Archive for the 'Life' Category

30
Mar
08

A Man Said to the Universe

A man said to the universe:

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“Sir, I exist!
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
“A sense of obligation.”

-by Stephen Crane

02
Mar
08

Questionnaire ?

Directions: For each pair of sentences, circle the letter, a or b, that best
expresses your viewpoint. Make a selection from each pair. Do not omit
any items.

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1.a) The body and the material things of the world are the key to any
knowledge we can possess.
b) Knowledge is only possible by means of the mind or psyche.

2.a) My life is largely controlled by luck and chance.
b) I can determine the basic course of my life.

3.a) Nature is indifferent to human needs.
b) Nature has some purpose, even if obscure.

4.a) I can understand the world to a sufficient extent.
b) The world is basically baffling.

5.a) Love is the greatest happiness.
b) Love is illusionary and its pleasures transient.

6.a) Political and social action can improve the state of the world.
b) Political and social action are fundamentally futile.

7.a) I cannot fully express my most private feelings.
b) I have no feelings I cannot fully express.

8.a) Virtue is its own reward.
b) Virtue is not a matter of rewards.

9.a) It is possible to tell if someone is trustworthy.
b) People turn on you in unpredictable ways.

10.a) Ideally, it would be most desirable to live in a rural area.
b) Ideally, it would be most desirable to live in an urban area.

11.a) Economic and social inequality is the greatest social evil.
b) Totalitarianism is the greatest social evil.

12.a) Overall, technology has been beneficial to human beings.
b) Overall, technology has been harmful to human beings.

13.a) Work is the potential source of the greatest human fulfillment.
b) Liberation from work should be the goal of any movement for
social improvement.

14.a) Art is at heart political in that it can change our perception of reality.
b) Art is at heart not political because it can change only
consciousness and not events.

Charles Bernstein, ( 1950– )”Questionnaire” (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2007).

“Bernstein is a poetic gadfly, uncompromising in his questioning of what language is, why we use it as we do, and what values are conveyed with our linguistic choice

27
Feb
08

Nights on Planet Earth

Heaven was originally precisely that: the starry sky, dating back to the earliest Egyptian texts, which include magic spells that enable the soul to be sewn in the body of the great mother, Nut, literally “night,” like the seed of a plant, which is also a jewel and a star.

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The Greek Elysian fields derive from the same celestial topography: the Egyptian “Field of Rushes,” the eastern stars at dawn where the soul goes to be purified. That there is another, mirror world, a world of light, and that this world is simply the sky—and a step further, the breath of the sky, the weather, the very air—is a formative belief of great antiquity that has continued to the present day with the godhead becoming brightness itself: dios/theos (Greek); deus/divine/diana (Latin); devas (Sanskrit); daha (Arabic); day (English).

Susan Brind Morrow, Wolves and Honey

Susan Brind Morrow is a classicist, linguist, and translator of ancient Egyptian folklore and mythology as well as of contemporary Arabic poetry.

22
Feb
08

I Had Planted A Sapling…

I Had Planted A Sapling…

Wish to share my literary mentor and prolifically Creative soul Max Babi‘s Urdu Poetry Transcreated In English by him..

Original in Urdu :

Pauda ek lagaya tha,
baghké banjarsé kauné mein-
ek billaski jaanko, badé chaavsé
qatra-ba-qatra zindagi pilayi thi :

kambakht jeeta rahaa martaa rahaa
sisasktaa rahaa mautké munh mein
lataktaa rahaa, koi ajeeb nashé mein
jhumtaa rahaa,
na jané kisko khaufzadaa shiddatsé
jhoortaa rahaa.
Kyaa anjaan taqat hai iss nanhi jaan mein-
kyaa zahur-o-jauhar hain yeh jamkar
reh gayé toofaan mein,
isské doh patté khilté hi bahaar phoonk deté

hain meri manhoos kahaani mein,
isskaa besharm nangaapan,
meré khwabonko bhi sukhaa deta hai.
Bina muskurayé, bina hadbadayé
mein dekh nahin saktaa usko.

(c) Max Babi

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Trans created in English :

I had planted a sapling, in the arid corner of my garden,
I had made it quaff life itself drop by drop
The hapless being kept living, dying, moaning, with one foot
in the mouth of death, and kept swaying to some

weird intoxication all its own,
and God alone knows whom he kept yearning for
with a scared intensity.

