Tag Archive | art

A Symbol of Hope, Mandiba (Mandela)

A Symbol of Hope, Mandiba (Mandela)  

Many had written his obituary, which doesn’t say much for the current global state that journalists sit and write about the death/life of someone was is not yet dead. After two months in hospital, Mandiba in his impish manner came out with a smile at the beginning of July to let the word know that he is going to have a 95th birthday.

As the singing and dancing ensues, although apartheid a Dutch invention is not quite dead, it is a Dutch design firm reconstructed Mandiba on the side of Table Mountain looking out over Cape Town reminding generations to come how one person gave his life for justice.

Actually, the idea is of a building in the shape of Mandela’s head, which seems to be a bit of contradiction for someone who has always had a mind of his own, and therefore able to think for himself, only compensated for by a full statue of the man at the centre of the building visible  at all levels.

The idea is to have the sculpture serve a purpose, and one that will attract tourists providing a panoramic view. From below the building will appear green, and from above the building will be busy catching its energy source, the sun, making it self sustainable, supplying energy to nearby neighbourhoods,

From below the building will look green by its vegetation façade. While from the sky solar panels catch the sun rays to provide not only the building with sufficient energy, but it should also be able to power nearby neighbourhoods. Passionately, Ramon Knoester architect for WHIM architecture


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Sudan: 35 Ancient Pyramids Discovered*

Sudan: 35 Ancient Pyramids Discovered*



Located in northern Sudan the site of Sedeinga was part of the kingdom of Kush during the time that the pyramids were built. The ancient Kushite capital of Meroe can be seen on this map as can the modern-day capital of Sudan, Khartoum.

At least 35 small pyramids, along with graves, have been discovered clustered closely together at a site called Sedeinga in Sudan.

Discovered between 2009 and 2012, researchers are surprised at how densely the pyramids are concentrated. In one field season alone, in 2011, the research team discovered 13 pyramids packed into  roughly 5,381 square feet (500 square meters), or  slightly larger than an NBA basketball court.

They date back around 2,000 years to a time when a kingdom named Kush flourished in Sudan. Kush shared a border with Egypt and, later on, the Roman Empire. The desire of the kingdom’s people to build pyramids was apparently influenced by Egyptian funerary architecture.


The capstones of the pyramids discovered at Sedeinga in Sudan were shaped as either a bird or, as in this case, a lotus flower on top of a solar orb

At Sedeinga, researchers say, pyramid building continued for centuries. “The density of the pyramids is huge,” said researcher Vincent Francigny, a research associate with the American Museum of Natural History in New York, in an interview with LiveScience. “Because it lasted for hundreds of years they built more, more, more pyramids and after centuries they started to fill all the spaces that were still available in the necropolis.”

The biggest pyramids they discovered are about 22 feet (7 meters) wide at their base with the smallest example, likely constructed for the burial of a child, being only 30 inches (750 millimeters) long. The tops of the pyramids are not attached, as the passage of time and the presence of a camel caravan route resulted in damage to the monuments. Francigny said that the tops would have been decorated with a capstone depicting either a bird or a lotus flower on top of a solar orb.

Pyramids with a circle built inside them, cross-braces connecting the circle to the corners of the pyramid. Outside of Sedeinga only one pyramid is known to have been built in this way.

The building continued until, eventually, they ran out of room to build pyramids. “They reached a point where it was so filled with people and graves that they had to reuse the oldest one,” Francigny said.

Francigny is excavation director of the French Archaeological Mission to Sedeinga, the team that made the discoveries. He and team leader Claude Rilly published an article detailing the results of their 2011 field season in the most recent edition of the journal Sudan and Nubia.

Amulet of the god Bes made of glazed faience. Bes was a god often associated with children and pregnant mothers


The inner circle

Among the discoveries were several pyramids designed with an inner cupola (circular structure) connected to the pyramid corners through cross-braces. Rilly and Francigny noted in their paper that the pyramid design resembles a “French Formal Garden.”

Only one pyramid, outside of Sedeinga, is known to have been constructed this way, and it’s a mystery why the people of Sedeinga were fond of the design. It “did not add either to the solidity or to the external aspect [appearance] of the monument,” Rilly and Francigny write.

A discovery made in 2012 may provide a clue, Francigny said in the interview. “What we found this year is very intriguing,” he said. “A grave of a child and it was covered by only a kind of circle, almost complete, of brick.” It’s possible, he said, that when pyramid building came into fashion at Sedeinga it was combined with a local circle-building tradition called tumulus construction, resulting in pyramids with circles within them.

An offering for grandma?

The graves beside the pyramids had largely been plundered, possibly in antiquity, by the time archaeologists excavated them. Researchers did find skeletal remains and, in some cases, artifacts.

One of the most interesting new finds was an offering table found by the remains of a pyramid. . It appears to depict the goddess Isis and the jackal-headed god Anubis and includes an inscription, written in Meroitic language, dedicated to a woman named “Aba-la,” which may be a nickname for “grandmother,” Rilly writes.

It reads in translation:

Oh Isis! Oh Osiris!

It is Aba-la.

Make her drink plentiful water;

Make her eat plentiful bread;

Make her be served a good meal.

The offering table with inscription was a final send-off for a woman, possibly a grandmother, given a pyramid burial nearly 2,000 years ago.

Archaeologist Vincent Francigny shown with a stela discovered at the site. The name of the deceased is lost, but the text has an invocation to Isis and Osiris.



 Related Topics:

More Pyramids and More Hidden Mysteries!

Pyramids in Europe!

The Japanese Pyramid: Crafted By Nature or Man?

The Sacred City: Chich’én Itzá

The Return of Looted Antiquities

The Return of Looted Antiquities

By Hwaa Irfan

One of the key aspects that dominate the crises that we are going through is possession of material things. That obsession becomes apparent when there is war as in the case of Syria where like Iraq archaeological sites and museums of Syria have been looted, and even destroyed.

The Krak des Chevaliers castle has been destroyed

Assyrian temple has been destroyed at Tell Sheikh Hamad and the wall and towers of al-Madiq castle, one of the most forward Crusader fortresses in the Levant, have been ravaged. It is a different matter however when those possessions serves as record of history, or as sacred items to a past long forgotten or tradition still alive.

The situation is no less for Nigeria even after 52 years of an independence that has been more on paper than a reality.

Examples of Nigerian antiquities are visible in Berlin, Cambridge, Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, London, Oxford, Paris and Yale with Boston Museum making the most of its collection which it believes are to be shared by the world, of course without official Nigerian consent.

