Conferee Nametag

Abstract:   Sacred Texts in World Affairs

     What is the role, in modern times, of Judaism, Christianity and Islam as Secular governments struggle with societies’ instability?  Today, we observe the complete collapse of moral values as governments are overwhelmed by the conflicts worldwide that they have helped create.  The results are tragic for the average citizens, who are being exploited, so a few can maintain the power of their affluence.  This behavior was not alien to religions that engaged both in exploitation and conflicts along their histories.  Scriptures shall be revisited with an examination of interpretations over times in order to analyze their influences in shaping societies to the present.  

Sacred Text in World Affairs:
Political, Economical and Social Stability


Copyright 2014 Nadine Sultana D’Osman Han-Dawson

  "The Wrong?" -"The selfish pride of birth, the massing of power and wealth in the hands of a few, the slaughter of female infants, the orgies of gambling and drunkenness, the frauds of temples and idols and priests, the feuds and arrogance of tribes and races, the separation of Sacred and Profane, as if the unity of All Life and All Truth did not flow from the unity of God Most High."   - The Holy Qur’an.  C. 36 -

     At the start of the 21st Century we find ourselves confronted by the same challenges as our forbears — how to reconcile nature’s contradictions and opposites in the context of human well being on earth.  The cosmos itself is violent by nature, and that violence is reflected both in the Heavens and on Planet Earth.  Hence, for every positive there is a negative: i.e. the nebulous mystical Divine paradise vs. the harsh realities of life on earth, good vs. evil, wealth vs. poverty, light of day vs. darkness of night.  This we can call the duality of nature.
     Our very existence is a contradiction to the nature of the planet that we oppose in every way, unlike other species that share it with us.  In our search to the path of heaven we have nonetheless to compromise with earth’s realities.
     These difficulties give rise to the awareness of our moral frailties and intellectual inadequacies, causing physical pain and spiritual agony as we struggle with the inequalities of nature.  From time to time, exceptional human beings — whom we refer to as Prophets — were enlightened by the light of knowledge (revelation) in the darkness of ignorance, much as the modern scientists transformed the darkness of night by the application and control of electricity.  Both have had an immediate consequence on the life of humans, both good and bad.  These revelations to the Prophets such as Abraham, Isaac, Jesus Christ and Muhammad, were considered "Oral Law"; the direct Commands from God — the Creator of all goodness, both in the heavens and on earth.
     Over time, these oral revelations were compiled in texts by collective writings, by those who believed in these revelations, sometimes centuries after the death of the Prophets.  The collection of these revelations/sayings became the "Sacred Texts" and the Teachings that gave rise to religions.  Here, we are exploring only the main Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  We are particularly interested in their application to redress inequalities both in the justice system and in social and economic justice.  These problems are not new to our times, but perhaps are exacerbated by the expansion of populations and the inevitable advance in our abilities of mass destruction.
     There is no doubt that religions have been a necessity not only to give meaning to the puzzle of the very existence of mankind, but in order to create a civilized society in a world that was no longer isolated.  It could be argued that secularism could achieve the same goal, although that has yet to be achieved.  This said, there is a major difference between secularism and religion in that while secularism could create a just and civilized nation, it is voluntary.  On the other hand, religion is bounded by the Commands of God to apply justice and compassion in all their affairs pertaining to mankind itself.1

