Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Islam

Many Folk Call Today Christmas


I suppose I can say Merry Christmas today; but, what about all the people who are Muslim or Jewish or Zoroastrian or Hindu or Pagan or Bahá’í or other Faiths…?

Holidays

Children Enjoying A Holiday

So, here are the etymologies for “Christmas” and “Holiday”:

Old English, Crīstes mæsse, the mass of Christ.

Old English, hāliġdæġ, late Old English hālidæġ, found beside hāliġ dæġ, holy day.

And, I suppose I should also share the etymology for “Mass” and “Christ”:

late Middle English : from Old French masse , from Latin massa , from Greek maza, barley cake, perhaps related to massein, knead.

Old English Crīst, from Latin Christus, from Greek Khristos, noun use of an adjective meaning anointed, from khriein anoint.

So, perhaps those non-Christians reading this can work out some fundamental meaning from those…?

Perhaps I’d come closer to the Truth if I could share some ideas that might help folks tie together the meanings behind all the Holy Days…

I found an editorial in the Toronto Sun (in Canada) called, On the Universal Message of Christmas.

It begins with these words:

“In a world that tests our faith, the meaning of Christmas can elude us.

“Not just because of the commercialism that surrounds it today, but because of so many questions that spring to our minds.

“What about those who are not of the Christian faith?

“What about those who do not believe in God?

“What about the terrorism, murders and other horrors committed in the name of religion, from ancient times to the present day.?

“What universal message is there in Christmas…?”

The editorial answers the question of the message with:

“It comes in the teachings of all the world’s great religions, when we listen to that divine spark within ourselves that desires peace and good will for all of humanity, regardless of what God we believe in or whether we believe in God.”

Then, it shares a message that could fulfill that search for universality, in many Faiths:

Christianity: “In everything, do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”

Judaism: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. That is the whole Torah; the rest is commentary.”

Islam: “Not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself.”

Hinduism: “This is the sum of duty: Do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you.”

Buddhism: “Treat not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”

Confucianism: “One word sums up the basis of all good conduct … kindness … do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.”

Sikhism: “I am a stranger to no one and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.”

Bahá’í: “Lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone, the things that you would not desire for yourself.”

If you’re the kind of person who ponders these things, I recommend reading the entire editorial…
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Should Religion Be Prominent In A Novel? ~~~ Oh, My God !


It’s rare to find discussions of religion that embrace a scientific attitude.

In today’s Behind The Scenes post about Notes from An Alien, I’m going to discuss why I chose Religion as one of the prominent Symbolisms.

There will be a few Spoilers so you may want to grab a free copy and read it first—it’s relatively short :-)

I’m sure many people will disagree with me but, if a survey of history is conducted, it will be found that the predominant advancer of Civilization has been Religion.

If some of you think science has been more important, consider one particular case—Islam advanced science.

Also, honest scientists are willing to admit how much Faith has to do with their formation of hypotheses.

So, in Notes from An Alien, I decided I needed one planet that was all for science—Anga, the Corporate World; and, one completely religious, Anla.

The Anlans had a Faith called Nari. Two splinter Faiths broke from the Nari: The Lord’s Army and the Faith of Eternity—both were very bad examples of religion

The Disciples of Faith was a third religion on Anla—a “reformed” movement of the Nari—a fairly decent religion.

Anga, the Corporate World, had one Faith, The Haria.

The Prophet of the Nari on Anla is murdered by the Priests of The Lord’s Army early in the story; but, not before He utters a prophetic statement: He will be followed by another Prophet from the Haria on Anga—a Prophet that will unite the Worlds.

It should be mentioned that there are a number of major characters in the story who don’t hold to any Faith yet marry those who do—rather remarkable people because they respect their religious mates

I want to include now a particular quote from a religious leader from Earth which gets to the core of why I chose to have religion be a potent Symbol in my novel:

“Religion should unite all hearts and cause wars and disputes to vanish from the face of the earth, give birth to spirituality, and bring life and light to each heart. If religion becomes a cause of dislike, hatred and division, it were better to be without it, and to withdraw from such a religion would be a truly religious act. For it is clear that the purpose of a remedy is to cure; but if the remedy should only aggravate the complaint it had better be left alone. Any religion which is not a cause of love and unity is no religion.”

~~~ `Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 130

So, I’d love your comments about whether religion is the predominant way civilization advances.

I’d also like your comments on the necessary unity of science and religion to facilitate civilizing influences on Earth.

Plus, any comments or questions about the novel—whether I’ve discussed them already or whether I haven’t yet :-)
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