Friday, December 14, 2007

Trust me

Prophecy,

Stay put. Hold on.

I'll take you there.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Girl Who Was The Mother of The Woman

This is a part of a story titled "The Dream, the Angels, the Rain". It's somewhat fussy and academic in style. But then, Prophecy, the writer was not even 15 years of age. The writer, you may guess, was I. Correction. The writer Am I.

QUOTE
"There is something I can't help thinking about the rain: 'I love it!' I praise God in the words of Gerard Manley Hopkins:
'Glory be to God for dappled things-...
He fathers forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise Him.'
But as e.e. cummings put:
'how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any - lifted from the no
of all nothing - human merely being doubt
unimaginable You.'

My heart is dancing a ballet[...]. I do not comprehend why rain is a symbol of [sadness] and grief to people. May be because weathers are inside human beings themselves.

I've become a part of the scene and I do not feel like going away. I wish the clock to stop and the rain to continue; I wish everything to be the same until hell freezes over. But impossible as it is, the only thing I can do is to make every moment count. I know that it is actually my existence in and the complete enjoyment of the eternal NOW which is the principal reason of my sheer joy. There are moments when you are free from every thought of the past and the future and you dwell fully and consciously in the present. As the quotation goes, "Full consciousness brings joy."

To feel the innate joy which is the open secret of the creations of Mother Nature, we have to keep our senses fully aware of what is happening NOW, and not THEN. It makes you feel as though you are in a spell which has no Dimension, no Time, no Space. As e. e. cummings would say:

(now the ears of my ears are awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Thus the joy of nature comes to you and reminds you that are part of Nature."

______

UNQUOTE

I found this story in my old papers yesterday. I remembered that it was once written, but I didn't know that it spoke so well of the power of NOW - which happens to be the subject I am so earnestly studying today as though I never heard of it. Why fool myself into acting that I don't know? That I truly don't know.... but I still lie. Sigh!

Do you now realize, Prophecy, why the Sufi Master was displeased at my feigned naivete?

One must accept the gifts one has, Prophecy. Or it will come back. My gift, Prophecy, has come back. I do not know where I shall go from here - but ever since this little discovery, I know that I have to let flow a river the source of which has always been within me.... never dried, always in the NOW, waiting it's time to gush forth.




--
I end here. And I begin.

The River and The Source


I read a story recently. Someone decided to trace the source of a river (Nile? Indus?)... and walked up and up... until they ended up standing in a tiny shallow puddle bubbling forth.

The difference between a river and its source is the difference between all knowledge and its origin within.

All my sarcasm aside - I have a strong suspicion that the "knowledge within" concept is not really welcome in the meta-academic world. Why? Because it signifies a source within, from which knowledge comes. That very source, yes Prophecy!, from where I had drawn knowledge as a child - feeling creative and informed without effort. That source is a dangerous idea for most, Prophecy.

First, this means that responsibility of drawing upon that source is within us. Second, it means we don't have to rely upon others... not need to find that chocolate cake in some bakery in an Ivy Tower which we might or might not access in our life time. Third, it is such a simple idea - it seems to run contrary to our notions of "life is difficult, unpleasant, undesirable." I apologize to those healthy-minded person who have no idea what I am talking about - stay where you are; I am speaking of & to the nether world. Not many people are - surprisingly - happy with the idea that they have more power than they lead themselves to believe.

Finally, it means that we exist as entities dependent upon a Whole larger than the sum of its parts - that is not a happy thought for many people - but I'll not name names.

And as Jung would comment, I have been speaking of my own darkness, Prophecy. You see, I made these very assumptions that I now decry - and it's a shame because I knew. I knew and I was able to draw upon my source, before institutional education made me disbelieve in myself.

But everything happens for a reason.

And as a child, I wondered why people couldn't see the good in their illnesses and their accidents and their pains that I could see? The one word answer is: MINDSET. A Mind which is Set - not to be changed, updated, modified, or be taught new tricks.

Grow up and conditioned as I am now, Prophecy, I swear it's hard to tell when and how one fixed a mind set along the way! I am going to discard it.

The pain that I feel by realizing what I was and what I am is necessary. Not to be written away, fooled or shooed off.

It's not loss, remember! Just remember right when you need it, Prophecy, for I am going to tell you your story - remember that nothing is a loss in totality. Nothing takes anything away from us until we give. The game is to be constantly aware. The game is to constantly alter one's game!

I will, then, now, share with you words you yourself wrote 13 years ago.


This is a serial journal entry from A Quest for Beauty; a Lust for Life!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Knowledge vs. Contemporary (Institutional) Education

After meeting the Sufi saint, and on provocations of thoughtful friends, I reflected.

Knowledge, I have learned, is not a chocolate cake you eat. Knowledge is not out there to be taken in - stuffing oneself so badly that eyes begin watering. That is a fairly recent position on education in the history of humankind.

True education is about bringing out what's within. It used to be the theory of education until, I have a private feeling, the notion ran afoul of intellectualisation. Intellectualisation isn't even word - and that's why the whole thing is so... stupid I'll dare say. The Intellectualising mindset is set to find the Big Intellectual Truth in the hope that it would complicate life even further.

Today, education is about stuffing information in, making fair connections within that information so as to create an intricate semantic web, and throw that net on any unsuspecting fool who hasn't read all the tomes and articles that the Intellectual has.

"Within" is now a storehouse of data, interconnected with fearful sounding bridges of technicalities that usually go by the name of "something-ism".* Basically, contemporary education is based on the premise that the more one reads (and memorizes and regurgitates-on-demand) the more... intellectual they are.

Education has become systematic, cut into shapes and patterns, institutionalized. On a side note, Prophecy, I give you a personal advice to retain your sanity:
RUN AS FAR AS YOU MAY IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION WHEN YOU HEAR THE WORD INSTITUTION.

That word means exactly what it says: Institution - the regimentation of the Mind into small cubic squares, filled with other people's dogmatic notions - to be transmitted without thought or accommodation of change in time, space, situations.

Then don't wonder, Prophecy, why I consider the most colorless period of my life the time I spent in the Institution of Business Administration. If only I were as adept at understanding the meanings of words back then! By their own admission, they "brought all students to an equal level".... by keeping the thinking ones lying flat on the ground waiting for the unwilling to step up and over.

Ah. Well. I am still bitter, eh? Have to take that out of my mental system.

I will.

* [Tip: A good time to do eye exercise is to roll the eyes when an "-ism" is suggested as the end-all and be-all for humanity and the Universe. Quick & dirty truth: all "-isms" eventually die. Most already have. The person who's pushing an arcane ISM down your throat just finished reading a book on it and just has to bring that up in conversation and writing. Stay put, and the -ismism will come to pass.]

The Answer of the Sufi Master

I am going to tell you a recent story. The purpose is to tell you, Prophecy, of what happened to me during the event in the story - what I discovered about myself.
:::

Sufi Master Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri came on a visit to Pakistan this November (2007). I was introduced to him quite out of the blue through his lecture on Metaphysics and Mental Health at Aga Khan University Hospital, thanks to Neoka.

Then a talk by the teacher/author was arranged at The Second Floor.

The subject: Realities and the Truth.

Reality changes. Today I like one thing, another day I dislike it. Today I am 17, years I am 27.

What is transient is reality of the world. What is still fixed is the Truth - the One Source that defines consistency in everything. The reason why things and times change outwardly, but essentially remain the same. It does imply hypocrisy, but yes, in part, a falseness, a transitory nature of being.

The Shaykh said that peace is to be found in aligning with and understanding the Truth. Yet one is to stay in the world of reality and not be cut off from it.

+++

The Sufi Method
Know that Sufi Masters are people of the Tradition: Gnostics. They do not deal with superficiality; they deal with the truth of a situation and a person. If you talk to them in jest or lie or make untruthful comments, they will not play along... but will address the truth. They're a bit like a straightforward doctor.

+++

The Question That Wasn't
I asked a question at the end of the talk: "How can we achieve a new thinking about our way?"

This was apparently in response to the comment that the Shaykh made about the world being in turmoil, and rigid systems breaking down everywhere. He thought it was good!

