The Fountain Magazine http://www.fountainmagazine.com The Fountain en (C) 2012 fountainmagazine.com Schoolgirls Kidnapped in Nigeria! - Sophia Pandya http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/schoolgirls-kidnapped-in-nigeria Introduction

On the night of January 13, 2017, eight people were kidnapped at gun point in the Ogun State of Nigeria,[1] by masked members of a group calling itself “The Delta Militants.” Those kidnapped were students and employees at a private school located near Lagos. These include three female students, aged eleven, fourteen, and fifteen years, who were seized from the girls’ dormitory. The five women included two supervisors, one headmistress, one cook, and a teacher, and all are Nigerian, except for the teacher, who is Turkish. Beaten and threatened with their lives, the victims were released relatively unscathed twelve days later, and all of the girls returned to their school within days, as did their teacher. I was able to meet all of the children and their teacher only a month after their ordeal, during a visit to their school, and over a meal at the teacher’s home.

When the girls sat shyly in front of me, two of them wearing green and pink skirts and the third dressed in grey, purple and white, I took a deep breath, shocked, and thought, “...]]> 2016-10-20 08:00:00 Nobody Can Be Religious for Another Person - I Had to Affirm That for Myself - Ismail Tavaci http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/nobody-can-be-religious-for-another-person-i-had-to-affirm-that-for-myself The Fountain: Do you think religion and belief are still relevant in twenty-first century Western society?

Paul Weller: Certainly in terms of Europe in relation to matters of law and public policy, religion and belief are often focused on. In this context, by “belief” is meant nonreligious beliefs that are founded on ethical systems or presuppositions and are included alongside what is more traditionally understood as “religion.” So certainly, at the level of society, state, and law there is a presence and relevance of religion and belief.

In terms of the reality of religion and belief as lived, clearly in many societies the numbers of people who say that they belong to a particular religion has reduced in the Western world compared to what it was ten, fifteen, twenty years ago. But that of course doesn't always tell you about the nature of their connection to religious tradition. They may have only had a very broad cultural connection rather than one with which they were personally engaged. I think one has to understand what is meant by these terms and how they function in individual lives.

Some tend to call themselves spiritual rather than religious, or faithful in higher values but not in God. Why is religion less appealing to many people, especially the young? 2004-05-11 03:30:30 Religion and Science as One - Lawrence Brazier http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/religion-and-science-as-one “On some evenings we would attend faculty parties,” she said. “It was a heady atmosphere, as we spent time with the world’s intellectual elite. There were scientists of all stripes, mathematicians and physicists, some of them of world renowned. Well, after about fifteen minutes of general chat they all started to talk about God.”

 

“They possibly felt that there was nothing left for them to do, nowhere else to go,” I suggested.

 

“Perhaps that is true,” she said. “After all, they above all others are aware of several unanswered questions. I supposed that for an intellectual, especially a scientist, the unexplained is irresistible.”

 

Home to seven billion people, Earth is one of the smallest planets in our solar system (its circumference is around 40 thousand kilometers at the equator) and its estimated age is about 4.5 billion years. It is the only planet we know of that supports life. In fact, it has so much life, that humans don’t even know how many species of Flora and Fauna call Earth home. Although scientists have identified 2 million species, the National Foundation’s “Tree of Life” has estimated the real number to be anywhere between 5 million to 100 million. Some entomologists are saying that we have only touched the surface of understanding animal life. And yet all these species rely on energy to survive, and a majority of them depend on a circular process of energy supply that starts with plants’ capturing sunlight (photosynthesis) that turn into food and oxygen for other living organisms.

 

However, the sun is not the only way humans can retrieve energy from nature. The use of fossil fuels as an alternative source of energy has been utilized by humans since the Industrial Revolution. Unfortunately, the use of fossil fuels has contributed to human-made climate change, which threatens all life as we know it. There are a number of effects of climate change, such as melting glaciers, a rise in ocean temperatures, drought and famine, and more frequent extreme weather events. Climate change is one of the greatest ch...]]> Giant Storms: A Mark of Magnificence in the Heavens - Kadir Firtina http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/giant-storms-a-mark-of-magnificence-in-the-heavens When taking a quick glance at the planets in our solar system you might be surprised to discover what rages beneath seemingly calm surfaces. Just as storms happen on Earth, the other planets are also afflicted by storms – only these storms are so strong, they can make a hurricane look like a gentle rain shower. 

A tornado that is bigger than the Earth: The Great Red Spot

The storms of a gas giant like Jupiter, a planet 1300 times bigger than Earth, are very fierce. Scientists who have studied Jupiter discovered that its high rotational rate – a day is only approximately 10 hours – leads to the formation of moving gas zones and east-west air jets. The air currents in these bands wrap the planet like colorful belts and they move in opposite directions at around 600 km per hour. The collision of these horizontal cloud bands leads to giant storms.

The most famous giant storm on Jupiter is the Great Red Spot. This giant anticyclone is three times bigger than the Earth. It rotates counter-clockwise and has existed for 340 years. Since Jupiter is made only of gas, it doesn’t have a physical topography. Therefore, the storm can’t find a place to empty its energy. The winds around the Great Red Spot, which looks like a red oval eye, have a speed of 400 km per hour.

It’s still a matter of debate as to how the Great Red Spot reached such a giant size.  Scientists have argued multiple theories. One theory states that this giant storm has been fed by an internal heat energy and engulfs all the other storms it comes across.  As the hot gases that comprise Jupiter's Hizmet (service, in Turkish) is a faith-inspired social movements with schools and cultural centers around the world. Hizmet’s ideological framework is based on humanism and Islamic sources, and manifests in the form of selfless individuals dedicated to serving humanity. The group’s humanistic qualities stem from universal values such as love, respect, freedom, democracy, and human rights; its Islamic sources are based on Turkish scholar Fethullah Gülen’s reinterpretation of the Qur’an and hadith (ijtihad).

Hizmet’s activities can be classified into four categories: business associations, interfaith/intercultural dialogue activities, education,[1] and relief work.[2]  Its interfaith/intercultural dialogue activities provide safe zones w...]]> Dieting While You Are Healthy - Arif Eseroglu http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/dieting-while-you-are-healthy

The first step in preventive medicine is to diet while you are healthy.  If you are already sick, the diet will prevent the sickness from getting worse; it will support the immune system and the medications. A proper diet when you are healthy will make it less likely you will get sick.

