Hadith 34: Whoever Sees An Evil

Background

You realize that the pastor is really in the Spirit and has a spirit of boldness about him, when he is preaching the word and you bring out your iPhone and start drifting in and out.

He was in Isaiah 46 and landed in Matthews.

I went along and landed in John and Hadith 34, as well.

 

Whoever Sees An Evil

Link

Another one of my favourite hadiths because it teaches us to get up and do something:

On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudree (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say, “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” [Muslim]

This is an important hadith because it shows that Muslims should not be innocent bystanders – we are obliged to do something to stop wrongdoing. It also outlines to us the order in which we must do something.

If you see something wrong, the first point of call is to physically stop it (“…change it with his hand…”). For example, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The parable of myself and the people is that of a man who lit a fire. When it illuminated its surroundings, the moths and other creatures which are attracted to light began to fall into it. He began to pull them out of the fire, but they overwhelmed him and continued to fall into it. I am the one pulling you away from the fire, but you keep going headlong into it.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (6002)].

It is not enough for us to keep ourselves away from wrongdoing, we must help others as well, and stop them from falling into wrongdoing, and sins which could lead to the Hellfire. This part of the hadith also refers to stopping people from doing wrong to others or to yourself. Nowadays, there are many people who will not raise a finger to stop anti-social behaviour – this is not the characteristic of the righteous Muslim. If we have the ability to stop a crime or offence, then we must, no matter how small the action.

If you are not physically able to change things or stop wrongdoings, then you must speak out against it, or advise against it, or advise a better way, or even call for help (“…[let him change it] with his tongue…”). We shouldn’t remain silent when we have the ability to speak up. You can warn someone against doing wrong, advise them to change their ways. Communication is not a pointless action – it can lead to bigger things. Campaigning can help but people do need to be focused on campaigns that actual achieve something, rather than those that hit brick walls.

Finally, if you are powerless to act on any of the two methods above, then you must oppose it in your heart. As Muslims, we do not accept wrongdoings nor resign ourselves to living out lives where there is no opposition to wrongdoings. We do not lie and let the wrongdoers roll over us, step over us and spread their mischief to others. Wrong is wrong and the moment you let go of this in your heart, then you lose sight of what is good and what is wrong. You stop seeing wrong as wrong and good as good – the lines become blurred and what is wrong becomes allowable. If you hate the wrongdoing in your heart, then perhaps an opportunity will come in the future, where you can speak out or physically stop the wrong. As Allah Says in the Qur’an:

“Verily, with hardship there is relief” (Qur’an 94:6)

Frank Schaeffer – “You won Mom. I believe”.

 

Background

A few years ago, I heard Ravi Zacharias speak on the Schaffer family.

To paraphrase he said “though Francis Schaeffer is the the Apologist in the family, it was his mother, Edith’s love, that finally wore Frank down“.

Ravi made sure to say the column appeared in a liberal news outlet, Huffington Post.

Story

Link
Edith Schaeffer 1914 – 2013 RIP

My mother Edith Schaeffer died today. She was the author of many books on family life and spirituality and co-founder with my father Francis Schaeffer of the evangelical ministry of L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland. She has just gone to be with the Lord, as she would put it. She died at home which was her wish.

I last talked to Mom yesterday. Rather she slept as I talked. A few days before my granddaughter Lucy was on my lap and we were talking to Mom via Skype. That day she was awake.

Mom’s face filled the screen and she was looking at us on the laptop placed on the covers of her bed. I last had been with her in person two years ago when I’d spent ten days with her. Before she was bedridden (about four months ago) we’d talk on the phone and after that we’d Skype.

I’ve been talking to her every day for the last several weeks knowing she was slipping away. Since I care for my two youngest grandchildren, Lucy (4) and Jack (2) five days a week they have often been there when “Noni,” as her grandchildren and great-grandchildren called Mom was on the screen with us.

During one of the last calls when Lucy and I talked to her last week, Mom was beautiful with her silver hair in a ponytail and her red hair band and matching shawl. Trapped in a body she’d lost control of, it took all of her formidable willpower to acknowledge our love. She had a feeding tube in her nose and was slipping in and out of consciousness. Five minutes after we hung up she would not remember the conversation. But in the moment when I said “I love you,” she nodded back and was fully aware.

Mom was staring earnestly into the laptop screen her nurse had set up so we could talk via Skype. My four year old granddaughter Lucy whispered “Does she have her perfume on?”

“Your great grandmother always wears perfume. So I bet she does,” I answered.

I kept reminding Mom of who we were, speaking rather slowly and loudly, “This is your son, Frank, and I have my four year old granddaughter, Lucy, on my lap. Can you see her Mom? This is John’s daughter. John was our Marine. Remember praying for his safe return from Afghanistan? God answered your prayers, Mom. Say hi to your great-granddaughter Mom.”

When I asked if she knew we loved her, Mom acknowledged us with a slight nod and whispered “Yes.” Those turned out to be her last spoken words to me.

