Search This Blog

Loading...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Life Changing Events






When I was 14 years of age, I discovered a copy of Olaf Stapledon's Last And First Men in the Grosse Pointe Woods library next to Parcells School.
It was in one of those library bindings, which was sturdy, all one color, and had absolutely no pictures of images on the cover nor the back. I think it was a teal-green color; plain, no patterns.

It changed my life.
I suppose that there is a connection between the ghastly war which changed his life forever, the novels he wrote thereafter, and how the force of his change effected my own change.

In Last Men In London, he wrote of the protagonist, Paul, based upon his own wartime experiences:
“To fight for one’s nation against other nations in a world insane with nationalism, is an offence against the spirit.”
The spirit.
Never before had the concept of the Spirit seemed so real and full of electricity and life as that moment of plunging into the maelstrom of Stapledon's Last And First Men.

My life had been lived - and would continue to be lived, even up to today - within the proximities of wars and threats of wars, of genocides and apartheids, of racism and hatreds. And a billion years from now, Stapledon's Spirit still inspired the last generations of Man.



Stapledon World War I, Society Of Friends Ambulance Corps


I bought this copy in Montreal in the 60s



Cover showing a man and woman of the 7th Men, the flying race of mankind



Another Edition



I bought this edition somewhere and sometime...
I always liked corals, particularly Hexagonaria



I bought this edition, too, of Last And First Men and Last Men In London



First Pelican edition



The Protagonist of Last Men In London is appropriately named Paul



I must read Starmaker again soon



Like a billion year space opera!



--


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

War WIth Iran Wednesday



Senator Tom Cotton wants war with Iran...
... saying Obama was refusing to admit that airstrikes against Iran's nuclear facilities would only take "several days" and wouldn't require any longer-term military commitment to be effective. Obama, he said, was offering a "false choice" between the deal and war.

http://fatherdaughtertalk.blogspot.com/2015/04/war-with-iran.html


All this led to a Country-Western lament on Radio Tehran by Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei:
(who not only looks like Burl Ives, but sounds like him!)

 Khamenei Singing With Hand Gestures


If it hadn't been for Cotton-Eye Tom,
I'd have had that nuclear bomb:
Who was your daddy?  Who was your mom?
Where did you come from, Cotton-Eye Tom?

If it hadn't been for Cotton-Eye Tom,
I'd have had that nuclear bomb:
Who was your daddy?  Who was your mom?
Where did you come from, Cotton-Eye Tom?

Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey...
Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey... 


--






Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Never Too Much Of A Good Thing: Orthodox Easter !

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill at the Easter service at Christ the Savior Cathedral, Moscow. 
(RIA Novosti/Sergey Pyatokov)



 Easter service at St. Porphyrius Church in Gaza City.  
(Ezz Al Zanoun)



 Egyptian Coptic Christian pray during the Easter Eve service at St. Sama'ans Church in the Mokattam district of Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, April 11, 2015. 
(AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) The Associated Press



--

War With Iran Tuesday


 Ol' Tom Cotton


A very good piece in VOX:

Here's what would really happen if the US bombed Iran
Updated by Zack Beauchamp on April 14, 2015, 10:30 a.m. ET
http://www.vox.com/2015/4/14/8389515/iran-war
Last week, Republican Senator Tom Cotton criticized President Obama's nuclear deal framework with Iran, saying Obama was refusing to admit that airstrikes against Iran's nuclear facilities would only take "several days" and wouldn't require any longer-term military commitment to be effective. Obama, he said, was offering a "false choice" between the deal and war...

You have to love Tom Cotton for having learned nothing from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Only someone who is a bit out of touch with reality can think that such wars are simple, easy, and effective.

Paul Wolfowitz said that Iraq would be over in less than a year, and that it would cost a billion dollars...... TOPS!

Very, very, very Buck Turgidson:

 General Turgidson


--


Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Cheneys





pic: CNN



Dick, Liz Cheney releasing new book slamming Obama
By Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Updated 10:50 AM ET, Tue April 7, 2015
http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/07/politics/dick-cheney-liz-cheney-book/index.html
(CNN)Former Vice President Dick Cheney is releasing a new book co-authored with his daughter Liz Cheney aimed squarely at President Barack Obama.

The hawkish former vice president's new book, "Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America," is slated for release Sept. 1 and is already available for pre-order on Amazon.

The book is being billed as a blistering criticism of Obama's foreign policy, claiming that Obama has abandoned the tradition of American leadership in the world.

