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In the Name of God بسم الله

Solve et Coagula

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  1. Al-Serat Islam and the Question of Violence Seyyed Hossein Nasr Vol. XIII, No. 2 Despite the presence of violence in many regions of the world ranging from Ireland to Lebanon to the Pacific Basin and involving many religions from Christianity to Hinduism, the Western world associates Islam more than any other religion with violence. The Muslim conquest of Spain, the Crusades - which were not begun by Muslims -, and the Ottoman domination of eastern Europe have provided a historical memory of Islam as being related to force and power. Moreover, the upheavals of the past few decades in the Middle East and especially movements using the name of Islam and seeking to solve problems of the Muslim world created by conditions and causes beyond the control of Muslims have only reinforced the idea prevalent in the West that in some special way Islam is related to violence. To understand the nature of Islam and the truth about the assertion often made of Islam's espousal of violence. it is important to analyze this question clearly remembering that the word islam itself means peace and that the history of Islam has certainly not been witness to any more violence than one finds in other civilizations, particularly that of the West. In what follows. however, it is the Islamic religion in its principles and ideals with which we are especially concerned and not particular events or facts relating to the domain of historical contingency belonging to the unfolding of Islam in the plane of human history First of all, it is necessary to define what we mean by violence. There are several dictionary definitions that can be taken into account such as 'swift and intense force', 'rough or injurious physical force or action', 'unjust or unwarranted exertion of force especially against the rights of others', rough or immediate vehemence' and finally 'injury resulting from the distortion of meaning or fact'. If these definitions are accepted for violence, then the question can be asked as to how Islam is related to these definitions. As far as 'force' is concerned, Islam is not completely opposed to its use but rather seeks to control it in the light of the divine Law (al-shari'a). This world is one in which force is to be found everywhere, in nature as well as in human society, among men as well as within the human soul. The goal of Islam is to establish equilibrium amidst this field of tension of various forces. The Islamic concept of justice itself is related to equilibrium, the word for justice (al-'adl) in Arabic being related in its etymology to the word for equilibrium (ta'adul). All force used under the guidance of the divine Law with the aim of re-establishing an equilibrium that is destroyed is accepted and in fact necessary, for it means to carry out and establish justice. Moreover, not to use force in such a way is to fall prey to other forces which cannot but increase disequilibrium and disorder and result in greater injustice. Whether the use of force in this manner is swift and intense or gentle and mild depends upon the circumstances, but in all cases force can only be used with the aim of establishing equilibrium and harmony and not for personal or sectarian reasons identified with the interests of a person or a particular group and not the whole. By embracing the 'world' and not shunning the 'kingdom of Caesar', Islam took upon itself responsibility for the world in which force is present. But by virtue of the same fact it limited the use of force and despite all the wars, invasions, and attacks which it experienced. it was able to create an ambiance of peace and tranquillity which can still be felt whenever something of the traditional Islamic world survives. The peace that dominates the courtyard of a mosque or a garden whether it be in Marrakesh or Lahore is not accidental but the result of the control of force with the aim of establishing that harmony which results from equilibrium of forces, whether those forces be natural, social or psychological. As for the meaning of violence as 'rough or injurious physical force or action', Islamic Law opposes all uses of force in this sense except in the case of war or for punishment of criminals in accordance with the shari'a. Even in war, however, the inflicting of any injury to women and children is forbidden as is the use of force against civilians. Only fighters in the field of battle must be confronted with force and it is only against them that injurious physical force can be used. Inflicting injuries outside of this context or in the punishment of criminals according to the dictum of the shari'a and the view of a judge is completely forbidden by Islamic Law. As far as violence in the sense of the use of unjust force against the rights of others and laws is concerned, Islam stands totally opposed to it. Rights of human beings are defined by Islamic Law and are protected by this Law which embraces not only Muslims but also followers of other religions who are considered as 'People of the Book (ahl al-kitab)'. If there is nevertheless violation in Islamic society, it is due not to the teachings of Islam but the imperfection of the human recipients of the Divine Message. Man 15 man wherever he might be and no religion can neutralize completely the imperfections inherent in the nature of fallen man. What is remarkable, however, is not that some violence in this sense of the word does exist in Muslim societies, but that despite so many negative social and economic factors aggravated by the advent of colonialism, overpopulation, industrialization, modernization resulting in cultural dislocation, and so many other elements, there is less violence as unjust exertion of force against others in most Islamic countries than in the industrialized West. If one understands by violence 'rough or immoderate vehemence'. then Islam is totally opposed to it. The perspective of Islam is based upon moderation and its morality is grounded upon the principle of avoiding extremes and keeping to the golden mean. Nothing is more alien to the Islamic perspective than vehemence, not to say immoderate vehemence. Even if force is to be used, it must be on the basis of moderation. Finally, if by violence is meant 'distortion of meaning or fact resulting in injury to others', Islam is completely opposed to it. Islam is based on the Truth which saves and which finds its supreme expression in the testimony of the faith, la ilaha illa 'Llah (there is no divinity but the Divine). Any distortion of truth is against the basic teachings of the religion even if no one were to be affected by it. How much more would distortion resulting in injury be against the teachings of the Qur'an and the tradition of the Prophet! In conclusion it must be emphasized that since Islam embraces the whole of life and does not distinguish between the sacred and the secular, it concerns itself with force and power which characterize this world as such. But Islam, in controlling the use of force in the direction of creating equilibrium and harmony, limits it and opposes violence as aggression to the rights of both God and His creatures as defined by the divine Law. The goal of Islam is the attainment of peace but this peace can only be experienced through that exertion (jihad) and the use of force which begins with the disciplining of ourselves and leads to living in the world in accordance with the dicta of the shar'ia. Islam seeks to enable man to live according to his theomorphic nature and not to violate that nature. Islam condones the use of force only to the extent of opposing that centripetal tendency which turns man against what he is in his inner reality. The use of force can only be condoned in the sense of undoing the violation of our own nature and the chaos which has resulted from the loss of equilibrium. But such a use of force is not in reality violence as usually understood. It is the exertion of human will and effort in the direction of conforming to the Will of God and in surrendering the human will to the divine Will. From this surrender (taslim) comes peace (salam), hence islam, and only through this islam can the violence inbred within the nature of fallen man be controlled and the beast within subdued so that man lives at peace with himself and the world because he lives at peace with God. Source: http://www.al-islam.org/al-serat/
  2. Al-Serat The Interior Life in Islam Seyyed Hossein Nasr Vol. III, Nos. 2 & 3 "O thou soul which are at peace, return unto thy Lord, with gladness that is thine in Him and His in thee. Enter thou among My slaves. Enter thou My Paradise." (Quran - LXXXIX; 27-30 (trans. by M. Lings.) The function of religion is to bestow order upon human life and to establish an "outward" harmony upon whose basis man can return inwardly to his Origin by means of the journey toward the "interior" direction. This universal function is especially true of Islam, this last religion of humanity, which is at once a Divine injunction to establish order in human society and within the human soul and at the same time to make possible the interior life, to prepare the soul to return unto its Lord and enter the Paradise which is none other than the Divine Beatitude. God is at once the First (al-awwal) and the Last (al-akhir), the Outward (al-zahir) and the Inward (al-batin). [1] By function of His outwardness He creates a world of separation and otherness and through His inwardness He brings men back to their Origin. Religion is the means whereby this journey is made possible, and it recapitulates in its structure the creation itself which issues from God and returns unto Him. Religion consists of a dimension which is outward and another which, upon the basis of this outwardness, leads to the inward. These dimensions of the islamic revelation are called the Shariah (the Sacred Law), the Tariqah (the Path) and the Haqiqah (the Truth), [2] or from another point of view they correspond to islam, iman, and ihsan, or "surrender", "faith" and "virtue".[3] Although the whole of the Quranic revelation is called "islam", from the perspective in question here it can be said that not all those who follow the tradition on the level of islam are mu'mins, namely those who possess iman, nor do all those who are mu'mins possess ihsan, which is at once virtue and beauty and by function of which man is able to penetrate into the inner meaning of religion. The Islamic revelation is meant for all human beings destined to follow this tradition. But not all men are meant to follow the interior path. It is enough for a man to have lived according to the Shariah and in surrender (islam) to the Divine Will to die in grace and to enter into Paradise. But there are those who yearn for the Divine here and now and whose love for God and propensity for the contemplation of the Divine Realities (al-haqaiq) compel them to seek the path of inwardness. The revelation also provides a path for such men, for men who through their iman and ihsan "return unto their Lord with gladness" while still walking upon the earth. While the concrete embodiment of the Divine Will, which is the Shariah, is called the exoteric dimension in the sense of governing all of man's outward life as well as his body and psyche, the spiritual path, which leads beyond the usual understanding of the "soul" as a separated and forgetful substance in the state which Christians call the "fallen state", is called the esoteric dimension. In Sunni Islam, this dimension is almost completely identified with Sufism (tasawwuf) while in Shi'ism, in addition to Sufism, the esoteric and the exoteric are intermingled within the general structure of the religious doctrines and practices themselves.[4] And even within Sunnism, there is an intermediate region between the exoteric and the esoteric, a world of religious practice and doctrines which while not strictly speaking esoteric are like the reflection of the inner teachings of Sufism within the whole community and a foretaste of its riches. In fact, many of the prayer manuals which occupy such a position in the Sunni world, such as the Dalail al- khayrat, were written by Sufi masters, while in the Shi'ite world, the prayers almost all of which, such as the al-Sahifah al-sajjadiyyah of the fourth Imam Zayn al- Abidin, were written by esoteric authors, partake of both an esoteric and an exoteric character.[5] Occasionally, there has even been the penetration of one domain upon another, such as the sayings of many of the Imams which have appeared in Sufi writings and even of some Sufi writings which have penetrated into certain Shi'ite prayers identified with some of the Imams.[6] Prayers such as those of Khwajah 'Abdallah Ansari, the great saint of Herat contained in his Supplications (Munajat) are at once the deepest yearning of the heart for the Ineffable and the Infinite and common devotional prayers chanted by many of the devout in the community and thus belonging to the intermediate level alluded to above: I live only to do Thy will, My lips move only in praise of Thee O Lord, whoever becometh aware of Thee Casteth out all else other than Thee. O Lord, give me a heart That I may pour it out in Thanksgiving Give me life That I may spend it In working for the salvation of the world. O Lord, give me understanding That I stray not from the path Give me light To avoid pitfalls. O Lord, give me eyes Which see nothing but Thy glory. Give me a mind That finds delight in Thy service. Give me a soul Drunk in the wine of Thy wisdom.[7] In the same way that the dimension of inwardness is inward in relation to the outward and the outward is necessary as the basis and point of departure for the journey toward the inward, so is the experience of the Divinity as imminent dependent upon the awareness of the Divinity as transcendent. No man has the right to approach the Imminent without surrendering himself to the Transcendent, and it is only in possessing faith in the Transcendent that man is able to experience the Imminent. Or from another point of view, it is only in accepting the Shari'ah that man is able to travel upon the Path (tariqah) and finally to reach the Truth (haqiqah) which lies at the heart of all things and yet is beyond all determination and limitation. To interiorize life itself and to become aware of the inward dimension, man must have recourse to rites whose very nature it is to cast a sacred form upon the waves of the ocean of multiplicity in order to save man and bring him back to the shores of Unity. The major rites or pillars (arkan) of Islam, namely the daily prayers (salat), fasting (sawm), the pilgrimage (hajj), the religious tax (zakat) and holy war (jihad), are all means of sanctifying man's terrestrial life and enabling him to live and to die as a central being destined for beatitude. But these rites themselves are not limited to their outer forms. Rather they possess inward dimensions and levels of meaning which man can reach in function of the degree of his faith (iman) and the intensity and quality of his virtue or inner beauty (ihsan). The daily prayers (salat in Arabic, namaz in Persian, Turkish and Urdu) are the most fundamental rites of Islam, preceded by the ablutions and the call to prayers (adhan), both of which contain the profoundest symbolic significance. The form of these prayers is derived directly from the sunnah of the Holy Prophet and the daily prayers are considered as the most important of religious deeds for as the Prophet has said, "The first of his deeds for which a man will be taken into account on the day of resurrection will be his prayer. If it is sound he will be saved and successful, but if it is unsound he will be unfortunate and miserable. If any deficiency is found in his obligatory prayer the Lord who is blessed and exalted will issue instructions to consider whether His servant has said any voluntary prayers so that what is lacking in the obligatory prayer may be made up by it. Then the rest of his actions will be treated in the same fashion." [8] The salat punctuates man's daily existence, determines its rhythm, provides a refuge in the storm of life and protects man from sin. Its performance is obligatory and its imprint upon Islamic society and the soul of the individual Muslim fundamental beyond description. Yet, the meaning of the prayers are not to be understood solely through the study of their external form or their impact upon Islamic society, as fundamental as those may be. By virtue of the degree of man's ihsan, and also by virtue of the grace (barakah) contained within the sacred forms of the prayers, man is able to attain inwardness through the very external forms of the prayers. He is able to return, thanks to the words and movements which are themselves the echoes of the inner states of the Holy Prophet, back to the state of perfect servitude (ubudiyyah) and nearness to the Divine (qurb) which characterize the inner journey of the Holy Prophet as the Universal Man (al-insan al-kamil) to the Divine Presence on that nocturnal ascent (al-miraj), which is at once the inner reality of the prayers and the prototype[9] of spiritual realization in Islam.[10] Not only do the canonical prayers possess an interior dimension, but they also serve as the basis for other forms of prayer which become ever more inward as man progresses upon the spiritual path leading finally to the "prayer of the heart", the invocation (dhikr) in which the invoker, invocation and the invoked become united, and through which man returns to the Center, to the Origin which is pure Inwardness.[11] The interior life of Islam is based most of all upon the power of prayer and the grace issuing from the sacred language of Arabic in which various prayers are performed. Prayer itself is the holy barque which leads man from the world of outwardness and separation to that of union and interiority, becoming ultimately unified with the center of the heart and the rhythm which determines human life itself. The same process of interiorization takes place as far as the other central rites or pillars of Islam are concerned. Fasting is incumbent upon all Muslims who are capable of it during the holy month of Ramadan, a month full of blessings when according to the well-known hadith "the gates of heaven are opened".[12] But the outward observation of its rules, while necessary, is one thing and the full realization of its meaning is another. Fasting means not only abstention from eating, drinking and passions during daylight but above all the realization of the ultimate independence of man's being from the external world and his dependence upon the spiritual reality which resides within him. Fasting is, therefore, at once a means of purification and interiorization complementing the prayers. In fact, it is itself a form of prayer. The same truth holds true of the other rites. The pilgrimage or hajj is outwardly the journey towards the house of God in Mecca and inwardly circumambulation around the Ka'bah of the heart which is also the house of God. Moreover, the outward hajj is the means and support for that inner journey to the Center which is at once nowhere and everywhere and which is the goal of every wayfaring and journeying. The zakat or religious tax is likewise not only the "purifying" of one's wealth through the act of charity which helps the poor, but also the giving of oneself and the realization of the truth that by virtue of the Divine origin of all things, and not because of some form of sentimental humanitarianism,[13] the other or the neighbour is myself. Zakat, therefore, is, in addition to a means of preserving social equilibrium, a way of self-purification and interiorization, of creating awareness of one's inner nature shown from artificial attachment to all that externalizes and dissipates. Finally, the holy war or jihad is not simply the defense or extension of the Islamic borders which has taken place only during certain episodes of Islamic history, but the constant inner war against all that veils man from the Truth and destroys his inner equilibrium. The greater holy war (al-jihad al-akbar) as this inner battle has been called, by the Holy Prophet, is, like the "unseen warfare" of Orthodox spirituality, the very means of opening the royal path to the center of the heart. It is the battle which must of necessity be carried out to open the door to the way of inwardness. Without this greater jihad man's externalizing and centrifugal tendencies cannot be reversed and the precious jewels contained in the treasury of the heart cannot be attained. The jihad, like the prayers, fasting, pilgrimage and religious tax, while a pillar of Islam and a foundation of Islamic society, is also a means toward the attainment of the inner chamber and an indispensable means for the pursuit of the inner life in its Islamic form. An understanding of the interior life in Islam would be incomplete without reference to the imprint of the Divine Beauty upon both art and nature. Islamic art, although dealing with world of forms, is, like all genuine sacred art, a gate towards the inner life. Islam is based primarily on intelligence and considers beauty as the necessary complement of any authentic manifestation of the Truth. In fact beauty is the inward dimension of goodness and leads to that Reality which is the origin of both beauty and goodness. It is not accidental that in Arabic moral goodness or virtue and beauty are both called husn. Islamic art, far from being an accidental aspect of Islam and its spiritual life, is essential to all authentic expressions of Islamic spirituality and the gate towards the inner world. From the chanting of the Holy Quran, which is the most central expression of the Islamic revelation and sacred art par excellence, to calligraphy and architecture which are the "embodiments" in the worlds of form and space of the Divine Word, the sacred art of Islam has always played and continues to play a fundamental role in the interiorization of man's life.[14] The same could of course be said of traditional music (sama`) and poetry which have issued from Sufism and which are like nets cast into the world of multiplicity to bring men back to the inner courtyard of the Beloved. [15] Likewise, nature and its grand phenomena such as the shining of the Sun and the Moon, the seasonal cycles, the mountains and the streams, are, in the Islamic perspective, means for the contemplation of the spiritual realities. They are signs (ayat) of God and although themselves forms in the external world, mirrors of a reality which is at once inward and transcendent. Nature is not separated from grace but is a participant in the Quranic revelation. In fact in Islamic sources, it is called the "macrocosmic revelation". Virgin nature is the testament of God and gives the lie to all forms of pretentious naturalism, rationalism, skepticism and agnosticism, these maladies from which the modern world suffers so grievously. It is only in the artificial ugliness of the modern urban setting, created by modern man to forget God, that such ailments of the mind and the soul appear as real and the Divine Truth as unreal. Modern skeptical philosophies are the products of those living in urban centers and not of men who have been born and who have lived in the bosom of nature and in awareness of His macrocosmic revelation.[16] In Islamic spirituality, nature acts as an important and in some cases indispensable means for recollection and as an aid towards the attainment of inwardness. Many Muslim saints have echoed over the ages the words of the Egyptian Sufi Dhu'l-nun who said: "O God, I never hearken to the voices of the beasts or the rustle of the trees, the splashing of waters or the song of birds, the whistling of the wind or the rumble of thunder, but I sense in them a testimony to Thy Unity and a proof of Thy Incomparableness that Thou art the All-prevailing, the All-knowing, the All-wise, the All-just, the All-true, and that in Thee is neither overthrow nor ignorance nor folly nor injustice nor lying. O God, I acknowledge Thee in the proof of Thy handiwork and the evidence of Thy acts: grant me, O God, to seek Thy Satisfaction with my satisfaction and the Delight of a Father in His child, remembering Thee in my love for Thee, with serene tranquility and firm resolve." [17] St. Francis of Assisi would surely have joined this chorus in the praise of the Lord through the reflection of His Beauty and Wisdom in His Creation. The goal of the inward life in Islam is to reach the Divine as both the Transcendent and the Imminent. It is to gain a vision of God as the Reality beyond all determination and at the same time of the world as "plunged in God". It is to see God everywhere.[18] The inward dimension is the key for the understanding of metaphysics and traditional cosmology as well as for the penetration into the essential meaning of religion and of all religions, for at the heart of every authentic religion lies the one Truth which resides also at the heart of all things and most of all of man. There are of course differences of perspective and of form. In Christianity, it is the person of Christ who saves and who washes away the dross of separation and externalization. In Islam, such a function is performed by the supreme expression of the Truth Itself, by the Shahadah, La ilaha ill'llah. To take refuge in it is to be saved from the debilitating effect of externalization and "objectivization" and to be brought back to the Center, through the inward dimension. [19] It is not for all men to follow the interior life. As already mentioned, it is sufficient for a Muslim to live according to the Shari'ah to enter paradise after death and to follow the interior path after the end of his terrestrial journey. But for those who seek the Divine Center while still walking on earth and who have already died and become resurrected; in this life the interior path opens before them at a point which is here and a time which is now. "It is related that one night Shaykh Bayazid went outside the city and found everything wrapped in deep silence, free from the clamour of men. The moon was shedding her radiance upon the world and by her light made night as brilliant as the day. Stars innumerable shone like jewels in the heavens above, each pursuing its appointed task. For a long time the Shaykh made his way across the open country and found no movement therein, nor saw a single soul. Deeply moved by this he cried: "O Lord, my heart is stirred within me by this Thy Court displayed in all its splendour and sublimity, yet none are found here to give Thee the adoring worship which is thy due. Why should this be, O Lord? Then the hidden voice of God spoke to him: "O thou who art bewildered in the Way, know that the King does not grant admission to every passer-by. So exalted is the Majesty of His Court that not every beggar can be admitted thereto. When the Splendour of My Glory sheds abroad its radiance from this My sanctuary, the heedless and those who are wrapped in the sleep of indolence are repelled thereby. Those who are worthy of admittance to this Court wait for long years, until one in a thousand of them wins entrance thereto." [20] No religion would be complete without providing the path for the "one in a thousand". Islam as an integral tradition and the last plenary message of Heaven to the present humanity has preserved to this day the possibility of following the interior life, a life which, although actualized fully only by the few, has cast its light and spread its perfume over all authentic manifestations of the Islamic tradition. Notes: 1.See F. Schuon, Dimensions of Islam, trans. P. Townsend, London, 1969, chapter 2. 2.See S. H. Nasr, Ideals and Realities of Islam, London, 1966, chapter 1, 3 and 4 (trans. into Italian by D. Venturi as Ideali e realita dell' Islam, Milan, 1974. 3.See F. Schuon, "Iman, Islam, Insan", in his L'Oeil du coeur, Paris, 1974, pp. 91-94, where the relation of this division to the tripartite division of the Islamic tradition into Shari'ah, Tariqah and Haqiqah is also explained. 4.Concerning Shi'ism see Allamah Tabataba'i, Shi'ite Islam, trans. by S. H. Nasr, New York and London, 1975. 5.On Muslim prayers from both Sunni and Shi'ite sources and dealing mostly with this "intermediate" domain of religious life, between external religious acts and the "prayer of the heart", see C. E. Padwick, Muslim Devotions, A Study of Prayer-Manuals in Common Use, London, 1961. 6.For a rather remarkable instance of this second category dealing with a Prayer written by Ibn 'Ata'Allah al-Iskandari in a famous Shi'ite prayer attributed to Imam Husayn the third Shi'ite Imam, see W. Chittick, "A Shadhili Presence in Shi'ite Islam?", Sophia Perennis (Journal of the Imperial Iranian Academy of Philosophy), vol. 1, no. 1, Spring 1975, pp. 97-100. 7.Quoted in M. Smith, The Sufi Path of Love, An Anthology of Sufism, London, 1954, p. 82. 8.Mishkat al-masabih, trans. with explanatory notes by J. Robson, Lahore, 1972, p.278. 9.The external movements of the prayers are said, by traditional Islamic authorities to be reflections in the world of form, movement, time and space of the states experienced by the Holy Prophet during his nocturnal ascension. 10.Concerning the symbolism and inner meaning of the details of the movements actions and words of the prayers as reflecting in the teachings of one of the greatest of the Sufi masters of the recent period see M Lings, A Sufi Saint of the Twentieth Century, London, 1971, pp.176 ff. As for the inner meaning of the prayers as seen by a Shi'ite theosopher and saint see Hajji Mulla Hadi Sabziwari, Asrar al-hikam, Tehran, 1380, pp. 456 ff. 11.Jami has said, "Oh, happy man whose heart has been illuminated by invocation in the shade of which the carnal soul has been vanquished, the thought of multiplicity chased away, the invoker transmuted into invocation and the invocation transmuted into the Invoked." Quoted in F. Schuon, Understanding Islam, trans D. M. Matheson, London, 1976, p. 123. 12.Mishkat al-masabih, vol. II, p. 417, where many hadiths of this kind are accounted. 13.In modern times, few virtues have been as externalized, depleted of their spiritual significance and even made into a channel for demonic rather than celestial forces as charity whose modern, secularized understanding in the West is the direct caricature and parody of the authentic Christian conception of this cardinal virtue. See F. Schuon, Spiritual Perspectives and Human Facts, trans. D. M. Matheson, London 1953, pp. 171 ff. 14.Considering the spiritual principles of Islamic art see T. Burckhardt, The Art of Islam, trans. P. Hobson, London, 1976; and his Sacred Art, East and West, trans Lord Northbourne, London, 1967, chapter IV, also S. H. Nasr, Sacred Art in Persian Culture, London, 1976. 15.Concerning the spiritual and interiorizing effect of music in Sufism see J. Nourbakhsh "Sama`", Sophia Perennis, vol. III no. 1, Spring 1977, S. H Nasr "Islam and Music", Studies in Comparative Religion, Winter, 1976, pp. 37-45. (italian trans. as "L'Islam e la musica secondo Ruzbahan Bagli, Santo Patrono di Sciraz," Conoscenza Religiosa, vol. 4, 1976, pp. 373 ff. 16.Concerning the Islamic and traditional view of nature and its contrast with the modern view see S. H. Nasr, Science and Civilization in Islam, New York, 1970 (Italian trans. as Scienzia e civilta nel' Islam, trans. L. Sosio, Milan, 1977), Nasr, Man and Nature, London, 1976 (Italian translation as L'uomo e la natura, trans. G. Spina, Milan, 1977); Nasr, An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines, London, 1977, Nasr, Islamic Science - An Illustrated Study, London, 1976, also Th. Roszak, Where the Wasteland Ends, New York 1973 and Roszak, Unfinished Animal, New York, 1975. "Les vertus qui par leu; natupe meme temoignent de la Verite, possedent elles aussi une qualite interiorisante dans la mesure ou elles sont fondamentales, il en va de mem des etres et des choses qui transmettent des messages de lteternelle Beaute; d'ou la puissance d'interiorisation propre a la nature vierge, a l'harmonie des creatures, a l'art sacre, a la musique. La sensation esthetique-nous l'avons fait remarquer bien des fois-possede en soi une qualite ascendante- elle provoque dans l'ame contemplative directement ou indirectement, un ressouvenir des divines essences." F. Schuon 'La religion du coeur", Sophia Perennis, vol. III, no. 1, Spring, 1977. 17.A. J. Arbery, Sufism, London, 1950, p. 52-53. 18.See F. Schuon, "Seeing God Everywhere", in his Gnosis, Divine Wisdom, trans. G. E. H. Palmer, London, 1959, pp. 106 ff. 19.See S. H. Nasr, "Contemporary Western Man, between the rim and the axis" in his Islam and the Plight of Modern Man, London, 1976, pp. 3 ff. 20.From 'Attar quoted in M. Smith, Readings from the Mystics of Islam, London, 1950, pp. 26-27. source: http://www.al-islam.org/al-serat/
