27 May, 2019

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God, Word, And You

By Jagath Asoka

Dr. Jagath Asoka

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

On this brumal Christmas eve, the weather in Newtown, Pennsylvania, reminds me of the monsoon season in Sri Lanka. It is raining here in Newtown; luckily for me; it is not cold enough for the rain drops to turn into snowflakes. In this predicament, all I have is just words; words to describe how I feel and what I think; yet the melancholy that I feel is somewhat indescribable, but I am my words, and the Word has been with us since the beginning.

I am not a Christian, but Christmas has always been with me. Probably it is because of my childhood and my neighborhood in Sri Lanka where I grew up. I still remember how I went from house to house with my friends—the sui generis urchins of our neighborhood—singing Christmas carols, expecting our neighbors to be generous so that we would collect enough money to celebrate Christmas in a little hut that we would build in our neighborhood every year. There would not be Christmas without Christ; without Christmas, I would not have these memories and melancholy. So, it is very natural for me to think of Christ and have my own ideas about Christ.

Who was Christ? Different people have different explanations. To say that Christ is hundred percent human and hundred percent divine is a real paradox. According to the Gospel of John, Jesus Christ was the Word who became a human being. In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God, and Word was God. So, the Word itself had its own existence. Since it was God’s Word, it was God. All things came into being through Word. This Word is what gave life to everything. What is this Word? This Word became flesh and lived among us as the Father’s own Son. The law came from Moses, but the truth and grace were given to us by Christ. So, Christ is the incarnation of God’s word. To me this is the most mystical and exalted Christology because Christ is the one who created the universe. To me this is the most amazing theology because Jesus, an apocalyptic prophet, who asked people to repent for their sins was crucified for his effort; this same Jesus was with God in eternity past and created the universe. Wow!

The words that we hear nowadays everywhere in the world are full of malice, hatred, and enmity. We are the words that we use, so choose your words, with compassion, the compassion that the Buddha talked about. Listen to the words of Jesus, the Buddha, and Mohammed, and you will find Jesus, the Buddha, and God.

The words of a mystic are different from the words of a poet; a poor scientist has no place in the realm of a mystic; he is totally lost in the realm of a poet, yet they all use words to describe who they are.

Most people would say that we are inseparable from God, and God knows what we are doing to ourselves and to others. Only a physicist can understand this paradox of a mystic. A physicist talks about elementary particles and their entanglements; two particles, even separated by an unimaginable distance—by a billion light years, even if they are on opposite sides of the universe—can interact in such a spooky way that whatever you do to one of them, the other would know it instantaneously; the speed of light has no place in this entanglement.

God and you are inseparable; even you separate yourself from God by a billion light years, whatever you do to yourself, God would know instantaneously; not only God knows what is happening to you, God also knows what you do to others. So, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Time and space have no meaning in this entanglement.

Not only physicists and mystics know about these entanglements. If you have ever been in love, you would know what I am talking about; I am not just talking about romantic love. If you are a parent, you would know this entanglement: Whatever happens to your child, it happens to you.

What physicists call entanglement, to Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists it is God’s love, compassion, and attachment; and to troubadours it is courtly love.

In a few days, all of us will be celebrating: A new beginning, a New Year. Over the years as a medical writer I have learned a few things that I am going to share with you; it might sound corny to some of you, but it is OK.  If you want to age well and keep your brain healthy, sleep a lot, jog a little and lift a little; turn your diet into a Mediterranean diet— abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish and poultry (lean sources of protein), and some olive oil—and keep learning new things, perhaps a new language. A scientist would say in his scientific jargon, this is the best approach to keep your telomeres longer and to reduce your beta amyloid in your brain. For most of you, this approach would be the best way to treat diseases: start living a good life, at least thirty years before you get sick.

So, now you know what I meant by “God, Word, and You.” A Very Merry Christmas and a Healthy Happy New Year to all of you!

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Latest comments

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    I herd around 1800, christmas began to become a commercial event.Exchange presents, party and dance. that is why christmas eve sermon. So, everybody go hjome and start partying.

    • 3
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      It is around 1900, Vesak began to become a commercial event. Collect money from people to put up Pandols, drink and dance in Dansalas, so that everybody can enjoy.

      • 4
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        DrGS,
        But it has turned out to be a business. Right ?

        See how SIRASA spends millions onbehalf of Christmas illuminations and them to be seen as above among the few other channels.

        I think we the lankens should think more about the wastage of Energies with predictions before us that the country will have to face a scarce of hydroalic power in few years now.

      • 1
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        If they drink and dance that can not be a dansela. YOu do not know what you are talking.

