Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,Such shaping fantasies, that apprehendMore than cool reason ever comprehends.The lunatic, the lover and the poetAre of imagination all compact:One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,Sees Helen's beauty in a brow of Egypt:The poet's eye, in fine frenzy rolling,Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;And as imagination bodies forthThe forms of things unknown, the poet's penTurns them to shapes and gives to airy nothingA local habitation and a name.
The lesson we are indebted to Egypt for, our future generations learned that in the face of oppression silence is never golden.
But in the desert, in the pure clean atmosphere, in the silence – there you can find yourself. And unless you begin to know yourself, how can you even begin to search for God?
The Weight of One FeatherGiven.Many fear deathBecause they alreadyFeel ridden with sin,But no man on this earthIs filled with only white lightWithin.Have more faithIn our Maker,For our souls and mindsWere created by Him.Just remember that,When your deedsAre measuredBy the scale – The good sideMust outweighThe bad,And your heartMust be as lightAs a featherTo win.
In Egypt: Under no conditions, under threat of death could anyone kill a cat. People were exceuted for even killing a cat accidentally. And when a cat died, the whole family, and probably their closest friends, went into mourning, the measure of their personal loss signalled by their shaving off their eyebrows.
But not all Gaza residents were committed to the war. A reporter asked one of the Arabs what he most wanted. He was a taxi driver, father of ten. All he wanted was 'to eat and to work.' What did he think of Nasser? 'Nasser is good, Israel is good, America is good, Britain is good, Canada is good, India is good, Anything is good.
If asked which words one associated with the Sahara, only the most dedicated surrealist might be expected to offer whale.
Anubis is associated with the mummification and protection of the dead for their journeys through Denver International Airport to the afterlife. He is usually portrayed as being half human and half jackal, and holding a metal detector in his hand ... Anubis is employed by the Department of Homeland Security to examine the hearts of all travellers to make sure they have not exceeded the weight limit for psychological baggage ... He is also shown frisking mummies and confiscating firearms and other contraband. It doesn't take much to tip the scales in favour of a dead body cavity search or an afterlifetime travel ban.
Women often find great roles in revolution, simply because the rules fall apart and everyone has agency, anyone can act. As they did in Egypt, where liberty leading the masses was an earnest young woman in a black hijab.
I tried to close my ears to the strange worshipful chanting and fix my mind on God, but the Egyptians’ idolatry weighed down my weary shoulders and brought tears to my closed eyes.
Historians are lenient to those who succeed and stern to those who fail; in this, and this alone, they display strong political sense.
WHO AM I?I have seven heavenly panelsLeading up to a pointed sphereI’m multidimensional like a crystalAnd my center is never clear.I’m an inventor and pioneer.A mentor to my peers.But I'm not as sound as my shell reveals,Because I’m tormented by my fears -That may appear to be groundedBut my insides are filled with tears.And the sadness is well-founded,From years and yearsOf traumatic experiencesCompoundedIn the most dementedAtmospheres.I talk but feel like nobody hears.Has reason disappeared?And, God, are you near?This is Giza’s 7th light forceAnd I'm asking you to interfere.I can no longer walk amongst the blind and deadWith open eyes and ears.I’m trying to maintain my sanityAnd to straighten up my veneerAs I roll amongst the growing calamitiesFlowing on Earth’s severely trashedFrontier.Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun (2010)
We are often given pills or fluids to help remedy illness, yet little has been taught to us about the power of smell to do the exact same thing. It is known that the scent of fresh rosemary increases memory, but this cure for memory loss is not divulged by doctors to help the elderly. I also know that the most effective use of the blue lotus flower is not from its dilution with wine or tea – but from its scent. To really maximize the positive effects of the blue lily (or the pink lotus), it must be sniffed within minutes of plucking. This is why it is frequently shown being sniffed by my ancient ancestors on the walls of temples and on papyrus. Even countries across the Orient share the same imagery. The sacred lotus not only creates a relaxing sensation of euphoria, and increases vibrations of the heart, but also triggers genetic memory - and good memory with an awakened heart ushers wisdom.
