Extract from Trump’s Speech on Jerusalem : https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/06/world/middleeast/trump-israel-speech-transcript.html?smtyp=cur
Without question, Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive issues in those talks. The United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides. In the meantime, I call on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s holy sites including the Temple Mount, also known as Haram al-Sharif. Above all, our greatest hope is for peace. The universal yearning in every human soul.
With today’s action, I reaffirm my administration’s longstanding commitment to a future of peace and security for the region. There will, of course, be disagreement and dissent regarding this announcement. But we are confident that ultimately, as we work through these disagreements, we will arrive at a peace and a place far greater in understanding and cooperation. This sacred city should call forth the best in humanity.
Lifting our sights to what is possible, not pulling us back and down to the old fights that have become so totally predictable.
Peace is never beyond the grasp of those willing to reach it.
So today we call for calm, for moderation, and for the voices of tolerance to prevail over the purveyors of hate. Our children should inherit our love, not our conflicts. I repeat the message I delivered at the historic and extraordinary summit in Saudi Arabia earlier this year: The Middle East is a region rich with culture, spirit, and history. Its people are brilliant, proud and diverse. Vibrant and strong.
But the incredible future awaiting this region is held at bay by bloodshed, ignorance and terror……
It is time for the many who desire peace to expel the extremists from their midsts. It is time for all civilized nations and people to respond to disagreement with reasoned debate, not violence. And it is time for young and moderate voices all across the Middle East to claim for themselves a bright and beautiful future.
So today, let us rededicate ourselves to a path of mutual understanding and respect. Let us rethink old assumptions and open our hearts and minds to possible and possibilities.
And finally, I ask the leaders of the region political and religious, Israeli and Palestinian, Jewish and Christian and Muslim to join us in the noble quest for lasting peace.
Jerusalem – The first thought that came to my mind after hearing Trump’s announcement is – why can’t Jerusalem be undivided yet belong to all the three Abrahamic religions?
This is a matter to be settled by talks among the geopolitical and religious parties concerned. Yet, if one is to rethink old assumptions and look for peaceful solutions, can declaring Jerusalem as a ‘sovereign / International’ city / country be one among the possible solutions? All the three Abrahamic religions worship the one God. Though there are different sects / divisions among these religions, Jerusalem is holy and is revered by everyone alike despite the divisions and differences. Jerusalem is the one point that unites all of them and it is up to the involved parties to arrive at a solution to make the holy city a real ‘land of peace’ and ‘city of God’ – An agreement where the city is open to all the three religions – with equal rights for all of them and is guarded by people of all the three religions across the world and is immune to the political manipulations intended to create conflict among the people.
Is there much more to the religions than the news we hear everyday?
Monotheism has gifted its people with books of spiritual laws and timeless truths honoring the spiritual quest within each and every individual, making it easier for anyone to practice and progress spiritually. Religions are like different rivers which follow different paths, but ultimately they reach the One Infinite Supreme God. The spiritual journey is from imperfection towards perfection and there are various stages in between, and this is the case for people of any religion.
Personally, I find that the core message of the religions are same, and that there are differences in traditions and rituals. Science is helpful in understanding the universal truths mentioned in the religions. The more difficult task for me is practicing and staying true to the teachings like 10 commandments, ‘treat thy neighbour as thyself’, realizing that everything in this universe is the manifestation of the Supreme being, and charity, patience, kindness, respect for others at all circumstances. Prayer (repeating universal truths in the form of verses with the understanding of meaning, being thankful, seeking help and moral support for worldly matters), fasting (practicing self-restraint), seeking repentance and correcting my course of actions – is helping me and is enriching my inner world. It is not for the want of heaven certain actions are done and for the fear of hell certain actions are avoided, but because those actions can in turn create heaven or hell on this earth. Without a police and judicial system watching over someone day and night, the judgement is left to the conscience or fear of hell & reward of heaven. Adhering to certain religious practices neither puts me automatically on a pedestal as a perfect human being, nor calls for condemnation as a radical (or any other labels) .
