CLOUDS

INTRODUCTION“a fully enlightened One……..He, by himself thoroughly understands, &sees, as it were, face to face this universe…….The truth doth he proclaimboth in its letter & in its spirit, lovely in its origin, lovely in its progress,lovely in its consummation: the higher life doth he make known in all itspurity & in all its perfectness” 1.This is the ideal all seekers of TRUTH aspire. Many tribulations must be overcome & long is the path one must trek to achieve this goal.As stated, “The finite self…….aims at dominion: it sees the world in concentric circles round the here & now, & itself as the God of that wished for heaven. The universal soul mocks at this vision, but the finite self hopes always to make it true, & thus to quiet its troublesome critic. In many the finite self remains always the jailer of the universal soul; in others, there is rare & momentary escape; in a few, the prison walls are demolished wholly, & the universal soul remains free through life.”2. “Religion is partly personal, partly social………it is only when the two elements are intimately blended that religion becomes a powerful force in moulding society.”3.In both Religion & Philosophy, ‘knowledge’ & ‘understanding’ are the fundamental elements needed to attain ‘truth’. Knowledge is information gained from observation & teachings of and from an outer source. Understanding is realisation of the consequences & possibilities of that information & relies on an inner source. For too long both terms have been synonymous.Therefore, primitive man represents the stage in evolution of humanity fundamentally lacking both ‘knowledge’ & ‘understanding’. Human awareness through the five senses slowly changed this situation to the point where the objects perceived became deified. The intellect was still immature so that the imagination was granted equal status with reality. As a result, Nature became the inspiration for worship & explains the many base practises of early Paganism. The pantheon of deities was the Pagan depository of ‘Knowledge’ & the appropriate worship provided the proper ‘Understanding’. Initially, ‘Understanding’ was the domain of the shaman or holy man who interpreted the need of his people & orchestrated worship in accord with that need.As the intellect evolved, so too did civilisation & both ‘Knowledge’ & ‘Understanding’. Although still grounded in Religion, the new ground of Science was explored. This marked the beginning of human invention & ingenuity. Religion evolved & became more systemised & established. The concept of ‘duality’ was reinforced & became manifest in Religion.‘Knowledge’ increasingly became accessible to an elite minority who viewed the majority as ignorant & lacking in ‘Understanding’. ‘Understanding’ by the masses was manipulated & replaced by acceptance & faith. Where the Holy men of primitive cultures orchestrated worship in accordance with the needs of their people, this new priestly caste & Priest-Kings orchestrated worship in accordance with their own vested interests. ‘Understanding’ was corrupted. This laid the foundation for the different paths of Western & Eastern Theology .Western Religion increasingly emphasised ‘Knowledge’ as the source of enlightenment with ‘Understanding’ belonging to the institution of a Temple or Church. Thus ‘Knowledge’ & ‘Understanding’ were preached & the message had to be accepted as Faith.Eastern Religion maintained that ‘Understanding’ led to enlightenment which only an individual could achieve. The Church or Temple became a depository of ‘Knowledge’ accessible to all & Faith lay not in interpretations but in individual action. An individual could gain enlightenment by acting on the ‘Knowledge’ obtained & gaining ‘Understanding’.Civilisation today represents the stage where the Intellect has evolved to such a degree that it demands the marriage of Western & Eastern Religion & thus all Philosophy. Only then can the TRUTH advocated be realised & ENLIGHTENMENT or GOD, attained.Joseph Campbell challenged that, “no-one in the history of thought has yet proposed a formula sufficient to eradicate that bevelled edge of phoenix fire where the spiritual & the earthy; metaphysical & moral planes intersect.” The purpose of this book is to provide absolute TRUTH so the individual formulates their own belief without relying on Faith. Such revelation has the ability to unite Religions, Science & Philosophy & so encourage peace & harmony.CHAPTER ONEWESTERN RELIGIONPerhaps the main stumbling block traditional Western Religions experience in their evangelistic approach to teaching is their emphasis on Faith & their Scriptures. The scriptures of the three main Traditions of Judaism, Christianity & Islam maintain the Old Testament as their primary source. All Revelation, Gospel & commentaries find inspiration in these writings.“The actual point in question…….has never been faith in God, but faith in the Bible as the Word of God & in the Church (this Church or that) as the interpreter of that Word.”4. “Spinoza had the spirit to point out (what should have been obvious to all) that the Bible ‘is in parts imperfect, corrupt, erroneous & inconsistent with itself.’”5.“We may define ‘faith’ as a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no-one speaks of ‘faith’…….We only speak of ‘faith’ when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence. The…….substitution of emotion for evidence is apt to lead to strife, since different groups, substitute different emotions. Neither ‘faith’ can be defended rationally & each is therefore defended by propaganda &, if necessary, by war.”6. History exemplifies this & the Middle East provides a living testimony. History also shows “the best things cannot be told, the second best are misunderstood. After that comes civilised conversation; after that mass indoctrination; then intercultural exchange.”7.Can the situation facing Western Religion be improved? Yes: Simply by the various Churches & denominations acknowledging the fact that their Scriptures merely point the way to the TRUTH of which they aspire to. Scripture is not literally ‘The Word of God’ unable to questioned, debated nor argued. “Understanding through honest doubt. As Job’s experience makes clear, honest doubt may be a truer religious attitude than superficial belief.”8. All scripture pertains to knowledge of God. Only by questioning & debating that Knowledge can an individual arrive at an Understanding. In this way GOD is attained through both Knowledge & Understanding.As it stands today, the individual has only ‘Faith’ & an aspiration to know about GOD through the relationship GOD has to a general community as dictated by the ‘interpretation’ of scripture advocated by the Church & various denominations.JUDAISMThe Jewish race originated around 3000B.C. along the eastern shores of the Mediterranean within the Semitic tribes of the region. The Semites are named after Shem, the eldest son of Noah & the ancestors of the Hebrews. These Jews, relatively small in number perceived themselves as a distinct people because of their belief in Yahweh (Jehova), the only God. They despised the Paganism of the neighbouring tribes & the custom of sacrificing children to their pantheon of Gods was particularly abhorred.The Jews were particularly scornful of the Syrian religion, centred as it was around a fertility Goddess whose worship demanded sacred Temple prostitutes & orgiastic rites. Devotees of Astarte were stimulated into wild sexual abandonment by music, wine & incense. There was often a good deal of licence among the Jews themselves & many writings of the Prophets reproach their people for imitating the pagan practises & exhort them instead to hold fast to their God.Abraham, the ‘exalted father’, traditional founder of the Jewish race, left Mesopotamia around 1950B.C. as a leader of one of the groups then moving westward. He was more than just a Chieftan, & assumed the role of religious leader. Peculiar to the Hebrew religion was the concept of a ‘covenant’ between GOD & his chosen people. Where Paganism had Gods whom could be called upon for help & protection, Jehova alone made pledges to his people. One of these concerned the ‘Promised Land’. God made a covenant with Abraham saying, “Unto thy seed have I given this land.”9. which basically was from