by Mahmood Nedgemee
A Traditional saying among muslim students of the thorny problem of "wisdom" is:
"The person who tastes knows."
It's all the difference between reading about strawberries for example–and actually eating some.
NOW Perhaps you believe in God because you have been taught to–because of conditioning. Or maybe you do not–that too is a matter of conditioning, except it goes in the other direction. Whether or not you "believe," try this:
Find a quiet spot and sit down, simmer down, forget about "the government" and all the "stupid" people at work and Them Fool Kids (as si' Smit', er Smith, would say), and do the slow breathing exercise I described in an earlier chapter.
Now, say to yourself over and over, slowly (take your time):
"God is real…."
SO How long were you able to keep that up?
And what's the point?
Well, now (!), you actually know something about it–what is true as opposed to what you may "believe"–maybe for the first time in your life.
Perhaps this is your own personal first real experience of this thing called–God.
What do I mean?
WELL, Now–now for the first time in your life possibly–you KNOW whether or not "God" particularly wants YOU–or even NEEDS you–to "believe."
The real question then is not about "God," it is about you individually and whether or not being religious as such will make YOU a more useful human being.
In fact maybe you believe in Science because you have been taught to–because of conditioning.
Very well, then, now simmer down and do the exercise I just described above. Only instead of "God" say:
"Science is real…."
SO How long were you able to keep THAT up?
(The sole difference between "belief" and practical useful knowledge is, precisely–experience; and, so, to paraphrase Dr Mengele, a researcher and soi-disant hygienist of the late gaean period, on Old Earth:
"Believers to the right–scientists to the left!"
The only important thing in all of it is to find your own way to your own place in life; and, not to rely on credentialled 'authorities'. BW)
[Emmett R Smith
[all transcription rights reserved
[16 May 2006]