Friday, March 24, 2006

Lies and How They beGet that Way

Whew. Let's just turn the page and move on to another view of the hostile forces. Here I will be assisted by an anonymous friend who has helped me greatly, clarifying my own ideas and providing me with a means to think about them. He is what you call a "Christian hermeticist." In his case, he is completely orthodox, and yet, he is fully informed not just by the letter, but by the spirit. I realize that this will be controversial to some, but.... I was about to say that "you cannot," but I will just say that "I cannot" reduce Christianity to merely what is contained in the Bible.

As I have said before, the Bible itself is extra-Biblical, having been deeply informed--not to mention selected and assembled--by tradition. Christian faith and teaching were in the world before the scriptures were written (to be perfectly accurate, it was here, at least in part, even prior to Jesus). Revealed truth was first handed down orally, and tradition embraces certain truths that are either not contained in scripture, or else expressed there obscurely.

Not to downplay their importance, but I am of the firm belief that tradition upholds the validity of scripture at least as much as the reverse. I personally could not possibly have the understanding I do without recourse to the writings of the great Saints and Church Fathers. I stand in awe of their living testimony. By itself, knowledge of revelation is relatively useless. One must know how to be transformed by it.

We live in a world of forces. There are physical forces, mental forces, and spiritual forces. In the mental realm, truth is a force. There is a counter-force called "lying," which, if you think about it for even a moment, has possibly had an even greater impact and influence on the world than truth. Or at the very least, it is a constant battle. Truth is always embattled on all sides, just as light is surrounded by darkness. Darkness, on the other hand, is not necessarily surrounded by light.

You'd think it would be uncontroversial to utter a simple truth, but you'd be wrong, wouldn't you? If you don't believe in the "force" of falsehood, try uttering a controversial but banal truth at one of our elite universities, such as "men and women are fundamentally different and, on average, excel at different things," or "children do better with a mother and a father than with two mothers and two fathers," or "some, if not most, cultures are patently sick." It seems that to carry Truth is to pick up a cross and paint a target on one's back.

Animals cannot lie. While they can have certain naturally selected mechanisms of deception, they cannot live a lie. But living a lie is in the normal course of events for human beings. Someone said that language was given to man so as to conceal his thoughts. Interestingly, this problem is fully recognized in scripture, as the very first conversations recorded in the Bible are lies. The serpent lies to the woman, the woman transmits the lie to the man, and the man lies about it to God. The very emergence of self-consciousness seems to be inseparable from lying.

So lying is absolutely fundamental to human existence, a fact that wasn't systematized until the early 20th century, in the works of Freud (the good Freud) and his followers. In particular, the psychoanalyst W.R. Bion developed a sophisticated epistemology showing how a vital lie is at the basis of most all forms of psychopathology. Once the lie is in place, it causes the psyche to enter a sort of parallel universe, for it constructs itself on the foundations of that primordial lie.

In my own colorful terminology, I have called these internalized lies "mind parasites." I believe the term is an accurate one, for it is meant to convey the idea that a vital lie that lodges itself in the psyche is not static, but takes on the characteristics of the host, so to speak. I remember once discussing this with my analyst. I don't remember the exact context of the problem I was whining about, but he said words to the effect of, "What do you expect? It's as smart as you are."

In other words, the mind parasite has available to it all of the elaborate machinery of the mind. Therefore, it can easily justify itself, elaborate itself, gang up on the truth, intimidate healthier parts of the psyche. It's like a dictator who uses legitimate means to come to power, but then corruptly uses all of the levers of power to stay there and eliminate opponents.

Those who are in thrall to the lie are slaves. While they may enjoy a subjective sense of freedom, it is an illusion. In fact, they have forfeited their freedom and are attached to a monstrous demon that they have generated out of their own psychic substance, in the same way that a spider weaves a web out of its own body.

Think of a vivid example that is readily at hand---the Islamists. Is it not obvious to one and all that they are absolutely enslaved by artificial beings of their own creation? And that they want everyone else to be enslaved by the same demon? Does this not demonstrate the insane power of demons?

There are personal mind parasites and collective mind parasites. Many cultures revolve entirely around monstrous entities that have been engendered by whole communities, such as the Aztec. Here again, it would be wrong to say that the Aztec had a bloodthirsty god--rather, it clearly had them. Thousands upon thousands of human beings sacrificed to satisfy this god's appetite for human blood, elaborate mechanisms set up to supply fresh bodies, the heart of the sacrificial victim cut out by the officiating priest who would himself take a bite out of it while it was still beating. A whole society of Jeffrey Dahmers trying desperately to allay anxiety by vampirically ingesting the life force of others. The Islamists are just the latest edition of this primordial anti-religion. But you undoubtedly know some people in your own life who do the same thing--hungry ghosts who "feed" on the spirit or blog of others.

In all times and in all places, human beings have looked for ways to objectify and worship their self-created demons. This is preferable to having them run around loose in one's own psyche. Take again the example of the Islamist. How would one even begin to tell him: "you have a persecutory entity inside of you that your life revolves around. You have placed it outside of yourself so as to make your life bearable, for it conceals a truth that is too painful to endure."

