Category: Philosophy


Flood- Kabir

 

My body is flooded
With the flame of Love.
My soul lives in
A furnace of bliss.


Love’s fragrance
Fills my mouth,
And fans through all things
With each outbreath .
               — Kabir

 

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The One — Sarmad Kashani

Sarmand Shaheed

“Although hundreds of friends
Have become my foes,
The friendship of One
Has given security to my soul.
Rejecting many I have embraced the One-
At last
I am He and He is me.”     
― Sarmad Shaheed, The Rubaiyat of Sarmad

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I — Khalil Gibran

I

 

I am dotted silver threads dropped from heaven
By the gods. Nature then takes me, to adorn
Her fields and valleys.

 

I am beautiful pearls, plucked from the
Crown of Ishtar by the daughter of Dawn
To embellish the gardens.

 

When I cry the hills laugh;
When I humble myself the flowers rejoice;
When I bow, all things are elated.

 

The field and the cloud are lovers
And between them I am a messenger of mercy.
I quench the thirst of one;
I cure the ailment of the other.

 

The voice of thunder declares my arrival;
The rainbow announces my departure.
I am like earthly life, which begins at
The feet of the mad elements and ends
Under the upraised wings of death.

 

I emerge from the heard of the sea
Soar with the breeze. When I see a field in
Need, I descend and embrace the flowers and
The trees in a million little ways.

 

I touch gently at the windows with my
Soft fingers, and my announcement is a
Welcome song. All can hear, but only
The sensitive can understand.

 

The heat in the air gives birth to me,
But in turn I kill it,
As woman overcomes man with
The strength she takes from him.

 

I am the sigh of the sea;
The laughter of the field;
The tears of heaven.

 

So with love –
Sighs from the deep sea of affection;
Laughter from the colorful field of the spirit;
Tears from the endless heaven of memories.             —- Khalil Gibran

 

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Seeker — Rumi

Seeker

I have been a seeker and I still am,
but I stopped asking the books and the stars.
I started listening to the teaching of my soul — Rumi

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Work — Khalil Gibran

JEAN-FRANÇOIS_MILLET_-_El_Ángelus_(Museo_de_Orsay,_1857-1859._Óleo_sobre_lienzo,_55.5_x_66_cm)

Then a ploughman said, “Speak to us of Work.”

And he answered, saying:

You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.

For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.

 

When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.

Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?

Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.

But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,

And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,

 

And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.

But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.

 

You have been told also life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.

And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,

And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,

And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,

And all work is empty save when there is love;

And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.

And what is it to work with love?

 

It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.

It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.

It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.

It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,

And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.

 

Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, “he who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is a nobler than he who ploughs the soil.

And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet.”

But I say, not in sleep but in the over-wakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;

And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.

 

Work is love made visible.

And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.

And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distills a poison in the wine.

And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

Heart — Rumi

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I looked in temples, churches and mosques.
But I found the Divine within my Heart.   — Rumi

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Two Infants — Khalil Gibran

Two Infants

 

A prince stood on the balcony of his palace addressing a great multitude summoned for the occasion and said, “Let me offer you and this whole fortunate country my congratulations upon the birth of a new prince who will carry the name of my noble family, and of whom you will be justly proud. He is the new bearer of a great and illustrious ancestry, and upon him depends the brilliant future of this realm.

Sing and be merry!” The voices of the throngs, full of joy and thankfulness, flooded the sky with exhilarating song, welcoming the new tyrant who would affix the yoke of oppression to their necks by ruling the weak with bitter authority, and exploiting their bodies and killing their souls.

For that destiny, the people were singing and drinking ecstatically to the heady of the new Emir.

 

Another child entered life and that kingdom at the same time. While the crowds were glorifying the strong and belittling themselves by singing praise to a potential despot, and while the angels of heaven were weeping over the people’s weakness and servitude, a sick woman was thinking.

She lived in an old, deserted hovel and, lying in her hard bed beside her newly born infant wrapped with ragged swaddles, was starving to death.

She was a penurious and miserable young wife neglected by humanity; her husband had fallen into the trap of death set by the prince’s oppression, leaving a solitary woman to whom God had sent, that night, a tiny companion to prevent her from working and sustaining life.

