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Transcript for A Conversation with Miroslav Volf and Hamza Yusuf

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Event Name: A Conversation with Miroslav Volf and Hamza Yusuf
Transcription Date: 4/6/2019
Transcript Version: 1
Original Reference URL: Youtube


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So my name is Miroslav Volf.  I teach theology here at Yale University.  I direct the Yale Center for faith and culture and part of that our effort is a program on life worth living in its conjunction with the program like called life worth living that.  We have with us guests for today a very prominent Muslim scholar and president of Zaytuna College in Northern California.

welcome

thank you.

Our conversation is going to be about what makes life worth living great philosophical traditions but also great religions at least it seems to me have placed this question of the nature of human human nature and human destiny at the heart of their endeavors would that be true of Islam I think that it's it's fundamental to the religion there's

there's a verse in the the chapter known

as the be nod

I think it's 97th verse where the it's

the verse says that whoever does good

deeds whether male or female and is a

believer we will bring them to life in a

good life and and it literally says

hayatun tayyiba like a good life and at

but it's God who is bringing that life

about and and and so the two the two

fundamental keys to that good life are

faith and deeds and and this is you know

this was a big debate in Christianity as

you know justification yeah but and in

Islam interestingly enough justification

is through faith alone according to the

dominant but deeds are necessary and and

so then then it comes to what is faith

and what are good deeds right right

right yeah and as you mentioned this

kind of debate was going

on and still in some ways is going on

but in Christianity today kind of

various schools so the good life or the

flourishing life life worth living it

consists of deeds what are the deeds

what what kind of agency do we need to

exert well to live or lead a good life I

think one of the things if for many

people now in the West I think and and

around the world I think a good life is

associated with a pleasurable life and

certainly if you go back even to the

Greek period Aristotle's in in the

Nicomachean ethics he talks about the

necessary components of a good life

wealth is one of them having a modicum

of wealth that enables you to do what

you want and certainly we we see that it

gives you a certain type of freedom and

then and then he talks about friendship

that has a whole chapter on friendship

was very interesting because to have a

good life certainly friends it would

seem would be included in that and any

talks also about virtue and a

contemplative life and I think the 10th

chapter to me is the most interesting

because it's almost like he doesn't

really ever get to what he's really

talking it's almost as if it's it's it's

a hidden tradition that he's just

hinting at in there but I ever for

Muslims that is the key to a truly good

life is a contemplative life there has

to be meditation on reality and and and

and that and that meditation on reality

by nature is going to engender good

deeds so so in our style there are these

two components or circumstances of life

right as you mentioned wealth friends

maybe hell because the bill health of a

person place is very significant

significant role as does the agency of

human beings so in terms of Islam you

would say the

the the good life may be possible under

all sorts of circumstances but actually

or people may may find that they they

can they can lead the responsible human

life and there are all sorts of

circumstances but actually what we ought

to strive for is to have a certain level

of circumstances which make the human

life possible in in the piranha I think

it's very clear that circumstances are

not necessary

because for instance right now in Syria

is a good example whether it's

incredibly war-torn despite that fact

there are people in the midst of that

that are in a state with of submission

because we can't determine our

circumstances but we can determine our

responses to our circumstances and and I

think that is the essential meaning if

you really truly believe no matter what

God throws at you like job you know I

you've been the part on no matter what

God throws at you you do not question

God and and this for the Muslim this is

absolutely essential that the verse in

the Quran that says God will not be

asked about what he does but you will be

asked about what you do and I think this

might be a fundamental difference

certainly with the Jewish tradition and

the Islamic tradition is that that

submission really is a submission it's

not to say that you know that God that

we can't in our in ourselves ask

questions it's it's it's not that but

it's a type of submission to whatever

God throws at me my my response is what

I'm going to be asked about is that is

that closer than say I think about

splice ISM that you can you can have a

kind of circumstances your own state of

the good life or flourishing is

independent of circumstances and the

goal is to make it as much independent

as possible so that you can have this

independence notwithstanding what

surrounds you I think there's definitely

a relationship between Islam and

stoicism

I mean there are people that have argued

that Muslims took things from the Stoics

I I don't think that's a sound

historical argument but I think the

Stoics it's interesting me that the

Stoics the two great philosophers of

Stoicism one of them was a slave and the

other was an emperor and and i just find

that very intriguing that that maybe

