Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Sound of Kindness

17th Century paintings
Above, from Hasht-behesht Palace.
Below, from Chehel Sotoon Palace.


Iran celebrated The Woman's Day by holding a women music festival "The Sound of Kindness".
Iran's female musicians, with the exception of a few, have traditionally been vocalists. In early years after revolution, the female musicians suffered a setback brought about by Islamic restriction under strict orders of Khomeini. Towards the end of his life, however, he moderated his views and permitted classical and traditional music to be played and taught in public. Suddenly, music instructors popped like little mushrooms.
Although segregated as solo singers, women are pushing the boundaries of performance on stage. The recent female music festival was held under Ahmadinejad's renewed Khomeinist zeal against music. Thus I find it important to take note of it now! Unfortunately, I do not have access to reports and reviews. The pictures are obtained from the Payvand News. Any additional reports or information is appreciated.

99 comments:

Fleming said...

Naj, many thanks for increasing our understanding of Iran.

What beautiful paintings!

Naj said...

My Pleasure, Fleming.

I just want to show some evidence that Iran is not a Middle Eastern oil-pit (to borrow from Daniel).

Anon-Paranoid said...

naj...
Yes, I agree with fleming those are very beautiful paintings indeed.

God Bless.

Anonymous said...

شهريست پر كرشمه حوران ز شش جهت

چيزيم نيست ور نه خريدار هر ششم


pen Name

Naj said...

:)

Pen, it won't be long before "Iranian Beauty" will become a brand name!

For that gorgeousness, one must thank the Persian (oowkey, Turkish!) Kings for cross breeding with the Georgians! ;)

Anonymous said...

naj:

Yes, indeed!

As he old Persian saying goes: "There are three tasty things in this world - bread of Yazd, wine of Shiraz, and women of Goergia!"

Anonymous said...

Of Interest:

http://fardanews.com/show/?id=29809

pen Name

Naj said...

Have you seen this? Iranian Vogue

Larry said...

Another thing I didn't know. Thanks for posting it.

Coffee Messiah said...

Thanks for sharing!

I've never believed anyone was the only source of creativity or great thinking!

Naj said...

I think if any one thing becomes the source of creativity, then it is no longer creativity but repetitiveity!

David said...

The top painting shows Iranian women dressed in very colorful and somewhat sexually appealing attire. Did the women of Iran walk the streets dressed like this in the 1600's, or was this attire reserved for behind closed doors in the Palace? I am curious because I presume that the Arabs invaded Iran and imposed Islam long before this. If Iranian Islamic culture allowed women to dress like this 400 years ago, then how can Mullahs justify such restrictive laws today with regard to women's clothing?

The music festival with women singing and playing instruments sounds like a great way to celebrate Woman's Day! I hope there were a lot of men in the audience showing their support.

Speaking of music festivals, did you catch any of the Live Earth Concert? I tuned in at the end and watched The Police sing a few songs. I have been a fan of their music for a long time. I hope the concert has raised awareness in a lot of people about the perils of global climate change!

Naj said...

David,

Briefly:

Iranian art, by and large is NOT a representative art. Realism is not an Oriental aesthetics.

Women in Iran have always had the freedom of dress in the company of women. You don't see any men in the first painting, do you?

In the court of kings, there have always been entertainers, and entertainers are usually dressed in colorful attire.

That said:
To think it is Mullah's who are forcing women to cover themselves is FALSE. Mullahs are forcing a relatively sizeable women "BACK" into cover; but, by and large, those women are not the majority.

The problem of Westerner's exposure to Iran is that their understanding of Iran and Islam is coming through a group of

A) Rich and westernized Iranians who have gone to exile in the West. These groups, are those who have often lost their privilege and style of life in Iran due to revolution. Like Rich cubans for instance! These people are by no means representative of the majority of Iranians.

B) Political dissidents who find everything that is happening in Iran as a fault of Mullahs and Islam. These, in my opinion, are lazy pseudo-intellectuals who take the easy way out; and instead of digging deep withing the value system of the country, adopt a few western notions and keep blowing them in the western-understandable whistles in order to
1) get attention
2) get funding for vervet revolutions
3) deal with their own outdated existentialist questions

The majority of women in Iran are not the poodle-walking Tehranis. They in fact WANT to be covered.

Furthermore, It is not only Islam that has forcedwomen into Hijab. a walk to your local church may reveal that. Have you seen your nun's attire?

I know that zoroasterians also cover their hair by tradition.

We discussed the topic of lust ad nauseam before and I don't want to go there. But, from the perspective of a woman, in a country that (to borrow Pen's comment) has suffered centuries of lawlessness and rape (Mongols, Arabs, Macedonians, Afghans, Turks) a woman would NOT WANT to expose herself to the lustful eyes of a sexually oppressed male population.

The politics of dress are not ONLY Islamic.

Anna said...

Dear Naj
What a wonderful feminine explication and answer to David. I fully agree:
A woman's attractivity should not been given evidence of by showing her "skin" in public.

"Some westerners" incl."velvet-revolutionists" constantly confuse exactly this with "liberty"

Anonymous said...

naj:

Hindu women and Korean women were also covering themselves. In fact the saree is a wide piece of cloth that was used to cover the head and the face.

The habit of the nuns harks backs to the Middle Ages. Western women used to dress that way. The Western fashions changed but not the Middle Eastern ones.

Moreover, there is the notion of female honor (namus) that- at one time- was common in the West, in the Near East, and in the Orient.

Technically, now, women in the West have no honor and the men are "bee namus".

pen Name

Naj said...

Hi Anna,

In my opinion, it is only and only the business of women themselves to decide what to wear and what not to wear.

What I am opposed to is "men" deciding or even having an opinion about that; in either direction: Bikinism or Burkaism.

The Iranian women are dramatic exhibitionists; and the Iranian women with or without veils are powerful forces of the society. They have ALWAYS been. To assume that Iran's revolution has chained them is just a false and unsupported assumption.

I was sorting out my book case yesterday, and some of the BEST and most respected writers of Iran are women having emerged after revolution. To see the show of force of Iranian women and to still state that Mullah's have chained them is disrespectful to Iranian women's movement.

The Iranian women movement has rejected aid even from brave fighters such as Akbar Ganji. They will fight for their rights THEIR WAY. This is what women have learned from 100 years of unsuccessful collaboration with "male" reformers. The men, may kindly save their sympathy to themselves and work on controlling their lust instead of lending a hand to us! Thank you very much!

< David, not talking to you. Talking to all those mullahs who want to protect women from lust, and also talking to all those womanizers who while the want to cover their mothers and sisters and wives, they still want to enjoy a bit of voyeurism in the queendom of women! >

Naj said...

Pen,

I love the way Hindu Saaris expose the belly!

Anna said...

Yes, Naj!
You are capable to figure out much better than I am (in english!)

There are many forms of instrumentalization of women by men ... obvious ones and "subtle" ones. And it's finally these instrumentalizations women in different ways are saying and learning to say "no, thanks"

Anonymous said...

naj:

Exposing the midrif is only attractive on a women with the physique to match that.

Unfortunately, many many Hindu women are well past the time in their life that their midrift was flatterring.

I wish they would cover their midrift تاعفت عمومى را جريهه دار نكنند


pen Name

Naj said...

If I didn't suspect you were joking, Pen; I would call you a hypocrite womanizer ;)

Anonymous said...

naj:

You observation about novelists is apt - Seemeen -e Daneshvar was a much better novelist than her mercurial husband write.

And so is the Armenian-Iranian writer Zoya Peerzad.

And I think you are correct about men being useless in helping women changes the strictures of a 2000 years of tradition. It has to be done by women.

Anna is correct about instrumentalization of women by men; you can see it in all these so-called progressive movements from East and West - rationalsits, communists, Muslim Fundamentalists etc.

They always are show-casing women to indicate how life is going to be all peaches & cream when their specific social and political dispensation takes over the instruments of policy.

It is frustrating to see how they use women as a form of propaganda. They (the men) are not interested in the female as a human being only in her as a tool.

pen Name

Naj said...

