Sunday, September 27, 2009

Separating God from Religion

For nearly 6,000 years of recorded history, man has experienced war. Lasting peace and prosperity have seemed to elude him. Could their be a connection between man's religion and the mounting woes of the human race? Would more religion be the answer? Or is religion the cause? The use of God in war, or a holy war, is only a military convenience by those in power. For one to think that God is so weak He cannot do His will without our intervention, borders on ludicrous blasphemy.

With thousands of religious figures claiming their brand of Religion should be followed, the disillusioned, and confused millions ask, which message is correct? Rank religious confusion is everywhere! Could this confusion be part of God’s plan? Many blame today's organized religion for this worlds problems. Many say that religion has failed to answer the vital questions regarding the purpose for human life, who we are? Why we are?...and why are we here on earth?
Although our modern world has achieved awesome advancement in technology, science and knowledge, humanity is experiencing a rapid moral decline. The children of light, are ensnared into religions worldwide, with many to be enslaved and corrupted by religion. When you feel close to God, and I know that many of you do; it is not your religion that brings you nearer to the Father. No it is only the love you have in your heart, that brings you closer. God is much too large to tolerate just one religion, he tolerates them all.

Ever since the dawn of mankind, around 40,000 years ago, when God revealed the possibility of his existence to mankind by giving humans a powerful imagination, people have wondered about their origins. Where did we come from? Who created us? Over the centuries, to answer these very basic questions, our storytellers have invented many myths, stories and dogmas. Religions are simply the outgrowth of these ancient myths and dogmas handed down from generation to generation and formalized into faiths, rituals and traditions.

Human Imagination, mankind's "special sense", is the power that separates mankind from all the other animals on Earth - it is made possible by a powerful brain, capable of comprehending the wonders of nature and the world we live in. Mankind now had the power to begin to comprehend the beauty that surrounded it. Something must have created all this magnificent beauty. I can "see" for myself, through my imagination, the beauty of its creations - it is everywhere I look. In order to understand the true nature of God, the Creator of the universe, we must separate the myths of mankind from the physical evidence of God's existence.

It was the "Secular God", (God without the religious myths), that walked with Abraham. The creator of the universe and father of life is an infinitely powerful creative force who knows no bounds and exists everywhere. Nothing is impossible for this creative power, his power extends - even beyond the universe.

When we take away religion, with all its myths and stories, etc. from the realm of God what is left? Evidence of a "Secular God's" existence is all around us - the primary evidence of God's existence is the beauty of its creations that we can see and experience. Take away the fear and there is no need for religion. Just you and God is all that is needed. Let the Great Spirit build His temple in you heart, it is there, where you will find true peace and love.

God still works miracles with or without religion. The divine Creator of all things, is free to move in and around all religions to deal with your soul. So keep your religion if you must. Just remember we are all His children and that no soul is of greater or lesser importance in His eyes.

"It is best to love wisely, no doubt; but to love foolishly is better than not to be able to love at all."

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Dragon Kingdom - Bhutan

Namaste, Shalom Aleichem!

Dear friends,
(if I may call you that without sounding like a politician.)

I have not posted much lately, I have been deep into my studies, we have a new friend, from a beautiful and mysterious country, that I knew nothing about. I will save the best for last, as I share with you some of what I have learned.

The Kingdom of Bhutan is a country best known for its fiercely protected environment, Shangri-La atmosphere and Buddhist underpinning. Seemingly untouched by modern civilization for centuries, it is a popular destination for a select number of travelers each year. But behind the tourist facade, Bhutan is being catapulted into the 21st century.

Although mostly a Buddhist country, a significant part of the population practice Hinduism and other religions are tolerated as well. Bhutan was established as a theocratic state with a secular government and the role of political parties. "The religious establishment is not only the fountainhead of religion but also the receptacle of Bhutanese culture and tradition.

Bhutan's traditional self-contained cultural system is intrinsically fragile in the face of ongoing modern developments. Indeed, the current situation is in no small part the consequence of delayed entry to the outside world and then only partial and controlled exposures. As the country becomes regionally and globally integrated, clear established boundaries are being both broken down and permeated. Increasing contact to powerful new ideas and the fundamental changes that these imply, threatens to undermine the very foundations of the preexisting system. The cultural dynamic that previously drew predominantly on domestic influences to generate a gradual and internally consistent succession has now been opened up to unfamiliar, persuasive, multidimensional, potentially contradictory and destabilizing external authorities. Bhutanese culture is experiencing a paradigm shift.
The goal of, and associated initiatives towards, development and modernization implies some fundamental alterations in traditional legacies. Previously stable social and economic systems are being transformed, generating major structural changes and a host of new opportunities. The relatively equal distribution of such opportunities requires significant alterations in the traditional distribution of power. Furthermore, an augmented emphasis on the material dimension naturally distracts attention from the spiritual, thereby diminishing the popular role of religion. Notions of both individual and national accomplishment are shifting - now valuing material progress and constant development - and are becoming increasingly difficult to achieve. The ongoing strength and unity of an inherently dynamic culture will require it to continue to collectively judge its performance a success.

