Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Taoism Served

Taoism Served Image
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The Ancient Dynasties: II

The Hundred Schools of Thought


The Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods, though marked by
disunity and civil strife, witnessed an unprecedented era of cultural prosperity--the "golden age" ( ) of China. The atmosphere of reform and new ideas was attributed to the struggle for survival among
warring regional lords who competed in building strong and loyal
armies and in increasing economic production to ensure a broader base for tax collection. To effect these economic, military, and cultural developments, the regional lords needed ever-increasing numbers of
skilled, literate officials and teachers, the recruitment of whom was based on merit. Also during this time, commerce was stimulated through the introduction of coinage and technological improvements. Iron came into general use, making possible not only the forging of weapons of war but also the manufacture of farm implements. Public works on a
grand scale--such as flood control, irrigation projects, and canal
digging--were executed. Enormous walls were built around cities and along the broad stretches of the northern frontier.

So many different philosophies developed during the late Spring and Autumn and early Warring States periods that the era is often known as that of the Hundred Schools of Thought ( ). From the Hundred Schools of Thought came many of the great classical writings on which Chinese practices were to be based for the next two and one-half millennia.
Many of the thinkers were itinerant intellectuals who, besides
teaching their disciples, were employed as advisers to one or another of the various state rulers on the methods of government, war, and
diplomacy.

The body of thought that had the most enduring effect on subsequent Chinese life was that of the School of Literati (ru or ), often called the Confucian school in the West. The written legacy of the School of Literati is embodied in the Confucian Classics ( -- [LINK],,,,
and from which the period derived its name
), which were to become the basis for the order of traditional society. Confucius (551-479 B.C.),
also called Kong Zi, ( ) or Master Kong, looked to the early days
of Zhou rule for an ideal social and political order. He believed that the only way such a system could be made to work properly was for each person to act according to prescribed relationships. "Let the ruler be a ruler and the subject a subject," ( ) he said, but he added that to rule properly a king must be virtuous. To Confucius, the functions of government and social stratification were facts of life to be
sustained by ethical values. His ideal was the junzi ( or ruler's
son
), which came to mean gentleman in the sense of a cultivated or
superior man.

Mencius (372-289 B.C.), or Meng Zi ( ), was a Confucian disciple
who made major contributions to the humanism of Confucian thought.
Mencius declared that man was by nature good. He expostulated the idea that a ruler could not govern without the people's tacit consent and that the penalty for unpopular, despotic rule was the loss of the
"mandate of heaven."

The effect of the combined work of Confucius, the codifier and
interpreter of a system of relationships based on ethical behavior, and Mencius, the synthesizer and developer of applied Confucian
thought, was to provide traditional Chinese society with a
comprehensive framework on which to order virtually every aspect of life

There were to be accretions to the corpus of Confucian thought, both immediately and over the millennia, and from within and outside the Confucian school. Interpretations made to suit or influence
contemporary society made Confucianism dynamic while preserving a
fundamental system of model behavior based on ancient texts.

Diametrically opposed to Mencius, for example, was the interpretation of Xun Zi ( ca. 300-237 B.C.), another Confucian follower. Xun Zi
preached that man is innately selfish and evil and that goodness is attainable only through education and conduct befitting one's status.
He also argued that the best government is one based on authoritarian control, not ethical or moral persuasion.

