Sometimes God shows up unexpectedly, surrounding us with a soft and loving embrace as our human concepts and thoughts simply quiet down in awe. When this happens, our mind wonders about the nature of this feeling of endless joy while our soul indulges in Him.
On other occasions we search for him by silencing our internal noise and reaching out in a humble and quiet manner; no written plans exist when our soul attempts to extend its reach for the water that will quench our spiritual thirst. We open up, we hunger, we reach out, and sometimes we feel God’s presence while our hearts burn with joy through the fire of His love.
No word seems worthy to define the name of God. Trying to find a proper name to do so seems improper, unfit. How can we find a name for the fountain from where the infinite Cosmos unfolds from throughout eternity?
In the Hebrew Bible, the name of God is YHWH, commonly known as Yahweh and translated as Lord. Judaism has seven names which are considered to be so holy that once written should not be erased. Yhwh, El (God), Elohim (Gods), Eloha (God) El Shaddai, Tzevaot, Sabaoth (Of Hosts). Every effort to describe God even through words was born out of the immense love that overflows us when we are touched by Him. For those people, witnessing the presence of God was almost a death sentence, considered as such because of God’s magnificence consuming our human nature. People were actually afraid of witnessing God. When God reveals to Moses on holy Mount Horeb through a burning bush that was not being consumed by fire by saying “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac; the God of Jacob’, Moses covers his face with his hands, afraid of looking at God.
Islam on the other hand, calls God Allah. His name is sacred as well and their traditions stem back to old Hebrew books.
Christianity and Islam are rooted on Judaism. Abraham may have lived about 2,000 years BC, being the tenth generation after Noah and is considered the Father of both religions. His wife, Sarai, could not bear children so Abraham had a son, Ismael, with one of his slaves, named Agar. Once Sarai died, Abraham had several children with Ketura, the first of them named Isaac. Among Isaac’s descendants were David and Salomon. From Ismael’s side, Islam was born. Ismael was considered an illegitimate son; maybe this is where the conflicts come from.
God’s love is so powerful and so profound that He recreates the whole Cosmos endlessly, by weaving it with new expressions of perfect beauty and love. This energy that is the essence of the whole creation is who we call God and He is the same for Muslims and Christians although named in different ways.
Most Muslims are people of peace and have loving hearts. A small percentage is stuck in barbaric acts of terrorism and because of their lack of strong military resources, terrorists commit their barbaric acts in the name of God. Western political agendas use this short fuse to find ways to declare wars on these people constantly for their own selfish goals.
Where does all this confusion come from? It worries me to observe how blind and misguided human beings can be when God does not even judge or punish us.
God’s name is therefore very important as it generates respect among many, including Muslims. Yet frustrations due to our human limitations twist and transform the basic understanding of who God is, to the point where violence wrecks through the lives of innocent people affected by terrorism, as recently happened in the city of Paris. God does not change, but brainwashing people’s minds triggers terrible reactions. We invest too much effort in fighting and too little on understanding and trying to accept all humanity with love.
It is easy to become reactive when a terrorist attack if we allow our immediate impulses to take control of our lives. By doing so we really then defeated by the enemy’s confusion because we willingly transform ourselves into darkness. The media has enormous power over the psyche of simple people, and often these events are well planned in advance not only by terrorists but by dark forces from either side that are after selfish goals. We fall prey as we agree to modify our love into hatred.
False values linked by material goals are being chosen to tread over old traditions and truths, replaced by social experiments that fail, herding human beings into becoming manipulated cattle. Jumping into this materialistic wagon transforms us into another gear of a machine, hard, stubborn and trapped in a position that is stale and dehumanizing. On the other hand, those sectors of society that do not have access to this fake lifestyle become frustrated and this generates enormous conflicts and misunderstandings. This is a vicious cycle.
Some of the terrorists grew up under very Orthodox religions where ether name of God was holy, something that in our culture we have forgotten. They do not approve of pornography, drugs, alcohol consumption and immorality while the west blatantly indulges in these practices. As a result of it, many Middle Eastern people feel repulse towards some of these cultural expressions of the west. They will not be pleased if they see a cartoon mocking their Prophet Mohammed of course. Some of these people are herded into responding with a holy war, blindly giving up their lives simply to generate fear and respect.
The Middle East has recently suffered wars and invasions in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen etc. from western countries. It is illogical to believe that people who have lost their families, homes and countries as destroyed by wars that had no reason to exist but greed, will live happy and loving lifestyles. To make matters worse, some of these terrorist groups (IS included) were supported initially by western countries to help them reach their hidden goals.
Add material greed from imperialistic countries, power thirsty politicians with no scruples, and the conditions for a long term confrontation are born. On one hand, military superpowers like the US, Russia or the European alliances are unbeatable; they are simply invincible. On the other hand, terrorism is the war of the poor countries, and as has been proven before, it is also impossible to defeat terrorism because children, mothers, students and old people will be fighting from all flanks at any time. It is a desperate ideology, a personal compromise adopted by suicidal individuals who cause the murder of innocent people while being in the middle of large groups.
How can humanity ever overcome humanity, and is there a solution? Religions are positive institutions in principle, but some human beings will use any excuse to fight when they cannot take any more abuse. The fact that France rapidly declared war to the barbaric ISIS shortly after the terrible Parisian attacks, sounds to me like an infantile Hollywood play. I understand the level of frustration, but it sounds false because there seems to be a hidden agenda (like other recent wars) that will kill countless of innocent people once again will only make matters worse.
I tend to suspect these are well planned abuses from a global political elite with no shame and no name that uses the media to manipulate humanity into reacting like cattle.
Destroying another country is terrible, because it not only kills some enemies, but also murders mothers, children, fathers, old people, and destroys cultures, traditions, family bonds and life styles that have been woven throughout the centuries. The decision to go to war is perhaps the most selfish and manipulative tool of our times.
Christianity and Islam have been fighting for too many centuries. The only option we have is to love and understand each other; to know that differences will not dissipate if we blow each other away with explosive devices. If a small group of people chose to become evil, we should imprison them as we already do with criminals so innocent people are allowed to live in peace.
We sometimes work with peers we do not fully like, but that does not mean we go and shoot them. If we must work with such a person, we can try to find a common bond, anything, in order to be productive and positive; as human beings we share our humanity. This is a personal choice that every single human being must initiate; otherwise our planet, the real Garden of Eden, will continue to house the wicked, destructive and selfish human species.
What gives the political elite the right to declare a war? The same question applies to the French government as it does to the prehistoric ideology of the IS. Differences end when we decide to reach out in respect and understanding to erase borders and frontiers.
Dear God, grant each of us the miracle of love in our life. Help us to willingly transform our impulses and confusion into love; assist us so we may silence our manic thoughts in order to perceive your compassionate presence flowing from every human being’s souls. Help us overcome the horrors of the recent attacks from terrorists on French soil and the so many acts of destruction that mankind has perpetrated.
Teach us all to love so we may forgive the mistakes of others, whatever they may be, as well as our own. Help us to remember that if you are our essence, our origin and destiny, you should be present in our awareness every moment that we live; otherwise our lives are wasted. Help us to erase the fear and confusion that exist within so we become a source of compassion to humanity.
We only have today to live. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow may never come. The decision to recover the miracle of compassion starts today.