"Gloria" a pair of lyrics Paul Simon gave Bernstein as a gift
Half of the people are stoned and the other half are waiting for the next election. Half the people are drowned and the other half are swimming in the wrong direction. They call it Glorious Living. And, baby, where does that leave you, You and your kind? ...you and your youth and your mind? Nowhere, nowhere, nowhere. Leonard Bernstein, Mass
Religion is a word which refers to approaches to human spirituality which usually encompass a set of narratives, symbols, beliefs and practices, often with a supernatural or transcendent quality, that give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life through reference to a higher power or truth. It may be expressed through prayer, ritual, meditation, music and art, among other things. It may focus on specific supernatural, metaphysical, and moral claims about reality (the cosmos and human nature) which may yield a set of religious laws, ethics, and a particular lifestyle. Religion also encompasses ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history, and mythology, as well as personal faith and religious experience. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to communal faith and to group rituals and communication stemming from shared conviction.
SUFISM: THERE ARE three principal schools of philosophical thought in the East: Sufism, Vedantism and Buddhism. Sufism is the ancient school of wisdom, of quietism, and it has been the origin of many branches of a mystical and philosophical nature. Its roots can be traced to the school which existed in Egypt and from which source all the different esoteric schools have come. While One school may work mostly with symbolism, ritual, and ceremony another school may teach the mystery of life by the knowledge of metaphysics and the practice of self-control or represent the spiritual ideal in the realm of poetry and music. Although their methods varied, the ideal to attain perfection through self-effacement remained the same. But which self? Not the real, but the false self upon which man depends, and upon which he prides himself as being something special; and by effacing this false self he allows that real Self to manifest in the world of appearance. Thus the Sufi method works towards the unfoldment of that self which is eternal and to which all power and beauty belong.
The Sufi's worship of nature is due to the influence of Zarathushtra. His tendency towards sacrifice is the lesson taught by Abraham. His miraculous power is due to the influence of Moses. As one who warns of coming dangers he represents the great warner of the past, Noah. His independence of asceticism shows the influence of Solomon. His sacred music tells us of the song of David. His tendency towards renunciation is learnt from the example Christ gave. This makes the Sufi the disciple of every master, the follower of every religion, the knower of every aspect of wisdom. Thus it is that in spite of his spiritual attainment he remains sociable in the world.But The Sufi does not care who has said something; he cares only about what has been said.
At the present time the object of the Sufi Movement is to bring about a better understanding among individuals, nations, and races; and to give help to those who are seeking after truth. Its central theme is to produce the consciousness of the divinity of the human soul; and towards this end the Sufi teaching is given. The Sufi believes in God. In which God? In the God from whom he has become separated, the God within him and outside him. The Sufi believes in God as the idealized Self within the true life, as the collective Consciousness, the Inspirer of the right path, and the One from whom all has come and to whom all will return. The journey towards perfection means rising above limitations; rising so high that not the horizon of one country or of one continent only is seen, but that of the whole world. The higher we rise the wider becomes the horizon of our view.
My soul longs for the candle and the spices. If only you would pour me a cup of wine for Havdalah. O angels high, pave a way for me, clear the path for the bewildered and open the gates that I may enter, My heart yearning, I shall lift up my eyes to God, who provides for my needs day and night.
Baha'i Faith: The chief instrument for the transformation of society and the achievement of lasting peace is the establishment of justice in every aspect of life. To ensure that power is used as an instrument of justice, and that governance serves humanity's true needs, decision-making authority must rest with corporate bodies that cultivates the moral and creative capacities latent in human nature. A pattern of living that embraces diversity and fosters mutuality of purpose, compassion, and rectitude of conduct that strikes a balance between preserving individual freedom and promoting the collective good. Baha'i Library Online
Armed with the power of Thy name nothing can ever hurt me, and with Thy love in my heart all the worlds afflictions can in no wise alarm me. Devon Gundry - Armed
"When you give birth to that which is within yourself; what you bring forth will save you. If you possess nothing within, that absence will destroy you". Logion 70 The Gospel of Thomas.
Azan - The Islamic Call For Prayers, In The Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful Azan is recited in a loud voice by the Muezzin facing the direction of the Ka'ba in the following words, which are said in the order mentioned: "Allahu Akbar" - recited FOUR times. Meaning,Allah is Most Great. "Ash-hadu an la ilaha ill-Allah" - recited TWO times. Meaning, I bear witness that there is none worthy of being worshipped except Allah. "Ash-hadu anna Muhammad-ar-Rasoolullah"- recited TWO times. Meaning, I bear witness that Muhammad is the Apostle of Allah. "Hayya 'alas-Salah"-recited TWO times.Meaning, Come to prayer. "Hayya 'alal-falah" - recited TWO times. Meaning, Come to sucess. "Allahu Akbar" - recited TWO times.
A way to interpret the saying is that if you can enter your deepest interiority and give birth to yourself in this way, in whatever form your creativity takes (not necessarily the fine arts but how you interact with the world) you are on the way to becoming fully alive. You are beginning in your own way to embody the Christ consciousness. You are "saved" because you are living in harmony with the evolutionary flow. The truth is that everyone possesses this eternal richness within, so it is a matter of opening to it intentionally and mindfully.
Actions are lifeless forms, but the presence of an inner
reality of sincerity within them is what endows them with life-giving
Spirit. The method of the spiritual ascent is threefold, consisting of knowledge, practice, and the resultant state. Knowledge here means everything conveyed to us. The practice of this knowledge, inwardly and outwardly, with heart and limbs, is the spiritual path. The resultant state is the dawning of the Divine Presence upon the soul or ultimate reality. The Hikam (wisdoms) of Ibn Ata'illah Sakandari
Abwoon D'Bashmaya - The Lords Prayer (The Our Father) in Aramaic Abwoon d bwashmaya, Nethqadash shmakh, Teytey malkuthakh, Nehwey tzevyanach aykanna d`bwashmaya aph b`arha. Hawvlan lachma d`sunqanan yaomana, Washboqlan khaubayn aykana daph khan shbwoqan l`khayyabayn. Wela tahlan l`nesyuna ela patzan min bisha, Metol dilakhie malkutha wahayla wateshbukhta l`ahlam almin. Ameyn.
If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you.If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or being lied about, don't deal in lies, Or being hated don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream and not make dreams your master; If you can think and not make thoughts your aim, If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster And treat those two impostors just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken; Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken, And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose, and start again at your beginnings And never breathe a word about your loss; If you can force yur heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with Kings nor lose the common touch, If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that is in it, And which is more you ll be a Man, my son! Rudyard Kipling, Written in 1895, first published at the end of Brother Square Toes, the seventh chapter of the children's storybook Rewards and Fairies in 1910.
Where is the limitation in your life? Is it in
physical illness or pain? In emotional pain, unrest or frustration? In mental
lack of focus? And as a result, is your life less than it might be?
There are relatively simple tools, once you understand them, for freeing
yourself from limitation and blocks, and opening to authenticity and
empowerment. All of us experience obstacles in our lives. While those obstacles
may be frustrating, the purpose of those obstacles, from a higher point of
view, is to help you clear out from your life what is limiting you. The more
quickly you see what you are clinging to that you need to let go of, the more
quickly you transform and empower yourself. And since our blocks are stored in
our bodies, bodily self-awareness is indispensable tools for achieving that
goal. Bring your awareness to what is holding you back, and help you grow into
a finer version of yourself. Ingrid Bacci
This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. George Bernard Shaw
In this world are three wrong viewpoints. If one clings to these viewpoints, then all things in this world are but to be denied.
First, some say that all human experience is based on destiny; second, some hold that everything is createdby God and controlled by His will; third, some say that everything happens by chance without having any cause or condition. If all has been decided by destiny, both good deeds and evil deeds are predetermined, happiness and sorrow are predestined; nothing would exist that hasnot been foreordained. Then all human plans and efforts for improvement and progress would be in vain and humanity would be without hope. The same is true of the other viewpoints; for, if everything in the last resort is in the hands of an unknowable God, or of blind chance, what hope has humanity except in submission? No wonder people holding these conceptions lose hope and neglect efforts to act wisely and to avoid evil.
Baruch Spinoza's Ethics points out that our happiness and well-being lie not in a life enslaved to the passions and to transitory goods we ordinary pursue, nor in the related unreflective attachment. As long as human mind perceives things from a haphazard encounter with things, this superficial acquaintance will never provide us with knowledge of the essence of those things.
Adequate ideas, on the other hand, are formed in a rational and orderly manner. Reason is the apprehension of the essence of a thing through a discursive, inferential procedure. What should we strive for is to learn how to moderate and restrain our passions and become active, autonomous beings. We will, consequently, be truly liberated from our troublesome ups and downs of this life.
The way to bring this moral clarity about is to increase our knowledge, our store of adequate ideas, and eliminate as far as possible our inadequate ideas. Free Person is one who does only things that he believes to be most important in life, take care of well-being of others, doing what we can to insure that they too achieve some relief from the disturbances of the passion through understanding.
An Anthology Of Verses All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts; it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts; it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him. Dhammapada
Everything has a cause, so we have to ask, what was the root cause of this evil? We must find out not superficially but at the deepest level. There is no doubt that such evil is alive all around the world and is even celebrated. Does this evil grow from the suffering and anguish felt by people we don't know and therefore ignore? Have they lived in this condition for a long time?
Can any military response make the slightest difference in the underlying cause? Is there not a deep wound at the heart of humanity? If there is a deep wound, doesn't it affect everyone?
When generations of suffering respond with bombs, suicidal attacks, and biological warfare, who first developed these weapons? Who sells them? Who gave birth to the satanic technologies now being turned against us?
If all of us are wounded, will revenge work? Will punishment in any form toward anyone solve the wound or aggravate it? Will an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and limb for a limb, leave us all blind, toothless and crippled?
What are you and I as persons going to do about what is happening? Can we afford to let the deeper wound fester any longer?
I only hope that these questions are confronted with the deepest spiritual intent. None of us will feel safe again behind the shield of military might and stockpiled arsenals. There can be no safety until the root cause is faced. Deepak Chopra
I regard the work you do as one of the most valuable works which any American could now do. President Theodore Roosevelt in a letter to Edward S. Curtis, December 16, 1905. Following the Indian's form of naming a man, I would be termed The Man Who Never Took Time To Play. Edward S. Curtis at age 83, from his unpublished memoirs.
My friend, I want to trade my horse for her house,my saddle for her mirror,my knife for her blanket. My friend, I come bleeding from the gates of Cabra. If it were possible, my boy,I'd help you fix that trade. But now I am not I, nor is my house now my house. My friend, I want to die decently in my bed Of iron, if that's possible,with blankets of fine chambray. Don't you see the wound I have from my chest up to my throat? Your white shirt has grown thirsy dark brown roses. Romance Sonambulo (Sleepwaking Romance) by FEDERICO GARCIA LORCALeonard CohenPink Floyd
Upholding the common well-fare of all, Now is not the time to ignore this debt of gratitude, Now is not the time to overlook all those upon whose shoulders we Have gained a better view. So let us say this, now : If you have ever taken back the night, Take it back now. If you have ever reclaimed the streets, Claim them now. If you have ever heard the cry in a song, Cry it out now. If you have ever seen the blue in the blues, Paint all of 'dem hues...now. If you have ever found your Voice, Speak Out NOW. Naomi Steinberg, storyteller
Shirin Neshat's first feature film Women without Men chronicles the lives of four women from different walks of life against the backdrop of Irans foreign-backed CIA coup in 1953.
In Turbulent, Neshats 1998 two-screen video installation, two singers (Shoja Azari and Iranian Vocalist and composer Sussan Deyhim ) create a powerful musical metaphor for the complexity of gender roles and cultural power within the framework of ancient Persian music and poetry.
For Palestinian children living in the poor quarters and camps of south Beirut, there are few opportunities for art and cultural education. One organisation is working to change that, distributing cameras and teaching them the art of photography.
People of faith are commonly caricatured as people whose minds are closed
to all but their own beliefs. Kathleen Norris exemplifies the fact
that quite the opposite is often true, that faith often comes to those
whose minds are most open, to both doubt and possibility.
Thinking without awareness is the main dilemma of human existence. Most people are still completely identified with the incessant stream of mind, of compulsive thinking, most of it repetitive and pointless.The ego is the "I" or "me." It embodies the primordial error, a misperception of who you are, an illusory sense of identity.This illusory sense of self is according to Albert Einstein "an optical illusion of consciousness." The good news is if you can recognise illusion as illusion, it dissolves.
According to Christian teachings, the normal collective state of humanity is one of original sin. Sin is a word that has been greatly misunderstood and misinterpreted . Literally translated from the ancient Greek in which the New Testament was written, to sin means to miss the mark , as an archer misses the target, so to sin means to miss the point of human existence. It means to live unskillfully , blindly and thus to suffer and cause suffering.
Fear, greed and the desire for power are the psychological motivating forces behind incessant conflict in personal relationships. They bring about a distortion in our perception of other people and ourself. Through them, we misinterpret every situation, leading to misguided actions. Eckhart Tolle - A New Earth
Then, in such hour of need
Of your fainting, dispirited race,
Ye, like angels, appear,
Radiant with ardour divine!
Beacons of hope, ye appear!
Languor is not in your heart,
Weakness is not in your word,
Weariness not on your brow.
Ye alight in our van! at your voice,
Panic, despair, flee away.
Ye move through the ranks, recall
The stragglers, refresh the outworn,
Praise, re-inspire the brave!
Order, courage, return.
Eyes rekindling, and prayers,
Follow your steps as ye go.
Ye fill up the gaps in our files,
Strengthen the wavering line,
Stablish, continue our march,
On, to the bound of the waste,
On, to the City of God. Matthew Arnold's poem: Rugby Chapel
All sorts of torturers, dictators, fanatics, and demagogues struggling for power by way of a few loudly shouted slogans also enjoy their jobs, and they too perform their duties with inventive fervor. Well, yes, but they "know." They know, and whatever they know is enough for them once and for all. They don't want to find out about anything else, since that might diminish their arguments' force. And any knowledge that doesn't lead to new questions quickly dies out: it fails to maintain the temperature required for sustaining life. In the most extreme cases, cases well known from ancient and modern history, it even poses a lethal threat to society.
Central truth of our time: The greater the gap between the rich and everyone else, the greater the greed, the greater the strain on the bonds that make societies good, communities human. From "Greed and Good" by Sam Pizzigati
Theology and Ethics. Thus, we see, for instance, how Satan who belongs to the nature of Multiplicity, and; multiplicity itself are the substance of all war and hell, in the same way, hell is locus of sorrow, ignorance and separation: those qualities which pertain to multiplicity. Thus ever so-called evil in the end may also be subsumes under the category of multiplicity. Ugliness, for instance, is also multiplicity and identify, just as despair and injustices are also attributes of multiplicity. On the other hand, Unity (that is to say God), encompasses and absorbs the qualities of the lower circle by its own comprehensive qualities. Unity most salient attribute and manifestation is found in love. Love is described by the Sufis as the remedy of all ills and the alchemy if existence. Love transforms poverty into riches, pauper into rinse, war into peace, ignorance into knowledge and hell into heaven. Finally it should be pointed out that poetry, the inspiration for which hails from the higher world of love and Unity, functions as a motive and cause of Unity. The therapeutic value of poetry as well as its metaphysical motivation and aesthetic significance in Sufism arises from the spiritual quality. By Hossein M. Elahi Ghomshei
When she was only 14 years old, Alice Musabende lost more than 30 family members in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, including her parents and brothers and sisters. On the 15th anniversary of the tragedy, Alice remembers her loved ones: 15 Years later. Remembering the people who were mine.
15 years. 15 long years since the last time I saw my mom's beautiful smile. Since the day I last saw my little brother's baby face. The pain is there, has always been there and will always be there. I still remember it all, just as if it was yesterday. Some days, I can't help but let tears roll down on my cheeks, silently. And some other days, I wake up in the morning, and tell myself that I am going to make it. And I know I will.
15 years passed by but I haven't forgotten a thing. I never will. I haven't been able to forgive the people, who one early morning of April 1994 decided to take the lives of the people who were my world. Ever since that day, I have been trying to understand what kind of people couldn't just be seduced by my baby brother's smile or my mother's beauty and let them live. People who thought they had the right to kill them. I haven't been able to forgive them. Does this make me the devil one? Maybe, but 15 years later, all that I am left with is my anger and my sorrow; they keep me moving.
