Thursday, September 1, 2011

Effective Cooperation. Benign Camaraderie and Grail of Haimish: Luka, Salman Rushdie, Fire of Life

Camaraderie as a Weapon. 
Effective Cooperation in Governing, Attaining Goals.
Look to literature:  Salman Rushdie and Luka's Fire of Life, addresses it.  The secret to success in a difficult venture, is camaraderie.  Let yourself and your friends not be split. The problem is that "not splitting" means forcing groupthink as to a fixed ideology for some, seeking to use the "not splitting" in order to obstruct.  Still, awareness and watching can help turn the negative obstructionism so that progress for a common good can resume.  Is that so? Pollyanna?  Are you still there?

The Benign Mutual Support.
Can we Foster Benign Camaraderie, Give here, take there?
Or is the Opposition, its Ideology, too Organized.

Autocratic opponents.  How to counter?  Dare we try benign camaraderie. Companionship. Warfare touts comradeship for war-companions against adversaries.  Take it further.  Are peace-oriented goals similarly fostered. Is there a way that mutuality goals of compassion, compromise, foster a competitive, survival edge against autocratic opponents, whether religious, or political. Ask Salman Rushdie.
Ask Lukal.  The novel: Luka and the Fire of Life.  Read a narrative from another culture, how to counterFear and Force with Elements of Humor and Mutual Help.  Salman Rushdie's Hero, Luka, Says Yes.  The problem is that Salman Rushdie's character does not confront media spin control, with moles in all the media, including the once venerably objective New York Times.  See the slant words now, persuading by the highly colored words, under the radar.
Hamish, or haimish, is a Yiddish term for the warm, the convivial, the companion-comfort values in life. Cozy, homey, familiar, says a Yiddish dictionary site,  It has been used to describe some of the most common childhood experiences, or those where the isolations of luxury are far less enjoyable than rubbing shoulders. The hamish. Human. Humans seek. I seek. You seek. He, she or it seeks. We seek. You (pl) seek. They seek. Seek what? David Brooks found, see

Is an element of the hamish, knowing to a virtual certainty that others are on our side, also a secret of those who prevail for the long term over great odds. Solitary confinement banks on isolation as a tool to defeat courage, is that so.

 Is the environment of haimish (spellings vary) the grounding for competition and achievement, and without the harm to others that fear and force produce. Some say courage is an alone-thing, see; others say that idea is only a start. Courage is augmented where there is companionship. The difficult part is finding common ground where companionship can emerge.  Fear and force do away with that, to whose benefit.
Hamish is not a synonym for the communal. Hamish is often not in the communal. For example, Jante's law is a kind of communal system, and there is not great achievement fostered there. Instead, Hamish fosters individuality and accomplishment, by allowing and not restricting.  Hamish instead is an environment that fosters.
See Haimish in travel.  See also FN 1. Yiddish already knows. See  The hamish in life.  Hamish in martyrdom: Saint Lawrence on the grid. Time to turn me over? Well done enough on this side? See him in Bjernede DK, wearing his grid,!/2011/07/bjernede-inside-round-church-rundkirke.html.  Humor did not save him, but his perspective lived on.

II.  Application - Author, Salman Rushdie, Book, Luka and the Fire of Life

Salman Rushdie's hero, Luka, in the 2010 novel, Luka and The Fire of Life,  finds that hamish pathways get him to the top of his mountain, where the maneuverings of frontal assaulters fall short.   Not only does respect for community work in great quests, like Frodo with companions, it is desirable and high time for it. Lesson: Old gods of all kinds, including the self-seeking to the exclusion of the group, farewell. Meet with Luka the "Respectorate of I" -- no thinking needed as long as the I is served.  This is not really a novel for children; and Respectorate adults, as as the Wall Street Journal, miss the point in focusing on the fantastic linear plot and not meaning. See

Is appreciation of the hamish a kind of political and religious climate change. Is it time. Is there Relevance for health: Haimish for health. Who will test? See troubled veterans allowed to function in close-knit but open community, accomplishing much, at


I. The haimish of life. Definitions, Context.

Haimish. Hamish. Spellings vary. English doesn't even have a one-word for it.  English is too linear, its thinking too measurement and hierarchy-oriented, fist-proofs required, the language of the denier of sixth sense wisdom.

What encompasses the concept.  Definition auras. The hamish is an X that is found, that arises, that is fostered, by an environment, an attitude, a set of relationships, an X that blooms where there is sharing of effort, goals, seeking excellence, without harm to others.  At its Yiddish roots, find Warmth. Relationships. Conviviality. Lovingkindness in western religious tradition-texts.