The Shaykh did not like my question. First, I will tell you his reply: "I am sorry - did I say new thinking? I did not - I meant a fresh way of thinking. There really is no 'new thinking' - that's the whole point of the talk: the Truth is always there, it's neither new nor old."

But the truth of the situation was, dear Prophecy, that the Shaykh knew exactly what I was asking: which was an elaboration of his words earlier. But he caught me on a technicality because of my flawed intent.

Intent
You see, Prophecy, I knew in an instant that he knew that I knew the answer to my question already. I know more about Truth and fresh thinking and the duality of 'consistent and altering states' than I let know in that - as the Tradition would call it - "beginner's question."

Therefore, as far as I was concerned, it was not a genuine question at all! Truly, I had asked it "for the benefit of the audience" - which somehow the Shaykh did not approve of.

Earlier, he had told me personally: "You have no choice but to teach."

~~~
Reflecting that day since, I have realized how badly have I cut down the size of my own knowledge by pretending I don't have it.

"Talking Like a Tree"



...Before I tell you your story, Prophecy, know that I talk, as I like to put it, "like a tree." Now I tempted to choose a more tangled metaphor, but the instinctive words are the truest... and I mean, a tree.

That is, I make branched conversations. You will need to go back to the trunk, and then to the root again and again in search of coherence.

Bear with this.

Oh - and I just thought of what I wanted to think of - a better metaphor: Talking Like a Map.

17 Years of Memoirs

Last night, I pulled out some papers - some very, very old papers that I never had the courage to throw away - or look into again. I've lived in this house for 17 years. Now it's got refurbished long, long years. And it is time to start the life afresh, to take the what-they-call-it-clutter out.

And this means that time has come for me to make some significant changes - but first, I must face come significant truths.

I saw my true essence in the papers - the creativity, the perceptiveness, the philosophy, the relentless hard work, the influenced madness, the random thoughts connecting them all.... I also found traces of fears and unhappiness - crossed over with an irrational exuberance.

I knew, from a pile of papers that I am still unhappy to touch, that it belonged to the most colorless time of my life, when I had suppressed creativity and thought in the name of systemic education.

It's the pile that I have almost wholly thrown into junk - though there was still a feeling that I could somehow hold onto it, reclaim from it the four years of my life that went into it in the futile hope that things would get better.

What a laugh! How can something that makes our hearts ache so bad ever be better? We know in our hearts when even pain would be better - but not this darkness that falls upon a heart - extinguishing its most powerful quality: FAITH. The will to live, based on the primal belief that tomorrow would indeed be better than today.

Never, Prophecy, never! Never sell your soul to the Devil!

I saw what happened to my life, what course it took. I could see how my decisions influenced the outcomes of my life. And I could see what influenced my decisions.

Well, I better stop speaking in riddles, Prophecy. Time has come that I tell you your story.

My Responsibility

Ultimately, Prophecy, a person's responsibility lies with themselves. That's why our design is such that each of us has their own mind, their stomach, their heart, their limbs.... and that is the accepted norm.

You, Prophecy, are my responsibility in this life. I know that none can give you hope nor take it, nor can create your path nor obstruct it, and none can see your dreams nor destroy them - but only if I work with the Universe to make things happen or to let them go.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

That's Not MY Problem!

Dear Prophecy!

I have learned an amazing new philosophy! Practicing it this last one month has led to significant transformation in my life. Here it is:
"That's your problem, not mine!"

Well it's actually a paraphrasing of a line I read in the book, Intent. The book has a story about Sufi master Shaykh Fadhlalla Heari - who was on a pilgrimage to Makkah. He decided to buy some eatable from a roadside peddler. But he didn't have money in change, so he gave the seller a big fat currency note. The woman got upset, though. She threw the money back in the Shaykh's hand, and imparted to him a wisdom that he transmitted to others by telling his story. She yelled: "Don't make your problem, my problem!"


I've thought and thought Prophecy, and now I've started liberally repeating this like a mantra in my head - and at other times, politely communicating to others through my words and actions that their problems are not mine, and conversely, my problems are not theirs.

Don't think it's cruel, Prophecy! The idea here is that it's never fair for one person to give their problems to another - which just expands the scope of the problem. What the person with problem must do is to either seek a solution with themselves - which would often solve the problem immediately - or to take responsibility (e.g. I don't have small change, so I better not try to buy food on a whimsy) - or to seek the solution from another.

I can tell you how making others' self-created problems, my problems disturbed my life badly in the past few years. If only I could tell them! Anyhow, that's not a problem any longer! SO my Past Self shouldn't bring its problem forward to my Present Self - no way, Jose!

Mostly, though, the transmitting of problems has become an art - blah blah blah it goes.

Well, anyhow, that's not my problem. I've found my solution.

Cosmologies Within

My understanding of the Human/Multiverse micro/macrocosmic relationship is continuing to expand - no pun intended. From what I know, not only literary and folklore metaphors can be drawn upon the relationship of the two - but eerily, the humans have a cosmic print inside us.

Metaphysical/ spiritual studies suggest that the Universe is within us. This, however, could be one of those cryptic methods of ancient speaking that have for eons fooled simple minds which took the words literally.

Nevertheless I'll be bold enough to say that the Human Self somehow projects onto the Cosmic Existence. Patterns of humanity can be found elsewhere in the Uni/Multiverse. The human specie is the only ecology that independently has the characteristics of whatever else we discover in Existence - from the composition of our bodies (in surprisingly exact proportions to the composition of Earth) to the composition of our psyche - which is why we have people as bold as the Lion, as valiant as the Horse, and as scared as a Mouse.

How does this model work? I have now a clearer idea. Suffice it to say that we can understand it in everyday terms: All perception depends on senses - which could allow us to say things such as, I am the Crow. In short, if my relevant senses and brain cells don't work, I will not know what a crow is. So I contribute to the being of a crow as far as I am concerned.

[I am sure that ancient cultures must have already dealt with this subject in thorough detail... yet I will wait to be humbled by the discovery of relevant knowledge. Not now!]

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Feeling Near Death: Being the Black Hole

And so, having had all those experiences, and knowing what I knew of how people who knew of their coming death behaved, I worked out the truth about my coming death - with a little help from my friends.

There is no truth, except the truth of the situation - and while I presume to know nothing, this much is certain, I am nearing death.

When we near death, and we find out that we are dying - we feel no happiness. Nor even sadness. That at least is my case - and I think for many others. Those who act otherwise put their names in books for not behaving properly in the face of what is to come, sure as... death.

I wrote to my Teacher. I said I have understood my condition finally. I have understood the inescapable nature of my situation. My pain is not going to end - I am. Neither is my joy going to grow - I am.


I am. And I will not be as I am.

Dying is very essential concept if one is to go with the flow of the Universe, Prophecy.

Have you heard of the black holes? Yes I am speaking of the celestial pinheads. Most of the times, we describe the characteristics of black holes. We don't know nor tell what black holes are. Stephen Hawking made a significant attempt in A Brief History of Time. Of all that I remember of his work, I remember the dimensions folding around a black hole.

And that's all the knowledge I need - even if Hawking's theory has been disregarded.

Here is what I think:

A Black Hole is a cosmic metaphysical metaphor of a human who has annihilated in the Essence of Being - and in doing so, has concentrated in their being the force of the Universe - which explains the inexplicably huge force of the black hole.
It is the point of infinity, the point where our personality annihilates.

It is death, and still being alive in a way that Dimensions of Space and Time become meaningless - they are beyond the event horizon.

Nothing is truly known of the black holes except they exist - and they are known by the influence they create on their surroundings. Theories suggest that black holes are formed by stars collapsing within. I do not know where the research on the physical phenomenon will settle - and there is much I have forgotten of what I knew of the science of black holes except the general details... yet I see them clearly as a metaphor of an annihilated Self, that sustains itself with the Universe.

--
[Lengthy side thought has been deleted and put in a separate post. It's for that part of my mind which is shocked that I make such an apparently mental statement as above.]

--
My friend Peter did the favor of putting the truth about my death in words for me. He wrote to me, after the recent event of yet another armed invasion of my family's peace and privacy, that I should consider the possibility that I am dying.

