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

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.

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).

Between yesterday and tomorrow

Between yesterday and tomorrow

Keep yourself from worries and sorrows

Seize with all your might

This fleeting life

Yesterday is already far

Tomorrow not yet arrived

Be happy for a moment

This moment is your life

Fill the bountiful cup

Life is disgrace

Drunkenness is grace.

Omar Khayyam

(May 18, 1048 – December 4, 1122)

Omar Khayyám (Persian: عمر خیام, Early New Persian. pronunciation /ˈoːmɒːɾ xæjˈjɒːm/, English pronunciation /ˈoʊmɑr kaɪˈjɑm/) was a Persian
mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and poet. He also wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, and music.

Born in Nishapur, at a young age he moved to Samarkand and obtained his education there, afterwards he moved to Bukhara and became established as one of the major mathematicians and astronomers of the medieval period. He is the author of one of the most important treatises on algebra written before modern times, the Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra, which includes a geometric method for solving cubic equations by intersecting a hyperbola with a circle.[4] He contributed to a calendar reform.

His significance as a philosopher and teacher, and his few remaining philosophical works, have not received the same attention as his scientific and poetic writings. Zamakhshari referred to him as “the philosopher of the world”. Many sources have testified that he taught for decades the philosophy of Ibn Sina in Nishapur where Khayyám was born and buried and where his mausoleum today remains a masterpiece of Iranian architecture visited by many people every year.

Outside Iran and Persian speaking countries, Khayyám has had an impact on literature and societies through the translation of his works and popularization by other scholars. The greatest such impact was in English-speaking countries; the English scholar Thomas Hyde (1636–1703) was the first non-Persian to study him. The most influential of all was Edward FitzGerald (1809–83), who made Khayyám the most famous poet of the East in the West through his celebrated translation and adaptations of Khayyám’s rather small number of quatrains (rubaiyaas) in Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.

The Little Prince Quotations

The Little Prince

Quotations

 

 

1

The grown-ups’ response, this time, was to advise me to lay aside my drawings of boa constrictors, whether from the inside or the outside,

and devote myself instead to geography, history, arithmetic, and grammar.

That is why, at the age of six, I gave up what might have been a magnificent career as a painter.

I had been disheartened by the failure of my Drawing Number One and my Drawing Number Two.

Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves,

and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.

So then I chose another profession, and learned to pilot airplanes.

I have flown a little over all parts of the world; and it is true that geography has been very useful to me.

At a glance, I can distinguish China from Arizona.

If one gets lost in the night, such knowledge is valuable.

In the course of this life I have had a great many encounters with a great many people who have been concerned with matters of consequence.

I have lived a great deal among grown-ups. I have seen them intimately, close at hand.

And that hasn’t much improved my opinion of them.

2

Whenever I met one of them who seemed to me at all clear-sighted,

I tried the experiment of showing him my Drawing Number One, which I have always kept.

I would try to find out, so, if this was a person of true understanding.

But, whoever it was, he, or she, would always say: “That is a hat.”

Then I would never talk to that person about boa constrictors, or primeval forests, or stars.

I would bring myself down to his level.

I would talk to him about bridge, and golf, and politics, and neckties.

And the grown-up would be greatly pleased to have met such a sensible man.

3

I have serious reason to believe that the planet from which the little prince came is the asteroid known as B-612.

This asteroid has only once been seen through the telescope.

That was by a Turkish astronomer, in 1909.

On making his discovery, the astronomer had presented it to the International Astronomical Congress, in a great demonstration.

But he was in Turkish costume, and so nobody would believe what he said.

Grown-ups are like that…

Fortunately, however, for the reputation of Asteroid B-612,

a Turkish dictator made a law that his subjects, under pain of death, should change to European costume.

So in 1920 the astronomer gave his demonstration all over again, dressed with impressive style and elegance.

And this time everybody accepted his report.

4

If I have told you these details about the asteroid, and made a note of its number for you, it is on account of the grown-ups and their ways.

When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters.

They never say to you, “What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?”

Instead, they demand: “How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?”

Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him.

If you were to say to the grown-ups:

“I saw a beautiful house made of rosy brick, with geraniums in the windows and doves on the roof,”

they would not be able to get any idea of that house at all.

You would have to say to them: “I saw a house that cost $20,000.”

Then they would exclaim: “Oh, what a pretty house that is!”

Just so, you might say to them:

“The proof that the little prince existed is that he was charming, that he laughed, and that he was looking for a sheep.

If anybody wants a sheep, that is a proof that he exists.”

And what good would it do to tell them that?

They would shrug their shoulders, and treat you like a child.

But if you said to them:

“The planet he came from is Asteroid B-612,” then they would be convinced, and leave you in peace from their questions.

They are like that. One must not hold it against them.

Children should always show great forbearance toward grown-up people.

5

To forget a friend is sad.

Not everyone has had a friend.

6

Flowers are weak creatures. They are naïve.

They reassure themselves as best they can.

They believe that their thorns are terrible weapons…

The flowers have been growing thorns for millions of years.

For millions of years the sheep have been eating them just the same.

And is it not a matter of consequence to try to understand why the flowers go to so much trouble to grow thorns which are never of any use to them?

Is the warfare between the sheep and the flowers not important?

