When the topic of the Moorish influence in Europe is being discussed, one of the first questions that arises is, what race were they?As early as the Middle Ages, “Moors were commonly viewed as being mostly black or very swarthy, and hence the word is often used for negro,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary.Author and historian Chancellor Williams said “the original Moors, like the original Egyptians, were black Africans.”The 16th century English playwright William Shakespeare used the word Moor as a synonym for African. His contemporary Christopher Marlowe also used African and Moor interchangeably.Arab writers further buttress the black identity of the Moors. The powerful Moorish Emperor Yusuf ben-Tachfin is described by an Arab chronicler as “a brown man with wooly hair.”Black soldiers, specifically identified as Moors, were actively recruited by Rome, and served in Britain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. St. Maurice, patron saint of medieval Europe, was only one of many black soldiers and officers under the employ of the Roman Empire.Although generations of Spanish rulers have tried to expunge this era from the historical record, recent archeology and scholarship now shed fresh light on the Moors who flourished in Al-Andalus for more than 700 years – from 711 AD until 1492.
The Moorish advances in mathematics, astronomy, art, and agriculture helped propel Europe out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance.Source: Stewartsynopsis.com/moors_in_europe.htmUniversal EducationThe Moors brought enormous learning to Spain that over centuries would percolate through the rest of Europe.The intellectual achievements of the Moors in Spain had a lasting effect; education was universal in Moorish Spain, while in Christian Europe, 99 percent of the population was illiterate, and even kings could neither read nor write. At a time when Europe had only two universities, the Moors had seventeen, located in Almeria, Cordova, Granada, Juen, Malaga, Seville, and Toledo.In the 10th and 11th centuries, public libraries in Europe were non-existent, while Moorish Spain could boast of more than 70, including one in Cordova that housed hundreds of thousands of manuscripts. Universities in Paris and Oxford were established after visits by scholars to Moorish Spain.It was this system of education, taken to Europe by the Moors, that seeded the European Renaissance and brought the continent out of the 1,000 years of intellectual and physical gloom of the Middle Ages.Source: Blackhistorystudies.com/resources/resources/15-facts-on-the-moors-in-spain/Culturespain.com/2012/03/02/what-did-the-moors-do-for-us/
Backcloth to Music and Healing in Traditional African Society
By Meki Nzewi
The African Knowledge of Sickness
The old African world thrived on a balance of the physical and the intangible. In other words there was mutual dependency between the physical world and the active immaterial or supernatural forces, and African peoples survived because of the ability to harmonize the religious and the secular, the spiritual and the mundane, the intangible and the material realities.
The human person possesses, and is animated by, both profane and spiritual egos in symbiotic existence. The disease or malfunctioning of the one impairs the stability or efficacy of the other, and thereby the health of the whole. The cure of the sick must then be holistic for the African – healing the ego that manifests tangible ailment entailed co-jointly healing the co-acting ego that has become latently infected. The process of properly curing a physically ill person in the African medical practice then compels healing the person’s psyche or spiritual well being as well as the physiological. When herbs fail, heal the spirit.
Traditional Africa recognizes that when the environment is sick, diseases become prevalent; and when such diseased material or spiritual environment is rehabilitated, human health becomes secure. When the group spirit is polluted, the minds of individuals become infected, the human sphere becomes sick. When a human body is sick, the animating spirit becomes poisoned, and the human sphere becomes unhealthy.
The traditional African concept of illness recognizes natural and supernatural causes, ordinarily co-acting together. Ill health can manifest as malfunctioning physiology, mental-spiritual disorder or unusual external misfortune. Illness may be self-generated (psychosomatic), other-engineered, congenital or caused by foreign agents. Sickness is not always diagnosed as the malfunctioning of body parts or organs in isolation, even though the seat of the sick-feeling may be located in a body part – external or internal. Sickness could be a sign for something else, positive or injurious, which is impending. When such a sign gets mistaken as ordinary sickness, or when it is ignored and unattended to, the person harboring the sign may suffer permanent injury, usually mental.
In the community-structured African socio-political system the sickness of an individual generates levels of conflicts: Conflict within the sufferer, conflict within the family and compound unit, conflict within the entire geo-political community. The conflict could have social, economic or religious dimensions. As such, the suffering of an individual affects the well-being of many others, and would compel group empathy in seeking remedy. The community is concerned to avoid the incidence of illness of any category, and to manage or contain incidents of illness as a group even though there are specialist healers. It is for the reason that an individual’s sickness can impinge on the normal functioning of an entire community that African health practice places a premium on preventive health programs. Preventive health includes scheduled and mandatory environmental cleaning, avoidance rites to ward off evil forces (human and of spirit mien), as well as constant musical arts theatre that coerces mass participation, annual group spirit purgation music-drama (new-year rites), compound hygiene etc.
