I’ve been reading some Eckhart Tolle and listening to his lectures. In summary, I can say so far that it seems to be a very lucid, modern description of the state of being fully aware in the present moment. I also find this state to be the mystical core of all faiths that can generate saints, or loving beings in love with all being. Therefore, being a long-time seeker myself and being interested in the core experience that sustains and uplifts humanity, I’ve become motivated to start putting into practice some of these teachings.
While everyday life, in brief interactions with the myriad types of people in the world, provides plenty of opportunities for practice, the essence of the practice is to remain centered in the midst of these interactions. I think remembering and being focused upon something one has never experienced in the first place could be difficult, therefore it seems that I might need a remedial practice to prepare for the greater practice that is life.
In Tolle’s teachings, as well as mystical Christianity, Buddhism, and Sufism, many practical techniques are taught. Those that make sense immediately to me, that I might consider following are as follows: silence, space, inner body, and mind watching. All of these seem consistent and obtainable with daily practice on a cushion.
Silence meditation involves sitting and listening to all the sounds of the world. Then try in that to hear the silence, the vast silence from which all those sounds emanate and to which they return. Space meditation is the same sort of idea, but visually or conceptual try to feel the space in which all things are. Inner body meditation involves feeling the life within your body, within each cell. The whole being is one pulsing energy field of life. Instead of imaging this or conceptualizing it, try to feel it, tactilely. The feeling might start first as tingling or warmth, but let it engulf the whole organism. This particular meditation appeals to me because it is frequently lauded in Western mystical tradition and is said to be the vegetable body, or the place magick, the crossroads, the meeting of the spiritual realm and the material. Mind watching is the practice of watching the mind like a rabbit hole, waiting to see what pops out. Note it without judgment and wait again. It is fascinating in doing this how much of the content of the mind is based on regrets and wounds of the past, or fantasies or fears of the future! The mind seems to fight Now viciously at every step, attacking the true self most cruelly.
I hope to take up one or more of these meditation practices daily soon. Please share your practice and experiences as well. I will share my experiences as they unfold.
Posts Tagged ‘Christianity’
Posted by majutsu on June 28, 2010
Posted by majutsu on June 22, 2010
The Pillars of Empire
Long ago, after Sumer was destroyed, the world faced a dark age as one of the shining lights of world civilization had sprung up virtually out of nowhere, and just as quickly, now had faced its sudden demise. The secrets of the Sumerians, including natural science, astronomy, agricultural techniques, a functional political system, warfare tactics, and most significantly, theological practices and ritual, were facing extinction. The maintenance of these secrets, literally the keys to mankind’s control over the earth and its inhabitants, were passed to the Egyptians. In particular, these secrets were passed in the form of a king-making ceremony exercised by the priestly class. For an Egyptian to truly be accepted as king, he or she had to undergo this ceremony and receive these secrets to direct the society that was his or her charge. To question the authority of this king and to support another contender would have been foolish, as it would put a person on the throne with inadequate knowledge of any of these critical functions of governance. The king, who made the “rocks sing” with the almost magical act of writing, who knew the movements of the heavens, the most opportune times to plant, and how to construct fabulous dwellings through architecture, most certainly would be perceived as god-like, if not the sun-god, Amen-Ra, incarnate on earth.
By the time we reach Seqenenre Tao II, the ruler of the last of the Theban kingdoms at the end of the Middle Period, one might imagine that these “secrets” were of little use. If, long ago, a king had taught some ancient forbearer the techniques of agriculture, that farmer no doubt taught his children and his children’s children the family farming techniques. Similar arguments can be made regarding writing, which disseminated widely in the priestly class, and government, which can be absorbed by osmosis in participation, etc. One then sees that the king-making ceremony had reached rather a point of being formalism and superstition. While for the sake of the superstitious and tradition, the king-making ceremony was still needed, but practically not essential. No better proof of the new freedom to question the king’s inalienable right to rule was the fact that mighty kingships were being contested at that time, and there is clear evidence from the mummy that Sequenenre Tao II was assassinated by 3 blows to the head. The contenders to the throne felt that while Sequenenre Tao’s authority could certainly be challenged, they felt that for the mass of common people, it was perhaps still useful to keep the king-making ceremony as a ritual of legitimacy.
As is well known, through the work of Eisenman, Knight, Lomas, and others, the king was approached by 3 assassins at noon prayer, asked to divulge the ceremony of king-making (which probably involved a ritualistic death and resurrection, perhaps assisted by drugs and a theatrical re-enacting of Osiris’s journey) and he refused, resulting in his death and the loss of the god-making ceremony. This event is the basis of the legend of Hiram Abif as enacted by the Freemasons. Finding themselves without a king-making ceremony, the now-ruling conspirators proceeded to make one up. This new king-making ceremony, in all its uselessness and superstition, became the foundation of Egyptian theology, the pyramids, and several major world-religions.