To a large extent, this dynamic is at the heart of more mundane politics as well. For those who do not experience George Bush as a demon, it is almost impossible to understand those who do, any more than we can really understand the motivations of the Aztec. The collective mind parasite has a grammar and logic all its own, inaccessible to all but initiates into the Lie.

You don't actually want to get that close to an intoxicating Lie of that magnitude. It's not safe. Better to observe it from a respectful distance. Otherwise, you will find yourself pulled down into a false world of counter-lying rather than simple truth. You cannot create an artificial "good demon,” which is what secular leftists are trying to do when they aren't creating bad ones. Those who criticize my "negativity" probably think I am engaging in the former--heatedly countering the lie--when I am calmly engaged in the latter--simply affirming the truth. This is the inner meaning of "resist not evil." Resist it in the wrong way, and you come into its orbit.

For a demon operates through a combination of will and imagination. You may think of perverse will as the male principle and perverse imagination as the female principle. Together they beget the demon child that then controls the parents, taking over both will and imagination. Consider how so much art and academic nonsense is nothing more than the elaboration of the perverse imagination--ideological superstructures giving cover to lies of various magnitude. Think of how much "activism" is simply the angry agitation of the perverse will.

This is the inner meaning of "you shall not make for yourself a graven image," for Truth is a living thing, a Being, that cannot be reduced to the idolatrous systems of men, especially corrupted men who do not honor Truth to begin with. Most modern and postmodern ideologies and philosophies are opiates of elites too sophisticated for such nonsense as Truth.

And this is the inner meaning of "honor your father and mother”: not rebelling against received truth and tradition in an adolescent manner, especially before you are even mature enough to understand what it is saying.

Unfortunately, I've run out of time, because I wanted to get into the sophisticated means that tradition has bequeathed to us for uprooting those lying entities that have no business taking up space in our psyches. I guess this will have to be a two-parter.

41 Comments:

Anonymous Will said...

erk . . . I had a nice little rumination on your discourse today . . pretty long too . . . and it just got wiped out because . . . "site not available" . . . o dear . . .

and I'm so bleary eye'd . .

I will eventually struggle back to replace it . . and it will be better than ever! . . . eventually . . .

3/24/2006 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

Ok...I am gonna share while Will is being "pushed around" by the internet spirits! Ha Ha Will, and you know what...I bet with your determination that when you redo it that it will be much better too!

Now, as for my input, which might not mean anything to anyone but me...

I suppose a seeker has to make the decision on what is their "standard" of truth and must ask oneself, "what can one totally trust without risk of manipulation or hearsay added in or taken away?

Because I trust in Jesus, I pay close attention to when Jesus was responding to the devil's attempt to tempt Him and that the source of truth which Jesus at that time reach for and used was "it is written" and so from this I learn that at such a time of serious test the truth that 'was written' was the standard of truth that Jesus felt had the ultimate power to stand up to the test! That's pretty powerful to me and convicts my heart to take notice of it!

I suppose also that for one to give the scripture the last word to trump anything else would be determined on one's strength in their own faith, where the final authority is for most people the test on what direction one chooses to take, because for me, it is my belief that the scripture is truly God's word. Without this leap of faith, then I suppose I would be left to tradition and the risk of years of pagan influence orally handed down getting mixed with the traditions that were inspired by the Holy Spirit. I feel all the 'great things' that the saints share with us are and were those 'good things' that are and were inspired by the Holy spirit, so I don't stop at the "saint" or at any man made tradition, no, I go beyond to the source which is higher and give credit where credit is due - Human's error and reason and traditions can get twisted along the way, because if you believe the words of Jesus then you know that this can surely happen. In Mark 7 Jesus explains that indeed one can "nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down"

I realise that much is left a mystery for a reason and yet I am assured that God will 'reveal all' at the appropriate time and also, with a very humble heart I am very aware that I live in a generation that is blessed with the written word and so I have the blessing to always go to the written word and see what God says. From that source there is more...which comes moving through the spirit. Thats who Jesus said would be sent for wisdom, truth and comfort! Through my leap of faith on this; I give God's word the final authority. Why do I trust in this? Because in Proverbs, I am assured that "Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar."

Again...this may have no meaning for anyone that doesn't believe that the scripture is truly God's breathed word but I have no doubt in my heart that it is pure and how important God's word is because God commands that we don't add to it or take away from it. IMHO, in that alone I see that God's words are the final authority!

1 Corinthians 4:6
Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.

3/24/2006 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Lies are bad enough, but how do we get a handle on truth? There are those who believe that the Bible is God's truth. I am beginning to lean very stongly in that direction. But what kind of truth is true?
Here's what I mean-
Take an Aesop fable- The Fox and the Grapes, to pull one out of a hat. Is the story true? Was there really a guy named Aesop, and did he observe an actual fox jumping in vain at an actual buch of grapes? It's not impossible. Did Aesop hear the fox actually make a comment on the grapes being sour, and then record the event for posterity? Highly unlikely. But those questions miss the point. Although none of the individual components of the story may be true, the story illustrates a truth about human behavior. It's not a true story, but the story is a vehicle for truth.
So when we look at scripture where do we draw the line of departure from that which is a record of things as they happened and that which is there to illustrate the greater truth?

