The figure above plots my heart rate on Tuesday, 10/9/12, as a function of time between morning and the night where I collapsed in deep sadness over the political realities of the modern Middle East. I then continued my studies of the various important teachings about the realities of God.
Today, I visited the Fajar prayer of the Islamic Society of New Jersey as part of a class entitled “Islam in America” at Princeton Theological Seminary. I wrote about my discovery yesterday that my heart was linked to my thoughts and language via real time analysis of my heart rate as a function of time. Peace in your own heart, peace in the world. Thankful for these gifts of God from Imam Hamad Ahmad Chebli of the Islamic Society of New Jersey and the congregation shown in the photograph below. He gave me milk and honey after I walked the grounds of the new school. Then, we spoke before the morning (Fajar) prayer. We prayed and he granted me the opportunity to speak to the congregation. The carpet was Saudi and the marble in the front was Turkish. We discussed Abraham, Isaac, and Ishmael. I asked him, “In verses 37:99-110 of the Qur’an, which son (Isaac or Ishmael) was sacrificed?” I studied and wrote on this topic here. He said, no one knows. The important part of the message contained in this part of the Qur’an is: God, the message, humanity.
I am discovering that studying religion being a Turkish-American today in the United States is like alpinism. God graced me with the opportunity to summit Mount Shasta, California. To do so, your must be Mindful of your body, heart, and mind as the summit is at altitude (approximately 14,179 ft (4,322 m) tall).
“When I first caught sight of it [Mt. Shasta] over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley, I was fifty miles away and afoot, alone and weary. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.”
I wrote a poem about this mountain here.
Indeed, language has the power to destroy and heal the Human Heart and Mind. Thus, careful use of language is essential to Life today. Hearing the Qur’an and Torah recited in Arabic and Hebrew, respectively, is healing. However, for me, because my grandfather was a Turkish Imam listening to the verbal recitation of the Qur’an is special. As you can see from the heart rate data above that I recorded during the day, at the end of the day’s recording I listened to a Qur’anic recitation (see below). During the recitation my heart beat very fast and I collapse in agony, tears, and sorrow with the thoughts of my family underneath the umbrella of the state of Israel’s nuclear weapons. I have previously shared my thoughts on this topic here and here. Today, for the first time I have data connecting my heart rate to my thoughts on the topic and their impact on my body. Indeed, today was a good day. I am thankful to God for his teachings of science and religion that revealed the mystery of the Embodied Mind. Aristotle’s articles, “On Breath” and “On Soul” are both relevant for this topic. The translation of Aristotle’s teachings into Arabic helped build the Islamic Golden Age as it helped build the Greek Golden Age. Thus, I seek to memorize each word of Aristotle’s teachings by heart. I hope in time, I can evolve to a place of deep serenity while hearing the recitation of the Qur’an by listening to it frequently and learning to live with the reality of politics in the Middle East today.
“Our experiences with abandonment and unwanted change are crisis moments when we must decide whether or not to leave behind the life that is gone forever. We can do that only if we believe in the ongoing creativity of God, who brings light and beauty to the dark chaos of our losses in life.” – M. Craig Barnes
Being a voracious reader, I cannot wait to read Princeton Theological Seminary’s (our) new president’s (quoted above) book “When God Interrupts: Finding New Life Through Unwanted Change.” With an opening quotation like this he must be a good leader and man from which to learn from. May our new president bring positive growth and evolution to the seminary.
To this end, Professor van Huyssteen liked my idea for a paper for his spring class entitled “Neuroscience and Theology.” I will study how language connects to my own heart for two months between October and January. Then, I will write a paper. Perhaps, it will evolve into a book to address the question I asked in 2009, perhaps the structure of language itself may touch a person’s heart and contribute to whether an idea is widely accepted or rejected?
“You pierced my heart with the arrow of your love, and we carried your words transfixing my innermost being (cf. Ps. 37:3). The examples given by your servants whom you had transformed from black to shining white and from death to life, crowded in upon my thoughts. They burnt away and destroyed my heavy sluggishness, preventing me from being dragged down to low things. They set me on fire with such force that every breath of opposition from any “deceitful tongue” (Ps. 119:2) had the power not to dampen my zeal by to inflame it the more.”
Saint Augustine, Confessions, p. 156
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