Slavoj Zizek- Philosopher explains True Love


Contrary to what people mean love does not idealize the other. The miracle is that you may say that you are slightly stupid, not the perfect body, whatever. But still you are the absolute for me. True love does not have to idealize. True Love is not either eternal beauty or vulgar everyday person. True love is that you see eternal beauty in the everyday person.


Im Back.

So the Occupy Wall Street Movement has inspired me to shake the dust off the blog and get back to work. Much work needs to be done.

I have posted some pictures from the movement. Lets share and discuss.

Dr. Cornell West at the Occupy Wall Street protest. True story painted on that sign…

Sufi Poetry Recognizing the Sacred Female

Edip Harabi, a Turkish Sufi-Poet of the 19th c., writes to reclaim the women’s voice in ‘man’s world’ (A Male Sufi writing from the prespective of a woman)

O’ Muhammad, they say we are inferior. Where is it men got this mistaken idea?
They disgrace the Prophet’s family with their false claims and blasphemy.

Our Mother Eve, is she not a woman? Beloved Khadija is she not a woman?
The Prophet’s daughter Fatima, is ehe not a woman? Is the Quran not full of praise of them?

These pure consorts of the pure heart can they be any less?
Whoever calls women inferior cannot reach the Truth.
You wouldn’t expect these ideas from one who knows.
Who is it that gave birth to all these Prophets of Truth?

God didn’t do anything absurd in creating us.
We don’t accept being seen as somehow less.
Women raised every saint that has walked the earth.
I dare you to accept this.

Don’t think this world can’t exist without men.
Think of Mother Mary just once: She gave birth to the glorious Christ, fatherless.
O’ mankind, we are more courageous than yourself because we show respect to you out of love.

We travel together with you on the Path, leave all these claims behind!
We may look different to you in your dresses.
In reality we are not trailing behind you.
And we warn you, we don’t consider it courageous to claim we are inferior.

Did Muhammad, the Chosen, come from a lesser being?
Did Ali, the Valiant, come from a lesser being?
Beware! Do not call your mother inferior.
What she prays at night might change your life forever.
Listen carefully to the speech of Zehra.
O’ men and knowers of Truth tell us:
Did we not give birth to all the masters who led you on God’s Way?

From Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi’s Blog which all of you should check out at

Edip Harabi

Love and the Law: An exerpt from Bulleh Shah (Required reading if you have studied the law)

Bulleh Shah (1680 – 1757) was a Punjabi Sufi poet, a humanist and philosopher from what is now considered Pakistan. As one of the leading figures in social thought and spiritualism, Bulleh Shah continually challenged the norms of society, be it materialism or hate for one’s fellow man.

While his work is expansive, the following passage was picked for a personal reason.  Throughout my career as a law school student I have felt an internal stuggle between what I would call my “Universal Self” (or innate sensibility of “fairness”) and the technical nature of the law as embraced by practioners and academics. Several justices over the years, the worst of which is Justice Scalia, have treated the cases that come before the US Supreme Court as a time to showcase thier talent of rationally explaing a inhuman or heartless decision by the court.

Most law school students in the first year, before they have been indoctrinated to accept the notion that injustice can/must be done in order to maintain the court’s precedent, always raise questions of a court not deciding the “right way” even though the Justices were maintained a high level of technical legal analysis. That is because we come into law school believing in our own internal moral compass, again what I would call a relationship to the Universal Self, and the process of learning the law forces one to take actions that may violate one’s own moral code becuase it is the “technically” correct thing to do.  

So I present Bulleh Shah’s verse which I will label as Love and Law. Though he presents teh argument as lambasting the laws created around religions by organizations and priests, but it easily translates to the abject focus on technical rationality in the modern legal forum.  This has been a more significant and epiphany inducing peice than anything I have read in law school- so for all the young lawyers, PLEASE READ THIS!

Love and Law are struggling in the human heart.
The doubt of the heart will I settle by relating questions of Law
And the answers of Love I will describe, holy Sir;

Law says go to the Mullah (priest) and learn the rules and regulations.
Love answers, “One letter is enough, shut up and put away other books.”
Law says: Perform the five baths and worship alone in the temple (reffering to the 5x daily prayer of Muslims) 
Love says: Your worship is false if you consider yourself seperate from the Universal Self.

Law says: Have shame and hide the enlightenment
Love says: What is this veil for? Let the vision be open
Law says: Go inside the mosque and perform the duty of prayer
Love says: Go to the wine-house and drinking the wine, read a prayer

Law says: Let us go to heaven; we will eat the fruits of heaven
Love says: There, we are custodians or rulers, and we ourselves will distribute the fruits of heaven
Law says: O faithful one, come perform the hajj (pilgrimage), you have to cross the bridge
Love says: The door of the Beloved (God/Allah) is in ka’baa; from there I will not stir 

Law says:  We placed Shah Mansur (a contraversial Sufi Saint) on the stake
Love says: You did well, you made him enter the door of the Beloved (God/Allah)
OUT OF LOVE, HE (Allah/ God) has created Bulleh, humble, and from dust.   

