‘Full many a gem of purest ray serene’ …
- Divine British Nightingale Susan Boyle. Sweet 47. ‘Never been Kissed’ (Though Ms Boyle, given to country humour, said later that this was a joke’)
Judgementalism on the grounds of a person’s body shape, place of origin, social status, and so on, is, course, one of humanity’s most destructive tendencies. Is there a profound lesson to be learnt by every one of us? In a few moments, I shall come to the wondrous Susan Boyle, from a small village in West Lothian, Scotland, U.K., whose triumphant performance on ITV1 in UK in April 2009 would, I should think, make many of you weep freely and give her a standing ovation in your heart. May already have done so, because she has now been heard by tens of millions of people around the world.
Ms Boyle’s story inescapably reminded me of the lines of the English poet, Thomas Gray (1716-1771)
- Thomas Gray. A Favourite English Poet
in his poem ‘Elegy written in a Country Churchyard’:
Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.”
And I thought, too, of the stark lines in Leonard Cohen’s song ‘Chelsea Hotel’:
- Leonard Cohen. Ever Loved Singer-Songwriter
“for the ones like us
who are oppressed by the figures of beauty,
you fixed yourself, you said, Well never mind,
we are ugly but we have the music”.
Some lines of Ms Boyle’s song – ‘I had a dream’ from Les Miserables – English lyrics by
- Herbert Kretzmer, Lyricist
– deepen yet futher such a theme and its resonance for us:
“But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame”
I shall come to Ms Boyle in few moments. Her moments will last forever …
NOTE: Those who came to this blog in regard to Susan Boyle may like now simply to go down to the section highlighted in green
Judgementalism and Discrimination
Scarcely hours before I had the beatific priviledge of viewing the Susan Boyle footage, I had been musing on the topic of judgementalism on the grounds of (supposed) physical appearance.
Gerald Moreno – allied with key individuals close to Sathya Sai Baba – e.g., the saibabaofindia.com consortium – and involved in extreme defaming one after another of many around the world who have called for proper third party investigation, and raised terribly serious questions about Sai Baba and core leaders of his worldwide Sathya Sai Organization, has this to say:
“Let us see if Barry Pittard looks any better than Sathya Sai Baba does (according to one email source, his face is heavily and deeply wrinkled, his head is mostly bald and he is physically unattractive). Barry Pittard also collects a disability pension (the details of which are fanatically guarded secrets) and shows all the signs of old age. Despite this fact, Barry Pittard hypocritically points out faults in a much younger-looking Sai Baba! Barry Pittard sounds more intent on revenge & ridicule than he does on “justice”.
This piece of high spiritual felicity appears on Gerald Moreno’s ‘Sathya Sai Baba – Life, Love & Spirituality’ blog, which fairly bursts with content that surely no genuine Sai Baba follower could ever regard as embodying Sai Baba’s teachings on life, love and spirituality whatsoever.
Barry Pittard, of course, does not – as does Sathya Sai Baba – claim that he will not age or that he is, and will forever be, the fullest incarnation of God to appear on the earth. Or that he will save the entire the world before he dies circa 2022.
Strangely, Moreno published a photograph which he most mistakenly claimed to be of me with my son, whom he disgracefully named. This action, he has continued, with his customary spurious logic of a sort that will long continue to mar his work, to justify. The photo was in fact of her model! There is not a wrinkle to be seen, not a luxuriant hair out of place. He carries some other child not known to me.
Moreno set up a series of stratagems to divert business away from the company which she, with great courage, integrity and hard work has built up. He justified his misconduct by arguing from dates that he has entirely misinterpreted. It is his typical practice. Take a fact, or alleged fact, and spin it with hostile intent.
But can Moreno, at all, be referring to the fine creature I see before me in my never-cracking mirror each morning? Might this gentle critic have got me mixed up with the Elephant Man?
