Archangel petitions to incarnate into physical realm
Having created the angelic race led by archangel Lucifer, the Paal Taal, the first beings God brought into existence, decided to design a new species using the “God Particle” – a spark of their own spirit-souls – as the fundamental raw material.
The essence, or consciousness, of this new species was going to be housed in a soul-carrier. The soul carrier was to be known as the humanoid genotype – our like. The humanoid genotype would be bi-pedal, meaning it would bear a head, trunk, two arms and two legs. It was going to be made in the image and likeness of the Paal Taal themselves.
Unlike the angelic race, humanoids were designed to inhabit both the spiritual realms and the physical realms. Now, the physical body is not the only body we have. We actually have several layers of finer, rarefied bodies that are enveloped by the physical body.
These non-physical bodies are said to be seven in number. The very finest is our real body, our very first. It goes by several names but I’ll call it the auric body. The auric body is not the spirit-soul: it embodies the spirit-soul. It is therefore the ultimate soul-carrier. When a spirit-soul is created, it is “naked”, like a baby born to a mother.
Thereafter, it is “clothed”, again like a baby born to a mother. This clothing is the auric body, the garment that covers the spirit-soul. Hence, even in the spiritual realms, a being does not go about simply as a spirit-soul: it goes about clad in an envelope called the auric body. Unlike clothes, however, the auric body cannot be cast off from time to time. It is perpetually worn.
It is only cast off when we finally return to God and stand before him to report that we have now attained perfection and we wish to venture out on our own to found our own domains, our own unum.
To come before First Source, you have to be pure in every respect to match First Source itself, with no single blemish or trappings of any kind. Otherwise, you will not be eligible to enter into its holy presence.
Since it was the Paal Taal who designed the energetic (spiritual) DNA template of the humanoid genotype, they have a patent on it. This patent is protected by certain encrypted codes in it no other being can crack except the Paal Taal themselves. The programmes written into it comes to bear both in the physical and spiritual realms. Thus contrary to the widely held belief, DNA does not only dictate how humanoids operate in the physical universe: the instructions it carries also come into play in the spiritual realms.
A GLIPSE OF PARADISE
The humanoid race were given a specific mandate by the Paal Taal. They were to populate the physical universe, the original that God had already created, which Aliens refer to as the Old Universe (the one we inhabit is a plagiarised copy, a cloned version of the original, something we will dwell upon in due course). God had created it without flaw.
It was what you would call a paradise. It comprised of zillions of regions and was ineffably beautiful. It was a free will universe in which humanoids would exercise free rein and experiment with all possibility, whether negative or positive in its ramifications overall, but with consequences to be reaped.
Then once they had had full experience in the exploration of the universe and had fully evolved spiritually, they were to return to the Paal Taal, report the worth of this cosmic pilgrimage, and demonstrate the endowments they had picked up along the way. The Paal Taal would then present them before First Source, to whom they would declare with demonstrable evidence that they had now qualified to God-status and were therefore ready to move on and found their own universe.
How was the Old Universe like?
Well, nobody knows exactly. It still exists as we speak and some of the human race have had occasion to visit there with their avatar (spiritual) bodies. However, they strain to exactly spell out how it looks and feels like. This is because it is made of matter, structures, and configurations (which transcend our familiar 3D dimension of only length, height, and width) that human language cannot adequately unpack.
To use an analogy, if a venturesome ant or fish were to describe New York to fellow members of the insect and fish kingdom, what would it say?
It would not be able to muster concepts that could paint a picture that is remotely within the purview of the animal kingdom’s very limited imagination. By the same token, the infinitesimally few people who have visited the Old Universe only talk in terms of very weak analogies which do not capture even a thousandth of its sophistication and grandeur.
The humanoid race were to live and thrive in the universe in eternal bliss. There would be no death, sickness, or want. Although the universe was impeccably crafted, the humanoids were given discretion to re-pattern it to their own fancy and taste.
