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Contributors' Blog

Weathering the Winter of the Soul

Posted by Pythia Peay on January 14, 2010

I grew up on a farm on the Western edge of Missouri, hard by Kansas. This was the prairie landscape of our frontier forebears, and upon its blank canvas the seasons were clearly marked.

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Spiritual Chivalry: A Call for Submissions

Posted by Satya Khan on December 3, 2009

Since the Inauguration of Seven Pillars in 2008, we have been developing the idea for an anthology on modern spiritual chivalry, and I am excited and delighted to invite you all to participate.

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A Higher Love

Posted by Nizam-un-Nisa Ayeda Naqvi on November 12, 2009

Not too far from where I live, in Lahore, Pakistan, is a little shrine. It is not the mausoleum of a famous poet or a Sufi saint, but the resting place of two star-crossed lovers who were denied the sanctity of marriage by their society almost five hundred years ago.

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The Recovery of a Cosmic Orientation

Posted by William Irwin Thompson on October 29, 2009

And there is also on the island both a magnificent sacred precinct of Apollo and a notable temple which is adorned with many votive offerings and is spherical in shape.

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The Promise of Judaism: A Summary

Posted by Darakshan Farber on October 29, 2009

On October 12th I had the pleasure of attending "The Promise of Judaism," a lively discussion between Rabbi Rami Shapiro, Rabbi David Ingber, Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum, and Rabbi Yaakov Kellman, hosted by Pir Zia Inayat-Khan and moderated by Rabia Povich.

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Points in Space and Patterns that Connect

Posted by Ayaz Joseph Newland on September 17, 2009

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Summer Thoughts

Posted by David Spangler on August 7, 2009

There is a theme that has been rattling around in my brain for a couple of weeks, one that I’d like to develop more fully in the months ahead, and that is the theme of participation and partnership.

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Showers of Blessings

Posted by Abi-Ru Shirzan Ghosh on June 8, 2009

I’ve been thinking about what shapes blessings take. There are the flamboyant ones—the brightly clad and strongly perfumed Good Things that you can see—and smell—coming from a long way off. There are the ones that are like longed-for, long-missing, long-expected guests, too.

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Mahavir Jayanti

Posted by Abi-Ru Shirzan Ghosh on April 7, 2009

Western calendars date today as April 7, but it is also the thirteenth day of Chaitra in the traditional Indian calendar. Mahavir Jayanti, the most important Jain holiday, is celebrated today.

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The Power of Submission

Posted by Satya Khan on April 7, 2009

As a female working with Seven Pillars on the core area of chivalry, I am sometimes asked about the male associations the word chivalry can bring to mind, such as the imagery of the medieval knight. His strength and dominance are one aspect of chivalry, but there is a complement to this quality that is more feminine in nature: submission. The true chevalier needs two qualities to succeed: the iron of strength, and the silk of submission.

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The Nature of Revelation

Posted by Abi-Ru Shirzan Ghosh on April 1, 2009

If we want to understand the deep nature of revelation, we are in fact wishing for revelation about revelation. Fortunately, we begin the journey of revelation no later than our first breath and end it no earlier than our last. By definition, revelation is the act of pulling aside a veil, or what is perceived when the veil is pulled aside. Thus, revelation involves disclosure of what was already present, although hidden, mysterious, unrecognized.

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Forty Minutes for Forty Days - Mysticism in Action!

Posted by Eva Cristofalo on January 12, 2009

Looking for ways to connect your personal spiritual practices with the cry of the world?  The Second Annual Winter Feast for the Soul, A 40-day Worldwide Spiritual Practice Period will take place from 15 January to 23 February 2009...

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Remembrance of the Hero

Posted by Satya Khan on January 7, 2009

Today is the holy day known as 'Ashura, which takes place on the 10th of Muharram in the Islamic calendar.

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A World of Loyal Dog Morality

Posted by Satya Khan on December 10, 2008

One of my favorite aspects of chivalry is a curiosity about peoples' ideals. If we all sat down - coming from our different cultures, upbringings, and viewpoints - and wrote down our highest ideals, would there be common themes?

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Seeing the Earth as a Planetary Body

Posted by Ayaz Joseph Newland on November 22, 2008

Photographs of the Earth from space, the first from 1966, and now of planets circling other suns, new in November 2008, enlarge our vision of the planet where we live and enrich our view of the universe.

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Starting with the Universe

Posted by Ayaz Joseph Newland on November 14, 2008

Welcome to a small corner of the cosmos dedicated to exploring cosmology and a re-enchantment of humanity’s view of the world. Traditionally, cosmology has resided more in the realm of philosophy than science. Here, now, at Seven Pillars, the two are seen as complementary, often inseparable. Increasingly so, in fact. Convergence is one of the wonderful things about a world that is becoming ever more complex, but in that process, many branches of inquiry are growing together, not apart.

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Games Children Play

Posted by Satya Khan on October 29, 2008

An important aspect to a chivalric life is the adaptation of a moral code. It is challenging to identify one's ideals in crystallized form, and even more so to follow them and stay true to them, day in and day out, come what may. I have a great love for moral codes and find it fascinating to look at sets of ideals that a person or a culture follows, or in this case recommends - what draws someone to those ideals in particular? What things are most important? Are there universal ideals that are true for all people?

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A.E.  - George William Russell

Posted by Eva Cristofalo on October 29, 2008

How does one synthesize a life such as this?

After months of becoming more and more engrossed with George “A.E.” Russell’s life and art, I realized I would never be satisfied with writing the short paragraph or two being requested of me.  Nor could I hope to approach the level of knowledge of those who have spent the better part of their lifetime studying A.E. alongside those other Irish greats with whom he was contemporary.  Then I found this brilliant essay by Declan Foley.

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Jesus Loves Me

Posted by Abi-Ru Shirzan Ghosh on October 20, 2008

If you turned to the hymn “Jesus Loves Me” in my Sunday School songbook, you would see an annotation below: “The favorite hymn of China.” Even for a child of fundamentalism, it was vastly reassuring to be told that the Chinese not only recognized Christ’s love, but that they were fond of singing about it....

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Transformation From the Inside Out

Posted by Abi-Ru Shirzan Ghosh on October 20, 2008

Sometimes my students yawn in my face when I talk to them about transformation. Change is something that was always inevitable, something that, in any case, was over and done with—rigor mortis setting in—long before their own college matriculation.  Alternatively, change is what WILL happen, in the roseate dawn of a new day following their own graduation or, more remotely, the election of their favorite candidate. Change is not about now. And—duh!—it involves circumstances, not personal characteristics. Change tends to be external and even cosmetic, not internal, not formative and even fundamental....

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Abraham’s Great Assent

Posted by Abi-Ru Shirzan Ghosh on October 20, 2008

Abraham was constantly asked to place something precious on the altar.  In the Midrash and the Quran, he is first asked to sacrifice idolatry.  Since his father was a maker of idols, giving up “graven images” amounted to breaking with his family and his heritage.  He surrenders his name in return for a promise.  The next request of Abraham is that he give up his place, his home territory, allowing himself to be uprooted without being informed of the spot to which he will be transplanted....

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Seven Septillion Stars

Posted by Ayaz Joseph Newland on September 2, 2008

Seven Septillion Stars. Yes, 70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000: seven followed by twenty-two zeros. How many is that? It’s the current estimate of stars in the universe based on a recent astronomical survey. More than the grains of sand on the earth.

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