As this very hot day moves into evening, I am especially glad to live in an old stone house. I feel compassion and worry somewhat about those who live in city towers where even normally there’s no air. I hope all is well with those who are fasting until the sun sets. Personally I have set a 12-hour limit. Our Creator advises us to follow a middle path, neither too hard nor too soft. He appreciates effort and perseverance but does not advise extremes.
“You shall lead My People by the middle of the Heights that I have intended for them, by their still passable paths, but not by toilsome rock climbing (routes) and not by the roads below lined with inns.
Take the middle paths; they slope upwards, but the slope is endurable, it goes by springs and through fruit groves; along the slope children can walk, wives can follow their husbands (and) lie down right next to them at halting places in order to warm up their bodies, fill them with joy, so that they together overnight forget about the strain of the ascent.
Do not overdo exhortation, or else you will dishearten people, and do not overdo persuasion, or else you will arouse doubts.
I do not send you to do away with the assemblies of religion, I send you to clean them of their princes, their priests and doctors whom I have not established over them, (and) wash them of the deceptive teachings and illusive powers which I have not put into anyone’s hands ever, because My Word alone saves, My Arm alone imparts strength, My Forgiveness alone absolves.”
The Revelation of Arès 7/1-4
Foxglove and wall pennywort
The repetition of form seen in these two volunteer plants now in bloom in front of our house caught my eye. Similar yet different.
As Ramadan approaches, I could be expecting a repetition of previous years, but have noticed a variation. This past month I have observed a tendency towards gourmandise, more than usual, (ha), which I realized is probably linked to the upcoming fasting I plan to do.
I like to hold the reins on myself firmly yet with a bit of slack, always seeking the middle way. So I have been watching as I allow myself some treats, but not caving in to all of them. It is tempting to let go and burst into a full gallop but I don’t think that would get me very far on the upward path. I remember a person we met while walking the St James Way. He walked very fast, doing maybe 40 km per day. We didn’t think we would see him again, but we did because in his haste, he would miss turnings.
I am glad that Ramadan is approaching. It is an effort but it is a blessed holy time. This is something I have experienced and does not stem from any religious training. Having learned from The Revelation of Arès that Mouhammad is one of God’s messengers, the wisest one, most listened to, it followed on that I read the Qur’an to see what this messenger had to say. One thing he says is that fasting is good for you if you only knew. So I take his advice and join with the believers of Islam by fasting during the month of Ramadan.
At first one may think it is only about denying physical pleasures but with time one can realize that it is like doing gymnastics. The muscles can then be used when needed for a task as the muscle of self-discipline, built up by the relatively simple physical effort of delaying food and drink, can be used on the spiritual level, to change within, to persevere towards Good. I hope to continue with this ongoing effort until my death. I don’t know if it can go beyond.