Earn On-Going Rewards Now
Heart Soul – Episode 10
Channel: Lauren Booth
File Size: 14.79MB
Episode Transcript ©
Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate and at times crude. We are considering building a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system. No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever.
Welcome to heart and soul on Qf radio with me Lauren booth, seeking light and knowledge through the deeper dimensions of faith, your place to reflect, are we truly happy? What is that fleeting moment of contentment that we will seek that seems to be ever more hard to grasp? What is it linked to and what really gives us long term satisfaction to discuss these ideas today is john Fontaine from the UK. JOHN embraced Islam in 2008. After coming into contact with Muslims in West Africa, he is also the author of Jesus in the NGO, which is another word for the gospel, which outlines the Islamic perspective of Jesus and His message. And John's latest book, The gods solution is about the Islamic
perspective of atheism. Welcome back, john Fontaine.
While it comes to lamb, big questions, john, most of us are lucky, or blessed, we have enough to eat, we have more than one pair of shoes. And if we have good health, we should be grateful. And yet, there's such a sense of trouble inside of us now. And a lot of it, of course, has to do with role just busy rushing around, and you don't really have time to think, am I happy? Or am I not? Are we truly happy? Yeah, I mean, this is a very interesting thing, because everyone, I think, is searching for happiness. whatever we're doing, whether we're studying
if we're at work, or we have families, I mean, what is the purpose? Why are we doing these things? Now? Why are we studying,
studying, studying to get to get knowledge and get good grades and getting a job?
Yeah, and ultimately, to be happy, you know, so, people, you know, they still need to get a good job, you know, so they can have a good,
good, good income, so they can actually be happy.
The people, you know, might be working, you know, in order to get money again, to be happy. I mean, it's like this, this race, you know, this world race where everyone is chasing the desires of the world, like, what exactly is happiness? Because
happiness is not just about physical things. It's not just about money or status.
You know, I mean, that's, that's what makes animals happy. You know, but we have, as human beings, we have something more, even more than animals know. And yeah, we're more than animals Surely, because we can like the things that we have. Isn't this whole concept of Oh, there's more to life than things, just some hippie construct? Definitely. I mean,
I know you'd called me a hippie
I do teach john, you have to see his peaceable demeanor to know that that we can teased online.
But you don't mind that being you don't mind this kind of, you know, esoteric, spiritual talk being called, you know, you're just a bunch of hippies looking for happiness. You're quite happy with that term? Yeah, I mean, I mean, the example is, I mean, people think that this does the material world is actually going to get them happiness. And if we take an analogy of imagine that you were just,
you fell asleep. You know, wherever you are, you fell asleep, and then
all of a sudden, you woke up, and you're on an aeroplane. And I know you did a lot of a lot of traveling.
And I'm sure you know, it's quite a big jet, etc. But if you imagine that you're in first class, you know, business class, you know, I've never been so
I hear it so much. If you imagine you're in business class, you have all the luxuries of business class, you know, the entertainment system, the best food and drinks you can imagine. The service is great.
The views out the window, you know, you're traveling over the out into the nice beaches. would you would you say that you're happy? Now, most people will say yes, I'm happy.
But how can you be happy when you don't know how you actually got on the plane? And where the plane is going? You know, why are you on the plane? What is your purpose of being on the plane? And what is the
And this is tied to the same analogy, when we act when we actually look in this life is, is that we were on a journey.
And we delude ourselves with the material world, you know, thinking that we're happy with the latest toy, or the latest PlayStation game, or the latest job, whatever it may be. In fact,
it has a time, it has a time scale.
After some time, you'll be bored of that particular thing you realize is not true happiness. You know, I heard a very sad story just two days ago, and a sister told me that there was, and this was reported a couple of years back in the media, that there had been a young man from a very wealthy family. And they had his mother had given him everything, of course, that you possibly could from when he was small. If he wanted it, he'd get it, that the train set, the special trainers or special school trips, the fret, the you know, the the friends, parties, everything you'd wanted. And he reached 16. And on his 16th birthday, his mother bought him an airplane, an actual jet.
