Monday, April 29, 2013

What Is Meant by ' the Kingdom of Heaven' ? Who Is 'the Father in Heaven' ?

Jesus (while he lived on earth as a man some 2000 years ago in the Middle East) always had trouble trying to explain to the apostles (his disciples) that, while they proclaimed the establishment of the kingdom of God, the Father in heaven was not a king.

At the time Jesus lived on earth and taught in the flesh, the people of Earth knew mostly of kings and emperors in the governments of the nations, and the Jews had long contemplated the coming of the kingdom of God. For these and other reasons, the Master (Jesus) thought best to designate the spiritual brotherhood of man as the kingdom of heaven and the spirit head of this brotherhood as the Father in heaven.

Never did Jesus refer to his Father (in Heaven) as a king. In his intimate talks with the apostles he always referred to himself as the Son of Man and as their elder brother. He depicted all his followers as servants of mankind and messengers of the gospel of the kingdom.

Jesus never gave his apostles a systematic lesson concerning the personality and attributes of the Father in heaven. He never asked men to believe in his Father; he took it for granted they did. Jesus never belittled himself by offering arguments in proof of the reality of the Father.

His teaching regarding the Father all centered in the declaration that he and the Father are one; that he who has seen the Son has seen the Father; that the Father, like the Son, knows all things; that only the Son really knows the Father, and he to whom the Son will reveal him; that he who knows the Son knows also the Father; and that the Father sent him into the world to reveal their combined natures and to show forth their conjoint work.

He never made other pronouncements about his Father except to the woman of Samaria at Jacob’s Well, when he declared, “God is spirit.”

You (the people of earth) learn about God from Jesus by observing the divinity of his life, not by depending on his teachings. From the life of the Master you may each assimilate that concept of God which represents the measure of your capacity to perceive realities spiritual and divine, truths real and eternal. The finite can never hope to comprehend the Infinite except as the Infinite was focalized in the time-space personality of the finite experience of the human life of Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus well knew that God can be known only by the realities of experience; never can he be understood by the mere teaching of the mind. Jesus taught his apostles that, while they never could fully understand God, they could most certainly know him, even as they had known the Son of Man.

You can know God, not by understanding what Jesus said, but by knowing what Jesus was. Jesus was a revelation of God.

Except when quoting the Hebrew scriptures, Jesus referred to Deity by only two names: God and Father. And when the Master made reference to his Father as God, he usually employed the Hebrew word signifying the plural God (the Trinity) and not the word Yahweh, which stood for the progressive conception of the tribal God of the Jews.

Jesus never called the Father a king, and he very much regretted that the Jewish hope for a restored kingdom and John’s proclamation of a coming kingdom made it necessary for him to denominate his proposed spiritual brotherhood the kingdom of heaven. With the one exception—the declaration that “God is spirit” —Jesus never referred to Deity in any manner other than in terms descriptive of his own personal relationship with the First Source and Center of Paradise.

Jesus employed the word God to designate the idea of Deity and the word Father to designate the experience of knowing God. When the word Father is employed to denote God, it should be understood in its largest possible meaning. The word God cannot be defined and therefore stands for the infinite concept of the Father, while the term Father, being capable of partial definition, may be employed to represent the human concept of the divine Father as he is associated with man during the course of mortal existence.

To the Jews, Elohim was the God of gods, while Yahweh was the God of Israel. Jesus accepted the concept of Elohim and called this supreme group of beings God. In the place of the concept of Yahweh, the racial deity, he introduced the idea of the fatherhood of God and the world-wide brotherhood of man. He exalted the Yahweh concept of a deified racial Father to the idea of a Father of all the children of men, a divine Father of the individual believer. And he further taught that this God of universes and this Father of all men were one and the same Paradise Deity.

Jesus never claimed to be the manifestation of Elohim (God) in the flesh. He never declared that he was a revelation of Elohim (God) to the worlds. He never taught that he who had seen him had seen Elohim (God). But he did proclaim himself as the revelation of the Father in the flesh, and he did say that whosover had seen him had seen the Father. As the divine Son he claimed to represent only the Father.

He was, indeed, the Son of even the Elohim God; but in the likeness of mortal flesh and to the mortal sons of God, he chose to limit his life revelation to the portrayal of his Father’s character in so far as such a revelation might be comprehensible to mortal man. As regards the character of the other persons of the Paradise Trinity, we shall have to be content with the teaching that they are altogether like the Father, who has been revealed in personal portraiture in the life of his incarnated Son, Jesus of Nazareth.

Although Jesus revealed the true nature of the heavenly Father in his earth life, he taught little about him. In fact, he taught only two things: that God in himself is spirit, and that, in all matters of relationship with his creatures, he is a Father.

On an evening (to his disciples) Jesus made the final pronouncement of his relationship with God when he declared:

“I have come out from the Father, and I have come into the world; again, I will leave the world and go to the Father.”

But mark you (people of the earth) ! Never did Jesus say, “Whosover has heard me has heard God.” But he did say, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” To hear Jesus’ teaching is not equivalent to knowing God, but to see Jesus is an experience which in itself is a revelation of the Father to the soul. The God of universes rules the far-flung creation, but it is the Father in heaven who sends forth his spirit to dwell within your minds.

Jesus is the spiritual lens in human likeness which makes visible to the material creature, Him who is invisible.

He is your elder brother who, in the flesh, makes known to you a Being of infinite attributes whom not even the celestial hosts can presume fully to understand.

But all of this must consist in the personal experience of the individual believer.

God who is spirit can be known only as a spiritual experience.

God can be revealed to the finite sons of the material worlds, by the divine Son of the spiritual realms, only as a Father.

You can know the Eternal as a Father; you can worship him as the God of universes, the infinite Creator of all existences.

[Reproduced from My Favorite Book of Life Guidance]

[Please also take some time to come back and read my previous  blogs and blogs on other topics as well. You can reach to those by clicking the links in this page. I would be happy if you take some time to express your views using the comments facility down below. Please  use the same comment facility to interact with me for any doubts or clarifications that you might have. Here is the page link which gives the   list of all my blogs  where you can open all my blog titles.]

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Corporate Management: It's Time to Make Upper Ceiling to Salaries of CEOs and Managers !

Ever since the advocates of world trade and open business culture became successful in removing the old barriers of salaries and perks paid to the Chief Executive Officers and key management personnel of business entities, the world is witnessing the emergence of a new class of people who draw enormous amounts as their salaries and performance linked pays.

The trend has taken roots in countries like India too, which had followed the socialistic pattern of development in the past many decades.

For example, the ratio of gross remuneration paid to the lowest ranking employee and the highest management personnel in any company never exceeded ten before the Nineties. If the salary of the lowest grade employee was, say Rs. 2500/- per month, the highest salary of say the CEO or Chairman of the company never went more than Rs.25,000/- per month.

But there after the things went almost a free ride for the greedy when the government decided to remove the controls from those corporates which come under the private sector while at the same time such controls remained intact for the public sector and other government controlled sectors.

A typical case is the banking sector. The largest Indian bank which is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) has its  Chairman-cum-Managing Director getting a gross annual salary in the range of about three million whereas the second positioned bank which is a Private Sector entity has its CEO, who is much lesser experienced in overall banking sector, getting a monthly salary equivalent to the yearly salary of the former. 

Now the question is whether such a thing is justified ? In both cases, the money from which these management personnel draws the salary comes from the public. In the case of the one holding a higher responsibility the salary is just one tenth of the one holding a lower responsibility ! Now, had the government removed its controls in the case of the former, perhaps that salary also would have gone haywire. That is another matter.

In a similar manner the common people are spellbound when the so-called elite management institutions of the country like the IIMs proudly announce the highest salaries that some of their fresh graduates' were offered by some companies whose businesses are either so strange or not so understandable by the common man. In most cases the highest salaries are offered by such business houses who are doing businesses in the financial services sector. That clearly means that they are in the business of playing with the public money !

For example, the largest private sector bank in India pays its fresh managers hired from the IIMs a gross salary in the range of about Rs.150,000/- per month where as their officers drawn from the second rung institutes are paid just one tenth of that amount. I once met two such fresh officers of this bank. One was hired from one of the IIMs and another from a well known engineering college. The IIM fellow was hired as a fresher who would be posted as the branch manager while the engineering graduate was hired for doing the front office work in the same branch. The IIM fellow got a salary many times more than the engineer guy.

My interactions with them showed that the engineer guy was much more knowledgeable and smarter than the IIM fellow. He had acquired the skills required for handling his job already whereas the IIM fellow was just limping behind with no confidence to handle the responsibility that his company had entrusted with him. But anyway, he was drawing much more than the other one !

I am not criticizing the wisdom of the said bank's top management who had decided to segregate their work force on the basis of the institute from which they are hired by clearly making antagonistic classes of managers within their organization. Whether that was wise or not only time would tell.

But this bank's overall reputation is not good. They are somehow slipping away from scams and other kind of adverse publicity by clever manipulations of higher management circuses. Perhaps that could be the reason that they pay extremely high salaries to those who could do such management circuses.

But even then, is it justified ?

I have just elaborated one case. India is now divided in this. One where the corporates pay exorbitant salaries to a few select people at their whims and fancies where as a good majority in their own organizations are paid peanuts.

Obviously they are taking cue from corporate examples of the leading free market economy in the world that is the USA. But even in that country, wise men have started asking questions regarding the insanity of paying exorbitant salaries to their CEOs and some other top ranking executives or managers while the majority are paid even hundred or thousand times lower salaries.

What these people are going to do with such high salaries that they or their children can never utilize in a few generations ? 

This is greed of the highest order. Just because they are clever and intelligent does not make them rightful to grab the share of others. It should be remembered that cleverness to lead their organizations to success at some juncture cannot justify them to siphon out enormous sums from their organizations for whatever services they had rendered for the organization. That too at the cost of depriving the thousands that work for their organizations.

It is high time that those with a clear thinking should consider these and put a stop to such a menace.

Competence, experience, wisdom and expertise need to be remunerated properly and adequately.

But that should not go to the extend that it goes to the level of loot by the mighty.

I would like my readers to react with their opinions.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Tragic Tale of a Retired PSU Officer of India !

This following is a brief account of what a Retired Chief Engineer of a top public sector engineering construction company narrated to the author. He is now in his late seventies, living with his old wife in a small rented room in the suburbs of a steel city in central India. I am putting the narration in his words:

I was born in a family of well educated people during the pre-independent India and our family was well off as per the standards of that time. My father was a top ranking officer of the British government in India.

All of us five brothers and sisters had good education. Myself and a brother of mine became engineers.

When we passed out as graduate engineers in Mechanical engineering from one of the top engineering colleges of India at that time, India's first prime minister  Jawahar Lal Nehruji's dream of making India self reliant in industry had taken shape in a few locations in North India in the form of large integrated steel plants. These were the steel plants at Bhilai, Rourkela and Durgapur. Three leading industrialized nations, namely, the USSR, West Germany and UK helped the just independent India in these three steel projects.

It was a dream for me to join the steel plant at Bhilai as a fresh engineer way back in the 1950's when the said steel plant had just commenced its production being set up in a green field site in the undeveloped Chhattisgarh region of the Central Province (later Madhya Pradesh) of India.

We all learned the skills from the skilled workmen and engineers from erstwhile USSR who worked with us and taught us the skills that we needed to manage the huge steel plant. Manny of us were trained in the steel plants of USSR too.

