Manifesto

Originally posted on Sally V's desk:

Create create create

till you spew out something

that can make order out of this chaos

or at least rearrange it 

make it into a mess worth looking at

consume – voraciously

share, don’t be afraid

at best they will love it

at worst they won’t

but it will still be

you will have created

from nothing something will be born

pick up your axe

make yourself a table and a chair

a bed if lying makes it easier

don’t ignore the voices

speak louder than them

scream until your lungs give out

shine – bright and blinding

    Be

fall and stand 

dust yourself off 

patch up your holes

or make a new dress altogether 

do until you can’t do anymore

then do more

soar until you can’t tell

down from up

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Legacies

But there is a moment in life when one thinks about the legacies one leaves as they exit the world. How could one join this pollution—it’s only acceptable form—of intelligence, existence’s “cognitive database”.

Let us consider the dead at this moment. Of this, I would focus on the distant read—those who have been dead a long time but have their histories imprinted in popular culture. Once in a while, however, I will consider the recent dead. Humans, poor1 in spirit, consider the last words of a great to be his legacy. This is not the legacy left by people and should not be taken as a legacy as there are many factors which surround the last words of a human; one and the most obvious being his realization that his/her time as human is coming to an end—consider the emotional mayhem! So, for purposes of this write-up, I shall term this act—rather ludicrous in nature—of assuming the last words of a human to be their legacy as LWegacy—i.e. L. W. Legacy i.e. Last Word Legacy.

Einstein: His theory of relativity2 has left the world in shambles. It broke the ground on which modern day physics was studied. Science, you see, is only but a means of understanding. But to understand, one must assume3. Therefore, it can be said of science that it is merely an understanding of assumptions. Einstein’s last words fell on deaf ears ears which were not properly attuned to his speech and a mind whose understanding is not trained in his linguistics. Thus Einstein’s lwegacy was lost. But his legacy, that which opened this paragraph, not only stands, but runs; thanks to the feet of recent geniuses.

Steve Jobs …or as he is better known to me: “the one who took the bite off the Apple”. Some called him a shrewd businessman, others called him amoral. Apple fanatics know him as the face of the company, and because of this, the WWDC speeches slowly rose to power levels of ancient religious rituals. Steve, while laying on his bed, according to his wife’s account, uttered these last words before he passed on: “oh wow… oh wow… oh wow…”. Now, there are many theories which this can give rise to. But I am not in the business of closing minds to assumptions. You may leave whatever you think his lwegacy was in the comment below. His legacy however, in my opinion, is a brand whose—in look and feel, usability and theatrics—is ever so intricate that it needs no functionality to sell.

Jean Blaise Pascal. Another mathematician hailing from the Christian church. The Christian chur… the Chri… hmm… the Christian church reeks! of this disgusting!! habit of looking down on the select group of its people who happen to be intellectuals, then raising their hands to God asking for intellect while wallowing in disgust rooted in the illusion that the church, in its sacrosanct-ity, lacks intellect. Phew… sorry about that very necessary tangent.

Jean Blaise Pascal was an intellectual from the church. He is known, among many other things, for his wager: a reason to believe in God regardless. Many interpretations of this wager float around the internet, alongside many adulterations; I choose not to add to these. Pascal came off as a misfit: described by T. S. Elliot as “a worldly man among ascetics and an ascetic among worldly men.” Pascal also contributed in developing the probability theory—the keen-eyed will immediately see why his wager was to believe in God regardless—although his Pascal’s original application of his probability theory was in gambling; what better? Shortly before his death, after a violent illness which perturbed his emotions alongside his physical wellbeing, his last words were “May God never abandon me”. From inference—remember my tangent on the mundane, blindly religious Christian folk?—his lwegacy is one of acceptance, community and togetherness. His legacy on the other hand will be in the areas of mathematics, and the probabilistic nature of the occurence of worldly events; their categorization as chance events.

Bruce Lee. Growing up under the teachings of Ip Man—creator or the Wing Chun martial art style—Bruce learns the antiques of martial art from a very young age. With a curious mind, he quickly grows bored of the “styleness” of the martial art industry and goes on to create a science of fighting, sans style—called it “The Fighting Method”. He objectively studied why we hit, how we should deliver the blow, where the blow will cause the most damage, how to evade blows, and so on. There is no known lwegacy of Bruce. Sources have it that he died in his sleep after taking a pain-reliever: Equagesic. But his legacy lives on in his “Fighting Method”.

Cleopatra: Seduction—that’s all I can say.

Genghis Khan: To begin on Genghis, I must first assert that I know little about this man. All I know is he was a warrior extraordinaire and a conqueror of many lands. I also know of his habit with women which dovetails into the rumor that there is a 5% chance that you are related to Genghis Khan. His last words are unknown; but it cannot be ruled out that a man of war may have died in war. His lwegacy is unknown but his legacy, from history, bellows “Conquer!”

