Browsing "religion"
Mar 20, 2008 - religion    No Comments

Religious high or just plain high?

Being high on substance can also affect in religious high. If Israeli researchers are to be believed, Moses achieved Nirvana and Ten Commandments while he was high on psychedelic report. Read this:

What the heck, let me paste the entire article.

JERUSALEM (AFP) – High on Mount Sinai, Moses was on psychedelic drugs when he heard God deliver the Ten Commandments, an Israeli researcher claimed in a study published this week.

Such mind-altering substances formed an integral part of the religious rites of Israelites in biblical times, Benny Shanon, a professor of cognitive psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem wrote in the Time and Mind journal of philosophy.

“As far Moses on Mount Sinai is concerned, it was either a supernatural cosmic event, which I don’t believe, or a legend, which I don’t believe either, or finally, and this is very probable, an event that joined Moses and the people of Israel under the effect of narcotics,” Shanon told Israeli public radio on Tuesday.

Moses was probably also on drugs when he saw the “burning bush,” suggested Shanon, who said he himself has dabbled with such substances.

The Bible says people see sounds, and that is a clasic phenomenon,” he said citing the example of religious ceremonies in the Amazon in which drugs are used that induce people to “see music.”

He mentioned his own experience when he used ayahuasca, a powerful psychotropic plant, during a religious ceremony in Brazil‘s Amazon forest in 1991. “I experienced visions that had spiritual-religious connotations,” Shanon said.

He said the psychedelic effects of ayahuasca were comparable to those produced by concoctions based on bark of the acacia tree, that is frequently mentioned in the Bible.

Jan 21, 2008 - religion, Society    3 Comments

Blue Monday

If ananova is to be believed, today has been officially declared the gloomiest day of the year. http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2691471.html?menu=

Psychologist Cliff Arnall, an expert in depression, (what a sad sad man he is, an expert in depression!!!!) has used a mathematical formula to pinpoint today as Blue Monday.

It is the day when six factors come together to leave us at our most miserable, reports the Daily Mail.

They are: the weather; Christmas debt; a feeling of monotony after the Christmas cheer has faded; broken New Year’s resolutions; low levels of motivation; and a desperate feeling that you need to act to improve your life.

Blue Monday may be compounded by the fact that, according to other research, many people get their worst night’s sleep on Sunday because they dread the prospect of going back to work the following day.

Well, if you ask me, I find almost all Mondays blue; or at least in varying shades of blue. For us Karachiites, it is also bluer than others because we lived in constant fear of yet another bomb blast during the Ashura weekend. Now that we have survived the weekend peacefully, we have to deal with ‘Post Distress Depression’ (if there ever is a depressive state with such name). For me, it was the added worry of all the CCTV cameras that are lined across the major arteries of the city. As soon as the police vacate the streets, the CCTV cameras would get stolen, heck, the police might steel the cameras themselves. After all, we are the nation where heroine addict steal ‘gutter ka dhakkans’ to feed their addiction.

Here is to a true blue Monday.

Nov 30, 2007 - religion, Society, women    4 Comments

If it is polygamy for New York, what about polyandry for San Jose?

Being single and not 19 anymore, everyone assumes that I am desperately seeking matrimony. One of my very good friends who believe that it is impossible to find decent men in Pakistan and has been urging me for soooo long to pack my bags and move to North America (She alternates her time between Vancouver and Seattle and has been trying to sell to me the virtues of living in a city where it rains 360 days a year). She just sent me this article that actually has top 5 cities in US where women can find young, healthy and straight men. She actually believed that a lazy being like me, who has so far not budged, despite wanting to live in a more civilized, more tolerant and women friendly society would actually consider moving across the world to look for men!!!!!

They actually crunched some numbers on seven categories that have a bearing on how great a city might be for finding guys. They are: ratios of single men to single women and of gay to straight; divorce rates; fitness; philanthropy; education; and the thrill factor places where guys and girls do the kind of fun stuff that makes hearts race and bonds form.

The city that came on top was … San Jose, California. Apparently, the city has the greatest concentration of single, intelligent, physically fit men who love high-adrenaline activities. The article said that “San Jose is the heart of Silicon Valley, and technology is notoriously male-dominated. There are literally throngs of guys in striped shirts and khakis on every street corner.” So all the women who want khakis clad me with well paid jobs, head to San Jose. On the contrary, my only friend who has lived in San Jose for two and half years think the city is full of weird people and has recently moved to San Francisco. The other top five cities are Salt Lake City, Arlington (Texas), Raleigh (North Carolina), and last but not the San Francisco, which according to the article has surprising number of straight single men.

Dr Zakir Naik (of QTV) was the first person I thought of after reading this. Remember, he said that there are 300,000 more women in New York than man and there is a sizeable gay population, hence those men who can afford it should all take another wife to save the 300,000 New York girls from impending spinsterhood. Would he recommend polyandry for San Jose or Alaska or North Scotland and our own Malakand Division where men outnumber women by great numbers?

I for one am too lazy to move out of my extremely polluted comfort zone (Karachi) but those of you who are brave and active enough to relocate, San Jose is waiting for you.

Oct 8, 2007 - religion, Society    1 Comment

Madrassah education from hell

Considering the fact that I live in Pakistan get to see some really bizarre things, nothing should be shock me but then things happen which are so crazy that you left wondering what is the point of even trying to straighten things up.

Sundays are never dull and lazy for me and crazier than usual in Ramazan when everyone who comes looking for alms knows that Sunday is the day when I would be home. Most people would come with really inventive stories like this woman, who comes off and on for financial help and has just had her 9th heart attack and wanted me to pay her hospital bills. She must have the sturdiest heart in the whole goddamned world that is still working after so many attacks.

At time it irritates me that they think they can take you for a ride, but at times, I don’t question their dubious stories for the effort it must have taken them to come up with such amazing pieces of fiction. Anyways, this old woman, who comes every month, came yesterday. After receiving her monthly stipend, she lingered on and asked if I could help her with some extra money as she needs to get her two grandsons circumcised. From what I know of her family, I knew that she has two grandsons aged 10 and 8 and thought they were circumcised like all the other Pakistani Muslim boys. Turns out that they were not circumcised as newborns and now that she wants to get her grand sons admitted to a madrasah, it is one of the pre conditions of the admission in Madrassah that all boys must be circumcised. Not only they insist on giving admission to circumcised boys only, they physically check them to ensure that the parents are not lying about such vital information. What a novel way to discriminate! Why the hell would they be so interested in the private parts of their little students, what’s that got to do with the madrasah curriculum and student performance. The parents are either ignorant or too poor to raise voice against such practices which violate their little children. I know that circumcision is recommended in Islam but is it THAT important?

I advised the old lady against getting her grand sons admitted to that madrasah and promised to pay their tuition fee if she gets them enrolled in a regular school and she relented. I had such a bad day afterwards and conjured up all kinds of scary scenarios where young pre pubescent boys were being molested by their faculty in such institutions. I tried to save two boys but who will save those hundreds of thousands little boys who are either studying in such madrasahs or will be inducted there in near future.

Aug 21, 2007 - religion, Society    1 Comment

Mullah Radio and his fatwas

Pakistanis as a nation are quite obsessed with marriage. We are either attending them, planning them, setting them up, breaking them up or berating people for not committing to it. In short we sleep and breath marriages, but maulvis is Pakistan are even more obsessed about marriages than an average Pakistani. I recently read that Maulana Fazlullah (of Swat), who is also known as “Mullah Radio” because of his fiery Islamic sermons that he delivers on his illegal FM radio channel, urged his female followers to make sure that their husbands grow beard. He also warned them that their failure to do so would result in annulment to marriages with their beardless husbands (The Friday Times published the details of the fatwa).

This is a first I heard of annulment of marriage on the grounds of a clean shaven face. I have heard women complaining about the 4 day old stubble but women have no issues with clean shaven men, if they have then all the campaigns of shaving creams, razors and after shaves across the world who show a woman lovingly caressing the freshly shaved cheeks of her man are not “in” on the secret.

In any case, weird fatwas are nothing new for Mullah Radio. He earlier issued fatwas against female literacy, television, music and fiction writing. Yes, he has banned women’s digests in his area because he thinks they are propagating obscenity. On the contrary, they teach our little girls how to be docile little good wives who press their husbands feet at the end of the day. If only fatwa issuing maulana knew how to read and write, he would not issue this fatwa.

According to dawn reports, Mullah Radio could often be seen riding on a white horse to give the impression that he was the one who could revive the Khilafat. He had also designed special propaganda techniques to mould the opinion of Swati women, the least educated class, to his favour.

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