Like the Paal Taal, the humanoids were invested with creative ability too though initially they were limited as to the extent to which they could go in this regard. For example, they were not capacitated to create spirit-souls for higher life forms like themselves. However, they were able to create lower life forms such as animals.
The animals were not for prey of any kind: they were social companions. It is said variety is the spice of life, and so driven by this ethos, the humanoids created animal life both as a creative expression and to add to the thrill of life. Life did not feed on life in the original universe. In fact, there was no food like the way we know it. All living things in the original universe fed from the energy around them, which in human terms we call prana.
Everything had life in the original universe: there were no inanimate things there. For instance, if there were stones or bodies of water, all these were living and could communicate with humanoids just like the way humanoids communicated with each other. No one thing exploited another: all creation lived in symbiosis.
The humanoid race created by the Paal Taal was sexless: they were neither male nor female. But they were sociable beings and bonds between individuals were unassailably cemented. Everybody was family: there were no close and distant people. Harmony was total. Since there was no male or female, the original humanoids did not reproduce. That did not mean their numbers were always the same as the Paal Taal kept adding to them whenever necessity demanded.
People chose a particular skill or talent they fancied. One did not agonise to acquire a skill. To make life interesting, a whole host of skills were honed by different individuals so that some could be musicians, others sportsmen, others teachers, etc. Of course it was child’s play for one to embody all these skills and talents at once but that would amount to self-glorification and such egocentrism wasn’t an aspect of the original universe.
One great ability humanoids had was to split themselves into several soul fragments so that they could be in various places in the universe at once. For argument’s sake, one form of the same person would be in Botswana and another in the US. Still another would be on planet Mars and yet another in a different galaxy. The principal form remained in the principal locality and was consciously aware of all its other dispersed forms.
There were hierarchies in societies but these were based, largely, on a sense of voluntary duty and not a strictly regimented pecking order. Remember, the humanoids were not perfect: there was always the possibility of error. Yet nobody felt subordinate to another since responsibility was exercised humbly, humanely, and inclusively.
The higher you were in the hierarchy, the more you served others and not vice versa as it is in our bastardised world. Seniority was based not on one’s competences but on one’s intrinsic worth – strength of virtue. The more upstanding you were as a moral agent, the higher the rung you occupied in the social strata. The hierarchical structure, however, was a basically flat one as there were no extremes in the idiosyncrasies of individuals.
LUCIFER GROWS WINGS
For eons, all was well both in the Central Universe, on the rims of which the Paal Taal resided, and the physical universe, where the humanoid race dwelt. Then all hell broke loose – literally. And at the centre of this kerfuffle was Lucifer.
Now, let us reiterate a point we have already made. Lucifer did not dwell in the presence of God, the First Source, as per what your pastor will on occasion sermonize. That narrative belongs to the refuse bin. He was not even created by God: he was created by the Paal Taal. It was to the Paal Taal he was accountable as the leader and most gifted of the angelic order. The role of the angelic race was to serve the humanoid race in keeping with the Heavenly precept that leaders are actually servants: it is they who serve those beneath them in the hierarchy.
Initially, before the humanoid race came into existence, Lucifer was unfailingly loyal to the Paal Taal. He was the very paragon of what an angelic being ought to be. With the advent of the humanoid race, however, he fell captive to two perversions.
The first was jealous, not with God or the Paal Taal themselves, but with the humanoid race. Lucifer thought the humanoid race were having quite a blast in their physical reality membrane (universe) in terms of self-fulfillment and self-actualisation. Intrigued, he too decided it was time he joined the revelry but not with noble motives. His motive was to do a demolition job, to shrewdly and systematically spoil the party by sowing polarity among them. He was wary that humanoids were making great strides both spiritually and in temporal terms and over time would come to exceed the feats of the angelic race and be on par with the Paal Taal. Call this paranoia.
