”The worst feature of this cosmology is that, rather than presenting a deeper solution to the existential dilemma, it merely reproduces the all-too linear causality we associate with the physical world, with domination and submission, and the enforcement of moral codes, thus not solving the existential dilemma at all. At the same time the concept of dominion over nature leads directly to rape of the planet and its natural resources, just the sort of crisis of triage Revelation anticipates, as a form of misguided human impact.
Although accepting that the primal order was the God-given natural paradise of the Garden of Eden surrounding the Tree of Life, all monotheistic accounts then proceed to exert conflict and violence against the natural order in the name of dominion over nature, partly as a punishment for Adam and Eve’s transgression to live by the sweat of their brow conquering the weeds and thorns of the wilderness wracked by the pains of childbirth.” ( www.dhushara.com )
Thus, the table was set for the Third Crusade; a feeble practice session of Apocalypse that hopefully would induce a messiah to close the television and come down during the commercial break, and give sign language or some indication of at least who he/she was leaning towards as his/her choice of successor. All the actors were doomed from the outset to commit themselves to the fallacies of their respective dogma. The inner contradictions always served as the tipping point to war.
He was known as “Richard the Lionhearted” or “Cœur de Lion”, even before he was crowned as king, because of his reputation as a great military leader. From the outset, he exhibited the volatile disposition and demonic energy inherent in the Plantagenet family. He was said to be fond of quoting the Angevin family legend “From the Devil we sprang and to the Devil we shall go.” He is also referred to as “the absent king” because throughout his reign, he remained in England for just six months. Some writers have criticised him for this. He appears in Sir Walter Scott’s famous novel Ivanhoe. King Richard is best known for his bravery and the great wars he fought, especially the Third Crusade, where he appeared the counterpart of Saladin.
His impressive victory at Acre, culminated with the killing of 2700 Saracens, along with their wives and children after Saladin reneged on a arrangement to hand over the True Cross and a hundred named Knights, though he was willing to part with money for their lives. An eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth. Flush with success, Richard the Lion Hearted continued the Third Crusade in 1191 by marching sixty miles south to Jaffa which had fallen to the Moslems after Hattin.
On September 5, during the march, Richard himself went out to Saladin’s brother Saphadin under a flag of truce. He offrered to go home and leave the Moslems in peace, if Saladin would evacuate the whole Kingdom of Jerusalem. He cannot have expected that his proposal would be accepted; but perhaps that was merely a convenient way of publishing his maximum demand on the eve of a great battle that he hoped would be decisive.
”Monotheism, rather than offering a cosmological solution, is actually a social and cultural mechanism by which moral forces and submission to an higher power are combined, to evoke phalanx societies, which have a high degree of internal cooperation, which enables these societies to survive in crude Darwinian terms, by be
more able to compete with and conquer other societies. Despite their pretenses to being under the banner of God, the merciful and compassionate, the realities are enforcement of moral codes through splitting the souls of believers between glowing accounts of heaven and dire penalties, both in this life and the imagined after-life, for any transgressor.”
The Battle of Arsuf, on September 7, was indeed a Christian victory, although the Moslems were more frightened than hurt; the Turkish horse fled so fast that few were killed. But to Saladin it was a heavy blow. He ruled these men only because he led them to victory; if he made a habit of being beaten at Acre and Arsuf, they would find another Sultan. Grimly, he prepared to stand a siege in Jerusalem; for if he retired from that great conquest his army would desert him.
Meanwhile, Richard had been talking with the knights of his army, and it must suddenly have been brought home to him that he could not win the war. Every pilgrim was eager to assault the Holy City; but every pilgrim would go home as soon as he had prayed in the Holy Sepulchre. Jerusalem could not be held by the barons of the kingdom, split between Conrad of Montferrat and Guy de Lusignan plus their allies from Europe, who would not stay to help them. Richard, strong in the prestige of Arsuf, sat down to think out the best terms such prestige would bring him.
