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Shab Yalda

Ghazal, my Dear, Did you recognized that daylight lasted for 2 minutes longer today than it did yesterday ? I hope you experienced some sun shine altogether in Stockholm. But even if it was just another dim day today, you should be happy to know that from today on we will have more and more daylight, since today is Yalda, and this marks the rebirth of the sun.
The following Ghazal No. 113 by Hafiz has some relation to light (enjoy !)

Light will someday split you open
Even if your life is now a cage,
For a divine seed, the seed of destiny, 
Is hidden and sown on an ancient, fertile plain
You hold the title to.

Love will surely bust you wide open 
Into an unfettered, blooming new galaxy
Even if your mind is now a spoiled mule.

A life-giving radiance will come,
The Friend’s gratuity will come—
O look again within yourself, 
For I know you were once the elegant host
To all the marvels in creation.

From a sacred crevice in your body
A bow rises each night
And shoots your soul into God.
Behold the Beautiful Drunk Singing one 
From the lunar vantage point of love.

He is conducting the affairs
Of the whole universe
While throwing wild parties
In a tree house—on a limb
In your heart.

Take Care, Michael


Hello Michael,
Thank you that you remember Yalda. Nobody in the Lab knows about it:  everybody is preparing for the swedish Jule, and this is big business. I liked the poem by Hafiz. Why is it called Ghazal No. 113 ? Do you know why he numbered them, instead of giving titles ?  I assume because he was not only a big poet, but also in love with numbers.
We had to switch on all lamps at home, to really believe that light will come back now. It is really dim the whole day long, and it makes people depressive. In Persia, where Yalda the tradition of celebrating Yalda comes from, the sun does not completely disappears in winter time, as it is here in Skandinavia.
I hope you are fine and can go Skiing at the Zugspitze already. It was nice there, I would like to go again.
Take Care


Ghazal dear, Hafiz wrote 495 Ghazals, he was really productive. If he would have ever met you, I’m sure he would have found inspiration for at least 5 more. Consequently, he might have succeeded to write up to Ghazal No. 500, and this last one would be the Ghazal about Ghazal. This, for sure, would have been the essence of all other 499 Ghazals and the most enchanting one.
Greetings,   Michael


Skiing in Iran with Farah Diba Pahlevi

Hi Michael, when I woke up this morning the view from the window brought a big surprise: suddenly the green around our house had turned white and the roofs and the trees all were covered with a thick layer of fluffy snow. This is the definite sign that a very long autumn is over now, and Yalda and Christmas days are waiting. Winter time in Stockholm is actually not the most pleasant time. It can be wet and chilly and a hopeless battle against the dirty mud that soon spreads all around the streets and buildings. Occasionally large blocks of snow fall down from roofs, and hence there are signs warning from these life-threatening roof-avalanches. My mom and Shava, who both grow up in Tehran associate snow with something different: for them going skiing to the nearby Elburs mountains in the 1970s was something extraordinary, a very rare and very special kind of entertainment. They told me that spending a day out at the skiing ressort of Dizin was like jumping for some hours into the world of the glossy swiss tóurist brochures. It was not simply the gorgeous nature with the snow-covered peak Sichal and wooden chalets and deep forests in the valley that made these trips so unique, but it was also a feeling of freedom and joy beyond the boundaries of an otherwise very traditional society. Shava said it was not impossible to meet on the ski-slopes members of the Shahs family. Have a look at the youtube video below: Farah Diba Pahlevi, the Shahbanoo, is there and making random aquaintance with two americans. This was in 1978

take care
 Ghazal my Dear, This video reminds me of the few days we spend up at the Zugspitze peak in 2010. Isn"t it funny, that winter time in the snow-covered mountains looks so similar after more than 30 years and at places more than 3ooo km apart ? The alps, however, have not seen much snow this year yet. It is still very green up there. I guess they will need a lot of snow machines to prepare the slopes for this years season. Take Care, Michael


Christopher Hitchens dies at age of 62

Dear Ghazal, Christopher Hitchens, one of the bravest opponents of religious hypocrisy and fighter for a secular and educated society died today. In his 2007 book "God is not Great" Hitchens dismantled the concept of a God or a supreme being as being a totalitarian belief that destroys individual freedom. His opinion that free expression and scientific discovery should replace religion as a means of teaching ethics and defining human civilization clashed very early with the islamist view of bringing the entire human society in line with the Quoran. In 1989 he publicly condemned the death-trial (Fatwa) imposed on Salman Rushdie by the head of iranian state Ajatollah Khomeini.


The Higgs Particle Thiefs

BBC News (13-12-2011): Higgs boson: LHC scientists to release best evidence

Anticipation is building in the run-up to presentations of the best-yet evidence for - or against - the existence of the Higgs boson.  Rumours have been swirling about the findings for weeks, ahead of the announcement on Tuesday afternoon.

The famed particle is a missing link in current theories of physics, used to explain how everything gains its mass.  It is likely to yield only tantalising hints, as the teams do not have enough data to claim a formal discovery.

