Redemption By Succession; 2021 Finale
Updated: Apr 18
This is a short story I was told by my mother on one of her few "adventures". However, it isn't the main course of this post! That is minor, before what made me shed so many tears while writing this. This is both a philosophical and emotional thing to process.
It was during this period that I was an infant, and my mother suffered from a condition known as "Birth Depression", a mood disorder that may apply to both sexes when a child is born. Suffering, a friend or a co-worker of hers took her to a mysterious Rabbi, or "Master" in Judaism, a man so proud of his abilities, he nicknamed himself "the Rentgen."; "Rentgen" simply stands for radiography; the ability to see things unseen by the naked eye.
He had this office, full of books, and outside of it waited a long line of clients. When it was their turn, they began speaking with the Rabbi. Then, suddenly, "Rabbi Rentgen" said the following:
"Your father was a strong man."
As you can probably tell, he didn't know my Mother beforehand, and had never seen my Grandfather. On the other hand, I grew up with both, and I can tell you a simple premise -- his "visions" or whatever, were completely wrong. My Grandfather was a primitive coward who believed I was retarded because I placed my hands on his table. That is the only main memory I have from the time he was alive. However, I was told a lot about him from my mother, and I can tell you he was not strong.
Not physically necessarily, but in terms of courage. He lacked the capacity to come clean for what he did to my mother's family at the time (which I will not elaborate on in this article), mainly kept to himself, and was afraid of progression. His apartment, as far as I remembered, didn't even have a TV, and that was in the 2000s, but he wasn't religious or anything.
He died relatively young, in his late 50s or early 60s, as I can remember; he fell right into his apartment when entering it after years of severe smoking addiction. I think he even lacked the respect to stop smoking in my company. When he called home, he cared little of me and asked me to pass over my mom.
Finally, the only way he knew how to communicate with his own daughters, was through candy and poverty. By poverty, I refer to the courtroom conflict he had with my grandma. Sometimes my mother... didn't always have food to eat, as all their money was regularly spent on lawyers.
I am proud, regardless, to be the grandson of a poet and a translator, but I can't say he was a strong man. He was a man of shadows, always hiding behind things. Behind candies, behind his ex-wife, behind lawyers, and finally, behind his emotions and their impact on his surroundings. I read his poetry. He was a very simple man who was not aware of the gravity of his own impacts on the environment.
An old-fashioned man whose emotions were repressed by pride, addiction, and apathy/ignorance... Calling your own grandson retarded for merely putting his arms on the table, then telling him he can go do so at the garbage disposal below... This is not strength; this is stupidity over a minor thing; anger without awareness of the actual consequence of saying such things to a little kid.
Right away, my mother sensed the danger to my mentality, like the danger she faced in my place back then, and abrupted the visit. I think it was the last time I was in that apartment, even though I remember it a bit.
He was the only abusive ancestor I met. My mother knew to keep us away from him.
Now you tell me, whose word is stronger regarding this issue -- my own word or Rabbi "Rentgen" and his years of scholarly wisdom?
The point I'm trying to convey in this article is about a more contemporary issue -- the differences between rationalism and assumed rationalism. I view myself as a rationalist rather than an empiricist, or, in other words, a person who "sees" existence through the mind rather than experiences it first-hand. I wrote a lot about romantic love, even though I never been in an actual relationship; I wrote a lot about society, even though I have lived mostly like a hermit; and so on and so forth.
Yet, despite my lack of experience, I studied logic and spent much of my time contemplating, both in school, at university, on the internet, and on my own. I am quite familiar with some logical fallacies by name, and even the site's testimonials thus far have been largely positive. It isn't to say that I'm perfect or anything like that. Do you understand that this isn't a display of arrogance?
The point I'm trying to make is, that there's a difference between rational observation, and guessing something, by looking at a person you just met. The man guessed something intuitively about my mother's father without even knowing or seeing him, based on his first meeting with my mother. That person makes a living by having a literal office and clients who spend their money on him all because he is a Rabbi, because he is "The Rentgen".
It is because of the likes of him, who think my abusive grandpa is strong and brave, that the likes of me get, what is called, a "bad rep"; the philosophers, who do not hide behind glamourous nicknames, just to boost their own self-confidence; we, who are prepared for the possibility that they are wrong; we, the "spiritual" descendants of Socrates, who claimed that "the unexamined life is not worth living"; we, who are not quick to judge a book -- or anything -- by their cover.
In layman's terms, what is radiography? It's simply to see things others don't— only far more complex, of course. What I do not like about the "Masters", AKA Rabbis of Judaism (at least some of them), is the fact that they firmly believe that the more they learn, the more they know, which is not necessarily true, because not all teachings are correct. It is easy to just see something in a scripture, especially one with great prestige, and get very positively biased about it, because of the natural positive bias embedded in religion.
In Judaism, those who "return in answer" or turn secular, are shunned by some sects in that religion; some are required to leave their homes, their communities, all because they have a different belief. A person I once knew, was suffering from great anxiety, all because he shaved his beard and was afraid to be seen in public where he lived and was known.
The philosophers, those who are true to their craft, are far more skeptics, since what appears isn't always as it seems, and THAT is the fallacy I'm trying to present in this article; the quick impression that your father was a strong man, only because my mother was depressed due to my birth.
Finally, there is something I stupidly forgot. He said that her father WAS a strong man... while he was still alive at the time. It seems he "saw" the fact that a living person had died.
And all this confidence? Not from the necessity of contemplation and deep thinking, but from the possible delusion of his own self-view, based on studies that strive to be universal... You know, many religions in a nutshell -- teachings that try to apply to every single, distinct individual... including my mother and her "dead" parent.
I will attempt to be the man my grandpa wasn't. I will try to learn from his mistakes, his lack of rationality, his fear of publicity, and his confessions. Finally, I will try to atone if I ever do something wrong to anyone. I will be my mother's pride, my father's disciple, a good friend, a respectful grandson of my other grandparents, and, in general, an affectionate pet-owner, a worthy inheritor, and finally... a relevant writer for as long as possible!
Even that Ms. Chen knew clearly that I never did anything wrong, as she said so to me herself...! I will try to be far braver than he is, to the point that the entire world will know my name in craft, for many years to come! MY NAME, UNLIKE HIS, WILL NOT GO UNNOTICED BY COWARDICE, BY SHADOW, ABUSE, OR DENIAL!
... all I want to do, is generate, good. Nothing more. Anything else is a bonus. It truly is.
WHERE, HIS STREET, HAS ENDED, MY, PATH, DOES, NOT!