Is this not of more consequence than a fat red-faced gentleman’s sums?

And if I know-I, myself- one flower which is unique in the world,

which grows nowhere but on my planet,

but which one little sheep can destroy in a single bite some morning,

without even noticing what he is doing,

Oh! You think that is not important!

7

If someone loves a flower,

of which just one single blossom grows in all the millions and millions of stars,

it is enough to make him happy just to look at the stars.

He can say to himself: “Somewhere, my flower is there…”

8

I know a planet where there is a certain red-faced gentleman.

He has never smelled a flower.

He has never looked at a star.

He has never loved any one.

He has never done anything in his life but add up figures.

And all day he says over and over, just like you:

“I am busy with matters of consequence!”

And that makes him swell up with pride.

But he is not a man-he is a mushroom!”

9

I wonder, he said;

whether the stars are set alight in heaven

so that one day each one of us may find his own again.

10

Men?

I think there are six or seven of them in existence.

I saw them, several years ago.

But one never knows where to find them.

The wind blows them away.

They have no roots, and that makes their life very difficult.

11

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.

What is essential is invisible to the eye.

12

No one is ever satisfied where he is.

13

Men, said the little prince, set out on their way in express trains,

but they do not know what they are looking for.

Then they rush about, and get excited, and turn round and round…

14

Water may also be good for the heart…

15

The men where you live, said the little prince, raise five thousand roses in the same garden…

and they do not find in it what they are looking for…

They do not find it, I replied…

And yet what they are looking for could be found in one single rose, or in a little water…

And the little prince added:

But the eyes are blind.

One must look with the heart…

16

But the eyes are blind.

One must look with the heart…

17

It is just as it is with the flower.

If you love a flower that lives on a star, it is sweet to look at the sky at night.

All the stars are a-bloom with flowers.

18

And at night you will look up at the stars.

Where I live everything is so small that I cannot show you where my star is to be found.

It is better, like that.

My star will just be one of the stars, for you.

And so you will love to watch all the stars in the heavens…

They will all be your friends.

And, besides, I am going to make you a present…

19

All men have the stars, he answered, but they are not the same things for different people.

For some, who are travellers, the stars are guides.

For others they are no more than little lights in the sky.

For others, who are scholars, they are problems.

For my businessman they were wealth.

But all these stars are silent.

You – you alone – will have the stars as no one else has them…

– What are you trying to say?

– In one of the stars I shall be living.

In one of them I shall be laughing.

And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night…

You – only you – will have stars that can laugh!

And he laughed again.

And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me.

You will always be my friend.

You will want to laugh with me.

And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure…

And your friends will be properly astonished to see you laughing as you look up at the sky!

Then you will say to them, ‘Yes, the stars always make me laugh’!

20

Words are the source of misunderstandings.

Antoine de Saint Exupéry

The Little Prince

Woman

Woman

 

 

First creature, perpetual knowledge

Crystal-clear water, primeval desire

Everlasting fire

Primitive thrill

Woman, you are the tender secret

If you disappear, the earth will wither

Goodness will fade away from the universe

Source of fertility, means of all life

Woman, you defeated death

Daughter of Canaan, Babylonian melody

Star of the morning, child of the moon

Sister of the sun.

Woman, you are the mother of men

In your hands, you hold the reins of mystery

Your word is a promise,

your promise is virility

Wedding among men

Woman, there I am, signing your glory

Cluster of grapes, taste of the fig

Savour of feast and festivity

Spirit of adventure in us

Celebration of the soul,

near and far

Woman, you are the present and the forever

Despair that haunts us

You are the wise one

Mouth of life

Place of birth

In your hands, you hold will

And carry destiny

Smiling jewel, perfumes shell

Woman, you are ornament and fragrance

Inhabited place, wind and tempest

Violence among men

You are the familiar being

Woman, you are the forgotten prophecy

 

Abed Azrie

(1945-)

It is also written as Abed Azrié (Arabic: عابد عازرية), is a Syrian singer who performs Arab classical music, although he claims to belong to no particular music tradition.

In his work he sets ancient and modern Arabic texts to traditional instruments (such as the ney, kanun, darbuka, violin, flute and lute), and synthesizers.

He was born in Aleppo, and after living for a time in Beirut moved to Paris at the age of 22 where he studied Western classical music.

While there he translated classical poetry, such as the Sumerian
Epic of Gilgamesh, into French.

Literature and human destiny

In praise of reading and fiction


 

 

Literature is a false representation of life that nevertheless helps us to understand life better,

to orient ourselves in the labyrinth where we are born, pass by, and die.

It compensates for the reverses and frustrations real life inflicts on us,

and because of it we can decipher, at least partially,

the hieroglyphic that existence tends to be for the great majority of human beings,

principally those of us who generate more doubts than certainties and confess our perplexity before subjects like

transcendence, individual and collective destiny,

the soul, the sense or senselessness of history, the to and fro of rational knowledge.

Mario Vargas Llosa

In praise of reading and fiction

 

 
 

Nobel Lecture

December 7, 2010

 

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after December 7, 2010, 5:30 p.m. (Swedish time).

Publication in periodicals or books otherwise

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On all publications in full or in major parts

the above underlined copyright notice

must be applied.

Age

 

Age

Probably a day we should measure our ages by meetings’ gleams!