"Geesi dhereb kuma jiro"

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Intellectual Slump in the Muslim World

The United Kingdom government has banned the teaching of creationism in free schools and academies, during the same period a viral video circulated social media in which a Saudi cleric postulated the Earth to be flat. Another immediate example: The European Space Agency managed to put Philae on a one-km wide comet named 67P, with a speed of 135,00p km/h, after a 3,907-day-long journey to a location 500 million km away. It coincided with Islamic terrorists attacking four continents for "guaranteed place in heaven" by way of a leader's speech.

The advancement of modern humans has little to do with faith. For most Europeans the Bible is largely mythology. It contains some garbled history, some record of religious/tribal law, and some fables, but at this distance it has become mere myth. There are also points at which one can actually observe the myth-making in progress when comparing events recorded in the bible with the same events in history (the Book of Jeremiah is a fine example).

Teaching reality in the UK schools rather than magical fairies best illustrates the extent to which the Muslim world has fallen behind in the age of enlightenment. England did not begin as a non-theist country. What they did was, essentially, expel radical religious people and encourage environment conducive to enlightenment. Constant pressure, constant and relentless demonstration that evidence-based approaches work, and consistently rewarding such approaches is what seems to have worked in Europe.

To an outsider this societal approach may appear unobtainable but it's fairly easy to contrivance. A society or a community should be strong enough to be able to introspect and look within itself, accept any shortcoming and overcome those shortcomings through reform and progress. Such actions can only lead to a better outcome for not only the person's community and society but the for everyone at large. It precedes removal of ignorant clerics and lays the foundation for society accepting the importance of truth at which point children could be taught to think critically. Crux of the matter is religion is an antidote to human flourishing, and with regards to the uneducated clerics: You have two choices when you have a roadblock erected by religion; you can drive through it or stop and proceed no further. 

Emotional belief relies on unconvincing traditional beliefs. Fallacious presumptions take precedent over demonstrable facts. When presented with demonstrable facts the believers gumption straw-man and ad hominen attacks. They are following the flock without independent perspective which is how fanatics prefer and spread. A lack of diversity makes people think the majority view is the correct view, and therefore mandatory, view. The more you are exposed to a diversity of people the more the mind broadens and ceases thinking in absolutes.

Today we know "god" is impossible as defined by any major religion. Logically impossible. Any confirmation of the nature of "the creator of the universe" obtained from a book is ultimately derived from the imaginations of men. There is no "received" knowledge of any gods. They are anthropomorphic constructs invented by humans and bearing all the constraints and defects of human. There is zero evidence for the existence of any form of deity — but ample evidence for the creation by human beings of the gods we do have. Natural evolution is evident. Cosmic history is evident. God is evidently made up. We see evidence of a time before life, and then we see evidence of life. We see examples of molecules that, with the right components and under the right circumstances recombine into much more complex molecules. We see evidence of those components and circumstances on Earth a short time before there was anything we could call life.

If we teach children how primitive superstitions came to be around the world, they'll figure out that their religion is just one of them. If we teach them to think critically and rationally, they'll go to church/mosque and realize that the stories don't make any sense, that they can't be true, and that their holy book has to be cherry picked, and some amazing interpretational acrobatics have to take place so that they can extract any real morality from it. Teach them to be scientifically literate, and they'll come to understand evolution and natural history, and belief just won't be necessary any more. Teach them biology, physics, geology, anatomy. They don't need a lot of each one to get by, but the more they understand reality, the less likely they are to accept supernatural explanations for anything.  

The location of god changed throughout history; initially god was said to be living on the other side of the village, then the river, then the mountain, then above the clouds...now it's in the far corners of the universe or possibly in another universe. The exploration from tiny villages to continents and possibly beyond Earth chased gods farther, with cretinous arguments made for simplistic supposition of needing religion because we need to be controlled. This control alluded to is variable. Believers still find holes in science to support dogmatic assertions while denying the very foundations of science. The burden of proof they demand from science they will not demand from religion. This cognitive dissonance has become all too common.

Science and education are killing all religions. Right now it's the educated and strong who're leaving Islam in droves, and radical Islam heavily relies on the people being gullible as they are controlled by fear/deceit/threats (blasphemy laws). So Muslim clerics are rightfully concerned about the stagnation of Islam as becoming irrelevant by the day. Saudi clerics even now admit they're 'losing influence over the youth'. Sadly, we are all in for a very bumpy ride ahead due the aggressive nature of radical fundamentalists but inversely these hostile attacks lead some to devalue false beliefs.

The intellectual slump in the Muslim world incriminates the totalitarian regimes, the genocidal lunatic fringe, the Muslim apologists and the uneducated masses. The totalitarian regimes, for example the Saudi Royal family, use the fanatics as "useful idiots" through ideology to prolong their rule. The genocidal terrorists are told they are dying for virgin women. The apologists twist words, use half truths, deploy cultural relativism to stifle legitimate discussion about Islam. Making pointed efforts to conceal an emotional range and expressiveness to dis-incentivize any invigorating natural and instinctive habits of the intellectual centers of the mind which have atrophied over time. Tenured far-left ideologues provide maximum seductive impact for Muslim apologists' rhetoric with shaming terms like "Islamophobia" — how is it phobia when there is genuine security concern? They are essentially defending the indefensible by any means necessary unconcerned about spurring intellectual growth.

The uneducated masses use conspiracy theories and blaming the West as ego-protecting shields. Any scintilla for true intellectualism is shunned and debased in such environment of competing interests. Apropos the impotent rage-pouting deranged extremists, subject mutates into what Ibn Taymiyah said in the 12th century and glorifying backward jurisprudence. The insularity of mindless belief is betrayed by its own hive-mind corroding incantations. Think that most people are pretty much in agreement that the Quraan was taught by Mohammed to certain disciples/followers who learned it by heart, and translated it into written form decades after his death. Since this part was done by Arabic scholars there is nothing very remarkable about it being well-written. So whoever wrote it was highly literate. The scientific "facts" it contains are only so when interpreted as metaphor. This does not make a convincing case for a god of any kind. Not knowing is the preferred mode as many scientific errors found in the Quraan are even blocked online in the Muslim world.

Faith-based hypothetical exercise leaves little room for intellect. Deleteriously, impressionable Muslim minds misconstrue these age-old insular exchanges as credentialed intellectual stimulation.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Eedeynta Shisheeyaha

Leelleelka Soomaali ku habsaday dad kale uga ma imaan ee waa falgal Soomaaliyi hormuud u ahayd. Isla mar ahaantaas leelleeltirka waxaa hormuud u noqon doona Soomaali. Waxaa se togan eedeyn ku aaddan shisheeyaha oo lagu nuuxnuuxsado ayada oo loo ekeeyey sir la helay ama ay jiraan shisheeye noloshu ugu eg tahay waxyeellada Soomaalida. Eedeynta shisheeyaha ayaa waxay la hayb noqotay dhanka Soomaaliyeed. Hadal-maalmeedka waxaa ugu badan eed loo jeedshay shisheeye la tuhmay in uu ka dambeeyo hagardaamo dhacday oo kasta, goortii ay doonto ha ahaato oo sidii ay doonto u dhacdo, waxaa un la baadi goobaa cid la eedeeyo meesha xal la goobi lahaa.

Wararka waxaa loo dhuuxaa in laga dheegto saan shisheeyeed si eed looga faarfaarto oo la isugu sheekeeyo, haddii ay dhab tahay iyo haddii ay dhalanteed tahay doodda iyo hadalka door weyn kuma leh ee waxaa muhiim ah eed la jeedsho. Eedda joogtaysan waxay leedahay xanuun nafsadeed oo qof iyo bulsho ku dhaca ka na indho tira xal horyaal. Arrinku haddii uu yahay dhaleeceyn waxaa tabantaabiya aqoon iyo indheergarasho illowse xanuunku yahay mid jira oo loogu yeeraa “narcissism.” Markaan waa cudur astaaman islaweyni anaani ah oo qofku leeyahay dhacdo kasta anigu eed kuma lihi ku ma na lahaan karo. Dhaleeceyntu waa ka duwan tahay eedeynta oo waxay leedahay kala dhigdhig arrimaha gedaaman ee xal ku aaddan. Waxay na u baahan tahay miyir, dhab-ka-hadal iyo ujeeddo cad. Eeddu waa hadaltiro iyo maan gablool ah oo lahayn ujeeddo. Waa cudur ama hadaaq carruureed oo kale.

