I just came back from a beautiful vacation in Havana, Cuba. Awesome city.
Have you ever been to the developing world? It’s amazing how you can revert to a simpler time, technologically, and be totally fine within a few days. Your lifestyle adjusts. You can actually relax, if you let yourself.
By the end of the week I wasn’t really noticing that my iPhone kept staying behind. It was normal that people couldn’t contact each other when they were out of the house. You accepted it.
The city is filled with propagandist graffiti everywhere that talk about the revolution as if people in the city actually believed in it. It’s amazing to see such a discrepancy between the official stance and the view of the people.
It just goes to show how easy it is for a revolutionary attitude to become a kind of empty sloganeering that covers up what people in power really think. It’s so easy to begin your life as a rebellious youth and then turn conservative as soon as you’re in power, it’s practically a cliche by this point.
J. Krishnamurti, a pretty famous Indian sage that I’ve pointed out here before influenced my thinking a lot on this subject; he dissolved his own Order of the Star in 1929 after a great deal of consideration, basically saying “You should not follow anyone, even me.”
Here’s a great story he told about the Devil and a man walking down the street:
“You may remember the story of how the devil and a friend of his were walking down the street, when they saw ahead of them a man stoop down and pick up something from the ground, look at it, and put it away in his pocket. The friend said to the devil, ‘What did that man pick up?’ ‘He picked up a piece of the truth,’ said the devil. ‘That is a very bad business for you, then,’ said his friend. ‘Oh, not at all,’ the devil replied, ‘I am going to help him organize it.’ I maintain that truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect. That is my point of view, and I adhere to that absolutely and unconditionally. Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path.”
This in contrast to most people in power, who get comfy and change their attitudes to keep themselves in power as long as possible. It seems almost expected at this point, doesn’t it? But who did the right thing? Which one would you want to be?