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Salah Ali: More about Islamic concepts of context, justice and friendship and sundry other matters

Reader comment on item: A Call for American Boldness in Iran

Submitted by Plato (India), Jul 3, 2009 at 23:14

Salah Ali you write,

>>You are welcome to post comments. It fills my time with useful discussion and may as well remove illusions and misunderstanding inside our minds as well as in the body of knowledge we have had till this moment.<<

In your last post you said it is no use talking to an atheist. And I am a proud atheist. You have now correctly and wisely concluded that discussion with even an atheist can help to remove illusions and misunderstandings. I cannot agree more. That is why I use the pseudonym Plato, who was for argumentation to arrive at the truth.

>>I have read the verses you quoted. Unfortunately, they are cut out of their context.<<

Context is the impregnable fortress (to Muslim minds) behind which you defend the indefensible verses of the Koran. I will try and tear down the foundations of your context fortress using mostly only Muslim sources as ammunition.

>>Every example you have provided has its interprtation, historical reference, and context. To take out sentence (in this case verses) out of their context is incorrect both logically and epistemologically.<<

You have not provided any example from my reply as to which verse I have quoted 'out of context'. Your claim that verses have their interpretation goes against Koranic claims that it is a clear book easy to understand. A book that needs interpretation is by definition not a clear book:

054.22 YUSUFALI: And We have indeed made the Qur'an easy to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition?

This verse is repeated word for word in 54:32, 54:40

044.058 YUSUFALI: Verily, We have made this (Qur'an) easy, in thy tongue, in order that they may give heed.

002:099 PICKTHAL: Verily We have revealed unto thee clear tokens, and only miscreants will disbelieve in them. (According to Pikthal those who disbelieve Allah's signs are miscreants. Are unbelievers all miscreants, Salah Ali?)

002.001 PICKTHAL: Alif. Lam. Mim.

Alif. Lam. Mim. What context, or historical references can you provide to make its deep mystical meaning clear? Read what two great interpreters of the Koran, one modern and the other ancient had to say on this matter and tell us whether they are able to throw any light on these alphabets.


'Letters of the Arabic alphabet like Alif, Lam, Mim, called the mugatta'at, which are pre-fixed to a number of the Surahs of the Qur'an, were in common use in the Arabic literature of the period when the Qur'an was. revealed. The poets and rhetoricians made use of this style, and instances of this can even be found in the pre-Islamic prose and poetry which has survived. As their significance was appreciated by all concerned, none objected to or questioned their use, because it was no enigma to them. Even the bitterest opponents of the Qur'an, who never missed an opportunity, did not raise any objection against their use. But as their use was abandoned with the passage of time" it became difficult for the commentators to determine their exact meaning and significance. An ordinary reader, however, need not worry about their meanings because they make no difference as tar as the Guidance of the Qur'an is concerned.


As you will notice, Maududi the reputed modern interpreter of the Koran ties himself up in knots trying to figure out what Alif Lam Mim placed at the beginning of Surah 2 mean. He claims that poets and rhetoricians used this style (what style?) regularly and it was no enigma to them. What happened to wipe out knowledge that was commonplace in Arabia? Ibn Kathir seems to think that only Allah knows what they mean.

Ibn Kathir:

'The Discussion of the Individual Letters

The individual letters in the beginning of some Surahs are among those things whose knowledge Allah has kept only for Himself. This was reported from Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, 'Ali and Ibn Mas'ud. It was said that these letters are the names of some of the Surahs. It was also said that they are the beginnings that Allah chose to start the Surahs of the Qur'an with. Khasif stated that Mujahid said, "The beginnings of the Surahs, such as Qaf, Sad, Ta Sin Mim and Alif Lam Ra, are just some letters of the alphabet." Some linguists also stated that they are letters of the alphabet and that Allah simply did not cite the entire alphabet of twenty-eight letters. For instance, they said, one might say, "My son recites Alif, Ba, Ta, Tha... " he means the entire alphabet although he stops before mentioning the rest of it. This opinion was mentioned by Ibn Jarir.

