Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What qualifies one to participate in government?

Confucius said, 'Honor five refinements, and get rid of four evils, then you can participate in government.'

The five refinements:
1. Good people are generous without being wasteful
2. They are hardworking without being resentful
3. They desire without being greedy
4. They are at ease without being haughty
5. They are dignified without being fierce

The four evils:
1. To execute without having being admonished; this is called cruelty.
2. To examine accomplishments without having instructed; this is called brutality.
3. To be lax in directions yet make deadlines; this is called viciousness.
4. To be stingy in giving what is due to others; this is called being bureaucratic.


Finally, I found some information on Avalokiteshvara. I have always been curious about Him since our encounter. I am not much of a Buddhist, so when He visited me, I was surprised.

Here is what is said about Avalokiteshvara. According to legend, the Bodhisattva looked at the world one day and was so impressed by what he saw that he temporarily despaired of the scale of the task he had set for himself, and his head literally burst with the pain. His spiritual father, the primordial Buddha Amitabha 'of Infinite Light' of whom he is the emanation, gathered the pieces from which had made eleven new heads which Avalokiteshvara wears in three successive series of three faces each. The first reflects compassion, the second wrath with regard to the distress of the world, and the third, the joy engendered by good. The next to last face above these is surmounted the final head, the head of the Buddha Amitabha. He also has a thousand arms, each hand adorned with an eye, the better to see the miseries of the world and thus fly instantly to the aid of the needy.

According to Tibetans, he is the supreme Protector of Tibet, and is incarnated in the Dalai Lama, who thereby remains the spiritual and temporal leader against all comers.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Do you feel safer with guns?

Today, I heard on the radio that people asked that they can have guns in their car when it is parked in the parking lot. They feel safer that way.

I bet this makes companies more nervous. A company can be liable for any incident that happens on the company's property. On the other hand, if the people feel if they don't have guns in their car, they feel unsafe. They feel they have a right to arm themselves. It seems the court sided with the 'gun owners'.

If I think there is a potential gun in the many cars at work, I would think this would make it a more dangerous place to work. How ironic? They feel safer now, and I feel less safe now.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My Free Logo

Here is my free logo from the 'Free Logo' site. Not quite what I had in mind, but it comes close.

The yin yang symbol as a background symbolizes the environment that we are in. First, there is one (God), then there is two - yin yang, according to Chinese Medicine. It is amazing how close this theory comes to what is being revealed through the 'Conversations with God' series - that God created opposites in order to know what it is. It's a powerful concept.

With that principle, there is no absolutes. Everything is relative. One knows itself through its opposite. Would you know you are kind if you are surrounded by kind people? Only when you see some who is not kind can you see yourself as being kind. So thank that person.

The 'Compassion for All' should be the foundation as we solve our world's problems. Too often, we solve problems that is good for certain interest groups at the expense of others. Our challenge is to come up with solutions that serve us all.

Monday, November 14, 2005

'God' on the New World

Since we are attempting to simplify the tax code, I am going to throw out God's suggestion. You wonder the world is in such a mess, why doesn't God do anything about it. His answer - He gave us free will ... therefore, it's up to us. Although, in the books, he does put on his thinking cap and gave us some suggestions. Although He said the real change can only occur if we can shift conciousness - think of us as One, connected to Him, instead of separate from Him and from each other. In fact, He dares us.

1. Create the 'World Federation'. League of Nations and United Nations were examples of it. The United States can serve as an example. Before the United States become the United States, there were states, each has its own militia, fighting each other. Now, these states come together under the United States, with executive branch, legislative branch, and judicial branch. Each state has two senators, and the number of representatives reflect the population from that state. In the same way, there will be an executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch ... except, it's for the world.

2. Cut down the military drastically, and especially weapons of mass destruction. He said, that if we can cut this down, we have enough money to feed and shelter the poor. He said, He has provided enough for all.

3. There should be a minimum and maximum earnings. That is, everybody should have the minimum support - food, shelter, and preventive medicine ... even if they don't work and being lazy. There too, should be a maximum earning, anymore than that should go back to society, although the individual can designate which programs his money go too ... and his name should be recorded for society to see and remember. Also, there should be a voluntary 10% donation of earnings back to society ... that means, there should be no mandatory tax. If there is a shift in consciousness, people would want to give.

4. There should be transparency in the financial world. How much each person earn. How much things cost. How much they sell for. If everything is transparent, a person has a less tendency to cheat.

His ideas are expounded in Book 2 of Conversations with God. These are the highlights of His ideas.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

'God' on the United States

Here is another excerpt from the same book - Conversation from God, that I thought is interesting to share with you. Here is what 'God' has to say about the United States.

The Earth nation you call the United States, for example, has long thought itself to be a nation 'under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.' It is not a coincidence that this nation rose to become the most prosperous nation on Earth. It is also not surprising that this nation is gradually losing all that it has worked so hard to create - for this nation seems to have lost its vision.

The terms 'under God, indivisible' meant just that - they expressed the Universal truth of Unity; Oneness: a Matrix very difficult to destroy. But the Matrix has been weakened. Religious freedom has become religious rightness bordering on religious intolerance. Individual freedom has all but vanished as individual responsibility has disappeared.

The notion of individual responsibility has been distorted to mean 'every man for himself'. This is the new philosophy that imagines itself to be harkening back to the Early American tradition of rugged individualism.

But the original sense of individual responsibility upon which the American vision and the American dream was based found its deepest meaning and its highest expression in the concept of Brotherly Love.