 

A proper diet differs from person to person. It’s important to design your diet according to the genetic map of your family and characteristics of your body. By “dieting” I do not mean being undernourished, but eating a healthy balance of nutrients to supply your body’s daily energy needs. Balance is important, for if a person only eats protein, fat, or carbohydrates, after a while, the body’s organs can start to deteriorate.

 

<...]]> Tooth Development: The Remarkable Timing of Events, Molecular and Cellular Interactions - Masud Mahmud Bhaila http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/tooth-development-the-remarkable-timing-of-events-molecular-and-cellular-interactions At around five weeks of development, two U-shaped areas of bands of cells form in the human embryo’s developing mouth. These primary epithelial bands form precisely in the positions of the future upper and lower jaws. Each of these bands then subdivide by proliferating and growing into the underlying tissue (called the mesenchyme). The first of these subdivisions forms the zone where the teeth will form (the dental lamina), while the second, which forms in front of the dental lamina, will form the future vestibule of the mouth (the vestibular lamina).

At this time, within these bands, plate-like structures called placodes, mark the positions of future teeth. Proliferation of cells in these areas continue to grow into the underlying mesenchymal tissue while other cells called ectomesynchymal cells begin to assemble around these swellings of cells.

This sets the stage for the development of the teeth. The process can now be divided into the bud, cap, and bell stages. These three stages only describe the shape of the developing tooth during each stage. An innumerable amount of genes and proteins are involved during each of these stages, some of which are yet to be discovered. During these stages, cells transform into other cells by interacting with each other and by various complex molecular signaling pathways.

An astonishing feature during development, not unique to tooth development, is the predetermination of the fa...]]> Dad and Luna Park - Abdulkadir Korucuk http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/dad-and-luna-park Those were the days when we barely made ends meet. When we went to Luna Park, we watched other people as they rode bumper cars and the Ferris wheel. They laughed and had fun. We would not join them. My father would insist, but we couldn’t; we knew he couldn’t afford much. We enjoyed just being there, and our inexpensive amusement made our dad so pleased that we could see on his face the relief hidden in his soul.

Whenever our father was upset, we would ask him to take us to Luna Park, and he would. We never took any of the rides; not the cars, nor the wheel we adored watching so much. But it would make dad happy again. All the troubles plaguing his mind would be gone. Perhaps he was thinking how funny we were, and as he silently chuckled to himself he was forgetting his distress. Perhaps he was being proud of our rather early display of maturity.

Whenever our father was upset, we would take him to Luna Park, not the other way around.

...]]>
Dylan and Rumi: A Common Destiny Centuries Apart - Hakan Yesilova http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/dylan-and-rumi-a-common-destiny-centuries-apart ***

Bob Dylan won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. Dylan is undoubtedly one of the most popular folk singers and composers, not just in the United States, but around the world. So, arguably many of his fans already knew he was from Minnesota, but not many knew he was born to a Jewish family and his paternal grandparents were immigrants from the Kars province of north-Eastern Turkey. His grandmother’s family name was Kygryz, which is the name of a central Asian Turkic nation. His maternal grandparents came to the US from Lithuania.

This new finding – new for me, at least – sparked in me a light which shone back to Rumi.

In the West, many of us know Rumi for his poetry and sema dance. But few of us know the fact that he was born in a city called Balkh, which is today a part of Afghanistan. And when one sees the images of today’s war-torn Afghanistan next to the image and message of Rumi from 800 years ago – one cannot help but think: “how unlikely could this have been?” Not many of us also know that Balkh was one of the leading, if not the top, centers of knowledge and progress in the world 800 years ago – until invaded by forces from the east.

Construction is so difficult, but destruction is so easy. Images ...]]> 2005-07-29 01:56:49 How to Overcome Bad Habits - Amin Uighur http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/how-to-overcome-bad-habits Human feelings, thoughts, and behavior are a result of the complex and dynamic connections between our brain, ego, and soul. These connections are not just the source of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, but also the control mechanism over them. They enable us to bring multi-dimensional and multi-layered perspectives in efforts to explain human behavior.

 

Many scientists disregard the functions of the ego and the soul, considering the brain to be the only point of reference to explain our feelings and actions. The brain itself is a complex web of innumerable connections among its cortexes. For instance, while the prefrontal cortex is the trajectory of functions that relate to behavior and personality, Wernicke’s area, in the dominant temporal lobe, is concerned with the comprehension of language. The infralimbic cortex has been found to be critical in regulating habitual behavior, and it may be argued that this cortex might be the place we can observe the possible connections between our soul and why we behave in certain ways.

 

An overwhelming majority of our thoughts and behaviors manifest without us being aware them; we are only conscious of a small percentage of our actions. The minimum energy principle in the universe is evident in this process: we act as if on auto-pilot as we conduct habituated behaviors, and this is when our brain consumes a minimum amount of energy, as opposed to the much higher consumption needed during consciousl...]]> Being in the Way: A Bouquet of Thoughts on the Path to the Divine - M. Fethullah Gulen http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/being-in-the-way-a-bouquet-of-thoughts-on-the-path-to-the-divine If these guides happen to be the experienced, knowledgeable, and conscientious masters of that field, then, without any hesitation, one should follow along on their path, for they always travel on the shortcuts that lead directly to their Lord. They know well the peaks that give way and those that do not. They search for those horizons in case they need to retreat. They frequent the coves of reunion and are always attentive to the echoes of their goal; without any distortion or breakage, they pass on these voices to those following. They stand firm against any waves or tremors that may hit both themselves and their followers during this long journey.

This journey moves between light and darkness. Along the way, one might come across small packages of epiphanies coming from the ultimate goal; but it is also possible that all destined rewards be put off until the completion of the journey, when one receives a special accolade. 

During the trip, every traveler is sometimes filled with awe by an indistinct ray of light that flashes in the distance. Sometimes, as if being tested on the strength of their loyalty, one does not come across even a single ray of light their whole life; other times, one witnesses that the roads they pass have been illuminated with light all around. Sometimes, one is inspired as though they are being watched through unseen blinds, and with awe they grow attentive in all their senses. Considering this surveillance which has been opened to them by their faith as a sign of growing closer to the Divine Presence, one’s excitement and zeal grows even stronger, as in the case of a runner who has come close to the finish line. In fact, with the feeling of having joined the angels, their excitement grows to such heights that the harmony of the skies can be heard in the rhythm of their hearts. 

http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/to-reach-the-emerald-hills-of-heart Question: What are the pathways to better experience and benefit from journeying into the horizons of our spirituality, which is also called “Emerald Hills of the Heart”?

 

In a time of strife, believers can find spiritual refuge in the “Emerald Hills of the Heart.”

