Tag Archives: King David

Critical Mass

debate sized

Three separate threads weaving in escalating intensity over the past weeks are resolving now, forming a fabric greater than the individual parts.

Here I’ll briefly describe the parts and how each illumines the others.

First, throughout, I was listening along with the one respectfully called Old Avatar to YouTube videos published by KrisAnne Hall and her husband/co-host, Pastor J.C. Hall at Liberty First University. (I would prefer Truth First, but that’s just me.)

In any case, their mission is to educate Americans about the Constitution. In the process, they analyze current events by that standard. How true are the actions of government officials, elected or appointed, to the Constitution they’re sworn to uphold?

Not a pretty picture.

Increasingly curious, OA went to original sources for first hand answers. First he read a through a collection of the Federalist Papers written in support of ratifying the Constitution.

Critical thinker that he is, OA was impressed, but also found flaws in their reasoning. He wanted to know what arguments were made by the Anti-Federalists – those who opposed ratification. So we found two volumes which present both sides of the coin, pro and con, side by side – not exactly easy reading : )

Book on Debate

Some say God smiled on the Founders. Ratification was a miracle,” he winked.

How is that,” I asked. “Were the Founders were so flawed that coming to agreement seemed impossible?”

Something like,” he answered. “You know,” he added. “You’re the one who’s so interested in intentional communities. That’s what creating the Union was about. On a large scale.”

Wow! I never thought of it that way before. But you’re right!”

OA is a man of few words. Usually, he keeps opinions to himself. But recently he took exception to a program where the Halls, outraged, exposed a pattern of abuse by federal officials. Members of both parties systematically steal tax payer monies, living like royalty, impoverishing those they only claim to serve.

This was exactly what the Anti-Federalists foresaw,” he pointed out. According to them, it was only a matter of time until the country would come full circle, back to the critical mass of power abuse which drove colonists to separate from England. Back to another revolt.

Why not contact the Halls,” I asked. “Ask them to comment on the Anti-Federalist papers and their concerns.” He declined, doubting they are ready to admit we’ve arrived at that point.

A second thread, over the past week-end, was the converging holidays of Easter and Passover. Passover marks the exodus of slaves from Egypt. (“Set my people free.”) Easter celebrates the resurrection of Christ, freeing humans from the heavy burden of past sin. Both holidays repeat the pattern of yearning for freedom from oppression — a pattern of sacrifices made to throw off the yoke of enslavement, whether internal or  external.

These same yearnings were reflected in the passionate forces that drove the debate over the Constitution’s ratification.

At one point, looking up from his book, OA commented, “This speech was really dramatic.” He continued, “The founders were totally committed – emotionally, financially. They put everything on the line. They knew how high the stakes were. They were willing to sacrifice everything to prevent falling back into the same mistakes that drove them to leave Europe, to create a form of government that would not drag their heirs down back into the same pit.”

He shook his head. “They were idealists,” he said. “Optimists.

The ratification went forward only because Anti-Federalist fears were respected by adding the Bill of Rights.”

What happened,” I asked. “What went wrong?”

People got lazy. It is impossible to live continuously on the razor’s edge, perpetually alert and on the lookout for danger. They went back to their ordinary lives. They got immersed in farming, running businesses and raising families.”

They let things slide,” I said. “It’s an I Ching thing. The zenith of achievement doesn’t last forever. Success has to be maintained with constant vigilance and adjustments. Over time things naturally degenerate. No legislation can prevent unraveling. The cause is deeper. Metaphysical.”

The Founders knew that,” he responded.

But people got stupid,” he continued. “This has been a problem from the beginning of time. Even Samuel Adams, who was supposed to be this great defender of liberty. He got stupid. He listened to his wife yapping in his ear. To protect his pride, prevent others from accomplishing what he failed to do, he passed detrimental laws against negotiating with foreign nations that have not to this day been repealed. He lost perspective. He got caught up in the illusion of his own self-importance.”