We did not have the facilities and the conveniences that the present day steel city of Bhilai has as the place was just getting its basic infrastructure for migrating people from the rest of India who were coming in large numbers to Bhilai due to the huge employment opportunities the new steel plant offered.

None of us, neither the engineers nor the workers had high salaries as it used to be the case with the developed capitalist worlds. But we had a salary good enough for a decent living with minimum luxuries. For example, I drew a monthly salary of less than Rs.500 equivalent to say about $ 50 at that time.

Being an officer of this company was indeed a coveted position having lots of prestige, except the fact that the salary was too meager and not attracting any prestige if disclosed outside. The prestige attached was because there was a hierarchy of about ten cadres of people numbering about three hundred in all for whom I was the boss.

In the Nineteen Sixties, the government of India formed a new steel company called the Hindustan Steel Limited (HSL) with its HQ at Ranchi. The government also made plans for making another integrated steel plant at Bokaro.

For making the heavy steel plant equipments, a company called the Heavy Engineering Corporation (HEC) was set up with its establishments in Ranchi. This was a major step towards indigenization of technology and was a vision of Nehru ji. For the specialized works of construction of steel plants and such heavy industrial construction the Hindustan Steel Construction Limited (HSCL) was also formed by the government of India. HSL started its design and engineering wing called the Central Engineering and Design Bureau (CEDB) which was later converted to a separated central public sector undertaking called the Metallurgical and Engineering Consultants Limited, now called MECON with its HQ at Ranchi.

I remember the vision of the government in appointing Mr K T Chandy, a highly learned bureaucrat hailing from Kerala as the first Director Chairman of the largest PSU steel company which was to manage all the integrated steel plants in the public domain, namely the HSL. Incidentally this eminent man was made the founder Director of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Kolkata.

 Later, in the Seventies, the government set up the holding company called the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) with HQ at New Delhi as the holding company for the Bokaro Steel Limited (BSL) and HSL.

Thus me and my colleagues had become senior level officers of the largest industrial entity in India at that time called SAIL. But our salaries did not rise much commensurate with our experience or expertise. It was during this time that I took up an assignment with HSCL and moved to Bokaro as a senior construction engineer of that company carrying out the large scale steel plant project construction at Bokaro.

Nearly for another two decades I was with HSCL and I rose to the position of a Chief Engineer, a post with tremendous responsibilities at that time. Later I became the Project head for a large thermal power plant under construction in Uttar Pradesh for which HSCL was entrusted with the task of construction and commissioning. Nearly three thousand people were working under my charge at that time.

Even at that time, apart from my position and high responsibility I had made pretty nothing in my life as my savings for me and my wife. I had a couple of more years to my retirement by the end of the Eighties and my salary was still not much. It was still less than Rs.10,000/- per month.

We had no children to look after us after my retirement, a solace a good majority of my colleagues were having. They had educated their children in the steel city schools in Bhilai or in other steel cities and many of them had migrated to foreign countries like the Gulf or the USA. They realized the folly of their parents working in India for peanuts. They did not want to repeat that mistake !

Any way such children were the hope for their parents who were to retire from the Indian PSU after toiling for a life time. The government coolly cheated them by making the PSU service a non-pensionable service. Instead we were offered contributory provident fund (CPF) where in about 8.33% of our monthly basic salary and dearness allowance went to the provident fund which would be given to us in lump sum when we retire. The company also contributed an equivalent sum.

But with all these, when I would retire in another few years, I would be getting just about Rs.800,000/- or so. Even with my cash savings in hand the total money that I would be having will not go more than Rs.1000,000. I had not made any house for me to live yet because; in my busy work schedule it was not possible to undertake such a thing. Moreover, I did not have enough income to get a decent house purchased or made. Building a house at that time meant an expenditure of at least Rs.500,000/-

The salary was going to come to naught in another couple of years. All I have to do is to deposit all my retirement benefits in some fixed deposits and get the steady interest income for my living. At that time many banks and the government post offices offered an interest of about 12 % per annum. Perhaps all my investments together would get me a monthly interest more or less equivalent to the monthly salary that I was drawing at that time.

So as things stood at that time I should not have worried much ! But there was indeed a worry. By being in the employment my house was owned by the company and I paid just Rs.120 as its rent per month. But the moment I retire, I have to find a rented private accommodation costing nearly twenty times that. And the rents would increase every year while my interest income would not increase.

There were reasons for panic!

It was time to think of alternatives.

Let me clarify one thing here. In those days a good majority of us in influential positions of job never thought of making any money by unfair means, especially those in the senior positions. We had plenty of opportunities for that. But we never thought in those lines. We believed in ethics and integrity, the lessons that we learnt from our parents. We believed in doing our responsibilities honestly.

But the ground realities of life was staring at me. I needed more money if me and my wife had to live decently for another ten or twenty years after my retirement from the PSU service till our death. If I am gone earlier what my wife would do ?

There appeared no chances in the near future that the government of India would thing of hiking the salaries of the PSU people like us. Already there are talks and rumors going on where in the public and the media are maligning the PSUs as inefficient white elephants draining the public exchequer. The politicians of the day are talking of privatization and closing down of the PSUs that had now become spent horses.

While my colleagues who joined the government services are going to lead a good retired life with decent monthly pensions which would rise with rising costs, we are to retire with some lumpsum money, manage it properly till our deaths for a living. Would it be possible for me ?

The public perception about the  PSU officers were that they were making a good fortune.
At least that was also the feeling of those at the helm of affairs in India in those days, because it was the salary of the President of India which used to be the bench mark for all public servants. The rule that prevailed in those days was that no one in India can have a salary more than the President of India ! In those days the salary of  the first citizen of India was fixed at Rs.10,000/- per month. The President lived in a palatial landmark in the national capital and the expenses of his living were all outside the salary and such other things were things that no one preferred to talk in public !

So every salaried person in India whether working for the government or for any private employer had to be satisfied with a salary equal or less than the President of India.

While those in top posts lamented about their poor pay packets, those down in the rungs, especially those who are not classified as executives or officers were quite happy and well off. Many of them had gross pays much more than many of their younger bosses. If a person of this category worked an hour extra than their normal daily working hours, the employer was required to pay an overtime allowance that was equal to twice their normal hourly rate of pay. But those in the officer category could not get this even when some of them are required to work for more than 16 hours a day on many days.

India of those days worked on the principles of socialism. Elitism and aristocracy, though ruled the roost among the rich and the powerful, the government and its political leaders always showed a public face just the opposite. So, common electronic items like the TV, telephone and the tape recorder, which had become ordinary gadgets in the rest of the world, were undesirable and sinful luxury items in India which the leaders consistently advised the common man not to desire.

While many patriotic and helpless Indians within India toiled for peanuts, working hard for the progress of their 'just-got- independent-nation' a good number of their fellows found out ways to enhance their personal wealths by other means.

While within India direct benefits of employment were limited with regard to salary and perks, that was not the case in some other countries. In these countries the salaries were so lucrative and unimaginable in India. The leaders in the Indian government kept on blaming the centuries of slavery and the loot the nation had suffered under the foreigners for the sad state of poverty in India. Whenever other nations with similar backgrounds made fantastic improvements, Indians kept on dreaming helplessly.

While Indian leaders were fully satisfied with their president getting a monthly salary of just Rs.10000/- and projecting it as a great humility, those workers who could not even think of making Rs.500/- per month in India earned at par with their president by taking the challenge of leaving their country and working for the those foreign nations.

The money they send back to India soon was to become the life sustaining economic strength for India, lovingly called the foreign exchange.

Simultaneously another group was emerging in India. They were the people who did not go abroad for earning a livelihood, but remained within India, employed in government departments for providing governmental services. What they earned from their salaries was indeed peanuts. But soon they were to learn their huge potential of earning incomes much more than their non-resident fellows who sent the foreign exchange. This potential came from the statutory power their government job provided. The effect was going to have detrimental effects in the Indian administrative system. The government jobs were to be divided based on reservations in accordance with the democratic number power and not on the basis of merit and competency.

Though the public sector undertakings belonged to the government, the jobs in public sector was slowly becoming non lucrative as the fellows who worked in these PSU's were slowly losing out their statutory powers and status to their counter parts who worked directly in the government departments. The PSU salary scales were the same but they were just impotent working class who were destined to produce in their government run factories according to the rules and regulations made by their real owners-their counterparts who worked in direct government service.

Thus India of the 1980's had its people divided economically as the following:

1. The public servants who earned a salary (peanuts in paper) and also unaccounted income through their power and position (huge unaccounted black money earned through corruption)
2. The political functionaries who extracted a portion of the huge unaccounted income from their serving public servants or external beneficiaries.
3. The business people who made huge money if in league with the first two.
4. The key employees of the private business firms who shared substantial income other than their salary by other means.
5. Salaried class whose income is only what is given as salary (less than the President of India)
7. People who inherited huge property
8. Labor class, small farmers and petty business men who labored for a living with no guarantee of income.
9. People who lived from charity and religious donations or worked for charity or religious organizations
10.  People who brought foreign exchange

I had only few years left before I became too old to work. Then came what appeared as a golden opportunity for me. The government for the first time introduced the 'Golden Handshake Scheme' for the senior employees of the PSUs. Apparently the government thought the problems of the PSUs were due to the huge work force which needed to be reduced. They were offering almost full salary in advance to those who have left only few years for retirement if such an employee opted to voluntarily retire from the company.

Frankly we did not get the logic behind it. What the government was going to get if they kick off people with full salaries of their remaining months of service in their respective PSUs? No work no pay of yester years was logical, but this no- work- full- pay was not understandable!

Any way that is none of our problem. They were giving the money and I was going to take it. I decided that I would take the money and quit. There were opportunities for us outside because we were experts in construction management. We could even venture to do things our own. We could bag some construction contracts and with our expertise would be in a position to make good money. That was my thinking.

I got a colleague also to align with my thinking. So we took the so called benefits of the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) of our PSU Company and left it in the early 1990's. 

We registered a partnership firm and managed to bag a good engineering construction contract from the PSU power company, the National Thermal Power Corporation Limited (NTPC). With our money and with borrowed money we completed the project successfully. The work was erection and commissioning of an Ash Handling Piping system at one of the power station sites of NTPC. The payments that would be released by NTPC for the said contract, was enough for us to get back our investments with reasonable profits. We thought that would soon happen.

But our fate went the other way. We being top executives of another reputed PSU earlier and never been tasted the kick of bribes unwittingly underestimated such an eventuality in our new employer. We were determined to pay no bribes to the small time functionaries of NTPC as we were confident of the work that we had been doing, though we were getting small hints here and there.

That was the serious mistake that we did. The company did not release the payments due to us. Our liabilities began to rise.

In contracts disputes are settled through the process of arbitration. In the earlier days I my self had worked in arbitration cases in various roles. I opted for the arbitration route and won my case. But the company was not to agree with the ruling of the arbitrator. It went on appeal in the court.

I fought the case in the court too and spent a good part of my remaining life running after the case and even got favorable rulings from all the courts. But I was fighting with a big establishment whose employees who were holding posts similar to the ones I held earlier were not to show any such regards to me. My partner died during this time as a dejected and defeated man in life.

I worked for small time business men who paid occasionally for keeping me and my wife alive. I had even sold of the ancestral property my father had given me to keep us living.

Almost after fifteen years later, for the first time I watch my juniors get decent salaries in those PSUs which are still continuing to exist, though many of those others have just vanished. 

I am still living and I do not know how and do not know even how far! 

Many of my colleagues had been fortunate that they had gone from the face of this earth already. 

