Matthew's Three Fold
Discussion of Matthew's Three Fold .
Matthew's Three Fold, is tightly written to the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter three, and is the fourth in the HESUS JOY CHRIST series. Matthew chapter three is generally considered to be a chapter in the Bible that tells of the ministry of John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus.
From Tuesday, March 8th, 2011 to Tuesday, June 7th, 2011
as posted to the blog of R David Foster
© R David Foster 2009, 2010, 2011
Well here we go ! Try to keep up because there are many angles to this text and it's discussion will cover all the angles I can find in both texts and the relationship between the two texts, which carries a fourth level of meaning. That is – the meaning of each text individually ( 2 meanings ), the meaning when both texts are viewed together ( 3rd meaning ) and the meaning of the relationship ( 3rd meaning ) in the context in which we share – real life ( the 4th meaning ) !
Stepping back a bit, let's acknowledge a few things . We are talking about religion – specifically christianity, which I believe is essentially forgiveness to the ultimate degree . All religions have their strengths, in fact all are valid and relevant . Forgiveness is either a spoken or unspoken element in many religions. I believe forgiveness is essential, and that is why I am christian .
Many religions have elements of Whole and Part . Ying-Yang for example . Other terms are Agency and Communion, Reductionistic and Holistic, one and many, or Male and Female . All that exists has both a wholistic aspect and a partial aspect . Everything that exists is part of a context, and wholly made of parts . To bring something into existence one must address both the whole and the part, both the context and the specific, aspects .
Furthermore, everything that exists has an inclination to either whole or part . The approach to anything assesses the balance of whole and part in that thing . An imbalance is always apparent , and the inclination of any approach is to correct the thing to obtain balance . If it appears too partial it must be corrected . If it appears too wholistic it must be corrected . The fallacy is that anything that exists is not in balance . In other words, if you may approach it then it does exist and if it exists it must already be in balance . Forgiveness allows the balance to exist without correction, and accepts that all things are in balance . This is somewhat a Buddhist opinion or faith . The important thing is to SEE the balance and not be moved to correction by any APPARENT imbalance . Otherwise the urge to correct leads to confrontation and a need to make things unbalanced and favoring whole or part over the other . A key thing about christianity is that it will forgive any apparent imbalance to the extreme of self destruction, but the self destruction is only apparent and not real ! This last idea is explored in the animation entitled HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Two Four which is a chapter about ends .
If whole and part are termed male and female, then this forgiveness that exists between the sexes will allow marriage, which is capable of creation, if not joy and contentment . The whole of HESUS JOY CHRIST points to marriage as the further salvation of humankind, which is based on the essential character of Jesus that is essential for any successful marriage of any whole and part or male and female .
All people are called to different vocations, whether single celibacy, marriage, or other . Marriage is essential to society as a union of whole and part that creates new meaning and life . Marriage is a resource that produces new understanding and creates far more than just babies . This in no way diminishes christianity, because without ultimate forgiveness and sacrifice no marriage will survive . It will end when a partial or whole attitude fails to forgive a whole or partial attitude . Once one has taken up the challenge of Christ and begun to follow him, some sort of witness of the union of whole and part is where one must head, fully armed with forgiveness .
Moving on, evil is real, and forgiveness is how to deal with it . This third chapter of the Gospel of Matthew is about Jesus' baptism by his cousin, John the Baptist . John the Baptist was not preaching forgiveness, nor rebirth through death from forgiveness, but repentance which is turning from doing evil and trying again . Obedience to the Law, as turning from evil, will make balance apparent and allow the balance to be acknowledged and seen . But no one has ever been able to obey the fullest intent of the Law without the benefit of infinite grace . In other words, no one has ever been able to keep the Law when circumstances were against them . Jesus was able to obey the Law but it lead to his very public death . Many others have died obeying the Law in much less honoured deaths . Death – what is it really ? Death will be discussed elsewhere – perhaps in a further discussion of Matthew's Two Four .
Finally, one may choose to keep the issue of the existence of God out of this discussion . For my part, God is an infinite goal, infinitely present as an infinite goal, colouring our perception of existence . Whether God is a person, male or female, is beyond this immediate discussion, but worth discussing in some other writing . Suffice it to say, for now, that whatever has been created exists within infinity and it is all, entirely, good .
Ash Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
Monday, February 1, 2010
HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Three Fold is written very tightly to this chapter of the Bible. It really doubles, if not more than doubles, one's appreciation of the animation which is to screen at the Revue Cinema's Drop Your Shorts open screening this Thursday.
The Gospel of Matthew - Chapter Three
New International Version
This LEFT Column (first quote) is always the Original Gospel Text of the Third Chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, New International Version .
This RIGHT Column (second quote) is always the text of the animation - HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Three Fold , written by R David Foster .
1 In those days, John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea . . .
Verse 1 1 In those days Joan preached to the converted and got nowhere, . . .
Verse 1 Discussion
John the Baptist, who was he ? In a book called The Pagan Christ, some academic makes the case that the people of the Bible, specifically Jesus, never really existed as persons, but were created by theologians to justify a mythology of Christ . I find it irrelevant whether they ever actually existed as persons, because the mythology of Christ makes sense to me regardless . I do however feel that the author of such a book doesn't even believe his own ideas if he cannot entertain the possibility that a mythology could be real .
Religion is not a window onto the world, it is the world . The whole of existence is fodder for religion, even to within our own senses, within our perceptions . When I read something I consider the ideas put forth against my experience, which accumulates daily, and try to find sense in what I read that fits with my experience . To me, John the Baptist was a devoutly religious person from his upbringing, who could not tolerate common society, and that drove him into the desert, away from society . I know this feeling . With me, what I found in the wilderness, on the doorstep to infinity, called me back to society, where people were far more interesting, even if at times exasperating, than any rock, tree, lake, bush or animal . John, on the other hand, apparently still encountered people who came across him from time to time, who were curious about him, how he lived, and his ideas put forth in what he said . Society went to him, rather than John coming back to society . Jesus went out in the desert, in the fourth chapter of Matthew, but came back to society . Another example of the type of person John may have been, is the actor Charlie Sheen, and the meltdown he experienced in the winter of 2011 . Mania is probably not too far from how John the Baptist presented himself .
If John was a man, so be it . His gender is irrelevant . So I created a preacher named Joan. If John was in the desert, people had to travel to meet him . It took the effort of a special trip . If he had been in an auditorium what difference would it have made ? The only difference it would have made would be that he was supported by sufficiently affluent members of society . Today many preachers are beyond established churches preaching their own comprehension of the ancient texts . This is what John was doing . Nobody told him what to say, just like the modern preachers speak from their own heart, even if their interests may be questionable . John was in this category .
Hopefully you recognize the expression “ preaching to the converted “ . What is the point of such a love in ? It will accomplish less than what is ultimately possible . Furthermore, by all the heads nodding in agreement, everyone accepts the teachings of this preacher Joan . Is she content with that ? I hope not . A good preacher hopes her words will move people to live a greater life through understanding, love and joy . Joan did not enjoy such a pleasure . She “got nowhere“. I am sure she may have felt like the voice of one calling in the wilderness . If a preacher speaks and there is no one to hear it, does she make a sound ? She may just as well be alone in a desert for all her effort . Nevertheless, she trudges on .
The point is that a preacher is a talker. Sure they have an understanding, which they feel compelled to share, and that may be worthwhile, but could there be more ? Jesus was more . He healed, however he was able to do that, but more importantly, he voted with his feet, by placing himself squarely as a living example rather than just a mouthpiece . He was a master journeyman, investing his time in the people around him, apparently twelve of them, by getting right down to the same work he expected of them . Many people take offense at how preachers take money and a livelihood out of hard working people by just talking . The whole idea of a priesthood endures this criticism . Apparently Jesus had his concerns with the priesthood of his day . Nevertheless, he agreed that a worker is worth his keep, referring to his disciples . But don't forget that his disciples, including Paul, led by example . Paul was a tent maker, and worked as one as well as preached . Sure, they had ideas to get across, but they also did things and stood up for things as well. Imprisonment was common . Just read the book of Acts . These people could relate to others through personal experience, which many theologians and seminarians could easily lack . How much academia is necessary before one can be a benefit to society? The trick is how to maintain work and witnessing at the same time . It can be done to this day . To my knowledge, Jehovah's Witnesses suffice themselves with part time jobs so they have the time to knock on doors . Young members of the Church of Latter Day Saints spend a good part of their early adult years witnessing .
Jesus and John each gave their whole life to their ministry, suffering death for their preaching . Jim Baker lost everything, so only God knows a man's soul . The idea is more akin to tying a rope around yourself, and, after making sure the other end is secured to the vessel, diving into the waves of the storm to retrieve the lost, rather than throwing a lifeline from the safety of the ship . Look at people in soup kitchens, who serve the homeless in spite of how repugnant their characters may be . The Salvation Army takes this approach . Who knows where a life following Christ will lead ? Let me assure you it will have a good portion of adventure . And so will any marriage .
Lastly, I would like to address the intellectualisation ( yeah, I made up that word ! )of faith . Understanding is not the same as doing or being . Many people will applaud a good preacher for the interesting ideas they put forth . To me, reality is more bizarre than most people can imagine . I do not need to be entertained in church . I have enough going on in my life of following christly balance to keep me interested . In my Roman Catholic parish, the priest's homily speaks to my spiritual life, rather than my mind alone . I am not looking for intellectual agility – a life following christ has plenty of that . I am looking for immediate solutions, which always surprise me by not appearing on my schedule, yet well in time . These solutions come in my heart when I follow other's witness, as well as God's presence . Suffice it to say that reality is far more intellectually agile than any good preacher, and more quiet . ______
Ash Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
. . . 2and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”
Verse 2 . . . 2and said, ”Rebirth! Or the kingdom of heaven is ne'er!”
Verse 2 Discussion
Moving on, in this verse John's entire message is summarized in one line - “ Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near . “ John was trying to get people to step back from sin and see what they were really doing – what they were all about .
Repentance is stepping back from sin and trying to find another way that is within the Law . I would assert that people, as flawed persons by definition, are not perfect before the Law, and created mortal and flawed since creation, so cannot avoid condemnation before the Law – whatever law one chooses . We all know that popular thought or morality is flawed, or unfair, essentially because there are always exceptions to the Law or rules . God's Law, however, is perfect, and Jesus followed the Law of God, to the fullest intentions of God's Law, and was condemned by man's laws, even if only by the judicial side, rather than the legislative side, which he did try to change as he went along his way, anyways. Man's Law, or interpretation of God's Law, always falls short of the fullest intention of the Law, or God's Law. ( For the sake of this discussion, “God's Law”, could be read as “Infinite Law “. ) Nevertheless, it is better to try to obey the law rather than disobey it . Any law is better than lawlessness .
What is the kingdom of heaven ? To me it is a society, or kingdom, that is the fullest intent of God for mankind. A society that is infinitely good . All of such a society is good, and without flaw, pain, suffering or lack . There would still be challenges, but such challenges would be taken up with Joy, like a canoe trip vacation . Sure, there will be slogging through mud and rain, but many people enjoy such hardships and that is the only type of hardship in a society that is infinitely good - hardships that are endured in Joy ! John is proclaiming that such a society is very near, if we can try to obey the Law and become aware of it. Another way of understanding the purpose of legislation is to compare it to a lawn or landscaping in general . A well manicured landscape brings out the best in horticulture and makes the good in nature more apparent . It does not in anyway eliminate much of the natural world, but instead, directs and highlights the Joy of nature . On the other hand, however, the natives of the Americas saw good in all of nature, and did very little weeding . The Law is only a means to see infinite perfection, and is only a crutch, if one believes infinite perfection already exists . Trying to obey the Law, or weeding, both make the infinite purpose more apparent . John prepared the way for Jesus' ministry by drawing the peoples attention to such an infinite purpose of mankind .
What is rebirth ? It is different from repentance . Repentance is stepping back and trying again. Rebirth is a re-creation of everything, and I believe it is the culmination of condemnation, death and suffering . Repentance avoids condemnation and suffering by trying to obey the law. But if the law or morality of man is flawed, it is different in many ways from God's Law, or an infinite law . When one tries to obey an infinite law, beyond a finite law of man, there will be conflict and condemnation under the finite law of man . The wages of sin, or lawlessness, is death . So even if one sins against a finite law, albeit obeying an infinite law, death under that finite law is the condemnation and culmination of such sin . But where does such a sinner stand with respect to an infinite law ? If the infinite law has been obeyed than the condemnation of the finite law results in death under the finite law, but there may not be condemnation and death under the infinite law . What occurs when one is condemned and dies to finite law, by obeying an infinite law, is rebirth . The entire world is recreated ! Repentance could make one aware of a possible infinite purpose of humankind, but rebirth is how to get into the infinite purpose, like putting on a new suit of clothes . The finite world around one dies, and the more infinite world encompassing that finite world, is where one will find them self .
When Jesus says “ follow me “, he is leading us to death and rebirth . This is what happens at the end of an age . One dies in one world and is reborn to a greater world . This happens physically, yes, but more importantly, it happens existentially . It is the only way . That is why Joan, in the animation, says “ Rebirth, or the kingdom of heaven is ne'er ! “ “Ne're” ? This is a contraction of the word “never”, with the apostrophe standing in place of the “v” . Another example of “ne'er” is in the phrase “ne'er do well”, an adjective phrase of an inferior person . In subsequent verses of the animation, Joan goes on to explain what the path to this new world will provide . But remember, rebirth is how to step into the society of infinite good, if repentance is a means to see a society of infinite good .
Finally, this is not such a radical idea, this death and rebirth . We have all already encountered it many times . The death of a child and the birth of a youth, for example. The end of elementary school and the beginning of middle school . Our awareness has died many times to be reborn to a more thorough understanding . HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Two Four explores this idea of the end of one life and the beginning end of another life . The question of how to proceed once one understands this truth of rebirth, is proclaimed in the following verses of this animation - HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Three Fold .
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Verse 3 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“ A voice of one calling in the desert,
'Prepare the way for the Lord,
Make straight paths for Him. ' a
a3 Isaiah 40 : 3
Verse 3 3This is she who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
a 3 Isaiah 40 : 2
Verse 3 Discussion
I always find it interesting how quoting a verse out of context can support such a completely alternate meaning. Here, in Isaiah 40:3, we have John in the desert calling the people to prepare for Jesus. But in the previous verse, Isaiah 40:2, we have a demand to “Speak tenderly” to the people and tell them their sins are forgiven. This verse is not as well known since it hasn't been quoted as often. One is calling the people to action, after the other tenderly tells the people they are forgiven, having paid double for all their sins. I find this important, that people accept that they are forgiven in order for them to move on in their relationships with God and people.
It is essential to know your mistakes are not fatal, almost all the time. Otherwise one becomes paralyzed, unable to act, out of fear of making a fatal mistake. Fear is a serious thing. For example, we all know we will die, but for whatever reason, we do not walk around in fear of death, most of the time. I actually find most people are under the impression that they will live forever, by the way they labour and by what is apparently important to them. Consider what one's life would be like if you were in constant fear, of death for example. You may not find yourself belabouring which birthday card to drop seven dollars on for your boss's wife, I presume, if you were mortified !
Nevertheless, John is calling the peoples' attention to the coming of Jesus, as the Lord and Saviour of humankind. But in Matthew's Three Fold , I have written that this preacher, Joan, who may be discouraged by her apparent lack of success, is being consoled as she returns home, late again, to consider her day. Something is going to happen, as she is being reassured that she is forgiven. John is proclaiming the work to be done, while Joan is hearing the proclamation of the “hard service” that has been done.
In the fullness of time, the long awaited Saviour, Jesus, came as fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. The work of Israel had been completed and a new age was to come, with people following the way Jesus presented to them. This way spread, partly in the expectation that he would return in the same way he left, throughout the roman civilization. But as the apostles passed away, without Jesus' return, the real work of this new age began. The values of christianity were adopted by the state, which surely fell under the weight of those values, to the end of that society and the beginning of the modern world, taking about two thousand years before the values of the way that Jesus taught were fully incorporated into the institutions of society. Even Islam built on the prophetic message of Jesus.
I proclaim, that a new age is again on our doorstep, and it is going to bring closer, a society of infinite good. If you have ever viewed any of this animation on www.youtube.com, you may have become aware of many of the other self proclaimed messages out there, and I am throwing my animation lot in with them. Society will again disintegrate under the weight of these proclaimed values, and there will be no apparent gain within many generations, until the values are adopted by the large majority of the members of society. Africa, to my mind, is now going through it's dark ages as medieval Europe did, with the end of apartheid in South Africa, and the racial genocide in other parts of Africa. This kind of upheaval will result from the adoption of marriage as the further salvation of humankind. __________________
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
4John's clothes were made of camel skin and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey.
Verse 4 4 Joan's clothes were made of polyester and she had a vinyl belt around her waist. Her food was chocolate covered ants and wild honey.
Verse 4 Discussion
I've always been under the impression that the point of telling what John was wearing was to establish that he was living a very rough life of abstinence, outside of society, by mentioning the inferior nature of his clothing and diet. In the same way, Joan wears modern day inferior clothing of polyester and vinyl. Times have changed and a leather belt is considered better than a vinyl belt, and wild honey is a luxury. Similarly, the trappings of a modern day preacher have changed, as many are well off, although still on the outskirts of popular society. Nevertheless, Joan is making use of the gifts of her followers, which may be wild honey and chocolate covered ants. These today are considered luxury gifts, as tokens of appreciation, which I use to establish this element of the narration, and Joan makes use of them, to establish that she respects these gestures. Joan is appreciated but not sufficiently cared for. She lives a solitary life of a single preacher. She may be better off than John was, financially and professionally, but she, as John did, longs for more. She has a vision of how God loves us and is compelled to proclaim her vision of God's plan for humankind. Tokens are tokens, and although the gesture is appreciated it does not fill the longing she has for marriage. Similarly, John's food and clothing suffices, but does not fill the longing for the kingdom of heaven.
Once again, where John was successful, Joan will be successful, as this animation plays out. John did not witness Jesus' ultimate victory, but he fulfilled his role in making it happen. Similarly, in this animation, it appears that Joan is single, and devoting her life to her ministry, and may never witness a victory of marriage in her personal life, even though she likely longs for a truly real marriage. It is a long rough road, which is full of disappointments, but it is a road we all travel, both warily and unaware, and it has it's adventure and joy.
Although he may have been of the opinion that he had no choice in how he lived his life, John did choose to dedicate his life to God. Similarly, Joan has devoted her life to preaching what she believes God wants the people to hear. Both are longing for more, and striving to see the kingdom of heaven. They neglect all else in their striving to obtain the kingdom of heaven.
Although marriage may be the ideal, many people will fulfill their roles given to them by God, in other pursuits. Just as Jesus, whose name means “one who saves”, was called the Christ, from the Greek for “the anointed one”, or from the Hebrew “Messiah”, the One of marriage is anointed upon a couple, as in coming down from above, and is a gift from God. A society of infinite good, may have many “anointed” Ones of marriages, but not all people may participate in a heterosexual marriage. Many people follow Jesus' example, as the apostles for example, but this path is unique to each individual, and not everyone need be crucified and resurrected in Jerusalem 2011 years ago. Likewise, a society of infinite good, where marriage is upheld as the ideal, may not be entirely made up of husbands and wives. We can't all be priests, with none of us left over to be parishioners, but we all worship in the same church.
Children are upheld as a value to society, but we are not all children. Elders are held up as a value to society, but we are not all aged. Work and labour are held up as a value to society, but who expects their 8 year old to have a full time job, or their 80 year old grandmother to punch a time clock. Marriage as an ideal does not mean everyone will be married, but rather, marriage will not be hindered by having work, children, parents, law, or politics interfere. Today many people choose their parents, their children, their careers, and their general welfare over their role as husband or wife. In the society of infinite good I foresee, marriage will take priority over much of everything else.
Finally, a discussion of the role of Jesus in this society of infinite good, would be worthwhile. Stepping back, what is the common understanding of marriage ? Some cliches come to mind: the battle axe of a wife, condemning everything her husband does; the overbearing mother-in-law; the never ending slavery of raising toddlers, without the active support of the husband; the never ending seemingly arbitrary rules the wife puts on the husband; the never ending outlandish ventures the husband must endeavour into; the self righteous father-in-law, never happy with the wife; and the endless disappointments of one's spouse. It all paints a picture that no one would wish on themselves. Where is our saviour Jesus in all this ? He is right in the midst of such marriage relationships, helping the spouses to live entirely in an environment of constant forgiveness of the other spouse, and sharing in the joy when forgiveness bears it's wonderful fruit. Fools may rush in where angels fear to tread, and angels do fear to tread into a marriage. Jesus does tread headlong into marriages and will be there with us in our suffering as well as our joys.
On the other hand, where have we witnessed our greatest joy ? Some examples may be: the completion of a very hard project; the joy of young love; the blessings and joy of a newborn child; the love of a mother; the love of a father; romantic love; the unwarranted forgiveness of a heartbreaking sin; or a hard won achievement. A bad situation can be seen as a great opportunity, and a marriage is both a tough situation and a great opportunity.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
5People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan.
Verse 5 5 People went in to her from the church, and all the land and the region.
Verse 5 Discussion
This verse portrays the extent of the influence John, and Joan, had in the world. Jerusalem was the sacred city, as it is to this day. The temple of Jerusalem was the earthly house of God. Churches, the actual buildings, are very often referred to as “God's house”. Again, if one finds the use of the term “God”, misleading and offensive, just substitute “infinity” or “the infinite”, and God's House becomes the home of the infinite. It is an earthly place set aside where people go to encounter the infinite aspects of their lives. But don't forget that even the Bible has many references to the impossibility of containing the infinite, or God, in anything finite, like a place or a building. Likewise, containing God, or the infinite, in anything, can be cantankerous ! By definition, infinity is infinite. It is everywhere ! Nevertheless, it helps to consider the bigger picture directly or purposefully from time to time, and a place to do that makes sense. Just don't forget that everything is a manifestation of the infinite. The finite is a part of the infinite. So as a “house of God” I have substituted “church” for “Jerusalem.
Where John was “out” in the desert, Joan was “in” an auditorium. I see no difference in whether one is in the system or outside of the system, as the work anyone does can bring us closer to our infinite purpose. This is the idea of free enterprise and protestant religion. It is also the idea of the story of The Sword in the Stone , where the boy Arthur is the only one who can free the blade of discernment that is trapped in the cold stone of popular morality. In free enterprise the initiative of an individual outside of established institutions or corporeal realities is encouraged and allowed to grow to fruition and become established separately as an alternative to the majority. If such initiative can win support it will overcome the limits of the already established alternatives. This is what happened with christianity in the roman world. When the church became bogged down in bureaucracy others such as Martin Luther, became an alternative, and although something was lost, the outsiders of Protestantism moved the world forward and changed the establishment from the outside . Now that Joan is in, it forebodes that new life or change is imminent. Just as Martin Luther was a catholic monk, Joan is in the establishment by having a following of people sufficient to fill an auditorium. Jesus was both in and out, as he had a very large following, which he did not take into the establishment, which would be “putting new wine into old wine skins”, but did go in to Jerusalem to encounter the establishment, as well as teaching in the synagogues.
