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Guest Jigsaw_Puzzled_Singh

My Beard – an indepth philosophical, anthropological, historical and socio-political examination of my masculine sensibilities

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Guest Jigsaw_Puzzled_Singh

All the great philosophers had beards. I also have a beard. Therefore I’m a great philosopher. (jagsaw-puzzled-singh, 19th February 2020, around 11:55 hours greenwich mean time)

 

I was in Thailand over xmas, for the second time in the space a few months.  On previous visits there I noticed that Thais, just like the Chinese in Singapore and indeed all orientals in the far east, and not too fond of beards. The women there absolutely detest them and the men, although they view it as the height of manliness would never grow one because of the way society views beards as dirty. Not to mention the fact that they’re not actually capable of growing one very well anyway. I’ve been visiting as part of a yoga / meditation retreat in the country about 50 miles from Pattaya  and I would say about 80% of the males with me (white people) had a beard of some description. One day, in a small town, I was with a group when a car stopped and the female passenger kept looking at me and yelling things at me. She was Thai but from her features I could tell that she was a Thai of Chinese heritage. She kept shouting things at me whilst pointing to my beard. I convinced myself that she obviously had an intense dislike of beards and couldn’t resist the temptation to publicly vent her anger at them.  It wouldn’t be unusual......orientals are not shy about sharing their feelings about beards. I thought it best to ignore her. Let her say bad things about my beards. But, because I wasn’t acknowledging her in any way she got out of the car and approached me. I wasn’t sure what was about to come....I was thinking perhaps a spit or at the very least some angry finger waving at my face. Her hand approached my face so I thought this had gone beyond a mere spit and a slap was imminent.  But no......she smiled and ever so gently caressed my beard the way we would a baby’s lovely little face. I had made her day. For the first time in her life she had got to feel what a beard feels like. Both our days were made.

 

“Speak with respect and honour.

Both of the beard and the beard’s owner” – epic English Civil War poem, Hudibras

 

As a jatt, my ancestors were not in Punjab at the time Alexander the Great and his army sat on the banks of the Sutlej river. At that time they were somewhere in what is today Sindh and Sistan provinces of Pakistan and Iran. Whoever was in Punjab though – I know they kept beards.  Alexander didn’t though. On the eve of each battle in Punjab (and everywhere else) he ordered his soldiers to shave as he was convinced that it would help in close man to man combat lest the enemy gained an advantage by tugging at the beard.  His army wasn’t all-conquering in the Punjab so no need to discuss the merits of his war strategy but what’s this ? A Greek without a beard like a Roman ??

 

Irony – all of history is irony

Take two great ancient civilisations (Greeks and Romans) and  be tasked with finding the one single greatest thing that differentiated them.  What thing you gonna choose ? The answer is the beard. The Greeks had beards. The Romans were clean-shaven.  The irony is that shaving was introduced to the Romans by the Greek settlements in Sicily around 300 BC but in all antiquity the situation can be summed up thus: the clean-shaven fashion of the Romans and the bearded serious thinking intellect of the Greeks. ( with all due respect to my great bearded Roman Stoic heroes such as Aurelius – but remember these were Romans that adopted the Greek system of thought and contemplation) If we learn anything from history it is the fact that fashion always beats intellect. As the recent election of Trump and the fiasco of Brexit shows...people are generally very dumb.  And that’s why fashion always wins.  Irony again as beards are fashionable again (at least have been for the last few years) with cool hipsters having their long beards blown against the wind as they ride their penny farthing bicycles through the bus lanes of Shoreditch at the death defying speeds of almost 3 MPH. Double-irony now as studies have shown that females are more attracted to men that have beards in societies where beards are uncommon and vice versa.  That means, as an uber attractive peacock me and my beard would have a great chance of pulling a lovely girl in Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore but would have to get used to a mundane single life if I lived in Shoreditch, Brooklyn or Punjab. Me and my beard would just be run of the mill normal there. The women, according to the studies, are attracted to something different to the common. With most men in Punjab now sporting the K-Pop clean-shaven and spikey bouffant hairstyle you could argue that the man that goes for the clean-cut preppy look would do very well indeed there.....with the ladies. But that’s why I have a beard is it ?   I don’t think so but apparently those that run Sikh affairs in Punjab do. They (the SPGC) ran a series of videos and promotions a few years ago trying to encourage Sikh young men not to shave their hair. They were telling young men that they shouldn’t shave because it’s a good sexy look that women just can’t get enough of.....i.e. keep a beard because women will find you more attractive if you do. But, like I said, history has shown us that people, generally, are very dumb.  We’re back to irony again because the Roman emporer Hadrian did very briefly bring beards back in fashion again among Romans (for a very short time) but he only kept a beard because of his extremely bad facial skin which he sought to hide with a beard in order to appear more attractive (given Roman and Greek practices at that time I’m not sure who he was trying to attract – women or boys ?)

