The Embodied Soul – By Rosaliene Bacchus

Three Worlds One Vision

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On September 11, 2001, a group of Islamic extremists struck America’s major financial center in New York. Since then, we have embarked on a “War on Terror” that has morphed into an assault on all Muslims, except for allied Muslim nations. This past week, our endless war of terror has pivoted to Jerusalem, the holy city of three of the world’s major religions by number of followers (World Atlas) – Christianity (2.22 billion), Islam (1.6 billion), and Judaism (13.9 million).

Within this context, I share with you in the first of a three-part series my synopsis of Reza Aslan’s book, God: A Human History. Like the author, I have “no interest in trying to prove the existence or nonexistence of God for the simple reason that no proof exists either way.” Whether you believe in one God or many gods or no god at all, I would like you…

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  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On December 15, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    In deference to Ms. Bacchus and readers I would mask what I think about Reza Aslan. He is “ a piece of **** ” (to quote the words of current P.M. Trudeau of Canada).
    Aslan made a scurrilous and revolting attack on Hindus/Hinduism in the very first episode of a CNN series – BELIEVER. Right upfront, in this first episode for about 10-15 minutes he profiled some remote, miniscule cannibalistic sect, which NO Hindu (from India and diaspora) whom I have asked ever heard of. The impact on some viewers (not only Hindus) was so shocking and disgusting that they turned off the program immediately. Some felt like vomiting.. Later, in the episode he pretended to show that he was presenting a balanced report by showing more laudable practices of the same sect. But the obviously planned, despicable deed was done! The impact on audiences was to debase Hinduism so that his irrational religious beliefs – of Adam & Eve and of Muhammad ascending Heaven on a winged horse and, inter alia, negotiated with Allah on how many times Muslims must pray, etc., could look reasonable.

    This is a shortened version of what was aired. Pl. heed the Caution as it is disgusting.
    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=reza+aslan+believer+hinduism&&view=detail&mid=FDC6AEF8C5C7E3C8F795FDC6AEF8C5C7E3C8F795&&FORM=VDRVRV

    Ms. Bacchus writes: ‘Like the author, I have “no interest in trying to prove the existence or nonexistence of God for the simple reason that no proof exists either way.”’
    So, how is Aslan a Muslim? Besides, the above claim makes him an apostate, which as a Muslim he can be killed for in Muslim countries. From Wikipedia:

    Aslan was born into a Shia Muslim family.[19] He converted to evangelical Christianity at the age of 15,[20] and converted back to Islam the summer before attending Harvard.[21] In 2005 The Guardian called him “a Shia by persuasion”.[22] In a 2013 interview with WNYC host Brian Lehrer, Aslan said: “I’m definitely a Muslim and Sufism is the tradition within Islam that I most closely adhere to.”[23] He also proclaims himself a “genuinely committed disciple of Jesus of Nazareth.”[19]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reza_Aslan

    On another statement attributed to him (as original):
    “Aslan investigates the origin of our belief in a soul, a byword for “spiritual essence” or “mind.” It’s a journey back in time to the emergence of our primitive ancestors, Homo sapiens (the wise human) – the “historical” Adam and Eve.
    Furthermore, “They [cognitive theorists] posit that, under the right circumstances, Adam and Eve endowed inanimate objects with a soul or spirit (animism) and then passed on these beliefs to other cultures and generations.”

    “Mind” is byword for Soul? Take alook at Vedanta philosophy which deals extensively with Soul. ‘Mind’ is what the seeker is urged to get past to reach the Universal Soul/Selp

    Adam & Eve are “historical” ??? And, they “endowed inanimate objects with a soul or spirit”.
    Were they ‘God’ / The Universal Self?

    Veda Nath Mohabir

  • Albert  On December 16, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    “it is we who have fashion God in our own image”
    This is old news. Wriiting from notes of some 20 years ago from Paul Davies (the mind of God) or Richard Dawkins. They made the point (in my words) that because of his physical limitation , and the vastness of the universe,man is physically incapable of comprehending the universe and moreso the power behind it.
    Because he may be committed to finding answers he created a God in his own image and gave it the attributes he desire. At a minimum there must be some explanation for the existence of humans and the universe. That explanation, which we do not know, is the only thing we can refer to as God/Creator.

    • Ron Saywack  On December 17, 2017 at 2:01 pm

      Albert: “At a minimum, there must be some explanation for the existence of humans and the universe. That explanation, which we do not know, is the only thing we can refer to as God/Creator.”

      Interesting point.

      It seems to me that humans the world over are unable to come to grips with the finality and permanence of death, and thus yearn for an explanation for their fleeting, momentary existence. This marvelous, incredible cosmic gift of life, they reason, cannot constitute the be-all and end-all. There has to be more to it, they argue.

