Saturday, 21 February 2015

The rose of Paracelsus


By Jorge Luis Borges

DOWN in his laboratory, to which the two rooms of the cellar had been given over, Paracelsus prayed to his God, his indeterminate God - any God - to send him a disciple.
Night was coming on. The guttering fire in the hearth threw irregular shadows into the room. Getting up to light the iron lamp was too much trouble. Paracelsus, weary from the day, grew absent, and the prayer was forgotten. Night had expunged the dusty retorts and the furnace when there came a knock at his door. Sleepily he got up, climbed the short spiral staircase, and opened one side of the double door. A stranger stepped inside. He too was very tired. Paracelsus gestured toward a bench; the other man sat down and waited. For a while, neither spoke.
The master was the first to speak.
"I recall faces from the West and faces from the East," he said, not without a certain formality, "yet yours I do not recall. Who are you, and what do you wish of me?"
"My name is of small concern," the other man replied. "I have journeyed three days and three nights to come into your house. I wish to become your disciple. I bring you all my possessions."
He brought forth a pouch and emptied its contents on the table. The coins were many, and they were of gold. He did this with his right hand. Paracelsus turned his back to light the lamp; when he turned around again, he saw that the man’s left hand held a rose. The rose troubled him.
He leaned back, put the tips of his fingers together, and said:
"You think that I am capable of extracting the stone that turns all elements to gold, and yet you bring me gold. But it is not gold I seek, and if it is gold that interests you, you shall never be my disciple."
"Gold is of no interest to me," the other man replied. "These coins merely symbolize my desire to join you in your work. I want you to teach me the Art. I want to walk beside you on that path that leads to the Stone."
"The path is the Stone. The point of departure is the Stone. If these words are unclear to you, you have not yet begun to understand. Every step you take is the goal you seek." Paracelsus spoke the words slowly.
The other man looked at him with misgiving.
"But," he said, his voice changed, "is there, then, no goal?" Paracelsus laughed.
"My detractors, who are no less numerous than imbecilic, say that there is not, and they call me an impostor. I believe they are mistaken, though it is possible that I am deluded. I know that there is a Path." There was silence, and then the other man spoke.
"I am ready to walk that Path with you, even if we must walk for many years. Allow me to cross the desert. Allow me to glimpse, even from afar, the Promised Land, though the stars prevent me from setting foot upon it. All I ask is a proof before we begin the journey." "When?" said Paracelsus uneasily.
"Now," said the disciple with brusque decisiveness.
They had begun their discourse in Latin; they now were speaking German.
The young man raised the rose into the air.
"You are famed," he said, "for being able to burn a rose to ashes and make it emerge again, by the magic of your art. Let me witness that prodigy. I ask that of you, and in return I will offer up my entire life."
"You are credulous," the master said. "I have no need of credulity; I demand belief."
The other man persisted.
"It is precisely because I am not credulous that I wish to see with my own eyes the annihilation and resurrection of the rose." "You are credulous," he repeated. "You say that I can destroy it?" "Any man has the power to destroy it," said the disciple.
"You are wrong," the master responded. "Do you truly believe that something may be turned to nothing? Do you believe that the first Adam in paradise was able to destroy a single flower, a single blade of grass?"
"We are not in paradise," the young man stubbornly replied. "Here, in the sublunary world, all things are mortal." Paracelsus had risen to his feet.
"Where are we, then, if not in paradise?" he asked. "Do you believe that the deity is able to create a place that is not paradise? Do you believe that the Fall is something other than not realizing that we are in paradise?"
"A rose can be burned," the disciple said defiantly.
"There is still some fire there," said Paracelsus, pointing toward the hearth. "If you cast this rose into the embers, you would believe that it has been consumed, and that its ashes are real. I tell you that the rose is eternal, and that only its appearances may change. At a word from me, you would see it again."
"A word?" the disciple asked, puzzled. "The furnace is cold, and the retorts are covered with dust. What is it you would do to bring it back again?" Paracelsus looked at him with sadness in his eyes.
"The furnace is cold," he nodded, "and the retorts are covered with dust. On this leg of my long journey I use other instruments."
"I dare not ask what they are," said the other man humbly, or astutely.
"I am speaking of that instrument used by the deity to create the heavens and the earth and the invisible paradise in which we exist, but which original sin hides from us. I am speaking of the Word, which is taught to us by the science of the Kabbalah."
"I ask you," the disciple coldly said, "if you might be so kind as to show me the disappearance and appearance of the rose. It matters not the slightest to me whether you work with alembics or with the Word."
Paracelsus studied for a moment; then he spoke: "If I did what you ask, you would say that it was an appearance cast by magic upon your eyes. The miracle would not bring you the belief you seek. Put aside, then, the rose."
The young man looked at him, still suspicious. Then Paracelsus raised his voice.
"And besides, who are you to come into the house of a master and demand a miracle of him? What have you done to deserve such a gift?" The other man, trembling, replied:
"I know I have done nothing. It is for the sake of the many years I will study in your shadow that I ask it of you - allow me to see the ashes and then the rose. I will ask nothing more. I will believe the witness of my eyes."
He snatched up the incarnate and incarnadine rose that Paracelsus had left lying on the table, and he threw it into the flames. Its color vanished, and all that remained was a pinch of ash. For one infinite moment, he awaited the words, and the miracle.
Paracelsus sat unmoving. He said with strange simplicity: "All the physicians and all the pharmacists in Basel say I am a fraud.
Perhaps they are right. There are the ashes that were the rose, and that shall be the rose no more." The young man was ashamed. Paracelsus was a charlatan, or a mere visionary, and he, an intruder, had come through his door and forced him now to confess that his famed magic arts were false.
He knelt before the master and said: "What I have done is unpardonable. I have lacked belief, which the Lord demands of all the faithful. Let me, then, continue to see ashes.
I will come back again when I am stronger, and I will be your disciple, and at the end of the Path I will see the rose." He spoke with genuine passion, but that passion was the pity he felt for the aged master - so venerated, so inveighed against, so renowned, and therefore so hollow. Who was he, Johannes Grisebach, to discover with sacrilegious hand that behind the mask was no one?
Leaving the gold coins would be an act of almsgiving to the poor. He picked them up again as he went out. Paracelsus accompanied him to the foot of the staircase and told him he would always be welcome in that house. Both men knew they would never see each other again.