The government response has been to both promote and strengthen a national culture, and - whilst reforming economic, social, political and cultural systems - to attempt, during transition, to maintain a balance between changes in these respective areas. Keenly aware that strength comes from unity, and that the nation's continued sovereignty and independence will be reliant on the preservation of a distinct national identity, there have been concerted moves towards forming a clear national culture within its distant and diverse communities. National unity coalesces around three key interrelated elements: common history, common religious belief and common leadership. Building on dominant Ngalop traditions, several national symbols have been either encouraged or introduced. These include a national language (Dzongkha), national dress, national religion and Driglam Namzha, a code of etiquette. All congregate around the central idea of the Tsa-Wa-Sum - the King, the Country and the People - a derivation of the Three Jewels in Buddhist thought.

The processes of integration and development are inherently uneven. Aspects of traditional cultures and their more tangible manifestations are both the first things to be affected and the last things to be completely transformed by ongoing modernization. Encounters with global capitalist culture tend to encourage consumerism well before associated political, social and economic transformations are effected that might enable the overall satisfaction of these new desires. Aiming to achieve a transition that is balanced and relatively stable, the government has placed an emphasis on cultural preservation (or at least avoiding immediate cultural corruption). Policies aim to both promote traditional practices and reduce immediate exposure to potentially disorienting external influences. Tight guidelines have been put in place regarding traditional dress and architectural styles. Programmes have been introduced to promote language and religion. Furthermore, a heavily controlled tourism policy, an erstwhile ban on television (which was only made legal in 1999) and tight regulations regarding external business ventures, all aim at limiting disproportionate cultural contacts.

Government interventions notwithstanding - which should be interpreted as pragmatic rather than reactionary - transformations are relentless, and are being generated from both within the evolving internal environment and more directly from outside. Processes of social and economic change are altering the parameters within which people exist. Whereas the lifestyles of the majority have been slowly shifting, a select very modern community has emerged, associated with high status and wealth, educational achievement, profession, travel and urban living. New hierarchies are forming based around connections with multiple aspects of modernity. With increased opportunities and new aspirations a modern business mentality has taken root that places an emphasis on the production of material wealth.

People are experiencing an expansion of life-world and a broadening of worldview. Bhutan battles substance abuse. With the processes of globalization few remain unaware of alternative ways of life, even if it is through overt symbols. Although television was banned, videos were available, along with books and magazines. A generation gap is emerging in Bhutanese culture, particularly within the urban communities. Although tradition remains - associated with family and broader social perforations - the more performative aspect of culture is promoting a host of modern values. Whereas the older generation considers that things are moving extremely fast, for the young they cannot happen quickly enough. Inevitable undercurrents of discontent are emerging, where some feel that their abilities and aspirations are becoming stifled. The traditional Bhutanese culture possessed the ability to reproduce the valuable elements from its past as it continually reformed itself to accommodate more current realities. To date something resembling such equilibrium has been sustained. However, if the Bhutanese culture maintains its overall coherence and retains its most valuable aspects amidst the ongoing cultural whirlwind, it will represent a major - possibly critical - achievement.

Working Women
Posted by Tshering Tobgay in Women on September 6, 2009 3:21 pm

"A good 52% of the participants in our last poll said that we do not discriminate against our women. But 44% said that our women do face discrimination. And the rest, that’s hardly 4%, said that they couldn’t tell.

A majority of us feel that our women do not suffer discrimination. That’s good. And that must be so. After all, our society is, more or less, matriarchal; inheritance favours daughters; men move in with their wives; wives don’t take their husbands’ names; widows and divorcees can remarry; and our laws protect women.

For these reasons, and many more, we pride ourselves in having the least amount of discrimination against women among all the countries in South Asia. Some of us even boast that our women are better off than those of many advanced nations."

Tshering Tobgay is a Member of Parliament representing Sombaykha Constitutency in Haa. He is the Leader of the Opposition Party in the National Assembly of Bhutan.

Wow, that is a lot to chew on, and there is so much more. Alas, I doubt most folks will share our enthusiasm. Ah so much to learn, and so little time.

Now to wait and see if this meets the approval of my gifted new friend.

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
Carl G Jung

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Autism and the Increased Incidence of Electromagnetic Radiation

A Possible Association Between Fetal/neonatal Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation and the Increased Incidence Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Robert C. Kane, Ph.D.

