The Kingdom of “God” Means Peace of Mind

 

Peace-of-mind

But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them,

 

“Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”

 

“An honest man has never grown.”–Socrates

 

“The kingdom of heaven is within you.”–Leo Tolstoy

 

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”–Buddha

 

I quote furthermore,

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven (mind), where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal”

Here we can see that Jesus was encouraging his followers to acquire wisdom or something in relation to the intellect. Note that many of his disciples were practically unlettered.

 

“And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments:

Do not commit adultery,

Do not kill,

Do not steal,

Do not bear false witness,

Honour thy father and thy mother.

And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing:

 “Sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said:

“How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!”

 

Thus from this, I conclude that the kingdom of God means nothing other than peace of mind; in so far us we are being discouraged to pursue material comforts. If one has no property in this fallen world, then one has nothing to lose and if one has nothing to lose, then why worry? No property equals peace. And when one has peace (both inner and outer) then one has everything, for the flesh belongs to the devil and is condemned to end up in the grave whereas the soul strives towards the divine.

 

Note: I treat Jesus as a real man who once lived, whose occupation was carpentry and who later became a truthful preacher and a humanist.

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Crimes Against Humanity

 “The Hole of Humanity” by John Hemmen

 

 

 

 

 

Sharpville

Sharpville, South Africa

On the 21st of March 1960, 69 black South Africans were shot dead in Sharpville, a town in the then Transvaal in South Africa, for staging a peaceful protest against the apartheid government. No one has been brought to justice. The recent xenophobic attacks by South Africans is a sign that, in South Africa, many wounds have failed to heal. When a white man attacks a black man, a lot of noise is made about racism but now blacks are attacking fellow blacks. What a shame!

 

 

Patrice Lumumba

Patrice Lumumba

In January 1961, Patrice Lumumba, the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo was brutally murdered. His murderers are still keeping certain bony portions of his body as a trophy. No one has been brought to justice. It was rumoured that at the time, United Nations could and should have saved his life but it buried its head in the sand as an ostrich does. Apparently, Lumumba had been labelled by the imperialist Belgian government as a first-rate communist.

 

 

Photo by Reuters

Photo from Reuters.com

On the 15 January 2009, the nation of Israel admitted firing phosphorus bombs on several residential areas across the Gaza, including schools housing innocent children. No one has been brought to justice. The office of the chief prosecutor argues that the Palestinian government has not subscribed to the jurisdiction of ICC and therefore war crimes committed on their soil is not within the legal reach of the ICC. The only way is to apply to become a member. It is possible that war crimes may have been committed by both parties but Israel is not a signatory to ICC.

 

 

 

Photo from dailymail.co.uk

On March 19th, 2003, a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and deposed the Ba’athist government of Saddam Hussein. Iraq was, until the invasion, a relatively peaceful country. Thousands, perhaps millions have died. Now there is a blood thirsty hydra-headed creature called IS. And many do not know that this creature was conceived the day Iraq was invaded. No one has been brought to justice.

 

 

ThomasSankara

Thomas Sankara

On October 15, 1987, Thomas Sankara, the then head of state of Burkina Faso, who was very much liked by the people, was killed by an armed group with twelve other officials in a coup d’état organised by his former friend Blaise Compaoré. They were backed by the French and I assume we all know well the negative effects of French policies in West Africa. No one has since been brought to justice.

 

 

Photo by hullwebs.co.uk

Photo from hullwebs.co.uk

In August 1833, two Portuguese ships heading to England, namely “Santa Maria” and “La Guardia,” carrying about three thousand slaves in all, after learning that slave trade and slavery had been abolished in The British Empire hatched a plan to dispose of the slaves. From fear of been prosecuted and fined, up to three-fourth of the slaves were hurled into the sea, most of them with chains on. No one has been brought to justice.

