Archive for philosophy

Being Fresh..”Auntie Ann’s Biscuits”

Posted in A Different Perspective with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2014 by thecountessshadow

 

tango

Nothing is more beautiful than feeling like a surprised child whose innocent eyes are so wide and taken by everything, exploring the world around him, and paying attention to every detail without losing the charm of the big whole image. A breathless soul for whom everything is new, everything is a mind blowing discovery, things, people, whatever his eyes see it takes his breath away with passion. They taught us that being so surprised is not a good thing (I don’t know if you were blessed with different teachings but that was my own!), that we had to become mature mentally and emotionally, to handle things with wisdom, and I have never spotted a more stupid teaching than this one, but it took me decades to understand this! The word mature is supposed to be good, like an apple that is red and ripe, a one that reached the peak of its glory and readiness to achieve its full potential, but for humans, the word rarely means the same glorious thing. It usually means that the person is depressed enough to notice any magic in the world, any symbol beyond the words or things, it simply means he has just lost interest, or in a more sophisticated way, he lost the freshness of his soul, and became a dead apple instead of being a ripe one! It seems as if the reason for the freshness of a child is the lack of experience or knowledge about the world, which may be partially true, but extremely superficial. Personally I believe it is his innate nature that is supposed to stay even when knowledge accumulates and it does not, because that child is artficially manipulated that his nature is distorted.

At any point in anyone’s life, his knowledge regarding most things is very limited until the moment he passes away. At any point, you know nothing about plants, their types, their life span, animals, places in the world, customs of other nations, or even thoughts of other people, billions of people all around the world, and these are just few examples. At any point you know nothing about almost everything, and your maturity is just the most unrecognized psychiatric sign of depression, a very weird type of depression that is very resistant to all antidepressants, a one that is not mentioned in the DSM, because it is a one that is generally acceptable or may be even blessed! Man finds himself bored, consumed with the delusion that he knows what is coming, you find yourself expecting events, expecting others’ reactions, hearing a word from someone and categorizing him into one of your fixed categories, and life feels so pale and boring. The tricky thing is that you categorize the other motivated by your so called maturity, and in turn he categorizes you, and the more strange thing is that you both fit into the stereotype the other categorized you in, and you are both dead struggling to find something to say to each other to fill the painful silence. This may sound an exaggeration for you, but to me, it is very true, happening all the time to me and to those around me.

I have read something written by a fellow blogger called “can we just talk”, and apart from the specific meaning that blogger wanted to convey, I thought about it and found that we are really unable to talk, not just unable to talk, but may be unable to see, to smell, or to use any of our senses to its maximal potential, because we are no more interested. How can we talk to each other, if each one can not talk to himself/herself? How can I genuinely care about you when I do not genuinely care about myself?! The psychologists say that children are self centred, and I say they are so much curious about themselves that they meet the world with the same fresh curiosity. They can make friendships easily, they can enjoy simple things, they are always imaginative and dreamy and still deeply involved in the real world, playing and running under the sun (I guess I am envying the kids!).

I was thinking about racism, and do not ask me what is the relationship between this post and racism, as always, I have no idea, and my thoughts are just impulsive the way you see them! So back to racism, laws fight it but it grows inside even if people deny it, you can spot it easily in simple gestures and stereotypical ideas of each group of people about other groups, and when you look closer you will find that the stereotypical racist is usually a nationalist, apparently a nationalist. Bretrand Russel argued that national symbols should be discarded in favor of a global flag for the whole planet to fight racism, but I find myself arguing against Russel, not because I am a fan of racism! but because I see the psychological roots of this ugly problem differently. Let me simply state, how can I respect you, when I despise myself?! How can you see my beauty when You can not spot yours?! It may sound stupid to you, but I invite you to watch closely any enthusiastic nationalist (mostly political ones) and look beyond the enthusiastic words into his/her life, and you will be astonished that he/she takes no pride in their culture, habits, or even families at times. I do not talk at the superficial speeches they give, but I talk about the true inner feelings that only a relative or a close friend may know. You may disagree with me, but I strongly invite you to check and see for yourself. I think nationalism and holding high your own values or traditions (even as a folklore you disagree with but are not ashamed of!) is the only way to embrace the other naturally. The problem is that true nationalists (actually the word is inaccurate but lets just use it) are not interested in giving political speeches, they may be artists, scientists, or regular people just enjoying their simple everyday life, and you will never know about them. You need to feel proud about yourself to be able to sense the beauty in the other, or let’s say, you need to be as natural as a child who loves mama Fatema’s pie and jumps happily for the lovely auntie ann’s biscuits! Does this make any sense to you, or is it just my nonsense?!

