These are the famous lines that end the rather sickly sweet poem by Rudyard Kipling - about what it takes to be a real man.
I think in the modern world to be a human being true to ones potential is a rigorous challenge.
In the year 1599 William Shakespeare wrote several plays - including Hamlet...in the course of that year there was great uneasiness about the future of the British Monarchy - Queen Elizabeth 1st was aging and there was no heir. The country was suppressing an uprising in Ireland and that was both an expensive and messy military challeng. There were also fears that the Spanish Armada would plan another invasion of England.
In this tough political climate Shakespeare wrote the first of his great plays - Hamlet. He also wrote Henry V, Julius Caesar and As You Like It. Another great play would come soon after - Macbeth. Amazing how such turmoil created such greatness. I am sure there is a lesson in that.
I live thousands of miles away from my family. I face loneliness often. I constantly reach for the stars - only to realize that the human system has limits and that it will pull you back to earth rudely with a bump almost every time. Yet something keeps me going.
Tonight, on the telephone, my mother ended the phone call - with the words "See you soon" - it's the first time in a year that she has been able to see that and mean it.
Life is a battle. Tears are part of that battle. I suppose what keeps me going - what is at the heart of my faith in life and my passion for living is a desire to live an original life.
I wish it could be easier - that I could be closer to my loved ones. That resources were unlimited - that problems never last. But that is not the case. So perhaps to be a man is to be honest with yourself. I am an adventurer at heart - and the biggest adventure is the inner life. Buddha said life is suffering. He was right. Until we face that truth with the courage of our most fearless selves - we cannot be said to know what action is.
I suppose we have to find a way to map out a life - midst the fears and doubts, midst the triumphs and struggles - where we live according to our higher nature as best we can. When we fail - then that is the time for gentleness and dogged persistence. I am quite peaceful inwardly....but I rage with anger. I think that is the only way to live in this crooked world.
The anger is inevitable. But how we use it marks the measure of who we are. Either it can destroy us, or, like great alchemists...we can turn it in to gold. We can use it to fuel an inspired response...to build a better world... or, at least a better corner of that world, in the places where change is needed most - ie in our hearts and minds.
I walked in this evening from bringing in the washing off the line -the squadrons of fruit bats were flying languidly overhead and the tropical night was calmly pursuing them. Sundays are quiet. It was so beautiful to watch them fly... for those few seconds in the quiet of a Sunday. The earth was resting - drinking in the many, many rains that have fallen over the last couple weeks. The sky was gray and turning inside out. The children were playing in the street and the air was warm - as if embracing me. All was right with the universe.
I had spent the day reflecting on the terrible corruption at large in the Indian public service systems - and how essential privatisation is to building an India that is not so terribly ugly and corrupt. Four weeks ago I sent 2 parcels to South Korea by airmail - and they still have yet to arrive! After extensive searches I found out that they were sitting in Calcutta where a low-life customs agent is awaiting a suitable bribe for their continued passage...It left me very angry - but also inspired me to take up a serious study of economics and economic policies.
It is a shocking experience being human - simultaneously we face such tremendous beauty...and such horrific dullness, selfishness and stupidity. All our problems are basically born of inattention, fear and stupidity.
- ► 2008 (31)
- ► 2006 (147)
- The end of sorrow
- Contemplations on A Course in Miracles
- Death is nothing but material change
- Patanjali - the source of Yoga
- What is real faith?
- To jump a million years
- I wrote this out of nowhere...it says a lot on mul...
- From a Course in Miracles….words to lift the heart...
- One hardly meets an original human being
- A strange envelope
- This kind of thinking brings history to life...
- The Community today
- When I see that society is, by and large mad...I t...
- The Complete works of my spiritual preceptor - Tar...
- The Impossible Question
- Tribute to Idries Shah
- The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî
- What is the potential of a house/home?
- Kill the one who grieves
- Ruskin - I keep coming back to Ruskin
- The purpose of Symbols in wisdom
- The Book of John - Chapter 11
- The Book of John - Chapter 10 - The Good Shepherd
- Ramana Maharishi on Death
- Prophecy and Iraq
- The goal of yoga is: peace beyond this world
- Ramana on the significance of wisdom and death
- Changes Needed in Economic Polices by Firdos J.Mub...
- Then you will be a man my son...
- Work and helping humanity
- Life as chess - you have to move...but think befor...
- To be a leader
- Real men are warriors but they never fight petty b...
- Lessons of Living
- What is education and what is a teacher?
- The greatest test
- The relationship between that which is ordinary an...
- Anger is the first step towards...
- oh how beautiful are you hafiz
- Ramana Maharishi quotes
- ▼ October (42)