Shibumi: Elegant Simplicity, Authority without Domination
. . . Tell me, Nikko. Will you miss Shanghai?”
Nicholai considered for a second. “No.”
“Will you feel lonely in Japan?”
Nicholai considered for a second. “Yes.”
“I shall write to you.”
“No, not often. Once a month. But you must write to me as often as you feel the need to. Perhaps you will be less lonely than you fear. There are other young people studying with Otake-san. And when you have doubts, ideas, questions, you will find Otake-san a valuable person to discuss them with. He will listen with interest, but will not burden you with advice.” The General smiled. “Although I think you may find one of my friend’s habits of speech a little disconcerting at times. He speaks of everything in terms of Go. All of life, for him, is a simplified paradigm of Go”.
“He sounds as though I shall like him, sir.”
“I am sure you will. He is a man who has all my respect. He possesses a quality of . . . how to express it? . . . of shibumi.”
“Shibumi, sir?” Nicholai knew the word, but only as it applied to gardens or architecture, where it connoted an understated beauty. “How are you using the term, sir?”
“Oh, vaguely. And incorrectly, I suspect. A blundering attempt to describe an ineffable quality. As you know, shibumi has to do with great refinement underlying commonplace appearances. It is a statement so correct that it does not have to be bold, so poignant it does not have to be pretty, so true it does not have to be real. Shibumi is understanding, rather than knowledge. Eloquent silence. In demeanor, it is modesty without pudency. In art, where the spirit of shibumi takes the form of sabi, it is elegant simplicity, articulate brevity. In philosophy, where shibumi emerges as wabi, it is spiritual tranquility that is not passive; it is being without the angst of becoming. And in the personality of a man, it is . . . how does one say it? Authority without domination? Something like that.”
Nicholai’s imagination was galvanized by the concept of shibumi. No other ideal had ever touched him so. “How does one achieve this shibumi, sir?”
“One does not achieve it, one . . . discovers it. And only a few men of infinite refinement ever do that. Men like my friend Otake-san.”
“Meaning that one must learn a great deal to arrive at shibumi?”
“Meaning, rather, that one must pass through knowledge and arrive at simplicity.”
From that moment, Nicholai’s primary goal in life was to become a man of shibumi; a personality of overwhelming calm. It was a vocation open to him while, for reasons of breeding, education, and temperament, most vocations were closed. In pursuit of shibumi he could excel invisibly, without attracting the attention and vengeance of the tyrannical masses.
Kishikawa-san took from beneath the tea table a small sandalwood box wrapped in plain cloth and put it into Nicholai’s hands. “It is a farewell gift, Nikko. A trifle.”
Nicholai bowed his head in acceptance and held the package with great tenderness; he did not express his gratitude in inadequate words. This was his first conscious act of shibumi.
Although they spoke late into their last night together about what shibumi meant and might mean, in the deepest essential they did not understand one another. To the General, shibumi was a kind of submission; to Nicolai, it was a kind of power.
Both were captives of their generations.
– Shibumi by Trevanian. Published by The Ballantine Books, New York. Copyright C 1979 by Trevanian. – Shibumi Sanctuary: What Does Shibumi Mean?.
Shibumi is a novel published in 1979, written in English by Trevanian, a pseudonym of Rodney William Whitaker. It is set in the 1970s and details the struggle between the “Mother Company”, a conspiracy of energy companies that secretly controls much of the western world, and a highly skilled assassin, Nicholaï Hel. Other books by Rodney William Whitaker; aka Trevanian about Assassin Nicholas Hel: Satori: Assassin Nicholas Hel love & spy story; The Loo Sanction. Satori means among others: sudden enlightenment.
» IG: 17-08-03_thomassankara-egoecoliteracyfoxhole.
Stan Goff: Enemies: A Confession
“I profited from hatred. I won a small measure of notoriety from it, once as a soldier, again as a kind of semi-professional leftist. During the build-up for the Bush II invasion of Iraq, I penned an angry response to the intemperate remark, “Bring it on,” by George W. Bush which went viral. Suddenly I was being invited to speak – getting paid to speak – all over the country, and even as far afield as Sydney, Australia. What people responded to with the greatest enthusiasm was not my recounting of the costs of war, but when I channeled their rage.”
