Monday, February 27, 2017

Group Presentations on Sacred Community

or types of religions and religious churches and denominations

4 pm

Greek Mythology

Uploaded on Oct 23, 2010
AP Literature & Composition

Sufism, rhythm, vibration, harmony and sound

Within the sayings and practices of both Sufism and music, one can find all the necessary conditions that are needed to cultivate higher states of observation and consciousness.  Upon the attainment of these higher states, says scholar Irene Markoff, the seeker can finally achieve the desired “spiritual intoxication (wajd) and a unique and intimate union, even annihilation (fana’), in the supreme being.”
In Sufi music, this practice is known as Samāʿ (Arabic: “listening”). It is the mystical approach of practicing “listening” in order to achieve remembrance (Dhikr) of the divine spark in our heart of hearts. Through chanting — and while in a mystical trance — participants reinforce their ecstatic state with the aim of reaching a “direct knowledge (maʿrifah) of God or Reality (ḥaqq).”

Hazrat Inayat Khan writes in The Mysticism of Sound and Music, “Before its incarnation the soul is sound. It is for this reason that we love sound.”
the Vedanta speaks of Nada Brahma, the Sound-God

Rhythm (The Law of Motion)
The law of motion lies at the heart of Creation, which is a dynamic environment and not a static one.  Planets rotate around their own centers while circumambulating around others, and entire solar systems move harmoniously while positioned on the spires of galaxies. These, in turn, are part of bigger galactic clusters that also move together, and so on. For the Sufi way, especially in music and dance, rhythm is not limited to ideas such as motion and progress, but also extends to ecstasy and intoxication.
Vibrations and Polarity
To put it in simpler terms, vibrations are the forces that instigate the perpetual motion of matter, and rhythm is the particular flow of these forces at any given time. Both are essential to the process that will eventuate in what in my view constitutes the Cosmic Pulse.

Harmony and the Music of Life
All the elements we have discussed need to come together, and be applied simultaneously, in order to contribute towards what in my view is the foundation of all beauty: harmony.
In our daily lives, this corresponds to the agreement of virtues, feelings, and thoughts within us. It is our duty towards our better health and wellness to strive to achieve a sacred symmetry between our mind, body, and soul.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Week 7 What is a Cult?

5 Worst CULTS to Ever Exist

 Published on Jun 19, 2016

5 Worst Cults to Ever Exist

A cult is defined as a group of people with religious beliefs and practices deemed as sinister or strange. 
Whenever we hear about them, we automatically think they are evil, their members nothing more than gullible people. Regardless of what we feel, their existence is a reality. 
The following 5 cults made headlines not just because of their strange beliefs but because they shocked and caused grief and death to thousands of people. These are five of the worst cults to ever exist. 

5. Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God

4. Grail Movement Cult
Originally started in the late 40s, the Grail Movement was established by the followers of Oskar Ernst Bernhardt, also known as Abd-ru-shin. Their core belief follows the principles of his book "In the Light: The Grail Message", and currently, there are over 10,000 members. 

3. Children of God

2. Heavens Gate
IN 1997 acting on an anonymous tip, police entered a hilltop mansion in California and found 39 dead people inside. This was the case that shaped people's notion of modern day doomsday cults – The Heaven's Gate.

1. Jonestown/ The Peoples Temple
It was a promised Utopia for members of The People's Temple of the Disciples of Christ or commonly, the People's Temple. But instead, their commune in Jonestown became a living hell for its many members and would leave the world shocked.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


Dr Sumit Kesarkar

John Green on the Koran

Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars All Without a Flamewar: Crash Course World History #13
(Green's description of the Koran is from about the 2 min. mark through the 7 minute mark)

 Published on Apr 19, 2012

In which John Green teaches you the history of Islam, including the revelation of the Qu'ran to Muhammad, the five pillars of Islam, how the Islamic empire got its start, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, and more. Learn about hadiths, Abu Bakr, and whether the Umma has anything to do with Uma Thurman (spoiler alert: it doesn't). Also, learn a little about the split between Sunni and Shia Muslims, and how to tell if this year's Ramadan is going to be difficult for your Muslim friends. Let's try to keep the flame wars out of this reasoned discussion.