Hello Dear Readers,
I am writing you from a kind of grey and still a bit cold London. It is the first day of Spring today yet the Sun is a bit shy in showing its full rays.
After much pondering I have taken a decision that I would like to share with you. I have decided not to write on this blog anymore.
Let me tell you that this did not came as an easy decision. Writing on this blog gave me many pleasurable moments. It was great to think at stories, writing them down and then see the conversations arising. It has been great fun!
Yet, as much as I have loved this blog, this space was born as an experiment. As every experiment I feel that this one too is ready to stop.
Two major points led me to this decision.
First of all, during my time as a blogger I have seen many types of other blogs. I had the pleasure to read personal development blogs, creative writing blogs, spiritual blogs, yoga blogs, space blogs and blogs on miniaturized worlds (no kidding!). The more I read from other blogs, the less I could pick a structure to follow for mine. You may argue that the name of this blog is the Italian for Thoughts Out of Shape, therefore I should probably not care about shape too much. Although, as much as I enjoyed this freedom of expression, I need some time to redirect my writing efforts. I need a new space and a new vision. I need to find a different shape that would allow me to grow.
Second of all, and most importantly, I feel that I need to devote some time to speak to myself. I need to do writing, plenty of it, and direct it to myself to find my voice. I want to understand in a deeper way which type of writer do I want to be. I feel like I need to experiment a lot and it is difficult to do so in a space which is there mostly for others. To fully explore my new purpose in writing I feel that I need to do some writing that is directed first to myself for a while, before coming out again to a public, for small as it may be.
I hope you understand this decision.
As you can see this decision does not mean leaving writing on the shelf. It means redirecting it, exploring from another perspective to then decide how and when to come back. It is a strong act of freedom, if you like.
It has been a great pleasure to dialogue with all of you. As I said above, I had a lot of pleasure in writing for all of you. I wish you all the Best!
And who knows.. We might see each other again some day in the future!
As you might be aware the next few days might be of particular importance for the future of human societies on this planet. In the next two weeks a UN Climate Summit will be held in Paris. In this occasion governments from around the world will meet up to decide a global action against climate change.
There is overwhelming evidence that climate change is already a reality.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated different possible scenarios for climate change. All of them involve a temperature rise (from 0.6 to 4 more grades Celsius on average according to the scenario) [see table below].
Many different schools of thoughts, both religious and secular, came-up with the conclusion that we live in an inter-connected reality where the well-being of the whole system depends on the actions of the individuals. In other words we inter-are, as zen master Tich Nhat Hanh would put it. I could not agree more.
I believe there is an interesting parallelism between the scenarios developed by the IPCC and the vision of inter-dependence of philosophical and religious traditions.
This period of in history is a big chance for all of us to realise more deeply this fundamental truth. What we do affects others, both across the world and across generations. What we have is a big chance to recognise this inter-dependence and to change our behaviour on this planet to ensure we enter a more sustainable path. It is a duty we have for the whole of life really.
I hope this chance will be taken by both the world’s population and by the world’s politicians. I would love to see the walls that divide us to fall when we recognise that change is needed for everybody’s future survival and well-being.
Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh [him again, I know!] asked all mindfulness to practitioners to make personal commitments for environmental change. These might include joining a march, fasting from meat or diary products, wear a green ribbon, raise awareness as so on. Similar needs to raise awareness and take concrete actions were raised by Pope Francis. Anyway, independently of your political or religious views I would encourage to take action as well to raise awareness on this important issue.
We live in a beautiful planet. If you think about it, the changes of having a planet as beautiful as the one we have we pretty damn low. Furthermore this planet is our home, it is the source of our life and especially it is the only one we have. It is key that we treat it with respect and wisdom.
If you still are not convinced about why we need to love our planet, here are some nice pictures of it which will help you remembering..
And this is me being totally awesome during my first bike ride when I was 14!!!
Table 1: IPCC estimates of future temperature rise
|Temperature Change||Sea Level Rise)|
|(°C at 2090-2099 relative to 1980-1999)a||(m at 2090-2099 relative to 1980-1999)|
|Case||Best estimate||Likely range||Model-based range excluding future|
|rapid dynamical changes in ice flow|
|Constant Year 2000 concentrationsb||0.6||0.3 – 0.9||NA|
|B1 scenario||1.8||1.1 – 2.9||0.18 – 0.38|
|A1T scenario||2.4||1.4 – 3.8||0.20 – 0.45|
|B2 scenario||2.4||1.4 – 3.8||0.20 – 0.43|
|A1B scenario||2.8||1.7 – 4.4||0.21 – 0.48|
|A2 scenario||3.4||2.0 – 5.4||0.23 – 0.51|
|A1FI scenario||4.0||2.4 – 6.4||0.26 – 0.59|
Writing is an exceptional art, but is it an artifice, a way of searching for truth or both?
