Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Doubt

A detour stroll in “Doubts Park

Note: Re-edit of “One lovely stroll in Doubts Park; (Jan. 4, 2010)”

I always claimed that whatever I do is meant to search for the Truth.

That is a lie: I run away from the fact that our reality is fundamentally the universe of doubts.

I should admit that this world of doubts is specific to humankind, I should accept it, integrate it in my life and enjoy strolling in Doubts Park.

It is nice, now and then, to take a short break from listing the thousands of questions that constantly perturb cognitive man and try to please my huge ego by trying to resolve a single existential question, just for the fun of it.

I was led lately to read with some attention detailed descriptions of heaven and hell.

I was shocked with these infantile and crude stories that are carbon copies in all religious Books.

I had the impression that all these prophets had No imagination for even slight variations; actually the only tiny variations were in the sadistic punishment of those intended to be visiting hell.

I had another revelation: all those prophets started recounting scenes of heaven and hell after they received recognition and enjoyed the tendency to clinging to power.

It was as if scaring people is the common technique to all who hold on to power.

All those prophets lived the masochist life till getting recognition and then let their imagination loose on the saddest sadistic punishments and unbridled lusty desires.

It was like all prophets are of a certain type of men that sustain only extreme binary attitudes in their deep subconscious, while disseminating the message of learning to tend to the middle line in the spectrum of our passions.

I have something to say; but first let me refresh your memory.

On Heaven

You have got about six rivers.  You select from the following items:

First, a river of pure running potable water;

Second, a river of milk or yogurt with even taste (you might have to settle on your favorite taste; if you didn’t have the opportunity to taste all the fruity flavors then never mind: there must be available more exhilarant venues to investigate; anyway, you have all the time unless you start rebelling again. If you are allergic to milk then no problems, go on selecting other items);

Third, a river of honey (I assume in those days only unadulterated bee’s honey was marketed; more Book’s research funding is required);

Fourth, a river of perfume (not specific, you would have tough choices if you failed to try all scents while alive);

Fifth, a river of wine, most probably beer, which never gets you inebriated enough to utter foul sentences or curse the Devils.

(I guess you should have choices of alcoholic beverages: you earned it.  My hypothesis is that you can opt for the four rivers to be of the wine kinds: you earned it, mind you).

Sixth, a river of oil (I am strongly inclined to believe that it is olive oil; tough luck if you hate olive oil; you can switch this river to scotch or vodka, I guess).

How to drink is no problem in heaven: you can use crystal cups, jars, Jeri can of gold, silver, or titanium (that last metal is of my own invention) or just sit and lap straight from the source or I would suggest letting your sweetheart pour it from her fresh mouth.

Oh, on the subject of sweetheart you have to be patient a little: I just like suspense.

If none of these rivers are to your liking then remember: the guiding light is not to worry about heaven: it is the other alternative that you should mind about.

From what I read I came into understanding that we are all going first to hell.

Pretty much as in immigration concentration camps.

Then, very few would be shown the exit door; and a few would be acrobatic and focused enough to cross the long thin bridge to heaven.

I should stick to heaven now.

You don’t have to worry at all.  Just imagine the varieties of condiments!

Do you like fresh, juicy, and ripe fruits?  Do you love dates, grapes, or pomegranates?  These are the fruits mentioned in the Books.

Remember, you better get a taste for Levantine assortment of fruits; but it is also said that you can have any kind of fruits and I suggest you don’t get frazzled that soon.

The beauty of it is that trees will deliver their fruits in any position you feel comfortable in (such as standing, lying, stooping, or sitting).

My impression is that you could order the branch to drop the fruit in your open mouth.  If I physically toiled hard in my life then that would be my ideal option of delivery.

Hey man, wait.  We have got the best news ever.

It will blow your brain away. You will have all the women and adolescent men for any kind of intercourse you desire. You can throw bacchant parties any time you want and you will be perched on high wide beds, very cushy, and perfectly ergonomically comfortable.

Good tiding for the women kind.

You women are nowhere mentioned in the picture of heaven and hell: the Jewish sect in Judea never endowed you with souls anyway.  But don’t you worry as yet.

