Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The Secrets of Unlimited Power!

Even -- or perhaps especially -- as a young kit subjected to the tedium of Sunday School, I was uneasy with all this miracle business. You can't just say, "my God is better than your God because of his superior magic." This seems the way of the barbarians. After all, Mohammed supposedly ascended to heaven on a winged steed. Can you top that? "Yes, I'll see you and raise you one virgin birth."

There is an old joke -- it might actually have been left by a commenter here -- about a fellow who says he wants to become a pagan. His friend asks him something to the effect of, "if you want to become a real pagan, why don't you just join the Catholic church?"

Now, the "spirit" of this joke is not insulting, but merely an ironic way of pointing out that Catholicism is a "full service" religion that addresses every level of man's being. Let's not kid ourselves. If we consider the full trajectory of the arc of salvation, of course Christianity appealed to pagans in a way that, for example, Judaism never could. How are you going to get the pagans "on board" the arc of salvation if you don't specifically appeal to their pagan sensibilities? It doesn't mean you remain a pagan. Indeed, that's the whole point -- a sort of bait and switch operation in which the paganism of the pagan is transformed and sublimated within Christianity.

Regarding the miracles, I suppose I didn't exactly understand how a violation of everything we know to be reliably true of the world is supposed to constitute the more reliable truth. Plus, it felt rather manipulative, as if metaphysical truth were too weak to stand on its own, so they had to throw in a few miracles to rig the outcome and impress the dim. What if, during the State of the Union, President Bush put on Sigfried & Roy style magic show, and made a few Democrat congressmen in the front row disappear? Would this add to or detract from the appeal of his speech? Okay, bad example.... But in the long run, would it in any way enhance the power of his message on grounds of truth alone?

Here again, isn't this what the pagans do -- for example, the nazis during their rallies, in which they would use special effects to drive home the message of the Führer? If we think of nazism as an underworld shadow of Christianity, it clearly turned the messiah principle on its head by imbuing Hitler with a numinous, hypnotic power. But this cannot be the true power. It reminds me of the miracles ascribed to Lil' Kim Jung -- probably not even leftist university professors are all that that impressed by his Marxist mojo:

"The Korean people are performing amazing miracles and exploits in socialist construction despite all sorts of tempests of history and all this has its source in the trust placed by the respected leader Kim Jong Il in them.... Kim Jong Il is the supreme incarnation of trust and love. Ever since he began steering the revolution he has pursued the policy of trust under the uplifted slogan 'Let's build a new society by virtue of trust and love.' The Korean people have thus grown to be a heroic people who can do anything. Kim Jong Il's trust serves as an ideological and moral source of strength whereby the Korean people can achieve signal successes despite any trial and fully display all their wisdom and energies in working history-making miracles. The leader absolutely trusts the people and they work astonishing miracles, inspired by this trust."

Obviously I am not alone in my ambivalence about miracles, for during the course of his initiatory ordeal in the bewilderness, Jesus himself rejects the temptation to magical worldly powers. Valentin Tomberg asks, "Why do the Gospels narrate the miracles?":

"If the purpose is to show evidence of the divinity of the one who performed them, it contradicts the spirit of Christianity; such an assertion would use the very means that the tempter offered Jesus Christ in the wilderness and that he rejected -- that is, using a miracle to convince the world of the power of truth. Moreover, the miracle argument is incompatible with the fact that Jesus himself cautioned against speaking of his miraculous acts (Luke 8:56)."

Furthermore, even during the course of the biggest miracle of them all, Jesus says to the "doubting Thomas" that "because you have seen me, you have believed." But "blessed are those who have not seen and have yet believed." In other words, there is something superior about seeing with the eyes of faith as opposed to the mere eyes of the flesh. Obviously, if I may say so.

What distinguishes good religion from bad religion is this issue of "power." All bad religions (that shall go unnamed, but you figure it out), and all bad religiosity -- including, for example, virtually all of the "new age" movement -- worship power, not God. The following book titles by the Mother of All Charlatans, Tony Robbins, say it all: "Unlimited Power: The New Science Of Personal Achievement." "Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!" There is nothing whatsoever in these books that Lil' Kim would object to in the least. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if they are on his night stand, perhaps next to Jimmy Carter's latest anti-Semitic rant.

