Luminar Podcast: Splash of Civilizations

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17 Responses

  1. Avatar Ante says:

    I see Hare Krishnas regularly on Zagreb’s central square. A small group of 3-6 of them typically totally dominate the whole square by banging and chanting and to be honest it’s irritating as hell. Very punchable. And I can totally relate to Deidre’s point that they are “more Indian than Indians”. The whole thing is quite sad, people will turn away from genuine culture and tradition that is right there in front of them and become… that. At least it seems to be a passing phase for most of them from what you said.

    As for Wahabis, for whatever reason they remind me of Adventists. Apart from the blowing up part. I knew an elderly pair. They were polite people, the guy in particular was a really good man. But woe to you if you happen to somehow provoke a sermon about Saturday or Sunday being the 7th day. Also there was always a problem of what you can and can not cook when they come for a visit. They also once “accidentally” forgot a booklet called something like ‘The pope is the devil’ (or something such) after staying at our place for a while, knowing my mother is a devout Catholic. I think we were the only close friends they had who weren’t Adventists, which sometimes lead to awkward moments when one of their other friends unknowingly said something wrong (but among themselves obviously perfectly normal) concerning Catholicism at the table. I got an impression of people intolerant to an extreme, not in some healthy way of having a spine as you’d say and being unapologetic, but holding outsiders in contempt.

    And then more recently through wonders of youtube I noticed these people tend to constantly engage in “debates” about age and sometimes shape of the Earth, evolution, medicine, healthy eating and so on on an extremely technical, scientific, modern level no matter how wrong they are. Their positions are purely based on their reading of the Bible of course, but they make every attempt at clothing this in scientific terms, make use of actual specialists in certain fields to create an appearance of legitimacy, desperately trying to convince the audience. And in all this talk of theirs, supposedly based on the Bible and what not, God ends up being a genetic engineer, a really powerful extraterrestrial, who created the world by using something I can’t call otherwise than technology and who then later has interactions with that world, from the Deluge to the Resurrection using same technical means. Very cold and shallow.

    Anyhow, would you agree there are parallels? Both Wahabism and Adventism are fairly modern and from the little I see of Wahabism it tends to have the same contempt for the outsider, the cold, technical approach to the world (there are hilarious videos of Saudi preachers claiming the Earth is flat), as well as the Sola Scriptura view of its host religion.

    • Avatar Malić says:

      Wahhabi way of theologizing is a from of interpreting Kuran and Haddits and its not so simple to just draw parallels off hand as nothing quite like that exists even in Christian heresies. However, some of the fruits are quite similar to what you get with Sola Scriptura denominations and sects: total rejection of mediation between God and man, nihilistic understanding of apophatic thinking and, most of all, utter materialism. I remember first seeing one of their Mosques near Novi Pazar, Srbija: it looks like shopping centre, obviously with no attention to traditional forms of building place of worship. It looks quite modern actually. The thing is that tradition is a expressed through various mediations that persist through time, like sacral art, conceptual systems, ways of conduct, caligraphy, etc. and this kind of all or nothing approach throws them out of the window. The very ambition that there should be no mediator between God and man defies the nature of religion which exists preciselly for such purpose.

  2. Avatar A.D. says:

    I cannot speak regarding Adventists, as I have never met one!, but regarding the Europeans who become more Indian than the Indians themselves, I have extensive experience. Not just with ISKCON, althought the stories of corruption in that movement would curl your hair. Since my teens I have been involved in Yoga circles, though I have not been part of any hierarchy or deeply embedded in any movement. A kind of drifter doing my own thing. But still, as is natural, I know many yogis and have association with them over many years. In these circles the food is Indian, the clothes are Indian, the greetings are Sanskrit, the whole demeanour has been to adopt cultural characteristics that are not one’s own, and to a certain extent one can understand the fascination as the culture has many refined qualities.
    Anyways within one movement that I was involved with to the extent that I trained for two years to be a yoga teacher with them – and an excellent training it was from a technical point of view – stories surfaced in the past few years that the top guru was a paedophile who inflicted the most atrocious acts on the children of his disciples. Ironic, given the paedophilia that has benighted my natal religion, and that contributed to driving me away. Oddly enough it was I who broke the news in this country as I came across it hiding online, a story or series of stories which was being actively suppressed – although after I had blasted the news, loudly and frequently, from the rooftops no one here could ever claim to have not heard about it.
    Presuming that people would abandon affiliation with such an abominably disgraceful person, I awaited response, only to find it was me who was cast out of long term friendships and me who had become a pariah. 99% of the people have closed ranks and pretended it is all untrue and have continued on, wearing their saffron robes, chanting his name in bhajans, looking up to the teachers and the organisation. Fecking idiots, is all I can say. Thank goodness I was brought up by sensible country people to have a fairly thick skin!
    Having said all that, disillusionment with teachers and organisations, does not undermine the inherent truth of any traditional teachings for me.