Moses was an Egyptian, well inside the court circle. The “Jews” were a loose group of unrelated tribes that Moses took leadership of, skilled artisans and an intelligent but warlike people that had been taken into slavery by the Egyptians for their utility. Moses took with him the fake king ceremony and that ever-powerful desire to rule and dominate others, took his cadre of misfit warriors, and then ran through Palestine, killing and raping town after town of men, women, children and animals as he went. The ultimate goal was to build a kingdom of the sun God Amen-Ra united with law and legitimized by the king-making ceremony. This was continued by the Judges, David, Solomon etc. It is in Solomon that we have a reconstruction of the temple and ceremony in full and in public. His connection with this lifestyle was so well known centuries after his life that the Bible goes to great lengths to rationalize his “paganism” and “demonology.” In general, the murderous, treacherous, and immoral behavior of the Jewish kings shows how well this belief in God-hood and divine right-to-rule can justify literally any action of self-aggrandizement as “good.”
In Solomon’s temple we see a door facing east with two pillars, representing the upper and lower kingdoms that were united to make Egypt. Over time, these pillars became symbols of the priest and the king with the arch-stone or cornerstone being the united kingdom.
By the time we get to the time of Jesus, apocalyptic fervor was in full swing. It was expected there would be a priestly messiah and a political messiah, and that when they were united together, there would be an eternal Jewish kingdom and Jerusalem would never again be held by non-Jews such as the Romans. It was widely believed that John the Baptist was the priestly Messiah. This is why the Bible goes through such great length to link John the Baptist favorably with Christ. The problem is that before the two could stand in the Temple of Jerusalem and perform their ultimately pointless king-making ceremony, John the Baptist had his head cut off. It seems that Jesus somewhere decided that he was both Messiahs in one body. This did not seem plausible to many of the time, which explains both Jesus’s lack of significant historical impact as well as the continued proposal of single and dual Messiahs. Jesus’s brother James (aka Jacob) also developed quite a following. He was the leader of the Qumran group, authors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Since Solomon etc had performed the rites and yet the Jews were under foreign occupation, there must be an explanation to the failure of the “magic.” The answer, then as always, was that the nonsense magic didn’t work because the people weren’t “pure” enough. With the ritual ablutions, extreme diet and prayer, the Qumran community offered the hope of spiritual revival and subsequent political freedom. The idea then became that Jesus and his brother James, like Moses and Aaron before, would make the ideal pillars. The garden of Gesthemane was outside the east gate, and other scrolls suggest Jesus and James were either about to do the rite or just finished it when Jesus was captured. Jesus – the political one – Jesus Christ, “king” was captured, as was James, the son-of-God, aka Bar-abbas. The Romans, knowing their enemy well, knew only one pillar of two had to be killed to destroy a movement, so they gave the Jews a choice, Jesus king of the Jews or Jesus Barabbas. James had more clout and believability, or perhaps the Jews thought death would be no obstacle for the rite, much like with Osiris, so they let James, Jesus Barabbas, go.
Somewhere around this time, a gentile man, a Roman citizen, with a Jewish ancestry but no understanding of the culture of Judaism was assigned the task of quelling Jewish rebellion. He seems to have been successful and to have earned quite a name as Saul, effectively quelling rebellion. He was on his way to Qumran (aka “Damascus” not in Syria, but near the Dead Sea), whether to quell their sect or indulge a long-dormant desire to find out who he “was,” but either way, this very psychologically charged journey changed this man. He apparently met with James and heard the initiate stories and sayings of Jesus, but despite the 3-year requirement of mastery at Qumran, left after days with full understanding – to the continual consternation of James. Not only did he naturally Hellenicize the story, focusing on the Dionysian slaughter of Jesus, but he simply started his own church with his own mythos. It appears for some time that James, like his brother Jesus, entertained the idea of being both pillars in one, but he was buried to his waist, stoned, and then clubbed finally in the head. His influence had grown too great, and the Maccabean revolt was immanent too. Whether they performed the rite or not, it was clear the pillars were dead, no other candidates were on the horizon, and there is a fair chance the rite with both pillars had been performed once or several times to no effect. Rome ruled Jerusalem and the church of Jesus had been hijacked and turned into a mystery cult by a ladder-climbing Roman citizen.