the river Nile to the Euphrates.Another covenant was made through Moses to the twelve tribes of the Jewish people in about 1250B.C. to reaffirm & re-establish the covenant made with Abraham. The Jewish people had become slaves in Egypt & Moses, with the aid of Jehova, was to lead them to freedom. At Mount Sinai, Moses received from Jehova the ‘Ten Commandments’ which reinforced Jehova as the only God: The first commandment declaring, “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.”10.The golden age of the Jewish nation began around 1000B.C. under the rule of King David who extended the national boundaries to the Euphrates & the Red Sea making Jerusalem the capital. He was succeeded by King Solomon in around 950B.C. with the pinnacle of Jewish power & prestige marked by the construction of the Great Temple of Jerusalem & Solomon’s great palace. The decline of the nation began soon afterwards & the twelve tribes of the Jewish nation split the nation in two. The majority formed the nation of Israel with its capital in Samaria & Judah was created in the south maintaining Jerusalem as its capital & holy city.In 722B.C. Samaria was captured by the Assyrian King Sargon II. He deported 28,000 Israelites who became the ‘ten lost tribes of Israel’. These were replaced by deportees from other countries & these intermarried with those Israelites not deported to become the ‘Samaritans’ referred to in the Bible. Twenty years later, the Assyrians attacked Judah, the second Jewish kingdom, but failed to take the capital. Jerusalem finally fell to Babylonian conquest in 586B.C. & the Temple & city were razed to the ground. Again there was a massive deportation of Jews, this time to Babylon.For seventy years a large proportion of these Jews resided in Babylonian lands. The majority never forgot their homeland nor were they able to. A great succession of Prophets, from Amos to Isaiah & Jeremiah, never stopped reproaching them for accepting a new imposed culture & the tendency to drift into the ways of their pagan neighbours.The word, ‘Prophet’, did not have the modern meaning of one who foretells the future, but implied a man who was a poet, orator & statesman deeply involved with the social & political needs of his people. It was these Prophets, who, working upon the laws of Moses & his predecessors, helped to develop the Jewish way of life. The Rabbis & Jews slowly evolved a book of Laws, to which reference could be made for almost any conceivable problem or situation which might arise.After 539B.C. & the overthrow of Babylon by the Persians, the first Jews began their return to their homeland around Jerusalem. By the time a new Temple was rebuilt in 516B.C., the Jewish people were reunited as a nation. The fatal conflict that instigated the Jewish exile & lengthy wanderings, began in the first century B.C. under Roman rule. In 63B.C., Pompey the Great took Jerusalem & made Judah part of the Roman Empire under the name of Judaea. This heralded the distengration of the Jewish nation & its gradual decline into anarchy.During this era, the idea of a ‘Messiah’, a descendant of King David who would return to free his country from foreign rule & restore its former greatness, became rampant. Under Roman rule, numerous Jewish ‘Messiahs’ proclaiming an earthly kingdom led rebellions, with all destined to fail. Due to continual insurrections & revolts, Jerusalem was totally destroyed by 135A.D.. The Romans renamed the city Aelia Capitolina & Judah became known as Palestine. All Jewish people were prohibited from entering, & thus the ‘Diaspora’ or dispersion was brought about.Jesus of Nazareth is placed roughly in the middle of this era. He is not acknowledged as the ‘Messiah’ by the Jewish tradition since he disavowed any intent of being an ‘earthly king’ through his teaching & statements like, “My kingdom is not of this world. He was subsequently crucified by the Romans at the instigation of the Jewish leaders or Priests, who saw his teaching as undermining their authority & challenging traditional Judaism.11.Today Judaism places emphasis & special attention on the five books of Moses – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy as these are seen as the ‘written law’. The Rabbis & the Jewish tradition built upon these to produce an ‘oral law’, the ‘Halachah’ which basically is a code of Observance & individual conduct. As a consequence, a secondary body of material to the ‘Halachah’ was formed known as the ‘Aggadah’. The ‘Aggadah’ consists “of all the non-ritualistic & non-legalistic texts. It is essentially pietistic & moralistic in character & in it you find the earliest attempt to clarify such theological concepts as the Jewish view of God, the Messiah & Immortality.Indeed the Rabbis make little effort to prove God’s existence. The Rabbis posit a primal, single force at work in nature. They are convinced that all Creation is governed by a universal plan, & that all of human history represents an unfoldment of that plan. For them, GOD is not an ‘absentee landlord’. They believe not only that GOD exists but also that He cares; that He is not only omnipotent, omniscient & omnipresent but also deeply involved in the human enterprise.The Rabbis do not perceive Man as a helpless pawn of fate, but rather as a ‘partner of GOD’ in the unfinished work of Creation. While they recognise that some of life’s experiences are beyond man’s control, they declare that in the realm of moral choice, this is not the case; that man is endowed with freedom of will……… & is therefore responsible for his conduct.”12. Judaism also recognises “that virtue is not always rewarded on earth thus they speak of Paradise (Gan Eden) & the Netherworld (Gehinnom) as otherworldly scenes of recompense & retribution.”13.The teaching of Judaism pictorially summarised can be seen below.From the diagram above, Jehova encompasses Creation. Since Creation embraces duality & contains Humanity, Life & Death or Spirit & Flesh resides at the centre. Sin is the temptation of the Flesh & if not overcome in Life, the Spirit is punished in Death in the Netherworld (Gehinnom). Sin can be overcome through Knowledge i.e. the Talmud (The Torah – five books of Moses, the Halachah & the Aggadah) & the Spirit is rewarded by entering Paradise (Gan Eden). The Temple becomes the sanctuary of ‘The Ark of the Covenant’ & guardian of Understanding. It is the mediator of Flesh & Spirit & as such becomes the communicant of ‘The Word’.CHRISTIANITYThere is no doubt that Jews were the first Christians. “It has long been known that some kind of parallel can be found in the Talmud to practically every element in the ethical teaching of Jesus.”14. In Christianity, the Old Testament is acknowledged as stating the law of GOD & prophetic truths. The New Testament becomes the testimony of Jesus Christ fulfilling not only the Isaiahnic Prophecy of a servant of GOD enduring affliction for the sins of others, but also Daniel’s night vision of “one like the Son of Man” who is given “dominion, & glory, & a kingdom, that all people, nations & languages, should serve Him.”15.Thus through Jesus Christ, a new kingdom is established which supercedes the previous described in the Old Testament where GOD’s Law pertained only to a chosen people; in essence excluding all others who could not or would not conform. Where the Old Testament preaches the Law, the New Testament preaches Faith with the intent to unite rather than segregate. “The Law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justifies by Faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian………There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”16. The New Testament further proclaims through the veneration of its followers that GOD justifies those who have faith in Jesus Christ. The tenet being found in, “…….The just shall live by his faith.”17. The New Testament also demands commitment to Jesus Christ as ‘Lord’ & ‘Redeemer’.It should be noted that the New Testament is an account of Jesus Christ’s teachings, life & aspirations by his Apostles & as such offers no objective views. What is presented reflects the faith of the authors, therefore unintentionally the writings arguably are interpretations of Christ’s message & life. This is not unique to Christianity & poses no problems, as long as the fact