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.