 

First of all, we should accept the “Emerald Hills of the Heart” as a horizon and a goal. We should try our best to at least glimpse those sacred spaces, even if it is through a crack in the door. Then we can see their glory: their stars twinkling, the moon and sun rising and setting.

It is important to outline basic principles for reaching these targets. For example, habitual prayers and remembrances are one of the most important vehicles. Another vehicle, one that enables us to sense the divine, is prescribed prayers observed in due reverence to the One Who cannot be known. Deep contemplation is yet another vehicle, especially when it takes us to reach an awareness that “we are unable to know Him as duly as He should be.”

Sometimes a person can reach the target quickly because the intermittent distance is short. Sometimes, due to the hardness of his heart, his being not open to spirituality, and other obstacles, like giving importance to appearances, not even forty years is enough time to reach the goal. The great mystic Junayd al-Baghdadi said that according to his internal observations, the maximum period was 60-70 years. Imam Ghazzali’s assessment of the matter is a little different. In his memoirs, which were related to the development of his awakening, he wrote, “In my first 40-day spiritual retreat I had some awakening. In my second retreat I saw that what I had observed in my first retreat was wrong and I became aware of more profound things. With my third retreat I was able to catch the real horizon...]]> 2003-11-12 10:03:42 We Are Not Spectators: A Christian Perspective - Richard Shields http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/we-are-not-spectators-a-christian-perspective


In a letter to G-20 leaders in 2013 Pope Francis stated, “It is regrettable that, from the very beginning of the conflict in Syria, one-sided interests have prevailed and in fact hindered the search for a solution that would have avoided the senseless massacre now unfolding.”  The head of the Roman Catholic Church proceeded to call for “a renewed commitment to seek, with courage and determination, a peaceful solution through dialogue and negotiation of the parties, unanimously supported by the international community.” In hindsight, his words were prophetic. It is now 2017. The atrocities of ISIL, and Boko Haram and the devastation from armed conflict world-wide have increased. The flow of refugees into Europe from Syria has reached epic proportions, testing the ability of diverse and at times conflicting religious cultures to establish mutual understanding and trust. But the situation of ethnic and religious conflict goes beyond narrow Muslim-Christian differences and extends to intra-religious, intra-ethnic, and intra-cultural hostilities.

Sustained commitment and constructive dialogue become difficult when one crisis supplants another in the non-stop flow of information-as-news. Real resolutions require diplomats and politicians to reach an (increasingly unlikely) agreement as to what is at stake, before rational decisions can be made about what to do.  With global political discourse focused on “country” and “region,” “national interest” and “homeland security,” responsive strategies lose sight of “the people” and their human right to life, safety, and self-determination. Military intervention does not honour that right; nor do Western strategies favouring partisan economic and geo-political options.

The degradation of human dignity and the apparent overwhelming power of evil is a cause of bewilder...]]> 2017-03-17 15:05:53 What On Earth Has Gone So Wrong in Turkey? - Greg Barton http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/what-on-earth-has-gone-so-wrong-in-turkey Six months on from the mysterious coup attempt of July 15, the situation in Turkey has become much clearer. Unfortunately, it has also become much darker. In the confusing hours of that terrible night, President Erdogan’s declaration upon landing in Istanbul that, “This uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army,” was both enigmatic and foreboding. In the hours that followed, he sought to bring clarity to the confusion by alleging that a previously consistently pacifist civil society movement was in fact a terrorist organization and had been behind the coup attempt. At that moment, Erdogan had the empathy and attention of not just his nation but the global community. No one wants to see a military coup succeed and a democracy toppled – especially not when this democracy represented the hopes of the greater Middle East and entire Muslim world.

Whatever the circumstances of the coup, the president’s insistence on needing to root out the shadowy forces behind it were hard to argue with. In the days that followed, however, it quickly became clear that whatever prior knowledge Erdogan might have had of moves against him, he was well prepared with a very long list of people and institutions that, he insisted, needed to be purged.

If his attribution of blame to an unlikely religious civil society network beggared belief, even stranger was the extent and scope of the post-coup purge. Almost half of the military flag offices, the generals and admirals, were purged, along with one third of the judiciary, and thousands of academics, including every single dean and university president.  The rate of sackings, dete...]]> 2017-03-17 15:03:28 The Age of Self-Awareness - Caroline Halford http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/the-age-of-self-awareness Time periods are defined by the actions of those within the period and the thoughts of those who succeed them. The intentions of past societies are oftentimes forgotten in lieu of hindsight bias, leaving only the events and records to be sorted out by following generations. No age can truly be defined by a title, but the human mind compels us to sort, simplify, and categorize every bit of information with which we come into contact. Thus, ages are reduced to a single, unified idea.
For those of us who witnessed very little prior to the twenty-first century, it has seemed an eventful century thus far. The internet has connected people from every kind of background, new technologies are being constantly released, and societies are attempting to educate themselves and others on large issues of global importance. Some would argue that these facts make this current century The Internet Age, The Technology Age, or The Age of Education, but, as a member of this current generation, I would like to make the argument that what we are doing today cannot be reduced to ideas as small as these. Internet, technology, and education are simply the manifestations of what I hope will be the greater theme of this age. This is the Age of Self-Awareness.
Globalization in the twentieth century was perhaps the greatest change the world has seen thus far. The ideas and customs of countries spread out to the larger world at an outstanding rate, international conflicts became abundant, and nations had to learn how to deal with major influences from other countries. The world became rapidly connected, and with that connection came not only conflict, secrecy, and fear, but also progress, growth, and knowledge. It became popular in some cultures to borrow from others, whether it was through international cuisine, dress, or customs. However, when this was attempted, it was not always done correctly or properly. Customs ...]]>
2017-03-17 14:58:10
The Mist - Sumayya B. Sharaf http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/the-mist-poem Love is in the air,
in the early morning mist.
I inhale, and inhale
This secret should be kept
Here in the heart.
Only then will I hear,
It was never in the air.