 

Her Wild Stallion

Black and White

Posted in A Different Perspective with tags , , , , , , on June 29, 2014 by thecountessshadow

 

 

I am a fan of the “black and white” world! black and white cinema, black and white photos, black and white thoughts, black and white anything! Black and white world is heavily loaded, very symbolic. For the cinema, it is the nostalgia for what is old, the sweetly weird sensation that crawls into one’s nerves when the ancient/old shows up, may be it is that life sucks and we enjoy the delusion that old times were better and more relaxing, may be it is just some sort of longing for the origin in a simple way, who knows what it is?! For the photos it is elegance! I think that most people I met felt the same, black and white photos are elegance, coloured ones are joy, which may point at something interesting which is that elegance and joy do not go together, but that is another story. But if elegance is the underlying reason that most people (or at least myself) find black and white photos interesting, attractiveness is the reason making black and white thoughts so invading! Radical ideas are so appealing and so scary, and being so appealing makes them more scary, and the scarier they become, the more appealing they get! Like Adam’s apple, you want to pick it up, but you are afraid, like sex, everybody wants it, but everybody is conditioned to think of it as a sin and that makes it an obsession!

I was thinking about how much I admire Che Guevara, how much his life inspires me, then I asked myself whether I would choose Che Guevara as a president in democratic elections if that was an option? I was astonished to find that the answer was NO, and I was far more astonished to find that it did not take a lot of time to reach that answer! I would love Guevara, I would follow him, cry over his dead body (if I ever had the chance), but I would choose a compromising liar, a cunning politician to rule! I think the reason for this is very obvious as a charming radical revolutionary would be a dictator once in power, a very wild one indeed, while a cunning politician will remain the way he is, just a cunning disgusting creature, and though I disrespect him, he won’t bother me beyond inducing a desire to vomit which is a thing I can deal with!

As the radical thinker I am (sometimes) I find it troublesome that a figure of mine is not absolutely perfect. I love perfection, and I seek it in my figures (just like a teenager though I am not anymore!), but I can not bend the facts to create a pseudoperfect image. I think that is why the black and white world interests me, it is like it only shows the prominent things, and leave the other details so pale to even be noticed, it creates an inspiring world, but a dreamy one, an unreal one, like a verse of poetry that ignites your mind with one thousand thoughts, but it is just a spark that may cause a fire anywhere and lead you in any direction (of your choice). Radicalism is so appealing like nature, like a cottage over a hill, or sitting around fire in a cave, so lovely to think of or try once in a safari trip, but so tiring to live constantly. The problem with Guevara is not that he is imperfect, it is simply that he is not designed to live in a presidential palace and rule, he is meant for living in the wild and fighting for justice, and that is the role nature chose for him (or may be the role he chose for himself), just like a tiger living in the wild, so graceful as it races the wind, but how well would it do if it is forced to rule over other animals and eat one of them whenever it feels hungry?! I understand the example is so defective, but I hope it is clear enough to convey the meaning I wanted to say.

In nature, a tiger has its life and its role with no responsibilities other than survival, and so is the deer, a rabbit and every other species, except for our species, the most complex one! Our human species was blessed with the mind, but the bless was the very curse itself, it blessed humans with the ability to create a civilization and change nature but created an urge to keep looking for a meaning for their life beyond mere survival. Humans are the only species whose members spend most of their lives doing things that are not related to their survival, they spend more time inventing tableware and table manners than the time they spend in securing the food itself! Their search for a meaning led them to many great things, like morality and manners for example, but at the same time, created a wild constant struggle inside them, a struggle between the mind and the flesh, survival and morality, natural radicalism and civilized compromise, a struggle between what they are and what they can learn to be. It is the mind,the learning tool that made a human being able to change the fate imprinted on his genes, and become confused. Imagine a deer that joined the military and got trained to kill and suddenly found itself playing the role of a wild lioness, how would it deal with the situation, what sort of struggle would it feel when it changed the nature loaded on its genes?! Then is it that humans have distorted their nature with the mind, it may seem so, but if you look closer you would find that the mind is the most important tool nature has provided the human species with, and as any other species they used what they got so how can they get blamed for it? If you go with this flow of thoughts you may reach a conclusion that this struggle is exactly what was meant for humans by nature, as if it causes some sort of individual suffering but leads to a better collective result for the whole species from a survival point of view. If you ask me what does this have to do with the “black and white” thing, I will go back to our military deer! Imagine that deer watching a black and white photo of a free deer racing the wind in the wild, and try to find out how would it feel? Personally I believe graceful silence would be that deer’s reaction when it watches that photo, an elegant and relaxing photo for it, I think it will keep looking at it and its mind will dive deeply to the origin creating a blank look in its eyes (for an outsider), then it comes back to real life, puts the photo away and gets back to its new life.

