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February 26, 2006

god’s foreknowledge and human free will

Observe, pray, how blind are those who say that if God has foreknowledge of what I’m going to will, since nothing can happen otherwise than as he has foreknown it, therefore I must necessarily will what he has foreknown. If so it must be admitted that I will, not voluntarily but from necessity. Strange folly! Is there, then, no difference between things that happens according to God’s foreknowledge where there is no intervention of man’s will at all, and things that happen because of a will of which he has foreknowledge?


Posted by amin at 6:07 PM

February 18, 2006

the man who sold the world

We passed upon the stairs,
We spoke of was and when
Although I wasn’t there
He said I was his friend
Which came as a surprise
I spoke into his eyes -- I thought you died alone
A long long time ago

Oh no, not me,
We never lost control,
You’re face to face,
With the man who sold the world

I laughed and shook his hand,
I made my way back home,
I searched for form and land,
Years and years I roamed,
I gazed a gazely stare,
We walked a million hills -- I must have died alone,
A long long time ago.

Who knows, not me,
I never lost control,
You’re face, to face,
With the man who sold the world.


Posted by amin at 10:31 PM

February 16, 2006

true prayer...

There is no true prayer without suffering. False prayer asks relief from suffering. True prayer asks the strength to bear it. True prayer is patient and persistent. False prayer is halting and impatient. The individual who prays truly is humble and finds the experience of prayer humbling. The individual who prays falsely bolsters his own self-esteem and is presumptuous in his prayer. True prayer accepts everything and refers everything to God. The one who prays falsely complains and then gives thanks only for what he himself thinks is good. The true man of prayer is totally committed. His opposite holds something back, or he prays only with a part of his being-his mind, his feelings, or his public self. In valid prayer man comes alone before God. In immature prayers the individual tries to maintain his dependencies on his fellow man and his social world as a kind of protective device. True prayer maintains the dialectical tension in man's sense of distance and the nearness of God; false prayer either volatilizes the God-relationship in a fantastically elevated conception of God or so likens God to man that it treats God as a fellow human being. The man who prays truly strips himself of all cleverness, while false prayer is often an attempt at clever conversation. The man who truly prays listens to God; the man who prays falsely wants God to listen to him.

Perry LeFevre - The Prayers of Kierkegaard

Posted by amin at 6:58 PM

February 11, 2006

the peddler

There is a peddler you can hear when he calls out his warres in the street. He sells trinkets. Occasionally, he swindles a few people, and he is swindled from time to time. At night he goes home bringing food for his children, and sleeps beside his neighbors. He lives in the depths of reality. For him, life is about washing a dish. About being a small shopkeeper, or working for a pittance. It's all those things that are worth living for. That's all.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Posted by amin at 9:38 PM

February 8, 2006

makhmalbaf (three)

We filmmakers are here only to illuminate, to bring joy to life. All I seek is that, after seeing a film of mine, a person feels a little happier, and acts with a little more kindness towards the world. I don't think that cinema can hope to do much more. But even this little is enough to fulfill my ambitions, which are to great extent due to historical circumstances. I aspire to be a real person, rather than to represent some ideal, and that's why my films tend to be more realistic than idealistic, although idealism is certainly part of the reality of life, its joys and pains. As for religion, I accept God, in my heart. But I would never want to try to persuade someone else to accept him. This is a personal matter. The things which attract us to the world are the details of living. The prophets of religions all have come to tell us just that.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Posted by amin at 5:01 PM

February 6, 2006

makhmalbaf (two)

In choosing from among religion, politics, and art, I choose art. In the same way that art has instructed and educated me, I feel that my own responsibility is to continue to educate myself through art, since I thereby become more knowledgeable...My hope is that the viewer of my work for an hour and a half will during this time, to a small extent, breathe in an air which is a somewhat different form than in which he or she lives. If successful, this will be no more than a very smart, almost insignificant achievement. I don't believe that I'm doing anything very significant. But I can do nothing else, and I must do something. But the significant of what I do is not very important to me. Its nature, its quality, is what is important to me...My influence is small, and I influence no one more than I influence myself.

Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Posted by amin at 2:24 PM

February 5, 2006

makhmalbaf (one)

When, as a child, I started going to the mosque, I wanted to save humanity. After growing a little older, I wanted to save my country; now, I think, I make films in order to save myself. With films I can create a representation of myself that I can then examine, and say "Where have I come to now?" I can see where I have problems, what things I wish to change. I make mirrors, then, to see myself. For example, when I watched the scene in The Peddler in which a sheep is slaughtered, I became enraged at myself. I begin to wonder whether the film was worth the life of that one sheep. Or in Boycott, someone plucks the wings off a butterfly. I go mad when I see that. I hate it. I've edited it out. Not that I'm not committing injustices everyday. By simply walking, I may kill numerous ants. What I'm saying, though, is that I'm interested in changing myself rather than anyone else-not that I'm against others changing. I just don't know what the truth is, so how can I play the soothsayer and try to convince others to change?

Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Posted by amin at 7:54 PM | Comments (1)

February 3, 2006

art is a calling

Art is a calling. Artists are not discovered at schools. Artists do not just paint for themselves, and they don't simply paint for an audience. They paint because they have to. There is something within the artist that has to be expressed. Every creation reveals something more about the universe and about the artist.

Some artists surface earlier than others, but all are born to the calling.

We share a common language and a common love of our masters, and although we often take issue with one another, we are all family.

Audrey Flack

Posted by amin at 7:27 PM

February 2, 2006

redon on the aim of art

He who believes that the aim of art is to reproduce nature will paint nothing lasting: for nature is alive, but she has no intelligence. In a work of art, thought must complement and replace life; otherwise you will only see a physical work that has no soul.

Odilon Redon

Posted by amin at 10:42 PM