 

As the mass dispersed and silence was restored to the vicinity, the wretched woman placed the infant on her lap and looked into his face and wept as if she were to baptize him with tears.

And with a hunger weakened voice she spoke to the child saying, “Why have you left the spiritual world and come to share with me the bitterness of earthly life ?

Why have you deserted the angels and the spacious firmament and come to this miserable land of humans, filled with agony, oppression, and heartlessness ?

I have nothing to give you except tears; will you be nourished on tears instead of milk ?

I have no silk clothes to put on you; will my naked, shivering arms give you warmth ?

The little animals graze in the pasture and return safely to their shed; and the small birds pick the seeds and sleep placidly between the branches. But you, my beloved, have naught save a loving but destitute mother.”

 

Then she took the infant to her withered breast and clasped her arms around him as if wanting to join the two bodies in one, as before. She lifted her burning eyes slowly toward heaven and cried,

God! Have mercy on my unfortunate countrymen!”

 

At that moment the clouds floated from the face of the moon, whose beams penetrated the transom of that poor home and fell upon two corpses.

 —Khalil Gibran

Dirt — Shams Tabrizi

Dirt

The real dirt is not outside, but inside, in our hearts.

We can wash all stains with water.

The only ones we can’t remove is the grudge and the bad intentions sticking to our hearts.

—Shams Tabrizi

rains

 

I am dotted silver threads dropped from heaven
By the gods. Nature then takes me, to adorn
Her fields and valleys.

I am beautiful pearls, plucked from the
Crown of Ishtar by the daughter of Dawn
To embellish the gardens.

When I cry the hills laugh;
When I humble myself the flowers rejoice;
When I bow, all things are elated.

The field and the cloud are lovers
And between them I am a messenger of mercy.
I quench the thirst of one;
I cure the ailment of the other.

The voice of thunder declares my arrival;
The rainbow announces my departure.
I am like earthly life, which begins at
The feet of the mad elements and ends
Under the upraised wings of death.

I emerge from the heard of the sea
Soar with the breeze. When I see a field in
Need, I descend and embrace the flowers and
The trees in a million little ways.

I touch gently at the windows with my
Soft fingers, and my announcement is a
Welcome song. All can hear, but only
The sensitive can understand.

The heat in the air gives birth to me,
But in turn I kill it,
As woman overcomes man with
The strength she takes from him.

I am the sigh of the sea;
The laughter of the field;
The tears of heaven.

So with love –
Sighs from the deep sea of affection;
Laughter from the colorful field of the spirit;
Tears from the endless heaven of memories.

Khalil Gibran

tear and a smile

I would not exchange the sorrows of my heart
For the joys of the multitude.
And I would not have the tears that sadness makes
To flow from my every part turn into laughter.

I would that my life remain a tear and a smile.

A tear to purify my heart and give me understanding
Of life’s secrets and hidden things.
A smile to draw me nigh to the sons of my kind and
To be a symbol of my glorification of the gods.

A tear to unite me with those of broken heart;
A smile to be a sign of my joy in existence.

I would rather that I died in yearning and longing than that I live Weary and despairing.

I want the hunger for love and beauty to be in the
Depths of my spirit,for I have seen those who are
Satisfied the most wretched of people.
I have heard the sigh of those in yearning and Longing, and it is sweeter than the sweetest melody.

With evening’s coming the flower folds her petals
And sleeps, embracingher longing.
At morning’s approach she opens her lips to meet
The sun’s kiss.

The life of a flower is longing and fulfilment.
A tear and a smile.

The waters of the sea become vapor and rise and come
Together and area cloud.

And the cloud floats above the hills and valleys
Until it meets the gentle breeze, then falls weeping
To the fields and joins with brooks and rivers to Return to the sea, its home.

The life of clouds is a parting and a meeting.
A tear and a smile.

And so does the spirit become separated from
The greater spirit to move in the world of matter
And pass as a cloud over the mountain of sorrow
And the plains of joy to meet the breeze of death
And return whence it came.

To the ocean of Love and Beauty—-to God.

 

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Eternal Being —kabir

Etrenal being

 

Had mein chale so maanava, behad chale so saadh

Had behad dono taje, taako bata agaadh

 

(Translation in English )

The one who is confined in limitations is human,

the one who roams into unlimited, is a Sadhu.

