9+ Top Image Modern Hippie Bedroom Ideas –
Discussed in this essay:
Strange Gods: A Civil History of Conversion, by Susan Jacoby. Pantheon. 512 pages. $29.95.
Radical: My Adventure out of Islamist Extremism, by Maajid Nawaz. Lyons. 296 pages. $26.95.
Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue, by Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz. Harvard University Press. 144 pages. $17.95.
When I abounding Swarthmore College, in the mid-Seventies, it had an animate religious life. The academy was founded by Quakers, and its on-campus Friends meetinghouse was abounding best Sundays. Adoration classes were accomplished by advancing ministers. Orange-clad citizenry of the bounded Ananda Marga ashram sat in the apprentice centermost chatting up ambitious recruits, and Jesus Freaks sat alfresco the dining anteroom clutching denim-bound Good News Bibles and handing out get acute get adored buttons, accessible to acquaint anyone who would acquire that Jesus was the aboriginal hippie.
Like the alfresco world, the campus was a burbling, animate exchange of belief, and we — with our duck-and-cover childhoods, our Vietnam adolescences, our nuclear families gone critical, our deceitful politicians, and our ravenous, bloodthirsty barbarian of an economy — were the complete market, set up for the one-two bite William James acclaimed in the advance of anecdotic the “uniform absolution in which religions all appear to meet”:
1. An uneasiness; and
2. Its solution.
1. The uneasiness, bargain to its simplest terms, is a adroitness that there is commodity amiss about us as we artlessly stand.
2. The band-aid is a adroitness that we are adored from the anger by authoritative able affiliation with the college powers.
A few of my accomplice wandered aback to religion, briefly or permanently; one acquaintance alike ran off with the Get Acute people. But admitting our aggregate uneasiness, best of us were agreeable with solutions that appropriate beneath of us — bashful hand-holding about the banquet table, ambiguous attributes worship, consciousness-expanding drugs. All were aboveboard pursued, and all seemed to action conservancy from whatever was amiss about us.
It took a woman to appearance me that my anger accepted a added concentrated anatomy of affiliation with the college powers. Mostly she did this by denial sex, on the area that her authority brash chastity. He additionally frowned on smoker pot, bistro eggs, and cerebration barbarous thoughts, ambitious instead aboriginal mornings, quiet evenings, and brainwork alert a day. In return, he promised admission to the All-powerful Ablaze and Complete of God, which did not assume as adorable as weed, omelets, and calumny, but afresh afresh annihilation seemed as adorable as my austere friend, abnormally not aback she lay in bed abutting to me afraid my entreaties.
Occasionally, the authority would adventure from India to the United States, and his followers would accumulation into cars to accommodated him. Which is how I begin myself in a burghal D.C. active room, built-in on the attic with twenty or so others in advanced of a bearded, turbaned man with dark, alveolate eyes who was acknowledgment in a affricate Hindi emphasis how the Science of the Soul could be grasped not apparently but abandoned through a Active Master like him.
The allowance was blurred for meditation. I affected the position I’d abstruse from my acquaintance during our bedchamber training sessions — blankets over heads, fingers (or earplugs, for those who had appear prepared) in ears. I don’t apperceive if it was the attendance of so abounding meditators all animadversion on the aforementioned adorable door, or that of the Master himself, built-in in advanced of us, serene and alike radiant, advancement us to our centermost abutting reaches, but aural moments I was overtaken by absolutely what I had been told to apprehend but had never yet credible or heard: light, stars that brindle the darkness, whirled into a galaxy, and afresh exploded in supernovas abaft my eyelids; and sound, ambiguous and anarchic at first, like an orchestra tuning, that boring caked into accord and assuredly became a distinct arrant note, a bang from Gabriel’s horn that threatened to never end. Tears streamed bottomward my face. I was accessible to bandy myself abject at the Master’s feet. I was accessible to be austere and affectionate and vegetarian and alike biologic free. I had fabricated the able connection. I had been adored from my wrongness.
St. Augustine’s conversion, in fourth-century Milan, additionally had to do with sex. He’d already spent abundant of his boyhood block women, alike as he was aggravating to acclimatized his carnal appetites, aback a child’s overheard remark — “Take it and read” — led him to accessible the book of Paul’s belletrist that lay in advanced of him:
In blackout I apprehend the aboriginal access on which my eyes fell: “Not in revelling and drunkenness, not in animalism and wantonness, not in quarrels and rivalries. Rather, arm yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ; absorb no added anticipation on attributes and nature’s appetites.” I had no ambition to apprehend added and no charge to do so. For in an instant, as I came to the end of the sentence, it was as admitting the ablaze of aplomb abounding into my affection and all the black of agnosticism was dispelled.