The second had to do with ego. Because of his standing and faculties that were well beyond those of the rest of the angelic race, Lucifer developed an inflated sense of self-worth. He wanted an own realm that he could directly control and oversee and that realm was the very reality membrane in which the humanoids dwelt. He wanted to relocate to their realm and be their sovereign.
There, he would wield real power since humanoids were hierarchically below the angelic race, whereas in the Central Universe, the authority he exercised was inconsequential in that he had the Paal Taal bearing down on him. In the event, he decided to approach the Paal Taal and table his wishes before them. But first, he had to pitch his manifesto to the angelic race to garner a critical mass of support that would help convince the Paal Taal that his motion was not unilateral but a popular one.
It emerged, however, that not every member of the angelic race shared his aspirations. Only a third did. The rest not only took strong exception but in fact decided to rally behind a new leader as they thought Lucifer’s move amounted to sedition.
Again we do not know what the name of this new leader was but we will employ the familiar, attributed one – Michael. Closing ranks with Michael was the archangel Gabriel (another attributed name), whose role was to deliver special messages from the Paal Taal to the humanoids from time to time. But the third of the angelic host that seconded Lucifer’s motion buoyed him up: it was a huge enough quorum. Soon he had served notice on the Paal Taal that he wanted to present a petition before them. The Paal Taal readily obliged him.
LUCIFER CONFRONTS THE PAAL TAAL
In his pitch to the Paal Taal, Lucifer sugarcoated his scheme. He affected an empathetic posture toward the humanoids, as though he cared for them much more than even the Paal Taal themselves when deep down his aim was to subvert and sabotage them.
Lucifer told the Paal Taal that their idea of letting humanoids chart their own destiny in the physical universe was flawed. He said left alone as they presently were, they would at some stage become oblivious of their purpose as spiritual beings and lose their sense of godly direction.
In other words, they would become much more carnal than Heavenly: they would come to identify themselves with physical reality when in truth they were from the spiritual world. With such a propensity, they would be in danger of indulging in conduct that could ultimately throw their realm into disarray. This would boomerang back at the spiritual realms and possibly cause their destruction, including that of the angelic race as well as that of the Paal Taal.
In order to forestall such a disruptive turn of events, Lucifer argued, angels should be allowed to participate in the physical realm and directly co-exist with the humanoids as the only surefire way of ensuring they did not stray and that they were wholly focused on their ascension to the status of even finer beings spiritually.
To do this, the angels needed a soul-carrier similar to that of humanoids to make it possible for them to inhabit the physical realm. The angels would be of seamless assistance to the humanoids as the angelic form was superior in its capabilities.
All in all, the accusations Lucifer levelled against the Paal Taal were threefold. First, they were overly controlling and were arbitrary in their superintendence over creation. Second, they did not have the best interests of the humanoids at heart, whereas Lucifer did. Third, the Paal Taal had erred by denying the angels a soul-carrier capable of settling in the physical universe. This was a violation of free will and it was time this injustice was redressed.
Lucifer had thrown down quite a gauntlet. It was more than ample food for thought on the part of the Paal Taal.
Princess Diana was at once a child of destiny and a victim of fate
It is no secret, General Atiku, that the British monarch constitutes one of the most moneyed families on this scandalously uneven planet of the perennial haves on the one hand and the goddamn havenots (such as you and me General) on the other hand.
In terms of residences alone, the House of Windsor lays claim to some 19 homes, some official, such as Buckingham Place and Windsor Castle, for instance, and the greater majority privately owned. Arguably the most eminent of its private residences is Sandringham House at Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England.
It is at this sprawling, 8,100-hectare estate the Queen spends two months each winter, at once commemorates her father King George VI’s death and her own accession to the throne, and more often than not celebrates Christmas. King George VI and his father King George V both drew their last breath here.
A 19th century Prince of Wales, Albert Edward (who would later become King Edward VII), acquired Sandringham in 1862 and it has remained royal property ever since. On the death of King George VI in February 1952, the property passed to his successor Queen Elizabeth II, the incumbent monarch, who assigned her husband Prince Phillip its management and upkeep. The estate also houses a parish, St. Mary Magdalene Church, which the outwardly religious Queen attends every Sunday.
