Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Powerless, evil or good?




Scary Perfect World


So many people deny the existence of God
Based on the misery and cruelty displayed on TV
If He would be good, power He would have not
If He would have power, how evil He'd be?

The answer lies according to me
in imagining a perfect world.
How scary would it be
to live in a perfect world!

By whatever we 'd do or act.
It'd become less perfect

Creativity, motivation,
lending a hand to a person in need
Charity, helpfulness, inspiration
all suddenly absolutely obsolete.

Can any of us imagine how dull it would be
to live if all was perfectly nice.
Animalistic indulgence for you and me
In an extremely boring paradise.

Somehow we were given the power of creativity,
we were allowed to co-create something nice
Somehow God gave us power to think with positivity
to love and help and self-sacrifice

These things give us perfect peace of mind
We get that feeling of happiness, so great
Through being loving, helping and kind
Admit it, that is just how we were made

Aufie Zophy

--------------------------------------------------------------------
 
I love the world.
I think a perfect world would be extremely scary...
We may not understand everything
But if God would have made a perfect world
We would be just puppies.

I believe in God
God is good
God is forgiving
God is all powerful
Our mind is too small
to understand all things happening


Some time ago, I wrote a reflection on a perfect world. I think it was the third reflection listed on this blog. It was posted sometime in April 2014. Today I read a poem on PoemHunter and this inspired to write on the very same topic the above 'rhyme'

Monday, 28 December 2015

Down

Down syndrome
Today I met parents with a young child with Down syndrome
I went on to explain to them as good as I could what it was all about.
An extra piece of genetic material that really disturbed the development
of almost every part of his body.
This includes his brain which will never be able to function like yours and mine.
And yet these children can walk and talk and be very affectionate.
They can give a lot of love and are  generally happy
the more love they receive the better they may be able to function in this world.

I find it always hard to explain Down syndrome to parents who just got a baby diagnosed with it.

In the afternoon I had a session with students and a student presented a case of Down syndrome (another child).  I went on to ask them why it was so common here, in Kelantan.
The answer was because mothers go and deliver here until they are close to and above 40.
And the second part of the answer is that these babies tend not to get diagnosed antenatally and do not get aborted.
The case of antenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome and abortion seems another very hard aspect about Down syndrome. It is easy to condemn abortion but the issue is really much more complex than simply be against or for abortion. Surely our children with Down syndrome have a place in our society, they are happy children deserving all of our care. If on the other hand I try to think form a parents' point of view my mind seems to understand, at least a bit, the parents choosing abortion as well. My heart seems to say: "no mind, you have gone nuts", my mind seems to answer: "no heart, you do not think" ...
A huge ethical issue!

Friday, 25 December 2015

Written in the sand

Written In The Sand


It is written in the sand
The purpose of our life
Millions of grains of sand

If the sea‘d have erased it from the shore
The grains will have whispered it to the drops
And waves, the braking waves will sing
The purpose of our life

If the heat of day erased it from the surf
Evaporating mist ‘ll carry it to clouds
Where they will paint it in amazing skies
The purpose of our life

The clouds will rain and 
Diamond beads will ornament the rose
The rose’s scent will tell it
The purpose of our life

But if we fail to find it
In the sand or song of waves
In the clouds or scent of roses
The purpose of our life

We may have to make it quiet 
And look deep within our heart
Where it will be dancing all around
The purpose of our life.

If we do not find it in our hearts,
We may have to return to sand
It is written in the sand.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

What scholars say...

Religion has been helping communities to get connected, to perform charity and to stick to certain good principles of living. It was meant to bring us humans a bit closer to our Deity.

Sad to say that religion has been abused in the past too.
Sometimes willfully, sometimes through well meaning misinterpretations.

It is good to remember at all times that even our very well trained scholars are still human.
No human is infallible and each human is bound to mistakes.

As I teach my medical students, we doctors have to keep up the highest standards and try to make no mistakes. But we are intrinsically human and mistakes do happen. There is no doctor who practices medicine and who can claim he has never made any mistakes.

So is it with scholars as well. If doctors make mistakes it affects the body, if scholars make mistakes, it affects the mind and soul. But if doctors propose therapies that sound strange or not right to us, we will start to think for ourselves or ask a second opinion and perhaps will manage to avoid ingesting the wrong drug. So we can do too with strange sounding advice from scholars. Actually what enters our minds and hearts and souls may affect us more than any medicine and we should guard the input with our own critical thinking and scrutiny very much.

Does it feel right, does it make the world a bit better? Simple reality check questions can help us to decide whether or not to absorb the advice or knowledge that the scholar(s) want to share.

One recent blatant example in Malaysia. A scholar (or a group of them) declared in the news that it would be un-islamic to wish merry Christmas to our Christian friends. This at least to me seems such an obvious illustration of the fallibility of scholars. Many other scholars have contradicted these statements but damage has been done. The most gullible of followers have absorbed the fallacy and stopped giving any wishes to their friends of other religion(s). If religious scholars create widening of gaps, increases in distance, incipience of fear or hatred, they very most likely show off their own human fallibility.