God will recreate you to pleasure the select men.  Sorry, since very few men will be selected to go to heaven then don’t push: not all of you will be re-created.

The good news is, if created, you will all have white skin, screwy eyes (hawal), long hair, and none of you would be over 33 of age.  You will enjoy firm tits; it is up to the select men to shape your tits to the fruit of their desire. That is how I figure it.

Certainly you will be wearing jewelry and silk dresses. I think that, unlike men wearing only fine white robes, you might have a wide selection of fabrics and colors.

On Hell

This section would be brief: I know that you guys have suffered enough in this life that you don’t give much weight to the puny punishments that you might be allotted in hell.

Hell is simply fire, a lot of it, and its temperature is 60 times the temperature of earth core.

Hell is not upgraded with fire alarms. It was the result of lack of imagination: a million fire alarms going off at all the time would certainly scare the Bejesus out of anyone, regardless if he was engulfed in fire and black smoke.

Thus, don’t fear that much, please.  The mechanical instruments for conveying pain are archaic; they are mostly chains, gardening, and harvesting implements…

There is no diabolic high tech suffering machines.  I failed to read that you might be half buried in sand to be nibbled at by ants in a scorching desert.

Guantanamo Bay was, since time of creation, in the visual field of God but he refrained at the last second: God wanted to test the evil potentials of men.

You may read the reports of the commissions on human rights and the juicy archives in the United Nations.

You will be zipped straight to hell with no recourse for leniency, even if you witnessed close death encounters several times.

Just writing this article, any sacerdotal caste should judge me as good as dead a dozen times.

As for what might open the gate of heaven is simple: allow no one to share power with God, have field charity in the heart coupled by notarized proofs.

I doubt that predicators go around describing in details the conditions in hell and heaven; they tend to just mention hell and heaven as if everybody was told once in his life the stories in these final relocation places: I guess once is enough to grab the attention of kids.

Most probably, hell was described to kids at untenable moments, but I doubt heaven was ever a favorite topic to parents.

My suggestion is if we feel ashamed to tell the minute details of hell and heaven as recounted in the Books, if these stories should be labeled X-rated for cruelty or sexuality and not suited for less than 18 years of age, then the words hell and heaven should be scraped from theology teaching.

Faith should not be based on a reward system: If Heaven and Hell are the return for a life-time of toil and struggles then, they don’t come close accounting for justice.

Faith is this pleasuring drama of playing stupid, communicating our confidence in human good natured heart and well intentioned purpose to rescuing his fellow man in time of need.

Sometimes, true faith generates reciprocating pleasure and it increases human dignity on pragmatic criteria. It is not worth feeling bitter of your limitations: suffice to believe that all living creatures are holy.

The first attribute of human kind is freedom to doubt; the second attribute is liberty to take pride in what we doubt.

The level headed should desire to die.

If hell, then it is a piece of cake compared to our hellish life on earth; ask any persecuted inhabitant who was detained, tortured, and humiliated.

Ask people dead from famine or thirst.

Definitely, hell has lost its power to scare.

If heaven, then hmm…it won’t be such a bad condition after all to live in.

I might be slightly worried of boredom, but I trust God would endow the sexy “Houries” with enough playfulness to keep me interested for eternity.  Heaven definitely can have my vote.

Life is all about taking a single stand for human dignity.

I sincerely hope that my readers are invested with strong sense of humor.

Doubt essential to faith. And mainly to sciences?

Writing biography is a strange thing to do. It’s a journey into the foreign territory of somebody else’s life, a journey, an exploration that can take you places you never dreamed of going and still can’t quite believe you’ve been, especially if, like me, you’re an agnostic Jew and the life you’ve been exploring is that of Muhammad.

0:40 Five years ago, for instance, I found myself waking each morning in misty Seattle to what I knew was an impossible question: What actually happened one desert night, half the world and almost half of history away?

What happened, that is, on the night in the year 610 when Muhammad received the first revelation of the Koran on a mountain just outside Mecca?