  3. Al-Serat The Spiritual Significance of Jihad Seyyed Hossein Nasr Vol. IX, No. 1 And those who perform jihad for Us, We shall certainly guide them in Our ways, and God is surely with the doers of good. (Quran XXXIX; 69) You have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad. (Hadith) The Arabic term jihad, usually translated into European languages as holy war, more on the basis of its juridical usage in Islam rather than on its much more universal meaning in the Quran and Hadith, is derived from the root jhd whose primary meaning is to strive or to exert oneself. Its translation into holy war combined with the erroneous notion of Islam prevalent in the West as the 'religion of the sword' has helped to eclipse its inner and spiritual significance and to distort its connotation. Nor has the appearance upon the stage of history during the past century and especially during the past few years of an array of movements within the Islamic world often contending or even imposing each other and using the word jihad or one of its derivative forms helped to make known the full import of its traditional meaning which alone is of concern to us here. Instead recent distortions and even total reversal of the meaning of jihad as understood over the ages by Muslims have made it more difficult than ever before to gain insight into this key religious and spiritual concept. To understand the spiritual significance of jihad and its wide application to nearly every aspect of human life as understood by Islam, it is necessary to remember that Islam bases itself upon the idea of establishing equilibrium within the being of man as well as in the human society where he functions and fulfills the goals of his earthly life. This equilibrium, which is the terrestrial reflection of Divine Justice and the necessary condition for peace in the human domain, is the basis upon which the soul takes its flight towards that peace which, to use Christian terms, 'passeth understanding'. If Christian morality sees the aim of the spiritual life and its own morality as based on the vertical flight towards that perfection and ideal which is embodied in Christ, Islam sees it in the establishment of an equilibrium both outward and inward as the necessary basis for the vertical ascent. The very stability of Islamic society over the centuries, the immutability of Islamic norms embodied in the Shari'ah, and the timeless character of traditional Islamic civilization which is the consequence of its permanent and immutable prototype are all reflections of both the ideal of equilibrium and its realization as is so evident in the teachings of the Shari'ah (or Divine Law) as well as works of Islamic art, that equilibrium which is inseparable from the very name of islam as being related to salam or peace. The preservation of equilibrium in this world, however, does not mean simply a static or inactive passivity since life by nature implies movement. In the face of the contingencies of the world of change, of the withering effects of time, of the vicissitudes of terrestrial existence, to remain in equilibrium requires continuous exertion. It means carrying out jihad at every stage of life. Human nature being what it is, given to forgetfulness and the conquest of our immortal soul by the carnal soul or passions, the very process of life of both the individual and the human collectivity implies the ever-present danger of the loss of equilibrium and the fact of falling into the state of disequilibrium which if allowed to continue cannot but lead to disintegration on the individual level and chaos on the scale of community life. To avoid this tragic end and to fulfill the entelechy of the human state which is the realization of unity (al-tawhid) or total integration, Muslims as both individuals and members of Islamic society must carry out jihad, that is they must exert themselves at all moments of life to fight a battle both inward and outward against those forces that if not combatted will destroy that equilibrium which is the necessary condition for the spiritual life of the person and the functioning of human society. This fact is especially true if society is seen as a collectivity which bears the imprint of the Divine Norm rather than an antheap of contending and opposing units and forces. Man is at once a spiritual and corporeal being, a micro-cosm complete unto himself; yet he is the member of a society within which alone are certain aspects of his being developed and certain of his needs fulfilled. He possesses at once an intelligence whose substance is ultimately of a divine character and sentiments which can either veil his intelligence or abett his quest for his own Origin. In him are found both love and hatred, generosity and coveteousness, compassion and aggression. Moreover, there have existed until now not just one but several 'humanities' with their own religious and moral norms and national, ethnic and racial groups with their own bonds of affiliation. As a result the practice of jihad as applied to the world of multiplicity and the vicissitudes of human existence in the external world has come to develop numerous ramifications in the fields of political and economic activity and in social life and come to partake on the external level of the complexity which characterizes the human world. In its most outward sense jihad came to mean the defence of dar al-islam, that is, the Islamic world, from invasion and intrusion by non-Islamic forces. The earliest wars of Islamic history which threatened the very existence of the young community came to be known as jihad par excellence in this outward sense of 'holy war'. But it was upon returning from one of these early wars, which was of paramount importance in the survival of the newly established religious community and therefore of cosmic significance, that the Prophet nevertheless said to his companions that they had returned from the lesser holy war to the greater holy war, the greater jihad being the inner battle against all the forces which would prevent man from living according to the theomorphic norm which is his primordial and God given nature. Throughout Islamic history, the lesser holy war has echoed in the Islamic world when parts or the whole of that world have been threatened by forces from without or within. This call has been especially persistent since the nineteenth century with the advent of colonialism and the threat to the very existence of the Islamic world. It must be remembered, however, that even in such cases when the idea of jihad has been evoked in certain parts of the Islamic world, it has not usually been a question of religion simply sanctioning war but of the attempt of a society in which religion remains of central concern to protect itself from being conquered either by military and economic forces or by ideas of an alien nature. This does not mean, however, that in some cases especially in recent times, religious sentiments have not been used or misused to intensify or legitimize a conflict. But to say the least, the Islamic world does not have a monopoly on this abuse as the history of other civilizations including even the secularized West demonstrates so amply. Moreover, human nature being what it is, once religion ceases to be of central significance to a particular human collectivity, then men fight and kill each other for much less exalted issues than their heavenly faith. By including the question of war in its sacred legislation, Islam did not condone but limited war and its consequences as the history of the traditional Islamic world bears out. In any case the idea of total war and the actual practice of the extermination of whole civilian populations did not grow out of a civilization whose dominant religion saw jihad in a positive light. On the more external level, the lesser jihad also includes the socio-economic domain. It means the reassertion of justice in the external environment of human existence starting with man himself. To defend one's rights and reputation, to defend the honour of oneself and one's family is itself a jihad and a religious duty. So is the strengthening of all those social bonds from the family to the whole of the Muslim people (al-ummah) which the Shari'ah emphasizes. To seek social justice in accordance with the tenets of the Quran and of course not in the modern secularist sense is a way of re-establishing equilibrium in human society, that is, of performing jihad, as are constructive economic enterprises provided the well-being of the whole person is kept in mind and material welfare does not become an end in itself; provided one does not lose sight of the Quranic verse, 'The other world is better for you than this one'. To forget the proper relation between the two worlds would itself be instrumental in bringing about disequilibrium and would be a kind of jihad in reverse. All of those external forms of jihad would remain incomplete and in fact contribute to an excessive externalization of human being, if they were not complemented by the greater or inner jihad which man must carry out continuously within himself for the nobility of the human state resides in the constant tension between what we appear to be and what we really are and the need to transcend ourselves throughout this journey of earthly life in order to become what we 'are'. From the spiritual point of view all the 'pillars' of Islam can be seen as being related to jihad. The fundamental witnesses, 'There is no divinity but Allah' and 'Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah', through the utterance of which a person becomes a Muslim are not only statements about the Truth as seen in the Islamic perspective but also weapons for the practice of inner jihad. The very form of the first witness (La ilaha illa' Lla-h in Arabic) when written in Arabic calligraphy is like a bent sword with which all otherness is removed from the Supreme Reality while all that is positive in manifestation is returned to that Reality. The second witness is the blinding assertion of the powerful and majestic descent of all that constitutes in a positive manner the cosmos, man and revelation from that Supreme Reality. To invoke the two witnesses in the form of the sacred language in which they were revealed is to practice the inner jihad and to bring about awareness of who we are, from whence we come and where is our ultimate abode. The daily prayers (salat or namaz) which constitute the heart of the Islamic rites are again a never ending jihad which punctuate human existence in a continuous rhythm in conformity with the rhythm of the cosmos. To perform the prayers with regularity and concentration requires the constant exertion of our will and an unending battle and striving against forgetfulness, dissipation and laziness. It is itself a form of spiritual warfare. Likewise, the fast of Ramadan in which one wears the armour of inner purity and detachment against the passions and temptations of the outside world requires an asceticism and inner discipline which cannot come about except through an inner holy war. Nor is the hajj to the centre of the Islamic world in Mecca possible without long preparation, effort, often suffering and endurance of hardship. It requires great effort and exertion so that the Prophet could say, 'The hajj is the most excellent of all jihads". Like the knight in quest of the Holy Grail, the pilgrim to the house of the Beloved must engage in a spiritual warfare whose end makes all sacrifice and all hardship pale into significance, for the hajj to the House of God implies for the person who practices the inner jihad encounter with the Master of the House who also resides at the centre of that other Ka'bah which is the heart. Finally the giving of zakat or religious tax and khums is again a form of jihad not only in that in departing from one's wealth man must fight against the coveteousness and greed of his carnal soul, but also in that through the payment of zakat and khums in its many forms man contributes to the establishment of economic justice in human society. Although jihad is not one of the 'pillars of Islam', it in a sense resides within all the other 'pillars'. From the spiritual point of view in fact all of the 'pillars' can be seen in the light of an inner jihad which is essential to the life of man from the Islamic point of view and which does not oppose but complements contemplativity and the peace which result from the contemplation of the One. The great stations of perfection in the spiritual life can also be seen in the light of the inner jihad. To become detached from the impurities of the world in order to repose in the purity of the Divine Presence requires an intense jihad for our soul has its roots sunk deeply into the transient world which the soul of fallen man mistakes for reality. To overcome the lethargy, passivity and indifference of the soul, qualities which have become second nature to man as a result of his forgetting who he is constitutes likewise a constant jihad. To pull the reigns of the soul from dissipating itself outwardly as a result of its centrifugal tendencies and to bring it back to the centre wherein resides Divine Peace and all the beauty which the soul seeks in vain in the domain of multiplicity is again an inner jihad. To melt the hardened heart into a flowing stream of love which would embrace the whole of creation in virtue of the love for God is to perform the alchemical process of solve et coagula inwardly through a 'work' which is none other than an inner struggle and battle against what the soul has become in order to transform it into that which it 'is' and has never ceased to be if only it were to become aware of its own nature. Finally, to realize that only the Absolute is absolute and that only the Self can ultimately utter 'I' is to perform the supreme jihad of awakening the soul from the dream of forgetfulness and enabling it to gain the supreme principal knowledge for the sake of which it was created. The inner jihad or warfare seen spiritually and esoterically can be considered therefore as the key for the understanding of the whole spiritual process, and the path for the realization of the One which lies at the heart of the Islamic message seen in its totality. The Islamic path towards perfection can be conceived in the light of the symbolism of the greater jihad to which the Prophet of Islam, who founded this path on earth, himself referred. In the same way that with every breath the principle of life which functions in us irrespective of our will and as long as it is willed by Him who created us, exerts itself through jihad to instill life within our whole body, at every moment in our conscious life we should seek to perform jihad in not only establishing equilibrium in the world about us but also in awakening to that Divine Reality which is the very source of our consciousness. For the spiritual man, every breath is a reminder that he should continue the inner jihad until he awakens from all dreaming and until the very rhythm of his heart echoes that primordial sacred Name by which all things were made and through which all things return to their Origin. The Prophet said, 'Man is asleep and when he dies he awakens'. Through inner jihad the spiritual man dies in this life in order to cease all dreaming, in order to awaken to that Reality which is the origin of all realities, in order to behold that Beauty of which all earthly beauty is but a pale reflection, in order to attain that Peace which all men seek but which can in fact be found only through the inner jihad. Source: http://www.al-islam.org/al-serat/jihad-nasr.htm
  4. I love the inner Ahmadinejihad. best wishes from Switzerland lwwb Roger
