spirituality

The metaphysics of R.

For R., the purpose of each person is to communicate with his neighbours. Establishing communication is the main effort to be done, as opposed to solving practical problems. If we look at the human condition, most problems have been resolved, or are in the process of being resolved, but communication problems are still plaguing our existence and causing pain and misery.

Some serious blasphemy

According to this translation of the Quran:

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Without (belief in) God, life is torment within torment, intellect is pure retribution, ambitions are pure pain, attainments are losses, union is separation, love is suffering, pleasure is distress, and knowledge is whim. He is the cure for the afflicted, and the remedy for wounded hearts. Hearts attain peace and come to rest by remembering and mentioning Him.

La foi fait bouger les montagnes

Je pense souvent a cette expression. La force de cette promesse, sa magie aussi me laissent reveur - il faut dire que j'ai tendance a rever !!

Mais la foi est un sujet qui me revient souvent. Nous vivons une epoque ou la foi en une religion, en un dieu, est violemment remise en question. Un conflit existe entre ceux qui "ont la Foi" et ceux qui ne l'ont pas.

Mais j'ai l'impression que ce debat, qui prend des proportions tragiques, en cache un autre qui serait peut-etre plus fructueux : qu'est-ce la foi ?

The evolution of God

Early humans considered everything around them as gods: rain, fire, the sun, the moon, animals, you name it. As humans came to understand, one by one, each of these things, the awe they originally felt towards them faded, because understanding is grasping, almost controlling.

All material things thus lost their perceived god-like quality. But still, the **designs** of these things were beyond human understanding: rain, for example, was given by a god to whom one should show reverence in order to obtain rain. When science explained rain, we stopped rain-dancing.

Nature is not perfect

One sobering thought concerning our physical world is that despite its grandiose infinity, it is palpably not perfect. Nature, the active agent of the physical world, produces specimens that are not, with all their wonderful design, flawless. Rather, individual cells at all scales deteriorate and die. Humans are all born with defects and accumulate more during their lifetime. Clearly, one can imagine a state of affairs that is more agreeable although we are unable to come up with a consistent logical recipe for it.

The believer's apology

- I'll only believe it when I see it, said the skeptic.
- Me too, and that's why I imagine it, replied the believer.

Quranic inheritance

The Islamic rules of inheritance are primarily laid down in the Quran 4:11-12 and 4:176. Three verses that compress a great number of inheritance cases - at least 512 as we will see in the following exposition. A fascinating example of algorithmic compression.

First, the sources:

  • The verses in Arabic (GIF images) and Yusuf Ali English translation at Sacred Texts: 4:11-12 and 4:176.

Pop adages

Count your blessings
Use it or lose it
What goes around comes around
Think global act local
Easy come easy go
Don't know what you got until it's gone

theophobia!

It appears to me that the Western mind has become afflicted with theophobia, or the fear of religion. This is apparent in the speech of the scientific community, which posits rationality (aka reason) on a high pedestal, and considers both emotionality and spirituality as inferior or even negative modes of knowing.

And this attitude trickles down to the Western social and personal level, where an individual who displays any spiritual tendency will be frowned upon by his peers - a supposedly tolerant and open-minded bunch, as opposed to the superstitious and fanatic Orientals. This happened to me today, when I innocently mentioned to a friend that I was attempting to cut down on my addictions during the month of Ramadan. The knee-jerk response I got was: "Oh, are you turning religious?" in a clearly derogatory tone.

The game of life according to AT

"In the game of life, it is not about who's right. It is about who's left!"

That's brilliant. And it seems to be original too (I googled it)! The complete post is on leadership, check it out.

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