Xun Zi's unsentimental and authoritarian inclinations were developed into the doctrine embodied in the School of Law ( or fa), or Legalism.
The doctrine was formulated by Han Fei Zi ( d. 233 B.C.) and Li Si
( [LINK] d. 208 B.C.), who maintained that human nature was
incorrigibly selfish and therefore the only way to preserve the social order was to impose discipline from above and to enforce laws
strictly. The Legalists exalted the state and sought its prosperity and martial prowess above the welfare of the common people. Legalism became the philosophic basis for the imperial form of government. When the most practical and useful aspects of Confucianism and Legalism
were synthesized in the Han period (206 B.C.-A.D. 220), a system of governance came into existence that was to survive largely intact
until the late nineteenth century. Taoism ( ), the second most
important stream of Chinese thought, also developed during the Zhou period. Its formulation is attributed to the legendary sage Lao Zi (
or Old Master
), said to predate Confucius, and Zhuang Zi ( )
(369-286 B.C.). The focus of Taoism is the individual in nature rather than the individual in society. It holds that the goal of life for
each individual is to find one's own personal adjustment to the rhythm of the natural (and supernatural) world, to follow the Way (dao) of the universe. In many ways the opposite of rigid Confucian moralism, Taoism served many of its adherents as a complement to their ordered daily lives. A scholar on duty as an official would usually follow
Confucian teachings but at leisure or in retirement might seek harmony with nature as a Taoist recluse. The Taoist approach to life is
embodied in the classic Dao De Jing ( [LINK] ).

Another strain of thought dating to the Warring States Period is the school of yin-yang ( ) and the five elements. The theories of this
school attempted to explain the universe in terms of basic forces in nature, the complementary agents of yin (dark, cold, female, negative)
and yang (light, hot, male, positive) and the five elements (water, fire, wood, metal, and earth). In later periods these theories came to have importance both in philosophy and in popular belief.

Still another school of thought was based on the doctrine of Mo Zi (
470-391 B.C.?
), or Mo Di. Mo Zi believed that "all men are equal
before God
" and that mankind should follow heaven by practicing
universal love. Advocating that all action must be utilitarian, Mo Zi condemned the Confucian emphasis on ritual and music. He regarded
warfare as wasteful and advocated pacificism. Mo Zi also believed that unity of thought and action were necessary to achieve social goals. He maintained that the people should obey their leaders and that the
leaders should follow the will of heaven. Although Moism failed to
establish itself as a major school of thought, its views are said to be "strongly echoed" in Legalist thought. In general, the teachings of Mo Zi left an indelible impression on the Chinese mind.

Another good source of information about Chinese philosophy on the web can be found in the Chinese Philosophy page by Su Tzu.
"[ [10]Table of Contents [11]Timeline [12]Map of China
[13]Ancient Dynasties [14]Imperial Era ]

References


1. http://www.cnd.org/BIG5/Classics/Philosophers/I Ching-TOC.b5.html
2. http://convex.cc.uky.edu/%7Ejatuck00/Resources/Confucius.html
3. http://www.cnd.org/BIG5/Classics/Philosophers/Meng Zi/
4. http://www.cnd.org/BIG5/Classics/Philosophers/OnLearning.b5.html
5. http://www.cnd.org/BIG5/Classics/Prose/Expelling Guests.b5.html
6. http://www.cnd.org/BIG5/Classics/Philosophers/Zhuang Zi/
7. http://www.chinapage.com/laotze.html
8. http://www.mordor.com/pei/laotze2n.html
9. http://mars.superlink.net/user/fsu/philo.html
10. http://www-chaos.umd.edu/history/toc.html
11. http://www-chaos.umd.edu/history/time line.html
12. http://www-chaos.umd.edu/history/chinamap.gif
13. http://www-chaos.umd.edu/history/ancient1.html
14. http://www-chaos.umd.edu/history/imperial.html

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Agnosticism Nutball Alert Atheist Neil C Reinhardt

Agnosticism Nutball Alert Atheist Neil C Reinhardt Image
I get mail from atheist nutballs too.

Neil C. Reinhardt is officially an Atheist nutball. Anyone who sends me an email offering helpful advice while criticizing all atheists is suspect to begin with. I could tell he was slapping at me because of my unfavorable coverage of the Tea Party. I did not realize he was a rabid Tea Party apologist, although a simple Google search would have confirmed it. Check out Neil C. Reinhardt shows his true colors.

Neil's first email was helpful yet disturbing:


"Hello MoJoey,"

"I like your blog!"

I suggest IF you are not a member of the "Freedom From Religion

Foundation
" you contact them (link below) and get a copy of their great

monthly newspaper "Freethought Today"

It usually has two pages contaning MANY cases of where some member of

the Clergy is doing something illegal and/or wrong.

