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Koran, So Long a Letter and the Symposium

Essay by   •  August 30, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,890 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,736 Views

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by Gabe pollow

In the fall semester of our Preceptorial class we covered many books that represented strong points about many issues. Many of these books took place in history a long time ago, although this is true they seem to be timeless. I have learned a great deal throughout all of the readings, and changed many of my feelings about several different issues. The books that had then most impacts on my thoughts were The Symposium, The Koran, The Apology, and So Long A Letter. These books have all made me fight the beliefs that I had prior to reading them, which is a sign of a strong book.

The Symposium was a unique book that had many stories and different books inside of it. This book either altered my views a small amount or change them drastically. There were many instances in the book that I didn't know prior to reading it such as the title, which means a drinking party. One thing that I felt throughout life was that if you were in trouble, meaning a life or death situation, many people would die for you. My personal feeling was that this thought made sense, but after reading this book I realized that I might be mistaken. When I read that only a lover would die for you I started to realize that this might be true. The men in this time had lovers who were boys, or young men, and these lovers would die for their older lovers. The book also said that even a wife, although not as important as a lover would die for. After taking time to think this through, I realized that this might be the case, after all why would you want to risk your well being and life for someone you barely know. Maybe the

only reason that you would die for someone was to be known as an honorable person, but to be honest, what does that truly matter when your dead?

The book also states that lovers will forgive for breaking vows. I didn't feel that this could be true seeing is how there are so many divorces in this day of age, but I came to the realization that this is a false thought on my part and I do in fact concur with the books statement. The reason I believe this to be true is that if your lover (s) are truly your lover (s) than he or she cannot live without your love. If he or she chooses not to forgive for their lovers breaking the vows of their relationship then they will not be with that lover anymore. This made me think until I came to that conclusion that the book was right.

One belief in the book was that love is a path to virtue. I didn't believe this to be true for many reasons. One of these reasons I felt was that love cannot make anyone virtuous. I thought that in order to be a virtuous person you have to take that upon yourself by doing right and abiding by good beliefs all of the time. But virtue is something that a lover or love can help you gain. Love makes you a good person most of the time, and gives you qualities that are virtuous. Whenever one is in love, they turn into a virtuous person by being pure, and by resisting bad temptations that are frowned upon in society. Along with that Something that also caught my mind in The Symposium, was the fact that friends make you virtuous. Prior to reading the book I felt that friends were prevalent in life just for social benefit, but they are truly there to help you make wise decisions that will allow you to enjoy your life. When thinking back to how my friends have saved me from making rash decisions and committing sin I realize

that the book reading gave a strong point, friends are there to help you become virtuous.

A point which is also made in The Symposium is about people searching for their soul mates. They search for their soul mates because they are not complete without them, they are basically half of a person and they need their soul mate to complete themselves. This is something that I did not give much thought to but I realize that its true. Everyone for the most part has this feeling as if they are lacking something in life, and that is a significant other or a soul mate. The Symposium, has convinced me in terms of this. The Symposium, altered many of my notions about certain beliefs.

The Koran, is a book that I have heard or read bits and pieces about in recent years. I didn't actually read as many parts as I have during Preceptorial so I leaned quite a bit. After all of the years of Sunday school, in the Temple, I always thought that I was a son of G-d since I'm Jewish. The book stated that Jews and Muslims are actually the son of Abraham. This man had two children with two different women. One of these women was Jewish who was named Leah, and the other was Muslim and her name was Hagar. There were notions in my mind about the religious book, because I thought that the Torah was for the Muslims as well. The Koran is actually the Holy book to the Muslim's, and the Torah is for the Jew's. The Koran is the most respected book for the Muslims, they abide by it more than the Jews do for the Torah. This book is so religious to them that they recite some parts up to five times a day. This book to them is a guidebook to moral and ethical living, something of which I never knew.

Something that I never knew about The Koran, was that it was a volume of

rhymed pose. In Arabic this is rhymed poetry throughout the whole story, but in English translation it doesn't make the sounds that are intended in the original language. One important thing that I never knew about The Koran, was that Mohammed was the prophet who spoke to the people from Ala's voice. Ala would talk to Mohammed and then he would tell the people what Ala wanted them to do. I thought that Ala was around these people and told them himself, but he used Mohammed for that. This was something that I had never thought of before. Along with this I thought that Muslimism had started with a giant following, then I read that it started with 39 followers. These followers grew to 700 and then overtook the city of Mecca. When reading this I was shocked, I never knew this to be true, it seems quite interesting.

The Apology, a book from The Symposium

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