Benson C Saili THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER Jehovah issues warrant of arrest for his seditious granddaughter
When word got to Enlil, the Bible’s main Jehovah, about the “disobedience and sacrilege” that had been committed by Inanna, he was incandescent with rage. He sent word back to the Anunnaki pantheon on Earth that he was cutting short his Mars tour of duty and would be returning to Earth very soon.
Examining the satellite pictures the Igigi (Anunnaki who stayed in orbit) had provided him, he was horrified by the almost utter destruction of Nippur, his cult city in Sumer, and the defilement of the Ekur, his Temple-Abode. He gave the Anunnaki council the specific time he’d be touching down on the planet so that he would find them already assembled at Nippur.
Altogether, eight gods were in attendance at the crisis meeting at Nippur. Obviously absent were Marduk, who was still hovering around the South Pole; Nergal, who had aided and abetted Inanna in her orgy of carnage and destruction; Ningishzidda, who was busy lording it over in South America; and Inanna herself, who feared the inevitable retribution.
All the gods in attendance, including Nannar-Sin, Inanna’s own father, were unanimous that Inanna deserved some form of punishment both for treason and for her battery of atrocities. Even the long-suffering Enki said she had gone too far. Standing up, Enki read out the warnings Marduk had sounded about an Inanna left to her own devices and blamed Enlil for having been too tolerant of her transgressions since days immemorial.
The proposed retributive options were weighed one by one and finally all the eight gods, including Enlil, decided that Agade, Inanna’s new base, should be wiped off the face of the Earth, whilst all other cities and principal farmlands should be spared. Before acting, Enlil issued a warrant of arrest for Inanna so she should stand trial. But the moment Inanna received the news of the hot soup into which she had landed herself, she immediately departed Agade and returned to Uruk, her longstanding cult city.
Says a famous text known as The Curse of Agade: “The Word of Ekur (Enlil’s decree) was upon Agade like a deathly silence. Agade was all atremble. It's Ulmash Temple (Inanna’s magnificent residence) was in terror: she who lived there left the city. The maiden forsook her chamber: Holy Inanna forsook her shrine in Agade.”
Wroth that Inanna had slipped through their fingers, Enlil’s sheriffs took out their frustration on the Ulmash, which they razed to the ground. They managed to catch up with Inanna, however, at the Eanna in Uruk, which she had just set about renovating after virtually tearing it down the last time around. It was not that they took her unawares: it was simply a stand of defiance. When the sheriffs arrived, they roughed her up, treating her like a nobody, a gesture of which she felt affronted. “Their unwashed hands they put on me,” she lamented in one of her later reminisces.
The sheriffs, however, made a terrible mistake. To accord her some dignity being a prominent goddess, they let her pilot herself in a flying saucer whilst they escorted her in a fighter plane to a detention centre in Nippur. “Me, from my temple, they caused to fly. A Queen am I whom, from my city, like a bird they caused to fly.”
Now, Inanna was the Anunnaki’s best aeronaut after Utu-Shamash. If Utu was the Lewis Hamilton of airspace, Inanna was the Sebastian Vettel. Only seconds after she took off, her flying saucer practically disappeared into thin air. It was like magic but it was simply her extraordinary aviational skills on parade.
NINURTA TRUSTED TO LEAD CHARGE AGAINST INANNA
With Inanna on the run and given that Sumer was Enlilite territory, Enlil decided to appoint a god with strong warrior credentials to rule it overall and bring about sustained order and stability. This was Ninurta, the famed God of War. Now, Ninurta was at one time given overall charge of Sumer but he did not enthusiastically embrace that responsibility as he was irate that his younger brother Nannar-Sin had been given authority over the Sinai Peninsula, which harbouring the all-important spaceport was the Anunnaki’s most strategically significant place on the planet.
That made Sin more powerful than him in the greater scheme of things. As such, Ninurta opted to spend a great deal more time out of Sumer than inside it. In fact, the reason Sumer was in such turmoil was because Ninurta had deliberately taken a back seat and was a virtual spectator.
Now Enlil desperately wanted him back and Ninurta consented to the offer. He so assented because he wanted to demonstrate, just as he did during the Third Pyramid War, that he was the mightiest and most indispensable Enlilite. “In days not five, in days not ten, the crown band of Lordship, the tiara of Kingship, the throne given to the rulership, to Ninurta’s temple brought over,” says The Curse of Agade.
But who would be Ninurta’s foot soldiers, his “instrument of divine wrath?” The most proficient warriors of the day were of course Nergal’s Gutians, who lived in Kutha, also known as Gutium, across the Zagros Mountains northeast of Sumer. The Gutians were by Enlil’s executive fiat ordered to fight under Ninurta but as paid mercenaries in the charge for Agade, which had been designated for total destruction. Since there was a reward to be gained, the Gutians said they were game, that they were raring to go. In any case, they could not defy Enlil, who was the God of Earth at least for as long as the sun rose in the constellation of Taurus.
Before the siege got underway, the Anunnaki high command moved to salvage what they could from Agade both literally and figuratively. Utu-Shamash “carried off its Eloquence”, it’s broadcasting infrastructure, and Enki, who was the God of Knowledge, “withdrew its wisdom,” that is, he closed down his secret society educational outreach known as the Brotherhood of the Snake and ordered the Easu’s (his teachers) to evacuate from the city.
Note that the assault on Agade was not instantaneous. Enki had insisted that Agade’s citizens who still were loyal to Inanna and Naram-Sin be given notice of at least seven years to reconsider, wind up their affairs, and relocate to other cities. You will be aware that the Anunnaki did not see the passage of time in the way humans did: to them, seven years in fact amounted to about a week.
This grace period also extended to Inanna herself: if she were to come to her senses, humble herself, surrender herself to Enlil’s tribunal, be tried, and accordingly sentenced, the curse over Agade would be lifted, the city would be spared, and tens of thousands of lives would be preserved from mortal harm.
JEHOVAH PARRIES NARAM-SIN PEACE FEELER
Meanwhile, Naram-Sin, who had been left to his own devices by the vanished Inanna, was worried sick despite putting a brave face on his fate. "The kingship of Agade is prostrated, its future extremely unhappy,” he mused before his loyalists. He was in dire straits and was at a loss as to what he should do. At long last, he managed to get in touch with Inanna through an oracular priest. Ninurta had said this to him on behalf of Enlil: “O Naram-Sin, this is our word: this army ranged against you, the Gutians, is invincible … Bind your weapons, in a corner place them! And you will be safe.” So the question Naram-Sin posed to Inanna through the oracle was this: should he simply give up and surrender as per Ninurta’s urging?
The answer came through a vision as he lay in a trance at the shrine of the oracle. “Then Naram-Sin had a vision, a communication from his goddess Inanna. He kept it to himself, put it not in speech, spoke with nobody about it.” The communication from Inanna was later confirmed by an instruction from her using a trusted intermediary. Inanna encouraged Naram-Sin to soldier on, to fight to the death so as to preserve both his and her honour. In the end, Inanna told her, the forces of light – she and he – would triumph against the forces of darkness – Ninurta and the rest of the Anunnaki with the exception of Nergal.
Thus emboldened, Naram-Sin informed Ninurta that he was going to fight: there would be no retreat, no surrender. Shortly after serving this notice, Naram-Sin decided to mount a pre-emptive offense against the Gutians before they came anywhere near Agade. In the first year, he dispatched 180,000 troops in the direction of Gutium. In the second year, he staked a further 120,000. In the third year, he sent out 60,000. That is a total of 360,000 in three years. None of his soldier returned. Of course some of them in all probability defected to the enemy ranks but those who held their ground were destroyed by what Naram-Sin described as a “Floodwind Weapon”, which was a chemical weapon of some sort.
Now, 360,000 was a significant figure in Sumerian numerology. 3600 years was how long it took for Nibiru to make one complete revolution around the Sun and 360 degrees was the size of a circle. To Naram-Sin, the message was loud and clear: he just could not beat Ninurta. Accordingly, in the fourth year, he approached Enki with cap in hand and besought him to prevail over Enlil to call a halt to the impending march on Agade. Enki did likewise but Enlil said he could not do that without Inanna showing contrition for her treasonous act. For as long as she remained defiant, Agade was destined for destruction come rain or shine.
Indeed, not long after Enki’s meeting with Enlil, Ninurta sent word to Naram-Sin that it was in his interest to voluntarily disarm as he was simply kicking against the goads. “In days to come,” Ninurta warned, “Enlil will summon perdition upon the Sons of Evil (Naram Sin and his army) and Akkad would have respite.” In other words, Enlil had already decided the fate of Agade. Naram-Sin was distraught. He made no more Kamikaze forays in the direction of the Gutians; instead, he patiently waited for them to invade, whereupon he would take on them with every fibre of his being. The guy really was made of sterner stuff.
GUTIANS DESTROY AGADE
Two more years passed and Enlil still had not issued the command to storm Agade. In the intervening period, Ninurta had been fortifying his cult city, Lagash, and militarily honing the skills of his lieutenants. Even when Inanna was at the height of her power, the one city she could not touch throughout all Sumer and Akkad was Lagash. Ninurta had seen to it that all the governors of the various districts of Lagash were militarily proficient. He wasn’t called Enlil’s “Foremost Warrior” for nothing.
One of Ninurta’s generals, known as Eannatum, who was overall governor of Lagash, was said to be a soldier of epic proportions and was even highlighted on stelas and various other Sumerian inscriptions. His military prowess was such that both Sargon and Naram-Sin fell flat in their efforts to mount a siege of Lagash. Eannatum’s “infantry of spearmen, protected by shield bearers, gave the army of Lagash a defence most solid and an attack most rapid and versatile,” comments a Sumerian scholar. Because of Eannatum’s glittering military credentials, along with his great looks, the raunchy Inanna was sexually drawn to him: she made him governor of Kish in addition to his governorship of Lagash.
