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Translated Dahesh literature

Daheshism and the Journey of Life

Introduction

About a decade ago, when I was 23 years old, I wrote a prose poem that at that time was a good reflection of my attitude toward life. I read it again recently and found it still to be a good reflection, with the exception that I was then naive on two counts, namely, friendship and love. I will elaborate on these issues in the body of this book. The title of the prose poem is "The Journey," the same journey in the title of this book. This "Journey" is symbolic and is a brief summary of our understanding of life, its meaning, and its purpose. Although the prose poem employs symbolism and alludes to the mystical nature of life, I present it to the reader as a means of obtaining a glimpse of what is to follow:

The Journey
There was a time that I recall,
Where play was joy, and joy was life.
I don't recall when it began,
And I don't know why it had to end.
Once, and in a moment of solitude I had a
"memory replay" of those childhood days,
Where I was able to see all of my friends again.
It was so real that I almost called each one of
them by name.
I recalled the games that we played,
The laughs that we had, and the innocence of
our relationship.
But those days did not last long.

They ended when I was told by my father that I
have a journey to take.
Puzzled and confused I was, nevertheless
according to him it was a must.
Where to? How? What for? I asked.
His answer was:
There is a lady who loves you,
Actually she loved you from the beginning, and
she will wait for you for as long as it takes.
Just follow the crowd, he said, for they are taking
similar journeys, and she will find you among them.
Once you see her your journey will be over, and
you will know it.

I commenced the journey.
The path was upward sloping.

May I be your companion? I asked the first
person my eyes fell upon.
He looked at me in a maze, did not answer, and
continued his journey.
I never knew why.
I repeated the same question to every man
and woman that I encountered.
Most followed his steps, and very few accepted
my offer.

As companions we had a chance to know
each other.
As companions we helped each other when the
path we took was bumpy and dangerous.
As companions we found the will to follow the path.
I was very close to one, and she became my lover.
We've gained some companions while passing
through the path, and we've lost a lot more,
for they have reached their destination.

My journey is long and exhausting, but I
dare not stop.
It is the kind of thing that once you've started
you just can't stop.
The bond between some of us grew stronger
and stronger, as the journey became longer
and longer.
The path was getting narrower and bumpier as
we reached the peak of the slope.
We've lost quite a few companions at the peak,
but gained only a few.
The path did not end there, and instead it became
downward sloping, and bumpier than ever.
As I continue this journey I pray harder and
harder every day that the path doesn't get
bumpier, and voice the following cry to the
lady in search of me:
Where are you lady?
and

What is taking you so long?
In the year 1842, Thomas Cole (1801-1848) painted a set of four oil paintings entitled The Voyage of Life (see the book's prelude). As the title indicates, the artist likened life to a voyage. The word voyage has a number of implications: (1) Any voyage must have a starting point. (2) Any voyage must have a destination. (3) Any voyage must have a duration. (4) Any voyage is a continuation of some sort of existence. (5) There is a continuity of existence after the voyage is complete. What is this voyage? Why does it have to exist? What existed before the voyage? What will happen after the destination is reached? Why is it short for some, long for others? Why is it easier for some, harder for others?

Daheshism deals with these issues and many others, and what you are about to read in this book is truly unusual. Daheshism is a revolution in the human approach to philosophy, life, and religion. It is a new garment for the body of traditional thought and belief. The aim of Daheshism is to provide a universal belief that encompasses all other beliefs. It accomplishes synthesis rather than fragmentation of religious beliefs and expansion rather than contraction of philosophical thought. However, be warned that in reading this book, a high level of open-mindedness is required. If you start reading this book with the firm idea that what you currently believe in is not open to change, please proceed no further, for Daheshism and this book are not meant for you. It takes a very open-minded person to understand and appreciate the Daheshist philosophy, and even so, it may be too much for some people to handle.

The purpose of this book is not to provide a rehearsed sermon about what is right and what is wrong. I am sure that all readers can distinguish between the two. Neither is it the purpose of this book to completely bypass the reader's beliefs. On the contrary, this book uses those beliefs as foundation poles of a structure and builds on them. It is no secret that I hope to convert the reader to my way of thinking and to Daheshism; however, it is sufficient for me to present the arguments and counterarguments in the hope that they will provoke the reader to think and, in doing so, to draw his or her own conclusions.

I have no doubt that after reading this book, many readers will think me a lunatic, a hypocrite, an enemy of organized religion, and a mentally unbalanced individual, but I hope that many others will see it differently. When Noah was under strict divine orders to build an ark of a certain size, the people of his time probably thought him insane. Noah and his family were also looked on as abnormal because they did not share the general morality of their peers. The same thing happened to Jesus Christ. He was called a hypocrite, a sorcerer, and Satan by the clergy and most of the people. Being an intellectual outcast in a society is not necessarily a bad position to be in as long as you are convinced of the moral appropriateness of your cause.

It is important to state clearly here that I am merely expressing my understanding of Daheshist beliefs. I view myself as just another frustrated soul dissatisfied with the status quo of religion, philosophy, economics, the fine arts, and just about every other aspect of life you can think of. I reach out to others who hold similar views and ask them to compare their views with mine. My sole purpose in life is to understand more about the spiritual world and how it relates to our existence. My motives are nonmaterialistic and will always be such. The contents of this book reflect the truest insight into my beliefs in life, and here I present them to you for your inspection.

 



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