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Hackman Consulting Group | Deep Diversity, Equity and Social Justice Consulting and Education for a Changing World Deep Diversity, Equity and Social Justice Consulting and Education for a Changing World
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Hackman Consulting Group | Deep Diversity, Equity and Social Justice Consulting and Education for a Changing World Deep Diversity, Equity and Social Justice Consulting and Education for a Changing World
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Jewish Classes Bergen County | Religious Heritage Attend the comprehensive Jewish classes of Jewish Learning Experience in Bergen County, NJ and reacquaint yourself with your deep religious heritage.
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Bron Taylor - Exploring and Studying Environmental Ethics & History, Nature Religion, Radical Environmentalism, Surfing Spirituality, Deep Ecology and more... Bron Taylor is professor of religion and nature, environmental ethics, and environmental studies, at the University of Florida, brontaylor.com is a gateway to research and publications, including in Dark Green Religion, Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future, about the cultural and religious aspects of the struggle for environmental and biodiversity conservation, and sustainable societies, with special attention to environmental ethics, grassroots and radical environmentalism, Earth First, the Earth Liberation Front, deep ecology, nature religion, surfing spirituality, and the idea of biocultural conservation.
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Bron Taylor - Exploring and Studying Environmental Ethics & History, Nature Religion, Radical Environmentalism, Surfing Spirituality, Deep Ecology and more... Bron Taylor is professor of religion and nature, environmental ethics, and environmental studies, at the University of Florida, brontaylor.com is a gateway to research and publications, including in Dark Green Religion, Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future, about the cultural and religious aspects of the struggle for environmental and biodiversity conservation, and sustainable societies, with special attention to environmental ethics, grassroots and radical environmentalism, Earth First, the Earth Liberation Front, deep ecology, nature religion, surfing spirituality, and the idea of biocultural conservation.
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Marios Travel Incoming - Historical, cultural and religious tour packages Due to its geographical location, Greece is a crossroad of civilizations. As a result, we are able to offer incoming historical, cultural and religious tour packages that literally travel the participants through the stillness of time.
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Missionaries | VOCATIONS Missionaries of the Holy Spirit The Missionaries of the Holy Spirit help young people discern and find their vocation in life. Through retreats and accompaniment, we teach the tools needed to find their vocation: Marriage, Single and Religious Life or Priesthood. mspsvocations.org
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Jesus Quotes and God Thoughts | “God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes.” ~Apostle Paul “God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes.” ~Apostle Paul
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Jesus Quotes and God Thoughts | “God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes.” ~Apostle Paul “God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes.” ~Apostle Paul
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Learn Business Studies | LEARN IT, IMPLEMENT IT & ACHIEVE IT Tej Lalvani is a British businessman, and the CEO of the UK's largest vitamin company Vitabiotics. He is best known for being one of the "dragons" on the BBC television series Dragons' Den.
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Learn Business Studies | LEARN IT, IMPLEMENT IT & ACHIEVE IT Lionel Messi is an Argentine professional footballer; he plays as a forward and captains both FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team.
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Ashtavinayak Yatra Tour Booking Shri Mayureshwar – Morgaon: google-site-verification: google07e6cee6339be599.html Morgaon, situated on the banks of river Karha comes in Baramati Taluka, in District Pune. It is said that shape of this place is like a peacock & once upon a time there were so many peacocks in the Morgaon, as such it is called as "Morgaon''. Temple & Idol: The main temple facing towards north is in the centre of village and looks like a small fortress or chateu. The temple complex comprising of a dome, surrounded by a 50 ft high encloser and decked with four pillars in each corners, portrays from afar and image of a mosque. While going towards the temple a huge Deep-mala (stone pillar for oil lamps)will be seen at first. In front of this Deep-Mala, there is one Nagarkhana (where kettledrums are kept). Near this Nagarkhana, thee is a mouse made up of black stone,holding ''Laddu'' in his front two legs. On climbing the steps you will see a big ''Nandi is present before Ganapati instead of Lord Shiva? You will find answer to this question in this legend :- ''Years ago, this Nandi was taken on a cart for its consecration in front of a near by Shivalaya. However, the cart carrying Nandi broke in front of Mayureshwara''s temple and Nandi-Maharaj sat before Mayureshwar''s temple for ever. People tried their best to shift Nandi from this place but nandi did not move an inch. The artisan carrying cart had omen in the night. Nandi appeared in his dream and said, "I want to stay before Mayureshwar only. Don''t try to shift me elsewhere forcefully, I won''t come." People left with no other alternative dropped the idea of shifting Nandi to other place. Like this Nandiji was consecrated before Mayureshwar. The temple has four gates. In the eastern gate is Lakshminarayan, giver of Dharma. In the sourthern gate are parvati & shankar givers of Artha (desired goals). Then comes western gate where Rati & kama resides. Lastely in the northern gate reside, Mahivaraha (Earth & Sun). Thus all deities & all sages resides in this temple. In the eight corners, there are eight statutes of Ganapati called EKDANTA, MAHODARA, GAJANANA, LAMBODAR, VIKATA, VIGHARAJA, DHUMRAVARNA & VAKRATUNDA. In the temple complex there are trees of Shami, Mandar & Tarati. The tree of Tarati is also called as Kalpavruksha. Devotees meditate under this tree & attain desired goals. Before taking darshan of Mayureshwar, first take darshan of ''Nagnabhairava'' on the left side of Mayureshwar, and offer him naivaidya of coconut & jaggary. Nobody is allowed to enter the Sanctum & do the Pooja of Moreshwar on his own.The various virtuous deeds performed here are Abhishek Pooja, Sahastravartan,Japa Yadnya,Mahadwar Yatra etc. The deity ''Moreshwara'' inside the sanctum is very attractive. It is in sitting posture, fasing east with the trunk turning left & smeared with vermillion mixed in oil. In it''s eyes & navel, diamonds are embedded. On its head is the hood of Nagaraja. On left & right are brass idols of Siddhi & Buddhi. In front of the idol are the Mooshaka (Rat) & Mayura (Peacock).On doing Abhishek on ''Moreshwar'' all desires are fulfilled. (The orignal idol of Moreshwar was small in size. As many layers of vermillion are applied on it, it looks bigger. Sometime after 100 &125 years this armour of vermillion casts off & orignal beautiful idol inside this armour is seen again. It has been heard that Mayureshwar''s armour has been cast off in 1788 &1822 A.D. The orignal small idol was made up of atoms of sand,iron &diamonds & it is behind the present statue. It was consecrated by God Brahma. On its destruction by demon Sindhurasur, God Bhrama reconsecrated it twice. They enclosed the idol in tin sheet, So that nobody can try to destroy it. ) Shri Chintamani – Theur: The one who is in search of happiness, whose mind is wavering like Lord Brahma, who is in the midst all calamities should go to Sthavar means Theur & worship Shree Chintamani & get rid of all Chintas (worries) & calamities. Lord Brahma meditated here to subdue his waveringmind. As his worries (chinta) were removed the idol is called Chintamani. The place is called Sthar (stable) or Theur. Theur is the nearest place of Ashtavinayak from Pune. Having mythological & historical importance, Theur is popular for various reasons. Temple & Idol: The main archway of the temple faces north. Peshwa had built a concrete road from main gate upto Mula-Mutha river. Temple hall is made up of wood and there is small fountain made up of black stone in the hall. The courtyard of the temple is quite big paved with floor. There is small temple of Lord Shankar in the courtyard of the temple. A big bell can also be seen in the temple. Chintamani Ganapati''s temple was built by Dharanidhar Maharaj Dev in the family of Morya Gosavi. 100 years after that Madhavrao Peshwa built a hall for this temple. Haripant Phadke and other devotees had done timely repairs of the temple and added to the security and beauty of the temple. Idol facing east is swayambhu (self emanated) and has a left side trunk. There are carbuncle and diamonds in the eyes of Vinayaka. Historical Importance of Theur :Shri Chintamani is a family of God of Shreemant Madhavrao Peshwa. His palace was near the temple and now it is converted into garden. Madhavrao Peshwe had stayed in this palace in his last sickness. He renovated the temple and performed various religious programmes in the temple. By chanting Gajanan, Gajanan he bestowed his life on the foot of the Chintamani. Ramabai, wife of Madhavrao Peshwe became Sati (she burnt herself with the corpse of her husband). On that place, that is, on the bank of Mula-Mutha river Sati''s Vrindavan is built. That day was 18-11-1772, Kartik Vadya Ashtami. On this day Rama-Madhav death anniversary is celebrated every year. It is said that Emperor Aurangzeb had given grant to this temple. Nowadays administration of this temple is governed by Chinchwad Temple Trust. Shri Siddhivinayak – Siddhatek: Lord shri Hari Vishnu, Who was surrounded by fierce calamaties, performed penance on mountain Siddhetekwhich is on the bank of river Bhima. On receiving boon from Lord Shri Ganesh, Lord Vishnu killed two demons Madhu & Kaitabh. Oh! Lord Siddheswar Shri Ganesh accept my salutation. Lord Vishnu got Siddhi at Siddhatek as such Ganesh idol here is called as Siddhivinayak . It is believed that Siddhivinayak leads work to the completion. Shree Siddhivinayak is supposed to be Jagrut place (awakened) of Shree Ganesh. Morya Gosavi of Morgaon & Narayan Maharaj of Kedgaon have attained siddhi here. Peshva Senapati Shree Haripant Phadke resumed his lost post by performing Vinayak''s penance for 21 days. Temple & Idol: Siddhatek is situated on the banks of river Bhima. On crossing the river, while going towards the temple, you will come across the place where sage Vyas had performed yadnya (sacrifices). It said that, years ago there was a heap of ashes from this sacrificial fire. However, this place is now covered by water. The road leading to main temple was built by Peshwa''s Senapati Haripant Phadke. Shree Siddhivinayak''s temple is on hill top facing north. Sanctum of the temple, which is fifteen feet high and ten feet broad was built by Ahilyabai Holkar. The swayambhu idol of Shree Siddhivinayaka is placed in brass frame. Brass idols of Jay and Vijay are placed on both sides of Siddhivinayaka. In the sanctum itself there is a Shivapanchayatan and goddess Shivai''s small temple. Hall of the temple was previously built by Baroda''s landlord late Shri Mairal. It was broken in 1939 and was rebuilt by all Ganesh devotees in 1970. Nagarkhana on the main gate was built in memory of Shree Haripant Phadke. The pradakshana (circumnavigation) of the God is said to very fruitful. One has to travel 5 kms. to complete one Pradakshana as the idol is attached to the hill itself. He constructed ghat on the river and also built village gate. The place where Sage Bhrushandi had performed penances is nearer to the temple.) The idol is swayambhu, 3 feet tall, facing north with his trunk turned right. Idol is Gajmukh, however beilly of the idol is not big. Riddhi & Siddhi are sitting on one lap of Vinayaka. Face is very calm and serene. Shri MahaGanapati – Ranjangaon: Lord Shivshankar obtained a boon by propitiating Lord Shree Ganesh who stays at Manipur, who gave boon to Mahadev, whose appearance is beautiful & pleasing & who is statue of good qualities. Mahaganapati means powerful Ganapati. Mahaganapati has eight, ten or twelve hands.Lord Shivshankar got victory over Tripurasur (demon) on worshipping Mahaganapati. Therefore it is called "tripurari Varado Mahaganapati. (Lord Shivshankar is called as Tripurari after his victory over Tripurasur) Temple & Idol: Temple facing east has huge & beautiful entrance gate. Idols of two door keepers namely Jay & vijay are present near the gateway. Nagarkhana is situated above the entrance gate. This Nagarkhana was inaugarated by Maharashtra''s honourable Chief Minister Shri Monohar Joshi on 3rd May,1997. Famous hermit Morya Gosavi had presented an idol made of five metals to Shri Anyaba Dev. This idol is taken out in procession on festive days. Idol facing east is in a crossed legged sitting position with broad forhead & the trunk turned towards the left. Riddhi & Siddhi are on the both the sides of Mahaganapati. temple. Shri Girijatmaj – Lenyadri: Mother of universe, beautiful wife of Lord Shiva Goddess Parvati performed long penance of Shri Ganesh & at last obtained Shree Ganesh as her son. I salute Girija Parvati''s son Girijatmaj who stayson mountain Lekhanadri(i.e.Lenyadri) Lenyadri is the only place among Ashtavinayaka places,which is situated on mountain & in the vicinity of the Buddhist caves. Temple & Idol: Out of 18 Buddhist caves on mountain, Girijatmaj Vinayak''s temple is in the eighth cave. These caves are also called as Ganesh caves. The temple is reached after climbing 307 steps. The entire temple is carved out of single stone and is facing south. In front of Main Mandir, there is huge Sabhamandap (Hall) which is nearly 53 feet long and 51 feet broad and to your surprise there is not a single pillar in this Sabhamandap. It has 18 small apartments for meditation. Shree Girijatmaj''s idol is placed in the middle apartment. Sabhamandap of main temple is only 7 feet high. It has six stone pillars with cow, elephant etc. carved on them. From the main temple one can view river flowing and the Junnar town spread near the river. Girijatmaja''s idol faces east. Parvati consecrated Ganesh idol in the cave wherein she had performed penances. Idol here is not a separate and distinct one. It has been carved on stone wall of the cave. Previously idol was covered with armour. Now, since the armour is fallen Girijatmaj''s idol with neck turned to left side can be seen. As such only one eye of the idol can be seen. Other Important Information Though the caves on Lenyadri are under control of Archeological Dept. of India, adminstration of Ganesh temple is looked after by Temple Trust. Fort Shivneri, where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born is at a distance of 5-6 kms from Lenyadri. Since the Ganesh idol is attached to the wall one can not circumnavigate Girijatmaj. Shri Vighneshwar – Ozar: The Ganapati is elephant headed, benignant and remover of obstacle. He has defeated demon Vighnasur. He himself is Brahma. His greatness is undisturbed in his different forms. He is reatest artist, he gives happiness to his devotees, who abodes at Ozar. Vighneshwara''s temple is situated on the banks of river Kukadi. Among Ashtavinayak Kshetra Vighneshwara Temple is the only temple with golden dome and pinnacle. Temple & Idol: Vighneshwara''s temple facing east is surrounded on four sides by a protective stone wall. One can walk over the wall and have sight of fort Shivneri and Girijatmaj. At the entrance ther are two ''Deep Malas'' - that is stone pillar for oil lamps and two huge ''Dwar-Palaks'' - that is guards. On entering the temple you will see owaris (small room for meditation) on both the sides. Temple has a tiled compound. The main temple has two halls. The first hall is 20 feet high and has doors facing north and south. It has idol of Dhundiraj. The next hall is 10 feet high. At the entrance of this hall there is idol of one rat in running position made of white marble. Walls of the temple are decorated by colourful and attractive sketches. Idols of Panchayatan (Sun, Shiva, Vishnu, Goddess, Ganapati) are situated in the four corners of the sanctum. Idol of Vighneshwar Vinayak, faces east and trunk turned towards left. The idols smeared in vermillion mixed with oil, has two emarald studded eyes and a diamond on his forehead and in the navel. On the two sides are brass idols of Riddhi and Siddhi. Temple has golden dome and pinnacle. It is said that peshava king Bajirao peshava''s youger brother Chimaji Appa renovated this temple and offered a golden dome on conquering Vasai fort from portuguese. This temple was built in 1785 A.D. Temple was renovated in 1967 by great Ganesh devotees Shri i Joshi. on today you will find a newly renovated attractive temple with all comforts. Shri Varadvinayak – Mahad: I salute Ganaraj who is leader of Ganas, who is proud of his devotees & who abodes at Mahad & has pleasant appearance. In the temple of Varadvinayak, one Nandadeep (lamp) is alighten for last 107 years. Mahad has beautiful surroundings. In the ancient period it was called as Bhadrak or Mahad & so many sages & sects had resided in this place. Temple & Idol: Shree Dhondu Paudkar in 1690 A.D. found the swayambhu idol of Shree varadvinayak in a lake. This idol was kept in a nearby goddess temple for some time. Afterwards in 1725 A.D. varadvinayaka''s temple was built by peshava sardar Ramji Mahadev Biwalkar & he gifted this to the village. Temple has been recently renovated by the trustees. The old temple used to look like a house with a tiled roof. There is a Gomukh towards north. Holy water (tirth) comes out of this Gomukh. Lake is at the west. Temple is 8 feet long & 8 feet broad. Dome is 25 feet high with golden pinnacle. ls, one inside the sum and one is outside the sanctum will be seen. Two stone idols of Riddhi & Siddhi will be seen in the sanctum. Two Ganesh idols are situated in the two corners. Idol in the left corner is smeared in vermillion & idol uin the right corner is made of white marble with trunk turned to right. Sanctum made up of stone & surrounded by beautifully carved stone elephant carvings, houses the idol. The idol is in sitting position, with the trunk turned left.The idol faces east. Shri Balleshwar - Pali: I worshipped God Ganesh, who is elephant headed, who has been praised in vedas, who is popular by the name of his devotee (Ballal),who take care of his devotees & in this kritayuga who abodes is Pallipur or Pali. Village Pali is situated between fort Sarasgad & river Amba flowing on the other side. On being pleased by devotion of Ballal, Shri Ganesh remained in the stone worshipped by Ballal & hence is called as Ballaleshwar of Pali. Among Ashtavinayakas, Pali''s Ballaleshwar is the only vinayak who is famous by his devotee''s name & who is dressed up as Brahmin.Since vinayaka gave his darshan in the guise of Brahmin, idol of vinayaka at Pali is dressed up as Brahmin. This place is vey famous & spiritually awakened. It is said that in Peshva regime justice was done by taking kaul(answer to the question asked in the form of flower, leaves etc.)from Ballaleshwar. Temple & Idol: Original wooden temple was renovated & a new stone temple was built in 1760 A.D. by Shri Fadnis. Temple complex is tiled & it encircles two lakes. Water of one lake towards right is reserved for Vinayaka''s Pooja. Shape of the stone temple is in the form of letter "Shree" & faces east. During Dakshinayan at sun-rise, the sun rays falls exactly on the Vinayaka. There are two Sanctums (Gribhagriha) in the temple. Inner sanctum is quite big & is 15 feet high. Outer sanctum is 12 feet high & it has rat idol with Modak in his hands & facing Ganesh. Temple walls are made quite strong by mixing lead with cement while construction.Hall of the temple is 40 feet long & 20 feet broad & it was built by late Shri Krishnaji Ringe in 1910 A.D. Hall is very beautiful with 8 pillars resembling cyprus throne tree. Idol of Vinayaka sitting on stone throne, faces east & its trunk is left turned. The shining diamonds are embedded in the eyes & naval. The background is of silver where one finds Riddhi & Siddhi waving chamaras. Shape of the stone temple is in the form of letter "Shree" & faces east. During Dakshinayan at sun-rise, the sun rays falls exactly on the Vinayaka. Temple complex has a big bell made in Europe.After defeating portuguese in Vasai & Sasthi, Chimaji Appa brought these bells & offered them at different Ashtavinayak places.
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FifteenEightyFour | Cambridge University Press | The Official Blog of Cambridge University Press The Beatles tell us that: 'All You Need Is Love.' Is that right? The inquiry into love has very deep roots in the Judeo–Christian tradition. Indeed, the divergent answers to this inquiry mark the transition from Judeo to Christian. My book on Law, Love and Freedom returns to those roots to trace the twists and turns
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Homepage | Think Theology Think is a collaboration of thinkers and writers who are passionate about Jesus and his Church, who enjoy spending time wrestling with deep theological questions and helping others to engage with them. We write together because we are friends, and want to strengthen our relationships with one another, sharpen our thinking and be a resource to the wider body of Christ.
