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Spiritual Meditations

“… freedom is you want nothing, nothing, nothing.”  “My holy of holies is the human body, health, intelligence, talent, inspiration, love and absolute freedom-freedom from force and falsehood.” This holiness is, for most people, not far or inaccessible..

In Defense of the Human Individual
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
In Defense of the Human Individual
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

Tragically, it is that most hallowed of institutions – school – which I call ‘prison for children’ where much of the damage is done. Designed to terrorize children into obedience and conformity on the basis that ‘one size fits all’, school destroys the physical, sensory, intellectual and emotional capacities of children churning out individuals with near-zero capacity to feel anything profound, think creatively and behave powerfully with integrity. That is, we take the uniquely gifted baby at the moment of birth and turn them into an individual who has multiple lifetime disabilities, physically, sensorily, intellectually and emotionally…..

 

It is all very well to say women deserve equality and should be permitted in the public sphere. But if they do not get this basic level of respect when they are in a public space, all the homage given to women’s emancipation is simply a lie. There are many men, of course, who will disagree, insist that it is their right to behave however they want to in public spaces....

Imam Husayn, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, also died without offering any resistance. He too was aware that he was heading towards dangerous terrain but he still felt he had to give peace a chance. This is why, among the Shias, Imam Husayn is considered to be the “Lord of Martyrs”. Likewise, in the Christian faith, St Sebastian was a true martyr. There he stood in the public square, with folded hands and bended knees, submitting quietly to stoning by a wild mob.....

 

I had read the Tao-te Ching many times unprofitably until, accidentally, I came across Richard Lynn’s translation with a commentary by Wang Bi. For the first time, I became acutely aware of the unique contribution of this text to the history of philosophy. It was the Tao-te Ching that, for the first time in the history of philosophy, introduced a notion of a sustainable way of life based on the metaphysical concept of “nothingness”...

 

One billion people, that’s the population of India. For thousands of years, India has led the world in many ways, particularly spiritual. Now, perhaps, is India’s greatest opportunity. If the whole Indian population changed its thoughts, words and deeds to reflect love, understanding and compassion, even for one day, we could just maybe change the world — forever...

 
Guru Nanak Was a True Devotee of God
Haroon Khalid
Guru Nanak Was a True Devotee of God
Haroon Khalid

History, as a subject, is not taught in Pakistan. What is taught instead is an ideological course, designed to churn out students who parrot the narrative of the state. What that means is that, one after another, there have been generations of students in the country who have had no exposure to non-Muslim history or non-Muslim narrative of history. ...

 

The idea of religion as a peaceful path has been shattered. The idea that humanism will promote equality and union also lies in ruins. We are at a crossroads, where broader human values are being replaced by exclusive group values. Justice, equality, fairness, and peace only apply to groups. It is only about “us”, and never concerns “others”. This is a paradox. Violence in the name of God is surely not new.....

It’s true that some religious devotees, unlike music devotees, pin their consolation to additional metaphysical claims, but why should we trust them to know how religion works? Such believers do not recognise that their unthinking religious rituals and social activities are the true sources of their therapeutic healing. Meanwhile, Hitchens and other critics confuse the factual disappointments of religion with the value of religion generally, and thereby miss the heart of it....

 
A Little Trick to Be At Peace!
Mesha, New Age Islam

It happens with me ever so often, and maybe it happens with you too. I’m up and about early in the morning after an enjoyable time at prayer, chatting with God about this and that. What a glorious way to welcome a new day! Such bliss! But then, not long afterwards, suddenly something happens and I completely lose my cool. Someone in the house does something mean, a friend speaks in a harsh tone or a shopkeeper is brash with me, and I get worked up!...

 
Human Delusion and Our Destruction of the Biosphere: We Aren’t Even Trying!
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
Human Delusion and Our Destruction of the Biosphere: We Aren’t Even Trying!
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

Unfortunately, only the rarest individual has the capacity to see through the elite-promulgated delusion that generated this benign expression and its twin notions that 1.5 degrees Celsius (above the preindustrial level) is an acceptable upper limit for an increase in global temperature and that the timeframe for extinction-threatening outcomes of this ‘climate change’ is the ‘end of the century’….

 

According to the law of nature, all men and women are children of Adam and Eve. That is, all human beings have a common ancestor. This means that mankind is a global family. All men and women are blood sisters and blood brothers. In the present day, this biological phenomenon has become a scientifically established fact. The fact of common ancestry has forever done away with the equation of “we and they”. Now the only valid equation is one that is based on the concept of “we and we”....