Let's just take one of the book descriptions and insert "Dear Leader" and "Korean" for "Tony" and "you," and it sounds just like a North Korean press release: "Dear leader has already unlocked the personal power inside millions of happy Koreans. He has proven to millions with his books, tapes, and speeches that by harnassing the power of the mind, the Korean people can do, have, achieve, and create anything they want for their lives. He has shown heads of state, royalty, Olympic and professional athletes, movie stars and children [I don't get the distinction--ed.] how to achieve. With Unlimited Power, Dear Leader passionately and eloquently reveals to the Korean people the science of personal achievement..."

Think for a moment how much more real magic there is in a mere sentence by Hayek or Friedman than in the eight-volume "Complete Quackery of Tony Robbins." For one thing, Robbins could only have become a wealthy fraud in a country guided by the real secrets of wealth -- secrets that are still unknown to the secular left, which I suppose is the core audience for this pseudo-religious nihilism. No proper religious person could fall for this kind of sting.

It's become such a cliche, but let's all repeat Coon emeritus Chesterton's famous formula together: When one abandons the truth, the problem is not that one will believe nothing, but rather that one will believe anything. Robbins has become a wealthy and "powerful" man by believing implicitly in this airtight adage and turning it to his advantage. If you see the world as he does, "pigeons" are everywhere, just waiting to be shaken down. Now that's power!

We see the same spiritual psychopathy in another new age titan, Deepak Chopra, whose book promises nothing less than "the secret of perfect love," the "secret of healing," the secret of "how to find a soul mate," the secret of having the most fulfilling career, and the secret of gaining a "personal breakthrough, a turning point, and a revelation." (Obviously Mr. Deepak can't keep a secret.) His "crystalline distillation of insights and wisdom" will transport you "to a sacred place where you can savor the nectar of enlightenment!," while he savors those sacred but playfully raucous money fights with his children inside the compound.

Again, when you step on such sacred cowpies, you are either impressed or are you nauseated. A Coon reaches for the Pepto and scrapes off his sensible footwear. Only an end-times, fully horizontalized infrahuman devoid of true religion could fall for this kind of extravagantly sinister piffle.

Now, back to the miracles. I see that I'm going to have to continue with this line of thought later, for I have merely laid the foundation while Dupree has enjoyed taking potshots at a couple of low-hanging anti-Coons. But let me say at the outset that I have no objection to biblical literalism per se. Rather, what I object to is only literalism, which once was a truism among Christians, but has somehow become an aberration due to the aberrant, er, falsism of fundamentalism. And this modern aberration can only ill-serve Christianity, as it promotes a narrow -- or shall we say "shallow" -- form of spiritual materialism that is simply not suited for Phase III man. Furthermore, it serves as an easy straw man for the contempt and mockery of secular tin men.

For, just as the "sacrifice" of Jesus is intended to be the last sacrifice, there is something about the biblical miracles that ironically intends them to be, if not the last miracles, then the last word on miracles -- a very different thing. In other words, if one comes away from the Gospels with the notion that it's a good idea to crucify innocent people because that's how you resurrect them, you have probably gotten the wrong message.

Just so, if you come away from the gospels with various ideas about how to turn water into wine, how to walk on water, or how to stretch a meal, it's possible that you are missing the point. But there is something critical about the nature and structure of the biblical miracles that we need to understand. Let Tony Robbins teach you how to walk on water -- or hot coals, anyway. We want to know how to walk on water, which is another matter entirely.

The vast majority of Mankind remains in ignorance; most humans spend their lives in spiritual darkness, at the crazy mercy of chance and accident. SubGeniuses, basking in the 5,000-watt Light of Dobbs, are also at the mercy of chance and accident -- yet given a boost by The Pipe Bringer, the seeker can "climb aboard" chance and accident and ride them like a cosmic surfboard on the oceans of the Luck Plane, "hanging ten" on the very same waves of randomness that cause humans such envious HATE.