The Letters at the Beginning of Surahs

If one removes the repetitive letters, then the number of letters mentioned at the beginning of the Surahs is fourteen: Alif, Lam, Mim, Sad, Ra, Kaf, Ha, Ya, 'Ayn, Ta, Sin, Ha, Qaf, Nun.

So glorious is He Who made everything subtly reflect His wisdom.

Moreover, the scholars said, "There is no doubt that Allah did not reveal these letters for jest and play." Some ignorant people said that some of the Qur'an does not mean anything, (meaning, such as these letters) thus committing a major mistake. On the contrary, these letters carry a specific meaning. Further, if we find an authentic narration leading to the Prophet that explains these letters, we will embrace the Prophet's statement. Otherwise, we will stop where we were made to stop and will proclaim,

We believe in it; all of it (clear and unclear verses) is from our Lord) (3:7).

The scholars did not agree on one opinion or explanation regarding this subject. Therefore, whoever thinks that one scholar's opinion is correct, he is obliged to follow it, otherwise it is better to refrain from making any judgment on this matter. Allah knows best.

These Letters testify to the Miraculous Qur'an

The wisdom behind mentioning these letters in the beginning of the Surahs, regardless of the exact meanings of these letters, is that they testify to the miracle of the Qur'an. Indeed, the servants are unable to produce something like the Qur'an, although it is comprised of the same letters with which they speak to each other. This opinion was mentioned by Ar-Razi in his Tafsir who related it to Al-Mubarrid and several other scholars. Al-Qurtubi also related this opinion to Al-Farra' and Qutrub. Az-Zamakhshari agreed with this opinion in his book, Al-Kashshaf. In addition, the Imam and scholar Abu Al-'Abbas Ibn Taymiyyah and our Shaykh Al-Hafiz Abu Al-Hajjaj Al-Mizzi agreed with this opinion. Al-Mizzi told me that it is also the opinion of Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah. KAz-Zamakhshari said that these letters, "Were not all mentioned once in the beginning of the Qur'an. Rather, they were repeated so that the challenge (against the creation) is more daring. Similarly, several stories were mentioned repeatedly in the Qur'an, and also the challenge was repeated in various areas (i.e., to produce something like the Qur'an). Sometimes, one letter at a time was mentioned, such as Sad, Nun and Qaf. Sometimes two letters were mentioned, such as ….' http://www.tafsir.com/default.asp?sid=2&tid=670

Have the two masterly essays (by two scholars of the Koran) in obfuscation given you a clear understanding of the mystical meaning of these Arabic alphabets? The two tafsirists have given you enough context, interpretation and history on three simple alphabets. How deep has your understanding of this verse grown after reading them?

Here is more of the same:

032.001 PICKTHAL: Alif. Lam. Mim .

032.002 : The revelation of the Scripture whereof there is no doubt is from the Lord of the Worlds

Further down the same Sura, after talking about His powers of creation Allah says:

032.007 : Who made all things good which He created, and He began the creation of man from clay;

Do you need any historical reference or interpretation to understand this verse? What I have underlined makes clear that all things Allah made are good. The question that springs to mind then is Satan good, is the male foreskin good, is pork good? All are His creation.

002.159 YUSUFALI: Those who conceal the clear (Signs) We have sent down, and the Guidance, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book,-on them shall be Allah's curse, and the curse of those entitled to curse,- (Who are those entitled to curse apart from Allah? Angels, Muslims? Or, birds and fish??Ibn Kathir seems to think animals are also entitled to curse. LOL)

2:159 is quite clear. Do you need historical context or any maulana's interpretation to understand it. It is clearly a verse threatening the Christians and Jews.

What we see in the Koran is that Allah (aka Muhammad) has managed to overawe Muslims with vague and opaque verses that bewilder, bemuse, confuse, cajole and threaten readers, giving tafsirists the opportunity to manipulate them to have meanings that sound sublime to believers and ridiculous to kaffirs.

>> Both Arabic and the Qur'an are context-bound, i.e. context is important to understand the message.<<

Which means you are admitting that as a stand-alone scripture the Koran is a lot of gobbledygook (except for the regulations and laws). If you don't know the context of the verse you are reading garbage, right or wrong? The millions of Muslims who chant the Koran daily are just producing a lot of hot air and meaningless noise pollution. Are you really serious in claiming the Koran is 'context-bound'?

