AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE - 3 (SEARCH BY YEARS)
The humankind as a creature with the ability to think can easily discriminate good and evil, good deeds and sins, justice and injustice, joy and sorrow, beauty and ugliness, celebration and grieving, embracing and betrayal; adopts the most appropriate one for himself and continues to live. But that path full of ordeal and sorrow is hard, full of many obstacles and junctions; like a place of test and choices and preferences; it's both exhausting and long, loaded with joy, happiness, tears and mourning.
And what brings the humanity to the victory or defeat in this life that is full of ordeal is the critical decisions and choices that we make at these junctions. These critical decisions may bring us endless happiness, as well as taking us to those sorrowful, sad days. And in that path full of sorrow and love, some of them see what matters and value spirituality and march towards that known future in a very determined way.
Faults and wrongs are doors towards new discoveries and truths. People reach the truth by making mistakes. If there were no mistakes or wrongs, the truth would not have any meanings. There would be no evil if the good did not exist. There would be no good deeds if the sins did not exist. There would be no angels if the devil did not exist. There would be no life if death did not exist. There would be no heaven if hell did not exist. For good is with evil. For sin is with good deeds. For life is with death. For differences and oppositions are like reasons for each other's existence. “Hell is other people,” says Sartre, trying to convey us the fact that the people create their own heaven and hell with their own hands in this harsh life. In other words, both heaven and hell is in our hands. Our mind, logic and experiences are what will decide for this. All the mistakes and wrongs made in life takes us to the true path eventually. As long as our conscious and humanitarian feelings allow it.
“Make such choices in life that the things you gain will be worth for what you lost,” says great revolutionist Che Guevara, giving us one of his most meaningful messages. Because those choices and preferences that we initially made sets our roadmap, creating our fundamental identity. And thanks to those choices and preferences, while some of us just float towards the endless evil, some of us sail towards that beautiful things like an angel, a flower of love.
Life is like a theater stage. And there are good and evil on that stage. And on that theater stage, while some people with malicious intentions play their most evil and cruel plays and simply cooperate with the devil in order to set the world on fire; some people with good intentions stage the most beautiful and humanitarian plays, cooperating with the Lord and His angels to pull all the world and the entire humanity to a heavenly life. And there, while on that theater stage, we create several dreams and form visions in our way and follow some fiction. And those dreams and dictions form our future life and the most basic points of our lifeline and aids and leads us the way to form our fundamental identity and the manifestation of our fundamental personality.
And at this point, some of them succumb to the evil intentions and demands and keep chasing the endless evil, while some of them, just like our Veysel Baba, excludes all the evil desires and demands and commit to a harsh struggle to make love, peace, fellowship and friendship sovereign in the entire world. For there will be no good, beauty and mutual understanding where love does not exist. Because love is with good and beauty. And it is impossible to keep people and societies together and meeting them at the common ground or values where love does not exist. When the notion of justice, which creates the societies and keeps them together, is shaken one day or simply destroyed by people with malicious intentions, the societies suffer a lot and along with this suffering, they find themselves imprisoned in these dark tunnels and endless wells and just like our Veysel Baba, in cold cells.
That tired, desperate and miserable man, who was arrested with a plot of betrayal since he called all these cruels, brutes, thieves and tortures to account for one by one and he rejected all the injustice, inequity and inequality and who suffered inhuman torture, naked, in these cold cells, thought all about these in that dark and cold cell. He thought how he had been betrayed by the people who shared the same cause with him. He thought of his miserable, run-down, alone state in that cold cell, without food and water for days. He thought of those torturer cops, their state of mind and their monstrous actions. He thought of those iron bars, the dark cell, that concrete floor and his nakedness. He thought of those tortures done several times a day with cold water and how those torturer cops, once afraid of him outside, turned into fake heroes there.
And thinking that he was at the edge of life in that cold cell; after all those disappointments, leavings and betrayals, Veysel Baba was at the point of defeat. For he was then alone and left by himself. For he was betrayed by his beloved friends and trusted comrades. And at that moment, thinking that he was at the end of the line, Veysel Baba said to himself: ”Veysel Baba! The man who made the streets tremble once! The man who drew the line for all those burglars, thieves, cheaters, co-conspirators and lackeys and who put the biggest fear in their hearts! Where is that man before whom all the enemies trembled like a leaf in the wind? Where is that man who calls all the torturers, brutes, cruels, co-conspirators, lackeys, toadies, thieves and burglars to account for one by one? Where is that guy who started to walk a path to take back the rights of laborers, workingmen, poor, oppressed, exploited and those whose labor was stolen? Where is that man who fought a courageous fight to make the poor villagers heard and gift them with a hopeful future? Where is that man who once said 'All those oppressed, exploited, all laborers, villagers and all the people in the world are brothers'? Where is that man who took from the rich and gave to poor?
