The Nature of Truth

hearder image

Truth is not the same as reality as postulated by the ancient Greeks. Marcus Aurelius was wrong in saying: “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective not the truth.”

Friedrich Nietzsche also reiterated: “There are no facts, only interpretations.”

As regards Nietzsche, whom I have great respect and admiration for; I have noticed that in his writings, he will oppose every writer and philosopher including himself. From all indication he is a nihilist. And indeed, maybe not so rightly, Leo Tolstoy described him as “stupid and abnormal” but to some of us he is still a brilliant poet and philosopher. We all know what the excesses of knowledge leads to: in much knowledge is much sorrow, in much wisdom is much grief.

Going back to our subject matter, we must be careful with this “disordered” kind of reasoning. If everything is an opinion, it then seeks to say that the entire universe exists only because we perceive it; therefore it is an extension of the self (Ego) and its opinions. This leads us to Solipsism but that is the greatest illusion. I think we are moving towards a psychological situation when the ego is forcing its way into the subconscious trying to make everything its own, so to speak. Yet the ego itself is nothing but a poor borrower of mental energy. Nothing that exists in the go belongs to the ego.

Those animals, which are equipped with the relevant senses, also perceive the same things we humans perceive. The sun is not only perceived by me but by everyone who has eyes. Water does not only quench my thirst but also everyone’s thirst. Therefore water is a kind of liquid for quenching thirst. The peculiar characteristics of the sun and uses of water are not only real to me but also universally real to everyone.

Different things, people and entities have different realities. So if truth is misconstrued to be reality. The question then, is whose reality? The reality of the slave or that of the slave master, the reality of the boss or that of the servant, the reality of the society or that of the accused standing trial, the reality of the east or that of the west? So really, whose reality? Many confuse reality with truth. Truth, in a universal sense, is objective and independent and seems to radiate from a central point whereas reality is mostly subjective. Two or more people can experience different realities but may still be in the domain of same truth.

In my definition, truth simply is a “convergence of realities.” In other words truth is not something that is fixed but rather something that extends within the framework of core realities. The fact that my morning comes earlier and I see the sun before someone living in Philippines doesn’t mean the sun I saw was different from the one he saw. It’s the same thing seen at different times. Minor differences do not negate a thing’s objectivity.

I have a big problem, in this age of reason, with the dictatorship which scientific knowledge is trying to establish over the human mind.  Suppose that we didn’t know that something exists. Then science helps us to discover such and such as existing. Immediately theories are put forward as if the thing’s existence begun when the discovery was made. Let us take vitamin c for instance. The first man who ate an orange didn’t know it contains vitamin c. He saw the thing, it looked good, he tasted it, it tasted nice, and he ate it. And only millions of years later before science discovered exactly what orange does in the body.

Should we be waiting for the evidence from science before eating oranges, we would have denied ourselves of the enjoyment of oranges for millions of years. This same line of thinking is what leads atheists to say that there is no evidence for the existence of an objective entity called God so he does not exist. It’s like saying we do not know what nutrients can be found in an orange, therefore we will not eat an orange until further research is done to ascertain that it gives vitamin c. It follows logically that until the discovery of vitamin c in oranges, vitamin didn’t exist in oranges. This is exactly what scientific research is trying do.

In this regard, even the primitive man, who ate the thing because it appealed to his sense of taste, was wiser as compared to us. Excess of knowledge and wisdom pushes us towards nothing but foolishness. We know much about other planets, we know the components of gases on them, we have even built robots to explore extraterrestrial life, also trained chimps to talk using sign language and run errands, yet we have failed utterly – all of humanity – at simply raising young ones of our own kind into responsible and virtuous adults.

Advertisements

Not All Human Rights Activists Are Humanists

hearder image

There is always the tendency for people to think if someone is a human rights activist, he or she is probably chiefly concerned with human welfare and dignity. Activism is not a profession, it actually a calling. There are activists who run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.

The most notorious dictators in world history were once advocates for human welfare. They fought for the rights of others – either for their freedom, self determination or independence. The psychology here is that they do this in order to prey on the vulnerable, once the vulnerable had been given their freedom. If one knows that one can’t defend, sustain and protect oneself, my best advice is to be part of a larger stronger group. To ask for one’s freedom when one cannot defend and sustain oneself may be like asking for one’s death sentence.