I know since early this year, when I lost much of my years' worth of work and know-how in freak accidents, that I am going to die. One has to see and respect the signs. The death of everything around you - and the death, Prophecy, of feeling and finding meaning in the Mundane, is the clear sign of approaching death.

Given the nature of time - the quanta-ified nature of time - we can make a decision at every second, every quanta-i-fication of time. So one can't say for sure if they are going to die completely - but it's a choice to be made and I will, given the signs, choose the option to die completely.

--
Note: I started writing this note on, well, October 4th 2007. Today is actually Dec 08, '07. I don't remember much of what I was going to say - in fact, I may just be feeling shy of what I was then so sure to say.

This blog post is so disconnected. When I started writing, Prophecy, I was in the exact state which I was describing in the post. I am no longer in that mindset - so I don't know what I was going to say. There are two thoughts: One, that I had neared death when I wrote this post and its predecessor. One.point.two, that death is a metaphor for stopping being as one is - which, then, is followed by being someone else - a fresher Self. (Not a new Self - I'll tell you why on this journal.) Two, that when one is in the state of annihilation, they are like a black hole, or being absorbed into one.


A black hole, according to some explanations, is a space between two Universe spaces. I remember reading as a child - I'll remorsefully add that I had an extraordinary knowledge of time/ space/ gravity as a child-teen - that it was believed that stepping into a black hole would lead to another Universe on the other side. That's because the black hole has a tremendous mass within, which makes one wonder if it's falling in somewhere? Anyhow that's my recollection of readings from a younger age.

To come back to the point - the black hole is the annihilation of matter in Universe. The annihilation of a human in Being's Essence is much he same. These are metaphors for each other, depending on which school of thought one sees it from: the only-literary, or the spiritual.

Feeling Near Death: Memoirs of Moments Before a Death

Edit: I have renamed the blog post.
Feeling Near Death: Memoirs of Moments Before a Timely Death

How would I presume to know what's Time? And what's Timely? I haven't absorbed fully all I have learned.

I've known through stories that people display a strange behavior when they learn they are nearing death: in short, to these prescient people, nothing means anymore, except the meaningful do.

And now it has happened to me.

Since 2004, I have thought - OK, maybe, this one more step to go. Yet another step, but one more. Then it will be over. The pain will be over. And I can be free. Then I can enjoy the everyday. Then I can, actually to begin with, participate in it.

Meanwhile, I have gone through so many experiences and stages.

The experience of non-priority - when all things seem to be on an equal plane, and it's impossible to prioritize one over the other.
The experience of nearness, when everything and everyone is dear to your heart.
The experience of aloofness, when you wake up one day, and suddenly feel you are not connected.
The experience of unanimatedness, when you feel that all people you are seeing are unreal, and you are on the outside.
The experience of animatedness, to such a degree of subtlety, that you can move your fingers, and feel the winds stir with it.
The experience of silence, when you hear the hollow in your heart.
The experience of noise, when you feel whispers in every movement of the wind, in every corner you turn to.

Experiences. After experiences. And experiences.

My solace was that at least, I now feel. Anger, retribution, like, love, dislike, hate, forgiveness, empathy, lust, piety, self-pity, self-revulsion, self-acceptance - I feel. I felt them all, and went though it all. In the expectation that one day, I will be normal again.

Why did I expect that? I don't know why, except that that is what everyone seemed to be aspiring to in general. And so I thought I should give up my dreams and imaginations, and be normal.

And if you heard a sneer there, Prophecy, it's because there is. Yes, Prophecy, when I say "dream," I mean it in that grand way. I mean it when I said I will give up dreaming - I meant clearly to be understood that I value this whole dream thing.

And then what happened, Prophecy, would you want to know?

I stopped dreaming for real. I gave up, Prophecy, I gave up.

Once again.

All this struggle that I have made, in a way all my life - and ever since the tragedies that have come my way since 2000 - tragedies that turned horrible since the fateful days and nights of 2003/4... the terrors of those days and nights when I couldn't understand how will I keep my head up and straight the next day... or whether I would be alive at all... I did think I would die Prophecy, or at least there was nothing to live for.

But Propehcy, meanwhile, something happened.

Meanwhile, Prophecy, over the edge of pain, I discovered Life.

I've heard of some extreme experiences things, but I didn't know one could have them emotionally-mentally. I thought one had to dive from the sky for that kind of thing.

So in the struggle to stay alive, to find what good could there be in the hearts of people, to challenge myself to determine if I am or could be loved, I found.

I found hearts with love and giving. It's almost like discovering an invisible specie. But it's a state of mind, Prophecy, and once you have it... or wait, rather, it's a condition of heart which changes in turn the state of mind... and once you have it, you see.

You see them all around you. The quiet types. The answering "I am here" types. The talking with eyes types. The listening in silence types. The keeping an eye about types. The caring for animals and plants types. The working without complaint and with joy with their heads down type. The non self-aggrandizing types. The silently fulfilling types. The appreciators of small things types.

The types of people who are capable of giving and receiving love. You see them, Prophecy. You see them.

I saw them, and in that condition of heart, and state of mind - I found myself utterly capable of selfless love, and not ashamed to receive love. I decided to turn this power towards the elements, Prophecy, and that's when I learned how words can bring rains, and how when you run your fingers through the currents of air, you make wind stir. I knew I was the Butterfly who could flap her wings and stir the elements.

And this much I felt, Prophecy, and more, moments before I learned I was going to die.


Image: N. Wayne Taylor, The Mandala Series - after a near death experience

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Absolute Justice: After thoughts

1. When One comes across the Other - each must remember that if the world is just, then One to Other is Other, and Other to Other is One.

I.e. I am "me" to me, but "you" to someone else. Both have a right to choose a strategy and to assume that their way is better.

Then, of course, is absolute truth - i.e. which way is really better? Given that One and the Other are both smaller than the larger truth, each can see it. The one more familiar with the truth is tasked with the responsibility of enlightening their self, and then the other. Having reached the point of decision, the one who knows the truth also has the responsibility to protect the truth.

In that entire process lies the area of Mercy.

2. Absolute Justice would destroy the world. Which is why, our legal systems are always bound by the doctrine of the necessity of continuation of existence. There is no absolute, neutral, odorless, colorless, and tasteless justice out there - as some try to seek it. It does not exist in human design. Seeking it is self-destructive.

+++

You will be lost if you haven't read:

Absolute Justice... and a Little Mercy - 3: Justice Destroys

Absolute Justice... and a Little Mercy - 3: Justice Destroys

And at that day, waiting for my colleague, I saw in my mind's eye how the next worlds are being created on the simple principle of Love & Mercy.

We are going from one moment to another on the basis of trust, hope, faith, love, giving, and forgiving others. We would stop driving to our offices - I realized - if the human mind did not understand the principle of having hope - in reaching the office at all. We would stop running the business of life as the store would not let customers touch merchandise - because buyers hadn't paid! Isn't it unjust, I thought, that people buy first, pay later? And there are at least seconds between these part of the transaction?

Why would farmers plant seeds? Why would parents raise children? Why would we employ workforce? Why would we give our hands in marriage? Why do teachers teach? Why do people start journeys? Why would we start a conversation?

Why would we start all transactions essentially by giving or offering ourselves or our possessions - and standing the chance of being cheated or taken away from? Why, when such consequences do happen - we forgive and move on?

That day, I understood the very meaning of the metaphysical phrase "establishment of the Day of Justice" and why, should that day exist, every thing and being would essentially have to be destroyed. I understood the Arabic roots of the word "Qiyamah" - known as "Qiyamat" in Urdu. Essentially, "qiyamah" is "qiyam" - a static state, establishment, equilibrium, full stop.

For as long as Love & Mercy lives, there can or must never be absolute justice, nor absolute destruction.

+++

Complete conversation:

Absolute Justice... and a Little Mercy - 1: Conversation with a Lawyer
Absolute Justice... and a Little Mercy - 2: Why I'd Rather Not be Treated Justly

Absolute Justice... and a Little Mercy - 2: Why I'd Rather Not be Treated Justly

Waiting for someone who was late, one day, I felt annoyed and thought of ways such behavior must be punished. It seemed to me, feeling languid at that moment, that punishment was the solution to such problems.