Seeing the end was near, the Qumran community had buried the scrolls, the most secret under the temple at Jerusalem. Paul had nominated himself the king (popes today still wear the bi-lobed hat of Egypt’s upper and lower kingdom united), made Jesus the priestly pillar, conveniently dead, and removed Jewish law and Jewish political aspirations from the earth. Herod razed the temple to the ground. Eventually the Roman Catholic Church and then the Muslims would control Jerusalem, and orthodox Jews still purify, wait for the rite to be performed, and themselves to rule the world. The Templars, digging for treasure under the Temple ruins, found the scrolls. They went within 50-years from being darlings of the church to slaughtered on Friday 13th. They had unlocked the secret of the false church, and those who were not slaughtered had to go underground in the secret societies of Freemasonry. The focus centered on the secrets and the ritual, and the focus, as the rites were performed in the early Celtic church, Scotland, France etc, began to be solely based on a philosophy of world rule by uniting the spiritual (the square or ruler) and the political (the compass symbolizing a king whose rule radiates out from a central point). This would become the square and compass of Freemasonry as well as the Star of David (a sign that first is seen in Judaism under Greek influence).
We see the same errors of thinking in terms of domination and hierarchy generate horror after horror for centuries. America still derives much of its arrogance from the assumption of king rituals, the right-to-rule, and rabid support of the criminal “state” of Israel built entirely on Palestinian genocide. Women, “inferior races”, moral groups like homosexuals and the promiscuous, and those who seek ritual through non-national rites (like shamans and the battle on shamanistic citizens through the “War on Drugs”) are continually attacked with a ferocity that defies any reason or attempt at apologetics. The time for a paradigm-shift, the rejection of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Nationalism, and Racism, is at hand. An economics built on cannibalizing our brothers and sisters around the earth we share cannot stand. We cannot breathe our air, drink our water, or eat our food, no footstep can be taken without being stained with blood. The legacy of Egypt must die. We must approach the earth as a Commons shared by us all, in which we all have a part, a share to protect for ourselves and our children.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: Christianity, dead sea scrolls, early christian church, Freemasonry, Hiram Abif, imperialism, james, Jesus, Jews, judaism, Moses, nazoreans, Palestinians, Seqenenre Tao | Leave a Comment »
Posted by honestpoet on September 28, 2009
I’m pleased and gratified to discover that Honjii of Honjii’s Harangues has awarded me the Woodie Guthrie Award for Thinking Bloggers. It’s enough to motivate me to return to active blogging!
Like any gift, this award must be passed on to retain its value, and I gladly award it to Greenfyre, who works tirelessly to help people wade through the misinformation promulgated by climate change deniers, in hopes of getting folks to wake up to the need to change how we’re doing things before it’s too late, and to Monte Asbury, one of the most thoughtful Christians (and goodness knows we need more of those) I’ve ever run across.
Posted in blogging, Christianity, Christians Worth Knowing, climate change, consciousness, Earth Justice, ecology | Tagged: blogging, Christianity, environmental activism, thinking bloggers, Woody Gurthrie Award | Leave a Comment »
Posted by majutsu on March 8, 2009
Your loved ones aren’t coming back
aka You too are already an atheist probably, you just don’t know.
My uncle died last year. He was a gambler, smoker, and full-of-life Jackie Gleason sort of fellow, very quick-witted. I helped the rest of the family bury him. When in the earth, the casket soon disintegrates, and, so does he, atom drifting from atom in complete lassitude. One day, thousands of years from now, when his dust is scattered all over the earth, will the world suddenly be undone in a heartbeat by a vengeful God? On this zombie day, will my uncle’s atoms fly together, be magically glued together, and will he walk down main street, cigar in mouth? I think the least God could do is give him his cigar back, and his missing leg too, for all those weekends spent in Catholic church! My wife’s dead father, who died of a heart attack nearly 20 years ago, will he and my uncle stroll arm in arm down main street on zombie day? No. No, they won’t. You don’t believe that, and neither do I. Zombie day is the core belief of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. There is a complete suspension, according to scripture, of the laws of nature precipitously on zombie day, which allows the mixed dust of all the people that ever lived to be reassembled into walking, talking human beings again to be judged for their beliefs and actions. Now, since, say, some of Alexander the Great’s dust has been recycled into a baby or teenager in Greece no doubt by now, I’m not sure how Alexander the Great, the baby and the teenager can all stand completely whole for justice when they share the same physical body to some degree, magic or no. Do you believe this, or do you believe the sun is a star with a lifespan, and the earth is a planet going around the sun with lifeforms on it? That we are bodies that degrade with age and/or disease to where we no longer function, and simply dissolve, never to be reassembled, except for having small bits of our physical stuff recycled. We can tag an atom in our hippocampus, our memories, our “soul”, and watch after death as it dissolves and is reused in the butt muscle of a rat. This is a factual event, and this is why in all likelihood, you believe the latter. You probably do not really believe in zombie day, though you call yourself a Christian, Jew, or Muslim.