I think people who have beautifully sculptured bodies, have to be walking around naked!

Uhm ... but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Naj said...

LOL! Mercurial Jalaal! Jalaal's writing has never touched me.

Have you read their (Simin Daneshvar & Jalaal al-Ahmad) letter series that has just come out?


Man, is it good when we agree on something or what?!

Anonymous said...

naj:

no I have not read the letters.

I never liked Al-e Ahmad but then again I never liked most writers and thinkers of Iran - their heads were full of mush.

pen Name

Naj said...

I had typed up the name of a few novelists:
Moniroo Ravanipoor
Ghazaleh Alizadeh
Shahrnoosh Parsipoor
Goli taraghi
Zoya Pirzaad
Seemin Daneshvar
and filmmakers
Rakhshan Bani Etemad
Pouran Derakhshandeh
Tahmineh Milani
Marziyeh Boroomand
Samira Makhmalbaf
...
when did a woman break the box office record in the liberally naked west? Tahmineh Milani did, recently! And she is not shy to cream out FEMINIST and she is not in prison either.

=================
re Iranian intelectuals being full of mush. Well, until I have read some of your own books I won't know what it is you call mush. I like Abbas Milani. I sort of like Seyed Javaad Tabatabayee too.

But in general, I think Iranian artists are smarter and more instrumental than its intellectuals. Actually, intellectuals of different political groups have ended up being the greatest traitors to Iran.

Pen, are/were you Toodeh-i?

Anonymous said...

naj:

No, I was never Tudeh-ee.

I alawys believed in personal liberty and in non-discriminatory access to social & political opportunities (jobs, education, resources, promotions) etc.

I am a minority.

Why do you ask?

pen Name

Naj said...

Oh then, we are a minority too. Who knows maybe we even know each other. :)

I asked because my husband suggested it. And because you mentioned Tabari's poems the other day.

I am happy to know that you didn't have political affiliations; because party politics somehow makes people dumb! I am usually standoffish with people who do organized intellectual/political work!

Some of the brightest people in my family used to belong to Mojahedin e Khalgh. Those who escaped execution, are still among the brightest; but sometimes, there are these residuals of their past convictions that make me want to pull their hairs off!

Anonymous said...

naj:

Understood.

About Tabari's poems - I mentioned him because I thought he was a better educated and a better poet than Shamlou. I was aware of his affiliations which were not relevant to much of his poetry (but not all).

I understand and understood the appeal of MKO. Many many people in Iran had relatives, friends, or acquaintances that were executed because of their affiliations with MKO. I personally knew some bright people who were misled by their youth and inexperience to their death because of that organization. They were very intelligent but they did not have common sense – I think they did not understand Iran and they did not understand Power.

I was sorry for all of the deaths - .

There is an ancient argument by Aristotle in which he demonstrates the impossibility of rendering Justice since to deliver a Just verdict one has to adjudicate among qualitatively distinct things; a clear impossibility. This rational argument renders all attempts at the construction of Utopia moot; that the realization of Utopia project is impossible.

A similar view is expressed in the story of the Exile from Paradise – Mankind was exiled to Earth and thus cannot create Paradise on Earth; it is [from a religious point of view] impossible & futile.

Thus, I concluded that the political and religious movements & ideas that promise Utopia/Paradise on Earth are all pipe-dreams of misguided human beings that do not comprehend the limitation of the World and Humanity as a whole. Which caused me to give up on political idealism.

Those who seek Liberal Democratic Utopia, a Socialist Utopia, a Sunni Muslim Caliphate Utopia, or the Pure Muhammadan Islam, or Rule of Christ are all walking down a fool’s road. There will never ever going to be a Utopia of any kind created by the Power of Man – only God could do so He so wills.

By our own powers, the Powers of Man, we can improve things but they will never result in Paradise. And when we realize this, we get angry and disappointed and we destroy the results of our latest efforts and start all over again; never admitting that we are in Exile and that we cannot create Paradise.

We need an Eine Kline Nacht Stoic Philosophie.

Pen Name

Naj said...

Yes I agree about the foolishness of political idealism and utopianism. I frankly think idealism and utopianism are the source of greatest evil in the world.

I think, if the Westerners were better educated about the Nazi past of their continent; and if their education about holocaust went beyond the diary of Anna Frank, and if they removed their sentiments from the unjust done to humans, and regarded the REASONS why that unjust was justified in the eyes of the stoic sophisticated German soldiers who carried out their deat missions, they would see the TRUTH of their SURVIVING ugly utopianism staring them in the eye!

If every idealism were put in the same category as Nazism, I think we would have had a better as human race.

The problem is, the idealists and utopianists are not really utopian. The utopianists have created a god of human's might: defying air, water, death by the mere fact of their craftsmanship. The utopian reward: Money and fame! If we were to be true utopians, we would be bowing to nature; like our ancestor ape parents did, before they fell off from heaven, into human hood!

I always think the biblical story of creation is such a great and poetic metaphore:

angels asking god, why are you creating man? And god wanting to create a substitute for himself on earth; man, substitute of god, but only bound to praising him and bowing to him. This is the point of religions to me and I think I perfectly understand your view on this matter. In a way, I am of Hallaj's school of blasphemy: "Ana al-hagh" (I am the truth!) But I also KNOW the perils of a world in which man assumes godhood! we need to surrender the throne to an un-imaged unimaginable god; or else we are bound to err.

However, although I think global idealism is foolish; I think tribal idealism is the condition we need in order to protect our property and person. We need to agree to a common-sensical set of rules that are based on compromise and on respect in order to maintain order. I think what the West is starting to be bouncing back from is the postmodernist dismantling of tribalism. In reaction to WW2, they threw out the baby with the bath water. Nationalism has never been the source of any evil in world; idealism, globalism has.

Anyways ... Live Earth is going one! it makes me quite sick that these rock musicians constantly sing for the poor and for the earth; and not against the war! singing for "MONEY" ... MONEY the utopia maker! ...

Sometimes, the level of hypocrisy in the world nauseates me so much that I run to my science or to my camera; shutting the cacophony of the world out.

That is in fact what I am going to do now :)

Anonymous said...

naj:

Understood & Agreed.

بهشت آنجاست كه آزارى نباشد
كسى را با كسى كارى نباشد

Welcome back to Islam.

pen Name

Naj said...

Dar shahr cho man yeki o an ham kafer?!

;)

I have not come back to anything Pen. Here: This is for you.

Anonymous said...

naj:

جنگ هفتاد و دو ملت همه را عرر بنه

چون نديدند حقيقت ره افسانه زدند


pen Name

Anonymous said...

naj:

In regards to the silly "Earth" Concert:

Seafarer - Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982)

And learn O Voyager to walk
the roll of earth, the pitch and fall
That swings across these trees those stars:
That swings the sunlight up the wall.

And learn upon these narrow beds
To sleep in spite of sea, in spite
Of sound the rushing planet makes:
And learn to sleep against this ground.

Also:

http://anonyrrie.blogspot.com/

pen Name

nunya said...

Hey Naj,

looks like you and Pen Name AND me might agree on one thing, anyway--

Jim's weekly post starts with this this week:
"Am I the only one who wonders whether rock and roll extravaganzas in the service of Great Causes might be exercises in grandiosity and futility?"

(after reading some of the comments here, and immediately jumping to read Jim's post, I started laughing)

betmo said...

i am sorry. music is universal and it is balm for the soul. it is the heart and soul of a country- and when it is taken away- everyone suffers. i am not having a great week thinking about all of the governments and supporters imposing their will on the common folks. they can't take our ideas.

Naj said...

Betmo,

I wish our governments TOOK our ideas and used them! They just create a vacuum in which our ideas do not transmit.

I think right now, more important that singing Live Earth; is chanting Impeach Bush!

David said...

Naj, I would not presume to know what is in the minds of most Iranian women. I have only gotten to know about a dozen Iranians in my life, and all but one of those was via the internet. I have lived my whole life in America, but I do not know what is in the minds of most Americans either. Are you sure that you can speak for most Iranian women when you say that they prefer to be covered in public? What if they really had a free choice? Do you think that most women would really choose to remain covered? What if they had a free choice for five or ten years? Would most women still be covered after that long?

