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The Tale of the Servant from Samarra And The Lessons on Embracing Life from an Age-Old Parable

The Tale of the Servant from Samarra And The Lessons on Embracing Life from an Age-Old Parable


Have You Ever Heard the Tale of the Servant from Samarra?


In a distant land and time, a merchant in Baghdad sent his servant to the marketplace. The servant, upon his return, was pale and trembling. He told the merchant that he had seen death in the market, and she had threatened him. Fearing for his life, the servant asked his master's horse to flee to Samarra, thinking death wouldn't find him there.

The merchant, curious, went to the market and confronted death. Death seemed surprised, saying her gesture was one of shock, not of threat, for she was surprised to see the servant in Baghdad when she had an appointment with him that night in Samarra.


I have written extensively about Sherlock Holmes and my obsession with Sir Doyle's stories. BBC's adaptation of the famous detective and his trusted doctor is one of my favorites. Though I could recite the screenplay word by word, I let it play in the background when I am seriously learning something. It's a trick that I use to focus my monkey mind. In the first episode of the fourth season, there is a short contemplative voiceover that I love. Today, it inspired me to write the article you are reading.


"When does the path we walk on lock around our feet?

When does the road become a river with only one destination?

Death waits for us all in Samarra.

But can Samarra be avoided?"


When does the path we walk on lock around our feet?

Life, with its unpredictable twists and turns, often feels like a journey with a predestined end. We tread on paths, sometimes chosen, sometimes thrust upon us, but always leading us forward, even though sometimes it doesn't seem like we are moving forward.

That, that raises questions deep within...

When does that path become inescapable?

When does choice fade, and fate take over?

Or is it a change in perception triggered by events we do not expect?


When does the road become a river with only one destination?

Like a river that starts as a trickle, our lives flow, gathering experiences, emotions, and memories. But rivers, no matter how winding, have a destination – the vast, endless ocean. Our lives, too, have an end – an inevitable meeting with the reaper.


Death waits for us all in Samarra.

It's a haunting reminder of life's fragility. Every breath, every heartbeat, every fleeting moment is a step closer to our own Samarra. But what if Samarra isn't just a place or an end? What if it's a state of mind culminating in our fears, regrets, and unfulfilled dreams?


But can Samarra be avoided?

Can we escape the inevitable?

So far, the answer is no. Though we do not know what's beyond the event we call death, we are all heading to that event.


If we can not escape the inevitable, the very act of living, with its joys and sorrows, love and pain, the journey to Samarra becomes the focal point. The key isn't in avoiding Samarra but in embracing the trip, in living each moment with passion, purpose, and love...


Ultimately, isn't life about the journey and not the destination?

Isn't it about the stories we weave, the memories we create, and the love we share?

Maybe Samarra isn't a place to be feared but a reminder to live fully, deeply, and passionately...


Death might wait for us all, but life... life is waiting too.

And it's up to us to choose which call we heed.


Luv,

Saj

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