Archive | July 2011

Heavenly Signs: Infinity in the Stars!?

Heavenly Signs: Infinity in the Stars!?

Skywatchers must be having the time of their lives right now as they observe the movements in the heavens. They live new experiences untamed by set perceptions of the 3 dimensional world down here on earth. With thousands of theories, and thousands of discoveries, there is always room for more not always realizing at which point the Laws of Nature is confirming itself.

Dr. Alberto Noriega-Crespo and team at NASA are the skywatchers who have discovered a dense rings of gas in the shape of Ω omega neighbouring the Andromeda Galaxy in the middle of the Milky Way. If there was one witness, one might be inclined to say he saw what he wanted to see, or that’s how he defined what he wanted to see, but considering a team was involved, and an experienced team at that, the NASA team should be given the benefit of doubt.

Using the US-European satellite Herschel in the infrared range, Noriega-Crespo’s teams have been exploring the region of the Andromeda galaxy for a while, and discovered that the dense dust-gas clouds that hide the center of the Milky Way is surrounded by a huge ring of gas – in the shape of the figure 8 lying on its side – the mathematical symbol for infinity. This has been confirmed by the Japanese radio observatory Nobeyama who say that the gaseous formation is moving as a unit maintaining the integrity of the mathematical symbol known as lemniscate. How long the lemniscates has been there, and will be there is another question as the scientist ponder on the close proximity of our galaxy, and the Andromeda galaxy which ‘seems’ to be approaching our galaxy at a rate of 120 km per hour!

Infinity Where Stars are Born

The Milky Way is where stars are born according to NASA findings, with the gaseous-dust formation of the mathematical number lemniscate hiding its center of creation. The lemniscates is not a real number but can be best described by the Indian Isha Upanishad as:

“if you remove a part from infinity or add a part to infinity, still what remains is infinity”.

A lemniscate is basically a circle looped once on it self – without end like a child’s toy trainset whereby the train just goes round and round, and in and out. A lemniscates is also symbolic of the rhythm of life, exhaling the breath of God that circulates an eternal rhythm with one intention without effort.

In Chinese symbolism, the figure 8 expresses the totality of the universe. In Ghanaian Adinkra symbology, the lemniscates is Nyame Biribi Wo Soro, the symbol of hope reminding us that God is in the heavens. And in ancient Hermetic philosophy the lemniscates standing on its feet is the number 8, expressing the maxim ‘as above so below.”

Source:

Shlyonskaya, I.   “Andromeda Galaxy is Getting Closer.” http://english.pravda.ru/science/earth/26-07-2011/118591-andromeda_closer-0/

Related Topics:

Ramadhan 2011

Layla-tul Bara’at

Heavenly Signs: July New Moon Solar Eclipse 2011

A Star Disappears into a Void

Heavenly Signs: Longest Full Moon Lunar Eclipse 2011

Heavenly Signs: Dance of the Planets

Heavenly Signs: Saturn and New Moon

Earth Shift and Shift of the Ages

The Largest Full Moon of 2011!

Heavenly Signs: The Soul of Our Sun

The Winds of S’afar

Heavenly Signs: First Solar Eclipse 2011

Ramadhan 2011

Ramadhan 2011/1432

 

Depending on which part of the globe one lives, this Ramadhan will seem no different to previous Ramadhans. Yes, it is hotter, and it has fallen within the school holidays putting the conflicting state vs. faith issue on hold for at least the next few years. It is also a time in the development of the West that it has reached its limits in terms of living in a state of excess, a condition Ramadhan reminds us is not sustainable.

However, Ramadhan 2011 is different in a very significant way because 2011 has born witness to the surfacing of our miscreations confronting us with what until far too many of us have been able to get away with doing without suffering the consequences.

Symbolic of our miscreations has been the Egyptian January 25th Revolution, even though the Tunisian Revolution is more politically and spiritually grounded. But it is the Egyptian Revolution that has sent ripples throughout the world. It has brought to the surface the capitalistic exploitation of human and natural resources, and speaking out against the many injustices: corruption amongst top officials, human and civil rights abuses, right to the truth, the rights of the earth, the realization that the global wealth is in the hands of  a few is used to keep peoples divided and without the right to self determination. As a Muslim population living side by side a Coptic population, the false barriers of separation that create unsustainable living conditions have also been challenged leading to the right to practice one’s faith in private and public i.e. is the pluralism of Islam as a well as the right of representation.

