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The master poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson, crafted this astonishing love poem with its hypnotic imagery in 1847, and it's been set to music multiple times since then by the likes of Benjamin Britten, Ned Rorem, and other luminaries. But is it just a love poem? Or is it also an esoteric pointing, as was suggested to me long ago. Note the alchemical character of the specific images, the colors, the flowers, the white bird, the astronomy references, the stages of development. It is curious. It is beautiful. It lingers in the mind. What does it say to you, ultimately?
Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal
Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font;
The firefly wakens, waken thou with me.
Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.
Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.
Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts, in me.
Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake.
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.Alfred Lord Tennyson
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Breathe in; breathe out
(the practice of prayer)
When I ask this “what do we pray for”, many do not understand what I am getting at. I guess we can start with the question what is prayer? The simplest answer is that it is “raising our heart and mind to God”. But that answer can lead to another question…..what does that mean for me in my everyday life? Prayer, if pursued and the impulses of grace are followed, which is, in fact, an invitation from the Holy Spirit, can slowly grow over the years to become a deeply ingrained habit. Prayer becomes a form of breathing for the soul. The Holy Spirit breathes in us, and we breathe out prayer.
To stop and pray, to be open to the Holy Spirit opens us up to the healing and mercy of “the fire of God’s love’, which is stronger than death. So as the life of prayer deepens we can often find ourselves in a dry desert with only faith and prayer as our guides. Or we find that we discover depths within our souls that block us from living fully in the joy and love of God. Prayer gives us the humility to grow in the knowledge of God’s grace and our total dependence on his mercy and love.
So we can find ourselves on stormy seas, without the false luxury of blaming others, or of seeking ways to self-medicate that only complicate the matter and pile on more problems. Prayer frees us from being a victim as well as drowning in anger or self-pity. The more we understand ourselves, the more we understand the struggle of others and find our hearts becoming the Heart of Christ Jesus. Prayer and our openness to God’s grace makes us aware that Paul’s statement that “It is not I but Christ who lives in me”, is not some abstract statement, or theological principle, but an actual living reality.
Fear, bitterness, anger, and cynicism are ways that we protect ourselves from the on- slot of life. Sin is the shield that we use to keep life out, which leads to only more suffering and a deepening of our wounds. It is only by letting go of fear that we can understand the healing balm of God’s love. As John says in his 1st Epistle, “Love cast out fear”.
The death to self that Jesus calls us to is a letting go of self-concern to the exclusion of others. As well as freeing others from manipulation and being made into a mere object so that we can feel secure and in control….illusions both of them. Yet when we discover the love of God, its depth and what Christ Jesus went through to save us, we come to the understanding that we are truly embraced in the everlasting arms of Christ Jesus’ love.
We can forget how short our lives are and that we are pilgrims. One good thing about aging is that illusion of “I have plenty of time” is taken away. If someone lives to be 120 years of age, on their death bed, it will seem like a passing dream…..our time is short here. Being 68 (or will be in December) has freed me totally from that illusion. Life is more precious to me as I age, yet I know that ‘soon’ I will move on. What is life for? We need to ask ourselves that question and live from what we discover.
Breathe in, breathe out, allow the Holy Spirit to pray in you, through you and let yourselves be used so that our arms, become the Arms-of-Christ, our hearts, become The-Heart-of-Christ and our minds, to become, The-Mind-of-Christ. For in our bodies we make up for what is lacking in the body of Christ. We have a great calling; we are all members of Christ Jesus and belong to the priesthood of the faithful. The more conscious we are of that the more we can allow the Holy Spirit to use us.—Br.MD
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I perceive there to be so much conformity between God and the soul that when He sees it in the purity in which His Divine Majesty created it, He gives it a burning love, which draws it to Himself, which is strong enough to destroy it, immortal though it be, and which causes it to be so transformed in God that it sees itself as though it were none other than God. Unceasingly God draws the soul to Himself and breathes fire into it, never letting it go until He has led it to the state from which it came forth — that is, to the pure cleanliness in which it was created.
Paul Leaird Witnesses the Magic in Tibet
By Paul Dale Roberts, HPI’s Esoteric Detective
Halo Paranormal Investigations – HPI International.
My late cousin MSG Paul Leaird was with the US Army 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam during war times. While doing this stint, he was sent over to Tibet by the Department of Defense. The stint would only be for a few days. Paul wouldn’t talk too much about this assignment, but mentioned generically that he was with other elite military forces training guerrilla fighters. Paul mentioned he was sent there by the Department of Defense, but the operation had ties with the CIA. While there, Paul mentioned seeing towering monasteries. As he walked the countryside, the sounds of deafening bells were heard. The sounds of bells and the soothing chanting of monks were a daily thing in Tibet.
Paul mentioned one of the most unique things he experienced and saw in Tibet were the spinning prayer wheels. At Lhasa, he came upon the gorgeous Potala Palace. The Potala Palace is the former Winter residence of the Dalai Lama. The Potala Palace was built in the 7th century. Paul says he was completely blown away by his experiences in Tibet. Paul felt engulfed in magnificence when he came upon the Jokhang Temple and the Sera Monastery. Paul says that he was flooded with a tapestry of images. Images in his mind of the complex history of this land.
When I asked my cousin Paul if he came across a Yeti, the answer was “no”. Paul mentions that the locals definitely believe in the Yeti (the Abominable Snowman) and one local had told Paul that he actually came face-to-face with a Yeti while hiking. The Yeti looked at him strangely and then ran off in the other direction. Paul also mentioned that the people of Tibet definitely believe in ghosts.
Paul went on to say that the Tibetan Buddhists / Monks believe that when a person dies they are emitted into a dimension state of consciousness called the Bardo. While in this dimensional truck stop, it is determined by the higher powers if you are to return to this world reincarnated as a human or as an animal. It was also mentioned that if you were a hunter in this world, that hunted for sport, you may be punished and returned to this world as a hunted animal, such as a deer or rabbit. While on the otherside, some ghosts may reach Nirvana, where they are above all states of embodiment.
According to Wikipedia: “Hungry ghosts have their own realm depicted on the Bhavacakra and are represented as teardrop or paisley-shaped with bloated stomachs and necks too thin to pass food, so that attempting to eat is also incredibly painful. Some are described as having "mouths the size of a needle's eye and a stomach the size of a mountain". This is a metaphor for people futilely attempting to fulfill their illusory physical desires. Sometime individuals have a predominance of hungry ghost in their makeup. They can never get enough, and are always hungry for more. The Tibetan word for the emotional state of the hungry ghost, ser na, literally means "yellow nosed", and could be said to mean "meanness" or "lack of generosity". The person in this state is constantly seeking to consume and to enrich themselves, but can never be satisfied.
A tulpa is a type of ghost or being that is created through mental effort, purely from the thoughts of its creator. A very skilled Buddhist practitioner or sorcerer may have this ability, and in some cases a Tulpa may be created from the collective thoughts of the villagers. Such a ghost is not self-aware at first, but may gradually acquire awareness and go on to become a normal human being.”
A spectacular case of a Tulpa is the case of popular author Walter B. Gibson who wrote and created The Shadow. Walter thought of his creation so much, that the character actually manifested in his home. His visiting guests would see a man lurking around the house, wearing a black fedora hat, black trench coat, red scarf over the lower half of his face. What was also a stand out feature of this character, was his long nose. The guests would be excited and somewhat scared as they thought the entity they were seeing was a home invader or burglar. When the guests described the entity, it surprised Walter, because they were describing The Shadow, his creation.
Paul said that he did not witness any ghosts, but a Green Beret (US Army Special Forces) corporal said that he saw 3 monks talking amongst themselves. The corporal was walking towards the monks and the monks did not pay attention to him. As the monks approached, they walked right through the Corporal. The Corporal was in shock and turned around and the monks had completely vanished. Paul also mentions that he came upon a Tibetan family. The family told him that their youngest daughter was severely ill and they prayed and prayed for her recovery. After one set of prayers a powerful light shown through their window and when the light diminished, they could see a large man in their home. The entity tells the family that his name is Mahakala. Mahakala then approached the daughter, looked at her for a few minutes and then placed his hand on her forehead. After he did this, the light came into the home and overwhelmed the whole family because of the brightness. When the light diminished once again, Mahakala was gone and their daughter was now standing next to her bed and was completely well again. The first thing out of their daughter’s mouth….”I’m hungry!”
Paul tells me that Tibet is a wonderment of mysticism, magic and the paranormal and that Tibet should go onto my bucket list of places I want to visit.
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!
Through our lifetime, we experience things that sculpt who we are and then in turn also sculpt how we process those same experiences. In that sense, there is a never-ending on-going feedback loop between who we are and what the world is. Through this process, we acquire an image of what the world is with us in it – and ourselves in the world and its impact on us – and these two processes, while similar, are very distinct but still inextricable.
In order for one to learn about oneself, truly learn about oneself – oneself needs to separate one’s own mind from the world and engage with one’s mind cognitively and emotionally. At the same time – to learn about the world, one needs to entirely forget about oneself and merge with the world, cognitively and emotionally.
I believe that the key to a stable, happy and healthy mind is to find that boundary between – me and the world. This is no physical boundary, as it is a boundary in the mind, and therefore not limited by the body, or a suit of armor or any such thing. It is a boundary that defines one’s own beliefs, values, feelings, opinions as integral and untouchable and, which I find essential, outside of reach, by the world. It’s sort of like being a visitor in your own body, recognizing it as a vessel, a means of experiencing this world but not being defined by it.
If I was to use an analogy – it would be like – I need my eyes to see the clouds in the sky. But my body is so much more than just my eyes – and the world is so much more than clouds in the sky. Through this analogy – I am much more than this human body allows me to experience – and – the “world” is so much more than this human body allows me to observe.
This brings me to the subject of science. Where religion and philosophy have lost their foothold in explaining and even preaching about what the world is, what we are, what I am – there science has taken their place.
Back in the day – it used to be – if it’s not in the Bible – it doesn’t exist. These days it’s – if it hasn’t been proven by science – it doesn’t exist.
Another interesting point to be made here is when it comes to things that clearly do “exist” as they are observable by the human mind through its vessel – the human body. Religions, philosophies and science, all of which I clump together here deliberately – have their say in what a particular thing is and is not.
It’s a rock, it’s limestone, it’s calcium carbonate.
All of these strategies of “explaining” what something is or is not have one single purpose – and that is to provide the “meaning” of the thing being (or not being) observed.
This meaning then directly feeds back to what I’ve spoken about in the beginning – to what “I” am and what the “world” is. The meaning is what relates the “I” with the “world”. However, both the “I” and the “world” are limited experiences, human ones, and the virtue by which their relation has been construed is also limited as it came from either the “I” or the world or their interaction.
In the end – what is sufficient – is just the awareness that our sense of who we are and what the world is – is an illusion – both to ourselves and the world. Just to know that there is more to “everything” than you will ever know while you’re here. And then – you’ll still go in the kitchen and make some eggs and bacon without contemplating about what the egg is and who you are etc. Things don’t need to be that complicated. But just being aware, being conscious of the limitations of human experience, is enough.
An analogy here is that brushing your teeth in Denmark and brushing your teeth in Japan will still remain “brushing your teeth” – but the awareness that your body is in a different place is important.
Now imagine being aware that while your eyes are reading these words and constructing a meaning out of them – who you are and what these words are and what the meaning is – is so much more than you’ll ever be able to comprehend.
And science will not bring you any closer to the truth, nor religion nor philosophy.
This brings me to the point of how we interact with each other. If you’ve understood what I’ve said thus far – you will also understand that there is no-one that is more “right” than the other person. There is no one that is more “wrong”.
Someone might then say – “yes, but what I say is documented by science and what Joe says is just an experience that cannot be scientifically proven”. Nope.
What you’re saying is that “you” derive meaning of things through what science can prove and that is important to you. Joe derives his meaning by other means. But in the end – both you, and Joe and what both of you say – is limited – and both of you a part of a greater whole that you don’t understand – which makes you both – equal.
With this realization – how could we all ever do anything else but respect each other for what we are?
How could we ever fight about anything? How could we ever feel anything else for each other but love?
But I also know that when someone is determined to believe in something – they will find proof of it in everything they see. And by arguing about what is and what is not – nobody’s opinion will really be changed – quite the opposite – everyone’s respective opinion will in fact be strengthened and we will be that much further apart.
But that is also part of the love that I speak of – to understand that there are others who walk a different path than we do. And if we are limited in making sense of our own human experience – who are we to make sense of others’ experiences?
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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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So something that just chaps my hide is when people call chaps, butt less chaps (forum friendlier name but we all get it right? Okay, moving on). Why not call them frontless chaps. Oh, oh,oh, how about moose knucle curtains. For example of moose knuckle watch ‘they live’ with rowdy roddy piper.
now the usual rant about taxes, they suck, don’t like paying them. Why not use our tax money for something useful. I vote for sending Hollywood adrift in the Pacific, how bout sending Taylor Swift to mars and leaving her there. What’s the worst thing that could happen? She writes a song about it.
oh, how bout this for a lottery, we get to bend one politician over out knee and publicly spank them. Just think how many people would pay the idiot tax on that one.
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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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In a few months, I will hit the big six-oh, much to my astonishment. I always expected to die real young and if you knew me, you would understand why. I always had a wide (think skunk stripe LOL) streak in me of The Fool of tarot fame, that blend of naïve and fearlessness that can lead to almost anywhere and any ending of a story. But, for me there was only ever one Goal for all of my adventuring into the spiritual world and pursuit of "why" and "god?". I wanted to find out The Truth, and I was not satisfied with the person I was. I believed I was designed to be more than the emotionally abused and confused and lost kid I was way back then who saw things nobody else did and heard things no one else seemed to hear either. It has been a long road, many ups and downs, too.
Lord, looking back, I have been a fundie Christian, a tarot reader, a medium, a Vodou Asogwe ranked Initiate (Bishop basically in Haitian Vodou. That is as high as Initiations go in that tradition). I have been a lot of other things as well. A Shaman, a cop (retired now), military vet in the war, homeless and living in a Salvation Army shelter (that was a brief phase, soon as I got work I was out and back to supporting myself, but it happened and was a good experience in growing I am not ashamed of). To me, this is what life is for, covering a lot of ground, learning, finding things out for myself, enjoying every moment of it and what I could not enjoy, then finding out the meaning in it.
There actually is The Truth out here. I have found parts of it. Some of the things I have been I still am. Some of it I am not sure what to do with anymore. I have outgrown it but it remains a large part of what I know and so I feel a need to kind of acknowledge that. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe I am right. I will sort it out.
I want to tell you this. If you ever learn anything from anything I ever write or say, learn this: Go out and find out. You do not need to take anyone's word for anything. Go, find out, and live, for your sake while you have time and breath in your lungs. Don't be afraid. Don't let the bullies scare you off either, and God knows there are growing hordes of those wearing all different kinds of hats. Some are fundies who will assure you in high glee you are on the highway to hell. Some are sceptics who will be as vicious assuring you that you need psychiatric intervention and drugs. You deserve only what you have the brass to brush off and go on despite it, that is what they are around for, I think. Distractions.
When I was a cop we had to qualify often with weapons and we'd go out and fire in day and then at night with lights flashing and the trainers screaming and harassing us to compare our accuracy in both situations. You had to pass no matter what, both times. It works the same way in pursuit of anything occultic or paranormal. Like being a cop, it can get you killed and it can snap your temper and reason as well.
It can also make you the unique person you are and set you on a firmer foundation of answers to the questions you have asked to learn this lifetime. It can temper you to not be bothered by ridicule or sneers, you can know what you know, and be at ease with the great lot you do not know - and know others do not know for a fact either.
If you will learn a second thing from me, then let it be this - don't get in a rut or think it is over with. Keep asking and searching and learning and don't worry about how it looks to anyone else. This is all about you.
As a few of you know, my latest foray in study has been the Catholic faith in depth. I am applying myself to that right now with the same intensity and exactitude as I have studied everything else along the way. Naturally, my focus is on the mystical aspects of it more than the straight up liturgy. I was already and long since grounded in early church history, so that bit is easy. I am even taking the classes at the local Parish, which will run for several more months. I have no idea yet if I will actually join at the end of it, but it has been an interesting break to actually kick back and have someone tell me things for once, then go and see what I think about what was taught. I am learning vastly more outside of class about it, but, it is all interesting and a good place to be for me right now, and interesting to find many things that overlay what I already know, and things which challenge it all.
A lot of these folks I already know from other places, like Michael the Archangel, and Jesus Christ, both of those guys are tremendous friends of mine, proven many times. Quite real, too, whatever anyone thinks or tries to say. So, I have a few friends there when I walk in to the Church and have made a few more.
I am writing about this to assure anyone who wonders or feels awkward about where they are that it is alright, and you have freedom to explore wherever you feel is best for you to check out next. Compared to the value of your soul, if you believe you have one (I definitely do), what anyone else thinks matters about as much as cold ramen. Do not stop searching and go ahead and work on becoming the person you hope to be in the end, whenever that comes along for you.
Me? Hell. I was never a "good" Adept in Vodou as I considered it horsestuff that a real spirit needed me to kill an animal to feed it, so I did not ever do that and still got wanga done which rocked a few worlds of jerks. I worked with spirits who did not need that superstitious happy crap and did just fine. I probably won't be a perfect Catholic either if I join up, because you cannot unlearn some things I have seen and know to be true.
But, you know? In the end, we just have to do the very best we know to do, be true to ourselves, and live our lives as the best man or woman we know how to be. Some are going to hate you some will love you, some will like you anyway.
Which would still be true even if you sit home and buy into the party line and never take a risk.
Love you all.
I write to serve.
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.
This year has been one of the most growth-inducing years of my life. It began with a break up after a 3 month relationship I expected to go further than it had. I went through depression of course, not knowing what I did wrong, and desperately trying to fix the relationship any way I could. I had my mind set on suicide once the pain got unbearable. I planned out goodbye letters, and had other information written down so things could be taken cared of when I had gone. Something in my mind told me to pray for help instead - so I did. February came along and I began researching Archangels because of one I heard of shortly after praying. Archangel Michael was the first one I had researched, and the more I looked, the more curious I became and once I knew I could ask them for help, I started calling out to them and praying every night for something to happen. It started the domino effect that paved the road towards my Spiritual awakening in March, then Kundalini awakening in April. I've been visited by many of the Archangels in the last 6 months, and I have a direct cord connecting me to Michael. It's so powerful, when he's with me I can feel heat cascade down my entire back. I have many experiences to voice about, and I plan to do so in this blog. All events are true, and I use to be an atheist, so if people are concerned with me making this stuff up - there is no way I could possibly make things of this significance up!
Until next time, have a good day!
Just over 12 years ago I joined this site. I was in my early 20s and noticed something strange in the sky. I took photos then went online on my old PC and came across this forum to share my experience. It was great and opened up my mind to so much more. Since then I’ve learned to look beyond what we can see. I don’t post very often but I read very often. Personally I don’t have many experiences that are worthy of sharing on here but I do appreciate others stories and experiences.
That leads to me, now. For most of my adult life I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety. It’s getting worse. Realising that 12 years has passed since that day I registered on here is a major eye opener. Then I had a few ideas and dreams of where I wanted to be in the future. I’ve not achieved much of that. I bet most of us would think that in a decade into the future from now, loads of things would have changed! Aliens would be here, ghosts and monsters would be easily detectable but nope, all is as it was. It’s a good thing though because no matter how much technology progresses, those same questions we asked years ago still remain.
Ive began looking for personal answers. Why am I here? What’s my purpose? Is it all just random events or is the simulation theory real? If so then are any of us really in control? Are we the highest power or are we just left alone to think we are? Are we insignificant like that random ant hill in Africa?
Having depression is strangely soothing for me. I can’t get excited and I’m used to feeling alone and disappointed. If we are alone and are just a freak of nature doomed to disappear when the sun explodes then fine, I can deal with the pointlessness of it all. But what if we’re not a freak of nature? What if we’re here for some reason? Test? Experiment etc?
Who gets those feelings of “there’s something more than this”? I do constantly. I’m not religious but I do believe there’s something out there with a degree of control but I have no idea how to find out! I’ll keep searching!
I try to ignore the distractions in life, they seem to be set up for us like TV, sport, video games and so on. They seem to mask or hide something. Why do we need to be entertained when we have the instinct to explore? There are so many unanswered questions but we ignore them and instead go shopping or go drinking or fall asleep watching TV!
The people on here, keep up the good work! Keep searching and asking! Share what you find! Silent observers like myself appreciate it .
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So yesterday, my three cousins and I were laying in bed watching movies. It was around 11:30pm or 12:00pm, and the door in my cousins room started shaking slightly. We were a little creeped out, but just assumed it was the fans in and outside of the room. It continued after a while, so we just opened the door and put some things in front of it. Today, it started again. My aunt claims it has never happened before, because I'm just visiting when it happened. We turned off any fans or air circulating through the house. No windows or doors were open. The door continued to shake, but much harder. When we would open it, no one was outside. Nothing. So we just cracked the door, due to heat, and the door once again shook. While it was open. Later, all of the doors started to shake slightly while closed. Not really sure what's going on here, any thoughts?