It’s daunting, I know. For some people with legitimate conditions it’s mortifying.
Fear, is consuming for many people. What removes fear?
I’m not pretending to know everyone’s situation. My own personal experiences have been that knowledge above all is the remover of fear. Knowledge of and in yourself. Knowledge of your inner workings, knowledge of humankind, knowledge of the earth you live on, knowledge of your Maker, knowledge of fighting arts, knowledge of arts in general, knowledge of language, knowledge of the very edge of your temperament before you turn into a savage and so much more.
With all that knowledge you build a solid foundation of conviction and abilities and can approach problems with clarity, focus and determination.
Some people are too lazy to put forth the effort needed for one or all of these types of knowledge and they remain in their state, looking for a pill that will assist, a diagnosis that will comfort, a group or circle of people that will comfort and that’s fine if you wish to function that way, but some of us want to draw the elixir of life out from its roots, from its nucleus and keep it in a vial around our necks.
We won’t settle for mediocre, we want the extremes. We want to be armed all the time, dancing the Muhammad Ali shuffle around our foes, our woes, and always on our toes.
We have a bevy of quills,
Oceans as ink,
And forests of paper,
So how are you ever going to stop our ideas?
We have mountains as microphones,
Valleys as audiences,
Nature as our recording studio,
So how are you going mute us?
We have voices as machine guns,
Our spirit as fighter jets,
Our hearts as bombs,
So how are you going to win this war?
There’s things you can never win.
You can’t kill people to remove ideas.
You can’t sever limbs to shut people up.
And you can’t use warfare to rule human beings.
Writers, poets and thinkers will stop you in
your tracks and win the hearts of the masses
How long you walk in the depravity of excess determines your ability to find the solace of the garden of contentment.
How does one explain what that garden is, how do I describe the tranquillity with words that are not a unit of measure for the scientifically minded, for the logically minded, for the absent minded to comprehend? I cannot.
Ali, the son in law and cousin of the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessing be upon him said ‘Contentment is a treasure chest that never vanquishes’. For one to comprehend this, one has to understand their own nature, their hidden desire or former desire to covet, acquire and amass.
Who wouldn’t love to have riches on end? Never worrying about wealth ever diminishing? To comprehend that means to have been in need either via dire circumstance or via ulterior greed and dissatisfaction. In such a predicament, satisfaction and satiation is never present. One always wants more or at least more than what one currently has, whether it is to remove discomfort of bad circumstance or to remove discomfort of dissatisfaction. The later, far more blameworthy than the former. The later is what the above quote is referring to more than the former although both are blameworthy if they subdue one’s spiritual ascension and worse yet leave one dissatisfied with their lot or what has been assigned to them.
Deprivation can serve us in a very rewarding manner if we consciously acknowledge it’s prestigious station rather than looking grimly at our lot and looking bleakly with mundane substance to the future and planning for material consumption until it overcomes our basal natures, that is to be free of all things and subservient and obedient only to God. When you can do that, the garden awaits both in this world and the next.
“An optimist is simply a man who hasn’t heard the news.”
OR woman for that matter.
No it’s not someone who doesn’t watch the news. Let’s not all become literalists now, rather it’s someone who is so tunnel visioned that they block out all unnecessary feedback, all input, all incoming data streams to purify their thoughts and only focus on what they want.
Granted, the news is one cesspool of negativity, I have no idea why intelligent people actually indulge in it…… Hang on, they don’t.
Next time you wonder why your state of affairs is in disarray, hold the mirror up and take a long hard look at your indulgences. TV, news, slapstick shows, cinema, media etc…… well you know your answer.
I have revisited this quote countless times this week and I feel I will visit it countless more. A reminder of the nature of affairs.
Fatalism, as an attitude to life in general, is retrospective. Only when something has happened can we say that it had to happen. The notion that it makes people inactive is disproved by experience. The courage of the Prophet’s Companions, going into battle against overwhelming odds, must certainly have owed something to the conviction that the outcome of the battle was in God’s hands, not theirs, and that they would die not a moment before or after “a time appointed”. If their time had not yet come, the enemy’s weaponry would prove to be no more dangerous than a child’s toys; if they were fated to meet their end that day, nothing they did could prevent this. In our time, countless men and women suffer extreme stress in their work and this is often due to the belief that “everything depends on me”. For the Muslim, everything depends on God; nothing “depends on me”. Paradoxical as it may seem, the conviction that all is pre-ordained is liberating, whereas belief in total freedom of choice creates, for those who hold it, a prison of anxiety and uncertainty. It is for us to act. The outcome of our actions is God’s business, not ours. It is for us to do what is right under all circumstances. Subsequent failures does not mean that right action was, after all, wrong.
From Charles Le Gai Eaton’s book Remembering God
A supplication taught to Muslims by the Prophet Muhammad. On reflection, it is easy to adapt this into your life no matter what your religious inclination.