Mother was three thousand miles away in Switzerland. We were in Massachusetts. She was ninety-eight and dying. Lucy is four years old and thriving. We were in my home in the studio/office I’d built out of the old woodshed. We were surrounded by piles of manuscripts including, a stack four feet high of the twenty-three drafts of a new novel I’m working on. Lucy had your feet up on the top of the pile. My paintings were leaning in deep clusters against the walls and were hanging on every surface. The ubiquitous smell of turpentine and linseed oil was in the air. Mom had always loved that smell. When I was a kid she’d walk into my room, breathe deeply and say “I just LOVE the smell of paintings!”

Before that day’s Skype chat with Mom, Lucy and I had been conducting imaginary orchestras while listening to Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto in G, full volume. Lucy launched an impromptu recitation of the Twenty Third Psalm, saying it all the way through. We’d also been looking at the weird and wonderful art of Pieter Brueghel the Elder and Lucy and Jack loved his pictures of sixteenth century peasants, beggars, and his apocalyptic fantasies. So even though Lucy and had never met my mother and were like ships passing in the night we were actually having a very Edith Schaeffer day.

Mom’s great-grandchildren were growing up loving what she’d loved: words, art, music, gardening, cooking and playacting. Mom was unable to speak any longer but she was nevertheless communicating with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren every time they were read to, listened to music or when we painted together.

Since she couldn’t talk I read to Mom and Lucy out loud from one of her own books: Mei Fuh – Memories from China. My grandchildren love the book. Lucy knows it almost by heart.

As usual we had to skip the “sad part” Lucy never let me read, about how Adjipah the gardener ate Mom’s goldfish. Mei Fuh was the last of many books Mom authored and her one and only children’s book. Mom had been born to missionary parents in 1914 and the book was about her growing up in a missionary compound until she moved back to America at age six.

During the last Skype call Lucy made last week she asked Mom if she was “still upset about Adjipah eating your fish?” Mom tried to smile but with her teeth out and the tube taped to her nose her smile showed up in her eyes and not so much on her lips.

I felt bad that Lucy was seeing Mom at her most vulnerable to the ravages of age. So while we talked to Mom, I opened an album of pictures of her and whispered, “See how beautiful your great-grandmother really is? Look!”

Lucy nodded and said loudly to the screen “You’re beautiful, Noni!”

Mom heard Lucy and moved slightly and managed of a hint of a crumpled smile. Then Lucy said in a loud awed whisper,

“She heard me! She nodded! She smiled!”

I placed my hand on the laptop screen and showed Lucy that when the lower part of her face was hidden from the bridge of her nose up to her eyes and silver hair, Mom still looked like the lovely pictures in the album.

From time to time I’d ask, “Mom, do you remember that?” about this or that detail of her childhood and she’d open her eyes a bit wider to signal that she did remember. Any mention of her early years that got the biggest response. The neural pathways were shutting down and the last remaining seemed to be the memories of her life as a young child. The little girl who had once been Mom was looking at us through a thicket of memory loss and confusion. I reminded her of the five week trip she took back to China with my wife Genie when Mom was in her eighties. In the early 1990s they’d traveled for 5 weeks to Mom’s birthplace in Wenchow, on the coast of southern China.

Amazingly, given the communist “remake” of China and the destruction of everything old and beautiful that blocked “progress,” Genie and Mom found the mission compound still as it once was. Mom was welcomed by the people living in her old home and that allowed to wander through the buildings. Genie said that Mom remembered everything from the dusty courtyard where she had played, to the thick gate with the little barred window she used to look through while wishing that she could go into the street and join the passing processions during festivals.

I knew that each Skype call might be the last time I’d see my mother alive. So each time we talked I thanked Mom for her love and the terrific creativity she’d shown in how she raised her children. Reading Mom her book reminded me of the many hours my mother had read so many wonderful books to me out loud. She was such a glorious reader.

After about half an hour of sitting on my lap watching Mom sleep, wake and sleep again as I read to her, Lucy went to my easel and painted. A few minutes later she cheerfully called out to the screen; “This is a painting for you Noni! I’ll give it to you in heaven since you’re going to die before I see you.” Lucy said this very matter of factly with no fear, as if she was mentioning that she’d soon be seeing her great-grandmother someplace very ordinary. I don’t think she heard Lucy, but if she did, Mom would have liked what she said because my mother was nothing if not a believer in a literal heaven.

When the two hours or so we spent with Mom concluded Lucy was sitting up on a high stool in the kitchen while I was putting on her boots for the walk back to Lucy’s house.

“I’m so sad my mother is going to die soon, “ I said.

“You will be alright Ba,” Lucy said.

“How?” I asked.

“You have me,” she quietly answered and put her arms around me.

I trust my mother’s hope-filled view of death because of the way Mom lived her life. Mom first introduced me to a non-retributive loving Lord who did not come to “die for us” to “satisfy” an angry God but came as a friend who ended all cycles of retribution and violence.

Mom made this introduction to Jesus through her life example. Mom was a wonderful paradox: an evangelical conservative fundamentalist who treated people as if she was an all-forgiving progressive liberal of the most tolerant variety.

Mom’s daily life was a rebuke and contradiction to people who see everything as black and white. Liberals and secularists alike who make smug disparaging declarations about “all those evangelicals” would see their fondest prejudices founder upon the reality of my mother’s compassion, cultural literacy and loving energy.

Just before Christmas of 2010, Mom and I sat down together during a ten day visit and I told her about my (then) latest writing project that turned out to be “Sex, Mom and God” (the third in a trilogy of memoirs that began with “Crazy For God.”) I told her about the book in detail—including that I was going to “tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may, Mom.”

With a flash of her old self and a familiar defiant head toss, Mom said, “Go ahead; I don’t care what people ‘think’ and never did!” Given her memory problem, I should add that before it developed and before her eyesight failed, she read my other equally “scandalous” writing, including my novels and nonfiction works, which also drew heavily from memories that to some people might have seemed too private to share.

Mom wasn’t “some people.” I once got a letter from one of my mother’s followers telling me that, having just read my novel Portofino (a work of humor where the mother character, “Elsa Becker,” is like my mother in some ways), she was sure it would “kill your mother because of the hatred for Jesus that drips from your SATANIC pen!” Coincidentally, that fan letter (received in the early 1990s before I was using e-mail) arrived in the same post delivery as a note from Mom asking me for another dozen signed hardcover copies of that book so that my mother could send out more to her friends. Mom’s follower had signed her letter “Repent!” My mother signed her note “I’m so proud of you.”

Besides a loving God and her steadfast support for the arts — even when she disagreed with some of my writing — here’s who else my mother introduced me to: Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Haydn, Brahms, Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Handel, Schumann, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Debussy, Verdi and Vivaldi. She made them my friends. They are still my friends and companions and I have made them my children’s and grandchildren’s friends too. And that is my tribute to her example.

Here are some other people amongst others my mother taught me to love: da Vinci, Duccio, Giotto, Vermeer, Degas, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Van Eyck, Van Gogh, Botticelli, Breughel, Michelangelo and Monet. They are still my friends and companions and I have made them my children’s and grandchildren’s friends too. And that is my tribute to her example.

My mother read to me and introduced me to Shakespeare, Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, Anne Bronte, Susan Fennimore Cooper, Emily Dickinson, George Eliot, Mary Shelley, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Beatrix Potter, E. Nesbit, Louis Carroll and A. A. Milne and… Woody Allen, amongst others. They are still my friends and companions and I have made them my children’s and grandchildren’s friends too. And that is my tribute to her example.

Here’s what my mother showed me how to do by example: forgive, ask for forgiveness, cook, paint, build, garden, draw, read, keep house well, travel, love Italy, love God, love New York City, love Shakespeare, love Dickens, love Steinbeck, love Jesus, love silence, love people more than things, love community and put career and money last in my hierarchy of values and — above all, to love beauty. I still follow my mother’s example as best I can and I have passed and am passing her life gift to my children and grandchildren not just in words but in meals cooked, gardens kept, houses built, promises kept, sacrifices made, and beauty pointed to.

My mother read me hundreds of books out loud, took me everywhere with her, provided order and beauty for her children from the mundane like scrubbing floors spotless on her knees and keeping our home orderly and clean, even when she had “no time” and was writing her book, to serving every meal I ever ate at home as a child with candles and flowers on the table and making the simplest family time an event. (Thank God we had no TV and Mom wasn’t ever distracted by a cell phone or the internet from being a mother and of course her children were allowed to connect with the actual physical world hands on because we were lucky enough to grow up in the pre internet/electronic filtered age of false second hand “experiences.”)

Mother taught me that sex is good, stood by me and my young wife Genie when we were foolish and got pregnant as mere (very unmarried) children ourselves, backed every venture I launched from movie making, to being an artist and writer, stood with me when I dropped out of the evangelical religion altogether, stuck with me even when I denied her politics and turned “left” and “went progressive.”

Mom spent every dime she had on keeping her family together through family reunions and setting her example of putting family first. She stood with her sometimes abusive husband as he became famous in the American evangelical ghetto, though she well knew that she was the stronger partner in her always productive, sometimes lovely though at other times disastrous marriage.

Mom treated everyone she ever met well, spent more time talking to “nobodies” than to the rich and famous who flocked to her after her books were published and became bestsellers. Put it this way: through my experience of being a father (of 3) and grandfather (of 4) I’ve finally been able to test Mom’s life wisdom and spiritual outlook and found out that she was right: Love, Continuity, Beauty, Forgiveness, Art, Life and loving a loving all-forgiving God really are the only things that matter.

