Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Meaning of the Virgin Birth

Photo: John Cocking

The meaning of a virgin birth is that it is not a corporal birth, such as a human or animal experiences. It represents the birth of the spiritual self, hence it is often called a "second birth" or a re-birth. (NO, it doesn't mean that you're a 'Christian again' and decided to go to church regularly!) All animals have a corporal birth, but it is generally believed that only humans can experience a spiritual birth. Some say this is the "Holy Ghost", but that concept is problematic and debatable; many would say this term represents the soul which gives life to the inanimate matter (the earth or clay) that was used to form the human body. This concept is not only not unique to Christianity, but has been a common motif in much religious mythology, as it does not represent a 'miraculous human conception' at all, but an individual's awakening as a spiritual being, a concept not unique to any one culture, hence it often falls under the general term of "perennial wisdom", or universal truths common to most religions or philosophies.

In the Christian version, the acceptance of this awakening leads to the baptism, or holy cleansing of one's soul, when the individual now devotes him or herself to the mission of following a life of selfless spirituality. In ancient Israel, some sects, such as Essenes, both men and women, did the ritual baptism every day at midday as a constant daily affirmation of the spiritual cleansing.

Historically, there have been numerous corporal virgin births documented, including a famous one in the Civil War, when a soldier was shot and the ball continued into a house and impregnated a virgin teenager; when the soldier found out, he saw this as 'providence', and married the woman and they had several more children together. However, none of the other virgin births became anyone more famous than this incident.

If you think this represents a material, historical accuracy, then it's nothing unique when compared to other religions, and you'll have to find a meaning to the story that includes why it would be retold or common to various religions and cultures.

[Note: I also posted this at WikiAnswers in response to the question: "What is the meaning of the virgin birth?", and some clown had answered, "A woman, never having known a man, gives birth; there has been only one." Not only is that innacurate, but "The Gospel of the Birth of Mary", later removed by some early Pope, give the exact same story for Mary's birth, born of a virgin herself. Metaphysically, this means that the "Mary" concept is not a real person, but a spiritual concept. This is likely why the book was removed. Ironically, all editing or changing of the Bible, including removing books, is prohibited at the end of Revelations, in a paragraph that was certainly added later by monks! In spite of this, the King James Version has over 14,000 changes made in just the new testament alone since the Codex Sinaiticus version from 180 a.d., the oldest known copy of these books, so it may be the original versions.]

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Story of Horus

[I'm repeating this excerpt in time for Christmas]
The Story Of Horus, from 3000 b.c.

Horus was born on December 25th to the virgin Isis Mary. His birth was accompanied by a star in the east and upon his birth, he was adored by three kings. At the age of 12 he was personified as a teacher. At the age of 30 he was baptized by a figure named Anup and thus began his ministry. Horus had twelve disciples he travelled around with, performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water. He was known by many names including “The Truth”, “The Light”, Good Shepherd”, “Lamb of God”, “God’s Anointed one and many others. After being betrayed by Typho he was crucified, died for three days and thus resurrected.

Sound familiar? I was told that Horus bearing the sun gave us "hours".

Remember this quote:
"This myth of the Christ has served us well" - Pope Leo X

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Hero With 1000 Faces

The title of this post of course refers to the Joseph Campbell book of the same name. The beauty of mythology is that it usually says the same thing the world over.

Philosophers, mythologists, metaphysicians call this "perennial wisdom", the same wisdom that seems to surface periodically in mankind's history, and in nearly every culture. This gives it more weight because it's derived in diverse cultures which likely had little or no contact with others, such as prehistoric Norsemen and asian Indians. Coming to the same conclusions independently means that man is likely tapping into the same spiritual cognizance that is universal in nature.

Natalie Banks wrote a book called "The Golden Thread", which said that in the myth of Perseus and the Minotaur, the golden thread he left to find his way in the darkness and out of the labyrinth represents this commond thread of wisdom, "that holds all religions together like a strand of pearls", they are separate yet held by a common unifier, called perennial wisdom.