I do not know what you are thinking about this discussion, but for me it is a major problem (I am a fan of problem solving that I may invent problems out of nothing to solve them!) and I deal with it in the way I invented for myself to relieve that struggle and I am sure each of you has his own way for that. I believe humans are meant to act like a pendulum, constantly moving between radicalism and compromise, naturalism and civilization, “black and white” and colors! In other words, we have no way but to think/feel radical, and to live with compromise! You can be very radical in your thoughts and feelings, it is the only natural thing, but you have to be rational enough to know that the other, is another black and white radical phenomenon that you have to accept to allow a colored joyful image to be drawn. You do not have to fight your nature to reach a compromise with the others’ thoughts or feelings to partially accept them, but all you have to do is to accept their presence, and accept your totally different sort of presence, and only by allowing different shades of black and white to exist together, a joyful colored image can come to life. So let’s say, I love to be a black and white thinker, but I enjoy living in colors, what about yourself?!

 

Her Wild Stallion

Personal Cinema

Posted in A Different Perspective with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2014 by thecountessshadow

Northernlights

I love to read, it is one of my passions, the word is very accurate as I really love the act of “reading” rather than the content itself, I noticed that lately. It is true I do have my own preferences in what I read like everybody else, but I feel as if I am more flexible in those preferences more than others (I know), and that is not because I am more cultured and well read than others, not at all, but it is because I enjoy the reading ritual itself! Yes, For me it is a ritual, with special preparations. When I feel like reading I start setting the stage, making myself some coffee, turning on music, putting my ashtray beside me, and some other details that are irrelevant. I understand that those details may appear normal and irrelevant themselves, and everyone must have his own habits and ways of doing things, reading or anything else, but I have a feeling that for me it is a bit different, as if it is some sort of fetish! I conducted a simple experiment on myself by choosing a poetry book I love and just sitting down to read it, and I found myself feeling differently about it, yes I still enjoyed the book, but the joy was much less than what I used to feel with the optimal conditions for my reading ritual! I started turning on some music and I felt better, then I changed the place to my preferred corner in the house and I felt far more better. It may seem a meaningless issue but it caught my attention, and I started thinking about my preferences in arts.

I used to believe that music was my favourite art followed by literature, but I started suspecting that, as I enjoy the reading material with special effects, sound effects, olfactory effects! and many other things which is more like the cinema! I thought about it for a while, yes I do love the cinema and the movies, but I can not say it is my preferred art, I even have always been a TV hater and used to feel it a stupid device! I started to think more about it and I believe it is as simple as this, I prefer the cinema, but my own created movie, where I am the director who blends the music, the written material, and everything else in a way that interests my mind. I remembered when I was a teenager and I composed some silly poems, I always insisted on reading them for my audience myself, sometimes even with the music that inspired me the verses! Yes I know I was a silly boy, but that is not the point now, the point is that I tried to transfer my own personal movie with all its effects! I noticed that I tend to do the same in this blog, I usually listen to some music that inspires me to write something, and I post the music with my thoughts below it, some other times, it is not music, it is a painting or even a quotation, but there is always something that inspires me. I thought that I write in this way because I am not talented enough to create a separate work of my own, as I have always thought of myself as having a lot of emotions without a strong enough talent to express them, and though this may be true indeed, it is not the prominent reason beyond that attitude of mine. It seems like my thoughts are an extension of that original piece of art, as if I am directing a movie of my own, adding my personal touch, and what I write or think of is meaningless without that inspiring core! It is like being a day dreamer in my own special way, creating worlds of my own from the given materials, sometimes I am just a watcher of these worlds and sometimes I enjoy getting involved myself. I do a very mad thing, taking those dreamy worlds of mine into my real life, creating an extension of the melodies or the characters or whatever according to the sort of art in the real world. I understand that that last part may seem a little vague if you are not my same type of a day living dreamer if there is anything like this, but explaining it would need a whole post, so lets just leave it here and go on. It is fantastic how many different feelings and visions I can have with reading the same poem at different times of the day, or with a different background of music, while drinking an evening coffee or a morning tea! It is like a magic puzzle that makes sense no matter how you connect it, and the more charming is that it is not about books or music, it is the fantastic design of life with endless possibilities. Life is the magical puzzle where there is no right or wrong pieces, the magical puzzle where all pieces can somehow relate to each other to draw the final painting of your choice, then you can take that piece away, and add that other one changing a detail here and there, with every subtle move creating a new road, making you fresh every single day! You may be young or old, depressed or happy, but fresh all the time, dynamic all the time like a sea wave that hits the land, then dive back to the depth of the sea..