All love comes from within.
Never tell that I revealed
this secret for humans to know.
I do not steal from others
Neither should you.
Even if it slipped between the lines
With the burden of love, the heaviness of the message,
And the light,
Only the hearts
That have it inside out
Will hear
Because it is not the air
That carries this secret
In words, spoken.
Rather,
It is the unsealed hearts and eyes
Sending it to self-conscious
Ears of love

Love is a monk in the human heart.
To meet that sanctuary
is the moment of coming to life.
Being alive, or alove
when it shines inside out:
only then, when it reaches the wind,
Does it not travel
Ear to ear,
Does it not whisper,
But conquer

 

Sumayya B. Sharaf

...]]>
2014-09-01 04:22:38
QUINOA An Alternative Grain - Adam Nelson http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/quinoa-an-alternative-grain Quinoa, unknown in many countries, is an easy-to-digest, nutritious grain which contains the same amount of protein as meat and a greater amount of usable calcium than milk. In South America, the Incas consumed quinoa for thousands of years, viewing it as the “mother grain.” Increasingly, people around the world are coming to view quinoa with the same level of respect, and production of the grain is on the rise. In fact, the United Nations declared 2013 as the international year of quinoa, referencing its potential for combatting food shortages due to its high nutritional value.
Combatting famine
Every organism needs a sufficient amount of food for the body to grow and develop. Although some countries are very prosperous, famine continues to be one of the world’s major problems. Almost half of the world’s population lives below the threshold of poverty – and a half of that population lives below the threshold of hunger.
While the world’s population increases 1.2% every year, grain production decreases at a rate of 1.2%. It is estimated that in 2050 the world population will be around 11.3 billion and we will need 60% more food than today. In addition, even if sufficient food production is achieved, it is still estimated that 300,000,000 people will face hunger.
Global warming and increased demand ensure grain shortages are inescapable in the near future. For this reason, by using the existing limited water sources and land to grow alternative plants like quinoa, which is not only highly nutritious but also resistant to extreme climate conditions, we may be able to address these shortages.  
The mother grain
The motherland of quinoa is the cold, high plateau of the Andes Mountains, along the Western coast of South America. Originally, it was grown in Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Ecuador. As more and more people learn of...]]>
2003-12-13 10:12:51
The Narcissist and the Pool - Al Freeman http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/the-narcissist-and-the-pool Ovid tells the story of Narcissus in his book Metamorphosis.
Narcissus is a hunter; one with talent, grandeur, good genes, and charm. But he is also an egoist. He is full of himself, to the degree that he cannot recognize anybody but himself. Eco is in love with him. But knowing Narcissus’ weakness, Nemesis leads him to the side of a pool and shows him his own reflection. Narcissus immediately falls deeply in love with this image.

Narcissus, or the Narcissist, is in love with what he sees in the pool. He loves it at the expense of the worldly reality around him. In a way, he is dependent on the pool, reality in a reversed form. The image provided by the pool makes him happy. Narcissus is nothing without the pool; it is that which enables him to replace the truth with an image.

Narcissus is so deeply immersed in his reflection that he is unable to recognize the image is just an image. He plays with his own image like a baby. In his sight, what he sees in the pool is truer than the truth. Narcissus is in a pathological state.

However, even Narcissus cannot escape reality, in spite of his ability to deceive himself. One day, he touches the water with his finger. The water moves in waves, and the image grows ugly. This depresses him. The finger breaks the illusion and points to the truth. Instead of thanking the truth for freeing him from the cage of an image, he prefers to get angry with the truth, since he prefers seeming to being.

This situation isn’t just true in the parable, but in reality. This inconsistency between reality and the image upsets the Narcissist’s balance. According to him, reality is ugly, and the image is beautiful. He does not know that real beauty is fostered in the bosom of truth.

Unfortunately, the Narcissist cannot break free of the image. He is ready to commit every kind of madness to maintain his altered reality. The poor N...]]> 2017-03-17 14:56:28 Technological Singularity The Digital Rapture - Yavuz Demirci http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/technological-singularity-the-digital-rapture Singularity describes the merging of human and computer intelligence and the rise of super-intelligence as a result. Proponents of the idea of singularity try to posit it as the next step in human progression, where humans will cease to exist as currently constructed and will instead transcend our given form and become a hybrid race that is part computer, part human. Singularity has been portrayed in popular culture in several movies, the most popular of which are the Terminator and Matrix movies.

History of discussion about singularity

Vernor Vinge, a science fiction writer, first wrote about the vision of technological singularity and coined the term in 1993. He wrote, "Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended."
Ray Kurzweil, inventor and futurist, is a fervid proponent of technological singularity. Kurzweil predicts the timeline of singularity as follows:

  • By 2019, a $1000 PC will have the computing power of the human brain. It will be capable of performing 20 million billion calculations.
  • By 2029, a $1K PC will be a thousand times more powerful than the human brain; the human brain itself will be successfully reverse engineered.
  • 2045 is singularity: machines will have surpassed humans in intelligence and in fact will have created next-generation robots even smarter than themselves. We should either merge with our creations or step out of their way. Immortality!
  • By 2055, $1K of computing power will equal the processing power of all the humans on the planet.