is acknowledged.Virtually from the moment of the death & resurrection of Jesus, Christian disciples began to generate memories & interpretations of their master. The earliest written accounts to gain general approval were the letters sent by the Apostle Paul to communities he had founded in Asia Minor. A generation or so after the missionary activity of Paul, several communities apparently put together different though overlapping collections of both the teachings of Jesus & memories of striking things he had done. What we now call the ‘Synoptic Gospels’ (Matthew, Mark & Luke), represent mature forms of such collections. They are synoptic because one can take in their likenesses (considerable) & their differences (provocative). They are Gospels because their rhetorical intent is a proclamation of glad tidings or good news. Indeed they represent Jesus as having himself proclaimed such news.Specifically, the Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels says that GOD has commissioned Him to announce a time of salvation, a new messianic eon when the reign of GOD will become so manifest that Justice & Peace will flower. Jesus dies because of His fidelity to the mission GOD gave Him; the charge to make such a proclamation up & down the land. The resurrection is in part the ratification by GOD of what Jesus had proclaimed.If the letters of Paul place the death & resurrection of Jesus in the centre, & the Synoptic Gospels place the proclamation of the reign of GOD in the centre; arguing that the preaching, works, death & resurrection of Jesus show Him to have been the ‘Messiah’, then the Johannine writings (Gospel, Epistles & with qualifications, Revelations) present a Jesus incarnating divinity, serving as a central sign of what GOD is like; offering not only peace & justice but a sharing in what GOD alone is: deathless, eternal & holy.The Jesus who walks the Gospel of John is a maker of ‘signs’. He is the ‘Word made flesh’. The ‘Word’ orchestrates the sacramental views of Creation, not denying the evils that deface it but defeating them. The ‘light’ that shines from the ‘Word made flesh’ is stronger than all ‘darkness’.Christianity accepts the Old Testament, its truths & prophecies, yet sees in Jesus Christ the fulfilment of those truths & prophecies. Jesus Christ becomes the ’Word’ incarnate leading to the Revelation of ‘Father, Son & the Holy Spirit’ heralding GOD’s new kingdom. GOD is still perceived as transcendant, not immanent & worship by the individual is justified through communion as symbolised by Christ’s Last Supper. In such a climate, the Church takes the opportunity to inherit importance – The New Testament becoming the revelations & teachings of Christ describing the New Kingdom & its truths which only the Church can properly interpret.“……..Christianity begins with revelation ……….it (Christianity) is nevertheless communicated to us in words, in statements & everything depends on the believers accepting the truth of those statements. Therefore Christianity has always been profoundly concerned with those statements: with the accuracy of their transmission from the original sources, with the precise understanding of their exact meaning, with the elimination & condemnation of false interpretations”18. The history of the Church in regards to heresy & science epitomises this.A comment should be made in regards to the history of the Church in Christianity. Until 313 A.D. the followers of Christianity were predominantly females & slaves due to the oppression of Roman rule. The Church at that time was more akin to communities of Christian followers & authority was placed in Scripture. When Constantine became Emperor of Rome, he ended the persecution of Christians by granting freedom of worship to all religions which specifically related to Christianity. Constantine viewed the Christian belief as a stable & unifying force able to sway the minds of men & harness their loyalty. With this in mind, Constantine in 324A.D. laid the foundation stone of a new city in the east in Byzantium which was to become Constantinople. Christianity was to become the new state religion.When Christianity was a persecuted faith, it was possible for Christians to make common cause without going into precise definition of meaning of what they believed. When it became the official Religion of the Empire, exact definition became an affair of State. Church leaders & ordinary citizens began to dispute as to proper definition. Constantine himself faced the dilemma of resolving the concept of Emperor which had meant absolute power & worship by the citizens as a God. Although the Emperor’s absolute power remained, the concept of divinity had to be dropped. A solution was found whereby the Emperor was accepted as GOD’s representative on Earth; ‘the thirteenth Apostle’ with the title ‘equal to the Apostles’. It did not matter by which route an Emperor was to come to the throne; his status was approved by GOD, even if sometimes he was a monster of vice.Interpretation became the focus of this new Byzantium civilisation & the Bishops of these early Churches “were set the task of producing for the use of all citizens, a concise statement of basic beliefs. The first Council called by the Emperor Constantine, at Nicaea in Western Turkey in 325A.D., produced the Nicene Creed, a resounding declaration of faith which is still used in many Christian Churches today.”19. From the time of Constantine, Byzantine Emperors became the head of the Christian Church but due to disputes over doctrine, this was to change. In 800A.D. Pope Leo III, head of the Church in Rome, ordained Charles, King of the Franks, as Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Christians in the West perceived the Pope in Rome to be leader of Christendom while those in the East maintained the Patriarch in Constantinople as the leader. The rift led to the formation of the Roman Catholic Church & the Eastern Orthodox Church.The Reformation during the Renaissance era could be viewed as an attempt by the masses to regain the authority of personal interpretation not to mention regaining the very Scriptures which had for so long been merely preached to them from the pulpit. As history has shown, the end result was the formation of further Institiutions of interpretation in the form of new Churches & religious movements. Although relinquished of Knowledge, the Church still attempted to maintain authority, wealth & power through understanding & monopolising interpretation. A legacy still very much apparent today.To illustrate Christianity as was done with Judaism, it is necessary to have two diagrams – One to represent the teaching of Christ & the other to represent the teaching of the Church. These diagrams can be viewed on the following page.From the previous page, it is apparent that the Christian Church maintains a similar attitude as that taken by Judaism. Jehova has evolved to become ‘God the Father’ but where Judaism perceives Jehova as a partner of humanity in Creation, the Christian Church adopts the view that ‘God the Father’, although involved in Creation & with humanity through the role as Creator as verified by the Book of genesis, remains transcendent & distant. Jesus Christ as ‘God the Son’ becomes the communicant of ‘God the Father’ & humanity by virtue of the ‘Holy Spirit’. This concept of ‘the Holy Trinity’ leads to the perception by the Church of Jesus Christ the Redeemer who, as the ‘Son of God’, a divine being, is crucified on the cross to redeem humanity’s sins thus allowing for human salvation & passage to Heaven. As such the Christian Church places more emphasis on Jesus Christ, the ‘Son of God’ than Jehova, ‘God the Father’. Jesus Christ becomes ‘the Way’. An individual has only to acknowledge Christ as truth & ask forgiveness of their sins through the Church to gain GOD’s love & gain salvation avoiding HIS wrath. The ‘Holy Spirit’ joins with the human spirit in a union of love allowing eternal life in Heaven. The only other prerequisite is that the individual is baptised.Both the Old & New Testament becomes the Christian Holy Bible, the receptacle of Knowledge. The Church becomes the powerful guardian & the custodian of Understanding as interpreted by its leaders. And in a similar attitude as Judaism, a vast array of associated writings to support that interpretation is created & preached. As in Judaism, the role of the Church as originally manifested has been somewhat corrupted so that it no longer is primarily a ‘meeting place’ for its congregation but has become somewhat of an oppressive institution dictating doctrine.The diagram of Christ’s teaching is somewhat different to that of the Church. Jesus is synonymous with ’the Word’ & becomes the Word through his actions & teachings. He does not interpret but lives his belief. Jesus perceives himself in the New Testament as equal to others & not divine, viewing all humanity ‘as one like unto the Son of Man.’ Jehova is not merely nor literally his ‘Father’ alone but all of Creations including humanity. Jesus perceives himself as a ‘Messenger’ of GOD & when baptised by John (St Matthew 3:15) reveals his mission to be “to fulfil all righteousness.”Jesus was conversant with Judaism & perceived the Law in the Old Testament as pertaining to the ‘Flesh’. His message was to be a Law pertaining to the ‘Spirit’ concerned primarily with morality where people would be circumcised by faith & action through deeds. He gained inspiration from the Old Testament but rejected the Jewish interpretations & assumptions.It is clear from the Sermon on the Mount that the teaching of Christ had no need for a Temple nor Church. His teaching of a ‘Moral Law’ needed only an audience & it was up to the individual to either accept his teaching & live accordingly or deny it and suffer the consequences. Their subsequent actions would indicate which they chose. In accepting the teaching, the individual would become as Christ & if Christ was the ‘Son of God’ to be resurrected, would not then this be ‘the Way’ for the individual? No doubt it is this belief which gave the early Christians the strength to endure such horrific persecution.Jesus actually opposed the state of the Church or Temple in his time stating “It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.”20. The same accusation could be levelled at the Church today. Jesus Christ by acknowledging Scripture but not the Church of his day allowed the evolution of the relationship of Jehova & Humanity from master:servant demanding obedience in the Old Testament to a New Testament of father:son obedient in Love & respect. At no time did he preach redemption through crucifixion and his own death, this was a response from those who attempted to find meaning behind a gross injustice.ISLAMIn the late 6th & early 7th century A.D., the Arab tribes were already influenced by a host of pagan religions as well as Judaism & early Christianity. Most were idol worshippers & the majority were pastoral, mobile & warlike. Included was Muhammed’s own tribe. Muhammed was born in 570 A.D. at Mecca, which was situated on the caravan route between the Indian Ocean & the Mediterranean, to the merchant Abdallah.Just as Jesus was the inspiration for Christianity, so too was Muhammed for Islam. The difference being that Muhammed, as GOD’s messenger, revealed to the people directly the Qur’an or Koran (literally the Word of GOD or Recitation) whereas Christ’s teaching was interpreted by His Apostles to later form the New Testament. Where Christianity preaches ‘Faith’ in Jesus Christ, in whom ‘the Word was made flesh’21., Islam demands submission to ‘The Word of GOD’, the Qur’an. As stated, “Unlike other religions, Islam’s roots are at surface level, the life of its founder is as well known to us as those of the Reformers of the 16th century”.22.How then did Muhammed become Islam’s Prophet?About 610A.D. at the age of forty when worshipping alone in a cave on Nount Hira outside Mecca, Muhammed was commanded by a voice. It was the sacred month of his tribe & in doubt and afraid, he hurried home to relate the story to his wife. Shortly after this episode & once again alone in the cave, Muhammed experienced a divine revelation. The Angel, Gabriel, manifested to reveal that he, Muhammed, was the “Messenger of GOD”. Trembling & doubting his own sanity, he returned home. He requested that his wife, Khadyir, cover him with a cloak. When so covered he again heard the voice call, “O you enveloped in your cloak, arise & warn! Your Lord magnify, you raiment purify, pollution shun! And show not favour, seeking worldly gain! For the sake of your Lord, be patient!”23. Muhammed realised & accepted his role & began quietly preaching.Muhammed’s home town of Mecca was the first to hear his message. He stressed that he was not divine, but a man whom GOD had chosen to be HIS messenger. His mission was to call men to GOD’s worship & warn against idol worship; much the same message as Abraham & Moses delivered to their people. He also preached of the end of the World & the Last Judgement. Not only his tribe, but also the town of Mecca engaged in a lucrative trade of selling idols to the many travellers enroute in the numerous caravans passing through the region. It is no wonder his message was received with such a hostile reception.Muhammed’s first converts were the ‘slaves & unworthy of the city’ & even these were few in number. Muhammed himself was protected somewhat by his aristocratic blood however the leaders in Mecca retaliated violently against these converts. These leaders appealed to Muhammed’s dignity & heritage stating, “You are followed only by the contemptible & degraded people who do not think.”24. The persecution continued, so appeal was made to Muhammed’s sense of tribal solidarity. Again this was pointless as Muhammed had already submitted to Allah or GOD, the only GOD & the only leader.Due to continuing persecution, Muhammed advised the converted to migrate to Ethiopa which had been a Christian country since its conversion by a Syrian Christian named Frumentius sometime in the 4th century A.D.. Islamic tradition decrees that these first Muslims sought asylum by reciting parts of the Qur’an praising Jesus & the Virgin Mary to the Ethiopian King, Negus, & the Bishops of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, a branch of the Egyptian Coptic Church. As a result, refuge was granted. Back in Mecca, Muhammed continued his ten year struggle, “preaching to his people of a punishment that would come upon the unbelieving city.”25.In 622A.D. Muhammed & his converts were finally forced to flee Mecca & this migration became known as the ‘Hegira’ & is the beginning of the Islamic era. He eventually found sanctuary 300 miles to the north in Yathrib where his message had been widely accepted. “The life of the prophet in Mecca had been primarily concerned with the fundamentals of Islam: the unity of GOD, resurrection, the day of Judgement, worship & the purification of the soul. This concern continued in Yathrib, where the ‘ummah’ (congregation or nation) could be organised as an independent entity. A constitution & a system of defence were needed. The new city had to engender a social order & a state. The Prophet, guided by revelation, was able to implement the political & social structure of the new ummah”26. Yathrib became known as ‘The City of the Prophet’ or simply ‘The City’ (Medina).Not only did Muhammed prove himself to be a great statesman but he was to prove to be a talented strategist. What followed were a number of battles with neighbouring cities & tribes as Muhammed & his ummah not only protected themselves from the various hostilities directed at their Islamic faith, but fought in the cause of GOD. Ten years after settling in Yathrib or Medina as it came to be known, Mecca was finally vanquished. Convinced of peaceful surrender, Muhammed turned his attention to Al-Ta’if, another stubborn enemy which was to be his last. On the contrary, Al-Ta’if not only mobilised its inhabitants, but also the Hawazin confederacy of tribes. Although wounded, Muhammed & his forces won the day. Upon return to Medina, delegations from all Arabian tribes & settlements met Muhammed to pay homage & submit to Islam. All of Arabia had thus been converted to Islam.In essence, what then is the Islamic faith?It is complete submission & obedience to Allah, the only GOD. As Islam recognises the previous Prophets & includes Jesus among them, ‘Allah’ is synonymous with ‘Jehova’. Muhammed must also be accepted as the Messenger of Allah & the last great Prophet. “This implies:

