Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Religious and Secular Extremism

Toronto, Ontario

It is no wonder that atheism is on the rise. The reason for this phenomenon growth might not be so easy to ascertain but one thing is for sure, people are appalled. Is the increase a response to right-wing Christianity which carries a high level of bias? Is it a reaction to Muslim fundamentalism? Extremist attitude and extremist behaviour can be very unsettling.

If you pay attention to the testimony of someone like Nonie Darwish, an Egyptian woman who came to America to escape duress, it can cause alarms to go off. Her writings tell of the gross oppression of women under the sharia law, a religious-induced policy. And yet in the west the opposite extremity of 'looseness' in the name of freedom prevails for both women and men. You have stringent versus looseness. The Buddhists teach the middle path and the Vedas from India encourage sattva guna, the way of being temperate.

In our current pop culture you may have a concept where a woman is set in a cage wearing a very restrictive, almost straight-jacket type of Islamic wear. She dances out in captivity very artistically from the oppression. At one point the cage is lifted, and the dancer is relieved of her overly restrictive clothing to reveal a so called 'freedom' in the form of suggestive sensuality. The transformation is no doubt a crowd pleaser. But both approaches weigh far too much to the left and the right. A happy medium doesn't seem to be accommodated. It's a shame really.

I had walked through a schoolyard leaving boot impressions in the freshly strewn snow earlier in the morning. I contemplated on the direction of the world. It's fine if a moderate spirit prevails but if majority falls to the side of either the fundamentally rigid or loose then these impressions, like footprints in the snow, leave me concerned.

The only solution ahead is to step up to a higher consciousness and demonstrate, live and breathe that moderate approach.

5 KM

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