..Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You'll find what you need to furnish it - memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.This is the view from my bedroom window and this is what it looks like in the wee early hours of the mornig when the world is asleep. I would sit and do my work at one of the tables or meditate cross legged pearched on the chair wiht silence all but fo occasional rush of a motorcycle or cars, but mostly it is quiet.
"Autobiographies are only useful as the lives you read about and analyze may suggest to you something that you may find useful in your own journey through life."Eleanor Roosevelt.In the morning the place is filled with the roar of traffic and the chatters of folks having the meals and this is when i am asleep. Most of my blogging is done during the nights. I have managed to make use of what is available to me making it work for me instead of working against it. Now i am almost completely comfortable with the arrangements in my life style. Living as productive despite all the external invasions of my senses and my mind.
..Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You'll find what you need to furnish it - memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
|I am saying good bye to this place where the shores meets the sea and the struggle to stay afloat is ever in the horizon as those who eke their living simply by going to sea and barely making it as it is in this dog -eat dog of an existence.|
Monday, November 25, 2013
If i were to understand Christianity it would not be through reading the Bible or other related materials, i learn it through the acts of my brother Lee Khai and his wife Anne who are to me truly practicing the Faith in Christ through Love. Non- Judgemental, Unconditional Love through the Holy Spirit that is within. I am again indebted to Lee Khai for sponsoring my journey around the country in my little Kancil. I am impressed if not moved by this very generous gesture especially equipping me with a brand new camera, something i sorely miss. I will do my best to make it all worth while in my planned journey.
It takes me immediately back to the Bodhisatva vows the I had taken while practicing Zen Buddhism in California and i have written quite extensively on this in my past blog entries. What has the vows got to do with any of it? It is there as a reminder for me of my mission in life, to help heal where healing is needed, to become acquainted with the pains and suffering of others wherever i go and to share Love and Wisdom where ever and whenever circumstances or events permits me to. I sometimes feel like i am one of those old Zen 'Crazies' who does not know when to quit or even how to quit. This me, The Cheeseburger Buddha, the 'Night Soil Carrier', the Elegant Beggar. It is a role i play in my day to day encounters with what is before me, creating an illusion for the sake of winning the hearts of the multitude or beings around me with Love and Positive energies, Acceptance and Deliverance. I do not mean to aggrandize this principle I follow but at the highest level of human consciousness, the Vows of the Bodhisatvas are made for me to serve humanity and it is ever present in my mind; hence i travel from place to place to practice this principle.
The first of the Vows is...Beings are numberless, I vow to awaken with them!
On the Sam Bahari level of understanding, I am tied to the vows i made as a reminder of the meaning of my life, my practices, I too am Ram Dass! The servant of God. At an even more mundane level of understanding I tell myself to chill and do the best I can with what i am given without too much moaning and groaning; serve. With the new Sony camera I definitely look forward to my journey around the country, I look forward to being on the road again meeting strangers and making new friends, I look forward to sketching and painting already!
|My Studio is the Open Studio and it is open everywhere.|
I realize at my age I am liable to kick the bucket at anytime now and it would not be a major surprise to anyone these days. Over sixties is a bonus by and large and to be at my age and still be able to wander around doing what i enjoy doing is an added blessing. I touched many hearts at the last place I visited, the Chinese Community at Kampung Sungai Lembu as they touched mine and my simple contribution by being there was i am sure appreciated. It helped me to be at a place just the opposite of where I am at right this moment, my home on the corner of Sungai Pinang Road and River Road, the busiest junction in Georgetown. I however can sit and meditate for an hour without noticing a single sound outside in the dining area late at night.but oin the day time I force myself to sleep in and lock out the traffic noise outside. Being at the Chinese school i felt the quietness almost the whole day through, hardly the sound of an engine. Where ever i travel I try to find that small peaceful corner where I can look within me deeper and deeper. I need the presence of silence and open expanse of nature, of hills and fields, of rivers and trees; I need to be by the sea and stare up at the large white clouds above me as they float ever changing in shape and forms, I need to be home and my home has always been on the road. I have no home, my home is everywhere.
