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Spirit of the day

Posted by Pelgrim on 2nd May 2011

Proverbs 16, 29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good

The path of the violent is violence and leads to violence.

The sermon on the mount

Mat 5:38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have [thy] cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more [than others]? do not even the publicans so?
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Perfect as in hebrew Tsaddik

Gen 6:9 These [are] the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man [and] perfect in his generations, [and] Noah walked with God.

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Celibrate life

Posted by Pelgrim on 17th March 2007

Statement Mariane Pearl, wife of killed journalist Daniel Pearl: 

“The more people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed spread fear, the more determined I am to resist by celebrating the values of humanism and dignity,”

“The only way to fight terrorism is to exercise self-control over the natural feelings of disgust and horror that his declarations provoke.” 

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Shake hands

Posted by Pelgrim on 1st December 2006

Mahatma GhandiYou can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.- Mahatma Ghandi

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Forgiveness

Posted by Pelgrim on 1st December 2006

Mahatma Ghandi“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” - Mahatma Ghandi

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NON-RESISTANCE

Posted by Pelgrim on 7th November 2006

Nonresistance (or non-resistance) discourages physical resistance to an enemy and is a subdivision of nonviolence. Strict practitioners of nonresistance refuse to retaliate against an opponent or offer any form of self-defense. Mahatma Gandhi defined it more broadly as seeking to return good for evil:

Quote Mahatma Ghandi - “My nonresistance is active resistance in a different plane. Nonresistance to evil does not mean absence of any resistance whatsoever but it means not resisting evil with evil but with good. Resistance, therefore, is transferred to a higher and absolutely effective plane.”

Leo Tolstoy, Adin Ballou and Mahatma Gandhi were notable advocates of nonresistance.

Christian theology

Christian nonresistance is based on a reading of the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus says:

KJV Mat 5, 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.  

Living nonresistance
Ammon Hennacy related this story of an incident which occurred in the 1930’s when he was a social worker in Milwaukee. He had gone to the home of a man who was on pain relief when the man pulled a knife on him.

He would prance around and swing his fist at me to frighten me and breathe down the back of my neck and tickle me with the point of his knife. I was not frightened for I had learned in solitary not to be afraid of anything. He threatened me on for nearly an hour. I did not answer back a word nor hang my head but looked him in the eye. Finally he came after me more energetically than before and said that I had to do something.  

I got up and said “I will do something, but not what you think.” I reached out my hand in a friendly manner saying “You are all right but you forget about it. I am not afraid of that false face you have on. I see the good man inside. If you want to knife me or knock me cold, go ahead. I won’t hit you back; go ahead. I dare you!” But I didn’t double dare him.

He shook my hand, and with the other hand was making passes to hit me in the face. I did not say anything more. Slowly his grip loosened and he went to the door and opened it, pulled up the blind and put the knife away.

“What I don’t see is why you don’t hit back.”

“That’s just what I want you to see,” I answered.

“Explain it.” He demanded.

“What is your strongest weapon? It is your big fist with a big knife. What is my weakest weapon? It is a little fist without a knife. What is my strongest weapon? It is the fact that I do not get excited; I do not boil over; some people call it spiritual power. What is your weakest weapon? It is your getting excited and boiling over and your lack of spiritual power. I would be dumb if I used my weakest weapon, my small fist without a knife, against your strongest weapon, your large fist with a knife. I am smart, so I use my strongest weapon, my quiet spiritual power against your weakest weapon, your excited manner, and I won, didn’t I?”

If I had told him, “Don’t hit or knife this good Christian anarchist who returns good for evil” he would have laughed at me. When I showed no fear and dared him to do me up, it woke him up to the reality and took his mind off his meanness. The good was in him the same as it was in the warden and the District Attorney, but it had to be brought out by the warmth of love which I showed, and not by the blustering wind which provoked only more bluster.

“And when do I go to court?”

“You won’t go to court. I don’t believe in courts; you have learned your lesson.”

When I left the house my knees were shaking from the strain although I had not wavered a bit all along.

Source: wikipedia

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TOLSTOY’S LETTER TO ERNEST HOWARD CROSBY

Posted by Pelgrim on 6th November 2006

TOLSTOY’S LETTER TO ERNEST HOWARD CROSBY
On Non-Resistance

January 12, 1896

Translated by Professor Leo Wiener (1905)

My Dear Crosby: — I am very glad to hear of your activity and that it is beginning to attract attention.  Fifty years ago Garrison’s proclamation of non-resistance only cooled people toward him, and the whole fifty years’ activity of Ballou in this direction was met with stubborn silence.  I read with great pleasure in *Peace* the beautiful ideas of the American authors in regard to non-resistance.  I make an exception only in the case of Mr. Bemis’s old, unfounded opinion, which calumniates Christ in assuming that Christ’s expulsion of the cattle from the temple means that he struck the men with a whip, and commanded his disciples to do likewise.

The ideas expressed by these writers, especially by H. Newton and G. Herron, are beautiful, but it is to be regretted that they do not answer the question which Christ put before men, but answer the question which the so-called orthodox teachers of the churches, the chief and most dangerous enemies of Christianity, have put in its place.

Mr. Higginson says that the law of non-resistance is not admissible as a general rule.  H. Newton says that the practical results of the application of Christ’s teaching will depend on the degree of faith which men will have in this teaching.  Mr. C. Martyn assumes that the stage at which we are is not yet suited for the application of the teaching about non-resistance.  G. Herron says that in order to fulfil the law of non-resistance, it is necessary to learn to apply it to life.  Mrs. Livermore says the same, thinking that the fulfilment of the law of non-resistance is possible only in the future.

All these opinions treat only the question as to what would happen to people if all were put to the necessity of fulfilling the law of non-resistance; but, in the first place, it is quite impossible to compel all men to accept the law of non-resistance, and, in the second, if this were possible, it would be a most glaring negation of the very principle which is being established.  To compel all men not to practise violence against others!  Who is going to compel men?

