Saturday, 29 August 2009

Equality in Diversity

M.Scott Peck , the psychiatrist, the legendary author of THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED also wrote a very significant book IN SEARCH OF STONES, which is sub-titled as "A pilgrimage of Faith, Reason and Discovery"

The Book is a complete reflection on spirituality, faith and inner quest. Here I would like to share a passage from this Book's Chapter PEACE:

We are all equal in sight of God. Beyond that, however, we are utterly unequal. we have different gifts and liabilities, different genes, different languages and cultures, different values and styles and thinking, different personal histories, different levels of competence, and so on, and so on. Indeed might be properly labeled "the unequal species." What most distinguishes us from all the creatures is our extraordinary diversity and the variability of our behavior. Equal? Just in the the moral sphere alone we range from the horribly demonic to the gloriously angelic.

The false notion of our equality propels us into the pretense of pseudo-community, and when the pretense fails, as it must for any intimacy or authenticity, then it propels us to attemt to achieve equality by force: the force of gentle persuasion followed by less and less gentle persuasion. We totally misinterpret our task. Society's task is not to establish equality. It is to develop systems that deal humanely with our unequality-systems that, within reason, celebrate and encourage diversity.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Diminutive Volume, Immense Book-2


In the fall of 1930, historian , philosopher and author of The Story of Civilization, Will Durant (1885-1981) found himself outside his New York home, raking leaves. A well dressed man approached Durant and told him in quite tone that, unless the revered teacher could give him a valid reason not to, he intended to kill himself. Durant offered the stranger several quick reasons to live, and the man turned and left, never to be seen again.

Haunted by his encounter with the despondent stranger, Durant contacted 100 liminaries in arts, politics, religion and sciences, challenging them to respond to the fundamental question:
Out of the hundred only few replied and they included; Theodore Dreiser, H.L.Mencken, Sinclair Lewis, John Erskine, Charles A. Beard, John Cowper Powys, M.K.Ghandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mary E.Woolley, Bertrand Russell, Count Hermann Keyserling and George Bernard Shaw.

Despite their uniqueness as individuals and the very different lives they led a consistent thread runs through their viewpoints, revealing a commonality among humans beings who not only seek meaning in life but who actually achieve it.

The book ends under a note “A personal Confession” by the author:

“This then, I should say is the road to significance: join a whole, ands work for it with all your body and mind. The meaning of life lies in the chances it gives us to produce, or to contribute to, something greater than ourselves. It needs not be a family; that, so to speak, is the direct and broadest road which Nature in her blind wisdom has provided for even the simplest soul. It may be any group that can call out all the latent nobility of the individual, and give him a cause to work for that shall not be shattered by his death. It may be some revolutionary association which a man or a woman gives devotion unstintingly. It may occasionally be some work of beauty that absorbs the soul in its making, and becomes boon to many generations. But in every case it must, if it will give a life meaning, lift the individual out of himself, and make him a cooperating part of a vaster scheme. The secret of significance and content is to have a task which consumes all one’s energies, and makes human life a little richer than before”

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Diminutive Volume, Immense Book-1


This trivial volume of less then hundred pages is an immense book, written by one of the finest fiction writer Hermann Hesse (1877-1963). This work first published in 1956, is one of best from this Nobel Laureate. Hermann Hesse was born in Claw to missionary parents and remains one of the great literary figures of the German-speaking world. His novels such as Glass Bead Game, Steppenwolf, Siddartha and Demain won him a place among leading contemporary writers' and thinkers'.

The Journey to the East, is an allegorical novel in which the narrator travels through Time and Space in search of the ultimate Truth. This pilgrimage to the East is symbolic of a state of mind, and, although the journey is across an imaginary land, it also embraces Europe, and takes place in the twentieth century but in the Middle Ages and Renaissance as well. The people who have been part of the League are include both real and fictitious-Plato, Pythagoras, Don Quixote and Baudelaire.

The Novel opens with following passage:

"As it has been my destiny to take part in a great experience, and having had the good fortune to belong to the League and allowed to share in that unique journey, the wonder of which blazed like a meteor and afterwards sank into oblivion-even falling into disrepute-I have now decided to attemt a short description of this incredible journey. No man since the days of Hugo and mad Roland has ventured upon such a journey, until our own remarkable times; the troubled, confused, yet so fruitful period following the Great War."

Saturday, 15 August 2009


Why things have to wait, like they wait. Why they wait for a time to unleash and reveal, what they reveal. The mysterious ways of nature in which it enfolds at times and on an apt occasion unfolds that. Whatever our aspirations or desires might be, however strong our actions and thoughts might be. The appropriateness of unfolding is beyond energy of our actions, thoughts and plans. But this shouldn't be discouraging, as we lack the comprehension of the complete picture that is elusive. The phenomenon of revealing is like sprouting a plant out of seed. We can sow a seed, but then have to wait for those things some visible and others invisible, that are beyond our control to work together and play there role and help us to see the seed taking the shape that it takes.
This is a lesson from nature, that individual endeavors how great they might be need the collective efforts to be useful. This is why the growth of individuals is also dependent on many other factors, outside that individual. All these are invisible hands of God, manifested in form of our parents, teachers, books, friends, siblings and peers.

Waiting is the ageing process of things to find the best possible, from the available and when that is achieved it pairs up with our efforts and reveal, what they reveal.

The space between two words is also classic example of collective effort and waiting. No word is legible unless there is waiting (space between them) and pairing from the next unknown word that comes to compliment and complete an idea, an expression and an action.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

ABC of Anger, Beauty and Compassion

According to a tradition of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) :

Allah, the Exalted, is beautiful, and He loves beauty.

What is Beauty?

Beauty in aesthetics means a balance.When we achieve Balance things look, feel and reflect Beauty. Our actions, thoughts, reactions, desires and speech are beautiful when it retains Balance.
Things become un-balanced when we are not compassionate, we are angry or violent. We become angry and violent when we are fearful, lonely and not empowered. A little compassion, a little detachment, a little benevolence, a little grace, a little show of kindness can work miracles and can bring equilibrium and poise in a situation that has become disproportionate, ugly and un balanced.

When we find somebody in need of a help to Balance his Life, his affairs, his attitude, we must provide that little orientation that balances, so they become beautiful.

Allah the Exalted is Beautiful and Loves Beauty, so we must
also act as the Beloved acts.

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