B U L L E T I N

Happy New Year!

1. New Year Message - A purposeful life – Huffington post
2. A Note about Sean Hannity, Stuart Varney and Fox News –request
3. Note about Bridgette Gabriel’s comment on Fox News – upon request
4. American Muslims are proud of taking the right step - Link
5. Moderate Muslims Speak out? Link

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Friday, October 8, 2010

God's Will - most get it, some don't.


Our limitation is our imagination. Even though Hubble is throwing out images of beyond imaginative realms of distances, it is still perhaps a miniscule of the whole. Our beliefs are molded by what we can comprehend. I believe we have created God in our own image as we understand it, even though we may subscribe to different ideas propagated by different religions, ultimately, it is our own personal understanding that we are guided by and most of us may be in sync with one or the other expressions and some of us are clearly not.   

Different explanations have been put forward by different religions to understand the phenomena, but most commonly accepted ones are; that he (she or it) is the causer of our life, the creator, the Nourisher and the sustainer, and we call him (her or it) by many names but mean the same energy.

Of the many religions, two jump to my mind; Hinduism and Islam. In Hinduism God is understood by a thousand names called the Sahasarnama, generally it means a large number and not necessarily 1000 precisely, similarly Muslims recall him with 99 Names, once again, it is not 99, it is reflective of infinitum.

Is God a Villain, a bad guy? Heck no!

Life begins with survival instinct, when the sperms have to fight to meet their destiny, with rare exceptions, only one makes it, all others wither away. The process of elimination continues until one succeeds. That is how we are formed and that is how we are programmed.  De-programming from that brings us salvation, nirvana, Moksha, nijaat,  mukti or freedom.

"Human reproduction is the hallmark of life –the cycle begins with preparation of female to recieve a sperm from her partner, the symbioisis of which leads to a beautiful partnership called a baby. It starts with the release of egg from one of the ovaries at ovulation.Its amazing how from 200 to 300 million sperms, only 1 sperm makes its path to successful propagation of its future in the form of a child. This sperm travels against odds, literally runs a race with its batchmates to go meet its partner--- "the egg", to create a beautiful relationship, and in this process develops the attitude of survival of the fittest It takes only one sperm to fertilize the egg." Shamim Sadiq., M.D.

Our survival hinges on our security, some of the conflicts are real but most of them are imaginary. In that imaginary conflicts, the individuals driven by their security-survival needs manufacture their own God to fight off another God. One of the Generals from Pentagon had famously said that our Lord is not the same as their Lord.
The idea of making a villain out of God is an old one. Perhaps that is the driving reason in all religions to emphasize, assert and reiterate the oneness of God. Again, two religions jump to mind; Judaism and Islam, where the scriptures prevent one from falling into prey of dividing God up. They ascribe no image and no description to the causer and creator of the universe.

Most people get it right, some don’t.

Religions are nothing but wisdom of goodness to create a world of least conflict and more harmony; no matter what religion, the idea is same. Most people get it right, some don’t.

But our nature is molded by the security needs of survival. Even though there is no need to ward off the other, we live with mutually exclusive thoughts; either you or me.

Religions are about behavior modification, to take us away from our fears of “you or me” to a collective “us”. Religions are about co-existence; most people get it right, some don’t.

Our insecurities cook up differences where there are none, and drive “you or me”  wedge  through the labels such as monotheists, theists, atheists and polytheists; most people get it right, some don’t.

Does God have an enemy? Satan cannot be his enemy, he abodes in the same domain. The enemy is within, the “me and me” enemy. If we can transcend to “We, we and us”, life would become an abode of heaven. No wonder Religious have called on “oneness of humanity (Baha’i, the whole world is one family (Hinduism), Killing one is like killing the whole humanity (Quraan, Torah), Love thy neighbor (Jesus), we are our own cause of misery (Buddhism)… Most people get it right, some don’t.

Is God an exclusive property of any? Heck no!

If someone thumps his chest and loudly proclaims, “THIS is my country” or “THIS Country belongs to me” the general take is he is excluding you from that “My” country thing. It seemed he wanted to have it all. What would be your response? Hell no, this is my country too. Our forefathers made sure we understood the notion of “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Most people get it right, some don’t.

What is God’s will?

If I am given 100 words to describe it;

“God has created us intentionally diverse and wants us to get along, just as a chef wants his patrons to enjoy her cooking, just as a mother wants her children to get along, just as an artist wants his patrons to appreciate his work, God wants his product to be fine and working in cohesion, he wants his people to get along… just so if there is another one like him managing another universe, he can proudly tell them – I have the best, my people are one and get along and have created a heaven for themselves” Let’s help God; our creation. I know you can add more to it. Please do it.

Unedited script from a speech; Balance, Justice; Whose God is a drop in the Ocean? Idea of one God was touched upon.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer, optimist, educator and an activist of Pluralism, Interfaith, Islam and Civil Societies. He heads the Foundation for Pluralism and World Muslim Congress and offers Pluralistic solutions to the media and the public on issues of the day.  Mike's work is reflected at three websites & twenty two Blogs listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/

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