This is the core mystical moment of Islam, and as such, of course, it defies empirical analysis. Yet the question wouldn’t let go of me. I was fully aware that for someone as secular as I am, just asking it could be seen as pure chutzpah. (Laughter)

And I plead guilty as charged, because all exploration, physical or intellectual, is inevitably in some sense an act of transgression, of crossing boundaries.

 Still, some boundaries are larger than others. So a human encountering the divine, as Muslims believe Muhammad did, to the rationalist, this is a matter not of fact but of wishful fiction, and like all of us, I like to think of myself as rational.

Which might be why when I looked at the earliest accounts we have of that night, what struck me even more than what happened was what did not happen. Muhammad did not come floating off the mountain as though walking on air.

He did not run down shouting, “Hallelujah!” and “Bless the Lord!” He did not radiate light and joy. There were no choirs of angels, no music of the spheres, no elation, no ecstasy, no golden aura surrounding him, no sense of an absolute, fore-ordained role as the messenger of God. That is, he did none of the things that might make it easy to cry foul, to put down the whole story as a pious fable.

Quite the contrary. In his own reported words, he was convinced at first that what had happened couldn’t have been real. At best, he thought, it had to have been a hallucination — a trick of the eye or the ear, perhaps, or his own mind working against him.

At worst, possession — that he’d been seized by an evil jinn, a spirit out to deceive him, even to crush the life out of him. In fact, he was so sure that he could only be majnun, possessed by a jinn, that when he found himself still alive, his first impulse was to finish the job himself, to leap off the highest cliff and escape the terror of what he’d experienced by putting an end to all experience.

The man who fled down the mountain that night trembled not with joy but with a stark, primordial fear. He was overwhelmed not with conviction, but by doubt. And that panicked disorientation, that sundering of everything familiar, that daunting awareness of something beyond human comprehension, can only be called a terrible awe.

4:33 This might be somewhat difficult to grasp now that we use the word “awesome” to describe a new app or a viral video. With the exception perhaps of a massive earthquake, we’re protected from real awe. We close the doors and hunker down, convinced that we’re in control, or, at least, hoping for control.

We do our best to ignore the fact that we don’t always have it, and that not everything can be explained. Yet whether you’re a rationalist or a mystic, whether you think the words Muhammad heard that night came from inside himself or from outside, what’s clear is that he did experience them, and that he did so with a force that would shatter his sense of himself and his world and transform this otherwise modest man into a radical advocate for social and economic justice.

Fear was the only sane response, the only human response.

Too human for some, like conservative Muslim theologians who maintain that the account of his wanting to kill himself shouldn’t even be mentioned, despite the fact that it’s in the earliest Islamic biographies. They insist that he never doubted for even a single moment, let alone despaired.

Demanding perfection, they refuse to tolerate human imperfection. Yet what, exactly, is imperfect about doubt? As I read those early accounts, I realized it was precisely Muhammad’s doubt that brought him alive for me, that allowed me to begin to see him in full, to accord him the integrity of reality.

And the more I thought about it, the more it made sense that he doubted, because doubt is essential to faith.

If this seems a startling idea at first, consider that doubt, as Graham Greene once put it, is the heart of the matter. Abolish all doubt, and what’s left is not faith, but absolute, heartless conviction.

You’re certain that you possess the Truth — inevitably offered with an implied uppercase T — and this certainty quickly devolves into dogmatism and righteousness, by which I mean a demonstrative, overweening pride in being so very right, in short, the arrogance of fundamentalism.

It has to be one of the multiple ironies of history that a favorite expletive of Muslim fundamentalists is the same one once used by the Christian fundamentalists known as Crusaders: “infidel,” from the Latin for “faithless.”

Doubly ironic, in this case, because their absolutism is in fact the opposite of faith. In effect, they are the infidels. Like fundamentalists of all religious stripes, they have no questions, only answers. They found the perfect antidote to thought and the ideal refuge of the hard demands of real faith.

They don’t have to struggle for it like Jacob wrestling through the night with the angel, or like Jesus in his 40 days and nights in the wilderness, or like Muhammad, not only that night on the mountain, but throughout his years as a prophet, with the Koran constantly urging him not to despair, and condemning those who most loudly proclaim that they know everything there is to know and that they and they alone are right.