For even if there's
actually no "reason" for anything, even if nothing can be known for sure in an unbelievable world where psychotics run the Department of the Interior and mutilate cattle, we can still retain one concrete ball of fact that the most shattered instincts cannot deny: Something is going on, and we deserve better. --"The Secrets of Slack," The Book of the SubGenius


River Cocytus said...

Bob, one thing that is clear to me about miracles is, that God does not require their employment.

They appear to be presented and executed on a case-by-case basis. In this sense, none of us being superstitious pagan types, may never see a miracle. Why? Because it would not prove anything to us. As for performing one, Christians I know of who have, most of the time don't realise it happened. This is partly because, the power is not the deal, but God. If we think somehow that we have acquired a miraculous power of our own we've missed the point.

Recall when Jesus sent out his disciples to heal and drive out demons. They were excited that they could drive out demons, but Christ says, "Don't be excited about that-- be excited that your names are written in the Book of Life."

We must have a state of complete detachment regarding them; they are not proof of real power from God (Christ talks of false prophets with signs and wonders.)

One characteristic I have seen about real miracles is that they are transliteral. In other words, a man is healed, but the healing contains an important symbolism (that may be missed) and within that symbolism, more symbolism, etc.

In other words, they are exactly in nature like those in the scripture. So, in that sense, every seer or hearer receives a message from God; One man is reassured by his provision in the duplication of the fishes; but I see the disciple saying: "But what are five loaves and two fishes among so many?" -- the whole miracle, including what is said synchronistically by those around is part of the message.

Bruce Almighty was a cool movie regarding this; God gives Bruce all of his powers; but he is still not God. Because what God is, (He says it in the movie) is far more than just magic tricks, even if the magic is real.

If you're looking for folk to speak in tongues you will continually find folks willing to speak in tongues for you.

But why not remember God instead? Did Christ not say, "Do this in remembrance of me"? (Referring to the act of eucharist) And yet, what is living but thanking God that we were made?

You don't need road signs if God is giving you an internal map. Isn't that the essence of memorizing, and eventually internalizing the whole of the Word?

Gagdad Bob said...

RC -- Yes, I think you are on the right track. Hopefully we will discuss this further tomorrow. For now, it is off to work.

Ricky Raccoon said...

Repeated exposure to One Cosmos may cause an awakening.

No one warned me of this. I too was once stuck on literal. Don’t get stuck on literal, boys and girls. I think you had written something in your book to the affect ‘to take the Bible only literally is to practically miss the whole Bible.’ It may have been in the ‘Tarot’..

Dr Bob, if the MSM had the guts to print your daily bread, they’d have to put some type of warning at the top. I dare them to offer you a column.

River Cocytus said...

As an asnide, it is becoming, in this era of Maya, to discern a book based on its cover (false negatives now instead.) For instance, James Rutz' 'Mega Shift' says - Ignite Spiritual Power - but really the Book is about knowing God. Again, the packaging is bombast, but the contents are real.

Another author who is very good- if you're looking for literature on what miraculous stuff looks like nowadays, is Derek Prince. He tends to err on the side of caution (Removing one's eye if it causes one to sin comes to mind.)

His unusual encounters with the Spiritual things that go bump in the night - purveyors of those mind parasites perhaps - create a depth in him (he was Pentacostal) that is lacking in many Charismatics. He began to saw spiritual roots in some illnesses, but also discerned that there were always illnesses that did not have spiritual roots. (He learned this in the school of hard knocks.) He also discovered that becoming a Christian and receiving God's spirit was not an immediate cure-all for what ails you-- but rather a mini-crater that begins an outward ripple cleansing and calling one inward (and onward) towards God.

He also deals with idolizing philosophers- which is something that none ought to do. He perhaps literalizes the spiritual a little too much, but he is what he is.

karrde said...

Bob--I think cocytus has beat me to the point.

Simply put, this follower of Christ has met a few quasi-spiritual teachers who claim that the blessings of Christ always include health, wealth, worldly power, etc.

It would be simplistic to thereby ignore all Christian teaching (as self-centered); it would be simplistic to assume that God's primary purpose is personal comfort and success for His believers.

Would it be equally simplistic to say that the possession of riches precluded knowledge of the truth? Jesus himself had harsh words for people who were wealthy, but I seem to come to the same conclusion: it would be simplistic (and erroneous) to assume that wealth precludes belief.

Any thoughts?

robinstarfish said...

secrets of the id
carbon credits of the soul
blue-green dragonfly

Anonymous said...

Hi Bob,

I want to preface my post by saying how much I adore your blog. Dr. Michael Liccione turned me on to it about six months ago and I've haven't missed a day since. I've elected to stay primarily in "lurk-mode" so as to get a general idea of the blog's ethos and message before putting in my $00.02.

>>Now, the "spirit" of this joke is not insulting, but merely an ironic way of pointing out that Catholicism is a "full service" religion that addresses every level of man's being.>>

Personal Question; Why aren't you Catholic? As a Catholic I read you as exceedingly Catholic in worldview, metaphysics, theology and philosophy. Doesn't your heart long to receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of the Lord in Eucharist within the context of the Catholic Church? The Church would be so blessed to have you aboard and you would have to give up none of your theological and metaphysical genius in the process.

>>No proper religious person could fall for this kind of sting.>>

You're right! When I was 18 and quite lost, I fell for it and it lead me down a solipsistic path of navel-gazing. I read my way into the Catholic Church by age 33 and since then (I turn 40 in June) my life has been pregnant with meaning and beauty.



The Bunnies said...


My perhaps simplistic thoughs on your questions. One reference he has to the rich about it being (paraphrase) "easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven" refers not to a little needle into which we put thread, but instead to the entrance to a city. A camel had to unload its baggage in order to get in. Likewise, a rich person has a whole bunch of distractions, things that make him seem happy, but he needs to focus on the Source instead. Think of a spoiled rich kid vs. a well-brought up kid whose not starving. Which has an easier time focusing on decent values?

Also, "the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil," IMHO refers to putting false idols before God. If you love God for His own sake, his gifts are blessings. But if you love God for the sake of his blessings, his blessings become an obstacle to clear-headed worship. If we can be happy when it doesn't seem like God is paying attention, we're being blessed because we "believe without having seen." It's nice when we get what we want, but that can't be the basis for our faith. When we always get what we want, it's harder to see that, although far from impossible.

Alan said...

Kaarde: There is some truth to what the prosperity preachers tech in that true religion can help us overcome our mind parasites which can lead to poverty inducing behavior in the horizontal world.

Matt 15:11 "It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man."

Unfortunately, much of what is taught by these people only serves to enhance and support our mind parasites.

Joan of Argghh! said...

I've never liked the whole, "seeking after miracles" obsession, but I have seen and experienced them. I've never sought to have power over demons, but have found, on occasion when pushed, to actually have power over them. Sorry, 'coons. My experience, my reality.

I don't dwell on this topic as central to my faith, but as a Raccoon who devoted many, many years to being a conduit of jazzy Grace, I can only attest to results: you only get good results when you center on the Good. Center on the wanted results and you get bupkis.

Like Simon the Magician, we would be cursed, indeed, to go whoring after real Power when we see what it can do. Better to be quiet, and be ready, when the Cosmos wishes to focus a unique beam of light through the prism that is you.

Then go back to weeding your garden.


Just a thought: people in the third world don't have insurance, clean hospital beds, warm and nutritious food and vitamins, or morphine for the pain of cancerous death. Miracles are sometimes an expression of the Cosmic nature of Mercy.

Like the importunate widow, I have nothing of myself to offer my neighbor in need. I see prayers and miracles in their rightful place: for others' comfort, and for the humbling of my ego, seeing my helplessness.

I hope, when in pain and distress, to find Mercy. In whatever form, it is miraculous.

Did Jesus really weep? If so, can we say, "as above, so below?" What a wide-open invitation to our cries for mercy, to think our pathos can move the Eternal.