The one who has dropped both limited and unlimited,

unfathomable is his being and understanding.   —————Kabir

Journey —- Shams Tabrizi

Journey

 

“Wherever you go, east, west, north or south, think of it as a journey into yourself  !

The one who travels into itself travels the world.” —- Shams Tabrizi

 

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Ocean — Kabir

Ocean

 

“All know that the drop merges into the ocean, but few know that the ocean merges into the drop.” —Kabir

 

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Pleasure — Khalil Gibran

Kahlil-Gibran

 

Then a hermit, who visited the city once a year, came forth and said, “Speak to us of Pleasure.”
And he answered, saying:

Pleasure is a freedom song,
But it is not freedom.

It is the blossoming of your desires,
But it is not their fruit.

It is a depth calling unto a height,
But it is not the deep nor the high.

It is the caged taking wing,
But it is not space encompassed.

 

Ay, in very truth, pleasure is a freedom-song.
And I fain would have you sing it with fullness of heart; yet I would not have you lose your hearts in the singing.

Some of your youth seek pleasure as if it were all, and they are judged and rebuked.
I would not judge nor rebuke them. I would have them seek.

 

For they shall find pleasure, but not her alone:

Seven are her sisters, and the least of them is more beautiful than pleasure.
Have you not heard of the man who was digging in the earth for roots and found a treasure?

And some of your elders remember pleasures with regret like wrongs committed in drunkenness.
But regret is the beclouding of the mind and not its chastisement.

They should remember their pleasures with gratitude, as they would the harvest of a summer.
Yet if it comforts them to regret, let them be comforted.

 

And there are among you those who are neither young to seek nor old to remember;
And in their fear of seeking and remembering they shun all pleasures, lest they neglect the spirit or offend against it.

But even in their foregoing is their pleasure.
And thus they too find a treasure though they dig for roots with quivering hands.
But tell me, who is he that can offend the spirit?
Shall the nightingale offend the stillness of the night, or the firefly the stars?
And shall your flame or your smoke burden the wind?

Think you the spirit is a still pool which you can trouble with a staff?
Oftentimes in denying yourself pleasure you do but store the desire in the recesses of your being.

 

Who knows but that which seems omitted today, waits for tomorrow?
Even your body knows its heritage and its rightful need and will not be deceived.
And your body is the harp of your soul,
And it is yours to bring forth sweet music from it or confused sounds.
And now you ask in your heart, “How shall we distinguish that which is good in pleasure from that which is not good?”

 

Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower,
But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee.
For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life,
And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love,
And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.
People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.

 

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The Criminal — Khalil Gibran

Criminal

A young man of strong body, weakened by hunger, sat on the walker’s portion of the street stretching his hand toward all who passed, begging and repeating his hand toward all who passed, begging and repeating the sad song of his defeat in life, while suffering from hunger and from humiliation.

When night came, his lips and tongue were parched, while his hand was still as empty as his stomach.

He gathered himself and went out from the city, where he sat under a tree and wept bitterly. Then he lifted his puzzled eyes to heaven while hunger was eating his inside, and he said, “Oh Lord, I went to the rich man and asked for employment, but he turned me away because of my shabbiness; I knocked at the school door, but was forbidden solace because I was empty- handed; I sought any occupation that would give me bread, but all to no avail. In desperation I asked alms, but They worshippers saw me and said “He is strong and lazy, and he should not beg.”

“Oh Lord, it is Thy will that my mother gave birth unto me, and now the earth offers me back to You before the Ending.”

His expression then changed. He arose and his eyes now glittered in determination. He fashioned a thick and heavy stick from the branch of the tree, and pointed it toward the city, shouting, “I asked for bread with all the strength of my voice, and was refused. NOW, I shall obtain it by the strength of my muscles !

I asked for bread in the name of mercy and love, but humanity did not heed. I shall take it now in the name of evil !”

The passing years rendered the youth a robber, killer and destroyer of souls; he crushed all who opposed him; he amassed fabulous wealth with which he won himself over to those in power. He was admired by colleagues, envied by other thieves, and feared by the multitudes.