If you are one of the few who do believe in zombie day, really, truly believe you’re going to see my dead uncle walk downtown, kudos to you. You are at least consistent in your madness. You at least can comprehend the content of your scriptures. To those of you who claim to be Muslim, Jew, or Christian, and now protest that zombie day is not essential, you are quite mistaken.
For the Jews: Ezekiel 37: 12 – “I will open your graves, and cause you to come up”, and it is the 13th principle of faith: “I believe with complete (perfect) faith, that there will be techiat hameitim – revival of the dead, whenever it will be God’s, blessed be He, will (desire) to arise and do so. May (God’s) Name be blessed, and may His remembrance arise, forever and ever.”
For the Christians, “…there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” (Acts 24:15 KJV), “resurrection at the last day” is mentioned at John 11:24-25, Matthew 12:38-42: “…At judgment time, the citizens of Ninevah will come back to life along with this generation … At judgment time, the queen of the south will be brought back to life along with this generation …”, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and He will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. … And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. (Matthew 25:31-36, 40-43, 45-46 NRSV)
For the Muslims,
Surah 75:20-21 (Part 1)
1. I do call to witness the Resurrection Day;
2. And I do call to witness the self-reproaching Spirit.
3. Does man think that We cannot assemble his bones?
4. Nay, We are able to put together in perfect order, the very tip of his fingers.
5. But man wishes to do wrong (even) in the time in front of him.
6. He questions: “When is the Day of Resurrection?”
7. At length, when the sight is dazed
8. And the moon is buried in darkness
9. And the sun and moon are joined together that Day will Man say;
10. “Where is the refuge?”
11. By no means! No place of safety!”
12. Before the Lord (alone), that Day will be the place of rest.
13. That Day will Man be told (all) that he put forward, and all that he put back.
14. Nay, man will be evidence against himself,
15. Even though he were to make excuses.
and so many others that talk about Al-Qimaya, the Resurrection and Day of Judgment.
So, if you don’t literally believe in the resurrection of the dead, you are not really a Jew, Muslim or Christian, and, in fact, according to these very same traditions you will be punished for your beliefs. So if you use the personality of Jesus or Muhammad as a sort of proof of God and his so-called wise men, yet ignore their very words, this seems rather curious indeed, and self-defeating. If you don’t really believe my uncle is going to walk down the street some day though he be stone, cold dead and dissolved now, the you aren’t really a Christian, Jew or Muslim and are going to burn in hell forever according to the very traditions you uphold as wise and good. This would make such people appear to be hypocrites and fools, slaves to other people’s will alone.
And what about this popular belief of going to a “better place” when you die? If it does not come from the desert prophets of monotheism, where does it come from? This is a very old pagan idea really. The Egyptians and most pagan peoples of the world had gods, a shadowy after-realm. It is a fruit of a pagan tradition. Pagan traditions arise from primitive understanding of man’s relationship to nature, like the cycle of the season. Spring became a metaphor for rebirth, appearing to die every winter. In writings, certainly the apex of pagan thought which also greatly influenced Western and Islamic worlds via translation and study, Plato puts forth the quintessential formulation of heaven. He basically argues that the forces the compose the universe must be symmetrical. This is in line with modern physics too. As such, he concludes that primitive properties must be in balance, hot and cold, long and short, etc. So death and life are in balance, and a loss here is the gain of a soul there. Similarly, there were reincarnation beliefs too, that a birth here was a soul migrating from there. The pain and suffering of this world is balanced by the wisdom and perfection of that world. While the reincarnation ideas crept into Eastern religion and the perfection ideas into Nirvana concepts, the ideal heaven that you go to when you die is what took hold here in the West and somewhat less in the Muslim lands, but occasionally still too. The problem with Plato’s interesting argument is that entropy, which defines the life or death of a complex structure like an organism, is not a simple property. Entropy is not conserved, but actually always increases within any closed system such as the universe, but this was not known to Plato. The “proof” offered by Plato shows what heaven really is, a desire to rail against degradation and loss, a fear of death, the end of being. It is more logical than the bizarre Hollywood magic of the desert prophets with zombies strolling the streets, to think of perhaps an alternate dimension we slip to on death, which human consciousness somehow shares, so that we may live forever, but without pain. As appealing, more placid, and rational as it may appear, heaven is not actually Christian, Jewish or Muslim. It is a pagan belief and a blasphemy. And since I doubt you believe in Zeus, Athena, Apollo, and the rest of the gods, which being the perfected spirits of the other realm are logically derived from the surety of heaven, you don’t really believe in heaven. Again, if you are one of the few who believes in Hades and the gods, under whatever name, and has the consistency to call yourself a pagan, than kudos to you as well. You at least are consistent in your madness too.
The truth is most of you call yourself Jew, Muslim or Christian out of social pressure and fear of individuality. Most of you do not really believe in zombie day because it’s stupid and fantastical. Most of you don’t really believe in heaven, because you are not idol-toting pagans “suckled in a creed outworn”, but really have a vague childish wish to live forever and have all wrongs righted somehow in the end. If there are no gods, there is no heaven. If there is no zombie day, there is no need for refuge in God. God, deprived of zombie day, is just a label for a childish wish to live forever and to never suffer injustice despite being rather insignificant really. The truth is that you are not orthodoxly one of the desert religions, or an orthodox pagan, you are really an atheist in believer’s clothing.
Posted by majutsu on February 15, 2009
Empathy with Plato’s Theory
Plato was one of the great philosopher’s of all time. His theory of forms held tremendous sway over people’s thinking for quite some time. Traces of Platonic idealism can be found in Christianity, Islam, Hegel’s dialectic, Marxism as well therefore, Kant’s moral imperative, and modern scientific pantheism. Regardless of our taste for the fruit of the branches of Plato, it’s impact on our culture and history, and therefore its influence on our daily lives, cannot be denied. It therefore would at least be prudent to have some understanding of this philosophy. I will be rephrasing Plato’s philosophy in new and sympathetic language. This is in preparation for an in depth study of Plato’s dialogs and the Republic which I am just about to begin. Therefore, this is not an academic study with a great deal of rigor, for that will come later, but instead it is an attempt to paint the most sympathetic portrait of Plato’s reach into the modern mind.
I find the most fruitful place to begin a discussion of the modern relevance of Plato is with the concept of Platonic love. Contrary to popular belief, Platonic love would not necessarily be love without sex, as it can, in fact, be quite passionate and sensual. Rather, let us imagine a little fairy tale . . . A long time ago, in the a misty kingdom of medieval France, there was a young prince deeply in love with a young maid of the stables. They met for passionate stolen embraces in the moonlight by the stables and promised eternal love, till death do them part. Of course, the prince’s father, the king, had no desire for his son’s future to be squandered on a lowly maid, and had slated his son to marry the daughter of a powerful ally. The king had the maid arrested and sent to jail in Spain. He told his son that she had been arrested after stealing money from the church and running away with a male thief who was, no doubt, her lover as well as her accomplice. He did this so that his son would feel that she no longer loved him, and furthermore, that she never did. The maid was told that the prince was the one who had her falsely arrested, so that she could never blackmail him. So she believed then that the prince did not love her, and he never did really. Let us say that on the way to Spain, pirates hijack the maid’s caravan. Upon joining with the pirates she has many high adventures. In both lover’s minds, the love burns strong despite a lack of faith, despite fluctuating circumstances and severe trials. Nonetheless, the maid-now-pirate one day takes a ship with the prince aboard. Somehow or another everything is reconciled, love is apparent again, and the maid becomes queen and they live happily ever after. This sort of love, that persists despite fluctuating circumstance, the appearance of destruction, and false opinion that it is no more or never was, is Platonic love. As you can imagine, the united lovers can have quite passionate sex, and yet the love is still Platonic. The love is seen as eternally true.
Parmenides was a Greek philosopher who believed everything was eternal and change was an illusion. He believed this primarily with the motivation that in order for there to be truth, change and error had to be deceptive. Heraclitus was another Greek who believed that everything was in a constant state of flux, and that there was no truth. Plato very much wanted to believe Parmenides, but he feared Heraclitus was right. His compromise was to believe in truth and eternity outside of the moment of now, ever in flux. This is why Platonic love is true love outside of the influence of the storms of the temporary in our fairy tale above.
Plato often uses science and math to explain his theories. Let us look at natural law. Scientists write equations of motion, or quantum mechanics, or gravity or particle physics. Just looking at Newton’s equations, we can say that the motion of billiard balls on a pool table follows Newton’s laws. And it does to a very close degree. But because of friction from the cloth, and air resistance, and the balls not being completely elastic on collision, the real behavior of the balls will not follow Newton’s laws in the real world. For example, the cue ball when struck will not roll on forever with inertia, but will stop. Nonetheless, we say that Newton’s laws are the true reality, the abstraction that is the pure and true reality. This is the case with every natural law. As Plato pointed out, every mathematical object, whether a circle of geometry or a law of motion, is a bit of an abstraction, an idealized form. In the real world, no circle or wheel is ideally round. Nonetheless, when scientists speak of the formation of our universe, the big bang, they will pull out various equations of physics to explain how something came to be out of nothing. Even if the universe expands and contracts in cycles, natural law is used to explain how something comes to be out of the nothings that are pauses between the in-breaths and the out-breaths. Natural law, the totality of ideal forms, is conceived as preceding being or as constituting a ground or basis of being. When Plato says an apple or a horse is a sort of reflection of the ideal forms, he means that the object before us, the horse say, is a reflection of the constituent ideal forms, the relevant laws of chemistry, physics, and biology, that organize and determine matter. Furthermore, we can determine these ideal forms, natural law, by investigating the world with our intellect and our reason.