    In a secular government a President has great potential for developing a nation with social and economic justice.  In fact, a secular President has a certain liberty, not being restricted by religious laws in his own individual judgment of character, and with this liberty come the responsibilities of his actions.  Hence, his judgment and moral values cannot be less than those of a Prophet.  A Leader by definition leads others who depend on him for their well being during their journey on earth.  The absolute basic requirements for life demand food, shelter and the prevention of harm in any form.  It should not be a privilege to become a leader, but should instead be the recognition that one has mastered the knowledge of governance along with the qualities of humanity and tolerance at home and with neighboring nations.  Leadership cannot be bought any more than spirituality.  A Leader should be able to differentiate between Legal Law and Moral Law.2
     Legal Law is the strict adherence to a code of Justice based on Truth.  Moral Law, as its name suggests, is based on moral values of tolerance and compassion.  Life is not all black or white; there are many shades of gray.  Hence, sometimes the Legal Law must compromise with the Moral Law for the sake of peace and fairness to the weaker side.  This would be invaluable in conflicts to avoid war and in economics to balance the social and economic justice.  As an example, if a Nation seems unfriendly, unless under a direct military attack, a true Leader would abstain from threats of retaliation using Moral Laws to maintain peace.  There is no doubt in my mind that all humans want Peace, it is only the fear of the "Alien" that precipitates our rush to offensive actions.
     The Sacred Scriptures are quite clear on the treatment due to strangers.  Exodus XXII, 20:23 verses in regards to strangers: — "Heb. ger: A resident alien; see XII, 19.  ....shalt thou no wrong.  The Rabbis explain this term to mean that nothing must be done to injure him or annoy him, or even by word to wound his feelings.  The fact that a man is a stranger should in no way justify treatment other than that enjoyed by brethren in race.  This law of shielding the alien from all wrongs is of vital significance in the history of religion.  With it alone true Religion begins.  The alien was to be protected, not because he was a member of one’s family, clan, religious community, or people; but because he was a human being.  ‘In the alien, therefore, man discovered the idea of humanity’ (Hermann Cohen)."3
     In regards to economics, while the Legal Law may be legally on the side of corporations and wealthy financiers in regard to taxation or other protection of their affluence, Moral Laws while not penalizing wealth unfairly, should encourage a good will tax to lighten the burden of the struggling citizens.  In addition these corporations/businesses must pay their workers decent and fair wages.  At the same time, a good Leader should not waste the hard labor of his citizens, by unwarranted warfare and the support of its enormous expenditure to the detriment of life itself.  Nonetheless, this does not grant to the poor the right to exploit their plight.  Poverty is neither a crime nor an acquired right over the wealthy, but a misfortune.  Therefore, as many scriptures instruct us, we must, each of us, make an ultimate effort to be self-sufficient, and to request assistance only in dire circumstances.  Civilization requires the participation of all to the best of their abilities.
     Secularism does not necessarily reject religion or spiritualism, but makes a political separation of the State from the authority of religion.  In reality, the line between the two is often blurred and the influence of religion on policy making cannot be lightly disregarded.4  During the reign of the Seljuk Dynasty under Malik Shah (1072-92), this truth was recognized by the very respected and humane Prime Minister, Nizam, as reported in the "The Age of Faith" by Will Durant: "He (Nizam) strongly recommended religious orthodoxy in people and king, considered no government secure without a religious base….."  The Prime Minister had other recommendations for good leadership.  "A ruler must avoid excess in wine and levity; must detect and punish official corruption or tyranny; and must, twice a week, hold public audiences at which even the lowliest subject may present petitions or grievances."

Religious Scriptures/Traditions in World Affairs
     In contrast to secularism that deals primarily with practical physical matters, religion has a more nebulous dimension into the mysteries of the heavenly universe.  The Divine cannot be described, but it is perceived in what we call spirituality or Soul and it is indivisible.
     Spirituality is the truth of our conscience and the direct communication between our conscience and the Divine (God).  It is this link between heaven and earth that allowed the Prophets to receive God’s Revelations to guide us on our journey; we could say that, in truth, the Prophets were the "chosen people" for their mission as God’s messengers.  This is because spirituality is also the awareness of the miracle of life itself, and its journey on earth toward its final destination to the Kingdom of God.
     Judaism, Christianity and Islam all received some revelations along this earth journey, but at different times (eras).5  Contrary to belief by some religious leaders that their particular faith is the only right one, in truth, the revelations suggest that the Sacred Scriptures of each of these religions complete each other like a puzzle or the progression of a book by different authors.  I believe that the Epilogue has not been yet revealed, because mankind has not yet graduated to a civilized humanity.  In other words, the Revelations are similar to the road signs along the way, and the last one shall be visible only if we do not take a wrong turn by missing one or several of the previous signs.  The outcome would be determined by whether or not someone finds us, to direct us to the right path.  In a storm, to lose one’s way might become life threatening.  This is precisely the present situation of the world as we observe the eminent collapse of the very fabric of the world and annihilation of mankind.6

     Judaism is right in its belief of the "Kingdom of God" on Earth (albeit not on any particular piece of land) because a piece of the Kingdom of God is in us; for while men are divided into many bodies, they are united in ONE SOUL.  Nonetheless, it is interesting to note that Prophets received their revelations in the Middle East regions that comprise a great expanse of desert lands.  What could be more conducive to meditative contemplation than a landscape of open space stretching, in deep silence over a lost horizon of emptiness where limits are never quite certain?  This was the land of the mystics and of the wonders of nature; where mirages and dreams met halfway, never quite reaching reality.  How could one not respond to the call of the beyond and the invitations of the gods?  For this was indeed the land of the great gods of Egypt as well as the Revelations from the God of the Universe: The ONE GOD.7

     Christianity is also correct in claiming that Jesus is part of the Divine in human form, because God’s message is that His Presence is the goodness of our thoughts, reflected in our actions.  This may explain the ubiquitous analogy to the "Trinity".  What is reality?  To us it is limited to Life on Earth, but to Jesus and his apostles, it may have been the illusion of earth in a cosmic dimension.  Hence in this context, "Jesus the man" can also be "Jesus Christ the Half-God" or the ‘Son’ of God".  Reza Aslan made this significant distinction very intensively in a discussion in his recent book "Zealot".