His riches and false position prevailed upon the Emir to appoint him deputy in that city – the sad process pursued by unwise governors. Thefts were then legalized; oppression was supported by authority; crushing of the weak became commonplace; the throngs curried and praised.

Thus does the first touch of humanity’s selfishness make criminals of the humble, and make killers of the sons of peace; thus does the early greed of humanity grow and strike back at humanity a thousand fold !

Crime and Punishment

Then one of the judges of the city stood forth and said, “Speak to us of Crime and Punishment.”

And he answered saying:

It is when your spirit goes wandering upon the wind,

That you, alone and unguarded, commit a wrong unto others and therefore unto yourself.

And for that wrong committed must you knock and wait a while unheeded at the gate of the blessed.

Like the ocean is your god-self;

It remains for ever undefiled.

 

And like the ether it lifts but the winged.

Even like the sun is your god-self;

It knows not the ways of the mole nor seeks it the holes of the serpent.

But your god-self does not dwell alone in your being.

 

Much in you is still man, and much in you is not yet man,

But a shapeless pigmy that walks asleep in the mist searching for its own awakening.

And of the man in you would I now speak.

 

For it is he and not your god-self nor the pigmy in the mist, that knows crime and the punishment of crime.

Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.

But I say that even as the holy and the righteous cannot rise beyond the highest which is in each one of you,

So the wicked and the weak cannot fall lower than the lowest which is in you also.

 

And as a single leaf turns not yellow but with the silent knowledge of the whole tree,

So the wrong-doer cannot do wrong without the hidden will of you all.

Like a procession you walk together towards your god-self.

You are the way and the wayfarers.

 

And when one of you falls down he falls for those behind him, a caution against the stumbling stone.

Ay, and he falls for those ahead of him, who though faster and surer of foot, yet removed not the stumbling stone.

 

And this also, though the word lie heavy upon your hearts:

The murdered is not unaccountable for his own murder,

And the robbed is not blameless in being robbed.

The righteous is not innocent of the deeds of the wicked,

And the white-handed is not clean in the doings of the felon.

Yea, the guilty is oftentimes the victim of the injured,

 

And still more often the condemned is the burden-bearer for the guiltless and unblamed.

You cannot separate the just from the unjust and the good from the wicked;

For they stand together before the face of the sun even as the black thread and the white are woven together.

 

And when the black thread breaks, the weaver shall look into the whole cloth, and he shall examine the loom also.

If any of you would bring judgment the unfaithful wife,

Let him also weight the heart of her husband in scales, and measure his soul with measurements.

And let him who would lash the offender look unto the spirit of the offended.

 

And if any of you would punish in the name of righteousness and lay the ax unto the evil tree, let him see to its roots;

And verily he will find the roots of the good and the bad, the fruitful and the fruitless, all entwined together in the silent heart of the earth.

 

And you judges who would be just,

What judgment pronounce you upon him who though honest in the flesh yet is a thief in spirit?

What penalty lay you upon him who slays in the flesh yet is himself slain in the spirit?

And how prosecute you him who in action is a deceiver and an oppressor,

 

Yet who also is aggrieved and outraged?

And how shall you punish those whose remorse is already greater than their misdeeds?

Is not remorse the justice which is administered by that very law which you would fain serve?

Yet you cannot lay remorse upon the innocent nor lift it from the heart of the guilty.

 

Unbidden shall it call in the night, that men may wake and gaze upon themselves.

And you who would understand justice, how shall you unless you look upon all deeds in the fullness of light?

Only then shall you know that the erect and the fallen are but one man standing in twilight between the night of his pigmy-self and the day of his god-self,

 

And that the corner-stone of the temple is not higher than the lowest stone in its foundation.

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Ideal one

I happened to come across the post of Devdutt Pattanaik and as usual the man did not disappoint with his lines. In these lines he explains the dilemma of present day people. The desire for Perfection. It may well stand for parents who all want their sons and daughters to be engineers or doctors (most importantly from IIT, AIIMS, Harvard, Stanford , Oxford or Cambridge not that I hold anything against those who are already in there). Then the leftist utopians who want society perfect in their opinion and so with the Ultra-right wings who want society as per their choice and with their interpretation of perfection (in India’s case to determine who is higher and who is lower by birth ,  a viewpoint which Hindutva propagating elitist Brahmins do have (RSS ones to be specific has loads of them) and neither far  behind are Jihadist/Ultra Right Islamist/ Wahhabis /Salafist who want their interpretation on world for everything, same holds true for Ultra right Christians (belonging to various thoughts of schools which includes Roman Catholics, Methodist, Protestants etc) and Ultra-right Jews)

This quest for “perfection” and every individuals own interpretation is without doubt a cause of conflict, however it does not mean that so called “imperfection‘ should be forced down the throat of others who disagree.