Rumours have it that two teams nick-named the "Higgs-Hunters" at CERN were able to catch only a handful of the long sought-after particle, amid original calculations that each week should give them thousands. And the disappointing low number of particles catched in the CERN detectors mounted to a barely significant evidence for their existance at all.  Now it seems that a yet unknown group of self-declared slimness-fighters started a sabotage crusade against the official Higgs-hunters already month before the CERN researchers switch on their Higgs-Trap device.  And it could even be that although being far behind the CERN organisation in terms of their technology, they managed to reduce dramatically the number of freely-available Higgs-Bosons by a very simple measure:   Swallowing them.



In a letter that was received this morning by BBC and is signed by the executive board of the sabotage group (calling themself "The Higgs Particle Thiefs") some of of the group members pose in front of the camera while celebrating their success: Each of them claim to have swallowed at least a couple of thousands of Higgs Particles during the last month, and all still feel fine. They also believe they can show themself now that the Higgs-Particle is really the source of mass. They estimate that one swallowed Higgs-Particle increases the body mass by about 0.31814  lb.



Christian faith, Shia Islam and Nazi Fascism: Common patterns

Christian faith, Shia Islam and Nazi Fascism share one common in their roots:  All three ideologies or religions are based on the myth that their founder (or at least one of their earliest believers) were killed by the enemy. Hence, all three seek for supporters who are willing to take revenge by assasinating as many as possible of the branded enemies. Orthodox christians still claim today that Jesus was killed by the Jews, and this was used as justification for pogroms against the jewish minority over centuries. For the german nazis, the death of Horst Wessel, a pimp who recruited SA thugs in gang fight and who was shot by a communists in a privat dispute was their big founding mythology.  They used this story, after adding a completely made-up political component to it, to arrest, torture and kill hundred thousands of communists in the death camps auf Dachau, Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen and Bergen-Belsen. The third ideology in this group, Shia Islam is based on the mythology that Hussein ibn Ali, grandson of Muhammad and funder of their faith lost his life in a military battle against the Umayyad Caliphs in Kufa.  According to Shia faith, Hussein died as a martyr. During the annual Ashura the shiits mourning Hussein by torturing themself, whipping iron chains over their back and riping the skin of their breast and head until blood spreads all around.  The violence, however, is not restricted to themself:  Foreigners or any non-Shia believers are recommended to stay away from the Ashura procession, since attacks against such "Kufr" (or non-believers) are considered a normal emotional outburst  of Shia islamic faith. It is also not surprising, that during the late-November 2011 attacks against the British embassy in Tehran the thugs shouted slogangs condeming all enemies of Shia islam and praising the memory of Hussein.

In all three cases, Christian faith, Nazi Fascism and Shia Islam, the believers are convinced that the death of one of their legendary funders, either killed in a military battle, sentenced to death by a court or shot dead in a gang fight, was a loss so sever that a virtually unlimitted number of the "enemies" has to be killed in revenge. Hence, an ever-lasting physical aggression against the Kafrs, the pagans, heretics or the political opponents is the conditio-sine-qua-non of religions and political ideologies who are based on a martyr founding myth.

This does not exclude other faiths or ideologies to behave aggressive from time to time. But as a natural self-protection there is always a tendency to settle an aggression. For sure, Israel is not a pacifist nation, nobody will honoustly claim that in the long-lasting tension between the jewish nation and its arab neighbours the israel army acts like a peace keeper. The difference between the jewish religion and Shia Islam or medieval  Christianity is that the thora clearly says "Eye by eye,  tooth by tooth"  (עין תּחת עין  :  ajin tachat ajin).   It warns everybody to continue an aggression, after a criminal act has been settled by an appropriate punishment.  Even the Mafia, notorious for aggresive acts of revenge against its enemies, has a certain ethic by finishing a dispute ones the "law of crime and punishment" has been settled. As compared to ideologies that are based on the mythology of an eternal burden of sin (Jews are still considered by the catholic church as murders of Jesus and should be stung with remorse), the concept of Nemesis in greek philosophy was revolutionary by stating that when an offender was righteously punished, its crime should be considered as settled and no further aggression against himself, his family, his nation or religion is justified.

Neither Shia Islam nor Nazi ideology or Christian religion have this concept of nemesis.  Aggression against all Kafr is immanent at Ashura feast. And how indifferent right-wing and nazi-supporters are in killing innocent people whom they consider un-worthy became obvious not only after the Norwegian Breivik mass-murder, but nowadays in Germany when the systematic assasination of foreigners by a self-declared "national-socialistic underground" organisation is revealed.

And christian religion ?  Sure, they more or less successfully try now to hide the historical importance of their own martyre mythology.  Now they like to make people believe that christianity was always synonymous with tolerance and pacifism. But in fact, for at least 17hundred of their highly praises 2000 years history, christianity reproduced the idea of Jesus being the victim of the evil Jews as a strong argument to gather their supporters and promote the worst crimes during the crusades.