     Islam is correct in believing that each prophet does not replace the other, but improves upon each other for the transmission of a civilized code of behavior from the Divine.  The Qur’an emphasizes strongly this point.  "It is He Who sent down to thee (step by step), in truth, the Book, confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law (of Moses) and the Gospel (of Jesus) before this as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the Criterion (of) judgment between right and wrong."  S.  III, 1-3.  Islam is also correct to believe that Hz Muhammad is the last Prophet, because we are close to the end of our journey-  However, the present world situation shows that we have lost our way.  The question becomes: will someone find us in time to save us?
     The present world turmoil caused by worldwide warfare and inhumane poverty proves that without spirituality there can be no civilization.

     Religion is not a spiritual abstraction, but a real influence in all aspects of societies.  Religious leaders are the administrators of the Prophets (like Prime Ministers and other officials in a secular government) to protect and safeguard the Soul of humanity.  This high responsibility does not allow for shields of justification for wrongdoing;9 like mapmakers or air traffic controllers, there is no room for error, in order to avoid catastrophic accidents.  Religious leaders must be above reproach and practice what they preach.  Dissension among religious practices/rituals does not promote their mission as guides and teachers for a peaceful and just humanity.10
     In order to reverse the disastrous return of mankind into beasts of barbarism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam with One voice must become advisers to secular government for the benefit of all.  In the eyes of God there is only One people, and God manifests His Presence through our conscience.11 There is no other Truth.  That humans were equal in the eyes of God finds support, among others, in the related comments by Rabbi Akiva and the following quote, as reported by Abraham Joshua Heschel in "Heavenly Torah": "Precious are humans, that they were created in God’s image.  A special affection they have in that it was made known to them that they were created in the Image, as it is written, ‘In His Image did God make man’ (Genesis 9:6)."
     Religion can improve the condition of individuals and mankind as a whole with the aid of rituals.  Rituals bind people together toward a single goal or purpose of life.  Like an orchestra, religious spiritual rituals can harmonize different cultures like instruments of music.  The power of rituals can be the miraculous salvation for a group of people when confronted by unimaginable adversity.  The best example of the resilience and survival of a doomed people by the sole reliance on their religious faith through rituals is the remarkable epic of the Jewish people.  During the 1st Century, under the rule of the Roman Empire in Palestine, the Jews of Jerusalem probably unwisely declared Jerusalem /Galilee the "Kingdom of God", themselves the "Chosen People" of God, and Menahem’s grandson of Judas of Galilee, declared himself a "messiah-king".  Non-Jews were not welcomed into the new "Kingdom of God";12 and we are back to the story of Cain and Abel.  The consequences were swift and brutal.  The Emperor of Rome, Vespasian, vowed that he would exterminate the Jewish people, destroy their God, their Temple in Jerusalem that was the House of God and the Center of the Jewish very existence, and all their lands.  This was accomplished in 70 C.E.13 in a most horrific and methodical fashion.  Only the Torah repository of the Jewish Faith was taken as a trophy of war to Rome.  This was a war of religion, and the God of the Jews had been defeated, but not the faith within the Jews.  Now, the Jewish people found themselves without a Nation or Temple or home.  Yet, in their utter dispossession, they found their true identity through the Law of God expressed and preserved solely by their rituals.  They became a transnational scattered tribe of Jewish identity united in a strict code of religious rituals that could be understood by any one of them, regardless of the loss of their original language or home.
     This example shows the power of religious rituals as a powerful unifying force across races, cultures, classes, and even religion’s preferences.

Conflicts between common scriptures ideologies vs. realities in context with wealth and poverty

     Judaism, Christianity and Islam share a fundamental truth that there is only One God.  Hence, religions must be one in the concept of humanity in a diversified world, since everything on earth is a part of God.14 They all agree on the principles of sharing with the poor, while not condemning wealth per se.  Numerous texts or verses from the Tanach/Talmud, Bible and Qur’an attest to this fact.  A few are quoted here as examples.

      Judaism proclaims that God rejects even the cultic practices of the Jewish faith if there is no social justice, and this is reflected in: "…share your food with the hungry, take the poor to your house, clothe the naked, never turn from your fellow man."  Isaiah 57; "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you'."  Hebrews 13:5 - Deuteronomy 31:6.

