I apologize for my long absence. I’ve been in Mexico City working on part 2 of my documentary and on a cd cover for Mexican singer Fey. Between work, friends and family, I neglected the blog for longer than I would have liked.

As a prelude to the following entry I would like to make clear that, even though I was born and raised in a Jewish environment, I’ve lived most of my life in a predominantly Christian country and I’ve shared the last ten years with a wonderful buddhist girl. I don’t practice any religion, but I’m extremely interested in mysticism and spirituality. Throughout my journey I’ve been blessed to have made friends from all possible ideologies.

I left Vancouver just as the news about Israel’s incursion into Gaza were breaking. Since my arrival to Mexico City, the subject of the conflict’s latest incarnation has been part of the conversation and, as usual, opinions are highly polarized. Some of my friends and family who respect my opinion have asked me about who I think is right.

Considering the nature of this website and the work I present in it, I’ve decided to explain my position by describing what physicists call dynamic systems. In the universe there are linear and non-linear dynamic systems, the second kind being the most prevalent. A basic difference between the two is their degree of predictability. The results of a linear system, i.e. the acceleration of an apple falling on Isaac Newton’s head or the trajectory of a short range missile, are fairly easy to predict. The results of a non-linear system, i.e. the exact position where an apple will grow on a tree or the personal and social repercussions caused by an exploding missile, are extremely difficult to predict.

What makes non-linear systems so hard to predict is that, besides being affected by an immense number of variables, the resulting magnitude of a variable is not always proportionate to its initial state. This characteristic of non-linear systems is commonly known as “the butterfly effect”.

Each one of us is a non-linear system. If we were linear systems, most little boys would grow up to be astronauts and firefighters, but life is highly unpredictable and it ends up taking us in unforeseen directions. For years you say you want to be an engineer, but one day you sit down and contemplate the sun dancing over the ocean’s surface, and when you stand up you’ve decided to study graphic design. What spell did the gleaming waves cast over the hypnotized system?; if I knew I would be a wiser man, but I don’t, so here I am a graphic designer. Sometimes it’s very hard to comprehend the non-linearity of our own life, and it’s this uncertainty that makes it stimulating, exciting and dramatic.

A society is a complex non-linear system constituted by the many non-linear systems that we are. A country is composed by countless and diverse social groups, making it an infinitely complex non-linear system. For this reason, anyone claiming to understand the actions, purpose and intentions of a whole country is merely fooling himself (and, unfortunately, sometimes others too).

When trying to understand a non-linear system in a lab, it is important to know with as much accuracy as possible the past, present and future states of all its variables. I’ve already forgotten some of my past and surely have reinvented parts of it, my present is constantly changing and my future is uncertain. Knowing how ignorant I am about the system that is my own self, I would not dare to claim understanding over whole countries, specially those currently experiencing a most chaotic and entropic state.

What I’ve mentioned are just some of the factors that make it impossible for me to take sides. Also, to take a side, I would have to assume that one group could or should win the war, but you cannot win a war more than you can win an earthquake, a tsunami or a tornado. A war is a disaster where we all loose. Adopting a radical position for or against one side or the other does not show knowledge of the system, it only exposes the ignorance and prejudice of the person expressing such opinion. Far from helping solve the problem, radical statements are actually part of it. In a way, many of the innocents suffering today in Gaza and Israel are the victims of radicalized groups within both societies.

So who is right? the Israeli boy who will not see his father return from the border or the Palestinian mother whose son dies in her arms? I refuse to reach any verdicts. All I can say is that my love and compassion is with both of them, and that I feel ashamed to be part of a species that still harms itself in such brutal ways.

It’s been said that the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Every time the bullets fly, the world takes sides and the conflict is not resolved, it only gets worse. Each side believes their position to be the right one, so they speak and act accordingly, but as Gandhi said: “There is no way to peace, peace is the way.” You are your world, if there is rage, hatred and prejudice in you, they will also manifest in your world. This time I invite you to practice peace and to be part of the solution instead of the problem.

I suggest for us to stop listening to the so-called “experts on the conflict”, these shady figures that inhabit the media and whose position and income depends on the continuation of conflicts. They are incendiary beings that throw more wood on an already huge fire because of their created interests. Instead, lets turn our minds to those who have spoken about how to avoid conflicts in the first place. I’m referring to those giants that defy labels and definitions, those who instead of demanding consensus reach for the truth, those who don’t segregate others or themselves and who look at a stranger and don’t find “the other” but a brother. I am referring to the enlightened beings that have lived in all times and have emerged from all cultures, a congregation that today I’m calling “The League of Un-affiliated Ladies and Gentlemen”. The only way to be included in this select group is by not being eager to belong to any group, so all of the included appear here without their previous consent. I would love to belong in their company, so I’ve been automatically disqualified, but I’m happy just to expose some of its members. I hope that their words and lives resonate with more of us and that through their wisdom we can get closer to the dream of a peaceful World.

THE LEAGUE OF UN-AFFILIATED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN (Very, very partial list. In a strange and random order)

  • Lao Tse

  • Bob Dylan

  • Lawrence Lessig

  • Mawlānā Jalāl ad-Dīn Muḥammad Balkhī (Rumi)

  • Thich Nhat Hanh

  • Joni Mitchell

  • Buddha

  • Galileo Galilei

  • Don Miguel Ruiz

  • Gibrān Khalīl Gibrān

  • Jiddu Krishnamurti

  • Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

  • Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Ginetta Sagan

  • Jesus

  • Jorge Luis Borges

  • Muhammad Yunus

  • Leonard Cohen

  • Socrates

  • Chris Anderson

  • Chögyam Trungpa

  • Farid ad-Din Attar

  • Pema Chödrön

  • Neil Young

  • Warren Buffett

  • Tenzin Gyatso (XIV Dalai Lama)

  • Sharon Salzberg

  • Woody Guthrie

  • Albert Einstein

  • Jane Addams

  • Miguel de Cervantes

  • Shunryu Suzuki

  • John Lennon

  • Sergey Brin and Larry Page

  • Aung San Suu Kyi

  • Eckhart Tolle

  • Isabel Allende

  • Sogyal Rinpoche

  • Rosa Parks

  • Jimmy Wales

  • Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  • Bill Strickland