After Gbagbo’s arrest, President Ouattarra Urges Calm

Ivory Coast's Laurent Gbagbo

Gbagbo under custody after Ouatarra forces take over home.

Published in BBC.
Ivory Coast’s UN-recognised President, Alassane Ouattara, has urged restraint after the dramatic capture of his bitter rival Laurent Gbagbo.  Announcing an investigation into Mr Gbagbo, he promised him a fair trial and said a truth and reconciliation commission would be set up. Mr Gbagbo surrendered after a military assault on his residence in Abidjan.

He had provoked a crisis by refusing to cede power, insisting he had won November’s presidential election. But forces loyal to Mr Ouattara advanced on his residence on Monday, while French tanks backing the UN peacekeeping mission in the country stood by. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the detention of Mr Gbagbo, saying it had brought to an end months of unnecessary conflict, and the UN would support the new government.

US President Barack Obama also welcomed his capture, and called on armed groups in Ivory Coast to lay down their arms to boost the chances of a democratic future. He added that victims and survivors of violence in the country deserved accountability for the crimes committed against them.

Speaking on his TV channel, a sombre Mr Ouattara appealed to Ivorians to “abstain from all reprisals and violence”.  Mr Gbagbo, his wife Simone and his “collaborators” would be investigated by the judicial authorities, he promised. The personal security of Mr Gbagbo and his family would be guaranteed, he said.

The country had just turned a painful page in its history, he added, but it was entering a new era of peace and hope.  There have been allegations of atrocities by both pro-Gbagbo and pro-Ouattara forces. The UN has reports of more than 1,000 people being killed and at least 100,000 fleeing the country. UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy confirmed that Mr Gbagbo and his wife were under UN police guard at Abidjan’s Golf Hotel, where Mr Ouattara has his headquarters.

Mr Gbagbo has been shown on pro-Ouattara TV sitting in a room, looking dazed but apparently uninjured, wearing an open shirt and white vest.  The TV channel broadcast a message from the deposed leader in which he called for an end to hostilities. “I hope that we stop the fighting and get into the civilian part of the crisis, and that we end it quickly so the country can go back to normal,” he said.

Escalating conflict

Forces loyal to Mr Ouattara launched an offensive from their stronghold in the north at the end of March, after months of political deadlock.  As they closed in on Mr Gbagbo’s power base in Abidjan, the country’s main city, UN and French attack helicopters targeted heavy weapons being used by his forces. Mr Ban said UN and French forces had acted strictly within the framework of a UN resolution aimed at protecting the civilian population.

He said he wanted to speak to “President Alassane Ouattara” as soon as possible. “This is an end of a chapter that should never have been,” he added. “We have to help them to restore stability, rule of law, and address all humanitarian and security issues.”

Mr Le Roy told reporters after addressing the UN Security Council that the chief of Mr Gbagbo’s forces had called the UN to say that he wanted to surrender weapons.

The Great Cornell West on the Examined Life: Courage to think, Courage to love, Courage to Hope

Philosophers are lovers of wisdom. It takes tremendous discpline, takes tremendous courage to think for yourself to examine yourself its socratic and imperative to examine yourself requires courage.  William Butler Yates used to say it takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your soul than a it does for a soldier to fight on the battlefield Courage to think critically, courage is denabling virtue for any philosopher or human being in the world. Courage to think Courage to love Courage to Hope.

Plato says that philosphy is a meditation on and a preparation for death. And by death what he means is not an event, but a death in life becaues there is no rebirth no change no transformation without death. So the question becomes how do you learn how to die. Of course Montaine talks about that in his famous essay, “to philosophize is to learn how to die.” You cant talk about truth without talking about learning how to die. I believe that Theodore Adorno is right when he says that the condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak, that gives it an existential emphasis you see? So were really talkin about Truth as a way of life as opposed to truth as a set of propostions that correspond to a set of things in the world.

Human beings are unable to ever gain any monopoly on Truth- captial T. We might have access to truth, small t, but they are fallable claims about truth, they could be wrong they could be open to revisions and so on. So there is a certain kind of mystery that goes hand in hand with Truth. This is why so many of the existential thinkers be they religious like Meister Eckhart or Paul Tillich or be they secular like Camus and Sarte, that they are accenting our finetude and our inabilty to fully grasp the ultimate nature of reality, the truth about things.

 So you talk about Truth being tied to the way to Truth. Because once you give up on the notion of fully grasping the way the world is- you are gonna talk about what are the ways in which I can sustain my quest for truth. How do you sustain a path or journety toward truth, the way to truth?