My conscience then quietly reminded me that at times, I am late also. My problem-loving mind suddenly got active at this. It tried to create a mathematical visual where everyone was going to settle scores.

BOOM! BANG! CRASH! - I saw.

Without the need of precision, I realized that it would mean I would somehow perish for all my faults, so far unaccounted or simply forgive by others. This would also be the fate of most of others, and so - I realized that establishment of absolute justice would lead to instantaneous destruction of Existence.

Between action and reaction, there is choice. Between One's first contact with the Other, there is time & space, and adjustment - there is flow of information, and creation of a connection. This little "work-in-progress" area is either directed by the principle of mercy, or the principle of "attack." Love, or hate.

I use this term "attack" to mean a wide variety of active behaviors including hostility, lack of empathy and understanding, desire to modify the Other, intolerance, feeling superiority, etc.

Say we are urban explorers who enter a tribal region. We don't like the way they treat their women. What do we do between the period of our first contact - and until the time they see the light, given that we have light at all in the first place?

Do we understand their position,observe their cultural evolution, and understand their aspirations? And help them towards the light - a process which will take time, effort, and much sacrifice from us?

Or do we impose our values on them in an instant - declaring their ways illegal and barbaric - and try to get them to change either by being obedient to us, or be captives to us?

Or do we decide to finish them there and then - as living being or as a cultural phenomena?

The first is the way of Love, and or mercy. It is dynamic. And it creates the next world.

The second is the way of Attack, Ruthlessness, Un-Compassion. It is dynamic. And it destroys the next world.

The third is the way of Absolute Justice - which is not the absolute prerogative of any human over the other. It is static. It destroys our world instantaneously as neither One nor the Other would remain.

+++

You may also want to read:

Absolute Justice... and a Little Mercy - 1: Conversation with a Lawyer

Absolute Justice... and a Little Mercy - 1: Conversation with a Lawyer

On a flight towards the North once, I got to sit along a woman lawyer.

They say that on this planet, seven persons look, and behave like one another. I.e. each person has six doppelgÀnger(s). This lady seemed as broody and thoughtful as a certain teacher of mine - with facial features, hairstyle, and age to match.

So we struck up a conversation - something I rarely attempts with strangers - with my heart feeling certain sense of familiarity, of having always known her. It was no surprise to me, then, that just my certain teacher would, she delved into a thoughtful exchange. Even her life story was told in a reflective narration. She wondered at every moment how she got to be where she got to be, and what was she doing... not in an edgy, questioning way which elicits the kind of face expression from me that alarms people... but in a way that one who listened to her only would hear in her words.

She told me she was a lawyer.

And somehow (wasn't it predictable!) we started talking about life. Her company stirred in me the kind of thoughtfulness that I always feel in the company of people who are... awake.

I shared with her what I believed was an insight:
This World is Balanced on Justice, But Operated on Mercy.
In Urdu, my words were:
Ye Duniya Insaaf Par Qayem Hai, Aur Reham Par Chalti Hai.
She turned her head away from me, and down, and reflected. I wondered what this lawyer would think. She turned her face back to me after a few moments, smiling that strange, pained smile of my teacher, and said, "True."

+++

Monday, October 01, 2007

The Design of the Universe - 2

Prophecy,

I was going to speak of the design of the Universe but someone came by. I was interrupted, and had more moments to reflect, and now I think it is not something to be written about here in concrete detail, as I originally planned.

I begin with this:

"Your remedy is within you, but you do not sense it. Your sickness is from you, but you do not perceive it. You presume you are a small entity, but within you is enfolded the entire Universe. You are indeed the Evident Book, by whose alphabet the Hidden becomes Manifest. Therefore you have no need to look beyond yourself. What you seek is within you, if only you reflect."

- Imam Ali Ibne Abu Talib, May Allah be pleased with him

And to conclude what I said of the stars - there is no wonder that stars' paths concur with us. At the same time, I always believed in humans creating their own destiny or influencing it greatly - enough to over-ride the stars.

In the light of all this (apparently contradictory) knowledge, Prophecy, I have reached the simple conclusion about our existence:

We have been looking at it outside-in. It's not the stars that affect human destiny. It is the humans who move the stars - and that is how whoever realized that they could create or destroy something, and took action to do so, indeed did. Single men and women have moved the world - leading it to lofty achievements or dreadful despair. Single-minded single souls. It was possible because of the secret of the Universe.

You see, Prophecy? The humans create the stars and black-holes and the matter and elements of the Universe. It's inside-out.

This is why, in response to the wish of a person, the Universe re-arranges itself and re-aligns its resources. This much, many creative persons and spiritual-minded people now agree upon. The popular theorem of the Law of Attraction alludes to this "secret." But why does the Law of Attraction work that way? They couldn't say.

Whoever believed in either genesis or the Big Bang or any similar mythology of the beginning sees that it all began from a singularity, and expanded. How, then, do we still picture the oddity of something coming from up above? As if the Universe existed as large as it is, and we are in it somehow.

Have we not seen the plant growing? What comes first? The tip of the leaf, or the seed - then the stem, then the unrolled leaf rolling out and the flowers blossoming from a bud? To imagine a single pollen to be contained in the periphery of leaves is not the truth of existence. It is the perception of existence to one who has not seen a plant grow.

+++

I leave you to reflect upon these images:



The Design of the Universe - 1

Note: This knowledge is blogged for my own remembrance. It is not for the Beginners, but for those on the middle of the way.


Prophecy,

I am going to share with you the pithy result of my years of pondering the question: What is the Universe? Or the Multiverse, as it surely is, but for the sake of simplicity....

Why do stars seem to affect the lives of humans? How do all things co-relate and why? How come so many elements of being are in a dance with humans - above all, I have wondered about Fate.

Once again, I turn to stars which have fascinated the humankind for so long. For the simple reason, perhaps, of them being "above us" - though how have we come to determine that the South Pole is at the "bottom" of the world, and the North Pole is the "top" of the world is a matter of pure arbitration. It should logically be that the stars seen from the Southern End of the Earth must be "below" the people on North if North indeed is the right side up.

So, Prophecy, the human race must learn to embrace duality - the yin and the yang - and understand that the stars are around us. Neither above, nor below.

Perception, however, in relation to the human body of which the head is the de facto right side up, determines that the stars are above our head, and therefore above us. The stars have guided the humans on our travels and navigations. They have, as astrologers have determined over the ages, also shown curious concurrence with the patterns of human life.

Now if concurrence occurs at all, it means two things to our perceptions: the stars affect us; or there exist cycles (of economic activity, of stars' and comets' orbits, of climate change, of life change) that have co-relations with one another. I.e. If I come home only on Sundays - and my neighbor's wife fights with her husband having been impressed by my car, and demanding her husband to furnish one likewise - there will be a pattern of co-relation 1/ by my affect upon her moods; 2/ by the simple fact that I and the neighbors come across each other every Sunday only.

If the neighbors undertake an unrelated activity such as going on a picnic on Sundays, we will still find that every Sunday, I come home, and neighbors go away.


Now what's the co-relation of the Universe to us?

How come there are so many similarities between the Universe's macrocosm and our microcosm and what does it signify? It signifies more than the assumption that we all burst open as part of a giant blob, and have similar patterns/codes inside our organisms (which, if someone agrees to it, is still an astounding belief).

What has concerned me, dear Prophecy, is the expansion of the Universe. The Universe is expanding - at an accelerating speed. Something is going on. We are boggled by the size of the Universe and the point of ever figuring it all out. And why?

Meanwhile the human society has declared several times that it has neared the end of its evolution. How did they reach this conclusion is beyond me. As long as people are hungry, and some of us can still obtain gourmet food - how on Earth could we even reach the mathematical conclusion that it's either a state of equilibrium or perfection or destruction? The human society will never end as long as there is room for either possibility or further hopelessness.

But the human society is in admitted deep trouble - so will we ever embark upon journeys to explore the depths of the Universe?

What shall we do with our fascination with this giant project then? Will we perish before ever setting foot forth? And how far shall we go anyway?

... But I hadn't give up on the Universe, Prophecy. I have alway had a feeling that there is a point here to be seen, and something to be understood, and something I can find out in my own lifetime, without the need to leave it to the eternity of later generations.

