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The bastards that destroy our lives are sometimes just ourselves.

Robyn Hitchcock


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Lo primordial no es nuestro sufrimiento

What is fundamental, o my brothers, is not our suffering; it is the way we carry this suffering down the path of our life.

-- The Christ of Elqui

The Christ of Elqui says this at the end of his sermon in Chapter 15, a sermon which I am thinking tentatively of as his "sermon on the mount" (and it bears remembering that there was reference to a sermon on the mount in the first chapter...) It might also bear comparison with King's "I have a dream" speech -- although I'm having a hard time understanding the "Imagine" portion of the sermon, it seems more whimsical than heartfelt.

I love the quote and it strikes me as a distinctly Buddhist sentiment, indeed almost a direct paraphrase of something the Buddha said, though I cannot remember what specifically.

The occasion for the sermon is a memorial service on December 21st, the anniversary of the massacre at Santa María de Iquique (which I learned of a couple of years ago from Saramago's blog) and coincidentally, the day after Zárate Vega's forty-fifth birthday. Two books I am hoping will help me understand Chilean labor movement history are: Rivera Letelier's earlier novel Santa María de las flores negras, set in Iquique at the time of the strike; and Lessie Jo Frazier's Salt in the Sand: Memory, Violence, and the Nation. Also a Google search for history of nitrate mining in Chile produces some useful hits like this one.

posted morning of Thursday, December second, 2010
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