Aside that, a human rights activist must necessarily believe in the basic principles of humanitarianism. We can’t have failed careerist politicians or political activists (leftists or rightists), suddenly transforming into human rights activists. Again, even people with degrees in human rights law are not necessarily people who are concerned with human welfare. To fight for the rights of others is a noble calling, something deeply felt inside.

Beyond The Physical

There lived a mad woman in my home village by name Beatrice but we all called her “Bee.” She was young, probably in her late twenties back then. No one knew how she became mad. When I was a kid, the other kids and I will mock at her and go into hiding and she will chase some of us with a big cane. I am speaking of a time when I was about seven or eight and “Bee” was very fat then. Now she has grown a little lean.

Sometimes she got her senses back when the gods were on holiday or when they let the locks lose. During those brief moments, she will be calm, even if you teased her and yelled her name. I was told she even responded to greetings nicely.

It has been a long time, about twenty years now, since I went back to the village and I was shocked to know that “Bee” was still alive. In fact I saw but didn’t recognize her. We were watching a traditional dance one late evening when someone came and stood right in front of us thus not only blocking our view but polluting the atmosphere with a pungent smell – as a result of not bathing for almost two decades.

“Hey Bee, move away!” one of my cousins shouted and I asked him if that was the same Bee I knew as child to which he responded in the affirmative. It got me thinking. This is someone who eats from the trash can and drinks from the gutter and is still alive. She has no sense of hygiene at all and probably houses thousands of bacteria in body. Yet she is still far from death. Over these years many people have died of warfare, diseases, drugs and simple recklessness.

Let us take a look at the war in Syria and Iraq, where almost daily, hundreds are lined up and massacred. Or let’s come down to West Africa, Boko Haram, which has killed more than 2000 people during the first half of 2014. Could these things have happened by chance? Certainly not. Are there higher malevolent invisible forces involved? Maybe.

Human behavior is very intriguing. The seeds of evil are sown by humans but the larger invisible evil forces help water them daily and nurture them until they grow into unimaginable dimensions. Think of this as pouring gasoline on a piece of burning flame. There is a force behind all evil. Many people call this force “the devil.” But I am not sure if this is an accurate description because the forces that I have sensed are also dynamic – metamorphosing into other forms every now and then. So that something that initially appears good suddenly transforms into evil and vice-versa. How then can evil come out of good? How can hate come out of love? And how can death replace life if there are no malignant demonic forces involved?

hearder image

Where ever there is conflict, for once, we know that there are at least two opposing forces – usually good and evil or sometimes all evil. The only medium for these forces is the human psyche. Here, let me try to, in psychological terms, define spirituality. It is at that precise point where emotions is joined with intellect or reason. It is like the confluence of two rivers, so you cannot know where one ends and the other begins or which direction each river is going. This is the arena of all mental struggles and this is where invisible evil forces perch in wait, like sea eagles, to dig their talons into innocent souls. Surely you will need an anchor. This anchor is called morality. And immortality is considered the ultimate reward  for being moral.

In another sense, evil forces are like malicious computer software, they cannot destroy physical things on their own. They need hardware (humans) as a medium, so brothers and sisters let us guard against our emotions and reasoning. The point of this post is to draw your attention to the metaphysical aspect of the world in which we find ourselves. The physical material world is just one side of the coin. Science does not and cannot teach everything.

Bee, the lunatic, is still alive because the evil forces do not need her. She is a damaged piece of “hardware” so why would they want her. But those of us in our prime let us be on guard. I am just saying be careful. In the spiritual world there are no remedies, it’s a predator-prey kingdom, and it doesn’t matter whether you are on the side of this god or that god. A little mistake and you are gone and who is to tell whether there is another world beyond? If you ask me the answer is simple, I don’t know.

But I, personally, will never chose oblivion over immortality though the former is more obvious and the latter, simply speculative. This is because a belief in immortality makes one happy in the here and now. The ultimate purpose of cultivating faith (in anything)  is to make one happy.

The Tree On The Hill

hearder image

Extract from “Thus Spake Zarathustra” by Nietzsche

Zarathustra’s eye had perceived that a certain youth avoided him. And as he walked alone one evening over the hills surrounding the town called “The Pied Cow,” behold, there found he the youth sitting leaning against a tree, and gazing with wearied look into the valley. Zarathustra thereupon laid hold of the tree beside which the youth sat, and spake thus:

“If I wished to shake this tree with my hands, I should not be able to do so. But the wind, which we see not, troubleth and bendeth it as it listeth. We are sorest bent and troubled by invisible hands.” Thereupon the youth arose disconcerted, and said: “I hear Zarathustra, and just now was I thinking of him!”