Qalinleyda Soomaaliyeed baa had iyo goor qora dhigaallo suntan eed iyo cidda markaa la isleeyahay waa lagu shiishi karaa eedda. Badi waxaa la eedeeyaa dalalka deriska ah iyo reer Galbeed oo dusha loo saaraa halaagga Soomaalida, marar kale hoggaamiyeyaashii Soomaaliya soomaray baa eed lagu tuurtuuraa aan micne lahayn. Waxaa micne leh in laga baaraandego oo la gorfeeyo talis hore xumaan iyo samaan wixii uu lahaa oo maanta laylis keli ah noqon kara. Taliska haatan waxaa lagu hurgufi karaa dhaleeceyn waxtar leh oo aan eed shuqul ku lahayn.

Markii qaxoon la noqday oo la yimid dalalka reer Galbeedka baa waxaa dhacday la-qabsan-waa Soomaali gees ka yeelay dadyowga kale. Haddana waxaa curtay eed kale oo Soomaalida galti noqotay ku weerartay dalalka marti sooray ee nolosha u hibeeyey oo dad ka dhigay. Galti waa qof degay geyi uu ka dhaqan duwan yahay. Galtibbax waa qof degga la qabsaday durba oo dalka cusub ka hantay nolol wanaagsan. Marka qof uu galtibbixi waayo waxaa dhasha aloogsanaan, oo ah dagaal, qofka saameeya maskax ahaan iyo nolol ahaan taas oo isu soo buuraysa eedeyn joogtaysan. Dalka ku marti sooray hal shuruud buu kugu xiray oo ah in aad noqoto alaal — qof dalleensi ula qabsada dalka, garta waxa looga baahan yahay oo aan culays ku noqon bulsho libtooyo u ballaqday oo gacalka cusub u haya abaal. Wixii intaas dheer waa dhibaato hor leh oo ka daran karta tii dalkii laga soo qaxay oo dalka la yimid u baahnayn oo qofku ku wareero nolosha na hoos u dhiga.

Haddaba eedeynta dhaqan gashay waxay dabooshay dhaleeceyn toosisa qalqallooca, in laga gaaro xal waara arrimaha jira ee si deggan loogu guntado iyo in lagu wareego wax aan jirin oo micne lahayn. Eedeyn bilaa-micne waa ged Soomaaliyeed oo foolxun.

Dhaleeceyn dhaqan gasha ayaa alab ahaan mudan oo oodda ka rogta hadal iyo ficil hor-u-socod leh oo bulshada si toolmoon u haga. Dhaqan-dhaleeceyn baa faagi doonta wax badan oo Soomaalidu iska ogayn aad iyo aad na loogu baahan yahay maantada. Waa isqiimayn qurux badan. Giirasho maanka ah baa se dadka dabartay.

Eedeynta shisheeyaha kolka lagu dabiibo dhaqan-dhaleeceyn waxay tusmaysay liidnimo, haddana ayada oo shisheeyuhu mudan yahay baa ay dhanka kale u baahatay eegmo ku soo godmaysa xal-raadis ahaan, iyo inta ay xalka ku yeelan karto ee ay micne yar tahay ama weyn tahay. Wixii intaas dheer eed waxay qarinaysaa arrin loo gar bixi waayey iyo dhibaato loo maaro waayey. Hadal-maalmeedku na wax badan buu ka turjumaa garashada bulsho, maan-fiyoobaan iyo wixii la halmaala.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Think Critically and Demand Evidence

Geographical location predicts which religion a person believes. Social construction and brainwashing ensure sustainability of belief systems. Religion is an ideology like any other, it has a beginning and an end. An ideology of ignorance, the whole basis of religion is understood to have been invented to control the masses. Kind of a government before government was invented, laws before law enforcement. And an opiate for the poor and ignorant still being trafficked today.

There is no evidence, historical or otherwise, for religion today while the fabrication is easily discernible. Scientific discoveries from the last several centuries have eroded any reasonable explanation for gods and critical thinking which naturally demands evidence has demolished sheepherder fairies about the universe.

Here is the main problem when critical thinking is applied: Which god? Christian? Muslim? Greek? Egyptian? One of the thousands if not millions of Native American or African Tribal gods? What about Cthulhu? Or a pink unicorn? Or gnomes that like making shoes? Every single one of those would be as valid as giving up and saying "god did it." And that's not even getting to the issue of defining what "god" is. Is it just a thing that had a hand in creating the universe we observe before us? Is it something that exerts force in this universe? Is it a number of somethings? Is it a fundamental force yet to be discovered or understood? Everyone seems to assume god is a human-like thing but why make that assumption? We can't even say with certainty that we're the only intelligent beings in the galaxy, what makes us so special that an unknown force looks exactly like us?

The demand for factual substantiation presents further explanations extracted from the simplistic talking points of the brainwashed flock. The availability of information in the age of enlightenment has forced the religious to produce more damning evidence of the fatuous primitive scriptures. Whatever gleaned from yet unexplained scientific concepts have become the rallying cry for the religious. Saying "proof that science can't explain" is a nonsensical sentence because science is the closest to an effective method to prove anything. All that's left then is amateurs interpreting natural phenomena according to their presumptions of the supernatural. The knowledge of ancient cultures, easily explainable today, indicates that it's not religion that described these things. It's people. It is Arab numbers that are responsible for Islam even existing outside of Mecca. So numbers made Islam great, but not in the 'wonderfully enlightened' way, just in the 'large group of fools' way.

Muslims, when asked about the atrocities committed by terror groups will conveniently denounce (particularly when they're in a non Muslim country; in Muslim countries support is unapologetic) by concluding a group is really wrong or are not true Muslims and Quraan doesn't allow killing innocent people. Yet "true Muslims" or said terror outfit disagree on what an "innocent" is. The allegedly infallible text is vulnerable to interpretation by anybody in any way desirable. This shows at the very least that what you want to call supernatural isn't perfect.

 (Flat Earth theory is widely held amongst Muslim theologians.)



Flat Earthers teach creationist fairies lacking factual basis. Life evolved out of simpler non-living systems as soon as we discount the supernatural, which we would be very foolish not to. Because attributing everything we don't know to a god makes us stop trying to find out. The brain is constantly assigning meaning to otherwise random data that fire-hoses itself across neurons. We have to recognize when we have incorrectly assigned meaning to data. It's just natural. There has been so many things in this universe that were previously attributed to gods, although they did not really know, as we today know for certain that these things depend on something else. They were therefore lying. To admit you don't know something makes you able to discover it, something you can not do if you attribute this something to a fictitious solution.

Critical thinkers demand that extraordinary claims be supported by extraordinary evidence, and refuse to accept extraordinary claims that are made by people who provide no evidence at all. Facts and evidence make something real, which has been provided by the scientific community for macro evolution for quite some time.

 (The objective isn't to provide material congruent to reality but to promote enthusiastic abandonment of reason for mysticism. Surely he wasn't born believing this nonsense as it's the result of systemic brainwashing which he will regrettably pass on to new generations.)
Today people who reject evolution either don't know anything about it, or have a vested interest in selling snake-oil, and know that they can't continue to sell Christianity to people (which is, of course, the biggest religious business at present) if they admit that evolution is true. Invariably, new discoveries make the scam of religions increasingly impossible to defend. Of course, it's not like we need new discoveries to disprove religions, usually their holy books do that all by themselves. The case against Christianity which is the largest of the three Abrahamic religions is simple;

1) Archaeology absolutely does not support Biblical claims.

2) Apart from a few minor characters (i.e. Pontius Pilate) there is no outside evidence to suggest that any of the Biblical characters actually existed.

3) Even if some of these characters did exist, the assorted miracles and other fanciful occurrences are enough to show that they are not reliable recordings of history, but the myths of an ancient and barbaric people.

Thinking critically is the best way to a healthy society where tolerance, progress and lesser violent behaviors would be cultivated. In this paradigm a generation of critical thinkers assimilates into society where decent and responsible parent would teach their children how to think rather than what to think. There is probably no better gift than to imbibe an individual with the ability to reason on their own. Teaching religion at school is the best way to promote belief without evidence and generate new generations of brain dead or lobotomized individuals incapable of independent analytical thought. It's the best way to ensure backwardness, intolerance, and violence.