Sometimes it feels like creativity is synonymous to flexibility, yes of course I understand they are very different, but to my mind at this moment they just sound the same! As if there is no demarcating line between what is inside and outside, like there is no difference between your friend X at work, and your friend Y between the covers of your book, and it feels like it is just a dance that all you can do is to join, adding your touch to it, and it becomes your own personal movie, or may be you put your touch to the big collective movie we are all creating, each coming with his personal film blending it with the big one, that is ever-changing, and it is just like that all you have to do is to recognize that secret (I am fond of secrets even if there are none!), that you simply create what you live like a god, live what you create like a man, and every moment there is a fresh chance to create/live something else. That secret gives a lot of joy that overwhelms me to an extent that takes me to the edge of madness to say that the ultimate creativity may be to do nothing and just join the dance, but again I feel like adding my touch to the dance by doing something, anything, many things may be, or again nothing! May be this is my own style of dancing, but it takes my breath away when my mind creates this new image of me standing over the summit of a hill looking from above at the collective dance, watching myself down in the crowds doing my part, it feels so graceful.
Unlike many people think, it is so beautiful to feel like a drop in the vast sea of people and life, but only when the drop recognizes how unique it is in its oneness, how important it is for the final image, it starts to appreciate the beauty of the collective group movie, or hmm, dance feels lovelier!
So now, the interesting thing, or may be the silly one, is that Shakira’s song “Quiero” was in the background playing as I wrote this post. If you ask me what is the relationship between that song and my words, my answer is I have no idea, but my union with Shakira has brought this post to life, the only difference is that unlike me, her talent is unbelievable and irresistible! At least, after suffering with my post, here is your treat, this beautiful song :).

 

 

 

Her Wild Stallion

The Red Room

Posted in A Different Perspective with tags , , , on July 12, 2013 by thecountessshadow

Science-of-Sin

I have always believed that the key to heaven (if there is any!) must be hidden in the most unexpected place, inside the red room!

With the fear of breaking taboos and the moral obsession creating a scary halo around that room, I have always assumed that the only obstacle was to have the courage to enter and search within the corners of the forbidden territory! 🙂

After a while a new question has arisen, a question I never considered, what if you enter the red room, and never find your way out?!

It is true, entering the forbidden territory requires a great deal of courage, getting outside it requires a greater deal of enlightenment! It is true that the magic key is hidden inside the forbidden red room of instincts, but when you open the door, things are never the same again, you cannot just get out and close the door, it is either you find the magic key and get out, or stay locked in there forever!

Is it worth the risk? Is it even a choice or a destiny? who knows, or probably it is more appropriate to say, who cares?

Her Wild Stallion

Ghosts…of the past!!!

Posted in A Different Perspective with tags , , , , on May 5, 2013 by thecountessshadow

ghosts of the past
Living in the past is the worst jail one can ask for. A psychotherapist will give you a deep look and act like a genius who is just about to tell you the word that will change your life forever, he looks you straight in the eyes and tells you, don’t live in the past, be here and now, there is no …. and he will be pissed off if you were a silly kid the way I was 10 years ago (may be a little more but I am not admitting that I am getting older 😀 ) and completed the sentence for him saying, there is no past and no future, just here and now and nothing else! I was even sillier (it is sort of embarrassing to me now when I remember it) to say, wow, isn’t that Sartre’s existential philosophy! That therapist was a little bit older than myself now, and that is why he was bothered by my silliness and subtle aggression instead of finding a way to understand the mad boy I was :).
I don’t know why I mentioned him here, but may be because that man never knew that I respected him though I never expressed it, my rebellion was a way of telling him that he was not answering my questions, that he was not showing me the way, but after more than a decade, I can say that though he was not as wise as I needed him to be, he was keen and devoted and his support has helped me a lot but I realized it later.

Now, regarding the past, I believe it is not like it seems to be, just some good or bad memories, and by the way, good memories can be as bad as negative memories if you get locked inside them! The past is not always a past, may be it has passed and rationally speaking, you can say it is gone, but though this sounds logic, it is not, as it deals with a human as if he/she is just a mind while we are far more complex than this. The past is present in the sense that it affects your choices, it affects the way you judge things, and the way you react to things, simply because it did share in forming the person you are right now. When the past is harsh, it sometimes feels like you are surrounded by ghosts, ghosts from that past trying to potentiate their presence by pushing you to repeat the same sequence once again, making your future persona the exact same as your present one, and thus making your life a mere repetition which a psychologist may call sickness, but I will simply call it boring! very very boring indeed! I don’t know if you got bored yet, or still can take more of my crap, but I hope the latter! 🙂

So, I totally agree with that advice “be here and now “, but I just don’t think that saying it would make it happen even if you strongly believe in it.
That state is the door, but the door is locked, and we need a key! That key I was offending my psychotherapist to give to me, but he never did! I don’t think that the key is one universal key that will work with everyone and may be that is why my old friend couldn’t find it for me, I had to find it myself, and so do you :), but sharing our experiences is always helpful even if my key is not yours, but we can help each other to find each one’s unique key. So again, even if we have different keys to our psychological doors, we do share the exact same first reaction, to escape the ghosts of the past, to run away from them like they are going to disappear, but if you are a fan of horror movies like myself, you must know that nobody can escape the ghost! 🙂
You need an exorcist, and the exorcist here is not a priest, it is free choice! Yes it is that simple, free choice is the key! I can imagine a lot of you are disappointed now thinking that I am a fool exactly like I thought of my psychotherapist (I can sympathise with him now :D), maybe it is true that I am a fool offering nothing to you, but for myself, it seemed like a magic key. It is more like a feeling than an idea, and it comes when you throw away the solid ideologies, traditions, or whatever you were made to think that was right, it comes with rebellion and throwing away the pre-conceived choices you were taught. I don’t know if my point is clear, but I am just trying to report my own experience hoping that you may give me the pleasure of capturing the subtle meaning I am pointing at.

So back to the free choice concept, I will rephrase something I said above to make it more accurate. It is not the past that made you the person you are now it is your own choices in the past that controlled your previous actions, and thus made you the person you are now. It seems the same, as how can you change your choices for now to be the person you want to be?! And that is the whole point of the “here & now” quote. You have to stop wishing to be someone, and start doing what you want to do right now however mad, bizarre or unusual it might be, and irrespective of where it is going to take you, a better place, a heaven, may be! A scary hell, it is still possible! But that is the only way I found myself. The ghosts of the past are very powerful as long as you are wishing for something, as long as you are trying to achieve, but the moment you stop trying to be (whatever you wish for!), and just execute whatever you feel, is the moment you start to be! To be here and now! It is like everything in life, after a lot of experiences and thinking, you realize that the answer was simple and there all the time, but you never noticed, as simple as your grandma’s advice, follow your instincts and just be yourself, or may be as simple as my old therapist who said be here and now, but I was just not ready. If I can find him again, I will give him a tip, his advice was fair enough, but he needed to add something to it, he needed to tell me that he was unable to give me the key, that I needed to find a way all by myself to be here and now, and that is why grandma’s advice sounded more beautiful and simple.

You know that I am fond of philosophising everything so let me say this last part. It is like the ghosts are the ones who are locked not us, just if we look at it the right way! We have our earthy bodies with all our desires and our heavenly souls with all of their pureness and beauty, and these are our scared areas, the sacred land and heaven where the ghosts cannot thrive! They can only live in between both areas, in the grey zone of our minds, our psyche, and all we need to do, is to leave the haunted territory to live and operate from a different area, a real one, a body you can touch and smell, and a spirit that can fly, but again does that make any sense? Or am I still residing and writing to you from the haunted house?! 🙂 It is very hard to tell, but at least we are talking and having fun! (or so I think!)

