The Thursday Interview - Interrogation
Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God: I DO
OK - LET'S BEGIN.
No.1 Why are you, you?
I am me because if I were somebody else, then who could be me? I don’t think somebody else could be me. I think I had to be me because all the attributes that make me “me,” fit with me. There were some things I thought that were not me, but with time, I processed those things, and of course, with time, there are other things I have to process. With time, oneself has to find who one is and who one is not. I believe there are 3 points one must be aware in that search.
One, I think every human being has to be aware that he/she is unique, they have the genes of their parents, so it is natural to think they are their parents, but they are not; they have to be aware of the difference between oneself and the genes of their parents that act through us. It would hard to see this point if one does not know who their father is, who their mother is; that lack of reflection does not provide the awareness of oneself; hence, one who is at that situation may have more difficulty when finding who one truly is. Therefore, the influence of parents is crucial for oneself, and for society as well.
Two, one grows in a cultural atmosphere, for that very reason, we implement into ourselves customs of our culture, traditions, ways of being that relate to the atmosphere, friends, co-workers, attitudes, even music and language, etc. This point can go more deeply into religion, politics, nationalism, etc. It is important for one to understand that those ways of being is not who one is at the very core of oneself, it may be part of oneself yes, but not entirely who one is truly. Jung identified the archetype of the “Persona,” which is the mask that we use in front of the world, and people may be defined by this “persona” and keep themselves content, that is alright, but I think the core of who one is goes deeper than how we present ourselves, or how others see us.
Three, what we do as a profession or a role in society may also influence us to think who we are. The role of an engineer or a sales rep. may influence us in how we are, how we treat others, etcetera. People can become so attached to being in that role that they believe they are that: a poet, an artist, a prophet, a governor, a president, etcetera. Our role is part of who we are as a community; as the “modern system” which still beats today . . . but that is not who we are either. Again, let me repeat that, that is not who we really are. I am an author, an artist, a composer, but those are just labels that make up the title of what I like, what I do, what others see me like, but who I am goes even deeper; who you are goes even deeper. Those 3 points are marked very generally, but I think they can be used as reference points to understand who we are not, and from there, keep on the search on who we are.
To conclude, we can go into the themes of Fate and Free Will as we go into the essence of who we are. Let me touch the subject on simple terms so I don’t go playing around philosophy freely without boring the reader. I am Facundo. However, Facundo is my name; it is the label others use to recognize me, and also the label I use to recognize myself; Facundo Raganato. The fact of our names influences us too (perhaps that goes into point two) goes into psychology; our ego, our super ego, our id. I have the free will to identify who I am; I can be Facundo Raganato as my ego, my super ego or even my id. However, I was named Facundo Raganato when I was born, (as a far as I know) I didn’t choose the name I have now, yet I have the free will to live with it as I please, or even change it. My point does not go anywhere; I am just mentioning things one must ask oneself when in the search of oneself. I am me because I happened to be me. The reason of why I believe to be me is only my reason to believe, it does not require the approval of the other.
No.2 Where on the political spectrum are you & how did you get there?
I am a revolutionary not because I want to be one, nor because I want to destroy the system because I don’t like it, I am a revolutionary because it is crucial that we understand that we are in a period of time people are waking up to see what is important, and that is the development of the self, no, I don’t mean oneself nor myself either, I mean self as in: the other is very important in this development of the self. In the spiritual realm there is no line between you and me, but as we descend into the four elements we began to see the separations; mentally, (which involves religion, politics, philosophy, etc.) emotionally, (which involves our natural way of being with oneself, with others, with strangers, getting mad, offended, etc.) and physically (which involves skin color, ethnics, stereotypes, etc.) We live in a world where we see everything upside down because the system was built from upside down; the spiritual aspects, which is fundamentally what connects us, are the last thing we see and that is the main problem, because it is the only thing that unites us as human beings. For instance, a restaurant has the policy of throwing out the food of the day to the trash because if it is given to the homeless, the homeless can sue the restaurant for giving them “old” food. Hence, they avoid the “fear” of being sued by not giving food to the ones who are starving. The people who work in the restaurant have no choice but to follow the rules as they were written, otherwise jeopardizing their role. Go figure. Have you seen the movie ‘The box’? Let’s do a survey to 100 people: They are given the choice of pushing a button and kill a random person for the reward of one million dollars, or they can choose to not push the button and not receive any money. I am not going to say what percentage of people would or would not push the button, because I honestly do not know, but it is the questions that put us in perspective. In today’s world, it is likely for a person to choose one million dollars (physical) over the divine life of a human being (spiritual); furthermore, it is more likely for that person to make that choice when that person is guaranteed to have no exterior consequences whatsoever. If you were in the shoes of that person and had the choice to push the button to live your life with all the financial support you need to make yourself, your loved ones and perhaps other people happy, would you? . . . That is where you measure your principles. Based on today’s system, the reward of one million dollars can influence people to think: “Why, yes, people die every day, there would no drastic difference if one more dies, besides I am going to use that money to build foundations to help people and blah blah blah; one would die, but a lot more people would be happy If I make that choice.” From there, we get into what we value, who we are, the system itself, ethnics, morals, right and wrong, the greater good, etcetera, etcetera. Progress? . . . please. . . I choose white, the combination of all the colors.