But is it Wuss? Will it sell? Can it Work? If "hamish" fosters warmth, joint enjoyment as well as effort, appreciation of accomplishment rather than victory and static empire, is it doomed when confronted with the jugular competitor and its entourage of restriction and regimentation.

Does it enable success in the drive for difficult goals, or settle for the mediocre.
  • Macho enthusiasts' versicle: What can Hamish do when confronted by ferocity and threat? Fold? Retreat?
  • Sanity's response. Hamish includes setting your own goals. Hamish prevails over time because it has a secret:  it is a Way, not one conquest after another that ultimately fail. Expect a totally self-serving goal to fail, however, because operating with Hamish will probably steer you to another variant.

Hamish is definitely not Wuss because it is creative, strengthening and lasts.

Ask: What are the fondest childhood memories made of? The hamish times, people and places. Its context does not lull or weaken. Instead, it encourages any activity that does not harm others. Is that so? In a culture overwhelming itself with disease, stress, tension, anxiety, angst, anger, judging, supremacisms asserted in political thought, religion, color, ethnicity and gender, is it worth examing the Haimish. It takes 18 months to recover from sustained fear, and even then one is not necessarily what one was. See

Climate. Climate change. How does a climate of fear depress other functions, or is stress of regimentation and control easily set aside, see  Mere opposition to the Respectorate will not get to the top: It takes another process too complex to explain: the strength of the hamish.

II.   The future and merit of the Hamish as a climate for accomplishment.
It works, and it Fulfills - better.

A.  Ask Salman Rushdie in his novel, Luka and the Fire of Life. See

This is not necessarily a children's book at all. Too much may pass over their heads. The Luka-quest concepts address adult, political, religious, social issues. That "children's" designation serves to keep adults from reading it -- clearly a move by the books' Respectorate to keep its old gods in place.  It is the tool of the Wall Street Journal in quoting from it - or did they not read it?  See Wall Street note to self: Doing away with worship of old god-forms would include profitism, or did that pass over the WSJ's collateralized head?  FN 2.

Salman Rushdie's protagonist, Luka Khalifa in Luka and the Fire of Life, sets out on a great quest, and confronts those very Sorts.

The mission:  Luke sets off to restore the fire of life to his apparently dying father, where another being, the genial but agenda-ed Nobodaddy, gains in strength and solidity as the father fades. The forces of regimentation will be set against him. Where does the boy start? Who will join him? Aah - Dog the Bear and Bear the Dog (go back to morphs of Alice in Wonderland to get the flavor of the tale).

Luka, a questor and sojourner like Odysseus or a Hobbit or a Templar of fantasy, seeks a grail, an impossible dream that must be found because it holds where life is. Follow Luka, from the Sea of Stories, tumbling down the Torrent of Words, into the Lake of Wisdom and the River of Time that flows both ways and sideways - time is like that (we learn, but the Respectorate cannot accept in its tick tock way)  - up the Mount of Knowledge and to The Fire. 

It is not a children's book necessarily at all. It addresses adult, political, religious, social issues. In its other review, the Wall Street Journal (did the reviewer Meghen Cox Gurdon read the book for meaning or just linear plot line?) overlooks how Luka is enabled for his victory - the overturning of old god-forms, the role of caring, rejecting the tit for tat of the Insultana against the Respectorate's Over-Rat. See

The Respectorate's payroll is everywhere.

B.  Who does Luka confront on his quest?

Among all the obstacle people and groups and individuals and ideas and gods and circumstances, find these:

1. The Grandmaster Flame himself, Captain Aag. Think Aargh! Luka dares to stand up to him, and it works. But Aag, the Ringmaster of the Great Rings of Fire of the great circus that Luka's curse destroyed, will be back, you can be sure because that is what Aag is and does. Aag wants what he wants and can shape-change to get it.

2.  The Respectorate of I, with its Over-Rat.
Regimentation and rules and repression.
Meet the Over-Rat. The one nobody votes for. It votes for itself (like the Pledge-Maker). But eveybody in the Respectorate does essentially what the Over-Rat says, including following P2C2E - "Processes Too Complicated To Explain." The Inquisitor Rat will investigate your patriotism and inquire particularly if you believe that 2+2=5 because all acceptable Rats believe that.
The chorus affirms the principles of the national song of the Respectorate of I:
 "We all say I, I, I.
There's no need to argue, no need to sussspect (sic),
No need to think when you've got Ressspect. 
We all say I, I, I." 

Luka and the Fire of Life at page 75-76. Fair use. Sing the national song at page 75ff.