The Associated Bioelectromagnetics Technologists, P.O. Box 133, Blanchardville, Wisconsin 53516-0133USA. FAX: 1 608 523-6500; E-mail:
Key words: autism; radiofrequency; radiation; RF; microwave; fetus; embryo; neo-natal; blood-brain barrier; DNA; cognitive impairment.



Recently disclosed epidemiological data indicate a dramatic increase in the incidence of autism spectrum disorders. Previously, the incidence of autism has been reported as 4-5 per 10,000 children. The most recent evidence indicates an increased incidence of about 1 per 500 children. However, the etiology of autism is yet to be determined. The recently disclosed data suggest a possible correlation between autism incidence and a previously unconsidered environmental toxin. It is generally accepted in the scientific community that radiofrequency radiation is a biologically active substance. It is also readily acknowledged that human exposures to radiofrequency radiation have become pervasive during the past twenty years, whereas such exposures were uncommon prior to that time. It is suggested that fetal or neo-natal exposures to radiofrequency radiation may be associated with an increased incidence of autism.


Dangers of the wireless cell phone, wi-fi and emf age Part 1


The Radiation Poisoning of America by Amy Worthington
By whiterose August 9, 2008
Prior to 1996, the wireless age was not coming online fast enough, primarily because communities had the authority to block the siting of cell towers. But the Federal Communications Act (1996) made it virtually impossible for communities to stop construction of cell towers —even if they pose threats to public health and the environment. Since the decision to enter the age of wireless convenience was politically determined for us, we have forgotten well-documented safety and environmental concerns and, with a devil-may-care zeal that is lethally short-sighted, we have incorporated into our lives every wireless toy that comes on the market as quickly as it becomes available. We behave as if we are addicted to radiation. Our addiction to cell phones has led to harder “drugs” like wireless Internet. And now we are bathing in the radiation that our wireless enthusiasm has financed. The addicted, uninformed, corporately biased and politically-influenced may dismiss our scientifically-sound concerns about the apocalyptic hazards of wireless radiation. But we must not. Instead, we must sound the alarm.

By Amy Worthington.


EMFs, Pregnancy & Autism

New Study Puts Autism Prevalence at 1 in 91

Mobile phone towers a threat to honey bees: study

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
Carl G Jung

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It Feels So Odd

I have good friends, from all over the globe. The avant-garde of writers, pragmatic thinkers, the compassionate and the brave. Yet I have not one soul from my old homeland of Ohio. But to my joy, from the far corners of this planet, I have just gained the friendship of two more fabulous people. Indeed my dance card is full, alas I can see that I really have no time for my fellow patriots. For I now belong to the world.

Ah ha, here I was trying my best to feel dejected and sorry for self, and I just now realized; that I exist, not for the folks back home, who have not, and may never receive me, but I have been placed here at this moment in time, to have a delightful fellowship with this special group.

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
Carl G Jung

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


"But a Short Time to Live" was written by Serg't Leslie Coulson, whose "little hour" came to an end at Arras, in France, October 7, 1916:

OUR little hour,—how swift it flies
When poppies flare and lilies smile;
How soon the fleeting minute dies,
Leaving us but a little while
To dream our dream, to sing our song, 5
To pick the fruit, to pluck the flower,
The Gods—They do not give us long,—
One little hour.

Our little hour,—how short it is
When Love with dew-eyed loveliness 10
Raises her lips for ours to kiss
And dies within our first caress.
Youth flickers out like wind-blown flame,
Sweets of to-day to-morrow sour,
For Time and Death, relentless, claim 15
Our little hour.

Our little hour,—how short a time
To wage our wars, to fan our hates,
To take our fill of armoured crime,
To troop our banners, storm the gates. 20
Blood on the sword, our eyes blood-red,
Blind in our puny reign of power,
Do we forget how soon is sped
Our little hour?

Our little hour,—how soon it dies: 25
How short a time to tell our beads,
To chant our feeble Litanies,
To think sweet thoughts, to do good deeds.
The altar lights grow pale and dim,
The bells hang silent in the tower— 30
So passes with the dying hymn
Our little hour.

Katherine Mansfield Murry" (14 October 1888 – 9 January 1923)

"Why am I troubled evrey single day of my life by the nearness of death and its inevitability? I am really diseased on that point.
"To-night, when the evening-star shone through the side-window and the mountains were so lovely, I sat there thinking of death. Of all there was to do - of Life, which is so lovely -- and of the fact that my body is a prison. But this state of mind is evil. It is only by acknowledging that I, being what I am, had to suffer this in order to do the work I am here to perform. It is only by acknowledging it, by being thankful that I shall recover."