In the third place, and above all else, the question, as put by Christ, does not consist in this, whether non-resistance may become a universal law for all humanity, but what each man must do in order to fulfil his destiny, to save his soul, and do God’s work, which reduces itself to the same.

The Christian teaching does not prescribe any laws for all men; it does not say, “follow such and such rules under fear of punishment, and you will all be happy,” but explains to each separate man his position in the world and shows him what for him personally results from this position.  The Christian teaching says to each individual man that his life, if he recognizes his life to be his, and its aim, the worldly good of his personality or of the personalities of other men, can have no rational meaning, because this good, posited as the end of life, can never be attained, because, in the first place, all beings strive after the goods of the worldly life, and these goods are always attained by one set of beings to the detriment of others, so that every separate man cannot receive the desired good, but, in all probability, must even endure many unnecessary sufferings in his struggle for these unattained goods; in the second place, because if a man even attains the worldly goods, these, the more of them he attains, satisfy him less and less, and he wishes for more and more new ones; in the third place, mainly because the longer a man lives, the more inevitably do old age , diseases, and finally death, which destroys the possibility of any worldly good, come to him.

Thus, if a man considers his life to be his, and its end to be the worldly good, for himself or for other men, this life can have for him no rational meaning.  Life receives a rational meaning only when a man understands that the recognition of his life as his own, and the good of personality, of his own or of that of others, as its end, is an error, and that the human life does not belong to him, who has received this life from some one, but to Him who produced this life, and so its end must not consist in the attainment of his own good or of the good of others, but only in the fulfilment of the will of Him who produced it.  Only with such a comprehension of life does it receive a rational meaning, and its end, which consists in the fulfilment of God’s will, become attainable, and, above all, only with such a comprehension does man’s activity become clearly defined, and he no longer is subject to despair and suffering, which were inevitable with his former comprehension.

“The world and I in it,” such a man says to himself, “exist by the will of God.  I cannot know the whole world and my relation to it, but I can know what is wanted of me by God, who sent men into this world, endless in time and space, and therefore inaccessible to my understanding, because this is revealed to me in the tradition, that is, in the aggregate reason of the best people in the world, who lived before me, and in my reason, and in my heart, that is, in the striving of my whole being.

“In the tradition, the aggregate of the wisdom of all the best men, who lived before me, I am told that I must act toward others as I wish that others would act toward me; my reason tells me that the greatest good of men is possible only when all men will act likewise.

“My heart is at peace and joyful only when I abandon myself to the feeling of love for men, which demands the same.  And then I can not only know what I must do, but also the cause for which my activity is necessary and defined.

“I cannot grasp the whole divine work, for which the world exists and lives, but the divine work which is being accomplished in this world and in which I am taking part with my life is accessible to me.  This work is the destruction of the discord and of the struggle among men and other beings, and the establishment among men of the greatest union, concord, and love; this work is the realization of what the Jewish prophets promised, saying that the time will come when all men shall be taught the truth, when the spears shall be forged into pruning-hooks, and the scythes and swords into ploughshares, and when the lion shall lie with the lamb.”

Thus, the man of the Christian comprehension of life not only knows how he must act in life, but also what he must do

He must do what contributes to the establishment of the kingdom of God in the world.  To do this, a man must fulfil the inner demands of God’s will, that is, he must act amicably toward others, as he would like others to do to him.  Thus the inner demands of a man’s soul coincide with that external end of life which is placed before him.

And here though we have an indication which is so clear to a man of the Christian comprehension, and incontestable from two sides, as to what the meaning and end of human life consists in, and how a man must act, and what he must do, and what not, there appear certain people, who call themselves Christians, who decide that in such and such cases a man must depart from God’s law and the common cause of life, which are given to him, and must act contrary to the law and the common cause of life, because, according to their ratiocination, the consequences of the acts committed according to God’s law may be profitless and disadvantageous for men.

Man, according to the Christian teaching, is God’s workman.  The workman does not know his master’s whole business, but the nearest aim to be attained by his work is revealed to him, and he is given definite indications as to what he should do; especially definite are the indications as to what he must not do, in order that he may not work against the aim for the attainment of which he was sent to work.  In everything else he is given complete liberty.  And so for a man who has grasped the Christian conception of life the meaning of his life is clear and rational, and he cannot have a moment of wavering as to how he should act in life and what he ought to do, in order to fulfil the destiny of his life.

According to the law given him in the tradition, in his reason, and in his heart, a man must always act toward another as he wishes to have done to him:  he must contribute to the establishment of love and union among men; but according to the decision of these far-sighted people, a man must, while the fulfilment of the law, according to their opinion, is still premature, do violence, deprive of liberty, kill people, and with this contribute, not to union of love, but to the irritation and enragement of people.  It is as though a mason, who is put to do certain definite work, who knows that he is taking part with others in the building of a house, and who has a clear and indubitable command from the master himself that is to lay a wall, should receive the command from other masons like him, who, like him, do not know the general plan of the structure and what is useful for the common work, to stop laying the wall, and to undo the work of the others.

Wonderful delusion!  The being that breathes today and disappears tomorrow, that has one definite, incontestable law given to him, as to how he is to pass his short term of life, imagines that he knows what is necessary and useful and appropriate for all men, for the whole world, for that world which moves without cessation, and goes on developing, and in the name of this usefulness, which is differently understood by each of them, he prescribes to himself and to others for a time to depart from the unquestionable law, which is given to him and to all men, and not to act toward all men as he wants others to act toward him, not to bring love into the world, but to practise violence, to deprive of freedom, to punish, to kill, to introduce malice into the world, when it is found that this is necessary.  And he enjoins us to do so knowing that the most terrible cruelties, tortures, murders of men, from the Inquisitions and punishments and terrors of all the revolutions to the present bestialities of the anarchists and the massacres of them, have all proceeded from this, that men suppose that they know what people and the world need; knowing that at any given moment there are always two opposite parties, each of which asserts that it is necessary to use violence against the opposite party, — the men of state against the anarchists, the anarchists against the men of state; the English against the Americans, the Americans against the English; the English against the Germans; and so forth, in all possible combinations and permutations.