Voltaire: Writer famous for his Philosophical Dictionary—a ginormous epic colossus of a project spanning 2408 ePub pages geared towards defining words in their philosophical essence instead of using quickfire words to define words i.e. dousing flame with flame expecting cool—he was known to observe and share his observations in writing. He is also known for the famous quote below this paragraph. As was the custom in his time, a priest is assigned to a dying man to ensure the soul of the dying man goes to heaven—this is an act that is not unique to Christianity, other belief systems do this in form of rituals and ceremonial burials. When the priest asked Voltaire to renounce Satan, Voltaire replied, “Now now, my good man, this is no time for making enemies.” Thus was his lwegacy.

All that I know is that I know nothing.
— Voltaire

These humans left legacies in the world so deep—some contemplative—that humans with life, humans of the now, still mull over their words; irrespective of their death and decay. Some of these legacies have gone on to shape the world view for men, others creeds, others cultures and even nations. At this point, if this was a self-help blog post, I would be trying to answer the question: “how did these people do this?” Simple: there are multiple answers but here are a couple answers you may find useful.

  1. I couldn’t care less about the “how” as long as the human phenomenological capabilities still encompass their possibilities.
  2. I am bound by causality to probe and infer—two acts which are in-themselves insufficient in producing concrete answers—only to play around in circles of uncertainty.
  3. Sorry…?

Just thought of this — “He is who he says he is”, said the onlooker. “But who I say I am is never who I am” replied the observed. Thus should be the nature of every man. Matter of fact, this is the nature of all men. But the necessary forgetfulness is what allows us to play the role of ourselves as we know assume it to be.


  1. by poor, I do not mean wretched, but “less”—sufferers of a certain myopia—either in the life of the deceased or in the gospel of his work. 
  2. Explaining Relativity in a very high and less technical abstraction boils down to “this exists because of that”. A variation of that statement, being “there can be no that without this”, gives rise to the very complex phenomena like The Butterfly Effect, Doppler Waves and Quantum Entanglement amongst others. 
  3. Such is the flaw of our scientific prospects; the bind onto forever refining the knowledge we already know and have. One may argue that insight must come from the external because its enlightenment is necessarily orthogonal to every mode of knowledge hitherto known to the human. This is but a consequence of individualism. 

Quantum Entanglement

After training long and hard under the thick cover of the Amazon, the capoeira master handed over some guayábana to his student. “Comer isso e relaxar. Vamos para casa em breve.” With these words, he laid the fruits on his student’s laps and faced the thickets. There was a calmness in the commotion nature provided ahead: the birds chirping, different colors of lizards crawling down and up trees, monkeys swinging in-between trees, the random obstruction of the only sun beam which lit up the canopy. This calmness brought the illusion of order. Everything working on their own, surviving to the best of their capabilities, not worried about the neighboring creature… yet somehow managing to strike a balance with the world itself. “Que assim perfeito”, he thought to himself silently as he submerged himself in the balance, the same he had been observing for what seemed an eternity to him.

“Obrigado, mestre!”, the student yelled with unparalled enthusiasm. It is this enthusiasm, this childishness in his eyes which the master saw and decided to take him under his wing. No master in town could understand the reason for this. His demeanor as a master was very rash, outspoken and brandishing; he never took any student because his style process included rigorous training meant for elites. Among his peers, his many accolades: “mestre senhor”, “mestre supremo”—just to name a few—goes a long way to show caliber. However, this student of his remains a conundrum which still disturbs town …one of the many reasons why he trains in the Amazon.

“Olha Névoa”, the master’s attention unbroken from his observation. The student felt the usual perplexing mix of emotions. Yet again, it was just like he was not around… no attention was given that day. With his grumpy face, he slides to his master’s side, “Que mestre?”. The master looked to him with an unusual smile on his face. This smile did not befit his rigor, his method, nothing. Slowly, a smile also creeps onto the lips of his student. He turns his face back to the orderly chaos.

“A ginga de mundo.”

Névoa looked puzzled at his master. What in the name of confusing possibilities is he yapping on about now. This was one of his tricks: some wishy-washy fancy-mancy wacko nonsense which may just mean “this is it”. Nothing ever makes sense to Névoa the first time he is told. The smile that came on Névoa’s face quickly disappears as he is plunged deep into thought.

The capoeira master erupted with a good laugh as the confusion grew on his student’s face. “Vamos, Névoa.”

They started on their way back to town. The path is long and narrow, trees marshaled the sides, their canopy providing shade from the sun’s rays. The forest had changed from when Névoa’s master was a young capoerista learning from his own master. The Horse Woman—as the goddess was known back in the day, goddess of the forest—was more welcoming. Névoa had heard the stories his master had to tell about the Amazon; he could recite his favorite story.