In 2011, Ray Kurzweil sponsored a movie/documentary about singularity, titled "Transcendent Man," which has been screened in five major cities in the U.S., as well as London. In December 2012, Kurzweil was hired by Google as a director of engineering t...]]> 2017-03-17 14:53:55 Walaya (Sainthood) - The Fountain http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/walaya-sainthood Literally meaning a person, a community, or a country that is under the direction and rule of another, walaya (sainthood) denotes annihilation with respect to carnal selfhood and egoism in favor of awareness of being under the dominion of the All-Living, Self-Subsistent One and of the need to acquire nearness to the Necessarily Existent Being. Travelers on the way to God who has attained this level, having given themselves up to the direction of God, are favored with self-possession and live in nearness to God. The first step in sainthood is indicated in the verse (2:257): God is the Guardian of those who believe, bringing them out from all kinds of (intellectual, spiritual, social, economic and political) darkness into the light, and keeps them firm therein; and also in Know well that the confidants (saintly servants) of Godthere will be no reason for them to fear (both in this world and the next, for they shall always find My help and support with them), nor shall they grieve (10:62).
One who has been favored with sainthood is called a waliyy (which literally means a guardian or a close friend or confidant). Waliyy is one of the Names of God Almighty. A person on whom this Name is placed and who has become a polished mirror in which this Name is reflected is considered as having been favored with “self-annihilation in God” and “subsistence by Him.” Nevertheless, this favor can never make a saint indifferent to the master of the creatures, upon him be peace and blessings. On the contrary, whatever rank a person has attained on the way to God, one of the most blessed and illuminating sources for the confidants of God, the Ultimate Truth, is the person of Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, who is the sun of Prophethood and the pure source of truth; he is the one they must follow strictly. Moreover, he is the first among those sources that are the m...]]>
2003-11-12 10:03:42
Grandma - Nihat Balci http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/grandma The sun is shining down on us. We are walking down the road that encircles the small island. Men and women, young and old; the faces are solemn, earnest, and their steps neither fast nor slow.
She is taking her last tour of the island. We are all following her. She loves this place. Who wouldn't? As we turn the corner, we feel the breeze on our faces. A few yards to my right the waves are crashing on the small, pebbled beach, forming white swirls of foam that dance back and forth. The lake is blue-green, beautiful, with specks of light caressing the surface. There are about two hundred people living on this island. During the summer, the number increases dramatically. Like now. With a few exceptions, all the locals are here, though.
After passing beautiful stone and timber houses, we move past the historical Agios Stephanos Church and its arched windows. God knows how many last tours it has witnessed. We are almost there. We all meander to the left, and after walking a few more yards, smell the freshly dug soil. With one hand, I am holding my daughter's hand; with the other, I brush the tears on my face.
My grandmother is up front. Not walking this time though, but on the shoulders of men, in a wooden box. She died in Istanbul, two days ago. It was her will to be brought here. She even had her own grave built, and her name carved on the stone a few years ago. She was born, raised, got married, and had three kids on this small island. Even if she later went to Istanbul, I guess her heart always remained here.
We turn right for the graveyard and gather in the open space reserved for funerals. After she is placed on the pedestal, people start lining up. In less than thirty minutes, she will be in her final resting place, her last home she picked herself. Don’t think that she was all done and ready to go: I have rarely seen people as full of life as she was. In fact, she had so many plans and dreams, even at...]]>
2017-03-17 14:49:59
Medical Imaging - Bilal Buruk http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/medical-imaging Medical imaging is used by medical specialists to create images and sets of data about humans and animals. This information is then analyzed in the hopes of preventing, diagnosing, or examining diseases. The objective of this article is to give an overview of medical imaging to readers who may not be familiar with the process.
As a field, medical imaging incorporates many disciplines, such as medicine, radiology, engineering, science, mathematics, and statistics. In order to discover innovative new findings in this field, knowledge and experience from different disciplines is necessary. Therefore, research teams consist of people from these diverse disciplines. It should be noted that with the increasing demand and interest in medical imaging, there are expected to be more job opportunities in the near future.
Medical imaging can be broken down into two steps: 1) Image acquisition; and 2) image analysis. In the last decades, there have been important improvements in both fields. Innovators working on the image acquisition side have been developing imaging machines to obtain better resolution images while also trying to minimize the radiation doses applied to, or drawbacks suffered by, patients.

It’s likely most people are familiar with the most common forms of medical imaging: Computed tomography scans (CT scans), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasounds. These are not the only forms of medical imaging, but they’re certainly the most well-known.

Each form of imaging has been produced for specific purposes. For instance, MRIs are usually used to view soft tissue, such as internal organs. CT scans are usually used to view more solid parts of the body, such as in the case of bone injuries, chest and teeth imaging, and cancerous tissues [1].

Each form of imaging has its own pros and cons. For example, in CT scans, exposure levels (X-ray tube amperage and peak kilovoltage), slice th...]]> 2017-03-17 14:48:19 The World through the Eyes of Honeybees - Aidan Yielding http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/the-world-through-the-eyes-of-honeybees The earth and the sky are filled with “light,” which are really colors of countless different wavelengths. Different colors are visible or invisible to the naked eye. When we say “visible,” we usually mean, “visible to the human eye.” However, certain kinds of light that are invisible to humans are visible to other species. In spite of living in the same world, all creatures see and perceive different worlds.

One kind of light that is mostly invisible to the human eye is polarized light, which comes from sunlight reflecting off brilliant surfaces. Polarized light spoils our clarity of vision on sunny days. It appears as flashes on the sea or an asphalt road. In order shield our eyes from this light, we use sunglasses. We need to do this even though the naked human eye only perceives a very small amount of the polarized light on earth. However, this is not a shortcoming. On the contrary, it’s a blessing to us. If we were better able to perceive polarized light, we would not see any object clearly, owing to the dazzling lights around us.

As evidenced by polarized light, the human eye is actually quite limited. Just as it cannot see radio or television waves, it cannot see ultra-violet light either. Since ultraviolet light is harmful to the retina of a human eye, it is prevented from reaching the retina by the eye’s external structures.

Every animal has a different ability and threshold when it comes to seeing colors. For example, honeybees have three-color vision, just like humans do. In the human eye, there are three types of conical cells that perceive wavelengths in red, green, and blue. All other colors are perceived as mixtures of these three colors, albeit in different proportions.

Just as there are colors like green or red, ultraviolet light has a color of its own. We do not name the color, for we cannot see it, but ultraviolet color exists for many other c...]]> 2017-03-17 14:46:08 “We Have to Move Forward, Collectively” - The Fountain http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/we-have-to-move-forward-collectively Laila Muhammad is the Family Counseling Coordinator at Compassion Action, a New Jersey-based foundation. Community work and advocacy are a family legacy for Muhammad: her grandfather, Elijah Muhammad (d. 1975), was the founder of the Nation of Islam movement in the United States. Her father, Warith Deen Mohammed (d. 2008), was voted into the leadership of the movement after his father and led a great majority of its members to adopt more mainstream forms of Islamic faith and practice.

When we visited Laila Muhammad in her office at the foundation, we found her involved in a number of important programs: aid for underprivileged families in the Newark area; a charity drive raising school and office supplies for orphanages in Haiti; raising funds helping patients-in-need get cataract surgery. We spoke with her on the responsibilities she inherited from her family, her involvement in interfaith dialogue, the current problems haunting our world, and how we can move forward from here.

 

The Fountain: Your family made history in the US. You carry on your shoulders a heritage of wisdom and a struggle for civil rights that will be studied for many decades in the future. How would you describe that heritage?

Laila Muhammad: My parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and community members, we call them pioneers. I have really embraced that idea, maybe in the last fifteen to twenty years. Prior to that, I didn’t really understand it. But I also know that it is a great responsibility. Before, I loved my family; I understood that my grandfather, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and my grandmother Clara Muhammad, as well as my father Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, were historical people and leaders, but I didn’t understand the dynamic of it. Sometimes as a child or young adult I was a little irritated, because I had to share my father with people, or because I felt like everybody was watching me....]]> 2003-11-12 10:03:42 The Universe A Short History - Civan Ozturk http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/the-universe-a-short-history Has the universe existed forever? And how much do we really know about it? Only 4-5 percent of the universe is made up of what we can see today: stars, planets, and galaxies. This means that all of today’s known scientific information is from about just 1/20th of the universe. Scientists cannot detect and comprehend the remaining 95%.