Obama has "significantly diminished" American power just as the threat of terrorism is "rapidly growing," Cheney said in a statement his publisher released Tuesday. Cheney also accused Obama of abandoning U.S. allies and emboldening enemies...

Only in modern day America can a bald-faced liar sling such slurs. Only now may an amoral dimwit seek political gain and be abetted by the ghastly harpy-like offspring that is his daughter. These people still take comfort in their wars of lies, their wars unending, their wars without proper planning that result in thousands of dead.

Vicious immorality is one of the choices for our future.
We ought not to take it.

--

Italia

Isola di Loreto



pix: Teone!
--

Yemen: O, Zayd! O, Isma'il!

Wadi Dhar Palace




أحفاد النبي
! البكاء في اليمن

--

grandsons of the Prophet;
weeping in Yemen 

-

I Expect God




Yesterday someone asked me to clarify what I meant by saying, "I do not believe in God, rather I expect God."

After thinking a bit, I think it is very much a relationship of Conversation: God and I are in a conversation, and when one speaks, that speaker expects the other to listen, attempt to understand, and to respond.

As there is a Worlding process occuring, God and mankind sit in parliament with each other.


Let me refer to a recent post:

The Grey And God And..... דער שׂטן
http://fatherdaughtertalk.blogspot.com/2015/03/the-grey-and-god-and.html




Towards the end of the film The Grey, Liam Neeson's character yells out to God that if He exist, this time would be a fine time to manifest Himself, since Neeson's character. Ottway, is the last man alive, and is hunted by the wolves.

That is not the expectation of God, that is not a conversation with God.
Just as God cannot compel us, we cannot compel Him.

Of course, in the film the end is an endless metaphor, where Ottway becomes a Power in the World, a totem-wolf animal. The film points to the resolution of our eternal questions, and leaves us to find our way from the wolves den.
--

Friday, April 10, 2015

Powers In The World 2

H. P. Lovecraft's Ancient God Cthulhu Arises from his Lair



Some people have taken me to task for my post on powers, thinking I believed in spirits, ghosts, and demons and angels and ancient gods, somewhat like Cthulhu as pictured above.

Since I have exhaustively said that I do not "believe in" God, I am amazed.

I expect God. If I go around the corner, God is there. It is not a matter of belief. Beliefs can be mistaken. God's presence is not mistaken.
I really dislike what people call "belief systems".

What Carl Jung called Synchronicity, I call Fate or Bona Fortuna. Or I may ignore it.
One thing I do not do is "believe in" it, nor do I disbelieve in it.

To get me to believe or disbelieve, I have to be engaged in whatever it is that is under discussion.

I do not discuss God's existence, so I am not engage in that trivial pursuit.
It is the first axiom of my worlding: my being-in-the-world is subject to being shot through by the occasional divine, leaving my head spinning. It ain't a belief. It is the real deal.

Powers, too, are the real deal. I can believe... or not, as the mood takes me.
One thing I tell you, I pay close attention to Powers.

Water is a Power. Something like -what? - 80% of our bodies is water, is it not? It is a basis of life as we know it.
A Power, in other words.

In Indian Country Today, we read:
Debra White Plume Fights for Sacred Water—With a Film. Want to See It?
Natalie Hand 4/2/15
http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/04/02/debra-white-plume-fight-sacred-water-film-want-see-it-159857

For many people on this planet, water is taken for granted. They turn on their faucet and expect clean drinking water every time. But what if you turned on your tap and nothing came out? Or what did come out was discolored or flammable?

Until you’re faced with this reality, you may feel that it’s not your problem. Guess what? It is your problem! And mine, and every Tom, Juan, and Sven’s on this planet.

Debra White Plume (Wioweya Najin Win), Executive Director of Owe Aku, is an Oglala Lakota grandmother and water rights activist who is taking on Cameco, the world’s largest producer of uranium, near her homeland on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, in South Dakota.

White Plume’s call to action has prompted a series of non-violent direct action trainings around North America to prepare people to rise up and stand strong to protect our most precious commodity—sacred water...
So... "sacred". You believe water is sacred?
80% of you screams out that it is so.

Peter Brabek of Nestle Co has been in the news about claiming that water is not a basic human right. That view, he claims, was a distortion.

The matter is summed up in a Huffington article:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-mcgraw/nestle-chairman-peter-brabeck-water_b_3150150.html
... Mr. Brabeck insists that by assigning water a price, we'll become more aware of just how precious it really is. Like him or not, he's right to point out how desperately out of touch we've become.

But I think that this underscores the point at which free markets break down, for we have assigned famously and historically a price in human lives and suffering to Peace and War, and we have found the bulls are for War!

--

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Powers In The World




Tengo muchos nombres, que sólo le viente y la lluvia pueden pronunciar
I have many names that only the wind and the rain are able to pronounce
El Fauno

It is 5:08 EDT this morning. One minute ago, I heard thunder.

I cannot remember the last time I heard thunder.
Not at all in the winter just past.
I would have remembered thunder in that winter; thunder is a coda that brings the music of one period of time to an end, and then there starts another.
Thus, there was no thunder, for there was no coda to that symphony of suffering, was there? If I was not in pain, my wife was. If not she, then her dying sister or the sister's daughter. Every day was a recapitulation of the preceding day, and to be truthful, did we not weep a capella?
There was no accompaniment.
Until this thunder.

Thunder is not a power upon the earth, but there are such things. The ancient beings, such as Poseidon of the sea, or Yam, the sea god of Ugarit, were they not so? And the gods of the sky and the subnivial underworld, and the mountains and the valleys, the dryads of the trees and their sisters and their brothers, the fauns.

We have been brought up to dismiss such things as demons. If not demons, then myths and mythologies in the least important sense. They are nonsense, and if not nonsense, then they are diabolic.

Yet, they exist still.
We have changed their names to "angels" or "spirits". They are "lwa" or gods of what we consider to be primitive folk religions that still exist beyond the pale of philosophy and science and biblical criticism.
They can also seem ultra-rational. Sometimes the palaver that comes from academe about The Grand Theory Of Everything, or GUT, of physics seemed to be such a creation of a faith that was swept off it feet upon the earth, and there are other obsessions yet haunting science still.

Then there are the demons behind the politics and religions of those who disagree with us.


A Mexican Family Prays at a Shrine of Santa Muerte  (Holy Death) in Mexico City


There are indeed Powers on the Earth. I have seen them at times.

They are not transcendent. God is transcendent. God comes like a sudden blast of a gun across our bow as we sail along our time-line. It gets our attention, but it is gone as soon as we are aware of it.

The Powers do endure.

There are heroes and heroines, demons and angels, powers and tree-spirits, and they all exist within the World-ing we create in our negotiation with Creation.
We read stories in the Bible and often we scratch our heads, wondering how the children of Israel could turn away from such a demonstrably powerful and omni-present deity such as Yahweh, and we ascribe to them not just a stubbornness and stiff-necked-ness of a normal type, but an obduracy bordering on the unimaginable.

Yet even they were not as stiff-necked as Moses said, but they were as immersed into the study of torah of the powers of creation as their later descendants would be into the Torah of God.
They were ever davening in a negotiation with God.
Moses warned them not against defeat by the Canaanites, but of their eventual victory over the Canaanites:

“Don’t say in your heart – ‘because of my righteousness has God brought me to inherit this land and because of the wickedness of these other nations’ – (but) in order to fulfill God’s promise to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – for you are a stiff-necked people,”  Deuteronomy 9:4-6.

for they are focused like religious autistic savants in the parliament with their God, and they will not bow the head once they think they have found the "truthfulness" of their ways.

It takes a long, long struggle to capture the essence of the God who burst upon our lives like a momentary supernova; much easier, is it not, to latch onto those vasty powers who inhabit God's creation, above and below.

However, having said this, we ignore the powers at our own peril.

Iraq;
my mother thinks that the UN weapons inspectors told the world that Iraq did have weapons of mass destruction. She listen to FOX, however, and history has been changed in FOX's Mini-Truth. Yet I well remember how shocked I was at the ease with which we were marched in unison over the cliff of the Iraq War in 2003.
I had a sense of a majority of the public being possessed by madness, a feeling I don't think I ever had before.


The invasion of Saddam Hussein's Iraq began 20 March 2003, and by 12 May 2003 four soldiers from the 320th Military Police Battalion abuse detainees at Camp Bucca, in southern Iraq, kicking and beating them.
Eventually we had Abu Ghraib and the photos of abuse.
Less than 2 months for the devil in the details to jump up.


I particularly found Abu Ghraib interesting because it the photos were filled with nudity and suggestions of sexual dominion.
I remember at the time wondering how long it would take for the culture to begin to "come out" of the S and M closet:
how long before things like Fifty Shades Of Grey would be commonplace?

It did not take very long, did it, suckers?!

Many of us are in the grips of Powers we cannot begin to comprehend with our present intercourse with Creation.



This time, his head was not covered, but the American flag did cover the legality of the events. This was the death of an individual whom the Mass Media called a "very, very, bad man."

I never met him, thank God. But my taxes paid for this.

--




Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Misters Turner, Gallagher, and Shean: The Third Verse; Thomas Gainsborough


Thomas Gainsborough's  The Blue Boy


(The third installment of my Turner, Constable, Gainsborough, Gallagher and Shean trilogy.)

There is a film Mr. Turner about the painter Turner, and I hope I may still get to see it in the theater. She-who-must-be-obeyed saw it with one of her friends on the distaff side, and I was nowhere to be seen.

However, I did manage to compose a ditty about the great English painters, Turner, Constable, and Gainborough,  all based on the vaudeville duo of Gallagher and Shean. This third verse is that of Thomas Gainsborough.


So the third verse goes - and it is sung as if I were a Yiddish stage presence, sort of like Yakum Yakum. (He did vaudeville, then ended up in Detroit doing Burlyque.)


Oh, Mr. Gainsborough! Oh, Mr.Gainsborough!
We know, boy,  how you can beat the "blues"!
just a smile and a winkie,
and drink tea with your Pinkie!

Positively, Mr. Gainsborough?
Absolutely, Mr.T!




--

Orthodox Palm Sunday In Kalinovo, Russia




While we did Easter, our Orthodox kin observed Palm Sunday.
For the Russian Orthodox in the colder climes where palms aren't available, they substitute willows branches.

That means another Easter is on the way.




--

The New Theocracy

View of a full moon shining on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem
November 27, 2012  (Louis Fisher/FLASH90)


As the Iran nuclear agreement comes up to be debated, we may clearly see the unmasking of the new Theocracy... not in Iran, for that is the old theocracy established in the days of Jimmy Carter, but rather the New Theocracy to potentially be established in the USA.

We read in The Jerusalem Post:

Christians United for Israel acts to block 'bad' nuclear deal with Iran
Christian News By ARIEL COHEN \ 03/12/2015 15:28
http://www.jpost.com/Christian-News/Christians-United-for-Israel-helps-block-Obamas-nuclear-deal-with-Iran-393708
Christians United for Israel [CUFI], the United State’s largest pro-Israel group, is taking matters into its own hands when it comes to  encouraging Senators to support the Corker-Menendez Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (S. 615).

The action alert, “No check left blank to Iran,” sent out to CUFI’s over 2 million members exactly one week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to US congress, generated over 57,000 responses in just 24 hours. CUFI constituents emailed their senators urging them that the deal with Iran is moving quickly and that they must block a bad deal from being passed through and ensure that there is Congressional oversight on an any agreement passed.

“It is unconscionable that the President would consider signing a deal of this import without Congressional approval,” CUFI founder and Chairman Pastor John Hagee said. “Congress is the voice of the people, and the massive response to this action alert makes clear that on Iran, the people want their voice heard.”

The Obama administration is set to reach a deal with Iran by the end of the month. The Corker-Menendez Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act was introduced to the Senate to ensure that Congress reviews any nuclear agreement with Iran.  President Obama has vowed to veto this legislation, so in order to ensure the act's passage, it must receive a veto-proof majority of 67 senators or more...
I have had dealings with Christians who believe that the establishment of the State of Israel on 14 May 1948 was a sign foretold of the end of times, for Israel was thus restored in the space of one day.

That belief conveniently ignores the Zionist program and struggles leading up to May 14, 1948, and so also the wars and struggles thereafter.

Furthermore, when I heard these people state their belief, I quoted Peter 2 3:8:

"But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
They smiled at me in a rather uncomprehending, sociably charming way, and did not get the point, and perhaps never did and never will. Knowing the mind of God, as they do.... as so many of today do, from true believing evangelical types to ISIS and beyond... there is little that can dissuade them.


How long is a day?


It is a blink of some divine eye from World War I to the Balfour Declaration, then on to World War II, then to 1948, and on into the present day, some 67 years later, and there is no resolution to the conflict in Palestine, except that final argument that comes from the barrel of a gun or the explosion of bombs.

And this endless fecklessness is the process that was properly The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire, not some mindless hedonism, not some vast brutality, but a spiritual weakness that precluded any initiative to a peaceful community of the inhabited ecumene.

So today: the wars and conflicts are the result of a lack of our own spiritual weakness, our own inability to see the thousand years within a day, or a day within a thousand years... we believe whatever is easiest for us to believe.

When I see a religious group, like CUFI,  taking a political stand, I applaud their backbone and character, for I know that they have given up the hard fight of anchorites in the desert seeking the face of God, and have abandoned their monkish cells, and have crawled back to the streets of Alexandria, where they may mix in with the crowds and yell with one voice and forget that they ever were singular beings connected by a singular knot to the one God!

The Theocracy is an escape from the remote numinous God who breaks like a storm upon us after 40 days of fasting in the wilderness...

It is an embrace of the golden God who seeks the clamor and approbation of the multitude.

Our modern war in Zion has gone on for 67 years.
That is a long war.
The right-wing Likud of Israel has its own desire for land... room for living in, a need which some characters of the past called "Lebensraum".
Since the West Bank, dominated by conquest, is being settled at variance to international law, and since the West Bank is actually East of Israel proper, we see what some in the past called a "Drang nach Osten" - a push to the East.

In fact, we see an endless cycling and recycling of what has gone on over the last hundred years, for we cannot escape our own lack of initiative to leap from the chains which bind us to past sins...
We are in one of those episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, where the crew of the Enterprise goes over and over again through a doomed scenario, only finding a key to salvation in the last three minutes.

"Cause and Effect" with Kelsey Grammer


How valid are the credentials of the New Theocrats?

We read further in The Times Of Israel:
Bad Iran deal foretold in ‘blood moon’ celestial signs?
Discoverer of phenomenon ‘linked’ to upheaval in the Jewish world calls for interfaith prayer for Jerusalem during full lunar eclipse this weekend
By Amanda Borschel-Dan April 3, 2015, 4:11 am 104
http://www.timesofisrael.com/bad-iran-deal-foretold-in-blood-moon-celestial-signs/
After observing a total lunar eclipse over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount in 2008, Pastor Mark Biltz pondered the meaning of such a celestial event and began investigating heavenly occurrences in the Bible. He wondered if it was possible to ascribe them meaning.

He found a positive sign almost immediately in Genesis 1:14, the verse in which God creates the sun and the moon. A literal English translation of the Hebrew is: “And God said, and there will be lights in the heaven’s firmament, to separate between day and night, and they will be for signs, and for festivals, and for days, and years.”

... The next challenge was looking for historical connections — which he quickly found in abundance.

In scanning the 5,000 years of lunar eclipses charted on the NASA website, he began seeing a pattern when crossing the dates of past lunar eclipses against historical time periods. Most striking to Biltz were the widespread upheavals he saw linked to the Jewish people and the State of Israel during what NASA labeled “tetrads,” or the phenomena of four full lunar eclipses in two years.

 A "Blood Moon" Lunar Eclipse

Namely, he recognized that the Inquisition, and Israel’s War of Independence and the Six Day War all occurred during these periods of four “blood moons.” (During the fall of the Second Temple, although not a tetrad year, there were a host of heavenly events, he said.)

This week the world will experience the third of a tetrad of “blood moons,” colloquially termed because of Rayleigh scattering (which also causes sunsets to appear red) in filtered moonlight through the Earth’s atmosphere.

Biltz had accidentally stumbled upon the now wildly popular four blood moon phenomena. He wrote a 2008 book about it and had his idea capitalized upon by popular Pastor John Hagee, who also wrote a bestselling book and recently produced a movie screened in theaters around the world last week.

Some Christian believers, however, look at the four blood moons phenomena as a portent for an apocalyptic end of time. An Internet search on Biltz, the spiritual leader of El Shaddai Ministries with a 250,000-strong weekly online congregation, reveal similar doomsday statements attributed to him. And a huge amount of web space is spent on debunking any and all theories attached to blood moons.

Biltz told The Times of Israel he “100% does not think it’s the end of the world.”

He readily admitted, however that he “would be surprised if a major conflict didn’t take place this year.” As there’s never any need to look very far for contemporary Jewish national strife, he noted last summer’s war with Hamas...

Pastor John Hagee again.

This is the future of the New Theocracy.

As far as Mr. Biltz not being surprised if a major conflict did not take place this year, I suppose it all depends upon the definition of "major".

I mean, if I were the beheadee and not the beheader, then I would consider that little incident of mortality to indeed be major. That there will not be a conflict is a sucker bet.



--

ps.

These ponderings provide an excellent time-line for 2017:
scuttle any accord with Iran, continue wars and civil wars in the Middle East according to the 100 year script we have been cycling through, election of an obscurantist Republican, who might even be not just a climate change denier, but - this would be immense! - a fully fledged science denier!!

Then watch where the pieces fall.