maybe at the emperor was as much of a

slave as the slave and slave was as much

of an emperor as the and I think the

Stoics would definitely look at it like

that that the circumstance you do not we

did I didn't choose the family I came

into my family was highly educated so

that enabled me for instance my language

skills are just going to be naturally

better because I grew up listening to

articulate parents

I didn't choose those yeah so each one

of us gets circumstances that we're

given but what we do with those

circumstances this is what is going to

determine the the merit or the medal of

our character but but how about in Islam

there are certain legal provisions

certain even political vision certain

economic kind of strictures that ideally

ought to characterize or we aspire for

them to characterize societies because

they make devotion more likely or

expression of the devotion so that there

is a there is a creation of

circumstances or I'm asking know that

creates or that fosters phaidor's I

think well you're absolutely right that

that we are challenged and really in in

it quite literally commanded by God to

exert our efforts in bringing about

circumstances that are going to make the

good life possible and and certainly

Medina is an example of that Mecca was

persecution the Prophet fled salata

sanim fled to Medina and set up an

environment the first thing he did was

he established a free market and what's

interesting about Islam to me is it's

the last economic

religion I mean we know that in early

Christianity one of the major debates in

early Christianity was about faith and

wealth and yet I rarely hear Christians

talking about for instance usury despite

the fact that it was considered a mortal

sin all the way until the 19th century

exactly like you went to hell and they

wouldn't even bury users in Christian

cemeteries usury is still a very vital

element in Islam I mean very devout

Muslims will not buy houses in America

because they won't take the mortgages to

do that so people take that very

seriously they're very afraid of in any

way violating certain aspects of

commercial law in Islam and and

commercial law is probably one third of

the Sharia is about commercial law yeah

well the debates about usury in

Christianity that they're originally

they're motivated that every time you

require interest you put the person who

has borrowed from you deeper into into a

whole in many respects and so to protect

it I think it was exactly and still

continues to be well regarded

exploitation of people also poor people

on even Calvin if you look at when when

and and the bankers actually erected a

monument to Calvin in Geneva I think but

but when you look even Calvin he only

allowed a user II what he called

interest with people that that could

afford it but and with could be

productive and it was and he put a cap I

think on three percent it was it was

very small it's a very important

discussion in general to have today

given the levels of debt in all over the

world and debt is a form of slavery

indentured servitude so um you know even

in the United States I mean debtors

prisons

we're very common in in the West and

especially poor suffering and

disproportionately high absolutely I

mean payday loans which which the banks

often like Wells Fargo back America

these banks have paid

they also cater to that that element so

I mean for me I really feel like one of

the fundamental rights of children is to

be born debt-free and and you cannot

wear sixteen trillion dollars in debt in

the United States I don't see how a good

life can be sustained in this country

because eventually that debt is going to

fall due and and every if you read for

instance Adam Smith's The Wealth of

Nations that last chapter on public debt

no civilization has survived a public

debt and and you know the other thing

about a good life for me is

entertainment

because I really feel want one of the

humans love to be entertained and and

the prophet Mohamed Salah TSM was once

saw some some people going to a wedding

and he said is there entertainment and

and so what's called laho and and and we

need respite from the world right both

spiritual respite but also just

pleasurable respite from the world and

that's why singing was so important in

in in most religious traditions like the

Sufis put a lot of emphasis on singing

right well in Schad what to go and shed

and and that one of the things that I

find increasingly difficult for people

in this country is the degrading nature

of our entertainment culture and I think

one of the most important things to live

a good life for me is human dignity and

and just because what you mean you mean

to have a sense of dignity or to

actually have the kinds of circumstances

instantiated also in laws that would

make sure that the dignity of every

person is in fact preserved I think both

though I think the human being we have

to see who we are we're not animal you

know I hear a lot of people say this

interesting thing we're just animals you

know there's a lot of people that make

that claim just is the problem in this

in this phrase exactly we are part

animal but we have something that

clearly distinguishes us

not in in in kind you know but but but

actually in the genus you know we we we

we are we are we have an immaterial

component and despite whatever

neurologists and neuroscientists say

nobody has pinpointed consciousness and

and and and that is simply a fact it is

a biological fact nobody can pinpoint

conscious we know that there's

mechanisms that enable consciousness but

consciousness itself is an immaterial

reality and therefore we we are you know

the highly morphic if you want to use

Aristotelian terms we're body and soul

and and one of the things that NASA did