>> unlike English where what you want to say is there in language, i. e. Language in English equals thought. Moreover, Arabic is highly metaphoric.<<

You mean Koranic Arabic is difficult to understand. Why then did Allah choose to reveal His message in Arabic and confuse and befuddle non-Arab Muslims?

>>Take the dog simile for example...All animal metaphors are used in the Qur'an to bring to the hearers a thought.<<

Reallygreat Arabian metaphorical thought. Unbelievers compared to dogs!

>>A dog as we all know pants and lolls its tongue whether it is quiet or active, and the reference is both general and specific: General in comparing the unbelievers who choose to stick to earth as a representative of chthonic creatures as snakes and reptiles and mundane desire to a dog in contrast to heavenly will that is elevated above primitivism and darkness.<<

Great Allah! He tells you: 032.007 YUSUFALI: He Who has made everything which He has created most good: He began the creation of man with (nothing more than) clay,

So Allah creates everything most good. How did these 'most good' creations of Allah end up as unbelievers – comparable to snakes and reptiles. See how clever is Allah. Since snakes and other chthonic creatures are also 'most good' creations of His, He is not really being insulting to us kaffirs. This also brings to mind Allah creation of the male foreskin, pigs, and Satan. They also must be among Allah's 'most good' creations.

Surah 32 after telling you that whatever Allah creates is most good it goes to say in 032.013 :And if We had so willed, We could have given every soul its guidance, but the word from Me concerning evildoers took effect: that I will fill hell with the jinn and mankind together.

This would mean that some of the 'most good' things He has created are meant for hell fire. Salah Ali, can you give me some context that shows me that I have got all this wrong?

>>There is also, the case of translation: Much of the meaning of the Qur'an is not clear in translations.<<

What you say is an insult to the All-Powerful Allah. He has Himself told you in the many verses I have quoted that His revelation is in clear Arabic. If so it should be easy for any run-of-the-mill Arab scholar to make its meaning clear in any language. Or why did Allah not choose to reveal His Book in a more easily understood language? Is Allah mono-lingual???

>> I usually combine M. M. Pickthall with Yousef Ali and Sale to bring an idea clear to non-Arab Moslems.<<

How do you explain and make clear Alif. Lam. Mim in 2:1. Or Ya Sin in 36:1 or Ha Mim in 46:1 or Qaf in 50:1.

Pikthal admits that there are differences of opinion about them He does not want to admit that they mean nothing. Wherever else they occur he refers back to his comment in the Cow Chapter.

Muhsin Khan and Hilali in their translation claim like Ibn Kathir that 'Those letters are one of the miracles of the Koran and none but Allah alone knows their meaning.' Which really means he has no clue to what they mean. So after reading Yusuf Ali, Pikthal and Sale how do you convey what these letter mean. If as Muhsin Khan and Hilali claim only Allah knows what they mean why did He reveal them and confuse His readers?

>>I really feel sad that my Western colleagues misunderstand much of the Qur'an and take verses out of context to criticise Moslems and Moslem societies.<<

It is not that your Western friends misunderstand the Koran, it is just fortunate that most have no clue to what it encourages Muslims to do. If they read 9:5 or 9:111 they would probably keep a healthy distance from you or if they read verses like the ones below they will feel very uncomfortable in your presence:

003.118 YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Take not into your intimacy those outside your ranks: They will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin: Rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths: What their hearts conceal is far worse. We have made plain to you the Signs, if ye have wisdom. (How can a believer like you have friends [are they only colleagues and not friends?] among Westerns if you accept what this verse tells you?)

004.144 YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! Take not for friends unbelievers rather than believers: Do ye wish to offer Allah an open proof against yourselves? (Have you offered open proof against yourself to Allah by befriending Western unbelievers)

4:51 They are in truth (equally) unbelievers; and we have prepared for unbelievers a humiliating punishment. (When you read the Koran to your Western friends do you hide this verse? A little taqiya is alright in the cause of Allah, I am sure. LOL)

Many Muslims when confronted with these verses come back with the trustworthy context excuse and say it applies only to the kaffirs of the prophet's time.

