Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Gaza March

Tuesday, December 29, 2009
11:50 PM

Unless the majority of Jews and Muslims speak up, the evil men continue to do what works for their best interests. To be Evil is to kill, support or justify killing of another human. Neither Torah nor Qur’aan supports what Hamas or Israelis are doing, yet the inaction of Jews and Muslims is shameful. Both the books say, "to save a life is to save the whole humanity or to kill a life is like killing the whole humanity." - Mike Ghouse

Approximately 1,000 men and women from 42 different countries, including the drivers of the move, the CODE PINK organization are daring to cross the Rafah Border going into Gaza as we speak now at midnight US Central time. This includes four of our heroes, whom I know- Aishah Schwartz (on facebook), Col Ann Wright, Roger Kallenberg and Diane Baker from Dallas Peace center. I salute them. It reminds me of Mahatma Gandhi's Dandi March, where thousands of men and women dared bullets and marched on, got beaten, but didn't get beat.
these events have moved me;


Monday, December 28, 2009

AVATAR - A movie about Harmony

Monday, December 28, 2009
Mike Ghouse

When it comes to visual effects, Avatar is the mother of all movies. However, it could have been made in two hours without losing an ounce of amazement. This movie is a good expression of living in harmony with nature exemplified by the indigenous people of Pandora. I would see this movie a few more times to absorb the special effects, nature, harmony, romance, beauty, thoughtfullness and the message of co-existence, aka Pluralism*.

The native girl tells the hero, “you cannot fill a cup that is full”, and he responds, “it is empty”. It is one of the most powerful dialogues in the movie, in this context, she is telling him, "how can you understand us if your mind is made up of what life ought to be". His response was such a delight, when he says "it is empty", signifying that he is open to new information, that he is not biased, there is room to process the new culture without prejudice or how things ought to be done. My way is not the only way; I am open to your ways.

In another instance, she tells him to ride on the bird which was hostile to him, he asks "how do I know the brid would not kill me", she responds," if it tries to kill you, and if you earn his respect, he will give you the ride." Powerful dialogue. Mother Teresa had said, " if you want to make friends with your enemies, go talk with them". A chinese proverb says, "if you want your enemy gone, befriend him, you threaten him, he will be enemy for life". The hero captures another massive ferocious bird with the tail connection. I wish our politicians have the brains to get this and if they do, terrorism can evaporate into thin air.

One of the Rhino- look-alike animals charges at the hero, he wanted to run, she tells him to stand firmly "show no fear" and as expected the animal stops. The Monkey story has a similar conclusion, when he stares at you threateningly, and if you think of taking a back step, he reads your fear and will be all over you, whereas if you stand firmly, monkey will pause, gets frightened and backs off, that has been my experience with real monkies and monkey-like humans. This is the kind of approach we need to take with bullies in our lives, if you fear getting hurt anyway, frighten the crap out of them by taking a firm stand.

The movie talks about the universe of energy that is made up of everything within us and what surrounds us; the harmony was beautifully expressed in terms of connection the hero makes with a bird, horse like animal and the trees by aligning his tail (Ironic) with theirs. It is an example of how to co-exist with differences. It is a beautiful expression of looking the universe as uno energy, giving each component of it, its full value.

The uno energy is composed of multitudes of diverse elements living in harmony. It is comparable to the idea of “One God”; however it ought to be “oneness” rather than mathematical integer.

The idea can carry a few members of religion into fanatic frenzy of chanting “one God”, as if God is a number. The idea of one God is the multitudes of traditions living in harmony within the “larger one God”, rather than “your one” and “my one.” Event those who do not believe in God as presented by religions, can consider it as an energy that drives every thing, the system that keeps the universe in balance, the planets, and the moon orbiting the earth in precision. It is the consistent energy that pervades in one to have the feelings about others and others rights.

The movie highlights the wickedness of corporations that dehumanize life, where profit drives them to insanity; it is kind of a film on John Perkins, “Confessions of an economic Hitman”.

It shows the helplessness of many who fear the bully corporations and simply yield to the evil dictates of men despite their disdain. If Edmund Burke can be paraphrased, “the evil in the world exists and continues to exist because of good people, and not due evil men, because good men don’t do anything to stop it”.

We should have protested along with Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore, had we done that, we probably would not have let our war machinery destroy others as well as bring misery to us.

There is another critical dialogue in the movie, where the commander in charge of the corporation is bent on destroying the native people by seizing their land and literally bulldozing them and saying, we are going to teach “those terrorists” and order his men to destroy them with shock and awe. As audience, we sense the ridiculousness of it, “the man had gone to their lands, to rob them and when they resist, he calls them terrorists.”

Like all movies, we get the satisfaction that there is hope and at the end of the day justice triumphs.

* Pluralism is developing an attitude of respecting the otherness of other, and figuring out how to co-exist in harmony with the given differences.

Mike Ghouse is a thinker, writer speaker and an activist of pluralism, interfaith, co-existence, peace, Islam and India. He is a frequent guest at the TV, radio and print media offering pluralistic solutions to issues of the day. His websites and Blogs are listed on

1/15/2013 - watching Hardball on MSNBC - Nia-Malika Henderson appear on screen, she reminded the foreheads and noses of the characters in Avatar. Take a look

Additional notes:

1. The bird attack on the helicopters reminds me of a story from Quraan where a sea of brats attacking an invading army and chasing them out.