And the young man killed himself, he committed suicide. And he left a note and he said, Dear Mom, and dad, the one thing that I wanted in my life that I was really aiming for was an airplane. And now you've got it. For me, my purpose has gone.
support Alicia, this is a very touching story. And this has been a reality for many people. You see it in the media, you know, a lot of the celebrities, they reach the final destination. You know, they get they sell the millions of albums, they do all the concerts, and then what? And I was kind of at this stage before I was a Muslim. Talk to us about that. Yeah, tell us about that. Yeah. Well, I got to a stage in my jazz career, where it's kind of at the end of variation goal, it's as far as it can go. You know, it's sang in the top jazz clubs. I, you know, I
spent a lot of time with a lot of famous jazz musicians. And that was kind of it. And I was thinking, well, is that it? You know, and I left jazz, you know, I realized that my whole dream, which I've been focusing on for the best part of 10 years,
that I've done it, that's it, and there was nothing there. And you see this with a lot of the celebrities, even you know, a lot of famous, the rich and famous
who, you know, you would say has done well for themselves, but spiritually the entity, you know, they're still searching. And this is the key because a lot of television the clients that
other phase through the remembrance of Allah, our hearts will find rest. And this is this is the way to actually find contentment.
You know, actually remembering a lot and coming back to understanding what is our purpose of life.
And this this leads us on to how do you know what is our purpose of life?
That is a very good place with that big, big subject to come. It's a perfect place for us to take a mini break. And we'll be back with john Fontaine discussing the meaning of life. The search for happiness after this, oh, whisper of peace. Moving through the hand, Allah will surely run to us if we hold our hand, a word of whole book call to every woman and men a liar until the end time. This is an Islam whisper of peace. Moving through the and surely run to us but do we understand a word of whole book call to every woman and men a liar until the end of time is this
whisper whisper of moving through the
world. Call to everyone
is moving through the
Call to everyone
What is this just a waste?
What if we run
into this artist? Welcome back to heart and soul on Qf radio with me Lauren booth, discussing the topic of happiness. And the search for meaning today is john Fontaine. Welcome back, john, thank you. Very nice to be here. We were talking about the need to set goals in life. And if they are physical material goals, or career based goals, sometimes should we be allowed to reach them? The pinnacle isn't as exciting as the journey. And we think again, if fame, for example, was a good destination to reach, why is Hollywood so full of places where you need to take rehab, for example, why there's so many celebrities, suicides, so much celebrity drug addiction, these people seem to be
very unhappy. And indeed, you know, I've had friends pass recently, who were who I knew from my life before, who are very well known and who died in a hotel room alone, addicted to, you know, legal, drugs, pharmaceuticals, and then we think of Heath Ledger. He played the Joker, I think in Batman and he killed himself at the height of his fame, everyone was so shocked on what is that that element of pointlessness that seems to enter the human spirit? Can you discuss that through an understanding of the Search for Meaning? Yeah, I mean, I think every human being, we, we understand that we are more than animals. Everyone, everyone knows this. And, and without a doubt, without a
creator, if you take a creator out of it, then it says no creator, we are literally just animals, or people find it difficult to understand this this perspective. Because, internally our innate belief, we know that we are more than just animals, and we are all searching for the purpose of life. Now, people make their own purposes, you know, whether it is to be famous or rich, but then when they get there, they realize that it was an empty purpose. It was you know, that there's nothing, nothing else less less to do. What Allah tells us in the end, what our purpose of life is, you know, and he tells us that he created mankind, in order to worship Him. Now, we don't just mean the five daily
prayers or fasting or things like this, all means is a means to actually remember him in all aspects of our life, you know, try to dedicate and do everything, to actually pleasing Allah. And we actually told him Islam, that our faith, and don't think faith is actually a good description. I guess it's more that our closeness to Allah, or our happiness increases by actually doing good deeds, doing good things. I'm glad you brought that up. Because of course, we must all know people who have made great lives, doing good, the major philanthropists, the head of Microsoft, and Nita Roddick, who set up the body shop, looking at how to take chemicals out and stop testing on animals,
people who devote themselves to good deeds, they are fulfilled, and they do great things for humanity. And I find it very interesting that
there are chemicals released in the brain, when you are doing a good deed for somebody else. Do you know about that?