I agree with you that the politics of dress are not only Islamic. However, you gave the example of Catholic nuns. I do not see any analogy between them and Iranian women in general. A nun is a Catholic woman who makes a free choice to remain a virgin and dedicate her life to the service of her religious beliefs. The nun's attire is simply a part of that free choice.

A closer analogy between Iranian religious strictures and an American culture might be the Amish. They are a Christian sect that has its roots about 400 years ago in Europe. They have a lot in common with the original Pilgrams that came to America in the 1500's. Amish people live a very simple lifestyle. Their religion is their life. Many are farmers, some are craftsmen. The women work in the home and the men work outside or in their shops. They do not smoke or drink. They wear simple black and white clothes. The women wear bonnets in public. They do not drive cars, instead they travel in horse drawn carriages. However, one difference from Iranian people is that all Amish adults have freely chosen to be Amish. Amish young people must choose to accept the life at a particular age (I'm not sure of the age). Many young Amish are spending a few years living out in the world, or "among the English", as they say. Unfortunately, due to their spartan and restrictive upbringings, some of them drink a lot, do drugs, have sex, etc. I suppose they are behaving much as young Iranians! Anyway, most young Amish do eventually come back and accept the way of life, afterall, its mostly all they have ever known. Also, their opportunities outside Amish communities would be rather limited as most young Amish don't even get the equivalent of a High School education in their own communities. In that respect, Amish and Iranians are very different.

Regarding the Live Earth concert, I am a bit dissapointed to read such pessimistic and even cynical comments about it. I am neither an optimist nor an idealist, however, something like 2 billion people around the world watched at least part of this concert. I would say that it had a major impact on humanity. Good or bad, I don't know, but at least about a third of humanity paused and hopefully contemplated what we are all doing to our irreplacable home. This concert wasn't about raising money for a cause, it was about getting people to change their behavior. If the Earth continues to warm, we humans are going to experience a dramatic reduction in our possibilities for survival. Glaciers and ice caps are melting all across the globe. Sea level rise is happening. Hundreds of millions of people live at or near the current sea level. If the oceans rise 10, 20, or 30 feet, which is quite possible in the next 100 years, all these people are going to be looking for a place to life. That could result in some very nasty and deadly wars. Aside from the sea level problem, the Earth's weather is becoming more chaotic as the atmosphere gains energy. That means more floods, more droughts, more powerful hurricanes, more tornados, etc. If you have been watching the news recently, you might be aware that the U.S. is currently experiencing some of the worst droughts, floods, and heat waves in its history.

Well, I'll climb down from my soap box now. The concert was just a one day event. Maybe it will help. But what we really need are fundamental changes in human behavior. People are greedy and selfish. Very few are going to want to give up luxuries that they are already accustomed to, and poor people want better lives. So, can we change before its too late? I don't know.

nunya said...

I spoke too soon. RFK Jr. is a one of my heros. He spoke at the concert. Here is video clip of him. Here he speaks of eliminating Persian Gulf oil from American consumption patterns and eliminating global warming: VIDEO: RFK Jr. Speaks Truth To Power In Fantabulous 'Live Earth' Speech

Naj said...

David,

The dozen "real" Iranian women whom you have met, are the Iranian women who live in America, or are in transit between Iran and America; right? Can you ask about their ethnographic education? Or take a look at their travel diary? Also, do you want to take demographics into consideration?

Yes, it is NOT the IRI who has put the "majority" of Iranian women in veils. And I am willing to challenge anyone who challenges me on that in person.

The IRI behaves in a petty insecure way towards women who are defying its dress code and my hat goes off to all those women who are defying IRI's dress restrictions. These women will bring about the same fate that the veiled women brought upon Reza Shah some 70 years ago.

Yes the IRI has disenfranchised people like my mother because she could not handle a scarf in public and she would rather die of hunger than to wear a chador. But my mother BELONGED TO A MINORITY. She refused to show her knees before revolution and she refused to cover herself in a bucket after revolution.

BUT:

You have to keep in mind that Reza Shah GAVE women the choice to unveil. Gush, choice? no he even made it into a law that women should NOT cover themselves in public! What do you think happened? My female relatives, stopped going out, refusing to take their veils off, even when Reza Shah was a guest at their home (on his way to exile)!

I am not speaking the MINDS of Iranian women. I am speaking the statistics. Many women who were forced or coerced to "unveil" were HAPPY to be able to put their veils back after revolution, without suffering the stigma of being "omol" (i.e. backward and uneducated.) Now those women who didn't want veils are suffering just the same.

Comparing traditional Iranians to Amish is again another misconception; but I let you work that out for yourself.

Again, to cover oneself is something Iranian women do for MANY reasons beside fear of god or religious zeal.

Re Live Earth: 2 billion people watching a show to become aware of environmental issues? Well, sorry but if it takes Rock musicians to raise awareness in these people, I would say they are not the smartest 2 billion people on earth.

But WHO actually watched these shows? You think the Chinese did? Which Chinese? The are the mega polluters of our world today, aren't they? And their economy is swamping ours in America, isn't it? You think they are going to slow down and let earth breathe? Of course we can send our American bombers and force them to stop the polluting practices.

David, I grew up in war. I do not need a decadent rock musician to raise my awareness about the importance of "conservation". It is my second nature.

Naj said...

Nunya:

- Eliminating "persian gulf" oil from American consumption doesn't eliminate it from Chinese and Indian consumption.

- Chinese and Indians live on Earth too.

- North sea or Canadian oil pollutes too.

Naj said...

David,

How do you think we should "fight" against asteroid Apophis?

Anonymous said...

I will add two more opinions of mine:

1- The global warming is not primarily caused by human activity, it is a secular change in Earth's atmosphere.

2- The "Mother Earth", Gaia, etc. are feeble attempts at creating a new god(ess) in lieu of God.

pen Name

Naj said...

I have NO problem, replacing Yahwa with Gaia! Although I prefer making a god of the Universe than just the earth.

nunya said...

You didn't watch it. That's not what he said. The text is under the YouTube video.

Naj said...

Nunya,
No I didn't yet. I will.
I was just commenting on your comment :)

David said...

Naj, it would seem that the choice to cover up, or not, for Iranian women is more complex than I previously thought. Thank you for adding to my understanding. I think, though, that a woman's decision about what to wear is not merely a personal choice. There is a sociological context. Women, as far as my limited understanding goes, choose their clothes more to be accepted by other women than the potential impact those clothes might have on men. I think that if an Iranian woman perceived that other Iranian women would accept her better if she covered her hair, then she will be more likely to cover her hair. Does this make sense to you?

The Iranian people that I have gotten to know include a few men. One of them became my good friend some years ago when I was in college. His name is Farzad. He gave me my first lessons about Iranian culture. He left Iran with his father and brother shortly after the revolution. His attitude toward the IRI was extremely negative. My friend Khodadad, who I may have mentioned to you, is a Ph.D. student who is studying the ancient history of Iran and the surrounding region. He has closer ties to Iran and visits there almost every year. He is currently on a trip through Europe, and parts of West Asia which will include a visit to Iran. If you are interested, he is blogging about his trip including pics of many places of archeological interest:

http://www.vishistorica.com/brain/

You recently visited my friend Omid's blog (Dr O2). He is a Tehrani native, but is currently stuck serving two years as a doctor on some Iranian military base. Actually, he lived in the U.S. for a few years. I don't have the story about why he moved back to Iran. He was a kid at the time, so it was probably his parents decision.

You are right, most of the Iranian women that I have gotten to know live outside of Iran. The first two bloggers that I ever met were Lady Sun and Pinkfloydish (links at my blog if interested - they mostly blog in Persian these days). When I first met them (after reading a news article about Iranian women activists) they were living in Tehran. Both have since moved to America. Anyway, you are right to conclude that my exposure to Iranians has been among a rather elite group of highly educated people who are not particularly representative of the general Iranian population.

