A Religious Wake-up Call

Kevin Smith and Lesley Buckley

Women attend mass inside the Ibrahim al-Khalil church in Jaramana, eastern Damascus, Syria on March 1, 2015 (source)

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
Gospel of Mark, 8:36

I’ve been looking at religion for some time now, thinking if there are areas where perhaps it can be more involved as a voice against regime change, extremist ideology and continuous war.

My thoughts on the concept of religion and its basic teaching are positive. Despite what some people say, I think peace and compassion is a strong theme in the writings of the Bible and Koran. But, I’m sure like me there are many of us who take issue with the behaviour of the religious hierarchy and some followers.

Recently, I attended a course which explores the basics of Christianity and what underpins Christian beliefs. Among the thoughts I had is why Jesus has not paid us a return visit maybe to give us a further chance to change. With so many more people living on our planet and in such dangerous and immoral times, surely we are in need of a big dose of forgiveness and guidance to change our ways?

One of the stories in The Gospel of Mark is about some people asking why Jesus sat at the table with tax-collectors and those considered to have committed sin. Jesus replied ‘It’s not the healthy who need a doctor but those who are ill. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners’

Looking at events today, I wonder where he would he start. Not only do the majority of the general population in the West need guidance to varying degrees but those claiming to be carrying out god’s work need particular attention.

2,000 years on from Jesus I don’t think there’s as much war purely based on religion. But there is more greed and materialism, ignorance, dishonesty and obsession with power which sadly has also affected followers of religion.

Here are few examples of this within religion at different levels.

The religious establishment

The shocking financial and sex scandals of the Catholic Church past and present are well known. And apart from this the Vatican and Catholic Church have actively involved itself in war and mass murder. The support this church gave towards the Nazi puppet Ustase movement in Croatia during World War II and Croatia in the early 1990s, examples of a religious establishment which has lost any moral authority.

In many ways the Vatican is a mirror image of our political establishment – corrupt and self-serving but somehow survives the scandals, perhaps because crime in this church has become almost normal or of a notion among some it has a right to be above the law. The Catholic Church is not the only Christian church caught up in various scandals and hypocrisy.

Likewise in the Middle East we’ve seen the rise of Wahhabism a doctrine promoted by Saudi Arabia which is a distortion of Islam. This ideology has been responsible, in part for terrorism and the wars being fought against secular, moderate states in the Middle East.

Religious media coverage

Admittedly there is some decent coverage in some religious focused media. For example there are some which have highlighted the plight of Christians and other groups in Syria and Iraq and spoken out against war. But like in the general media, truth and balance is the exception.

One typically inward-looking site is The Trumpet which publishes a magazine read by 1 million people. It is a Christian publication which also has quite a lot to say on geo-politics. A lot of the content mentions the prophecies promoted by Herbert W Armstrong. The editor-in-chief is Gerald Flurry of the Philadelphia Church of God.

Flurry writes about events in the world and many might say he shoe-horns the news to fit the prophecies which I guess is not unusual among American fundamentalist conservatives. But what he writes is away with the fairies.

This is from the statements of beliefs of the Philadelphia Church of God.

The Church’s beliefs

We believe Christians are forbidden to kill (Exod. 20:13) or in any manner directly or indirectly take human life. We believe bearing arms is contrary to this doctrine

But reading just some of the articles it becomes clear that The Trumpet is very much against anything remotely resembling pacifism and is really promoting war. Articles highly critical of Russia, China and ‘appeasement’ towards them feature prominently throughout, including this recent commentary about the US’s withdrawal from the INF Treaty:

The Russians, as would be expected, are playing the victim. They are accusing America of destabilizing the world by leaving the INF Treaty. But that is an obvious misrepresentation of the facts. And now, largely because the Europeans are frightened by Russia’s increasing aggression, the risk of global nuclear war is becoming higher’

And Iran seems to be a regular target of attack – commentary here describing Iran as a promoter of radical Islam.

And I probably don’t need to explain the recent story of Marco Rubio, Senator for Florida inciting murder against the Venezuelan President on Twitter. Included in his Twitter profile – ‘Follower of Christ’. No wonder religion is in trouble with lunatics like this in its ranks.

Religion at grass-roots

One example many of us will recall was the subject of this recent OFF-G article – Samara Levy, a charity worker involved in Syria and the Middle East. It was a fascinating case-study of how some people use charity and religion as a cover for criminal behavior

I visited her website and came across this stuff in her background story.

Throughout this piece Levy mentions that in getting her charity off the ground she received strength from God who replied to her prayers telling her several times over a period to “start collecting”

I wonder at which point God told her to “start scamming”.

And on a day-to-day basis in our society you see some ordinary followers of religions intolerant of other faiths and not condemning criminals and extremists within their ranks, rather than observing the true teachings of their religions. Many local religious leaders seem to do little to discourage this and much like the wider population, followers have become disconnected from the suffering and injustices in the wider world.

The co-writer of this article was at a wedding recently attended by regular church-goers. Unfortunately their conversation was concerned with which congregation paid the most to an overseas mission or which congregation was the ‘better’ one.

So with all these people hijacking religion for their own selfish needs it’s easy to see why it might not be much help to anyone.

‘The Church of Syria’ – Secularism and religion

But are there parts of religion, within a system which encourages the values we can embrace and spread a message of truth over dishonesty, peace over war and compassion over intolerance?

As I say, there are positive aspects to the original religious teachings and principles in Christianity and Islam. My idea is to embrace the good which can be found in sufficient measure and with a strong voice promote it as distinct and unique.

One state where religious tolerance and understanding exists is Syria. It has a model of secularism which is unique and resilient and has withstood nearly 8 years of war directed against it from outside. But how is it still possible that a country of over 20 ethnic groups and numerous religions and sects have survived this onslaught?

There is a major difference between say the French version of secularism which is about banning religious symbols and expression and secularism in Syria. Real secularism, as in Syria is less about banning but more about celebrating difference and diversity.

Syria has long prided itself on its unique and diverse heritage. I’ve heard it described as a state for all religions and no religion. It therefore may not be surprising that Syrians of all faiths are remarkably united against a common enemy – not other religions but an external sectarian army which seeks to divide them.

There seems to be an in-built community spirit and compassion for fellow citizens which is largely absent in the West. The lives of the people are far closer to the sentiments of kindness and forgiveness written in the Bible and Koran – and just basic decency.

I think the reason Syria has survived war waged against it is due to their faith, religious or otherwise plus the vital, unique secular framework which binds the people and religions together. Secularism in Syria and religion complement each other like nowhere else.

Having identified values to embrace what about finding a strong voice in mobilising religion generally against war? This is difficult because you have to change the behaviour of many. But I think it is about firstly trying to change the attitude of many more, including decent but distracted people.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”
Edmund Burke

With this well known quote in mind we need to stop accepting that criminal behaviour in our governments, media, charities and churches is somehow normal or ‘part of the deal’

So the first thing we need to do is reflect on is basic decency. I’m not talking about strict religious observance or moral codes – just decency. Then I believe we need to spread the message through our actions. If your church doesn’t represent the good I described above or just goes through the motions, tell them about how religion and community spirit works in Syria.

As well as being uncompromising about exposing evil we should specifically highlight the success of Syria and its people. They’ve done religion and humanity a huge favour by showing how things can and should be done. It’s now up to religion and humanity to wake up and see it

And if your church or religion still won’t change and speak for Syria and wider humanity and against war – consider leaving your local church.

For those not of any religious faith spread, the message to anyone who will listen, pointing out that secularism in the Middle East and Syria is also vital for our own national security and interests. If we continue to destroy through war we will be destroyed by the inevitable blow-back.

And until mainstream religion pulls together and speaks for all humanity, I’m joining ‘The Church of Syria’ – it’s the best church in the world.

Kevin Smith is a British citizen living and working in London. He researches and writes down his thoughts on the foreign wars promoted by Western governments and media. In the highly controlled and dumbed down UK media environment, he’s keen on exploring ways of discouraging ideology and tribalism in favour of free thinking. Lesley Buckley lives in Cambridgeshire and has a Masters degree from the University of Cambridge. She’s interested in learning about the world as it really is – not how it is portrayed to be in mainstream media.


If you enjoy OffG's content, please help us make our monthly fund-raising goal and keep the site alive.

For other ways to donate, including direct-transfer bank details click HERE.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mar 6, 2019 12:10 AM

If you wake up to identity politics – then you wake up to that ANY face or form can be used to mask a hidden agenda.

What something is USED for is what it is – not what it claims to be or looks like.

Orwell coined the idea of double think and doublespeak.
Here’s another one:
‘Organised religion’.

Organised love is a front for the organised evasion of honesty of being.
This is not to say we cant be social and join in what moves us – but then you grow and institutional and group identity which is not the movement of being – but a self elected representation of the socially agreed forms of love, protection, help or education.

Not that there is no baby in the bathwater, but people and institutions keep the dirty washing out back – covered up by fronting that becomes hollow.

The original meaning of religion is lost – but the meaning we live is the meaning we give and accept. If anything serves your true connection and communion with God and Creation – which is others created of that same communion whether their mind is in accord with their true being or a front to cover what cannot yet be faced within, then it could be called their religion or spirituality or not called anything at all. But their demeanour will evidence a different quality to that which seeks to garner reinforcement for lack of substance by assertions and behaviours that try to mimic what they wish to believe over what is actually running.

The ‘Second Coming’ is to do likewise – in your own life and in the ways that you are truly moved. But the Call is not – when you have sorted your shit’ but right where you are. – exactly as you are. There is nowhere else to connect to anything true – and the call FOR truth is always answered IN truth – but that means recognising and releasing investment in the untrue – that is not merely a loss of a present appreciation for being – but a destructive undermining of awareness in the diversion and displacement to propping up conflicted purpose under a front narrative.

The Call to wake is Always with us because truth can be covered over but not actually affected by lies.
The mind defended against hearing it is set in its own private agenda – and as long as that is invested in – it runs the concealment and defence of self-belief set against exposure in fear of loss of face, power or life… or worse.

The mind in its own deceit CANNOT uncover its truth or even reliably know a lie from the true. The light HAS to come in from a reference point that is within you, but outside or before the framing of the mind in its own spin.
This may seem to be from outside You because of who and what you have made of yourself by judgement – but there is always a resonance of a like quality – that receives as it is willing to give or share and gives or lives as truly moved.

The mind of a strategic defence is always already scanning for data for its own getting agenda – which may be running as any kind of externally justified ‘good’ – but literally knows not what it does – because it seeks authority as it does love or power – in external terms.

The capacity to recognize another as your self is not painted on or added mysteriously on reaching some special point of achievement – but is uncovering the already true, which is hidden by a need to evade relationship through judging others above or below in ever shifting justifications for the withholding of presence and withdrawing of worth masked in social behaviours.

Identity – identification – recognition – of love and protection is usurped by a misidentification – as in phishing ruse or false flag. Stillness of the release of mind let reality in – because there is nothing else when the noise of diversionary distractions subside to a willingness to be shown the truth – from the recognition that we do not make it – and disinvest of the a-tempt to do so.

Rising from Silence is Everything given from a fresh place to our willingness and capacity to receive. This is written into our very being – I am only pointing at what is already known – even if being dissociated from.

A fake is based on something real in order to pass off as if.
A denial must first know that which it then dissociates from.
The capacity to not know what we do is a hidden and compartmentalised mind – behind the illusion of a central intelligence. While it serves a purpose that we want, it does what we wanted it for.

The willingness to identity obstructions or blocks within our own thinking so as to release them – allows the already true to reintegrate what seems separated or split off within itself.

None of this is in the frame of the ‘world’ as we made it – but is the opening to the vision of a world under unified purpose. The fact of this is being yourself as the gift to your relationships – and your world – but the capacity for this is the allowing of a true movement through you – instead of the a-tempt to control, enslave or usurp or replace life.

No one else is called to be you – but you. The call to joy is the call to wake. The call to sacrifice and war is the wish to sleep on some more – even under the wish of seeking truth or the good of humanity.

The ego or self imaged sense of self, is attracted to hiding in the forms of righteousness. And finds that most strongly when set against evils – and actively pointing in accusation away from self. attacking the ego, feeds the belief it is real instead of correcting the error where it is; for lack of true of being is lack of love and lack of capacity to receive and appreciate others in a like quality of freedom. Armouring and concealment up is the only resort to escape exposure in lack of substance – as the ’emperor’s new clothes’ and as the fig-leaved thinking over a ‘fallen nature’.

All this comes home – but to be healed or undone – not to damn and destroy. However, as a man believes, so shall he perceive.

Mar 5, 2019 4:26 AM

There are the wellsprings of religions, expressed in many forms in many individual consciousnesses everywhere, and there are all the various forms of co-opting, organising, channeling, directing, coercing (and so on) some random collection of those wellsprings into the political, commercial and social entities known as “organised religions”. To the personally, socially, commercially and politically unmotivated finders of the wellsprings, those organised forms of religion are known collectively as ‘Looking for love in all the wrong places.’

Mar 4, 2019 11:19 PM

Due to severe technical issues here in South America – internet working only sporadically and erratically – I was not able to partake in this discussion this morning. Allow me to join now, although the minds may have moved on to the next subject already. It is by no means intended to rock anyone’s boat. May all beings believe what they care to believe – with the exception of creating suffering and pain. If that is permissible in what one believes in, than this belief should be dropped.

With all due respect, but to talk about a ‘God’ as if there were one other then the one created in the image of man is somewhat naïve in my very personal opinion.

If anything, Homo Sapiens had simply arrived at one specific point in time, where he needed answers to his arising questions about “Who am I?” and “What am I?”. Mind You that these questions have never fully been answered – but in a highly hypothetical fashion. Because nobody really knows. It is guess work at best. There have been countless attempts though to figure out what all this is about. With rather unconvincing results. However, the human mind is a mysterious thing – if it can’t figure something out, it will settle for what the ‘others’ believe to be true.

Religion is all its forms must be seen as such an attempt to find out what’s up with this planet and all its Life on it. Looking back, looking ahead – there just never seems to be a conclusive point of view by those who settle for the convenient ‘good enough for me‘ solution. It is this mindset – the myopic view of the world – that creates more troubles than it provides answers as to how those arise. If one is to look at it from a distance, one might well find out that this world of ours is one where anything goes in regards to the explanations about our very existence.

After having studied almost all religions out of curiosity – albeit not in a scholarly fashion, but more in a layman’s view of the world – I came to the conclusion that they all have one thing in common: they simply fill in whatever suits their needs in areas where they simply don’t know. Replacing lack of knowledge with whatever belief comes closest. The closest works that I could find were not of religious nature, but of mere analytical thought. The Tao Te King, or Dao is as much as one can probably handle – because the human mind cannot handle the truth about its existence.

Please allow me at this point to shortcut to where I recommend to drop any form of religion and replace it with what I can indeed compute, understand and accept as related to my existence.