 

There were these 2 Christianties and a Jew....

 

The Jewish scriptures say a beard is vital as the appearance of a man is a mirror image of his soul....god. I like that.  The Christians worship a Jew with a beard.  But the Christians, being Christians, go on to do and say stuff that makes no sense to a more enlightened eastern mind like yours and mine. It started with St. Jerome, in around 380 AD. I suppose he woke up one morning and decided he hated beards, for some reason or another. It was probably in response (albeit a slow 150 year delay – this was in the days before the internet remember) to something that St. Clement of Alexandria said. He said a beard must never be shaven.  So in this Champions League semi-final of the heavyweights between St. Clement and St. Jerome we’d have to consider it a draw as both schools went their separate ways – largely on the issue of the beard: The Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.  The shaving of the beard became a requirement under Canon law whereas the Eastern Orthodox churches believed strongly that the beard is a vital part of spirituality. Can’t escape irony though, no matter how hard we try, because today, clean shaven western Christians whose foundation was that having a beard was dirty and a sin, will knock on the door of me the bearded one and say that I will be damned in hell unless I leave my religion and join them in worshipping a man..............who had a beard.

 

So here I sit in dreary olde England stroking my beard. I always stroke my beard when I’m writing things on SikhSangat but I suppose that is to be expected because one has to contemplate what he is about to write and the stroking of the beard is a pre-requisite of contemplation.  But dreary olde England, where things have always been upside-down – topsy-turvy. First the poor peasants working the fields had beards whereas the rich nobility didn’t to signify their idleness. Then  the industrial revolution came and poor people were clean shaven as they were working with machinery and only rich people had beards – to signify their nobility. And now its the hipsters.  Will my great great grandchildren be learning at school about the bearded hipsters the way I was taught about the bearded industrialists of the revolution and the bearded serfs ? I hope not because I dread to think how the poor teacher will have to explain to little children the presence of penny farthing bicycles in 2020 London. And so I sit here, occasionally taking my fingers off the keyboard,  stroking my beard whilst contemplating my beard.  (Oh, is there no end to this irony ?)  Although the temptation is great I’m a true believer that contemplation must have it’s limits. You never know....if you contemplate about your beard for too long, i.e years, the hair (beard) will eventually start falling out due to over-contemplation.  So what have I found in this journey deep into my beard ? I’m a Sikh so of course I have a beard. I’m also a human so, like all humans, I have the ability to critically think so I know I don’t have a beard just because my religion says I must have a beard.  I know my faith is scientifically ahead of it’s time and teaches me that my beard is an extension of my nervous system, thus an essential part of me as a human. This is when you know that contemplation time is over. Know that my beard is an essential part of my body system would I sit here and question why I should or should not keep other parts of body such as my finger or my toe ?   No. A million different settings can provide a million different answers but when if I’m sitting at the computer contemplating a message for this forum each part of my body serves a purpose. My finger is for waving (pontificating – passing judgement – I like to do that alot), my toes are for wiggling and my beard is for stroking. Everything has a purpose. Including my beard. Even if it is so a little Thai / Chinese lady can fulfil her life-long dream of being able to touch one for the first time.