Albert, General, had several additional properties built on the estate the year after he acquired it, one of which was the ten-bedroomed Park House. The house was built to accommodate the overflow of guests at Sandringham House. In the 1930s, King George V leased Park House to Maurice Roche, an Irishman and a bosom friend to his second son, who at the time was Duke of York but would in future be King George VI.
Roche was the 4th Baron Fermoy, a title in the Peerage of Ireland created by Queen Victoria way back in 1856. He and his wife Ruth had three children born at Park House, the second-born of whom was Frances Ruth Roche (futuristically Frances Shand Kydd), born in January 1936.
In 1956, Frances married John Spencer, a fellow noble, and following an “uneasy spell” at Althorp, the Spencer family estate of 500 years, the couple took up residence at Park House, which would be their home for the next 19 years. On July 1, 1961, Frances, then aged 25, and John, then aged 37, welcomed into the world their thirdborn child and youngest daughter, Diana Frances Spencer.
She would, on a positive note, become Her Royal Highness Princess Diana of Wales and the most famous and popular member of the Royal family. On the flip side of the coin, she would, as you well know General, become the most tragic member of the Royal family.
GIRL CHILD WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN A BOY
If there was one thought that constantly nagged at Diana as a youngster, General, it was the “guilt” of having been born anyway. Her parents first had two daughters in succession, namely Elizabeth Sarah, born in 1955, and Cynthia Jane, born in 1957. Johnnie was displeasured, if not downright incensed, that his wife seemed incapable of producing a male child – a heir – who he desperately needed as an aristocrat.
He even took the trouble of having his wife see a series of doctors in a bid to establish whatever deficiency she possessed in her genetic make-up and whether it was possible to correct it. At the time, General, it was not known that it is the man who determines a child’s sex and not the woman.
John’s prayers, if we can call them that General, were as much answered as they were unanswered. The longed-for male heir was born on January 12, 1960. Named John after his father, he was, as per the official version of things, practically stillborn, being so piteously deformed and gravely ill that he was dead in a matter of only ten hours, a development of which Earl Spencer would in future remark thus, albeit with tongue-in-cheek: “It was a dreadful time for my parents and probably the root of their divorce because I don’t think they ever got over it.”
Again as per the official version, General, John was gutted and hurriedly got into stride, this time around utterly positive that having had two daughters in succession, it would be two sons in succession. But nature, General, is seldom that predictable or orderly.
The next child was in fact a daughter, the now iconic Diana, for the third time around. Although John is recorded as having marvelled at what a “perfect physical specimen” her newly-born daughter was, he was forlorn beneath the façade, as a result of which Diana, who as a child did sense a lingering frustration on the part of her father on her account, would openly intuit that she was an unwelcome child, a “nuisance to have around”, thanks to her “failure” to be born a boy. From a very age thus, General, Diana had concluded that she was not well-fated and presciently so!
Although the heir, Charles Spencer (the future Earl Spencer) finally arrived on May 20, 1964, Diana perceived very little if any change in the way she was contemplated by her parents. In fact, both she and Charles could not desist from wondering whether had John lived, they would have been born at all. Seemingly, they came to be simply because their father was desperate for a heir and not necessarily that he wanted two more children. With the birth of Charles, General, John called it a day as far as the process of procreation was concerned.
GODDESS OF THE HUNT
Why was Diana so named, General? Throughout her life, it was taken as an article of faith that her name derived from Lady Diana Spencer, a member of the Spencer clan who lived between 1710 and 1735, dying at a pitifully tender age of only 25. Certainly, the two namesakes turned out to have precious much in common as we shall unpack at a later stage, as if the latter-day Diana’s life was deliberately manoeuvred to more or less sync with the ancestral Diana.