Poor Veysel Baba! Was that really the job of such a desperate, poor man like you to change or bring order to this world? Look, you are stabbed in the back, betrayed, left to that endless loneliness, imprisoned, thrown to these dark cells and imprisoned to unknown, your freedom stripped away from you. And you are like a shadow, a corner stone, a minion put to the board, an instrument in this war of existence. Many of those like you paid many prices like you in this hard life and suffered from so much pain for that right cause.
And you, Veysel Baba! See, you are left alone in those dark cells, for loneliness. Who is looking for you while you are exposed to the most brutal tortures when you are all alone; do you have a friend or a comrade? Do you? And isn't it time to accept that all those beautiful dreams and hopes are gone one by one in the dark environment that lacks freedom and turned into shadows,” he criticized. And he decided that if he survived that place and got his freedom back, he would choose a new path for himself like a weary warrior. Because at that point, he was a weary warrior. Because at that point, he was a betrayed warrior. Because at that point, he was a lonely warrior. Because at that point, he was a warrior that was forgotten in those cold cells. Because at that point, he was a warrior that was left to his fate.
And on an autumn night, they set that man free, who was spiritually, mentally and physically devastated. That man, who was exposed to all types of torture for weeks without food or water, was too exhausted to walk. The torturing brutes who saw that they could not crack him finally released him. However, the man was almost half-dead in his run-down state. He could not look at the sunlight since he had been in the dark. There were many wounds on his body due to those inhuman tortures. He was all skin and bones since he was starved for weeks.His feet could not carry him no more and he kept fainting. Even in that condition, the man did not want to go home and endanger the people waiting for him there further. Because he was the director of an illegal organization and was being followed by the military junta. Knowing all these very well, that politic-weary man made a close contact with some his friends with the same cause and asked for their help. However, scared of his situation, his friends shut all the doors to him and left him alone with his fate.
In that desperate and exhausted state, he was all alone in that big city. Staying in the cemetery for a few days, the man went to his old shelter as he evaded the people following him. He was safer in that shelter and he could plan for the future easily there. First, he tried to regain his health, which he lost due to torture, at least to some extent. When he felt like himself after a few weeks, he started to call for those cops that tortured him to account for in line with a certain plan, in their own language, one by one. That stubborn spirit of the warrior that he inherited from his ancestors took his rains again and forced her to take vengeance again. Otherwise, if he did not call those brutes, torturers and killers to account for, he would not be able forget those days full of torture for his entire life and he would always regret since he could not finish an unfinished business.
After doing everything that he thought one by one, that weary man left his beautiful, painful country on a spring morning. Because he may be taken, questioned and tortured inhumanly in these dark cells again. And his already worn body may not be able to survive a second detention or torture. In addition, as long as that fascist, military junta reigned in the country, it was not possible for him or other revolutionists, socialists or progressivists to live. Finding a way and leaving his country under these harsh circumstances, at that point, that desperate man wanted to leave all experiences, memories and dreams behind. And London, that tired city, full of rain which hosted Karl Marx, one of the founders and masterminds of the socialist ideology, might be a safe harbor for him as well.
Coming to London after leaving all the dreams behind, the man rented himself a room. Later, he applied to the related office of the Ministry of Interior Affairs to obtain a legal residence permit via a lawyer. He man adapted very well to the region he lived for a short time. He made new friends and pursued new things, had new habits. The started to work as a painter to provide for his daily needs. He sometimes old pictures and wrote signboards for newly-opening work places. In the periods that he earned good amounts of money, he tried to visit the antique shops, second-hand stores and spend time there. He loved to interact with new people and talk to them on painting and antiques. And after getting known in this mysterious city that he arrived and making a name, that man directed himself completely towards antiques and painting. Even though it all seemed good in the beginning, in time, some health problems started to manifest for the man. Some sudden epilepsy-like faints, panic attacks and depressions, traumas and fear seizures manifested themselves again from time to time and made his peaceful life a nightmare, hell. Those nightmarish, dreadful days and these sudden blackouts and panic attacks knocked his door again. The man seemed to return his old days after a brief period of happy days. It was like those livable moments and times called happiness were forbidden to him, unhappiness being his mere fate. The man seemed not to be such a bad person and did not do much evil things. However, some secret powers or beings were like trying very hard to test him further and make him feel more pain. And that beautiful thing called happiness was beyond a dream for him. The inflammatory diseases that he had in his childhood period and the hits taken on the head during these tortures damaged both his brain and the entire body. They initially diagnosed him with epilepsy and treated him. His sudden blackouts and fear seizures became so bad that the man did not dare leaving the house or bathing alone.
Those hard, nightmarish days were the first signs of a new period for him. Yet, this unlucky, troubled man came to this country and this mysterious city to start a new life and forget that painful days full of ordeal in his country, at least to some extent. However, his bad, unfortunate fate did not leave him alone there. Firstly, they gave him disabled report due to his heal problems and put him on unemployment payroll. And that unlucky man, in order to get used that new situation, started to paint and tour those antique markets from time to time. In this way, he wanted to exclude himself from being useless. And meanwhile, he was helping those people who illegally entered that country, aiding them all means necessary to remain in the country and obtain legal living permit. There seemed to be no obstacles before that man who solved how the system worked and how the political wheel turned. None of the refuge requests personally written and filled by that man with a lot of knowledge in political issues, ethnic issues and sect issues were responded negatively. And so, many people obtained legal permit in this country with his direction and applications written by him.
