Asia Bibi : Christian Jailed in Pakistan

Asia Bibi, Pakistani Christian

The Pakistani Christian woman, Asia Bibi, was arrested and jailed in 2009 for allegedly blaspheming the prophet Muhammed. She was sentenced to death.

In fact, Asia Bibi extended hospitality and friendship towards her Muslim coworkers by sharing water and conversation. Rumors then circulated, and false accusations, claiming that she had defamed the prophet of Islam.

Asia Bibi’s case has been appealed. She has been waiting (in jail) for the Supreme Court of Pakistan to hear the case and render a final verdict.

Jesus fought for Spiritual Freedom : Lightworker

Jesus himself was accused of blasphemy for claiming to be united with God. No matter our religion, all of us have the right– like Jesus–to enjoy such intimacy with God. We ought to openly declare or speak about our faith, peacefully, without being persecuted by a strident and dogmatic religious orthodoxy.

Not Just about Religion but about Human Rights

While Asia Bibi’s imprisonment involves persecution on religious grounds, her case goes beyond sectarian or confessional debates between religions. Instead, the case puts on trial freedom of speech and basic human rights.

Pakistan, a country which claims to protect religious minorities, ought to uphold the freedom of a person (Asia Bibi) to speak and associate freely with Muslims even while practicing her own different culture and mode of faith.  Is one free, respectfully, to declare one’s own faith (as a Christian) without thereby being accused of allegedly insulting the religion of the Muslim majority?  The charge of blasphemy, if it should ever be legitimate, is illegitimate, here.

This case has not to do with protecting a Christian person, merely, but rather with the democratic right of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

More Information about the Asia Bibi Case 

A journalist risked her life so that she could get Asia Bibi’s story. The book can be found here: Blasphemy: A Memoir

Here are updates about her case:

Update Asia Bibi Appeal Pakistan

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Sayings of Jesus/Lao Tzu

Persian_depiction_of_Jesus_-_Sermon_on_the_Mount

Selections from Jesus and Lao Tzu, by Martin Aronson:  See larger selection here

Commentary is my own by Jesus Lightworker

Respond to anger with virtue Tao Te Ching 63

Matthew 5:38 Do not resist and evil doer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, offer him the other also. 

Commentary: The vicious circle of sin, in Christian terms  — or the deviation from the Tao, according to Lao Tzu’s philosophy — consists in a dynamic of retribution. Anger is repaid by anger, evil by evil. This cycle can occur on larger levels, as in warfare or global strife, or in smaller ways, whenever we hold a grudge or we are motivated by ill-will.  If, instead, we respond to evil with goodness and to anger with virtue, then we demonstrate that goodness and virtue are actually more powerful than their opposites.

By offering the one who strikes us the “other cheek,” we do what martial artists do when they use another’s strength against him. An evil doer comes rushing, with aggression, toward us. We simply put out our hand  — or offer the “other cheek” — at once to submit to the assault and to block it. Because we have cultivated our own inner power, and integrity of virtue, the force of the aggressor is visited back upon him by our own slightest move. Our act, without any motive of resistance or retribution, nevertheless overcomes the adversary.

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37

The sage is good to people who are good. He is also good to people who are not good. This is true goodness. The sage trusts people who are trustworthy. He also trusts people who are not trustworthy. This is true trust. Tao Te Ching 49

Commentary: If the sage trusts even people who are not trustworthy, who is he or she trusting? She or he trusts the Tao. It is the Tao that brings about the interaction or relationship itself (between the sage and the trustworthy or untrustworthy person). The Tao, the principle of Life itself,  is trustworthy. Similarly, by repaying people who are not good with goodness, the sage trusts the Tao itself, which is good.

If I lose money in a business deal, for instance, because I’ve trusted somebody untrustworthy, I have exhibited my trust in the Tao (or, in Christian terms, in the Spirit and in God), which will repay my good intentions even if I lose one particular deal, or some amount of money, along the way.   Similarly, if I forgive somebody who has stolen from me, slandered me, exploded unfairly at me, or otherwise caused me harm, I am asserting through my forgiveness that the Spirit (or God) will honor my good intentions by setting me free from these very same sins or their equivalent.

That I do not judge the wrongdoer means that I refrain from drawing inferences, globally, about his or her character. I do not enlarge the misdeed by elaborating a drama about the violation (in my own mind or verbally by rumors), nor do I nurse grievances or inflict penalties. Instead, although I may come to some harm, in this particular matter, I open myself to non-judgment and forgiveness from Spirit (or God), in the bigger horizon of my life. Spirit and God are the ground and foundation of my being. Thus, I am liberated to live life fully and abundantly, since my own generous intention is mirrored back by reality.

Why are you afraid, you of little faith ? Matthew 8:26

He who has not enough faith will not be able to command faith from others. Tao Te Ching 23

Commentary: By giving faith, we command faith from others. This principle from the Tao Te Ching suggests that people are naturally drawn toward faith, even if on the surface they may seem to be manipulated by inferior motives (such as the desire for selfish gain, approval, or material profits by dishonest tactics).

Let’s say that you have faith in a humanitarian project. You speak about the project with people who are cautious and who disbelieve that generous intentions may prevail successfully. You make a case, exhibiting faith, regarding the success of the endeavor. Citing examples of humanitarian projects that have been successful, you describe the victories of Mohammad Yunas in micro-financing, of Susan B. Anthony in the women’s suffrage movement, and of Bill Gates in starting Microsoft. All of these benevolent projects began with faith. Your associates, even if they are by nature less trusting or well-intentioned than you are, come around to your opinion, thanks to the attractive force of your faith.

Most people would like to believe that goodness and generosity will prevail, because they worry (secretly) that they may some day be in need as potential recipients of another’s good will. Jesus also counsels that we put our faith in God, the source of goodness and generosity, for anything that we might fear will dissolve at the urging of faith.

With God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26

If there is a good store of virtue, then nothing is impossible. Tao Te Ching 59

How can nothing be impossible? With God or given a good store of virtue? Can the sun drop from the sky? Is that the kind of impossible thing that will become possible with God?  No, or probably not, because for the sun to drop from the sky would be contrary to God’s laws of nature which uphold the universe for the preservation of life; since God is good and principled, the author of life, God will not allow the sun to fall from the sky for that would extinguish life.

That all things are possible with God means that all things are possible, so long as they are in accord with God’s nature, which is generous, life-giving, creative, truthful, free, and radiantly attractive and satisfying. So consider something “impossible”. Ask yourself whether this “impossible” thing would display generosity, virtue, truth and creativity, freedom or peace, joy, abundance, justice–and other qualities or benefits in accord with God’s nature. If so, then move toward this impossible thing. It will unfold, step by step. The impossible will become possible.

Confucius_Lao-tzu_and_Buddhist_Arhat_by_Ding_Yunpeng

Confucius, Lao-tzu, and a buddhist Arhat

 

Croiset the Clairvoyant and the miracles of Jesus of Nazareth

The work of the Dutch Clairvoyant Gerard Croiset (1909-1980) sheds light, in some particulars, on the miracle working of Jesus. In this post, I will address two points.

1. The inner signals and experiences that the healer, clairvoyant, or miracle worker undergoes, in rapport with his subjects or petitioners For this matter, I will compare Croiset’s report with a passage about Jesus’s experience of healing (Mark 5:30).

2. The helps and hindrances to healing or miracles I will compare Croiset’s report with a passage about Jesus’s miracle working and healing in Nazareth (Mark 6:4-6).

The Dutch Clairvoyant Gerard Croiset (1909-1980) was gifted with paranormal abilities, including telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition. He was hired by private clients and police, or detective agencies alike, to find lost children, to weigh in about circumstances and suspects in crimes, and even to offer insight into the historical contexts of manuscripts and fossils.

1. The inner signals and experiences the healer, clairvoyant, or miracle worker undergoes, in rapport with his subjects or petitioner:  Energetic signals (Mark 5:30)

Interestingly, Croiset could feel in advance – upon making contact and receiving a request from someone  – whether he would be capable of responding and assisting in the case. Croiset’s biographer Jack Harrison Pollack quotes the famous clairvoyant, “Whenever anybody telephones and says he would like to talk to me some time, I do not feel a thing. But when a warning feeling disturbs me, I get a vibration which is like a full-up feeling and I expand like a balloon. I grow attentive. Then I know it is not an ordinary call….When somebody with a real problem comes to see me  I see a lot of colors. These colors spin around in me very fast until they form a picture. These pictures shoot out as if they were flashing forward like a three-dimensional film.”

Croiset’s description of his healing rapport with his subjects raises the question (if a speculative one), whether perhaps inwardly, as with Croiset, some sensation or vibration would alert Jesus that the petitioner in question, in need of healing or a miracle, had genuine need of assistance.  Rarely do we learn in the Gospels of any subjective experience of Jesus, involved in his healings and miracles.

In one rare instance, however, we do find this telling description of Jesus’s healing rapport with a woman in need. A woman who has been bleeding for twelve years is healed when she touches the garment of Jesus.  The healing is marked for the healer by a sensation (Mark 5:30): “At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?'”

In this case, Jesus makes physical contact with the one he heals. Usually, in Jesus’s healings, there is no such contact. Inwardly, perhaps, the power within Jesus stirred him, as it did Croisset, when a person with a legitimate need approached him.

2. The helps and hindrances to healing or miracles (Mark 6:4-6): Compassion

Croiset was indifferent to quantitative tests of his paranormal abilities, such those devised by J.B. Rhine, the Duke researcher. Once declining to participate in one of Rhine’s studies — which involved predicting a series of figures on cards — Croiset remarked, “I do not like just to guess cards. I have to be emotionally involved in a case, such as a missing child or somebody in trouble.”

If compassionate interest aroused Croiset’s capacities, by the same token self-interest thwarted them. Croiset was incapable of predicting the future on behalf of his family or in order to secure some financial gain. Conversely, where he and his clients shared a significant problem, Croiset’s abilities were enhanced. Because Croiset had nearly drowned once, he became an expert at rescuing or locating drowning people. He had a special sensitivity to orphans, having suffered as an orphan himself.

In the case of Jesus, it is curious that the unbelief of his own townspeople prevent him from working stupendous miracles. As Mark 6:5 explains, about his work in Nazareth, “he could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them,” because of the people’s “lack of faith” (6:6) and because a prophet (i.e. Jesus) is not honored in his own town (6:4).

A lack of trust or belief, on the part of those he would assist, could thwart that compassionate interest that (as with Croiset) enhances the miracle worker’s success.

In conclusion, like Croiset, the famous healer and clairvoyant, Jesus may have registered somatically a signal to alert him as to the needs of his petitioners (Mark 5:30).  The healing abilities of Jesus may have been enhanced, too, by compassion for the afflicted (Mark 6:4-6).

 

Be like a Child

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14

What makes a beloved childhood adorable, to so many of us, may be the child’s exuberance, creativity, playfulness, and imagination. A child’s emotional honesty is also compelling. While adults harbor complicated infatuations, children respond to kindness with openness and generosity — from wherever it comes. Although children will shrink from cruelty,  usually they keep no record of wrongs (unless their trust is betrayed) nor do they play the victim.  Adults hold grudges, propelled by self-righteousness and victimization.

Feelings flow through children: sadness, anger, or boredom can give way, relatively rapidly, to joy, peace, and rapt interest. If only the hearts of adults were not so frozen over by despair, disappointment, and even (occasionally) deceit, they might regenerate their joy in life,  easily.  Children, attracted by a joyful heart, would visit them, unhiindered, to play games or to rest and to be renewed.

Besides the expressive and emotional qualities of children, which are enlivening and rejuvenating, the miracle of a child is that he or she enters the world already equipped with an intact personality and innate gifts. How do such well-formed persons emerge from invisible dimensions? Biology can trace the material foundations of life, and describe the human person in terms of DNA, without ever touching upon the mystery of the incarnation of life (in earthly and visible from) from a transcendent source (which is heavenly and invisible). Astonishing.

Children generally show a benign indifference to their own limitations — (at least until they are much older or until they are socialized to inhibit themselves). For instance, one child I know draws elaborate maps of neighborhoods in his native city. After doing so, every afternoon, he moves onto singing while making videos of his performances. After these activities, he has a snack and takes a rest. Next, this curious child mops the floor of the kitchen. Fascinated to experience this thing, too, he slides on suds of soap. What may be a chore to an adult is fun and a game for a child. The child reads or acts out a skit. At dinner time, he helps the adults to cook by cutting vegetables.

By way of contrast, consider how adults behave.  Clutching to their talents and contributions, adults develop an identity in the world from which to derive their  self-esteem. In the longer run, this identity may deprive them of spontaneity and joy.

Let us suppose that an adult proficient at maps becomes an engineer or graphic design specialist. Thanks to awards, this hypothetical person gets jobs based on such skills. Once commodified, however, the skill in question is liable to become something clung to for fear of loss. Furthermore, as the engineer in question compares his or her talents to those of others in the field, this act of comparison may tempt her or him to indulge in arrogance or envy.

Once talents are defined, owned, and commodified by people and economies, people can become burdened by their gifts by losing flexibility. The graphic designer with expertise at visual art holds him or herself back from performing songs: “After all, I’m a graphic artist not a musician. And by the way, I will hire somebody to mop my floor and cook for me since those chores are no fun.”

Let us as adults become like children. We shall move to the center of our being– to that spontaneous, creative place. Letting go of ideas of who we are, and who we should be, we dispense with limiting beliefs about our talents and our deficiencies. We explore our joys and interests. Experimental, playful: such are qualities of children. Freedom.

 

 

We, the Arcturians (#2) and Jesus Christ: The Second Coming

We, the Arcturians, by Norma J. Milanovich, transmits the message that the Arcturians, a star-people, are returning to earth to assist its inhabitants to move into a higher consciousness. These celestial beings, as Milanovich depicts them, are dedicated to Jesus Christ, as the most Radiant One, and to other ascended Masters.

Their service to Jehovah is told by their farewell salutation, “Adonai,” (which sounds to me like an improvisation upon “Adieu”). As Milanovich’s Arcturian glossary explains: “ADONAI- Hebrew word for The Lord. The pronouncement of the Holy Name Jehovah (or the name of the God of Israel) is attributed the power of working miracles. The revealed absolute Deity, the Holy Creator, the Redeemer. Used by the Arcturians in farewell as a seal to the transmissions.”

If the Arcturians transmit a message of love and light, as Milanovich claims, what  does this love look like? And what resemblance does this Love have to the love preached by Jesus of Nazareth?

The Arcturians, as channeled through Milanovich, sketch a cosmology and history of civilization, which culminates in an apocalyptic confrontation, capped by the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. According to the Arcturian myth of origins, the Arcturians lived on earth in primitive times. A warlike people later invaded, disturbing the peace and well-being of the Arcturian civilization. Now, the earth has been taken over, in equal parts, by love and truth (on the one side) and by hatred and lies (on the other side), by forces of light and by forces of darkness. We are at a critical turning point, and in some ways, a disastrous one. The Arcturians are returning as our saviors and helpers.

Once points of light are anchored onto the earth, and although there will be some strife as those in league with powers of darkness resist the encroaching regime of the children of light, nevertheless a Second Coming is on its way. The “most Radiant Soul, Sananda Jesus the Christ” will return.  He will “open a path to the Father’s house.” One of Milanovich’s Arcturian informers identifies himself as the Beloved Disciple in John’s Gospel, one of Jesus’s closest companions.

The result of the Second Coming will be that the earth will experience a rebirth into a higher consciousness, while the children of Light will establish their policies on earth of equality, mutual respect, peace, ecological responsibility, and justice. This picture, if a utopia, sounds appealing.

Yet, I will raise two critical questions about the Christian vision that is expressed through this Arcturian scenario. As my earlier post indicated, for any channelled material, we may test the spirits: are the spirits responsible for this vision holy or somehow inferior and misleading?

To begin with the last-mentioned point, regarding testing the spirits, 1 John 4 suggests this criterion: I John 4:1-2 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world.  By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” The passage goes onto say: vv.7-8: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

What does it mean to confess that Jesus has come in the flesh? As the criterion for testing the spirits? One way to interpret this test is to maintain that Jesus’s coming in the flesh meant that he was capable of transforming the flesh — the material conditions of our lives. He did not merely preach a spirituality for the elite; rather, he performed works of healing and feeding for people of every spiritual grade and social category.

Jesus performed good works (healing, feeding, stilling storms). He even raised the dead. If the Arcturians serve this Jesus Christ, who came in the flesh, then it follows that we might expect to witness tangible miracles, and self-evidently loving good deeds, inspired by their message to the children of light.

