|Posted on Thursday, September 07, 2006 - 09:46 pm: |
'DUSHA DUSHI' - SOUL TO SOUL
Why is there Life?
Why is there life? When we think of all the elements spat out by our Sun and cast off into space, like filaments of cotton candy scooped up by the circling planets, as solar wind, and then drifted down to Earth where it is gathered up in a ball, it truly is we are made of the stars. Life on Earth is both born of and sustained by our main star. Photosynthesis converts this light energy to consumable sugars, which all life craves. We are all powered by the Sun. The elements of the planets themselves were made within the crucibles of stars, which upon their death exploded to release them throughout the galaxy. These are the same elements that constitute our living cells, and then these in turn feed upon solar energy, first in green plants, but then all the way up the food chain to what goes into our mouths. Even those man-made foods of fat sugar and salt, e.g., those nasty junk foods, are a product of the Sun, though there are better things to eat that give us a healthier life. Unlike some species of animals that have a restricted diet, like pandas eating bamboo shoots, or koalas eating eucalyptus leaves, we humans have a choice of what we consume. The universe does not seem to judge us, except to render us unhealthy or fat if we eat badly. But what goes into us to sustain our living beings is produced in the stars, especially by our local star the Sun. But why? Why would the thermonuclear fusion fueling our local star be processed chemically by the enzymes in our body to keep us alive? Why is there life?
Our reason through science has uncovered many of the processes that powers living things, though we do not know exactly what life is. Some of this understanding is beyond reason. Especially if we take this understanding into the nature of the human soul, that which renders us so unique among the multitude of living species of the planet, both plant and animal, we enter a realm where perhaps reason starts to fail us. We are something more than we can understand. Why would the stars produce something like us? This is a unique mystery, one which I hope we can explore at some depth within these pages, as to why is there life. But more importantly, why is there something like a conscious human life than can then look back upon all creation and wonder about it. What is it about us that makes us so inquisitive? Who in the stars are we? What is it in that other person before whom you stand, or see at a distance, that is so incredibly, even infinitely, fabulous to behold, and on rare occasions even interact with? What is going on? Why do we love some things so much? Why do we love music, or sunsets, or fine elegant form, or even a good idea? What in us loves that?
This is why I named this thread 'Dusha Dushi', or soul to soul, because we are something more than merely the chemical processes that keep us from dying, or the neurons that fire in our brain to keep us thinking. We are something of the stars, almost magic, in a universe that is put together in such a way as to enabled us to become alive. This is a wonder, almost beyond rational reason. Why are we alive? Why do we even care if we are alive? Who is that other person you are talking to, or arguing with, or agreeing with, or loving and hating? Who are we to do this? If we are all products of the Sun, and of the stars, Who is this universe that made us in the first place, along with all the other things of the planet? Why is this so beautiful to us, when it is beautiful, or so tragically horrible, when we fail to see its beauty? Why can we do such wonderful and beautiful good things, while also able to do such ugly and terrible things, especially to each other and all living things on Earth? This is what I want us to explore in these pages. I think we have answers inside ourselves we do not even know we have. So in talking about it, we might uncover some golden jewels, the same stuff we are made of, that came from our stars. Maybe we are the children of the stars, and it is about time we looked up and recognized ourselves in them. When you look up at the night sky, you may be only looking back upon yourself. So let's explore! I think we may find food more delicious here than anything we ever had tasted before. And it is all from the same source.
The ancients looked up at the sky and celebrated the heavens, worshipped the moon and sun, or planets and stars. Sirius the 'dog star' was prominent amongst the ancient Egyptians, while sunrise and sunset was prominent amongst Native Americans. The moon was worshipped in the ancient eastern world, while the sun was worshipped in the west. Why so early on were we already fascinated by our heavens? Life is a miracle, as is the birth of a new child. So let us celebrate life, all life, and see from deep within our souls what we are made of. We are not merely made of the elements of the stars, but I suspect something even richer. I hope we can find out what that is, that there is something true about us being alive. Why? Let's talk, and celebrate this why!
("Dusha dushi" is a phonetic representation of a Russian term for "soul to soul", which in their language means when people communicate from deep within their hearts, it is something true and rich and desirable.)
|Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 03:01 am: |
Stimulus Response vs. The Aesthetic Soul
What a mystery. We are indeed creatures of the stars, however, are we simply fancy stimulus response organisms, that have developed more and more complicated behavior sets? Or are we something more - connected to our universe through divine design? Strong arguments can be made for each side, and often times I have wondered If I have leaned toward the latter simply to attach meaning to my existence.
More questions arise than answers? Do animals have souls? Why evolution? Did God design it, and if so can this universal supreme being perform more instantaneous creation, or does life have to develop through evolution to become just what it is? Certainly we would not have our survival instincts were it not for millions of years of natural design. Simply try to step on a bug and see it scramble. Pretty strong desire to cling to life for something supposedly devoid of emotions, soul, etc.
And what about God?
A. The existence of an all knowing being that has written fate, negates the very possibility of humans having free will. We would simply be actors in a movie God wouldn't bother to watch. Omniscience would render time and human activities meaningless to God.
B. On the other hand, for those who argue a strictly scientific point of view about life, a belief in evolution should be a belief in a supremely higher power, because evolution in an infinitely old universe would eventually produce an infinitely wise being.
By this token, I like to think of the big bang not as a reorganization of matter, but a reshuffling of cosmic intelligence and perception. To me life is a function of the potential intelligence of the universe, and the complexity of physical interactions the strongest argument for higher intelligence. Indeed, for all we know the universe may manifest itself with an entirely different set of physics "next time", and thus lead to a totally different organization of matter.
So why life and why do we cling to it? Billions of years went into the creation of life. We know that our existence in this universe is a very fortunate roll of the dice and teeters on the edge of oblivion. The universe/God has given us the tool (inteligence) to do something about that. We crave knowledge about the stars, almost subconsciously knowing our survival will one day depend on our ability to live amongst them. Ironically our knowledge/technology is pushing this process as we are quickly destroying our planet.
Really it all seems like one big experiment or in which a Supreme Scientist hypothesizes:
Which is the best design for life? And will it prevail or destroy itself given intelligence and desire?
My other theory is that the cosmic intelligence is forcing evolution to produce a new intelligence tempered with billions of years of physical interaction (similar to the way a woman wants a worldly man).
I really don't know. I feel quite naive!
|Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 10:13 am: |
Billions of years went into the creation of life.
Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 12:01 am: Naïve
This is a doubt. I seek clarification. How did we estimate the age of the universe? How did we conclude that it is billions of years after the Big Bang?
|Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 07:59 pm: |
Mohideen, Friday, September 08, 2006
This is a doubt. I seek clarification. How did we estimate the age of the universe? How did we conclude that it is billions of years after the Big Bang?
This radio-carbon dating is one way to estimate the age of things. Another is through rock fossil records, and still another through molten rock evidence, though some of this is controversial amongst the 'creationists' whose claim to scientific data is 'iffy' at best. Sedimentary rock gives us fossil records that support the idea of a very old Earth, at least for living things going back some 3 billions years in microbial state. I think there is some rather good science to support the age of our solar system, and planet Earth, in the vicinity of 4.5 billion years, while there is some rather shoddy 'science' to prove the Earth is much younger, and humankind only some 6000 years old, or no science at all, just ancient folklore theory. However, the real "age of the Earth" is still an unknown at this point. I suspect it will someday show it far surpasses the current 4.5 billion years old theory, maybe double that! Remember, the crust gets recycled, so what we think are the old rocks may not be; and what we think is the age of the universe may not be either; nor the computed age of the Sun. We still have room to be surprised on how old everything is. Even our Moon may be relatively new, in cosmological terms, and but a recent addition to Earth. Meteorites seem to point to about 4.5 billion years, but these may be 'new' too. In any case, 6000 year old 'creation' is pure nonsense, by comparison. But then again, so maybe is the Big Bang.
|Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 12:47 pm: |
My bestfriend and roommate is Mulim, and we constantly debate about the origins of life. He tells me that the Quran says all souls once existed in "heaven" or whatever paradise may have been, but then were sent here as a test or punishment for some inappropriate action. He says when the day of judgement comes all knowledge of what we were will be revealed to us.
This time I am not trying to debate any theology. I just want to know what the popular or common ideas in your faith are about the soul. I have read the Quran and have always been interested in all religious interpretation of the soul, because I believe All religions carry some internal human "truths" about our existence.
Like Ivan says, for this topic no debate, just an exchange of ideas and insights!
|Posted on Sunday, September 10, 2006 - 12:30 am: |
MOMENTS OF CHILDHOOD
I lived in France in my early years, first at Paris, then Auvergne at Riom, later at Villeurbanne, in Lyon. I still remember the address, 9 Rue Jean Noel, where stood some rather humble dwellings now is a glass and steel office tower. Across the street lived most of my friends, in Lyon, so they went to a different school than the one I attended on Rue Canal. It may be gone too, things change. Most of my chums were French, both boys and girls, but there was an Algerian boy in my building, as well as an Italian family. We were all friends. I still remember my buddies Nino and Alain, who had a television, so we would congregate to watch old American westerns, like 'HoppaLong Cassidy', all in French, of course. I barely remember the Paris place, a kind of vague memory of a one room place, I was maybe two, but remember the rest of it rather well. In Riom, I lived at my great aunt's in a large apartment on Rue L'Hopital, in what was once a baronial hall, some five centuries ago; I think it was built the year Columbus came to America; and it had great places to hide, like the three leveled dungeons below, used for coal storage and growing mushrooms. From the windows I could see a courtyard below, where on one side was a collapsing ruin of a stone building, but the courtyard took many hours of my playing there. It had a special smell, now recognized as earthy and decay, but it smelled wonderful to me. I remember seeing my first snow, a magic carpet of white. At night the cats came out, mostly hidden in that ruined building, where they made their own charming music of courtship, though I did not yet understand such things. I also remember music, mostly classical either on the radio, or when my cousin visiting from Paris would practice his violin. Or the smell of strawberry jam cooking in the kitchen, which was mouth watering. The pharmacist who lived downstairs, Mr. Gouteron, had a fabulous place with large copper bed warmers hanging on the wall. But we had a fireplace with a coat of arms for a fireback, and tall windows that open out on a tiny balcony over the yard. The inlaid wood floors smelled of wax on some days, not unpleasant, and we had a piano that I would tinker on. Later in life I learned to play, but now forgotten again. In between this lovely place in Riom and the more durable experience of Lyon, we for a brief spell lived in the country. It is this experience, which only lasted a few months, that I want to remember in its special moments of childhood.
My parents tried farming to subsidize an otherwise meager income at the local textile mill, where my step-father, Mykola, worked as an electrician. The farm was moderate, it ran up a hill towards where the old German bunkers were from the last war in the forest, and down towards a road that took you to Villefranche, maybe some kilometers away, past the cow pastures where we would get water from the creek when the well went dry. The house was perhaps a hundred years old, not too old, just a plain two story farm house with a chimney and electric pole, though we often used lanterns. It was owned by an elderly Mr. and Mrs. Shwed, who would on occasion come by to tend the place, or visit, or take in the grapes for making wine. Actually, when the grapes were crushed, and later fermenting in large wooden vats, it smelled good. But Mr. Shwed said to not stick my head in the vat, or I would pass out and fall in, which I believed him, but I was always tempted to try. We also kept animals, rabbits and chickens, and an old dog that belonged to someone in some farm nearby. I would take him up to the forest hunting, but he lost all interest in my adventure once the piece of bread I had in my hand was gone, which we shared. Mykola would carve me wooden toys, I remember the whistle or water gun, which really worked. I was never bored, though mostly alone, and loved climbing up into the cherry trees when they were ripe, using the chicken coop ladder, though it was unreliable at best, I never thought about the poor chickens. Once the ladder fell away and I had to be rescued. I also cherished the hazelnut tree. It was summer and hot when I was under the grape arbor swinging a hammer at the hard shelled nuts that I saw my first bead of sweat slip off my brow. It was wonderful, like a great discovery, that I could sweat! At night, we would have dinner outside, and on one occasion, when the house was full of guests, some of us slept under the stars on piles of hay. It was one such night, a party night when the adults were playing cards inside, and telling each other war stories, or how they survived the Nazi labor camps, sometimes sadly remembering the hardships and cruelty, and hunger, and at other times laughing, just glad to be alive I suppose, that Mrs. Shwed and I were looking up at the moon. So I had to ask my usual pesky hundred questions. I think she actually meant this sincerely, but she explained very carefully that the moon is very far away, and that some believe it is made of cheese. I think I did not quite believe the cheese, though I did believe it was very far away. But she could not answer why it changed from night to night in shape, or some nights was missing. On another occasion I remember a fine man who was a scientist visiting us, who told me that the new theory was that the world is floating on a large sea of molten rock, and that the islands on this molten mass is where we live, and that they move around. I did not know it then, but this was my first introduction to plate tectonics, in early 1950s, years ahead of it being accepted by science. We had been to this man's house in Lyon, where he had a television, and while the adults were in another room, I watched a whole boxing match. I must admit it was boring, but the fascination of watching moving pictures like in the movies on such a small screen was fascinating. I also thought his wife, over which he showed clear affection, was very pretty. At the farm, the grocery truck would come by and toot its horn, so my mother, Katherine, would rush down the hill and buy what was needed for the kitchen, or needle and thread. We did not have a car, so relied on bus and train transport, except for one bicycle my step-dad used to go to work. I still remember the sounds and smells of those Michelines we would take, their interiors were a soft pale green. Later he got a moped, so it was less work, and I enjoyed riding in back, except for that one time we went over a bump and I was sent flying. Funny, we were returning from an airfield to watch the planes take off and land, but he was afraid of flying, he never flew. Life is odd. My other favorite person was a young fellow, Basil, who had been to Madagascar, in the Foreign Legion, and he had great stories to tell, which made me lust for travel. After the harvest of fresh corn, which we ate American style, and the potatoes were taken it, we moved back to the city. There life was for real, school for me, work for parents, and playing 'cowboys and Indians' with the other kids on the block. Sometimes we would jump or hang onto a passing flat bed lorry, one that was rather slow, and ride it for some distance before the driver discovered us and yelled to get off, which we did. But it was fun. Some years later, my parents and younger sister, we moved to New York City, where life was very different, fun and exciting and cultured, but very serious too, with school exams and thoughts of college. I sorely missed those innocent days of childhood.
Why am I saying all this? What is the point of this childhood reminiscence? I wanted to show this because it means something. Every time we meet a person, there is a whole life like this behind their eyes. Watch them, how they move, how they laugh, how they talk, and there is still something of that child in them, there, right there before you. Watch the way a woman moves her hair from her eyes, and you will see the dreams she had while still a little girl. Watch a man talking, using his hands, and you will see the boy who lived a whole life before becoming a man. Look into their eyes, and you will momentarily see a whole history of their lives, spoken unconsciously right before you, and wonder. When I first met my wife, we were the only two people in the desert, she taking photographs of the mesas and me running in the wild with my two, then young, wolf-dogs. And my first impression was that she had spent much time alone. I asked her, though I did not know who she was or anything about her, and she was surprised by the question. She confided immediately that yes, she had spent much time in solitude, including when she was at an orphanage. But also later in life, after her mother died, she lived alone on a farm taking care of horses. It was but a momentary glimpse into her soul, but I could see it. There are many times we do this, see into the timeline of another human being, without ever stopping to think how magic that is, how truly precious and wonderful. One word, one sentence, one movement, and you catch the essence of another's human being, which so rich and wonderful. That is the beauty. Such a moment is indescribably beautiful.
We should never forget how rich and fabulous is that other person standing before you, a creature we take for granted, but truly a gift from the stars. If you hear a voice singing, that's magic! If you walk by someone and they smile at you, that is beautiful, and one wants to smile back, that is normal and magic. We should not be afraid of one another, but think of how rich and incredible is that other human being, the odds of your meeting like this are astronomical, and yet there you are. Cherish that moment, because it is magic. These are special gifted moments of our lives, and we should never squander them. The other may not understand, and that's fine, because they are not part of this awakening, yet. But you can understand, and with that understanding, fleeting that it may be, see the other person as a whole being, from birth to death. We are magical beings of this universe, and we should never let that cherished moment slip by, no matter how painful it might be, or how mundane. The joy is in the knowing, that you too are that special being, and when we special beings meet, it is magic. That is the magic of suddenly gaining human consciousness of one another, that we can see, if only glimpsed briefly for a moment, the other as a soul. Behind that smile or look or voice, is a whole universe of being that brought you to this moment. Cherish it, like those childhood moments that will never be forgotten. They are who we are. Become aware of that, because that is something truly gifted and magical, that we are human beings. And that means something. Love.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 04:32 pm: |
This radio-carbon dating is one way to estimate the age of things. Another is through rock fossil records, and still another through molten rock evidence, though some of this is controversial amongst the 'creationists' whose claim to scientific data is 'iffy' at best.
Posted on Friday, September 08, 2006 - 04:59 pm: Ivan
The first link http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/archaeology/dating/radio_carbon.html has:
Radio-carbon dating is a method of obtaining age estimates on organic materials. It has been used to date samples as old as 50,000 years.
I am not sure we could go with this. I have not studied this thoroughly!
The second link http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html has
While these values do not compute an age for the Earth, they do establish a lower limit (the Earth must be at least as old as any formation on it).
Not necessarily. With meteorites dumping materials on earth, we could have some materials from outer space that has got mixed with the earth after it was formed.
My interest is not to worry about whether the theory of evolution or the theory of creation is correct. With the recent claims by some that wave energy could be used to convert the more active uranium to a less active one, it is possible that the so called ratios could be manipulated and thus we might feel that we are billions of years away from the big bang.
I read somewhere that the red-shift gives a measure of the distance of a star in light years. I am looking forward to some link on that system of measurements.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 04:53 pm: |
I have read the Quran and have always been interested in all religious interpretation of the soul, because I believe All religions carry some internal human "truths" about our existence.
Posted on Saturday, September 09, 2006 - 12:47 pm: Naïve
This URL lists 6 Traditions related to soul.
All that we could infer is that we do not produce a soul even through the essential act of sex between a male and a female. All that we produce is a lump of flesh that of course grows into a being.
Based on this observation, I doubt whether cloning would indeed produce another human being with soul. Cloning might just produce a body with brain, heart, flesh, blood and what not, but may not produce a soul. Looked in this perspective why should there be objection to human cloning?
Put in another way: Is compassion, love and all those higher feelings due to the brain or due to the soul? How come we develop an instant liking for some and likewise develop intense hatred for some on the very first encounter? Do the souls communicate much faster at a subconscious level?
|Posted on Thursday, September 14, 2006 - 02:31 pm: |
As regards to cloning and the soul
Interesting question: Is the soul a function of a supreme being or is it a condition of the living flesh.
In my opinion, the soul is a function of experience. It is a biological phenomena. Life = soul through experience. Similar to the Hindu or Chinese ( Prana and Chi respectively ), our bodies contain energy. We are animated by it! Through life we nuture it into soul. Our brain structures allow it. I believe the universe fosters intelligence through life in this way. The apparence of natural selection seems to confirm this.
That's how I see it.
|Posted on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 09:11 pm: |
Soul to truth to soul.
|Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 02:42 pm: |
This is from the anonymous link above, on Enlightenment. Can Islm reform? Many had tried, paid for it with their lives, but to date after 14 centuries, it has not happened. If we strike the record of history and try again, can it work? Prognosis is poor, though many will try again. Maybe someday there will a fine leader from within who can pull it off. Even Ataturk could not reform it, but only force it to secularize. If Muslims who want reform are not hunted and killed like stray dogs by their own, maybe hope?
Enlightenment is completely a one way journey. For an enlightened soul there is no coming back. It is the end of a long nightmare. You wake up from sleep and discover that what you had experienced is actually a bad dream, not reality. Enlightenment is real freedom. You enjoy real freedom when you come to understand that the purpose of your life and your true essence are actually beyond the world of religious thoughts. The enlightened soul is like a free bird out of the cage; free from bondage, slavery, and religious superstitions; on top of everything, you obtain your basic right, ie, your freedom of thought. Initially it is a painful climb, but the pain of it turns into a positive pleasure very shortly. Each step upwards makes an enlightened soul feel stronger and fit for the next because God is now on his side. Have a look at the testimony of Ali Sina. His journey to freedom was not easy. After reading the Quran he was depressed, because it was hard to accept the violent teachings of the Quran, which jolted him and shook the foundation of his religious belief. Ali said, “It is much easier to keep our eyes closed and pretend nothing has happened. Believe it or not for one year after leaving Islm, I kept praying and doing the fast. It took me one full year to stop being a hypocrite. I knew Islm was false yet I feared giving up the rituals that I had grown up with.” Religious faith is deeply rooted in mind. Sometimes it takes some time to uproot the wrong ideas. This is normal human psychology.
Enlightenment is the liberation of a soul from his self-caused state of slavery. It is so easy to be free, but it still looks like so difficult. A person cannot make him free unless he prepares himself for that. Freedom is not for the cowards. Cowards live and die within the bondage. The cowards move in a circular way and keep searching for the end till they die. Take the case of an American ex-Muslim, who reverted back to Islm. The reason as per him is -- “I see it as essential that I remain within Islm, in order to push for reforms from within, I refuse to let the extremists have it all their own way and abandon the majority of Muslims to their clutches!”. I think, this person actually could not uproot the Islmic superstition of Allah’s “hellfire” from his mind, although I may be wrong. Reforming Islm in not possible. So far, many reformers and rationalists in Islm had tried but, all of them had failed. The root cause is the unchangeable Quran. Can we reform the “Untouchablity” of Hinduism? Can we practice untouchability by giving it a touch of humanity and make it Godlike? Is not it justifiable that we eliminate the total “concept” of Untouchablity completely from the root? Can you reform Nazism? Islm is a hoax, a falsehood. How can you modify a hoax? Is it not ridiculous? It shows very clearly, how Islm “conquers” the mind and heart of some of its followers. But again, as I have said, enlightenment is not for cowards.
This is the greatest challenge to human freedom and global enlightenment in the 21st century. It will take much courage.
|Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 06:46 pm: |
Why the Violence?
Jesus said, “[A]nd you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free. [John 8:32]”
Below is a liberal point of view.
"A cult of death is forming in the Muslim world — for reasons that are perfectly explicable in terms of the Islamic doctrines of martyrdom and jihad. The truth is that we are not fighting a "war on terror." We are fighting a pestilential theology and a longing for paradise."
Why the violence? It is against G-d.
|Posted on Thursday, September 21, 2006 - 12:13 pm: |
Enlightenment is completely a one way journey.
This is from the anonymous link above, on Enlightenment.
Posted on Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 02:42 pm: Ivan
Isn’t life a one way journey? Who has turned the clock back? Still we do teach each other the lessons from our lives so that as a whole humanity advances. So what does enlightenment teach?
|Posted on Thursday, September 21, 2006 - 12:17 pm: |
The truth is that we are not fighting a "war on terror." We are fighting a pestilential theology and a longing for paradise."
Posted on Monday, September 18, 2006 - 06:46 pm: anonymous
The best way to fight theology is dialogue. One more reason to withdraw our troops from all theatres of war.
|Posted on Thursday, September 21, 2006 - 06:53 pm: |
Yah, sure. Easy to say, but nearly impossible to do if the enemy is out to do harm. When we see dialogue focussed on Islamic coercions, such as attacking innocent civilians through suicide bombings, sometimes forced suicide bombings, sometimes even covert suicide bombings where the suicider is not aware he has a bomb in his car to be detonated at a target; then we can talk of removing troops. Until these coercions cease, the troops act in a police force mode, and removing them is like removing police patrols from criminal activity. Drop the coercions, and we can talk peace, and troop removals. Until then, whether or not they like it, the troops are in place. Ask the victims. What is their opinion? How about the families of those kidnapped, shot behind the head, beheaded, mutilated and tortured? Ask them. Do they want troops withdrawn? I should think they are the first who should be consulted on this matter, the victims's families, not us. Killing is a bad business for those who suffer at the hands of killers. Stop the killings so the troops can go home. One way to achieve this is for a loud and vocal call for peace by peaceloving Muslims world wide, telling those who employ terror in their Jihad to stop. But this never happens. No large Muslim demonstrations to stop Jihad, are there? So troops are needed.
The best way to fight theology is dialogue. One more reason to withdraw our troops from all theatres of war.
|Posted on Friday, September 22, 2006 - 01:40 am: |
Ps: Mohideen, I do not want to dwell on this because this is 'off topic' for this particular thread. It should be discussed on the Radicalism thread, or 'Fairness' thread. But let me make a point, before we return this thread to discussing 'soul to soul'.
Muslims have a spiritual problem they must address: how do you teach God's word without violence and threats of violence? This had been the history of your world, that the word was spread by the sword, by blood, and by threats. How can you stop it? How can the whole Muslim body stop it, intellectually as well are realistically? Where are the mass demonstrations against Muslim coercions? Where are they? There is the problem with your faith. Everyone else in the world has moved on from conversion by force, by threats, by the sword, except the Muslim world. You are stuck in that ancient primitive mode. How will you get out of it? Do you need help? Ask, and he world will help you. But do not presume that all of us who are protecting ourselves against your faith's aggressions are the bad guys. Realize that we are very capable at this self defense, even ruthlessly capable, which will be very hard on Muslims, especially those living within our borders. So how will Muslims address this problem? Do you even understand the problem? I am most curious to see how this plays out. And I have absolutely no doubts of what will be the outcome. The question will be, how much pain can you stand before you change?
Look at the childish murderous level your world is stuck at: http://www.pmw.org.il/bulletins_Sept2006.htm#b190906
Virgins in paradise indeed, how absurd, to lure jihadi murderers.
To paraphrase Churchill, the Oriental will strike when he perceives you are weak. Dismiss the thought. We are not weak. We refrain from striking against all the unreasonable Muslim demands because we are strong. But if pressed hard enough, you will see exactly how strong we can be. And it will not please you, but shock you. We can be very tough and unyielding if we choose to be. It is not wise for Muslims to test us on this, or they will be in shock. I know my world well, believe me.
Now, let's get back on topic, where we discuss human spiritual things, those that raise us up rather than drag us down. That's what 'Dusha dushi' is for. What is it about the human soul that makes us such incredible and beautiful human beings?
|Posted on Friday, September 22, 2006 - 01:11 pm: |
Mohideen, I do not want to dwell on this because this is 'off topic' for this particular thread.
Posted on Friday, September 22, 2006 - 01:40 am: Ivan
I concur. I hesitated a lot before posting my comment at 12:17 pm on Thursday September 21, 2006. In my opinion the post at
Posted on Friday, September 15, 2006 - 09:11 pm: anonymous
was off topic. I got confused when you responded to that at 2:42 pm on Saturday September 16, 2006. Possibly encouraged by your response the post at 6:46 pm on Monday, September 18, 2006 was a direct attack on my faith. We agreed that this thread would not have any confrontation.
I do not like to leave this thread as I left some other thread. I have no permission to be a silent spectator when my faith is attacked; this is part of my faith: either defend or leave. So I gave a very mild defense.
I hope to continue the discussion on the aspects of violence in the thread on video later. Let us keep this thread just for mutual happiness. Thanks.
|Posted on Monday, September 25, 2006 - 10:45 am: |
I hope to continue the discussion on the aspects of violence in the thread on video later.
Posted on Friday, September 22, 2006 - 01:11 pm: Mohideen Ibramsha
Please see http://www.humancafe.com/discus/messages/88/94.html?1159195225#POST2011
|Posted on Wednesday, September 27, 2006 - 10:02 am: |
A beautiful one minute movie to lift the soul!
|Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 07:13 pm: |
In another posting I mentioned what is happening in Dafur as being a window into the world the Jihadists would construct.
It also offers a glimpse into the soul of Jihadists in the Sudan. It is an ugly godforsaken picture of how low a human being can sink.
In another posting Ivan has posted some information about an Iranian American Space tourist. In my posting on Dafur I also noted that a handful of American based Islamic religous organizations have joined with other organizations to oppose what is happening in Dafur.
While I hate and despise the Militant Jihadists, I respect Islam as a faith, although I disagree with its views on God and many other matters.
As Celtic Catholic I have my own beliefs.
I just returned from a walk in my town observing a part of the fall tradition of putting Scarecrows out along our ancient Main Street in preparation for Holloween and Thanskgiving.
The air was clear and cold and the trees are starting to turn and loose their leaves. The street looked like a scene from Norman Rockwell painting.
I compare that to the hell on earth that is Dafur and remmber sitting in front of a desk when the early indicators of Dafur turning into a crisis were detected. I am very thankful that I live here and not in Dafur. If I lived there and had the same skills and ability I have now I would lead rebellion against the Sudanese government.
I saw the pattern early about what was happening in Dfur and was enraged about the action of an officer that swept the early information under the rug because he wanted to pass the buck and get promoted and did not want to go out on a limb over it.
Such is my life. It is hard for me to work with those with less ability even in my damaged state. That officer was one of them. I sometime forget that not all people have the same abilities I do even damaged with regards to analysis of information and ability in school.
As the fall approaches I am preparing my house for winter. I could not complete all of my house restoration projects on my 110 year old home this year and have to wait until the spring.
Over the course of the winter I will be planning the design of my back garden based on an English Garden Design.
I may over the courseof the winter join a support group that helps Veterans with coping with the effects of combat and stress of transitioning to the civilian world.
As the world teeters on the bring of a clash of civilizations I watch the news and shake my head over the maddness of it all.
|Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 07:53 pm: |
From a Friend of Ed
The following are a partial list of the Flag Rank Officers that have personally commended Major Edward Anthony Chesky for analytic brilliance and service above and beyond the call of duty in defense of his nation during the Cold War, and other Campaigns.
Lieutenant General John A. Dubia
Director of the Army Staff
Lt. Gen. E. S. Leland Jr., USA
European Command Chief of Staff
R. J. Zlatoper
Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet
Robert S. Coffey
Deputy Commanding General United States Army Europe
David A Bramlett
Lieutenant General, USA, Deputy USCINCPAC/Chief of Staff
Lawson W. Magruder III
Lieutenant General, Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Staff of U.S. Army Forces Command
Many were praying for Ed and no resource was spared in his treatment.
When he travels he has many powerful friends.
Had he been on PANAM 103 the loss would have been devestating. He and General Dubia built the targeting plan that would have destroyed a good part of the Soviet's forces in Europe.
Now you know why the local police have extra patrols around Ed's house.
|Posted on Friday, September 29, 2006 - 08:35 pm: |
Yes I check my car for bombs everyday. Its part of my life. When I was helping build advanced military simulation software, it was sugguested I buy a Volvo with bullet resistant glass. It was called an executive edition.
After Mexico when my laptop was stolen I thought about getting it but did not want the expense.
As to me, there is a GPS chip in my Cell phone that allows me to be tracked whereever I go.
AS to the bad intelligence on the war on Iraq, well that is another story for another time....
|Posted on Saturday, September 30, 2006 - 03:35 pm: |
In the dark days of the Cold War many prayed and those that could did.
On one side stood the Soviets and on the other side stood NATO.
On some fall the glory and the honor on others falls the wealth. Often times the two are mutually exclusive because of the difference in character required. For the first the door to the churches remain open. For the others the trap door to door to the pit lays between them and the door to the church. They pass over it everyday not knowing when it will open.
Greed, jealousy, spite and lust are common to those that seek to bring down those that do great things. Compassion, love, forgiveness and restraint are the marks of the great.
In all things most people fall in the middle and are torn between these characteristics. Such is the nature of being human.
|Posted on Sunday, October 01, 2006 - 12:32 am: |
Ignorance makes humanity weak. Those with sway / power seek to keep it that way. Is power and wealth more important than human progress?
We who care see this. The entire Islam debate which has recently dominated this site is an example! The common man either fears those in power or is kept in ignorance, and thus responds in ignorance when prompted.
I'm tired of this! I know you're tired of this. Why do we put up with it? Why don't we do something? Admit you're scared, complacent, or apathetic! Intellectuals respond and act!
The secrets of the soul are masked by the designs of those with selfish ambitions. Those who sit on idle hands in the face of this subjugation are equally responsible for the hindrance human progress. Someone please respond!
|Posted on Sunday, October 01, 2006 - 02:40 pm: |
Take a look at Ivan's latest post he has some good information in it.
As to myself I will be traveling back to the Persian Gulf Region in the spring enroute to a vacation in the Indian Ocean region.
During my travels I will spend a few days in a progressive Moderate Islamic Nation State. I do not fear going back there, rather on the contrary am looking forward to it. In time people will understand that Islam is both a religion of peace and one of war.
Islam has at its core a duality to it and its teachings. For those that live it, it can be either a religion of peace or one of militant Jihad. Most Islamics follow the path of peace. As a framework for ordering society Islam is a restrictive religion as compared to the other religions of the world and one that I have much criticism for. To the Islamic people I and my wife are Christian's and people of the book. They understand us and can relate to us for being honest about our religion and position on it. To them we are worthy adversaries and people of status based on a tribal familial view of society.
In part I think part of what is upsetting you about society and what is going on in the United States today is that you are seeing a fight between those who feel our society has become to free and those that feel that abridgement of our hard earned rights is a threat to the continued existance of our society. As well as great social inequality.
During any period of social and economic change, such as globalization, there are those that succeed in adapting and those that fail.
In my current job I work with a number of people from the lowest socio-economic level of our society as well as people from the middle class. My responsibility is to teach them to function in a fast paced, high technology, demanding evironment that requires they display integrity and initiative. The turn over rate is high, among those from the lower socio-economic class not because of the instruction but because of the limits of the personnel I train.
In dealing the people I teach, I deal with the effects of poverty, a substandard public education system, malnurishment as a child and lack of socialization and inter-personal skills on a daily basis. Because of the effects of poverty and inequality the people I deal with and train have limited potential and struggle to retain their job once they get it due to the damage they have sustained to both their physical bodies and mental abilites as a result of the privations endured as a result of poverty.
For these people they have for the most part reached the limits of their potential when I get them and will never be able to perform or do the things you I and the others that frequent this website can do. To them the solution to the Billiard Problem is nothing more than some lines on a piece of paper and E=MC2 nothing more than some letters.
To them my life is like a dream and has to be lies. Because of that a number of them hate me with a passion that goes beyound words. It comes from envy. Most of these type of people do not follow any religous teachings and as such have a less then adequate moral code and need to be closely supervised. The sad part of all of this is that the company I work for is actively trying to uplift and afford work oportunities to people from the lower socio-ecnomic level of our society and offer them a path to the middle class if they can meet the minimal expectations. The unfortunate truth is that not many can meet those expectations and we are having to bring in workers from India and elsewhere to perform those jobs.
As to who is to blame for this situation, the left or the right, that is a matter for debate and has been with us since this country was founded.
At present I am building an outbuilding at my house to act as a workshop and place where I can hang the awards and decorations I have accumulated over the years. I don't have any room in my house and study to display them. I don't take them to work to display and I drive a small beat up car to work so not to embarass the people I teach.
For them the jobs I train them for are likely the highest paying ones they will ever have. It is for this reason among others that I am seeking employment where I can have some influence on policy. I have heard the complaints of the people on the streets, been in their homes, and see the results of inequality and poverty on a daily basis.
Such is the nature of the society we have created. In the city where I work we have one of the highest crime rates in the United States due to lack of employment for the low skilled segment of the population. With no other outlets these people turn to drugs and crime. When I go to the theature with my wife and park in Valet parking I have sometimes given the keys to people that I once trained and could not hold the job I trained them for. It is with great sadness that I look them in the eye as I walk into the theature I and my wife know a life they will never know.
In darkened bunkers and in the dark back of planes my wife and I hunted the forces of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. From the freezing hills of Germany to the Cold Waters of Alaska we hunted Soviet Operational Manuever Groups and Nuclear Submarines while the fate of the world hinged on our efforts and the thousands like us.
When I teach the people I train, I treat them with curtesy and respect regardless if they do not reciprocate the respect. For I have known the streets and how hard it is to be poor.
|Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 08:46 am: |
MINI-ME EGO AND THE SOUL
The soul knows it is all light, coming from a universe that is all light, so it never worries. Whether it lives or dies is immaterial to the soul, since it is all light. Not so fast for mini-me ego. It is not ready for so acceptance. The soul is indifferent, but mini-me is hesitant to go to the other side of light. It lingers here because it almost knows something the soul being universal existence does not. The light cannot enter this material world when damage is forced upon it. Mini-me almost knows, but cannot truly understand. The soul says it is nothing to be hurt or killed, it is all light. Mini-me says when hurt or made slave, or killed, the light does not penetrate here. It almost knows this, so it hesitates to follow the soul so kindly. It knows for light to penetrate here, killing and hurting must stop.
|Posted on Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 03:37 pm: |
Iran's Olmert raises Iran in Kremlin talks
There were handshakes between the leaders of Israel and Russia, despite their disagreement over how to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions.
When did Prime Minister Ehud Olmert become an Iranian?
This post is just for the fun. No discussion on the issue in this thread please.
|Posted on Sunday, October 22, 2006 - 12:19 pm: |
Facing the Wild Boar,
I just returned from a hunting trip where I went hunting a wild boar with a single shot black powder rifle. It was an experience I will never forget and brought home for me a deep repsect for nature, god and just how powerful the forces of nature are.
I arrived the night before the hunting trip and spent the evening in the lodge with a mixed group of hunters. We talked over coffee. It was cold night and a storm had just come through the area but the lodge, heated by a wood stove, was warm. Most of the group were going to go after wild boar using bow and arrows shot from tree stands. For myself I was going to be on the ground with a single shot black powder rifle. With us as part of the group was a father and son. This was the son's first hunt.
We talked late into the evening of a wide variety of subjects. Most the talk centered over hunting, weapons and game animals.
In the morning, at first light, when the guides arrived we gathered up our equipment and when out into the game hunting preserve to take up position along a game trail. As my guide and I moved into the preserve we spotted a number of deer from diferent species. One was a magnificant white tail deer that stood there watching us as we took up our position. As looked upon it standing proudly there I forgot about all the pain in my body from the various injuries I had sustained over the course of my military career.
The air was cold and clear after the storm. As I sat on a stump waiting for a boar to come down one of the game trails that crossed the area I checked my rifle out. It was new one that my wife had given me for a Christmass present and I had only used it on the range before. I had cleaned it the night before and checked the firing mechanism. I noticed that the hammer sliped on occasion but decided to take it anyway. I brought my old trusted rifle as well but left it in the lodge.
As my guide and I sat there in the early morning light word was passed to us over the guide's radio that a herd of boar had started moving through the area and were headed our way. I had the rifle in the half cocked position and waited for the boar to appear. Down below us on the hillside we spotted a large grayish black wild board moving up the trail towards us. As he closed withing seventy five yards of our position I pulled the hammer back and took aim. As I brought the hammer back to firing position it slipped and struck the cap causing a miss fire. At the sound of the miss fire the boar stopped and looked at us. It was a ugly beast of about 200 pounds. As I fumbled with the gun it turned and ran up the hill past us. Fortunately it did not charge us.
Breathing a sigh of relief I cursed the gun and put a new cap on it. My guide and I decided that we would give it another chance. We decided to move deeper into the preserve towards a small creek. As we approached the creek we got word over the radio that a large mean boar with a habit of charging the guides had moved into the brush in the creek bottom.
Staying clear of the area where the bow hunters had taken up position we moved down the hill side towards the creek. Moving up the creek we spotted another guide who signaled us over to him. As we came up to him he said that one of the older boar had taken up position in the brush about 60 yards from him. As I followed his finger. I could barely make out a blur among the brush. Taking out my binoculars, that I had last used looking at the coast of Venezuela, could make out part of a boar in the brush. It was about the same color of the brush. As I sat there looking at it, I thought to myself this was going to be a difficult shot, using only the open iron sights on the single shot black powder rifle.
I turned to the guides and said I'll take the shot. I also told them if my gun missed fired and the board charged we would have to run for the woodline and hope for the best. As I aimed at the center of the blur in the brush I slowly squeezed the trigger. As I squeezed the trigger I hard a small pop. Damn I thought as I sat there 50 yards from the boar. I looked about and the guides had moved back towards the woodline. I slowly backed up keeping my eyes on the boar. I could see its ears twiching but it was not moving.
When I got back to the guides I tried to clear the gun but the extractor attached to the end of the tamping rod broke off and fowled the gun. Fortunately we were close to the lodge and I was able to reurn and get the old black powder rifle that I had been using since 1989.
As my guide and I returned back to the creek we saw the board was still in roughly the same location but it was seeming more aggitated. Moving into position I took aim and pulled the trigger. As the hammer fell there was a small pop and no discharge. As I looked at the boar it raised its head and began sniffing the air. As I replaced the cap and took aim again it began to move. When I pulled the trigger the gun discharged. As the smoke cleared I saw the boar stand up and run limping deeper into the brush by the creek.
Reloading the gun I and the guide circled around the creek to see if we could spot the boar. As we did we flushed a black boar that fled down the creek toward the position we had just left. After crossing the small creek we caught a glimpse of the boar in the brush. I could see what I thought was blood on it and moved to take up a position to fire another shot.
As I took aim at it and pulled the trigger I prayed the gun would fire. As the gun recoiled back into my shoulder I heard a high pitched scream from the boar. It moved out of the brush dragging its rear legs. My shot had taken it in the spine shattering it. As I reloaded my rifle to finish the boar off, my guide said we have trouble. I looked at where he was pointing and saw an entire herd of about twenty boar move down the hill towards us.
As we sat there looking at them approach I looked down at the single shot rifle I had and said oh shit. Slowley backing up the guide and I moved back into the tree line keeping out of visual range of the boar. We took up position behind some trees and watched as the boar passed with 20 yards of us. As they passed I could only think of the carcass of a 200 pound deer we had found earlier in the day that the boar had brought down. All that was left of it was skin and hair. Fourtunately the boar did not see us and passed us by.
When they cleared our area, the guide and I moved up to inspect the boar I had shot. Despite taking a 50 caliber hollow point bullet in the spine it was still nashing its teeth and struggling to get at us. Standing about 30 yards from it I took aim at it and put another round through its chest. Despite a direct hit with two 50 caliber rounds the boar continued to struggle, but soon its struggle began to weaken and it died.
As the guides gutted the board and lifted it up on the atv to transport it out of the preserve I could only wonder at what it took to kill it. The old stories of the hunters from the middle ages that faced them with lances ran through my mind.
At the field site were they butchered the boar, I looked at it hanging on the rack. It weighed 250 pounds and was five and a half feet long with 4 inch razor sharp teeth. It was one of the meanist loking creatures I had ever saw.
As I sat in the lodge waiting for my boar to be butchered, I was asked by the preserve managers if I wanted to take it home or donate it to a local food bank. I told them I would donate it. As I sat in the lodge waiting for lunch to be served I chatted with some of the other hunters over coffee in the lounge of the lodge. We talked about the courage and fighting spirit of the boar and other things. It was a good time.
On the drive home I could only gave thanks to god for the luck that I enjoyed. In the woods with only a single shot riffle I faced the boar and came home with a tale to tell.
|Posted on Monday, October 23, 2006 - 08:07 pm: |
Great story, Ed. I could almost smell the forest, hear the 'pop', and smell the sulfur. Had occasion to eat wild boar, singhiale, on my last trip to Italy, prepared by a restauranteur friend of ours. It was killed by a friend of a friend, tasted like a cross between pork and beef steak, very good. Sorry for that noble old boar, but also know that if not culled at times, their numbers can grow out of hand. I had only seen a small one up in the north woods of California, but saw places where they lived in the Appenine mountains, rooting for acorns and leaving tracks. Great animal spirit, noble of you to send its soul onto its next life.
|Posted on Monday, October 23, 2006 - 09:09 pm: |
FIRST PRAYER SAID IN THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
"Lord our Heavenly Father, High and Mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech thee, on these our American States, who have fled to thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent on Thee, to Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give; take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle! Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst Thy people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. all this we ask In the Name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior.
Let it be remembered we are a nation under God.
|Posted on Monday, October 23, 2006 - 10:58 pm: |
Well said anonymous,
Perhaps it was said best by Jesus when he said
Blessed are the poor in spirit:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn:
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek:
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful:
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart:
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers:
for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
matthew 5:3-10 - Jesus
In a world wracked by violence and terrorism sometimes we need to look back at the core of our belief system and what makes us different from the Terrorists.
These words have sustained and guided our civilization and its laws since they were spoken nearly 2000 years ago.
Despite the pain and agony of rehabilitation from disease and poison I have tried to live by these words. Each day that I wake in pain I reflect upon them and use them to help guide my actions in this life.
To some of us are given skills and abilities. Osama took his skills and went down one path. I took my skills and went down another. Despite the pain and damage I have sustained I still have much to offer in the service of peace. In time when it is my time to pass through the light, I will do so knowing that I have stood with the peacemakers from the DMZ in Korea to the Iron Curtain, and to the Sands of Iraq.
God is a demanding but fair taskmaster and many have been persecuted in his name. In the current war many others will fall before the end comes. One hopes that our current leadership finds the wisdom and guidence asked for in the prayer you posted to bring this war to a quick end.
|Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2006 - 11:06 pm: |
On the drive home I could only gave thanks to god for the luck that I enjoyed.
Posted on Sunday, October 22, 2006 - 12:19 pm: Anon
Ed, I join you in thanking God that he brought you home and blessed us with your company for some more time. May God Almighty unite us in our efforts to bring peace and grant us success in that effort too.
|Posted on Saturday, November 11, 2006 - 02:08 pm: |
In Tribute to Jack.
My dad, a journalist, knew Jack Palance who died at age 87, they were almost the same age, though Leonid Poltava, my father, died in 1990. He spoke rather well of him, old buddies talking of the old times, soul to soul, while smoking cigarettes. Now both had ventured through the 'tunnel of light' to the other side, where old friends meet again.
|Posted on Wednesday, December 20, 2006 - 08:11 am: |
I am posting this here as it regards an issue of general law. The particular case is irrelevant for the law issue.
Can the society frame a law and punish an individual for an act that was lawful before the law was passed?
Irving has been in custody in Austria since his November 2005 arrest on charges stemming from two speeches he gave in Austria in 1989 for which he was accused of denying the Nazis' extermination of 6 million Jews.
The event took place in 1989. Now from the same URL, we have:
In February, another Vienna court sentenced Irving to three years behind bars under a 1992 law, which applies to "whoever denies, grossly plays down, approves or tries to excuse the National Socialist genocide or other National Socialist crimes against humanity in a print publication, in broadcast or other media."
The law was passed in 1992. How could one be punished for an act of 1989 by a law of 1992?
Don't we have the policy that laws of benefit could be applied backdated but not of punishment?
|Posted on Thursday, December 21, 2006 - 08:15 pm: |
Greetings to the World- from all to all!
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo
Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!
Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo
Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr!
Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
Boas Festas e um feliz Ano Novo
Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva i s Novim Godom
Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Soorp Janunt
|Posted on Sunday, December 24, 2006 - 12:19 am: |
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
From all of us at Humancafe, singing
|Posted on Sunday, December 31, 2006 - 08:37 am: |
Hasan was able to stand here yesterday thanks to the sponsorship of a caring family back home — a family of Brahmins.
The gift from the Brahmin family is acceptable and is treated as a 'booty.'
Love and affection respect no barriers.
|Posted on Sunday, December 31, 2006 - 11:12 am: |
A simple act of affection, a gift, a selfless hope to see another succeed, even when the odds favor failure, a helping hand. This makes us all One. Thanks Mohideen for bringing to our attention this wonderful story, of a man who performed Hajj by the help of another human being not of his religion. Heartwarming when human beings do this, for it proves we are indeed One.
Hasan says the Jagtap family is in his prayers here in Arafat.
|Posted on Sunday, December 31, 2006 - 11:12 pm: |
Happy New Year to all.
|Posted on Monday, January 01, 2007 - 05:06 am: |
Why are we here? To bring fulfillment to consciousness.
Happy New Year!
|Posted on Saturday, January 06, 2007 - 11:57 am: |
Naive, we may need to start a whole new thread to discuss this exceptionally profound statement!
Why are we here? To bring fulfillment to consciousness.
I'll think on it some more, as I had been doing since you posted. Stay tuned...
|Posted on Saturday, January 13, 2007 - 11:08 am: |
We must guard against bigotry, especially the openly blatant bigotry evidenced here: Britain's New Preachers of Hate
"Speaking at the Ahl-e-Hadith mosque, in Derby, Dr Mian tells his listeners: "You are in a situation in which you have to live like a state-within-a-state - until you take over.
"But until this happens, you have to preach, until you become such a force that the people just submit to you.""
A personal faith has none of this, though a politicized faith will suffer this, from such aggressive bigotry.
The soul needs faith, this is a balancing act between the mind and heart. But no faith is beyond criticism and questions, if it is truly questions from the soul, and a true faith. Even contentious questions have a place, if they are well balanced in their approach, not to insult a personal faith, but nor to empower its politicized faith. This is true for all religious beliefs.
This Wiki article is an example of a more balanced approach:
Criticism of Muhammad
|Posted on Monday, January 22, 2007 - 10:36 am: |
I do not know whether this page would close soon. If so, I sign off. Please read
for my sign-off statement. Thanks.
|Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 12:25 am: |
A Muslim Looks at Muhammad and Jesus
-The story of Abdul Saleeb and what he
discovered about Islam and Christianity
"My name is "Abdul Saleeb." I was born and raised in a Muslim country in the Middle East. Even though I lived in a very conservative Muslim society, I grew up in a somewhat of a liberal Muslim family. Furthermore, my Muslim upbringing was unique due to my mother's serious involvement in Islamic sufism. So I can honestly confess that I have had first-hand experience of every aspect of contemporary Islamic movements. I personally did not consider myself very religious. At one point I even turned to Marxist ideologies thinking that they could provide real solutions to my country's social ills. However, throughout all this time I never doubted the fundamentals of my religious faith. I thought of Islam as a faith with such high ideals that I did not consider myself worthy of the name Muslim but I wholeheartedly believed that Islam was God's last and most perfect religion for all mankind, based on God's final revelation, the Qur'an, and the prophet Muhammad, God's seal of prophethood. My view of other religions (especially Judaism and Christianity) was that although they were fundamentally the same since they had all been revealed by one God, they were all inferior to Islam because all of them had to various degrees corrupted the original message of their founding prophets, something that we as Muslims have not done.
My religious views were radically challenged when I left my country because of its civil turmoil and went to Europe for the continuation of my studies. By the providence of God and because of various circumstances, I ended up enrolling in an International Christian School.
A question I once asked my teacher revolutionized my worldview. I asked, "How come your word of God says one thing and our word of God says something different?" My teacher, not knowing much about Islam at all, gently asked, "How do you know the Qur'an is the word of God?" I was taken aback by that response. I had lived in a world in which everyone simply presupposed that the Qur'an was dictated word for word by God to the Prophet Muhammad and no one ever questioned that assumption. That brief encounter forced me to start on a journey, engage my Christian friends in hours of cordial discussion and debate about the truthfulness of the Christian faith.
Christianity and Islam
Like almost any other Muslim, my original reaction to the claims of Christians about Jesus Christ was that of utter shock. These claims not only seemed like plain blasphemy but also quite nonsensical. How could any rational being believe such things about an honored prophet of God? Despite my fundamental theological differences with my friends, there was something about their life and faith that impressed me a great deal. There was a sincerity in their relationship with God and with other people that I had not encountered. So I would often tell them that I did not want to deny their faith but I just wanted to find a compromise so that I could hold to the truth of Islam and they could continue to hold to their faith.
However, I was in no doubt that their belief about Jesus was based on statements that the prophet Jesus had never actually claimed for himself. My difficulty in understanding Christian belief was very much along the lines that have historically separated Islam from Christianity.
I did not grant in any way that the Bible, especially the New Testament documents, were reliable when it came to reporting the words of Christ. Anything in the Bible that disagreed with the Qur'an was automatically rejected as being a corrupt teaching in the Bible.
My spiritual journey went on for months. Oftentimes I did find comfort in the Qur'an, but I was encountering more questions in that book than answers. For example, the violent tone of many of the Qur'anic passages (especially against the unbelievers but also against the Jewish and Christian people) began to bother me, when compared with the emphasis on love in the New Testament. One particular passage that troubled me, especially in light of my good friendship with many Christians, was in Sura 5:51.
"O ye who believe! Take not Jews and Christians for your friends and protectors; they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily God guideth not a people unjust."
However, the most troubling section of the Qur'an had to do with the character of the prophet Muhammad himself. According to Sura 33:37, God sanctions Muhammad's desire to marry the divorced wife of his own stepson, "in order that (in future) there may be no difficulty to the believers in (the matter of) marriage with the wives of their adopted sons, when the latter have dissolved with the necessary (formality) (their marriage) with them. And God's command must be fulfilled."
I vivdly remember the first time that I came across that verse in my study of the Qur'an. I began to sob with great sorrow and shame. All my life I had been told that Muhammad was the most perfect and ideal moral example for mankind and yet the Qur'an had a good number of examples of how the "revelations" could be so self-serving to the prophet himself!..."
"Soon after my own conversion, I decided to dedicate my entire life to promoting the Good News of Christ among Muslims and especially the people of my own country. I later came to the United States and received my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biblical and Theological Studies. I also co-authored a book called Answering Islam: The Crescent in the Light of the Cross."
Abdul Saleeb, Ramadan of 1996
|Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 08:54 am: |
One particular passage that troubled me, especially in light of my good friendship with many Christians, was in Sura 5:51.
"O ye who believe! Take not Jews and Christians for your friends and protectors; they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily God guideth not a people unjust."
Posted on Thursday, February 01, 2007 - 12:25 am: anonymous
Some passages in the Holy Quran are specifically for their time. The Verse 51 of Chapter 5 of the Holy Quran is an example of a time-limited Verse. This Verse ceases to apply after the conquest of Makkah.
Some other passages in the Holy Quran are forever.
Starting with the fifth Caliph some of the passages meant for the specific time during the life of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, were treated as though they are forever. This permitted their conquests on earth.
In a nutshell Verse 256 of Chapter 2 of the Holy Quran is forever; not Verse 50 of Chapter 33 of the Holy Quran. Look at Verse 50 of Chapter 33 in http://www.searchtruth.com/chapter_display_all.php?chapter=33&from_verse=50&to_v erse=50&mac=&translation_setting=1&show_transliteration=1&show_yusufali=1&show_s hakir=1&show_pickthal=1&show_mkhan=1
We could construe this Verse as self-serving. We could also understand this Verse to indicate the separation between Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and his followers.
There are other Verses of such time limitation. Most of the Verses quoted by the war-mongers among Muslims are time limited. God willing we hope to identify them and show them to be time limited soon.
|Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 09:00 am: |
Judge them not by what they teach, but judge them by what they do.
Ivan, editors, Humancafe from http://www.humancafe.com/discus/messages/88/130.html?1170308208#POST3160
The above dictum applies to individuals and not to societies.
In particular some of us, the peace loving Muslims are trying to take back Islam from the war-mongers. Today it seems as though the war-mongers have the upper hand. Do not apply the above dictum and condemn us also.
God willing the peace in Islam would prevail.
|Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 06:14 pm: |
Above you say some verses are time-specific, and some are not. I would like to know who determines this type of thing in regards to spiritual text. This is the crux of the long road you have ahead. If you wish to take back Islam from warmongers, someone is going to have to be the "new" determiner of old words. This is no enviable task, considering the backlash that this will create. Since no one will ever attempt to ammend the Koran, the battle lies within who gets to determine interpretation. How can you wrestle this power of responsibility from those who would not give it up? I believe the only answer is to separate faith from society and make it more of a personal thing. I know this is what we have been advocating here, but I don't think many are willing to take that step.
There are many consequences that must be weighed, if indeed this attempt at social change within faith is to be accomplished. Progressive thinking is needed. Chances need to be taken. A break with tradition is inevitable.
|Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 09:54 pm: |
Since no one will ever attempt to ammend the Koran, the battle lies within who gets to determine interpretation. How can you wrestle this power of responsibility from those who would not give it up?
Posted on Friday, February 02, 2007 - 06:14 pm: Naive
True. There is no need to amend the Holy Quran. You are right in stating that the problem is one of interpretation.
Is Arabic static? Or is it dynamic? As part of every prayer we greet Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him at the end. The words have meaning as given below:
O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed the family of Ibrahim, and give baraka to Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You gave baraka to the family of Ibrahim, in all the worlds. You are worthy of Praise and Glorious.
Within the single sentence quoted above, God has shown that the Arabic language is dynamic. The family of Ibrahim is defined by genetics and piety while the family of Muhammad is defined by piety alone. So it is the interpretation of the Holy Quran that needs to be undertaken.
If we know who holds the responsibility one could attempt to wrestle it from that person. How do we wrestle the meaning of a play by Shakespere?
We simply give our interpretation and if it is right eventually it would be accepted. So our work is to seek the guidance of God and give the interpretation to the best of our ability. If it is good, it would eventually truimph.
I hope God helps me and those like me.
|Posted on Saturday, February 03, 2007 - 08:15 pm: |
Is there an imperative that Muslims interpret Koran in the exact same manner? If not there is your answer. No one need control interpretation because faith would then be a personal interpretation. On the surface this may seem to weaken the faith cummulatively, but you would rid yourselves of the warmongers who use faith to control or attack innocents. Just as I believe George W. Bush should go fight his own war, or send his children. Personally he would never allow those circumstances. Instead the current adminstration wages psychological warfare on the public to stir up fear and resentment. This is how warmongering happens here.
In essence, only through education will man become enlightened. Then will personal choice in regards to words of faith, provide the answer to reducing the sway of warmongers in your faith or anywhere else. Who will begin this process of education? It must begin in an atmosphere or trust, safety, and honest spirituality. This is not really the case here or there. Of utmost importance should be the understanding that although Islam may allow for Jihad, human life is most paramount. God would not want humans to destroy human life! Other alternatives must be sought. These are not amendments, simply implied reasoning about God's righteousness, applied to human life.
And at last, how can an individual develop a nonbiased interpretation of God, if the atmosphere in which that individual dwells is controlled by someone else and their subjective opinion? This is why separation of church and state are but a first small step towards human freedom. Apparently in this country, the next step requires amendment and limitations of the government's power to wage war without full public consent. As mentioned earlier, those with power will find a way to steal away our fulfillment, and further their agendas. Thinking beings such as ourselves must change this, even if progress means departing from tradition.
Good luck to us all.
|Posted on Sunday, February 04, 2007 - 11:22 am: |
"Judge them not by what they teach, but judge them by what they do." --Ivan
The above dictum applies to individuals and not to societies.
In particular some of us, the peace loving Muslims are trying to take back Islam from the war-mongers. Today it seems as though the war-mongers have the upper hand. Do not apply the above dictum and condemn us also.
God willing the peace in Islam would prevail.
Individuals when free can choose their community; when unfree they are the community, by force. Today's Muslims are not free of their community, unless they leave that community, so their society reflects only one rigid interpretation of their faith. Judge them not by that ridig interpretation, but by what they choose to do.
God willing, they will choose freedom and peace.
|Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 - 10:19 am: |
Happy Valentine Day to all our Friends!
Love is forever.
|Posted on Saturday, February 17, 2007 - 12:49 am: |
African children can steal your heart.
We just saw the African Childrens Choir perform this evening, at a Lutheran Church in Costa Mesa, CA. What a light filled and love inspired performance of children from Uganda singing. They were from about seven to ten of age, boys and girls, singing and dancing beautifully, Christian hymns and popular songs, that it brought tears to our eyes. I wanted to take them home, they were so wonderful. In fact, sponsoring families did take them home. These beautiful and talented children are the hope of Africa, God Bless them. If they sing in your area, please make every effort to see them. They will steal your heart with love.
When the ended their performance and streamed out of the hall, where perhaps 500 people were attending, they gave 'high fives' to those nearest them. Lovely kids, but their hands were cold, though they had just danced and sang their hearts to us. So sweet, lovely children... cold hands, warm hearts.
|Posted on Friday, February 23, 2007 - 09:33 pm: |
SORRY WE'RE EXPERIENCING SOME BLOG-SPAM DIFFICULTIES, so I leave you my SECOND-IN-COMMAND while we try to fix it:
Tattoo tatto, as they say around here.
|Posted on Sunday, March 04, 2007 - 12:41 pm: |
Are we free of blog-spam yet?
This is a test, give it a few days, and we will know.
|Posted on Sunday, March 18, 2007 - 12:05 pm: |
The Cosmic-Couple-Companion, within the wheel of our cosmic social consciousness.
"Parvati prayed to Shiva."For me lord, for me, show them what they want to see, not what you really are." Shiva heard her prayers. Society was not interested in the bitter truth; it preferred being entertained with sweet illusions. So be it. The palace gates flung open and the groom entered Himavari s palace. Bathed in mountain springs, wearing a garland of fragrant flowers, he was the most handsome man anyone had ever seen: fair skin, dark eyes, long silky hair, broad shoulders, narrow hips, lithe limbs. He was the personification of beauty. " I have come for my bride." Shiva announced standing before Himavan."
I mention these Hindu mythological deities in the context that there is something very deep and ancient about our cosmic consciousness, that we are connected together at some very deep level not easily recognized by the mind, but felt. We have heard of "cosmic couples" whose love unites them through life, or at times only through moments of life, where their love manifests at their lives touching each other, sometimes forever, other times only for one time. Yet, there is something eternal about such love, it never leaves them, and like the chalk mark on a wheel, they touch in their great cycles of life. This is an eternal and enduring love, which may affect either sex, sometimes the same sex, so they are "cosmic companions" as they travel the many paths of life's evolutions. It may be part of our social consciousness on a grander scale, something the Hindu deities represented once upon a time, even today, as part of that social connectedness we are all a part of. On a personal level, it is a moment of true feelings for another human being, perhaps experienced only once, or some time long ago, but rekindled once more upon meeting. Have we met before, in the great turns of the wheel of cosmic consciousness, and then touched again, perhaps over and over again over the eons? Did we know each other in Paleolithic times? Were we lovers during the times of Troy and Sparta? Did we fight back to back in some ancient battles? A love found and then lost, and then found again? Are we all "companions" in this great cosmic wheel of life?
Is there a "soul to soul" connection at some deep cosmic level for all of us, both persoanlly and socially, within a greater universal consciousness? I think there is. And when we touch, it is a magic of the universal love touching us, as cosmic beings. Is this a sweet illusion, a cosmic illusion, or is it true?
|Posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 - 01:50 pm: |
Muslims believe that all the souls were created by God. In that sense all souls have one point of common interaction: God.
|Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 03:39 am: |
What is the soul?
If everything comes from God, then the soul is just a part of God. Is the soul then free will that God has granted us? Is granted free will really free will at all??
I often ponder the difference between being a soul given free will by God, vs. being a conscious entity programmed by nature for survival and gratification of sense. I think we exist somewhere between those extremes, and the choices, behavior, and paths we choose define our humanity.
One thing is sure, we were all spawned from the same something. Hopefully our primary purpose for being is more than just the survival instinct. Then again, from a certain point of view, the survival instinct is responsible for all that we have achieved (including all forms of culture, spirituality, religion, etc.) We created those things in order to get along with each other, and to come to grips with our own mortality.
A serious question to examine is, what drives the desire to survive, to survive in comfort, and to survive and perpetuate the species? And then, how is all of that related to the soul?
Seen from another perspective:
If we are strictly biological beings, when we die our chemical composition will be reabsorbed in the system that spawned us. The energy systems that power our brains, will switch off. Does that make us no more than perception of sensation, and cognition of perception, with 2-3 billion years of survival instincts intertwined into the structure of our brains? And is the fact that I am able to contemplate this and apply it to the physical domain in which I exist, truly God's gift of the soul?
|Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 02:31 pm: |
And is the fact that I am able to contemplate this and apply it to the physical domain in which I exist, truly God's gift of the soul?
Posted on Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 03:39 am: Naive
I believe it is more than that. Why did Beethovan compose music? Why did Aristotle contemplate philosophy? I think they had no choice. They were born to do what they did.
Could we say that such innate desires are the part of the soul of a person? For me neither music nor philosophy belongs to the physical domain. Please correct me if I am wrong in my classification.
|Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 02:07 am: |
Predetermination is scary!
If we were born to do something, that implies predetermination. What is the point of God creating a soul that basically follows a set plan? There would be no point in that creation, for God would have no need of seeing an already determined outcome.
As to your second: Brain structures (we are born with) and experience which leads to the creation of new brain structures (aquired behavior, learning) do not necessarily constitute innate desire. We cannot know what experiences, or for that matter, neural organization a Beethovan may have had. Thus we cannot say his desire to create music was innate, or prediposed by God. The only test of this would be to raise an individual in total sensory deprivation, and then allow that individual to express creatively. Beethovan and others like him, were part of a culture which valued the abilities he demonstrated. So it stands to reason, he developed his desire to compose from both his natural talent and from cultural values. I would venture the sensory deprived Beethovan would never equal the accomplishments of the one raised to value the cultural ideals of his society.
I do agree, however, that certain brain structures (we are hard-wired with) can naturally lead us into an area of expertise (similar to tall folks choosing basketball as their sport). Is this from God, and does it equate to a predetermined path our souls must follow? Only God knows . . .
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 11:39 am: |
Predetermination is scary!
Posted on Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 02:07 am: Naive
How about partial predetermination? Would that fit in with the concept of evolution?
|Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 11:27 pm: |
I cannot fathom God or the design of the soul. I don't know how any human can or ever could have claimed to understand. We live in a universe where there is potential for consciousness. How can there be predetermination? I can only comprehend God as the universe's potential for levels of consciousness. I cannot see how predetermination would make any sense to beings of intelligence. Predetermined fate is circular and seemingly pointless. Thus I cannot think of God as a distinct personality, but rather that same potential of consciousness (as fragmented as the matter that pervades the universe).
Humans have been quick to personify power. Why? It has been the ultimate in egocentrism. Across infinite worlds and possibilities, we have the arrogance to label God (for example: He, exists in an image similar to our own). The paradigm set down in the past is not logical, inconsistent, and impossible to reconcile with today's knowledge. We all know in our hearts we must move our understanding forward. It is no crime to honor our spiritual past while leaving behind its more archaic portions.
Predetermination? I think not. It seems more likely that our very evolution towards higher consciousness (just as all things that exist in the universe and are subject to change) is a more appropriate model for what God and the soul are all a part of. Possibility . . . there is God!
|Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 - 12:13 pm: |
We live in a universe where there is potential for consciousness. How can there be predetermination? I can only comprehend God as the universe's potential for levels of consciousness. I cannot see how predetermination would make any sense to beings of intelligence. --Naive
I agree, that 'predetermination' becomes pointless in a universe designed to achieve higher levels of consciousness. It would appear from the known path of evolution on Earth that higher development of species towards greater intelligence consciousness is what is inherent in life's design. We happen to be the first species to reach a level high enough to where we can reflect on this, and communicate it to each other. Other species, especially higher evolved mammalians, or avians, may have similar capabilities, but they seem to lack any way to communicate it to themselves or each other. That does not mean my dog, or a horse or whale or raven, does not have a sense of inner being, a simple kind of "i am" awareness, but they cannot seem to take it beyond that. So the universal work of higher consciousness is yet incomplete, since so many life forms are still unable to manifest such at higher levels of intelligent communications, though their biological existence is full of marvels of life consciousness, in that they are alive, and value that life to stay alive. Perhaps the universe on other worlds has succeeded in a still higher consciousness than we know on Earth, higher even than ours, but we cannot know this yet, since they had not yet communicated to us to let us know this. Then again, if we are only partially conscious in their eyes, like we see other animals as only partially conscious for us, then it may not be surprising that they simply leave us alone, to develop some more before we are approached. But when we get there, and join a greater community of beings who contemplate the universal consciousness at higher levels, then it will be a wonder indeed. Imagine God, not as a self ego centric image of our being, but rather a universal consciousness that allows us to be ego centric in our being. I think they understand this better than we do, to detach and disassociate our self image from the universe only in the sense that it is not in our image, but that we are in its image, an infinity of Being, not predetermined, but open to infinite conscious possibilities.
But I too am only partially conscious, so this is the best I can do.
|Posted on Sunday, April 01, 2007 - 02:18 pm: |
Is the survival instinct predetermined?
|Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 12:09 am: |
I think we're on the same page Ivan.
I don't think I'm qualified to answer the question above. I think Ivan addresses a little in his reference to evolution. Indeed, it is easy to see how evolution would "demand" that life forms evolve brain structures that ensure perpetuation. On the other hand, the real question is, "Why does life evolve"? We can all see that matter and energy play a complex game of interchanging forms. Life is simply one molecular version in the dance. The survival instinct is no more than a combination of impulses bred into some structure wthin our cells. Otherwise, no life forms would have made it very far.
I see Mohideen, that you want to know why. It does seem more than covenient to simply say an accident of evolution produced this happy state of affairs we call the desire to survive. Even the most uncomplicated of life forms display this tendency. I suppose many would argue that the energy demands for any living system would ultimately produce this "instinct" that you are refering to. After all, even plants display tendencies that seem to support the need for energy as the basis for survival behaviors.
So before examining Predetermination, I guess you should ask, "Is the need living organisms have for food, a divine design?" I believe it is simply another of nature's intricate interactions of energy systems. If life does not consume, there will be no life. It is a universal "must" just as the behavior of gravity or any other energy system is.
To me, God is this awesome organization of possibilities; the rules the universe and its many systems follow.
Does the system lead to the creation of intelligences, or did intelligence create the system? There can be no answer in an infinitely old place. Indeed in a place such as that, at one point in time, all other intelligences may have been consumed by a supreme intelligence, which in turn, may have dispersed with nothing more to do or encompass. These are staggering imaginings that exist far beyond the realm of our ancient viewpoints.
|Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 09:46 am: |
Posted by Mohideen Ibramsha
Has been moved to Evolutionary aspects thread.
...We hope research to identify the missing essential nutrient of the 1986 study - if required - would be started and succeed. Then we would have ensured virtually unlimited supply of 'infection-free' O type blood to be used in surgeries.
Is this the next stage in evolution - going from individual survival to species survival?
|Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 10:51 pm: |
Souls of an old California mining town, Randsburg, CA.
http://360photo.net/randsburg/ for 360 tour
http://www.randsburg.com/ for general info
At the town's saloon, http://www.randsburg.com/text/album.html#saloon where we met Olga, who runs the place. She's 95 years strong, we talked over a glass of wine. She came here with her dad in the 30's, married and raised a family in the 40's, when the town had more people. We also met her daughter Bernadette, and they both said many changes had happened here since the mines closed down. Her father moved them from Fall River, MA, where they first settled from Venice, Italy, before coming West. He had bought a new delivery truck, drove it across country and began a vegetable delivery business for the desert communities, including this old mining town. Bernadette would like to visit Italy, her brother had, but Olga had never been back. She is such a heart, so lovely to talk to.
Met more people like this, great folks with great stories, like old Bob at the other B&B hotel, three rooms behind his antique shop, toilets and kitchen down the hall, took a real liking to C., so gave her an old painting c. 1942 of cowboy boots. Or Pete who works for NASA on the space shuttle at Edwards, but sells native and Mexican arts and crafts on weekends. Also Jennette and her son Richard, they're the first shop in town on the right coming from the valley, where he makes ornamental art from glass and wire, including desert rider bikes from recycled art in miniature. They said that today, with only a handful of dirt bikers in town, it's very quiet, but on busy weekends, there could be over a thousand! Very picturesque place, people too, great souls of the desert.
|Posted on Tuesday, April 03, 2007 - 09:06 am: |
an old California mining town, Randsburg, CA.
Posted on Monday, April 02, 2007 - 10:51 pm: Ivan
Thanks for the links Ivan. I enjoyed a virtual tour.
|Posted on Friday, April 20, 2007 - 09:44 am: |
Blissful friendship, soul to soul
Never do you offend me
Nor ever do I find your fault
Your presence is my joy
Sharing your warmth in fetal curl
Speaking with our silence
Perfectly still in blissful love
Music in your voice
True friendship everlasting
Written in our dreams
A life time shared far away
Soul to soul.
|Posted on Monday, April 23, 2007 - 01:41 pm: |
Two sacrifices and one Verse.
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- One of the victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy was laid to rest Friday. He is being remembered as a hero for saving the lives of countless students.
… On Friday, Librescu's wife Marlena watched as the 76-year-old aeronautics engineering professor was buried in Israel.
Students say Librescu blocked the door to his classroom giving them time to escape as the gunman tried to get in.
NEW YORK / America was the first to name him The Hero; Israel, his adoption country, named him "Our Hero"; Romania, his native country, named him Hero also and gave him the highest distinction; the Romania's Parliament honoured him today with a minute of silence.
CAIRO, Egypt -- Graduate student Waleed Mohammed Shaalan was planning on bringing his Egyptian family back to Virginia Tech but a rampaging gunman prevented that. The young man lost his life but was credited Thursday with acting to save a fellow student.
… Randy Dymond, a civil engineering professor, said Shaalan was credited with distracting gunman Cho Seung-Hui to save the life of a fellow student.
Dymond, who attended a service for Shaalan Thursday, said the Egyptian was in the first classroom Cho attacked and was badly wounded. Cho returned to the room twice to search for signs of life.
During one of those incidents, a second student who was uninjured, was playing dead. When Shaalan noticed Cho making a move to shoot the student, the Egyptian made a "protective movement to basically decoy the killer into thinking it was him making any kind of sound instead of the survivor," Dymond said.
Dymond declined to give the name of the student who survived, but said the student wanted him to tell the story "so that the family of Waleed understands the sacrifice."
Shaalan's mother broke down when she heard Dymond's account.
"He was trying to save someone else?" she said repeatedly.
Dymond said Shaalan's body was taken to a Blacksburg mosque Thursday afternoon so classmates, teachers and friends could say goodbye before it was sent to Egypt for burial.
Prof. Librescu and Shalaan sacrificed their lives to save other lives. The following Verse of the Holy Quran indicates the reward from God for them.
http://www.searchtruth.com/chapter_display_all.php?chapter=5&from_verse=32&to_ve rse=32&mac=&translation_setting=1&show_transliteration=1&show_yusufali=1&show_sh akir=1&show_pickthal=1&show_mkhan=1
Yusuf Ali 5:32: On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.
May God grant both of them the due reward for having saved mankind. Selfless sacrifice is to be emulated which would lift mankind to lofty heights.
Ivan & Cinzia
|Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 01:34 pm: |
Gentle died. She was a beautiful, brave little soul. She is survived by her brother Karu.
Gentle was born in New Mexico, near Embudo Station by the Rio Grande, to a Shepard mix mother, and sire Australian heeler, March 1993. She was one of three in the litter, the littlest one. Her bigger brother Chewbaka was adopted by another family. Gentle and her brother Karu came to us. Story is told her mother was part wolf, or so they say. Gentle's heritage may be North American timber wolf, European Shepard, and Australian, spanning three continents. She lived a very active life in both the wilds of New Mexico, and later California, when we moved here. I used to take them running up the mountains, or through the deserts, sometimes for 20 miles, like our run with Karu, from Abiquiu to Christ in the Desert monastery and back. We took them wherever we went. She had a fun filled active life, until the very end. On April 28, Saturdday, about 12:30 PM, a very kind doctor gave her euthanasia to end her life, and that gentle soul of hers was released within seconds quietly into the great cosmic mystery of our existence. And we cried. I hope we meet again.
When I first met them in Dixon, NM, at a friend's house, Karu was on a chain, and Gentle was in a tiny wire fenced enclosure. They were about 8 months old. A local farmer was threatening to shoot them because they chased his chickens, so I had to come to the rescue, since Susan and John could not keep them. It was love at first sight. Karu's ears went back with eyes of adoration, while Gentle had to smell my hand a few times, she circled me twice, and then we became affectionate friends instantly. I loved them right off. So we all got into my old Trooper and went down to La Puebla, Espanola, where I had built them a large enclosure. At home they set to work to dig themselves a large lair beneath some chamisa bushes, though I let them in at night, where they slept together on an old couch. As young pups I taught them to travel by car, they stopped throwing up within a few trips over the bumpity dirt roads of the desert. We began a routine of jogging, to which they took very well and enjoyed immensely, as we ran from La Puebla to Chimayo and back, me taking in the breathless desert and mountain views, they chasing hares and rabbits, or even coyotes. In no time they became strong dogs, full of vitality for life. By the time we met Cinzia, a few months later in that same desert wilderness, they were powerful runners who came over the hill right at her. She was taking photographs of the mesas and picked up a stick in self defense, they looked so formidable. But I told her they were gentle pets, not at all threatening and just curious, so we became friends. Now a wolf-pack of four, we are lifelong friends.
When we moved to southern California, our priority was to have a large yard for them, so the house we bought was not for the dwelling, which was humble, but for the spacious outside. Once there, both Karu and Gentle set to digging up their lairs, at opposite ends of the grounds. Hers was on the west side, while his was on the east. We all lived here for the past 10 years with much love, many trips to the deserts and mountains, beaches nearby, a fun filled life with lots of hiking, and camping outdoors at times. Cinzia and I would take them for a walk almost daily, they ate well and were much petted and feted, our little family going through life with kind affection and many happy moments. Gentle was the sweetest. She loved affection, and gave it back in her many wolfish ways, always eager to lick and kiss us whenever we were near, sometimes a surprise kiss to the face. When out walking, it was fun to watch her run back and forth, taking in that fabulously rich world of smells to which we were not privy, but it meant a whole world to her. In her younger days, no rabbit was safe in her presence, and she would take off like a shot running after. Lucky for the rabbits, she was not always successful, though at times her kill was her brother's meal, and hers only the scraps. Such is life, he was bigger. We suspect she had a special love for her brother, not always requited, but such was her nature, that she was a kind and gentle little dog, always happy to meet me at the gate when I came home. Life in sunny California was good, we had lots of adventures, not all in the wilds, since there were many nice parks to walk nearby as well. Often these walks were at night, with no other dogs and their owners around, so we could let them off the leash, illegal here, but they had to have their freedom. Other dogs could be harassed by her, she didn't suffer their presence well. At one time, on a road near some house at Black Star Canyon, she jumped on the back of a large St. Bernard, and hung on as if riding some wild buffalo. I had to laugh, we were out jogging, since he was merely barking and protecting his owner's territory. That poor large beast ran back home eyes wide with fear, not understanding what this little dog was doing hanging onto his neck, though she did not hurt him. It was only her way of saying that she was important here, and us too.
About a year ago Gentle began developing tumors. At first they were small, but one tumor grew large on her forepaw. We debated whether or not have it removed, but our dogs lived a semi-wild life, so I let nature take its course. Freedom has this price, that if we let the universe lay the path for us, we must follow it. For the longest time the tumors did not bother her. When she and Karu were too old and feeble to jump onto the back of the pickup, we built them a little wooden ramp. Gentle's strength did not abate, though she now had tumors on her hinds as well, and her skin unlike Karu's was not healthy. Summer fleas bothered her, as did the flies, though we kept both under control. Still, while her brother was visibly slowing with age, her strength and spirit remained strong. The tumors did not slow her, she still running only a month ago. But about two weeks ago, the forepaw tumor, mostly benign until now, suddenly flared up again and grew red and large. She had begun licking it, breaking the skin, so blood began to ooze out. It was a tragic sight, we took her to the vet, her x-rays showed no bone damage. But to operate now would have been a trauma for her, since she was so riddled with tumors that she may not have survived all the operations. We had stopped taking long hikes in the desert some six months ago, when we almost lost Karu to the desert. Gentle was still up to walks whenever it looked we would go out, even on the last day. When her self inflicted wound was growing worse, we had her sedated to stop the blood loss. Getting old, even for a strong nature loving life, is not easy for any of us. When it became evident the tumor was causing her pain, she was partially sedated to at least give her some rest. It was such a hard decision, vacillating back and forth whether to risk surgery or have her go into a final sleep. We cried over it, and remembered all her wonderful times with us, how alive and eager she was for life, with us, with her brother, with nature. It was a very hard choice. But in the end, there was no saving her from what her body was producing. Her immune system was giving out, and it was time for her to go, in peace.
On her last day, we gently put her on her pillows in the back of the shell in the pick up. She was still listless, blood covered parts of the pillow. Cinzia had spent part the night with her, cuddling her and talking to her, as I did upon rising in the morning. Gentle was still here, but the drug made her listless, except when her eyes would turn on us and see us for a moment. Always that look of love in them. Then the drug would gain hold again. When we opened the pickup's back gate, she got up ready to go for a walk again. But she could not, her strength was ebbed so. I went inside to the vet's office to fill out the paper work. Cinzia stayed with her, comforting her. We both cried again. Then the very kind and gentle doctor came with a long needle, found her vein, and very softly let the fluid enter her body. Within seconds, as he explained it to us, her brain stopped, and she became very still. He tried closing her eyes. It was done, and her spirit lifted off into the void, though perhaps she lingered with us some moments more though free of her body. She was gone.
We drove back home by the beach road, past where they had run many times by the water, hoping to capture one last time for her the smell of the sea. "Go and run, Gentle" we would think, for there are your friends running. Choya had died more than a year ago, and they were friends. Chewbaka died some years ago in Albuquerque, possibly from poisoning, all knew each other. Now Gentle joined them too, on that vast mysterious cosmic journey we must all go. Was she running along with them now? I had dreams of Choya last couple of days, since I knew him well too. Gentle was fond of him, they even had an amorous adventure together, we're told. Did he help her step over the threshold? We mortals cannot know, but I like to think they did. At home, we carefully lifted her lifeless body out of the pickup, wrapped in a large cloth, and carried her over to her lair in the west, the one she had dug long ago under the wisteria. That morning I had enlarged it some more, dug down deeper, to receive her body. We placed her there, her head up, as if she were sleeping in her private little home. Along with her body we placed some stones from our trips into the desert, and sea shells from the Pacific, a fish bone, a morsel of food, some red and yellow flowers, a rose. Gentle liked sleeping under the yellow flowers by the gate. Inside two shells we left some coins, both ours and a Euro, to help pay her passage over the river Stix, Charon rowing her across. Before filling the grave, we placed a pinch of dirt from the Santuaryo of Chimayo, a tiny piece of earth from near where she was born in New Mexico. Through our tears and quivering voice we read her a poem. "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." --Henry Drummond. You have, dear Gentle. We, and your brother, miss you. You were such an affirmation of life.
We folded the earth back over her, placed a small memorial with flowers over her grave, and marked it with a black desert stone on which I had scratched some pictoglyphs, in the native American way, the poem too. Good bye our dear little Gentle, you are a brave and beautiful little girl. God bless your sweetness of love, for you are loved. I know you helped us write this, we all must pass. May we meet again.
Love, Ivan and Cinzia
|Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 01:54 am: |
Sympathies for your loss . . .
I find it ironic that I was coming to this thread to post a message about feeling alive, and happened to read the message above. I have always loved dogs - their unquestioning loyalty, their honest eyes, their desire to be a part of your life. When I watch them I truly feel we are far more than just stimulus response organisms. Dogs have the full spectrum of emotion and love for their family members. This, I believe is why we gravitate toward them, far more than they gravitated toward us. Science will say something about wolves and food and so forth, but I think there is something deeper between dogs and men. They are family. We live together as family. Its a relationship filled with love.
|Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 04:58 am: |
They are family. We live together as family.
Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2007 - 01:54 am: Naive
Is not the whole creation a family? Consider the feelings of the keepers of different animals in a zoo.
|Posted on Sunday, May 06, 2007 - 11:02 am: |
Thanks Naive, Mohideen, for the kind words. We do miss Gentle, and now even Karu is wondering "where is she?"
Here's a picture from when they first arrived to California and ran in the surf of the Pacific. Perhaps Gentle's little soul is doing this now...
We loved them then, and love them still.
|Posted on Monday, May 28, 2007 - 05:52 pm: |
Forthe and me...
This was a post on the old forum years ago, by Jim White, who then lost his beloved friend Forthe. I leave it here for others to see, that animals can have souls. When they leave us, they are missed.
Ps: I should add that both C. and I had seen our little Gentle in dreams, where she was strong and playful, running, very happy to visit and 'show off' to us. Really, on different nights, we both had those dreams, though C. was 6000 miles away! In my dream, Gentle was jumping up and down the kitchen counter, really humorous to see! Ah well, when we die, we go where...? Sometimes we may linger just a bit longer, it seems. I'm sure Jim would understand, as would any of us who had lost a dearly loved animal friend.
|Posted on Friday, August 17, 2007 - 08:59 pm: |
God's Will, how is it interpreted?
The creation of Adam and Eve
I think I understand where is the problem in present day imams's interpretation of the Quran, and in particularly God's will. The problem is that whatever is written in the Quran, assuming as Muslims do that it is really God's (Allah's) word, then it should be understood as this is how God would do it. The problem arises in that imams, being men, do not let God do it, but instead interfere in God's doings by taking it upon themselves to do it for Him. This is busy-body work, and it is unbecoming of men to aspire to do God's will for Him. To do so is the ultimate form of religious arrogance, as if men knew better how to do God's will than God Himself. This is a major failure in how Islam is being interpreted today by its imams, and this leads to untold errors of human behavior, or outright injustices and suffering. To undo this error, the imams would have to declare that God's will is in every heart of every man and woman, and that it is NOT for men to interpret this for them, but for God to do so through their hearts and minds. Then God's will and justice will prevail in the world, and not the fallible will of men.
This applies to the Quran only, what is believed by Muslims as the uncreated word of God. It does not apply to the Hadiths, which were rememberences written by men, and in fact any Hadiths that contradict doing God's will, BY GOD and NOT BY MEN, should be called void and null. Then Islam can join the other great world religions, as a personal faith between man, and woman, and God. This simple change of interpreting God's will as His Will, and not man's, would be the single change that would make Islam more like Christianity, or another Abrahamic faith, Judaism, or likewise for Hinduism, or Buddhism, where faith is a personal thing, and not politicized by its temple priests and imams into a force of control. Only then would human beings truly be doing God's will.
I mean this in total sincerity, and respect for each person's beliefs, that in each one of our human souls created by God is God's will. The only failure of us knowing this is when we coerce another against their soul, against this (inner) God's will, which means that we force them against their will. The only time this is allowed is to stop such coercions. This I believe with all my heart and soul is God's will, that we do this in agreement rather than coercions. If this is the true meaning of submitting to God's will, then this would mean a true Muslim. When Islam and its imams believes this too, it will be great, and really mean peace.
Touched by God's will
|Posted on Saturday, October 06, 2007 - 01:46 am: |
Madonna Angel - a vision and painting
Painting by my mother, Kathryn, September 2007, oils, 30x40 in.
This was a vision she saw when still a little girl of about 11 years. It showed on a window on a market square of the Communist Party building in her town, which many other people saw it too, but not everyone. The Communist Party officials did their best to 'erase' it, by washing the window, but she kept reappearing. This was just before WW II, c. 1939, in a small town of Staryi Sambir, what is now western Ukraine. Finally the frustrated officials boarded up the window. The Angel, as my mother remembers, was serene with nearly a smile, but loving eyes. She captured that in her painting, effortlessly she said. Her local church will hang the painting for all to see, once the oils dry.
I think it is a beautiful testimony to her faith and vision, and the love Christ promised the world. Though my mother lived through many hardships, including Nazi occupation and forced labor camps, terrible bombings, her faith never waned. We are blessed by God. My mother remembers the light coming from her fingers.
My mother Kathryn and me, c.1953, Riom, France
[Erratum: there was a slight revision, in that the old man's house was in another location, not related to this vision, only at about the same place in time. This was in the original: "The old man who lived in this 'abandoned' house said he never needed to light his stove, because the house stayed warm in winter. It was the time of the great famines, and even wood was scarce for the people to burn."]
Ivan/Bravo for Freedom
|Posted on Saturday, April 19, 2008 - 12:06 am: |
Freedom and I have been together 10 years this summer. She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings. Her left wing doesn't open all the way even after surgery, it was broken in 4 places. She's my baby.
When Freedom came in she could not stand. Both wings were broken, her left wing in 4 places. She was emaciated and covered in lice. We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vet's office. From then on, I was always around her. We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in.
I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes. We also had to tube feed her for weeks.
This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn't stand. It got to the point wherethe decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn't stand in a week. You know you don't want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning. She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn't want to go to the center that Thursday, because I couldn't bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear.
I went immediately back to her dowl cage; and there she was,standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then. That was a very good day.
We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train her. I got her used to the glove, and then to jesses, and we started doing education programs forschools in western Washington.We wound up in the newspapers, radio(believe it or not) and some TV. Miracle Pets even did a show about us.
In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma. I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of chemo. Lost the hair - the whole bit. I missed a lot of work. When I felt good enough, I would go to Sarvey & take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This happened time & time again.
Fast forward to November 2000, the day after Thanksgiving, I went in for my last checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the results. I went in Monday and I was told that all the cancer was gone.Yahoo!
So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her up, and we went out front to the top of the hill. I hadn't said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew.She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to where I could feel them pressing in on my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that for I don't know how long.
That was a magic moment. We have been soul mates ever since she came in. This is a very special bird.
I will never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as Freedom's.
(This was forwarded to me for Humancafe - Ivan)
|Posted on Sunday, June 15, 2008 - 03:09 pm: |
Our old wolf friend Karu passed away May 28, 2008.
Karu died exactly to the day 13 months after his sister Gentle died.
Karu and his mistress, pure love
Here is what she wrote to him on the day he died, though for her it was already a day later, from Rome.
Tu farai un’altro ‘viaggio’ nel tuo pick up con il tuo amato Ivan, lasciando dietro di te tanti ricordi di altri viaggi fatti insieme, di tante avventure vissute con noi. Io sono con voi nello spirito e nelle lacrime che inevitabilmente scendono sulle mie gote da stamattina.
Grazie per essere stato un cane meraviglioso, per averci protetto da chiunque potesse entrare nel nostro spazio e potenzialmente, provare a farci del male.
Non ci sono stati mai dubbi sull’Amore che ci ha uniti tutti, qualcosa che ci ha fatto sempre sentire una famiglia completa.
Per ora stai tornando da Gentle, dove sicuramente ti aspetta festosa di farti qualche piccolo dispetto. Non te la prendere se ti mordera’ le zampe posteriori, tanto tu ora che hai ritrovato la tua energia potrai rincominciare a correre insieme a lei, invece che nelle dune del deserto, dove possono esserci spine e insidie, su soffici nuvole e magari, perche’ no, da un pianeta all’altro.
Grazie per essere stato con noi, cosi’ come hai saputo fare, senza mai chiedere molto, essendo felice di essere con noi, senza lamentarti o frignare per le tue condizioni anche, ultimamente, di solitudine.
E’ stato un viaggio meraviglioso, e so che ci dovevi lasciare, e quando penso che mi mancherai molto, cerchero’ di pensare alla liberta’ che hai recuperato, fuori dalla prigione del corpo dolente, invecchiato.
Grazie per la tua bellezza, per il tuo essere ‘nostro’ a modo tuo, che ci ricordava il rispetto per la individualita’, per la tua pazienza e per le tue attese e ci ha insegnato a amare un po’ di piu’.
Grazie per essere stato il nostro amatissimo Karu."
29 Maggio 2008
We were a little family together, Gentle and Karu, as much a part of us as individuals, as we were each other's pack buddies. In true friendship, the other always knows where they stand, with love. Karu was our friend to the end, though in hist last days his legs no longer worked right. He was approaching 16, which is old. But what a wonderful life he gave us and our little family, as Cinzia says above.
Even in old age, we loved each other to the end, one wolf family.
He died of natural old age in his familiar back yard, on the grass. His last meal that morning, which he ate with gusto, was boiled liver and oatmeal with some kibble added, and he seemed fine though weak when I left him for work. That afternoon when I returned, a little later than usual since I stopped at the library, he was already gone. His body was stiff, eyes open. But he was in his favorite place under the sky by the bougainvillea. I picked him up and placed him on his pillow. He still felt warm. The next day I took his body down for cremation. His ashes are with us now, and will be sprinkled in some of his favorite places, and at his sister's side. Good bye old friends.
Without Karu and Gentle there will be a void, which we must fill with love as they did. They were well loved, and we loved them in the same way they loved us, without reserve. Affection was our common bond. But so were all the many adventures we had together, our walks and hikes through desert and mountain wilderness, swimming together at lakes, walking the beaches. Karu from time to time would stop with his paws in the shallow surf and stare out to sea. I don't know what he saw there, or of what he was thinking, but he would do this for some length of time, even minutes, just looking out towards the horizon as the waves rolled in, smelling the ocean air. Perhaps he was looking into that horizon to which we all must go, and in which he now joined his sister Gentle. In my mind's eye, they both run on the beach together... free, and without a leash. ;)
You are both missed, our wonderful wolf-dogs, and someday we will all meet again over that horizon. Along with your bigger brother Chewbakka, who died in NM some years ago, you are all running free now.
Thank you so much for being in our lives all these years together.
Much Love, Ivan & Cinzia (& Gentle)
Gentle sister and C
Wolf dogs of the desert
Surf dogs, part wolf, running free
|Posted on Monday, August 04, 2008 - 10:16 am: |
Tribute to a great world writer, Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Alexander Solzhenitsyn dies at 89
Solzhenitsyn, Sweden, 1998 (AP photo)
Former French leader Jacques Chirac hailed Solzhenitsyn as a great writer and exceptional historian who had provided "a sharp and accurate view on the tragedies of 20th-Century totalitarianism".
He went on: "Russia today lost a great fighter for truth, who worked to reconcile the Russians with their past. The world loses a figure of freedom."
Obituary to Solzhenitsyn
He was a giant amongst men, a great soul. His writings of the truth was the force of freedom, a champion of liberty who helped bring down one of the world's greatest tyrannies, the world of Soviet Communism.
To My Mother
|Posted on Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 01:28 pm: |
My Mother, Katherine's painting of her angel
To My Mother
Dearest Mother, Katherine
When little, you carried us in your arms
When adults, you gave us your strong spirit.
You helped us when we were down
And you laughed with us when we were happy.
Your life was a hard life of challenges
But your spirit was stronger than adversity...
You saw terrible things as a girl, suffered horrible war cruelties
But you also saw angels, and you painted them
And they talked to you in the language of love.
How could I ever forget the time you carried me on your back through the dark forest?
Or how on a farm in France you chased wild pheasants with a sack?... unsuccessfully!
Or how on a windy day up the cherry tree, you rescued me when the chicken ladder
was blown out from under me?
Or how raccoons liked your feeding them so much they were ringing your doorbell
How we laughed years later, when Cinzia and I reminded you of these stories!
Oh, how we loved it when you laughed, a laugh of deep pain covered with love...
You loved all your children, and especially loved your grandchildren, as they loved you.
Now you are with the angels who talked to you, and you painted them...
We miss you, darling Mother, because your spirit is so rich and so beautiful.
You are with that beauty now... and with love. God bless you, our dearest Mother.