>>But tell me are quarter of mankind all ignorant or not discerning in embracing Islam.<<

Are three-quarters of mankind "ignorant or not discerning" for rejecting Islam??

>>Why you install hatred and difference through ignorance of the cultural other.<<

A recent instance of what Allah has instilled in Muslims about the cultural other is what Muslims did to the ancient Bamiyan Buddhas. Could anything be called a more ignorant act than this and all because Allah ingrained hatred of the other in the Muslims through Koranic verses.

Now read some of Allah's curse verses

002.161 YUSUFALI: Those who reject Faith, and die rejecting,- on them is Allah's curse, and the curse of angels, and of all mankind;

002.065 YUSUFALI: And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: "Be ye apes, despised and rejected."

Also rer-ead 3:118,4:51, 4:144 quoted above and figure out who instills hatred and differences through ignorance of the cultural other. And read Allah's advice to Muslims in 5:51 and 5:80.

>>We cannnot reach a common ground if we leave dialogue and discussion.<<

Very true, Salah Ali. One wishes Allah also thought like you. I have quoted to you in a previous post of what Allah thought of dialogue and discussion (5:101- 102, 6:68)

>>The strength and validity of Islam is in its ethics which have been made our family ethics.<<

Ethics in Islam? You had me rolling on the floor! Is Allah allowing wife-beating (even with a toothpick) ethical (or family ethics?)? Have you forgotten this infamous verse: 004.034 YUSUFALI: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); ……

Is it ethical to slaughter prisoners of war? 8:67PICKTHAL: It is not for any prophet to have captives until he hath made slaughter in the land. Ye desire the lure of this world and Allah desireth (for you) the Hereafter, and Allah is Mighty, Wise.

Is it ethical to have Allah send you a verse allowing you to marry your own adopted son's wife? (3:37)

Is enforcing your belief on others ethical? 009.33 PICKTHAL: He it is Who hath sent His messenger with the guidance and the Religion of Truth, that He may cause it to prevail over all religion, however much the idolaters may be averse. Is it ethical to cast terror into people for unbeliefe? 3:151: "Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority".

>>It is sheer injustice to take the exception for the rule. The mahority od Moslems are peace loving people. We are not Khaligi sheikhs all of us and we are not Wahabbis like some who interpret Islam as a religion of the sword only.<<

Exceptions to the rule? How can you call the Taliban of Afghanistan, Pakistan as exceptions. And how about the Saudis, Sudanese and the Muslims in the West who exploded when the Danish cartoons were published?

>>It is a religion of cleanliness and integrity.<<

If it was a religion of integrity Allah would not perform somersaults and about turns.

002.106 YUSUFALI: None of Our revelations do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, but We substitute something better or similar: Knowest thou not that Allah Hath power over all things.

013.039 YUSUFALI: Allah doth blot out or confirm what He pleaseth: with Him is the Mother of the Book

8: 65-66:YUSUFALI: O Prophet! rouse the Believers to the fight. If there are twenty amongst you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred: if a hundred, they will vanquish a thousand of the Unbelievers: for these are a people without understanding. For the present, Allah hath lightened your (task), for He knoweth that there is a weak spot in you: But (even so), if there are a hundred of you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred, and if a thousand, they will vanquish two thousand, with the leave of Allah: for Allah is with those who patiently persevere. (ABROGATION of 85 BY 86)

As to the cleanliness part of Islam, read what dhimmi no more has to say in his post.

>>We believe in the principle of word and we do not betray friendship.<<

If Allah had his way you would not have any friends among your neighbours in the West. Read again these verses: 3:118,4:51, 4:144, 5:51 and 5:80. There is no need to betray friendship as Allah disallows friendship with your disbelieving neighbours.

