Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Arc of Salvation in the Theo-Cosmic Drama

The arc of salvation.

That phrase just popped into my head while making coffee this morning. I don't know what to make of it, but it sounds like a good title for a book. Or post, anyway.

I've been rethinking my approach to, er, the Whole Existentialada, and this phrase seems to sum up my concerns. As I mentioned the other day, Eastern religions are analogous to purely spatial descents, whereas Western religion unfolds temporally in one continuous story: the Arc of Salvation, as it were. Looked at in this way, revelation cannot be complete, but must be an unfolding drama -- the Theo-Drama, as Balthasar called it (although in a specifically Catholic context).

Naturally I am appropriating Judaism into Christianity in a way that Jews would consider inappropriating, but what can one do? In many ways, the development of Christianity represented the temporalization of the spatial revelation given to the ancient Hebrews. In other words, the Jews were given the law, or the "constitution," so to speak, and we all know how much mischief is engendered by people who think that the constitution is a "living document."

This latter idea is one of the principle tools of ideologues who wish to legitimize their devolutionary policies, always under the banner of "evolution." As such, we must naturally be skeptical of volks who look progressive but who merely wish to overturn the divine-cosmic order so that they will feel more at home in the world. This, of course, is what the left habitually does, since its core constituency consists of alienated cosmic misfits of one sort or another. It's hard to imagine a left without "alienation," which is why we are halfway to a nation of aliens.

Now, in order for the arc of salvation to get underway, a group had to be chosen to receive the law. The Mishnah, or one of those other Jewish thingys, says that the Jews were not chosen in the sense of being better than other human groups. Rather, they were chosen for a divine mission -- truly a Mission Impossible if you know anything about the hideous barbarity of ancient man.

At the time, what God was asking of the Jews could not have been more against the grain of what passed for "humanness": child sacrifice, cannibalism, slavery, horrible treatment of women, and incredible intergroup violence and paranoia. The ancient Hebrews were not just given a "religious" mission, but a civilizing mission. In short, in order for the arc of salvation to leave the starting post, it was necessary to prepare a human group. This group turned out to be the Jews, something which in hindsight is obvious, as all Raccoons may trace their own spiritual descent to father Abraham, who got the old ka-ball a-rolling. (In Coonspeak, this is referred to as our "Abraham Linking.")

Spirituality, since it involves a vertical descent, accounts for the sudden, otherwise inexplicable "right angles" in horizontal human history. Thus, the story of the Jews is one long line that runs perpendicular to profane history, and which created a space for the ongoing ingression of divine energies -- including the preparation of a human body for the next phase of the mission.

We're getting ahead of ourselves a bit, but this human body could not have come from any other human group that existed at the time. If you know anything about cultural anthropology (in other words, assuming you don't have a Ph.D. in it), then you know that it is preposterous to think that this human body could have come from, say, the nomadic Arabs, or the Aztec, or the native north Americans, or the ancient Celts, or the Romans, or any other group that existed at the time. They were all far too barbaric to bear this birth. At the very least, it had to be a group that did not practice infanticide, so the Romans were obviously not in the running.

In fact, there are many contemporary human groups -- both foreign and domestic -- untouched by the Judaic message, that would still be too barbaric to bear the light of this body, including virtually all of the Islamic world. Imagine this body coming out of (ironically) the so-called Palestinians -- or even CAIR, or the ACLU -- and you get the picture.

You might say that our mission in Iraq is nothing less than a forced vertical descent, which -- tragically -- may well be impossible. It may not be possible to "speed up" the arc of salvation in this manner, as one must "assent" or surrender to the descent -- as did the Jews and as did the Jewish body that was chosen for phase II of the mission. (Critically, it was necessary for both mother and child -- and father too -- to surrender to the divine mission, which emphasizes its intergenerational arc. The mother in particular had to surrender in faith to a millennia-long evolutionary mission she could not possibly have imagined.)

