(Yazar Onaylı Çeviren Öğrencisi: Yusuf Eradam)
SELECTED PASSAGES FROM “ON LIFE” (THAT) – DE Ki (İŞTE)To Borağan (*)
(This translation by his student Yusuf Eradam was approved in Ankara by Oruç Oruoba, the author, when he visited the translator at his home some 20 years before he passed away in İzmir in 2020.)
Your life, basically, will be the process of your trying to be.
and selfsufficient—at birth you were wholly
dependent; and at the end, at death, —if you can succeed— you
will be able to be wholly independent.
But, between the two (birth and death), your life will always be
a development: not a ‘progress’; a development, in this or that direction…
In the direction of being selfsufficient and independent, your
development will always be a road you walk on passing through the
relationships you fashion with other persons.
Your independence will pass through your dependencies.
Rendering your life independent is possible only in dependencies
—so that making your life free should be incessantly tying it
up somewhere, and then breaking it off.
Life cannot liberate itself without breaking away—
but it cannot break away without first tying itself up
Liberation in your life will always be being tied
Tying yourself up—and then breaking off your ties.
Your life will pass fighting against tendencies (including your own)
that will try to keep you below the level of life you need to reach.
—And therefore, you will not be able to reach the level you need to reach;
that is, in the end, those tendencies will be successful.
Maybe, this is what they want anyway:
that you should be kept below the level you need to reach while fighting against them…
But still, you will fight: the result will be the same anyway
—weren’t you to remain below the level you need to reach anyway?
—But, if you fight, you will at least reach wherever
you can fighting—and that will not be in vain.
Every step you will want to take in life
will have a price : you will be able to take that step
only when you are ready to pay that price—you will not be able
to pay the price in advance; if you are not ready to take the
step, you can’t pay the price: At the time of taking the step,
you will have become ripe enough to pay the price.
Your life is the place you will want to go—anyway,
since you live this life, you have wanted to go there,
and that you want it: life is the place you go—and the place
you want to go; and the place you will go anyway.
—You are there already anyway…
In life, you will frequently find yourself in situations you
don’t want to be in—but, when you look back to think about
the reasons that placed you in these situations, you will see
that you got in these situations because of your wanting to enter
situations—when you trace the chain of situations in your life,
what you will find will be nothing else but yourself.
In your life, you will always want to enter situations
which you will never want to get in–and, will enter them…
You will always try to live your life in advance
—but this is impossible: your life will become your life
only after it is lived—after you live it.
You cannot live your life without living it
—your life is your life only when you live it.
But you will not be able to help trying to live your life
in advance: the lessons you take out of the life you have
lived that far will take you to certain crossroads—
and there too, they will force you to take decisions
as to which way to continue’this way’ or ‘that’:
You must take those decisions.
But your life does not care about your decisions—
it brings you face to face with such situations that all those
supposedly deeply thought out decisions, directions, targets
fly away: simply because they have not been lived,
that’s just it.
So, your life is carried away by what’s lived
—your life, anyway, is that:
—Your life is what you have lived
— not what you have decided to live
or wanted to live…
You must live your life without expecting anything.
You know how much you expect;
you will still expect them (you cannot help it);
but you will live knowing
what your expectations mean,
and if what you expect somehow come true one day,
you will also know what they mean.
You must live knowing what you expect—
but without expecting: knowing that the one
you expect most, even if it comes true one day,
will never come in the sense you expected it to…
Your life will be an expectation—but you must live without expecting.
Your life will be the not coming true of what you expected—
and so it will be your expecting what you know will not come true.
In your life you will find two fundamental values:
love and friendship. Sometimes, one of the two
will seem to you to be more valuable than the other;
and sometimes the other—sometimes you will find
it difficult to decide which you need to consider more valuable
than the other; and sometimes, both of them will fall down to
equal valuelessness in your eyes.
But, you must not deny the fundamental values of life themselves
just because this love or that friendship happened to fall down:
with all the pain, you will preserve your respect for them—
and that will be your
third fundamental value.
In your life, you will be able to live such things too:—
1) Calling someone up because you cannot find anything to say to him/her…
2) Waiting for someone to say that you will not be able to see him/her anymore…
3) Forsaking someone because you cannot stand not seeing him/her…
Oh, you will live so much!…
In your life, the ones you will want to be closest to
will be the ones who feel most the need to be far from you.
In life, no one will share—will be able to share—
your passions: you will always live and, live them,
and forget them.
You will live only;
You will live alone…
Your life will be the process of losing certain things
—and also, later, the process to learn
that you haven’t in fact lost them…
What you have lived will not be lost—they will live.
If you have lived, really lived certain things,
you cannot lose them anymore—even if you want to:
even if you don’t want to; they will live…
You are what you have lived.—
Your life will be the process of losing what you have lived
and winning them back
—always the process of losing them,
and winning them back
again and again…
Each moment you live
lives every moment
Take your time living—you will sort of watch in awe
the shaping up of your life before you; and in the meantime,
you will feel, by means of some strange experience,
that you already knew in advance that your life
would be shaped in this direction.
Step by step, your life will be what it will be
with infallible steps—and you, in awe, while
watching its becoming, will know that this was to be so anyway…
You will know your life anyway.
About _the ones who are inclined to exclaim
that “Life, brother, is wonderful to live!” (*),
you must pay attention to this:—
It’s true indeed what they say: life is beautiful
—and it is the one and only beauty that is—; but,
it always becomes what it is amidst the ugly; and what makes it
beautiful, is its pain and sorrow,
as much as its joys and delights,
which are their counterparts.
Life without pain is delightless,
and life without sorrow is joyless.
Life is having joyful pains,
and living delightful sorrows.
Your life will be
pain and sorrow, but joy and delight.
Your life will be
sorrow and pain, because joy and delight.
(*) a line in a Nâzım Hikmet poem. The rest refers to a fundamental idea of Kant’s in The Critique of Pure Reason.
What you will be able to do in life, will already be what you
will be able to—but what you have been able to do might be
less than what you might have been able to do: you might have
missed—do not be afraid of this, do not avoid it; anyway, if
you could determine what you have been able to do independent of
what you might have been able to do, you would then be ‘Almighty’!
Never mind what you might have been able to do—do what you are able to!
The ‘ultimate’ sum of your life—that
you will never be able to know—
will exclude nothing:
All your achievements will find their places in this sum—
and also your failures, which, anyway,
will not have been a part of your life;
they will stay out: they will already
have stayed out.
Whatever you have in your life,will remain.
The purpose of life, which you haven’t been able to find in any
definite phase of your life, lies in it all the way.
You will continuously search for the purpose of life and will not
be able to find it; that will be what will show you the way
and that is precisely the purpose…
(Author-Approved translation by YUSUF ERADAM)
(*) This section from Say That (De Ki İşte) is dedicated to Borağan, the author’s son, who was eleven years old when the book was completed.