Each time I pick up my little grandchildren (or hug Genie’s and my grownup grandkids) and pray for wisdom about how to pass on the best of what I was given I know it is my mother’s example speaking to me. I never go to a classical concert or walk into a museum without remembering how Mom saved her money to take her children to hear the great music played by the great performers and helped me to learn that creativity trumps death.

I never say “I love you” to my wife Genie, to my children Jessica, Francis and John or to my son-in-law Dani or daughter-in-law Becky, let alone to my grandchildren Amanda, Benjamin, Lucy and Jack without remembering who showed me what those words mean.

Mother was a force to be reckoned with, a whole energetic universe contained in one trim little female frame, and she used that force entirely for good.

Memories—

Mother in the garden at dawn weeding and watering her wonderful flowers and vegetables… Mother typing up a storm while writing her thousands of letters and dozens of books… Mother so pleased that her good friend Betty Ford invited her to the White House to swim laps with her in the White House pool… Mother so please she’d met BB King at one of his concerts when she was 91… Mother praying with me every night before turning out the light as she let me in on her best secret: the universe is not a hard cold lonely meaningless place but a cosmos full of love… Mother never making a sarcastic remark about her children or anyone else and the life-long self-confidence that gave me… Mother deep in conversation with cab drivers and giving her books away (and money, personal phone numbers and her home address) to hotel maids and other total strangers she decided she could help… Mother taking impractical detours to look at something lovely… Mother always late for everything and praying out loud over meals long, so long, at table as she forgot that for the rest of us prayer was mostly a ritual though for her it was an endless conversation with the eternal… Mother cleaning up my vomit after I took drugs as a young wayward teen and then fixing me poached eggs on toast as if I was 3 again… Mother buying me art supplies… Mother’s horror at the “harshness” as she put it, of so many evangelical religious people and the way they treated “the lost” and her saying that “no wonder no one wants to be a Christian if that’s how we treat people!”

Maybe everything has changed for me theologically but some things haven’t changed. I’m still thinking of Mom’s eternal life in her terms because she showed me the way to that hope through her humane consistency and won. Her example defeated my cynicism.

Mom understood me and tried to speak when I said my last “I love you.”

I knew what she was trying to say. It’s the phrase she spoke most to me over my 60 year journey on this earth so far. I answered her thought, and I said, “Thank you, I know you love me and I love you too Mom.” The day before Mom died my last words to her were “I want you to know your prayers for your family have been answered. I credit every moment of joy to your prayers.”

I’ll miss her voice. I learned to trust that voice because of the life witness that backed it up. I know I’ll hear her voice again. You won Mom. I believe.

Listening

Listening to …

Beautiful Message By Nabeel Qureshi (Defense of Christianity)
Link

Fr Chad Ripperger – Generational Spirits

 

Discussions

  1. Generational Spirits ~ Fr Chad Ripperger
    What are generational spirits & how do they influence families, regions, diocese, individuals, etc?
    Published On :- 2017-March-9th

  2. Fr. Ripperger: Generational Spirits Conference
    Published On :- 2017-Feb-24th

    • Part 2:- Discernment
      How does one go about discerning generational spirits? A Q & A follows too. This is the second of three talks on Generational spirits Fr. Ripperger gave in 2016
      Link
  3. Generations
    • The 6th Generation: Generational Spirits: Lost Generation to the One Current~ Fr Ripperger
      Each generation has a virtue to give the world or a vice to gain. Since the ‘greatest generation’ we’ve been in a spiral gathering up demonic influence from neglecting our duties and state in life. What are they? What have been the outcomes? Fr goes generation by generation on this to the current day.

      • Published On :- 2016-April-18th
        Link
  4. Spiritual Warfare Conference
    • Fr Chad Ripperger – Spiritual Warfare Conference – Weapons Against the Demonic
      Published :- 2015-Nov-5th
      Added On :- 2017-March-25th
      Link
  5. The Psychological & Spiritual Effects of Being Negative ~ Fr Ripperger
    • The Psychological & Spiritual Effects of Being Negative ~ Fr Ripperger
      What are things that make people always look negative on things? Family, politics, the state of the Church are areas that can do that. What do we do about that to keep from being negative?
      Published On :- 2016-April-16th
      Link

