In a wise film, Bab’Aziz, there’s a parable about two brothers. One falls in love with a girl – but they’re not destined to be together, and they can’t bear to be apart, so he asks his brother to bury him alive with his beloved. Horrified, the brother refuses, trying to talk him out of such a senseless move. Then the lovers take their request to a wandering dervish, who carries it out with no hesitation.
Deep in grief and thirsting for revenge, the second brother rushes out into the desert in search of the dervish. When he finally finds the dervish, he sinks to his knees, exhausted, and asks him tearfully: “Why did you kill my brother? I loved him so much.” And the dervish replies: “I loved him more – I did as he asked.”
Before this parable took root inside me, I lived in full certainty of how one should live. I was accustomed to being right, and being the court of last appeal when it came to truth. My mother idolized me; all our home needed was icons bearing my image. She had me believing that no one in the whole wide world could be better than her son. At preschool and at school, I was a star. [Read more…]