Schools provide credibility to anything taught there and teaching ancient myths is an exercise in futility. Since religious people study a single book consisting of four hundred pages for life there is little to expand upon and the rest of life is spent on trying to fit new information on what's written in that single book. When learning places imbue innocent minds with fairies about creationism through fear, the natural beauty of the contemporary world has little truth or enjoyment. Evidence-based thinking introduces first steps of evolution (first came bacteria, algae, fish, amphibians [generalized]) while infinitely investigating the truth behind it all. Compare fresh young mind reading "The Origin of Species" and a more contemporary explanation, "Why Evolution is True" by Jerry A. Coyne, an excellent introduction to basic concepts, to Biblical stories about demons/devils and gods/angels battling a cosmic battle in a mythical place. The difference is demonstrable as it is appreciable.  

The scientific theory first needs to predict something in the way gravity and evolution predict observable events. It lists that every living organism on this planet has a genome (chromosomes and DNA) as conclusive evidence of evolution. DNA is universal in all living things, even vegetables have it. This links us all to every other life form on this planet. This is the scientific fact that proves definitely and without a doubt that we all, living things, have a common ancestor.

There are other kinds of mental viruses: Nazism, Communism, Fascism. Utopian dreams often become utopian nightmares. When we rid ourselves, finally, of the stupefying burden of religion, that is not the end of irrationality. Humans are basically irrational creatures, we arose from the muck, we developed tools of logic, reason, etc. Only when we use these tools do we rise above prejudice, superstition, and ignorance. But it doesn't change our basic irrational reptilian brain. Rational arguments against god make no difference to the faithful because faith itself is irrational. Faith is blindly following the unknown through inability or unwillingness to understand. People will believe what they want to believe regardless of the evidence. No amount of logical arguments will convince you of something that you arrived at without logic. This is the futility of rational arguments.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Pre-Islamic Arabia and Pagan Foundations of Islam

While many today would consider Islam to be a fiercely monotheist and purist religion absent of all pagan roots an examination of the historical record reveals a much more immediate past with several originally pagan practices still being practiced today under the guise of monotheism. Islam, like many other world religions, was created to unify a disintegrated tribal region for purposes of power and was less a revelation of one god then it was a form of henotheism masquerading as monotheism. We will find that many fundamental Islamic practices such as reverence and prayer toward the Kaaba, the very nature of Allah, and the the Hajj to Mecca all find their way to pagan beginnings.

While other monotheist religions may have been influenced by pagan cults in their beginning the difference in Islam is that these pagan practices continue up until today, arbitrarily without explanation or extensive scriptural support, and these ceremonies have not been purged. This may come as a startling revelation to some, considering the virulent strain of fundamentalist Islam that has risen to prominence in the late twentieth and twenty first century preaching a strict monotheism and intolerance or violence toward those who do not accept the one true god “Allah.”

Pre Islamic History

Doctors Richard Hooker and Richard Hines of Washington State University paint a compelling image of the landscape of pre-Islamic history. Before the Arabs became unified Arabia proper was comprised of warring tribes bound together by no permanent central government. As no major rivers ran through this region no large permanent cities became viable prospects, with large settlements such as Riyadh only becoming recently possible with modern technology. As a consequence the Arab peoples became nomadic herders of cattle who oversaw the domain of large pastures. For the purposes of this research we will focus on the pastoralist Bedouin tribes which comprise inner Arabia of the Pre-Islamic classical era and when “Arabs” are referenced we are specifically not including Arab kingdoms near the Levant and southern coast such as the Nabataean and Sabean empires.

While at times the Arabs would momentarily unify to raid Persia or the immensely wealthy Yemenite coast they mostly warred amongst each other, especially in the form of caravan raids, for the Arabs were prolific traders, and this was their primary source of wealth.

The commerce these tribes were concerned with was the Indian to Mediterranean trade which passed through Southern Arabia on its way to Byzantium. The Arab tribes served as intermediaries to facilitate such a trade and profited as being couriers of such goods or by simply taking up the warpath and raiding the goods from other tribes which tended to cooperate.

Classical Era

During the time of Mohammed, what has come to be known as the classical era, al-Arabiyya or classical Arabic became widespread and became the language of poetry and culture, allowing for the soon to be transmitted Koran. Muru’a or the Arabic equivalent to the Greek arête and Roman virtus, the virtue of manliness and excellence, was soon hailed as vital to heroic leadership. The cultivation of this virtue in tribal society transformed the Arab people who already had a disposition to war into a formidable expansionary force with a powerful leadership, a framework which would make it easier to equate kinship ties with military hierarchy and allowed for the formation of a sprawling Arab empire in years to come.


Pre-Islamic religious practice was comprised of two principle sources: local animist tradition in the form of grove, rock and meteorite worship as well as veneration of a vast pantheon of gods mainly derived from western Semitic sources, to which the tribes celebrated a form of henotheism locally. When the Quraysh captured Mecca circa 500 C.E. following in the wake of the recent Arab militarization they proclaimed Hubal, the tribal head god who was known to have subordinate to him his goddess daughters al-Lat (cognate to Allatu, the Carthaginian underworld goddess originating from Ereshkigal), al-Uzza, and al-Manat (the same goddesses who famously appear in the “satanic verses” of Sura 53), as lord of the temple city (Occhigrosso 394-397). To the Quraysh this Hubal was often referred to as “Allah” for “Allah” is not a proper name but actually a contraction of “al-” and “-ilah” meaning “the god (Jeffery 85, Brill 302, Peters 3-41).” Even the word “Ilah” has a deeper meaning as “Il” or “Ilah” refers to an even earlier primeval lunar god worshipped by the Arabs which by the time of the Quraysh had become a general name for “god.” According to Carelton Coon “…under Mohammed’s tutelage, the relatively anonymous Ilah became Al-Ilah, The God, or Allâh, the Supreme Being.”

This is not simply a matter of semantics: “Allah” does not mean “God” but “the god,” the first implies that there is a singular god and second meaning implies that this god is a god of prominence amongst others. Allah was not a revelatory name as discovered by Mohammed but instead a common term used by his tribe, and possibly the other tribes of Inner Arabia, to refer to the chief god amongst others.

Following in Semitic tradition many Arabs named their children as “servant” or “slave” of their chief god, the famous Carthaginian “Hannibal” translates to “grace of the Lord (Baal)” (Baal = El) for example. One such named individual was Abd Allah, Mohammed’s own father who died before Mohammed was even born (Andrae 13-30). Numerous others were named after “Allah” before the revelation of Islam occured including such significant figures of Pre-Islamic history such as Quraysh kinsmen Abd-Allah ben Djahsh, Ubayd-Allah, Abd-Allah ben Djudan and the sons of Umar: Abd-Allah and ‘Ubayd-Allah. The presence of such names in the historical record alludes to the notion that “Allah” was worshipped before Mohammed’s time and was in reverence of the god Hubal (Peters 3-41, Brockelmann 8-10).

It can be conjectured that Mohammed chose “Allah” as the “God” of Islam because the name rang true amongst his clansmen (Andrae 13-30) and the other Arab tribes who had come to respect Hubal as the chief god of Mecca, with the passing of time eventually centralizing the cult into the belief that “Allah” had always been the one God. Surely when Mohammed began referring to his new god as “Allah” it must have caused no immediate alarm amongst his Arab brethren as the term was not then used a proper noun but simply a substitute for a name of reverence (similar to the western Semitic Baal which simply means Lord and is not the proper name of the God being identified), in the case of the Quraysh: Hubal. This ingenious use of language was only made possible by a previous event in Pre-Islamic history which made the worship of Hubal familiar to the Arabs visiting Mecca: the conquest of the city by Mohammed’s tribe.

Worship of Stones and Idols

Connected with the worship of Gods was also the worship of stones and idols. When the Quraysh captured Mecca they installed atop the Kaaba an idol of Hubal, marking him most prominent amongst the reportedly three hundred and sixty god idols of the Cube (Armstrong 11). For the next one hundred and twenty years the cult of Hubal (up until Mohammed’s conquest of Mecca in 620 C.E.) was centralized and Arabs visiting Mecca during the Hajj would have become familiar with the god’s prominent position atop the other lesser deities represented at the holy city. A less likely report made in Sarwar’s Muhammed the Holy Prophet claims that “Amr bin Lahyo bin Harath bin Amr ul-Qais bin Thalaba bin Azd bin Khalan bin Babalyun bin Saba” of Hijaz had placed the Hubal idol even earlier, four hundred years before the birth of Mohammed (Sarwar 18-19). Regardless of who installed the Hubal idol in its prime location at Mecca what is surely known is that the Quraysh named the god chief amongst others. The Quraysh would have expected visiting Arabs to pay special homage to the “Lord” of the city upon their pilgrimage and to respect Hubal as the chief god while within the city. While these provisions did not destroy the polytheism of Arabia it may have reinforced henotheistic notions which would allow for a shift to monotheism to be not as startling as it would have been in past times and would have made Arabs familiar with the name of “Allah,” a phrase which by that time had become synonymous with Hubal.