If i die while driving along some beaten path so be it, at least i have spent a great part of my life witnessing God's creations up close and personal and I am able to share it with the many that take the trouble to follow my ramblings. As a matter of fact the realization that I am getting closer to death has allowed me to be less worried about life, if I am to worry i would say I wish I had done more, seen more, touched more and feel more towards the Love of life; than life would not have been wasted. Hence why I cannot sit around this place waiting for the walls to crumble away an allowing me to change, to migrate, to move on, to keep churning up what else is left for me to churn before the curtain is dropped and all bets are off. Life has much to offer yet and I accept my limitations to stay within the bounds of my age, (not over do it like in the past.)
|This piece has been accepted for the Annual Penang State Art Exhibition.; my Pride.|
I have been having the flu for the past week or so and it seems to be lingering without making any significant change except that not my phlegm when i cough and spit out contains drops of blood; not good. The migraines are back with force nine magnitude that almost blinds me at times and my daughter needs her rent money and my car needs the road tax renewed; not a beautiful scenario to wake up to this morning and let us hope this too will pass, somehow.
I am still contemplating leaving the City for the East Coast just to get away and perhaps fine some solace where there is less noise and not as hectic a life. I also have to settle my late wife's income tax issues where I have to pay RM5000 and it can only be solved in Terengganu where her files are or so it seems. It is that time of the year I suppose where it is pouring cats and dogs as the monsoon season hits the South China Seas and at the same time I am getting inundated by life's daily pressures economic as well as psycho-emotional, the later being a sense of stagnation and lack of energy to rebound.
My so called issues are no issues at all compared to those who got swiped by the Typhoon in the Philippines, they have a hell to deal with for quite sometime to come. Their future is bleaker than most especially for the children whose life is being torn apart by such a magnitude of devastation; this is collective suffering at its worse. My problem is a far cry from what these folks are up against and I am deeply saddened if not fearful at what has happened and more it seems will happen for so long as nothing is done in terms of climate changes. Mankind is headed for the worse or so it seems and we are still playing roulette as to what should be done to combat these natural catastrophes.
I sat watching the documentary movie made of Mahatma Gandhi which is five hours long on Youtube, not the Hollywood, Ben Kingsley Gandhi movie but the actual black and white taken during his lifetime and it has been uplifting to say the least. The Mahatma holds a special place in my heart ever since i first came to learn about him when i was a child and he was killed a year before I was born. One skinny Indian 'Fakir' in a loin cloth took down the British Empire in India! His life has been one long struggle for the independence of one of the most populated nation on earth and he did it all without too much bloodshed and allot of self sacrifice. My point in making is that when I am approaching a slump or depression or when i am in need of some sort of reminder to lift myself up again from wallowing in self pity or defeat, I would watch the lives and achievements of great men like Gandhi, or Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King and more. It is through reflecting on how they have managed to stay on the road that i too can feel the energy and the will to transcend all that stand in my way of living life to the fullest. Life is too precious to be left to its own demise by not propagating a means for its healthy growth; there is only one life to live, live it well.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
My friend, Wah Peng, a well respected member of the the Penang community of Artists especially the Chinese, had arranged for Rashid and myself to join in the Art and Eco community effort at Sungai Lembu, or Cow River located on the border of Penang and Kedah on the Kulim side. It is the most fly infested place i have ever been to and it taught me a humbling lesson on how to exist among flies, invited flies to hover and buzz around you s much as they like as long as they do not eat away at my watercolor paints. I learned from it a communal lesson of how a common problem exist that needs to be resolved by the community as a whole...like the State of Penang has the Clean Rivers issues that is yet being put in the back burner. The reason for the existence of these much flies is the fact that the community is surrounded by chicken and duck farms among other farms like pig farms and such, hence you got an abundance of flies. One solution is move the farms from nearby ;locations to a new and more suitable location. Perhaps provide for good sanitary general house keeping all around not giving the flies an easy ride towards population explosion.
On one occasion I was invited to have lunch with an ADUN or State Representative in charge of the area, a young and bright Malay lady. The event took place at a what seems a community canteen with round tables and blood red table cloths half of which was littered with the former users leftovers covered north, south east and west with hordes of flies and empty mineral water bottles all over the floor being blown by the wind left and right. A special table was set with a most classy Malay lunch fit for a YB, Her Respected ADUN; the fish dishes was out of this world and I thought I have had some good Malay dishes in my life! There five of us all together that was not Chinese in the whole scenario and we served ourselves heartily, at least I did.
What i observed from this experience was that there was a lack of respect or at least the most basic observation of protocol to be observed when we involved a duly elected VIP who can make things happen for your communal efforts; treat your representatives with all due respect and decorum; I had to ask the Chairman for mineral water to be made available at the table too, just in case the YB choke on a fly.
While making every effort to be present in the moment I also came to enjoy the most beautiful landscape while creating bears and foxes, thunder gods and serpents in the white clouds against clear blue skies lined by green low hills stretching from one corner of the eye to another, and line with rubber trees as the basement littered with thatched dwellings here and there; simply rustic. This was where i find my solace from from the rush of City life in Georgetown. This was where I sat, to keep my mind from going insane from lack of anything to do and wanting to be somewhere else, somewhere else, somewhere else...I felt myself being there for the three days that I had spent in Sungai Lembu Chinese School.
I saw it was not n easy effort to put together for such a community and this I believe for the first time, live and learn and they did very well from what i can see, not without shortcomings but still I felt well taken care of by my friends and the people as a whole, I felt like a tourist, however i have visited much more backward and rustic than this in my life, I was not overwhelm. One of my playgrounds while growing up was exploring the hinterland or 'the Ulu' areas of Terengganu and that was in 1960s- 70s. The Malays then was living pretty much like what their ancestors had most probably lived a hundred years before them, if they had any there to begin with, or they could have been the original; sadly most of these clusters of villages are now buried under Tasik Kenyir, one of the largest man-made lake in South East Asia. My point is when I 'evaluate or access a situation, a scene or a person even I based my perceptions on my past experiences as reference files stashed away in the back of my filing cabinet. One of the advantage of willingness to 'Hijrah' is the ability to touch and experience life in all its aspects and possibly to keep an ongoing record of these scenes and adventures like keeping cuts of your old movies. I keeping a documentary type of record or even a diary or some form is the sharing, is the end product; hence, this Blog.
The Chinese dominated community of Sungai Lembu was created by the then British- Malayan Union government to counter the communist efforts in recruiting locals to serve their cause in the jungle warfare or the insurgence movement. These were homes for those who had lived on the fringe of the main stream society and today they inherit a community that is starting to come alive with all kinds of economic, social and ecological heritage prospects. Sadly enough it will another success Chinese village story to the exclusion of other nationalities and as it is I found most children I encountered could not understand the most basic Malay, English or any other language; definitely not a healthy place to be if your intention is 'Satu Malaysia' or One Malaysia..Now it will not be apparent but in the long term the flaw will reveal itself in the form of racial ignorance; in their adult life the Chinese children growing in such and environment will become culturally myopic. However from my interpersonal communications with the parents most of whom are well educated and high middle class income folks, I felt and envy for them having such an environment still available to raise their children in.
I also had a glimpse of understanding of the role artists such as myself and my friends Rashid and Wah Peng were playing in promoting art and understanding among the villagers. Rashid and I were most probably the first two Malay artists the community had ever encountered up close and personal. When asked if they liked art, one got a blank look of, suspicion and "what are you talking about?", from the children; there was no sense of understanding reflecting from the looks they gave. Only through the act of drawing or sketching does it seems to unlocked the barrier of communication between the Chinese children and the Malay artists.Hardly any showed any interest or initiative to ask questions or even be curious of what being an artist is all about much less being a non-Chinese is all about.
Why should I care? What get involve in such activities when you are made to feel like an illegal alien or a tourist in your own backyard? Servitude. To serve, to give to return the favor given to you in life that many does not have the opportunity to enjoy. To share with what God given talent that you have with the rest of humanity such that even if one individual had benefit from it, it gives a sense of gratification a fulfillment. "Well, what good did you do today?" "Lets see I did, do a series of sketches witnessed by a group of students, talked to parents about education and to others about how to..."
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Saturday, November 16, 2013
|It is said that a woman is most appealing sexually or otherwise when she is in her pregnancy, and she can also be the meanest 'Bitch' on the planet. HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE HER!|
Thursday, November 14, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
This is one of the most sensitive issue that I feel when I write my feelings about it I and making confessions, asking for forgiveness, trying to justify and reconcile; bottom line is I love and respect my twin brother no matter what transpasses between us in this life. A wall between us most of our lives a wall that grew taller and more obstructive and this wall runs very deep within us; only Allah can shatter this wall or veil. We grew up under such circumstance that most of the time we were pitted against one another and never got the opportunity to know one another, but we have lived our lives thus far and not too bad considering our very humble beginnings. We owe it to our eldest for if not for him our lives could have been a whole lot worse but we each made it in our own chosen way as Sinatra sang...I did it My way.....
Whatever i write will always remain as my version of the story and as such it is very much subjective and I would genuinely stand corrected for any issues that i was blind to or ignorant about; the truth sucks sometimes. If I start dragging out more and more skeletons out of my clossets or they threaten to be exposaed into the sunlight, it is my clossets I am spring cleaning, it is my path the i am making more lighter, I am letting go of my burden, my baggage, my Karmas that i ihave been lugging most of these times, old "pain bodies". It is time for another season for trimming my sails and clearing my path toward my Lord, letting go of old stuff and forging new ones...Hijrah!
Change of phase or pace, change in the rythm of my heart beat, change in my spitiual well being change in my habitual attachments, I am making a move to Terengganu. I will relocate myself and see what gives, I need to have a sense of distance from Georgetown to be able to take a good look at the City from wider perspective and look within me at what it does to me spiritually. I will make a spiritual retreat and devote my time towards untangling the knots in my relationships with those i grew up with, my family and and my friends, i need to share their life once more to not forget mine. I need to Sit
I will stop writing for now my Bloggging. I will seek an employment to support myself in Kuala Terenggnau. I will not paint anymore unless I find it most necessary and gurantees my income from it.
Hijrah, change or become stagnant and slip into mediocrity and old age. Not something to brag abotu after all these years of living life as an experimentalist and havinh lived both in the East and the West ; life here on the West Coast is a far cry from that in the East Coast. It is not about better or worse but it is like looking into a mirror and seeing the opposite instead of the simmilarites and the same same goes for every aspects of one's life, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. The aches and pains will only be there in different forms and the role one plays hopefully helps to ease the burdens of others as I find the cures and remedies for my weaknesses and ailments.
I am trying to convince myself in the process of writng this entry, still trying to justify the why and not the how yet. Putting the cart before the horse in the process and erecting mental and emotional walls ahead into the future, it is just how the mind works in facing any major change, will i live up to it or will i perish in the process! Such dramas playing back and forth givng it a sense importance, feeding it energy that by right should be put to use int the effort where it matters like start getting the car fixed, like the need for two new tyres in the back and replace the faulty brake drums or start looking for funds to get me there and with some to spare for it will be the monsoon period there if I leave in the near future.
From my short trip to Terengganu a few days ago which lasted three days was a positive vibe as i touched base with my old friends there. They have not changed much but have in their own ways arrived at being more matured and successful in their livlihood. In a sense they need someone who could lead them towrds the next higher level of sorts, like they too are stagnant, run dry of ideas and showing singns of wear and tear and less care. I got the feeling that i am somehow needed to play my role as in the past about a decade ago; i was the motivator, I helped to rattle their cages and rocked their boats. Their doors are always opened for me and this too I felt, like I have truly earned their respect and confidence I have a home if I need one and it may not be under the same roof most of the time but it is what it is, my life.
I would aim for a solo art exhibition somewhere in Kuala Terengganu and hope that through it will make more contacts that could help towards getting my source of income estalished, I am thinking of opening my own art gallery no matter how small some where on Pulau Duyong, like at 'Awi's Yellow House,' to start with. Start an art class at same venue if possible.
All these are just my projections towards what i might accomplish it is what my mind needs to focus on in order that i do not wate my time and end up with being worseoff than where i am at. But it has been pointed to me time and again by various teachers of self help and motivatonal courses to set a blueprint of what my aims are and so i did. This is so the mind has some curds to chew on while in the process of making a convincing argument as to why I am making this Hijrah.
|At the Trengganu River mouth in Seberang Takir|
I am saying good byes to familiar faces and those whose welcome I have about worn out, my power to give has run thin and I am becoming just anotehr face in the crowd of inactive spirits. my study of Christianity has about come to and end after reading the historical origin of the Bible by Jaroslav Pelikan whose work has revealed much of what i have reservations about the religion which has always laid doubts in my mind as to its genuine origins. The Bible although is one of the Books of the Religion of Abraham, is too much ttempered with cut and edited to suit the Jewish claim towards being the chosen ones and to maintain a strangle hold over the rest of the Christian world via religion. The true teachings of Jesus is treated as a source of support towards the implementation of the Jewish State just as America is being made to serve the modern day Israel. I must admit that most Christians that i have come to know in my life are among the most kind and gentle people who have found the truth in the Bible and set about living their lives by the Book, however, most have little or no knowledge of the true history of the Bible and accept pretty much what history as written and deliberated by the orthodox Judaism.
The Bible was first translated into Greek in Alexandria, Egypt and the result was a body of wroks called the Septuagint.
"The inhabitants of Alexandria were divided into three districts: Egyptian, Greek and Jewish. Within the Jewish quarter (or third), which was increasingly Greek- speaking, the struggle to remain authentically Jewish and to, "sing a song of the Lord on alien soil" was combined with the need to explain and defend the faith to Gentile outsiders, who were also Greek- speaking...the external need to guarantee continuity of Jewish, worship, teaching and observance despite the continuing cultural and linguistic change, and the external need to formulate an apologetic for Judaism that would be addressed " to its cultured despisers,"...
The origin of the Setuagint - J. Pelikan
The Vulgate -
Eusebius Hieronymus or better known as Jerome later translated the Judeo-Chrisitan Bible to latin, the language of Renaissance Europe.
"Originally, Jerome continued the practice of his anonymous predecessors in basing his revision of the Latin translation of the Tanakh of the Greek text of the Septuagint, whicxh he knew to posses a high and authoritative standing (as it still does today) among the Greek speaking theologians and scholars in the eastern parts of what then was still the undivided church."
Later many more translations were rendered of the Bible by reformers such as Martin Luther who translated it into German and the later King James version in English.
"The loss of the unifying force represented by language - and of the associated literature - was a major step towards assimilation and disappearance. In these circumstances, with contact with the one place where Jewish cultural life continued to prosper - Babylon - cut off by conflict with Persia, Jewish life in the Christian world of late antiquity was not simply a pale shadow of what it had been three or four centuries earlier. It was doomed."
The JC Essay
By David J Wasserstein, May 24, 2012
The ultimate question still dwells in the minds of humanity today as to why were the Jews and they still are, being persecuted by just about every nation on earth. What is it in their national characteristics or their individual traits that makes them to be hunted down and eliminated form the face of the earth as happened during the Pogroms in Russsia and the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. It would be naive for man to deny that the Jews were innocent of any wrong doings and simply being treated as pariahs because they were Jews. The historical writings of the Judeo - Christian fail to dive deeper into this issue instead propagate Judaism to be the central focal point of the religions of the Book. The fact that Christ was haunted and tortured and later crucified by the Jews has all but acceptable as the will of the One true God for His own purposes: unknown, as God works in mysterious ways.
"Islam saved Jewry. This is an unpopular, discomforting claim in the modern world. But it is a historical truth. The argument for it is double. First, in 570 CE, when the Prophet Mohammad was born, the Jews and Judaism were on the way to oblivion. And second, the coming of Islam saved them, providing a new context in which they not only survived, but flourished, laying foundations for subsequent Jewish cultural prosperity - also in Christendom - through the medieval period into the modern world."
The JC Essay
By David J Wasserstein, May 24, 2012
Why is Islam deemed to be very anti Semitic? Why are the Jews being abhorred by the Muslims to the point of no forgiveness? "Within a century of the death of Mohammad, in 632, Muslim armies had conquered almost the whole of the world where Jews lived, from Spain eastward across North Africa and the Middle East as far as the eastern frontier of Iran and beyond. Almost all the Jews in the world were now ruled by Islam. This new situation transformed Jewish existence. Their fortunes changed in legal, demographic, social, religious, political, geographical, economic, linguistic and cultural terms - all for the better." The JC Essay
By David J Wasserstein, May 24, 2012
"Between the years 250 CE and 1948 CE - a period of 1,700 years - Jews have experienced more than eighty expulsions from various countries in Europe - an average of nearly one expulsion every twenty-one years. Jews were expelled from England, France, Austria, Germany, Lithuania, Spain, Portugal, Bohemia, Moravia and seventy-one other countries.
Historians have classified six explanations as to why people hate the Jews:
Economic -- "We hate Jews because they possess too much wealth and power."
Chosen People -- "We hate Jews because they arrogantly claim that they are the chosen people."
Scapegoat -- "Jews are a convenient group to single out and blame for our troubles."
Deicide -- "We hate Jews because they killed Jesus."
Outsiders, -- "We hate Jews because they are different than us." (The dislike of the unlike.)
Racial Theory -- "We hate Jews because they are an inferior race."
Simple to Remember
Perhaps what the Quran has to say of the Jews will shed some light over this issue.
"And We did certainly give Moses the Torah and followed up after him with messengers. And We gave Jesus, the son of Mary, clear proofs and supported him with the Pure Spirit. But is it [not] that every time a messenger came to you, [O Children of Israel], with what your souls did not desire, you were arrogant? And a party [of messengers] you denied and another party you killed."
And when it is said to them, "Believe in what Allah has revealed," they say, "We believe [only] in what was revealed to us." And they disbelieve in what came after it, while it is the truth confirming that which is with them. Say, "Then why did you kill the prophets of Allah before, if you are [indeed] believers?"
The Jews say "The Christians have nothing [true] to stand on," and the Christians say, "The Jews have nothing to stand on," although they [both] recite the Scripture. Thus the polytheists speak the same as their words. But Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that over which they used to differ.
Say, [O believers], "We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him."
From Surah Al Baqarah.
Hence I could pick out quotes upon quotes from the scriptures of all the three Book of the Judeo-Christian and Islamic faiths but it will be long tedious and boring to most. Suffice to say, look it up yourselves and come to your own enlightenment- read! Or remain blissfully ignorant. In order that i may come to understand the teachings of Jesus I will have to understand the origins of its texts and most of these texts originated from the Jewish tradition and scriptures. What was the truth and what was rewritten to alter the truth from being revealed of the relationship of the three religions is yet to be revealed. 'And the truth shall set you free' as Christ said.
I am not practicing anti Semitism as i have no call for it in any sense but i am sadly aware of the Jewish tragic existence as a race that is practically condemned by the rest of humanity for one reason or another. Perhaps the only consolation i can come to accept as a believer is that God had chosen the right people to introduce his monotheistic religion to; an 'arrogant,shrewed, stubborn and self serving nation that questions every word He revealed, God had his run for the money with the Jews, just as the Prophet of Allah had with the pagan Arabs.
Friday, November 01, 2013
'Whose Bible Is It?" the title of the book that caught my fancy as i was rummaging through Lee Khai's book collection for something to read about the Bible and i could not have found a better work. Two thirds of my way through the book I have come to a good understanding of the History of the Bible from its beginnings. I might have mentioned earlier that i have decided to join a Bible Study Fellowship group of which Lee Khai is a very active participant. My intention is to understand all i can about the Bible and Christianity as a whole with deeper conviction as a student. I have decided to make it my next religion for my studies just as thoroughly as i did Buddhism.
my intention is also to have the right understanding of the relationship of the three religions of the 'Book' which includes Judaism, Christianity and Islam, where they meet and where they separate. It is no doubt in my mind that all three are of one root and that the Lord they worship is One and He is the Lord of their forefathers Abraham. It is with the hope that with a better understanding of Christianity I can have a better intuition in to the problems that has been plaguing these religions throughout history pitting one against another at the cost of untold human sacrifices and all in the name of the The one God. It is my responsibility as a thinking person with all the materials at my disposal to continue to dig into the soil of religious conflicts and in my own way help to bring the mergence of the differences that has caused these conflicts.
Raised as a Muslim I have been made to believe that Jesus was never crucifiedied on the cross and that the whole idea of the Holy Trinity as practiced by the Christians will always be the major concept that Muslims will never accept; Isa Alai i Salam was one of the Prophets of Allah. These are to me the two major differences that has made the two religions of Islam and Christianity to deviate from one another. To fully comprehend the truth one has to dig deep into history and study the scriptures. My approach towards these studies as I did of Islam and Buddhism is to be detached from making any judgment or bias towards one over another, but to purely come to my own enlightenment as the final thesis. After all what else is there to do in my old age? I can at least find something to write about. Keep my mind a little more occupied with something more worthy than watching Korean Drama Series on Youtube.
One of the questions that keeps haunting my mind as I read the Book written by Jaroslav Pelikan, Whose Bible is it has not thus mentioned anything about the word 'God' itself, like where does it originates from. Did Jesus who I understand converses in Aramaic ever used the word God or is it a later usage picked from some other root words of Grecko- Roman languages?