Paracelsus was then alone. Before putting out the lamp and returning to his weary chair, he poured the delicate fistful of ashes from one hand into the concave other, and he whispered a single word. The rose appeared again.

One choice



Long time ago the Assyrian King wanted to find a husband for his daughter. So he told her to wait in the balcony of a very high tower, and whoever could reach her would have the princess as wife. Many tried, but the way up seems to be treacherous. Sharp thorns, slippery walls, arrow heads, the tower seems to be impossible to climb. Until one day when the Prince of Baghdad was passing by. And when he looked up, he suddenly felt lost in the deepness of the princess green’s eyes. And he felt in love. He was not a warrior by nature, nor did he have the strength to climb. But he was in love, and he was trained by the last Old Mage of the past. So when he felt the calling of her beauty, he magically flied to the balcony, and the lived happily ever after.

Friday, 20 February 2015

To infinity and beyond


I remember now as if it was yesterday. How each of us managed to see a glimpse into the other’s soul. We understand like not many can. I don’t know why. I close my eyes and I smile. Even at this moment, when she’s having a husband for more than 7 years, and I have a wife…


Passing each other on the street, we just look and our eyes can talk in between them. We laugh in our mind, as we just shared some thoughts known only by us. Nothing changed. We can talk for one day and one night, continuing a discussion that took place 2 years ago. What I could add? In everyone life are people, bound to us by invisible chains, and our relation with them is not affected by time, prejudice or society.  A warm feeling is sent by me, to all the people around that make us to feel ourselves. No hiding, no false pretenses.  For friends of a lifetime, or maybe several of lifetimes.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The moon, still unseen in the afternoon.