Individuals constitute societies. Both for a person’s inner peace as well as for harmony in the families and societies, there is need for certain laws (time tested higher truths and ideals) as well as freedom – just like a river that has banks which directs the flow of the water. Even the earth that holds billions of us and is nurturing us is under the right amount of gravitational force.
Is violence the instant solution for problems at hand?
Keeping aside the family feud like differences among the three Abrahamic religions, current situation asks mankind for deeper introspection.
Considering Jerusalem and the controversies surrounding it and the possibility of thirty years of Middle-East war, or a third world war, where no single country is immune to destruction, there are two paths – one which appeals to the higher ideals, ultimately leading to harmony and the well being of everyone, and the other which sows hatred and calls for destruction of not just those whom one thinks is the enemy (or dislikes), but that of the majority of the people inheriting this planet.
Everyone has white, grey and dark shades of varying degrees. But for the sake of self-introspection and to understand the root cause of today’s problems that requires collective solution, there is need to address certain problems.
“Divide and Rule” Policy:
Extracts from the book “Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam” by Mark Curtis :
“Divide et impera [divide and rule] was the old Roman motto” declared William Elphinstone, the early nineteenth-century governor of Bombay “and it should be ours”. This view pervaded and became a cornerstone of British rule in India. Secretary of State Wood wrote in a letter to Lord Elgin, governor general of India in 1862-3, that “we have maintained our power in India by playing off one part against the other and we must continue to do so. Do all you can, therefore, to prevent all having a common feeling”. Another secretary of state for India Viscount Cross, informed the viceroy, Lord Dufferin, that ‘this division of religious feeling is greatly to our advantage’, while British civil servant, Sir John Strachey, observed in 1888: “The truth plainly is that the existence side by side of these hostile creeds is one of the strong points in our political position in India. The better clashes of Mohammedans are already a source to us of strength and not of weakness”………..
Knowing that formal colonial rule would soon be over, British policy-makers sought to salvage what they could for the post-colonial future. Lacking other means of influence, they took advantage of the religious and ethnic divisions in the rebellions in India and Palestine, and in both cases resorted to using Muslim forces to achieve specific objectives.
a short story …….
Once upon a time, two cats were passing through a street. Suddenly they spotted a loaf of bread lying beneath a tree. Both pounced upon it and caught the loaf at the same time. “It is mine. I saw it first,” claimed one cat. While the other said, “I pounced upon it first and so it belongs to me.” After having fought for a while, one cat said, “Let us divide it into two and take one piece each.” “Indeed, a good idea,” said the other cat. “But how do we divide it now?”
A monkey sitting on the branch of the tree had watched all that happened between the two cats. “That loaf of bread looks good. I could do with it myself,” he thought. Slowly he came down from the tree and walked up to the confused cats. “Yes, my dear friends! Can I help you?” asked the monkey. The cats told the monkey what the problem was and said, “Why do not you be the judge between us?” When the monkey nodded, the cats said, “Please divide this loaf for us.”
cleverdeceptive monkey smilingly broke the bread into two pieces. But one piece was a little bigger that the other. “OH no! I will take a little bite of this bigger piece to make both equal,” said the monkey, slyly. He took a bite from the bigger piece. But, he had taken a big bite. “Uh oh! Now it has become smaller than the other piece. I will just have to take a little bite from this piece now,” said the cleverdeceptive monkey.
Judgecunning Monkey took another bite. The two cats sat in front of the monkey, seeing the loaf of bread they had found getting smaller and smaller. When the whole loaf was eaten by the monkey, the monkey said, “I am sorry. It was really difficult to divide that loaf. I must be going now.” And the monkey jumped onto the tree and was gone. “If only we had not quarreled among ourselves, we would have remained united and we need not have to go to the monkey and to become hungry now,” said the two cats.
These are the days of false flag attacks and propaganda, where media who is in the hands of few elites manipulate population all over the world. Every country and people all over the world, regardless of their religious and political views are impacted by these covert tactics. It is the game of the few elites, who can fabricate stories to turn people against each other. The main question to be addressed is should we allow such actions, so that the 0.001% flourish at the expense of others.
Dissent and disagreements are part of our life. But, if any organized institution(s) or a group of people who have nothing to do with the noble religions are inducing conflicts in the name of any religion, it is essential to identify the root cause and the intention of the troublemakers, as there is mingling of geopolitical, financial ambitions and religion.
Fabricated terrorist attacks and false flag attacks are becoming common. Since the days of single person / family deciding to wage war and kill millions to solve their family feud are gone, it is necessary to get the consent of people to wage war. The reality is —- “Why of course the people don’t want war … But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship … Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” – Hermann Goering, Nazi leader.
No one can have control over random people’s actions. One person or few individuals are not the representatives of any religion. But the reaction of leaders, communities and countries to such nefarious acts are having snowball effect, which escalates the misunderstanding while reducing the space and time to understand and solve the problem at hand.
“I think it is this new atmosphere of fear (on terrorism and surveillance) and that it won’t change until we, as a public, learn to perform a new kind of alchemy and recognize fear when it is being presented. We need to learn to eat fear, to convert it into an energy that can be used to better a society rather than to terrorize and weaken it.” – Edward Snowden
Violence is the primary problem in the current scenario. All the three religions have suffered in the past. Universally – if the roles of the victim and oppressor are interchanged, nothing changes. There is need for restraint and ethical agreement to protect everyone and to allow religious freedom. It is easy to strike a blow or go downhill, but it is more difficult to practice restraint and be righteous. If unfair practices and resentments linger in the minds, future retaliations will feed the vicious cycle. There is a need to settle the differences in a honest and fair way and seek a new start via incremental improvement in relationships.
Ego, pride, quest for empire, power, greed, hatred etc, etc are abundant and can be seen anywhere. God is beyond human nature, and our mind can’t even grasp a complete picture of that Supreme force. Religion and scriptures are there to help man progress morally and spiritually. It is not an easy task to understand the scriptures. Being humans swayed by worldly desires and emotions, it is easy to selectively pick a verse here or there, in any religious scripture, and interpret it in a way the mind wants to believe it. In any holy book, there is a recurrent message to which more importance needs to be given, that is always aligned to any individual’s conscience and promotes peace and harmony among communities and there is respect for every form of life.
10 Commandments summary
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall not make idols.
- You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet.
Monotheism does not stop anyone from solving the Jerusalem issue amicably.
Jerusalem – The Land of peace and the City of God
Jerusalem could be a symbolic representation of unity among the three monotheistic religions, which promotes a sense of belonging for all. Truly this earth is a paradise compared to any other planet discovered so far. And this paradise is inherited by people of diverse races and religions. Everyone who is living here is chosen and is special in the eyes of God.
Taking into account the push and pull of everyday life, and the centuries old plan of ‘divide and rule’ being at work by few individuals for personal gains, we need a plan for ‘united we stand’ lasting for centuries. Consider a region or group of countries under conflict and strife most of the time, and re-imagine the same region or group living in harmony and co-operating with each other in trade and other practical aspects. People can focus on having better life. One can dream of the golden age of humanity as a whole.
So, can declaring Jerusalem as a ‘sovereign / International’ city / country be one among the possible solutions? All the three Abrahamic religions worship the one God. Though there are different sects / divisions among these religions, Jerusalem is holy and is revered by everyone alike despite the divisions and differences. Jerusalem is the one point that unites all of them and it is up to the involved parties to arrive at a solution to make the holy city – a real ‘land of peace’ and ‘city of God’ – An agreement where the city is open to all the three religions – with equal rights for all of them and is guarded by people of all the three religions across the world and is immune to future political manipulations intended to create conflict among the people.
We should do all we can, therefore, to enhance all having a common feeling.