It emerged, however, General, that the connection to an ancestor was actually secondary, or maybe incidental. The primary inspiration of the name was at long last disclosed by Earl Spencer on September 7, 1997, the day of Princess Diana’s burial. Delivering the elegantly crafted eulogy, Earl Spencer had this to say in relation to her naming: “It is a point to remember that of all the ironies about Diana, perhaps the greatest was this – a girl given the name of the ancient goddess of hunting was, in the end, the most hunted person of the modern age.”
It is significant, if not curious, General, that of John’s three daughters, only Diana was given the name of a goddess. Clearly, there must have been a special reason for this as aristocrats do not confer names casually: every name carries a metaphorical, symbolic, or intentional message. Typically, it honours an iconic personage or spirit or somebody lesser but who evokes memories anyway.
Elizabeth Sarah, for instance, was in all probability named after the Queen’s mother, whose decades-long inner circle included Diana’s paternal and maternal grandmothers, and an ancestor going by the name Sarah Jennings (1760-1744). Charles Spencer was named after the family’s greatest forbearer, King Charles 1 of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1625-1649. The ill-fated John was of course named after his father, who in turn was likely named after the 5th Earl Spencer, John Poyntz Spencer (1835-1910).
On occasion in occultic families, as the Spencer family latterly have been, a name, General, connotes a bad futuristic omen associated with its bearer and that was precisely the case with Diana.
THE FIRST DIANA
In its ancient rendering, the name Diana meant “The Heavenly One”, or goddess being a feminine style. The first Diana, General, was Inanna, an Anunnaki goddess whose Akkadian name was Ishtar – Esther in English. As you well know General, the Anunnaki are the Old Testament gods, Aliens from the planet Nibiru, the Solar System’s little-known planet which is seen only once in 3600 years, and who came to Earth 432,000 years ago as we comprehensively set down in the Earth Chronicles series.
The name Inanna is Sumerian, the Sumerians being the best-known civilisation of old who thrived around modern-day Iraq (called Sumer in ancient times) about 6000 years ago and who were indirectly governed by the Anunnaki. It was abbreviated from Nin-An-Ak, meaning “Lady of Heaven and Earth” or “Lady of the God of Heaven and Earth”.
She was so-called, General, not because she had particularly special godly qualities but owing to the fact that she was the earthly mistress of Anu, “Our Father Who Art In Heaven”, the King of the planet Nibiru, which humans of the day perceived as Heaven.
Anu was the father of Enlil, the principal Jehovah of the Bible. Enlil in turn had a second-born son called Nannar-Sin, the first Anunnaki to be born on Earth and who eventually became the Allah of Islam. It was Sin who fathered Inanna. Thus Inanna was Anu’s great-granddaughter but every time he visited Earth, Anu was sexually entertained by the stunningly beautiful Inanna, an act which in Anunnaki culture was not frowned upon.
Inanna was amongst other appellations known as the Goddess of Hunting (because of her penchant for, and skill in, waging war) and the Goddess of Love (in the sense of licentious love-making and not conventional moral love). Her other names in different parts of the world and across the ages were Irnin; Anunitu (Beloved of Anu); Aphrodite; Ashtoreth; Astarte; and Artemis, to mention only a few.
Although her celestial counterpart was the planet Venus, she was also loosely associated with the constellation Virgo as well as the moon. Once upon a time, when she was a virgin, Virgo was dedicated to her by her grandfather Jehovah-Enlil, who was Earth’s Chief Executive until circa 2024 BC. With regard to the moon, it primarily had to do with her twin brother Utu-Shamash, whose celestial counterpart was the sun: as such, Inanna’s inevitably had to be the moon. That, however, was only in a putative sense in that the operative moon god of the day was her father Sin.
Since moonlight effectively turns darkness into relative daylight, Inanna has in legends been referred to as Diana Lucifera, the latter term meaning “light-bringer”. Inanna’s association with the moon, General, partly explains why she was called the “Heavenly One” since the moon is a heavenly body, that is, a firmament-based body. It also explains why she was also known as Luna, which is Latin for moon.
