Profit

southern-gardens

 

What’s the earthly use of putting a man on the moon when we cannot live on the earth?

 

Awareness

Anthony de Mello

The way the world is!

Water world Fish Magic'

A little boy was walking along the bank of a river.

He sees a crocodile that is trapped in a net.

The crocodile says, “Would you have pity on me and release me? I may look ugly, but it isn’t my fault, you know. I was made this way.

But whatever my external appearance, I have a mother’s heart. I came this morning in search of food for my young ones and got caught in this trap!”

So the boy says, “Ah, if I were to help you out of that trap, you’d grab me and kill me.”

The crocodile asks, “Do you think I would do that to my benefactor and liberator?”

So the boy is persuaded to take the net off and the crocodile grabs him.

As he is being forced between the jaws of the crocodile, he says, “So this is what I get for my good actions.”

And the crocodile says, “Well, don’t take it personally, son, this is the way the world is, this is the law of life.”

The boy disputes this, so the crocodile says, “Do you want to ask someone if it isn’t so?”

The boy sees a bird sitting on a branch and says, “Bird, is what the crocodile says right?”

The bird says, “The crocodile is right. Look at me. I was coming home one day with food for my fledglings.

Imagine my horror to see a snake crawling up the tree, making straight for my nest. I was totally helpless. It kept devouring my young ones, one after the other.

I kept screaming and shouting, but it was useless.

The crocodile is right, this is the law of life, this is the way the world is.”

“See,” says the crocodile.

But the boy says, “Let me ask someone else.”

So the crocodile says, “Well, all right, go ahead.”

There was an old donkey passing by on the bank of the river.

“Donkey,” says the boy, “this is what the crocodile says. Is the crocodile right?”

The donkey says, “The crocodile is quite right.

Look at me. I’ve worked and slaved for my master all my life and he barely gave me enough to eat.

Now that I’m old and useless, he has turned me loose, and here I am wandering in the jungle, waiting for some wild beast to pounce on me and put an end to my life.

The crocodile is right, this is the law of life, this is the way the world is.”

“See,” says the crocodile. “Let’s go!”

The boy says, “Give me one more chance, one last chance. Let me ask one other being. Remember how good I was to you?”

So the crocodile says, “All right, your last chance.”

The boy sees a rabbit passing by, and he says, “Rabbit, is the crocodile right?”

The rabbit sits on his haunches and says to the crocodile, “Did you say that to that boy?

The crocodile says, “Yes, I did.”

“Wait a minute,” says the rabbit. “We’ve got to discuss this.”

“Yes,” says the crocodile.

But the rabbit says, “How can we discuss it when you’ve got that boy in your mouth?

Release him; he’s got to take part in the discussion, too.”

The crocodile says, “You’re a clever one, you are. The moment I release him, he’ll run away.”

The rabbit says, “I thought you had more sense than that. If he attempted to run away, one slash of your tail would kill him.”

“Fair enough,” says the crocodile, and he released the boy.

The moment the boy is released, the rabbit says, “Run!” And the boy runs and escapes.

Then the rabbit says to the boy, “Don’t you enjoy crocodile flesh?

Wouldn’t the people in your village like a good meal?

You didn’t really release that crocodile; most of his body is still caught in that net.

Why don’t you go to the village and bring everybody and have a banquet.”

That’s exactly what the boy does. He goes to the village and calls all the men folk.

They come with their axes and staves and spears and kill the crocodile.

The boy’s dog comes, too, and when the dog sees the rabbit, he gives chase, catches hold of the rabbit, and throttles him.

The boy comes on the scene too late, and as he watches the rabbit die, he says, “The crocodile was right, this is the way the world is, this is the law of life.”

Awareness

Anthony de Mello

Illusion of the fear

162

Suppose he says no?

mask fear

Samuel was down in the dumps and who could blame him?

His landlord had ordered him out of the apartment and he had nowhere to go.

Suddenly light dawned.

He could live with his good friend Moshe.

The thought brought Samuel much comfort, until it was assailed by another thought that said,

“What makes you so sure that Moshe will put you up at his place?”