History shows that as societies become increasingly wealthy, literate and militarily powerful they become increasingly monotheistic, a trend which may have been increasingly apparent in the years approaching Mohammed’s birth as made possible by the economic virtues of the classical Arabic era. Mohammed’s declaration of Shahadah can be interpreted as a final declaration of Hubal’s primacy and his destruction of the idol cults within Mecca during 620 C.E. more of a political showing of power rather than a religious statement. Mohammed’s centralization of the cult can be paralleled with the King Hezekiah’s religious reforms of the seventh century B.C.E., reforms with religious overtures more so designed to increase the monarch’s power from tribal overlord to king proper by means of national ideology (as proposed by Professor Robert Beckford in his Channel 4 documentary Who Wrote The Bible?).

Pagan Roots

While the Islamic god has roots in the worship of the lunar god Hubal so does the veneration of the Kaaba have ancient pagan roots. The original black stone which the Kaaba was built around to protect was most likely a meteorite connected with the worship of baetyli or sacred stones, a common practice of the pre-Islamic Arabs. As the ancient Arabs primarily worshipped gods representing astrological entities such as the moon, sun and Venus, the principal deity before Hubal being the worship of the lunar goddess al-Lat, these meteorites were considered to be actual pieces of the gods themselves and the places where they landed were considered the most sacred places of ancient Arabia. These places were considered to be areas to which the spirit and material world met, linking the heavens and earth, metaphorically referred to as the Gates of Heaven (Armstrong-2 221). Other Kaaba structures existed during the classical period such as the “red stone”, the deity of the south Arabian city of Ghaiman, and the “white stone” in the Ka’ba of al-Abalat (near the city of Tabala, south of Mecca) (Grunebaum 24). The worship of these stones was not only connected to the worship of primeval lunar gods but also even earlier animist traditions in accordance with the belief in stone fetishes, magical mountains, ponds, groves, special rock formations and “trees of strange growth” to which the Arabs believed were possessed by spirits which afforded them special protection or blessings in war and in economic ventures, according to Grunebaum among others (Brockelmann 8-10, Van Ess 29, Martin 96, Rodinson 16-17).

It is likely that the Kaaba we know today, the one which houses the black stone, was one of the few if not the only shrines to be constructed out of stone and to which a major cult of worship developed. Mecca would soon come to be known as a holy ground to which warring tribes could meet peacefully and settle their differences (Grunebaum 18), a practice which would lead to regular pilgrimages to the site, visits which eventually become known as the Hajj. The Kaaba is mentioned by several ancient historians including the second century C.E. historian Ptolemy who refers to it as Macoraba, a “south Arabian foundation created around a sanctuary” (Wensinck 318). The first century B.C.E. historian Diodorus Siculus also mentions the Kaaba in his Bibliotheca Historica saying “and a temple has been set-up there, which is very holy and exceedingly revered by all Arabians (Gibbon 223-224).”

While Mecca was considered a sacred site during this ancient period it had more implications as sanctified ground useful for peaceful convergence than it had as a religious temple, the latter implication was brought about with the Quraysh invasion and the primacy of Hubal in an attempt at centralizing the tribe’s regional power (Grunebaum 19). The Quraysh solidified the notion of the Kaaba as a religious temple and also a major spice, leather, jewelry, blacksmithing, textile and perfume (Heck) trading center (Armstrong-2 221-222) which greatly increased the power and prestige of the tribe and organized yearly pilgrimages to the site, formalizing the Hajj into a ritualized custom.

These arbitrary reverences based in pagan superstitions, goddess worship, tribal infighting, idol worship and animism would come to form some of the fundamental rituals of Islam, foundations which were supposedly revealed to Mohammed by the angel Gabriel. In actuality it can conjectured that Mohammed reinvented pagan institutions which had already existed for hundreds or even thousands of years in hopes of creating a seductive, tribally accepted imperial ideology designed to form a strong unifying backbone for the Arab empire to come, to which Mohammed was supremely successful.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Segegernimo Madaxweyne iyo Salgan Dawladeed

Naanays madaxweynaha ku dhegtey markii uu cusbaa baa ahayd “guurguurte” oo ku caan baxday daahid iyo cago jiid. Waxaa labeeyey mid kale, “qoslaaye” — madaxweyne mar walba qosla haddii qosolku meeqaam ku habboon yahay ama haddii kale ba.

Filanwaa ayey noqotay in hoggaamiyaha dalku u bareeray falal lid ku ah hannaanka dawladeed, geeddi socodka nabadda iyo jiritaanka dalka. Hambaabir ayuu ku dhaliyey bulshada iyo deeq-bixiyeyaasha daneeya arrimaha Soomaaliya iyo hay’adaha caalamka ee quudiya saboolka gaajo gitaati dhacay.

Segeger baa dalka madaxweyne u noqday: Xasan Sheekh u ma qalmo jagada loo dhiibay. Waa shaqsi ka agnaan ah indheergarashada, kartida, daacadnimada iyo hawlaha dawladeed. Waxa uu u dhaqmay sidii “hoggaamiye kooxeed” si uu koox yar oo talada dalka uga horraysa caano lis ah dhiil uga buuxiyo iyo si uu xoogaaga yar ee adduunweynuhu inta gaajeysan u sadqeeyey ugu taajiro asagu. Qaab uu intaas u maro ayaa lulay dawladda taagta daran ee Xasan Sheekh.

Dawladda seellataysay oo salgan waa taliyaha docda ay ka quruntay. Madaxweynaha ayey u taallay in uu xalliyo wixii gal-dalool dawladdiisu leedahay. Asaga baa loo ga fadhiyey in uu waxyaalaha haatan oogan dhammaan xalliyo oo adeegsado xeeladaha hoggaamiye waxgarad hiigsado. Intaasu ma dhicin oo madaxweynaha ayaa ruxay dawladdiisii ku taagnayd dulqaad keli ah maadaama ay hore u beerdarraysay hantidii ugu weynayd ee dawlad hanato — kasbada dadka.

Arrinta ugu qaab daran waa madaxweyne ka maahsan iinta. Isu-ma-jeede loo wada jeedo baa fadhiya Villa Soomaaliya. Waa qof ka arradan xishoodka, Soomaalinnada iyo dareenwadaagga hoggaamiye la wadaago bulshada uu hago. Waxaa muuqda madaxweyne daawade ka ah arrimaha dalka, wixii aan ka ahayn nin toocsi ee ku lug leh eex iyo musuqmaasuq ee xatooyo oo uu caddaystay in uu Villa Soomaaliya u yimid. Wax yar buu wax weyn siistay.

Guurguurashadii waa rumowday; waxay ahayd taag-darro ee ma ahayn diricnimo u duugan. Qosolkii baa ahaa dhoylaawennimo ee ma ahayn beerlaxawsasho siyaasadeed goobteed ku wacan. Barashadii labadii gu’ ee uu taliska ahaa ayaa intaas iyo inteer la oddorosay. Waxaa ka sii ayaandaran marka madaxweynuhu tiraabo. Runtii loo ma dul qaadan karo hadalkiisa. Afyaal uu oraah madaxweyne ahaan bulshada maansooro meesheed’e waxaad leedahay qofku waa kirishboy. Mareegaha Soomaalida baa lagu baahshay maqaal Ingiriis ah oo ciwaankiisu ahaa “Speak Up, Mr. President” — balse markii uu hadlay ayey arrimisay “Mudane Madaxweyne, bal yara aamus.” Qof dhacsaal ah aaraa’ ma dhiibto, habowsane wax ma hago.

Wakaaladda wararka Reuters baa su’aashay hankiisa loollan kale oo madaxtinnimo waxaa na uu ku jawaabay, “haa, loollame baa [aan] ahay, xisbi ayaan leennahay, waxa aan sugaynaa diiwaangelinta xeerka xisbiyada,” sidaas ka yiri madasha shirka Koobbanheegan oo uu la tegay dawlad dhantaalan oo kala daadsan. Wuxuu ku xijiyey is-jiijiidka dhaawacay waa hor-u-mar oo dagaal baa awel dhalan jiray. Haa, sidaanu madaxweyneheenna waa u hor-u-mar. Su’aasha jeesjees baa loo weydiiyey. Sharaftii buu aguugay ogaan la’aan haddana cir weyn yahay.

