Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Conference of Birds


"There's so much more to flying than just flapping around from place to place! A... a... mosquito does that! One little barrel roll around the Elder Gull, just for fun, and I'm Outcast! Are they blind? Can't they see? Can't they think of the glory that it'll be when we really learn to fly? "I don't care what they think. I'll show them what flying is! I'll be pure Outlaw, if that's the way they want it. And I'll make them so sorry..." (Read the book online)

The title is borrowed from Mantegh Al-Teyr by Farid Al-Din Attar (the 12 century Persian philosopher/poet/scientist) which is in deed the precursor of Bach's Jonathan. (if you can read Persian, look for Attar on http://www.persopedia.com/)
(early 17th century depiction of Attar's conference of the Birds by Habib Allah)

In Iran, Jonathan the Seagull was beautifully translated by Soudabeh Partowi, and published under "Parandeh-i be nam-e Azar-baad" (a bird called Azar-baad; Azarbaad could be considered a polyseme. It is a Zoroasterian name, literally meaning something like "sustained flame" or the "ablaze-wind"; the latter rather a wordplay).

40 comments:

betmo said...

jonathan is one of my favorite books. i remember the first time i read it- i soared with him into the sky. hope your birthday was a happy one :)

Howa wa Heya said...

Oh My, You have a great blog from every aspect. The rich variable contents, the graphics, the touch of arts, the sense of humanity. Good for you
I am so happy to find your blog and I will try to be a regular visitor. You dont need to invite me, your blog is so seductive ( smile)

I am just very very new here. My blog is so primitive yet. Although I am a single man yet I am very busy at work, dont really have time to go through the software to see what fucntions I might use to make the blog look rich. I am a down to earth naughty guy. not seriously but just for the fun. In my hetic life a smile is all I need at the end of the day. if you have a chance come visit my blog tell me what do you think
Dr. SR

SR said...

I have to come back to tell you something that happened after I left my comment.
There is a dirty fight between different guys and Amre el obayed in Zeinobia blog ( Egyptian Chroncles) I just happened to visit his blog for the first time and I read your response to his insulting post. I only have one word to say. YOU ARE A GREAT WOMAN. YOU PROVED THE QUALITY OF IRANIAN WOMEN THAT I ALREADY KONW

David said...

I read Jonathan Livingston Seagull years ago when I was about 10. I have only a vague memory of the story, but I seem to remember something about a religious experience or the seagull leaving the plane of the Earth for another dimension or reality. I never knew that the story might have been inspired by a 12th century Persian story. Interesting! Well, I think that all good fiction with heroic characters is based on mythic archetypes. There are bound to be similarities across time, whether intended or not.

Daniel said...

I dream I'm flying quite often, Naj. It is such a blissful feeling.

I wish I could fly towards the stars right now, leave this ugliness behind, this never-ending bedlam.

I envy the birds but at least I know how they feel!

Naj said...

Hi

Betmo
===========================
Yes when I read it I loved it too. Frankly, it sounds much better in Persian than in English; and I am not surprised about this. This bring me to the comment of

David
===========================
The reason why the book sounds better in Persian is because it is tapping on to mysticism (which is not a religious experience, but a spiritual one) the 12th century Conference of Birds is one of that nature too. The history of mysticism in Iran goes back to pre-islamic times; and the best of post-islamic literature in Iran is of that nature. In other words, the language and the culture are well developed to describe and ascribe a mystic experience. So, the conference of birds, and its miniaturized western version Jonathan, are just metaphors, as you mention.

and this brings me to

Daniel
=====================
It is not difficult to fly away. Just stop flapping your wings. One is bound to see farthest and more when one flies highest; to fly highest and farthest means you will see good and bad; it is only in our perception that the world actualizes. I like my connection to earth, my connection to pain, my connection through longing to that unseen, undreamed, unspoken; my connection to love to hate to death to birth to fear to hunger to anger ... I am a little species, put here by a fluke of an accident ... I will live 30-60-100 years ... and then i will go. This is how I fly, in detaching myself from that which is called pain ... I call it the "the unbearable lightness of being" is not too heavy if one stops thinking about it ...

little indian said...

Hi Naj,
is it just a coincidence that I wrote this recently?
http://awmyth.wordpress.com/learning-to-fly/
I read it when I was in Uni.
It made me realise, that to question the traditions and the norms, was not necessarily a bad thing.
That to breakaway was not a failure, to be alone in my ideology shouldn't be frightening.

I owe my own life's philosophy to a seagull.
Does that not seem funny?

nunya said...

I read it years ago. I didn't care for it, but perhaps for reasons you might not suspect. :)

د /إياد حرفوش said...

Dear Naj,
Glad of your visit to my site, I have nothing against Iran or the Iranian revolution. Yet, I respected Amre research and said it will drive me to read more and more to get better understanding of the Iranian modern culture, my reading might favor Amre's standpoint or yours. Thank you for passing by.

David said...