Deena through C and his book on ethics

says is when he says first let us

establish the the existence of the soul

and he said this is not a debatable

point because even the drunkard in his

drunkenness even the sleeper in his

sleeping is aware of himself so let's

take this awareness of ourselves

whichever way we want to want to code it

the Islam emphasizes significance of the

knowledge knowledge primarily of God

significance of remembrance of God

memory of significance of being

conscious of God and would it be would

it be true to say that one of the main

features of our own agency vis a vie the

good life is the knowledge of God you

mentioned earlier from that knowledge of

God from this relationship to God other

things flow can you talk about what this

knowledge of God means knowledge of God

is is it there's a knowledge of God that

is theoretical in Islam that for

instance if you were outside of Islam

you could learn it as a theologian so

you could learn dogmatic theology in

Islam you could even learn the natural

theology of doctrines you learn these

things actions about God God has no

place God is outside of time and space

God has is simple you know there's no

compound he's not complex or Congress

you

very similar Aquinas is very close to

the Islamic presentation of God so you

can learn all that but there's another

element and this is what gazali said

ultimately faith is not doctrine what is

faith faith is something that he said

it's it's something that is in the heart

that can come about from being in the

presence so Christians talk about faith

obviously faith having this cognitive

component which we described you just

described but also our faith being

fundamentally trust fundamentally in

some sense finding refuge in God in some

sense finding in God proper home for

oneself I think that that well like I

was saying that Imam al-ghazali said

that faith can actually come into you in

sitting in the presence of a sanctified

being and I'll give you an example what

is it come into you faith can come into

what's the faith that comes into you

what can you describe in different words

the added the the when the Prophet was

asked what is faith

he gave the object of faith and I think

that he said faith is to believe in God

and and I think that it's very difficult

I read Kenny's book when I was in them

you know what is faith right I mean

there's there's a lot of debates about

what this term means obviously but I

think faith is you know I'll give me an

example father Dino Rossi one of the

great theologians of Islam from from

13th century was walking and he and he

had all these students behind him and an

old woman said to him said to one of the

students who is that man

he said don't that's forbidden all right

he has 70 proofs for the existence of

God and she said why does he need proofs

for the existence of God what kind of

faith is that and when father Dean heard

that he said you should have the faith

of old women but is that that faith is

is she talking about and then he also

firmly is that at the level of cognition

so this guy's got all these proofs but

I don't improve but you simply

intuitively assent to the existence of

God I bought the idea of I seek refuge

in God I said I I submit to God you can

you can have all the proofs of God's

existence and then not actually I think

the point that he was she was making and

he was making was that there is a

difference between doctrine and the

reality of faith that you can have all

the proofs you want and many many

atheists know all the the dominant

proofs philosophical proofs for the

existence of God I mean they know the

cosmological argument you know the

argument from design all these things

but but there's no faith and so so one

of the things in the Islamic tradition

is what's called topic which is

realization and and and that I was going

to give you an example of I know

somebody Guy Eaton who wrote a book

called the remembrance of God Guy Eaton

was was a committed atheist and and he

told me this and he said that faith came

into his heart after meeting a man named

Martin Ling's mhm and and he said it was

the first time he'd ever met what he

felt was a truly pious human being and

and it really had an effect on him

another example is CS Lewis who was an

atheist but when he met Chesterton hmm

he said he was forced to reassess his

his entire understanding of religion

because he thought it was a simpletons

belief and and when he met this

incredibly brilliant man who had such

profound faith it forced him to reassess

his faith and so I think just meeting a

deeply faithful person can have an

impact on the human soul in some ways

also in the Christian tradition of

saints are much more compelling

quote/unquote arguments because they

they are tracked by the very their very

existence and once you find the way of

life that you encounter compelling

you're pulled at the level not of

cognition simply but at the level of

volition at the level of emotion toward

that would that this doctor evolve I

think you

you you to me you've hit on the crux of

the issue I think what our world LAX's

is sanctified people and I and I think

that that I I think in the past one of

the reasons Christianity spread so

rapidly was because of these

extraordinary human beings that even

some of the Stoics who watched the

Christians being eaten by lions

converted to Christianity because they

felt that these these were the first

true Stoics that they'd ever seen and

and I think the same is true if you

study the early spread of Islam and

there's no religion that spread as

rapidly as Islam in in history I mean

you can just see see this in a beautiful

something was done on on the on the

internet where they showed the timelines