Perhaps it is because I have been incubating these curious ideas for so long, but it is not even a question to me that the Jews were evolutionary agents chosen for a divine mission -- or, if they were not, they might as well have been. In the course of writing my book, many obscure books synchronistically fell into my eager coon paws at precisely the right moment, including In the Shadow of Moloch: The Sacrifice of Children and Its Impact on Western Religions by Martin Bergmann, and Slaughter of the Innocents: Child Abuse Through the Ages and Today by Sander Breiner.

(As an aside, you may notice that both of these books surpass even my own in terms of obscurity, in that they are in the amazon "top two million." In most any other day and age, an ordinary cosmic citizen such as myself never would have happened upon them [and these are just two of many]. In a previous post I mentioned how important the internet -- and amazon in particular -- was in the evolution of my thinking -- to my own "mission," as it were. Deputy Will has in the past spoken of the spiritual "quickening" that the internet facilitates -- or will facilitate -- in general. Could it be that the internet will prove to be an integral part of "phase III" of the divine mission? My fellow Coons, you know the answer to that question, in that you are the answer, are you not? What do you think we're doing here?)

Not coincidentally, both of the above books were written not by anthropologists or historians -- who tend to be too blinded by academic correctness to see reality -- but by psychoanalysts, who are accustomed to piercing through the BS and looking at the human condition in all its barbaric splendor. Psychoanalysts specialize in the vertical -- the lower vertical. Freud himself likened the exploration of the unconscious to a sort of archaeological dig, under which are deeper and deeper layers of our personal history. You might say that his brilliant disciple Melanie Klein and some of her own gifted followers (including Bion) hit bottom and kept digging into prehistory -- into the preverbal, pre-oedipal foundation of the mind, a disturbingly phantasmagoric reality explored previously only in literature or perhaps in the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch.

But what is true of the individual is true of the collective, and these two psychoanalysts looked under the rocks of history to try to understand some of the more disturbing and troubling "acting out" that humans had been engaged in since the dawn of humanness. In particular, Bergmann focuses on the puzzling right turn that occurred in human history when Abraham, instead of sacrificing his son -- which any good father would do, including contemporary Palestinians -- hears the voice of God telling him not to. (You will note that contemporary Palestinians are quite frank and unapologetic in letting the world know that they are still in thrall to a pre-Abrahamic voice they call "Allah" urging them to sacrifice their children.)

One of the virtues of the book we recently discussed, Before the Dawn, is that it pulls no PC punches in chronicling just how unimaginably savage human beings were in the past. I don't have time to look up the exact statistic at the moment, but Wade mentioned something to the effect that if the murder rate in the 20th century had been comparable to what it was among primitive human groups, the deaths due to war would have run in the billions instead of a "mere" 100 million.

Thus, from our vantage point, the 20th century looks like a catastrophe, but from the vantage point of antiquity it was conspicuously peaceful -- even though seven out of ten European descendents of Abraham were incinerated in the process. This is hardly a coincidence, as the fascist/socialist rebellion of the 20th century represented nothing less than a vertical "counter-revolution" which had to involve the Jews, just as the Islamist devolution must involve them -- as if the light produces a rebellious shadow in the lower vertical. The devolutionary forces of the lower vertical are always visible in groups that oppose the Jews, currently Islam and the international Left.

In his book, Breiner analyzes the vast cultural differences between the ancient Jews and their contemporaries -- the Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, and Chinese. The notion that these vast differences can be explained by "genetics" is strict nonsense. This would be the position of Wade and other orthodox Darwinians -- as if Abraham didn't sacrifice Isaac because of a random genetic mutation! Perhaps tomorrow I'll discuss further the cosmic "righteous angle" represented by the people chosen to carry out phase I of the arc of cosmic salvation.

44 Comments:

Anonymous GLASR said...

;~)

2/21/2007 07:39:00 AM  
Blogger juliec said...

Just to bring home your point about modern day Islamists and Palestinians, imagine the young virgin today trying to explain to her parents that the bump in her belly was not put there by her boyfriend, but by God. She wouldn't live another day, and who knows what would happen to the good man who actually cared for her (assuming such could exist).

