Monday, May 2, 2011
Al-Shabbi's "The Will to Life"
Abu Al-Qasim Al-Shabbi
If, one day, the people wills to live
Then fate must obey
Darkness must dissipate
And must the chain give way
And he who is not embraced by life’s longing
Evaporates into its air and fades away
Woe to one whom life does not rip
from the slap of victorious nothingness
Thus told me the beings
And thus spoke their hidden spirit.
The wind murmured between the cracks
Over the mountains and under trees:
—If to a goal I aspire,
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...... And Earth said to me—when I asked her,
“O mother, do you hate humans?”
“Among all the people I bless the ambitious
And those who taking risk enjoy
Those who don’t keep up with time I curse
And I curse those who lead the life of a stone.
The universe is alive; it loves life
And despises the dead, no matter how great they are
The horizon doesn’t embrace dead birds
And bees don’t kiss dead flowers.
Were it not for the motherliness of my tender heart
These holes would not have held the dead
Woe to those whom life has not ripped
From the curse of victorious nothingness!”
Al-Shabbi's "The Will to Life"
"When the idea formed of Divinity is the fruit of true spiritual culture, its intimate re-action on the inner perfection is at once beneficial and beautiful. All things assume a new form and meaning in our eyes when regarded as the creatures of forecasting design, and not the capricious handiwork of unreasoning chance. The ideas of wisdom order, and adaptative forethought,—ideas so necessary to the conduct of our own actions, and even to the culture of the intellect,—strike deeper root into our susceptible nature, when we discover them everywhere around us. The finite becomes, as it were, infinite; the perishable, enduring; the fleeting, stable; the complex, simple,—when we contemplate one great regulating Cause on the summit of things, and regard what is spiritual as endlessly enduring. Our search after truth, our striving after perfection, gain greater certainty and consistency when we can believe in the existence of a Being who is at once the source of all truth, and the sum of all perfection. The soul becomes less painfully sensible of the chances and changes of fortune, when it learns how to connect hope and confidence with such calamities. The feeling of receiving everything we possess from the hand of love, tends no less to exalt our moral excellence and enhance our happiness. Through a constant sense of gratitude for enjoyment—through clinging with fond trustfulness to the object towards which it yearns, the soul is drawn out of itself, nor always broods in jealous isolation over its own sensations, its own plans, hopes, and fears. Should it lose the exalting feeling of owing everything to itself, it still enjoys the rapture of living in the love of another,—a feeling in which its own perfection is united with the perfection of that other being. It becomes disposed to be to others what others are to it; it would not that they too should receive nothing but from themselves, in the same way that it receives nothing from others."
Wilhelm von Humboldt, The Limits of State action; 1792(CHAPTER VII. Religion)