Erik Hillestad is the founder of a Norwegian record label called Kirkelig Kulturverksted, or KKV. He just wound up a two-year project in which traveled to the Middle East and made recordings of sacred music of both the Christian and Muslim faiths. The result is a CD entitled “Syrian Prayers: Sacred Music from Bilad Al Aham” (Arabic for “the Levant”).
Humans don’t show much love for the planet that has nurtured and sustained us through eons of time. Now the planet seems to be heading somewhat aimlessly down a long corridor of death–with whales stranding, glaciers melting, fish dying and birds dropping out of the skies–and of course taking us with it, though strangely few people seem to notice or care.
[ Ed. note – perhaps one day some of the Palestinian children shown in this video will grow up and have the opportunity to use their newly-learned techniques on the Israeli soldiers occupying their land. One can always wish. By the way, Saturday, January 28, will mark the beginning of the Year of the Rooster. According to this source, “Rooster is the tenth in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac sign. The Years of the Rooster include 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029…Rooster is almost the epitome of fidelity and punctuality. For ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the crowing was significant, as it could awaken people to get up and start to work. In Chinese culture, another symbolic meaning of chicken carries is exorcising evil spirits. ]
[ Ed. note – One very important question Americans should ask themselves when trying to assess relations between the US and Russia, and to figure out why certain things are the way they are, is…of the two countries, Russia and America, which currently is moving toward a greater embrace of religious faith? And which is experiencing a lessening of spirituality and moving away from religious beliefs?
The answer, of course, is that the number of those in America who hold religious beliefs, most especially Christians, is dropping. This was the finding in a Pew Research poll released last year. The poll found that between 2007 and 2014, the number of Americans identifying as Christians declined from 78.4% to 70.6%. That’s still a pretty high portion of the population, but it does make for a 7.8% drop.
[ Ed. note – I listened to the BBC’s interview with Sergei Lavrov today. I don’t know the name of the gentleman who conducted the interview, but it was very much as if the man had “no ears to hear,” as Jesus would have put it. Lavrov patiently attempted to explain the situation in Syria– that foreign powers, including the US, have provided support to armed terrorist groups–but it was as if the interviewer had not heard a single word he said. The Russian foreign minister may as well have been talking to himself. To say that the BBC host was obtuse would perhaps be an understatement. It is outrageous that British taxpayers are forced to pay taxes to pay this man’s salary.
One can easily see the face of evil these days. It makes its way along crowded streets, sits in restaurants, gazes out of car windows. But what is evil, exactly? Is it simply an idea that springs out of the human mind…or is it a force or entity in its own right? And do we always know it when we see it?