A STEERED LIFE FOR GOOD OR ILL
Now, children of royals, aristocrats and other such members of high society, General, are invariably named before they are born. True, when a Prince William or Prince George comes along, the word that is put out into the public domain is that several names have been bandied about and the preferred one will “soon be announced”. That, General, is utter hogwash.
No prince, princess, or any other member of the nobility for that matter, is named at or sometime after their birth. Two names, a feminine and a masculine one, are already finalised whilst the child is in the womb, so that the name the child eventually goes by will depend on no other factor beside its gender.
Princess Diana, General, was named a full week after her birth, as if consultations of some sort with certain overarching figures had to be concluded first and foremost. Apparently, the broader outlines of her future first had to be secretly mapped out and charted in the manner of a child of destiny, though in her case she was as much a child of destiny as she was a doomed child. In her childhood reminiscences, Diana does hint at having been tipped to the effect that she was a special child and therefore had to scrupulously preserve herself.
“I always felt very different from somebody else, very detached,” she told her biographer Andrew Morton as per his 1992 book Diana Her True Story – In Her Own Words. “I knew I was going somewhere different but had no idea where. I said to my father when I was 13, ‘I know I am going to marry someone in the public eye’.” That, General, speaks volumes on the deliberately designed grooming she was subjected to in the formative years of her pilgrimage in life.
Since it was repeatedly drummed in her highly impressionable mind that there was something big in store for her along the way, Diana, General, remained chaste throughout her upbringing, if not an outright virgin to in all probability conform to the profile of the goddess Diana/Inanna before she exploded into a lecherous, loose-mannered nymphomaniac in her adult life as we underscored in the Earth Chronicles series. “By the time I got to the top of the school,” Diana said to Morton, “all my friends had boyfriends but not me because I knew somehow that I had to keep myself very tidy for whatever was coming my way.”
A DISPARAGED BIRTH?
Unusual for an aristocrat, General, Diana was born not in the rather apt precincts of a high-end hospital but within the banality of Park House itself. Whether hired midwives were on hand to help usher her into the world or it was only her dad, mum and closer womenfolk relations who did we can only speculate.
If for one reason or the other her parents were desirous that she be delivered at home, what secret rites did they perform as her mother’s waters broke, General? What incantations, if at all, did John utter over her? Was her birth an occultic one with all the attendant paraphernalia as opposed to a conventional one?
That Diana’s arrival was not a particularly cherished event, General, is evidenced by the fact that she was christened within the Sandringham Estate, at St. Mary Magdalene Church, with only well-to-do commoners in attendance, whereas the more prized child, her younger brother Charles, was christened at Westminster Abbey, in the presence of the Queen, who was designated as his principal godmother.
Anyhow, it was just as well, General, that it was in the hallowed environs of St. Mary Magdalene Church that Diana was committed to the “The Lord” as she was in a manner of speaking the Mary Magdalene of our day.
Allah Almighty reminds us: ‘On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear’ (Qur’an 2:286). Also: “Be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are the patient.” [Qur’an 8: 46].
Without fail, whether we like it or not there are times in our lives when many things seem to go wrong and as mere humans we go into a panic syndrome and are left wondering; why me? Why now? What have I done to deserve this? We are all tested with adversity, hard times and pain, but these tribulations are the Almighty’s way of transforming us and help us develop spiritually.
As mere humans we all have different reactions when something good or bad happens to us, and usually our reactions depend on the strength of our religious belief and of our righteous deeds and actions.
One person may receive blessings and goodness with gratitude and accepts the bad challenges and patches in his life with perseverance and endurance. This positive attitude brings him peace of mind and happiness, causing his grief, anxiety and misery to ease. Thus, this positivity brings a balance and contentment in his life.
On the other hand another person receives blessings and goodness with arrogance and transgression; his manners degenerate and become evil; he receives this goodness and utilizes it in an unthinking and uncaring manner; it does not give him any peace of mind as his mind is always distressed, nervous and restless.
