Category Archives: Matters of religion/ spirituality/ philosophy/ ideology

The purpose of (male) circumcision

(Disclaimer: this post won’t go into much depth on the origins of circumcision. That’s too lengthy a discussion and can be read about on Wiki. My focus is on its purpose in Judaism, which by proxy explains its purpose in Christianity and Islam)

Continue reading The purpose of (male) circumcision

Philosophical Musings part 6

Apologies to my readers for taking so long to create this post. I have had to take time out to re-evaluate and make massive changes in my life. Due to that I will only be able to post once a month at most. Nevertheless please continue to read, like & comment. 

Something came to mind recently, after speaking to yet another muslim about my irtidad (apostasy). He was explaining how he tries to live as a good person and Islam helps with that but it doesn’t require complete strictness. I called bullshit; Islam is all about strictness and living rigidly by the rules. He admitted that he doesn’t follow it as much as I used to nor read the Qur’an as much as I did (remember I read the whole thing from cover to cover in Arabic & English, and was memorising it in my teens), then he gave a hypothetical scenario of other muslims who take it “too seriously”. Marrying more women without the first wife’s permission, adhering to the complete dress code (yes hijab applies to men AND women), reciting Qur’an and Ahadiyth all day long, seeing Arabic as God’s favourite language, etc. I know those types.

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Then he claimed I was following a different type of Islam to him (no shit Sherlock!) and I’d been too strict, even to the point of being a fundamentalist. Couldn’t disagree with that, and that is exactly what the diyn requires – as do all the Abrahamic faiths.

But a question came to mind and stuck there for a while. Most muslims, the “moderate” & “liberal” ones, feel that Islam is good but can be taken to unhealthy levels and disrupt one’s mental balance. Huh?!? As a muslim I saw Islam itself as the balance (the Qur’an agrees with that; check out this exegesis) and any deviation therefrom was lack of balance! And I’m seeing this thinking among Christians more & more, that religion can be taken too seriously but its fundamental purpose is to encourage us to be good. Which begs the questions:

  • Why should it be taken at all?
  • If it’s meant to make us good people, how is it possible for religionists to do evil things in the name of their faith?
  • Why do religions disagree on what constitutes a good person? (e.g. as far as I’ve seen the Satanic bible is the only “holy” book that explicitly forbids rape)

In short:

WHY DO MOST RELIGIOUS PEOPLE AGREE IT’S POSSIBLE TO BE “TOO RELIGIOUS”?

I’m throwing this one out to you the readers. Let me know what you think in the comments box.

Peace.

 

 

The term “Europe”

This word has had a very interesting history. Now it has a more or less concrete definition, complete with boundaries, maps and dictionaries to back it up. But it wasn’t always this way. Even today there’s no physical boundary between it and Asia. Consider this quote from Wikipedia (bolding mine):

“Europe is a continent that comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. The eastern boundary with Asia is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them; Europe is generally considered as separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways of the Turkish Straits.[4] Yet the non-oceanic borders of Europe—a concept dating back to classical antiquity—are arbitrary. The primarily physiographic term “continent” as applied to Europe also incorporates cultural and political elements whose discontinuities are not always reflected by the continent’s current overland boundaries.”

– Taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europe, 4th May 2017

Continue reading The term “Europe”

Why we should all be left-handed!

…Or at least ambidextrous.

This afternoon I just worked out The Answer™ to why most world cultures revere the right hand so much!

According to modern neuroscience, the 2 hemispheres of the brain have specialised functions. The left side is associated with reason, order, sense of reality & academic intelligence, and controls the right side of the body. The right hemisphere is associated with personal insight, sense of possibility, individuality & creativity, and controls the left side of the body. We also know about biofeedback, which basically says the rest of the body influences brain function just as much as the brain controls it. This means that using the left hand activates the brain’s right hemisphere and vice versa.

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¿Why is this important?

Say you’re a ruler of a nation (legitimacy irrelevant) and you want people to obey your laws. Problem: these people are already happy with their own principles & traditions, and their religions are multi-faceted, experiential and prioritise different things to you, so why the bloodclaat should they wanna obey you? And since they outnumber you, how could you make them obey you?

Answer: change their behaviour so they automatically conform! If you’ve paid enough attention to people’s behaviour, you’ll have noticed that certain actions develop/ activate certain ways of being (biofeedback). One of those might be, oh I don’t know, using the left hand activates the same side of the brain that governs individuality! And since right-hand use activates the other side of the brain – the side that acquiesces to logic and order (i.e. your laws) – why not institute a tradition that reveres right-handedness?

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Use the right hand for everything: eating, drinking, greeting, lifting, sawing wood, ploughing fields, reading holy books, all that jazz! And just for good measure, reserve the left hand for unpleasant activities like wiping your ass (bare-handed in the case of early Muslims at least)!

