quotes

Day 139 – 144

We have reached Day 12×12 in this long journey. Of course, they haven’t all been properly accompanied by consecutive blog posts, but there’s nothing I can do about the past. All I can do is pick up where I leave off and continue forward.

Prior to writing about Numbers, I feel like sharing a transcription of a recording I made on July 5, 2014. I had intended to share it that day, but the recording is 24 minutes long and will take some time to transcribe. You, lucky reader, get to enjoy the end result without the delay. I know my partner is going to think I’m insane, so all I can say is read all the way to the end of the post, dear, before coming to conclusions. I know you’ll reach some prior to the end, but hey, I figured I’d throw in a disclaimer anyway.

(Except, you know, it’s been six days since I’ve updated. So there’s that.)


I had an interesting revelation today; it was quiet and I’m not even sure where it came from or why I was even thinking about it, now. But I was thinking about why… why are we created? And supposedly our purpose, supposedly according to some Christians, is to worship and glorify God, right? So we’re created from nothing, born into existence, meaninglessly it seems, but with the purpose of giving glory and praise to the Lord.

And I was thinking, “why should this be?” To some people, that’s not… maybe, don’t ask questions, but I think it’s important to ask questions. So, my question is “Why?” Because there are two things at play here: one of them is, “what do we get out of it as human beings?” and the second is “what does God get out of it?”

Now, C.S. Lewis talked about God as a Being which by definition can need nothing. God is all-fulfilling, all-encompassing, and if you ask me, God is literally present everywhere within everything. God is the life of the universe. So if all of us are contained within God, or if you don’t like that explanation, if that theory comes off as blasphemous, then you have to admit that we are all at least within the mind of God, because God, being an omniscient Being, knows everything that is happening and everything that is going to happen, and as far as I can tell, God is past, present, future, so we either exist as part of this manifestation of “the body” of God, or the manifestation of the existence of God, or we exist in the “real world” but everything we do is part of God’s mind. If God literally knows everything, then this is the mind of God. The universe is the mind of God, unless God has an entire duplicate simulation of the universe running inside His mind where everything else is true because He knows everything but just not technically real, an illusion. But I digress.

What was I talking about?

What do we get out of glorifying and worshiping God? There are some Eastern faiths that talk about how God or the Supreme Being or whatever, that God essentially dreamed the world into being specifically so that He could see what it was like to be everything. That’s almost like the universe is like a computer kind of thing, moving forward and moving forward and running what would amount to a simulation, so that God can be it, observe it, and know every possible state of matter and energy, ever. And I guess if you look at what I said earlier, about omniscience, it would seem that God would already know that. But like C.S. Lewis said about Abraham and Issac, just because God knew… God knew that Abraham would not sacrifice his son, He also knew that Abraham would not need to sacrifice his son. Abraham did not know that, though. Lewis says something along the lines of “just because God knows something doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need to happen.”

If you take that Eastern religion philosophy, then we are all a trick, a surprise. God became the world and everything in it and we are pieces of that divine consciousness out to experience the world as a surprise. We don’t know what’s coming. Does the one massive infinite timeless Intelligence know what’s coming? Yeah. But we have forgotten ourselves, and I think that’s the idea behind whatever exactly it is that I’m citing from. The Oneness-That-Is dreamed us all into being in partial states so that we would collectively play out life. Not just every physical state of matter and every energetic state of matter, but every mental, physical, and emotional state of human beings.

When I think about stuff like this I think about “many-worlds theory” and wonder if there are infinite parallel universe where infinite things are happening to me right now. There are infinite life-paths for a human being but we experience one of them. All the other ones are being experienced some where (?) else for lack of a better word, but I’m experiencing one possible run-through of my life. I ‘m experiencing one possible path for my life, and for me right now it seems like the only possible path, but maybe if there are truly many worlds, then it is not. This is the one for me me, and somewhere else there is another me who feels that his path is the one that makes the most sense, and maybe on and on through all people, and it’s not just infinite variations of my person, my body, going through life, it’s endless permutations of that one body changed and changed and ever so slightly different across the dimensions, so really it would be… infinite versions of all people, that the  infinite versions I’m talking about become all people across all time.

Because if you take me and you set infinite variably on things like age and temperament and whatever else, it’s like, “Oh, you’ve just described the entire human population. You’ve described every possible person that is was and will be.” So, who knows about this “many-worlds” business.

But anyway, so… we are… See, but that’s true! If we are tiny bits of consciousness, then God knows what’s going to happen to us; He knows what’s going to happen to us and He knows what it would feel like from our perspective. But in order for Him to know that in a timeless sense, at some point it would have to happen or He would have to at least imagine it happening. But to fully imagine what it would mean for, say, me to be placed in a certain situation, you would need to create a universe around it.

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

— Carl Sagan

You would have to construct a universe around it, because if you were God and you could literally feel and see and comprehend everything, then each endless variation of what I as a human do is a butterfly effect of endless variations, and it might not seem like that on the macro scale of human life, but every time I move my hand, I displace millions of air molecules, so if I turn my head one way once, and another way another time, not only is there the macro scale of what I saw and what I didn’t see, but there is a micro scale of tiny particles of dust and down to atoms and whatever that are displaced every time I move my body, and that doesn’t even count the micro scale of all the movements of my muscles and my brain and the energy and the cells… That doesn’t even account for all that.

So in order for God to imagine all of these things… well you could say, “Why would He create a universe? He could just imagine it,” then we are living in that imagination. I posit that God imagining the universe into existence, and creating a physical universe into existence, are one and the same thing, and for we living in that creation/imagination, we could never tell the difference. So in order to truly be omniscient, God has to create the universe. God has to create a universe, and I don’t know how laws of physics work on weird scales, or if there are multiple created universes, so that God can know all possible variations of the laws of physics, or all possible whatever , but here we are.

So I guess that would be what God gets out of it… in a sense… God creates a universe of beings somewhere between animal and man… or somewhere between animal and God, because in Genesis we are made, depending on your translation, in the likeness of God. That doesn’t necessarily mean that God looks like a human being; it means that we are made with many of the capacities of God, and active consciousness that can be aware of the self is probably one of those capacities.

In addition to other things, we can conceive of ourselves as beings. So we have “power” to do things because we can sort-of-depending-on-who-you-ask direct our own bodies and minds to action. So somewhere between animal and God, we exist. We are like partial consciousness. We are a partial consciousness. We are not the infinite divine consciousness, nor are we the more limited, for lack of a better word, more limited animal consciousness, although, true, some animals do appear to display human-like intelligence, emotion, and behavior, but anyway…

What is it that makes humans so different? Our capacity to build and form large societies and have large complex thoughts like the ones I’m having now where I’m questioning the very nature of the universe and God and our lives… still we are a partial consciousness. Because the infinite consciousness is filled with joy, love, and bliss, our chance is, as these partial consciousnesses, to strive for that. We have the capacity to strive for more, and we have the ability, the blessing, as much as I say it now, I might disagree with it while I suffer, but we have the blessing of starting with nothing, the blessing of being these imperfect, incomplete, very wound-able, very destroyable beings. And the blessing that comes with that is that we know what it is like without infinite bliss and joy, we know what it’s like without feeling this endless love and power flowing through us, we know what it’s like to not have it. We know what it’s like to be separate from God and in a sense separate from ourselves.

And so when we find God, when we find and accept the things that make our minds and bodies feel Good, capital-G Good, we can truly appreciate them; we can truly appreciate how far we have come and how much we have gone through to reach the point where we can, I’m going to say, commune with the mind and the energy of God, a place where we can truly be at one with God, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or whatever that looks like.

It seems to me that isn’t this the essence of the story of the prodigal son, that it’s not that we were perpetually living in a a state of bliss and happily stayed there forever and ever, it’s that we, being imperfect creatures, we have within ourselves a rebellious streak: our own egos which constitute a rebel stronghold that drives us to push back against God, to feel like we can do it ourselves, to feel that we have all the answers, and that we need nothing else.

But we do need something else, and so like the prodigal son, we return to our Father’s house and our Father rejoices that we have come back, because we have learned so much out in the world. We have learned so many things, we laid down our rebel flags and came back…

If we were as the brother in that story, then we would have stayed home, we would never have left in the first place, but of the two brothers, the one who stayed and the one who left, who do you think truly appreciates his Father’s company?


Holy shit. So as a result of writing all that I started looking up things on Wikipedia. I started with

  • Omniscience
    • Pantheism
      • Panentheism (not to be confused with the above)
        • Immanence
          • Light of Christ (LDS theology)

But I went back to panentheism and found it fascinating. From there, I found a link to a concept called Tzimtzum, which is transliterated, sort of, from a Hebrew word meaning “contraction” or “withdrawal.” Basically the implication here is that God “contracted” Himself (?) in order to create an “empty space” where the world could exist outside of His totality but still have aspects of His presence. An interesting related quote, apparently from Rabbinic literature is

“He is the Place of the World, but the World is not His Place.”

This concept is interesting because it creates a paradox (at least to us as humans) in that it requires some simultaneous degree of immanence and transcendence from God. God cannot be totally within the world, but He cannot be completely absent from it either. According to Kabbalistic thought on this topic, creation requires God’s immanence.

Paradoxes? Possible illusions of reality? A dualistic God that is simultaneously in two states at once in relation to the world?

This is that I would amend in the above story and in all previous statements. I do not believe that God is confined to this world. That is where I differ from pantheism. God is in everything (or vice versa, or both) but everything is not God (and vice versa).

I like the divine dream/divine consciousness theory more and more, that we are dreamed into existence by God, and that this dreaming is equivalent in all respects to what we would consider a separate physical Creation. But! I don’t know how much this all matters, because philosophies on the origin of the universe tell me little about how to live my life in the universe. So, whatever.

But damn if it ain’t interesting conversation.


Yeah, I’m not going to write about Numbers after all that. Way too much time transcribing and editing.

Tomorrow, though. I’ll get to it and get caught up to Numbers 28.

Good night, all. I hope it’s been as interesting for you as it has been for me.

Peace be upon you.

https://shamanicdoxology.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/07f09-appeltaart252812529.jpg

Advertisements

Day 81-84

tuckeranddale

“Hello, officer. We have had a doozy of a day.” ¹

Now I hope you’ve all seen Tucker & Dale vs Evil, but if you haven’t, go do that. It’s what the blog I ripped that picture from calls

“An outstanding horror comedy that fully delivers on its hilarious premise.

But seriously. It’s been a tough week.

I’m seriously considering turning this (at least halfway) into an audio blog. I’m driving myself crazy trying to hit my daily updates. Talking would be much easier. I can talk for days.

Case in point, I almost talked my partner’s ear off about the movie Maleficent. In my opinion, cool premise, poor execution. Could I make a more popular movie? Could I make a better moneymaker? Not likely. But I bet I could tell a more interesting story, given the premise. I might have to. But that’s for another time.

…Did I mention I had a Red Bull?

…like ten hours ago?


Exodus 31

Rapid-fire-Exodus-go! Hyaaaaaa!

Yugi-Exodia

Sorta like this. ²

(Update: I was going to split this into four posts, but I’m so wrapped up in you guys seeing my humorous commentary that I lumped them all into one. But I swear all the chapters of the Bible that were supposed to be in here are in here. It’s not a cop-out, I swear. Don’t judge me!)

So God just finished going over a bunch of shhhhh–stuff with Moses, laying out rules for arks and altars and sacrifices and all kinds of covenant-y stuff. Now He is telling Moses a) the specific people Moses will need to get those things built, and b) a quick reminder to absolutely, I’m not kidding you guys keep the Sabbath day holy. Seriously, if a guy works on the Sabbath, f***in’ kill him.

In the end, Moses comes down with

“two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.”

— Exodus 31:18, NKJV

Interesting thing I heard once that is only somewhat relevant: I once read somewhere that in old Hebrew law or tradition or something, when you made a covenant or a deal with someone, you made two copies of the deal so that each person had a copy. The story goes that the two tablets were identical, as “a deal” so to speak had been made between man and God. I forget what the significance (if any) was supposed to be of one party keeping both copies of the agreement, but oh well. Something to look up.


Exodus 32

Alright, people. My partner’s asleep, not feeling so hot, and I’m supposed to be at church for the first time in forever in less than 5 hours. Let’s do this.

So the Israelites, like the most ungrateful little… rackin’-frackin’-sassafras… They’re sitting there waiting for Moses and they finally get bored of not knowing who or what to worship or how for that matter, and so they tell Aaron to fashion them a god. Or gods, depending on translation.

And Aaron, who has been Moses’ voice (so it was implied back in Exodus 4:14) for all this time, says “Sure.” The people give Aaron their gold, and he turns it into a calf. Calfs4Gold, 1-800-GOLDCALF, or visit us online at http://www.calfs4gold.com.  Send us your gold, get calfs now! If I didn’t need to sleep, I would photoshop this. 1000 imaginary points to anyone who takes a “Cash 4 Gold” business sign/ad and fixes it like this. Heck, they’re imaginary; make it a million.

God starts b–

God starts complaining to Moses and telling him what is going on. “Seriously you guys we just went over all this stuff why can’t you follow some simple orders oh for My sake…” And so on.

God gets really mad, Moses tells him to be cool (essentially), and so Moses goes down to take care of this for himself. He gets down, sees the golden calf, and shits a brick. (It’s hard to censor the word “shits.”) Moses drops the f***ing tablets from the f***ing LORD and rips Aaron a new a**hole.

Aaron, meanwhile, is basically like, “Well, I took all this gold and boom, calf. Dunno what to tell you. It happens.” So Moses rounds up the faithful, the line of Levi, and they proceed to reorganize and bring everyone back to God and JUST KIDDING THIS IS THE OLD TESTAMENT THEY F***ING KILL EVERYONE.

bearsharkawesome

Three rows down on a Google image search for “blatant theft” “awesome explosion.” ³

Moses goes and prays to God and asks for forgiveness for the people and God basically tells Moses that those calf-worshiper guys are effed in the A. Shouldn’ta done that, boys and girls!

I’ve almost been up for 24 hours. Does it show?


Exodus 33

So apparently there’s this weird side effect of talking to God where either your face glows like some Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer s*** or you just come back with a goofy-a** grin. Maybe both. They “goofy grin” one I’ve experienced firsthand. As long as I’m not crazy. Which I might be.

Oh whoops, that’s Exodus 34.

Whatever!

In Exodus 33, God comes down as a pillar of cloud and spends some time talking to Moses. Moses utters a pretty good prayer in Exodus 33:13, NKJV:

“Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight.”

Moses wants to see God in all His glory, but God basically tells him that won’t happen. God tells Moses to hide in “the cleft of [a] rock,” and God covers Moses up, and then walks by so that Moses can get a glimpse of the Lord’s back. Back of the head? God’s traps and lats? Dat butt? Who knows.


Exodus 34

God I’m so tired. Honestly, God just tells Moses to make some new tablets, since Moses f***ing broke the other ones. Then God comes down and basically goes over all the laws of the Law again. He reaffirms the promise that He has made to the Israelites. Moses neither ate or drank for the time he went back up to get the Lord’s triplicate/quadruplicate copies of the Law. So he goes back down, and we get Mr. Glow-Face like I mentioned earlier.

Anyway, folks, that is all. I need to go to bed and be up for church in only 3 hours.

I love you all; thanks for reading. And an extra thanks to my subscribers! You folks encourage me so much.

Peace be upon you.


¹ Tucker & Dale vs Evil, 2010. Image retrieved from: http://horroreffect.blogspot.com/2011/10/tucker-and-dale-vs-evil-super-funny.html

² Yu-Gi-Oh! Takahasi, Kazuki.  Image retrieved from: http://desenhospaint7.blogspot.com/2013/05/desenhos-animes.html

³ FIM Fiction. (That’s My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I cannot guarantee the SFW-ness of this site.) Image retrieved from: https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/206371/wheeehoohoohoohoo-one-hundred-follower-ultra-mega-orgy-bonanza-special-extravaganza

Day 57

Exodus 7

Now we get into the beginning of the plagues.

Moses and Aaron, 80 and 83 years old, respectively, confront Pharaoh about all this Hebrew-enslavement nonsense. Pharaoh, of course, has no reason to listen to them or to believe any of this voodoo. He tells them, as God knew he would, to show him a miracle. So Moses gives his brother the signal, and Aaron’s rod turns into a serpent. Yeah, don’t read too much into that.

Pharaoh sees this serpent and doesn’t think much of it, so he calls his magicians and sorcerers to do the same trick, proving that this is not a divine miracle. Holy crap, if the Bible is to be taken literally, then sorcery is definitely a thing. Who knew? Well, I knew… but true magic is worked through God. I’ll get into that some other time.

So yeah, the sorcerers get their rods out, and Aaron’s serpent and their serpents fight… and… all this talk of “rods” and “serpents.” God, why do you have to make it weird? Somewhere, the Almighty is giggling. Anyway, Aaron’s serpent-rod eats those of the sorcerers. Pharaoh is not amused and declines to let the Hebrews leave.

Moses and Aaron talk with God, or rather God talks to them, and they head back to see Pharaoh the next day, presumably, when he goes out to get water. Why the Pharaoh is getting his own water is beyond me. But Moses and Aaron are waiting for him by the riverbank. “Let My people go!” sayeth Moses in the name of the Lord. Predictably, Pharaoh refuses. Aaron proceeds to turn all of Egypt into a death metal album cover, and the river and all the water in Egypt is turned to blood.

river of blood

Easiest Google search ever.¹

Apparently, just to prove that this strange occurrence was not divine either, the magicians gather up some of what must be the last remaining water in Egypt and turn it into blood with their sorcery. Pharaoh completely disregards Moses and Aaron and holds out for at least seven days, since B-Day +7 is where Exodus 7 leaves off.

There is one interesting thing I got out of Matthew Henry’s commentary: He says

“See what changes we may meet with in the things of this world; what is always vain, may soon become vexatious. See what mischievous work sin makes. If the things that have been our comforts prove our crosses, we must thank ourselves. It is sin that turns our waters into blood.”²

This reminds me of something that was shared with me by my partner. She shared an excerpt from C.S. Lewis’ “The Problem of Pain,” an awesome book that discusses why humans suffer and examines human suffering from a Christian standpoint. My partner just bought it for me, actually, and I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading the whole thing for myself.

But the passage I am reminded of which is appropriate as God is just laying waste to Egypt by proxy goes something like this:

“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Lewis says that pain drives us to action, as opposed to our comforting “sins and stupidities.” This to me rings true. The problem to me is that people can get so accustomed to pain that they ignore it or accept it as inevitable when in reality it is not. Our pain reminds us that something needs to change. Physical, mental, and spiritual pain all serve a purpose. When our waters turn to blood, we have to soften our hearts and become humble. We have to admit that something is wrong. Only then, in the name of God, can we create change.

(Almost there…)


¹ http://www.metal-archives.com/albums/Chainsaw_Dissection/River_of_Blood_and_Viscera/139596

² Henry, Matthew. http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=2&c=7

Day 39

Checked some of my blog stats today. Big surprise, “Jesus Christ” and “God” are the ones that get the most attention.

It would be easy to be cynical about this but I see it as a good sign. I think it’s important that people want to know things, that people are interested in spirituality.

One of my clients is a particularly troublesome child who acts out in various ways. I can’t figure out if he’s manipulative or not, but he’s a real character regardless. We met for the first time the other day and at one point he asked if I had been baptized. I said that I had not, and he asked why not. I wasn’t really sure how to answer that question to a ten-year-old. The answer to an adult or to a friend would be that I already feel “born again” and I don’t need someone else’s ritual to give me peace with God.

Truth be told, I like the idea of baptism, but if I ever get baptized, I want to do it old school, in a lake or river. I should remember that next time I jump into a lake or something. Nothing like that sudden shock of diving into cold water to make you feel alive and present.

I told this kid that I hadn’t really thought about it, and I asked him why he wanted to do it. He said he wanted to be able to go to God, or some such thing. I think the implication was that this was so that he could go to heaven. I wonder if a lot of people feel this way, that as long as they were baptized that they will go to heaven. It would certainly explain a lot.

I told my client that I think it is more important to live harmoniously with God and one’s fellow man, to not steal, cheat, harm, or gossip. To not just avoid evil but to actively promote good. I’m not sure he knew what to make of this, given that he lies and steals and harms. Perhaps this will be good motivation for him to work on his behavior. Perhaps his family can find more meaning in their life through a unified vision and understanding of God. Perhaps everyone can. It’s certainly a nice dream.

As I’m sitting here writing this, I spotted an old fortune cookie fortune on the floor. (My house is quite the mess.) I picked it up to take a look, and the quote written thereupon reads:

“Man’s mind is not a container to be filled but a fire to be kindled.”

I figured this had to have come from somewhere and so I looked it up. Most sites attribute it to a writer named Dorothea Brande. I decided to look her up on Wikipedia, and I found this:

“Her book Becoming a Writer, published in 1934, is still in print and offers advice for beginning and sustaining any writing enterprise.”

Beginning and sustaining any writing enterprise. I learned something new today, and now I might have to buy this book. Who has two thumbs and is beginning and sustaining a writing enterprise? (Hint: it’s this guy.) So someone went to a Chinese restaurant and got a fortune cookie which held this fortune inside it which got discarded onto this floor and hasn’t been cleaned because I’m lazy and messy because my parents were lazy and messy and it’s been sitting there for God-knows-how-long and today I get the itch to pick it up and it has a quote written on it that as a result of my natural curiosity leads me to a woman who wrote a book about writing which is the exact thing I’m struggling with the most.

You see what I mean about miracles?