Yeah, I mean, it's very interesting because it this is used in psychological programs to actually help people who are stressed and depressed. You know, they tell people you know, to actually go and do good be,
you know, go go and do charity, you know, and it helps in the happiness. I'd love to go to the doctor and instead of him saying, Okay, you've got a migraine, take these pills that will ruin your stomach and make you vomit and then take tablets for the vomiting. I'd love someone to say, you know what, go and do a good day to day you'll feel better.
Yeah, and it's actually one of the things that is been taught at the moment.
This The question is what is good? You know, because some some of human understanding. Humans have different understandings of morality.
You know, we go to different cultures, different religions, different nationalities, different there's different ideas of what is good and bad.
So, the idea in Islam is we believe that there is an objective morality, you know, that there is a morality
To the is kind of set in stone, you know that we don't believe that we necessarily need the Quran to tell us that murder is wrong for example. Yeah, but but the Quran actually gives us a guidance on on on our everyday life, you know, on what is good and bad. So we, from the Islamic perspective, we believe that humans are actually born with this innate belief, understanding the basics of morality. You know, you can see children from a very young age, you know, the children that they, they know what's right and wrong, you know, there was a, one of my friends, children, he actually touched the television remote. And the child gave this this glance, a father, and he could tell that the child
knew he's actually done something wrong. You know, he, he's not even at a stage where you can even speak yet. But from the very engage human beings, we know, we have this innate sense of right and wrong.
But ultimately, the details of the morality has to come from God, you know, we were humans can actually agree on morality, it has to come from a, from the creator of the universe, you know, there was often, you know, there was a study done john, into childhood empathy. And in this study, the child was put in a room with an adult, and the adult was
pretending to cry. And the child around three, four years old would come over and would automatically You know, when babies Pat, you, Toddlers, patency, you, okay? Are you crying, and if there was water on the table, the child would offer, would you like a drink of water, whatever they had to hand to help. Now, the other study group was a child in a room with an adult, again, crying. And when they offered help, the adult would say, Thank you, and give them a material reward, in this case, a suite. And what the study discovered was that, after several times of this happening, the children that were getting the sweets, the material rewards for doing altruistic deeds, lost
interest in doing them, they stopped, because they lost interest in the reward. And the children who received no reward for it would go on and on and on comforting, that is very deep.
This is beautiful. And this this is, again, this is proof of the the innate generosity, the innate belief, but what where do people go wrong, such as the people who don't understand because we have the purpose of our life, which is to, to actually worship God and do good deeds, you know, to good deeds in the sight of God issue, like, well, then what is the purpose of this whole life? You know, and Allah tells us that the purpose is, this life is a test, you know, to test us to see who is the best. And with each test,
you know, if we pass the test, then your your status with the Creator is actually elevated, you know, for the hereafter. And people often they complain when they tested, you know, I mean, a few years ago, I had a brain tumor. And well, I was actually a Muslim. No. And so this didn't really affect me at all. Whoa, whoa, whoa, I just want to take it back, though. That's a massive statement, you had a brain tumor, it didn't really affect you at all.
Yeah, I mean, because I'm a Muslim, I knew that this is out of my hands. You know, it's not a decision that I've made. And so I knew that this is something that is a decision from Allah. So I will contend that Allah actually chose this way for me. And I knew that since from the Islamic perspective, we know that all calamities, even if we view them to be bad, they're actually good for it, is there actually a test. And if you pass the test, as I said, you actually, you know, your status is increased. And he's an example is like a baby within, you know, when you take a baby for an injection, the baby cannot understand why, you know, the parent is allowing a stranger to inject
him with poison.
Because the baby can't understand that the wisdom behind this calamity, you know, and this is kind of the human situation, because many bad things were what we perceive to be bad, many things happen to us. So, what we should understand is that there is a wisdom behind these things. You know, that when you understand that this life isn't, then it helps you actually cope with the calamities. And that's why in Islam, of course, suicide is not allowed. But that's why it doesn't really happen to people who are actually spirit
He connected with a lot. That's all we have time for today may Allah counters amongst those who remember him and guide us to true happiness and to good deeds and to helping one another. My guest today was john Fontaine, thank you very much you've been listening to heart and soul. The producer for this series is Ahab Usha Assalamu alaikum.