I didn’t write the words below — I just typed them. I don’t think I’d have the ability to transpose my feelings into words in such a strong, visceral, honest way, even if I had lived through what this man has.
The words that follow are a dedication contained in a book, a book that’s too early for me to read, but one that I can’t resist the lure. I won’t talk about it now — it’s not the right time yet, so I hope you will forgive the mystery. But as I read this book, I become more and more infatuated by the Idea contained in it. This idea is beginning — in a very gradual, almost surreptitious way — to shape my thoughts and actions, to give focus to an otherwise disparate life. It is providing me with a philosophical foundation upon which to build my previous objectives, as well as others which had never crossed my mind before.
These are objectives for the higher parts of our souls.
For now, I simply intend to type the whole book, which is more than 800 pages long. It is currently available only as a scanned PDF file (carefully produced by an enlightened man) or as physical, extremely hard-to-find and expensive copies. I am not yet beginning this project — I just reached the dedication page today (believe it or not, it is on page 170) and I had to post it.
My motivation in this project is two-fold.
First, I want to share this book here (or elsewhere) for everyone to read into this man’s mind and, hopefully, be inspired by it. By providing it in HTML form, I’ll be able to gradually enrich the text with links to works he cites, to other parts of the same text and to whatever other resources I can think of.
Second, I want to type it. I know I could use optical character recognition software (OCR) or pay someone else to do it. I could also begin some kind of crowdsourcing endeavour and have many hands to finish the work much faster. But I want to do it by myself. I want to type his own words and experience at least a little bit of what this man must have felt while working during seven years, at night after his working hours, using his old type-writer and the help of his loving wife, cherishing his impossible vision. I want to take my time and pay homage to this man that is not among the living anymore, but who has left a fascinating unfulfilled dream behind — a dream I intend to keep alive somehow.
Odds are it will remain just a dream, but we need good dreams, don’t we?
This book about a new kind of common “language” is dedicated to those who understand another common “language”.
That other language is spoken with eye and heart only, and understood at the risk of death.
In our time and in all times men and women have answered that language and have died for it.
In the dead of night – a knock at the door!
Outside a human being, persecuted and hunted. A strange face from a strange country, speaking a strange language.
But the eyes speak – that other language.
To answer means almost certain death to the whole family.
Can we ever imagine the torments, the fear, the anguish, the desperation and the agonies of those men and women who answered that language?
Down in the cellar, amid rubbish and cobwebs lives a human being. No, it seems to be no human being any more. It shivers and trembles, it rots and decays. For months and for years, it has not seen the gold of the sun, the blue of the sky, and the green of the land. But his eye shines through the darkness and meets the eye of his saviour, who brings him a share of his own meagre ration.
Their eyes speak with each other and they give courage to each other. Don’t be afraid Brother, Sister! Let’s hold, hold out, until – until the catchers came and led them both away. And let them dig their graves first.
But many lived to breathe again without fear.
To you Brothers and Sisters, who answered that language across the barbed wires of race, creed, nation, language and misunderstanding – to you this book is dedicated.
In your spirit – the future will be built.