1. True existence is that of Allah alone: Man & the entire creation exists only because Allah wills them to exist.
2. Allah alone is the Creator: everything comes from Him & goes back to Him; hence the entire Creation including Man is the manifestation of Allah’s power & glory & hence of his qualities & attributes.
3. The relation between man & Allah is that of servant & master. As Man owes his very existence to Allah, to worship anything else is to commit the gravest of sins.
4. The above three aspects of faith in Allah are realised by Man only when he responds to the message of Allah & this is possible when Man believes in Muhammed as the messenger of Allah.
5. As a messenger he is the last & greatest, about whom all the early messengers have predicted & who thus completes the process of Revelation.
6. He is therefore the perfect ideal for Mankind, the perfect servant of Allah & hence the most complete & the ideally balance manifestation of the attributes of Allah.
7. To believe in him is to believe in all other prophets of Allah.
8. To believe in him is also to believe that the Qur’an contains all the revelations sent to mankind through him, that these revelations provide guidance to us & that we should worship Allah by following these revelations according to the method prescribed for us by Muhammed & hence in accordance with his sayings & practises, known as ‘Hadith’ or ‘Sunah’.
9. To believe in him is also to believe in the carriers of the message, the Angels, who are described in the Qur’an as functionaries.”27

“Faith & action in Islam has the following implications:
1. Man is accountable to Allah…….Allah will judge him…….& send him to heaven…..or to hell.
2. This implies…….. Man has life after death.
3. Therefore all human action should be organised in such a manner that he may not suffer in life after death.
4. This organization of action in this world implies the organization of all facets of human existence, individual & collective, hence educational, economic, political & social. Shari’ah (a commentary on social & ethical issues in accord with the Qur’an & similar to the Halachah of Judaism) provides the guidelines, the rules of external conduct.
5. This means Man is free in his will, choice & action.”28.

Since Islam places such importance on Muhammed epitomising true understanding of the knowledge contained in the Qur’an, an authoritive Church is unnecessary. Many Muslims learn the Koran by heart & the Mosque becomes a common place of prayer where passages from the Koran are recited. Since the Islamic tradition bans portrayal of living beings, Mosques are decorated by the use of calligraphy, geometrical designs & representations of flowers & plants.To become a Muslim, an individual simply has to submit to Allah & acknowledge Muhammed as Allah’s messenger. So one’s behaviour is the individual’s concern, to be rewarded for virtue or punished for sin. Islamic theory in the 13th century divided the world into Dar al-Islam, the abode of Islam & Dar al-harb, the abode of war. In today’s world with the anticipation of a Jihad (holy war) by Islamic fundamentalists coupled with the Christian expectation of Armageddon, this theory is still current.Finally, the differences found in the Qur’an to the Truths accepted by Christianity will be briefly stated as a matter of interest.

1. Islam perceives only good from God & anything else from humanity (Qur’an 4:78).
2. Jesus was not crucified & resurrected (Qur’an 4:153-158)
3. There is no trinity. (Qur’an 4:17)
4. Mary falls pregnant by a Spirit in the form of a man & gives birth near a palm tree. (Qur’an 19:22-39)
5. Adam was tempted, not Eve. (Qur’an 20:15)
6. Every soul shall taste death. (Qur’an 21:34)
No doubt there are others but these suffice to illustrate that where Christianity evolved from Judaism & did not contradict previous Scripture, Islam contradicts Christianity.

