Symbolic, Imaginary, Real Belief

I do not have the time to provide all the detail that I would like but I have developed the following positions on the question of Belief, with regard to the religions of the book:

(1) Judaism: Symbolic Belief. Moses, with the pure inscription of the law, delivers the symbolic commandment of belief. There are pure laws which are universal and which come forth from a higher place.The Torah is the written law. In the symbolic, there are various popular prohibitions including the avoidance of writing the name of G-d and the necessity to not erase it if it is indeed written. The call to prayer is the voice of G-d, in the terrifying thunderous sounds emitted form the Shofar.

(2) Christianity: Imaginary Belief. Jesus as the figure of G-d. Belief is Imaginary insofar as one must willfully believe, and believe at the existential level; there is thus the oft-quoted dark night of the soul, and one by necessity passes through the moment of non-belief, of atheism (‘my g-d, my g-d, why have you forsaken me?’). Belief must therefore be dialecticized and developed through stages. There is always the question of the contours of belief, the contours of the body (of belief), the limits of belief, and so on. The call to prayer is therefore a man-made sound, the bell.

(3) IslamReal Belief. Allah, the One, the Unity, gives us our belief. Our belief or non-belief is only part of His greater plan. The Quran is continually and consistently clear about this if only you read it to discover this for yourselves. Belief is therefore not a willful choice, it is a response to a choice already made. Does this not explain why it is that a good portion of the Quran is a response to belief systems already well established? Belief is here placed at the ontological level, and it is up to us, as willful agents of the imaginary, to respond properly to the belief that we already have but perhaps didn’t realize we already had. This is the Truth of the message: Allah is the cause of causes. Belief is immanent.


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