Thus when faced with loss and difficulty, due to his arrogant nature, he begins to ask why me? What have I done to deserve this and he may even damn and curse others and thinks that they are plotting his downfall.
But every now and then we should stop to ponder over the blessings both apparent and hidden from The Almighty upon us, it is only then that we will realise that our Lord has granted us abundant blessings and protected us from a number of evils; this will certainly ease our grief and anxiety and bring about a measure of happiness and contentment.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Look to those who are lower than you (those who possess less than you) and do not look to those higher than you; this will make you appreciate the bounties of Allah upon you.”
Whether we are believers or disbelievers, virtuous or sinful, most of us are to a certain degree able to adapt and condition ourselves to face adversity and remain calm during these moments of challenge, uncertainty and upheaval.
When people receive affliction with fear, discontent, sorrow and despair; their life becomes miserable, they panic and become short tempered. Such people are unable to exercise patience remain restless, stressed and cannot find contentment that could make life easier for them.
On the other hand, due to a believer’s strong faith and reliance on Allah, it makes him persevere and he emerges stronger than others in difficult situations as this reduces his fear and anxiety and that ultimately makes matters easier for him. If he is afflicted with sickness, poverty or any other affliction, he is tranquil and content and has no desire for anything which has not been decreed for him.
‘If Allah touches you with affliction, none can remove it but He; if He touches you with happiness, He has power over all things’ (Qur’an 6: 17).Therefore the believer prays to his Lord: ‘Our Lord, condemn us not if we forget or fall into error…lay not on us a burden greater than which we have the strength to bear’ (Qur’an 2:286)
However, the one who is weak in faith will be just the opposite; he becomes anxious, nervous, confused and full of fear. The anxiety and paranoia will team up against him because this person does not have the faith that could enable him to persevere during tough times, he is less likely to handle the pressures and will be left in a somewhat troubled and depressed state of mind.
It is natural that as humans we are always fearful of losing the things that we have acquired; we desire and cherish them and we are anxious to acquire more, because many of us will never reach a point where we are satisfied with the material things in life.
When certain frightening, disturbing or unsettling events occur, like emergencies or accidents we find that a person with sound faith is calm, steadfast, and able to cope with the situation and handle the hardship he is going through; such a person has conditioned himself to face afflictions and this makes his heart stronger and more steadfast, which gives him a level of tranquillity.
This shows the difference between a person who has strong belief and acts accordingly, and another who is not at this level of faith. Due to the strong belief of the true believer he is content with whatever Allah Almighty has decreed,
This life is full of ups and downs and uncertainties, but the only certain thing is that from the moment we are born we will be tested with life’s challenges throughout our entire lives, up to and to the final certainty, death. ‘Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives, or the fruits of your toil, but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere’ (Qur’an2:155).
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “How wonderful is the matter of the believer! All of his matters are good and this is the case for nobody except a believer. If he is blessed with prosperity he thanks (Allah Almighty) and that is good for him; and if he is afflicted with adversity he is patient and perseveres and that is also good for him.”
During those challenging times you have three choices: either you can let them define you, let them destroy you; or you can let them strengthen you.
Here in Botswana we are in the throes of winter chills, currently experiencing the tail-end of a deep freeze in South Africa which has brought snow to parts of the Karoo. Conversely, over in the United Kingdom, they are moving into summer and there is a mini heatwave happening, with temperatures in the thirties.
Both countries have one thing in common – they are heavily reliant on tourism revenues and both have accordingly suffered due to Covid which severely curtailed all movement and travel, most of all for leisure and pleasure. However, earlier this year the UK cast off the last of its Covid restrictions and travel requirements and basically declared the pandemic to be over. Britain was back in business!
