Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Real Meaning of Life

Sunday Morning Sermon - Mar 30 2014

How can 
 be happy?

Some believe that there is only one single meaning of life. They think that the Universe was created for a purpose and is a part of a larger cosmic plan. They think our meaning comes from being part of this plan and is written into the Universe waiting to be discovered.

A more practical view of 
meaning in life
 by some others
 is different. They believe that there is no obvious purpose to the Universe but that it is a natural phenomenon with no design behind it. Meaning, is not something out there waiting to be discovered but what we create in our own lives. And although this vast and incredibly old Universe was not created for us, all of us are connected to something bigger than ourselves, whether it is family or community, traditions, culture, an idea or cause to look forward to the future
and the beautiful wider natural world 
n which we were all born and 
  species have evolved. 

This way of thinking means that there is not just one big fact of the meaning of life but a multiple view that can be different from person to person. Each one of us is unique and are different personalities depending on  a complex mixture influenced by our parents,
teachers, community, culture, religion, 
environment, connections and the massive nature of our world. They change with experience and circumstances. There are no simple recipes of living that are applicable to all peoples. We have different tastes and priorities. One person may like painting, walking in the woods and caring for their grand children. Another may prefer sports or hobbies. Some may venture into helping others, some wage war. Different intent and goals. We may find meaning through family or career and chart our future according to what we perceive, understand, and experience.

The time to be happy is now and the way to find meaning to life is to get on and live it as fully and as well as we can
 using choice as the basic premise


Monday, March 24, 2014

Embracing our Contradictions

Sunday Morning Sermon - Mar 23 2014 

There are many people on our planet who think and believe that contradictions are bad. Surely, we must learn to accept that contradictions are actually a necessary part of life where we, humans,  can engage in debate, discussion, and conclusions based on ideas, values, and thoughts that are positive. Of course negative contradictions do lead to violence and destruction as we have seen across the globe over many decades.

The worlds differences have evolved from un-enlightened morality makers who intimidate others using fear, power and control. They have subjected masses of humanity into unquestioning submission and obedience depriving them of their own individual thought. The conflicts and wars we have seen through the ages are a product of this kind of abuse that conditions the minds of ordinary people and their rulers.

What makes a strong human character? We often see many two dimensionally oriented people who, on the other hand try to show a very strong personality across the table and on the other hand crumble into smithereens within their own personal lives. What is it that they are missing out in managing their issues and contradictions?

What is it that makes people tick? Wy do they say and do what they do, even when they know that the outcome could be harmful, detrimental, argumentative, or disharmonious? Conversation and discussion is a part and parcel of human life. We are not lonely creatures. We need to communicate, discuss, argue, debate, and challenge, pre conceived perceptions, scientific theories, and other facts in order to be able to move ahead and not stagnate into brain washed geeks.

Usually, we find that people tend to receive contradictory messages in their lives. Innovate, but dont make mistakes. Think long term but improve your productivity now. Downsize but enhance your teamwork. Empower people but make sure they follow the corporate rules. Kind of spins one head into a whirl. What the F do they really want people to do?

Faced with these kind of contradictions most people choose to play it safe. Hence the status quo prevails. Exhortations abut the need for change fall on deaf ears and some of the best laid plans fall on deaf ears.

Embracing the contradiction helps to try and understand what it actually means and how best it can provide us with better solutions and answers to the many questions and dilemma we face on a day to day basis.

It always pays to try and look out of the box cos it is only then that on e actually sees things that one has never seen before.


