Category Archives: Personal

Desiderata - Max Ehrmann, 1927

Sound and timeless advice

I had to share this. Sound and timeless advice.

Wisdom is the lost property of the believer……

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Continue reading

Making sense of Woolwich…

After the senseless and barbaric slaying of a young British serviceman by two, supposed “Muslims”, we are getting news of Mosques being attacked and fire-bombed, Muslim women being harassed, spat at, abused and having their headscarves ripped off. The senseless actions of these murderous idiots have placed Muslims under threat and danger here in Britain. I fail to understand why they carried this act out? There is no sanction and justification for it in our religion, none whatsoever. “They do it to us, so we do it to them” is not a valid principle in our religion. They have not helped “our women and children” in “our lands” by this act. They have not furthered any cause, Islamic or otherwise. They have made matters decidedly and emphatically worse for Muslims. They have only acted out of some disease deep down in their soul and psyche, it’s a discourse of anger, it’s reactionary emotionalism, it’s psychopathic.

Fighting a war on a battlefield is one thing, face to face with a well prepared opponent, but to run down an unsuspecting innocent person in the street and then butcher him is psychopathic and cold blooded murder. One does not take the life of an animal without apprehension, but this was a human being, a husband, a father, a son.

I am reminded of the story of Sayyidina Ali, the Prophet’s cousin who, when on the battlefield he had an enemy combatant at the point of his sword and was about to finish him off in the heat of battle when the soldier spat on him. Just as Sayyidna Ali was about to run his sword through for the kill, he hesitated. The thought occurred to him as to whether he was going to finish him off in anger for the sake of himself, having been spat at or for the sake of God. Sayyidna Ali, decided it was the former and spared the soldier. When the soldier later asked him for an explanation he became Muslim due to the example set by this noble and righteous man. What example do these murderers set? They are poles apart, I am not sure what religion these guys are following but it certainly not the path the Sayyidna Ali was on.

The only sense I can make of this act and those like it are that there are some deep rooted mental issues that the perpetrators have. Deluded psychopaths, that’s the only thing that makes any kind of sense to me.

The Market Place of Ideas…

The marketplace of ideas is rather like the marketplace of food; most people prefer junk food and nutritionally poor food over healthy and nutritious food. Usually, the things that “win” in the marketplace are not always the best things. Sometimes it is down to how well the seller markets his product, other times it is the disposition of the buyer in the marketplace. Sometimes a good product sold by a bad person taints the product. Sometimes a bad product sold by a “good” person makes it seem like a good product. The only people who truly benefit from the marketplace are those savvy enough to know the reality of the marketplace.

In the past I used to sell handmade Afghani prayer rugs [http://www.mihrabi.com (out of stock at the moment)]. These were very beautiful, natural dye and natural fibre rugs, very hard wearing and durable and they usually last a lifetime. They were priced between £120 and £180; they were not cheap. Some people would look at them and dismissively say “why would I spend that much on a prayer mat when I can get one for a tenner?” alluding to the fact that they could purchase a soulless, machine-made, Chinese mass-produced one for much less. It was clear that I was not going to get rich selling these rugs. Those who bought them just knew, they got the idea behind them; they understood and they appreciated. They saw the rugs as a work of art, a human endeavour and craft, made with the intention that someone will perform an act of worship on them. The purchaser saw it as more than just a simple prayer mat and that is the value they saw in the rug. Every person who bought one thought they got a bargain.

Just as food tastes are subjective and dependent upon the palate, preference for certain ideas over others are filtered through the palate of the ego. Sometimes we just don’t know what is good for us.