Words are bricks to construct a sentence and yet passages giving shape to ideas are built upon treacherous foundations. Some of the words are likely to go out of fashion and change their cultural significance; some are thought in a particular language but has no equivalent word in another. How one thinks in the east can easily be misunderstood by one in the west. Take a word like Wabi-sabi is a Japanese term that describes our appreciation of transient and imperfect beauty – such as the fleeting splendour of cherry blossom. What a millennial in Bronx would make of it unless given a thorough grounding in the mystery of language? In whichever language the mystery remains as in a Gothic tale the building reeks of doom and foreboding. Words erect sometimes barriers for great many to breach unless they are tuned to their nuances in any language.
When we read a novel we are not reading words for themselves but in context of other words. We create literary spaces. From great writers for example Balzac the words are so laid out the decrepit Boarding house has a literal space: so pervasively decay fills it. When we see Père Goriot through the medium of descriptive passages you can be sure it is merely a subjective feeling and fools you to think in a manner than the character really is. So literally taking the manner a sentence is constructed to be true is error. It is compounded by cultural sensitivity of the reader who is primed to take it in a certain manner.
We see the egregious folly of some theologians impose strictures how to interpret the prophet. What are their credentials? What makes them think they can speak for the prophet since he is not there to defend himself? Literal interpretation is a veritable minefield. When laymen are ready to raise battle cry over a word or idea it is a give away of mischief. When mother feeds a child with milk it is solely knowing there is no allergic reaction to it. The bottom line of Peace is peace and not imposing it by force. Look at Islam as some have interpreted it to mean imposing religion at the point of sword. Given so many centuries what do we see? Peace or conflict? When a religion which is of peace and tolerance by any reading, becomes synonymous with religion of hate we need ask who is the villain?
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Al- Hanifa the fierce was a man who had no education and seemingly no wealth as those who had amassed wealth by industry careful attention to managing their capital, labor and industry. He started as a small time thief picking from the many cargoes that were unloaded in the city harbor. In the rough and tumble world he soon rose high and could name his price and the ship owners paid what was demanded. He made money. How to keep all that money without paying tax? He bought a large sprawling godown with one door and began a sweat shop. In order to save expenses he did not care to provide ventilation or fire alarm or first aid. He made workers work longer hours almost for nothing.
Al- Hanifa was a man to reckon with. He could demolish churches if he were paid enough. He paid alms as the Word dictated and still saved from what he withheld as wages to his workers. He could at the wag of a finger muster an army of ruffians to riot, pillage and wreck business of merchant-princes. Once people found his unassailable position those who wanted to settle private scores hired him. The other day it was to attack a diplomat whose only fault was in his own country some stupid fellows made a provocative film of the prophet. Al Hanifa immediately arranged the army of hooligans and some fundamentalists supplied anti-aircraft guns and sophisticated weapons to cause maximum damage.
Unfortunately a week after his godown was gutted by an accident and so died some 400 workers in fire.
When he complained to his handlers the college of Mullahs told him that it was an accident. It didn’t help his case. The widows and children of workers lynched him one night since they did not get any compensation.
The mullahs who used him for their dirty work did not tell him was it was the Moral order that paid him back. It operates at human level and in a way the wicked and violent man will understand. Thus it was with al-Hanifa.
Al-Hanifa lived violently and died violently. Poetic justice it is called.
moral: man who operates for short term gains unjustly has taken refuge in a shooting gallery. Chance in a shooting gallery where certainty is almost a foregone conclusion.
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Posted in fables, tagged Benny Thomas, charity, error, fools, human failings, love and understanding, religion,, sects on September 2, 2012|
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In the star Sirius there is only one inhabitable planet that is called False. The men and women lived quietly in the shade since the dog-star burst and spewed great many ideas in wake of solar flares. Some suddenly would strip themselves and dance around a tree or two and speak utter nonsense. But in a planet like False the wizened old men would nod their heads and say,’they are shooting wind. We have heard so many and none has spoken against the grain of our existence.’ The inhabitants were as we might here on earth say,’wise men.’
One day a man came. Whether he surfed the solar roller coster of a giant flare or in a space shuttle I cannot tell.
He urged them to think of eternity. ‘I give you a religion where all you need to do is obey a set of rules. Five times you bow your rear to the Andromeda galaxy and leave your nostril clean; and mouth shut unless you want to speak something fair and in praise of your fellow men.’ He lived and he raised a family. Before he left he said,’Above all things don’t you make the error of having any creature between you and your Maker.No Priest talk but do what is good and speak what is set down in the book of rules.’ All agreed that it was indeed spoken like a great prophet.