009.001 PICKTHAL: Freedom from obligation (is proclaimed) from Allah and His messenger toward those of the idolaters with whom ye made a treaty.
009.002 : Travel freely in the land four months, and know that ye cannot escape Allah and that Allah will confound the disbelievers (in His Guidance).
009.003 : And a proclamation from Allah and His messenger to all men on the day of the Greater Pilgrimage that Allah is free from obligation to the idolaters, and (so is) His messenger. So, if ye repent, it will be better for you; but if ye are averse, then know that ye cannot escape Allah. Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to those who disbelieve,
009.004 : Excepting those of the idolaters with whom ye (Muslims) have a treaty, and who have since abated nothing of your right nor have supported anyone against you. (As for these), fulfil their treaty to them till their term. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty (unto Him).
009.005 .: Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush. But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then leave their way free. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
009.006 : And if anyone of the idolaters seeketh thy protection (O Muhammad), then protect him so that he may hear the Word of Allah, and afterward convey him to his place of safety. That is because they are a folk who know not.

009.007 : How can there be a treaty with Allah and with His messenger for the idolaters save those with whom ye made a treaty at the Inviolable Place of Worship? So long as they are true to you, be true to them. Lo! Allah loveth those who keep their duty.

If you say these verses were contextual (which makes presence in the Koran superfluous) and only meant for the Prophet then what about Allah allowing Muslims to discard their word almost at will: 66:02 PICKTHAL: Allah hath made lawful for you (Muslims) absolution from your oaths (of such a kind), and Allah is your Protector. He is the Knower, the Wise.

>>It is also wrong to confound Arab-Moslems with Persians and Turks …. The light of Christianity shone from the East on Europe creating cathedrals and the name of God is highly placed.<<

You must have read dhimmi on this comment of yours. I cannot do better. http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/158374

>>So why as the Holy Qur'an says: let's come to a common meeting ground of understanding.<<

Is this the common meeting ground you are proposing?:

3:64 PICKTHAL: Say: O People of the Scripture! Come to an agreement between us and you: that we shall worship none but Allah, and that we shall ascribe no partner unto Him, and that none of us shall take others for lords beside Allah. And if they turn away, then say: Bear witness that we are they who have surrendered (unto Him).

This verse is a joke. Only Allah could have thought up such a stupendous one. The verse demands that the unbelievers worship none but Allah. What common ground is there between you and Christians who ascribe partners to Allah in the form of His Son and Holy Spirit? What agreement can there be between Hindus who worship a multiplicity of gods and Muslims when Allah tells you that the meeting ground can only exist if they do not worship idols?

Who is Allah trying to fool by calling for an agreement between "us and you"?

>>We can exchange views, leave pride and seek friendship.<<

What views will you exchange with me if I tell you that I love the Hindu elephant god Ganesha? I will accept that (if I were a Hindu) that if you worship Allah you may end up in paradise. But will you allow me the same for worshipping an elephant-headed god?

Have you considered Allah's pride in: 59:23-24 PICKTHAL: He is Allah, than Whom there is no other Allah, the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One, Peace, the Keeper of Faith, the Guardian, the Majestic, the Compeller, the Superb. Glorified be Allah from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him).
He is Allah, the Creator, the Shaper out of naught, the Fashioner. His are the most beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorifieth Him, and He is the Mighty, the Wise.

>>If justice is the principle sought by all religion, then justice is a common ground.<<

Most religions seek justice, but does Islam? Read the Koran:

058.021 YUSUFALI: Allah has decreed: "It is I and My messengers who must prevail": For Allah is One full of strength, able to enforce His Will (Allah's idea of justice??)

006.123 YUSUFALI: Thus have We placed leaders in every town, its wicked men, to plot (and burrow) therein: but they only plot against their own souls, and they perceive it not. (Is this how Allah ensure Justice? He places leaders to mislead people!)

What justice is Islam capable of applying as long as apostasy remains a capital offence? There can never be any common ground between Islam and any other religion as long Muslims do not reject Islamic sharia apostasy laws

Book 89, Hadith 271Narrated Abu Musa: A man embraced Islam and then reverted back to Judaism. Mu'adh bin Jabal came and saw the man with Abu Musa. Mu'adh asked, "What is wrong with this (man)?" Abu Musa replied, "He embraced Islam and then reverted back to Judaism." Mu'adh said, "I will not sit down unless you kill him (as it is) the verdict of Allah and His Apostle

Bukhari (83:37)"Allah's Apostle never killed anyone except in one of the following three situations: (1) A person who killed somebody unjustly, was killed (in Qisas,) (2) a married person who committed illegal sexual intercourse and (3) a man who fought against Allah and His Apostle and deserted Islam and became an apostate."