I am happy to read that conservation is very important to you. :) You are very right to point out that China is a big and growing problem with respect to environmental impact. India and other rapidly developing countries are in the same category. As I said, poor people want better lives, and better lives, or standards of living, means a greater usage of energy resources. I think that part of the solution here will entail helping countries like China and India leap ahead to cleaner and greener sources of energy. In the U.S. we have a growing use of wind and solar power, for example. We also have technology for burning fossil fuels in more environmentally friendly ways. We need to share these technologies with developing countries.

Interesting that you ask me about asteroid Apophis. You and I must be watching the same disaster documentaries on the Discovery Channel. ;) Well, as you may have seen on one of those shows, various physicists and engineers have proposed some ideas for deflecting asteroids away from a potential collision with the Earth. The easiest to impliment would involve starting decades before the potential collision and in some way giving the asteroid a gentle but sustained push. This would gradually alter the asteroid's orbit. How to move an asteroid is a big unknown at this point. There are a lot of proposed methods. I am sure that future space missions will test some of these proposals. NASA has already landed a spacecraft on one asteroid and impacted an object into a comet, so they are beginning to test methods of dealing with dangerous asteroids.

Just out of curiousity, have you ever watched the SciFi show Stargate SG1? One of the main bad guys on that show was named Apophis. ;)

Naj said...

Hi David,

Re: "who women dress for?"
Most of the time, women dress for their own comfort. This is a universal thing. Don't pay too much attention to women when they want to go to parties, THEN they dress for other women.
Women do not usually dress to impress all men; only men that they are attracted to. I encourage you to survey them yourself. If a woman has teh slightest doubt that someone who she detests would take visual pleasure from her, she WILL cover herself up.

The veil in Iran, for many is just a simple dress. If they are used to it, they don't even notice it. If they are like my mother, when she has to go to a traditional funerals, then they become comically frustrated and amusing to watch!
When I go to Iran, I wear what I call my Dracula cloak. My brother used to refuse to walk with me in my attire he though I was wired! But then he was a teenager. After he grew older, he loved my outfit because it was making a statement in a city of women squeezed into tiny coats.

And you know what? I love my black cloak! I am sure if women in Texas were given the opportunity to wear something loose and long and be naked underneath they would have LOVED it!

Everywhere in the world, you can find men and women who are slaves to fashion. If you think teh chadori women in Iran do not care about fashion, you are wrong. You have to ask how much they spend on fabric to make those chadors! LOTS!

I do not think that Iranian women feel pressure from other females to cover themselves to be acceptable. do not mind what the government is doing, iran's veiled and unveiled women have no trouble getting along and ignoring each other's preference for coverage.

=====================
Re Apophis,
Yes I heard the scientist's solution! And frankly, I think THIS is why we have polution in the first place in the world. Because we have meddled too much in nature. for what? To live longer! Just imagine the length of our lives in comparison to the age of the universe!

We humans will go extinct; but universe won't; life won't!

I think scientists should be given all money they want to play with and the engineers should be given all money they want to create but I think we have to stop fussing about defying DEATH!

Unlike Pen, I do not think we have created a god of mother nature; I think we are worshiping the "longevity" ... we are spending millions of dollars on learning how to make SUPER-HUMANS who will live longer and who will be smarter to make better machines that will repel more asteroids and will put off more volcanoes and will crush more tsunamis and will diffuse more tornadoes and etc... ! Well, all these super-humans will pollute earth. Because that is what super-humans do! Pollution! By means of challenging nature! Until it catches us off guard; and defies all our hypotheses!

Anonymous said...

naj:

And all these super-humans will still be in the state of Fall and will be experiencing the same limitations that we experience.

pen Name

nunya said...

Naj,

Sometimes the focus on whether women cover up or not cracks me up. I think that it should be the woman's choice. Believe me, there have been times when some creep was eye-balling me that made me want to wear clothing designed by 'Omar the tent maker'. If the creeps tried to touch me (they only pulled that when I couldn't see it coming) they discovered my elbows, teeth, fists, and projectile saliva. or (oops, my bad) a lit cigarette.

Naj said...

Nunya:

I totally understand your desire for Omar-the-tent-designer line of clothing! I told David about that too, actually!

LOL!

Good one!

nunya said...

Naj,

You warm my heart.
:)

Anonymous said...

nunya:

Yes, I agree with you, it should be the women's choice. But consider this: the 2 most advanced Muslim states are Turkey & Iran. In one, if you wear a scarf you are going to get into trouble, in the other one if you do not, you will get into trouble. In either case, a Muslim is not at liberty to live his life according to his own choices.

It is not for nothing that my father calls one "nikbat-e la-yekee" and the other one "nikbat-e Islami" (Secular Disaster & Islamic Disaster respectively.)

But I also think that women should show judgment; using their sexuality to exercise power over the lust of men is neither religious nor sensible.

So you demonstrate, through your choice of clothing, that you have power over a poor creature that has higher concentration of testosterone in his blood stream at any given time that you ever have had or will have in all of your life.

Attention: I am not against sexual union & enjoyment nor against attracting a spouse, a companion, a mate, etc. Other than that: What is the purpose but a form of nihilistic power play?



pen Name

Naj said...

Games can be fun!

nunya said...

Naj,

I found her I found her I found her I found her I found her. I'm so happy. We talked. I'm going to see her soon. :) :)My friend Anna

nunya said...

Pen Name,

This woman is not interested in power plays.

And she has too much testosterone in her system to think that men even matter in the whole scheme of things. (Which translates into dont mess with her, she bites) :)

nunya said...

JojoListening to (I guess I have strange taste for someone who never became involves with any kind of illegal activity, eh?)

Anonymous said...

naj:

Yes, games can be fun but then there is no basis for complaint "when some creep was eye-balling me".

pen Name

Anonymous said...

nunya:

I will not even think of messing with you out of wedlock (and I am not proposing either.)

pen Name

Naj said...

PFEWH!
For a second I thought you are asking for Nunya's hand, Pen!

Okey now we can stop being naughty and go back to the topic of this post :)

Anonymous said...

naj:

Never ever buy something sight un-seen.

pen Name

nunya said...

Naj,

More of Anna's work

Servant said...

Fascinating, as always. Thanks Naj. Compliments also to your guests also for interesting dialog.

Here is an excellent explanation of the purposes and reasoning behind hajib, which seems to echo what you have said so well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vFbnCc2Wj0

Zeinobia said...

Dear Naj what about the male singers ?? I once read about rock groups in time of President Khatami
the only male Iranian singer I know and I downloaded was Abed Azire who lives in Paris now , already I downloaded for him the Omar El-Khayaam poems in Arabic and let me tell this man's voice isa deep one , not to mention the choice of music , already famous Om Khalthoum sang the poems but not with some kind of oriental Jazzy style
and that's why I am interested about male singers
by the way I saw Iranina Voga , is Farah Diba's dress a tradition iranian , because what she wears is considered 100% Egyptian Galbiya from its design the way , it is so beautiful ,seriously I am not fond of that lady but this is a beautiful dress or Galbiya , already Egyptian first lady dared to wear it

David said...

Naj, are you really naked under your Dracula cloak? I think you may have a secret desire to be a flasher! ;) Just kidding. :) I have seen pictures of Tehrani women in their tight and colorful coats. I hope they don't feel compelled to wear them in the heat of the summer! I am a bit surprised to hear that women who wear chadors spend a lot of money to be fashionable. I thought the idea of chador was to attract no attention at all! When did you tell me about Omar-the-tent-designer's fashion line? Does he specialize in Gothic tents? ;)

I agree that we humans are very meddlesome creatures! Even in ancient times, humans have been very destructive to nature. The Romans cut down every forest in their empire to feed their war machine and build their infrastructure. They also killed and ate, or captured for their arenas, just about every large wild animal within their reach. All civilizations, ancient and modern, are characterized by tremendous consumption of natural resources. Its not just about living longer, its about living "better", the definition of which is different for each individual culture. Have we gone too far? Yes, I think we have. Species are vanishing across the globe at a rate unseen for millions of years. Humans are doing the same job as the asteriod that wiped out the dinosaurs, only the destruction is happening slowly, across centuries, rather than in the span of a few months following a catastrophic impact. The fact that most of the species being lost are small, or even microscopic, does not lessen the tragedy, in my opinion. There are a few creatures whose loss I would not morn, such as bacteria and viruses that can kill us, or mosquitos that transmit malaria, for example, but for the most part, the biosphere is deeply interconnected, and the loss of a species, however small, diminishes the whole.