JWM

3/24/2006 10:40:00 AM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Synchronicity at work here? LLH posts her answer to my question before I get done typing it...


very strange...

JWM

3/24/2006 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

Ha Ha Jwm....maybe the internet spirits knocked will out of the posting que for a reason?

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

But all jokes aside, I am waiting on will's input here! I love everyone's input! Will really is a good writer and I see him as a "good spirit" that always is willing to share!

3/24/2006 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger karrde said...

jwm--your example of Aesop's fable is an example of the kind of question that has tied many branches of Christianity into knots.

However, perhaps we could ask this: does the story in question lose any of its inner truth if the story is unlikely, or even apparently-impossible?

The book of Job in the Hebrew scriptures is an interesting example. If it is a morality play created to breathe life into a theological discussion? Or was there really a man named Job who was blameless in the way described in the book? Was there really a series of catastrophes that all hit him in one day? Did he really return to health and live a long, happy life after his struggles were over?

And what is the inner meaning of the story, the meaning which is unaffected by the above questions?

Perhaps that is the best metric to use. Look for the inner meaning. Look for an interpretation that would agree with the literal rendering and the non-literal rendering of the story.

But there are stories that have real historical connections. For example, archeologists have unearthed evidence of the House of David, which is central to the historical narrative of the Hebrew Scriptures. There are also tantalizing hints about the Exodus in Egyptian history, and in Canaanite history. The Babylonian Captivity of Judah is well-recorded in archeology--we can date it accurately, because we know when Nebuchadnezzar reigned, and when a particular lunar eclipse occured that was recorded during his reign.

Jesus was definitely a historical figure, and many people were convinced of His divine nature and mission. All but one of his disciples went to a violent death unwilling to recant a belief in Christ's death and resurrection. The remaining disciple is John, author of a gospel and of Revelation.

But did Jesus say everything that is recorded in the Gospels, with the exact wording that was written down? Did he ever vary his parables? Did he ever tell them out-of-order? Do we have all his public teaching recorded?

I wonder. But I also doubt that the generation that heard these teachings would let serious errors pass into the written record.

On the other hand, when I say this, I also give much credence to the Tradition of the Church that most Protestants distrust. And, as a child of the Protestant tradition, I simply accept that fact.

3/24/2006 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

karrde,

I love all the great historical archeologist stuff! Didn't they actual come across a wheel off of a chariot found in the red sea?
I get goose bumps and hear "Let My People Go" when I think of that!

3/24/2006 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

-- Disquisition on Tradition --

There are ongoing discussions, often intelligent and intelligible, over at the absolutely resolutely Christian as well as scholarly Pontifications. A common meme examines why The Bible cannot be and is never grokked alone (sola scriptura), rather is inextricably embedded in the entire tradition of 21 centuries of Christianity and the Judaic practice that precedes it, in order to deliver the perspective of the vision, not all of which is even reducible to writing.

For the observant the ancient liturgies and practices have not only been sustained over the changes of history, they seem to affect on the body-soul interface in ways unlikely from reading a word on a page, however wonderful the words and however venerable the page. I don't expect to change anyone's mind, only to point out that certain concerns expressed in this thread recapitulate part of an old, ongoing argument that is not advanced by self-authenticating declarations or citations from within text alone.

In spite of the accusation that "they are forbidden to read the Bible for themselves," The Ancient Christian Tradition does not dis the Bible, though of course Catholicism and Orthodoxy may disagree with the rainbow of others' traditions and uses of it. 66 magnificent ancient inspired books are not the exhaustive totality, partly because "the plain sense of it" is by no means plain amidst the genres of poetry, history, ecstatic prophecy, proverbial sayings, etc.

Grasping, "interpreting" Scripture, or any profound, paradoxical, enigmatic, layered communication, requires the help of a tradition -- Calvinists, Catholics, Lutherans, Anabaptists all resolve things differently. In fact "help in interpreting" is the thrust of most preaching.

Tradition is eloquently reflected in assumptions, histories, heroes, styles, emphases, priorities in choosing stories or text-segments -- whether or not the tradition recognizes itself as such. No church is without a determinative tradition. E.g. Pentecostals who celebrate the immediacy of prophetic inspiration and "the Bible only" routinely refer to and celebrate their "founding" Azusa Street revival in 1906 and do not respond gently to critical questions about its authenticity [Big Centennial doings there this year]. Every group harvest different bits and pieces of The [Big] Tradition, preach and recite certain "verses" and ignore others. Consider, if we all see through a glass darkly, it may be wise to query the thickness and content of the glass, what we've added, what we've taken away, what are the built-in refractions.

John Henry Newman said it best, referring to the one authentic decision each person must make for himself on the path, the necessity that people "start with their private judgment in that one special direction which Scripture allows or requires": to choose our teachers, our tradition, as wisely as we can, for it will teach us itself, either openly, or covertly as culture and assumption. A claim of simple adherence to the Bible is unable to circumvent this fact.

