Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Dialogue.

Bismi'llah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim...for the sake of Prophet Muhammad saws and Sheikh Nazim may Allah protect his secret.

(Forgive me for not editing more .. I hope it is still readable to those interested enough.)

Here's a piece from another contributor to Blog Ladder, pondering deeply and struggling to understand belief.


Trying to Understand

Why does man believe in religion? I ponder this question often especially today in this world of clashing religions and agendas. My family is Catholic so I am most familiar with this religion, however I have tried to educate myself some about all of the religions. At the core, they do make some sense. Being a good neighbor, not murdering, stealing and so on, but is that a religion, or is that just being a good person. Do you need to be religous to be a good person? It is apparent that you don't need to be a good person to be religious. For me, religion seems to pray on man's weaknesses and fears. Why do you have to admit there is a so called "higher power"? Why would we believe that this world was put here for us? How selfish is that. This I believe leads to alot of the problems we have with this earth now, God made it for man so do with it as you wish. Why are people drawn to religon in the first place? To better themselves? To go on in the after-life to whatever heaven you believe in? That all sounds a little selfish to me. Again there is nothing wrong with some of the "commandments" or rules if you will, but why not just try to be a better person. Wouldn't that be a great religion! I don't know maybe it will come to me someday. I do feel spiritual at times, (a for instance would be when I was watching a Bald Eagle flying over a resivour the other day) but never religious. Again I speak with most knowledge of the Catholic religon and having been to the Vatican and other Holy sites I feel myself pushed away further. How can one believe, I mean just blindly believe? How could one take the Bible to heart. It is a collection of "stories", who is the author? Maybe this is just how I am "wired" but how can you argue against Darwinism and evolution? How can you ignore facts and science and instist on folklore and tales. Not to insult anyone here who may be religious, I believe the true problems in the world today and in the past are a result of religion...it is this that will kill us, and the earth.
by jmcmaster

Trying to answer "Trying to understand."

Trying to answer. (see August 1st post on "Outside The Box.")

That's a good piece of yours jmc. It seems to sum up the quandary of the non-believer. It's difficult to answer of course, but, at the first level I would say that people don't believe in religions, they believe in God.When they do believe in religions, perhaps that is when things start to go wrong.Believing in God is perhaps the nearest thing to what you call spirituality.Those moments like when you watched the bald eagle give us intimations of it. It's a deep knowing that really can't be put into words .. then comes the vehicle for expressing it.I really think that we all have that deep knowing programmed deep inside us but it gets covered up. Part of the covering comes from being taught to do everything through the mind. It is very difficult for modern man to just let go and believe in a childlike and innocent way.Listening to his heart and just cutting through all those layers of overlying mental and experiential stuff is not seen as useful or productive and he is taught to be suspicious of such irrational stuff. Perhaps that is why so many people turn to meditation and techniques for quietening the mind without actually having to mention the unmentionable word ... "God".It is totally understandable, especially given the ravages of organised religion and the barbarities commited in its name.If my personal experience helps at all, I will try to say this.Your bit about you can't be right without the other guy being wrong is somehow how I think it all started for me.When one has an ability to see the other guy's point of view it can become crippling to action or taking a point of view of one's own.The recognition that anything, once put into words can be arrgued with lead me to look for the Truth with a capital T.It had to be something beyond the duality of any thought process.I spent years reading everything I could get my hands on to find the truth, but of course that was a bit like trying to bite one's own teeth, given the above knowledge.Especially all the books on Zen kept on telling me .."You won't find it in any book."However there are living exponents or examples of the Truth .. who are so soaked in that non-dualistic Truth that they become the living embodiment of it.Usually you will find,as Annabana pointed out the other day .. that they don't write anything but people write down or record their words and deeds to pass on to others.(Think of Jesus,think of the Prophet Muhammad who was "unlettered" .. i.e. could neither read nor write, but brought a book of the most sublime inimitable Arabic ever produced.)We have been taught that all paths eventually return to God .. The One .. The Absolute .. The Emptiness .. The Tao .. Brahman ... Allah .. call it what you will ... and that we all come from there.We have been taught that there are as many paths to God as there are breaths of men and all sentient creatures.At the level of "no-mind" it makes no difference.It is always easier to see and feel that Truth and feel that true spirituality in nature, or a kitten or a puppy or a baby .. etc etc ..The only thing is that some people want to get there a bit quicker, they love and desire that Ultimate Truth so much that they must have it as soon as possible .. Now! or even yesterday ..I am sure we all have it ..it is there it is programmed into us .. but to find it .. to revivify it quickly,soon, Now! one needs a master and a method..That is all .. You wouldn't try to build a house without an architect or an experienced builder .. or at least you know what kind of results to expect. You wouldn't even try to do a bit of important carpentry with out at least consulting with a carpenter, or better yet, learning from him..Someone has to show us the way... wether it be gardening or rocket science .. so why does everyone have such a problem learning from the experts when it comes to spirituality, and even try to tell them that their particular discipline and study does not actually exist ? !No one tries to say that gardens just come into existence on their own, or that rockets build themselves and just take off with no help, and even less do they try to say that because they do not know how to make a garden or a build a rocket therefore they do not really exist.One can see the blindness, foolishness, ignorance, arrogance and pride in these examples .. how much more then for trying to get to know the Creator of the Universe itself .. or did that "just come into being on its own" too ?
by Grego
edit
Reflect me in you and you in me. (0)
#116
2 Aug 2005, 11:23am

Q's and A's again.