So Prophecy, last week some time, I found out what the Universe is.

Where is it "coming from," why and how is it expanding, and why the microcosms within the Universe draw such a true parallel to human micro/macrocosms. And why do stars seem to affect human lives.

Seek-ing

Prophecy -

I have learned that there is no point in seek-ing. As long as one seeks, the Other hides.

How can one seek what's already there? The point, perhaps, is to stop seek-ing, and be sought.

Seek-ing is do-ing. As they say, we are human beings, not human doings.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Night is Turning into Dawn, Prophecy!

Prophecy!

I am tempted to yell, to shout, to tell the whole world. To gloat over the fortune...

But, but. One must be as stable and quiet in happiness as one is in pain.

What I have learned in the past few years, dear Prophecy, is that nothing lasts forever - and that in many ways, good is not different from bad, joy is not different from pain, and that all good things were conceived in the womb of difficulty and trial.

It's a duality - and when one shifts into another is something that will remain beyond our reach. A person who really knows, who understands, is one who can keep their head held straight and their heart calm.

I am happy, Prophecy. I have learned that all things come from and return to One. I have learned that the moment of reaching one's destination is the hardest test on the journey for most. And yelling, shouting, telling can kill the magic even before it began after all the trials of the quest.

So I am going to do what I must do - simply be grateful, quiet, and feel blessed. That, Prophecy, is the way to feel joy rapturing your heart, to feel your moment, to accept things as they are. To be truly one with the rhythm of the multiverse!


Monday, September 03, 2007

I hate...

I completely, absolutely, and with my sincerest passion hate the city of Karachi.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Letter of Acceptance

Prophecy! Prophecy!

Guess the news! Guess what happened! The School that I always ever wished to attend had extended me its usual cryptic invite. I pursued, and yes! Indeed! I am invited!

There is nothing more important to me. Nothing else that was ever to give me more happiness. Nothing else, Prophecy, that was the reason of my being. Nothing else matters.

I am to attend the School that will make me know me, not know more.

God speed.

Thank You, thank You, thank You Allah Mian! I *knew* You loved me. **Kiss**

Monday, July 16, 2007

Being Alive For...

A note for you, Prophecy:

We create the universe we live in, daily. The real work of being alive is to discover how we write the code.
- E Schuitema

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Quest for Beauty resumes. A Lust for Life is back!

A Quest for Beauty; A Lust for Life! has resumed after the Blogger service temporarily suspended the URL last week, to review whether it's a human or an automated blog. Automated blogs are primarily used for spamming, and it's a nuisance that's been affecting several hosting service due to high spamming activity load that clogs servers.

I had a few sad days having lost two of my blogs at a critical time, when I had much to publish. The other one has been taken over by a real splogger (spamming blogger) and apart from applying to Blogger to get the blog back, I have negotiated with the suspect splogger to let go. Let's see whether I get the blog back by carrot or by stick.

Meanwhile, help to other Blogger/Blog*Spot users:

1. Keep reaching out to Blogger Support.
2. Use The Blogger Help Google Group.
3. If you want to recover old posts, log in to Google Reader, and type in your blogspot.com address, followed by /atom.xml - i.e. the feed URL. (For example: http://myblog.blogspot.com/atom.xml). Reader will find you old posts, which you can save up on computer. I don't know an easier method of doing this. It would be great if we could "pick" the feed at another blog, and re-publish there for business continuity.
4. Oh, BTW, immediately log in to your Blogger dashboard, and apply for restoration, and WAIT.
5. Meanwhile, create a new blog with the same address as your old blog's. Enough said on this! Post nothing there, but keep it claimed. Blogger will restore you back to your blog in good time.

I hope this helps!

Back to business, starting off with the backdated review of Life on Purpose, a cool book.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Life on Purpose - a workshop packed in a book

Dr. Brad Swift’s new book Life on Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Life is an uneasy book: its uncannily simple words find little resistance in reaching to the core of our hearts, finding fear and “off-purpose patterns” in the DNA of our habits, and eliciting them out for our information and action. Uneasy process, indeed – but what a relief!

I admit that after the brief while of being delighted at receiving a new book about a subject of interest to me – I felt suspicion. Do I need to read this book? Can a book tell me what my life purpose is? Excuse me, but I can find out for myself!

So with a tinge of grudge, and much of “all right, let’s see what it has to say” and then some genuine curiosity that I mustered – I opened Life on Purpose and read on. I love stories. To find Dr. Brad Swift’s own story – and a humbling one with no miracle claims – restored my confidence in the book.What displease me are books that promise unlimited power. Miraculous claims of mastery over other people, claiming unending wealth and a beach house, and a life apparently free of the joy of pain – what a turn off! I believe, indeed, in a much more greater power in humans than most such books claim, but what I never like is the way this power is directed towards unashamed self-interest, and killing everything in “the path” to reach riches.

It is “Purpose,” indeed, that is the raison d’ĂȘtre of possessing power. Without a purpose based on service, power is a dangerous tool. The humble, reasonable, real-life story of Life on Purpose kept me reading on because I felt it was not about aimless amassing of power. Its message was centered on purpose, and living it – not finding it in the labyrinths of Destiny nor slash-buckling it through our lives.

But I did not immediately surrender to the book. I skipped the exercises, which Dr. Brad Swift strongly recommended as the core of the book. I thought “I don’t need this, I’ve always mastered quizzes and tests and such stuff easily. I am beyond that now.”

That is when a voice spoke very clearly inside me. It told me that when we feel uneasy with something, then the reason resides in us, not that thing. Indeed when we truly master over something, it does not “bother” us at all – we are only “for” what we create, and “against” anything in the path. Bring bothered, though, is the signal of a block.

Yet again I tried to counter with “I am feeling that way because this book is so simple – and I am into more ‘advanced’ reading.” But I couldn’t hold this argument for two minutes, for I have learned after much learning that the greatest wisdom lies in utterly simple things. That they are timeless, and boundary-less. And that a reservation about something simple and straight means that we have twisted ourselves too tightly around scripted adulthood, fact-riddled intellectualism, and contradictions of thoughts, words, actions.

Life on Purpose creates the best alternative to a coaching relationship with the reader through structured assignments. And the role of the seeker is assumed by the reader by undertaking these step-by-step exercises. I figured that I am avoiding these assignments to avoid the relationship – and that it was indeed because I was afraid of becoming smaller, of discovering uneasy truths.

So I decided to put pencil to paper. I undertook the Wheel of Life exercise to uncover some shocking truths – truths that I knew at an internal level, but which now were represented by a diagram that showed me clearly what was unbalancing my priorities. I could see where I need to pay my attention, and what I need to do less of. A simple thing, but it has prompted me to take immediate actions about my life.

Reading on, the book affirmed that I was challenged with some typical roadblocks to clarifying one’s purpose.

I live in Pakistan – a society transitioning between the contemporary and the old. Our older living generations admit that their elders had a world-wisdom about them, despite their limited technological know-how or travel. That wisdom was somehow lost in transition, and the Pakistan society has become rigid with unchanging ideas with plenty of reference to authority, rejected by the young. “Inherited Purpose” – a script handed down to one by the family and society – is a common cultural ailment in our neck of the woods.

As a teacher of Entrepreneurship for graduate classes, I was astounded to find that most students in a session looked dazed when asked the simple question: “What three things do you love/enjoy?” A few managed to give answers such as music, but most were surprised themselves that they couldn’t recall what they loved or enjoyed doing even as children!

After counseling many who said they “could not do it,” I have been put off-balance to realize that I have absorbed this very thinking. It could, indeed, happen to any of us!

Since then, I have surrendered to the wisdom of this uneasy book. I still feel I am smarter, that I know-it-all, but I also know that this is the very “full cup syndrome” warned about in the book.

I am not yet through with Life on Purpose. It’s a book that I will take my time with – doing all exercises, clarifying my vision, reclaiming my purpose that I once knew clearly but have been avoiding, affected by the “know-it-all”, “deserve nothing”, and “I must not be successful” syndromes.

A very gentle read, helpful in tone, and never cried from the pulpit – Life on Purpose: Six Passages to an Inspired Life is a book that can help you on the path to discover and live your purpose. There is no purpose suggested by the book – no lecture given. It is simply a process – composed of “six passages” towards one’s own Divinely Inspired purpose.

