Archive | June 18, 2011

A Star Disappears into a Void

A Star Disappears into a Void

By Hwaa Irfan

‘A powerful cosmic blast as black hole shreds star’ reads the BBC headline –  a dramatic description that may only be conceivable if one has watched many Sci-Fi movies. An event that took place the day after the longest total lunar eclipse since July 16 2000, was described as a “…burst is still visible by telescope more than two-and-a-half months later..” sending a flash of radiation towards Earth.

The nature of the event has led to the belief that it is the result of a black hole swallowing a star, occurring one in every 1 hundred million years in any one galaxy.

From Something to Nothingness

The feeling of going from a state of something to nothingness might be a common experience/fear right now, as many of us face the results of our endeavours, our self perceptions  –  a shift in paradigm that a few us would rather not happen.

We would not have known of that black hole if it was not for the star. How many aspects of ourselves have we cancelled out of our self perception in order to project a certain image, and how many others have we cancelled out of our world because they do not “fit into” a personal view of the world. When one feels one’s face is smack up against a mirror, unable to breathe unable to see, like the undetectable surface of a black hole – the point of no return.

A black hole has two known elements, the ‘event horizon’, and the ‘singularity.

The Event Horizon

Once that star hit the ‘event horizon’, at which point all light is absorbed it is pretty much like the ‘event horizon’ that we are hitting, at which point we have come to the extremes of a limited way of seeing the world, exploiting the world, and exploiting others and even ourselves – are we reflecting life or are we perpetuating a kind of death?

{It is He, Who brings out the living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living, and Who gives life to the earth after it is dead…} (Ar-Rum 30: 17)

But we have led ourselves to believe that we are the sole means behind the perpetuation of life, yet killing, maiming, suffocating our true identities, our souls, the souls of others and the soul of the earth.

{And among His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors, verily in that there are Signs for those who know} (Ar-Rum 30: 22)

And, yet it is we who ignore the signs, and the diversity by which all life has been created, desiring to make it, desiring to make our ‘ideal selves’ a construct of one single discordant note devoid of harmony.

The Law of 0 = Nothingness = All is Mind/Spirit

Just as a star was taken by a nothingness, life came from The Law of Nothingness says that everything came from the Void. From Him we come, and to Him we return the Qur’an tells us. Cosmology tells us that the beginning of everything and the end of everything is the Void for He is our Alpha and Omega.

 “From the Mystery all came forth. All manifestation is in harmony with that sacred Law; nothing is outside of it”! – Cherokee

The First Law of Thermodynamics, states:

“Energy cannot by itself be created nor destroyed. Energy may be changed from one form into another, but the total amount remains unchanged.”

{Surely We have created everything according to a measure} (Al Qamar 54: 49)

Albert Einstein demonstrated that matter is but another form of energy as represented in the famous equation E =MC². If all energy came from the Void, and all matter is energy transformed then we are energy transformed in part to matter. Spirit, thought, mental activity, and emotions are but forms of energy before being transformed to negative or positive energy – after all we have a choice!

When we believe we have no reason to rise above our situation, we become enslaved to that situation because for us at that moment, that situation is our god. It directs and influences our thoughts and emotions, under the illusion that we are in full control.

Attention + Intention = Manifestation

If a black hole can be used as a symbol of our negativity, then we are being sucked in by the attention we give to it. In real terms, the greater a black hole is the more space it takes up in our lives.

How much of our negativity takes over our lives?

Believing it to be normal, as we approach the ‘event horizon’ what we perceive from afar becomes distorted due to the refraction of light. As we get closer to the ‘event horizon’ our bodies seem quite normal being carried away by the weightlessness of the approach, until we hit the ‘event horizon’. We panic and do everything possible to avoid the point where all definitions we have given ourselves and the world in which we live become quite meaningless. Like quicksand we do not realize that the harder we fight against the inevitable, the more likely the inevitable will happen, and because of that struggle, the impact is worse.

The Singularity

Both the ‘event horizon’ and the ‘singularity’ appears to be horn shaped – the same but different.  As matter goes through the ‘event horizon’ it is crushed. The experience of matter is unavoidable, as we have given it too much credit in our lives, and so it is within the ‘event horizon’. Matter is dematerialized leaving us with what we came into this Life school with – unadulterated energy – our original purpose for being – the singularity. We tap into this energy when we pray or meditate. Prophet Muhammed (SAW) struggled with the ignorance of the town in which he lived, an often escaped to the desert to meditate in a cave.

