Critical reading of BLAMING NO ONE by Pablo Neruda


Pablo Neruda

Don't blame anyone. Never complain about anyone, anything, because basically You did what you wanted in life. (1) Accept the difficulty of building yourself and the value of starting to correct yourself. (2) The triumph of the real man comes from the ashes of his mistakes. (3) Never complain about your loneliness or your fate, face it with valor and accept it. One way or another it is the result of your actions and the proof that You must always win. (4) Don't be embittered by your failure nor attribute it to others. (5) Accept now or you will continue to justify yourself as a child. (6) Remember that any time is a good time to start and that no one is so terrible to give in. (7) Do not forget that the cause of your present is your past. How the cause of your future will be your present. (8) Learn from the bold, from the strong by those who do not accept compromises, by those who will live in spite of everything, (9) think less about your problems and more to your work. (10) Your problems, without feeding them, will die. (11) Learn to be born from pain and to be bigger, that is the greatest of obstacles. (12) Look at yourself in the mirror and you will be free and strong (13) and you will cease to be a puppet of circumstances, because you yourself are your destiny. (14) Get up and see the sun in the mornings and breathe the light of dawn. You are the part of the strength of your life. Now wake up, fight, walk, make up your mind and you will triumph in life; (15) never think about destiny, (16) because destiny is the pretext of the failures.


Some time ago my daughter Natalia, like me a lover of reading, sent me this poem which I read very carefully, but honestly I was perplexed in reading it, finding it unthinkable that the great intellectual and poet Neruda could have written in a superficial way, in dealing with a such a complex topic as that which concerns destiny, referring to commonplaces and concepts which are, moreover, very dated, if one thinks that Niccolò Machiavelli in his Il principe already addressed the theme of destiny, affirming that everyone is the creator of his own. Poetry is beautiful, because the words are beautiful, but in terms of meaning, it is worth very little, it is even stale and pandering, full of clichés, often inaccurate, and as far as I am concerned, above all arrogant, because, at least according to my very modest opinion, one must always be wary of those who have the solution in their pocket for everything, especially on topics about which Humanity has been questioning itself for millennia, without giving itself any answers. Presumption and arrogance are unbecoming and, above all, annoying! Conceptually similar poetry, but more just, truer, deeper, more beautiful, I find both If (Se) by Kipling. Below, with absolutely exegetical intent, I will try to explain my words set out above, responding to the salient points marked with a numerical reference.

1) First of all, that is, to begin with. Who said that we all have the opportunity to do what we want in life ?! There are very few people who succeed in this aim, and this assertion, however indisputable, already represents a significant decisive element in the ethical-moral concertation of poetry.

2) True! But also logical, because anyone who wants to build something must accept the difficulties that the realization of the project presents, so I don't see where the lighting is. Where is the originality of the thought? It is obvious!

3) That's not true! Triumph always comes from a grandiose vision that can be transformed into reality, while nothing can be born from the ashes because the ashes are inert. From it can arise the awareness of the error and from this a prodromal experience of positive behaviors. Learning from one's mistakes I do not see what connection it has with triumph which is a high-sounding word, full of courtly and poetic meanings, more related to mythical deeds than to everyday life. Even poetically, the expression to be reborn from the ashes is trite and obsolete, because it refers to the Egyptian mythology of the phoenix, the firebird that rose from its ashes after death.

4) If you are sad and you complain about this it means that you are not happy with your own fate, which is undoubtedly the result of our actions, but being sad and lamentable, for the sole fact of noting your own inadequacy, it is certainly not proof that one is a winner and that one must always win, on the contrary, it is tangible proof that one cannot always emerge victorious from the battles of life.

5) It is right not to attribute the causes of our failures to others, but up to a certain point, because too often life attacks us with unprecedented violence, too great for our strength and then failure is not, at least totally, attributable to ourselves.

6) Bad advice! Accepting ourselves in defeat is the worst way of being a failure and leads to self-esteem.

7) Of course!

8) Orwell wrote 1984 on this concept. An immense book.

9) Learning from the strong is fine, but not for the daring, because the daring is a player, a bettor and you cannot gamble your life on a roulette table. And in any case Virgil already wrote in the Aeneid: Audentes fortuna iuvat (fortune favors the bold). As for those who do not accept compromises, it is this naive and inattentive man, since nothing exists that is all white or all black.

10) If in the morning when we get up to go to work, we think too much about our problems, we would probably no longer go to work or at least work badly, because too much thinking would de-focus us from work.

11) Again nothing new! Feeding problems means perpetuating them over time, but we know that Tempus omnia medetur (time heals everything). Latin phrase coined over two thousand years ago. 12) Pain is not the greatest obstacle, pain is only an effect, not a cause. Fear is the real obstacle. The fear of suffering, of loving, of hurting, of failing, of not being understood, of not having faith in ourselves and so on. And all these fears, combined together, create an impassable wall beyond which we dare not lead, a wall that makes us feel inadequate, powerless. Hence the real pain (Schopenhauer). 13) But you think! If only it were enough to look in the mirror to feel invigorated. 14) Still with 'this destiny! People talk about destiny as if it were a car or a salad. Destiny is the result of a jumble of elements and concomitances that intertwine in a labyrinth of streets and alleys from which it is impossible to escape, because the events that condition our existence too often occur without warning and without our complicity, so, how else can we define ourselves, if not puppets pulled by invisible strings? Neruda says: "Learn from the bold". By association of ideas we arrive at the aforementioned Virgilian phrase that luck favors the bold. According to the Romans, Fortuna was the blindfolded Goddess who blindly dispensed favors by dropping them from a cornucopia and was considered responsible for the fate of men. So, I wonder if Neruda, a cultured and enlightened man, speaks of luck, albeit transversely, how can the destiny of each of us be entirely written in our own hand? Isn't it legitimate to think of external interference to our behavior and our will? Can't time or the succession of events make changes to our work? An action performed a thousandth of a second before or after can radically change the course of a life (Sliding doors by Alan Turing - Edward Lorenz's Theory of Chaos).

15) Here it even makes me think of another man, certainly more intellectually profound than Neruda, when one morning in front of a tomb he said: "Get up and walk". 16) Once again Neruda speaks of destiny as the proponent of our failures. Rivers of words have been written on this subject which has many interpretations, not least the religious one, when one thinks of free will as opposed to predestination. Problem that Neruda never posed as a Marxist-Leninist, an atheist. Atheism is a very particular and reductive observatory on the world, because it starts from dogmatic assumptions, neither more nor less than what happens for believers. Atheism is the strongest of faiths. And then ... is it not foolishness to counter one dogma with another dogma? Atheism is a prevaricating and above all arrogant intellectual position, since it is unthinkable that tout court something can be denied without having elements of refutation, let alone using reasoning.

The same Voltaire who, as a good enlightener, based all his philosophical speculation on reason, regarding the existence of God, was a ferocious critic of Christian dogmas and assertions tending to validate the existence of a transcendental Entity, but did not deny it. the possible presence, and this because he could not reason on a subject around which there were no certainties (as there are still today) that justify a Cartesian deductivity. Voltaire was, if we want to give a definition to his belief in God, perhaps an agnostic, but not an atheist, and this position certainly seems to me more fitting to the circumstance. You can be an atheist, why not, but with a light spirit, exactly as you can be a believer, just believing, without many intellectual onanisms, and above all, without ever thinking that you are right, without prevarication against those who think differently so no one will ever know who is right.

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