The best thing in the world, is the $1 book section at my university bookstore. $30 got me five non-fiction books, and a pretty hefty “dork” badge that followed me through the registers and out the door. One of the books I purchased was “My Year inside Radical Islam”.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book: It was an easy way to get an honest glimpse into the complicated social dynamic that exists when a semi obnoxious, but fairly brilliant twixter tries to integrate himself into the Islamic world; and ultimately the Wahhabi lifestyle.
On a more personal level, I appreciated having the opportunity to walk the footsteps of another college student, whose feelings of isolation via culture shock were similar to mine while I was at WVU. Additionally, his desire for religious and philosophical peace struck me, as I have had a similar desire to learn, but regularly struggle with my impatience when reading philosophy books written by authors who masturbate through wordy, often poorly written, long winded speculations. Anyways, the author, Daveed Gartenstien-Ross, gave me a much simpler option by allowing me to follow him through his personal spiritual journey.
So where has his journey lead me? I really can’t say. I was born of two atheists, religion was never a significant part of my life, unless you count my skipping out on Hebrew high school. When it comes to religion, I simply can’t wrap my head around not having a concrete understanding of something with definite angles and lines. Am I missing out and totally not getting this god thing? Am I thinking too highly of myself, thinking I should understand something that’s beyond me? Is there some specific perspective I’m completely missing out on, or is religion as blind as it seems? Do I have a reason to give a fuck about living a particularly well accepted lifestyle in the name of some…Dark matter? What on earth does lie between the cracks of those various mathematically plausible dimensions? Is my intuition to prove and explain too “human” of a way of approaching something that’s probably completely non-human? Aren’t humans limited by their thinking, as we only perceive things as we see? Doesn’t it pose as a problem that we can’t break the mode of thinking which goes beyond seeing things through our eyes, our fierce seeing of things based on what we know from past experience, our inability to evolve from our prehistoric instinct to gather information and make something of a situation in less than two seconds with such certainty….But what else do we have?
I wish I could evaluate these questions with more clarity and understanding. Apparently I need to spend more money on more books.
In the meantime, I’m just gonna live how I know best to live as humanly possible.