Thoughts on economics and liberty

Category: Religion

A question re: Freemasons

This is a placeholder post. I’ll add info as I find it/ people send it to me, depending on my time.

The question I asked, dated 2 June 2021: https://www.facebook.com/sabhlok/posts/10159625376793767

The Netflix documentary (that I’ll need to see in full): http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/under1.html

http://masonicinfo.com/religion.htm

Some info people have sent me:

The Victorian Freemasons website: https://www.freemasonsvic.net.au/

Freemasonry Education course and in perspective – by Kent Henderson: http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/under1.html

The Freemasons’ Guide and Compendium by Bernard Jones

Betty Sue’s story – a submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

VIDEOS

2010 Australian x factor winner Altiyan Childs exposes freemasonry

FALL OF THE CABAL – PART 1-10 FULL DOCUMENTARY – HD

JSTOR ARTICLES

Braggion, Fabio. “MANAGERS AND (SECRET) SOCIAL NETWORKS: THE INFLUENCE OF THE FREEMASONRY ON FIRM PERFORMANCE.” Journal of the European Economic Association, vol. 9, no. 6, 2011, pp. 1053–1081. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/41305847. Accessed 2 June 2021.

MY COMMENTS ON TWO BOOKS PROVIDED TO ME TO READ

Someone gave me the following two books to read:

Jack Harris (1983), Freemasonry: the invisible truth, Whitaker House.
Jack Lawrence (1999), Freemasonry: A Christian Perspective, Gazelle Books.

I found nothing in these books in terms of evidence of any real harms Freemasons are causing.

Instead, the claim in the books is that by helping others (e.g. doing social work) Freemasons are doing the wrong thing. The main grievance in the books is also that 1) Freemasons are a religion, 2) they are a false religion since they do not glorify only Christ. Anyone who doesn’t glorify Christ is called a Satanist by these authors. That doesn’t tell me anything except that these are extremist authors.

Personally, I’m not interested in finding out which of the hundreds of thousands of religions found in world history is a “true” religion. I have no religion and I question all of them – particularly when they become extremist in their approach. In fact, I find all religions to be quite ridiculous in some ways – and Freemasons is just one more of these systems of belief.

Having said that, I insist on people’s right to believe anything they wish. That’s called freedom of belief. I don’t care what people believe in so long as they are not harming others.

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Purpose Of life – an article by my mother

My mother has recently written this:

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Part of being alive and in touch with the world around and within us lies in searching for our answers and in asking our questions. But in life, we keep ourselves so much occupied with the mundane jobs of life that we hardly get time to solve our questions. In life, when we see suffering, sickness and death around us, many questions arise in our mind. Many times, even in the midst of gaiety, our mind starts asking these questions, ‘What is the purpose of my life? Why am I here? What do I want in my life? We have seen that even after getting all the material things in life, at times, we feel a vacuum in our heart. It is because we are not clear about the purpose of our life. Having a purpose in life is one of the fundamental factors of happiness. Without it, our life will be less focused and less efficient. Purpose of life is a set of guidelines that influences our behaviour, our decisions of life and our values in life. It gives direction and adds a meaning in our life.

Prophets and poets had foretold that every human being is the individualised embodiment of Divine. Being that the whole purpose of life is to realize that divinity here. We have to remember that there is a Divine Spark in all of us. As Swami Vivekanand had said, ’See only God in every man, woman and child.’ As such, the purpose of life is to serve others irrespective of their caste, creed, gender or nationality. While doing so, we should not expect anything in return.

All our scriptures have given guide lines about the purpose of man’s life .According to Vedas, the purpose of life is to fulfil the Divine mission of God and Prakriti by resorting to the welfare activities for the entire mankind. For fulfilling this divine mission, the noble philosophy of Idd Nan Mamam is advised which means nothing for the self, all for society. Further, Vedas say that man should see that there is no pollution in water, Air, oceans, rivers and plants.

Bible says, human soul tells us that the purpose of life is to assist God in maintenance of social, moral, and physical order so that mankind becomes divine bureaucracy of God to ensure implementation and maintenance of his wondrous design, this world. According to Islam, whatever leads to the welfare of society is morally good and whatever is injurious to society is morally bad. Islam also lays emphasis on service on service to society.

Gita gives great importance on doing one’s duty without attachment. As Lord Krishna advises Arjun, ’Go on efficiently doing your duty without attachment. Having an eye on the maintenance of World Order you should take to action. Who acts offering all actions to God and shaking off attachment remains untouched by sin as the lotus leaf by water.’

These guidelines are there but we can set our own purpose of life for us. Over all we can say that the purpose of our life should be to serve humanity and perform all our allotted duties honestly even in the face of difficulties. It can be careful guidance to our children with a view to their best and harmonious development without expecting anything in return from them, looking after the sick and elderly in their need. All these and many other duties of day to day life can give us satisfaction if they are done as a service to others. “Even the least work done for others awakens the power within and gradually instils into the heart the strength of a lion,’ said Swami Vivekanand.