 

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Her Wild Stallion

Loneliness & Existential Boredom

Posted in A Different Perspective with tags , , , , , , on April 18, 2013 by thecountessshadow

loneliness_4c45c6d1ac27a_hires

Most people I met throughout my life were always complaining about their lives one way or another. Of course there is that sort of whiny people who complain all the time about anything and everything, but that is not what I am talking about here. I am talking about normal, mature people, who are most often tough and going along with their lives so well, those people who don’t usually whine or complain, but you can easily spot that subtle sadness hiding deeply inside them, peering out of their eyes at special moments, and if you are a good listener and they do open up to you, you will be astonished to find the most apparently happy people keeping a lot of sadness and dissatisfaction inside them! I can imagine some of you now thinking of me as a gloomy person looking for sadness everywhere, just like the popular Egyptian saying “looking for sadness with forceps! “, but that is not true! (Who am I kidding here?! :))
Well, I am not sure if I am a pessimistic person or not, but what I am sure of is that my personal mood and taste have nothing to do with this remarkable observation that I am discussing now.
What actually astonishes me is not the fact that most people alive are sad or somehow unsatisfied (that does not catch the attention of a gloomy person!), but what does catch my attention is the content of their complaints. For a while you might think that everybody has his/her own issues that trouble him, but when you listen carefully and look closer beyond the traditional introduction (kids, bills, work,…etc.) that is somehow individualized, you will discover that they all complain about the exact same thing (everyone in his own words), but obviously, it is emptiness, a deep sense of boredom and emptiness! Believe it or not, but this is how most people do feel regardless of their age, sex, ethnic group, or social/educational background. At first I linked those feelings to poverty with all the deprivation it brings, or to social withdrawal and loneliness in introvert people with all the negative feelings they create, but with time I knew how wrong I was! Of course I don’t deny that poverty and loneliness ( and many other disturbing things humans encounter) can be a source of a great deal of suffering and pain, but they do not cause that sense of emptiness! They may just make you pay attention to it more quickly, but they certainly do not cause it.
There must be some people who think I am a fool who builds a whole post about a false assumption that most humans are sad! and they most probably have stopped reading earlier, so if you are reading this far, I will make another assumption that you do agree with me about my observation, and wish for us to discuss it further, so bear with me, as I do not have a solid idea or explanation, and as usual, I am just sharing my crude thoughts with you.