"What if you had only a few days to live?"

"Suddenly everything comes into view and you are stabbed with the fear of leaving everything you’ve grown up with, people you’ve come to love along the way, an existence you were so fond off but now you cant think of anything else but silently listen to the rain. Surprisingly you find solace in the soothing beat and long to walk out of the house and stand in the rain and let the water wash away this disease that is hungrily taking your life."

"In this stage you choose to be happy. Desperately trying to believe that this state of mind will perhaps by a stroke of luck rid you off the pain and things will go back to normal, normal meaning the mundane life; the old grumpy office chair, the complaining parents, the silly friends, the life you got carried away by, that you took it for granted."

"You try to close your eyes for awhile, hoping that the diagnosis by the doctor was just a bad dream and feel that once you open your eyes you will wake up to feeling foolish, of suddenly being so philosophical and serious and flippantly joke about it with friends."

"Yes, this is a time when you desperately cling to all sorts of thoughts and scenarios, when you feel the need to remember every moment in your life, before you stop remembering. You remember your mom’s lovely garden of tulips, you see yourself being chased around the fish pond by your brother and clumsily falling down and scraping your knee. You remember the ghost stories your grandfather used to tell with such fervor and you can still feel the cold chill run down your spine. You remember the picnics with your family and clearly see your father casting his fishing rod in the river, where after a while you see a frantic trout caught on the hook …you are reminded of death and forget this memory instantly. You remember being the subject of complaint amongst teachers and see that annoyed look on your mom’s face after school…it’s a miracle how you turned to be an ace in college. You remember not belonging on either side of your parent’s family, and when growing up you always wondered why you spoke fluent English while your friends could speak fluent Dzongkha. You remember your first crush and blush at the sight of him catching you with a weak knee. You remember your crazy friends from school and the hilarious punishments you all got from the Biology teacher for bunking classes. You remember the first party you went to and the feeling of embarrassment, when your parents came to pick you up, when the party hadn’t even started. Memories are now rapturously flooding, and the streaming hot tears blurs remembering and slowly brings me to awareness, brings me to “now”.

"In death you find the reason to live, and until that fateful day comes you make sure you live the remaining days in happiness."
Khendum Gyabak

"Ask yourself this: if you suddenly found out you only had 6 months to live (for whatever reason), would the thing in front of you matter to you?"

"Would those 20 emails waiting for a response matter? Would the paperwork waiting to be processed matter? Would the work you’re doing matter? Would the meetings you’re supposed to have matter? Would a big car and nice house and high-paying job and cool computer and mobile device and nice shoes and clothes matter?"

"I’m not saying they wouldn’t matter … but it’s important to ask yourself if they would."

"What would matter to you?

"For many of us, it’s the loved ones in our lives. If we don’t have loved ones … maybe it’s time we started figuring out why, and addressing that. Maybe we haven’t made time for others, for getting out and meeting others and helping others and being compassionate and passionate about others. Maybe we have shut ourselves in somehow. Or maybe we do have loved ones in our lives, but we don’t seem to have the time we want to spend with them."

When was the last time you told someone that you care, or loved them? Spent good quality time with them, being in the moment?

For many of us, doing deeds that matters … would matter. That might mean helping others, or making a vital contribution to society, or creating something brilliant and inspiring, or expressing ourselves somehow. It’s not recognition, prestige or the money that matters, but the impact of a good work. Are you doing work that matters?

For many of us, experiencing life would matter — really being in the moment, finding passion in our lives, seeing the world and traveling, or just seeing the world that’s around us right now, being with great people, doing amazing things, eating amazing food, playing.

These are just a few ideas … but what would matter to you?

I highly recommend that you spend at least a little time now, and regularly, thinking about this question … figuring out what really matters … and living a life that shows this.

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
Carl G Jung

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Great Read

If what I believe is a religion, I do not know what one would call it.
I just fallow my heart, as I observe the hand of our Creator in the lives all people and things great and small.

At least I do know a good thing when I see it!

Shabbat Parashat Ekev, 20 Av 5764 - True Power is Compassion
By: Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson

Torah Reading: Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25
Haftarah Reading: Isaiah 49:14-51:3

I’ve often marveled at the designation “the Great” in the history books tracing the development of Western Civilization. Consider with me those august individuals who carry that appellation: Alexander the Great, Herod the Great, Charlemagne (which means Charlie the Great), Catherine the Great, Peter the Great. In truth, the only trait that links these people, one to another, is their ruthlessness, their despotism, and the fact that they were responsible for the deaths of many, many innocents. “Great”, apparently, is a term for mass murderers who possess power.

