October 19, 2005

THE RIVER OF MESOPOTAMIA c. 2002

In the ancient valleys of Tigris,
in the days of still molt and rock,
a river sung the serenade
of the beginnings of life,
as it moved in crystalline fluidity,
to brim with sparkles and light,
and come across upon a rock reckoned in time,
it is a moment set forth as a matter of design.

And the river became two,
the great parting of waters
in the dawning of the Earth,
to thread two different roads
and two different eras--
one found in the East,
another in the West--
to spread further and further,
until the sound they hear were
merely of their own
and nothing more.

Rushing in vigor and strength
each alone in the wilderness,
among the great wars of the world,
through the ashes of kingdoms burnt,
the mischief of kings and emperors,
through scorched earth of conquests,
of kingdoms and empires
both the fortunate and the inopportune;
as they run feverishly,
one oblivious to the other,
welcoming merely the beatings
of their own hearts
and of no other,
and every other beating of the heart they hear
was of the enemy and the enemy merely.

Amidst the rage of their marathon,
seemingly unending and without destination,
and with a ferocity so great that
even rocks of great prominence
would crumble into dust---
by the sheer strength of their pursuits,
or by the wave of their hands.

As another time was set forth,
where for once they looked heavenward
the journeys they threaded
finally found a single star,
to speak the truth in their own hearts
that in their own glorious runs,
no matter how magnificent and forceful,
still the Heavens are their own navigators,
upon the comets and constellations,
so that the rivers would find a path to travel,
a road set forth from the beginning of time
while they go nearer and nearer,
they begin to hear the same beat
that is not merely of their own separate hearts,
but of two hearts moving as one
running faster and faster,
like stallions in the hills of a desert
where in the beginning of time
there is only one river
that became two,
and then becoming one again.

October 03, 2005

THE FRUITFUL BASKET

“Then there was a pageant of men that I saw in the sky, as the clouds formed their images, holding each others arms as an image of an angel appeared out of nowhere in order to reach out for them and led them towards a direction that pointed upward.”


Among the most beautiful and most delightful symbols that I have seen from the sky was the scene of men holding each others hands, as if they are brothers to each other, not letting go of another, while a man with a span of wings on his back appeared out of nowhere in order to extend his hand, and in order to lead them towards a place full of hope and promise.

My brothers and sisters, there is no far greater purpose in life than to seek the oneness of all men, as we are all created equal, no matter how we were created differently. Nothing far more heroic in the eyes of men and mostly in the eyes of Our Lord, than to seek the fellowship of other men, although these men may be of different race or creed. Nothing is greater than a love to one who differs from us, for they differ not of their own intentions, but merely the intentions of nature and circumstances. For the Arab is man of the dessert while the Asian is mostly of the plains.

And yet to this mission, nothing could be far more daunting, for while we seek the peace among ourselves we are continuously haunted by our unpeace. We see with every eye and we hear with every ear how we wear many shades of skins and how we speak in many tongues, we are not blind to this. We are never blind also as to how the differences in us give rise to conflicts and arguments, and even to bloodshed that in one man’s hands lies the blood of his brother.

Far too difficult this task may be and yet we do not take heed to the weaker side of our minds and hearts. We shall strive to seek peace amongst us no matter how the storms may shatter our resolve, for it is the will of the Lord God Almighty, that we seek now the Brotherhood of Man.

We must fill the basket with apples and oranges; and then we still have to fill it with peaches and mangoes; and then further, we still have to load it with mangosteens and bananas. And we shall carry this basket no matter how we realize that our load had become heavier. We must strive harder, for sooner than we know, we shall reap our rewards in the end, and savor the basket full of fruits of many kinds.

We are like the river that threads many paths and yet to end merely in the same ocean. We all must thread the same path in the name of Our Lord God, for whomsoever conflicts with his brother, also conflicts with Him.

For He is like the Father who has many children and does not in any manner leave any child to suffer the weather, out in the coldness of the night. And He whispers gently to the ears of the older and wealthier children in order to persuade them to seek out their poorer and suffering siblings, for He suffers also when one of His children suffers.

He is the Father who suffers the wounds of His children.

