Reflections on Beauty

Peace, one and all…

full-moon-oak.jpg

I was recently asked to lead a brief prayer/reflection at a local Christian theological college.  I wanted to share the text of this with you.  Regular readers will recognise part of it as an earlier post on beauty.

Ma’as salama,
Abdur Rahman

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17 thoughts on “Reflections on Beauty

  1. Hi Abdur ,

    The picture is really beautiful .

    Do you or do you not love god ?

    I read in an earlier post that you rebel against his
    power ?

    What is the truth ?

    Akash

  2. Peace Akash,

    The post you refer to was a quotation from another writer, an Indonesian writer called Ahmad Wahib. The text came from his diary. I cited it because I was struck by its honesty.

    On a personal note, though, there is much that I have done/still do that is little more than open rebellion. That said, I strive each day to love God with all my heart and soul. But this is not easy.

    O Allah! Come and save me from my self!

    Abdur Rahman

  3. That is a beautiful prayer/reflection, Abdur… 🙂

    Both the title and many of the quotations within reminded me of the hadith of the Hidden Treasure.

    Allah is the only One who can save any of us from our own selves….

  4. Peace Imugi,

    Thank you for your kind thoughts. All that is right and true comes from Allah. The rest? From my own weary self.

    Yes. In my earlier version, I used this hadith. It’s beautiful and I can’t think why I didn’t use it again! 😦

    Indeed, Allah is the only One who can save us. But the Quran says, ‘Allah never changes the condition of a people, until they change what is in themselves’.

    So, to work then…

    Abdur Rahman

  5. Peace Akash,

    Probably because my ego always strives to get in the way, rather like a petulant child I suppose!

    Why don’t I do something easy? Hmmm…truthfully, I don’t know. Does easy = good? Again, not sure. Sometimes this work seems easy and sometimes it seems very difficult. I suspect, then, that the real issue is the changing tides of my self.

    Akash, you always ask such interesting, provocative questions! 😉

    Keep them coming!

    Peace
    Abdur Rahman bhai

  6. Abdur ,

    Pardon me ,
    My question seems unanswered.

    In this short life , why break your head with
    demanding tasks ?
    Whatever name you may gain will not be of
    use , because , life has slipped out of your
    hands .

    Think about it.

    Akash

  7. Peace Akash,

    Sorry, I thought I had answered your question! No matter. 🙂

    I’m not referring to great feats of asceticism (for which I am unsuited), nor am I referring to herculean deeds of nightly prayer (which I wish I could do more of).

    Rather, I simply mean that this path of opening to God’s Love is not as easy as many might think. That is, it is one thing to say ‘I Love God’, but quite another to realise, understand and then practice the implications of this statement.

    I appreciate what you say about life slipping away. I am not eager for a name, though I am (of course) concerned about my ‘name’ with Allah/God/Khuda/Ishwara/Waheguru/ the ultimate One.

    I think, upon reflection, mere bhai, we’re saying the same thing pretty much.

    Abdur Rahman

  8. Abdurbhai ,

    You have rightly guessed.

    My take is same as your take.

    Atleast it is similar.

    Since my childhood i used to treat god as an imaginary
    friend. I would feel his presence and forget my loneliness.
    I sought from him his presence , nothingelse.
    Sometimes ,rather manytimes i would get angry with him
    and scold him.
    i would always go back to him.
    Sometimes , i would sit in the temple and cry and cry.

    It was a very personal sacred and silent bond. It calmed
    me during turmoils.
    With the expanding of my horizon , i questioned his
    presence , kept myself away from him for long years.
    In a sense , I lost my anchor . I wandered.

    I did go back to him eventually. It gives me peace
    when i am able to imagine myself holding him and cry.
    This image is pure , guileless and arelegious.
    I like to share the joy that i get in the presence of god
    with you and all. This is bliss. This gives the purpose of life.

    It has been ages since i have spoken about my bonding
    with god.

    Regards ,

    Akash

  9. Peace Akash,

    Thank you for sharing this with me. Your journey resonates with me on many levels. When I look at my own life, I can see an initial, almost unconscious regard for God, followed by a move away from that centre during teenage years.

    When I reflect, I think this is due to the teenager’s need to find themselves, or rather to challenge received wisdoms.

    The last few years have really been about drawing closer to that child-like state, that sense of trust without all the selfish demands for constant proof!

    I have always conceived of God as a Teacher (which is why the Sikhi name of Waheguru resonates with me). May we all learn Love’s lessons in this strange school that we call life!

    Peace and blessings to you,
    Abdur Rahman

  10. Abdurbhai ,

    Suggest a way in which we learn the lessons in the
    right way .

    Is there one right way or many right ways ?If there are many ,
    how does one choose the required one ?

    Please do not hesitate to tell me when you are bored
    of the questions .

    Akash

  11. Peace Akash,

    Now this is the 64 million dollar question! I’m a simple human being struggling along the road myself, and so I don’t feel in any position to teach others.

    People come in many different forms. So, I suspect, that paths towards the goal are as many as there are people.

    Perhaps, though, these individual paths share common features. That is, all true paths teach that abuse is wrong. All true paths teach us to look beyond our narrow, habitual selves.

    How does one choose? Ya Allah! There’s an entire world contained in that question! I can only speak from experience here. Many years ago, when I began seriously searching, I felt really confused by the bewildering diversity of religions and spiritualities. In the end, you have to be open to the signs that Life (or God) sends your way. This involves humility and trust, I suppose.

    Ultimately, being aware of my own shortcomings, it’s about God reaching out to us, in His way (and not ours).

    I really am enjoying these discussions. So, I’m happy to continue.

    Have you ever thought about a blog of your own?

    Peace
    Abdur Rahman

  12. Peace Akash,

    Why? Well, for me, it gives me the opportunity to explore my thoughts and share them in conversation with others (such as your good self).

    Also, I find it useful to look back through things I’d written previously.

    How? Easy. There are lots of blogging systems. WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, etc. WordPress is free (which is good) and easy to use.

    I made the suggestion because I think you have lots of interesting questions, ideas and opinions which could be usefully shared. But, that’s just my thoughts. You know your own life best of course and what I say may not suit you.

    Best wishes

    Abdur Rahman

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