Archives for September 2011

In search of truth

The devil was talking to his friends when they noticed a man walking along a road. They watched him pass and saw that he bent down to pick something up.

– What did he find? – asked one of the friends.

– A piece of Truth – answered the devil.

The friends were very concerned. After all, a piece of Truth might save that man’s soul – one less in Hell. But the devil remained unmoved, gazing at the view.

– Aren’t you worried? – said one of his companions.

– He found a piece of Truth!

– I’m not worried – answered the devil.

– Do you know what he’ll do with the piece?
As usual, he’ll create a new religion. And he’ll succeed in distancing even more people from the whole Truth.

Twitcam 15/09/2011

Deepak on reincarnation


by Deepak Chopra


What was most magical in my childhood was transformation. Death itself was seen as a brief stopping point on an endless soul journey that could turn a peasant into a king and vice versa. With the possibility of infinite lifetimes extending forward and backward, a soul could experience hundreds of heavens and hells.

Death ended nothing; it opened up limitless adventures. A drop of water becomes vapor, which is invisible, yet vapor materializes into billowing clouds, and from clouds rain falls back to earth, forming river torrents and eventually merging into the sea.

Has the drop of water died along the way? No, it undergoes a new expression at each stage. Likewise, the idea that I have a fixed body locked in space and time is a mirage.

Any drop of water inside my body could have been ocean, cloud, river, or spring the day before. I remind myself of this fact when the bonds of daily life squeeze too tight.
 
 
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My crazy old hippie days


Photo taken in 1973. I am the one on the right side
 

Daniel Keel (1930-2011)

“Before anything else, we need a new age of Enlightenment. Our present political systems must relinquish their claims on truth, justice and freedom and have to replace them with the search for truth, justice, freedom and reason.”
The above text is from Friedrich Durrenmatt, one of the many authors that were proud to be published by Daniel Keel in Diogenes Verlag, founded in 1952 and one of the last independent publishing houses in Europe.
Daniel always fought for justice, freedom and reason…
Today, Sept 13, when I opened my email box, I just learnt that he passed away – to meet his wife Anna in Paradise. Normally writers don’t become too attached to publishers, but I did became attached to Daniel. I admired his sense of humor, his character, his commitment, his friendship.

In one of our dinners together, I mentioned Robert Louis Stevenson. I don’t remember Daniel’s answer, but I would like to end this post using a poem from Stevenson:

Now when the number of my years
Is all fulfilled, and I
From sedentary life
Shall rouse me up to die,
Bury me low and let me lie
Under the wide and starry sky.
Joying to live, I joyed to die,
Bury me low and let me lie.

Clear was my soul, my deeds were free,
Honour was called my name,
I fell not back from fear
Nor followed after fame.
Bury me low and let me lie
Under the wide and starry sky.
Joying to live, I joyed to die,
Bury me low and let me lie.

Bury me low in valleys green
And where the milder breeze
Blows fresh along the stream,
Sings roundly in the trees –
Bury me low and let me lie
Under the wide and starry sky.
Joying to live, I joyed to die,
Bury me low and let me lie.


 
 

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How to help the country

Zizhang searched for Confucius throughout China. The country was going through a time of great social upheaval, and he feared there could be bloodshed.

He found the master sitting beneath a fig tree, meditating.

‘Master, we urgently need your presence in the government,’ said Zizhang. ‘We are on the brink of chaos.’

Confucius continued to meditate.

‘Master, you taught us that we must not stand idly by,’ Zizhang went on. ‘You said that we were responsible for the world.’

‘I am praying for the country,’ replied Confucius.
‘Later, I will go and help the man who lives round the corner. By doing what is within our reach, we benefit everyone.

‘By merely coming up with ideas about how to save the world, we do not even help ourselves.

‘There are a thousand ways of getting involved in politics; there is no need for me to be part of the government.’
 
 
 

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The Desert

by Yasser Hareb

The moment he entered the oasis, the sound of the wind stopped. It was as if the universe had suddenly stopped breathing.

He saw an old man with his eyes closed, resting his head against one of the palm trees. He approached the old man and noticed he was smiling, as if he had been expecting him.
The old man slowly opened his eyes and said: “Welcome, son! You’ve finally arrived.”
The boy looked around fearing it was an ambush set up for him.

