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Some Recent Thoughts

The presence of thought in the universe is a revolt against the mineral nature of everything else. Since thought is an absurd leap into the unknown, it naturally allies itself with optimism, with faith.

The divine, though it generates us and feeds us, hides itself from us behind a mask of obviousness, banality—or behind a mask of absence, so we might perceive ourselves to be independent and develop our own sense of mastery, figuring it out for ourselves, earning the Kingdom, making it our own.

There are those who doubt the universe is “evolving” because they see this as an optimistic assumption, anthropomorphizing the Absolute and projecting our hope onto it. What arrogance, they say, to imagine we are drawing any closer! Yet the whole of human endeavor is this nonsensical desire to unite with the divine, to know the Absolute.

Intelligence is the divine ray, understanding is its vessel.

Words are not enough. Actions are better. A language of perfect gestures would not need words.

Thought is always slightly larger than the things it contains.

“Since the Absolute is concealed, it is the root of faith and the root of rebellion”—Azriel of Gerona, Jewish, 13th century.

Faith says, “Though the Absolute is concealed, I know it is present.” Rebellion says, “I can’t perceive it, so I deny it exists.” Concealment is a test of character. When the evidence could go either way—it is revealed but hidden, observable only by its effects—do we choose to believe, or to disbelieve? Concealment is what gives us the option to choose.

Comments

Comment from amre El-abyad
Time: July 1, 2007, 12:04

“The presence of thought in the universe is a revolt against the mineral nature of everything else. Since thought is an absurd leap into the unknown, it naturally allies itself with optimism, with faith.”

Beautifully phrased, I have always thought that the mere existance of thought testifies to the presence of god……………………..

Welcome back! that is a great post. I believe in the absolute, although i find it sometimes intetresting to rebel. I think that quantum mechanics contains all the secrets………….

Comment from Kenza
Time: July 1, 2007, 21:03

beautiful post
”Concealment is what gives us the option to choose” and that is the beauty of it… otherwise it would have been boring and not very interesting

and like Amr I do find it interesting to rebel, it is a way to see if you’ll stay a rebelious or come back with a stronger faith

by the way, I moved to a new blog : http://www.murmures.net
hope to see you there :)

Comment from eatbees
Time: July 2, 2007, 13:48

@Amre, Kenza — Welcome rebels!

I have a friend who doesn’t like the phrase “Concealment is a test of character,” which reminds him of an old fqih talking in a mosque. But I’m not claiming that a believer has a stronger character than a rebel. Indeed Camus (who I’m reading) would say precisely the opposite—that it is our duty to remain in the rebellious state, rather than accept the comforting notion of an Absolute for which we have no evidence. But then again, aren’t we ourselves (since we are thinking beings, as Amre says) evidence for the Absolute?

Kenza, I almost wish you hadn’t invited me to read your new blog, because now I’m depressed, having read your account of several young people (and a 72-year-old man) thrown in prison in Morocco for expressing their views. I guess the authorities are nervous this summer, what with the pending elections and all. The tragedy is that those who rebel in youth are often the best citizens later, because their conscience is awake. And let us not forget that expression, assembly and the rest are fundamental rights that delegitimize any power that denies them.

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