Following the path, they come to the cliff hanging over a fast flowing river. This river leads to a waterfall. “Nao morrem”, Névoa looks up in caution. His master has said this over and again at this point of the journey back home but… frankly, he could be nicer. They weave their way through trees and rocks trying to avoid a fall. To an onlooker, this dangerous terrain poses an impossible task. But these two have been doing this for years, they could do it with their eyes closed. The master led, Névoa followed.

After about half an hour of walking, they come to the toughest aspect of the track: a bend around a tree which meets the cliff at its edge. There is barely enough room for half a man to pass comfortably. To the capoeira mestre, every difficulty is an opportunity to train.

“Névoa! Aú giratorio. Vai!”

They had gone through this path many times on their way back home. This, however, was the first time this bend was used in practicing such a high-level trick. Névoa felt like his master had finally begun accepting his skills and jumps into the technique without thinking. With a flawless whip, his hips are in the air, his head now the closest thing to the ground, hands tucked neatly by his sides, his legs are spread wide open; and with the magic of a firefly trained in Moroccan belly dancing, Névoa rotates his hips, using his legs to generate and maintain momentum. Halfway through his second rotation, He bends his knees and tucks his head to flip his feet back to the ground; the rotation does not stop. He spins a couple rotations on the ground with his arms open wide for momentum and a big grin on his face; his eyes spotting his mestre at every turn. If his master was beginning to accept his prowess, he had no reason to let him down—it might as well be a show! This was usually how trainings went. The technique is taught on a flat ground and repeated to perfection. Then a real life practice is done where Névoa shows how he can apply his skill; if he makes any mistakes, his master performs the same skill—most times better than Névoa did. Seeing how Névoa flourished with ease in and out of this technique, his master allowed a little smirk creep onto his lips before proceeding to cross the bend with the same technique. In no time, the master was in the air and upside-down, approaching the bend with his legs generating momentum. Around a bend, the left foot of the caposira mestre slams onto the tree trunk with a vehemence which sought to chop the tree in two; his rotation is broken, his momentum reduced to almost nothing. Unable to keep himself in the air, he tried to salvage his situation by pivoting on his left arm; but the slippery path would not allow this. He falls, crashing his shoulder to the ground, and slips off the cliff. Névoa stands shocked and clueless.

“Mestre! MESTRE!! Meu Deus, que foi agora?”, Névoa thought to himself as he rushed towards the bottom of the cliff to the bank of the river. That fall was not only catastrophic, but for an old man traveling such a distance down a cliff head-first, this may just prove lethal. Also, falling into a turbulence capable of carrying two dead horses to their funeral, his master’s chance of survival kept reducing. Thoughts streaming through Névoa’s mind faster than he can assimilate served his feet with extra speed. He tries to catch one of these thoughts—any… “este teste real?” was the only one he could catch. “Não não!” He quickly pushes that out his mind. His master could be dead and this is all what he could think about? In no time, Névoa reaches the bottom of the cliff, followed by a chunky cloud of debris led by his heels. “Mestre!! Por favor, MESTRE!!!”

“Acalme-se, menino. O chorão.” his master replied him in a calm, assuring, but teasing tone. Névoa is more than pleased to hear his master’s voice. But what he would see, neither his eyes nor his mind were ready. His master sat on a nearby tree stump eating his guayábana—from the same lot he had given Névoa just after training. His skin, unscathed; no cuts, no bruises. His master’s breathing remained stable; no stress, neither fear nor its epiphenomena. His body, dry; like he had been there for a while.

Névoa and his curiosity—everyone at this point would be curious to know what in the world was going on—asks, “Como?”

“Que é ‘Névoa’, o chorão?” Mestre puts down his guayábana with a serious look on his face. His student was at the brink of yet another discovery, he could feel Névoa’s curious mind yearning but lacking the necessary nudge. “Sabemos como vai ser mas, que ela vem?”

Slowly, it all started coming together. The mist of a misters misunderstanding comes and goes as it pleases. However, in its going, it does not go away—but goes ahead. “O ginga de mundo”, the thought flashed through his mind… Névoa giggles. The giggling slowly builds into laughter, “Jajaja, claro mestre. Jaja!” It all made sense at that moment. Everything from the training, through their journey back, the impromptu test, the fall, down to the real lesson. It all led to this. Life did leave and return the instant mestre fell off the cliff. At that point, motion was no longer his to control. Holding on to anything thhen would mean holding onto lack of control, and opposing control itself. On impact, mestre must have swam along with the current—flow, and the world’s motions. Finally, Névoa gets the meaning of that initial gibberish. Out of his train of thought, Névoa notices his master is upstanding and ready to go. His vests and trousers remained white—in the muddy river? Névoa is once more perplexed but the smile remains on his face.

“Como o seu abada permanecem branco, mestre?” The muddy river must have left a mark somewhere.

“Pergunta para Orixas”.