--




Monday, April 06, 2015

More On Mediator




In a previous post I wrote on the concept of Jesus as mediator, or  μεσίτης  as it is in the Greek New Testament.

http://fatherdaughtertalk.blogspot.com/2015/04/1-timothy-25.html


Today I read this in Christianity Today:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/behemoth/2015/issue-19/back-from-dead-heard-it-before.html
Back From The Dead? Heard It Before.
Ted Olsen     April 2, 2017
... Jesus’ resurrection isn’t just one important resurrection story among several in the Bible. He’s the first of a new kind of resurrection. Which may be why everyone seems to be so confused when they meet the resurrected Christ. Remember: Jesus’ disciples had seen people come back from the dead before... They knew Lazarus personally. But Jesus coming back? That was different. His resurrection was not like the others. Examine, for example, the attention John’s gospel gives to the difference between Lazarus coming out of the tomb bound in his burial clothes and Jesus leaving the tomb with his “linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth . . . folded up in a place by itself.”

[...]

What’s important isn’t that Jesus really did raise Lazarus right then and there. It’s that Jesus suddenly changed resurrection from a what-and-when question to a who question. He changed it from a passive verb—someone was raised from the dead—to an active and personal noun. I AM the Resurrection.

We’re still waiting for the resurrection on the last day; that’s our future hope. But he is that resurrection. Right now. Acting. Saving. Redeeming. Setting things right. Remaking creation into something better than ever. In starting a new, spirit-powered creation made from the dust of this first, fallen creation—like a stalk of wheat made from a cracked kernel—Jesus’ body is where it starts. He is the firstborn of all creation, and the first fruits of the new creation, the firstborn from the dead...

The first paragraph quoted makes no sense to me. It strikes me as the urge to believe stumbling over its own tongue.
The second paragraph is some sort of revelation through grammar, which moves me not a bit.

Now comes the third paragraph.
The third paragraph takes Jesus as active mediator between God and Mankind and drains the vitality from both from God and from Mankind; they are estranged from each other, but their opposition is a desultory and vapid thing: not much happens except for an occasional catastrophe inflicted from above or lust and hubris from below.
Once more, a mediator is an active middleman between two active parties.
A Mediator is a referee, an umpire, an arbitrator amidst the furor of opposing sides... not a yentl, not a matchmaker between a shy suitor and a coy bride-to-be.

To emphasize the Mediator and ignore the sides between which he mediates is to distort an ongoing process of negotiation and worlding (making a the world of a compact and agreement). God is occluded into the mists of remote divinity and mankind emerges as a corrupt image from a Cecil B. DeMille biblical epic.

The people of Israel in the desert did not just stand around one day and, having nothing better to do, say why not give a Seven Veils party, drink lots, and generally rip Sinai up! The idolatrous effort that went into the Golden Calf was a strenuous effort to make sense of their sufferings and their hopes in combination with various traditions which had been handed down to them from ancestral religious geniuses... who are nameless to us, but who must have existed.....

... they must have existed and strove to find the Numen of God; they had visions and prophesied; some of them used an icon of a golden calf to portray man-and-god-in-the-world....

An misunderstanding of the Mediator alone makes us stupidly ask the question: why does a good God permit evil?
Evil and Good are part of OUR negotiations. WE are responsible, and WE must change... for is that not the process of mediation?   Both sides "change" something and come together?


--


Sunday, April 05, 2015

Easter 2015

The Mounted Butterfly Decides To Fly


My last post was about Jesus as the mediator between God and mankind. Too often we think of God as the active party, wondering how to save mankind, while mankind is off on some sinning-free-for-all or stuck in the Slough of Despondency, despairing of any sign of the divine within a world given over to pain and suffering.

I think that is the wrong idea; mankind struggled to reach the light, creating religions, having visions, fasting, opiating, ... doing everything it could to glimpse the Numinous.

And God was the stubborn and obdurate father, set in His own ways, and appearing to have vanished from the life of the world through the opacity of His mystery!

And Jesus came as the "referee" between the two factions who could not quite get it right themselves.

Within the story of Jesus, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his death, earlier on he had raised Lazarus from the dead and the daughter of Jairus, and the least known event was that of the dead who were raised from their tombs during the earthquake that shook Jerusalem at the third hour after noon of the day Jesus died upon the cross.

Resurrection can not be restrained; it cannot be compelled into a cage!

Life and eternal life finds a way...















all prospect of green pastures:
not withdrawn, not hid from view;
verily will we be led,
certainly we shall be fed,
the lilies of the field be
arrayed beautiful as you.

we shall gather at the home
that grows beyond  the unused gate,
beyond the stream of waters still,
our friends at the window sill,
trying to get Christina’s eye,
who lay upon the grass, sedate.

the late summer seed are white caps
of prairie grass’s fetch and waves;
she lay prone like goldfinch child,
lost her way in windy wild;
good shepherd launch his rescue craft,
from world’s corruption he will save.

--

Friday, April 03, 2015

1 Timothy 2:5


Paul Gauguin, "Christ in the Garden of Olives"



"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;"
1 Timothy 2:5


The word translated "mediator" is the Greek    μεσίτης

or "mesites" and that comes from "mesos" - "middle" .

In Perseus, we have the meanings as:   mediator, umpire, arbitrator;
and in The Biblkehub, Thayer's Greek Lexicon, we read:
http://biblehub.com/greek/3316.htm
Thayer's Greek Lexicon
STRONGS NT 3316: μεσίτης

μεσίτης, μεσίτου, (μέσος), 
one who intervenes between two, either in order to make or restore peace and friendship, or to form g compact, or for ratifying a covenant:

a medium of communication, arbitrator (Vulg. (and A. V.) mediator): μεσίτης (generic article cf. Winer's Grammar, § 18, 1 under the end), i. e. every mediator, whoever acts as mediator, ἑνός οὐκ ἐστι, does not belong to one party but to two or more, Galatians 3:20.

Used of Moses, as one who brought the commands of God to the people of Israel and acted as mediator with God on behalf of the people, Galatians 3:19 (cf. Deuteronomy 5:5; hence, he is called μεσίτης καί διαλλακτής by Philo also, vit. Moys. iii. § 19).

Christ is called the μεσίτης Θεοῦ καί ἀνθρώπων, since he interposed by his death and restored the harmony between God and man which human sin had broken, 1 Timothy 2:5; also μεσίτης διαθήκης, Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 9:15; Hebrews 12:24. (Polybius 28, 15, 8; Diodorus 4, 54; Philo de somn. i. § 22; Josephus, Antiquities 16, 2, 2; Plutarch, de Isa. et Os. 46; once in the Sept., Job 9:33.) Cf. Fischer, De vitiis lexamples N. T., p. 351ff
 I emphasized "diallaktes" above ( διαλλακτής ), and that word means "one who exchanges", "one who changes one thing for another", etc.

What is very interesting is the fact that years of familiarity have bred our contempt of the real dynamic stated here.

The usual way of stating that Jesus is the mediator between God and man has the notion of a very active mediator and sort of a passive divinity one one hand and a miserable wretch of mankind on the other.

However, this misses the essential fact that a mediator is mediating between two active participants in a negotiation. It sort of misses the fact that man is in the face of God, and God is right there in the face of man, each stating their demands, and the resolution so impossible that it requires a great negotiator, referee, arbitrator, and middleman.

God is Active. Sin is Active.
The smoke rising from the fires of Sin ascend into the sky and choke the air of Heaven. God and Man are at loggerheads! Feel it!



This is my Maundy Thursday prayer, the duration of which I spent one hour with Thee.

--

The Iran Deal And Other Nuclear Deals


P.W. Botha of South Africa


Shimon Peres of Israel



Document Signed By Botha and Peres
 
(The secret military agreement signed by Shimon Peres, now president of Israel, and P W Botha of South Africa. 
 Photograph: Guardian)

 =====


This is about "Nuclear Armament" deals, both the public ones, such as that reached by the Obama Administration with Iran, and secret deals.

The Guardian:
Chris McGreal in Washington
Monday 24 May 2010 05.13 EDT
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/may/23/israel-south-africa-nuclear-weapons
Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state's possession of nuclear weapons.

The "top secret" minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa's defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel's defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them "in three sizes". The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that "the very existence of this agreement" was to remain secret.

The documents, uncovered by an American academic, Sasha Polakow-Suransky, in research for a book on the close relationship between the two countries, provide evidence that Israel has nuclear weapons despite its policy of "ambiguity" in neither confirming nor denying their existence.
The Israeli authorities tried to stop South Africa's post-apartheid government declassifying the documents at Polakow-Suransky's request and the revelations will be an embarrassment, particularly as this week's nuclear non-proliferation talks in New York focus on the Middle East.

They will also undermine Israel's attempts to suggest that, if it has nuclear weapons, it is a "responsible" power that would not misuse them, whereas countries such as Iran cannot be trusted...


Interesting.
Let's remember this in the coming days.

I suppose that there is a difference in that South Africa having nuclear arms was not as large a threat as Iran, for South Africa was further away from Tel Aviv. However, South Africa's possession of such arms would constitute a threat to its immediate neighbors.

So...

--



Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Au Revoir, Les Enfants Du 20e Siècle




When I watch the film Au Revoir, Les Enfants, I watch the young Jewish boy, Bonnet, doing the geometry problem on the blackboard, just before the air raid siren, just before they descend into the Avernus of the air raid shelter; there they study algebra by flashlight.

I think of the waste of lives and the waste of mind - such as Germany driving Einstein away and German science being run by Phillip Lenard, himself a Nobel laureate as well as a fervent Nazi who believed German science to be degraded by "Jewish" concepts, such as the Theory of Relativity.


Then I think of American Exceptionalism, and find that I am not to averse from the notion, for is it not a quasi-supernaturalism, postulating that the Powers of the Earth - Powers which most of modern day Americans call "angels" in their popular writings - did bestow benefits and powers.

The trouble, however, with Powers, is that what they give, they can also take away.

We live in the time of retribution.

ISIS is the form of the destroyer called forth by the lie of the Iraq War.
We have no answers for this karma.
We try to come to an accommodation with Iran, yet the ghosts of all the years since 1948 sit in cacophonous assembly and screech cat-calls in our minds... as if nothing has changed since the time of the mutual killing, the large killing, the whole-burnings over and over again.

We sit in the Bazaar of Samarra and sell our very long carpets of death....



--

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Politics And Parasites


 Fluke Parasite


Capitalism is a vast and large concept.

Upon the basis of the freedom of markets and the economic freedom of individuals, there exists layers upon layers of parasitic verminous philosophies and behaviors, all of which claim the status of capitalism, but which are exploitation and devastation.

Similarly with Democracy: upon the democratic ideals of Washington, Jefferson, and the Founding Fathers, we find the parasitic lichenous growths of Neoconservatism and Neoliberalism, not to mention the atrocity of corporate citizens  - a heresy fostered by a Supreme Court of Dunces.

 Lichens on a Tree

You find it everywhere: upon the healthy structure, the parasitic leeches on and drains away the life blood.
Sort of like the so-called "capitalists" better known as the Robber Barons.

Jay Gould


Make no mistake: the growth of Inequity within our society is due to the parasitic preying of a privileged elite, which elite renders no service - except clamors for war! - to society as a whole.

--


Yemen

Sa'dah, Yemen


Saudi Arabia and it allies launch an air campaign in Yemen against the Houthis rebels.

The US declares support for Saudi campaign.

Wikipedia sez:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houthis
...The Houthi movement began as the Believing Youth (BY), which was founded in 1992 in Saada Governorate by either Houthi family member Muhammad al-Houthi, or his brother Hussein al-Houthi.

According to Ahmed Addaghashi, a professor at Sanaa University, the Houthis began as a theological movement that preached tolerance and peace that held a considerably broad-minded educational and cultural vision. Western sources report that BY established school clubs and summer camps in order to "promote a Zaidi revival" in Saada. By 1994–1995, 15–20,000 students had attended BY summer camps.

After the 2003 invasion of Iraq, BY-affiliated youth began chanting anti-American and anti-Jewish slogans in the Saleh Mosque in Sana'a after Friday prayers. This led to confrontations with the government, and 800 BY supporters were arrested in Sana'a in 2004. President Ali Abdullah Saleh then invited Hussein al-Houthi to a meeting in Sana'a, but Hussein declined. On 18 June 2004 Saleh sent government forces to arrest Hussein. Hussein responded by launching an insurgency against the government, but was killed on 10 September 2004. The insurgency continued intermittently until a ceasefire agreement was reached in 2010...

Could be another tolerant group made radical by the Lies of the Iraq Campaign of 2003.
We despise tolerant and peaceful groups. We aid killers.

I always said that we would paid for our support of the perfidious neo-conservatives and their Iraq War... You know, like Karma and its brothers... returning like prodigal sons of ill mien.

(Of course, it is sectarian: Shi'a versus Sunni.)


--

note

I have to report that I met a nephew of Muhammad Al Houthi once. This was Abdu-l-llah al-'umari
who once laid claim to the Moon or Mars or some other item of the Solar System.

There was no fighting, no bombing, and no rioting. I think we were in Canada in some bar or tea shop. It's hard to tell. I was never on the front lines of conflicts, unlike other news people.

--