I am something of a fan of the GAIA hypothesis. The Earth is in many ways like one giant organism. Just as our bodies are a composite of cells and organelles that have evolved from unicelled organisms into multicelled cooperative structures, the Earth, with all its species, and non-living materials, which are cycled in and out of living creatures, lives and breathes as a fantastically complex whole. Personally, I like the idea of worshiping mother nature. I don't believe that the universe exists for our amusement, or our wasteful consumptive habits. I think that we exist because the laws of the universe have allowed for our evolution. Those same laws could quite easily result in our demise.

I think it is possible that humans will go extinct, but I hope not. I believe that somewhere in the universe there are other intelligent beings who are wondering, like us, if they are alone. Maybe some of those beings have already discovered they are not alone. Maybe someday we will discover the same thing. I am not a hard core UFO believer, but I am willing to consider the possibility that ET's have visited Earth in the past and that they might be keeping tabs on us right now. There have been so many movies and stories about ET's that I don't think most of the human race would be completely shocked if they turned out to be real. I think it might be a good thing if ET's announced themselves. Perhaps then, we warring quarrelling humans would stop our wasteful bickering and discover that we are all one big family that had best stick together in case the ET's decide to be bad neighbors! If they want to be good neighbors, they better watch out, or before they know it, we will be strip mining their back yards!

Anonymous said...

David:

The important thing about the extra-terrestial would be if they are Mulsims or are willing to accpet Islam; i.e. accept God.

If they are un-accepting of God and are also not "People of the Book", i.e. having their own Revelation from God, then they must be converted.

Furthermore, lacking Revelation of their own and unwilling or unable to accept any form of Islam (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam of the Prophet Muhammad), it has to be dtermined if they are with God or against Him in their hearts.

If they are idol worshippers, animists, etc. but their hearts are with God, all would be well.

Else, they have to be destroyed.

pen Name

Anonymous said...

Women in Afghanistan:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/persian/arts/story/2007/07/070711_m-sa-booksellerkabul.shtml

pen Name

Anonymous said...

On Global Change:

http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/yoursay/index.php/theaustralian/comments/mean_and_tricky_take_on_climate_change/

[Close to my own views]

pen Name

Naj said...

David, you say

There are a few creatures whose loss I would not morn, such as bacteria and viruses that can kill us,

You see, THIS is why we are wrecking the nature. Because we want to kill anything that is inconveniencing us, WITHOUT any understanding of the bigger picture! As a result we are polluting the world ... yes by our zeal to preserve human life, we are making the earth and over exploited kind of a place.

David said...

Naj, I am sorry, but I do not see. I am occasionally inconvenienced by squirrels who what to cross the road when I am driving my car. I either slow down or stop and let them pass safely. I have no desire to harm creatures that are inconveniencing me. However, I, like most people would like to live as long as I can. If its a choice between me and a bacterial infection, I am going to take some antibiotics if necessary! But, I think that antibiotics should be used very sparingly, and most of the time they are used, they are not really needed. Here, let me tell you something that really scares me. We are feeding farm animals antibiotics every day of their lives. We are washing our hands with antibiotic soap. Eventually, we are going to create strains of microbes that will be immune to any medicine that we have. We are trying to tip the scales of nature in our favor, but eventually, nature is going to balance itself back, and we are not going to be very happy with the results!

I think that you and I are basically in agreement. I have no desire to see the entire Earth's biomass converted into human beings. I think there are already too many people on this planet, but in 50 years some demographers think there will be 9 billion of us. That means more environmental destruction, more species going extinct, and less natural resources for each person. That will probably mean more wars over those remaining resources. Water is already in short supply in many parts of the world. This problem is going to get much worse.

I do not have a problem with people living longer, I have a problem with people having too many children. I really have to question the fundamental morality of people who decide to have more than two children. Yet many of these same people think that their religious beliefs tell them that it is ok or even mandatory to mave lots of children. Well, such beliefs are just plain wrong, in my opinion.

We have certainly traveled far from your original post topic Naj! Well, I like meandering comment pages. :) Thanks for providing such an interesting forum!

Anonymous said...

David & Naj:

he most useful thing to a human being is another human being. It then follows that we should not descourage births; rather, we should be inventive and create circumstances that sustains the largest number of human beings who will able to hear & know the Word of God.

To wit; Earth cannot be considered the only home for human beings. We could begin discoverung new Earths and settling them (conditional on those planets not being inhabited also by People of the Book).

We could plan and execute the terraformation of Venus and also Mars or the Moon.

We are not being courageous or inventive; we are treating the world as a zero-sum game and are ruled by our fears. The Prophet Jesus stated: "Be not afraid."

pen Name

Naj said...

Pen,

Are you on psychedelics these days?

Naj said...

Z E I N O B I A
=================================
Sorry, I didn't forget about you; was just too busy and it was easier to answer with my nonsensicals to Pen's and David's nosensicals in the past days ;)


Yes Iran has plenty of male singers too: Traditionalists and modernist vocalists with years of academic training, and amateur pop singers of all styles. here's an example

You can find more about other Iranian singers in my blog.

Farah Diba's dress is designed with a form of Baluchi embroidery. She was a great fan of Baluch embroidery and she often decorated herclothes with that. She never wore "Iranian style" clothing. But she ornamented her dresses with handicrafts. she was a great patron of local artisans and an educated architect. As opposed to her somewhat illiterate husband!

Anonymous said...

naj:

I do not let fears rule me; I confront them.

It is possible to terra-form Venus and it will take thousands of years with our current engineering knowledge.

Extra-solar planets have already been discovered, mostly gas giants. Some time in the near future Earth-like extra-solar planets will be discovered.

The engineering knowledge for building fusion-powered spaceship exists as well; it will take hundreds of years to get to the nearest stars - but it is within our power.


Earth is conservatively estimated to be able to sustain a population of 14 billion - if you want to keep all human beings on this planet.

Overpopulation is just a myth - created to scare children. I am not a child and I do not fear this.

pen Name

Naj said...

Good for you Pen, good for you!

David said...

Naj, my comment about your cloak was certainly nonsense. I hoped it might amuse you. If you were not amused, it is ok to tell me so, and I will be more careful the next time that I feel like joking around. However, I hope that you don't think that my serious comments were nonsense.

Pen, I think that terraforming Mars may be possible at some point in the future, and I am in favor of that possibility. However, terraforming Venus would be very difficult. The surface temperature is currently about 800 degrees F, the atmospheric pressure is many times that of Earth, and the chemical composition of that atmosphere is highly corrosive (full of sulfuric acid). Even if all solar radiation that reaches Venus could be reflected away from the planet, it would still probably take centuries just to cool the planet down to a human tolerable level. Mars already has plenty of water. What it needs is an infusion of atmospheric gasses to raise the pressure to a breathable level. One idea to accomplish this is to bombard the planet with comets retrieved from the outer belts of the solar system. Once the atmospheric pressure is raised sufficiently, the planet's gravity is strong enough to maintain that atmosphere for thousands of years. Mars probably once had a thick atmosphere, as evidenced by the signs of ancient flowing water discovered recently by NASA's Mars rovers. However, once Mars core solidified a couple of billion of years ago, the planet lost its protective magnetosphere. The Earth's magnetic sheath protects our atmosphere from being eroded by the Solar wind. Unfortunately, Mars lost its protection, and thus has slowly lost much of its atmosphere.

Naj said...

David,
of course it amused me :)
I was joking about our nonsensicals too :)
I don't like too much seriousness, you know! People who are too serious bore me!