Book Excerpt:What about your family, Abu Huwa? Are you an orphan?” the little girl very innocently asked the Sphinx.“My father and your father are one and the same. However, I do have a brother who has stood as my mirror throughout time on the opposite horizon. It is I who faces east, but it is he who faces west. I am the recorder of yesterday and he holds the records of tomorrow. I am the positive, and he is my negative. I carry the right eye of the sun and he carries the left eye of the moon. He keeps his eye on the underworld and I keep an eye on the world over. Together we have joined the sky and earth, and split fire and water.”Seham stood on all toes to peek over the Sphinx's shoulder for a sign of his brother. “Where is he?” she asked, her eyes still searching the open horizon.“He has yet to be uncovered, but as I stand above the sands of time, he still sleeps below. Before the descent of Adam, we have both stood as loyal Protectors of the Two Halls of Truth.”The girl asked in astonishment, “I've never heard of these halls, Abu Huwa. Where are they?”“At the end of each of our tails is a passage that will reveal to you the secrets of Time. One hall reflects a thousand truths, and the other hall reflects all that is untrue. One will speak to your heart, and the other will speak to your mind. This is why you need to use both your heart and mind to understand which one is real, and which is a distorted illusion created to misguide those that have neglected their conscience. Both passageways connect you to the Great Hall of Records.”“What is the Hall of Records?”“The Great Pyramid, my child. It is as multidimensional in its shape as it is in its purpose. Every layer and every brick marks the coming of a prophet, the ascension of evil, or another cycle of man. It contains the entire history and future of mankind. And, as is above, so is below. Above ground, it serves as the most powerful energy source to harmonize and power the world! The shape of the pyramid above ground is also the same image mirrored beneath it. Underground, it serves as a powerful well and drain. This is really why Egypt is called the Land of Two Lands. There exists a huge world of its own underneath the plateau, a world within worlds. Large amounts of gold, copper and mercury were once housed here, including the secrets of Time, the 100th name of He Who Is All, and a gift from Truth that still awaits to be discovered. It sleeps with Time in the Great Pyramid, hidden away in a lower shaft that leads to the stars.”Dialogue from 'The Little Girl and the Sphinx' by Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun (Dar-El Shams, 2010)
Robert explained how much simpler it was to pay money for things than to exchange them as the people were doing in the market. Later on the soldier gave the coins to his captain, who, later still, showed them to Pharaoh, who of course kept them and was much struck with the idea. That was really how coins first came to be used in Egypt. You will not believe this, I daresay, but really, if you believe the rest of the story, I don't see why you shouldn't believe this as well.
No more light answers. Let our officersHave note what we purpose. I shall breakThe cause of our expedience to the QueenAnd get her leave to part. For not aloneThe death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,Do strongly speak to us, but the letters tooOf many our contriving friends in RomePetition us at home. Sextus PompeiusHath given the dare to Caesar and commandsThe empire of the sea. Our slippery people,Whose love is never linked to the deserverTill his deserts are past, begin to throwPompey the Great and all his dignitiesUpon his son, who - high in name and power,Higher than both in blood and life - stands upFor the main soldier; whose quality, going on,The sides o' th' world may danger. Much is breedingWhich, like the courser's hair, hath yet but lifeAnd not a serpent's poison.
If the Pentateuch be true, religious persecution is a duty. The dungeons of the Inquisition were temples, and the clank of every chain upon the limbs of heresy was music in the ear of God. If the Pentateuch was inspired, every heretic should be destroyed; and every man who advocates a fact inconsistent with the sacred book, should be consumed by sword and flame.In the Old Testament no one is told to reason with a heretic, and not one word is said about relying upon argument, upon education, nor upon intellectual development—nothing except simple brute force. Is there to-day a christian who will say that four thousand years ago, it was the duty of a husband to kill his wife if she differed with him upon the subject of religion? Is there one who will now say that, under such circumstances, the wife ought to have been killed? Why should God be so jealous of the wooden idols of the heathen? Could he not compete with Baal? Was he envious of the success of the Egyptian magicians? Was it not possible for him to make such a convincing display of his power as to silence forever the voice of unbelief? Did this God have to resort to force to make converts? Was he so ignorant of the structure of the human mind as to believe all honest doubt a crime? If he wished to do away with the idolatry of the Canaanites, why did he not appear to them? Why did he not give them the tables of the law? Why did he only make known his will to a few wandering savages in the desert of Sinai? Will some theologian have the kindness to answer these questions? Will some minister, who now believes in religious liberty, and eloquently denounces the intolerance of Catholicism, explain these things; will he tell us why he worships an intolerant God? Is a god who will burn a soul forever in another world, better than a christian who burns the body for a few hours in this? Is there no intellectual liberty in heaven? Do the angels all discuss questions on the same side? Are all the investigators in perdition? Will the penitent thief, winged and crowned, laugh at the honest folks in hell? Will the agony of the damned increase or decrease the happiness of God? Will there be, in the universe, an eternal auto da fe?