The old man smiled and said: “Don’t worry! There’s no one here. Sit for a while.
“I know you want to cross the desert. We’re all trying to do so. Some of us do it without even realizing it. ”

“Why is the desert so cruel to us?”

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Concentration and instinct

Impatient to change


It took almost 40 years for me to become a writer.

Before that I always dreamt of becoming a writer, but I never dared to take the necessary steps.
I met my master in Amsterdam in 1982. He had told me things back then that enabled my soul to slowly awaken.
Four years later, I embarked on my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

It was during my pilgrimage that it became increasingly apparent that I wasn’t happy and I had to do something about it – stop making excuses.
I realized that you don’t have to jump through a series of complicated hoops to achieve a goal.
You can just look at a mountain and get a connection with God, you don’t have to understand the mountain to feel that.

When I first got back from the trip it was an anti-climax. I found it hard to acclimatize to my normal life and I was impatient to change my life immediately.
But changes happen when you are ready.
It took a few months to realize that I must solely concentrate on writing a book, rather than trying to fill various roles as I had before.


The Pilgrimage
was to be my subject, my first step towards my dream.
 
 
 

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Monday of Joy

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Overcoming obstacles


 
A famous Sufi master was invited to give a course in California.
The auditorium was full at 8AM – the time announced – when one of the assistants came onto the stage.

“The master is just waking up. Please be patient.”

Time passed, and people started leaving the room.
At midday, the assistant returned to the stage, saying that the master would be starting the lecture the minute he finished talking to a pretty girl he had just met.
Most of the remaining audience left.

At 4PM the master appeared – apparently drunk.
This time, all but 6 people stormed out.

“I will teach you this,” said the master, ceasing to act drunk.
“Whoever wishes to go down a long path, must learn that the first lesson is to overcome early disappointments.”
 
 
 

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Te amo como un rio

IN ENGLISH HERE: I love you like a river

 

 

Noto Hilal comienza a sentirse incómoda.
“”En Novosibirsk me hiciste concederte un perdón, y yo te lo concedí­. Ahora yo te pido: dime que me amas.

“”¿Ves ese rí­o que está ante nosotros? Pues en la sala de mi departamento existe un cuadro con una rosa colocada en un rí­o semejante. La mitad de la pintura estuvo expuesta a las aguas y a las intemperies, así­ que sus bordes son irregulares; incluso así­, todaví­a puedo ver parte de la bella rosa roja, pintada sobre un fondo dorado.

‘Conozco a la artista. Ella es mi mujer.
‘Cuando la conocí­, tuve a absoluta certeza de que nuestra relación no darí­a resultado.
‘Durante los dos primeros años, yo siempre estaba preparado para que uno de los dos se fuera.
‘ En los cinco años que siguieron, seguí­ pensando que simplemente nos habí­amos acostumbrado uno al otro,pero que luego nos darí­amos cuenta de eso, y cada uno seguirí­a su destino.
‘Me habí­a convencido a mí­ mismo que cualquier compromiso más serio me privarí­a de ‘libertad’ y me impedirí­a vivir todo aquello que deseaba.”

“”Lo entiendo y lo respeto “”dice ella””. Pero tú dijiste una frase en el restaurante, cuando estabas hablando del pasado: el amor es más fuerte. El amor es superior a una persona.
“”Sí­. Pero el amor está hecho de decisiones.

Tomo su mano. Estamos mirando juntos el rí­o.
“”La ausencia de respuesta también es una respuesta “”dice ella.
La abrazo y pongo su cabeza en mi hombro.
“”Yo te amo.

“Yo te amo porque todos los amores del mundo son como rí­os diferentes corriendo hacia un mismo lago, y ahí­ se encuentran y se transforman en un amor único que se vuelve lluvia y bendice la tierra.

“Yo te amo como un rí­o, que da de beber a quien tiene sed y transporta a las personas adonde quieren llegar.
“Yo te amo como un rí­o, que entiende que necesita correr diferente en una cascada y aprender a reposar en una depresión del terreno.

“Te amo porque todos nacemos en el mismo lugar, en la misma fuente, que sigue alimentándonos siempre con más agua. Así­, cuando estamos débiles todo lo que tenemos que hacer es aguardar un poco. Cuando vuelve la primavera, las nieves del invierno se derriten y volvemos a llenarnos de nueva energí­a.

“Yo te amo como un rí­o que comienza solitario y débil en una montaña, y poco a poco va creciendo y uniéndose a otros rí­os que se acercan hasta que, a partir de determinado momento, puede superar cualquier obstáculo para llegar adonde desea.

“Entonces, yo recibo tu amor y te entrego mi amor.

“No el amor de un hombre por una mujer, no el amor de un padre por una hija,no el amor de Dios por sus criaturas.
“Sino un amor sin nombre, sin explicación, como un rí­o que no puede explicar su curso, sólo sigue adelante.
“Un amor que no pide y que no da nada a cambio,sólo se manifiesta.
“Yo nunca seré tuyo, tú nunca serás mí­a, pero aun así­ puedo decir: te amo, te amo, te amo.”

Debe haber sido la tarde, debe haber sido la luz, pero en ese momento el Universo parecí­a entrar finalmente en armoní­a. Nos quedamos ahí­ sentados, sin los menores deseos de volver al hotel, donde Yao ya debí­a estar esperándome.

en ALEPH (disponible em todos los paí­ses de habla hispana)

I love you like a river

EN ESPANOL CLICAR AQUI >> Te amo como un rio

 

 
I see that Hilal is starting to feel uncomfortable.
‘I’m not interested in what our relationship was in a past life. We’re here in the present. In Novosibirsk, you made me forgive you and I did. Now I’m asking you a favour: tell me that you love me.’

I hold her hand.

‘You see this river?
” Well, in the living room in my apartment at home is a painting of a rose immersed in just such a river. Half of the painting was exposed to the effects of the water and the elements, so the edges are a bit rough, and yet I can still see part of that beautiful red rose against a gold background.

“I know the artist. In 2003, we went together to a forest in the Pyrenees and found a dried-up stream and we hid the painting under the stones on the stream bed.
‘The artist is my wife.

“When I met her, I was convinced that our relationship wouldn’t work out, and for the first two years, I was sure that one of us would leave.
” In the five years that followed, I continued to think that we had simply got used to one another and that as soon as we realised this, we would each go our separate ways.
” I thought that a more serious commitment would deprive me of my “liberty” and keep me from experiencing everything I wanted to experience.’

‘I understand and respect what you’re saying,’ Hilal says. ‘But in the restaurant, when you were talking about the past, you said something about love being stronger than the individual.’
‘Yes, but love is made up of choices.’

We are both gazing at the river.

‘Silence is also an answer,’ she says.
I put my arms around her, so that her head is resting on my shoulder.
‘I love you,’ I tell her.

‘I love you because all the loves in the world are like different rivers flowing into the same lake, where they meet and are transformed into a single love that becomes rain and blesses the earth.

‘I love you like a river that gives water to the thirsty and takes people where they want to go.

‘I love you like a river which understands that it must learn to flow differently over waterfalls and to rest in the shallows.

‘I love you because we are all born in the same place, at the same source, which keeps us provided with a constant supply of water. And so, when we feel weak, all we have to do is wait a little. The spring returns, the winter snows melt and fill us with new energy.

‘I receive your love and I give you mine.
“Not the love of a man for a woman, not the love of a father for a child, not the love of God for his creatures.
“But a love with no name and no explanation
‘Like a river that cannot explain why it follows a particular course, but simply flows onwards.

‘A love that asks for nothing and gives nothing in return; it is simply there. I will never be yours and you will never be mine; nevertheless, I can honestly say: I love you.’

Maybe it’s the afternoon, maybe it’s the light, but at that moment, the Universe seems finally to be in perfect harmony. We stay where we are, feeling not the slightest desire to go back to the hotel, where Yao will doubtless be waiting for me.
 
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Twitcam Sept 2, 2011

Searching for a meaning

What is this force that drives us far from the comfort of the familiar and makes us take up challenges instead, even though we know that the glory of this world is only transitory?

I believe this impulse is called the search for the meaning of life.

Over many years of seeking a definitive answer to this question in books, art and science, and in both the dangerous and easy paths i have followed, i have found many answers.
None of them were true.
I am convinced now that a definitive answer will never be given to us in this life.
But, at the moment when we stand once more before the Creator, we will understand each opportunity that was offered to us.

And the Creator’s question will be: “Did you love enough?”
May God guide me and inspire me for the years to come, so I can answer: “yes”.

Twitcam 1 Sep 2011