Should Holy Men Look at the Moon?

PAUL:  I read a couple months ago, croak, of a man who said we should not look at the moon because the moon is so beautiful it will distract us from reading holy scriptures.

CROAK:  I’d say that the moon is a scripture in itself, more important than a book written by man’s pen. For the religious, it’s created by God’s Hand, and it’s a sign visible to all who care to look.

— From an internet conversation.

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8 thoughts on “Should Holy Men Look at the Moon?

  1. The man is wrong, dead wrong. The moon has served divers revealed religions, and the unbeliever too as a calendar, sometimes as a secondary clock and compass by which to divide the course of life into times of pious observances, and reverent actions.

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      • I’d like to know more about the holy man. In what context is this being said? The lectionary of many a religion is, in fact, determined using a lunar calendar, at least in part.

        Of course, with revealed religion, just about anything can be said.

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      • The account I read didn’t say much about the man other than he was a Muslim. And I forget what kind of Muslim or where he was from. I rather doubt he was representative of most Muslims, though.

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  2. Hello Paul,

    I find the comment a bit surprising considering that Islam long holds the purity of nature as the best allegories to God’s own purity, an abstract beauty that we take pause and marvel. Though I suspect it might have also been a joke along the lines of realizing that while it is easy to appreciate the beauty of a the moon it is harder to achieve inner purity (reading scriptures) that we can easily distinguish outwardly.

    I have a short anecdote that would tie well with your own wonderful poems. I happened to visit the father of one of my friends around tea time which usually means a host of elderly men gossiping like frail old ladies, amusing yet very welcoming. As I was chatting with the host I realized that I had been facing away from an elderly man and such an act is normally considered a cultural insult. I apologized to the ammu (uncle) and he responded “waldi a rose has not a front or a back”. I was struck by the power of the phrase and I most definitely will use it as much as my situation allows 🙂

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    • The news article did not represent the comment as being the views of one wacko rather than the views of all Muslims. That’s typical of the media: Take an extremist and represent him as the norm. Nevertheless, that’s how I took it: As the views of some lone, crazy fundamentalist — such as we have here in abundance in Colorado Springs.

      That is, one of the things that interested me the most about the man’s comment was that, even though he was described as a Muslim, his comment would have fit right-well into the mouth’s of some of the Christian fundamentalists around this town.

      I have long thought all fundamentalists — whether Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or Hindu — have quite a lot in common.

      As for the phrase, “A rose has not a front or a back”, that just made my day. Thank you so much for sharing that!

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  3. Pingback: Your Favorite Post Comments? « Café Philos: an internet café

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