Years went on and the family of the prophet chose from among them the Grand Turk of Bazaar that was the capital city. Eons later the prophet came to see how it fared in the planet False. There were great many exhortation Halls for the inhabitants to converge and there were thousands of teachers all claiming authority on the Prophet’s wise sayings.
The Old prophet went everywhere and no one recognized him. He asked the teachers if there were some rules left by the founder of their religion.
No one knew what the old man was harping about.
In the end he was taken to the Grand Turk of Bazaar who politely heard the old man and said,’ In this planet called False what set of rules you require? What I say is Law; every thing else is false.’
Poor prophet as he went back to his home he kept on muttering,I went as wise man and now I return sad and broken.’
This fable reminds me of Andre Rafflovich a wealthy Russian who settled in a fashionable area of London. Oscar Wilde knew him and on one occasion he said,’ Poor Andre! he came to London to found a salon. Instead he ended with a saloon’. This is how all religions have ended up.’
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Posted in culture, tagged animism, Benny Thomas, bipedalism, Catholic theology, conscious mind, doctrines, evolution, God der Fuehrer, liturgy, mixed bag, multiculturalism, religion,, state, transubstantiation, unconscious mind on July 17, 2012|
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In my previous post Unequal Partnerships I mentioned how multiculturalism failed us. How can it not fail us since our very mind is shot through the Unconscious and Conscious Mind?
Think of human civilization as a structure. At the base we have the brain which is evolving still. When our ape ancestor parted from ape cousins it was not perfect,- and in evolutionary timescale 2.5 million years is not adequate. We became more adept that is all. Our short attention span and optimism etc; are still worrying points.
We have a window to look at how we were at the dawn of time. The fossil skull of ‘Taung child’ reveals a soft skull with larger cranial space for brain development. 2.5 million year old specimen also hints at a possibility that man would have set out on the strength of his bipedalism. At the same time ape specimens of the same period and man share a common characteristic: both could climb trees. Man’s dexterity for tools decided his decision to separate and go his own way. Rational decision it was since weighing two abilities his tool making capacity outweighed the advantage of climbing trees. Thus he opted for the plains than an arboreal existence.
He would at every turn allow his innovative skills to determine the next course. If foraging at all weathers was inconvenient he would settle down to farm. But Agriculture limited the marine food rich in nutrient he could exploit. Only drawback was that consequences of his many innovation woud have spread far while the innovation addressed only the specific need. All these while his brain was still evolving. His toolmaking was only one symptom of intelligence.
Human civilization as I said at the outset was based on his evolving mind and collective experience. Whether he learned to restructure his society or build up a belief-system it had to be on the collective experience of mankind.
If man would coin an idea ‘Deutscheland uber alles’ or God of Vengeance both were carved out of a mind imperfect. Hitler drew the German nation to come behind his banner with the promise of avenging the national shame. These rallies were orchestrated with music and pageantry, same as with the same religious fervor that the flagellants would walk on their knees, punishing their bodies with flail. These are all manifestations from the same source: the same dark regions of his subconscious translating from the collective experience of mankind. Only his rational mind would make doctrines, observances and recitations etc., Such rank tomfoolery would go on multiplying endlessly.
The State cannot escape it anymore than religion. Multiculturalism is our knock-kneed mind in sunday clothes.
Animism came before religion. Our human ancestors considered all objects are endowed with spirit. Trees, rivers, birds etc., Do we not follow the animism even now? When I am party to a contract how do I legalize it? My signature stands for me. Pure animism in modern clothes. When mass is elevated according to Catholic theology the bread is transformed into the body of Christ. Religion is rooted in Animism.
With such a mind that can trip us at every turn multiculturalism will continue to show surprises. So the watchword is Expect the Unexpected.
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HPV Vaccinations Lower Infection Rate Even Among Unvaccinated Women
The old adage strength lies in numbers is once again affirmed by
recent findings in HPV. The human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) provides a benefit to women even if they are not vaccinated, via a phenomenon known as “herd immunity,” a new study suggests.
Among the women in the study, there was a decrease in the percentage who were infected with the four HPV strains included in the vaccine (HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18) in the years after the vaccine was introduced, compared with earlier years.
This decrease in HPV prevalence was seen among both vaccinated and unvaccinated women, the researchers said.