Let us ponder over it, for example some parents will let their child go through emotional and psychological roller coaster so that child may reach their interpreted perfect state (sometimes such quest is also termed as Child Abuse) .

A girlfriend/ boyfriend would “test” their counter parts to an extent that their relationship breaks (Cause of an abusive relationship). We desire ideal teachers even though we might know the he/she might have prejudice against us owing to color, caste and religion ( reminds me of battles of Karna and Eklavya in Mahabharat).

Mothers who would make child’s life miserable in order to make her daughter a perfect girl ( someone with things which she was not able to posses or achievements she was not able to get and then finally get this daughter of her a ‘perfect‘ match)  or the son whom she wishes to convert into her interpretation of a perfect man, when she feels let down by all other men in her life including her brothers and father. The craving for that self made idealism or perfection would make her go to any extent. The most important point here being that this state of perfection is her self made or thrust upon her by some vindictive souls (a complexity of today’s world).

I may not be wrong in my observation that intolerance breeds from not willing to accept diversity, not willing to accept that if she has three sons, all three will be different. Someone might like a Nike shoe, someone an Adidas one and someone a Jordan shoe. Will her belief in a particular brand (say Nike) make her other two sons imperfect in her view point and if so, should it ?

Then again, my words above can be interpreted by my naysayers as my desire for a ‘perfect’ mother.

Talking about the concept of  ‘perfect Husband‘, females usually identify such when they start comparing their spouses with their successful fathers, brothers or her sister’s husbands (in short brother-in-laws).  This idea of perfection only goes till those beings with which she has close contact (thereby making her obliviate of the fact of other interpretations of perfection). Usually it is also effected by how much easier her life the person in question has made which is fueling the cause of comparison that she makes with respect to her “not so perfect” husband. This desire however does causes her misery. Something which Devdutt Pattanaik mentions in above lines.

The perfect wife, well I guess for this many can be accused including the so called role models. Every individuals interpretation of a perfect wife varies from the physical looks:

most importantly what is her eye color: Blue, grey, green, Brown , Black or each eye has different color. Her hair color also matters: Red, black, blonde, brown, white, does she color her hair often like purple or green”

to her habits :

Is she cleanliness oriented, does she rides bikes, does she climbs mountains, does she plays extreme sports, is she feminine stay at home type, Is she a late riser, does she eat non-veg, does she wears traditional clothes or revealing ones ,does she uses colorful abuses 🙂 , does she smokes and drinks,  most importantly does she NOT nagg ?

to possessing skill sets:

notably is she like Nigella Lawson while baking, can she help in her man’s work, help with presentations and all,  Can she manage the finances, does she poses motherly qualities,Is she knowledgeable, fields of qualification…. ?

to her money:

Is she rich even though she might be not so good looking and pain in the ass and whose money is that her Daddy’s or her own ?

to her education:

MIT,Yale, Princeton, Columbia,Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, Cornell, UCLA,AIIMS, John Hopkins, IIT,  blah blah blah…… but for some no education and hot figure does wonder just like a white paper, you can write whatever you want without questions asked.

Finally who is her DADDY (it makes men decide whether their life will be miserable one or a pleasant one if they end up accidentally with her :D)

Now coming to those who govern the nation the Bureaucrats and Politicians. For latter part I would refrain to comment  because it is a waste of time but for former it needs to be understood that any system can never be perfect. No matter how automatic your response gets still that ‘perfect‘ Bureaucrat will never be there. Even for that matter the interpretations of perfections would keep on changing or evolving. Example the profit margins, idea of success, the time Bureaucrat needs to devote to Public (that risks him/her being ‘imperfect’ husbands or wives).  The idea of economic success on which he/she works. No doubt there are certain principles which needs to be followed but interpretation of the actions vary. Example an uptight one might be loathed for not being flexible, a flexible will be loathed for not being uptight, a reformist will be loathed for sidelining traditionalist and a traditionalist one will be loathed for not being a reformist. Left, center and right wing ideas do play a part here but then each one is perfect in their own ways for those who follow them.