Indepth

Generational Spirits ~ Fr Chad Ripperger

Generational Spirits ~ Fr Chad Ripperger – Part 1

  1. Conference
    • 1st Conference
      • What Spirits are
      • How the operate
      • How they continue to stay
    • 2nd Conference
      • How to identify them in your own Family
        • 99% of families have them
        • I have never met a family that did not have them
    • 3rd Conference
      • How to get them out
    • 4th Conference
      • How more than one can be present
      • Deal with that
      • 6th Conference
    • 5th Conference
  2. Generation Spirits
    • Definition
      • Any Spirit that is passed along
  3. How they pass from one person to another
    • Family Line
      • Lineage
      • Child
        • At Childbirth
        • Child passed when young
        • passed within  a family
    • Familiar Spirit
      • Does Something
        • Doing something and it gets in
        • If the person has a headship within the family, they can pass it on
  4. Breakdown of Generational spirits
    • Assigned by Devil
      • God assigns them
      • The one above says get me into this family
    • Generation
      • Assigned to that generation worldwide
        • Hippie Generation
    • Assigned to a Country
      • Nazi Germany
        • Place under a particular leadership
    • Races
      • Every single race has one
        • Native Americans
          • Spirit passed on based on Spirituality
        • Hispanics
          • Skip a generation
          • Aztec or Mayan
    • Corporation
      • Will stay with that Generation until it collapses
    • Regions / Area
      • Fresno, CA
        • Illness
      • Los Angeles
        • Unreality
      • US South ( Alabama / Georgia )
        • Slaughter Native Americans
        • Europeans came in and fought each other
      • Characteristics
        • Mindset
        • Gene
    • Dioceses
    • Religion Order

 

Generational Spirits ~ Fr Chad Ripperger – Part 3

  1. Complications
    • One of the trained exorcists says, if things start to get too complicated, you know you have already gone down the wrong path
    • Daemons set up little traps
  2. Daemon of Apostasy – 34 Minutes
    • Yes, Satan stands behind everything
    • Any daemon will cause us to start doing things that will cause to start sinning
    • If you lose your faith, you are not going to get saved lose the ability to see clearly
    • Sometimes it is a Daemon that is sowing the doubt
    • Religious Indifference
    • Daemon is attached to a Moral Problem
      • And, you have to attack the Moral Problem
      • That moral problem causes us to go in and out
  3. Psychiatric Medical Drugs
    • Interfere with clarity
    • Acts on parts of brain that can dull judgment
    • Can cause suicidal thoughts

 

Fr. Ripperger: Generational Spirits Conference

Part 2 – Discernment

  1. Identify generational spirit
    • Natural
      • Look at consistent pattern within generation line
      • Daemons can obfuscate it and make it look one thing when it is another
      • Look for specific sins and vices
        • Anger
        • Unwillingness to suffer
      • Where are the roots
        • Cardinal Virtues
        • 7 deadly sins
        • Look for root
        • Look for daughters
          • Vice that flow from the sin
        • Country – US
          • Avarice
            • Spirit of our country
            • What does it drive
              • Fraud
          • In-temperance
            • Lust
              • Unwillingness to forgo something
  2. Examination
    • Where it leads to
      • Is it a way of medicating yourself
      • Intemperance
        • Or do you just not want to be separated from Pleasure
    • It is very unreliable
  3. Education & University Degrees
    • They have not helped me solve anything
    • God has to give us the grace to help
    • You have to look at the lineage
      • 5 Generations
      • Spirit has to tell us
      • Man was an evil man
  4. Watch interior emotions
  5. Rabbit Hole
    • Issue
      • Sometimes we choose something that we think is good, bad it actually has vices
      • We become blind to it and we do not clearly
      • We sometimes can see it in other people
      • With time, we lost sight of the fact that it might actually
    • Correct
      • Meditate
        • Find Grace
        • Start to see if it is emotional or grace
        • God starts to strengthen the will
        • Discern God’s wills
        • Emotion quiets down
        • See subtleties
      • Ask Guiding Angel
        • Our lady
          • As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul. ( Luke 2:35 )
            • Simon told her
          • Queen of Martyrs
          • God will let her reveal things to us
          • You will see it in yourself
            • I have always had a problem in this area
              • Fear
              • Depression
              • Intemperance
                • lack of Moderation or Restraint

 

Andy Stanley

 

Sermons & Discussions

  1. Skin in the Game – Full, Unedited Conversation
    Your Move with Andy Stanley
    Guests :- Sam Collier & Joseph Sojourner
    Published On :- 2016-Sept-20th

  2. Exposed: Michael Leahy and ex-wife Patty talk with Andy Stanley about Michael’s sex addiction
    A compelling interview my ex-wife Patty and I did years ago at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, GA with Senior Pastor Andy Stanley. I’m posting it here so more people will watch it and reach out to me for help as we mentor men who struggle with sexual addiction and their hurting spouses. To learn more about our mentoring programs, visit http://www.bravehearts.net.
    Published On :- 2014-May-3rd
    Link
  3. Leadership, Preaching, & Cultural Engagement
    Conversation between Russell Moore and Andy Stanley at the 2016 ERLC National Conference
    Published On :- 2016-Sept-20th
    Link

 

Indepth

Skin in the Game – Full, Unedited Conversation

  1. As Police Officers we want control
    • If people will just understand that they should do what we want them to do

 

Skin in the Game – Full, Unedited Conversation

  1. Bible Verses
    • But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. ( Romans 13:14 )

Mahershala Ali

Videos

  1. Mahershala Ali
    • Mahershala Ali – 2016 Commencement Address
      Mahershala Ali `96, one of the most talented and sought-after actors in Hollywood, delivered the Commencement Address at Saint Mary’s College of California on Saturday, May 21, 2016.