Where are these miracles? Are children being fed? the sick in hospitals being healed? Tangibly and in the flesh? Are educational programs and libraries being offered to girls who lack education, across the world, through the dawning fifth dimensional vibration, heralded by the Arcturians? (For a similar critique, see: Critique of New Age Spirituality; see also the articles specifically about the Arcturians in this blog).

My second point of critique concerns the regime of love that is announced by Milanovich’s Arcturian guides. I refer the reader to an article, which raises ethical questions about the vision presented here. The author points out that various patterns of domination control, including implicit acquiescence to alien abductions, are evident in the Arcturian teachings. (See the critique here : Critique: We the Arcturians and here: Critique Milanovich Arcturians).

In brief, it may be questioned, how loving this teaching is, in fact; further, the Jesus, Sananda, the Radiant One may have only a verbal resemblance to Jesus of Nazareth, who came in the flesh and who is capable of raising the dead.

For more on alien abductions, see: NY Times on Alien Abductions; and as sleep paralysis: Sleep Paralysis Alien Abductions

 

Festival of Eternal Beauty (miscellaneous tributes)

On Christmas, we revere the Beloved, the Beautiful One  –

the Beloved God, adored by the the mystics:

Rabiʿa al-Basri (717–801), Muslim female mystic and poet,  composed this prayer, revered by Sufis:

Oh, my Lord, if I worship Thee from fear of Hell, burn me in Hell,

and if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me thence,

but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake,

withhold not from me Thine Eternal Beauty

(quoted in: Images of Jesus Christ in Islam)

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And our poets: (Dante)

“Heat cannot be separated from fire, or beauty from The Eternal.”

― Dante Alighieri

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Aleksandr Pushkin

To the Beauty

She’s all just harmony and wonder,
Higher than passions and the world,
She rests, with her sweet shyness, under
Her beauty’s ritual abode;
She looks around self in silence:
There’re no contenders hers, no friends,
Our beauties’ circle, pale and blend,
Fades out in her dazzling brightness.

Wherever weren’t you hurry, yet,
Even to date with your beloved,
What sense with weren’t your heart upset,
Even with song of highest sound, –
But having met her in alarm,
You suddenly shall stop, embarrassed –
In ecstasy, like one of prayers,
Feeling the holiness of charm.

Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, December, 2001

***see end of post for recitation in Russian

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Beauty takes the shape of Healing through Jesus:

On Jesus by Rumi

From the Masnawi (lines 298-363): by Rumi, mystical poet of Islam

(See blog post: Rumi and Jesus)

The house of Jesus was
the banquet of the followers of the heart
Oh, the suffering one! Don’t quit
his door.
From all sides people gathered
around his house
Some were blind, some lame,
and some insane.
Each morning they went to his door
So that their defects could be
healed by Jesus’ Breath
Jesus, that man of the good path,
would say his prayers
And would come out, seeing
many groups of sick and weak
people
Sitting and waiting at his door
of hope.
Jesus would say: Oh, the stricken
ones!
God has granted your needs and
cures.
The people would then walk,
with no pain and trouble,
Toward the blessings and mercy
of the Divine.
Like the camel whose chains
were lifted from their feet
The people would walk freely
and joyfully toward home.
They all were cured by the
prayers of Jesus.
And now, you, my friend!
Have you examined your own
defects?
Have you found a healthy state
of being
In the presence of the masters of
the good path?
Has your lame walking on the
spiritual path been cured?
Has your soul been free from the
sufferings and sorrows of this world?

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Beauty, which is God, shines through Christ and the beauty of soul, cherished and beloved by the lover, is contained within every human being:

“To love someone means to see them as God intended them.” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

” There is in the world only one figure of absolute beauty: Christ. That infinitely lovely figure is, as a matter of course, an infinite marvel.” (Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Letter to niece Sofia Alexandrovna)

(See Post on Dostoyevsky and Christianity)

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Look, too, at these beautiful Christmas cakes from India:

Christmas in Kerala, India —

Modern: Plum Cakes for Christmas in India

See Plum Cakes Christmas CelebrationKerala-Christmas-dish.jpg

Ancient Syriac Christians in IndiaMalabar_Christians_of_19th_century.jpg

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Russian Recitation of Pushkin Poem:

Here, at a technological school near San Francisco, a sculpture reminds us that Truth is Beauty too:

Truth is Beauty: sculpture  (See: Truth is Beauty Art)tib_about.jpg