The arrogance continues with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which treats the matter as normal by informing the Benin Royal Family which in turn the Benin Royal Family accepts as a fait-a-complie without response.  Why should they respond to an insult that involves items that were stolen in the 1897 British invasion of Nigeria. One example of “dare and do” is the travelling exhibition by the British Museum, “Ife, Osun State titled Kingdom of Ife: Sculptures from West Africa.”  It was said to be in collaboration with the questionable Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), the British Museum, Fundacion Marcelino Botin of Spain and the Museum of African Art, New York. Containing over 100 pieces if brass, copper, stone, terracotta and ivory from the NCMM.

Queen/Great Mother Mask of Idia

In that exhibition was the Queen Mask of Idia (British Museum), which was stolen from Nigeria by the British in what has been referred to as the Benin Kingdom Punitive Expedition of 1897

Members of the notorious British Punitive Expedition of 1897 with the aim of unseating the Oba of Benin

The pendant mask is carved in ivory and formed part of the Michael C. Rockefeller Memorial Collection, as a gift from Nelson A. Rockefeller in 1972.   With all the wealth and power of the Rockefellers, they still prefer to steal than pay their way even in their pastimes.

The Queen Mask of Idia came from the Benin Royal Court, and represents a period of Queen Mothers which ended with the ascent of male power by the end of the 15th century. It was a period when women were honoured, and were perceived to have great powers.  The Queen Mask of Idia is a real life image, of the first Queen Mother, and was even worn by kings in ceremony.

Beyond the superstitions, the Queens head represented not her physical head, but her inner mind, representing balance, patience and good countenance. The Queen or more accurately, the Great Mother represented all mothers, united by the flow of blood/menses; and all women represented patience and balance, qualities that men are to emulate in order to survive. The masks serve to dramatize the spiritual and more mystical nature of womanhood which is self-contained, but when angered like the Hindu Kali, seek revenge. Given the obsession of global governors with instruments of power, one wanders how much the perceived possession of such an item is what attracted them to it in the first instance as exampled by the novel-cum-film The Da Vinci Code.

In 1970, member countries adopted UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property, but this did not stop the looting that has taken place in Iraq, Syria, and even Egypt during the January 25 2011 youth revolt.

A trickle of items have been returned however as in 2009, when Canada returned the 1,000 year old terracotta effigies, the three Ife bronze heads from the French L’Office central de repression du vol des oeuvres et des objets d’art, and Benin bronze artefacts from Zurich’s Galerie Walu.

List of Holders of Benin Bronzes
Berlin – Ethnologisches Museum 580.
Boston, – Museum of Fine Arts 28.
Chicago – Art Institute of Chicago 20, Field Museum 400
Cologne – Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum 73.
Glasgow _ Kelvingrove and St, Mungo’s Museum of Religious Life 22
Hamburg – Museum für Völkerkunde, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe 196
Dresden – Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde 182
Leipzig – Museum für Völkerkunde 87
Leiden – Rijksmuseum voor Volkenkunde 98
London – British Museum 900
New York – Metropolitan Museum of Fine Art 163
Oxford – Pitt-Rivers Museum/ Pitt-Rivers country residence, Rushmore in Farnham/Dorset 327
Stuttgart – Linden Museum-Staatliches Museum für Völkerkunde 80
Vienna – Museum für Völkerkunde 167

The director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor, argues:

“When you see these objects they will mean more to you in your own experience than they would in London or the place where they were made”

The trouble is, those artefacts were never created to provide an income for Museums, but to be used, and thereafter, to serve as a link to the past not as a record of history, but as a bridge from the material present, to the spiritual past.

The commemorative head of the Oba of Benin.

The request from the return of antiquities intensified summer 2012, with the planned 2013 Museum of Fine Arts exhibition, which contains 32 stolen items. Added to this insult, was the offer of a major collection held by Robert Lehman of the Lehman Bros that was instrumental in the domino effect of the global economic crisis. Amongst the artefacts offered are 34 pieces that were stolen from the Kingdom of Benin by the British as passed down by his great grandfather. Any items of power obviously has not yet kicked in with the Lehmans.
Yusuf Abdallah Usman, Director General of NCMM has published a formal request for the repatriation of the Benin Kingdom bronzes and ivories in possession of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. By July 2012, the Museum began to respond.

The repeated mantra that no official request has been made, ignoring the petition that was made by the Oba of Benin to the British Parliament, as noted and reproduced in Parliamentary records. Even prior to that, the Benin Royal Family sent a demand to museums for the return of artefacts, which has also not been acknowledged. Yet, with Hitler’s daughter as the Chancellor of Germany, the British Parliament has passed a law, Holocaust (Return of Cultural Objects) Act 2009 that enables owners of Nazi looted artworks now in public British museums and galleries not only to obtain compensation for the loss but to receive the looted object., The Act makes it very clear that it only applies to actions relating to Nazi seizures within a specific period.


Agbetu, T. “Boston Museum Opens Dialogue Over Looted Benin Artefacts.” http://www.ligali.org/article.php?id=2306

“Idia: A Benin Legend” http://academics.smcvt.edu/africanart/arianne/idia.htm

Opoku, K. “Nigeria Must Demand the Return of Looted Antiques.” http://pambazuka.org/en/category/features/85248

Opoku, K. Blood Antiquities in Respectable Havens: Looted Benin Artefacts Donated to American Museum.” http://www.modernghana.com/news/405992/1/blood-antiquities-in-respectable-havens-looted-ben.html

Sowole, T. “Kingdom of Ife Reopens Debate on Restitution of Artefacts”  http://africanartswithtaj.blogspot.com/2012/05/kingdom-of-ife-reopens-debate-on.html

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Bulldozing Islamic Heritage

Thiên Thủ Quan Âm (Thousand Hand Guan Yin)

Thiên Thủ Quan Âm (Thousand Hand Guan Yin)


From Alexandra


The amazing thousand Hand Guan Yin was a dance created by Chinese choreo- grapher Zhang Jigang. This dance was performed by 63 deaf, and mute dancers of China’s Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe.

Because they could not hear the music, there were 6 directors in white cloths helping them to stay synchronized with the music.


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Stepping Back to Afrika!

A Dance into the Sublime

A Dance of the Heart

Turkey-Iran: An Ancient Language Rediscovered

Turkey-Iran: An Ancient Language Rediscovered

By Hwaa Irfan

One of the sad elements about globalization is the impact on language, especially indigenous languages. If one compares the English language today to what it used to be, one will understand what is meant. The English language has become reduced in terms of richness, expression, as well as grammar!

As everyone seeks to speak English as it is spoken today in order to boost their economic viability, status etc., the understanding of who we are, the world around us, and the cosmos also become reduced, if our souls could be eliminated there would no problem.

The same applies to ancient languages, which offer a wealth in body of knowledge of man’s relationship with him/her self, a struggle that many are increasingly going through today.

Why Dr. Dirk Wicke’s and Professor Timothy Matney team of Mainz University, and University of Akron, Ohio respectively would be up in the ancient Assyrian city of Tushan in south eastern Turkey, raises one’s curiosity, with a German archaeological team, and a Cambridge University professor. Far be it to say that there are more things in this world than warmongering, the team have discovered a previously unknown ancient language on clay tablets in a 2800 year old ‘Middle Eastern’ palace. Yes, Turkey is not in the Middle East, but so it is described by David Keys, the Archaeology Correspondent for The Independent, which is indicative of the cultural context of Key’s coverage on the discovery.

Published in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies 2012, the discovery is deemed important because it is hoped that it will disclose the ethnic and cultural origins of what is considered the first ‘barbarians’ or mountain tribes which is believed to have preyed on the world’s first great civilizations,  the cultures of early Mesopotamia in what is now Iraq. I don’t know about you, but it sounds like geo-politics to me, the kind of geo-politics that let’s say for instance Israel would conjure up to lay claim to a territory. Us humans of the 21st century can be so arrogant, from comparing dolphin intelligence with human intelligence to assuming that the first peoples’ were more barbaric than our… let’s say the invention of a thermobaric bomb that burns the air, and everything in it, leaving no body count to say how many died, let alone what died. Of course, these are the comments and observations of a lay-person with no knowledge whatsoever.

The clay tablets that reveal previously unknown language, also reveals what is assumed the names of 60 women, which on further perusal by Cambridge archaeologist – Dr. John MacGinnis found 45 of those ‘names’ bore no resemblance to any Middle Eastern name known to scholars  – one again maybe it’s because South Eastern Turkey is not in the Middle East, and the people of that region as far as most people known including the people themselves are not, and have never been Arabs. It is assumed that these women were prisoners of war, or victims of Assyrian forced population program like the program carried out by China to dilute its Muslim west (the Uiygurs), or Australia’ ‘Stolen Children’ or the U.S. theft of Texas (once part of Mexico).

The clay tablets were a part of the palaces’ archive, and the names found included: Ushimanay, Alagahnia, Irsakinna and Bisoonoomay – how they were able to dicpher the names in another issue. Other bloggers, more astute and knowledgeable have taken up the challenge like Gurdur. Gurdur was able to discover that Bissonomy was originally one of the 7a Virtues.

One commentator on Gurdur’s blog shared:

The name ‘Bisoonoomay’ found on the Tushan tablet is most likely a Prakrit name, ‘Vishnumaya.’ Two other Prakrit names were on the tablet, ‘Irsakinna,’ (Vrsakannya, bull’s daughter) and ‘Ushimanay’ (beautiful as dawn).

Prakit is the bridge between old and new Indo-Aryan language aligned with class and the caste system as revealed in some Indian classics.

  • Sanskrit was spoken by kings and nobles
  • Shauraseni was spoken by noble women
  • Prakit was spoken by ordinary people

But Prakrit is the corpus of inscriptions of Emperor Asoka, and that of the Buddhist monks of old.

In Chaffinch’s Ancient and Classical Mythology, she is referred to as a goddess, who had two children from the god Io. Not be confused with io, the Internet country code for top-level domain (ccTLD), or Io computer programming language

However, Io is a name that crosses cultural boundaries. Io can be found in Maori traditional belief as Io Matua Kore” (Io the Parentless). The Maori speak of this knowledge travelling with their ancestors from the Middle East, to Hawaii and finally to New Zealand. Depending on pronunciation, one can even find Io as the goddess Ayo in West African cosmology.

In ancient Greece, Io was a nymph who the god Zeus fell in love with, and escaping the ever watchful eye of Zeus’ wife, Hera, Io ended up in Egypt. Io is also the name of the moon closest to the planet Jupiter, Zeus in Greek. Cutting into Jupiter’s electromagnetic field, volcanic Io is sulphuric representing adventure, creativity, and discovery as well as wrath like the Biblical brimstone. But Io’s volcanoes are driven by silicate magma, and silica is all about structure, and she remains in Jupiter’s reach as Jupiter strips Io of 1,000 kg (1 ton) of Io’s material every second via his magnetic field.

How the Indo-Aryan language of Prakit relates to the cuneiform language (cuneiform is believed to be the origins of writing) found is for a linguist to reveal.

Discovering the ethnic origins of South East Turkey has to take into consideration Iraq, Syria, Iran as these countries with the river valleys of the Euphrates and Tigris. Among documents discovered in at Bogazkoy 250 km north east of Ankara, Turkey (a Hittite stronghold), were treaties between the Hittites, and the Mitannis, which show no separation between Iranians and Indians. Reference was Indo-Iranian gods Indra, Natasya, Mitra and Varuna.

By about 1000 BC camel caravans were the long distance means of transport from the Hadramawt along the Hijaz coast of Arabia, linking India, Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean. In fact, the site where the Tushan tablets have been found revealing a lost language lies near Diyabarkir, where a bridge from the past – remnant of the old Silk Road still exists today.

The history of the region does portray Assyrians as conquerors of people from western Iran.

Today, ancient Tushan or Tashan is the site of Ziyaret Tepe,  60 km east of Diyarbakir, south east Turkey. Assyrians did conquer people from that region, which was western Iran. Tushan/Tashan was a garrison town. Their empire was established around 883 to 612 B.C.  after the Babylonians left. Their empire was Mesopotamia and included the Near and Middle East (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Egypt and large parts of Turkey and Iran), with its centre in Nineveh, Iraq. It was the first international empire where trade, religion, and artistic ideas flowed freely unlike today, where trade, religion, and artistic ideas are manipulated towards one goal!  They were strongly influenced by Babylonia, their former rulers.

Tashan is a Chechen family name, and can be found in common usage in East, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Iran and Russia like a whisper from old Mesopotamia!

Where the tablets were found in the ancient Assyrian city of Tushan, an earlier part of the excavation (2009) found a cry for help:

“Death will come out of it! No-one will escape! I am done!”

It was a cry for help from the Assyrian leader Mannu-ki-Libbali in 630 BC written in cuneiform. The attack was coming from advancing Babylonian forces that smote down a deserted Tushun. This finding was from the excavation of John MacGinnis of University of Cambridge a part of the three stage exploration that began in 2000, and continued into 2011 with an international team.

Unlike Keys, who wrote the piece that attracted my attention, the aim of the excavation (Cambridge University) is to:

“… reconstruct the layout and organization of the city plan and to set this in the context of the nature and development of the impact of Assyrian rule on Anatolia. In all this we are never forgetful of what an immense privilege it is to be working on such an extraordinarily great site and of our duty to recover as much as possible of this unique heritage before it disappears forever.”

The area is scheduled for flooding to establish a hydroelectric dam in 2013.


“Assyria, Assyrians, Ashur, Nimrud and Nineveh.” http://factsanddetails.com/world.php?itemid=1528&catid=56&subcatid=363

“Io: Overview.” http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Io

Journal of Near Eastern Studies
Evidence for a Peripheral Language in a Neo-Assyrian Tablet from the Governor’s Palace in Tušhan (pp. 13-20) John MacGinnis DOI: 10.1086/664450 Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/664450

Keys, D. “Ancient Language Discovered on Clay Tablets Found Amid Ruins of 2800 Year Old Middle Eastern Palace.”

Williams, S. “Assyrian Leader’s Doomed Pleas for Help Discovered.” http://heritage-key.com/blogs/sean-williams/assyrian-leaders-doomed-pleas-help-discovered

“Ziyaret Tepe.” http://www.ane.arch.cam.ac.uk/research/ziyaret.html

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The Sacred City: Chich’én Itzá

A Sacred Place

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Muslim Cordoba: Going for a Song!

Easter Island: The Eyes of God Have Bodies!

What Is It About Uluru!

The Sacred City: Chich’én Itzá

The Sacred City: Chich’én Itzá

‘Technology’ was first used in the 1610s in a discourse on the arts. It is a word derived from the Greek, tekhnologia, which means a systematic treatment of a art, craft, or technique referring to grammar. It was first used in the context of mechanical and industrial arts in 1859. Going back to the original meaning, grammar is a verbal framework which is used to order our words to a higher order, which we use to describe observations and ‘experiences’ thus becoming a systematic treatment of the living arts and crafts for what else do we use grammar for but to relate and communicate our worlds. In this light, there is no greater perfection of that grammar when applied to sacred art and architecture for these represent objective art, which unlike modern day subjective art has the capability of having the same effect on all those who come into contact with it by means of an intrinsic purview.

Those conditions are shaped and guided by sacred geometry, which our brains/DNA are able to read without the process of learning, and those conditions are reflected in great works of art like that of the Temple of Kukulkan in the city of Chich’én Itzá (Chee-chen-eet-sa). The Temple of Kukulkan is an ancient Maya pyramid situated a few miles from Cancun where the 2010 climate talks took place on  the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico where a pre-Mayan nomadic civilization once lived.

Unlike much of modern architecture (excluding some places of worship) that lacks the kind of poetry in composition that emanates balance within the environment, the Temple of Kukulkan is poetry in design, function, philosophy, mathematics and geometry; and as we know, poetry expresses the emotions, the subconscious, and the formless.

Chich’én Itzá  means in English “the mouth of the well of the Itza.” It is the original names that survive Spanish conquest. The well is the sacred to the Mayan and is known as Cenote or as it was at the time, Wuk Yabnal (Abundance Place). It was given the name “El Castillo” by Bishop Landa. Other names are Uucil-Abnal (seven bushes) or Uucyabnal (seven great owners).  These natural wells would of course be treasured in an area where there are no rivers, and no streams.

The Temple of Kukulkan in the city of Chich’én Itzá  is one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. The pyramid that is the Temple of Kukulkan encasing an inner pyramid is founded on a squared-base, rising into a step pyramid, of which many exists around the world, not least the Step Pyramid of Giza, Egypt. Not as huge as the Step Pyramid of Giza, it rises to height of 30 meters and is crowned with a temple.  The main entrance to the temple is located to the north, with two serpent heads positioned on the ground either-side of the great stairway with what could be taken as their bodies forming the entire length of the great stairway that leads to the temple.

On three sides of the temple are vaulted chambers with doors opening to the East, West, and South. Each face of the pyramid has a steep stairway consisting of 91 steps, which are in turn divided by nine levels or terraces.

The inner pyramid has a stairway under the northern stairway which was discovered by a Mexican government excavation in the 1930s. By digging from the top, they discovered the inner pyramid a Chac Mool statue, and a painted red jaguar. After excavating a tunnel from the base of the northern stairway to the hidden temple, the Temple of Kukulcan was opened to tourists..

The inner temple consists of an outer room and an inner room which contains a lone jade jaguar inlaid with jade spots, and pyrite teeth away from the Temple of Jaguars in the Great Ball Court in the plaza of the city of Chich’én Itzá

The Temple of Kukulcan is purposely positioned like the Ramses Temple in Abu Simbel, Egypt, that every year without fail both the solstices and the equinoxes play a game of light and shadow as the sun casts a shadow on the northern steps of the pyramid. With Ramses Temple the play occurs only during the solstices. The illusionary affect is that of a feathered serpent in motion slithering down the western side of the northern stairway to the sculpted heads of the serpent that lie at the base as a result of the shadow casted by the terraces. The snake is meant to represent Kukulcan (Quetzalcoatl to the Aztecs) before vanishing into the earth adjacent to which is the doorway to the inner staircase that stops at a small shrine.

Depending on where one is in relation to the pyramid, whatever sound one makes travels/echoes but the returning sound is differs from the original sound made. e For example if one sits at the bottom of the stairs, the footsteps of those above sounds like raindrops falling into a bucket as the original sound skims the surface of the stairway. If one claps, in the courtyard the returning sound is as if a strange bird is replying repeating the original sound as a flutter echo. It has been said that the temple was designed this way so that priests far from each other could communicate. Even a whisper travels a great distance! The same acoustics exists in the Ball Courts, where a whisper at one end can be heard clearly at another.

One wonders if a particular language was spoken if it is possible that the returning sound/language would deliver a different message?

In the city between the sacred well, Cenote and the Temple there is a Platform of Venus with a ceremonial causeway that leads north to the Cenote which is a natural well. Skeletal remains of adults and children have been found in this well, and it has been assumed and purported that this well was used for human sacrifices, but given the aggressive nature of those who came after the Mayan, the Aztecs, it is equally possible that they carried out the massacres which might explain the sudden disappearance of human life from the city in 1200AD. The skeletal remains were found by Edward Thompson, the American consul in Mérida along with a fortune in gold and jade all of which given to Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

There are nine partially enclosed areas known as Ball Courts, with the largest, the Juego de Pelota (Main Ball Court) as host to the national Mayan ball game northwest of the The Temple of Kukulcan. The wall depicts carvings of Mayan ball players cladded out in the Mayan version of the American baseball kit. It is obviously as dangerous as baseball, with some figures more than nearly headless! If there is any consolation, and it depends on what really occurred, small temples are situated at each end of the ball court with the northern temple containing more sculpted pillars than the southern pillar. There is also a mural. The temple in the south east known as the Temple of the Jaguars (Templo de los Guerreros) with serpent columns and carved panels that depict warriors and jaguars, with a mural depicting a battle in a village while Chaac-Mool sits atop the temple surrounded by columns carved to look like enormous feather serpents. Broken fragments remain of what was a thousand columns have been going through a process of restoration.

Tzompantli (Temple of the Skulls), is not a Mayan name, but a name from central Mexico is named after a row of skulls carved into the stone platform along with eagles attacking humans.

The Platform of Eagles is next to Tzompantli showing eagles and jaguars with human parts, and a head from the mouth of a serpent. In Mayan lore, a feathered serpent with a human head in its mouth is a symbol for Venus.

These are just some of the features of the city of Chich’én Itzá, but for me the gruesomeness of some of features depicting human sacrifices, and animals dismembering a human body is not congruent with the type of mind-set behind and ensuing technology of the Temple of Kukulkan, which is indicated by the observatory. The observatory referred to as El Caracol by the occupying Spanish was built over centuries. This minor detail implies that more than one generation was involved in the building of the city, each depicting what was important to them. Mayan scholars Linda Schele and David Freidel tell us:

“After over a thousand years of success, most of the kingdoms of the southern lowlands collapsed in the ninth century. In the wake of this upheaval, the Maya of the northern lowlands tried a different style of government. They centred their world around a single capital at Chich’én Itzá. Not quite ruler of an empire, Chich’én Itzá became, for a time, first among the many allied cities of the north and the pivot of the lowland Maya world. It also differed from the royal cities before it, for it had a council of many lords rather than one ruler.”

So Chich’én Itzá arose out of a kind of democracy, with many rulers, amidst the tradition of a single ruler who may have had little to counter-balance his control over his dominion.

El Caracol refers to the spiral staircase inside the observatory reflects the image of the Mayans that has been projected the most. The tower consists of slits through which astronomers of the time made their astute observations of the celestial bodies, the movements, the time frame, positions, solstices and equinoxes. The windows themselves are positioned to be in alignment with the key positions of the planet Venus, especially when Venus is the extreme north and south. This precision is also reflected in the Temple of Kukulcan

–        External stairways  = 4 x  91 (steps) + 1 (step of the temple) = 365 = days of the year.

–        Terraces = 9 x 4 (sides of pyramid) = 18 = 18 months of the Mayan calendar

As well as a synergistic encoding into the structure for time immemorial the procession of the equinoxes, and solstices, the Mayans have become well known, and sometimes infamously so by a culture that interprets the Mayan knowledge of time, in the context of its own limitations.

Out of a people who without nails, or beasts of burden built a city, were skilled farmers, had a well-developed social system, and traded with cities as far as Panama, they developed a sophisticate written language, were expert mathematicians of a higher order, and were the first people on record to use the number ‘0’.

The Awaited Countdown

They had 22 calendars, the main ones being the Long Count, the Tzolkin (divine calendar), and the Haab (civil calendar), only Haab has a direct relationship to the length of the year.

The Tzolkin calendar is still used today in the Guatemalan highlands and is called Ajilabal q’ij and Cholq’ij. It is a round of 260 days in the 365 day solar year of Haab.

The Haab is a 260 day calendar is based on the 26,000 year cycle of the Pleiades with the Tzolkin and the Haab repeating exactly with no left over days/hours every 52 Haab years. This 52 year cycle is known as the Calendar Round.

It is the Long Count that has been misinterpreted using the lower consciousness of one era to interpret a calendar which derives from a higher consciousness of another era. The Long Count does not speak of the End of Time as the Christian notion of Doomsday/Armageddon. However, if one was to refer to what is expected as The Apocalypse, one might be closer to the truth, as ‘apocalypse’ is Greek in origin for ‘the lifting of a veil/revealing what has been hidden’.

What has been hidden from us is ourselves, our true selves, the soul from the ego, and within that the true meaning of life and our purpose. With the God given gift of choice, we have chosen to hold onto our outer expression devoid of our inner meaning, as such we have shaped the world into dimensions that is beneficial to no one in the long term. As the Mayan cycle of Baktun comes to a close, it represents the passing of one time, (End of Time) to another time or the passing of one way of doing things, which many of us tire of, to another way of doing things.

It is New Ageist Dawning of Aquarius. It represents the awakening of a higher consciousness, and greater humanity within mankind, and an ending of the materialistic male dominated epoch that so many of us have grown so accustomed to i.e. take instead of give psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, and of course physically.  Just as we assume that all the people with real knowledge belong to the past (within all faiths) Mayan, Carlos Barrios, of the Eagle Clan of the Mam Maya in  Guatemala proves otherwise when it comes to a tradition that has been so badly misinterpreted:

“The world will not end. It will be transformed… Everything will change…Change is accelerating now, and it will continue to accelerate…If the people of the earth can get to this 2012 date in good shape, without having destroyed too much of the Earth, we will rise to a new, higher level. But to get there we must transform enormously powerful forces that seek to block the way…Humanity will continue, but in a different way. Material structures will change. From this we will have the opportunity to be more human…”

“This is the time people need to know what is the purpose of their own lives. This is a dangerous time because we can go to the next step, to the transition, to the fusion of the polarities, or it is a time when we can be destroyed. This materialistic way of life, all this business about economic and social position in the world, it needs to change and the people need to go inside themselves in order to know what they are and to find harmony with the mother earth, with human beings, with their brothers, with the animals, with the plants. It’s an important time because we are in the moment of the prophesies and humanity can be destroyed or we can be saved, all together.”

Even if we do not believe, we have a choice, hope over fear, and hope can move mountains!

As we walked through some of the structures within the city of Chich’én Itzá, there are repeated themes.

Kukulcan/ Quetzalcoatl for the Mayan symbolizes the conjunction of the Pleiades and the sun. The illusion of a descending snake embedded within the Temple of Kukulcun is a record of that meeting between the sun-Pleiades conjunction which occurs over the city Chich’én Itzá every 360 days. This is believed to be due again in May 2012 along with a solar eclipse.

Kukulcan/ Quetzalcoatl was symbol of paradox, an innovator, a preacher of love and compassion, with the snake as a symbol of the personal will, rising to a state of higher consciousness like the kundalini to the crown chakra– the head. Representing the day of the Divine Will as symbolized by the sun (not as in sun worshipping), and the night when Venus is most visible unless she appears as the Morning Star – in other words the transmutation of man’s desire…

Venus – Just as in pharoanic Egypt, the rising of the constellation of Sirius heralded in the flooding of the Nile – thus Sham Naseem/New Year, the transition of the Pleiades signifies the birth of Venus as Venus ascends in the sky the astrological symbol of which signifies the empowerment of spirituality over materialism by living through love. The key words that help define expression are: values, love, beauty, sociability, and cooperation all of which formed the basis of the lessons of Kukulcan/ Quetzalcoatl.

The Pleiades – represent the Seven Dancers/Sisters. Seven is represented in the illusion of the descending snake during the solstice, bearing the reflected pattern formed by the terraces and the sunlight of seven triangles. Again seven is represented in the Mayan names of the sacred well Uucil-Abnal (seven bushes) or Uucyabnal (seven great owners).  Seven in numerology represents the number of man, which combined with the motion of Kukulcan/ Quetzalcoatl represents the journey man must make from his lower self (represented by the tail), to his higher self represented by the crown. The paradox is with the head of Kukulcan/ Quetzalcoatl being on the ground, to which the entrance to the stairs of the inner temple are annexed – symbolizing the journey to our true nature (the earth) without corruption, before we can make the Ascension to the inner sanctum of ourselves and each other. Physical act alone cannot make this possible, hence the repeated theme of the North – representing the place of learning, our life lessons, and as such a place of tempering, the result of which is wisdom.

These are just a few of the themes, more of which one can discover for one ’s self.  True or false?

Recent discoveries via a tiny robot equipped with infrared scanners that enter paces humans cannot is the finding of hundreds of gold coloured spheres in previously unexplored tunnels.  Discovered by archaeologists from the Mexico National Institute of Anthropology and History, the clay spheres vary in size. The gold covering is from jarosite (oxidized pyrite) or Fools Gold. What the spheres are/the purpose they serve is open to debate, but the chamber they were found in is as covered in pyrite. The bas are about 1,800 years old.

As the earth is clearly shifting its magnetic poles, and thousands of sea and air animals wash up on land dead with no known cause, and as the forces of nature becomes more volatile at a time when all of man’s material exploits and inventions have only reaped suffering for many either physically, psychologically or spiritually, with mental health disorders topping the global health problems, not heart disease for example, it is time to go to the inbetween place of ourselves and ask is this just a phase, or an opportunity to do justice to ourselves and each other? If we wait for the answer rather than expect the answer, we will find that all that we see is suffering too!


“Chichen Itza.” http://www.world-mysteries.com/chichenitza_sn.htm

DeLange, G and C. “Chicehn Itza.” http://www.delange.org/ChichenItza/ChichenItza.htm

“El Castillo, Chichen Itza, Mexico.” http://www.sonicwonders.org/?p=805

Lemesurier, P. “The Great Pyramid Decoded.” Element Books, U.K. 1977

Lofthus, M. “A Spiritual Approach to Astrology.” CRCS, U.S. 1983.

“Mexico: Chichen Itza “http://www.sacred-destinations.com/mexico/chichen-itza

Ywahoo, D. “Voices of Our Ancestors.”  Shambala, U.S. 1987

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The Law of Three: Concealment and Attraction

Gonzalo Rojas: To Live a Dream

Gonzalo Rojas: To Live a Dream

By Hwaa Irfan

Artists are people who make tangible the intangible: put form on our emotions when we have lost touch with those emotions, and remind the wings of our souls when they have forgotten how to fly. If the artists are true to their art and their art has been true to Creation; in doing so, their art will live on.

In the past 200 years, so many – too many of our lives have been battered into shape – shapes that are far from artistic, shapes that are disposable. One may only dream when young of doing things with one’s life that is far more creative than the life that has been led. It has become so commonplace that the idea of being anything “other”,  of living a life with greater meaning or purpose we dare not let enter our minds out of fear that it will take us to un-navigated waters, at least none traveled within the confines of our comfort zones. That fear is born out of a fear of our souls if revealed might be rejected, as it once was before, but by accepting that relationship with life, we very much reject our own souls.

When one looks at the photo of the man above what comes to mind? A man who has toiled all his life… and for what?  A poor man? A man who has never lived or does one feel sorry for him? OR “I don’t wanna end up like that!”

As a child that man saw life as much as any of us, through the lens of an innocent heart, the eyes of a child that ‘sees’, the mind of a child with an active imagination.  He was born the 7th son in the port Lebu, Chile, and as villages go they hold a lot more adventure for a growing boy than that of the city.  The defining moment of what he was to become was not the push of a parent, or the school curriculum, but a sign from nature – a flash of lightening quite literally, and with the onomatopoeic vivre and rhythmic dance of the Spanish language with life one of his brothers gave breath to the lightening with the noun  ‘RE – LÁM – PA – GO’.  Can one imagine, embodied in the lightening and that one Spanish word a life was about to take the first step on a journey of no return until he died in April 2011. The boy enthralled by the lightening and the word ‘RE – LÁM – PA – GO that charged from his brother’s lungs gave birth to the boy who was to become in the land of the poets, Chile’s greatest living poet.

Oral literature in Chile was originally a medium of war oratory of the indigenous Mapuche Indians, as well as for funerals and religious rites. With a four century history, colonialism introduced a new breed of poetry in the land that is known as the Land of the Poets.

The old man in the photo – the life referred to is Gonzalo Rojas who died aged 93. After the above incident Rojas reported to have said:

“Since then, I have lived in the zumbido, the buzzing of words.”

I never knew of his life, until his death – the 7th son of a coal-miner who lived a life away from being shaped and pummelled into a doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc, etc, etc.  He lived on to become an editor for Antarctica magazine in Santiago, and Professor in Valparaiso. At university Rojas (meaning red) joined a group of surrealists, and published his first book of poetry in 1948. Rojas was forced to leave his beloved Chile due to the military coup of the dictator Pinochet in 1973, where Rojas lost his diplomatic rank, and was prevented from working as any university in Chile. His life line was an offer from the Eastern Germany University Rostck.  It was not until 1979 that Rojas was able to return with the help of a Guggeheim scholarship. However, Rojas was still not permitted to work, thus settled 400 kilometres away to the south in Chillan.

This was not to prevent his life from becoming more interesting: he taught in German, Mexican, Spanish, Venezuelan, and U.S. universities. His works were re-published in English, German, French, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Romanian, Swedish, Chinese, Turkish and Greek.

Rojas won the prestigious Latin American Prize ‘Poesía’ and the highest national award for literature in his home-country Chile in 1992. In 2003 Rojas won the top prize for literature in Spanish the Cervantes Prize. Rojas had produced volumes of poetry, and when he looked back on what was happening in Chile, he told avid lover of Rojas’ works John Simon:

 “These days in Chile,” he tells me, “there are a lot of jóvenes who are lazy, they haven’t read enough, they fall into an easy colloquialism, they don’t know how to work the word. You have to work to develop the ear. And the eye. The eye becomes the ear and the ear becomes the eye. They vibrate transparent. You work not with the five senses but with the twenty senses of the poet, the forty senses.”

Simon describes Rojas as someone whose:

“… mind is a rich symphony that turns on a dime, in “simultaneous explosion, instantaneous spin.” Touch him and he’s already gone. Catch up to him and he’s already on to what’s about to happen. “I’m just passing through here among the stars.”

Aged 90, Rojas noted he was not going to die young still living in Chillan in a cabin where he mourns the death of his beloved wife Hilda as he gazed upon the wooden table she had made. Referring to his wife as “A ballerina” who died and showed little suffering from lung cancer, his love of woman is evident in his work, but not the love and loyality he had for the women in his life – his mother and wife. This can only be sketched and probably sketched more beautifully in his beloved Spanish.



And no more tears; this transparent woman,
who today is sealed away,
this woman who now is walled
in a niche grave
like a madwoman chained
to a cruel bedstead in an airless room
with neither boat nor boatman, among faceless strangers,
this woman who, alone, is
The One,
who held us all in the heaven
of her body.
be her womb.


And nothing nothing else; that she bore me and made me
a man with her seventh birth
her figure of fire
and of ivory
in the trials of poverty and sadness
and she knew
how to hear through the silence of my childhood the sign
the Secret
without ever
a word.
be the fruit of her womb.


Let others go instead of me
I can’t go now to put
the red carnations there
the carnations of the Rojases ‚— mine and yours ‚—
on the painful thirteenth day of your martyrdom
those family members who are born at dawn
and who are reborn ‚— let them go to that wall for us for Rodrigo
for Tomás for young Gonzalo for Alonso; let them go
or not as they wish
or let them leave you in the dark
alone with the ashes
of your beauty
which are your resurrection Celia
daughter and granddaughter of Pizarros
of late Pizarros Mother;
and may you come with us
into exile dwelling as always in grace
and mutual delight.
be thy name.

The literal translation of this poem was made by Tom Boll

The final translated version of the poem is by The Poetry Translation Workshop


“Chile Awards Gabriela Mistral Prize to Poet Gonzalo Rojas” http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=349183&CategoryId=13003&usg=AFQjCNGFNnAlS51bo0rY8XYCQilpJmXeDQ

“Chilean Poet Gonzalo Rojas Dies at Age 93.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-13187777

“Chilean poet Gonzalo Rojas dead at 93.” http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Lifestyle/Story/STIStory_661048.html

“Gonzalo Rojas”. http://www.poetrytranslation.org/poets/Gonzalo_Rojas

Simon, J.O. “Translation: Gonzalo Rojas.” http://johnoliversimon.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/translation-gonzalo-rojas/

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Awakening the Aesthetic Within

Awakening the Aesthetic Within


By Hwaa Irfan


When we look at something and it pleases us, in general, in today’s world it pleases us through one of five senses, but not from within. We like it, then not like it, according to our mood, while our souls are left malnourished for the chance to know if it is good for us or bad for us. As such we may find ourselves forever wanting to improve or replace.

Lost to modernity, many people equate lack of modernity as being backward, but what is not understood by the use of the word modernity, is that it is in fact a culture, a culture with a systemic belief in a perfection that is deprived of one’s soul.

Our body is one great receptor, with every cell in our body functioning along a certain wavelength like a string on a guitar. Certain types of cells form a community which takes the shape of an organ, and each organ in our body has a certain resonance at which it vibrates. If that resonance is disturbed by “foods” that vibrate at a lower level, it negatively affects the resonance of that organ, and so that organ in our body begins to vibrate at a rate other than its own frequency.

But we have been entrained moreso through a process of a singular globalized culture to go against our respective frequencies of resonance, and in so doing we stop listening to ourselves, and become increasingly lost in a series of identities ‘designed’ to maintain a singular globalized culture instead of the diversity that we are born into. It is this measure of ‘perfection’ that causes us to stray from ourselves, thus self knowledge. Then it becomes the “other”, the thing/person which is not like “us”. By doing so we polarize the world after we have polarized aspects of our selves.

Being Put to Sleep

We are schooled on this singular globalized to define beauty as defined by that culture, and with that perception of beauty the modern world ticks along without our souls intact. It then becomes a race, to the ‘prefect’ personality, the ‘perfect’ friend, the ‘perfect’ career, the ‘perfect’ spouse, the ‘perfect’ children all of which culminates in a collection of individuals that form the ‘perfect’ society full of shapes, lines, and colours that may please us, but only superficially.

A recent interview by a well known woman in the healing arts, led such a life, and referred to her ‘perfect’ suburban American town as a “Stepford” town. If anyone has watched the original version of the film “The Stepford Wives,” one realizes what is meant by ‘perfection’ in this context. And so her life went ‘happily’ along as an accomplished CEO until one day, she collapsed, and remained unconscious for five minutes. Of course she went to the doctors for a thorough check up, and was told that there was nothing wrong with her physically. The wise doctor then asked about her life – was she happy. He asked her an incomprehensible question, that is, did she do anything for herself. The question as difficult to fathom until she realized that she did not do anything for herself – she was used to ordering her world, and making things happen. He then advised her to take one hour a day that was totally for her, even if it was in a room that nobody was allowed to enter, and to take another hour each day for walks. With time, she realized that she was not happy at all. To say the least, her whole world began to change as she began to discover the needs of her soul.

The Awakening

What caused me to write this is the love that a brother known simply as Jinan has for awakening aesthetic awareness. Running regular workshops for children in his country India, Jinan strongly believes:

“Beauty is the most fundamental of human existence. Beauty is what truly makes one authentic. Beauty is what binds us to the external world. Beauty is what creates culture-the architecture, the music, the artifacts, various dance forms and agriculture and off course knowledge. Senses are our doors to knowledge and beauty. What  is  fundamental  to  any  culture  is  its  sense  of  beauty.  This  is  what  creates  all  the  elements  of  any  culture. The  beautiful  architecture, various  functional  products,  songs  and  dances,  women  and  men  etc.”