  3. Avatar Mihai Marinescu says:

    Branko is right that this “Protestant” flavored sects are nothing but fragmented elements of genuine religions all centered around the most obnoxious modernist ideas. The parallel drawn at the level of architecture is very telling indeed- just look at the so-called “mega-churches” in the US and elsewhere too.

    That said, I always have a problem with people trying to completely let Islam off the hook when it comes to Wahhabi terrorism. Media manipulation or not, CIA and what have you- fine- but there is at the very core of Islam at least a seed- from the very beginning, when Mahommed and his bands were conducting raids in the desert, the conquest of Medina etc.- which can be developed into such kinds of behavior as those of Wahhabis.
    The so-called “tolerance” that some historians today like to point out in regards to the expansion of Islam and so on is mainly selective picking of different events, ignoring the general picture. In reality, it was never easy to be a non-muslim under the Islamic reign.

    For my part, I consider the assessment of Islam as a Christian heresy to be correct. It is a mixture of Old Testament law with a pretense at universality such as is found in Christianity. Theologically: a regression to the abstract monotheism as found in Judaism, coupled with a strange mixture of previous heresies rejected in Christianity: the origenist conception regarding the pre-existence of the soul, arianism, nestorianism.
    The contradictions are obvious: Islam upholds a sacred language and a set of laws destined for only one people at a particular time, which it tries to extrapolate to the whole of humanity. Of course, there is no universality in what is only a part, hence conversion by sword is the only ultimate “solution” to this.

    How much influence did Islam end up having on the Western part of Christendom, following the exchange in the high Middle Ages and forward? That is an interesting question to explore.

    • Avatar A.D. says:

      All interesting issues, Mihai. Thanks.

    • Avatar walther says:

      Interesting points Mihai. For my part, I see nothing new in Christianity. It is a rather peculiar offshoot of special purpose tweaked gnostics teachings coupled with imported contemporary Roman and Jewish pre exile brand of paganism, sold as an interpetation of God’s true word from dubious pseudoepihrapha writings and saved group ideology.

      • Avatar Malić says:

        Abraxas told you that?

        • Avatar walther says:

          No way man. Sepher ha-zohar and Rabbi Akiva told me that. Disembodied spirits are not chums and pals to hang with, as they enjoy telling lies to fools like H.P. Blavatsky. Fortunately, invocation is a long forgotten skill thank God, even though Dugin and Crowley before him would give their asses on silver platter to maser it like Empedocles used to brag around.

          • Avatar Mihai Marinescu says:

            Here is something that the Zohar and rabbis will never tell you: Christ is risen!

            As for disembodied spirits, you need not invoke them, nor do they ask for permission to interfere with your thought patterns.
            Until now, they seem to do quite a subtle work with you.

  4. Avatar walther says:

    Of course they won’t Mihai. Why would they spill the sacred beans? Reveal the esoteric interpretation of Bible from gamatria and tell they have the ancient wisdom in their possession? That they are the special race descended fom intermarriage between Anakim and Cain’s daughters, keepers of sacred knowledge and still await their Messiah to arive working their asses out to accomodate him? By wreaking havoc and belitteling pesky interloping carpenter Jesus who was the true Messiah? That history of humanity is the history of god becoming to know himself? High quality bullshit for succers who choose to stick to it.

    I like your way of thinking, but prefer Branko’s. He is on the right path. Isn’t Satan and his legions’ master plan to show God how human beings are essentially worthless and to lead them in their own demise by whispering them to make the slavery if their own design to prove his point? We humans have the choice to love God. In your face Satan!

    • Avatar Mihai Marinescu says:

      Did any one ever whisper to you that coherence is not exactly your strong point?

      • Avatar walther says:

        I told you I liked your way of thinking but preferred Branko’s. Just stick to the mad man on mountain and assassins down the hill and I will stick to the gnostic corruption of Jesus’s message.

