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.