The Mystic Conviction Of Ibn Musaed

The mystic Yunus Ibn Yusuf Ibn Musaed was born around 1132 into the Mukharik family, of the tribe of Shaiban (بنو شيبان).  The subdivisions of this tribe occupied an area called the Jazira, a region covering what is now eastern Syria and upper Mesopotamia.  He would later found an order of dervishes that came to be called, according to his biographer Ibn Khallikan, the Yunusiya.

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Jack London In The Abyss

In 1902 Jack London resolved to travel seven thousand miles from California to England.  His stated purpose was to lose himself in the docks and slums of London’s squalid East End, and see what he might learn from the experience.  One might reasonably ask why he would do this, when numerous examples of urban misery could be observed in the cities of his own country, such as New York, Chicago, San Francisco, or any of a dozen others.  But the idea was actually presented to him by his British publisher after the release of London’s first book in England.

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Sustained Effort Is Needed For Grand Designs

Great enterprises require a sustained effort over a long period of time.  They cannot be pursued in fits and starts with intermittent bursts of energy; and they demand a confluence of factors that only coalesce on rare occasions.  There must exist the ability and talent to conceive the project; there must be intense initiative and endurance to carry it through to completion; and, as a practical matter, the creator must have the leisure and financial ability to sponsor his labors.  If any of these requirements are wanting, there will be no progress.

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The Apple

There is an allegorical short story written by H.G. Wells entitled The Apple.  Several men in a “third-class carriage on a Sussex railway,” each absorbed in his own thoughts, begin to talk among themselves.  One announces that he is in possession of what he calls an “apple from the Tree of Knowledge,” and that he “must get rid of it.”

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Real Kings Are Not Common

We live in times of feeble leadership.  Those who occupy public offices often seem more willing to advance their own interests than those of the citizens they represent; they tremble at the thought of taking any action or initiative that might involve risk on their part.  And so the citizenry suffers to buttress the careerist ambitions of the few.

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Flee From Those Who Drain You, And Seek Those Who Sustain You

There is a certain truculence that must figure in the disposition of an independent spirit.  He who strays from the approved paths through the forest must be prepared to swing his machete with vigor and persistence at the tangles of vegetation that obstruct his forward movement.  He will seek to test the boundaries of the enclosures that surround him, and will always be probing for opportunities to detect fractures and imperfections in their constructions.

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Dr. Johnson On Moral Philosophy As A Cornerstone Of Education

We have here very frequently discussed the necessity of training in character and the virtues as a lifelong activity.  This subject is the concern of moral philosophy:  that is, the study of conduct and the virtues.  It is through moral philosophy that a man’s passions are bridled, directed, and channeled for positive use.  Without this discipline, he never learns to sublimate his ego to a higher purpose; he begins to think of himself as an emperor, a man beyond the reach of the rules and obligations that apply to everyone else.  Selfishness, arrogance, and close-mindedness creep into the subconscious, eventually to dominate every waking impulse.

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Of Cowardice And Magnanimity

The philosopher and naturalist Theophrastus of Eresos succeeded Aristotle as head of the Peripatetic school; and while he may not have had his predecessor’s visionary profundity, he more than compensated for this with a genial manner, relentless curiosity, and a genius for organization.  Like the Prussian naturalist Alexander Von Humboldt, there was nothing in the heavens or on the earth that escaped his attention; and his exhaustive botanical treatise, the Historia Plantarum (Study of Plants) remained an authority in the field until well beyond the medieval period.

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