His envoy, Humphrey of Toron, would propose a compromise. It was to let Saladin retire from jerusalem and the western half of the kingdom, as far as the line of the Jordan; and the True Cross, of no value to Saladin, should be returned. Saladin had also been mulling things over. The coastal plain was deadly, not only to himself but to his army; he began to see that he would never conquer the Christian ports. In his answer to Richard, Saladin said that he would never yield Jerusalem, or he dared not lest such a retreat should likely cost him his throne. However, one day he might return the True Cross, the great prize must be dearly bought. Yet, he still wished for peace. Could Richard come up with a sweeter deal?
Richard answered with a plan for the neutralization of the Holy Places, a plan quite unmedieval in its practical forethought. But since this was still the twelfth century, the foundation of the scheme was a royal marriage. Richard had with him in jaffa his sister Joan, the widowed queen of Sicily. He offered to make over to her his conquests in Outremer, the strip of land he had conquered between Tyre and Ascalon. Let Saladin give his brother the whole of Palestine; the Joan should marry Sapahadin. The plan was worked out in elaborate detail. The royal pair would reign in Jerusalem, which would be open to pilgrims of every faith; in each town there would be separate Moslem and Christian quarters; all prisoners held by either side should be freed without ransom: the Templars and Hospitaliers would return to their castles, so that Christians would have armed protection.
As a scheme for the government of Palestine, the scheme had great merits. In the proposed realm of King Sapahadin and Queen Joan, Arab peasants, both Christian and Moslem, would till their fields in peace and Christian pilfrims would visit Jerusalem and go home again. In the ports, Italian traders would do business under an alien government, as in Alexandria and other Moslem markets. Turkish emirs and the knights of the military orders would keep the peace in open country.
But, the plan did not survive the scrutiny of public opinion. The Crusaders were deeply shocked.” Joan was horrified by the plan, and her angry refusal to go along torpedoed Richard’s scheme. The modern history of Jerusalem, since the advent of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has been filled with plans for shared sovereignty that mirror Richard’s utopian aspirations. And like Richard’s nuptial proposal, these various ideas for internationalization, autonomous “boroughs,” joint Jewish-Arab condominia, and the like, have continuously crashed upon the shoals of irreconcilable religious and national differences.”
The Richard, asked Sephadin whether he would consider turning Christian and got the answer he might have expected. Saladin chuckled to see the champion of the cross in such a false position. To save his darling project, Richard offered his niece Eleanor of Brittany in place of Joan, but Saphadin would accept no substitute for the beautiful Joan. The scheme was effectively buried. Richard advanced to within twelve miles of Jerusalem but changed his mind and marched south to Ascalon. That gave him a valuable bargaining counter; A Christian army at Ascalon could cut the road between Syria and Egypt, severing Saladin’s recruiting ground from his principal source of revenue.
Religion,and its claims of proximity to truth, have always been steeped in the description of conscious reality and the ultimate questions of morality, sin and whether there is life after death.The high road. Religions from diverse cultures from Islam, through Hinduism and Buddhism to Taoism and diverse ethnic beliefs, have different twists to this tale, including the idea from Indian philosophy that consciousness is ‘finer’ than gross matter and so any cosmology has to stem from primary consciousness rather than the secondary aggregates of material form. Christianity and Islam, with regard to the Crusades, both were faced with existential dilemmas in their cosmological narratives. Each attributed ”the other” with difficulties and perceived limitations without putting their own religious narratives to the scrutiny of skeptical thinking. The result, predictably, was hiding behind the indulgence that belief somehow permits double standards, in which scripture and religion are on an unquestioning pedestal, as the revealed word of God or al-Llah which cannot be questioned by mere sentient beings.
Likely, Richard and Saladin both believed in the idea that the earth is flat, overlaid by heavens in which the astronomical bodies are set, as if on some gigantic hemispherical ceiling. Identical God folk myths and fantastic tales having no credibility . Central to the debate between religion between the two was the mutual accusations of creationist belief; the issue of evolution and whether life is too complex and wonderful to have been crafted by the blind groping of evolution, rather than divine creation, or in its present incarnation as ”intelligent design”.
”What is needed if one is going to espouse this kind of mystical omniscient theology is to say what it means in terms of active human participation for caring for the living diversity of the planet and restoring the Garden of Eden to its paradisiacal form, otherwise one is simply playing with smoke and mirrors. The acid test is the all too evident capacity of the religiously zealous people of Earth to use themes like the ‘Creator’ to destroy the Garden of Eden before it has even had a chance to serve its time for the very reason that it is just a flawed creation of a transcendent God.”
The Judeo-Christian cosmology, and with it the Muslim view, is an account of a God acting in history. One of the strongest acclamations of the monotheistic deity is that it is abstract and transcendental, neither represented by icon, nor idol, and that, rather than following the seasonal cycles of agriculture, or the indulgences of civic pride, represents a living covenantal relationship with a true God of reality, who lies beyond mere images of stone.
The monotheistic cosmological narrative is strongly influenced by Genesis, which begins with two conflicting accounts, an Elhoistic sabbatical creation and the Yahwistic allegory of Eden and the Fall.The sabbatical creation is both charming and contradictory to the natural order. The Eden account is wildly contradictory to the sabbatical creation and sets up a very different sturm and drang.These complementary Elhoistic and Yahwistic accounts are also faithfully copied into the Quran, despite Muhammad’s claim that they were narrated directly by the angel Gabriel, …
While God is then described afresh by Jesus and some apocalyptic contemporaries, as a loving and forgiving Father – Abba, his one act of redemption is to sacrifice his only begotten ‘son’ to achieve this forgiveness, in the crucifixion, as a Paschal lamb exploded to apocalyptic proportions, giving rise to an ongoing blood rite of soma and sangre, which endlessly repeats this bloody murder throughout history, in a manner not unreminiscent of the Aztecs.
The Quran, as an offshoot of Jewish cosmology and eschatology, likewise traverses a scheme of God acting in history from Eden through the Fall into an apocalyptic historical unveiling in a day of judgment, accompanied by astronomical eclipses. Muhammad likewise is cast as the final of a succession of prophets from Moses through Jesus.The monotheistic eschatology of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic paths is a linear causality leading from Genesis to Apocalypse in which there is little any of us can do about anything, because although we must have free-will to be able to sin, the only purpose for life and existence is to be caught in an ultimate division between slavish obedience to God’s commands, along with the additional moral caveats from murder to greed and envy, resulting in eternal life in which all our desires are fulfilled, or exerting our will to rebel against this divine order, only to find ourselves in eternal torment.
In closer scrutiny, the whole monotheistic edifice, along with the pagan notions of the Trinity, virgin birth and physical resurrection in Christianity, is as flawed as the iconic deities that ‘pagan’ polytheists are accused of worshiping, as false Gods.Even more unclear is why a God who ostensibly can create all the magical complexity of paradise, not to mention the vast and complex universe we know exists today, would use it for the menial purpose of judging sin and then condemning the good, bad and ugly alike to seemingly meaningless lives trapped in positive and negative utopias splitting the natural reality asunder into a dualistic schism that renders heaven as incomplete as hell is.
Again implicit in this story of betrayal is a profound weakening of the spirit, because we all inherit the mantle of fallibility, being sinners who can only redeem ourselves, not by our own innate wisdom, nor by deep transcendental meditation, but merely by becoming effective slaves of al-Llah, or worshiping Christ as Lord of the cosmos, despite the hints from the oldest gnostic texts that Jesus himself sought to give us the keys to assuming Christ nature, and the records of early Muslim historians that Muhammad changed his mind, resulting in the satanic verses cursing the Goddess.” ( www.dhushara.com)