« So let it be written. So let it be done. - TTG | Main | FICTION ONLY : Voodoo Creek (excerpt 1/2) »

05 December 2015


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


a french study during their occupation of algeria, found there to be thousands of sufi brotherhoods in Algeria.

modernization in the middle east has basically meant the destruction of the sufi organization in the imposition of anticlerical governments(something very very very different than the word used for it"secular nationalism)


"navel-gazing Hindu practices"... "mysticism like that of Rumi" ... "paganism"

All good stuff from my point of view, Babak :)

One (of the many) philosophical advantages of being a polytheist is that I no longer have to deal with the "one and many problem. ;)

It's also easier to be a realist...
“This notion of divine omnipotence was responsible for the demise of realism.” - The Theological Origins of Modernity, by Michael Allen Gillespie

Sakka asked the Buddha: "Do different religious teachers head for the same goal or practice the same disciplines or aspire to the same thing?"

"No, Sakka, they do not. And why? This world is made up of myriad different states of being, and people adhere to one or another of these states and become tenaciously possessive of them, saying, 'This alone is true, everything else is false.' It is like a territory that they believe is theirs. So all religious teachers do not teach the same goal or the same discipline, nor do they aspire to the same thing.

"But if you find truth in any religion or philosophy, then accept that truth without prejudice."
-Digha Nikaya


"...failed navel-gazing Hindu practices..."

Yoga is doing just fine, thank you! Virtually every strip mall along the coasts has a Yoga center. If that is a failure, I wonder what you call success :)

Babak Makkinejad

Some day perhaps you could tell us why you find Buddhism attractive in lieu of something that is much closer to your own tradition, Stoicism.

Babak Makkinejad

Success would be something like the Catholic Church, the longest existing human construct; it has engaged with the world over 2000 years and at times has altered it - and it is still responding to the world and actively engaging with it both emotionally and rationally.

Yoga - from Yoke - "Yugh" in Persian.

Men are not oxen.


Sorry, here I do not get your argument:

Classic Latin was not understood by most people, this includes "Latin" countries like Italy and Spain. Even there a translation would have been necessary for a bringing the bible to the people.

IMHO it was about the implications a translation would have, translation includes always interpretation, the core business/competence of the Roman Catholic Church.

The reasons that the Catholic Church survived in southern countries must have been others IMHO.


I have deep sympathies with Stoicism... that's very perceptive of you. I'm a big fan of Marcus Aurelius. But I'm also a bit of a Hedonist as well... I'm a happy stoic ;) Regarding Buddhism... there's definitely a strong thread of stoicism that underlies it. Many of the practices for developing detachment require an attitude of stoicism to pursue.

The truth is Babak, that I find wisdom, beauty and truth in many spiritual philosophies and have absorbed bits and pieces from different sources into my own path. Overall I quite like many aspects of the eastern religious philosophies, which have had a long time to develop/evolve and be "tested"... Hinduism, Buddhism, and most especially Taoism (which also has qualities of stoicism, as it promotes the importance of "perseverance" as one walks their Path or Way).


In Vedic Sanskrit, yoga (from the root yuj) means "to add", "to join", "to unite", or "to attach" in its most common literal sense. By figurative extension from the yoking or harnessing of oxen or horses, the word took on broader meanings such as "employment, use, application, performance" (compare the figurative uses of "to harness" as in "to put something to some use".

Pre-philosophical speculations of yoga begin to emerge in the texts of c. 500–200 BCE. Between 200 BCE–500 CE philosophical schools of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism were taking form and a coherent philosophical system of yoga began to emerge

Babak Makkinejad

Say no more Valissa; our resident Danish Hedonist Intellectual ...

I do not know about others, but I feel that I have missed an opportunity several decades ago....


Namaste, Babak



I am ashamed that I haven't even heard of the Ahmadis. Theirs truly are the clean offerings

Blessed be their memory for now and all eternity!


yep, the real father of the Pakistani Nuclear program was Abdus-Salaam, the Ahmadi.

Question: What do they call experts on Islam and Islamic culture? "Islamist" has been preempted by another meaning.

Those that are familiar with Arab culture and language are still called "Arabists." They are disfavored by the likes of Kagan-Nuland, Douglas Feith, and the rest of the NeoKons b/c they were sympathetic to the Arabs. Under the NeoCons, loyalty/sympathy is to Israel only.


yep, but all men and women, to one degree or another, seek to unite with "the ultimate ground of being." some call that being atman, the buddha mind, God, Jesus, Tengrit, Deus, Deus Pater (Jupiter), Wotan-Odin- etc.

The Beaver


At one point in time, they were known also as the Orientalists. However, it is laughable to see that label being used by some from Academia or journos who haven't even been in some of those countries, let alone know the culture or language.


As an Iranian American Muslim who has frequented Shia and Sunni mosques over the years, I have to say I've never even heard of hostility towards translating the Qur'an. Same goes for my understanding of the view in Iran. I can't speak for other places though.



If you have never heard of Sunni hostility to Qur'an translation you haven't been paying attention. I don't know as much about Iran and Shia attitudes about this but I have been in the ME business for 40 years and have always known about this phenomenon among Sunnis. "Translating the Quran has always been problematic and difficult. Many argue that the Quranic text cannot be reproduced in another language or form." wiki on Quran




re: Difficulty translating the Quran:

I would add that a text like that generally, even translated, cannot be properly understood without learned commentray and explanation, especially for those coming from a different religious background.

I own a commented Quran translation by Theodore Khoury.

The need for learned commentary and explanation is just as necessary with the laws of man.

Literalists are IMO either frauds or fools or both.

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad