Archive for September, 2011

Mythic Beasts and Hobgobblins in Scripture

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, Hebrew scripture, history, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on September 23, 2011 by chouck017894

The key to any institutional religion’s functional success rests in the manufactured illusion that it is the lone faith that represents an out-of-this-world power.  To accomplish this impression there has to be put in place some worldly illustration of authority that the clerics may point to as their certificate for representing that imagined isolated power.  The sense of wonderment can be inspiring, but spiritual inspiration is not being well served when rationality is crucified upon a cross of myth.  A case in point is the inclusion of grotesque creatures in biblical texts that are featured as divine truth.  In the main, the Old Testament accounts that include such mythic beasts as Leviathan (Job 41:1, Psalms 104, and Isaiah 27:1), and Behemoth (book of Enoch 60:7-9, Job 40:15-24, and Esdras* 6:49-52) use beast imagery to symbolize the violent primordial elements out of which matter manifestation occurs.  Once a person understands that the monstrous creatures serve as metaphors for primal creative energies, the references then carry surprising scientific insight.  We will briefly examine here these better known fictional beasts that still inhabit scriptures.  (*Esdras: either of the first two books of the Apocrypha corresponding to the books of Ezra and Nehemiah in the King James version.)

Leviathan:  The word leviathan is a compound word that was interpreted in the Septuagint (a third century BCE Greek translation of the Old Testament) to mean drakon (dragon), and ketos (a whale).  However, it is most often said to be derived from words meaning a great fish and fastened (as bound together), and thus projected as a huge fish-like animal that was covered with armor-like scales and possessed monstrous tusks.  In other words, Leviathan is a mythological beast.  The origin of this mythic creature can be traced back to 15th-14th century BCE Ugaritic texts in which the monster was known as Lothan, and was described as “…a crooked serpent, the mighty one with seven heads…”  This image was resurrected in the New Testament book of Revelation 13:1 and 17:7-8, composed 135-138 CE.

By the description given in the book of Job, it is widely accepted that the beast in that version was modeled upon a crocodile found in tropical regions which was not known by experience to the priest-authors in 7th century BCE Jerusalem.  Some of the monster’s features do suggest a crocodile, but other elements, such as breathing fire, are clearly mythological.  For this reason Leviathan was sometimes linked haphazardly with another monster known as Behemoth (more later).  In the book of Job (3:8), the mythic Leviathan is identified with the sea, which as aways is allegorical reference to the primordial energies of Creation, commonly symbolized as waters.  And in Psalms 74, supposedly the poetic work of David, it is said in priest-lingo style, “…thou breakest the heads of Leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.

The allusion of seven heads was metaphorical reference to the seven transformational dimensions that primal energies pass through to manifest into matter form.  The “wilderness” always refers to those primal conditions through which units of energy must “wander”—pass through, or pass over—to manifest as matter forms.  Thus the “people” of the verse that are being given “meat” refers to the energy units that are to manifest with matter identity.  This meaning simply echoes the Genesis account, the book of beginnings, in which the word wilderness also signified the pre-physical energy dimensions out of which matter is made manifest.  This is confirmed in Psalms 74:14, which alludes to God defeating Leviathan as a prelude to Creation.

This is rich story material, so the mythic Leviathan was presented by various Bible authors as destined to be involved with the final battle—or the End Times of apocalyptic literature.  This purposely reverses the representation which Pagan cultures had understood as characterizing the violent primal energies out of which Creation occurred.  As an example, in the book of Isaiah 27:1 it says that Leviathan is to be defeated once and for all in the End Time, and that line was latched onto enthusiastically in the New Testament book of Revelation 12:3; 17:1-14; 19:20; and 21:1.  In that butchered version the Leviathan image is cast as the Great Dragon with seven heads, but the image was obviously modeled on the northern circumpolar constellation Draco.

Elsewhere in the book of Job 41, however, Leviathan is said to be fully under God’s control and is something like a pet.  The “end” that is alluded to by Isaiah, therefore, is not of this material world; the pre-Bible reference was in regard to the end of the pre-physical conditions out of which the material world evolved.  It was not a prophecy that our immediate world is about to be phased out.  It originally signified the end of what may be termed the Edenic world, the pre-physical (prototypal) world shaped from the energy-making polar interaction (which was more personally symbolized in Genesis with Adam and Eve).

Behemoth:  Like the beast Leviathan, Behemoth had its origin in the Babylonian myths of Creation.  In that original, the roaring waters of the Deep (quantum Source) was presided over by their queen Tehom.  Queen Tehom represented energy-substance out of which matter will congeal.  By the queen’s command the primordial waters arose to threaten God’s handiwork of Creation.  The Babylonian Tehom is actually the plural of Tehomot.  An ally of Tehom was named Bohu, a land monster, and the plural of Bohu is Behomot, which was slyly altered by the Yahweh priests and cast as the male monster called Behemoth in the book of Job.  From this same Babylonian myth the priests of Yahweh, when writing the book of Genesis, misinterpreted Tobu and Bohu to mean “without form and void.

In the Hebrew version of Creation, therefore, the Babylonian tobu and bohu were interpreted as the mingled energy-substance that composed the material Earth.  And the darkness that was said to have prevailed and blanketed the primordial conditions was the Hebrew version of the Babylonian darkness with which queen Tehom covered herself from God’s anger.  In the Babylonian version, God responded to that darkness with fury, hurling hail, lightning and universe-shaking thunder, which caused Tehom to withdraw her watery forces in trembling fear.

Rahab:  Another, but lesser known Babylonian monster was named Rahab, meaning “hautiness,” who contributed to the chaos in Babylonian, Ugaritic and Canaanite cosmogonies in which the Creator was known as El, Marduk, Baal, or Jehovah.  In each of these holy presentations, the Creator had to struggle against the boundless quantum energies to initiate a semblance of order over them.  This sea-monster, Rahab, was also known in Hebrew pre-Bible accounts and was designated as Prince of the Sea— the “sea” referring to primordial energies.  In the days before Creation, in one of the early Hebrew pre-biblical myths, when Yahweh wanted to drown all life on Earth, he commanded Rahab, “Open your mouth, Prince of the Sea, and swallow the world’s waters.”  Rahab was not enthusiastic and grumbled, “Lord of the Universe, leave me in peace.”  Apparently in that turmoil of pre-time, God had not yet perfected any emotions of compassion or love, for he responded by kicking Rahab to death and sinking the carcass beneath the sea.  In the 7th century BCE priest-revised version, this amoral violence and insensitivity within Creation’s energies was smoothed over.  However, the God of Genesis is still depicted metaphorically as tearing the upper waters—personified as male—from its embrace with the lower waters—personified as female.

Curiously, in later Hebrew writings the name Rahab was still being linked with creation activity and was cunningly inserted into the coded story of Joshua 11:18.  There the name is used for a prostitute who is portrayed as aiding the Israelites in the capture of Jericho.  For story purposes Rahab had undergone a sex change operation, and we should remember that the Israelites always symbolize the undeveloped particles which are in movement toward matter manifestation.  In the book of Joshua the city of Jericho is used to symbolize the energy dimension at which energy is in the process of manifesting into dense-matter form, so metaphorically the walls of energy come tumbling down so the energy units may pass over into their matter identity.

Tracking these mythic scriptural creatures to their origin gives new meaning to what the faithful refer to as “revealed wisdom.”

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Jamming “Faith” into Government

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, Government, history, politics, random, religion, Social with tags , , , , , on September 18, 2011 by chouck017894

Back in 1979 the US citizens paid little attention to the clamoring of the Religious Right, a movement which in effect was something like a voodoo resurrection of the religio-social movement that had once attempted to force Prohibition upon all U.S. citizens.  Like that earlier movement, the rallying bluster was the old saw that the nation’s morals were leading us to hell.  What the nation needed in 1979, said one egocentric chubby preacher from Lynchburg, Virginia, was for the nation to take up his “conservative” values.  His equally chubby ego drove him to seek national attention, and he dedicated himself to imposing upon the nation his self-serving “conservative” moral code.  He was just one among several who sought to use religious posturing as a political stepping stone.

The right-wing Republicans have a long history of opposing almost any ethical forms of regulations and controls as had been wisely set in place in an attempt to keep a level playing field for all citizens and businesses.  Even Republican President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) found it necessary to break up monopoly trusts to protect true democratic principles.  But slowly and surely the heavily financed GOP crowd kept chipping away at the principled regard for the little man in favor of the conniving schemers and greedy corporations.  The resulting economic collapse of 2008-2009 and the $700 billion taxpayer-funded bailout is directly traceable to the GOP’s devotion to end the controls and regulations that once protected homeowners, small businesses, taxpayers and the national budget.

