gonzo

Yom Hashoah

Yom Hashoah
I'd like to take the time to debunk some urban myths that have been circulating around the internet of late.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/holocaust.asp

It seems that a story has been circulating that schools in the UK, Ireland and other European nations have banned the teaching of Holocaust related material for fear of offending Muslim students. Let me, as a dedicated Jew, and a Zionist say now, that this is, for the most part, patendly untrue. While one school did remove its curriculum for non political reasons, every other school and university in the United Kingdom still teaches Jewish and Holocaust studies.

It is important that we, as Jews, Muslims, Christians or anyone else is cognisant of falshoods perpetuated by the vehical of irrational emotions and unthought jumps to conclusion.

The Holocaust was very real and its very real legacy continues, forcefully to this day. Six million Jews and millions more non-Jews died horribly in Nazi concentration and death camps. They were shot, starved, beaten, tortured, experimented upon and gassed. After that they were burned in ovens or buried in mass graves. The Nazi's exploited thier slave labor so they could roll across Europe and commit many more atrocities over the course of WWII itself. To deny or ignore the Holocaust is to deny or ignore ones humanity.

It is all to obvious that many in the Muslim world, throughout both the Middle East and Europe harbor many of the same anti-semitisims that were perpetuated by the Nazis. This is a reality that Middle Eastern and European governments must face. In the case of Europe, these nations also harbor centuries old hatreds that are accentuated by the current rhetoric being proffered by radical Imams.

But to falsify a claim that foists erroneous claims upon British society and simultanioulsy denegrates and villifies all Arabs and Muslims is reprehensible. It is the responsibility of the World to "Never Forget" the events of the Holocaust and the second world war. In addition, it is our responsibility as Jews to respectfully educate those who are ignorant of the events of the Shoah. But we must do it honestly and without Judgement. We are all human beings, no greater and no less than anyone else and false, inflammatory claims, in the long run, only hurt our aims and do nothing to move us forward as a people and as a species.

Today is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Rememberance Day. Let us remember it truthfully and withreverence for the dead and for those who in the midst of darkness, sought justice and light.

Yitgadal v'yitgadash shemai rabah...
gonzo

Well I'm decended from my parents but my brother was adopted from apes

Natural Selection is corrosive; it burns through all other competing ideologies.

The statement is not mine, I wish it were but it is not. I forget who said it, possibly Sam Harris or some other evolutionary biologist. Nonetheless it makes a very powerful, poignant statement. Once you understand the true intellectual and logical thrust of evolution and Natural Selection, nothing else stands up to it. Not earlier theories, not religious creation accounts (of any culture) and not - much to my chagrin - social philosophy.

I f we look at like traits between us and other species, we can speculate a common ancestor. But that, of course, is not enough. We must also compare our similarities with the fossil record. Is that enough, if not, we have similarities in DNA.

I'm over simplifying it. I'm no biologist. But I do understand the basic premise. Individual members of a species, adapt as is necessary, to prolong the genetic code. Should the environment necessitate an adaptation, the species will adapt. How? Only so much as it needs to pass on its genetic code.

But how Sean, how?

Well, let’s say that a population of fire flies lives on a mountainside. One day, for whatever reason, the climate changes and the mountain is newly cloaked each night in fog. The fire flies, now surrounded in fog are now encumbered in their search for a mate - the fog makes it more difficult for them to seek out other fire flies. However, some of the flies have brighter lights than others. These flies are better able to attract other mates and so their genes (the brighter light genes) are passed on whereas the fire flies with dimmer lights die out.

Over time, the genetic pool has changed so much by the shift of genes that a species, distinct form the original one is manifest. But things are not perfect. To have a brighter light requires more energy so the new species of firefly must also be adept at seeking out more food. Those individuals that are more successful at seeking out food get to eat and as such get to live and as such get to pass on their genes that are more sufficient to survival in their environments. Get it?

If the species it good in it's environment than it will survive with relatively little change - like a shark or a worm or a fern. These species have, for millions of years stayed relatively static because they survive sufficiently in their environments.

Here's the part many folks dislike. Primates by contrast have seen significant speciation in a relatively short time. Sometime ago, an apelike creature(s) (yes, forgive me for ignoring old world monkeys and lemurs) had better luck on the ground than in the trees. That creature is the common ancestor of Gibbons and other apes. Some of those creatures had better luck on the ground and in the trees. Those were the common ancestors of both orangutans and other apes. Somewhere along the line, some creature survived better in small colonies in mountainous areas as opposed to jungles. These were the common ancestors between gorillas and chimpanzees. Somewhere along the lines, some creature selected itself for the ability to walk upright. These were the common ancestors of hominids and bonobo chimps. Somewhere along the line, something figured out how to make tools - hence the common ancestor of Australopithecus and Homo habilis. Next we saw fire and weapons with Erectus, and the final branch (for Hominids) Neanderthals and Sapiens - the humans. Neanderthals couldn't hack the winter, the lack of language, Homo Sapiens etc and so we (Sapiens) are the only humans.

Now I know I can't convince anyone who's already made up their mind about creation et al. I'm not trying to. But I would like to open the dialogue. You see, I'm familiar with Darwin, I've read Dawkins, I know the work of Stephen J Gould and I believe in evolution. But I've also read Collins and Lewis and I've watched Kent Hovind and I've a firm grasp of (and love for) the bible. I know the sides, and the arguments and I want to get the discussion going (if this community's not utterly dead).

Sam Harris, preeminent biologist, author of Letter to a Christian Nation and vocal atheist recently had a debate with Pastor Rick Warren, the Author of A Purpose Driven Life, leading evangelist and spiritual leader for the wildly successful mega congregation, Saddleback Church. Let me say, I like both these men. Harris, whom I tend to agree with on the issue, is forceful in his conviction yet respectful of the opposition (within reason). Warren is a member of my community - he lives about 15 miles away from me - and a leading advocate for poverty alleviation and AIDS relief.

I tend to think that Harris won the debate but I'm sure a believer would say the same about Warren. The important point is not the debate but the dialogue. Harris did not call religion a 'mind virus' as Richard Dawkins does and Warren was remarkably candid in his assertion that he did not possess absolute certainty. But they talked without going to court, without waving placards and without lobbing bombs. And the discussion was real, not the politically correct "segregation" of science and religion advocated by Gould.

So let’s do that here, if anyone still lives in these hallowed e-halls. Let’s talk evolution vs. All of it. Any religion, pseudo-science, philosophy (remember, I was forced to abandon the credibility of my beloved state of nature) or competing theory. In fact, point out the flaws in evolution. Show me what's what because ultimately, what do I really know? So let’s have it out, in a loving, dignified and respectful way.

Be cool.

S

P.S. Sorry about the spelling/editing. Do you really care? If you do, let me know and I'll try to edit. Le Sigh.
Black and White

The Eternal One

There are many “individuals” in the so-called New Age movement. Or should I say, there are many in the so-called New Age movement who seem to have the desire to push their own individuality.

How can you have oneness while continually pushing your individuality?

There are those who believe that one has their own truth and another has theirs. How can this be true? How can truth contradict itself from one individual to another? My friends, it cannot.

Truth is One. All are One. God is the eternal universal Oneness. And so it is!

Cross posted in aetherius_path
Lotus

(no subject)

Naturally, all circumstances and events which come upon one are not happenstance. There cannot be a thing as coincidence or happenstance in an ordered Universe. Should the order that applies to every Celestial Body thoughout vast Creation not also apply to small man? Every experience that one gains, every person that one meets is one’s desert for good or bad. Relationships are born or destroyed through the synergistic growth or dwindling of soul and soul.

The world is a wicked place. But through encountering wickedness, one is afforded the opportunity to learn certain necessary lessons which one has proven one cannot learn in any other way. Judgment is odious. For what pompous fool would ever suppose that he were the least separate from the worst of the worst? Within this breast is all the evil that ever was in the most wicked. I am a liar and a fool to think of myself as the slightest bit separate from the most hardened criminal. Yet within this breast is also Divinity Itself. And that I also know. The choice, then, is one’s to make, either to ascend to the heights, or descend into the pit. Sooner or later, by all the laws that be, one must ascend to the heights, whether that journey span a billion lives or three.

The Jnani welcomes the worst. He drinks the bitter draught knowing that it is his to drink. The Jnani welcomes the enemy. He accepts the actions of the adversary knowing that adversity is only a reflection of those things within himself. Whatever one fears, sooner or later, one will be faced with. One cannot avoid the truth. “Love thy neighbor as thyself” has been depicted as the greatest love. Yet to love thy enemy as thyself is a far greater love. Yet, thy enemy is thyself which has come to teach thyself the lessons that thyself was not able to gain without its aid.

Cross posted to aetherius_path
Black and White

Karma Yoga

There are many who think that spiritual endeavor is akin to happiness. This is very often not the case. Spiritual endeavor, true spiritual endeavor, that is, requires sacrifice. One often sacrifices one's own happiness and certainly comfort for the benefit of others. There are many example of this. Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Jesus, Buddha, Martin Luther King and others gave up personal happiness and comfort for others' benefit.

Cross posted in aetherius_path
Black and White

International Day of Peace Vigil

The Aetherius Society will participate in the International Day of Peace Vigil on September 21 as it has done every year since the inception of IDPV.

We are asking people to cooperate with us on this great all-day event by sending out prayers for peace to the world and/or by practicing The Twelve Blessings during this time with us from wherever you are in the world.

See http://www.aetherius.org/twelveblessings

Cross posted in aetherius_path
gonzo

(no subject)

'Shema Yisrael Adonai Elohenu Adonai Echad

Baruch shem k'vod malchuto l'olam va'ed

V-ahavta et Adonai elohecha b'chol levavcha, uv'chol naf'sh'cha, uv'chol meodecha
V'hayu ha-d'varim ha-ayleh asher anochi m'tzav'cha ha-yom al l'vavecha
V'shinantam l'vanecha, v'dibarta bam
b'shivt'cha b'vaytecha, uv'lecht'cha baderech, uv'shachb'cha uv'kumecha

Uk'shartam l'ot al yadecha, v'hayu l'totafot bayn aynecha
U'chtavtam al m'zuzot baytecha u'visharecha

Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One
Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever


And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
And these words that I command you today shall be in your heart.
And you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall speak of them
when you sit at home, and when you walk along the way, and when you lie down and when you rise up.
And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes.
And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
gonzo

(no subject)

I don't know, the whole situation is messed up.

My first reaction is always to yell Am Yisrael Chai or something like that. Years of Hebrew and Sunday school will do that to you. And the fact is, the amount of anti-Israel language is chafing and often walks a line between anti-zionism and anti-semitism.

But I'm not dumb and I'm not a war hawk and at this point, I'd like to see Israel be a bit more amenable to negotiation. I don't like to see innocent Palestinians and Lebanese die.

And yet at the same time It's difficult to ignore the amount of sheer hatred that surrounds Israel. I think we all know, deep in our hearts that were the roles reversed, the situation would be much worse for us. Either that or we'd all be living in the US. However, that does not excuse Israel from heavy-handed, extreme military action. It only makes the situation more difficult.

I'll admit that at first, I was all pro-Israel, crush Hezbollah, free Lebanon. I still am I suppose but ultimetely, it's not that easy. What convinced me that the current action may not go the way Israel hopes was predictibly, the Monkey-shrub's "off the record" opinions. Simple shows of extreme military force without a plan for negotiation or exit rarely work. If one doesn't believe that, well, ask Iraq.

I guess what makes it so hard is that I want to support Israel unconditionally but my morals, ethics, values and my Judaism itself keep getting in the way of that. But then Hamas goes and commits another suicide bombing or Iran calls for Israel to be "wiped off the map" or some punk in France paints a swastika on a Jewish cemetary and that retributive, "Genesis style" emotion rears up again.

I think that if youasked most young American Jews, they'd offer up either some tepid, detached support of Israel or have little opinion whatsoever. My brother fits the latter catagory. Very few of us have strong opinons on it one way or another and that's just sad. But it is understandable. The situation is so convoluted, politically and emotionally that sometimes it's easier to do ones best to ignore it.

I however cannot. I love Israel and want her to truly be a beacon in the middle-east for justice, peace and freedom. So it pains me equally when Israel overdoes its military reactions and when more hatred for her bubbles up around the world.

As a semi-related aside, I heard Pat Buchanan today on MSNBC lament that both sides were behaving in a very "un-Christian" manner. It's good to know that he has a strong grounding in the obvious. 

cross-posted here and there.
Black and White

Ascension

While today, Christians throughout the world celebrate the Resurrection of a great Master, and rightly so, it is important to remember that this feat was not unique. There have been other great Beings, versed in the occult sciences, who had brought about the same condition as did Jesus after the crucifixion.

It is true to say that throughout the centuries, the human race could not have continued in the way that it has without some great Entities holding a certain balance on its behalf.

Great Spiritual Beings, like Buddha, Jesus, Krishna, Patanjali, Lao Tzu and Others, had not only given glorious and sublime Teachings to a race which, for the most part, would reject them, but also performed great manipulations, holding in abeyance certain inevitable results due to the fall of man.

The very presence of Beings like this on Earth would guarantee the continuance of the race without gross interference by some terrible catastrophe.

Even in modern times, up to the present day, mankind is dependant upon highly evolved Entities whose presence alone preserves some semblance of “order” to prevailing conditions, which would otherwise deteriorate into utter chaos.

On Earth, we have The Spiritual Hierarchy, which has been in existence for hundreds of thousands of years and is comprised of Ascended Masters, People who have, through Spiritual Knowledge and Evolution, been able to break away from the wheel of death and rebirth and have attained immortality in much the same way that Jesus demonstrated this great feat through His own Resurrection.

These great Masters have, for the most part, worked behinds the scenes living in secret retreats in the East. But there have been some who have worked more in the open, so to speak.

An outstanding example of this in the West is Count Saint Germain, who continues to baffle French historians because he crops up through French history for a period of at least 200 years.

Saint Germain was seen at the court of Louis XV and much later at the court of Louis XVI. And there are many stories connected with this Man.

One such story is of a conversation that Saint Germain had with a prominent woman in France. The woman met Saint Germain again 50 years after this conversation and said, “I knew your father.” And Saint Germain said, “That wasn’t my father, that was me. I remember the conversation.”

Saint Germain never appeared to be over the age of 45 in the centuries that He made Himself known as the Ascended body does not age as such.

And of course, at the head of The Spiritual Hierarchy is the Holiest of Holy Masters, the Great and Illustrious Lord Babaji, who is not even of this Earth. Lord Babaji came to this Earth at least 18,000,000 years ago and still resides in India in the same physical body.

Again, the human race continues by the Grace of the Great Ones. And this is so, and always has been so.

Cross posted to aetherius_path