Healing Self, Healing Society - 2014 Festival of Faiths

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Event Name: Healing Self, Healing Society - 2014 Festival of Faiths
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 5/12/2019
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SMIL ar-rahim salazar-mota see my dad in

Osaka said this in Korea in the name of

God the merciful the compassionate

person peace be upon all of our prophets

the little caveat before I start I want

to thank Mayor Greg Fischer who I met

him after 9/11 I actually came to

Louisville and spoke that and we spent a

day together and I really envy in a good

way the Arabs have two types of envy and

envy where you want the person you envy

to lose everything and in Envy where you

want the same thing that that they have

so it's the second type of envy that I'm

talking about they actually have two

different words for the meaning but I

envy the City of Louisville that it has

a mayor like Greg Fischer who's

committed to compassion and

reintroducing compassion as an idea

political idea a lot of people might be

familiar with Aristotle's theory of

stacy's and the reason why revolutions

happen and we're living in revolutionary

times places like the Middle East

Crimea other places the the reason

revolutions happen according to

Aristotle is that Celia breaks down love

breaks down in a society and and people

lose the compassion for the other and

this is one of the reasons why

Philadelphia which was the original

capital of the United States is the city

of Celia it's the city of brotherly love

and so to reintroduce that into politics

I think is really important it's not


enough the I want a little caveat this

if anybody's on Prozac they might feel

better leaving I don't want to depress

anybody but I I want to book before you

can really talk about healing you have

to look at the Diagnostics to understand

what's going on a very influential

author for me is Arnold Toynbee and he

wrote a book over fifty years ago called

change and habit the challenge of our

time and in that book he argues and and

he's worth listening to because in 1947

he wrote an essay about a civilization

when it's up against the wall against

another civilization has certain

strategies and one of them is gsella

tree and fanaticism

and he warns about the Muslim world and

actually identifies three places where

he felt in 1947 that he felt serious

problems would emerge in the future

Afghanistan Yemen and Saudi Arabia and

that was in 1947 one of the gifts that

historians bring is that they look at

the future with hindsight because they

know the past so well they can see and

prognosticate about what's what's going

to happen but he wrote this book change

in habit arguing that as humans we have

certain habits that are very dangerous

and they're not instinctual they're rich

they're literally habitual and and and

the worst he felt was the habit of going

to war that this is it's a choice that

there are other alternatives and peoples

have done other things war is not the

only solution it's actually always a

failure it's the last refuge of the

incompetence violence so and but he also

felt there were other aspects one of

them was tribalism or nationalism and

this idea of not seeing us as a human

family as seeing us as us and then

and and this is a very dangerous habit

of the mind and if we're not praying to

change these habits and this is why

virtue theory is based on altering


it's adopting new habits and the human

being can change so and it's not nature

versus nurture the to work together so

this idea of nature versus nurture is is

something also that's problematic so I

just want to say that I'm going to talk

about is is it ok but another one of my

favorite people is Soren Kierkegaard who

was another visionary somebody who

really saw the future if you haven't

read Kierkegaard he's incredibly

humorous writer wonderful wit he says

that he said things to make people laugh

while he was crying inwardly but he one

of the things that he said was that one

solitary person cannot help or save an

age he can only make it clear that it is

on its way to a downfall and this is the

cassandra' problem because his people

know Greek mythology cassandra warned

not in the Iliad but but in a play

warned the Trojans not to bring in the

horse but she had the gift of prophecy

but she was cursed with that nobody

would believe her so in terms of this

isn't switching here maybe were meant to

contemplate this a little longer

technology is such a okay now okay

thanks so the purpose of human existence

I'm going to speak from my tradition

this is the festival of face so I want

to speak from my tradition but I think

this could be shared by many people's

the there's a there's a verse in the

Quran that tells us that one of the

reasons why we were created was for the

cultivation of the earth that the the

verse says that it was God who brought

you into the being from the earth and

settled you there into cultivated stock

monochrome feeha so Amara is cultivation

and it's it indicates a lot of different

things that humans do and this is why

anybody who's involved in cultivation of

the earth in a positive way is

fulfilling a divine purpose whether they

believe in the divine or not that they

are fulfilling a divine purpose and this

is often lost on religious peoples that

are working from a provincial tradition

and not recognizing that everybody is

here for a reason the second is the the

purpose is actually to worship to adore

the Creator and this is obviously from

the Abrahamic traditions that I only

created unseen beings and human beings

to worship me and then finally

stewardship the idea of being caretakers

of what we've been given this is called

the khalifa and the Haditha is one who

stands in place and the quran tells us

that god said i'm placing in the earth a

steward and a steward is one who acts on

the behalf of another and so this is

divine stewardship and then david we're

told in the in the jewish tradition that

david we have made you a steward over

the land judge fairly between people do

not follow your desires it is a really

important point about this because

stewardship is corrupted by following

desires and lest they divert you from

this divine plan

and so the question is how are we doing

as stewards of the earth if this is

really one of the reasons why we're here

so just to look maybe at some of the

signs I trained in the medical

profession and we always take vital

signs and we also assess orientation so

you ask somebody what I was working at

the time when we didn't have a president

there was that little interregnum period

where we didn't know who was president

was at bush or Kerry so we couldn't

really ask them who's president but you

ask a patient who's president you ask

them where are you who are you so you

orient them to time and place so they

you can see do they do they know one of

the verses in the Quran says that

corruption and the word is facade has

appeared on land and on sea because of

what people have earned by their acts to

make them taste some of what they have

done that they might turn back so the

idea of when when when we do things in

the world that are that are dangerous

and negative then we get this

repercussion and the reason for that

repercussion it's actually a mercy

because it's letting you know that you

need to turn back that you're doing

something wrong and so you cannot go out

and so corruption without having the

corruption come back at you in what in

economic terms is this these

externalities for people that know that

term these are the negative consequences

of economic production so if you have a

factory the factory doesn't intend to

pollute the river because it just wants

to produce whatever it's producing but

that's a negative externality you also

have positive externalities so one of

the signs of these latter times when

it's gotten too much the Quran says that

men will cry out and say what is

happening to the earth on that day it

will tell you all because your Lord

inspired it

do so so the word in Arabic that's used

in the plan which is facade in is

rottenness spoiled nurse corruption

decay decomposition putrefaction

depravity wickedness so it has it's used

for like when food goes bad the Arab say

sasada it's gone bad but they also use

it for a person when they've gone bad so

something is is has gone wrong and

pollution is the undesirable state of

the natural environment being

contaminated with harmful substances as

a consequence of human activities so the

state of being polluted it's also

defilement and this is also

traditionally a religious term that was

used now the traditional interpretation

which is from the seventh century of one

of the great quran interpreters abdullah

bin Abass about this he said the signs

of corruption of facade on land are

fires soil degradation the lowering of

the water tables and among the signs of

corruption in the sea is the dim unit

the diminution of the fish so the fish

begin to disappear so this is seventh

century and you will actually find in

chinese manuscripts from over 2,000

years ago the problems of pollution

these aren't new problems and and

societies have had negative effects on

the lands that they were in but in my oh

and i'm coming from the west coast one

of the things that we've seen is a lot

of fires and and i don't know if people

know about the fires that are happening

all over the planet spain europe has a

tremendous problem with with fires but

we see a lot of fires and you can see

the increase that's happened over time

here just from from 1980 to 1989 to 2000

2010 and we lose firefighters people go

in one of the reasons is because of the

climate change that's happening so it's

increasing this risk and then wildfires

are projected to burn more land as

temperatures continue to rise so you can

see the projected increase here on

on the west coast of on the west side of

our country another aspect is the air

pollution and it's extraordinary how

many people suffer around the globe from

from air pollution Mexico City has a

huge problem with asthma we have

actually high mortality rates in in

major cities because of the pollution

we're actually finding also a lot of

contamination in our bodies so this is a

major problem

this is China where a lot of people are

forced to wear masks because the

pollution gets so bad and then another

aspect here is soil degradation which a

lot of people are unaware of this I

think people here I mean I'm not easily

speaking to a lot of people that are

aware of these things but a lot of

people are not aware of the real crisis

that we're seeing in soil degradation

soil is a very thin layer it takes

millennia to produce topsoil and it can

