"Warpaint of the Gods" by Nila Sagadevan
In 1979 physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg said that "With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." Author Nila Sagadevan expands on that thought in his new book "Warpaint of the Gods."
Sub-titled "Essential Thinking For The New Millenium," this California author combines a guided exploration of such varied topics as religion, war, extraterrestrial life, and reincarnation with a beautiful collection of quotes from some of the greatest writers and speakers of all time.
For example, Gandhi's statement that "An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind" applies today as well as ever. And musician Carlos Santana recently prompted us all to think when he said "If you can tell me God's religion, that is my religion."
Born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Sagadevan came to California by way of long stops in Britain and Alaska. As he says: "Born in a predominantly Buddhist country to liberal-minded Hindu parents who encouraged belief in a single Creator, he was sent at the age of 5 to Christian boarding schools where he read the Bible, attended Sunday school, and sang in the school choir." This well-rounded religious background has inspired him to seek the goodness in all and to identify evil wherever he may find it.
Tim O'Hagan writes in the foreword to the book that "During the 20th Century alone 110 milliion people were killed by their own kind in 250 wars -- that's six times more people than were killed in wars the previous century." Recent battles in locales as varied as Bosnia and Palestine, Sudan or Iraq confirm that such ethnic and religious strife is likely to continue unless the world can somehow adopt a new paradigm of global peace and harmony.
All religions essentially preach the same basic beliefs of love and peace. The more fundamentalist practitioners of each, however, seek to exclude all who are not like themselves. These religious Jihadists then feel free to terrorize all others at will. Islamic followers of Al-Qaeda or the PLO, for example, share the same beliefs as Jewish settlers in Gaza or even President Bush's Christian crusaders. They all seem to feel that murder and destruction "in the name of God" satisfy both a blood lust and a powerful moral mission.
Sagadevan delivers many examples of such idiocy. As he wrote in a recent email to this reviewer, "My intent in writing this book was to shed light on the deeply ingrained (and largely fear-based) myth that this supernal deity, in whatever guise, is said to have suddenly descended upon this speck of cosmic dust we call Earth and ordered one group of its inhabitants not to kill cows; another, not to eat Pork; another, to avoid toil on Sundays; another, to worship the Moon; yet another, the Sun . . ."
His objective was to "find non-dogmatic ways through which we could find resonance with our Source." The book touches on many different disciplines and encourages the reader to view many older concepts in new ways. It has been favorably compared with Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet" and other more "New Age" or metaphysical texts. At its heart, though, it is simply a plea for love (not hate) and for peace (not war) and, most of all, for spirituality (not religion).
Buy it now and embrace the collected wisdom and loving philosophy. Then go in peace, taking it out into the world and the universe which surrounds you.