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Thursday, December 22, 2005

A Spiritual Spin

Today I want to tell you a story.

One day in the bustling market of the city of Konya, in the time of the Turkish Seljuk Empire, the Anatolian philiosopher Mevlana was walking.

He happened upon hearing the noise of workmen outside a goldsmith's shop.

Tap - tap - tap, went their instruments upon the precious metal.

The beat was constant, so rhythmic that Mevlana began tapping his foot in time with the sound.

Slowly, he raised his eyes to the sky and smiled. Shedding his plain cloak, he stretched out his arms and began to spin to the tune of beating gold.

Pretty soon a crowd began to gather in the market square, to watch Mevlana spellbound as he danced the dance of the celestial heavens.

Hearing all the commotion outside his shop, the goldsmith came out to see what was going on. Not educated in the ways of spiritual Islam, he did not understand what he was seeing. He motioned to a little boy close to the front of the crowd.

The child reluctantly averting his eyes came to the man's beckoning.

"What is he doing?" asked the goldsmith.

"He is dancing," the child said.

The goldsmith looked surprised. "Dancing? Why?"

"For love," the child answered back simply.

The goldsmith thought that the child was being flippant, but he pushed himself into the crowd and came nearer to the front. He wanted to see this dance more closely.

"What is he doing?" he asked an old man standing next to him.

"He is dancing," the old man said.

"I can see that," the goldsmith said frustatedly, "but why?"

"He dances for the love of the One that unites us all. He has let go of his ego, and he has turned to love, he turns and turns until he arrives at the feet of God."

And so the goldsmith watched as Mevlana turned for the love of the One that created all things, as the world turns with the fabric of science, as the atom turns, as protons and neutrons turn inside the atom, so too Mevlana turned with the very spirit of his life...turning towards the One.

The goldsmith rushed back to his shop. "Don't stop beating your hammers!" he commanded his workers. "Beat harder! Beat for the love of God..."

And then he sat down on his doorstep, asked people to make a space for him to see, and watched while Mevlana danced in love for love...until the sun set.

When the goldsmith hadn't return home at the usual time, his wife had begun to worry. Not wanting to leave the task to a servant, grabbing her fur cloak she took to the streets to look for her beloved husband.

She found him sitting alone on the doorstep of his shop, crying. She was shocked as she had never seen her husband cry before. Walking over to him gently, she noticed the front door of the shop was still open and she peered inside.

What a scene she found! But who had done this? All the man's gold had been beaten away to nothing! No wonder he sat in the dirt and cried! She turned round swifty and went to console the crying man.

"Husband, hush. We can buy more gold."

The goldsmith looked up and smiled strangely. "What do you mean?" he asked.

"All your gold...what has happened to it...isn't that why you cry?"

The man shook his head and wiped his eyes. "No my love, I do not cry for that."

"Then why," she demanded, "do you sit there and cry like a child?"

He stood up. "Because I have been a goldsmith for thirty years my wife, and only today have I seen real gold," he said.

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The reason for my story is because of a mail I received today. I have been sent a lot of mail these past few days, all of them have warmed my heart. For that, I hope that every kind word spent on me returns to the owners tenfold.

But one particular mail touched me the most in its simplicity.

I know sometimes I am a guy with a lot to say. I am not a goldsmith as in the story, I am a wordsmith. But like in the story however, maybe when we beat our words to create products, we should do it for the love of mankind, to further the spirit of Unity - or not at all.

This mail reminded me of that.

Leslie from Australia writes: I want you to know that I don't want you to be upset with me! I visit your site everyday. Yes! Everyday I read the things you write and it warms my heart Ali! I read them again. I always wish you would write more. But I was so upset with what you wrote last, it broke my heart! You have never written like this before. Yes things were said about you. The things she said I found wrong. Some guy had asked about you. Yes, they were horrible. But Ali, anyone who knows you wouldn't believe those things! You once said to me "show goodness on a daily basis". Well Ali, even though she deserved what you said - you did not show goodness! Show some goodness now Ali. Please. We have so much hate in the world as it is, I don't want to see it here. Give your blog back to me like it was."

I just feel so honoured that I have people like this reading my words, that maybe I should take extra care. If I have the thoughts of people like you then I will tread ever the more softly, so as not to tread upon your dreams.

Thank you for reminding me.

The people that keep "informing" me by sending me the yahoo messages I continually block, but they change addresses. I promise to try harder.

I give this blog back to you, not Tarkan, not me, but to you and all those others like you, just the way it was.

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