And of course, IF you are not a member of it, I hope you join as the

more members, the more they can accomplish,.

As you are in the LA area (as I am) and IF your not a member of

"Atheists United", (link below) you may enjoy their monthly meetings

and/or various functions.

I am a member of both to those as well as "American Atheists" (link

below
) and the "Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers" (link

below
)

Sadly, I find MOST Atheists ONLY use rational thought, critical thinking

skills and little things called "Facts" on the existence of one, or more

gods, On nearly any other subject, they, just like the far right

Christians who deny evolution is a fact, simply deny any facts which

prove they are wrong.

At least the Christians have a valid reason for being stupid and denying

facts as they were programmed to do so. The Atheists who do it (and it

is, sadly, MOST Atheists, have NO valid excuse for acting very

stupidily.

I Thank You for your time


Please, Take Care!

Neil C. Reinhardt

310-978-2785


"A 76 year old Pro Iraq War Agnostic Atheist Activist, 101st Airborne

Vet and an Iconoclastic, Philosophizing, Beach VolleyBall Playing

Grumpy Old Son Of A Beach!
"

I really love Nature's Immune Boosting Healing "miracle" I've been

drinking and using topically since September of 1979 when I was 62.

(Studies show Noni Juice boosts your immune system over 150%!

Even after over 13 years of my use, Noni Juice Still, Just Totally

AMAZES Me!"

I read Reinhardt's email and responded with this:


"Hi,"

"Thanks for the email. I'll join the Freedom From Religion foundation. I think I might enjoy the magazine."

"I must admit you are the first Atheist Tea Party member I've ever met. What draws you to them?"

"I'm a libertarian myself and find the Tea Party a bit over the top. "

Instead of answering my question, Reinhardt seized the opportunity and attacked. I love the hasty generalizations.

Hello Mojoey


You are welcome, I just got ffrf's latest

edition yesterday.

MOST Atheists ONLY use Logic, Reason, Knowledge, Facts and Critical

Thinking Skills ON the existence of one. or more gods. On ANY other

subject, MOST Atheists have their heads so far up their asses it is a

wonder they can still breath.

They are either TOO LAZY to get off their ass and do the research to get

sufficient facts to assure they know what they are talking about AND/OR

they are just TOO DUMB to be able to comprehend what the information

they (supposedly) researched

actually means.

Sadly, and based on your comments on the Tea Party, it seems you are a

one of them.

I can assure you there are quite a few CONSERVATIVE Atheists who support the Tea Party's basic tenets. MOST Atheists are TOO LAZY to find out what they are OR to do ANY research into it OR what types of people are Tea Party Supporters

Hell, I will bet YOU have NO clue what the Tea Party's basic tenets even

are and yet here you are making negative comments about them.

Which is VERY SAD!

Being a libertarian is like being a communist for the very simple reason

neither system will ever work in the REAL world where people have

different needs, desires, drives, motivation., etc., etc, Such systems can ONLY work IF EVERY person IN the system agrees to it,will put forth effort to accomplish it AND will be satisfied with the

results.

Such systems are doomed to FAILURE as long as people are the way people

are.

Please, Take Care!

Neil


P.S. In an effort to edify you, I am going to forward some e-mails. One

of which is why I feel I am more qualified to comment on things than

many others are.

Well... At this point I told him I thought he was nuts and asked that he stop corresponding with me. Threats, petty name calling, boasting, and emails attesting to his manly accomplishments soon followed. I made a police report after he threatened to shove a cactus up may ass. I also told him it was unwise to threaten me as I lived just 20 miles away. He and had been kind enough (or dumb enough) to leave his phone number and enough information to figure out where he lived in his emails.

I did not realize he was 76 years old, although it would not have changed my approach. I don't feel bad about egging him on because he is uncivil to the point where I am wondering if he has brain damage. And I did egg him on. It's easy to do the immature and the elderly.