be lost very easily and I mean obviously

we have hydroponics we have other ways

of growing plants plants actually don't

need soil to grow and hydroponics they

began studying hydroponics in the 17th

century but it would be an immense loss

to to our species because we have

incredible problems with water as well

and this is another aspect of the death

certification which I saw firsthand in

the Sahara I lived in saara

desert and I saw firsthand literally at

the encroachment of the Sahara Desert

it's pretty overwhelming to see it to

see whole cities engulfed in sand so

overall this is this is what we're

seeing and this is what our scientists

are telling us we don't need apocalyptic

prophets now to talk about these things

we have our scientists telling these and

it's it's a it's an important reminder

that the earth is not just for human

beings one of the verses in the Quran is

that it's God who spread out the earth

for all living creatures that literacy

says a.m. and the UNAM are it literally

means all those that sleep so it's all

sleeping creatures it's a place

where you should feel safe and secure

it's a place of repose you can't sleep

unless you feel safe or secure and many

of the animals are suffering and I've

mentioned this before but one of the

intriguing things to me about endangered

species is it it's not the cockroaches

that are going extinct it's not the rats

or the mice they're actually thriving

but what's going extinct are these

animals that historically in many

traditional cultures they use them as

names for their children

they're they're the animals that embody

noble spirits the Eagles the the Lions

the Tigers the wolves one of the real

tragic aspects I don't know people might

know about the doctrine of signatures

but there's a traditional belief in

medicine that things that look like

things are good for them for instance in

the Arab tradition cashews are very good

for memory according to the Arabs if you

look at a cashew it looks almost like a

hypo calamus which is where memory is

located in the brain so if something

looks like if you if you cut a carrot

you can see an eye in the carrot so

carrots are considered good for eyes

well there's a Asian believe that the

rhinoceros you can use your imagination

is good for for people that are would

otherwise use viagra and so

unfortunately the rhinoceros

extraordinary animal is literally being

wiped out because of this desire for

people to use this aphrodisiac Virginia

gray Henry published a wonderful book

which was written in the 10th century

about the animals having a lawsuit

against humanity

so they actually come to court and and

demand that the human be taken to task

for wreaking so much havoc in the

natural world it's worth reading but

then we move from the land to the sea

and I could talk there's a lot of other

things happening and many of you aware

of that you know about the mountaintops

in Kentucky and and many many other

things but I don't I don't want to I

just want to give an overview here but

the oceans also

amazing what we're seeing in the oceans

the Gulf of Mexico the the repercussions

of that are just overwhelming the the

people that are suffering to this day

there's a lot of immune diseases that

are that have occurred a lot of people

really suffering and and the BP cleanup

is far from from over I mean the the

effects of that are massive on the

planet so oil is another major problem

and then this is obviously again the

animals just really suffer when it comes

to this so and then burning off a lot of

the oil which is also another real

source of pollution it's interesting

that right now sorry that we just this

literally is May 13th at a glacial

regions melt is past the point of no


according to Nassau so these things are

happening right now and our scientists

are confirming these things and it's

overwhelming for people people is very

difficult to process these things when I

first read that 90% of the fish were

gone I thought that was so it just seems

so crazy and I sat next to a man on an

airplane happen to be a marine biologist

and we started talking I asked him about

the I said listen I read this in the

Guardian is this true he said well it's

between 85 and 95 percent so we kind of

took a middle number in there I said

well what do you think about that he

said keeps me up at night now one of the

things and this is really important

about the acidification so I want you to

just see what's this it's going to work

for me okay so I'm not getting the the

actual video because this had video

because they didn't hook up the video

for anyway the ocean acidification which

is a result of the pollution we have

acid rain we have our oceans are became

more and more acidic which is very

interesting and I'm going to get to that


our emissions of carbon are causing our

climate to change and too much for you

to in the atmosphere will also alter the

very chemistry of our ocean when carbon

dioxide dissolves into the water it

forms an African small rise the

minnesota tsp water combined with

climate change may leave colonies the

most bio diverse habitats in the ocean

struggling to survive but that is

touching in person by the end of the

century and verification could even some

types of painters unable to form their

shell and plankton in the profound ation

of nearly all marine ecosystems it keeps

people at this tiny organ in my lab

everything else that the people who

preferred could also started to

interview go about their motion

threatened to change my entire ocean and

all recognition within the span of a

single human wire


environmental officials in California

say there's been another highly

troubling report about what's going on

in the Pacific the scientists call it

the sea star wasting syndrome that's the

technical name but something is killing

the starfish and they don't know why

they've been dying in record numbers on

the west coast including parts of

Washington State all along Coast down to

California our report tonight from NBC's

Miguel Almaguer in the waters off

Monterey Bay an urgent expedition is

underway this is the hunt for a killer

it happened so rapidly that some these

are judgmental marine biologist Pete

Ramon is searching for clues to an

epidemic named starfish wasting disease

infecting waters from Alaska to Southern

California causing millions of starfish

like this one to fall apart and melt

away our group is looking to try to map

the kindness of the onset of the disease

and locations of the disease up and down

the coast it will help us point to

causing the die-off has decimated a

starfish population in this Cove so

later he asked him you know is this the

canary in the coalmine he said it very

well could be

I want to we'll get back to the

jellyfish which are very interesting but

here's just some numbers people don't

know but a bluefish tuna when it's fully

formed is worth literally tens of

thousands of dollars on the sushi market

and so these fishermen go out looking

for they don't find them anymore these

giant ones because the overfishing is so

immense that they're not allowing the

fish to actually reach their full

maturity so what's happening what's

interesting is that it's creating an

ideal environment for jellyfish they're

the only ones that are thriving right

now in the ocean the fish the big fish

stocks fall ninety percent since 1950

according to the National

graphic so you know the jellyfish are

thriving which is really fascinating I

just I read this book stung and it was

just it was a really devastating book

written by she's the foremost expert on

jellyfish and jellyfish are fascinating

that they're toxic what I find

interesting is the ocean in traditional

cosmology is is consciousness which is

why we the Robert Frost has a wonderful

poem about why we look out at the ocean

the land varies more but we still want

to look out at the ocean and we can't we

can't look out far and we can't look

indeed but that doesn't prevent us from

looking at the ocean the ocean is in

cosmology it's consciousness and and the

fact that all these great fish are dying

off the whales and and the dolphins and

but the jellyfish this spineless

brainless predator all it does is

consume it's just a spineless brainless

consumer and and that to me is just such

an amazing statement about human

consciousness and are the jellyfish

taking over our minds our consciousness

are we becoming human jellyfish and and

believe it or not all over there having

jellyfish warnings because they're

really thriving and the woman who wrote

that book stung says it's way past this

was a wake-up call a longtime gun and

it's they look she have shut down

aircraft carriers because there's so

many jellyfish pods out there so now

what are the roots of this crises at the

heart of it is the modern doctrine of

the consumer now what's interesting to

me is that the consumer in Old English

meant the devil he was called the

consumer because he consumed the souls

of people and and and consumption was a

name for the wasting disease in the

nineteenth century it's what killed

people slowly and so this whole idea of


therefore I am shop until you drop the

one with the most toys at the end wins

this idea of just shopping this comes

this was actually done to us and I would

recommend people reading William leach

the land of desire because he takes a

period about from the 1890s till the

1930s and shows how our society was

turned into a consumer society it was

conscious it was done because they could

produce a large number of goods and they

wanted people to buy those goods so we

have to understand that this was

something that was done to us that

people were not always consumers that

I've lived in cultures where they

recycle everything because it's just

simply there that's what they do when I

lived with the Bedouin they use

everything literally they don't throw

away anything and now they're starting

to get the these these throwaway items

and so you're seeing garbage everywhere

now in the Sahara just plastics in fact

Mauritania and and I'm proud to say this

because I'm an honorary consul of

Mauritania but Mauritania outlawed

plastic bags it's a one-year prison


to use plastic bags and the reason that

they did that is because so many of the

goats the livestock that they depend on

we're dying and they didn't know why

until they found out they were eating

the plastic bags out in the desert and

they were they were getting these

intestinal diseases and dying from

intestinal obstruction and so that the

government outlawed the use of plastics

and and again this is this is where a

government makes a choice and does

something so you know in the 1530s

consumer was one who squanders or wastes

so it had a negative connotation the

