Saturday, September 25, 2010

SHORT HISTORY OF GOD

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**********************


Fariborz Rahnamoon

GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE
MAN BEING A GENTLEMAN RECIPROCATED

SHORT HISTORY OF GOD

Humans have always looked at the mysteries of the universe and wondered about its origin, and visualized its creator. In our short documented history we can see that God has taken various forms. In the ancient days when communication and travel were limited each civilization had its own set of gods. They fought their neighbours for having a different God, they even sacrificed their own child to the God in order to earn respect and favour with that God. 

While people lived in thatched housed and in poverty, all the national resources were put towards building huge temples to house the gods and these temples have out lasted those civilizations. They sacrificed their best food to the Gods while they themselves slept hungry. (We humans of the modern era cannot distance ourselves from such guilt for it happens even today. While the Muslims in Bangladesh and Africa die of hunger each year mountains of sheep, goats, cows and camels are sacrificed during the Hajj in Mecca and left to rot.)

The Egyptians had their unique system of beliefs and gods, for them death and after life was more important than life. The Sumerians, Elamians and Babylonians each had a different set of gods; they would fight each other in the name of their gods and the gods of the defeated nation would lose its Godliness. The victor would take the various attributes of the defeated God and give it to its own God. 

The Babylonian God Marduk had 51 such attributes when Cyrus the Great of Persiaconquered Babylonia, and for the first time in history a victor did not destroy the temples and the gods but instead restored it to its glory and paid homage to it. He did that for the Jews too who had a different God from that of the Babylonians. Cyrus was a true follower of the philosophy and teachings of Zarathushtra, which was based on truth and reality.
Zarathushtra who lived around 1750 BCE is unanimously attributed with the title of the creator of Monotheism. He called his God "THE CREATOR OF WISDOM" Ahura Mazda. His God did not create the world in seven days but rather created the "WISDOM IN CREATION" Mazda-Ahura. The universe is formed according to this Wisdom in Creation (the truth in nature) by way of evolution. Today we know that it takes billions of years for a galaxy to form.
The God of Zarathushtra is unique and as such the most misunderstood God even among his present day followers. According to the Gathas of Zarathushtra this God "Ahura Mazda" is not to be blamed for the things that happens to us humans. He says it is ASHA (the Laws of Nature) that is at work and it can hurt us if we do not use our mind to be out of its path and protect ourselves against it.

These, you, not Ahura Mazda
Asha(em) also brings fury

And that Mind is the best
Which strives' to give good guidance
For you to be worthy
Mighty, satisfied, also worthy of praise
Zarathushtra - Gatha - Yasna HA 28.9 (FR)

And how true, earthquake is an good example of the fury in nature, it is the course that nature takes and can hurt humans very badly, but today the people in Japan have learned to live with it. They have rules and guidance's, which have been formed with the help of the GOOD MIND and by understanding nature, where these rules are followed there is minimum damage to life and property when there is an earthquake. The people of Japan have knowingly or unknowingly followed the ancient teachings of Zarathushtra.

Under the God of Zarathushtra, man is master of his fate. We see the effects of this belief during the 220 years (550-330 BCE) that the Persian Empire was a super power. During that period human history takes a different course, there is progress all around, the Persians did not built temples but instead they built a 1500-mile long highway connecting Sush to Sardis near the Mediterranean and kept it safe for trade and commerce. They connected the Mediterranean to the Red Sea a forerunner to the Suez Canal. They mapped the waterways from Ganges to the Red Sea. They wrote the first charter of Human Rights………

THE ADVENT OF ZARVAN THE CREATOR OF GOD

In 438 BCE Ardeshir II the king of kings signed a peace treaty with Rome the other super power who had as many gods as there were conceivable powers in nature. Trade commerce and exchange of ideas flowed between the two powers. A new breed of thinkers immerged among the Greeks, which went against the very bases of the religious system of the Western civilizations. Most of the Greek philosophers lived during that century and the majority of them were born in the Persian Empire and latter settled in Athens. Knowledge and wisdom flourished but not with ease, Socrates who understood Zarathushtra was put to death for believing in powers alien to the Roman Gods.

Zarathushtra deals with the reality of life. He is more engrossed with the progress of humans towards perfection rather than heaven or hell or the attributes of God. He has less to say about God and more to say about the right use of the human mind. During the contact of the Persians with the west and in the height of philosophical discussions the question of "Who Created God" must have been up for discussion. 

The most likely answer to which is - he created himself out of nothing or he is self-created, but then the next question is; for him to create himself there has to be some sort of SPACE and TIME. A school of thought is therefore born which calls its theory ZARVANISM. Zarvan is the Eternal Time into which God is self-created.

Neither the God of Zarathushtra nor the freedom of thoughts and the discussion on Zarvanism last long for Alexander who was a forerunner of Hitler attacked the Persian Empire and systematically destroyed that noble culture by killing the old and learned and taking the youth to Greece and training them in Greek culture. A Greek historian writes, "30,000 Persian youth were taken to Greece and trained in the ways of the Greek and brought back and given important positions in the administration of Iran." 

He destroyed libraries and took the original copy of the "Avesta" to misuse it to the benefit of the oracles and pagan Gods. He destroyed Persepolis (Takht e Jamshid), which was a work of art and architecture representing the united effort of a multicultural force of paid laborers and artists and had no military significance. His performance was worse than that of Hitler but since he was the victor, history is kind to him and even calls him "The Great" and the father of western civilization.
The freedom of discussing and defining God was taken away by Alexander. He reversed the trend. His first act of benevolence was to rebuilt pagan temples in Babylonia, which according to Herodotus people had stopped using. The Romans also helped revive Mithraism a pre-Zarathushti pagan religion, in North Western Iran. Mithra or Mehr the Sun God was worshiped and temples were built and called "Dar E Mehr". 

The more ancient Sun God - Mehr partially replaces the God of Zarathushtra and also pushed back philosophic theories such as the theory of Zarvan. The Roman garrisons that were left behind by Alexander to guard his empire soon became followers of Mithra and along with the Roman traders introduced the religion to Europe and very soon Mithraism was a European religion.

As time passed Persian philosophers once again became active with new theories and experimentation with human psychology became common in private circles. They looked at the teachings of Zarathushtra from a different angle.

Truly the knowledge derived
By the good mind
Never before known
Among the Wise and Creations
With it form good rule, never waning
And make society Righteous
Leading us towards perfection
Zarathushtra - Gatha - Yasna HA 28.3 (FR)

They were out to make the world righteous, with never waning rules. Persian presence and influence is seen all over the known world and in every important transformation. According to the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, Menahem a Magi is said to have greeted a young boy called Herod, slapped him on his backside and prophesied that he would be king of the Jews. Herod a half Jew ruled the Jews for 40 years.

According to the Dead Sea Scroll the Jews were expecting a prophet at the close of the millennium but nothing had happened. Then they were introduced to the solar calendar, which had more days in a year and so the millennium was extended and the time was made ripe for the advent of Jesus Christ.[i] Today the fact that the Magi's the Wise Men who took gifts for Baby Jesus were Persians is played down and the meaning of the gifts (Vohu-Mana, Asha-Vahista and Khash-Atra-Vairyu.[ii]) misinterpreted although the real meaning is available in the Bible by way of the three questions put to Jesus by the devil in the wilderness. Another important fact is about Simon Magus (Hebrew for Magi) being the head of the church in the days of Christ. This too is not widely discussed.[iii]

Jesus introduces the God of Zarathushtra in the New Testament but the SEMITIC GOD of the Old Testament was firmly established in the human mind and became the ruling God. Although he is shown as a confused and feeble God, who creates the heaven and earth in seven days but then looses control of it. He repents and destroys his creation saving only Noah and a pair each from the rest of his creation. The next generation of Noah also does not live up to the wishes of this God who than sends Prophets to intervene. Powerless defenseless Prophets who are stoned and crucified.

In search of never waning rules Zarvanism once again becomes active. The son of light and darkness is discussed in the Dead Sea Scrolls[iv]. In Iran at the beginning of the Sasanian dynasty Zarvanism reaches its height and later becomes the bases of the religion of Mani and Mazdak. The Sasanian mobeds ban Zarvanism, Mani and Mazdakism but their theories creep into Zoroastrianism Ahura Mazda becomes the creator of all that is good and Ahriman the creator of all that is bad. Unfortunately modern scholars while translating the Gathas have it at the back of their mind and have made the Gathas look dualistic with Zarathushtra professing the existence of two paths and the freedom to choose the evil path.

ZARVANISM

Zarvan or Zurvan means Time, and time is an important factor in the universe. Zarvanism or Zurvanism has no prophet know to us by name. It was a belief that was discussed among philosophers who were discussing the origin of God. It could have started around 438 BCE when Persian philosophers and their Roman counterparts discussed the nature of God. The Romans had many gods while the Persian had only one whom they called Ahura Mazda. Roman gods were more of a super human type with all the human attributes. There were stories about their birth and life, they had failings and virtues, and they had a love life and also had enemies against whom they went to war. When it came to Ahura Mazda there were no such stories. Zarathushtra was more concerned with the real world and with how humans should progress and have a better life without going against the environment and nature.