_______________________

A special thanks to Carol Arnold for inviting me to review the blog, and to Dr. Brad Swift and Carol for sending me the book.

Read more: The Life on Purpose blog

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My grief

D has died. He wanted affection in his last days. I.... (sigh!) wasn't around much. But a much more caring soul, my father, took care of him. D reminds me that I still must learn to liberate the love inside me, and focus the force of my love on what matters most.

Preparation

"Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win."
- Bobby Knight


My Gmail account keeps on throwing up not only the most relevant (but of course) quotes on the RSS, but also very poignant. This one landed close to heart-home.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Paper Journal + Tagging

Dear dear - I have started keeping a journal, in the offline world. My mind is thinking at a tremendous speed and I want to log the thoughts, the feelings, the events.

But I would not have been encouraged enough were it not at the advice of a mentor - a friend of Allah. I dilly-dallied for a few days, making mental notes - and kept thinking, oh well, I'll start when I buy a journal.

Then I looked at my bedside table, where a brand new, very cool handy little journal was lying. Farheen gifted it to me, and I was saving it up for my upcoming trek notes. I thought, "Dear girl, things are shrewdly placed in your life before you need them. You should have the vision to see. And when in genuine need, use a resource when its need arises - leave tomorrow to Allah Who always fed and clothed you from sources you had not anticipated!"

That journal was clearly placed in my life to be used immediately when I got the advice.

I have transferred my mental notes there. Thank you, dear memory! I shouldn't have taxed you so!

The journal is a recycled paper or something-like-that eco-friendly wood-pulpy journal with brown paper and a fish drawn on the cover. It's from Bintan Island. It has just the perfect feel for my taste!


Note: Journaling recommended to anyone. The key that I used for making notes in non-fiction reading can also be used to categorize entries/ sub-entries in the journal. I label the various paras with "Info," "Understanding," etc.

Hmm... come to think of it, I will design special tags for the journal. It's a tag, tag, tag, tag world!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Finally, I Told Her Exactly What I Think of Her

Yes, Prophecy! Finally. Finally.

Finally I told her why I no longer labor under the delusion that she was/ is my friend - and that though I have forgiven the past, I am no longer open to the possibility of being backstabbed in the future.

What a relief! Why was I being a saint after all?

My Question
This last week, I realized I am still not happy despite the many changes I have brought in my life. I was thinking - God, I am finally doing all that I want to do (though sometimes being miserable for it, which remains forever the part of "the journey," a little price to pay for the rewards to come) - but I am still not happy.

I thought about what prevents me from being truly happy? What prevents me from going ahead and enjoying the gifts of life? What prevents me from congratulating myself and saying, "You have arrived"? Why, after all, when I have crawled out of what I thought two years ago was a dark, dark, fathomless cave - and I see the Sun and feel the Wind on my air - does my heart still ache?

I kept thinking, crying, bending into the fetal position, looking up at the sky, and searching people's faces - but I still did not get the answer.

The Clue
Ten days ago, it struck that the Creator had slipped in the answer to me a few months ago. I picked up my cell phone, and checked for a message from January. It said:

"Your remedy is within you, but you do not sense it. Your sickness is from you, but you do not perceive it. You presume you are a small entity, but within you is enfolded the entire Universe. You are indeed the Evident Book, by whose alphabet the Hidden becomes Manifest. Therefore you have no need to look beyond yourself. What you seek is within you, if only you reflect."

- Imam Ali Ibne Abu Talib, May Allah be pleased with him

My ailment was from within me - but what was it? I had to think, because the answer was within me too. Finally, finally, finally - the answer started emerging.

The Answer
The answer came to me - clearly over these last few days: I have yet not forgiven.

There are some people to whom I had only been telling in my mind what exactly do I think about them. At other times, I was riven to such sadness for them (for surely, I could see their actions getting back at them) that I prayed for their forgiveness.

I am not a person who keeps grudges - or so I thought. Until I realized I have been doing the very same thing. Actually, I wonder who "keeps" grudges? Grudges aren't elves that we invite into the house, and keep inside. Grudges are other things that turn into a grudge when we don't take care of them.

These are things like "realizing that the person you think is your friend is actually using this relationship to use you, and backstabbing you as a bonus." Then what do you? You deal with this feeling.

Flu, and False Friends
I got to say one thing I've learned: when you have a flu, you take a cup of tea and deal with it by lying alone in a room. But when you have the realization that you're dealing with a cheater/liar/abuser/ass****, you walk to the other person, and ask them. Yes, ask them for clarity - and listen with your ears, eyes, and common sense. Or if you have irrefutable proof, you have seen it with your eyes, or - as in my case right now - it's taken years and years to sink in... just tell them. Don't take a cup of tea, sniff, and lie alone in a room. DEAL WITH THE PERSON who dealt with you. Or else, years later, the karma (unfinished matter's ill will) will eat you.

There is no other way. Don't let such people off the hook without dealing with them - at which point you can choose to forgive them IF THEY REPENT, that's better. Just don't for a moment think that people who elaborately plan, execute, and repeatedly do harm over a long time were innocent. No dude, they knew their plan.

And if I had any such last hope, it was just taken away.

I Called Her, and Told Her What I Feel
I called her. I told her exactly what I think of her - I told her how I feel. I told her that it took me years, but I have finally realized and admitted to myself that she has been backstabbing me, using me, and splitting my friends away from me.

However, it wasn't a continuous conversation, I had to explain myself in between bouts of vehement denial. I can't believe it I have seen this at least a second time in my life: a liar completely denying what they did right in front of your eyes. But I have seen this before: a liar such a deep expert at their art, they would convince you that you are wrong simply for blowing their cover. Keyword: "Unfair" - as in, "you're being unfair." A person who really didn't know what I was talking about would be stunned - not this woman.

I think normally, I would be shaking right now thinking, "Oh my God! I have been a bad person! I have hurt a human being! We are not supposed to do that! Oh dear - she is my friend. One is loyal to their friend! I can't say how she broke my trust because she's my friend!" (Figure that out! But I tell you, when our turn comes, we all do this warped thinking except the ultra selfish who are blessed with a keen sense of always knowing what's in it for them - any time, all the time.)

And though I always knew it, it was experience and consistently repeated lessons that drove this point home: You are also not supposed to hurt your self - because your Self is not yours! You are not the owner of your Self. One Day, the most important answers you will give will be about your Self, and your Soul. That is when the deepest truth will be so clear: we are all creations, and I owe mySelf no more than I owe another.

1 Habit of Highly Affected People: Not Getting to NO!
I was re-visiting Stephen Covey's 7 Habits for Highly Effective Families last week when the riddle solved through a story I read.

It's the story of a woman whose husband kept abusing and cheating at her, after she had given up her successful life to keep a beautiful home with tidy children for him. At a counseling session, the mostly away-from-home-cheating husband explained that he was angered for he had to "clean up after others." As an example, he said he found his shampoo bottle uncapped that day - and "that was enough!"

The woman was finally driven to the point of contemplating suicide after shooting her children - and having been aware of her situation, she admitted herself into hospital that day. In retrospect she realized that even driven to that extreme, she never thought of shooting him!

Today, she lives away and without the leach.

That story - paired with Imam Ali's (May Allah be pleased with him) wisdom finally let realization dawn: my pain occurred because I was letting myself, unnecessarily and for no one's gain, be used and hurt by certain people. I kept fooling myself into thinking that they were right, they were OK, and that somehow I shouldn't stop them from whatever they were doing. And that last thought stemmed from the mis-belief that I shouldn't do anything for myself to get back at another. And that belief in turn stemmed from the belief that I own mySelf therefore I can let it be hurt without getting back.

As some would rightly say, "What were you thinking!?"

My Future Has Arrived
I have talked to myself after prayers these past few days. And I have told myself, "I could be wrong all these years, so it's no harm that I change myself now." I have also put at peace any feeling that I have done wrong by doing right to myself. For once!

Remember the formula of sacred 7even? We change completely every 7 years. I am entering the next cycle as a person who has a much deeper understanding of what's right and what's wrong - what's good and what's evil or bad.

My Time on the Day of Judgment is Reserved for Higher Purposes!
