Question

In an attempt to be fruitful in our endeavours, seekers try and understand the world around them. In we come to the realm of the mind, comparing ideas and connecting disparate concepts to reach what satisfies a deeper and fuller representation of all that we see and do.

Behind every thought that brings mental toil, that uncomfortable feeling that is so addictive to us thinkers, lies an unsatisfactory answer to an unclear question. Our questions guide our thoughts.

An intention is worth more than we think, for therein we come to know the most befitting action. Yet intention is cheap if we do not exert ourselves physically towards those ends. Action and reflection only together can bring knowledge, for when they are left alone they congeal into perpetual ignorance or self loathing. We cannot learn through one without the other.

“Oh Yahya, take the book with strength.” Read it much, and take it with action! Follow its teachings before the opportunity fades. How else can you be sure of the hours you have spent reading?

Be patient with your wisdom and knowledge. These are things that are only given, and never achieved. Journey towards that which you do not know, but never lose sight of how far you have come. Act with what you know before the opportunity dies. Never be among those who are shy or arrogant, for it is not but the shy and arrogant who never learn.

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On learning

Musa AS travels with his pupil across sand and sea. He proclaims with confidence in God’s command: “I will not rest until I reach the meeting point of the two seas or I travel for ages.” He knows God’s command must be fulfilled, and so with or without his pupil he is convinced he will reach the destination he was appointed.

They trekked and scanned, until finally they unwittingly walked straight past their destination. Only when they lost their fish, a sign (an omen?), had they realised their appointed location had passed. And so they backtracked… As we, when we pursue a knowledge by virtue of thinking, we must be prepared to backtrack, having missed the mark. A friend or companion can make the search easier by keeping us patient and identifying clues, but we must have faith in ourselves and our mission to continue even if our companion cannot.

Learning from a mentor, however, is different. The “why” becomes a question of any discussion. A mistake is identified, and patience is commanded with skill. The teacher knows what the student needs and how much time it will take to plant the seed.

The mentor is not only a teacher, but also an example. We must put ourselves in the shoes of our mentor and never cease to be ourselves. Know that dishonesty is the greatest obstacle to knowledge. Know that knowledge is a fruit, the trees of which grow slowly and elegantly. Know that using knowledge is it’s fruit, and the seeds can be eaten just as well. Know that someone greater in knowledge is not necessarily greater in stature. Know that after all knowledge will come a phase in life when all is forgotten. Know that the sieve of knowledge is laziness and the only way to keep our knowledge is to keep learning…

Secrets

Future plans, current worries, past mistakes. How often do we hear the small nagging voice inside us telling us to keep our minds silent. We tell ourselves that these worries are unworthy of publishing on our faces that bear the news of new and old. These, “secrets,” are unimportant, insignificant: why worry about these worries when nothing seems to alleviate them.

The hole we are digging deepens, and our problems are left unsolved, our patience waning with every new sunrise. The light in which we once saw life dims, moving further and further away with every pant and sigh.

SPEAK, Human! for you were not created but a finite vessel. Speak, as your faith is only compounded by words and knowledge by actions. Speak of your success, of your troubles, of your truth, and of you patience. These, if not enjoined, become as stale water harbouring weeds and algae. No longer can we benefit from this water, except as a view lying before the lens, the view in a picture, a thing to share with our friends.

SPEAK! as you read, so must you write. O human how ignorant your are that you think you can learn without teaching; as if you can learn without asking! Truth is truth, yet a thought is not true to you until acknowledged by another. As is belief untrue to your heart, unless your patience is expressed to a similar heart. Otherwise, the large becomes small and the small expands out of proportion. Acknowledgement slows the mind down, allows us to view ourselves in the mirror of another’s eye, not through the twisted lens of our own, ever changing.

Tell me, young one what encouragement means to you. It means praise from another for following your dreams, a reward for your action. We ask ourselves far too much for too little a price. The price, as always, for what we obtain is what and how we give it away…

A Calm Mind

A student once approached the great Michelangelo with a not-quite finished sculpture, pleading for assistance in adding the finishing touches. The young man’s intense focus seemed to elude him, for sculpting too violently would surely chip the stone, while sculpting too softly failed to produce any change in shape. Michelangelo, understanding the problem, insisted on taking the student out for tea, allowing him to recount all the difficulties he had encountered in producing the art-piece. Upon returning, the student was dumbfounded when his beloved teacher refused to help him. Finally deciding to have another attempt at the sculpture, however, he noticed that he could now, with a calmer temperament, apply the perfect balance of pressure to finish the sculpture himself.

Fake world

Your out of breath, panting
The goal is out of sight, out of mind.
The crowd feels the energy running through you, they screaming at you, cheering, but u don’t mind.
The world is turning around you, only you
But you already know that your one of a kind.

Going through this race, you see things,
Hear things like never before.
Each thought comes heavy, stemming deep from within your core

You burst through, FIRST! That is all you wanted, you start to cry
Before you realise that all the false cheers, falls hopes, was just to see you try.

Race

A pure and dignified race for knowledge, I pursue it with a friend. Studying hard, and study we do, we laugh, and we fall silent. We ask, and we respond. We reach out, and we are saved.

I keep my eyes on the prize of knowledge, knowing in my heart what it is worth. My failures are successes. My fears, courage. And my weaknesses soon turn to strength.

My friend watches, bewildered. Frustration grows with every passing day. Mistakes pile up in mind and heart. And impatience boils over, only to be calmed by self-praise.

My friend wanted a grade, the fruit, while I pursued the seed. Had I achieved sweet fruit or not, I remain victorious. Had he achieved his grade or not, unfruitful in my mind was his deed.

Tomorrow, my friend appreciates me not for being there when he needed me most, nor does he invite. Complaining and muttering about how far he walked, and how little he slept for a grade.

Tomorrow, my friend tries to pull me down in hopes of catching up. He speaks non-truths about my work, and his honour dims down and fades. He did not convince me, nor himself that what he did he did for good. He does not pull me down, for my strength lies beyond his reach, and his fingers slip away.

Tomorrow, my friend will regret. If only he got an A…

Lower the Weight

Working hard, feeling the burn, and awaiting every set as it comes, we can sometimes get ahead of ourselves. Your mind can sometimes be stronger than your body, but true strength is when the two are in phase. We may want to lift more, work harder, but our bodies have their limits, and our imagination knows no bounds. So here is my advice: it may sometimes be beneficial to slow down, take a breath, be patient. Lower the weight, extend the rest time, and focus on your form, because true good things come to those who are patient and those who enjoy the process more than they do the results.