  5. Avatar simon says:

    I’m only half-way through your dicussion so not sure if you treated this subject but one problem with Islam is also that it does not have any coordinating structure, as Catholic/Orthodox churches do. So you can get the very philosophical types, that work with the theologically and philosphically rather pure and lofty parts of Islamic “doctrine” teachings, of which there is no doubt a lot present in the Koran or in other non-codified teachings. But since there’s no unifying teaching authority at all (no pope, no bishops/patriarchs, you might just as well end up embracing the totally immoral parts of the Koran, which unfortunately are there also for anyone with eyes to see. So you get multiple interpretations of the scriptures, just like in Protestantism but much worse, as the actual material in the Koran favors violence in a more explicit manner and in many more instances. It would be interesting to conduct one of those rather stupid quantitative sociological studies and compare how many instances of terrorism there were in Catholics/Orthodox, Protestant sects and Islam (I expect the chart to go straight upwards in that order).

    Then you have all the self-proclaimed authorities, radical Imams etc. that fuel this stuff further. Living in Germany I feel that the whole atmosphere of this country changed as a result of muslim immigration over the past years and of course also simply due to the demographical development, since muslims are in general just much more likely to have large families compared to your average liberal westerner. With Bosnia, like you said, they are Europeans, but here we have whole areas in cities where you really have a hard time telling whether you’re still in Europe. And it’s not confined to big cities, it stands out even more in smaller towns. I work in a public healthcare institution and I observe that so called refugees are – on average – more aggressive and prone to violence, regardless of whether they are especially religious or not. Of course that’s not to say every muslim/immigrant is a potential security threat, as the majority are living peacefully. But I fear that we might get to a situation similar to Libanon, where they have a system of political parties with strong religious affiliations, and we know how it played out for them. We already have a huge problem with Arab clans and their organized criminality in Germany, whose members can be extremely violent, although the extent to which Islam plays a large role in this phenomenon is unknown to me. It’s probably more of an antisocial-tribal aspect.

    So besides religious matters, it probably also has to do with the temperament of the respective peoples. Islam did not develop by accident in the fiery desert tribes of old. I don’t mean to frame this in any purely racial or even spiritual Evola-type sort of racism, but it’s just a fact that you have different temperaments, even across Europe and much more so between Euopean and middle Eastern peoples. In addition, you have the problem that women play a rather minor role in Islam, also on the doctrinal level (there’s nothing like the importance of the Virgin Mary in Christianity) so that the “active” male element is not balanced well in Islam compared to Christianity.

    • Avatar Browning says:

      Well simon, after the abolition of the Ottoman sultanate in 1922, there is no central authority in the Islamic world regarding the religious issues – after the Ottoman conquest of Egypt, the Şhaykḫu-l-İslām title- chief Mufti was merged with the sultan’s and subsequently abolished with the Ottoman sultanate.

      Regarding the multiple interpretations of Koran, let me demonstrate it on a practical example: when you drive along the road and see a warning sign danger on the road coupled with a speed limitation sign let’s say 55 mph, does it mean that you have to skid, swerve and slide out on that part of the road at 55 mph speed or to adjust your speed and prevent sliding out?

      After the abolition of the sultan’s title, those self-proclaimed authorities and radical imams are subject to Occam’s razor and hold no water. If they fail, for which I am certain it is the case, they do not pass. Pure and simple. Did you know that in early 1930s the House of Saud had a wonderful and marvelous idea to create a sort of Muslim ecumenism where chief mufti for whole Muslims on the planet would be elected from the very House of Saud members? No wonder they were flipped by the Iranians even back then. The rather unfortunately dominant version of Islam everybody become rather familiar with and hates it is backed up by dirty petrodollars and marketed by the ruling heretical sect from the Saudi Arabia. The very sect propped up by the British intelligence in 18 and 19 cts to undermine the Ottoman authority and cause a rift between Ottomans and Arabs. You pretty much see the results today. if you want to see the attitude towards that “interpretation” and “Islam” please google the Grozny Declaration. You will have a clear picture.

      In relation to the Muslim migration over the past years: there is no doubt it has become weaponized. The situation is rather complex. You have people in one hand that are fed up with western meddling, dabbling and exacerbating problems in the Middle East at least since the end of WW2, drenching in “political” Islam worldview which is as modern and contemporary as a smartphone and having nothing to do with classical Islam worldview and willing to return tit for tat to absolutely anyone who is not Arab, than you have opportunists and moochers like everywhere and people who are pure and simply uncouth no matter who they are and whether or not they need to let some steam or they are just uncivilized brutes – I would not wish you to see Swedes on a ship that has just entered the international waters. The point is it is double-whammy destruction of local cultures: both of familiar milieu to the refugees and Europe that takes them. If you ask me, this whole mess is pointless and not needed: why were their homes and countries destroyed in the first place?