Yes.”

And then the third strand. We have followed the Parkland shooting and its aftermath, getting increasingly more suspicious. It looks more and more like a set up.

The shooting itself was long foreseen: eminently and egregiously preventable. From start to finish, response by law enforcement was botched beyond belief. The protests which followed have played out like a badly written grade-B movie, tailored to extremists’ ends, designed to escalate public opinion towards critical mass.

David Hogg, a self-proclaimed student representative, is remarkably uneducated either by schooling or experience. He is illiterate, unable to navigate the basics of English grammar. He demonstrates ZERO understanding of the history behind the hard-won Bill of Rights. Nor does he have a clue about the critical difference between a democracy and a republic. (He asserts, “Our parents don’t know how to use a f***ing democracy.”

Substituting posturing and self-righteous self-pity for genuine passion, DH projects an intensity of rage and hatred that triggers equal animosity in return. Tweets pun on the animal connotations of his last name (“media hog,” “piglet,” etc.).

And then, there’s the irony of his first name, David, a personal hero of mine. Nor was the biblical comparison lost on mainstream media. “David Hogg Took On His Own Media Goliath,” reads one headline.

But the original David fought in the Name of the Lord. This pawn of Soros-driven media is the antithesis of the biblical King David.

For example, DH declared all-out war on Laura Ingraham, vengefully demanding that her advertisers jump ship. (How is this for disrespecting First Amendments rights, much less the Second?) He along with far-left supporters were all too quick in the attempt to ruin someone who simply happened to disagree with him.

Yet in the same breath, he had the gall to turn around and claim the higher ground of civility.

Ben Shapiro rightly nailed this blatant hypocrisy. “You don’t get to play the LOVE THY NEIGHBOR Card.” DH pretending to represent Christ’s new law is obscene.

The timing of the shooting aftermath resonated with holy week themes. Notably, Laura Ingraham picked up on Easter implications. At the start of her week vacation, she tweeted out Psalm 143, a Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies, reminding her followers of the true David, forefather of Christ.

For thy name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life!
In thy righteousness bring me out of trouble!

Even the KrisAnne Hall and her husband at Liberty University picked up on the irony. They commented that David Hogg, a puppet of anti-constitutional forces, is “driving his generation over a precipice.”

Phoenix - sized

So. Where does all this leave us now? In the cycles of history, are we again reaching the point of critical mass? Historians repeatedly point out similarities between the fall of the Roman Empire and the current state of the U.S. Stefan Molyneux recently described an End of the Empire.

Those on the far-left would have us believe that the U.S. Constitution is an outdated document, along with the faith of the Founders who debated it with such fierce passion.

But I would answer, The American Constitution along with its Bill of Rights represent a passion for Freedom and yes, Truth, far deeper than any historical event or physical political document. Even if  today’s brainwashed, woefully misled youth have forgotten its origins and timeless significance, the ultimate concerns of mankind, remain constant and valid — what psychologists call “archetypal.” It is underlying belief in the “American dream” of freedom — not just material wealth — that has inspired sincere aspirants from every nation to relinquish their past in the quest for a better life. (Dinesh d’Souza’s story comes to mind.)

I think about the I Ching view of the hope which remains latent even in degeneration. Just as Christ appeared at the nadir of an earlier cycle, ushering in a ray of hope, the vigilant today will recognize the seeds of possibility present, however dormant, in current ugly times.

IC 49

In this context, foresight and preparing are essential to deciding the direction of long-term outcomes. (Remember Joseph in Egypt storing grain during times of plenty, anticipating future famine.)

Further, recognizing what America’s great constitutional debate has to teach us now about immediate dangers might be helpful in building future alternative communities.

Is it time to think about a Fresh Start,” I asked OA. “After critical mass, will we begin another cycle and rebuild even better?” He answered with a silent shrug, seeming to imply, “Too early to tell. The jury is still out. Depends on . . .”

Technically, I suppose, each and every day offers us the opportunity for a fresh start. . . . one individual at a time. It’s a matter of personal choice.

So here is the immediate question. What is YOUR choice, today?

Angel Calling

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Hidden in Plain Sight

yoga image

Here, Yoda’s words of warning are wise, but by no means complete.

Pride, for example, is left out of the mix. So are ignorance and insecurity.

As to the cause and effects of suffering, I couldn’t tell you. It seems to me a bit like the question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Maybe they’re interactive, lined up like a wall of domino pieces.

In any case, we’re still stuck with the question of how to get clear of the whole mess, much less avoid it in the first place. Self-improvement teachers have a variety of different answers to offer.

But ideologues take a different tack. “Life is inherently unfair,” they argue. Placing the blame, for them, is easy: “Human systems are a fault.” Their solution? Easy. “Smash them.”

Never mind the inevitable consequences of playing out anger and hate: still more suffering. As the song goes, “’Once the rockets go up, who cares where they come down? That’s not my department,’ says Werner von Braun.”

But today I’m focused on the biblical view of suffering.

Solomon summed it up. “To everything there is a season.” The pairs of opposites – gain and loss, pain and pleasure – are natural parts of life. Over the long term, they pretty much balance out.

Now, it’s easy to love life and believe in God when things are going your way. It’s when things get rough that trust, faith and commitments are put to the test. The proof of sincerity is steadfastness during the rough times.

The Book of Job is a story of steadfast faith. Hidden in plain sight, it echoes the key to overcoming suffering found throughout the Old and New Testaments.

Summing up my understanding of the story, the most righteous of men, Job, was equally prosperous in the world. But little by little, his assets failed, hitting ever closer and closer to home. In the balance, the greater the gifts the greater the opposite and equal responsibilities and related tests.

During this tail spin, he groans in misery. But never gives up the faith.

He dialogues with wordy critics who question the grounds of his faith. Misfortune, they say, is a sign that God has abandoned him, if there were such an entity to begin with. (Temptations of the ideologue are nothing new.)

Job’s steadfast response, as materials goods, family and finally physically health fall away is this:

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

Long story short, for holding fast to faith, in God’s time, Job is restored. Health, family and goods are returned to him in even greater measure than before.

What is that Name of the Lord??? This is important. For Job is not the only one who calls on the name in trouble. David called upon this name in facing Goliath. It is key in Psalm 91, the warrior’s psalm. The Lord’s Prayer given by Christ as the right way to pray also invokes that name. It is a mystery well worth seeking to its heart.

The boy David draws his courage from the name in facing the monster Goliath:

Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. (1 Samuel 17:45)

From Psalm 91: 14-15

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

And the Lord’s Prayer given by Christ begins:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Now, that name is a sacred vehicle. It carries the faithful, quite literally, from surface through the trials and tests of the middle realm safe home. .. . and back again. Christ, like Job, traveled and returned to example the way open to all of us with the steadfast love, trust and faith to face up when called to sacrifice and answer, Thy will be done.

It looks like this:

JOB

Now there’s even more to the mystery. The letters the spell out Christ’s name and those of the Father’s are identical, except for one additional letter placed in the center:

The Hebrew letter Shin represents the ‘eternal flame’ and ‘root of fire’ . Inserted in the middle of the name for God, it gives us the Hebrew name for Jesus–YHSVH (Yod Hey Shin Vav Hey) –commonly pronounced “Yesh-u-ah”.

Saving the Best

Here’s a confirmation, from the December 3 page of Jesus Calling.

When you find yourself in the thick of battle, call upon My Name: “Jesus help me!” In that instant, the battle becomes Mine; your role is simply to trust Me as I fight for you.

My Name, properly used, has unlimited Power to bless and protect.

Angel Calling

If these words resonate with you, please share them to magnify the effect.

Be a Warrior, NOT a Monster

Here I must make an exception to my usual rule, “Take the best. Leave the rest.”

