Archive for Jeremiah

Heaven in Turmoil

Posted in agnoticism, Astronomy, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, history, life, prehistory, random, religion, science, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2010 by chouck017894

Curiosities abound throughout the “authorized” accounts of humankind’s history.  Few, however, are as baffling as to why the celestial body we know as planet Venus suddenly became the object of worldwide attention around the general timeframe 1650-1600 BCE.  In this timeframe the Babylonians were well-schooled in mathematics, calculations, algebra, and quadratic equations, and they had become increasingly nervous about disturbances taking place in the heavens.  Astronomical records were being kept in the reign of Ammisaduga, and from these it is clear that astronomers were fully aware that the routine rotation of stars around Earth was an illusion that was caused by Earth revolving on it own axis.  The plotting of heavenly mechanics such as the equinoxes and solstices were routine to them. 

So it was a situation of uneasiness to witness the looming presence in the sky of an unknown celestial object—especially since its presence coincided with an alteration in Earth’s rotation and tilt.  And there was also the small matter of the volcanic mountain Stroggili on the Isle of Thera (Santorin) having erupted in the Mediterranean—one of the planet’s oversized volcanic eruptions.  It was in this period that the new celestial entity began being addressed as a deity—a goddess of awesome beauty and terrifying power—an awe and fear that would possess the people of the world for many generations.  Indeed, this period of frightening and dramatic celestial changes is attested to in later Roman literature, such as the book Of The Race of the Roman People by Marcus Varro.  In this book the author related that the planet we know as Venus had “…changed its color, size , form, course, which had not happened before nor since…”  Varro backed up his account saying that renowned astronomers affirmed that the event had indeed happened to the “Morning star,” and it had never happened before or  since.  Varro also noted, “…we read from the divine books that even the sun itself stood still when a holy man Joshua, the son of Nun, had begged this from God.”  Let us note here that even “saint”  Augustine quoted from this man’s book. 

The timeframe in question here, c. 1600s BCE, is another period that has often been accepted as the period-setting for the Exodus story—as well as being the “time of Agog,” who allegedly laid the foundation of Thebes (Egypt).  It can be understood how recollections of such chaotic events could be confused, condensed and intermingled by later historians.  There is, as example, a Samaritan chronicle that relates that during the time period in which Joshua supposedly led an invasion into Canaan a new star was born in the east.   If this star-birth event took place in the time allotted to Joshua, then it predates the timeframe for the Moses tale by centuries.  The Samaritan account of the new star said it held power “against which all magic is vain.”  That pretty much discredits the claim that Joshua had any influence over the heavenly bombardment that took place. 

Of interest  in connection with this are the findings unearthed by recent archeologists that confirm that events of the Joshua story were in reference to celestial conditions and activities that took place earlier than events that make up the Moses epic.  The later priest-historians at work  in Jerusalem (c. 800 BCE) found it more beneficial to their purpose to reinterpret past events to provide themselves with a history that supported their claim to authority. 

There are other scriptural stories that tell of these heavenly happening and the continuing threats from the heavens that went on for generations.  Approximately fifty-two years after c. 1600 BCE, or around 1548, the celestial body that had so traumatized Earth seems to have emerged out of decades of clouded skies to appear as a radiant new member of the solar family—that is to say it had attained a fairly orderly orbital pattern among the neighboring planets. The Assyrians called the new planet Ishtar: the Greeks called it Aphrodite: the ancient Mexican records name it Quetzalcoatl: and the Romans would call it Venus. 

The heavens were not yet peaceful, however, and Earth had more to endure.  The awe and fear that the new planet still inspired is shown in it being addressed as beautiful but fearsome celestial deity.  Even some 750 years later(c. 800 BCE) the new planet still exerted strong influence upon planet Earth to trigger exogenous disturbances in Earth’s rotation, which coincided with a  reverse in Earth’s magnetic field.  And this is the timeframe of the “prophet” Isaiah who had this to say about the adjustment of the new-neighbor planet: “How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer (Venus), son of the morning!  How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12-13)

Even as late as c. 606 BCE, the timeframe of the “prophet” Jeremiah, the inhabitants of Earth were still apprehensive of the orbital irregularities of planets Venus and Mars—for the Venus intrusion had serious effect on the orbit of the once peaceful Mars.  In this period, even in spite of the recent Babylonian invasion and destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews still gave Venus devotion as “queen of heaven” and burned incense and offered wine to her on the roofs of buildings.  Jeremiah was an astronomer, and was portrayed as a “prophet” simply because he could chart the likely times of violent planetary interactions.  Thus in the book of Jeremiah, chapter 44, the account says all the men knew that their wives had burnt incense unto other gods (meaning to Venus).  And the women adamantly continued to “burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our father, our kings, and our  princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem…”

Reference to the heavens once being in disarray can be found in many ancient records and texts.  And even when they are part of accounts deemed sacred there is a peculiar self-inflicted blindness that such planetary caroming through the skies could have once taken place.  Even today’s science denies it.  And the heavens remain indifferent at mankind’s lack of curiosity.

Unicorns & Satyrs in Scriptures?

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, history, humanity, life, random, religion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2009 by chouck017894

God has revealed in holy scriptures all the wisdom that man needs to know—or so claim the fundamentalists who insist that everything in scripture should be taken literally.  Generally they purposefully ignore a few things scattered through “holy word” that tend to jar the hard-line stance that it is man’s righteous duty to accept biblical teachings without question.  To take everything in the Bible literally means that we should believe in the behemoth, the cockatrice, and dragons, the Leviathan, satyrs, and unicorns.

Think not?  The behemoth is mentioned in the book of Job (40:15-24).  The word comes from Hebrew and is intensive plural, meaning “great beasts.”  The book of Job where this is found happens to have been taken from a Babylonian tale and reworked into Jewish scripture.  It is for that reason that the character of Job never condemns himself for the misfortunes that befall him: he knows that he is innocent—which is not the same thing as being without sin.  The ending of the priest-plagiarized version was altered for Jewish consumption with Job “repenting” and god winning a rather stupid test of character.  Biblical scholars have attempted to get around the mythic “beast” part by saying that possibly the tale was referring to a hippopotamus!  Since the beast remains unexplained it must be placed as a mythological beast.

In the books of Jeremiah and Isaiah there is reference to a creature called cockatrice, an alleged serpent-like living-thing reputed to be hatched from a cock’s egg and having the power of killing with a glance.  It is telling that the cockatrice is mentioned by two major “prophets” who happened to forecast world threatening terror that would at times rampage out of the skies in that era. (See Jeremiah 8:17, and Isaiah 11:8, 14:29, and 59:5.)

Dragons play a role in scripture as symbolic of how one is to be judged and reproved for not measuring up.  Christian mythology inherited the Hebraic concept of the dragon, which is prominent in all the important apocalyptic literature of the Bible.  But the distended dragon role in Revelation seems like a distorted echo of two short closing verses of Isaiah 13:21-22; “…dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.”

Leviathan is a term used in the Bible to designate an enormous scaly monster.  In Psalms 104 and in Isaiah 27, Leviathan is interpreted to mean “whale” because the creature is described in these verses as living in the great wide sea (waters of Creation).  But that is not what is said in much older writings upon which Genesis was crafted: in those ancient texts Yahweh battled with Leviathan, the dragon: a creation myth.  (The tale is reminiscent of Tiamat in Babylonian myths from which came the Old Testament expression T’hom, “deep.”)  Providing for newly created life is the meaning behind the words of Psalms 74 that says: “Thou breakest the heads of Leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.”  Elsewhere, in the book of Job 41:10, “borrowed” from Babylonian literature, the truism is stated that God and Leviathan are as one.

Satyrs are spoken of in the book of Isaiah too (13:21-22), along with the aforementioned mythical dragon and cockatrice.  Satyrs of mythology referred to any class of woodland gods or demons, often depicted with pointed ears, and the short horns and legs of a goat.  What are they doing in the “revealed word of god”?

The fabulous unicorn, as fleshed-out in ancient Greek and Roman myths, supposedly had a body resembling that of a horse, but having a straight horn protruding from its forehead.  It is odd that this creature is spoken of in more than one of the books of the Bible: Numbers (23:22, 24:8), Deuteronomy (33:17), Job (39:9-10), Psalms (22:21, 29:6, 92:10), and Isaiah (34:7).

Funny—none of those creatures were ever mentioned as having been in Eden.

Holy Astronomy

Posted in Astronomy, Atheist, Bible, Christianity, culture, freethought, history, nontheism, random, religion, science, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 24, 2009 by chouck017894

Astronomy is the most ancient of all sciences, and the knowledge was so all-encompassing in its means of charting and presentation that star groupings (constellations) also served as illustrations for instruction on cosmogony as well as on lessons on life’s meaning. Of course such in-depth knowledge was not available to everyone, but the basic premises and the imaginative illustrations associated with the arbitrary groupings of stars were widely recognized by the masses almost everywhere.

Each constellation’s imagined figure–the symbols for the divisions of the ecliptic groupings and the symbols for the planets–were so intriguing that they passed into lore. This remarkable illustrative tool of astronomical charting is still known today, and we call it the Zodiac.  Astonishingly, the origin of that illustrative tool has been traced back more than 10,000 years. Zodiac figures such as Capricornus and Scorpius are known to have existed in their complete form even then. (The Zodiac’s true purpose should not be confused with the later horoscope practice of astrology.) Since the Zodiac figures and divisions were complete even in those ancient days, it means that the Zodiac, which was mapped out in precise degrees, has to be even older. There is, by comparison, no manmade religion that can claim such an ancestry.

Heavenly events were of much concern to the inhabitants of Earth for many generations through the second and first millennia, for neighboring planets were adjusting their orbits. This fact is even attested to in the OT book of Jeremiah (44:18-19) where it is recorded that there was a long history of women offering wine and incense to the heavens from the roofs of buildings.  The planet Venus was of especial interest to them, and it is referred to more than once as “Queen of Heaven.”  Even so, during generations of global upheavals the intimacy once felt for the ancient “celestial picture book” was lost, and the lessons once associated with the star charts became the treasures held as privilged information by a select few. In the passage of time the ancient knowlege became fragmented but would be incorporated into the world’s “holy books.”

The biblical character of Ezekiel, for example, is declared to have played the role of “prophet” of doom from c.597 to c.586 BCE. His most memorable storyline allusion was to a “wheel within a wheel”–which is actually a crafty reference to the Zodiac. And the “faces” that he claimed to have seen in connection to the “wheels”–man, ox, lion and eagle–were ancient references to the quarterly divisions of the Zodiac. These were and are Aquarius, Taurus, Leo and Scorpius (the eagle was the Hebrew symbol for Scorpius). The “eyes” spoken of  in verse 18 as being within the “rings” are but poetic reference to the stars. There are many more disguised zodiacal references throughout the Old Testament.

Naturally such a treasure trove with heavenly implications was not neglected in New Testament literature either. Probably the most prominent example of Zodiac association was the borrowing of its emblematic figures by church fathers to represent the four alleged authors of the approved Gospels. After much shuffling of Gospel story elements, the church fathers decided that Matthew was to be represented with a human head (man=Aquarius) because, they said, he had started the book’s narrative with the genealogy of Jesus. The book of Luke began with the story of the priest Zachary, and so it was deemed appropriate that Luke be represented by a sacrificial ox (Taurus). Mark began his version of Gospel events with the mission of John the Baptist who dwelt in the desert, and because the lion was an inhabitant of the desert it was deemed appropriate to symbolize Mark with a lion (Leo). And finally “St.” John, who began his text version with the words “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God…” was given the attribute of an eagle (Hebrew figure for Scorpius), for eagles were widely accepted as symbolic and representative of the higher God in Heaven.  And we should not forget that Jesus is said to have had twelve apostles who revolved about him as the Zodiac signs seem to revolve about the sun. 

Unfortunately, even greater perversion of the ancient Zodiac presentations and the lessons associated with them were looted for use and abuse in the book of Revelation.

Much more detailed information is presented in the books The Shiny Herd and in The Celestial Scriptures. How it all came together for modern evangelical power-plays to build upon is given in Time Frames and Taboo Data.

Reaching for Life’s Secrets

Posted in Bible, freethought, religion, science with tags , , , , , on April 7, 2009 by chouck017894

Misquoting lines from verses of “Scriptures” by using the pick and choose method for the purpose of attacking some presumed offense against a never-seen god most often constitutes more of sacrilegious act than that of the subject of the attack.

To use “sacred writ” as an arsenal is always a cowardly assault for it is the deliberate use of deceit. Or worse, it is ignorance of the “holy” material that is being violated. How so? Lines that are lifted out of context of any scriptural storyline and applied to unrelated situations serves only as bogus evidence of some alleged guilt.

A case in point: The extreme rightwing religionists, the so-called pro-lifers, have loudly opposed stem cell research under the unauthentic claim that use of embryo cells for scientific research amounts to murder. The biblical (half-) line most often used by them to “prove” their stance is from the book of Jeremiah 1:5 where God is said to have spoken personally to the “prophet” Jeremiah–not to all mankind. It was to Jeremiah only that God supposedly declared, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”

Using a portion of one sentence from a biblical verse is intentional misuse–or most likely it is ignorance of the theoretical point of the story elements which is lost to them–for the rest of God’s butchered address to Jeremiah clarifies, “I have appointed you as a prophet to all nations.”

We all possess a smidgen of what might be termed psychic abilities, but can each of us really be termed a prophet to all nations? And if Jeremiah was known before being formed in the womb is it sperm that is being referred to? Was Jeremiah the fastest swimmer?

But even as a secretion is activated into a substance from which a lifeform may develop, the initial substance has no functional sense organs, no higher brain centers–and most importantly it has no sense of consciousness. It is primal life energy. Indeed, not even the most rudimentary level of self-awareness is present until near the end of the third trimester when the brain begins to take on form enough to produce weak energy charges. Embryo cells, therefore, provide the potential of life but are not yet possessed (or blessed) with the consciousness of self.

So being guided by ideology or superstition on these matters of physical formation amounts to nothing more than indulgence in self-destruction. Can one really believe that God is being glorified by persons who simply sit in distress and wring their hands as they pray for a miracle while the patient dies in agony? It is much more respectful to the Creative Source to use our “god-given” brains to search out the means and guidelines for reaching life’s higher potential. Using those primal substances of life (cells which are not yet imbued with consciousness) not only allows us to reach for the answers to our present life-threatening maladies, but sets in place the foundation for a future made closer to the imagined Heaven that man has long dreamed of.