Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy Nawrooz to the People of Iran

Last year I visited Iran as the guest of an Iranian family. We celebrated Nawrooz, the Persian New Year, in Tehran, and as always, many significant things happened..

Today, on the anniversary of that visit, I'd like to once again, wish the Iranian people a Happy Nawrooz, and tell the full story of my visit, and why I went there.
In 2004 and 2006 two anti-Iranian articles appeared in my favourite magazine "The Mountain Astrologer". Claiming that Iran was "sponsoring terrorism" and "defiantly pursuing nuclear weapons" they also stated that "Islamic regimes were aggressively challenging the Christian West". They then forecast that the "War on Islamic Terror would continue till 2031", and that "if an all-out war with Iran were to take place it would be in September 2009". It was sad to see the writers, both of whom were Jewish, clearly misusing Astrology to make predictions based on their personal biases. Still, I looked at the Iran/Israel horoscopes, and decided to visit Iran.

First, I saw the possibility of war in early 2007. And, there'd be an earthquake while we were there. I wouldn't predict the outcome, just that it was important I go. This had nothing to do with Astrology, but, a leap of faith, no matter how difficult.

We arrived in early March. Looking at the mountain range on the outskirts of Tehran I saw how an earthquake could devastate the city. And the heaviness of the karma over the city was unlike any I had seen. Tehran is a city of spirits; over a million died in the Iran-Iraq war. I visited the huge war cemetery. During Nawrooz, it's customary for grieving relatives to wash graves, decorate them with flowers and pass out sweets to strangers to pray for their loved ones. Most of the gravestones were of youths between 18-20 years old. And some still want to bomb them? I think not.

I healed the earth around Tehran. I set up a free clinic and saw more than 200 Iranians from all walks. I held healing meditations. There was an earthquake, but it was comparatively mild. British sailors who'd crossed into Iranian waters and were captured while we were there; the Americans wanted to attack immediately but the British insisted on diplomacy and the sailors were released. I watched VOA on satellite TV as Iranian expatriates based in London and Washington wondered why the US hadn't bombed yet.

The Iranian spirit is represented by the Phoenix. They will survive, and any attack will harm the attacker more than the Iranians. The only reason the mullahs survive is the threat of the external enemy. This justifies the military spending which the Americans hope will lead to the collapse of Iranian society as Reagan supposedly caused the collapse of Russian society. Most Iranians aren't any any more fond of the expatriates than they are of the mullahs. Inflation's a big problem here but somehow people survive. The presence of Islam isn't even as monolithic as people think. I was welcomed, in spite of my unorthodox views. There's a lot of interest in Zoroastrianism and New Age, with people even visiting ashrams in India. These are a kind, gentle people, and what you read about them, simply isn't truth.

This is Iran, from where the Vedas came to India. Where the first recorded declaration of human rights was written hundreds of years before the Greeks. a centre of enlightenment where Hafez, Rumi and Firdowsi wrote their poems, and Sufiism flowered. Note who's calling for war, and which countries. Those who want to destroy it are the true barbarians.

That there might be a war is possible. In fact, as early as August of 2008. I sought to help, and I did, but there is, as always, only so much one can do, and the rest is up to karma, which depends on people's actions, in Iran as well as America.

That I believe religion is archaic and cannot provide solutions any more to an evolving humanity, I've said before. I'm not going to pick on any one religion when all, as practised now, have their faults. I also have said I respect Islam because it inspires people towards social justice and an undying resistance to tyranny. That it merits change is something I will address soon, when the time is right, but the discussion, about the original intentions of the prophets, is for the right time, not now.

The Iranian people wait for the return of the hidden Imam, Imam Zama. For that alone, I love them. But there is more to them, and the painting I above captures what I saw there.
Beauty, and Spirituality.

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