When I take my physical body as a slip knot that exists in the so called physical world – movable through the dimensions of the inner and outer world – I come to the following conclusion: Everything I can see, hear, touch, feel and taste is the Universe. This Universe exists only as far as I can see, hear, touch, feel and taste it. You may use any other term instead of ‘Universe’ since the name itself is proof for not knowing. For various reasons Everything that is fits best. As it includes the nothing as well.

When two Human Beings encounter each other, the following happens: Each one is exterior to the other – in terms of observation. As everything exterior to me is the Universe to me, the other Human Being is the Universe to me. And vice versa. When two Human Beings are talking to each other, the Universe has a monologue. The key to understand one’s own existence lies within the understanding that I must most obviously be the Universe – as the person that is me and the ‘other’ person. Because when I realize that I am the Universe, I also realize that I am everything that is. One chapter in the Upanishads (which I highly recommend to have a look into) deals with the awareness in regards to Krishna – the source for all existence in the Upanishads and Hinduism. Western people would call it ‘God’, although it is not that simple and irrelevant for the point. The Upanishads state that “If You only realize once, that if Krishna is everything, that You must also be Krishna, You will never be able to forget this realization.”

As Alan Watts pointed out in his comical way, in all the Western religions, the proclamation that You are most obviously God – if God is everything – You will end up in a ward of sorts, as these Western beliefs will tell You that God is everything – but You. You were just made by it. Like everything else – in seven days. And since You were made, You can’t be the maker at the same time. Their reasoning. It is this confusion about the Universe, or everything that is, being made, that has landed Homo Sapiens in troubled waters. Without religion, we would simply be everything that is. The Native Indian and other Indigenous people’s take on IT.

Being told “Not to be IT” is also being told not to be the other. Being told not to be the other, makes it possible to treat the other as if it wasn’t me. All suffering and pain originates in this misunderstanding that is institutionalized in the Western world – coincidentally the same world that causes the greatest suffering and pain on this planet. For the people under the influence of this delusion also act accordingly. If the people that believe to be separate, isolated and unrelated to everything that is – especially to their neighbors and so called foes – would understand that a fish in the water is also the water it is in, religion would immediately be transcended from a mere instrument to control people, to total irrelevance.

Religion is for those who don’t have eyes, ears, touch, taste and feeling for everything that is. In turn, those who see, hear, touch, taste and feel themselves though everything there is – have no need or use for any sort of religion. They simply ARE.

Forgive me it this might be too abstract a response to an article about religion and its side effects. It is but the tiniest of fragments of what I am convinced of to be the truth about everything that is.

Mar 5, 2019 7:09 PM
Reply to  notheonly1

To me, notheonly1, You come very close, but there are a few important points, I have to disagree.

You are absolutely right to point out that the “universe” is exclusively the world of the senses.
Buddha once said: “The whole universe is in this 6 feet tall body”.
You are also right to say: “When two Human Beings are talking to each other, the Universe has a monologue.”
This is why Buddha compared reality with a dream. We may dream to be with other people we talk to and they talk to us. But when we wake up we realize that all was ONE – no “other people” were there.
But You must understand that also an “I” or “ego” or “me” wasn’t there. This is why Buddha referred to himself not only as (in English translation) “the Blessed one”, but sometimes as the “Tathagata”. This means “the one” – or better – “that, which has come so”. Nowadays Buddhist think that Buddha just gave himself another title. But it’s just the opposite. With “Tathagata” Buddha expressed that life was one(!) scene for him – not divided between the scene and himself, the Buddha – “seeing” the scene. It is the fundamental character of the scene to be just there – and not having to be “seen” (or “felt” or “smelled” and so on).by ‘someone’.
There is no ‘observer’: What you experience is the scene ‘per se’.

Also Your remark “And since You were made, You can’t be the maker at the same time” shows You still think of an “I” or “me” (like indeed the Hindus do) .

With what You said You also raised the question: ‘Why is the world’?
And this question is not to complicated for an answer:
But first of all – Buddha refused to give theoretical/philosophical explanations, because he was afraid that his listeners would pick this up as “opinion”. And repeatedly he condemned opinions as “restraint”. Instead Buddha’s slogan was: “Come and see”.

As the Buddhist “Wheel of Life”, the “Bhavachakra”, shows, life is a ‘zero-game’. One time you are in a nice world, then you are in a world of suffering, and for endless times this switches to and fro.

But its easy to explain this ‘zero-game’ logically: If there was a “creation” one would have to ask: ‘Where does this creator-god come from’. And that cannot be answered logically/reasonably.(this is also true for Karl Marx’ claim: ”In the Beginning there was material’. Karl, come on! Where would a “Beginning” or “material” could have come from in the “Beginning”?)

But the existence of the world can easily be explained by an example: If you give every phenomenon in the world a plus- or minus-number and all numbers together result in “0” then the world exists to the inside – and to the outside it doesn’t exist. It is a ‘Straddled Not-Being’. Or a ‘Being within a not-being’. If you are one of the numbers – and thus belong to this word – this world exists for you. For someone outside this universe, this universe does not exist at all.
I the Beginning of the world (in a logical sense, not by “time”, as “time” is – according to Buddha – “beginning-less) there couldn’t have been an a priori “The world is”. Where should this a priori have come from?
But also an a priori “The world is not” was impossible, because where should also this a priori could have come from?

This is why Buddha said: (Samyutta Nikaya – SN XII, 15 / SN ii16 – : https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn12/sn12.015.than.html )
‘Everything exists’: That is one extreme. ‘Everything doesn’t exist’: That is a second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Tathagata teaches the Dhamma via the middle

As this world is a ‘zero-game’ you cannot exploit this world ‘unpunished’ with desire, hate, or following fixed ideas or ideologies.

Once I saw a TV report about the Mayas. And they showed a Maya-Calendar. And this (round) Maya-Calendar was encircled by two snakes, each one easting the tail of the other one. From the Buddhist point of view you just have one snake that eats its own tail.

This ‘zero-game’-system will take your exploitations ‘back’ by making you suffer (“Karma”). You will be reborn in hell or in a suffering animal world – not because of a disgusting God, who first produces you and then throws you into hell (for eternity!) – but because this ‘zero-game’-system must rebalance itself. .

OK, notheonly1, this was heavy. For a little chilling see this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_RSSDnH0oc

Mar 5, 2019 9:34 PM
Reply to  Joerg

Actually, I did not perceive it as having been ‘heavy’. Maybe the reason for that is, that I am always ready to go where no mind has gone before. 🙂

Where I have ended up today, has to be credited to Georg Grimm’s Die Lehre des Buddho. While all philosophers combined reflect the desire to figure out what ‘all this is about’ and ‘how to go about in it’, Georg Grimm used the untranslated source of the Bhagavad Gita and started to analyze it independently from the existing interpretations. Having recommended his standard work about Buddhism in the German language, I received frustrated returns about the book – most notably because it is 938 pages long as far as my memory serves. An extensive work – but as he said himself, it can’t be done in less words if one is to understand the teachings of the Buddho. Alone the fact that he explained the differences between ‘Buddho’ and Buddha’ made a lot of sense. He was The Buddho, but A Buddha.

Among the modern philosophers and seekers of the truth I consider Alan Watts and Jiddu Krishnamurti as path breaking pioneers in regards to explaining what all this is about. Of course the Dao provides the answers as well, alas, as I often point out, one has to be of the time period to fully grasp its depth. Nichiren provided equally deep insights into existence.

What the entity called ‘I’ is referring to here, is the realization, or better experience of Being IT. And although one might allege that the moment of experiencing IT must be related to a lot of studying and meditating – this is not the case. What is required is an openness to experience this moment. The willingness to LET IT ALL IN. That’s practically IT. However, I am well aware that we live in times where the superfluous absorbs the time and space for the profound to occur. One has simply to pay attention what it is that occupies the minds of modern human beings and one will arrive at the conclusion that very few are actually seeking the truth about their own existence. Everybody is proclaiming to know how to behave in order to be successful. That is all that matters. Being ‘successful’ in a world that has no clue what IT really is.