Anonymous said...

David:

I am aware of the difficult problems to be solved for terra-forming Venus.

But I do not think that Mars can be colonized usefully; its surface gravity is only 1/3 of Earth's. I believe viable human fetuses cannot gestatate in that low a gravity.

Venus, on the other hand, has 90% of Earth's surface gravity it may be possible to procreate there successfully.

We still have to put into Venutian orbit a moon [with a similar mass ratio/orbit ratios to that of Luna] to regulate the menstural cycle of human females or any other mamals that we want to take with us to Venus.

The major issue with Venus is how to trap CO_2 - plants can get it out of the atmosphere but once they decay they release it back. On Earth, the process of plate tectonics traps CO_2 in carbon-rich minerals (Ca-CO_3 etc.). I do not know if there is such a process in Venus.

But, on the other hand, there is plenty of material to owrk with it on Venus - we can form the oceans from the atmospheric gases.

pen Name

Anna said...

Dear pen Name, we all know that "spirit and thoughts are free"! Nevetheless you really managed it to feel me a bit quite amused and letting me smile with your thinkings about possible life once in "some future", accessable even for us earth-bound human beings. Some more "exile" for us, to spread our crazynesses that we constantly are "delivering" evidence of and how embarassingly we hardly get along with our earthly existences, its objectives, duties and possibilities.

But never mind: Don't want to destroy your freedom of thinking ...
Take my smile and my greetings!

Anonymous said...

Anna:

You have alluded to several important points - I will respond to them.

- I think that any serious discussion of human exploration and settlement of the rest of the Milky Way galaxy and indeed the entire Cosmos invariably brings smiles to the faces of others. In the 1920s, certainly people laughed at those pioneers of rocketry who dreamt about trips to the moon and other planets in the solar system. Two generations later, those dreams were partially realized. I think is indicative of a fundamental difference between men and women (and also among men.).

In general, I have discovered that women are not sympathetic to speculation [philosophical, scientific, artistic, etc.] and day-dreams - they are too practical. Your response to my speculations does not surprise me. But had we (men) confined ourselves to the mundane as much as women had desired us to do - we would still be living in the caves. [Do not day dream of fire, it can burn. Do not build the wheel, it is useless, etc.]

- You mentioned our craziness. Six hundred years ago Hafiz wrote: "Who ever enters the world, carries the stigma of destruction - In the house of Destruction, tell me, who is Awake?” When they asked Buddha what is the difference between him and others, he stated: “I am awake!"

Indeed we are crazy as you say. How else can we explain the death and madness in the history of all the peoples, all over the world, all of the time? We are made in the image of God. And God, to our human Reason, is stark raving mad -he is a savage indeed.

I do not mean this in jest, rather as the truth of our condition as far as I can comprehend it.

God creates beautiful creatures – such as yourself - and destroys them later. Why? If a man makes vases early morning and breaks them in the evening we would consider him mad, wouldn’t we?

As Omar Khayyam wrote:

"The Wisdom that shapes our clay
Does so in a caring, loving way
Wisdom, care and love will stay
The clay is toy to shape and play."


- As for exile from Earth it does not matter. We are all already exiled from Heaven and cannot go back. What does it matter if we are exiled on this or that Earth-like planet? The sky might be different, the trees and smells varied, but we still will be human with our limitations. Yet, something grand still might be attempted.

-You are not destroying my dreams – my freedom of thinking. How can we live in a mundane world without our dreams? “Man is not alive by bread alone but by the knowledge of the Word of God”.

At any rate, I am not the only dreamer.


Pen Name

Anna said...

Thank you so much, dear pen Name, for your comprehensive answers and thoughts. Believe it or not: I even understand it ... exactly because mankind owes manifold qualities. Among them too the quality of „thinking the unthinkable“ (but I don’t quite agree with your distinction between men and women, because I consider it to be a bit too schematic, simplicistic) of which „the products“ maybe decades or generations after „our“ time will have become reality and belong to the so called everyday’s life..

For me as a female humanbeing, the great challenge always is, how to keep balance despite all contradictions ... that is to say: living with them

„God is sleeping in the stones, breathing in the plants, dreaming in the animals and waking up in the human being“ ... as stated or thought in the indian vedana. A beautiful thought indeed. But sometimes, often, I’d rather think, that God is misunderstood, lost and hopelessly forgotten in the humanbeings.

The older I get, the more I’m returning to the „naïve“ (?) recognition of The Little Prince by Saint-Exupéry: „Not the eyes, only the heart is capable to see well.“ But what is the heart? A completley other question indeed. And possibly a typical female one :-)

Salam ha-ye samimane

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna:

Indeed your point is well-taken regarding the Heart:

The Persian mystic - Hatef of Isphahan wrote:


چشم دل باز كن كه جان بيني
آنچه ناديدني است آن بيني


گر به اقليم عشق روي آري
همه آفاق گلستان بيني

Open the Eye of thy Heart too see Life,

To See that which is un-unseen

For if you turn your face to the Kindgdom of Love

All horizons you will a Rose Garden see!

This Heart is the "Heart of the World", the Heart of Persian poets such as Hafiz, and the "Sacred Heart of Jesus" as Cathlolics would say.

And indeed it makes eminent sense to me that you have put your finger on that; the Nature of Woman is Love.

pen Name

Naj said...

In general, I have discovered that women are not sympathetic to speculation [philosophical, scientific, artistic, etc.] and day-dreams - they are too practical. Your response to my speculations does not surprise me. But had we (men) confined ourselves to the mundane as much as women had desired us to do - we would still be living in the caves. [Do not day dream of fire, it can burn. Do not build the wheel, it is useless, etc.]

I ought to be kind on my birthday; but hell! This is such a nonsense!
This is an utter nonesense that is perhaps stemming from your life experience. But don't generalize the world of women according to what the women of your life put you through!

Anna said...

pen Name, pen Name!
Thanks. But am I wrong by guessing there is slightly shimmering some irony in your words? Talking of "eminent sense"?

;-)

Love in my understanding is not just something typically "female" - or is it so, "must" it be so? - dreaming along and the day away in rosegardens or about them. Thus kind of irrealistic romanticism! Thus sort of weakness! In my understanding it's a power to be preserved for ones own mindset ... and as a contra-wight! , so to speak, despite all the hate we have to face and is surrounding us looking out into the world, and against getting drowned in this reigning hate and crazyness.

It's "nothing" I know, but it helps ... beyond (!) esotheric hovering in clouds.

Khodahafez

Anonymous said...

Anna:

No irony intended. Why do you think I was being ironic?

The "esoteric clouds" are as real as Love or Hunger or Beauty.

"unrealistic romanticism" is a form of spiritual exercise; to make the mind see that one mundane life - filled with fears and weaknesses - does not have to be so.

What does being realistic mean? Some kind of natural mercantilism in which all is weighed and measured on basis of how they would satisfy this or that part of the ego at this or that time? Or is it dwelling on the fact that all of our futures lie in the cemetery?


"Weakness" is a characteristic of all finite beings such as us - I accept my Weakness that takes many forms. All other human beings are in a similar situations as I. We are weak patheique creatures that live short and finite lives. That cannot be denied. But having accepted that, why dwell on it? Is not that small creature also capable of grand acts of tenderness, beauty, love, creativity, and kindness?

Love is typically female - Love is not the nature of male. It is so; just like the color of sky - does it matter terribly? Is it not sufficient that it exists in abundance in the female?

Kheyr peesh

Pen Name

Anna said...

Pen Name ... I'd wish my english was so eloquent like my mother tongue ... just for the joy to discuss with you and share sights ans looks at "things"

"Weakness" is a characteristic of all finite beings such as us - I accept my Weakness that takes many forms. All other human beings are in a similar situations as I. We are weak patheique creatures that live short and finite lives. That cannot be denied. But having accepted that, why dwell on it? Is not that small creature also capable of grand acts of tenderness, beauty, love, creativity, and kindness?