Plato would say that the ultimate ideal behind the ideal forms, this magical process of a mind, embedded and arising from matter by a determination of the forms (the guiders of the universe), that can itself perceive a world of kaleidoscopic shadows of being, themselves reflections of the same ideal forms, is the mystery of mystery, the ideal of ideals, or simply, God. God is therefore to be understood by using reason and observing the natural world to ferret out an understanding of the laws that bind up our reality into a cohesive whole. It is the philosopher’s religious practice to use reason and nature to understand the nature of the eternally true, God. Plato would say the part of us, conscious but apart from momentary sense or fluctuating circumstance, the part that can glimpse the eternally true in nature by reason, is, in fact, immortal. This magic of seeing the universal is as immortal as the universal and eternal that it sees in the mind.
Regarding politics, Plato often wondered how to understand the eternally true characteristics of a state. Any state, while it persists, in other words, what is eternally true about a persisting state, is that it is defended well, and not degraded. Furthermore, Plato thought some knowledge of the true and the path of knowledge would have to be known to those who led a state through dark hours. If not, the state would not persist through adversity. He also realized that all states would therefore have some way for the guardians, those who safeguard truth through the straits of momentary confusion of values and mob madness, to control the mass, the forces of erratic decision making, irrational populist wish fulfillment, etc. Even here in America, the compliance with the view of the state against momentary lapses in obedience is enforced with media propaganda, legislation, and physical force. Plato identified the naked factors inherent in any state in the Republic.
I think the above helps give some credence to the need to take Plato’s thought seriously, if nothing else as a departure point. Furthermore, I think it makes clear how modern concepts of truth and scientific inquiry owe their allegiance to Plato and his Pythagorean roots. Also, I think it shows how many movements in modern politics from Marxism to Republican Democracy have their origin in Plato’s thoughts about the state. Lastly, the Muslim and Christian longing for heaven, paradise and God are Platonic ideals in mythological garb.
Posted by honestpoet on December 25, 2008
I was afraid to watch it for awhile…afraid Bill Mayer would be too obnoxious, too bitchy, in that way that some atheists can be. But he presented himself as an agnostic, fully, and even showed himself with his mother and sister, after talking about his religiously mixed childhood (raised Catholic, but with a Jewish mother), an interaction that shows him in a sympathetic light and makes his skepticism seem the only logical outcome of his upbringing. It’s clear that what he wanted to present as the best approach to any claims about what happens after you die is as a skeptic. What he presents as a value is doubt rather than faith.
The movie is hilarious (I could just kiss whoever edited it, interrupting the interviews with bits of footage perfectly timed and placed), and poignant (he approaches the religious people he talks to with varying degrees of care and compassion, as merited), and maybe even a little scary if you haven’t already faced up to the mess that religious fundamentalism is leading the world into, namely nuclear confrontation between religious nutjobs.
He also gives fair play to nutty religions like scientology and cannabis worship. Of course, Mormonism gets a few good pokes.
He points out that the non-religious in this country make up a larger minority than blacks or gays, and that we really ought to make ourselves heard and demand that our leaders take our perspective into account. I think he’s right.
There’s one moment when he’s interviewing a Senator, an evangelical, who admits, laughing, while talking about Creationism, that “you don’t have to pass an IQ test to enter the Senate.” It takes him about fifteen seconds to realize that he’s just called himself (and some of his colleagues) a dumbass, and his face falls. It’s a riot.
Unless you’re a total fundamentalist, with your mind cemented shut to reason, you ought to give this film a gander.
Posted by majutsu on January 13, 2008
The True Doctrine of the Illuminati
The true doctrine of the Illuminati lies in the appreciation of the perpetual life-giving wisdom of the mythology and symbolism of the religion of the ancient Near East. The term “ancient Near East” encompasses the early civilizations in the region roughly corresponding to that described by the modern term Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria), during the time roughly spanning the Bronze Age, from 6000-4000BC. The basis of these stories is the Baal cycle. The Baal stories were a Canaanite group of stories regarding Baal/Hadad, Lord of the Earth. The stories were found on clay tablets in the 1920s in the Tell of Ugarit, carved in Ugaritic, a cuneiform alphabet.