The ScribeUnder the wingsOf the feathered Goddess,And in the middleOf the three dancing women,The scribe comes aliveTo reveal mysteries hiddenThrough divine gifts givenThe scribe is drivenOn his sacred missionTo wake upAll the universe'sMen, women andHeavenly children.Under the seven rays of Aten,And from the age of just ten,The scribe comes aliveWith the fertile inkOf his luminous pen.Below the spectacle of the moon,And in the smile of the sun,The scribe is here to show usHow we are all one.
Some Christian lawyers—some eminent and stupid judges—have said and still say, that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of all law.Nothing could be more absurd. Long before these commandments were given there were codes of laws in India and Egypt—laws against murder, perjury, larceny, adultery and fraud. Such laws are as old as human society; as old as the love of life; as old as industry; as the idea of prosperity; as old as human love.All of the Ten Commandments that are good were old; all that were new are foolish. If Jehovah had been civilized he would have left out the commandment about keeping the Sabbath, and in its place would have said: 'Thou shalt not enslave thy fellow-men.' He would have omitted the one about swearing, and said: 'The man shall have but one wife, and the woman but one husband.' He would have left out the one about graven images, and in its stead would have said: 'Thou shalt not wage wars of extermination, and thou shalt not unsheathe the sword except in self-defence.'If Jehovah had been civilized, how much grander the Ten Commandments would have been.All that we call progress—the enfranchisement of man, of labor, the substitution of imprisonment for death, of fine for imprisonment, the destruction of polygamy, the establishing of free speech, of the rights of conscience; in short, all that has tended to the development and civilization of man; all the results of investigation, observation, experience and free thought; all that man has accomplished for the benefit of man since the close of the Dark Ages—has been done in spite of the Old Testament.
I thank Thee that many of my prayers have been refused... I have longed for Egypt and have been given a wilderness.
She comes closer to me. She is beautiful, in the way lightning striking across a storm-swept sky is beautiful: dangerous and distant.
Not one word was said by Moses or Aaron as to the wickedness of depriving a human being of his liberty. Not a word was said in favor of liberty. Not the slightest intimation that a human being was justly entitled to the product of his own labor. Not a word about the cruelty of masters who would destroy even the babes of slave mothers. It seems to me wonderful that this God did not tell the king of Egypt that no nation could enslave another, without also enslaving itself; that it was impossible to put a chain around the limbs of a slave, without putting manacles upon the brain of the master. Why did he not tell him that a nation founded upon slavery could not stand? Instead of declaring these things, instead of appealing to justice, to mercy and to liberty, he resorted to feats of jugglery. Suppose we wished to make a treaty with a barbarous nation, and the president should employ a sleight-of-hand performer as envoy extraordinary, and instruct him, that when he came into the presence of the savage monarch, he should cast down an umbrella or a walking stick, which would change into a lizard or a turtle; what would we think? Would we not regard such a performance as beneath the dignity even of a president? And what would be our feelings if the savage king sent for his sorcerers and had them perform the same feat? If such things would appear puerile and foolish in the president of a great republic, what shall be said when they were resorted to by the creator of all worlds? How small, how contemptible such a God appears!
The desert shatters the soul's arrogance and leaves body and soul crying out in thirst and hunger. In the desert we trust God or die.