These are momentous achievements that arose out of a peoples will, not policy, not politics, and not organized religion. In this regard Ramadhan 2011 should be experienced in the full meaning of the spirit of Islam, with compassion, and in recognition that as Islam as always taught us that jihad-an-nafs is the greatest battle  that any human has to face or in the words of a non-Muslim:

“One of the most difficult things is not to change society – but to change yourself.” Nelson Mandela

The great subconscious leap that lies in the hearts of the average Egyptian person, is layered with fear, the fear of failure, because it is a leap into the unknown, but what is known is that the system that we have fallen prey and party to is no longer conceivable. To make that leap in faith requires trust, the trust that we have not allowed ourselves to have for so long. Yet now we have no choice because Allah (SWT) warned us:

{We will soon show them Our signs in the Universe and in their own souls, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth.} (Al-Fussilat, 41/53)

Inspirational teacher Marianne Williamson said:

“I’m not a doom-and-gloom person. But I think there is a difference between transcendence and denial, and much of the Western world is in major denial today.”

Yet as we know, it is all of us that have replaced the spirit with Islam with dos and dont’s, those of us who have given up on one acts of worship one by one as a result of the narrowly defined dos and donts that propel us towards separation of self, family, relatives, society and further fragmentation of Islam that has leeched us into a condition explained as:

“The systematic oppression of the people has made them blinded to their reality. Everybody’s just thinking about survival. Nobody wants to stand up for anything, everybody just wants to tow the line. So I’m trying to make people think about these things that they are forgetting. I want to inspire people to want things to change.” – Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

A words of a non-Muslim by name, but the words of a Muslim by nature for Islam is not merely a name, it is a natural state, the state of being in submission to the Laws of Nature that guides all creation. How else is it that Islam has always been since the first man Adham/Adam? It is this spirit of Islam we have missed within ourselves in terms of self acceptance, because unless we accept even the parts of ourselves which we do not like how can we transmute those aspects as a part of our spiritual ascension or jihad an nafs?  How else can we expect to achieve harmony within society if that harmony does not exist within our souls?

{Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, “We believe”, and not be tried?} (Al-Ankabut, 29/2)

Like the lessons that members of Egyptian society will have to learn before they can achieve the change they wish to see, we have to be the change we want to be in order to see it made manifest instead of resting on the laurels of a few hadiths that lead to one direction i.e. man is born weak! The weakness we must accept because it is a part of our nature, but this weakness becomes an addiction, an excuse that makes jihad an nafs null and void.

We are born on a covenant, and that covenant with Allah (SWT) means rising to the occasion for

{To the righteous soul will be said:) “O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and come back thou to thy Lord, – well pleased (thyself), and well-pleasing unto Him! Satisfaction! Enter thou, then, among My devotees! Yea, enter thou My Heaven!} (Al-Fajr 89:27-30]

What satisfies the ego does not satisfy the soul for what satisfies the soul is more simple than we complicate our lives with, and is more enduring. What satisfies the ego is temporary, and when the ego is satiated, it gets hungry for more pushing us towards the very thing that will form a permanent hunger in our souls, to the extent that it can become an ill-defined sadness. Yet, Allah (SWT) lets us know that we are not slaves though we may enslave ourselves with the attachments of the ego that our contented souls comes first before we can in turn satisfy Him for to satisfy Him is to satisfy all creation because to satisfy the soul requires letting of the self, the ego, the BIG I which is the cause of all separation in life. By letting go, by submitting we have room for all that there is without conditions.

Ramadhan allows us to learn how to let go of the BIG I, to make room for being, making mistakes, and from being flows a river of energy from our souls towards a greater harmony of life.

2011 has presented us with many signs, but it is our choice as to whether to continue living in a state of separation or a state of Islam!

The creed of Islam is given to us here in a nutshell:

{Say ye: “We believe in God, and the revelation Given to us, and to Abraham, in God, and the revelation Given to us, and to Abraham, Isma’il, Isaac, Jacob, and the Tribes, and that given to Moses, and Jesus, and that given to (all) Prophets from their Lord: We make no difference between one and another of them. And we bow to God (in Islam)} (Al Baqarah 2: 136)

The Muslim position is clear. The Muslim does not claim to have a religion peculiar to himself. Islam is not a sect, or an ethnic religion. In its view all religions are one, for the Truth is one. IT WAS THE SAME RELIGION BY ALL THE EARLIER PROPHETS. (Qur’an 42: 13). It was the truth taught by all the inspired Books. In essence it amounts to a consciousness of the Will and Plan of God and a joyful submission to that Will and Plan. IF ANYONE WANTS A RELIGION OTHER THAN THAT, HE IS FALSE TO HIS OWN NATURE, AS HE IS FALSE TO GOD’S WILL AND PLAN Such a one cannot expect guidance, for he has deliberately renounced guidance. – Ahmed Deedat

This also means that all the barriers we have erected within ourselves, with each in faith and across faiths other must fall.

May we all rise to the heights we are capable of, even in the midst of evil, and may the sadness that lurks in our souls get our recognition so that it will no longer reflect in our lives insha’Allah.