Dark matter, the mysterious unseen mass, and dark energy, the universe’s mysterious force, comprise the rest of the unknown universe. We still know very little about dark energy and dark matter. Dozens of institutes and thousands of scientists have organized international collaborations in search of both. In fact, scientists hope the biggest energy particle collider [1], the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, will help solve the puzzles of dark energy and dark matter.

            It is common for people to ask, how did the universe begin? After decades of observing and measuring, today the majority of scientists explain the beginning of the universe via the Big Bang theory. Two astronomers, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, established the Big Bang theory of cosmology by observing the cosmic background of radiation [2]. According to their theory, everything in the universe was contained in one single mass and there was no space or time. Everything started with the explosion of this extremely dense and hot mass. This explosion was not like an explosion into an empty space; rather space itself began with this explosion.

The idea that led scientists to the Big Bang came from observing the universe’s expansion. Edwin P. Hubble found that almost all galaxies are moving away from the center of the universe [3]. He did so by measuring the light from these galaxies to determine their velocities. This proved that the universe was not static, but was instead expanding. After scientists realized that the universe is expanding, they tho...]]> 0000-00-00 00:00:00 Peace and Dialogue in a Plural Society - Justin Pahl http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/peace-and-dialogue-in-a-plural-society It is a difficult global moment for the Hizmet movement, the civil service group inspired by the ideas of Fethullah Gülen. Targeted in a far reaching witch hunt by the Turkish government, Hizmet has been forced to defend its noble goals of peacebuilding, dialogue, and religious tolerance. Thomas Michel’s book Peace and Dialogue in a Plural Society is a great source to discover these goals.

Michel, a Catholic priest, has studied the Gülen movement for decades. As an outside observer and religious scholar, he’s able to both verify Hizmet’s extraordinary contributions to the world of education and service, while also explaining its ideology and history to readers who might not be familiar with the context of Islamic civil society groups.

The book is a collection of essays, speeches, and articles Michel has written over the years, and they encapsulate his knowledge of, and interactions with, Hizmet. Broken into two parts, the book begins by placing Gülen’s work as thinker and teacher in its proper context. Gülen has been called many things over the years; none of them, Michel argues in his first essay, quite accurate. Despite the claims of his critics, Gülen is not a politician, and he is the antithesis of an extremist. Though he shares elements with traditional Sufi sheiks, Gülen is not a traditional Sufi, either. Instead, Michel posits, he follows in the footsteps of many great thinkers. Chief among them are Bediüzzaman Said Nursi and Rumi, whose faith and devotion, as well as their commitment to love and acceptance, deeply affected Gülen and his philosophy.
Michel also draws on Gülen’s extensive connections to thinkers from the other Abrahamic faiths, including Pope John Paul II. He examines the strong commonalities between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, and the way Gülen’s open, tolerant teachings have sought to build bridges between the faiths – an important...]]> 2011-07-04 05:32:23 Small Molecule Drugs - To Fight Cancer, Heart Failure, etc. - Ali Fethi Toprak http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/small-molecule-drugs-to-fight-cancer-heart-failure-etc In the pharmacology, a small molecule is described as a low molecular organic compound showing high binding affinity to targets of interest such as proteins, nucleic acids, or polysaccharides. This allows small molecules to alter their biological activity. Their small size allows easy transport in the body and a strong ability to diffuse across cell membranes, enabling them to reach their binding targets.
The functions of small molecules vary. In the body, natural small molecules can serve as cell signaling molecules. A number of neurotransmitters – which play a role in the communications between two nerve cells such as dopamine, acetylcholine, and epinephrine – could be given as examples of small molecules in the human body.
There are a number of small molecules used as drugs, too.  Researchers are searching for more small molecules that can be used to treat diseases in the future.

Small molecules as therapeutics
The identification of active compounds holds the key to the future development of therapeutic agents.  Upon synthesis of the analogs of these compounds, derivatives of the initially identified compound could be selected for increased activity. 
Initially, scientists investigated peptides or oligonucleotides, hoping they would have some therapeutic qualities. However, poor oral activities, rapid clearance from the body, and limited bioavailability meant that peptides were not good candidates.
Small molecules, however, which generally have molecular weights smaller than 600-700, presented themselves as interesting candidates for therapeutic use. Screening these small molecules and forming a catalog of them become a major goal in molecular biology, with the hopes of developing new treatments for various diseases.
Small molecule stimulation of nerve stem cells to maturation
It had been believed for decades that the adult mammalian brain co...]]> 2007-12-31 01:49:42 Chaos and Flourishing Hopes - The Fountain http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/chaos-and-flourishing-hopes None of us are willing to remain in the period to which we belong; we use our imagination, journeying back to the vastness of the past where we experience scenes of courage, or we spread our wings towards the future, carrying hopeful expectations.
We live the scenarios we fictionalize. We live them with our faith, our trust in God, and our dependence on Him. We expand out into a world that can be seen only in movies. We interpret what we see in our imaginations, are absorbed in dreams bearing no relationship with the truth, and pursue various psychic visions.

The people of a peaceful and prosperous past, or to be more precise, who believe they had such a past, may occasionally plan journeys into their history within their inner worlds and constantly roam the meadows and fields of the past. But they are never truly successful in exceeding the boundaries of history.

Today, due to the expectations of life, the young, dynamic, and globalized generations, who are unaware of the past and after fanciful thoughts, submit themselves to their dreams of perfection and excellence, and pursue the climates of tranquility that they are unable to find today, in the coves of the future. 

Indisputably, there is a degree of truth in each of these observations; however, conveying the past, with its own values and dynamics, into the present – as well as the ability to enter the future – depends on efficiently analyzing the present without overlooking a split second of it. Indeed, we can better begin the plans, projects, strategies, and implementations for the future if our emotions are purer, our hearts are more joyful, our souls are more enthusiastic, our bodies are healthier, our time is more abundant, our economy is more dynamic, and where our relationships among nations are more consistent and desirable. If we are successful in implementing what is required in every stage of life, then the past-future-presen...]]> 2003-11-12 10:03:42 Establishing Perspective - The Fountain http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/establishing-perspective


In this issue, we are celebrating Black History Month with Laila Muhammad. The grandchild of Elijah Muhammad, the founder of the Nation of Islam, and the daughter of Warith Deen Mohamed, she is recognized more by association with her family, but she has continued her family’s incredible legacy of community work. In our interview with her, you will not only read about her family, but you will also encounter a social activist with common sense and compassionate vision. Anyone who is involved in any type of community work will benefit from her words. “We have to move forward,” Muhammad says, adding “collectively” at the end, with emphasis. This message is more relevant than ever at a time when our society is growing more polarized on multiple axes of race, religion, and gender.