The stories as a whole have a central tale to tell involving three characters in particular: Baal Hadad, Yam/Mot, and Anat. Baal Hadad is the lord of the earth. He represents matter. Yam is the god of the waters and the god of death. In Mesopotamia, floods from the rivers were the source of famine, plague and death. Yam is therefore often seen as a great watery serpent, as Leviathan in the Bible, for example. Anat is the queen of heaven, the mother of fertility and source of life energy and sexuality. In mystical traditions, she represents the mystical mind, the guide, and the source of self-transformation.
Yam wished to rule over the gods. In order to do so, he would have to depose Baal from his throne. He changed his name to Mot, meaning drought or death, and attacked Baal. As this tale is a version of the spring cycle, Mot is also winter, or the absence of heat. Baal then seeks to subjugate Mot and invites him to dine. He tries to make Death (Mot) accept a meal of bread and wine, which Death, the eater of human flesh, finds offensive. In fact, when Christians eat bread and wine, they are celebrating that in the end, Baal’s (Christ’s) victory over Mot (Death) was permanent. Death demands flesh, even the flesh and life of Baal. Baal mates with a cow so as to produce a young bull, his only son, whom he dresses in his clothes to take his place. This is why the horns of a bull or ox represent Baal. This is the reason the Hebrew kabbalah begins with aleph, the ox, as does the Hebrew alphabet. This is also the reason the English alphabet begins with ‘A’, short for Aleph, the ox, and is an upside-down bull’s head. This is also why the Illuminati make a sign of a bull’s horns with the hand. This is the mis-named “devil’s sign” or the “rock ‘n roll sign” as well. Baal, after sending his bull-son, decides to hide in the land of the dead. This story resurfaces later in history as Jesus’s descent into hell.
Anat, the wife and consort of Baal, on finding the dead bull, prepares for the funeral of Baal. Afterwards, she descends upon Mot with vengeance. Anat finds Mot, cleaves him with a sword, burns him with fire, and throws his remains on the field for the birds to eat. This is why Anat is represented by the letter shin, the tooth or the cutting blades. This same letter remains as ‘W’, two teeth or blades, in the English language. Anat destroys death, but is saddened by the loss of her lord.
Then Baal comes back. The lovers are reunited in embrace and there is permanent victory over Death. Mot returns, but has been so weakened he is forced to agree to rule only part of the year and to always allow spring (Baal) to return. Furthermore, he is required to stay in the river banks and be controlled and confined to certain seasons and cycles that the ancients could count on. Mot is represented by Mem, water, in the Hebrew alphabet. This letter persists as the letter ‘M’ in English, which is a picture of two crests of waves on water.
Mot is also associated with reptilian imagery. It is not the worship of reptilian overlords that is going on, but the celebration of victory over death. The Canaanites were the originators of this religious symbolism. The Phoenicians were coastal-dwelling Canaanites who spread their alphabet (which was embedded religious symbolism) and their myths to the cultures they traded with. Canaanite mystical culture is therefore embedded in the Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Greek mystery schools, and African religious traditions to this day. For example, the Minoan snake goddess is a representation of Anat’s victory over Mot, as the bare-breasted goddess clutches one or more dominated snakes. Christ is depicted as crushing the serpent under his heel [as are Mother Mary and St. Patrick].
The Illuminati accept this parable of human existence as taught by the reality of being on a rotating earth with the cycle of the seasons. The Illuminati are formed by no one. They are, as Timothy Leary suggested, self-appointed, self-taught, and self-motivated. The shared philosophy arises from mystical experience and understanding human history and mythology. It does appear that all useful scientific change and progress in human history was accomplished deliberately only by those with this holistic and humanistic view of self-divinity, self-achieved. But this transformation to greatness was most of time only impeded by others, certainly not encouraged or orchestrated by them. It was only those with fearlessness and confidence that all knowledge and contentment lay open to them with work who could possibly have the courage to make a difference.
The Freemasons have this knowledge. They acquired it from the Phoenicians on Malta when the Knight’s Templar’s were stationed there. They understand that you meet Anat in the inner temple which you have to prepare for her. This makes you, in their symbolism, like Hiram, the builder of the Temple of Jerusalem, and this is why building implements are their emblems. They also study the kabbalah and the Baal cycle using Christian replacement terms at times.
