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Feeding the spirit
#1
I had intended to add to Kryas post of books and covers, but I realised what I had written should really be a different topic. It does refer to books and covers but not in the same way. So here you are.

FEEDING THE SPIRIT
 
There was once an old holyman who lived in a small village outside a great city. In the city lived the prince of the area, he was renown for his wealth and also his generosity.
The prince had heard of the holyman and resolved to invite him to a great banquet he was holding in honour of visiting nobility. The holyman received the invitation and replied that he would be honoured to accept.
On the morning of the banquet the holyman left his village and travelled to the great city, just before entering however he changed his fine priestly robes for those of a beggar which he carried with him in a bag. When he approached the palace he was challenged by the guards. ‘begone beggar’, they shouted, ‘ you have no place here. ‘but I am the holyman from the village’, he protested, ‘and I have been invited to the great banquet.
‘You a holyman,’ they jeered, ‘you’re nothing but a beggar, now begone before we throw you from the city walls’. They laughed and jeered at him, and threw stones and drove him away.
In the shelter of a narrow ally the holyman changed his rags for the fine priestly robes he originally wore, now as he approached the palace gates he was welcomed, and greeted warmly by the guards.
‘You know who I am?’ the holyman asked.
‘Of course,’ replied the guards, ‘you are the holyman from the village’.
‘How do you know this’, asked the holyman.
‘We can tell by your actions.’ They replied, ‘and your fine clothes’.
The holyman was escorted into the palace where he was shown every hospitality, then with the other guests he was led to the most amazing feast he had ever seen.
He sat at the far end of the table opposite the prince, and as the meal progressed the prince could not help but notice the holyman was putting food up his sleeves and into his robes.
‘You don’t need to take food away on your person like that,’ exclaimed the prince, ‘if you desire food to take away with you, for yourself or perhaps the villagers you only have to ask. There is plenty for all, and my servants will pack it all for you.
‘Thank you.’ Replied the holy man, but this is not for me, or in fact the village, this food is for my clothes, it is obvious to me after the incident at the palace gates when I arrived in the clothes of a beggar, that it is not me whom you wish to honour at this feast but my clothes. I am the same man no matter what I wear, as is anyone else here, we are who we are regardless of our attire.
With that the holyman rose from the table and returned to his home in the village.
 
We have always been told not to judge a book by its cover, and that appearances can be deceptive, yet we still do, I am just as guilty as the next for pre judging people and things, but there is another, deeper side to this story, at the banquet the holyman was feeding his outer garments, not the man inside, and we too do this.
We have a physical body, one which we have a great attachment for, and so we nourish it in every way possible and all too often we neglect the inner self. Look at the fruits of nature, which is the sweetest the inner fruit of the orange or the peel, what do we discard, the nut shell or the kernel, which part of a pineapple do we prefer to eat?
So the outer shell is just something to carry the really important inner fruit around.
We experience everything through our five senses, these are physical senses, so naturally we look after our physical body, but just as your car is a vehicle to take you from place to place, so our physical bodies carry the real important bit of us about. Look how we can improve our bodies, with exercise and good diet, but what of our spiritual self, how do we exercise and nourish that, sadly all too many of us at best pay lip service to its needs, or even ignore it completely. We develop and hone our physical senses and our physical bodies but pay little heed to the needs of the spirit. Just as the juicy body inside the peel of the fruit is the most important and sweetest, so it is with us, the spirit which is within us is the most important, the physical shell is just a vessel. 
Look how important our physical senses are, without them we would be lost in a dark, silent world, devoid of shape and sensation, but the earthly and the heavenly are together, they were created together, and have a symbiotic relationship, there is, or should be a perfect balance between the realms, an equilibrium. Now what happens if we loose our balance? We fall over of course, just as if we are stumbling around in the darkness of a world where our senses no longer function. This is how it is for our spirit, we have neglected our spiritual senses too long, so long in fact that many people even deny the existence of spirit. We all seek so much to satisfy the needs of the physical that we ignore the needs of the spiritual.
Why does the whole world look to the sky for God, why does the divine have to be some old grey haired, bearded man, dressed in white robes, sitting in the sky looking down on us?
We shouldn’t look up for God, we should look everywhere, in the earth, the plants, the animals, in fact in all of creation,  that’s where God is, he is in you and me, and everyone and everything. We should look inside ourselves for the divine spirit, and feed it, and allow the spiritual senses to flourish so we can view all of creation in the manner intended, then we can truly partake of, and share the fruits of the spirit.
 
 
F. J. Haycock. Copyright. 2011
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#2
16:88. (As to) those who disbelieve and hinder (the people) from Allâh’s way, We shall enhance many times over their punishment because of the evil they wrought.
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