Monthly Archives: May 2007

hotness

oh my lord, this picture of meshell ndegeocello is hot. i’m going to stare at this picture the rest of the day.

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which one is more deluded?

when watching this, at first i wasn’t sure if this person was serious or not. i’ve come to the conclusion that this has to be a joke, although this reminds me of christians i know personally and have heard and seen in the media.

zaadz qar: pick a word of the day. tell us about it.

GRAVITY – this morning as i was waiting for the bus, i realized that there was absolutely nothing between me and the sky, and then i was amazed at how gravity works and how it’s perfect for us here on this planet, how it’s just enough so we don’t have to be tethered down and yet we can move about relatively freely, and it’s just incredible and how perfect this is and how perfect life is, even though at times it doesn’t look so good. um, yeah, gravity… 🙂

this post is my response to zaadz’s questions and reflections for may 29, 2007.

jesus is still alright with me

this particular post (which is probably going to be a long winded one) has been about a month in coming, ever since my return from new orleans, or maybe even it could have been written before then. this is a sort of processing what i have been reading lately, and doing some self-examination as to what i believe spiritually and why.

right before my trip, i read the laughing jesus by (hottie!) timothy freke and peter gandy. the blurb on the back cover looked intriguing, posing questions about the old testament being a complete work of fiction, and whether jesus christ ever actually existed as a human being, among others. so, i took the bait, and by the end of the book, i was an (un)believer. i made the conscious decision to believe the facts that i was reading and not the stories i had been told to believe on faith for much of my life. it is now my belief that the story of jesus, as presented in the bible is nothing more than a myth based on previous pagan myths about various god-men with almost the exact same biography found in the bible regarding jesus.

at the point i made that decision, it was like the scales literally fell off of my eyes. i always thought i understood this previously, especially after having read some years back books such as wilber’s up from eden or putting on the mind of christ by jim marion or why christianity must change or die by john shelby spong. however, this is where the idea finally clicked for me, that the story of jesus, like the stories of god-men before him, was meant only as an example of the possibilities i, and we all, can experience in god. paradoxically, my feelings about jesus are no different, and can be said to be even stronger because of this. he is an example to me of how i can be a christ, or anointed of god, right here and now. i don’t have to wait till i ‘die and go to heaven’ in order to be permanently in god’s presence. god’s presence is everywhere, even in the minutiae of my daily life, and i am in the continual process of learning how to be aware of it.

because of what i’ve read in this book, and others since then, i have come to the terrible conclusion that christianity in its current form is actually quite a diabolical religion. this is kind of hard to swallow, as this is the religion i was born and raised with, and i spent a number of years in the charismatic christian community. i know that if anyone from that movement were to read these words, they would immediately consider me backslidden and my soul lost for eternity. but this is exactly what i cannot reconcile, despite this blog post i wrote just a few weeks earlier on ‘why i am still a christian’. i just don’t think i am anymore. i mean, who would dream up a god supposedly of love, a god who demands absolute loyalty, a god who sentences you to hell because you don’t literally believe in jesus’ life and death? how can a religion claim that it is the only way to know god, when it has only been in existence for 2000 years? how did people get to know god before then? were they just screwed?

the original christians, the gnostics, knew that the jesus story was just a jewish version of the myth of osiris-dionysus, the god-man who within various milieux was believed (for starters) to have been born december 25 of a virgin, wandered the countryside as a young adult teaching parables, died on a cross for thinking he was god, arose from the dead and returned to heaven, promising to come back. the gnostics saw this story for what it was: an allegory of what we can have with god. it was this story that was perverted by the roman church, and moved from the level of teaching story to ‘gospel truth’, and is the basis of what passes for christianity today. what is so sad is that people who are normally rational thinkers believe that a child was born from a woman who had not previously had sex. and they believe in a literal hell for those people who think otherwise. and even though the crusades are obviously long over, there are still people who abuse their power in order to get people to believe this, while handing over the money in order to reach more people for this americanized jesus. thinking of the millions of people that have been brainwashed over the centuries into believing this form of christianity, i’m sorry, but to me, this truly is nothing short of diabolical. this is the very evil that i have so often heard preaching against.

it is also interesting to me how christians see stories in other religions, particularly eastern religions, as being mythical in nature, but stories of jesus walking on water and feeding thousands with only a few loaves of bread are ‘obviously’ true. again with the obi wan kenobi quote: ‘you’ll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.’

paul v. the republican party

ron paul is the republican presidential candidate i would be most likely to support at this point, if i were to support someone from one of the two major parties. i honestly was not aware of his presence until the south carolina debates a couple of weeks ago, when his response to a question about 9/11 drew the ire of rudy guiliani. i have my own opinions as to what actually happened on 9/11, but, for the sake of argument, let’s say that the official story is true, that we really were attacked by arab terrorists. it seems to me that they wouldn’t attack us out of the blue, just because they ‘don’t like us’. as this article states, it seems that we were given a warning of things to come from bin laden himself:

Osama bin Laden in his declaration of war in the 1990s said it was U.S. troops on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia, U.S. bombing and sanctions of a crushed Iraqi people, and U.S. support of Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians that were the reasons he and his mujahideen were declaring war on us.

Elsewhere, he has mentioned Sykes-Picot, the secret British-French deal that double-crossed the Arabs who had fought for their freedom alongside Lawrence of
Arabia and were rewarded with a quarter century of British-French imperial
domination and humiliation.

Almost all agree that, horrible as 9-11 was, it was not anarchic terror. It was political terror, done with a political motive and a political objective.

again, i think there was a political motive and objective to what happened that day, but it goes beyond what is being referred to in the above quote. because of those motives, i think the good vs. evil story line was a rather convenient way to get the american people behind this ineptly planned war. nevertheless, because of course there are things i obviously don’t know, it is possible that at least part of the story happened as is being told to us. in this case, it still seems implausible to me that the u.s. would be attacked without a legitimate reason. and if this is the case, then what paul is saying seems to be right on to me. guiliani’s response to paul saying, in effect, ‘i was there; how dare you!’ was no response at all. paul was not minimizing what happened on 9/11; he was pointing out a possible, legitimate cause, and the fact that this cause was not taken seriously then, nor now, speaks volumes about the (lack of) quality of the front running candidates.

excerpt from upcoming wilber book

here is ken wilber’s latest installment from his forthcoming nonfiction novel trilogy, ‘the many faces of terrorism’. it begins a couple of years after where ‘boomeritis’ leaves off, with the same characters and the same locale of cambridge, massachusetts. i am truly ambivalent about ‘boomeritis’, and from the excerpts i’ve read, i suspect my feelings toward this trilogy will be similar. on the one hand, i am quite interested in a picture of what integral politics in action would be like. and, i am fascinated and scared by what little i know about this novel, because there are oh-so-many ways in which the scenarios presented could actually come to pass, which would not be a good thing for humanity.

my dislike has to do with the minor plot lines and the shallow characterizations of the main characters. maybe this is supposed to be some sort of foil for the intensity and complexity of integral subject matter. there were way too many references to pop and alternative culture for my taste, which seemed to be wilber’s way of saying: ‘look how cool i am; i know what a rave is.’ i realize that in some ways these writings are actually his way of making fun of postmodernism (or the green meme). and maybe this is supposed to be an entertaining way to introduce integral theory to someone. i will even admit that reading ‘boomeritis’ is how the ideals behind integral finally seemed to cement into my consciousness what i had previously read in ‘a brief history of everything’. still, there was something about the style, all the mentions of drug usage and sexual innuendo, that seemed to rub me the wrong way.

nevertheless, i will be one of the first people to purchase copies of the trilogy when it is finally released, and will probably read through all three straight through. i love reading about integral theory, especially politics and spirituality, and ways to bring integral thinking to fruition in the ‘real world’. (interesting phrase: real world, huh?) as i learned to do with ‘boomeritis’, i can just skim over the superficial stuff.

nilf

i guess i’m missing out by not owning a telly.