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The Sun Magazine

Religion and Philosophy


Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Month Without Rest

Travel Notes From Israel During The Intifada

I make two stopovers on the way from San Francisco to Tel Aviv. Between Detroit and Amsterdam, I am seated next to a beautiful Indian woman named Sumitra. She asks why I’m going to the Middle East, and I say because I’m bored. I ask why she’s going to Romania, and she says for a wedding, which, I have to admit, is a better reason.

Inside the high-security area for the Israel flight, a beefy guy with thick black hair and bad skin asks me if I’m Jewish. I nod cautiously, and he indicates his approval. Then he tells me he’s a prophet.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Venice Shimmers

Meanwhile, less than a day’s drive from here, the fighting continues in Bosnia, where tens of thousands have been killed or displaced, where starvation and concentration camps and rape hotels have become weapons in a campaign of ethnic extermination. Yet Washington is by and large indifferent, as Bosnia sits on no oil fields and sends neither Democrats nor Republicans to Congress.



I turned toward her; she had risen and was now descending toward the shore. She was a lovely woman, in her early thirties. Stretched out, all four limbs on different ledges. Poised like a cat descending a tree, she met my stare. . . .


To Know We Are Loved

An Excerpt From Reshad Feild’s The Invisible Way

The dun-colored plains of Anatolia were broken only by the sky and the hills to the north. I could just make out the city of Konya from the air. Known in biblical times as the ancient Iconium, Konya had been a center of trade and learning for nearly a millenium. It was also the home of Mevlana Jalālu’ddin Rumi, who was one of the greatest Sufi poets and mystics who ever lived. He is often called the Pole of Love since his knowledge of Universal Love, like the philosophers touchstone, brought the possibllity for the knowledge of completion beyond form. It was and is all embracing to anyone and to any religious background. Thus, Mevlana Jalālu’ddin Rumi was held in equal esteem by those from many diverse spiritual and philosophical traditions during his lifetime over 700 years ago, and I speculated that, since this is a time for the understanding of the unity of religious ideals, perhaps Konya would become a place of pilgrimage for all those seeking to understand the basic truth underlying all religions and all human aspiration.