Ramon Sender Barayon (rabar) Thu 8 Apr 04 09:22
(two comments slipped in before this reponse, which I'll answer in turn after posting this replt to Peter's last). Peter, you always ask such deep questions! Regarding how childhood events influenced my spiritual beliefs, the easy answer of course is "yes." I think a major theme throughout my life has been 'a search for hidden answers' -- and this accounts for my impatience with what perhaps could be called 'elitist access to information systems,' from which our male-dominated culture derives a great deal of its power. I think of Skull and Bones at Yale as a classical example, but would include the 'whispered teachings' of Tibetan Buddhism to which only the initiated are privy. Groucho Marx of course made the classical rejoinder, "I don't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member..." In retrospect I must acknowledge with gratitude the amazing protection that seems to have surrounded me from my infancy on. This has convinced me that there is something very 'personal' about the way the universe is constructed -- i.e., not just "inhuman, impersonal, impartial, indifferent..." to quote my itinerant beggar monk and most respected brother O.B. Ray, now off-planet for a spell. Easiest way to explain it would be via the caring ghostly presence of Amparo hovering over her two children -- whose name translates as 'nurturance.' Another way would be to say that I have retained some sort of access to a pre-two-year-old state of mind. I think for all of us, our 'wounded areas' always hold the key to our special sensibilities and talents. I get along just great with the nursery school kids at my job, for instance. I'm right on their wavelength. I tend to quibble a little with words such as 'belief' and 'faith,' because for me it's totally apparent and obvious in the day-to-day reality I perceive through my senses that light is vertical love, and that our heart centers were designed to transform this into a horizontal positive energy that transmits in all directions. Of course I also experience myself as a portable fertilizer factory designed by trees for their own well-being, and occasionally wonder if my dog isn't monitoring me as an advanced species from outer space (smile). But all this wanders a bit off topic.
Ramon Sender Barayon (rabar) Thu 8 Apr 04 09:47
Dave, your views regarding Franco's resting place are shared by many and, as I commented here early on, I believe one Abraham Lincoln Brigade vet did succeed in desecrating El Topolino's resting place. Occasionally I wonder whether all these years later a class action suit against whatever falangist groups still exist would have any merit, or would just be a waste of time. We have a friend whose organization successfully sued a known Central American torturer now living in Florida. Although they probably will never collect on the multi-million-dollar judgment, at least the ex-general is no longer living in well-padded anonymity. On the other hand, this quote jumped out at me recently (apologies if I posted it here already): "Forgiveness means giving up all hope of a better past." - Landrum Bolling
Ramon Sender Barayon (rabar) Thu 8 Apr 04 09:56
Jax, an oversimplification but an interesting one. Actually I think the loss of the Armada fleet and ensuing control of the high seas to England was some sort of turning point. But Spain did indeed lag far behind the rest of Europe in modernizing its social systems, and the working class attempts to join the twentieth century were met with brutal violence by those in power. Franco first became notorious during the general strike supporting the Asturias miners in October, 1934, when he brought Moroccan mercenaries into Oviedo to crush the strikers with pillage and rape against their families.
Ramon Sender Barayon (rabar) Thu 8 Apr 04 10:07
Our friend who won the lawsuit: Sandra Coliver: Executive Director of the Center for Justice and Accountability, a San Francisco nonprofit. They won a verdict against two retired Salvadoran generals. Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova and Jose Guillermo Garcia who were found responsible for torture, rape and other atrocities committed during El Salvador's civil war. The jury in West Palm Beach ordered them to pay $54.6 million to three torture victims.
Uncle Jax (jax) Thu 8 Apr 04 23:06
Is that only symbolic, or is there a snowball's chance they'll collect a dime? Your book evokes transcendent sadnesses in that you unfold so artfully yet simply your story one family's horrors under a style of political brutality all too familiar in the world. You ring down every change. The most poignant aspect, of course, as we have been told so many times in such stories, is the pain and guilt of the survivors tormenting themselves with their personal might-have-dones. It never ends. There are 800,000 stories like yours waiting to be told by Rwandans, in part because the world knew and turned away. And this despite all we of Euro-American culture know about Hitler, Franco, Stalin, Milosevic, etc.