Zarathustra answered:

“Why art thou frightened on that account? –But it is the same with man as with the tree. The more he seeketh to rise into the height and light, the more vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark and deep–into the evil.” “Yea, into the evil!” cried the youth. “How is it possible that thou hast discovered my soul?”

Zarathustra smiled, and said:

“Many a soul one will never discover, unless one first invent it.” “Yea, into the evil!” cried the youth once more. “Thou saidst the truth, Zarathustra. I trust myself no longer since I sought to rise into the height, and nobody trusteth me any longer; how doth that happen? I change too quickly: my to-day refuteth my yesterday. I often overleap the steps when I clamber; for so doing, none of the steps pardons me. When aloft, I find myself always alone. No one speaketh unto me; the frost of solitude maketh me tremble. What do I seek on the height?

My contempt and my longing increase together; the higher I clamber, the more do I despise him who clambereth. What doth he seek on the height? How ashamed I am of my clambering and stumbling! How I mock at my violent panting! How I hate him who flieth! How tired I am on the height!”

Here the youth was silent.

And Zarathustra contemplated the tree beside which they stood, and spake thus:

“This tree standeth lonely here on the hills; it hath grown up high above man and beast. And if it wanted to speak, it would have none who could understand it: so high hath it grown. Now it waiteth and waiteth,–for what doth it wait? It dwelleth too close to the seat of the clouds; it waiteth perhaps for the first lightning?”

When Zarathustra had said this, the youth called out with violent gestures: “Yea, Zarathustra, thou speakest the truth. My destruction I longed for, when I desired to be on the height, and thou art the lightning for which I waited! Lo! what have I been since thou hast appeared amongst us? It is mine envy of thee that hath destroyed me!”–Thus spake the youth, and wept bitterly. Zarathustra, however, put his arm about him, and led the youth away with him.

“Thus Spake Zarathustra” by Friedrich Nietzsche

 

 Interpretation (Mine)

A young ambitious man was having trouble understanding the meaning of life and as a result had resigned into solitude. Zarathustra had noticed him long ago while he went through the town called “The Pied Cow” preaching. But as he was about to retire in the evening to the outskirts of the town, he met this same young man sitting quietly under a tree.

It is possible that his confusion is twofold. One may have to do with ambition to be “successful” in life. And the other, I believe, is a struggle to live a moral life (a spiritual struggle) which every society obligates on its youth – even if that society itself is not moral.

After some time the youth confessed to Zarathustra that the more he tries to be moral and live up to expectation the stronger the impulse (and for that matter the temptation) to commit immoral acts.

“But it is the same with man as with the tree. The more he seeketh to rise into the height and light, the more vigorously do his roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark and deep–into the evil.”

Zarathustra first consoled him by implying that a lone tree grows taller and stronger than others in the forest but also reminds him that over ambition can kill:

“…so high hath it grown. Now it waiteth and waiteth,–for what doth it wait? It dwelleth too close to the seat of the clouds; it waiteth perhaps for the first lightning?”

The broader meaning of this passage also corresponds to passages in the book of Ecclesiastics in the Bible which speaks of life as having no purpose – that all is vanity and waste of time and energy. That men rise as high as they can only to be cut off by death. This is what, I think , this passage is about. When you look at the life history of most geniuses (in music, sports, politics, entertainment etc), you will notice that they were loved by the crowds for what they did and in trying to do more to please the crowds they ended their lives, mostly through drugs. A typical example is Whitney Houston.

Also the passage raises important metaphysical/psychological question, which I will call the internal struggle, which the bible also describes in the book of Galatians 5: 17:

And here I quote the Bible as I would any literature.

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”

 Meaning that life becomes something like a seesaw. Either you please the inner world or the outer, but often one is torn between the two.

The True Meaning of Friendship

hearder image

According to scientists, a human being is a highly social animal (specifically belonging to the class of mammals) who sometimes feels like he or she is a god. But we are different from gods or rather dogs in that we sometimes bite our friends and wag at our enemies. For most people, the older we grow the less amusing we become and therefore the less friends we have. But it is important not to lose your sense of humour which prevents realists, like me, from being jaded. Moreover, humour itself doesn’t start adult friendship; it is mutual hatred or mutual love or mutual interest in something that does.

