Monthly Archives: July 2011

Search for a real peaceful world

Comments from Nusrat

This is only possible if all mankind are sincere in their effort and they all have to try irrespective of who they where they what they are, this needs education and for that again we all will have to try our best so these some of the steps which are a prerequisite for a peaceful world. Another vital aspect is the courage to call a spade a spade, we all man kind have to grow far above a level to except hypocrisy at any cost and say no to corruption and exploitation of weak in all its manifestations.

Search for Ways to ensure a Placid World full of Peace and Tranquility

In order to start a true search for the ways to ensure peace in the world one needs to have a quick glance over the etymology of knowledge, the “Epistemology”, the origin, nature, limits and validity of knowledge. In the Western secular tradition if we trace from Kant, a German philosopher (1724-1804) he turns to an examination of inquiring mind and its essential limitation, he is of the view “as for knowledge, it arises through experience only, except for a priory insight concerning our own rational equipment itself”, and this is the subject in nutshell of the Critique of Pure Reason. Later we note an over ridding influence of Comte, a French professor (1798-1857) the founder of Positivism, altogether rejecting all a priori knowledge where sense experience is taken to be the only source of all valid knowledge. It believes that sense experience alone yields knowledge of all the reality that there is. The real is observable and thus observable alone is the real, giving birth to secularism and skepticism, widely visible in writings of Bertrand Russell; his Skeptical Essays.

Winding up really a vast discussion due to paucity of space, one can conclude that there seems to be no place for spiritual, invisible world behind or beyond the visible one. Unfortunately Western tradition not only separates reason from revelation and intuition, but altogether rejects them as valid sources of knowledge. Secular culture is thus a culture born, as it were, exclusively of the eye, devoid of the vale of an inner perception. It claims to be based on purely objective, value-free knowledge. It recognizes science as the only valid source of the knowledge of things material, and the senses as the gateway of all this knowledge. Science, as we know is concerned with the sensate. But to reduce all reality to the sensate is not truly scientific. Such an attitude should be called scientism; for it makes science the standard of all knowledge and that is a narrow-minded and highly arbitrary view of knowledge. The sooner one can get rid of it better it is for arriving at a true knowledge of the world as an a priori creation of a transcendent power. Aim of generating this discussion is to reach a more realistic view of knowledge which can re-introduce us to the true knowledge with its actual Creator.

Science, doubtlessly, is one of the greatest achievements of the human mind. But it should not be allowed to degenerate into scientism which, by rejecting revelation and intuition as valid sources of knowledge, has rendered man spiritually homeless. A reason east, the Orient was associated with a kind of magical and intuitive culture, coupled with wisdom completely opposite to the west, the Occident. However, rightly so one will find a little different meaning in the modern day dictionaries as is the case with the ground realities having reversed, a phenomenon which plays a major role in the process of development of languages.

The kind of problems we seek to discuss might appear a little remote and getting theoretical due to our getting into analysis of how the very concept of knowledge kept taking different genre with the passage of time. However it is necessary to register a clear decay in every culture which is vitally linked to a certain epistemology which provides it a body of knowledge regarding the universe and man. It is this knowledge that determines man’s attitude towards his own self and the universe as well as his place in the universe in addition to laying down the norms to which his thought and behavior must conform. All beliefs, ideals and values – sacral or secular – are based on the world-view that emanates from the fund of knowledge at the disposal of a community. This amounts to saying that knowledge is the root of culture while culture is the fruit of knowledge. As the knowledge to a society is, so is the culture based on it. The value of a culture is judged by the type of individuals it produces and the type of society it establishes. It is not enough for man to be born and to exist merely in physical sense. He ought to become a human being in the true sense of the term through a cultural birth, by the inculcation of knowledge along with the beliefs, ideals and values that knowledge carries with it. The primary fact about man is that he is not only a social but also a cultural being.

For whatever purposes other creatures might have been brought into being, man has been created primarily to know what is true and good and to order his life accordingly. One cannot choose and attain goodness unless one knows what it is. Knowledge is also power – it is a great cultural force. It controls human ides and actions, paves the way for moral struggle leads to the growth of a strong moral conscience which is the source of all good action. The most important point to be noted here is that the knowledge which makes man a truly good man can not be left to be determined by one’s reason or to depend on his personal likes and dislikes or on his opinions regarding what is beneficial to the society as a whole.

Let’s not forget knowledge, though necessary, is not the sufficient condition of virtue. What ensures the choice of good is not mere knowledge, but knowledge coupled with sound feeling. It is this feeling which provides the motive power needed for voluntary righteous action. In his zeal to provide morality with a purely rational basis, Socrates replaced feeling by intellect. He completely eliminated the role of feeling or heart in volition. He thus demolished the edifice of conventional morality alright, but failed to reconstruct it on an exclusively rational basis to fill in the resultant void. No wonder that he was accused of corrupting the Athenian youth and a cup of poison sealed his fate.