  5. Dear AnonymouSister the following article might give you a better understanding, sorry its a bit long, but worth a read... « I am very happy, my dear brothers and sisters, to be able to say a few words to you today in this beautiful region of France, with its sky always blue, its perfumed air, and the sun always radiant. What profound silence and what peace in this wonderful place! I am sure that you already feel that a new day is rising in the world. The history of the earth and of humanity has its periods which replace one another. Each period adds something new in the life of living beings. Astrological science of ancient times was capable of foreseeing the unrolling of events in the life of human beings, in connection with the movement of the stars and planets. Without entering into the details of the periods through which the earth has already passed, and with it the whole of humanity (which would lead us very far), I shall say to you only that an old age, like a long, painful and dark night, is going away. It is disappearing away, into the past of time to give way to a new age, a culture of the sun! One already hears the children of the sun and of light singing hymns of joy and of gratitude to the inexhaustible goodness of the Creator. One sees the sun opening halfway and the angels, unflagging servants of God, coming down to put order and harmony into sensitive and affectionate souls. A new earth and a new heaven have been in preparation and formation for a long time in God's great studios, workshops. The children of the new life know a wonderful way: the path which leads towards the sun! They have tasted delicious fruits, ripened by the rays of this sun, fruits of joy, of hope and of divine love. They ask now this question to their brothers, a little dulled, numb in matter, deprived of faith and hope: - "Do you believe that intelligent beings still exist on earth?" - "Naturally!", answer these nice brothers, who based everything on matter, having, moreover, never well known what it really represents. "Naturally, we believe it! And these intelligent beings, we are they!" - "Oh, how magnificent it is!", respond the children of the new life, "to be classed among intelligent and reasonable beings." - "Do you believe that there are just and noble beings on the earth?" - "By all means!", answer these brothers made heavy and dulled by matter. "Of course, we believe that! It is we who are these just and noble beings! All the others are in error and total ignorance!" - "Oh how wonderful!", exclaim the children of the new life. "It is marvelous to be just and noble in this life that is so sad and colourless for the majority of human beings." "Do you believe in the existence of good, beautiful and powerful beings?" continue to ask the children of the new life. - "Come on! Honestly! There is no doubt!", answer the brothers a little laggard and rebellious; some of them recognizing that they were beaten or desacrated by some in the struggle for existence, and the others enchanted, enticed or seduced by the charms and beauty of creatures specialized for that." "In such cases, how can one not believe in the existence of powerful and beautiful beings?" After that, the children of hope and of the new life affirm solemnly this: - "Oh, you have supplied us with the means to prove to you and to convince you that beauty, intelligence, force, justice, gentleness, charity, love, patience and all other sublime virtues are qualities and attributes, or grains come from an unique Source, transmitted to us by intermediate centers. This Holy Source nourrishes all the worlds and their creatures in infinite space. If all these qualities and virtues came from yourselves, who are matter and nothing else according in your opinion, why then can you not become at will all powerful, omniscient or beautiful as you wish it yourselves? These qualities which human beings possess come logically, therefore, from a Source which is outside of us, or of our current possibilities. Reunite now by your imagination all these qualities and virtues, amplify them to infinity in one single being. It is that being precisely whom we call the Divinity, from whom come to us all talents and all possibilities, unique Being, unquestiontable, more real than reality itself. To doubt His existence, is to doubt your intelligence, your goodness, your force and the glorious future that you can have. It is the greatest error which slipped itself into the intellect of our brothers, slaves of the material world, who bear pretentious names of atheists, materialists, realists, of rationalists, anarchists and of "abracadabrists". Can we increase our qualities and virtues? Yes. by uniting ourselves: - by correct and luminous thoughts of true intelligence, - by the warm and vivifying feelings or sentiments of selfless love, - by straightforward, upright and noble deeds of an ordered and harmonized activity. By uniting ourselves with this inexhaustible Source of goodness, joy and bless which represents the spiritual Sun, we are walking towards perfection. All true thinkers, all non nebulous true mystics of all ages, the prophets, masters or initiates, acknowledged this great and sublime Truth, beyong all truths. They bowed down with love, humility and adoration before The Supreme Being, who is the true distributor of all good, all interior and exterior riches. All drew force from Him for their inspiration, their revelations, and the actions which ensued them. Do you not feel that there is something changed in life, in human nature and in the surrounding countryside? that even the sun and the most faraway stars are sending us the most moving messages? Do you not feel that underground or subterranean forces, in the oceans, in the air and in cosmic ether, all are in feverish activity? Do you not feel that entities, in countless number, descend from heavenly regions with the plan to awaken us to spiritual truths? And that these beings direct myriad other beings, who work on stones, plants, animals and humans beings? Are you waiting to begin to work with these workers of the new time until the greatest disasters and the largest cataclysms burst out on humanity? That subterranean forces begin to shake the earth's fragile crust? That the oceans flow out onto the continents? That storms and hurricanes show their strength and power in sweeping out everything in front of them? And that the most devastating wars are launched between several nations and tear down the earth? It is said in the Holy Scriptures, that "the sun will be obscured", that "the moon will no longer give light", that "the stars will fall from heaven", and that "the powers of heaven will be set in motion. And then the sign of the Son of man shall appear in heaven." All this is purely symbolic. According to the ancient science of symbols, which revealed and summarized all esoteric science, "the sun will be obscured" signifies that the human intellect, their point of view, will not give any more clarity. The works of numerous scholars, writers and philosophers will present only aberrations, deviations and obscureness. Their point of view, based on an egocentric philosophy will crumble. Here is a striking example: the conclusion drawn by certain researchers sincere, honest, and nevertheless misled; that the law of life is battle, war, and merciless, pitiless fight among creatures for their existence. This conclusion has been drawn thanks to their observation of the inferior regions of life: in the oceans, where everything are eating and devouring each other; in forests, jungles, where animals and wild beasts are devouring each another, in swamps, in families and societies, where, everywhere they report egotism, ferocious fight, slaughter. They believed they were right to draw a conclusion which did not contain the whole truth, but only fifty percent. All that is true if one sees only the lower regions. All that is true if one sees the egoistical, selfish and personal child, who only asks to take without thinking of anybody else. It is selfishness, egotism which absorbs, cries, claims, subjects and enslaves the others. But one forgets to see that beside the child exist the mother and the father, or the grandparents,... this mother who is all love and abnegation, who exerts herself to bring up the child. She is the incarnation of devotion and sacrifice. Can we not conclude that another law exists in life, the law of Love and Sacrifice? Let us take the example of the earth, which is still an egotistical child, and of the mother, the visible sun, because the Father, He, is hidden: it is the invisible Sun. Both of them bend over this child continually, warning him, enlightening him. The earth never stops taking forces and energies from the sun. And the sun gives itself continually with love and patience until the maturation of the earth. The earth will become a sun one day in its turn, contrary to that the astronomers and scholars expect according to their calculations and scientific forecasts, which are based on their point of view purely mechanical, that is, on the dead side of nature. If scholars pay attention only toward the earth and toward what happens in the inferior regions, seeing only purely selfish and destructive phenomenas, it is that they have not raised their eyes towards the regions of spirit and love, where reign other laws, those of kindness, love, charity, sacrifice, patience and impersonality. Due to maturing under the sun beams of goodness and love, a tough, bitter and acid fruit, becomes sweet, delicious and fragrant. It is so with the earth, and with human beings. One day, all of humanity will evolve, will progress, and people will leave the planet, leaving the earth to their small brothers, the animals, those who have also become more evolved and intelligent in their turn. Nothing will be able to resist the all powerful influence of divine heat and divine light. It is a question of time. Still, what is the most extraordinary and astonishing, incredible for the moment, is that unbelieving and atheistic scholars, like bitter, acid and tough fruits, will become sugar and honey, speaking only of love. This example shows us that there exists another point of view, known by the Initiates, which makes us see things correctly. It has been said that "the moon will no longer give any more light". That means that the human heart is filled with religious prejudices and with continually changing and unstable sentiments; and that these prejudices and sentiments will be reduced to nothing. "Stars will fall from heaven", that means that many scientific, political, economic, as well as military authorities, because of a turnover of things in the life, will no longer be able to remedy by their old methods various conditions, circumstances and factors which shall start, so that they shall fall from their base. "Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in the heavens." That means that a new light will appear, that new ideas will come to prepare the new culture which is coming. Scholars will no longer any more search for purely destructive means. Philosophers will no longer invent any more purely human philosophies and which are far from the truth, but they will accept the unique and only Philosophy which exists since the Creation of the world, which the greatest Masters of humanity knew and professed. Neither Hermes, nor Zoroastre, nor Ram, nor Buddha, nor Krishna, nor Orpheus, nor Moses, nor Mohammed, nor Plato, nor Pythagoras, nor Fo-Hi, nor Lao-Tseu have ever invented and fabricated anything by themselves as philosophy as such. But they all studied the one and only true Philosophy, which has been well guarded and passed on to our time. Writers will no longer write any more works which destroy faith, joy and hope, and so introducing in this way anarchy and chaos into human souls, without having the least idea of their moral responsibility toward their readers. Poets will not write poetry where sadness, laziness and desolation, as well as a crepuscular and morbid sentimentality weaken human beings. Painters will no longer paint any more paintings which are the reflection of their continual nightmares, lived in their swampy subconscious, or in subterranians, undergrounds or caves full of mildew. Authors of theater pieces will not present plays where one sees exclusively unchained human passions, where human beings are in prey to conflicts with no way out, and walk on inextricable paths, with neither solution, nor salvation. Musicians will no longer compose any songs or music which unchain hell slumbering in each human nature to manifest itself in madness, folies. New musicians will create a new music, which will correspond to the highest and most divine aspirations of the soul, its desire to live again the life which it lived before it left Paradise. This new music will nourish all that is pure and divine in the soul. This new music will save the world. It will possess the magic power to call the sacred Fire down from Heaven and with it a whole hierarchy of beings of order, of harmony and of beauty as well. Dance, sculpture, architecture, everything will change and will improve thanks to the intelligent and luminous beings who know the structure and formation of human being, and of all his subtle bodies. "This present generation", say the great Masters, "is darkened, materialized, chaotic, unruly, disorderly, and crystallized in inoperative and null forms. This generation cannot vibrate in harmony with the powerful and irresistible impulses of this spouting out Source, the visible sun, representative of the invisible Sun which is the Christ. A new generation is coming with new hearts and new minds, carriers of new seeds. New life approaches like the spiritual Spring, of which all the true poets dreamed, which the true clairvoyants contemplated, which the true prophets predicted." Everything must be renewed, needs to vibrate and shine new plentiful, intense life, which will cleanse everything, purify all, armed with Love, with Hope, with ardent, immovable and powerful Faith in the existence of the Being of all beings, the Ancient of ancients, the Mysterious of mysterious, gentle Father of the Heavens, clement, merciful and misericordious Father. May His name be louded and sanctified for eternity! Oh, may this blessed day come as soon as possible, Lord, in order that the whole world quivers with joy and with gratitude, to be in order to sense Your presence, inexpressible through human words, but who is the resurrection and the eternal life, in joy, in Love, and in Peace. So be it! Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov btw, dont worry i do not have a hidden agenda for converting anybody or soul to esoteric christianity (after gnostic, theosophic and mystic tradition). Esoteric (inner) Christianity is the same teaching like Sufism. Sufism is also the esoteric (inner) teaching of Islam, like the Kabbalah is the esoteric (inner) teaching in Judaism. The current world problems exists because all world religions still cling to exoteric teachings... therefore people like pat robertson gaining their positions, if the masses would be more enlightened they would never cling to these obviously aggressive exoteric teachings... best wishes from Switzerland lwwb Roger
  6. « I am very happy, my dear brothers and sisters, to be able to say a few words to you today in this beautiful region of France, with its sky always blue, its perfumed air, and the sun always radiant. What profound silence and what peace in this wonderful place! I am sure that you already feel that a new day is rising in the world. The history of the earth and of humanity has its periods which replace one another. Each period adds something new in the life of living beings. Astrological science of ancient times was capable of foreseeing the unrolling of events in the life of human beings, in connection with the movement of the stars and planets. Without entering into the details of the periods through which the earth has already passed, and with it the whole of humanity (which would lead us very far), I shall say to you only that an old age, like a long, painful and dark night, is going away. It is disappearing away, into the past of time to give way to a new age, a culture of the sun! One already hears the children of the sun and of light singing hymns of joy and of gratitude to the inexhaustible goodness of the Creator. One sees the sun opening halfway and the angels, unflagging servants of God, coming down to put order and harmony into sensitive and affectionate souls. A new earth and a new heaven have been in preparation and formation for a long time in God's great studios, workshops. The children of the new life know a wonderful way: the path which leads towards the sun! They have tasted delicious fruits, ripened by the rays of this sun, fruits of joy, of hope and of divine love. They ask now this question to their brothers, a little dulled, numb in matter, deprived of faith and hope: - "Do you believe that intelligent beings still exist on earth?" - "Naturally!", answer these nice brothers, who based everything on matter, having, moreover, never well known what it really represents. "Naturally, we believe it! And these intelligent beings, we are they!" - "Oh, how magnificent it is!", respond the children of the new life, "to be classed among intelligent and reasonable beings." - "Do you believe that there are just and noble beings on the earth?" - "By all means!", answer these brothers made heavy and dulled by matter. "Of course, we believe that! It is we who are these just and noble beings! All the others are in error and total ignorance!" - "Oh how wonderful!", exclaim the children of the new life. "It is marvelous to be just and noble in this life that is so sad and colourless for the majority of human beings." "Do you believe in the existence of good, beautiful and powerful beings?" continue to ask the children of the new life. - "Come on! Honestly! There is no doubt!", answer the brothers a little laggard and rebellious; some of them recognizing that they were beaten or desacrated by some in the struggle for existence, and the others enchanted, enticed or seduced by the charms and beauty of creatures specialized for that." "In such cases, how can one not believe in the existence of powerful and beautiful beings?" After that, the children of hope and of the new life affirm solemnly this: - "Oh, you have supplied us with the means to prove to you and to convince you that beauty, intelligence, force, justice, gentleness, charity, love, patience and all other sublime virtues are qualities and attributes, or grains come from an unique Source, transmitted to us by intermediate centers. This Holy Source nourrishes all the worlds and their creatures in infinite space. If all these qualities and virtues came from yourselves, who are matter and nothing else according in your opinion, why then can you not become at will all powerful, omniscient or beautiful as you wish it yourselves? These qualities which human beings possess come logically, therefore, from a Source which is outside of us, or of our current possibilities. Reunite now by your imagination all these qualities and virtues, amplify them to infinity in one single being. It is that being precisely whom we call the Divinity, from whom come to us all talents and all possibilities, unique Being, unquestiontable, more real than reality itself. To doubt His existence, is to doubt your intelligence, your goodness, your force and the glorious future that you can have. It is the greatest error which slipped itself into the intellect of our brothers, slaves of the material world, who bear pretentious names of atheists, materialists, realists, of rationalists, anarchists and of "abracadabrists". Can we increase our qualities and virtues? Yes. by uniting ourselves: - by correct and luminous thoughts of true intelligence, - by the warm and vivifying feelings or sentiments of selfless love, - by straightforward, upright and noble deeds of an ordered and harmonized activity. By uniting ourselves with this inexhaustible Source of goodness, joy and bless which represents the spiritual Sun, we are walking towards perfection. All true thinkers, all non nebulous true mystics of all ages, the prophets, masters or initiates, acknowledged this great and sublime Truth, beyong all truths. They bowed down with love, humility and adoration before The Supreme Being, who is the true distributor of all good, all interior and exterior riches. All drew force from Him for their inspiration, their revelations, and the actions which ensued them. Do you not feel that there is something changed in life, in human nature and in the surrounding countryside? that even the sun and the most faraway stars are sending us the most moving messages? Do you not feel that underground or subterranean forces, in the oceans, in the air and in cosmic ether, all are in feverish activity? Do you not feel that entities, in countless number, descend from heavenly regions with the plan to awaken us to spiritual truths? And that these beings direct myriad other beings, who work on stones, plants, animals and humans beings? Are you waiting to begin to work with these workers of the new time until the greatest disasters and the largest cataclysms burst out on humanity? That subterranean forces begin to shake the earth's fragile crust? That the oceans flow out onto the continents? That storms and hurricanes show their strength and power in sweeping out everything in front of them? And that the most devastating wars are launched between several nations and tear down the earth? It is said in the Holy Scriptures, that "the sun will be obscured", that "the moon will no longer give light", that "the stars will fall from heaven", and that "the powers of heaven will be set in motion. And then the sign of the Son of man shall appear in heaven." All this is purely symbolic. According to the ancient science of symbols, which revealed and summarized all esoteric science, "the sun will be obscured" signifies that the human intellect, their point of view, will not give any more clarity. The works of numerous scholars, writers and philosophers will present only aberrations, deviations and obscureness. Their point of view, based on an egocentric philosophy will crumble. Here is a striking example: the conclusion drawn by certain researchers sincere, honest, and nevertheless misled; that the law of life is battle, war, and merciless, pitiless fight among creatures for their existence. This conclusion has been drawn thanks to their observation of the inferior regions of life: in the oceans, where everything are eating and devouring each other; in forests, jungles, where animals and wild beasts are devouring each another, in swamps, in families and societies, where, everywhere they report egotism, ferocious fight, slaughter. They believed they were right to draw a conclusion which did not contain the whole truth, but only fifty percent. All that is true if one sees only the lower regions. All that is true if one sees the egoistical, selfish and personal child, who only asks to take without thinking of anybody else. It is selfishness, egotism which absorbs, cries, claims, subjects and enslaves the others. But one forgets to see that beside the child exist the mother and the father, or the grandparents,... this mother who is all love and abnegation, who exerts herself to bring up the child. She is the incarnation of devotion and sacrifice. Can we not conclude that another law exists in life, the law of Love and Sacrifice? Let us take the example of the earth, which is still an egotistical child, and of the mother, the visible sun, because the Father, He, is hidden: it is the invisible Sun. Both of them bend over this child continually, warning him, enlightening him. The earth never stops taking forces and energies from the sun. And the sun gives itself continually with love and patience until the maturation of the earth. The earth will become a sun one day in its turn, contrary to that the astronomers and scholars expect according to their calculations and scientific forecasts, which are based on their point of view purely mechanical, that is, on the dead side of nature. If scholars pay attention only toward the earth and toward what happens in the inferior regions, seeing only purely selfish and destructive phenomenas, it is that they have not raised their eyes towards the regions of spirit and love, where reign other laws, those of kindness, love, charity, sacrifice, patience and impersonality. Due to maturing under the sun beams of goodness and love, a tough, bitter and acid fruit, becomes sweet, delicious and fragrant. It is so with the earth, and with human beings. One day, all of humanity will evolve, will progress, and people will leave the planet, leaving the earth to their small brothers, the animals, those who have also become more evolved and intelligent in their turn. Nothing will be able to resist the all powerful influence of divine heat and divine light. It is a question of time. Still, what is the most extraordinary and astonishing, incredible for the moment, is that unbelieving and atheistic scholars, like bitter, acid and tough fruits, will become sugar and honey, speaking only of love. This example shows us that there exists another point of view, known by the Initiates, which makes us see things correctly. It has been said that "the moon will no longer give any more light". That means that the human heart is filled with religious prejudices and with continually changing and unstable sentiments; and that these prejudices and sentiments will be reduced to nothing. "Stars will fall from heaven", that means that many scientific, political, economic, as well as military authorities, because of a turnover of things in the life, will no longer be able to remedy by their old methods various conditions, circumstances and factors which shall start, so that they shall fall from their base. "Then the sign of the Son of man will appear in the heavens." That means that a new light will appear, that new ideas will come to prepare the new culture which is coming. Scholars will no longer any more search for purely destructive means. Philosophers will no longer invent any more purely human philosophies and which are far from the truth, but they will accept the unique and only Philosophy which exists since the Creation of the world, which the greatest Masters of humanity knew and professed. Neither Hermes, nor Zoroastre, nor Ram, nor Buddha, nor Krishna, nor Orpheus, nor Moses, nor Mohammed, nor Plato, nor Pythagoras, nor Fo-Hi, nor Lao-Tseu have ever invented and fabricated anything by themselves as philosophy as such. But they all studied the one and only true Philosophy, which has been well guarded and passed on to our time. Writers will no longer write any more works which destroy faith, joy and hope, and so introducing in this way anarchy and chaos into human souls, without having the least idea of their moral responsibility toward their readers. Poets will not write poetry where sadness, laziness and desolation, as well as a crepuscular and morbid sentimentality weaken human beings. Painters will no longer paint any more paintings which are the reflection of their continual nightmares, lived in their swampy subconscious, or in subterranians, undergrounds or caves full of mildew. Authors of theater pieces will not present plays where one sees exclusively unchained human passions, where human beings are in prey to conflicts with no way out, and walk on inextricable paths, with neither solution, nor salvation. Musicians will no longer compose any songs or music which unchain hell slumbering in each human nature to manifest itself in madness, folies. New musicians will create a new music, which will correspond to the highest and most divine aspirations of the soul, its desire to live again the life which it lived before it left Paradise. This new music will nourish all that is pure and divine in the soul. This new music will save the world. It will possess the magic power to call the sacred Fire down from Heaven and with it a whole hierarchy of beings of order, of harmony and of beauty as well. Dance, sculpture, architecture, everything will change and will improve thanks to the intelligent and luminous beings who know the structure and formation of human being, and of all his subtle bodies. "This present generation", say the great Masters, "is darkened, materialized, chaotic, unruly, disorderly, and crystallized in inoperative and null forms. This generation cannot vibrate in harmony with the powerful and irresistible impulses of this spouting out Source, the visible sun, representative of the invisible Sun which is the Christ. A new generation is coming with new hearts and new minds, carriers of new seeds. New life approaches like the spiritual Spring, of which all the true poets dreamed, which the true clairvoyants contemplated, which the true prophets predicted." Everything must be renewed, needs to vibrate and shine new plentiful, intense life, which will cleanse everything, purify all, armed with Love, with Hope, with ardent, immovable and powerful Faith in the existence of the Being of all beings, the Ancient of ancients, the Mysterious of mysterious, gentle Father of the Heavens, clement, merciful and misericordious Father. May His name be louded and sanctified for eternity! Oh, may this blessed day come as soon as possible, Lord, in order that the whole world quivers with joy and with gratitude, to be in order to sense Your presence, inexpressible through human words, but who is the resurrection and the eternal life, in joy, in Love, and in Peace. So be it! Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
  7. Dear hassan omar al kroati I absolutely agree with you!!! I am already your brother in Islam. I am brother to everybody and soul be they christians, muslims, jews, hindus, buddhists, etc. I dont need to convert you, you dont need to convert me... we are already... if we overcome this illusion that only one religion tells the truth, than we all are real brothers and sisters of the same God... So i just want to tell you that i am talking in the name of esoteric (inner) Christianity... exoteric Christianity or mainstream Christianity still tries to fight all other religions in an absolute ignorant way... The same characteristics exists also in mainstream islam, sorry to tell you, but sufism the esoteric (inner) teaching of islam is the true way of realising Peace in our world - the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness... We should stop defending ones religion, all religions are necessary and true pathes, there's not a better or worse way to find the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness... Btw, mainstream Judaism has the same problems, the true way there is again esoteric Judaism, the Kabbalah... The esoteric teachings of all world religions try to find God in ourselves and sees outside in everything a Reflection of God - even in our brothers and sisters, doesnt matter which religion they practise... smile I wish you all love, wisdom and truth of eternity and lets fight for the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness on Earth by using love... best wishes from Switzerland lwwb Roger
  8. LAWS OF THE MATERIAL AND SPIRITUAL LIFE One brother asked, "Master, how would you explain this increase in the activity of the material existence?" The Master said: "A person will become depleted and exhausted if he uses too much of his energy for the outer life. The contemporary era is very active outwardly. Here time is money. Man must allot his time in such a way that one-third is set aside for activity in the worldly life; and the rest -for satisfying the needs of the mind, the heart and the soul." "How can we rid ourselves of our negative states?" "The third Hermetic Law states, 'Everything in the Cosmos has its own vibration.' One needs to understand that good, sublime thoughts have a higher vibration than the low, negative ones. This is a Law that you can make use of. For example: should you find yourself in a negative state, increase your vibrations and you will eliminate it, because the stronger vibrations of the sublime thoughts will prevail over and eliminate the negative state. "Should someone desire to be virtuous, he must connect with those who are virtuous. In order that one might become man of science, one must connect with erudite people. This is the Law. Anyone who believes that this can be accomplished in any other way is deluded. If you were to situate a herdsman that he could dwell among those with intelligence, he would begin to be like them. Conversely, should you situate a sage that he could dwell - over the course of many years - among criminals, nothing would become of him." "How can one learn from the past?" "Everything in the physical world is recorded. Should a Being from the Invisible World aspire to learn about something in the physical world, about certain epoch, he views the recorded visual image. In the future, man will be able to study the past in this manner." "Is it possible to increase the capabilities of one's mind?" "For this hard work is required. Man must subdue his lower nature that he may be capable of receiving Nature's delicate and refined vibrations." "When an atom passes through the human body does it experience any change?" "The hydrogen atom which has passed through an animal or human being differs from that which has not." "What is the relationship of the Invisible World with the material one?" "There is a Law that relates to the descent of the worlds. Symbolically, the astral world is water and so is named 'the watery world'. The astral world will be brought down and become like water, vapid." "Why does the mind become weak?" "This is the result of the accumulation of old ideas in the mind. For example, people are over-concerned with how they will manage their lives. These are old ideas which come from their ancestors. When the balance between thought and emotion is disrupted, this weakens the mind. "When someone seeks to express himself, do not hinder him in this. Instead, direct his attention towards something else - to that which is sublime. Should