In view of  heightened social media activities and inordinate suspicion which emanates from self-centredness, people are likely to substitute real friendships with online friendships. I am not saying making friends online is not fun. It is a great way of meeting similar minded people and sharing ideas. I have met some amazing people online whom, but for distance, I would have preferred them to be physically available.What is the point of making numerous friends online knowing you will never get to meet any?

I must say that a friend in real life is nothing like a friend online. Facebook does not even notify you when someone “unfriends” you. A substitute is not the same as the real thing. A friend  is someone who is both physically and emotionally available in both good and bad times. A sought of reliable co-pilot, if you like.

When I was younger, I was very sociable and had many friends both at school and at home. With growth came a straight face and infrequent smiles. I guess I may have become aware of some peculiar realities of my life. I still have friends though, but with responsibilities piling up each day, there is just not enough time for hanging out, except on weekends, hence blogging. So what then is the true meaning or value of friendship?

Great friendship unfolds without much awareness. A friend criticizes, sometimes harshly, but in a helpful way, and if you really can’t change something about yourself, he or she still accepts that that’s who you are. This is what I have found to be one thing that runs through all great friendships. True friendship lasts long and is also characterized by people watching eachother’s back. Friends are honest with one another and ensure eachother’s safety or well-being. I mean if they see something wrong, they voice it.

I have seen one thing in internet forums and in news groups, (presumably a western thing) where people actually encourage distorted perspectives without any attempt to correct the person involved. That is sore. That is not ethical. That is not friendship. A real friend drags you to where he knows to be a safe place, against your will, or if out of your rashness you are struggling to jump off the cliff. I think the laws also influence us a lot. Too much personal freedom makes people slaves of themselves.

In spirit of true companionship, we will all be perpetually happy because lasting happiness comes primarily from people not from pets or objects – these are just substitutes and we cling on to them because the world, truly, has become fractured and hostile.

 

Humanism Is My Religion

I have always said, in reply, (to friends who ask why I no longer take organised religion

seriously) that I did not previously attend church because I wanted to go to heaven or expected a miracle.

Nothing new can happen, the sun will always rise in the east and set in the west.

 

But I went to church because it was a community of people like myself.

People I grew up with; friends, neighbours etc who make up the larger community.

If there is a God, and I believe there are many, then they must be concerned about the welfare of humanity.

 

By promoting the welfare of humanity, we are realising God and therefore advancing our spirituality.

This is why I cannot surrender my intellect or emotions to any organised religion but humanism.

I have never felt as bored anywhere as when I am in church —

 

If not for brief conversations with old friends.

I don’t think it has anything to do with the priests or prophets or the scriptures.

I can tell there is an originator, when I consider the process of human reproduction.

 

But I don’t think any religion can make evil men good

Or good men evil, religions may facilitate it though.

There are men who are inherently good and others inherently evil.

 

When people sing and make chattering noises on the street we label them maniacs.

But in the church, it indicates most profound “piousness.”

I will rather stroll in the forest and listen to birds sing.

 

 

“Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible.”

 — Francis Bacon

 

Conflicts, Moral Judgments and The African Situation

As long as men need food, wine and women there will always be wars. Since ancient times, bloody wars are always fought to eliminate the children of the devil and save the children of god and as I said earlier, these wars are fought by men – men with flesh and blood, not gods. The genocides that rocked the African continent in the past are well known throughout the world – that of the Hutus and the Tutsis of Rwanda, the two Sudans, the Ivorian and Kenyan electoral massacres, the Congo, Somalia and many others, you name them. International news agencies, like hungry vultures, are always scavenging for something about Africa – something horrific that they can publish to console themselves that they are better off.

This destruction of the African image has an intellectual start point. It begun with writers such as Lord F.W.D. Lugard, Joseph Conrad and many others who in their books and sermons implied that the African was merely an animal. But thanks to Darwin, at least we know now, that we all share a common ancestor. Never has any African made a big show of taking human life with the sole aim of sending a message to those he considers his enemies. Africans in the past have fought for economic and political reasons, but never for religious reasons (W. Soyinka, 2006). Indeed, in as much as I would like to avoid Africa’s colonial past, there is a story which I wish to narrate to illustrate my point. It is a story of how the purported animals fought alongside the gods and in the end realised that their colonial masters are not gods at all. And that they are capable of sustaining fractures should they be punched in the rib or chest or even on the nose.