Quran says that people boast I have

squandered great wealth and this is the

kick this is conspicuous consumption

I'll get back to this but another major

problem is the war economy and this is


especially the United States where we

have you know we talk about budgets and

making cuts and welfare mothers and

nobody wants to talk seriously about

this obscene armaments we were warned by

Eisenhower as he was departing after

spending his life serving the military

and working with the military industry

he warned us about this new phenomenon

the military-industrial complex and we

have to recognize that the type of

budgets that this country has for

military spending are are obscene they

are obscene and it's money that could be

going to much much better things this is

the result of the aerial bombing that

happened in Germany and this is why we

have to end war as a species we have to

recognize it is an obsolete way

Klaus Fitz the great war strategist from

Europe said that war was just the

extension of politics by other means so

war is is is is a political act because

in politics you try to get things done

when things aren't getting done through

the traditional means of politics then

you use violence to get them done it

doesn't work anymore if it ever worked

it's arguable but it does not work this

is a scene from Syria so it's going on

now it's still happening and these are

the budgets if you look at education

compared to military spending it's

insane I mean Pakistan spend so much on

the military some of the Gulf states

have budgets Saudi Arabia has a budget

that it's the seventh largest military

budget after India a country of 19

million people why because they're

subsidizing Western industry as simple

as that

they don't use it when the Gulf War came

they didn't they didn't they the

Americans came and and other people so

why are these these obscene budgets

being used

and then we also we don't want to deal

with this but this can't go on either

our profit actually predicted that the

time would come he said when the liver

of the earth would vomit forth and and

he said that it would be like pillars of

gold and silver and the one who kills on

the day of judgment he will come and say

this is the reason I killed four and

then the one being killed will say this

is the reason I was killed and the wars

if you read Daniel Yergin book the prize

the 20th century was wars over oil and

and oil is the blood of our

technological society it is the blood

and it's more precious than human blood

for a lot of people we cannot if we now

if the average earthling lives like the

average American we will need three

earths to supply the consumption it's

impossible it's untenable it can't go on

now just moving to the self what are

some of the signs autism in 1970 and

people can argue that this is from

Diagnostics and things like that but but

we know from 2012 to 2013 know if

something's happening here we had one in

10,000 diagnosed I mean the first

diagnosis of autism was in the 1950s but

now it's 1 in 50 in the United States I

mean we have to really think seriously

about what's happening now if you look

at the definition of autism a pervasive

developmental disorder characterized by

severe deficits in social interaction

and communication by an extremely

limited range of activities and interest

and often by the presence of repetitive

stereotyped behavior this about defines

everybody under 30

I mean we have to really think about

what's happening to our young people are

growing up with this technology

repetitive stereotypical practices

losing the ability to interact socially

another major problem that we have is

obesity the pull on and this is in all

our traditions because gluttony is one

of the deadly sins but it reminds people

eat and drink but not to excess god

loves not the extravagant wasters and

one of the signs of the latter days

according to our tradition is yellow

huddle FEMA simin that obesity would

become manifest these are the average

BMI is around the globe you can see

Africa and a lot of Asia the Asians

don't eat a lot of food wheat they're

still on traditional diets so China's is

behind other places even though they're

becoming rapidly a serious industrial

nation but they still eat cosmologically

if you look at Chinese food one things

about Chinese medicine which I studied

and and I and my sisters and

acupuncturist and one of the things I

always thought that they lacked diet

they never talk about diet if you go to

a Chinese doctor they don't focus on

diet at a certain point I realize it's

because they in their culture they

didn't need to people just simply ate

well by the very nature of the food they

consumed these are the world's fattest

countries we're number two so Americans

are proud of being number one but Kuwait

takes that so there's McDonald's in

Arabic the golden arches as you come

into Mecca the first thing you see is

the golden arches it was very troubling

sight for me but this is that this is

the civilization that we're living in

where on the one hand we've got this

incredible scarcity and on the other

hand we have this overconsumption it's

it's it's so it's just so imbalanced

and there's a there's a tradition that

we have from our prophet that a believer

will not go to bed satiated knowing his

neighbor is hungry and and that's any

neighbor of any faith diabetes is a

really important problem now that's

globally these these are this

extraordinary what's happening but I

want to point out in traditional

cosmology what happens inside of us

happens outside of us if you want to

know why the oceans are acidic it's

because we're becoming acidic literally

we are becoming acidic the world

manifests our States and that's why

knowing our States is so important

because how we are how we behave what we

do all of this is going to be reflected

in in the world the macrocosm can only

reflect the microcosm and so the

acidosis of the oceans is related to the

acidic levels that are happening people

are moving away from the natural state

which is an alkaline state and moving

towards an acidic State and this this is

what happens when by 2050 1/3 of

Americans will have diabetes at current

rates and and if you look there's a

relationship between carbohydrates and

hydrocarbons there's a relationship

chemically so you're dealing what we're

using oil is like sugar we're giving the

earth diabetes it's becoming acidic our

soil is becoming acidic and our oceans

are becoming acidic because we're using

cheap energy sugar is a very quick

energy for our bodies oil is a very

quick easily digested energy for our

machines and for heating our homes and

so this results in this acidic state and

this is what diabetic acidosis is

related as far right this is my belief

that it's related to the the acidic

state of the planet another major

problem we the UN estimates they're more

slaves today than any other time in

human history and most of it 80%

sexual slavery and this is another

really serious problem the problem of

lusts that we're really not dealing with

in our society I really think we're in a

deep denial about the serious problem of

lust in this culture and and one of the

most important thermometers for it is

pornography the size of the industry now

is fifty seven billion worldwide it's a

massive industry these are these are

sound numbers people these are not

exaggerated numbers these are there's

taken from at one of our top

universities twelve billion in the US

porn revenue is larger than all combined

revenues of all professional football

baseball and basketball franchises US

porn revenue exceeds the combined

revenues of ABC CBS and NBC if you look

at the the websites 4.2 million 12% of

total websites now daily internet

searches 68 million 25% of total

searches monthly porn down those 1.5

billion websites offering illegal child

pornography over a hundred thousand

websites and for those of you don't know

there's a deep web where there's just

the darkness that goes on on the Deep

Web and then 8 to 16 year olds who have

viewed porn online in our country ninety

percent gluttony over consumption those

who squander are like siblings of or the

Brethren of the demons one of the things

that we don't think about is the

relationship to what we do and and and

this darkness people that are watching

pornography are supporting human

trafficking because many of the women in

these films that are done here in the

United States and outside the United

States are women in sexual bondage

they're not you know you have these

girls that appear on CNN getting their

degree at Duke and saying how much they

love being a porn star those represent a

very very very tiny percentage of the

actual women engaged in the porn

industry which degrades both men and

women another thing is planned


I'm I I would recommend I'm not going to

go through this I it's a very

interesting thing but there's the story

of stuff with auntie Leonard many of you

price came to get us

jump on board this program so a

discovery worth watching well two of

their most effective strategies are

planned obsolescence and perceived

obsolescence planned obsolescence is

another word for designed for the dump

it means they actually make stuff to be

useless as quickly as possible to will

chuck it and by the way it's obviously

things like plastic bags and coffee cups

but now it's even big stuff mom

DVDs cameras barbecues even everything

even computers have you noticed that

when you buy a computer now that

technology is changing so fast that in

just a couple of years it's actually

impediment to communication I was

curious about this so I opened up a big

desktop computer to see what was inside

and I found that it's a piece that

changes each year it's just a tiny

little piece in the corner but you can't

just change that one piece because each

a new version is a different shape so

you could have chucked the whole thing

and by anyone so I was reading

industrial design journals from the

1950s when planned obsolescence was

really catching on so this is the point

but you know it would have done concept

would discuss how fast can they make a

steps break that still leaves the

consumer having enough space in the

product to go out and buy another one

it was so intentional but stuff cannot

break fast enough to keep this arrow of

flow so there's also perceived

obsolescence now perceived obsolescence

convinces us to throw away stuff that is

still perfectly useful how do they do

that well they change the way that stuff

looks so if you bought your stuff a

couple of years ago everyone can tell

that you haven't contributed to this

arrow recently and since the way we

demonstrate our value is contributing to

this arrow it can be embarrassing like

I've had the same fat white computer

monitor on my desk for five years my

coworker just got a new computer she has

a flat shiny sleek monitor it matches

her computer matches her phone even a

pen stand she looks like she's driving a

spaceship central and I I was like I got

a washing machine on my desk

fashion is another prime example of this

have you ever wondered why women's shoe

heels go from fat one year to skinny the

next to practice skinny it's not because

there's some debate about which heel

structure is the most healthy for

Lauren's feet it's because wearing fat

heels in a skinny heel year shows

everybody that you haven't contributed

to that arrow as recently so you're not

as valuable as that person in skinny

heels next few or more likely in some ad

it's to keep us buying new shoes

advertisements and media in general

plays a big role in this each of us in

the u.s. is targeted with over 3,000

advertisements a day we see more

advertisements in one year than people

50 years ago saw on a lifetime and if

you think about it what's the point of

an ad except to make us unhappy with

what we have

so 3,000 times a day we're told our hair

is wrong our skin is wrong our clothes

around our furniture is wrong your car's

wrong as we are wrong but it can all be

made right if we just go shopping media

also helps providing all of this and all

of this so the only part of the

materials economy we see is the shopping

the extraction production and disposal

all happens outside of our field of

vision it's important to bring

backgrounds into the foreground so

people understand because when we look

there's one of the things that painters

do so effectively van Gogh when when you

look at the shoes you know if you keep

painted several different but if you

look at the famous boots that he painted

with the straight you'll never look at a

pair of shoes the same way if you really

contemplate what he did because he was

taking something that's in the

background and bringing it to the

foreground and it's very important for

religious leaders for artists for others

to do that to let people know what's in

the background those things that were

not seeing the things that are hidden

one of the things that our prophet told

us is that there would be people towards

the end of time like locusts in their in

their consumption


every year we have martyrs to

consumption there are people that die on

these these buying sprees every year

this happens in this country people

literally died because they're you know

they're trampled to death in because of

these things but another aspect that we

don't think about is is just garbage

production and and the fact one of one

of the professor's that was at my


he taught environmental studies he had

zero garbage production in his home and

he used to take his students to his home

to show what he did in other words

people can actually live reducing their

garbage to a great extent but everything

is packaged totally unnecessary

packaging and this leads to these

landfills it's beyond belief what's

happening and again who suffers the

animals they're you know they eat this

stuff when you you know everything

that's off those helium balloons those

helium balloons go to the ocean they

eventually go down and turtles swallow

them they get the the obstruction so

these simple things that people are

doing without thinking and now we have

the Great Pacific Garbage Patch which is

bigger than the size of Texas it's a

huge massive swell of garbage in the

middle of the Pacific Ocean

that because of the kaiser tides and

currents it all tends to go to this one

area now there's a verse in the Piranha

Angel to ask God and obviously this is

shouldn't be taken like a literal type

conversation but the Angels asked God

when when God created man in our church

and the human being how can you put

someone there and who will cause damage

and bloodshed when we celebrate your

praise and proclaim your holiness so the

angels were asking this question the end

and there's a reason why the

commentaries given I'm not going to go

into that and and you can certainly see

that the incredible amount we over

almost two hundred million people were

killed at the hands of other people in

the last century the 20th century and we

came into the 21st century a lot of hope

but it begins with 9/11 and and then

these terrible wars that have affected

us but

the response that God made was in the

animal not animal I know what you don't

know about the human being and and this

is what we have to keep in mind I put

these pictures up because these are my

personal teachers these are people that

I studied with and there's there's a

verse in the Quran that says that we

elevate those who do not want to sow

corruption in the earth or to be

elevated and and and this is what we

have to remember as a species that we

have people in this world that remind us

of who we really are

we're not jellyfish we're not mindless

spineless consumers we have human hearts

we have the ability to know infinity we

can conceptualize it no other species

can do that we are something amazing and

we have to remind our young people of

that lost in this world of false idols

of images of women that are so degrading

they are so degrading and I don't need

to name names because you know them you

see them on the television you see them

on the covers of magazines this is not

who we want our young girls to grow up

emulating we don't want our young men to

grow up emulating the lowest forms of

life on this earth the cockroaches the

rats the jellyfish we want them to soar

with the Eagles and that's what we're

here to do and to remind people and

that's why as far as I'm concerned

religious people the religious

leadership we have failed so

dramatically we have failed our young

people we have the halo effect and then

we have the clay feet syndrome they they

don't see people walking their talk they

don't see people living it they don't

see the gift of sanctity in their beings

in their presence and that's what we

need to remind ourselves that we have to

become these people we have to be these

people that have graced this earth

reminding us this is not what it's about

we're here for a short temporal time and

we have work to do and our work is in

discovering ourselves and in serving

others this is the work we're not here

to consume we're not here to indulge

ourselves we're here for something much

greater and we constantly need to be

reminded because we're a forgetful

species when the elephants came to honor

the man who had looked after them and

some of you may have seen this but they

walked for over a day even before he

died and then held vigil in front of his

house these are signs for people that

reflect the animals pray for us

according to our tradition that the fish

in the ocean pray for the righteous our

prophet said that mr. Darwin was steady

at home in evil the one who has repose

and the one others have reposed from

them they said who are they or Messenger

of God and he said those who live

righteously when they die they have

repose and those who live corrupting

when they die people trees rivers and

animals have reposed from them that's

the choice and I I really want to drive

this point home because I think this is

one of the most important verses for me

in the New Testament I'm in a great

Christian city of Louisville

traditionally it's it's it's you see

churches everywhere

you know there was a love of

Christianity which is a great faith and

there's incredible amount of beauty and

truth despite the history we tend to

forget that the history of religions is

the history of their ego not of their

soul but for we wrestle not against

flesh and blood but against

principalities against powers against

the rulers of the darkness of this world

against spiritual wickedness in high

places people that that created planned

obsolescence this is from spiritual

wickedness in high places and and we

have to recognize that we cannot support

these people that there are people out

there that are actively engaged in

harming this world they're doing it

because they're complete slaves of their

own desires and you cannot be a steward

if you're filled with your own egoistic

desires you can't and that's why one of

the things that we have to remember the

the catholics divided the sins into the

hot sins and the cold sins and we tend

to forget you know the hot sins are easy

to recognize gluttony wrath and and lust

and and Dorothy Sayers reminded us that

when a when a society loses its

spiritual center sex is always the

spiritual outlet so this obsession with

sex which is also related to the rape of

the earth to the way we treat Mother

Earth because of our degradation of our

objectification of women and this is

much more male problem than a female

problem pornography is largely a male

problem and not entirely but we we have

to remember there are hot scenes and

Colton's but the cold sins are often

praised in our society the sins of

avarice right the sins of nd the sin of

pride the great sin which is a sin

against one's excellence and then the

sin of sloth which sloth is not laziness

acedia in the traditional understanding

sloth with spiritual laziness a CEO

could be out there working a 120 hour

workweek and he's still slothful because

he's forgotten his soul or she's

forgotten her

and this is what we have to remember

Robert Frost said some say the world

will end in fire some say in ice from

what I've tasted of desire I hold with

those who favor fire but if it had to

perish twice I think I know enough of

hate to say that for Destruction ice is

also great and would suffice it's the

hot sins of the cold sins that are going

to kill us and we have to really take

this seriously and it's our spiritual

traditions that address this root

problem it's not complicated the problem

is not complicated thank you very much


ah that was really remarkable thank you

you know it opened a lot of eyes both

educationally and particular your ending

in wrecked and our recognition it but

the spiritual desert lies beneath that

and just to remind everyone as we come

out of the sort of the Highness of that

encounter now the plan from here is that

we have about an hour to spend together

and I was asked to just a very brief

kind of response myself which is

basically really just lending some time

for you to be thinking about questions

that you'd like to ask because what we'd

like to do most of this time is just

have a an open dialogue Council on some

of the things that he's presented today

and maybe some questions that you had in

your hearts and things that you wanted

to or think that you wanted to share so

I'll to about three or four minutes here

my own kind of response to these

challenges from a specific review

perspective I have questions I could ask

that was quickly noticed but we really

rather listen to yours so I'll be

thinking about the questions you might

post okay all right there's an illusion

it's a grand illusion it's been

perpetrated upon us that we have

perpetrated upon ourselves

it's an illusion that we are somehow

separate from the earth that we are

somehow separate from ourselves we are

all a domme one human family and we are

all part of Adama we're all part of the

earth what makes us think that there's a

barrier somewhere between my feet and

the wooden floor upon which they sit

between the floor and the foundation

upon which it sits between the earth and

the stone which holds it all and us

firmly here in place where does a tree

end and the roots begin

where do the roots nearly become

tendrils and the tendrils become one

with the earth which nourishes and

sustains the tree which nourishes and

sustains us what makes us think that

there's a difference between the air we

breathe and the one who breathes it

breathing breathe out the air enters us

it fills our lungs it enriches our blood

and it gives us life we breathe it forth

and we return it to its source as trees

and plants breathe in our breath

enriched and sustained by our souls

which have been added to this breath of

life what makes us think that there's a

difference between Chicago Yusef and

myself and yourself a difference between

all the children of adam' all the

children of God

all those precious parts of this earth

adamah which we must all share we are

one you and I we are one all of us here

in this room we are all the children of

one creator who has placed us here to

help build a world that is one as

goddess one and there's an illusion that

stands side by side with the first that

in order to be one we must all be the

same that to be different from one

another makes us somehow other we've

been taught this truth as if it were

true for so long we've come to accept it

and to feel that those who are likely

our selves are like and we come to fear

those who upon the surface of their

likeness seem unlike us it's as if we

see in the mirror only a reflection of

ourselves in order to be comfortable and

that is an illusion but we must seek

instead is a thing that's not in

reflection but in the soul this is an

illusion which we have get we who we

love gathered here today can often fall

prey to our selves

we gather as a people of faith in common

cause and common action with common

hopes and dreams through which we seek

to find common elements and come and

pass this is a well-meaning illusion

that we are all the same beneath the

surface that we strip away the

differences of language and culture and

we find that we are all the same beneath

the skin and we worship the same God

essentially the same ways and since

there is much that we share in common

this is a particularly useful illusion

and one which we've become very adept at

maintaining in Hebrew were commanded to

seek Shalom in Arabic it's called Salam

in English we strive for peace as Jews

we seek to heal the brokenness of our

world through acts of sadaqa in Arabic

it's called Sokka in English we call it

charity from the Latin word Caritas

which we carry in our prayers as Jews we

seek our community in Arabic Rahim in

English and strive for compassion and

because we share many of these potential

traits which make us human it's easy for

us to imagine that we are all the same

and to dream of a world of peace and

charity and compassion when we will all

sing with one voice in a single chorus

instead of inspiring the harmony of our

many voices or a symphony of the many

instruments creating together a song of

oneness that we can all share in the

mission a collection of ethical writings

now some eighteen hundred years old we

are taught that humanity was created

with a single adop the descendants of

one human being to demonstrate God's

greatness when a human being in Sequoyah

in the press each coin is identical but

when the ruler of all the Holy One

blessed be creates Humanity in the form

of a Dom not one is similar to the other

the lesson of dissolution ah

comes to teach us that diversity is

intended and an intended part of the

Divine Plan and this is the wondrous

part are many faces are many languages

are many faiths this too is part of

God's plan for us here on earth we are

children of one human family we cannot

be other from our brother we need not be

the same to feel a kinship with our

sisters we are all the children of one

creator of us all the path towards a

compassionate society requires of us the

courage I think to tear the veil of

these twin illusions from before our

eyes to see one another both as we are

and is together we might be we are one

human family many minds many voices many

hands to heal the world and we can work

together as one and build a

compassionate community and a world of

peace I'm not sure how much that balance

but I thought that it said a lot of the

things thank you to the one person was

clapping but we're not clapping

we're not happening

what I was hoping would come of that

though was a recognition of a lot that

we share and a lot of the wisdom that

we've learned but frankly we would not

have learned if it were not for an

Islamic scholar sharing us the wonder of

his particular traditions view and I

hope that you like I were listening and

saying you know there's wisdom there and

sometimes the wisdom was wisdom that I

don't find in my own sacred scripture

and sometimes it parallels so much that

it's almost difficult to believe that we

didn't have the same hands writing them

but that the key here is that there's a

wisdom beneath all of this and that when

we listen to each other and learn from

one another we can see perspectives we

would not have seen otherwise and

sometimes when lessons that we are that

we're waiting to be taught to us now I

have a nice list of questions I'm going

to ask one and then you're on okay so

you're thinking and the stuff has some

people who are going to be around with

microphones who will give you the

opportunity there's someone waiting back

there for an opportunity for you to get

in line for the place I thought I'd

start just give them a chance to

consider is with a wisdom of the Jewish

tradition a Midrash a legend of its from

Guatemala it says that God created Adam

as the last of all the creations and

then toward a domme throughout all

creations so that we would truly

appreciate the wonder of the gift that

was being given us and then God said

this is given to you as a gift

care for it for if you do not there will

be no other to be received and there is

a sense there I think that we've lost

perhaps of the religious and spiritual

legations of the earth I feel like we

get caught up in the scientific

conversation of you know global warming

you know or climate change and arguing

back and forth about how fast and human

deliverance just occurs to me that

polluting the earth is a bad thing you

know and if you can just recognize it's

not complicated

right the Beneatha

there's a spiritual thing and that's

what I really got I think mostly from

well for me one of the things that you

know every time you go into these places

where they give you these throw aways

and for them way you just have to you

know this kind of content thing where

think if everybody did that and and it

became a universal fact because not

everybody is doing it like there's

places where it's amazing how little

garbage they produce no an Aboriginal

guy lives with Bedouins spent a lot of

time with Bedouins and Aboriginal people

and it's a nice word because it means

you know in Latin it's the idea from the

original people you know have origin you

know it's out of the the first people

and the word is bedroom which is what

they call themselves in Arabic means the

first people and this is why in

assumptions they call them the first

nations the first peoples that that we

there's great things that come I mean

I'm glad

Shakespeare's in the world I'm glad

Mouton ed B's in the world Rumi I think

a lot of people you know feel like the

world would be less than it is without

Bach or without and some people without

you know Lady Gaga you know I mean

there's whole exclusive people that just

get something out of the artist you know

so but all of the things that we we love

about civilization the question we have

to ask ourselves now is it all worth it

in terms of what civilization is doing

to us as a species and and that is

that's I think that's a real question

because we have to somehow learn what

Aboriginal peoples have known how to

live sustainably on on the planet and

and and they have great things to teach

us but they're messed up too so it's not

because I know in firsthand just living

they have their problems they're

grappling they a lot of Aboriginal

peoples do not have a way of

with the modernity when it's introduced

and exampled that for people that know

the work of gerrymander not the

political word but the writer he he

wrote a book called the four arguments

for the elimination of television and in

that book one of the studies they did in

Canada they had the good fortune of

being able to watch a Inuit Native

American village as electricity was

introduced and they studied it to see

what would happen so they basically

determined it took five years to destroy

their their traditional culture once

television five five years and I saw

that firsthand in Mauritania because I

lived with Bedouin I was in a town that

had no electricity every night it was

literally chanting the whole village was

chanting the Quran it was like being

buzzing and it was one of those

extraordinary and then you have the sky

see I think one of the reasons why we've

lost our spirituality is because of our

official life and it's interesting we

call it artificial light because if you

look up at the sky in the Sahara Desert

and I've been reduced to tears on many

nights just look the heavens declare

your glory I've been in the Sinai it's

it's breathtaking blessing and there's a

reason why those guys fled to the desert

you know because if you want to be close

to the heavens that's as close as you're

going to get we don't see the Stars

anymore you know Plato said God put the

Stars there to show us the order of the

heavens that we would desire to bring

the order down into ourselves so what

happens when we don't see the heavens

anymore and I would really like to see

the city you might think of this there

Fisher might think of just having an


you know once a month where all the

lights in the city are turned off on a

clear night so that people can actually

go out and see the heaven

does it see the heaven it's amazing

cars are amazing I'm the chair of the

planetarium which if you think about it

for a second is a sad reality which is

that in cities we build I can only play

people where you can see with stars

because we projected it does leap them

and they do it gooo centrically nobody

points that out but when you're in a

planetarium they don't have you

revolving around the heavens they have

the heavens revolving around the ultimen

but they have to do a Ptolemaic

planetary visit us at the planetarium so

you'll know what to look for in the sky

ok do we have some questions waiting

check on that my question is about

spirituality and food and the Quran

talks a lot about eating with Helen but

that's usually coupled with the word

title ending with legal and maybe can

you comment on what you feel Talia would

sort of mean in our current sort of

culture and then also what do you feel

is the spiritual effect of consuming

artificial foods like high fructose corn

syrup and you know all these sort of

processed things that are added to foods

and packaged you know what's the

spiritual effect of eating artificial

food and how you know can you sort of

comment on the idea well just to use

another tradition in tradition in some

traditional Buddhism the the chef in the

monastery had to be enlightened like

they didn't let just anybody into the

kitchen and in in the Islamic tradition

there's a whole tradition about prep

food preparation and the intention of

the cook and so that you I my teachers

the people that cooked always made the

intentions that the food was a healing

one of the things is really interesting

in our culture you know they when you go


when you go to they would teach grammar

anymore so people use transitive verbs

as intransitive verbs but when you go to

a restaurant they say enjoy right enjoy

you know I mean I guess you could make

it a transit in transit but usually

enjoy something but here it means the

food so but they just say enjoy you know

in traditional cultures they never would

say something like that they would say

like salud you know with help in the

Arabic culture they say the spell would

add via with health and well-being which

reminds us of the purpose of the food

it's not to enjoy enjoyment is part of

it I mean it's wonderful that food is so

enjoyable but that's not the reason why

you're actually eating it that's why the

glutton needs but but somebody who's

serious about maintaining their health

they eat for help and and you know we're

we're literally digging our graves with

our teeth I mean in our culture we are

literally killing ourselves with the

food we eat and so so you know I would

say that all traditional people's ate

with with just a knowledge of what food

was about and this is why the key

Shabbat tradition you know the halal

tradition that you have - there's a

whole you know Native Americans took

permission in many of the their

traditions they took permission from the

animal in the Islamic trees in the

Jewish tradition there is actual you

have to do it in a way you know in our

tradition you're not allowed to kill an

animal in front of another animal and if

you look I mean it's arguable that it's

unethical to be to meat to eat meat

today unless you're on a farm where

you're you're you know and there was an

interesting article about a man who

decided for one year I didn't see the

film but he did a documentary where he

only ate what he killed for one year and

when he would buy the the sheep one of

the sheep farmers told him you know he

said I think I'm going to call that you

know Zeke and and he said no no don't

name them because you'll get

you'll get attached to them and but he

chose to name them what he said was the

thing that struck him most was the

gratitude he felt to the animal when he

ate it and in our tradition there's a

belief that the animal wants to be it

wants to be energy for good deeds

because by becoming part of a righteous

person it's elevated in its state from

an animal that doesn't have free will

that only behaves according to its

nature to part of being with free will

and it and the animal hates to be used

for profoundness or for misdeeds and so

that whole cosmology which might I'm

romantic but it was it was real people

and I met people that still live like

this and my wife does this she cooks

with that intention if I cook I cook

with that intention when I serve food I

cook with that attention I'll just tell

you one quick story I have a friend of

mine who's a connoisseur of tea and he

will only drink certainties and in

England PG tipps is like the worst tea

and and and and he went to a friend of

Mines house and I know both of them and

it was tea time and the English take

this very seriously and so he he only

had PG tipps in the house and so he said

God he's going to know this is horrible

TV so he goes in and he told me that he

made a prayer over the tea and he said

he said O God make this delightful for

my friend and he went in and poured the

tea and he told me that he drank and he

said you know that's the best cup of tea

I think I've ever had

and you know there's a reality to these

things we don't realize just the power

of intention

you know Nia in Arabic which means

intention also means seed it's the seed

of the thing y-you do and so many of us

do things without intention there's no

intentionality and intention I know in

your tradition and our tradition

intention is everything while you're

doing something and coffee asking

yourself why am i doing this to check on

intention okay I just disavow that we're

not going to clap thing I want to that

applause was also for the question of a

good class because I don't want to

deflect too much but from a Jewish

tradition this is something we struggle

with a great deal because the laws of

kashrut were written thousand years ago

and more and they were designed to be

more humane and to make the exact

connections that you're talking about

and the world in which we live has

advanced to the point that one needs a

you know a variance from the USDA

because it's not as advanced and we lost

something in that there was a speaker

who came just a couple years ago rabbi

Arthur Wasco and he's sort of the front

of something we call the echo kashrut

movement and artists perspective is if

you're saying a blessing over wine it

was made with grapes that was sprayed

with pesticides that made the people who

made them ill it's not holy and if you

take organic wine it's been you know

it's been made in the purest way and

pour it into a Styrofoam cup if not

kosher and what he means by that is that

the word used to mean something it meant

to fit and the purpose of

of the sharing with food the enjoyment

wasn't in the consumption and how much

you know can we pump into it with you

know corn syrup but rather the meal and

and the story of your friend praying

over is tea you know that's what that

was what it was intending to people okay

our next question over that way where

are we here okay

yes Sheikh Hamza when you spoke of the

purpose of human purposes of human

existence I realized I've created mushed

together two of those three meaning the

cultivation of the earth and stewardship

and I wonder if you could distinguish

for us a little bit develop that idea of

what are the ways in which we cultivate

the earth and how do we steward it well

the stewardship would be more about

sustainability where the cultivation is

more about how we're using it for for

our needs so the stewardship is is is

more about making sure that what we're

doing in our cultivation is not harmful

crossed over here I think here's a lady

up here okay but we need a microphone

the next connector right here

career-high um what you guys are talking

about is beautiful stuff but it's not

very realistic like I can't see myself

finding a person to buy a goat firm so

that I could harvest to go and show

gratitude to so after I kill it and eat

it in Allah I I don't know who the bad

girls huh and I don't know no and I

wasn't suggesting that I don't know and

I don't know where to buy affordable

organic food from because I went to the

whole food store the other day and spent

thirty dollars on nothing yeah

and this is one of the big bun and

finding it out around the community yeah

so so I'm not bringing up a really

excellent point is it yeah I want to

know how yeah yeah this is a really

excellent point it's it's the incredible

discrepancy we have between much of like

the fair trade movement which I'm I feel

a lot of it is is upper-middle class

luxury the ability to assuage our own

personal guilt and things like that but

I that snot why I would promote it

because I think that it's important to

take positions about these things in

terms of disenfranchised communities

underprivileged communities you know the

disparity which I was highlighting in

that picture of starving kids with these

completely overweight kids I mean one of

the problems that we have in this

country is that processed food is

incredibly cheap to buy and the reason

that the all processed food came out of

war that the Americans in World War two

I mean margarine came from Napoleon they

needed butter for these troops so we

tend to forget that processed food is

actually a direct result of war because

they needed to feed these armies as they

were moving and so in in in in World War

two they learned how to do this stuff to

a degree scientifically that they'd

never achieved before and and they could

keep long life shelf life and they

realize you know because this

military-industrial complex the same

people that are doing supplying that

during wartime are the people that are

selling you know the foods during

peacetime they realize that this is a

great way we don't have to worry about

perishables because it's they lovable

parents they lose a lot of money except

because when you take you know it's

amazing how many the reason it's so

expensive at Whole Foods is because they

lose a lot of that food and and this is

the problem and farmers know this so one

of the really important movements is

urban homesteading where people are

beginning to put gardens in there on

their rooftops african-american

communities in Detroit are beginning to

do this and it's really interesting

movement where they're bringing

food to to disenfranchised communities

and having some of the schools are doing

it this is really important so I think

Louisville it would be really useful to

bring some of these people in to show

them how to do we can grow our own food

and it actually is realistic people can

have gardens in World War two they had

what we're called Victory Gardens where

unlike these recent Wars let I encourage

you to go out and spend they used to

encourage you actually to save and

recycle World War two was a great year

of recycling people were recycling

everything and you know if you go to

third world countries people wear

sandals made out of used tires because

it's a really good heel a sole for the

for the the shoe and and so these are

the things where we need to get creative

in our communities and not you know so

many of our communities in the inner

cities they can go and get it's easier

to get liquor than it is to get food and

and it's much easier to get you can't

get vegetables in a lot of these

inner-city stores it's all processed

food they get corn out of a can and and

so that movement I think is a really

important movement that's starting to

take place

instead this ads brought to you by the

Center for interfaith relations up here

which has a program for building a box

gardens or urban gardens throughout

rural and we need to expand and children

love to do it they love to plant you can

get the kids involved in they get

connected to the earth you mentioned

earlier we're called the know Adam you

know in the Jewish and the Muslim

tradition and Adam is Adama you know

who's denying Arabic is the top soil and

and in our tradition the reason he was

called Adam and really it's the first

Adam had the male-female and then it

splits into the two of Adam and Eve so

the first Adam that the first creation

was was was the human being you know

which was and and but the the leader is

called top scholars because we're told

the problem Hamlet Pilate said I'm said

that God took white soil black soil

brown soil all the different color

the topsoil in the world and put them

into atoms so that all these colors

would be reflected in his creation from

all the soils of the earth we have the

same scans we probably borrowed from you

well you know look the Prophet Muhammad

you know people say that Islam a lot of

it's just from Judaism but the problem

Ahamed the Quran says you didn't make

this stuff up your you're not an

innovator from the message your being

the same message so much of it is in

Jewish tradition we know that and the

Jewish tradition is part of our

tradition so and there are many I mean

all my tears are filled with Midrash and

and you know the Gomorrah story it's all

in Islamic Jews they never shied away

from that and we had rabbis that became

Muslim there was interactions between

rabbis and and and Muslim scholars and

and so these are these are all this is

wisdom it's just jicama you know hook

nut oh yeah so this is this is this

belongs to everybody thank you again you

for putting this a very practical thing

and anyone's interested a great

organization called youth youth to

Louisville will help you build art yes

don't like art and if you do the

community center declare that that's

part of amazing how much food you can

get out of a very small yes over here I

want to thank you for what you said

about human trafficking is a 21st

century outrage an estimated 20 million

billion people are affected by it

I want to say the good news about it

just as a little bit of a commercial

there's an organization called soap SOA

P save our adolescents from prostitution

headquartered in Columbus Ohio I am part

of the group and we go before large

sporting events like the Super Bowl NCAA

Kentucky Derby world equestrians and we

meet in hotels all over the place to

provide literature photos and soap with

an 800 number to go in every hope

room in Louisville and Columbus in New

York and LA wherever we did it I

participated twice in Louisville we did

it before the truck show in Louisville

and 90% of the hotels accepted the

material the good news is that it's

working in lots of places before the

super during the Super Bowl in New

Jersey 16 teenage girls were rescued

because of soap and four hundred

volunteers covered New York in New

Jersey in Indianapolis Super Bowl two

teenage girls were rescued multiply that

over in Detroit the Auto Show girls

rescued in Columbus Ohio the Arnold

Schwarzenegger bodybuilding your'e girls

were rescued further point is its there

are groups working we need more people

involved well there's a worldwide war

against girls and women around the world

and also the reason why these are all

events that involve large numbers of men

that that's where they literally bring

them in and in cars and and these are

the places and there's something that

the Romans for people are familiar with

the Coliseum the prostitutes were always

bought at the Colosseum's and and people

would get very excited and go down and

abuse them but we're I think we're doing

such a poor job at educating our young

men and to honoring women and that's

something I have five boys and it's I

constantly bring that home to them never

dishonor a woman that that women that

they're their gentle beings they're

easily seduced and men know this about

women because women are trusting and and

and and and when a man tells her certain

things he has the keys to her heart very

often and too many wolves out there

really prey on on that knowledge and

there's books out there of how to seduce

women that are now bestsellers thank you

very much

it's a little hard for me to see this we

over yeah over here so I see these

slides and I hear these facts and

they're very disturbing of course and

they should be to my soul and so my

question is what kind of daily practice

can I do I do things with my deeds you

know I own a farm and I am trying to

help that part of the world but in my a

daily practice that you would suggest

that could help because I do believe in

intentions being able to actually help

these problems but I'm up for

suggestions okay well I first of all you

know I we have to honor our small

farmers because you know I'm fortunate

to be in Northern California with a slow

movement that slow food movement started

that we have local farmers markets that

we can go to on a regular basis so we

get all our foods from local growers I

would much rather support them than

support you know even though you know a

Whole Foods has some pretty enlightened

leadership there but I would still

rather support the local growers as much

as possible and I think that's something

really important so you know and people

you were talking earlier downstairs just

about you know this loopy feeling about

being connected to the land but the

truth is farmers suffering then see the

highest suicide rates in India are from

the small farmers they get them into

these you serious deaths and we had

people remember the 80s crises the

highest rates of suicide were among

small farmers we're losing our small

farmers and agribusiness is taking over

and this is what I'm talking about you

know these these you know the rulers of

darkness of this world you know a lot of

these people and there's good people in

that I'm not a Mackay I'm not in any way


I don't you know there's there's good

CEOs there's decent people working but

these are soul destroying institutions

that we've set up and and so I'm not in

any way I don't I'm not a revolutionary

in that I

don't believe and you know if we just

can kill the evil ruler suddenly

everything's going to you know be fine

it's not like that and there's good

people in Washington DC there's good

people in government there's really

amazing police and then there's people

that abuse these powers you know and

some of them you know and there are

really dark demonic people that we have

termed Psychopaths

and about one out 22 Americans is

considered to be psychopathic and there

are functional psychopathic people often

in CEO positions that don't have morals

I mean this is this is social science in

our culture I would recommend there's

several books on this one of them is

associate that next door a lot of people

think sociopaths the serial killer no

there are sociopaths that are surgeons

they're sociopaths that are CEOs and

they really don't they don't think like

other people they just don't feel

remorse about harming others or harming

the earth or whatever so in terms of a

practice I can't I want to advise you on


I think people you know we're living in

an age that enables us to experiment it

with religions this is in some ways

unprecedented in other ways

we've always had eclecticism and

interaction of traditions muslims and

jews lived together for centuries in

places like Morocco and Sarajevo and so

there's always been these and we know

that different traditions adopted

methods st. Francis was influenced by

the Sufis when he got back he adopted

some of those practices and certainly

you know the Muslims of India found the

Hindus doing certain things that they

thought were interesting so you'll find

a chakra a type of chakra understanding

in certain Indian Sufi badia clubs and

things like this so there's always been

that kind of eclecticism but I come out

of a spiritual tradition that really

says that it's good to take a serious

tradition and to practice it and and for

me personally there are certain things

that I have to do

day I think the only thing that I really

incorporated outside of of Milan

tradition is I've been practicing chi

gong for some time now and derived a lot

of benefit from it just physically

because I was having a lot of energy

problems but I think we really we need

to have time with ourselves alone where

we can just disengage and turn off all

these things I have a friend of mine

he's an imam in Washington DC so it has

a box in the end of in the front of his

house and when everybody comes in they

have to put the cell phones in the box

and they're not allowed to use any cell

phones inside the house and Jesus

Sudanese man and I thought that was

really an excellent practice I think a

lot of us need to disengage from from

the madness of these constantly being

you know texting and getting called we

don't have to answer the phone every

time it ring you know you really don't

now you're really something

revolutionary huh it's true okay before

you do that though I was going to do

this as an ad anyway my best suggestion

would be come tonight at 7 o'clock

because from 7:00 to 9:00 Wendell Berry

is going to be here with Gary Snyder and

Jack shoemaker and Wendell is a

phenomenal community resource for those

of you who have the opportunity you know

exactly what I'm saying because you may

not come tonight at 7:00

Wendell did I'd say the kind of

intention that you're speaking of for my

entire congregation when he came to

speak and we established the farm works

a farmers market that comes to Temple

Mondays and Thursdays are local farmers

and what he was saying was that we've

begun to look at food he'll say this

better tonight I hope but in a sentence

we come to look at food as a commodity

and we lose the nature of the

relationship you're feeding people okay

that is gift okay and when you receive

the food from the people

grew it you create something different

than going to a market and buying it

you're recognizing that the people who

you feed and we're recognizing who feeds

us and we create in that community and I

think what you're doing is that

intentions honestly but come tonight it

will be wonderful okay now a question

there are we yeah thank you I have a

question regarding I think is a

challenge that we face in the US and

it's very pervasive and that we are we

have a sense of entitlement that is is

much stronger than a lot of places you

find in the world and what would be your

response in sort of a spiritual sense to

that sense of entitlement that I really

don't have to do anything to change

because I have earned what I have earned

and I've worked hard for that yeah that

was one of mine too yeah the you know

when when you go to other put like I was

just in West Africa I was in Senegal and

in Mauritania and you know I think it's

really important for us to to get our

kids over to places to do work in in

other communities and places to see the

reality I'll give you an example I had I

had a friend of mine I teach a course at

a junior college nearby with a friend

and and and she was having trouble

controlling this class because they were

just you know they're college kids

behaving like high school kids so I

suggested that she bring in a friend of

mine who was a leading member of one of

the dominant African American gangs in

LA went to prison for murder spent

several years in prison and he converted

transformed his life in prison it came

out he's actually a teacher now so I

suggested that she bring him into the

class and she did and she just said the

transformation these students was

amazing with him telling his story and

and you know I I just I tell them

this junior-college if you were in Kabul

in Afghanistan this would be the Harvard

of Afghanistan you know and we have

people in a lot of countries that

literally commit suicide because their

scores are too low to get into the

colleges you know so we just it's

amazing the opportunities if you look at

when people come here from places like

African countries the first thing they

do is an enroll in junior colleges you

know it's just so amazing for them to be

able to get an education that doesn't

cost very much and so I think part of it

is really trying to inculcate this early

on narcissism was you know just it was I

think it was designated in the 1970s in

that famous book the culture of

narcissism you know he saw something

that nobody was seeing at the time how

narcissistic our culture was coming I

think the selfie is just such an

indicative aspect of our of our

civilization this idea of just taking

your own picture you know I've never

I've never carried a camera I've never

taken I don't have any pictures of

myself and I've been all over the world

I've been in that you know I met the

Pope you know and and had a picture with

the Pope and you know I just never had

that urge to have these pictures you

know my last because some people stand

us things and she wants to put a lot of

I said I don't want them on the wall you

know I don't want to do that and and I

know I don't get that thing about

pictures you know like I for me this is

where I take my pictures I and I try to

be present with people and remember them

as best I can

and I learned this from the Bedouin

because what really struck me about the

Bedouin that I lived with is they were

so present

and I would need a better one that I've

met 10 years before he would remember

what we talked about the conversation we

had and and they don't take pictures

because they know and so this whole

obsession with images that the New York

Times recently reported that the average

American seems more images in one day

than a 19th century English person saw

in his entire lifetime and these images

are flooding our hearts were losing that

just that space you know the imageless

space you know one of the things when

trade Jim went into the holiest of

holies the thing that really disturbed

him was there was nothing in there you

know any wanted the Jews to explain like

where's your idols where's your images

it's an empty place and and and and so

that emptiness we have to have that

emptiness to be able to to contemplate

and I would recommend leading Neil

postman's incredible book amusing

ourselves to death and that second

chapter about why the Decalogue would

have prohibited images because he argues

that if you want people to understand

abstractions you have to watch out for

the images that you give them and God

wants us to know something a concept

that is so abstract and and this is why

image based cultures become debased very

quickly so I really think the images are

harming us immensely the the

pornographic images that are going into

the minds of these young kids it's

really terrifying because they can't get

these things out they won't be able to

get those images out of the mountain I

know this from I have people that have

converted to Islam or have these

problems and they've told me when they

just when they open their prayer images

start flooding they're there and they

want to get rid of them so it's really

difficult spiritually it can be done

with a lot of work but you have to be

careful what you put into your heart

and I once I was with a Bedouin we've

gone from the desert to the walk shop

and there was a TV in the room and it

was on and he was looking the other way

and his man in his 30s and he was a

student of knowledge and he was looking

the other way and I was with a Libyan

Abdul Razak Mokhtar he's the ambassador

in Turkey now for Libya but he asked him

have you ever seen television he said no

he said don't you want to look at it and

he said I heard that it has foul things

on it I don't want to let it into my

heart and you know that level of being

is just where are those people yeah it's

very briefly the Jewish community I

would echo this part about how important

travel can be and meeting people from

other cultures and places we have the

commitment it's called birthright to

send all of our children's in the Land

of Israel and we really press this and

we make it literally affordable to the

point of practically free to get every

one of our kids to go to Israel they

need Israeli kids you know who also have

cell phones and text they text in Hebrew

Devi I think that's really cool but what

they also find out is if these kids go

into the army after high school all okay

and they serve their country and these

kids have an expectation that they

probably aren't going to be able to go

to college necessarily because not

everybody gets to go to college because

there's just not enough slots so you

would have to work hard if you want to

do that and they'll grow up in a world

where they're not able to afford a home

and they'll be very lucky but probably

not have a car and you know and they're

there their sense of commitment to their

country is something that's very


and when these kids come and visit our

economic titled you earn things every

day you know and and that the things

that you choose to earn are the things

that really matter

I mean maybe are not those material

things maybe they're things like respect

maybe the things like you know a future

in the fan

things like that okay I would like to

continue with questions but we need to

stop now because we have some other

things to finish the first which is the

poetry and do you have it yeah I do okay

um explain this was a there were several

poems and then they were they narrowed

them down to eight and then I was given

the unfortunate task of determining

which one should be given let me read

the up the introduction to this and then

okay it's not explained this is a poetry

of the sacred contest that the center

performed as part of this year's

festival the poetry the safety sacred

context is run annually to the center

for innovation Institute for

contemporary practice poetry can be

thought as the language of the soul and

this contest encourages poets that

awaken their reader to the

meaningfulness and beauty of life people

entered this contest from 34 different

states in four different countries from

these entries a winning poem and three

honorable mentions were chosen and

received both monetary prizes must be

published in parabola magazine in the

winter issue of 2014 the poems were then

judged by hamsa which he hated having to

do and we've selected one which uml read

so you know just to preface this I

really they were all very interesting

poems this one was the one that hit me

the most just in terms of my talk and

and what I think the festival face is is

about so it's called what worship is

it's by Red Hawk from Arizona I don't

think that he apparently he doesn't have

internet access which I thought was

great but the other poems I mean the

filter list of Mont sainte-victoire was

really I really like that Prairie hours

and him too morning were the runners-up

and they were all good and the other

ones were good - they were more

depressing so but this one I thought

really captured something from me what

worship is by Red Hawk from Arizona at

dusk cousin John is driving home when a

rabbit darts in front of his car and his

throne tumbling and spinning into the

tall grass beyond the shoulder now here

is where John emerges from the pack of

ordinary brutish humans and assumes a

form we barely know he stops the car

pulls off to see what harm he has done I

don't know anyone else who would have

stopped he finds the rabbit broken and

thrashing not yet dead in the tall grass

goes to his trunk for a hammer returns

and finishes what chance started then

with the claw part he did the shallow

hole and puts the body in returns drives

home heavy with sorrow feeling remorse

having performed his humble sacrament to

make right what has gone wrong in us we

have forgotten who we are and what we

must do

so just a few other sort of follow-up

things will be concluding now but I'm so

Youssef will be in the foyer we had a

long conversation about the

pronunciation of that word there'll be a

book signing there as well as a

reception with like food and drink and

we want to invite all of you to join us

there again

Wendell Barry Gary Snyder and Jack

shoemaker this evening at 7 and 9 is a

program I'm not going to miss and really

shouldn't just gonna be fantastic and we

will conclude as we are in all these

sessions with a moment of silence and I

encourage you in silence to try to take

in some of what Hamza has shared with us

and think in the ways that many of your

questions did but how we can take these

ideas and make them into spirit in

ourselves and in practice in our lives



thank you for joining us