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Chattering Mind

Yusuf Islam Is Back on the ‘Peace Train’

Yusuf Islam’s new album “An Other Cup,” is getting middlin’ marks on Amazon–some fans are complaining that his voice sounds “weak.” But the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens has a sparkling website with audio clips of him on anger, prayer, and peace, as well as a lengthy and fascinating autobiography in which he chronicles his journey from sensitive folk star to recovering substance abuser to observant Muslim endeavoring to make a difference.


He writes:

I was now supposed to be one of the glamorous elite, cheerfully enjoying the “high life.” The public expected me to live up to this image, so resorting to intoxicants was the only way for me to overcome my insecurity and shyness. I seriously lost control: staying up late, drinking, partying, smoking endless cigarettes. Within a year I found myself in hospital lying on my back sick with tuberculosis. The pop business was whizzing past me and I was left there to think: “What happened?”

Soon I became aware of my own mortality and the inevitability of death. Lying there, in a Sussex hospital deep in the country, surrounded by doctors, a lot of important questions came into my mind. That was a very important stage of my life. At that time there was a great interest in things Eastern, things transcendental: so I turned towards Peace and Flower Power. Somebody had given me a copy of a Buddhist book called “The Secret Path.” That was the beginning of my ardent search for answers–clear answers, about the meaning of our existence and where it was all leading.


I started meditating; and so the centre of the universe at that time was levitating somewhere around the proximity of my belly button. I covered all the mirrors in my hospital room with paper and tried to forget the outwardness of this world and focus on my inner self…

Read it all here.

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posted November 21, 2006 at 12:43 am

Cat Stevens was my Plan B if Paul McCartney didn’t work out, so I’ve loved him for a very long time. He was always a bit off the beaten track and seems even moreso today, but in the best way possible. What a lovingly curious and magnanimous man he’s become. I appreciate what he says at the end of his self-described journey, “I discovered that the human soul does not live only by means of material success and acclaim, it needs contentment, which actually requires a person to be normal sized. Stardom is not normal; everything has to be bigger and be better, you have to be competitive. Getting out of that race, quite frankly, is what I did. I was given a chance to find my own way to happiness; each person must choose whichever road he or she wishes to follow.”

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posted November 28, 2006 at 3:27 am

I too admired Cat during his years as a musician. His music resonated with me. It was spiritual. I also liked the Moody Blues at that time (also spiritual). But I was dishartened when he converted to Islam and left music. It helps to have read this story, and understand his path. I too have tried many paths, but I resonate with eastern spirituality. I tried reading the koran, but it didn’t speak to me. I thought it read like the old testiment – very literal. But if it works for Cat, then good for him.

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posted July 14, 2014 at 3:04 pm

You can avoid this electronic cigaretts and shake hands wth others once
it is available. He really did a lot to do with
smoke in the banned areas because no poisonous additive chemical ingredients that are harmful to our healt though real smoker crave for.
That it is about as far as the cartridges go, flavor variety is is noot something that
you must decide. The bill, approved May 27 by thhe
Senate Armed Services Committee by a vote of 15-12.

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