What made America great was not that every man struggled for his own survival, but that every man accepted individual responsibility for the survival of all.

America was a nation that would not turn its back on the hungry, would never say no to the needy, would open arms to the weary and the homeless, and would share its abundance with the world.

Yet as America became great, Americans became greedy. Not all, but many. And, as time went on, more and more.

As Americans saw how good it was possible to have it, they sought to have it even better. Yet there was only one way to have more and more and more. Someone else had to have less and less and less.

As greed replaced greatness in the American character, there was less room for compassion for the least among the people. The less fortunate were told it was their 'own damned fault' if it didn't have more. After all, America was the Land of Opportunity, was it not? No one except the less fortunate found it possible to admit that America's opportunity was limited, institutionally, to those already on the inside track. In general, these have not included many minorities, such as those of certain skin color or gender.

Americans became arrogant internationally as well. As millions starved across the globe, American threw away enough food each day to feed entire nations. Americans was generous with some, yes - but increasingly her foreign policy came to be an extension of her own vested interests. America helped others when it served America to do so. (That is, when it served America's power structure, America's richest elite, or the military machine that protected those elite - and their collective assets.)

America's founding ideal - Brotherly Love - had been eroded. Now, any talk of being "your brother's keeper" is met with a new brand of Americanism - a sharp mind toward what it takes to hold on to one's own, and a sharp word to any among the less fortunate who would dare ask for their fair share, for their grievances to be redressed.

Each person must take responsibility for herself or himself - that is undeniably true. But America - and your world - can truly work only when every person is willing to stand responsible for all of you as a Whole.

On the side, you'll see the link to Humanity's team. The team is inspired by these books 'Conversations with God'. You might want to be part of this movement.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

To fight or not to fight

I am basically a person who loves peace and dislike fighting.

When I was a kid, my dad would enroll me in a 'martial art' class. The only thing that I enjoyed in the class was the 'warm-up exercises'. But after that, we would pair up, and let's say I would be last person to pair up, and I would pretty much be a 'punching bag' in those exercises, because I had no reason to fight.

I was miserable. My dad said, at least, I have a choice when it comes to fighting, because at least now, I know how to fight, and I can choose to fight or not to fight. It's a much better chance than those who do not know how to fight.

Soon, I had my chance. The neighborhood kids would stop me and want to fight me. I mostly declined, but they wouldn't accept it. They stopped me everyday, and if I don't fight them, they take things away from me, ie. my bike. Soon, they used my bike to ram into me and chased me.

At one point, I did get angry, and told them, stop me one more time, and I will fight them, except I will fight them to the death. I was hoping that the 'death' threat would stop them from harassing me, but it didn't. The next day, they did stop me, and true to my word, I did fight. Before I know it, I had the leader down in my arm. I could have strangled him to death. But in the end, I released him and asked to have my bike back.

I was afraid that they would still harass me since I didn't 'finish' the job. But they left me alone afterwards.

I learned from that episode that I have no desire to kill, although I was very angry. (I also learned that my anger can bring me to a point where I was ready to kill). Later, in the Vietnam War, when faced with a gun pointed at me for information from a stranger, I asked the stranger why would he want to kill me. But in the end, I leave the fate of my life in that stranger's hand, because I certainly don't want his death on my conscience even though I would be justified if I kill him since we are in a war. In the end, he walked away too, without killing anybody.

I do hope that one day we wake up and acknowledge that weapons have been a horrible creation and do away with it. It will take a lot of courage.

Since veteran day is coming up, I also have a few words to say. Many people advise me to say - 'Thank You', and that's what the soldiers want to hear. I would like to say - 'I am sorry you have to go through what you went through. War is ugly, and I hope you have healed from that experience.' If we really want to express our appreciation for our soldiers, we have to find ways to keep the peace, and keep them out of harm way, after all, they risked their lives to keep us out of harm way.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Church loses tax-exempt status

Churches fall under the non-profit status, and therefore, qualifies for tax exemption.

However, All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena is at risk of losing its tax-exempt status because of its anti-war sermon by Rev. George F Regas. Rev. George F Regas has spoken out against war in general, against the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, and now the Iraq War.

He criticized the war in Iraq, saying that Jesus would have told Bush, 'Mr. President, your doctrine of preemptive war is a failed doctrine. Forcible changing the regime of an enemy that posed no imminent threat has led to disaster.'

On June 9, the church received a letter from the IRS stating that federal tax code prohibits tax-exempt organizations, including churches, from intervening in political campaigns and elections. The IRS cited the sermon as a 'searing indictment of the Bush administration's policies in Iraq' and noted that the sermon described 'tax cuts as inimical to the values of Jesus'.

IRS said that if there was a confession of wrongdoing, they would not proceed to the exam stage. They would be willing not to revoke tax-exempt status if the church admitted intervening in an election.



The IRS may need to raise revenue, but this is not a good way.

Monday, November 07, 2005

CIA exemption from 'ban of torture'

It's appalling to learn that Cheney has asked Congress for CIA exemption from the 'ban of torture'. Why the special treatment? We are going down a slippery slope here.

We should not even contemplate about harming one another. I know we are in a war, and yet this is what we must think. We must be the light and stay bright in the times of darkness when there are a lot fears. Stay compassionate. When we look at another fellow human being, we must not think of them as a 'terrorist', but a fellow human being. When we look at them in that way, we draw the 'human being' out of them, which is compassionate as well. After all, humans are 'humane'. This is the challenge. Turn us back to a 'humane' society.