Friday, December 14, 2007

Trust me


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.

"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."



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:

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.

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!]