15 years have gone by, with their challenges and the many blessings that I am surrounded with. But here I am trying to remember my little's brother's face. I lost the only picture of him and every day I think of him, I just can't remember exactly what his face looked like. I want to keep everyone's memory alive. But it is very hard, because they are so many.
In 15 years, I have learnt so much. I have learnt that God keeps an eye on me, every day of this life I call mine. I have learnt that when you lose the family you had, you can always make a new one, a family of friends that destiny puts on your way. I have learnt that sorrow doesn't kill, it can break you down or it can make you stronger, it's one's choice. I have learnt that love is the best medicine, the best way of healing oneself.
I am remembering all of them today, Annonciata, Aloys, Elyse, Alain, Christian, Gabriel, Asterie, Andre, Cadette, Mimi, Flambert, Bosco, Toyota, Mudeo, and so many others I can't name here. I am remembering them, as much as I remember them everyday, and just as much as I dream about them every day. I am remembering them because I want them to know that I am alive, for me and for them. I want to tell them that the candle in my heart will be lighted forever. And that I will always honor their memory, because they are me and I am them. I am All of them.
In 2006, Alice moved to Canada to attend Carleton University, where she graduated with a Master of Journalism degree. Today, Alice is a television producer in Ottawa.
"Never again!" captures the response of societies that are recovering their own equilibria, their own dignity, and their own sense of integrity. But if societies are to prevent recurrences of past atrocities and to cleanse themselves of the corrosive enduring effects of massive injuries to individuals and whole groups, societies must understand--at the deepest possible levels--what occurred and why. In order to come fully to terms with their brutal pasts, they must uncover, in precise detail , who did what to whom, and why, and under whose orders. They must seek, at least, thus to uncover the truth--insofar as this aim is humanly and situationally possible after the fact.
Throughout the world, communities are being pushed. Climate change is forcing people to move and adapt; armed conflict is driving families off their land; transnationals are pushing citizens to give up their resources. Also throughout the world, communities are resisting. World Community Film Festival has stories of resistance from around the world, where communities are standing up for their rights. Hopefully their stories will inspire you to act in your community for what you believe in. Sweet Crude is a documentary film about the Niger Delta of Nigeria. The Nigerian government, along with foreign oil companies, have reaped enormous profits over the years from the sale of oil and gas reserves, while the residents of the Niger Delta live in abject poverty. Billions of dollars of crude oil flow under the feet of a desperate people. Immense wealth and abject poverty stand in stark contrast. The environment is decimated. The issues are complex, the answers elusive. But in this moment, there's an opportunity to find solutions. What if the world paid attention before it was too late? http://www.sweetcrudemovie.com
The American military base on the island of Diego Garcia is one of the most strategically important and secretive U.S. military installations outside the United States. The base was a little-known launch pad for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and may house a top-secret CIA prison where terror suspects are interrogated and tortured. But Diego Garcia harbors another dirty secret, the shocking truth of how the United States conspired with Britain to forcibly expel Diego Garcia's indigenous people-the Chagossians--and deport them to slums in Mauritius and the Seychelles, where most live in dire poverty to this day.
Tracing U.S. foreign policy from the Cold War to the war on terror, Vine shows how the United States has forged a new and pervasive kind of empire that is quietly dominating the planet with hundreds of overseas military bases.
A gigantic tsunamis that devastated coastal south-east Asia arrived as much as 2 1/2 hours later, without warning following an undersea earthquake about 160 km from the northern portion of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia on Sunday, December 26, 2004. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) immediately warned the U.S. Naval Station at Diego Garcia, which suffered very little damage from the tsunami. NOAA was able to get the warning to the US Navy base in the area, but says it was unable to contact the civil authorities in the region to warn them. It is possible that a very large explosion might have triggered the first quake directly in some way or that repeated prior testing could have induced changes that led to the quake indirectly, but research on the fall-out of nuclear testing is so highly classified that little is known of the possible impact. The U.S. has not ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, leaving the door open to future U.S. testing despite an extended moratorium. There has already been a strong move toward resumption of testing since 2002. By Lila Rajiva
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young. I danced in the Nile when I was old. I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep. I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it. I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy bosom turn all golden in the sunset. I've known rivers: Ancient, dusky rivers. My soul has grown deep like the rivers. I've known rivers by Langston Hughes