When my life partner died in 2015, I was devastated. We shared the most profound platonic love I have ever encountered, or witnessed. Coming back home from work after the police had required me to be present, she was still warm at the neck. She was also the first human being that I touched after death. In all the agony of having had to say fare well to the love of my life, I realized that the smile on her face was not from this world. Nothing in this world can create this smile. Sure, people are very happy about their newborns, about great successes, falling in love, a very funny moment – a profound experience. The accompanying smiles are nowhere close to the smile she had in her dropping her 6-Sense-Machine.

Ever since this moment, I remind myself at every occasion whether what I am about to do will create this smile on my face when I leave. The only question that remains now is indeed How can I get this smile when I die? The Universe (and I use the term as another way of meaning ‘All-that-is’) allowed me to experience IT – BEING IT. There are actually no words for IT. IT can only be this way by fully becoming aware of IT. Nothing to be added, nothing to be left out. Nothing to complain about. No lack. While I write about it, it becomes also evident that there are no words to describe this moment some would call Enlightenment. The only thing that I can conclusively say is, that one needs to be inhabited by the desire to BE IT. When IT appears, the ‘I’ is no longer an expression of the Ego – it reveals that I AM ALL THERE IS.

Thus, despite all the suffering and pain, The Universe just is the way it is. In order to be different to what it is in this very moment, the mind indeed has to change the way it looks at IT.

Thank You for Your precious response. The Universe rejoices.

Mar 4, 2019 3:59 PM

Religion is the pest that plagues the world. And nowadays it is getting even as bad as in the Middle Ages or the time until 1600 AD – with killing, dislodging or dragging before court (Indonesia, Pakistan et al.) non-believers or believers of other religions.
And these religious people are not only Muslims but also “Evangelists” or “Judaic-Christians”. Like Trump, Pompeo and others. They want an “Armageddon” (Revelation of John) or total destruction, because only then can they have their “New Jerusalem”, which, in the end, supposedly opens door to permanent Paradise
And, yes, user rogerglewis is right to point out that ideological beliefs (“Climate change”) also have to count as “religion”. And we have also count to that political ideologies (Communism, Fascism, Pol-Potism et al.).

Only the Time of Enlightenment (18th) gave a short relief.

What’s wrong with “Religion”?
1) History of mankind knows of about 5000 gods, who have been adored or even prayed to.
Every believer of some Religion should be able to explain, why he/she is an infidel towards 4999 gods. But these ‘religious’ people’ can’t! Hardly anyone even knows only one other religion in sufficient depth.
90% of these believers simply took the religion their parents and grandparents had. And the rest (maybe) 10 % changed their religion to another one, because they “like” the new religion better – like Muhammad Ali (former: Cassius Clay), who switched from Christianity (Baptism?) to Islam.

But REALITY and how it functions – which religions promise to explain – does not depend on the belief of your parents or on what you “like” best!

2) Practically all religions nowadays are “outside”-religions. But real religion is meant as an “inside”-religion – not as “outside”-religion.

This is true also for “Science”. Science has turned totally materialistic, because it ignores the fact, that EVERYTHING is ‘only’ a product of the six senses (5 senses plus thinking/reason).
Everything the observer sees is produced in the optical brain. And that is “inside”!
With the other senses it’s the same: Someone whose right leg has been amputated can very well have enormous pain in his “right foot” (like this scene in the film “All Quiet on the Western Front”).

3) Worst example of an “inside”-religion turning “outside” is nowadays Buddhism. Only the Zen-faction still tries to keep the inside-way open. Nice Zen-quote: “When you spoke out the word “holy” – wash out your mouth afterwards!”

4) I was surprised that – unlike in Koran or Bhagavad-Gita – in the Bible there are strong hints to the “inside”-way.
a) Sermons of the Mount, Matthew 5:1: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” A wrong translation. The true translation is: ““Blessed are the poor in mind”. And what is meant is: “Blessed are the poor in thought …”.
In German Bibles they changed it all. They were so much afraid that “poor in mind” could be misunderstood for “stupid” (and could cause laughter) that they changed it to ““Blessed are those who are poor before God”.
Also the Buddhist “Pali-Canon” has been falsified massively – because they didn’t understand anymore what Buddha meant,
b) Or Luke 17, 20: “Once, on being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

Bernie Holland
Bernie Holland
Mar 4, 2019 4:58 PM
Reply to  Joerg

To quote you “Worst example of an “inside”-religion turning “outside” is nowadays Buddhism. Only the Zen-faction still tries to keep the inside-way open. Nice Zen-quote: “When you spoke out the word “holy” – wash out your mouth afterwards!” – I could not disagree more with a comment such as this – it is the height of insensitivity. Perhaps you could explain why you said this ?

Mar 4, 2019 8:19 PM
Reply to  Bernie Holland

@Bernie Holland
1) “Only the Zen-faction still tries to keep the inside-way open
a) Theravada (ruling Buddhism in Southeast-Asia+Sri Lanka): For laymen and for monks/nuns to delve consciousness is absolutely unusual. Monks from Europe and North America, who try to delve consciousnes, are made fun of. Also are they suspected to try to cause the laymen to give them more or more often gifts.
To this see “The Broken Buddha” – http://www.buddhistische-gesellschaft-berlin.de/downloads/brokenbuddhanew.pdf
Also the method to delve has been darkened in the Pali-Texts (I believe even earlier then 2000 years ago). This method of “Satipatthana Vipassana” doesn’t work!

b) Vajyayana (Tibetan Buddhism): Although I am absolutely sure to have met a (German) monk of the Gelugpas, who had at least reached the second step of consciousness (= 1. enlightenment), the Tibetan school per se doesn’t know what makes the mind still and heightened.
Yes, this “Retreat” of 3 years, 3 months and 3 days is aimed at having the monk/nun getting enlightenment. But neither is this long time necessary (Pali-Text-Buddha: “only 7 days!”). Nor even more is there a functional method how to delve. The main Vajrayana method is that of “visualization”. I once did a visualisation (it’s more then just to make a ‘picture’) of the White Tara. And I was successful that I turned into this young wise/intelligent/ person that – and totally shocked I jumped up onto my feet. I mean I really had been a girl! For years I enjoyed to remember this – and my shock of having changed to a girl made my laugh and laugh again.
But this method doesn’t lead to enlightenment. For more read (only available antiquarian): “John Blofeld: The Way of Power”
Also: For solitude (which is essential) you could indeed exercise visualisation. But they don’t use it for that. Instead they immure the monk/nun for more than 3 years.

c) Pure Land Buddhism (Vietnam, China, Korea, Japan): No delve of consciousness at all

d) Zen/Chan (China, Japan, Korea): Already the name Zen (coming from “Dhyana” or “Jhana”) means enlightenment.
Often sessions of a week are successful to one or the other adapt because the conditions of these sessions are obviously quite helpful. But in my opinion the advice you are given for Zazen or Shikantaza doesn’t hit the spot of what really functions to get enlightenment (Kensho). So a lot of adepts try and try in vain.
2) “holy
The world is scenic, not made of “things”. there is no “material”!
See “Master Ma and the duck”: https://books.google.at/books?id=r8bXW0YTRHwC&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=Ma-tsu+Tao-i+where+did+ducks&source=bl&ots=sG7e9KCRtn&sig=ACfU3U2A0-c5G2CTmbZXHBReKVMfLBdWHg&hl=de&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiWt8mvoungAhUQxYsKHZkTA3sQ6AEwAHoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=Ma-tsu%20Tao-i%20where%20did%20ducks&f=false

So as there is no “thing” or “person” that could by “holy” (there are also other reasons why “holy” doe not exist).

Bernie Holland
Bernie Holland
Mar 4, 2019 2:01 PM

Religion – the word itself derives from ‘ligere’ (Latin) for ‘to join together’. There is no unity in any of the religions that have been peddled in your article and even Confucianism is a blind alley. Find me a true religion ( based on a Law or Principle rather than some concocted “supreme being”) that can instruct people to be of one true mind, whilst being of differing physical nature, whereby they can work together, celebrating their diversity, for the peace and security of the land, then I will follow it earnestly, assiduously and sincerely.

Mar 4, 2019 10:46 PM
Reply to  Bernie Holland

@Bernie Holland
Sorry, Bernie, but Your Etymology is not right here: The term “Religion” comes from (Latin) “religere”. “religere” means: “to carefully observe” – meant in relation to auspices, prescriptions (often ritual rules). It also means “to bear in mind /consider”.

Mar 4, 2019 11:52 PM
Reply to  Joerg

I’d go for the ligere but more with a binding action than a joining action – to bind. If you take the prefix, re, this usually means ‘again’? so – tying us to something once again which is leading us around by the nose?

Mar 5, 2019 6:27 AM
Reply to  Joerg

Joerg, thanks for the correct etymology, I was under the same facile rationalist misapprehension until I found Robert Graves clearing it up in The White Goddess. He adds, that a poet can clearly see that “religere” means “to talk of serious things” by the way the word is scanned in the poetry of Lucretius (who despised the mind-made manacles of Religion, and preached the liberating news that we have no souls and dissolution of the body will only complete the happy mental nothingness that comes from dissolution of the brain).

Mar 5, 2019 9:22 AM
Reply to  vexarb

You seem to be quite “cultured” (I had to look this word up in my German-English dictionary, which also offered me the word “gentlemanly”. But using that word would probably earn me immediate trouble with LGBT and Feminists, so I stay with “cultured”).

I had to look up “Lucretius” (yes, Wikipedia, *sigh*). I’d agree with Lucretius, that there is no “soul”. But then again the old Romans never had a talent for philosophy. Yes, fantastic lawyers (“jurisprudentia”), fantastic technicians, fantastic organisers – but no real philosophers.

Mar 5, 2019 11:45 AM
Reply to  Joerg

Joerg, agreed about the ancient Romans. Tremendous constructors, they invented concrete so that they could build solidly: roads, aqueducts, drains, bigger, faster. But these worthy Empire Builders lacked imagination; their very thinking was concrete.

Mar 5, 2019 2:19 PM
Reply to  vexarb

“concrete”: Yes, even concrete that was saltwater-resistant – I believe this was not reinvented until the 20th century.
And Your “lacked imagination” goes indeed deeper than my “no real philosophers”. That what I read on German-Wikipedia about Your Lucretius put me to an aspect I have never thought of before: The Romans and “Love”. German-Wiki writes about Lucretius and his De rerum natura: “In order not to fall in love, Lucretius recommends his readers to visit a brothel”.

Come on, Lucretius! Sexual desire and falling in love is not the same!!!
With Romeo and Julia I can imagine the father of Julia addressing Rome with “Why don’t You just go into a brothel – and leave my daughter alone?!” After such words Romeo would have definitely had pulled his sword and had tried to kill Julia’s father in a fight.

But is there any Roman ‘Love-Story’? The Greeks had at least (although not much more, as far as I know) Helena and Paris (Troy) – Aphrodite making Helena falling in love with Paris. But the Romans had nothing of that. I believe, it could have been also a big financial success for a Roman author of a tearful-but-happy-ending Love-Story! And for Romans it was common to be able to read and write – like in the rest of Europe only 1500 years later. So there were a lot of potential customers! Or may be not? Was ‘falling in love’ not known to the Roman public?

Mar 6, 2019 12:43 PM
Reply to  Joerg

Joerg, interesting question, were the Romans strong on Romance? I cannot answer, not having read much Roman literature apart from De Rerum Natura; though Ovid is credited with an Ars Amoris, and Virgil with Dio and Aeneas. Catullus wrote famous love poems but Robert Graves says that’s because Catullus was no true Roman but a Celt.

Among the merry Greeks, on the other hand, Aphrodite as you say was busy. I can recall several love stories in Homer: Helen and Paris, Menelaus and Helen, Zeus and Hera, Hephc4aestus and Aphodite, Aphrodite and Mars, Hector, Andromache and their baby son, Ulysses and Penelope, Calypso and Ulysses, Troilus and Cressida, Achilles and Patrocles. In Sophocles we have the great tragic story of conflicted loves: love of country, love of tradition, love of family and love between an engaged couple. And Sappho is the supreme poetess of feminine love: love for her lovers, for her child, for the beauty of nature and finely made things; and concern for the wellbeing of her brother who has been ensnared by a bad woman.

Mar 6, 2019 6:24 PM
Reply to  vexarb

Wow! You really know a lot about the Greeks. Thanks.

With Ovid it’s seems also only Sex – not Love. I don’t remember if it was our Latin-teacher or an elder pupil at our school, who tipped me off with this verse of Ovid:
Inter oses virgines
est laetitia juvenis”

(“Between the legs of the young ladies, is the joy of the young men”).

Mar 7, 2019 10:35 AM
Reply to  Joerg

Religious love – is of a different order than than romance or eros. Or love of privately possessed pleasures. Love of truth is the truth of love. A special ‘love’ is set apart or made sacred as a symbolic association – as image or idol.

In antiquity – and ever since – gods of terror invoked emulation and appeasement such that NOT being destroyed was received as divine favour – and dedications and sacrifices to gods invoked them for the right and might to prevail. The archetypal themes of such ancient experience is our narrative or dramatic consciousness running largely beneath a rationalising surface dissociation of a separation or concealment that is invoked to protect.

The post mythic era as the dawn of a more stable, linear and historical consciousness that we can to some extent understand (but of course more readily project our own mind into) saw a more rational and philosophical development but also the monotheism of a developing mythic narrative for both a tribal identity AND a wisdom tradition.

Because the current scientific narrative regards itself as the one true worldview (an inherited trait), it operates as anti mythic – as if symbol and story have no place in reality – excepting subjective illusions, while math symbols serve the myth of technology or ‘define and control’ of the wish to ‘be as gods’.

The uniting of our inner being and outer reality-experience is a core ‘religious’ appreciation of life as innately significant. As the receiver and giver of shared recognition in worth. Shared being is not a reconstituting of redistribution of separate parts but revelation of transcendent wholeness prior to the mind of an apparent separation. The ‘new wine’ does not fit the old paradigm – but the attempt to do so generates much of the forms and associations of religious magical association that then become a substitute of observances in place of simply going within – by being still in willingness truth be revealed alive. Love of life is living purpose that no pumping up of idols, targets and checkboxes can generate – any more than carved wooden walkie-talkies could bring back the cargo planes for the ‘cargo cult’ islanders. But that didn’t stop them taking their invocations extremely seriously.

The modern cosmological black hole and dark energy mythos renders man insignificant – by his OWN JUDGEMENT.
The mind can and does play tricks on the unwary. But we generally find what we are looking for – and if we are programmed NOT to find what we believe would expose us in lack of face, substance and power, then we find anything BUT truth – while presenting as if seeking it.
Diversions and displacement strategies thus operate the evasion of core responsibilities associated with hate and fear. And so the forms of love may be invoked – especially in grievance of having been denied – as a cover story for a refusal to love – because the grievance holds the greater allegiance.

Love is the nature of all true recognition and communication and is in its nature formless but in its expression always unique and always present – even reaching across time.
The forms of a lack of love can be worshipped as a grievance demanding sacrifice in payment or retribution, because in this world of form they can seem to be the power of hate over love – acted out upon the body – used as a symbol of separateness from life for a mind kept secret and apart – seeking to regain what it lost or was denied in the forms of a world OUTSIDE itself.

The true nature of our being is pervasive to every cell as the awareness that is and recognises light – but not as the body’s eyes see. Vibratory and reciprocal ‘Commune-ication’ is a ‘Field’ of which we cannot NOT be an integral expression of, but the developing of a virtual mind and world-experience can become unaware of or hidden from its true nature and function in love.
The nature and function of love is to give even as we receive, and nothing we think can change what is created timeless.

Yet to a ‘fallen mind in a fallen world’, hate and guilt are irrevocably set as the condition of love’s unworthiness and betrayal. This is the nature of a ‘Prison Planet’ subjected to an ‘alien will’. Hate is an alien or ‘othering’ distortion of the will. It only hurts the other as they are willing to hurt themselves – and always hurts the giver – who makes it real for himself by giving it.

Giving and receiving are the function and nature of one mind. What we choose to receive and give remain our freedom – subject only to our tolerance for pain of conflicted illusions at cost of true. Giving true witness depends on a true or honest reception. Propagating false witness just because it is packaged in emotionally triggering associations, is re-enacting emotional investments of past learnings at expense of a present relationship.

This is ‘making reality’ or ‘perception management’ under narrative control.
The only choice is whether to run it and be run by it, or pause of reaction to disinvest and dissociate from that which dissociates us from our peace and thus from all that rises whole from our peace.

Is our ‘world-experience’ not letting it be obvious – without taking away our freedom to create from us – that we are invested in self-illusion – as an entanglement each with the other?

An alignment of choice in present awareness (as our remaining freedom in such a world) is the result of becoming aware and owning what we are in fact or de facto choosing – regardless the presentations of the mind of obfuscating complexities and plausible deniability of responsibility. (‘They made me do it – it just happened – they started it ‘ … and blah).

No one can change or release what they are not first willing to own. Yet no one wants to lose – and so are always seeking to shift, evade or mitigate responsibility for what they believe will bring rejection – and so we all teach rejection by acting as if it is true.

Others may judge against an honesty of self-correction – but are we willing to attack ourself to appease (and reinforce) their fears and hates, or abide in a love that extends to all because it is love’s nature to do so?

The way of acknowledging and releasing fear-distortions or mis-indentifications is both simple and very different from everything this mind has learned to adapt and survive within hate.

It starts off from a different presumption than a past made in grievance – being a willingness to listen – now.

Mar 4, 2019 12:33 PM

God doesn’t exist. I’ve been technically dead before for a number of minutes and I don’t remember anything. So there’s no other side to go to. But, besides my personal experience, what basis do we actually have that he does? I can’t see any. I wish people would just wake up out of their somnambulant state and have the balls to look at the world without the safety blanket of a god. It’s such a waste of time.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Mar 5, 2019 11:57 AM
Reply to  Bootlyboob

Of course god doesn’t exist.
God is ‘out’ of existence.
God simply IS.
Love does not ‘exist’ either.
It simply IS.
Only humans feel it, act it, make it.
Love is utterly intangible, but it is more real than water.
Test it.
In your experience.

Mar 4, 2019 11:50 AM

BigB, what you have written is more subtle than the common sense rationalism which has been expounded throughout the ages, from Epicurus through Lucretius to the British Empiricists and Logical Atomists. You quote from a Buddhist, and I am aware that Buddhism is an attractive religious outlook for physicists since its world view “has no need of the hypothesis” of a Supreme Being to explain its Universe. But even in Buddhism there are two worlds — or two aspects of the same world: Samsara and Nirvana. The former is the known world in our mouth, up our nose and under our microscope; but about the latter nothing can be said, except that it is the beatific Cloud of Unknowing on which the Solidly Known depends. A concept which some Mediaeval Christian thinkers likewise found congenial:

“La forma universal di questo nodo /
credo ch’i vidi, perche piu di largo, /
dicendo questo, mi sento ch’i godo. /
Un punto solo m’e maggior letargo /
che venticinque secoli alla impresa, /
che fe Nettuno ammirar l’ombra d’Argo.” — Dante, Paradiso 33.

Mar 5, 2019 9:33 AM
Reply to  vexarb

Vex: I know, and I haven’t even got to the subtle bit yet!

The subject is a ‘religious wake up call’. What can be more of a wake up call than that our inherited, received, acculturated notions of Being have gone mad – and are cannibalising themselves? What do I mean? Not only has the hierarchical regime entailed in conceptual notions of Being raised the most egotistical narcissists to the positions of world leadership: the concept of Being has been transferred – as corporate personhood (incorporation) – to the TNCs that are omnicidally raping the planet. Even the EU, as a legal entity, is a Being. Being is waging a psychological war on Being. Being is cannibalising Being.

There are only two constructs that constitute the wetiko religion of incorporated, absolutised Being. The Foundation of a pre-existent objectively eternal reality; and the Essential (Esse being Being!) of fixed substantial subjective Being – which is raised from the Foundation to incorporated personhood and individuated narcissistic egotistical autocracy. We are the automatic, depoliticised subjects of supranational Being.

The view that we get some nice, less narcissistic egotists to rule us is naive beyond naivety. The systemic, institutionalised, constitutionalised Being is insane. There is no cure. An alternative is required.

The catch is that Being has been acculturated for at least 2,000 years intergenerationally – as well as institutionally. TINA is a maxim that extends down to the automatic subject of Being – you and me. The Foundation and Essential constructs are the misplaced concrete geological bedrock of civilisation.

You see, when you mention samsara – it could not be any other way with Being as an Essential symbolically reified construct. Nor will it ever be any different: the notional Being is only ever going to develop in one way – monopolising and totalising Being. The world convergence crisis is profoundly spiritual in nature. Being is now anti-Being.

So do I try to promote non-Being – or neither Being; nor non-Being …or both Being and non-Being? Not a chance. Conceptual Being is so buried as bedrock in the language and the culture that it as if it is not there. So you hit the nail on the head. Conceptual Being is consuming Being: and the alternative is incommensurable with the language and culture of Being. That is our cultural aporia. If it is insoluble: Being will go rampant or nuclear and consume us all.

So I humbly offer the only alternative I know that can counteract the rampant and vicious insanity of Being – the local integration of subject and object into peace. I must stress that it is not at the local level that this insanity has taken hold. The people are not mad. But the hierarchical structures we are subjects to have concentrated the madness further up the food chain, so to speak. But the conceptualisation is mirrored in us all. We cannot escape it: but we can change it. We are culture, and culture is what we do. And still, for some of us privileged ones – culture is what we want it to be, Peace, within this actualised existential experience is my suggestion for a religious wake up call.

Mar 5, 2019 12:15 PM
Reply to  BigB

BigB, though your thought is now too subtle for me, I hope this Link expresses what I think you are saying: a call for inner and outer peace without fudging the issues. It was written by very sick man who was also religious, near the end of his life and after a war. So profoundly religious that one Church Worthy described this act of worship as a Black Mass.


Mar 4, 2019 11:15 AM

Religion …a concocted sham of “beliefs” manufactured by humans. Used by the powerful to justify genocidal behaviour and war. Wise words and tales to salve the conscience of monsters and give false hope to their victims of a better life in the hereafter. No thanks.

Mar 4, 2019 11:01 AM

Reverend Hassan Nasr’Allah, an effective voice of sanity in a Middle East. No wonder the Mad May regime in Zio Capitalist London wants to outlaw him.


The manic beginning of London’s insane strategy for Syria:
“Of all the glad new year, mother, the maddest, merriest day,
For I ‘m to be Queen o’ the May, mother, I ‘m to be Queen o’ the May.”
And the depressive, drug-soothed ending:
“I feel no pain now, mother dear, but O! my throat is dry!
Connect me to a brewery, and leave me there to die”.

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Mar 4, 2019 11:43 AM
Reply to  vexarb

Vexarb: watched a number of Hassan Nasrallah videos, usually via The Saker, and he bangs the nail right on the head each time I hear him. Most impressive, but, hey, the truth must be censored and disappeared by the Empire’s puppets, hence Hezbollah are made into ‘terrorists’ by those who actually support, fund and arm Real headchopping terrorists. I wonder if they see the irony in all this?

Mar 4, 2019 4:18 PM
Reply to  Gezzah Potts

Anyone who tries to defend themselves from Zionist criminality is a “terrorist.”

“This animal is dangerous. When attacked, it defends itself.” Voltaire

Mar 4, 2019 10:07 AM

Not in the article or underneath has anyone written of death, and what it means.
Let nothing be more familiar

Mar 4, 2019 6:06 PM
Reply to  crank

Crank, you want a mention of death well here it is, in this post from Saker Vineyard:
Larchmonter445 on March 04, 2019  ·  at 10:00 am EST/EDT

Very instructive to follow the thought process and analytics of Nasrallah. Though he is a man of religion and ideology, he is a very clear thinker, who bases his conclusions on reality and facts.

The Idlib solution, as he points out several times, is going to be a Russian operation (using Syrian and allied troops). _It will be the total annihilation of al Nusra, which does number at least 30,000, and probably, now 50,000 very die-hard militants._

The Russian generals almost launched the operation months ago, before the West cried out and threatened more false chemical weapons charges, this time pointed at Russia, not just Assad. No security zones have been established by Turkey, If anything, Turkey is itself immobilized by the furor of the [internecine] war among the terrorists.

Russia will use an air war of drones and missiles to shape a series of cauldrons within which then its artillery can _turn the thousands of terrorists to ashes_.

Because of terrain and civilians, it will be several months of fighting to eradicate Idlib of the terrorists. _This time there will be no green buses to convoy them to safety._

_Erdogan will have to hold his tongue while 8-10,000 [well armed] Uyghurs are obliterated._

These are his [terrorist] constituents from across the Asian Turkic regions, many from China’s Xinjiang Province.

Idlib is #1 on Russian target lists. Putin came to Syria to kill [NATZO’s ISIS] terrorists. Idlib is where they are surrounded, for the most part, and dug in to fight to the death. _Death is coming._

[Vexarb adds: I feel sorry for our terrorists, recruited from 100 countries worldwide. This is not the first time that Anglo Zio Capitalism has sent hundreds of thousands of young fellows to their death for profits from Middle East oil and a national home for the Jews; the first time was 1914. “In the UK around six million men were mobilised, and of those just over 700,000 were killed.” The first British troops of WW1 were sent to grab the ME oil port of Basra; the last, under Allenby, to grab Palestine and Syria. The only religion driving these wars was Mammonism — not Christianity, not Islam, not even Judaism.]

Mar 5, 2019 7:30 AM
Reply to  vexarb

PS more about death on its inexorable way. From the Syrian Army facebook page, a very reliable site. Note the words _martyred_ and _hell_:

“At 01:30 this morning, a terrorist group launched an attack on several SAA points in Northern Hamah using different types of weaponry; the attack was preceded by mortar fire.

SAA units at the axes or attack efficiently defended their points and dealt heavy loses to terrorists foiling their attack.

A second large scale attack was launched at 16:30 this evening at al-Qalaa mountains in Northern Latakia, which was also foiled by SAA units.

In the process, number of SAA soldiers were _martyred_ and others were injured.

The attacks were launched from what is supposed to be a de-militarized zone.

The General Command of the Syrian Arab Armed Forces issued a statement stressing that Syrian commitment to agreements should not be interpreted as a safe zone for terrorists.

Finally, we don’t know how far our voice on this page reaches terrorist-affiliated media, but we can say this: the US wasn’t able to protect its mercenaries in Aleppo, Eastern Ghuta, nor in Daraa; and remember, SAA was fully committed to deescalation, _you are the ones who broke it and opened a door from hell_.

Syrian Arab Army”

Mar 4, 2019 7:11 AM

I have read a great deal in the past ten years and no book has taken more of my time and thought than Donald Neal Walsh’s, Conversations with God.
Its a small slim volume and yet it took me 3 months at least to read, I read it every evening over that time and found myself pondering g and re-visiting a lot of Philosophy and Political Theory and comparitive religion to help process the thought processes set out by the Book.

Lessons from ‘Conversations With God’ Book 1, Neale Donald Walsch (Part 3 of 3)
Portrait of Neale Donald Walsch (copyrights © Dr. Gil Dekel)

by Gil Dekel, PhD.
Part 3 of 3. Back to part 2. Back to part 1.

A summary of main insights from CwG Book 1, with page numbers:


At all breaking points in life there is one question to ask: what would love do now?

Love is not to retain the best of the other – but the best of your self.


If one looks at religion as a field of Ethics or Moral Philosophy rather than the Established Church, even the non established church is still part of the State, secularism does not pass up any of its chances for divide and rule and guiding the separated flock.

Some movements seek to take on a religious fervor in their Teachings, one such being the Church of Climate Beliefs.
Communicating Climate Change is seen as a matter of telling morality tales rather than revealing truth.

Religion is an embracing of the indefinable and un-knowable

Why scurry about looking for the truth?
It vibrates in every thing
and every not-thing,
right off the tip of your nose.
Can you be still and see it in the mountain?
the pine tree?
Don’t imagine that you’ll discover it
by accumulating more knowledge.
Knowledge creates doubt, and doubt
makes you ravenous for more knowledge.
You can’t get full eating this way.
The wise person dines on something more subtle:
He eats the understanding that the named was born
from the unnamed,
that all being flows from non- being,
that the describable world emanates
from an indescribable source.
He finds this subtle truth inside his own self,
and becomes completely content.
So who can be still
and watch the chess game of the world?
The foolish are always making impulsive moves,
but the wise know that victory and defeat
are decided by something more subtle.
They see that something perfect exists
before any move is made.
This subtle perfection deteriorates
when artificial actions are taken, so be content
not to disturb the peace.
Remain quiet.
Discover the harmony in your own being.
Embrace it.
If you can do this, you will gain everything,
and the world will become healthy again.
If you can’t, you will be lost in the shadows forever.”
– Lao Tzu

Mar 4, 2019 6:20 AM

Anglo Zio Capitalist adherents of the Church of Mammon, whose only god is money, are losing in all 3 rounds of their Globalist war against the Globe. From SyrianPerspective’s analyst Canthama come 3 reflections on the end games in Syria, in Venezuela and in Russia’s Western Ukraina:

Canthama #288076

It seems the timing and momentum for the military campaign to free Syria’s NW is approaching, Al Masdar News has just reported:
“The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Russian military are preparing to launch a massive offensive in the northwestern region of Syria, a source in Damascus told Al-Masdar News on Sunday.”

Canthama #288079

Good article on Venezuela by Luis Hernández Navarro. As we said many times regarding the war against the Syrians, time is Syria’s favour, and it seems the same for Venezuela.

“Guaidó, A President Without Territory, Without An Army – But With The Bitter Taste Of Defeat”

Canthama #288070

Ukraine won’t be able to survive as a State in the foreseeable future. “There is nothing innately Ukrainian in its ‘state’, it is an identity defined externally – an incurable condition, and useless to treat.” By Boris Andreev

Mar 4, 2019 7:35 AM
Reply to  vexarb

Anglo Zio Capitalist adherents of the Church of Mammon, whose only god is money

why single this group out? Are the Rockefellers, Gates or Bezos, x, y, z Zionists?

Mar 4, 2019 2:42 PM
Reply to  Antonnym

Antzy iztz coz U iz balck?

Mar 4, 2019 4:29 PM
Reply to  Antonnym

Why single this group out.
Because it dominates all aspects of life on this planet, to the detriment of all humanity.
Because it has its jackboot on the neck of humanity.
Because it slaughters, starves and immiserates tens and hundreds of millions, and will continue to do so until it is destroyed, and mankind can finally breathe easily.
Because it seeks to strangle economically 40% of humanity.
If it was the Fijians, or the Cambodians, or the Nepalese, or the Botswanans doing this, they would be “singled out” for doing so.
But it isn’t.

Hope that explains it.

Mar 5, 2019 1:55 AM
Reply to  mark

So this mini club of 15 million has magic powers, because others have much more money.
By this you make them the Chosen people by “God” and you as a “man” also choose them as targets.

Mar 5, 2019 3:06 PM
Reply to  Antonym

Not the power of magic.
The power of money. The power of corruption. The power of bribery. The power of lies. The power of blackmail. The power of manipulation. The power of threats. The power of terror. The power of murder.
And that is the power of a lot less than 15 million. Just 6,000 in America. And 5,000 in Britain. Similar numbers elsewhere.

Hope that explains it.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Mar 4, 2019 5:13 AM

Religion, like capitalism, communism, hedonism, sexism, atheism etc etc, are all forms of learned ignorance.
Every child born was/is born with the knowledge of Truth. It gets buried by the (often well meaning) learned ignorance of others.
Stillness, or cultivating the practice of thought-less-ness, is the only way to leave the cage of words, concepts or delusions.
It can be a long journey but the destination is in-conceivably perfect.

Denis O'hAichir
Denis O'hAichir
Mar 4, 2019 3:47 AM

Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Mar 4, 2019 3:47 AM

All the holy books of the 3 main religions have significant content which can only be described as utterly vile. A blatant and repulsive celebration of massacre, slaughter, genocide, aggressive war, slavery, racism, bigotry, oppression and tyranny. I found this totally unacceptable when I first became aware of it, aged 11-12, and could see no conceivable justification for it. I don’t see how these can possibly be used as a model on which people can base their lives..

Over the years this material has caused incalculable human suffering. It has been used to justify the worst genocides in human history, the worst of the worst exploitation and inhumanity. It is still used in this manner on a regular basis, a prime example being the Zionist Genocide in Palestine. There are many others.

Churches and religious institutions can only ever be human organisations with human failings. Baudelaire suggested that the Devil’s most successful strategy was to convince people that he did not exist. But if you look at the content of any of the 3 holy books, you could argue more convincingly that the Devil’s most successful strategy was to convince people that he was God. The Being or Power described in them is simply evil. malicious, sadistic, cruel, hateful and inhuman. I thought, aged, 12, that this God, if it exists, might as well be the Devil. Whatever he is, no sane person should want anything to do with him or it. I still can’t see any way around this, however much you may respect individual believers and ministers of religion.

One of the few churches for which I have some respect are Jehovah’s Witnesses. They refuse to perform military service or participate in politics in any way, to the extent of even refusing to vote. They maintain this strict neutrality and seem to avoid some of the worst abuses found elsewhere. But of course they still justify and celebrate the problematic content described above. And their US origins give rise to understandable suspicion in many countries, even if this is unjustified.

Mar 4, 2019 4:23 AM
Reply to  mark

The Gospel of Mark:
All the holy books of the 3 main religions have significant content which can only be described as utterly vile.

he is only knows of these 3 (?) religions but ALWAYS singles out only one constantly.
He only sees Zionism, no Arab nationalism or Christian, no just one in one place.

Some Random Passer-by
Some Random Passer-by
Mar 4, 2019 7:48 AM
Reply to  Antonnym

Stopped at third paragraph.

He ain’t coming, because he doesn’t exist.

I watched my dad die of motor neurone disease as a child.

What God gives that out?

Oh, and if by some chance I’m wrong, then he’s got some explaining to do when I catch up with him!

Mar 4, 2019 6:33 AM
Reply to  mark

Mark, I cannot fault your rationalism, nor similar anti-religious essays of Lucretius, Voltaire, Gibbon and Russel. But somehow I believe that the unseen world is larger and more mysterious than the obvious one that is in front of our noses.

Three great men climbed up the high mountains; all three found fish bones among the rock.
Voltaire said, It’s obvious: some monk had his Friday Supper here, and threw the fish bones away.
Leonardo said, There is much here that is mysterious; chalk rock is lighter than other rock, perhaps these hills were once under the sea, and were lifted up because some heavier minerals sank down. What are these mountains floating on?
Darwin said, Not the wind that blows is less solid than this earth we tread on.

Mar 4, 2019 9:11 AM
Reply to  vexarb

There is nothing beyond our conscious experience of it. A noumenal world beyond sensory experience has to be brought into sensory experience and interpreted through the senses in order to experience it. There can be no extra-conscious experience. The world ‘beyond’, even when we can extend our physical senses, and their biological morphology and determination (the visible spectrum of light we can see, for instance) still needs a conscious interpreter – to bring information into the sensorium of conscious experience. And that interpreter is not impartil, but a participant who may be altering the extra-sensory reality (collapsing the wave function, for instance). Our sensory consciousness is all there is for us. It is all we can experience. There are no higher forms of consciousness and certainly no ‘pure’ consciousness ….consciousness beyond conscious experience. The reason why our normal diurnal consciousness is so maligned is not that is impure, it is that we filter the experience through a corrupting self-structure. It is the self-structure, the atma drsti, that is impure and masks our true experience. Daily consciousness is pure when unfiltered. Take a look around. The highest form of consciousness imaginable is what you see, hear, taste and touch. There is nothing else.

“Monks, I will teach you the All. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak.”

“As you say, lord,” the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, “What is the All? Simply the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & aromas, tongue & flavours, body & tactile sensations, intellect & ideas. This, monks, is called the All. [1] Anyone who would say, ‘Repudiating this All, I will describe another,’ if questioned on what exactly might be the grounds for his statement, would be unable to explain, and furthermore, would be put to grief. Why? Because it lies beyond range.”

Sabba Sutta – “The All”

Mar 4, 2019 12:11 PM
Reply to  BigB

Wasn’t me.

Mar 4, 2019 3:19 PM
Reply to  Mikalina


Mar 4, 2019 4:42 PM
Reply to  vexarb

You could be right. There is so much we will never know. Current scientific orthodoxy is that before the universe came into existence 14 billion years ago. all the billions of galaxies, planets, everything on this world, everything that exists, has existed or will ever exist, was concentrated in a single speck of matter the size of a pin head. This may or may not be true, but I can’t grasp the concept of it. In a sense this seems more fantastical than any of the more dubious and ridiculed content of these holy books. There are others who argue that nothing really exists, everything we experience is like a hologram or computer programme. Could be true, for all I know, though again I just can’t grasp the concept.

Mar 5, 2019 11:57 AM
Reply to  mark


Not grasping the concept is the height of honesty. Being satisfied with not grasping the concept is the root of understanding.