I agree. Because "weakness" in my understanding does not mean necessaryli a negative quality like for instance cowardice or undecionnedness in aspects of the human being ... I see it more of the qualities you are talking about in the last sentence I quoted. But also I think it's qualities that easily get lost in the hard struggles and competitions of life and its almost permanent exposure to it. That's why as a basic quality it should be safeguarded in ones soul. For some this may be just a luxury and a obstacle in achieving objectives. For me it's part of being a "whole person" or not loosing a personal integrity. And I think real intellectuality or creativity is not possible when a person is "torn apart". All the "roles" a person has to "play" it's finally always the whole person performing these "roles". With all her or his qualitites and possibilities within the person. Be she or he concious about this fact or not.

As I said ... my english and sorry for.

Here at this time and in persian we now whoud say Shab bekheyr

Anonymous said...

Anna:

I can try to write in French; I have not done so in many years and I assure you my French is much worse than your English.

Yes, to be aware of one's intrinsic weakness - constant humility. Indeed that is difficult.

To be a whole person - I have often heard it from Western people; not so much from Muslims, Hindus or Oriental people. I think it is related to similar ideas as being authentic?

You will have to explain that to me. It is not real to me.

About roles: the role & the person should become one and the same - one should not have to play a role.- Life is not a Greek play where we assume roles by wearing different masks. I think you do not wear a mask (play a role) to the extent that you are comfortable with the situation.

I think people play the roles (wear masks) because they are afraid; afraid to hurt others and thus be in turn hurt because no one will relate to them in the way they want - if you are center then everyone and everything is important to the extent that they satisfy your desires, wants, and needs. And as I wrote before: “Be Not Afraid!”

This is a rut, a trap - and humility and acknowledging Weakness can help us not to fall into that trap.

But in itself, knowledge of Weakness is not enough - you need Karitas - Charity to other human beings.

About creativity; only when I am serene internally can I create. I do not know if painters and other artists have to be in agony to create.

Looking at the photographs of Pablo Picasso, I could see his inner serenity. He did his work not caring what others thought. When he was a young man and when he was an old man. Miro, I think, was the same.

I have lied & cheated and done many other things in my life that I am either ashamed of or wish I had not done. I have caused others to suffer. I am not proud of those acts but at the same time I cannot see how I could have avoided many (but not all) of them. And yet some of those acts, like Gide wrote consumed me but my brilliance was also due to them. Will I have been un hombre auténtico y verdadero if I had not done what I had done? Would I have been a weak man – upon whom women would not have smiled?


Which gives more authenticity to a male: to be more comfortable walking into a library (bibliotheque) and ask for a book or to walk into a gun store to purchase a rifle? To walk with the intellectuals or to fight with the soldiers? To preserve chastity or to rape?

Shab-e shoma ham khosh, sarkar-e khanum

pen Name

Anna said...

Pen Name

Which gives more authenticity to a male: to be more comfortable walking into a library (bibliotheque) and ask for a book or to walk into a gun store to purchase a rifle? To walk with the intellectuals or to fight with the soldiers? To preserve chastity or to rape?

Shab-e shoma ham khosh, sarkar-e khanum

pen Name

To be a whole person - I have often heard it from Western people; not so much from Muslims, Hindus or Oriental people. I think it is related to similar ideas as being authentic?

You will have to explain that to me. It is not real to me.


You may be quite right that its mostly a perception created by western people and „understandings“ about personnality per se and all its inherent possible facettes and conditions... at least I myself got this impression as time went by and I myself had from childhood on the possibilty to „have a look“ at, that is to say since worldwar II was over and seeing what changes here in peoples life-style – so to speak – took place, establishing their „priorities“, starting with trivial little things up to „greater“ ideas and dreams about „better“, simplier, easier, more „successful and comfortable“ life, put in a cliché- phrase: A certain americanization of life. „Don’t worry, be happy“. But turning out just as a surface. If ever for example you had read Henry Miller’s „Airconditioned nightmare“ (written in 1932!) you probably pretty exactly would see what I’m talking about.

Every life-style and understanding of life, being in this life (!), that is mostly surface-oriented sooner or later will express itself in psychic, diffuse deficits and its manyfold consequences ... followed by endavourings to somehow compensate or to mend them ... for being „a whole person“ again ... as it was „found out and described“. But if you want: I myself under this etiquette do not understand to become an „angel-like being“. The „whole person“, that is we, you, me, she, he, everybody, those before our time and those after our time and we all did not fall from heaven. We all bear every potentials from angel to devil, from idiot to genius, from warrior to peacekeeper, being just a driven one or to be a one „sitting down and think a bit sometimes“. Why this is so? There are a lot of answers indeed, about what is influencing and forming us, making out of us the one we have become, the one we are or will be yet. But the „last thing“ in my humble opinion will not be an answer, but just other questions ... at least untill the moment, when the last curtain falls and we have to step down from the scene ... that is to say when we die.
In this understanding – you are quite correct: There are no roles, only authenticity ... and that’s exactly why I’ve put this word into quoting marks.

(By the way: I’m not depressive at all! To the contrary, though the evidence of it has not to be „spectacular“ as well to the contrary. Just I never could imagine myself living on a heap of answers. But of course I do not reflex-like reject them ... at least not all of them :-)

Khodahafez wa salam ha-ye samimane

Anna said...

Pen Name: The below quoted part of your answer got by error into my comment. sorry:

Which gives more authenticity to a male: to be more comfortable walking into a library (bibliotheque) and ask for a book or to walk into a gun store to purchase a rifle? To walk with the intellectuals or to fight with the soldiers? To preserve chastity or to rape?

Shab-e shoma ham khosh, sarkar-e khanum

pen Name

Anonymous said...

Anna:
Thank you for your responses.
I have read them several times and what I have gleaned from them is that in the European Union there is a desire – at the individual level – to live well according to some standard. But no one knows what that standard could be. Christianity, Nationalism, Racialism, Communism, etc. are all failed gods and thus do not engage the mind and soul of the European people – not after World War I, World War II, and the Shoah. Is this what you have meant?

But them one has to live even if all gods and standards of behavior and belief have been overthrown or killed. So there are always more and more questions and no answers as to how to behave, what to strive for etc. One asks: “What is the best behavior?” Does this not go back to the question posed by Plato – “What is Justice?” in “The Republic”? Of course, Jesus had his answer which was eventually rejected during the Reformation and Enlightenment periods of the European history. Is this what you have meant?

Certainly our minds/spirits/beings are a mish-mash of many different propensities, thoughts, potentialities, desires, fears, and hopes. I cannot explain why we are so constructed. Did you know that there are certain species of birds [but not all of them] that mate for life? I often wonder why God did not create us this way – that we could then be faithful to one person all of our lives. And many of our social problems such adultery, polygamy, jealousy, etc. would have not existed. I conclude then that it is God who is ultimately responsible – even for the Fall of Man.

I did not think you were a depressed person – I am thrilled that you understand me.

No I have not read that specific book by Henry Miller – I have read “Sexus” and “Plexus” many years ago. He is very critical of the American culture but US has many strengths and positive aspects. There is nothing wrong with being efficient and comfortable but it is not the end purpose of our existence. Decades ago I noticed that in America you could get a lot of things done without having to speak with anyone – America is hyper-efficient. And a German friend told me that Germany was – in that respect – similar. So efficiency and comfort is obtained at a cost – the cost of reducing human interaction which causes friction. I do not think that is necessarily bad – perhaps if we are left alone more often we could think about things more thoroughly and completely.

It would be nice, I should think, to live on a heap of answers; there is warmth and security of feeling, behavior, and thought there. Of course, there is a great danger there as well as Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees (from “farsi” – Persian – they were Persian Jews). And since I have found some of the questions answered, I am here and share them on this forum.

Did you ever read “The Elementary Particles” by Michel Houellebecq? Or “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley?

Kheyr peesh

pen Name

Anna said...

Thank YOU Pen Name, for your abundant responses! It's always a pleasure to think along about "the life" and all its implications, facettes and ways of understandings and perceptions.