Not only does a man of the Christian concept of life see clearly by reflection that there is no ground whatever for his departure from the law of his life, as clearly indicated to him by God, in order to follow the accidental, frail, frequently contradictory demands of men; but if he has been living the Christian life for some time, and has developed in himself the Christian moral sensitiveness, he can positively not act as people demand that he shall, not only as the result of reflection, but also of feeling.

As it is for many men of our world impossible to subject a child to torture and to kill it, though such a torture may save a hundred other people, so a whole series of acts becomes impossible for a man who has developed the Christian sensitiveness of his heart in himself.  A Christian, for example, who is compelled to take part in court proceedings, where a man may be sentenced to capital punishment, to take part in matters of forcible seizure of other people’s property, in discussions about the declaration of war, or in preparations for the same, to say nothing of war itself, finds himself in the same position in which a good man would be, if he were compelled to torture or kill a child.  It is not that he decides by reflection what he ought not to do, but that he cannot do what is demanded of him, because for a man there exists the moral impossibility, just as there is a physical impossibility, of committing certain acts.  Just as it is impossible for a man to lift up a mountain, as it is impossible for a good man to kill a child, so it is impossible for a man who lives a Christian life to take part in violence.  Of what significance for such a man can be the reflections that for some imaginary good he must do what has become morally impossible for him?

How, then, is a man to act when he sees the obvious harm of following the law of love and the law of non-resistance, which results from it?  How is a man to act — this example is always adduced — when a robber in his sight kills or injures a child, and when the child cannot be saved otherwise than by killing the robber?

It is generally assumed that, when they adduce such an example, there can be no other answer to the question than that the robber ought to be killed, in order that the child be saved.  But this answer is given so emphatically and so quickly only because we are not only in the habit of acting in this manner in the case of the defence of a child, but also in the case of the expansion of the borders of a neighbouring state to the detriment of our own, or in the case of the transportation of lace across the border, or even in the case of the defence of the fruits of our garden against depredations by passers-by.

It is assumed that it is necessary to kill the robber in order to save the child, but we need only stop and think on what ground a man should act thus, be he a Christian or a non-Christian, to convince ourselves that such an act can have no rational foundations, and is considered necessary only because two thousand years ago such a mode of action was considered just and people were in the habit of acting thus.  Why should a non-Christian, who does not recognize God and the meaning of life in the fulfilment of His will, kill the robber, in defending the child?  To say nothing of this, that in killing the robber he is certainly killing, but does not know for certain until the very last moment whether the robber will kill the child or not, to say nothing of this irregularity:  who has decided that the life of the child is more necessary and better than the life of the robber?

If a non-Christian does not recognize God, and does not consider the meaning of life to consist in the fulfilment of God’s will, it is only calculation, that is, the consideration as to what is more profitable for him and for all men, the continuation of the robber’s life or that of the child, which guides the choice of his acts.  But to decide this, he must know what will become of the child which he saves, and what would become of the robber if he did not kill him.  But that he cannot know.  And so, if he is a non- Christian, he has not rational foundation for saving the child through the death of the robber.

But if the man is a Christian, and so recognizes God and sees the meaning of life in the fulfilment of His will, no matter what terrible robber may attack any innocent and beautiful child, he has still less cause to depart from the law given him by God and to do to the robber what the robber wants to do to the child; he may implore the robber, may place his body between the robber and his victim, but there is one thing he cannot do, — he cannot consciously depart from the law of God, the fulfilment of which forms the meaning of his life.  It is very likely that, as the result of his bad bringing up and of his animality, a man, being a pagan or a Christian, will kill the robber, not only in the defence of the child, but also in his own defence or in the defence of his purse, but that will by no means signify that it is right to do so, that it is right to accustom ourselves and others to think that that ought to be done.

This will only mean that, in spite of the external education and Christianity, the habits of the stone age are still strong in man, that he is capable of committing acts which have long ago been disavowed by his consciousness.  A robber in my sight is about to kill a child and I can save it by killing the robber; consequently it is necessary under certain conditions to resist evil with violence.

A man is in danger of his life and can be saved only through my lie; consequently it is necessary in certain cases to lie.  A man is starving, and I cannot save him otherwise than by stealing; consequently it is necessary in certain cases to steal.

I lately read a story by Coppee, in which an orderly kills his officer, who has his life insured, and thus saves his honour and the life of his family.  Consequently in certain cases it is right to kill.

Such imaginary cases and the conclusions drawn from them prove only this, that there are men who know that it is not right to steal, to lie, to kill, but who are so loath to stop doing this that they use all the efforts of their mind in order to justify their acts.  There does not exist a moral rule for which it would be impossible to invent a situation when it would be hard to decide which is more moral, the departure from the rule or its fulfilment.  The same is true of the question of non-resistance to evil:  men know that it is bad, but they are so anxious to live by violence, that they use all the efforts of their mind, not for the elucidation of all the evil which is produced by man’s recognition of the right to do violence to others, but for the defence of this right.  But such invented cases in no way prove that the rules about not lying, stealing, killing are incorrect. 

“*Fais ce que doit, advienne que pourra*, — do what is right, and let come what may,” — is an expression of profound wisdom.  Each of us knows unquestionably what he ought to do, but none of us knows or can know what will happen.  Thus we are brought to the same, not only by this, that we must do what is right, but also by this, that we know what is right, and do not know at all what will come and result from our acts.

The Christian teaching is a teaching as to what a man must do for the fulfilment of the will of Him who sent him into the world.  But the reflections as to what consequences we assume to result from such or such acts of men not only have nothing in common with Christianity, but are that very delusion which destroys Christianity.

No one has yet seen the imaginary robber with the imaginary child, and all the horrors, which fill history and contemporary events, have been produced only because men imagine that they can know the consequences of the possible acts.

How is this?  Men used to live a beastly life, violating and killing all those whom it was advantageous for them to violate and kill, and even eating one another, thinking that that was right.  Then there came a time, when, thousands of years ago, even in the time of Moses, there appeared the consciousness in men that it was bad to violate and kill one another.  But there were some men for whom violence was advantageous, and they did not recognize the fact, and assured themselves and others that it was not always bad to violate and kill men, but that there were cases when this was necessary, useful, and even good.  And acts of violence and murder, though not as frequent and cruel, were continued, but with this difference, that those who committed them justified them on the ground of usefulness to men.  It was this false justification of violence that Christ arraigned.  He showed that, since every act of violence could be justified as actually happens, when two enemies do violence to one another and both consider their violence justifiable, and there is no chance of verifying the justice of the determination of either, it is necessary not to believe in any justifications of violence, and under no condition, as at first was thought right by humanity, is it necessary to make use of them.

It would seem that men who profess Christianity would have carefully to unveil this deception, because in the unveiling of this deception does one of the chief manifestations of Christianity consist.  But the very opposite has happened:  men to whom violence was advantageous, and who did not want to give up these advantages, took upon themselves the exclusive propaganda of Christianity, and, preaching it, asserted that, since there are cases in which the non-application of violence produces more evil than its application (the imaginary robber who kills the child), we must not fully accept Christ’s teaching about non-resistance to evil, and that we may depart from this teaching in the defence of our lives and of those of other men, in the defense of our country, the protection of society from madmen and malefactors, and in many other cases.  But the decision of the question as to when Christ’s teaching ought to be set aside was left to those very men who made use of violence.  Thus Christ’s teaching about non-resistance to evil turned out to be absolutely set aside, and, what is worse than all that, those very men whom Christ arraigned began to consider themselves the exclusive preachers and expounders of His teaching.  But the light shineth in the dark, and the false preachers of Christianity are again arraigned by His teaching.

We can think of the structure of the world as we please, we may do what is advantageous and agreeable for us to do, and use violence against people under the pretext of doing good to men, but it is absolutely impossible to assert that, in doing so, we are professing Christ’s teaching, because Christ arraigned that very deception.  The truth will sooner or later be made manifest, and will arraign the deceivers, even as it does now.

Let only the question of the human life be put correctly, as it was put by Christ, and not as it was corrupted by the churches, and all the deceptions which by the churches have been heaped on Christ’s teaching will fall of their own accord.

The question is not whether it will be good or bad for human society to follow the law of love and the resulting law of non- resistance, but whether you — a being that lives today and is dying by degrees tomorrow and every moment — will now, this very minute, fully do the will of Him who sent you and clearly expressed it in tradition and in your reason and heart, or whether you want to act contrary to this will.  As soon as the question is put in this form, there will be but one answer:  I want at once, this very minute, without any delay, without waiting for anyone, and without considering the seeming consequences, with all my strength to fulfil what alone I am indubitably commanded to do by Him who sent me into the world, and in no case, under no condition, will I, can I, do what is contrary to it, because in this lies the only possibility of my rational, unwretched life.

January 12, 1896.

http://cyberspacei.com/jesusi/authors/tolstoy/non-resistance.htm

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Tolstoj - The command of non-resistance and the mystery

Posted by Pelgrim on 27th October 2006

I was recently reading the Fifth Chapter of Matthew with a Jewish Rabbi. At almost every sentence the Rabbi said, ‘That is in the Jewish Canon. That is in the Talmud’, and he pointed out to me in the Old Testament and the Talmud dicta very similar to the dicta of the Sermon on the Mount. But when we came to the verse about non-resistance to him that is evil he did not say, ‘And that is in the Talmud’, but only ironically asked me: ‘Do the Christians fulfill that? Do they turn the other cheek ?’

I had no reply, especially as I knew that at that very time Christians were not only not turning the other cheek, but were striking cheeks the Jews had turned. But I was interested to know whether there was anything similar in the Old Testament or in the Talmud, and I asked him about this. He replied: ‘No, it is not there. But tell me whether the Christians fulfill this law.’ By this question he showed me that the presence of this rule in the Christian law, which not only is not performed by anyone, but which Christians themselves admit to be impracticable, is an admission of the irrationality and superfluity of the Christian law. And I had no reply to give him.

Now having understood the meaning of this teaching, I see clearly the strange internal contradiction with which I was faced. Having admitted Christ to be God and his law to be divine, and having at the same time arranged my life in contra­diction to the teaching, what was left me but to ad­mit that the teaching was impracticable? In words I admitted the teaching of Christ to be holy, in prac­tice I professed a quite unchristian teaching and admitted and submitted to unchristian institutions which surrounded me on all sides.

The whole of the Old Testament says that the misfortunes of the Jewish people were the effect of their believing in false gods and not in the true God. Samuel, in his First Book, chapters viii and xii, told the people that to all their former disobedience they had added a new one. Instead of God who had been their King they had chosen a man-king, whom they thought would save them. Do not believe in ‘vain things’, says Samuel to the people (xii. 21). It cannot help you or save you because it is ‘vain’-  empty. That you may not perish together with your king, cling to the one God.

And it was faith in that ‘vain thing’, in empty idols, that hid the truth from me. On the path to it, hiding its light from me, stood those ‘vain things’ which I had not strength to reject.

Tolstoj - What I believe, Chapter II The command of non-resistance
http://cyberspacei.com/jesusi/light/wib/wib02.htm

Mark 10, 27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

KJV Ef 3, 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery;

KJV Ef 3, 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

KJV Col 1, 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

KJV Isaiah 53 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.  thou…: or, his soul shall make an offering
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

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Awakening consciousness

Posted by Pelgrim on 26th September 2006

There is no greater paradox,
then the awakening to a higher self,
for paradoxically it is losing the self,
in the realization that all is part of the higher self,
the higher state of being.