“Why wouldn’t he?” said Samuel to the thought, somewhat heatedly,

“After all it is I who found him the place he is living in now;

and it was I who advanced him the money to pay his rent for the first six months.

Surely the least he could do is put me up for a week or so when I am in trouble.”

That settled the matter, until after dinner he was once again assailed by the thought:

“Suppose he were to refuse?”

“Refuse?” said Samuel,

“Why in God’s name would he refuse?

The man owes me everything he has.

It is I who got him his job;

it is I who introduced him to that lovely wife of his who has borne him the three sons he glories in.

Will he grudge me a room for a week? Impossible!”

That settled the matter, until he got to bed and found he couldn’t sleep because the thought came back to say,

“But just suppose he were to refuse.

What then?” This was too much for Samuel.

“How the hell could he refuse?”

he said, his temper rising now.

“If the man is alive today it is because of me.

I saved him from drowning when he was a kid.

Will he be so ungrateful as to turn me out into the streets in the middle of winter?”

But the thought was persistent.

“Just suppose…”

Poor Samuel struggled with it as long as he could.

Finally he got out of bed around two in the morning, went over to where Moshe lived and kept his finger pressed against the doorbell button till Moshe, half asleep, opened the door and said in astonishment, “Samuel!

What is it? What brings you here in the middle of the night?”

Samuel was so angry by now he couldn’t keep himself from yelling,

“I’ll tell you what brings me here at this hour of the night!

If you think I’m going to ask you to put me up even for a single day, you’re mistaken.

I don’t want to have anything to do with you, your house, your wife or your family.

To hell with you all!”

With that he turned on his heel and walked away.

The prayer of the frog. Volume – II

Anthony de Mello

Ono no Komachi

Selected Poems

Ono_no_Komachi 1

1

Though I go to you
ceaselessly along dream paths,
the sum of those trysts
is less than a single glimpse
granted in the waking world.

2

How sad,
the end that waits me –

To think at last

I’ll be a mere haze

pale green over the fields.

3

Blossoms blooming
Yet making no seed are
The sea-god’s
Garlanded
Whitecaps offshore.

4

On such a night as this

When no moon lights your way to me,

I wake, my passion blazing,

My breast a fire raging, exploding flame

While within me my heart chars.

5

The flowers withered

Their color faded away

While meaninglessly

I spent my days in the world

And the long rains were falling.

6

A thing which fades

With no outward sign

Is the flower

Of the heart of man

In this world!

7

Whose bloom will fade,

And yet the color does not show,

Is this alone:

In the world of love the flower

That opens in the human heart.

8

In this bay

There is no seaweed

Doesn’t he know it -?

The fisherman who persists in coming

Until his legs grow weary?

9

More heart-wrenching than

To sear my body with live coals

Against my flesh,

Bidding farewell on Miyakoshima’s shore

As you part for the capital.

10

Did he appear,

because I fell asleep

thinking of him?

If only I’d known I was dreaming

I’d never have wakened.

11

The autumn night

is long only in name –

We’ve done no more

than gaze at each other

and it’s already dawn.

12

When longing for him

Tortures me beyond endurance,

I reverse my robe –

Garb of night, black as leopard-flower berries –

And wear it inside out.

13

Since encountering my beloved

While I dozed,

I have begun to feel

That it is dreams, not reality,

On which I can rely.

14

Tears that but form gems on sleeves

Must come, I think,

From an insincere heart,

For mine, though I seek to repress them,

Gush forth in torrents.

15

Yielding to a love

That knows no limit,

I shall go to him by night –

For the world does not yet censure

Those who tread the paths of dreams.

16

I know nothing

About villages

Where fisher folk dwell;

Why must you keep demanding

To be shown the seashore?

17

Now that I am entering

The winter of life,

Your ardor has faded

Like foliage ravaged

By late autumn rains.

19

How bitter it is to see

Autumnal blasts

Strike the rice ears;

I shall, I fear,

Reap no harvest.

20

This body

grown fragile, floating,

a reed cut from its roots…

If a stream would ask me

to follow, I’d go, I think.