Ramon Sender Barayon (rabar) Fri 9 Apr 04 11:22
Is the lawsuit judgment only symbolic? Well, it made front page news in the media, so at least their neighbors know who they are. I doubt if either of them sleep as comfortably as before. You summed up the situation very concisely in your last post, Jack. Thank you. Ultimately, though, until we all awaken to the reality of our intimate interconnectness as a species, as a life form, as a planetary consciousness, and realize that whatever we inflict on any of these we inflict upon ourselves and our loved ones, murder, rape and pillage will continue in their various guises (in which we should include the decimation of our ecosystems under the smokescreen of Free Enterprise). The 'heart of the beast,' according to my co-aspirant Lou Gottlieb in the mid-sixties, was 'the alienation of real property' - i.e. "the carving up of Mother Earth's sweet breast and selling off the pieces," as he so aptly described it. But this is a whole other topic for a whole other book, isn't it?
Uncle Jax (jax) Fri 9 Apr 04 11:29
That's LG of the Limelighters?
virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Fri 9 Apr 04 13:58
This has been a fascinating two weeks' discussion. Thanks, rabar and pjm, for your time, and thanks to everyone else who contributed. It doesn't have to end here; the topic will remain open indefinitely. But I wanted to note that a new conversation is moving "into the spotlight" and off some formal acknowledgement and thanks. But, do continue!
Ramon Sender Barayon (rabar) Fri 9 Apr 04 16:54
Many thanks, Bruce, Peter, and all those who contributed their thoughts and/or their virtual presences. It has been a fascinating experience for me, with many of the questions allowing me a chance to ponder more deeply some of my own feelings and experiences. Answering jax's query above, Lou Gottlieb indeed was the Limeliter LG and also the dedicated 'Uncle Lou' of the Sonoma County open door communal movement. A number of archived topics on the Well include some of Lou's postings, either direct or via my uploads. A starting point would be archives 169 Otherwise you can access the MOST newsletters that contain considerable Lou materials at http://www.ic.org/morningstar
Peter Meuleners (pjm) Sat 10 Apr 04 16:10
It was a pleasure, Ramon. I would like to thank David, Bruce, and the rest of Confteam for allowing me the privilege of leading this discussion. I will be sticking around. Feel free to ask questions of any sort or post your own thoughts.
Tres de Café y Dos de Azúcar (gerry) Sat 10 Apr 04 18:51
I noticed that _A Death in Zamora_ is available at Amazon.com, and it has a five-star review. I'd like to encourage those who've read it also add their reviews at Amazon. I plan to do so. I think Ramon's work deserves our support.
Ramon Sender Barayon (rabar) Sun 11 Apr 04 11:10
And please don't purchase at Amazon's inflated price, but click on the 'new and used' button to order the new edition directly from Booksurge at $15.
Tres de Café y Dos de Azúcar (gerry) Wed 12 May 04 20:31
To me, one of the most striking aspects of Ramón's book is how it disturbed my ignorance of the Spanish Civil War. I knew that there had been a civil war in Spain, and I knew that Franco was a fascist who held power for too many years. But in my ignorance, I'd somehow held a mental image of it as a war only between combatants. I never had any notion of how civilians, especially women and children, had been brutalized on the basis of "guilt by association" with socialists. While the events may not compare to Nazi atrocities in scope or magnitude, there is a definite similarity in terms of the sheer brutality. My impression is that we in the USA have been woefully underexposed to the painful truth of what happened in Spain, perhaps because it was indeed overshadowed by the horrors of Nazi Germany. And yet, reading this book gives one the opportunity to accompany Ramón on his painful and intimately personal quest for truth and discovery, while at the same time filling one with admiration for Ramón's willingness to assume a compassionate stance toward certain exceedingly evil individuals. Amparo lives in Ramón's nobel heart, and this book generously provides us with a glimpse of her glory.
Of course this can get a little solipsistic (pjm) Thu 13 May 04 00:04
My impression is that we in the USA have been woefully underexposed to the painful truth of what happens in all wars. We see planes and ships and explosions. We rarely see the damage done to the innocents. We don't want to see it. Thanks for a powerful post, (gerry).
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