Yet we, the vast and still far too silent majority, have ceded the public arena to this extremist minority. We’ve allowed Judaism to be claimed by violently messianic West Bank settlers, Christianity by homophobic hypocrites and misogynistic bigots, Islam by suicide bombers. And we’ve allowed ourselves to be blinded to the fact that no matter whether they claim to be Christians, Jews or Muslims, militant extremists are none of the above.

They’re a cult all their own, blood brothers steeped in other people’s blood.

This isn’t faith. It’s fanaticism, and we have to stop confusing the two. We have to recognize that real faith has no easy answers. It’s difficult and stubborn. It involves an ongoing struggle, a continual questioning of what we think we know, a wrestling with issues and ideas. It goes hand in hand with doubt, in a never-ending conversation with it, and sometimes in conscious defiance of it.

This conscious defiance is why I, as an agnostic, can still have faith. I have faith, for instance, that peace in the Middle East is possible despite the ever-accumulating mass of evidence to the contrary. I’m not convinced of this. I can hardly say I believe it. I can only have faith in it, commit myself, that is, to the idea of it, and I do this precisely because of the temptation to throw up my hands in resignation and retreat into silence.

Because despair is self-fulfilling.

If we call something impossible, we act in such a way that we make it so. And I, for one, refuse to live that way. In fact, most of us do, whether we’re atheist or theist or anywhere in between or beyond, for that matter, what drives us is that, despite our doubts and even because of our doubts, we reject the nihilism of despair.

We insist on faith in the future and in each other. Call this naive if you like. Call it impossibly idealistic if you must. But one thing is sure: Call it human.

Could Muhammad have so radically changed his world without such faith, without the refusal to cede to the arrogance of closed-minded certainty? I think not.

After keeping company with him as a writer for the past five years, I can’t see that he’d be anything but utterly outraged at the militant fundamentalists who claim to speak and act in his name in the Middle East and elsewhere today.

He’d be appalled at the repression of half the population because of their gender. He’d be torn apart by the bitter divisiveness of sectarianism.

He’d call out terrorism for what it is, not only criminal but an obscene travesty of everything he believed in and struggled for. He’d say what the Koran says: Anyone who takes a life takes the life of all humanity. Anyone who saves a life, saves the life of all humanity. And he’d commit himself fully to the hard and thorny process of making peace

Patsy Z shared this link

“Real faith has no easy answers. It involves an ongoing struggle, a continual questioning of what we think we know.”

t.ted.com|By Lesley Hazleton

Is Doubt essential to faith only?

Writing biography is a strange thing to do. It’s a journey into the foreign territory of somebody else’s life, a journey, an exploration that can take you places you never dreamed of going and still can’t quite believe you’ve been, especially if, like me, you’re an agnostic Jew and the life you’ve been exploring is that of Muhammad.

0:40 Five years ago, for instance, I found myself waking each morning in misty Seattle to what I knew was an impossible question: What actually happened one desert night, half the world and almost half of history away?

What happened on the night in the year 610 when Muhammad received the first revelation of the Koran on a mountain just outside Mecca? This is the core mystical moment of Islam that defies empirical analysis.

Yet the question wouldn’t let go of me. I was fully aware that for someone as secular as I am, just asking it could be seen as pure chutzpah. And I plead guilty as charged, because all exploration, physical or intellectual, is inevitably in some sense an act of transgression, of crossing boundaries.

” Abolish all doubt, and what’s left is not faith, but absolute, heartless conviction. You’re certain that you possess the Truth — inevitably offered with an implied uppercase T — and this certainty quickly devolves into dogmatism and righteousness, by which I mean a demonstrative, overweening pride in being so very right, in short, the arrogance of fundamentalism.” – Lesley Hazleton

When Lesley Hazleton was writing a biography of Muhammad, she was struck by something: The night he received the revelation of the Koran, according to early accounts, his first reaction was doubt, awe, even fear. And yet this experience…
ted.com|By Lesley Hazleton

some boundaries are larger than others. So a human encountering the divine, as Muslims believe Muhammad did, to the rationalist, this is a matter not of fact but of wishful fiction, and like all of us, I like to think of myself as rational.

