Archive for July, 2017

Commanding the Faith

Posted in belief, ethics and morality, faith, Moses, religion, scriptures, Ten Commandments with tags on July 16, 2017 by chouck017894

This web post was motivated by an article in the LA Times, “Ten Commandments slab toppled” (June 29, 2017) regarding a newly installed monument on Arkansas capitol grounds and literally forced it upon all people.

Once again a few overzealous religionists who have inserted themselves into US political offices (as in Arkansas) keep trying to prove to God that they are higher caliber believers by trying to impose their beliefs upon everyone else.  Case in point, a multi-ton monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments placed on the Capitol grounds in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue, refer to the alleged injunctions conveyed by god to the Hebrew “prophet” Moses on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19:1-25).  This priest-written legend served as the basis for Mosaic Law of the Hebrews and is contained mainly in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament.

The Arkansas Republican Senator, Jason Raperi, who sponsored the Ten Commandments Monument Display Act, spoke of the “history” that the monument allegedly represents.  Unfortunately, what he referred to as “history” is more accurately religious tradition which is based solely upon priestly writings penned two or three thousand years ago–a timeframe in which it was common belief that Earth was the center of all Creation.

The timeframe generally accepted for Moses’ birth is c. 1576 BCE., but mythic characters are suspiciously hard to track down and other birth dates have been suggested.  Moses is speculated to have been around 80 years old when he trundled off to the Sinai rendezvous with god.  That would have apparently happened around 1500-1486 BCE if we use that accepted speculated birth date.  Even earlier and during that period of time our solar family (especially Mars and Earth) was being buffeted by electromagnetic instability caused by the passage of a  planet-sized comet’s movement through our solar system.  In that generations-long time span many great cities of the world fell in ruins.  The royal city of Ugarit, for example, was destroyed by fires; Troy, Knossos, even the great walled cities in the Indus Valley were destroyed; and many of the Phoenician trading partners with the Hebrews fell into decline due to the disturbances to Earth’s rotation.  That instability did not abate until the 8th century BCE.  The Roman Empire historians such as Pliny the Elder and Lucius Annaeus Seneca wrote about those earlier events and how interplanetary lightning exchanges had totally destroyed the “entire richest town in Tuscany.”  Seneca drew directly upon Etruscan records for his accounts.

Verifiable history c. 2600 BCE. (in the Age of Taurus 4380 BCE – 2220 BCE)                       A ruler of Sumer (oldest known recorded civilization), named Urukagina, found so much immoral activity in his kingdom that he found it necessary to crack down on it. The king had a monument erected upon which was inscribed a long list of laws.  A few of the injustices that Urukagina addressed included the unfair use by supervisors of their power to take the best things for themselves, the abuse of one’s official position, and the practice monopolistic groups to extort unbearable prices.  Sounds like USA-styled Republicans were at work even then.  This monument is regarded as the first ever recording of social reform, and it was founded on a noble sense of freedom, equality and justice.  Interestingly, King Urukagina claimed that the laws were given to him by the god Nannar.

Approximately 875 years later (c. 1725 BCE, (in the Age of Aries) the Babylonian ruler, Hammurabi, would decree a similar code from which the Hebrew/Jewish myth of Moses and the Ten Commandments would in turn be fashioned.  On the Babylonian monument Hammurabi was depicted as having received the laws directly from the god Shamash.  The laws are noteworthy in seeking to protect the weak and the poor against injustices at the hands of the rich and powerful.  Aah, if only those ancient gods were hovering over the United States Republican Party today.

Back to religious tradition                                                                                                        Even priest-written scriptures admit that what we today know as the Ten Commandments are not as were allegedly given as instruction to Moses (Exodus 20).  Biblical myth-makers adeptly covered this by saying that Moses broke the first list in a fit or rage when he returned to his followers and found them worshiping a golden calf (a hangover from the Age of Taurus).  The second version of Commandments (Exodus 34) which Moses supposedly received (and which believers have long accepted as holy instruction) concerned entirely different matters, that being moral conduct, not Creation powers and how to use them.

The character of Moses is anchored in the Age of Aries (2220 BCE – 60 BCE) when the Ram/Lamb became the prime icon of faith.  As a crafty way to indicate that the priestly tale did not give credence to prehistory teachings of Creation/cosmology once given using groups of stars (constellations such as Taurus) as inspiration the priest writers had Moses destroy the original teachings.  These wily men who set themselves up to dispense the Creator’s orders for proper conduct then did what every cult and secret order group does: they first establish the rules of their “faith.”  Thus the first three “commandments” allegedly given to Moses just happen to be about submitting and  obeying an institutional system as conducted by self-certified administrators.

Of the Ten Commandments the first three (or four in some faith versions) stand out as operational demands made by any cult operation.  1) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 2) Thou shalt not make unto them any graven images.  3) Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.   And in some versions:  4) Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.  These initial “Commandments” are clearly a pledge of adherence (submit and obey) to the authority of the priests, pastors, etc. more than they convey any godly enfolding or enlightenment.  As for the rest of the seven (or six) remaining Commandments, the bulk are predominately couched in negative terms of “Thou shalt not.”  How is this lack of constructiveness in any way spiritually empowering?    Aah, if only religious faith systems were bound to a Truth In Advertising commandment.

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Scriptural Hints on Sin Dodging

Posted in belief, Bible, By-the-book belief systems, ethics and morality, faith, religion, scapegoats, scriptures, sin-dodging on July 1, 2017 by chouck017894

Sin, the alleged estrangement from God due to transgressing God’s “known will,” is the age-old whip of faith system chieftains.  The notion that some god could be directly or inadvertently offended and thus bring about disastrous consequences seemed plausible in the hostile conditions of primal forests or in the depths of gloomy caves.  That trait, born of fear of the unknown, is apparently cast into the DNA of animate life as a self-preserving attribute.  That natural preservation trait, unfortunately, can be mined like a vein of gold for crafty schemers.

By chapter three in the holy book of Genesis, after the the compressed account of Creation is dispensed with, the plot jumps rapidly into the introduction of sin with Eve nibbling fruit from the do-not-touch Tree of Knowledge.  For this alleged sinful incident not only was Eve, Adam and the serpent given a death sentence, but all life forms were condemned to experience God’s continuous indulgence vengeance.  Sin was then established as a vicious circle in Genesis 4:7 with God allegedly saying to Adam and Eve’s son Cain, “If thous doest well, shalt not thou be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.”  Cain, not understanding the concept of sin–perhaps because mom, Eve, had already tainted all life with “original sin” anyway–by the very next verse (8) Cain kills his brother Abel.  Now that is divine speed writing!  But God’s earlier condemning judgement upon what he considered to be sin was impulsively made amendable by God setting a protective mark upon Cain’s head.  Thus did “sin” become incorporated into “faith” and become the meal ticket for the CEOs in the business of belief.

The great pivotal moment in  “sin history,” according to 8th century BCE priest-interpreted accounts, hinges upon the Lord’s alleged call for Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as a burnt offering to receive special blessings.  In Jewish recognition of this momentous event of Abraham’s unquestioning obedience is celebrated with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  Abraham’s devotion is held as representative of their faith system’s especial characteristics even through Judaism as such did not exist in that distant timeframe.  Never fully explained is why the son Isaac was to be sacrificed: to stimulate Abraham’s greed?   It is never clearly said why God would have asked for such a senseless act.  Some devotees have suggested that it was simply a test.  But if God is omniscient (all-knowing) what could God be uncertain about?  As this story is depicted by priest authors, neither God nor Abraham inspire any spiritual admiration. And why would Isaac be such a spineless wimp?  For some devotees Isaac is held to be the first Jewish martyr (again ignore the fact that Judaism as such did not exist in that timeframe).  Functionally there can be only one purpose for this tale: since God, the personification of the Life Principle, would never condone such child abuse the story’s purpose in the priest-written texts is aimed to encourage submission and obedience of seekers to the priest-manufactured faith.

In the later priest-written book of Leviticus (18:6-7), the priestly lust for control is highlighted in the supposed shifting of sin guilt–with God’s okay–by transmitting personal guilt to some hapless victim.  The alleged God-approved instructions read, “And he (a priest) shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the door of the tent of meeting.  And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats: one for the Lord, and the other for Azazel.”  We should note that the word “tent” in prehistory cultures was an occult reference to primordial energies of Creation which are to passed over into  manifestation as matter forms.  To retain their authority over the seekers the priests indulged themselves in the slaughter of one goat on the Temple altar, and sent the other ill fated goat into the wilds to be torn apart by predators.  Or, depending on site location, the other goat was hurled by priests from a cliff to be cruelly dashed upon the jagged rocks below.  The alleged reason for hurling the goat from a cliff?  Supposedly Azazel was imprisoned beneath the cliff.

Nowhere is it ever explained in Hebrew or Jewish texts why the “Lord”–a self-admitted jealous god–would ever sanction such a custom of equal offerings, for by presenting identical offerings it is openly admitted that Azazel was indeed considered the equal to God.  Consider also that the name Azazel is said to mean “God strengthens,” so the implication seems to be that one aspect of the creative Source, active as the Life Principle, cannot be Creative without the other (positive/negative generation).  What this tale inadvertently reveals is that the Source-power cannot create and bring anything into existence except through a process of positive/negative exchange and interaction.

Even in this twenty-first century of space flights and instantaneous communications around the planet there are still Orthodox Jews who practice the bloody ritual of slaughtering hapless animal life (such as chickens) in an appeal to God for personal forgiveness.  In Los Angeles, California, for example, there are Orthodox Jews who seek to sidestep ethical responsibility and save themselves from sin through victimizing defenseless animal life.

The Roman Empire “fathers” and “saints” of Christianity (such as Paul, Jerome, Augustine, etc.) enthusiastically took up the sin ensnarement tactic.  As reworked by the “fathers” this aided the submit-and-obey features of the faith by relating how Jesus was sacrificed for the sins of the world (the Roman world).  On that alleged occasion (as with Abraham) God did not provide any reasonable explanation for substituting Jesus for the sake of the world’s indulgence in sin.  But in accepted texts, God so loved the world that he would allow it to sidestep immoral conduct by permitting his “only begotten son” to be sacrificed.  It seems a rather bizarre game move if God hoped it would teach that everyone must stand responsible for their own acts if they are to evolve.

Why should this implied God-approved torture and slaying of his own beloved son inspire the world with any spiritual love or trust?  Such a concept hinges upon a pre-Christian concept among societies of the Near and Mid East in which no rite was seen to hold more august power with the people than the sacrifice of the king or the king’s son for redemption of the king’s people.  That superstition was impressed upon Roman Empire culture around 60 BCE when the Roman general Pompey (106-48 BCE) captured Jerusalem, which was then weakened due to a power struggle between two sons of King Aristobulus.  Pompey installed one of the king’s sons–Hyreau–as high priest and took the other son, Antigonus (along with his sons), to Rome as displays of triumph.  Eventually, however, it was Antigonus who became priest-king, and in his short reign before being taken by Marc Antony in 37 BCE he had slain his own two sons–presumably as sacrifice for the welfare of his people.  The whole mystery ritual of redemption through such sacrifice then seemed to the Jews to have been played out again when Antigonus himself was publicly scourged, then bound to the stake, and then beheaded.  The Jews accepted that his extermination was to redeem his people.  It was this spiritual influence that colored the writings of Christianity’s early authors.

So the notion of using a scapegoat for dodging sin, as first promoted in the priest-written book of Leviticus, is subtly upheld throughout holy texts.  Unfortunately, the only thing that is set up for the faithful in using a substitute for personal guilty is that they will always seek out ways to sidestep personal responsibility for themselves.  However, passing the blame to another invokes only the illusion that such “sacrifice” frees one to fly to Heaven on a comfortable mattress of lies.  Makes one wonder if such a Heaven can be trusted.