2/21/2007 08:05:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

Extremely promising line of thought here. When you look at the whole Abraham narrative, including as it does contra-tribal courage, prosperity, disastrous self-help, almost idiotic faith/belief in a revealed promise, and the intersection with the mysterious Melchizidek, the material can be pondered without limit.

Interestingly, the story of Mary and Joseph refers to his option to "put her away privately" which suggests that one way to run a society is to have pretty strict prohibitions for the sake of ultimate functionality, with the understanding that people in their dealings may exercise much more gentleness than the statutes lay out. Our increasing set-everything-in-stone approach overbalances the course of both pity and order, resulting too often in a brutal squeamishness, where Western medical ethics seems to be headed.

Awaiting the next minute degree of the arc of all this...

2/21/2007 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Hmm... Bob, I'm beginning to think that when you say Tommorow, you're talking about the Latin American Tomorrow of myth, that is:

"Ey, hombre, when you gonna get it done?"

"Eh, manana, manana."

-- This mythical tomorrow has been thought in the past to represent laziness, but having talked to people who lived in Latin America, I can tell you Manana is the 'Royal We' of tomorrows. It instead represents the eternal tomorrow that lets, face it, is always coming.

Or at least, it seems that way, until it isn't...

"I know, eh?"

The vertical tomorrow if you will...

Which is, to be honest, frustrating when one is waiting in line for government service, or hoping for a post of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful.

Ay, ay, ay!

PS this has been called the 'Mexican Tomorrow', but how much it belongs only to the Mexicans is debatable. Some Southerners are also familiar with the vertical tomorrow as well.

2/21/2007 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Don't worry. I am simply temporalizing the transcendentals -- subsuming them in a wider knowa's arc, so to speak.

2/21/2007 08:28:00 AM  
Anonymous ms. e said...

Infidels, off all stripes, owe a terrific unacknowledged debt to the ancient Hebrews. Here at One Cosmos, Bob reminds us that had it not been for the Jews there would not have been Western Christendom.

August 2, 2006 is the day I found Bob and I've been coming back daily ever since.


"You might say that our mission in Iraq is nothing less than a forced vertical descent, which -- tragically -- may well be impossible."

I'm beyond "may well be". It is 'mission impossible' but not necessarily tragic, at least not for the survival of non-muslims and not for the reasons the Left supposes. It's a nail-biter.

2/21/2007 08:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Jenny said...

Bob, I agree with your assessment 100% and had in fact already "gone there" myself.

2/21/2007 09:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the time, what God was asking of the Jews could not have been more against the grain of what passed for "humanness": child sacrifice, cannibalism, slavery, horrible treatment of women, and incredible intergroup violence and paranoia. The ancient Hebrews were not just given a "religious" mission, but a civilizing mission.

In other words, they were tasked to Transcend the Animal.

2/21/2007 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>Could it be that the internet will prove to be an integral part of "phase III" of the divine mission?<<

Since the internet is here and doing its thing, I think we're already in Phase 3 or at least the beginnings.

Obviously, the internet "Global Brain" doesn't equate with a Parousia-like spiritual Oneness of humanity, even if it's often touted as such. In the early 20th century, Richard Bucke, author of Cosmic Consciousness, rhapsodized about aviation and how it was going to eventually bring about unity between nations and peoples through easy global access. Whoops, Dresden.

However, modern aviation and, to a greater degree, the internet certainly *symbolize* a divine unity, which must mean that something's revved up in the "higher planes", the pitch of which is felt down here below in the material dimension. This higher pitch, I think, is the "quickening" - and the question becomes: who can integrate it in a truly spiritual way? The attempts we've already seen to bring about a Oneness - from communism to the EU - were/are obviously hideously misguided, the product of those unable to spiritually integrate the pitch of the quickening.

