Has it ever known peace, this sad and beautiful land.
Taliban, you say and the world shudders.
Lapis lazuli though, and hand woven rugs. Pomegranates and saffron, the cool beauty of mountains and rocky passes, dun coloured villages and the snow leopard. These too are Afghanistan.
Not all is battle and violence in this ancient land. Leave all that behind. Start again and make your world, ours a better place.
Must we always speak of politics and brutality. Can we not remember this land as a cradle of civilisation, a romantic cross roads between nations, the half way house on the Silk Road.
Think good things then of this nation and its peoples. Is not Afghanistan the birthplace of Rumi. Is there poetry more profound than this Sufi’s search for his god.
“Make peace with the universe. Take joy in it. It will turn to gold. Resurrection will be now. Every moment, a new beauty.”
Arabesque arches and minarets, the geometry of sacred patterns, cool courtyards with a gently trickling fountain. Think this of Islam and its peoples. Not bloodshed and crusade.
What religion has not been corrupted but what sublime peace can be found there even for the infidel, the non believer. Liturgy, music, prayer. Art and sublime architecture. Mysticism so very similar whether expressed by Sufi or Christian, Buddhist or Zoroastrian. A meeting with the infinite, an experience of profound joy and understanding.
A plaything of empire for untold thousands of years, you have cast them off now, Pashtun and Tajik, Sunni and Shia. Show the Mongol horde and the Mauryas, the British and American invaders, the Russians and the Macedonians how well you can live and how you can reflect the glory of your god.
Not with arms and suppression, not with public executions and the extermination of your enemies. Not with a brutal criminal law, outdated and man made.
Grow in wisdom and kindness you men, masters once again of the land of your birth. And in dignity and decency. All men are equal, women too.
Put down your arms and follow in the footsteps of Rumi:
“As you start to walk on the way a way appears”
Walk a new road, make peace with the universe. Every moment a new beauty.
First published: https://zenothestoic.com/2021/08/21/taliban/