By that definition, Caesar Augustus, Genghis Khan, even Adolf Hitler can be called “great.” But think about what that says about the values of the people who wrote the history textbooks we all used in grade school, high school, and college. The worldview of the guardians of western civilization seem to cherish wealth, power, and force. Little wonder that the world is in the sad shape it is, when the people we glorify are precisely the most ruthless. The standards are pagan—reveling in raw power and the ability to impose one’s will on other people whether they accept it or not. This is Nietzsche’s ubermentsch (superman) trampling through the annals of human history, glorifying in wealth, power, fame, and beauty.

Even as a schoolboy, I never understood why these people were great. “Terrible” seemed a better title for those who chose to initiate wars of conquest, who ruthlessly suppressed those people under their control, and who made the lives and deaths of humanity the clay with which to sculpt their own memorials.

In its starkest form, we may think we eschew that form of grandeur, but that claim would be a delusion. President Ford, slipping in the polls, attacked Cambodia and his popularity soared. The first President Bush, dropping in popular esteem, created a war in the Persian Gulf and enjoyed a remarkable increase in popularity. Even President Clinton benefited from launching an air attack against Iraq, and his successor has made war a centerpiece of his administration. However “biblical” Americans think their morality may be, the sad reality is that we consider launching assaults that result in human deaths to be “presidential,” and the more mundane and complex tasks of diplomacy and cooperation bores us and seems a sign of weakness.

Not so God. In a remarkable passage in today’s Torah portion, Moses reveals what makes for true greatness. He describes the Holy One as “God supreme and Lord supreme, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who shows no favor and takes no bribe, but upholds the cause of the orphan and the widow, and befriends the stranger, providing him with food and clothing.”

How striking! A claim of greatness that has nothing to do with demonstrations of force, with killing, or with intimidation. God’s greatness, says Moses, is based on moral rectitude, fairness, and compassion for the weakest members of society—orphans, widows, and strangers. As the Talmud wisely notes, “with God’s might, you find God’s humility.”

What a role model to hold out to the rest of us! True greatness consists in our using our strength, our wealth, our wisdom and our power to build communities of love, justice and caring, to reach out to those who cannot fend for themselves, to build bridges with all humanity and with all living things, to care for the earth and all who dwell upon it.

Let not the wise glory in their wisdom, nor the powerful in their strength, nor the rich in their wealth, says the prophet Jeremiah. Rather by training ourselves to recognize those attributes as loans, we recognize that they were lent to us for a specific purpose—not our own private pleasures but to increase the evidence for God’s love and compassion in the world.

By harnessing our material blessings to concern for our fellow human beings, we make ourselves more godly. By learning that “what I own, I owe”, we can teach ourselves to find contentment not in what can be lost (possessions, looks, power, prestige) but in what is eternal—gratitude, camaraderie, love, and fellowship. By mastering the weakness within that causes us to lash out at individuals or to strike at other nations in a reflex to shore up our own sense of decline, we can heed the Torah’s message: true might is demonstrated by humility.

Not by might, and not by strength, but by God’s spirit, will we poor contentious humans hope to bring a measure of healing and peace to this bloodied and battered world.

Shabbat Shalom!

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
Carl G Jung

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Emerson's Over-soul


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882 A.D.) coined the word OVER-SOUL while a divinity student at Harvard University. The word comes from the Greek word, Psyche, meaning "the Soul" and Huper, meaning "over" or "hyper." This name was readily acceptable to global students, of all faiths, as a generic, non-sectarian term meaning "over abiding presence" i.e., the Creator. The philosophical concept was developed by the Greek philosopher Plato (427-347 B.C.). He affirmed the existence of absolute goodness, which he characterized as something beyond description and as knowable ultimately only through intuition. Religious philosophers applied this concept of transcendence to Divinity, maintaining that God can be neither described nor understood in terms that are taken from human experience.

The belief in a "higher power" sometimes referred to as Supreme Intelligence, has been well established from the beginning of time, throughout all the civilizations of the world. The earliest cave drawings evidence the searching heart of Mankind in the intuitive visualizations of a "higher power" --- the unseen Creator and administrator of Nature. Every successive civilization of the world has asserted beliefs in an unseen reality transcending the known which they assert may be approached through a variety of prescribed means. How can one define that which is universal, yet not uniform?

Emerson believed that Reason, the highest capacity of mind, was a sensitive receiver of universal signals of meaning, that once we allow our understanding to inform our reason, we make Nature serve our character, which is expressed by the higher aspects of human life, namely philosophy, religion, art, morals, ethics and culture. It is only when human life in its guise as civilization ignores the Laws of Nature that we fail and fall into chaos. War, repression, depressions, plagues, and revolutions all result from this ignorance or denial of Universal Law as seen through the workings and symbols of Nature.

"What we commonly call man, the eating, drinking, planting, counting man, does not, as we know him, represent himself, but misrepresents himself. Him we do not respect, but the soul, whose organ he is, would he let it appear through his action, would make our knees bend. When it breathes through his intellect, it is genius; when it breathes through his will, it is virtue; when it flows through his affection, it is love. And the blindness of the intellect begins, when it would be something of itself. The weakness of the will begins, when the individual would be something of himself. All reform aims, in some one particular, to let the soul have its way through us; in other words, to engage us to obey."

"Of this pure nature every man is at some time sensible. Language cannot paint it with his colors. It is too subtile. It is undefinable, unmeasurable, but we know that it pervades and contains us. We know that all spiritual being is in man. A wise old proverb says, "God comes to see us without bell"; that is, as there is no screen or ceiling between our heads and the infinite heavens, so is there no bar or wall in the soul where man, the effect, ceases, and God, the cause, begins. The walls are taken away. We lie open on one side to the deeps of spiritual nature, to the attributes of God. Justice we see and know, Love, Freedom, Power. These natures no man ever got above, but they tower over us, and most in the moment when our interests tempt us to wound them."

"The sovereignty of this nature whereof we speak is made known by its independency of those limitations which circumscribe us on every hand. The soul circumscribes all things. As I have said, it contradicts all experience. In like manner it abolishes time and space. The influence of the senses has, in most men, overpowered the mind to that degree, that the walls of time and space have come to look real and insurmountable; and to speak with levity of these limits is, in the world, the sign of insanity. Yet time and space are but inverse measures of the force of the soul. The spirit sports with time, —

"Can crowd eternity into an hour,
Or stretch an hour to eternity."

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
Carl G Jung

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Rabbi Meshulam Zusha of Anipoli

There are many good people in this world, and if you have the need to follow a religion it matters not how you may dress, or the many different names that you may call the Creator. It is what that you keep in your heart, that matters most. We are all His children, and Love is all you need.

Rabbi Meshulam Zusha of Anipoli

Born: Galicia, Southeast Poland, 1718

Died: Hanipol, 1800

Popularly known as Reb Zusha.

One of the most cherished of the chasidic masters, Rabbi Meshulam Zusha was the younger brother of the famous Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk, the Noam Elimelech. The two brothers joined the circle of disciples of the Maggid of Mezritch. R' Zisha soon excelled in his studies and gained the admiration of his fellow students for his deep piety. Rabbi Shnuer Zalman of Liadi, said about him: "His prayers were uttered with an intensity and awe that is beyond compare." He combined a self-effacing devotion and attachment to God with an ardent love for the Jewish people, sharing their joys, bearing their burdens. The people reciprocated, flocking to him in large masses. They saw in him a tzaddik and a guide, but above all a champion and a defender. He was the rebbe who recognized only goodness. In his final years he suffered from a protracted illness, but he never complained. "Whatever comes from God is good," he would say. The final resting place of this beloved chasidic rebbe is beside the grave of his mentor, the Maggid of Mezritch.

Rabbi Zusha did not write any books. His reflections and commentaries, which are scattered among the works of his students, were compiled under the title Menorat Zahav. He was succeeded by his son Rabbi Tzvi Menachem Mendel.


The Chozeh (Seer) of Lublin learned from R' Elimelech, who sent him to Reb Zusha. Reb Zusha asked him, "How would you make a person repent?" The Lubliner answered, "I'd show you in the Shulhan Aruch where he did wrong." Reb Zusha answered, "I don't think that would work." Do you think that would make the person feel good?" On the contrary, it would make them feel bad. And if they feel bad, they would run away from you. People do wrong because they don't have the strength to do right." The Lubliner asked Reb Zusha, "How do you do it?" To which Reb Zusha replied, "I shine the light into them, into their hearts, a great light of the love from God."

The Maggid of Mezritch was asked a question, by a few of his followers : "How was it humanly possible for anyone to reach the level of what the Talmud in Brachot says, 'A person is required to bless [God] for the bad [occurrences] just as he would bless [God] for the good (occurrences]' ". The Maggid told them that they could discover the answer if they went to see his student the holy Rebbi Zusha of Anapoli.

They went to the house of study and found R' Zusha. His clothes were torn and faded, yet his face shone with splendor. They asked R' Zusha their question. Rebbi Zusha was amazed that his Rebe the Maggid had sent them to find out the answer to their question from him. R' Zusha answered the two brothers that they should find a person who really was suffering to be able to attain the answer to their question. Reb Zusha told them that he hadn't experienced any bad experiences in his entire life, so how would he know how to answer them.