The people who obtained legal permit to live now faced with the problem of a house to shelter. The money paid by those refugees whose economic status were pretty poor to the hostels and the houses and flats they rented was almost gone. Veysel Baba who wanted to find a way to solve this came up with the idea of the empty houses belonging to municipalities. And he organized the young people around him, having the empty houses belonging to municipalities assessed. And with the aid of the black teenagers, which were pretty good at that; first the doors of those houses were broken and equipped with new keys; electricity connections were made, gas problems were solved and delivered to its new owners in exchange of a fee. Thanks to the role model works of Veysel Baba and his friends, the house problems of hundreds of people were resolved. And these houses, which had been empty for a long time, was duly painted and furbished and made more well-kept; the new tenants of these houses, which was not protected by the municipalities, would protect them. And thanks to these new tenants, the municipalities had new rent income.
And thanks to the role model behavior of our helpful friend Veysel Baba, the people both obtained legal permit and a house in which they could stay safely in that country that they just came. That politic-weary man, meanwhile struggling with his own health problems, was also struggling to solve the problems of the people who came to that country with a lot of hope and keep their hopes regarding the future fresh. And thanks to his role model behavior, the people around him started to call him Veysel Baba. The people in his country would call him Veysel Baba during the dark periods that he dealt with politics and loved him a lot. However, as the military junta came to power, all the doors were shut to him and all those people whom he helped pretended not to know him, probably due to the fear of that military junta. Would a similar thing occur in this country and would those people surrounding him while walking on the streets forget him in time?
The cruel face of life showed itself there in that country. That tired man who tried to embrace everyone and solve their problems as much as he could was forgotten in time. The people who had cared about that life-weary man once started to pretend not to know him as they obtained their residence permit, solved their house and language problems and possessed a certain degree of power in terms of economy. The painful, self-seeking face of life reeking of betrayal and benefit found him there again and showed its ugly face. It was an expected process for Veysel Baba and it would not be surprise to meet such an end. Because the forgotten, dusty pages of history held a lot of experiences of betrayal and sad leavings. Knowing that very well, Veysel Baba told to himself in the state of mind that he was in: “Goodbye, dazzling crowds. Goodbye, crowds full of betrayal. Goodbye, crowds full of benefits. And welcome back, meaningful loneliness. Welcome back, the endless loneliness that made me who I am and gave me meaning.”
“The loneliest is the strongest,” says H. Ibsen, meaning that the person who are able to be alone would be very powerful in time. For loneliness forces a person to think and understand life. Goethe comments about this as follows: “Loneliness is just a word. So easy to say, so difficult to carry.” “People become alone since they build walls to the places where they are supposed to build bridges,” comments Isaac Newton on loneliness. However, as Veysel Baba, although I built such bridges and removed such balls in this life full of ordeal, I was left to that deep loneliness. “The worst loneliness is to be with some people,” comments Paul Valery about this. While saying that, Paul Valery actually means how alone he is among those empty and dry crowds and hypocrite, self-seeking people and how it became meaningless. “I love loneliness, because it does not leave me alone,” says J. Davies, almost describing me and my state. Because that phenomenon, lifestyle called loneliness does not leave me alone even if I want it to. And that creator force called God seems like he wants to test me in the endless loneliness in which he exists as well. For loneliness is the most noble and deep concept regarding the Almighty God, the reason of our existence.
“The ability to be alone is the only condition for the capability of love,” says Erich Fromm. Thoreau also comments on the issue: “Actually I was not alone when I was alone,” almost describing me. Because when I am left alone, I reach the fundamental truth, return to my main dreams and obtain that spiritual satisfaction. Andre Gide says, “Those afraid to find themselves lonely can never find themselves at all,” meaning that loneliness is one of the biggest means for a person for the formation of his fundamental personality and attaining his fundamental identity. And he continues:” Do not run away because of hopelessness. Hope is beyond hopelessness. Overcome it. You will find the light beyond the dark passage.” That valuable person Epiktetos takes a different perspective and says: “When the doors are closed and lights are turned off at night, don't think that you are alone in your room; because you are not.”
Reading those beautiful quotes with a lot depth, that lonely man Veysel Baba came to a new stage of decision. And in order not to hurt more in his further life and not to be disappointed, he made some decisions. So, those useless crowds, empty lives, benefit-based relations, fake friendships and artificial fellowships ceased to have meaning in his future life. And at that point, that nights full of alcohol and full of colorful lights were waiting for him somewhere. Feeling like a betrayed wretch, that politic-weary man dived into the nightlife of London full of colorful lights so deeply that nobody encountered any marks or signs related to him. And years followed years like that. Until that man, within that sea of loneliness, found himself and reached the fundamental truth.
END OF CHAPTER
04/05/2016 Veysel Baba - Kinder House, London