2. The Hindu mythology had a bird called Garuda, on which Lord Krishna (or Hanuman) flew. The inverted V sign on the faces of the natives reminds me of markings in Hindu traditions.

3. I have a severe phobia of heights, my knees freeze on me... I was pleased and surprised with my knees for not freezing on me when they show the hero and heroin stand on the edges of the floating mounations and jump on the birds.

3. Sulekha has copyrights protected on this article for me.
Avatar movie review by Mike Ghouse
Avatar english movie review posted by Mike Ghouse.Write your own movie review on Avatar. ... His websites and Blogs are listed on ...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A tribute to Jesus

A tribute to Jesus on this Christmas;
What does it mean to be religious?
Mike Ghouse

This column is dedicated to Rev. Petra Weldes of the Center for Spiritual Living in Dallas. Some of my conversation with her inspired me to write this tribute to Jesus and what it means to be religious.



Monday, December 21, 2009

Mike Ghouse on National Public Radio

Mike Ghouse on National Public Radio
Monday, December 21, 2009

The National Public Radio invited Rev. Angie Buchanan, a trustee of the Parliament of the World's religions and Mike Ghouse as an individual to be on the air between 3-4 PM to talk about the Parliament event. It was a good interview and it will be available at on Tuesday to download and listen to. Rev. Buchanan gave a wonderful analogy about religions being Islands and the need for the people in each Island to visit and build bridges.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Journal of Pluralism - 12/20/09


Seasons greeting, happy holidays and observances to all to including Hanukkah, Christmas, Winter Solstice and Muharram observations.

Am I a Jew, Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Pagan or a Maya?

The trends in spirituality and the emergence of a new conscience. To be with 8,000 people representing 250 faith expressions is an experience of life time. From Atheists to Zoroastrians and every one in between, including the native and earth based traditions from every corner of the world attended the event to hear each other and heal the earth. Indeed, that was the theme of the conference and a whole lot of uplifting conversation took place, and we hope it materializes into service. We have to do our individual share of work. -

Indigenous Environmental Summit 2010

The International Summit on Indigenous Environmental Philosophy will provide a forum for Indigenous thinkers from around the world to gather in a retreat setting to discuss two important questions: - What distinguishes Indigenous Environmental Philosophy from Western Environmental Philosophy? - How should Indigenous Environmental Philosophy be incorporated in the international dialogue on Climate Change?

Integration of Religion in the 21st Century

The world is evolving and with that its constituents, people of various countries and cultures and for one or other reasons, the religions have evolved by way of their positive interpretations. Still all is not well with the interpretations of religions and any of those interpretations which threaten the basic foundation of humanity and its sustained living need to be identified and peaceful measures taken to ensure that world humanity move towards enhanced peace, trust and love :

Copenhagen is about Climate Justice

Protecting the environment is the right thing to do; indeed it is a sacred duty of every human. As an individual or a nation we cannot shut ourselves in a bubble; either we suffer the damage together or save the environment for all. None of us can live in silos. Kudos for this effort .

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Copenhagen is about Climate Justice

Climate Justice assures every one in the long haul that one can continue living and breathing regardless of being rich or poor. Protecting the environment is the right thing to do; indeed it is a sacred duty of every human. As an individual or a nation we cannot shut ourselves in a bubble; either we suffer the damage together or save the environment for all. None of us can live in silos.


Friday, December 11, 2009

Obama's Blunder on War

President Obama is wrong in this instance
Congressman Kucninich' note is a piece of wisdom

Only those who are incapable of a dialogue, only those who are short sighted secure their security through war because that is the only instrument they can understand. I am utterly disappointed in the president for lowering himself to appease the Neocons.

Neocons do not understand the nature of peace. To them peace comes when you oppress the dissenters, or annihilate them altogether. When you inflict suffering on others, the law of Karma goes to work, and brings insecurity and fear in you for the wrongs you have done.

Just war is a deranged ideology, it justifies the animal in humans to murder and annihilate, the president needs to understand religion, any and every religion and the idea of co-existence, to raise above animal instincts of survival.

We are the most powerful nation on the earth, and we should not be abusing it, our power gives us the power to bring peace through peaceful means.

There is a Chinese saying - if you want to eliminate the enemy spend half as much time and money and make them friends. War creates bitterness and insecurity, friendship removes enmity in the long run.

President Obama - you are a religious man, please reflect upon seeking peace through peace and not from bullying. Your and my mentor Martin Luther King has demonstrated that, please don't get big headed... have the humility to accept your goof up and make a turn around and earn the respect of the world and resist the temptations to be Bush.

Thank you.

Mike Ghouse
# # #

Congressman Kucinich’s Response to President Obama’s “Just War” Doctrine

WASHINGTON - December 11 - “Yesterday, our president mused about the inevitability of war, war’s instrumentality in the pursuit of peace and just wars. It is important for us to reflect on his words, because once we believe in the inevitability of war, war becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once we are committed to war’s instrumentality in pursuit of peace, we begin the Orwellian journey to the semantic netherworld where War IS Peace, where the momentum of war overwhelms hopes for peace. And once we wrap doctrines perpetuating war in the arms of justice, we can easily legitimate the wholesale slaughter of innocents. The war against Iraq was based on lies. Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan are based on flawed doctrines of counter-insurgency. War is often not just; sometimes it is just war. And our ability to rethink the terms of our existence, to explore the possibility of peace without war, may well determine whether we end war, or war ends us.”

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