There is much more that we can do in order to serve society. We can become more aware of our responsibility towards society and can participate in all the welfare activities for the community. We can set an example for others by following a righteous and ethical conduct in our life. We can raise our voice against malpractices being followed in the society and try to bring a change there. We can lead a need based life. By leading a need based life, we can save our Mother Earth from its material exploitation and can save our Planet from pollution of various types. We can perform every action selflessly as an offering to God without expecting any reward for our actions. We can follow the principles of spirituality and can connect to our inner self within us. When we connect to our inner self, we get motivated to lead a pure purposeful and meaningful life. Life flows more easily and we can find satisfaction and happiness in our daily life. We can uphold the values of honesty, compassion, generosity, humility, integrity, service and spirituality on a daily basis.

In short, we can say, the more our goals are in line with the intensity of our spiritual development, the more rich and satisfying our lives become. By setting a purpose of life for us and leading a life according to those principles can make our lives meaningful and sublime.

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Religion And Spirituality – a write-up by my mother Adarsh Sabhlok

My mother recently wrote this thoughtful piece for a local newsletter – I thought I’d share it since I agree with its key argument (my annotations in red and blue).

==THE WRITE-UP==

For most Indians, religion is very important in their lives. Religion is a system of faith and worship that defines who we are and what we do. Religion can be classified as a set of beliefs and practices shared by a community or a group of people. Religion helps in creating an ethical frame work of values to be practised in our day to day life. [Sanjeev: I don’t agree with this claim – but my mother has address this issue in the article, below.] Religion provides a sense of community and identity as well as a way for rituals and traditions to be passed down from generation to generation. It inculcates social virtues in society. Every human being in one way or the other belongs to a particular religion.

In fact, we do not choose our religion. we are born with our religion. A child born to Hindu parents, is a Hindu by birth and a child born to Muslim parents is a Muslim by birth itself. Same is the case with all other religions. From the very beginning, children are brought up differently according to the rituals and traditions of their specific religion. All the religions have different places of worship and different ways of worship. Every religion, as its own gods and goddesses whom they worship. religious books of each religion are different and the followers of that religion believe in the tenets of their own holy books. Children are encouraged to read their own religious books and worship according to the rules of their religion. Thus, he foundation of disparity is laid down in the mind of a child right from his childhood. Every religion promotes its own philosophy and emphasis is always on the welfare of the people. But because of all these external differences, t leads to a division in the society. [Sanjeev: here is the crux of the problem: the divisions caused by religion.]

Originally, there was a time when there was only one religion. That was called “Sanatan Dharma’. That consisted laws of God as recommended in our religious books. Gradually, with time the principles of Dharma went on changing and many new religions came in the world. ow the whole world is divided in many different religions and small sects. Even in our country, there is a population of Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Jews, Parsis and many other sects. Because of this multitude of religions, the whole society is fragmented. Religion that was supposed to bring solidarity in the society, has brought division among human beings. It is turning people against each other. Followers of one religion consider themselves superior to the followers of other religions. This has brought disparity in the society and has created many social and law and order problems.

In this context, we can say that religion promotes intolerance, wars and blood shed. Religion slows down the pace of human progress because it promotes faith over science and logic. Religion encourages many superstitions and wasteful rituals that are being performed in many temples. Religion discourages reasoning and questioning. Religion encourages many outdated and harmful customs which are contrary to human progress and needs of the present times.

As such, we have seen that in a formal religion the focus is on external things, like going to the places of worship, doing worship in a particular way, chanting some holy mantras or performing other rituals as prescribed in a particular religion. But on the other hand, spirituality is an inward journey that involves a shift in awareness of your soul rather than any external activity or worship. Attention is paid on your soul, higher self and divinity within. Spirituality is a practical way of life. There are no set rules, no dogmas, no rituals, no special books, no religious barriers and no external regulations. Spirituality is about seeking a meaning full life that can result in positive emotions, such as patience, perseverance, humility, gratitude, courage, compassion and a sense of responsibility. Spirituality is a process of self empowerment. it gives a sense of peace, wholeness and balance among the physical, emotional social and spiritual aspects of our life.

Spirituality unites humanity. It is a unifying force. No one is left out. Spirituality is a process of self transformation and self empowerment. It is continuous process. Religion fulfils our external and physical needs, but spirituality enlightens our inner self. A spiritual person is full of positive thinking. There is no place of negativity in his life. His life is guided by a set of values and principles. He is slow to grudges and quick to forgive. He is stable minded. He believes in living life in a sacred manner. He cares about people and the planet.

In the present scenario in the world, when there is hatred and violence amongst the people of different religions, spirituality can bring a soothing touch. One can retain one’s religion and can become a spiritual man. Spirituality and religion can go together as the aim of both of them is the welfare of humanity. As we have seen that spirituality is a practical way of life, we can make it a guiding force in every sphere of our life. It will certainly lead to a healthier and happier life.

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Johannes Bronckhorst’s studies of ancient Vedic religion and Buddhism

This indologist seems to have arrived at very similar views to that of Sanjay Sonawani.

e.g. Brahmanism: Its place in ancient Indian society – Johannes Bronkhorst (PDF and RTF).

 

 

His other works include:Greater Magadha (2007; Indian reprint 2013), Buddhism in the Shadow of Brahmanism (2011; Indian reprint in preparation) and How the Brahmins Won (2016).

Worth finding time to read this scholar.

This is a placeholder post. Will add notes as I find time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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