of the spreads of the world religions

and Islam just it just goes like that

it's so quick in terms of the timeline

and a lot of it was these people and my

own experience in meeting the first

Muslims I met that had these qualities

that I hadn't seen before and and and

and my teachers that I studied with you

know the the Hindus have something

called darshan which is sitting you know

in the presence of somebody who has done

that work on himself and and that in

sitting in that presence you can enter

into a Samadhi state and I can testify

to that

truth and but those people now are

actually I think they're very hidden

yeah you know what strikes me sometimes

that the various religions of Martin

speak about Christian Christian faith it

both it is both about how life should be

lived but it's also about judgments

about what kind of life is worthy of

human beings and sometimes criteria for

worthiness are more difficult to

communicate simply cognitively and so

you in a sense need to be faced by

either community or by person who

embodies this and you can imagine the

entire Gestalt of this thing how life

might look if criteria of what measures

the value of what makes judgments about

values

would be different and people find it

sometimes incredibly desirable and

irresistible we model yeah I mean this

is our nature children model they here

they see and this is why it's so

important for us to be dignified one of

the things that I've noticed just in my

own lifetime and I don't know

I think Europe's a little different from

America but one things that I've noticed

just because I'm approaching my 60th

decade and and I think about when I was

young how I looked at adults and what I

find is adults today are much more

childish I just I they dress like

children they act like children and

children dress like adults to kind of

the the leveling between the it's very

strange whereas if you look for instance

at portraits from you know the the 15th

century 16th century children are always

address like little adults mmm no that's

interesting and and and so this idea of

becoming an adult was so important like

getting your first breeches this was a

transition for for kids because they

wore the shorts but then they got pants

breeches and and this was a rite of

passage the bar mitzvah you know the

circumcision at 7 entering into the age

of discrimination these these even

Aboriginal peoples have these rites of

passage where you enter into adulthood

and I think we have allowed for a

sustained adolescence in some ways

Western civilization to me is a very

adolescent civilization we don't have

the gravitas the debt the the depth and

and weightiness one of the things that

pour on calls humans is the weighty ones

that there were a weighty species and

and and the frivolity even in our

language we've we've lost gravity in the

way we speak one of the things that that

that historically I think was very

important to people was to speak

properly even even I mean the wonderful

Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion even

though the you know it's obviously the

satirical but the desire of the lower

classes to speak like the the upper

class this desire to

- when we look at a rose we what we want

to see is the beauty of a the rose the

more we admire it that the closer it is

to our understanding of what a rose is

we have some sense of the perfection of

a rose and that's why if if it has that

that the closer it is to that ideal in

our mind why do we have that ideal and

this is what I feel in our culture the

the type of inversion that's happened

where Beauty beauty is scoffed and

ugliness is that the fact that people

buy clothes that are rags now they wear

rags whereas people in rags always

wanted to be able to afford clothes that

weren't ragged it's it's interesting I

think I mean we can talk about fashion

and I'm quite interested in fashion and

kind of a spiritual dimension so there's

a spiritual dimension I mean our clothes

Greek atheism that would be interesting

to to explore but let me let me take it

just slightly it slightly differently

because I think it's it's obviously at

least I think it's to the heart of what

we think in terms of what what one

thinks about about the good life one way

to conceive of it is to have this kind

of ideal almost like ideal types or

exemplars into which one inspires right

and then the question becomes which is a

typically very modern a question is what

happened to with my particularity in

this that I was born in this place with

these kinds of gifts with these kinds of

propensity is with this kind of a kind

of a body you want to put me into some

kind of a straitjacket and you see the

whole this ideal of authenticity and in

the Christian tradition you have this to

two impulses and you can see it so that

somebody like like SCOTUS where you have

this general but you have to also the

emphasis on the on the particularity of

each one of us and Martin Luther for

instance says what God calls each of us

by our name right and that's so

significant can you can you talk to me

well about significance of of my own

authentic particularity you know

Heidegger has this concept of throne

nests were thrown in to this world and

then we become historical products we we

imbibe our culture our ideas the way we

articulate all these things and much of

it is given to us it's not and therefore

we come into this crises so if we're

reflective people that I'm not really an

authentic person I'm just a historical

product I think one of the things for me

about pre-modern cultures is that what

you would find is outwardly there was a

lot of conformity but but inwardly and

I've seen this because I've been in

pre-modern societies Mauritania and West

Africa where I was what I noted was they

