Category Archives: Musings & personal opinions

In the name of God/s, part 11: Zoroastrianism

Apologies to you all for taking so long to do a new post. I’ve recently had to make a lot of changes in my personal life, as a result of which I will only be able to post no more than once a month. Nevertheless please enjoy as I still have many post ideas, and if there are any subjects you’d like me to write about please share with me in the comments.

Now on with the post: 

  • Founder/s: Zarathustra (sometimes spelt Zarathushtra) Spitara, more commonly known in the West as Zoroaster
  • Approximate age: 3500-4000 years, definitely preceded Judaism
  • Place of origin: Persia (Iran & western Afghanistan)
  • Holy book/s: Avesta
  • Original language of holy book/s: Avestan Persian, aka. Zend
  • Demonym of adherents: Zoroastrians/ Zarathustrians
  • Approximate number of current global adherents: 124-190,000
  • Place of worship name/s: dar-e-mehr, fire temple, fire house, atash gah, agiyari

Note: other names of this religion are Mazdayasna, Zarathustraism, Mazdaism, Magianism & Behdin. Continue reading In the name of God/s, part 11: Zoroastrianism

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Celebrate good times!

This is officially a landmark. I’ve now passed the 4th anniversary of my irtidad. Yes, it is now over 4 years since I left Islam!

Allahu la akbar! (Allah is not greatest) Continue reading Celebrate good times!

Stand up to bigotry, even from your own!

Not too long ago (18th August to be exact) something out of the ordinary happened. On my way home on the bus a ‘black’ lady, I’d guess in her early 20s, was getting harrassed by a ‘black’ guy, maybe early-mid 30s, who kept walking back and forth up the bus. Let’s call him Dumbshit. Continue reading Stand up to bigotry, even from your own!

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.

 

 

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…?