Of course that won’t be the whole solution. Suppressing certain forms of sexuality and worship would certainly go into the mix, but controlling people’s handedness could play a subtle yet ridiculously powerful role. And you might want to keep that going by, let’s say, encoding right-hand reverence in religion and culture – and “righting” those who don’t conform.

Maybe even have them earn less money, for reasons beyond your control of course.

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Then hundreds or thousands of years pass, and for the most part people have been successfully programmed into activating their orderly uncreative left hemisphere. You’re one of them, but you’re disillusioned now. You want to make a physical change in your life because it feels shit. You read all these self-help books and tapes and the rest that talk about changing your spiritual state first.

What if, at least for some, that doesn’t work?

What if action & behaviour needs to be changed before any spiritual change can happen?

What kind of change could be made? And what kind of feedback would that give your brain…?

 

Theological musings part 5

It’s now been over three and a half years since I became a murtadd (ex-Muslim). Once again my perspectives on life have shifted and rearranged.

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This is what I believed in back in Part 3:

    • Happiness is the most important goal in life. I reckon Epicurus was on the right lines on how to attain it (though his book is fucking long & boring!!!)
    • All religions are ritualised attempts to meet that goal. Not necessarily a bad thing, as long as we remember that’s all they are and we’re smart enough to accept they work for some and not for others. Unfortunately most religionists aren’t
    • To disbelieve in Divinity just because of the existence of evil & suffering is a cop-out. Divinity is not responsible for evil & suffering, WE ARE! It’s our shit so we clean it up! To be honest I made this conclusion when I was a Muslim but out of my own thinking not from Islam
    • Without exception all religions are a mix of good and shit in differing proportions
    • In the words of Agent Six from Generator Rex, “Know what you want and make it happen. No excuses.”
    • Prioritise this life over any life after death. We know this exists, we can only believe in the hereafter unless & until it happens. If it happens deal with it then. Besides, if the Abrahamic faiths are right, our conduct in this life determines our place in the hereafter so this is still more important
    • Total certainty that we have free will and are therefore co-creators of our own destiny. I say co-creators because other factors influence our destiny as well, e.g. upbringing, language, education, time & place, bodily health/ disability. Predetermination only sets a likely range of paths based on destinies created beforehand, it doesn’t exclude the possibility of new destinies
    • I have the right to address the divinity in any way I want. If I want to be grateful for something I’m happy about, I can. If I want to be effing & blinding ’cause I don’t like something that just happened to me, I can. Yes, I’m saying it’s alright to swear at ‘God’. It’s alright, It can take it
    • Just like religion, gender roles are inventions of human societies. They’re subject to change and can be adopted as-is, inverted, reinvented or ignored as and when it suits an individual
    • Gratitude that I’m not normal
    • Progress only gets made through bold actions. Any mistakes that happen therefrom will be rectified by more bold actions
    • Decisions don’t have to be made with full knowledge. They don’t have to be exactly “the right decision” either. Information can be gathered along the way, and decisions can be changed along the way
    • Law of Attraction
    • Islam is an inherently anti-racist religion. However, that hasn’t stopped Muslims being racist, in the past or now. Even Muhammad’s own grandkids were racially abused for being pure ‘black’ Arabs as opposed to ‘white’ Turks!
    • Regarding sex, mutual pleasure is more important than procreation. If a couple has children via unhappy intercourse, those children likely won’t grow up emotionally functional
    • Justice is spelt R-E-V-E-N-G-E. Revenge is spelt J-U-S-T-I-C-E.
    • Human understanding of divinity is heavily influenced by major historical events, but most especially by our own desires and psychological need for love & protection. There’s also the fact that we ‘need’ to see it as like us. That’s why all religions’ gods have human features like eyes, hands, feet, mouth, etc.
    • Ieshua (Jesus) was a bog-standard normal man. Nothing more, nothing less. Same with all other so-called prophets and demi-gods
    • Heaven & paradise are two different things. Heaven is the sky and outer space, paradise is the way Earth was and is meant to be

The update:

  • (Reminder of something I learned years ago) Emotions are reactions to stimuli. You cannot just be sad, you can only be sad at something. You cannot just be happy, you can only be happy at something. That can be the smell of a honeysuckle, the sight of sunrise, a paper cut, a funeral or just imagining a future possibility, doesn’t matter because the brain and endocrine system react regardless. Therefore it makes sense to be happy by just doing things and putting yourself in environments you know you like. However…
  • Splitting up with my girlfriend has made me understand probably the most important thing in my life: I have never loved myself. I get the concept but I’ve never experienced it. Whether it’s active hatred & criticism or calm neutrality, the effect is identical. I need to be doggedly biased in my own favour and feel the love, to be happy just at who I am regardless of what I do or accomplish.
  • Since a few months ago I also recognise this lack of love as an injury to my brain. From that point my brain automatically set itself to remember each and every such injury in my entire life and  heal them one by one. There could be very literally a million, like a blanket of barbed wire wrapped around my brain, but I’m on my way to healing the root of them all.
  • Instead of focusing on divinity as being outside and independent of me, I’m now finding it helpful to focus on the god within me. Or in this case gods – 2 of them, one female, one male. Yes that means they have humanoid forms but I don’t have to worship them; they’re here to help me.