Exodus 3, 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

Luke 17, 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

For that to happen one must first awaken to the realization that there is a higher reality.
A most perilous path for most will fall to the religious state, the law-man state. The belief that one will be saved by self-righteousness in the following of the law.
Instead one needs to learn that we are not saved by the letter of the law, but by the spirit of the law. The law makes sin know to us. We are called to fulfill the law by written it on our hearts, to love the other as oneself, a higher nature from which the law follows.

Is it possible with man to turn the other check? To not fight evil with evil? To love thy enemy? To love the other as oneself?

Mat 19, 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
 
On the road to the higher self the mind has to give in to the experience, to surrender its precepts, air castles, ego and instead be infused with His inner light. Once the higher reality dawns, the things of this world turn out to be the vanity of vanities. 

Mat 6, 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Mat 13, 44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

The awakening to the higher self is also the reason behind the speaking in parables by Jesus, the reason of the meaning given to those within, those that hear and see, and those still outside.
The Gospel calls the awakening to the higher self the baptism with the spirit, the spiritual state or true Christianity as John Wesley called it.

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Nuclear Weapons are Morally Indefensible

Posted by Pelgrim on 25th September 2006

The religion of Rev. Jerry Falwell, Moral Majority founder and defender of the planting of nuclear missiles under the Reagan administration, paradoxically in a time of disarmament with Russia. He is currently a proponent of the First Strike Policy adapted under the G.W. Bush administration. He lost the debate with New Sealand PM D. Lange.

DAVID LANGE, Oxford Union debate, 1985 | Oct 14, 2004 22:38

Most New Zealanders watched David Lange contest and win the 1985 Oxford Union debate, arguing the proposition that “nuclear weapons are morally indefensible” with a mixture of pride and astonishment. After decades of knowing our place, and several years of government by homunculus, suddenly we had a Prime Minister who could stride the international stage with insouciance. And briefly, we seemed to matter.

Although New Zealand’s nuclear-free policy did not become law until 1987, it was integral to early years of the fourth Labour government. The 1984 snap election that made Lange Prime Minister was called by Robert Muldoon when National MP Marilyn Waring withdrew her support for her party over the issue of nuclear ship visits. Labour won the election with a nuclear ban as a flagship policy.

The policy was popular among New Zealanders, but not without cost. Our relationship with the US deteriorated in the early weeks of 1985. On the same journey that took him to Oxford, Lange, four days before the debate, met with a US State Department official who outlined the retaliatory measures that the US would be taking against New Zealand. The ANZUS alliance of which New Zealand had been part since 1951 was effectively cancelled at that meeting.

New Zealand’s anti-nuclear stance had long been infused with, as Jock Philips has put it, “a postcolonial yearning for a new nationalism”. So that was at stake as Lange prepared for the debate. The recording of his speech, in opposition to a team led by Moral Majority founder and Reagan confidant the Rev. Jerry Falwell, remains a remarkable document.

Lange was accorded a standing ovation - almost unprecedented, apparently - from both sides of the house as he approached the dispatch box. His booming voice and idiosyncratic, commanding phrasing, cannot be captured here, except through best efforts with punctuation.

The basis of this transcript is the official speech notes kept by the Parliamentary library, which we have retyped and archived here. But while the notes ran to 2000 words, the transcript below is well over 4000. In the speech, Lange is at his best sailing back after occasional interjections, impassioned and lucid. We believe this is the first published transcript of this important speech.

Update: the audio of this speech has now been made available with the kind permission of TVNZ.

Nuclear Weapons are Morally Indefensible
(Argument for the affirmative, Oxford Union, 1 March 1985)
Rt Hon David Lange
Prime Minister

Mr President, honourable members of the union, ladies and gentlemen … in fact if I could greet straight away - because I understand there is a direct feed to the White House tonight - if I could greet the President of the United States, who is of course of the very genesis of the proposition we are debating tonight.

A quote in Time magazine last year, an assertion by the President of the United States that nuclear weapons were immoral; his avowal reiterated in January this year in a statement over the space initiative known as SDI. And there again, he asserted that this system of the nuclear stare-out can not be sustained morally.

May I say to the honourable gentleman who preceded me, there is nothing of what I am about to say which has been conditioned in any way by my meeting with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom yesterday …

[Laughter]

I did not meet her yesterday …

[Laughter and applause]

I am meeting her on Monday. But I know the apprehension that he feels at his constant fear of being summoned to that carpet …

[Laughter]

I also feel a considerable sympathy for the members of the opposite side, who have this extraordinary sense of destabilisation at the imminent prospect of peace breaking out.

The character of the argument, sir, is something which I find regrettable. So I can say very simply that it is my conviction that there is no moral case for nuclear weapons. That the best defence which can be made of their existence and the threat of their use is, as we have heard tonight, that they are a necessary evil; an abhorrent means to a desirable end.

I hold that the character of nuclear weapons is such that their very existence corrupts the best of intentions; that the means in fact perverts the end. And I hold that their character is such that they have brought us to the greatest of all perversions: the belief that this evil is necessary - as it has been stated tonight - when in fact it is not.

And I make my case against nuclear weapons the more vigorously because I distinguish between them and all other forms of coercive or deterrent power. I’ve got no case to make against the policeman’s truncheon. And the people tonight who have argued that you must go to the ultimate in force every time you seek to embark upon it, is of course a surrender to the worst of morality.

I accept, and do not wish to be heard arguing here against any proposition that the state must arm itself with military force to protect its citizens against aggression or to defend the weak and the helpless against aggression.

But I do not accept that the state must for those reasons arm itself with nuclear weapons. That is a case I do not easily or lightly make in Europe where governments have held it their duty to arm themselves with nuclear weapons. I do not doubt for one moment the quality of the intention which led to that decision or that series of decisions.

And I freely acknowledge that that decision is pursued in good conscience with the honourable intention of preserving the life and freedom of the people of Western Europe. Because those governments are faced with the close presence of an alien and relentlessly oppressive regime and obviously feel it their duty to prepare for their own defence by membership in what for most governments’ policy now is straightforwardly a nuclear alliance. That is an assessment I understand and I do not come here to argue for any proposition in favour of unilateral disarmament.