I have a confession to make, I like to make stories sound better. It is something that my girlfriend reminds me all the time.
When something happens that is alright, but nor remarkable, I like to add some details or some pathos to it to give the story some more appeal. My intent is to make other laugh or phantasise. My girlfriend hates it and to some extent she’s probably right. But does this make me a liar?
I like to write stories. Writing stories is something great in that it allows us to create a world which is not there, which is deeper, or lighter, or darker, or shining at will.
Writing is also a way to do dig deeper into one’s own self. With writing we can create characters or events that allow us to see things differently and perhaps to see parts of ourselves that we don’t fully comprehend in an environment we can control.
In this sense writing might become a mirror which, by definition, should reflect things as they are. It should, because no mirror is perfect. Even the cleanest mirror has some micro imperfection that doesn’t allow it to reflect perfectly. At the same time that same imperfection is what makes the mirror unique.
My grandparents had and old mirror from the nineteenth century which was fantastic. Time had consumed it and only a part of it was left. The same part was also corroded and oxidized. This old mirror was not functional at all, but it was beautiful to look at. It had a character which made it unique. It was reflecting things its own way.
So, to go back to the point, are all writer liars? Yes, to some extent. Yet, even now I might be lying, so it is better if you jump to your own conclusions.
The process of taking out all of impurities was not an easy one, this is what Mahir was realising in his practice.
He realised all of that as he gathered with that company of Sufis, as they called each other, right outside the city of Izmir.
Mahir heard quite a lot about those sufis before deciding to join them. He heard so many different things on their behalf. He heard that they had lost their common sense, that they were mad, that they ruined their family’s reputation by leaving everything else aside and by joining this unconventional path.
Mahir did not fear of all this. He heard deeply in his hearth the burning desire to join that unusual fellowship. He knew when his hearth was telling him something he could not doubt. As a brave young man, he was rebellious enough to follow what his hearth whispered him.
“Remember Mahir”, once told him his uncle, “the rebellious ones are those who, over the centuries, gave humanity new ways of seeing things. All the prophets were not accepted by their fellows at their times, yet they did not give up. This is how things go”. Who knows, perhaps his uncle’s words plaid a part in his decision to join the company of dancing holy men.
Joining the Sufis was exactly how Mahir expected it, at first. A bunch of joyful people, dancing in circle and repeating the name of the Beloved. Everything was perfect, ecstatic, joyful. Nothing seemed to impair that bliss that Mahir had always experienced in the background of his consciousness and that finally seemed to have found the right foundation on which to grow.
Months had passed since he joined the Dervish. Mundane preoccupations were just a memory of the past. The future seemed to be one of bliss and divine enjoyment. Until the day were the unexpected happened.
On that day Mahir woke up early. He was going all the way to the central hall to start his daily work, as it was the rule of the community. As he was walking from his house to the hall something from the inside struck him. A deep sense of pride suddenly struck him like a thunderbolt. This feeling overcame to him quickly and deeply that Mahir did not even had the time to hide this feeling under some momentary distraction.
It was just unbelievably obvious to him how much his life had always been centred in his sense of superiority to other human beings. Even the holiest of his decisions, the one of joining the company of dancing dervishes, appeared to him as driven by a desire to gain importance, power and prestige, not in material terms, but in much subtler ways.
The more Mahir looked at this feeling the bigger the feeling seem to get.
After a few time the feeling grew so strongly that Mahir had a clear sense of exploding. Inside his brain a thousand voices suddenly appeared. Those voices were telling him how much he deserved to be recognised, that he was the holiest of his family, that he was the holiest of that company of dancing dervishes, that the was the holiest of the whole world. The voice was not stopping there. It started to remind him how well he did in school and that if he wanted he could start his studies again so that the whole world could benefit from the knowledge that was naturally flourishing in him.
Many other promises arose on that day in Mahir’s mind, many of which we cannot speak about because of decency.