The Gnostic Christians have this knowledge too. They see Mary Magdalene as the Anat, and Christ as Baal. They make the knowledge of Baal’s (Jesus’s) son a secret knowledge gained from initiation. Baal on the throne in glyphs is represented as tau, the mark of the king, an ‘X’ or ‘T’ above a round head. This is why the cross, the letter ‘t’ in English, represents the risen Christ, or re-throned Baal, or the triumphant cycle of spring and hope. This is also why the illiterate still mark contracts with an ‘X’ or mark in many countries to this day.
There is a small cabal, or group, of Jews who have this knowledge, the cabala, or kabbalah. They inherited it from the Phoenicians in the form of proto-Sinaitic, then paleo-Hebrew letters and culture. The Hebrew alphabet is identical in number and shape to the proto-Sinaitic alphabet of the story of the Baal cycle. These stories and truths are retained in full in the Hebrew mystical tradition, the kabbalah.
This is the truth about the Illuminati. We believe that people are free, in divine intercourse with the universe. We believe you should approach the earth as a loving partner, with joy and passion. We believe that there is only this dance of mind and matter, and no ghosts or demons we can’t see have victory or dominion over us. Our choices, our actions and the moralities we live by are all completely free and self-determined. We look forward to a day when all people share in victory over fear, death, and powerlessness, and live in harmony with the earth, in joy.
There is talk that the Illuminati worships death and war. There is an association between this secret knowledge, the worship of Baal, and war, not because mystical knowledge glorifies murder, but because the alphabet was largely spread by the Phoenicians because it was so successful in conscripting foreign soldiers with unusual-sounding names or identifying goods for trade in ledgers when there was no word for these goods in your tongue. War, conquest, and financial assimilation are the main reasons why we have language and religion around the world. Baal is recognized as the father of war. But in this way, war is symbolic for all technology and scientific knowledge, much of which, like radar, came from war, but may be used for good or evil indiscriminately, like all tools.
However, anyone who plots death or destruction or erases the human spirit is not Illuminati. Those who spin anti-Semitic paranoid plots are the real servants of death, the real snake people. It is only by seeing the brotherhood of man, the commonality of human experience, that we can all be free of pain, hunger, poverty, death and fear one day.
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Posted by majutsu on January 13, 2008
The schechinah is a female spirit , who as a symbol generated by the unconscious, ties together the various aspects or modalities of the mind. The kabbalah is the itemization of the mind’s modalities, so as to gain both self-knowledge and control of the self. Many of the letters or paths of the kabbalah take the form of abstractions of sexual relations with the schechinah or abstractions of her sexual anatomy. Whether a man or woman is the practitioner, the inner self, or the schechinah, is this divine female, and one’s divinity is attained by imitating her divine intercourse with the lord of the universe. She is in constant loving embrace with the world. As she says, “His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me.” The earth, symbolized by a bull, without mind, is dead. This is why when you first meet the schechinah she is alone and yearning, a widowed goddess, for the earth cannot be seen as a lord without her love. “By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loves: I sought him, but I found him not.” But it is the love and activity of the schechinah for her lover that returns him to life, joins he and she together in the joyous dance that is the mind at play and in love with the earth.
Below is the elucidation of some paths or energies in my meditations:
Daleth- Door. Understanding. Entry into the temple where one is taught by the schechinah.
Mem – Water. Breast milk. Pain and loss. Tears. Her crying face with her absent lover, keening. That which ties us to life, also the joy and nourishment of existence, food, plants and animals for food, clothing, medicine, and spirituality.
Peh – Mouth. Fellatio. Aggressiveness, drive. Taking over, domination. Energy to do tasks.
Shin – Tooth. The fangs of criticism and self-abrogation. Trial. The harsh aspects of life and nature.
It is clear that the Bible does contain a mystical system. The Song of Solomon is probably the clearest and most accessible pathway to understand the coherent and effective mystical tradition that is behind the poetry of the Bible. The danger of misapplying the remainder of the Bible into aberrant and irrational attitudes that are destructive to self and others is so high, that I believe nothing should be read except the Song of Solomon until that poem is understood. If you read the Song of Solomon and it doesn’t make perfect sense to you, then you should put the Bible away and not read another word of it for a long time. Go meditate, learn, study, love, live. Read the poem only when you are drawn to it because you have already seen it manifested in your own heart. Otherwise, don’t touch that potentially poisonous book of difficult poems. The Song of Solomon is a gate keeper for the rest of the kabbalah. If this path, which is not generic or advantageous to all, does not work for you, there is still the beauty of life, poems to chant, songs to sing and mountains to climb, but to misapply deep unconscious symbols to reality, like fundamentalists apply bad theology to worse politics, is as dumb as spending today the money you dreamed you had last night. It won’t work, and it disrespects the schechinah to such an extent that the mental damage may be hard if not impossible to undue.
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