In his Confessions, Augustine recalls thanking the Lord the moment he emerged from this experience. “You adapted me to yourself,” he exulted, “so that I no best adapted a wife or placed any accomplishment in this apple but stood durably aloft the aphorism of faith.” It wasn’t chargeless will that had assuredly delivered him from his wrongness, that accustomed him to appetite what he admired to want, but abrupt and ad-lib surrender. Conservancy may acquire announced in a still, baby voice, but it ran over Augustine like a train.
Augustine, like Saul of Damascus afore him, was aback transformed, but Susan Jacoby argues that both men, and all the converts who followed, got their own adventures wrong. In Aberrant Gods, she suggests that converts who anticipation God was speaking anon to them, inhabiting their souls and rearranging their minds, saw through a bottle darkly. Obscured from their appearance was history, politics, and, aloft all, the behavior that accumulate silently, the accomplishments assumptions that appearance our compassionate of raw acquaintance into the acceptance we acquaint ourselves about who we are — in short, ideology.
That commodity aberrant and alike admirable happened to Augustine of Hippo cannot be denied. That it was the Holy Spirit affective through him in the way God consistently has and consistently will move, or that there is a God at all: these ideas, Jacoby insists, charge be questioned. Augustine’s about-face took abode at a time aback the Roman Empire was allusive for political ability with the Church, and as Christianity and Manichaeanism and a thousand brands of paganism were aggressive for the souls of men. His ancestor was a pagan, his mother a Christian whose absorption in his sex activity may or may not acquire led to his troubles with women. Ambitious and analytical and eloquent, with a scientist’s absorption in the apparatus of the mind, and abnormally of memory, Augustine serves as an archetype of Jacoby’s altercation that claimed and amusing history accommodate the agreeable of the about-face experience.
That’s not how it looked to Augustine, of course. He didn’t acquire that the Church, accepting “managed to booty abounding advantage of the anxieties of the era,” had already colonized his apperception so thoroughly that aback he acquainted whatever stirrings he felt, he could not but aspect them to the Christian God. To the contrary, Jacoby argues, he believed that the attributes of his about-face was self-evident, that, as she puts it, “anyone who is credible to the Gospels and refuses to acquire them is committing the best afflicting anatomy of sin and assiduity the angry error . . . of allotment a activity and aesthetics afterwards Jesus at its center.” Abandoned a blackmailer could abort to see the accuracy of Christianity, and his abortion to see commodity so accessible was the affidavit of his sinfulness.
In extensive this conclusion, Jacoby argues, Augustine provided the annual for aggravating to save Jews and added sinners from their own wrongness, unleashing the epidemics of apprenticed about-face that acquire swept societies for the accomplished 1,500 years. In Jacoby’s telling, this adverse history is abnormally adverse in ablaze of how abutting Martin Luther already came to immunizing the Western apple from religious compulsion — and how bound this affiance was lost. The Reformation, Jacoby says, started off as a liberation of abandoned censor from the administration of the Catholic Church, but aural twenty-five years of Luther’s alienation at Wittenberg, John Calvin had alternate to Geneva and abutting with civilian authorities to accomplish his doctrine. It wasn’t the bloodbath of the Inquisition, but by 1546, ten comparatively pious Genevans had absent their active and thirty-five had been austere at the stake. Added important, Calvin’s “reforms” had instituted a administration of airy terror. “By day and by night,” Stefan Zweig wrote in an annual quoted by Jacoby, “there ability appear a animadversion at the access and a cardinal of ‘spiritual police’ advertise a ‘visitation’ afterwards the anxious citizen’s actuality able to action resistance.” In such a climate, how could alike a 18-carat about-face be said to be advisedly accustomed at? How could about-face beggarly annihilation added than what Jacoby calls “the barter of one complete accuracy for another”?
To Zweig, this changeabout was allotment and bindle of the advocate impulse. The “reign of force which originates out of a movement appear liberty,” he wrote, “is consistently added agilely adjoin to the abstraction of alternative than is a ancestral power.” Revolutionaries apperceive bigger than anyone how brittle the authority on ability can be. But Jacoby thinks this “paradox of protestantisms” goes above politics. She situates it in “the abhorrence of a amount acceptance in the appropriate of individuals to anon appoint with God’s accuracy through annual the Bible and a bound arising bent of aberrant abstracts about that truth.” On her reading, Luther and his brand bootless to chase their own liberationist actuation to its analytic end: a apple in which the abandoned about-face annual ability is from faith-based benightedness to reason-based enlightenment, and the abandoned accessible alienation is intolerance.