      Link
    • Conversations with Mahershala Ali
      Conversations career retrospective with Mahershala Ali. Moderated by Jenelle Riley.
      Published on :- 2017-Jan-23rd

      • Conversations with Mahershala Ali – Challenges & Inspiration
        Link
      • Full
        Link
  2. Tarell Alvin McCraney
    • Moonlight’s Tarell Alvin McCraney: ‘I’m still that vulnerable boy’ – BBC Newsnight
      The film Moonlight has won best picture at the Oscars. Set mainly in a black neighbourhood of Miami, it chronicles the life of Chiron – from being a gentle child bullied at school to a young adult trying to come to terms with his sexuality. It mixes macho brutality, with genuine tenderness. The film is directed by Barry Jenkins and is based on a story by Tarell Alvin McCraney called In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. Evan Davis met up with Tarell Alvin McCraney on 16 February. 
      Published on :- 2017-Jan-23rd
      Added On: – 2017-Mar-7th
      Link
    • “Moonlight” writer on its origin and critical success
      “Moonlight” won best picture in the drama category at last month’s Golden Globe Awards and has received eight Oscar nominations. It’s based on the story, “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue” by Tarell Alvin McCraney. McCraney is a MacArthur Genius fellow and was recently named head of the playwriting department at the Yale School of Drama. He joins “CBS This Morning: Saturday” to discuss the film’s message.
      Published on :- 2017-Feb-18th
      Added On: – 2017-Mar-7th

      Link
  3. Oscars
    • Academy Conversations: Moonlight
      Moonlight discussion with writer/director Barry Jenkins, producers Adele Romanski and Jeremy Kleiner, and actors Janelle Monáe, Naomie Harris, and Trevante Rhodes on October 30, 2016 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
      Published on :- 2016-Nov-21st
      Added On: – 2017-Mar-7th

      Link

 

Indepth

Mahershala Ali – 2016 Commencement Address

  1. Who am I
    • My name?
    • More than physical body
    • For 10 to 15 minutes
    • Removing the skin
      • Interior presence
    • Contact with Spirit
      • Shadow Body
      • Deeds
      • Intentions
      • Seeds are our thoughts
  2. Offer you prayer
  3. Responsibility to our spirits
    • Cloth & feed mine through prayer and meditation
    • Seek Divine Guidance
    • Claim the sacred spaces of your mind
    • Nurture & cultivate
  4. Patience, Perseverance, and Prayer

 

Conversations with Mahershala Ali – Challenges & Inspiration

  1. Hating first days
  2. Not a clubber
  3. Go into the Town
    • Get a feel for the town
  4. Focus on other things that I want to do with this character
  5. Owning the Character
    • Good fathers or love their kids
    • More than their mistakes
    • ABout to be superstar, but went to jail for Armed Robbery
    • Advocate for a character who did not have opportunities
    • School Dropout
      • Why are they dropping out
  6. We wanted to see you more in the Movie
    • Story is about Chiron and it needs to stay about him
    • I wish I was in something more
    • Opportunity & Potential that somebody might wonder I w
    • Young people feel it
      • Uncle went to Jail for 15
      • Corner Boy got shot
    • Real Person
      • Blue is a real person
      • Step Father ( Brother’s Dad)
      • Got shot before his brother was born

 

Moonlight’s Tarell Alvin McCraney: ‘I’m still that vulnerable boy’ – BBC Newsnight

  1. Drug Dealer, but he is got that tenderness
  2. See all people has good and bad
    1. If we want them to be more good than bad, then we have to give them an opportunity to be good
  3. Access to Privilege
    • Brute Strength
    • If the more masculine I am, I am closer to the Power
  4. Masculinity
  5. Honor masculinity than nurturing
  6. Creating binaries that do not exist
  7. Teaches people they can be all those things
  8. Tackles issues because they are part of life
  9. At one point you have to define yourself
  10. That vulnerable person is always going to there
  11. Within all my education, that vulnerability will always be there
  12. Two young men because of where they come from

 

“Moonlight” writer on its origin and critical success

  1. Mother said Blue is not here anymore
    1. Don’t be so sure that the good thing is going to last
  2. You can’t always trust that things are going to stay the same
  3. You guys humanize these characters
    1. We never stopped believing that they are humans
  4. Do not wait so long
    • To place cameras in their hands
    • To put pens in their hands

 

Damon Thompson – 2017-March

 

 

  1. Damon  Thompson – Cycle Of The Supernatural
    The Place, Lyndon Amick, Brad Kuster, or Damon Thompson
    Published On :- 2014-Jan-16th
    Added On :- 2017-March-1st
    Link
  2. Damon Thompson- Remaining in the Wilderness
    Damon Thompson encourages us to continue in the process and outlines the benefits of a wilderness season in this Launch service message.
    Published On :- 2013-Oct-7th
    Added On :- 2017-March-1st
    Link
  3. Damon Thompson- Colliding With Trouble
    At Rochester First Assembly of God
    Published On:- 2102-Sept-7th
    Added On :- 2017-Mar-2nd
    Link
  4. Damon Thompson- In The Right Position
    Featured on Celebration Church podcast
    Uploaded On :- 2012-Feb-23rd
    Link

TheAtlantic – How Brain Scientists Forgot That Brains Have Owners ( By Ed Yong )

Introduction

Ed Yong has an interesting article in the Feb 2017 Edition of the Atlantic.

