An interesting new blog / video on Integral Life:

Why We Desperately Need an Integral Islam, by Amir Ahmad Nasr

The Child of a Fragmented World Gone Slightly Mad

It was sometime around early 2009, and to most of my friends, I was a cheerful happy guy, but what they didn’t know is that deep inside, I had never felt more mentally and emotionally tormented.

In just two short years, growing up religiously dogmatic in childhood up to the late 90’s had given way to a new reality in which my relationship with Islam was in shambles.

Blogging and the open vastness of the Internet had a lot to do with it.

From war-torn Sudan to oil-rich Qatar, I had experienced living in traditional, religious, and conservative societies that honored their tribal roots and heritage.

We enjoyed the fruits of modernity–cars, communication technology, and medical drugs–but most of us didn’t necessarily embody it as a worldview. In many ways, our tribal, traditional and modern identities were in tension and lacking in harmony and reconciliation, let alone deep coherent integration.

It got a lot worse when my family moved to Malaysia in 1997 and I got enrolled into a British international school with a liberal and Westernized environment. I was almost 11 years old.

For my parents, the move had its challenges for sure. For my siblings and I, the cultural and linguistic ordeals we confronted were on a whole other level.

All of a sudden modernity and post-modernity came crashing on us, and challenged our identities and worldview in ways that we were not prepared for.

They challenged a worldview I had inherited but never really critically conceptualized on my own. A worldview that wasn’t truly mine throughout a short unexamined life that hadn’t gotten thoroughly examined until much later.

The result should have been obviously predicable: distress, confusion, and anxiety. Then puberty hit, and boy oh boy was that fun. I am of course being sarcastic.

So I did what I could do: repress, ignore and continue as if nothing worthy of resolution was really going on.

That is until I accidentally stumbled upon the liberal Arab blogosphere in early 2006. Continuing to sweep doubt under the rug seized to be an option. Heck, the rug disappeared, and now I had to confront the persistent question marks head on.

[Continued Here.]

Views: 753

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

"Buddhism can be made amenable with an atheist worldview."

Indeed, my fav atheist Buddhist being Batchelor. I'd even add that from that base can be de/rebuilt a postmetaphysical spirituality. I certainly include it in my idiosyncratic 'economy,' even though I've never been a Buddhist.


well i know batchelor , met him personally in my devon period (where he lives)  and i have to say,

aint my cup of tea . far too bland to my taste, i like a little more colour ,dance and tantrum,

rather then the finely bored english zen garden way.

but then it takes all kinds and as long as they let me do mine, 

i say fine.

and that is exactly the problem with islam ....sigh.. again.

anyway right now we in europe can observe now how mr."moderate islam" erdogan  is dealing with the revolt thats happening right now in istanbul ,and all turkey.i think a lot of professional green meme relativizers are waking up in europe. so ....this could be a very important few month ,because if this ends in a civil war in turkey between modern (atheists or at least really secular ) turkish people and islamic erdogan´s turkey then that will ne the emdof the green meme reltivizers lies .nobody will them ever belief again that islam is really a harmless if dumb religion.and that would have serious positive consequences for european politics.

a few weeks ago our  german foreign minister westerwelle sounded :it looks that erdogans turkey is ready to enter, as full member , the EU conglomerate. : )

anybody who had clear eyes knew then it could only be a joke ......and now the entire green meme european mass media elites have to their true colours because it is obvious who  the good ones are here. after this .....turkey could wait for a long time to even knock again on the door,depending how erdogan handles this. so far he does the right (totally wrong) things. erdogan is getting rid of his sheep skin camouflage and many can see now the islamic wolf that he really is and always was.

this could be more important for the future of  europe then the eygptian moslim brother mess.

finally< i found an english version of the new death fatwa against the egyptian/german author abdel samed

this highlights the central or one of the central problems with islam. :

its treatment of critics and the death penalty to all apostates

Yes, at least with kennilingus one is simply excommunicated, outcast, shunned and labeled a mean green meme. We see here a developmental advance on apostasy.

The (tragic) irony of this is striking:

At the forum, Abdel-Samad asserted that "Islamic fascism" could trace its origins to "the return of the Muslims to Mecca [some 1500 years ago], when they... destroyed all the pagan idols."

Before this, he added, "they had accepted religious pluralism in Medina... At this time, they had said, 'You have your religion and we have ours'."

In response to the assertions, Assem Abdel-Maged, a leading member of Egypt's ultra-conservative Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya, and Mahmoud Shabaan, Arabic rhetoric professor at Al-Azhar University (known for his strong stance against secularism), declared Abdel-Samad an "apostate."

On Egypt's religious Hafez television channel, Shabaan accused Abdel-Samad of having been an "apostate" even before his recent statements. "He has been flagrantly questioning Islam and thinks it is a bad religion, a fascist religion... His punishment should be death," Shabaan declared.

"Even if he repents for what he said, he must be killed," Shabaan added. "His repentance might help him with God [in the afterlife], but he must be killed."

it is ironic BUT

mostly it shows the main problem of islam for the rest of the world. i mean there are many others (like their treatment of woman for example)

but for us other humans this root violence is the cause for very real concern.this cannot be just relativized away these sick teachings  are in dire need to be adressed by the sane (r) world and seriously so.thatzs my opinion anyway....

and balder i read your dzog chen likes sufi piece , well: afghanistan (before the islamic invasion known as shamballah ) is NOT somewhere in the middle east : ))and dzog chen did not originate in a somewhat islamic country BUT in oddiyana , situated in the swat valley of northwest india, and  islam invaded also that country and killed all  d.c practioners and destroyed dzog chen there too. nowadays its called  pakistan .  thats the plain and simple truth. it is dangerous to tolerate fascism too long and a fascist religion is surely the most dangerous fascism of them all...

we have this on record, you know reincarnation has a long memory,  so......


Yes, I agree it is time that the irrational and violent aspects of the religion need to be faced and addressed.  I don't know how much Amir touches on these issues in his book, but I will find out soon, since I just purchased it.

About my paper, I don't recall saying that Dzogchen originated in a somewhat Islamic country.  But Afghanistan is indeed part of the Greater Middle East.  When I received teachings on the origins of Dzogchen from Lopon Tenzin Namdak, I recall him saying with some vagueness that Dzogchen likely emerged in that general area, from present-day Afghanistan or beyond (in some region of northern present-day India).  Perhaps recent scholarship has nailed down the locations better...?  All this aside, though, the geographical element of my paper (which I wrote in a Wilber-3 or Wilber-4 context, by the way) was probably the least important part of it...

See this post using Reynold's history of Dzogchen. It ties it to various religious strands, but Islam is not one of them.

Right.  I may not have made it clear enough in my paper, but my thought was not that Dzogchen derives from or is related to Islam itself (I never said that), but that Sufism might bear the imprint of this pre-Islamic (and possibly Dzogchen-related) spirituality that flourished in the region before Islam arrived.  I don't know this for a fact; I was just speculating based on some of the interesting parallels one finds between aspects of both traditions (some of which I touched on in my paper -- or, really, college essay).

Also see Benzin's intro to Bon, with some history showing some Iranian influence as well as Afghan and Turkistan (Khotan). He too shows, like in my referenced post, the Iranian influence upon Bon of a dualistic view as well as an afterlife. I of course made much hay about this in the Batchelor thread. It is relevant to this thread only in that Islam is one of those dualistic religions of heaven and hell, but the Bon influence did not turn Dzogchen, itself an amalgamation of Bon and Buddhism*, into a violent religion.

* And Vedanta Hinduism, if you believe my story.

From the International Dzogchen Community:  "In terms of early Buddhist history, Dzogchen is said to have originated with Garab Dorje in Oddiyana during the period 300 years after the parinirvana of Buddha Sakyamuni. Many scholars associate Oddiyana with the Swat Valley in northern Pakistan but it could also have been Afghanistan."

Reply to Discussion


What paths lie ahead for religion and spirituality in the 21st Century? How might the insights of modernity and post-modernity impact and inform humanity's ancient wisdom traditions? How are we to enact, together, new spiritual visions – independently, or within our respective traditions – that can respond adequately to the challenges of our times?

This group is for anyone interested in exploring these questions and tracing out the horizons of an integral post-metaphysical spirituality.

Notice to Visitors

At the moment, this site is at full membership capacity and we are not admitting new members.  We are still getting new membership applications, however, so I am considering upgrading to the next level, which will allow for more members to join.  In the meantime, all discussions are open for viewing and we hope you will read and enjoy the content here.

© 2024   Created by Balder.   Powered by

Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service