     Christianity echoes the same sentiment: "Sell your possession, and give to the needy.  Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old...."  Luke 12:33 - Matthew 6:20; "No one can serve two masters…you cannot serve God and money."  Matthew 6:24 - Luke 16:13.15

     Islam agrees with the other two faiths in this regard, as quoted from the Qur’an: "Vain were worship without heart and soul."  S.  CVIII, C. 87; "…wealth is for use and on trust for mankind; hoard not, nor misuse it."  S.  IX, 30-42, C. 94; "Do not oppress the orphan, nor reject the beggar." S.  93, 9-10.

     Yet, then as now, these fundamental principles have not relieved poverty in spite of efforts made by alms and charities.  Verse after verse, the message from God through Prophets and disciples make the caring for the poor the ultimate virtue.  "There shall be no needy among you."  Deuteronomy 15.  No one disputes these values.  In fact, religious institutions are known for building hospitals, schools, soup kitchens and providing other services for the poor with the help of concerned citizens.  Yet, the reality of economic justice remains as elusive as ever.

     Why is social and economic justice so difficult to achieve?

There are several reasons.

1)  Poverty is actually a commerce that enriches the wealthy.
2)  Warfare.
3)  Religious complicity.
     To alleviate poverty is a complicated issue with many underlying facets.  It may not be enough just to address this problem by charity, due to the growing need as population exploded and that is still expanding at an alarming rate.  Common sense would require a balance of earning equity between employers and employees.
     Mankind has been torn over the ages between the resolve to make its way in a hostile world and it’s yearning for the goodness of its soul.  To resolve this dilemma, when economic life grew more complex, a new interpretation of the Sacred Texts became necessary, as well as the compromise with original meanings.  This is not as surprising as it may sound, because the scriptures are not static but in practical terms reflect wisdom to every day lives, thus must evolve with the passing of time.  In fact, the scriptures of the three faiths do indicate the desirability of the interpretation’s evolution of the "Oral Law" to meet the need of a particular era.  But they also caution us strongly that this must be done with wisdom; we are warned against misinterpretations for gain or power.16

     One of these misinterpretations that widen the gap between the rich and the poor is the institution of lending money with interests, in what we call usury.  Lending of money is not necessarily a bad thing, and it was not forbidden under the scriptures as long as it was interest free.17 Generally, wealthy people were willing to help out, not only family members and friends but also strangers.  Their reward was the knowledge that they had contributed to a good cause by re-establishing the borrower’s self-sufficiency.  They were also rewarded, consciously or unconsciously, by the lifting of the burden of guilt over their affluence, and perhaps pride from a good deed.

     This psychology was well understood by religious leaders who introduced monetary sacrifices in their rituals.  Unfortunately, due to nature’s duality, good deeds are always in danger from the lurking corruptive shadow of exploitation.  Hence, the helpful institution of money lending fell prey to usury.  According to Will Durant in the "The Age of Faith", the Talmud Baba Metzia V, 1:2, 11, and Pentateuch Deuteronomy 23:20, that allowed lending to non-Jews (with interests), but forbade it to Jews themselves, led to the lending among Jews "through a Christian intermediary or through a silent partnership, in an enterprise and its profits — a device allowed by the rabbis and several Christian theologians.  Since both the Koran and the Church forbade the charging of interest to Moslem and Christian borrowers — including ecclesiastics, churches and monasteries — who applied to Jews for loans….  In the 13th Century… [due to new interpretations] Christian bankers adopted the [usurious] methods… developed by the Jews, and soon surpassed them in wealth and range."  This unfair system is still with us today and penalizes disproportionally the poor.  This practice is not restricted to secular bankers.  The Temple in Jerusalem was much more than of place of worship.  It was an integral part of the Jewish community, its center of commercial and financial activities, and a state within a state.  It is this proximity of money exchange that eventually corrupted the Priests within and brought unrest and misery to their people, and the eventual destruction of the Temple.

     The Temple of Jerusalem at the time of the Roman Empire (and to some extent the Vatican today) could be compared to the institutions of the World Trade Center and Wall Street in the United States.  They are in some way houses of worship of money, and rarely stand the test of time, because the inequalities that they inevitably generate lead to resentment and revolt by those who are thus exploited.

     Another major contributing factor to the widening gap between the rich and the poor has been the disastrous wars that have plagued humanity from the very beginning of our existence.  The first-born son, Cain, of Adam and Eve, committed the first act of violence against his brother.  The motive seemed to have been jealousy over their love for God.  This event is recorded in the scriptures of the three faiths.  We are told that God favored the sacrifice of sheep from Abel over the crops of Cain.18

     This poses a grave problem.  The suggestion that God could have a favorite and perhaps could discriminate on a material level (sheep vs. crops) is disturbing by its implication.  This would in some manner justify inequality.  What is even more disturbing is the fact that this rift between brothers remains with us today when we consider the animosity between Abraham’s sons leading to conflict among their descendants/followers; as we are witnessing between Israelis and Palestinians.

