A Peek Between the Covers of my New Book

in #writinglast year (edited)

HayHouse2.jpg


Selected for Books of the Year by The Independent, UK my new book, Signposts to Elsewhere, is issued by Hay House (the publishers of Deepak Chopra). Signposts is a work of ‘complete fragments’ which I hope will re-awaken your day-to-day thought process and guide you to live a deeper life. Reviewer Mark Simpson likened my book to' a box of assorted chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get!'

Aphorisms, by definition, are short sayings that are intended to express a general truth. Witty, resonant, and precise, they capture the contradictory nature of human truths and sentiments, reflecting the soul’s dialogue with itself.

If you're interested in the brief arts -- poetry, proverbs-- I'm happy to share with you a couple of my original sayings from my new book, below, and this beautiful video/trailer:


We spend half of our days dreaming
and the other half
sleepwalking.


HayHouse1.jpg


What is actually meant by freewill
is not that we can switch the stations of our lives,
but that we may fine-tune the reception
or accentuate the static.


HayHouse3.jpg


Below, are some generous endorsements of my book from writers that I admire:

‘Like the love child of Khalil Gibran and Dorothy Parker, Yahia Lababidi reinvigorates the aphorism as a literary form and adds his own spice to it.’

Philip J. Metres III, American poet, translator, scholar, and activist


‘Yahia Lababidi’s aphorisms are elegant, thoughtful and wise, written proof that the art of the aphorism is still very much alive.’


James Geary, author of Geary’s Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists


‘Signposts to Elsewhere is a succulent, stunning collection of images and thoughts more well-lit than the old swinging torches of the lamplighters. I find myself pausing everywhere among these wisdoms, wondering why the world stumbles and staggers through such a dark and greedy time when there are people alive with such keen, caring insight. If Yahia Lababidi were in charge of a country, I would want to live there.’

Naomi Shihab Nye, an esteemed poet, songwriter, and novelist


‘Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer, once said, “I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” It is easy to dump 10,000 words on paper. It is much harder to distill what’s worth saying into 10 words. Fortunately for us, Yahia Lababidi has done the hard work of carving out unneeded rock and giving us an exquisite sculpture.’

Anu Garg, American author, speaker, and founder of Wordsmith.org

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Lovely. The last reflection touches my own feelings about the issue of destiny and free will.

I've been studying astrological symbolism since many years, and now I feel that the role of our will is to make our attention flow with reality or against reality. But it doesn't change our inevitable path or constitution.

Life is a concert and we are musicians. We could be bad musicians, playing our part with ugly sounds. But that doesn't mean that we have no part in this concert.

Thank you, new friend and fellow seeker, for hearing/sharing your eloquent thoughts.

Astrological symbolism sounds fascinating (I'm a Libra, if that means anything to you :) The older I get, the more I try to respect the Mystery and a big part of that is surrendering control & appreciating a Wisdom far greater than my own.

I love, for example, this Stoic analogy about free-will & our options in life:

On a road there is a dog tied to the cart. The dog cannot help being tied to the cart, it is merely the situation as he finds it. The cart begins rolling down the road, headed to some destination or other. The dog has two choices: he can fight against the rope and cart, pulling, getting dragged, yelping, and struggling; or, he can trot along side the cart to wherever it is going.

Regardless, the dog is going where the cart is going. There’s no helping that. The only choice is whether he goes willingly, and thus makes it easier on himself and more enjoyable, or he gets dragged biting, snapping, and pulling the whole way.

Exactly, the analogy is perfect as I think about it. That is also what I have learned. But I was a rebel dog for many years, so I was dragged by life until I understood our existential condition.

Oh, right. If you're a Libra that means that the Sun was placed on that symbol at the moment of your birth.

But we have more than one astrological condition. That is, we are somehow a mixing of many energies: your Sun sign, your Moon sign, your Mars sign... and so on.

The result is something like this (and this one is a very simplified chart):
Astral chart of Rimbaud

This is the sky over the birth of the poet Arthur Rimbaud. At the left you can see some symbols: Sun, Venus and Moon on Libra. He was a Libra Sun like you.

Therefore our signs are more like a fingerprint, very complex and unique. But we can say, at least, that the Libra Sun always talks about a certain compromise of the conscience with the Beauty of life.

Other characters could put beauty aside and dedicate their energies to other things (money, war, knowledge), but for a Libra Sun that's very difficult, and disgusting. Libra cares about the good, healthy, beautiful things of life.

Many thanks, for that 🙏🏼 Beauty in thought, word & deed matter a great deal to me. As a Libra, I see ethics & aesthetics as connected.

Rimbaud was a formative influence — here’s a recent review I did of a new biography: https://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/blog/book-reviews/rimbauds-spiritual-battle-yahia-lababidi

Other Libras that matter to me are: Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, Eliot, Coleridge, Heidegger, Foucault & others I can’t recall, now 🙂

I was born September 25 1973, at 1 or 2 am — I think Leo & Cancer are strong influences (maybe,Virgo, too)?

Sending good vibes your way 🙏🏼✨

Amazing. I like very much your articles. They are linked to my interests.

Rimbaud was the first relevant image I got about poetry, that attracted me strongly to an intense inner live.

Life was so boring and tasteless, but one day I listened to a radio show in which a girl recited a poem named Dream about Rimbaud. It was a recital with a soft background music, so beautiful and meaningful. I think that in that very moment I discovered poetry.

Next I found the Bloomsbury Group, with Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield. This last one was part of the Gurdjieff Groups at the end of her life. That got my interest too, because I was participating already in those groups in my city. Mansfield's stories are simply... sublime.


Wow, I already suspected that you have strong links to the underworld. I thought that at first because I am generally drawn to Plutonian meanings in the artworks I like. Your writings have a certain "deepness" that is not part of the Libra archetype. I noticed that deepness immediately.

Well, this chart is still not 100% certain. The doubt about the birth hour impedes us to know the exact houses' arrangement, which is important to know the Ascendant sign (that structure moves one grade every four minutes). I put Cairo as birth place, just to guess something.

However, the placement of every other object is very accurate, because their movements are far more slow. We can have certainty about that, even if we don't know the hour and the city of birth (in that level the faster object is the Moon, but it changes sign after two days approximately).

Astrkarto Y. Lababidi

As I said, in your chart the Plutonian meaning is strong. In fact, Libra-Scorpio are very interrelated... they are interdependent.

At the bottom of the chart you can see your Sun in strong conjunction with Pluto, that is, your conscience compromised with the deepness of life. And the regent of Libra, the source of its energy (Venus) is placed in Scorpio itself, which is the sign of Pluto.

If you read some descriptions about the astrological meanings of Scorpio-Pluto, probably you will find them very representative of your inner life.

If your birth hour is 2.00 am, probably your Ascendant is Leo. But you're right that Cancer is an important energy here: Saturn and the South Node of the Moon are placed there, meaning that your comfort place is Cancer (but also your stagnation place... you know, there are always good and bad possibilities in every force).

Well, as you may see, this is my passion. I always have to make efforts to stop and shut my mouth. I could keep delving in these things during hours, days, months. But that's not a healthy management of the energy.

Many thanks, for your warm reply /taking time out to create this chart and, please, forgive my hurried reply (I think I'm fighting a head cold).

Not familiar with Katherine Mansfield, but will check her out upon your recommendation. I do hope this finds your heart at ease, new friend _/|\_

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