Now that I know to compare traditions, to acknowledge that there are traditions and traditions, rather than "Tradition" from which "the Bible" is separable, in my own resolution of the issue I benefit from the Church's 21 centuries of experience more than I did from my own interpretations using a familiar compromised translation & a Webster's, clutching a brace of preconceptions drawn, loaded, and cocked to fire.

Fingers pointing to the moon inevitably cast shadows. A good tradition knows its own shadows. The belief that there is no one there but just us rational chickens, who can ultimately puzzle it out for ourselves, is a common modern tradition.

3/24/2006 01:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Rorschach said...

All pathologies of mind are based on lying to self.

I think I can trace one close friend's hatred of American gov't. to fact that father was convicted of federal crime. Knows father committed crime, but believes there was justification and father did not deserve conviction. Lie he has told self for over ten years: "My father was not prosecuted, he was persecuted." Hate of his father's "persecutors" seems to be only thing that drives him, or awakes him from lethargy; laughs hardest at jokes about Bush or about federal government, debates fiercely America's 'right' to do anything anywhere else in the world.

No longer sure what to think of him.

3/24/2006 01:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael Andreyakovich said...

I could reel off so many incidents that drove me away from the Church to which I once belonged. The clerical pedophilia. Our last bishop sheltering pedophiles, then getting busted for a hit-and-run and losing his bishopric after the manslaughter conviction. Our new bishop refusing to let an autistic kid participate in the Eucharist because he can't eat it, and therefore can't "receive it" properly. (Did Jesus say, "Some of you, take and eat", or did he say "All of you"?)

My commitment to God would be much stronger if his representatives in the horizontal plane weren't so corrupt. As it is, I can't commit in good conscience to a church whose leadership, on multiple levels and in multiple places, consists of perverts or assholes; if the Church really is the Bride of Christ, he ought to be ashamed of his wife's behavior.

3/24/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Michael A. said...

To clarify the relevance: I feel that the Church has been less than honest with me about herself, and about her close relationship with Christ.

3/24/2006 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Sal said...

Dear Dilys,

Fantastic job! But:

"Now that I know to compare traditions, to acknowledge that there are traditions and traditions, rather than "Tradition" from which "the Bible" is separable, in my own resolution of the issue I benefit from the Church's 21 centuries of experience more than I did from my own interpretations..."

Could you explain a little more about the "traditions and traditions", please? I think I get what you're driving at, but would like to be sure.

I am trained to think of a "big T" Tradition, but not to think that it is seperate from the Bible - they complement each other and either one taken without the other is a deformation of Christianity.

3/24/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Michael A. raises the great dilemma on the horizontal. How to choose teachers without being patsies for the con artists, or dismissing the treasure because of the smelly corruption of those who have burrowed in. Plenty of wolves rather than shepherds, sometimes steadily fleecing the flock in unconscious mode.

There is no warm'n'fuzzy or stalking-off solution. I see no reason to be eaten alive inside the sheepfold just because I've come in from the perishing cold outside.

It appears that the challenge is to become harmless ourselves (ahimsa) by inner work, and not entertain a moment of sentimental optimism or oral fantasy in the short run about our fellow man. Including or especially the ones in all those glorious vestments.

I'm lucky. I came into the Church as a tough old broad not looking for a new best friend or expecting anything politically or socially superior to the barnyard-as-usual. It's a blessing that very little surprises me.

The Teachers are not the doofus in the rectory, if doofus he turns out to be. Or the busy creep in the Sacristy. The Teachers are the figures that the Tradition has told us we may safely trust. Jesus. And a whole cloud of witnessing saints and angels, who have demonstrably come to know and serve the unutterable Holy Trinity. Figures whose stories and icons seem to emit a living energy partaking of the nature of accuracy, encouragement, and friendship.

When I see clerical garb or roles, I assume until further notice that they merely drive the truck that delivers Soda Pop to a thirsty world. Their calling demands more than most of us could produce on our best day. Their example is not the point, when it turns out to be tarnished or bent. Our hope lies elsewhere; but even the local Dim Inadequate Cleric has been entrusted with the index to a few treasure maps older and better-proved than most. And the most grizzled old reprobate may be able to repeat what he has been told, to point you onward. We don't have to find gurus among them.

The Path within the Ark of the Church is plenty mysterious, however plentiful the treasury of food, shelter, and instruction. More like a fairy tale than a well-run machine. A weird, shape-shifting, allies-into-enemies-and-back-again anime fairytale...

3/24/2006 03:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Mmm hmm. Preach, sista'! You got the anointin' today!

3/24/2006 03:18:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I love hearing about all the archaeological finds as well. Someone just told me that they found a 2500 year-old sarcophogus that had picture of Homer's Odyssey or Iliad (can't remember which one off hand) on it. I spent a summer in Israel a ways back and I went on an archeological dig for a day. It was this cavern of some kind that had ancient stables and a prayer room. It was pre-Roman. In the prayer room was this figure that was a cross but had a head on it. I think it was pagan, but I don't really remember. It was very dark, dusty, and cold. It was an amazing experience but boy, did it cure me of my romantic visions of being an archaeologist! I suggest to anyone that is interested in the Bible that they visit Israel at least once in their life. It is really indescribable the feeling you get when you stand on that land knowing how many have stood there before you for so long.

