Culture and Religion

Religious conversions later in life are generally greeted as evidence that something terrible must have happened to the converter. The Onion published a satire in 2016, ridiculing Paul D'Amatol, who took up a life of Christian piety in late middle age. It must be 'drugs or maybe he killed someone in a car accident. Something super messed up.'

No room in satire for something good as the cause. Interestingly, it's not Protestant evangelical born-again-ism but the Catholic bells-and-smells and Islamic mysticism that attract those interested in spiritual growth as they approach the end, despite (because of?) Rome's/ Islam's hard teachings on divorce, homosexuality, the ordination of women. Catholics and Muslims take their religion seriously.

From fire by water: My journey to the Catholic faith, a memoir by Iranian American Sohrab Ahmari, is provocative, to say the least.

Conspiracy is not the way out of our deadend, nor is quasi-Marxist wokeness. Huxley's vision is new-old, a rediscovery of spirit-soul, the other dimension in life denied in our age of scientism. Simple truths which are found in all the great religions, but have been shelved, blinded as we are by the dazzling smoke and mirrors of technology.

Grandson of Thomas Huxley, notorious critic who declared Darwinism was becoming a religion, a cult, younger brother of Julian Huxley, atheist and popularizer of science, Aldous trumps them with his quiet pacifism, his spiritual quest, looking for truths in the ancient past, not the slick, exciting world of atomic bombs and miracle cures. What's the point, if we are doomed to extinction through world war?

A prophet is a translator (mutarjim) of the workings of sacred imagination. The prophet Muhammad (pbuh*) conveyed the messages he channeled into 'the recitation/ reading', the Quran. Unlike the Bible, which claims (along with The communist manifesto) to be the most widely distributed book, the Quran is the most read, the most recited, the most memorized book. What accounts for the enduring popularity of the Quran?

 This is an ambitious work, like Graeber's The dawn of everything: A new history of humanity, building on the radical anthropology of prehistoric man, and Graham Hancock's Netflix Ancient Apocalypse, promising a radical rethink of both the how and why of homo sapiens. We need a 'new old' vision, linking us with the 80% of our history that preceded private property, slavery, war, and, oh yes, cities.

Evolutionary biologists Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein use Chesterton’s fence as their central metaphor: try to understand things before changing them.

The fallout from gaylib (gay liberation) is gaining momentum. It has split the Anglican church in two, after 12 Anglican archbishops from around the world announced that they no longer believe the Church of England to be their 'mother church'. The General Synod had just voted to allow priests to conduct blessings of same-sex couples in civil unions. 80% of nominal Anglicans are British and settler colonies Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, so assuming the faithful there approve, the process can be argued as democratic.

But they are 'dead souls'.

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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Eric's latest book The Canada Israel Nexus is available here