Coming to starting remark made by Devdutt Pattanaik, I have read enough to understand that in Indian Mythologies two characters are most important  Krishna and Ram, I would like to believe that none were perfect (though it might seems that I am doing it to justify my own imperfection and Ultra-right wing might not accept this view point).  I ask when such imperfection lie among ‘gods’ then why should a MORTAL man be forced to be a symbol of perfection ?

Batman the dark knight Rises

No wonder Anti Hero’s of today are a rage as none are perfect ones but full of flaws, few I would like to mention who I like:

  • Danny Archer in Blood Diamond (played By Leonardo Di Caprio )
  • Michael Corleone in Godfather (Played by Al Pacino)
  • Batman in Batman series by Christopher Nolan  (Played by Christian Bale)
  • Xander Cage in xXx (Played by Vin Diesel)
  • Sherlock Holmes (played by Robert Downey Jr)
  • John Rambo (Played by Stallone)
  • Captain Jack Sparrow (Played by Johnny Depp )
  • Don Draper in Mad Men (Played by Jon Hamm)
  • Nicholas Brody in Homeland (Played by Damain Lewis)
  • The ‘Great’ Hank Moody in Californification (Played by David Duchovny, Mathaaa Fackkaa)
  • Dexter Morgan in Dexter (Played by Michael C Hall )
  • Michael Scofield in Prison break (played by Wentworth Miller)
  • Tony Soprano in Sopranos (Played by James Gandolfini)
  • Spartacus in Spartacus series (Played by Andy Whitfield and Liam McIntyre)
  • Gannicus in Spartacus series (Played by Dustin Clare )
  • Hawkeye/Nathaniel Poe  in Last of the Mohicans (Played by Daniel Day Lewis )
  • Richard Riddick in Chronicles of Riddick (Played by Vin Diesel)
  • Captain Nathan Algren of The Last Samurai (Played by Tom Cruise)
  • Cameron Poe of ConAir (Played by Nicholas Cage )
  • Dominic Toretto in Fast and Furious series (Played by Vin Diesel)
  • Yuri Orlov in Lord of War (Played by Nicholas Cage)
  • Achilles in Troy (Played by Brad Pitt)

In short there is more to life than being just ‘PERFECT‘ !

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The following lines are from the book “The Madmen” by Khalil Gibran, one of my favorite authors:

DEFEAT

Defeat, my defeat, my solitude and my aloofness;

You are dearer to me than a thousand triumphs,

And sweeter to my heart than all worldglory.

Defeat , my defeat, my self-knowledge and my defiance,

Through you I know that I am yet young and swift of foot

And not to be trapped by withering laurels.

And in you I have found aloneness

And the joy of being shunned and scorned.

Defeat, my Defeat, my shining sword and shield,

In your eyes I have read,

That to be enthroned is to be enslaved,

And to be understood is to be leveled down,

And to be grasped is but to reach one’s fullness

And like a ripe fruit to fall and be consumed

Defeat, my Defeat, my bold companion,

You shall hear my songs and my cries and my silences,

And none but you shall speak to me of beating of wings,

And urging of seas,

And of mountains that burn in the night,

And you alone shall climb my steep and rocky soul.

Defeat, my Defeat, my deathless courage,

You and I shall laugh together with the storm,

And together we shall dig graves for all that die in us,

And together we shall stand in the sun with will,

And we shall be dangerous.

Stoicism

 Dictionary defines Stoicism as

1. Indifference to pleasure or pain; impassiveness.

2. The doctrines or philosophy of the Stoics

Thought provoking:

The other day I read about how stoicism is going out of society ( at least of what I read ), a characteristic which is synonymous for being a man or should I put it more appropriately, for being “THE” man (I however doubt that Men would let it extinct and women too for that matter). The “certain”  societies (which include both west and east) as per say if we debate due to the feminist influence is asking the young boys to be groomed in the ways in which they could be more “sharing their feelings”, their ups and downs, thus could be well understood by young girls and treated for showing signs of violence. Those who don’t wish to “share” well they would be breeded out (after all female sexual liberalization is an important issue here and those “low” men who are not in “YES” with them need to be breeded out, genes you see. One however doubts that this line works fine with the mafias per say or men with stupendous authority).