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Gospelize Me | Share Jesus. April 12, 1963 We the undersigned clergymen are among those who in January, issued "An Appeal forLaw and Order and Common Sense," in dealing with racial problems in Alabama. We expressed understanding that honest convictions in racial matters could properly be pursued in the courts but urged that decisions of those courts should in the meantime be peacefully obeyed. Since that time there had been some evidence of increased forbearance and a willingness to face facts. Responsible citizens have undertaken to work on various problems which caused racial friction and unrest. In Birmingham, recent public events have given indication that we all have opportunity for a new constructive and realistic approach to racial problems. However, we are now confronted by a series of demonstrations by some of our Negro citizens directed and led in part by outsiders. We recognize the natural impatience of people who feel that their hopes are slow in being realized. But we are convinced that these demonstrations are unwise and untimely. We agree rather with certain local Negro leadership which has called for honest and open negotiation of racial issues in our area. And we believe this kind of facing of issues can best be accomplished by citizens of our own metropolitan area white and Negro, meeting with their knowledge and experience of the local situation. All of us need to face that responsibility and find proper channels for its accomplishment. Just as we formerly pointed out that "hatred and violence have no sanction in our religious and political tradition." We also point out that such actions as incite to hatred and violence, however technically peaceful those actions may be, have not contributed to the resolution of our local problems. We do not believe that these days of new hope are days when extreme measures are justified in Birmingham. We commend the community as a whole and the local news media and law enforcement officials in particular, on the calm manner in which these demonstrations have been handled. We urge the public to continue to show restraint should the demonstrations continue, and the law enforcement officials to remain calm and continue to protect our city from violence. We further strongly urge our own Negro community to withdraw support from these demonstrations, and to unite locally in working peacefully for a better Birmingham.When rights are consistently denied, a cause should be pressed in the courts and in negotiations among local leaders, and not in the streets. We appeal to both our white and Negro citizenry to observe the principles of law and order and common sense. Signed by: C. C. J. CARPENTER, D.D., LL.D. Bishop of Alabama JOSEPH A. DURICK, D.D. Auxiliary Bishop. Diocese of Mobile-Birmingham Rabbi HILTON J. GRAFMAN, Temple Emmanu-El, Birmingham, Alabama Bishop PAUL HARDIN, Bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Conference of theMethodist Church. Bishop HOLAN B. HARMON, Bishop of the North Alabama Conference of theMethodist Church GEORGE M. MURRAY, Bishop Coadjutor, Episcopal Diocese of Alabama EDWARD V. RAMSAGE, Moderator, Synod of the Alabama Presbyterian Church in theUnited States EARL STALLINGS, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama. . . Martin Luther King Jr wrote a letter responding from a Birmingham Jail . . 16 April 1963 My Dear Fellow Clergymen: While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities "unwise and untimely." Seldom do I pause to answer criticism of my work and ideas. If I sought to answer all the criticisms that cross my desk, my secretaries would have little time for anything other than such correspondence in the course of the day, and I would have no time for constructive work. But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms. I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders coming in." I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here. But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid. Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds. You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city's white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative. In any nonviolent campaign there are four basic steps: collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist; negotiation; self purification; and direct action. We have gone through all these steps in Birmingham. There can be no gainsaying the fact that racial injustice engulfs this community. Birmingham is probably the most thoroughly segregated city in the United States. Its ugly record of brutality is widely known. Negroes have experienced grossly unjust treatment in the courts. There have been more unsolved bombings of Negro homes and churches in Birmingham than in any other city in the nation. These are the hard, brutal facts of the case. On the basis of these conditions, Negro leaders sought to negotiate with the city fathers. But the latter consistently refused to engage in good faith negotiation. Then, last September, came the opportunity to talk with leaders of Birmingham's economic community. In the course of the negotiations, certain promises were made by the merchants--for example, to remove the stores' humiliating racial signs. On the basis of these promises, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the leaders of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights agreed to a moratorium on all demonstrations. As the weeks and months went by, we realized that we were the victims of a broken promise. A few signs, briefly removed, returned; the others remained. As in so many past experiences, our hopes had been blasted, and the shadow of deep disappointment settled upon us. We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action, whereby we would present our very bodies as a means of laying our case before the conscience of the local and the national community. Mindful of the difficulties involved, we decided to undertake a process of self purification. We began a series of workshops on nonviolence, and we repeatedly asked ourselves: "Are you able to accept blows without retaliating?" "Are you able to endure the ordeal of jail?" We decided to schedule our direct action program for the Easter season, realizing that except for Christmas, this is the main shopping period of the year. Knowing that a strong economic-withdrawal program would be the by product of direct action, we felt that this would be the best time to bring pressure to bear on the merchants for the needed change. Then it occurred to us that Birmingham's mayoral election was coming up in March, and we speedily decided to postpone action until after election day. When we discovered that the Commissioner of Public Safety, Eugene "Bull" Connor, had piled up enough votes to be in the run off, we decided again to postpone action until the day after the run off so that the demonstrations could not be used to cloud the issues. Like many others, we waited to see Mr. Connor defeated, and to this end we endured postponement after postponement. Having aided in this community need, we felt that our direct action program could be delayed no longer. You may well ask: "Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn't negotiation a better path?" You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word "tension." I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. I therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in a tragic effort to live in monologue rather than dialogue. One of the basic points in your statement is that the action that I and my associates have taken in Birmingham is untimely. Some have asked: "Why didn't you give the new city administration time to act?" The only answer that I can give to this query is that the new Birmingham administration must be prodded about as much as the outgoing one, before it will act. We are sadly mistaken if we feel that the election of Albert Boutwell as mayor will bring the millennium to Birmingham. While Mr. Boutwell is a much more gentle person than Mr. Connor, they are both segregationists, dedicated to maintenance of the status quo. I have hope that Mr. Boutwell will be reasonable enough to see the futility of massive resistance to desegregation. But he will not see this without pressure from devotees of civil rights. My friends, I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals. We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied." We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness"--then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all." Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I it" relationship for an "I thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? Thus it is that I can urge men to obey the 1954 decision of the Supreme Court, for it is morally right; and I can urge them to disobey segregation ordinances, for they are morally wrong. Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state's segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured? Sometimes a law is just on its face and unjust in its application. For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade. But such an ordinance becomes unjust when it is used to maintain segregation and to deny citizens the First-Amendment privilege of peaceful assembly and protest. I hope you are able to see the distinction I am trying to point out. In no sense do I advocate evading or defying the law, as would the rabid segregationist. That would lead to anarchy. One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law. Of course, there is nothing new about this kind of civil disobedience. It was evidenced sublimely in the refusal of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to obey the laws of Nebuchadnezzar, on the ground that a higher moral law was at stake. It was practiced superbly by the early Christians, who were willing to face hungry lions and the excruciating pain of chopping blocks rather than submit to certain unjust laws of the Roman Empire. To a degree, academic freedom is a reality today because Socrates practiced civil disobedience. In our own nation, the Boston Tea Party represented a massive act of civil disobedience. We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws. I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured. In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God consciousness and never ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber. I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity. You speak of our activity in Birmingham as extreme. At first I was rather disappointed that fellow clergymen would see my nonviolent efforts as those of an extremist. I began thinking about the fact that I stand in the middle of two opposing forces in the Negro community. One is a force of complacency, made up in part of Negroes who, as a result of long years of oppression, are so drained of self respect and a sense of "somebodiness" that they have adjusted to segregation; and in part of a few middle-class Negroes who, because of a degree of academic and economic security and because in some ways they profit by segregation, have become insensitive to the problems of the masses. The other force is one of bitterness and hatred, and it comes perilously close to advocating violence. It is expressed in the various black nationalist groups that are springing up across the nation, the largest and best known being Elijah Muhammad's Muslim movement. Nourished by the Negro's frustration over the continued existence of racial discrimination, this movement is made up of people who have lost faith in America, who have absolutely repudiated Christianity, and who have concluded that the white man is an incorrigible "devil." I have tried to stand between these two forces, saying that we need emulate neither the "do nothingism" of the complacent nor the hatred and despair of the black nationalist. For there is the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest. I am grateful to God that, through the influence of the Negro church, the way of nonviolence became an integral part of our struggle. If this philosophy had not emerged, by now many streets of the South would, I am convinced, be flowing with blood. And I am further convinced that if our white brothers dismiss as "rabble rousers" and "outside agitators" those of us who employ nonviolent direct action, and if they refuse to support our nonviolent efforts, millions of Negroes will, out of frustration and despair, seek solace and security in black nationalist ideologies--a development that would inevitably lead to a frightening racial nightmare. Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained. Consciously or unconsciously, he has been caught up by the Zeitgeist, and with his black brothers of Africa and his brown and yellow brothers of Asia, South America and the Caribbean, the United States Negro is moving with a sense of great urgency toward the promised land of racial justice. If one recognizes this vital urge that has engulfed the Negro community, one should readily understand why public demonstrations are taking place. The Negro has many pent up resentments and latent frustrations, and he must release them. So let him march; let him make prayer pilgrimages to the city hall; let him go on freedom rides -and try to understand why he must do so. If his repressed emotions are not released in nonviolent ways, they will seek expression through violence; this is not a threat but a fact of history. So I have not said to my people: "Get rid of your discontent." Rather, I have tried to say that this normal and healthy discontent can be channeled into the creative outlet of nonviolent direct action. And now this approach is being termed extremist. But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice: "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever flowing stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the Christian gospel: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist: "Here I stand; I cannot do otherwise, so help me God." And John Bunyan: "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." And Abraham Lincoln: "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." And Thomas Jefferson: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal . . ." So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill three men were crucified. We must never forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists. I had hoped that the white moderate would see this need. Perhaps I was too optimistic; perhaps I expected too much. I suppose I should have realized that few members of the oppressor race can understand the deep groans and passionate yearnings of the oppressed race, and still fewer have the vision to see that injustice must be rooted out by strong, persistent and determined action. I am thankful, however, that some of our white brothers in the South have grasped the meaning of this social revolution and committed themselves to it. They are still all too few in quantity, but they are big in quality. Some -such as Ralph McGill, Lillian Smith, Harry Golden, James McBride Dabbs, Ann Braden and Sarah Patton Boyle--have written about our struggle in eloquent and prophetic terms. Others have marched with us down nameless streets of the South. They have languished in filthy, roach infested jails, suffering the abuse and brutality of policemen who view them as "dirty nigger-lovers." Unlike so many of their moderate brothers and sisters, they have recognized the urgency of the moment and sensed the need for powerful "action" antidotes to combat the disease of segregation. Let me take note of my other major disappointment. I have been so greatly disappointed with the white church and its leadership. Of course, there are some notable exceptions. I am not unmindful of the fact that each of you has taken some significant stands on this issue. I commend you, Reverend Stallings, for your Christian stand on this past Sunday, in welcoming Negroes to your worship service on a nonsegregated basis. I commend the Catholic leaders of this state for integrating Spring Hill College several years ago. But despite these notable exceptions, I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church. I do not say this as one of those negative critics who can always find something wrong with the church. I say this as a minister of the gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen. When I was suddenly catapulted into the leadership of the bus protest in Montgomery, Alabama, a few years ago, I felt we would be supported by the white church. I felt that the white ministers, priests and rabbis of the South would be among our strongest allies. Instead, some have been outright opponents, refusing to understand the freedom movement and misrepresenting its leaders; all too many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained glass windows. In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel through which our just grievances could reach the power structure. I had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been disappointed. I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: "Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother." In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: "Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern." And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular. I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South's beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: "What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?" Yes, these questions are still in my mind. In deep disappointment I have wept over the laxity of the church. But be assured that my tears have been tears of love. There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love. Yes, I love the church. How could I do otherwise? I am in the rather unique position of being the son, the grandson and the great grandson of preachers. Yes, I see the church as the body of Christ. But, oh! How we have blemished and scarred that body through social neglect and through fear of being nonconformists. There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town, the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators."' But the Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven," called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are. But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today's church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust. Perhaps I have once again been too optimistic. Is organized religion too inextricably bound to the status quo to save our nation and the world? Perhaps I must turn my faith to the inner spiritual church, the church within the church, as the true ekklesia and the hope of the world. But again I am thankful to God that some noble souls from the ranks of organized religion have broken loose from the paralyzing chains of conformity and joined us as active partners in the struggle for freedom. They have left their secure congregations and walked the streets of Albany, Georgia, with us. They have gone down the highways of the South on tortuous rides for freedom. Yes, they have gone to jail with us. Some have been dismissed from their churches, have lost the support of their bishops and fellow ministers. But they have acted in the faith that right defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. Their witness has been the spiritual salt that has preserved the true meaning of the gospel in these troubled times. They have carved a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. I hope the church as a whole will meet the challenge of this decisive hour. But even if the church does not come to the aid of justice, I have no despair about the future. I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are at present misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with America's destiny. Before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson etched the majestic words of the Declaration of Independence across the pages of history, we were here. For more than two centuries our forebears labored in this country without wages; they made cotton king; they built the homes of their masters while suffering gross injustice and shameful humiliation -and yet out of a bottomless vitality they continued to thrive and develop. If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands. Before closing I feel impelled to mention one other point in your statement that has troubled me profoundly. You warmly commended the Birmingham police force for keeping "order" and "preventing violence." I doubt that you would have so warmly commended the police force if you had seen its dogs sinking their teeth into unarmed, nonviolent Negroes. I doubt that you would so quickly commend the policemen if you were to observe their ugly and inhumane treatment of Negroes here in the city jail; if you were to watch them push and curse old Negro women and young Negro girls; if you were to see them slap and kick old Negro men and young boys; if you were to observe them, as they did on two occasions, refuse to give us food because we wanted to sing our grace together. I cannot join you in your praise of the Birmingham police department. It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling the demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather "nonviolently" in public. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Perhaps Mr. Connor and his policemen have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice. As T. S. Eliot has said: "The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason." I wish you had commended the Negro sit inners and demonstrators of Birmingham for their sublime courage, their willingness to suffer and their amazing discipline in the midst of great provocation. One day the South will recognize its real heroes. They will be the James Merediths, with the noble sense of purpose that enables them to face jeering and hostile mobs, and with the agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of the pioneer. They will be old, oppressed, battered Negro women, symbolized in a seventy two year old woman in Montgomery, Alabama, who rose up with a sense of dignity and with her people decided not to ride segregated buses, and who responded with ungrammatical profundity to one who inquired about her weariness: "My feets is tired, but my soul is at rest." They will be the young high school and college students, the young ministers of the gospel and a host of their elders, courageously and nonviolently sitting in at lunch counters and willingly going to jail for conscience' sake. One day the South will know that when these disinherited children of God sat down at lunch counters, they were in reality standing up for what is best in the American dream and for the most sacred values in our Judaeo Christian heritage, thereby bringing our nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the founding fathers in their formulation of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Never before have I written so long a letter. I'm afraid it is much too long to take your precious time. I can assure you that it would have been much shorter if I had been writing from a comfortable desk, but what else can one do when he is alone in a narrow jail cell, other than write long letters, think long thoughts and pray long prayers? If I have said anything in this letter that overstates the truth and indicates an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me. If I have said anything that understates the truth and indicates my having a patience that allows me to settle for anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me. I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil-rights leader but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty. Yours for the cause of Peace and Brotherhood, Martin Luther King, Jr.
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His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje – in Word and Deed - Startseite/ Karmapa Quotes Wisdom Quotes from the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinle Dorje
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His Holiness the 17th Karmapa Orgyen Trinley Dorje – in Word and Deed - Startseite/ Karmapa Quotes Wisdom Quotes from the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa Ogyen Trinle Dorje
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Ellis Washington Report | "The good ends proposed by the Illuminati…are the overthrow of religion, government, and human society, civil and domestic. "In societies of Illuminati…the being of God was denied and ridiculed…. The possession of property was pronounced robbery. ~ Reverend Timothy Dwight (4th Yale President, 1795-1817) Prologue— Yale President Timothy Dwight Battles the American Illuminati One of the great, unsung heroes of the post-American Revolutionary Period that fought to expose the infiltration and destruction of America by Illuminati agents was Rev. Timothy Dwight. According to WND.com writer and American historian, Bill Federer, Timothy Dwight was the grandson of legendary American Evangelist, Jonathan Edwards and was the 4th President of Yale College (1795-1817). According to Federer, "On July 4, 1798, Timothy Dwight gave an address in New Haven titled, The Duty of Americans at the Present Crisis, in which he explained how Voltaire's atheism inspired the French Revolution and it's Reign of Terror, 1793-1794, where 40,000 people were beheaded: "About the year 1728, Voltaire, so celebrated for his wit and brilliancy and not less distinguished for his hatred of Christianity and his abandonment of principle, formed a systematical design to destroy Christianity and to introduce in its stead a general diffusion of irreligion and atheism, Dwight declared. "For this purpose, he associated with himself Frederick II, King of Prussia, and Mess. D'Alembert and Diderot, the principal compilers of the Encyclopedie, all men of talents, atheists and in the like manner abandoned." In his speech President Dwight stated that the principle parts of this system were: 1. The compilation of the Encyclopedie: in which with great art and insidiousness the doctrines of ... Christian theology were rendered absurd and ridiculous; and the mind of the reader was insensibly steeled against conviction and duty. 2. The overthrow of the religious orders in Catholic countries, a step essentially necessary to the destruction of the religion professed in those countries. 3. The establishment of a sect of philosophists to serve, it is presumed as a conclave, a rallying point, for all their followers. 4. The appropriation to themselves, and their disciples, of the places and honors of members of the French Academy, the most respectable literary society in France, and always considered as containing none but men of prime learning and talents. In this way they designed to hold out themselves and their friends as the only persons of great literary and intellectual distinction in that country, and to dictate all literary opinions to the nation. 