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Following are from the current issue of The Fountain Magazine. Timing of Medication · Alzheimer's Disease (AD) · Hunt for Divine Manifestation · Science Square. The Fountain (March - April ) covers some subjects on science, arts and culture, belief. There are 17 articles in this issue. # Mar. Apr On Life, Knowledge, and Belief. Everyone runs to the heart that beats with compassion; When feelings are shared, the.
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The Fountain believes in the power of knowledge and dialogue for global peace. Barbara Anderson and .. sppn.info 3 https://w w sppn.info However, last year The Atlantic magazine published an article. THE FOUNTAİN --A MAGAZINE OF SCIENTIFIC AND SPIRITUAL THOUGHT-- - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. The Fountain Magazine, Clifton, NJ. 22K likes. Published bimonthly and distributed throughout the world, The Fountain covers themes on life, belief.
This was not to be done publicly, because the colony was struggling for survival. Amidst this new land of uncertainties, everyone was in need of a certainty to cling to, and the suppositions of Sayhon and Nurson were the last thing they looked for. As the colonys efforts for reconstruction and the internal quests of these two ants continued, they came across the most unexpected thing: It was as shocking to the native ants as it was to themselves. And as their relationship deepened, it was a subtle, mind-altering experience for all of them to see that they both had religious texts telling the same brief story about the origin of life.
As we want our evaluations to be accurate and decisions to be fair, so we also want the evaluations of others about us to be accurate and their decisions about us to be fair.
But what if there are hidden psycho-social processes quietly working in the human mind that affect these evaluations and cause them to be biased? What if these affect good-intentioned people and lead to serious consequences? What are those processes and what can we do about them? We better start by illustrating what we mean. In a study conducted by social psychologists Tversky and Kahneman, people were asked to guess the percentage of African nations that were mem-.
When faced with a decision-making or estimation situation, people start with an anchor, or a reference point, and make adjustments to it to reach their final estimate. Two groups were first asked to estimate whether this number was lower or higher than a threshold: Then both groups were asked to give their estimates of the actual percentage.
The researchers demonstrated that the group that was given the lower threshold estimated a lower value for the actual percentage of African nations that are members of the United Nations.
The group that was given the higher threshold estimated a higher percentage. The pattern has held in other experiments for a wide variety of different subjects of estimation. A bias in the estimation of African members of the United Nations may not sound like a big deal, but how about decisions that affect peoples lives seriously?
Consider sentencing in court trials. Social psychologist Mussweiler and colleagues asked trial judges with more than 15 years of experience to consider sentencing demands made by non-experts in a legal crime case before issuing a final sentence.
The two sentencing demands were 34 months and 12 months. The judges, despite their experience and despite the fact that the crime was the same, were influenced by the demands. Judges who considered the high demand of 34 months prior to their decision gave final sentences that were almost 8 months longer than judges who considered a low demand of 12 months initially. If prior exposure to a piece of information can make a difference as much as 8 more months in prison, then we ought to know what is going on.
The examples above illustrate a psychological heuristic known as anchoring and adjustment. The heuristic suggests that when faced with a decision-making or estimation situation, people start with an anchor, or a reference point, and make adjustments to it to reach their final estimate.
The anchor serves as a first approximation and then the person makes adjustments to it to reach a final estimate or decision. Why does the human mind utilize this heuristic? The answer is simplewe do not always have a whole lot of information to reach an accurate estimate or best decision. Therefore, the mind sometimes needs shortcuts, especially under pressing circumstances. To understand this process, lets have a look at the limitations of human cognition. Models of human cognition Cognitive psychologists and sociologists have worked to develop models of human social cognition.
These models emphasize four aspects of our social cognition, which is the way we perceive others. The first is the role of prior knowledge versus information immediately available. For example, when we see a policeman directing the traffic, we use our prior knowledge in our perception.
We may assume that he is carrying a gun and he has communications equipment to talk with his station. We deduce these features from our prior knowledge about the traffic police, even if we may not be in a position to observe that particular policemans gun or communications device. Relying on prior information in our judgments is called top-down processing as opposed to bottom-up or data-driven processing. Typically, relying on top-down processing, such as relying on stereotypes, requires fewer processing resources.
Figure 1: When we see traffic police or cars approaching us, we rely on our prior knowledge about police or cars in deciding how to react. The second aspect is the limitation of our cognitive processing capacity.
The human cognitive system is modeled to consist of our sensory organs, a sensory register memory that temporarily stores our perceptions of external stimuli, a short-term memory, a long-term memory, attention resources and executive control processes. When we receive information in the form of audio-visual or other sensory stimuli, they are processed by our cognitive system and transferred to our short-term memory.
Through a process of encoding and categorization, the information is organized and stored in the long-term memory. A part of the long-term memory is active or readily accessible.
Our further use of information in our long-term memory activates the information, and the lack of use deactivates it, making it less readily accessible. Our behavioral response results from our processing of information. According to this information-processing model of human cognition, the amount of information that can be processed by our cognitive system is restricted in terms of storage, flow and inference Huitt, The value of the initial offer has a significant effect on what people will be willing to pay for the final price of the car.
If the initial offer is very high, the customer is likely to accept a higher negotiated price and vice versa. The third aspect is the amount of cognitive processing that is determined by capacity amount of free resources and motivation.
Factors such as interest, importance, and relevance determine the motivation to allocate more cognitive resources. We are more likely to devote more cognitive processing resources to subjects that are more interesting, important or relevant in our judgment. The fourth aspect is the interplay between automatic and controlled processing. Automatic processes require fewer resources. Given our limited processing capacity, time and other types of constraints have consequences for our cognitive processing.
Under constraints, most individuals tend to simplify their processing by relying on less information, relying on automatic cognitive processes as opposed to conscious ones, or relying on prior information as opposed to information available in the circumstances. Anchoring is one such a simplification. The nature of the situation we are facing will determine which of these mechanisms will be selected.
They will be reused or abandoned depending on whether they provide a sound basis for our responses to the social environment. If the simplifications lead to interpretations that harm us, we are likely to abandon them. If, on the other hand, there is no harm or there is a benefit, then we are likely to reuse those simplifications.
Anchoring effect Anchoring is defined as the effect of a prior judgment of an object, the anchor, on our future judgments regarding another object. As an example, consider the situation where people are asked whether the population of a city is greater than or smaller than a value.
Lets say two groups of people are asked the same question with two anchors: Group A is asked whether the population of Houston is more than or less than , Group B is asked whether the population of Houston more than or less than 2,, In this example, the values of , and 2,, serve as anchors.
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Both groups are then asked: What is your estimate of the population of Houston? Experiments indicate that the people who were given the lower anchor on average give a lower estimate for the population and vice versa. How does anchoring happen? Cognitive psychologists tell us that human judgment is essentially relative or comparison based, even if we are not asked to make a comparison explicitly.