3/24/2006 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

michael,

I am sorry you have had such disappointment in your own experiences, as for those that do such things as you mention, are struggling with sin in the worst of ways and obviously don't appreciate what it means to be followers of Jesus Christ. This is the very reason I never put my trust in man here on this earth only on spiritual matters because to do so, you will always see them fail you.

It is better to trust in The Lord than to put confidence in man
Psalm 118:8

3/24/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Anonymous dilys said...

traditions and traditions...? I think I get what you're driving at, but would like to be sure. I am trained to think of a "big T" Tradition, but not to think that it is seperate from the Bible

Dear Sal

Since I seem to be in busy-fingers endless-typing mode today:

thank you for asking!

Big-T Tradition, what the Apostles told the Bishops and what they told their successor Bishops and how they spoke in concert and resolved deathly challenges to the Church, and such; and the Bible, exhibit the earmarks of intertwining with and enriching each other, not in any way at loggerheads and dependent for completeness on each other (which doesn't contradict my conviction, even though I wasn't alive during the Reformation, :-) that perhaps some of the customs and strategems of the Church had gotten out of hand. And that the bureaucracy made it difficult to get someone's ear on the subject, without nailing challenges on doors. Hard times. Political entanglements. Wars. Humans love difficulty. It tells us we exist, gets our blood circulating, and pours us a testosterone-laced shot of [yum] adrenaline.)

"t" traditions -- I mean what I labored already, that every religious approach has a tradition, couldn't speak without it; that ritual plainness (the Quakers have a massive tradition!) and selected Bible verses is not a slam-dunk case for the relative superiority or purity of any given approach. Traditions of men?? We got 'em! We've all got 'em. Filioques and piano choruses and dress codes and "special" verses, and revered leaders, and taboo'd doctrines...

Whew.

I
am
Done for today.
No matter how vivid the next theological red flag.

[slowly leans to the left, topples with increasing momentum out of chair. Supine on floor. Smiles. Affixes to self post-it scribbled note: Do not attempt to revive before 3.25.06.]

3/24/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Dilys, that last post was magnificent.

Anime fans?
Does Hayao Miyazaki ring a bell?
(Spirited Away)

How about Hideyaki Anno?
(Neon Genesis Evangelion)

JWM

3/24/2006 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

OK, let's take another swing at it and hope to heaven that my short missive is not dashed to atoms . . .

And thanks, Liquidinous, for your kind support! (and a shoutout to the teethy thing with the eye stalks)

What I was reflecting on before I hit the ice berg, was the Primal Lie, what it is, how it goes about its biz. Would the Primal Lie not be the reversal of the natural order, that being primal fire>> eventual sublimation>>transcendence? The mirror image, in other words. Hence "the ape of God".

I think the most seductive of lies are those which mirror most closely the Truth. Communism, eg, had/has legs which Nazism, as evil as it was, never did, because it was more the mirror image of Christianity. It had its Christ (Marx), its saints, (Lenin, Stalin), and its Parousia (the dictatorship of the proles), etc. As mirror image, it had greater power to seduce.

Someone once said something to the effect that modern progressive liberalism meant to turn every virtue into a vice and every vice into a virtue. At first glance, I thought this ridiculous. Then I thought about it. In any event, this too is a kind of mirror-imaging. It would seem risible that anyone could fall for it, yet clearly it has a mirror-image seductive lure.

I think the old definition of "heresy" was not that which was wildly, outlandishly deviant, but rather was almost, almost, but not quite, a replication of the Original. This too is a kind of mirror-imaging.

For what it's worth, the late writer Jorge Luis Borges, a genius and, in many way, founder of the modern "illusion vs reality" approach, had as a recurring motif the mirror, the essence of which he found abominable for reasons he himself was never entirely clear.

3/24/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Just scanning the comments . . .

Well, as William James once said, there's a bit of truth in every religion. Even the Scientologists, with their thetans, etc., nail down a certain truth, albeit in a rather exotic fashion.

The church, the ur-church is, I think, within - one then ideally finds a faith that best corresponds. I belong to no church per se but I would define myself as esoteric Christian. Every time I have sampled a particular faith, I usually find something that doesn't quite sit right - and even if it did, I'm aware that my own perspective is always changing, always, I hope, deepening.

The question I have re "getting at the truth" via the ancient texts/scriptures is not so much a matter of "do they convey truth" - I think they obviously did and do - but is rather a matter of "how do we interpret words/phrases that were shaped in such a way as to be comprehended by people of that time"? Biblical phrases, after all, have accrued a certain imagery and meaning of their own down through the centuries. The word "sin", for example. This word at one time must have had a very specific meaning for the people for whom it was originally intended. Today the word "sin" comes barnacled by a whole array of images - we tend to have an emotional reaction to the word, ones that might misguide us as to its original meaning.