No.3 In today’s world, why does your book matter?
Following the theme of the previous question, my book: The Author ~ or ~ The Characters’ Short Living Story has a lot of value now more than ever, because it provides questions to the Reader, it opens up the Reader’s mind to see through the reality, through the show we believe to be staging in; in All aspects: religion, politics, philosophy, literature, art. It is also a spiritual journey, it includes an alchemical process which relates to the Reader in different ways depending on what and how they see, and it provokes development to the Reader. My goal is not the fame and fortune normal authors wish to conquer, nor is it to reach a point where I am paid to write; as if words were a product, ugh. My goal is for the Reader to question, to think, to feel, to reflect, to develop the self; I provoke that, but in the end, it is the Reader’s choice to do that; that is why my book matters today.
No.4 What is the one fear that is always holding you back?
The fear of hurting the other. I am very respectful and I am accustomed to sacrifice my own happiness for the other.
No.5 Finish this sentence: My novel will be remembered in 50 years’ time because...
…because it is the inception of reflecting awareness to the Reader about the alchemical process of spiritual values in Literature.
No. 6 How did you feel when you realized you were going to die?
I actually took it really well. The idea that “nothing lasts forever” got to me at a very early age; I don’t remember exactly when though, but from there, it sparked notion of: “You better go live now then.”
No. 7 Rejection is everywhere in the writing world and yet you carry on. Please explain?
Of course, I think “rejection” in the writing world is mostly caused by the notion of “I can’t see a way to make money from it.” Sadly, many works of literature are taking for granted for that cause. I actually remember a publisher who said something along the lines of: “Facundo, the story is very interesting, but I don’t know how we can sell it.” It is very ironic, but the value of the written work is not reflected by the money it earns. People might think it does, but not in reality. People nowadays may say ‘oh how tragic, Van Gogh was a master painter, but he didn’t sell a single painting.’ Well, this is happening now too. Now, a writer can write beautiful words, but that is not enough for the world now, the writer has to create a marketing plan, go through the publisher, credibility, etc. In order for the media to say: “This writer writes beautiful words” there’s a whole world behind what people see, it’s disgusting; we better change. Thank God, I found a publisher who recognized the potential of my work, not because of the profit but because they saw that my work breaks through cultural boundaries, which is their motto. Harvard Square Editions publishes fiction that transcends national boundaries, works that are international, political, literary. They appreciate aesthetic value and I appreciate them for that. I carry on because I know the value of my work objectively; I think every writer should.
No.8 Would your book make a good movie? Why?
Hell yeah! I think “The Author ~or~ The Characters’ Short Living Story” would be a great movie because it is very visual. I get words from Readers who say that they feel as if they were there in the story when they were reading, and that is something movies tend to do for viewers. I think Readers would love to see this book be turned into a movie. I would too. The story has so many rich elements in terms of “movie” settings, quick action scenes and many surprises that reach to the Reader.
No.9 Name one thing you have done that you’re not proud of.
I have promised things that I couldn’t accomplish when the time came. I am not proud of that. I hate letting people down, but I hate more not being capable of helping them. I do not like the fact that I have to say “no,” but I learned that sometimes it is okay to say no. Being accustomed to say yes most of the time has pushed me to go beyond my expectations, try harder and it has proved to my dear loved ones that nothing is impossible.
No.10 Name 2 humans you love and why.
I had to take a few days to answer this question. I was thinking to include my two siblings, my older brother Nicolas, who is film director in Los Angeles, and my younger sister Sofia, who is acing through high school and college classes. However, they take the credit all the time, so I’ll choose my parents this time. My mom and my dad have been the support for me to be who I am today, they have given me more than I would expect to receive, and with that I am doing more than I can to make them proud.
OK, you are free to go.