Related Topics:

This Ramadhan, I will …

Ramadhan Re-Runs With Baba ‘Ali

The Ramadhan Reminder: Taking Time Out With God

From the Symbolic Ascension to the Ascension of Our Lives

A Season for Forgiveness

Night Prayer and the Human Body Clock

Keep Ramadhan Simple!

Heavenly Signs: July New Moon Solar Eclipse 2011

Faith vs. Ego!

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Blueberries (Vaccinium corybosum)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Blueberries (Vaccinium corybosum)

By Hwaa Irfan

 

Blueberries are one of the few foods that are naturally colored blue. There are over 600 varieties of blueberries that have found their way into the homemade jams, jellies, cakes, and cereals overtime ranking second to strawberries in the U.S. As one of the few fruits native to North America, there are fond memories by the indigenous peoples of Alaska where the Vaccinium uliginosum variety goes by many local names including asiavik.

“In a good berry year the otherwise green tundra actually has a blueish cast from so many berries. Even after people and all the creatures have taken their fill, the berries will still be thick. They freeze on the bushes and on the ground for the mice and ptarmigan to eat all winter and are there, dried and sweet, for bears, birds, and people to eat next spring. It’s such an enormous wealth of food, but one never to be counted on, for in a poor berry year you will walk all day and not find enough to taste. Then the animals that ate berries must find other foods and some must eat each other.”

However, blueberries the superfood is not the commercial highbush variety available in the U.S., but the South American wild varieties Cavendishia grandifolia and Anthopterus wardii, which are of the Ericaceae family of the plant kingdom. They are a terrestrial shrub (lowbush) endemic to Ecuador’s rainforest where they are known as duinde, and the Andean mountain range. Not growing higher than 2 feet, they have one main stem, from which up to 30 of the most unusual bell-shaped white-red flowers hang like pendants. Arising from the flowers is an abundance of small berries with an intense sweetness bearing a flared crown that change from pale green – dark blue as they ripen.

The highbush deciduous variety native to North America, Vaccinium corybosum, if uncultivated can grow as high as 12 feet, and have been cultivated to produce larger berries, with the U.S. providing half of the global supply. With a preference for wet peat soils, Vaccinium corybosum can also be found in dunes and rocky hillsides amidst the maple, oak and pine trees, the Yellow Poplar and the Cinnamon Fern. T They have shallow, but an extensive root system, which must have easy access to water. Vaccinium corybosum is noted for producing many branches, which change from grayish-brown to yellow in the fall. Pollinated by bees, the waxy hermaphrodite flowers bloom in clusters from May – June, and the seeds ripen in August. Each berry contains hundreds of tiny seeds.

Chemical Properties include:

  • α-amyrin
  • ß-amyrin
  • Caffeic acids
  • Coumaric acids
  • Cyanidins
  • Delphinidins
  • Ethyl ferulate
  • Ferulic acids
  • Gallic acids
  • Kaempferol
  • Malvidins
  • Myricetin
  • Oleanolic acid
  • Pelargonidins
  • Peonidins
  • Petunidins
  • Procatchuic acids
  • Pterostilbene
  • Resveratrol
  • Ursolic acid
  • Quercetin

Berries in general are rich in anthocyanins: malvidins , delphinidins, pelargonidins, cyanidins, peonidins, which are flavanoids that are responsible for the colours red, violet, and purple and blue in such fruits.

The wild blueberries Cavendishia grandifolia and Anthopterus wardii native to Central and South America contain up to 4 times more antioxidants than the commercial variety.  The health benefits are the ability to lower the likelihood of contracting chronic diseases including cancer as antioxidants enhance cell life.

The antioxidant properties in Vaccinium corybosum can be found in the anthocyanins, polyphenol (pterostilbene, and resveratrol) and flavanoid (kaemferol, myricetin, and quercetin) content. Resveratrol is also a flavanoid which reduces damage to endothelial cells. Resveratrol also has antitoxic affects and has proven to reverse cell damage caused by the chemotherapeutic drug Bleomycin.

Much research on ursolic acid have found that this phytochemical plays an important role in reducing tumors by inducing apoptosis (cell death) of prostate cancer cells.

However organic blueberries, Vaccinium corymbosum,  favour significantly when it comes to the antioxidants (delphinidins, malvidins, petunidins, and quercetin) in comparison to the commercial variety.

Nutritional Content

  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Omega-6 fatty acids
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc

The antioxidant properties of Vaccinium corybosum is helpful in the prevention of oxidative stress effects like dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Vaccinium corybosum has been found to reduce the attachment of bacteria to the mucous lining of the urethra, and the bladder, thus reducing the likelihood of urinary tract infections like its relative the cranberry.

With the growing problem of toxicity in the allopathic treatment of liver diseases, blueberries have fallen under closer inspection as a via solution along with its relative the cranberry. A research team led by Ming-Liang Cheng found blueberries had a specific affect on tumors, including the amelioration of hepatic fibrosis in rats unfortunately.

As a pectoral tea made from the dried leaves is used to treat sore throat and other inflammations of the mouth or the throat.

Tips

When shopping for blueberries, look for varieties that are even in skin colour with a whitish hue,  and firm to the touch. Bruising is usually a good indication of damage on the inside. Once home, remove any damaged/decaying berries as this will spread to the rest. Water increases decay so do not wash until ready to eat/cook. Otherwise, blueberries can keep for up to 3 days if stored in a covered container in a refrigerator.


In balance He gave us everything we needed, but as for what we want!

 

Sources:

“Blueberries.” http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?dbid=8&tname=foodspice

Kota, R. “Investigation of the bio-active phytochemical constituents of highbush blueberry fruit (Vaccinium corymbosum L. cv. Bluecrop).”  http://www.docstoc.com/docs/47026237/Investigation-of-the-bio-active-phytochemical-constituents-of-highbush-blueberry-fruit-%28Vaccinium-corymbosum-L-cv-Bluecrop%29

Neto, C.C. “Ursolic Acid and Other Pentacyclic Triterpenoids: Anticancer.”

The New York Botanical Garden (2011, July 14). Latin American blueberries found to be ‘extreme superfruits’. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28

“Vaccinium corybosum.” http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Vaccinium+corymbosum

Vollmannová,  A et al. “Anthocyanins Content in Blueberries (Vaccinium

corymbosum L.) in Relation to Freezing Duration.” Czech J. Food Sci. Vol. 27, 2009

Wang YP, Cheng ML, Zhang BF, Mu M, Wu J. Effects of blueberry on hepatic fibrosis and transcription factor Nrf2 in rats. World J Gastroenterol, 2010; 16 (21): 2657-2663

 

Series:

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Lemons

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Garlic

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Oranges

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Almonds

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Shea Butter

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Turmeric (Curcuma Longa)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Strawberries (Fragaria vesca)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Dates (Phoenix dactylifera)

<a title="Allah’s Medicine Chest:
Pumpkin
 (Cucurbita Pepo)” href=”../2010/09/14/allah%e2%80%99s-medicine-chest-pumpkin-cucurbita-pepo/”>Allah’s Medicine Chest: Pumpkin (Cucurbita Pepo)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Basil (Ocimum Basilicum)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Figs (Ficus Carica)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Pomegranate (Punica Granatum)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Kiwifruit (Actinidia chinensis)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Acai Berries (Euterpe oleracea)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Beetroot (Beta vulgaris)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Tomatoes

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Fava Beans (Vicia faba)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Avocado (Persea Americana)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus)

Allah’s Medicine Chest: Aubergines (Solanum melongena esculentum)

Negev Desert Tribes Under Threat Of Expulsion

Palestine: Negev Desert Tribes Under Threat Of Expulsion – Video Report

 

“The fate of Palestine’s Bedouins is no different than the rest of Palestinians. In the southern Naqab desert, Bedouin tribes roamed the area since a long time ago, long before Israelis.

The story of the Bedouin tribe of al-Turi in the Araqeeb is another live example of a people under threat of expulsion under various pretenses.

A mere five miles to the north of Be’er Al Sabe’e, the Araqeeb had a population of about 500, but on July 27, of 2010, the village was demolished under orders of the Israel Land Administration.

Following the destruction residents immediately began to rebuild, but since last year, Israeli bulldozers had demolished the makeshift tents, 28 times.

Arab MK Talab el Sane’e says that there is a systematic targeting of Arabs and Arab land in the Naqab carried by Israel, and while Arab villages are under threat, some 130 Jewish settlements in the area flourish.

Despite a strong solidarity movement and a number advocacy campaigns in favour of the Araqeeb village, Israel’s land administration is adamant on emptying the land from its indigenous people in favor of creating parks.

Israel maintains that the Araqeeb Bedouins failed to produce proof of ownership of the land, and accuses them of illegally cultivating it.

However the Bedouins and members of the solidarity movement are equally adamant about rebuilding the village. This week, to mark the one year anniversary of the first mass demolition, volunteers joined the people of Araqeeb in building homes and planting olive trees to demonstrate their resolve to hold on to their land.

15 villages await the same fate of this razed village of Araqeeb, but the Bedouins vow to resist Israel’s attempts to expel them from their land and warn that Israel’s actions amount to ethnic cleansing.

Source:

Related Topics:

Sinai Liberation Day

West Bank: Israeli Military Destroys Bedouin Village

Sinai Bedouin and The Revolution – Video Statement

The Crime That Everybody Knows About

Faith vs. Ego!

The Coffee-House Of Surat{Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides God, lest they out of spite revile God in their ignorance. Thus have we made alluring to each people their own doings. In the end they will return to their Lord } (An-Anam 6: 108)

 

By: Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy (1828-1910)

1893.

Rights: Public Domain

[Have a cup of tea ready… this is a long one!]

 

In the town of Surat, in India, was a coffee-house where many travellers and foreigners from all parts of the world met and conversed.

One day a learned Persian theologian visited this coffee-house. He was a man who had spent his life studying the nature of the Deity, reading and writing books upon the subject. He had thought, read, and written so much about God, that eventually he lost his wits became quite confused, and ceased even to believe in the existence of a God.

The Shah, hearing of this, had banished him from Persia. After having argued all his life about the First Cause, this unfortunate theologian had ended by quite perplexing himself, and instead of understanding that he had lost his own reason, he began to think that there was no higher Reason controlling the universe.

This man had an African slave who followed him everywhere. When the theologian entered the coffeehouse, the slave remained outside, near the door sitting on a stone in the glare of the sun, and driving away the flies that buzzed around him.

The Persian having settled down on a divan in the coffee-house, ordered himself a cup of opium. When he had drunk it and the opium had begun to quicken the workings of his brain, he addressed his slave through the open door:

‘Tell me, wretched slave,’ said he, ‘do you think there is a God, or not?’

‘Of course there is,’ said the slave, and immediately drew from under his girdle a small idol of wood.

 ‘There,’ said he, ‘that is the God who has guarded me from the day of my birth. Everyone in our country worships the fetish tree, from the wood of which this God was made.’

This conversation between the theologian and his slave was listened to with surprise by the other guests in the coffee-house. They were astonished at the master’s question, and yet more so at the slave’s reply.

One of them, a Brahmin, on hearing the words spoken by the slave, turned to him and said:

‘Miserable fool! Is it possible you believe that God can be carried under a man’s girdle? There is one God — Brahma, and he is greater than the whole world, for he created it. Brahma is the One, the mighty God, and in His honour are built the temples on the Ganges’ banks, where his true priests, the Brahmins, worship him. They know the true God, and none but they. A thousand score of years have passed, and yet through revolution after revolution these priests have held their sway, because Brahma, the one true God, has protected them.’

So spoke the Brahmin, thinking to convince everyone; but a Jewish broker who was present replied to him, and said:

‘No! the temple of the true God is not in India. Neither does God protect the Brahmin caste. The true God is not the God of the Brahmins, but of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. None does He protect but His chosen people, the Israelites. From the commencement of the world, our nation has been beloved of Him, and ours alone. If we are now scattered over the whole earth it is but to try us; for God has promised that He will one day gather His people together in Jerusalem. Then, with the Temple of Jerusalem — the wonder of the ancient world — restored to its splendour, shall Israel be established a ruler over all nations.’

So spoke the Jew, and burst into tears. He wished to say more, but an Italian missionary who was there interrupted him.

‘What you are saying is untrue,’ said he to the Jew.

‘You attribute injustice to God. He cannot love your nation above the rest. Nay rather, even if it be true that of old He favoured the Israelites, it is now nineteen hundred years since they angered Him, and caused Him to destroy their nation and scatter them over the earth, so that their faith makes no converts and has died out except here and there. God shows preference to no nation, but calls all who wish to be saved to the bosom of the Catholic Church of Rome, the one outside whose borders no salvation can be found.’

So spoke the Italian. But a Protestant minister who happened to be present, growing pale, turned to the Catholic missionary and exclaimed:

‘How can you say that salvation belongs to your religion? Those only will be saved, who serve God according to the Gospel, in spirit and in truth, as bidden by the word of Christ.’

Then a Turk, an office-holder in the custom-house at Surat, who was sitting in the coffee-house smoking a pipe, turned with an air of superiority to both the Christians.

‘Your belief in your Roman religion is vain,’ said he.

‘It was superseded twelve hundred years ago by the true faith: that of Mohammed! You cannot but observe how the true Mohammedan faith continues to spread both in Europe and Asia, and even in the enlightened country of China. You say yourselves that God has rejected the Jews; and, as a proof, you quote the fact that the Jews are humiliated and their faith does not spread. Confess then the truth of Mohammedanism, for it is triumphant and spreads far and wide. None will be saved but the followers of Mohammed, God’s latest prophet; and of them, only the followers of Omar, and not of Ali, for the latter are false to the faith.’

To this the Persian theologian, who was of the sect of Ali, wished to reply; but by this time a great dispute had arisen among all the strangers of different faiths and creeds present. There were Abyssinian Christians, Llamas from Thibet, Ismailians and Fire-worshippers.

They all argued about the nature of God, and how He should be worshipped.

Each of them asserted that in his country alone was the true God known and rightly worshipped.

Everyone argued and shouted, except a Chinaman, a student of Confucius, who sat quietly in one corner of the coffee-house, not joining in the dispute. He sat there drinking tea and listening to what the others said, but did not speak himself.

The Turk noticed him sitting there, and appealed to him, saying:

‘You can confirm what I say, my good Chinaman. You hold your peace, but if you spoke I know you would uphold my opinion. Traders from your country, who come to me for assistance, tell me that though many religions have been introduced into China, you Chinese consider Mohammedanism the best of all, and adopt it willingly. Confirm, then, my words, and tell us your opinion of the true God and of His prophet.’

 ‘Yes, yes,’ said the rest, turning to the Chinaman, ‘let us hear what you think on the subject.’

The Chinaman, the student of Confucius, closed his eyes, and thought a while. Then he opened them again, and drawing his hands out of the wide sleeves of his garment, and folding them on his breast, he spoke as follows, in a calm and quiet voice.

‘Sirs, it seems to me that it is chiefly pride that prevents men agreeing with one another on matters of faith. If you care to listen to me, I will tell you a story which will explain this by an example.

 I came here from China on an English steamer which had been round the world. We stopped for fresh water, and landed on the east coast of the island of Sumatra. It was mid-day, and some of us, having landed, sat in the shade of some coconut palms by the seashore, not far from a native village. We were a party of men of different nationalities.

As we sat there, a blind man approached us. We learnt afterwards that he had gone blind from gazing too long and too persistently at the sun, trying to find out what it is, in order to seize its light.

He strove a long time to accomplish this, constantly looking at the sun; but the only result was that his eyes were injured by its brightness, and he became blind.

Then he said to himself:

‘The light of the sun is not a liquid; for if it were a liquid it would be possible to pour it from one vessel into another, and it would be moved, like water, by the wind. Neither is it fire; for if it were fire, water would extinguish it. Neither is light a spirit, for it is seen by the eye, nor is it matter, for it cannot be moved. Therefore, as the light of the sun is neither liquid, nor fire, nor spirit, nor matter, it is —  nothing!’

 So he argued, and, as a result of always looking at the sun and always thinking about it, he lost both his sight and his reason. And when he went quite blind, he became fully convinced that the sun did not exist.

 With this blind man came a slave, who after placing his master in the shade of a coconut tree, picked up a coconut from the ground, and began making it into a night-light. He twisted a wick from the fibre of the coconut: squeezed oil from the nut into the shell, and soaked the wick in it.

As the slave sat doing this, the blind man sighed and said to him:

‘Well, slave, was I not right when I told you there is no sun? Do you not see how dark it is? Yet people say there is a sun. . . . But if so, what is it?’

 ‘I do not know what the sun is,’ said the slave ‘That is no business of mine. But I know what light is. Here, I have made a night-light, by the help of which I can serve you and find anything I want in the hut.’

And the slave picked up the coconut shell, saying:

 ‘This is my sun.’

 A lame man with crutches, who was sitting nearby heard these words, and laughed:

‘You have evidently been blind all your life,’ said he to the blind man, ‘not to know what the sun is, I will tell you what it is. The sun is a ball of fire, which rises every morning out of the sea and goes down again among the mountains of our island each evening. We have all seen this, and if you had had your eyesight you too would have seen it.’

A fisherman, who had been listening to the conversation, said:

‘It is plain enough that you have never been beyond your own island. If you were not lame, and if you had been out as I have in a fishing-boat, you would know that the sun does not set among the mountains of our island, but as it rises from the ocean every morning so it sets again in the sea every night. What I am telling you is true, for I see it every day with my own eyes.’

Then an Indian who was of our party, interrupted him by saying:

‘I am astonished that a reasonable man should talk such nonsense. How can a ball of fire possibly descend into the water and not be extinguished? The sun is not a ball of fire at all, it is the Deity named Deva who rides for ever in a chariot round the golden mountain, Meru. Sometimes the evil serpents Ragu and Ketu attack Deva and swallow him: and then the earth is dark. But our priests pray that the Deity may be released, and then he is set free. Only such ignorant men as you, who have never been beyond their own island, can imagine that the sun shines for their country alone.’

Then the master of an Egyptian vessel, who was present, spoke in turn.

‘No,’ said he, ‘you also are wrong. The sun is not a Deity, and does not move only round India and its golden mountain. I have sailed much  on the Black Sea, and along the coasts of Arabia, and have been to Madagascar and to the Philippines. The sun lights the whole earth, and not India alone. It does not circle round one mountain, but rises far in the east, beyond the Isles of Japan, and sets far, far away in the west, beyond the islands of England. That is why the Japanese call their country “Nippon,” that is “the birth of the sun.” I know this well, for I have myself seen much, and heard more from my grandfather, who sailed to the very ends of the sea.’

The Egyptian would have continued, but an English sailor from our ship interrupted him.

 ‘There is no country,’ he said, ‘where people know so much about the sun’s movements as in England. The sun, as everyone in England knows, rises nowhere and sets nowhere. It is always moving round the earth. We can be sure of this for we have just been round the world ourselves,   and nowhere knocked up against the sun. Wherever we went, the sun showed itself in the morning and hid itself at night, just as it does here.’

 And the Englishman took a stick and, drawing circles on the sand, tried to explain how the sun moves in the heavens and goes round the world. But he was unable to explain it clearly, and pointing to the ship’s pilot said:

 ‘This man knows more about it than I do. He can explain it properly.’

The pilot, who was an intelligent man, had listened in silence to the talk till he was asked to speak. Now everyone turned to him, and he said:

‘You are all misleading one another, and are yourselves deceived. The sun does not go round the earth, but the earth goes round the sun, revolving as it goes and turning towards the sun in the course of each twenty-four hours, not only Japan, and the Philippines and Sumatra where we now are, but Africa, and Europe and America, and many lands besides. The sun does not shine for some one’s mountain, or for some one’s island, or for some one’s sea, nor even for one earth alone, but for other planets as well as our earth. If you would only look up at the heavens, instead of at the ground beneath your own feet, you might all understand this, and would then no longer suppose that the sun shines for you, or for your country alone.’

Thus spoke the wise pilot, who had voyaged much about the world, and had gazed much upon the heavens above.

‘So on matters of faith,’ continued the Chinaman the student of Confucius, ‘it is pride that causes error and discord among men. As with the sun, so it is with God. Each man wants to have a special God of his own, or at least a special God for his native land. Each nation wishes to confine in its own temples Him, whom the world cannot contain.

‘Can any temple compare with that which God Himself has built to unite all men in one faith and one religion?

 ‘All human temples are built on the model of this temple, which is God’s own world. Every temple has its fonts, its vaulted roof, its lamps, its pictures or sculptures, its inscriptions, its books of the law, its offerings, its altars and its priests. But in what temple is there such a font as the ocean; such a vault as that of the heavens; such lamps as the sun, moon, and stars; or any figures to be compared with living, loving, mutually-helpful men? Where are there any records of God’s goodness so easy to understand as the blessings which God has strewn abroad for man’s happiness? Where is there any book of the law so clear to each man as that written in his heart? What sacrifices equal the self-denials which loving men and women make for one another?

And what altar can be compared with the heart of a good man, on which God Himself accepts the sacrifice?

 ‘The higher a man’s conception of God, the better will he know Him. And the better he knows God, the nearer will he draw to Him, imitating His goodness, His mercy, and His love of man.

‘Therefore, let him who sees the sun’s whole light filling the world, refrain from blaming or despising the superstitious man, who in his own idol sees one ray of that same light. Let him not despise even the unbeliever who is blind and cannot see the sun at all.’

 So spoke the Chinaman, the student of Confucius; and all who were present in the coffee-house were silent, and disputed no more as to whose faith was the best.

Read More moral tales>>>

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Rabbi Albert Lewis: Burning of Holy Texts Dishonors All Faiths

Our Humanity Stands Tested Again!

America’s Other Wars…

Statement on the “Millions March in Harlem”

 

By UNAC

 

Statement by UNAC on the occasion of the August 13, 2011 “Millions March in Harlem” mobilization, the many meetings with strong African American endorsement featuring Libyan bombing eyewitness Cynthia McKinney, and the August 20 Black is Back Coalition mobilization for an “International Day of Action Against the Wars on Africa and the African People.”

UNAC welcomes the July and August actions protesting the wars on African people abroad and at home. We will be marching on August 13 in Harlem to demand an end to the U.S./NATO bombing of Libya, an end to the U.S.-backed sanctions against Zimbabwe, and an end to the racist attacks of the Bloomberg administration on New York’s Black community. We urge all UNAC affiliates outside of NYC to mark August 20 with events educating the antiwar movement about the wars on African people worldwide.

The U.S.-led NATO assault on Libya, an assault that has created over 1000 civilian casualties in a few short months, is not only a means for the US to try to halt the Arab Spring. It is also part of an ominous escalation of US military intervention on the African continent. Nation reporter Jeremy Scahill recently documented the Special Operations strikes, drone attacks, and expanded surveillance operations in famine-wracked Somalia, a nation in which the CIA operates an illegal torture compound and which is still reeling from the 2006 US-inspired and supported Ethiopian invasion. The U.S. goal in Somalia is control of the strategically important Horn of Africa. In the Congo, a decade and a half-long U.S. proxy war over control of coltan and other precious minerals, has resulted in the death of over six million.

U.S. military activity in Africa is directed by AFRICOM (United States Africa Command), the latest U.S. imperial military training, secret war, death squad-promoting interventionist institution aimed at asserting U.S. interests in Africa and denying the people there of the fundamental right to self-determination. In the Americas, the U.S. backs a UN occupation of the Black nation of Haiti and promotes policies in Colombia that displace masses of Afro-Colombians.

There is no community more antiwar in sentiment than African Americans in the U.S. The historic militancy of the Black community has been met with a set of punitive government policies, dubbed the New Jim Crow, that have led to the mass incarceration of its youth and their entrapment in a new prison-industrial complex. As Black Agenda Report editor Glen Ford, recently asked, “If there is not a war against the Black community, where did all the prisoners come from?”

The United National Antiwar Coalition urges all antiwar activists to use the month of August to deepen their involvement in the fight against the “other” wars on the African continent and at home.

Related Topics:

Our Humanity Stands Tested Again!

Tears for Somalia

Setting the Record Straight on the Nile

NATO’s Debacle in Libya

U.S./NATO Atrocities Against Libya

Libyans Dancing in the Streets

Keep Ramadhan Simple!

Time to Ban Land Grab

Statement on the Invasion of the African State of Libya By the Imperialist Forces

Aristide’s First Speech After Seven Years in Exile

Controlling Haiti

Joint Interfaith Response to King Hearings

The Ugly Face of American Islamophobia

War By Deception

The International Elite vs. Communal Democracy of Ivory Coast

Cheney Authorized Pentagon Hit on 9/11‏

Cheney Authorized Pentagon Hit on 9/11‏

 

From Alexandra

 

Retrieved from the memory hole…

Here is C-SPAN footage of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta telling the 9/11 Commission in 2003 that when he arrived in the Presidential Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) in the basement of the White House around 9:20AM on September 11, Vice-President, Cheney was already there with Mrs. Cheney.

The second World Trade Center tower had been hit at 9:03.

Mineta said that shortly after he arrived, he witnessed an exchange between Cheney and a young, unidentified man. He told the commission:

“During the time that the airplane was coming in to the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the vice-president, ‘The plane is 50 miles out. The plane is 30 miles out.’ And when it got down to, ‘The plane is 10 miles out,’ the young man also said to the Vice President, ‘Do the orders still stand?’

And the Vice President whipped his neck around and said, ‘Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything to the contrary?'”

Mineta’s testimony places Cheney in the PEOC almost 40 minutes before the 9/11 Commission said he arrived (They say he got there around 10AM)

This account also contradicts the claim of Don Rumsfeld at the Pentagon, who said they had no idea a plane was coming their way; this is why there was no evacuation of the Pentagon.

Somebody’s lying.

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The 9/11 March Against Islamophobia

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Who or What is El-Qaeda?

Open Letter to Barack Obama

Libya: Anatomy of a Murder

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Indictment on Abuse of Male Power

Dominique Strauss-Kahn: Indictment on Abuse of Male Power

Nafissatou Diallo speaks up against Dominique Strauss-Kahn adding to the growing long list mainly from the French side including his God-daughter, Tristan Banon, and her mother Anne Mansouret, a socialist politcian who describes Strauss-Kahn as a “rutting” chimpanzee…

The maid hovered in the suite’s large living room, just inside the entrance. The 32-year-old Guinean, an employee of the Sofitel hotel, had been told by a room-service waiter that room 2806 was now free for cleaning, “Hello? Housekeeping,” the maid called out again. No reply. The door to the bedroom, to her left, was open, and she could see part of the bed. She glanced around the living room for luggage, saw none. “Hello? Housekeeping.” Then a naked man with white hair suddenly appeared, as if out of nowhere.

That’s how Nafissatou Diallo describes the start of the explosive incident on Saturday, May 14, that would forever change her life—and that of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund and, until that moment, the man tipped to be the next president of France. Now the woman known universally as the “DSK maid” has broken her public silence for the first time, talking for more than three hours with NEWSWEEK at the office of her attorneys, Thompson Wigdor, on New York City’s Fifth Avenue.

When one reads further, one will find all the racist-sexist inuendos slipping in to discredit her further, inuendos that are considered ‘rights’ of a woman in feminist France – questionable rights imposed upon French Muslim  women, who are considered ‘oppressed’ if they do not practice these ‘rights’.

Both world leaders, and the corporate media stance on this case stands as a testament to what the bastions of male power will do to maintain their power, and pay lip service to women’s rights, especially if it compromises their misguided egos…

 Source:

Related Topics:

Strauss-Kahn and the French Battle of the Sexes

God’s Sense of Humour!

A Tradition of Manhood