The Alchemy of Happiness

        Abū Ḥāmed Muḥammad ibn Muḥammad al-Ghazālī (1058–1111) was an Islamic theologian, jurist, philosopher,cosmologist, psychologist and mystic of Persian origin, and remains one of the most celebrated scholars in the history of SunniIslamic thought. He is considered a pioneer of methodic doubt and skepticism, and in one of his major works, The Incoherence of the Philosophers, he changed the course of early Islamic philosophy, shifting it away from an Islamic metaphysics influenced byancient Greek and Hellenistic philosophy, and towards an Islamic philosophy based on cause-and-effect that was determined byGod or intermediate angels, a theory now known as occasionalism.
       Ghazali was responsible for formulating the Ash'ari school of atomism. He argued that atoms are the only perpetual, material things in existence, and all else in the world is “accidental” meaning something that lasts for only an instant.
         Al-Ghazali's criticism of Aristotelian physics and Aristotelian cosmology played an important role in the development of an independent astronomy over the next several centuries. From the 12th century onwards, Islamic astronomy began becoming a science primarily dependant upon observation rather than philosophy.
         His support for the study of anatomy and dissection was influential in the developement of modern medicine.
         He also established the application of three types of logical systems in Islamic law and jurisprudence: reasoning by analogy, deductive logic, and inductive logic.
         In psychology,  Ghazali discussed the concept of the self and the causes of its misery and happiness. Hewas one of the first to divide the senses into five external senses ( hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch) and five internal senses: common sense, imagination, reflection, recollection (which remembers the outer form of objects in memory and recollects the meaning), and memory (where impressions received through the senses are stored). 
Among his many writings are the following intriguing titles in no special order:

  • The Incoherence of the Philosophers
  • The Incoherence of the Incoherence (sic)
  • The Nature of Love
  • Median in Belief
  • The best means in explaining Allah's Beautiful Names
  • Friendship and Sincerity
  • Beginning of Guidance
  • The Unity of God
  • Methodology for the Worshipers
  • Deliverance from Error
  • Man’s Highest Happiness
  • The Alchemy of Happiness
  • The Niche for Lights
  • A Just Balance
  • The Book of Knowledge
("so sleepy")
This is the type of renaissance superman, akin to the our hemisphere's Leonardo DaVinci or Ben Franklin, which I'm amazed to discover existed so long ago.  During the 'dark ages', which clearly weren't so dark for everyone.  This is the stuff I like to put in my listings, cuz it's so bad-ass.  Unfortunately, I don't think most of us gals will sit through such a long 'description'.  That's why I have to pick through to the most poetic bits, like the title "The Alchemy of Happiness."
("Ok, leave me alone now")

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