Sathya Sai Baba Has Said That He Will Not Age After His Sixtieth Birthday
But of course, pointing to Sai Baba’s present physical condition is entirely proper comment. It is known to many devotees and former devotees alike that he said that, after his 60th birthday, he would not age. It is but one of his many unfulfilled prophecies – impossible for Moreno or anyone to refute. See:
When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises
Behold Gerald Joe Moreno’s Ageless Idol
… the “much younger-looking Sai Baba”
“Usually old people have wrinkles on their faces … I do not have any signs of old age. (loud applause). There is not a single wrinkle on My face”. Sanathana Sarathi, October, 2002.
Usually, elderly people don’t have their hair dyed, either, but go along with nature’s inevitable processes.
Sathya Sai Baba Video. Too Weak To Cut Birthday Cake
Sathya Sai Baba Continues To Ail
Sathya Sai Baba’s Tips To Keep Ageing Away.
The Magnificent Susan Boyle
Now to Susan Boyle, the British television video of whom will, I think, give you some wonderful moments of genuine life, love and spirituality. I rather suspect some will want to download the footage and keep it as a treasure. There are some versions on the Internet which do not include the extra minutes. But the off-stage moments, the many revealing shots of the audience and judges AND her singing of ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ from Les Miserables are all to be savoured in the YouTube version, see below. No doubt many parents and teachers will use it in educating their charges on the issue of judgements and stereotypes. Not too much use doing that unless we educate ourselves, first.
A Cry For Blood Is Not A Far Cry Away From A Cry From The Heart
And then to drive the question, first, to ourselves and then to our societies: What supposing Ms Boyle had not triumphed in her song?! Are we some frenzied mob at the athenaeum-bear pit-meatmarket? Are we forever to cooperate with the forces that only allow ‘glamorous’ figures and faces to appear on stage and in videos and movies?
“I’m going to make that audience rock”.
Did you ever see a standing ovation like this one? Was there anything that did not tell against her?
Unless it was her cheeky and absolutely justified self-confidence. With her radiant naturalness and marvelous self-purpose, seconds before going on stage, the Divine Ms Boyle says, “I’m going to make that audience rock”. At first, the audience and the judges barely prevented themselves from falling over.
Wave on wave of scorn, disbelief, judgementalism, ageism and cynicism crashed towards her. For no better reason than the profound brainwashing of all of us by the movie, fashion and advertizing industries and other forces of human immaturity and oppression.
There were her age, her bodyshape, her dress sense (or lack of it), her … um … primal hairdo, her el cheapo neck chain, her humble village origins. Her whole self, as she purposely strode onto the stage, stood against the stereotype of success, whether on stage or in (so-called) ‘real life’ at large. Moments before going on-stage she even grabbed a bit of a sandwich – white bread and all!
In the video, note audience’s and judges’ air of barely concealed cynicism, disbelief, patronisation, and judgementalism. And then, from the first moments of her opening her mouth to sing – the powerful wave of change … Or rather, of transformation. Our transformation. She is already transformed, having duteously served her sick mother over the years, and became love in the village which, too, gave her life.
All mockers are confronted by their good angel. Dressed like it is thought that angels don’t dress.
Judging and Self-judging
In the moments after Susan Boyle has sung in her crowning triumph, the judges – Amanda Holden, Simon Cowell, and Piers Morgan – variously make comments such as:
“We were all being very cynical. That was the greatest wake-up call – ever!”
“Without a doubt, this is the biggest surprise I have had in the three years of doing this show”.
“The biggest ‘Yes’ I have given anybody”
Widetrends reports: “Susan Boyle is also being lined up for an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show which would give her the chance of a number one album in the US”.
Here are the responses of two children to whose lovely responses on the Susan Boyles video segment I was privy, and wrote down verbatim straight after:
6-year old girl
Adult: Why did all the people laugh at the lady when she walked on stage?
Girl: Because she is fat they think she can’t sing, and they don’t want her to be on the stage.
Adult: Why did the people change their mind?
Girl: Because she sang so beautifully.
9 year old boy
Adult: What did you reckon about the lady?
Boy: She’s not scared. She didn’t care what the people thought, she walked fastly and stood straight.
- The Divine Ms Boyle. Coming World, Ready Or Not
Source: YouTube. 2009. To view, click on photo
(Note: The above articles contextualizes. Or you may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):
Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization
There is a Spanish version available:
PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL)