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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers, Daughters and Sons day

Of course every day is father’s day, but once you have your own nucleus of a family, father’s day becomes special. My father was very special to me and I am blessed with his infinite affection to last for my life time, and I deeply feel for those who did not have one.

There are many of us out there who grew up without a father, or if we had one, he was not there for us. I feel the pain and incompleteness one feels and I extend that fatherly affection to you, even if you don’t know me, I hope you feel the energy, I am with you. You are welcome to call me to chat for a few moments. This father’s day belongs to my kids and you; you could be of any age.

God (causer/creator/she/it) has programmed us to be adaptable, what we miss in a father, we may find in a Mother, an older brother, uncle or a friend. My heart goes out to those of you who have had an abusive father, and I want you to know that God may have appeared to be cruel to you at times, but you endured it and your rewards with the lord would be bountiful, spiritually you are ahead of most of us. Indeed, you are truly blessed by God to experience the pain just as Jesus had endured it for the humanity.

Continued: http://mikeghouseforamerica.blogspot.com/2010/06/happy-fathers-daughters-and-sons-day.html

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Muslim Reformers in Iran and Turkey: The Paradox of Moderation"

Staff and students of Islamic Middle Eastern and the Arab World at large will find a recent publication of mine " Us and Them: Muslim Christian relations and social harmony in Australia" by the Australian Academic Press, of great interest. The publication has been recommended as a reference to all NSW government schools, and is being nominated for the Prime Minister's Book Award in 2010.

Several of the chapters contain findings from a DIAC funded national survey conducted in several hundred SCHOOLS including Catholic , Anglican, and Muslim.
I have enclosed the table of contents and back cover as a broad guiding statement, below, as your staff may consider using it as a primary reference.

We would value you drawing the attention to them by copying the flyer attached to them,; or directing them to the Australian Academic Press : http://www.australianacademicpress.com.au/Publications/Books/4-921513190.html

or, Melbourne University bookshop link:
http://www.bookshop.unimelb.edu.au/bookshop/p?AU.ata//all

Thanking you.

Abe W Ata (Dr)
Senior Associate Fellow
St Patrick's Campus - Melbourne
Australian Catholic University

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Quantum Brain, Spirituality, And The Mind Of God

In the following article, Dr. Laszlo answers some of the most intricate questions about origins of religions, revelation, metaphysics and spirituality. I have written something similar about the origins of religion in terms of life and matter, he calls it energy and in-formation.

For example, " The great teachers entered a deeply altered state, had a spiritual experience, and when they returned to their waking state, they endeavored to capture it in words. Their words became the scriptures venerated by their followers."

"Prayer and meditation is the royal road, and their depth and efficacy can be enhanced when practiced on altered-state-conducive "sacred" sites."

I was rather taken back with delight, "Deepak Chopra writes, "Spirituality is the experience of that domain of awareness where we experience our universality." a few days back, I expressed indential words to describe spirituality.

I am thrilled to read this piece, particularly the following that I have been drumming for the last few years, " The experience itself, if not its interpretation, is the same in all religions, and in all religions it inspires a sense of oneness and belonging. Michael Beckwith affirms that "when you strip away the culture, history, and dogma of every religion, the teachers of those religions were teaching very similar principles and practices that led to a sense of oneness, that ended a sense of separation from the Whole."

Well, it is a good read, enjoy it and feel in tune with it, rather in spirits with it.

Mike Ghouse
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The Quantum Brain, Spirituality, And The Mind Of God
Ervin Laszlo

When our brain ("a quantum computer" as I said in my previous posts) connects us to the world, that experience of connection is the same source from which artists and even scientists draw inspiration and creativity. The quantum connection of our brain can serve us as a subtle but trustworthy compass -- one long known to traditional peoples and cultures but largely ignored in the modern world.

The experience of connection is also a source of spirituality. The great teachers entered a deeply altered state, had a spiritual experience, and when they returned to their waking state, they endeavored to capture it in words. Their words became the scriptures venerated by their followers.

The spiritual/religious experience has been basically the same in all epochs and cultures. It has always been an experience of oneness and belonging. William James described it as the sense of entering into union with something deeper and larger than oneself. The experience of people in all epochs and walks of life confirms that James was right: we are like islands on the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.

Although the basic substance of the spiritual experience has always been the same, teachers expressed it in different ways because they were only able to approximate their experience through the words and symbols of their time and place. In each time, and in each place, these symbols and expressions were unique and different.

Over the centuries these differences intensified. Groups and communities of followers, intent on maintaining their identity and ensuring their coherence, froze the original pronouncements into sacred doctrines, and made the doctrines into holy dogmas, sometimes further honed to serve their followers' social and political aims and ambitions.

In the final count the differences between the doctrines, religions, and the insights of spiritual traditions are not differences in the substance of the experience that inspired them. They are only the differences in the way that substance has been expressed and communicated.

But how does the spiritual experience itself come about? Today we have a better answer to this question than we ever had before. A spiritual/religious experience can happen at any time and in any place, but it usually occurs in an altered state of consciousness. In that state, as psychiatrist Stanislav Grof notes, we can apprehend anything that exists in the universe. We can even apprehend universal archetypes and mythical beings.

The altered states that give rise to the spiritual experience can be purposefully induced. As traditional cultures have known and practiced for millennia, the experience can be triggered by dancing, drumming, rhythmic breathing, and also by the use of psychedelic substances (although these can be dangerous to health). Prayer and meditation is the royal road, and their depth and efficacy can be enhanced when practiced on altered-state-conducive "sacred" sites.

Churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues were built to facilitate the spiritual experience of the faithful. Traditional people have often gone further: they have sought spiritual transformation even through "temple sleep." This meant spending a night in a venerated location, trying to incubate dreams for initiation, divination, or healing. Dynastic Egypt had special temples for suppliants who would fast and recite prayers immediately before going to sleep, and Jewish seers would spend the night in a grave or sepulchral vault, hoping that the spirit of the deceased would appear in their dream and offer guidance. In Greece there were over 300 dream temples dedicated to Aesculapius, the god of healing, and in China the temples where state officials sought guidance were active until the 16th century.

The spiritual experience usually comes about in altered states, but what does the recurring substance of the experience signify? What is that "something deeper and larger than ourselves" to which the experience seems to connect us?

An answer to this question is given by every religion, and today it can also be given by science, if only hypothetically. Science suggests that the spiritual experience opens the brain, with which our consciousness is associated, to an extended range of information. This information is real, but it's not always received. Here by "information" I don't mean the information we produce when we talk, write, or act. I mean the kind of information that scientists now discover underlies everything in the universe.

Information is entirely basic in the universe. In the latest conception the universe doesn't consist of matter and space; it consists of energy and information. Energy exists in the form of wave-patterns and wave-propagations in the quantum vacuum that fills space; in its various forms, energy is the "hardware" of the universe. The "software" is information. The universe is not an assemblage of bits of inert matter moving passively in empty space: it's a dynamic and coherent whole. The energy that constitutes its hardware is always and everywhere "in-formed." It's in-formed by what David Bohm called the implicate order and physicists now regard as the quantum vacuum or zero-point field (also called physical spacetime, universal field, or nuether). This is the "in-formation" that structures the physical world, the information we grasp as the laws of nature. Without information the energy-waves and patterns of the universe would be as random and unstructured as the behavior of a computer without its software. But the universe is not random and unstructured; it's precisely "in-formed." Would it be any the less precisely informed, complex systems could not have emerged in it, and we would not be here to ask how this on first sight highly improbable development could have come about.

Science's answer to the "what" question refers to an entangled, holographic, non-locally connecting in-formation field in the cosmos. In my books, in greatest detail in Science and the Akashic Field, I discuss the evidence for this field and note that the Hindu seers referred to it as Akasha, the fundamental element of the cosmos. In recognition of this feat of insight, I am now calling the information field of the universe the Akashic Field.

But how does science's answer to the question regarding the fundamental significance of the spiritual experience relate to the answer given by religion?

For the world's religions the larger and deeper reality to which the spiritual experience connects us is a numinous, divine reality. It's either a spirit or consciousness that infuses the natural world (the "immanentist" view), or a spirit or consciousness that's above and beyond it (the "transcendentalist" claim). Traditional polytheistic religions were leaning toward the former, while the Abrahamic monotheistic religions (with some exceptions) embraced the latter.

The difference between a divine intelligence immanent in the world and one that transcends it is not negligible, but it is still only a difference in interpretation. The "raw data" for both positions is the same: it's the spiritual experience, a quantum communion with universal oneness. In the Western religious perspective this is communion with the spirit that infuses the cosmos, identified as God. Deepak Chopra writes, "Spirituality is the experience of that domain of awareness where we experience our universality. This domain of awareness is a core consciousness that is beyond our mind, intellect, and ego. In religious traditions this core consciousness is referred to as the soul which is part of a collective soul or collective consciousness, which in turn is part of a more universal domain of consciousness referred to in religions as God."

Our experience of the core consciousness of the world is ultimately an experience of the universal domain of consciousness Western religions call God. The experience itself, if not its interpretation, is the same in all religions, and in all religions it inspires a sense of oneness and belonging. Michael Beckwith affirms that "when you strip away the culture, history, and dogma of every religion, the teachers of those religions were teaching very similar principles and practices that led to a sense of oneness, that ended a sense of separation from the Whole."

Science's answer to the question of what the spiritual experience connects us to is immanentist. The information that underlies the universe, the Akashic Field, is part of the universe. This doesn't mean that the immanentist position necessarily states the ultimate truth; it only means that science can only take an immanentist position. Scientists are limited to speaking about the natural world; they must leave speculation about transcendent realities to poets, philosophers, and spiritual masters.

It's time to conclude. If the substance of the spiritual experience is always and everywhere the same, differences in its expression and interpretation are secondary and not a valid cause for conflict and intolerance. The world to which our quantum brain connects us is fundamentally one, whether its oneness is due to an information field within the natural world or the work of a divine transcendent intelligence. To enter into communion with this oneness has been the quest of all the great teachers and spiritual masters. And to understand the nature of this oneness has been, and is, the ultimate quest of all great scientists. Still today, physicists seek the one equation that would anchor their famous "Theory of Everything," the theory that would account for all the laws of nature and explain everything that ever happened in our integrally whole universe. Einstein said that knowing this equation would be reading the mind of God.

Huffington post - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ervin-laszlo/the-quantum-brain-spiritu_b_510843.html

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Jesus Cartoons by South Park

http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2010/06/jesus-cartoons-by-south-park.html

Ultimately goodness triumphs. Let freedom prevail, there is no end to controlling others, it is time we dispossess and disown Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, Krishna and others, they are not our property and they belong to all of us. Christians don’t own Jesus, Krishna is not the property of Hindus nor Muhammad is owned Muslims. Let’s not bottle them, it is not prudent to reduce their message to a few. Each one of them wanted us to be good beings, let's be one.

The problem is not cartoons; it is the intolerance of the few. A majority of Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus and others understand that, diversity is part of their life. When you have the power, you solve problems with humility and not arrogance. Arrogance flares up the conflict and causes people to take a stand and dig in their heels, humility brings understanding and understanding leads to solutions of co-existence.

The insecure among us are frightened and want to quell and even annihilate others to “feel secure” alas, that were the truth. Security comes from within first, and then from what surrounds us. If we want goodness to prevail, we have to create that to surround us.

In April this year, I wrote, “If you know the producers of South Park, please let them know that there are more Muslims willing to protect their rights than a few radicals who have threatened them.” - http://mikeghouseforamerica.blogspot.com/2010/04/south-park-incident-with-muslim.html

In February 2010, I asked the Indians, “If he (MF Hussain who painted nude pictures of Hindu deities) were to be in Afghanistan, Iran or Saudi Arabia, he would have been killed. As a nation, do we want us to be like Afghanistan, banning everything and imposing on others?

When Passion of the Christ was released, the Christians and Muslims together formed an alliance to protest the release of the film in India.

The radical Christians have killed the Doctors or bombed the clinics that performed abortions; the radical Jews have forced the Palestinians out of their homes and radical Hindus and radical Muslims have done their share as well.

Most Muslims including me were against banning Rushdie's book, we wrote against it and spoke against it. I had appealed to the fanatic fringe among Muslims to ignore the cartoons and follow the model of the prophet and pray that goodwill prevails, and several mosques have done that in their Friday sermons, but a few hundred individuals violated civility and resorted to violence.

Jesus had all the power in the world to turn every human into his follower; he did not do it, neither Moses, Krishna, Muhammad, Buddha, Nanak, Bahaullah, Confucius, Mahavir, Zarathustra or the spiritual masters from the earth based and indigenous traditions believed in copy catting humans.

The believed in freedom, their goal was not to convert any one, but guide people to learn to get along with everyone. They understood that a female from the Zulu tribe or a male from the another tradition or a prince were all created by the same process and were programmed to last anywhere from 1 second to 150 years at most. They believed in diversity of thought as God’s will, but getting along with those difference was also God’s will, and that is what they taught.

The purpose of religion was to guide us how to live with others that differ from us and not be afraid of the stranger. Every religion offers numerous lines of guidance on embracing the stranger, as knowing the other takes the fear out of us and brings peace and security.

Wasn’t Jesus ridiculed in his life, wasn’t each one of the spiritual masters ridiculed, chased, harassed and persecuted? They could have turned the evil upside down and created a heaven, they chose not to, because they believed in the freedom of speech.

Let our anger be not the temptation for others to mock, let our love be the way for them to love every one of the spiritual masters. If you want the honey, you don't kick the beehive. Win love by love and not punishment or anger.

Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker, writer and an activist of Pluralism, Justice, Islam, India and Civil Societies. He is a conflict mitigater and a goodwill nurturer offering pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. http://www.mikeghouse.net/
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Religious leaders unite against planned Jesus cartoon
By James Hibberd James Hibberd Tue Jun 1, 11:47 pm ET

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – It's not on the air yet. It's not shot yet. There's no pilot yet. There might not even be a script yet.

But Comedy Central's plan to develop an animated project about Jesus Christ has the biggest names in the TV watchdog business forming a protest supergroup to preemptively smite the show.

Brent Bozell (president, Media Research Centre), Tony Perkins (president, Family Research Council), Michael Medved (talk radio host), Bill Donohue (president, Catholic League), Rabbi Daniel Lapin (American Alliance of Jews and Christians) and Tim Winter (president, Parents Television Council) are joining forces to form the Coalition Against Religious Bigotry.

Comedy Central's "JC" is in development, which means it's still a couple of steps from getting the green light as a series. The project is about Jesus trying to live as a regular guy in New York City and wanting to escape the shadow of his "powerful but apathetic father." Because Comedy Central recently censored "South Park" for its portrayals of the Prophet Muhammad, some Christian leaders see the prospect of a Jesus cartoon as proof of an offensive double standard.

CARB will hold its first press conference on Thursday to urge advertisers not to support the project, should it ever hit the air.

"After we reveal the vile and offensive nature of Comedy Central's previous characterizations of Jesus Chris and God the Father, we expect these advertisers to agree wholeheartedly to end their advertising on Comedy Central and discontinue their support for unabashed, anti-Christian discrimination," Bozell said in a statement. "Why should they be supporting a business that makes a habit of attacking Christianity and yet has a formal policy to censor anything considered offensive to followers of Islam? This double standard is pure bigotry, one from which advertisers should quickly shy away."
Comedy Central had no comment.
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