The Holocaust, the Bosnian genocide, the “Armenian genocide,” the Rwandan genocide and the mass killing of the members of the Pygmy tribe during the Congolese civil wars are only a few cases in hundreds. Some of these incidences happened a long time ago but the pain cannot just disappear. I think in cases where prosecution is not possible, a formal apology to the descendants of victims will do.

Lastly, some Africans criticize the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecuting only African leaders (referring specifically to the clamouring by ICC for Omar al-Bashir, president of Sudan) and other offenders because many crimes committed outside of Africa are been ignored.

I think the misunderstanding here has to do with the requirements of international law and not natural law. Many countries, including the United States, United Kingdom(?) etc, although they have been members of ICC, they may not have actually ratified (signed and approved) their membership. Hence prosecution cannot occur as regards citizens of those countries. An appeal can only be made by victims to the supreme courts of those respective countries.

 

Definition of Cooporative Humanism

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There are very big societal problems in this world. Has it ever crossed our minds as to why many youths from Europe and even America are trying to join the fight in Syria? Recently a South African girl was arrested at the airport on suspicion of trying to join IS to fight the war in Syria. Why fight anyway? Maybe it’s because sometimes and for most people, war promises long term freedom.

In the modern “me first” world the have-nots and the underprivileged without capital are, forever, wage slaves. But these analyses of class struggle will be for another post. For now, let me start by explaining what is meant by Cooperative Humanism. Bear in mind that humanism itself underpins all moral/ethical rules. We have been practicing humanism for millions of years without actually identifying with it.

Humanism as we know basically, in broad terms, refers to the doctrine that people’s duty is to promote human welfare. But this definition pushes us towards individualistic humanism, because others may argue that if one promotes his/her own welfare it may amount to humanism since he or indeed she is also human. That is pointless. I don’t even side completely with the humanist organisations of today who seem to make the individual the center of the universe; also having their motto as: “Good Without God.”

Our kind of humanism says: “Good is God.” Cooperative Humanism therefore is a concept derived from “conscientious notions.” By this we mean that everyone must be treated as an end and not a means to an end as we already have in this fallen world. Practically, people from all faiths are welcomed to subscribe to the concept. Neither faith nor Atheism nor any form of irreligion is an obstruction to becoming a Cooperative Humanist (CH).

Cooperative Humanism therefore means that every one of us must be rule by our individual consciences (sense of right and wrong) thus leading to the treatment of fellow humans as an end and not a means. This will help us create a kind of communalistic society where everyone lives according to his or her own desires in so far as it promotes, ultimately, the betterment of the larger community (for a desire to be obstructed is a dangerous thing). This is ethical concept is our formula for happiness and by this I hope I have defined Cooperative Humanism. Of course it is by no means comprehensive but at least I believe the reader has gotten the basic idea. Cooperative Humanists abhor greed, loftiness and egoism.

 

Five Principles of Cooperative Humanism.

  1. All actions and or reactions must necessarily spring from love.
  2. Everyone must be treated as an end and not a means.
  3. Happiness is a social state and therefore can only be achieved through suitable cooperation.
  4. Do unto any group what you would expect the group to do unto you.
  5. Unity in diversity but where cooperation is not possible, part peacefully.

N: We shall continue later. Criticisms and contributions are welcome.

 

 

The Nature of Truth

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Truth is not the same as reality as postulated by the ancient Greeks. Marcus Aurelius was wrong in saying: “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective not the truth.”

Friedrich Nietzsche also reiterated: “There are no facts, only interpretations.”

As regards Nietzsche, whom I have great respect and admiration for; I have noticed that in his writings, he will oppose every writer and philosopher including himself. From all indication he is a nihilist. And indeed, maybe not so rightly, Leo Tolstoy described him as “stupid and abnormal” but to some of us he is still a brilliant poet and philosopher. We all know what the excesses of knowledge leads to: in much knowledge is much sorrow, in much wisdom is much grief.