As a reminder, here’s the Take the Best standard:

In reading opinion and even “how to” pieces, I recommend the 30/70 principle. With careful attention and a little bit of luck, it’s possible to extract the 30-percent value from the 70-percent rubbish in which its embedded.

At Oberlin, where I had the good fortune to attend college, this process was described in agricultural terms: “sifting and winnowing.” Founders probably had a biblical allusion in mind: the end-time sorting of wheat from chaff.

Were it not so over-used, “discrimination” in its original meaning would be another way to put it.

From Rethinking Survival:

I’ve come to recognize that it’s ideas — usually unconsciously held in the form of automatic-pilot, programmed assumptions — which drive decisions, actions and ultimately, survival options. Even with the best of intentions, people who operate on incomplete, inaccurate and conflicting beliefs undo themselves and harm others .. .

Sadly, I now recognize that Jordan B. Peterson is no exception. On one point in particular, he is dead and dangerously WRONG!

He claims that everyone is a potential monster. Each of us, in certain circumstances, would behave no differently than sadistic Nazi prison guards.

Here, briefly, is how he arrived at that conclusion. He recognized that potential in himself. In reading Jung, he came to mistakenly equate the experience of evil impulses with the “unconscious” shadow side of the human psyche. Ergo, since we all are in part unconscious, we are all in part evil.

Now, his experience of cruel impulses and his buying into Jung’s confusions about the “shadow” are his own personal problems.

I draw the line, however, when he uses his bully pulpit as professor and now media rock star to mislead sincere young people (primarily men). Like the Evil Emperor, he is seducing potential heroes like Luke Skywaker to the dark side of the force.

He asserts as if undeniable fact that we are all intrinsically capable of evil. To deny the dark, shadow, evil side of oneself is self-deception. It is foolish and naive – the mark of victims.

This assumption is so repugnant to me that I asked for OA’s opinion. He shook his head, No. Sadistic Nazi guards, he said, were the ones who as young boys tore the wings off flies and tortured their pet dogs. To the contrary, for example, forensic researchers who studied the remains of America’s Civil War battlefields found that frequently, dead soldiers carried fully loaded weapons on their bodies. Killing a fellow human being was apparently so unacceptable that they preferred to go down without firing a shot. That’s closer to the “norm.”

Yet Dr. Peterson insists on instructing students that they must accept and integrate into their personalities evil (a.k.a. the shadow dark side) as part of their essence. I say, NO! Light is our true and universal essence. To repeat from Be an Instrument of Light:

God is not and could not possibly be dead.

Being made in the image of God,

YOU are the living proof of God’s existence.

The truth cannot be altered. Each of us is the embodied form of a musical instrument. Even if, for any multitude of reasons, your light is switched off right now, you still have the innate potential to conduct electricity (energy, prana, chi) that in turn transforms into light.

The problem lies in the abuse of God-given Free Will. Perversions of our essential nature – including gratuitous cruelty – are the cumulative result of bad decisions made over a very long period of time.

Dr. Peterson’s way to prevent acting out evil is to “tell the truth.” But what does he mean by truth? Does it mean point an accusatory finger outwards towards others to expose their faults? Exposing problems within human institutions?

Or does he point the finger inwards towards his own (and by extension, everyone’s) limitations? Admitting fears, rage, resentments and malevolent intentions driven by envy and greed is NOT divine Truth – certainly not the truth intended when Christ said, I am the Truth and the Way. Far from it.

OA calls identifying with personal limitations “Honest Bullshit.” The Herculean solution is to clean out the Aegean horse stables – releasing negativity to restore underlying, fundamental, universal Truth. Clean out the inner emotional swamp. Just as sculptors chip away at a block of stone to reveal the figure hidden within it, so true teachers show us how to shed human dross and release inborn greatness.

This admittedly “hyper-verbal” professor is fiercely passionate, apparently sincere and highly entertaining in the delivery of false ideas. His personal magnetism – his manly panache – distracts away from critical analysis.

Here’s why I make my exception to the Take the Best rule. While I appreciate the value of Dr. Peterson’s  work, this one point is too dangerous to give a pass. It’s one thing to admit his potential for malevolence. That’s between him and God.

It’s quite another to thing say that, by extension, because he has cruel tendencies, EVERYONE does. That cruelty is innate — part of our essence. DEAD WRONG. Worse, he says we should actually cultivate it in ourselves as if owing it is the only way to recognize it and thereby prevent being victimized. “Be the baddest ass on the block to scare off wanna-be bullies.”

Dr. Peterson holds Disney’s Simba, the Lion King, up as an example to follow. Simba grows into a King, all right. King of the beasts. But there’s much much more to humans than that bestial component! Worse, he repeatedly states that you must develop your inner monster – your inner psychopath – grow TEETH, as if two wrongs make a right. NOOOOO. Two wrongs do not make a right. To the contrary, they magnify and compound the depths of evil.

Quite simply, Jung was probably advising us to make the unconscious conscious. Fine. Granted. But this process has nothing to do with mistakenly integrating hidden demons into our personality. Nor does it sanction acting them out. I doubt this Dr. Peterson’s intention. But it’s too easy, out of context, to misconstrue his meaning.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I think what Dr. Peterson intends to recommend is that we become WARRIORS. Fierce. Competent. Able to protect ourselves and others from seductive evil.

That I can identify with and wholeheartedly recommend. In fact, it’s a frequent theme.

OA . . . described the necessary role of a “righteous warrior,” one who has the back of true peace makers. A farmer plows his field, plants and harvests his crops. He teaches his children, loves his family, and mends his fences. Day in and out, he does whatever it takes to support those he loves. And when an enemy approaches his gate, he defends them with his life. It’s all woven into the single fabric of life.

And what protections against monstrousness does a righteous warrior bring to the ongoing battles of daily life? The weapons of light – the equivalent of Luke Skywalker’s light saber, designed to defeat darkness. Members of every American military branch know this. They choose wisely, every day, living by scripture, making incrementally correct choices in every area of their lives.

They live, for example, by Psalm 91, Psalm 144, and Ephesians 6: 10-18.

The opening verse of Psalm 91 offers a radically different understanding of “the shadow.” It is worth your careful thought:

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High

shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

The opening verse of Psalm 144 is also an eye-opener:

Blessed be the Lord my strength

which teacheth my hands to war,

and my fingers to fight:

Warriors for countless generations have suited up for battle in the full armor of God described in Ephesians.

righteous warrior

 

11. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12.  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14.  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15.  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16.  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18.  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints . .

This is the tradition which Jesus, as a practicing Jew who kept the sabbath, told us he came to fulfill.

Now, Dr. Peterson is rightly obsessed with how to stop genocides from recurring. Hitler, Stalin and Mao might well be precursors of far worse in the works. He’s got the problem right. But solutions remain where they have been since the times of Moses and later, King David:

Dr. Peterson is looking to Abraham right now, possibly because he was the progenitor of three major religions currently engaged in mutual self-destruction.

But I’m more interested in King David, who, like Christ was born in Bethlehem, and who as young shepherd was anointed by the prophet Samuel as future king. The point in time that’s appropriate to us now, I think, is the confrontation between the boy David and the giant Goliath. Today, this might represent individuals of good will in the face of impending totalitarian global government.

What’s important here is that David exemplifies acting from a complete and accurate paradigm. He acted fearlessly on the belief that “God is with me.” With a single shot to the center of the giant’s forehead (not coincidentally seat of the third eye), he brought the monster down.

David trusted that he was not alone. He “knew” exactly where to aim. His vision was clearly focused on his target (light). He had the vigor (energy) and physical strength (mass) as well as coordination (unity) to overcome the fearsome obstacle that threatened to annihilate him and enslave his people.