Naj, I have never really thought of a mystic experience as being any different from a religious experience. However, you may have a good point. I looked up the definition of mysticism. There are several, but the one that seems to apply to this situation is as follows: "the doctrine that it is possible to achieve communion with God through contemplation and love without the medium of human reason". In your opinion, does a religious experience appeal to human intellect or reason, rather than to emotion or intuition, which seems to correlate with mysticism?

Naj said...

Dear Eyad,

The post on which you commented was a personal attack against me; full of unjustified slander by an individual in need of attention and psychiatric help. Amre has also deleted a large number of refuting comments by bloggers such as who has a far better understanding of the arab world and Egypt.

I welcome your inquiry of facts.

All the best

Naj said...

That giant hyperlink should bring you to Aardvar's blog Enigma.

Google doesn't seem to be reading html code properly today :)

Naj said...

David,

The difference between religion and mysticism for me is simple:

Religion (re-legion) is a collective entity, it's institutionalized under umbrella of an indoctrinated deity.

Mysticism is an individual(ized) longing/quest for understanding the meaning of self and the universe.

Amre El-Abyad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amre El-Abyad said...

you will be detroyed soon . we cant wait fo he upcoming war between Iran and us.

I assure you naj that you will recieve tons o congratiulation letters from arabs all over the planet.

if you dirty persian father doesnt die from the war-he will die out of shock

Mohamed said...

here is a link for the biggest opposition Egyptian newspaper, which widelt read and very popular

It is full of anti Iranin feelings and hate.

http://www.elosboa.com/elosboa/issues/537/0100.asp

Naj said...

Thanks Mohammed.

Unfortunately I do not read Arabic. But anti-iranian sentiments in the Arab world do not surprise me a bit.

Envy is not a very complicated political process! Blaming Israelis and now Iranians for Arab's (may I specifically say Nasseri) failures is just convenient.

And it doesn't surprise me a bit that the hatred is brewing in Egypt more than other places.

Anyways, I won't want to deviate from the mystic nature of this post to dwell over the pettiness of anti-Iranians who instead of learning to improve themselves wallow in mud of hatred and blaming others.

Thanks for the link though.

all the best.

Amre El-Abyad said...

KOOSSOMIK- THAT IS TH WOST ARABIC NAME CALLING.

kossommik- an Iranian dirt like you is giving opinions on Arabs- how strange????


you dirty iranian pice of shit say that- Iraq must succumb to Iran???????

you dirty irnain barbaruian dog try to take the place of Egypt as the leader of the Arab world.

stay away from us dirt with your retrdment and terrorism.

stay away go integrate with India or anyonelse- just save us your dirty Iranian presence in th middle east

Naj said...

Amre, if you delete your comments I will repost them! Be brave and stick to what you say little one!!

I actually just want Eyad to get a piece of your intelligent outbursts :)

Anonymous said...

Amre:

Please make an effort to correct your English dictation - I would like to be able to understand enemies clearly.

pen Name

Anonymous said...

All:

Mystical experience, however authentic, will not make you a better human being. It is experiential and not ethical.

Charles Manson and his gang, who murdered a pregnant woman and her guests more than 30 years ago, had authentic mystical experiences. But they could not bear the Truths revealed to them during those (drug-induced) journeys.

This is not a metaphorical point that I am making - up to a certain point you can be your own Pir (Guru) in these spiritual journeys but beyond that point there is a very high likelihood of becoming psychotic.

Three points have been emphasized by Muslim mystics:

1- That you first have to be able to follow the Law - Shriat - and then the Path (Tao) - Tariqat.

2- That you need a Pir (Guru) to guide you.

3- Not everyone should be initiated into the practice of mysticism lest they - like Charles Manson and his gang - cause Evil.

And Naj: your definition of Religion is incorrect - you are thinking of organized Religion.

Religion means a bringing together.

pen Name

Anonymous said...

naj:

Yes, indeed.

I do pity him though; a few weeks ago one of my colleagues with a wife and 3 children killed himself. He had a similar disorder.

May God help him!

pen Name

Naj said...

Pen, I deleted his email. I just put it up for a sec so you see. I should not exacerbate his illness, but he does seem to have a row again; he's going around different blogs doing publicity for me ;) With enemies like Amro, who needs friends :))

Yes, my idea of religion is organized religion. In fact, re-legioning does require organization.

I am afraid I disagree with charlie manson's mystic experience. The lines do become blurred though and I agree with you on that.

I think the sanity is an eggshell and religion or nero's mystic experience(!) all pose a risk of cracking that shell.

I am sorry to hear about your friend's psychosis. I hope he didn't kill the rest of his family.

Anonymous said...

naj:

No the family is as well as you'd expect under the circumstances. They will be hard hit financially.

Insanity is not caused by Religion or Mystical experience: insanity is a very specific condition that aflicts the mind of human male, for the most part.

The ration of the number of insane men to insane women is similar to the ration male violent criminals to the female violent criminals - 4 to 1.

pen Name

Anna said...