I read somewhere that the word "sin", cleanly interpreted sans emotional imaging, simply refers to anything that blocks the Light of God from manifesting through us. This, I like. Anyway, I don't think any scripture can replace the Bible - I regard it as the definitive revelation of Truth - but I do wonder sometimes at how much Biblical meaning is lost due to centuries of accrued imagery.

3/24/2006 05:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Sal said...

Dilys,
thanks. That's what I thought you meant.
You are smokin' today!

3/24/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

Anyway, I don't think any scripture can replace the Bible - I regard it as the definitive revelation of Truth - but I do wonder sometimes at how much Biblical meaning is lost due to centuries of accrued imagery.


Will,
I figure we will have an eternity to get caught up on all the mysteries!
(wink)

3/24/2006 06:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

You know, Liquidicious - you is right.

(and now that I know you are female, I can play around with your name)

3/24/2006 07:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Dilys -

Well, it can happen that there comes a need to find a guru among them. Or if not among them, then from somewhere.

But this is not as much a brain-strain dilemma as it may appear. You know the old shibboleth, "When the student is ready, blah blah". Well, actually that's one of those truisms that happens to be true. On the invisible plane, there really are magnetisms, alignments. Of course, as the student, you have to be ready. And if you are ready, you need not really activily go looking.

3/24/2006 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

Hey Will,
Do you ever wonder when we pass over to the other side and see God's face, do you think within in all that light that we will see all of everything, you know all the mystery and all the many wonderful things deep in the sea or you know, all things that God has created and more all at once?

3/24/2006 08:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Kahntheroad said...

"I think the most seductive of lies are those which mirror most closely the Truth."

I think Bob puts it nicely in the book blurb: "Fascist = Leftist in a Hurry"

All of the Grand Lies - from the snake on to communism to the Nazi master race - are enticing because they offer short cuts to The Truth. On a smaller level we have the old snake oil salesman (hmmm, never made the Eden connection to that term) or infomercial diet fads.

God has things planned a certain way, but it's too damn slow, so 'evil' tempts us with another way.

I suppose what's so frightening about today is the lack of logic involved. Or maybe it's more that people today are frightened and running from the truth.

It's an odd luxury to only know how to run away.

At least the masses in, say Germany or Russia, were in a more desperate state where they wanted something. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, etc. all had a forward looking, but deeply flawed vision. They were perfectionists and their broad appeal was grounded in man's most basic longings for community, achievement, advancement. That, I think, is the deepest level of evil - when one lures another based on the purest longings of the human heart. Like the pathology of preying on a child with an offer of candy.

Today, what do our enemies and their hapless appeasers want? To desperately cling to the Teddy Bear of the past (or, in the case of the Islamists, keep the rest of the world in their darkness).

It's frightening, because we're dealing with people who have nothing to lose - no standards, not even a real ideology. At least those swayed by the dreams of, say, communism, could - conceivably - come to their senses when it is proven to fail, or is defeated in war. But what do the masses want today? Do they even know?

I'd rather be chased by a healthy animal - it might get tired, or go for easier prey. On the other hand it's much more dangerous to be up against a desperate, cornered animal. And at least the cornered animal has the instinct for it's own survival, rather than delusions of 72 Virgins.

3/24/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Liquidette -

Well, yeah, I do, pretty much. I do think we all have to pass through a purgatorial period first. After which, we will see a durn sight further than we do in this valley of shadow, fer shore.

At very least, I think we will have questions answered about our own lives, you know, why did such and such have to happen, etc. I think the grace and symmetry of Existence will certainly become more clear in this respect. I guess I also believe in "escalating heavens", that is, there might not ever come a total stasis point - we might forever be growing closer and closer to God, in the next life and dimensional existences, infinite in number, to follow.

Don't think we'll ever quite have the perfect God's Eye View, however - that's for God alone.

3/24/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Kahn - I agree mostly but re the Germans: It's my impression that the German collective, the volk, really did have a pride, imperialistically so. In some way, Hitler was conjured up out that pride, he was its spirit made flesh. It wasn't completely as if the Germans turned to Hitler in desperation and then got stabbed in the back when he seized power.

As for the Russians, I dunno. The original revolution, which was intended to be democratic in nature, got hijacked by Lenin and his goons. Maybe there was some ancient karma at play, going beyond even the spiritual trespasses of the Czars and the whole feudal thing. Or maybe their descent into evil was due to the fact that Russia did have something of a communal spirit going for it, a spirit that was teetering on the edge of either actually realizing the brotherhood of man or perverting the same ideal. Sadly, tragically, it was the latter.

3/24/2006 10:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Kahntheroad said...

Will, LLH, etc.

Do you guy's take reincarnation/past/future lives for granted?

I've seen only some matter of fact references to it here (and I don't recall Bob ever touching on the subject).

I'd be interested to hear some takes on this. The concept is no less reasonable than other spiritual assumptions; although it seems taboo among the Western religions. Is this a matter of willful exclusion? The Kabalah stuff I've read, again, seems to mention it in passing. Do the Gnostic teachings make reference to it?

I tend to think - just my own intuitive, uninformed take - that if our purpose here to know and serve God, this is not something that can be done in one lifetime for most people; in this case there could come a point where a person has past the point of being able to serve God and others in his current capacity and that it's time for that person to be reassigned.

On a grand scale, it is uncanny to look at history's modern martyrs - such as a Lincoln or MLK. These to men had really done all they could as living mortals, and the causes they fought for, in the long term - speaking in cold, pragmatic terms here -, were the better for the examples they served as pristine legends. In a just universe they must have been 'rewarded,' and it seems sitting on a cloud would be kind of dull. Maybe Heaven is being reincarnated into a nice, relaxing life once your work is done. Who knows, maybe that's Honest Abe lounging on the beach surrounded by playmates in the next beer commercial you see.

And perhaps 'angels' are not otherworldly beings, so to speak, but souls who have reached a point of being put in a special position to serve God.

Okay, that's my idle ramble for the night...time to troll the coffee shops for moonbats.

3/24/2006 10:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

Kahn - I really don't know, of course, if reincarnation is a fact, but it does seem economical to me.

As you point out, there aren't any shortcuts to paradise; and the only place where you can clean up your mess is where you left it, ie., the earth environs.

I dunno about references to reincarnation in the Gnostic gospels; it wouldn't surprise me if there were. But in the Bible, doesn't Christ essentially refer to John the Baptist as being the reincarnation of Elijah? And the people speculated that Jesus was the reincarnation of one of the prophets. The concept of reincarnation surely wasn't unknown at the time.

3/24/2006 11:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Kahntheroad said...

Will,

Economical. That's the perfect word to describe it ;)

Also, like so many spiritual concepts, reincarnation is such cross-cultural notion that it is worth taking into account. Especially when you consider how entire cultures accept it so matter-of-factly.

I find it really fascinating, though, to hear the stories they come up with to explain certain phobias or birthmarks. I read a book by some new age hypnotist on past life regressions. A woman would come in to find out why she's fat.

"Oh, you're fat because in a previous life you were kidnapped by Indians, beaten, raped, scalped and thrown in a ditch where you starved to death. So, now you overeat to compensate for this fatal food deprivation."

It may be hooey, but at least it's creative. ;)

Although, if reincarnation does occur perhaps it's pointless to spend time trying to figure out who you might have been and this and that; rather, I suppose, we should focus on the lessons we are directed towards in this life. I went to some new age festival her in SF (oooh, yeah...I could go on all night on this thing) and they had some moonbat who was bragging that he's John Adams. Well, okay, perhaps John Adams decided to take a life time off from the shackles of brainpower.

Anyway, I can't help mentioning the highlight of last year's SF New Age Fest (man, Zombie's gotta cover the next one!).

Some psychic guy is doling out prophecies to a packed conference room of excitable moonbats. First he gives them the stock picks. They're scribbling notes like crazy. Then he gives his political predictions and tells them that he sees the prez being, well, violently eliminated (don't want Bob to get a visit from the FBI) in 2007. The whole crowd goes nuts!! hooting, cheering, clapping...it was like they'd just won an election!!

Honestly, I have never seen such a mixture of bile, hatred and pathetic delusion in my life.

3/25/2006 04:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Will said...

Kahn - I have to say your notes and observations on the SF Moonbat scene are really well-described and really funny. I was laughing outloud when reading them. You ought to consider compiling them, either for a blog or a book or something.

3/25/2006 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Speaking of liars and how dangerous they can be, I ran across this article from Dhimmi Watch quoting Tony Blair in the Muslim Weekly...brace yourself...

"The Prime Minister during his speech "Not a clash between civilisations, but a clash about civilisation" spoke forcefully about the problems of terrorism.
The talk given to the Foreign Policy Centre and Reuters also included his praise of the Holy Qur’an.

"The most remarkable thing about reading the Koran – in so far as it can be truly translated from the original Arabic - is to understand how progressive it is.

"I speak with great diffidence and humility as a member of another faith. I am not qualified to make any judgements. But as an outsider, the Koran strikes me as a reforming book, trying to return Judaism and Christianity to their origins, rather as reformers attempted with the Christian Church centuries later. It is inclusive. It extols science and knowledge and abhors superstition. It is practical and way ahead of its time in attitudes to marriage, women and governance," he said.

He added that under the guidance of the Qur’an, the spread of Islam and its dominance over previously Christian or pagan lands was "breathtaking".

"Over centuries it founded an Empire, leading the world in discovery, art and culture. We look back to the early Middle Ages, the standard bearers of tolerance at that time were far more likely to be found in Muslim lands than in Christian," he declared.


I can't believe what I am reading nor what he is saying. I wonder if he said it with a straight face? I used to have some respect for this courageous leader but now I am only having doubts about him and his intentions. Boy, is Europe doomed! Yes, indeed, the spread of Islam is breathtaking, literally!!!! I would truly rather fight to the death than allow Muslims to take away my breath!