     Naturally, we are aware that notwithstanding direct revelations from God to the Prophets, the fact remains that many different authors transcribed the written scriptures over long period of time, and these writers are only human.  However, regardless of the motive for the crime of Cain, it has set a precedent for violence.  This is emphasized in the Qur’an: "The jealousy of Cain against Abel, which led to the murder of innocent Abel, is the type of the jealousy between the People of the Book and their younger brethren in Islam.  Jealousy leads to envy and murder.  Such crimes against individuals are often crimes against whole peoples…."  S. 20-46, C. 72.

     Many verses in the Scriptures deal with warfare, revenge or retribution.  We are cautioned to use mercy in war whenever possible, but it appears that on the whole the scriptures recognize (just) wars; a contradiction in itself.  The fact is that war can only bring pain and suffering to all parties, as we can observe everyday in every part of the world in our modern times.  Wars cannot and never could bring lasting peace, only illusory short reprieve until retaliation takes its course to the next war.  Peace can be achieved only by the banishment of warfare and the removal of its arsenal.  Again, the corruption of money is behind the continuing justification for conflicts.  It is ironical that we sacrifice so much for the greed of wealth that is only of use for a very short period on earth; and that shall bankrupt us in the spiritual world.19

     Judaism:  The Jewish scriptures often refer to God as a "jealous God" who tolerated no foreign presence in the land of Israel he set aside for his chosen people, the Jewish people.  "As for the town of these people that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, you must not let anything that breathes remain alive.  You shall annihilate them all — the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites — just as the Lord your God has commanded."  (Deuteronomy 20:17-18).20

     Christianity:  As was reported in "Zealot" Jesus was no pacifist: "Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth.  I have not come to bring peace, but the sword."  (Matthew 10:34 - Luke 12:51).  Perhaps this startling pronouncement can be explained in part by the quote in "The Age of Faith" — "Jesus, in Anan’s view, had aimed not to found a new religion but to cleanse and strengthen Judaism. (Gaetz, III, 308)." —

     Islam:  As reported in the  "The Age of Faith", "The Qur’an made no pretense at returning good for evil." And as quoted from the Qur’an: "And one who attacks you, attack him in like manner"….Whoso defendeth himself after he hath suffered wrong, there is no way (of blame) against them."  (S. II, 194; XLII, 41).

     The negative texts in the Sacred Scriptures are troubling because God is the very Essence of goodness, compassion, justice, tolerance and that of purity and perfection, thus the Revelations can only be of the highest qualities of the heart, mind and soul.  Therefore we must disregard the negative interpretations which must be the misinterpretations made by imperfect men.21 This brings us to Adam and Eve and the sin of Eve.  Her sin is the sin of knowledge that she communicated to Adam.  All three faiths agree on this as the reason for our fall from paradise and our life long hardships as repentance for that sin.  Women are particularly penalized, since it is Eve that had sinned.  Under the scriptures’ interpretations women were forbidden access to knowledge, and later allowed it with severe limitations; this is still enforced in many parts of the world.
     God is knowledge itself, and it is through spirituality that it is communicated to humans.  A Hebrew proverb agrees: "The world is saved by the breath of school children" and a Rabbi recommended that "Every sacrifice must be made to give the child an education, i.e. to instruct the mind and train the character by a  knowledge of ‘the Law and the prophets’ ".  Yet, we are told that we must accept contradictions.  I disagree with that opinion, for it would be against the Commands of God that demand of us to know between right and wrong.  Civilization cannot exist without spirituality and the awareness of spirituality cannot exist without knowledge.  Hence, Eve was granted the gift (revelation) of knowledge by the Divine, thus, she was the first Teacher of mankind.  In truth, Eve was the first Prophet with Adam.22

     The second disturbing sin is the one committed by Cain.  He committed the crime of fratricide due to jealousy over the love of God for Abel.  Again, God is above all blemish of any kind; hence only men can be guilty of favoritism.  Possibly, the parents of Cain preferred their second son.

     These events at the start of mankind (or at least the interpretations in the scriptures that they happened) are very significant, because they were to shape the whole conduct of societies to come to this day, and legitimize the aggressive nature of man.

     First, the so-called sin of Eve legitimizes discrimination against women.  In addition, her descendants shall suffer as repentance for her sin.  Punishments are particularly severe with her daughters.  From now on, in addition to many forbidding laws, it legitimizes the abuse of child-marriage to this day, as well as exploitation of the defenseless.  This is the gravest sin of deceit!