Pen Name:
If you want to "step down" to the 'Sound of Kindness" one last time ... I told you something and sent you a poem too ... actually it's kind of a prayer, a ballad by Leonard Cohen. And the last post you find the youtube-adress, so you can listen to, if you want.
Kind regards!

Dear Naj,
I'm sorry, that you have to stand this deranged persons cursing again. Such pitoyable persons are like tragically ticking time-bomb ..just as pen Name mentioned.

But however: Thank you once again for the good work and all my best wishes!

Amre El-Abyad said...

oh my god the stupid bitch is giving opinions on all aspects of life ( Dont you think you are too old for that whore).......shit

SR said...

oh, I had a wonderful story between me and an iranian, I am so proud of it but since it is a personal experience I couldnt post it as a comment. I would love to tell you about it whenever we have a chance to have a personal email

nunya said...

Amre!
Cool your jets, man!

Naj, you may want to bookmark this page:
Swedish police

Peace.

Naj said...

Thanks Nunya,

In fact I have been tempted to report this individual to the Swedish Police a few times.

Mohammed said...

Dear Naj,

Just reflect on the amount of hate Egyptians have:

http://www.egyptiansociety.net/?p=52

nunya said...

Happy Friday luv,

Peace

Naj said...

Dear Mohammed,

Hate usually consumes the person who hates. And my life is more precious than to focus on loser's hatred.

nunya said...

Naj,

I know you're trying to avoid the political stuff, but I found this article frightening this morning.

Why Is the White House Pretending That Saudi Insurgents in Iraq Are Iranian?
By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!. Posted July 20, 2007.

Nearly half of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops in Iraq have come from Saudi Arabia -- an inconvenient truth for the White House papered over with the lie that Iran is the chief instigator.

Naj said...

Thanks Nunya.

I know the Arabs will sell out Iran.
Uhm, Arabs even sold out Arab Iraquis, Palestinians and Lebanese.

Weak and insecure nations are untrustworthy ones! And I am sure Iranian officials do not trust them.

Pen is right, Iran-e Mazloom!

Anna said...

Dear Nunya
I read this article in global research.
Also this insinuation is just one more in a never ending, dirty game called "producing enemy-images" going on very long time since "giving reason" for attacking Iran according the Cheney-gang's all-options-are on-the-table to the sound of McCains "bomb-bomb-bomb Iran. Moronic fueling! "Searching reasons" to repeat their "success" in Iraq.

Also in Europe the Mainstream-Media is spreading nothing else all the time. Happily the US and also Europe has enough investigativ journalists and media,revealing these ugly endeavourings, the MSM and the governments are trying to neuroticize people and keep in constant fear, the more diffuse, the better ... not without success, infortunately. The same is going on with the Al-Qaida-Al-Qaida-Al-Qaida allegedly lurking behind every shrub and tree. It's all lies and fals-flag operation!

The real enemies of western freedom and democracy are sitting in the western governments!

Anonymous said...

Yes, and if any one said that Iran Judas Iscariot and Pontius Pilate were Iranian agents - well it is a damn lie.

pen Name

David said...

Thanks Naj for posting your definitions of religion and mysticism. I am certainly not a follower of any organized religion. I suppose that I am something of a mystic. :)

Pen says: "Religion means a bringing together."

Well, I think there are many definitions of religion. Bringing people together to accomplish a common goal can be a good thing. Sadly, religious belief has often brought people together for the purpose of killing other people who have different beliefs. This is happening today in Iraq and Sudan. It has happened for thousands of years just about everywhere else.

Anonymous said...

David:

Human beings have been murdering each other for millennia well before the Semitic religions of Western Asia were revealed.

The fault, dear David, is not in our religions, it is in ourselves.

God has created us this way - in his image - to be mad/unbalanced/irrational.

However, not all of us are mad all of the time.

We still can make choices:

"Choose Life.." as the Chronicler wrote in Leviticus.

Etymology:

From Religare: Re-connection to the divine–from Latin re (again) + ligare (to connect, as in English ligament).

To bind or return to bondage: an alternate interpretation of the "reconnection" etymology emphasizing a sense of servitude to God

From Res + legere: Concerning a gathering — from Latin res (ablative re, with regard to) + legere (to gather), since organized religion revolves around a gathering of people.

The Arabic word دين has a different meaning: “a committed way of life”

pen Name

nunya said...

anna,

I swear thes guys live in an alternate reality.

I have no idea how to inform them that Iraq is not a success and the military wants out, the people want out.

Yeesh, the last thing we (Ok, ME, for sure) want is a war with Iran.

Anna said...

Nunya
The real problem in my opinion is not, that these guys live in another reality. Such happens and is finally just human ;-)
The problem is that these lunatics are belying and betraying their own population and endangering half the world. Every private amok-runner somehow is getting withdrawn from service. But obviously not these liars and criminals with their allied s.o.a.b's from the terrorist-business and false-flag producers!

Timarestan! ... in persian for madhouse

We literally will have to see, where all this yet will be leading to, what climate and realities they will yet create. What will be the next "mission accomplished" by them.
I never know whether there's somewhere a base for hope yet or simply none!