I especially like it as it shows that we can disagree without being disagreeable.

 

Story

Link
It’s a good time to be interested in the brain. Neuroscientists can now turn neurons on or off with just a flash of light, allowing them to manipulate the behavior of animals with exceptional precision. They can turn brains transparent and seed them with glowing molecules to divine their structure. They can record the activity of huge numbers of neurons at once. And those are just the tools that currently exist. In 2013, Barack Obama launched the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative—a $115 million plan to develop even better technologies for understanding the enigmatic gray blobs that sit inside our skulls.

John Krakaeur, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, has been asked to BRAIN Initiative meetings before, and describes it like “Maleficent being invited to Sleeping Beauty’s birthday.” That’s because he and four like-minded friends have become increasingly disenchanted by their colleagues’ obsession with their toys. And in a new paper that’s part philosophical treatise and part shot across the bow, they argue that this technological fetish is leading the field astray. “People think technology + big data + machine learning = science,” says Krakauer. “And it’s not.”

He and his fellow curmudgeons argue that brains are special because of the behavior they create—everything from a predator’s pounce to a baby’s cry. But the study of such behavior is being de-prioritized, or studied “almost as an afterthought.” Instead, neuroscientists have been focusing on using their new tools to study individual neurons, or networks of neurons. According to Krakauer, the unspoken assumption is that if we collect enough data about the parts, the workings of the whole will become clear. If we fully understand the molecules that dance across a synapse, or the electrical pulses that zoom along a neuron, or the web of connections formed by many neurons, we will eventually solve the mysteries of learning, memory, emotion, and more. “The fallacy is that more of the same kind of work in the infinitely postponed future will transform into knowing why that mother’s crying or why I’m feeling this way,” says Krakauer. And, as he and his colleagues argue, it will not.

That’s because behavior is an emergent property—it arises from large groups of neurons working together, and isn’t apparent from studying any single one. You can draw parallels with the flocking of birds. Biologists have long wondered how they manage to wheel about the skies in perfect coordination, as if they were a single entity. In the 1980s, computer scientists showed that this can happen if each bird obeys a few simple rules, which dictate their distance and alignment relative to their peers. From these simple individual rules, collective complexity emerges.

But you would never have been able to predict the latter from the former. No matter how thoroughly you understood the physics of feathers, you could never have predicted a murmuration of starlings without first seeing it happen. So it is with the brain. As British neuroscientist David Marr wrote in 1982, “trying to understand perception by understanding neurons is like trying to understand a bird’s flight by studying only feathers. It just cannot be done.”

A landmark study, published last year, beautifully illustrated his point using, of all things, retro video games. Eric Jonas and Konrad Kording examined the MOS 6502 microchip, which ran classics like Donkey Kong and Space Invaders, in the style of neuroscientists. Using the approaches that are common to brain science, they wondered if they could rediscover what they already knew about the chip—how its transistors and logic gates process information, and how they run simple games. And they utterly failed.

“What we extracted was so incredibly superficial,” Jonas told me last year. And “in the real world, this would be a millions-of-dollars data set.” If the kind of neuroscience that
has come to dominate the field couldn’t explain the workings of a simple, dated microchip, how could it hope to explain the brain—reputedly the most complex object in the universe?

This criticism misses the mark, says Rafael Yuste from Columbia University, who works on developing new tools for studying the brain. We still don’t understand how the brain works, he says, “because we’re still ignorant about the middle ground between single neurons and behavior, which is the function of groups of neurons—of neural circuits.” And that’s because of “the methodological shackles that have prevented investigators from examining the activity of entire nervous system. This is probably futile, like watching TV by examining a single pixel at a time.” By developing better tools that can watch entire neural circuits in action, programs like the BRAIN Initiative are working against reductionism and will take us closer to capturing the emergent properties of the brain.

But Krakauer says that this viewpoint just swaps “neuron” for “neural circuit” and then makes the same conceptual mistake. “It’ll be interesting to see emergent properties at the level of the circuit, but it’s a fallacy to think that you get closer to the whole organism and understanding will automatically ensue,” he says.

He and his colleagues aren’t dismissing new technologies, either. They’re not neuro-Luddites. “These new tools are amazing; I’m using them right now in my lab,” says Asif Ghazanfar from Princeton University, who studies communication between pairs of marmoset monkeys. “But I spent seven years trying to understand their vocal behavior first. Now, I have some specific ideas about what the neural circuitry behind that might look like, and I’ll design careful experiments to test them. Often it seems that people do the reverse: They look at the cool tech and say, ‘What questions can I ask with that?’ And then you get these results that you can interpret in vague ways.”

