Tuesday, August 29, 2017

An encore crumb from 2014

Here are excerpts from a book called Against the Pollution of the I by French author Jacques Lusseryan. Blinded in childhood, Jacques was a teenager when Germany invaded France in 1940. He formed a resistance group called "Volunteers of Liberty," and at 19 was arrested and sent to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, where 56,000 prisoners lost their lives. Here he met a fellow prisoner named Jeremy. Jacques remembers Jeremy in these words.

"The horrors of Buchenwald were real, but Jeremy did not speak of them. His gaze was not nailed to the smoke from the crematorium, nor on the 1,200 prisoners in Block 57. He seemed to look through all this. He knew we could not live on the beliefs we had of Buchenwald. He said many of us would die from them, and he was right. I knew many men who were not killed, but died anyway because they thought they were in hell. It was of such matters that Jeremy spoke.

Newly-arrived Buchenwald prisoners.

"Jeremy belonged to the Christian Science faith. He did not try to console us. He spoke hard, but always gently. His eyes were solidly fixed on our miseries and he never blinked. He was not afraid, just as naturally as we were afraid.

"'For one who knows how to see, things are just as they always are,' he said. Buchenwald like ordinary life? I could not accept this until Jeremy enabled me to see. One day I realized Jeremy had lent me his eyes. With his eyes I saw Buchenwald was NOT IN GERMANY, as we thought. Instead, it was in each of us -- baked and rebaked; tended incessantly, nurtured in a horrible way. And we could vanquish it if we really wanted to. The Nazis had given us a terrible microscope, a 'concentration' camp, but this was no reason to stop living or loving.

"Jeremy found joy in Block 57. When he was present, we found joy rising in us! It was like a pardon, a reprieve -- the discovery that JOY EXISTS WITHOUT CONDITIONS, AND WHICH NO CONDITION CAN KILL. I have the clearest memory of finding this joy. I perceived one day a little place where I did not shiver; where I had no shame; where the death-dealers were only phantoms. I owed this to Jeremy.

"He wore a registration number. Others beside myself knew him. But Jeremy was not there in the exclusive manner in which we hear the phrase "to have been at Buchenwald." Jeremy was not happy. He was joyous. This is the mystery and power of beings who worship a God other than their own personalities."

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