Great Time Magazine Article about Speaking

I haven’t posted in a while but I came across this Time magazine online article and hope it will be as beneficial to you guys out there as it was to me. God bless.

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A wise Arab proverb says, “Every war begins with words.”

In the teachings of Islamic spirituality there is much that is written about the importance of restraining the tongue. The tongue is called “the mirror of the heart.” In other words, what appears on our tongue is a chief indicator of what is in our hearts. And, this becomes even truer in those unguarded moments when anger, frustration, or stress gets the best of us and our tongues lose any sense of discipline.

This is, perhaps, why the Prophet Muhammad said that one of the ways of knowing if there is hypocrisy in our hearts is to examine what we say with our tongues when we become angry. If it is foul and vile words, then that is a measure of how much purification of the heart remains.

The masters of Islamic spirituality teach that the heart and the tongue have a two-way relationship. Even though the tongue is the mirror whereas the heart is the reality, if we work on polishing the mirror the reality also becomes polished with time and effort.

So, what does it mean to work on the tongue? It means struggling within ourselves to restrain the tongue from all that is corrupt and ugly, like one would pull back a wild horse, and to train the tongue in the speech of goodness and beauty.

The sages and scholars of Islamic spirituality warn that the tongue should be guarded from the following 8 types of speech: lying; breaking promises or oaths; speaking ill of others or slandering; wrangling, arguing and disputing with others without any clear benefit or when you fear it will get out of hand; self-justification or self-praise in a way that leads to arrogance; cursing or using foul language; invoking evil on creatures even if they are your worst enemies; jesting, ridiculing, and scoffing at people in a way that hurts people’s feelings or gives them a bad reputation – this is even worse when this type of speech is directed toward an entire community of people.

Each one of these has their specific descriptions and treatments, but in summary there are five steps that we can take to become more aware of our speech and to polish our tongues, according to the spiritual teachers:

1) Knowledge: Just be aware of the 8 types of speech that you should avoid. Knowledge leads to introspection and introspection leads to reform. When you notice any of these ailments on your tongue, take yourself to task and work to change you condition.

2) Silence: The Prophet Muhammad said that “anyone who believes in God and the Last Day should either speak well or remain silent.” Silence is golden, so goes the saying. Thinking before you speak is the key. One of the great sages of Islam and Caliph after the Prophet Muhammad would place a small stone underneath his tongue and move it to speak only after considering whether what he had to say was truly beneficial. This might be too difficult of a practice for many of us, but it goes to show how seriously silence was taken among the spiritual elite.

3) Fasting: Increase your days of fasting, for fasting by its nature teaches restraint.

4) Change your surrounding: Keeping good company and keeping yourself busy with good things so that your tongue finds very little opportunity to engage in baseless conversations.

5) Remembering the Divine: Cloaking your tongue with the beautiful names of God and the praise of those names will make your tongue to incline toward that which is beautiful and wholesome. Eventually, ugly speech will be completely antithetical and unnatural to a tongue that is used to beauty.

The remaining days of Ramadan are perfect days to intensify our practice of cultivating a disciplined tongue. These are not only the days of peak restraint but also of increasingly remembering God, seeking forgiveness and longing for salvation.

Original article at: http://time.com/3014362/ramadan-day-25-restraining-the-tongue/

Language and the Cultural Conscience

I’ve found that, especially pertaining to spiritual matters, translations between language loose the very essence of their meaning. For example din in Arabic is often translated to as “faith” or “religion” when it fact it means something closer to “the way you live your life in accordance to your spiritual beliefs” and contains many underlying connotations and cultural understandings that cannot be understood by people who are not intimately familiar with the culture. You see each place and people has a CULTURAL CONSCIOUSNESS from which they naturally draw much of their understanding and experience of the world. The negative here is that it causes people to be very ETHNOCENTRIC. ~Jones

Religion according to me: GENESIS part 2

God created FREE WILL, because He has free will and he wanted to share that with another creation. He made the djinn, among whom was Lucifer, who was the proudest of them all. These beings were made of smokeless flame. Energy. Then God decided He wanted to create a being from a PHYSICAL material, and so He created Adam from the the wet earth. And then He commanded all of the angels and djinn to bow before Adam, His new creation.

Now, the angel have no free will, they are instruments of God’s perfect will. And so all of them bowed.

But amongst the djinn Lucifer came forth and in his pride he would not bow. And it was the first time anything had ever apposed God’s perfect will. But God gave FREE WILL to the djinn and mankind, and so He allows this will to be 100% free, for our God is true to his word.

But our God is also just. And so to appose God’s perfect will, which is 100% good and right, you have committed OTHER THAN God’s perfect will, which is 100% evil and wrong. You see, we are not robots, and God does not ask much or often of His creations of which he has granted free will. So then when God directly commands them to bow, they had better expect he means it, and it is with good reason.

For bringing the first EVIL into creation, now God curses Lucifer, henceforth to be known as satan, and a place called HELL is created. It is a place of absolute wrong and evil for those who CHOOSE that path of wrong and evil (AKA other than God’s will) with their 100% free will.

In his desperation, satan challenges God, telling him that man is evil and wicked like himself and he would like the opportunity to prove it before he burns in hell for all eternity.

For reasons known only to our wise God, he allowed satan this opportunity…

To be continued…

 

 

Newton and God… A Thought.

Newton’s third law states:

“For every action there is a reaction, equal to it and opposite in direction.”

If ALL OF CREATION is the reaction, then God must have created (or is!) the ACTION. If Newton law holds true in this case as well, then God must have produced a force/action that is EQUAL and OPPOSITE to all things in creation. Hmmm… What is OPPOSITE of ALL OF CREATION? … Non-existence? Or perhaps the realm of the unseen that is beyond the physical… I don’t know. Just a thought.

~Jones

It’s Hard to Talk about God…

It’s hard for me to talk to people about God…

I think it’s because a lot of believers don’t take God as seriously a I do, and many of those who do ARE WAY TOO SERIOUS ABOUT IT. Now this might seem like a contradiction, but allow me to explain.

If you believe in God, the REAL God who created EVERYTHING and allowed every religion to exist and probably was the motivation behind at least a few, wouldn’t you want to know what He has to say? Not what people have to say about him (cause what to they know) or what you’d like to believe, but what HE ACTUALLY HAS TO SAY?

I sure do.

But a lot of religious people don’t take the time to really read their own religious scriptures. And so their whole conception of God is based on wishy-washy feelings, human logic (which is often just WRONG by the way, even if it makes sense – Spiritual vs. Temporal Wisdom), or what someone else told them (and by the way I am skeptical of priests, imams, etc. They are just men like us and so susceptible to flaw, confusion, and even corruption). I just have no interest in hearing these viewpoints, if they are not somehow scripturally based…

Then there are those who ACTUALLY READ THE SCRIPTURES, but more often than not (in my mind, and please correct me if I’m wrong) these people take life and the world TOO SERIOUSLY. In my opinion it is good to be serious about these things, but not to ACT serious. God also invented LAUGHTER, JOKES, and SILLINESS, and nowhere does make these things out to be a sin.

I shall pray that I find more like-minded people with while to share my love and fascination for God and all of his creations.

If you are one of these people, please leave a comment below so I know that I’m not alone!!

God bless :)

~Jones

The Bottom Line

“…be warned: there is no end to the making of many books, and much study wearies the body. When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is:fear God and keep His commands, because this [is for] all humanity. For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.” Eccl 12:9-14 (HCSB)