That's the thing about a quickening - it unifies, sure, but it also polarizes in the extreme. Goats and sheep. And this we can certainly see in the internet. You've got O.C. and its denizens - which I happen to regard as the spiritual apex of the entire internet - and then you've got terrorists who use the net as a means to expedite their evil. The internet has enabled pedophiles in a way as never before. The net has helped to inflame world-wide left-wing anger past the point of derangement.

In short, the internet does expedite the quickening by its polarizing effect. There's another factor to consider, I think. Let's speculate that a kind of Grand Denouement (or a full-bodied Phase 3) is on the way, and that a lot of "karma" has to be cleaned up, expedited. So-and-so in Alaska has a certain amount of karma, a certain destiny, to be fulfilled with so-and-so who's now living in Bristol, UK. Without the internet, they would never know of each other's existence, let alone have an exchange and perhaps even meet face to face. World-wide, it's as if loose ends are being taken care of, old karmas played out for better or worse, all on an accelerated scale. it's as if the internet is, in effect, clearing the decks in preparation for a New Show.

2/21/2007 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This link seems even more pertinent today (if not exactly so) than when I posted it yesterday.

http://www.margaretbarker.com/Temple/default.htm

2/21/2007 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Obviously we must avoid the socialist quickening sand.

2/21/2007 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous will said...

>>You might say that our mission in Iraq is nothing less than a forced vertical descent, which -- tragically -- may well be impossible<<

Well, it did work in India by way of Brit occupation. And - a better comparison, I think - it worked in Japan by way of total subjugation.

That's the thing, however - if you're going to force a vertical descent, you have to take off the kid gloves.

lotsa broken eggs = omelette

Way it is.

2/21/2007 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Joan of Argghh! said...

Dilys said, "Our increasing set-everything-in-stone approach overbalances the course of both pity and order, resulting too often in a brutal squeamishness..."

Which made me think of Psalm 85:10, Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Brutal squeamishness is such a powerful image! It takes so much maturity of thought and discipline of spirit to exact any sort of mercy, and to live at peace with the inexact nature of human compliance with rules. Brutally easier just to, "kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out." Or else to cowardly give it up to libertine chaos.

The confusion of extending Mercy before establishing Law is the purview of the Left; doling out a false Mercy like some kind of undermining Aunt who hates her sister's family for being too strict on their kids.

2/21/2007 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous the drive-by (be)muser said...

Another great post Bob. Here are some follow-up thoughts on today's theme.

The arc of salvation is not only a historical and communal evolution, but also a personal one that takes place in the life of each individual (a variation on the theme of "as above so below"). Just as the historical arc occurs in past, present, and future with beginning, middle, and end, so personal salvation also occurs in three tenses - I have been saved, I am being saved, and I will be saved.

The first step is the recognition that we are slaves to the horizontal and a (re)discovery of the importance of vertical reality. If acted upon (as Abraham did) there is a renunciation of the pernicious hold of the horizontal on us, and a desire to dwell-in the vertical (the land of Canaan). However, that is not the end, for there is much transformation that still needs to occur. We must constantly seek (or consent to) connection with the vertical until we can act as the true intersection of horizontal and vertical reality - to make them one and whole within us. This is what is meant be "I am being saved", this constant process of transformation into the fulcrum of the the cosmos. Finally, as the mind parasites (logismoi) are gradually eliminated, and we ascend the ladder of the vertical, our very material being becomes inspirited and transformed, to the point that it carries the entire material world along with it. When we say, "I will be saved", it is the unshakable knowledge that in "being saved" in the here and now, we become a conduit for the celestializing of the cosmic order, our ultimate hope and destiny.

This is why one genuine saint is usually more effective than 10,000 door-knocking missionaries or outreach groups. Support your local monastery, for it is there that the pursuit of and battle for human perfection and true divinity is most intense and needful.

Such are my thoughts upon reading Bob's ruminations, and I thank Bob for spurring them on (or dredging the depths to call them out). I just continually pray that God grants me the grace to dwell at that fulcrum of the cosmos, for only there is the fullest expression of the Great Love Commandment possible.

So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27)

Amen.