This point is crucial. Unlike others who have levied charges of reductionism against neuroscience, Ghazanfar and his peers aren’t dualists—they aren’t saying there’s a mind that sits separate from the brain and resists explanation. They’re saying that explanations exist. It’s just that we’re looking for them in the wrong way. Worse, we’re arriving at the wrong explanations.

Consider mirror neurons. These cells, first discovered in monkeys, fire in the same way when an animal performs an action and when it sees another individual doing the same. To some scientists, these shared firing patterns imply understanding: Since the monkey knows its intentions when it moves its own body, based on the firing of the mirror neurons, it should be able to infer similar intentions upon whomever it watches. And so, these neurons have been mooted as the basis of empathy, language, autism, jazz, and even human civilization—not for nothing have they been called the “most hyped concept in neuroscience.”

Here’s the problem: In the monkey experiments, scientists almost never check the animals’ behavior to confirm that they genuinely actually understand what they’re seeing in their peers. As Krakauer and colleagues write, “An interpretation is being mistaken for a result; namely, that the mirror neurons understand the other individual.” As others have written, there’s little strong evidence for this—or even for the existence of mirror neurons in humans. This is the kind of logical trap that you fall into when you ignore behavior.

By contrast, Krakauer points to his own work on Parkinson’s disease. People with the disease tend to move slowly—a symptom that’s been linked to a lack of dopamine. Increase the levels of that chemical, and you can hasten a person’s movements. That’s could lead to new treatments, which is no small victory. But it doesn’t tell a neuroscientist why or how the loss of dopamine leads to the behavior.

Krakauer found a clue in 2007 by asking Parkinson’s patients to reach for objects at varying speeds. These experiments revealed that they’re just as capable of moving quickly as healthy people; they’re just unconsciously reluctant to do so. They suggested that dopamine-producing neurons that connect two parts of the brain—the substantia nigra and the striatum—determine our motivation to move. Deplete that dopamine, and we opt for less energetic movements for a given task. Hence the slowness. Later experiments in mice, in which modern techniques were used to raise or lower dopamine levels, confirmed this idea.

There are many other examples where behavior led the way. By studying how owls listen out for scurrying prey, neuroscientists discovered how their brains—and later, those of mammals—localize sound. By studying how marmosets call to each other, Ghazanfar has learned more about the rules that govern turn-taking in human conversation. Critically, these cases began with studying behaviors that the animals naturally do, not those that they had been trained to perform. Likewise, bats, sea slugs, and electric fish have all told us a lot about how brains work, because each has its own specialized skills. “If you pick a species that does one or two behaviors super-well, you can identify the underlying circuits more clearly,” Ghazanfar says. “Instead, mice are treated as if they’re this generic mammal that have smaller versions of human brains—and that’s preposterous.”

“I am thrilled to see this paper emphasize the importance of carefully studied behavior,” says Anne Churchland, who studies decision-making at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. “I’ve seen in neuroscience that behavior is often an afterthought, studied with insufficient understanding of the animal’s strategy.” But she adds that such studies are hard. It’s difficult to get animals to behave naturally in a lab, because you might need to recreate aspects of their world that aren’t obvious to us.

Ghazanfar agrees. “If your goal is to understand the brain, you have to understand behavior, and that’s not trivial. I think a lot of neuroscientists think it is,” he says. “Perhaps one way forward would be to develop tools to help address the complexity of behavior” suggests Ed Boyden from MIT, who pioneered the breakthrough technique called optogenetics. “Behavioral investigation has a strong tradition in neuroscience and I hope it grows even stronger.”

For the moment, the problem is that it’s getting harder to publish such studies in flagship neuroscience journals. Behavioral studies get rejected for “not having enough neuro”, says Ghazanfar, and “it’s as if every paper needs to be a methodological decathlon in order to be considered important.”

Marina Picciotto from Yale University, who is editor in chief of the Journal of Neuroscience, says it boils down to how studies are framed. If they’re just describing behavior, they’re probably more appropriate for a journal that, say, focuses on psychology. But if behavioral experiments explicitly lead to hypotheses about circuits in the brain, or something of that kind, they’re more relevant for the neuroscience field. But “the line between ‘pure’ behavior and neuroscience is fluid,” she admits, and she’s both appreciative of the new paper and open to discussions about the issues it raises.

To Krakauer, the current line demeans behavioral work, deeming it valuable “as long as it tells us where to stick the electrodes.” But it’s important in itself. “My fear is that people will say: Yes, of course, we should continue to do everything we’ve been doing, but also do better behavior studies. I’m trying to say: You’ve got to do the behavior first. You can’t fly the plane while building it.”

Listening

Wretch 32 ft Jacob Banks – ‘Doing OK’ (Official Video)
Link