5. The fabrication of books of all kinds against Christianity, especially such as excite doubt and generate contempt and derision. Of these they issued by themselves and their friends who early became numerous, an immense number; so printed as to be purchased for little or nothing, and so written as to catch the feelings, and steal upon the approbation, of every class of men. 6. The formation of a secret Academy, of which Voltaire was the standing president, and in which books were formed, altered, forged, imputed as posthumous to deceased writers of reputation, and sent abroad with the weight of their names." These are the Machiavellian Illuminati tactics and strategies used throughout the Ages to seize power by subterfuge and force, to destroy Christian nations by perverting and delegitimizing religion, taking over key societal institutions like the publishing industry (e.g., Weishaupt creation of the German Union in Bavaria in the late 1700s, law which ultimately leads all to the systematic and comprehensive destruction of the Nation-States through genocide and democide. Remember, the Illuminati and their French agents were welcomed to America by many of our most illustrious "Founding Fathers" and political leaders including – George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Clymer, Thomas Paine, Albert Gallatin, Edmund Randolph, Benjamin Franklin Bache, Thomas Mifflin, Alexander Dallas, among many, many other iconic men we've venerated throughout history. Myths vs. Facts (Episode 13) – Thomas Jefferson: What you didn't know [Transcript] "Hello and welcome back to another week of Myths vs. Facts. This week I will be discussing Thomas Jefferson because he's such a prominent figure in American history and quoted quite widely today – and justifiably so. Jefferson was really three different men; in other words, he went through three different phases of his life and political leanings. They were 1) The man of the Revolution and Declaration of Independence; 2) As … our French ambassador and member of Washington's cabinet, and finally 3) The final stage was the third president of the United States and his retirement. Now what I'm going about to say will shock some people but stay with me, as it will iron itself out. Don't get into big tither; this is history that has been purged out of American history since the Civil War." "To say that Jefferson was a traitor would be an understatement. On more than one occasion Jefferson worked to destroy the Washington government from within the cabinet that he was part of and later as a private citizen attempting with members of the Conspiracy to separate Western territory away from the United States. Now this may sound outrageous to some but all of this is available online and amply detailed and documented in my book, To the Victor Go the Myths & the Monuments. Much of this history was eliminated from the history books like I said after the Civil War, including the Jacobin French influence and Jefferson's role in cooperating with the French. Jefferson wasn't revealed as a traitor until he wrote a letter to a man named Philip Mazzei. In France this letter was published in The Paris Monitor which exposed Jefferson as an enemy of Washington at a time when he was playing both sides from within the Washington cabinet. This is why there is no question that Jefferson worked to bring down the Washington government from within." "We talked about leakers today in the federal government. Jefferson was the first leaker in the federal government that so many are concerned about today. This leaked information was passed on to the opposition newspaper he secretly helped established called the National Gazette and other democratic organs to help create ill feelings against Washington, such as the New York Argus the Richmond Examiner and the Boston Independent Chronicle. The primary Jacobin agent coordinating all of this was a man who worked for Jefferson that, once exposed, Jefferson would not fire. In other words, there were Jacobin agents inside the Washington administration being protected by Jefferson. There are other things that are even worse that you will find in my book, but they take a great deal more to explain than the short time we have here." "I know this information is a problem for patriotic Americans. It was for me as I dug up more and more history that I had never heard of before – history that used to be published but gradually disappeared over the years as Jefferson was elevated and Washington diminished in histories written after the Civil War. In France, it was not unusual for Jefferson to entertain members of the Illuminati in his home, as a couple of examples of Mirabeau and Lafayette. Jefferson attended meetings of The Illuminated Lodge of the Nine Sisters. Weather he was a member or not isn't known. As I mentioned before the Gestapo confiscated the records of this Lodge during World War II. This is something that may never be known unless someone uncovers the records that were either presumably destroyed by the Nazis, or they still have them. If the Nazis had not seized the records of the French secret societies many questions could be answered. Having these records disappeared has concealed the origins of the radical movements that evolved into the Nazis as well as the Communist move in addition great pains seem to been made over the decades to hide the movement of the plot of the Illuminati into the United States more than any other country and who these people were." "We know that Jefferson read the key Illuminati Nicholas Bonneville's book, The Spirit of Religion that not only promoted a universal brotherhood of man but contained the idea of a civic religion based on the worship of Reason rather than a Supreme Being. The Spirit of Religion by Nicholas Bonneville first of all promoted a universal brotherhood of man and secondly promoted a civic religion based on Reason, not a superior being, God in other words. Jefferson's largest bloc against him politically was the American clergy and there were many early historians who wrote about the personal failings of Jefferson. As a result, or an example of the clergy being against Jefferson, Reverend Timothy Dwight, President of Yale College and a foe of the Illuminati, when speaking of the possible election of Jefferson stated this – "The Bible would be cast into a bonfire our holy worship changed into a dance of Jacobin Pharisee. Our wives and daughters dishonored. And our sons converted into disciples of Voltaire and the dragoons of Marriot." ~ Reverend Timothy Dwight, 4th President of Yale College "Now this came from the book, Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy. This extreme opinion was a result of the Jacobite agitation and immorality advocated and exhibited by their adherents in the minds of the religious leaders at the time. They feared for the future of the country with certain men and authority who cooperated with Jacobin events including Jefferson at the time. Now before we go any further, we need to reiterate that Jefferson finally reverted to his old self that he was, prior going to France once he was elected president." 4 American Jacobins and 'The Virginia Plan' "Jefferson wasn't the only traitor or leaker in the Washington cabinet. Edmund Randolph, a second cousin of Jefferson, was Attorney General and a friend of the Whisky Rebellion leaders and in league with Gallatin and Genet. Randolph personally met with an agent of the French Jacobins in his home and asked for money to win over four men who were teetering in their support for the Jacobin cause – they were Thomas Mifflin, governor of Pennsylvania, Alexander Dallas, Secretary of State for Pennsylvania and a leader of the Democratic Societies, Jefferson and Randolph himself." "Now Randolph became Secretary of State after Jefferson left the cabinet Randolph resigned once incriminating letters came into Washington's hands that showed Randolph was leaking private inner debates of the cabinet to a Jacobin agent just as Jefferson had been doing but had not been caught at the time. As reported in a London newspaper— "In one of the letters addressed to the French Committee of Public Safety, Fauchet gives them information that the Secret Service money which he carried with him to America had been well employed in cementing stronger the bonds of amity between France and America and acknowledged himself much indebted to Mr. Randolph the American Secretary of State and to a gentleman of high office in the State of Pennsylvania." [possibly Alexander Dallas] ~ The European Magazine and London Review (January 1796) "It was Randolph who at the opening of what became the Constitutional Convention offered The Virginia Plan to the assembled to write a new Constitution. Rather than follow their instruction to amend the Articles of Confederation, the delegates decided to write an entirely new Constitution. Now in other words the whole idea for having a runaway convention came out of the forces that were to ally themselves with the French Revolution. Some of the same people who proposed a new Constitution were those who helped in the fight later to oppose the Constitution. We will continue to look at the American Jacobin events next week." Myths vs. Facts (Episode 14) – Young America: The Illuminati Influence on Education [Transcript] "Hello and welcome back to another week of Myths vs. Facts. This week I will be discussing more about what was happening during the Washington administration that you probably have never heard of before. Most people have received an education that subtlety makes the point that the Democrats were the real Americans during in the early years of our country and that the Federalists were hangovers from British rule. Yet when researching history, we see there was a real problem within the Republican-Democrats being led by French agents through the Jacobin movement. The Illuminati in America had a primary opponent, he was Rev. Jedidiah Morse. He felt that the Democratic Clubs were fleshed out by immigrants who served the revolutionary government of France rather than being people who really wanted to be part of the American experience." La Liberté ou la Mort (1795) by Jean-Baptiste Regnault. Note the red Phrygian cap, a symbol of the French Revolution also associated with Freemasonry – Source. "We witness this very thing today with immigration just as the French government promoted the infiltration of Jacobin agents into America, the Mexican government has been doing the same thing for years only on a more mass scale. A perfect example happened recently with the new Marxist president of Mexico. He has stated that the Mexicans have a "right" to live in the United States without any concern for the border. Today we see these immigrants being used to drive up the number of demonstrators against government policy. It was the same in our early years. For example, in the late 1700s the street-level pressure grew so bad that the capital of Philadelphia (which was the U.S. Capitol at the time). There was a riot of 10,000 people looking for Washington to hang him. This was driven by outside agitators coming into the city trying to make it look like those living there were the only ones involved. Finally, the roads in and out of the city were blocked to prevent any more swelling of the numbers. This was at the time when the total population of the city of Philadelphia was under 30,000." "There's no way they had a third of the population in the street rioting for no other reason other than the elimination of Washington. What finally quelled this public disturbance was a yellow fever epidemic. According to a letter written by Jefferson to John Adams after they had reconciled years later, Adams felt that the only thing that saved the government was the yellow fever epidemic. People then stayed home; they shuttered their windows so that no one from out of town would want to go near the place for fear of catching the disease. Interestingly, one person who died of yellow fever was Franklin's grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache who was the owner and editor of The Aurora Newspaper in Philadelphia. The Aurora was arguably the most vicious newspaper of the Washington administration." The Real Impetus and History behind the Alien and Seditions Acts "Between the propaganda and the street-level pressure it became the perfect scenario for the government to propose and pass the Alien and Sedition Acts. These Acts were designed to arrest aliens from France who were agents of the Jacobins and to silence "fake news" of which the Aurora was an integral part. In other words, the Alien and Sedition Acts were designed to reduce the agitation, espionage and subversion of the Illuminous organizations. Shortly after the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts in America, England also passed theirs called The Unlawful Societies Act of 1799. This Act was aimed at the secret societies spawned by the Illuminati. At the time several Illuminated lodges had been started by the Illuminati; by people living in England such as Thomas Paine... This, however, did not curtail revolutionary leaders from entering England years later." "The Alien and Sedition Acts did cause many French [Illuminati] agents to leave the country and to return to France rather than to be imprisoned. While some criticized the Alien and Sedition Acts as being unconstitutional, others were in agreement with them. "If Jefferson and Madison deemed the Alien and Seditions Acts plain and palpable infractions of the Constitution, Washington and Patrick Henry held them to be good and wholesome laws." ~ History of the United States: From the Earliest Period to the Administration of President Johnson, Vol. II, J.A. Spencer, (1866) "Now it is realized that the Alien and Sedition Acts were not a solution to stopping the Jacobin movement instead it just created a reaction among the people. Many people do not act but they sure do react. The Acts provided the Jacobins that the Federalists were not true lovers of liberty and free speech. It went a long way to the election of Jefferson as president. Fortunately, two facts did quiet down the Jacobin agitation: The fountainhead for the internationalization of Jacobinism, Robespierre was executed. "As this quelled the violence in France it did as well in America. Since the impetus for importing Jacobinism into America was Robespierre, this curtailed the main organizational thrust of the movement in the United States. 2. The election of Thomas Jefferson "The Radicals saw his election as the success for their movement, so they felt that as though their job was done. Once Jefferson took office, he almost immediately softens his political positions and practically became a Federalist in his outlook. Afterall, you cannot be a revolutionary against yourself if you are the leader. Even so, Jefferson's tenure as president left a lot to be desired. In January 1809 a Report of the Legislature of Massachusetts depicted Jefferson's administration as follows— "Our agriculture is discouraged; the fisheries abandoned; navigation forbidden; our commerce at home restrained, if-not annihilated; our commerce abroad cut off; our navy sold, dismantled, or degraded to the service of cutters or gunboats; the revenue extinguished; the cause of justice interrupted; the military power exalted above the civil and by setting up a standard of political faith unknown to the Constitution the nation is weakened by internal animosities and divisions, at the moment it is unnecessarily and improvidently exposed to war with Great Britain, France, and Spain." ~ History of the United States, J.A. Spencer (1866). "It is obvious that the United States was unprepared for war with anyone due to the administration of Jefferson. The case can be made that the lack of keeping the mandate of the Constitution for the standing navy under Jefferson finally led to the War of 1812. It is true that Jefferson made decisions that were glorified in the Marine Corp Hymn – "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli. The raid on Tripoli being the primary one being also true, but Jefferson's administration did much to weaken the country." "In addition, many don't realize that there was a widespread incidence of arrests without warrant by the Jefferson administration on his order… Civil Libertarians would be shocked to learn of some of the violations of the Constitution by Jefferson. Let's end on the note that even though Jefferson went through many phases of his life, he changed even more so in his retirement back to the great man that served an important role in the American Revolution. We will explore even more machinations that affected the country as we look at one of the most important organizations in the history of the United States in future segments, Young American. But first we'll look at the foundations of American education laid down by Illuminous forces next week." Epilogue—QAnon Exposes the American Illuminati: 2020 While I no longer believe in coincidence as my intellectual mentor Milt Harris frequently says, when though the years we think about the same subject at the same time – "There's something in the air that carries concurrent thoughts one to another." I broach this subject because one of my more cognitive Facebook friends is Stephen Zabielski and this serendipity is what occurred recently when Zabielski posted the following message and tagged me on it regarding the 204th Anniversary of the first Holocaust in the twentieth century Kamal Ataturk's democide against the Christian Armenians, Greeks and Yugoslavians living in Turkey (1915-18) – "According to QAnon these are really deep state Illuminati directed mass killings as human sacrifices to Moloch. Purportedly Moloch sets the number of human sacrifices he wants, the deep state using part ruthless Blackhat killers and part MK-Ultra mentally compromised, free will undermined assassins they have embedded around the world fulfills the devil's orders. QAnon goes on to say that Islam was infiltrated in the 1800s by Freemasons after Freemasonry was infiltrated and taken over by the Illuminati beginning immediately after the devil worshiping cult formed in 1776. Freemasonry had lodges all across that part of the world for centuries so by infiltrating it the Illuminati and their diabolical false god Moloch were able to make quick inroads throughout the Islamic world. So, the enemy is not Islam but the Illuminati." Stephen continued, "Fortunately, Trump, the US Military, our massive Intelligence Network, and America's invincible Patriot citizenry are already well on their way to bringing these Skull & Bones warmongers down, first to their knees where they are now, then down to six feet under where they will be going soon. There is a new world coming so thank God and Praise Jesus! He is the true MASTERMIND behind these rapid changes." QAnon for the uninitiated is a set of cryptic Internet postings (beg. Oct. 2016) by military intelligence figures loyal to President Trump which are posted on 4Chan and 8Chan websites to protect their anonymity. The postings (which to date number 3,349), are designed to expose the plots and surreptitious plans of Deep State and Shadow Government traitors (many are part of "Stay Behind Networks" of the Obama administration) who would seek to remove Trump from office by illegal and violent means. QAnon address every conceivable aspect of politics, foreign policy, law, economics, election tampering, and Deep State treachery which includes secret societies that have historically wanted to overthrow the U.S. like – Freemasons, Rothschilds, Illuminati, Bilderbergs, Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations, Skull and Bones, etc… I thought that Zabielski's historical summary about how the Illuminati through infiltration of groups like the Freemasons and Islam was able to severely weaken America's Judeo-Christian traditions and institutions since our founding – July 4, 1776 – just 2 months after the founding of the Illuminati on May 1, 1776. My only quibble with his analysis is to disagree that "the enemy is not Islam, but the Illuminati." On the contrary, both Islam and the Illuminati are sworn enemies of Christianity, Jesus Christ, and the Bible by which history has demonstrated time and time again that where Islam and the Illuminati exist, so will the persecution of Christianity and the Church will be rampant, religious freedom will be infringed upon and eventually perverted to such a degree that true Christianity will become Heresy, Apostacy and Society plunged into Anarchy and Democide. Why? Because "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil," according to Sir Edmund Burke, "is that good men should do nothing." Suggested Readings: Bill Federer, Yale President Battles French Illuminati, WND.com (01/10/2015).Thomas M. Anderson, The Political Conspiracies Preceding the Rebellion (1882).Art Thompson, To the Victor Go the Myths & the Monuments (John Birch Society, 2016). See sections on anti-Illuminati hero, Rev. Timothy Dwight at pp. xxxvii, 29, 29, 51.John Robinson, Proofs of A Conspiracy ([1797], John Birch Society, 1967 ed.). Augustin Barruel, Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism, ([1797], 2002 ed.).Ellis Washington, The Nuremberg Trials: Last Tragedy of the Holocaust (Hamilton Books, 2008).———————, Myths vs. Facts (Part 3) – Influence in the French Revolution, EllisWashingtonReport.com (March 25, 2019).Dinesh D'Souza, The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left
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Cosmic Tree of Life - Oneism - Wayne Herschel - witness of the place of all souls Oneism - Cosmic Tree of Life - by Wayne Herschel in a NDE came back with more than he left with>
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Birthday Wishes 2019 Here you Will find Birthday wishes for friends, brother, sister, son, daughter, mother, father, in-laws, wife, husband and even Boyfriend , girlfriend.
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Birthday Wishes 2019 Here you Will find Birthday wishes for friends, brother, sister, son, daughter, mother, father, in-laws, wife, husband and even Boyfriend , girlfriend.
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Right From the Hip | Observations & Opinions | Politics, Law & Current Events In which our Vagabond Seeks a City in Motion. It is early Saturday evening, the doors are open, the coffee house beckons. I enter into a crowd – young and old, in pairs, groups and singles, are standing in line, checking their phones, reviewing the menu board, sitting astride chairs, leaning on counters, stirring their mugs, contemplating their next move, and conversing with animation and verve. After securing a mug of herbal orange blossom tea and plain pound cake (something different and contemplative), no booths are available. I occupy a seat at a long, central bench and table with the other patrons. Immediately next to me sits a young couple, face to face, wearing various shades of blue denim (she also sports a floppy, soft-brim robin egg blue hat), who have stopped talking to enjoy one of the house's calorie-generous desserts. Their desserts are laden with strawberries, fresh, fragrant, jumbo-sized, strawberries, tumbling generously, abundantly, off the dessert cakes which shyly peek out underneath. These are six-dollar desserts, suitable for serious courtship. The whipped cream had disappeared already. Their strawberries are not shy - they flaunt their bright deep red strawberry color, their inviting texture, they flirt their white edges. These strawberries profligately cast about their unmistakable ripe fragrance. Indeed, the fragrance demands attention. For an unmeasured moment, these strawberries own the bench and my perceptions – my other senses have quietly stepped down and wait for the strawberry fragrance to master the stage, to take its bows, to aromatically speak for strawberries everywhere. Each strawberry is joined with all strawberries - connected in a web of genetic code, agricultural pedigree, sense perception and idea. The smell, the fragrance and appearance of these strawberries, and for a distinct slice of time, the connected picture, the taste, the idea of many strawberries, all strawberries, as an adjective as well as a noun, occupy my thoughts. If there had been no name for strawberries ever given, I would have conjured a name for them, then and there. Strawberries are versatile. We can give Latin names to their various genus, Fragaria. We may note that each apparent achene, or seed, on the outside is actually one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it, perhaps explaining why the couple beside me ordered them for dessert. Philosophers might debate whether or not there exists a non-physical essence of strawberry, an ideal Platonic form of strawberry, or be skeptical that we could ever be sure that what we perceive as strawberry was reliable. Mischievous children have picked them to throw at each other. We can observe them on wild vines, clip, transplant and cultivate them in our gardens, study what combination of sun and water gives them the greatest growth and sweetest flavor, pick them gingerly to set at our breakfast table, eat them singly or in groups in little morning fruit bowls. We have financed agri-businesses to grow them in vast number, might someday sell strawberry futures on a commodities exchange, have hired agricultural workers to pick them in mass quantity. Graduate students in economics might measure the economic impact of establishing a minimum wage for strawberry pickers, while employers make certain their immigration papers are in order. We can contest the right of strawberry pickers to go on strike, and use courtrooms to enjoin secondary strikes by other fruit pickers. Independent truck drivers can transport them in refrigerated, insured freight carriers at free-on-board rates. District managers of supermarket chains can offer them for retail sale in little green baskets at trendy supergrocers which have memorable advertising logos and trained-to-be-friendly checkout people, and serve them in coffee houses at upscale prices. In laboratories we can measure their molecular carbon chains, forensically identify them with gas and mass chromatography, and fit them into biochemical schema of study. We can mash them into lipstick or cream for purposes of skin and beauty enhancement, advertised by slender, photogenic models. We can handwash our dirty dishes in our neglected kitchen sinks, or shampoo our thinning hair with liquid soaps flavored with them. No small series of achievements, for an aggregate accessory fruit. But we have strawberries as descriptors also, as concepts and additions to the language in which we think and speak and describe, in which we write poetry and love sonnets. They act as triggers or stimulants, to remind us of things, things we may want to remember. I bend my head over my tea and soak a piece of my cake into my orange-blossom tea. But these strawberries are not yet done their work. The fragrances of my coffee-house neighbors' strawberries trigger vivid memories. A series of pictures is summoned up, interior miniatures composing a sequenced event in my life, a road trip of an altogether different sort. Gently unfaded, affectionately insistent, parading in silence one at a time yet making a whole, a set of gliding images from the past paints over my vision. ____________________ My wife, Erma, and I were dating, and engaged. I was just 32. At the time, she was just 23 years of age, not quite 5'2" unless she stood on her tiptoes (she was generous in describing her height on various health and application forms), slender, lithe, with quick, athletic reflexes, light brown hair never allowed to grow long, a bright upturned face full of energy, green-grey eyes that were never quite the same shade from day to day, and a stand-your-ground manner suitable for the youngest child who had five older brothers. Erma had been a Christian since her experiences as a teenager in church youth group, and had been well taught by a beloved senior pastor, Reverend Pusey. She could field a ground ball or steal third base, tell every player on the Philadelphia Flyers in 1977 (she still had a Bobby Clark doll) or quote scripture by memory, intelligently and to the point under discussion. She was a secretary at DuPont, a job she had held since the day after she graduated from high school. There was emotional trauma in her childhood, including a miserable relationship with her father (the misery shared by her brothers and sister), and a tragic gun accident which took the life of one of her brothers, after her father irresponsibly brought home a rifle and gave it to his children without supervision or safety instruction. The collapse of the family unit brought economic difficulties. Erma bubbled over with hope and energy – she was ready to wrestle wildcats, hid her fears, counted her pennies, and laughed loudly and easily. Erma pooled shock, grief, loss and anger in reservoirs of her soul. She introduced herself to a pair of young men attending a Christian singles conference in Sandy Cove, Maryland, one of whom was me, because she recognized the church my friend Dave had announced at the beginning of the conference, and that was enough of a conversational opening for her. We took a trip to North Carolina, to visit her brother Noel, the only one of her family to graduate from college. Noel was a marketing manager for a large agricultural chemicals company, and he was moved about the country every few years. For several years he had lived near Research Triangle Park outside Raleigh. Our trip was a happy one; we packed up Erma's silver Honda Civic, years old but running like a Swiss watch, and toodled down the highway one Monday in the early summer. Life was opening up. My disorderly life, spread across two coasts, was moving in a good direction. Erma, deeply emotionally cautious, was hoping that the world held good things as well. After staying the first night with friends in Virginia, we arrived after a day of easy driving at Noel's, still single. As always, he was a gracious host, owner of a sensible but well-maintained home. His practice of buying and selling homes as he was transferred around the company proved to be economically rewarding. I don't know whether he liked his job in its own right, but years later when he was offered a retirement package at the age of 50, he took it, and to my knowledge, has never worked 9-5 job since. Noel was working 9-5 when we arrived though, so during the day we were left to our own devices around Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Durham and the surrounding areas. Open to guidebook suggestions, we went to the North Carolina Botanical Gardens in Chapel HiIl. We walked the displays of native plants, violet-purple iris, milkweed, wood anemone, maidenhair ferns, wild indigo, water-plaintains, bluestars. The Gardens have a display of carnivorous plants, pitcher plants, Venus fly traps, along with their orchids and lilies. I found a very tiny spider among the carnivorous plant displays, picked him up with a leaf, and deposited him into a Venus fly-trap, which promptly, as advertised, closed its tender petals. The wispy trigger hairs of the plant quite quickly formed a bars-of-a-jail cell effect as the plant's leaves closed reflexively – I could see the tiny spider, looking out, as forlorn and puzzled as any prisoner would be. At the time, I had nothing to say to him, and regretted somewhat causing his fate. With the advantages of hindsight and advancing years, today, I might encourage him with words of sympathy – "you and me both, brother," a final salute, issued nunc pro tunc. Erma and I went to see a movie in the evening. Mr. Hulot's Holiday. Monsier Hulot, the French actor Jacques Tati, "decides to vacation at a beautiful seaside, resort. Rest and relaxation don't last long, given the gangly gent's penchant for ridiculous antics." Released in 1954, you have to be in the right mood to see this slapstick farce. Erma and I were nearly alone in the theater, it was a Tuesday evening. We were in the mood – I laughed hard. Erma laughed uproariously, full volume. I never heard anyone laugh so hard – her cackles filled the theater – no nook or cranny escaped the piercing volume of her laughter. Many times. How can you not fall in love with a girl like that? If anyone else was in the theater at all (maybe one other couple), they certainly knew they weren't alone. The next day, we visited Duke University in Durham. The lawns and grounds were green, immaculate, carefully maintained; the buildings, the Chapel, all were elite-college campus beautiful. I daresay visiting parents longed to expend vast sums of money to send their children there. After walking around for several hours, near the end of the day, we found a small restaurant/coffee-shop. Because of the day and hour we were again nearly alone. The shop featured a strawberry desert, loaded with whipped cream. They were the freshest, sweetest, most flagrantly-and-fragrantly-delicious strawberries imaginable. It was a lifetime trophy desert. The taste, the aroma of the strawberries filled our noses, our palates, our tongues – our sweet, ripe taste buds went off like bells. Erma was just swooning with joy. It seemed as if we just sat and ate for hours (which could not possibly be true), as if the strawberry dessert stopped local time to go on forever. These strawberries had royal, domestic, South American and continental antecedents. According to Wikipedia, the garden strawberry was first grown or bred in Brittany, France in the 1750s by crossing Fragaria Virginia from eastern North America with Fragaria Chiloenses, brought from Chile. The French began harvesting wild strawberries in the 14th century. Strawberries were added to cream in the Court of King Henry VIII. What can I add to that? World production of strawberries is in excess of nine million tons, and not a strawberry too many. After we had spent a few days at Noel's, we drove east to go to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The Outer Banks are a resort area, but wilder, less cultivated than the homogenized resort areas one sometimes visits. We rented two separate hotel rooms to stay in the area around Kitty Hawk. I had sexual relationships prior to becoming a Christian. Erma had many dating relationships, but had learned her sexual ethics as a teenager at a conservative, evangelical church and drew a line she believed in. We did not sleep together on that trip. It helped to make our dating relationship simple, clean, pure, uncomplicated. (Our physical relationship began on our honeymoon - when Erma exited the bathroom and entered our bedroom the evening of our 11 a.m. wedding in Bear, Delaware. We had driven to a bed and breakfast in Milford, New Jersey, Linda and Rob Castagna's Chestnut Hill on the Delaware River. Looking at the teddy-bear decorated bed and room in the honeymoon suite and at me, Erma asked, "do you think we should pray?" I answered, "I already have.") But that wedding ceremony day was still in our distance, like a beckoning city on a hill. The next day on our excursion to North Carolina, we traipsed about on the Kitty Hawk beach. It was not yet warm enough for swimming; the beaches were nearly empty. I discovered that small fish, mullets or small kingfish, filled some of the deeper surf pools and beach ponds left by retreating waves. There is a picture of me taken by Erma, bending over at the waist, looking down, with my pants rolled up as I stood in the middle of one of these surf pools, wearing a plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up, trying to catch little silver fish with my bared, cupped hands. Trying to catch small fish by hand was a predictably unsuccessful effort, but loads of fun to try. I looked perfectly ridiculous, and we were perfectly happy. On our trip back in the silver Honda Civic from North Carolina, driving north to Wilmington and Phoenixville, we sang hymns on the road. Neither Erma or I have any musical talent at all - neither of us can carry a melody. But there was no music critic in the car, no one to be distressed. We sang "Fairest Lord Jesus," in toneless acapella - it fit our mood and excursion well. _______________________ I was interrupted in my coffee-house reveries by a young man, of Asian background, whose face I recognized, but whose name I didn't know. He had been listening to me a previous week, when I was proclaiming out loud verses from the Book of Revelation, the lake of fire verses, the judgment verses, on a previous morning when the coffee house was much emptier than it was that Saturday evening. His interruption lead into quite an extended discussion, carried out over three locations in the coffee house. "Hello," he said. I responded with my own 'hello.' "I saw you here the other week. You were reading out loud. I was standing over there" – he indicated where he had been standing when I had my brief confrontation with the coffee house manager, Jen, over reading Bible verses out loud. I nodded 'yes' and offered my hand and introduced myself. "My name is Qi," he introduced himself with a small but perceptible bob of the head. His English was good, with a slight British accent. Qi looked to be in his early twenties, fifty years younger than I. His hair was black parted on one side, his chin and cheeks clean-shaven, his eyes brown, his lashes somewhat long, his build slim, probably 5' 10" in height and weighing 140 or 150 pounds, wearing blue jeans and a neat maroon pullover jersey. His facial expression was respectful, intelligent and friendly. "I wanted to ask you. Why were you reading out loud? And why did you choose those verses?" I had to think to recreate my thoughts and mood the previous week. "I can't answer that easily. God moves inside me without giving me explanations. Why those verses? I felt like I wanted to get somewhere - we ought to get somewhere. I saw those verses on the path." "I heard what you said to the manager. The owner doesn't mind?" His expression suggested that people reading out loud in a coffee house crossed a line in the culture he came from. "No," I told him, "the owner doesn't mind." We paused our conversation for a moment, so Qi could find a way around the bench and people to squeeze in opposite me. He was sitting right next to the strawberry-eating couple, also seated across each other on the bench, as I was. "Do you work, or are you a student?" I asked. Qi explained his background to me, responding to my questions. He was 23 years old, a graduate student seeking a Master's degree in statistics from the graduate department of a nearby university. He was an exchange student, a resident of China, whose family came from near Beijing. Much of his life was not spent in China however. His father was an investment banker, and they spent a number of years in different countries and cities, including London, where he learned as a teenager to speak English well, and learned his slight but discernible British accent. He was one of three children, and had two sisters, one older, who was married and living near Shanghai, and one considerably younger sister, who was living at home near Beijing, where his parents had returned. I asked him about China's one-child policy and he explained that his father had sufficient resources to obtain relief from the rule. Since the first child in the family was a daughter, apparently this exception was not difficult to obtain with respect to Qi. Having official sanction for having a third child was more difficult, but by then his father had political and economic connections. By this time the strawberry dessert-eating couple had left. Their seats were taken by others so it wasn't always easy to conduct our conversation. The coffee house was noisy, there was music in the background and people were sliding behind us at times to reach seats further down the long benches on which Qi and I were seated. When I paused my deposition-like questions, I asked if he attended any local church. He did, he explained, and had been for about a year. "What did you think when I read those verses out loud?" I asked. "How did you react?" "I like hearing the Book of Revelation read aloud. It doesn't often get read out loud. When you hear a sermon, somebody tells you what to think about it. There's always a doctrine or a system. Everything has to be explained." He thought for a few moments. "There's more in the words, than there is in the explanations." He said, and I quietly nodded in agreement. "Well, if you just listen to the words, read by somebody else, you wouldn't have a system," I offered. "You might have a language, though. A set of mutual symbols. Even if we didn't agree on what they meant." He listened to what I said and we talked about language, and symbols. His criticisms of symbolic language were well-thought out; a person whose native tongue is Chinese understands well the strengths and weaknesses of symbols to communicate. I suggested that symbols and graphic pictures cut through many language systems. The phrase "a woman clothed with the sun," eludes precise rational understanding, but it's an accessible image everywhere. We had the mutual and considerable pleasure of two people speaking thoughtfully to each other. "You don't agree with any systems about it?" I asked, meaning the Book of Revelation. "I don't know. My church teaches a system." "Which one is that? Dispensationalism? Premillennialism?" "Yes." "The Rapture, any minute. The Jews left to face the anti-Christ." "Yes. Yes." "You're not defending it very hard," I suggested. His facial expression indicated that I had discerned his feelings accurately. "Is that what you believe?" Qi asked me. "No. I'm a Postmillennialist. I believe in the Great Commission. Christ gave us an order. Go into the far reaches of the world. Convert the nations. So we will succeed. It's the prayer he taught us. 'Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done.'" "How does reading about the burning lake of fire out loud, help that?" Qi queried. "I'm not sure. Does the Spirit have to explain everything to me? I respond as I'm called. But I think everybody wants good news. Ask them, and they'll tell you the world is a mess. But then they want good news - warm and reassuring. God's judgment in a burning lake of fire is a very unpopular topic. But it wakes people up. It made you ask me questions." "Do you think bad news is more likely to win converts?" Qi was looking at me with a certain amount of respectful skepticism. "I think telling people the truth helps people see the truth." "But you, too. You didn't recite the burning lake of fire verses with a big smile on your face." "Perhaps so. Me too," I admitted. "Maybe there's enough bad news already," Qi suggested. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. That's true too. You're right. But why are all those burning lake of fire verses there? Fierce warnings, aren't they?" I asked rhetorically. "Maybe it's the bad news that already exists. Maybe the world loves judging. Maybe the world needs judging. There's a lot of judging inside of us already." As he said this, I thought I detected some personal history in Qi – perhaps his father was a judgmental person. "I think it's a warning - a guide and a look to the future. But I'll be careful about trying to interpret it, with you around. I'll let the words be the words. Burning lake of fire and all." I raised my hands slightly to indicate surrender – the acknowledgment of my limitations. "Don't some people believe the whole book was just meant for the 1st century Christians? They think it all relates to the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Roman armies. That's it – nothing else." Qi's knowledge suggested some study; his tone suggested questions, perhaps questions deeper than interpreting the Book of Revelation. "Are you a preterist?" I asked him. I wasn't sure whether his question was a narrow, specialized question over eschatology, or rather a deeper question that any young person might have, about whether the whole structure of religion is connected to anything real at all. "I'm not sure what that means," he admitted. "About what you said. Preterists believe most of the Book of Revelation has already been fulfilled. It was a warning for the 1st century, for the early church. A tract for the times. Now it's done – it has no future significance," I explained. "If that's what you're asking." "No, I haven't thought about it much, but don't think I think that. How about you?" Qi asked. There were questions in this young man, but I didn't know quite what they were. "I think it's prophecy. The Word of God to us. It's no more fulfilled and done than the Sermon on the Mount is fulfilled and done. Does that answer your question?" I returned. "I guess we'll never know, this side of Final Judgment," he offered. "Maybe we just wait for the Rapture?" "It makes a difference now. It changes how we act, because of what we expect. If all you're doing is sitting around here, waiting for the Rapture, that's one kind of answer. But I'll buy you a cup of coffee, and we can wait together." As I was about to get up to buy coffee, a young woman, talking to her friend following behind her, was trying to make her way behind the bench to a seat. She was holding a sandwich on a plate and a glass. Someone moved on the crowded bench, not knowing anyone was behind him, and bumped directly into her. Her sandwich spilled and tumbled across the back of an unshaven but pleasant-looking blonde young man and onto the floor. There, visible for the world, near Qi's feet, were the ingredients for her sandwich, two slices of multi-grain bread, two chunks of avocado, two generous slices of tomato, and a large stack of bean sprouts, scattered across the floor along with a slice of dill pickle. She moved back apologetically, waving the now-empty sandwich plate in her hand, obviously embarrassed. The young man stood up, rather mildly and saw who had spilled sandwich fixings on him. He didn't seem angry - he was apologetic and rather embarrassed himself. No one quite knew what to do. For a few moments the two of them milled about each other in rather disorganized fashion. The coffee house manager was nearby. She saw what had happened and signaled for a staff person to assist. Qi and I both stood up to move out of the way and sidestepped our way to leave the benches and table. As we were moving, I made brief eye contact with the manager and we mutually and quickly nodded. I didn't want her to think I had been a problem again, but she saw I was an innocent bystander, not an repeat instigator of disturbances. While the clean-up was being accomplished, Qi, seeing our mutual nod, asked if I knew the coffee house manager. "Yes, her name is Jen Geddes. She's a Christian. She's nice – a calm person." We watched the cleanup. I thought I would share a bit more, thinking still about what Qi's questions might be. "Years ago, she was in the newspaper, picture and all. She had a bit of a temper. I think she came from a very fundamental background. She was in a church, and for whatever reason, something was going with a visiting pastor she definitely didn't agree with. She expressed her theological disagreement by shouting out loud, picking up a stool, and heaving it at this visiting pastor. She actually hit him with it and there were disturbances in the church. The police had to be called. As a sentence I think she got what is called ARD, a non-trial diversion. It usually means she had to do some community service and get some counseling. I was practicing as a lawyer at the time, so I paid attention. Some years later, she got the job here. I recognized her when she started. Very calm - very welcoming to everybody these days. I never talked with her about it. I always wanted to ask her what it was about. Part of it was reported in the newspaper – apparently, whatever it was the visiting pastor was saying, her response was along the lines of "are you really going to say that, in my ear?" The cleanup was over, but Qi and I found a different place to sit and resumed our conversation. He wanted to know more about the type of law I had practiced, which was a general community practice. We started talking about the law and about the U.S. Constitution and some well-known constitutional principles, which were not, as Qi described, the rule or norm in China. He described a culture and circumstance in China which might be characterized as intense and ubiquitous favoritism. "We have those problems here - in a big way," I acknowledged. "You have laws about it, though. In China, there is no law to appeal to, to correct such things. The party is the law, and the party officials who operate without needing any approval." "We do have laws," I acknowledged. I narrated for Qi a United States Supreme Court case, which is a staple of the Constitutional Law curriculum in law school. "In San Francisco, around 1880, most of the laundry workers were Chinese. Laundries used heat in wooden buildings. There was a statute that said you couldn't operate a laundry without a permit. The statute itself wasn't crazy - there was a genuine fire risk with boiling water used in the laundries – not a joke in San Francisco. But Yick Wo had been operating his laundry for years, when he was told he couldn't operate his laundry anymore without a permit. Unfortunately, if you were Chinese, you didn't get a permit. If you weren't Chinese, then you got one. Yick Wo was fined for operating without the permit, and he couldn't or wouldn't pay the fine, so he was put in jail. The Supreme Court ruled that the administration of that permit law was unconstitutional – even if the laundry owners weren't citizens. Even if the law itself made sense considered in isolation. The Chinese laundry owners still had a right under equal protection, under the equal protection laws of the 14th Amendment." "You would not find such laws in China," Qi lamented. "Well, it took us years to take the legal principle serious," I told him. "Taking your principles seriously takes time." Our conversation continued. We talked about Chinese coolies and how they worked. We talked about Christianity in China. We talked about the beginning of the movie Crazy Rich Asians where they're having a Bible study. We talked about missionaries and Hudson Taylor and the Chinese Inland Mission, and when Qi's family had become Christians. We talked about wars in Asia – in the Pacific against Japan. Qi had a very distinct opinion about the treatment of the Chinese by the Japanese in WWII, which flowed over to his opinion over disputed islands in the South China sea. We talked about the wars in Korea and Vietnam. We talked about Mao, and Communism and the treatment of Christians in China during the cultural revolution. Qi's family had suffered and practiced their faith in secret, but had emerged. We talked about the Three-Self Church in China. "Sanzi Jiaohui" Qi explained, trying to help me to pronounce it correctly. "But my family has spent so much time overseas, it was not critical to us. We didn't argue about religion, we argued about how many hours my father worked." He looked not as happy making this last statement. I decided to change gears altogether. "You'll be married someday. You'll have a wife and probably children. Do you have a girlfriend?" I asked. "Yes. But she is in graduate school in Michigan now. So I only get to see her on vacations. Sometimes we meet in Chicago. We are making some plans, but they have to wait. We text. She likes it, but she thinks it's cold there." We talked about the weather in China, and in the U.S. We moved our location one more time, when a booth opened up. Time passed, but the Rapture still lay in the future. In the meandering talk and silence of our time together, we made friends. The Holy Spirit, as known to coffee houses as He is to great cathedrals, entered somewhere. Eventually Qi said it was time for him to get back home, and we parted company with the idea that he would be back in the coffee house, and we would have a chance to talk again. Perhaps further, on the Book of Revelation, he suggested. ___________________ And in the Spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. Revelation 21:10. Those trained in theology and ministry should present the bulk of the inspired message of Rom. Ch. 12-15. But there is an element of those passages I want to address. I have a law degree, was valedictorian at law school, have practiced law for many years, and have held elected office. I serve as a volunteer on various boards with legal and executive authority over substantial matters. The business of law and government is something with which I am familiar. Although words like "law and government" don't sound San Francisco hippy-ish, don't seem to blend into a coffee-house or a road trip to the last chapters of Revelation, that is my direction now. Rom. 13:1-10 is my topic. Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. Rom13:1a. The passage is central. It does not stand for, nor should it be understood, to be a command to political authoritarianism. It is an invitation to law, to legitimacy, to ascertaining the will of the people in a democracy, enacting that will within the confines of a constitutional system, and then respecting the laws that flow therefrom. Within the world at large, we may be subject to, or may become the governing authorities – but we are always Christians. The Apostle Paul had multiple purposes in so writing – he had a concern with the relationship of Christians to the outside world and to the political authority of the Roman empire. Paul was also concerned about how Christians relate among ourselves. Christian religious/political conflict among ourselves has been a challenge for Christian theology. Theological disagreement may be the reason or the excuse for the ecclesiastical, political or social separation of Christians. Once reasons develop, theological disagreement, leading to differing communions and groupings, becomes the vehicle for separation. As the Reformation commenced and continued through the 16th and 17th centuries, it appeared the immovable object had met the irresistible force. When Christian conscience met Christian government in vehement disagreement, the results were tragically unacceptable in individual cases. Theologically, the issues have never been resolved. One person wishes to pray to the saints, another does not, one expects an early Rapture with no warning, another does not, one thinks the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, another does not. There are innumerable such differences. The continuing disagreements demonstrate that we have no recognized method of either resolving the dispute, or even a recognized method of staying in communication with each other. The argument continues unresolved. The fallback position for various Christian disputants is spiritual distance and intentional distancing, and attrition over time. Politically, we have addressed the most negative consequences of those 16th and 17th century conflicts by privatizing religious conscience. The results of privatizing Christian conscience are only partially satisfactory, as the 21st century is demonstrating. Organizing a better society is problematic, if each Christian has no greater loyalty than to his or her conscience. Conscience slides into self-will. Beyond denominational or theological boundaries, no one is able to present, to debate, to respond, to adjudicate, to give, or to obey an order issued by a recognized body of Christians, on any issue – not just very large important issues. All issues are 'off the table,' as it were, beyond joint resolution. No one could today post 95 theses on the door of a church and have an audience. We are stalled on Christian conscience-autonomy. No one says 'my conscience is God' but that is the net result. Each spider sits on her own web. The Old Testament analogue is the Book of Judges. The civil and political theory and authority that God has established pertinent to us, and to all, has been two thousand years in the making. The development of this theory is an argument for and an example of common grace, extended by God to all, who makes his sun to shine on the good and on the evil, and sends his rain on the just and on the unjust. "All peaceful beginnings of government have been laid in the consent of the people," John Locke, the British philosopher wrote in his Second Treatise on Government, Sect. 112. His work was instrumental in the framing of American constitutional ideas. Within the United States, we are both the governed, and the governing authorities. Perhaps odd, perhaps obvious to say, but if we as Christians want to reach the heavenly city of God, we have to be capable of governing and being governed by each other. This does not suggest extinguishing the ordinary and necessary debate and contentions that accompany civil and religious life. But at some point, a methodology of decision-making has to be established. Decisions are to be made, and they have to be respected. These 'decisions' are Christian decisions, critical to the communications and communal life of all Christians. That is not intended as a challenge to fundamental theological positions. When our government formed, Maryland did not become Pennsylvania – each state assigned certain powers to a federal government, and retained the rest. Lawful is not lawless, even where there is hard questioning and debate over what is really or ought to be 'lawful.' There are many different ways to connect with each other in the exercise of our Christian faith. Our movement toward the Jerusalem from above is obstructed, if we are situated like a collection of hermit crabs, each communion barricaded in its own shell of theological position, ecclesiastical organization and personal conscience. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Rom. 13:1 b. God created and enables all things, in providing the motive power for all events, outside of whose permissive will nothing ever can happen or could happen. Such establishment includes "the authorities that exist." As Jesus said to Pilate, "You would have no power over me if it were not given you from above." God is the source of lawful authority. The present state of world and national affairs, including our legal and political structures, is not accidental. It may be temporary, or cause us to pray "How long, O Lord, will the wicked by jubilant?" But if we cannot obey our own lawful authority, exercising decisions derived from faith, there is no possibility of building a genuinely lawful structure. If we cannot debate our Christian statements, decrees, findings or laws, enable and enact our Christian decrees, respect or obey our Christian laws, because they come from the authority already announced and ordained by our God and Savior, we're not going to move. We are stranded in the valley of stasis. I am postmillennial, a believer in the Kingdom of God that comes into this world. The extension of Rom. 13:1 b is necessary. This verse sends us forward, makes us look to the future. The current set of authorities have been established by God. The next set of authorities will be established by God - and the next set, after that. We want this set of authorities, each set of authorities, to be better, more Christ-like. When we say more 'Christ-like,' it is not reasonable to expect that denominational and theological differences are going to evaporate. We want to be Christ-like as we assume, or obey, or exchange, this developing authority which expresses itself in constitutional forms among us - not because it results in theocracy or theonomy (or any other system of being ruled by the laws of the Old Testament). Rather, we remember that the "authorities that exist" may be us, or may not be; and if we're not holding office at the moment, we may retain our theological positions or political differences. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, has special significance when we are talking about different groups of Christians contending over beliefs, ideas, or courses of conduct which may be supported and advanced by force of decree, statement or law. If we are going to move toward a more complete Christian community, theological convictions count, inspiration counts, but also, impartiality counts. We want the debate (and the penalties for losing the debate on whatever topic is at hand) to be just and impartial. The rules, the conduct, the doctrine, whatsoever it is under discussion, and the statement or law that issues from them, or us, are to be impartial. The means and procedure of discussing, debating, challenging or appealing the decision regarding the resolution of Christian issues, have to be impartial. Due Process is a legal term but it paves a spiritual road. It means notice of the issue at hand, before the time and place of decision, and the opportunity to be heard on the point by the decision-makers. We hope valued impartiality flows into our political and national lives. But whether it does or does not flow nationally, we have to communicate these exchanges and accord this due process among ourselves in an impartial manner – and then voluntarily respect the outcome. The amorality of the present state of our national political life is not ultimately acceptable, but neither it is acceptable to go back to the political situation, rife with religious persecutions, that characterized Great Britain (and here in New England) in the 17th century. We do not criminalize people with whom we disagree. We will not move toward a golden, millennial age until we capture solutions to both sets of problems – spiritual unity which enables voluntary association and cooperation, and spiritual dissent. Our risen Lord Jesus has set us a mid-term examination. God has graciously provided us guidance. As explained by Locke in his Second Treatise, sect. 131: And so whoever has the legislative or supreme power of any commonwealth, is bound to govern by established standing laws, promulgated and known to the people, and not by extemporary decrees; by indifferent [impartial] and upright judges, who are to decide controversies by those law; and to employ the force of the community at home, only in the execution of such laws; or abroad to prevent or redress foreign injuries, and secure the community from inroads and invasion. And all this to be directed to no other end but the peace, safety, and public good of the people. The peace that Jesus confers - "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you" (John 14:27), connects to this Lockean peace, safety and the public good. The kingdom of God ("Thy kingdom come," Jesus taught us to pray, Mat. 6:10, "on earth as it is in heaven.") and "the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations," Rev. 22:2, converge on this peace. They are intended for this-world Christian implementation, and this implementation and obedience to God's will is not beyond us. John Locke described the "peace, safety and public good of the people" in terms that were attainable. He presented his solution at the time of intense religious persecution that frequently was the excuse, rather than the reason, for political persecution. The experience of the Amish community in self-regulation provides some useful guidance. The Nashville Statement, signed initially by more than 150 evangelical leaders, affirming what is set forth or implied in Scripture about sexuality, particularly Romans ch. 1, is a productive step toward our self-regulation and our movement toward a Holy City. The Nashville Statement engendered disagreement and resentment. Nor do I endorse all views, on all issues, of those Christians who developed the Nashville Statement. The point is to cooperate as actively and as far as we can, but no further. Theological statements and decisions are presented to address conflicting positions. The resentment within large elements of our national society, of the Christian position on the sexual issues addressed in the Nashville Statement, is intense – but that is acceptable. Disregard of God's Word engenders its own consequences. We want to be frog-marched off the Titanic of modern secular culture and nominal Christianity - thrown unceremoniously into a little lifeboat named Jesus and the Bible. We expect to be marginalized with the world's imprecations following, as the Titanic leaves us behind. We may bob in the ocean of broad societal disapproval for a short season. It's not hard to see the iceberg coming. After the iceberg has done its work, we, the Christian community, build a better world. We may communicate our own internal understandings and direction without surrendering those theological positions which are essentially non-negotiable. John Locke calls out the following elements in the above-recited passage: legislative power, established law, impartial judges, a judicious use of 'force' to execute such laws, directed to peace, safety and public good – and we would add, for the community of our faith. The challenge is to connect that political peace, of which we are clearly capable, with Jesus' spiritual peace. The alternative, the Valley of Christian Stasis, is incapable of being characterized as good faith. That is not how the Book of Revelation ends. To disconnect the two kinds of peace, to say that the peace that Jesus provides is always and forever not of this world, is to take a position on eschatology. That is to take the position that the Kingdom of God is not coming (despite praying "thy Kingdom come") in this world except by the visible return of Christ but in no other way. It is to take the position that the Great Commission does not fully succeed (apparently, then, a command to partial failure?). It is to take the position that the ending of Romans ch. 16 ("so that all nations might believe and obey him") doesn't count. If the Kingdom of God is coming in this world, then those good ends that John Locke asserted - peace, safety, the public good - have to be realized in the context of a multitude of Christian expressions (the 'Seven Churches' of Revelation), giving rise to our City in Motion. The political events of the last two thousand years include what has politically taken place in this country in the last 250 years. We may begin with the Deist-influenced proclamation of the Declaration of Independence (which, despite its Deist influences, repeatedly and insistently invokes God, the Creator, the Supreme Judge, and Divine Providence), which is also directly of God. The Declaration of Independence, like all other expressions of common grace, is directed by and under the authority of our risen Lord, Jesus. Pilate's authority derived from Roman military and civil power gets the benefit of God's imprimatur, as spoken by Jesus. Then surely also so does the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Federalist Papers. We have political tools. We need to use them. We don't want to supplant the state, we want to create a miniature of a Constitutional and legislative system, for ourselves, entered into by three gates: by Christian faith, by subscription to the doctrine of Scriptural inerrancy, and by a commitment to a forward-looking eschatology. Beyond that, once through those gates 'of the outer courtyard,' we acknowledge a diversity of views, a gathering of seven churches, a lively exchange of ideas. We will make and find our city and move toward peace, joy, and the enjoyment of the presence of God, characterized by our love for God, and our love for each other. There, we will be in a position to lead useful and interesting lives and have enjoyable and interesting discourse. We do not resurrect the past, look to the past, long for the days of ancient Israel, look for theocratical forms of government, or long for the days when our particular theology will be adopted by everyone. Christianity is just beginning. "By calling this covenant new, he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear." Heb. 8:13. The orchestra is just tuning up - we're barely getting started. I have no use at all for nostalgia. To quote a modern theologian, Greg Bahnsen: Postmillennialists believe, therefore, that the kingdom of God will gradually grow on earth, visibly, publicly, and externally. . . It will grow through the gradual conversion of the nations – through the preaching of the Word of God. . . . This salvation of many people must have visible expression and influence and be seen in an outward culture in society. (Victory in Jesus, Bahnsen, CMP 1999, p. 27). (See also, Postmillennialism, an Eschatology of Hope, Keith A. Mattison, P&R Publishing, 1999; The Victory of Christ's Kingdom, John Jefferson Davis, Canon Press, 1996; Prophecy and the Church, Oswald Allis, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1978 (critique of dispensationalism); He Shall Have Dominion, Kenneth Gentry, Apologetics Group Media, 2009 (thorough defense of postmillennialism); and An Eschatology of Victory, J. Marcellus Kik, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1971) ("the Holy City is situated in time and history . . . " p. 245). (Noting also with all these authors, that their theology is learned, their eschatology is inspiring, their legal and political theory needs better direction.) Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves." Rom:13:2. Paul instructed Christians in the Roman Empire, where we began as a tiny minority. Stay out of trouble, direct your energy away from rebellion, stay away from political revolt or disobedience. Move in our spiritual life and the witness to the growing faith. Paul was concerned about building the church locally and across geographical distances and cultural groups. It was the Holy Spirit saying, "it's okay to obey the Roman authorities – in fact, you should, this is part of your obedience to me, unless (as is clear from the Book of Revelation), you are being asked to deny Christ or otherwise blaspheme." Christ warned his disciples to stay clear of the military and political disaster coming because of the Jewish rebellion brewing against Roman authority in his pointed discourse at the Mount of Olives. In whatever direction we decide to move, it must meet the fundamental standards enunciated by Paul. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment, but also because of conscience. That is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe him; if you owe taxes, pay taxes, if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Rom. 13:3-7. Christian, don't do the crime, if you can't do the time. The bearing of the sword is intended for punishment. The state has a monopoly on the use of force, for a good reason. Generally, Christian conscience acts in conjunction with the state (but not always, see, e.g., Martin Luther King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail). In his Letter to the Romans, Paul meant a number of different things by 'the Law,' understood by context: the Ten Commandments, the Law of Moses implying a special revelation of God's will to the Jews, natural law available to and applicable to all people, spiritual law to be followed by Christians out of obedience to the gospel, the law of love, Roman civil or criminal law to be obeyed at the risk of punishment, the law of conscience, including accusations or defenses of conscience, the law of interior struggle with sin, sin and death itself, and the new life of the Spirit - all are referenced in Paul's letter, all characterized in his writing as or associated with the Law. The Law shows us our sins by holding up a mirror to our conduct in the light of God's Law, sending us to call on Christ's atoning mercy. The Law protects the weak from wrongdoing at the hands of those stronger and is essential to a civil society. The Law in all its forms and expressions is surely the great chain, wielded by an angel, which binds Satan in Rev. 20:1 and 2. As the Holy City comes down out of heaven as described in the 21st Chapter of Revelation, it is not described as the City of Law. By implication, the City may be protected by Law. Law may reinforce its walls and its gate. Spiritual law may flow from and through the Church to separate those who may enter the City of God from those who may not. But the Holy City's light, foundations, jewels, gates, streets, river, fountains, or its Tree of Life are not described in terms of Law. In the Sacred City of divine and human joy, where Christ reigns by acclamation, by love and by power, the purposes of the Law have been fulfilled. Lawlessness has no place in the City as it can never enter in. The Abyss may be escaped, only to give rise to further battle and fire, but the Holy City is prepared as a bride. The description of the Millennial City calls us to something higher, further and more perfect than Law as a goal and end of human society. The Law has a purpose and an end, and it reaches fulfillment in Christ's work on the Cross. In a more perfect society, where equity is done everywhere, there is no need to petition a court of equity for relief. Where love and trust are more perfect among people, no judge is needed to assert jurisdiction, hear argument or rule for one party or the other. In a meeting with our beloved, we who love fold our papers, close our law books and put our contracts aside. Their purpose has been served. Love keeps no record of wrong, so we may leave the courtroom. We go to meet for a wedding ceremony and a feast. The beauty of the meeting calls us to travel the road. Questions arise about doing right, what obedience means, in a Constitutional democracy where we are asked to play a part. The part we play nationally, whatever it is, to which we are also called and from which we refuse to be disenfranchised, is not the same as the spiritual movement we pursue among ourselves. We are called to something higher than the surrounding political confrontation and factionalism (not an easy problem to solve; see Federalist No. 10 – Madison thought the danger of factionalism would be solved by the new Constitution, and clearly that has not been the case). John Locke thought the solution was self-evident. "[F]or nobody has an absolute arbitrary power over himself, or over any other, to destroy his own life, or take away the life or property of another. . . Thus the law of nature stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make . . . must be conformable to the law of nature, i.e., to the will of God . . ." 2nd Treatise, sect. 135. To say something must be conformable to the will of God, or the law of nature or an eternal rule, has proved to be guidance not so obvious, beyond the first application, of not destroying life. Many Christians are united on this point at least. Given the number of abortions being performed annually in the United States and western world generally, even Locke's standard of 'not taking away life' appears to have given way to a notion of personal rights that is practically unlimited in its scope or application. In the case of abortion on demand, the notion is tragic on a massive scale, leads to infanticide (and the purposeful abortion of Downs' syndrome babies), is contrary to God's will, is destructive of our national political fabric, and presents an irresistible temptation to federal courts to exceed their Constitutional jurisdiction and intended scope of authority. Next to the Dred Scott decision, Roe v. Wade is the worst decision ever made by the U.S. Supreme Court, and its consequences have been destructive. The decision raises political problems regardless of religious faith – there is no serious legal question of any type that cannot be formulated into a query about individual rights and then answered in such a way as to make individual rights (defined to assure the preferred outcome) preempt and supersede any other type of right. In the case of abortion, all that is necessary is to deny the definition of human life to children in the womb. The definitions decide the outcome. When we now use the term 'civil rights' the meaning is – rights of the individual. In current judicial reasoning, advancing individual rights is always expansive of the good, as long as the individuals are out of the womb. In current judicial reasoning, the rights of the group are nearly always oppressive, subtracting from the net benefit of civil society. My civil rights cannot be added to the civil rights of my fellow citizens, in such a way as to develop a society promoting religiously-based ethical views. One hundred thousand people may not be lead in prayer at a government-sponsored or funded event, if one objects. If it is necessary to justify protecting children in the womb from destruction by making a religious argument, because the definition of the beginning of life implies theological and ethical reasoning, then the destructive consequences of advancing individual rights above other rights are wrongly justified as compelled by the implied language of the Constitution. An intellectual shell game has been played by our federal judiciary, of which Roe v. Wade is the most notorious example – get the definitions right, set up the conflict as the individual vs. the group (included in 'the group' is any assembly of state legislators) – and the desired judicial result will pop out like candy from a dispenser. From this Christian's viewpoint, and I am also a citizen of this nation, this is unacceptable. As an individual, my name is not "Congress," as in the 1st Amendment ("Congress shall make no law"). The idea that ethical decisions, which result in law, may not have religious foundations, is to be rejected. The idea that I may not join with others to vote for or to pass laws which at some point in their chain of reasoning, rely on religious belief or revelation, is to be rejected. A method of judicial reasoning which relies on carefully-crafted initial definitions and nomenclature to avoid the obvious, observable acts of medically terminating life, with the resulting infant body parts available for marketing, is to be rejected. Political acts which have ethical foundations, which themselves have religious foundations, are ordinary acts of Constitutional self-rule, not the establishment of a theocracy. We will do better, because God will compel a better result. The City of God is a promise to seven churches, standing for a society of communities engaged in the voluntary worship of God and obedience to Christ. Discovering the will of God, in our own relations with other Christians, raises harder questions than challenging bad national law or opposing abortion on demand. Discovering God's will mean moving forward to our own better self-governing society, even if we construct a model first on a 'table-top,' as it were. I quote a passage from Locke which will have a familiar sound to any reader familiar with the Declaration of Independence: Great mistakes in the ruling part, many wrong and inconvenient laws, and all the slips of human frailty, will be born by the people without mutiny or murmur. But if a long train of abuses, prevarications, and artifices, all tending the same way, make the design visible to the people, and they cannot but feel what they lie under, and see whither they are going; it is not to be wondered, that they should then rouse themselves, and endeavor to put the rule into such hands which may secure to them the ends for which government was at first erected . . . 2nd Treatise, sect. 225. Locke observed that the people may "rouse themselves." Indeed, 'rousing ourselves' is essential. But in what way did the Apostle Paul view 'rousing ourselves?' The difficulty with Paul's passage in Romans ch. 13:3-7, is its static nature. Those admonitions made sense then, for a small religious minority in a vast pagan empire. The Roman authorities were there, and the Roman Christians submitted to them, and were grateful to God for the opportunity to worship him in peace. There was no political development implied; it was intentional separation from Roman interference, by giving no cause for offence, for purposes of Christian religious practice. A difficulty with the passage of Locke cited above is that it takes the matter one, but only one, drastic step forward. If the authorities are inflicting a "long train of abuses . . . all tending the same way" then the people ought to put "the rule into such hands as may secure to them the ends for which government was at first erected." Locke's concepts are binary, but they also will become static – either the people accept the "great mistakes and wrong laws without mutiny or murmer" – or, as the American people did in 177 6, they "rouse themselves" to "put the rule into such hands, etc.," in other words, to put governmental rule into American hands in the legislatures of the American states. Continuing, aspirational movement was not contemplated by John Locke either. The wasn't the problem he was facing 320 years ago, but it is a problem we are facing now. There is much the Book of Revelation does not do. There is one thing it does do, beyond its powerful encouragement in the face of persecution – it says, 'look, there's a goal here, a destination, and we want to get to it.' The Book has an end, and the end is a City. The Great Commission is equally dynamic – Jesus telling us "Go, make disciples." There's a goal here, a command, something we are supposed to be doing – and disciples, discipling and discipline has to extend to more than personal conscience, to the exclusion of Christian community. The argument against amillennialism is parallel to the argument against premillennialism (whether in its dispensational presentation or classical presentation) – those doctrines don't go anywhere. When it comes to Revelation ch. 21 and 22, these doctrines 'sit on their hands.' Rather, our doctrine of eschatology is postmillennial (Christ comes after ("post") the millennium) by our voluntary choice, by Revelation's destination, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit to reach a millennium in this world. Jesus is awaited at the end of the golden, millennial period, however long and wonderful that period may be, a thousand years or a ten times a thousand years – and we have acted in obedience to him in making or moving to such a society and such a world. (For the Kingdom of God will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property - one to receive five talents, one to receive two, another, to receive one). Our goal is forward. Neither John Lock or the Apostle Paul, or Jesus, say: "let's go back to an Old Testament theocracy as soon as we have a chance." Hence, my profound disagreement with all forms of political theocracy, theonomy, etc. We move to the future here, in terms of our political understanding – our Lord Jesus has not been asleep for the last 2000 years. For that matter, if you need open-heart CABG surgery as I did, you will not seek out a doctor who applies the methods of healthcare available in the days of Moses – there are no instructions in the Old Testament for a triple-bypass procedure. Common grace has done something with respect to medical care, as it has done something with respect to political theory which the churches may apply. After the passage quoted above about obeying the authorities, the Apostle Paul moved directly, with no further transition, to a society characterized by love that has already internalized the Law. The movement is sudden between Rom. 13:7, extolling obedience to external Roman authority, sharing neither political power or a faith with us, to Rom. 13:8. Here is our endpoint: Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet," and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. If we wish to go On the Road now (and we find ourselves On the Road whether we wish it or not) – static conceptions will not do. We construct with the law in the manner of a homebuilder, using our tools to lay on progressively wiser and more effective structural elements, until we reach the fulfillment of home-building, a home where we may love. That is the postmillennial vision – a millennial world, a golden age of faith, love and peace, before Christ returns. The thousand years of the millennium in Ch. 20 is both a reality and a symbol for that vision. The reality of God's ordaining will is a driving movement. Growth through the Holy Spirit is neither limited to or circumscribed by the symbol of a thousand year time period. We travel to an end and a society good beyond words. Our driving force and our destination comes from God. Golden ages are hard to come by, but not only can we get there, we will. Christ has called us to this, and his sobriety and his power in doing so is beyond question. ____________________________________
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Intersex South Africa | Diversity in Nature In February 2000, Stephen Coan of The Natal Witness, an alarmingly able journalist, interviewed Sally for a three-part account of my life. The Witness ran it as one long article recently. A decade having passed, she agreed to draft an update. Religion looms large in my life-narrative. My Christian commitment and faith died slowly and painfully of the probably calculated denial of the nourishment of fellowship it needed. Like many Quakers, I'm universalistic, not Christian. Since my mobility has deteriorated, making walking and even sitting for an hour in a Meeting House chair problematic, and since my body needs a weekly "sleep in"?, my attendance at Sunday morning Quaker meetings has lapsed. Occasional short meeting for worship at my house, sitting silently together in comfortable chairs, are a joy. Buddhist meditation practice, especially mindful breathing, is important to me. The most profound experience of my life was at a week-long Buddhist meditation retreat when I was in the Order. For a while, the mind was free of hindrances. Its inherent luminosity emerged and time seemed to stop in an extraordinary epiphany of bliss and sheer grace. Sitting cross-legged is now beyond me and sitting up is problematic, so I tend to meditate in a recliner-chair. The teachings of the Buddha, his "Dhamma", especially in the Pali, speak powerfully to me. This is not really new. As a student in my Order Order, I was probably the only Jewish Dominican friar to be secretary of a University Buddhist Society. I don't view the Buddha's Dhamma as religion: it's more a philosophy of life. In and through all of this, I'm Jewish. This is cultural rather than religious, though Rabbinical literature is dear to me, and does not entail uncritical support for the actions of Israeli governments. "Why is there anything at all rather than nothing?" ? This question underpinned my belief in God. The mystery-shaped answer was "God"?. Around two years back I realised that I no longer believe that the question has meaning. It pushes beyond the bounds of sense for finite creatures. Thus I'm an atheist, somewhat to my own surprise, but this doesn't change the tenor of my life. More substantially, I reject much in scripture – the commandments to exterminate the Amalekites and the Canaanite nations, for example. Genocide is wrong, "divinely commanded" or not. Mad spirals of violence in Israel/Palestine and elsewhere, driven by "us-versus-them" attitudes with deep roots in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, suggest that the "Abrahamic faiths"? tend to bear strange, toxic fruit. Recently, a Buddhist friend introduced me to an acupuncturist-cum-Rabbi. He wasn't thrown by my life-history and atheism, and I'm amazed at his openness. He noted that the Zohar, a seminal Jewish mystical text, distinguishes derekh, well-charted highway, from netiv, uncharted trail. A few are unsuited to the derekh, the path of conventional communal and religious life: a netiv is their destiny. The derekh was not for me; I'm on a unique netiv. Rabbinics, powerful Christian archetypes, the Dhamma and my Jewishness are all part of this. Rejection by my Order and the Roman Curia still hurts, and I still miss religious life. Some years back, I sent a formal letter to the Roman Curia to protest at the dishonesty with which I was handled. I felt bound to express some outrage while seeking closure. Unsurprisingly, there was no response. In the film "The Mission" a character, having sinned grievously, drags a heavy bundle containing the armour and sword of his violent past with him everywhere as a penance. In some ways, the continued crippling impact of ostracism by the Order and Church was like that. Moved by this image, I e-mailed Malcolm McMahon, the Dominican who drove the process which shattered my life, now a Bishop. I explained that I sought closure. While his actions had been ill-judged, it was water under the bridge, I had no wish to diabolize him, and offered him my friendship. To his great credit, he replied soon afterwards. He saw me as a friend, but felt he'd acted in the Order's and Church's best interests. What I'd done was courageous, but he believed it wrong. I'm not sure what he contends I've done, but am grateful to him for responding so quickly and honestly. Recently, I managed to make contact with Timothy Radcliffe, Master of the Order during my ordeal. He responded warmly, expressing the hope that we might meet some day. I still work for the Regional Land Claims Commission in the Western Cape, as Research and Policy Advisor. The Commission's work is almost finished, and what lies ahead is uncertain. That my body is failing looms large. Diminished mobility makes public transport inaccessible, while eye-problems prevent driving. The expense of getting to and from work is unsustainable, so getting out and about is beyond my means. This is isolating. It isn't due to intersex. Highly pressured work and the deep wounds from the past have taken a toll. Several lifetimes' worth of experience are packed into 56 years, and perhaps my health problems reflect this. My body is like a car which bears the marks of heavy and productive use. Since 2000, I've drafted amendments bearing on intersex for the Alteration of Sex Descriptions Bill and the Promotion of Equality Act, and these have been lobbied into law. Getting intersex into the Promotion of Equality Act is the weightier of the two. Lobbying persuaded the SA Human Rights Commission that intersex is a serious human rights issue. This yielded an SAHRC workshop three years back which looked at the imposition of genital surgery on intersexed infants and children, and the possible need for legislation. Through Engender, an NGO on whose board I serve, funds were raised to set Intersex South Africa up formally as an Engender project with a full-time coordinator. My role is advisory. It has a website and has been served by two coordinators who developed literature and ran numerous workshops, though it is without a coordinator right now. Much needs to be done to educate the public about intersex. They need to learn that it is part of the fabric of human diversity and not a threat, a rights issue and not pathology. Teachers and curricula need content about it. Medical students need input from a medical-ethics and human rights perspective. Religious leaders need to be educated about it to educate others. Research about the prevalence of intersex in SA, and about attitudes and practices, is needed. We need legislation to limit and regulate non-consensual genital surgery on the intersexed, and legislation must be screened with implications for the intersexed in mind. The past three years have convinced me that, while NGO involvement is helpful, it is not sufficient. Government needs to act as a catalyst. A modest Directorate with a Director, a deputy director and one or two administrative assistants-cum-project-officers, within the department for Women, Persons with Disabilities and Children, and with a mandate to engage with other Departments regarding the rights and needs of the intersexed, could achieve a great deal at minimal cost. My knowledge, experience, skills and commitment would be best deployed in such a context while my body still permits it.
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07/27/1978 When I was 18... 18 years old, I saw for the first time in my life... I saw an image of clarity. I saw a comic strip... a three panel comic strip that, though simple as it seemed, changed me... changed my being, changed who I am... Made me who I am... Enlightened me... The strip, Garfield, the comic strip was new... no more than maybe a month and a half since inception, since... since coming into existence... and there it was before me in print, I saw it... a comic strip... What was it called? Garfield. The story here is of a man, a plain man. He is Jon, but he is more than that... I will get to this later, but first let us say that he''s Jon, a plain man. And then there is a cat... Garfield. This is the nature of the world, here. When I see the world, the politics, the future, the... the satellites in space, and... the people who put them there... You can look at everything as a man and a cat... two beings, in harmony and at war... So, this strip I saw; this man, Jon, and the cat, Garfield, you see... Yes... hmm... It is about everything. This... little comic is, oh, lo and behold... not so little anymore. So yes, when I was 18, I saw this comic... and it hit me all at once, its power. I clipped it, and every day, I looked at it, and I said "Okay... let me look at this here. What is this doing to me? Why is this so powerful?" Jon Arbuckle, he sits here, legs crossed... comfortable in his home, and he reads his newspaper... The news of the world, perhaps... and then he extends his fingers lightly, delicately... he taps his fingers on an end table, and he feels for something... What is it? It is something he needs, but it is not there. And then he looks up, slightly cockeyed, and he thinks... His newspaper''s in his lap now, and he thinks this... Now where could my pipe be? This... I always come to this, because I was a young man... I''m older now, and I still don''t have the secrets, the answers, so this question still rings true, Jon looks up and he thinks... Now where could my pipe be? And then it happens... You see it, you see... it''s almost like divine intervention, suddenly it is there, and it overpowers you... A cat is smoking a pipe. It is the man''s pipe, it''s Jon''s pipe, but the cat... this cat, Garfield, is smoking the pipe... and from afar, and someplace near, but not clear... near but not clear... The man calls out... Jon calls out, he is shocked. "Garfield!" he shouts. Garfield. The cat''s name. But, let''s take a step back... let us examine this from all sides, all perspectives... and when I first came across this comic strip, I was at my father''s house... a newspaper had arrived, and I picked it up for him, and brought it inside. I organized its sections for him and then, yes, the comic strip section fell out from somewhere in the middle, and landed on the kitchen floor... I picked up the paper pages and saw, up somewhere near the top of this strip... just like Jon, I was wearing an aquamarine shirt. So I thought, "Ah, interesting. I''ll have to see this later." I snipped out the little comic, and held on to it... and five days later, I reexamined it... and it gripped me, I needed to find out more about this. The information I had was minimal, but enough... An orange cat named Garfield... Okay, that seemed to be the lynchpin of this whole operation, yes. Another clue... a signature in the bottom right corner, a man''s name... Jim Davis. Yes, I''m on to it for sure. So... one: Garfield, orange cat, and two: Jim Davis, the creator of this cat... And that curiously plain man. I did not know, at the time, that his name was Jon. This strip, you see, had no mention of this man''s name, and I''d never seen it before. But I had these clues; Jim Davis, Garfield. And then I saw more, I spotted the tiny copyright mark in the upper left corner. Copyright 1978 to... what is this? Copyright belongs to a... PAWS Incorporated... I use the local library and mail services to track down the information I was looking for... Jim Davis, a cartoonist, had created a comic strip about a cat, Garfield... and a man, Jon Arbuckle. Well, from that point on, I made sure I read the Garfield comic strips, though as I read each one, as each day passed... the strips seemed to resonate with me less and less... I sent letters to PAWS Incorporated, long letters, pages upon pages... asking if Mister Jim Davis could somehow publish just the one comic, over and over again... "It would be meditative," I wrote, "the strength of that." Could you imagine? But... no response... The strips lost their power, and eventually I stopped reading, but... I did not want my perceptions diluted, so I vowed to read the pipe strip over and over again... That is what I call it, "The Pipe Strip." The Pipe Strip. Everything about it is perfect. I can only describe it as a miracle creation, something came together... the elements aligned... It is like the comets, the cosmic orchestra that is up there over your head... The immense, enormous void is working all for one thing, to tell you one thing... Gas and rock, and purity, and nothing. I will say this... When I see the pipe strip... and I mean every single time I look at the lines, the colors, the shapes that make up the three panel comic... I see perfection. Do I find perfection in many things? Some things, I would say... Some things are perfect... and this is one of them. I can look at the little tuft of hair on Jon Arbuckle''s head... it is the perfect shade... The purple pipe in Garfield''s mouth... How could a mere mortal even MAKE this? I have a theory, about Jim Davis... After copious research and, yes, of course, now we have the internet, and this information is all readily available, but... Jim Davis, he used his life experiences to influence his comic... Like I mentioned before, none of them seem to have the weight of the pipe strip... But you have to wonder about the man who is able to even, just once, create the perfect form, a literally flawless execution of art, brilliance! Just as in a ward... I think there is a spiritual element at work... I''ve seen my share of bad times and... when you have something... Well, it''s just... emotions, and neurons in your brain, but... something tells you that it''s the truth... Truth''s radiant light. Garfield, the cat? Neurons in my brain, it''s... it''s harmony, you see? It... Jon and Garfield, it''s truly harmony, like a... continuous, looping, everlasting harmony... The lavender chair, the brown end table, the salmon-colored wall, the fore''s green carpeting, Garfield is hunched, perched... perhaps with the pipe stuck firmly between his jowls... His tail curls around. It''s more than shapes too, because... I... Okay, stay with me... I''ve done this experiment several times. You take the strip. You trace only the basic elements. You can do anything, you can simplify the shapes down to just... blobs, just outlines, but it still makes sense... You can replace the blobs with magazine cutouts of other things, replace Jon Arbuckle with a... car parked in a driveway sideways, cut that out of a magazine, stick it in... Replace him there in the second panel with a... a food processor... Okay, and then we put a picture of the planet in the third panel over Garfield... It still works. These are universal proportions. I don''t know... how best to explain why it works, I''ve studied the pipe strip, and analyzed Jon and Garfield''s proportions against several universal mathematical constants. E, Pi, the Golden Ratio, the Feigenbaum Constants, and so on... and it''s surprising... scary even, how things align. You can take just... tiny pieces of the pipe strip, for instance, take Jon''s elbow from the second panel... and take that, and project it back over Jon''s entire shape in the second panel, and you''ll see a near perfect Fibonacci sequence emerge... It''s eerie to me... and it makes you wonder if you''re in the presence of a deity, if there is some larger hand at work... There''s no doubt in my mind that Jim Davis is a smart man... Jim Davis is capable of anything to me... He is remarkable, but this is so far beyond that, I think we might see that... this work of art is revered and respected in years to come. Jim Davis is possibly a new master of the craft, a... a genius of the eye; they very well may say the same things about Jim Davis in five hundred years that we say about the great philosophical and artistic masters from centuries ago... Jim Davis is a modern day Socrates, or... Da Vinci... mixing both striking visual beauty with classical, daring, unheard-of intellect... Look, he combines these things to make profoundly simple expressions... This strip is his masterpiece... The Pipe Strip is his masterpiece... and it is a masterpiece and a marvel... I often look at Garfield''s... particular pose, in this strip. He is poised, and statuesque... and his cat stare is reminiscent of the fiery gazes often found in religious iconography... But still, his eyes are playful, lying somewhere between the solemn father''s expression in... Rembrandt''s "Return of the Prodigal Son," and the coy smirk of Da Vinci''s "Saint John The Baptist". His ears stick up, signifying a peaked readiness... It''s as if he could, at any moment, pounce; he is, after all, a close relative and descendant of the mighty jungle cats of Africa that could leap... after prey. You could see the power drawn into Garfield''s hind quarters, powerful haunches indeed. The third panel. And I''m just saying this now, this is just coming to me now... The third panel of the pipe strip is essentially a microcosm for the entire strip itself... All the power dynamics, the struggle for superiority, right? WHO has the pipe? WHERE is the pipe? All of that is drawn, built, layered into Garfield''s iconic pose here. You can see it in the curl of his tail... Garfield''s ear whiskers stick up, on end, the smoke billows, upward... drawing the eye upward... increasing the scope... I''m just... amazed... really, that after 33 years of reading, and analyzing the same comic strip, I''m able to find new dimensions. It''s a testament to the work... For six years, I delved into tobacco research, because... can a cat smoke? This is a metaphysical question... Yes, can any cat smoke? Do we know? Can just Garfield smoke? The research says no. Nicotine poisoning can kill animals, especially household pets. All it takes is the nicotine found in as little as a single cigarette. [ *Okamoto M, Kita T, Okuda H, Tanaka T, Nakashima T (Jul 1994). "Effects of aging on acute toxicity of nicotine in rats". Pharmacol Toxicol. 75 (1): 1-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0773.1994.tb00316.x. PMID 7971729 ] Surely, Jon''s pipe hold a substantial amount of tobacco, and it is true that pets living in the homes of smokers are nearly 25% more likely to develop some form of cancer... most likely due to secondhand smoke... but these are facts of smoking, its tolls on our world. But after visiting two tobacco processing plants in Virginia... and the Phillip Morris cigarette manufacturing facility, I came no closer to cracking the meaning. I was looking for any insight. A detective of a homicide case has to look at every angle, so I''m always taking apart the pipe strip. I focused on every minutiae, every detail of this strip. Jon Arbuckle''s clothing... I have replicas. I''m an expert in textiles... so, you see, this smoking thing was a hang-up for me... but it was the statement here... until... This is key, this is the breakthrough. The pipe is not a pipe, really. Obviously there is symbolism at work here... I saw that from the beginning, and I looked at the literal aspects of the strip to gain insight into the metaphors at play... I worked at a newspaper printing press for eighteen months, in the late 1980''s... I was learning the literal to inform the gestural... the subliteral, the in-between... Jon reading this newspaper means so much more than just... Jon reading the newspaper... but how could you ever hope to decipher the puzzle without knowing everything there is to know about newspapers?! Okay... for example... Jon holds his newspaper up with his left hand, thumb gripping the interior. I learned that this particular grip here was the newspaper grip of nineteenth century aristocrats... and this aristocrat grip was a point of contention that influenced the decision to move forward with prohibition... in the United States, in the early twentieth century! So Jon''s hand position is much more than that, it... it is a comment on class war... and the resulting reactionary culture... but I didn''t know about the aristocratic newspaper grip until I came across some microfiche archives at the printing press. It''s about information. You have to take it apart. ...and the breakthrough on the smoking cat came late... just eight years ago, actually. "Smoking cat" is an industry term. It''s what the smoking industry calls a tattletale teenager who tells on his friends after they''ve all tried smoking for the first time... and it is actually a foreign translation, bastardization of the term "smoking rat"... But the phrase was confused when secret documents went back and forth between China and America... These documents are still secret, and the only reason I know about the term is because I know a man, my friend. Let''s call him "Timothy," yeah... yes, it''s a fake name, for his protection. Timothy worked for Phillip Morris for sixteen years, and he had seen the documents... and when he told me, it was an Aha moment... and he said, "But how? How could this cartoonist, Jim Davis, know about this... obscure term from the mid-70''s, used exclusively by a few cigarette companies!?" This is still a mystery to me... but I connect the dots by noting Jim Davis'' childhood experiences on a farm. He must have seen something... What could it be? Timothy went on to tell me there was one particular smoking cat, a boy, from... yes, Indiana, a boy named Ernie Barguckle, who became a thorn in the side of the tobacco companies for a couple of years... He did more than tattle to his parents; he and his family took legal action, and they eventually received a huge settlement payout... But that name is too similar... Ernie Barguckle... Jon Arbuckle. Jim Davis must have used this. There''s more here. Ernie Barguckle spent nearly half of that settlement money on experimental medical procedures to cure his... impotence. He was impotent. So... he was a smoking cat with a... a metaphorical pipe, that did not work... Are you starting to see the layers here? This is exciting stuff, you start to get a whole picture here, and it informs the work! It''s... it''s just remarkable. Jim Davis took these raw ideas, these... pieces, and he transformed them into smart social commentary that is... all so ravishingly beautiful. I have cried. I''ve cried, I''ve cried... I''ve cried, cried over this piece. It just... gets in my soul. I try to explain this to people, I have... the newspaper articles about Ernie Barguckle... People have fought me on this, they don''t see it, or they''re close-minded, "How could a comic strip about a cat smoking a pipe mean any more than that?" But it is more... and when I feel spiritual, or start to think existentially, I still see this comic. Here''s something from 1981 that I wrote in thinking about the implications of this strip; this is just an excerpt here... there''s more before and after, but this part is the essence to me... If a comic about a cat smoking a pipe can be the only thing in the universe... then maybe this is the strongest evidence for that. *fumbles with tattered sheet from 1981* "Many of you say, ''Oh, but I am not blind. I have never been blind,''... But when you truly see, you will understand just how truly blind you once were to even think it right to say you were not blind. What does a blind man see? Blackness. Darkness. Blankness. Blank darkness. Dark blankness. The absence of things, quite literally NO thing. No things. Nothings. So, you see nothing, and I bring you into the light. A cat has your pipe! You''ve been blind, do you understand this!? The cat has your pipe. You can''t fully immerse yourself, you don''t have the light. You don''t have the radiance, the radical light, the radically radiant light of truth and truth''s belonging love, and nature of light, and loving truthful radiance. So don''t be bold, and make bold statements. I know of you. The cat has your pipe. The. Cat. Has. Your. Pipe. Remember that." *puts paper back in pocket* That writing, well... It''s kind of rough... Kind of an... early eighties feel... and I see that, but I''m still... I''m still proud of it. Sometimes I imagine that it is the editorial column in the newspaper Jon Arbuckle is reading. It''s an exercise in recursion, it''s like a vortex opens up... It''s like you hold two mirrors up to each other, one is reality and the other is a cartoon strip. Let''s see here... Oh yes, I must bring this up, because I think, surely, Jim Davis is again speaking on multiple levels by including the details set before us in the comic. Notice the glimpse of Jon Arbuckle''s foot in the first panel. The size of the shoe would indicate that maybe the man just has small feet... but a deeper investigation takes us to the footbinding rituals of certain Asian cultures. Inflicted usually on women for the desire of men, this practice was incredibly painful and crippling... Aha! Mister Davis is, here, presenting us with a man, or rather... "man", who engages in footbinding, a body modification for women, on top of "being without his pipe"... or impotent. This is a man facing extreme inner turmoil, the panels tell that story... subconsciously. Notice the background wall shading of the first panel points inward toward Jon in the second panel... and the sharp tapered end of the purple pipe in the third frame also points at John in the second panel, inward; the eye is drawn to the center panel. You can connect these points and draw a triangle across the panels, and this triangle will align with the reoriented points of Jon''s collar! This, this is majestic artwork! ...and to uncover this hidden order is... bliss like I''ve never known. Comforting, in an empty world. I can''t help but read the thought bubble, over and over again. Now where could my pipe be? Now where could my pipe be? It is a profound question. Why am I here? What is my purpose? It is reflection and self-examination here. It is facing the dust, the misery of a cold, careless universe. You can feel the weight of it. But where could my pipe be? One imagines the author, Jim Davis, teetering on the edge of insanity... his rationality, his lucidity, hovering over the void... and he seeks the truth. You can see it in the line quality of the drawings; the thoughtful, controlled outlines mixed with the... occasional, chaotic scribbles at work in the shadows and Garfield''s dark stripes. It''s almost as if Garfield is chaos himself. Yes, he is the embodiment of chaos, disorder, hatred, fear... Thievery, death, destruction, desolation! These are the things Garfield represents; HE stole the pipe, HE sits with his back to Jon, Garfield... Garfield, this chaos cat, Garfield has turned his back on everything, everyone! One recalls the great existential forces in literature... Camus'' Meursalt, Kafka''s Gregor Samsa, or Sartre''s Antoine Roquentin... Garfield the Cat sees the hopelessness of life, which...ah, yes... This is why Jim Davis has chosen smoking. It represents a recklessness, a... a disregard for what some would define as the beauty of life. Garfield may die from the nicotine, he may not... He defies life; he sits defiant, saying nothing, but looking as if he could say... "Then let me die... it does not matter." It does not matter. ...and we are faced with this; Could Jon behave the same? Is Jon the glimmer of hope? He seems to be unsure. Again, his question... "Now where could my pipe be?" indicates that he is wrestling with his own existence. The center panel centers the issue, and again, this hearkens to many of the great religious works of art. I''m talking about the Pipe Strip in relation to religion. It''s... it''s interesting to assign the roles of God... and anti-God, or, as many know him to be, the devil... or on a much larger scale, simply the forces of... good and evil. Garfield, the thief-cat, evil and malicious... He is the devil, placed to the right... and note, the two forms of Jon; the Jon on the left, still innocent, still draped in the... delight, of the lack of knowledge. He is... the humans in the Garden of Eden. He feels for his pipe... but he has yet to eat from the tree... and Garfield, the sinister serpent... and notice, notice how Jim Davis has framed this... The center Jon is locked in a struggle, between his innocence, and his knowledge of the truth... knowledge of the existence of evil. It is stunning. The great struggle, the struggle that transcends time... and Jim Davis floats over all this, as creator... the God, of sorts, in his own right. ... and he presents this cautionary message to us all; it is as if he is speaking from high and... he is saying, unto our awaiting ears... Where will you be, when the cat reveals himself? [-Jim 7:27:78] I can tell you where you''ll be. You will have a choice; you can face endless suffering, and eternal misery... You can be forced and beaten down with barbarians, who claw at each other just for a view of salvation. They''ll tear your eyeballs out, and rip your gizzards from end to end. They worship this cat, this... this false idol! This evil, horrible cat, do not be seduced by the cat and the pipe! Garfield... thy name is a mark of the demons of hell. Something like this, and to those listening, it is a stark reminder to follow the path of the first panel Jon; be humble, be grateful, honor the law, and honor thyself. Be true, and be good, and no harm will come to you... Pray for salvation, and it will be granted unto you. Be like Jon Arbuckle, as he lowers his head. Be like Jon Arbuckle as he lowers his paper, as he turns his head. Bow with Jon Arbuckle, and praise unto the creator, Jim Davis... and banish demon Garfield from your life. So, what is all this? What am I saying? Aha... hmm... What does all this mean? Why is this one comic strip so important to me... and why do I feel the need to share this? Obligation. I have an obligation to you all. This is a redemption, this is a belief in redemption, a sacrifice of all the obvious trappings of this false modern life. Look at the simplicity in this strip, in the pipe strip. Look at the simple clothes Jon wears, look at his simple, basic furniture... No adornments on the wall, even the very pipe his cat Garfield stole; it is a plain, modest pipe... and I have adapted this way of life, it speaks to me. In our times... well... you don''t need me to point out the hyperbole of our times; you have children being born eight or nine at a time, you have more money being spent on a single Hollywood movie than some nations can spend... feeding their starving people. Torture, distrust... Look around you, it''s overwhelming. What can you contribute? ...and every day, I look in the mirror, and I hold this comic up to the mirror, and I look into the mirror, and at this little comic strip. Be humble. Be thankful. It is a reminder, be respectful. You are a statue. You are fragile... and when you break, when you shatter... Where will those pieces go? Ask... ask, ask, ask this question. Will you ask? Humankind is only as great as you, YOU, the individual, it begins and ends with you! You must treat this expedition, this search, this... life, with a reverence and intensity found only in the smallest sticks. The littlest leaf, the tiniest stone! The most miniscule grain of sand... on a beach of billions! This is the secret. Do you want the pipe? Do you want to know where the pipe has gone? You ask yourself, you ask... you ask... you ask... Now where could my pipe be? When I was a young man... remember, now, I first saw this comic when I was eighteen years old... Ages ago... but I was youthful, vibrant. For weeks, I didn''t hide that a comic strip was having such a profound effect on me. I was much like Jon Arbuckle. In this middle panel, he says, "Now where could my pipe be?"... you could look into his eyes, his half-lowered eyes, and think to yourself... "Now, surely, Jon... Surely, you cannot be this naive... This is nothing new for you..." And if you''ve read more of the Garfield comic strips by Jim Davis, you understand what I am saying now; Garfield the cat does things like this all the time. He will take things from Jon; food, items, anything... This is his very nature. So you see this, and you want to say, "Jon Arbuckle, come now. You are lying to yourself. You are lying to yourself, and to all of us, if you pretend to have not... any idea of where your pipe has gone. Perhaps you think you''ve left it somewhere else, but... hmph, you''re not so forgetful. You are lying to yourself, ah... yes... You are lying to yourself, Jon Arbuckle. You know that Garfield has the pipe... somewhere, deep down, you know this. You don''t even need to think the question." And that was me when I saw this strip. One week passed, and each morning I''d open my drawer and slam it shut again. I would go to look at the comic... but I''d pause, and think... "Oh no, I don''t need this comic, I don''t n... I don''t NEED to look at it..." But there I was, lying to myself. I DID need to see it, and so I did, it''s... cathartic. You give in, and that is the transition, from the second panel of life, to the third panel of life! It is a simple story structure, the passage from the second act to the third, the twilight of things. Jon gives into his suspicions; he knows the truth, he''s ALWAYS known the truth, he yells out, "GARFIELD! GARFIELD! GARFIELD!" It is like... pressure from a steam valve, being released; the buildup is unbearable, and then... PSSHHWW, it''s gone. So it is like this... when I speak about the truth... the truth, the light, the radiance, this... this is the kind of thing I''m talking about. This is the essence of this brilliant work of art, the practical mixing, meeting, agreeing with the spiritual, it is all HERE. ...but spirituality is not an easy thing to confront. You might find yourself able to wrap your mind around a simple math problem, or a basic newspaper article, or... but intellect... is much less subjective. What is spirituality... and how have I found spiritual peace and serenity in Garfield? A long time ago, after I encountered the Pipe Strip... I spent some time, as I mentioned before, soul-searching. When something impacts you, or alters your very perception so greatly, there is a long period of confusion, recovery time... It''s as if you don''t know who you are, and that can be a... a very scary prospect, especially if you thought you had a good grasp on that sort of thing. Imagine if Jim Davis did not know who he was. Would he be capable of shaping the cultural landscape as he''s done? No. No, of course he wouldn''t. ...and how about his characters? Jon... what if Jim Davis suddenly woke up, and didn''t know who Jon was? What if he couldn''t make the informed decisions to accurately depict Garfield''s personality, because of... he could no longer specify, or demarcate the boundaries of Garfield''s behavior? What kind of comic would THAT be? You see? So draw the parallel. I saw this comic and, yes, I was disoriented... and if I didn''t reconcile this issue with myself, what kind of person would I be? Undoubtedly dire circumstances, but remember; this was not a math problem, this was not an article, this was not something I could just... figure out... and as skeptical as I was, I realized that faith and spirituality were avenues that... required exploring. At first I tried... long nights, reading Garfield by candlelight, or... aromatic meditation settings, while thinking of Garfield, but... nothing snapped. Nothing clicked, I still felt lost... but I kept it up, I hired a shaman, and a young... personal Yogi Sikh Guru; Avram Dahb Singh Sahib. I pushed and pushed, determined to find myself. And then, a miracle happened. Upon retrieving my morning paper, to clip the Garfield comic... I noticed a young girl, selling lemonade two houses down. She sat, occupied at her stand. She had no customers in sight. So, I approached, and saw that she was coloring. I looked at her drawing... Three rectangular boxes. A man, in a blue shirt. An orange cat. I knew what this was. Even in her crude scribbles, I knew EXACTLY what this was. She was drawing a Garfield comic. I looked at her words, and I saw that, in her strip, Jon asked Garfield to retrieve a newspaper. Heh, funny... since I''d done just that with myself... Garfield is sarcastic, but agrees to. He returns and calls Jon... "Sahib". Jon exclaims that the paper''s all chewed up, but then Garfield says, and I quote, "Sahib asks fish, paper is wet. Sahib asks cat, paper is holey." I remember the words, and ran back to my house, and thought, "How odd that Sahib shows up in the strip, and my spiritual advisor''s name is Avram Dahb Singh Sahib!" Coincidence surely, but, nonetheless, I spent the next sixteen hours poring through my clipped Garfield comics, looking for the strip this young girl had been coloring... I couldn''t find it... and I eventually fell asleep, right on my kitchen table. Next morning, I retrieved my paper again, and I clipped the Garfield comic. The date was July 12th, 1983. There it was. The Sahib Strip, in all its glory. The girl had been drawing the next day''s strip! So, I ran right out of my house, I ran back to where she was... but she was gone, and in place of the lemonade stand was a "For Sale" sign. They''d moved out. I rushed back to my house to call Avram, but... I was informed that he''d moved away as well. I reeled, for several hours, and then it all connected for me. It was meant to be. It w... it was meant to be this way! Jim Davis... Jon, Garfield... It was always meant to be this way for me.... They move to the forefront, and everything else fades away, EVERYTHING else; the girl, the lemonade stand, Avram Dahb Singh Sahib, it all existed to show me the way, and when I''d found the way... Everything else melted away. It was a beautiful miracle... and if July 27th, 1978, the day I first saw the pipe strip... was the first day of my life, then that day, July 12th, 1983, was the second day of my life. I''ve never looked back. Garfield has transformed me... and I am a man, born anew, because of Garfield. When I was in my mid-thirties, I was interviewed for a documentary... It was a documentary on the subject of cat behavior. Now, I''ve had cats my whole life; I have three cats now, and at the time of this documentary interview, I had four cats. I sat down for the interview and was joined by a veterinarian who specialized in felines: Doctor Caroline Wellmitz was her name, I believe... and the doctor discussed colorblindness in animals, and how it affects their behavior. She specifically brought up the fact that cats are red-green colorblind; they can see colors, but they can''t tell the difference between red and green ...and look at the color choice in this strip here. Garfield sits on a green floor, behind a pinkish red wall. I heard this, and I immediately pulled a copy of the comic from my wallet to show to the doctor... I moved so fast, I''m sure I nearly scared her, I... pointed at the paper and said, "Like this! Like this! Look, at this here! This cat, Garfield, he''s colorblind, he must be! That must be the answer here... like this." As over-excited as I was, I managed to take in her response; she said "Yes, a cat in this room would have a hard time differentiating the wall from the floor. Add to that a cat''s known spatial confusion, and you have the makings of a Cat Rage room." Now, she informed me that this isn''t exactly common knowledge among cat owners... but a seasoned cat owner, or someone particularly perceptive will have picked up on it. So what''s incredible here is not only is Garfield''s behavior symbolic of the devil, and all the evil constructs in the world, but... but, but... but also, it is rooted in science and scientific fact. Look at that. You cannot spell fact without "cat". Hah, just a little joke there... just some wordplay, but getting back on track... ...and you can''t spell track without "cat." Okay... I digress. I gotcha, I gotcha, enough... kidding around. It is established here that Garfield is in a rage; an ultimate rage of fury and hatred, caused by colorblindness. We know the "what", we know the "why"... but let us examine the "how", the how of his rage is particularly interesting here. We''ve looked at his posture and called it "powerful", "in control", "statuesque", "etc., etc." Composed rage... It''s peculiar, and I''ve talked to a number of psychologists and psychiatrists, and even a couple of anger management therapists about this concept... Could we see the same kind of behavior in a human? Is Garfield representative of something more specific than just chaos and rage? Deciphering this is going to take some perseverance. for sure. The psychologists pointed to a phenomenon in humans, and, yes, I believe one of the anger management counselors brought it up as well. The idea that people, oftentimes, will bottle their rage... Garfield the cat, here... well, he could be bottling his anger, inside, shoving it deep into his cat gut, to ignore and deal with at a later time. Eh, well... No, that''s not exactly right. Garfield has already acted out, he''s already stolen the pipe... he''s SMOKING the pipe, he''s already dealt with his anger. He''s already lashed out, so, psychologically, what is going on here? What is this cat doing, and how does it impact his owner, Jon Arbuckle... psychologically? Well, Garfield is angry. He is acting on his anger... but is this passive anger, or aggressive anger? Passive. It is passive because if Garfield has a problem with Jon specifically... he''s choosing a passive way of dealing with that problem. He has not confronted Jon, and said, "Jon, I have a problem with the way you''ve decorated this room; as a cat, I am colorblind, and this room sends me into a rage... You''ve created a rage room for me here, and I don''t like it; I want you to change it." Instead of that confrontational approach, though, Garfield has chosen to steal Jon''s pipe... and that, in turn, angers Jon... but Jon decides to be aggressively angry, and yell at Garfield, so... now, instead of a calm conversation between two respectful parties, you have two... heated, angry individuals, each with a problem and no direct line to solving it. The layered emotions here tell a story with tight, focused brevity that would make Hemingway weep. This is an entire drama, in just three panels, people. ...but let''s not be remiss, and miss the humor of the situation, the... absurdity of it all... for certainly, there is a reason that the visual shorthand for drama includes both the crying mask AND a laughing mask. Comedy and tragedy complement each other, and meld together to create drama, tension, the height of humanity, the peak of art, that reflects back to us our own condition... ...and here... in its basest form, we can laugh at this comic... yes, COMIC, in which a cat smokes a pipe... Hah... when was the last time you''ve SEEN such a thing in your life? Never, I presume... I certainly never have... The Greek muse, Thalia''s presence is strong in this work of art, here. Comedy, it is COMEDY... and if you look at the structure again, you''ll see this perfect form of thirds works magically for the transmission of, yes, YES, a JOKE. The joke.... is as old as time... even cavemen told jokes, and the joke here is that Jon has lost his pipe... or he thinks he has... but lo and behold, it is the cat, Garfield, who has the pipe. Surprise, surprise, the cat is smoking! Again, the transition, from set-up to punchline takes place between the second and third panels... but make no mistake, the comic is more than just a comic... Yes, it IS funny, of course it is... it is operating at the height of sophisticated humor, on par with any of Shakespeare''s piercing wit. On the one hand, Garfield the comic, with Jon the man, humor as art... the other hand, Garfield comic, with Jon the man, stirring... no, RIVETING drama... as with everything, it is tension, and release. TENSION... and RELEASE... A cycle. I keep returning to this idea, because it is so omnipresent. Yes, you could... and yes, I have done this, on more than one occasion... you could print this comic strip on a giant piece of paper. The dimensions would be something like... thirty-four inches by eleven inches. Now, tape the ends together, with the comic facing inward. Stick your head in the middle of this Garfield comic loop and READ, start at the first panel; Jon is reading the newspaper... he feels for something on the end table. Second panel; he sets the newspaper down, something is not right... "Where could my pipe be?" he thinks. ...and then, the payoff; the third panel, Garfield has Jon''s pipe, and is smoking it. But, aha! The paper is in a loop, around your head... so that you can see that, once again, Jon is in his seat, reading the paper... and so on, and so on, you can literally read the comic strip for an eternity! I spent many a relaxing Sunday afternoon reading this strip, over and over... reminded of the Portuguese death carvings, which always begin and end with the same scrawled image. [fig. 6b - Portuguese Death Carving c. 1330] So, this idea of repetition, of the beginning being the end, and the end being the beginning... It''s not new, it is an ageless tradition among the best storytellers humanity has ever offered... and I''m not wrong to include cartoonist Jim Davis in that exalted set for this particular strip alone I''m not foolish enough to deny that great art is subjective... divisive, even, and that some people see this Garfield comic and shrug with no real reaction... but I will say that I believe everyone in the world should see it; at the very least, see it! You should all see it. Read it. Spend some time with it. Spend an hour reading it... what''s an hour? Yes, you could watch some television program, you could play some fast-paced video games or computer games, yes, you could do all those things... But it''s just an hour... and if you give this strip a chance, if you look into Jon Arbuckle''s eyes... if you look into Jon Arbuckle''s SOUL... You might find that you''ll really be looking into your own soul. It is self discovery, that is what I''m talking about here... YOU have the opportunity, the possibility... it could change you. Don''t be afraid. You know, just last week, I was eating lunch near the Municipal Court... like I do every Thursday, and... there was a plumbing banner... a plumbing van, parked out in front, uh... and a man, a plumber, would step out from the court, and retrieve something from this every so often. A few times, this happened... I thought nothing of it; just a plumber, doing some work at the Municipal Court... but then he came out, and looked through his van, and it was clear... He couldn''t find something. I noticed, and thought, "Well, that''s sort of similar to the Garfield comic, in a way. Someone looks for something, can''t find it,"... but, yes, that probably happens billions of times a day around the world... ...but then, this plumber... put his hands on his hips... then, he scratched his head, and he said aloud... "Now, where could my pipe wrench be?" Well, at this, I leaped off the bench, sandwich still in hand, and I rushed over, I shouted, "What was that you said!?" He looked at me and said, "What? I can''t find my pipe wrench, " and I said, "No! No, no, say it... like how you just said it..." He scratched his head, and repeated, "Now where could my pipe wrench be?" I slapped him on the back and said, "Garfield!" He looked so confused, so I said it again... then, I said "Your orange cat took it!" Heh... ah, then I laughed and laughed... and he smiled, and went back into the courtroom. I walked away, knowing that the plumber and I, two complete strangers, bonded over this Garfield comic... You see, life imitates art, becomes a common ground. I have a feeling that if I see this plumber again, we''ll be sharing stories like two old friends... because we''ve been united by art. We have a common love for Jim Davis and his characters, his writings... The humor, the drama, the... that rascal Garfield, the cat... Oh, and by the way, if you''re wondering what I was having for lunch that day, it was a ham sandwich with an apple and potato chips... in a bag, I had a soda as well. I think it''s important to view the Pipe Strip in philosophical terms... We''ve touched briefly on the notion of existentialism; that theme is very prevalent in this strip. Garfield is, in fact, a modern existential anti-hero... but if Garfield embodies the bewilderment in a meaningless life, what is Jon? What are the telltale signs that inform Jon''s philosophical standpoint? His approach, what style of thinking he represents? Jon is depicted as being grounded in the material world... a world of things; he is surrounded by objects, and he touches these objects, he interacts with them. The newspaper, the end table, the chair... his clothes, all these physical things make up Jon''s world. In some sense, even his cat Garfield is an object to him, a thing... The first ideology that comes to mind when thinking of objects in the tangible world... is pragmatism... Is Jon Arbuckle a pragmatist? His beliefs stem from a useful, coherent view of his environment... a sort of cause-and-effect understanding of his world helps him. A: Deduce that his pipe is missing... and B: Catches his cat, Garfield, using the pipe. This kind of empirical and logical thinking lends credence to the idea that Jon is, indeed, a pragmatist... Although, it is hard to entirely ignore the rest of the Garfield comic canon. While Garfield is consistently anarchic, and embraces the chaos and absurdity of life... Jon Arbuckle exhibits an erratic, unpredictable mix of philosophical behaviors. At times, he is borderline; delusional, an idealist, an almost slap-happy version of Don Quixote. Other moments, he is rigid, nearly to the point of being obsessive... somewhat like a structuralist, and certainly has streaks of sarcasm and negativity that might classify him as a skeptic. ...But isn''t there some universal truth in this approach? How can any one man, how can Jon Arbuckle be just one thing? How can any of us be just one thing? We''re... an amalgamation of ideas, of emotions... conducts and functions, thoughts and feelings... Jon Arbuckle may very well inhabit tenets of nearly every major philosophical tract known to man. We all might. Characters are reduced, to make them recognizable, definable; a story needs a good guy, a story needs a bad guy... but rarely is one person defined in such black and white terms. Even Garfield, with all his bad behavior, Machiavellian motivation and general ne''er-do-well attitude, can be kind and thoughtful. You just have to find that rare strip. Speaking philosophically about the entire Garfield franchise, it''s an incredibly accurate depiction of life. Its bold lines and bright colors are merely a facade, a... a red herring, a lie. This cartoon is not a cartoon at all, it is not a... caricature. It is not caricature despite adopting caricature as its visual style and tone. ...but I don''t really like to speak in broad sweeping generalizations about Garfield. The comic has been running for over thirty years, and to try and boil that all down is just, well... it''s impossible. I think the only way that any historian worth his salt will agree with me is to look at individual moments... isolated instances, single comic strips. Can I discuss this one strip in the context of the entire run of Garfield? Yes, I do that just as a film historian might analyze one movie in relation to the history of all movies, or a war enthusiast might look at a single battle''s impact on an entire war. The Pipe Strip is just an instance in the lives of Jon and Garfield. Perhaps Jon is not a pragmatist at all... let''s look at this again. Maybe Jon is exhibiting the traits of a rationalist thinker; his question, "Now where could my pipe be?" is a clue that his thought process stems from the early rationalist questions posed by René Descartes. The well-known quote, "I think, therefore I am," attributed to Descartes, is applicable. Another close look at the strip, and we see that Jim Davis chose to draw Jon thinking his question. "Now where could my pipe be?" Jon does not speak this question aloud, so Jim Davis is also exploring the mind/body duality... Jon''s question operates on the level of a literal question... but it also examines the nature of reality. Jim Davis'' epistemological approach tells us something about the human condition; Jon''s thoughts remain the focal point of this strip. The comic is, quite literally, centered around his thought. "Now where could my pipe be?" This is his reality, this is where cognition, and the power and function of the mind take over. As Plato believed, the body is just a shell for Jon Arbuckle; yes, he can use his physical body to read his paper or cross his legs, but these inputs of touch, sight, hearing, et cetera, these senses are the triggers of the mind, as we see here, the mind... is something greater. It is the originator of ideas, and ideas are forever. Immortal. Immortality through thought, a... a major theme in literature and philosophy... ...and isn''t that what Mister Jim Davis himself has achieved? Will he live forever? The universe will continue to spread, and spread outward, and... entropy will turn a chaotic infinity into a homogenous, controlled system. This will take billions of years, and in that time, humans will push technology to heights we can''t imagine. We''ll explore and inhabit space, and occupy more and more of the universe, just as time allowed our ancestors to... multiply in numbers, and populate more and more of the Earth. ...and as the specific people come and go, their physical bodies will be born, and grow, and die... but their thoughts will remain... and Jim Davis'' comics, his glorious Garfield comics... are recorded ideas of his, that will still be here. Even when the Earth is no longer inhabitable, and humanity has long since moved away to bigger planets, they''ll carry with them a record, a record we all keep; mark my words... and look at what we''ve started, what is... What is the internet? What is the online world, if not a record? Never-ending feed of ideas, immortal ideas... forever placed in the ether of dualism. What is an idea? Where does it live? How does it manifest itself? Can it live forever? Will it live forever, outside of these physical husks of ours, our bodies? ...and Jon Arbuckle, and Garfield, started merely as thoughts... but they''ve become so much more. That old cliché rings true, they''ve taken on a life of their own... and life may not be what we think. Life brings to mind a beating heart, breathing lungs, blinking eyes... ...but the real life is in our imaginations... and who better embodies the definition of imagination if not a simple man... a cartoonist, who puts his ideas to paper so that they may live on, so that our children, and our children''s children, and their children''s children''s children can access the wealth of ideas that have accumulated thus far... They will plug themselves into an information grid, and they will have access... They will read every Garfield comic, 80,000 years from now, a child will see a simple Jon Arbuckle, reading a newspaper. He will feel around for something, but that something is not there... He will lift his head and think... "Now where could my pipe be?" ...and Garfield will be smoking the pipe, and Jon will yell "GARFIELD!" ...and what then? 80,000 years from now? The child reading this comic will smile... and that smile will transcend space and time and the physical limitations of this existence, whatever they may be, however many dimensions exist... There will always be Garfield... and there will always be its creator... Jim Davis. "It is through art, and through art only, that we can realize our perfection." -Oscar Wilde
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DailyFreeBooks : Get the latest free ebooks for Kindle every day at Daily Free Books A daily roundup of all the newest free Kindle eBooks in easy to navigate format. You can also sign up for our newsletter if you wish and have a daily email alert with daily free books from genres of your choice.
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Mini Writes | Blog by Mini Garg – True Engrossment of a Reader is Real Profession of a Writer True Engrossment of a Reader is Real Profession of a Writer
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Mini Writes | Blog by Mini Garg – True Engrossment of a Reader is Real Profession of a Writer True Engrossment of a Reader is Real Profession of a Writer
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Al-Mawrid A Foundation for Islamic Research and Education Al-MawridA Foundation for Islamic Research and EducationAs a legatee of the rich intellectual tradition in Muslim history, Al-Mawrid Global is a unique institution of learning. A deep concern over the dearth of suitable approaches to Islamic learning in our times gave birth to this institution at the dawn of the fifteenth century. Lost in the maze of sectarian prejudices and political wrangling, the true message of Islam, based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah, has become alien to the Muslims. The Qur’an, which is the foundation of this religion, is rarely approached for purposes other than oral delivery or rote learning. In the madrasas, those disciplines of learning that were at best a possible means to understanding the Qur’an have become an end in themselves. The Hadith has been isolated from its foundations in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and the primary focus now is on the foundational principles and the emanating discourses of a particular school of thought and on the polemics to establish their superiority over those of others.As an institution, al-Mawrid is a name that symbolizes the effort to redress this problem. Therefore, the basic objective of this institution is facilitation and perpetuation of explanatory and research work on the true understanding of Islam, the publication and mass communication of this understanding through all possible means, and augmentation of people’s knowledge and education through its dissemination.As an institution, Al-Mawrid Global is a name that symbolizes the effort to redress this problem. Therefore, the basic objective of this institution is facilitation and perpetuation of explanatory and research work on the true understanding of Islam, the publication and mass communication of this understanding through all possible means, and augmentation of people’s knowledge and education through its dissemination.Following are the salient features of the strategy we have adopted to achieve the objective outlined above:A global movement of Tazkir bi al-Qur’an (reminding people through the Qur’an) shall be initiated.People shall be educated on the divine law, articles of faith and moral principles derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah.Researchers and scholars adhering to the true understanding of Islam shall be affiliated to the institution through the fellowship scheme, and their research, education and dawah work be facilitated as far as possible.People shall be motivated to set up, wherever possible:institutions of Islamic learning to produce religious scholars and researchers with a true vision and understanding of Islam.schools (up to the intermediate / high school / A levels) to provide students with high quality education and training in an environment where their creativity is encouraged and due attention is given to developing sound awareness of their religious and cultural heritage.weekend schools to provide students from other schools with instruction in the Qur’an through the Qur’an itself in such a manner as enables them to remain committed to their religion from the depth of heart, mind and soul in their later years.religious and spiritual sanctuaries where people can find a break from their worldly and mundane routines to benefit from the company of scholars and pious people, learn religion from them, and focus on worship and the prayer to purge their hearts and mindsThe administration of Al-Mawrid Global is in the hands of its Board of Governors. The administrative system is founded on democratic principles. The President of the institution serves as the academic and intellectual patron, and the Secretary General is entrusted with its administrative affairs.Al-Mawrid Global is a charity registered in Scotland (no. SC044505), and the institution accepts contributions from all those who agree with its objectives.The institution has its world-wide presence through its country chapters. Following are the details:Australia ChapterCountry Director: Dr Zulfiqar KhanEmail: info.au@al-mawrid.orgCanada ChapterCountry Director: Tariq HussainEmail: info.ca@al-mawrid.orgHind ChapterCountry Director: Shadab HashmiEmail: info.in@al-mawrid.orgUK ChapterCountry Director:Dr. Abeeda QureshiEmail: info.uk@al-mawrid.orgUS ChapterCountry Director: Shokaib ArifEmail: info.us@al-mawrid.orgThe institution also has the following affiliate websites:www.hamid-uddin-farahi.orgwww.amin-ahsan-islahi.orgwww.javedahmadghamidi.comwww.drfarooqkhan.comwww.abdus-sattar-ghauri.org www.khalidzaheer.comwww.studying-islam.org www.exploring-islam.comwww.monthly-renaissance.com www.inzaar.orgwww.tadabbur-i-quran.org
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Al-Mawrid A Foundation for Islamic Research and Education Al-MawridA Foundation for Islamic Research and EducationAs a legatee of the rich intellectual tradition in Muslim history, Al-Mawrid Global is a unique institution of learning. A deep concern over the dearth of suitable approaches to Islamic learning in our times gave birth to this institution at the dawn of the fifteenth century. Lost in the maze of sectarian prejudices and political wrangling, the true message of Islam, based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah, has become alien to the Muslims. The Qur’an, which is the foundation of this religion, is rarely approached for purposes other than oral delivery or rote learning. In the madrasas, those disciplines of learning that were at best a possible means to understanding the Qur’an have become an end in themselves. The Hadith has been isolated from its foundations in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and the primary focus now is on the foundational principles and the emanating discourses of a particular school of thought and on the polemics to establish their superiority over those of others.As an institution, al-Mawrid is a name that symbolizes the effort to redress this problem. Therefore, the basic objective of this institution is facilitation and perpetuation of explanatory and research work on the true understanding of Islam, the publication and mass communication of this understanding through all possible means, and augmentation of people’s knowledge and education through its dissemination.As an institution, Al-Mawrid Global is a name that symbolizes the effort to redress this problem. Therefore, the basic objective of this institution is facilitation and perpetuation of explanatory and research work on the true understanding of Islam, the publication and mass communication of this understanding through all possible means, and augmentation of people’s knowledge and education through its dissemination.Following are the salient features of the strategy we have adopted to achieve the objective outlined above:A global movement of Tazkir bi al-Qur’an (reminding people through the Qur’an) shall be initiated.People shall be educated on the divine law, articles of faith and moral principles derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah.Researchers and scholars adhering to the true understanding of Islam shall be affiliated to the institution through the fellowship scheme, and their research, education and dawah work be facilitated as far as possible.People shall be motivated to set up, wherever possible:institutions of Islamic learning to produce religious scholars and researchers with a true vision and understanding of Islam.schools (up to the intermediate / high school / A levels) to provide students with high quality education and training in an environment where their creativity is encouraged and due attention is given to developing sound awareness of their religious and cultural heritage.weekend schools to provide students from other schools with instruction in the Qur’an through the Qur’an itself in such a manner as enables them to remain committed to their religion from the depth of heart, mind and soul in their later years.religious and spiritual sanctuaries where people can find a break from their worldly and mundane routines to benefit from the company of scholars and pious people, learn religion from them, and focus on worship and the prayer to purge their hearts and mindsThe administration of Al-Mawrid Global is in the hands of its Board of Governors. The administrative system is founded on democratic principles. The President of the institution serves as the academic and intellectual patron, and the Secretary General is entrusted with its administrative affairs.Al-Mawrid Global is a charity registered in Scotland (no. SC044505), and the institution accepts contributions from all those who agree with its objectives.The institution has its world-wide presence through its country chapters. Following are the details:Australia ChapterCountry Director: Dr Zulfiqar KhanEmail: info.au@al-mawrid.orgCanada ChapterCountry Director: Tariq HussainEmail: info.ca@al-mawrid.orgHind ChapterCountry Director: Shadab HashmiEmail: info.in@al-mawrid.orgUK ChapterCountry Director:Dr. Abeeda QureshiEmail: info.uk@al-mawrid.orgUS ChapterCountry Director: Shokaib ArifEmail: info.us@al-mawrid.orgThe institution also has the following affiliate websites:www.hamid-uddin-farahi.orgwww.amin-ahsan-islahi.orgwww.javedahmadghamidi.comwww.drfarooqkhan.comwww.abdus-sattar-ghauri.org www.khalidzaheer.comwww.studying-islam.org www.exploring-islam.comwww.monthly-renaissance.com www.inzaar.orgwww.tadabbur-i-quran.org
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Tamfitronics Engineering Consultancy, Electrical, Electronics, Project Management, Manufacturing, Products Marketing and General Services
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The fellowship of light-shiners outside the Mat 5 "bushel" in the Darkness we call "politics".
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Future Pastor A blog for the encouragement of people who serve God, especially those who look forward to the often mysterious, sometimes bizarre, seldom desired, perhaps unpopular, truly noble, and eternally...
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Premium Custom Personalized Vinyl Decals from Jack and Lu Jack and Lu specializes in Premium Custom Personalized Vinyl Transfer Decals and Stickers. All of our decals are made in the USA.
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Home: Individual Therapy | Attachment | Cedar Park TX 78750 Jennifer Baca provides mindfulness, attachment and depth based counseling and therapy services for adults, adolescents, and children in both Downtown Austin and Northwest Austin and Cedar Park, TX.
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Home: Individual Therapy | Attachment | Cedar Park TX 78750 Jennifer Baca provides mindfulness, attachment and depth based counseling and therapy services for adults, adolescents, and children in both Downtown Austin and Northwest Austin and Cedar Park, TX.
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Premium Custom Personalized Vinyl Decals from Jack and Lu Jack and Lu specializes in Premium Custom Personalized Vinyl Transfer Decals and Stickers. All of our decals are made in the USA.
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Align With Abundance - AligningWithAbundance.com - Applying the Law of Attraction to Your Prosperity, Passion & Purpose in Life
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Zutasia We provide Convenient Shopping service to our individual shoppers, businesses and corporate clients. Our team is dedicated to continuously growing our categories and fine tuning our services to always deliver to each customer that “Promise of More”.
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Kvetoslav Minarik''s School of Teachings Official Web Site for the Kvetoslav Minarik''s School of Teachings (Czech, Deutsch, English)
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Bill Prickett, Author Writer, blogger, cultural observer, gay Christian, former ex-gay leader exposing fraud of reparative therapy; long-time Bible teacher, advocate for equality; author of two novels about the impact of Deep South’s ingrained religious dogma.
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jeetmp3.com Search & Free Download MP3 Songs from YouTube| Now Downloading | Top Songs | Fresh Music, Search For Your Favorite Songs From our MP3 Database
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† StillAlive666.narod.ru - нижегородский сайт о финских группах и не только... †
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Psychological Enrichment Center Provides information about Psychological Enrichment Center Services and Staff as well as information about EEG Biofeedback and Neurofeedback
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Align With Abundance - AligningWithAbundance.com - Applying the Law of Attraction to Your Prosperity, Passion & Purpose in Life
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Reiki Healing - An Introduction | Health and Happiness and a Long Life Through Reiki Healing! Reiki is the fusion of two Japanese words, rei and ki, essentially meaning "Higher Energy" or "Source Energy". It is an intelligent and compassionate force and remembering this is the key to understanding how Reiki heals. Reiki is considered to be a divine energetic force and differentiates itself from other energy modalities in this way. Most other forms of healing are focused on the balance and stimulation of what the Japanese call ki, a vital energy or animating force, which is considered to be the basis of all things in existence. Similar in concept to the Chinese qi (or chi) and the Indian prana, ki is the basic building block of all that is. Most healing modalities focus on this form of energy. Reiki, on the other hand, is considered to be an even deeper Connective Force. It is generally considered to be of a higher consciousness than ki and is believed to be the very essence of that which many call "God", a powerful and unifying force that ties all else together into a cooperative Whole. Similar in this sense to ki, Reiki is the supreme basis of everything in existence; the very Source and Essence of All That Is, the most true part of us all. How Reiki Heals: An Intelligent Force To learn how Reiki heals and to make sense of the healing process, it is important that you understand the intelligence that is inherent to the Reiki Energy. Unlike other healing modalities, which require the practitioner to consciously direct and stimulate energy throughout the body system, Reiki requires only that a positive intention be held. When a Reiki practitioner positions his or her hands near a body, there is absolutely no need for conscious direction of Reiki Energy into that body or any specific part of that body. The key to understanding how Reiki heals is to realize that Reiki has a consciousness of its own and knows precisely what is needed for each individual person or animal or situation being treated. How Reiki Heals: The Channel Although often referred to as a "healer", the Reiki practitioner is more like a channel, allowing pure Reiki Energy to flow through them into the body of the person or animal in need of attention. By simple hand placement and an open mind, the Reiki practitioner allows the Reiki Energy to work its own miraculous wonders by its own Intelligence. How Reiki Heals: Your Personal Connection How Reiki heals is unique in each individual case, but the basic understanding of what is occurring remains the same. Reiki is the primal energy of the universe guided and directed by the highest wisdom of the universe. It is not some detached vapor that miraculously descends from heaven. Its healing ability is so powerful because it is a part of you. In order to understand how Reiki heals, you must understand that, as strange as it may seem, Reiki knows you; knows your needs, and knows how to meet those needs. This is why Reiki can be effective from a distance. This is how Reiki can be used for self-healing. This is precisely how Reiki heals. How Reiki Heals: Reiki Is For Everyone! Understanding how Reiki heals is empowering because it means that anyone can learn to tap into its benefits, both for themselves and for those around them. Unfortunately, since its introduction to the Western world 70 years ago, Reiki has remained very exclusive to a select few due to the phenomenally high cost of training and general secrecy regarding its philosophy and use. Much has changed more recently, though, and many have agreed that Reiki is for everyone. Reiki Healing Hands What Are Reiki Healing Hands? Healing hands could be the term offered to persons that have been attuned to the healing power ofReiki Healing and can perform Reiki channelling of this power by way of their hands. What is Reiki? Reiki is usually a kind of hands on healing, with its origins in India plus the East dating back a lot of thousands of years to the time ahead of Christ and Buddha. Usui Reiki is a strategy of reiki developed by Dr Mikao Usui in the 19th century. Usui himself produced the name REIKI, Rei which means Universal and Ki meaning Life force. Usui created this system of reiki to ensure that any person could practice hands on healing. He wanted reiki to become universal so that whatever religious or cultural background you held you'd have the ability to turn out to be a reiki master. Adults and kids alike can practice Usui Reiki. Reiki may be the gift of vitality and self preservation encoded into the genetic makeup of all Gods creatures. It's the higher selfs connection to the universal power that breathes life into all living tissues. We are all born with the omniscient wisdom to heal and preserve life, with all living things connected by the Universal Life Force, the non physical ubiquitous energy that provides life to just about every living organism. How Are you able to Obtain Reiki? It is possible to obtain Reiki from a certified Reiki practitioner. You are able to also perform Reiki on oneself by understanding Reiki. We think that The Essence Of Reiki home Study Course would be the greatest home study course about, to find out about Reiki, we employed this course and discovered it very uncomplicated to follow and enjoyable. Right after completing the course you may be a certified Usui Reiki Master and Animal Reiki Master. The Benefits of Hands On Reiki Healing Reiki can help you boost every single aspect of your life and support to retain ongoing wellness and prevent illness. It is actually for everybody and can be applied to heal adults, youngsters, babies, an unborn youngster and also pets. It's a safe and straightforward therapy option that can be made use of to complement and enhance the effects with the regular wellness care an individual receives within the hospital or wellness centre. Indeed, Reiki is made use of within a broad range of settings like hospitals, hospices, cancer support groups, post-operative recovery as well as in drug rehabilitation. Reiki can also be applied with other natural healing therapies which include meditation, crystals and aroma therapy, with Reiki reinforcing the effect of thesehealing therapies. Our Knowledge Of Healing Hands As Usui Reiki Masters we've received and performed Reiki on numerous occasions. We really feel that the healing power of Reiki is an extraordinary thing and we really feel extremely relaxed afterwards. The most beneficial approach to fully grasp what healing hands are or really feel like would be to experience it for your self Reiki Hand Positions. As soon as you've received the very first degree attunement, from a Reiki Master that you are ready to work using the universal life force. Nevertheless, it really is vital that you just realise as with every profession there's a must 1st practice and master the abilities connected with healing including the correct Reiki Hand Positions to get a Reiki Self Therapy. Madam Takata taught her students to heal themselves initially, then their families, then their good friends. Only then did she think they would be adequately qualified and in a position to operate as a practitioner and heal other people. Finding out the Reiki Hand Positions can be comparable to when someone very first learns to drive an auto they need time, practice and experience to master what appears to be a rather complicated set of procedures. Nevertheless, within a fairly brief space of time they're able to drive safely and effortlessly as they unconsciously manage the car and all the many abilities associated with driving. Likewise with time, practice and experience you might master the skills and strategies associated with art of Reiki healing such as the Reiki Hand Positions. Treat the early months as a finding out encounter, just about like an apprenticeship; this can provide you with the time you'll want to develop your self-confidence and expertise. Keep in mind the more you operate with Reiki then a lot more intuitive you are going to become, your energy vibration will likely be raised and you'll develop and expertise a new joyful consistency inside your life. Making use of the Reiki Hand Positions when performing a reiki self healing could be the starting point for individual development and self discovery. Reiki will not be just a tool for healing; it also brings protection, prevention and private transformation on all levels. As you progress along your new path, inevitably you are going to come up against obstacles and setbacks in your life that typically appear like the whole ocean front, but with Reiki you'll have the strength to cope with them as though they may be but pebbles on the beach. Even when you under no circumstances use Reiki to heal anyone but yourself, you can discover a brand new sense of balance and peace in your life. There's no other process of self-treatment as simple and as useful as Reiki. Simply because Reiki is usually accessible to you, whenever you really feel tired, stressed, have any aches or pains, it is possible to alleviate them by merely laying your hands on your body. The infinite wisdom of Reiki will go to wherever it can be essential. Recharge your batteries every day, not just when issues, difficulties, anxiousness or illnesses arise. Day-to-day self remedy will support to prevent sickness and disease, and bring your life into focus and balance speedily. Every time you use Reiki on your self, you raise your self esteem and self adore. You'll discover your mission in life and develop it into additional compassion and love. Instead of receiving stress in the normal actions you make contact with each day such as traffic jams; meetings, interviews, going to the physician?s or dentist, waiting in queues, your youngsters requires and your family responsibilities to name but a few, enable Reiki into your life and let Reiki develop into a brand new way of life to you. Reiki is actually a gift to be savoured and enjoyed. Keep in mind the more you use Reiki the stronger and much more profound it becomes. Every day use could extend your personal life by quite a few years. You can find a number of positive aspects to become gained, which take place with no any effort from a every day Reiki self-treatment like: Reiki will unwind you if you are stressed Reiki brings about deep relaxation Reiki centres your thoughts if you are confused Reiki energises you if you feel drained Reiki calms you after you are frightened Reiki focuses your thoughts and helps you to resolve issues Reiki relieves pain Reiki accelerates natural healing of wounds Reiki improves wellness Reiki gradually clears up chronic troubles Reiki assists prevents the improvement of disease Reiki detoxifies the body Reiki dissolves energy blockages Reiki releases emotional wounds Reiki increases the vibrational frequency in the physique Reiki assists transform unfavorableYourself With Reiki There is certainly no right or wrong approach to work with Reiki on oneself. As you become much more experienced with all the Reiki energy you can intuitively move your hands to wherever it feels right. Having said that, should you be aware of a specific problem which include an injury or pain, then you should place your hands directly over that area to begin with, and follow up with a full self treatment. In the beginning, it is often very best to follow a set procedure using the chakra points. Once you have mastered the hand positions you can then leave each and every self treatment up to your own intuition. You may wish to function with music to add the right relaxing mood. Discover a place where you won't be disturbed if possible. Normally you would spend three to five minutes on every position. Even so, time is typically short, but recall a little Reiki is better than no Reiki. On completion in the self therapy drink a large glass of purified water. Close your eyes and go inside and pay attention for the thoughts and emotions that have arisen during the session. You may really feel light headed, and for those who must rest, or sit down to get a brief time, allow your self this time. If you feel you must continue to function on a specific area with the physique, even if you've got completed a full self therapy employing the reiki hand positions, then go with your intuition; often listen to your thoughts and body. Remember the reiki healing hand positions are only a guide? Use your intuition.
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Peter e Harper Peter e Harper (american painter), born 1975, currently working in Philadelphia, PA, bio, info, artist
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Godless in Dixie - Skepticism with a bit of a drawl. Godless in Dixie chronicles the thoughts and struggles of former evangelicals who have left their faith and now find themselves learning to relate in a new way to their religious friends, family, and surrounding culture, particularly in the Deep South.
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Telluride Inside... and Out | An insider's peek into the zazz of Telluride This week fashion blogger Erin Busbee shares fashion basics for spring and summer.
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Mind Your Dirt | The weirder side of urban organic gardening with a smidgen of backyard chickens and danger Since we humans have pulled our lumbering and flipper-legged mass out of the primordial ooze we have been hard-wired to fear the darkness. The setting sun would have us scurrying under rock, climbing into canopy or slithering into backs of caves. Huddled and shaking we clung to each other waiting for the warmth and relative safety of the morning light. For in the darkness lies danger. Danger known and danger barely perceived. For it was a night such as this that brings me to your internet doorsteps today. In the darkness outside of my (slightly more modern) cave a great terror arose from over the Pacific Ocean. The great storm. Dark and terrible it rained down it's icy droplets and howled through my village (of San Diego) with apparently powerful winds. All of which I slept through without stirring a titch. I didn't even wake up when my beloved coastal coral tree was split in three and came crashing down on my roof, my fence, and the street respectively. All my regular readers will know that this tree was my absolute favorite tree of all. I have written about it so often. The way I propagated it from a measly branch cutting, how it magically grew faster and bigger than any other plant I've ever planted, and how I prune it so thoughtfully and thoroughly. The last link there being one I should have revisited last winter. The winter I decided to not do my annual pruning because I was "too busy" to tend to it. Too busy to remove the great mass of branches and leaves that is likely the very reason why she couldn't withstand the night terror of a storm that did her in. Mostly. Friday morning found me doing the normal routine. Butt scratching, a shower, bask my glorious facial hair in the sun of a hundred gods, and then walk the dog. I left the house and began the walk when I realized there was a giant mass blocking our path. In my morning haze, it took a few ticks before I realized what had occurred. This was what I walked right into... My precious and beloved tree!! Split into thirds and strewn about my house, my fence, and the spilling into the sidewalk/street! My heart sank as deep as those ancient ancestors of ours were slinking into darkened caves. Now what you don't know is that I recently hurt my back. A real nasty pull that put me in the hospital and turned me into a useless blob for the last week and a half. With this twisted back, and a rather impatient dog, I gazed upon the logistical nightmare that unfolded before my weary eyes. What to do!? Just at that moment, like a lawyer magically appearing at the scene of an accident, a local landscaper appeared. Seriously, not more that forty five seconds after noticing this. He made me an offer that my back couldn't refuse. I despise paying someone else for work that I can do. Really a big issue for me. But I was left with little other options. So I said yes. *grumblegrumblegrumble* A pleasant Cuban fella, this landscaper of ours. He said he'd be back by 10am with a chainsaw, a truck to haul the leavings, and another guy to help with the work. $200 was the number for thine plan. 10am was more like noonish...but what could I do? He returned with no truck and a Saws-All in lieu of a chainsaw. $200 for the work was the deal. But sans truck to haul to the dump, I made them earn that money by cutting up all the wood into nice little fire pit sized chunks. As well as bring it all to the exact opposite far corner of my lot. Separated by size and religious preferences of course. What I was left with once they had finished around 3pm was a sad looking version of my glorious tree. I lost about 75% of it's shade-providing mass easily. And sweet jumping Jebus! What a wound!! After all my boasting and warm pride I am left with little more than a smattering of cool shade and tree majesty. My house looks naked and afraid and my heart is filled with worry about the surviving section of tree. And how the hell was I going to heal this massive wound that almost goes all the way to the ground!? This tree is nearly totally undone. It is an ex-tree. The removal of the giant branches (as thick as my fat thighs and as heavy as my heart) had caused the split to close up a little bit once the weight was gone. I thought to myself, "maybe I can fix this! Like the worlds largest graft, she might be saved!" Likely a fools errand, but I began to formulate a plan. With a bad back coupled with my slightly (slightly!) less than herculean strength on a good day, I decided to get some materials. The biggest ratchet set I could invest in financially. For something that likely will not work anyways. Straps to bend it to my less than iron will and stretch wrap to help seal in the moisture. I began my attempt at forcing my girl back together. One-handed idiot That's as far as I could do with one hand. I put the phone down and gave it my all. It took everything I had in me, but I got it damn near closed. I began wrapping the base with a healthy layer of shrink wrap. My plan is to remove the ratchet straps in a week or two and hold it together with only the shrink wrap. I'm worried that such a fast growing tree after a very rainy wet season will make these straps girdle the tree in no time at all! Which would only serve to strangle the shit out of my poor little lady when she is most vulnerable. So it's going to be the shrink wrap or bust I'm afraid. Such a massive wound and exposed cuts is just begging for disease and rot. But I may just have a chance to save her. Maybe. Until then, I shall have some somber fires as I use her limbs to warm the cockles of my weary soul. My sweet sweet giving tree. My precious.
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Community of a New Monastic Way We are a small group of people not within any religious structure who have been called to a new monastic way. Most of us are ordained Interfaith Ministers from the Interfaith Theological Seminary. Our monastery has no walls and we live all over the country. Most of us have jobs in the world. Our monasticism is deeply held in our hearts, our individual spiritual practices and our communion with one another. This web site is solely for the purpose of deep communication between our members. Most of us took vows in August of 2008 and at this point we are not able to accommodate questions about us from the general public. May your life be filled with divine blessings. Community of a New Monastic WayFor more information on this path see: Beverly Lanzetta's site
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Reiki Healing - An Introduction | Health and Happiness and a Long Life Through Reiki Healing! Reiki is the fusion of two Japanese words, rei and ki, essentially meaning "Higher Energy" or "Source Energy". It is an intelligent and compassionate force and remembering this is the key to understanding how Reiki heals. Reiki is considered to be a divine energetic force and differentiates itself from other energy modalities in this way. Most other forms of healing are focused on the balance and stimulation of what the Japanese call ki, a vital energy or animating force, which is considered to be the basis of all things in existence. Similar in concept to the Chinese qi (or chi) and the Indian prana, ki is the basic building block of all that is. Most healing modalities focus on this form of energy. Reiki, on the other hand, is considered to be an even deeper Connective Force. It is generally considered to be of a higher consciousness than ki and is believed to be the very essence of that which many call "God", a powerful and unifying force that ties all else together into a cooperative Whole. Similar in this sense to ki, Reiki is the supreme basis of everything in existence; the very Source and Essence of All That Is, the most true part of us all. How Reiki Heals: An Intelligent Force To learn how Reiki heals and to make sense of the healing process, it is important that you understand the intelligence that is inherent to the Reiki Energy. Unlike other healing modalities, which require the practitioner to consciously direct and stimulate energy throughout the body system, Reiki requires only that a positive intention be held. When a Reiki practitioner positions his or her hands near a body, there is absolutely no need for conscious direction of Reiki Energy into that body or any specific part of that body. The key to understanding how Reiki heals is to realize that Reiki has a consciousness of its own and knows precisely what is needed for each individual person or animal or situation being treated. How Reiki Heals: The Channel Although often referred to as a "healer", the Reiki practitioner is more like a channel, allowing pure Reiki Energy to flow through them into the body of the person or animal in need of attention. By simple hand placement and an open mind, the Reiki practitioner allows the Reiki Energy to work its own miraculous wonders by its own Intelligence. How Reiki Heals: Your Personal Connection How Reiki heals is unique in each individual case, but the basic understanding of what is occurring remains the same. Reiki is the primal energy of the universe guided and directed by the highest wisdom of the universe. It is not some detached vapor that miraculously descends from heaven. Its healing ability is so powerful because it is a part of you. In order to understand how Reiki heals, you must understand that, as strange as it may seem, Reiki knows you; knows your needs, and knows how to meet those needs. This is why Reiki can be effective from a distance. This is how Reiki can be used for self-healing. This is precisely how Reiki heals. How Reiki Heals: Reiki Is For Everyone! Understanding how Reiki heals is empowering because it means that anyone can learn to tap into its benefits, both for themselves and for those around them. Unfortunately, since its introduction to the Western world 70 years ago, Reiki has remained very exclusive to a select few due to the phenomenally high cost of training and general secrecy regarding its philosophy and use. Much has changed more recently, though, and many have agreed that Reiki is for everyone. Reiki Healing Hands What Are Reiki Healing Hands? Healing hands could be the term offered to persons that have been attuned to the healing power ofReiki Healing and can perform Reiki channelling of this power by way of their hands. What is Reiki? Reiki is usually a kind of hands on healing, with its origins in India plus the East dating back a lot of thousands of years to the time ahead of Christ and Buddha. Usui Reiki is a strategy of reiki developed by Dr Mikao Usui in the 19th century. Usui himself produced the name REIKI, Rei which means Universal and Ki meaning Life force. Usui created this system of reiki to ensure that any person could practice hands on healing. He wanted reiki to become universal so that whatever religious or cultural background you held you'd have the ability to turn out to be a reiki master. Adults and kids alike can practice Usui Reiki. Reiki may be the gift of vitality and self preservation encoded into the genetic makeup of all Gods creatures. It's the higher selfs connection to the universal power that breathes life into all living tissues. We are all born with the omniscient wisdom to heal and preserve life, with all living things connected by the Universal Life Force, the non physical ubiquitous energy that provides life to just about every living organism. How Are you able to Obtain Reiki? It is possible to obtain Reiki from a certified Reiki practitioner. You are able to also perform Reiki on oneself by understanding Reiki. We think that The Essence Of Reiki home Study Course would be the greatest home study course about, to find out about Reiki, we employed this course and discovered it very uncomplicated to follow and enjoyable. Right after completing the course you may be a certified Usui Reiki Master and Animal Reiki Master. The Benefits of Hands On Reiki Healing Reiki can help you boost every single aspect of your life and support to retain ongoing wellness and prevent illness. It is actually for everybody and can be applied to heal adults, youngsters, babies, an unborn youngster and also pets. It's a safe and straightforward therapy option that can be made use of to complement and enhance the effects with the regular wellness care an individual receives within the hospital or wellness centre. Indeed, Reiki is made use of within a broad range of settings like hospitals, hospices, cancer support groups, post-operative recovery as well as in drug rehabilitation. Reiki can also be applied with other natural healing therapies which include meditation, crystals and aroma therapy, with Reiki reinforcing the effect of thesehealing therapies. Our Knowledge Of Healing Hands As Usui Reiki Masters we've received and performed Reiki on numerous occasions. We really feel that the healing power of Reiki is an extraordinary thing and we really feel extremely relaxed afterwards. The most beneficial approach to fully grasp what healing hands are or really feel like would be to experience it for your self Reiki Hand Positions. As soon as you've received the very first degree attunement, from a Reiki Master that you are ready to work using the universal life force. Nevertheless, it really is vital that you just realise as with every profession there's a must 1st practice and master the abilities connected with healing including the correct Reiki Hand Positions to get a Reiki Self Therapy. Madam Takata taught her students to heal themselves initially, then their families, then their good friends. Only then did she think they would be adequately qualified and in a position to operate as a practitioner and heal other people. Finding out the Reiki Hand Positions can be comparable to when someone very first learns to drive an auto they need time, practice and experience to master what appears to be a rather complicated set of procedures. Nevertheless, within a fairly brief space of time they're able to drive safely and effortlessly as they unconsciously manage the car and all the many abilities associated with driving. Likewise with time, practice and experience you might master the skills and strategies associated with art of Reiki healing such as the Reiki Hand Positions. Treat the early months as a finding out encounter, just about like an apprenticeship; this can provide you with the time you'll want to develop your self-confidence and expertise. Keep in mind the more you operate with Reiki then a lot more intuitive you are going to become, your energy vibration will likely be raised and you'll develop and expertise a new joyful consistency inside your life. Making use of the Reiki Hand Positions when performing a reiki self healing could be the starting point for individual development and self discovery. Reiki will not be just a tool for healing; it also brings protection, prevention and private transformation on all levels. As you progress along your new path, inevitably you are going to come up against obstacles and setbacks in your life that typically appear like the whole ocean front, but with Reiki you'll have the strength to cope with them as though they may be but pebbles on the beach. Even when you under no circumstances use Reiki to heal anyone but yourself, you can discover a brand new sense of balance and peace in your life. There's no other process of self-treatment as simple and as useful as Reiki. Simply because Reiki is usually accessible to you, whenever you really feel tired, stressed, have any aches or pains, it is possible to alleviate them by merely laying your hands on your body. The infinite wisdom of Reiki will go to wherever it can be essential. Recharge your batteries every day, not just when issues, difficulties, anxiousness or illnesses arise. Day-to-day self remedy will support to prevent sickness and disease, and bring your life into focus and balance speedily. Every time you use Reiki on your self, you raise your self esteem and self adore. You'll discover your mission in life and develop it into additional compassion and love. Instead of receiving stress in the normal actions you make contact with each day such as traffic jams; meetings, interviews, going to the physician?s or dentist, waiting in queues, your youngsters requires and your family responsibilities to name but a few, enable Reiki into your life and let Reiki develop into a brand new way of life to you. Reiki is actually a gift to be savoured and enjoyed. Keep in mind the more you use Reiki the stronger and much more profound it becomes. Every day use could extend your personal life by quite a few years. You can find a number of positive aspects to become gained, which take place with no any effort from a every day Reiki self-treatment like: Reiki will unwind you if you are stressed Reiki brings about deep relaxation Reiki centres your thoughts if you are confused Reiki energises you if you feel drained Reiki calms you after you are frightened Reiki focuses your thoughts and helps you to resolve issues Reiki relieves pain Reiki accelerates natural healing of wounds Reiki improves wellness Reiki gradually clears up chronic troubles Reiki assists prevents the improvement of disease Reiki detoxifies the body Reiki dissolves energy blockages Reiki releases emotional wounds Reiki increases the vibrational frequency in the physique Reiki assists transform unfavorableYourself With Reiki There is certainly no right or wrong approach to work with Reiki on oneself. As you become much more experienced with all the Reiki energy you can intuitively move your hands to wherever it feels right. Having said that, should you be aware of a specific problem which include an injury or pain, then you should place your hands directly over that area to begin with, and follow up with a full self treatment. In the beginning, it is often very best to follow a set procedure using the chakra points. Once you have mastered the hand positions you can then leave each and every self treatment up to your own intuition. You may wish to function with music to add the right relaxing mood. Discover a place where you won't be disturbed if possible. Normally you would spend three to five minutes on every position. Even so, time is typically short, but recall a little Reiki is better than no Reiki. On completion in the self therapy drink a large glass of purified water. Close your eyes and go inside and pay attention for the thoughts and emotions that have arisen during the session. You may really feel light headed, and for those who must rest, or sit down to get a brief time, allow your self this time. If you feel you must continue to function on a specific area with the physique, even if you've got completed a full self therapy employing the reiki hand positions, then go with your intuition; often listen to your thoughts and body. Remember the reiki healing hand positions are only a guide? Use your intuition.
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