When Giving Isn’t Charity
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

Genuine charity is when we give to somebody who is in need something that we ourselves cherish and value and that addresses their need—not things that we don’t like and want to dispose off by passing them on to someone else. It’s easy to donate things like unwanted pots and pans or shoes that no longer fit us, unburdening ourselves of things we don’t like or want anymore. But how difficult it is to engage in genuine charity...

 

That was how I felt with Aslam Khan. His respect for ‘my’ religious tradition and place of worship had worked a miracle! Soon, I had learnt many details of his life, including about his childhood, several things about his family and also something of what seemed to be his impressive knowledge of different religions and his desire for harmonious inter-community coexistence. He insisted he wasn’t much educated, but clearly he was wise...

Spirituality Arrests the Extremism in Religion
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Spirituality Arrests the Extremism in Religion
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Religion has also brought prejudice. There are religious leaders who believe that they have all the right to decide what religion is and how it is to be practised. They think their way is the only way and only they know the truth. The seed of such authoritarianism is fear, which arises from having the concept of an angry god, who is ready to punish people at the drop of a hat...

Great walls appear all across the landscape of ancient political thought. The beginnings of China’s Great Wall date to the 7th century B.C., and the father of history, Herodotus, who journeyed across Greece, Egypt and the ancient Near East, records many a remarkable case of the enclosure of cities. The aspiration to build a wall speaks to some deep and long-felt human need for security....

Our Life, a Rosary in God’s Hands
Roshan Shah, New age Islam

Thinking of our life as a rosary in the hands of God, with God as the underlying thread, we can recognise God’s loving presence and guidance at all stages of our life, even in what we may regard as times of great trial and torment. We can now recognise that as the years have passed, in times of both, joy and sorrow, crisis and celebration, the hand of God has always been on our head, protecting and guiding us....

Worldly attachments to our identity and ego are a fact of nature that can only be mitigated through the mechanism of organized religious devotion, formulaic rituals and art; not through self-negation. The holy Quran says in chapter two verse 31; And He taught Adam the names of all things....

Though it was undoubtedly articulated countless years prior to Islam and Christianity the Golden rule was recorded in ancient China, among the teachings of Confucius, who taught; Do not inflict on others what you do not desire others to impose upon you, and what you would require of your friend, first apply in your treatment of him. All of these formulations predate Prophet Muhammad and Jesus Christ....

The War to End War 100 Years on: An Evaluation and Reorientation of our Resistance to War
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
The War to End War 100 Years on: An Evaluation and Reorientation of our Resistance to War
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

As we commemorate the passing of the 100th anniversary of the armistice ending ‘the war to end war’, one can only marvel at how wrong humans can be sometimes. Not content with the violence inflicted during World War I, humans used the twentieth century to systematically decimate human and other life as violence and war raged across the planet with an increasingly massive and sophisticated armory. In fact, by mid-century, in a tribute to their technological ingenuity and psychological dysfunctionality, humans had invented a weapon that could destroy life on Earth….

 

Religion has not only been an indispensable part of human existence, but it is an also ineffaceable part of our lives. Indian society is predominantly religious and as a result, we are not at ease with the idea of secularism and religion continues to play a dominant role in political discourse.

 

The essence of Vedanta is described in four words: ‘Brahma Satya, Jagat Mithya’ – the only reality is pure consciousness and all that is manifest in the form of the universe is only Maya, illusion. For an ordinary person, this thought is not only counterintuitive but also unacceptable.

 

Against this is the consensus of believers and saints and scriptures that one may state in Biblical terms as “Knock and the door shall be opened.” Fazl Illahi deftly presents this through a complex tale involving characters seeking to decipher mysterious signs or events in their lives. For the novelist there is a boat that may ferry us to home/"Mother"/God....

 
The Only Person We Can Change
Roshan Shah, New Age Islam

“Please forgive me for my foolishness,” Romi would pray to God. “I used to ask you to transform the whole world, and then to transform my family. But never once did I ask you to transform the one person I should have—me. But that’s what I request you to please do now, God, before it’s too late.”...

 

Acquiring knowledge is one of the needs of those who desire salvation and a life of worship and devotion. Knowledge and worship are precious gems which enlighten mankind. It is these reasons for which the Holy Scriptures were sent down and for which Almighty God sent down His Prophets [Ambiya, pl. of Nabi] and Messengers [Rasul] to all communities. In fact it is these reasons for which God Almighty ordered creation of All That Is, the Universe....

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