I noticed that most people who frankly complained of boredom and emptiness, also complained about being lonely, and the simple explanation that humans are social creatures who suffer when they are alone might seem fair enough for some but actually not for me, and I will tell you why right now. First because though most people who have that sense of existential boredom are lonely, there are still others with a very busy social life who feel the same way, second because most lonely people who find support at some point from family members or friends and cease being physically lonely, almost never cease feeling lonely and bored (though they are not anymore!) and another important point is that most of these people do not fulfill the criteria of  clinically significant depression and may be functioning well in their professional lives, so from a psychiatric point of view they are normal individuals ( and they are indeed!) so it is not a disease we are dealing with here. My third reason is that a lot of sociable people complain of a sense of loneliness despite being in a crowd! For me, loneliness is not the underlying cause of that existential boredom, it seems more like a synonymous feeling than a cause! Anyway, whatever your opinion is we will agree that the word loneliness is a keyword in this issue that requires more attention, so let’s go on from here.
A wise man I respect once said “You must feel lonely, because you are alone inside your body!”. This is one quote I adore, and one I want to start my discussion from. It seems that people do fear loneliness very much, that they rush to any company even if it makes them uncomfortable, or even hurt them at times, just to run away from loneliness as if they are running from an angry wild beast! This is especially obvious during the early stages of human development as in adolescence, when you find an adolescent preferring to stay with a crowd that hurts him/her to being alone! This behaviour does not exclusively occur in adolescence, as it happens for all people in different degrees, but it is just more obvious and pronounced in that age group, before young boys and girls grow up and learn how to hide that fear of loneliness ( instead of looking into it! ). It just seems that loneliness is so scary that people may hurt themselves to escape it! So, what is so scary about loneliness? What does it mean to be lonely? Well, if you remove the halo of negative energy surrounding that word, you will recognize that a lonely person is someone who is alone at the moment you are describing him/her! Yes, it is that simple, and moreover it seems pretty normal! I never heard of somebody complaining of being lonely in the bathroom for example! So what is wrong with being alone in a classroom or an office? Why does it create all those negative feelings?! I know some of you may argue that my description of that painful feeling is very superficial, and that I am committing a sort of logical fault when I compare it to being alone in a bathroom, when it is a state of being alone most of the time, and a feeling that the person is left behind, what we call loneliness! Well, I will agree with this, it is not just a logical fault but it is actually a very stupid and silly description from me, and I know it, but I used it to show you how many logical faults people commit, and how many false ideas people mention as facts when they describe their loneliness!
Let’s start with the crude meaning of the word. When a person says that he/she is lonely, it almost always means something else!, as the word alone needs the “place parameter” to mean something, alone in the office? Alone in the house? Alone in your room or what? Actually we are always surrounded with people in all those places, then it is not about physical loneliness. Is it about being unable to interact with people around you? It is possible, but from my own experience and observation, everybody will find somebody to interact with everywhere, it is a fact! You may be unable to approach a woman you like at work, or get along with some cool guys in school, or many similar things according to your age, but these things are not being lonely! So now I guess you understand what I meant when I said that most people use the word lonely to describe something else, but that does not mean they do not feel lonely! That is not what I said, as they do feel lonely indeed! What I wanted to conclude were 2 things, that people use the word lonely frequently to describe any bad feeling or frustration, second, that being lonely is an internal feeling not an external state or a logical fact!
So now if we get back to our earlier question, why do we fear loneliness so much, or what do we actually fear? The shocking answer is that it is ourselves we do fear indeed! The angry wild beast you run away from is nothing but your own self!
At a certain point in my life, I was astonished to find that I enjoyed the company of others when I could hardly stand the company of myself! When I looked closer it was easy to find that it was not others’ company I enjoyed, it was the noise a crowd created that I loved, a noise that helped me to escape the inner silence, to escape the reality of my existence, that it is only me who resides within that body! That I am one, and one is alone, or like that same wise man said, you are alone with…! I don’t know if I am making my point clear but I hope you got it.
But again, what does this have to do with existential boredom, or that sense of emptiness, and dissatisfaction? And my answer is that it has everything to do with it! Since the dawn of time, man has had that same problem, the same harsh questions, who is he, and why is he here? A human comes to life, lives for a while, and passes away, and he just can’t understand what is going on.
I believe it is this question that we fear, it is this question that makes us crave noise to escape it, it is that question that makes us set targets all the time to keep our minds busy to avoid it! I will go further to say that most of us choose to live in preset moulds ( preset traditions, morals, norms, life-long plans!) as if we are sheep in a herd ( sorry for the expression but we all do it! ) to escape that scary question.
Sometimes I have a sort of extreme and weird idea, that almost every system in our lives be it political, social, or religious was designed to help us avoid that question, to make sure that nobody comes in close contact with himself! To make us all repeated copies of each other and I believe that is the best way to waste an already short life, but that is another story! It might sound superficial or even stupid for some of you, but I do personally believe that living in a mould, avoiding yourself’s company to escape the scary question is the source of that existential boredom and emptiness! The question is so scary, facing it brings fear and insecurity at times, but escaping it makes us dead inside, like a gear in a machine.
It is important to mention that by saying, be in your own self’s company and face your existential question, I never meant it to be an invitation to quit living and go over a mountain to sit by yourself and think, not at all! Actually I meant it to be an invitation to start living fully, to never avoid anyone’s company including yourself, to never make a choice because you were taught that it is the right thing to do, as this is the biggest lie ever! I personally believe that there is no right or wrong choice, there is only my choice, and your choice, nothing more.
I was astonished to know that some of the bestselling books are books with titles like “change your life, be the master of yourself, be an alpha, ..etc.” and though I respect the sacred right of every person to choose the material he/she reads, I’d say that is a waste of money if you ask me! I never claimed to have the answer, and all I do is share my questions and my ideas about them with you, but I really want to say that if anybody wants to change his life (or actually start it!) all he needs to do is to follow his instincts and listen to the sound of himself, not any other. I believe that if a man wants to start living, he needs to be brave enough to throw every preset mould in the nearest garbage can, take a deep breath, and start the risky and beautiful journey that is called life.
Now here is something that is not related to the post, but you must know by now that I cannot write a single post without getting myself involved some way or another, I tried to control that narcissistic trait of mine but that seems to be impossible! 🙂 I want to share my greatest fear with you, it is to regret a lost life when my time comes, to regret any wasted moment in lies, maybe I am greedy, or may be not and that is just one other fear we all share, who knows? 🙂

Her Wild Stallion

Ibn Arabi..A short poem

Posted in Poetry & Literature with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2013 by thecountessshadow

402px-Ibn_arabi

Ibn Arabi ( Abu Abdullah Muhammed Ibn Ali Ibn Muhammed Ibn Arabi ), an Arab Andalusian philosopher, poet, and Sufi mystic, widely known as Al-Shaikhu Al-Akbar which is an arab title that means the greatest master!