      Please, stay away from the Balkans. It is a place that produces too much history and a mirror that western world does not want to look at – not to see what will befall it. There modernism and everything coming in that bundle died after the fall of communism and it drowns in the revived and updated nightmares that had been once suppressed by the power of modernism. Unfortunately, that same disease is creeping and attacking the western world. It just bought 30 years postponing the looming disaster.

      • Avatar Malić says:

        There modernism and everything coming in that bundle died after the fall of communism and it drowns in the revived and updated nightmares that had been once suppressed by the power of modernism.

        Mislim da tu činiš kardinalnu grešku. Raspad Jugoslavije, odnosno raspad moderne na odgovarajućem teritoriju, nije niti oživio niti “apdejtirao” potisnutu prošlost nego je to bio korak u postmodernu; korak naprijed, dakle, a ne korak natrag. Inače, prošlost, ako govorimo o neriješenim etničkim, religijskim i inim pitanjima nije uopće bila potisnuta, jer je nacionalno pitanje bilo i ostalo alfa i omega Jugoslavije, a modernost se oslikavala, među ostalim, upravo u supsumiranju svega pod “nacionalno” i, dalje, “klasno” pitanje, po sovjetskom federalnom modelu. Jugoslavija je, također, bila shvaćena kao nacija i dan danas sva ex-YU ljevica je u osnovi pokret jugoslavenskih nacionalista.

        Otud, ne trčimo pred rudo i ne krivimo predmodernu za postmodernu.

        Također, od “viška povijesti” – što god to bilo – glava boli samo onda dok se čovjek ne nađe tamo gdje povijesti nema.

        • Avatar Browning says:

          Nije možda nego jesam krivo prenio riječima što sam mislio. Raspad druge Jugoslavije mi jezivo sliči na voelkische bewegnung germansku zabludu XIX vijeka kada su Nijemci “zaglavljeni” u crno-žutoj monarhiji poslije Prusko-austrijskog rata iz 1866. počeli lamentirati nad sudbinom, sanjati ujedinjenje gaermana i kritikovali a-u- monarhiju da ne daje dovoljno primata germanima, pa su poslije odbacili abrahamsko naslijeđe i katoličanstvo kao laž koja ih je udaljila od istinske teutoničke prirode i pokušali “rekonstruisati” slavnu pagansku germansku prošlost i tako “osviješteni” krenuti naprijed u novo doba.

          Ti opet vidiš transplantiranje sovjetskog federalnog modela u SFRJ, što je tačno. Međutim nos me vuče da se Broz žestoko ugledao na britanski model nacije kad je formirao jugoslavensku: snažan regionalni identitet koji se stapa u jedinstven zajednički, dok je modernost služila kao uredno davana žestoka doza kortikosterioda koja je držala tinjajuću upalu – što si dobro sažeo “neriješena etnička, religijska i ina pitanja” pod vještačkom kontrolom. Tito je samo stavio čvršće zakrpe na rupe iz originalnog dizajna stare Jugoslavije.

          “Višak povijesti” balkanski pokušaj da nadmaši zacrtani uzor radeći frenetičnije i fanatičnije sve što je uzor učinio u procersu penjanja na vrh, međutim zbog brzine, nerazmišljanja o posljedicama i nepoznavanja materije-otvaranja duše i zatvaranja uma prema onom što usvaja, Balkan samo ubrza tok procesa.

          Fukojamin mokri san o nestanku istorije je samo mokri san. Dokle god postoje ljudi oni će stvarat istoriju. Ni ti ni ja se ne krećemo isto kroz naslijeđeni korpus znanja, kulture, tradicije, niti povezujemo stvari na isti način. Međutim, koliko će naši postupci imati uticaja na mase i ostatak ljudi?
          Nestanak istorije bi bila Duginova pobjeda: haosova dominacija nadLogosom gdje bi on, đavolji slugan, bio krajnji arbitar istine. Glupko mali je smetno s uma Heraklita Mračnog: stvarnost, nastaje borbom suprotnosti, u vječnom je procesu nastajanja, a stvari spoznajemo tek po njihovim suprotnostima.

  6. Avatar simon says:

    By the way, consequent Islam may not be terrorist-Islam, but looking at its history since its inception – while I am certainly in no way an expert on the subject – it seems to me that consequent Islam used to be conquering Islam..

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