So in answer to some of the questions he's never bother to ask - I'm 50, a vet, and as big as a small bear. I've attended a dozen Tea Party get togethers in several states. I find the movement incomprehensible and anti-intellectual. I also find it overly concerned with the legitimacy of President Obama and focused on Christian social issues. So yes, I've done my homework. The Tea Party is nuts and so are the people who attend the stupid meetings. I made my mind up based on facts and direct observation. The Tea Party is full of your type - angry irrational old men. Now go away. Technorati Tags: Nutballs,Tea Party

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sabians Example Of Pluralism In Islam

Sabians Example Of Pluralism In Islam Image
In the context of Arabia and the time when Islam emerged, Islam adopted a very moderate, pluralistic approach to other religions. This pluralistic, harmonious ideology of Islam was only later hijacked for a number of geo-political reasons. The true spirit of Islam always had ample room to accomodate and even give good news to people of other faith, namely Christians and Jews. Second chapter of Quran has a notable verse on this theme which says: Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Judgement day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve. (The Quran 2.62)

This verse not only give good news to genuine Jews and Christians, but also include another people of faith, namely Sabians. Some scholars argue that the term Sabians are used to accomodate people of different faith other than Judaism and Christianity. Yet other scholars have traced particular religious group known as Sabian that existing pre-Islamic time. The blog, Mavi Boncuk has an interesting article on the Sabians. let me share here.

Evangelical Christians do not read or understand Koran (Quran). Most muslims also do not read and question the information that is in plain sight. The Sabians existed before Muhammad, and are said to have read from a book called the Zabur. The Saabi`ah Hunafa came under Islamic rule about 639 AD. At that time in history they were described as Greek immigrants but were grouped together with the Saabi'ah Mushrikoon Nabataeans.

Under sharia, the Sabians form a protected religious group (along with Christians and Jews).

Many Islamic writers from the period of about 650 CE onward gave further descriptions of the Sabians. They wrote that the Sabians lived in Iraq around Sawad, Kutha and Mosul and they "wash themselves with water" and had "long hair" and "white gowns" [citation needed]. They had a monotheistic faith with religious literature (the Zabur) and acknowledged the prophets. Their theology resembled that of Judaism and Christianity yet were neither, nor were they Magians.

As explained by Muslim historian of the eleventh century, Al Biruni, the Sabians were believed to have been remnants of the Jewish captivity who chose to remain behind in Babylon and practiced a combined religion of Judaism and Zoroastrianism, and claimed descent from Enoch. In their Hermetic literature, Enoch was equated with Hermes, and from their community, and the most famous of the treatise attributed to them, that was to become notorious in the West was the Picatrix.

It is also considered that a set of Sufi treatises, known as the Epistles of the Ikhawan al Saffa wa Kkhullan al Wafa, or of The Brethren of Purity and Loyal Friends, a philosophical and religious encyclopedia, which scholars regard as reflecting elements of Pythagorean, Neoplatonic, and the traditions of the Magi, were drawn up in the ninth century AD, under Sabian influence. It is generally agreed that the Epistles of the Ikhwan as Saffa were composed by leading proponents of the Ismaili sect of the Shiah.

Yazdanism or Cult of Angels (also Yazd^ani or Yazdanism) is a modern term for the monotheistic, though universalist, religion that was practiced by most Kurds up to the Islamization during the sixteenth century. Yazd^anism involved a belief in incarnation as well as 7 angelic beings which defend the world from their equal and opposite number. In Kurdistan a fair estimate still claims yazdanists being close to one third of the population. They are the Sabians of Harran described in Maimonides "Guide for the Perplexed" and mentioned in Bah'a'i writings as Sabeans. The name Yazd^anism derives from the Kurdish word Yazd^an, meaning god or angel.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Religion Belief Story Of My Adorable Sister In Islam

Religion Belief Story Of My Adorable Sister In Islam Image
I always admired the person that searching the truth and finally they found Islam as an absolute truth religion. Their journey such an inspire story to read and hear. It amazing how does Allah shows the way to His servant. Here I would like to share a beautiful story about my sister, who had revert to Islam, her name is Somaiyah.

