#ThoughtExperiment – The Tall Monkeys / 06.03.17

Imagine a group of monkeys in an enclosure…

They are all dressed in costumes of varying appearance and quality

The enclosure is full of possessions

These possessions are distributed unequally

Naturally

Some monkeys have managed to acquire more elaborate costumes and more possessions than others

When you look at the monkeys

Perhaps you admire the monkey’s craftiness or strength,

Evident in the means it used to acquire more possessions

(…or perhaps you don’t?)

But in the grand scheme of things, it’s just a monkey with more things than the other monkeys

And maybe next week another monkey will have taken some of these things away from it

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You do not judge one with more possessions as any ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than any of the others

(…do you?)

black and white monkey photo
Photo by warriorwoman531

No, if you were to make such a judgement

You would try to do this by a glimpse into its character

…insofar as you can get to know the character of an ape by observing it for a few minutes through the glass or bars of an enclosure.

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Don’t underestimate anyone

Conversely

Don’t overestimate anyone

Because in many ways,

We’re not so different from these monkeys

Though we do have slightly cooler stuff and more sophisticated explanations of the status quo.

Cover Photo by wwarby

#Poem – One Day The Universe Will Ask You For Your Energy Back / 12.03.17

We are not separate
You and I
We are just separated
From time to time
In space and time.

And in the grander scheme of things
This is just a brief severance
The awareness in lacuna
Glimpsed and so quickly forgotten again.

And,
There is some spot
You can neither see
Nor predict
On time’s horizon
A singular destination in which
We are all due one day.

You can never know
What it is,
Where it is,
Or when you’ll get there
But one day you will
And you and I will be reunited for good.

Photo by hjzla

#Idea – Islam / “The Devil Can Cite Scripture For His Purpose” / 12.03.17

These days, many label Muslims who choose not to interpret Islam in the politically correct manner as ‘Islamists’.
Perhaps to get around the sensitive issue that they are still Muslims
Just interpreting the Quran in a different way

Interpretation is the issue here
Most every extreme stance an ‘Islamist’ takes
Or extreme act that they commit
Can be justified by what is written in the Quran.
i.e: most of the time they aren’t making this stuff up,
There is an ayah (‘verse’) that can be interpreted in favour of the massacre
(…and quite often another ayah that contradicts it)
Don’t believe me? Take a look in the book yourself.

Perhaps it is worth considering
When the entire basis of a belief system
Stems from what parts
Of a single archaic and self contradictory text
You choose to interpret
Who or what can be said to be ‘right’?

article critical of islam - mosque black and white
Disregard doctrine, acquire aesthetics

It is a simple matter of justification
And as long as it is written down there somewhere
You can justify it
Just ignore the contrary passages and plough on
(…and people do)

This brings up another point,
You can’t really practice Islam or Christianity by the book
Because the book fucking contradicts itself.
This is perhaps why we call it a ‘belief system’
Instead of a ‘reality system’.

And this is the problem with any cause (i.e religion)
That argues from an infallible position
Refusing to examine itself critically
Yes, an old cliche
But this inability to entertain or practice self doubt
Is the difference between science and fanaticism
Put another way, if you ‘know’ you’re right
What’s the point in second guessing your actions?
You’re right, after all.

Is reform an answer?
I don’t know
I am not an expert on theological law, nor a Muslim.
If Islam reforms itself to better a fit an inclusive, post global worldview – will/can it still be Islam?
Islam means ‘submission’.
It is full of verses that remind its followers to spread the faith by any means
Any means
Yes, you can be a moderate Muslim and ignore these verses
But this, by its very definition, isn’t practicing Islam ‘by the book’
So, really, to change this, you’d have to literally have to throw out the book
(…disregarding the my point above it is impossible to follow something with total fidelity that contradicts itself)

article critical of islam - quran in black and white
Image Credit: Pexels

Think about this word, ‘fundamentalist’
You cannot be a fundamentalist without fundamentals
And, whatever you think about the ‘Islamist’ fundamentalists, they are NOT hypocrites
Sure, we may not agree with them
(…I know I don’t)
But they’re just doing what it says in the book
(…or should I say, in some parts of the book)

Will such a worldview as it is now even survive in the long term?
Who knows?
…what does history teach us?

Cover Image Credit: Thinhan

#Idea – The Epiphany Usually Comes Later / 03.03.17

Whatever you are currently experiencing
(…no matter how good, or how bad)
May be the basis of a future epiphany.
(…or it may not).

Put another way, everything is valuable because when you later reflect upon it, it could change your life.
You only get to find out later.

As in everything; your future is unknowable.
And this too will pass.