Waxa socda wax la daawan karo ma aha waddanku na madaxweyne buu u hanqaltaagay.

Baarlamaanka hoodo-laaweyaasha oo madaxweynuhu kiraysto marka uu lacag siiyo ayaa haatan u rogtay laan u baahan in la ka la diro sababta oo ah waxay ahayd in ay ka hortagto dhacdooyinka ay ka qayb yihiin – waa haddii waddaniyiin ku dhan yihiin. Balse ma-xishoodeyaal baa isku qariya duraabtay biyo samafal oo masaakiin laga dullaalay. Qaar kale ku aroos galay booli qaran madaxweynuhu u qariyey oo agliil ka dhedhanshey.

Baarlamaanka Soomaaliyeed waxaa ku jira rag — iyo dumar — u qalma metelaadda dadka asii ay, sida cad, tiro yar yihiin. Waxaa ay mudan yihiin ammaan iyo bogaadin ballaaran oo ku aaddan halbeegga wanaagsan ee daacadnimo iyo waddannimo ee ay ugu bishaareeyeen ummadda Soomaaliyeed ee daawanaysa iyo beesha caalamka. Waa adag tahay qof damiir leh, dadnimo leh, oo waddannimo leh in uu meesha (baarlamaanka Soomaaliya ee haatan) isu quuro waa na ay ka sii adag tahay in uu danta guud u hiiliyo. (Golaha wasiirrada waa ku jiraan waddaniyiin ka koray anaaniyada.)

“Shalay waa maanta.”

Madaxtinnimo waa baalka aad taariikhda ka gasho. Badraanno hore baa ku soo hungoobay oo xaajadda Xasan Sheekh ahaatay shalay waa maanta. Tiro ma leh ceebaha la ga sheegan karo muddada yar oo uu madaxweyne ahaa. Dawladdu waxay ku koobantay “wasiir Faarax Cabdulqaadir muxuu arrinta ka yiri?”. Waddani baa ka anfariiray oo waxgarad ka dhiidhiyey. Dalku cadow u ma baahna inta Xasan Sheekh madaxweyne yahay.

Ra’iisal wasaareyaasha madaxweynaha ayaa dadka u dooray. Haddii labo labo gu’ gudahood xilka gudan waayey, dee meeshu ma aha maqaayad ma na aha in ay muuqaal saas ah yeelato oo dhaqankaas loo ma baahna. Taloxumo taliska sare ayey ka soo naaxaysa had iyo goor. Waxaa soo booday BAREERE (motion) ayada oo ay dhicin dood agaasiman xallinta is-afgaranwaaga curtay oo la yiri madaxweynaha baa laaluushay xildhibaanno dabadeed abraarsiiyey bareere.

Kolka arrintu xumaato hoggaanka suubban ayaa kaashada kalkaaliyeyaal ka taliya xalka ugu wanaagsan. Madaxweyne Xasan Sheekh jeer walba waa mooggane. Sumcad isma geeyaan.

Yaqyaqsi badanaa.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Suul-arag & Soof-arag

Soomaalidu waxay ka mid tahay isirrada dunida ugu fac weyn oo Geesta Afrika ku nool. Dhawr boqol oo kun oo gu'aad ka hor ayaa aadmigii ugu horreeyay ka faafay Geeska Afrika waxaa se ilbaxnimada aadmigu hanaqaadday tobankii kun ee gu'aad ee u dambeeyay. Soomaalidu tobankaas kun ee gu'aad ayey xiriir la soo yeelatay guud ahaantood isirrada dunida. Tusaale ahaan xiriirkii ay la lahayd Masaaridii Hore shan kun oo gu'aad ka hor ayaa waxaa uu sooyaallay in ka badan afar kun oo gu'aad. Waxay Soomaaliya ku magac dheerayd "Dhulkii Gabayda." Wax lagu faano baa ka buuxa sooyaalka Soomaaliyeed, wax laga yalaalugoodo se waa ay ku jiraan, siijireenka na lahaan doonaa. 

Ilbaxnimadii waayihii hore, ka hor farsamada iyo aqoonta cusub, aqoonwadaaggii aadmiga waxaa kaalin weyn ku lahaa badmaaxeyaal qaaradaha u kala goosha. Qaabkaas ayaa dadka dega xeebaha u qaabbili jiray shisheeye waageeni ah oo ay dadka gudaha sii jira haleelin. Halkaan waxaa ka dhalan jiray saamayn kala duwan oo dhaqameed, diimeed, afeed, iwm. Sidaas ayaa qolo ba qolo u saan duwi jirtay. Saamaysanuhu dookh ma lahayn badanaa, inta loo yimaado ayaa loo loogi jiray isbeddel buuxa haddii isbeddelku dheehan yahay xumaan iyo waxyeello ama uu ballaysimay wanaag iyo samaan inta ba. Arrintaan ayaa daaha ka rogaysa waxyaalo badan oo Soomaalida ku saabsan oo laga gorfayn karaa waxa ka qaldan iyo waxa u suubban ee ku aaddan baxdadii hore, joogtada maantoole iyo timaaddada berritoole.

Iskaashigii Soomaaliya la yeelatay Turkigii, Shiinihii, Boortoqiiskii, Hindidii, Baarshiyaankii, Carabtii, Yurubiyaankii iyo Afrikada kale ba, ayaa waxaa ugu waayo dheera ama ugu saamayn ballaarnaa kii Carbeed. Kaas oo hanaqaaday wixii ka dambeeyey faafkii diinta Islaamka. Waxaa loogu yeeri karaa isbeddel Soomaali soo mara kii ugu weynaa maadaama uu gebi ahaan saan-duway oo teer iyo maanta aawan yahay. Tusaale ahaan waxbarashada ugu horraysa ee Soomaaligu la kowsado dugsi quraanka ayey ka bilaabataa, waxa uu kala kulmaa maskax xal dheellitiran oo qaabeeyay aragtidiisa nolosha adduunka. Isbeddelkaanu waxa uu saaqay wadnaha iyo dhiigwadeennada qofeed iyo bulsheed ee dadka Soomaaliyeed. Meel kasta oo uu qof Soomaaliyeed ku nool yahay waxaa hubaal ah in uu astaan Carbeed xambaarsan yahay oo mid Soomaaliyeed waa' hore ka suulay. Waa culays tan weyn. Saamayntii Carbeed waxay ku sawiran tahay tobanka qodob ee kala ah;

1) Waa in Soomaaligu barto ereyo Carbeed si uu ula xiriiro eebbaha Carbeed ee Allah.

2) In uu u lebbisto sida Carabta, qaato magac Carbeed oo si kasta isugu ekaysiiyo oo isugu dhoweeyo dadka Carbeed ee uu u afduuban yahay, u maskax doorsan yahay oo uu hoosyimaado asaga oo ku jira addoonsiga dunida maanta ugu daran ee maskaxeed.

3) U sujuudo dhagax madoow oo Sucuudiga ku yaal inta nolosha ka dhimman, ma ayidi karo aragti kale, nolol kale, aqoon kale iyo adduun kale mid na. Soomaaligu ma rumayn karo qaab nololeed kale ama u noolaanshe Soomaalinnimo ahaaneed oo u janjeera dhalad-isirnimo iyo kaalinta-nasfadeed ee ku lammaan sugnaanta [maan, garasho, isqiimayn iyo geesinnimada] ay leedahay. Cabsida carruurnimo ee dugsi Quraanka ayaa mooroduugtay.

4) Nacayb wixii Carabtu neceb tahay, gaar ahaan dalka iyo dadka Israa'iil oo ay Carabta xidid wadaag yihiin, asii cadaawad soojireen dhextaallay muddo dheer.

5) Ku dhaqanka xeerarka Carabtii Saxaraha ee qarnigii lixaad ee la diimeeyay ee ay diinta Carbeed ku salaysan tahay, kaas oo la jaanqaadi waayey waayaha iyo waxa ay sidaan ee nolosha la halmaala, iyo qaaddacaadda ilbaxnimada dunidu taabsatay (maadaama ay Carabiya ka imaan).