The process of healing the sick, which involves the restoration of the psychic health of the sufferer as well as the community, is structured and systematic, often contextualizing the community in ritual-theatrical dimension, in order to heal the entire community psyche. The active, supportive involvement of the community boosts the life energy of the sick. A stable psychological condition is thus generated for the specialist healer to undertake the specialized process of physical or metaphysical medication.
On Becoming an African Healer
In some African cultures a person who will eventually become a healer is supernaturally selected through signs such as sickness. The signs, which often result in strange behavior or physiological ill health, manifest irrespective of age and gender. When diagnosed, preparing or capacitating the person to become a healer could entail the medical-musical theatre of “opening of the inner eyes” (to perceive beyond the commonly visible) or the “reception of extraordinary communications” (from the supernatural forces). When a sign selects a person that must be “purified” or empowered to become a healer, she thereafter becomes capable of perceiving knowledge of sicknesses and curative elements through super-ordinary sensitization. Hence there are induction ceremonies, often locally discussed as “capturing the spirit” or “welcoming the ancestral spirit-guide”.
Music in Healing
The term music here suggests the musical arts theatre of the structured musical sound, dance, dramatic arts and performance plastic arts.
Music in traditional Africa is the science of being; the art of living with health. Music is the intangible resonance of which the human body and soul are composed: The human body is the quintessential sound instrument; the human soul is the ethereal melody. A matching of human souls is the foundation of African harmonic thought and sound. Musical harmony is the consonance of complementary inter-dependent melodies and timbres – vocal or instrumental. Dissonance occurs when independent melodies or souls or tone/pitch levels fail to harmonize in accord with a culture’s normative idioms of interaction in life and music. Complementation of souls or the consonance of matching melodies generates healthy resonance – a healing energy. What constitutes dissonance is culturally, not universally determined. Dissonance of component parts or elements of a music event could be prescribed by a non-musical intention, which could be healing. Dissonance, whether of souls or co-sounding melodies/pitch levels/tone levels/timbres, arouses disquietude, a disruption of composure, which then compels a need to resolve irregularity. Otherwise, a state of disrupted harmony or accord would prevail, and could become injurious.
Doing and Being: Mindfulness, Health, and Quiet Ego Characteristics Among Buddhist Practitioners
September 16, 2010 — barry
H. A. Wayment, B. Wiist, B. M. Sullivan, M. A. Warren (2010) Doing and Being: Mindfulness, Health, and Quiet Ego Characteristics Among Buddhist Practitioners. Journal of Happiness Studies , Online first , 11 Sept 2010.
ABSTRACT: We examined the relationship between meditation experience, psychologicalmindfulness, quiet ego characteristics, and self-reported physical health in a diverse sample of adults with a range of Buddhist experience (N = 117) gathered from a web-based survey administered to Buddhist practitioners around the world between August 1, 2007 and January 31, 2008.
Classical physics, anchored in materialistreductionism, offered adequate descriptions of everyday mechanics but ultimately proved insufficient for describing the mechanics of extremely high speeds or small sizes, and was supplemented nearly a century ago by quantum physics, which includes consciousness in its formulation. Materialist psychology, modeled on the reductionism of classical physics, likewise offered adequate descriptions of everyday mental functioning but ultimately proved insufficient for describing mentation under extreme conditions, such as the continuation of mental function when the brain is inactive or impaired, such as occurs near death. “Near-death experiences” include phenomena that challenge materialist reductionism, such as enhanced mentation and memory during cerebral impairment, accurate perceptions from a perspective outside the body, and reported visions of deceased persons, including those not previously known to be deceased. Complex consciousness, including cognition, perception, and memory, under conditions such as cardiac arrest and general anesthesia, when it cannot be associated with normal brain function, require a revised psychology anchored not in 19th-century classical physics but rather in 21st-century quantum physics that includes consciousness in its conceptual formulation.
