1.22.2006

All I know is....



All I know is
... nothing wise has ever followed those words. It is the poster saying of the intolerant.

Pre-911, the Western world envisionsed the Middle East as full of radical paramilitary Islamic terrorists just waiting to attack Western targets out of pure hatred.

Post-911, the Western world envisionsed the Middle East as full of radical paramilitary Islamic terrorists just waiting to attack Western targets out of pure hatred, but the idea has taken firm hold.

Traditionalists argue that Islam is not a violent religion and that the Christian majority in the west hold the many responsible for the acts of a few. Armed with the power of the internet, Christians fight back with quotes from the Qu'ran, quotes of violence that seem to back up their image.

When asked of this, I asked the Christian questioning me if they were aware of their own violent tradition. Was it not the Bible that said, "He is without guilt cast the first stone?" I mentioned parts of the Old Testement that had shocked me as a child, but was not shocked to find out that this person, fully educated to the college level, firmly believing they understood their Christian history, knew little of it. There are many stories of the Old Testement that are best not told in Sunday School. As an example of this, I went to a Bible commentary website. I had mentioned an odd curiosity of the Bible in that almost every time a woman is mentioned, it is followed by something negative(the subject of a later post). To find an example of murder or acts that we would deem horrible or evil, I typed in the word: woman.

It brought me to a section in Numbers, when Moses is with the army, freed from Pharoah, fighting their way to the 'Promised Land.' They have beaten an army and now must decide what to do with the survivors. As a good people, we would assume they would let the survivors go. Sadly, this is not the be. Moses orders that his army kill all the male children. Yes, children. No matter two or twelve, they are to be murdered. Women who were married to men slain in the battle are to be killed as well. It seems the devirginized woman are of no use. Moses does, however, keep all of the virgin women and children as treasure. (see excerpt from Numbers following this post)

It sounds like a story from a barbaric tribe or how the Christians imagine that the Muslims would behave. Sadly, that is not the case. I did not have to dig far.

I have often said that war is a disgrace, but there are times when you have no choice. In those times, war is among the soldiers and any country or people that bring war to innocent people, women and children at least, forfeit any morale stance in whatever cause they fight for. There are very few rules in life that you should follow at all times. Sometimes we must lie to protect someone or kill to save our family. When we kill children, what are we protecting them from? Shouldn't someone be protecting them from us?

Too often in the West, the intolerant majority point fingers. Ghandi once said to change within yourself what you want to see changed within the world. We cannot go about pointing fingers and casting stones at the past of Islam when we see a history with just as much bloodshed.

Tolerance is a beautiful virtue. Tolerance is much harder to maintain than almost any other goal. It is easier to hate than to love.

I read a story told by H.H. Dalai Lama in which he tells of a Tibetan refugee who had spent most of his life in a Chinese prison. The Chinese, after invading Tibet, had tried to turn the Tibetan people against the Dalai Lama. One could face gruesome torture for simply refusing to denounce him. This particular prisoner stayed for a very long time, facing torture and, no doubt, long sessions of propoganda. He told H.H.Dalai Lama that at one time, he almost became weak. H.H.Dalai Lama asked how so. He said he had almost lost his love for his captors! You see, within Buddhism, it is understood that one must love the good neighbor and the bad one, the one that blesses you and the one that curses you. This man was saddened by the fact that he had almost lost this love and compassion. Most of us would be full of hate, but this man was full of love. That is tolerance.

Someone once said to me (as many have said to many others) that "All I know is... There is only one GOD and that GOD is GOD. You aren't supposed to worship anyone else."
"What about Jehovah?" I asked.
"No."
"Yahweh?"
"No."
"Allah?"
"No."
"But those are all words for GOD in other cultures, just as other beliefs are another manifestation of something beyond our normal understanding. Jesus never used the word 'GOD'. He spoke Aramaic. Jesus also didn't see GOD as his contemporaries did. Many things he says dispute the Old Testement. The same is true for Mohamet. Buddha saw something different than his contemporaries as well. It seems to me that this 'something' is hard to grasp and that most people fall back into old habits and superstitions, basic traps of the mind, and the veil between them and what these wise men could grasp is cut off. If we could all be saints, the world would not be as it is. It stands to reason that any religion will be made up of a majority of people that don't understand it, truly. Just holding to tradition for tradition's sake would not have given us any of these men, or any other great religions figures."
"All I know is..... GOD is the only GOD and the Muslim people GOD isn't GOD. They just fight people. We have to get them first," she explained.
"Is there no room for tolerance," I asked.
"No. We have to protect ourselves."
"Wasn't it Jesus who said, 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.' His last talk with GOD is to ask forgiveness of those who will kill him. I am just one man with limited awareness, but perhaps this is the message that you should follow:
All I know is... there may be terrorists, but we must forgive them.
There may be people who would slander our religion, but we must forgive them.
There may be people who would take our lives, but we must forgive them.
Hatred sows a seed of hate that bears fruit. That fruit is what our children will eat. Do you want to feed your children hatred and intolerance?

We all have great religious icons to look to for this type of "super-human" kindness and tolerance. Perhaps they are not in your Mosque, Church, or Temple. Not everyone can see clearly the light of the sun, for some, while searching for their own reflection, will get lost in the reflection of the light, and see it for the sun. When man sees himself in the light of religion he brings harm to the world.
All I know is.... tolerance sows seeds of love and compassion and that is a fruit I would like my children to feast on.

excerpt from Numbers:
And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp. 14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. 15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? 16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the Lord in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord. 17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. 18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.

2 Comments:

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Lee said...

You commented about infinite space and emptiness on my blog. I just wanted you to know that moving from our level to space, back to our level, down to the quantum level, what I said makes perfect sense. Quantum theory clearly indicates that all matter is non-existent - the magic happens in the spaces - if you will.

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger Ambhoja said...

You said that "infinite fits into that space", implying a separation. Space does not permit an explanation of what quantum theory indicates in this sense, but this quote from Erwin Shrodinger makes my job easy." What we observe as material bodies and forces are nothing but shapes and variations in the structure of space. Particles are just schaumkommen (appearances).The world is given to me only once, not one existing and one perceived. Subject and object are only one. The barrier between them cannot be said to have broken down as a result of recent experience in the physical sciences, for this barrier does not exist." Erwin Schrodinger- Quantum Wave Mechanics.
note-subject and object are only one.
nothing "fits" into anything else.

 

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