What unknown forces it possesses, what intrepidity and aura
it commands, this frozen cyclone,
soon as it sprouts two leaves, it blows springtime in to
my hapless life-story, and when it strips completely,

it runs a famine through even my dreamscapes.
I can’t bear to look at it without a smile, or
without feeling all shaken up.

© 2008 by Max Babi
All rights reserved,
Copying without permission for non-personal use is forbidden

01
Feb
08

Boundaries

Boundaries

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There is a place where the town ends
and the fields begin.
It’s not marked but the feet know it,
also the heart, that is longing for refreshment
and, equally, for repose.

Someday we’ll live in the sky.
Meanwhile, the house of our lives is the world.
The fields, the ponds, the birds.
The thick black oaks—surely they are the
children of God.
The feistiness among the tiger lilies,
the hedges of runaway honeysuckle, that no one owns.

Where is it? I ask, and then
my feet know it.

One jump, and I’m home.

Mary Oliver

18
Jan
08

Imagine a World Without Apple, Bloggers, Google ..

David Pogue- New York Times Tech Columnist invites you to grab your piano and sing along.
Imagine (sung to the tune of John Lennon’s “Imagine”)

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Imagine there’s no Apple,
No products that begin with “i,”
No monthly iPod models,
No Apple stores to get you high.

Imagine all the people
Finding other things to do !

Imagine there’s no bloggers…
It isn’t hard to do!
No viruses or spyware,
No weekly Windows patches, too

Imagine all the people
Learning to get a life…

(You-hoo-hoo!)

You may say it’d be a nightmare
Without Google, Mac or Dell
We might have real conversations–
But the world would be dull as hell!

Imagine no new cellphones;
Kiss console games goodbye.
No David Pogue or Mossberg
To tell us what to buy.

Imagine all the people
Getting some exercise!

(You-hoo-hoo!)

You may say that I’m a loony
But rest assured I’m almost done.
I’m pretty sure it’ll never happen
So we nerds can live as one!

© New York Times.

17
Jan
08

In Praise of Melancholy

We’re in peril of losing a major cultural force, the muse behind much art, poetry, and music. We are blithely getting rid of melancholia..-Pl care to read & ponder thought provoking article by Eric Wilson published in The Chronicle Review

In Praise of Melancholy

American culture’s overemphasis on happiness misses an essential part of a full life

Ours are ominous times. We are on the verge of eroding away our ozone layer. Within decades we could face major oceanic flooding. We are close to annihilating hundreds of exquisite animal species. Soon our forests will be as bland as pavement. Moreover, we now find ourselves on the verge of a new cold war.

But there is another threat, perhaps as dangerous: We are eradicating a major cultural force, the muse behind much art and poetry and music. We are annihilating melancholia.

A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that almost 85 percent of Americans believe that they are very happy or at least pretty happy. The psychological world is now abuzz with a new field, positive psychology, devoted to finding ways to enhance happiness through pleasure, engagement, and meaning. Psychologists practicing this brand of therapy are leaders in a novel science, the science of happiness. Mainstream publishers are learning from the self-help industry and printing thousands of books on how to be happy. Doctors offer a wide array of drugs that might eradicate depression forever. It seems truly an age of almost perfect contentment, a brave new world of persistent good fortune, joy without trouble, felicity with no penalty.

Why are most Americans so utterly willing to have an essential part of their hearts sliced away and discarded like so much waste? What are we to make of this American obsession with happiness, an obsession that could well lead to a sudden extinction of the creative impulse, that could result in an extermination as horrible as those foreshadowed by global warming and environmental crisis and nuclear proliferation? What drives this rage for complacency, this desperate contentment?

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Surely all this happiness can’t be for real. How can so many people be happy in the midst of all the problems that beset our globe — not only the collective and apocalyptic ills but also those particular irritations that bedevil our everyday existences, those money issues and marital spats, those stifling vocations and lonely dawns? Are we to believe that four out of every five Americans can be content amid the general woe? Are some people lying, or are they simply afraid to be honest in a culture in which the status quo is nothing short of manic bliss? Aren’t we suspicious of this statistic? Aren’t we further troubled by our culture’s overemphasis on happiness? Don’t we fear that this rabid focus on exuberance leads to half-lives, to bland existences, to wastelands of mechanistic behavior?

Continue reading ‘In Praise of Melancholy’




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