6) Dhallaanka oo maskaxda laga dilo si ay ugu hanuunsanaadaan maskax-xalkii dugsi Quraanka ee lagu beeray Carab-jacaylka ama dhalanteed iyo isdiiddooyin aan suurogali karin, dadka Soomaaliyeed na nolosha ku dhibay.

7) Hab-dhaqan, hab-feker iyo hab-nololeed takooray Soomaalinnimada oo sarraysiiya Carabaysiga, kaas oo burburiyay garashadii iyo dareenkii waddannimo ee Soomaaliyeed.

8) Diidmo hoosta ka xariiqaysa in la falanqeeyo diinta Carbeed oo runta laga sheego, ayada oo kasmadu tusmayso laamo isdiiddan oo diintaas ka dhex unkay is-gowrac, is-qarxin iyo ficillo kale oo aan Soomaaliyi ab iyo isir u lahayn.

9) Qaabka Soomaalidu ugu talaxtagtay diinta Carbeed dunida ma jiraan qoon la mid ah oo sida ay ugu dheggan yihiin dhoy la'aan ka yaabisay Carabtii u keentay iyo dadka kale ee dunida ku nool, hayeeshee Soomaalidu qiil u raadisaa marka ay dareento in lagu dhaato.

10) Soomaalinnimo waxay gebi ahaan, carruurnimo teer cirrool, ku saabsan tahay diinta Carbeed, nolosha oo dhan halkaan ayey ugu eg tahay oo dunida sidaas uga dhaadhaca, taas oo ku timid sida loogu nugul yahay wixii Bariga Dhexe ka soo burqa iyo cabsi xad-dhaaftay. 

Idil ahaan qodobbada ayaa ku salaysan maskax-xal keli ah. Wax kale oo ay ku dhisaalan yihiin haba yaraatee ma jiraan. Ma jiro Soomaali ilmogaleenka kala soo baxay tobanka qodob mid ka mid ah. Waa se huboonto in uu iilka la beegsan doono gunaanadka nolosha. Geeska Afrika ayaa sidaan u dhalanrogantay ka dib markii ay dad Bariga Dhexe ka soo xawileen dhiganeyaal loogu talogalay si'aynta ummadda geyigaan ku nool. Soomaaligii si kale u fekera oo iskiis agaamisa qaab aragtiyeed wuxuu mudnaan doonaa dagaal ba'an, haa, waa caadooyinka dadka gumaysi u qoolan. Dunida maanta qolo aan si kasta [gobannimo] u fekeri karin oo sheegan karta madaxbannaani ma jirto sababta oo ah waa gunnimada ugu liidata.

Soomaalidu waa isir ahaanshiheedu ku saabsan yahay minguurinta diin/dhaqan shisheeyeed. Markaas lagama filan karo iniino waddaniyeed iyo garasho hagaagsan in ay tiigsato. Lagama filan karo dheehashada isbeddelka waayaha adduunyada iyo hirgelinta dhaqan xeeran jaanqaadka socodata wakhtiyeed. Xaajadaan gurracan kuma koobna keli ah qufulane aan wax gala ama ka baxa lahayn ee waa ummad maanku dhagaxoobay dhammaanteed. Maangaabnimadu na ma aha aqoonyari keli ah ee waa feker-wadareed silloon oo ku lifaaqan iyo hab-dhaqan.

Suul-arag waxa uu arkaa keli ah inta suulku isha u jiro, soof-arag se waa fogaan-arag. Suul-arag waa nagaan ku kalsoon barta uu saldhigtay, oo cabsi u ba'ay, oo aan u fekeri karin si kale, oo saluugay wixii goofka yar ee uu ku oodmay beri ka ah. Soof-arag waa geeddi u heellan wax wal oo dantu ku jirto si uu nolosha ugu guulaysto. Dal kasta oo dunida ku yaal ayaa uunku saas u kala qaybmaan. Qayb baa caqliga tashi la wadaagta qayb kale na ku xooggan ogaan la'aan. Hubsiiso dhanka aad gacal la tahay.

Labada qaybood baa suul-araggu waxa uu oggol yahay carruur Soomaaliyeed oo buugaag Bariga Dhexe laga keenay maskaxda looga xalay; marka ay warshadda maskax-xalka (dugsiga) galaan maankoodu waa saafi noqon kara dhowaan-arag ama fogaan-arag. Marka ay waaxda maandoorriga ka qalin-jebiyaan ayey, 1) haatan ku hadlaan ereyo qalaad (Carabi), 2) waxay cabbeen Carabaysi buuxa oo gardheere gebi ahaan mooggan qaabka dunidu u shaqeyso ku qufulay inta ay caqliyeysan ka hor, 3) Soomaalinnimo iyo aqoonta dunida oo ay sedkooda ku dhacsan lahaayeen ayey geesmareen. Buugaagta caynkaas wax u baseeyey guri kasta oo Soomaali ah waa yaalaan oo ankee Soomaaliga miyiga ee wax akhrin karin wuu sitaa buug afqalaad ku qoran oo uu rumayeeyey xaqiiq ahaan. 

Godobta ka dhalata dhallaanta cabsida lagu barbaarshay qoys iyo qaran waa ay dumisaa sababta oo ah waxay dishaa kalsoonida, taagta iyo curriska maanka. Waxay deyrisaa aqoonta oo dhaawacdaa maanka dhan walba. Cabsidu hufnaanta qofeed ayey la dirirtaa oo asaagga ka reebtaa, han iyo hodantinnimo ma leh, waa tilmaan suul-araggu gooni u leeyahay. Waxyeellada ay leedahay awgeed ayaa maanta dunida horumartay ka curiyey garasho leh carruur diin ha laga ilaaliyo oo qofku marka uu qaangaaro iskiis ha u baaro oo ha qaato middii la roon.

Soof-araggu waxa uu ku dooday malaha sidaanu si ma aha. Malaha waxaan dhallaanta lagu maandoorriyey in la xaqiijiyo run ama been ayaa mudan oo halka ay ka yimaadeen, sida ay ku yimaadeen iyo waxa ay dheef leeyihiin oo la taaban karo run laga sheego cabsi la'aan. Malaha sidii sheeko baraleey looga dhursugayey ayey adduunyadii dhaaftay Soomaali oo waxaa gudboon gobannimo maskaxeed iyo maanfur. Aragtida maanta, nolosha maanta, geesinnimada iyo garashada maanta ayaa waxay qof iyo qoon dul hagoogaan su'aasha ah; ma suul-arag baad tihiin mise soof-arag? Jawaabtu su'aasha qofkii yaqaan baa ay u taallaa.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

10 Reasons You Should Never Have a Religion

While consciously pursuing your spiritual development is commendable, joining an established religion such as Christianity, Islam, or Hinduism is one of the worst ways to go about it. In this article I’ll share 10 reasons why you must eventually abandon the baggage of organized religion if you wish to pursue conscious living in earnest.

Since Christianity is currently the world’s most popular religion, I’ll slant this article towards Christianity’s ubiquitous failings. However, you’ll find that most of these points apply equally well to other major religions (yes, even Buddhism).

1. Spirituality for dummies.

If you have the awareness level of a snail, and your thinking is mired in shame and guilt (with perhaps a twist of drug abuse or suicidal thinking), then subscribing to a religion can help you climb to a higher level of awareness. Your mindset, however, still remains incredibly dysfunctional; you’ve merely swapped one form of erroneous thinking for another.

For reasonably intelligent people who aren’t suffering from major issues with low self-esteem, religion is ridiculously consciousness-lowering. While some religious beliefs can be empowering, on the whole the decision to formally participate in a religion will merely burden your mind with a hefty load of false notions.

When you subscribe to a religion, you substitute nebulous group-think for focused, independent thought. Instead of learning to discern truth on your own, you’re told what to believe. This doesn’t accelerate your spiritual growth; on the contrary it puts the brakes on your continued conscious development. Religion is the off-switch of the human mind.

Leave the mythology behind, and learn to think for yourself. Your intellect is a better instrument of spiritual growth than any religious teachings.

2. Loss of spiritual depth perception.

One of the worst mistakes you can make in life is to attach your identity to any particular religion or philosophy, such as by saying “I am a Christian” or “I am a Buddhist.” This forces your mind into a fixed perspective, robbing you of spiritual depth perception and savagely curtailing your ability to perceive reality accurately. If that sounds like a good idea to you, you’ll probably want to gouge out one of your eyeballs too. Surely you’ll be better off with a single, fixed perspective instead of having to consider two separate image streams… unless of course you’ve become attached to stereo vision.