Laila Muhammad’s message resonates with a book Justin Pahl reviews in this issue: Peace and Dialogue in a Plural Society, by Fr. Thomas Michel. Fr. Michel is a Catholic priest and a professor at Georgetown University who has been involved in interfaith dialogue with Muslims for many decades. He’s traveled and lived with Muslims in many countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey, the United States, and Europe. His research in this book focuses on the Hizmet Movement and how the movement’s educational and dialogue efforts around the world are contributing to peace in the plural society of the twenty-first century.

A complementary piece to the above themes is “The Age of Self-Awareness” by Caroline Halford. Halford writes, “The world became connected very quickly and with that came not only conflict, secrecy, and fear, but also progress, growth, and knowledge, or at least, attempts at these things.” This global plural society has stepped into an age of self-awareness in the twenty-first cent...]]> 2003-11-12 10:03:42 Science Square - The Fountain http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/science-square-november-december-2016 Neutralizing the Zika virus
Sapparapu G et al. Neutralizing human antibodies prevent Zika virus replication and fetal disease in mice. Nature, November 2016.

Scientists have identified a human antibody that can reduce Zika infection, giving rise to hopes that a vaccine may be developed. Zika is a mosquito-borne flavivirus, named after the Ugandan forest where it was first isolated from a monkey in 1947. Zika has become a global public health threat over the past decade because of its rapid spread, first to the Asia-Pacific region, and then to the Western hemisphere. Zika is found to cause microcephaly, unusually underdeveloped heads, and other congenital malformations in children born to infected women. In addition, Zika has been linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome, a neurological disorder that can lead to paralysis and death.  Scientists have discovered naturally occurring human antibodies, called ZIKV-117, which reduced the effects of infection in lab mice and their fetuses. The antibodies were found to react with the envelope or "E" protein on the surface of the virus. They then generated a variety of monoclonal antibodies against this envelope protein. This allowed researchers to rapidly generate a large amount of antibodies against specific viral targets. The next set of Zika studies will be performed on primates. If the potency and extent of inhibition holds up, ZIKV-117 could be developed as the first protective antibody treatment for pregnant women at risk of Zika infection.

Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Turned Earth’s Surface into Liquid
Morgan JV et al. The formation of peak rings in large impact craters. Science, November 2016.

 

A recent study of the massive Chicxulub crater in the Gulf of Mexico gives important insights into the formation of planets and life. The crater was formed when ...]]> 2003-11-12 10:03:42 Consultation and Sumbission - The Fountain http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/consultation-and-submission Question: When a consultation committee makes a decision but the decision seems to contradict some of the participants’ minds and opinions, then what would be the best attitude for them to take moving forward?

Submission – to use the dictionary definition – would be fulfilling the rulings, determinations, and decisions of an individual or a council comprised of various individuals who have been endorsed by the general public and are authorized to make decisions on different matters. These can be governmental institutions like the army and the police force, or civil society organizations. However, this does not mean that submission is to the individuals who are involved with the decision-making; especially for civil initiatives, no member has such a right to claim submission to themselves.

However, if the decision handed down is about a nationwide mobilization, then these decisions are crucial for collective success. As such, they should be obeyed. Under those conditions, consultation and submission are like the different faces of the same reality.

As mentioned in the question, matters accepted by a majority of a council may not seem reasonable to everyone and may not be accepted by everyone. To be absolved of responsibility before God, those who are members of the council can articulate the differences in their reasoning, refrain from rashly saying “yes,” and make a note of their opposition to decisions made. Actually, this is the real meaning of consultation. However, if a decision has been made on the issue at hand in spite of the opposition of some, then afterwards the opposing parties should not say a word against the decision and should conform to the decision. This kind of talk is back-biting, especially if the committee is convening to serve a lofty cause. Back-biting is a violation of the rights of a group that is serving the Truth and requires the one who back-bites to as...]]> 2003-11-12 10:03:42 Nature Inspired Self Cleaning Surfaces – An Example of Lotus Leaves - Melissa McPen http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/nature-inspired-self-cleaning-surfaces-an-example-of-lotus-leaves How small is “Nano” scale? For most of us, it is difficult to imagine such a small unit of measurement. To help you imagine how small Nano scale is, here’s a comparison: a single human hair is about 80,000-100,000 nanometers thick.
Nanotechnology is any kind of scientific application that deals with such small materials.  Nanotechnology has become a very important branch of development in the last 30-40 years. As advanced microscopes, such as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) or atomic force microscopy (AFM), became more popular, nanometer scale visualizations become easily accessible in universities and laboratories. This has allowed laboratories to try modifications on different materials or biological samples. Nanotechnology is relevant for every branch of science; however, in this article we will talk about the application of it in materials science, which is the study and design of new materials.
Hydrophobic means water repelling, as the name implies. A super hydrophobic surface means a surface that does not hold any water. On the other hand, super hydrophilic means a surface that loves water, and therefore is completely absorbent (Figure 1).
A material that doesn’t get wet is desirable for many applications. These kinds of materials don’t hold any dirt or mud, and can be especially useful as military clothes or as water repellant glass for the front window of cars, etc. Even though today’s nanotechnology can make the surfaces of materials super hydrophobic, the materials can remain so only for a short period of time. These kinds of modifications either get torn off the surface or lose their hydrophobic properties due to friction, etc. Therefore, water repellant surfaces haven’t become commercially popular – yet.

Figure 1. The surface on the left hand side is a hydrophilic surface meaning, it is highly absorbent. The surface on the right han...]]> 2013-08-28 07:55:06 The Lace Decorating the Beyond - M. Fethullah Gulen http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/the-lace-decorating-the-beyond On the slopes of emerald hills
Voices and whispers stir our happiness
Heavenly fountains cascade in all corners
At the eternal reunion gates
Every moment, each soul is wrapped in delights

Roses, daisies, dandelions, lilies, all in mesmerizing colors
Dew sparkling on violets, jasmines, and leaves,
Bleary-eyed hyacinths and tulips
Moths flying between light and colors
Appearing on every horizon is the brightest of beauties.

