Archive for August, 2012

Only Begotten Son Myths

Posted in belief, Bible, Christianity, random, religion with tags , , , , on August 25, 2012 by chouck017894

In Genesis (book of beginnings, collected c. 8th century BCE), in the story of Abram/Abraham—as Abram the character personifies the Life Principle within the primal energies of Creative Source—and is depicted later as Abraham and has been instructed by god to sacrifice his “only begotten son” Isaac.  Apparently god simply wanted to test Abraham’s loyalty, for nothing suggests that Isaac was to be offered up as a sin offering.  That Abraham’s son was to be a burnt offering in this account is a strong clue to the story’s original meaning, which has been consistently disregarded.  To repeat, this story is in the book of Genesis, the book of beginnings.  The clue which is hidden in plain sight is that the primal elements that expand as life have to be activated by radiation.  Isaac, personifying the advancing (evolving) Life Principle out of Source, represents the prototype stage of energy development and so has already passed the primal stage where radiation occurs.  Therefore Isaac is “saved” because the prototypal elements are already activated to pass over into his intended matter-life form.

In myths of many ancient people, the sons of divine characters demonstrated the interrelationship that exists between man and the creative Source.   For example, the Greek myth of Herakles, Latinized as Hercules, came into recognition in Rome c 400 BCE.   Herakles/Hercules, according to legend, was the semi-divine son of the god Zeus/Jupiter and Alcmene.  Hercules exemplified the indomitable resolve of spirit in pursuit of divine excellence which wins immortality.  The Greek cult gained a foothold in Rome, and because Hercules was a hero and not a god, there were no temples erected to him.  There was, however, an altar for him which was known as Ara Maximus.   Roman legend asserted that Hercules visited Italy when returning from the raid on the cattle of Geryon where he had slain the monster Cacus, who had been terrorizing the people there.

There were corresponding myths and legends among many cultures.   According to pre-Christian Roman myth, Saturn offered to sacrifice his “only begotten son,” Chronos (time), to his father Uranus (the personification of primordial energy conditions).  Even older myths of India relates that Siva, third god of the Hindu triad, was about to sacrifice his son to the god on a pyre (radiation) when the god regretted his demand and so sent a rhinoceros as substitute for sacrifice.  All such myths simply illustrated the sequence of elementary energies evolving toward denser configurations as life formations.   Thus these creative primal energies are discarded and can be said to be “slain from the foundations of the world”.  These myths illustrate Pagan wisdom which became modified as bogus spiritual “revelations” for later faith system leaders.

The king or the king’s son, it was thought, had to die physically if the welfare of the people became threatened because the king (and his son) was a god or a demigod, and as a divine representative departed this material plane in order for the needs of the people to be calculated in heaven.  The son was seen to serve a supernatural function because he shared the creative impulse (divine afflatus) of his father.

Philo of Byblos (flourished between 64 and 141 CE), in his work on the Jews recorded: “It was an ancient custom in a crisis of great danger that the ruler of a city or nation should give his beloved son to die for the people, as a ransom offered to the avenging demons; and the children thus offered were slain with mystic rites.  So Cronus, whom the Phoenicians call Israel, being king of the land and having an only begotten son called Jeoud (for in the Phoenician tongue Jeoud signifies ‘only begotten’…”) was ceremoniously slain.  In other words, this Jewish tradition of the king’s only begotten son became reworked in Christian myth as a sin offering for the world.

These traditions of offerings of a king’s only begotten son in perilous times held strong influence over the general populace throughout the eastern Mediterranean region long before the timeframe set for Jesus.  For example, after Jerusalem fell to the Romans in 60 BCE, which was due to a power struggle between the sons of the recently deceased King Aristobulus, the Roman general Pompey installed one of the king’s sons, Hyrcanus, as High Priest.  The other son, Antigonus, and his two sons were taken to Rome as prisoner displays of Pompey’s triumph.  Twenty years later, 40 BCE,  Antigonus, back in Jerusalem, managed with the aid of Rome’s enemies the Parthians, to drive Herod, the Roman governor, from Jerusalem.  Antigonus then ruled in Jerusalem as the last Hasmonean priest-king until 37 BCE when Marc Antony seized Antigonus.