Saturday, March 15, 2014


Sunday Morning Sermon - Mar 16 2014

Death is the cessation of all biological functions that sustain any living organism. Situations which commonly bring about death include aging, malnutrition, disease, suicide, murder and acidents or trauma resulting in terminal injuries. The physical bodies of all living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death. There is no scientific evidence yet that suggests consciousness survives after death, nor even that dead people are reborn or move to another plane or dimension to live a new form of life.
The word death comes from the Old English deað, which in turn comes from Proto-Germanic *dauþaz (reconstructed by etymological analysis). This comes from the Proto-Indo-European stem *dheu- meaning the "Process, act, condition of dying".
In society, the nature of death and humanity's awareness of its own mortality has for millennia been a concern of the world's religious traditions and of philosophical inquiry. This includes belief in resurrection (associated with the three Abrahamic faiths), reincarnation or rebirth (associated with Dharmic reliions), or that consciousness permanently ceases to exist, known as eternal oblivion (often associated with atheism).
Commemoration ceremonies after the death of a human being may include various mourning periods and other funeral practices. The physical remains of a person, commonly known as a corpse or body, are usually interred whole or cremated, based on prevailing cultures. The Zoroastrians feed their dead to trained vultures who are kept confined in cages in their cemeteries. 
Most people suffer great pain and loss when a family member or close friend passes away. The natural bond of human attraction finds it always very difficult to let go when a person moves on. The loss, basically, is the one suffered by the living for the dead have not lost anything at all to be sad for, even if they could.
This simple fact of life only proves that we are not a lonely species and that we need our loved ones alongside us for as long as possible to be loved and lived through our lives. The bonding between people also emanates from the close proximity, common values, and upbringing they cultivate since birth.
It is plainly seen that the most certain event in life is death. Everything else could easily be a variable to many degrees. While the time and form of death is certainly unpredictable the fact that that it will happen at some point of time in the future is non negotiable.
Most often the sadness is accompanied by the reminiscing of the wonderful times that were shared with the departed. In some cases regret accompanies this sadness in that the living automatically feel that they could have done better to the deceased during their lifetime. But then it is too late now and this usually causes some despair and anxiety in the minds of many.
At the end of the day the only salvation we can get from the death of a creature is if we have been compassionate towards them during their lifetime.
May All beings be Happy.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

How madder can men get?

Sunday Morning Sermon - Mar 2 2014 [better late than never]

What we are witnessing on our planet, from sizzling Syria to roaring Russia, is not any survival of the fittest, but rather a prevalence of the maddest. How else would we describe nations bullying others 
in plain sight to force them into submission?
Remember the tactic and intensity of Syrian shelling on the residential Christian areas of Lebanon in the late eighties to understand this kind of bullying. It means no mercy and no logic. It also means killing people physically or killing their resolve and any hopes they might have. It means the focused shelling will only intensify until all are dead, if necessary, or all survivors are on their knees begging for mercy.
Those who refuse to beg are controlled through other methods. From sanctions to jailing and assassinations, the Assad Regime has a history of serving torture and intimidation in various potions. To each his gall and no one escapes the wrath of a regime that thrives on people’s misery and self-disrespect
Remember the trips to Syria by politicians to be accepted or to be left alone to do their jobs, or those apologizing profusely for earlier “transgressions” and declaring loyalty and obedience to the master who can keep them alive or turn them into corpses
It is the same regime that kept its hold on Lebanon for decades and when the people spoke and kicked Syria out, they were promised a scathing pay back. The octopus was counting on its loyal tentacles spread deeply and widely around Lebanon to deliver
Following the same logic, Ukraine sought closer ties with the European Union, and Russia said no. Russia then used its tentacles to create dissent and make the struggle as bloody and as deadly as possible. When the people still prevailed and overthrew the government, Russia stepped forward ready to invade the country to save it from its own self. There is no logic in this equation, only aggression, bullying and a headless beast taking everything down with it as it falls
Russia and Syria have no legitimacy left. What they do have is the bullying power that wreaks havoc as a world. Late to act, it finds itself unable to jump in this bloodbath and powerless in the face of suffering innocent victims
Syria will starve the people of Yarmouk to death and Russia will invade Ukraine, because they can. The players have crossed all lines; at this point the world cannot face this barbarism with civility
Where do we go from here?