As Jacoby’s history of conversions from Paul’s to Muhammad Ali’s moves into the present, her ambition becomes beneath the gods and the religions they inspire, and added the bent congenital into the “absolute-truth claims” that are the sine qua non of religion — not aloof of organized adoration but of all ideologies. “There is little aberration amid a advocate and a traditionalist faith,” Arthur Koestler wrote in a access that she uses as an epigraph. “All accurate acceptance is uncompromising, radical, purist.” This is why, at atomic according to Jacoby, Stalinism was as abundant a adoration as Catholicism, and why conversions as disparate as Whittaker Chambers’s to Communism, G. K. Chesterton’s to Catholicism, and C. S. Lewis’s to Anglicanism charge be credible as responses to the aforementioned yearning, acicular by the displacements of modernity, for complete certainty, moral and otherwise. Quoting Koestler again — “There is now an acknowledgment to every question, doubts and conflicts are a amount of the bent past. . . . Annihilation afterward can afflict the convert’s abutting accord and serenity” — Jacoby makes bright who deserves contemptuousness for intolerance: not the gods but the converts, who are too afraid to abide the temptations of complete truth, too anemic to see that God, mercifully, died as anon as we got aware abundant to say he ability be dead, too abashed to admit that aback it comes to addition out how to animate and what to believe, we are on our own.
Reading Jacoby — who tells us that she has been an agnostic aback age fourteen — on the accountable of religious about-face is a little like annual a sex chiral accounting by a nun. She acknowledges that the abnormality exists, she has advised what added bodies acquire to say about it, but she doesn’t assume abundant confused by those accounts. Nor does she assume to acquire that to await on acumen to accommodate our moral and political lives is to acquire acceptance that the adroitness by which we bare the secrets of the accustomed apple can additionally acquaint us how we should live. Neither does she admit that it is ideology — her secularism, not accepted adroitness or logic — that is affronted by religious fervor. To say, with Thomas Paine, that “my own apperception is my own church,” as Jacoby does, is to accomplish what may be the mother of all absolute-truth claims. Science will never prove that God does not exist, nor will the MRI deflate abrupt about-face as a neurochemical thunderstorm amplified by whatever religious credo happens to be at hand.
It may be a bargain attack to point out that an advocate of broad-mindedness is still an apostle, or to advance that the contempo access of militantly agnostic books, of which Jacoby’s is abandoned the best contempo example, can be apprehend as gospels of acceptance in animal progress. But it’s boilerplate abreast as bargain as the attack that Sam Harris takes at Maajid Nawaz at the alpha of Islam and the Future of Tolerance, an annual of a chat amid Harris, a arresting atheist, and Nawaz, a above abolitionist Islamist. “You appetite to argue the world . . . that Islam is a adoration of accord that has been hijacked by extremists,” he tells Nawaz. “But the botheration is that Islam isn’t a adoration of peace, and the alleged ‘extremists’ are gluttonous to apparatus what is arguably the best honest annual of the faith’s absolute doctrine.”
“Islam is not a adoration of war or of peace — it’s a religion,” Nawaz replies. “Religion doesn’t inherently allege for itself; no scripture, no book, no allotment of autograph has its own voice.” It is the practitioners of adoration who accord the angelic texts their meaning, he says. Best Muslims are not extremists, so if “Islam is abandoned what its adherents adapt it to be, afresh it is currently a adoration of peace.”
Given the bad acceptance of Harris’s question, the affability of Nawaz’s acknowledgment is surprising, alike admirable. It’s absolutely altered from the acknowledgment that he would acquire accustomed twenty years earlier, aback he was a agitator apprentice baton of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a accumulation that approved to affiliate all Muslim countries beneath a caliphate continued afore anyone had heard of the Islamic State. Nawaz was abandoned sixteen aback he abutting H.T., but his about-face to Islamism wasn’t his first — at atomic not by Jacoby’s definition, which encompasses “any about-face of acceptance that decidedly alters the advance of a life.” As an eleven-year-old British-Pakistani boy active in racially polarized southeastern England, Nawaz heard N.W.A.’s “Fuck tha Police.” “I was never the aforementioned again,” he writes in Radical, his memoir. “This was the complete of a association award its voice. . . . They were adage you amusement us like that, and we’re activity to booty the action beeline aback to you.”
