May 20, 2006

The Mushroom Clouds

“I saw mushroom clouds in the sky, so huge and menacing, like a breathing monster that is silently heaving of havoc and mayhem.”

“God blesses those people who make peace.
They will be called his children!”

-- Matthew, chapter: 5, verse: 9

“ Those who believe (in the Quran),
And those who believe in the Jewish (scriptures),
And the Christians and the Sabians-
Any who believe in Allah
And the Last Day,
And work righteousness,
Shall have their reward
With their Lord; on them
Shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”

--The Quran: Surah 2: Al Baqarah: Verse 62.

I saw the symbol of mushroom clouds forming in the sky, mirroring exactly the umbrella-like formation of the resultant smoke coming from a nuclear explosion. I saw them first when I was in Manila, among the visions of angels and flying horses and many other images. Months after, while I was already in my hometown of Zamboanga, the images appeared to me again, about a couple more times. For certain, the message it invoked was insistent that it is among those that are repeatedly relayed to me. We must heed the warning signs so that mankind may be warned of impending catastrophe if the will of the Lord is not attained.

I remember Hiroshima as I gazed towards those humongous umbrellas, just as I recalled them in old black-and-white pictures as the dark clouds rose to the sky and took the daylight out of the horizon.

It is not a time for us to be unmindful to the signs of the times and we must take heed always. Dissensions and isolations creep amongst nations nowadays that we must consider taking further steps for international comity and understanding before mankind would implode by itself -- by its own mischief and excesses -- and thereon thwart and dispel the risk of earthly destruction.

In the international political arena, world leaders are continually faced by the ever-reverberating menace of conflicts and arguments; among these issues is the impending proliferation of nuclear technology and nuclear warfare for that matter. This is beside the admitted threats of weapons of mass destruction that had brought America to its latest war and caused the downfall of Saddam Hussein, a self-styled autocrat who is believed by many to be a major threat to world peace.

Let us not be foolish to think that proliferation of nuclear technology would forever be stifled as we have so far. To regulate it is the hardest thing to do, as the world becomes continually borderless that people and materials could come and go in all geographic partitions without being detected.

Years ago, computer technology was merely the domain of the few developed nations. Now, more than half of the world manufactures and assembles computers. It is not difficult to surmise that nuclear technology could have the same fate as computer technology. Especially now that somewhere beneath international attention, some nations are wickedly salivating to have a grasp of such technology.

The potentialities of this warfare are so attractive. Nuclear power is the best defense against the mischief of neighboring countries with malicious schemes. It is the greatest “balancer of power”, the most effective bluff against enemies. And yet, nuclear warfare is the greatest threat to human existence at present.

Today, nuclear proliferation is regulated with relative effectiveness while admitting that some underground trading is happening. This is mostly due to the efforts made by international bodies, mainly by the United Nations.

Let us not be fooled however by the seemingly stable peace the present world is experiencing. While we indeed desire that peace should be everlasting, we must not let down our guards. We must be continually vigilant against those who seek conflict. This vigilance shall be the crucial sacrifice that we shall make which would include protracted and determined effort to bring more understanding and cooperation among nations and among men of different race and creed; between the East and the West, among Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists and Hindus, between the whites and the colored, between the wealthy and the poor, and among the fortunate and the oppressed.

Let us remember clearly that the peace we have been experiencing at present is merely for a relative short period of time, when we just had the most destructive war fifty years ago in World War II, not to mention the also-destructive World War I in the earlier part of the last century.

If we study and examine human civilization, through thousand of years of human existence, mankind had repeatedly been disturbed by countless wars, huge and small, among many empires and kingdoms. There are the wars that gave rose to the empires-the Persian, the Byzantine, and the Romans among many others-as well as those that brought their downfalls, and wars among neighboring nations. There was the Hundred Years War between France and the Great Britain, there was the war that caused the colonization of nearly half of the world territories, the Crusades by the Europeans against the Arabs, the conquest of Arabs of nations in the name of faith, the North and South War in America, the Vietnam and Korean War, the war between Iraq and Iran, the Baltic Wars, the Gulf war, the war of India against Pakistan---these among many. In the end, we must realize that every war seems to be impending, that every tension may possibly explode and that every conflict may possibly escalate.

Admittedly, international comity and understanding at present help us stave away uncertainties and probable ignitions of war. The establishment of the United Nations is the greatest innovation that man had achieved in recent history for it had allowed nations from all four corners of the world to seek a forum for understanding, for redress and grievances and arbitration of conflicts. Yet, we must not stop at this for we need to promote more understanding and cooperation among peoples and nations especially among people of different religion for it is religious wars that is most menacing. A religious war connotes unimaginable mayhem and havoc. Many men readily kill and die in the name of religion.

International understanding and cooperation among all people is mankind’s greatest weapon and guard against the risk of impending wars. Let us remember always that if we do not seek “oneness of men” as early as now, decades from now, wars may be more virulent and destructive that mankind may implode upon itself and find its own apocalypse.

It is the hope of this author that men should understand that men are equal in the eyes of God. The differences in faith and religion are just circumstantial. For in Arabia people grow dates while in America they grow apples. We could not expect to be the same and yet we could be one.

And further, if every religion seeks righteousness, then let us all be righteous for those who repent and seek the righteous path shall gain eternal life but the wicked who seek the evils of the world---of violence and fornication---shall wallow in eternal punishment in Hell.