I just dare ya.

River Cocytus said...

mrs. Arrggh, I too have experienced them firsthand. Some of them happen so quickly and subtly that you may question their miraculous nature (this is okay, what often matters most is the result...)

We should however, not be predisposed to doubt that something is indeed a miracle (which is nothing less that acknowledging the mystery of what happened?)

In particular, miracles are ripe for abuse -- they can lead others away from God or lead the person who was the conduit away from him as well.

The fact that we see so few 'real' miracles (hocus-pocus like) should honor us; at least only insofar as it reveals that we have believed even though we have not seen.

River Cocytus said...

Er, sorry about the mrs. I don't know your marital status... Lady Arrgh?

Van said...

Joan of Argghh! said said "I can only attest to results: you only get good results when you center on the Good. Center on the wanted results and you get bupkis."

I think that's it - respect reality, which afterall is the One Cosmos, and reality will not withold wealth from you. The universe is not set against us, it is what it is, and it plays by the rules of the Is that IS.

Keep in mind that, as with Job, occasionally events out of your direct control may go against you - those that opened up a new beach front property outside New Orleans last year come to mind - but that is incidental, not directed at you. Persist in respecting reality (which includes yourself, your neighbor and the stuff of your neighborhood in the One Cosmos) and thinking & acting sensibly, and you should do fine. If you develop above average skills in producing/arranging what others want or need, and/or the patience of investing wisely, you will acquire riches.

Riches don't do anything on their own, other than surface a different "skin" of distractions and mind parasites for your viewing pleasure. I think above all, keep in mind that it is up to your true central focus whether or not your riches (or lack of them) translate into wealth.

NoMo said...

Bob got me going on the question of the importance of miracles. Would early Christians have believed the Truth without the confirmation of miracles? A couple of examples from scripture may provide an answer. “This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will. (Hebrews 2:3-4). “People of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know.” (Acts 2:22).

To me, it is pretty simple (surprise!). Any supernatural event (miracle) that glorifies God is of God. Any that does not, comes from somewhere else.

Just because I love reading the Bible, doesn’t mean I worship it. Nearly every time I pick it up, I discover validation of the Truth it conveys. Even the most seemingly mundane passage can do so. Here is one that struck me last night. “When Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed. They all wept as they embraced him and kissed him. What grieved them most was his statement that they would never see his face again. Then they accompanied him to the ship. After we had torn ourselves away from them, we put out to sea and sailed straight to Kos.” (Acts 20:36 – 21:1) How real, how human, how genuine, how authentic.

Gagdad Bob said...

To avoid misunderstanding and to clarify where I'm going with this, I changed a couple of sentences at the end to read "there is something about the biblical miracles that ironically intends them to be, if not the last miracles, then the last word on miracles," and "there is something critical about the nature and structure of the biblical miracles that we need to understand." In other words, as I hope to show, the miracles do not speak for themselves, but are intended to convey specific lessons about the miraculous.

Ricky Raccoon said...

When I’ve faced my own trials, the miracle apparently was how God showed me, in no other way I could have ‘seen’ it, that He had faith in me. If He had stepped in with a parting sea every so often where would my faith go?
Back to Phase II, apparently.

Lately, thinking on what some would say were perfect opportunities for some Divine intervention – the Holocaust comes to mind… The un-believer asks, ‘If there is a God, then why didn’t he stop this or that…' I say, perhaps, there were plenty of capable enough people around that could have stopped it.

Your child needs training wheels and a guiding hand, but eventually you need to let go.

Van said...

"...there is something critical about the nature and structure of the biblical miracles that we need to understand." In other words, as I hope to show, the miracles do not speak for themselves, but are intended to convey specific lessons about the miraculous."

I may be missing the target a bit still, but see what you think of coming at the point from a different angle, from the myths of King Arthur (heavily influenced by the Bible as well as local Celtic myths). As a kid, I wanted to be like King Arthur, to have a magical talisman like Excalibur to defeat the bad guys and do impressive things... sit at the Round Table and be... King! Impressive! Powerful! The Knights of the Round Table did splendid things and feats... Lancelot! Gawain! Parcival! Galah... well, actually Galahad was a bit odd..., but Bedivere! Even Merlin!