     Second, the sin of Cain (a gift of crops of less monetary value than the sheep of Abel) legitimizes the discrimination between classes, and the resulting social and economic inequalities.  It also makes a virtue of material greed that today takes the form of unrestrained capitalism and corruption, both in politics and social justice as well as the total corruption of moral values.  We all know that this behavior is in direct opposition to the message from God; these kinds of twisted deceits are deeply shameful to our conscience.  Furthermore, the crime of jealousy committed by Cain has brought the endless warfare that we still suffer worldwide, as we were warned in the quote above from the Qur’an, S.  30-46, C. 72-25.  The curse of exile put on Cain haunts us to this day, as we repeat the curse of uprooting people by the millions, sending them wandering in destitution, from one refugee camp to another in a no-man’s land; certainly not in accordance with the teaching of God that is adamant that: "You must not do to others what you would not like them do to you".

     In Christianity, the misinterpretation of the Divine’s message that the children must suffer to save the Soul of their Father’s (parents), gives a shield of justification for all sorts of wrongdoings.  An example is the use of drones, by the United States, that kill any children, individuals or groups that they perceived must be punished for being related in any way to an individual or group, that they consider (rightly or wrongly) has injured them, by deeds or words.  We see these same kinds of justified guilt free atrocities, as collective and preventive murder war crimes are committed with impunity, from Palestine to Africa, Asia and Europe.  All Holy Scriptures warn us against this kind of association with the Devil.  In fact, there are so many warnings that it is not possible to quote them all, and yet we are stubbornly blind and deaf as we refuse to heed the Divine?s message of righteousness.  "Those who break God’s Covenant after it is ratified, and who sunder what God Has ordered to be joined, and do mischief on earth: these cause loss (only) to themselves."  Qur’an, S.  II, 27.23

     As we can see these misinterpretations of the message brought to us by prophets are the direct origin causes of our self-destruction.  Much like a computer, we have been hacked by "malware" (the devil) and unless we can correct it, like a computer overloaded by errors that will eventually crash, ourselves we will be annihilated.

Why?  Because again while humans are separated in different physical bodies, the Soul is One.  Let us take the Human Body to illustrate the point.  The body appears as one form but it is composed of many parts: head, arms, legs and the less visible organs.  If we keep injuring these different parts or remove them (by surgery or accident) eventually the body will die.  This is what the Soul is and the individual humans are its parts.  Hence, if we keep abusing each part by warfare, or any of the other wrongdoings, our Soul will disappear in what we might call the black hole of the universe, not as an individual human form, but as the whole of humanity, because humanity is united in One Soul only.

     It is essential that we grasp this Truth of the Soul, in spite of our limited intellectual capacity of expression.  The word is constrained to the meaning of it, and cannot express the subtle nuance of the intuitive language of spirituality.  It may not be desirable that it be so. Meditation is the absence of both oral and written words.  This may be the reason why Prophets that were illiterate were chosen, because their minds being uncluttered, allowed them to receive the Revelations sent.  This sentiment is echoed in the Qur’an.24

     It cannot be overstated that it is not possible to describe God because His Essence is a form of unknown energy; His Presence can be felt only in the energy of goodness trapped in our spiritual Soul.  When the Scriptures revealed that man was created in the image of God, the meaning is not directed at our physical human form — of no importance, it is only made of earthy dust and shall return to dust — it is referring to the "Soul" of man.  In truth, the Soul of man (and it is indivisible within the whole of mankind) is only a very small reflection of the Essence of God —The Blinding White Light that our words are not adequate to describe or explain must remain a mystery to us.  It is this spiritual Soul that enables man to elevate himself above the beast of nature in Him.  Perhaps, it is this unexplained and mysterious cohabitation that was the original sin, and indeed for the Soul to be on earth is a fall from paradise.

How can we save humanity and the planet?

     We were able to create organizations and laws for wrongdoings: military, secret services agencies, laws of intimidations and discriminations, dictatorships both secular and religious, mafia-style corporations and financial institutions, and many other abusive governmental tools of control.
     Now it is time to transform them or create new ones for a universal civilized society of humanity, free of prejudice.

     The following are some suggestions:

     1)  Departments of Unity should replace All Departments of Military Defense.  The soldiers of war should become soldiers of peace.

    2)  Any Legal Laws must be fair and humane, based on the principles of Goodness and Human Rights.  Our conscience demands it.

     After the horror of World War II, in reaction to a shocked conscience, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Charter was born, December 10, 1948, for a coherent Global protection of human dignity and simple humanity.  Regrettably, because Religions were not an integral part of it, its achievement has been somewhat limited in its application.  In theory it is a Universal Human Rights Charter, but in practice it is not Universally complied with.