It is of extreme importance that whatever messages coming our way, to scrutinize them with simple reality check questions.

World peace is possible, it is not an illusion.
Let us believe in world peace and not allow any divisive thoughts,
no matter where they come from, enter our minds, hearts and soul.
If all people on earth want peace and believe in it, pray for it,
world peace will be ours in the not too distant future....

PS:
:) the last paragraph and perhaps the whole essay may be my own fallacy.
Always perform a reality check before absorbing any thought.


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Wonderful drops

Look at these wonderful drops

They are separate and yet one.
They are big and yet so small.
They contain wisdom
and wisdom contains them

Aren't they wonderful drops?

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

No matter what

We all yearn for love.
Love is our yearning.

And our heart is filled with love
Love is our heart's filling.

A baby's heart overflows with love
love for you, and the baby smiles
The baby's yearning for love,
is immediately fulfilled by whoever sees the smile

As we grow up, our hearts still overflow with love
We give it away and our yearning is fulfilled.

What prohibits us to look deep in our hearts?
to see that massive mountain of love sitting there
take out a giant scoop of it for everyone
a giant scoop for everyone we meet

What prohibits this? 
Is it the fear? Fear of what?
Is it greed? Greed for what? 
is it worry? Worry about what? 

No matter what, take out a large scoop of love
Give it away, Smile, give way, give away
Find beauty in nature, in a flower, in a person. 
Tell the flower it is beauty, tell that person.

Or no, better still, stop talking, 
Listen to the flower, listen to that person.
Listen with a heart full of love, overflowing
Spilling love on everything and everyone. 

Oh boy, Oh girl,
Oh man, Oh lady
love, love love,
no matter what.


Thursday, 17 December 2015

Silence


An almost perfect silence
embraces my body, heart and soul

A whispering fountain of sparks
illuminates my inner thoughts

Herbs of love are sprinkled
on the plainness of my hungry ego

A perfect silence,
light and love
A new me emerges


Pilgrimage

Pilgrimages tend to be filled with rituals and symbolism.
We really need to manage these two very well.
Only if we do succeed in dealing a proper way with these two,
we can get to a much higher spiritual level performing pilgrimages.

I have experienced the power of collective faith and surely some people do benefit from it.
The huge corrupted commercialization of pilgrimages however has taken away a lot.

Yes, pilgrimages tend to be filled with symbolism and rituals.
While symbolism and rituals are meant to take the mind of the believer to a level closer to the Truth, and thus are good things if applied correctly, it does not always happen like that.  Too many of the rituals and symbols in religion have become a purpose in themselves and do not serve as they were meant to be: a stepping stone towards a higher level. If we make symbols and rituals all important and purposes by themselves, they become tools of degradation towards extremism and blind faith.

Please think.
What is the most essential message of religion?
Isn't it meant to be a tool for humans to rise to a higher level of spirituality.
How can we rise if elements of hatred and arrogance are impregnated in our teachings?
How can we rise if we become slaves to symbols and rituals?
How can we rise if we are made afraid to doubt and think?

I am so sure humanity is on the rise in terms of love and wisdom.
I wish that organized religion would put these two very high their priority list.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Aligning

You have discovered the love of God.
So did he and she
and I

All of us have discovered the love of God.

Some of us deny it because they do not believe in God,
but we all have experienced at one or another moment
that huge LOVE

It is amazing that we were created in such a way,
that we had no other choice but to LOVE.
Those who failed to love their children,
would almost never have children surviving until an age
where there could procreate and their unloving nature would die with their offspring.

Only the loving would pass on their genes to next generations to come.
That is how God built love into humans
That is what God did to share this wonderful quality of Himself with humans
Humans are born very immaturely, we cannot walk, we are completely dependent
Only if we receive LOVE we will survive

Things that are good for us, make us feel good
In the long past history of humans, sugar was a necessity to build up our energy
and eating sugar makes us feel good and salt was also a necessity for our health.
That is why eating these things that are necessity but used to be scarce, feels really  good.
Only by making it abundantly available, we take to much of it and it becomes damaging.
That is on the physical plane

Love is not on the physical plane. But it was a necessity for our existence.
And it makes us feel really good. No one can deny that loving our children does not make us feel really good.

Because we love our children we really want them to be happy.
And we think they will be happy if they become the absolute number one.
We teach them to win and beat their classmates, to be better, to be the best
We teach them to compete, to be greedy, because we think that this will make them happy.
If we want to be loving parents we have to push our children up and make them succeed
in a world full of competition. That is what our parents told us, that is what the media portray, that is what the movies and soaps tell us. But it is not reality.

While being number one makes us feel good, it has an extremely bitter aftertaste if we had to be unfair and UNLOVING to so many others to achieve it.