Which might be why when I looked at the earliest accounts we have of that night, what struck me even more than what happened was what did Not happen.

Muhammad did not come floating off the mountain as though walking on air. He did not run down shouting, “Hallelujah!” and “Bless the Lord!” He did not radiate light and joy.

There were no choirs of angels, no music of the spheres, no elation, no ecstasy, no golden aura surrounding him, no sense of an absolute, fore-ordained role as the messenger of God.

he did none of the things that might make it easy to cry foul, to put down the whole story as a pious fable. Quite the contrary.

In his own reported words, he was convinced at first that what had happened couldn’t have been real. At best, he thought, it had to have been a hallucination — a trick of the eye or the ear, perhaps, or his own mind working against him. At worst, possession — that he’d been seized by an evil jinn, a spirit out to deceive him, even to crush the life out of him.

In fact, he was so sure that he could only be majnun, possessed by a jinn, that when he found himself still alive, his first impulse was to finish the job himself, to leap off the highest cliff and escape the terror of what he’d experienced by putting an end to all experience.

 the man who fled down the mountain that night trembled not with joy but with a stark, primordial fear. He was overwhelmed not with conviction, but by doubt.

And that panicked disorientation, that sundering of everything familiar, that daunting awareness of something beyond human comprehension, can only be called a terrible awe.

This might be somewhat difficult to grasp now that we use the word “awesome” to describe a new app or a viral video. With the exception perhaps of a massive earthquake, we’re protected from real awe.

We close the doors and hunker down, convinced that we’re in control, or, at least, hoping for control. We do our best to ignore the fact that we don’t always have it, and that not everything can be explained.

Yet whether you’re a rationalist or a mystic, whether you think the words Muhammad heard that night came from inside himself or from outside, what’s clear is that he did experience them, and that he did so with a force that would shatter his sense of himself and his world and transform this otherwise modest man into a radical advocate for social and economic justice.

Fear was the only sane response, the only human response.

Too human for some, like conservative Muslim theologians who maintain that the account of his wanting to kill himself shouldn’t even be mentioned, despite the fact that it’s in the earliest Islamic biographies.

They insist that he never doubted for even a single moment, let alone despaired. Demanding perfection, they refuse to tolerate human imperfection. Yet what is imperfect about doubt?

As I read those early accounts, I realized it was precisely Muhammad’s doubt that brought him alive for me, that allowed me to begin to see him in full, to accord him the integrity of reality. And the more I thought about it, the more it made sense that he doubted, because doubt is essential to faith.

If this seems a startling idea at first, consider that doubt, as Graham Greene once put it, is the heart of the matter. Abolish all doubt, and what’s left is not faith, but absolute, heartless conviction.

You’re certain that you possess the Truth — inevitably offered with an implied uppercase T — and this certainty quickly devolves into dogmatism and righteousness, by which I mean a demonstrative, overweening pride in being so very right, in short, the arrogance of fundamentalism.

It has to be one of the multiple ironies of history that a favorite expletive of Muslim fundamentalists is the same one once used by the Christian fundamentalists known as Crusaders: infidel,” from the Latin for “faithless.”

Doubly ironic, in this case, because their absolutism is in fact the opposite of faith.

In effect, they are the infidels. Like fundamentalists of all religious stripes, they have no questions, only answers.

They found the perfect antidote to thought and the ideal refuge of the hard demands of real faith.

They don’t have to struggle for it like Jacob wrestling through the night with the angel, or like Jesus in his 40 days and nights in the wilderness, or like Muhammad, not only that night on the mountain, but throughout his years as a prophet, with the Koran constantly urging him not to despair, and condemning those who most loudly proclaim that they know everything there is to know and that they and they alone are right.

the vast and still far too silent majority have ceded the public arena to this extremist minority.

We’ve allowed Judaism to be claimed by violently messianic West Bank settlers, Christianity by homophobic hypocrites and misogynistic bigots, Islam by suicide bombers.

And we’ve allowed ourselves to be blinded to the fact that no matter whether they claim to be Christians, Jews or Muslims, militant extremists are none of the above. They’re a cult all their own, blood brothers steeped in other people’s blood.

