil works. Slow and sure”. Once hooked, the grip is hard to reverse.

St. John Vianney described the devil. He said: The devil is like a mad barking dog tied to a chain. It doesn’t stop barking at you but you if you don’t go near it, it cannot harm you. Its just background noise”. Most of us though, succumb to our curiousity and passions, we almost always walk over to come near and get ourselves bitten as a result.

*Another subject & topic to be discussed later..

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