Our own history and God Himself has created us in such a way that the greatest good is LOVE.
Nothing makes us feel as good as truly loving our children.
Nothing makes us feel as good as truly loving the needy and help them
Nothing makes us feel as good as performing that random act of kindness and see the chain reaction that follows.

So here is where the world goes wrong.
We love our children and know that this love is what counts most for us in our lives.
But do we teach our children to love, love, love?
Do we teach them the thing that counts most in our own life?
No, we think they will be happy if they compete, they become greedy...
Do we teach our children to help, help, help?
Dow er teach our children to be kind first?

The problem is that we have a wrong perception of happiness.
We have confused for far too long comfort and happiness.
We want our children to be happy but sometimes create greedy monsters who refuse to share in the process. Does that make them happy?

It is high time we align with the love of God,
the greatest gift of God that He has planted in all our hearts and souls
through a meticulous process of creation that took a ages and ages.

When will we realize the truth about happiness?
It is not in the accumulation of super grades, super wealth, super power.
It is in the accumulation of super love, super helpfulness, super kindness.
If we truly love our children, this will be the true priorities we teach

It is the Divine quality, the endless grace of our God,
that was planted by Him into our hearts and souls
the spark that gives us light, that gives us peace that
gives us ease, that gives us beauty, that gives us creativity
and everything else we could ever want.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Letting shine


I came across the following quote of Marianne Williamson:
"We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some us; it's in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we give unconsciously to other people the opportunity to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others" 

I love this!
We are meant to shine but are so often afraid to do so.
We were born with heart full of love but are so often afraid to love
Giving the love and kindness, of which our hearts are full,
and continuously replenished,
'll make us shine beyond a strong spotlight.
We will become the sun in some other people's life.

Let us make up our mind to shine a bit today
and as such liberate others to shine too... 

Friday, 11 December 2015

Challenges

Challenges seem to come equally frequent
to good people as to bad people.
True.

Some people feel that good people even get more challenges.
May be true, may be wrong.

Looks like the bad guys can enjoy good health
as much as the good ones.
True.

The big difference shows when it comes to peace of mind.
Bad guys do not have as much peace of mind as good ones.
Vice destroys / deprives us of peace of mind
Virtue generates it


We were all made to survive.
Our body, our mind, our senses
Challenges in life do not depend on vice or virtue

But on top of that we were made human
And that little extra does make a big difference
If we manage to be humane
Peace of mind will be ours.
Peace of mind may be among the biggest treasures we can gather here on earth.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Sonnet

A sonnet is a special form of poetry
Its most classical requirements include:
1. It counts 14 verses
2. The rhyme scheme is ababcdcdefefgg
3. Every verse counts exactly 10 syllables (spoken)

Here is a humble attempt to write one:


The Most Beautiful Poem

How I wish I would have the special words
To write the very most fantastic verse
I would pen it down with feathers of birds
write the nicest poem in the universe

I would dip the colourful plume in ink
That is magic and wonderfully blue
Using gothic letters of which I think
Anyone could see they were made for you

And this world would be full with jealous eyes
They would all be envying you so much
All people ‘d turn their heads towards the skies
Wish a poem was written for them as such

But this one was for you and you alone
It ‘d be on earth, the most beautiful poem

Descartes wrong on page one?

I have quite a bit of interest in philosophy.
I read an article praising Descartes as one of the greatest thinkers of all time.
So I decided I want to read some of his works.

On page one of his first meditation, he seems to make such a huge mistake in thinking that I have stopped reading the work there and then. He writes that in the world vice is rewarded more than virtue.

Here Descartes seems to reason like a pure materialist who has not a notion of the great rewards of peace mind and bliss one experiences after a virtuous deed and the complete lack thereof after vice. What kind of success, what kind of reward is material wealth without having peace of mind of the experience of happiness. I think RW Emerson has so nicely described the opposite of Descartes statement and Emerson makes so much more sense in his essay, Compensation

Then he goes on that virtue greatly depends on the fear of God and the belief in an afterlife. How many atheist humanitarians have proven this wrong. I am not an atheist and my own belief in God is strong, but we cannot deny that among the most noble and most virtuous deeds done in this world, some of them are done on pure humanitarian grounds by people without any belief whatsoever in God and in afterlife.

Maybe I should have been a bit more persistent in reading the rest of his work, but I have given up on reading any more words of this so called great philosopher. I did not reach the all famous Je pense, donc je suis, I think, thus I am in his second meditation. Right now I do not feel the need.




Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Oneness

Can we grasp the unity concept with our mind?
Many gurus and mystics talk about us being all one.
and yet we are separate.

Separate but connected.

I think the easiest way we can feel the connection is at the emotional level.
Let us say I meet you for the first time.
You are carrying ten shopping bags.
One bag drops.
I bent over and pick it up for you.
You smile and look genuinely happy.
Can I feel any different than genuinely happy too?

