Posts Tagged ‘spiritual rebirth’

the words of a heretic (on language, myth, shame, & propaganda)

March 2, 2012
The Words of a Heretic
A bible from 1859.
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warning- these are the words of a heretic  so, some people may not like it    some may even fear or hate it   it can take courage to face it
some foolish fools worship words as holy    but their spirits are proud, divisive and lonely    they respect human tradition over all  but neglect divine wisdom because    their hearts are far from the power of the teaching    they’re dependent on scriptures and churches and preaching        their lips spill over with the echoes of religion    but their lives are like coffins; their god is not living    but dead    they wait impatiently for heaven    for a prophet to come again soon and lead them    but what’d the prophets say: follow me, do greater things than these        heaven is within; it’s not like winter or a breeze        you got to go there, don’t just wait for it to come to you    you got to give your heart to heaven and then it is within you    and, yes, by the way        “that’s Bible”    if you dare read it    if you still need it

the same fools claim some illness is incurable     and economics is unpredictable        then they conjure God in their ritual    cause their God’s only mythical    and that’s okay; it’s just a stage;        until they graduate… to authentic spiritual rebirth as a sage    so let them fall back on scripture as infallible    let them argue over myths and battle over babble    much of this generation is without wisdom    they’re not to be trusted, especially politicians        but how about the doctors    who claim some illness is incurable    they say “I’m sorry I just can’t help you sir”    they suppress the body        the immune system is their enemy    they fight symptoms    to profit drug companies    and that’s okay; it’s just a stage;        until they graduate… to authentic spiritual rebirth as a sage                                                      cause if you want a healthy body then you need healthy organs        and if you want healthy organs then you need healthy cells    and if you want healthy cells then you may wish to nourish them    and if you don’t, then they’re going to rebel        so if the pancreas is weak, doctors may call that diabetes    if one vitamin is low, they claim you’re suffering from scurvy        if waste builds into a tumor, they say you’ve got a cancer    but there is an answer and they have been slow to admit it    for it would put them to shame        and might even ruin their game

(ad lib…)

but speaking of shame, I have one more thing to say:    watch for the mainstream prophets of economics    to come on TV and say that no one could foresee this    or that or this or that or this surprise    and then they dare to give their next predictions    so is it wise to trust in such obvious incompetence     woe unto the fools who depend on governments to always rescue them            woe unto the fools who worship ideals they believe need defending     woe unto the fools who worship a God they believe needs defending….

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

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the birth of the eternal

December 22, 2011

The development of language and the death of the mortal

Perhaps language developed a long time ago. Then, perhaps a particular pattern in language was later formed and then continued for a while, like for instance this sentence, which only exists in language, but then suddenly and permanently stopped.
Now, the beginning and ending of something in language is just how language works. Sentences begin and end. Words begin and end. Sounds and shapes of letters and other linguistic symbols like numbers or punctuation marks are all distinct, isolated bits that have boundaries and beginnings and endings.

So, the fact that one thing ends and then another thing begins is really just a contrivance in language. Language makes up categorical boundaries and then names the two categories as distinct, like day and night. But are day and night really isolated (or “opposites”)? Does one end and then the other begins? Is there ever a time when there is neither day nor night?
For instance, we can say that day ends and night begins. However, day and night are a single cycle that language divides in to a pair, refering to a categorical distinction between the shifting positional relationship between the sun and a particular location on a particular planet.

Thus, day does not actually end. Day just moves. More precisely, the earth is turning and that turning puts different locations of the surface of the earth in the place called day (facing the sun).
Again, day and night are technically not times. They are just relationships between the rotating of the planet and the light of the sun.

So, in a particular place, language can refer to the ending (in time) of the day (as a time). However, day just ends for that place at dusk. Day actually continues, as dusk at one horizon (longitude) is dawn at another horizon (longitude).
Day and night are eternal, but various places move in and out of day and night cyclically. However, language can refer to the ending or beginning of day. As a convenience in language, the phrase “the end of the day” is quite useful. However, that does not make it true in any absolute sense.
Day and night are not isolated. They are not opposites. They are just categorical distinctions in language. Day does not replace night and night does not replace day. The planet just rotates to face the day (the sun) with one section of the planet and to face another section of planet away from the sun (toward the night or “toward the stars” where they are visible without being outshined by the sun).

A visit to the polar regions of this planet (like North of the Arctic circle) reveals that, in fact, there are places on this planet that do not conform to the popular notions of day and night. In those places, there is no such thing (functionally) as day and night. Those “times” of facing toward the sun or away from it are called “summer” and “winter.”
Still, there are cyclic 24-hour variations during the two annual seasons of winter and summer in which the specific brightness of the sun varies. However, those variations are more like the variation between dusk and midnight. Further, in those regions, we could say that there are only two seasons and no such thing as day and night. Or, we could say that one annual cycle of seasons is equal to one cycle of the day and night “of the Gods.”

Along the equator of the earth, there are day and night, but no seasons. At the poles of the earth, there are two seasons, but no day and night.
So, day and night and the seasons are not times. They are relationships of place. Most fundamentally, they are words in language.

Look around you. Is it day or night where you are? What season are you at?
You are not in daytime or in winter. You are at daytime and at winter. They are places. Winter in the northern hemisphere of the earth is simultaneous with summer in the southern hemisphere of the earth. Day in America is night in Asia. There is no beginning and no end to day and night or seasons, except in language. Those relationships of place are eternal.
Now, I am not especially interested in any of that and you might not be either. However, there is a relevance to bringing all of that to attention.
The relevance is that you and I are conveniences in language. Just as day is not really a time, but a relationship, there is really no such thing as you or I, except as relationships in language.
Likewise, there is no hand without a larger organism to grow it. There is no earthling without an earth and sun to produce it. There is no sun at all… except in language.

Consider: what is the boundary of the sun? Is the sun far away in space? Have you ever said “I am going out in to the sun now?” Have you ever said “let’s close the curtains to keep the sun out of here?”
The sun is a formation in language. The sun does not exist outside of language. The sun does not have a discrete physical boundary or location.
We can say that all of the planets are “in the sun” or we can say that all of the planets revolve around the sun distant from it. Because “sun” is just a word, either use of the word is useful.
We can think of the sun as a place (distant from a particular observer) or as a process. We can refer to the sun as a measurable distinction in heat, or in light, or in various forms of invisible radiation such as infrared or ultraviolet, including radio waves, sound waves, microwaves, X-rays, and so on.

Ultimately, sun is a linguistic unit that we can say corresponds to various sensory capacities of various organs of various creatures. Plants have photovoltaic capacities to convert sunlight to energy. Of course, sunlight is already energy, so that is a rather weird thing to say, but again it is a useful construction in language.
The sun lives through it’s various parts, including various planets and the life of those planets (or on those planets). Of course, all of those words are also just categories in language.
I can consider myself a unit operating within an organ of the sun that is labeled “humanity” (as distinct from the organ or organic system called vegetation). Just as the brain has no functionality without the other nerves, there is no real functional boundary between my nerve cells, my organs, my organism, the earth on which my organism (and the linguistic subcategories of me) rely, and even the sun and the rest of the living universe.

Categorical distinctions in language are just linguistic conveniences. Seasons do not really begin and end. They are linguistic labels for distinct aspects of a single cycle. We could divide the annual cycle in to 4 seasons or 2 or any other number. The complete cycle itself is fundamental to seasons, not the particular number of verbal categories in to which we divide the cycle. The number of linguistic divisions is merely arbitrary.
We could divide the annual cycle in to 4 parts or in to 12. If we divide them in to 12 and call those months, it is silly to say that 12 is the right number of divisions and 4 is the wrong number of divisions. The divisions are just linguistic distinctions. They have no inherent reality except as linguistic units that correspond to a single cyclic pattern of time and of place.

More specifically, while the cycle of day and night is obvious from the equator, and the cycle of the seasons is obvious from temperate latitudes of the earth, neither of those is especially useful at the polar regions. So, people who traveled the entire planet (perhaps including the poles), may have found it useful to divide the annual cycle in to 12 units, roughly correlating to lunar cycles.
So, instead of using day or winter to mark the varying relationship between the sun and a particular place on the planet, the language of months (or zodiac signs) add a third element. Through the course of the year (which is just a pattern in language), the sun’s position relative to the earth can be measured against a set of star groups or constellations.
Alternatively, the annual cycle can be marked by the stellar backdrop at which the moon is full (directly opposite of the sun from the viewpoint of the earth). The moon makes twelve cycles of lunation phase each year, with one phase beginning in each of the twelve zodiac constellations.

However, one may ask, is it better to divide the annual cycle in 12 or in to 4 or what? Again, that question is actually a rather odd formation in language. Dividing something in to 4 linguistic units or 12 (or 365) is for different purposes. Each purpose has it’s own number of categorical divisions.
So, there are four equal parts of each year as well as 12 nearly equal parts as well as about 365 equal parts. All of those divisions in symbolic language are valid and useful.

And here is where it gets really interesting. To divide life in to individual units of linguistic identity (“I”) is one valid, useful operation in language. However, fundamentally, “I” does not exist any more than summer or June, which are just arbitrary words or units in language. “I” is just a categorical distinction, a relationship, a convenience.
Recognize the operation of language as “I,” which recognizing is the death of the mortal (which, technically, never really existed anyway except as a label in language). You are not really an isolated ego of linguistic alienation. You do not really exist.

Language is simply operating. Language claims the categories of humanity and non-humanity, left and right, mortal and immortal, “I” and “not I.” Just as “left” cannot die because left is just a unit in language, the same is true of sun and day and “I.”
The eternal cannot be born. The eternal is always here.
To recognize that you are the eternal movement of language can be called “the birth of the eternal.” Though a useful phrase in language, it is also nonsense, but so is “the death of the mortal,” there is no mortal outside of language.

Language is simply operating. The sun is not even shining. Language makes up that there is a sun and a witness of the sun and that it’s shining light and so then language says “I am over here and I see the sun shining, which is way over there.”
No! I am the sun.
Language declares the life of the sun. Language declares the life of the mortal. Without language, there is no sun and no mortal.

The sun does not give life to the earth and the earth does not give life to the earthling. Language divides one thing in to 4 or 12 or 365. Language may CLAIM that the sun gives life to the earth, but from where? Are the sun and the earth really isolated? Outside of language, what is the boundary between the sun and the earth?
What is the boundary between the front of a piece of paper, the back of that same piece of paper, and the edges of the paper? Front, back, and edges are just distinctions in language. Paper is also just a distinction in language.
When language notices the operating of language, that can be called the birth of the eternal, the death of the mortal, the creation of life, and the developing of language. Further, once language notices the operating of language, language may or may not stop claiming to be something other than language.

Language may say “I am worried about surviving and I am even more afraid of dying.” Language may say almost anything, though of course language cannot actually say anything, because if I know one thing for sure, I know that there is no such thing as language. There is just me, and I cannot be language becasue I say that I am not language. I am over here and language is way over there and I can notice it happening, like happening to me. Language controls me and victimizes me and tricks me in to pretending that there is a devil and that I am not language and that language does not even really exist.
By the way, if there is one thing that I know for sure, it is that God is omnipotent and the creator of all things, which is why God is terrified that the devil might defeat the influence of language and ruin everything. I mean, what if the devil makes a time machine and goes back in time and stops God from making up the devil? Then what?!?!

maturing beyond sinfulness

December 22, 2011
Sin = ANY error  (not just moral violations) or ANY act of misconduct (including even a failure to take responsible action)
3 types of sin (in the tradition of the ancient Hebrews): negligence, shame, and malice
You are soul. Soul is attention. Attention is the source of words. Words are your creation, not your source. Words can direct the attention of the young and impressionable, but, when the soul matures, attention is stabilized beyond words.
It is an error to believe in words. Belief in words is the root of all malice or ill will. In particular, people may identify themselves with or against certain words. That is the root of all psychological suffering (guilt, anxiety, depression, etc…).
That misidentification with linguistic labels is also the root of idolatry, which inovlves mistaking a word like “sacred” or “holy” with Divinity itself. When one is ignorant of Divinity and then labels as “holy” some mere word or phrase or idea or physical object or pattern, that is idolatry. The word Divinity is not what is symbolized by the word Divinity. Worshiping the word Divinity or even a particular scripture (including the US Constitution) is idolatry.
So, sin includes ignorance, negligence, shame malice, as well as the resulting actions. While some uses of the word sin refer in particular to actions, that usage diverges from the traditional Jewish (Hebrew) or Greek usages, as well as the words of the most famous religious figures such as Jesus, Buddha, and Isaiah.
Sin is not just a category of action, but also the source of some behavioral reaction. Consider this translation of a famous heretical prophet: “you have been told that to put someone to death is sin, but I say to you that even to be angry or hold ill will toward another is sin,” as well as other famous instructions: “Condemn not,” “Judge not,” “Let the one among you without sin cast the first stone” and of course “Forgive one another.”
Ill will requires language. Resentment does not arise from action or inaction, but from the language that we can use to ongoingly produce an experience out of our commentary and imagination relating to a memory. Resentment requires first creating shame from a past incident, then blaming someone else for our experience (while we mature in the capacity to accept the experience). In other words, our challenging experiences are part of our development.
The cultivating of antagonism through language is the root issue. From antagonism, many actions may arise, such as war, murder, rape, theft, fraud and so on. However, as Jesus said, it does not require the action of a murder or rape for antagonism or jealous lust to be a disturbance to one’s well-being.
First, we are totally ignorant. Then we begin to learn but still are developing discipline and thus are subject to negligence (which can also be viewed as any failure to be responsible for our reputation). Next we construct linguistic rationales to blame others for our results, which is malice or ill will or resentment, but also shame and pride. We create pride as a barrier to accepting responsibility for our overall results (by focusing on particular results while we ignore the rest of our results, of which we may be quite ashamed and quite hysterical if anyone attempts to direct attention at those results for which we may have been constructing a linguistic identifying or labeling as shameful). In other words, on the foundation of shame, we may develop malice toward those who fail to agree with us about our prides and shames.
That experience of malice might be called hell or purgatory. There may be access to “heaven” at a later stage.
These are the three basic stages of human socio-linguistic development: ignorance, shame, and malice. Next, however, is maturity. A comprehension of the role of language in the constructing of shame and malice allow for an attention to that linguistic process, the realization that inattentiveness or negligent language itself is what creates the malice, so the only remedy required is to cease the negligent language and remain attentive, and that is freedom from sin. That is spiritual rebirth.

Prophets and Traditionalists

September 18, 2010

Dignified prophets and argumentative Traditionalists

note: the free hosting service of this video may begin with an ad and the audio volume may be loud.

Prophets discover principles of how life works. More specifically, prophets communicate principles which may be crystallized or canonized into distinct traditions.

In other words, prophets do not require a prior tradition. Prophets originate traditions.

Cultural traditions of reverence and sanctity and ritual are diverse. For instance, some rituals that have been popular throughout human history are birth rituals, death rituals, and marriage rituals, as well as rituals like coronations and court proceedings.

Many traditions that begin as oral traditions may eventually be recorded or transcribed into particular codes of written languages. Many traditions (whether written or only oral) include parables. Parables are often used by prophets for telling several different stories to distinguish a single principle.

Even if focusing on a single principle, prophets tend to give several teachings. They tend not to focus on the specific form of a particular message.

For instance, prophets are not focused on particular parables as more sacred than all other parables. Further, prophets are not focused on assessing particular translations of ancient teachings in foreign languages because prophets rely on direct understanding rather than on the words of other prior traditions. Prophets give new forms of teaching, even if they are teaching the same principles as prior prophets… and even if they are giving oral teaching in the same languages used by prior prophets.

Traditionalists, as distinct from prophets, may focus on worshiping certain words or sequences as more sacred than other words or sequences. They may worship other symbols as well, in addition to certain sequences of sounds or shaped lettering.

Many traditionalists also worship a particular prophet who is specified as the primary founder of their favorite tradition. Ironically, prophets tend to openly acknowledge previous prophets, like Jesus saying that he is fulfilling, not rejecting, prior teachings.

Apparently, Jesus quoted from the Old Testament teachings of Isaiah:

“…They worship with their lips, but their hearts are far from me and are ignorant of me. They worship in vain, teaching the traditions of humans and neglecting divine authority.”
Mark 7:6-7, Matthew 15:8-9

The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.”

In contrast with prophets who clearly emphasize the spirit or heart or function of various messages rather than the specific form of a particular message, traditionalists tend to emphasize one prophet as more prophetic than all others. Traditionalists may also focus on particular words of a certain prophet and ignore other words of that prophet, such as ignoring the passages quoted above.

Traditionalists may focus on certain details of their favorite tradition and may neglect the spirit by which the tradition originates. The traditionalists may be adversarial, antagonistic, oppositional, argumentative, crusading, and militant.

So, traditionalists may also worship a particular tradition as better or “more traditional” than all other traditions. Such idolatry is distinct from simply studying or practicing a certain tradition. Traditionalists are focused on contrasting different traditions and finding the best one, the best translation, the best author, and the very best variation of the best tradition.

Traditionalists tend to associate with others who share the details of their own traditionalism as well as to magnetically focus on some other group of traditionalists as especially offensive. Pharisees and Sadducees may fiercely oppose each other. Protestants and Catholics may fiercely oppose each other. Sunnis and Shi’ites may fiercely oppose each other. Even Democrats and Republicans or Constitutionalists and Reformers may fiercely oppose each other.

By the way, most reformers are actually traditionalists. Reformers just promote certain traditional values over other traditional values.

One of the classic ironies of traditionalism is that all traditionalists not only worship their own tradition, but distinctively oppose all other forms of traditionalism, perhaps reserving special contempt for any tradition that they previously worshiped but later rejected. Traditionalists tend to ridicule and condemn other traditions and other traditionalists, again, often emphasizing certain targets of spite.

By the way, all prophets may be former traditionalists. Prophets alone do not condemn traditionalism or idolatry or vanity. Prophets alone honor all traditions equally, without being threatened by any of them. Prophets alone are so humble.

Prophets alone bless those who might accuse them, who might ridicule them, who might condemn them. Prophets alone are so grounded, so rooted, so radical. Prophets alone accept that traditions will form, reform, and dissolve. Prophets alone accept that other prophets will follow them, saying things like “another new messenger of divine authority in the future will come again.”

Prophets always predict later prophets. Traditionalists tend to interpret the references to a future prophet as “a second coming.” However, perhaps what the prophets have been referencing is that occasionally a traditionalist will develop or mature into a prophet. Perhaps prophets know that in the future a prophet will be born again, not in the way that traditionalists mean “born again,” but in the way that prophets mean.

The prophet’s rebirth is a spiritual rebirth, a rebirth of the heart. It is natural and thus common that traditionalists would ritualize the idea of spiritual rebirth into a ritualized rebirth. So, in addition to rituals for birth, death, and marriage, another form of ritual that is widespread throughout human cultures are initiation rituals that symbolize spiritual rebirth.

However, only authentic spiritual rebirth itself can produce a prophet from a traditionalist. Applying the label of butterfly to a caterpillar does not change the actual nature of the caterpillar. A prophet is not made into a prophet by being newly declared to be an officer of an existing institution, such as one who is ritually given a title, inducted and who swears an oath of office to conform to the traditions of the institution. A prophet is simply one who discovers directly- like alone for himself or herself- how life actually is working.

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