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Guest Jigsaw_Puzzled_Singh

Ok.  The way i work on this forum is the same way I work with my children. I like to give little pointers....little cryptic clues....so that my kids might go in a particular direction to find out more about that thing. Not trying to control the way they think but just trying to get them to think more....broaden their minds....broaden their knowledge base. In my message above I left 2 such clues and both were designed to start and then encourage a debate by yourselves spotting the anomaly and countering it. The first is the very first thing I said. I said All the great philosophers had beards. I also have a beard. Therefore I’m a great philosopher. On paper this sounds great but every scholar of philosophy will tell you that a basic of philosophy is that a beard does not a philosopher make.  The second was the epic Hudibras, which, in my opinion, is the finest piece of literature ever written in the English language. I deliberately took a quote from it out of context when I said 

Speak with respect and honour.

Both of the beard and the beard’s owner”

 

for two reasons. Firstly so that many of you might be encouraged to read this beautiful 1600s work of art and secondly that those of you who have read it might understand the mocking sarcasm of the above quote. Hudibras was written to mock the powers that be. Mock the ultra-religious zealots....mock the nobility....mock royalty. The above quote was written in Hudibras as a way of showing the zealots how s1lly they were for demanding respect as men with beards. The irony being, of course, many men with beards demonstrate that s1llyness by actual taking the quote literally and actually demanding respect. 

So you see, all in all, its simply about thinking. And understanding. Understanding that the beard on your face causes a range of emotions on others who see it. Some positive , some negative. Some people see it and are consumed with fear. Others intrigue. Others love. As a thing, in it's own right, the beard is an immensely powerful thing. But this thread was designed to get YOU thinking. Thinking about why YOU have a beard. I came to my own conclusion in my own message above. Your conclusion will be your own conclusion but you can't jump to a conclusion without thought. So give it some thought. The parcharaks, such as NKJ, AKJ et all are the kind of people that Hudibras mocks. You will not get a meaningful answer as to the spiritual relationship between YOUR beard and YOUR self from them. They are merely the men that demand respect as the "owners of the beards". 

Look, to be totally honest, as someone that writes for a living I could have turned what I wrote above into an article and made some money out of it. Instead, I decided to share with you - my brothers and sisters. One week later it has just 54 views and zero replies. You can imagine how I'm now thinking I made a mistake by thinking that anyone here was capable of thinking. Prove me wrong. Show me that i made the right decision by writing it for you rather than for riches.

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Guest Jigsaw_puzzled_singh

So...let me just get this straight - 3 weeks have gone by and not one of you supposed 'Sikhs' have given even a minute of self-reflected thought about your own beard ???? 😮      

Tell me.......When Jews, at the turn of the last century, whilst pondering how and and why they were the only supposedly major religion without a homeland started on a program of intellectual thought about their being.........you supposed 'Sikhs' can ignore the fact that we / you genuinely are the only major religion in the world without a homeland and think that a homeland can drop out of the sky by simply disengaging your brains and blaming Badal, Captain and Gandhi and Modi for all your problems ?

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Guest Sat
On 2/26/2020 at 12:05 PM, Guest Jigsaw_Puzzled_Singh said:

Ok.  The way i work on this forum is the same way I work with my children. I like to give little pointers....little cryptic clues....so that my kids might go in a particular direction to find out more about that thing. Not trying to control the way they think but just trying to get them to think more....broaden their minds....broaden their knowledge base. In my message above I left 2 such clues and both were designed to start and then encourage a debate by yourselves spotting the anomaly and countering it. The first is the very first thing I said. I said All the great philosophers had beards. I also have a beard. Therefore I’m a great philosopher. On paper this sounds great but every scholar of philosophy will tell you that a basic of philosophy is that a beard does not a philosopher make.  The second was the epic Hudibras, which, in my opinion, is the finest piece of literature ever written in the English language. I deliberately took a quote from it out of context when I said 

Speak with respect and honour.