     A joint United Nations (UN) Charter with Judaism, Christianity and Islam could realize such a goal of Universal compliance for human rights, but it requires complete harmony between religions.  Within a reconciliation framework of religious philosophies, dogmas and faiths, a new spiritual awareness must emerge to be an effective tool to strengthen the UN in its efforts to combat injustice, human cruelties and the many ills in our present society.  Unfortunately, over the long history of mankind, religions, while promoting moral values, did engage in many wars and conflicts.  This must be reversed.
     The power of Religions cannot be contested.  Religions were able to influence the Laws of Monarchies as well as influence secular Governments (past and present), still relevant such as abortion issues, or marriage.  In modern times, they must have an active part in governance to uphold the principles of conscience on a global dimension.  An attempt was made by a number of Religious Leaders when they joined the "Appeal of Conscience Initiative" in the 1990’s, but it failed due to irreconcilable differences in spite of declared Good Will from All.25 In the 21st Century, all Nations, along with Judaism, Christianity and Islam, must transform the UN into a Universal Government Overseer with the power to control the good governance worldwide, without favoritism.  Its Headquarters must be on neutral territory to avoid any outside pressure to compromise their integrity and conscience.

     3)  The present scattered and inefficient Ecology Union should coordinate, with expert scientists, the destruction and safe disposal of all arsenals of destruction (from all nations without exception), nuclear, biological warfare, industrial pollutants, agricultural pesticides and any other contaminants that harm the health of humans and other living species.  Japan proved that knowledge to build nuclear energy does not guarantee its safety, or its preparedness to control it, as demonstrated when disaster did strike with the Tsunami.

     The Light of Humanity in its true meaning must replace the darkness of our present societies.  This century must see the birth of the Culture of Humanity in a transnationalism dimension.  Presidents must be re-titled Governors of Nations, responsible to a Neutral transnational Universal Central Authority — a combination of UN & Appeal to Conscience Initiative — that is divided into a Secular Body and a Religious Body working closely together.  Regular yearly meetings should take place between these different Government Agencies to address any issues facing Humanity and the Planet.
     As the former United Nations Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjold, said in a quote: "The United Nations was not created to take humanity to heaven, but to save it from hell" and "It is our collaborative effort that can prevent us from disaster."26


    1.  All quotations from the Qur’an, are from The Holy Qur’an.  Text, Translation and Commentary, by A. Yusuf.Ali.  (Maryland: Amana Corp. 1983).  S.  ixi, 30-42, C  94; S.  ix, 119-129, C. 98; S.  xviii, 1-22, C 133.

     2.  Adin Steinsaltz, The Essential Talmud, translated by Chaya Galai (New York: Bantam Books, 1976) see chap.24.  Adin Steinsaltz was the Head of Israel Institute for Talmudic Publication.  He shares a great understanding of Laws with the readers, as defined in the Talmud.

     3.  Pentateuch & Haftorahs, 2nd Ed.  Hebrew Text, Translation andCommentary, edited, by Dr. J.H. Hertz, CH (London:  Soncino Press, 1993), 313.  Dr. Hertz was The Late Chief Rabbi of the British Empire.

     4.  President Putin of Russia is a good example of a secular leader influenced by religious values, as reflected in his decision, based on moral values, not to legalize same sex marriage.  The notion that freedom of love should grant same sex marriage is to misinterpret moral values.  It is this same distortion of the spiritual scriptures that allows child marriage in many countries.

     5.  Ibid.  Qur’an.  S.  iii, 120, C.  54.

     6.  Ibid.  Qur’an.  "Closer and closer to mankind comes their Reckoning; yet they Heed not and they turn away," S.  xxi, 1; S.  xxi, 2-4.

     7.  Nadine Dawson [D’Osman Han], The Light of Truth Beaming on the Human Race (New York: Exposition Press, 1980), 16, see also chap. 5, 10-11; ibid. Qur’an.  "But he grew steadfastly in virtue and purity; Untaught by men, he learnt from them, and learned to teach them", C. 23.

     8.  Ibid.  Qur’an.  S.  xxi, 1.

     9.  Ibid.  Qur’an.  S.  xxx, 20-40, C.181.

     10.  Ibid.   Qur’an.  "…His Unity is shown in His Creation; yet man will turn to false gods, and dispute about religion.  Faith has been one at all times, but sects and divisions rose through selfish Contumacy.  Let all contention cease, and conduct weighed but the just balance of God’s word…— one, yet diverse!", S.  xlii, 1-29, C. 211.
     11. Ibid.  Qur’an.  S. lxii, 1-11, C. 241.