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Aurat, oh aurat



Reading the Quran, we encounter Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim, 
up to a 114 times in the whole Book. 
This means that Allah is the most gracious and forgiving.
If I search for the aurat, I seem to find only a small passage 
talking about a veil and nothing else. 

I think all polemics and the whole enormous huge focus of Muslims on the aurat, 
which is really a part of the cultural aspects of the religion, 
is completely out of proportion if one compares 
with how much we focus on the essentials. 

If only one tenth of words spent on polemics around the aurat, 
if only one tenth as many articles and signboards would stress 
the the enormous grace and forgiving nature of our Creator, 
I think we would have more people getting 
closer to the true practice of gratefulness, 
a bit closer to the huge love for  our Creator
if we manage to be truly grateful for His enormous grace and mercy.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Free Will

"My first act of free will
will be to believe in free will"
William James

The above quote is from one of the fathers of modern psychology.

We were blessed with free will.
We can choose to stop our car, let the other car go first and feel good about it.
We can choose to say hello to the cleaner, and feel good about it
We can choose to be honest and feel good about it
We can choose to be active and feel good about it
We can choose to do what is right

We can even choose our thoughts
and by doing so even alter our feelings.

If we keep an image of benevolence in our mind
we slowly become like that

We can change our present by choosing the right thoughts
by choosing the right actions
In doing so, we invariably change our future.

There are tremendous number of things we cannot change
But there are also a tremendous number of things we can change...

Feel good

I felt bad
I felt like hiding
Then I decided to do the right thing
I felt good

The right thing
may be tough
may be weird
may be crazy
but as long as it is the right thing
it will take away all bad feelings
and we will feel good.

We have the right to feel good
We have the right to do the right thing
No matter how tough, weird or crazy it may appear.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Bachok 8 AM

The morning sun shone
the sweet warmth of the rays
magnified their exquisite beauty
and the sky's lovely tenderness
was dancing in the soft light

I inhaled the beauty
and it went straight to my heart
I tasted the tenderness
and it went straight to my heart
I absorbed the warmth
and it went straight to my heart


Thursday, 3 December 2015

Listen


poet Aufie Zophy
Listen
listen carefully
listen to your soul
you may hear the melody of kindness
you may hear the melody of honesty
the melody of humbleness
the melody of caring
all melodies of truth
one by one, so nice
beautiful melodies
worth listening.
Listen

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Tough love

Choosing to love
is not always easy
but always it is
the single best choice.




I love you :)

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Revenge

There is a saying that revenge tends to taste sweet: sweet revenge.
I disagree completely with that.
Revenge is never sweet, always sour. 

Once we take it in the mouth, it may appear sweet, but 
after having swallowed it, only bitterness remains.

We do have principles and values, values to keep up
People who keep a different set of values hurt us.
We can just not afford to give up our own values to seek revenge.


A value extremely dear is kindness.
Let us say a person is nasty to us.
Then we let go of our kindness and become nasty back to that person.
This means we condone nastiness.
This mean we approve of the person's nasty behaviour and start to mimic that behaviour.

The nasty person will feel right and encouraged to more nasty things.
Let us not step down to the level of the one who is nasty to us.
Keep up our value of kindness and the nasty one will be embarrassed.

So is with dishonesty and honesty
Greed and goodwill
and so on and on.


Let us keep up our values, no matter what.
A very good way to make a real positive change in this world
is to answer nastiness with kindness.
Revenge is never really sweet.
Once we take it in the mouth, it may appear sweet, but
after having swallowed it, only bitterness remains.

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Existence..

 

Leaves And Waves

Through the leafy bed of the shrubs and trees
I can see the wild waves running on the seas

The leaves of shrubs, the things we do or say
The leaves of trees, our thoughts, day by day

The wonderful breaking waves of the sea
the Love that is always there for you and me

Most of the things that we think, say or do
Have been already thought, said or done
But love is forever there and always new
Never been seen in any of the days bygone

If the leaves are too dense and too much
we cannot experience the waves as such


-------------------------------------------------
Sometimes we have to really stop
doing, saying and thinking
to experience the full Love with capital L
which is perhaps the main reason for living.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Intrinsically human...

If we reflect on what is making us intrinsically human,
so many possibilities are crossing our mind.

Is it the ability to love?
Can animals not love?

Is it the ability to think?
Can animals not think?

Or is it the ability to reflect on ourselves.

Perhaps animals can love and think,
but I think they cannot reflect on themselves.

Not only we can think, we can to a certain extent,
choose what we think about.
Not only we can feel, we can to a certain extent,
choose what we feel.

Throughout the years, I have come to value very much
the process of self reflection.

Just making regularly some time to think about our own life.
What is good, what is not so good, who am I in relation to the world
How do I deal with difficulties, How do I deal with luck
What gives me peace of mind
What makes me excited.

If on and off we make time to reflect on these things and other life questions
We tend to grow, not in length, not in size, but spiritually. Spiritual growth.
Perhaps the ability to grow spiritually is what makes us intrinsically human.... ?