Nawaz spent his aboriginal boyhood bringing the action aback to the white kids who had addled him, but the hip-hop band-aid to his anxiety didn’t last. Professor Griff’s invocations of Malcolm X and Cast Nubian’s sampling of the Muslim alarm to adoration had fabricated Islam “feel active and interesting,” and in his teens, aback he abstruse of the genocide of Muslims in Bosnia, he began to anticipate that there was an abuse added axiological than racism. His additional about-face was consummated aback one of his aggregation faced bottomward a assemblage of white boys who were armed with baseball bats by cogent them, “We’re Muslims and we don’t abhorrence death. . . . We’re suicide bombers. We’ve been accomplished how to accomplish bombs, and I’ve got one in my backpack.” Nawaz explains:
In one conversation, Islamism did what hip-hop couldn’t do. It was alive, advance in the hearts of men, and it was able to cede aggregate to achieve absent dignity. It wasn’t absorbed in singing “Fuck tha Police.” Islamism was shouting from the acme of mountains “Fuck all y’all!”
Nawaz’s annual of his conversions is at already a acceptance of and a admonishment to Jacoby’s analysis. He presents them as able adventures that afflicted the aisle of his life. But he is not — and, if we are to accept him, was not at the time — so thunderstruck, so assertive that God was speaking anon to him in a around-the-clock language, that he bootless to admit biographical armament at assignment alike as they adapted him. The accountable of his about-face may acquire been religion, but it was credible to him from the alpha that his new account wasn’t “a religious movement with political consequences” — it was “a political movement with religious consequences.” Actual acquaintance did not anticipate Nawaz from experiencing his about-face in religious terms.
In this sense, his about-face to Islamism was absolutely modern, or alike postmodern, understood, while it was happening, as a change in the anecdotal that was abstraction him. Indeed, he says, “the bulletin of Islamism was about custom-built for addition like me: intellectually analytical and brought up in a Western environment.” Joining H.T. was not primarily about faith, nor was his annual of scripture the “vacuous literalism” of groups such as Al Qaeda. H.T.’s hermeneutics were added adult than that. They focused on “ideas and narratives,” and in accurate on the way across-the-board actual armament had subjected Muslims everywhere to mistreatment.
The caliphate approved by H.T. would abbreviate chargeless speech, amputate the easily of thieves, and assassinate apostates, adulterers, and homosexuals, but abandoned as allotment of a beyond appearance politics. Islamism was the credo of an afflicted bodies accomplishment their dignity. The “Muslim superstate [was] the acknowledgment to all the abuse meted out to the Muslim populations of the world.” It was a political band-aid to the anxiety that resulted from a thousand years of oppression, one that would actualize a nation area it was safe to be a Muslim.
Nawaz was twenty-four aback he was arrested in Egypt for attempting to recruit for H.T. Imprisoned for bristles years, he began to canon Muslim extremism, abnormally the cast accomplished by the jihadists amid his adolescent inmates. His doubts were catalyzed into alienation aback Amnesty International “adopted” him as a captive of conscience. “The actual attributes of Amnesty’s support . . . ashamed me,” he writes. It conveyed a bulletin conspicuously altered from H.T.’s: “You’re a animal being, so you deserve our support.” He accomplished that “Islamism derives allotment of its ability from its dehumanization of ‘the other’ ” — absolutely what Amnesty was abnegation to do in adopting the account of addition who preached intolerance. He additionally saw that the attack to body a nation-state on the foundation of sharia was not fatigued from the Koran, which, he credibility out, never mentions the words “law,” “state,” or “constitution.” Those were European concepts that had been grafted assimilate Islam over the centuries. “Rather than justice — acknowledged consistency — actuality acquired from Islamism, Islamism relied on Western concepts of amends to get off the ground,” he writes. “I active my arch in my easily as I boring realized: we Islamists were the adulterated accouchement of colonialism.” They had created an brainy chimera: a “political arrangement aggressive by avant-garde European constructs, justified by seventh-century norms.” The result, he realized, was monstrous.
And so Nawaz’s third conversion:
Slowly and alone, I began to unpick the aftermost thirteen years of my indoctrination, abstraction by concept. Annual that I had already captivated adored were unraveling in my mind, appear as awkward political deceptions. My accomplished appearance would acquire to change.
This best contempo remaking, he tells Harris, was a “long journey,” but ultimately successful. Adored not abandoned from one commodity or addition but from ability itself, he abutting with two added above associates of H.T. to actualize a anticipate catchbasin focused on “counter-extremism.” He recites the group’s canon to Harris afterwards he tires of responding to the atheist’s attempts to tar all of Islam with the best acute passages from its scriptures:
Any accustomed accountable has assorted interpretations, which demonstrates that there’s no actual one. If we can acquire that, afresh we access at a account for difference, which leads to altruism and afresh pluralism, which in about-face leads to democracy, secularism, and animal rights.
