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Courageous ex-Muslim in Muslim country starts an extraordinary new website – Jihad Watch.

Excerpt:

After 9/11, I seriously started to doubt my beliefs, but I never had the guts or the courage to face them until I came across my friend, my savior and my mentor Ali Sina just a few months ago. He has changed my outlook of life and he really opened up my eyes to the false and evil cult of Islam, which I had been blindly following for the last 35 years, albeit halfheartedly. It is not that I wasn’t aware of the evil of Islam, because I had been fairly well acquainted with the works of accomplished and judicious writers like Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, Daniel Pipes and Raymond Ibrahim, but they were not Muslims, so somewhere deep down inside, I always ended up giving Mohammed the messenger of Allah the benefit of the doubt. It was only when I suddenly stumbled upon Ali Sina’s website and subsequently his book “Understanding Mohammed” that actually made me wake up to this harsh reality. The truth hurts, as they say, so when I realized for the first time that Islam was actually a hoax, it broke me down completely. It took me a while to come to terms with it; I went through several stages like denial and anger, but finally I have come to the acceptance stage. “

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Egos aside, for the fun of self-analysis and reflection, and as a practical reference for anyone that  would need to work with me, here are my DISC profile results from the online test I took last May 2010.

Apart from the specific note on “Things to avoid to effectively communicate with (me)..” that advised people to “Avoid trying to build friendships and personal relationships,” which I sort of disagree and  interpret to be ‘business first, personal things later’, I mostly agree with the points mentioned. (o:

A summary of strengths specific to my score:
(this is the point where I start to shy away now a bit)

  • A high sincerity-factor in working with individuals, or with small groups, and you also bring a bit of a candid ‘edge’ to comments or input.
  • Able to assimilate complex information and develop conclusions based on the data, not the emotions of special-interests.
  • High degree of follow-through, and completeness of thought and action.
  • Brings a high degree of objectivity to the organization’s systems and projects.
  • Able to provide factual, authoritative, and objective verbal expression on topics to which you have given mind-share and intellectual consideration.
  • Brings a high knowledge-base and process-base from which to expand the ideas of the team
  • Patient in working with others.
  • Provides a very deliberate and systematic approach to the analysis and critical thinking necessary for finding answers and creating solutions.

..As well as Areas for Continual Improvement:
[I *may* tend to..]

  •  Not openly project a lot of enthusiasm.
  • Sometimes become blunt and critical, and forget about appropriate tact.
  • Be rather opinionated and inflexible when asked to make a sudden change in process or procedure, without prior warning or consideration.
  • Become rather stubborn once your mind is made up.
  • Take criticism personally, even though it was directed at a work process.
  • Have a lower sense of urgency to get things done.
  • Become somewhat critical, even sarcastic, when others don’t measure up to your standards.
  • Become indecisive in the face of sudden change.

Just a few selected inspirational quotes from Paulo Coelho that I previously compiled from a few interviews, articles (see references below):

on dying alive
“[we must be prepared to pay the price, then any difficulty will make sense. On the other hand,] if you do not follow your dreams, a difficulty is just a difficulty, it is just a difficult moment, and doesn’t make any sense.”

everyday’s a miracle
“I’m not saying that you cannot discover the universe in a daily life basis of repeating the same, you know, job — you can do this. You can do this, but you can now get blind by seeing each day as a similiar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter to pay attention to this miracle. So, if we do this we will succeed in discover the clues of our destiny, even if we do the most boring, you know, task every single morning.”

Etc.:
“We have to accept ourselves as we are and stop worrying, instead of trying to become perfect and then start working.”

“I made a living out of writing, although I did not write a book till I was 38. Why? Because I believe there are two things that keep you away from your dream: to think that it is impossible, and to realize that it is possible (in this second case, you fear losing the meaning of your life).”

“..experience is all you have and must share. This is our reason to be here: to share. A book can act as a catalyst, making people understand that they are not alone. Several authors made me understand that, and I felt relieved during some critical moments in my life. A book can be a good companion. But it is up to each one of us to learn from our own experiences.”

“..when you’re really close to what God meant for you to be here, you are going to experience beginner’s luck”

“we know when we are closer to our goal by listening to our heart. So, my driving force is to fulfill my destiny.”

“I, who had dedicated most of my life to penetrate the ‘secrets’ of the universe, realized that there are no secrets. Life is and will always be a mystery. We have to follow the omens, and pay attention to others. Life is a constant miracle, and this miracle manifests itself in encounters with other people.”

“After the pilgrimage, I simplified my spiritual search a lot, and instead of searching for answers, I started to understand that life itself is an answer.”

on writing
“You need discipline and inspiration, rigor and mercy, earth and heaven. You need to have a clear goal, but you also need to allow yourself to be guided to get there.”

Coelho’s inspirations: Castaneda, Henry Miller, William Blake. But, above all, Jorge Amado and Jorge Luis Borges

On what he wants to communicate: My soul. My love. My experience. And one sentence: “Who dares, wins.”


on omens
– “The only way that you can learn any language is by making mistakes. I made my mistakes, but then I started to connect with the signs that guide me. This silent voice of God that leads me to the places where I should be.”

Etc.:
“In a certain way I try to share with my readers my inner quest, that’s basically my spiritual quest. I don’t have anything to teach, I don’t have anything to explain about the universe, I don’t believe in explanations of the universe, but actually I do have something to share. It is how I am experiencing this strange and sometimes very trickery path.”

Q: Your latest book, Eleven Minutes, wants to bring sexuality and spirituality to a healthier place. How can this happen?

Well, by accepting that sex is a physical manifestation of God, and that is not a sin—it is a blessing. And then by understanding that except for two things that I consider to be really sick–rape and pedophilia–you are free to be creative. It’s up to you, how you do this.

Sex was always surrounded by taboos, and I don’t see it necessarily as a manifestation of evil. I think that sexuality is first and foremost the way that God chooses for us to be here on earth, to enjoy this energy of love in the physical plane.

Q: So with a healthy understanding of sexuality you’re helping God manifest himself in the world?

Absolutely. Not only understanding, but practicing.

Ceolho on happiness from the character Esther in The Zahir
“I have everything, but I’m not happy. And I’m not the only one either . . . Some people appear to be happy, but they simply don’t give the matter much thought. Others make plans: I’m going to have a husband, a home, two children, a house in the country. As long as they’re busy doing that, they’re like bulls looking for the bullfighter: they react instinctively, they blunder on, with no idea where the target is. They get their car, sometimes they even get a Ferrari, and they think that’s the meaning of life, and they never question it. Yet their eyes betray the sadness that even they don’t know they carry in their soul . . .”

on philosophy
“I see philosophy as something alive, something that changes according to our inner needs. But if I were to synthesize my work, I would say: live your Personal Legend, pay the price of your dreams, read the omens, awaken your feminine side, and dare to be different.”

References:
worldmind.com ; lifepositive.com ; beliefnet.com ; timesonline.co.uk

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