(Though the male one can be a bit of a bastard. I’m not backbiting, I tell him to his face! LOL.

And I swear he looks familiar…)

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Bastard! Don’t try and make out like you’ve never seen me before!
  • Yahweh and Allah are in a sense both 2 different gods and one & the same. How? The original Jews were polytheists and Yahweh was just one god among many in their pantheon – a god of war, funnily enough. The leader was called El, from which the name Allah is ultimately derived. However, after returning home from the Babylonian captivity in the 6th century BC the Jews collated all the attributes of the different gods into this one Yahweh, making some of their names (including El) alternatives for him and thereby making him supreme. Then they took it further and did away with all the other gods, claiming Yahweh is and always was the one and only! So the root of Judaism, Christianity and Islam is polytheistic, a fact they’ve all kept hidden for thousands of years. In other words, monotheism is just polytheism being ashamed of itself!

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  • My understanding of love & relationships has been FAR too limited. That’s not my fault, that’s due to Western media & the English language itself. It’s well documented that language influences comprehension and perception. Ancient Greeks, on the other hand, categorised different forms of love:

1. “EROS” OR EROTIC LOVE

2. “PHILIA” OR AFFECTIONATE LOVE

3. “STORGE” OR FAMILIAR LOVE

4. “LUDUS” OR PLAYFUL LOVE

5. “MANIA” OR OBSESSIVE LOVE

6. “PRAGMA” OR ENDURING LOVE

7. “PHILAUTIA” OR SELF LOVE

8. “AGAPE” OR SELFLESS LOVE

(Taken from https://lonerwolf.com/different-types-of-love/)

Western films & TV series promote the idea that most to all of these forms can be found in a sexual partner. This is patently wrong. I’ve therefore decided to develop other forms, especially philautia. It is my new religion, if you will.

Based on that I’ve decided it’s time to truly love my uniqueness. Not just like or appreciate, love – my introspection, my thirst for learning, my lust for action, my distaste for recreational drugs, my anti-conventional views, my creativity, etc. Right now the most loving things I can do for myself are eat my fill of food every day and write a new piece – poem, story, film script, theatre script, whatever!

  • Furthermore, I’ve been under the impression that eros is the best type of love and the basis of a functioning relationship. This impression came from the sex-obsessed Western media and sensually deprived culture, but also from Islam ironically! The diyn commands marriage and kids (therefore sex), yet forbids physical touch or social interaction between the sexes beforehand. Bloody hell they’re not that different after all!
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Fuck you Tawny! I’m going to hunt you down, and build a wall round you, then bomb Syria – again!
  • Defining myself as an ex-Muslim is starting to feel boring. You can’t talk about apostasy without talking about what you apostatised from, which for me would mean keeping the diyn at the front of my mind. But I’ve outgrown it, which entails thinking about more important and interesting things.
  • It’s time to start reigning in my anti-spirituality. My intention in becoming materialistic was to counterbalance my overdeveloped spiritual & philosophical instincts. However, it’s pointlessly hard maintaining my standards when trying to get ahead in fields where others set the standards. There’s nothing wrong with having material goals and dreams (e.g. becoming a multi-millionaire), the problem comes from forcing yourself to achieve them in ways that don’t align with your true desires, ways that other people define for you and present as The Way – which is no different from conventional religion. Plans should serve desires, not the other way around.
  • I finally accept that people do care about me. In childhood I always believed that nobody misses me when I’m gone, but fucking hell was I wrong! People actually notice both when I’m there and when I’m not, and wonder where I’ve been! What a pleasant surprise!
  • I have been astoundingly blind to how physically attractive I am. As a kid I knew I was good-looking but didn’t care because I found (almost) everyone on Earth good-looking so what made me different? Not to mention “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” But on road a lot of women and even men (¿!?¡¿!) find it hard to keep their eyes off me. I used to think it was because they were assessing how far I am from their bags so they can keep enough distance – yes ‘white’ and Asian women I do notice. I notice before you even do it. But that may not have been the case as often as I thought…
  • Still not changing my taste in women though.

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  • Still situationist, fallible and liable to change without notice.

2017 is going to be an interesting year.