2/21/2007 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Very good, Bemuser. You are an outstanding raccoonteur.

2/21/2007 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I got this email joke about the best Bar Mitzvah invitation ever and thought it would be appropriate for today's post (note: the fancy calligraphy invitation look did not copy into blogger). It's true Jews love their kids more than anything...plus wv:bshvxr (lol)


In keeping up with the Jonesbergs...

It is with great stress, emotional and physical fatigue and incredible financial sacrifice beyond comprehension

that we invite you to join us as our wonderful son

Jacob Adam

is called to the Torah as a Bar Mitzvah

Saturday, May 12 (yes, we realize it's Mother's Day weekend)

Temple Israel

at the ungodly hour of 9:00 am (even though you don't really need to be there until 10:20 am to catch the real action.)

If you make it through the 3 hour service, please skip the kiddush - it's just cookies and cake - and join us instead for

an overly large and ostentatious Kosher (my husband's idea) evening meal, which starts at 7:00 pm at

Birchwood Country Club
(which we had to join just for this event and you would not believe the initiation fees)

You will be in the presence of lots of boisterous and expensive entertainment and 60-70 unruly pre-teens wearing expensive dresses, funny hats, fake bling and brand new white ankle socks as well as 80-100 middle aged+ adults with lots of Botox and REAL bling.

At least 1/3 will be hormonally challenged, while others will act stupid while under the influence. ALL will complain about the food.

Please have the courtesy of showing up if you RSVP that you are attending, or you will be billed for $210.00 a plate if you are a no-show. Please RSVP as soon as you get this and not a day before the cut-off date. I can't take the stress.

The gift of choice is either green or contains a routing and accounting number. "Off the top of your head" gifts and Gift Cards are a waste of your time and ours.

Hope you can make it!

The Millers oh, and BYO Kippot. I don't have the strength.

2/21/2007 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

It's not a bad deal, really...

Membership requirements (Bylaws, sec. 2)
- US citizen for the last six months
- have a public school diploma
- pay a $1.50 initiation fee.

Raccoon of the Year privileges
- Opening the first clam at the annual clambake
- Steering the boat on the annual ride up the Hudson River to Raccoon point.
- Free burial with spouse at Raccoon National Cemetery in Bismark, North Dakota.
- Opportunity to run for Grand High Exhalted Mystic Ruler.
- Throwing the first bag of water out of the hotel window at the Raccoon convention.

2/21/2007 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Bummer, I don't fit the requirements for Racoon, so I have decided to be a Coati, which actually makes a lot more sense...;)

http://www.desertmuseum.org/kids
/features_coatis.html

2/21/2007 12:16:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

lisa:

Those are actually rules from the Raccoon Lodge attended by Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton.

I think the rules here are somewhat more relaxing.

Coatis are cool though. Maybe we can acquire or merge with them?

2/21/2007 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Geez Smoov, you males are all alike!! Merge? is that the PC term these days! ha ha

2/21/2007 02:00:00 PM  
Anonymous goy said...

Bob, the Jews have always had a very closed community. I learned this first-hand as a youth and later, simply by asking my boss about it one day, years ago. His explanation of this phenomenon outlined how/why the Jews have been able to maintain their traditions for thousands of years.

I'm pretty sure it was in the Coonifesto (sorry, have loaned it out, so please correct me if I'm in error) where you discuss a critical turning point in human development, i.e., the changes in human behavior involved in protecting and raising children. Was this practise, perhaps, first seen among ancient Jews as part of the traditions they developed over time? Was this part of what resulted in their being chosen to carry humanity upward? Or conversely, was this practise part of the message God passed to the Jews as the people chosen to carry humanity upward? Both? Is our present-day bible lore a mildly distorted reflection of this spritual/anthropological phenomenon?

Considering this turning point, as (I think) you presented it, in the context of Abraham seems very compelling. As has been alluded to here and there in the last several posts, seeing our children as sacred represents the "next step up" for human development. Our children link us to both the past and future, vertically as well as horizontally. They are the motivation for understanding history and our drive to guarantee a future. They are our connection to the divine both preceding birth and following death.