Wars have been waged over millions of square miles, significantly larger than the British Empire at its peak. Historically, Islamic conquests stretched from southern France to the Philippines, from Austria to Nigeria, and from central Asia to New Guinea. The Muslim goal was to have a central government, first at Damascus, and then at Baghdad, later at Cairo, Istanbul, and other imperial centres. The local governors, judges, and other rulers were appointed by the central imperial authorities for far off colonies. Islamic law was introduced as the senior law, whether or not wanted by the local people. Arabic was introduced as the rulers’ language, while the local languages frequently disappeared. Then, two classes of residents were established. The native residents paid a tax that their rulers did not have to pay. In each case, these laws allowed the local conquered people less freedom than was given to Muslims.
Crossing the meadow, he came again to the mouth of the cave where he had stood so undecided only the twilight before. Knowing what he would find, he yet wanted the final confirmation. Pushing the evergreen branches aside from the smooth rock on the right side of the opening he found, deeply carved in the rock, an Ankh, Egyptian symbol of ever-lasting life, made possible only by the union of male and female. Partly covered by lichens, weather-worn by centuries of storm, it remained as he had seen it in his first dream. It was the first cross, and on it, generation by generation, humanity had crucified itself in order that future generations might live.(The God Wheel)
It became clear to her that all men, however respectable in appearance and however elevated their position in society, were utter weaklings in front of a beautiful woman. - The Yacoubian Building, p. 42
God hardening Pharaoh’s heart causes the world to fear God and not think they can sin to the point at which they want to repent.
The automatism of man is overcome, in the words of Dhun'Nun, by aiming for 'being as you were, where you were, before you were'.
It is worthless and senseless to seek help in Egypt, because true help comes only from theLord, Who created heaven and earth.
As to the 'Left' I'll say briefly why this was the finish for me. Here is American society, attacked under open skies in broad daylight by the most reactionary and vicious force in the contemporary world, a force which treats Afghans and Algerians and Egyptians far worse than it has yet been able to treat us. The vaunted CIA and FBI are asleep, at best. The working-class heroes move, without orders and at risk to their lives, to fill the moral and political vacuum. The moral idiots, meanwhile, like Falwell and Robertson and Rabbi Lapin, announce that this clerical aggression is a punishment for our secularism. And the governments of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, hitherto considered allies on our 'national security' calculus, prove to be the most friendly to the Taliban and Al Qaeda.Here was a time for the Left to demand a top-to-bottom house-cleaning of the state and of our covert alliances, a full inquiry into the origins of the defeat, and a resolute declaration in favor of a fight to the end for secular and humanist values: a fight which would make friends of the democratic and secular forces in the Muslim world. And instead, the near-majority of 'Left' intellectuals started sounding like Falwell, and bleating that the main problem was Bush's legitimacy. So I don't even muster a hollow laugh when this pathetic faction says that I, and not they, are in bed with the forces of reaction.
Given the religious nature of the Middle Eastern culture, how might a Middle Eastern democracy [be] structured? Will there be three or four branches of government? Should a religious branch be added to the executive, legislative and judicial branches to ensure that Islamic beliefs and law are followed? A simple answer might be yes, but that is probably not the best means. Ideally, the legislative, executive and judicial bodies should all take Islamic beliefs into consideration when carrying out their duties. As such, there should be no need for a separate religious branch. However, to codify the major tenets of the Islamic faith, they should be represented in the constitution or similar document. This does not mean a theocracy will be established, rather it means that a democracy will be established built upon Islamic beliefs.
How could you determine a man's intention if you didn't speak his language or share his beliefs? She'd happily embarked on a study of ancient Egyptian religion but had no curiosity about Islam, which seemed an amalgam of oddities and borrowings. She felt with conviction what she'd written home more than once--that Egypt would be an exquisite country if not for the Egyptians who lived there.
At the beginning, I thought the best Islamic work was in Spain - the mosque in Cordoba, the Alhambra in Granada. But as I learned more, my ideas shifted. I traveled to Egypt, and to the Middle East many times.I found the most wonderful examples of Islamic work in Cairo, it turns out. I'd visited mosques there before, but I didn't see them with the same eye as I did this time. They truly said something to me about Islamic architecture.