MARCH NO 28
Istanbul? Yes, Istanbul.
Karen-Claire Voss No 28 March 2003
I’m late with the
column—again—and my head is still turning and turning about this
bloody war in Iraq. All the
efforts to halt it came to nothing and bombing began this morning.
That must mean it’s time for those of us who care to do
something, but what?
The main topic of this column
is breath, so the censors, if indeed there are any, can relax. Of course, it’s going to take me a bit to actually get to
the part where I talk about breath, but bear with me. I’ll get there. I
said that the censors could relax because I’m not about to advocate a
revolution or anything like that. Well,
I am going to advocate a kind of revolution, but it isn’t the kind
that will upset anyone. My
idea is way beyond politics.
The idea came to me when
someone forwarded an email to me about a speech that Dr. Robert Muller
made. Robert Muller is the
former assistant secretary general of the United Nations, and is now
Chancellor emeritus of the University of Peace in Costa Rica.
At a ceremony in San Francisco where he was being honored for his
writings about peace and his work in the United Nations, Dr. Muller, now
eighty years old, said:
He continued by saying
that as all this was going on, new alliances are being formed. For
example, we have seen that Russia and China are both against this war.
They are actually on the same side.
It is also a fact that perhaps for the first time in history,
people are actually protesting a war that has not yet begun. Someone commenting on Muller’s speech pointed out that now,
“The largest peace demonstrations in the history of the world are
I really appreciated his
remarks and was especially struck by Dr. Muller’s concluding remark:
“So this is a miracle. This is what 'waging peace' looks
A really good phrase. I
certainly hadn’t thought of the current situation in these terms
before, and I continued to think about the implications of it for a few
days. At the same time,
always in the back of my mind, I was thinking about what to write for
this month’s column. Then,
just this morning, I received another email with a link to what the
sender described as a very beautiful website.
I visited it, it was indeed very beautiful, but it was only after
what I found on this site came together with this very powerful idea of
waging peace, that I finally saw what I had to do for this column.
The site takes a few minutes
to load but once it’s up you watch a series of phrases about peace,
all of them appearing against a background of multi-colored spirals. (1)
The most significant phrase is this one:
Breathing is peace
Here the words go in and out
just like breath does. Then
we are told to imagine everyone in the world breathing.
It continues like that for a while and then closes and gives you
the option of forwarding the link to friends.
I forwarded it to two dear friends of mine. (2)
What is breath?
Regular readers know very well how much I love etymology and it
turns out the etymology of the word breath is really something.
I actually did a short study of the etymology of the word breath
a few years ago. I won’t reproduce all of it here, but some of it is
Start with the fact that
the words ‘breath’ and ‘spirit’ are connected to
each other. Beyond that, there is a whole cluster of related meanings
etymologically connected with those words. For example there is the word inspired, meaning the act of being inspired, or something
conveyed to the mind when under extraordinary influence; aspiration,
meaning to hope for something; and inspiration, meaning, the act of
inspiring, the drawing in of breath, influence emanating from any
object, the state of being.
That was a noun form for
just one of the related words. The
verbs are even more incredible. ‘Inspire’ means: to
(literally) breathe in, to breathe into, and to draw in breath, to
inhale air into the lungs. It also means to communicate divine
instructions to, to infuse ideas or poetic spirit into, and to animate
in general. Taking this a
bit further, let’s think about the synonyms for the verb ‘inspire’:
please, gladden, delight, encourage, enjoy, hearten, animate, enliven,
brighten, cheer up, incite, liven, quicken, resuscitate, vivify;
support, bolster, amplify, encourage, enhance, enhearten, hearten,
increase, reassure, strengthen, excite, stimulate, arouse, electrify,
fire, incite, rouse, spark, tantalize, thrill, titillate, turn on, whet;
convince, persuade, affect, assure, impel, incense, induce, influence,
instigate, motivate, move, pressure, prompt, stir, sway, talk into,
touch, win over; instigate, provoke, agitate, anger, arouse, encourage,
foment, ignite, incite, induce, inflame, invoke, motivate, muster,
prod, propel, raise, set, sent on spur, stimulate, stir, urge; educate,
train, coach, communicate, condition, convey, cultivate, develop,
discipline, drill, edify, enlighten, exercise, explain, groom, imbue,
impart, implant, improve, inculcate, indoctrinate, inform, infuse,
inseminate, instill, instruct, perfect, practice, prepare, ready,
school, teach, tutor.
And we mustn’t forget the
synonyms for the noun ‘inspiration‘:
motivation, encouragement, the act of imbuing with courage, incitement,
stimulation . . .
Now, finally, back to
the main topic—breath. Remember
that all of these qualities and actions are connected with
in, breathe out . . . Breathe in, find peace in yourself.
Breathe out; bring peace to the place you are in.
Well, there you are.
Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out . . .
LIFE is this. And LIFE goes on.
The site address is: http://www.attractinggenuinelove.com/peace1.html
|No.1- April 2000||No.11 April 2001||No. 20 July 2002||No 29 April 2003|
|No.2 June 2000||No.12 May 2001||No. 22 September 2002||NO 30 MAY 2003|
|No.3 July/August 2000||No. 13 June 2001||No. 23 October 2002||NO 31 JUNE 2003|
|No.5 October 2000||No.14 July 2001||No 24 November 2002||NO 32 JULY 2003|
|No.7 December 2000||No.15 August 2001||No 25 DECEMBER 2002||NO 33 August|
(No. 8 Ocak 2001 - Türkçe tercume
|NO 16 September 2001||No 26 January 2003||No 34 September|
|No.9 February 2001||No. 17 April 2002||No 27 February 2003||No 35 October|
|No.10 March 2001||NO 19 JUNE 2002||No 28 March 2003||No
36 January 2004
|No 37 February - March 2004||No 38 April 2004|
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