On the whole my life was sweet which went too sour at the end. 

Dear friends, the narrator above is not a lone case in India. There are many such veterans of yester years who are now leading miserable and helpless lives. There is no one to take care of them or plead for them. Can we just ignore them? I am not sure. Do you have any suggestions? 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What is Morontia Material and Morontia Life ?

The word 'morontia' is not to be found in the English dictionary that we have today. But if you use any of the search engines of internet such as the Google, there are chances that you come across thousands of references to this word.[ It is done for you to see- just click this !]

Infact this word and its definitions are not of human origin. It is a new word defined in the Urantia Book. Now, there is a chance that you might not have even heard of this book either. Anyway, as far as I am concerned, I am a very serious reader and student of this mysterious, but fascinating book. To know more about this book please visit my urantia-india website that I have created to introduce this book to those who have not heard of it earlier.

So, the word morontia is a term explained in detail in the Urantia Book. The details of that in the book is too elaborate that one might get lost in reading and understanding that directly from the Urantia Book. Ofcourse that is the best method, provided you are a curious one to know the secrets of our vast universe and the varied life forms that it might contain. Unfortunately, many of you have got no time, patience and curiosity in such abundance !

The Urantia Book explains energy and existence in three different realms or phases. Just as water exist in three phases, namely gaseous (water vapour), liquid (water) and solid (ice) energy and its variations also exist in three phases or realms. Water in gaseous form is not normally visible to us. But that does not mean that it is non existent. There are now ways in which we can prove its existence, though many of our ancestors didnot have that scientific mind to give such proofs.

So, according to the Urantia Book (the contents of the book are intellectually a bit above the present grasping power of many of the present day humans as the source of authorship of the subject papers of the book comes from a higher level of intellectual existence !) the three realms of existence are:

1. Material ( Both energy and material that are visible and perceivable by us ) : So, all elements and all material formed of those elements, the energy that we derive from these materials or the energy that we get from visible celestial bodies such as the sun all come under this realm. Here too, there are many things which are invisible to us. For example, we cannot see light and radiations having wavelengths lower or higher than the visible spectrum.

2. Spiritual ( Both spiritual energy and material that are totally incomprehensible to our normal senses). This realm is the original source of all energy and matter according to the Urantia Book. The fundamental particle that make up the electron is an ultimaton and the ultimaton is a conglomeration of primordial spiritual forces or energy. 100 ultimatons constitute one electron and perhaps this is the so-called 'God's Particle' that our scientists are searching to discover ! [To know more about it you may read my blog titled: God's Particle Discovery : What Caused Our Scientists To Be So Jubilant ?]

3. Morontial (Both energy and matter that exist in a realm that is between the visible material and invisible spiritual realms) So, morontia matter and morontia energy is a type of existence between spiritual and material realms or phases. But this existence also gains its source of energy from the spiritual realm. That means, morontia matter is also made up of fundamental particles that are made up of ultimatons made from spiritual energy or forces. Morontia elements are 200 in all as compared to our natural elements that are about 100 in all. The morontia matter has an electronic configuration that operates at a different, perhaps lower, energy level orbits as compared to the elements of our earth and sun.

Now just as life can exist in material bodies, just as in us humans , life can exist in morontia bodies and spiritual bodies. Intelligent life forms exist in all the three realms. The highest forms exist in the spiritual realms.

Just as there are various types or orders of material life, there are various orders of morontial and spiritual lives. The highest and the original intelligent life which caused all other lives to take shape later is that incomprehensible and infinite source of universe power that we identify as the Universal Father God.

Personality is a unique and special feature of intelligent life and this comes from God. Personality of intelligent living beings in the lowest material realm can survive even after their material bodies are lost during material death under certain conditions of survival as set forth by the universal laws of God.

A material personality who survives material death migrates first to morontia realm and then to spiritual realm. In this case the personality remains intact, though the existence may be in different form of body made of either morontia matter or spiritual matter.

Such personality survivals are managed and administered by innumerable orders of intelligent beings who exist in morontia and spiritual realms and work according to the laws of God.

The lowly material being who survives and migrates to higher levels is given various responsibilities and works according to his ability and experience in later times. During this process he or she might get different kinds of bodies in morontia or spiritual materials and his personality improves in experience, calibre and perfection.

So an intelligent material being like the human being has the potential to live infinitely retaining his original personality but gaining in experience and perfection even after lose of the material body during the first physical death. In later times too his bodies might change from time to time during the process of translations for improvement of life.

Lower forms of material life and those intelligent material beings who willingly adopt to lead a life equivalent to a low and unworthy life may not be found suitable for personality survival in which case such lives cease to exist after physical death.

The simple rule for personality survival is the desire to lead a life willingly according to the will of God which simply means leading a life desirous of doing good and achieving progressive perfection just as God is perfect.

Death is a temporary transition period for all such intelligent material beings such as human beings. While they are dead, their personality essence is preserved and kept in the safe custody of superior beings whose job is just that. They get new morontial bodies in a morontia world some time later and they continue their life further in stage wise progression to ages upon ages ultimately getting spiritual material bodies which are practically indistructible and capable of being in the presence of the ultimate power of God.

Normal material does not offer any resistance to morontia material and hence morontia material can easily pass through normal materials. But they may be made to be like normal materials with some energy adaptations. Similarly they are  invisible to the short range vision of human beings. However, by certain energy adaptations they could be made visible to human eyes. However, spiritual materials or bodies are much more difficult to be brought into the vision of humans.

The Urantia Book explains that the resurrected body of Jesus Christ was not his original human body, but a look-alike body made of morontia material. That was the reason why resurrected Jesus was both visible and invisible to humans and also was able to pass through material enclosures and walls while some could actually feel him as a genuine person in fleshy body. Jesus remained in his morontia form for some time on earth and in the morontia worlds later to adopt his original spiritual body.

