Saturday, March 05, 2016


Reincarnate yourself in the next generations


A disquieting master-thriller!

The serial killer who is chased and disposed of in this thriller is just a vicious depthless criminal more or less the result of some behaviorist determination from a mother and a father, both alcoholics, both violent, both leaning to wild and cruel sex, both rejecting their own son as some kind of unplanned, unaccepted and un-aborted accident. This is easy of course. The greatest – because there can be some greatness in crime, even if there is no redemption for crime – criminals are from perfectly ordinary surroundings and at times of course from top social families. But it is true some of them are from the last and deepest dregs of society, we are at least spared the black roots of such a criminal since it is unluckily known that most serial killers are white.

Yet it is a very good thriller in the way it describes the intensity of the chase after the intensity of the menace and along with the intensity of the bureaucratic burden the police officers running after that criminal have to bear from their administrative superiors. We are spared though the intensity of the genetic inheritance of some approaches of crime who consider crime is a hereditary activity. We thus have the essential elements that build a very good thriller. No need to give details. The serial killer is male, all his victims are females, his main objective is to enjoy the satisfaction of his hormonal desires for females and then to destroy the many objects of these desires, though he keeps a token from each victim, a lock of hair.

The second level that is fascinating is the anachronistic yet poignant reference to Oscar Wilde’s “The Ballad of Reading Goal.” In this ballad composed by Oscar Wilde when he was imprisoned for some homosexual misdemeanor that was treated in Victorian England as a felony especially because he had seduced a Lord mind you, Oscar Wilde speaks of the hanging of a Royal Guard, Charles Thomas Wooldridge, who had killed his wife for reasons that are still mysterious: jealousy, drunken binge, refusal of any carnal satisfaction from the wife, or whatever can lead to some deranged violent crime of the sort between a husband and wife. Oscar Wilde commits in this ballad a long meditation on both crime and its retribution which is death too, hence maybe a murder in itself. Oscar Wilde is heavily protesting against the vengeful society in which he lives that can only take an eye for an eye and a tooth for tooth, hence a life for a life. The poem though is ambiguous since the main idea is that man always ends up killing what they love. The Royal Guard killed his wife he loved and society killed the Royal Guard they were and still are supposed to love, or at least respect.

But the thriller becomes even more disquieting than fascinating, though it is mesmerizing, when a whole other level is built under and behind the main story. The thriller starts in some old period in which Emil and Laura, who will become Sean and Laura in modern times, are the victims of some violent and ethnically cleansing annexation of a country by their neighbor, some kind of Anschluss or invasion of Poland or Czechoslovakia by some fascist military force. This becomes very disquieting because serial killers appear as being nothing but wild privatized undeclared SS in our society. In retrospect that would mean that SS uniformed people were the serial killers of their time, hence reducing what was a political ideology to a plain criminal activity, reducing the malevolent ideology that considers individuals have to be and behave the way politicians decide to the basically monstrous impulses of some uniformed servants of these politicians who are in fact enslaved to the false choice: “do what we say or we will do to you what you don’t want to do.” In other words: “kill or be killed.”

But this deeper level brings into the story the idea, systematically exploited in the epilogue, that criminals are nothing but reincarnated criminals from the past and that their victims or in fact anyone are nothing but reincarnated people, victims or others, from the past. This is slightly debatable for a simple reason: the population on the earth increasing at a very fast rate many people are the reincarnations of nothing or each past individual is reincarnated several, many times today in several, many different individuals. Can you imagine that we have at least twenty Jack the Ripper’s in London instead of just one. And there must be at least twenty Hitler’s roaming around. This hypothesis is interesting as a mental or spiritual approach of human creativity or persistence: we can easily believe that some types of personality and some  types of thinking can be reproduced, or developed, from one generation to the next, but that has nothing to do with physical affiliation, descent or transmission, even speculative reincarnation.

What’s more, even those who believe in reincarnation like Hindu believers or Tibetan Buddhists are a lot more cautious than that about the memory anyone would have of hypothetical past lives. Even the famous previous lives of Buddha, the Jatakas, are more cautious on the subject: they may assert that this or that character is the reincarnation of someone else but this or that character has full responsibility for what he – or she, and note in this reference women are not really considered – does in this present life. If the past life has any importance it is by the fact that it may pull the character slightly back but it does not and cannot dictate what he or she is going to do. Reincarnation is not based on fatalism, on full enslavement to the past, but on the possibility to go beyond what we might have done in the past, and by beyond we mean better. Reincarnation is only thought of in religious traditions that state man can improve, man has the free choice to improve and this free choice is an obligation, a duty, something man has to observe and abide by. Check on that question B.R. Ambedkar’s book “The Buddha and His Dhamma, A Critical Edition.” That is in fact the main difference between Hinduism and its unchangeable caste system on one hand and Theravada Buddhism on the other hand. For Buddha even an untouchable Dalit can reach enlightenment, Nirvana.

This fatal continuity by reincarnation is clearly expressed by the author, or rather his main character, Sean, when he declares himself “a racist against the blasted ten-percenters.” Even within this ten-percent theory the term racist is inappropriate. But the definition of the target of this “racism” is “blacks, Hispanics, every other ethnic group, politicians and lawyers.” We are amazed by the absence of whites in this enumeration even if they could be included as one ethnic group, though we generally don’t use the term “ethnic group” to include whites. It would have been nice to include them in the list to be clear about what we are talking of here. That has nothing to do with racism but with a clear-cut hostility against a social reality that always gives to a ten percent minority the power of dominance if not domination just because they speak and act louder than all others. To attach this approach to the afore-mentioned reincarnation theory is in fact to excuse our society, our social system that is based on the emergence of an elite whose legitimacy is the power or brutality of their discourses and actions. It would also have been good to speak of the ten percent of all police forces who are also the same tyrannical social cannibals, because that’s what they are: these ten-percenters have to eat some fresh flesh every morning and drink some warm human blood every night.

Then we can ask the question: beyond this ten percent theory is there any real possibility to improve our human society? The thriller seems to imply it can only be personal and individual. But we are expecting a social and collectively spiritual answer to the question. Can you imagine how far the sectarian Cngress people dominated by Tea Party Republicans can go when they pretend to block the Supreme Court for at least ten months by refusing to examine the nominees proposed by President Obama? And they cannot ignore the constitutional fact that the Supreme Court cannot rule on any subject if the justices are not 9 and are only 8, be it only because of the possibility to have a 4 to 4 tie.


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