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March 23, 2007


He still sounds remarkably lucid! I hope he finishes his project.

Beth, what a wonderful conversation. Thank you for recording it. Best wishes for your father-in-law's recovery...

Whew -- my heart stopped when I got to that last paragraph in italic. I'm glad it was just a scare. I really like that guy.

By the way, there's a typo in the Arabic: "al-dil" should be "al-din."

Thanks for your concern...he's home now and doing OK. (LH - I'll fix the typo, thank you for pointing it out.)

There's so much that's attractive in this conversation, Beth. A lot of that is in your telling. Wonderful work. I'm happy to see "the Fig and the Orchid" get its own category. It's a lovely project so far.

But, also, I was drawn to the list-making. For me, lists are a way of taking delight in the world. It's the soul saying to itself, "let me count the ways."

And it makes me think now, who are my hanifa in the ancient world? Heraclitus, Diogenes, Epictetus, Qohelet, Marcus Aurelius, Yeshua, Socrates, Gautama, Homer, Rumi. They are such a comfort. They irritate in all the right ways.

But, more than these, the many nameless ones, who contributed to traditions: the writers of the Upanisads, the line of pre-Homeric bards, the originators of the Ifa corpus, the mystical Rabbis...

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.