Archive for November 7th, 2004

Why Doesn’t Arafat Depend on Faith?

Skip tells me that the problem with Western Scoeity is that we depend entirely on what WORKS. We don’t balance that with Oriental Mysticism.

So let us imagine old Skip telling Arafat that he is desperately ill, but he lives at the very center of Oriental Mysticism. So, he tells Arafat, he should stay in the Middle East and Wait For The Lord.

You know what every sane person would say to Skip?

He would say, “You are insane.”

Christian Scientists wear glasses and hearing aids. If you read Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, you will see that Quakers believed that pacifistic nonsense to the exact extent that their own lives were not threatened.

Nobody belives that “Wisdom” crap.

Let’s dump it.

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An Insult That I am Sick of

Everybody but me is allowed to be touchy. Every time I say anything about religion, everybody has a license to go through the roof.

Except me.

When you preach to me about what Christianity is, you are right on the edge of saying I am not a Christian. It never occurs to anybody that that could be an insult.

I am very, very tired of that insult.

I used to have to take it when constituents preached at me, but I am retired, and I will take it no more.

If you preach at me, you need a VERY good excuse for it. You are free to question my history, you are free to question my theological interpretations. But you are NOT free to imply that I am not a Christian, or that your faith is serious and mine isn’t.

If you preach at me, back it up.

My opinions on politics or religion or anything else are my opinions and you know it.

When you preach at me, you are expressing an opinion. But I will tolerate no more self-appointed Prophets.

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The Past is a Foreign Country

Today’s Western society is the first one in history to make a distinction between science and religion. When we read ancient or even Medieval documents, we often confuse their religious with their scientific beliefs.

One of the best examples of this is the transmigration of souls. Buddhism and Hinduism do NOT consider the idea that a person is reborn into another body after death to be a matter of RELIGION. It was accepted as a matter of SCIENCE.

The society in which Hinduism grew up and in which Gautama Buddha was born took it for granted that the body and the consciousness inside it were different things.

Every night their consciousness left their bodies in a dream. When they were hit in the head or desperately hungry thir minds would leave their bodies. Schizophrenics lived in different worlds from their bodies.

Every shaman left his body when he ate Holy Herbs.

Nobody knew anything about brain chemistry, hypnosis, or even dreams. If you said the brain was permanently connected to the consciousness, they would assume you had lost your mind.

But they held this as a matter of reality, a matter of science, not as a matter of religion.

Ancient people all asssumed there was a Prime Mover because they did not know about intertia or thermodynamics. To keep the universe in motion, their SCIENTISTS took it for granted that there was a Prime Mover, what we could call God.

The critical point is that this was not religion to them. This was reality. An “athiest” in any other society would be what we would call a religious person.

Anyone who wants to really study history has to go through a discipline no modern reader of history has ever done, least of all paid historians.

To understand what ancient writers are saying, you have to force yourself to put yourself in the place of people who did not see the stars we see.

Those people did not live in the same world we live in.

People who tell me they have read the classics have NOT read the classics. They have read what ancient Greeks said from their own persepctive. Those who say they have read the Early Church Fathers have NOT read the Early Church Fathers.

They have seen the stars from the point of view of a man who knows that the nearest one is a sun that is twenty-five trillion miles away, and their idea of the Church Fathers is as distant as that.

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