The process of meditation is a process of connecting with the Nothingness, of letting go of thoughts, expectations, and challenges  that invade the mind. One arrives at the point of complete silence, by which one can listen to one’s spirit, and connect with the Creator. In that Nothingness, comes the Truth, that we are all one in Him, and life is more than what we have limited our lives to. We discover what we have and can be grateful for, and we open inner lines of communication to a more wholesome self because then we would have accessed our subconscious mind where our will aligns with His Will, and the Laws of Nature. As Muslims, we are given the opportunity to do this at least 5 times a day in a state of submission(Islam)/prayer where we can open ourselves to the power of gratefulness to Him. Our mind becomes more in line with our spirit, and with the collective consciousness because we would have flowed with the pattern:

We may care not for the chaos that has manifested around us, but by our very negligence out lack of attention has allowed the intentions of others to lead us to the chaos in our lives, but in that singularity, competition fades away, the image we feel obliged to project fade away, the illusions we have fallen for have all fallen away.

At the point of singularity/unity/tawhid we are given the chance to rise to our higher selves, to see all truths as one, and to recognize our own truth. That truth cannot be recognized with the mind-set that was active before we approached the ‘event horizon’, our personal truth, and the greater Truth can only be recognized at and after the point of singularity/unity/tawhid . Can you imagine seeing the same things with the same level of clearness with the same glasses when in fact one needs a new pair of glasses!

Take a look at the black holes of one’s life and see if you can identify to what extent it suck you in and leaves little energy!

The 900 British soldiers who applied for the redundancy must have hit their ‘event horizon’, said one anonymous officer to the BBC:

“People are seeing the writing on the wall and are saying it’s time to go,”

Take another look, and see how many of those you saw through until its purpose fell into place!

Sources:

“A Powerful Cosmic Blast As Black Hole Shreds Star” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13783877

“Black Holes.”http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l2/black_holes.html

“Surge In Applications For Redundancy In The Army.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-13819270

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Heavenly Signs: Longest Full Moon Lunar Eclipse 2011

Geomagnetic Storms in the Dancing Sky

Heavenly Signs: The Soul of Our Sun

The Winds of S’afar

Heavenly Signs: New Moon Solar Eclipse 2011

Heavenly Signs: First Solar Eclipse 2011

The Largest Full Moon of 2011!

The Seasons of Our Lives

A Solar Radio Storm Going On…

Heavenly Signs: Saturn and New Moon

Heavenly Signs: Dance of the Planets

The Patterns of Our Lives

The Patterns of Our Lives Pt. II

The Law of Three: Concealment and Attraction

Messing with a Black Man’s Hair!

Messing with a Black Man’s Hair!

By Hwaa Irfan

 

Messing with a black person’s mind has been a long past time activity of racism, whether intentionally or unintentionally, which has left many African-Americans doing everything to make their hair look ‘white’ as the expression goes. For those African’s of the Diaspora who are proud of who they are, the hair stands as a symbol of that pride. So when a school, St Gregory’s Catholic Science College, U.K. refused  an 11- year old boy a place because he his hair was in corn/canerow, it is a bit difficult to say they were not being racists.

From the point of view of the school multiculturalism is about reducing differences in appearance, but to do that there has to be a standard, and then the question is whose standard, and whether that standard is culturally biased.

For an African descendent of the Diaspora, living in the fast mainstream of life while respecting what one is means caring for one’s hair in a practical manner. Cornrow is practical because it takes care of the hair, when one does not have the time. Most urban areas dehydrate the hair, and black hair demands time. It is nothing to be ashamed of despite the insecurity of others, yet the incident at St Gregory’s Catholic Science College has called in the comment of Rob Berkley, director of the race equality think-tank the Runnymede Trust. Berkley commented to the BBC:

“This isn’t an outrageous hairstyle”

“It makes clear that non-religious cultural and family practices associated with a particular race fall within the protection of equalities legislation.”

But to be honest, from the time what women choose to wear (i.e. the hijab), the whole argument became ridiculous.

“Can African women or women of African descent ever be truly liberated if they never learn to love their hair as it grows out of their head?” – H. Nanjala Nyabola.

Cultural Oppression

The ‘white ideal’ through the tool of mass media, has made many peoples of colour around the world, do everything possible to look white. When one sees beautiful Arab T.V. presenters bleach their hairs blonde, yet claim to represent their people, one knows that there is seriously something wrong. The type of internalized racism that makes a person of African descent feel ashamed of their hair, is symbolic of their relationship to the world. The extent to which racism has been socialized, and the extent to which black women, and some men will ‘whiten’ their hair to only goes against the Laws of Nature, which means it is rejection of what our Creator has given, but involved a consistent habitual practice that inputs made-made chemicals into the body via the scalp. To risk permanent damage to the scalp, and baldness to look the way nature did not intend is the nature of the dominant culture, and a betrayal of the self.

