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Spiritual Meditations

Love Me, Leave Me, Live with Me
Manish Nandy
Love Me, Leave Me, Live with Me
Manish Nandy

Julie declared candidly that she had fallen in love with the voice – and all that it meant in her limited life. I for one understand her and not being sinless, must follow Jesus’ dictum and refrain from casting the first stone. Perhaps the most amazing has been the role of the village elders in the local council. Bihar is seldom regarded among the advanced areas of India, and in a remote village one wonders how exposed the village elders are to new trends in the cities or in the world....

The police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, showed no mercy to Jon Kabat-Zinn in May 1970. The man now considered the godfather of modern mindfulness was a graduate student from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an anti-Vietnam-war protester, agitating alongside the Black Panthers and the French playwright Jean Genet....

 
A Non-Violent Strategy to End Violence and Avert Human Extinction
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
A Non-Violent Strategy to End Violence and Avert Human Extinction
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

Remarkably, the more I read Gandhi (and compared him with other activists and scholars in the field), the more it became apparent to me that Gandhi was the only nonviolent strategist who (intuitively) understood strategic theory. Although, to be fair, it was an incredibly rare military strategist who understood strategic theory either with Mao Zedong a standout exception and other Marxist strategists like Vladimir Lenin and Võ Nguyên Giáp understanding far more than western military strategists which is why, for example, the US and its allies were defeated in their war on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia…..

 
The World’s Fastest-Growing Religion?
Terzon Varev, New Age Islam

Hedonism is an aggressively missionising faith. Among its most vociferous apostles are the ‘modern’ education system (which has little or no room for God and traditional piety common to the conventional religions and which brainwashes innocent minds into believing that the purpose of life is to become ‘rich and famous’ and to ‘make it big’), the mass media, and the advertising and entertainment industries.  Hedonism has its own places of pilgrimage too—shopping malls, amusement parks, bars, and discotheques and so on—which have assumed the place that places of worship once enjoyed in the lives of many people....

The Last Sermon of the Prophet Muhammad
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam
The Last Sermon of the Prophet Muhammad
Moin Qazi, New Age Islam

Muslims use the occasion a propitious time to rededicate themselves to the universal human values such as sacredness of life and property, equality, justice, peace, forgiveness, non-violence, women’s rights, the pillars of Islam and more. Upon these lofty principles, the religion of Islam was built. The Prophet died after unifying Arabia and his lifelong declared love of learning protected and contributed to classical knowledge and continued the tradition of Persian scholarship during the dark ages of Christendom....

Living Life: But for What Purpose?
Yoginder S. Sikand, New Age Islam
Living Life: But for What Purpose?
Yoginder S. Sikand, New Age Islam

This issue, of the macro-purpose of human life (which becomes starker when seen in the context of our inevitable death), is undoubtedly most important existential question that we could ask ourselves. And yet, how many of us ever care to think about it deeply? Many of us are so deeply engrossed in our innumerable immediate, micro-purposes of our day-to-day existence that we refuse to let our minds turn to the subject.  For some, the issue seems so baffling, forbidding and even frightening that they just don’t want to think about it. Others believe the question of the ultimate purpose of human life is simply unanswerable and hence not worth bothering about at all....

It is of Adam and Eve’s exile from and return to paradise, of frantic human effort to be, to mean, to escape the hell that life ordinarily is and be born again through love/gnosis. Dostoevsky’s answer to the question “What is hell?” is that it is “the suffering of being unable to love.”  And what is literature’s key issue? It is, as has been remarked, loneliness....

 
God-Consciousness Is Our Highest Calling
Belinda Espiritu
God-Consciousness Is Our Highest Calling
Belinda Espiritu

In a letter of the beloved disciple of Christ named John, he wrote that God is Love, and he who abides in God abides in love. Above all, God is the Loving one; in truth, He is Love. His nature is Divine Love. God is all beautiful – whether his name is Krishna, or Jesus Christ, or Allah – He is just all so beautiful because He possesses all the best qualities that make Him infinitely lovable. He is mighty yet gentle; strong yet tender; all-powerful yet all-loving.....

 
Gandhi’s Truth: Ending Human Violence One Commitment at a Time
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
Gandhi’s Truth: Ending Human Violence One Commitment at a Time
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

Gandhi Jayanti – 2 October, the date of Mohandas K. Gandhi’s birth in 1869 and the International Day of Nonviolence – offers an opportunity to reflect on human violence and to ponder ways to end it. There may be a fast way to end human violence but, if there is, Gandhi did not know it. Nor do I. Nor does anyone else that I have read or asked either. But this does not mean there is no way to end human violence....

 
The Commandment of Writing
Dr Muhammad Maroof Shah

Indeed, to be is to write, to proclaim to the Muse Labbayka (Here, I am). It is, more primordially, to speak and to speak in the original or true sense is to sing poetry. We know Ten Commandments starting with love of God and love of neighbour. But few know that both of these commandments may be best embodied in the work of poets....

 

“Please God,” you pray, “take away these problems and troubles that beset me from morn till dusk. Remove the mountain that looms huge in front of me, don’t have me climb it, just take it away..!” Each one of us is in a tank of particular and inescapable circumstances. It is painful enough to stay in the tank, but in addition to our situation there are God appointed ‘catfish’ to bring sufficient tension to keep us alive, alert, fresh and growing....

 
Use Anger to Your Advantage
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan
Use Anger to Your Advantage
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

This world is a world of differences. Nature abhors uniformity. This means that ‘difference’ is a part of nature. Difference is there in every aspect of life. So it is in the case of religion. Who has the power to remove differences? If we in vain try to eliminate differences, we will only end up in frustration....

