Saint Izarya Ban Gad

Becoming A Stranger in a strange land


I remember the 1st time I’ve became aware of my environment. I was about thirteen years old, on the way to school, I had overheard a conversation between my pops and my older brother Troy Jr. . He said “Son it’s a shame your friend was shot and killed; he was a really good kid. My younger sister Morgan and I sat breathlessly in the back of the truck. Troy Jr. brokenly replied “Yeah”, this was the day my childhood in the Southside of Chicago had come to a bittersweet end. Ever since that day the lessons my Father would teach me would primarily be about survival. My pops having been a police sergeant (now retired) he would always say “son when you see police officers understand their main goal is make it back to their families and they fear that they won’t, so please don’t give them a hard time.” Considering the burdens of my Mother I stiffly responded “ok dad”. Survive and make it back to the people you love, this became a requirement in our home.

" Survive and make it back to the people you love, this became a requirement in our home.."

Saint Izarya -Becoming A Stranger in a Strange land

We were bred to survive, what to wear, what colors not to wear, which walking routes to take and where not to go. Parts of the world are constantly suppressed under this dogma of urban Darwinism. Violence becomes a cesspool of control and the lack thereof. My Experience in Chicago is no different than those who grew up in Russia or Yemen or Egypt. Survival is the experience; humanity is constantly in a state of survival. Living in Turkey or Palestine or Israel for a season was not foreign or incommodious au contraire, I retain a truce with the chaos. I become the winds in the mist of tornado and not the garbage that is thrown by it. Perhaps if I am that rag doll thrown in the mist of chaos, I embellish in being the rag doll. Once we give ourselves permission become the rag doll or the destroying winds (it makes no difference) only then will we be granted with the gift of survival.

Accept where you are is my advice. Look and listen, people watch while retaining respect and integrity and learn the culture not as a ravenous vulture but as doves on olive branches. Being at peace with all men can only come when peace with self is established. Be confident in your God, be confident in kindness and understand that just as Love and Pleasure are faucets of this realm so is Suffering and loneliness. Accepting whether you are the rag doll or the chaos that controls it is beneficial for self-peace, only then will a person receive an excellent yet intriguing human experience. 

I’ve seen the world and the world has seen me. The experience of the human in this realm is primarily focused self-expression; what we wear, the food we enjoy, what we post on social media etc. The gift of being born into this world is being able to enjoy pleasures within it. Look at the lilies and how they dance within the beams of the sun, or the fowls how they dance on the wind as they seek out the secrets of the earth.  Freedom and liberty are guides we respect in this realm and they are to be sought after but it is wisdom to seek out being bounded. For a moment, consider the Greek Myth of Icarus who flew carelessly throughout the world, only when flying too close to the Sun disobeying his father’s instructions his wings burned and he fell to the Earth and was no more. Being boundless will eventually lead to our own destruction. Look at Seas and how they dwell and men and how they dwell. For in the daylight the sea and men are league with the Earth yet possessing destroying powers to consume all that is given to it and behold in the night they become covered in chaos yet subtle as serpents, are they both not controlled by the Moon and her phases and the Earth and her seasons? There for we can conclude that it is not the might of men nor the chaos of the sea that destroys worlds but rather it is the lack of being bounded. Hypothetically if mankind destroys the earth or the seas swallow themselves whole it is because they have been given permission to do so, not by us but by what we call the God and the devil
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To know good and evil, it is the supreme test of humanity. Will the earth be bounded with obedience and righteousness or will it be disobedient and wicked? “I will live as you do” the tortoise exclaimed to the hare. Understanding what has been given to us give us permission to appreciate what we already have. Wherever you may dwell with in this realm whether in New Zealand or Iran seek out what has been given to you and who has given it to you for this is who you serve. Righteousness or wickedness for these dwells with men all the days of their life and they will be your guide unto death or unto life. Peace.


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