It seems no mystery then that as we, as a society, have moved away from this responsibility, i.e., of directly raising our children by providing "the firm and secure presence of a calm center through which life may be lived from the inside out", so has our culture suffered. This phenomenon is resisted in what remains of the traditional "nuclear" family, represented most strongly by the Judeo-Christian religion(s), which have their root in Jewish tradition.

Is it possible that the almost genetic predisposition to exclusivity, as practised by the Jews, represents more than a simple drive to perpetuate their race (as my boss ultimately explained to me)? Does that exclusivity and the associated traditions which include the view of children as sacred, perhaps, protect spiritually aware humanity as a whole? Isn't this what we're ultimately defending from the left, from narcissistic me-ism, from radical Islam, and all the rest?

2/21/2007 02:02:00 PM  
Blogger Smoov said...

lisa

*Blush*

I was thinking with my corporate "head".

Ooh! i've put my foot in my mouth again!

2/21/2007 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Goy--

Those are all good observations and questions. I'll toss them into the hopper and address them in tomorrow's post, assuming that I continue down this line of thought.

2/21/2007 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Bob said:
"n short, in order for the arc of salvation to leave the starting post, it was necessary to prepare a human group. This group turned out to be the Jews, something which in hindsight is obvious, as all Raccoons may trace their own spiritual descent to father Abraham, who got the old ka-ball a-rolling. (In Coonspeak, this is referred to as our "Abraham Linking.")"

Excellent! Among the very best, honest Abe!

2/21/2007 06:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am new to your blog and am fascinated by it. Please do not be discouraged at any apparent lack of response. There must be many like me who follow with intense interest but feel, thus far at least, inadequate to comment.

2/21/2007 07:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Son of Ham said...

I feel inadequate to comment, like Anonymous, but I'm going to do it anyway because I am a trouble making varmint.

I don't want any part of Abraham or the Jewish line of spiritual descent. I am outta the West altogether.

My lineage is from the Indian subcontinent, self-contained until this day. Don't want or need any touch of Christianity or Judaism.

I will wear a freaking towel upon my head wnen I bow down to God, so there.

2/21/2007 11:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Son of Ham,

Since it offends you, then I humbly suggest you follow your own master and we'll each follow ours. Perhaps you would be happier within your self-contained tradition rather than stepping outside. After all, those who leave home without an umbrella risk getting soaked.

Incidentally, I am quite certain that humility and self-denial are foundational attitudes to your sub--continental tradition. Something to ponder when the discussion turns towards topics that you find superfluous.

Yours in Spam

2/22/2007 12:39:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

After a long day of Interviews yesterday (looking good), study, car swapping & parenting yesterday, I was rather pleased that my racoon involuntary nasal snort sensor was operating at a fine tuned level, it was somehow tipped off by "...something which in hindsight is obvious, as all Raccoons may...", and so I was able to put my coffee down safely and pass over "Abraham, who got the old ka-ball a-rolling. (In Coonspeak, this is referred to as our "Abraham Linking.")" without incident.

However I was completely blindsided by Will's "…bring about unity between nations and peoples through easy global access. Whoops, Dresden." Luckily the interview clothes were safely away and only my old comfy T-Shirt was stained. That was enough to send me to bed, & I’m catching up now.

If I remember correctly, last June or July saw a similar topic which brought out my first comment here, in defense of the Greeks. But for all their Intellection, In Sophocles' Oedipus Rex the infant Oedipus had a metal pin driven through his ankles and being sent from his birth with a servant to be left out on a mountain top for the elements to dispose of, or "exposed" - the recognized solution to inconvenient children. If there's a defense for that other than "Everybody else is doin it!", I don't know it.

The Greeks excelled all on the Mental plane, the Jews excelled all on the Spiritual plane.

It's a nice sense of complementarity that Greek was the language vehicle which transmitted and birthed the Judeo/Christian into the west.