In this continuing GOP indulgence in economic sins, the United States can truly be termed a “Christian nation,” for the whole concept of that faith is that someone else will pay or has paid the end-price for you.  Was it simply bald coincidence that as right-wing religionists squirmed their way into national political influence in the late ’70s and early ’80s that the democratic principles upon which the US rose to greatness began to noticeably slide downhill?  As noted in Time Frames and Taboo Data (p 408), “Reagan’s first official act after assuming office as President of the United States in 1981 was to terminate oil price controls, asserting that it would boost America’s oil exploration and production.”  That certainly did not prove to work as advertised.  Also noted on the same page, “But in the years of Reagan’s reign the “Conservatives” never managed to find the waste, fraud and abuse that they had claimed had been the hallmarks of liberal government.  Subtle shifts (in government) did occur, however, and with Ronald Reagan’s election the war on poverty which had been led by the Democrats was quickly and quietly shifted into a war on the poor.  That war is still being conducted by the GOP.

In 1992 the extreme right-wing religionists announced publicly, “We want…as soon as possible to see a majority of the Republican Party in the hands of pro-family Christians by 1996.”  By 1995 the US Congress was manipulated into stripping away the rights of victims who sought to recover their losses from dishonest and abusive big businesses!  That was the caliber of Christian offering by a religiously inspired Congress.  And by 1996 the Christian Right had indeed managed to craftily seize control of the GOP at the Republican Convention.  Through the next few years Christian evangelical fanatics wormed their way into Congress, the Judiciary, and the Executive Branches—all the while corruption and unethical behavior flourished, reaching its apex in 2000 with the highly questionable manner in which born again George W. Bush managed to be installed as president.

During the drafting of the Welfare Act earlier in 1996, the then-senator from Missouri, John David Ashcroft (R-MO), advanced the deceptive idea of “charitable choice.”  The reference label was something of a misnomer, to say the least, for the covert intention of the proposed program was to provide a wedge that would permit government funds to be siphoned away to Christian religious groups and ministries.

Within weeks after G. W. Bush swore upon two Bibles at his inauguration in 2001 that he would uphold and protect the Constitution, he was leading the charge in support of his colleague’s anti-democratic “charitable choice” policy.  And John Ashcroft was rewarded by being installed as Attorney General in GWB’s administration.  Very quickly they were seeking ways to distribute federal tax money to ministries, pretending that it was to provide social services through religious institutions, services which were already being provided for through secular grantees and government agencies.  The “charitable choice” policy was a cunning move to alter existing laws in such a manner that it could utilize the federal government to directly support Christian conversions—a move that was/is in direct opposition to religious freedom for all that is granted by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Using tax dollars to fund any faith system or ministries implies that it represents government’s social welfare, and that is in itself unconstitutional.  Add to the brew that “charitable choice” as the Bush insiders attempted, intentionally tries to evade the protective safeguards that were established to protect citizens against religious coercion and abuses.  Incorporating religious organizations to distribute publicly funded aid was already being made occasionally, and this was done by contracting separate entities of religious institutions to handle that distribution.  This allowance retained safeguards that protected the civil rights of the disadvantaged, and insured the integrity of the representing groups, which “charitable choice” sought to emasculate.

Although “charitable choice” did actually become part of the welfare law in 1996, there were constitutional concerns that caused democracy’s wiser representatives to hesitate in implementing the policy.  Many in Congress rightfully saw it as a disguised way of forcing every taxpayer to subsidize the Christian faith system whether they believed in it or not—clearly a means concocted to sabotage the principle of separation of church and state.

But G. W. Bush liked to think of himself as a god-chosen “leader,” and seemed hellbent on applying “charitable choice” to practically every aspect of government funding.  “Blessed are the poor,” Jesus said, so Bush and company decided to make as many poor as possible for Jesus.  The resultant unending “charity” hoopla made the wise sentinels of democracy tremble, alarming civil rights and civil liberty groups, the educational and social service communities, and even the more rationally balanced religious communities.

Providing social services through civic-minded religious groups to the disadvantaged is a noble endeavor if it remains free from proselytizing. Only then can it be said to be a heart or a spiritual offering, and the creative source certainly recognizes the difference.  But the faith-based “charitable choice” initiative as repeatedly attempted by the so-called “conservatives” and the piety pretenders is a policy that is concerned with neither democratic principles nor religious liberty: It is concerned solely on stealing material advantages for their special interests.

Heavens Government

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, culture, faith, freethought, Government, humanity, life, random, religion with tags , , , , , , , on September 10, 2011 by chouck017894

Man’s social and governmental structure which grants and inspires the rights of individualism and personal expression is what is called democracy.  This all-inclusive form of human government is probably the closest that man comes to emulating the original cause of all things in Creation and which grants the privilege of plurality and wide-ranging diversity throughout the universe.  The opposite of that easygoing allowance within Creation activity is glaringly demonstrated in human conduct in the numb obsession of hardline faith systems that are referred to as fundamentalism.  In politics that same characteristic quirk is called “conservatism.”  When these two interbreed, as happened at the 1996 Republican convention in the USA, a true breed of predatory monster is spawned.

Fundamentalism or radicalism is probably best evaluated as a paralysis of spiritual insight that results from an unwavering belief in a set of man-conceived principles of religious, political or philosophical nature which are made compulsory as the basic and unalterable game plan for storming heaven. With no wiggle room left for inquiry regarding all the enormous possibilities which “god” left open to man, any social or spiritual advancement then becomes virtually unachievable.

The power responsible for Creation’s development is a purely democratic process and is sustained and maintained through the collaboration of all individual components for the preservation of all.  In short, all things exist as part of an unrestricted principle just as the pre-Christian Stoic philosophers taught.  In that perception regarding the essential interaction of all components which define Creation, all things great and small therefore stand equal before Cosmic Consciousness.  That basic law of equal status, which is active throughout Creation, is best expressed in the democratic forms of man’s governments.  Plurality and interacting diversity is seen throughout all Creation and is the indisputable evidence that democratic principles prevail within the soul of Heaven.  In direct opposition to this, the hardline religionists and obstructive politicos imagine a heaven and social order that is structured either as a one-dimensional kingdom or a monotonous theocracy.

True democratic management, which is active as the creative power throughout the observable universe, is not concerned with the possessions or power plays that individual entities obsess over.  From the democratic arrangement which is active in the universe, freedom of expression and interactivity serve as the framework for Creation.  Indeed all things must respect and support each other, otherwise the universe would cease to exist.  The minority is always preserved and respected as an inherent element within the activities of the whole.  This is a fact of universal continuance that the GOP and the Tea Party in the USA today should consider if they are going to pretend such devotion to God.

Democracy is modeled on that respect and liberty which is extended throughout the universe, and in that creative activity there is granted the assurance of personal freedom which entitles each citizen the liberty and responsibility of shaping their own identity.  Equality before the law is a basic principle within Creation, and it is the basic principle of democratic governing.  No individual or group can hold a monopoly on wisdom, virtue or importance before the powers of Creation.  That means that in man’s democratic governments the stripping away of laws for the benefit of special interests, as currently pursued by the political and religious right groups in the USA, is therefore not only contempt for established and proven laws but is willful indulgence in blasphemy as well.

An important part in pre-Christian times, such as prevailed in the city-states of classical Greece and Rome, the rule by the people was vitally important.  However, those ancient forms of democracy did not presume that all individuals necessarily held equal qualities.  It was understood that every entity is made definable by its limitations, but all the perceived differences were interlocked within the whole, and they balanced out in importance before the creative Source.

Stoic philosophy held that every matter object with which we interact is a passive condition of energy and is distinguishable from the animating or active principle—which traditional man-centered faith systems personify as “God.”  Stoic ethics cannot be described as a metaphysical theory, although it regarded the creative energy spark from which each individual living thing attained manifestation is the defining feature of each living being’s individuality.  Man’s faith systems have referred to this defining feature as “soul.”

The four cardinal virtues of Stoicism reflect the philosophy that had been put forth by the Greek philosophers Plato and Socrates: wisdom, courage, justice and temperance.  Stoicism, which existed long before Christianity, recognized and advocated the brotherhood of all mankind.  And in this understanding any differences in rank and wealth were regarded as merely external and temporary, and so each person should strive to help one another.  The natural equality of all human beings within Creation was stressed, and this reflects the democratic character by which man should live and prosper.  This certainly is not the principle held dear to the radical right religionists and/or politicians who seek to dominate in man’s affairs today.

Stoic philosophy as honored in pre-Christian times had understood that man is but a small part of a divine principle.  The Jewish and Christian faith systems struggled with this understanding for a while, and it led them to emphasize the rights of the poor, the underprivileged, and the equality of all humans before God.

In recognizing the democratic structure and administration throughout Creation, and in recognizing that all life forms share identical properties, it becomes evident how far the radical right politicos and hardline religionists have strayed from the truth.

Divine Delusions

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, culture, faith, freethought, history, humanity, religion, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on September 1, 2011 by chouck017894

Since the 1800s humankind has steadily gained considerably more knowledge regarding universal truths than man’s limited known history had previously recorded.  Natural phenomena that once terrorized our ancestors have been studied, their interrelationship observed and calculated, and working models based on those examinations have granted mankind a degree of forecast and control that our ancestors would have regarded as godlike.

For example, we know how hurricanes develop, how an eclipse takes place, why earthquakes occur, what the Moon and the planets are made of, how health can be threatened by bacteria and viruses, and a great wealth of similar secrets once regarded as holy mystery.  Inquisitive minds have stubbornly chosen to know, and in pursuit of knowing mankind has questioned and observed events around himself that were once attributed to a capricious god.  And those probing minds also discovered that the fear of God does not adequately serve as the beginning of creative wisdom, nor is that priest-stoked fear of the unknown a sound foundation upon which to build faith.  No longer must mankind endure the bogus authority of holy pretenders who profess explanation of natural energy interactions as being consequences of divine miracles or godly wrath which only they have been blessed with the power to interpret.

Imagining that some supernatural being is responsible for conjuring up all the actions that pummel human life has never provided the means to work with or around those natural energy actions in which we experience our relationship with the universe.  Listening to the superstitions of shamans, priests and the like has resulted only in inestimable years in which billions of persons have wept over trillions of unanswered prayers.  For all the scriptures of man’s invention, not one has ever provided mankind with a definite and clear-cut grasp of how to achieve the attributes necessary for ascension into that quality of being that is alluded to as holy wisdom—that rapture of enlightenment.  All that those hallowed texts have offered have been moral teachings, which most certainly are vital to human societies but which are actually woven upon common sense guides for sane social conduct.  There is no need for a supernatural being to tell us—through some self-appointed interpreter—not to kill, steal, rape, lie, defraud and such: that is obviously detrimental conduct if one truly aspires to achieve peaceful and creative life experiences.  Acting contrary to those common sense guidelines is demonstratively self-destructive.

The indoctrination programming of the world’s regimented faith systems have generated the bulk of blind evil that has dogged man’s history.  Belief that some supernatural being favors some particular group of people above all others, which is nothing more than mutual masturbation of ego, has fueled unending wars and inhumane conduct within a species that has more in common with each other than the imagined great abyss of differences elaborated upon by pulpit hucksters.  That these faiths all boil down to nothing more than manipulation of ego is provable in how social issues are perceived, manipulated and altered in the constant religious contests for material power.  Issues such as slavery, torture, abortion, contraceptives, sexual orientation, derogation of women, etc., etc. are not heavenly matters; they are taught human disparages used to manipulate human passions.  Only a spirit that is truly at peace with the natural diversity and plurality—which is clearly active throughout the universe—can step away from these self-serving discriminatory teachings and practices to truly approach divine wisdom.

Isn’t it time for humankind to face the fact that man’s invented faith systems are inherently dysfunctional?  When rationality is impaired by clerics who constantly belittle each other”faiths,” and their persistent indulgence in a proposition that our true identity is to be attained in a future state somewhere beyond this life span, that self-serving propaganda is not legitimate worship of Creation’s wisdom.  That is simply a means of inducing ego gratification through resorting to obsolete mythology of prejudicial and judgmental sky gods.

The creative power which is assessed as “divine” has never and will never strip itself away from the here-and-now; that power is not detached and resides somewhere “out there.”  Cause can never be removed from effect.  Take a cue from Pantheist understanding; that power continues to reside in us and in everything around us.