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Yesterday

Yesterday we presented to a visiting community paediatrician from the UK,
many of the community efforts our departments had made through the years.
I have to admit I was a bit proud of what had been done in our departments.
But that was yesterday, the presentation was about yesteryears.
What is important, is that we keep the momentum on, today and tomorrow.

I look forward to continued positive great efforts from our whole team in the future.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Albert inspired

I was inspired by my my paediatrician at age 5. (my paediatrician inspired)

At age twelve, my standard six teacher brought the story of Albert Schweitzer with lots of passion to our attention and this story truly was a source of inspiration for the rest of my life.

Albert Schweitzer was a super successful doctor, philosopher and musician. He was born in the Alsace very close to the border between France and Germany. He coined the term reverence for life, which means standing in awe for all living creatures and seeing in each of them their intrinsic worthiness and value. I will write something on that later.

Even though the reverence for life concept is fantastic and speaks to my soul in a big way now, it was not that which gave me so much inspiration at twelve. What so dearly inspired me, was that in his late thirties (1912-1913) he spent all of his wealth (double the amount of most of our superb philanthropists of the 21st century) and almost 100% of his time -and also his wife's time- to establish a hospital for the poor in Lamberéné, Gabon (Africa).

The story and its details (which can be found about anywhere on the internet and in about every bookshop selling English titles), were giving me a WOW-experience. WOW, that is so great. It moved something deep inside of me and lighted a flame in my soul to move out of Belgium, after I would have reached my ambition to become a medical doctor (a paediatrician).

At that moment a very logical choice would have been the médecins sans frontières (Doctors without borders), but fate seemed to have something slightly different in plan...

------------
Note: even though Albert was definitely not perfect - he received critiques as  well-, I think it would be worth for any medical student to read about his wonderful achievements. :-)
 

Friday, 20 November 2015

Paediatrician at 5

I am a paediatrician, not just simply a paediatrician,
a paediatrician in my heart, in my soul, in my mind, in my body.

I became a paediatrician when I was 5 years old.
Yes you read that correctly, 5 years old.

Not a paediatrician who was treating children at 5 years,
but I became a paediatrician at 5 in my heart and soul.
Only the one in my mind and body came a bit later.

I became a paediatrician at 5 years old because I was inspired.
A paediatrician from Aalst (Aloste), which was 30 km from Nazareth,
the small village in Belgium, where I lived.

That man inspired me, and I allowed him to inspire me.
There were many paediatricians in Gent (Ghent)
This was just 15 km from my village.
But my parents took me to Aalst, 30 km far.
They took me there because they liked the man, they loved him,
they trusted him, they had faith in his judgement and they adored him.

If your caring parents adore a paediatrician, how can you as a child do differently
When we went to his busy place we had to wait real long sometimes
but when we were let in, it was a sea of friendliness that welcomed us.
He never looked tired. Just his own fresh sea of kindness was allowed to flow.

He was not boasting. He was humble. He praised my parents
He praised me as a child. I was the bright little guy.

My mother was worried about my eating habits.
He asked her in detail about what I really liked.
He found some healthy stuff among what I liked and just
asked her to give me more of it.
He didn't think it was necessary to force tomatoes on me.

My parents liked him. I liked him.
And for just being such a nice and kind man,
he got money, not small coins, but notes.

I was inspired. I wanted to be a paediatrician.
Not just any paediatrician, but a paediatrician, a bit like him.
One that would be loved by parents and children alike and still get paid for it
I wanted to be a paediatrician in heart, mind and soul.
I became a paediatrician in heart, kidneys and soul at age 5
and yeah a whole bit later, I became a paediatrician in mind and body too.

If you meet a person, good enough to be a source of inspiration to you,
allow yourself to be inspired, let them reach deep,
let them reach and move your heart, kidneys and soul. :)


Thursday, 19 November 2015

The biggest present

Yesterday, my newborn intensive care ward was busy.
My round finished at 1.15 pm, but then there were parents.
Their baby was very sick.

My stomach called me to go for lunch first
but my heart called me to talk to the parents first.
I managed to listen to and follow my heart.

We are never sure but from the facial expressions of the parents
at the beginning and at the end of counseling sessions,
we can have a decent guess on how effective the session was.

This time the faces of both parents had changed from extremely worried
to at least a bit of relief and acceptance. Our guaranteeing that whatever
happens, we will do the very best we can makes a change quite often.

It was their first child and, just imagining, this must have been perhaps
one of the very most stressful situations they have encountered in their lives.
They expected a healthy baby to be held, in mom's sweet arms
but there he was, in the incubator, connected to so much of equipment.

 When I reflected last night on my day and was searching for the best experience
I had had that day, there was only that one, jumping in front  of all other experiences.
Thinking about this session gave me this warm feeling in my heart,
my soul was at close to perfect peace and I was plainly happy.

