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Posts Tagged ‘Faith

I am plagued with a terrible ailment: I lost my faith? What kind of faith?

Bilal Jaaber posted on FB بلال جابر. October 16 at 7:46 PM

Nofal Nayouf posted Reem Arnouk article. 3 hrs

كتبت الرائعة الدكتورة ريم عرنوق

“إيماني القديم”
أنا مصابة بداء خطير، ولأنكم أصدقائي وصديقاتي سأسرّ لكم به:

((لقد … فقدتُ … إيماني …))
أقصد إيماني التقليدي يعني، إيماني القديم تبع بسم الآب والابن، ولاإله الا الله، وحي على الصلاة، وأشهد أن الروح القدس، ومن

هالحكي …
وفجأة نبت بداخلي إيمان جديد؟! لا لا … ليس جديداً، بل نبت بداخلي إيماني الأقدم …

كيف ؟؟؟
سأحكي لكم …


منذ طفولتي الباكرة كنت أشعر بأن شيئاً ما يسكن روحي يشدني لعمق أعماق روحي، شيئاً يبحث عن وجهه، هويته، اسمه، ملامحه، كينونته ، تجسده …
وبطريقة ما عزز أبي الحبيب هذه النزعة في ابنته …

أجهل كيف ولماذا ومتى بدأ كل ذلك …كنت أذهب إلى الكنيسة في دمشق قليلاً، لكني كنت عاشقة للذهاب إلى كنيسة ضيعتي في ( Tartos in Syria)طرطوس، المتن

كنت أشعر أن المسيح في المتن لا يشبه مسيح دمشق تماماً، هو يشبهني أنا أكثر مما يشبه مسيح دمشق …
في دمشق يسوع لطيف أنيق، مرتب، مضاء بأنوار مبهرة وألوان ذهبية، والناس الذي يزورونه جميعهم مثله مرتبون أنيقون لطفاء …

لا … في كنيسة الضيعة الأمر مختلف تماماً …
في المتن يسوع بسيط فقير معتّر، متواضع وحزين، في عينيه دمعة ألم ولمعة نصر يمتزجان معاً في سر غريب، لا تضيئه الأنوار المبهرة ولا يشع منه الذهب… هو نفسه يشع بالنور من خلال لهب الشموع …

والناس الذين يزورونه يدخلون مطأطئين رؤوسهم، قارعين صدورهم، غارقين في بساطتهم لدرجة الخجل، مجانين بحبه لدرجة الهبل، دراويش قابلين للبكاء بدموع من دم في أية لحظة…


في دمشق عرفت أن المسيحيين ليسوا واحداً

هناك نحن الروم أرثوذوكس، و هناك روم كاثوليك لا يحتفلون معنا بقيامة المسيح في الفصح نفسه، وموارنة ولاتين لا يتبعون نفس بطريركيتنا السورية في أنطاكية وسائر المشرق، وأن هناك سريان وأرمن لا يعتقدون بالضبط كما نعتقد، وبروتستانت لا يضعون الأيقونات في كنائسهم و و و و …


أما في المتن، وبعد أن كبرت قليلاً وصرت عاشقة للقراءة غارقة في كتب التاريخ، فقد عرفت أن يسوع أيضاً ليس يسوعاً واحداً، بل هو

عدد من الصور والوجوه والأسماء لعدد من الأشخاص الذين يشبهون بعضهم ويشبهوننا في الجسد ، لكن أرواحهم إلهية …
في المتن اكتشفت أن يسوع شيعي من آل البيت، علوي حسيني يصرخ والدماء تتدفق من جراحه: هيهات منا الذلة ..

.وهو أيضاً سني صوفي المذهب يدور ويدور في الحضرات منشداً مع الحلاج على الصليب: الناس موتى، وأهل الحب أحياء …سوري قومي اجتماعي أعطى سوريا وديعتها: الدماء التي تجري في عروقه وهو يقول مع أنطون سعادة: الحياة وقفة عز فقط
يسوعي أقدم من المسيحية، يسوعي تمّوزي يمتد لآلاف السنين قبل الميلاد،

إله حق من إله حق، نور من نور، إله محبة وفداء وتضحية، إله محبّ للحياة لكنه يحب الموت حين يكون الموت طريقاً لحياة أحبائه …
كان اسمه تموز السوري، صار اسمه بعل الكنعاني، حدد الآرامي، أدون، أدونيس، يسوع المسيح، نضال جنّود، يحي الشغري، سومر
شدود، بنيان بدر ونّوس، نور عيسى، حسن عدنان ونّوس، ابراهيم أحمد برّي


واليوم أعرف أكثر وأؤمن أكثر أني أدين بدين الحب لسوريا، وسوريا ديني وإيماني …
كل من يدعم إيماني بعقيدة الفداء السورية هو عيني وقلبي وتاج راسي …


وكل من لا يدعم سوريا وطني وأمي، كائناً من كان، ولو كان خوري كنيسة آيا صوفيا، هو من دين غير ديني لا أنتمي إليه ولا ينتمي إلي …
هذا هو الداء الذي أصبت به ولا أريد أن أبرأ منه …


سوريا لك السّلام … سوريا أنتِ الهدى
سوريا لكِ السلام … سوريا نحن الفدا

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.


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