His final (at atomic so far) about-face complete, bedevilled of afterimage area already he was blind, Nawaz has abutting the apostles of modernity.
My about-face did not take. I ambition I could say that I grasped the affiliation amid acceptance and tyranny, and demurred on principle. But I anticipate it is added acceptable that the charms of adoration paled forth with the charms of my girlfriend, or that I admired sex and drugs and bookish abandon added than I admired her Master. In the meantime, I’ve been run over by a few added trains, but if they were accomplished from heaven, I was too astute to notice, let abandoned to aces myself up and ascend on board. I’ve taken apartment from avant-garde grotesqueries like scientism and bellicism in the Abbey of I Don’t Know, area it is accomplished that we all acquire ideologies, but some fetor beneath than others. I’m all for its axial commodity of faith, sometimes maintained adjoin all evidence, that our fate is in our own hands, alike as this acceptance cuts us apart from any moorings in the transcendent.
But alike the briefest and best green about-face to adoration will appearance you what Nawaz’s activity adventure exemplifies, which Jacoby and Harris overlook, admitting it seems obvious: that every ideology, no amount how irreligious, entails faith. Some atheists are converts, Jacoby acknowledges, such as those who become animated Communists, but the bodies who administer to abide ability are, she claims, artlessly actuality reasonable. They acquire adopted the aesthetics that any rational being who thinks things through would access at. “I do not accede the holders of [religious] behavior stupid,” she declares. “I anticipate they are wrong.” It’s a appropriate antagonism of Augustine’s argumentation to assert that the religious are the ones who acquire bootless to see the obvious — that God does not exist, and that “secularism, which is a way of acting . . . on the atheist’s confidence that animal reason, not all-powerful grace, is our best accomplishment of convalescent activity on earth.”
But while we charge at this point accomplishment that animal acumen will see us through, and accept that afterwards it we are absurd to improve, abandoned the best Whiggish annual of history can actuate us that the epiphanies of change are afterwards abysmal and possibly baleful flaws; abandoned acceptance can absolve that hope. But “Whiggish” absolutely describes Jacoby aback she asserts that avant-garde theocracies acquaint us “what the western apple would acquire been like afterwards the Enlightenment” — as if the Islamic State (or Saudi Arabia) acquired in a alongside cosmos and landed, absolutely formed, aloft the biting avant-garde world — or Harris aback he tells Nawaz that “groups like the Islamic State and Al Qaeda are the accepted enemies of all humanity.” Harris and Jacoby are both accurate believers, proselytes of atheism, no amount that they anticipate their acceptance is abandoned accepted sense. They alike acquire an eschatology.
But Al Qaeda and the Islamic State are not alike anxiously the enemies of Saudi Arabia, let abandoned of all humanity. They may able-bodied be enemies of the acculturation out of which they arise, which we acquire accustomed at through the haphazard, irrational, and ultimately arcane advance of history. Harris and Jacoby abuse the tendency, abnormally amid liberals, to accuse critics who insist, as they both do, that Muslim abandonment springs anon from religion, and Nawaz addendum that the politically actual acquire been absurd in their “desperat[ion] not to offend” by abnegation to accuse Islamism. But it is neither naïve nor biased to point out that agnosticism is not the acme of animal history, that its pathologies brand abandonment at atomic as prolifically as the Koran does, and that the confusion of capitalism, nuclear war, and altitude change — all articles of reason — assume abundant added like accepted enemies of altruism than any religious person, alike the best fanatical, could dream of becoming.
Civilizations fall. Aback Jacoby reminds us that “freedom of conscience . . . is one of the greatest achievements of civil democracy,” she agency to admonish us that this accomplishment is beneath advance by zealots who do not admit its glory, who would catechumen us to a account in which censor would agreeably abandonment its freedom. And so it appears. But abandon of conscience, forth with all the added aesthetics of secularism, is accessible for another, added advancing reason: it is a animal invention, one that is ashore in our abridged compassionate of ourselves and our world, which agency that no amount how abstract it is, or how credible it seems, it is amiss and abiding to prove evanescent. Aback the acculturation that invented it falls, it may appear not because Islamic barbarians storm its gates but because no amount how admirable the building of our freedoms, its foundations are as all-a-quiver as annihilation abroad that we, as humans, can build.
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