And if I make that acknowledgement, I must then deal with the argument that it is the intention which determines the moral character of the action. My contention is very simply that the character of nuclear weapons is such that it is demonstrably the case that they subvert the best of intentions. And the snuggling up to the nuclear arsenal which has gone on with my friends on the opposite side tonight shows at what level of sophistication and refinement that subversion takes place.

There is, Mr President, a quality of irrationality about nuclear weapons which does not sit well with good intentions. A system of defence serves its purpose if it guarantees the security of those it protects. A system of nuclear defence guarantees only insecurity. The means of defence terrorise as much as the threat of attack. In Europe, it is impossible to be unaware of the intensity of military preparedness. In New Zealand, the visitor must make an effort to find a military installation or indeed any sign of military activity, although it does exist. There is no imperative in New Zealand to prepare for war; the result is that I feel safer in Wellington than I ever could in London or New York or Oxford.

The fact is that Europe and the United States are ringed about with nuclear weapons, and your people have never been more at risk. There is simply only one thing more terrifying than nuclear weapons pointed in your direction and that is nuclear weapons pointed in your enemy’s direction: the outcome of their use would be the same in either case, and that is the annihilation of you and all of us. That is a defence which is no defence; it is a defence which disturbs far more than it reassures. The intention of those who for honourable motives use nuclear weapons to deter is to enhance security. Notwithstanding that intention, they succeed only in enhancing insecurity. Because the machine has perverted the motive. The President of the United States has acknowledged that, notwithstanding that my honourable friend opposite does not, and the weapon has installed mass destruction as the objective of the best-intentioned.

The weapon simply has its own relentless logic, and it is inhuman. It is the logic of escalation, the logic of the arms race. Nuclear weapons make us insecure, and to compensate for our insecurity we build and deploy more nuclear weapons. We know that we are seized by irrationality - and every now and then some new generation technology comes in, the argument for which is that it will cause us to draw back from the nuclear precipice. And we are seeing right now another initiative, under a new title: the title of course in dispute as much as its efficiency will be. And that, Mr President, is the story of the whole saga of the nuclear escalation.

We know, all of us, that it is wholly without logic or reason, any sense at all, to have the means at the disposal of two particular sets of powers to turn this world into rubble time and time again. And yet in spite of that awareness, the world watches as two enormous machines enhance, refine their capacity to inflict destruction on each other and on all of us.

Every nuclear development, whatever its strategic or tactical significance, has only one result, and that is to add to an arsenal which is already quite beyond reason.

There is an argument in defence of the possession of nuclear weapons which holds that the terror created by the existence of those weapons is in itself the fulfilment of a peaceful purpose: the argument advanced here tonight that that 50 million killed over four years by concerted war in a conventional sense in Europe, and the argument that somehow the existence of this mutually assured destruction phenomenon has since that time preserved this planet from destruction.

It is I think probably an example of northern hemisphere or European arrogance that we overlook now the 30 million people in this world who have died in wars since then - while we are apparently beset from the two super-powers by a system designed to have people stop killing each other.

I believe that the fear they inspire is not a justification for their existence.

INTERJECTION: Sir, the one area of the world do you refer to then? How have those casualties in that area defended by nuclear deterrence? Namely Europe. Not one of those 30 million lived in Europe.

Have you considered the proposition for one moment that that war, that cost those casualties might have entrenched within people the yearning for peace, the growth of democratic institutions, the accountability of political representatives, so that none wishes to wage in conventional or nuclear terms, any war? Why attribute to the presence of that awesome potential clash of firepower a stability which your politicians have been arguing they created?

You can’t have it both ways! Either you are hailing a new, United Europe, matching to glory and to the exclusion of certain primary production from other countries …

[Laughter]

Or you have it there simply because you have counterpoised this terrible means of destruction … I’m want to pass over … yeah?

[Laughter]

INTERJECTION: Mr Lange Sir, if I may address you as ‘mate’, perhaps. You talk about the quality of rationality. Now I’ve heard many reasons advanced for keeping American sailors out of ports - it usually has something to do with the honour of the women involved, or the property value of the ports. What I should like to know, sir, is why you don’t do the honourable and the consistent thing, and pull out of the ANZUS alliance. For whether you are snuggling up to the bomb, or living in the peaceful shadow of the bomb, New Zealand benefits, sir. And that’s the question with which we charge you. And that’s the question with which we would like an answer, sir.

And I’m going to give it to you if you hold your breath just for a moment … I can smell the uranium on it as you lean forward!

[Laughter]

I want to pass over here the preparations which are constantly being made for the winnable or even survivable nuclear war. I would ignore those and wholeheartedly embrace the logic of the unthinkable war if it could be established that the damage which could result from the collapse of that logic could be confined to nuclear weapon states. Unfortunately and demonstrably, it would not. We in New Zealand, you know, used to be able to relax a bit, to be able to think that we would sit comfortably while the rest of the world seared, singed, withered. We were enraptured!

[Laughter]

And the fact is that we used to have the reputation of being some kind of an antipodean Noah’s Ark, which would from within its quite isolated, preserve, spawn a whole new world of realistic human kind. Now, the fact is that we know that that is not achievable. We know that if the nuclear winter comes, we freeze, we join the rest of you. And that means that there is now a total denouement as far as any argument in favour of moral purpose goes. It is a strange, dubious and totally unaccepted moral purpose which holds the whole of the world to ransom.

There is another assertion of the good moral character of nuclear weapons which holds that they are the armour of good against evil. The argument of the Crusaders; the people who took to arms. The evil which cannot be defeated by persuasion or example must needs be suppressed by annihilation. The obvious difficulty here is that evil has declined to be subdued; evil has not accepted annihilation.