Just as knowledge is a means to attain virtue and to gain power over one’s own self; it is also a tool for gaining power over Nature (afaq) and for harnessing its stupendous forces to the service of man. But the knowledge that leads to self-conquest and that which leads to the conquest of Nature are not the same. There are two kinds of knowledge: the knowledge of what is morally good for man and the knowledge of what is materially useful for him. The former is the prerogative of religion and is obtained through revelation; the latter is the privilege of science, the product of inductive intellect which, in Dr. Iqbal’s view, was made self-conscious by the recurrent appeal of the Qur’an to reason and experience. (Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam-page 101) Since the knowledge of what is materially useful is essential for man as is the knowledge of what is morally good, he needs both science and religion for steering him through life in this world. What he needs is not science unconcerned with religion, but science guided by religious values. Conversely, what he requires is not religion without science and philosophy, but religion given intellectual content, wherever possible, by science as well as philosophy, without doing violence to its spiritual content. Western science tends to be positivistic and atheistic. It is also claimed to be value-free. All this poses a threat to the continuance of life on earth unless it is tempered with the high ideals and values propounded by religion. Culture does not merely comprise virtue or self-conquest, nor merely power or conquest of Nature; it is rather an organic integration of the two; a happy blending of science and religion. Man is neither mere body nor mere spirit; rather he is an embodied spirit. The knowledge which can adequately answer the needs of this complex of body and spirit has to be the knowledge in which science and religion are completely harmonized.

Today we have just started a search, the first step, might become a giant leap! With the help of God and valued contribution of my august readers we will be able to discern the truth which alone can lead us into a real placid world full of peace and tranquility. Please do enrich this humble endeavor with your precious comments. Must click “Leave a comment” at the bottom right corner, please do send comments on last two posts as well if you could spare some more time for a noble cause which might save us and our coming generations from some catastrophe, with so many already over heads

looming around.

How from a Teacher Flows a kind of Life-But it depends who is the student

Reflections of one of my students-Raheel Waqar 

Words of Wisdom

Sitting in the Geography class in school, I remember how fascinated I was when we were being taught all about the Dead Sea .

As you probably recall, the Dead Sea is really a Lake , not a sea (and as my Geography teacher pointed out, if you understood that, it would guarantee 4 marks in the term paper!) It’s so high in salt content that the human body can float easily. You can almost lie down and read a book! The salt in the Dead Sea is as high as 35% – almost 10 times the normal ocean water. And all that saltines has meant that there is no life at all in the Dead Sea . No fish. No vegetation. No sea animals. Nothing lives in the Dead sea . And hence the name: Dead Sea .
While the Dead Sea has remained etched in my memory, I don’t seem to recall learning about the Sea of Galilee in my school Geography lesson. So when I heard about the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea and the tale of the two seas – I was intrigued. As it turns out the Sea of Galilee is just north of the Dead Sea . Both the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea receive their water from river Jordan . And yet, they are very, very different.
Unlike the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee is pretty, resplendent with rich, colorful marine life. There are lots of plants and lots of fish too. In fact, the Sea of Galilee is home to over twenty different types of fishes. Same region, same source of water, and yet while one sea is full of life, the other is dead. How come?
Here apparently why. The River Jordan flows into the Sea of Galilee and then flows out. The water simply passes through the Sea of Galilee in and then out –
and that keeps the Sea healthy and vibrant, teeming with marine life. But the Dead Sea is so far below the mean sea level, that it has no outlet.
The water flows in from the river Jordan , but does not flow out. There are no outlet streams. It is estimated that over 7 million tons of water evaporate from the Dead Sea every day. Leaving it salty, too full of minerals and unfit for any marine life.
The Dead Sea takes water from the River Jordan, and holds it. It does not give. Result? No life at all.
Think about it.
Life is not just about getting. It’s about giving. We all need to be a bit like the Sea of Galilee . We are fortunate to get wealth, knowledge, love and respect.
But if we don’t learn to give, we could all end up like the Dead Sea . The love and the respect, the wealth and the knowledge could all evaporate. Like the water in the Dead Sea . If we get the Dead Sea mentality of merely taking in more water, more money, more everything, the results can be disastrous.
Good idea to make sure that in the sea of your own life, you have outlets. Many outlets. For love and wealth – and everything else that you get in your life. Make sure you don’t just get, you give too ————————-

A Search for Ways to Ensure Peace in the World

let’s see so many intelligent people, if reading, this join hands in an endeavor to look for ways to ensure a really peaceful world, free of hatred, exploitation, injustice and treachery in all its manifestation, a few to mention. We can do it though it is a challenge, man has no history of any such movement as all such movements too were for some ulterior motive or the other, resulting in colossal bloodshed and gave man no peace. But we believe “Since the time immemorial man is gaining intelligence……..” then why is it so that we are day by day getting closure to disasters in one form or the other, may it be wars, terrorism, dictators in disguise even natural calamities too are on the increase. We are also faced with if global warming on one hand the ozone layer on the other. Why is that nature too seems to be as hostile with every passing year as we ourselves as mankind are slowly heading towards a hostility which can result into catastrophes much greater than even world wars and barbaric incidents like Boer War. Let’s seriously and sincerely ponder over this dilemma, if man is committed can reach the moon why can’t we reach a solution that saves our beloved home we all share, we call world. I would just complete the above dictum to make our job a little easier, “Since the time immemorial man is gaining intelligence but not wisdom”. Hoping to see us all rise to this necessity with wisdom as this is the only path to our salvation.
with best wishes for all those who love peace and are ready to mobilize their minds for a start, any other kinds of mobilization we see all over the world only results in more bloodshed, which is what we are aiming to stop.
Tariq Razi. Islamabad Jul 09, 2011