With the Asian tsunami testing conventional faiths, here is a Taoist take on the disaster.
No conclusions can possibly be drawn about the ineffable, no matter your belief structure. The divine realm is unfathomable. We can touch it by meditation or prayer, or at moments of spontaneous grace, having just done someone a good turn or vice versa, perhaps, or during rare moments of sharing love with another without clinging, jealousy or possessiveness present. But we can't presume to explain it or discern what its motives might be, if indeed it has motives at all.
And we shouldn't presume to put words into 'God's' mouth. My post on Friday
has got all sorts writing to me to prove by quotation from their Holy Books (which were compiled by fallible people, mostly men) that they have the true "Word of God". Quite frankly, I don't care. I respect the right of all to practice their religion of choice, but I am not a seeker of someone else's 'truth'.
What I consistently state is that everyone should be treated equally within a social framework. Is it so bad to oppose exploitation and victimization? Tragedies will continue to occur. Humankind can and should work together to prevent those caused by greed and a 'holier-than-thou' attitude.
Agam and his Gecko
write at length about the current floods in Indonesia
. Thankfully, they have subsided here in Jakarta, but I do have one question. How come Agam (and his gecko), living in Bangkok, get better reception of Indonesian TV than I do?
And if I am allowed a supplementary question, why are so many folk buying TVs at the moment? For the past few days, our local Carrefour has been displaying on its racks of demonstration TVs being swarmed over by eager shoppers notices to the effect that "this model is out of stock".
There is the bad news
that the tsunami cost Aceh a generation and $4.4bn. The biggest story of the disaster ... is not the damage to the national economy, which was substantial, but the suffering of hundreds of thousands of individuals who have lost everything: members of their families, their homes, and any hope of making a living.
And the good news
is that non-governmental organizations will ... be invited to join the supervisory bodies, which will start working once the government's blueprint for reconstruction and rehabilitation of Aceh is completed
and that the government's aim is to empower the Acehnese in this process.
More good news
announced on Friday, is that coffee from the devastated Indonesian province of Aceh is to go on sale in Britain's only Fairtrade café chain
Jakarta residents can get to drink it at home. Ask the folk who run Merdeka Coffee
, although their website doesn't yet offer online ordering.
Here at Jakartass Towers, our brew of choice is from Sidikalang
. That's because 'Er Indoors is from Medan where all the best food comes from.