She looked amazed at the car frozen at less than 5 inches of her. She looked around at all the people that did not move, remained twisted in some strange positions. The time stopped. Everything around her froze and even the sparrows were floating, surreal.

The shock was so great, and she remembered everything. So many lives she practiced magic. So many lives just trying to pursue some personal gain. Failing so many times. And starting all over again. Man or woman, reaching unbelievable powers for those who didn’t know the delicate mechanism of our existence. And the end, always surprising, bringing her once again at the eternal beginning. This time she chooses to forget everything, to be reborn in that little town.  To live an ordinary life, far away of all that my tempt her. And almost succeeded, if not for this stupid car crash. She was seeing the car coming fast toward her, without being able to avoid the impact. And then something improbable happens.

She tried to remember everything and a little detail startled her. Across the street a little girl with curly hair smiled, and in her hand a paper ratchet was whirring, in contrast with the whole frozen world. The girl whispered to her, barely audible:

- Kali*…it’s me!


*Kali = Goddess from Indian pantheon that symbolizes Time

Kaleidoscope


Motto (multiple choices):
Loneliness in two is even worse than loneliness as one.

Loneliness is not a victory over others, but a personal shipwreck. (O.Paler)

I don’t know for whom I write, but I know why I write. I write to justify myself. For whom eyes? I told you already, but I face the ridicule and I say it one more time: for the eyes of the child that once I’ve been. (O.Paler)

You don’t love a woman because is beautiful, she is beautiful because you love her.

Remember that sometime not getting what you want is an incredible luck. (Dalai Lama)

We can live without religion or meditation, but we cannot live without affection. (Dalai Lama)

I want to know God’s thoughts; everything else is just another detail. (Einstein)

Reality is only an illusion, but a very persistent one. (Einstein)

And a final one. Do not believe in miracles, rely on them.
******************************************************************************
                ‘’I've always been shy. Even coward at the times. But this has nothing to do with the story that’s follow.  I never wanted to be special. At one point, age 14, I discovered something that made me unique. I was about to lose myself, but I learn how to hide it, and to not give anyone even the slightest inkling of what I can do. I discovered this by chance, when Zenga, my puppy, stepped in a shard of glass. I grabbed his paw, I wiped the wound and I watch it closing, healing it completely. Back then, I used my ability many times, both on plants and pets, when they had some problems. Never on people. I was afraid on their opinion. On what they might say. I didn't want them to consider that I’m a freak. I didn't want to be in the spotlight.
                That night, however, my intuition gave me no peace. I felt that it was my last chance. We grow together like siblings, from as long I remember. We learn to talk in the same time. We sit near each other in the same bank at school, from first grade until the last year of college. Everyone that knew us was thinking that she is my little sister. Somehow, I understand that at some level she always knew. I couldn't take this back. In the end, this proved to be the right choice. I was ready to leave next day. She would never forgive me if I wouldn't come over to say goodbye.
                One year ago I felt that my extraordinary ability was almost gone. I was just 18. I don’t know how this happen. One day just cease to exist. Completely. I was getting used with my new condition. Even if at the beginning was very hard for me.  But let’s go back to the evening in question.  I've seen him a little worn out. ‘’Tomorrow I’ll leave!’’ he told me. I realized that what I felt before it was been confirmed. ‘’I've won a scholarship, I’m going to America and I’m not thinking to come back. Ever.’’ I feel it hard, for a moment I couldn't breathe. ‘’How long you’ll be still here?’’, I asked almost whispering. ‘’One hour, and after that, my cousin will take me to the airport. I need to be there at 7.20, two hours before the flight begin.’’ I didn’t want to accept this. I hugged him, and felt him close, like I’ll never let him go. We kissed, for the first time. And then my emotions overflow and included everything. I was like a sphere, like some kind of wave going over and over, around the house, street, city, continent, whole planet, universe, universes, infinite. I was slowly regaining control over my body. It was real and in the same time it wasn’t. And he remained watching something beyond the horizon and watching me too. For a millisecond, or maybe even less, I was him and he was me. What experience! And frustration, to understand everything. ‘’How could you? How could you not tell me? Us, we are somehow, the same!’’.
                Tears run down on her cheek. She saw me as I am, and I felt the same thing. If she could, I don’t know what she would do to me. But, exactly like her choice, I didn’t want to tell my secret to anyone. Until now.  ‘’How is your ability?’’ she asked me after she calmed down a bit. ‘’Think to a name.’’ I tell her.
                ‘’Alex!’’ he said my thought loudly. ‘’A cake?’’. I’m thinking and I can hear him saying ‘’Baclava!’’. This must be too easy, we know each other for long time, maybe is time to try something more difficult. ‘’Something more difficult than!’’ he’s laughing, a moment after to whisper in my ear ‘’ On revient toujours au ses premiers amours!’’*. ‘’How are you doing this?’’. ‘’I didn’t understand yet, but seems that I can mirror the others thoughts and feelings. No wonder he was overwhelmed by my little explosion of happiness.
                One day I couldn’t hear any thoughts, I couldn’t feel anyone. I knew that something like this happen to her too, that her power suddenly disappeared completely. At that time I didn’t know how to read the signs that appeared on my Path. I was coming back home, when I’ve seen her waiting for me in the front of my house. ‘’I told you I’ll find you!’’ I heard. And…
                ‘’ ’I told you I’ll find you!’’ I told him, like as long time ago and…
                …and in that moment the everyday world, the houses, the people around me, the sky, America, everything faded away, leaving only that amazing feeling of immersion and completely identification with the other one, of One, without the Two, the complete lack of individuality, of…
                …happiness, I could say. I was feeling loved, adored, appreciated, I was feeling like an ancient deity, a goddess that just stopped for a moment in one of the many worlds that belong to her.’’
                We didn’t tell anyone about this until now but, hearing that you don’t believe anymore that you can find real love in this world and time, we talked between us and decided to share with you our story. The conclusions, you need to reach there by yourself.


* On revient toujours at ses premiers amours – French – We always come back to our first love.

Angel wings



You wished your angel wings,
But the confirmation
That you can fly in faraway worlds
Tonight,
When your eyes are shut,
You cannot have it.

The morning came
And you forget
The language that you spoke
There

In the world you came from.

Letters from my world



In one of my worlds
Everything is wonderful.
My world, the one about I will tell you now
Is a navy blue world.
I am on the beach,
I dip my toes on the
Sand with the shades of indigo.
Emerald green are the eyes of the girl
Who is holding my hand,
I smile in my mind.
I didn't thought that I would find her,
All my hope was lost.
And there she was
On the park bench, expecting.
- You've been here long?
-Forever.
-And how come I didn't see you before?
-Maybe I didn't want to be seen.
In my world I’m free to do whatever I want.
-In my world, I wish I could say the same thing.
-Don’t be silly, your world contains mine,
Thus, in principle, everything is possible
For you.
-Who are you?
-Who would you like me to be?
-I think that you are I.
-And I think that I am you, but how can we prove that?
Her hand in mine, I feel her warmness
And we slowly go away.
I could hear in my mind
Wagner Valkyries.
-Should I tell her who I am

Or wait a little more for the sun to shine?

Memories


It was a hard time of my life. I was living peacefully in Lyon, having anything that I could wish to. A moment later my well paid job, my flat, my car, everything was gone. The very few savings were spent fast. I moved close to Paris, and for days I was asking, when thoughts didn't let me to fall asleep: Why me? Why me?

