“When someone preaches hatred against another, discount it, and, if you have the opportunity, go to them and tell them ‘please don’t talk about other people.’ Those who talk about others don’t have something [good] to present themselves… Please do yourself a favor. When you hear labeling, you need to be more intelligent than the label. You need to rise above it and tell yourself whatever good is coming from this person I will take it; whatever bad is coming, I will discount it” — Mufti Ismail ibn Musa Menk.
Today we are faced with the pressure to be ever more morally pure, or morally virginal — to have never have thought a bad thought, or to have any depth of understanding of anything with which we disagree (and therefore compassion for anyone we might disagree with). Even at universities, it seems, if a book contains a hundred good ideas and one bad one, it is considered unreadable, and must be denounced. Continue reading “Take the Good. Leave the Bad”
“without knowing Words, it is impossible to know men” — The Analects of Confucius.
As human beings, we developed language to be able to express the truth, at least as we understood it. By truth, I mean both facts themselves, and ideas or thoughts that helped the individual or, more especially, the society. Not — in regard to ancient, tribal society — just that bull over there, but what would be needed to hunt and kill it for food.
Yet, the more sophisticated we have become, the more we have been able to use words to fool people, and, indeed, the more we have come to be fooled by them — willingly fooled, I believe. Continue reading “Daily Meditation: The Words We Use Against Us”
“I shall not go to the polls. I have not registered. I believe that democracy has so far disappeared… that no ‘two evil’ exist. There is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I can do or say,” said W.E.B. Dubois in 1956.
The political spectrum is generally conceived of in one of two ways:
One, as a line stretching from the far-Left at one end to the far-Right at the other end. In this model, to get from one end to the other an individual has to cross over the buffer zones of the mainstream Left and Right to get from one extreme to the other.
Two, more sophisticated thinkers conceive of it as a sort of color wheel, where the extreme Left and Right actually meet up, just like the mainstream Left and Right. Advocates of this view point out that while the Republican Party is staunchly pro-capitalism, the far-Right, like the far-Left, tends to be anti-capitalist. It can also be more opposed to war, and more critical of Israel, again, making it (the far-Right) closer to the far-Left. Continue reading “There’s No Left and Right, Only the Lower and Higher Man”