According to the writer, Zahir comes from Islamic tradition and is thought to have
arisen at some point in the 18th century. Zahir, in Arabic, means visible, present,
incapable of going unnoticed. It is someone or something which, once we have come
into contact with them or it, gradually occupies our every thought, until we can think
of nothing else. This can be considered either a state of holiness or of madness.
My Zahir is not a romantic metaphor - a blind man, a compass, a tiger, or a coin.
(darkness, direction, bulldozer, flipping between holiness or madness)
And suddenly, in the middle of the central nave, I realise something very important:
the cathedral is me, it is all of us. We are all growing and changing shape, we notice
certain weaknesses that need to be corrected, we don’t always choose the best
solution, but we carry on regardless, trying to remain upright and decent, in order to
do honour not to the walls or the doors or the windows, but to the empty space inside,
the space where we worship and venerate 崇敬 what is dearest and most important to
us. (Inner light)
I don’t believe in the curative powers of suffering and tragedy; they happen because
they’re part of life and shouldn’t be seen as a punishment. Generally speaking, the
universe tells us when we’re wrong by taking away what is most important to us; our
friends. And that, I think I’m right in saying, is what was happening with you.
I just know, I can see it in your eyes, and it doesn’t do you any good. All it does is
feed a constant desire to feel sorry for yourself, because you were the victim of people
stronger than you. Or else it makes you go to the other extreme and disguise yourself
as an avenger 復仇者 ready to hit out at the people who hurt you. Isn’t that a waste of
The roe deer has the male attributes of speed and an understanding of the earth. The
two travel along together in their symbolic words, two impossibilities who have found
each other, and because they overcome their own natures and their barriers, they make
the world possible too. That is the Mongolian creation myth: out of two different
natures love is born. In contradiction, love grows in strength. In confrontation and
transformation, love is preserved. (3 successive steps towards collaboration to resolve
conflicts by seeking common grounds)
I’m beginning to like the idea of you coming with me to the Armenian restaurant,
because you’ll learn - or, rather, become conscious of – three important things.
First, that as soon as people decide to confront a problem, they realise that they are far
more capable than they thought they were.
Second, that all energy and all knowledge come from the same unknown source,
which we usually call God. What I’ve tried to do in my life, ever since I first started
out on what I believe to be my path, is to honour that energy, to connect up with it
every day, to allow myself to be guided by the signs, to learn by doing and not by
thinking about doing.
Third, that on one is alone in their troubles; there is always someone else thinking,
rejoicing or suffering in the same way, and that gives us the strength to confront the
challenge before us.
When the unwanted guest arrives….
I might be afraid.
I might smile or say:
My day was good, let night fall.
You will find the field ploughed, the house clean, the table set, and everything in its
place. (new edifices of thoughts are constructed after critical incidents via collapsing
old core beliefs)
That is simple. They are the prisoners of their personal history. Everyone believes that
the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was
created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other
people’s ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they
forget their dreams.
That is why it is so important to let certain things go. To release them. To cut loose.
People need to understand that no one is playing with marked cards; sometimes we
win and sometimes we lose. Don’t expect to get anything back, don’t expect
recognition for your efforts, don’t expect your genius to be discovered or your love to
be understood. Complete the circle. Not out of pride, inability or arrogance, but
simply whatever it is no longer fits in your life. Close the door, change the record,
clean the hours, get rid of the dust. Stop being who you were and become who you
The accomodador or giving-up point: there is always an event in our lives that is
responsible for us failing to progress: a trauma, a particularly bitter defeat, a
disappointment in love, even a victory that we did not quite understand, can make
cowards of us and prevent us from moving on. As part of the process of increasing his
hidden powers, the shaman must first free himself from that giving-up point and, to
do so, he must review his whole life and find out where it occurred.
The accomodador. Another part of my personal history resurfaces. If only Marie were
here! I need to talk about myself, about my childhood, to tell her how, when I was
little, I was always fighting and beating up the other children because I was the oldest
in the class. One day, my cousin gave me thrashing, and I was convinced from then
on that I would never ever win another fight, and since then I have avoided any
physical confrontation, even though, this has often meant me behaving like a coward
and being humiliated in front of girlfriends and friends alike.
The accomodador. For two years, I tried to learn how to play the guitar. To begin
with, I made rapid progress, but then reached a point where I could progress no
further, because I discovered that other people were learning faster than I was, which
made me feel mediocre, and so as not to have to feel ashamed, I decided that I was no
longer interested in learning. The same thing happened with snooker, football, bicycle
racing. I learned enough to do everything reasonably well, but there was always a
point where I got stuck.
Last week, I interviewed a man who is an expert in police interrogation. He told me
that they get most of their information by using a technique they call “cold/hot”. They
always start with a very aggressive policeman who says he has no intention of
sticking to the rules, who shouts and thumps the tale. When he has scared the prisoner
nearly witless, the ‘good policeman’ comes in and tells his colleague to stop, offers
the prisoner a cigarette, pretends to be his friend and gets the information he wants.
p. 249 – 251 (see pdf files)
now I realised that the Zahir was more than a man obsessed with an object, with a
vein in the marble of one of the 1200 columns in the mosque in Cordoba, as Borges
puts it, or , as in my own painful case for the last two years, with a woman in Central
Asia. The Zahir was a fixation on everything that had been passed from generation to
generation; it left no question unanswered, it took up all the space; it never allowed us
even to consider that possibility that things could change. (Freud’s fixation and Eric
Erikson’s incompetence to finish the life tasks at different psychosocial stages) P 269
–271 (see pdf files)
A warrior of light knows that he has much to be grateful for. He was helped in his
struggle by the angels; celestial forces placed each thing in its place, thus allowing
him to give of his best. That is why, at sunset, he kneels and give thanks for the
protective cloak surrounding him.
His companions say, “he is so lucky!” but he knows that ‘luck’ is knowing to look
around him and to see where his friends are, because it was through their words that
the angels were able to make themselves heard.
p. 288 – 289 (see pdf files)
I am filthy. My clothes and my face are caked with sand, my body drenched in sweat,
even though it is very cold.
Although I know what I may have lost forever the woman I love, I must try to enjoy
all the graces that god has given me today. Grace cannot be hoarded. 積聚錢財 There
are no banks where it can be deposited to be used when I feel more at peace with
myself. If I do not make full use of these blessings, I will lose them forever.
God knows that we are all artists of life. One day, he give us a hammer with which to
make sculptures, another day he gives us brushes and paints with which to make a
picture, or paper and a pencil to write with. But you cannot make a painting with a
hammer, or a sculpture with a paintbrush. Therefore, however difficult it may be, I
must accept today’s small blessings, even if they seem like curses because I am
suffering and it’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining, and the children are singing in the
street. This is the only way I will manage to leave my pain behind and rebuild my life.
I was still very bruised. I could not believe it was possible to love again. He did not
say much; he taught me to speak Russian and told me that in the steppes 俄羅斯大草
原 they use the word ‘blue’ to describe the sky even when it is grey, because they
know that, above the clouds, the sky is always blue. He took me by the hand and
helped me to go through those clouds. He taught me to love myself rather then to love
him. He showed me that my heart was at the service of myself and of god, and not at
the service of others.