To fill in the void someone somewhere must have come up with the explanation that before God came into being there had to be Time and Space into which God could come into being. They called it "Zarvan Akarneh" the Eternal Time. Then they wanted to examine the failing of Ahura Mazda and they saw that Zarathushtra had said that it is the human mind that creates happiness and pain. (Gatha 30.11) 

That it is the human mind that has to find ways to protect itself against the furies of nature. (Gatha 28.9) Since Ahura Mazda was not like the Roman gods and was all virtue and had no failings, they in their weakness of mind could not grasp and explain the phenomena so they came up with a counterpart and called it Ahri-Mana. It is important to note that the word Ahri-Mana or Zarvan does not appear in the Gathas at all.

The story of Zarvan giving birth to twins, is in the narrative style of the stories of Roman gods. The story goes that Zarvan was childless and that space was void. He then performs Yasht (prayers) to conceive a child who would create the universe. He prays for a year with no results and just when his prayers are about to be answered he starts to doubt and thinks he is striving in vain. 

In the process twins are conceived. One was the result of his prayers and patience, the other the result of his doubt. He promises himself that the one that is born first from among the two shall have power over the world. Knowing well that the result of his prayers will be the first-born. This information reaches the unborn children. The result of his doubt who was evil decides to take advantage of the situation and pushes his way past the other and becomes the first-born. 

When Zarvan sees the child he is shocked for he was anticipating a brilliant, clean and sweet smelling baby instead this child was a dirty and foul smelling one whom he namesAhriman. Next Ormazd is born who is clean and bright and with sweet scent. Zarvan has no choice but to keep his promise, but knowing very well that after the remaining 9 thousand years of the initial 10 thousand years are over there will be a fight between the twins and Ormazd will win by destroying Ahriman and then rule the world forever in peace and tranquility. In this story Zarvan like the Roman gods does not have absolute power, although he is the God of God.

From a more serious theological point of view Zarvan the infinite time had to exist for God to self create himself. Time does not do any thing but facilitate the coming into existence of God. Zarvan is not the creator of the universe but necessary for the creation growth and progress of the universe. It is a delicate issue and the Bible does not tackle it in its creation story. In the Bundahisn and Denkart, which were thesis of the Sasanian era this topic has been discussed at length. The discussion of time and space is more of a science than religion at times in these theses. It also becomes the bases of the teachings of Mani and Mazdak.


[i] 'The Qumran sect rejected this seemingly artificial system and adopted instead a chronological reckoning, probably of priestly origin, based on the sun.'
(The Dead Sea Scrolls in English By G Vermes III Edition 1987 Penguin Books. pg 47)
[ii] Mathew4 Check for meaning http://www.ancientiran.com Influence on other religions.
[iii] "Jesus the man" by Barbara Thiring
[iv] The Dead Sea Scrolls Qumran in Perspective By G Vermes Collins-London 1977
http://www.ancientiran.com/ 


"We shall be better and braver and less helpless if we think that we ought to enquire, than we should have been if we indulged in the idle fancy that there was no knowing and no use in seeking to know what we do not know..." - SOCRATES


“If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them”. – Isaac Asimov, 1920-1992


"The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the RELIGION of solitude.” - Aldous Huxley, 1894-1963, British Author


“Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones”. – Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970


“Don’t you know there ain’t no devil, it’s just god when he’s drunk” – Thomas Wait


The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunk is happier than a sober one.” – George Bernard Shaw 

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Former British PM - Tony Blair's Big Lie of Omission

WHAT WE FILIPINOS SHOULD KNOW:( <--- click to open/read) 


1.  Note: Bold, Italicized and/or Colored and/or Underlined words are HTML links. Click on them to see the linked postings/articles. Forwarding the postings to relatives and friends, ESPECIALLY in the homeland, is greatly appreciated.

2.  To write or read a comment, please go to htttp://www.thefilipinomind.blogspot.com/ and scroll down to the bottom of the current post (or another post you read and may want to respond) and click on "Comments."


Visit my newly added website to read/download publications:  Click here:www.scribd.com/theFilipinoMind or type it on GOOGLE Search.
(1) View/Free Download pdf versions of: postings, eBooks, articles (114 and growing). To access, go to the sidebar of this website and  PLEASE Share!

Statistics for this newly added/associated website:SCRIBD/theFilipinoMind (as of 07/19/2010):

120 documents
59,204 reads
2,750 downloads

(2) Translate to your own language. Go to the sidebar and Click on GOOGLE TRANSLATOR (56 languages - translates a whole posting, including to Filipino!!).
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**********************


“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.





Tony Blair's Big Lie of Omission

In his new book, the former British prime minister ignores a key meeting where Bush suggested they con their way to an invasion.