So, in evaluating the present object or person, our minds search for an anchor. A particular anchor may be selected because it is readily accessible, because it is suggested to us, or self-generated via an insufficient adjustment process Mussweiler et al. Our prior cognitive processing of the anchor increases the accessibility of anchorconsistent knowledge, which influences our subsequent judgments. For example, when we meet a person from a country, the first person we met from that country may become.
If we had a positive experience with the first person, we are likely to interpret the actions of this new person with a positive light.
While cognitive heuristics such as anchoring help us make quick decisions under constraints, they may also lead to errors. The price we pay for the economy provided by the heuristics is systematically. Bless et al. For instance, a car dealer may offer you a very high price as an anchor and ask you to make a counter offer. Experiments have demonstrated that under such circumstances, the value of the initial offer has a significant effect on what people will be willing to pay for the final price of the car.
The anchoring effect can also be observed when we take a few characteristics of a person and consciously or subconsciously fit them to a stereotype. In such cases, we may misperceive their motivations or misunderstand their circumstances.
Sometimes the anchor can be manipulated by some person other than ourselves, as in the case of the car dealer. Sometimes, we may pick the anchor unintentionally based on information obtained from the mass media. As the mass media tend to focus on rare events that tend to be negative, the stereotypes formed based on information solely derived from the mass media may be misleading Said, What are some of the lessons we can derive from our discussion of the anchoring effect?
For one, we need to point the mirror at ourselves and ask: Are we forming stereotypes of others that may be inaccurate? Are we influenced by the anchoring effect in our judgment of other people? To see whether we may have anchors for evaluating people of different backgrounds consider your initial thoughts about Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Americans, Russians, Asians, Africans, Mexicans, etc.
Are these anchors based on scientific data or news media coverage of events or personal encounters with one or more individuals? It may be infeasible to try to collect encyclopedic information about every nationality, religion, or culture that we encounter.
But in matters that impact our society we ought to do a better job of researching a diversity of resources. But perhaps a more important lesson is this the anchoring effect is here to stay as part of the reality of human cognition. If we would like to provide accurate, reliable information to people about ourselves, our culture and values, we should reach them before they form a negative anchor or stereotype.
If we would like our cultural background, religion, or values to be understood without distortion, we need to reach out to as many people as possible around us and interact with them. We need to hold conversations, and share meaningful experiences with them to anchor their future judgments in an accurate reference point. The anchoring effect is demonstrated to be pervasive and robust in psychology.
It is not likely to disappear in the foreseeable future. However, we do have the opportunity to reach out and help form positive anchors for better human relationships. Further reading Bless, H. Social Cognition, New York: Taylor and Francis. Huitt, W. The Information Processing Approach to Cognition.
Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Mussweiler, T. The Semantics of Anchoring. Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, 86, Said, E. Covering Islam: Random House. Generosity is like a tree. Its roots are in Heaven and its branches have hung down to this world. Whoever lives under that tree and behaves generously, sooner or later he will hold on to one of the branches and rise to Heaven where the trees roots are.
The body is equipped with several strategies to regenerate, including the rearrangement of pre-existing tissue, the activation of resident stem cells, and the regression of a specialized cell or tissue to a simpler form by the process known as dedifferentiation. These strategies are directed toward the rebuilding of the appropriate tissue and organ structure. But this regeneration capacity varies in different organisms.
For instance, planarians were shown to regenerate into a new worm successfully even when split into pieces. Another striking example of regeneration has been observed in salamanders. Scientists have shown that mice younger than 7 days can heal heart damage by regrowing healthy heart muscle tissue.
In older mice, such damage results in a scar and eventually heart failure. When a limb of a salamander is removed, the limb can grow back and become functional in months. Then there is the regeneration of the zebra fish heart. When 20 percent of the zebra fish heart is removed, it regenerates completely in 60 days by a process involving the dedifferentiation of heart muscle cells.
Heart regeneration in Mammals Such heart regeneration holds the promise for the treatment of heart failure following heart attacks. But so far, the adult human heart is known not to show adequate regeneration or replacement of dead tissue with functional tissue such as beating cardiomyocytes cardiac muscles and arteries. When a patient has successive heart attacks and myocardial infarctions death of cardiac muscle resulting from interruption of the blood supply , the number of dead cells increases due to the decreased level of oxygen reaching the heart tissue.
Thats one of the reasons heart disease is so deadly. The regeneration mechanism is thought to occur via incorporating stem cells, using differentiation into cardiac muscle and other cell types, or via dedifferentiation of cardiomyocytes. It is known that the heart of an adult zebra fish can regenerate without scar formation, whereas adult rodents and humans respond with a fibrous scar, without obvious cardiomyocyte regeneration.
This remarkable phenomenon had been demonstrated in other fish and amphibians, but never before in a mammal. Recently, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center showed that a newborn mouses heart can fully heal itself.
Sadeks group at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas showed that the mammalian heart demonstrates a temporary regeneration capacity in newborn mice. After slowing down the body functions by cooling the body of a mouse, they performed a very delicate heart surgery, removing about 15 percent of the apex of a 1-day-old newborn mouse heart.
Within a short period three weeks , they showed that heart had healed and the function. But when mice are a week old, this remarkable ability of regeneration disappears, and damage to the heart results in the thinning of the heart wall at the site of injury, and the loss of the pumping capacity of heart, also known as heart failure. There seems to be a barrier to regeneration after 7 days. This 7-day window in mice could correspond to a few months after birth in humans.
Several reports suggest that human heart may also have some ability to regenerate in infancy. If newborn animals and infants are able to regenerate their hearts, there could be ways to remind the heart how do this or restart this ability in adulthood to allow regeneration in a broader window.
Could there be means to induce regeneration by gene therapy, using small molecules, drugs or hormones? This new discovery brings new approaches to study heart disease and hopes that one day, heart disease the number one killer in the world could be treated.
More studies are needed and a number of labs have already started to invest in this new model of heart regeneration. Human heart cell turnover and regeneration The heart is the least regenerative organ in our body. Once cardiomyocytes are damaged through heart attacks, the heart heals by scar formation instead of regeneration. This results in a loss of contractile function and often ends in heart failure.
Lack of regeneration in an adult heart is associated with the complexity and inability of cardiomyocytes to divide, along with the absence of adequate muscle-producing cardiac stem cells in the heart. Cardiomyocytes proliferate extensively during embryonic development but slow dramatically around birth.
The growth of heart continues after birth through the increase in cardiomyocyte size, known as hypertropy. This allows DNA synthesis and nuclear division and results in binucleated cardiomyocytes. Increasing evidence strongly suggests that the human heart shows a degree of cardiomyocyte repopulation introduction of new cardiomyoctes.
