The meaning of life?

While I was in Spain this summer, I more or less accidentally stumbled upon the bargain of a lifetime:

pretty cheap, huh?

Interestingly enough, the receipt is from the “Torre de la Calahorra” – a museum in Córdoba dedicated to the Arabic cultural heritage in southern Spain. Did you know, that around the year 1100 AD, Córdoba was one of the biggest cities in Europe, and was home to the leading philosophers of that era? It’s not something that we hear a lot about these days of frightful moslem terror (or however might be labeled). Among these erudite philosophers were Averröes (also known as Ibn Rushd), Maimonides (who was jewish, and thus evidence of the much praised “tri-cultural” society that existed in Spain before the final advent of the Castillian kings) and Ibn Arabi. They were proponents of a sort of religious humanism that sounds very much like the humanism of the later renaissance.

But not only that, they also managed to work out the meaning of life. Not a lot of people seem to be too interested in that, these days. “It’s been done before” or “It’s too overexposed” the cynics say. But, really, the question is: Would we really appreciate it if we knew?

I hardly think so. So even though I bought it and brought back to Denmark with me, I don’t think there is a lot of people who would like what it says. It’s probably not supposed to be liked, but even so, I am disinclined to reveal it.

Okay, one hint:

“.. the most frequently repeated teaching in the Qu’ran is to make the effort to think things out for yourselves.” – Averröes


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