My dear friend, our universe is a treasure house of wonders for not only we human beings of earth, but also for thousands of other material beings living in many other worlds far away from our earth.

It is not possible for us to ever visit to those far away worlds in our material bodies because of the limitations of time taken for travel. We have to be dematerialised and projected to far away spheres if at all we have to be in such places.

Death is part of such a dematerialization process planned by God, the universal creator. Death also makes it possible for God to test the ability of those who could be passed for the dematerialized projection to other worlds.

Even NASA would not be selecting astronauts with out intensive testing for space travel !

[Please also take some time to come back and read my previous  blogs and blogs on other topics as well. You can reach to those by clicking the links in this page. I would be happy if you take some time to express your views using the comments facility down below. Please  use the same comment facility to interact with me for any doubts or clarifications that you might have. Here is the page link which gives the   list of all my blogs  where you can open all my blog titles.]

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Doing Business and Managing Wealth-This Is How It Should Be Done !

The other day I happened to read online the first chapter of the Book written by the famous British business magnate, Sir Richard Branson. I also liked the way he chose to title the book as: Screw Business As Usual. I have not seen this man, but I have read about him and the way he made up his business empire, the Virgin Group. It is indeed a commendable thing that a boy with a learning difficulty (known now as dyslexia) overcame that in just about four decades to establish a multinational business empire from scratches by sheer dedication and sincerety to his work.

His book is in reality a kind of his autobiography and he has attempted it in the most down to earth manner which is very touching. In this book, he tells the world how to do business in the most ethical and honest manner and still remain profitable and sustainable. He repeatedly stresses the importance of doing things better, not for the sole purpose of making profits but for the overall benefit of all, the customers, the employees, the shareholders, the suppliers and most importantly to mother earth. And through his many examples, he highlights the fact that doing business this way is not difficult at all or rather it's easy and rewarding in the long run. Another important point he makes is the relevance of empowering the people in decision making and having a business organization that is not top heavy.

Richard Branson tells his contemporaries his idea of doing philanthropy and charity in the non-conventional manner wherein the synergies of the people are channelized to achieve overall good in the society. He explains touchingly how his Virgin Unite was founded for this purpose. On the overall, this modern day business man passionately believes and works for making his business as a force for good.

His book Screw Business As Usual is not yet available in my country-India- to buy. I think I would buy it and read the rest of his passionate business story once I get it. It is another matter that he has pledged all the royalty inocome from this book to charity. I feel that my country men, especially those inclined to do business and those already doing business should think of reading this book. Because, there are many in this country who think that business cannot be done ethically. Business in India, unfortunately, is linked to corruption and the general perception about business men is not good.

The preface and the first chapter of Screw Business As Usual is available free in this blog site of Richard Branson. [You may use the link in this site to read it ]

It is indeed a good thing that the number of business men who want to convert their wealth and money and their business acumen as tools for doing good for the society and the people, are increasing. It is also a good thing that many modern day politicians and governmental authorities are giving all encouragements to entrepreneurs to generate and manage wealth in a sustainable manner, ensuring overall good to the society or the country. There are also innumerable living examples where we see businessess adopting unethical practices perish, however big they might have been.

In this context, I am tempted to tell you what Jesus Christ had advised about the management of material wealth to a wealthy man of his times. This is from my favourite book, the Urantia Book, as, such details are not available other sources such as the Bible.

Jesus had explained ten different forms of material wealth and the best manner in which one should deal or manage it. The essence is managing wealth for the good of all, just as Richard Branson is perhaps doing in our times. [Incidentally, I do not know whether Mr Branson had read the Urantia Book or not!]

I give below those ten cases of managing wealth of various kinds as explained by Jesus Christ as given in the Urantia Book:

1. Managing Inherited Wealth — riches derived from parents and other ancestors.

As steward of inherited wealth you should consider its sources. You are under moral obligation to represent the past generation in the honest transmittal of legitimate wealth to succeeding generations after subtracting a fair toll for the benefit of the present generation. But you are not obligated to perpetuate any dishonesty or injustice involved in the unfair accumulation of wealth by your ancestors. Any portion of your inherited wealth which turns out to have been derived through fraud or unfairness, you may disburse in accordance with your convictions of justice, generosity, and restitution. The remainder of your legitimate inherited wealth you may use in equity and transmit in security as the trustee of one generation for another. Wise discrimination and sound judgment should dictate your decisions regarding the bequest of riches to your successors.

2. Discovered wealth — riches derived from the uncultivated resources of mother earth.

Everyone who enjoys wealth as a result of discovery should remember that one individual can live on earth but a short season and should, therefore, make adequate provision for the sharing of these discoveries in helpful ways by the largest possible number of his fellow men. While the discoverer should not be denied all reward for efforts of discovery, neither should he selfishly presume to lay claim to all of the advantages and blessings to be derived from the uncovering of nature’s hoarded resources.

3. Trade wealth — riches obtained as a fair profit in the exchange and barter of material goods.

As long as men choose to conduct the world’s business by trade and barter, they are entitled to a fair and legitimate profit. Every tradesman deserves wages for his services; the merchant is entitled to his hire. The fairness of trade and the honest treatment accorded one’s fellows in the organized business of the world create many different sorts of profit wealth, and all these sources of wealth must be judged by the highest principles of justice, honesty, and fairness. The honest trader should not hesitate to take the same profit which he would gladly accord his fellow trader in a similar transaction. While this sort of  wealth is not identical with individually earned income when business dealings are conducted on a large scale, at the same time, such honestly accumulated wealth endows its possessor with a considerable equity as regards a voice in its subsequent distribution.