But it slowly dawned on me, what if such a fantasy were to come true? What of it? If the source of my Power were talismans and spells or even just massive muscles & fighting skills, then in my idle, none dragon slaying moments, what would that do for me? Would I be anything more than someone who needed a 'thing' to be proved worthy? And of course the whole Mordred, Guinevere, Lancelot situation seemed a bit bothersome as well. Even Merlin's with his magical powers, wouldn't you still be stuck being YOU when not brandishing the magic wand? Not to mention getting imprisioned in the trunk of an Oak for all time by a younger backstabbing witch chick... not real enticing. Even my adolescent mind picked up on the idea that worldly power could be horribly undone by a worldly focus.

The Arthurian tales seem to come to that conclusion as well, as all the impressive deeds are done, they are all stuck just being themselves, and begin to waste away with no impressive quests to pursue or dragons to slay - without those, what use were their powers? And then the quest for the Holy Grail comes upon them, a quest which they all shall seek, but of all of Arthurs Knights of the Round Table with their magic scabbards and swords and rings and things, only Galahad found the Holy Grail, because Galahad alone was Good for goodness sake - not in order to win a tournament. He was the best Knight because he was Good, not good in order to be the best knight. His power came from a goodness within which opened him to a truer power than the powers without, and only he escaped the fall of Camelot.

With the Grail found, not through gaudy magic tricks, but the miraculous goodness within, Camelot came to a swift ending. The time of Merlin and Excalibur and magic was at an end, and the miracle of being and doing good for goodness sake was at hand.

It's easy to be distracted by powers and talismans and riches without, that lead you into a sealed darkness within, cut off from the power without. The tale of Galahad leads you to discover that the miraculous powers do wonders in the world only, it takes goodness within to attain to the truly miraculous.

uss ben said...

Karrde said:
"Would it be equally simplistic to say that the possession of riches precluded knowledge of the truth? Jesus himself had harsh words for people who were wealthy, but I seem to come to the same conclusion: it would be simplistic (and erroneous) to assume that wealth precludes belief."

I concur with what The Bunnies said, irt wealth.

I only add that Jesus did have friends and followers that were wealthy.
Zacchaes comes to mind, and Lazuras.

But, it is how we view wealth and what we do with it that makes a difference .
If we love wealth more than Gog then obviously that's who Jesus addresses when he talks about the trappings of wealth.

The wealthy that worship God over wealth, are on the right path.

Poverty also has trappings.
The biggest one being envy, of course, but those who see poverty as an end in itself (we all know the type: false piety oozing from their puffed up pride), the "look at me! I'm poor! I'm special! I'm more holy than that rich guy over there", who love poverty and treat it as a badge of honor, even going as far as to impose it on themselves and use it as a spiritual litmus test, are just as lost as the wealthy who worship their wealth.

In fact, Proverbs, and other scripture, encourages financial wisdom and gives good financial advice.

Nowhere in scriptures is poverty encouraged, so we po' folk must be careful not to see poverty as some kind of goal in our journey to align ourselves with the Truth, Beauty and Goodness of God.

dilys said...

RC's reference to Derek Prince, and by extension to some of his spiritual kin, raises the whole question of the relation of miracles to sacraments, recitals/speech acts (scripture as holy grimoire), and other iterations of the kind of focus that religion engages to affect the conditions of human life and transformation of souls.

As James points out regarding the harmony of the Catholic core with much of what is available here at OC, Meditations on the Tarot, with its insistence on faithfulness to the tradition, addresses this about as clearly as it can be addressed; it is a realm that really doesn't function effectively without corruption outside of the protection of a Vertically-revealed tradition, and indeed can't be plucked cleanly out of the tradition. to carry away for idiosyncratic power.

As Joan says, miracles are often only semi-conscious side effects of a fervent consistent illuminated devotion to the Good, the willing citizenship in what Jesus calls the kingdom of God. The explication of these things IMO is close to the edge of what is transmissable in this worded medium.