3/25/2006 07:32:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I actually have some dear old friends up in SF that are total moonbats. We just have to stick to talk about family and our past growing up together. We have to be careful if any current events are mentioned because they then begin to shift into bizarro world! He was even bragging a few years ago how he went to one of those protests. He then told me how sick he got, bronchitis, after standing in the cold rain for a whole day. I chuckled to myself and thought that sometimes God or Karma whatever you call this does indeed work fast! It's funny how you have to be so disconnected from reality to fit into the SF scene. Kahn, you are indeed a brave soul to tolerate the daily nonsense of such a beautiful yet insane city. Here's the link to Zombie's photos of the moonbat species! http://www.zombietime.com/hall_of_shame/

3/25/2006 07:44:00 AM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

I believe that the reincarnation mindset is a way that people in the past and also today cope with the overwhelming realisation that life here is short and in that short time, before this body dies, there is much to figure out and much responsibility on our free will. I think that the whole concept of reincarnation is a way to escape that or cope past it. Its a type of denial. Its a way of deception that says, "You don't have to get it right this time" "You dont have to choose 'the way' this time around" "You don't have to repent this time" blah blah, because that voice is promising you a chance to come back again and again till you get it right! But when our bodies die then comes judgement. That reincarnation voice is trying to get you to avoid that reality. We can try to avoid it in every facet of our brain by trying to replace that responsibility with things like reincarnations, but the reality of how much in a blink of an eye things change and how we are wasting it and how we will be accountable for it...it's coming and what's important is going to be how we have prepared for our eternity in this one life that was so preciously given to us!

Hebrews 9:27-28 teaches us this
"Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him"

SoI do believe there is life after death in the resurrection but not reincarnation where one keeps coming back here.

3/25/2006 07:45:00 AM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

If you guys want to giggle hard at some "moonbatty experiences" check out Peace Moonbeam

If you leave any comments, tell her that Liquid sent ya! Ha Ha

3/25/2006 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I have to apologize for a poorly researched post I left earlier in this thread about the 2500 year old sarcophagus found in Cyprus. Here is the link http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,188602,00.html
in case anyone is interested in more details. Cyprus also has an interesting history based on lies, at least in the Turkish half! Once again, Muslims must fabricate history and relocate thousands to land they have conquered and then have the nerve to say they have been there all the time...

I would also like to ask for some guidance in working the fancy html tags or link thingy-majigy! It looks like you know how to do it right, Liquid!

3/25/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

Hyperlinks are links that take you to another page or web site. You create them by using the code below and inserting the url and name that you want to give that url into your post here, so go to the link and it will walk you through it

Name of link

The link would appear as, Name of link

3/25/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thank you kindly, Liquid. That was a big help and it does prove the old saying, "Ask and ye shall receive"...

3/25/2006 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Kahntheroad said...

Lisa,

It's funny how you have to be so disconnected from reality to fit into the SF scene. Kahn, you are indeed a brave soul to tolerate the daily nonsense of such a beautiful yet insane city.

Oddly enough, living here keeps a perspective on things, and a sense of humor. I’ve been fortunate to meet quite a few like-minded, artistically inclined neo-con friends, so its something of an ex-pat community.

It is a strange, strange place. The people here are otherwise so polite, timid and orderly. The local government is a mess, the public transit system fucks them over repeatedly – they shrug it off, yet build giant puppets and hold support rallies for the terrorists who want to destroy them. Gang violence in on the rise, bums rule the streets, businesses are fleeing high taxes…but the city council spends its time ‘impeaching’ George Bush and the local paper runs a 2 week long, front page series on the epidemic of “When The Police Use [gasp!] Force!” – which was only interrupted for a week of D-Day font screaming headlines about Dick Cheney’s hunting accident.

SF is a bizarre world of it’s own - W.H. Auden meets Dr. Suess pretty much sums it up.

Here's the link to Zombie's photos of the moonbat species! http://www.zombietime.com/hall_of_shame/

Oh, thanks for the providing Zombie link. I usually have that very one handy for when anyone back home try to tell me I’ve gone off the deep end. My favorite is the moonbat with the Swastika cookies. Anyone who hasn’t been to Zombie be sure to check out her reports on a recent pro-choice /pro-life rally for a fine contrast of how the two sides conduct themselves. Oh, and the last one on the “Anarchist Book Fair” was a howl! Nilism for Kids coloring books! Games for children (and the young at brain) such as Pin the “Molotov Cocktail on the Cop Car.”

The key thing to remember is that this stuff is not even self parody – these people take it dead seriously.

3/25/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Kahntheroad said...

LLH,

While not necessarily coming from your Christian view, I've also thought about reincarnation in a similar way. I've changed and grown so much that sometimes my previous selves might as well be past lives. Reincarnation could be a metaphor for our daily rebirth or potential for it.

In a practical sense, it's detrimental enough to dwell on one's conscious past - let alone taking on the burdens of some hypothetical previous life! Even if we are reincarnated - or just kinda recycled, given the finite nature of matter - there's probably good reason why we don't remember it (besides, is the crossword any more or less difficult because your newspaper was last a coffee cup as opposed to a log?).

Like most of the new age obsessions, overly concerning ourselves with reincarnation just seems like a distraction from living in the present.

3/25/2006 12:24:00 PM  

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