"The English word God continues the Old English God (guþ, gudis in Gothic, gud in modern Scandinavian, God in Dutch, and Gott in modern German), which is thought to derive from Proto-Germanic *ǥuđán.
Obsolete etymologiesIn 19th century scholarship, there were a number of alternative etymologies suggested. Morgan Peter Kavenaugh in The Origin of Language and Myths claimed that the word god was taken from the Buddha's patriarchal name of Gotama. John Campbell connected further theonyms, "I have shown elsewhere that the English word God, the German Gott, the Persian Khoda and the Hindustani Khuda are all derived from the same root as that which appears in Celtic Aeddon or Guydion, the Germanin Odin, Woden or Goutan and the Indian Buddha or Gotama." The Reverend Henry Scadding D.D. and Henry Le Mesurier in his book Mer-cur-ius, or The Word Maker, also connected Lombard Guodan to Gotama Buddha. The connection of Gwydion with Wotan (but not with god) is due to Jacob Grimm."
You can do your own research on this, which actually is a very crucial element in the understanding of Christianity as far as I am concern...Oh my God! One seldom say, Oh my Elohim! Oh my Lord more likely. But the Muslim will only say Ya Allah! From the day he was born till the day he dies there is only One word, Allah! When you let out your final breath they say, you extol Allaaah! as the final sound of the last breath leaving your body whether you realize it or not. This surrendering you will to Him and you are no more, to be aware of this happening at the time and hour of its happening, to die with complete awareness of surrendering oneself to His will is the ultimate sacrifice one makes to Him. "Innalillah hi wa'inna lillah hi rajiun'" Form Thee i come to Thee I return, my Lord!.
When I was practicing Zen at the monastery in California I often wondered these questions about life after death or what really happens at the moment of death/ What happens to the brain, all the filed up information's, experiences, dreams and so forth when I am not more in control of my faculties? Am I fortunate if they put me under due to to some medical excuses and I die without the knowledge of it happening? Or would i be fortunate if i were to be rammed by a semi truck at a junction on Highway 666 ending my life instantly, no time to reflect or be frightened. Who do I call out to? My mother, my father! Never eally got to know them up close and personal and what about my Teachers and Gurus and Roshis, most I saw had their own to deal with. The Buddha?! Which one? Is there any? Are you not a Buddha? You are grasping, let go of the Buddha...I pray that my last breath be Allaaah hu Akhbar...The Lord is Great!
For the Christians my limited mind would say that it is believed that at the time of death a host of Angels would come to assit you towards the Light (of the LOrd).Or the devil with the pitchfork would be standing by grinning a welcome grin if you have been an unrepentant sinner in your life. Hard to say these things only the Good Lord knows what really lay in store for each of us when it is time to say farewell. By understanding the workings of the mind, by getting to really know who you are, (not as who you think you are), you can better learn how to die. To not be awaken at the moment of death is a waste of life itself. But what i am trying to say is when we have too many images and forms give to that which hold as One, then we have a problem of making choices even at the moment of death. Would Jesus be there and would he look like Willem Da Foe or Charleston Heston with a friendly smile saying, " Welcome to my Father's Home," we should be lucky.
"Oh my God, Oh my God!" Mahatma Ghandi uttered when he was shot six times at close range, he utteres it in Hindi, " O Ram! O Ram!" To the Mahatma, Ram is God, Ram is Allah! Ghandi lived life by the Bagavad Gita but he studied and practiced other religions. 'God is like water, no matter how you choose to drink it, as wine or water out of a golden goblet or a coconut shell, it is still water.'
Have you ever heard of the 'Tibetan Book of the Dead?' Now there is another perspective on images and death. Hindus they say has the most numbers of Gods and Deitites in their pantheon of Gods, who do you call in your moment of death? And for one who has been searching for an answer all these years exposed to all these religions and their images and forms what is to become of me at the end of the day? Will i be lost in a limbo of thoughts and images grasping from one to another for fear of the impending unknown while not forgetting the physical fear itself.
I got carried away sometimes when I write about religions ans such especially on the subject of death, but it has taken me into the evening. I borrowed a car to drive to Kuala Terengganu and thus far cannot find a ride to a wedding of one of the staff at MGTF. tomorrow, dont look like I can make it.