When I texted you from Stanford, asking about whether you know of any active Sufi atheist groups that might be discussing contemporary language for Sufi Atheism (eg in an email list), either in Persian, English (see CC MIT OCW in the Persian language here - http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/translated-courses/) or other languages, I began to look into this a little further online.
Happy Ramadan, if you celebrate this (I'm assuming you might). I also just found this MIT event on Ramadan interestingly - http://events.mit.edu/event.And I also found this MIT Persian Students Association
html?id=16488232 - but for MIT Arab students.
Am applying for the MIT Media Lab junior faculty position re World University and School and my actual-virtual Harbin Hot Springs' ethnographic research (http://www.scottmacleod.com/ActualVirtualHarbinBook.html), and it would be great to stay in touch about Iran World University and School, planned in Persian. It would also be great to meet possibly Persian friends of yours from Iran, either in the Bay Area, the Boston area or in Iran, who might be interested in faculty positions and related at WUaS with time.
Thanks for persisting on looking for an explanation on the web regarding the term that you mentioned that night.
Unfortunately, I don’t have much time to read all these articles and that is not my interest as you might know.
For your information, I’m not a practicing Muslim and therefore, my answer to your question is “No” I’m not celebrating Ramadan, however, there are some people who do and therefore we should wish them happiness for that.
In one of the articles that you sent some one is trying to give a clear definition of a “Sufi” and of “sufism”. First of all, a sufi is not necessarily a “Whirling Dervish”. This was such an idiotic definition. Looking into the article, the only thing I have to say is that sufism might exist because like any other groups around the world there are some people who like to gain power and fame through this term and hence, they create their own orders which fit perfectly in the category of “sufism”. However, a true and honest sufi never gets trapped in those “sufism(s)” or groups. A true sufi is usually unknown to the rest of the society because he/she never needs others to find out about him/her. And a “sufi” can have a simple but at the same time the most difficult definition: someone who looks for the path of truth and love. This sentence is very simple in the first look, but is the most difficult sentence when comes to the meaning because this is the path that only a few people can walk into in their lives and others are just mocking them. Yes, Mevlana (Rumi as known in the West) was indeed among those few. These people might say words or poems but only those who are in the real path can understand what they say. And others may only find those words beautiful and no more than that. So this is not something that one can talk about or write about via email communications or messages. And, I personally cannot agree with any those definitions that were mentioned in these articles. But thanks for researching the term. It might come useful for yourself sometime if you want to write about.
We can only wish to see ourselves in the real path of love. That is what sufism is. It does not relate to God, Allah, Jesus, Mohammed, or any other words of such. It is only the path of love, and that “love” is not the one we all think of in our everyday life and encounters. That is an ocean where never ends.
All best, Shahrzad
Thanks for the feedback, Shahrzad!Some years ago, I visited Konya in Turkey where Mevlana was at home - found it beautiful, and loved it there!
All best, Scott
Then, perhaps, there is something in you that seeks the path. Follow it and you will be helped in the path if you could only be honest with yourself.
I send you an article by a dear person in which you might find more about your question.
Northeast Friends/Quakers and Sufi atheism?
Thanks for sharing this writing by James Fallows' "What did you do in the class war, Daddy". Fallows was a student and protester at Harvard College in 1969.
Registration was re-instated in 1978/1979 by the Selective Service (SS) in the USA when I was a senior in high school (in Pgh PA) - and I had to make a decision, having leanings at the time toward Quaker witnessing to peace (and, as a child of the '60s, having witnessed some of the horrors of the American War in Vietnam).
If I recall correctly, I sent cards into the AFSC and War Tax Resisters' League on Cherry Street in Philadelphia witnessing to, and documenting, my conscientious objection to war.
And I put partial information on the SS card itself, including writing on this something like "I'm a CO" and that "I protest against war", and so created a paper trail of protest (which I suppose this email is an ongoing expression of even, as further documentation by writing). (Around the year 2003, and required to fill out information about FIFO grants as a student at the University of California at Santa Barbara in sociocultural anthropology, the US government still had a record of my Selective Service protest registration card, I was amazed to learn - which could have influenced the grant process at this time). The US governments reach, now through databases is long, as is Quakerly protest and organizing against government perpetrated injustice, such as war making.
Thanks for this piece by James Fallows - and I'm glad Quakers, and now also perchance NtFs, will continue to facilitate support for war resistance, and save the lives of both rich and poor war resisters, as well as potentially others the US government labels as enemies and sends the US military against.
Perhaps this piece by Fallows could be used in a NtF course for credit at the undergraduate level at accrediting Friendly-informed World University and School - http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/Nontheist_Friends_(atheist_Quakers%3F) - and become part of NtF history as well.
Registration, here at the time (late 1970s), meant 18 year olds were again required to sign up in order to be conscripted into the US military, and potentially go to kill people, in the event of US wartime. It was a first step by the US military after the successful mass protests, draft card burnings, and resistance, for example, against the Vietnam war and American atrocities there (2-3 million Vietnamese died in this American perpetrated atrocity, I've read), and nearly 60,000 Americans died in Vietnam in the 60s and early 70s. I haven't been able yet to find when conscription / the draft / registration in the 1970s ended, but 18 year olds were again required to register in the late 1970s to be conscripted by the US government / military. Do any NtFs know the history of the end of conscription / the draft / registration in the 1970s? Let's add it to some of the following links, where this history doesn't yet seem to have found a home, surprisingly.
It would be interesting too to begin to write about NtFs thinking about military resistance and conscientious objection vis-a-vis the historic Quaker peace testimony and perhaps add this to the Wikipedia Nontheist Quaker wiki page - https://en.wikipedia.org/
wiki/Nontheist_Quakers - as well as to the http://www.nontheistfriends. org web site, for example.
Thanks, Bill, again for sharing this James Fallows' piece with the Nontheist Quakers/Friends' email list.
NtF regards, Scott
I just wiki-added this sentence -
"Nontheist Friends tend to share the Religious Society of Friends (RSOF) historic Quaker peace testimony and support for war resistance and conscientious objection" -
wiki/Nontheist_Friend (which Wikipedia redirected to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Nontheist_Quakers - and which first wiki page is accessible from here - http://worlduniversity.wikia. com/wiki/Nontheist_Friends_( atheist_Quakers%3F) ...).
Here too are some further resources re opposition to the Vietnam war -
Students_for_a_Democratic_ Society - and the related email I sent 2 hours ago. Quakers were very active in anti-war activity and peace marches, for example, in the 60s and 70s.
Do NtFriends agree with this sentence: "Nontheist Friends tend to share the Religious Society of Friends (RSOF) historic Quaker peace testimony and support for war resistance and conscientious objection"?
Friendly cheers, Scott