Our community blogs
This is a part of a post of mine that I posted yesterday in the forum, but I think this should be posted as a blog also!
In the times we live in, with the term political correctness - it is implied that it would somehow be possible to create a world where no-one would ever be offended by anything. This is a utopian dream. What it leads to is policing of language, and many people are afraid to speak their minds freely, in fear that they may offend someone.
Some other people take it upon themselves - the task of policing what everyone else says. In the end - you have communication where nobody is really saying what they mean and nobody knows what is said is what is meant.
One important thing to remember is that - people often offend themselves. Someone else may say this or that - but it is you that will interpret this as offensive, neutral or benevolent.
This political correctness movement also seems to have given rise to a counter-reaction - where people purposefully verbally abuse other people. This is not worth talking about too much - as it is clear, through the entire human history - how every movement always has a counter-movement.
The fact is - there will be people who are discriminative (sexist, racist etc.) whether they express it in their language or not. There will also be people who are abusive. That is just the reality of life.
However, there will also be people who perceive everything as a threat, people who overreact and are never satisfied. 99% of the time - these are people who have unresolved issues of their own that they project on other people.
The unfortunate problem at hand is that the political correctness movement provides an umbrella for both people who are actually victims of actual abuse (verbal, physical or otherwise) and people mentioned above who use the hype and momentum of this movement to leverage their own personal issues that have nothing to do with actual abuse.
In 1985, a man named Douglas Simmons brought a bag of antiquities to the British Museum for evaluation. Among the varied objects was one cuneiform tablet. The duty officer at that moment was Irving Finkel, one of the museum’s Assyriologists and now Curator in charge of Cuneiform Inscriptions in the British Museum’s Middle Eastern department.
Finkel picked up the cuneiform tablet and began to translate it. It quickly became clear that it was a 3700 year old Babylonian artifact which exhorted emergency construction of a huge, round reed boat that was meant to hold, and save, many animals.
Here is an entertaining and illuminating lecture from 2016 at the UofC Oriental Institute given by the affable Dr. Finkel, telling the story of the tablet and the building of a (somewhat smaller) replica of the designated vessel. @ 1 hr. and well worth the listening/viewing.
Here’s the 2014 Guardian article coinciding with the release of Finkel’s book “The Ark Before Noah” --
Incidentally, after my dad was forced to retire, he grew a long beard and looked very much like Dr. Finkel, though dad was somewhat older. We used to joke about it.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Cheers for the Winter Season everybody!
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A pleasant memory of my childhood in Panama
I find that when I am out in the woods, I can feel overwhelmed by all of the life surrounding me. I get overloaded and can’t take it in. I have always been that way. The same goes when I am in a large place with lots of people. If I do not shut down in some way, I get scattered, and tired, very quickly. I can’t say I understand why this is so. Music (apart from dancing) is the same, as well as food. Though I do like to eat, a lot. Yet I really can’t take much in before I get overwhelmed.
I have some plants in my room, simple ones, and I am at times overwhelmed by their simple, green beauty. One or two at a time is good, but a room full of plants and I again, can’t seem to take it all in.
Perhaps that is one reason that I do not like sightseeing, but would rather stay in one place, and get to know a certain area over a period of time. As I age, this only gets worse. If I go into town, driving, when I get back, you would think I have been working 12 hours non-stop.
When in Panama, things were not like that. I still liked being myself most of the time, but for some reason, when In Panama, when in the Jungle, or at the beach (Pina beach mostly), I never felt overwhelmed or tired when I returned home. I do not think it was because of my youth. I think the reason was that I felt totally rooted, at home, wherever I was. I guess after I left, perhaps, even after 47 years here in the Monastery, I have never felt so at home. Granted I love it here, and when I go for walks, there are times when I don’t have to shut out all of the beauty around me, but it is not the Panama of my youth.
One of my greatest pleasures was going swimming at Gatun Lake. I loved diving deep and slowly floating up to the surface. I loved it underwater more than above water. The same goes for being in the Jungle, the amount of vegetation around me never tired me out but only gave me a feeling of peace, comfort, and yes, home. Not quite sure why Panama had such an influence on me. I am not really an outside kind of guy. Though I did love camping, I would prefer reading or staying at home, to doing anything like that. One of the good things about being in the Canal Zone was that I was constantly being lured outside to go into the jungle and just be there. I loved all of it. The plants, the animals, and even the insects, though they could be pesky critters. Here I am thinking of hair wasps (?)….boy they could really make me run for the water.
One memory, which seems very simple, and even uninspiring, stays with me. I was with my brother David in the jungle. We were walking beside a small stream one Saturday morning, and we came upon a section of the stream that flowed into a hole that was perhaps two feet deep, and perhaps three feet wide. I stopped and looked into the hole and saw a single fish swimming around in it. For me, it was something beautiful as well as peaceful too look at. I spent about thirty minutes watching the fish, and thought what a perfect place it to be. Just looking at this natural piece of living art brought me a sense of deep rest and contentment, and this simple experience, image, is still with me even though more than 50 years have passed.
Simple things, moments that are not so obvious, can be the ones that stay with me. I have lots of memories about Panama, but this is one of my favorites, though most people will scratch their heads, thinking…..uninspiring.
In the Navy, Midday Island was like Panama. The ocean, lots of plants, and really a lot of quiet as well. I think one of the reasons I loved it so was because it did remind me of Panama, which is a no-brainer.
I really wish that my senses did not get so overwhelmed so easily since it causes me fatigue problems, but as I age, it seems to only get worse. Not that it is a real problem, I get all the time I need to regroup, etc.
I am so thankful that I was able to live in Panama, for it simple, low key memories that have such meaning for me. Don’t get me wrong, I like the way I am, but wonder what would have happened if I was built in another way? So many questions, no time to figure it out.
Now, when dancing, it seemed not to bother me. Perhaps because the rhythm would get into my blood and I felt no separation, my blood would boil, and I would simply let it carry me. If I sat and just listened, I would tire out, but get me on the dance floor and I would fly all night. I could just be.
I have no desire to go back to Panama, or for that matter Midway Island. Memories are time locked, and I believe important to think about once in a while. I can’t go back, and I love it here in Georgia, and the Monastery. It is the life I believe I was made for, and am thankful for being here.
I guess if I had to leave, or the community moved, I would look upon this place the same way I look at fond memories from my far past. Knowing that allows me to truly love and appreciate what I have.—Br.MD
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About this crazy thing that sits in the middle of our collective unconscious ...it just lounges around all day juggling these hugely contradictory ideas -- I mean, it _is_ just a gibbering chimp, innit?
Who is the one person --the default, go-to person-- that all rabble-rousing, studenty, city-working, hipstery lefties love to hate? Tony Blair. Yet he's vehemently in favour of Remain, the self-same hobby-horse that all the rabble-rousing, studenty, city-working, hipstery lefties spend their time wonking over. Why do they not see this little clue that everything they believe in is just a weird, rich man's conceit?
On RT today (I watch RT because I am a soulless Russian spy), there was a documentary about Patrick Crone, a French CEO, previously in charge of a ubiquitous industrial company, who'd sold off his assets to foreigners without consulting the government. The French ministers went nuts. The Yellow Jacket rabble went nuts. Yet how do we treat his English counterpart, Sir James Dyson, for similar moral crimes? We just ignore him, and carry on buying his (let's be honest) pointless housewifey tat. So are people on the continent more working class than us? Must be. Except ...why then would they spend billions for the pleasure of signing up to an institution (the EU) that allows race-to-the-bottom economics to spread everywhere like shh on a IRA hunger striker's wall?
And that reminds me. The big Brexit-cancelling Irish border dispute? We live in one of the most bureaucratic, over-administrated countries in the world. Employ _an army_ of clipboard-carrying jobsworths to check every square millimetre of every pallet that goes in and out of Ireland. It'll just be business as usual won't it, unfortunately?
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Moon Wind Prayers
By Deanna Jaxine Stinson, HPI’s Esoteric Detective
Halo Paranormal Investigations – HPI International.
Moon Wind Prayers
I will grow like a flame
Though my body will fade
Like wood rotting
My bones like stones
Planted in a garden
Of the South
My lips will speak
The prayers of angels
Lights and visions of
A celestial show
And I will glow
Relit in the sparks of
Embers falling from my mouth
Moon Wind Prayers
Imagine the energy from inside of you manifesting outside of yourself as well. These charged pieces of us circulate all around, involving us and others. This is the aura. It can harden like a shell, break and also shatter as you grow a new one, much like a spider shedding it’s exoskeleton. The word "aura" in Latin and ancient Greek means wind, breeze or breath.
Some may find that they feel heavy in some areas of their body. Not like an internal pressure but, one that sits upon the chest, like thick air and weighs us down. It can fuse to us in many different chakras like crystals forming on minerals. If we have a lot of anxiety it may manifest here as well.
I want to share with you some easy techniques for cleansing the aura. Imagine this is salt to your soul right now! Break it down. Visualizing exercises and simple movements are quite powerful as they funnel our minds into the wild of things.
One of the best ways to cleanse your aura is to visualize it! When the wind is blowing think about the energy like a shadow coming from you and then picture it floating away.
Nature is one of my favorite elements to work with in this regard. You can also try to look up at the stars and imagine them radiating off of you in holy light. Also, the sun as a flame can burn the negative energy away.
Candle Flame Heat
Light a candle of any color you desire.
You can put your hand over the flame and let the heat absorb into your skin. Take the heat energy and wipe it over your aura, your chakras, lips and where you would imagine having angel wings and a halo!
Water is naturally powerful. Even just the sound of this element running can signal our brains to wash away the excess. Just like a river working over a stone and polishing it, we are redefined.
Imagine this vision under fresh water, such as in the shower, bath or outside as well! It is gentle yet proficient at purification.
Even if you don’t want to get wet, try looking for noises on the internet like Tibetan singing bowls, chimes, birds or water fountains. It will trigger your mind in just the same ways! It is an ancient cleansing ritual.
Soft Touches & Sensations
Something as delicate as a feather can be used to fan away the stagnant force. Taking one and fanning yourself with any similar object as well would be great. Remember these sensations so that even when one is not available, your mind will remember and replay the simulation.
My favorite feeling is a cool wet paint brushing circling onto my skin. I like to lay down for this excersice and imagine someone painting me from head to toe, in turn clearing out any blocks with the love of the painter. You can imagine any color or brush that you want.
Smudging with incense is another great one! Burning any incense, herb or smoky substance can smoke out anything that doesn’t belong. It will wipe away the bad stuff that sticks with you. You can say prayers as well to help.
Once you have cleansed your aura, you need to protect it! Try summoning an angel to guard you and protect yourself from energy vampires. Go around people who encourage you instead of criticize. They will help you build up this great life force.
The aura (also known as the auric field, radiance, or the eighth chakra) is an electromagnetic field surrounding the human form. People with enhanced psychic ability are able to see the movement and varied colors of the aura. (Like me!) The aura is also commonly referred to as the eighth chakra.
Colors are associated with angels and in some instances an aura could be read in this respect. The common color associations in our culture today are in regard to light and the wavelengths in a rainbow. the Bible describes seven angels who stand before God in Revelation, chapter 8. Silver & gold represent the divine celestial cosmic forces! (Please note my white & orange are different than some others…) The colors can change to represent any holy force you adhere to... You can do 7 colors or create your own system! Make it personal!)
• Red -Passion (Uriel)
• Orange- Expression (Gabriel)
• Yellow- Wisdom (Jophiel)
• Green- Healing (Raphael)
• Blue – Faith (Michael)
• White- Purity (Jesus)
• Purple- Transformation (Zadkiel)
• Pink- Love (Chamuel)
Kirlian photography is a technique that captures the light from the auras of humans and plant life. I believe there is certain people who are photogenic because the flashes of the camera can break apart dark matter around someone! I think that’s why it feels so good to do photoshoots for some!
Another healing activity that is totally refreshing is a massage. Imagine all your stresses and pain being absorbed by the hands of the masseuse and let it melt away. It can be aa truly spiritual experience especially if you light a candle and incense.
Another form of attachment is the energy that is with us everyday from traumatic events and situations. We may repeatedly think of certain people that hurt us. Imagine then that they have plugged into you in some way and this energy is waiting to be transformed and moved with the current of electricity.
I like to think of this in an electrical form but, you can also imagine octopus tentacles, vines or parasites. Whatever vision is most powerful for you will work best! You can imagine your hands reaching into you and bringing these cords out. You can loosen them and untie them, cut them as well with crystals, scissors and daggers. Grab hold of new ones in your heart or replug these into a powerful source, such as the moon and sun!
Remember that we are like stardust and sparks of divine fire light inside of us. They cause us to shimmer, shine and glow, like a choir of angels high in the night. We want to be inspired, happy and confident in order to be our best selves and attract amazing energy or way.
Practice these things in order to stand in your own power. Create yourself and then opportunities will manifest. Don’t lay there idle in someone else’s dreams. Wake up and come alive.
I order you to start today, to break free of any chains that bind you to this physical dimension and let your soul shine through. You can change the world for someone with one smile, compliment and word. Do this for yourself as well. Small acts matter!
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Strong memories have attached to how I see holidays, so perhaps this is why Christmas means the very most to me. Growing up, with a Dad in the military, we moved all the time. I learned early to root nowhere outside myself, just root inside, because everything would change again in a year or so. But, if we were ever going to go see my paternal kin back in Michigan, it would be near Christmas. That was sort of like home to me, at least it was a place I returned to a few times, and had friends who lived next door to see periodically.
The house would be full of people, everything was a bit chaotic and friendly, and Grandma knew how to cook solid German-American fare. Big ears could hear stories of the family, jokes, and once in a while, you might get hugged. This meant a great deal to an only child till I was almost at my teens. The hugs were few, as if we had to ration that sort of thing, but noise and fun we did have then.
It meant that to me, family, belonging somewhere, refreshing relationships with relatives I rarely saw otherwise. It meant a break from the routine, a trip, a bit of fun. Gran would always, if we were really good, let us each have one of her closely guarded lebkuchen cookies, which we always ate as if it was a great prize, though the truth was, I didn't really care for them. If I could, I would slip it to my Dad to finish off.
Presents? I never focused on that aspect as I never got fun things there. Once, I got a big Winnie the Pooh animal, but, nothing else sticks out in memory. We usually got one toy and some clothes or something. Sometimes, just the toy. We always went to church and heard the story about Jesus, of course, but that was a social thing for me.
Once I grew up and was on my own, I didn't celebrate it at all, though I did enjoy the trappings of it and the music. I certainly did not disdain it when cookies came my way, and I was happy greeting anyone for the season. Later, when family came, we evolved our own celebration and it centers on what we think matters about it. Relationships, family, and love, time spent together. This year we have made up large baggies full of candy and wrapped cakes to give out to the elderly neighbors who have become friends with my Mother in their small complex. We have extras to gift one each to our garbage men and the mail woman. Do surprise your sanitation crew, having driven a garbage truck for two years, I can tell you nobody ever does that. They just gripe if you do not get there early the 26th to haul off the overflowing dumpsters and discarded trees. You will astonish them to the ground to be remembered with some candy or a card with a 5 dollar coupon to McDonalds and live on as a rare person in their memory.
The religious aspect of it is personal. We have taught our daughter what the Bible says happened. We have taught her what the holiday was before that happened and was instituted. We have taught her about other places and celebrations of the season to include Hanukah and Kwanzaa. She knows about the legends around the whole Saint Nicholas story. We have a tree up but I do not get into the outdoor light show thing. Last Christmas, Dad had just died so a Florida holiday was out of the question. This year that house is sold and Mom is here at an apartment complex for elderly, so we will have it nearby at her house. I am happy to not take that drive again, and daughter NAR is happy planning what to put in the presents for the folks at the complex and seems fine to skip the trip as well. She is not brooding over the absence of her Grandfather, it seems, so I am glad of that. He would not want that.
I think of Thanksgiving as the celebration of Gratitude. I think of Christmas as the celebration of Relationships, in the family and with others who touch our lives. Both have huge spiritual aspects to them in my inner world, gratitude and relationships, to include our own with Other, but this is personal and perhaps as diverse as all the people looking up at the stars on Christmas Eve night and thinking their own thoughts wherever they are, with the burdens and wounds we all carry. I like to set all of that down then and just enjoy the night, and focus on family and friends and send out my best hopes for everyone willing to receive it.
That is what it all means to me and why I love it so much.
So I recently joined a writing site that wasn’t associated in any way with some of the things I’ve had published. I thought that I would post stories on there that I would consider to be my seconds. They’re not quite polished or are stories that didn’t quite fit what I wanted to submit.
I have two stories in to set up kind of what I would like to do. Put stuf out there that isn’t quite my best but was still fun too write. I will soon post the url so people can go scope them out. Stay tuned for those who wanna check it out.
I have been gone since may 11 of either this year or last, I do not remember. I still have no ways of making normal posts and on top of that most of my old activity posts have disappeared. I feel like they don't want me talking even after accepting that I agreed to not make long like update or activity posts. But even after that I am unable to make posts and interact with everyone. I still do not understand what was so wrong about me making long activity posts so I did not have to mess with blog stuff, but it will never make since why it has become a petty party of making me unable to post plus not being allowed to share the link to another account seems a little idiotic as well. Everyone does not just sit here on this site 24/7 we have to be able to share where else we are for people to network and connect. But it is fine, I am not a moderator, I did not decide these stupid rules. Just here wanting to reconnect, but not allowed too.
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Hi, to anyone that may read this. My mom passed away in June. There have been strange things happening since just before her bday on Nov 3. I thought I've been crazy and not thinking right. But tonight something happened that I can not explain. Please help me.
Who'd win in a fight: a werewolf, or a kid in a wheelchair?
The answer may seem tragically obvious, however things get complicated when that kid's wheelchair has a motorcycle engine and he's armed with a box of fireworks.
Dan Attias' Silver Bullet tells the story of a paraplegic boy named Marty who finds out the dark reason behind a series of town murders. Believing (and knowing) it to be an unlikely resident who's actually a werewolf, he does his best to warn the town, and wages war against the beast behind the brutality.
Having watched the movie about a year ago, my memory of the movie may be a little fuzzy. However, what I remember most from this movie was its use of practical effects and overall campy atmosphere.
I loved the use of practical effects in this film. While the werewolf itself looks kind of like a teddy bear, it's surprising to know its not even the best use of practical effects in the film. The werewolf transformation scene, along with the Reverend's nightmare showcase the most gruesome effects in the film. As a matter of fact, I'd say his dream is the most detailed sequence! The film compensates for the monster's lackluster detail by putting both the characters and audience in vulnerable situations where the werewolf has the advantage.
As for the characters, I like both Marty and his Uncle Red. While Red's eccentric behavior is brought out by the infamous Gary Busey, Marty's character is transcedental. He begins as a brat in the beginning of the film, however as the werewolf takes the lives of people he knows he begins to value his family more and more. My personal favorite Marty scene is when he sends a letter to the werewolf telling him to kill himself .
Overall, Silver Bullet has all the elements of a classic werewolf story. A small town setting, a murder mystery, and a lone protagonist are what help make The Silver Bullet an iconic werewolf movie. If you're looking for a lycan-themed movie that isn't too scary but still chills to the bone, Silver Bullet is a perfect choice.
Author's Note: Having been busy as well as enduring a rather disappointing Halloween, it's speculative as to whether or not I'll actually complete this series. However I'll do my best to. Thank you for reading!
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Here is a selection of the cryptozoology papers that I've come across published in scientific or semi-scientific journals.
Caddy (Cadborosaurus willsi)
- Bousfield, E.L., & LeBlond, P.H. (1995). An account of Cadborosaurus willsi, new genus, new species, a large aquatic reptile from the Pacific coast of North America. Amphipacifica, 1(suppl. 1), 3-25.
- Bousfield, E.L., & LeBlond, P.H. (2011). Pipefish or pipe dream? Journal of Scientific Exploration, 25(4), 779-780.
- Woodley, M.A., Naish, D., & McCormick, C.A. (2011). A baby sea-serpent no more: reinterpreting Hagelund's juvenile "cadborosaur" report. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 25(3), 497-514.
- Woodley, M.A., Naish, D., & McCormick, C.A. (2012). Response to Bousfield and LeBlond: shooting pipefish in a barrel;, or, sauropterygian "mega-seprents" and Occam's razor. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 26(1), 151-154.
California Giant Salamanders
- Myers, G.S. (1951). Asiatic giant salamander caught in the Sacramento River, and an exotic skink near San Francisco. Copeia, 1951(2), 179-180.
- Rodgers, T.L. (1962). Report of giant salamander in California. Copeia, 1962(3), 646-647.
Cryptic Big Cats
- Dratch, P.A., Roslund, W., Martenson, J.S., Culver, M., & O'Brien, S.J. (1996). Molecular genetic identification of a Mexican onza specimen as a puma (Puma concolor). Cryptozoology, 12, 42-49.
- Naish, D., Sakamoto, M., Hocking, P., & Sanchez, G. (2014). ‘Mystery big cats’ in the Peruvian Amazon: morphometrics solve a cryptozoological mystery. PeerJ, 2, e291. doi:10.7717/peerj.291
Loch Ness Monster
- Borsje, J. (1994). The monster in the river Ness in Vita Sancti Columbae: a study of a miracle. Peritia, 8, 27-34.
- Halstead, L.B., Goriup, P.D., & Middleton, J.A. (1976). The Loch Ness Monster. Nature, 259(5539), 75-76.
- Mortimer, C.H. (1973). The Loch Ness monster - limnology or paralimnology? Limnology and Oceanography, 18(2), 343-345.
- Scheider, W., & Wallis, P. (1973). An alternate method of calculating the population density of monsters in Loch Ness. Limnology and Oceanography, 18(2), 343.
- Scott, P., & Rines, R. (1975). Naming the Loch Ness Monster. Nature, 258(5535), 466-468.
- Sheldon, R.W., & Kerr, S.R. (1972). The population density of monsters in Loch Ness. Limnology and Oceanography, 17(5), 796-798.
- Sheldon, R.W., & Kerr, S.R. (1973). The Loch Ness monster: reply to C.H. Mortimer. Limnology and Oceanography, 18(2), 345-346.
- Oren, D.C. (1993). Did ground sloths survive to recent times in the Amazon region? Goeldiana Zoologia, 19, 1-11.
- Oren, D.C. (2001). Does the endangered xenarthran fauna of Amazonia include remnant ground sloths? Edentata, 4, 2-5.
Megalodon (Otodus megalodon)
- Roesch, B.S. (1998). A critical evaluation of the supposed contemporary existence of Carcharodon megalodon. The Cryptozoology Review, 3(2), 14-24.
Minnesota Iceman (Homo pongoides)
- Heuvelmans, B. (1969). Note préliminaire sur un spécimen conservé dans la glace d’une forme encore inconnue d’hominidé vivant Homo pongoides (sp. seu subsp. nov.). Bulletin de l'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, 45(4), 1-24.
- Loofs-Wissowa, H. (1994). The penis rectus as a marker in human palaeontology. Human Evolution, 9(4), 343-356.
- Sanderson, I.T. (1969). Preliminary description of the external morphology of what appeared to be the fresh corpse of a hitherto unknown form of living hominid. Genus, 25(1/4), 249-278.
- Bodley, J.H. (1988). Sasquatch footprints: can dermal ridges be faked? Northwest Science, 62(3), 129-130.
- Coltman, D., & Davis, C. (2006). Molecular cryptozoology meets the Sasquatch. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 21(2), 60-61.
- Lozier, J.D., Aniello, P., & Hickerson, M.J. (2009). Predicting the distribution of Sasquatch in western North America: anything goes with ecological niche modelling. Journal of Biogeography, 36(9), 1623-1627.
- Meldrum, D.J. (2004). Midfoot flexibility, fossil footprints, and Sasquatch steps: new perspectives on the evolution of bipedalism. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 18(1), 65-79.
- Meldrum, D.J. (2007). Ichnotaxonomy of giant hominoid tracks in North America. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin, 42, 225-231.
- France, R.L. (2016a). Historicity of sea turtles misidentified as sea monsters: a case for the early entanglement of marine chelonians in pre-plastic fishing nets and maritime debris. Coriolis, 6(2), 1-25.
- France, R.L. (2016b). Reinterpreting nineteenth-century accounts of whales battling ‘sea serpents’ as an illation of early entanglement in pre-plastic fishing gear or maritime debris. International Journal of Maritime History, 28(4), 686-714.
- France, R.L. (2017). Imaginary sea monsters and real environmental threats: reconsidering the famous Osborne, ‘Moha-moha’, Valhalla, and ‘Soay beast’ sightings of unidentified marine objects. International Review of Environmental History, 3(1), 63-100.
- Paxton, C.G.M. (1998). A cumulative species description curve for large open water marine animals. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 78(4), 1389-1391.
- Paxton, C.G.M., & Holland, R. (2005). Was Steenstrup right? A new interpretation of the 16th century sea monk of the Øresund. Steenstrupia, 29(1), 39-47.
- Paxton, C.G.M., Knatterud, E., & Hedley, S.L. (2005). Cetaceans, sex and sea serpents: an analysis of the Egede accounts of a “most dreadful monster” seen off the coast of Greenland in 1734. Archives of Natural History, 32(1), 1-9.
- Paxton, C.G.M. (2009). The plural of ‘anecdote’ can be ‘data’: statistical analysis of viewing distances in reports of unidentified large marine animals 1758–2000. Journal of Zoology, 279(4), 381-387.
- Paxton, C.G.M., & Shine, A.J. (2016). Consistency in eyewitness reports of aquatic “monsters”. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 30(1), 16-26.
- Woodley, M.A., Naish, D., & Shanahan, H.P. (2008). How many extant pinniped species remain to be described? Historical Biology, 20(4), 225-235.
- Burns, M. (1962). Report on a sample of skin and hair from the Khumjung yeti scalp. Genus, 18(1/4), 80-88.
- Edwards, C.J., & Barnett, R. (2015). Himalayan ‘yeti’ DNA: polar bear or DNA degradation? A comment on ‘Genetic analysis of hair samples attributed to yeti’ by Sykes et al. (2014). Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 282, 20141712. doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.1712
- Gutiérrez, E.E., & Pine, R.H. (2015). No need to replace an “anomalous” primate (Primates) with an “anomalous” bear (Carnivora, Ursidae). ZooKeys, 487, 141-154.
- Hill, W.C.O. (1961). Abominable snowmen: the present position. Oryx, 6(2), 86-98.
- Lan, T., Gill, S., Bellemain, E., Bischof, R., Nawaz, M.A., & Lindqvist, C. (2017). Evolutionary history of enigmatic bears in the Tibetan Plateau-Himalaya region and the identity of the yeti.Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 284, 20171804. doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.1804
- Melton, T.W., Sartori, M., & Sykes, B.C. (2015). Response to Edward [sic] and Barnett. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 282, 20142434. doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.2434
- Milinkovitch, M.C., Caccone, A., & Amato, G. (2004). Molecular phylogenetic analyses indicate extensive morphological convergence between the ‘‘yeti’’ and primates. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 31, 1-3.
- Schiefke, R.W. (1982). Comparison of alleged "yeti" hair with known animal families. Canadian Society of Forensic Science Journal, 15(1), 35-41.
- Sykes, B.C., Mullis, R.A., Hagenmuller, C., Melton, T.W., & Sartori, M. (2014). Genetic analysis of hair samples attributed to yeti, bigfoot and other anomalous primates. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 281, 20140161. doi:10.1098/rspb.2014.0161
- Tschernezky, W. (1960). A reconstruction of the foot of the 'abominable snowman'. Nature, 186(4723), 496-497.
- Tschernezky, W., & Cooke, C.R. (1975). The unpublished tracks of snowman or yeti. The Mankind Quarterly, 15(3), 163-177.
- Ward, M. (1997). Everest 1951: the footprints attributed to the Yeti - myth and reality. Wilderness and Environmental Medicine, 8, 29-32.
This subject has come up in some thread, so I thought I'd re-post this little commentary.
I must admit at first I was against Corporationism. In the old days when we had a sort of democracy I was pretty happy with it. Then, of course, came The Big Crash. In its aftermath I could understand the single party rule. We needed strong leadership if ever we were to revive our economy. The many (temporary it was said) changes to our Constitution at that time seemed reasonable, a requirement to gain stability of our society.
Now that prosperity has returned, our form of government has changed again. It has been a dizzying time for all of us. Corporationism seemed the logical answer to our past problems. The management of our economy by those who create and maintain our economy was seen by most to be the answer.
But, some of the new laws seem to me to be an over compensation to our previous problems. In the beginning of this new regime we were mostly untouched by Corporate Rule. Now, however, recent regulations have been unsettling. Although we are still free to choose products as we will, competition among the great Corporations has taken a new and I think dangerous turn.
The newly imposed obligation of requiring citizens to advertise the products we buy seems to me to be going too far. The transition has already begun. Most of the clothes we purchase now have corporate advertising already sewed onto them.
Also, requiring we consumers to pay for the right to purchase products just doesn’t sit well with me. It used to be, we just paid for the product, and that was it it. Now, we must pay an entry fee to enter the store of our choice. Not only that, but the purchase fee is added on to the price of the product, as well, along with the various required corporate taxes.
I think this is going too far, as I said. Furthermore we all know there is legislation being considered that would oblige us to buy a workers card before we would be eligible to apply for a job. The detail now being discussed is whether this privilege will be applied retroactively. We will also be required to purchase products manufactured by our employer. Purchasing similar products from another company would be cause for dismissal.
There are even plans to oblige us to advertise the products we buy ourselves. Small billboards placed in our yards, for instance. Advertisements stuck to our vehicles is another idea making the rounds.
Then there is Corporate music, which is the popular music of today’s culture, which is nothing but musical commercials. I can remember the time when music was independent of commercialism. That time has passed, I’m afraid. Now, the pop stars are nothing but human commercials, the biggest celebrities funded by the largest corporations.
Movies, always a popular entertainment, now are full of commercial messages. There are even movies being made that are nothing but long advertisements with the slimmest plot added to them. Television programming, as well, has fallen to a very low level. The enhancement of consumerism is its only objective.
Our Corporate politicians say the next faze will be the requirement to spend all of our yearly income on consumer goods. There will be no more saving of money, as banks will no longer offer savings accounts. The use of credit cards will be mandatory, the required amount of debt depending on one’s income. It is said all this will lead to a secure and stable economy.
In the future, most of our free time must be spent buying. We will all be wealthy, they say. We will own more and more products, and that is to our own benefit and to the benefit of our financial system. Zero unemployment is the goal. Everyone working and everyone enjoying the fruits of their labor, with no one left out.
Before the Big Crash, consumerism was not well organized, and was therefore an inefficient and fragmented economic system. Corporationism is the answer to all our previous difficulties in organizing a prosperous society for all. Is this not what we have desired in the past, a stable economy with its consumer goods available equally to everyone?
This ultimate goal will be achieved, our politicians tell us, and we will finally live in a utopian society of plenty. Nonetheless, I sometimes yearn for a previous era when idleness was not against some law, when we had time to enjoy some useless and contrary activity without the watchful eye of some Corporate Authority encouraging us to ever more activity as busy consumers, and when we could just relax for a while, pursuing some personal pleasure that was not related to materialism.
Ah well, those tranquil times will forever remain in the dim past of recollection. Sadly, I must stop here. The newest city mall has just opened, and I must continue my task to accumulate as many of the latest products available, as is required according to my meager earnings as a social commentator.
This may be my last commentary, however. My profession as an independent journalist has been abolished. From now on, I must become an advertising consultant to one of the great corporations. Next time you read a billboard or watch a television commercial, please think of me as I once was. Though you will probably have forgotten me by then.
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Hello everyone. Its been a long time since I've written a blog. Mostly because I really haven't had much to say. Today though I realize it's actually because of much more then that. I have basically been in a stand still funk. So much so that it has begun to effect everything around me. Including my marriage. It isn't comfortable opening my soul for all to see, but I need an outlet. Yesterday morning my wife had given me a very hard pill to swallow. She doesn't even know if this relationship is worth saving anymore. For the sake of our two sons, we are not going to make any drastic moves. It would seem at the moment though, as far as she is concerned we are basically separated, while still living together. I spent the better part of yesterday doing my best to not lose control. It was a very difficult day, to say the least.
Something amazing happened to me this morning though. I awoke at 3 am, and instantly began to stress, picking it up right where I left off from the day before. I sat like I do every morning in front of this computer. Difference today was I didn't give a crap to read, or reply to any of the things I would normally. I just stared at the black screen, like I was looking into my very soul. Suddenly it all became so clear. I felt as though I were looking into the eyes of God himself, and found myself lacking. Not in a negative way though. More like just actually seeing something that was so obvious that it stirred what I believe to be a natural change in my very soul.
Now she is the one who brought me here, and no matter what happens between us I will be forever grateful that she led me to this place of self realization. Today, not because I'm trying to be what she wants me to be, but because I, through simple truth, feel a deep change within. Beginning right now, I am going to be a good husband. I'm going to be an even better father (that part I have always been good at). Thing is, for this marriage it might be to late. I have wasted years. Its also possible she wont believe that I have actually changed, and will think the changes I'm about to make aren't real. None of this I have any control over. All I can do is my half, and let the cards fall where they may. With or without her, my new life begins right now. Its when we find ourselves looking over the edge of the cliff, is when we change.
I know I could have written this blog much better. I could have gone into much more detail etc. But Its difficult for me to even think straight right now.
Thanks for stopping in folks.
As long as I can remember, I have some very strange and interesting experiences. Some people have told me that they would afraid to go to sleep at night. I had mentioned in one of my blogs that over 20 years ago I had a very strange experience that I can't explain. People who know me have believed me but can't understand how these things happen to me. People that don't know me have often reacted very negatively to me telling me I had mental health issues, a hidden drug or medical problem (which I don't have) or have attacked me personally (verbally that is).
Very basically I might have had a experience with a UFO, Talking on a pay phone but not remembering what I said or who I called, Out of Body experience while driving, possible encounter with space aliens or something not of this world, being guided to a restaurant that I wanted to go to but couldn't remember where it was and then getting to a meeting on time even though I was over an hour away. The strangest thing about this was the reaction that my mother had when I came home (at the time I lived with her).
She was upset with me and basically said to me, "You tapped into something you shouldn't have. What were you thinking or doing?" Do you want a visit from someone who isn't happy with you? When I asked her if someone had come to the house, she wouldn't answer me. It seemed like she was upset and afraid at the same time. She wouldn't talk about it. At the time I didn't have a cell phone and had had no contact with her to my knowledge after I left the house that morning. What did my mother encounter? From the brief conversation I had with her it seemed like she knew about the phone call at the pay phone.
One person suggested that I tapped into something that was in a different plane or field or I was disconnected from reality. I wonder then if I was disconnected from reality how I was able to drive a vehicle to where I needed to go and act and function normally during this times.
Would there be a way to tell what this experience was because it seems to be a combination of many different things.
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Ain't nothin' like wakin' up to the sound of chain saws buzzin' right across the street from the house. A little bit later on, as I'm headed to the back yard for a little privacy, I'm greeted to the sight of a guy on his roof in the house behind. He's up there because his roof is covered with pine needles from all the pines on that side of his house. He's got his blower up there, for God's sake, and is trying to blow these HUGE clumps of pine needles off his roof. They are too big, even for the blower, proving yet again that blowers are not always the best tool for the job (though the entire neighborhood seems to think otherwise)! Meantime, he's staring straight down into my backyard, as well. So no privacy to be found there! Haha, a couple minutes later, his wife (or someone on the ground) must have thrown him up a rake, because now not only is he up there in his flipflops trying to do all this - he is also having to set the blower down somewhere and take up the rake. Within five minutes, he's got the roof cleared. Wow. Could've avoided the whole blower fiasco by just starting out with the rake. And thus ends my rant about blowers for today. They are nothing but noise pollution!
Besides that, it's a gorgeous Fall day here in North Florida. People from elsewhere may not realize that there is some changing of seasons here in these parts. Even when I lived further south, in Clearwater, there was still that change in the air. I can remember bicycling on the Pinellas Trail (which I miss SO much) on October days down there. Everything would have this beautiful, golden tinge. Just as it does in other areas in October. Just lovely, and still so warm and pretty! I'm not one to take a lot of pictures, but I think I'll start carrying around my camera more often when I'm out on walks. Capture some more nature shots! (I did not take the above picture, btw., but you get the idea!)
Speaking of walks - I've been "down in the back" almost all week! Haha! I've never even used that phrase till this week! And believe me, this has been no laughing matter! Last Sunday, I did some new kind of workout that I had downloaded on my phone. At first, the moves seemed simple, but when I was done I could feel it! One of the moves was to simply sit towards the edge of your chair, lift your legs, and basically bicycle your legs out in front of you for a certain number of counts. DO NOT TRY THIS MOVE unless you are absolutely certain your lower back is going to be okay with it, and/or you are used to a move like this!! I didn't think at the time that it was a big deal for me. I work out almost every day, so I'm pretty confident when I do stuff like this. Well, the next day, my hip and lower back area were feeling kinda stiff, so I decided to do a hips, buns and thighs workout (bellydance style). It went fine. The day after that, I went on my usual 4 mile walk. Wednesday morning I woke up barely able to move. Excruciating pain in my lower back and basically all through my hip area!!! It's been a really rough week, and I haven't felt pain like this in a very long time. I've been trying to take it a little easy (mostly not through any choice of my own), and have been trying to override the pain with my mind. It's about the fifth day of this now, and it is definitely getting better, but definitely nowhere near 100%. What's funny is that I may have jinxed myself! In a conversation not long ago, I talked about how I only ever get sore in my upper back, between my should blades, but usually never in my lower back! Ha! So much for that!
This week I learned that pain can do some weird things to the mind. I also learned that getting more sleep seems to improve the eyesight! That was a happy revelation! So I am aiming for 7 hours per night, which is something for this night owl! Speaking of a beautiful Fall day, I need to get out there in it! Have a wonderful day!
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Nick Drake was an English Singer-Songwriter born in 1948 mostly known for his acoustic guitar-based songs he was reluctant to preform live or give interviews but It´s baffling to me that he failed to find a wide audience during his lifetime. Drake suffered from Depression which is clearly reflected in his lyrics and died at the age of 26 at his parante home in Tanworth in arden, Warwickshire, England from an overdose of approximately 30 amitriptyline pills (an antidepressant.) His cause of death was determined as sucide. Depression is no joke :-( . I highly recommend Nick Drakes masterpiece Pink Moon from 1972 it´s very dreamy and beautiful. Does anyone else like him here? what is your favorite drake song?
" Don't be shy you learn to fly
And see the sun when day is done
If only you see
Just what you are beneath a star
That came to stay one rainy day
In autumn for free
Yes, be what you'll be. "
(Things Behind The Sun)
nick drake 1971
I nearly got stuck in a canyon today. I hiked into a very remote part of Colorado and down a stream bed draw. I found an old archeological dig, and then I found the alcove that I wanted far out on the precipice. Comeing back I realized I was way over my head. I’m not in the same kind of shape I used to be in. I literally sat in one of the alcoves and felt like it was my turn ( not really I’m being dramatic). I did realize a lot of danger though.
My bad knee wasn’t working right, half my water was gone, and I was exhausted. I thought I was going to have to build a shelter in one of the alcoves and rest for the night to get the strength to get out. All signs of heat exhaustion were starting to happen. My legs were quivering, I was nautious, and I was light headed. Luckily I still had water with me and I was currently hydrated but dropping fast.
I only had a hoodie with pants and really did not want to spend a night in the thirties with just that and pants. A debri shelter that will hold body heat actually takes a lot of work. It’s funny I actually teach survival skills, but today I was just being stupid. I didn’t have any fire starters and to build a bow drill to keep me warm would take hours too.
I actually sat in a diferent alcove and went into meditation to stop me from throwing up my water. I knew I couldn’t afford to loose any. It was working mediocrely, but something weird happend. I spontaneously started singing/chanting native American sounds/songs. I used to hear my mother sing them. They actually helped to focus my mediation and hold down my water. When I was feeling stronger, I applied the 10/30 method of self rescue for that situation. Climb about 30 yards to any shade if possible, rest for ten minutes, and take a mouth full of water then repeate. You cover about 100 yards an hour, but you don’t further exhaust yourself. It worked well, but dam it was tough and I’m hurting. I think I’ll use one of the closer alcoves to where I can park my jeep.
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Welcome to the first blog of the Wïççåñ`ś Bėåçöñ where I'll be touching base upon the basic info and FAQ regarding to becoming a Wiccan! If at any point there's further into you'd like to see here or want a answer to a question. Post down below and I'll add it here or in upcoming blogs. So let's begin!
What is the belief system/(s) does a Wiccan have?
Some Wiccans base their beliefs upon the equality of both the Goddess (Feminine) and God (Masculinity) while there's others believe in the balance within the universe. With that being said no matter what belief you pick as a Wiccan we all have the Divine power within.
What are the rules for Wicca?
the Rede/Creed which is the main focus within our practice which is "If you harm none, do what you will." Meaning you shall not place a spell upon another against their Freewill as this will need end well upon your behalf. It's pretty much karma what goes around will come around whether it's positive or negative.
Take FULL responsibility for the everything u do. Meaning if u treat someone poorly you must make amends why? Because u need to take responsibility for your action(s)/word(s).
What types of Wicca paths are there available for me?
Here are some paths briefly summarised for u all to find ur inner Wiccan each type that's highlighted in blue is a link to further information upon each path:
Alexandrian: Wiccan path who follow the philosophy of Alexandria.
Celtic: Path of Wicca that involves the Celt and their languages.
Dianic: A tradition that focuses upon only the Goddess and feminine forces.
Eclectic: Alternative Wiccan the one who mixes and matches other paths to suit their beliefs and needs.
Faerie: The Wiccan who believes in the fae and works with the realm of fae.
Hereditary: A path of a Wiccan who continues their magical path from generation to generation within a family.
Gardnerian: The Wiccan green thumb of the group
Shamanic: This is a path that's a combination of Shaman and Wicca.
Traditional: Follows the only traditional path of Wicca.
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Welcome to the first blog of Ałł Thïñgš Tåröt to kick this blog off let's begin with the simple basics of Tarot and some FAQ. If there are other questions you'd like to know about tarot pls comment them below and I'll both the question and answer to this blog.
What are tarot cards?
Are a deck of 78 cards which are separated into Major Arcana which are 22 cards which represent life lesson. The remaining 56 cards are our Minor Arcana which are then split into four suits Cups, Pentacles, Swords and Wands.
Within the Minor Arcana we have the court cards who are the Kings, Queens, Knights and Pages who provide the 16 personality characteristics to your readings.
Why are tarot cards used?
They are used to help provide information regarding to a situation, person or event which helps make decision making easier.
How do I use tarot cards?
1. Once you have a question in mind begin shuffling the cards in your hands. Stop shuffling when you are ready to begin the reading.
2. Pull out the amount of cards that a the spread calls upon that you are using.
3. Now refer to your deck's guide book (if you don't have one because you have either lost it or don't own one. Look up the card's meaning online).
4. Record the reading for future reference (optional) keeping a record on your readings helps you develop a better understanding towards Tarot and yourself as a tarot reader.
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There isn't much to tell about my earliest experiences, there were some odd things that happened to me that I cant explain. I would, even as a kid try to rationalize the things I saw, heard or felt, but this wasn't always possible. Even since I've grown up, there are a few things that simply couldn't be rationalized.
The first of these memories deals with the house I grew up in. Both my brother and I experienced, what you might call, bad vibes; feelings of unease, anxiety, and of being watched. It was very common for the room to go dead silent. No ambient noise of any kind. It was at these times you could feel the air get stale and heavy. It wasn't restricted to any specific time of day, either. I remember feeling this just playing in my room. Night time was the worst, though. I would be laying in bed an feel my hair being twirled by fingers. My grandma said this was the Devil plying with my hair; something about it being because I lied (I don't know how much I believe that. Old German wives tale, I think). There was many occasions where I dreamt that I was laying in bed awake at night. The room was dark, but I could see everything. I could see under the door that the hall light was on. I would just stare towards my door rom my bed. Then a shadow would appear in the middle of the crack under the door as if someone was standing just on the other side. Its as if my vision would then zoom in to that spot. I would see yellow eyes staring back at me from under the door. I would always wake up from this dream sweating and completely freaked out.
It only really occurred in that one room of the house. My brother and I would switch rooms every few months to, in an odd, unspoken way, take turns. My mother just assumed that we got bored of the room we were in or both of wanted the bigger of the two rooms (the scary one). Actually my mom never actually found out the full story about the room and why we were always switching back and fourth. It wasn't until I was about 30 that we were talking and she mentioned something about my sisters not liking that room either. She asked if I thought it was the same reason me and my brother didn't like it (though she didn't know what that reason was). I told her is was the exact same reason and then I told her what that reason actually was. She went wide eyed and pale. She had never noticed. I then proceeded to tell her about my other experiences throughout my life and she was shocked.
I will be sharing those other experiences throughout this blog. That's about all the time I have for today.
Thanks for reading.
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Around 11, Mum and Dad came home from the OP Shop. Mum handed me a bright yellow box which was the Rider Tarot Deck by Pamela Smith for $2. I was amazed by the price and the condition that the cards were in. The deck itself is usually $150+ when I was given the deck it lifted up my mood for pretty much rest of the day.
Since they were second hand I needed to heavily cleansed the deck before further usage from me. While I was shuffling I picked upon a female voice who introduced me to herself as "Pamela" which at the time I didn't know who created the deck till I saw the author. Anyways for my test reading of the new deck I done a reading on the effects of the Blood Moon which I'll be uploading as well on here to share.
Lately ive been having a lot of technical difficulties which I'm not understanding and it's a real head **** to deal with. Pulled a couple of cards to figure it out which was the Star in reversed and the High Priestess. "It's the electric impulses from the moon" that screamed in my head. The original meaning behind the the Star reversed really confused me but the High Priestess was simple because she represents the Moon and intuition. So I needed to be patient and the answer revealed itself as a scream.
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John 12:20-33 Some Greeks Seek Jesus
20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up
27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
“Seeing the Glory of Jesus Christ” Year B
A couple years ago my wife and I got to visit Washington D.C. It was my wife’s first time there, so it was awesome to be able to show her all the breathtaking sights of our nation’s capital. We went to all the major places...like the White House, the Capital Building, The Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument. We even got to see and tour the United Methodist Building.
Another great thing about this trip was how we got to see the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. When we were there, I discovered something I was just fascinated by...The Jefferson Bible. Have any of you, my readers, ever heard of it? When it came to religion, the great Thomas Jefferson was what you call a deist. This is a belief where God creates and sets everything in motion, but is withdrawn from humanity. Deism was a really popular view back then and other founding fathers were Deists as well.
So as a deist, Thomas Jefferson rejected belief in the God of the Bible. He didn’t believe in things like the Trinity or in miracles. He felt that the Gospels had been hijacked by Jesus’ followers to advance their own agendas and ideologies. But in spite of all that, he loved the teachings of Jesus. He adopted His teachings as a moral code to guide his life. He said that Jesus taught "the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man."
And that leads us to the Jefferson Bible. Using a razor and glue, Thomas Jefferson meticulously cut up four copies of the Gospels in English, French, Greek, and Latin. He kept only certain passages, the ones he felt were authentic sayings of Jesus and without the miracles. Jefferson’s version ends with Jesus’ burial on Good Friday. There is no resurrection and no Easter Sunday. He felt all of that was a myth. Jefferson called this version “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. As a history lover, it’s such an interesting story and it’s fascinating that he took all the time and effort to make that book.
So at the Smithsonian I got to see the original from 1820, encased in glass. And I was also able to buy a Smithsonian Edition copy that was created from high resolution photographs of the original.
But I think what’s most interesting about that story is the fact that…like the Greeks in our text….he really wanted to see Jesus. But what kind of Jesus? Was it the real Jesus? Or was it a Jesus entirely of his own making?
And when we fast forward to today, all of that brings us to an interesting question. How do Americans see Jesus Christ today? I think it’s safe to say that almost everybody has an opinion about Jesus. And as I was preparing for this sermon, I got curious about where people stand.
So, I did what you always do when you get curious about something….I typed the question into Google. The results were interesting. The vast majority of Americans believe that Jesus was a real historical figure…approximately 92%. But the next Barna survey result was really interesting. 83% of Americans still describe themselves as “Christians”…..but only 56% of that number believes that Jesus is actually divine and that He literally rose from the dead. 26% felt that Jesus was only a great moral teacher, much like the Buddha or the Prophet Mohammed. Another 18% said they just weren’t sure about His divinity. So in sum….at least 92% of Americans still want to see Jesus. But is it the real Jesus? Or is it a Jesus of our own making?
In my essay this morning, I’d simply like to explore this request…”we wish to see Jesus.” So it’s my hope that after today, each of us, dear readers, will be able to see the glory of Jesus Christ more clearly. And to do that, we have to lift our eyes, our hearts, and our minds to the Cross. May the God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit open our minds to the understanding of His word and open our hearts so that we may feel His love coursing through us.
To begin, our Gospel lesson is set in the context of the Passover festival. As I said recently, Passover was one of the holiest feast days of the Jewish faith. Thousands of faithful pilgrims would have flocked to the Temple from all over the Mediterranean to celebrate and make their offerings to God.
But not everybody who came….were Jews. John says, “Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, Sir we wish to see Jesus.” Now the question is why. Why would these Gentiles come all the way from Greece to see Jesus?
Well, for one thing…there was no Instagram. It’s hard to believe, but in those days you couldn’t just hold up a phone…take a picture or a video….and then send it to all your friends in a few seconds. If you wanted to see somebody…you actually had to get up out of the house and do it. Imagine that? And we complain about our connection speeds….first world problems!
For another….I suspect news of Jesus…had already travelled that far….with no help from social media. See, I think they’d probably gotten wind of some of the things He was teaching. Jesus was saying and doing some pretty radical things. He taught with authority. He broke all the rules of social convention. He ate with tax collectors and sinners. He had real compassion for the poor. He put down the religious leaders for their false piety. Then He told little children that they would be the greatest in God’s Kingdom.
And then there were the miracles. Turning water in to wine. Calming storms and walking on water. Healing sick people and casting out demons. Maybe most importantly….Jesus had just raised Lazarus from the dead….and that’s a pretty big deal. So no doubt all of this stuff was traveling far and wide. They were probably hearing all these wild stories…all the way in Greece….and these people were like….”is this for real?” They wanted to see Jesus…because they were curious.
In other words, these Greeks were no different than…say….Thomas Jefferson…or Americans today. Curiosity is the great motivating force of research and discovery. And like Thomas Jefferson and so many of us today…I’m sure they had their own preconceived notions about who Jesus was. I’m sure they’d taken a mental razor and cut out the things they didn’t like or believe and glued in the things they did like and believe.
I imagine they probably had their own Jefferson Bibles by the time they reached Jesus and the Disciples. Now after they made their request to Philip, he did what a lot of us church leaders do when outsiders come to our doorsteps seeking God….he formed a committee. He went and told Andrew. They probably debated about it for an hour. Then maybe they took a vote. Annnnnnddd then they told Jesus.
Their minds had to have been racing. They might’ve thought these would be the first Gentile followers of Christ. Or maybe they were apprehensive. Aren’t you here for just us Jews? I’m sure those two disciples had their razors and their glue just as the Greeks did. But on that day…none of them saw a Jesus of their own making.
They saw the real deal. Now we don’t know this for sure, but I imagine Jesus turned and said these things to the entire crowd…Jews and Gentiles alike. “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
This is the real Jesus. We can say we want to see Jesus, but is it the real Jesus or is it the Jesus we want to see? We can spend endless hours with our razors and our glue. We can glue in a safe Jesus, a Jesus we can control.
We can glue in a Jesus who says some nice things, but we aren’t sure if He’s really divine. Or we can glue in Jesus who’s a divine butler who exists solely to grant our wishes and doesn’t ask for anything in return. We can do a lot of work with our razors and our glue.
But when we encounter the real Jesus, the glass cases of our own Gospels shatter. The pages crumble…they fall apart and wither in to dust. You see, that’s one of the key purposes of John’s Gospel.
He wants us to see Jesus as He actually is….beyond our limited perception of reality…beyond our physical and our mental understanding….beyond our razors and our glue. He wants us to see the great spiritual reality of Jesus Christ….and to respond by believing and trusting in Him as the one sent by God. The thing is, though, seeing Christ in His real glory isn’t all that easy to do because it flies in the face of just about everything we do believe in. Let me explain.
This concept of life from death would’ve made very little sense to the original audience of this Gospel. It’s widely accepted that this Gospel and all the writings attributed to John the Beloved Disciple are the products of a Johannine community of churches in Asia Minor. They were dedicated to preserving the teachings of John, but like most of the other early Christian communities, they were persecuted heavily…by both Romans and Jews.
And as they were being persecuted and martyred…they had to wonder….how can death possibly bring life? Here they were living in another place and time...and they wondered...where is this supposed glory of Christ? These questions are similar for us today, too. As a culture we try to avoid thinking about death. We cling desperately to the good things we have because we want life and still waters. And yet, our lives our filled with little deaths.
Sometimes our circumstances shift and the old securities go and the only roads before us…go right through the valleys. So we wonder. How can the fallen wheat of our lives really bear fruit?
In fact, I originally wrote this essay during the Christian season of Lent…I think this is the heart of what Lent really means. Our symbolic gestures of giving things up, our extra time spent in prayer…all of those things are important, yes. But the reality of Lent is that Lent comes to each of us in its own due time. At its heart, Lent is “Media vita in morte sumus ”…”In the midst of life we are in death.” “In the midst of life we are in death.”
No one’s immune from suffering, loss, the fear of death, or death itself. In other words…Lent isn’t always about choosing our losses…no….it’s the season for acknowledging them…for coming to grips with them. It’s the awareness that even as we’re living and drawing breath….we’re also dying. Heavy stuff.
And this is why our razors and our glue are useless. If we try to create a Jesus of our own making, then we miss this spiritual reality. We miss the full expression of what God is offering to us through Christ.
We miss seeing Christ in His real glory, and so we miss our opportunity to be lifted up…even in the midst of our own deaths, big or small.
So what is the real glory of Christ? The glory of Christ is the Cross and the fact that life will be offered to all people through death. Now that just might be the most theologically complex sentence I’ve ever said…so naturally, we’re going to have to unpack it. I think it’s safe to say the meaning of the Cross is the most difficult thing to understand and explain in all of Christianity. I bet most of us get a headache whenever we even try to think about it.
And it’s been debated from the earliest days of the church right up to our time. There’s entire classes in seminary devoted to making sense of it. Some have said that the Cross was a ransom…a payment that bought the world freedom from sin and death. Some have said that the Cross was substitutionary…that Christ took on victimhood and died in our place to atone for our sins and guilt.
Some have said the Cross is our “moral exemplar”….that through His life and death on the Cross, Christ shows us how to live. Now I think there’s validity to all these theories. I think all of them might reflect part of the truth of this great Mystery.
But what’s interesting for our message today…is that all these “classical theories” of Atonement are completely absent from John’s Gospel. John focuses on one thing. He’s focused completely on the restoration of the relationship between God and humanity.
When Jesus turns to Philip and Andrew and the Greeks He’s saying “If You want to see me as I am, if you want to see me in glory….then you have to see this…you have to see the Cross.” Why? It’s the sign of His true glory because it reveals God’s everlasting, self-emptying, self-surrendering love for all of humanity. He becomes what we are and He endures what we endure. The doubts, the fears, the little deaths, the weaknesses of the ‘Father, save me from this hour’ moments…He takes those things all onto Himself because…He loves us that much. So in the end, the Cross isn’t ultimately about paying ransoms or substitutions and the need for someone to be punished because of sin.
Through His death on the Cross, Jesus Christ is creating a new reality. It’s a new reality that says you are reconciled to God. You are loved and accepted by God. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Indeed, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Out of His death He brings us new life.
So if we want to see Christ in glory, then we have to look at Him as He’s being raised up on the Cross….because the Cross is our signpost that points to the limitless bounds of His love and the unfathomable depths He will go to…just to be in relationship with us.
In the words of the great Saint Catherine of Siena: “As a child who sucks the milk from his mother’s breast, likewise we, in love with God, draw love from Jesus crucified, always following His footsteps and walking with Him on the path of humiliation, pain and insults. We do not seek joy elsewhere than in Jesus and we avoid any glory which is not that of the Cross. Embrace Jesus crucified, loving and beloved, and in him you will find true life because He is God made man. Let your heart and your soul burn with the fire of love drawn from Jesus on the Cross!” My sisters and brothers…this…this is how life comes from death.
This is how the dying wheat that falls to the ground bears fruit. All we have to do is put away our razors and our glue and see the glory of Jesus Christ. And when we look on Him who was raised up for us, we should also be raised up. Maybe you’re cast down today. Maybe you’re grieving over the death of a loved one. Maybe you’re having financial troubles.
Maybe your marriage is strained or you’re fighting with members of your family. It’s in these moments...as the wheat is falling where we feel the most vulnerable and the most alone. But if we let go….if we just let the wheat fall….we’ll see that we’re not alone.
We’ll see that we’re not just God’s second-class citizens clinging to words in a 2,000 year old book…no….we’ll see that He’s here….that He’s with us….and that He’s lifting us...and all people up and drawing us to Himself....in the power of His reconciling love that flows from the Cross.
Today I’m going to leave you with the words of a poem written by an Eastern Orthodox Monk by the name of Fr. Seraphim Rose, a poem that beautifully sums up the true glory of Christ bringing life from death on the Cross.
And it’s a poem that has brought me comfort and hope as some of my own wheat fell to the ground. My friends, may it be so for you as well:
"Come to Me, says the Way,
The way seems long only because you cannot see the end.
But when you reach the end and look back, the way will seem so very short.
And you will see that you could have never known happiness
Unless you had known this sadness.
You will be thankful.
You will be glad things happened just as they did.
That they are just as they are.
You will be thankful in the harbor, if only you can endure to the end.
To be empty is to be filled. To be tattered is to be renewed.
Follow Me, says the Way, Descend into the Valley,
Enter the city, and then be raised with me in ignominy
Torn and Tattered, Dragged down to the most abased place on earth, Atop the highest tree
On the highest hill outside the city.
Follow me, says the Way
Hollow, empty, selfless
Resting in forsakenness, There abide in Me as I abide in You.
Abide in the highest, You who have been abased in the depths with Me.
Be filled with Me, you who have been emptied with Me,
Be renewed, you who have been tattered with Me.
Taste incorruption, You who have lain in the grave with Me.” (Taken from Christ the Eternal Tao by Hieromonk Damascene)
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Mention must be made of an archaic cultural site discovered in the Valley of Mexico in the 1920s, which has come to be called Niven’s Buried City. William Niven started his investigations in that same valley in the early nineteen hundreds (1910), and in the course of his research, he encountered enigmatic stone artifacts and tablets, which had no discernible connection with any other Mexican cultural sequence. This was curious! However, it was not until the period of 1921-23 when he hit archaeological "pay dirt" at Santiago Ahuizoctla, a hamlet contiguous to Amantla. At that time, he discovered the "infamous" tablets and the evidence of an archaic culture of a high order. For a short time, his discoveries set the archaeological world afire with rampant enthusiasm. Then, most sadly, his discoveries were summarily discredited by the mainstream academic culture and its media. He was made to look a fool, while his artifacts were carried off and scattered far and wide. William Niven died a broken man in Austin, Texas in the 1930s. It is sad to contemplate that he died without ever having his work properly evaluated by the scientific prowess of today’s world. We know not where to find his works though there is rumor that some are hidden away at a distinguished eastern university. Such is an example that could face us with this project.
Teotihuacan, the great city near to Niven’s excavations in the Valley of Mexico, has always caught my imagination, even as a boy. It looks like a great space port with pyramid-like structures lined up on a 4 kilometer rampway for travelers departing and arriving for destinations now long forgotten. At an early age, I can recall thinking upon great flying machines, perhaps saucers, sitting on top of all those little launch pads lining the road of the dead (dead-our idea, not theirs). Too many space movies; one would think that the MIR space station would have ended such dreams!
It has been estimated that Teotihuacan supported a population of 200,000 persons at one point in its florescence. Many of middle American’s old cities seem to have this otherworldly look of high sophistication that was either emulated by other cities at a later date, or were part of an older civilization that was to some degree very advanced. Teotihuacan represents more than that, it has the engineering built into its structure to suggest more than what is told to us by today’s archaeologists. Were the cities of Mexico old memories of a time far away in the minds of their well educated priests? Or, could they have been the whispers of a very ancient Enmayi tradition that bled through to show itself 4 million years later? To do this, the Enmayi had to have a seat of civilization somewhere on Earth that lasted as the stalwart to carry these traditions forward. Where is such a site?
Teotihuacan presents another feature that is also arcane to the extreme. Peter Tompkins, Graham Hancock and other historical writers have pointed out, time after time, that enormous, thick sheets of mica were found by Leopoldo Batres on the fifth level of the Sun Pyramid in 1906. Later, at 350 meters down from the Sun Pyramid, reported by the Viking Foundation, another mica slab was found of considerable size: some 27.4 meters square (90 feet square). To the astonishment of all archaeologists, it was identified as a type of mica that is found in Brazil, and nowhere else. This begs the question of why was this particular type of mica removed and transported some 3218.6 kilometers (2000 miles) to be incorporated into the building site at Teotihuacan? How could something this large be transported in a stone age period of history? It is also to be noted that similar finds of Brazilian mica were discovered in certain Olmec sites. This is the "silver bullet" of the archaeological world which proclaims that the technology of the ancients is far removed from what we consider it to have been. Mica is utilized as insulation to atomic expressions.
In my estimation, the importance of the discovery of mica, which had been transported thousands of kilometers from its place of origin to its final resting place, is equivalent in historical importance to Dr. Oppenheimer’s comment upon the detonation of the first atomic explosion in the deserts of New Mexico. At the time of the explosion, he was heard to remark that "it was the second [ time ] for humanity to experience such." He was, of course, referring to the old Sanskrit tradition that the first atomic device was detonated in the area of the ancient Indus Valley civilizations some 8,000 years ago. The very old ruins of Mohenjo-Daro certainly reflect that this is indeed what occurred, with thousands of its fallen resident’s bones recently found radioactively "hot" in the bottom of the old streets of the city.
In the old Mahabharata, we find that there were references to flying machines and a frightening white flash of an ultimate weapon that destroyed cities, and caused the survivors to rush to the rivers to cleanse themselves of the unseen killer. The evidence of classic radiation sickness, such as hair and nails falling form the body before death, are everywhere in the ancient writings. With all this strong corroboration of evidence from our planetary past, we should not decline the information offered by all this data that our celestial messenger has poured forth in the last few weeks.
From my vicarious youth, I have wondered about Mexico. Were those old tribes a part of this powerful technological base that peeks to us between the lines of mythological history? The gods seem to appear out of space and time, as did the Sons of Annu, the Sumerian god of gods. One wonders if Claronu’s nickname for Anjona — Annoo-a was the same leader of the Niberu, as translated by Zecharia Sitchin in his body of highly informative and passionately charged books about the Earth Chronicles. Annu was the Anunnaki god who brought genetic engineering to Earth. We have data that supports some of these researchers, so why do we not announce the truth to humanity?
Today, expeditions into the volcanic wastes of Mexico are showing that cultures were present earlier than the Olmecs as Niven believed. Were these first people the sons of the Enmayi who had risen in technology over and over again through the cyclic volatility of this unstable planet of garden-like beauty? Cast back into the barbaric states of human evolution time and time again, they continued to climb back out of the agglomeration of defeat to strive once more up the ladder of be-manship. While the poles of the planet wobbled around the globe, they fought to maintain their traditions, each time of destruction, they restarted the flame of the hand that sees – becoming the minds that move. Even the art attributed to the Olmecs seems more modern, with their head-mounted lenses on space helmets that often seem to have support systems attached to their bodies. It is all more relevant now, after having this immense data before us from out of Time.
A chronic lack of civility in our public discourse has led to an approaching breakdown of social order. When it comes, when the nastiness reaches a critical point, who will be willing to back down and compromise? When hotheads shed blood, who will reach across to make peace? WWII ended 73 years ago. Is our institutional memory so short? Do we so little value what has taken 2 centuries to build? Finally, are we so full of hate that we'd rather lose all than admit an error and compromise? Our electronic media is our access to the wider world. How are we to understand what is happening in our world if we cannot trust what these arbiters of truth tell us? There is yet time for cooler heads to prevail but that time is shrinking.