Above all, I am keeping eyes on my persistent life goal: On the day of Judgment, I want Allah to be happy with me, and allow me to assist the Prophet, peace be upon him. I don't think a heart with a grudge would be allowed to do that.

I want no burden on the Day of Judgment. I don't want to waste my time asking Allah to get back at others for me. I don't want Allah to view me as a person who has to be placated with gifts or revenge.

I know that there is always a class of humans above and beyond that all. For a long while, I have played the saint thinking that will put me in that class - but only now I truly see that a true saint takes no baggage to the Day of Judgment. A true saint can tell the difference between two goods, and two ills. A true saint knows that we, after all, are answerable for only our Selves.

Above all, I will remember in my life of the world, that when I wake up in the real life, I will be asked, "What did you do with what I gave you?" And at that time, I would not be forgiven for saying, "I let my love be wasted just to be able to call one more person my friend!"



That's it!


Friday, May 04, 2007

The Unfamiliar



People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.

- Thich Nhat Hanh, Buddhist monk and poet
 

Sunday, April 29, 2007

What ails you, and what remedies

 
"Your remedy is within you, but you do not sense it. Your sickness is from you, but you do not perceive it. You presume you are a small entity, but within you is enfolded the entire Universe. You are indeed the Evident Book, by whose alphabet the Hidden becomes Manifest. Therefore you have no need to look beyond yourself. What you seek is within you, if only you reflect."

- Imam Ali Ibne Abu Talib, May Allah be pleased with him

Courtesy: Hamza J.
 

10 Rules For Being Human

A very interesting consultant shared this set of funny, true-to-the-bone wisdom with me. It answers so so many question - hits you right in the heart.

  1. YOU WILL RECEIVE A BODY
    You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period you're around.

  2. YOU WILL LEARN LESSONS
    You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.

  3. THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, ONLY LESSONS 
    Growth is a process of trial and error, experimentation. The "Failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately "works".

  4. A LESSON IS REPEATED UNTIL LEARNED
    A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.

  5. LEARNING LESSONS DOES NOT END
    There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you
    are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

  6. "THERE" IS NO BETTER THAN "HERE"
    When your "There" has become a "Here", you will simply obtain another "There" that will, again, look better than "Here".

  7. OTHERS ARE MERELY MIRRORS OF YOU
    You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.

  8. WHAT YOU MAKE OF YOUR LIFE IS UP TO YOU
    You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

  9. YOUR ANSWERS LIE INSIDE YOU
    The answers to life's questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen and trust.

  10. YOU WILL FORGET ALL OF THIS
    Unless you consistently stay focused on the goals you have set for yourself, everything you've just read won't mean a thing.

    ~Author Unknown~


Original source: The e-Minute, April 2007, by Bob Uruchick Management

Saturday, April 28, 2007

My Secretive Friend

My Friend does not like the secrets revealed - or even hinted at. Yet I do it in search of - what is it? Approval?

Who approves us?

Only we approve or disapprove ourselves, or give others that authority on our behalf. The task at hand is to concentrate our power within us.

Come true

Is it true that if you keep thinking of something, it comes true?

Yes; that, indeed, is how creation (or destruction, which is just another form of creation), comes into being.

Then I must not think what I have been thinking.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Justice

... And to finish my previous thoughts... Prophecy, never make your heart tender for wrong-doers. Remember they intentionally take advantage of this.

What you truly need is to know the intention of your own action. If you are selfish, and want to appease yourself, stop yourself.

If you have been harmed, stop the one who harms you.

Remember, you are only the master of your Self, not the Owner of your Self - that right is of Allah alone and no one shares ownership with Allah to Whom all things return.

Therefore it's your duty to protect your Self. Do it with courage and character, and do not be afraid or tender. If you do not stop a person from doing ill to you, tomorrow they will harm another. Remember what the sages said: A dog can differentiate between Good and Bad. Only a refined human can differentiate between a good and a lesser good, or a bad, and a lesser bad.

Hmmm...

I don't like the sound of my own anger. Why am I feeling it?

But my heart never, never agrees to injustice. Once you've exhausted all "nice" options, it's time for action. No second thinking at that time.

However - I should always know that the greatest challenge is to master one's own ego and never let that interfere with dispensing justice.

When it gets personal, that is when one must stop.

Do you remember the stories of the great sages, Prophecy? They never attack when personally angry. They only take action against general ill. That requires a great deal of mastery and a very selfless understanding of what's right and what's wrong.

What comes round, when it comes round

Zodiac-wise, I am a Sagittarius. It takes a good deal of time and effort for anything to ruffle me. But when it does!

*Fire!!!*

Often the cool that I can keep surprises people - and God knows why most of us humans have this tendency to keep pushing to see how far things will go. So I know folks who, surprised and curious by the cool, will check to see if indeed I am dead, trying to act alive?

No, dude, I've got my six senses all right. I just master my impulse. But don't think I wasn't making a note while I was sitting and watching.

I am angry at a few folks, finally. Beyond finally, actually. I don't like my own anger because I completely understand my capability to inflict harm. And I mean no active harm to anyone. Therefore my anger has to be earned - I don't expend my energy for free. Which means, once again, that my calm is because of my strength, not weakness. If I decide not to keep a reign on my strength any longer - don't be surprised!

Anyway. You, poor Bloggie, should know that I have reached that level where I am going to give some folks accurate feedback and also let manifest the consequences of their deliberate actions. What you give around, you get around.

You know what Bloggie - are you thinking that I will go out and harm someone? No; I don't do that kind of thing. What I do, however, is that I let go of the control that I have been putting on the consequences of people's harmful actions. I do my best to make sure people are adequately warned.

In this case, I know of a certain ill-treating bunch of people whose secrets were safe with me and others they were serving poorly. I warned again and again and again that wronging people will make them retaliate - make them walk away - but so they listen? Now I am simply going to take long overdue actions. You can only return the harm that's been done to you, which is your right. Even in anger, dear Bloggie, you cannot transgress.

And what are you thinking? I will not jump on anyone's throats not hurt them behind their back. Whatever people do, you are only liable for your own character and grace, not theirs. I will, however, angered and hurt as I am myself, will try the last yet the most powerful recourse that I have: I will pray to Allah, Bloggie.

Were you sacred that I was going to give some kind of violent threat? No. I am not violent, Bloggie though I have completely normal impulses and I feel violence from time to time. It's inevitable in this day & age, you know!

I fear myself, Bloggie, the power of a curse. As much as one can, they should neither curse nor stand in the way of a curse and certainly, certainly, not earn a curse. But you know what Bloggie? A heart that is hurt is a living curse. Only a heart that truly loves is more powerful than the heart that is hurt.

I have hurt people too; very rarely, but when I did, I felt the curse. You can feel such things Bloggie - they are tangible. And when they start happening, you know readily where they came from. There's no way to describe this except to experience this. You can feel in your heart that the ill that suddenly came in your life was not sudden at all. If you can hear anywhere in your heart a guilty whisper, then you are your own judge. Doesn't Allah say that each person keeps the best eye on their own actions? Only we know.

So what I did was to ask forgiveness - in real words Bloggie, not just roundabout ways - ask forgiveness. I said, "I am sorry - I am aware that I have hurt you and though I know you are not the kind of person who will wish me ill, I know your heart has been hurt - and Allah never forgives that. It's because our hearts belong to Allah and not to us - and it's Allah Who deals with this matter directly. That's why we can't willfully stop a heart from aching. I know the ill that ails me will go only if you forgive me and you pray."

Only when I was forgiven, Bloggie, did my pain disappear. I have only done this rarely; and you have to discern between those you hurt and those who are just hurting themselves because you are not acting on their scripts. But you must never, never earn an ill will.

You know for the past some time, I have been forgiving a few people who I thought deserved (or not) to be let off the hook. Even if they don't deserve it, I don't care. I could be a better human if I could learn to forgive. And I certainly owed it because I have been forgiven myself too - we do too much wrong without keeping a count of it, Bloggie, so one should always be aware. There is Great Judge Who's always settling the scores and there's no escaping that justice.

Anyway - sigh! I like to forgive - but right now, my heart is completely not in the mood. Forgiveness has to be real and forever, one can't go back on it. I cannot take unfairness any longer. I am afraid I have made an ill will - and I am afraid ever more that I wish sincerely for it to come true.