2/22/2007 05:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I generally agree with this post but I struggle to account for Karl Marx and Noam Chomsky.

2/22/2007 05:30:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Will said "...if you're going to force a vertical descent, you have to take off the kid gloves. lotsa broken eggs = omelette
Way it is."

Yep. This notion of having a polite War is somehow even more horrifying than War itself. "My goodness, how fine and respectible you folks truly are... whoops, pardon us please as we blow your neighbors limbs off and splatter your gristle and grey matter across the walls. There we go. Ok, now lets continue with our political manners lessons, shall we..."

2/22/2007 05:51:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

I said "It's a nice sense of complementarity that Greek was the language vehicle which transmitted and birthed the Judeo/Christian into the west."

I hadn't thought of it before, but applying the idea of a Arc of Salvation, there is a sense of being reborn from above there, isn't there?

2/22/2007 05:56:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

Part of David Warren's meditation on Lent:

"Sometimes it seems even our own bishops have forgotten, that “the catholic truth” is entirely incompatible with the “happyface” of pop doctrines. Even what we mean by the words “life” and “death” is incomprehensible, without heaven and hell. Baudelaire once said, “Everyone believes in God, but nobody loves Him; nobody believes in the devil, and yet his smell is everywhere.” Except that belief in God has declined, this strikes me as a fair description of Western man in late modernity.

Lent, in its penitential spirit, can make no sense except in terms wherein the reality of evil has been acknowledged -- not as some ancient myth, but as a present force working to our destruction. This was what was faced down in the garden of Gethsemane, where Christ began to lift upon himself the full weight of the sins of this world, the full horror not only of the evil that was done, in times past, but would be done, in times future. For the last time in his earthly ministry, he was tempted by the devil, and offered the “happyface” of a life without suffering, of a mission that might not involve the Cross; offered the intensely attractive lie of an easy way out -- the lie that every human being is offered. It is the side of the devil we find hardest to type-cast: the side that is offering that happyface grin.

For it is an offer that we, collectively, have bought -- hook, line, and sinker. It is an offer that we could only accept, on the assumption that someone else will take care of it, that someone else can pay, since the yoke is thus lifted off our shoulders. We ourselves can now be satisfied with simply making demands of others (to cut their CO2 emissions, or whatever). Our job is to be smug, their job is to face consequences. We are not involved."


http://www.davidwarrenonline.com

2/22/2007 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Goy said "protecting and raising children. Was this practise, perhaps, first seen among ancient Jews as part of the traditions they developed over time? Was this part of what resulted in their being chosen to carry humanity upward? Or conversely, was this practise part of the message God passed to the Jews as the people chosen to carry humanity upward? Both?"

It seems to me that the root message of the Ten Commandments can be seen throughout the OT in "Respect God, Behave Justly", and the Jews culture sought out this message, especially in it's 'myths'. I'm no authority on this, and I can't remember where I first saw it first and I haven't had enough coffee yet to go hunt it down, but I think they held that learning the Torah, which can be translated as the Law, but also as the authorized Word of God, brought with it a sense that it was the literature of God. Their ideal was to never walk a single step without thinking of God, but not in a manner of memorized recitation, but in thinking about it, looking at the Words of God as the finest and wisest of Literature, and that it should be actively mined for a depth of meaning in each story & phrase.

The Jews, as far as I've been able to tell, were the first culture to look deeper into their cultural myths for meaning beyond the heroic doings of their heroes. Through such a method they couldn't help but discover the Vertical, which in turn formed and set them apart from all of their neighbors - in the act of choosing to find the Vertical, they were in turn chosen by it, and set apart from the rest. I think most Racoons can identify with that sense that in venturing into the Vertical, you are in fact somehow 'different' from your non ascending fellows.

2/22/2007 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Smoov said "I was thinking with my corporate "head"."

eh, just merge it.