The study researcher Dr. Jessica Kahn noted that one in four unvaccinated participants in the study was infected with a high-risk strain of HPV. Dr. Kahn is a physician of adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. She said, ‘ a woman can also protect her partner by getting vaccinated.’
The study was conducted in just one community of mainly African American women and further research is needed to confirm the results and see if the findings apply to the population as a whole.(LiveScience.com of 9 July,2012)
So individuals in context of others do hold some value. Especially if they have been vaccinated with the high-risk strain of ‘carpe diem.’ This infectious strain to live to the present and to be result oriented not only lifts the vaccinated man and woman but also society.
One plus one is not two in terms of non-translatable hidden power. Synergy of community is not merely counting of heads. It transcends arithmetic. I had in my post The Golden Pagoda discussed of this energy. An individual thus knows much beyond his actual experience. Power of this has been evident clearly by results, how nations had on the basis of liberal principles and with a positive frame of mind could develop from becoming stagnated under bogeys of medieval mindset.
If you are not convinced look around. On one side we have the news of woman being summarily executed. The fellows who beheaded ‘Najeeba’ to the applauding crowd of men are symptom of a deep-rooted malaise of religion. (This is herd mentality that drags each other into deeper levels of barbarity.)
On the other hand we have the Catholic Church. Their covert operations never cease to amaze me. Here is a new one.’The public prosecutor in the Dutch city of Roermond reports that Andreas, who belonged to a congregation called the Brothers of the Holy Joseph, put the permanently bedridden boys to death one by one, shortly after they arrived at the home between 1952 and 1954.Multiple deaths at boys’ home were no accident. source of the news:
Published on : 28 June 2012 – 3:32pm | By Robert Chesal
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Posted in philosophy, Science, tagged Benny Thomas, brain, Donald Duck, free will, L. Ron Hubbard, mind, natural man, philosophy, religion,, Rupert Murdoch, Schopenhauer, scientology, unconscious, unconscious mind on July 6, 2012|
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The unconscious mind (often simply called the unconscious) is all the processes of the mind which are not available to consciousness. The term unconscious mind was coined by the 18th century German romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling and later introduced into English by the poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The concept gained prominence due to the influence of Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. The unconscious mind can be seen as the source of dreams and automatic thoughts. (Wikipedia)
Some actions – like moving a finger – are initiated and processed unconsciously at first, and only after enter consciousness.
Philosopher Walter Jackson Freeman III writes “our intentional actions continually flow into the world, changing the world and the relations of our bodies to it. This dynamic system is the self in each of us, it is the agency in charge, not our awareness, which is constantly trying to keep up with what we do.*” To Freeman, the power of intention and action can be independent of awareness. ( * Freeman, Walter J. How Brains Make Up Their Minds. New York: Columbia UP, 2000. Page 139.)
We think and act rationally but do we understand what it implies? One who wants to kick the habit of smoking may linger on wondering when or how to do it. He knows it is slowly incinerating his lungs and one day he quits it altogether. Suppose the coming weekend he is in company and they are headed towards a bar. If he chooses to sit with them in the smoking section he may excuse himself that he did not want to cut their pleasure of a smoke. Or was it he was craving a secondary smoke and his mind had tricked him? Our mind is a divided house. We may say we keep an open house. Only that when we want to empty our bowels we keep the door shut. Open house in short is not always what it says. Our mind is not what we like to believe. We say we are rational. Are we really? How come then we irrationally succumb to prophets and dolts alike. We accept heaven for someone else’s word. Similarly we listen to some fool’s prattle and when he says,’such and such race is subhuman’ we accept it without a murmur. It happened in Nazi Germany. Or a half-baked science fiction writer cobbles up Scientology ‘weird evil cult’ as Rupert Murdoch said the other day) celebrities are ready to join. Our rational mind knows it is a moron’s path to bliss as one who take bath salts for kicks. The nature of mind is such that people are dying to believe and ‘weirder the better.’ There has never been a proof of religion as consistently put to test and found true. Yet why people still harp on it? Our brain is a divided house.
‘I can make Donald Duck pass for a Deity and have churches built for worship. If so why don’t I do it? The trouble is I may in the end come to believe myself in the joke.‘ I consider that as truly tragic.
PS Philosopher Schopenhauer signified this unconscious part of mind as the Will. We seek pleasures from within ourselves and even if these are less honorable we still pursue it. Then we rationally explain our actions. We are not seeking a course because reasons are already existing outside ourselves.
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