For me it is the most normal thing on earth, that people are looking for orientation. We all are "guests" on this earth, but it's probably not always or simply sure who apparently is the host/the hostess ;-) So we try to behave somehow. But in earnest: There is existing such an abundance of possibilities, nevertheless lots of people seem to be in constant search of what is making or would make sense ... this as well is just normal, but why and when its turning in kind of just being permanently attracted by this and that and what yet ... leading to a feeling of never getting enough, never getting satisfied .... feeling a constant hunger amidst (!) and espite all abundance all around ... and being finally nothing but a little rotating wheel in a huge machine.

Yes, there are lot of books, I haven't read yet. Shame on me! You mention Platons What is justice? Yes what it is? Dürrenmatt a fairly known swiss dramatic has put the question a bit differently: There is law though, but justice really does/can not exist. An interesting definition too!

I read almost all the books of Henry Miller! About three decades ago ... at a time, when here he mostly was read because of his juicy tellings about sex-life. For me that was not the reason ... and I "learned" al lot from him about life ... from this great "leaner-back" and observer. "Finally" then it was his small 78 page-booklet "The smile at the foot of the ladder" illustrated by Miro that really made me quite small in a exemplaricly touching way and shed a tear or two.

I could talk along with you "forever" and be it in my broken english ... but I should now care about some duties.

We will "meet" here again ... so long and all my best whishes!

Anonymous said...

Anna:

Greed, like Envy, seems to be a constant companion of human beings. How can there be a sense of fulfillment when one is constantly bored since most life is boring?

In the Japanese Tea Ceremony there are 97 precise steps: small boring steps to a pleasurable end. This was a form of spiritual exercise - just like St. Benedict's spiritual exercises or the dialy prayers in Islam.

So we need to re-read and use the work of Baldissare Castiglione - "The Courtier" - to at least have refined manners and rituals. Since we cannot sanctify our day-to-day life any longer.

Dürrenmatt is correct.

I will try to find the Miller book; sounds interesting. I read his other books because I was interested in Sex.

pen Name

Anonymous said...

Anna:

Do you know "Der Wanderer" by Schmidt von Lübeck?

pen Name

Anna said...

vNo, pen Name, I don't know the two lectures you mentioned, I'll google them later. Ther is so much I haven't read, and the conclusion is on hand, that one more life won't be enough to do so :-)

First now I will read Michael Schmidt-Salomon's
""Manifest des Evolutionären Humanismus.
Plädoyer für eine zeitgemäße Leitkultur""

Manifest for an evolutionary Humanism. Plaedoyer for a contemporary guide-culture (don't know the correct term for Leitkultur).

Some days ago I have heard him - he is also founder and member of the Bruno-Giordano Foundation - and it was just delightful to listen to this absolutely not (!) ideologic, eloquent young man - of course not only because I could so easily agree with his basic ideas ;-)

Envy, jalousy and all this so human compensative (!) feelings, drawing people down ... would have to be everybodies personal task (!), to find out what might be the individual reason for and to free oneself from such. Because I consider it to be a very negativ, contraproductiv (!) energy, the "success" of such could not be emptier and ephemeral! From Siddharta Gautama we could learn a lot!

Don't blame me then please, when The smile at the foot of the ladder could not "please" you, it's always up to ones individuality, as always and with everything, in principle.

Btw. And if "we" nevertheless are here again:
Shab-e shoma ham khosh, sarkar-e khanum
and
Kheyr peesh

What does this say?

Mamnoon wa Khodahafez

Anonymous said...

Anna:

I think Envy is impossible to eradicate - may be we can learn to control it better.

The poem:

Schmidt von Lübeck:

Der Wanderer

Ich komme vom Gebirge her,
Es dampft das Tal, es braust das Meer.
Ich wandle still, bin wenig froh,
Und immer fragt der Seufzer, wo?
Die Sonne dünkt mich hier so kalt,
Die Blüte welk, das Leben alt,
Und was sie reden, leerer Schall;
Ich bin ein Fremdling überall.

Wo bist du, mein geliebtes Land?
Gesucht, geahnt, und nie gekannt!
Das Land, das Land so hoffnungsgrün,
Das Land, wo meine Rosen blühn.

Wo meine Freunde wandelnd gehn,
Wo meine Toten auferstehn,
Das Land, das meine Sprache spricht,
O Land, wo bist du? . . .

Ich wandle still, bin wenig froh,
Und immer fragt der Seufzer, wo?
Im Geisterhauch tönt's mir zurück:
"Dort, wo du nicht bist, dort ist das Glück."


Translation into English:

The Wanderer
I come from highlands down to shore,
the valleys steam, the oceans roar.
I wander silent, joyless here:
my sigh keeps asking, Where? Oh, where?
Their sun appears to me so cold,
their blossoms limp, their life so old;
and what they speak of, empty fare:
I am a stranger everywhere.

Where are you, land, beloved home?
Imagined, sought, but never known!
The land, the land, whence hope does flow,
the land where all my roses grow,

where friends shall never meet in vain,
where all my dead shall rise again,
the land that speaks my language true:
Oh land, where are you?...

I wander silent, joyless here,
my sigh keeps asking, Where? Oh where?
The specters answer my distress:
"Where you are not, there's happiness."


I know of Bruno - he was a Mystic like Al Hallaj or Suherwardi - murdered by the Religious Powers.


I am not a Buddhist - one can learn a lot from Buddhism but it is in fundamental opposition to Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Buddhism seeks release from Being - our religions in the Western part of Eurasia seek not non-Being but Blissful Being - the Beatific Vision.

Moreover, it is the individual human life - from birth to death (however early) that our religions are concerned about. Not many life times but a single life time with a single precious and important individual.

My sentences meant: "Your night be good , your ladyship"

and "Good Forward" meaning that you may face goodness going forward.

pen Name

Anna said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, pen Name
for the wonderful poem , whose "melody" in german for me and of course sounds somewhat different as the one in english. If one starts to imagine how infinitely much mankind ever since has thought and felt and gone through and written down in every possible languages and nevertheless every single person ever since climbed out of his cradle is standing all over again at the beginning, at A beginning!

But do you know what? It happend and happens, that I with all my heart would contradict this sentence:
"Dort, wo du nicht bist, dort ist das Glück." It's rare and therefor all the more precious moments! Moments not to keep closed into a safe, so that they will never more leave me and for ever be "mine". But these moments were a by "head" and soul percepted reality and have become the quality of existing light, a light we maybe sadly or in some melancholy miss while with a smile we know about its comforting existence when it's grey or dark again and one may feel far away from "home". And you are aware, that one must not possess (!) in all obviousity anytime "everything" ... it's quite enough to know about its existence.

No, I am no buddhist either, but I just learned a couple of important "things" from Gautama.

And yes, envy is not eradicatable, like other negative energies as well, but one should try to find out the reason/s for, because it's compensatorically (!) working energies. Only then one has a possibility to control it ... to ones one advantage.

And here is for you the lyrics from a one more wonderful, unspectacular Leonard Cohen song .. his poetry too has literally lighted many times of darkness ... but first now I say: Khodahafez, salam ha-ye samimane wa kheyr peesh ...........

If it be your will
That I speak no more
And my voice be still
As it was before
I will speak no more
I shall abide until
I am spoken for
If it be your will
If it be your will
That a voice be true
From this broken hill
I will sing to you
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing
From this broken hill
All your praises they shall ring
If it be your will
To let me sing

If it be your will
If there is a choice
Let the rivers fill
Let the hills rejoice
Let your mercy spill
On all these burning hearts in hell
If it be your will
To make us well

And draw us near
And bind us tight
All your children here
In their rags of light
In our rags of light
All dressed to kill
And end this night
If it be your will

Anna said...

And here you can listen to the song, pen Name, if you want to:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=AEzRXjg1rYE&mode=related&search

Anonymous said...

Vielen Dank - meine angemessene Frau!

pen Name

Anna said...

Az del ... wa kahesh mikonam ...angemessener Mensch!

Naj said...

Well well :)
I think it is time for Anna and Anonymous to get their blogs running so they can charm each other in private ;)