Just making small sacrifices does make us happy,
happy in a very different way from the material happiness.
I think this is the biggest present we get from God.
True altruism does not exist.
The giver, the doer, gets always more than the receiver.
The giver, the doer, gets a huge present from God,
in the form of great peace of mind, a warm feeling,
moments of true happiness...

We were made like this!
Try it out today  :)

Monday, 16 November 2015

Inspiration

At age five I was inspired by my paediatrician
At age 12 I felt inspired by Dr. Albert Schweitzer
At age 16 by a doctor working among the poor in Southern Thailand

I am grateful to all people giving me a bit of inspiration
It always felt so good and has been such a great guide in my life

To be inspired means letting spirit in
Let the spirit of the magnanimous people
inspire you,

Read about many things
many people
Somehow you will get inspired
and get enthusiastic about life
about living a life full of love
full of passion
for that one ideal
for that one calling.

Enjoy to be inspired and
in turn go on to inspire others.


Saturday, 14 November 2015

Politics and religion

There are several religions that do not want to separate politics and religion.
From a religious point of view, it seems logical that one would want religious values to be reflected in the politics.

However in practice, politicians are often so much more powerful than religious leaders and rather than religious values being incorporated in the politics, it is the religion that gets politicized

Surely in the past and the present, politicians have used and abused religion for their own profit and own agenda all over the world. And only when the two get separated this may stop. If religion is allowed to grow independently, the chances are that it becomes stronger and politicians will be forced to incorporate more values in their politics if they want to remain in power for long

Friday, 13 November 2015

Fish

(inspired by a story in a book of Osho)
A man was sitting at the side of a lake, fishing.
He was approached by an elder who said:
How many fish did you catch?
The answer was: None yet.
The elder: There is no fish in this lake. A little further there is a lake with lots of fish.
The fisherman: I know, the fish there has hardly a place to swim. Any fool can fish there. But here, the fish is very rare. To fish here is 'something'

What do you think about the above story?

Our ego wants to fish where there is no fish.
That which is obvious, which is available is not attractive.

All of us search for love
So much of it was planted in our heart
Where do we search for love?

All of us search for kindness
A lake full of it overflows our heart
Where do we search for it?

All of us search for truth
Our soul is a wonderful guide
But where do search?

The goodness of our Creator
is all around us and in us,
We pray to a far away God,

That is why so many people miss God
God is around us in great quantity
In great quality. So close, so abundantly
And we are not interested
We are not interested in what we have.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

The Golden Gate

A picture of my wife and my mother at the Golden Gate Bridge
Nothing special at first sight, but very special it is.

Two beautiful women, a generation apart.
Two beautiful women, half the world apart
Two beautiful women, my mom and my wife.

Now I realize how difficult it must have been for my mom.
She was Catholic, loved me and her family tremendously much.
I was marrying my Malaysian fellow student who was Muslim.

I was and surely still am an idealist.
My mom was super caring and very protective
She almost lost her baby (me) due to a severe infection in the first year of his life.
Was it not of her super alertness, swift action and superb care, I might not have been here.
And then that baby grows and gets it in his immature mind that he wants to be  a doc.
Not a regular one, but one that goes abroad to help like Albert Schweitzer had done.
Can you imagine the worries I was sending through her heart and mind by talking about this throughout my teenage years.

Somehow her love for me was so big. Even though she visibly was worried, she supported my eagerness to travel and go and do electives in my student years in America. We communicated through letters and the occasional extremely expensive phone call. At that time no internet, no skype, only post and fixed phone lines with a huge price tag on international calls.

Then in medical school I met my future wife. For me it was like something God had arranged and perhaps it was. For my mother lots of extra worries. Now she could see her son finding an easy way to move out of Belgium for long. And on top of that the future wife was not of the same religion.

We have gone through many hours of discussion, of deep religious talk, of consultation with other people even, we thought could give us some valid advice. In the end my mother made the fantastic and great-hearted move to accept my wife. In 1994, we made a trip to the US together with my father and my wife and a true friendship blossomed between my mom and my wife. They had sweet nick names for each other and I have multiple pictures of them together.

One of these pictures is near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. A very special one indeed.
A beautiful picture of two extremely beautiful women with beautiful hearts and beautiful minds.
Two beautiful women, one with a son, the other one a husband with crazy ideals that stick like glue and do not want to leave, even when he is entering his 50 series.

I want to say a warm thanks to my mom, for her grace and extreme love and care. I wish she could hear or read it. But I hope I manage to let her care and love live on in my daily work and through trying to achieve my own  "crazy" ideals...

Her generosity and enormous level of understanding has been like a golden gate for me to live the live of my dreams and achieve my wi(l)dest aspirations.