Born in Spain ( Andalus under the arab rule ) to a respectful family, he started to show high intellectual abilities at a young age which was fed by his presence in the world’s highest cultural centre at his time. He is considered by the world as one of the greatest philosophers though he never classified himself as a philosopher, and had always declared that he distasted philosophy as he believed that even the greatest mind in its purest form was unable to capture the absolute truth. He believed that the mind was a means of gaining knowledge to start the path, but it was the experience and the spiritual inspiration that would reveal the existential facts. Side by side along his impressive spiritual journey, Ibn Arabi had another journey around the globe, from Spain, to Morocco, Egypt, Anatolia, Turkey, Hijaz, Iraq, and Syria. He spent his life in reading, writing, meditating, and travelling, and a very rich life it was indeed.

For those of you who are not familiar with the terms “Sufi, Sufism”, I will try to explain it briefly. It is definitely a huge issue that needs a whole post, or even a whole book to discuss this amazing spiritual path and impressive school of thought, but for now, I will just try to shed some light upon the issue. Sufi is the adjective, and Sufism is the noun, and it is an Islamic mystic spiritual pathway that appeared around the ninth century ( roughly, I am not sure! ). The root of the word is uncertain with some people thinking that it originated from the greek word Sofia which means wisdom, others believing that the true origin of the term was the arabic word “Suf” which means wool, as the early Sufi masters were known to wear wool as a sort of asceticism. The root of the word may be uncertain, but what is well-known for sure, is that Sufism was a mystical spiritual pathway that implied meditation, asceticism, purifying the interior rather than focusing on the external appearance, self-denial, and love as a means of seeking the truth about human, life, and God, the fact of facts as Sufi masters called Him! It is a pathway that embraces the concept of divine love, that reflects itself as a love for the divine manifestations in nature, humans and all of God’s creatures, and implies a lot of hard work by the follower of this path to purify himself from hatred, jealousy, envy, aggression, and every negative emotion that blocks the vision according to the Sufis, a process they call ” emptying of the cup! ” which is achieved by isolation, meditation and experiences. There were a lot of Sufi masters like Al-halaj, Ibn Al-Fared, Ibn Arabi, as well as many others, but anyway, this post is not about Sufism, it is about Ibn Arabi, but I just wanted to shed some light on the term.

There was a lot of debate about Ibn Arabi with some people considering him to be a great master, others just saw him as an irreligious heretic! But despite that debate nobody, even those who hated him, was able to ignore his remarkable writings, and his impressive share in the human thought and civilisation. He wrote many books, and many poems collected in a beautiful Divan. His famous books include ” Al Futuhat Al-Mekkiya” which means “The Meccan illumination”, “Turjuman Al-Ashwaq” which means ” The interpreter of desires” ” Al-itihad Al-kawni” which is literally translated to be, the universal union, but known in English as ” The Universal tree and the four birds”, as well as many other books. This is one beautiful short poem of his, I personally find it very beautiful and meaningful, and I wanted to share them with everyone, so I will post the arabic verses and my English translation of them. Again, please pardon my translation as it was real hard to translate it half as beautifully as it was written by him in Arabic, but the meanings are so beautiful and I hope you enjoy them.

كنت قبل اليوم أنكر صاحبى
ما لم يكن دينه لدينى دان
و لقد اصبح قلبى قابلا كل صورة
فمرعى لغزلان
و دير لرهبان
و كعبة طائف
و بيت لاوثان
أدين بدين الحب انى توجهت ركائبه
فالحب دينى و ايمانى
 
محيى الدين بن عربى 
 

The friend with faith unlike mine
I denied everyday
before today

And now my heart is ready
to accept every form
Every way
I embrace this very day

A deer prairie
A monk’s priory

A Kaaba for a roamer
Or a temple of idols

For love is my only religion
my only faith
For I go
wherever the river
of love flows.

Ibn Arabi

Her Wild Stallion