Early Reflections – February 2005

EMW WELCOME YOU TO FEBRUARY, the month of purification according to the Latin translation. The first month of the Christian Year seems increasingly to be a larger obstacle to overcome here in the Western world. I suspect the Xmas and New Year excesses slow everybody up, and the arrival of credit card statements, the reminders of mad, impromptu spending, further delays anybody’s wish to celebrate the New Year. But we are here already into February, 2nd month of the Gregorian calendar and the 1st month of the Islamic New Year.

EmW extends great honour and celebration to Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Christianity for their festivals this month, and so as not to interrupt your flow we have included these separately as a diary entry. Please click here if you wish to see the agenda of religious and cultural festivals for this month.

May we please however just briefly pause and reflect, for it has been only 5 weeks since the tragedy of the Tsunami. And yet, it has been also been so long; for so much appears to have passed across our lives in the meantime. I am sure you share the same sense of paradox in this as I. Dramatic events somehow move by so quickly today, that they are almost unashamedly put aside albeit unwillingly, as other happenings with different priorities lay claim to our onsciousness and compassion. We can still assist our shaky consciences by donating money into charity boxes marked Tsunami Relief Fund as we go about our day, but yet another tumultuous event has taggered humanity, and there will be more, without doubt. But somehow it seems time is just not with us any more.

There is a metaphysical reason for this which I will explain in future essays on Metaphysics and Mysticism planned later this year, but it is true that time is speeding up, meaning that we have less than before in real terms. It is not an illusion because change is upon us. So, may I remind you of my November thoughts and the wisdom of Pythagoras to find ten minutes for yourself alone, and listen to your inner wisdom. Only you know you, and from that central divine point of reference, from that sacred inner essence, you can accept your role on the world’s stage with grace, and aim for a better future for our children, guided by your intuition which is the angel in you. We may well be in the maelstrom of the End Times, but we do have the choice for change. If we can only start with ourselves, the rest will follow. Let us start today.

I am thus reminded of a quotation from Hermann Hesse (1877-1962), Nobel Prize winner and one of the greatest German poets and novelists of the last century, and still a best-selling author throughout the world. From an EmW perspective, Hesse is fascinating because he was born into a family of Pietist missionaries (Protestant) and yet developed in his works the duality of spirit and nature, the body versus the mind and the individual’s spiritual search outside the restrictions of his society. His eclectic interest in the world’s religions became dominated by Buddhism which he combined with his knowledge of Western psychoanalysis (a contemporary and patient of Jung). His most influential work and brilliant offering to the human spirit written in 1922 is Siddhartha, the spiritual journey of the Brahmin’s son.

When it was translated for the American market in 1951, it had an unparalleled impact on an American culture that was suffering from perennial unrest. This Hesse phenomenon was unmatched by any European writer, and it interests me that Hesse could not find the sense of all-unity within his own European Protestantism, and created his unique blend of Eastern Spirituality as a German in that generation which embodied two world wars. He may have been drawn to India in 1911 because his grandfather spoke many Indian languages, which is also quite extraordinary. Hesse reflected:

You know quite well deep within you

that there is only a single magic,

a single power, a single salvation

and that is called loving.

I leave you this month with the main quote for February from another brilliant German mind and one of the most difficult philosophers to understand, Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). Some of us may not quite agree with Nietzsche and believe we may visit earth again, but if even we do, it is certain we will not be wearing this suit.

I am privileged to know Germany very well and have mastered her most precise and challenging language. We should be deeply indebted to her for the magnificent body of philosophical and scientific thought, together with immeasurable artistic expression ever to come out of one country.

In profound peace,

Selima

 

 

 

Photo by https://pixabay.com/en/users/Natalia_Kollegova-5226803/

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