Now I don’t wish to say that a male shouldn’t tell his view point to his female counterpart or his consort but the important thing is that “feminization of male virtue “must not be done in anyway.

Origination, course in history and understanding:

Stoicism has its roots in a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early 3rd century BC. The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and that a sage, or person of “moral and intellectual perfection,” would not suffer such emotions.

To be more specific, following are the text I read in a world renowned site:

The Stoic ethic espouses a deterministic perspective; in regard to those who lack Stoic virtue, Cleanthes once opined that the wicked man is “like a dog tied to a cart, and compelled to go wherever it goes.” A Stoic of virtue, by contrast, would amend his will to suit the world and remain, in the words of Epictetus, “sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy, dying and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy,” thus positing a “completely autonomous” individual will, and at the same time a universe that is “a rigidly deterministic single whole.”

In short, one believes that Stoicism is not only used by males desiring to be MAN but rather by the saints and Arm forces men ( and women) in particular as they bear the brunt of humanity in all forms. One has also come to analyze that Stoicism focuses more on the using logics which maybe synonym with principals for some.  Many kings, Business leaders and revolutionary leaders without knowing exhibit a classic case of stoicism, where they set aside their pain and get on with the job. (In Mahabharat, I feel Bhishma is an epitome of Ancient India’s equivalent to Stoicism. He gave away everything but never let go of his principals). Greek writers have time and again said the Great Alexander, one the finest Army Generals to have lived exhibited classical stoicism.

Marcus Aurelius was a great and the most famous Stoic who was introduced to this philosophy when he was 11 years old. His character was played by Richard Harris in the movie Gladiator which won Oscar in 2000.

Coming to the point of saints exhibiting stoicism, the Sufi saints showed remarkable stoicism when they were being butchered and killed by the hardline Islamic elements (in short someone like a Wahabbi or Salafis in present day, an ideology followed by Taliban), as they accused Sufis  (The most liberal of sect within Islam) of heresy for singing and dancing. Similarly the Protestants showed stoicism while being targeted by the Roman Catholic Church accused again of heresy. Interestingly many have said that Christianity itself took a lot from stoicism while it was building and Christ absorbed the ideology in his preachings.

Sikhism, an Indian martial religion had a very spirituality inclined birth in 14 century A.D but in order to fight the authoritarian Sharia propagating Mughal Ruler Aurangzeb (the most notorious of the Mughal, many say it was due to his hardline views that Mughal Empire crumbled), the Sikhs transformed themselves into a remarkable fighting force.  The tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh used the stoicism of the saints and employed it in infusing a martial spirit in the followers of Sikhism. Therefore in process, creating an army to uproot Tyranny which was quite revolutionary ( in specific Rule of Aurangzeb).

The ideology of stoicism or more importantly the Epistemology maintains that knowledge can be attained through the use of reasonTruth can be distinguished from fallacy; even if, in practice, only an approximation can be made. The philosophy of Stoicism is useful in teaching young children in order to cope with life.

Stoicism in movies:

Movie as such as I always believe are a way of educating masses and in some way a reflection of society thereby presenting the conventional wisdom or propagating a popular ideology or initiating an idea,which in turns becomes ideology. Therefore presentation of men plus women and the characters they play have a significant impact on the minds and souls of young people who watch them with adulation. In recent times there have been numerous movie which have strengthen the age old belief of stoicism that the real man of steel or woman of substance is the one who keeps on fighting for the principals, in short full of determination, conviction and logic of course. Ignorant of the pains and pleasures coming along during the momentous tasks.

