Tag Archives: schooling of indoctrination
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Thinking about Friedrich Nietzsche by Yilmaz Alimoglu

Nietzsche said: “We interpret ourselves as a unity in a world of images, which we created”. Do I think this statement can be used to interpret Ali’s life experience before he starts his journey as told in Deserts and Mountains?

There was a degree of contempt in Ali’s heart that caused him some uneasiness toward others. This in many ways created his suspicious character that possessed an inability to trust other human beings or value contrary ways of being. Ali was plagued by Turkish and Islamic dogmas, which imply that one should not criticize the established order, the penalty of which could be very harsh. These ways of being are largely unquestioned and very much an embedded way of thinking, but we witnessed Ali struggle under the weight of these burdensome and poisonous beliefs. Going through this schooling of indoctrination, this type of perceived “unity in a world of images, which we create” can turn a person into a very strange being. It is a process of being imprisoned for the rest of one’s life, if somehow the means cannot be found to challenge what has been taught.

The personal emotional stress that comes from a relationship breakdown along with all the other issues, which had been going on the background for Ali became too much to bear. At that point in his life, he felt trapped, comparable to living in a prison cell without any light, very little possibly of imagining better conditions of the heart and mind, without an apparent exit door in sight. It was an excruciating, daily pain from which Ali needed to liberate himself, in order to live a freer and more fulfilling life.

I can relate to Nietzsche in many ways and believe that he may have been a disguised eccentric mystic who could not be understood by his countrymen of the time—unfortunately even now. He had interesting connections to Sufi poets like Hafiz and I admired his works during my university years. He had profound thoughts and at the time I was not able to comprehend most of them, as they were too complex and unconventional.

I am happy that a person like Nietzsche stepped on the face of this earth. I believe he would be very much disoriented after discovering what was going on in his culture, especially with people of great intelligence and of religious persuasion in our time. He did what he had to do and he could have done better. Unfortunately he could not find a balance and eventually collapsed under the burden of painful experiences. We might also imagine that Ali could have easily shared this same fate, given the level of anguish he experienced in his soul and the difficult questions that he sought to find answers.

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