It is surely no accident that Patton, the general who stopped Hitler, quoted scriptures like a bishop, knew Shakespeare’s verse by heart.

To repeat,

What’s needed now, OA told me, isn’t pacifists. Trying to reason with an evil enemy is like pissing on a forest fire. What we need now is a generation of warrior monks. Though they serve wisely, with peace in their hearts, at the same time they’re ever alert – competent to protect against intruders, whatever the level.

OA continued, People misconstrue the words, “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword.” No fault or prohibition is implied. A soldier who fights for a living hopes to retire and die in bed. A righteous warrior, however, fights the good fight right up to the last breath. It isn’t a reproach to say he’ll die by the sword. Standing firm in his truth even to the very end earns him an honorable and worthy death.

Phoenix - sized

Here’s a hint. Though not an excuse, Dr. Peterson’s metaphysical /logical insufficiencies are the symptomatic, even  inevitable result of operating from an incomplete, flat and linear false paradigm. It is highly unlikely he would make the same recommendations if he were better in-formed. Were he operating from the complete Life Wheel, he would better understand where Truth resides, what unconscious shadows are about, and how monsters are made.

He owes it to himself, his beloved family, and the countless fans who hang on his every word to get it right.

Angel Calling

 

 

 

Paradigms Are a Matter of Life or Death

Jordan B. Peterson, psychologist, truth-sayer and rock star of recent months, said the most important work that can be done is establishing the relationship between belief systems and the outcomes they generate. I agree.

BECAUSE:

It doesn’t help to tell people to follow their dreams, to be the best they can be, or that nothing is impossible with the right attitude. When they live in societies that enforce limiting, false beliefs, they are (so to speak) paddling upstream in a leaky canoe without oars.

If you thinking you can wish on a star and get what you want, whenever you want it, with no concept of history, you’re in for a rude shock or two. Easy times are over.

If you think it’s possible to eliminate irrational hatreds and eradicate self-serving prejudice with logic and love alone, you’ll have as much success as a man pissing on a forest fire.

Here are (just a few) examples of disastrous results that flow from static, incomplete and incorrect paradigms:

People who live in the poverty of a flattened, empirical science belief system are being told, in effect, by their parents, educators and political leaders that they don’t (and shouldn’t) exist. That only their physical appearance, social status and material possessions matter. Wonder why suicide rates are so high? Or that respect for authority is at an all time low? Or that government corruption is rampant? Or that underworld violence is escalating over the top? (Surely you can add to the list.)

Deny inner emotional levels of the Life Wheel. Suffocate innate impulses to play and seek adventure. Ridicule innermost intimations of immorality and highest aspirations. Starve people of meaning and joy in the name of duty and obligations to serve the collective. That’s the sure recipe for destruction of highest magnitude. It begins one destroyed individual at a time. And ends with the collapse of whole civilizations.

The only way out of this madness is to restore a complete and accurate paradigm. Acknowledge the multi-dimensional quality of life – the inherent pattern of perfection – which is everyone’s inalienable birthright.

Further, the Life Wheel doubles as a time clock. You need to know not only who you are, but where you stand. The precise point in the cycles of history you’re in right now tells you the specific dangers and opportunities open to you NOW.

For example, the biblical stories which Dr. Peterson recommends as Maps of Meaning show repeating cycles of events. Which of these stories apply to us NOW? More specifically, which point in time within those stories is relevant?

Dr. Peterson is looking to Abraham right now, possibly because he was the progenitor of three major religions currently engaged in mutual self-destruction.

But I’m more interested in King David, who, like Christ, was born in Bethlehem, and who as a young shepherd was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be future king. The point in time that’s appropriate to us now, I think, is the confrontation between the boy David and the giant Goliath. Today, this might represent individuals of good will in the face of impending totalitarian global government.

What’s important here is that David exemplifies acting from a complete and accurate paradigm. He acted fearlessly on the belief that “God is with me.” With a single shot to the center of the giant’s forehead (not coincidentally seat of the third eye), he brought the monster down.

David trusted that he was not alone. He “knew” exactly where to aim. His vision was clearly focused on his target (light). He had the vigor (energy) and physical strength (mass) as well as coordination (unity) to overcome the fearsome obstacle that threatened to annihilate him and enslave his people.

There are other biblical figures who at critical points in their cyclical (hero’s journey) experience, are being picked up upon as useful role models. One is Noah anticipating the flood. Another is Joseph at the time he foresaw and was allowed to prepare for times of famine.

There’s Moses at the critical time when the Angel of Death upon the Land of Egypt passed over the homes of the faithful.

And then there’s Job, the model of faith enduring to the end and being restored, even better than before. The phoenix image.

Here’s the secret to be gleaned from this story, illumined by the infinity symbol that links the levels of the Life Wheel. Job says, “The Lord giventh.” This is the outward, materializing movement from center to surface of the Wheel. “And The Lord taketh away.” This is the receding path of return to center. In all, “Blessed be the NAME of the Lord.” The Logos. Think Indy Jones in the Grail movie, the Last Crusade. The receding steps leading to treasure are marked with the Hebrew letters that spell out the Name of God. The creative Name. Remember his “Leap of Faith.”

Also remember that he’s not the only one seeking the Grail . . . power-hungry Nazis are close on his heels, seeking immortality not for love of human/divine fathers, but for the fatherland.

Phoenix - sized

The 11th hour we’re now approaching was foreseen in 1998. I continue to write in this mode, most currently in As Conflict Escalates, What Can Be Done Now? Here is summary and conclusion:

In the past, monasteries arose as islands of hospitality, learning and civility during Europe and Asia’s so-called dark ages. Once again, as another dark age looms on the horizon, intentional communities dedicated to preserving the essential teachings will naturally arise. My best hope is that future leaders will meet the responsibility of shaping hopeful new beginnings; that they will succeed in transmitting the wisdom of the ancients to future generations along side the complimentary technical know-how of today’s sciences.

In the Positive Paradigm reality map, future educators have a versatile self-awareness tool with which to teach the basics of leading an integrated, self-responsible life. Building on the seven basic axioms which flow from it, tomorrow’s leaders have a viable model upon which to structure healthy social organizations.

Conclusion

Resolving conflict necessarily occurs one person at a time, and from the inside out. For this reason, however complex and overwhelming world problems may seem, we each have the option and responsibility to improve that which is closest to home: ourselves. By reducing internal conflict within, each of us has the potential, if only in modest ways, to reduce the conflict without. . . .

Angel Calling

THOU SHALT NOT MURDER

 

10 commandments

A friend recently drew sharp attention to a little known mistranslation with enormous cultural implications.

Like most pacifist vegetarians of my generation, I grew up taking a misleading translation of the Old Testament sixth commandment quite literally. “Thou shalt not kill.”

Currently, however, the generally accepted wording is, “Thou Shalt Not Murder.” World of difference.

Murder is a very specific type of killing, defined as unlawful killing committed with malice aforethought, anti-social behavior often associated with other crimes like robbery and political intrigue. Murder is synonymous with assassination and extermination on the one hand, but also with mutilation or mangling.

At the very least, there are two outstanding differences between an across-the-board prohibition on murder versus a blanket prohibition on all killing whatsoever, whensoever, whysoever.

First, according to I Ching wisdom, mirrored by King Solomon’s famous words in Ecclesiastes, there is a time and place for every purpose under Heaven. Within the cyclical laws of nature and nature’s God, purposeful killing is intrinsic to life’s rhythm.

ecclesiastes

Second, if one is prohibited from killing regardless of context, this prohibition, in extreme circumstances, is misconstrued as a guilt-inducing, paralyzing, self-defeating command: “Thou shalt not protect thyself.”

Further, examples of murder are less obvious that one might first think. There are many more forms and levels of crime than those acknowledged by legal systems designed to protect human life and property.

As psychologist Erik Erikson, quoted by Jonathan Kozol in Death at an Early Age, wrote:

Some day, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well-considered, and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit; for such mutilation undercuts the life principle of trust.

To this point, in Rethinking CRIME I wrote:

Those who dismiss, demean or control children with fear condemn them to empty lives of masked conformity on the material surface of the Life Wheel. Instilling extreme ideas about death, as if it were either a reward or ultimate punishment, one’s only hope or worst enemy, results in living inappropriate to reality.

To take another tack, I’ve more than once observed that the people who on the surface of the Life Wheel give the appearance of being the most conformist, are at deeper levels, the least so. They simply have the most to hide.

Conversely, those who may not be so strict in social correctness have less to hide. Often, they live more faithful to the heart of human kindness. In fact, this is the consistent pattern.

The Laws of Nature explain this consistent inconsistency. Consistent with I Ching wisdom, Michio Kushi lists “Twelve Principles of Order in the Universe.” They include:

1. Everything is a differentiation of ONE Infinity.

2. Everything changes.

3. All antagonisms are complementary.

4. There is nothing identical.

5. What has a front has a back.

6. The bigger the front, the bigger the back.

The dynamics of this natural law explain why what appears so on the surface inevitably has a shadow, complimentary opposite side lurking beneath. Those who know them best find the nicest people can be shockingly cruel.

The most seemingly non-violent – apparently squeamish and helpless when it comes to physical self-defense can be extraordinarily violent in non-physical ways – ruthless when it comes to money matters or partisan politics.

The bravest and most accomplished of performers, if naive about the ways of the financial world, can be undone by a ruthless agent and end up ruined.

Herein lies the stuff of human tragedy. As the Greeks understood, a hero’s greatest strength, untempered, becomes (ironically) the cause of his downfall.

These dynamics repeat on every scale of magnitude. We find them in operation within the family, played out in communities, corporations and nations. In some cases, murder is a question of degree. How different is it from character assassination, for example? Or invalidating others. Or wearing them down, depleting their energies and resources.

People who pride themselves on being powerful in terms of economic and social resources adopt extreme yang lifestyles. This includes using the force of personality and, in extremes, physical violence, to get what they want.

In contrast, those who lack external, material resources take refuge in extreme yin strategies. They too maneuver to get what they want, just in more subtle ways, including psychological warfare. They are just as violent. Just in ways and on levels hidden from most of us.

A current example is a politician who as an outsider, superficially seemed the most liberal and egalitarian. Once inside, however, the opposite side came forward. Outward appearances belied the character of a despot with no qualms about lavishly squandering tax dollars to fund an extravagantly opulent lifestyle.

Hence the virtue of a middle path, free of extremes in any direction. The ideal of health, on every scale of magnitude, is balanced strength on all levels rather than imbalances – excesses on one level masking deficiencies at another.

Understanding the levels and layers of life and the dynamic interplay amongst them is critical to social and economic survival. Adhering to that deepest, infinite core from which integrity, balance and wisdom flow remains the key to ultimate survival.

Especially in troubled times such as these, I think back on the Psalms of King David, equal parts musician, warrior and ruler. In all aspects of his reign, he survived by allowing his life to be ruled by that ONE Infinity acknowledged throughout time as the bedrock of life.

Although in family affairs and matters of state, he suffered dearly from the inconsistencies of human behavior, he inevitably found the safe way through trouble.

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Thus in Psalm 27 he sang:

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

2  When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

3  Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

4  One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.

5  For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

In all, the survival path is marked by adherence to the Law. Conversely, it requires avoidance of that which is unlawful. This includes both refraining from acting unlawfully — violating the laws of nature and nature’s God —  and protecting oneself and those one loves from unlawful behavior perpetrated by others.

Therefore, thou shalt not murder. By extension, thou shalt not murder the language, rendering the God-fearing defenseless before enemies and foes.

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