**********

August 6, 2010

MI5 HEAD TOLD BLAIR IRAQ NO THREAT
(Transcript from Real News Network)

Eric Margolis: Most US media ignoring explosive testimony by former MI5 head at Iraq inquiry


 PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome back to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay. In London over the last few weeks, the inquiry into the Iraq War has continued.  Eliza Manningham-Buller [is] the former director of MI5, which is roughly Britain's equivalent to, like, the FBI, maybe RCMP in Canada, and she was the head of it from 2002 to 2007.  The Christian Science Monitor reports that she's harshly criticized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, saying Tuesday that her spy agency warned that Saddam Hussein had no known links to al-Qaeda, that Iraq posed little threat, and that some in a generation of British Muslims had been radicalized by the action. Now joining us to talk about the Iraqi inquiry in England and perhaps why so little of this is making it into the American media is Eric Margolis. Eric is author of the book American Raj: Resolving the Conflict between the West and the Muslim World. And he's written extensively on security issues and international affairs. Thanks for joining us, Eric.
ERIC MARGOLIS, JOURNALIST: Good to be here.
JAY: Eric, tell us more about the testimony that took place during the inquiry.
MARGOLIS: The testimony is shocking and explosive, but nobody in the States wants to be shocked or hear explosions. The head of MI5, who knows more than anybody else—except for MI6, foreign intelligence—what was going on, has dismissed all of the claims made by the Bush administration and by British Prime Minister Blair, all the claims to justify invading Iraq. They were lies—that's what she really said. And amazingly, the American media has paid very little attention to her astounding testimony. Other witnesses at the Chilcot investigation that's reviewing the reasons for Britain going into the war against Iraq have also painted a very negative picture of the government, of its decisions. And what we see is a fabric of illegality, of violation of international law, and just downright lying our way into the war.
JAY: This has been at the very core of the Republican defense of the Iraq War, but not only the Republican; there were a lot of Democrats that voted in various ways to support the war. And the mantra of all of them has been, well, we weren't the only ones that were fooled; all the other intelligence agencies thought the same thing we did. So her testimony should just be—as you say, exploded the whole mythology of the Americans for why they're there. Yet even the Democrats don't seem to be running with this, which should be a way to bury their opposition.
MARGOLIS: Well, so many of these Democrats voted for the war based on lies and patriotic jingoism, so they want to forget about it. But, you know, this claim by Republicans, "Well, all the other intelligence agencies said that Saddam is a threat," is also another lie, because what the US intelligence does, it has routine intelligence-sharing procedures with other Western—all NATO intelligence agencies. And these fake stories about Iraq's deadly weapons were planted in the US intelligence system, probably through some Middle Eastern sources who wanted to see the war happening. The Americans then transferred this false information over to allied intelligence agencies. And then the president and his people had the chutzpah to say, well, look, they all believed it too. Well, what they were believing were phony American stories that had been passed to them. This was in no way evidence.
JAY: So in your rounds in Washington this week, is there any talk about the things that have come out of this British inquiry? Or are they just being ignored?
MARGOLIS: None. None. The only thing people want to talk about is Afghanistan. "Oh, that's yesterday's war. We'll forget about it." But it's shocking. And, you know, there is a case to be made for charges being brought against the politicians who led us into a war for reasons that can be not much better than called aggression. It's shocking.
JAY: Well, you'd think if Obama wanted to change the dynamic of American politics, I mean, he should have—I mean, in my own opinion, and I think a lot of people, he should have done this a long time ago. But with this now testimony of MI5, he's got more than the smoking gun. But you're saying not a word of it.
MARGOLIS: He's got a smoking machine gun. I think that Obama should use it to go after the Republicans, to discredit them. And particularly, the hardcore Republican war party that's beating the war drums for war against Iran, just in the exact same way that war was drummed up against Iraq and to expand the Afghan war, is the perfect weapon for Obama. But Obama won't use it, and he's shying away. And I know midterm elections are coming up. But Obama just is either too gentle, or else he is too much under the influence of the military-industrial-financial complex here in Washington.
JAY: Thanks for joining us, Eric.
MARGOLIS: My pleasure.
JAY: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

End of Transcript

Bio

Eric S. Margolis is an award-winning, internationally syndicated foreign affairs columnist. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Times, Times of London, the Gulf Times, the Khaleej Times, Dawn, Daily News Pakistan, Sun Malaysia, Mainichi Tokyo, U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, Globe and Mail and the American Conservative. His internet column www.ericmargolis.com reaches global readers on a daily basis. He is the author of two best selling books, War at the Top of the World: The Struggle for Afghanistan And Asia, and nominated for the Governor General's prestigious award for American Raj: Resolving The Conflict Between The West And The Muslim World. As a war correspondent Margolis has covered conflicts in Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique, Lebanon, Turkist Kurdistan, Peru, Afghanistan, Kashmir, India, Pakistan, El Salvador and Nicaragua. He was among the first journalist to ever interview Libya’s Muammar Khadaffi and was the first to be allowed access to KGB headquarters in Lubyanka.



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