     12. Ibid.  Qur’an.  S.xxv. 123-159, C. 166; S.  xx, 71-104, C. 145.

     13.   Le Petit Robert 2: Dictionnaire Universel Des Noms Propres. 6th Ed.  Edited by Le Robert (Paris, France, 1982).  I shall translate from p. 934 & p. 936.  "Jerusalem was built from early Canaan era by the Jebusites, a pre-Israelite Tribe, descendants from Canaan.  Jerusalem in Hebrew means ‘Peace will come’."  The name is ironical when we consider its turbulent history.  Nonetheless, one must remain optimistic.

     14.  Ibid.   Qur’an.  S.  xvi, 31-83, C. 125.

     15.  Quotations from Bible Gateway Site.  New International Version (Biblica, 2011). http://www.biblestudy tools.Com/books-of-the-bible/

     16.  Ibid.  Qur’an.  C. 8;
"As the records of man are imperfect, and the memory of man unstable: the names of many of these messengers are known in one place and not in another; and some of their names may have perished utterly; but their message stands one and indivisible, even though it may have been forgotten, or trusted by ignorance, error, superstition or perversity; or misunderstood in the blinding light of times or torturous circumstances," C. 9.
"If the People who received earlier revelations confine themselves to partial truths, and in their pride shut their own eyes to the whole of the Book of God, their day is done:…," S.iii, 21-30, C. 55.

     17.  Ibid.  see in bibliography, The Age of Faith and its notes, p. 1114 (Economic and Social History of Medieval Europe, H. Pireene, 134); 375-377.

     18.  James l. Kugel, How to read the Bible: A guide to Scripture Then and Now (New York: Free Press, 2007).  chap. 3, Genesis: 4: 1-16.

     19.  Ibid.  Qur’an.  "How can Unbelievers realize the Mystery of Revelation? They do not even see the marvel and Mystery of Time….," S.  xxxii, 1-30, C. 185.

     20.   See in bibliography, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, 15-16; 122-123, and, The Age of Faith notes 1113.

     21.  Ibid.  #16 above.

     22.  Ibid.  Qur’an.  S. II, 32-36; S.  vii, 16-20.  And ibid.  How to read theBible, chap. 2, Genesis 1-3.

     23.  Ibid.  Qur’an.  S.   lxvi, 1-2, C. 245.

     24.  Ibid.   Qur’an.  C. 1-8.

     25.  The Appeal of Conscience Initiative was launched in the early 90’s by The Appeal of Conscience Foundation located in New York at 119 West 57th St., which was founded in 1965 to promote religious freedom and Human Rights throughout the world.  It was very active in the ex-Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.  The post-Cold War gave rise to extreme Human Rights violations that prompted the Foundation into action.  Hence, several Declarations were signed:  Berne, Switzerland 1992, The declaration of the "Appeal for Peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina" was signed by H.E. Rene Felber, President of the Swiss Confederation, with H.E. Reverend Vinko Puljic, H.E.Patriarch Pavle; H.E. Rais Ulema Jakud Efendi Selimoski, all from Sarajevo, and Rabbi Arthur Schneier.  In Istanbul, Turkey 1994, a Conference on "Peace and Tolerance in the Balkans, Caucasus, and Central Asia" brought together Chief Rabbi Aseo of Turkey; H.E. Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz, President of Religious Affairs in Turkey; His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Barthlomew I; Rabbi Artur Schneier; H.E. Cardinal Roger Etchegaray from the Vatican and H.E. Sheikh-ul-Islam Allahshukar from Azerbaijan. In Vienna, Austria, the "Appeal of Conscience Conflict Resolution Conference" on March 30, 1995, signed a new Vienna Declaration in presence of The President of Austria, H.E. Dr. Thomas Klestil.  This Declaration was to address the unresolved conflicts in the Balkans.  On March 18, 1999 the Vienna Declaration "Kosovo Peace and Tolerance" was signed again with the President of Austria, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Chancellor Viktor Klima and the Vice-Chancellor Wolfang Schussel.  This last Declaration was supported by President Bill Clinton of the United States; Secretary-General of the UN, H.E. Kofi Annan; His Holiness Pope Paul II; Chancellor of the Republic of Germany, Gerhard Schroder, President of the E.U, and many others.  Despite all these signed Declarations firmly denouncing the killing and all acts of violence, it has not enforced yet World Peace.

     Another proposal "Universal Declaration of Human Rights & Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World Religions" was debated during a Conference at the Center for the Study of Comparative Religion & Civilization, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India, January 17-19, 2009, in which I participated, but we are yet to see it fully implemented.

     26.  Quoted from the quote by Raymond Sommereyns in the Journal for the 60th Annual DPI/NGO Conference at the UN, NY, 15 August, 2007


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