spiritual

My wings if I were a butterfly
Added: Tuesday, 20 October 2009

watch original V-Blog in Persian

In his four part history of the Baha’i Faith, “Baha’u’llah’s Revelation”, Adib Taherzadeh makes an excursion into the marvelous world of butterflies. For me, his account of the process of metamorphosis is one of those buoys I can hold on to when waters get rough.

Taherzadeh explains that caterpillars are wrapped so tightly in their silk cocoons, that they’re forced to exert an unimaginable amount of energy to break free in the process of becoming a butterfly. They literally push and kick and beat about their frail little legs. It’s a heart-wrenching process to witness. Imagine watching a loved one wrapped tightly in sheet of silk, struggling to get out. What would you do? Wouldn’t you want to grab a knife and tear the thing open? I’ve wanted to help many a loved one out in that way.

Well that’s just what a handful of scientists did. They took a bunch of caterpillars and basically sliced their cocoons open in an effort to ease their transition into butterfly-hood. But the result was dismal. All the butterflies emerged weak, limp and on top of that pretty ugly too. They barely had any designs on their wings. As it turned out, the process of struggling, of beating about their insect-limbs, of suffering through what it was they had to get through, actually built the strength and character of those little beauties. And the tighter and tougher the silk mummy had been, the more beautiful the design on the butterfly’s wings turned out. There was a direct correlation between the scale of struggling the insects went through and their level of physical refinement.

*

The older I get, the more acutely aware I am of my own shortcomings and those of the people around me. We are all imperfect and we don’t always know how to respond to the cocoon that is the life we’re in. Each one of us faces a unique set of circumstances and we wonder how to maximize the time that we have here. In all that we do, we try, we make mistakes, we regret, we try again, we make headway, we fall back again, we try again. We ask ourselves what is right and what is wrong? We look across to a loved one and wonder how we can ease their enigmatic struggle…

But perhaps, as long as we’re trying - that is in itself the right response.

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14 January 2008

The Prayer

A girl goes out to the forest to prepare herself for a prayer session.

CREDITS:
Written, Directed & Photographed by Karlos Alastruey
Music & Sound: Javier El Busto

CAST:
Girl: Aintzane Alastruey
Woman: Maria Marchena
Boy: Unai Alastruey
Director's Assistant: Maria Marchena



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Exercising the bird in the cage
Added: Tuesday, 24 April 2007

watch original V-Blog in Persian

Here's a poem:

AT THE START OF THE DAY
At sunrise thirty young people ran out into a clearing,
they fanned out, their faces turned towards the sun,
and began to bend down, to drop to their knees, to bow,
to lie flat on their faces, to stretch out their arms,
to lift up their hands, and then to drop back on their knees again.
From a distance you might have thought they were praying
In this age no-one is surprised if people cherish their
bodies patiently and attentively every day of their lives
But they would be jeered at if they paid the same regard for their souls.
No these people are not praying.
They are doing their morning exercises.
- by Alexander Solzhenytsin

In one of my earlier vlogs I spoke about how in the Persian language the human body is likened unto a cage. If it is a cage, would you say it's wise to spend all the time that we do attending to our cage? Making sure it's nice and strong and sturdy? Polishing the bars and adding extra stability to it? Wouldn't it be wiser to attend to the bird inside the cage? Make sure it survives and even flourishes in its cage for the time it's in there? Exercise the bird rather than the cage?

A simple question to think about before we head off to the gym tomorrow morning! :-)

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