 

The need to urge the people to return to the Vedas arose because they had strayed from its light. Now, perhaps more than then, it is true that those who pass for Hindus — in myriad forms of that religious identity — are ignorant of and alienated from the Vedas. This is ironic since “Veda” means knowledge. You cannot be a Hindu and yet be ignorant and certainly, not ignorant of the Vedas....

 

Poetry helped save the faith of no less a person than Iqbal. After reading likes of Hafiz and Bedil and Wordsworth and Holderlin and Rilke one can’t afford conventional cut and dry atheism. Something of the Sacred invoked in and evoked by the Romantic poetry finds believers amongst new atheists such as Dawkins. Art and nature are revelations even for the secularists and understanding them aright leads one to the border of Book centric revealed religions. If one is truly a poet, one is a believer of a sort....

 

As these difficult people and situations are God’s ways to test our spiritual strength, we should tackle them calmly with an eye to pass our tests and then to move to a higher spiritual level. We should not only try to pass the multiple tests (depending on our level of spiritual evolution and past Karma) successfully, we should also help our fellow human beings to pass them with us, as that further uplifts our souls and helps in our eventual ‘Nirvana’. There shall always be unreciprocated ‘goodwill’ and ‘good deeds’, but those are due to variations of spiritual attainments. …

 

In fact, it is politics of yore that has taught modern advertising the nuances of public perception, crowd manipulation, mass hysteria, propaganda, misinformation and mind control, as was most evident in the fake WMD drum-roll leading to the Iraq War and the social media-driven mischief of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’. Ironically, the domain of subliminal messaging and brainwashing has never been as pervasive and misleading as in the ‘new media’-propelled campaigns of our times....

 
The Psychology Of Mass Killers: What Causes It? How Can You Prevent It?
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
The Psychology Of Mass Killers: What Causes It? How Can You Prevent It?
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

The great tragedy of human life is that virtually no-one values the awesome power of the individual Self with an integrated mind (that is, a mind in which memory, thoughts, feelings, sensing, conscience and other functions work together in an integrated way) because this individual will be decisive in choosing life-enhancing behavioural options (including those at variance with social laws and norms) and will fearlessly resist all efforts to control or coerce them with violence....

 
Can We Trust Our Common Sense?
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam
Can We Trust Our Common Sense?
Naseer Ahmed, New Age Islam

While the Quran may be a Book that makes things clear, the Muslims could still deviate from the Quran for narrow political interests, bigotry and parochialism that is common among the religious right in every religion. The reason that Muslims have many erroneous concepts is because of their theology which is based on the Ahadith and not on the Quran. The Ahadith differ from the Quran on every subject. The Ahadith were compiled two centuries after the death of the Prophet and its sole purpose appears to have been to bend Islam to the needs of powerful interest groups. A person who is first indoctrinated in the Ahadith will view through glasses that distort the truth and will not find the truth….

America, in fact, is founded on the idea of purpose: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. One election cycle after another, Americans rally around candidates personifying deeply rooted ideals of what our country is supposed to be. But, where does purpose come from? What is it? For over two millenniums, discerning our purpose in the universe has been a primary task of philosophers....

Biological Annihilation on Earth Accelerating
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
Biological Annihilation on Earth Accelerating
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

Human beings are now waging war against life itself as we continue to destroy not just individual lives, local populations and entire species in vast numbers but also destroy the ecological systems that make life on Earth possible. By doing this we are now accelerating the sixth mass extinction event in Earth’s history and virtually eliminating any prospect of human survival....

 
The Space between Belief and Disbelief
Tabish Khair
The Space between Belief and Disbelief
Tabish Khair

That is why thinking atheists cannot do away with the concept of god. That is also why the religious cannot claim to know god. We become human in exactly that space where we are not animals (whose possibility of knowledge is restricted to what they already know) and where we are never ‘god’ (whose possibility of knowledge is complete and infinite)....

 
Why War? Building on the Legacy of Einstein, Freud and Gandhi
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
Why War? Building on the Legacy of Einstein, Freud and Gandhi
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

He successfully applied his strategic understanding of nonviolence to the Indian independence struggle against British colonial rule. But while Gandhi was happy to acknowledge his debt to those who had gone before, he was not shy in proclaiming the importance of finding new ways forward: ‘If we are to make progress, we must not repeat history but make new history. We must add to the inheritance left by our ancestors.’....

 

If, as all religions tell us, the purpose of human life is to evolve spiritually so that we lead a God-oriented life in this world and are suitably prepared for the world that comes after death, such parents, by completely neglecting their children’s spiritual needs, are doing them the most terrible disservice. It is nothing short of criminal. After all, what could be worse than being complicit in denying one’s own child the possibility of fulfilling the very purpose of its life, of its very creation? What more damage could one do than to spiritually cripple one’s own child so badly that it ruins its life in this world and in the life after death, too?...

A Nonviolent Strategy to Defeat Genocide
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam
A Nonviolent Strategy to Defeat Genocide
Robert J. Burrowes, New Age Islam

Why then should those under genocidal assault expect supportive action from the UN or international community in general? The factors which drive these manifestations of violence serve a diverse range of geopolitical interests in each case, and are usually highly profitable into the bargain. What hope justice or even decency in such circumstances?....

 
An Open Letter to People with 'Mental Health' Issues
Robert J. Burrowes, Ne Age Islam
An Open Letter to People with 'Mental Health' Issues
Robert J. Burrowes, Ne Age Islam

Human beings have a brilliantly diverse and complex array of emotions and hence potential emotional responses as a result of the evolutionary pressures that shaped the emergence of hominids over millions of years. An extraordinary emotional capacity is one of the defining features of our humanity and, I would argue, far more important than any other feature such as our intellectual capacity....

 
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