EMBRACE PARADOX, Or Else! Take two: Ali and Omar

For the first take, see this:

I have always been struck by the paradox of Mohammed Ali, his capacity to embrace and fully express two opposing sides of his own nature: fighter and peace lover. In fact, one might say that Ali’s presence was so enormous that he could serve as an outsized archetype for both these conflicting aspects of human nature, simultaneously.

I recently received an email from my brother Mark about Billy Crystal’s eulogy for Ali at his funeral last Friday, but didn’t’ watch it. Not until this morning, when I was nudged to do so by friend Ted, in a message titled “required.” Okay!

I doubt that it’s lost on me or anybody else that the funeral of this gigantic peace-loving Muslim black man was held on the same weekend as the massive shooting in Orlando, Florida, by, of course, a Muslim, “Omar,” also, supposedly, a homophobe.

And again, of course, there are skeptics to the “official story,” for example —

Five Reasons to Question the Official Story of the Orlando Mass Shooting

— as always with these kinds of “random” collective events to inspire fear, division and hatred, which are, obviously, ramping up as time goes on.

Check this out:

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The agonizing, exquisite contradiction of our collective remembrance of Ali’s greatness juxtaposed with the horrifying destruction triggered by the latest, and so far, greatest, false flag? “caused” by, supposedly, of course, another lone-male-shooter,”Omar”: his supposed hatred? mind-controlled Manchurian candidate robotism? — is something that is seemingly impossible to allow in, for all but Trump and his minions who revel in their hatred of (superiority to) “the Other.” The rest of us, and that’s most of us, quaver at the thought that these two supremely dichotomous events could co-exist in the same world, in time, much less in our consciousness. We want to focus on one or the other, not both. We want to condemn the one as we praise the other.

But we can’t. We must stand in the still center of all the catalytic forces of this terrifying/exhilarating world crashing in on us faster and faster, with no time to breathe, no time to lose. Without flinching. Without a flicker of fear. Or hope. Only by standing firmly on Mother Earth while stretching our psyches to the absolute breaking point can we break through into compassionate witnessing of all, all of it. Only our capacity to be with the whole — no matter what — can trigger the transformation we are being called to undergo: from duality to unity, serving all that is with all that we are, forever and ever. Amen.

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2 Responses to EMBRACE PARADOX, Or Else! Take two: Ali and Omar

  1. Christopher Crockett says:

    not to Pique a Nit with you, Ann, nor to in any way to denigrate Clay-Ali’s quite amazing courage and commitment to his principles, but the answer to your paradox might be that Cassius was not so much a peacenik as Ali was an opponent of the War for primarily (purely?) political reasons –a war in which an inordinate number of young Black males were being siphoned off from their own communities (then in great turmoil) to fight in Mr. Johnson’s war to make $1 billion for his buds at Brown & Root (now Kellogg-Brown & Root, the main contractors for Cam Rahn Bay). Siphoned off and, increasingly, returning home shattered, drug-addicted physical and emotional cripples to communities which were themselves being systematically destroyed –by an almost equally violent War on Poverty (and, inevitably but later, Mr. Nixon’s War on Drugs, now in it’s fourth decade under G.W. Obama).

    where’s the “peace lover” in this (deservedly) famous quote?

    “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years.”


    “If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow.”

    a very noble sentiment, no doubt sincerely held.

    but rather far from a pacifist one.



  2. alex simack says:

    Yes, thank you Ann for your compassionately wise prayer.

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