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Following are the list of some remarkable movie which had the ideology of stoicism in them where “strength and honor” are important integral part (at least that is what I found, do correct me if I wrong):

  • BraveHeart
  • Patriot
  • Gladiator
  • Lord of the Rings
  • XXX (The one staring Vin Diesel , why what were you thinking  ? 🙂 )
  • Fast and Furious series
  • The Chronicles of Riddick series (Pretty much all Vin Diesel movies)
  • Babylon A.D.
  • James Bond series
  • Batman series (Christian Bale one)
  • Spider Man series (Tobey Maguire one)
  • Kingdom Of Heaven
  • Hurt Locker
  • Black Swan (according to some, after all the girl went through hell, though still disputable)
  • Black Hawk down
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • The Last Samurai
  • Rocky Series (Stallone got it right )
  • Rambo series  (Stallone got it right baby AGAIN)
  • The Godfather I and II ( Do tell me if you believe it is wrong and I will make you an offer  which you cannot refuse)
  • Robin Hood ( Russell Crowe one)
  • Master and Commander
  • Troy
  • Last of the Mohicans
  • Men of Honor
  • Prince of Persia :The sands of Time
  • Underworld series (Kate beckinsale, even though she is Vampire, she still had ethics)
  • True Grit
  • The last Castle
  • The Bridge on the river kwai
  • King Arthur
  • Hidalgo
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • Bourne Series ( How can one forget THAT ! )
  • Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2 (Uma Thurman did a remarkable job)
  • Black hawk Down
  • Munich
  • Spy Games
  • Body of Lies
  • Departed (Though many may point out that the lead character was going to a shrink for his doubts and issues)
  • Fight Club (Bradd Pitt one, though many would say that there was a case of insomnia working there)

The movies of Ridely Scott in particular have stoicism as a backline most as many of the above mentioned list has his movies.

Conclusion:

Therefore, My advice to young ladies , young mothers of boys and more importantly those fem-Nazis (Militant feminist) take a chill and relax, killing stoicism will not help you in attaining goal of being with your “perfect” man as they are trying to create (in order  to subside for their disillusionment of waiting like Cinderella). The real knight in shining armor will come carrying this virtue, so for young girls and unmarried single women, who deep down still hold on to that idea of knight in the shining armor (even though those militant feminist would like you to think otherwise), they should remember that  Stoicisms is something that they will have to live with. After all the knight needs to fight the battles and wars in order to be a knight (and in process be indifferent to pain and pleasure).

For further reading on stoicism you can go to the following links

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/stoicism/

http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2009/04/13/stoicism-101-a-practical-guide-for-entrepreneurs/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p003k9fs

http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/latergreeks.html

http://blog.garycorby.com/2010/04/stoicism.html

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 Note : The writer has NO idea WTF is he talking, so  don’t  go all worshiping this post and most importantly do not make a freaking movie inspired by this post.

On an evening two angels met at the city gate, and they greeted one another, and they conversed. The one angel said, “What are you doing these days, and what work is given you?”

And the other answered, “It was been assigned me to be the guardian of a fallen man who lives down in the valley, a great sinner, most degraded. Let me assure you it is an important task, and I work hard.”

The first fallen angel said, “That is an easy commission. I have often known sinners, and have been their guardian many a time. But it has now been assigned me to be the guardian of the good saint who lives in a bower out yonder. And I assure you that is an exceedingly difficult work, and most subtle.”

Said the first angel, “This is but assumption. How can guarding a saint be harder than guarding a sinner?”
And the other answered, “What impertinence, to call me assumptious! I have stated but the truth. Methinks it is you who are assumptious!”

Then the angels wrangled and fought, first with words and then with fists and wings. While they were fighting an archangel came by. And he stopped them, and said, “Why do you fight? And what is it all about? Know you not that it is most unbecoming for guardian angels to fight at the city gate? Tell me, what is your disagreement?”

Then both angels spoke at once, each claiming that the work given him was the harder, and that he deserved the greater recognition.

The archangel shook his head and bethought him. Then he said, “My friends, I cannot say now which one of you has the greater claim upon honor and reward. But since the power is bestowed in me, therefore for peace’ sake and for good guardianship, I give each of you the other’s occupation, since each of you insists that the other’s task is the easier one. Now go hence and be happy at your work.”

The angels thus ordered went their ways. But each one looked backward with greater anger at the archangel. And in his heart each was saying, “Oh, these archangels! Every day they make life harder and still harder for us angels!”
But the archangel stood there, and once more he bethought him. And he said in his heart, “We have indeed, to be watchful and to keep guard over our guardian angels.”

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