Luckily for Mahir not all of his good will disappeared in a instant. He remembered what he had read on the Quran. He was well aware of the tricks that demons could play to the people in the search for God. He knew what had to be done. He had to visit Jalal, the headmaster of the dervish company to tell him all of his doubts and temptations.
“Beloved Master”, started Mahir. “Joining this company was the choice that most drew me closer to God. This is, at least, what I used to think before this day. Since this morning, however, there is a voice inside of me that screams so strongly it can’t be ignored. It tells about me. It tells about my place in the world. It tells about how you should sit at my place and how I should stand on your throne. It tells about all sort of unworldly things. I know that this voice is not true, but yet it won’t stop. I know that I am sinner. I am still the same sinner I was when I first joined. Oh Master, all of my search is just pure pride and I deserve nothing!”.
“Very well”, stated the Master, “I was waiting for you to come to this place. To be a Dervish is to accept God’s gifts, both in light as in darkness, as there is not without the other”. The Master stated.
“The human hearth is like a raw metal”, continued the Master, “to come to purity the metal has to suffer. It has to be put in hell’s fire and be beaten a thousand and more times. No metal has been born pure. Nor it is you, Mahir”.
Upon hearing those words Mahir’s pride intensified, just to quickly lead him to confusion and then desolation.
“But then tell me, beloved Master, what shall I do to overcome my pride? Because this pride squeezes me, like a bug under a shoe. Yet, I know there must be more. I have seen it in the past!”.
“You shall dance, Mahir”, stated the Master, “with your right palm asking for mercy and your left offering the world the blessings you’ll receive. In your dance you shall rotate, to remember that all in this world is a cycle in God’s will”.
From that day Mahir started to dance. He danced and danced and then he danced some more. He danced so much he could not remember his name. He danced so much that even his feeling of pride fell off. He danced until there was nothing else in this world apart for the dance itself.
Mahir finally became that dance, and the people looking at that dance, and impulse leading that dance. He became everything and only because Mahir was no more.
When the dance finally stopped Mahir returned to be who he was. He returned as Mahir, the dervish, with a hearth filled of gratitude. He knew in his hearth that that was just the beginning. The beginning of a wider dance in which to give roots to what he saw in his whirling bliss…
“Be empty of worrying. / Think of who created thought! / Why do you stay in prison / When the door is so wide open?” J. Rumi
How many times do we find ourselves chasing thoughts that take what we are, that immense space of love, and twist our perception of it in our minds. What is the need of following all of this? Thoughts are what they are, thoughts, and they all arise from nothing. Sometimes some stories, or versions of our selves, arise from that which we have already dropped, but that perhaps we are still afraid to say goodbye to. Do not be afraid of your own thoughts. To be scared of them would mean to be like that dog who is afraid of his own shadow. In reality the relationship with the shadow of our own thoughts is very different: wherever our attention go the thoughts follow, that’s all. But it is up to us to understand the nature of this relationship and possibly not allow those thoughts to become like an unbeatable monster. The truth, for how uncomfortable it might feel, is that we are already free from preconceived ideas of ourselves. The door for ourselves is already open, provided that we say the magic word. What we need, in short, just to say Yes.
Another day, another funeral,
One for each name that I wore.
Saint, sinner, hero and bastard,
Rare stone and rough stone,
Lover, love, and disown.
No sound, time nor colour,
Can really stick over me
And each of them will burn in the fire of truth.
‘Cause my self is like the mill wheel,
which ground the flour, returns the water to the river.
Energies channeled to take on construction of sand, right there near the shore.
A brand, a name, a logo or else a category,
give me anything to be able to be someone in this world,
no matter whether illusory or painful.
The concept is to my mind like a drug that runs beneath the skin,
or like bitter water that my system strives for to slip away this ardent emptiness.
Yet, how much space up here.
I’m like a blank page that accepts any ink and then shakes it off,
I am that which is always new, clear and timeless.
The old fear seems only a den in which I’ve been for too long,
and what itches my eyes is just the fitting to light.
Forget about me, do not look for me somewhere, whether in a story or in a book,
I am burned, finished, gone and yet joyful,
I packed away the old crown of my own ego for the transparent one of the present
and if you too decide to wear it there will be no two, nor ten, nor thousand of sovreigns, but only one king,
because this truth, is like the air we breath which comes, gives new life and then thankfully it goes.
It has no needs for a compass, nor maps or souvenirs, because when it leaves it returns back to nowhere
and past the wind always echoes the silence.
Picture from: The Thoughtful Spot