The first hair relaxer was discovered by a former slave, Garrett Augustus Morgan who happened to invent the automatic traffic signal, and the gas mask. How ironic, two symbols of acceptance or rejection at a time more than any other, when African Americans were born into a world that rejected them – the automatic traffic signal – a systemized method of to go or to stop, to be or not to be – the gas mask, a struggle to breathe to inhale and exhale without compromise; and to chemically relax the hair weakens the hair, but before that, one has become weakened enough to want to betray the self.

Though extensive studies have been done, only one unbiased study told the truth on the effects of sodium hydroxide, the key ingredient to chemical relaxers. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), reported cases of cancer of the esophagus 15 – 40 years after exposure to sodium hydroxide though the direct cause could not be ascertained. One of the means projected is through inhalation, Morgan never thought of that when he invented the gas mask.

Yet, regardless of all the tales, and the reports, far too many descendents of the African Diaspora will do anything to take the nature out of their hair. Admittedly natural black hair care does take time, and it is more convenient to not  go natural, but that is the nature of the culture of the system that lacks appreciation of anything other than that which affirms it!

By nor being proud of who one is, attracts criticism, taunts, bullying, one falls prey to a culture of abuse, to a social tyranny that is ever so polite at erasing existence of the other. It unfolds as a form of censorship, saying that one can only belong to a club if one has a certain dress code, a certain discourse, and a certain perception of what constitutes as real for the club. By the time the St. Greogory school case was tried in High Court, the African-Caribbean boy was 13 years old when the incident took place when he was 11. In that time, enough bad feelings were allowed to accumulate within the boy. The school had not simply rejected his natural hairstyle, they had rejected him. To be rejected in a life changing situation, in this case one’s education can have a devastating effect.

This pressure to conform to something that demands negation of one’s self is advertised everyday on American sitcoms. It is great to find ‘actors’ with a wide range of ethnicities in a sitcom, but when they act in exactly the same manner, with the same body language, and the same intonations one knows that there is something seriously wrong, why everyone wants to behave the same, saying the same things, having the same interests – that is one boring song which belies the culture of silence that composed it. It wreaks vengeance on the soul, lulling it to sleep, to the extent that there is a splitting off of consciousness. When that culture of silence runs throughout one’s own people, the avenues to process life’s challenges becomes closed off, level of empathy dwindles, so does compassion, one either becomes subdued if the experience is internalized, or loud and aggressive if externalized, but either way the feeling of apathy is strong/sets out to prove one’s self in a manner that is not according to ones true nature.  This is in fact truer today than 10 years ago for example to the extent that two black strangers on meeting each other in an alien environment will have many questions going on in their heads today, whereas once before there would no hesitation to greet each other.

The cultural oppressor views their position as an entitlement that gives them a right over everyone who is not them. They have held this position for so long, that they do not see what is so wrong about it. To ensure that position without seeming to offend particular features of another person’s culture are picked upon for a political agenda encapsulated and labelled as a threat of some type to social order. Once stigmatized, through a process of branding, the battle is won. With a sense of legitimacy St. Gregory school desires that all their pupils regard each other as equal, and not distinct groups, which questions their notion of equal. In the light of God, we are all the same, yet God created enough diversity in nature, that we do not see in life the harmony.

Cultural imperialism is a means of maintaining the upper hand in the face of insecurity, the kind of insecurity that needs to be affirmed continuously to the extent that no matter how trivial the situation, a challenge is like a threat. The threat is one of perception rather than real, but in the mind of the cultural imperialist it is a real threat that must be put down because they fear difference.

For a black person who has suffered generations from the fallout of being different it comes down to much more than messing with a black man’s hair, but it is the hair that stands as an every second reminder for their is a lot of heart and soul is in that hair.

Sources:

“Cons of Chemical Relaxers for African-Americans.” http://www.ehow.com/list_6659204_cons-chemical-relaxers-african_americans.html

Singleton, J. “Chemical Relaxers: The Facts Might Not Be So Relaxing.” http://www.thedefendersonline.com/2009/12/18/chemical-relaxers-the-facts-might-not-be-so-relaxing/

“St Gregory’s College Cornrows Rule Discriminated.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-13803106

Related Topics:

Stepping Back to Afrika!

Beating the Drums of Resistance

Ordinary Women Doing the Impossible