Until, one day, I met her, and she looked at me with her dark blue eyes, in which I could see the mirror of the sky, and didn't matter that I was living in a cold room, that some days I was buying food for my dog instead of buying something for me or anything else. All that days and nights in which I was just surviving faded away. And all that I knew was that I was in love. Madly.

Everything happen so fast, and right after that I found that I had near me the most beautiful woman, a successful business, my first child, your mother, was just born, and suddenly I discovered that I live the life that I always wanted.

Like all of that was just a trial, a test meant to prepare me to really appreciate my new found life. And so many times I was ready to stop believing. Maybe we don’t know, but some ‘’coincidences’’ are only a part of a whole master-plan that we don’t know it yet. And to finish my story, they live happily ever after.So you, as a teenager, you can’t tell me that all this happen only in the movies…


- Eh, grandpa; said the girl looking far, far away and playing with one of her golden curls. How I wish myself to have a story like yours!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Death of a dream


Motto: Dreams, by their nature, are living beings. They are born, live and die. Some time they grow in us, like a plant, watered by a blue hope, other time they dry because the lack of it.

*
He was waiting in the bus station, when she came, looks at him with her big blue eyes and said:
- In life, sometimes we are defeated. Often this is a bitter lesson, but we need to endure, in order to mature and continue to grow. Sometimes we need the defeats, to remind us that here every moment count, and that we are not immortals, but we behave as if we were.
And then she turn and continued walking, and he watched her moving away, the wind moving playful her blonde pigtails.

**
She saw him, and she felt a strange need to do something to ease his pain. Accessing the archives, she watched everything like in a movie,  the sequence of events that marked him so strongly,  she felt all his suffering,  how he met that girl, first kiss (that didn't count), first break up, how they met again, the perfect evening they spend together, the distress of their separation,  their plans, the feeble attempt to be lovers, the quarrels, the back and forth that was at the order of the day, in a word, all that turmoil that lasted no less than one year and few days.  The moment when he understand that he lost her forever, that between them cannot be anything, how he felt that something broke inside, how his heart suddenly froze, although was not so cold outside. They can’t be together anymore, and even if he will try to, it will be nothing like in the past, when he wanted her to love him, to feel for him what he felt for her. Now it’s much more complicated, because he will never be able to know if he could rekindle that feelings that once so beautifully colored her soul, he would not know if he could feel for her what he felt before.  It’s all over, a dream fell apart, and he could never revive it.
Then she went to him, and felt the need to say those words:
- In life, sometimes we are defeated. Often this is a bitter lesson, but we need to endure, in order to mature and continue to grow. Sometimes we need the defeats, to remind us that here every moment count, and that we are not immortals, but we behave as if we were.

And then she went on, feeling how his gaze followed her, almost burning like fire.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Blue Pearl

Motto: Swami Muktananda says: "One day, after the Blue Pearl has remained steady for a long time, it will expand infinitely, and its light will fill the universe. Then, with intense wonder, you will see that the whole universe is shimmering and scintillating with the Blue Light. You will realize that you yourself are that light, and the feeling of smallness will vanish once and for all".