Thus in the continuing struggle of the Jews to disassociate themselves from Rome, when their priest-king was taken by Marc Antony in 37 BCE, the event was viewed by the Jewish people as a portrayal of the royal sacrificial rite for the redemption of the people.  Remember, among the people of this timeframe it was believed that no rite held more august power to gain a god’s favor than the sacrifice of the king’s son.  In his short reign Antigonus even had his two sons slain, presumably as sacrificial offerings for the peoples’ welfare.  Herod, who had been ousted as Roman governor of Jerusalem, found this to be appalling, and it was at his request that Marc Antony was prompted to capture Antigonus again.  To the Jewish people these happenings seemed to be another reenactment of the holy mystery ritual.  Antigonus was viewed as another embodiment of the divine son taken for sacrifice to redeem his people: he was scourged, bound to the stake, and then beheaded.  This was high drama that the Roman aristocrats and literary elite would not forget.

Approximately 70 years later another Jewish man is alleged to have voluntarily taken on the sacrificial role to redeem not just the Jewish people, but all sinners who became Christians. The fourth Gospel, John, written c. 105-106 CE, summed it up this way:  (John 3:16) “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

In the Christianized version of the ancient “Pagan” understanding of “only begotten son,” the agonizing sacrifice allegedly demanded by god is portrayed as a tragic episode of Greek drama proportions.  The loving “Father,” whom Jesus had so repeatedly praised, remained unmoved by his own son’s plea: “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will,  but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39, written 70-75 CE)  The Father is the declared Creator of all things, and nothing is impossible for him to accomplish.  Nonetheless, the Father remained resolute in a stubborn demand that the son should forfeit his physical life to cleanse sin from all those who believed in Jesus.  “God so loved the material world,” Gospels tell us, that he made his son pay for it.  This is theology at its worst.

The ancient Pagan sages better understood the working principles responsible for Creation.  The word from which “only begotten” was derived equates with the Greek word gene—the mono-gene; the singular Life Principle through which all life is made manifest as physical form.  The Life Principle strives to fulfill life’s higher potential, which can never be achieved in this lower energy plane of course matter.   Figuratively speaking, the Life Principle voluntarily nails itself to matter manifestation (cross) to advance the refinement of spirit (energy identity). Only allegorically can this be likened to a sin offering.  Understanding the symbolism within this story makes the horrific climax of the passion play more acceptable.

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Covenants of Special Favor

Posted in belief, Bible, history, random, religion, scriptures with tags , , , , on August 19, 2012 by chouck017894

…or Promises Not Kept.

At Mount Sinai, Moses allegedly received directly from God the list of Laws under which the Israelites were to forever abide.  But when Moses trudged down the mountain to the Israelite camp lugging two stone tablets of Law he found that in his absence the Israelites had fashioned a golden calf to lavish their attention upon.  In anger Moses hurled the tablets of Law at the discontented Israelites and God’s Laws became rubble.  The Lord apparently had no backup technology or recovery system in those days, so Moses had to trudge back up the mountain again to get a second batch of commandments which spelled out the rules by which the Israelites could make themselves worthy of receiving God’s conditional love.  This second set of stone tablets survived and were then lugged around in an ark for years and even served as their battle standard during their weary 40-year wanderings, for apparently the Lord had neglected to include with the commandments a road map to the Promised Land.

The rest of the Exodus saga pivots upon the alleged covenant that the Lord is said to have established with the Israelites at Sinai.  For some never explained reason Yahweh pledged to make the Israelites his chosen ones, and he then bestowed upon them—out of all the people on the entire planet—special favors.  Yahweh’s promises included providing the chosen ones with a peaceful and affluent homeland.  Oddly, that promised land was already inhabited!  But all that the Israelites had to do to receive the “Promised Land” was to indulge in a bit of genocide to show their worthiness of the gift.    According to the priest written “history,” the Israelites thus received their “inheritance” by cleansing the land with Canaanite blood as Yahweh cheered them on.

Once the Israelites were in possession of the coveted land, the Israelites had every expectation, according to their understanding of the Sinai contract, to live peacefully in their cleansed and enclosed region.  But evidently Moses neglected to note the fine print clauses that apparently attended the Sinai covenant.  The inherited land, according to priest “history,” was not as idyllic as the Israelites had anticipated.  After years of guidance under assorted peculiar “Judges,” Philistine armies routed the Israelite tribal levies in battle and took the Ark of the Covenant as booty.  The priests and “prophets” came to the conclusion that the reason for their problem was because Yahweh had expected, although he never told them so, that they would set up their inherited land as a kingdom.  Sure enough, the “prophet” Samuel avowed that was indeed the wish of Yahweh, and the Lord’s selection to be the first king of Israel, Samuel relayed, was to be Saul. (The name translates from Hebrew as meaning “asked for.”)  Saul proved to have been an apparent spur of the moment decision on the Lord’s part, and it proved to be a not so omniscient choice, for even as Saul continued to reign, God was directing the “prophet” Samuel to select the youngest son of Jesse of the Benjamin tribe, David, to be groomed to replace the king.  The timeframe for David is traditionally placed as c. 1040?-973 BCE.

So how did the Lord show his favor of David?  In a deadly combat situation with a Philistine giant named Goliath!  Priest “history” asserts that the youth David, who was too young to serve in the military, was the only one connected to Saul’s defense forces who was brave enough to meet Goliath in one-on-one combat.  The priest authors carefully noted in this scripted plotline that David shouted to Goliath, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with javelins, but I come to you in the name of the Lord.”  And then, of course, the Lord made certain that the single small stone in David’s slingshot struck the most vulnerable spot on Goliath’s helmeted skull.  Why the Lord needed an intermediary to bump off the Philistine giant is another divine mystery.  Even more mysterious, the Lord did nothing later to assist all those in dire need who had joined up with David when he became the renegade leader of fugitives and soldiers.  After King Saul’s death—some twenty-three years later—traditionally placed as around 1013 BCE, David was then allegedly anointed king of Israel.

The “word of the Lord” was again relayed to David through a minor “prophet” named Nathan who declared still another covenant promise (1 Kings 7:12-16); that the house, the kingdom and the throne of David “…shall be established for ever.”  The only restrictive clause in this covenant was that if the king did wrong in the Lord’s sight, the king, and not the people would be punished; even so God would not take the kingdom away from David as he had done with Saul (after 23 years).  This sounds like an unconditional promise—the house and the kingdom of David was to continue “for ever.

Genuine history seems not to have followed the Lord’s plan, however, for the kingdom of Israel was conquered and completely destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 BCE, never to be resurrected as a monarchy ruled over by some descendant of David.  (By the way, something time-altering did occur in 587 BCE which forced every nation on Earth to begin recalculating its chronology: it was not because David’s kingdom fell to the Babylonians.)  Today, of course, there is the nation of Israel, but it is not under the rule of a descendant of David; it functions loosely as a democracy.  This means that the greatest covenant that the priest authors claim was extended by God to the Israelites was another sacred promise that seems not to have been kept.

That predicament does not seem to register with today’s army of Christian Bible thumpers who cherry pick verses out of scriptural accounts that support their inflated egos.  This continues even in defiance of the many archeological findings that fail to support scriptural assertion of the Moses-David-Solomon stories.  Ignoring the unfulfilled promises in the alleged covenants that God is said to have extended to the Israelites (not to the Jews, Hebrews or gentiles) allows the devotees of “revealed word” the privilege of accepting the present day democratic nation of Israel as the fulfillment of God’s promises.  This, in turn, allows Christians to indulge in spiritual lust over the New Testament book of Revelation in which Christ takes total control over worldly affairs.  Considering that the book of Revelation was written c. 135 CE, right after Roman armies defeated the Jewish rebellion in Palestine, the invented achievement of unchallenged world domination by Christ simply mirrors the empirical aspirations of Rome concerning Jewish fanatics in their 135 CE timeframe.  The book of “Revelation” is not an end of the world scenario.

Customized Faith Systems

Posted in belief, faith, random, religion with tags , , , , on August 11, 2012 by chouck017894

The concept of a humanlike Creator-God that was envisioned by aspiring men in antiquity is far removed in time and conditions from the insight of universal principles that science has unlocked and revealed to us today.  Long gone, for example, is the priestly sanctimoniousness and rabbinical tyranny that kept the Jewish faithful “pure” behind a cult-policy of isolation.  And long departed is the anxiety-ridden challenge that oozed out of empirical Rome, and which was subsequently injected into the medieval monastic communities.  Later there arose the vicious certainty of Islam that slashed its way across Arabia and then hacked its way through such territories as Spain to convulse into a regime of continuous indulgence in regimented participation in public pretense of spirituality.

The failure of these three western organized faith systems that remain so intent upon spiritual enslavement was insured by their habit of twisting and distorting the same myths that each of them shared and used as the foundation for their faith system.  Each of them claims “divine” approval for their posturing by pointing to a lineage that supposedly issued through improvable ancestors featured in Genesis– (book of beginnings)–especially the character named Abram/Abraham (or Ibrim).  The claims of godly favoritism that each pretends to possess are traceable to Sumerian/Babylonian texts which speak of a seaport city called Ur.  Not so coincidently, therefore, this is said to be the city from which Abram, not the evolved Abraham, allegedly went forth into physical life.  (For more on Abram/Abraham see Concealed Background of Scriptures, January 2011.)

For nearly three millennia the port city name of Ur has been passed over lightly in holy myths, but the name bore considerable information to our Bronze Age ancestors.  Wherever the letters ur were prominent in ancient words or names it referred to some aspect of the phenomenon of light.  The ancient Sumerian word Ur translates in meaning as either “light” or “fire.

It is pertinent to the Genesis story of Abram that the city of Ur was widely understood to be situated at the edge of the sea, and the element of water has alway been representative of the boundless energies of Creation.  Thus in Genesis (the book of beginnings), depiction of Abram’s origin occurring at Ur indicates matter-life originating at the shore of Creation.  Our distant ancestors understood that Ur represented the light which accompanies and heralds the activity of Creation.  Accordingly, in the more ancient understanding of the Sumerian/Babylonian people, Ur and the sea emulated the creative powers out of which all matter and life is made manifest.

Unfortunately, what later emerged in the Yahweh priests’ “history” interpretation in the 8th century BCE, and from which Judaism arose, was a faith system that turned its back on teaching any awareness of the close interrelationship that mankind has to all the rest of the cosmos.  In its place the Yahweh priests imposed a kind of political posturing which became measured in 613 “laws”, which severely restricts a follower’s comprehension of the interrelationship of all life.  This only encouraged a false sense of spiritual superiority which fostered hatreds that resulted in antagonism toward any differences in offering respect to the Source.  And this set the course for the murderous rivalry that disgraces true spirit in these faith systems today.

The introduction much later of the movement in the Roman Empire that became Christianity arose as an attempt in Rome to serve as a literary counter measure which, it was hoped, would check the arrogance and disruptions that the Yahweh priests’ scriptural “history” inspired the populace to practice as a spiritual value. The Judaic system of belief that insisted that the Creative power, which they called Yahweh, favored them above all else in Creation brought the believers into constant conflicts with governing powers wherever Judaism became entrenched.

As a consequence, what these two organized faith systems gradually came to emphasize was not humankind’s relationship to everything that is made manifest within the cosmos, but emphasized instead the egocentric claim of the alleged heaven-blessed reliability of their particular man-conceived methodical faith system.  Lost in their devotion and performances was any recognition of the human dependency upon the surrounding forces of the universe and nature: these were, and continue to be, discounted as secondary effects which god supposedly expected to be brought under man’s “dominion,” as in Genesis 1:26-28.

In our modern world few persons would eagerly or even half-heartedly return to the primitive conditions and times out of which our so-called “sacred texts” were concocted and compiled.  But, implausibly, the religious practices, prejudices, traditions, self-centeredness, and judgments of the Intermediate Bronze Age are offered as inspiration for today’s moral and civil conduct!  While it is true that the more extreme barbaric features that were advocated in scriptural coaching—such as the stoning to death for any sexual acts not actively reproductive, or the indulgence in animal sacrifices to gain god’s attention—are now cautiously disregarded.  But the majority of heavy-handed prejudices and practices that are advocated throughout “holy word” are allowed to stand and are palmed off as spiritual wisdom!  (The ugliness of Leviticus, written by and for priests, is a prime example.)  Such outmoded “authority” contributes little or nothing toward man’s spiritual enlightenment or to his moral advancement.  The prejudices and eccentricity of these faith systems which are practiced in the name of some god have “blessed” the family of man with only intimidation, limitations, disrespect for the Creator’s intended life diversities, and turmoil.

The three spiritually restrictive faith systems of the western world were fashioned and promoted by cunning men for a singular purpose: to serve some material aim, not to provide spiritual enlightenment.  Clearly these faith systems do not grasp the universal truths that they claim to represent.  If each of them truly venerated that creative and sustaining power within which all diverse things are made manifest then they could not possibly be constantly at odds with each other to the point of lethal combat.  Every and any violent act that these hardline faith systems sponsor is an open testimony against any genuine spiritual credibility, for a truly qualified spirit can only be one that has attained inner peace.  The religious arrogance, rivalry and intolerance of these three western faith systems will never bring their followers the spiritual fulfillment they so desperately desire.

Faith System Fashions

Posted in belief, faith, history, random, religion with tags , , , , , , on August 1, 2012 by chouck017894

Truth, it has been said, defines a principle that stands unchanged under any inquiry.  By this measure of dependability, we have a means to evaluate the reliability of claims, traditions and tenets of any faith system (or political faction).  The reason for this thought has been initiated by ongoing events by rabbis in Askelon, Israel where attempts continue to be made to close out an ancient version of Judaism practiced by African people—the Ethiopian practice of pre-Captivity Judaism.

The Ethiopian followers of the early Jewish priest-contrived faith system practices claim to be descendents of the alleged “lost tribe” of Dan.  It is a fact that for well over a millennia those ancient Jewish practices continued to be followed in far-off Ethiopian communities.  Isolated from the rest of the evolved Jewish world, the Ethiopian priesthood had never been replaced by rabbis.  Consequently, the earliest recorded practices for displaying Judaic faith, such as sacrificing animals to gain god’s attention or the collection of the first fruits of the harvest (not for god, but for priest consumption), continued among the Ethiopian hand-me-down faith system.  Divergences such as these in the practices from the earlier fashion of Judaism has resulted in ugly discrimination against Ethiopian immigrants who had thought of modern Israel as the “Promised Land.”   Neither fashion of the faith, apparently, had been notified by god as to which method of devotional indulgence was the fashion that god preferred.

In the memorable seventy year exile that is referred to as the Babylonian Captivity, the people who had been taken from Judah slowly drifted away from the earlier priest-crafted practices that were used in Jerusalem.  Those 8th century BCE displaced immigrants from Judah who had been taken to the more metropolitan cultures of Babylonia, although plagued with a strange sense of homesickness, eventually found their spiritual values had become somewhat vague.  The Persian King Cyrus, “the Great,” managed to unite the Chaldean and Persian cultures, and he then gave permission for the people from Judah to return to their homeland.  But the seven decades of forced exile had also resulted in the loss of tribal recognition, such as the tribe of Dan.

After seventy years, or two generations in exile, the people returning to the land of Judah carried with them an urgent desire for a national unity, and not surprisingly that desire became wrapped up with spiritual ideals.  By this time the Judaic people were accustomed to and influenced by the Persian religion of Zoroaster.  Indeed, there is a Talmudic passage that freely acknowledges that the names of the angels (which were associated with the planets in Babylonian culture) and the names of the months, and even the letters of the alphabet were brought from the land of exile.  It was after the refugee’s return to their homeland that the literature now cherished as the Talmud was first assembled and established as law.

The principal architect of the reconstruction of Judaism is claimed to have been a priest named Ezra—a shadowy character of whom no proof has ever been found in support that such a person ever existed.  The most likely scenario in connection with the Jewish faith system makeover would seem to be that a few enterprising men among the refugees utilized the early version of “history” as compiled in the 8th century BCE by the priests of Yahweh.  These writings were eagerly embraced by the newly returned exiles who then set about editing them under the nom de plum of Ezra into the Talmud version.  The Temple was rebuilt, and at the meetings held there this anthology was then read aloud, which sybolically gave authority to the Talmud as holy communication.

