Archive for “saint” Augustine

Soul Searching

Posted in belief, Christianity, faith, Hebrew scripture, life, prehistory, random, religion, scriptures, thoughts with tags , , , , on January 12, 2015 by chouck017894

In the presumptuous practice which is honored as theology, there is repeated discussion regarding “soul”–that part of each person’s being which is said to be immortal and separable from the matter body at the occurrence of physical death. This is regarded in religious theory to be man’s spiritual relationship with the creative power which is commonly personified as “God.” The theological concept of soul, unfortunately, provides little in the way of any instructive or satisfying means for contemplating this elusive part of our being.

The word “soul” is nonetheless used freely in theological speculations, and yet when seekers press for specifics as to what constitutes one’s soul answers remain vague. Generally the explanation avers that soul is the spiritual nature of an individual in relationship to God. What constitutes “spirit,” unfortunately, also remains inadequately defined, which gives theological speculators freehand to manipulate the mystified. By the typically vague theological proposition the soul/spirit is erroneously assumed to retain identical senses of happiness or misery, which conveniently allows the God merchants to guide their “flocks” through exercises of threat-and-promise tactics (damned or saved). In that version of what constitutes the soul, that elusive part of one’s being sounds suspiciously like one’s ego.

Primitive cultures, as well as classical Egyptian and Greek cultures, envisaged the soul as being comparable to some especially refined or ethereal substance such as breath or as ether. To the Egyptians that which we refer to as soul was known a Ba, and they considered Ba to be the essence of a person which has eternal existence after death. In their theory the Ba was closely associated with the Ka, i.e. each person’s double (energy pattern). Together with the Ab, the heart, these were regarded as the three most important elements in the physical and perceptive life of humans. Not understood by them was the organ of the brain, by which personal associations are determined in life. Thus the Ab was more highly valued than the brain, for it was thought that expressions of desire, courage, lust, wisdom, disposition, etc. were expressed by the heart.

To the ancient Hebrews the soul seems to have been vaguely identified with the creative principle of life which is embodied in living creatures, and this interpretation is honored throughout most of the Hebrew scriptures. Seeking to ease the vagueness of what constitutes the soul it was theorized as being the principle or vehicle of life of each individual, human or animal. So the”soul” was hypothesized as a substance, quality or efficient consciousness in general. In Hebrew Scriptures “spirit” was thus linked with, but considered distinctive from the soul. In this theory spirit was reworked as the principal feature of one’ higher–or divine–capacities and activities.

Christian thought regarding the spiritual nature of the human soul was shaped largely by “saint” Augustine (353-430 CE) who theorized soul existence as much from Greek philosophy as from any religious enlightenment. The theory he advanced as to what constitutes the soul was that it was of a simple, immaterial and mystical quality which is present within one’s being. It is this indistinct and unfocused concept of soul which has remained in scholastic Christian philosophy into present times. We have Augustine to thank also for doctrines concerning sin, divine grace, divine sovereignty, and predestination which have held an important place in the Roman Catholic and Protestant theology.

The concept of “soul” in theological speculation still hinges on the fact that the theory helps numb the fear of death. There is an inevitable catch in this speculative theological practice, however, which is the premise that a price is expected for saving what is professed to be the immortal soul, and that price is that seekers must follow a particular man-concocted faith system. The inevitable question is inescapable–just what is that immortal part to saved from? Theological sales propaganda has the audacity to claim that the soul must be saved from the fiery pits of hell and the eternal suffering which is allegedly doled out by an omniscient, loving Creator for a soul having goofed up in one brief fling at mortal life!

As is often the case in the speculative exercises practiced as religion, there is an intuitive recognition of some creative energy process, but that spark of intuition routinely flounders upon the experience of our temporary matter form. Fortunately, if man is not constrained with some self-imposed unyielding cult-code of belief he can learn to evolve into his higher potential. However, organized faith systems have the bad habit of teaching everyone to pass judgment upon everything and everyone who do not follow their restrictive, self-serving counseling. Hatred is thus continually spawned from such a discriminatory practice. That behavioral “guidance” springs from a deliberate refusal to acknowledge that diversity and variety is the second major law of Creation. But faulty religious instruction does not necessarily mean that the part of our being which is referred to as “soul” is only theological wishful thinking.

There is indeed the non-material criterion within everything which is made manifest as matter-life, and that fact of creative power which is present within all life is neatly summed up in Albert Einstein’s formula E=mc2. That simple formula is verification that any matter-form is actually an energy composite. And all forms of energy have the inherent nature of transformation, so in fact it does not cease to exist. Every energy-matter form radiates with an identifying energy frequency which becomes identifiable by reason of its interaction with the creative patterns in which it is a part. Thus an energy frequency, which is called “soul,” can be said to correspond to the energy frequency by which the identity of anything is maintained within the creative activity of infinity. In other words, Soul, like consciousness, is the continuing awareness of self.

And since personal identity is distinguishable only through its interactions with the creative forces around it, every incident in a person’s material experience actually does impose consequences upon that identity. At each dimension of a soul’s creative involvement and evolution every action which it imposes continues to have a reaction. That is not godly retribution; it is just the basic principle of energy in motion–or the minor law of energy in action–what goes around comes around.

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.