During the Second World War many brave African soldiers voluntarily enrolled in the British army. The English-speaking African colonies automatically became British allies. The African soldiers were also promised better wages, benefits and general improvement in living conditions. This encouraged them and alas! As the bombs flew in – whew! BOOM! Black men fought ferociously alongside white men, if not to the astonishment of the whites. Flesh and bones of black and white alike were scattered everywhere on the battle field and in the end the enemy forces were driven back. This was how we came to know that the colonial masters were not gods at all and that was the beginning of the demand for equality, justice and self-governance. Lord Lugard himself admitted in his book, that, he (the African) is not naturally cruel but has the courage of the fighting animal.

But after the war, the promises were not honored and this led to riots and the subsequent shooting and killing of three Black army officers. This happened in I think 1949, but let’s not dwell too much on race and the African past. The big question is: why is Africa the way it is today and what is the way forward. By all means our leaders have failed us. I cannot blame the woes of Africa on any individual, nation or international organization but the lame leaders, whom we the people have ignorantly elected. These politicians always expect to be spoon-fed by IMF and World Bank.

I am convinced that the political process cannot produce any remarkable leader. Most African politicians lack a clear vision and their philosophy is that of Carpe Diem. In other words, enjoy the moment. Individuals can enjoy the moment but communities and nations have perpetual existence and therefore they cannot settle solely for the enjoyment of the moment. African leaders sign long-term loan agreements without taking interest rates into consideration. Many do not thoroughly read the contracts themselves. And then many years later, the poor peasant and market woman is made to labour hard and pay back those loans in the form of taxes. Until we begin to elect businessmen as leaders, we will continue to suffer.

A few weeks ago there were reports that Ebola patients in Sierra Leone or rather Liberia, I cannot recall correctly, have been forcefully freed by their relatives. I am sure many westerners will yawn again and say “O, these Africans, what the hell is going on with them? Don’t they want to be cured? Well let me tell you something my friend. The fact that people are sick and possibly going die doesn’t mean they must be held hostage and treated like a herd of cattle. I am not at all defending the irrational behavior of those relatives but humans as we are, we are social beings and an irrational or unreasonable policy along one arc of the circle of life produces an equally irrational response at the opposite end. Yes, people suffering from any deadly disease must be quarantined but under humane conditions until the last day of their breath.

International news stories are just summaries – black and white, you never get to know about the grey areas. It is possible that these patients were simply barricaded in a corner somewhere, waiting to die. If my parents or spouse or a close friend had been put in a confinement, without any further explanation as to what the next line of action is, and on top that, many of those confined continue to die day in day out. Did you think the right thing to do is just sit there and support your chin with palms? It was a case of helplessness. Doctors and medical practitioners can sometimes be stingy with information. And where there is scanty information assumptions rule.

Africa has not always been treated fairly. If five people die of HIV, Cholera or Ebola, the researchers simply extrapolate and conclude that thousands will die in the next two or five years. They don’t even have the courtesy to prefix their figures with the word “approximately”. Very funny statistics and research findings you know. When I was in high school thereabout, there were reports in the international media, of HIV infections that implied (considering the statistics they provided) that the disease will wipe out entire generations of Africans in the next decade or so. Are we dead? At that time we were all asked to wear condoms even if we had no intention of having sex and I was a celibate then (honestly) – saving myself for that special person.

You will be shocked to know that only few people were accurately diagnosed because back then, there were no reliable tests for the disease – the kit available tested only for high levels of antibodies in the patient’s bloodstream which they thought was indicative of HIV. One tested positive if one had large antibodies count, which could also be as a result of prolonged malaria which many mistook to be HIV; until a more reliable testing method was invented many years later. It is possible to go through all the meticulous scientific processes and at the end, still make a mistake. Mankind is a spiritual being.

The fact remains though, that, Africa has been used and desolated by all humanity. But should we Africans break down in tears? I say no. We cannot blame history, we cannot blame evolution. Why I am saying all this? It is because Africans, as retarded and uncivilized as we are branded, we cannot, “tufia kwa!”, – even the least educated or evolved African cannot behead another human in such a crude manner and afterwards, make a big show of it. I am obviously not an American but a murderer in one corner of the world is a murderer everywhere.

And they stopped their ears and ran upon him with one accord and cast him out of the city and stoned him: And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

                                                                                                         – RIP James Foley.

1

The stoning of Stephen in Dante’s “Divine Comedy”

The World Will Never Change

 

Perhaps the world will never change.

In spite of the fact that the last twenty or so centuries saw the

Greatest religious figures,

 

It is common knowledge that humanity is just moving in circles.

There appears to be, at the center of the circle of life,  a huge ditch (death)

But in the so called civilized world death does not matter.

 

Everyone is hastily trying to get ahead of the other.

And at the end anger, jealousy and betrayal become seeds

That bear crime and punishment as fruits.

 

Perhaps the greatest man is one who has been

Able to change nothing but himself.

Nature is pure and complete, it’s humans who are not.

 

 

Innocence

Photo credit: www. ktcd.org

Photo credit: kctd.org

Thousands of years ago, Babylonians successfully invaded a country in the middle east and captured many slaves. Among these slaves was a young man called Dan. The then King of Babylon, King Nebuchadnezzar, knowing very well there may be gifted individuals among the captives, ordered that a few of them be selected and brought to the palace to be trained as government officials. Dan was not only incorruptible  in the discharge of his duties but was also exceptionally knowledgeable and gifted in dream interpretation. Three times, Nebuchadnezzar had a strange dream and only the young slave gave a meaningful and a helpful interpretation. Soon, after Nebuchadnezzar was ousted, Dan was promoted over the whole province of Babylon and the native mystics who, hitherto, furnished the king with lies, were envious. All day, they tried to find fault with him but failed. Then they came up with a plan and went to the new king, King Darius and said:

” O Great King, as the Medes and Persians have it, let us a make a law that no one should worship any other god apart from the national god”

The king was hesitant but they managed to convince him and had him sign the bill into a law. A few days later, thy came back and said:

”O Great King, did you not make a law that anyone found worshiping any other god will be fed to the lions?

”Yes it is true, there is such a law”, the king replied.

”We saw that silly slave defy our gods by meditating and praying to his personal god”.

Immediately Dan was dragged to the palace and charged with ”defiance and impiety”. Deep down, the king was fond of him, he knew jealousy was at play but he was the king and must act as such. So in a soft voice, while he was being led to the den, he whispered,

“Don’t worry, the personal god which you continuously serve shall save you”. Dan was thrown in and the entrance of the den was covered.

Throughout the night, King Darius was troubled. He kept thinking –

” How could we punish an innocent man, what if he is the only one with such vision so as to give interpretations to our dreams and give sound policy directions”.

The palace musician came in as usual to play music but he sent him away. Early in the morning, before the first light of the sun, the king woke up and in his pajamas, he run through the backyard. While still halfway through to the den, he cried out:

” Dan! is your god able to deliver you from the jaw of the lions?”. And a voice echoed:

” O King, live long, my god has sent his warriors and they have shut the lion’s mouths, so that the lions have not hurt me. For in as much as before him innocence was found in me and before you, O King, have I done no hurt ”.

The king was very happy for him and had him taken out. Then his enemies, including all their families were thrown into the den. Of course they were eaten by the lions.

Symbolism of the Story

This is a symbolic story, please let no one go to the zoo and try acting out Dan. I don’t normally post on biblical literature but I was inspired by this story. First, ancient kings have the habit of keeping wild animals near the palace. In rural Africa, there are kings that keep young lions, leopards or cheetahs at the palace to establish their position in society. And the story was said to have taken place just a little beyond north of Africa. Again, I am sure you have heard about those ancient gladiators in Rome who fought even tigers, kept by the king. So it possible that there is some historical truth in the story.

Dan, however, could be any innocent victim of injustice or discrimination. The den is any dangerous position or situation that could lead to the loss of your job, family or even life. Experience has taught me that there is competition everywhere – in the family, in school and at the workplace etc and sometimes it gets so serious that opponents try to eliminate their worst competitors. Meanwhile it is not your fault that they can’t do better. In such times, whatever they accuse you of, make sure that you are innocent.

Maybe your son serves in the army or his job involves some danger, call him and tell him to let his god find innocence in him. Some people enter certain dangerous places or are involved in complicated legal battles and come out unhurt, others go and never come out- the difference is innocence.

Nelson Mandela was in prison for twenty-seven years but finally innocence was found in him and he was released. Malala was shot in the head, her skull was shattered, but she is still alive because she has done nothing wrong. I don’t think there is anything like mere luck. Let innocence be found in you.

*My apologies for not posting for while, the year started rather loaded with programmes but I will surely tell you about those four dates I had last year.