"I was thinking that I could sum up why I converted so those who are interested may read inshaAllah. I am not married, therefore I didn't convert for any man, which however is a prejudice among other prejudices that most converts convert because their husband happens to be a Muslim. And if so is the case with some, then congratulations and praise be to Allah swt that they found a person on Earth who was used by Allah swt in order to lead the woman to Islam.

Why I converted is deeper than just a personal belief and a feeling, it's not either as a punishment for anyone that I know because I would never do that to somebody and it wouldn't benefit myself either in any way. I started question Christianity already as 15 years old or maybe younger. I wondered why when I read the Bible I found tons of rules that I followed, but I hardly saw any other Christians who followed. And the ones who followed the rules still didn't believe you "had" to follow the rules to go to Heaven, it was more for your own sake to follow the rules. This started my journey in wondering and thinking, and a journey to be able to let go of my little shell of Swedish culture and religion and open up for the whole world and realize that even Christianity is not Swedish from the start and it's not foreign or scary to read about other religions.

I read about all religions, both Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and some small religions in Africa. It was more for my own knowledge's sake, not with the intention to one day just pick a religion and convert. I still believed in Christianity even though I didn't understand these things and even though I had my questions. But no religion of these made sense. You can't believe in more than one God, it's just not possible for me. And you can't build up a religion on nothing or on nonsense without prooves and "just because it feels good and it makes it look more serious". And Islam for me felt scary. I was affected by the prejudices that both people I knew, schools and media taught us. It was all about that Islam is a religion in the Middle East where the men can hit the women, the women are oppressed, the best thing is to blow up a building in the West which is also called jihad, that Allah swt will be born again in form of an egg from a man etc. I wonder today how on Earth I could believe in this nonsense back then? But I didn't let the prejudices overtake me, instead I went to the books and texts of Islam and the explanations in it.

I read and I studied and I searched for an answer on every question and every prejudice that came up in my mind, and when nothing I found was even close to the thing I had been taught I seriously started to wonder. Why is it so that a religion which seems so beautiful is so misunderstood and has so much prejudices in the West? I continued reading, I continued studying, but I didn't just follow blindly. I questioned, I argued with Muslims, I e-mailed different teachers of Islam, I craved an answer on everything I wondered about, every little detail was important for me to understand in order to clear my mind up. And I realized that Muslims are just as different from eachothers as Swedish Christians are.

Some are active, some are practising, some believe, some are just Muslim by name, some have misunderstood, some understand perfectly, some take advantage of their culture, some leave their culture totally and follow the real Islam. How could the West say that all Muslims are in a certain way when they in reality were so individual and different as a people could be? By then I started to wonder what I was doing, how I dared to do like this. I was thinking that it is so stupid to even consider converting because nobody would accept it in my family and I knew no Muslims in real life either who could support.

There were no Muslims in the village where I lived and I don't think that I had even talked to a Muslim for real before that. But I was thinking that it's not the Muslims that shall affect me or that shall be important, it's the religion itself because the religion is perfect but the ones who practice the religion are not perfect and can make mistakes. And with the risk to get Christians against me now, but this is my conversion story and something made me convert logically; the final decision to convert came when I started wonder why Christians believe God is able to make mistakes. God was almighty, I already knew that, then how can He be able to make mistakes according to Christianity? And how do I come to this sollution you may now wonder if you are not a Muslim yourself. It is as simple as that, that God doesn't create Adam and Eve, put up rules that they shall live after, send prophets to the Earth to make the people continue the rules, and then suddenly realize that this didn't work and instead send a son and let all people who just believes in this go to heaven.

Why would God create humanity and put up rules and don't know before that He would suddenly have to send a son in order to clear things up? It's like changing the whole routine of the world, it's not a small thing to do. God could just not make mistakes, and there was an easy explanation in the Quran about this matter and about the claimed crucifiction of the prophet Jesus (ra). The prophet Jesus (ra) was never crucified, another person was taken in his place and God let Jesus come up to heaven without dying. One day Jesus will come back and spread the real word of Islam, not come back as the son of God. The second thought is also about the rules that I followed, but many Christians didn't follow.