Because you know what Bloggie? One more thing that I have learned is that you cannot - you should not - prevent the consequences of a person's bad action from reaching them all the time. Nature has its own way, you cannot prevent a fool's actions from getting back at them. Get out of the way whether you love them or not. They will only learn through the experience of getting back the results of their actions, or never learn the lesson.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Take it Slow

I've got some relationship advice to give: People, take it slow!

Yes yes I believe in all those charm and first look and first intuition and impression and electricity - oh wait, aura - things. But take it slow. There are times when you can click-click-click but you got to take time to: click-click-click and be sure... and to progress.

This advice is true from personal relationships whether of blood or marriage or friendship - or business relationships. Don't bring everything from your past to the table and avoid wish-listing.

I often see this happening on projects where even before the project #1 kicks off, wish-listing starts. In fact, it's also some kind of Pakistanism. Before one can roll up discussion on one idea and start implementing, there comes another.

And I absolutely don't get that "let's make Pakistan better" thing. You know once upon a short time I got afraid of thinking my congenital dream of "changing the world." That's because I actually started picturing myself as a huge Atlas-esque giant who took the world in its hands, and spun and shook it. No wonder when I looked at my hands - I knew I must immediately give up or suffer a huge disillusionment.

That is NOT how the world is changed - you can't spin it all at one time! The word "world" here means the chunk of world around you, assigned to you. The kind of world that makes sense when dudes sing, "Ooh baby, you rock my world!" DOES-NOT-MEAN-PLANET-EARTH!

In my attempts to "help people," I am so damned annoyed by these change-the-world-means-planetary-shakeup types. And I absolutely can hear Presidential tones in the voices of the let's-change-Pakistan types.

No. How about - let's get our street cleaned up for a start? How about, reach a slum of kids? How about just do our job honestly and make sure we have our system in order?

If you can't take the first step - why talk about the journey of a thousand miles?

Whether it's business, do-goodism (with which I have lots of problems even though I often find myself doing it - I'll tell some time exactly what's wrong with this do-good thingy too), or personal tender love and care - limit the agenda to THE NOW. Let life unroll over time. Don't stuff the start, particularly, with promises, dreams, a thousand wishes, and plans.

Dude - evaluate who you are working with. And by all means, take the time to understand where they're coming from and where they're going to. Save yourself lots of nasty surprises. And actually - if you're blindfolding yourself and wishing-washing, don't be surprised when the other person doesn't end up being aligned with you.

Keep your eyes open - give others room. And by all means, WALK if you sense the other party is leading you on. If you think so, they are doing so.

Take it slow. Not in terms of speeeeeeeddddd, but evolving. One step at a time. You'll love it!

What I didn't lose in the Shipwreck

Driven myself to overwork again.

Prophecy, Prophecy! What does it take for you to internalize the word R-E-L-A-X?

Ah - anyway - on the other hand, I have developed (or regained?) that certain level of cool. In some ways I am back to what I call my "older self" or more brand-wise, "A-level Self" ('cos I was at my personality best during A-level days) but I think it's more than being back to old.

We never get back to old. We merely retain bits of our previous selves. But we are always new. I know some folks never change - but are they noting or not that the world around them keeps spinning and changing and it's never the same any two moments? So if they don't choose to adapt, they are left behind. Some are comfortable by extending their complacency beyond them - but oh oh oh - no one can control the larger picture. Ever.

I thought over this - once again, after prayers, as has become my habit - and I see that I am not my old self. I am merely bringing out the best of whoever I was to begin with. I have shed off a lot of the old self. I don't have many longings and desires and wishes and wants that I used to have.

Got to clear something up - you have got to DREAM and hold on to YOUR DREAM - but it's different from what we know will never happen. Desires, wants, etc. Some things are just fairly meant to be. Those that are and can be - we ought to dream about them - keep challenging our boundaries - give more. OK I just wrote, "ask for more" but realized that's not it. You extend beyond yourself by GIVING (which is always represented by an arrow going outwards) ----> rather than TAKING which will forever point inwards <---. Give to grow.

Anyway. I feel cool about life because I have given up the need to depend on many things. I can prolly live without the Internet too - though I am not going to wish that upon myself. But I'm OK - I'm really OK.

Remember what they say - you only own what you can't lose in a shipwreck.

I am glad that I have lived beyond the wreck that my life was brought to. I am on the other side, and I know exactly the value of things. It was hard for me, a few months ago, to get back to what I realized could mean nothing nothing at the time of death - but now I understand that the art of life is walk in the world without entangling with it. It's mastery is when neither having something, nor losing it make you a hero. It is when nothing matters.


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Having said that, sleep well and full. And don't miss on the prayers that brought you back to life safe, Prophecy. Never take for granted those who love you, no matter how vast the reservoir of their love is. It matters not what they have, what matters is how you take it for that, truly, shows you who you are.



Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Eff off!

Been seeing more of these strange strange strange practical dreams.

Oh I loved the one I saw this morning. I was given a piece of paper with some info by someone who meant to annoy me. I tore it into half, write "F*** Off!" on one half, and passed it back on. It's the dream version of a real-life plan. I am glad that I achieved some kind of resolution in the dream. Oh really - some folks deserve to be kicked wherever we see them - even if in a dream.

Don't worry my dear Bloggie! I'm not a foul soul - I've got a big big heart and if I *am* angry at someone, they must more than deserve. They have certainly earned it. Could you believe, Bloggie, that there are folks out there who do this kind of stuff? Nah... don't believe in such things. They exist, but to believe in them is to validate them. Right? I dunno - that's the spiritual conundrum.

Well, Bloggie ma dear - you should *know*. At least you should be trained to deal with novel situations. Our minds ought to be prepared!

But I'll tell you about my dreams, again. I must say - usually - my dreams are very dramatic. Beautiful. Fantastic. On a very large scale. I see entire cities, visit strange places, get information, do reflection. I've seen ornately decorated palaces, seen amusement parks, traveled in time, and found myself in fanciful landscapes. I've seen thematic hotels (with a Volkswagon hanging at the front) while I stood by the road that seemed to be self-controlling traffic by shape-shifting, shopped at desolate-looking malls full of fantastic merchandise, and seen myself in a wonderful lab of radios buzzing. I've got warnings and alerts about relationships, been in monasteries on sun-drenched mountains, been directed by holy figures. I've been interrupted during a stroll in the ancient bazaar of Baghdad to get a flip-chart presentation on my dental pain. I've attended the pre-partition (of the Indian subcontinent) wedding of a Parsi family, where all women were dressed in gold-embroided saris. I've driven trucks and fanciful vehicles in remote, haunting landscapes.

 I generally see people-less dreams - or do not get in contact with people.

Yet it appears this is no longer my dream world - but something from the past. Of late, my dreams have come down to earth - they are immensely practical and solution-oriented. For one, I have been receiving a lot of e-mail. And design solutions. There's someone who keeps sending me stuff and discussing about it. I meet people about whom I keep "getting" strategies. If my sixth sense is tingling about a person in real-world, the dream world actually takes me around to show what they are up to.

So anyway - Bloggie - this other day, rather MONTH - I was writing a post about the function of dreams which I lost in the mountains of stuff I keep writing. I'll share more later.
 
Just gotta tell you I am so entirely satisfied about telling that "F*** off!" thing! Aren't you happy, too?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Careful what you wish for

Oh dear me. My weirdest wishes come true at such top speed I am scared of wishing.

Nah, just kidding; I am learning to master the art of wishing. Ironically - at least for me - this mastery comes after much denial. Hmmm, I really don't expect much out of my life, and though that occasionally makes me rather sad [I mean when I sense that lotsa people are wishing lotsa things so what's cranky wrong with ME!?] -- dude, I am happy the way I am.

Well, well.

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It's maddeningly hot. But but. The Sun's just doing it's job. It says, "Excuse me, why did you people kill the ozone!?" OMG I am puttig full throttle on my environment-friendly practices. Though we already run a fully-mad house recycling every micron of plastic and egg shells and tea and paper and clothes that come our way. My mom doesn't permit a microwave. We heat our food the old-fashioned way.

I have seen it all.