    • 4
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      HI Jagath,
      hope you are doing well. HOw is your son doing ? He should now be in his early teenage.

      To tell you, me too, I have been with christmas activities even if I have not been a christs by religion. Somehow i like the christmas celebrations than anything else. Here in europe, almost everyone is happy to celebrate christmas as no where in the world.
      Back in our home country, I see streets and places are decorated by light lines as no times before. Sirasa sender seems to be seen above with the various kind of decordations. All is good, but sirasa to behave as the governing of the country is on their hand is beyond my comphrehension. They though criticise bank scam, but not much is done towards revealing Rajapakshe high profiles crimes. We the viewers want not only to attack one party but all those who have been abusing everything. Why on earth Rajapakshe to give more chance to return and destroy the nation again.?
      Sirasa and all other pvt media men are the headache to us all in SL today. They abuse and focus on their commercial gainsnot thinkin the harm being done by them to the nation.

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      Dr. Jagath Asoka,

      RE: God, Word ad You

      Thanks.

      It is actually about You, the Bioreactor.

      “If you want to age well, …..,, A scientist would say in his scientific jargon, this is the best approach to keep your telomeres longer, and to reduce and to reduce your brain amyloid in your brain.”

      This is an alternative and practical Word, closer to reality, than the other Words for your Bioreactor.

  • 1
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    Jagath Asoka nostalgically recalls his childhood when groups of kids (irrespective of the religious group they belonged to) get together during X’mas, go with a collection box singing carols. The meagre collection (we earned it!) is then spent. That was pure fun. That was the spirit of comradery.
    The Sinhala/Tamil New Year was again a time of joint celebration. Diwali was a time when Hindus shared goodies with neighbours. So was Ramdhan when Muslim neighbours shared goodies.
    Yes these have gotten commercialised but our politicians have created this language/religion-divide and buggered the natural spirit of togetherness!

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    Jagath,
    Your “words” in this essay says “very merry Christmas” to me too. How dare you say that!!! Nice middle aged women greeted me couple of days back saying “what are your plans for this Christmas”…. I don’t have any childhood memories of Christmas, my parents or relatives were not Christians.. I wanted say I have no plans, this what I have been doing all past years…. but this year, I became a monster and reply to that kind women saying “my plan is to find a jew and crucify him”.. Then a man near me said “Christmas is not about crucification”.. But how should I know… I don’t know, I have no real interest.. And then I added “My Divali” is about crucification of Jews and I thought Christmas is the same.”. … “words” … how cruel and foolish it could be…

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    For me, religion is a personal credence. You either believe in it, or you don’t. Either way you are no less a human.
    *
    For me, the New Year is an astrological mark significant to human life. It benefits you by the information it provides on the movements of the terrestrial bodies around you.
    *
    By and large, Christmas is a time to be with your family and friends, for many around the world. It has very little to do with religion; it has absolutely nothing to do with the new year.
    *
    Religions are supposed to cleanse your soul. For a true follower, no religion is better than or superior to the other.
    *
    If your soul is cleansed you need no religion to remind you of the Creator.

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    “If you want to age well ….turn you diet into a Mediterranean diet ….perhaps a new language.”

    I am emailing this piece to my friends along with new year wishes.

    Thanks Dr Jagath

    Soma
    CT Editor: You have disabled ‘selection’ feature which has made commenting a nightmare.

    • 1
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      somass

      Why has it taken more than a few weeks for you to realise “CT had disabled ‘selection’ feature which has made commenting a nightmare”?

      How long is it going to take you to realise sins of your fathers?

      Happy Holidays.

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      For Asians, North indian diet is the best. They do not use coconut instead they use cow’s milk. Even their wheat is fiber rih. Sri lanka eat western wheat which has problems such as high simple starch.. For americans french diet, medittaranean may be the best except for Garlic (smell in the mouth) which reduces cholesterol.

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    Commenting on God by a thing created by God Himself is the toughest philosophical paradox to me. A guy at Angoda has recorded “You are beautiful’ on his phone and often plays it back to himself.
    Soma

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      Soma
      Great Freudian insight ! Sadly there more people are living outside Angoda that inside it. Like that place in the middle of Diyawanna oya .

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      somass

      “A guy at Angoda has recorded “You are beautiful’ on his phone and often plays it back to himself.”

      It is a good treatment yet it hasn’t cured you at all.
      How long you’ve been under such treatment?
      It might cure you in the long term.
      However, wish you a speedy recovery.

  • 2
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    Asoka

    I read your article with interest. You are a very mature and a wise man. So many interesting concepts you have discussed and did not ridicule or hurt anyone.

    Beautiful piece

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