21

Men call love

Is simply

A chain

Preventing escape

From this world of care.

22

His heart, grown cold,

has become my body’s autumn.

Many sorrowful words

may yet fall

like the rustling leaves.

23

I thought to pick

the flower of forgetting

for myself,

but I found it

already growing in his heart.

24

Those gifts you left

have become my enemies:

without them

there might have been

a moment’s forgetting.

25

Submit to you –

could that be what you are saying?

the way ripples on the water

submit to an idling wing?

26

The pine tree by the rock

must have its memories too:

after a thousand years,

see how its branches

lean toward the ground.

27

The hunting lanterns

on mount Ogura have gone,

the deer are calling for their mates…

How easily I might sleep

if only I didn’t share their fears.

28

Since this body

was forgotten

by the one who promised to come,

my only thought is wondering

whether it even exists.

29

This abandoned house

shining

in the mountain village –

how many nights

has autumn spent there?

30

If, in an autumn field,

a hundred flowers

can untie their streamers,

may I not also openly frolic,

as fearless of blame?

31

While watching

the long rains falling on this world

my heart, too, fades

with the unseen color

of the spring flowers.

32

Seeing the moonlight

spilling down

through these trees,

my heart fills to the brim

with autumn.

33

Upon my breast

Floats a boat of heartbreak

And I have just embarked;

There’s not a single day when waves

Do not soak my sleeves.

Ono no Komachi

(c. 825—c. 900)

Ono no Komachi (小野小町?, c. 825—c. 900) was a famous Japanese waka
poet, one of the Rokkasen—the Six best Waka poets of the early Heian period. She was noted as a rare beauty; Komachi is a symbol of a beautiful woman in Japan. She is also numbered as one of the Thirty-six Poetry Immortals.

The place of Komachi’s birth and death is uncertain. According to one tradition, she was born in what is now Akita Prefecture, daughter of Yoshisada, “Lord of Dewa”. Her social status is also uncertain. She may have been a low-ranking consort or a lady-in-waiting of an emperor, possibly Emperor Ninmyō (r. 833-850).

As a poet, Komachi specialized in erotic love themes, expressed in complex poems. Most of her waka are about anxiety, solitude or passionate love. She is the only female poet referred to in the preface of the Kokin Wakashū, which describes her style as “containing naivety in old style but also delicacy”.

There are legends about Komachi in love. The most famous is a story about her relationship with Fukakusa no Shosho, a high-ranking courtier. Komachi promised that if he visited her continuously for a hundred nights, then she would become his lover. Fukakusa no Shosho visited her every night, but failed once towards the end. Despairing, he fell ill and subsequently died. When Komachi learned of his death she was overcome with sadness.

Ideology

110

Ideology

Here is a newspaper account of torture practised in modern concentration camps.

The victim is bound to a metal chair then electric shocks ore administered to him in increasing intensity till he confesses.

The torturer cups his hands and slaps the victim on the ear repeatedly till the eardrum breaks.

A dentist straps the prisoner to a chair and drills till he strikes a nerve.

The drilling goes on till the victim agrees to cooperate.

Human beings are not naturally cruel.

They become cruel when they are unhappy —

Or when they succumb to an ideology.

One ideology against another;

one religion against another.

And people crushed in between them.

The men who crucified Jesus could very well have been gentle husbands and loving fathers who practised cruelty to maintain a religion or an ideology.

If religious people had always followed the instinct of their heart rather than the logic of their religion we would have been spared the sight of heretics burning at stakes, widows walking into funeral pyres and innocent people slaughtered in wars that are waged in’ the name of God.

Compassion has no ideology.

The Song of The Bird

Anthony de Mello S. J.

