Saturday, June 25, 2022


 Some thoughts for today:

Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.  (John F. Kennedy)

If you don't know the guy on the other side of the world, love him anyway because he's just like you.  He has the same dreams, the same hopes and fears.  It's one world, pal.  We're all neighbors.  (Frank Sinatra)

Peace cannot be kept by force.  It can only be achieved by understanding.  (Albert Einstein)



Saturday, June 18, 2022

An Interesting Book of Spiritual Fiction, Part 3

      Here are a couple more interesting quotes from the book, The Forty Rules of Love, by Elif Shafak.  Enjoy!

East, west, south, or north makes little difference.  No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within.  If you travel within, you'll travel the whole wide world and beyond.


Patience does not mean to passively endure.  It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end result of a process.  What does patience mean?  It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn.  Impatience means to be so shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome.  The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full. 

Saturday, June 11, 2022

An Interesting Book of Spiritual Fiction, Part 2

      Last week I was discussing Elif Shafak's brave book, The Forty Rules of Love.  It was an interesting exploration of spiritual intimacy in two stories, one set in the thirteen century featuring Shams and Rumi, and the second one set in modern times with a timid housewife and an aspiring author who happened to have penned the first story.  

     If you are wavering as to whether to explore this book yourself, I'll offer some juicy tidbits:

"Intellect and love are made of different materials," he said.  "Intellect ties people in knots and risks nothing, but love dissolves all tangles and risks everything.  Intellect is always cautious and advises, 'Beware too much ecstasy,' whereas love says, 'Oh, never mind!  Take the plunge!'  Intellect does not easily break down, whereas love can effortlessly reduce itself to rubble.  But treasures are hidden among ruins.  A broken heart hides treasures."

"Loneliness and solitude are two different things.  When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path.  Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely.  But eventually it is best to find a person, the person who will be your mirror.  Remember, only in another person's heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you." 

Saturday, June 4, 2022

An Interesting Book of Spiritual Fiction

      A while ago I finished a most interesting book, The Forty Rules of Love, by Elif Shafak.  I must say it was a brave book by a brave writer because it tackles the relationship of Shams and Rumi while at the same time examining whether a man and woman in modern times can have a similar spiritual intimacy.

     The story flip-flops between two stories.  The first is the thirteenth century story of Shams' calling to act as a spiritual catalyst in Rumi's life, their eventual meeting and how it turned Rumi's life upside down, to Shams' death and Rumi's grief.  The second story involves a modern housewife and mother whose marriage has grown stale, her children nearly grown and needing her less and less, and her increasing involvement with an author of the first tale, The Forty Rules of Love.  

     I wish I could say that I found the story of Shams and Rumi as portrayed here to be believable, but sometimes I felt like it had too much 21st century sensibilities creeping into the story.  The second story was somewhat more believable, although I'm not sure the ending really rang true.  It's a little hard to understand how a timid housewife would suddenly cast herself into a whole new life so suddenly like that.  Still, the stories were fascinating and stuck with me for quite a while.

     I think that the whole genre of spiritual fiction needs to grow as it explores eternal themes in a fictional setting.  The author, Ms. Shafak, should be commended for taking the leap and daring to plumb the depths of spiritual exploration.