The children were mesmerized listening to the old illusionist. Nothing special, except that not only the children, but some other guests were listening to the majestic stories, fairies slowly moving their translucent wings, angels that didn’t belong to this world.
-And how can your flying carpet fly, Great Magician?
-The secret of the flying carpet is the Blue Pearl, Your Highness. It is existing in the real world, woven through the magic of the carpet, but in the same time inside of us. When the two pearls become one, the magic carpet can fly using the wings of our soul.
-I want a magic carpet. Where I can find one?
-Every magic carpet is unique, as every human being. You can’t find one, you can only make it especially for you. You can’t own a magic carpet, you can only create one, using the instructions of the Sages of Old.
-Where I can read the instructions?
-You can’t read them, they are only whispered, at the proper time, by one who was initiated in the Sacred Arts. You need to learn how to take and purify the wool and the silk, purifying yourself in the same time. You need to invocate the help of Almighty Archangels, and to become yourself lighter than the air.
-I know that the Air is the higher of the elements. Earth, Water, Fire, Air, right?
-Yes, but besides them is the Void. The Void is a quality of the heart rather than one of the mind. You know The Third Parable, no?
-I know it. In an empty heart is no free space, in a heart full of love is enough space for everyone.
-Good. Once you make your own flying carpet, with your own design, you will need only The Blue Pearl. Once the pearl from outside become one with the pearl from inside you, your magic carpet will fly.
-How can I find it?
-You can’t. The Pearl will find you. But we will talk about this next time we meet.
And after saying that, the old Magician left the room. In the same afternoon the skyline become red as blood. They believed the fire djins from the third secret world would invade Bagdad. The prince waited for him in vain. The Old Mage never returned. Why? Why? The prince was outraged. Didn’t everyone believe that the Old Mage cannot die? And the years passed, now the prince’s magic carpet was ready, only the Blue Pearl missing. The prince becomes an adult, and all this was seen only as memories of a happy childhood, when the impossible was still possible. Nobody flown since, but if we believe what the old trees whispers, the Old Mage is still alive, and the last flying carpet, the one that was unfinished, is the one that we are stand on it. And maybe the little prince is still here, among us, in another body, with another appearance, his flying dream long forgotten.
All children were amazed, sitting still, listening to the end of the illusionist story. They imagine themselves in a previous life, as princes, ready to fly on the last magic carpet.
…it was already evening, everybody else was asleep, only Valentino was looking again and again at the wonderful woven of the Persian carpet from the tent. He sighed and went to his bed. Alone in the world, he decided to accept his destiny. A prayer to his guardian angel muttered, he close his eyes and was almost asleep, when some light out of nowhere disturbed him. He looked at the tiny table from the tent and stop breathing. An oval stone filled the entire space with a warm blue light. And he remembers it all.

The Dragon


One guy goes to psychiatrist and wants to ask one question:
- Sir, every night when I want to get asleep I am visited by a green dragon with two heads and twelve legs, who try to scare me, what that mean and what I need to do to become healthy again?
-Oh, is something very difficult, it will take us probably three years and 6.000 pounds to solve this!

-You know something, instead to offer you this amount of time and money, I think it will be easier for me to befriend the dragon.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Singularity


Motto: When conversation finish, the music begin.

The smell of the Brazilian coffee was still in my nostrils. And my mind wandered far away.  How I met you? I can’t forget, even after 96 years passed away. I still remember the moment when we open the same door of the black cab. I read today that, as an indubitable truth, your fate is to grow old only near the man that somehow lives a story that complements your story. I couldn't agree more. I remember what our first discussion was, you we’re saying that you are waiting for your soul mate, the one that is meant to be with you. I was saying that as potentiality, anyone can be your soul mate, with a little or much more effort. But both need to agree to do this effort, to discover the diamond that is hidden under many layers of coal. And we were talking about us living in our own bubble, each trying to keep the whole world at bay. How that in the end we are like circles that somehow touch each other in one single point. I let you in my world, you let me in yours. Even if this little thing took us at least 5 years. But what was just a flame at the beginning becomes a blazing fire, burning every doubt, every lack of trust, every limitation that we set in our life, even without knowing. And now I’m still here, at our favorite coffee shop, waiting for you. Even if I know that you will never come again. I can’t fight against this power that brought me here day after day. I can’t accept that I lost you. Probably it was my fate to live forever, always young, always alone. If only I could discover the self-repairing Nano-bots one year earlier. If only...

                - Sorry, can you tell me what the time is? I heard a voice on my left.

                - Half past ten, I said, turning around. And there she was, looking at me. My Isabelle.