The diagram on the following page illustrates the teaching of Islam.It is evident from the above diagram, the similarities Islam shares with both Judaism & Christianity. No further comment is needed.SUMMARY OF WESTERN RELIGIONIt is evident from the commentary on the three main Western Religions that the Old Testament provided the inspiration for all further Scripture. The Old Testament introduces the concept of one God all encompassing; the Creator of all existence, enlightening a chosen people through Prophets of His own choosing. The fall of Mankind in GOD’s ‘Garden of Eden’ introduces the concept of Sin through the Temptation of the Flesh. The Serpent responsible evolves to become Satan.The Law revealed to Moses becomes the means whereby Humanity can rise above their carnal desires epitomised by Paganism, gaining the favour of GOD through obedience. Through obedience, Sin is overcome & the concept of Heaven & Hell is introduced to reward the obedient & punish the transgressors. The narrative of Noah & Sodom and Gomorrah serve to exemplify that GOD is not unwilling to directly punish transgressors through his wrath. Far from uniting Humanity, the concept of a Chosen people encouraged not peace but warfare. The actions of GOD’s Chosen people contradicted the Law by which they were required to live in worship of GOD.Where The Old Testament of Judaism can be seen as representative of the Flesh, Christianity evolved through The New Testament to become representative of the Spirit. Gaining inspiration from the Old Testament, Christ & his teaching becomes ‘the Word made flesh’ with the focus on the inner sanctum of virtue & morality. The concept of Faith is introduced in an attempt to unite all of Humanity. Physical circumcision to distinguish the Chosen people is replaced by Spiritual circumcision of the heart through Faith.Since the life of Christ not only epitomised the Law of Moses but His own moral law, Christ is not only perceived as ‘the Word made flesh’ but also the Son of GOD. Total obedience is no longer the only path to assure reward in Heaven through GOD’s forgiveness of Mankind’s original Sin, but also Faith in Jesus Christ. Through the Church, Jesus is deified in the Holy Trinity: ‘God the Father, the Son & the Holy Ghost’. One is circumcised in the Faith through Baptism by the Church & Sin is not only forgiven but through Faith & the Church, absolved. Jesus is viewed as the fulfilment of the Messianic Prophecy of the Old Testament but Himself preaches a final ‘Day of Judgement’. This becomes the final chapter of The New Testament, the Book of Revelations where the Church interprets a literal return of Christ.Islam, rather than an evolution of both Judaism & Christianity, is more influenced & inspired by them. Islam acknowledges the Old Testament & all the Prophets, including Jesus among them. It is more akin to Judaism in that it demands submission & obedience to GOD or Allah. As stated in the Qur’an, “….We believe in the faith of Abraham, the upright one…..”29. & “The only true faith in God’s sight is Islam.”30. Islam also demands acknowledgement of Muhammed as the messenger of GOD.In relegating Christ to Prophet & Muhammed to the last & greatest Prophet, the inference manifests that Muhammed is the fulfilment of the Messianic prophecy as he did create an ‘earthly kingdom’. Although acknowledging the Old Testament & Jesus, the Qur’an has precedence & is viewed literally as ‘The Word of God’ & itself as divine.Islam also maintains a “Day of Resurrection”31. & a ‘Jihad’ or Holy War between Allah with his Angels & Satan supported by his ‘Jinn’. Muslims will wage war on earth in support of Allah; the enemy manifesting when the time comes. With such importance & emphasis on the Qur’an, the clergy & Mosque have taken on a different role when compared to Judaism & Christianity.It becomes apparent that interpretation is the only obstacle separating all three traditions of Western Religion.CHAPTER TWOEASTERN RELIGIONDue to the geographical location of Eastern Civilisations, not only did those civilisations evolve along different lines to those in the West, but so too their Religion. Again pagan beliefs provided the seed but they evolved into unique Philosophies as exemplified by the teachings such as ‘Tao’, ‘Confucianism’, ‘I Ching’, ‘Feng Shui’ & the early Pagan rites of the Indian sub continent.Where ‘Knowledge’ was the motivating force in the West; in the East, emphasis was placed in ‘Understanding’ by the individual. This resulted in a seemingly detached & objective approach where the focus was analytical rather than subjective.With the migration of a pale skinned Aryan race from the northwest into the Indus Valley from about 2,500B.C., Eastern Religion began to evolve into its present form best epitomised by both Hinduism & Buddhism. The Aryan race probably originated from the regions of the Middle East & Central Asia again due to the geography of the region where the Himalayan Mountain Range provided a formidable barrier.For the intent & purpose of this commentary, only Hinduism & Buddhism will be discussed since these two Religions account for the main belief system in the East today. Both these Religions also attract the most attention from those in the West somewhat disillusioned with the West’s own theological approach & Religion.HINDUISMThe actual beginning of Hinduism is unclear but most believe it had its roots some 4,500 years ago “in a wave of migration that brought a pale skinned Aryan people down from the Northwest into the Indus Valley. From there it spread into the Ganges River plains & across India. Some experts believe that the religious ideas were based on ancient Iranian & Babylonian teaching.”32. Knowledge of these Aryan conquerors comes mainly from Hindu scriptures where the ‘Rig-Veda’ “tells of barbarian tribes, glorifying in their swift horses & light chariots, fighting battles & establishing themselves in small villages, grazing their flocks of sheep, goats & cattle & cultivating crops. From these earliest farming days sprang the particularly high regard which Indians hold for cattle.”33. Between 1000B.C. & 500B.C., the basic pattern of Hindu society had been established.Although at first glance Hinduism appears to consist of a pantheon of Deities, the central theme is that True Reality is oneness; with all things united & the concept of separate selves, false. ‘Brahma’ is the Supreme Being or GOD & all other Deities merely aspects of this Being. Although personified in Hindu art, ‘Brahma’ is more ‘concept’ than GOD in the Western sense & this ‘concept’ is best described as ‘Be-ing’.The three main deities recognised are: ‘Brahma’ the Creator, ‘Siva’ the Destroyer & ‘Vishnu’ the Preserver. In the Bhagavad- Gita as translated by the founder of the ‘Hare Krishna’ movement, his Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, ‘Krsna’ is the Creator, ‘Jiva’ the male counterpart representing the ‘Living Entity’ & ‘Prakrti’ the female counterpart representing ‘Nature’ & ‘Energy. ‘Kala’ represents the ‘Eternal Time’ of Brahma allowing ‘Karma’ to manifest in the world. To the individual, Karma allows for the rebirth of the “Atman’ or ‘soul’. Basically it is ‘cause & effect’ or ‘action & result’.