If anybody can do it, OurGagGuy can.

uss ben said...

Van said:
"...only Galahad found the Holy Grail, because Galahad alone was Good for goodness sake - not in order to win a tournament. He was the best Knight because he was Good, not good in order to be the best knight. His power came from a goodness within which opened him to a truer power than the powers without, and only he escaped the fall of Camelot."

"The tale of Galahad leads you to discover that the miraculous powers do wonders in the world only, it takes goodness within to attain to the truly miraculous."

I loved those stories, and at the end, it was Galahad I wanted to be like. He reminds me of John.

will said...

Just to speak out of the center of my usual delirium -

To me, a miracle is anything that induces wonder and awe. Like my own consciousness. Like canned goods. Like everything.

Van said...

and Guiness

Homer said...

and raspberry Duff.

hoarhey said...

And hot chicks on Hawaiian beaches. ;)

cousin dupree said...

... in a French bikini by a palm tree in the sand...

cousin dupree said...

... I mean a freedom bikini...

Lisa said...

Can I just say, that waking up each day is a miracle!

"I got a feeling and it wont go away, oh no
Just one thing then Ill be ok
I need a miracle every day."

NoMo said...

The unfortunate degradation of great words:

What an "awesome" cheesburger!

It's a "miracle" I found my keys!"God"!

And the word "gay" is lost forever.


joan of argghh! said...


"Lady Argghh!" is sufficient.

River Cocytus said...

By the way, just as another asnide, I've found that Prince and his compatriots have an issue with teachings regarding the occult. Their approach to dealing with it is extremely ham-fisted and tends to unintentionally create a spirit of fear regarding it more than create clarity about it.

My thought is this-- for quite awhile many supposedly devout Christians didn't drink, didn't smoke, etc, but were involved in activities which lets face it, were definitely occult. For Prince and co what revealed this fact (which ought to have been obvious) was the presence of spirits associated with them. (recall the 'python spirit'/spirit of divination from Acts)

It seems to me reading the teaching many of them offer regarding the occult that what is going on is an over-reaction. In other words, they don't want to be taken advantage of regarding the occult any more so they reject anything that has any trappings of it.

Instead of saying, 'By what principle is this occult?' most explanations given are vague at best - such as, 'They come from a culture which was involved in the occult'... and our culture wasn't?

Anyhow, Prince does identify one important aspect of it (though he kind of does not develop the line of reasoning) and it is this: Real Occult is con game. In other words, something true or trueish is offered to entice, and then at some point there is the con, where you are required to give up something of value. His experience with it was that for the most part a prediction of the future was offered (usually ill.)

The principle here, I think, is that whatever this occult thing is, whether it be a person or spirit, attempts to 'replace' God in the center of our lives via lies, obscenity, wickedness, etc. One has to have a guarded attitude, like reading some modern science books wherein the author is trying to make you disbelieve in God through their research. When, like with the spirit, you accept the wisdom that they are offering (it may be real) but refuse to be baited into submitting your will, your virtue, truth, etc, they become enraged.

I Recall Dobson using 'research' about men and women to prove one of his points, but since the wisdom was 'false' in the sense that the motivation behind its gathering was false, its 'owners' reacted violently (in words) to Dobson's use of their work. Especially since he did not allow himself to be baited and switched. (Its kind of a perversion of how a physical trap works.)

In this sense I think there is a similar pattern with all kinds of deception. And at any rate, I think it is never out of the question to call a liar a liar.

I say this because while I found a lot of teaching regarding things like envy, pride, bitterness to have a very 'centering' effect, that is, to focus on the true, the good, and so forth, the teaching regarding the occult always struck me as reactive, fearful and scattering; one author goes on a rant about, of all things, Pokemon.

Anyhow, what occults for one person may not for another. There can yet still even be deceptive philosophies even among Christian teachers.


Ricky, God for those purposes tasks us with things; and the things he intends for us to do he will not do for us.

But He's still with us.