have an outward conformity decorum which

they used to call decorum we don't even

use that word anymore but decorum it's a

good Jane Austen word you know decorum

decorum you know that there's a type of

comportment the way we carry ourselves

and and and it's a respect for social

norms because society thrives on

stability when there's great change in

society there's always turbulence and

Technology thrives on rapid change and

so this is part of the crises that we

have in the modern world is this loss of

a conformity to norms by cultures have

norms and they're there for a reason but

we are still individuals and within

those cultural norms we have our own

personalities and those personalities I

think one of the things about our

culture is that outwardly people are all

very different but inwardly they're

actually quite vacuous and similar in a

lot of ways that's it that's that's very

interesting and I think this is kind of

inward conformity notwithstanding the

emphasis or maybe because of the

emphasis of Adventism yeah I read a book

on the philosophy of tattoos and one of

the chapters in there was I think

therefore I am and it was this idea of

wanting to be you know I think people

feel a lot of anonymity and and and and

a desire to assert themselves and to me

I think one of the main reasons for that

I mean god only knows really but I think

personally

the problems that we have in our culture

is when you don't have caregivers that

are devoutly committed to children at an

early age I think children lose a sense

of self and and and so they spend the

rest of their life trying to assert and

establish that but when they're given a

lot of care a lot of attention a lot of

love when they're young they don't need

to be attention seekers but also in the

we will live in a kind of market driven

culture and often market driven culture

rather than simply market culture rich

market is an important instrument market

driven driven culture often tends to

have a quick rate of obsolescence

because it also drives think the result

is I mean I'm thinking of a phrase from

from Karl Marx a communist manifesto

maybe I shouldn't leave okit but I think

that document is diagnostically very

interesting everything that is solid

melts into air he says at one point and

it's kind of a plasticity where one

doesn't have a place to stand but you

can make it up or you can create

stability with certain forms of decorum

social social emulation but you can also

that there's something that there's

something about the relationship to

divine also that gives this stability is

that also I I think that's the source of

weightiness yeah I mean without what

else you have Unbearable Lightness

Unbearable Lightness of being that's it

and and and and and no real connection

because you know Kierkegaard's idea that

you have to at least establish one true

love and you know you have to to really

understand

hence the the relationship between man

and woman was so central to these

religious teachings certainly in the

Abrahamic faiths I mean I know

Christianity has an ideal of for at

least the priests and the and the the

Cardinals and things and idea of

celibacy complete and utter dedication

to God but still it acknowledges the

sacrament of marriage this idea that

that this relationship of of really

unconditional love at best when

when it's truly a relationship that that

is how we're informed of love and

understanding them and that's why love

is so central to the religious teachings

I mean there's a lot of people that

criticize Islam it's not I've seen this

in many Christian books you know that

it's not a love based religion but the

reality of it is love was always

identified as the highest ideal in in

the Islamic tradition there were certain

theologians that said you couldn't

really love God because God is not of

our species and you could only truly

love your own species Ghazali says

theologians say there's know nothing of

true religion and this is why I like

azam because all these great and and and

this is why good you know that

traditionally the the Sufis used the the

divine essence in Arabic that is is a

feminine word and so they use the

feminine as an expression in their

poetry and Leila what they called Leila

and Salma they use it as expression

because that erotic love that intense

desire I mean one of the motifs that's

really nice I saw last night in the

church that we were at one of the motifs

in churches and mosques and this very

intriguing is the vine yeah and and the

vine it you know in traditional

cosmology the vine is is is the the only

willful plant it has a type of will but

it's also got this this you know the

word in Arabic for erotic love is the

same word for the The Binding of the

vine and so the this idea of just

falling in love with God and we talked

earlier and I'll tie it with what you

just said I think it's very important

point we talked earlier about a need for

stability for structures and often

people flee into artificially

constructed structures that aren't good

for them so kind of rigidity of meaning

that's imposed upon them and and then

flee out and because because they they

see how vapid the pleasures which have

no particular meaning except satisfying

my own

limited desires did presumably I mean I

think of it in terms of Christian faith

that there's kind of unity there needs

to be unity between between a meaning

which requires certain stability and

certain expansion of the self to

something larger than oneself and

pleasure and some kind of emotional

fulfillment or we might say joy as well

did you see that tension in Islam maybe

the people who like to press with the

thumb down in order to create those

structures and forget about the you I