you hinder him, those forces which are seeking expression would pass on to you. Conduct the following experiment: should you attempt to hinder someone's jealousy by trying to change him, the jealousy will find expression in you." "Why are Caucasians anxious today?" "Because of the transgressions which they have committed. Man becomes anxious when he does not live rightly." "How do man's actions affect the life of all humankind?" "The Law states: that which occurs to the greatest will occur to the least as well; and conversely, that which occurs to the least will occur to the greatest as well. For example, when you give a person one lev, another person should give someone else ten leva; a third one in turn, should give one hundred leva to someone else, a fourth one - one million leva and so on. "Everything which you do has an effect on the entire world. That which we have done with the wellsprings will affect the events in the world. That which you do, thousands of people will do as well. When you turn a key, how can you be certain that thousands will not follow you. And if thousands turn their keys, millions will follow them. "Human beings are like interconnected vessels; therefore, whenever someone works to improve himself, he works to improve others as well. This Law has another application: whatever one does in his worldly existence effects his inner life as well. For example, when we work to clean up a wellspring or a path or the countryside - this will produce a corresponding effect upon the state of our thoughts and emotions. In accordance with this Law, man is held culpable before humankind for all of his actions. The severity of his transgression is of no significance. The least transgression can result in dire consequences because man is interconnected with a multitude of people. When you transgress,. you provoke others to transgress as well. You are the 'fire-starter' in a box of matches; and when you ignite, the remainder of the matches will start to bum as well." "Does a person leave his influence upon the place which he departed from?" "There are times when you pass through a place and experience elation. This is because a person who had been in an elated state has departed from here. You pass through another place and now you experience sorrow: a person in a sorrowful state has departed from here. Certain places exist where crimes have been committed. These leave behind a lasting influence which is left many years to come. "Every object which has passed through your hands has received a certain influence from you: your nature has become imprinted upon it. Should a person who is receptive touch this object, he will be able to describe - with imagery - your nature and your existence as well. You lead a virtuous life. Should an object which you have used pass into the hands of another, the impulse will arise in him - whether it be strong or weak - to live as you do. "A consequence of the above Law is the following rule: never discard the water in which you have washed your hands and face into an impure place. If you abide by this rule, you will experience a slight improvement in your existence." Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno)
  9. "God created us in his image, and our task during our earthly existence is to seek this image within ourselves and to manifest it. Some have achieved this goal. And since some have achieved it, to claim that others are incapable of doing so is unacceptable. Just as there are no naturally superior races, there are no naturally superior human beings. They differ only in their degree of evolution, as they have not all made the same efforts and accomplished the same work during their successive incarnations. But the truth is that everything that happens in the world, all the happy and unhappy adventures people experience are nothing more than moments in this attempt to express in its fullness the image of God. If they are not reminded of this, how will they make up their minds to work toward this end? All education must emphasize this point, so that human beings can recover in themselves all the knowledge that is buried there. " Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
  10. "In the West, we have witnessed for centuries the endless battles between religion and science. For a long time religion was powerful enough to carry off the victory. Then, little by little, the situation was reversed: as science gradually advanced, it gained the upper hand and took revenge by ridiculing religion, which was forced to beat a retreat. But just as religion could not prevent scientific development, science, no matter how great its progress, could not replace or destroy religion. There is a connection between these two domains, and each must work to enhance and enlighten the other. Those who try to separate them or pit them against each other are mistaken. God would not have established two incompatible realities in the universe He created, or in the human being He created in His image. You must therefore discover the laws that govern both the material world and the spiritual world. " Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
  11. Abstract: the proposed Iranian Oil Bourse will accelerate the fall of the American Empire Krassimir Petrov, Ph. D. January 17, 2006 I. Economics of Empires A nation-state taxes its own citizens, while an empire taxes other nation-states. The history of empires, from Greek and Roman, to Ottoman and British, teaches that the economic foundation of every single empire is the taxation of other nations. The imperial ability to tax has always rested on a better and stronger economy, and as a consequence, a better and stronger military. One part of the subject taxes went to improve the living standards of the empire; the other part went to strengthen the military dominance necessary to enforce the collection of those taxes. Historically, taxing the subject state has been in various forms - usually gold and silver, where those were considered money, but also slaves, soldiers, crops, cattle, or other agricultural and natural resources, whatever economic goods the empire demanded and the subject-state could deliver. Historically, imperial taxation has always been direct: the subject state handed over the economic goods directly to the empire. For the first time in history, in the twentieth century, America was able to tax the world indirectly, through inflation. It did not enforce the direct payment of taxes like all of its predecessor empires did, but distributed instead its own fiat currency, the U.S. Dollar, to other nations in exchange for goods with the intended consequence of inflating and devaluing those dollars and paying back later each dollar with less economic goods - the difference capturing the U.S. imperial tax. Here is how this happened. Early in the 20th century, the U.S. economy began to dominate the world economy. The U.S. dollar was tied to gold, so that the value of the dollar neither increased, nor decreased, but remained the same amount of gold. The Great Depression, with its preceding inflation from 1921 to 1929 and its subsequent ballooning government deficits, had substantially increased the amount of currency in circulation, and thus rendered the backing of U.S. dollars by gold impossible. This led Roosevelt to decouple the dollar from gold in 1932. Up to this point, the U.S. may have well dominated the world economy, but from an economic point of view, it was not an empire. The fixed value of the dollar did not allow the Americans to extract economic benefits from other countries by supplying them with dollars convertible to gold. Economically, the American Empire was born with Bretton Woods in 1945. The U.S. dollar was not fully convertible to gold, but was made convertible to gold only to foreign governments. This established the dollar as the reserve currency of the world. It was possible, because during WWII, the United States had supplied its allies with provisions, demanding gold as payment, thus accumulating significant portion of the world's gold. An Empire would not have been possible if, following the Bretton Woods arrangement, the dollar supply was kept limited and within the availability of gold, so as to fully exchange back dollars for gold. However, the guns-and-butter policy of the 1960's was an imperial one: the dollar supply was relentlessly increased to finance Vietnam and LBJ's Great Society. Most of those dollars were handed over to foreigners in exchange for economic goods, without the prospect of buying them back at the same value. The increase in dollar holdings of foreigners via persistent U.S. trade deficits was tantamount to a tax - the classical inflation tax that a country imposes on its own citizens, this time around an inflation tax that U.S. imposed on rest of the world. When in 1970-1971 foreigners demanded payment for their dollars in gold, The U.S. Government defaulted on its payment on August 15, 1971. While the popular spin told the story of "severing the link between the dollar and gold", in reality the denial to pay back in gold was an act of bankruptcy by the U.S. Government. Essentially, the U.S. declared itself an Empire. It had extracted an enormous amount of economic goods from the rest of the world, with no intention or ability to return those goods, and the world was powerless to respond - the world was taxed and it could not do anything about it. From that point on, to sustain the American Empire and to continue to tax the rest of the world, the United States had to force the world to continue to accept ever-depreciating dollars in exchange for economic goods and to have the world hold more and more of those depreciating dollars. It had to give the world an economic reason to hold them, and that reason was oil. In 1971, as it became clearer and clearer that the U.S Government would not be able to buy back its dollars in gold, it made in 1972-73 an iron-clad arrangement with Saudi Arabia to support the power of the House of Saud in exchange for accepting only U.S. dollars for its oil. The rest of OPEC was to follow suit and also accept only dollars. Because the world had to buy oil from the Arab oil countries, it had the reason to hold dollars as payment for oil. Because the world needed ever increasing quantities of oil at ever increasing oil prices, the world's demand for dollars could only increase. Even though dollars could no longer be exchanged for gold, they were now exchangeable for oil. The economic essence of this arrangement was that the dollar was now backed by oil. As long as that was the case, the world had to accumulate increasing amounts of dollars, because they needed those dollars to buy oil. As long as the dollar was the only acceptable payment for oil, its dominance in the world was assured, and the American Empire could continue to tax the rest of the world. If, for any reason, the dollar lost its oil backing, the American Empire would cease to exist. Thus, Imperial survival dictated that oil be sold only for dollars. It also dictated that oil reserves were spread around various sovereign states that weren't strong enough, politically or militarily, to demand payment for oil in something else. If someone demanded a different payment, he had to be convinced, either by political pressure or military means, to change his mind. The man that actually did demand Euro for his oil was Saddam Hussein in 2000. At first, his demand was met with ridicule, later with neglect, but as it became clearer that he meant business, political pressure was exerted to change his mind. When other countries, like Iran, wanted payment in other currencies, most notably Euro and Yen, the danger to the dollar was clear and present, and a punitive action was in order. Bush's Shock-and-Awe in Iraq was not about Saddam's nuclear capabilities, about defending human rights, about spreading democracy, or even about seizing oil fields; it was about defending the dollar, ergo the American Empire. It was about setting an example that anyone who demanded payment in currencies other than U.S. Dollars would be likewise punished. Many have criticized Bush for staging the war in Iraq in order to seize Iraqi oil fields. However, those critics can't explain why Bush would want to seize those fields - he could simply print dollars for nothing and use them to get all the oil in the world that he needs. He must have had some other reason to invade Iraq. History teaches that an empire should go to war for one of two reasons: (1) to defend itself or (2) benefit from war; if not, as Paul Kennedy illustrates in his magisterial The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, a military overstretch will drain its economic resources and precipitate its collapse. Economically speaking, in order for an empire to initiate and conduct a war, its benefits must outweigh its military and social costs. Benefits from Iraqi oil fields are hardly worth the long-term, multi-year military cost. Instead, Bush must have went into Iraq to defend his Empire. Indeed, this is the case: two months after the United States invaded Iraq, the Oil for Food Program was terminated, the Iraqi Euro accounts were switched back to dollars, and oil was sold once again only for U.S. dollars. No longer could the world buy oil from Iraq with Euro. Global dollar supremacy was once again restored. Bush descended victoriously from a fighter jet and declared the mission accomplished - he had successfully defended the U.S. dollar, and thus the American Empire. II. Iranian Oil Bourse The Iranian government has finally developed the ultimate "nuclear" weapon that can swiftly destroy the financial system underpinning the American Empire. That weapon is the Iranian Oil Bourse slated to open in March 2006. It will be based on a euro-oil-trading mechanism that naturally implies payment for oil in Euro. In economic terms, this represents a much greater threat to the hegemony of the dollar than Saddam's, because it will allow anyone willing either to buy or to sell oil for Euro to transact on the exchange, thus circumventing the U.S. dollar altogether. If so, then it is likely that almost everyone will eagerly adopt this euro oil system: * The Europeans will not have to buy and hold dollars in order to secure their payment for oil, but would instead pay with their own currencies. The adoption of the euro for oil transactions will provide the European currency with a reserve status that will benefit the European at the expense of the Americans. . * The Chinese and the Japanese will be especially eager to adopt the new exchange, because it will allow them to drastically lower their enormous dollar reserves and diversify with Euros, thus protecting themselves against the depreciation of the dollar. One portion of their dollars they will still want to hold onto; a second portion of their dollar holdings they may decide to dump outright; a third portion of their dollars they will decide to use up for future payments without replenishing those dollar holdings, but building up instead their euro reserves. . * The Russians have inherent economic interest in adopting the Euro - the bulk of their trade is with European countries, with oil-exporting countries, with China, and with Japan. Adoption of the Euro will immediately take care of the first two blocs, and will over time facilitate trade with China and Japan. Also, the Russians seemingly detest holding depreciating dollars, for they have recently found a new religion with gold. Russians have also revived their nationalism, and if embracing the Euro will stab the Americans, they will gladly do it and smugly watch the Americans bleed. . * The Arab oil-exporting countries will eagerly adopt the Euro as a means of diversifying against rising mountains of depreciating dollars. Just like the Russians, their trade is mostly with European countries, and therefore will prefer the European currency both for its stability and for avoiding currency risk, not to mention their jihad against the Infidel Enemy. Only the British will find themselves between a rock and a hard place. They have had a strategic partnership with the U.S. forever, but have also had their natural pull from Europe. So far, they have had many reasons to stick with the winner. However, when they see their century-old partner falling, will they firmly stand behind him or will they deliver the coup de grace? Still, we should not forget that currently the two leading oil exchanges are the New York's NYMEX and the London's International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), even though both of them are effectively owned by the Americans. It seems more likely that the British will have to go down with the sinking ship, for otherwise they will be shooting themselves in the foot by hurting their own London IPE interests. It is here noteworthy that for all the rhetoric about the reasons for the surviving British Pound, the British most likely did not adopt the Euro namely because the Americans must have pressured them not to: otherwise the London IPE would have had to switch to Euros, thus mortally wounding the dollar and their strategic partner. At any rate, no matter what the British decide, should the Iranian Oil Bourse accelerate, the interests that matter-those of Europeans, Chinese, Japanese, Russians, and Arabs-will eagerly adopt the Euro, thus sealing the fate of the dollar. Americans cannot allow this to happen, and if necessary, will use a vast array of strategies to halt or hobble the operation's exchange: * Sabotaging the Exchange - this could be a computer virus, network, communications, or server attack, various server security breaches, or a 9-11-type attack on main and backup facilities. . * Coup d'état - this is by far the best long-term strategy available to the Americans. . * Negotiating Acceptable Terms & Limitations - this is another excellent solution to the Americans. Of course, a government coup is clearly the preferred strategy, for it will ensure that the exchange does not operate at all and does not threaten American interests. However, if an attempted sabotage or coup d'etat fails, then negotiation is clearly the second-best available option. . * Joint U.N. War Resolution - this will be, no doubt, hard to secure given the interests of all other member-states of the Security Council. Feverish rhetoric about Iranians developing nuclear weapons undoubtedly serves to prepare this course of action. . * Unilateral Nuclear Strike - this is a terrible strategic choice for all the reasons associated with the next strategy, the Unilateral Total War. The Americans will likely use Israel to do their dirty nuclear job. . * Unilateral Total War - this is obviously the worst strategic choice. First, the U.S. military resources have been already depleted with two wars. Secondly, the Americans will further alienate other powerful nations. Third, major dollar-holding countries may decide to quietly retaliate by dumping their own mountains of dollars, thus preventing the U.S. from further financing its militant ambitions. Finally, Iran has strategic alliances with other powerful nations that may trigger their involvement in war; Iran reputedly has such alliance with China, India, and Russia, known as the Shanghai Cooperative Group, a.k.a. Shanghai Coop and a separate pact with Syria. Whatever the strategic choice, from a purely economic point of view, should the Iranian Oil Bourse gain momentum, it will be eagerly embraced by major economic powers and will precipitate the demise of the dollar. The collapsing dollar will dramatically accelerate U.S. inflation and will pressure upward U.S. long-term interest rates. At this point, the Fed will find itself between Scylla and Charybdis - between deflation and hyperinflation - it will be forced fast either to take its "classical medicine" by deflating, whereby it raises interest rates, thus inducing a major economic depression, a collapse in real estate, and an implosion in bond, stock, and derivative markets, with a total financial collapse, or alternatively, to take the Weimar way out by inflating, whereby it pegs the long-bond yield, raises the Helicopters and drowns the financial system in liquidity, bailing out numerous LTCMs and hyperinflating the economy. The Austrian theory of money, credit, and business cycles teaches us that there is no in-between Scylla and Charybdis. Sooner or later, the monetary system must swing one way or the other, forcing the Fed to make its choice. No doubt, Commander-in-Chief Ben Bernanke, a renowned scholar of the Great Depression and an adept Black Hawk pilot, will choose inflation. Helicopter Ben, oblivious to Rothbard's America's Great Depression, has nonetheless mastered the lessons of the Great Depression and the annihilating power of deflations. The Maestro has taught him the panacea of every single financial problem-to inflate, come hell or high water. He has even taught the Japanese his own ingenious unconventional ways to battle the deflationary liquidity trap. Like his mentor, he has dreamed of battling a Kondratieff Winter. To avoid deflation, he will resort to the printing presses; he will recall all helicopters from the 800 overseas U.S. military bases; and, if necessary, he will monetize everything in sight. His ultimate accomplishment will be the hyperinflationary destruction of the American currency and from its ashes will rise the next reserve currency of the world-that barbarous relic called gold. http://www.321gold.com/editorials/petrov/petrov011706.html
  12. The Golden Age « Man was built by Cosmic Intelligence in such a way that he can fulfil himself and attain his full stature only by maintaining ties with a higher world from which he receives light and strength. When human beings rely exclusively on their own limited intellect they deprive themselves of true understanding, and it is this lack that is the cause of all their disastrous mistakes. When men are motivated only by a lust for material possessions and power and act in total disregard for the plans of Cosmic Intelligence, they stir up layers of the physical and psychic atmosphere and arouse formidable forces whose fury is turned against them. The Age of Aquarius will soon be upon us and the tremendous upheavals accompanying it will oblige human beings to understand the reality of the invisible world and the laws that govern it. But the beauty, splendour and harmony of the new life that will emerge from these upheavals will be beyond anything imagined by man. All those who have been secretly working for the coming of the Kingdom of God throughout the world will join forces and work together, and the bastions of ignorance, materialism and despotism will crumble and collapse. This I tell you. And it will be: nothing can prevent the coming of the new era, the new Golden Age. » Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
  13. To stop Terrorism is to stop the wars "Those who demand their freedom and believe they are not bound to respect any law cause the doors of divine world to close before them, and one day the earth's doors will close before them as well. Someone will say: 'But I bow neither before God/Allah nor human beings, and no doors have closed to me; I am received everywhere.' This is because you are blind, my friend; you cannot see that the doors on high are already closed to you, and that those below will close to you as well. This will take some time, of course, because consequences do not appear immediately. First, a kind of decree is voted on in the world above, but a certain amount of time elapses before it is put into effect below. With their theories about freedom, people who accept neither moral nor spiritual authority close themselves to everything that could help them, and they are adrift without compass or protection. They do not see the physical and psychic dangers that threaten them, and they lead one another to destruction." Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
  14. From the nuclear family to the global family «Each human family is a cell in the vast body of society and if we look at how the cells of a healthy body function we find that they all work together in harmony for the good of the whole. It is clear, therefore, that if the majority of contemporary societies are sick, it is because the families that constitute them are not in harmony with each other. Each family has its own ambitions and interests and if these conflict with the ambitions and interests of others the result is confrontation and disorder. Each family must work for the health and well-being of the universal body, therefore, by becoming conscious of the fact that it belongs to a larger family. And not just to one, but to a succession of larger families, each of which belongs to an even vaster family and, in the final analysis, to the global family. Yes, this awareness must exist on the level of the family, for nations are made up of families and no nation can contribute harmoniously to the concert of nations if it is the mouthpiece of too many divergent and discordant demands. This is why you should not be afraid to reject any ideas about how children should be brought up if those ideas are detrimental to the harmony of society at large. It is their families that teach children to seek their own success and well-being first, even if it means riding roughshod over others. It is their families that teach them to think of anyone who does not belong to their nationality, race or religion as an inferior or even an enemy. Is there any wonder that children who are brought up in such a mentality grow up to be selfish, narrowminded and intolerant? Families will not be protected by turning in on themselves in a spirit of selfishness. After all, we are all members of a collectivity, and however much we may want to avoid being involved, if the peace and order of the collectivity are disrupted, our property and even our lives will be in danger. The fate of families is necessarily linked to that of the collectivity, and if we want to ensure the safety of individuals, we have to work for the betterment of the collectivity. The only way to ensure the protection of your family, therefore, is to work for universal brotherhood, to work to convince the leaders of every country that there must be a world authority responsible for the welfare of all. You will say: "That's an impossibility. There will always be countries whose governments refuse a higher authority." Yes, I know all your objections and at the moment, of course, what you say is true. But I am working for the future. In the future this unity will exist; events will lead human beings to see things this way, for they will come to understand that, in fact, it is not a question of being subject to other human beings or of handing over their freedom to an external authority but of working for the triumph of a common ideal: the peace and prosperity of the whole world, and it is clear that this ideal must necessarily be based on the idea of universal brotherhood. » Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
  15. « The time has passed when human beings were advised to live a solitary life in order to evolve and earn their salvation. We are now entering the era of brotherhood. Human beings must no longer erect barriers among themselves, but must walk together, side by side, to form a universal brotherhood on earth, in which all beings will form one vast family. When this is realised, frontiers will fall, and instead of wasting enormous sums of money protecting themselves from others, all nations will live in abundance and peace. These are the ideas that inspire the teaching of the Universal White Brotherhood. They explain why our ideal is to develop ourselves on all levels, so that we may become examples. Our ideal is for all of humanity to advance together, united by this love that God has envisioned for all human beings. Our ideal is to live harmoniously within the collective life, because it is here that all blessings are to be found. » « Outwardly we will always remain separate individuals, with one physical body, one name and one identity. Inwardly, however, we must unite and form one collective being so that we may learn to live cosmic life, universal life. Two people may love each other so much that they feel they are one. They have two separate bodies, nevertheless, and there is no way to make them amalgamate. Even when they kiss, however deep their love, they remain two separate beings. And when they catch a bus or go to the theatre, they will always need two tickets and two seats. Only in their mind can they be one. In this very same way all human beings can be one, and this feeling of oneness is not subject to physical proximity. Thousands of kilometres may separate us, but we can still feel together, united. Let us therefore endeavour to introduce this idea of unity into our thoughts, our emotions and our actions, and we will then form one single family on earth whilst still remaining separate individuals. » Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
  16. The Dawn of Aquarius - A New People, A New Consciousness, A New Era * BY MEHMET SABEHEDDIN * Aquarius will be the new age, the new life. First there will be disastrous events, gigantic upheavals, turmoil and change of all kinds… – Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov (1900-1986) * The transition to a new zodiacal age is altering the political map of the world. For the last two thousand years much of human history has been determined by events in Europe and the near Middle East. From Greece and Rome, the great power centres of two millennia ago, with their inheritance from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, a distinct civilisational impulse spread westward into Europe, eventually reaching North America. Decisions made in the grand capitals of Europe and, for much of the last century in New York and Washington, have impacted the lives of millions of people in every part of the planet. * * The advent of the Age of Aquarius coincides with the emergence of new world power centres. Just as old Egypt, Babylon and Sumeria were eclipsed by Greece and Rome, so too the ‘old world’ of Western Europe and North America will be overtaken by new geopolitical alliances and fresh centres of global influence. And this will be accompanied by a dramatic change in consciousness, as the worn-out Western values and Eurocentric rationalist thought prevailing for the last few centuries surrender to the new Aquarian thinking. * * The current turmoil and conflict unleashed on the planet by the United States and Britain is only the beginning of the climax of a struggle between cosmic influences of which most people are completely unaware. Today, America and Britain embody atrophied and degraded Piscean energies. The Anglo-Americans, as the standard bearers of bankrupt Western materialism, are trying to reorganise the world, imposing their imbalanced, egoistic approach to life on all societies. Yet their latest brutal and insane actions, witnessed in the tragic invasion of Iraq, are part of a frantic effort to prolong their collapsing system. Despite all their apparent power and wealth, Anglo-American universalism is in a state of rapid decline leading to death. * * A new era, a new consciousness and a new people are on the horizon, as the planet goes through a turbulent transitional period paving the way to the Aquarian Age.* * * AQUARIAN CONSCIOUSNESS * Whether the earth is shaken by natural catastrophes, or nuclear warfare, or both, earth and the life upon it does survive. More than that, however: A New Age emerges and the devastating changes that have preceded it are understood to have been necessary purgations effecting the transformation of humanity into a new mode of being. By analogy, just as the individual near death experiencer may have to endure the pain and suffering associated with the trauma of almost dying before positive personal transformation can take place, so the world may need to undergo a “planetary near-death experience” before it can awaken to higher, more spiritual, collective consciousness with universal love at its core. * – Kenneth Ring, Transpersonal Psychologist* * * * Two thousand years ago, at the time of transition from the Age of Aries to that of Pisces, there were secret schools, most notably the Essenes, trained and taught to align themselves with the spiritual impulses of the incoming age. These small communities worked quietly, in retreats; but with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls we now know they were actually the ‘seedbed’ from which came the original Christian revelation. * These separated mystic communities provided the necessary environment for the message of Jesus the Christ. With their unique synthesis of Zoroastrian, Pythagorean, Egyptian and Israelite spirituality, the Essenes acted as a bridge between the ‘old age’ religions and the unfolding new revelation. Above all, they represent the budding of a new consciousness which would impact history for two millennia. The declining Roman Empire’s embrace of Christianity led to the triumph of the new religion in Europe. With the arrival of the Age of Pisces, Christianity became synonymous with ‘Western civilisation’. * Writing a century ago, the gifted Englishman Edward Carpenter speculated about Man’s evolutionary future and the development of a new humanity imbued with a new consciousness. “We do not know,” he observed, “what possible evolutions are to come, or what new forms of permanent place or value, are being already slowly differentiated from the surrounding mass of humanity.” Carpenter noted that “at the present time certain new types of humankind may be emerging, which will have an important part to play in the societies of the future – even though for the moment their appearance is attended by a good deal of confusion and misapprehension.” * Throughout the writings of the 20th century’s most influential spiritual teachers from Charles W. Leadbeater and Rudolf Steiner, to Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh and Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov, we find numerous references to the immanent emergence of a new human type. With one voice they link this new humanity to the dawn of the Aquarian era, which they warn will be ushered in by a major purging of mankind. In the words of Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov: “The Age of Aquarius is fast approaching, and it is going to overturn and shatter all the old forms and values that human beings thought of as permanent.”* * * According to all the great mystic teachers and seers, the Age of Aquarius is heralded by a time of immense conflict and turmoil never before witnessed in recorded history. * Writing in his book Love and Sexuality, Aivanhov notes: * * Human beings need to suffer before they begin to wish for harmony and peace and the splendour of the new life. If they are not ground down by all kinds of sufferings, they will never understand or make up their minds to work for the Kingdom of God. * * John White, a respected New Age author, observes in Science and Spirit that if modern civilisation is destroyed, “some people will survive, according to the predictions and prophecies. The great loss of life will open up niches in the environment where new life forms can emerge. Those most deeply attuned to cosmic processes will become the seedbed from which, it is said, a new race, a higher humanity will evolve in accelerated fashion.” * The survivors of this ‘great tribulation’ ushering in the Aquarian Age will be those men and women who have not been ensnared by the ‘strong delusions’ of the dying old order. * * A remnant, who like the ancient Essenes before them, renounce the ephemeral fleeting attractions of the old era, will also live on to protect the law of the truth and lead the survivors in the new era. * Most professing Christians are looking for the return of Christ who they expect to establish a new age. But how many Christians are willing to prepare themselves, after the manner of the Essenes and the Gnostic secret schools, for this new era? Christians are fighting each other over dogmas and doctrines. They are like the Pharisees of Christ’s day, searching the Scriptures in vain, unable and unwilling to see the plain truth in front of their eyes! Christians spend their time serving the very System of Money and Power which crucified Jesus the Christ and persecuted his early followers. The True God is not to be found in any of today’s Christian Churches. Christianity, a religion of the Piscean Age, has chosen to stay with the old order and will invariably perish with it. * * A new community is now being prepared in response to the first impulses of Aquarius. They are the ‘seedbed’ of the new era, a Noah’s Ark of Safety and Light in a time of turmoil, confusion and chaos. * * NEW EURASIA * The Truth of Life descends from the world of Eternal Light to illuminate the minds, regenerate the hearts, raise and renew the souls of all the sons of Truth destined to constitute the nucleus of the new humanity of which the Slavs will be the cradle. * – Peter Deunov, Bulgarian Mystic, 1898 * * The inspired Gnostic Master Teacher Peter Deunov (Beinsa Douno), who lived in Bulgaria from 1864-1944, prophesied the birth of “a new type of man” on Earth to coincide with the astrological Age of Aquarius. According to Deunov, the final stage of the previous Piscean Age, transmitted by the Anglo-Saxons, was passing. In the new aeon the Slavic people are predestined to play a leading role. Speaking to his early Gnostic students, Deunov announced: “You are the chosen children of truth who were preordained to form the seed of the new humanity of which Slavdom as a family, descendants of Judah, will become the hearth.” Continue to read: http://www.newdawnmagazine.com/articles/Da...20Aquarius.html
  17. Fanaticism, a negation of true religion « Some people are so convinced that God's good name is under attack that they are always taking up arms in His defence. As though the Lord were a weakling who needed to be defended! Well, this is what they seem to think: they go in fear and trembling that His reputation might be besmirched and are ready to defend it at all costs, so they issue their anathemas and persecute and burn and massacre. Why do they never ask the Lord what He thinks about it? They ought to begin by asking His permission: - "Look at all these unbelievers, heretics and blasphemers, Lord; may we punish them? May we burn them at the stake or cut off their heads?" But they don't pray or ask the Lord what He thinks about it. They don't want to ask because they are not sincere. The Lord is Love and they have no desire to hear His answer: - "No, leave them alone. It's none of your business! If they are really wicked they will come to a bad end without any help from you." In spite of their claim to take up arms in defence of the Lord, they don't really care a jot for what He thinks about it. Do you really believe that these people are defending the Lord? Not a bit of it! They are simply defending their own affairs, their own prestige, influence and authority. What hypocrisy! If they really wanted to defend the Lord they should do as He does and manifest patience and love. » Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
  18. Technical progress and spiritual development « Human beings are using technological progress to benefit their greed, with the risk of destroying the very basis of their existence on earth. This is why technological progress is not truly progress. Of course it is really quite something to be able to send craft into space and to other planets. But at the end of the day, what is the purpose of all this? To exploit the resources and cause the same damage as here on earth? To fight in space? To go and cause havoc all over the universe? There is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to explore the cosmos, but not before having found the right attitude to adopt here on earth. Human beings respect nothing. They think they are the masters of the universe. They are prepared to upset everything to satisfy their curiosity and their cupidity. Well, they have to be aware that one day they will have to pay dearly for this lack of respect and this violence. » « People are led to believe that their happiness depends on scientific and technical progress and also on comfort. In whatever domain, they are continually bombarded with publicity; every effort is made to prevent them from making contact with other regions, other entities (the only ones that could bring them the light, love and peace they need). The spiritual world has been so rejected, scorned and held up to ridicule that very few beings feel the urge to search in this world for the necessary elements of their survival. Most people are dying of suffocation and intoxication. For their own good, they must search more and more for a contact with this subtle world so that their soul and spirit can breathe and find nourishment. When we meditate we do not touch anything material; it seems like "emptiness". But actually it is in this "emptiness" that the soul and spirit blossom and find fulfillment. » « Technological progress has given humankind great possibilities. This is a good thing, but all these new facilities and opportunities lead them to expect everything from outside and to become heedless, thoughtless, and fickle. We can neglect our health: there are doctors, surgeons, dentists, chemists, etc. We can waste paper, ruin appliances, break objects, soil and tear our clothes, throw away food: there is plenty more of everything in the shops. This is how care and attention, vigilance, and discernment gradually wane. Why develop these qualities when there are so many people and products available to repair the damage we have done? Scientists, researchers, technicians are all there to help people with their inventions. In reality, however, they help the manufacturers get richer, and make the people increasingly weak and dependent. I am not saying we should put a halt to technological progress, but we must also continue to work in the inner domain in order to cultivate care and attention, prudence, and selfcontrol. » « How often do you meet people who, without being forced by circumstances, decide to work? It is an innate tendency of human beings to avoid effort and to unload their tasks onto others, be they human beings, animals, or machines. Today, of course, with our technical progress, they especially look to machines to do their work. As a result, some of their faculties become dulled, their will in particular. Those who want to become equal to every situation must make a habit of striving. Even if these days we can acquire many things without effort, we must resist succumbing to this climate of ease. Otherwise, what will be the result? We will be outwardly fulfilled, and that is all. Inwardly, we will have nothing; we will be lost. It is their efforts which keep human beings on their feet and full of life. » « It does not take much to provide for one's material life, and yet human beings are so busy creating new needs for themselves that they no longer have any time to devote to their spiritual lives. As a result, their material comfort gradually improves, but their psychic and moral states deteriorate. Everywhere we see mental problems and criminal behaviour. Materially, we in the West have never been so well off, but in the deepest sense, this ease does not enhance peoples' serenity. After the first moments of satisfaction, a new washing machine, a new car, or a new house will not respond to the needs of their heart and soul. There is no doubt that people are conscious of this decline in society, because they spend their time in meetings talking about changing their lives. But all the changes they discuss concern only the material realm. Who considers holding meetings to help people live the divine life? That is why, even if business gets better and better, human beings are beginning to collapse. Is it reasonable to sacrifice people to business? » « Everywhere in the world people complain that technical progress generates pollution: toxic products pollute everything (the earth, the water, the air) and plants, fish, birds and human beings are threatened more and more every day. Remedies are hard to find, and even if they were found, they would touch only the exterior side of things, the physical plane, and that is insufficient. For toxic products, exhaust gases, and smoke are everywhere in the psychic world as well, and they are asphyxiating mankind. Nowadays there are many sick people, but it is not only due to the pollution of air, water and food. No! If the psychic atmosphere were not so polluted, human beings would be able to neutralize all external poisons. Evil lives first within us. When human beings live in harmony, the forces they possess inside react and reject impurities, even those present in the physical world, and in this way the body manages to defend itself. We are vulnerable first on the psychic plane, and gradually this weakness spreads to the physical body. » « Knowledge is growing in all fields and we meet an ever-increasing number of educated and cultivated people. This poses the question, however, as to why, despite all this progress, humankind is not improving. On the contrary even, the number of delinquents, criminals and mentally ill is growing. The answer is in fact very simple, because despite being educated, people continue to live in the same disorderly, dishonest and senseless way as the uneducated, or worse even because their learning has given them a greater capability to do so. The knowledge they accumulate remains theoretical since they do not think that they could draw lessons from it to improve their inner life. This is why the only faculty that human beings truly lack is that of using their knowledge to transform themselves, to spiritualize, enlighten their inner being. Educated people abound, all there is a shortage of is people who have decided to work on themselves. » « Establish an ideal of perfection in your head. But make sure the sole aim of this desire to perfect yourself is not merely for your own evolution; it must also be useful, beneficial for the world as a whole. This is how things should progress from now on. Up until now all spiritual teachings have more or less led human beings along the path of individual salvation: knowledge, powers, revelations, spiritual people acquired these benefits solely for their own good. This is why they remained isolated, hidden in some cave or monastery in order to be left undisturbed by the goings-on of the outside world. This philosophy has since become outmoded. The new philosophy teaches the quest for personal perfection, but without cutting yourself off from others. Quite to the contrary in fact: you should accept inconvenience, make sacrifices, suffer even, but be useful. To perfect yourself in order to be useful to the collectivity, this is true perfection. » « In the physical realm, human beings have made gigantic achievements: we cannot help but see how scientific and technical progress has transformed life. But this is not enough, and humanity is now called upon to realise achievements that are still more important, more vital for them, by means of the faculties of the spirit. Through meditation and prayer, they must learn to make a relationship with the world of the spirit, so that the light, love, and power of the spirit descends upon the earth, within them, and upon those beings around them. Scientific and technical progress has limits, and even presents dangers. If all these discoveries are not made to serve a higher vision of things, humanity will be overwhelmed and crushed by them. Scientific and technical achievements are not sufficient to transform life. It is by means of the spirit that life will be truly transformed, because peace, freedom, and brotherhood are realisations of the spirit.. » Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
  19. « It is when one has no more love that laws and rules are needed; and even at this moment, laws and rules do not serve in much. As long as there is no love, there will be religions which will never be able to bring the human beings towards God. But when love will come, there will be no more religion. Religion will become internal and will show itself under shape of kindness, brilliance, sacrifice, sweetness and light. It is when love left the humanity that religion has come to compensate for it. But when love will come, religion will fade because it will have entered again the heart of the man. » Omraam Mikhael Aivanhov
  20. "In our Brotherhood, we live the great Christian festivals of Christmas and Easter as simply as we live the other days: we pray, meditate and sing. And even if we give special thought to the birth, death or resurrection of Christ, we do nothing exceptional. If this leaves some people dissatisfied, they are free to go and celebrate these festivals in their churches or their temples. Everyone must decide what form to give to his religious feelings, and he must allow others to do the same. The fact that they have different beliefs and rituals must never be a reason for people to attack each other. It is unwise to destroy the lives of others in the name of such and such a religious founder. Rather than provoking endless disorder and strife, people must embrace one another, help one another and fraternize with one another. In doing so they will demonstrate that they are followers of the one true religion, the universal religion of light and love, whose model is the sun. " Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
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