      Tall, unsubstantiated tales like this have been told, over the ages, that heaven is a real, physical place in space and that it is the ultimate abode for believers. Pope Pius XII, at Rome in 1950, proclaimed that Mary ascended into heaven alive without having experienced death. Muhammad, as Veda alluded to, is said to have flown to heaven on a winged horse. Really?

      People often wondered if pigs could fly. But some are sure that horses can. But where exactly is this heaven (cherubim), after all?

      Here is an explanation of where to find this mythical place:

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On December 16, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    Quite true, Albert, there is nothing original about Aslan saying:“it is we who have fashioned God in our own image” I had in mind to challenge the said claim but sent of my comment without it as I was sitting on it for a while.
    I wanted to show that Carl Sagan also spoke about it over at least 30 years ago.

    Have a look (again, I had posted it on another thread) at this video where he deals with Creation of the universe from the Hindu perspective. He says the same in different words: ‘Men may not be the dreams of gods, but maybe Gods are the dreams of men”.

    As well, when one hears how Sagan sees the Hindu ideas as the ‘most sophisticated’ you can see why Aslan’s CNN BELiEVER episode, mutilating, Hindus/Hinduism ticks me off.

    VedaNM.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On December 17, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Here is another great mind weighing in Hindu thought – Prof. Joseph Campbell – the renowned Mythologist, or the mythologists’ Mythologist. He is said to have done 24 hours of interviews with PBS Bill Moyers – many online. I would be surprised if Reza Aslan ever tapped into his ideas – as Azlan’s talk of Adam & Eve animating life forms with Soul is utter garbage!

    In this myth of Indra (Hindu ‘King of Gods’) towards the end you will hear Campbell talk quickly of a term: SatChitAnanada. You may have missed it unless you are familiar with the concept. Essentially, Sat=Reality eg., the universe and its contents; Chit = Intelligence; and Ananda = Bliss. Bliss is what humans achieve when they apprehend the Universal Soul/Self. So, human have Sat and Chit and the capacity for Ananda/Bliss, because we were endowed with a soul (by the great Soul (Brahman), but usually we don’t know of this capacity because we are inundated with Maya (the sensual/material things all around us and the unstable “mind” – NOT soul as Aslan defines it). The Bhagavad Gita explains how to get past this ‘delusion’.

    But, enjoy the myth.

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=video+%3a+joseph+campbell+hindu+mythology&qpvt=video+%3a+joseph+campbell+hindu+mythology&view=detail&mid=AE3420686CC4F906AB48AE3420686CC4F906AB48&rvsmid=0B1C6F6F8EEF108017110B1C6F6F8EEF10801711&FORM=VDRVRV

    Later I will post what Campbell says of OM (AUM) and a concept used in in Buddhism and IT, etc., called Indra’s Net.

    VedaNM.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On December 18, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Anyone who had practised Yoga would have heard of OM. In fact, properly, it is AUM. Here, Joseph Campbell explains its deep cosmic meaning.

    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=joseph+campbell+hinduism&&view=detail&mid=28208D56A00985F4C76F28208D56A00985F4C76F&rvsmid=C0001E23C0FE41D30AD5C0001E23C0FE41D30AD5&FORM=VDQVAP

    I can elaborate more on A-U-M but I don’t want to put too many deep ideas out at one time, such as how the silence at the end represents Cosmic Consciousness.

    I am willing to bet that Reza Aslan would not have dealt with these concepts.

    Next time I will tell you about Indra’s Net.

    VedaNM

  • Ron Saywack  On December 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    The winter solstice occurred a little over an hour ago. For the next three days (Dec. 22, 23, and 24), after having traveled south for six months, the Sun stops going south. It, perceivably, rises and sets at the same point on the horizon for the next three days. Then, on December 25, it rises 1° north on its six-month, perpetual odyssey to the next summer solstice. Hence the birth, the death, and the resurrection of the Sun of God (or the Sun of the Solar System).

    The winter solstice happens when the Sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, or more precisely, at 23.5° south latitude. Have you ever wondered why 23.5° and why Earth’s orbit around the Sun is elliptical and not round? It is most likely because the Earth was impacted by a giant object at the time of its formation.

    Today, people all over the Northern Hemisphere mark this solemn and significant day with reverence and celebration. There is a big party at Stonehenge each year to honor this occasion. Stonehenge was a significant timepiece (indicating seasonal changes) for the ancients. It marked the solstices and the equinoxes, among other things.

    During one of my memorable trips to England, I visited Stonehenge and actually touched the massive stone structure. Shortly thereafter, British authorities roped off the iconic site because unscrupulous, selfish persons would carve out pieces of the stones as souvenirs, just as they did/do with the Egyptian pyramids. What a despicable act of selfishness!

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