There be dragons!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The virtuous life

I liked this article here about the search for virtue in the Muslim life:

I enjoyed this post. Though I don’t share the same religious background I think your observation that “it is important that we look beyond the laundry list approach and focus on the key virtues” is quite astute. Too many people, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim and even atheist see virtue as a series of laws or rules to follow. Perhaps b/c such an approach is simpler in appearance IDK. Might I take it a step further, though, and suggest that instead of even focusing on key virtues (in the Quran or elsewhere) we begin to mull over that ineffable question “what does it mean to be human?” Over the lintel of the school of Athens is inscribed “Gnothi seauton” – know yourself. Seems to me that’s a lifelong task that might never find complete satisfaction, but that even an inkling of self awareness means growth in the spirit. Sothlice.

Seems also to me that in the search for being a better person, seeking to know ourselves, or mature or whatever, art takes precedence over virtue and theology.  Art seems to convey the essence of what it means to be alive like nothing else can and gives us that vicarious experience of being alive through living someone else's experience.

Thus Rumi, again, expresses something of what being human seems to mean:

1 comment:

  1. It reminds me very much of the Biblical passage "Be still and know that I am God"; also in 1 Kings 19 the passage

    "And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?"