Dear Cloud

Dear Cloud,
When will you break your silence
When can I hear the story
of your unthinkable journey
of the things you've seen,
of the winds that've blown

Dear Cloud,
When will I hear your tale,
the secret of your magic game
shape of sheep and then of fish
shape of face and then of birds
and then again completely formless

Dear Lady Cloud
How much I want to hear your music
How much I want to read your poetry
How much I want to see your dance
Please reveal to me the story,
the secret, your private art


Saturday, 7 November 2015

Driving differently

Many times when I am behind the steering wheel,
I calculate the estimated arrival time, based on the mean time spent to reach.
Then I try to pinch of at least a minute or two
and whenever I manage to do that I feel good about it.

This morning I drove to the hospital.
I was about to do the same
when I suddenly realized there is an alternative:
why not try to enjoy the journey as much as possible?
Whether you are on or two minutes earlier than usual
or not or even two minutes later, what does it matter?

So I put up a CD with some wonderful classical music
I listened to a piece of Mozart, Rossini, Strauss,..
I enjoyed the beauty of the trees and flowers along the road.
The skies were changing throughout the journey.
While i was in waiting for a traffic light I noticed a cloud
shaped like a fist. When it turned green, it looked more like an open hand.

I just went with the flow of the traffic
and amazingly when I arrived, the time I had taken was really short.

I thought that is the way I want to drive always
But tonight I had to go back to the hospital as I am on call.
When I think now.about my nighttime trip, it was back to old habits.

I am sure that I will try more to practice my new driving style from here on
It is a different experience.


Friday, 6 November 2015

Reciprocal

I love the leaves of the tree I planted
Not so sure the leaves love me back.
Still I enjoy to look at them,
to be in the garden in proximity of the tree.

A sparrow may love a gardener.
the way the gardener can love a sparrow
may be very different.

For 'in love', the 'in love' somehow needs to be returned
However for Love, the one with capital L
just one way
may be Okay

Love and 'in love' are completely different things
If in love is non reciprocal it is a nightmare.
Love on the other hand, the one with the big L can be one way.
So many mothers love their son or daughter without getting it back.
Still the Love with big L is more worth to them than giving up on them.

Unconditional Love....
I did not understand unconditional Love.
After having gone through years with a revolting teen,
I have learned so much about Love.
The one with capital L does not always have to be reciprocal

Just one way
may be Okay.... :)

Love can be tough, but if hatred is the alternative,
Love is still so superior.


Thursday, 5 November 2015

Poetry

Quite some time ago, somewhere in 2010,
I started to write a few poems.
Initially I was afraid, that what I wrote
could not be classified as poetry
but rather as nursery rhymes
or something far less worthy.

I took a safe approach and chose an author name
I made a unique name which allows me to search
on the internet and get only sites referring to this poetry.

When I had about 10 or 20 poems,
I expected visitors to the webpage
where they were published, to read all 10 or 20.
This of course, never happened.
Now I have 203 and I do not have the illusion
that anyone would read all.

But every hit, every website listing or referring to one of my poems,
makes me deep inside somehow happy.
I think writing poetry and expressing yourself as such
gives you a wonderful soul-ego experience
Writing something a bit poetic definitely involves soul
Then your ego wants people to read it
Ego so happy for every hit, soul gets encouraged to do more.

Somehow I dream of it that at anytime in the future,
many people get some inspiration
many people get at least a smile,
many people get some support
through what I put up on the net.

I put here one of my own favorite poems,
I had written in a playful mood
for my lovely wife:

The Balloon

I went to the sea of love, this noon
I took it and put it in a blue balloon

I brought this balloon, so blue
all the way, especially for you

So, quick, quick, quick
Give this balloon a prick

let's bathe in its content
a sea of love, to never end




The grateful soul

The grateful soul
fights with the greedy ego.

Depending on who wins,
either both survive
or both die.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
When I was reading this 11 days after I first had posted it in this blog, 
I felt it was a bit strong, a bit opiniated.
Perhaps it would be better and a bit softer:

The grateful soul and the greedy ego
Sometimes they fight
If the first one wins, peace of mind is mine
If the second one wins, often I may feel full
but rarely satisfied.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Song of the bees

A simple story, a simple rhyme
I hope you enjoy the story
I hope you enjoy the rhyme...


I was sitting in a long and lazy chair
Enjoying the afternoon’s heat
With a breeze of lovely fresh air
And a book, a wonderful read

When out of the high branches of the trees
On my shoulder landed a swarm of bees
One of them climbed up near to my ear
What she whispered was amazing to hear;

“You know my human friend, we bees are quite wise
We like to work and make some honey, so nice
We visit the flowers every day of our life
No way we just sit and relax in our hive”

I thought that was a great message of the little bee
I thanked her for sharing her wisdom with me
She smiled and crawled back to my shoulder
Another one came up who looked a little bit older:

“Did you know my lovely, human brother
We bees care very much for one another
If one little bee hurts, no matter young or old
She is never left alone” was what I was told.