think you're right somewhere but the

pleasure that the person has in God

rather than in the worldly things on the

other hand you've got kind of empty

pleasures that that they lack the

meaning is right well I'd say I think I

mean pleasure is an ancient just problem

it's one of the great ideas right just

the whole not just problem right you

don't mean the dead well it's a problem

in that it literally becomes an idol for

many people the pursuit of pleasure is

is literate becomes the goal of life the

humanists and there's a there's a lot of

I mean I I like the concept that's the

empty one right there that's empty and

and and I think the the problem with all

pleasures is that they're temporary yeah

and and and and that's where the hello

reference is something outside in a

sense you you give yourself to nothing

you just take everything in right and I

think in a true relationship for

instance the relationship between a

meaningful relationship with a man and a

wife the the deepest pleasure is

pleasuring the other I mean there's an

incredible and I think that's true I I

have to believe that that's true in all

deep and deeply intimate relations the

the desire to give the other the gift of

pleasuring the other so unity of meaning

and pleasure is in love I I think it is

and I and I think that and and this is

why you know there's a beautiful verse

in the Quran it's exactly several times

it's it's a

very common that God is pleased with

them and they are pleased with God that

this mutuality of of pleasure this idea

you know we in our theology there's a

chapter tapped as Ani has Ken does God

experience joy mmm right duska yes

absolutely

even one simple God and a non compound

experience is joy tell me where we have

the same the son before of course in the

Quran yeah you might have gotten it from

us no actually actually I must have gone

I around because remember what Jesus

said about joy you know what when one

sinner these are these are we believe

that these are revelations from the same

source and and and therefore they would

have the same they're going to have so

much shared context and both traditions

influenced one another there's

undeniable historically but God has

given us you know get one of the

attributes of God in our tradition is is

laughter it's not taken literally but

God's love but there is there are there

are Hadees of the part where it says

your Lord laughs bike out of bucha you

know and and uses that some people -

coughing way or no no no kind of not joy

sing out of rejoicing yeah laughing out

loud right way for instance no but for

instance your there's a hadith that says

the saying of the Prophet salat is and

it says that God laughs at a man who is

is woken up for his dawn prayer by his

wife mmm and and what they say in the

counter is that he he's pleased with

that that that it it it brings him joy

just to see that and presumably that's

the kind of element of devout life in

kind of imitation of God so that

pleasure it's seeing the good and

beautiful and true gangrene one else

that's one of leisure consistent one of

the things you know that the in the in

in the lexicon and you know cosmos the

word

mosè which has different meanings but

you know one of them is the world in

Greek but another is order and another

is decorum right is is is decorum and

and then another is is moral goodness

cosmos it has to do with moral goodness

and so this idea of you know these three

great virtues that I think are all our

traditions share of truth goodness and

beauty and and and for us it's Iman

Islam asan Iman is the truth the truth

of God that we are knowers by nature in

our triune nature where knowers and

we're doers

we will things and and and but we're

also makers we produce things with our

knowledge and our will and and and we're

we're meant to know the truth were meant

to do the good and we're meant to make

the beautiful to produce the beautiful

and this is why if you look at surgical

tools from the Muslim period in

Andalusia you can actually Google this

as a Holly's surgical tools you'll see

that they're all beautifully embellished

they're surgical tools but they all had

beautiful artwork on them why why was it

so important for for pre-modern cultures

to adorn everything they adorn their

clothes

why was lace so important all their

buildings were adorned why was why was

wainscotting so important why is this

beautiful woodwork important

now this functionalism of modern society

which has lost the making of beauty what

we call a son it's lost and it's

something in us that's lost I mean one

of the things you know we we say that

that what is out there is inside you

know that that man is a microcosm Imam

Ali said that you think that you're an

insignificant thing and yet in you as

the entire universe that we are the

microcosm and one of the things that I

see that we're losing on the planet

we're not losing cockroaches we're not

losing rats they're thriving but we're

losing Eagles

we're losing lions and tigers and

leopards

we're losing these qualities in ourself

that are majestic and beautiful and

what's remaining is is is is is is

found us and the filth and and so we are

ultimately if people want to clean up

the the environment they have to clean

up themselves because the environment is

a reflection of what's inside of us or

the consequences of misplaced desire we

could go on for a very long time but

maybe this broader framework of god who

provides both the structures of meaning

but also is a source of pleasure indeed

unity of meaning and pleasure in joy in

the truth and the beauty and the

goodness is a good place to to end thank

you very much well thank you doctor I

really appreciate you honouring me by

just inviting me and thank you

you're both welcome thank you