O.K. ... Here's another question which sparked off an answer that I hope is worthy to be an entry.(as it may be interesting/useful/informative, to others).

Debbie's question.....

ABOUT ... "I do appreciate your boundless energy to keep the spirits up and positive/hopeful, but I wonder how realistic it is?"I am a believer in the power of THOUGHT. We manifest what we THINK and DO (Inshallah). So, although the world is dismal, I believe their is a power and magic in believing that things can be different. This can be for good or evil ---- or for war or peace. Look at what BUSH has manifest with his self-proclamation of being the "war president." His war vision has manifest just that.The Prophet (upon him peace) said that our charge was to DO GOOD and SHUN EVIL, thereby making life here as blissful as possible. HOW DO YOU EQUATE THE DOOMSDAY THEORY TO THIS CHARGE? Enlighten me, dear Friend.Debbe by DebbeKennedy

My answer.

#4 2 Aug 2005, 11:16am

I suppose it's quite simple really (though I am nobody to talk of or teach Islam, in the sense that I am in no way 'trained', so I do not know traditional theology, except that what I have picked up from Sheikh Nazim is very traditional).The idea of the WW3 scenario is that it is not the end of the world per se, but the end of the world as we know it.I suppose that every Prophet or spiritual teacher has taught to do good and shun evil but the human race just does not listen or do that, in general.The Prophet taught that there would be no generation after him that was not worse than the one before it.This happens to such an extent that the general level of badness and immorality in the world becomes unsustainable and what happens is that there is a "cleansing" of the bad people. Just as there was a cleansing at the time of the Flood when no-one except a very few would listen to their Prophet Noah and all (including Noah's own son who insisted on not getting in his father's boat,saying that he would go to the top of a mountain where he would be safe from the rising waters) were drowned, so this time all but a few will be cleansed from the earth by fire. The difference this time is that the punishment will come from their own selves (nuclear war).The similarity is that there will be one small place where people will be saved by the physical location, at that time it was the Ark, in this time it will be Shams (the area around Damascus).There are many details about all the events up to,during and after Armageddon, but basically there is a figure called Mahdi who is like a Prophet in that he has spiritual power, though he is not a Prophet, because Muhammad pbuh was the last one for all time, who comes to save the world by spiritual power. Mahdi fights Dajaal,or anti-Christ who seems like a Messiah but is in fact a false one ..although he has apparent miracles, like splitting a man in two and then revififying him, his miracles are in reverse as he sends people to the garden and they will go to the fire and he sends people to the fire and they will go to the garden. He is followed eagerly by the hypocrites, who even stream out of Mecca and Medina to be with him.After much killing and mayhem, eventually Jesus comes back to earth (descending in Damascus, it is said, on the minaret of the "John the Baptist" Mosque) and he helps Mahdi to finish off the Dajaal.Then comes the moment when Jesus prays to God and the earth is revivified .. all becomes green, there is general fructiferousness and begins a new spiritual age when everything functions by spiritual power and ordinary people are like saints and saints become love fountains, as Sheikh Nazim says.It is interesting that one of the things that happens when Mahdi appears is that he calls the "Takbir" three times " Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar! Allahu Akbar!" which is heard all around the world and technology stops.The Sheikh is always reminding us that man has become very proud of his technology and the so-called efficiency that he believes he has achieved with the power of electricity and yet we still don't know what electricity really is much less remember to thank Allah for it, (from other things which the Sheikh has said and done, I believe it has something to do with the power of Djinn, but I have never heard him say so).Can you imagine the total chaos which would occur if all computers stopped working and how guided missiles would be useless without them etc etc etc ?Although each generation gets worse and worse after the Prophet, yet it says in the Koran that, at the end of time there come a people "Who love God and He loves them." and that "they are like the people of earlier generations."One supposes that these are the people that are saved and who populate the earth in the New Age, and, of course, one hopes to be one of them (though in my case it would only be by the Grace of Allah ).It is said that this new age lasts for eighty years (though of course that would probably be a symbolic thing, for instance it says in the Koran, " One of His (Allah's) days, is like a thousand of your years.") and that then people start to gradually forget Allah once more until finally there is nearly no one left on earth mentioning His name so He sends a sweet smelling wind which takes the souls of the last believers and then He simply "folds up" (I love that expression) the Creation.That's a very generalised version of the whole thing,but, I hope it answers your question a bit (?)Sallaams Grego, (aka Uthman).(BTW there is room for discussion about wether this is symbolic or not, but, I think traditional wisdom is sent to make people think along certain lines so that the power of thought may bring a vision to fruition,the old, hope and fear, stick and carrot routine, you know? The thing is of course, really believing it is what makes it work.)

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