When my heart is filled with the best dreams,
My faith is my honest guide
My prism to see and love everything
Making me feel all the mystery
In every step of the colorful world

As the spirit coils up into the ether
Traces of meanings emerge in my imagination
Silent whispers flow into my heart
In an incomprehensible language, without letters and words
As if the gates to the heavens creak open nearby

At that point humans listen to existence
Hearing the tunes of the Infinite One in their hearts
On the prairies, valleys, and shores every spring
They look for the lost Heavens
Feelings of hope and longing are side by side

They embrace everything on their path
The grass, trees, rocks, earth, all of existence
For them, the light and darkness are the same
They welcome sickness and health with contentment
They are slaves, living like kings

...]]>
2003-11-12 09:02:38
NOT EVEN WATER! Turkey’s Refugees in America - Sophia Pandya http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/not-even-water-turkeys-refugees-in-america Safiye is a teacher who fled Turkey a day before the July 15, 2016, attempted coup. She left to join her husband, who had already left in June and had settled in Seattle. With her eleven year-old daughter in another room, she explained with a pained, intense earnestness, “If we go back to Turkey, he will kill us. He has said, ‘I won’t even give water to the Hizmet volunteers.’ And he actually did cut the water source to some of our schools.” Safiye was referring to Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan, who had already begun to steer his country towards repressive authoritarianism even before July’s attempted coup. He had especially targeted those, like Safiye, involved in the Gülen movement, also known as “Hizmet” (Turkish for “service”). Hizmet is a civil society humanitarian organization inspired by the ideas of Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen and mystical Islam, and it is committed to interfaith dialogue. It has opened thousands of cultural centers and science-focused schools in Turkey and around the globe. However, after a rift grew between Erdoǧan and Gülen in 2013, the Turkish president (then Prime Minister) pronounced, without any credible evidence, Hizmet a terrorist organization and launched a witch hunt against those even vaguely associated with the movement.

After the attempted putsch on July 15, 2016, Erdoğan’s government lost no time in blaming Hizmet, even though Gülen himself vehemently denies any involvement, declaring that those actually behind the events “committed treason against the unity of their country” and “caused hundreds of thousands of innocent people to suffer under the government’s oppressive treatment.” Immediately afterwards, Erdoǧan began to accelerate his course of harassment, detaining...]]> 2016-10-20 08:00:00 When Our Brain Asks for Help Remembering - Geffrey Olsen http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/when-our-brain-asks-for-help-remembering The first time you rode your bicycle, the first day of the school, or the time you ran into an old friend: all these may still be fresh in your memory. Immediately recognizing the faces of your friends is only one of many amazing functions that our brain performs every day. The human brain contains billions of nerve cells (neurons) and just as many connections between the cells, which carry information amongst them. These connections allow our brain to adapt to changing external factors, such as stressors. The scientific definition of “stress” is slightly different than the one we may use to describe a difficult work assignment or a long commute in traffic.

As a phenomenon, stress is a must for humanity’s survival; however, it becomes harmful when encountered excessively. Stress is what makes you run away from a giant bear in the middle of the forest. And it is the same force that drives you to fight when cornered. This fight or flight response primarily involves the sympathetic nervous system, which initiates a chain of reactions in communications between the body and the brain. Within seconds, stress hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) are released into the bloodstream, which in turn increase heart rate and blood pressure. This response occurs rapidly, though the hormones clear out of the system just as quickly when the threat passes.

What happens if our fight or flight response is constantly triggered? What if stress hormones become a normal part of our bodily system? For instance, you might have taken your first “F” on a calculus test; this is followed by many others later on in the semester. Or you may have wanted to start your day with a fresh cup of coffee; instead, you were stuck in traffic and were late for work, and then forgot to hand in a big report to your boss.

Imagine that these kinds of events are repeated more often than no...]]> 2017-01-06 11:20:00 Through A Mirror Brightly - Tony Mitchell http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/through-a-mirror-brightly Historians and other students of history will look back at the 21st century and see that it passed through three phases.

The First Period

This first phase saw a rise in conservatism, fueled by quasi-taxpayer revolts and an increasing oligarchical minority seeking to control all aspects of government and business.

As this early period of conservatism rose, it became evident that the desire by many for smaller, more responsive government and less taxes would not be met. Evidence would later surface that the oligarchy, much in the manner of the 19th century “robber barons,” colluded to gather power and wealth for themselves while using the taxpayer’s own  dissatisfaction against them.

Governments became, in fact, larger and more military oriented, subservient to the demands of business and the oligarchy for less and less regulation. With each increment in the reduction of environmental and other regulations came a concurrent reduction in personal liberties.

Believing there was a need for more energy, restrictions against the mining of coal, the drilling for oil and natural gas, and seeking alternative ways to obtain fossil fuels were reduced and/or eliminated. The need for more and more of these fossil fuels led to more global conflicts, as countries sought to find and secure the rapidly diminishing supplies of fossil fuel. This in turn necessitated increased military, defense, and security-based spending. Wars became the norm rather than the exception, which created an age gap, as an entire generation was squandered fighting in these conflicts.


The reduction or removal of environmental-based regulations, long proclaimed by conservatives as barriers to economic growth, led to an increase in air and water pollution levels, and the destruction of natural habitats, which in turn had a devastating impact on the planet in general. The increase in ...]]> 2017-01-06 11:20:00 AFRICAN-AMERICANS, TURKEY, AND HIZMET - Abdullah Aymaz http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/african-americans-turkey-and-hizmet 2007-10-03 07:05:02 Letting Beings Be - Al Freeman http://www.fountainmagazine.com/Issue/detail/letting-beings-be There is a growing awareness that the natural world cannot sustain modern civilization in its present form. Humanity must change if the whole chain of life is to continue living on Earth. A plausible solution for the persistent problems caused by modern economic, scientific, and political applications cannot be achieved merely by using better engineering or more advanced technology so long as we are bounded by the limits of our modern philosophical underpinnings. The conflict between man and nature has reached an impasse, and resolution seems impossible within the dominant paradigm; the roots of this stalemate are linked to the very assumptions of the modern worldview. A radical transformation is needed and a very important first step is to discover and reconsider the root causes of our predicament.

This article examines the philosophical underpinnings of modern humanity’s problematic relation with the bio-physical environment. These views, many critics say, suffer from anthropocentrism and dualism. After establishing these problematic viewpoints, I will turn to investigate nondualism, an alternative mode of thinking mostly promoted by religious traditions, which I believe can help us transcend the predicaments of the contemporary man-nature relationship.

Anthropocentrism and dualism
Modern humankind is anthropocentric. The centralization of humanity, accompanied by an ontological hubris, leads to the prioritization of humanity’s needs and pleasures. This justifies the transformation of the Earth into a titanic factory that supplies security and pleasure for humankind whilst destroying the biosphere.

There is another problematic aspect of anthropocentrism as it pertains to ethics in general and environmental ethics in particular. Ethical relativism seems to be the logical conclusion of human-centeredness. When an indi...]]> 2017-01-06 11:20:00