2/22/2007 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Hey Ben, this is the first I've noticed the Profile pic in the comments. Very becoming (does look like you're haveing a bit of an "Oi Vey!" moment). But, uhm, shouldn't you be facing in Profile?

wv:doemtup

2/22/2007 06:52:00 AM  
Anonymous goy said...

Van said...

"...in the act of choosing to find the Vertical, they were in turn chosen by it, and set apart from the rest."

It seems that way to me. This is the possibility I was mining when I wrote "Both?".

And of course that extends beyond behavior with respect to children - it's just that this aspect seems vital, and pivotal.

2/22/2007 07:05:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Goy,
Seems to fit with Gagdads view of evolution as well. The Jews were the first to find the Vertical, not as a secret to be gaurded within a priesthood, as a cultural way of life. They stumbled upon the hidden Vertical treasure box... maybe my coffee's a little strong this morning, but I can almost hear the Monty Python gameshow treatment of the moment of discovery:
"Welcome Abraham to the Evolving Righteous Life! Johnny, tell Abraham what he's won!
Right you are Bob! Well, as our first contestant who has chosen to choose, you and your descendants will have eternal separation from the rest of humanity! Yes, you will be shunned and hunted, persecuted and reviled from one end of the earth to another!

Also, those lucky descendents of yours who happen to be born into pivot points of history will get to deal directly with genocidal dictators and other agents of the Enemy!

Through it all, you'll be comforted with the realization of Children, Family and your true self through the joy of Parenting and the soulful understanding and knowledge of Right and Wrong and the difficulties of knowing of their existence and obligation to them, and of course last but not least, Communion with the Lord God as you discover all that Life truly has to offer!

Thanks Johnny, well congratulations again Abraham, and always remember to look out for that enemy as you journey through eternity!"


I think maybe I put one scoop too many in the filter basket.

wv:nhcxus - nexus? Coincidence? I think not!

2/22/2007 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Doh! "The Jews were the first to find the Vertical, not as a secret to be gaurded within a priesthood, BUT as a cultural way of life."

I should never try typing in the comment box.

2/22/2007 07:52:00 AM  
Anonymous goy said...

Van said...

"I think maybe I put one scoop too many in the filter basket."

Heh. I actually deleted additional sentiments along these lines in my last comment because (a) they weren't nearly as entertaining and (b) I wasn't sure it would lead in the direction I'd prefer to understand this.

However, to your point - which is well taken - perhaps we saw a glimpse of this same separateness in the early persecution of Christians. Worse yet, given present day momentum in Europe aimed at submitting to radical Islam, and similar momentum in America aimed at destroying as much of Christian culture and traditions as possible, I wonder if that wasn't just a portent of something far worse to come. Maybe John's visions were... naah... don't want to go there (yet).

wv: ucviiv - "You see 6-4"? Well, I do have 20/10 vision... ;-)

2/22/2007 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Goy,
I wouldn't be a bit surprised. Think of Gary Cooper in "High Noon", because his character wouldn't run away from knowing and doing the right thing, he was shunned and hated as much or more than the Bad guys they all knew were coming to town.

"It has always been thus."

2/22/2007 08:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goy and Van,

Great insights. In their quest for the vertical, the Jewish motto must be,

Once more into the breach...Oi vey!

2/22/2007 10:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wv: ucviiv - "You see 6-4"? Well, I do have 20/10 vision... ;-)

2/22/2007 08:07:00 AM

http://bible.oremus.org/
?passage=John%206:4-15

2/22/2007 03:16:00 PM  
Anonymous ms. e said...

Bob,
I'm not able to locate a 'contact me' email link.
Do you give out your email to the general public?

In the meantime, here's an item for The Great Mountain of Muscle.

Islam - it’s the ideal religion for a paedophile.

2/22/2007 03:33:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Yum Yum

Every day a veri table feast served up for breakfast

Forget powerbars

No added fats, carbs or other extra noeo us junk

Nourishing to Mind, Soul & Spirit

Slimming & toning: deep tissue ex er cise

Now if it will just work on my thighs

2/22/2007 04:43:00 PM  

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