Then the two brothers realized that their question had been answered. For they saw by R' Zusha's answer to their question that it was possible for a person to see only good and be happy even in bad circumstances. R' Zusha was oppressed all his life from extreme poverty, yet due to his strong attachment to God, the source of joy, R' Zusha didn't feel the afflictions of his extreme poverty and only experienced joy.

It Happened Once...

Reb Zusha had gone to visit his teacher. R'b Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezritch. After a fulfilling stay, drinking in his teacher's wisdom, R' Zusha prepared to take his leave. When he went into his rebbe's study for a parting word, he mentioned to R' Dov Ber that he needed to marry off his daughter. Now, R' Zusha was as poor as could be, and to marry off a child required a considerable sum. R' Dov Ber immediately took a sum of 300 rubles and pressed it into his disciple's hand, wishing him mazal tov, and sending him happily on his way. Reb Zusha was greatly relieved. Now, his wife and daughter would be at ease. Although he had taken money, which was not his habit or desire, it was a necessary thing, he thought to himself.

The trip home took R' Zusha through many towns and villages, and as he passed through one tiny Jewish village he was startled by the sound of bitter weeping coming from a small hut. The other villagers were going about their business, and he stopped one and asked, "Who is that crying?" "That is a poor widow who was about to marry off her daughter. But on the way to the chupa she lost the entire dowry. Now, the wedding is off because the groom and his family refuse to go on with it without the dowry. And how will she ever amass 300 rubles again?"

R' Zusha's tender soul was pained for the poor woman. Then he suddenly realized that 300 rubles was exactly what he had with him. He walked up to the door of the hut and knocked. "My good woman, I think I may have found your money!" Her eyes widened in disbelief. "Can you tell me if this money had any distinguishing marks?" asked R' Zusha. "Why yes," she replied. "The money was in a packet of two fifties, and ten twenties, and it was tied with a red string." "Yes, that's exactly what I found!" replied R' Zusha. "I will go to the inn and get the money and bring it right back."

Reb Zusha ran to the inn and changed his money for the denominations the widow had described. Then he tied the bills together with a red string and ran back to the widow's hut. By the time he returned the little village was buzzing with the good news. The girl had changed into her bridal dress, and the neighbors were bustling about preparing the wedding feast. As Reb Zusha presented the widow with the money, he said, "I am keeping one twenty ruble note for my trouble."

She looked at him as if he was speaking a foreign language. The others who had overheard the remark stood with their mouths open. "What!" screamed the widow, finding her tongue. "How can you rob a poor widow of twenty rubles! And after you have just performed a most wonderful and holy mitzva!" The others converged around Reb Zusha screaming and yelling, "Thief! Stealing a widow's money! For shame!" R' Zusha, however, refused to budge. He clung to the twenty rubles as if to dear life. "This money is mine as a reward, and for my troubles!"

Relatives, friends and other townspeople berated R' Zusha, and soon it seemed that they would tear him limb from limb to retrieve the money. Finally someone piped up: "Let's go to the rabbi. He will be able to settle this once and for all!" Everyone agreed to follow the rabbi's ruling and they all trailed along to the rabbi's house. The rabbi listened to each side and then ruled: "Reb Zusha must give the widow the twenty rubles." Still, Reb Zusha refused to give up the money. One young man put his hand into Zusha pocket and extracted the bill, Then Zusha was escorted to the edge of the village and unceremoniously kicked out..

Many months later the village rabbi happened to encounter Rabbi Dov Ber and related to him the incident with his disciple, Reb Zusha. The Maggid turned to the rabbi, "You must go to Reb Zusha and beg forgiveness. That money didn't belong to the widow. I myself gave it to Reb Zusha to marry off his own child! He demanded twenty rubles because he wanted to avoid honor at any cost. He wanted this great mitzva to be completely pure."

The rabbi was shocked and ashamed when he heard this. He went to Anipoli to beg Reb Zusha's forgiveness. But Reb Zusha replied to him, "You don't need my forgiveness because I never was angry. I do not hold my honor high, but I will forget about the incident completely if you promise never to reveal the truth to the widow. I never want her to suspect that the money wasn't hers by right." The rabbi, of course, agreed and the incident was never mentioned again.


R' Zusia and his brother R' Elimelech had an ongoing dispute on what should one base his service of God. R' Zusha maintained that one should first reflect upon his own lowliness which would in turn cause him to appreciate God's eminence. R' Elimelech held that by contemplating God's eminence, he would come to realize his own insignificance. Since neither brother could sway the other, they went to the Maggid of Mezeritch for a judgment as to whom was correct. "You are both correct, explained the Maggid, both paths are valuable. But the one who begins with himself is safer . . . one can't fall from the ground".

