Abou Ben Adhem

  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Feb 03, 2010 2:53 PM GMT
    Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And saw, within the moonlight of his room,
    Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
    An angel writing in a book of gold:-

    Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
    And to the presence in the room he said,
    'What writest thou?' - The vision raised its head,
    And with a look made of all sweet accord,
    Answered 'The names of those who love the Lord.'

    'And is mine one?' said Abou. 'Nay, not so,'
    Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerly still; and said 'I pray thee then,
    Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.'

    The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
    It came again with a great wakening light,
    And showed the names who love of God had blessed,
    And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.
    =========================================================

    I don't think of this as a religious piece in the sense that it advocates what religion to follow or how to worship, or even what is ok or not. Instead I think it advocates what a religion should be; demonstrating that the most important thing in life is how you treat your fellow men. I myself am not religious, but I think the greatest deed any of us can do is to treat all men and women with dignity and respect.
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    Feb 08, 2010 9:41 AM GMT
    It's a humanist poem.

    Love for your fellowmen when diluted through the guilt-preaching of religion and the threat of eternal damnation if they do not will always be false. No matter how much good they actually do. It will always be about how they feel about their religion, not about how they feel about others.

    To love despite of religion is much more powerful and far more truer than to love solely because of religion.

    It's like the difference between a child and an adult. A child will do good because they fear punishment, an adult will do good because they know and understand the effect of their actions on others. Sadly most people choose to remain children. I guess it's because it's easier to defer judgment on what is right and wrong on others. Easier to shift the blame. Easier to not think about your actions and just follow the rituals.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Feb 08, 2010 8:44 PM GMT
    Sedative: Maybe I am idealistic. But ever since I was taught it (by my quasi-atheist parents) I've been show that there is no threat in this poem, merely something saying this is right. A dream, a conscience, that cries out to treat your fellow man right.
  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Feb 08, 2010 9:21 PM GMT
    DCEric saidSedative: Maybe I am idealistic. But ever since I was taught it (by my quasi-atheist parents) I've been show that there is no threat in this poem, merely something saying this is right. A dream, a conscience, that cries out to treat your fellow man right.


    where is your head at?
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    Feb 09, 2010 2:33 AM GMT
    DCEric saidSedative: Maybe I am idealistic. But ever since I was taught it (by my quasi-atheist parents) I've been show that there is no threat in this poem, merely something saying this is right. A dream, a conscience, that cries out to treat your fellow man right.


    As I said it's a humanist poem. So yeah, of course there's no threat. :O

    I was referring to the implied list of people who loved god first and therefore loved their fellowmen only through the filter of that love (i.e. if they thought their god hated one subset of people, like a lot of religions now feel about gay people, that hate would supersede the commandment to love their fellowmen for fear of insulting their god) versus Abou Ben Adhem who loved his fellowmen first.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Feb 09, 2010 2:46 AM GMT
    jrs1 said
    DCEric saidSedative: Maybe I am idealistic. But ever since I was taught it (by my quasi-atheist parents) I've been show that there is no threat in this poem, merely something saying this is right. A dream, a conscience, that cries out to treat your fellow man right.


    where is your head at?


    Pardon?
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    Feb 09, 2010 2:52 AM GMT
    DCEric said
    jrs1 said
    DCEric saidSedative: Maybe I am idealistic. But ever since I was taught it (by my quasi-atheist parents) I've been show that there is no threat in this poem, merely something saying this is right. A dream, a conscience, that cries out to treat your fellow man right.


    where is your head at?


    Pardon?


    Don't worry Eric, he obviously didn't get it. Moving on....
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    Feb 13, 2010 4:29 AM GMT
    Sedative saidIt's a humanist poem.

    Love for your fellowmen when diluted through the guilt-preaching of religion and the threat of eternal damnation if they do not will always be false. No matter how much good they actually do. It will always be about how they feel about their religion, not about how they feel about others.

    To love despite of religion is much more powerful and far more truer than to love solely because of religion.

    It's like the difference between a child and an adult. A child will do good because they fear punishment, an adult will do good because they know and understand the effect of their actions on others. Sadly most people choose to remain children. I guess it's because it's easier to defer judgment on what is right and wrong on others. Easier to shift the blame. Easier to not think about your actions and just follow the rituals.



    Sedative you are brilliant! I too feel felt that the poem had a hidden fear factor much like most religion use to manipulate the masses. Personally I think that any belief system, and that includes Atheism uses the same fear factor in all who belief or practice their views or philosophies of life.

    For years I have tried to define and even identify with a belief system so as to feel like I belong to something greater then myself!? but after years of doing much soul searching I honestly belief the only true belief system for mankind is Love itself! if you already have that in your heart there is no need to find comfort, wisdom, or peace in any organized religion or belief system, because to be honest those are the least expected places that Love exists at all.


    Leandro ♥