“On Being” (Formerly “Speaking of Faith”) is one of my favorite radio shows. It is an interview format show which brings together people from all walks of life to discuss the questions that interest many people who deal in the relationship between faith, society and self. Krista Tippet is a wonderfully insightful interviewer who, from the sound of it, seems to get personally involved in these interviews and genuinely enjoys doing the shows.
The recent interview on “Pursuing Happiness” that was broadcast on October 28 was very enjoyable to me and contains some wonderful cross talk between the participants, namely His Holiness the XIV Dalai Lama, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Katherine Jefferts Schori, and Rabbi Jonathan Sacks. An admirable panel.
You can read about the interview and listen to it at the link:
I was particularly interested in the comments that were made about the human being’s connection between beauty and happiness. I hope you will listen to the whole show and perhaps even the entire uncut 2 hour long presentation.
One thing that I think failed to make it to the forum is the idea of how the Islamic concept of Tawheed can be applied to happiness. In the unity beyond all appearance of separati0n lies a great secret of happiness that is normally shaded from our every day vision. When the veils of light and shadow that lie between us and the ultimate reality are lifted we really are made up of all the same attributes that make up our creator (the 99 names among them) even though they are limited in us. Therefore, if, as is said in the Hadith, “Allah is beauty and loves beauty”, then it stands to reason that beauty is one of those attributes of creation that gives happiness. This is assuming that love is a happy attribute! So because of the ultimate real unity between us and out maker and the inclusion of the attributes in each one of us, you and me and our brothers and sisters around the world contain an aspect of Allah (swt) which is happy! Tapping into that attribute is, in my opinion, one of our tasks here on earth in addition to all the others. Beauty and happiness are linked in this way and there is much beauty in a smiling, light filled, happy face reflecting and radiating the attribute!
I am always in constant awe and love of the way our Rabb has put this all together. Alhamdul’illah!