Sunday, April 9, 2017

Pallavi Banerjee writes


They are demonic figures who wear a façade.
Their factitious smile eclipses their evil deeds and purposes.
They are recreants who lack the strength to speak the truth.
They are hollow beings who lack self-respect.
They are venomous creatures.
They flatter their adversaries to their face and bad-mouth them behind their back.
They are a disgrace to  humanity.
It is dubious whether their true colors will ever be exposed.
Our existence in this filthy world amidst the hypocrites is suffocating.
The seeds of hypocrisy should be crushed.
May God give them enough strength to break off the mask of hypocrisy
and make them capable of wearing a genuine smile.

 Image result for janus painting
 Janus -- Christo Coetzee


  1. "Hypocrite" comes from the Greek prefix "hypo-" (under) and the verb "krinein" (to sift or decide). A hypocrite was an actor, who had to choose the right tones to convey the play's meaning; their decision came from "under" because their voice was amplified by a disposable linen or cork mask they used to interpret various characters. Their work of interpreting or judging what to say behind a mask and, in the case of performing dithyrambs (hymns sung and danced in honor to Dionysos), improvising on a theme became synonymous with work suited for a two-faced man. In addition, to the Romans, being a person meant "being a mask" (the Latin "per" [mask] + "soneo" [resound]). However, “hypocrisy” was the means that actors, rhetoricians, and debaters used to interpret their thoughts in a diplomatic way, a means of setting aside one’s own position in order to understand the other sides. The word did not become a negative term until the 4th century BCE, when Demosthenes ridiculed his rival Aeschines because he had been an actor in his youth and then used those skills as a politician. In 346 BCE Demosthenes and Timarchus accused Aeschines of treason, but Aeschines countered by claiming that Timarchus had forfeited the right to speak before the people as a consequence of youthful debauches which had left him with the reputation of being prostituting himself in Piraeus. Aeschines was cleared, and Demosthenes claimed that Timarchus was destroyed (which "Pseudo-Plutarchus" interpreted as meaning that he hanged himself upon leaving the assembly). Demosthenes and Aeschines resumed their oratorical attacks upon each other in 343 BCE, and once again Aeschines was acquitted. In 339 BCE he made a speech which brought about the Fourth Sacred War and then tried to blame Demosthenes for the resultant disasters. Ctesiphon's motion to award Demosthenes with a golden crown for his distinguished services to the state in 336 BCE led to Aeschines accusing of having violated the law by bringing forward the motion. The quarrel continued until 330 BCE, when Demosthenes finally gained a complete victory and Aeschines went into voluntary exile at Rhodes, where he opened a school of rhetoric.

  2. Many of Jesus' criticisms of the Pharisees, especially in the Gospel of Matthew, were directed against hypocrites. 'Ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.... Cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.... You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness." In the 13th century António de Lisboa (St. Antony of Padua) compared hypocrites to hyenas. "Note that a hypocrite concealing himself under a sheep's skin is like the hyena, of which many wonderful things are related. It is a small animal; it dwells in the country; it digs up graves by night, and devours the corpses. It is fond of going where it can hear the voices of men; it haunts the folds of shepherds, and by listening attentively, learns to imitate the human voice, so that it can call a man at night, and devour him. It also imitates human groanings; and alluring them by its false sighs, devours the dogs, who, when they are hunting it, if they come within its shadow, lose their voice, and cannot bark. There is an extraordinary variety and change of colour in the eyes of the hyaena. ... It has no gums, and only one tooth, and that small; which, to the end it may not grow blunt, is naturally closed, after the manner of a chest. Whatever animal the hyaena goes thrice round, cannot move itself. Of this the Lord speaks in the 12th chapter of Jeremiah, in another translation: Mine heritage is unto Me like the den of a hyena. Thus the hypocrite is a being who lives in a brutal fashion; little, on account of his deceit; rustic, through the deformity of his deeds; and digging into sepulchers in the night of dissimulation. For he creeps, as the Apostle saith, into houses, and by seducing words allures the innocent." In "The Hypocrite or the Modern Janus," Davenpol Selina presented the Roman god as emblematic of both deception and transition. Janus was a two-faced deity who had no Greek counterpart; he was the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, endings, and was concerned with traveling, trading, and shipping and had functions pertaining to birth and exchange. He presided over the beginning and ending of conflict, and hence war and peace; thhe doors of his temple were open in time of war and closed to mark the peace. He had a ubiquitous presence in religious ceremonies throughout the year and was ritually invoked at the beginning of each one regardless of the main deity honored on any particular occasion. He had no flamen or sacerdos (specialized priest) assigned to him, so the rex sacrorum (the king of the sacred rites) carried out his ceremonies on his behalf.

  3. Shui Shia -
    Yes, yes ...this is song about me!

  4. Thank you for sharing this information, Duane Vorhees. :)

  5. Nice one pallavi!! Well described the "hypocrites"... Waiting for more of your amazing works!

  6. All the best and keep shining Pallavi :)


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