Like water


The heart is like water

Passions agitate its surface

Rippling water in water

Creature-like, an utterance

Commingles both the good and bad

Like time, human beings body forth

As much of darkness as of light

Just as day illuminates before the night

So an extinguished star begets

Another brilliance

Similar to our vanished forbears

So we, similarly, must disappear

Time alone ensures its own endurance

As plainly as you can plainly see

Strangers in their native land are

Ardent practitioners of good

Whose intimates sever ties and turn

Frequentation to a widening gulf

Remember, should you have sealed

Friendship in the throes of poverty

Should prosperity arrive, remember

Al Ma’arri

Al-Ma’arri (full name in Arabic: أبو العلاء أحمد بن عبد الله بن سليمان التنوخي المعري, Abu al-‘Alā Ahmad ibn ‘Abd Allāh ibn Sulaimān al-Tanūkhī al-Ma’arri, December 26, 973–May 10 or May 21, 1057) was a blind Arab philosopher, poet and writer. He was a controversial rationalist of his time, he attacked the dogmas of religion, and rejected the claim that Islam possessed any monopoly on truth.

Abu ‘Ali al-Muhassin al-Tanukhi (Tanukhi) was born in Syria and lost his sight at the age of four due to smallpox. He hailed from the city of Ma’arra (المعرة) in Syria from which his name derives. He then went on to study in Aleppo, Antioch, and other Syrian towns pursuing a career as a freethinker, philosopher and poet before returning his native town of Ma’arrat al-Numan, where he lived the rest of his life, practicing asceticism and vegetarianism.

He briefly travelled to the center of Baghdad where he drew a great following of both male and female disciples to listen to his lectures on poetry, grammar and rationalism. One of the recurring themes of his philosophy was the rights of reason against the claims of custom, tradition and authority.

Although an advocate of social justice and action, Al-Ma’arri suggested that women should not bear children in order to save future generations from the pains of life.

Al Ma’arri was exerting a notable influence on Dante’s “The Divine Comedy”. His collection of poems “Unnecessary Necessity” charts the tragic dimension of human experience.

Wandering

Wandering


In life I see a treasure

Dilapidated with each night

Days escape this ruination

Only time is undermined

Such days shatter all deception

The man denied a crust of bread

A shirt to close, a time to meet

Will prove himself a hard binger

I rise to combat or for pleasure

Can your opprobrium immortalize?

In your impotence to say my death

Let me contemplate it with my means

Never will I cease to drink

And savor pleasure

In reckless squandering

Of property and heritage

Tarafah ibn al ‘Abd (c. 543-569)

Tarafa, or Tarafah ibn al ‘Abd ben Sufyan ben Malik al Bakri (Arabic: طرفة بن العبد بن سفيان بن سعد أبو عمرو البكري
الوائلي‎), was a 6th century
Arabian poet of the tribe of the Bakr.

After a wild and dissipated youth spent in Bahrain, left his native land after peace had been established between the tribes of Bakr and Taghlib and went with his uncle Al-Mutalammis (also a poet) to the court of the king of Hira, ‘Amr ibn-Hind (died 568-9), and there became companion to the king’s brother. Hira was as the time a vassal of the Persian
Sasanian Empire. Having ridiculed the king in some verses he was sent with a letter to Dadafruz Gushnasban, the Persian Governor of Southern shores of the Persian Gulf, but Tarafa and his uncle managed to escape underway.

One of his poems is contained in the Mo’allakat.

His Diwan has been published in Wilhelm Ahlwardt‘s The Diwans of the Six Ancient Arabic Poets (London, 1870). Some of his poems have been translated into Latin with notes by B. Vandenhoff (Berlin, 1895).

Time

Time

I clasp the stem of time

My head a fiery tower

What, then, is this blood

Ever rooted in the sand?

Flaming instants nullify our words

My soul’s forgotten its passion’s

Purpose, forgotten its heritage

Hidden in house of forms

Forgotten what the rain recounts

What the trees ink inscribes

What cleaves me from myself?

Might I be more than one?

My history, my ruination?

My promised land, my pyre?

Might I be several?

Each interrogating the other?

Who are you and where from?

In this be madness

Then let madness edify

Let madness be my guide

Adonis

Ali Ahmad Said Asbar (Arabic: علي أحمد
سعيد إسبر‎; transliterated: alî ahmadi sa’îdi asbar or Ali Ahmad Sa’id) born January
1930, also known by the pseudonym Adonis or Adunis (Arabic: أدونيس), is a Syrian poet and essayist who has made his career largely in Lebanon and France. He has written more than twenty books in his native Arabic.

