Harry Terhanian.com

Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • My mother would sometimes use this saying to describe exceptionally stupid people. It says, “Hoorin mecheh guh kakneh hedo chouruh guh khmeh - he passes stool in the same well that he draws water to drink.”

    She would use a variant of this which says, “Hooruh kaknogh khent eh - he is a crazy fool who passes stool in his drinking well.”

    The utter foolishness of self-defeating behavior is emphasized. The example of the camel that likes to eat thorny bushes corresponds to this proverb. While chewing on thorny bushes, the thorns cut the camel’s tongue and it tastes its own blood. The camel likes the taste of its own blood. The camel undermines its well being by savoring the perverted taste for its own blood. This applies also to people who are addicted to obsessive sex (or drugs, etc.).

    For a man (or woman) to make sperm (or vital sexual fluids), it is necessary to eat nutritious foods. It takes two pounds or more of healthy food to make one drop of blood and about forty drops of blood to make one drop of sperm. If a person regularly wastes their sperm (or vital sexual fluids), then they are compared to the camel who enjoys eating its own blood.

    Too frequent sexual activity depletes the body of vital energy and life force that is maintained by sperm and vital fluids. This reduces the life span of a person and compromises good health. Self-destructive behavior is characteristic of foolish or crazy people. In villages certain wells were designated for activity. For example, one well was used for washing clothes and one for drinking water, etc. Yet, there is a saying in India, whatever purpose is achieved by a small body of water can equally be served by a large one. If I wash in one well and drink from another, I can also go to the river and accomplish both purposes. Rivers are always clean (if they are not purposely contaminated by large industry and agriculture) because the waters are always running swiftly with good current. So all purposes served by a well can be equally and better served by a river.

    In life we seek to accomplish our goals usually for our own self-interest. Yet, if we recognize that we are all part of God’s creation and work for the common good, then we benefit not only ourselves but all others.

    The beginning of wisdom is to understand that God is the original father of all living beings. We are all members of the same family. Artificially excluding some people from the family of God is the beginning of racism and prejudice. In the eyes of God, we are all members of His family. If I see otherwise, I begin to pass stool in the well I drink from or attempt to contaminate the natural brotherhood of all creatures with false concepts of exclusivity.

    Racism and nationalism are false concepts of exclusivity that eventually undermine our hopes to live peacefully in this world. Honoring cultural traditions based on universal spiritual truth is not the same as racism or nationalism.

    Practicing and sharing my cultural traditions with others is enriching my life and the life of others. In return, others can share their traditions with me. Insisting that one race or nation is better than another is simply contaminating the natural brotherhood of all God’s creations.

    The question may be posed, “What are universal spiritual truths.” These truths are self-evident and exist in every tradition. For example, “Thou shall not kill” is one such universal truth. This truth must be understood in the context of the eternal soul. All living being including animals, birds, insects, fish, reptiles, etc., are individuals who possess a soul. The symptom of the individual soul’s presence in a particular body is consciousness. All souls have a destiny to fulfill. Their destiny may be limited by the type of body they possess. Only the human body is favorable and fully equipped for fulfilling
    one’s ultimate destiny, which is to free oneself of all illusion and repeated birth and death by developing pure love of God.

    By unnecessary killing of animals, plants, etc., we abort their gradual evolution to the human form where they can attempt to escape the interminable cycle of birth and death. “Thou shalt not kill,” must be understood in its widest sense that I should avoid killing all beings, not only human beings. A good example of this is Adam and Eve before their fall from the Garden of Eden. Their eating habits were completely nonviolent. By eating the fruits of tree they avoided killing the tree and also killing the fruit. They ate only the pulp of the fruit and spit out the seed on the ground. The seed sprouted and another tree grew that produced thousands of more fruit. Rather than abort the life cycle of living beings, they participated in the proliferation of Nature’s bounty by nonviolent eating. Such eating produced more opulence and helped all beings elevate themselves to a better destiny.

    The summary of universal spiritual truths can be easily stated as four basic principles; austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness.

    Austerity means one respects the sanctity of all life and strictly follows the principles of religion without infringing on the rights of others. The highest principle of austerity is to perform only those acts that are pleasing to God.

    Cleanliness means to follow the rules of spiritual life. For external cleanliness, one should bath at least twice a day and eat only sanctified vegetarian foods that are wholesome and fresh. For internal cleanliness, one may always hear and chant the glories of God in the company of other faithful friends. Sex out of wedlock, alcohol and drugs, meat-eating and gambling or philosophical speculation destroy external and internal cleanliness.

    Sharing knowledge of God in an affectionate and humble way is an example of mercy. Following the word of God and demonstrating it by helping others and especially the less fortunate is mercy. Mercy is destroyed by intoxication. One should avoid all forms of intoxication even coffee and tea. One is merciful by avoiding all forms of unnecessary violence in word or act and engaging is giving a positive example of respect and love for all God’s creation.

    Truthfulness is repeating the word of God and living it. Truthfulness is compromised by gambling, or speculation in philosophy. Philosophical speculation is pretending to know something and speaking in hypothetical ways using words as “maybe, if, perhaps, assume that, etc..” Giving an opinion that is not based on verifiable fact is speculation. Gambling is a way to make money without working and leads to being dishonest.

    When these four universal principles of religion are followed, then all men and women will live peacefully on this earth regardless of religious or ethnic differences. When one or more of these principles are violated, then there is trouble in one’s personal life and in society. We may talk of peace, but by disregarding the universal spiritual truths we pass stool into the well of world peace and harmony and then drink the infected water of war, racial and ethnic violence.

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