“I worked for a time with veterans ‘peace’ groups, within which there were genuine pacifists, but also many like me – who were against imperialism, and whose pacifism only extended to our own imaginary borders. At the endgame of my leftist schema was revolutionary civil war, imagined as a great rising and cleansing.” – Stan Goff; Chasin Jesus: Enemies – A Confession.
» EoP v WiP Neg: 25 Feb: Chasin Jesus.
» IG: 17-08-26_stangoff-confession.
William Hathway Re: Stan Goff: Sex and War
Stan Goff was the ultimate warrior, a combat-hardened member of the Rangers, Special Forces, and Delta Force. His conscience proved stronger than his military indoctrination, however, and he quit and turned against the state’s institution of terror. Once outside it, he devoted himself to understanding the social and psycho-sexual roots of organized violence. – William Hathaway; SQSwans Commentary: Review: Sex & War.
» SQSwans: Reports: Goff: Stan Goff’s Sex and War by William Hathaway.
» IG: 17-08-26_stangoff-confession.
SA Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Our weapons, ammunition, uniforms, vehicles, radios and other equipment were all developed and provided by [WiP] industry. Our finances and banking were done by [WiP] bankers who even gave us covert credit cards for covert operations. Our [WiP] chaplains prayed for our victory and our [WiP] universities educated us in war. Our propaganda was carried by the [WiP] media and our [WiP] political masters were voted back into power [by WiP voters] time after time with ever increasing majorities. – Major Craig Williamson, a former Apartheid Bureau of State Security Police Spy; SA Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report.
The [WiP] press, whilst predominantly positioning itself independently from the [WiP] government, and significantly opposing the [WiP] government in certain instances, continued to report within the [WiP] political, social, and economic discourse defined
by the [WiP] state. The [WiP] state legitimised itself within that [WiP] discourse, and by not challenging its centrality or providing significant [EoP] oppositional utterances to it, the [WiP] press wittingly or unwittingly validated the [WiP] state. – [EoP Amended] Media Monitoring Project; Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report.
South Africans [reading EoP news publications], kept in ignorance by the [WiP] media, cannot now say they do not know what happened [in courts where EoP legal applications were submitted, such as The Citizen v Robert McBride, etc.]. – [EoP Amended] Archibishop Desmond Tutu, Sunday Times, December 1996; Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report.
SA Truth and Reconciliation Commission & Report: The report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (the Commission) consists of five volumes, each with a particular focus. It is important to note that, once the Amnesty Committee finishes its work, an additional volume will report on the work of that Committee, based on amnesty hearings conducted and findings made. That volume will also include summaries of the statements of those people the Commission found to have suffered gross violations of human rights. While the current report contains a full list of the names of those in respect of whom such findings were made, the codicil will include details of the violations.
The bulk of the findings of the Commission may be found in the final volume, as indicated below. However, specific findings are made in individual chapters throughout the report.
Volume One is an introductory volume, containing important discussion of key concepts and debates within the Commission itself and in society at large. It provides the basis and rationale for the work of the Commission, as described in the chapters that appear in the following volumes. It also describes the way the Commission worked and the methods it used in order to fulfil its mandate.
Volume Two addresses the commission of gross violations of human rights on all sides of the conflict. The first and greater part of the volume deals with the period between 1960 and 1990, while a separate chapter is dedicated to the unique political environment of the 1990s. The role of the state in the perpetration of gross violations of human rights is, for practical reasons, divided between violations committed outside South Africa and those committed inside South Africa. The homelands and their unique circumstances are described in a separate chapter, as is the role of the liberation movements.
Volume Three, which addresses gross violations of human rights from the perspective of the victim, is a companion to Volume Two. For reasons of space, accounts which are described in detail in one are frequently simply referred to in the other. The chapters in this volume are regionally structured, reflecting the regional structure of the Commission. This allowed for a targeted focus on distinct geographical area and a detailed examination of variations between different parts of the country.
Volume Four seeks to address the nature of the society in which gross violations of human rights took place, reporting on a series of ‘institutional hearings’ which sought to explore the broader institutional and social environment. In the process of conducting these hearings, the Commission sought to provide opportunities for self-examination by the various sectors, as well as discussion of their possible role in the future. In addition to hearings on the various sectors, the volume includes reports on three special hearings: on compulsory military service, children and youth and women.
Volume Five, the final volume of the report, contains the conclusions reached by the Commission, including analyses and findings and recommendations. It also includes the Minority Position of Commission Wynand Malan and the Commission’s response to this.
– SA Dept of Justice: South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission.