Archive for May, 2013

Knowledge, the Forbidden Fruit

Posted in belief, Bible, Christianity, faith, Hebrew scripture, religion, scriptures, Social with tags , , , , , , on May 20, 2013 by chouck017894

Intelligence and knowledge get a sizeable amount of negative press in the “sacred” texts of western cultures.  Man’s existence, as the priest or prophet authors see it, has no other purpose but to submit and obey to what is claimed to have been “revealed” to the varied authors of man-written texts which are declared by them to be “holy.”  It almost seems as though God inserted a brain into man’s head simply to keep that emptiness in the skull from an annoying whistling in the wind.

Take the instructions supposedly given by God to Adam and Eve; they were commanded to not eat of the tree of knowledge! (Genesis 3:3)  So why would God have placed such a tree in the garden landscape at all?  No one seems to pay attention to the impication in Genesis: Adam and Eve, while in the garden, had only one taboo placed upon them–not to eat fruit from either of two trees placed in the center of his garden.  As anyone with half a brain could have foretold, they goofed, and so God tossed them out.  The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge symbolizes sexual awareness, the pivotal hub upon which all matter-life is defined and invigorated.  This natural energy is thus portrayed by conniving priest-authors as “the Fall of Man”–the so-called “original sin,” which just happens to mire everyone in inescapable “sin.”  This no-win situation provides the pulpit-cons with life-long career opportunity. 

All that God wanted, so the authors imply, is that man should simply submit and obey: God would communicate any further instructions through occasional revelations that he would pass on through a series of selected representatives.  Thus in Judaism it became virtually impossible to think or act or express faith outside the revelations of Torah, which is set forth as “law” with every detail of daily life specified!  To even question the rationality of some primitive aspects of those “laws” is implied to be soul-damning; all that can keep you in God’s good graces is to submit.  Now the extra sticky part of this setup is that ever since, according to pulpit guides, God has relayed his instructions to man only through a broken line of revealed taboos and implied threats.  Man is still expected to obey and submit via those self-proclaimed representatives, and man is never permitted any personal association with the Creator.  Something smells.

That commandment of submission proved so successful with the Hebrews’ revelations that it also became the strategy upon which Christian and Muslim faith systems were built.  The motto for each is identical: “Faith before knowledge!”  Under this rule whole libraries of knowledge have been reduced to ashes–for God’s sake, of course.  It is strange, therefore, that each of these interrelated corporate style faith systems should focus so intently upon their own priest-written books rather than attempting to guide by use of intelligence on how all beings could live more productively and peacefully by attempting to understand each  other.

It is much easier of course, especially for the alleged representatives of God, to define their belief by who they hate rather than to define positive refining values that can promote self respect.  Attention rarely labors over the detail that if a seeker cannot adequately define exactly what they believe in, that uncertainty loudly signals that they are insecure in what they profess.  It is alaming therefore that our personal connection to the Life Principle (God) is so often negatively approached in so many “holy” books such as in (OT) Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Ezra, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and also negatively expressed in (NT) Matthew, Luke, Ephesians, Romans, Titus, 1 John, Hebrews, and Revelation.  And the promotion of needless but cultivated hatreds (acts of ignorance) are also embodied in many pages of the Quran.  Consider: even the words Muslim means “to submit” and Islam means “submit.”  Like the Torah and the New Testament, the Quran does not place much emphasis on wisdom, tolerance, mercy or other positive qualities that truly benefit this matter-life experience.

We will here look at only a couple of OT examples of holy hatred, for lingering too long over such propaganda tends to agitate the mind and imbalances one’s sense of right and wrong.  Proverbs 6;16 lists “…six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination to him.”  The things that are subsequently listed by the priest-author certainly cannot be assessed as ethical behavior, and so what is listed are actually extreme negative social interaction practices.  To frighten followers into ethical conduct (which not ethical) the author assures them that the Creator turns livid over, 1) a proud look; 2) a lying tongue; 3) hands that shed innocent blood; 4) a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations; 5) feet that be swift in running to mischief; 6) a false witness that speaketh lies; and 7) he that soweth discord among brethern.  (It was from this list that Pope Gregory 1, “the Great” [590-604 CE], elaborated over the “seven deadly sins.”)  Not one word is offered suggesting that we should seek intelligent perception.  And in Ecclesiastes, chapter 3, divine insight is pretended by musing that everything has its appointed time, actually listing “a time to kill” (3), and “a time to hate” (8). 

In the New Testament, Luke 14:26, it is avowed that Jesus instructed followers, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own soul, he cannot be my disciple.”  Could the alleged “only begotten son” of the all-embracing Life Principle really say such a thing?These words put into Jesus’ mouth by the authors are the very principles that are routinely utilized in cult exploitation, for this imposes the orthodoxy of submit and obey.

Claims of divine “revelations” upon which the bulk of western world’s faith system observances have been built are shown to be suspiciously devoid of any serious awareness of observable universal facts.  Nowhere in holy word, for example, is there any recognition that this world is but a tiny part of galaxy, or that other galaxies exist, or that comets, asteroids and meteors often jostle the heavens and could threaten Earth.  To paraphrase St. John 21:25: “And there are aslo many other things…the which, if they should be written every one…even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.”

The result of these man-concocted faith systems is their tendency to exalt only themselves by routinely focusing on the modest differences and the dissimilar features and characteristics which give life its radiant range of creative representation.  The creative unifying force in which all life is expressed is routinely imagined in “holy” accounts to be mainly concerned with the dilemmas of only one small representation of human species in one small region on planet Earth, and that force allegedly favors only their particular faith system.  Such a narrow understanding of  life and spirit’s significance in relation to the rest of the universe has resulted only in cultivated hatreds which only encourages indulgence in persistent and unnecessary conflicts. 

Reason and knowledge are seriously limited when self-serving faith systems labor to impose preconceptions of any kind over people’s interactions with each other.  In structured faith systems, for example, seekers are indoctrinated and continuously conditioned with claims that it is only through their particular dreamed up rites and rituals that one can attain favoritism from the Creative Life Principle.  Seekers are deliberately made blind to the fact that the observable universe and nature do not reflect that severely restrictive disposition in its excess and diversity and variety of life throughout Creation. 

When the Life Principle, i.e. God, is imagined to be in man’s image, there is scant room provided for mankind to ever attain its highest potential.  Since each and every man-conceived faith system has a true history of past indulgences in each and every one of the “sins” which their holy word condemns, followers would be much wiser to pay attention to the basic principle of science; Question Everything.  Pretending that a mystical power aids only their particular faith system for exerting control over this material world’s tribulations becomes questionable when the claimed omnipotent, omniscient deity alluded to has to rely upon the puny combative actions of mere man to fulfill his wishes.  Such argumentative procedures practiced by rival faith systems do not jibe with their claims of their deity’s divine capabilities. 

The declared especial access to that Being which the varied faith-system merchants profess to provide has a tendency to nudge simultaneous feelings of alienation in followers, for try as they may to abide by their faith systems’ instructions, there is always the sense of never quite touching higher potential.  Too often the result is the confusion of faith which becomes expressed in crusades of senseless acts of violence and hatred which is indulged in for no other reason than to impose their limited concept of “God” upon everyone else.

The faithful are skillfully kept distracted from the knowledge that evil does not really lie in wait in the variety and diverse expressions of life nor in any of the differing forms of awe and reverence for the Life Principle.  One’s moral fiber is plunged into crisis, however, when they are led into a conceit of spirit which is crafted upon the belittlement of knowledge.  This becomes glaringly apparent when those man-invented faith systems continue to leave the world around them in shambles.

Advertisements

Denying God-Ordained Diversity

Posted in culture, faith, history, humanity, lifestyle, random, religion, sex, sex taboos with tags , , , , , , on May 13, 2013 by chouck017894

No theocratic form of government in mankind’s history has ever been distinguished by its sterling humanitarian principles.  Indeed theocracies (forms of government conducted under pretext of godly installation) are always viciously self-indulgent in their spiritual decadence.  The god that is imagined in such theocratic manipulation is declared to demand harsh slave-like rigidity in social and sexual conduct: the lavish variety and range of diversity that permeates all Creation is to be disregarded.  In short, such a governing strategy is an imposed short-ciruiting of, and a depressing constriction of the Almighty’s varied and diverse creative expressions.  When man-concocted faith stytems are used to oppress the masses to the point of denying the fact that every being is not and never was intended to be identical, that “faith” is itself merely a contrivance of human ego used by scheming men to rule the masses through a faith system of practiced hatreds.

This assessment of theocratic subterfuge has been evolving with us after ongoing reports concerning the ugly prejudices whipped up by ego-centered faith systems in regard to same sex attraction.  One of the fairly recent deceits of religious hucksters was the appalling intrusion of religious whackos from the United States into Uganda who deliberately urged Ugandan leaders to invent laws–in the name of their religion–for killing gay-born persons.  Not long after that a recorded report on BBC America (September 2012) was forwarded to us which concerned the merciless killings of gays in theocratic Iran.  Same sex attraction, according to an Iranian television  spokesman, is simply a moral disorder, adding that no one is ever born with same sex inclinations.  The government  spokesman further declared that such attraction was mostly an antigovernment “indulgence!”  The third bit of information was forwarded anonymously, a DVD documentary titled A Jihad for Love, which reported on the  vicious persecution of Muslim gays.  In the entrenched theology attributed to Mohammad, such diversity of attraction is judged self-servingly to be an “indulgence,” hence it is interpreted as a defiant act against the theocratic government.  Allah, they theorize, would never allow man, his assumed highest creation in a universe of widely varied and diversely structured universe, to ever veer from a singular physical attraction.   

Mainstream news in our more democratically based western societies generally sidestep any deep attention to the ongoing savage persecution of gays which is encouraged within theocratic cultures.  This shameful avoidance of reporting on murdeous practices being carried out under the guise of godly approval is due to a mistaken interpretation of our freedom of religious expression which is protected by the US Constitution.  The alleged ponderings attributed to the seventh century “prophet” is thus extended the respect which is granted to religious practice in accordance to our democratic principles.  It is a consideration and acceptance that is never extended in a theocracy, however, and is a shining reminder of the wisdom of keeping church and state separate.

According to the Quran (attributed to Mohammad), the people of Lut (referring to Lot in the much older Genesis tale) were allegedly the first to offend God by their recognition of same sex magnetism.  Thus we read in the Quran 7:80-81, “We also sent Lut (Lot): he said to his people: Will you commit abomination such as no people in creation committed before you?  For you practice your lusts on men in preference to women: you are indeed a people transgressing beyond bound.”  This claim made by the seventh century Arab prophet, that same sex attraction did not occur in earlier times, is demonstratively and glaringly untrue.  The Abram/Lot tale is traditionally placed in the timeframe of 2123-1948 BCE, and it is only a subplot which conveniently allows sexual implications (homoeroticism and incest) to be used to stimulate attention of followers.  At variance with the Quran claim (and biblical), pictorial illustrations exist from 6000 BCE by Egyptian artists which attest to same sex attraction.  Even older evidence is shown in 7000 BCE Chinese and Indian depictions.  These ancient representations therefore disprove historically the Quran claim (or biblical implication) that no same sex relations had ever occurred before the time of Lot (Lut).

By custom Islam is also counseled by the Hadith, which is only a collection of sayings which are attributed to Mohammad.  This is curious, for in the earlier times of the Caliphs, not even those who had personally known Mohammad could claim to have written down any authentic quotes.  Nonetheless, Islamic schools of jurisprudence, influenced by those attributed sayings, have been trained to judge same sex attraction as being unnatural and unlawful, and callously recommend brutal execution.

There are also what may be termed lesser Hadith.  For instance, Abu Dawud (also known as sunnah), a collection of alleged sayings and deeds of Mohammad.  These were collected by Iman Abu Dawud around two centuries after Mohammad’s death, so of course they are indisputable.  Used as justification for punishment of death is a quote from this collection (4448): “If a man who is not married is seized committing sodomy, he will be stoned to death.”  (Apparently God does not object to a married man sodimizing his discomforted wife.)  All these lesser Hadiths insist that those who indulge in such acts are to be killed.  The only question that is raised in this pretense of godly justice is over which vicious method the declared offender is to be killed.  (As in Judaism and Christian scriptures, God habitually neglects to explain pertinent details.)

Oddly, although homosexual behavior is held in Islam to be punishable with alleged God-approved execution in this world, there are implied references to such pleasure being available in Paradise.  Not only are virgins to be provided for the martyrs who defend the cause of Allah but also that”…immortal boys will circulate among them, when you see them you will count them as scattered pearls.” (Quran 76:19)  Accented in this view of Paradise is the handsomeness, “perpetual youth” and effeminacy of the youths.

Sexual orientation of a person was not regarded as presenting any horrendous social/spiritual deficiency in numerous ancient cultures, and those close observers of nature would have be puzzled by the feigned prudery over such magnetism which can be observed throughout nature.  Even scriptural texts relate (in a cautious indirect manner) the spiritual implication of male magnetism in the tale of David and Jonathon.  In 1 Samuel, chapters 18 and 20, the commitment that these two men make to each other is not avoided, but is relayed in some detail, saying”: “Jonathan’s soul was bound with David’s, and he loved him as himself…”  In 1 Samuel 18:1-4 it is detailed: “Then Jonathan and David made a covenant…and he (Jonathan) took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his armor, his sword, his bow, and his belt.”  That commitment and devotion to each other is reaffirmed in chanpter 20:4, where they meet for the last time and “…they kissed each other and they wept together.”  In the timeframe when this was supposedly played out, a kiss between men admittedly did not automatically carry sexual meaning, so their “covenant” kiss does not exacly indicate that they were or had been sexually involved.  The strong magnetism to each other is cautiously sidestepped by saying that they loved each other “as brothers,” as equals; in other words, as Adam and Eve were supposed to be.  Brotherly love is a natural bond, but it is rarely expressed as in 1 Samuel as their souls being bound to each other.

All condemnation of same sex attraction by manmade faith systems is founded on one principle and one principle only; and that singular principle is to encourage procreation; and that encouragement is solely for the purpose of extending and multiplying followers of that man-invented faith system.  Thus these faith systems falsely aver that God (the Life Principle) condemns any sex acts which would not result in conception: acts such as masturbation, coitus interruptus, fellatio, sodomy, cunnilingus, pregnancy preventions, contraceptives, abortion and same sex attraction.  And the easiest way to lead people around by the nose is to fire up hatred within followers toward any who do not comply with priestly ambition.  The implausible threats of godly punishment too often (almost habitually) soils the mantle of sanctity. Implanting a hatred for non-breeder sex activity is effective only through a system of propagandist allusions.  In the case of same sex attraction, it is deceitfully implied that such attraction will lead to the extiction of the entire human species!  In today’s world teeming with over eight billion persons, that is a preposterous concept.  It may even be possible that same sex attraction is a God-provided means to protect any species from devastating over population.

Ultimately, the creative Life Principle which is personified as “God” continues to be an all-inclusive power, not a power which is narrowly exclusive.  That creative Life Principle did not create a broad range of life-love expressions and then collapse into divine antagonism.  Nonetheless, the manmade authoritarian faith systems continue to market their restrictive teachings as revealed to them directly from that all-enfolding Creator–a Creator who deteminedly continues to openly display a preference for variety and broadly diverse life expressions.

 

Playing Games of Spiritual Monopoly

Posted in belief, Bible, faith, Hebrew scripture, history, random, religion, scriptures with tags , , , , , , , on May 1, 2013 by chouck017894

Back in the year 536 BCE the Persian King Cyrus II (The Great), freed the people of Judah from Babylonian Captivity and aided their return to Judah.  After seventy years in exile virtually all that had once been programmed into Judean consciousness as sacred truth by the Yahweh priests–the priest-composed laws and traditions–had been largely forgotten.  In that memorable seventy year exile referred to as the Babylonian Captivity the Judeans had, of course, been heavily influenced by the Chaldeans and Persians who became united into one nation by the might of Cyrus.  This national unity seemed heaven-sent and the Judeans were heavily influenced by the religion of Zoroaster.  Indeed, there is a Talmudic passage which freely acknowledges that the names of the angels (which earlier cultures associated with the planets), the names of the months, and even the letters of the alphabet were brought from the land of exile.  It is from the return of the people of Judah to their homeland that the literature now cherished by Jews as the Torah was assembled and established as law.

The principal architect of the Judean reconstruction period is traditionally claimed to have been a priest named Ezra (c.458 BCE); however nothing has ever been presented to verify that such a person ever existed.  It is more likely that some enterprising men among the returnees discovered versions of priest-written accounts which are now referred to as the E, the J, and the P versions, and edited them into the works now known as Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, and also included the  book Deuteronomy which had allegedly been “discovered” during remodeling of the Temple in 640 BCE.  The returning Judeans set about rebuilding the Temple, and at the early meeting held there this revised anthology was read aloud, which gave origin to the Torah.  To establish it as holy authority, the works were claimed to have been dictated by God to the character Moses.

It was from this general 536 BCE timeframe that the industrious revisionists of Judean faith also introduced the character of Job into their sacred myths, which theistically is not Hebrew but was most likely drawn from a Babylonian source.  It was with this work that Judaism was presented with the premier appearance of “Satan,” with a capital S.  What the returned exiles apparently had not carried back with them was the understanding of what certain elements in the tale represented in the original form.  Unrecognized, or perhaps deliberately ignored, was the zodiacal and astronomical significance that was attached to such things as the names of the months, or the cosmological significance of the purely allegorical “angels.”  It is possible that part of that mix-up may have been due to Zoroaster, the “prophet” of ancient Persia, whose ideas of “angels” became separated from older celestial references and redefined by him as an infernal hierarchy.  The consequences of borrowing from the captors’ interpretations was that the Judeans became hopelessly confused in regard to the symbolism for similar ideas used in the so-called Pagan cultures.  Thus today the western and near-east cultures are still trying to dig out from under that disastrous avalanche of sacred interpretation.

The period of the Judean exiles return and restructuring of their homeland and traditions seem strangely linked to an upsurge in the pursuance of higher awareness in the world which would mark the fifth century BCE.  The teachings promoted by Zoroastrianism, for example, went on to develop as Mithraism, which would have a heavy impact on Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  Fragments of the teachings and the hymns attributed to Zoroaster were assembled into a book that is known as the Avesta, or Zend-Avesta, and became the bible of the Persians.  The teachings of Buddha (563?-480?) were passed orally for centuries before being written down as Buddhist scriptures.  In this general timeframe also other thinkers would influence higher thought.  Confuscius, Chinese philosopher (c. 551-479 BCE), Herodotus, the Greek historian (c. 485-425 BCE), Anaxagoras, the Greek philosopher (c. 500?-428 BCE), Pericles, Athenian statesman and orator (C. 500-429 BCE), Socrates, Greek philosopher (c. 470?-399 BCE), and Plato, Greek philosopher (c. 427-347 BCE).  All these men were part of a seeming influx of seekers of life’s meaning which was theorized as radiating from an energy essence, which is commonly termed “soul.”

Rarely is any relationship to such true historical persons such as these acknowledged by the three major organized religions of the western world today.  The Jews, for example, during their reinvention of faith, went to extremes to avoid contact with Greek philosophy, declaring such philosophical searching to be unclean.  Christianity, which became formulated in Rome, embraced much from Greek influence and used it to counter the self-obessed theology of the Jews.  But the Christian focus would also turn in upon itself, and as the Roman Empire declined the life that the Christian faith system came to embrace was firmly anchored upon achieving dominance in all earthly affairs, and from this demanded submission.

Across the centuries the Jews and Christians would spar continuously over which was the true representative of God.  This might seem rather pointless since God is the avowed Creator and Sustainer of all things, but the argument is partly clarified when ego is mistaken for spirit.  The running argument did not keep either faith system from commercial trading with “heathens” however.  And thus it was that an Arab trade merchant assessed the arguments from both sides during his many merchant caravans across the Arabian desert in the 600’s CE.  And eventually God decided to reveal his wishes to Mohammad also.  Since the Creator is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, everything that was revealed to each belief system was relayed from God’s all-seeing (surreal) perspective.  Thus in all these “holy” books–the Torah, New testament and Quran–there are found countless contradictions, which believers will, of course, deny exist.  The escape hatch built into all these texts is always the claim of “revealed” word.  Never do any of the godly representatives explain why would an omniscient being have to resort to such a shoddy method of communication in order to convey his wishes to the world. 

What all this demonstrates–Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc.–is that the spiritual “truth” they each claim to represent is crafted, modified and controlled by those who were/are not well attuned to a true universal perspective.  Thus their limited comprehension regarding the universal interrelatedness of all things has become reduced to dry dogma.  We could, perhaps, conclude from all this that the nuts and bolts used in construction of such faith systems has consisted mainly of nuts.