Finally, in the seventh year after the curse on Agade was pronounced, Enlil gave the order for Ninurta and the Gutians to pounce on the ill-fated city-state. Enlil’s instructions to Ninurta were to “kill off Inanna’s Earthlings”. Agade was to be laid to waist, to be obliterated into untraceable oblivion.
Ninurta wasted no time in issuing the “surge” command to the dreaded Gutians, who swept down from the Zagros Mountains in their hordes. The great African warriors were in seven battalions, each led by a warrior chieftain. They descended on Akkad “in vast numbers, like locusts.”
On hearing that the Gutians were on their way, Naram-Sin developed cold feet and without formally notifying his generals simply went into hiding. Then each of his generals, who like their Gutian counterparts were seven in number, declared himself King, and the result was confusion as to who exactly held the reins as captured in the Sumerian King List in this statement: “Who was king? Who was not king? Was Irgigi king? Was Nanum king? Was Imi king? Was Elulu king?"
In the face of such uncertainty, the Agade warriors were not sure as to whose command to heed. Inevitably, the Gutians had a field day. “Nothing escaped their arm. He who slept on the roof died on the roof. He who slept inside the house was not brought to burial … Heads were crushed, mouths were crushed … The blood of the treacherous flowed over the blood of the faithful." Clearly, it was not only conventional weapons that were responsible for this carnage. Agade’s destruction was total: it was never rebuilt or resettled but remained desolate forever. Indeed to date, its exact location has never been found. When Enlil said Agade should be wiped off the face of the Earth, he wasn’t joking at all.
The Gutians not only destroyed Agade but looted it before razing it to the ground. Having made a statement of their fearsome reputation, their seizure of the whole of Sumer and Akkad was a walk in the park. As for the fate of Naram-Sin, his earthly chapter closed when Enlil’s agents planted a scorpion that bit him circa 2260 BC. With the destruction of Agade and the death of Naram-Sin, the era of Inanna-Ishtar was over but not quite…
FUGITIVE ISHTAR JOINS FORCES WITH REPTILIANS
Where did Inanna vanish to after outsmarting Enlil’s airborne sheriffs? She returned to her legally allotted domain, the Indus Valley, also known as the Third Region. There, her reputation was intact: she was still revered and even worshipped as Mahabharata, meaning “Goddess of Love”. She was also known as Indra. Both Mahabharata and Indra were once the ancient names of India. Inanna’s most devout followers in the Indus Valley were the Bharatas, a Vhedic Aryan group. Excavations done in India at the ancient sites of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro indeed reveal that the peoples of these regions of the Indus Valley worshipped a nude, bare-breasted goddess.
The fact that Inanna flaunted her sexuality without the merest inhibition was one factor that served to endear her to her subjects there, and the reason why they too showed little or no sexual restraint. But beyond and above that, it was the quality of life they enjoyed that made them receive her as a super-star goddess. Says one source on this subject: “A civilisation in the Indus Valley rivalled those known in Egypt and Mesopotamia.
These cities (Harappa and Mohenjo Daro) demonstrated an exceptional level of civic planning and amenities. The houses were furnished with brick-built bathrooms and many had toilets. Waste water from these was led into well-built brick sewers that ran along the centre of the streets, covered with bricks or stone slabs. Cisterns and wells finely constructed of wedge-shaped bricks held public supplies of drinking water. Mohenjo Daro also boasted a Great Bath on the high mound (citadel) overlooking the residential area of the city. Built of layers of carefully fitted bricks, gypsum mortar and waterproof bitumen, this basin is generally thought to have been used for ritual purification.”
Of course like every caste system, the Indus Valley did have its share of squalid makeshift dwellings, a careless intermingling of residential and industrial activity, but the superior caste enjoyed a splendid standard of living and that was what mattered the most. When Inanna arrived at Mohenjo Daro, her headquarters, she wasted no time in seeking a new race of allies knowing that she was all alone now and the Anunnaki pantheon were almost wholly ranged against her. Her new allies were a sophisticated race of Reptilians that had been living in a subterranean world in the bowels of the Earth.
In earlier times, Reptilians had gone to war many a time with alien humanoids like the Anunnaki and following the use by the humanoids of a particle beam weapon that resulted in a 200-year-old severe winter had found a new haven under the surface of the Earth. It were these Reptilians, who were indigenous to Earth and were in fact the first civilisation to inhabit this planet, who Inanna courted. Inanna wanted them to aid her in militarily defeating her own race, the Anunnaki. She would then be the Empress of Earth and accord Reptilians special privilege, such as emerging from their underground world to found their own colonies on the surface.
The Earth-based Reptilians were no pushovers: they had with the assistance of their powerful cousins from the Draco star system colonised seven celestial bodies in the Solar System, namely the Moon, Mars, Venus and 4 moons of Jupiter and Saturn. At the time Inanna made overtures to them, however, they had long lost Mars and the Moon. With the Reptilians having acceded to Inanna’s pitch, a globalwide showdown was looming between two of the most powerful forces on Earth. Would the Iron Lady bounce back as Earth’s sovereign?
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.