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Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • lav eh eemastdoun martoun karehruh grhhel, kan teh ahnmeedeen keeneen khuhmehl

    The company we keep often determines the qualities or values we practice in life. Therefore, it is better to bear some discomfort or sacrifice to associate with wise men than to enjoy with fools.

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  • mah eematzyahl unmahoutioun eh

    This saying is full of deep meaning. Whoever is born is sure to die. There is no escaping death. Death appears to be the only certitude in life after birth. What is exactly death?

    If we witness a person’s death we can compare the person’s symptoms just before death and right after death. Before death, if I poke a pin into the dying person’s finger, he will react with pain and displeasure. Others witnessing my act will also be disturbed that I purposely try to inflict pain on the dying man. After death, if I poke the dead man’s finger, no one will object. The difference is that something in the body disappeared when the person died. That something can be referred to as the consciousness.

    When the person was alive I loved them by serving his or her body. When they die the body of the beloved is still present but something is missing. Invariably, I decide to bury the body or dispose of it somehow. Therefore, it becomes clear at death that what I loved was not really the body but the living principle or the consciousness of the person that animated the body with life. When the consciousness is absent from the body, I lose interest in the body. I can understand that the consciousness is not really something material because the body is chemically the same five minutes before and five minutes after death. If life and consciousness were merely a combination of chemicals, enzymes, minerals, etc, then I would be capable of supplying the missing or depleted items to maintain life. For example, scientists know exactly all the chemicals and their proportions in an egg. Yet, it is impossible for them to produce an egg starting in a laboratory with the raw chemicals and other ingredients. This is because life is more than the mere chemicals. By carefully thinking about death and understanding the above facts I can adjust my thinking about the purpose of life. I notice that throughout my life I tried in every way to p[reserve my life as long as possible. This natural instinct of self preservation is a hint that the consciousness is more important than the bag of chemicals called the body. Why should I care if a bag of chemicals disappears. Chemicals are not concerned about self preservation because they will exist in either case whether part of a live body or a dead body. The concern for self preservation is by the conscious person who is dwelling in the temporary body.

    If I own a car and decide that I don’t care about the car, I may drive the car but not service it by changing the oil or tuning it up, etc. It will quickly deteriorate and stop functioning. In other words, the car itself is not concerned about its own self preservation because it is merely a collection of material elements and chemicals. It is the person driving the car that is either concerned for the preservation (or not) of the car. The car is merely a vehicle of transport for the person. The body is also a vehicle or a material conveyance. If the person driving it decides not to care for it, it also will break down and become idle. The body itself is not concerned with self preservation. It is the conscious person that drives the body that is concerned.

    Another interesting fact is that during the life of a conscious person, the body continually changes. The person witnesses the change of the body from youth to maturity to old age and finally death. When I am fifty years old I can safely conclude that the body I had when I was five years old is dead and gone although I am still existing in a different body in size, shape, and different bones, etc. This indicates that I have used different bodies during my own lifetime. Those bodies have come and gone but I have remained. Therefore, I as a conscious being am different than the bodies that I have used as a vehicle to satisfy my desires. When I approach death, I will similarly change my body like I have done during my lifetime. The body dies but I continue to exist in another body. The skeptic will object that the reasoning has been acceptable up to this point but the assumption that one will continue to exist after death in another body cannot be proved and therefore cannot be validated.

    The basic principle is demonstrated. During one’s lifetime, one exists in different bodies from childhood to youth to old age. One begins as an emulsion in the womb of the mother. It develops into a fetus. It is pushed out as an infant. The infant grows into a child’s body. The child becomes an adolescent. The adolescent becomes a mature person. Then there is middle age and old age. At every step the body is different but the person remains the same.

    We can assume that death is merely another change of body when the present body becomes inoperable and old and is discarded for a new body. The principle is demonstrated that in spite of changing bodies during one’s lifetime, the person remains the same and witnesses the change of bodies. Similarly, one witnesses the change of body at death. The consciousness is not altered by such a change as it was not altered by the various change of body during one’s lifetime.

    If we understand death as merely a change of body in the same way as during our lifetime we change so many bodies, then we begin to understand the immortal nature of the consciousness as a unique and distinct being that is not dependent on a temporary material body. The consciousness may transit from one body to another but it remains distinct from the material elements. Just as a driver may drive many different cars but always remains distinct from the vehicles.

    By understanding death, one attains immortality as the Armenian saying states. Actually one does not attain immortality immediately but one begins to understand the immortal nature of the consciousness or the soul. What remains is to engage in the immortal activity or service and love for the eternal God.

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  • ahhuh (vahkhuh) goukah, mahhuh guh mortzuneh
    Another way to say this is: mortal fear makes one forget death.

    During the 1895 Turkish massacres of Armenians in Malatia, a large number of Armenians took refuge in the Holy Trinity Orthodox church. Near the church was a newly built school building that could possibly pose a great danger if the Turks captured it. They could easily damage and harm the church and its large number of refugees. Two Turks secretly entered the school. There was a local man named Ohmayentz Crazy Boghos (khent Boghos) who saw them.

    Crazy Boghos would walk the streets of Malatia and never spoke to anyone. He never spoke a word. But at that crucial moment, he miraculously shouted to the Armenians and alerted them that some Turks were in the school building. He saved the Armenians from untold danger. This is an example of how mortal fear can make one forget the dangers of imminent death and in the case of Crazy Boghos do something that he never did before that benefited many people.

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  • aghek martuh khosgee vrah goukah

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  • achck cheh, bahdee dzag eh

    This is a curse or very derogatory statement. It indicates that someone has an evil eye.

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  • achckeen dessadzuh deerocheen kherruh chuhnehr

    This saying implies that one may caste an evil eye on another. In normal spoken Armenian one would say, “chahr achck ounee - he has an evil eye.” It is said when referring to a person who may caste an evil eye. Kherr is a Turkish word that means good or beneficial. There are many phrases and sayings using the word kheer: kherr chounee - he has no good (in him), kheer uhlee - let there be good, kheeruh ahneedzehm, I curse his goodness which means may he experience misfortune.

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  • achck hayeetz muhnal

    The meaning of this saying is: one’s eyes remain wide open because they are seeing with desire or yearning (and maybe lust).

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  • achckeen louissuh, seerdin verchuhn eh

    Another way to translate this saying is: The light of your heart or the person you love the most, is the goal of your heart’s desire.

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  • ahckuh louisseen vaduh chouzehr

    Without sunlight and electricity, nothing would be visible in this world. Our ability to see depends entirely on light. We cannot see in the darkness. This proverb states the obvious. Eyes would never curse the light because they depend on the light to see. In the same sense, one should never bite the hand that feeds you.

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