A poem inspired by a lesson from the junior youth text The Human Temple

Posted: 2015/12/01
A junior youth group in Montreal, Que. Photo: Zachary Miloff

A junior youth group in Montreal, Que. Photo: Zachary Miloff

The following poem, called “Sweet Escape,” was written by Nadia Alikashani, a participant of a junior youth group in West Vancouver. The poem was inspired by the third lesson in the junior youth text The Human Temple. This text explores the powers of the human spirit, such as spiritual perception and human utterance, whose development is one aim of the junior youth spiritual empowerment programme. In the third lesson, which is about the light of knowledge, it states:

“Without the light of knowledge…we are not able to see right from wrong, truth from error, and beauty from ugliness. Without knowledge, our lives are filled with illusions. Do you know what a mirage is? If you are in the desert on a hot day, you may see what appears to be a lake in the distance. You may run to it if you are thirsty, only to find out that it does not really exist. It is an illusion. You should learn to see a mirage for what it is while you are young, before time and again you are deceived by one. Not everything that attracts you will bring you happiness. That happiness lies in buying whatever catches our eyes is an illusion. The joy that comes from working and spending what we earn for the good of our families and our community is real. That being tough, vain and deceitful brings success is an illusion. Kindness, humility and honesty are the qualities we should desire. That power lies in wealth, in physical strength, in high social positions—to do whatever we like, to bully others, to control people—is an illusion. Real power lies in loving and serving humanity selflessly. It comes from knowledge, the knowledge that removes veils and frees us from superstition and prejudice, the knowledge that helps us build a just and peaceful world.”

Sweet Escape

The curtains before you
disguise
the reality in our domain.
The darkness casts
shadows
over what our eyes were once able
to see.
Shut your eyes, as they are
tired
of their search for light,
and continue this scavenger
internally.
As your eyes are closed,
you are
shielded
from the illusions life
plays, and the
everlasting stories of hate, envy,
and fear.
The light within yourself will
have an act of
reverie.
So go on,
shut them, and
slip
into your sweet escape.

–  Nadia Alikashani