So the very hard-hit hospitality sectors finally had some good news. The crowds would be returning, needing hotel and bed & breakfast accommodation, snacks and sit-down meals, pub lunches and all manner of ancillary services. Other related sectors also put out the metaphorical flags – theatres, cinemas, theme parks, camping & caravan sites, all of which had suffered hugely during the pandemic and all could now re-open their doors to paying punters.
If you’ve ever visited the UK you will know of its many attractions. London is not only a vibrant, multi-cultural city, it is also very historic, with centuries-old palaces and cathedrals and world-class galleries and museums. Outside the capital, there is glorious scenery, from rolling pastures in the south to the breath-taking Lake District and the Highlands and lovely lochs to the far north in Scotland plus all manner of coastal delights and cultural experiences.
For everyone even remotely involved in leisure, hospitality and entertainment, it was cash registers and swipe machines at the ready!
But then green for go suddenly and without warning changed to red for stop. It began with misery for air passengers. Only last week the UK Guardian reported ‘It has been another ” week of chaos at UK airports, with hundreds of flights cancelled and holidaymakers facing long queues, with reports of waits of up to eight hours. Pent-up demand for travel and staff shortages have combined to put pressure on airports and airlines.’
The Prospect union, which represents thousands of aviation staff, ” warned on Tuesday that “things could get worse this summer before they get better”, quoting staff shortages across the industry, with a huge reliance on overtime to get by day to day. The problem stemmed from the massive, industry-wide lay-offs over Covid and a sector seemingly taken by surprise by the lifting of travel restrictions. Airlines are now scrambling to replace staff made redundant, many of whom were forced to find employment in other sectors.
In addition some specialised staff such are aircrew had no option but to let their licences lapse and now find themselves technically not fit for flying duties. Ironically, one of the country’s largest and longest-established airline – British Airways – appears to be the one most severely affected with many of their former cabin crew members reporting that they had been laid off during the downturn with the promise of potential re-employment later but who are now being told their services are not required.
One BA pilot has warned of potential staff exodus and further delays that could last through to winter. When talking about ongoing staff shortages in the industry he predicted: “We might be correctly crewed by winter time. There is no chance this will be sorted this summer.
The last month (August) might be okay.” UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps put the blame squarely on the industry for the widespread chaos, saying some airlines had cut too many staff during the pandemic. “The decisions as to whether or not to lay off in the end were airlines’ decisions. They clearly in the end, looking back, cut too far on that,” he told the BBC.
Lufthansa is also joining the party in announcing cancellations. The airline will be scrapping 900 flights from its schedule, from next month. Affected flights will predominantly be on Fridays and weekends to a number of European destinations, from Frankfurt and Munich.
The airline stated: “After …two years of the pandemic, Lufthansa group airlines report high demand for air travel this summer……At present, however, the infrastructure has not yet been fully restored. The entire aviation industry, especially in Europe, is currently suffering from bottlenecks and staff shortages. This affects airports, ground handling services, air traffic control, and also airlines.”
Of course some flights are taking place and some tourists are managing to make it into the UK on a much-needed holiday but for many of them sadly, the airport might be as far as they get because to add to the flight misery, members of two large transport union, the RMT and Unite, will bring the London Underground to a grinding halt next week with planned strike action.
Simultaneously, but in a separate dispute, other RMT members will also be staging a series of strikes on Network Rail and other mainline UK train operators. So should those tourists wish to proceed to some of the country’s top holiday destinations, they’d be well advised to seek an alternative means of transport.
Economists are already predicting this wave of strikes to cost the UK economy at least £91million, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research, proving devastating for the night-time and hospitality industries in particular. Hospitality chiefs estimated the national rail strike alone will cost the sector £540million over the week amid a 20 per cent drop in sales, the combination of which will hit ‘fragile consumer confidence’ and could ‘deliver a fatal financial blow’ to some firms.
In response, Transport for London (TFL), presumably in all seriousness, said its teams from Santander Cycles will be ensuring hire bicycles are ‘distributed at key locations according to demand’ and told commuters that ‘walking or cycling may be quicker for some journeys’ during the strike action.