Psychotherapy Sensitive to Spiritual Issues: A Postmaterialist Psychology Perspective and Developmental Approach by Len Sperrya, from Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, Volume 2, Issue 1, February 2010, Pages 46-56 Like many psychological topics, psychotherapy that is sensitive to spiritual issues can be viewed from both materialist and postmaterialist perspectives. After a brief discussion of some scientific and philosophical consideration … Read More
While most people would like healthy, satisfying relationships in their lives, the truth is that everyone has a hard time with intimate partnerships. The poet Rilke understood just how challenging they could be when he penned his classic statement, “For one person to love another, this is the most difficult of all our tasks.” Rilke isn’t suggesting it’s hard to love or to have lovingkindness. Rather, he is speaking about how hard it is to keep loving someone we live with, day by day, year after year. After numerous hardships and failures, many people have given up on intimate relationship, regarding the relational terrain as so fraught with romantic illusion and emotional hazards as to be no longer worth the energy.
Although modern relationships are particularly challenging, their very difficulty also presents a special arena for personal and spiritual growth. To develop more conscious relationships requires becoming conversant with how three different dimensions of human existence play out within them: ego, person, and being. Every close relationship involves these three levels of interaction that two partners cycle through— ego to ego, person to person, and being to being. While one moment two people may be connecting being-to-being in pure openness, the next moment their two egos may fall into deadly combat. When our partners treat us nicely, we open—“Ah, you’re so great.” But when they say or do something threatening, it’s “How did I wind up with you?” Since it can be terribly confusing or devastating when the love of our life suddenly turns into our deadliest enemy, it’s important to hold a larger vision that allows us to understand what is happening here.
RELATIONSHIP AS ALCHEMY
When we fall in love, this usually ushers in a special period with its own distinctive glow and magic. Glimpsing another person’s beauty and feeling our heart opening in response provides a taste of absolute love, a pure blend of openness and warmth. This being-to-being connection reveals pure gold at the heart of our nature — qualities like beauty, delight, awe, deep passion and kindness, generosity, tenderness, and joy. (Read the rest of this article at:) http://www.johnwelwood.com/
Spirituality: The Third Tier
June 10, 2009, 8:52 AM
Filed under: Spititual | Tags: Inspiration, Kabbalah, Philosophy, Religion, Spirituality, Theology, Thoughts
The three tiers, water, air, and space. This is my attempt to try and make the spiritual world seem physically plausible. Not an easy task since this world is beyond our five senses. Regardless, I’ll give it a try. In the “A Creation Story”, which is included in the page section of this blog, I talk about the universe existing in ten dimensional form. What kind of whooya is that? What does that mean, ten dimensional form? It’s just a way of saying ten different densities. To illustrate this, I’m going to put life in three different Tiers. Tier number one is water, or life that exists in a high density living condition, below the oceans. Tier number two is air, or life that exists in a medium density living condition, above the oceans. Tier number three is space, or spiritual life that exists in a much lower density.
To understand the difference between tier number three (spiritual space) and tier number two (air), let’s look at the difference between the two tiers we’re most familiar with, air and water. I think we can all agree that life exists both in the air and below the ocean. If we take a closer look at the difference between life in water and air, then maybe, we can understand the difference between our existence and spiritual existence.
What does life below the ocean (fish, water animals) know about life above the ocean? Absolutely nothing. Sure, they see the life above the ocean for a short time when they get caught in our fishing nets and traps. Overall, they do not know or understand what exists or, what is happening above the ocean. That’s because their living conditions are in a much higher density (water) and they cannot exist in our world (air). Only because of our superior intelligence, can we exist in theirs.
Six basic manifestations of co-intelligence
If we are going to take wholeness, interconnectedness and co-creativity seriously, we are going to have to face some very challenging implications regarding intelligence:
First: Intelligence must involve more than logical reason, since rationality constitutes only a tiny piece of our full capacity to learn from and relate to life.
Second: Intelligence must involve more than learning how to control and predict things, since that does not engage the powerful co-creativity of life.
Third: Intelligence must be far more than personal, since even ants can together generate an intelligence that’s greater than they have individually.
Fourth: Intelligence needs to reach far beyond the obvious, since whatever is obvious is connected to things that aren’t so obvious, and intelligence should engage with the wholeness and relatedness of things, as much as possible.
Fifth: Intelligence should be able to arise among us and through us, as a result of our kinship in the interconnected family of life.
Sixth: It would seem likely that some form of intelligence would exist beyond us–in and beyond the living world–built into the very wholeness of life.
There is more to intelligence than brains and logic. There is multi-modal intelligence.
There is more to intelligence than successfully predicting and controlling things. There is collaborative intelligence.
There is more to intelligence than individual intelligence. There is collective intelligence.
There is more to intelligence than solving the problems in front of our faces. There is wisdom.
There is more to intelligence than a solitary capacity exercised within the life of a single entity. There is resonant intelligence.
There is more to intelligence than human intelligence. There is universal intelligence.
These are the six basic manifestations of co-intelligence identified so far.