To promote the new anthology as holy authority, the texts were claimed to have been dictated by god to Moses, just as the earlier priests of Yahweh had averred of the texts that had allegedly been discovered in the Temple walls during repair.  It was in this same timeframe of the returning exiles that the authors also utilized the Babylonian character of Job, which, theistically speaking, is not Judaic in tone.  For example, Job, who had alway tried to lead an honorable life, never blamed himself for the calamities he was made to endure: he saw no legitimate reason to think that an all-knowing being would have to resort to testing his character and indulge in sadistic trials.  It was in this literary composition also that Judaism was presented with the premier appearance of “Satan,” with a capital S.  Unfortunately, the anonymous authors misinterpreted the zodiacal and astronomical significance in the original Babylonian story, which clarified the relationship of such things as the names of the months, and the cosmological significance of the purely allegorical “angels.”  For example, the names of angels from astrological association include these:

  • The archangel Michael is the personification of the Sun
  • The archangel Gabriel is the personification of the Moon
  • The angel Raphael is the personification of the planet Mercury
  • The angel Samael is the personification of the planet Mars
  • A lesser known angel, Kadkiel, is the personification of the planet Jupiter
  • Another lesser known angel, Cassiel, is the personification of the planet Saturn. (It is strange that this “angel” is rarely mentioned considering that the planet Saturn has always been held to represent Israel and Judaism: their holy day is Saturday, after all.)
  • The last “angel” to be named was Arnad, personification of the planet Venus.  (Note that the name of this “angel” is the only one that does not terminate in el, the suffix which was added to all angel names to indicate connection to Yahweh-Elohim, which had been the fashion of faith promoted by the 8th century BCE priests in Jerusalem.)

It remains unacknowledged that it was from the Persian “prophet” Zoroaster (628-551 BCE), who founded the dualistic faith system in Persia that ideas of angels became separated from planetary references and reinterpreted by him as an infernal hierarchy.  As a consequence, ancient Pagan knowledge and symbolism, which was based on observation and rationalization, became hopelessly confused.  And subsequent faith systems that splintered off from Judaism (Christianity and Islam) have only added to that confusion.

Every faith system invented by man has evolved over the course of time, generally due to an awakened awareness that some holy mystery and things considered miraculous can be eventually understood by retaining an open, questioning mind.  When faith systems coagulate and close off the natural questing spirit, those faith systems become nothing more than power machines for manipulation of the masses, not for spreading true enlightenment.  A clotted spirit then finds itself at odds with the reality around it, and that spiritual disease finds itself battling everything (especially any other manmade faith system) that seems to be a threat to itself.

And this brings us back to the plight of the Ethiopian Jews and their struggle to fit into the fashion of Talmudic-style Judaism.  More than 120,000 of the Ethiopian “Beta Israel” community reside in Israel under the Israeli “Law of Return.”  The law permits Jews and those with Jewish parents or grandparents as well as their spouses to settle in Israel and obtain citizenship.  Among the 120,000 Ethiopian Jews now in Israel, around 35,000 of them can claim to be native-born Israelis.

There was, of course, a culture shock among the new immigrants from the beginning. The Chief Rabbinate’s questioning the Ethiopians’ traditional religious practices injected great confusion among the new immigrants.  Many of the immigrants ritually observed the major Jewish holidays, followed the laws of Kosher slaughter, and dutifully practiced the circumcision of their sons eight days after the son’s birth.  But the cultural gap could seem baffling—such as the mystifying requirement that all the Ethiopian Jews had to have family names, a situation that did not exist in Ethiopian society.

Most of the Haredim (the inflexible orthodox Jews) choose not to recognize the Beta Israel community as being Jews, let along being Israelis.  The faith system leadership of the Beta Israel community, the Kessim (priests) of the immigrants in Israel, many of whom continue to conduct the older forms of faith, still are not recognized as rabbis.  It is assumed, apparently, that god cannot understand their fashion of devotion.  The Kessim, although having been instructed by the Ministry of Religious Services, tend to be relaxed in enforcing the rules of what is considered to be “proper” observation as derived from the rabbinic Talmud.  Furthermore, according to the Haredim, prayers have to be offered only in accordance with the Jewish Orthodox rite if their prayers are to be heard by god.

Without  question there is also the unspiritual question of racism involved in the undertaking of the all-embracing acceptance of Ethiopian Jews in Israel despite the immigrant’s DNA proof of lineage.  Unfortunately, neither the Torah nor the Talmud seem to have incorporated the foresight to instruct biological secrets which define life distinctiveness, such as DNA.  Thus are faith system fashions condemned to pivot repetitively upon mankind’s inclination toward gratification of ego at the expense of spiritual equality.