How blinded have we become by our prejudice? How we take others aside for lack of knowledge that all men are seen as equal in the eyes of God. He did not deem it that He shall favor some and disfavor others, for He is the God of All Men.

Could you honestly believe in your hearts that He had allowed many other men to be borne only for them to lose salvation, just because they have not come to the folds of Christianity or Islam? There are just too many of them that we could never be blind.

Have you actually expect the china man to speak the white man’s tongue? Shall the African drink wine on his daily table when he grows root crops to drink some other beverage?

Shall you ask why the Jew did not become a Moslem when all his life he was tended and made to learn his own scriptures? Could you blame anyone? Blame is never in the side of the Lord.

We may imbibe a Hindu to seek your own creed, by teaching him all the books that may be at hand and yet you could go for a thousand days and a thousand nights and you would soon find out that you were only made to imbibe a few of them, if ever there would be learners of your kind of faith. It would take a millennium for you then to imbibe most of them, a task nearly impossible.

In so long that any one remains in the righteous path, to follow the basic teachings of the major faiths---Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism---then there would be no more argument for every religion seeks the righteous path, seeks the goodness in every man.

For a Moslem is blameless if he professes to Allah, the Most Merciful and the Most Omnipotent because mainly, he had been thought by his forefathers in the learned ways of Islam, until he had embraced genuinely the faith of his forefathers?

In so as the Christian, he remain blameless in the eyes of other men, for mostly he has learned in the way of Jesus Christ even from birth, and even until death comes to him.

And so is with the Jew, for he was born a Jew in the first place and learned mostly the teachings of Abraham and Moses. How could blame be upon him?

For faith can be bared to its simplest form and that is, in order for man to pursue the goodness of our hearts and to dispel wickedness. What is evil is the grave things that men do-fornication, adultery, murder, thievery, the wantonness of the tongues, the propensity to conflict, selfishness and apathy to the plight of the unfortunate. These are the things we must take issue and not the differences of our faith.

We must seek the unity in our faith rather than make war with the differences, for it is like upon seeing the rose then hating upon the thorns rather than being enamored by the beautiful red petals.

For a man may be rich in faith and yet in the confines of his own home, he is wicked and evil in his heart, faith then is of no essence to him.

Yet a man you see on the street may be of another faith aside from your own, and yet he is kind in his heart and light towards his other fellow men---his faith is of the greatest essence to him and to the whole world.

It is foolish now to believe that we could all be harbored in the same singular faith. Let be what could be let be. In so long as Evil does not reign in this world, then live and let live.

It is childish and at times foolish if we should expect the china man to speak the white tongue from his birth. We knock on empty doors if we should seek that in the end, men should speak the same tongue and believe in the same creed. Without our differences, existence in this world would be insufferable for its monotony. The world would not turn and revolve.

Our differences allow people to roam and explore the unknown, to be interested in the other. Men traveled in the past to find things different from what they have. They road the waves and braved the great ocean waves in order to find porcelains and spices in some faraway land. If spices were all abound, we would have not reached these level of understanding amongst people of different nations for men would not have traveled in the past. It was differences that brought men of different race closer together in the past and until now.

Prejudice put a seed of viciousness in our hearts that often we are led to hate and violence towards other men whose only pain was to be born different from us. To seek prejudice is to plant a seed of conflict, to seek the weapons of war, instead of fellowship.

We see the thorns and not the flower.

We must now realize that the Lord had intended it that we are born different. Our differences are for a purpose, even our differences in faith. If all religion seeks the path of righteousness, then there shall be no point of dispute.

Let not prejudice put you at risk of the Judgment Day for whomsoever conflicts with his brother, conflicts also with Him, Our Lord God Almighty.

There shall be no argument as which is the greatest of faith for even if we debate for a thousand days and thousand nights, no one could ever claim the truest faith with irrefutable evidence. The words would not end and the arguments would not cease. Let be what should let be and live so that others may live.

For righteousness is never the monopoly of any faith. In so long as we are all righteous and prayerful to the Lord God, we shall be rewarded with our peace in the Hereafter.

For those who shall make peace shall be called the Children of God.

Tuba