III.  Is there hope for those entrapped?
Yes, but by divesting from old forms

Will the Can't-won'ts, like the book's Over-Rat, beat down consideration of the merit of the hamish, in the Respectorate's quest for profit and empire. Or can the hamish - as in the book - by merit confine the Respectorate to their own realms of harm, choose new ways, and move on to better times. Is "upside down the wrong way around" and do 2+2=4 or not? There is a battle at chapter IV, but the opposers of the Respectorate are, in their way, obnoxious as well. What path can Luka choose?

There are indeed opponents of the Respectorate, but they and their songs are insulting and taunting in return: is that progress? 

Meet the Insultana of Ott and the Otters pelting rotten fruit on the heads of the Respectorators. Expectorating!

Hear them Otters sing right back at the Rats: insults abounding.

"Two and two make four, not five
The world is round, not flat.
Your Boss is the Smallest Fry alive.
We do not Respect the Rat!
Oh, we do not Respect the Rat!
"And upside down is the wrong way around,
And black is black, not white.
And a squeak is by far the creepiest of sounds,
No, we do not respect your Right,
We do not respect your Right."


We all moan ai-yi-yi.
You're fools and you're bullies.
Your thinking is woolly.
Respect? You're not serious?
You're effect's deleterious!
We laugh at you, ai-yi-yi-yi-yi.
We laugh at you, ai-yi-yi."

Luka and the Fire of Life pp.79-81 - fair use.

"We've got to get away!" shouts Luka, page 79, losing more and more of the lives available to him to sustain him on his quest (another part of the story). 

Note that it is not enough to join in with the Insultana, although she can be and is helpful. She cannot get to the top, other processes must do that, but she does have chutzpa.

How to save a saving point so he won't regress back further than from whence he came.  One solution is to return always to the mindset of the original teller of the tale, and find solutions there, not in later Stuff. Good idea.

So: swapping insults does not achieve the goal. Go back to the original tale teller. What was in the mind of Rashid Khalifa, the father, the Shah of Blah. What was his world-mind like? It leads to truths: What of the stories of the old god figures. Even if they are not to be "worshipped" any more, can the tales be with us on their own. Time to move on from the old god-forms of institutions and barnacles because they have been highjacked and no longer operate as they were intended or once did, is that so, Luka?

IV.  Hamishness and Health

Another stop on the quest continues after the novel.  Is there a connection. Who will study health and hamish. Who will study human development, maximization of talent, skills, with hamish. The Respectorate Way is one of fear-inducing.  Do not dare to individualize. Do not dare to disagree. Do not dare to think.  This works.  See how other functioning is hampered when fear is introduced:

The haimish environment, with its notable lack of fear-fostering, is maligned.

Ask, as Luka in effect does, do we need status threats, supremacism comparisons in daily and business and religious life, to achieve difficult goals, to be fully human?

 Respectorate of I followers would say Yesss. No business can make as much profit if it is haimish. Let the consumer know the truth of the transaction, and the consumer may walk away, so fight Elizabeth Warrenness. Keep the fog. Politics:  fight, obstruct, demand, dig in, Riptide games emerge as the R's repeat and repeat in our eaRs. We've got you, little fools!  And tout the aggressive as the way to Win. To Achieve for this group at the expense, who cares, of others.

Examine The Haimish Way: can it compete.

It has, and works.  Empires fall regularly, but not the truths of the common good.

Has Luka, in his quest, found a grail of sorts, the grail of the round, roundtable, the concept of the "round" and not the hierarchical arrowhead, the spear, the empire, the perhaps true meaning of grail as shape and concept for living, not a "thing", see


FN 1 David Brooks, New York Times columnist, noted the concept after a vacation. On vacation, there is stress: a sub-goal is to get one's money's and effort's worth -- think of the expense of going abroad, for example, the disruption of schedules, the stake that a child may have in having a good time, learning. 

Brooks found that his family enjoyed and got more out of the haimishness of the less expensive accommodations on that vacation - people closer at closer tables, chat, even guffaws, welcome, inclusive. Restful. Cheeks below comfy sitting, cheeks up top showing the beginning of a (gasp) smile. He notes the chill of the expensive: the stilt, the distance and distancing, the snoot, nose up and acknowledging no others but those at this par-tic-u-lar ta-ble.

FN 2  How could the Wall Street Journal miss the nobility of the it-Barak at page 214? see the itbarak, from the ancient Greek to Turkish and on, atİtbarak and hit translate; or go to

Hamish competitive edge.  Ask Luka.  Tell Can't-Won't in the House.