These are few videos I came across in the past few days. These are not sufficient to present a holistic view, but are thought-provoking.
- Related to the questions surrounding the location of the temple: [Video description: Where was the original temple located? – Filmed in the Old City of Jerusalem, this ground-breaking documentary investigates the research of renowned Biblical archaeologists, Bob Cornuke, David Sielaff and Earnest L. Martin who claim that Solomon and Herod’s Temples never stood on the Haram al Sharif, also known as the Temple Mount. If they are right, then there is nothing to stop the Jewish people building their long awaited for Third Jewish Temple in the actual site where the Temples once stood. But is tradition too strong?]
- Can a publisher (and few people behind them) influence religious views? – Oxford press and Scofield bible [ Video description: Ever wonder why so many Christians support America’s many wars, especially in the Middle East? A new Christianity has emerged from the Twentieth Century called Christian Zionism or what could be called, “Angry Evangelicalism,” or “Dispensationalism on Steroids.” What motivates a nationally known, evangelical preacher like John Hagee to call for a preemptive strike against Iran when it is contrary to what Jesus taught and commanded his followers to do? This “Roots of Zionism” presentation may be the first of its kind with a factual explanation of how Christianity’s latest apostate epidemic was launched with the publishing of C. I. Scofield’s reference Bible in 1909, and the influence of the notes in it. ]
- Who benefits ultimately? This video might sound like a conspiracy theory – but it is possible that there are people behind the scenes manipulating people of all the three religions for their personal gains. [ Note: Personally I don’t believe in UFO, but in RFID and other secret research and technology hidden from the people ]
http://blog.ninapaley.com/2012/10/01/this-land-is-mine/ : [Judaism – 3000 years; Christianity – 2000 years; Islam – 1400 years; and before that – isis, horus, osiris, etc ?]
- Mind walk movie – exploring the oneness and inter-connectedness in this universe
- Optional reading :
Idols or inner sanctum sanctorum of a temple are symbolic – to help the beginners in spiritual journey. Monotheism directly points to the One god and the practical ways of getting closer to God – by any individual without any intermediary.
[Extract from wikipedia: Chidambara Rahasyam (translation, “the secret of Chidambaram”) is a Hindu belief that there is a secret message conveyed through the embossed figure near the shrine of Shiva in the Chidambaram Temple. Since ancient times, it is believed that this is the place where Shiva and his consort Parvati are present, but invisible to most people. In the temple, Chidambara Rahasya is hidden behind a curtain (symbolic of Maya). Worship, or darshan is possible only when priests open the curtain for special pujas. Behind the curtain are golden leaves, as from the Aegle Marmelos tree, signifying the presence of Shiva and Parvati. It is believed that saints can see the gods in their physical form.
Among scholars and saints, the phrase “Chidambara Rahasya” has a more profound philosophical interpretation. The curtain unveils empty space. Emptiness is the truth being conveyed, and Shiva Himself manifests Shakti in the form of conscious Emptiness, which bears this entire creation. Emptiness is pervaded by Time, Shiva. And the Mahakala Shiva, who is the lord of the universe, and who is, even though, the inherent consciousness of the conscious Emptiness, is pervaded by it. Conscious Matter is the result of copulation of Shiva and Shakti, or in other words, Time and Emptiness. Conscious matter forms the body of this visible creation. Its creator is Emptiness, which though bears all movements of the matter, remains beyond and unaffected by it. The essence of matter and emptiness is the lord of the universe Mahakala Shiva, who pervades everything and yet remains beyond everything.
To realise this thought, one has to unveil the “curtain of maya”. We are often encapsulated in our world of illusion and are obscured to the absolute reality. According to legend, “Chidambara Rahasya” will never be revealed as it is the secret relating to an individual and it is left to them to realise its true meaning.
The secret is hidden in plain-sight, that is the reason people are not able to see it. The secret is the ‘Curtain’ itself not Siva. Curtain represents the human Mind. ]