Religious “truths” are inherently rooted in a fixed perspective, but real truth is perspective-independent. When you substitute religious teachings for truth, you mistake shadows for light sources. Consequently, you doom yourself to stumble around in the dark, utterly confused. Clarity remains forever elusive, and the best answer you get is that life is one giant mystery. Religious mysteries, however, arise not from what is truly unknowable; they arise from the limitations of trying to understand reality from a fixed frame of reference.

A more intelligent approach is to consider reality through a variety of different perspectives without trying to force your perceptions into an artificial religious framework.

3. Engineered obedience training.

Religions are authoritarian hierarchies designed to dominate your free will. They’re power structures that aim to convince you to give away your power for the benefit of those who enjoy dominating people. When you subscribe to a religion, you enroll in a mindless minion training program. Religions don’t market themselves as such, but this is essentially how they operate.

Religions are very effective at turning human beings into sheep. They’re among the most powerful instruments of social conditioning. They operate by eroding your trust in your own intellect, gradually convincing you to put your trust into some external entity, such as a deity, prominent figure, or great book. Of course these instruments are usually controlled by those who administrate the minion training program, but they don’t have to be. Simply by convincing you to give your power away to something outside yourself, religion will condition you to be weaker, more docile, and easier to control. Religions actively promote this weakening process as if it were beneficial, commonly branding it with the word faith. What they’re actually promoting is submission.

Religions strive to fill your head with so much nonsense that your only recourse is to bow your head in submission, often quite literally. Get used to spending a lot of time on your knees because acts of submission such as bowing and kneeling are frequently incorporated into religious practice. Canine obedience training uses similar tactics. Now say, “Yes, Master.”

Have you ever wondered why religious teachings are invariably mysterious, confusing, and internally incongruent? This is no accident by the way — it’s quite intentional.

By putting forth confusing and internally conflicting information, your logical mind (i.e. your neocortex) is overwhelmed. You try in vain to integrate such contradictory beliefs, but it can’t be done. The net effect is that your logical mind disengages because it can’t find a pattern of core truth beneath all the nonsense, so without the help of your neocortex, you devolve to a more primitive (i.e. limbic) mode of thinking. You’re taught that this faith-based approach is a more spiritual and conscious way to live, but in reality it’s precisely the opposite. Getting you to distrust your own cerebral cortex actually makes you dumber and easier to manipulate and control. Karl Marx was right when he said, “Religion is the opiate of the people.”

For example, the Old Testament and the New Testament in the Bible frequently contradict each other with various rules of conduct, yet both are quoted during mass. Church leaders also behave in direct violation of the Church’s teachings, such as by covering up criminal and immoral activities by their own priests. Those who try to mentally process such glaring contradictions as coherent truth invariably suffer for it. A highly conscious person would reject membership in such an organization as patently ridiculous. So-called divine mysteries are engineered to be incomprehensible. You aren’t meant to ever make sense of them since that would defeat the whole purpose. When you finally wake up and realize it’s all B.S., you’ve taken the first step towards freedom from this oppressive system.

The truth is that so-called religious authorities don’t know any more about spirituality than you do. However, they know how to manipulate your fear and uncertainty for their own benefit. How nice of you to let them.

Although the most popular religions are very old, L. Ron Hubbard proved the process can be replicated from scratch in modern times. As long as there are large numbers of people who fear the responsibility of their own power, religions will continue to dominate the landscape of human development.

If you want to talk to God, then communicate directly instead of using third-party intermediaries. Surely God has no need of an interpreter. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming a mindless minion. It’s a mistake to think that turning off your neocortex and practicing mindless “faith” will bring you closer to God. In truth it will only bring you closer to dog.

4. Toilet-bowl time management.

If you devote serious time to the practice of religion, it’s safe to say you practice toilet-bowl time management, flushing much of your precious life down the drain with little or nothing to show for it.
First, you’ll waste a lot of time filling your head with useless nonsense. This includes reading some of the worst fiction ever written. Then there are various rules, laws, and practices to learn.

Seriously, if you have insomnia, try reading religious texts before bedtime. You’ll be asleep faster than you can say Methuselah. Why do you think hotels put Bibles next to the bed? It’s the greatest sedative known to man. I have to give props to the Scientologists for at least incorporating space aliens into their stories. It’s a shame Gene Roddenberry didn’t formally invent his own religion; Stovokor sounds like a lot of fun.

Once you finally realize your head has been filled with utter nonsense, you must then purge such garbage from your mind if you want your brain to be functional again. That can take considerably longer, assuming you succeed at all. It’s like trying to uninstall AOL from your hard drive.

Next, you can expect to waste even more time on repetitive ritual and ceremony, such as attending mass, learning prayers, and practicing unproductive meditations.

Now if you really go overboard and throw in learning a dead language for good measure, you can kiss years of your life goodbye.

The more time you devote to religious practice, the more you waste your life on pointless, dead-end pursuits… and the more you’ll want to delude yourself with a phony “Hehe, I meant to do that” attitude.

5. Support your local pedophile.

In addition to being a serious waste of time, religious practice can also be a huge waste of money.
For starters when you donate to a major religion, you support its expansion, which means you’re facilitating the enslavement of your fellow humans. That isn’t very nice, now is it? If you feel the urge to donate money, give it to a real and honorable cause, not a fabricated one. Better yet, go outside and do something that really helps people. If you can’t think of anything better, grab a can of paint and clean up some local graffiti.

Your religious donations fund freeloaders who mooch off society but who generally provide little or no value in return. Sure there are some religious people who perform valuable public services, but for the most part, that isn’t their bailiwick. These freeloaders typically operate tax-free, meaning they’re effectively subsidized by taxpayers. That’s a great racket if you’re on the receiving side… not so great if you’re funding it though.

Religions offer a suite of special services to generate additional income. They’ll spout some gibberish while feeding you a crusty wafer, pronounce you bonded to a fellow human being, pour water on your head, proclaim your manhood, cast out your demons, pronounce your transgressions forgiven, and so on. When they can’t think of anything else, they make up some drivel like confirming you’re still loyal to them. The bill may read “suggested donation,” but it’s still a bill.

When you donate money to a religious organization, you’re doing much worse than throwing your money away. You’re actively funding evil. If you think that spending a billion dollars to defend pedophiles and rapists is a good use of your hard-earned cash, perhaps you should run for Pope. You could hardly do worse. At least Wall Street is honest about its greed and lust.

Why aren’t Catholic priests allowed to marry? This has nothing to do with what’s written in the Bible or with any benefits of celibacy. This rule was invented by the Church to prevent their priests from producing heirs. When the priests died, their property would go back to the Church, thereby enriching the rich even more. Apparently God needed more cash. It was a very effective policy, as the Church is now among the richest and most powerful organizations on earth. It’s hard to fail when you have a loyal force of lifetime indentured servants who work cheaply and then yield their life savings to you when they die.

Lay religious people (i.e. non-clergy), on the other hand, are encouraged to have lots of babies because that means more people are born into the religion, which means more money and a bigger power base. Condoms are a big no-no; they’re bad for business. Marriage is a big yes; it means more brainwashed babies will be made.

6. Incest is best.

Religions frequently promote inbred social networks. You’re encouraged to spend more time with people who share the same belief system while disengaging from those with incompatible beliefs. Sometimes this is done subtly; other times it’s more obvious.

If you’re one of the saved, blessed, or otherwise enlightened individuals who stumbled upon the one true belief system, then supposedly everyone else remains in the dark. Certain religions are overtly intolerant of outsiders, but to one degree or another, all major religions cast non-subscribers in a negative light. This helps to discourage members from abandoning the religion while still enabling them to proselytize. The main idea is to maintain social structures that reward loyalty and punish freedom of thought.

This us-vs-them prejudice is totally incongruent with conscious living. It’s also downright moronic from a global perspective. But it remains a favored practice of those who pull the strings. When you’re taught to distrust other human beings, fear gets a foothold in your consciousness, and you become much easier to control.

When you join a religion, your fellow mind-slaves will help to keep you in line, socially rewarding your continued obedience while punishing your disloyalty. Why do they do this? It’s what they’ve been conditioned to do. Tell your religious friends that you’re abandoning their religion because you want to think for yourself for a while, and watch the sparks fly. Suddenly you’ve gone from best friend to evil demon. There’s no greater threat to religious people than to profess your desire to think for yourself.

