There was a time in my life when I did a fair bit of work for the tempestuous Lucretia Stewart, then editor of the American Express travel magazine, Departures. Together, we evolved a harmless satire of the slightly driveling style employed by the journalists of tourism. 'Land of Contrasts' was our shorthand for it. ('Jerusalem: an enthralling blend of old and new.' 'South Africa: a harmony in black and white.' .') It was as you can see, no difficult task. I began to notice a few weeks ago that my enemies in the 'peace' movement had decided to borrow from this tattered style book. The mantra, especially in the letters to this newspaper, was: 's richest country rains bombs on the world's poorest country.'Poor fools. They should never have tried to beat me at this game. What about, 's most open society confronts the world's most closed one'? 'Where American women pilots kill the men who enslave women.' 'Where the world's most indiscriminate bombers are bombed by the world's most accurate ones.' 'Where the largest number of poor people applaud the bombing of their own regime.' I could go on. (I think number four may need a little work.) But there are some suggested contrasts for the 'doves' to paste into their scrapbook. Incidentally, when they look at their scrapbooks they will be able to re-read themselves saying things like, 'The bombing of Kosovo is driving the Serbs into the arms of Milosevic.
Christopher Hitchens
Jesus in the Temple of God in JerusalemMatthew 2112: AND JESUS WENT INTO THE TEMPLE OF GOD, AND CAST OUT ALL THEM THAT SOLD AND BOUGHT IN THE TEMPLE, AND OVERTHROW THE TABLES OF THE MONEY-CHANGERS, AND THE SEATS OF THEM THAT SOLD DOVESRebellion is individual. It comes out of the truth of one being.Revolutions are organized, but you can not organize a rebellion.Revolutions becomes establishment and then they fail.Rebellion comes out of the truth and authenticity of one being's heart.Revolution is organized and political, rebellion is spiritual.A revolution is of the future, rebellion is here and now.In revolution, you try to change others, in rebellion you change yourself.Jesus is a rebel.Christianity is the organized religion, which appeared after Jesus was murdered.Christianity is established by the same establishment that Jesus rebelled against.Jesus is a rebel, who lived out of his own love, truth and understanding.AND HE SAID TO THEM, IT IS WRITTEN, MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED THE HOUSE OF PRAYERJesus entered the temple of God in Jerusalem and saw that the temple had been destryed. It was not a house of prayer.People were not meditating, people were not praying. The temple was no longer the abode of God.Priests have always been against God. The talk about God, but they are basically against God. They do not teach truth.The temple of God in Jerusalem had been destroyed by the priests.Christianity is based on one simple word: love. But the result of Christianity is wars, murder and crusades.The priests go on talking about love, but he does not live in love.AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, IT IS WRITTEN, MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED THE HOUSE OF PRAYER; BUT YE HAVE MADE IT A DEN OF THIEVESJesus says that the temple of God, is not longer a house of prayer. It is a house of thieves.AND WHEN HE WAS COME INTO THE TEMPLE, THE CHIEF PRIESTS AND THE ELDERS OF THE PEOPLE CAME UNTO HIM AS HE WAS TEACHING AND SAID, BY WHAT AUTHORITY DOES THOU THESE THINGS? AND WHO GAVE THEE THIS AUTHORITY?Organized religion always asks about authority, status, as if truth needs some authority, some licensing from the outside.The priests talks the language of the establishment, even while meeting a mystic like Jesus.Truth arises from your own being, this is the inner authority.Truth is born out of your own being.The priests asks Jesus who has given him the authority to overthrow the tables of the money-changers? Who has given him the authority to change the rules of the temple?But Jesus did not answer the priests. He remained silent. Jesus is his own authority. Jesus whole message is to be your own authority. You are not here to follow anybody. You are here to be yourself.Your life is yours. Your love is your inner being. The priests wanted to arrest Jesus and throw him into prison, but they were afraid of the masses of people who listened to Jesus.They had to wait for the right moment to arrest him.The authentic mystic is always a danger to the priests and the organized religion.When you can allow the yes to be born in you, there is no need to go to a temple.Then God desends in you. Whenever a man is ready, God finds him.
Swami Dhyan Giten
I have long been of the Opinion, says he, that the Fire was a vast Blessing and the Plague likewise; it gave us Occasion to understand the Secrets of Nature which otherwise might have overwhelm'd us. (I busied my self with the right Order of the Draughts and said nothing.) With what Firmness of Mind, Sir Chris. went on, did the People see their City devoured and I can still remember how after the Plague and the Fire the Chearfulnesse soon returned to them: Forgetfulnesse is the great Mystery of Time.I remember, I said as I took a Chair opposite to him, how the Mobb applauded the Flames. I remember how they sang and danced by the Corses during the Contagion: that was not Chearfulnesse but Phrenzy. And I remember, also, the Rage and the Dying -These were the Accidents of Fortune, Nick, from which we have learned so much in this Generation.It was said, sir, that the Plague and the Fire were no Accidents but Substance, that they were the Signes of the Beast withinne. And Sir Chris. laughed at this.At which point Nat put his Face in: Do you call, sirs? Would you care for a Dish of Tea or some Wine?Some Tea, some Tea, cried Sir Chris. for the Fire gives me a terrible Thirst. But no, no, he continued when Nat had left the Room, you cannot assign the Causes of Plague or Fire to Sin. It was the negligence of Men that provoked those Disasters and for Negligence there is a Cure; only Terrour is the Hindrance.Terrour, I said softly, is the Lodestone of our Art.
Peter Ackroyd
He’s close enough now that I can hear his footfall on the pavement and I knowmy chances of outrunning him are slim. I’m practically in a full sprint and mypounding heart is begging me to take it down a notch. I try to will my feet to keep pace with its beat; but I think it’s humanly impossible to run that fast. And then it dawns on me that my footsteps are the only ones I hear. Somewhere along the way, Tristan’s must have come to a stop. And I can’t quite explain why I’m running this fast in the first place. I slow to a jog, intending to just pick up with my original pace; but I can’t seem to suck in breaths fast enough to propel my feet any further. My molten shoes stutter to a stop, as my hands come to rest on my knees. I’m still wheezily sucking in breath after breath of thick, humid air, when I warily turn tolook over my shoulder.Tristan’s standing about fifty feet back, hands on his hips and a completelyflummoxed twist in his forehead, his chest rising and falling with equally winded gasps. Evidently I was running faster than I gave myself credit for. As he silently watches me, regaining his breath as I do mine, the confusion on his face turns to undeniable hurt (and not the physical kind). I’ve wounded him and I can’t evenexplain why.Man, I really am an ass. I start the slow walk of shame back to where he stands, one hand upon my hip as I pull in a few more calming deep breaths. I’m debating whether to concoct some excuse for my behavior…Maybe I left my contacts out today and didn’t recognizehis face? Who would blame me for running for my life, if a stranger seemed to be following me? But as I amble closer—his wrinkled forehead already fading in the wake of a welcoming smile—I decide not to dig myself a deeper hole. I’m already astraight-up jerk. I’d rather not add lying to my repertoire.
M.A. George