Both of the beard and the beard’s owner”

 

for two reasons. Firstly so that many of you might be encouraged to read this beautiful 1600s work of art and secondly that those of you who have read it might understand the mocking sarcasm of the above quote. Hudibras was written to mock the powers that be. Mock the ultra-religious zealots....mock the nobility....mock royalty. The above quote was written in Hudibras as a way of showing the zealots how s1lly they were for demanding respect as men with beards. The irony being, of course, many men with beards demonstrate that s1llyness by actual taking the quote literally and actually demanding respect. 

So you see, all in all, its simply about thinking. And understanding. Understanding that the beard on your face causes a range of emotions on others who see it. Some positive , some negative. Some people see it and are consumed with fear. Others intrigue. Others love. As a thing, in it's own right, the beard is an immensely powerful thing. But this thread was designed to get YOU thinking. Thinking about why YOU have a beard. I came to my own conclusion in my own message above. Your conclusion will be your own conclusion but you can't jump to a conclusion without thought. So give it some thought. The parcharaks, such as NKJ, AKJ et all are the kind of people that Hudibras mocks. You will not get a meaningful answer as to the spiritual relationship between YOUR beard and YOUR self from them. They are merely the men that demand respect as the "owners of the beards". 

Look, to be totally honest, as someone that writes for a living I could have turned what I wrote above into an article and made some money out of it. Instead, I decided to share with you - my brothers and sisters. One week later it has just 54 views and zero replies. You can imagine how I'm now thinking I made a mistake by thinking that anyone here was capable of thinking. Prove me wrong. Show me that i made the right decision by writing it for you rather than for riches.

Do you have a job. Or children?

 

You have Far too much time in your hands. why don’t you use it for something constructive. No offense, but your writing really isn’t that good. If it were, at least someone would have responded to your post. Maybe you’re good at writing other things?

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Guest Jigsaw_puzzled_singh
2 hours ago, Guest Sat said:

Do you have a job. Or children?

 

You have Far too much time in your hands. why don’t you use it for something constructive. No offense, but your writing really isn’t that good. If it were, at least someone would have responded to your post. Maybe you’re good at writing other things?

Yeah. I am. I'm good at writing other things :)   Just out of interest, what falls under your definition of other things and what exactly are other things ?   I mean a beard is a 'thing' per se and you obviously have very high standards when it comes to philosophical thought about beards which I obviously fell short on but which other 'things' do you think might get creative juices flowing Sat ?

 

p.s. for about the 150th time on this forum.......YES I have children and YES I am a writer which means my whole life - and the thing that puts food on my children's table and pays my bills - is the fact that I sit at home like a long-haired (and long bearded) layabout thinking about things and writing about them.  You might also be interested in my 'stuff that white people do' thread in which I articulated how I am far less intellectual and far less smarter and a far worse writer than most people but...because I was fortunate enough to be born into a family that was UK born I am afforded the luxury and priveledge of being able to earn a living from pursuing from idle thoughts. 

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Guest London jwaan
On 2/26/2020 at 9:05 AM, Guest Jigsaw_Puzzled_Singh said:

Ok.  The way i work on this forum is the same way I work with my children. I like to give little pointers....little cryptic clues....so that my kids might go in a particular direction to find out more about that thing. Not trying to control the way they think but just trying to get them to think more....broaden their minds....broaden their knowledge base. In my message above I left 2 such clues and both were designed to start and then encourage a debate by yourselves spotting the anomaly and countering it. The first is the very first thing I said. I said All the great philosophers had beards. I also have a beard. Therefore I’m a great philosopher. On paper this sounds great but every scholar of philosophy will tell you that a basic of philosophy is that a beard does not a philosopher make.  The second was the epic Hudibras, which, in my opinion, is the finest piece of literature ever written in the English language. I deliberately took a quote from it out of context when I said 

Speak with respect and honour.