The church and its representatives have been going at it now for 2000 years - and it persists. Every attempt to subdue it strengthens its resolve to arm itself further. And the will of the good in weaponry’s terms is corrupted by the terrible force of the weapon, into the will of the evil.

And all of us, wherever we are, whatever we believe, live in fear of nuclear weapons. There is a community of interest which binds us all to common ground, which is there so that we all wish to see the elimination of nuclear weapons.

The President of the United States speaks in terms of the elimination of nuclear weapons. Yet nuclear weapons proliferate. The budgets for their creation expand. They in fact govern us. Their existence diverts attention from the fact that there are other ways of resolving the difficulties and tensions which will always abound in the world. Nuclear weapons are not needed.

All the arguments which can be brought forward in support of this evil come to nothing in the fact of its ultimate irrelevance. I don’t make that assertion because I have some simple South Pacific - as you put it, grand gesture - answer to the question of the existence of nuclear weapons: all of you in Europe know that negotiating an end to nuclear weapons could hardly be more difficult. And then you have the hide to come here and say that New Zealand’s stance is somehow threatening the strength of the West in Geneva. And then others criticise us because they say our position has not reduced by one the number of nuclear weapons in the world. You can’t have it both ways!

Either the West goes to Geneva girt about with the hardware it had a month ago, or it doesn’t. And it does - and in that nuclear stare-out, there will be a blink - I pray - and there can be a climb-back. But you know you can’t wholeheartedly support the argument in favour of the superpowers negotiating control of them while nuclear powers embrace the logic of escalation.

INTERJECTION: Sir, there are many of us here tonight who are very impressed by your courage and idealism. But on the other side of the house, from which I come, there are many of us indeed who cannot but remember that this debate is only taking place because hundreds of thousands of your fellow countrymen were prepared to give their lives so that we might live in freedom. And the accusation which those of us who would be your friends and supporters still must make against you is to express our scepticism that you are substituting idealism - a very fragile idealism - for the very secure reality that we have gained through long years of struggle. And I put that to you that that is the real subject we are debating tonight. And I would ask you to answer it.

[Applause]

The simple fact is that I make no pretence that the problem which confronted New Zealand is that same as that which confronts Western Europe. And you point out - and you have the right to point out, and I am glad that you did, notwithstanding that you allege that you oppose me - that people from New Zealand, a country which has never been attacked, have willingly taken up arms in Europe. They have died in African campaigns, they have their bones bleaching in deserts, they are buried in Italy. They have fought in Vietnam. We have forces right now in Sinai. We have a battalion in Singapore where the British used to be!

And the fact is we do not shrink from that responsibility. We never have, and we are not going to. The fact is that we do not choose, we do not choose to be unilateral armers. It makes no sense for a country to surround its waters or to invite into its ports or country nuclear weapons, when there is no balance to be achieved. The balances there now, there are none. And we don’t propose to deter enemies which do not yet exist.

And I ask you to consider that as a fundamental reality of the New Zealand position. And the people of New Zealand reached a very straightforward conclusion: that nuclear weapons which would defend them; they believed, caused them more alarm than any which threatened them, and accordingly, they deem it pointless to be defended by them. And the speakers for the negative who asked the question, are we prepared to have a nuclear umbrella from the United States in terms of an ANZUS arrangement … the answer to that is very simply, very definitely, is not only are we [not] prepared to accept it, we deny it, we refuse it and we specifically say - we do not want to be defended by nuclear weapons!

[Applause]

Because we by that avoid the risk of escalating our area into a nuclear zone. You see, in the South Pacific, it’s not difficult to achieve the balance of force which allows you with that cheerfulness to dispense with nuclear weapons.

INTERJECTION: Sir, I would just like to say, don’t you feel that you should weigh your moral stance with the pernicious effects it will have not only on Asian security, but western security as a whole? Particularly in light of the fact that there are movements in Japan, Australia and NATO itself, that would like to pull out, and use your precedent as an example, and pull out of their responsibilities to the alliance. And I for one as an American do not feel that we should shoulder the defence of the western world. And I think it’s something that everybody should contribute to and you, sir, are not doing your part

This country New Zealand is not going to contribute to a nuclear alliance. This country New Zealand never has. New Zealand was declared by the former government to be no part of a nuclear alliance - and we will pick up the tab by conventional defence. And one of the immoralities of nuclear weaponry, surely, is that it creates such a level of depersonalisation that the infinite capacity of destruction is unleashed by a few. Much more is there a moral posture in the conventional event where the humanity of a situation has to be constantly assessed, and where there is always a possibility of restraint, because individual people say, dammit, I’m not going to go ahead and do that, because it is absolutely immoral, contrary to the whole ethos of humankind, to do that. You don’t get the checks and balances along the nuclear trail.

And in my country, we pay our tab. We are not creating a policy for imitation or export. We can’t even deport it to Australia! It’s 1200 miles away! And if you think that Belgium and Holland and Greece developed a certain posture, an undercurrent, a surge because of the New Zealand position, you do us a considerable flattery about our omnipotence, because, you, know, we didn’t even know they were even thinking about it! And we are no threat to that.

I say to you we are prepared to pay that price. We have a long history of being anti-nuclear. One of my predecessors in office sent those ships to Mururoa. We’ve had the fight in the legal areas. We are constantly at issue with France. We proposed in ‘75 a South Pacific Zone. We are going to work to protect that this year. We have honoured our long-standing commitments. We’ve not welshed on any deals for defence. We are in Singapore with a battalion where Britain was, and we going to see that we contribute to regional security and stability.

And what has happened to New Zealand since the Labour government was elected last year and began to implement its long-established policy - you know, one of the most amazing things about expectations of world governments, is that first they assume that the opposition’s policy is infinitely flexible, and then they immediately assume that when you get into government you’ll do a u-turn. Well, we are not infinitely flexible, and we’ve done no u-turn, and we’ve done exactly what we’ve said we’d do. And that of course is terribly destabilising …

[Laughter]

Because it makes it so difficult to read all the signs. But what essentially has happened is a demonstration of how nuclear weapons have assumed a moral life of their own.