Bukhari (84:57) - "[In the words of] Allah's Apostle, 'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'"

Bukhari (89:271) - A man who embraces Islam, then reverts to Judaism is to be killed according to "the verdict of Allah and his apostle."

>>But i end my comment by insisting on you not to strip verses out of their context.<<

I have quoted many verses from the Koran. I keenly await the contexts that you can come up with to defang these verses that curse, demean and threaten unbelievers.

>>We are not going to fight or displace one another as the Jews now displacing the Palestinians.<<

Worried about a few hundred thousand Palestinian Muslims displaced from their homeland? How about the few million Black Muslim Darfurians who have been displaced from their lands by Arab Muslims. And a few hundred thousand of them also killed and raped to boot? Have you anything to say about that?

>>… both the USA and Israel have created hatred and violence and it is by noving away from the golden rule of hustice.<<

The pot calling the kettle black or living in a glass house and throwing pebbles at everyone else? What justice is there for apostates from Islam? What justice can there be in Islam as long as there are blasphemy laws?

What justice is there for the Darfurians, the Kurds, the Shias in Saudi Arabia and the Bahais and Sunnis in Iran. What justice is available for the minorities in Pakistan? Read this recent report from Pakistan:

"…That's just one paper. I say we move on to The Daily Times. The back page recently carried the headline, 'Christian families in Kasur hide from angry mobs.' On Tuesday in a village in Kasur, about 50 kilometres from Lahore, at least 110 Christian families – that's about 700 people – were accused of committing blasphemy. They were forced to leave their homes and run to nearby fields for cover when angry mobs assaulted them. Their homes were attacked with petrol bombs. They were beaten. Meanwhile, it is alleged that local mosques urged the Muslims of the village to unite against the Christian community.

How did 110 families or 700 individuals commit blasphemy? Apparently, it all began with an argument between two young boys – one Muslim and the other Christian. (Isn't that always the case – if it's not an understanding, it's a dispute between two men?) It was something as trivial as the Muslim boy not allowing the Christian to pass him on the road. Except it's not as small as all that. A Christian asking a Muslim for the right of way – what gall!

It would be unfair of me not to mention that it turns out the police officer in charge of the area is a decent fellow and has apologised to the Christian community." http://blog.dawn.com:91/dblog/2009/07/03/our-glimmer-of-hope/

With unjust blasphemy laws based on Muslim fear of criticism of their religion and prophet in place in all Islamic countries what common ground can you possibly find with unbelievers, who by definition are rejecters of Islam? The violent unrest you see among Muslims in non-Muslim countries is the result of this rejection of the Other by Allah and His Islam.

>>It is a common sense indeed to talk and discuss everything and I invite you to straightforward and brave dialogue..on everything..<<

A dialogue is what we were having. But remember writing this?

"It is no use talking to an athiest. Our world-views differ widely and discussion will lead us nowhere."

What made you change your mind? As an unbeliever I can only be brave under a pseudonym because I know Allah's slaves are salivating to get their hands on the houris on offer by dispatching people like me to hell. They have the sunnah of the prophet to follow who had several of his critics summarily dispatched to hell with the aid of trusted assassins.

Muslims on the other hand, taking their cue from the Koran abuse and curse unbelievers, as the prophet did, without having to worry about a slit throat as they know we consider such behaviour uncivilized and will not stoop to the levels of Muslims in aid of their "peaceful" religion.

Dhimmi no more wrote to me: "The stages of the turth? they are in the words of the great Shopenhauer :"Turth goes through stages: First it is ridiclued; then violently opposed; finally it's accepted as being self-evident."

He thinks you are in the second stage. I hope you reach the third stage at the end of our dialogue. Don't let the thought worry you. It will be an emancipating moment when you reach it.




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