Archive for the ecology Category

Threats From Heaven

Posted in Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, ecology, environment, freethought, history, nature, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , on September 18, 2010 by chouck017894

Planet Earth had billions of years of experience and trauma behind it long before it eventually noticed that the proliferation of the animal that called itself man was a possible menace.  And man, on the whole, is so self-absorbed that he prefers to believe that the planet exists solely for his exploitation.  As a result, human acknowledgement of what he considers significant events in Earth’s past do not extend back much further than around four thousand years BCE.  The first year of the Jewish calendar, for example, is placed in the year 3760 BCE.  For most humans, whatever their “faith,” they labor under a peculiar blindness in regard to planetary disturbances that played into mankind’s spiritual understanding of Creation and the unity of all life.

For example, there is seldom even a nod given toward any past planetary events in organized religious practice; historians wallow in man’s continuous attacks upon it own species; and only a slim subdivision of science examines evidence of the traumas endured by Earth in the planet’s distant past.  This across-the-board avoidance in giving recognition to ancient cosmological interactions and Earth traumas seem almost schizophrenic.  Even when “holy” texts do allude to some celestial activities, the references are always kept tightly muzzled.

Past planetary events present some curiosities; such as the oddity that prior to c. 3600 BCE no object was recorded as moving in the orbital  position now traversed by the planet Venus.  And why is Venus the only member in our solar family that revolves upon its axis in a clockwise direction when all other “family” members revolve in a counterclockwise manner?  This is not likely to have developed if the object we call Venus had been in the formative period of planets around the gravitational force of solar activity.  It is curious also that prior to this time the Sumerians had believed in only one god.  Something seems to have happened in this general timeframe that changed popular belief in how the universe seemed to be governed.  Thus around c. 3500 BCE there came to be recognition of a number of gods, and chief among them in Sumer was the planet-god Marduk.

The later Neolithic period in Western Europe is calculated from around this same period; c. 3500 BCE to about 1500 BCE.  For some reason there seemed to have been widespread building of megaliths during this era.  It is estimated that over 50,000 such megaliths were built in this period of unusual celestial activity.  Placid skies may invite wonder and awe, but they do not often inspire groups  of people over a wide region to raise such structures for the purpose of vigilant observation of celestial movements.  From Egypt to the Indus Valley, from China to South and Central America there were also being built structures dedicated to the study of heavenly movements.  It was in this troubled age that the site that would become known a Jericho struggled as a small village which would last until it was leveled by planet-wide quakes around 1580 BCE.

Earlier, by about 2772 BCE, the great disturbances in the heavens and planetary shifts had necessitated the establishment of a new means of calculating the passage of time.  Thus a new calendar was introduced in Egypt in this period.  The beginning of the Egyptian calendar opened on the date which we would regard as July 19, 2769 BCE.  Years of observation had revealed that the fixed star Sirius appeared in the morning sky simultaneously with the onset of the flood season, which occurred annually between July 17 and 19.  And in China, too, the calendar was changed to the variable Sun-Moon observance, and by c. 2500 BCE it had been upgraded on the newly recognized equinoxes and solstices.

It is interesting to note that the Hebrew interpretation of regional happenings that make up the early books of the Hebrew Testament do not extend back in time much further than 2500 BCE.  By biblical tradition it is implied that Creation occurred only a thousand or so years earlier; thus Jewish tradition has their history beginning in 3760 BCE—or somewhat prior to the c. 3500 BCE onslaught of celestial disturbances.  There is a three hundred year time gap between the setting of Genesis and that of Exodus, which is traditionally accepted as having taken place around 1390 BCE.  The Flood story of Genesis, alleged to have occurred in 2348 BCE (according to Ussher’s Biblical Chronology), thus gets placed within the board timeframe of the celestial disturbances.  However, the succession of kings in ancient Egypt can be traced from 3001 BCE and continues uninterrupted through twelve dynasties, ending in 2146 BCE, so obviously any Deluge was not worldwide.

The legendary cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar would have flourished in this broad timeframe; all except Zoar are said to have been destroyed by a rain of brimstone.  Geologists who have studied the earth structure of the alleged locations have shown that the sites could have existed only in a 500 year span between 2800 and 2300 BCE—the very time that Ussher had placed the Deluge.  If the “wicked” cities had been built in the assumed locations they would have been built upon sandy soil that is subject to liquefaction under severe earthquake activity.  And this was a period of serious planetary quakes.  Buildings in that location would have quickly sunk into the ooze by at least three feet and the whole expanse would have flowed into the salty depths of the Dead Sea.  The friction and the sudden release of methane gas would have resulted in the intense fires that were said to have  accompanied the cities’ destruction.

For generations global climate disruptions continued to bring misery around the planet.  In Egypt rainfall ceased for years, and conditions became so bad that even the earthworms perished.  The severe conditions  prevailed for nearly 300 years (c. 2200 to 1900 BCE), and agricultural cities were completely abandoned.  But this is the time traditionally allotted for Abram and Sari—before they materialized as Abraham and Sarah.  Only in the early part of the second millennium BCE did there arrive in the Palestine region the tall, course, barbarous herdsmen—the ancestors of the Hebrews.  These cattle-owning, flesh-eating Semites who wandered into the agrarian region were at this time worshippers of a bull-god whom they called El.

The biblical patriarch Jacob is alleged to have lived around 1700 BCE.  And he is said to have moved to Egypt because severe famine had swept the world.  By this period the celestial disturbances had lessened for a while.  It was in this timeframe that Stonehenge, in what is now Great Britain, took on its larger megalithic form.  But then once again Earth was buffeted by celestial disturbances.  And curiously around 1600 BCE, according to the “authorized” accounts of humankind’s history, worldwide attention abruptly became  focused again upon disruptions in space.  The movements and proximity of that celestial body was again the source of uneasiness which would continue for more generations.  And nearly a thousand years later this would still be recalled in ancient Roman literature; it was even commented upon by Augustus, who quoted from a book called Of the Race of the Roman People by Marcus Varro.  In that book it was related that the planet they spoke of as Venus had once “…changed color, size,  form and  course, which had not happened before nor since…”   Of course religious implication had to be linked with the information, and Varro added, “…we read from the divine  books that even the sun itself stood still when a holy man, Joshua son of Nun, had begged this from God.”  This raises a problem, for if this happened in the time of Joshua’s invasion of Canaan then it predates Moses by centuries.  In association with this, however, the plagues that supposedly affirmed God’s favoritism of the Israelites and his prejudice against the Egyptians as related in Exodus would not be peculiar to Egypt; plague-like conditions would have been happening all around the planet.

Around 1500 BCE (slightly before the alleged time  of Moses) planet Earth entered into a strong magnetic field, resulting in a period of very heavy meteor showers.  This is confirmed by the accretion of meteoric dust throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and represent several times greater an accumulation than would otherwise be found there.  In the timeframe c. 1548 BCE the clouds that had long cloaked Earth had begun to dissipate, and to the astonishment of the world a radiant new planetary member had positioned itself: the Assyrians would call it Ishtar; the Greeks, Aphrodite; the Central American Indians, Quetzalcoatl; and the Romans named it Venus.

From c. 1548 BCE down to about the 8th century BCE was the period when the astronomer “prophets”  were repeatedly warning of approaching catastrophic events.  The newly established planet had affected not only the orbit and rotation of Earth, but had jarred the planet Mars into an uneasy path.  It was in this period that Mars gained the reputation around the world as the god of war; until this period little attention had ever been given to the quiet red planet.  It is the likely time that Mars lost its reserves of water.  While this was going on, all kinds of turmoil was loosed on Earth and there were mass migratory movements everywhere.  Thus c. 1445  BCE is the approximate time most commonly given in Hebrew accounts for the entry of the alleged twelve tribes of Israel into Palestine.  However, there are no history records anywhere to confirm this; there is only mention that a band of people known as Habiru or Abiri had come into the region.

Celestial  disturbances began to ease slightly toward the close of the 8th century BCE.  But Earth was experiencing exogenous disturbances in it rotation, and this  coincided with a reverse in Earth’s magnetic field.  Venus was then in an established orbit between Mars and Mercury.  It is in this timeframe that the “prophet” Isaiah referred to Venus in its orderly orbit allegedly saying, “How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer, son of the  morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12-13)  Other astronomer “prophets” of this general time were the minor “prophets” Joel, Micah and Amos.  Meanwhile Mars was struggling to obtain a regular orbit, and its unsettled circumstance was causing problems on Earth.

