Archives for September 2012

Thoreau and dreams

…. I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

“He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.

“In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. ”


by Henry David Thoreau

Como si fuese la primera vez


Yo quiero creer que voy a abrir los ojos cada dí­a como si fuese la primera vez. Ver a las personas que me rodean con sorpresa y espanto, alegre por descubrir que están a mi lado compartiendo algo llamado amor, de lo que se habla mucho pero se entiende poco.

Subiré al primer autobús que pase, sin preguntar adónde se dirige, y me bajaré en cuanto vea algo que me llame la atención. Pasaré junto a un mendigo que me pedirá una limosna. Tal vez se la dé, tal vez me parezca que se la va a gastar en bebida y pase de largo -escuchando sus insultos y entendiendo que esta es su manera de comunicarse conmigo-. Veré a alguien que está intentando destruir la cabina telefónica. Tal vez intente impedí­rselo, tal vez entienda que hace eso porque no tiene a nadie con quien conversar al otro lado de la lí­nea y, de esta manera, busca espantar su soledad.

Voy a mirarlo todo y a todos como si fuese la primera vez, sobre todo las pequeñas cosas, a las que ya estoy acostumbrado, de forma que acabe olvidándome de la magia que me rodea: las teclas de mi ordenador, por ejemplo, que se mueven con una energí­a que yo no logro entender; el papel que aparece en la pantalla y que hace mucho tiempo que no se manifiesta de manera fí­sica, aunque yo crea que estoy escribiendo en una hoja en blanco, en la que resulta muy fácil corregir, apenas apretando una tecla. Al lado de la pantalla del ordenador se acumulan algunos papeles que nunca llego a poner en orden por falta de paciencia, pero, si empezara a pensar que esconden novedades, todas estas cartas, notitas, recortes y recibos adquirirí­an vida propia y tendrí­an historias curiosas sobre el pasado y sobre el futuro que contarme. Tantas cosas en el mundo, tantos caminos recorridos, tantas entradas y salidas en mi vida…

Voy a ponerme una camisa que uso muy a menudo y por primera vez voy a prestar atención a su etiqueta, a la manera como fue cosida, y voy a intentar imaginarme las manos que la diseñaron y las máquinas que transformaron este diseño en algo material, visible.

E incluso las cosas a las que estoy acostumbrado -como el arco y las flechas, la taza del desayuno, las botas que se transformaron en una extensión de mis pies de tanto llevarlas- se verán revestidas del misterio del redescubrimiento. Que todo lo que toque mi mano, vean mis ojos o pruebe mi boca sea diferente ahora, aunque haya sido igual durante tantos años. De esta manera, todas ellas dejarán de ser naturaleza muerta, empezarán a transmitirme el secreto de por qué han permanecido tanto tiempo junto a mí­ y manifestarán el milagro del reencuentro con emociones que ya habí­an sido desgastadas por la rutina.

Quiero mirar por primera vez al sol si mañana hace buen tiempo; observar el tiempo nublado si mañana el dí­a es gris. Por encima de mi cabeza existe un cielo del que la humanidad entera, durante millares de años de observación, ya ha dado una serie de explicaciones razonables. Pues me olvidaré de todo lo que he aprendido sobre las estrellas y ellas se transformarán de nuevo en ángeles, o en niños, o en cualquier otra cosa en la que tenga necesidad de creer en un momento dado.

El tiempo y la vida lo fueron transformando todo en algo perfectamente comprensible -y a mí­ me hace falta el misterio, el trueno que es la voz de un dios enfurecido, y no una simple descarga eléctrica que provoca vibraciones en la atmósfera. Yo quiero llenar nuevamente mi vida de fantasí­a, porque un dios enfurecido es mucho más curioso, aterrador e interesante que un fenómeno fí­sico-.

Y, finalmente, que me mire a mí­ mismo como si fuese la primera vez que estuviese en contacto con mi cuerpo y con mi alma. Que mire a esta persona que camina, que siente, que habla como cualquier otra, y que me quede asombrado con sus gestos más simples, como conversar con el cartero, abrir la correspondencia o contemplar a su mujer durmiendo a su lado, preguntándose con quién estará soñando.

Y de esta manera seguiré siendo lo que soy y lo que me gusta ser: una sorpresa permanente para mí­ mismo. Este yo que no fue criado ni por mi padre, ni por mi madre ni por mi escuela, sino por todo aquello que he vivido hasta hoy, que olvidé repentinamente y que estoy descubriendo de nuevo.

Things as they are

Of course things don’t always happen they way we wish they would. There are moments in which we feel we are seeking something that is not meant for us, knocking on doors that don’t open, waiting for miracles that don’t manifest themselves.

Fortunately that is the way things are – if everything went the way we wanted, soon we would no longer have anything to write about, nothing to guide our daily thoughts. This script serves our dreams as nourishment, but to our battles as energy. And as it always happens with the warriors that spend all their energy in the Good Fight, there are moments in which it is best to relax and believe that the Universe is still working for us secretly, even if we cannot comprehend it.

And so, let us allow the Soul of the World to fulfill its mission, and if we can’t help, the best way to collaborate is to pay attention to the simple things in life; the sunset, the people in the street, the reading of a book.

However, in many cases, time continues passing and nothing exceptional happens. But the true warrior of light believes. Just like children believe.

Because they believe in miracles, the miracles begin to happen.

Because they are certain that their thoughts can change their lives, their lives begin to change.

Because they are certain they will find love, this love appears.

Sometimes they are disappointed. Sometimes they feel hurt.

Then they hear the comments, “you are so naí¯ve!”

But the warrior knows it is worth the price. To each defeat, there are two conquests in his favor.

Religions and Sin

Christianity: The Chess Game

A young man said to the abbot from the monastery, “I’d actually like to be a monk, but I haven’t learned anything in life. All my father taught me was to play chess, which does not lead to enlightenment. Apart from that, I learned that all games are a sin.

“They may be a sin but they can also be a diversion, and who knows, this monastery needs a little of both,” was the reply.

The abbot asked for a chessboard, sent for a monk, and told him to play with the young man.

But before the game began, he added, “Although we need diversion, we cannot allow everyone to play chess the whole time. So, we have the best players here; if our monk loses, he will leave the monastery and his place will be yours.”

The abbot was serious. The young man knew he was playing for his life, and broke into a cold sweat; the chessboard became the center of the world.

The monk began badly. The young man attacked, but then saw the saintly look on the other man’s face; at that moment, he began playing badly on purpose. After all, a monk is far more useful to the world.

Suddenly, the abbot threw the chessboard to the floor.

“You have learned far more than was taught you,” he said. “You concentrated yourself enough to win, were capable of fighting for your desire. Then, you had compassion, and were willing to make a sacrifice in the name of a noble cause. Welcome to the monastery, because you know how to balance discipline with compassion.”

Judaism: Forgiving in the Same Spirit

The Rabbi Nahum of Chernobyl was always being insulted by a shopkeeper. One day, the latter’s business began to go badly.

“It must be the Rabbi, who is asking for God’s revenge,” he thought. He went to ask for Nahum’s forgiveness.

“I forgive you in the same spirit you ask for forgiveness.” replied the Rabbi.

But the man’s losses just kept increasing, until he was reduced to misery. Nahum’s horrified disciples went to ask him what had happened.

“I forgave him, but he continued to hate me deep down in his heart.” said the Rabbi. “Therefore, his hatred contaminated everything he did, and God’s punishment became more and more severe.”

Islamism: Where God Is

At a small Moroccan village an imam was thinking about the only well of the entire region. Another Muslim approached him and asked:

“What is in there?”

“God is hidden in there.”

“God is hidden inside this well? That is a sin! What you may be seeing is an image left by the unfaithful!”

The imam asked him to get closer and lean out on the edge. Reflected on the water, he could see his own face.

“But that is me!”

“Right. Now you know where God is hidden.”

Publication dates

Below the publication dates of my new book, “Manuscript found in Accra”
This list is far from being complete, but it is the one I received today from my office.

Who is Melchizedek, King of Salem?


Melchizedek (holding the cup), Chartres Cathedral, France

from Keithpp’s Blog

Who is or was Melchizedek, King of Salem?

Melchizedek appears in “The Alchemist” as a wise old man, who knows the past and appears to know the future. He gives advice to the shepherd boy Santiago re a dream Santiago has had of finding treasure, but he always wakes before the dreams ends. Advice does not come cheap, everything in life has a price, and the old man charges Santiago a tenth of his flock of sheep. But he wishes him well and points him in the right direction of the Pyramids should he wish to find his treasure.

Melchizedek reveals himself to Santiago as the King of Salem. He also gives him two stones Urim and Thummim which will help him to make a decision should he be unable to make a decision himself. He also teaches him how to read the Soul of the World by understanding signs and omens.

Who therefore is or was Melchizedek?

He pops up in Genesis in his encounter with Abraham.

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. [Genesis 14:18-20 NIV]

Whilst unknown to us, he must be known to Abraham, else why hand over ten per cent?

Hebrews sheds a little more light on who Melchizedek might be:

Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. [Hebrews 7:3 KJV]

This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” [Hebrews 7:1-2 NIV]

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace. [Hebrews 7:1-2]

Some say he is God, others that he is Jesus. Maybe an avatar of God.

You can read more about Melchizedek in Keith’s Blog

Living with others

The young man crossed the desert and finally reached the Sceta monastery. There he asked – and was given permission – to attend one of the abbot’s talks.

That afternoon the abbot spoke about the importance of farm work.

When the talk came to an end, the young man commented to one of the monks:

“That really impressed me. I thought that I was going to hear an illuminated sermon on virtues and sins, but the abbot only spoke about tomatoes, irrigation and things like that. Where I come from, everyone believes that God is mercy: all you need to do is pray.”

The monk smiled and answered:

“Here we believe that God has already done His part; now it’s up to us to continue the process.”

Why leave man to the sixth day

A group of wise men gathered to discuss the work of God; they wanted to know why he had left it to the sixth day to create man.

“He thought about first organizing the Universe well, so that we could have all the marvels available to us,” said one of them.

“First of all He wanted to run some tests on animals, so that He would not make the same mistakes with us,” argued another.

One wise Jew showed up at the meeting. They told him the theme of the discussion: “in your opinion, why did God leave it to the last day to create man?”

“Very simple,” commented the wise man. “So that when we were moved by pride, we would remember that even a simple mosquito enjoyed priority in the work of the Divine.”

How My Father Looked

By SULAIMAN ADDONIA

I think I have a way of finding out what my father looked like. Yes, finally! Excuse my excitement. My father died when I was very young, and to this day, I have never seen a picture of him. My search for his face goes back to when I lived in a refugee camp in eastern Sudan.
It was around 1977 when we arrived at the camp on camel from Eritrea, then under Ethiopian control and fighting for independence. My father had been murdered, but at 2 years old I had no understanding of the circumstances. Sudan promised a new beginning.
For the next two years, we lived in a hut, and my mother did odd jobs, but it wasn’t enough. She finally found work as a servant in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and left us with our grandparents in the refugee camp. I was about 4. Each day afterward, her image became more vague and abstract, just like my father’s. It felt as if I had never had parents.
My mother couldn’t read or write, but she used to record tapes and send them to us. She told us about her life in Jeddah. I would stay in our hut and play the tapes over and over again. I tried to focus on visualizing her face. That was when I started trying to create portraits of both my parents. I imagined my father’s features like mine, with pronounced nose and eyes, and I reinvented my mother’s warm smile. Drawing their pictures in my head, I believed, brought me closer to them.
Then one day, three years after she left, my mother finally sent us a photo of herself. We hung the framed photo on the wall, the only bit of color against the pale mud. Oh, my beautiful mother! I missed her madly.

to continue reading (another 2 minutes), please go to New York Times here

Negotiating with the enemy

When the moment of combat draws near, the Warrior of Light is prepared for any circumstance. He analyzes each possibility and asks himself: “What would I do if I had to fight against myself?”

This is how he discovers his weak points.

At this moment the adversary approaches, carrying a bag filled with promises, agreements and negotiations. He has tempting proposals and easy alternatives to offer.

The warrior analyzes each of these proposals; he also seeks an agreement, but without losing his dignity. If he avoids combat, it is not because he was seduced – but rather because he decided that this was the best strategy.

A Warrior of Light does not accept presents from the enemy.

On the defense and on the attack

The warrior is careful with people who think they can control the world, determine their own steps, and are certain that they know the right path. They are always so confident in their own capacity of decision that they do not realize the irony with which fate writes everyone’s life.

The Warrior of Light has dreams. His dreams carry him forward. But he never commits the mistake of thinking that the road is easy and the door wide.

He knows that the Universe works like alchemy: solve et coagula, say the masters. “Concentrate and disperse your energy according to the situation.”

There are moments to act and moments to accept.

In the face of defeat

The Warrior of Light knows how to lose. He does not hold defeat as something indifferent, using phrases like “well, it wasn’t all that important”, or “to tell the truth, I did not really want that”.

He accepts defeat as a defeat; he does not try to change it into a victory or an experience. He suffers the pain of his wounds, the indifference of his friends and the loneliness of loss. At such moments he says to himself: “I fought for something, and I failed to get it. I lost the first battle.”

This phrase will give him strength. He is aware that nobody wins all the time – but the courageous always win in the end.