I was excited for all this wisdom to hear
From a group of little bees, so close to my ear
But this was not yet where it would end
Because up came another bee-ish friend:

“My kind human companion, did you know
Every day, every bee will make a bow
For we always thank our Creator so great
For every flower and all that He has made”

I was amazed to hear all this, more than a bit
These bees were so wise, no doubt about it
I wanted to hear so much more of my bee-bee friends
But soon they flew away and that’s where the story ends.

Strengths

A story about a teacher goes that she asked the students to write down something positive about each of their fellow students. She collected the information and rearranged it into a card for every single student. The students cherished the card forever.

It is so good to look for strengths in others.
Not so long ago, at the graduation of students, I had asked a few of their teachers to write a few lines about their strengths. Quite a number of questions came about the why and why not list both strengths and weaknesses and give them some advice on how to tackle their weaknesses.

It is not easy to tell people their strengths. Most of us so habitual in fault finding that it is even difficult to find strengths in others.
Why does it seem so difficult.
It is perhaps easier and makes us perhaps feel a bit superior if we can give advice (meaning we identify and try to help them tackling weaknesses)

We do not have a habit to praise
Maybe worth on developing such a habit?
What do you think?

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Simple walk

A simple walk in nature
may turn out to be a magnificent experience

This morning I just went for a short walk on the beach
The clouds above the sea were so magically beautiful
The way they embraced a youthful tree
The capricious shapes and whirls within
So enchanting

I captured a few on pictures,
I hope you go for the real thing soon.
Just make a small walk in nature
It may not be the sky,
perhaps just an amazing ant.
But quite sure something will amaze


 





Friday, 30 October 2015

Endless search

Most of us are in an endless search for happiness.
Most of us equate this endless search for happiness
with an endless search for wealth and comfort

Once we achieve a decent level of wealth and comfort,
many feel not too happy still and go and search for
more and more wealth and comfort, resulting in and endless search.

Luckily, more and more people are discovering this giant truth
that happiness is found more in a life of purpose, a life of service
and not so much in endlessly achieving and striving and achieving more wealth

Media portray a must-be-happy-all-the-time culture and
want to make us believe it is found in what they advertise.

Real life is not a happy-all-the-time event
Sad events bring sadness and that is very much OK
Simple service and a life of purpose
bring us enough happiness to have a good life,
without us having to pursue an endless search for anything....

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Positive difference

A very good morning to you.
I am aware you may read this in the evening.
A very good evening to you.

About any time of the day, but especially in the morning
is a good time to stop for a while our hectic routine
create a few moments of true silence
Silence within at least
and think thoughts of love and positivity for this wonderful world

Can you imagine if everyone in the world
would make 2 minutes free every day for thoughts of love
how much love this would mean

Let us be the pioneers for creating a few minutes of silence
with thoughts, only thoughts of love and kindness.
And reminisce for a while how we want to make
a positive difference in the world around us today...

Monday, 26 October 2015

Don't touch it

A little poem, I wrote for my two boys, about 3 years back:

Don't touch it

Have you seen a fire?
I mean a big one with high flames?
Any human touching it
Will suffer intense and lasting pains

Such is the law of nature
Nothing else could happen or be
Touching flames causes pains
Isn 't that easy to see?

Hatred is also like fire
It burns upon every touch
Pain is intense and lasting
Excruciating destruction, so much

Such is the law of nature
Nothing else could happen or be
Touching hatred causes pain
It is not difficult to see

And so is also anger
A blaze of uncontrolled heat
You touch it and bad burns
Are the only outcome to meet

Such is the law of nature
Nothing else could happen or be
Touching anger causes pain
It is not difficult to see

Lies of any nature or kind
Like smouldering ashes so hot
Touch lies and you suffer
Lies may seem ok but they're not

Such is the law of nature
Nothing else could happen or be
Touching lies causes pain
It may not be easy to see

Honesty love and kindness
Are like a cool breeze on a hot day
My boys, these laws of nature
Are here forever to stay





 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Revolution

Rolling waves are roaring
One word they roar:
Revolution

Revolution of love
Revolution of life
Revolution of caring kindness

My flying feathered friends
One word they sing:
Revolution

Revolution of love
Revolution of life
Revolution caring kindness

Flaming orange clouds are painting
One word they paint:
Revolution

Revolution of love
Revolution of life
Revolution of caring kindness

Whizzing winds are whispering
One word they whisper:
Revolution

Revolution of love
Revolution of life
Revolution of caring kindness

Oh, yes it is
in the waves of the sea
in the song of the birds
in the clouds in the sky
in the sound of the winds
A huge kindness revolution
And it is coming soon.

Listen, look,
Plunge in, float towards
Embrace, Enjoy

Best

"What is your best work?" was the question asked to Ward, the Sculptor.
"My next one", was the answer of Ward.

I read the above passage in a work by Orison S. Marden.

Upon reading it, I felt a wave of inspiration and motivation flow over me, towards me, in me.
I hope so much you feel something similar.
Isn't this superb?