Real filth is the one inside. The rest simply washes off. There is only one type of dirt that cannot be cleansed with pure waters, and that is the stain of hatred and bigotry contaminating the soul. You can purify your body through abstinence and fasting, but only love will purify your heart.
We're stuck. We're stuck between the East and the West. Between the past and the future. On the one hand there are the secular modernists, so proud of the regime they constructed, you cannot breathe a critical word. They've got the army and half of the state on their side. On the other hand there are the conventional traditionalist, so infatuated with the Ottoman past, you cannot breathe a critical word. They've got the general public and the remaining half of the state on their side.
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Bountiful is your life, full and complete. Or so you think, until someone comes along and makes you realize what you have been missing all this time. Like a mirror that reflects what is absent rather than present, he shows you the void in your soul""the void you have resisted seeing. That person can be a lover, a friend, or a spiritual master. Sometimes it can be a child to look after. What matters is to find the soul that will complete yours. All the prophets have given the same advice: Find the one who will be your mirror!".
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God is busy with the completion of your work, both outwardly and inwardly. He is fully occupied with you. Every human being is a work in progress that is slowly but inexplicably moving toward perfection. We are each an unfinished work of art both waiting and striving to be completed. God deals with each of us separately because humanity is a fine art of skilled penmanship where every single dot is equally important for the entire picture.
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What i'm saying is, my friends, one ought to be able to let go. If a path does not please us, instead of insisting on going that specific way, of making our selfishness the guide, we ought to forsake. The books we cannot write, the films we cannot shoot, the projects we cannot develop, the jobs we cannot pursue and the people who no longer love us. Being able to let go, at times, is the most beautiful of all!
The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation. Do no harm. Practise compassion. And do not gossip behind anyone's back - not even seemingly innocent remark! The words that come out of our mouth do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time. One man's pain will hurt us all. One man's joy will make everyone smile.
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Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be so shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.
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A life without love is of no account. Don't ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western. Divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. "Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! "The universe turns differently when fire loves water.
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We were all created in His image, and yet we were each created different and unique. No two people are alike. No two hearts beat to the same rhythm. If God had wanted everyone to be the same. He would have made it so. Therefore, disrespecting differences and imposing your thoughts on others is tantamount to disrespecting God's holy scheme.
The child had indeed shut up but all the questions that had accumulated on his tongue circulated in his mouth, moved through the passages of his nose and climbed up from there to tickle into his teardrop ducts, so in his moss green pupils, curious, insistent, accusing sparks of questions continued to light up and fade away like fireflies flitting about on summer nights.
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I am very worried about this concentration of power, and it's not only because of Erdogan. We have the ballot box, but we don't have the culture of democracy. The government says: You see, we have the majority, we're entitled to do anything we want. But that's not democracy, that's majoritarianism.
Yeah, we should all line up along the Bosphorus Bridge and puff as hard as we can to shove this city in the direction of the West. If that doesn't work, we'll try the other way, see if we can veer to the East. It's no good to be in between. International politics does not appreciate ambiguity.
If you want to change the way others treat you, you should first change the way you treat yourself. Unless you learn to love yourself, fully and sincerely, there is no way you can be loved. Once you achieve that stage, however, be thankful for every thorn that others might throw at you. It is a sign that you will soon be showered in roses.
Ways of loving from a distance, mating without even touching-Amor platonicus! The ladder of love one is expected to climb higher and higher, elating the Self and the Other. Plato clearly regards any actual physical contact as corrupt and ignoble because he thinks the true goal of Eros is beauty. Is there no beauty in sex? Not according to Plato. He is after 'more sublime pursuits.' But if you ask me, I think Plato's problem, like those of many others, was that he never got splendidly laid.
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Submission does not mean being weak or passive. It leads to neither fatalism nor capitulation. Just the opposite. True power resides in submission. A power that comes from within. Those who submit to the divine essence of life will live in unperturbed tranquility and peace even when the whole wide world goes through turbulence after turbulence.
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That was the one thing about the rain that likened it to sorrow: You did your best to remain untouched, safe and dry, but if and when you failed, there came a point in which you started seeing the problem less in terms of drops than as an incessant gush, and thereby you decide you might as well get drenched.
We're born into a certain family, nation, class. But if we have no connection whatsoever with the worlds beyond the one we take for granted, then we too run the risk of drying up inside. Our imagination might shrink; our hearts might dwindle, and our humanness might wither if we stay for too long inside our cultural cocoons. Our friends, neighbours, colleagues, family - if all the people in our inner circle resemble us, it means we are surrounded with our mirror image.
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Father, I am from a different egg than your other children. Think of me as a duckling raised by hens. I am not a domestic bird destined to spend his life in a chicken coop. the water that scares you rejuvenates me. For unlike you I can swim, and swim I shall. The ocean is my homeland. If you are with me, come to the ocean. If not, stop interfering with me and go back to the chicken coop.
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Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely. But eventually it is best to find a person, the person who will be your mirror. Remember, only in another person's heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you
One thing that has helped me personally in the past was to stop interfering with the people around me and getting frustrated when I couldn't change them. Instead of intrusion and passivity, may I suggest submission? Some people make the mistake of confusing "submission" with "weakness", whereas it is anything but. Submission is a form of peaceful acceptance of the terms of the universe, including the things we are currently unable to change or comprehend.
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One night, a group of moths gathered on a shelf watching a burning candle. Puzzled by the nature of the light, they sent one of their members to go and check on it. The scouting moth circled the candle several times and came back with a description: The light was bright. Then a second moth went to examine it. He, too, came back with an observation: The light was hot. Finally a third moth volunteered to go. When he approached the candle he didn't stop like his friends had done, but flew straight into the flame. He was consumed there and then, and only he understood the nature of the light.
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I like to borrow a metaphor from the great poet and mystic Rumi who talks about living like a drawing compass. One leg of the compass is static. It is fixed and rooted in a certain spot. Meanwhile, the other leg draws a huge wide circle around the first one, constantly moving. Just like that, one part of my writing is based in Istanbul. It has strong local roots. Yet at the same time the other part travels the whole wide world, feeling connected to several cities, cultures, and peoples.
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I see what you mean. It must be a huge relief, and an easy way out, to think the devil is always outside of us. (... ) we would stop looking for Sheitan outside and instead focus on ourselves. What we need is sincere self-examination. Not being on the watch for the faults of others." (p. 257).
There are two different ways of writing a novel. The first I call the traditional father way, when the novelist slightly situates himself or herself above the text and knows what each and every character is going to do. It's a bit like engineering. I've never felt close to that tradition. I like the second way, which relies a bit more on intuition.
I realized over the years if I'm writing about humor, irony, satire, I much prefer to do that in English. And if there is sorrow, melancholy, longing, I much prefer to do that in Turkish. Each language has its own strength to me, and I feel connected and attached to both Turkish and English. I dream in more than one language.
My readers are surprisingly mixed. I have conservative readers - for instance, women with headscarves - but also many liberal, leftist, feminist, nihilist, environmentalist, and secularist readers. Next to those are mystics, agnostics, Kurds, Turks, Alevis, Sunnis, gays, housewives, and businesswomen.
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