‘Brahma is the source of ‘Atman’, the eternal soul which flows through all forms of life whether animal, vegetable of mineral. It never dies but changes form through continual rebirth according to the law of ‘Karma’. To the Hindu, ‘Karma’ is seen as a system of reward & punishment where a wicked life results in rebirth in an unpleasant existence & a virtuous life is rewarded with a nobler existence. ‘Karma’ thus becomes the Law justifying an elaborate ‘Caste System’. This caste system distinguishes Hindu Society from any other society found in the world today.Hindu society then, is divided into four main castes: the ‘Brahmins’ (Priests), ‘Kshatriyas’ (Warriors), ‘Vaisyas’ (Merchants & Farmers) & ‘Sudras’ (Labourers). The lowest caste, ‘Pariahs’ live in greatest poverty & misery. A Hindu accepts this institution of caste due to their firm belief in Karma. It is their action in a previous life that determines their fate in this one & through acceptance & meritorious behaviour it is hoped that they will be reborn into a more favourable caste.When history is analysed, it is revealed that ‘caste’ originated with the founders of Hinduism, the pale skinned Aryans. It was introduced based simply on skin colour to ensure effective control & authority by the Aryan conquerors. “At first the only rigid division was between the light skinned, blue eyed conquerors & the dark skinned, dark eyed conquered. But later, as the original Aryans intermarried with the local population, distinction by colour was superceded by a system which fixed not only a man’s position in society, but that of his descendants as well.”34. With this in mind, to a Western outsider, the Caste system is the greatest injustice in the Hindu Religion.The Scriptures or writings of Hinduism are many & varied. The oldest being a collection of four books known as the ‘Vedas’ comprising of prayers & hymns. These consist of the ‘Rig-Veda’, ‘Sama-Veda’, ‘Yajur-Veda’ & ‘Atharva-Veda’. These were written over a long period of time & possibly completed by 1000B.C.. These were supplemented by other writings with the two principle sets being the ‘Brahmanas’ & the ‘Upanishads’. As the name implies, the ‘Brahmanas’ were written by the Brahmin caste & specify how rituals & sacrifices, both domestic & public, are to be carried out. Great detail is used in explaining ritualistic significance & meaning. The ‘Upanishads’ are 108 philosophical & theological treatises. These contain the doctrine of ‘Mukti’ (‘samadhi’ or union with Brahma) & ‘Karma’ (cause & effect or activity & reaction. The ‘Puranas’ are 18 historical supplements & are mentioned since they contain the ‘Bhagavad-Gita’.A system evolved leading to ‘Mukti’ & comprise of four ‘Yogas’ or paths. These are known as ‘Karma Yoga’, ‘Jnana Yoga’, ‘Bhakti Yoga’ & ‘Astanga Yoga’. In essence: ‘Karma Yoga’ is acting in proper accord with one’s caste, having no concern with personal satisfaction by dedicating the fruits of one’s work to Brahma. ‘Jnana Yoga’ is acting in accord with the knowledge of Brahma through a speculative, philosophical & psychological search thus providing the opportunity to attain Mukti in this life. ‘Bhakti Yoga’ is perhaps the most popular Yoga, linking one with Brahma through devotional service, where the individual accepts & acknowledges Brahma in all acts & all things. ‘Astanga Yoga’ is an eight fold path consisting of ‘yama’ & ‘niyama’ (moral practises), ‘asana’ (bodily postures), ‘pranayama’ (breath control), ‘pratyahara’ (sensory withdrawal), ‘dharana’ (steadying the mind), ‘dhyana’ (meditation) & ‘samadhi (in this case meaning trance or deep contemplation). The English meaning for these terms are from the glossary of the “Bhagavad-Gita’.A final point of interest is that ‘Krsna’ is perceived as an incarnation of ‘Brahma’ & is described as “the playful eighth incarnation”35. Hinduism also believes that a tenth incarnation will appear in the world, “depicted as a magnificent youth riding a great white horse with a meteor-like sword raining death & destruction on all sides. His coming will re-establish righteousness on earth, & the return of an age of purity & innocence”.36.As can be seen , Hinduism can also be represented by a diagram. Brahma or GOD is encompassed by Karma or reaction & activity and to realise Brahma, one must look within.BUDDHISMBuddhism can be viewed as an evolution & reformation of Hinduism. With the settlement of towns & subsequent growth of trade, many different races plied the ancient trade routes bringing with them different customs & lifestyles. The East no longer was as isolated as it had once been & change was inevitable. Those engaged in trade came into conflict with the established upper castes of India & “particularly resented were the privileges of the Brahmins or Priests, their mysterious rituals, and their constant demands for cattle to be used in sacrifice……….The misery of the people opened the way for reformers who attacked the priests & opposed the institution of caste.”37.In this atmosphere, Siddhartha Guatama was born a Prince of the Shakya tribe about 560B.C. in the principality of Lumbini on the border with present day Nepal. Legend dictates that his father, the Chief or King, perceived some indescribable potential in his son & attempted to shield him from the realities of life such as birth, sickness, old age & death. This proved difficult & whilst travelling through his dominion, Siddhartha Guatama eventually encountered sickness, old age & death. This produced a profound change & he became increasingly dissatisfied with his aristocratic life. He resolved to discover a solution to end the suffering he now perceived in human existence. Around the age of 29, Siddhartha Guatama renounced his wealth & royal station, vowing to discover release from suffering. He eventually joined a band of Hindu ascetics seeking salvation through severe frugality & Astanga-Yoga.Although realising Truth through this practise, Siddhartha Guatama believed that this approach failed in attaining Absolute Truth. As stated, “Thought the future Buddha, ‘It is best heaven they are gaining. But if pain is Religion & happiness is Irreligion, then by Religion they are gaining Irreligion. Since, however, it is only by mind that the body acts or acts not; what should be controlled is not the body, but thought. Without thought, the body is but a log. Nor will water wash away Sin.”38.After six years, he turned his back on asceticism & turned instead to meditation. He remembered that as a small boy he had often found peace of mind sitting in the shade of a tree. He thus resolved to meditate in like manner & retired to the shade of the ‘Bodhi Tree’, a sacred fig tree, vowing not to move until having attained true Enlightenment. After 49 days he arose having become ‘Buddha’ or Enlightened one. His Enlightenment was first preached in the Deer Park at Sarnath in a sermon named, the ‘Turning of the Wheel of Law’. This was to be the foundation of Buddhist teaching.What then is the Teaching known as Buddhism?It is the teaching of the Middle Way: A path between the two extremes of strong sensual desires & exaggerated austerities. In essence, it addresses the ‘three signs of being’. That is: “All things are ‘anicca’, changing & therefore impermanent; all things are ‘dukkha’, unhappy, suffering in the sense of being incomplete, imperfect, joined to the unloved, separated from the loved; and all thing, conditional & unconditional, without exception are ‘anatta’, without a separate soul or quality of permanence which marks them as eternally distinct from other things.”39.Derived from these three facts are the ‘Four Noble Truths’ namely:

1. That there is ‘dukkha’ or suffering.
2. That there is a cause of that suffering namely self-ishness or ego.
3. That there is a path or way to end that suffering, being the removal of the cause.
4. The way to remove & end suffering, known as the ‘Noble Eightfold Path’

What is the ‘Noble Eightfold Path’? It is: Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness & Right Concentration.Therefore the Middle Way taught by Buddhism is “the process of the death of self. As self dies the Self grows, & as the Self is purified, the light of SELF, the awareness of Enlightenment grows in the mind which now returns in fullest consciousness to the All-Mind whence it came”.40. Using Western terms, Buddhism proposes that by overcoming the temptation of the flesh, the spirit becomes purified so that divinity or the Holy Ghost enters allowing reunion & a return to GOD.The above passages encompass what today is referred to as the ‘Theravada’ school of Buddhism & is the oldest form of Buddhism.After the Buddha’s death in around 480 B.C., there arose the ‘Mahayana’ school. This originated at one of the Councils held by Buddha’s followers in northeast India. Although complete as a moral philosophy able to “kill out the ‘three fires’ of hatred, lust & illusion aflame within the mind, & to expand the consciousness by strenuous training to the achievement of Nirvana; The Indian mind refused to rest there”.41. Therefore the ‘Theravada’ school evolved into the ‘Mahayana’ teaching concerning itself with ‘Prajna-paramita’, the wisdom which has gone beyond, embodied in the concept of the ‘Void’. Although Buddha could not be coaxed into commenting on ‘ultimates’ always maintaining his “Noble Silence’ on such matters, this was the field ‘Mahayana’ Buddhism explored.Today the ‘Mahayana’ school is found in Tibet, China, Korea & Japan and is best exemplified by Zen Buddhism. It is epitomised in this quote, “ a Ch’an master of old enquired, ‘When all things return to the One to what does the One return? And the only answer is ‘Non-duality’, that which is neither one nor two. This Non-Duality was called the Void, sunya…….”42. Mahayana adepts believe that this approach takes the individual to the very threshold of the ‘Unborn, Unformed & Unoriginated’ (as the Buddha called the ‘Absolute’) but it is questionable if it takes that individual to the ‘Noble Silence’ of Buddha or the summit as Christmas Humphreys puts it of “the Everest of human thought”.The two most commonly used scriptures in Mahayana Buddhism are ‘The Diamond Sutra’ & ‘The Heart Sutra’ which Dr Suzuki states comprises of “a system of intuitions reiterating ‘Form is emptiness & the very emptiness, form. Form does not differ from emptiness: Emptiness does not differ from form”.It is evident that many concepts in Buddhism have been adopted from Hinduism however the teaching has excluded ‘caste’. The concept of deities has been rejected & when questioned on the ‘Ultimates’, Buddha declined maintaining his ‘Noble Silence’. The reason being that Buddha considered such questions to be an obstacle to the individual on the path to Enlightenment with the potential of binding them to ‘samsara’, the cycle of rebirth in the material world. Siddhartha Guatama is not deified but revered as an inspirational example of what any individual can achieve if they follow his ‘Middle Way’The diagram below illustrates the Theravada School of Buddhism which is true to Buddha’s original teaching. It also is representative of the Mahayana School however some terms such as ‘The Noble Silence’ would be replaced. It serves its purpose for this book however.It is evident from the diagram that the Buddhist approach views that which is most holy as being within. Life and Death or Action & Reaction revolves in an ongoing cycle around ‘The Noble Silence’. To achieve Enlightenment, Suffering is overcome with ‘The Middle Way’ allowing one to go beyond both the Void & the Absolute & in Awareness, become that Noble Silence.CHAPTER THREEEAST AND WESTBy studying the diagrams of the traditions of JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY & ISLAM, it is apparent a pattern emerges which is repeated in each Religion. Although terminologies differ, this pattern remains true.To condense all three Religions into one diagram depicting Western Theology, all that’s required is to formulate terms which encompass the gist of those already stated. So:Jehova, God the Father, GOD & Allah become DIVINITY.Gehinnom, Hell & Satan become DARKNESS.Heaven becomes LIGHT.The Word becomes AWARENESS.Life becomes CREATION.Death becomes ANNIHILATION.Sin becomes IGNORANCE.The Talmud, Holy Bible & the Koran all associated writings becomeKNOWLEDGE.The Temple, Church, Christ & Islam becomes UNDERSTANDING.From this a simplified version of Western Theology can be expressed:DIVINITY encompasses all & in the beginning there was only DIVINITY. And DIVINITY realised duality & then came DARKNESS. That which is divided needs its opposite so came LIGHT. When LIGHT was reflected in DARKNESS there came AWARENESS. And through AWARENESS, came CREATION. That which is created disintegrates, thus came ANNIHILATION. That which was created & observed disintegration knew not the reason so came IGNORANCE. IGNORANCE entraps so must be overcome thus came KNOWLEDGE. KNOWLEDGE alone is useless so came UNDERSTANDING. Through UNDERSTANDING Truth is realised allowing DIVINITY to become whole once more.With Western Theology segregated by interpretation & faith coupled with the insurgence of ‘Fundamentalism’ today, IGNORANCE is prevalent. The intent of this Revelation is to assist an individual in going beyond terminologies & interpretations so that the boundaries & barriers imposed by the various faiths, crumble. Not only will TRUTH manifest but so too the Peace & Harmony the majority so very much yearn.The diagram on the following page becomes the condensation of all Western Theology.By studying the diagrams of Eastern Religions represented by Hinduism & Buddhism, a similar pattern emerges. Just as Western Theology was condensed, Eastern Theology can also be condensed using the same terms. So:Brahma & The Noble Silence become DIVINITY.Atman becomes AWARENESS.Material Activity & Action become CREATION.Reaction becomes ANNIHILATION.Siva & the Void become DARKNESS.Vishnu & the Absolute become LIGHT.Maya & Suffering become IGNORANCE.The Vedas, Brahmanas, Upanishads, Puranas, The Middle Way, Sutras, Pali Canon& associated writings become KNOWLEDGE.Yoga & Enlightenment become UNDERSTANDING.From this a simplified version of Eastern Theology can be expressed:DIVINITY is encompassed by duality & the Law of Karma which manifests as a continual cycle of CREATION & ANNIHILATION & is entrapped by it. To find release, CREATION through AWARENESS must overcome IGNORANCE through KNOWLEDGE leading to UNDERSTANDING. Not only is DIVINITY realised

& released, but so too is CREATION from the ‘Wheel of Becoming’.

The diagram below becomes the condensation of Eastern Theology.When both the diagrams & commentaries of Western & Eastern Theologies above are analysed, their complementary content manifests. For too long East & West have been opposed to each other; not to mention the antagonism within each Religion. Cohesion has been lacking & the intent which each professes has manifested as corruptions. The result can only be discord as is apparent in the world today.To adopt either Western or Eastern Theology as presented would not & could not unite human thought & the many Religions of the world today. There would still be those who, perceiving division between the two, would succeed in exploiting that division.‘Duality’ is that which confuses the intellect preventing it from realising Absolute Truth. As a coin has two sides, so too has Absolute Truth. The Mind or Intellect has the ability to scrutinise each side & if only one side is visible, the other is not denied. Therefore to realise Absolute Truth or DIVINITY, the Truths of Western & Eastern Theology must be united into a single coin & it’s up to each individual to determine if it is worth possessing.The Revelation of the DIVINE CIRCLE below is that coin of Absolute Truth.DIVINITY is all encompassing yet also within so that Western & Eastern Theology united in a simplified version becomes:DIVINITY was, is & will be. DIVINITY realised duality; dividing itself so that there was DARKNESS & then LIGHT. From reflection came AWARENESS thus allowing CREATION. That which is created is not eternal & disintegrates hence comes ANNIHILATION. That which is created & disintegrates becomes a continual cycle. That which is created & observes disintegration, knows not the reason introducing IGNORANCE, entrapping DIVINITY. To be released, KNOWLEDGE is created but is useless by itself in the realm of duality. UNDERSTANDING is introduced allowing DIVINITY release from the IGNORANCE of creation. Only then is the Cycle complete so that DIVINITY is free to become once more whole.

The Revelation of the DIVINE CIRCLE is a teaching for humanity resonating with one Commandment, ‘do that which does not adversely affect’. It is a journey undertaken alone yet united as one through the intent of Realisation kindred in all.

One fact must be em

CLOUDS

Clouds

Lisarow., Australia

  • Artist
    Notes
  • Artwork Comments 2

Artist's Description

I have submitted this manuscript to Associate Professor Constant MEWS, the Director of Centre for Studies in Religion & Theology School of Historical Studies at Monash University Victoria Australia for his comments. He stated that he was “impressed by the spiritual depth” of my vision in “synthesising in a few pages the kernel of all the major religious traditions of humanity.” He was particularly impressed “by the visual presentations included of the central themes of each of those traditions.” He went on to say that he acknowledged that I did not “aim to provide a definitive summary of each of the Religions” I dealt with, “Rather you are putting forward a way of rethinking traditional categories by a fresh emphasis on the theocentric, the divine kernel that underpins all the great religions.”

The motivation for composing the work was in response to fundamentalism that is manifesting in all religious traditions promoting intolerance & a lack of respect for other points of view. It attempts to unite rather than divide & is aimed at a general audience providing a brief summary of all major religious traditions. It concentrates on the similarities & shows the only differences manifest in interpretation.

My apologies for not including the digrams but this site does not allow for their inclusion. I hope the text alone is of some interest to members.

If you wish a copy with the diagrams, drop me a line & I’ll email a copy.

Artwork Comments

  • binjy
  • Clouds
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