Adonis is a pioneer of modern Arabic poetry. He is often seen as a rebel, an iconoclast who follows his own rules. “Arabic poetry is not the monolith this dominant critical view suggests, but is pluralistic, sometimes to the point of self-contradiction.”

Adonis was considered to be a candidate for the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature, but the awards went to British playwright Harold Pinter, Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, British novelist Doris Lessing and French novelist J.M.G. Le Clezio.

In 2007 he was awarded the Bjørnson Prize.

Dizziness

Dizziness

Let the rock fertilise to protect us from the fever of dizziness

Fix the moment into eternity

Freeze the wave that hurts us

Into the ogre’s belly

If you truly are

the god of all seasons.

A voice then will whisper:

“What use is it to throw a purple veil

over this cursed vision?”

My soul cried with pain

as cold and dead I walked

across the markets of the city

while crowds were consumed by a ring of fire.

How could I protect them from fire, from dizziness?

Dig more deeply, gravedigger

dig the grave, dig!

Khalil Hawi

(1919 – 1982)

One of Lebanon’s best-known twentieth-century poets. Born in Huwaya (Syria), Khalil Hawi grew up in Shwayr (Lebanon). He studied philosophy and Arabic at the American University of Beirut, and he obtained a scholarship to enrol at Cambridge University, in England, where he was awarded his Ph.D. in 1959. He then became a professor of Arabic literature at the American University in Beirut. Within a few years, he established himself as one of the leading avant-garde poets in the Arab world. His poetry relies heavily on symbols and metaphors and images, and it frequently has political and social overtones. An Arab nationalist at heart, he repeatedly expressed his sense of shame and rage at the loss of Palestine in 1948 and at subsequent Arab defeats at the hands of Israel. He lamented what he saw as the Arab world’s political and cultural decay, and he expressed deep pessimism about the possibility of a true Arab cultural and political revival. After 1975, Khalil Hawi experienced the desperation felt by all Lebanese who had to watch their country’s slow descent into chaos, internal disintegration, and manipulation by outside powers. He was outraged by Lebanon’s inability to stand up to the Israeli army when the latter invaded on 3 June 1982, and he deeply resented the other Arab governments’ silence about the Israeli invasion. He committed suicide on 6 June 1982.

The danger of Religion

The danger of Religion


The danger of what religion can do is very nicely brought out in a story told by Cardinal Martini, the Archbishop of Milan.

The story has to do with an Italian couple that’s getting married.

They have an arrangement with the parish priest to have a little reception in the parish courtyard outside the church.

But it rained, and they couldn’t have the reception, so they said to the priest,

“Would it be all right if we had the celebration in the church?”

Now Father wasn’t one bit happy about having a reception in the church, but they said,

“We will eat a little cake, sing a little song, drink a little wine, and then go home.”

So Father was persuaded.

But being good life-loving Italians they drank a little wine, sang a little song,

then drank a little more wine, and sang some more songs,

and within a half hour there was a great celebration going on in the church.

And everybody was having a great time, lots of fun and frolic.

But Father was all tense, pacing up and down in the sacristy, all upset about the noise they were making.

The assistant pastor comes in and says, “I see you are quite tense.”

“Of course, I’m tense.

Listen to all the noise they are making, and in the House of God! for heaven’s sake!”

“Well, Father, they really had no place to go.”

“I know that! But do they have to make all that racket?”

“Well, we mustn’t forget, must we, Father, that Jesus himself was once present at a wedding!”

Father says, “I know Jesus Christ was present at a wedding banquet,

YOU don’t have to tell me Jesus Christ was present at a wedding banquet!

But they didn’t have the Blessed Sacrament there!!!”

You know there are times like that when the Blessed Sacrament becomes more important than Jesus Christ.

When worship becomes more important than love, when the Church becomes more important than life.

When God becomes more important than the neighbor.

And so it goes on.

That’s the danger.

Awareness

Anthony de Mello