James Allen’s ‘The Way of Peace’ (1901) – Extract

Audio read by Sonnie Abdalla

Divine Love and Human loves(James Allen -

Divine Love is distinguished from human loves in this supremely important particular, it is free from partiality. Human loves cling to a particular object to the exclusion of all else, and when that object is removed, great and deep is the resultant suffering to the one who loves. Divine Love embraces the whole universe, and, without clinging to any part, yet contains within itself the whole, and he who comes to it by gradually purifying and broadening his human loves until all the selfish and impure elements are burnt out of them, ceases from suffering. It is because human loves are narrow and confined and mingled with selfishness that they cause suffering.

No suffering can result from that Love which is so absolutely pure that it seeks nothing for itself. Nevertheless, human loves are absolutely necessary as steps toward the Divine, and no soul is prepared to partake of Divine Love until it has become capable of the deepest and most intense human love. It is only by passing through human loves and human sufferings that Divine Love is reached and realized.

All human loves are perishable like the forms to which they cling; but there is a Love that is imperishable, and that does not cling to appearances.

All human loves are counterbalanced by human hates; but there is a Love that admits of no opposite or reaction; divine and free from all taint of self, that sheds its fragrance on all alike.

Human loves are reflections of the Divine Love, and draw the soul nearer to the reality, the Love that knows neither sorrow nor change.


Poem by Sonnie Abdalla

Questions unanswered, remain mysteries in the minds of mankind
Diaries of lives, left behind, found in libraries of former times
Testimony of history’s holy, none present, all lost in time’s ceaseless rolling
Symbols of star, cross and crescent; creeds carrying cultural meaning
Be they Sunday sipping red wine and feasting on bread divine or knelling east, fasting four weeks forever forgoing the swine
Heathens pay homage to Hindu’s hundreds nay thousands of idols
While idle monks in monasteries meditate resiliently mindful
Intellectuals in institutions arrogantly ridiculing such rituals
Their heros? Hegel, Hume and Freud are to name but a few
One mustn’t exclude the minorities too engaged in endless feuds over their innumerable views

Authority belonging to whom? I ask, which scholar? Be they ordained in orange robe, kufi or white collar? Be they from the school of Marx or Rene Descartes? Or Vishnu or Krishna or Rama?
Theist or Atheist, Agnostic or Philosophic
For a moment we’ll put all this aside

And agree on one thing, how we feel of our kin? That’s the link that destroys all divide!

Thank You

Sonnie Abdalla
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Questions (A Poem 2011)


Poem by Sonnie Abdalla

You meet someone interesting and intriguing; you make each other smile and laugh. For days/weeks/months you spend time together; sharing thoughts, feelings, opinions, emotions and finally your bodies.

You begin enjoying their bad breath in the morning and their other physical ‘imperfections’ become the qualities which are most attractive about them.

Now you feel invincible, every second thought is of the other; your work becomes effortless, music has new meaning and food is more satisfying. You would do anything for that person; regardless of what activity you are engaged in, when thoughts of them cross your mind your heart fills with unspeakable Joy. LOVE.

Our beautiful women wait around 9 months. They observe irrepressible dramatic changes in their bodies, hormones adding to the unease as their youthful allure reshapes into maternal beauty.

The day comes, hours of labour; never before have they felt such physical pain.

Then, the mother’s screams of agony are replaced by the cries of her newly born child. The moment she looks into the babies eyes, there was no pain, there were no 9 months of discomfort; and she would do it again, a thousand times over for this state of being. LOVE.

You selflessly give to someone in need. LOVE.
You inspire or encourage another. LOVE.
You dance, you sing, you make art. LOVE.

Some of the philosophically minded would attempt to discredit these examples by saying that the LOVE between a man and woman is driven by our sub/conscious sexual desires; derived from our instinctual biological need to procreate.
Some might argue that the LOVE a woman feels for her newborn is merely a rush of endorphins, serotonin, dopamine or some other neurological chemical.

But LOVE can’t be studied, analysed or examined. It’s so simple and natural that it’s beyond the scope of intellectual/logical investigation.

Even our greatest poets who have pushed the boundaries of language can only scrape the surface of something so divine that in order to capture its true essence, can only be lived and experienced.

Then I hear the heartbroken cry – “but I loved him/her and he/she didn’t LOVE me, therefore LOVE is painful!”.
But what was the cause of your despair? was it the LOVING or the unsatisfied desire to BE LOVED?

LOVE is Truth. It is abundant and perennial; and those whom speaks cynically of it are living in self denial, denying themselves of the only thing that truly matters in life.

Thank you.

Sonnie Abdalla
AF31 EC40 C56F 97A5 196B  75A4 DEC0 80F0 4B9E 8D22



Poem by Sonnie Abdalla

The single often sigh in despair of their solitude, slaves to their ephemeral fruitless fantasies.
The wedded occasionally consider the sacrifice of their marital pledge, pondering the opportunities forsaken.
Similarly, one of limited means yearn for the acquisition of property while the prosperous remain discontented with their lot.
Why do we lament over our perceived deficiencies?

Foolish is the individual striving for lasting happiness while giving excessive attention to that which they don’t possess!
All have access to such felicity whether single or coupled, affluent or destitute, learned or unlearned.
By practicing unremitting GRATITUDE for what they have while working diligently toward their aspirations.

Sonnie Abdalla
AF31 EC40 C56F 97A5 196B  75A4 DEC0 80F0 4B9E 8D22