Both of the beard and the beard’s owner”

 

for two reasons. Firstly so that many of you might be encouraged to read this beautiful 1600s work of art and secondly that those of you who have read it might understand the mocking sarcasm of the above quote. Hudibras was written to mock the powers that be. Mock the ultra-religious zealots....mock the nobility....mock royalty. The above quote was written in Hudibras as a way of showing the zealots how s1lly they were for demanding respect as men with beards. The irony being, of course, many men with beards demonstrate that s1llyness by actual taking the quote literally and actually demanding respect. 

So you see, all in all, its simply about thinking. And understanding. Understanding that the beard on your face causes a range of emotions on others who see it. Some positive , some negative. Some people see it and are consumed with fear. Others intrigue. Others love. As a thing, in it's own right, the beard is an immensely powerful thing. But this thread was designed to get YOU thinking. Thinking about why YOU have a beard. I came to my own conclusion in my own message above. Your conclusion will be your own conclusion but you can't jump to a conclusion without thought. So give it some thought. The parcharaks, such as NKJ, AKJ et all are the kind of people that Hudibras mocks. You will not get a meaningful answer as to the spiritual relationship between YOUR beard and YOUR self from them. They are merely the men that demand respect as the "owners of the beards". 

Look, to be totally honest, as someone that writes for a living I could have turned what I wrote above into an article and made some money out of it. Instead, I decided to share with you - my brothers and sisters. One week later it has just 54 views and zero replies. You can imagine how I'm now thinking I made a mistake by thinking that anyone here was capable of thinking. Prove me wrong. Show me that i made the right decision by writing it for you rather than for riches.

Or maybe people can’t be bothered with your nonsense and are just astounded how despite having had to change your nickname at least twice, to try and disassociate yourself from earlier casteism, vitriol and unsubstantiated bukwaas, with fake statistics pulled out of your jagsaw, not to mention being banned from being a member of this forum , why is it that you have not taken a whole pack of Imodium to stop the extreme verbal diahorrea???

i for one am shocked....... and I’m fairly sure I speak for the majority.

 Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, waheguru ji ki fateh

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Guest Jigsaw_Puzzled_Singh
On 3/18/2020 at 12:55 PM, Guest London jwaan said:

Or maybe people can’t be bothered with your nonsense and are just astounded how despite having had to change your nickname at least twice, to try and disassociate yourself from earlier casteism, vitriol and unsubstantiated bukwaas, with fake statistics pulled out of your jagsaw, not to mention being banned from being a member of this forum , why is it that you have not taken a whole pack of Imodium to stop the extreme verbal diahorrea???

i for one am shocked....... and I’m fairly sure I speak for the majority.

 Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, waheguru ji ki fateh

*DELETED*

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Guest Jigsaw_puzzled_singh
On 3/26/2020 at 9:42 AM, ipledgeblue said:

you should write a blog post or whatever social thing people do these days.

I've said it close to a thousand times already. I write for a living. Apart from the very occasional workshop I don't do anything in my life other than write. Often....about 3 or 4 times a year...I take a break from writing and go off on a jolly to places like Canada and Thailand. But, other than that....I'm nothing but a long-haired layabout lazy writer. 

Ooooh....you may be interested in some of the things I've written on this forum over the years. Years ago....I wrote about how I live a self-sufficient life in which I grow my own food. It got lots of laughs and ridicule from everyone here at the time. They're not laughing now though are they ? 

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2 hours ago, Guest Jigsaw_puzzled_singh said:

I've said it close to a thousand times already. I write for a living. Apart from the very occasional workshop I don't do anything in my life other than write. Often....about 3 or 4 times a year...I take a break from writing and go off on a jolly to places like Canada and Thailand. But, other than that....I'm nothing but a long-haired layabout lazy writer. 