It is always challenging to study human heart cellular homeo-. Who knew nuclear testing during the Cold War would help to uncover dynamics of human cardiomyocyte turnover? Using a technique based on radiocarbon dating of DNA with carbon, released from nuclear tests, Bergmann and his colleagues from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden showed that the cardiomyocyte turnover rate is about 1 percent per year at age 20, with a decline to 0.
This is based on the idea that people born during nuclear tests following World War II until the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty , any cardiomyocyte repopulation should result in lower carbon concentrations.
These findings imply that around age 50, about half of the cardiomyocytes in the human heart are generated after birth. However, another study puts emphasis on the importance of cell deaths apoptosis for heart cell turnover, asserting that these rates could be much higher percent per year.
Those findings bring new hopes to heart disease. If the repopulation potential of heart could be therapeutically targeted, the rate of turnover could be extended to overcome the inability to recover cardiomyocyte loss and cardiac contractility after heart attacks.
The better regenerative capacity of fish and amphibians, compared. It has been suggested that the limited regeneration potential of mammalian hearts following injury increases survival by prioritizing homeostasis and fibrosis scar formation by excess connective tissue.
Bleeding from the heart in a high-pressure circulation probably favors the more rapid fibrous healing, instead of regeneration, whereas small animals have a lowpressure circulatory system and oxygenation isnt needed all the time. This phenomenon probably applies to the regeneration of the newborn mouse heart, which also made the removal of the apex of the newborn mouse heart possible.
Cardiac stem cells for regeneration The heart is a mosaic of various cell types including valvular, arterial, smooth muscle, pacemaker, endothelial, autonomic ganglia, fibroblasts and cardiomyocytes.
Those cells have essentially the same genetic makeup but they show a great diversity. Could there be a common cardiac stem cell that gives rise to all those cell types in the heart? There are a number of studies suggesting the presence of such stem cells, though why they fail to regenerate the heart following heart attacks remains unknown.
There have been a number of attempts to discover cardiac stem cells. Some stem cells have been studied in animals and even considered as possible therapies in human trials. Sources of those stem cells could be classifies as resident and nonresident exogenous cells of heart. Exogenous stem cell types include skeletal myoblasts, hematopoietic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow and circulating endothelial cells.
Many approaches to identify resident cardiac stem cells are based on knowledge from hematopoietic stem cells. Using surface proteins on the cells known to enrich bone marrow stem cells, several types of resident stem cells are shown to exist in the heart. There are limited improvements in cardiac function using those cells, but the benefits of those cells are thought to be through other mechanisms instead of replacement of dead tissue in the damaged heart.
A study demonstrating the renewal of a newborn mice heart does not completely rule out resident cardiac stem cells as a source of new beating heart cells, but points out the likelihood of their originating from cardiomyocytes by dedifferentiation. Along with a number of attempts to treat heart failure by using stem cells, recent findings offer hope that researchers and doctors will one day able to cure heart disease. Knowing that there is no disease that God has created, except that He also has created its treatment, our duty is to study hard and to develop new technologies to find the prospective treatments for heart failure to serve humanity.
Who knew nuclear testing during the Cold War would help to uncover occurring human heart cell turnover? Science 25 February: Bergmann et al. Evidence for Cardiomyocyte Renewal in Humans. Science, 3 April: Charles E. Murry and Richard T. Turnover after the fallout. Science, V Science , Simonetta Ausoni and Saverio Sartore. From fish to amphibians to mammals: Martin-Puig et al. Lives of a hear cell: Tracing the origins of cardiac progenitors. Cell Stem Cell 2. Nevada Nuclear Testing Site: Here she was, sitting on the floor in her childhood bedroom, staring at the phone beside her, willing it to ring.
But she knew George wouldnt be calling. She had given up on him and left him behind in New York when he made it clear that he didnt love her. She was living with her mother in Boston now.
She wanted to ask her mother for support, but she couldnt face her, so she kept silent about her situation. Adjusting her position on the floor, Hannah told herself, I have just one choice now.
I have to pray to God. She raised her eyes to the ceiling, where she thought there was a heaven, where she thought she might find God. But her mind was unclear about what to do or say next. She didnt really know how to pray but she hoped, if there was a God, He would hear her wherever she waswouldnt He? She didnt really know much about belief. Religion didnt play a big part in her familys life; perhaps this had led her to believe she didnt need religion or God in her life.
For the past 10 years, she had been living like so many young people of her time, never once contemplating God, religion, or even the difference between right and wrong. She had followed the crowd and her own egotistical desires.
Ironically, it was this crooked path that led her to. Gods door. She was standing now at a dangerous intersection, 30 years old with no home of her own, no job, pregnant out of wedlock, and trying to make a responsible decision for the life she carried inside.
Growing up, it was clear that her parents had hopes and dreams for all their children to be successful, good people. Her generation had their marching orders: They strove to be the brightest in school, the most talented musicians, and the toughest players on the football field. Her family was well-known in town for owning the biggest house, downloading the best clothes, and driving the newest cars.
As a child, she had lived a sheltered, lonely and isolated life. Her playmates were her cousins and siblings. When she grew older, her friends became the most important people in her life. And although she tried, she didnt fit in with her peers; perhaps the reason was because she didnt belong to a community of faithful believers, or perhaps because her skin was a shade too dark.
Being different had impacted her identity negatively. Despite all the love her family had shared, she was unhappy with herself. Hannah couldnt wait to get away from that town, that family, and the unanswered questions about why she didnt fit in.
Hannahs life changed drastically after she went to college. There, she was free. What she did with her newfound freedom was not inhibited by her skin color, her parents, or by any relationship with God. She cared nothing about what God thought of her, and only about what people thought of her.
Her sole ambition was to appear liberated from any sense of guilt or shame, even after wronging herself or another.
After college, her parents expected her to move back home, but Hannah refused. By then, her taste for freedom had become as precious as gold, and she couldnt imagine losing even one piece of it. So, with her parents reluctant support, she moved to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a rich and famous songwriter and singer.
After seven years, and some success in the music business, she re-. Deeply disappointed by her mistakes and the dissatisfying path she had chosen, Hannah sought shelter in her mothers home, until she could figure out what to do next.
In her room, Hannah prepared to pray, closing her eyes and fearing God. Praying was something she hadnt done since she was an innocent child. She wondered,Will God listen to me? But then, why should He?
Hannah struggled to find the right words, to move beyond her fears and doubts. How could she ask for something from someone she hardly knew or trusted?
Finally, she managed to speak: God, I am unworthy; too unworthy to ask for your help. With her head bowed, Hannah began to sob, But Im in trouble. You have to help meI have nowhere to turn, no one else to ask. Oh, dear God. Please help me In tears, and feeling her prayer was futile, Hannah was about to give up, when she was struck by a clear, cold reality: God was her only Helper.
This truism awakened a longing deep inside of her. She kept pushing, praying, putting aside her pride, and then, she began to beg: Oh, my God, Im going to do the most impossible thing.
But YouYou have to help me, because without Your help, I couldnt do it She heard her own voice, crying out, asking for a change in her life. Like the Israelites, who had cried out to God from the depths of their souls to be released from slavery.
THE FOUNTAİN --A MAGAZINE OF SCIENTIFIC AND SPIRITUAL THOUGHT--
God answered their cry and gave them Moses. Praying was evidence of a change taking place within Hannah. But she had to wonder, was it really enough, if absolutely nothing about her situation had changed? She had no plan of action, no partner, no place to live, no money, and no job; and yet, she now believed that everything in the universe could change by Gods will: Truly, never will God change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves Hannah began to think of other changes she could make to her life, asking herself for the first time: Could I change my way of life?
Would God guide me if I asked to be guided? When she finished crying and praying, and opened her eyes, Hannah felt better. She had an inexplicable sense of peace, and felt confident about her sudden decisiveness.
She passed her hands over her face, still wet with her tears and whispered into the air: Im going to have this baby and God is going to help me. From that day forward, Hannahs awareness of and deep need for God would determine all her choices.
For Hannah, it was the beginning of a renewed relationship with God, a way for her to learn how to trust in God. Some call it a leap of faith.
But years later, Hannah would describe the experience in her room as the day she surrendered to God. She experienced the true meaning of faith that day; the moment of her surrender came when she realized with her whole heart that she had only One True Helper. Tears dried and spirits surprisingly high, Hannah left her room and headed downstairs to the pantry. Starving, she held a salty pickled turnip in one hand and a sweet piece of baklava in the other, when her mother came upon her and asked innocently,What are you doing, Hannah?
Why are you eating both of those at once? Youre going to get sick! When she saw the love and concern on her mothers face, and thought about the gift from God growing inside her body, Hannah was overcome by a profound sense of gratitude, and the vision of a new life, with God as her guide.
Say, Come, I will rehearse what God has really prohibited you from: Join not anything as equal with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want. We provide sustenance for you and for themcome not near to shameful deeds, whether open or in secret. Take not life, which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law.
Thus does He command you that you may learn wisdom. Quran 6: Hannah and her child never experienced a single day of want. Today, her son is 28 years old and has far exceeded the hopes and dreams a mother could have for a child.
She often refers to him as the jewel in her crown. And each fall she makes him his favorite dish, salty pickled turnips. In more general terms it means patience, which is one of the most important actions of the heart mentioned in the Quran. Because of its importance, patience is regarded as half of ones religious life the other half is thankfulness. The Quran orders patience in many verses, such as: Seek help in patience and prayer 2: Endure, vie with each other in endurance 3: Show not haste concerning them the unbelievers When you meet in battle those who do not believe, turn not your backs to them 8: This sugar is very intriguing for the pharmaceutical industry because of its potential use in the prevention of freezing-related damages in organ transplants.
Another benefit of dehydration is resistance to radiation. This is because reactive molecules generated in the cell by the effects of radiation cannot cause a reaction in a dehydrated medium; due to the low water concentration, the possibility of harmful reactions drops.
Cryptobiosis does not only take place during dehydration. It also happens during periods of low temperature cryobiosis , high salinity osmobiosis , and low oxygen. By being able to hibernate, Tardigrades are important for space research.
Maybe during interplanetary trips, passengers could be hibernated by freezing. Tardigrades could have other uses for medical purposes. Certain disease-causing microorganisms could be dehydrated without killing them via Cryptobiosis. Similar technologies could also be employed for the conservation of seeds, sperms, blood, and various nutrients.
Does Islam Promote Violence? Quite the opposite; Islam should build upon Western civilization, not seek to destroy it. Further terrorist attacks in certain countries, and the brutal emergence of ISIS right after the Syrian crisis, have led to the embers of anti-Islamic sentiments burning in the west.
No person can kill a human being. No one can touch an innocent person, even in times of war. No one can be a suicide bomber. No one can rush into crowds with bombs tied to his or her body.
Regardless of the religion of these crowds, this is not religiously permissible. Even in the event of war -- during which it is difficult to maintain balances -- this is not permitted in Islam. They believe that their current political involvement does not give them the power to effect real change. They identify with perceived victims of the social injustice they are fighting. They feel the need to take action rather than just talking about the problem. They believe that engaging in violence against the state is not immoral.
They have friends or family sympathetic to the cause. They believe that joining a movement offers social and psychological rewards such as adventure or a heightened sense of identity. However, despite these voices disputing the link between Islam and terror, there are also other views suggesting that some terrorist acts, like the Paris attacks last year, have had some roots in Islamic law. There are three main sources of knowledge in Islamic law: In a sense, this is passive opposition.
But there is no specific criminal punishment in such cases. For a Muslim, the greatest truth and fact is the faith of the oneness of Allah.
If there is an assault against this faith, a Muslim is advised not to stay with the group of people who make these insults. Kurucan also cited the disaster in Karbala, bloody wars, disagreements, political turmoil, tricks, and riots. He said these incidents had no roots in Islam, but were disagreements amongst the Muslims. We may also go back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad.
People in Mecca and Medina used to kill each other before Islam. These were tribal disagreements. So, from a theoretical perspective and standpoint, it is possible to say that some fault lines -- including sectarian, ethnic and tribal divisions -- may cause bloody conflicts.
Was it to protect the honor of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad? Do we not see based on the reactions to the attacks that this did not happen? If such a response had not been made, the caricatures would have had very limited influence; because of these attacks, millions of people are now paying attention to the caricatures. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe.
But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam. Nowhere are these parts of anything that could be remotely described as the Prophetic methodology, and their killings and brutal treatment of other Muslims, Christian, Jews, and others show that their methods are truly illegitimate.
In this regard, ISIS is nothing new. They specifically accused Ali because he made a peace agreement with Muawiyah, the governor of Damascus. In their argument, they referred to a verse in Quran, which says that those who do not rule according the rules sent down by God are truly disbelievers 5: This mentality is still.
I think that ISIS is so obsessed with a state because they have forgotten how to apply the rules to themselves, and so they have a desire to impose the rules on others. ISIS is thus a version of political Islam, which as a governing philosophy holds that Islam can be imposed on a population from the top down. This actually goes against Quranic principles, which focus on the individual as a universe in and of her or himself. Some Quranic verses should be interpreted under the conditions of our time and not under the conditions of the Middle Ages.
Therefore, I do not think that a caliphate or an Islamic state is necessary for Islam to flourish in the 21st century. It seems the future of Islam is in cooperation with the West and with Christianity. There is no imperative in the Quran to destroy the West or Christians. Those who see problems in the West should take solace in the words of Said Nursi, who said that eventually the negative aspects of the West will dissipate and there can be a coming together of Western and Islamic civilizations.
Muslims, but in reality it may not solve the problems of human beings. If you provide the best rules and put them in the hands of corrupt people, those rules will be used for corruption as well.
I think that the attraction of an Islamic state blinds many Muslims to the reality of their situation and morality. It can be argued that helping one person to have faith in God is more rewarding than creating an Islamic state. Therefore, I think that any state that develops justice in society is compatible with the core teachings of Islam. Today there are many Western countries that follow Islamic values more closely than many states that claim to be Islamic.
There are several different places in the Quran where it appears. I think jihadist is too kind a word. As children, we turn to our parents for protection.
As adults, we often turn to God.
Does He hear us and intervene in emergencies? But at least we are not entirely helpless. Getting started in life Intuitively, we know we can move the whole world with just one cry, setting up a kind of hotline to our parents.
The number of this hotline is stored in our genetic code. Miraculously, we also know how to dial the various functions of this.
Cries with different undertones seem to be the only way to solve our problems, from the fly on our nose, to a dirty diaper — or even just being hungry.
Once we cry, on the horizon, a friendly, loving face appears. And when it does, we can relax and feel comfortable again.
Our parents save us from many difficult situations.
Over time, we mature and notice that the processes in our world are subject to conditions. With our free will we can influence events, albeit within a very limited space, and thus take responsibility for our destiny before it becomes our destiny. If we do not study, for example, for an exam, we must not complain about our failure. If we do not strive for social contacts, we should not be surprised if we are. If there are problems to solve and conflicts to eliminate, we can consult our social reference system, the legal system of our country, and perhaps even the internet.
But these worldly ways are quickly exhausted. We do what we can, knock on every door for support and help, but quite often we remain helpless and restricted. Plagued by pain and suffering, these are the situations we seek refuge from in prayer and supplications to God, whether we are searching for a cure or a twist of fate. Will He answer our prayers? And if so, what will His answer be?
For thousands of years theologians and philosophers have dealt with the issue of divine activity in our everyday lives. There are hundreds of theories, concepts, and explanations about the origins of the macro and micro universes.
Cultures tend to believe that they own exclusive truths and show a willingness to stand up for the dissemination of these truths. And each individual has his own very personal way to ask God for support. For some, God created the universe with perfect laws, which run self-sufficiently without any further intervention. For others, He is omnipresent, ever creating anew.
Sometimes, He even intervenes on a microbiological and atomic level. The existing theological literature offers countless exciting texts on this subject. But different religious beliefs are not supposed to be part of this article; we will leave them to the theologians. Healing through supplications? Consulting medical databases, it is to be noted that the experimental scientific investigation of the question of whether or not supplications for sick people have a positive effect on their healing has not been explored in depth until.
The researchers were able to state that in patients who were prayed for, fewer complications occurred and that their stay in the hospital was significantly shorter than in patients for whom no prayers had been made. After , numerous other studies came to the conclusion that supplications to God have positive effects for various patients.
For example, there was a doubling of successful egg fertilizations and a doubling of successful pregnancies in assisted reproductive techniques2; there were shortened fevers3; hospital stays were shorter4; and there were overall reduced mortality rates5 and a significantly better well-being in cancer patients. There was much praying for the patients, mostly without their knowledge and in some cases from a great distance.
Some of the researchers involved came to the conclusion that it could be helpful to install prayer teams in hospitals alongside the usual medical care.
The positive here was that a placebo effect could be excluded. He postulated a so-called performance anxiety, i. In his view, these efforts are nothing other than an investigation into miracles or a study on the existence of God.
He beg a n his complaint with the assumption of the existence of an inc redible, breathtaking power that created the galaxies and complex m o lecular biological structures — and then after all this creation, that force is asked whether it could regulate the blood pressure of a r a ndomly selected group of patients.
For him, prayer was a reques t asking God to change His mind a b out the current course of events. He considered the belief in prayer ridiculous and called it a superstition.
In addition, he objected to the variables for measuring the differe nces in the studies, judging them not to be clear and transparent. I n stead, he claimed it should be rul e d out that these changing variables were exposed to any physical or psychological mechanisms, so that there would be no other explanat i on other than divine work.
The gr o wth of amputated limbs through prayer, for example, would meet this requirement. He stated that researchers attach too much importance to positive results while t ending to hide negative results. In addition, he described the result s presented as no more convincing than the results of placebocontrolled trials. He suspected the positive results were affected by the expect a tions of the investigators. For everyone, it requires special insight to recognize whether God answers, how to interpret His answer, or else to find out why we wait in vain for an answer.
He identified three basic assumptions: He found it hard to imagine why God should help patient Peter in hospital bed A, just because someone chosen by chance prayed for him, while dropping patient Paul in bed B because nobody prayed for him.
This would be in conflict with our ethical understanding of fairness. Thus, the studies to date leave too much room for interpretation. It is possible to state happiness, bias, or even fraud as the reasons for th eir results. He insisted that religion will always remain a matter of faith, and asked: And anyway, why should God participa te in a study trying to prove His ex istence?
On the issue, Chittaranj an considered randomized contro lled trials neither appropriate nor effective. Conclusion The re sults of experimental research on our subject until now are - thanks to God - quite sobering. People still, and repeatedly, deal with this issue, a fact certainly not least due to our personal everyday experience that things have often turned positive after having asked God wholeheartedly and sincerely for help.
Millions of people worldwide can report innumerable reactions from God to their supplications. But the mystery of the existence of God and the question of whether or not he responds to our prayers will always remain a matter of personal faith. Even a visit to the doctor ultimately is a kind of supplication, which can be answered in different ways.
Perhaps he prescribes medicine, or he recommends us to entirely do without medication because he deems it detrimental to us. For everyone, it requires special insight to recognize whether God answers, how to interpret his answer, or else to find out why we wait in vain for an answer.
However, we should at least consider the criticisms submitted, so the studies can be designed to ensure objectivity. Imagine yourself facing a very burdensome problem, and suddenly, out of the blue, a friend or even a complete stranger provides you with the solution to this problem without your having asked him for it.
Perhaps then the perspective that we are not alone in the universe will occur to you. And if it already happened to you, you may have subconsciously dialed the code for the hotline to God genetically anchored in our essence - just as we all used to dial the number of the hotline to our mother when we were small, thirsty children.
South Med J. Report of a masked randomized trial. Harris et al. Arch Intern Med. Lesniak KT. The effect of intercessory prayer on wound healing in nonhuman primates. Altern Ther Health Med. Am Heart J. Journal of negative Results in BioMedicine ,8: Indian J Psychiatry. Our world faces unprecedented problems — but also unprecedented opportunities.
Solving these problems requires utilizing our skills in new, creative ways, through a process that requires both action and passivity. The innovation of new technologies and cross-fertilization of different ideas, which happen across generations, brought.
Change — either positive or negative — has been an unavoidable reality — of all times, but especially our times. However, the speed of change is not stable.
Human beings are endowed with special abilities such as feeling, anticipating, introspection, imagination, and the ability to synthesize. These abilities are essential, because as a consequence of perennial change, we are living in a complex world. This complex lifestyle consists of wide communication networks, larger amount of transactions, intense mechanisms of influence, and the use of advanced technologies.
Despite our adaptability, and despite many alluring aspects, this new lifestyle has its problems, including anxiety, stress, obesity, and more complicated health problems such as cancer. For instance, though we have more types and sizes of transportation vehicles, cities suffer from worsened traffic.
We should humble ourselves when we think about the troubles we have created here on earth. The massacre of the masses with advanced weapons, the use of technology at the expense of environmental safety, as well as ignorance, racism, and hatred, are all unique to human beings.
We can observe what is happening in the human body for the diagnosis of health problems, but some of these monitoring tools themselves lead to serious health problems. Our new life. How can we fully utilize what we are given for the best of human kind? Can we be more creative for good rather than bad? How can we be more effective at resolving these complicated problems? What does it take to tackle unprecedented challenges?
I want to look at the literature on the process of creative thinking and underline two essential components. The first one is the active stage of preparation, hard work,. The active stage Scientific studies of problem solving and creativity, as well as anecdotal evidence from stories of innovation, provide useful insights about effective problem solving strategies.
An easy practice to test or develop problem solving skills is about generating ideas for an open-ended problem. If you ask a number of other people to generate ideas for the same problem, and check which ideas they also generated, this will enable you to see the ideas that were generated by only one person.
These are the unique ideas based on the small group experience. If you count the number of unique ideas that were generated in the first and second part of your list and compare them, you are more likely to see a higher number of unique or original ideas in the second half than the first half. Original, uncommon, infrequent, surprising, unusual, and even smart ideas tend to come later as opposed to earlier. What would happen if you stopped generating after only six ideas instead of twelve?
What you lose would be the original and uncommon ideas rather than the ordinary ones. Originality is the backbone of creativity Stein, and original ideas do not come very easily. It takes more effort than the simple, regular, and traditional way of thinking. Smart solutions to the complex problems of the world require a lot of extended effort. These empirical findings would be no surprise to Graham Wallas , who proposed his classic theory on the cognitive processes of creative thinking.
Wallas argues that the creative process consists of four stages. The first stage is called preparation, in which tremendous amounts of time and energy are dedicated to deep thinking, problem finding, research, and developing new knowledge. This phase often involves the exploration of According to some research, the development of an expertise requires approximately 10 years of preparation through which one can be immersed in specific areas of thought, thus allowing them to make a contribution to this area Simonton, As seen in the research, preparation can take a really long time depending on the area of investigation and magnitude of potential contribution.
The passive stage Preparation, knowledge, and expertise may not be sufficient to develop great solutions. According to Wallas , preparation is followed by a period in which one is disengaged from the active working phase and switches to a resting, free-minded, unconscious mode, in which the problem solver does not actively work on the problem but unwittingly lets his unconscious work on it.
In a way, deliberate interruptions and ceasing to work on the problem can let brilliant solutions mysteriously emerge. Interestingly enough, the problem solver is at a passive position during this step, employing defocused attention. This fascinating moment is considered a product of a series of connections or associations made in the human mind during.
Following years of research and thinking on a mathematical problem the active stage , Poincare found the solution to his problem while dreaming Miller, The moments of inspiration for many Sufis can be regarded as an example of illumination. Some Sufis practice 40 days or longer, depending on the characteristics of the Sufi of seclusion with limited or no interaction with other people, while also limiting their food intake and time spent sleeping.
The lives of the great historical and spiritual figures prove the significance of the incubation period. Moses had an eighty day seclusion on the Mountain. Jesus went into a self-imposed seclusion to fight against Satan. Disappointed by the troubles he faced in his time, the Prophet Muhammad would go into seclusion in the cave of Hira, after which he received the first revelations peace be upon them.
The power of a pause or interruption has shown its impact quite often in recent history. Nelson Mandela spent 26 years in prison, where he contemplated and refined his thoughts, which led to the success of his movement. Clearly, these great people greatly benefited from their passive, paused, and incubated period. Creativity and tawakkul The active and passive stages of creativity underline the importance of hard work, diligence, and persistence followed by moments of patience, pause, and longing.
The necessity of the latter entails. Originality is the backbone of creativity and original ideas do not come very easily. This is called the extended effort principle. Our skills, abilities, talents, time, and energy are involved in the active stage of creativity, but these do not guarantee the desired outcome.
This reminds us of the limitations of human beings. The idea of incubation makes the process of inspiration unclear. Persistent hard work in the active phase is seen as the operational prayer to God, and the second phase, if it occurs, is the acceptance of that prayer.
When the parallel between creative thinking and tawakkul is recognized, creativity is viewed as a spiritual process — and, therefore, creative individuals need to practice tawakkul.
References Basadur, M. Usefulness of the ideation principle of extended effort in real world professional and managerial creative problem solving. Eris, S. Unpublished thesis, University of Georgia. Gulen, M. Key concepts in the practice of Sufism: Emerald hills of the heart Vol 1.
Somerset, NJ: Key Concepts in the Practice of Sufism: Emerald Hills of the Heart. Kaufman, J. Ten years to expertise, many more to greatness: An investigation of modern writers. Journal of Creative Behavior, 41, Milgram, R. Miller, A. Scientific creativity: Parnes, S. Effects of extended effort in creative problem solving. Simonton, D.
Creative productivity: A predictive and explanatory model of career trajectories and landmarks. Psychological Review, , Stein, M. Creativity and culture. Vinge, V. Technological Singularity.
The Transhumanist Reader: Wallas, G. The art of thought. New York, NY: Their adventures can still teach us valuable lessons about the importance of cultural exchange. As-Salamu Alaikum! Or would you prefer Hello? With this multilingual welcome I hope to get you in the mood for the subject of my essay: But before we hurl ourselves into this adventure and follow the trails of Messere Marco Polo and Seyyid Ibn Battuta, I would like to share an observation with you. As for myself, it prompted me to write this article and so I hope that it will arouse your curiosity in these explorers, too.
With the flood of new information offered by social media and the internet, the portrait of the world and its people is constantly changing. The light of cultures that stood in the shadow yesterday may shine brighter tomorrow. The respect and the admiration of certain nations wane or grow strong, dependent on the sourcethat describes these nations. What conventional historical. In this respect, travelogues, diaries, and the like are much more intimate and personal, but in turn also more subjective in their perceptions.
As an example, we might cite here the description of the city of Shiraz in present-day Iran and its inhabitants: While Ibn Battuta focused on the boldness and courage of the local population, Marco Polo talked about the beauty of the women. So when we read their reports, there emerges an interesting landscape, which allows us to meet certain cultures and nations and learn to know them.
But what makes such reports even more attractive is the fact that they send us on an adventure. We are not only told about different cultures, but also take an active part in the experiences of these travelers.
However, be prepared; everything is to be savored with a pinch of salt! In this way, history appears as sunlight being refracted through a prism: Thanks to them, history is going through a metamorphosis, transforming itself from a wasteland into a Garden of Eden. In his tra velogues, he shared interestin g facts about the city of Venice. For example, he mentioned the feast of Sensa, the annual marri age of Venice with the sea.
On th is occasion, the Venetians celebrated with a ceremonial ring toss into the lagoon in the port of San Nic olo, which was understood as a seal between the lagoon and the city. Marco Polo also described the Venetian l aw stating that all fish caught dur ing the day must be thrown on the ground in the evening: But enough for the advocacy: Marco Polo and Ibn Battuta were no ordinary travelers.
Their travels lasted 30 years and led them from the West to the Far East. First, I wo u ld like to introduce you to Mess e re Marco Polo, who was born into a merchant family in Venice in The Polos, in fact, were noblem en. When Marco was five years old, his father Nicolo set out with h is brother Maffeo on a journey from which they were to return 10 years later. In the meantime, Marco befriended the port children and even spent some time in prison.
Luckily for him, his father and uncle returned just in time to save him and convert his death penalty into banishment from Venice. Marco Polo has provided us with many interesting insights into the world of his time. We learn that the lingua franca, or Sabir as Marco Polo called it, was the trade language of Europe, up to the Levant. The bazaar of Baghdad took Polo nearly three pages to describe.
What follows is only a brief excerpt: The cloth merchants proudly stood under reels of thread and rolls of silk and wool and goat hair angora, of cotton and linen, fine camel hair and rough camlet. What is striking is the fact that he sometimes presented towns or attractions using poems. If possible, he let several poets come to the fore and used them to speak about the same city. This method can be very amusing at times, as one poet often praises what the other accurses.
Ibn Battuta opened doors to cultures that had remained closed for Marco Polo, in particular doors to the Islamic world, which the globetrotter from Venice had shunned. Ibn Battuta described one impressive experience in Damascus as follows: Bukhara, and damask from Damascus.
It took him back and forth across the whole world map. His story began with a pilgrimage to Mecca. He mentioned that he was born in in Tangier, Morocco, and that his parents What we know beyond this is that he was not specialized in a certain contemporary science, but well-versed in many areas. Thus, Ibn Battuta headed out for Mecca at the young age of On his way, he crossed almost the entire Islamic world, but his curiosity was far from satisfied.
One day, walking the streets of Damascus I saw a young slave. Collect the broken pieces and bring it to the principal of the foundation that deals with this work! When the principal saw the broken pieces, he estimated the value of the plate and gave the slave a sum of money that compensated for it.
What a praiseworthy behavior! Otherwise the owner of the slave boy would have either beaten him or had his heart broken because of the broken plate. May Allah reward those who donate money to such noble purposes! He also mentioned the funeral rituals of certain groups: The burial rites of the Indians are also very strange.
After the Indians have buried the corpse, on the third morning after the burial they cover the ground around the grave with expensive fabrics. They build tents, so that visitors can relax in the shade.
Then, one after the other the emirs and the high-ranking officials come [ Then the Koran is read by the Huffaz, and prayers are spoken for the soul of the deceased. On the other hand, he also described very trivial details. In this city, foundations of linguistics were once laid! In this country the woman is higher regarded than the man. Auf Wiedersehen! Notes 1 Used here in its general sense: Huffaz is the plural form. Prostration has long been a part of the Abrahamic faiths.
Recent research in neurology reveals a scientific foundation that connects this faithful practice to moral values. Indeed, arrogance, and faith in the Supreme Being, are diametrically opposed states of the mind in a person.
No soul with a grain of arrogance in his or her heart, as stated in the words of the Prophet of Islam, will be admitted to Paradise. Prostration sajda is the way to show respect to the Creator — not only for human beings, but also for angels and other creatures: This makes sense, for the. The Almighty God wants His servants to make it a frequently observed practice that we bow down and put our foreheads on the ground in worship of Him.
The spiritual and psychological impact of a prayer of this form can be immense, particularly in the long term, and should be discussed at length in another essay. Here we would like only to point out the neurological aspect of prostration and its connections. The benefit of exercise and physical therapy has been well established in neural disorders. The main rehabilitative effect of physiotherapy in stroke patients and other neurological disorders is the elevation of neural activity in the spinal cord and the brain, which in turn encourages the neurons to rewire, i.
It may be difficult today to imagine that an invasive procedure like destroying a large portion of the brain can be employed as a therapeutic approach. Yet, in the Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded to Dr.
Egas Moniz for his development of the frontal lobotomy technique. Strange enough, Moniz himself was shot in the spine and partially paralyzed by a lobotomized patient. Tens of thousands of people were lobotomized following World War II. The negative impacts of this surgical procedure on the personality of these patients were so serious that frontal lobotomies had to be abandoned after some years. Instances of local injury to the frontal lobes have clearly demonstrated that after losing parts of the forebrain, a human loses much of their moral values, ethics, and many of the general traits that make them human.
We can see this by looking at the case of Phineas Gage 2. His mind was radically. If he does not desist, We will certainly seize and drag him by the forelock; a lying, sinful forelock! On a different note, the benefit of exercise and physical therapy has been well established in neural disorders.
As a result, in injured patients, these new connections form a neural network that replaces or substitutes for the functions that are lost after injury. Recent neuroscience research also shows that the rehabilitative effect is highly correlated with an increase in the blood flow to the brain area that is affected by the injury 4, 5.
Contrarily, the blood circulation increases in an area of the brain within a few seconds as a response to increased neural activity because of a heightened demand These basic findings in neuroscience teach us that there is a close relationship between the local blood flow in the brain and the neural functioning, and this is a part of the process of eventually forming new networks.
We all know how blood rushes to the head when the legs are raised when lying down in the supine position. The neurological outcomes of hydrostatic blood pressures may not.
However, in light of all the other evidence above, it would not be surprising to find out that the new neural networks form faster under higher blood flows and pressure to a local brain area. Let us now recall the topics discussed above: All of this points us in one obvious direction.
Prostration, or sajda, can increase the neural activity and promote new connections in the frontal lobe, a center that is instrumental in forming moral values. Why do Islam and Judaism restrict their adherents from the simple pleasure of food each year? For the entire month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from first light until sundown, abstaining from food, drink and marital relations.
The Quran says, Oh you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn selfrestraint Why should the Torah decree for Jews a day of fasting Leviticus , when for twenty-four hours adult Jews in good health are supposed to trouble their bodies by abstaining from eating, drinking and marital relations?
Both religions teach us that what we do not eat may be even more important than what we do eat. All animals eat, but only humans choose not to eat some foods that are both nutritious and tasty. Some people do not eat meat for religious or ethical reasons. Jews and Muslims do not eat pork for religious and spiritual reasons. On fast days such as Yom Kippurthe Day of Atonement and the ninth of Av a day of mourning like the Shia observance of Ashura on the tenth of Muharram Jews do not eat or drink anything at all, and abstain from marital relations for twenty-four hours.
Fasting results in many different outcomes that help bring us closer to God. First of all, fasting teaches compassion. It is easy to talk about the worlds problem of hunger, easy to feel sorry that millions of people go to bed hungry each day.
But not until one actually feels it in ones own body does the impact truly hit home. Compassion based on empathy is much stronger and more consistent than compassion based on pity.
It is a feeling that leads to action. Fasting is never an end in itself; it has many different outcomes. But none of the other outcomes are of real moral value if compassion is not enlarged and extended through fasting.
As the prophet Isaiah said, The truth is that at the same time you fast, you pursue your own interests and oppress your workers. Your fasting makes you violent, and you quarrel and fight. The kind of fasting I want is this: remove the chains of oppression and the yoke of injustice, and let the oppressed go free. Share your food with the hungry and open your homes to the homeless poor Isaiah Second, fasting is an exercise in will power. I have on one occasion fasted for three days, and found that after the first twenty-four hours the pain decreases slightly, as the stomach becomes numb.
The real reason it is challenging to fast is because it so easy to break the fast, since food is almost always in easy reach all you have to do is take a bite. Thus the key to fasting is the will power to decide again and again not to eat or drink. Our society has increasingly become one of self-indulgence; we lack basic self-discipline. Fasting opposes our increasing softness in life; when people exercise their will power to fast, they are affirming their self-control and celebrating mastery over themselves.
We need continually to prove to ourselves that we can do it, because we are aware of our frequent failures to be self-disciplined. Fasting is good for the soul.
It often serves as an aid for spiritual experiences. For most people, especially those who have not fasted regularly before, hunger pains are a distraction. People who are not by nature spiritual or emotional individuals will probably find that a one-day fast is insufficient to induce an altered state of consciousness. The third outcome of fasting is improved physical health.
Of course, one twenty-four hour fast will not have any more effect than one day of exercise; only prolonged and regular fasting promotes health. The annual fast on Yom Kippur can, however, awaken us to the importance of how much and how often we eat. For many years, research has shown that when animals are slightly underfed, receiving a balanced diet below the normal quantity for maximum physical health, their life spans were prolonged from 50 to percent.
With all the additives placed in food these days, a reduction of total food intake is healthful. More important, since our society has problems with overabundance, fasting provides a good lesson in the virtue of denial. Illnesses caused by overeating are increasing in affluent Western countries, such as the incidence of diabetes. Sixteen million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the U.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, nerve damage, amputation and sometimes death.
The prevalence of the disease is related to high rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyles, which increase the risk of developing the disease.
More than half of adults in Los Angeles are overweight, and 60 percent do not get regular exercise. One-fifth of all those who are obese will develop diabetes. Thus going without any food, or even water, for a twenty-four hour period challenges us to think about the benefits of the spiritual doctrine less is more. Fourth in our list of outcomes is that fasting is a positive struggle against our dependencies. We live in a consumer society, and are constantly bombarded by advertising that tells us we must have this or that to be healthy, happy, popular, or wise.
By fasting, we assert that we need not be totally reliant on external, material things, even essentials such as food. Judaism and Islam do not advocate asceticism as an end in itself; in fact, its against Jewish and Muslim law to deny ourselves normal physical pleasures.
But in our overheated consumer society, it is necessary periodically to turn off the constant pressure to consume, and forcibly remind ourselves that Man does not live by bread alone Deuteronomy Fifth, fasting serves as a penance.
Though self-inflicted pain may alleviate some guilt, it is much better to reduce ones guilt with offsetting acts of righteousness. This is why charity is an important part of Yom Kippur, and the same is true for Muslims during Ramadan. Indeed, Judaism teaches that fasting which doesnt increase compassion is ignored by God. The concept of fasting as penance helps us to understand that our hunger pains can be beneficial. Contemporary culture desires happiness and comfort above all else.
Any pain or suffering is seen as unnecessary, even evil. Though we occasionally hear people echo values from the past that suffering can help one grow, or that an existence unalloyed with grief would lack certain qualities of greatness, many today think that the primary goal in life is to always be happy and free from all discomfort. The satisfaction one derives from the self-induced pain of fasting provides insight into a better possible reaction to the normal, external suffering we will all experience throughout our lives.
Taking a pill is not always the best way to alleviate pain, especially if by doing so we allay the symptoms without reaching the root cause. Sixth, fasting is good for the soul. People who are not by nature spiritual or emotional individuals will probably find that a oneday fast is insufficient to induce an altered state of consciousness.
Those who have fasted regularly on Yom Kippur might like to try a two- to three-day fast liquids permitted after the first 24 hours.
It is best to go about daily activities and devote late evening or early morning to meditation and prayer. Having already fasted for Yom Kippur, one may simply extend the fast another thirty-six to forty-eight hours. We are prohibited to fast prior to Yom Kippur; eating a good meal prior to Yom Kippur Eve is a mitzvah religious duty , because Judaism, like Islam, opposes excessive asceticism. The seventh outcome of fasting is the performance of a mitzvah, which is the one fundamental reason for fasting on Yom Kippur.
We do carry out mitzvot religious duties in order to benefit ourselves, but because our duty as Jews requires us to do them. Fasting is a very personal mitzvah, with primarily personal consequences. Fasting on Yom Kippur is a personal offering to God, from each and every Jew who fasts.
For more than generations, Jews have fasted on this day; fasting is part of the Jewish peoples covenant with God. The principal reason to fast is to fulfill Gods commandment, but the outcome of the fast can be any of a half-dozen forms of self-fulfillment. But simply knowing that one has done ones duty as a faithful Jew is the most basic and primary outcome of all. Finally, fasting should be combined with the study of Torah the five books of Moses specifically, or Scriptural texts in general.
A medieval text states, Better to eat a little and study twice as much, for the study of Torah is superior to fasting.
Indeed, the more one studies, the less one needs to fast. Fasting is a very personal, experiential offering. The Divine will is often more readily and truly experienced in study or in spiritual dialogue with others than in solitary meditation.After his city became the new target for invaders — and due to what appear to be some internal political conflicts — young Rumi and his family had to leave Balkh.
The existing theological literature offers countless exciting texts on this subject. My feeling was cradled in something sublime. With respect to religious communities, is their faith rather traditional instead of conscious? Such matters are usually taken care of by jurists. Despite the friendly opposition between Sayhon and Nurson, the ant colony was severely divided into two groups: Altern Ther Health Med.