Archive for Lucifer

Myths of Heaven and Hell

Posted in agnoticism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, freethought, Hebrew scripture, history, life, random, religion, Social, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2011 by chouck017894

…or Where Do We Divide Eternity?

Eternity is generally defined as the totality of time which is without beginning or end: an infinite time.  From this understanding religious practices have promoted the belief in the endless period of time following death; the afterlife; immortality.  This allows the faith system wiggle room to claim special allowance to those who follow their faith system as having a privileged continuation in the abode of God–Heaven.  That imagined reward is always painted as a place of bliss where the souls of sanctified departed (blessed by the faith system) enter their spiritual potential.

Those who are not deemed qualified by the faith system are deemed to be shuffled off to a different locale in eternity, the famous godforsaken Hell.  Hell is always presented as the underworld, which most likely developed out of the caveman notion of an underworld as the abode of the dead.  This belief was a natural conclusion drawn from placing the dead in graves or in caves.  Faith system manufacturers found this to be a convenient angle to build upon, for it provided the means to manipulate through use of threats and/or bribery of some eternal consequence of their faith.  An imagined painful region of eternity was addressed by the priest-authors of Hebrew Scriptures as Sheol (the Pit); in Greco-Roman tradition it was called Hades.

In Jewish mythical cosmology composed c. 8th century BCE, a cherub named Lucifer (the planet Venus), also called Son of Dawn, is said to have walked in Eden and had been designated as Guardian of All Nations by God.  The Garden of Eden apparently encompassed a number of nations!  The colors that are said to have been embodied by Lucifer are actually reference to the comet phase of the object which eventually became Earth’s neighboring planet.  This is acknowledged by stating that his body was afire with carnelian, topaz, emerald, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper, sapphire and carbuncle.  The myth continued that Lucifer soon became lost in pride and he plotted to “ascend above the stars” where he would become God’s equal.  God did not much care for that idea of rival glory, and cast Lucifer down to Earth, and then flung him into Sheol.  In his fall through the heavens (ala comet-style), Lucifer was said to have shone like lightning, and was reduced to ashes.  All that remained of Lucifer was spirit, which is said to eternally waver about in the Bottomless Pit.  The word Sheol is presented 65 time in Hebrew Scriptures.  It was not until around the 6th or 5th century BCE that the perception arose among the Jews that God also controlled Sheol, and this is mirrored in the re-edited books of Job:6, Psalms 139:8, and Proverbs 15:11.

In the mystical cosmology upon which Hebrew Scriptures were woven, Sheol was imagined as the highest of seven layers of the Fifth Earth, and like the lower layers Sheol held a storehouse of darkness.  The fiery elements of the six layers below Sheol were said to increase to sixty times fiercer than the layer above it.  The six layers below Sheol were: Perdition, Lowest Pit, the Bilge, Silence, the Gates of Death, and the Gates of the Shadow of Death.  With these additions, Sheol then took on the attributes similar to the later Catholic idea of Purgatory where souls pass time until the Last Judgment. 

The imagined underground location of hell as inferred by early Christian writers is also rooted in cosmology of antiquity, which imagined the universe as divided into heaven, Earth and the underworld.  Christianity, developing in the Roman Empire, elaborated upon the Greco-Roman Hades angle, but Hell is mention no more than about a dozen times throughout the New Testament.  Nonetheless, Hell is disproportionately expounded upon in too many sermons. 

The literature known as the New Testament was composed in Roman Empire times between c. 55 and 140 (and the true authors of any of the 27 books have never been satisfactorily answered).  Hellfire—or Gehenna—is defined in the book of Matthew 5:22; and Hell–or Hades—is summarized in the book of Luke 16:23.  The scare tactics of later Christian sects elaborated upon the imagined eternal tortures which Satan allegedly inflicted upon condemned souls. 

In the Catholic faith system there is a formal process that allegedly identifies souls that were regarded fit enough to enter heaven, and the competition is something like an Olympic event in which the gold medal that is given out is the title of “saint.”  That the “saint” race is a rigged event is obvious by the fact that those who achieve that faith’s highest honor have been judged to have in some manner contributed to advancing the institution of the faith system itself, not due to any concern for the sheep. 

The doctrine of damnation or blessedness is more a policy designed for ego manipulation than it is to promote any spiritual truth.  The Augustine-Jerome message of inescapable sin, which became the cornerstone of the Christian faith market, deliberately pushed aside the idea that Jesus died for everyone’s sins to imply that Jesus’ saving power came only through the faith system itself.

The Islamic hell is called Jahannum and, as imagined by Mohammed, is nothing less than Allah’s torture chamber.  There the unbelievers of Mohammed’s faith system (such as the Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, etc.), called kafirs, burn in eternal agony in God’s inferno.  The Koran does not use the neutral word unbelievers, but applies the word kafir to imply the lowest form of life, and it is okay to cheat them, lie to them, torture and kill them.   Muslim wrongdoers, however, no matter how horrific, are exempt from hell because Mohammed will intercede for his followers on the Day of Judgment.  Those who have remained dedicated to Islam will bypass hell and will enter Jannat (Paradise), which is outfitted with beautiful virgins and young boys to fulfill any desire.  The details of Jahannum (hell) are more broadly presented in the Koran, and numerous inhumane suggestions listed on how Muslim faithful are to treat the kafirs.  This angle is the inspiration for the hateful fanaticism of Muslim terrorist groups.

These faith system concepts of heaven and hell serve only one purpose: to frighten the unwary into servitude to a power structure presided over by the manipulators.  This is a tried and true con game that flourishes simply because personal faith is all about ego.  And the irrationality of eternal blessedness or unending damnation are the tools of ego manipulation—the “I’m saved, you’re not” stratagem.  Unfortunately, these taught judgmental concepts of who is blessed and who is damned serve only as the seeds of hatred and continuing world discord.  Ultimately, with these taught faith system beliefs we all lose.

Lucifer Falsely Accused

Posted in agnoticism, Astronomy, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, Hebrew scripture, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , on January 15, 2011 by chouck017894

In the misinformation passed off as holy word, a name used in the book of Isaiah (14:12, written in the 7th century BCE) was Lucifer, which acknowledged a troublesome comet that, after many generations, had recently attained an established orbital pattern among the other planets.  We know that awesome celestial object today as the planet Venus. (See related posts listed at end.) Faith merchants latched onto the comet/star’s alleged “fallen” status, reworking and personifying it into an archangel cast from heaven for leading a revolt of angels.  That 7th century BCE revisionist project is a prime example of the quality of interpretation that is honored as “revealed wisdom.”

Not much better, our encyclopedias assert that Lucifer was a name used in ancient astronomy for the  morning star, meaning Venus when it appears in the morning before sunrise.  But the reference to “ancient astronomy” is obviously calculated from the general period of Isaiah, which at best goes back no further than the 8th century BCE, for in authentic prehistory charts the planet Venus was not then included.

The general consensus among Bible scholars in regard to the Isaiah verse is that the “prophet” was referring to the king of Babylon.  That is a bit of a stretch to suggest that the Israel “prophet” would think of the king of Babylon as “…son of the morning.”  The early Christian fathers chose to interpret the Isaiah verse differently, saying the verse in question was a reference to Satan’s fall from Heaven!  Considering the name’s association with a comet’s transformation into a planet alluded to in Isaiah, the “fall from heaven” was an easy image to sell.  Thus did the name Lucifer become a Christian alias for the  imagined Satan/Devil, the “prince of darkness.”  This, we shall see, was a deliberate inversion of the original meaning in the name.

In the later Christian cult interpretation of Lucifer, we should take into account the timeframe in which the original verse and the Christian interpretation were presented.  The pre-Christian name is best understood from the Latin words lux or lucis, meaning “light,” and ferre, meaning “to bring.”  This attests to the more ancient meaning from the lessons on Creation that were once illustrated with constellation figures, and which explained the glowing life energy that scriptures say “shown in the darkness” of the Absolute. 

It is from the formation of pre-physical elements into visible matter that we received the scriptural fiction of the “chief angel,” Satan, falling from grace and who “…kept not his first estate.”  The “first estate” in the ancient teachings given with the astronomical figures referred to the pre-physical elements that energize into everything that manifests as matter form.  There could never be any advancement or evolutionary movement unless that “first estate” was discarded.  Priests in their cunning used this as their meal ticket by declaring that free will was used to “rebel,” and as a result all persons had to be saved from the “sins” of that imagined rebellion.  Their hobgoblin Satan-Devil-Lucifer was declared to have been the  first to rebel, and all this, it is avowed, accounts for original sin that was dumped upon Adam and Eve—and all the rest of us!

  • Related posts: Years of Heavenly Havoc, July 2010;  Threats From Heaven, September 2010.

Neo-Cons’ Concept of Evil

Posted in Atheist, Bible, Christianity, culture, faith, Government, history, humanity, life, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , on November 5, 2009 by chouck017894

Neo-conservatism has burrowed into the American psyche and guts through the last few decades and has flourished due primarily to the juvenile Christian perception of evil.  As a result, the nature of American politics evolved increasingly into a radical and warmongering style that in turn infected and attacked the very roots of our democracy.

The neo-conservative attitude seems to consistently struggle upon the quicksand-assessment that human beings are innately wicked, and the heart that pumps this attitude rests in the ribs of biblical myth that presents the idea of original sin.  That fairy tale approach to what is the natural interfacing and resultant friction met in everyday life permits them only the premise that humans do “evil” for the perverse gratification of it!  Consequently they themselves have come to embody and exemplify that virulent interpretation that they so vehemently denounce.

Of course the neo-cons insist that they alone faithfully embody only the good and wholesome attributes favored by god, and all others are aligned with Lucifer and are irrational villains.  From this sand fortress they then feel secure enough in god’s graciousness to hurl grenades of slander and libel against any life expressions that do not match up with their narrow understanding of Creation’s diversity.  Thus self-blinded it became only a skip and a jump to selling weapons of mass destruction to other authoritarians, making deals with brutal dictators, counting corporate profits from invasions of foreign countries, and shrugging off the innocent civilian lives lost from indulging in bombing “infidels.”

Through the decades as radical religionism contaminated American government there has grown, for the neo-cons, an awkward bewilderment expressed in their plaintive question, “Why have they (the foreign nations) come to despise us so?”  Self righteousness is a peculiar form of blindness.  Compromise through negotiations with the “enemy” is held by the neocons to be unacceptable, for it allows respectful coexistence of diverse elements.  They refuse to recognize or accept that the activation of countless diverse forces served as the foundation of Creation and is what continues to sustain it—a truth lightly alluded to in the book of Genesis and confirmed by science.  Nonetheless, the neo-cons and the Christian radical right formed an adulterous relationship under which diplomacy and negotiation was rejected for apocalyptic-style military solutions.

By biblical standards this is judged to be fully acceptable.  After all, in biblical tales god repeatedly erupted in wrath and punished all of Israel for the transgressions of a few, as elaborated in Joshua 7:1-12, and 2 Samuel 21:2.  Under such Bible guidance it is deemed okay to strike at anyone who oppose neo-cons’ plans, even the patently unjust ones, under the self-delusion that they are “doing god’s work.”  In that stance, however, all they are declaring is their impatience with god, for he, god, is in the habit of taking intolerable amounts of time to express his will.