Going back to our subject matter, we must be careful with this “disordered” kind of reasoning. If everything is an opinion, it then seeks to say that the entire universe exists only because we perceive it; therefore it is an extension of the self (Ego) and its opinions. This leads us to Solipsism but that is the greatest illusion. I think we are moving towards a psychological situation when the ego is forcing its way into the subconscious trying to make everything its own, so to speak. Yet the ego itself is nothing but a poor borrower of mental energy. Nothing that exists in the go belongs to the ego.

Those animals, which are equipped with the relevant senses, also perceive the same things we humans perceive. The sun is not only perceived by me but by everyone who has eyes. Water does not only quench my thirst but also everyone’s thirst. Therefore water is a kind of liquid for quenching thirst. The peculiar characteristics of the sun and uses of water are not only real to me but also universally real to everyone.

Different things, people and entities have different realities. So if truth is misconstrued to be reality. The question then, is whose reality? The reality of the slave or that of the slave master, the reality of the boss or that of the servant, the reality of the society or that of the accused standing trial, the reality of the east or that of the west? So really, whose reality? Many confuse reality with truth. Truth, in a universal sense, is objective and independent and seems to radiate from a central point whereas reality is mostly subjective. Two or more people can experience different realities but may still be in the domain of same truth.

In my definition, truth simply is a “convergence of realities.” In other words truth is not something that is fixed but rather something that extends within the framework of core realities. The fact that my morning comes earlier and I see the sun before someone living in Philippines doesn’t mean the sun I saw was different from the one he saw. It’s the same thing seen at different times. Minor differences do not negate a thing’s objectivity.

I have a big problem, in this age of reason, with the dictatorship which scientific knowledge is trying to establish over the human mind.  Suppose that we didn’t know that something exists. Then science helps us to discover such and such as existing. Immediately theories are put forward as if the thing’s existence begun when the discovery was made. Let us take vitamin c for instance. The first man who ate an orange didn’t know it contains vitamin c. He saw the thing, it looked good, he tasted it, it tasted nice, and he ate it. And only millions of years later before science discovered exactly what orange does in the body.

Should we be waiting for the evidence from science before eating oranges, we would have denied ourselves of the enjoyment of oranges for millions of years. This same line of thinking is what leads atheists to say that there is no evidence for the existence of an objective entity called God so he does not exist. It’s like saying we do not know what nutrients can be found in an orange, therefore we will not eat an orange until further research is done to ascertain that it gives vitamin c. It follows logically that until the discovery of vitamin c in oranges, vitamin didn’t exist in oranges. This is exactly what scientific research is trying do.

In this regard, even the primitive man, who ate the thing because it appealed to his sense of taste, was wiser as compared to us. Excess of knowledge and wisdom pushes us towards nothing but foolishness. We know much about other planets, we know the components of gases on them, we have even built robots to explore extraterrestrial life, also trained chimps to talk using sign language and run errands, yet we have failed utterly – all of humanity – at simply raising young ones of our own kind into responsible and virtuous adults.

Not All Human Rights Activists Are Humanists

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There is always the tendency for people to think if someone is a human rights activist, he or she is probably chiefly concerned with human welfare and dignity. Activism is not a profession, it actually a calling. There are activists who run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.

The most notorious dictators in world history were once advocates for human welfare. They fought for the rights of others – either for their freedom, self determination or independence. The psychology here is that they do this in order to prey on the vulnerable, once the vulnerable had been given their freedom. If one knows that one can’t defend, sustain and protect oneself, my best advice is to be part of a larger stronger group. To ask for one’s freedom when one cannot defend and sustain oneself may be like asking for one’s death sentence.

Aside that, a human rights activist must necessarily believe in the basic principles of humanitarianism. We can’t have failed careerist politicians or political activists (leftists or rightists), suddenly transforming into human rights activists. Again, even people with degrees in human rights law are not necessarily people who are concerned with human welfare. To fight for the rights of others is a noble calling, something deeply felt inside.