28 April 2020
Ancient Wisdom as a vaccine
"Today's the day I start blogging again!"
That was my first thought early yesterday morning. I don't know where this suddenly came from. It stuck to the back of my consciousness all day.
My last Inspiration - that's what I call my blogs - dates back to November 2018! Talk about a very long break. At one point I suddenly felt the source of inspiration drying out. I didn't want to add more words and phrases to the tsunami of articles, opinion pieces and blog posts flooding us from all over the worldwide net.
Again, I don't feel the need to add anything edifying about the entire COVID-19 crisis. My saturation level has already been amply exceeded there as well. What about yours ?
What I do draw a lot of energy from during these confusing days are art, poems and stories, philosophical and spiritual texts and visions. Especially now they can quite move me and bring me into a state of tranquil essence. In De Standaard of 21 April (one of the major local newspapers) there was a beautiful article entitled "Art as a vaccine in the post-corona era".
Why wait for that post-corona era? Yesterday the below parable ended up in my inbox. It goes back to the medieval Persian Sufi poets, like the famous Rumi. No wonder it made me all zen. Hopefully it has a similar effect on you.
This too shall pass
There was a king and he once said to his court sages - I have a ring with one of the finest diamonds in the world and I want to hide a message under the stone which can be useful in times of despair. I will give this ring to my heirs and I want it to serve them faithfully. Come up with a message to be inscribed under the diamond. It must be short to fit on the ring.
The sages knew how to write treatises but could not express themselves in one short sentence. They tried hard but couldn’t come up with anything.
The king complained about the failure of his venture to a faithful old servant who raised him from infancy and was part of the family. And the old man said to him:
“I’m not a sage, I’m not educated, but I know of such a message. Once, I served a visiting mystic whom your father invited and he passed me this message. Just don’t read it, put it under the stone inside the ring and read it only when there’s no way out at all."
The king listened to the old servant.
After some time, the enemies attacked the country and the king lost the war. He fled on his horse and enemies pursued him. He was alone, they were many. He drove to the end of the road. There was a big cliff before him, if he fell there - that would be the end. He could not go back, as the enemies were approaching. He already heard the clatter of their horses' hooves. He had no way out. He was in complete despair.
Then he remembered the ring. He opened it and under the stone found an inscription of four words: “This too shall pass.”
After reading the message he felt that everything went quiet. Apparently, the pursuers got lost and proceeded in the wrong direction. Horses were no longer heard.
The king was filled with gratitude to the servant and the unknown mystic. Words were powerful. He closed the ring and hit the road. Again, he gathered his army and conquered back his state.
On the day when he returned to the palace, they arranged a lavish welcoming for him - a feast for the whole country. People loved their king. The king was happy and proud.
The old servant came up to him and softly said: “Even this moment will pass. Look at the message again.”
"Now I am the winner. People are celebrating my return, I'm not in despair."
“Listen to the old servant,” he answered, “it works not only in bad times but also in good.”
The king opened the ring and read: “This too shall pass."
Again, he felt silence falling over him. Although he was in the midst of a noisy dancing crowd. Feelings of pride and entitlement disappeared. He understood the message. He was a wise man.
Finally the old servant added: “Do you remember everything that happened to you? Nothing is permanent. No feeling stays. As night changes day, moments of joy and despair replace one another. Accept them as the nature of things, as part of life
What wisdom do you take from this parable? Does it teach you anything about the situation we're in right now? Does it change your perspective or your feelings?
Be on the watch for more inspiration from my side. I feel the source slowly starting to trickle again.
The invisible dog or how being hard headed does not pay off
"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”. Humans excel in that. We somehow believe that if we keep trying harder we will ultimately succeed, even if we keep ending up with the same result, time and time again.
2 November 2018
From King of the Mountain to Swimming Champion
23 August 2018
What if email, mobile phones and social media did not exist?
12 July 2018
Don’t make change too complicated. Just begin.
14 June 2018
Why not take a mini-holiday
10 May 2018
Lost in deconstruction
"You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star" [Friedrich Nietzsche]
19 April 2018
How Dog had a breakthrough – a contemporary fable (part 2)
15 March 2018
How Cat & Dog should follow the example of Mouse, a contemporary fable
15 February 2018
Winter’s life lesson
21 November 2017
A juvenile delinquent dog or the price of adulthood
When we reach the age of adulthood we seem to have internalised all those responsibilities, expectations and limitations. As if the free creatures that we once were are forgotten.
18 January 2018
Lessons taught by wild geese
16 November 2017
Who is the King of Creation?
What if things were different from what we have always assumed? It can make you feel very unsafe to question your normal perspective. On the other hand it also offers incredible freedom and creativity to step outside the beaten track and become curious.
19 October 2017
From prey to predator and vice versa
From prey to predator and vice versa, the natural order put upside down. The animals themselves do not seem to be bothered by it - for sure Django isn’t, and the hens appear to find it quite normal to be on top of the food chain.
5 October 2017
How is your Monkey Mind?
We all have a Monkey Mind, Buddha said, with scores of monkeys, all demanding attention. The fear monkey is the loudest of them all, he is constantly ringing the alarm bell, drawing our attention to things we should be wary of and to everything that can go wrong.
21 September 2017
The parable of the businessman and the fisherman
We always have a choice: do we listen to our sabotaging inner voices or do we opt for what we really want, like the fisherman?
24 August 2017
Mr Goldberg and his assumptions
It is worthwhile to take a closer look at the assumptions you have about the persons with whom you have a relationship. You could develop the habit to ask yourself if a certain assumption is really true. And what if it is not?
10 August 2017
Asking for help is something we struggle with and we will only ask when we have no other option. We believe that asking for help and putting ourselves in a vulnerable position is a sign of weakness. Asking for help creates a warm connection between the asker and the giver.
20 April 2017
What if ....?
What if you would use a different perspective to look at what you have always assumed to be the objective reality? Does objective reality as such even exist?
9 February 2017
Frieda just asks
Asking for help is something that is hard to do for a lot of us. Self-reliance and autonomy are highly respected in our individualistic society. Another aspect of asking for help is that we build up a 'debt' as it were, We also do not like to disturb others with our problems
18 February 2016