“The men and women killed on September 11 were not citizens of a democracy; they were earners, and rewards would be distributed accordingly. Virtually no one-not even the commentators and politicians who denounced the Feinberg calculus for other reasons-criticised this aspect of his decision.” (p.218)
Thankfully I did not receive any new books for Christmas this year (2018) which is great, considering that I still haven’t read the ones I received last year.
After all of my political outbursts and writings there could hardly be a better title to end my “Things To Read“ section with in 2018 than Corey Robin’s “The Reactionary Mind- Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Donald Trump.“
I have a deep admiration for good writers displaying broad vocabulary usage, especially those who engage in extensive harvesting of information.
This is its own virtuosity for sure and I find it very impressive.
Characters like Robin would probably not be particularly gobsmacked by my own writings but see it as a source of opinions in a bundle of many.
That being said; Corey’s work is an analogue data-base of other people’s opinions presented to those of us who are not academics or to those who are hoping to climb that mountain.
He presents his collection of conservative thinkers brilliantly and convincingly argues his point.
It is particularly illuminating for someone like myself to read it; in fact I would go so far as to call it mandatory reading for anyone on the right spectrum of politics.
What really stood out to me and what I ended up highlighting in the book were sections regarding economics.
I was stunned to read quotes from Hobbes who would have greeted a 1984 super-state with open arms. His definition of free-will is something that I’ve come to consistently ridicule pointing out to my relatives when reading, talking or hearing about abusive behaviour: “well according to Hobbes this is free-will in action if you choose to be a victim!”
I was equally mortified by Edmund Burke’s view on labour but certainly saw in his writings the justification for wage-slavery in today’s modern world.
It is simply impossible for an individual to condemn chained-slavery in one sentence only to proclaim that one endorses freedom and liberty while endorsing Burke. There is no such thing.
Edmund Burke had no respect for the individual or humanity as quoted in Robin’s book. A terrifying individual whose theories should be held up as a horror-example of what one should fight against.
Likewise, I was angered when reading quotes from Ayn Rand who came across as a delusional fraud, the antichrist incarnate, without any concern for her fellow humans at all. Robin demonstrated this by comparing quotes from her with quotes from Hitler. They aligned perfectly.
Thank God for Adam Smith who came across as the only sensible thinker in regards to labour.
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#adamsmith for the win! What #edmundburke is quoted as saying & defending in "The Reactionary Mind" is literally #slavery 😑 Not good. Here is a good quote from #Smith ❤️ "He describes that minimum as either a subsistence wage to procure the worker's survival or a family wage enabling not only to maintain and reproduce itself but also to advance itself. Not only must wages provide "the necessities and conveniences of life"; what constitutes those necessities and conveniences will depend upon the overall wealth of a society." 👍🏻 #economics #reading #ideas #politics #society #thereactionarymind #coreyrobin #trade #money #finance #labor #workers #wages #nations #peace
Obviously it all made me think about my own efforts in regards to my art and inspired me to initiate a new art-concept for this year (2019) named: “The Value of Labour.“
I will not go into great detail in describing this particular art-project until the end of the year.
“When labor becomes the norm, in both senses of the term, culture does not stand a chance.” (p.163)
I highlighted several quotes in the book that were of great interest, but I will not quote them all here since it dawned upon me during Christmas that I have a tendency to write rather large book-reviews and quote what I read to such an extent that it all becomes a bit too much.
Ultimately I want people to read the books that I mention but I also want to share information since we live in a time where people don’t seem to take reading seriously!
I have to say that it feels strange to read a book written in proper American. Rather than writing labour, the text goes for labor instead. The same can be said for the usage of the letter z or c vs. s. After having gotten used to the more French way of writing English words, it feels like I’m reading simplified English.
What I find troubling about “The Reactionary Mind“ is that Corey Robin is portraying Democrats and liberals as inherently peaceful and “lame” which couldn’t be further from the truth, he also fails in addressing current political movements such as: transgenderism, LGBTQ, 3rd wave feminism, racism, censorship and iconoclasm, and declarations of total war written by members of the political left, etc;
His criticism and portrayal of Trump also falls into the category of “Orange man bad,“ with the by now familiar name-calling. He adds to this by quoting “The Art Of The Deal,“ a book ghost written by Tony Schwartz.
It is difficult to find anything illuminating in regards to Trump’s character, barring the support of his children and friends of the family. After all of the negative articles that I’ve read (and openly ridiculed here on my blog) I’ve only come across three sources in regards to Trump’s personality that can be seen as plausible or informative. One is the video of Tony Schwartz in Oxford, another is the video interview with one of the women alleging that they had an affair, the other is a long article in The New Yorker written about his tv-show “The Apprentice.” What these three have in common is that they align and paint the sort of picture that would be credible considering Trump’s vast wealth and business accomplishments; all other critics are namely repeating the same words over and over without ever giving any reasons for why they are doing so…
That being said it is unlikely that anyone will care much for what Schwartz have to say for himself since Trump’s larger than life personality and star eclipses that of a journalist hired to write about another man’s accomplishments…
Trump’s magnitude is so immense that it is impossible to come across a media outlet not mentioning him (the publishing houses clearly see it as their mission to use any outlet to influence potential voters), impossible to come across anyone in the music industry who does not have an official opinion broadcasted on their social media (regardless of their size and influence), his very presence has driven his political adversaries to nothing but visible madness; it is not even possible to go to a random coffee-house in Cheltenham without overhearing the neighbouring table talk about Trump’s latest Tweets.
Such is his fame and such is his influence.
He has made everyone reveal themselves and their true colours on an international scale.
Those who want: border security, a crack-down on gang-warfare, private guns, religion, jobs and a future for their families love the man and are his fans; those who hate him want: no borders, no jobs, no police, no private guns, no religion, and no children.
Yet those who oppose him do not really see this since all they chant is: “Orange man bad,“ they are fighting an unjust system presided over by a bigot – in their opinion.
His most devout fans burnt their Nike gear to show their contempt for “flag-disrespecter“ Colin Kaepernick. Meanwhile the political activism on the left increasingly resembles persecution with doxing and physical assaults a staple; it brings to mind “give us the man and we’ll find the crime.“
A most celebrated and respected investigative journalist referred to the spectacle by saying: “this is political war.“
It is also worth noting that liberals were terrified of a potential “military junta“ in the White House when Trump appointed retired Generals to certain positions. Once these characters were fired one by one, the very same people voiced their complaints, since they apparently wanted a military take-over if this take-over would stand opposed (even if just a little bit) to President Trump.
“… or, as the Kagans would later put it, “to intervene decisively in every critical region” of the world, “whether or not a visible threat exists there.” (p.213)
“… to ensure that no other power ever arose to challenge the United States and that no regional powers ever attained preeminence in their local theatres.” (p.214)
There is a real danger of “state-worship“ both on the right and left side of politics. This is never in the interest of the people when contemplating the exploitative nature of the modern “state.“ There is also a danger of denial when people are clueless of past tensions between those who yearn for change and those who oppose this.
Right-wing people do have a tendency to greatly admire enforcement professions only to despise big-government and bureaucracy in the next sentence. I guess it is an admiration for being badass and for being patriotic. I certainly consider myself a fan of the military and others who keep us safe and know how to kick ass!
Ironically enough these enforcement professionals are in our times acting as agents of the very state that conservatives either loathe and/or doubt.
Those on the left side of politics meanwhile bemoans war-mongering from the right, while frequently calling for military interventions in the name of “saving humanity“ or “standing in solidarity“ with whomever. They greatly expand the state “for the greater good“ while simultaneously lamenting “power-abuse,“ “the patriarchy,“ and “hierarchies.“
It is immensely ironic that left-wing characters erect the very abuse time and time again that they criticise or see (whether legitimate or not) in already existing political structures. They do have a tendency of being very right in their analysis of what doesn’t work while failing spectacularly when enacting their remedy. Usually resulting in monumental losses in the millions.
The use of language and grammar is an abuse of power in the mind of a true deconstructionist, yet the ideological children of these radical thinkers are the very ones who are forcing everyone in public academic settings to announce their pronouns and talk like fools.
On the other hand; conservatives regularly re-write and update their own history so that they will not be seen in an unflattering light by whatever modern standards. If you believed in maintaining the established order of your time and you lived in the American South, you would obviously have been pro-slavery, if you believed in maintaining the existing orders in Europe, you would obviously have been pro-Monarchy. If you believed in the captains of industry and this newly established elite you would have supported the suppression of workers, and so and so on.
Establishments and elites change.
I disagree with Corey Robin’s argument that violence is one of the pillars of the conservative mindset and would rather counter-argue that violence is at the heart of humanity as a whole.
Geneticists would obviously know more about the topic.
I take it as self-evident that most lust for power and that few would ever be able to resist the temptation of greatly expanding their spheres of influence if given the chance.
Inevitably this results in the infringement upon other people’s borders and rights to self-rule.
A right is only a right as long as humans decide to respect it, just like a law or a system is only operational as long as people decide to play along with it. The moment that people do not, it will simply cease to exist.
Political orders are living organisms which makes it ironic to be a conservative, unless ones definition of conservative aligns with mine; namely that conservatism means conserving any traces and tools of ones cultural heritage such as: texts, buildings, artefacts, music, practises, languages, etc; in addition to the protection of ones own population group from existential enemies both internal and external.
It would also make sense to include borders but this would not take into consideration our ancestors nomadic tendencies, which led them to move wherever they could find resources. Which grounds to be defended would be defined by the actual value to the tribe. This obviously includes farmland in these “modern“ times of ours.
Expansion due to necessity would also have to be included if concerned with the survival of ones population group, since mass evacuations are sometimes a necessity. You have to be flexible and willing to re-locate if your current territory becomes inhabitable.
Borders follow the tribe.
Traditionalism on the other hand does in my opinion mean that you consciously re-enact past patterns of behaviour, which is something that a great deal of conservatives would not be interested in doing.
In this day and age conservatism is largely seen as a financial model which means that nothing is ever really seen as worth “conserving“ if it gets in the way of the sanctity of “the free market,“ socially there may be a little sprinkle of religion, but this is largely absent from the Nations of Europe.
Lately I’ve been thinking that globalism must appeal to those who see all humans as replaceable cogs in the industrial like state system. If 10 Swedes die tomorrow it makes no difference since 10 Nigerians can be imported to take their place. It is however interesting to note that the argument is never really reversed because then it becomes imperialistic and racist. Overpopulation in Africa can be solved by Europeans not having any kids, in the eyes of a globalist it makes no difference at all if China all of a sudden is swapped demographically with India. We are all just cogs in the machine. This is the only way I can think of to explain their thinking.
It is worth noting however that if celestial beings create humans to worship them you cannot simply exchange them for other creatures while expecting a continuation of praise. This will probably come as a rude awakening to many in the years to come.
When reading this book it is informative to see that conservative critics do have a tendency historically to lament the inertia of the establishment while both fearing and admiring the vitality of revolutionaries.
Like biblical prophets they warn of a looming danger, but a danger nonetheless that seems inevitable.
“What is important is not what freedom I personally would like to exercise but what freedom some person may need in order to do things beneficial to society; this freedom we can assure to the unknown person only by giving it to all.” Hayek (p.159)
After having read “The Gospel of Thomas” translated by Svein Woje & Kari Klepp., I asked the local vicar if he had any reading material regarding the numerous conspiracies surrounding the Christian church.
He lent me a 28-page pamphlet authored by Rt Revd N.T. Wright.
An interesting question posed by the author to his readership regarding “The Da Vinci Code“ is this: What questions did it raise for you in relation to Christian belief?
I did not have any questions regarding Dan Brown’s claims at all when I first read it for the simple reason that it has become pretty much cannon in Norway that the sanctity of Jesus was decided during the church meeting at Nicea. Norwegians also subscribe to the belief that the books chosen for The New Testament were picked for political reasons, which means that many people in Norway know about the non-canonical gospels and perceive their exclusion as the result of politics.
Since this had already been presented to me as truth repeatedly I saw Dan Brown’s book as a confirmation of an already established fact.
I went out and bought myself “Holy Blood and Holy Grail,“ which I then took as further evidence.
All of this ties neatly together with pop-Satanists and modern pagans who are hard at work to clean up negative PR surrounding their spiritual practises that according to them was/is the result of Christian propaganda.
Due to this it is very difficult to come across books about witchcraft or Satanism that aren’t apologetic in nature….
I sincerely doubt that relevant or good reading material can be found about the topic in any mainstream book shop or at any state funded library….
As a teenager I tried but couldn’t find much of interest.
I was mystified when I read that Jimmy Page apparently had an occult book shop in London once upon a time. Where on earth he could find enough material to justify a book store puzzles me.
All you come across are excuses and attempts at making the Christian churches in Europe look like oppressors making life impossible for other faiths; that of course are always depicted as harmless.
Much emphasis is put on the burning of Witches and what a horrible event this was in human history since there are no such things as witches – just like there are no such things as demons or dark spirits.
Funny enough this alleged modern “enlightened“ way of looking at things is contradicted by polls where it is claimed that most people claim to have a belief in a God and/or the spiritual, there is no shortage of books about Angels and the paranormal, yet “witches“ or the “spiritual“ is a thing of the past.
Superstition led to the “black-magic-hysteria“ in old-times, now we are simply too smart and too good for these things.
Any modern-day books about spirituality coming from mediums or from anyone who has experienced an NDE will only talk about love, exclusively, without ever mentioning the darker aspects of spiritual experiences; such as hauntings, possessions, poltergeist activity, etc;
The topic of “dark magic“ or “dark spirituality“ can only be found in Hollywood movies, even though spiritual dark activity is well-documented historically. Even if looking at old myths and spiritual beliefs, there was always an acknowledgment of darker elements.
This is remarkably absent from modern-day “everything is just fine“ spirit-literature.
Ironically enough it is relatively easy to buy Tarot cards or Ouija boards or any other tools associated with “magic,“ but books about the topic cannot be found easily unless you are satisfied with the narrative of: “the Church is actually the bad guy and we are really the good guys.“
Satanism also gets a make-over with people claiming that it is all about self-development, statements that seem dubious when considering the celebration of self-mutilation, suicide, murder and other destructive activities that can be found in so-called alternative circles.
When reading about pagan rituals involving human sacrifice in Nordic cultures in addition to revelations disclosing that the Vikings were very active when it came to slave trading, the modern myth of pagan-Scandinavia being peaceful, tolerant, egalitarian, and whatnot becomes dubious at best.
“Peaceful traders“ does not count if it involves the kidnapping and selling of other humans (a capital accumulated due to merciless raids and plundering), “Peaceful farmers“ does not count if the religious rituals involve ritual killings….
Yet everything seems to be done to smooth these type of things over to such an extent that I did believe that the vikings had a gender Utopia, that I did believe that female warriors was a thing & that I did not know that the Viking-culture of the North would in a modern setting make the activities of ISIS seem like kindergarten play in comparison.
Paradise in Viking mythology equals eternal warfare. You drink and you fight, you fight and you drink – where on earth is the advertised “peace?“
Meanwhile you have an assortment of female Gods that for the most part deal with fertility and family life. That does not sound like something that aligns with our current egalitarianism culture.
Just like I did not know this I also did not know that old pagan beliefs systems were ethnocentric in nature, with great emphasis put on location and blood lines.
There is obviously a great deal that we are not being told about when it comes to spirituality and especially our own histories as population groups.
In ignorance darkness triumphs.
I’ve never been a huge fan of artists using charity as a marketing tool or as a way to make themselves look nice; yet it is a positive thing if you can inspire your followers to get more active with their own local communities!
Tomorrow I’ll be helping out again by doing a fundraiser for a local village hall! This is the best way that I can help as an artist so I hope that the event will be well attended!
This is the poster for the concert:
Now follows an entry that I wrote a while back about getting involved if you want to help out but isn’t quite sure how to go about it!
A major difference between living in a major city vs. country living is that “life” is more “valuable” in a territory where humans are scarce! An interesting and spooky detail to note! Whenever you run into someone in a village you establish eye-contact and greet one another; in addition you have interactions that are based on trust.
If you then go into town and see some of those characters that live in the same desolate territory as yourself you’ll notice that they just blend into the town landscape together with all the other people, creating the impression of a big, unidentifiable, mass. It is even worse in big cities where you walk down a crowded street without ever establishing eye-contact with anyone and where everyone is consumed with their own things.
Last time I was staying at a hotel due to work I thought of it as comical when I passed a young woman in the corridor who just walked past me all glassy-eyed without even looking at me; “how rude” I thought to myself, “she didn’t even say hi.”
Yet it has become the standard that there are thousands of parallel paths that never cross one another as everyone goes about their business.
I’ve been guilty of this myself, because this has become the default setting of human beings in our part of the world.
You can get out of this habit if you move into an area where human capital is a rarity.
To give you an example of how detached humans have become I offer this tiny story that I’ve never shared with anyone before:
Some years back when I was travelling with Craig Ogden (my classical-guitarist-partner-in-crime) I saw a young, female, drug addict, who was stumbling around in the main pedestrian street of Oslo.
Out of all of the people who were walking down this street, nobody noticed this woman who was clearly in distress.
She nearly got hit by a car and was clearly a danger to herself.
She was in need of urgent care.
So what do you do in a situation like that?
First we walked behind her like two baby-sitters watching over a self-destructive toddler….
This was obviously not something that could go on indefinitely since we had a plane to catch, nevertheless we “stalked” this young lady to ensure that she didn’t succeed in her suicide mission.
Second we had to find someone else who could take over since we weren’t going to be there forever, so we started inquiring around asking various security personnel outside some of the shops if they could call an ambulance or some sort of authority figure.
Some of the people working inside the shops were less enthusiastic; they displayed no empathy at all, and brushed it aside, since “there is a lot of that around here.” Among the other pedestrians there were a couple of people who walked up to the woman and asked her how she was doing, which was very superficial. She was not doing ok at all. Yet once she feigned that she was alright, clearly drugged and/or intoxicated, the individual who had asked if she was ok just walked on. This was just a polite, little hick up in their autopilot, the concern did not seem genuine nor heartfelt. Just superficial politeness. There was one furious man who came thundering over to the security personnel we were dealing with demanding that they do something to save the life of the woman wandering about.
One man and us.
In the end I have no idea what happened to her since we had to leave, but it was an interesting experience to observe the general indifference, and the helplessness of the security people who seemed confused and clueless about how to deal with our concern. It was obvious that they struggled to think outside of their own personal pattern and mission statement. They were there to look for shoplifters, not to call an ambulance or the police to take charge of a drug-abuser. They didn’t know how to handle something that was outside of their own perimeter and framework.
As far as “the people” was concerned they simply did not see her.
This can explain how little kids can drown in overcrowded pools. People are locked into their own activities to such an extent that a child can drown behind them or a young woman die of an overdose right next to them.
If more people had valued “life” that day they would have noticed the self-destructive woman stumbling amongst them; several people would have taken action and she would have received medical attention.
So what do you do if you notice an issue and you want to contribute?
Here are a few examples:
- A while back I wrote about the “crumbling state of affairs” regarding England’s places of worship. I pasted in links to some churches that were in desperate need of repair work and wrote about the importance of England’s irreplaceable heritage. First I shared my knowledge of the problem since I did not have the ability to sort out the issue myself. I wrote about it several times actually. Then I decided that the best thing that I could do was to do a fundraiser concert in order to raise funds for my local church. Not knowing whether or not it would be a success I did it anyway and was very happy to see the turnout! We raised the money that we wanted and I could say that my initiative had been a success since the goal had been fulfilled!
- During the crisis of Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Jose I was asked by a follower if I could shred a riff for my American followers. This gave me the idea that I could help out by writing a song specifically for the victims of the extreme weather, while posting links in the description area of my video to organisations looking for donors to facilitate their volunteer work in disaster areas. I don’t know how successful this venture was, but I thought it was a good idea and helped in the way that artists can help, by using their talents and gifts for a purpose.
- After attending a shocking lecture about persecuted Christians around the world I shared the information that I was handed out on my blog. I urged my followers to check out the organisation working to help Christians who are imprisoned, maimed, alienated or impoverished due to their Christian faith. This organisation obviously look for donors and money like all other charitable organisations, so I was wondering how I could be of any use. That’s when I realised that there was one thing that I could do which was to write cards to persecuted individuals. It broke my heart when I wrote individual letters to an entire family over in Asia and then saw that their names had been taken off the website of the charity since I assumed that maybe they had been killed off or imprisoned as well, which was what had happened to the father in the family. I have no idea what happened to my letters, but I hope that it brought some light to the recipients. A little ray of hope in a dark and cold world. Once again I resorted to using my artistic skills in making custom-made, hand-made cards.
- I decided to get involved with my local “Village Show” since I know that they are always looking for people. I took it upon myself to do online PR which was a challenge since you need people to spread the word in order to get the social-media snowball rolling. There simply weren’t enough people who signed up for the Facebook page and out of those who did there were only a few who ever interacted with the content that I put out there. I did however write a little promotional text for the event which was printed in the local news-letter, I made a hand-made drawing for one of the promo leaflets as well and volunteered on the day of the show by working in the children’s tent. I also helped with putting up the various marquees before the event. Even though I contributed a little it was obvious that it was appreciated since every helping hand counts when arranging a “Village Fair,” when thinking about all of the people who turned up it is quite astonishing what a small group of volunteers can accomplish. The various stalls and the show looked great.
- MicroPlastics is something that I’ve been writing about here on my blog and something that I’ve singed petitions about as well. I sent some emails to local representatives asking about our water but received no reply which is the standard when it comes to these type of things. I championed using biodegradable cutlery, cups and plates at the local “Village Show,” and was happy to see that biodegradable straws were present in the bar at the show, at least. Yet it can be difficult to know how to go about an “eco-issue” as you don’t want to come across as an annoying eco-warrior, in addition you also need manpower if you are to exert any political influence. The good news is that petitions have been flying left-right-and-centre to such an extent online that it has resulted in governments across Europe taking the issue seriously due to citizen pressure. The quality of our environment is such a pressing and serious concern regardless of race, ideology or location, yet it is one where organisation is needed, with the exception of minding one’s own garbage and/ or picking up the trash after others.
These are just some examples of small things that can be done! It is possible to volunteer one’s time and/or create specific objects/things in the name of charity! When I was going to throw away some old clothes I put them all in a “clothes bank” so that others could get them. If more people engage with their local communities we will gradually create a much better and friendlier world, and I much rather experience that than the coldness that has become so prevalent, in a detached, atomised, modernised, reality!
This is a collection of creation myths from throughout the world translated to Norwegian. It was lent to me by a relative who clearly wants me to engage in comparative-religion. This is understandable since we used to be Pagan in Norway before we were Christened by the sword; if you are a believer in universalism I guess it makes sense too.
Universalists, as I’ve come to understand it, think that we are all worshipping the exact same God, but that our different cultures have led us to interpret this deity in different ways.
This theory is refuted when looking at those cultures who worship multiple Gods, in addition to the story lines themselves…
All of the stories contained within this book are ethnocentric and location-based in nature. You would think that the book had been edited by members of the alt-right since the least race-conscious ideology is dethroned, while all others that are linked to blood-lines and ancestry are exalted.
What becomes obvious is that there are no “globalist religions.“ The closest you get is Christianity which appears unique and groundbreaking in offering a religion open to all regardless of race, ethnicity, location and/or socio-economic status.
Then again; the existence of Nations are acknowledged in the Bible and Christ will come back to judge all the Nations, which means that the abolishment of Nations is not part of the plan.
Yet Christianity comes across as the most inclusive of faiths when reading this book that was lent to me clearly as an act of undermining the status of Christianity.
In this my relative failed once again, mainly because of the fact that I’ve actually read the Holy Bible in full:
If it was up to the book itself I wouldn’t know anything about the Christian faith since the religion is represented by two lone quotes. One at the front and one at the back of the collection; that’s all.
Based on that I would have concluded this entry by saying that Egyptian Sun-worship is what I enjoyed the most, since Christianity certainly doesn’t come off as particularly groundbreaking or special in this context.
Much space is dedicated to all sorts of weird worship traditions completely foreign to the Norwegian people and our culture, with the exception of the Norse creation myth.
After realising the importance of racial/ethnic identity when it comes to religions a thought presented itself to me: what if we summon our ancestral Gods when we pray, regardless of who we think we are praying to?
What if each tribe can only access its God/s and this is completely pre-determined due to the “spirit-wifi“?
My personal favourites were out-takes from the following: Eskimos, The Finns, Native Hopi Americans, the Mayans, Sumerians and Muslims.
What is of interest is that a great number of the myths present the Big Bang theory in ancient wrapping displaying the longevity and widespread acceptance of this belief.
What I found interesting in the Norse creation myth (besides the obvious inspiration for Lord of The Rings) was that female and male Gods were to be seen as equals (at least according to this translation) and that poverty and injustice was lamented, just as in The Old Testament.
The reason as to why this is of great interest is that if old Jewish tribes and old Norse tribes were complaining about this back then, then what makes us think that inequality is a challenge that can ultimately be solved in our time?
When reading the Norse creation myth I saw parallels to Greek mythology as well, which was an interesting detail to note; some of these belief systems overlap in part, but not all of them.
In gender-egalitarianism the Norse myth proved itself unique since all of the other myths would fall under the sexism umbrella in today’s socialist culture.
In the Japanese myth everything goes horribly wrong when a female deity speaks to the male deity first. Order is restored and creation can take place once the feminine submits to the masculine.
The African creation myth is certainly the most entertaining one concerning gender roles, since men and women are described as completely separate entities, and that the men are very puzzled when these alien creatures all of a sudden come into their villages helping themselves to their huts. The men are wondering why these women don’t build their own homes and why they come and live-off the men. This instantly made me think of how women are described in Ancient Greek myths:
Liberalism is described as “an evil that has come upon us“ (to paraphrase) in the Native American texts, which once again echos the laments of the prophets in The Old Testament.
Liberalism was clearly not seen as empowerment in ancient texts but rather as the act of demons and/or evil corrupting society.
The complaints from the people in the Buddhist myth also made me think of The Old Testament, where the Jewish people are reprimanded but repeatedly repeat past mistakes only to lament at the heavens again and again.
One of the myths that was of particular interest was the one from the Mayans. The Gods want to create a being that can worship them. They refer to it as the “human doll.“ They try repeatedly but fail and eventually it is said that the humans of today are linked to the monkeys!
The strangest myth of them all was the Kabbalah one. It only reminded me of the “illuminati confirmed“ sketches on YouTube. Kabbalah is clearly trying to decode the Hebrew language in order to “hack the code,“ gaining access to the assumed programming language of God.
Creation myths are becoming increasingly valid and intriguing when observing our own creation of artificial intelligence and advanced machinery, not that it can surpass what has already been created, but it certainly puts our favourite habit of mimicry into perspective.
Some of the texts were quite boring but I forced myself to read them since reading for pleasure isn’t really my number one reason for doing so.
I read out of curiosity and I also have a policy of reading the books that end up in my possession so that I don’t end up with piles of books that are only for show. This has led me to some horrible reading experiences, but it has also introduced me to different perspectives and stories that I wouldn’t normally have been exposed to.
Reading fiction for example is something that I seldom do. I’m intrigued by works that can either help me or enlighten my curiosity in one way or another, and interestingly enough this has led to inspiration for artistic projects as well.
Yesterday my sister & I were confirmed by The Bishop of Tewkesbury.
I really enjoyed the event and look forward to deepen my spirituality further in the coming years.
After a year of working my way through The Holy Bible this was a wonderful way to finalise this part of my spiritual journey. I’m so happy that I was joined by my sister! 🙂
It was a wonderful evening. ❤
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.” 1 John 4(18)
At a certain point after venturing into The New Testament, I sent our local priest an email asking if I could purchase the Bible that I had borrowed.
What I had in mind was to highlight my favourite passages after writing notes during my reading of The Old Testament, and to my delight I was told that I could keep the Bible as a gift.
It has a symbolic value to me personally and I love the fact that it is so old and worn that other people have also written their names in it.
The New Testament makes for a remarkably quick read, considering its influence, and consists mainly of Paul’s letters.
I guess this can explain in part people’s fascination with non-canonical gospels, as if thought desperate to find more material regarding what Jesus actually said during his short life-time. Much is made of the fact that few know what Jesus was up to before he was baptised by John The Baptist.
What strikes me as odd when it comes to the Christian faith are all of the various denominations and all of the disagreements that are present within Christianity.
One body – one church.
That was the goal at least, yet that is not how things have played out sadly.
Building bridges between various Christian denominations ought to be a priority if living by the Biblical principle of: one body, one church.
“Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common.” Acts 4(32)
“…for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognised.” 1 Corinthians 11(19)
There are some misconceptions and malpractice within various Christian denominations that strike me as especially peculiar, considering what The New Testament actually says.
Celibacy among priests, as in Catholicism, is not advocated in The New Testament, quite on the contrary. It is described that Bishops and Deacons need to have orderly households.
It is also mentioned that women involved with the church (even though the role isn’t specified) are meant to be of good, steady character.
Abstaining from alcohol is also not advocated in the Bible. So strict Scandinavian interpretations, where a merciless war is to be fought against wine and spirits, is actually quite off the mark.
Circumcision, so favoured by Americans, is also not advocated in The New Testament. Nor is money worship and/or extreme capitalism. Selfish materialism is at odds with Holy Texts consistently highlighting the importance of collectivism within the church.
“For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs.” 1 Timothy 6(10)
What I personally struggled with were the sections condemning rebellion against ones government (see Romans 13, Titus 3, Hebrews 13(17), Peter 2(13)). It makes sense if someone loves you and care for you that they wouldn’t be interested in the State coming after you. Then again; the disciples were persecuted and Jesus was killed on the cross due to their rebellion. The disciples and his followers saw Jesus as a fulfilment of Isaiah, but to the Jewish establishment he was the leader of a spiritual revolt, a heresy, that had to be rooted out. The Christian narrative was one that deserved to be squashed to pieces, especially before it reached more people.
The sections concerning slavery, (see Ephesians 6(5), 1 Timothy 6, Titus 2(9), Peter 2(18)) and the whole air that one should be happy in whatever position that one has been born into, fly in the face of the “pursuit of happiness” principle/doctrine; it can also be argued that a slave rebellion is more aligned with justice than accepting physical bondage, at least from a modern perspective.
Yet again, rebellions have a tendency to fail if they aren’t planed well, and the fate of those who are/were dissenters is seldom bright.
The sections concerning women is also at odds with the Western world of today:
“For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church.” 1 Corinthians 14(35)
You can read about women and faith here: “The Gender Agenda” by Lis Goddard & Clare Hendry.
The last aspect of The New Testament that had me wondering was the idea that Abraham’s descendants are the people of faith. This contradicts the Jewish people and their historical obsession with lineage. The Christian perspective is that you are Abraham’s descendant if you are “of him” in spirit.
This is certainly a radical notion, but fits in with other passages in The New Testament concerning a non-Ethnocentric spirituality, that was first intended for “the lost sheep of Israel,” but became accessible to all as Jesus progressed through his mission.
There are several instances where Jesus praises the faith of non-Jewish characters and openly lament those Jews who reject him.
In fact The New Testament can be read as the 2nd rescued operation initiated to save the tribes of Israel. After God’s ranting in The Old Testament, he sends his son, as an incarnation of “The Word” into the world to interact with the Jews. They react to this by killing the one who was sent to save them, driving out his disciples who then do what they can to spread the word to “the Gentiles.”
In killing Jesus the Jewish establishment fulfilled the prophesy and emphasised, in fact confirmed, his Messiah status. Yet there are many today who would still argue that this is/was not the case.
I find it very realistic that humans would react with disbelief if faced with Jesus or anything celestial; humans would either bend the knee or laugh, and even if a miracle was to be performed it would be too far-fetched to expect generation after generation to still believe. Those who witnessed the miracles would know, but how many others? Especially without any tangible, worldly, evidence! That one thing upon which everything rests in this day and age!
I enjoy The Holy Bible’s realistic descriptions of human behaviour.
It is interesting to note for example that Moses is more loyal to his ethnic tribe than to those who adopted him and raised him. He could have lived in luxury and remained comfortable, but decided to throw all of that away in order to fight against social injustice and follow God. (See Hebrews 11(24))
Some of my favourite passages in The New Testament are the ones concerning the celestial:
“For though we live in the world we are not carrying on a worldly war, for the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” 2 Corinthians 10(3)
“For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6(12)
Jesus is normally portrayed as an accepting entity, perfectly aligned with our current culture where everything goes, yet the Bible completely contradicts this:
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household.” Matthew 10(34)
“Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?” Luke 11(17)
“Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division;” Luke 12(51)
“The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify of it that its works are evil.” John 7(7)
“If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” John 15(19)
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2(15)
“We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one.” 1 John 5(19)
Jesus demands that his disciples leave everything behind in order to follow him:
“So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14(33)
“…and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need.” Acts 2(45)
There are several passages where Jesus orders people to stay quiet about his miracles.
Much emphasis is put on “false prophets,” religious hypocrisy, and showing off:
“Beware of practising your piety before men in order to be seen by them; then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 6
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” Matthew 7 (15)
“It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you make it a den of robbers.” Matthew 21(13)
“So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.” Matthew 23(28)
The Jewish establishment is repeatedly referred to as envious of Jesus’ popularity:
“For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up.” Mark 15(10)
“And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death; for they feared the people.” Luke 22(2)
“This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” John 5(18)
“Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.” John 8(58)
The Jewish establishment go on to persecuted Jesus’ disciples and followers after Jesus’ crucifixion:
“But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with jealousy, and contradicted what was spoken by Paul and reviled him.” Acts 13(44)
“But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.” Acts 14(2)
Much is said of people’s blindness since they don’t recognise the prophets among them, not even the Messiah. These passages are some of the most beautiful in the Bible:
“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by deeds.” Matthew 11(18)
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Luke 13(34)
“If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.” Luke 16(31)
Salvation isn’t something that can be bought for money, nor do privilege in this world guarantee privilege in the spiritual world:
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.” Matthew 9(12)
“… and be content with your wages.” Luke 3(14)
“…for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” Luke 12(15)
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12(34)
The New Testament acknowledges diversity and patriotism/tribalism:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28(19)
“If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5(8)
In Revelation it sounds like God is an eater of men and/or a vampire (see Revelation 14(18)):
“He is not God of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.” Mark 12(27)
“Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” Revelation 19(17)