Everyone tends to get downright "nationalistic" about their own version of spiritual matters, even willing to kill over ideas of deity, the Supreme, the Creation. Many act like anyone's variation of the same story isn't valid due to some small (usually irrelevant) detail or even fallacy of historical fact. If anyone had "the truth", wouldn't it be indisputable by definition, and we'd all have it? Isn't that definition of truth, such as a scientific or historical fact? So, if its only your version of "truth", then that's simply opinion.

I've known Bible readers here in the south who claim that it is the only valid scripture "because it's the oldest written alphabet in the world". Sorry to dispel your logic, but Egyptians had hieroglyphics for thousands of years before there was Hebrew, even the Phoenician alphabet is 5000 yrs old. They've recently unearthed one older than that (a Phoenician 'translater' one was found that enabled them to decipher the older language) - clay tablets buried in the sand, which when deciphered were mostly business transactions. The first (and funny) one deciphered however, read, "Marry for pleasure, then get divorced when you've thought it over." The Tibetans claims to have been writing for 10,000 years.

If "age of myth" matters in importance, the aborigines in Australia have been telling the same stories orally for 50,000 years, and they claim (like the Egyptians) that mankind came here from Sirius, the Dog Star, which is only 6 light years away, making it one of the closest stars for travel (I beleive Alpha Centauri is only 4 light years away, the closest). Of course, the abos also claim the universe "was born on the back of a giant tortoise." Likely meaning slowly evolving over time, but they may mean it literally as well, and how can they be proven wrong? Where did the tortoise come from, if the universe wasn't here? (can also be said of "Jehovah"/Yahweh.) Seems if you understand logic, but this is a "faith" thing, right? beyond logic.. That's what makes voodoo work for some, psychiatrists say - simple "power of belief".

If age of deity is important, the first one worshipped was woman, who apparently brings forth all life on earth (about 50,000 b.c.) Next was the bear, apparently for hunting nomads, the most powerful beast they encountered, which had no enemies - therefore "king of the earth".

Here is a myth, often repeated, which may astound some people who have never heard of Joseph Campbell, watched his PBS specials or read his books, or studied mythology. Following this excerpt from my friend and British author Akin Nu An, is a link to his full story on these religious myths. Before you think your version is unique or was "first", you need to see the historical dates of all these other myths.

The Story Of Horus, 3000 b.c.

Horus was born on December 25th to the virgin Isis Mary. His birth was accompanied by a star in the east and upon his birth, he was adored by three kings. At the age of 12 he was personified as a teacher. At the age of 30 he was baptized by a figure named Anup and thus began his ministry. Horus had twelve disciples he travelled around with, performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water. He was known by many names including “The Truth”, “The Light”, Good Shepherd”, “Lamb of God”, “God’s Anointed one and many others. After being betrayed by Typho he was crucified, died for three days and thus resurrected.

Sound familiar? I was told that Horus bearing the sun gave us "hours". The above quote is from Akin's blog (read more!) about "The Journey to the Truth"
The Journey to the Truth

Note: There's a difference between blind faith worship and theology or the study of religions and mythology. If you are only interested in worship, if that is enough for you, then you're already doing all you need for yourself; this was my mother and many of her generation. Others seek a deeper knowledge and understanding of the mysteries of life. We will all come to our own personal conclusion about the spiritual and the Supreme and the nature of life, it seems to be an individual construction based on personal experience, self-examination, and education. For some it takes a lifetime of study; for others, their childhood instruction is enough. "Child is father to the man". (is that Blake?)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Shroud of Turin Hoax

I recently saw that there was yet another tv special on the "Shroud of Turin". If you don't know what this is: the story is that the image of Jesus was "burned" into the linen shroud placed over his body (the magic of God!), so this is somehow proof of it all. For centuries, since about 1300, people have made pilgrimages to Turin, Italy, to see this item in a glass case.

Well, the church finally admitted years ago that it is a complete fraud, a church fabricated con. Some apparently are real slow getting the news. Of course, modern carbon-dating placing the cloth at around the 13th century forced them to confess. The only reason I mention it here is that they are still making and showing tv specials on it, so I'm assuming there's at least some audience out there gullible enough to believe a hoax even after it had been admitted. In one ear and out the other.

They used this to generate tourism for themselves. No telling how much money Italy got over the centuries luring people to Turin for no other reason. Now, someone intelligent would ask "why would they need to do this?", unless trying to convince people of some other story, people without enough faith, who need "tangible evidence". (someone will always be glad to provide it; why, I have a jar of Mt. St. Helen's volcanic dust for sale myself!). In other words, we don't need to fabricate a "shroud" if we know he existed. In the case of some Biblical figures, all we have is the Bible itself, no outside sources can confirm even their existence, so the church has actually harmed their own position by creating hoaxes like this through the centuries in order to "fool the gullible with fabricated proof". This makes all but the blindly faithful suspicious of everything else they say as well, so they do more harm than good to religion in the world's populace.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Resurrection: Parable or Reality?

A few years ago, the Vatican was heavily embroiled in this argument: do we re-teach the resurrection as myth and parable as it used to be taught, or do we allow the literal (or materialist) translation to continue to be used whether that is accurate or not? At the time, the only argument proposed against reverting to the 'as parable' teaching was that "some fundamentalists might lose their religion". This is the first time I've ever heard religious dogma be shaped by what some followers might erroneously believe. You're telling these people to expect their bodies to rise up after a waiting period, that their graves would be empty?

Suddenly, in the middle of these discussions, the U.S. sex scandals hit the church, and everyone's attention and time were diverted, as usual, to the more sensational, yet temporary issues. Interesting timing, as this has been going on for at least decades, if not centuries.

Has everyone forgotten the Crusades in the middle ages? Well, the first instructions to the first Christian crusaders was "the infidels now have the body of Jesus, which is in Solomon's Temple; we must go and bring back the body of our Lord to the holy city of Rome." In fact, even though some claim the Knights Templar did retrieve the body during the first crusade, this same argument was used by later popes to get the other crusaders to go back to Jerusalem again and again. The worst was the "children's crusade", in which almost all the children perished, an estimated 50,000, less than 1% returned to Europe. (This is the story behind the "Pied Piper" fairy tale, as this crusade actually had an adult leader)

Some recent 'accounts', and likely bogus, claim that some records indicate that the 'body of Jesus was removed by Pilate's soldiers the first night to a secret location because he feared a crowd might grow at the tomb which could become an angry mob'. However, this was from tv and there is no historical evidence, or even mention of these events outside of the Bible itself, not even in Jewish historian Josephus' accounts, who was an eyewitness in Rome to this era. (He did later write that the "Christians burning the homes of senators in Rome are being led by an elderly man called Jesus". It's a myth that the city was burned, only about 150 homes of politicians, simply terrorism directed at politicians to get more liberal religious laws.)

For purposes of this site, we're assuming this is simply a parable of the soul (or spirit, you know, this 'thing' that animates the matter) of a person. The body perishes, the soul does not. So the spiritual being of a human "rises after death", from its temporary house, the body, which will now return to the earth. ("Ashes to ashes, dust to dust"; our body actually recycles its atoms back into the planet within 1000 years).

I'm not sure of the significance of the "three day waiting period", unless this is a cultural ritual to give the family and friends time to arrive for a burial or at least a memorial service. (Now, the "trinity" people will say three represents the trinity, but if you can find that in the Bible it'll be news to everyone, since it was injected into Christianity during Constantine's major compromise with all the 9 dissenting factions of Christianity to keep the "Holy Roman Empire" from disintegrating.)

It's more likely that the soul leaves the body at the time of death, if it's nature is immortal. Scientists have measured an 18-21 gram loss in body weight at the time of death (the Russians detected this first, the danged 'commie athiests' - which acutally gives it more weight as they had no dogma or creed to fortify), so this may prove its existence scientifically. Remember that centuries earlier, in Greece, Socrates himself had been put to death for arguing the "immortality of the soul."

It's no accident that the celebration of this parable comes after the Passover moon, in the springtime. This is when all of nature is 'reborn' after winter's hibernation. Plants that are perennials (not evergreen) are reborn from their roots, animals that hibernate all winter now awaken and re-emerge into the world. The Passover moon is also usually the first time that its warm enough in some areas to go outdoors, make pilgrimages, backpack trips, long hikes. It's the time of year we took our first hikes in the desert, to Joshua Tree, after the cold winter. (The coldest night I've ever spent was one December night halfway down into Grand Canyon, on the Kaibab Plateau; I was so cold that I shook all night and didn't sleep)

Spring is the perfect time for a rebirth or resurrection parable to be applied to all of life. Rather than dwelling on the death, as most films and some people do, we should be instead be meditating on the rebirth.

[Cross Artwork: unfortunately I cannot read the name of the artist on this beautifully drawn print that I was given, it looks like Groffruiw - note to all artists: print your name somewhere as well as signing your work illegibly!]

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Taking the Bible Literally

[Someone sent me this EMail and I just about died laughing, then realized that many people believe this literal interpretation, then blame society for "not following God's word". I added the new map of the actual nation, which represents today's reality. - EL]

Dr. Laura Schlessinger, an observant Orthodox Jew, is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.

The following is a hilarious letter to Dr. Laura in response to her edict.

Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination.

End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:

1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own a Canadian?

[It's also stated that you may rape female slaves, but if they are engaged first, then it's polite to release them afterwards. Now, if I ask first if they are engaged, can I believe them if they say yes? I certainly don't want to give up any female slaves that I can rape repeatedly..]

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbiden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them?

11. Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14) I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted fan,
"One blasphemous liberal sinner"
(actual name changed to protect the sinful devil worshipper from being burned at the stake like Joan d'Arc)


[My NOTES: Now, obviously people say “These ideas are out of date – times have changed” – yeah? IF so, then why is this called “God’s word”, still? And is God’s word valid in some eras, NOT in others? If its invalid now, why are people still buying 3 Bibles each, on average, why is everyone claiming this is “immutable, everlasting wisdom”?

Detractors say western religion (the Judeo-Christian ones) have become “shopping cart religions” – you only buy the parts of it that you believe in. In that case, each person is creating their own “personal religion”. That being the case, the Bible then is nothing more than a “rough idea” of what should be ethical or not, and we each decide on our own. Somewhere in the Old T is says, “There was no king in Israel, every man did what he thought was right”.

That’s it in a nutshell: we EACH do what we think is right, so every person has his own “religion”. This is yet another reason it won’t work for any society or government, its all open to various interpretation – hence there are over 36,000 denominations of “Christianity” in the U.S. alone.. and if “only one” is right, that means that 99.999% of us have chosen “wrong”, and we’re all DOOMED!

I've often asked God to "smite me dead" if I'm wrong, and I'm still around, saying the same things for over 50 years now. They hated me in Sunday school, because they couldn't answer my questions, being "volunteers with the calling", but NO knowledge of theology, religion, or the Bible at all. Spiritual illiterates are teaching our kids this stuff!

"Any man who doesn't seek knowledge of God cannot be a priest in Israel"

ps - I believe Iran, and the Taliban in Afghanistan are trying to live "by the Bible", you can look at those societies and determine if "living by the word of God" works in reality for you (all we have is our opinions, right? Some will always like it, some not, true of every system really). In actuality, democracy would have prevented the American Revolution (supported by only 9%, fought by 3%) - EL

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Power of Words

Icon – 1. picture, image, or other representation. 2. Church: an image of a sacred person, generally venerated as sacred itself. 3. One who is the object of great attention and devotion. 4. A portrait or pretended portrait.
[For some reason, most people think this means "someone else's false religion", but it's also the crucifix on the key chain, the picture of Jesus or Mary on the wall, the statues of saints in the church. In the Old Testament, "any image or representation of God, real or imagined, is a false image", therefore an icon; they are false because they are not spiritual but material; this includes mental images. They become "another god before me", as many people pray to these images.]

Bigotry – 1. Intolerance of or dislike of any belief, creed, or opinion different from one’s own. 2. Opposing or not liking someone based on their beliefs, usually religious.
[One reason the US separated church and state is because in the history or man, most wars and emigrations were caused by religious intolerance; many fled to the new world to escape European repression, hence we are prohibited from making any law restricting religious freedom, or from allowing religion to control government.]

Prejudice – 1. Disagreement with or dislike of someone based on their religion, background, race, nationality. 2. Any preconceived opinion, favorable or unfavorable. 3. Opinions formed without knowledge, thought, or reason. (“You just have to take my word for it; you just need to have faith.”)
[It's now a federal crime to commit a crime due to prejudice, so basically 'prejudice is against federal law.' In Biblical times, the King of Israel was 'federal law'.]

Did you know that 90% of all people believe what their parents believed? Is this then based on “knowledge, thought, or reason”? Is this even freedom? How can progress ever occur, that implies change. If things stay the same, that’s called stagnation; a person who won’t change is called stubborn, obstinate, close-minded. So if you simply believe what your parents believed, you become stubborn and close-minded, and controlled by your prejudice, and your attitudes towards others will be bigoted. A society or nation based in prejudice will stagnate and never progress, and the world will pass them by.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Public Displays of Religion in the Bible

"Make not my father's house an house of merchandise." - John 2:16

Praying in Public

Matthew 6: 5-6
When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

We each have to decide: do we obey the Bible and be thought non-religious by others, or do we disobey the Bible so others will perceive us as religious? What's more important to you, God and the teachings, or your church?

Keep Charitable Works Private

Matthew 6: 1-4
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

For a more dire warning, read the 13th chapter of Daniel, removed from the Protestant Bible but still in the Catholic Bible, in which the people gave tithes and food "to Jehovah", which the priests and families took, then were beheaded by the King of Israel, who told the people not to support the priesthood, because they did NOT need intermediaries to God. No wonder this chapter was later removed! So if you think this is God's word, you're violating it by giving money to churches, but then we select the parts of the Bible we agree with, don't we? See below

Slavery is permitted
Leviticus 25:44-46: "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Star of David

or, Seal of Solomon

Solomon saw an ancient Tibetan symbol he liked and was impressed enough by it that he chose it as his official seal, it became the symbol for Israel, now called The Star of David.

The symbol is two interlocking isoceles (equal-sided) triangles. Each triangle represents the trinity, one triangle is the spiritual, the other is the material. The symbol means, simply "as above, so below - the spiritual realm is mirrored by the material." Westerners say on earth as it is in heaven. They are interlocked because they are connected in reality, yet still separate aspects of life.

The trinity in man represents body, mind, and soul. One is not a whole being without any of these.

At the center of the Tibetan symbol was the swastika, which simply meant the four cardinal directions of the world (north, south, east, west), always rotating; it was also said to represent the four seasons, with each one changing into the next one. In other words, within the trinity is the world, always in motion.

I'm sure you've noticed that from any side, a pyramid is a triangle, and of course, the overall structure is four triangles, leaning toward each other coming together at the apex, or topmost point.

Friday, January 16, 2009


The prophecies of the Day of Judgment, or Armageddon, are named for a mountainous region of Israel called Har Megiddes where several major battles were fought, and were intended to be prophecies of the end of Israel, not the entire world.

In fact, the final days of Israel, whose rebellion was finally smashed by the Roman Empire in 73 AD, which ended at Masata and with it biblical Israel, were not even the end of the Roman Empire, nor any surrounding nations. The Roman Empire became the Holy Roman Empire (basically the Catholic Church in Rome), began conquering neighboring lands with its own army, eventually resulting in the medieval era (the Dark Ages), and the plague, which drained the manpower from both the fields and the churches; the church lost most of its support (and attendance) by burning scientists and others disagreeing that the plague was caused by "sin and unrighteousness", rather than a transmitted disease we could cure. This was actually closer to a real extinction, as 75% of Europeans died.

Israel was not a nation again until after World War II, established again in 1948 by the United Nations, and at the suggestion of England, was given the land of the biblical Hebrews.

The Book of Revelations is not about the "Day of Judgment" at all. It was written by John, a political dissident, exiled to the Greek isle of Patmos, who used symbolism understood by scholars of the day to criticize several empires, such as the Babylonian and Assyrian, and historical rulers in the Middle East.

So Armageddon did happen, but for biblical Israel and is now history. People will keep the idea going just to write books and sell tv shows, but its been reduced to an income generator by modern capitalism.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Eye of the Needle

Jerusalem was surrounded on all sides by walls for defense from numerous enemies, like a fort, with various gates for entry from outside, most narrow enough to provide an easy defense. The narrowest of all these gates was called "The Needle", due to its extremely narrow size and length. In order for camels to pass through he Needle gate (usually called "eye of the needle" for the parable, since "passing through a needle" would make no sense to us), they had to remove all baggage and everything from the camels, then they could get through the gate. Those caravans with heavy freight surely chose a wider gate for entrance, but hence the saying.

It's easier for a camel to give up its goods and continue passage to the Holy City, or Jerusalem, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven, which involves being willing to give up everything in the material world to enter. Most people think "give up worldly possessions", but it means leaving family behind too, also part of the material world - so it's most likely a reference to death. It's a spiritual quest, so you have to be willing to leave the material realm and your physical body.

The implication of mentioning a "rich man" is that the wealthy may be stronger bound to their possessions than someone poor, and less willing to leave the material world behind.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Walking on Water

Water is used in the Bible to represent many things. It can be a vital source of life, as all living things on land need fresh water for survival. It also represents purification, used for both bodily cleansing and spiritual healing, such as baptism. In a negative sense, troubled waters represent the tribulations of the material world and the negative thoughts that keep us from a more spiritually realized life.

In the walking on water parable, Jesus represents the fully realized spiritual self, which is untouched by concerns of the material realm. No matter what happens to the physical body, the purified and spiritually centered soul rises above the negativity of the material and remains uncorrupted.

Peter, from the Greek word petra, meaning “earth”, represents the physical body. In this parable, the physical self can try to rise above the troubled waters and become spiritual, but will always be connected to the material realm by its very nature – the physical body requires constant care and nourishment, food and water, and will be unable to walk above the waters like the spiritually realized self. It’s possible to become so immersed in negativity that the individual can be “drowned in the waters”.

No matter how hard we may try, eventually the physical body will grow old and die, this is the reality of life, but our spiritually connected souls will remain untouched.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Loaves and Fishes

How can a multitude be fed with such little food and be content?

Why are fish throughout the Bible? They represent the fecundity, the multiplication of life but specifically the wealth of new ideas with the possibility of increase. Jesus taught about the realm of spiritual ideas, the inexhaustible abundance both above and below (on earth, the material, as it is in heaven, the spiritual). Passages of Jesus and others eating fish symbolize the appropriation of ideas, they were talking about the mental level, not the physical. Jesus did not attract a multitude that was hungry for food, they were hungry for his words of wisdom, his new ideas. How often have you gone to a church service seeking real food?

Loaves and bread represent spiritual substance (Bethelehem in Hebrew means maker of bread), food for the soul. Any real food eaten is consumed and gone by the next day, but ideas and wisdom of spiritual substance are with you for a lifetime. The multitudes came and heard new ideas, ideas of deep wisdom and spiritual meaning (substance), and were thus blessed and content.

For many, this story increases their agnosticism and skepticism, for others, yet another physical miracle; it’s because many do not understand symbolism, metaphors, or parables. It is for this reason that most (the masses hence the term Mass) are told to just take it on faith, and not to question; unfortunately they may never really understand. Jesus was not a magician and did not need to dazzle people; these stories have another meaning. Even Jesus’ disciples asked, “Master, why do you so often speak in parables.” The reply was that the truly spiritual, those with pure intentions, honestly seeking God, would understand the true meaning.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

David and Goliath

The Philistines were opposed to spiritual discipline. Here they represent foreign thoughts or deviations from a true course, non-spiritual concerns related to the five senses; these detract a person from their spiritual consciousness. These desires must be controlled for spirituality to grow in the soul. You might say the spiritual has to overcome the material, or that “truth must overcome errors in living”.

Goliath the giant represents a major obstacle keeping the spiritual self from growth. David, the spiritual side, must overcome this obstacle in order to control the errant sensory thoughts (Philistines). The rock he uses represents spiritual truth and faith, which when used properly (with the sling of assurance and self-confidence) can overcome the major obstacles to growth.

The material side is more evident and at first exerts a stronger pull than the spiritual, hence the giant in the parable. People may be addicted to money, food, power, violence, sensuality, any number of things of a non-spiritual nature; once something becomes a habit, it takes much spiritual assurance, confidence, and faith to overcome it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Search for a Deeper Meaning

The Bible obviously exists on two levels. One is the material realm, where it provides a rich history of Israel, its beginning, its laws and ethics, its wars, the story of its patriarchs and its prophets, and a collection of the local wisdom, songs, poety, mythology, literature, folklore, and legends.

The other level is the much deeper, more obscure level: the metaphysical teachings, which deal with the spiritual realm. In Bible symbology, the search for this knowledge is called fishing in deep waters (Joyce Myers has an excellent sermon on this, available on CD), which yields the true meaning of the teachings, often called the perennial wisdom throughout the world, or those truths taken to be universal and that cannot be denied philosophically.

In order to teach about this hidden, inwardly experienced part of life, the authors had to use everyday metaphors, often worked into parables, or simple stories which yielded a deeper meaning. The quest for knowledge or wisdom often means an understanding of these deeper mysteries, as expressed in the quote 'seek and ye shall find'.

This is life-long education for me, the 'way of the initiate'. I've had theology courses in college, several years of theology classes beyond that (was a year away from a degree, from being a Reverend!), also courses in meditation, yoga, and healing. Growing up, I was in the choir and eventually got the God and Country award in scouting for church work and bible knowledge (it had to be read cover to cover, we had to know the books in order, and be able to recite major passages by memory like the 23rd Psalm and Lord's Prayer). I actually read it completely twice, and now have not only several versions, but numerous books on its origins, the removed books, the Dead Sea scrolls translations, a concordance, a metaphysical dictionary, a biography of all those mentioned, a comparison to history - you name it: it found me and entered my consciousness.

Recently Biblical scholars, using history, archaeology, linguistics, and comparative theology, have discovered and revealed much more about its origins and influences, and the fact that it was originally much larger, with much of the material having been removed from scripture over centuries of debate and organized censorship to solidify certain points of view, or just for political expediency, to appease some part of the Holy Roman Empire. Gone now are the books of Enoch about the bonds between men and angels, gone are more books of Eden, numerous more gospels, even the story of Mary and her birth. Protestants even removed the last chapter of the Book of Daniel (its still IN the Catholic Bible) because it warns the people to 'not support the priesthood with money or food' (orders of the King, who beheaded the priests), that they had a direct line to God themselves and were being taken advantage of for the financial benefit of the priests and their families!

It's pointless (and lazy) to just read passages back to people who can read it for themselves, in private, and then call that a sermon; unfortunately I experience this too often when I visit churches, not to mention preachers emphasizing the unimportant or downright innacurate. One recent Easter service I had to listen to this lie that the church seems intent on perpetuating: "Mary was a prostitute, Jesus was the first that didn't want her body"; to what purpose is this repeated, other than to heap more denigration on women, in this case an original disciple, and one perhaps even more important than the others? In the synoptic gospels, Jesus appears first to Mary in two of the four after the Resurrection; the Catholic church said "this was irrelevant since she wasn't a disciple"; Jesus' reappearance to Mary wasn't important? Then WHY is it a major scene in two gospels?

We may only need 'just faith' (Paul), but our innate thirst and curiosity for knowledge drives us to seek more understanding, to exercise our minds, to enrich our spiritual side, to enlighten or illuminate the darkness or the unknown, the part of us inexperienced in this realm. Do we ever feel we have truly found wisdom, and quit seeking it?

The goal of this blog will be to talk about the symbology used for the metaphysical side, sometimes called occult, meaning hidden, called the Cabbala in Judaism, called the secret teachings in the gospels, given only to the disciples, and to reveal what was meant by certain metaphors (bread=spiritual sustenance), to give people new ideas to consider (fish=new ideas), and hopefully provide a richer experience of certain sections, and maybe you'll find meaning or clarity (clairvoyance=clear vision) for yourself.

This is the true meaning of teaching a man to fish, to go beyond the superficial (shallow waters) for the deeper meaning.