I felt that many Muslims didn't follow the rules in the Quran either, but at least they didn't deny them and didn't say that you don't need to follow them in order to go to heaven (some deny and some claim you don't need to, but like I said there are nonpractising almost nonbelieving Muslims too in this world). But why did so many Christians say that the belief itself is the most important and you can live your life however you want as long as you believe and still go to heaven? It didn't make sense to me because for me there shall be rules that you follow if you follow a certain religion. Your country or culture shall never go before the religion and if the culture or the country has something against the religion, then it's the religion you shall follow and not the opposite. So why are there rules in the Bible but so many Christians said that when Jesus came you didn't have to follow the rules anymore because he took it away, even though according to the New Testamente in the Bible Jesus himself is supposed to have said "I didn't come to take away the law"? Isn't it then clear that we shall still have followed the rules from the Old Testamente or at least not deny them?

But humanity isn't stupid, humans aren't stupid. And we are not less intelligent today than the persons who lived 4000 years ago. If the persons before the prophet Jesus (ra) came to Earth could live after rules that God almighty had put up for them, then sure we can live after the same rules today. Life doesn't become easier through the rules, but it becomes more fair, more right and more secure from the rules. And humanity isn't stupid to follow rules, God would never have to take the rules away, we already follow hundreds of rules within every country and change the rules when we visit another country. It's only bad excuses to not follow rules that we simply don't like or feel uncomfortable with. Specially these two thoughts, that God can't make mistakes and that there is no logical explanation to why the rules were taken away for some but not everyone, made me feel that Islam is the true religion and that it's a Muslim I should be instead.

Every year there are many persons who join Islam and who face different kinds of difficulties. It's like Allah swt says in the Quran chapter 29 verse 2: "Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they "will not be tried?" We shouldn't follow a religion just because our parents or our family do, even the first Muslims were converts and their families were against their decision. We are being tried and we have to deal with the problems in having a different faith and living a different way than what the majority of people and family find normal and most common. But who do we fool if we follow our family and not the true path, our family or ourselves? For indeed it's only you who will be judged for "your" actions on the Day of Judgment.

If you don't stand up for who you are and become a Muslim because you are afraid for what people will say, think or do, then it's only you who take the damage in this life and in the hereafter. We are many in the same situation, if some can then inshaAllah everyone can. Even back in the days people in the prophet Mohammad's (saaws) time said that they rather followed the religion of their families and fathers, than to take a new religion even though the message was so clear for them. The Quran 2:170 "And when it is said to them, "Follow what Allah has revealed," they say, "Rather, we will follow that which we found our" fathers doing." Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided?" In the start I hid my conversion for seven months. Though every day it became harder and harder to not be able to be the one I wanted to be.

I couldn't dress modesty enough, couldn't pray, couldn't eat the right food, couldn't study Islam whenever I felt for, couldn't read the Quran in tranquility without fearing someone might come and find out I am no longer a Christian. The summer the same year a few months after my conversion was the worst for me. I felt the pressure of dressing like everyone else, bathing and sunning like everyone else, and people asked what's wrong but I couldn't tell them the truth. My chance came when I could move to my own apartment when I was going to start study on university after the summer.

Still I wasn't brave enough to be an active Muslim and I was also not having much energy for the practising of Islam because of my fear for telling the people around me that I am a Muslim. It was eating me up from the inside, the fear and the nervous mind and feelings. So one day, two months after I had moved out, I made the decision to take on the hijab. I had been praying five times a day for a while and everytime I prayed I felt stronger and stronger, believe me the prayer makes you incredibly strong in faith and confidence. After I took on the hijab I knew I couldn't go back, I didn't want to and I never wanted to go back. I only wanted to go further, go on the right path, and be the Muslim I for so long time had wanted to be. And thanks to Allah swt I could finally be free."

I'm proud of you my sister. You are an example to all the Muslim and non-Muslim women. With your manners, worship, smile, even when you are walking down the street, you are an example to everyone and you will indeed inspire many people, without even saying a word. I'll make du'a, may Allah bless you and purify you my sister in Islam. You've found the right way, alhamdulillah. I love you sister,for sake of Allah and Rasulullah.

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