the demented potion

Carlos Zilio, HCE QUARTO, 1970, felt-tip pen on paper, 22x30
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By LEONARDO BOFF*

Inside a hell, something of paradise was not lost

If we look at the world scenes, we get the impression that the shadow dimension, the death impulse and the demented portion have taken over the minds and hearts of many people. Particularly in our country, even the “hate office” was created, where evil groups plot evil, slander, distortions and all kinds of perversities against their political opponents, enemies that must be liquidated, if not physically, at least symbolically.

Several windows of hell opened and their flames incinerated celebrities, fed fake news and destroyed portions of the Democratic State of Law and in its place introduced a lawless and post-democratic State and, in the case of Brazil, in its head, a boss demented, cruel and without compassion.

Historians assure us that there are moments in the history of a nation or a people when the devilish (that which divides) floods the collective consciousness. try to drown the symbolic (which unites) in the attempt to make an entire history regress to the dark times, already overcome by civilization. Then ideologies of exclusion, mechanisms of hatred, conflicts and genocides of entire ethnic groups arise. We know the Shoah, the result of hell created by Nazi fascism of mass extermination of Jews and others.

In Latin America, during the invasion/occupation of Europeans, perhaps the greatest genocide in history took place. In Mexico, in 1519 with the arrival of Hernán Cortez, lived 22 million Aztecs; after 70 years only 1,2 million remained. It was anti-Christian Catholics who perpetrated mass exterminations. The screams of the victims cry out to heaven against the “Destruction of the “Indias” (Las Casas) and they have the right to complain until the final judgment. There has never been any act of recognition of this genocide by the colonialist powers, nor have they been willing to make the slightest compensation to the survivors of these massacres. They are too inhuman and arrogant.

But within this Dantesque inferno, there is something of paradise that has never been lost and that constitutes the permanent longing of human beings: longing for the paradisiacal situation in which everything harmonizes, human beings treat other human beings humanely, feel fraternized with nature and son and daughter of the stars, as so many indigenous people say. In bad times like ours, it's worth resurrecting that dream that sleeps in the depths of our being. It allows us to project another kind of world in which, beyond differences, everyone recognizes themselves as brothers and sisters. And they help each other.

I narrate a real fact that shows the emergence of this piece of paradise, still existing among us, where enmity and violence are daily.

This is not an invented story, but a real one, collected by a Spanish journalist from the the fathers on June 2001, XNUMX. It happened yesterday, but its spirit is valid for today.

Mazen Julani was a 32-year-old Palestinian pharmacist, father of three, living in the Arab part of Jerusalem. On June 5, 2001, when he was having coffee with friends in a bar, he was the victim of a fatal shot fired by a Jewish settler. It was revenge against the Palestinian group Hamas who, forty-five minutes earlier, had killed countless people in a Tel Aviv discotheque by a suicide bomber. The projectile entered Mazen's neck and blew out his brain. Immediately taken to the Israeli hospital Hadassa arrived already dead.

But behold, the sleeping portion of paradise in us was awakened. The Julani clan decided right there in the hospital corridors to hand over all the organs of their dead son: the heart, liver, kidneys and pancreas for transplants to Jewish patients. The head of the clan clarified on behalf of all that this gesture had no political connotations. It was a strictly humanitarian gesture.

According to the Muslim religion, he said, we all form one only human family e We're all the same, Israelis and Palestinians. It doesn't matter who the organs are going to be transplanted into. Essential and help save lives. Therefore, he concluded: the organs will be destined for our Israeli neighbors.

Indeed, a transplant took place. In Israel Yigal Cohen now beats a Palestinian heart, that of Mazen Julani.

Mazen's wife had difficulty explaining her father's death to her four-year-old daughter. She just told him that her father had gone to travel far away and that on his return he would bring him a nice present.

To those who were close, he whispered with tears in his eyes: in a while my children and I will visit Ygal Cohen in the Israeli part of Jerusalem.

He lives in the heart of my husband and the father of my children. It will be a great consolation for us, putting our ear to Ygal's chest and listening to the heart of the one who loved us so much and who, in a way, is still beating for us.

This generous gesture demonstrates that paradise is not entirely lost. In the midst of a highly tense environment full of hatred, a Garden of Eden emerged, of life and reconciliation. The conviction that we are all members of the same human family fosters attitudes of forgiveness and unconditional solidarity. Deep down, here erupts the love that gives meaning to life and that moves, according to Dante Alignieri of the Divine Comedy, the sky and all the stars. And I would say, also Mazen Julani's wife's heart and ours.

It is such attitudes that make us believe that the reigning hatred in Brazil and in the world, fake news and defamation will have no future. It is tares that will not be collected, like wheat, in the barn of men or of God. That tsunami of hate and its biggest promoter that misgoverns our country, will discover, one day when only God knows, the tears, lamentations and mourning that it provoked in thousands of their compatriots who, due to their lack of love and care towards those affected by Covid-19 have lost those they loved so much. I hope that part of the Garden of Eden is not completely lost in them.

*Leonardo Boff is an ecologist. Author, among other books by Meditation on Light: The Path of Simplicity (Voices).

 

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