As is only vaguely indicated in the book of Isaiah, the mid-eighth century BCE was a period of worldwide disturbances, and this is supported by accounts from the other side of the planet.  Mayan chronology, according to the “Vatican Codes A-3738,” listed five distinct cycles of Earth’s continuation.  The end of the fourth cycle was given as c. 751 BCE (by modern calculation), and is said to have culminated in worldwide starvation.  Even so, it should be noted that the founding of Rome is traditionally placed in 753 BCE, and understandably Rome’s patron god was regarded to be Mars.  But troublesome events did not cease; a sudden catastrophic change in world climate occurred c. 747 BCE, which was hardest felt across the northern hemisphere.  After 747 BCE the orbit of planet Earth became slightly wider, the year lengthened accordingly, and it became necessary to again compile a new calendar.  Severe climate conditions were repeated again in 702 and 687 BCE.  Of course the familiar positions  of all constellations had changed, and this was even  commented upon centuries later by the great Roman playwright Seneca (4 BCE-65 CE).

These earthshaking events in our planets’ distant past were trimmed down as having been only regional confrontations in scriptural tales, which has only served to disguise and trivialize momentous truths. Could this scriptural habit be what inspires the advocates for Bible-based government in the U.S. to use climate science as a political football?

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Gnostic Wisdom in New Testament

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, ecology, faith, freethought, humanity, life, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2010 by chouck017894

Over two thousand years ago the symbolism and mythology of several Pagan mystery sects were beginning to fragment while a multifaceted group was developing diverse interpretations which became lumped under the identity as “Gnostic”—from Greek gnostikos, “man of knowledge.”  The movement spread largely through men of culture who sought the secret of higher life.  Unfortunately, lofty thought became entangled with crude mythology and then floundered in mysticism.

Gnosticism was, for the most part, centered on the highest ethics.  To understand Gnostic thought, their concept of ethics was perceived from an amoral perspective.  Remember, amoral does not mean immoral: it is non-judgmental acceptance.  This is difficult for modern religionists to comprehend since standard religious instruction is to uncompromisingly classify things as good/sinful and black/white—with no shades of gray being allowed for consideration.  Unlike rigid religionism, Gnostics recognized that diverse energies found throughout the universe serve as the generative action responsible for all things in Creation.  For this reason the Gnostics regarded what we know as the Old Testament to be the shameful account of Jehovah’s crimes against humanity.  Yahweh/Jehovah was not accepted by them as the true God or the active Source, but as the identity of a demiurge—an energy involvement that fashioned the material world.  Such Pentateuch/Old Testament characters as Abraham, Moses and the like were consequently regarded as the henchmen of Jehovah who had been dedicated to misdirecting the souls of humans into matter and ignorance.

Since the original purpose of the early Christian literature was composed in Rome in the attempt to soften Jewish spiritual arrogance, the new cultists played down the Gnostic attitude to prevent a too strong direct offence to Jews.  Nonetheless, Gnostic influence was cautiously scattered throughout the New Testament.  Although Christianity owes  many planks of its formation and doctrines to Gnosticism, pure Gnosticism itself also represented one of the most challenging threats to the new Christian movement.  Specifically, it denied the keystone upon which the aspiring priestly hierarchy sought to establish itself.  If, as the Gnostics claimed, evil had existed in Creation from the beginning then Adam, meaning mankind, could not possibly have fallen and neither he nor Eve had chosen to disobey God in Eden.  It then followed that Jesus could not possibly be presented by the priesthood as God’s token of forgiveness for humankind’s entanglement with that inescapable condition.

There is a remarkable verse in the New Testament (Matthew 16:23, revised c. 75 CE) that pretty much states what is wrong with all hard-line and fundamentalist organized religions.  Jesus is portrayed as speaking to Simon Peter, saying, “…thou art an offence unto me: for you savor not the things that be of  God, but those that be  of men.”  The real kicker in this scene is that this reproach of Peter comes after verse 19, or immediately after Peter had been given the keys of the kingdom of heaven!  The implication is that the church that he is to establish is intended to be the challenger of the infinite creative powers that are personified as “God.”  There is profound Gnostic wisdom hidden here.

The reason for this rebuke of Peter by Jesus is that Peter stands as the representative of the continuity in matter-existence that resists the necessity of its own transformation.  Thus Jesus utters the accusation that Peter savours those thing that be of men.  What is illustrated with this peculiar scene is that the confinement of consciousness in our physical-matter forms is what traumatizes the human ego, for it is ego that is obsessed with material identity and wishes to dam the natural flow that we interpret as life/death.

Mankind has lost sight of the soul-saving truth that religion is made for man: man is not made for any particular religion.

Knowing this, we are justified in saying to hard-line and hierarchical style religions, just as Jesus is alleged to have said to Peter, “Get the behind me Satan: you are an offence to me.”

Breeding for God

Posted in Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, ecology, environment, faith, freethought, history, humanity, life, nature, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on September 25, 2009 by chouck017894

Back in 1942 the world population was calculated to be two billion.  World War II then brought that number down.  Today, however, a mere sixty-seven years later the world population is hurtling toward a staggering seven billion!

 For some head-in-the-sand reason, world overpopulation has been pretty much treated as a taboo subject for far too long as a media concern.  This avoidance of facing responsibility for human over-breeding is indulged in despite the fact that global poverty and possible ecological catastrophe are directly tied to the explosive increase of human life.

The so-called sacred books of man’s religions alway catered to this preservation tactic, and encouraged in conjunction with that invitation  to sexual abandon the belief that exploiting the planet was humankind’s “divine right.”  In the Bible account of beginning, for example, god supposedly decreed: “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it…” (Genesis 1:28).  Oddly, at this point in the priest-written tale, the untutored, abandoned couple, supposedly made in the image of the creative power, is charged with the obligation to replenish the earth.  The word replenish means to fill or make  complete again: to renew a supply.  Taken literally then, as the fundamentalists like to do, this word “replenish” indicates that the world and the life upon it had some previous embodiment.

The “revealed” instruction as presented by the priest-authors of these tales, unfortunately, rings with an implication that all entities are expected to become nothing more than breeders for god.  Leaders of  most religious sects and  movements eagerly subscribed to this interpretation for the self-serving reason that it assured an increase of their supporters.  This is still the mindset of those seeped in the illogicality of religious storytelling and look upon bearing many children as an expression of god’s abundance.  This irrationality is so pronounced that even today there are some national leaders who actually advocate childbirth bounties to increase their national political power structure.  Breeding was a “duty” expected of German soldiers in the early 1940s to increase Hitler’s subjects,  for example.

The fact remains, however, that the present world population is ecologically unsustainable.  History has shown that in periods when human population increased up to sevenfold there followed disasters of unprecedented food shortages, escalating prices for essentials, mass migrations, followed by rampage and riots—even cannibalism.

 But man’s fundamentalist religions tend to conscientiously ignore history, preferring their own edification of “truth.”  So today we still have religious resistance to contraceptives, sexual instruction, abortion, and they teach—in the name of god, of course—hatred toward any same-sex attraction—which just might be Nature’s way of keeping resources and life forces in balance for a habitable planet.

Humans’ Place in Nature

Posted in culture, ecology, history, humanism, humanity, life, logic, nature, Pantheism, random, religion, science with tags , , , , on July 25, 2009 by chouck017894

Nature, the bearing principle of what we think of as material reality, has become strangely alien to western thought, and that mutant insensitivity has increased across the world—a situation due partly to religion and partly to science, the two answer-seeking indulgences which often rear up as opposing qualities.

Western religions have, by and large, pursued the notion that the creature man is meant to have dominion over nature and that humans are called upon by some divine overseer of the universe to control that life-sustaining organism we speak of as nature.  Science, drawn more to exploring how things work and evolve,  does so not in a drive to dominate nature but to (ideally) learn how to cooperate with nature and utilize the powers from which we became manifest as conscious life forms.

The western religious assertion that we must take control(dominion) over the wisdom that functions as nature and which produced our physical being is a rather infantile stance considering that as a complex species of nature we humans too often fail in even understanding or controlling ourselves.  We should take into consideration that western religious philosophy which professes to know so much about the nature of a supreme being remains curiously vague about the nature of man’s relationship to creative forces.  That vagueness attests to weak theology, and that lack of insight has infected humankind with a sense of estrangement from his natural being and his natural environment.

Science, which may be described as theoretical naturalism, customarily professes faithfulness to an indulgence in  rational consciousness which, unfortunately, is almost as indefinable as the mystical soul.  Both science and religion can only theorize from a state of limitation because the studies of both use humankind in nature as the object that is studied as representative of the subject.  And because such a technique focuses on external manifestations it means that neither of those theoretical approaches can act as a subjective observer.

Through such theoretical  exercises of science and religion we continue to feel that we are estranged in some way from the inner workings that function as nature.  Nevertheless, everything that is active as conscious life and all events active as nature are mutually interdependent.  Man cannot rightfully be understood as an object that stands apart from the subject nature.  Such a sense of estrangement from nature then encourages the self-destructive exploitation of the resources of the planet that have led humankind into the present day environmental predicament.

Like it or not, humankind has a total  involvement with nature.  Ultimately inhumanity toward nature is to deny humankind a future that holds any higher potential.