Ooooh....you may be interested in some of the things I've written on this forum over the years. Years ago....I wrote about how I live a self-sufficient life in which I grow my own food. It got lots of laughs and ridicule from everyone here at the time. They're not laughing now though are they ? 

Please provide some of your publications. Do you have any links?

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Guest jigsaw_puzzled_singh
1 hour ago, Ranjeet01 said:

Please provide some of your publications. Do you have any links?

If my comedy threads / poetry threads / history threads and Race threads have not been enough to temper your delicate sensibilities ?  What care do I have as to what you think and what motivation do I have to provide you with a list of 'publications', whatever that is supposed to mean, as if a writers existence is based solely in the orbit of 'publications'. Is this is a thread about contemplation of the Beard or one of Ranjeet's narcicism ?

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2 hours ago, Guest jigsaw_puzzled_singh said:

If my comedy threads / poetry threads / history threads and Race threads have not been enough to temper your delicate sensibilities ?  What care do I have as to what you think and what motivation do I have to provide you with a list of 'publications', whatever that is supposed to mean, as if a writers existence is based solely in the orbit of 'publications'. Is this is a thread about contemplation of the Beard or one of Ranjeet's narcicism ?

Well you said you write for a living. 

If you write for a living, then surely you have something published?

Either that or there is a hint of Walter Mitty about you.

 

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Guest Jigsaw_puzzled_singh
1 hour ago, Ranjeet01 said:

Well you said you write for a living. 

If you write for a living, then surely you have something published?

Either that or there is a hint of Walter Mitty about you.

 

Well then I don't write for a living. Lets just say I stay at home and collect a jobseekers allowance every fortnight. How has that changed your perception or ideation of the beard ? Has it brought you closer or further away from contemplation of it ?

 

As for writing and what you call 'being published'....not that I would know anything about it because I'm an unemployable layabout on the dole but I have, over the years, given any would be writer out there some pointers as to what a real writer actually is. I've told them that its less about any genuine talent but more about priviledge. In other words, if you have the priviledge of being born into a particular set of circumstances and thus have the luxury of being able to do nothing other than sit idly and write.......You are then a writer. There are hundreds of thousands of them up and down the land. Some are extrovert and crave attention while others write for others, collect their pay-check and concentrate on their ideological passions. Others.....as demonstrated in my Rupi Kaur thread (below), utilise their degrees in Marketing and Rhetoric in order to sell the illusion of being a writer. Being able to make a living from writing has nothing to do with the ability of being able to write. It has everything to do with not being afraid to use your imagination and having the priviledge of not having to go out to work everyday. But....like I said...I wouldn't know too much about that kind of stuff because I just stay at home because I'm lazy and like to watch daytime TV.

Besides, what has any of this got to do with the spiritual relationship between YOU and YOUR beard ?

 

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On 3/30/2020 at 2:54 PM, Guest Jigsaw_puzzled_singh said:

I've said it close to a thousand times already. I write for a living. Apart from the very occasional workshop I don't do anything in my life other than write. Often....about 3 or 4 times a year...I take a break from writing and go off on a jolly to places like Canada and Thailand. But, other than that....I'm nothing but a long-haired layabout lazy writer. 

Ooooh....you may be interested in some of the things I've written on this forum over the years. Years ago....I wrote about how I live a self-sufficient life in which I grow my own food. It got lots of laughs and ridicule from everyone here at the time. They're not laughing now though are they ? 

I think sikhs need to start a self sufficient lifestyle, instead of relying on the economy for food. If we're growing our own food instead of working 8 or more hours a day to be able to buy food then we can improve our sikhi, I am sure!

Also theres a Facebook page run by some Birmingham East Africa sikh Nihangs   who also promote growing onw food and post lots of photos from their alotments and organic sabjis. Oh yes there Facebook is called Khalsa ethics.

 

Please post your blog!

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