Living by Faith
It was the custom of R' Zusha to recite his morning prayers at length. After he concluded, he would retire to his room next to the Shul. Once there, he would open the window and lifting his eyes to the heavens call out, "Master of the World, Zusha (he always referred to himself in the third person) is very hungry and desires to eat something!" Every morning, his attendant would wait until he heard R' Zusha's appeal, then he would bring in R' Zusha's morning meal of cake with a little schnapps. One morning the attendant thought to himself, "Why doesn't R' Zusha ask me directly for his meal. In fact, who does he think he is fooling by calling out to God like that. He knows full well that I bring him his food everyday." So on the spot he decided that the next morning he would not bring R' Zusha's meal when he called out. He would just wait to see what would happen and where R' Zusha's would look for his meal.

The next morning, R' Zusha awoke as usual, well before the light of day. As he did every morning, he first went to the town Mikveh to immerse himself in preparation for the day's holy work. The night had been a rainy one in Anipoli, and the streets of the town had already turned to rivers of mud. In order to get from one side of the street to another, one had to cross on narrow planks that were laid across the flowing mud. As R' Zusha was crossing in the direction of the Mikveh, a man whom he didn't recognize, a guest in town, was coming towards R' Zusha from the other side. When he saw R' Zusha, gaunt, almost emaciated, dressed in rags without a tooth in his mouth, the stranger yelled out, "Itinerant!", and with a hearty laugh jumped up and down on the plank causing R' Zusha to tumble into the mud.

R' Zusha didn't say a word. He calmly picked himself out of the mud and continued on his way to the Mikveh, while the stranger sauntered off into the distance, chuckling merrily the whole way as he re-enacted his great prank over and over in his mind. When he arrived back at the inn where he was staying, he couldn't help but brag to the innkeeper about his good prank. The innkeeper didn't laugh so quickly. He asked the guest to describe the "itinerant" whom he had catapulted into the mud. He suddenly clapped his hands to his head and cried out in anguish, "Oy VaVoy, Oy Oy, do you know what you did!? That was not just some itinerant, that was the Rebbe R' Zusha!" Now it was the turn of the guest to cry out "Oy VaVoy". R' Zusha was known to all as a holy man and a Tzaddik. Trembling, the guest cried out, "Oy Vey, Oy Vey! What am I going to do now? What am I going to do now?!"

"Don't worry", exclaimed the innkeeper regaining his composure, "Listen to me, I know what you should do. R' Zusha spends many hours every morning in prayer. When he is finished he goes into his private room next to the Shul. There he opens the window, and anybody can see how he leans out and lifting his eyes to heaven calls out, 'Master of the World, Zusha is very hungry and desires to eat something!' I'll prepare some cakes and some schnapps for you to take to him. When you hear him call out to the Creator, you go in immediately with this gift, and offer it to him and beg his forgiveness. I'm certain that he will forgive you whole-heartedly."

That morning, like every morning, after the prayers, R' Zusha went into his room, opened the window and called o, "Master of the World, Zusha is very hungry and desires to eat something!" The attendant, upon hearing R' Zusha, held his ground and clasped his folded arms together even tighter, waiting to see what the outcome would be. "Let God bring him his cake this morning", he huffed to himself. Suddenly the door to the Shul opened and a man, holding a large plate of cakes and a bottle of schnapps came in and made his way to the room of R' Zusha. He went straight in, put the cakes on the table, then fell to the floor in grief, begging the Tzaddik for his forgiveness (which he was certainly granted). Let it be known, that the attendant came to understand that it really was the Master of the World who brought R' Zusia his breakfast every morning.

Reb Zusha was laying on his deathbed surrounded by his disciples. He was crying and no one could comfort him. One student asked his Rebbe, "Why do you cry? You were almost as wise as Moses and as kind as Abraham." Reb Zusha answered, "When I pass from this world and appear before the Heavenly Tribunal, they won't ask me, 'Zusha, why weren't you as wise as Moses or as kind as Abraham,' rather, they will ask me, 'Zusha, why weren't you Zusha?' Why didn't I fulfill my potential, why didn't I follow the path that could have been mine."

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
Carl G Jung

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Songs Around the World

There is something in the air these days; can you not feel it?
Those of you that have known me, know that I love, and believe in the power of music. Playing for Change, is a cool idea who's time has come. We must all sing together from the heart, if we are to save mankind.

Don't Worry | Playing For Change

One Love | Playing For Change

War/No More Trouble | Playing for Change

Stand By Me | Playing For Change

Let us all stand together in the spirit of love. To light the way into a new age of understanding and enlightenment.

BAY CITY ROLLERS - Love Power - It was compose by Teddy Vann, for the Sandpebbles on Calla Records in 1967.

Andy & Bon Jovi sings in Farsi/English in solidarity of the protestors in Iran

One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
Carl G Jung