Saturday, May 22, 2010

My Head Exploded

Sad, but true. Today a friend and I were sitting in an outdoor coffee shop and the fellow next to us was talking about teaching critical thinking - in the department of psychology - in a state university and how the intervention of god (he did not specifically state which one) was going to save us from the gulf oil spill. My head exploded.

Any person who has studied psychology knows about Carl Jung and "Man and his Symbols." Jung is a friend of critical thinking and an enemy of tyranny.

And the gods are symbols. Few have a problem with another culture's god or gods being merely symbolic. Many have a problem with their god being reduced symbolically.

Add the 'god spot' and you have entered the twilight zone of critical thinking. A religious experience, it turns out, is not unlike an epileptic seizure of the brain's frontal lobe. Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran has explained this epiphonic detail for years, backing off recently as the rabid Xtian Taliban has been prolifically foaming at the mouth.

Biblical Criticism looks at the bible through the eyes of critical thinkers.

Who Killed Goliath in Your Bible?

The 'other guy' is revealed in II Sam. 21:19.
KJV - Queen James Bible (1611): "Elhanan...slew the brother of Goliath."
RV - Revised Version (1881): "Elhanan...slew Goliath the Gittite."
ASV - American Standard Version (1901): "Elhanan...slew Goliath the Gittite."
NWT - New World Translation (1961): " to strike down Goliath."
NASV - New American Standard Version (1970): "Elhanan...killed Goliath of Gath."
NEB - New English Bible (1970): "Elhanan...killed Goliath of Gath."
LB - Living Bible (1971): "Elhanan...killed the brother of Goliath."
GNB - Good News Bible (1976): "Elhanan...killed Goliath from Gath."
NIV - New International Version (1978): "Elhanan...killed Goliath the Gittite."
19 "In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver's rod."

The New International Version (NIV) is a translation made by more than one hundred scholars working from the best available ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts. In 1967, the New York Bible Society (now International Bible Society) provided the financial sponsorship for this scholarly project. The translation of each book was assigned to a team of respected scholars, and their work was subsequently thoroughly reviewed by three additional and separate committees. Translations were tested for accuracy, clarity, and ease of reading. No other translation passed this thorough process of review. The NIV is thus an Accurate, Beautiful, Clear, and Dignified Scholarly Translation suitable for public and private reading, studying, teaching, learning, and liturgical use. The translators were united in their commitment to the faithful communication of the meaning of the original ancient writers. Modifications in sentence structure (resulting in a "thought-for-thought" translation) and constant regard for the contextual meanings of words was maintained.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ignorant superstitions.

The pentagram was a symbol in ancient Greece and Sumeria. The Pentagram appears on jewelry in many countries. It appears on some old synagogues (e.g. Capernaum). It was the sign under which Constantine would conquer. Christians once used the pentagram to represent the five wounds of Jesus. Some have a phobia (Greek: φόβος, phóbos, meaning morbid fear) of pentagrams.

The pentagram is associated with the planet Venus, and - in times past - the worship of the goddess Venus, or her many equivalents (Isis, Ishtar, Virgin Mary, etc.). It is also associated with Lucifer - the light bringer, which is Venus (as the Morning Star). Venus is also sometimes the evening star but either stupidity or ignorance prevented the profoundly superstitious from figuring that out for themselves. If you sip enough of that Ken-Tuck Whiskey, you'll fall to believe almost anything.

"View in 2010: Venus: the dazzling morning or evening star, outshines all the other stars and planets in the night sky. It moves into the evening sky in March, low in the west as darkness begins to fall. It will climb into better view through the spring and into summer. It will disappear from view in October as it passes between Earth and the Sun. It will return to view as a "morning star" by early November, and remain there for the rest of the year."

It may have originated from the observations of Sumerian astronomers. When viewed from Earth, five successive inferior conjunctions of Venus plot pentagram shape around the zodiac at eight year intervals. It's just gravity. The second rock from the sun orbits the sun because of gravity. The devil is in the details - and those details often escape the ignorant. And, BTW, occult only means means "hidden."

Stupid. I see stupid people!
They are - they're can be confused with their or there.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Creations Myths ala carte

The Sumerian myth - "The Huluppu-Tree" - is perhaps the oldest.

For ancient creation myths, see Frankfort, Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man.

The Memphite Creation Myth, the Akkadian Creation Myth, and the 2 myths of Genesis (the first is 1:1-2:4, the second is 2:5-9) all share common elements. The ancient Greek creation story found in Hesiod THEOGONY also shares similar elements. The elements are the same but the names have been changed to localize the lore.

In Enuma Elish we read how Marduk brought order to chaos in the creation: “WHEN on high the Heavens had not been named, Firm ground below had not been called by name, Nothing but Primordial Apsu’ (deep) the Begetter, [Fresh Water]; and Mummu Tiamat’, She Who Bore them All, [Salt Water]; --their waters commingling as a single body-- No reed hut had been matted, no marsh land had appeared, Uncalled by name, their destinies undetermined-- THEN it was that the Gods were formed within Them.”

What if there was creation - of carbon - before the "creation" of the earth and sun?

Well, it turns out that there are smoking guns galore. Common sense tells you that "there is nothing harder than a diamond." Well, common sense is wrong most of the time. There is a type of black diamond which predates the earth - and our sun - by hundreds of thousands to hundreds of millions of years. Here is one of them: It ruined some guy's diamond lapidary wheel when he tried to polish it. This black diamond is harder than an earth diamond. It was forged in the furnace of a dying first generation star.

Masters of Myth Creation in the present day are the GOP folks.

The reality is this: "The GOP is wrong. Dead wrong."
Shatter forever that errant belief that "republicans are good." Republicans are not good. The motivation behind republicans is greed. And greed is the only sin in Buddhist thought.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

An Everlasting Reincarnation

It's a common myth - life after life, the afterlife.

But a better way to look at it is as a life before birth - before conception.

BTW, Sailor Mars is a Miko (hint: red and white) and I wrote a research paper on the four classes of miko perhaps a decade back. Here is a captured frame of her in Miko garb at the shrine. This PDF is a more modern version. (The four classes are apprentice, adept, master, and Princess. Daughters of nobility are exempt from performing exorcisms.) Exorcisms are the folly of shamanism and catholicism - as if there is any difference. Sometimes I, for one, wonder.

At any rate, before your conception, you lived another life. If you hated Muslims, you entered this life as a Muslim. Think about it... if you hate ________________ (fill in the blank) you will be reborn as one. But it's not that simple. If you have the desire (Buddhists call it craving) you will be reborn. Not in heaven, either - unless you make THIS heaven. Oh, that was the message of the mythical Buddhist Rabbi:

Luke 17:20-21 (New International Version)
20 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation,
21 nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."

If you sit - just sit quietly - you might experience that "kingdom of God within you" a.k.a. nirvana. And, if you can die without craving, without greed, without desire, that nirvana becomes eternal. You get to skip the suffering of birth-death cycles. Or so the thinking goes...

Buddhists hold no beliefs.

Where is Hell? Right here! Hell is of our making.