4. Unfair wealth — riches derived from the unfair exploitation or the enslavement of one’s fellows.

No mortal who knows God and seeks to do the divine will can stoop to engage in the oppressions of wealth. No noble man will strive to accumulate riches and amass wealth-power by the enslavement or unfair exploitation of his brothers in the flesh. Riches are a moral curse and a spiritual stigma when they are derived from the sweat of oppressed mortal man. All such wealth should be restored to those who have thus been robbed or to their children and their children’s children. An enduring civilization cannot be built upon the practice of defrauding the laborer of his hire.

5. Interest wealth — income derived from the fair and just earning possibilities of invested capital.

Honest wealth is entitled to interest. As long as men borrow and lend, that which is fair interest may be collected provided the capital lent was legitimate wealth. First cleanse your capital before you lay claim to the interest. Do not become so small and grasping that you would stoop to the practice of usury. Never permit yourself to be so selfish as to employ money-power to gain unfair advantage over your struggling fellows. Yield not to the temptation to take usury from your brother in financial distress.

6. Genius wealth — riches accruing from the rewards of the creative and inventive endowments of the human mind.

If you chance to secure wealth by flights of genius, if your riches are derived from the rewards of inventive endowment, do not lay claim to an unfair portion of such rewards. The genius owes something to both his ancestors and his progeny; likewise is he under obligation to the race, nation, and circumstances of his inventive discoveries; he should also remember that it was as man among men that he labored and wrought out his inventions. It would be equally unjust to deprive the genius of all his increment of wealth. And it will ever be impossible for men to establish rules and regulations applicable equally to all these problems of the equitable distribution of wealth. You must first recognize man as your brother, and if you honestly desire to do by him as you would have him do by you, the commonplace dictates of justice, honesty, and fairness will guide you in the just and impartial settlement of every recurring problem of economic rewards and social justice.

7. Accidental wealth— riches derived from the generosity of one’s fellows or taking origin in the circumstances of life.

Except for the just and legitimate fees earned in administration, no man should lay personal claim to that wealth which time and chance may cause to fall into his hands. Accidental riches should be regarded somewhat in the light of a trust to be expended for the benefit of one’s social or economic group. The possessors of such wealth should be accorded the major voice in the determination of the wise and effective distribution of such unearned resources. Civilized man will not always look upon all that he controls as his personal and private possession.

8. Stolen wealth — riches secured by unfairness, dishonesty, theft, or fraud.

If any portion of your fortune has been knowingly derived from fraud; if aught of your wealth has been accumulated by dishonest practices or unfair methods; if your riches are the product of unjust dealings with your fellows, make haste to restore all these ill-gotten gains to the rightful owners. Make full amends and thus cleanse your fortune of all dishonest riches.

9. Trust funds — wealth lodged in your hands by your fellows for some specific use, now or in the future.

The trusteeship of the wealth of one person for the benefit of others is a solemn and sacred responsibility. Do not hazard or jeopardize such a trust. Take for yourself of any trust only that which all honest men would allow.

10. Earned wealth — riches derived directly from your own personal labor, the fair and just reward of your own daily efforts of mind and body.

That part of your fortune which represents the earnings of your own mental and physical efforts — if your work has been done in fairness and equity — is truly your own. No man can gainsay your right to hold and use such wealth as you may see fit provided your exercise of this right does not work harm upon your fellows.”

My dear reader, I hope you could appreciate the essence of the above. Managing wealth most appropriately for the good of all in our planet is a great responsibility . We need to encourage and honour those who do it responsibly in the manner that God wants them to do it.

Material prosperity by an individual might tarnish his prospects for spiritual growth because of the danger of that person fully pre-occupied with material pursuits and greed for self aggrandizements.

However, it is also important to realize that material prosperity is a necessary thing for civilization to prosper to greater hights where individuals get the opportunity to pursue intellectual and spiritual knowledge and mind capacities. 

The Urantia Book stresses the need for leisure just as it stresses the importance of work. Sincere work, more sincere work and more sincere work and that is very important. 

Materialism and spiritualism have to go hand in hand. A hungry and physically tired person cannot possibly have a mind suited for spiritual advancements in a material world.

And no human being should be deprived of his legitimate share of a decent material living. And that is to be ensured not just for this generation, but for the generations ahead.

And that is a great responsibility. And whoever works to achieve that needs to be admired !

Let me conclude this with another quote from the Urantia Book :

High civilizations are born of the sagacious correlation of material wealth, intellectual greatness, moral worth, social cleverness, and cosmic insight.

[Please also take some time to come back and read my previous  blogs and blogs on other topics as well. You can reach to those by clicking the links in this page. I would be happy if you take some time to express your views using the comments facility down below. Please  use the same comment facility to interact with me for any doubts or clarifications that you might have. Here is the page link which gives the   list of all my blogs  where you can open all my blog titles.]

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Story of the Young Woman Who Desired to Marry Jesus !

The Bible gospels do not give much information about the childhood and adolescent years of Jesus Christ. However, the Apocrypha books contain some information, most of which seem to be imaginary tales by their authors. [Go to read Bible and Apocrypha here !]

However, neither the Bible nor the Apocrypha support the idea that Jesus ever had a wife or even a girl friend, though some of the modern fiction writers and speculators have made it a sensational speculation. The Da Vinci Code is an example where its author Dan Brown depicts Mary Magdalene as the wife of Jesus! In the recent years, some researchers have even found some ancient papyrus pieces which they claim as giving proof for the speculation made by Dan Brown.

But my favorite revelatory book, the Urantia Book, now gives the truthful and detailed history of Jesus Christ in the most elaborate manner. Even though the origin of the Urantia Book is a speculative mystery for many, the contents of the book never look like speculation even to the most hard core critic.

The Urantia Book's non-human authors assert that Jesus Christ was the human incarnation of the Divine Son of God who is the Creator and Sovereign Ruler of a great expanse of space containing a bit over 3.8 million worlds peopled with intelligent beings which include material beings like humans and non-material beings of various orders and kinds.

According to the Urantia Book, Jesus lived like a perfect man, on earth. He was the Divine Creator of his domain and according to the mandate of his Divine Father, he was required to experience the lives of the seven major life forms that were created under his command in his domain. That was required for him to get elevated to the position of the Sovereign Ruler of the domain that he created. Because the ruler should have the fair idea of the lives of his subjects !

The book says that the Creator becoming a lowly creature is in itself a divine mystery. Human forms are the lowest of his intelligent creations and his human incarnation on earth was his last life bestowal. Thus this Divine Son of God took birth on earth as a helpless human child as Jesus of Nazareth, some 2000 years ago, to experience the human life while also helping his fellow humans to know more about his Divine Father in the most appropriate manner than what they had known earlier through other means!

But according to the divine mandate, Jesus was not supposed to marry and have earthly children. He was also required not to leave anything personally attributable to his person, such as his writings. That was because of the immature human tendency to deviate from core values and go after adorable fascinations which the divine wisdom did not wish to happen.

But Jesus as a young man faced situations that was normal to any human being in similar circumstances.

Below are the passages directly quoted from the Urantia Book in the words of its non-human authors, depicting a situation in which an young lady, named Rebecca, falling in love with Jesus and how Jesus faced that situation according to his Divine mandate:

Although Jesus was poor, his social standing in Nazareth was in no way impaired. He was one of the foremost young men of the city and very highly regarded by most of the young women. Since Jesus was such a splendid specimen of robust and intellectual manhood, and considering his reputation as a spiritual leader, it was not strange that Rebecca, the eldest daughter of Ezra, a wealthy merchant and trader of Nazareth, should discover that she was slowly falling in love with this son of Joseph.

She first confided her affection to Miriam, Jesus’ sister, and Miriam in turn talked all this over with her mother. Mary was intensely aroused. Was she about to lose her son, now become the indispensable head of the family? Would troubles never cease? What next could happen? And then she paused to contemplate what effect marriage would have upon Jesus’ future career; not often, but at least sometimes, did she recall the fact that Jesus was a “child of promise.”

After she and Miriam had talked this matter over, they decided to make an effort to stop it before Jesus learned about it, by going direct to Rebecca, laying the whole story before her, and honestly telling her about their belief that Jesus was a son of destiny; that he was to become a great religious leader, perhaps the Messiah.

Rebecca listened intently; she was thrilled with the recital and more than ever determined to cast her lot with this man of her choice and to share his career of leadership. She argued (to herself) that such a man would all the more need a faithful and efficient wife. She interpreted Mary’s efforts to dissuade her as a natural reaction to the dread of losing the head and sole support of her family; but knowing that her father approved of her attraction for the carpenter’s son, she rightly reckoned that he would gladly supply the family with sufficient income fully to compensate for the loss of Jesus’ earnings.

When her father agreed to such a plan, Rebecca had further conferences with Mary and Miriam, and when she failed to win their support, she made bold to go directly to Jesus. This she did with the co-operation of her father, who invited Jesus to their home for the celebration of Rebecca’s seventeenth birthday.

Jesus listened attentively and sympathetically to the recital of these things, first by the father, then by Rebecca herself. He made kindly reply to the effect that no amount of money could take the place of his obligation personally to rear his father’s family, to “fulfill the most sacred of all human trusts—loyalty to one’s own flesh and blood.” Rebecca’s father was deeply touched by Jesus’ words of family devotion and retired from the conference.

His only remark to Mary, his wife (Rebecca's mother), was:

“We can’t have him for a son; he is too noble for us.”

Then began that eventful talk with Rebecca. Thus far in his life, Jesus had made little distinction in his association with boys and girls, with young men and young women. His mind had been altogether too much occupied with the pressing problems of practical earthly affairs and the intriguing contemplation of his eventual career “about his Father’s business” ever to have given serious consideration to the consummation of personal love in human marriage. But now he was face to face with another of those problems which every average human being must confront and decide. Indeed was he “tested in all points like as you (humans) are.”

After listening attentively, he sincerely thanked Rebecca for her expressed admiration, adding:

“it shall cheer and comfort me all the days of my life.”

He (Jesus) explained that he was not free to enter into relations with any woman other than those of simple brotherly regard and pure friendship. He made it clear that his first and paramount duty was the rearing of his father’s family, that he could not consider marriage until that was accomplished; and then he added:

“If I am a son of destiny, I must not assume obligations of lifelong duration until such a time as my destiny shall be made manifest.”

Rebecca was heartbroken. She refused to be comforted and importuned her father to leave Nazareth until he finally consented to move to Sepphoris. In after years, to the many men who sought her hand in marriage, Rebecca had but one answer. She lived for only one purposeï—to await the hour when this, to her, the greatest man who ever lived would begin his career as a teacher of living truth.

And she followed him devotedly through his eventful years of public labor, being present (unobserved by Jesus) that day when he rode triumphantly into Jerusalem; and she stood “among the other women” by the side of Mary on that fateful and tragic afternoon when the Son of Man hung upon the cross, to her, as well as to countless worlds on high, “the one altogether lovely and the greatest among ten thousand.”

Since the name of Mary Magdalene appears in the Bible and in other writings connected with Jesus, it would be interesting to know what the Urantia Book's non-human authors tell about her. Yes, there are some remarkable information about this woman in the Urantia Book.

She was one of the twelve women disciples or apostles that Jesus selected for propagating his good news about the Kingdom of God among the people of earth.

I will cover that story from the my favorite book in another blog.

[Please also take some time to come back and read my previous  blogs and blogs on other topics as well. You can reach to those by clicking the links in this page. I would be happy if you take some time to express your views using the comments facility down below. Please  use the same comment facility to interact with me for any doubts or clarifications that you might have. Here is the page link which gives the   list of all my blogs  where you can open all my blog titles.]