There are better ways to enjoy a sense of community than joining a slavery club. Try making friends with conscious, free-thinking people for a change — people who are willing to connect with you regardless of how silly your beliefs are. You may find it intimidating at first, but it’s quite refreshing once you get used to it.

Since I get asked this question all the time, I might as well answer it publicly. Do I accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior? No more than I’d accept a credit card from Crapital One. Either way I’d be worried about the fine print.

7. Idiocy or hypocrisy – pick one.

When you subscribe to an established religion, you have only two options. You can become an idiot, or you can become a hypocrite. If you’ve already chosen the former, I’ll explain why, and I’ll use small words so that you’re sure to understand.

First, there’s the idiocy route. You can willingly swallow all of the contrived, man-made drivel that’s fed to you. Accept that the earth is only 10,000 years old. Believe stories about dead bodies coming back to life. Learn about various deities and such. Put your trust in someone who thinks they know what they’re talking about. Eat your dogma. Good boy!

Congratulations! You’re a moron believer. You’ll be saved, enlightened, and greeted with tremendous fanfare when you die… unless of course all the stuff you were taught turns out not to be true. Nah… if the guy in the robe says it’s true, it must be true. Ya gotta have faith, right?

Next, we have the hypocrisy option. In this case your neocortex is strong enough to identify various bits of utter nonsense in the religious teachings that others are trying to ram down your throat. You have a working B.S. detector, but it’s slightly damaged. You’re smart enough to realize that earth is probably a lot older than 10,000 years and that pre-marital (or non-marital) sex is a lot of fun, but some B.S. still gets through. You don’t swallow all the bull, but you still identify yourself as a follower of a particular religion, most likely because you were raised in it and never actually chose it to begin with.

To you it’s just a casual pursuit. You’re certainly not a die-hard fundamentalist, but you figure that if you drink the wine and chew the wafer now and then, it’s good enough to get you a free ride into a half-decent afterlife. You belong to the pro-God club. Surely there’s safety in numbers. Two people can’t be wrong… although 4-1/2 billion supposedly can.

In this case you become an apologist for your own religion. You don’t want to be identified with the extreme fanatics, nor do you want to be associated with the non-believers. You figure you can straddle both sides. On earth you’ll basically live as a non-practitioner (or a very sloppy and inconsistent practitioner), but when you eventually die, you’ve still got the membership card to show God.

Do you realize how deluded you are?

Perhaps if you have to throw out so much of the nonsense to make your chosen belief system palatable, you shouldn’t be drinking the Kool Aid in the first place. Free yourself from the mental baggage, stop looking to others for permission to live, and start thinking on your own. If your God exists, he’s smart enough to see through your fake ID.

From time to time, some of my readers take a stab at converting me to their religion. Most of them come across as total loons, but I can at least respect their consistency. I’ve no idea why they bother to read my site (which is about raising, not lowering, consciousness). Perhaps some of them are getting ready to convert from fundamentalism to common sense.

8. Inherited falsehood.

Please tell me you aren’t still practicing the religion you happened to be born into? Surely you’ve outgrown your baby clothes by now. Isn’t it time you also outgrew your baby religion?

What if you were born into a different culture? Would you have been conscious enough to find your way back to your current belief system? Or are your current beliefs merely a product of your environment and not the result of conscious choice?

Many religions are just a mish-mash of what came before. For example, Christianity is largely based on pagan rituals. If those pagan beliefs and rituals had been protected by copyright, Christianity wouldn’t even exist. If you take the time to dig into the roots of Christianity, you’ll encounter various theories that Christianity’s teachings were largely assembled from pre-Christian myths and that Jesus himself was merely a fictional character pieced together from earlier mythical figures. You go, Horus!

Many religious teachers (i.e. priests, rabbis, ministers, etc.) are just brainwashed slaves themselves. They don’t have any real authority and aren’t even aware of the agenda being set by their superiors. This makes them better minions because they actually believe the B.S. they’re spouting and don’t know the truth behind it. A priest, a rabbi, and a minister walk into a bar, but that’s as far as they get. They may interact with the bartender, but they never get to know the guy who owns the bar. They suffer from inherited falsehood just like everyone else.

Is your religion based on the inspired word of God? No more than this article. Just because someone says their text is divinely inspired doesn’t mean it is. Anyone can claim divine inspiration. The top religions are decided by popularity, not by truth.

Even the central figures in major religions didn’t follow the religions that were spawned in their names. If they didn’t swallow the prevailing “wisdom” about gods and spiritual leaders and such, why should you? If you want to be more like the people you worship, then follow their lead by striking out on your own.

Move beyond your baby religion. Consider maturity as a reasonable alternative.

9. Compassion in chains.

Religious rules and laws invariably hamper the development of conscience. This causes all sorts of problems like pointless violence and warfare. Those who preach nonviolence as a rule or law tend to be the most violent of all. Such people cannot be trusted because they’ll violate their proclaimed values with the weakest of excuses.

When you externalize compassion into a set of rules and laws, what you’re left with isn’t compassion at all. True compassion is a matter of conscious choice, and that requires the absence of force-backed rules and laws.

The more religious a person becomes, the less compassionate s/he is. The illusion of compassion substitutes for the real thing. Religious people tend to be the most bigoted and non-accepting people on earth. They’re the least trustworthy and suffer from the grossest character defects. They pretend they’re doing good, but they’re really collaborators in a system designed to push people into unconscious slavery to a “higher” authority. They are slaves promoting slavery.

Historically speaking, religious people love to fight each other. Instead of unconditional love, they practice conditional loyalty. The only unconditional aspect is their thirst for blood. If you disagree with them, you’re a target… either for conversion or destruction (both of which are really the same thing).

If you value the ideal of unconditional love, you won’t find it in the practice of religion. Real compassion doesn’t arise from believing in God, from practicing various rituals, or from studying the concept of karma. Compassion can only result from conscious choice, and this requires the freedom to choose without the threat of punishment or the promise of reward. If you’re obedient to your faith, it’s a safe bet that compassion is absent from your life. You probably don’t even know what real compassion feels like.

The more we collectively abandon all religion, the better off this planet will be. This doesn’t mean we have to abandon all spiritual pursuits. It just means we must stop turning spirituality into something it isn’t.

10. Faith is fear.

Religion is the systematic marketing of fear.

Blessed are the poor (donate heavily). Blessed are the meek (obey). Blessed are the humble (don’t question authority). Blessed are the hungry (make us rich while you starve). Blessed are the merciful (if you catch us doing something wrong, let it go). Blessed are the pure of heart (switch off your brain). Blessed are the timid, the cowardly, the fearful. Blessed are those who give us their power and become our slaves. Muahahaha!

That’s the kind of nonsense religion pushes on people. They train you to turn your back on courage, strength, and conscious living. This is stupidity, not divinity.

Religion will teach you to fear being different, to fear standing up for yourself, and to fear being an independent thinker. It will erode your self-trust by explaining why you’re unable to successfully manage life on your own terms: You are unworthy. You’re a sinner. You’re unclean. You belong to a lesser caste. You are not enlightened. Of course the solution is always the same — submit to the will of an external authority. Believe that you’re inadequate. Give away your power. Follow their rules and procedures. Live in fear for the rest of your life, and hope it will all turn out okay in the end.

When you practice faith instead of conscious living, you live under a cloak of fear. Eventually that cloak becomes so habitual you forget it’s even there. It’s very sad when you reach the point where you can’t even remember what it feels like to wield creative freedom over your own life, independent of what you’ve been conditioned to believe.

Faith is the coward’s substitute for courage. It’s also really good marketing if you’re the one who controls the faith. If you’re afraid or unwilling to assume total responsibility for your life, you’re a perfect match for religion.

Fear in one part of your life invariably spreads to all other parts — you can’t compartmentalize it. If you find yourself frustrated because you’re too afraid to follow your dreams, to talk to members of the opposite sex, to speak up for yourself, etc., then a good place to start is to rid your life of all religious nonsense. Don’t let fear get a foothold in your consciousness.

Stop trying to comfort yourself by swallowing religious rubbish. If you really need something to believe in, then believe in your own potential. Put your trust in your own intellect. Stop giving away your power.

Dump the safety-in-numbers silliness. Just because a lot of people believe stupid stuff doesn’t mean it isn’t stupid. It just means that stupidity is popular on this planet. When people are in a state of fear, they’ll swallow just about anything to comfort themselves, including the bastion of stupidity known as religion. Religion is spiritual immaturity.