If you wish to master chess, you have to study a lot of openings, endings, tactics, strategies Of course, you have to practice hard as well. If you wish to master presentations the chess approach will be worse than not studying at all. If you read volumes of techniques, there will be nothing spontaneous in your presentation, and these will be exceedingly dull and uninspiring. What you need are some basic guidelines and loads of enthusiasm. You need to activate yourself!
The chess kind of approach works in intellect oriented domains while the presentation kind of approach works where emotions and heart are important. Never forget, religion is a matter of the heart, kidnapped in recent times by the mind and the western emphasis on logic
You have a nice debate with your friend who has radically different ideas. You have the same argument with someone else and it ends badly. This shows it is not the thoughts or ideas that were more aligned in one case than the other but the emotions. You think you are arguing with the idea but much of the time you are arguing with the emotion.
Would you worship a God if – God forbid – he was known to be cruel? Hopefully not, but you may be tempted to say one would simply have to. That would be shameless but perhaps true, given the way we are obsequious with those in power. However, in the case of God, our soul testifies that God is Absolutely Not Cruel. It is that very craving for Absolute Good that brings up the idea of God anyway. If your inner self does not so satisfy, then you have issues within. Believe in the God of Kindness and interpret the religious literature in that light. You are afraid to do so because you would rather be “safe than sorry” . You have no moral courage and flattery will not get you to that True One.
Yes, you say, but how do we know we do not have a different concept of what is good or what is love? You would in that case be making God out to be supremely cruel. In fact, God has made our souls – if we go even a bit deeper than the superficial level – intrinsically capable of judging what is good. This is why we have to take ownership of our actions wherever we find ourselves.
When the early Sahaba accepted Islam, it was because they recognized very very clearly (and sometimes instantly) that the Prophet (PBUH) was good and he was immersed in speaking the truth. Had they not recognized this in the Prophet (PBUH) – and hence in the God he spoke of – they would not have accepted Islam. It was because of the sheer goodness of the Prophet (PBUH) that they accepted his word and Allah. The eye of the Heart – as it were – is able to sense what is kind, what is good, even in the absence of detailed instructions or rules. Recognize the goodness in a special man and recognize and accept the Goodness in God.
Whether you are a Believer or an Atheist, if you have an almost violent reaction to anything on this blog, and replay the words and abuse the author and think of adding aggressive comments, then you have not a quiet mind. You have unresolved emotions. Am I saying you have to agree with everything here? Not at all but the correct response is always a thoughtful one, or one leaves without feeling the need to vent out anger. I say this because part of the exercise of this blog IS about becoming aware of yourself. If you over react, please be aware.