We have never been part of strategic defence. The only nuclear weapons which presumably were brought by our allies to New Zealand in the past have been tactical weapons. We decided we didn’t want to be part of someone’s tactical nuclear battle. It’s just about as bad as being part of somebody else’s strategic nuclear battle. But that has not in any way diminished the deterrent power of the Western alliance. We have not given comfort to the Soviet bloc. We have not undermined the West.

But the result has been that we have been told by some officials in the United States administration that our decision is not, as they put it, to be cost-free; that we are in fact to be made to pay for our action. Not by our enemies, but by our friends. We are in fact to be made an example of; we are to be ostracised, we are to be convicted of some form of heresy and put on probation. We are going to be kept there until we are compelled to resume our seat in the dress circle of the nuclear theatre.

We have been told that because others in the West - and their advocates are here tonight - carry the fearful burden of a defence which terrorises as much as the threat it counters, we too must carry that burden. We are actually told that New Zealanders cannot decide for themselves how to defend New Zealand, but are obliged to adopt the methods which others use to defend themselves.

Lord Carrington [the Secretary-General of NATO] made a case in Copenhagen recently against the creation of nuclear weapon free zones. He argued that if the people of the United States - as advocated by my friend over there - found themselves bearing the burden alone, they would tire of bearing it. Now that is exactly the point. Genuine agreement[s] about the control of nuclear weapons do not cede the advantage to one side or the other: they enhance security, they do not diminish it. And if such arrangements can be made, and such agreements reached, then those who remain outside those arrangements might well and truly tire of their insecurity. They will reject the logic of the weapon and they will assert their essential humanity. They will look for arms control agreements which are real and verifiable.

And there’s no humanity at all in the logic which holds that my country, New Zealand, must be obliged to play host to nuclear weapons because others in the West are playing host to nuclear weapons. That is the logic which refuses to admit that there is any alternative to nuclear weapons, when plainly there is.

It is self-defeating logic, just as the weapons themselves are self-defeating: to compel an ally to accept nuclear weapons against the wishes of that ally is to take the moral position of totalitarianism, which allows for no self-determination, and which is exactly the evil that we are supposed to be fighting against.

[Applause]

Any claim to a moral justification for the West’s possession of nuclear weapons is thereby eliminated. In those circumstances we would be no better than they are.

The great strength of the West, in fact, lies not in the force of arms - although some would seek under the cover of a benign democracy to argue that it is in fact the force of arms - but it lies in its free and democratic systems of government.

That is why, in spite of all the difficulties and disagreements which we have amongst friends and allies, I am not disheartened. I came to Great Britain by way of the United States, where I put my case to the American people through the news media without any kind of hindrance from the United States Administration.

Members of Her Majesty’s Government have made it plain to me that they do not hold with the views I am committed to. I in fact have heard those before. The other night I heard them from Washington. They were compelling. They were a restatement of the United Kingdom position, and they were said with such candour and frankness that they seemed to persist even after the volume had been turned off. They were done with a strength and a purpose and a vigour.

I want to say that notwithstanding that difference, I have felt welcome here. I have been freely able to express my views. I can say freely whatever I please. Just as any member of Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom would be welcome in New Zealand to expound any line of argument in any forum she cared to use. That is the true strength of the West.

And that is a strength which is threatened, not defended, by nuclear weapons. The appalling character of those weapons has robbed us of our right to determine our destiny and subordinates our humanity to their manic logic. They have subordinated reason to irrationality and placed our very will to live in hostage. Rejecting the logic of nuclear weapons does not mean surrendering to evil; evil must still be guarded against. Rejecting nuclear weapons is to assert what is human over the evil nature of the weapon; it is to restore to humanity the power of the decision; it is to allow a moral force to reign supreme. It stops the macho lurch into mutual madness.

And for me, the position of my country is a genuine long-term affirmation of this proposition: that nuclear weapons are morally indefensible. And I support that proposition.

[Applause - standing ovation]

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This transcript is copyright to Public Address. It was prepared by Russell Brown and Fiona Rae, with the consent of David Lange. Thanks are due to Radio New Zealand’s Sound Archives/Nga Taonga Korero (File: Media Numbers T4705 to T4708), Infofind, the Parliamentary Library and Barry Hartley. GREAT NEW ZEALAND ARGUMENT IS SPONSORED BY KARAJOZ COFFEE COMPANY.©2002-2005 PublicAddress.net, all rights reserved.©2002-2005 PublicAddress.net, all rights reserved.

©2002-2005 PublicAddress.net, all rights reserved.

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The holiest of books, the book of life

Posted by Pelgrim on 25th September 2006

No book is holy enough to kill for,
as the holiest book of all,
the One book written by God,
is the book of Life, our DNA

The Ten commandments written on stone tablets for both Jew, Christian, and Muslim:

Exodus 20: 1-17; Deuteronomy 5: 6-21
Thou shalt not kill

Quran 7.145
And We ordained for him in the tablets
admonition of every kind and clear explanation of all things;
so take hold of them with firmness
and enjoin your people to take hold of what is best thereof;
I will show you the abode of the transgressors.

Quran 5.027
And relate to them the story of the two sons of Adam
with truth when they both offered an offering,
but it was accepted from one of them
and was not accepted from the other.
He said: I I will most certainly slay you.
(The other) said: Allah only accepts from those who guard (against evil).

Quran 5.028
you will stretch forth your hand towards me to slay me,
I am not one to stretch forth my hand towards you to slay you
surely I fear Allah, the Lord of the worlds:

Quran 5.029
Surely I wish that you should bear the sin committed against me
and your own sin, and so you would be of the inmates of the fire,
and this is the recompense of the unjust.

Quran 5.032
For this reason did We prescribe to the children of Israel
that whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter
or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men;
and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men;
and certainly Our messengers came to them with clear arguments,
but even after that many of them certainly act extravagantly in the land.

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