Hello, my name is Deema Al Shafi. I’m a Qatari student studying my junior year in VCUQ. I’m a muslim taking World Classics Of Spirituality class for the first time. I want you to write this blogpost for me in a simple language. (I will insert my past blogposts) so you can write something the same way.

Activity 1: Reflection on the Gospel according to Mark

1. Please read all of the Gospel according to Mark and post a blog reflection by 10pm tonight answering the following questions:

a. What was your favourite quote? Why?

b. What event in the story was particularly moving to you? Why?

c. What surprised you? Why?

c. What confused you? Why?

d. What challenged you or challenged your own beliefs? Why?

e. What inspired you? Why?

example of my past blog posts:
Reflection about Death
Death is among the most debated topics by people. In the “Story of God” Season 1 Episode 1, “Beyond Death”, Morgan Freeman talks about the beliefs that people have about death. Some people believe that they will meet their loved ones after death, while others disagree with the theories of the afterlife (Freeman). Other beliefs focus on the soul leaving the body and continuing to live on after death. Others see the light, which is a signal of spirituality.
Similarly, Chapter 6: Life Beyond Death and the Spiritual World, shares the same point about the soul being immortal. The chapter talks about the soul having a different identity from the body and its ability to survive death (Wilson 168). The Bible, Ecclesiastes 12.7, mentions, “The dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it”, while the Qur’an 32.8-9 mentions “And He originated the creation of man out of clay, then He fashioned his progeny of an extraction of mean water, then He shaped him, and breathed His spirit in him”. Both verses suggest that the soul is divine and has eternal life.
The arguments suggest that the soul is pure. The purpose of life is to retain the purity of the soul based on the original mind. Chapter 3 mentions, “The Original Mind is the intrinsic essence of mind, the true self” (Wilson 168), which relates to the ability of the soul to remain pure. The topic of purity continues in Chapter 4, which says, “Whoever associates with pure love, and those whose love resembles God’s, are received joyfully into the Kingdom of Heaven” (Wilson 137). The quote highlights pure love as a purpose of life and the existence of an afterlife. The statement “Have benevolence towards all living beings” (Tattvarthasutra 7.11) supports the aspect of kindness and purity. Through this, people can have an afterlife after death.

Examples of my blog posts:
TASK 1: he book The Dhammapada, Chapter 1, Contrary Ways, is my favourite. I like it so much because of its advice concerning pure thoughts and learning from past mistakes. An inspirational quote from the book is “For hate is not conquered by hate: hate is conquered by love” (Mascaro 35). The quote inspires people to love each other even in negative situations. A confusing quote is “The mind is wavering and restless, difficult to guard and restrain” (Mascaro 40). The quote is confusing because I am unsure whether it encourages free thought or following rules. A quote that challenges me is “Just as a flower which seems beautiful and has colour but has no perfume, so are the fruitless words of the man who speaks them but does them not” (Mascaro 43). The quote challenges me to act accordingly based on my words. Finally, the quote “Even as a great rock is not shaken by the wind, the wise man is not shaken by praise or by blame” (Mascaro 46) taught me something that I never thought of before. It made me stop the obsession with self-praise that I love.

TASK 2: Chapter 4: The Purpose of Life in The Family and Society and Chapter 5: The Purpose of Life in the Natural World offers various teachings. The subsection of Unity and Community emphasizes the spirit of unity and consideration of the society in overall decision making (Wilson 127). I learned about the virtues of cooperation, friendship, fairness, and the need for individuals to consider others in the family and society in decision-making. The subsection relates to the message relayed in Reverence for Life in Chapter 5. The subsection encourages individuals to value others and act kindly to everyone in society (Wilson 147). Overall, they encourage goodwill, kindness, and considering others when making decisions.

TASK 3: Episode 4, “Who is God” explores the universal concept and connection to God. In the show, Freeman says that people connect to God differently. He references Moses who met God in a bush, Buddha who found enlightenment under a tree, and Mohammed who experienced Allah in the mountain (Freeman). The show relates to what we discussed in class concerning the connection that individuals and societies have with God. Although different religions connect to God differently, the overall conclusion is that there is a universal God.

Another example:
Task 1: Confucius wrote the Analects in the period B.C. 154. Its basic context includes the Confucius sayings that offered advice on social relations. Similarly, the Tao Te Ching originated from the Chinese in the 6th-century B.C. The content of the text were phrases about integrity.
An intriguing quote in the first half of the 2nd book of Tao Te Ching is “There are no words which men detest more than ‘solitary’, ‘desolate, and, hapless, yet lords and princes use these to refer to themselves” (Lau 95). The quote is special because it explores social relations. It challenges leaders to be close to their people. Conversely, an inspiring quote from chapter 9 of Analects is the assertion by the master, “Do I possess knowledge? No, I do not. A rustic put a question to me and my mind was a complete blank. I kept hammering at the two sides of the question until I got everything out of it” (Lau 9.8). The quote highlights the need to consider different perspectives of an issue before making a final decision. Although the quotes are from two sacred texts, they relate to the aspect of collective thinking and decision making.
Task 2:
Prophet Zoroaster’s life had some similarities and differences to that of Prophet Mohammed in the Quran. The video reveals that they were both born in the Middle East during a time of trouble in a population that constituted migrants (Haubrich). In addition, both prophets faced resistance in their early inception because they were monotheist. Another similarity is that they both battled evil and had a common enemy in the devil. They both existed in a polytheist society and tried to convince their people about believing in one God. The video relates to the liturgy in the Zend Avesta concerning worship and the existence of Ahura Mazda.