What Jinan refers to as beauty is not the beauty of the singular globalized culture, that conveys a narrowness upon which we live our lives making us more materialistic, and less open to the knowledge that presents itself, and therefore less tolerant of “others”, but the beauty that brings harmony into the world. What Jinan observed is:

“What is clear is the natural biological aspect of learning is lost from the modern world. The schooling definitely kills it – so also the ‘educated’ parents. The so called educated are the most distanced form.

“NATURE and its ways. Children, before we condition them, offer us a possibility for learning to reconnect with nature. Or at least to witness how much children are NATURE! But there are rules to be imposed on ourselves. To allow children to teach us we need to be like them. Innocent, truthful, trusting, open. More than this we need to give up our power over them. The feeling that we know better is what prevents any learning and added to this is the physical power we use and so also the emotional black mailings. We need to learn to respect them.”

Jinan aims to nurture:

–        The wholistic way of being in the world.

–        ‘re integrating art, science and language’ ‘re integrating work, play and learn’

–        ‘re integrating intuition and reasoning’ ‘re integrating the mind and body’

–        ‘re integrating the feminine and masculine’ ‘becoming PRESENT to the moment’

The ideas may seem new, and for sure an increasingly number of people around the world feel this to be true, but as the world goes through a process of change, our individual lives are presented with an opportunity to give birth to the expression of our souls. It is an act of worship in Islam, an act that brings about spiritual union empowering one’s higher self. In Imam al-Ghazali’s Ihya`Ulum al-Din (The Revival of the Religious Sciences) it is explained as:

“Know, O dear readers, that every which is beautiful is dear to one of the senses. Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Material beauty can be perceived by the eye. The beauty of divine glory can only be appreciated by the mind. The word beauty is used to describe the attributes of individuals. It is therefore said that man has a beautiful character. The word applies to his qualities, and not to his physical appearance. He is loved for his beautiful attributes as one is loved for his beautiful appearance. If this love is deep, it is called ishq. Even more wonderful is when a dead man is loved, not for his appearance , but for the innate qualities he possessed. All worldly beauty is a spark of that permanent beauty of Allah and a spark of His light. So, how can he not love Him who is ever beautiful and the prime source of beauty ? He who realizes this, loves Him the most. Nothing can be compared to the beauty of the sun and the moon. Allah is creator of these beautiful things. So how should He be loved?”

It is that process of loving that we learn to live, to remove the barriers that separate us from ourselves, our loved ones, each other, and therefore from Him. This is argued by Ibn Sina who refers to an innate aesthetic that is implanted in every intellectual being. It nurtures within us a sense of harmony within our lives the purpose of which is for the outer world to mirror the inner world, which is lost if the outer world is purely a creation of the ego, the personality which knows not the yearnings of the soul.

So intrinsic to our soul is this need for harmony that we can see it expressed in children when they are faced with ugliness before they become entrained to accept the imbalanced globalized world of the adult. Is it not for this reason why as adults we can become enchanted by the child’s view of reality – the innocence, the spontaneity, and the reminder which they present to us. Jinan found this to be true and explored what has become of it has they grow older:

“Some time ago, in 1996 or so I had done a workshop called “Against the Tyranny of Reason.” An year later I did another workshop called “De-textualising Experience.” All these issues seem to me very much connected to loss of our connection with the core of our being which is biological, sensorial, experiential, autonomous etc. My work with the non literate artisans due to its paradigm of respect for their creativity and cultural rooted-ness gave insight in to a very different way of knowing and being- humble, innocent, respectful of nature and at the same time original and creative. The modern notion of creativity is very much centred around commerce and market driven which stems from greed and not need)”

The Myth

There is a growing reality in the education systems of many countries that should be explored, and that is increasingly a number of students are not opting for the subjects that we as adults would like to impose on them for the sake of a decided future. That growing reality is that of the arts over math, or science. Increasingly one listens to why a person takes up dance for example long after they have left the formal education process, to find that their souls are calling for expression when they comment because they “feel connected” or “ feel free”. Yet the inner aesthetic is not something to relegated to the corner of our lives, but to be reflected in all parts of our lives, from how we live, to how we work, to how we interact.

Ironically, this is one of the findings on those designated with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.  Researchers from the University of Michigan and Eckerd College, U.S. found that adults who have been designated with having ADHD are more creative than those who have not been designated as ADHD. Again, scientists at the University of Montreal found that the brains of autistic people are more developed when it comes to visual information, and are more highly developed in that respect. Dr Laurent Mottron of from the team commented:

“The natural tendency is to think that autism is a form of disorganization. Here, what we see is that it is a reorganization of the brain.”

It is our limited perception of what is deemed ‘perfect’, and therefore ‘acceptable’ that is crippling the potential within so many whether classified as mentally challenged or not. Dr Christine Ecker from the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College, London reflected on these findings by stating:

“This review highlights that autism should not only be seen as a condition with behavioral difficulties, but should also be associated with particular skill.”

We all have particular skills, and the way in which the world around us is receptive to those skills, and accepts those skills is what is disabling. I know this to be true in working with those designated as schizophrenics, with many of the violent symptoms being a product of the way in which they are perceived. Many cases of depression and social anxiety disorder follow the same path, leaving little room for their aesthetic expression of those souls in a world that has limited expression. The process by which this is done is through the standardized globalized factory education.

“School prepares us for processing and storing information by excessive importance given to memorization and development of conscious and instrumentalist reasoning. These two skills seems to be incapable of perception, creativity which is what is required in the realm of the unknown.


“Schools makes us in to rigid, mechanical and second hand beings, ready to serve or to order as we learn ‘authority’ at schools. Authority of teacher, authority of knowledge.


“Another damage is the inability for creativity as we lose our intuitive ability because of over use of logic and dependency on memorized knowledge. The reasoning ability is often used to reason away, to maintain status quo of our rigid and static mind. Since our link to the world is through text our experience is textualised.”

Jinan aims to reach the children for then they are more able to make the turn around before it is too late, and will be running another workshop from16th May till 22nd May 2011 entitled ‘Learning from Children’ . (www.kumbham.org, http://www.rediscoveringchildhood.org,  http://www.my.opera.com/jinankb )


Be like the artisans of Iranian carpet-making, who make the most sought after carpets, but with a flaw. That flaw was and is intentional, because like life, we are here to learn from the heart and the mind together insha-Allah.

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Reflection on Islamic Work Ethics V

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