This isn’t faith. It’s fanaticism, and we have to stop confusing the two.

We have to recognize that real faith has no easy answers. It’s difficult and stubborn.

It involves an ongoing struggle, a continual questioning of what we think we know, a wrestling with issues and ideas. It goes hand in hand with doubt, in a never-ending conversation with it, and sometimes in conscious defiance of it.

 this conscious defiance is why I, as an agnostic, can still have faith.

I have faith, for instance, that peace in the Middle East is possible despite the ever-accumulating mass of evidence to the contrary. I’m not convinced of this. I can hardly say I believe it. I can only have faith in it, commit myself, that is, to the idea of it, and I do this precisely because of the temptation to throw up my hands in resignation and retreat into silence.

Because despair is self-fulfilling.

If we call something impossible, we act in such a way that we make it so. And I, for one, refuse to live that way. In fact, most of us do, whether we’re atheist or theist or anywhere in between or beyond, for that matter, what drives us is that, despite our doubts and even because of our doubts, we reject the nihilism of despair.

We insist on faith in the future and in each other. Call this naive if you like. Call it impossibly idealistic if you must. But one thing is sure: Call it human. (Is Faith synonymous with Hope?)

Could Muhammad have so radically changed his world without such faith, without the refusal to cede to the arrogance of closed-minded certainty? I think not.

After keeping company with him as a writer for the past five years, I can’t see that he’d be anything but utterly outraged at the militant fundamentalists who claim to speak and act in his name in the Middle East and elsewhere today.

He’d be appalled at the repression of half the population because of their gender. He’d be torn apart by the bitter divisiveness of sectarianism.

He’d call out terrorism for what it is, not only criminal but an obscene travesty of everything he believed in and struggled for. He’d say what the Koran says: Anyone who takes a life takes the life of all humanity. Anyone who saves a life, saves the life of all humanity.

And he’d commit himself fully to the hard and thorny process of making peace.

 

 

 

This eternal seesaw story of Doubt and Faith

We spend most of our existence in a succession of acts of faith.

Not that we have no doubts: We have legitimate excuses for lack of time, of energy, of knowledge and of talent to act on our doubts.

The greatness of human spirit are represented in moments when people act on one of their doubts that they consider harmful to mankind by proving, demonstrating and disseminating their findings that dispel our accumulated superstitions.

It does not make any sense to link faith with religious beliefs or any religious teaching.

It is the elite classes, the bourgeois classes, the political classes, whose interests are tightly linked to the clerics jobs of disseminating to the lower class of the masses the glory of submitting to their destinies and fate, that propagate this linkage of faith with religion.

Bertolt Brecht in his play “The Life of Galileo” let this famous physicist and astronomic scientist say, while in house confinement by the Catholic Pope,

“The battle for rendering the sky measurable is won because of doubt.

Because of faith, the struggle of little people in Rome for their due rights will still be and forever lost.

I support the notion that the only goal of science consists in reducing the pains of existence for mankind.

The schism between science and you (the scientist) may one day become so deep that as you scream in joy for one new discovery you’ll hear in response a louder scream of universal horror.”

The concept of “science for science sake” and “Art for art sake” have never been uttered by genuine scientists and talented artists.

These saying have been disseminated by pseudo scientists and artists with the purpose of avoiding their responsibilities in the outcome of their exploitation process.

Can we join forces so that we give new technologies and new scientific discoveries a sabbatical?

Let mankind enjoy a period of bliss from new technologies that are exploited by the military and multinational corporations in order to keep the little people in a state of misery and hopelessness?

Mankind has already accumulated enough knowledge and know-how to eradicate miseries in health, safety, and life conditions, if we apply science for the well-being of all the human kind and animal kingdom.

Until the activists in political organization and communities reclaim the proper budget, away from the military and subsidies of the big corporations, more scientific discoveries and new technologies are going to make matter worse for the little people.

We cannot stop new discoveries, but we can put enough pressure to rob the deep pocket entities of their might to exclusively exploit the discoveries at the detriment of the real needy people.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

January 2021
M T W T F S S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Blog Stats

  • 1,459,517 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 800 other followers

%d bloggers like this: