23 April 2009

Action Motivated by Belief from Experience . . .

"Because traditional religions permeate all the departments of life, there is no formal distinction between the sacred and the secular, between religious and non-religious, between the spiritual and the material areas of life…Where the individual is, there is his religion, for he is a religious being. It is this that makes Africans so religious: religion is in their whole system of being…What people do is motivated by what they believe, and what they believe springs from what they do and experience. So then, belief and action in African traditional society cannot be separated: they belong to a single whole."
John S. Mbiti, African Religions and Philosophy

Are Westerners really so different?

How did we get to our compartmentalised view of the world?

We speak of holistic and organic lifestyles, but function as bits of a scientific management process or as modern mechanised entities.

Being human is to . . .
To have faith means to dare, to think the unthinkable, yet to act within the limits of the realistically possible; it is the paradoxical hope to expect the Messiah every day, yet not to lose heart when he has not come at the appointed hour. This hope is not passive and it is not patient; on the contrary, it is impatient an active, looking for every possibility of action within the realm of real possibilities. Least of all it is passive as far as the growth and liberation of one's own person are concerned....

The situation of mankind is too serious to permit us to listen to the demagogues - least of all demagogues who are attracted to destruction - or even to the leaders who use only their brains and whose hearts have hardened. Critical and radical thought will only bear fruit when it is blended with the most precious quality man is endowed with - the love of life.
Erich Fromm (1973) The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, page 438

We are more than what we do, how we perform or what we can possess.

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