John's influence was relatively widespread - “all Judea and the region of the Jordan” - and Joan's influence, similarly, is relatively widespread. The consequences of this influence can be looked at within the “home of the infinite” or church, the political state and political environment, and the widespread nature of a region. The images shown in the animation are of a single individual on Joan's doorstep, for a personal ministration of Joan; and the offloading of one of many buses at an auditorium presumably where Joan preaches.
Addressing these three aspects of a ministry, the personal, political, and geographical aspects, the personal aspect is no more important than the other two. If one is challenged and changed personally, with respect to infinity, political and geographic concerns are affected. If a kingdom of heaven is coming, will it directly oppose the roman empire ? Yes and no. The roman empire had its' many gods and this served the empire, as individuals served and were served by their gods, or images of infinity. If the gods change than the society changes in every way. Just as christianity changed the politics, marriage will change the politics of its' time. Jesus encountered and dealt deliberately with all three aspects. Geographic? Yes. The roman empire served to spread the personal challenges and changes of Jesus teaching of forgiveness throughout a geographic region. The actual socialization of people was necessary to establish an alternative to what was common at the time. This can only happen when people are in contact and communication with one another. A new age of marriage need spread this way as well. In HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Foretold , the marriage makes an impression on many people, as Jesus made an impression on many people, in both cases through personal contact and awareness.
Tuesday, March 29th, 2011
Verse 6 6Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan river.
Verse 6 6 Professing their sins, they were acknowledged by her in her church.
Verse 6 Discussion
Confession – what's that all about. When one sins, and acknowledges their being incorrect in their action or omission, the very act of acknowledging a sin implies that they do not want to sin again. This feels like a new beginning and is a new opportunity to act within the law. The unspoken truth is that they have experienced forgiveness in that their incorrectness was not fatal. But why did one sin in the first place? What would drive one to act incorrectly, if they have been created as good, as a loving infinity would have created one, and all. Again, the law is limited and only a means to see infinite perfection.
Stepping back, our awareness as finite beings is limited by our limited nature. No one can be aware of everything, at least on their own. For example, a pilot has instruments to make him more aware of his immediate environment of flight. A compass can guide one by extending their awareness to include their orientation in a magnetic field. This limited awareness will not change, but can be expanded through the use of inventions, or conventions. A society is a group that shares conventions. There are many societies, and I dare say every convention in every society, has an opposite convention in an opposite society. The point is not that one convention is better than another, but that within one society one convention is correct. Many societies have the convention that they drive on the left side of the road, which is no different from the convention of driving on the right side of the road, but stick with the convention or risk a head on collision. A set of laws is a convention. A set of laws is a convention of a society that keeps individuals from running into one another. A set of laws provides a level of awareness to the individuals who can maintain the convention of the set of laws of their society. The point is that the law will increase the awareness of the individuals. Once one had become aware through the maintenance of the convention that they find themselves in, the awareness continues beyond the limits of the law or society's convention. The law has served its' purpose.
This is not such a radical idea – the law having a limit to its' usefulness. Western society has at least two branches of the legal system – the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. Where the legislative branch ends, the judicial branch begins. If the law has failed, in a specific instance where one has apparently contravened the law, the judicial branch takes over to make a judgment in the specific case. The intent of the law is considered with respect to the specific circumstances of the specific case and the consequences are determined. In an infinite environment under an infinite law, who is qualified to judge? Many say Jesus is the one who judges, and others say Peter is the one, since he holds the keys to heaven. Let's go with Jesus being the judge. I prefer Jesus being the judge, as he is the one who has 'died for our sins'. This is a rather complicated discussion beyond the scope of this writing, but may be addressed here and there throughout these writings. Let's just say that Jesus is the victim of our sins and he is also the judge of our case, not to mention our defender in our trial. This is a truly wonderful situation when you consider it. The same person is the judge, the defender of the accused and the victim of the offense. This is the judicial side of infinite law.
Returning to the question of why one who was created as good would do something bad, it would be our awareness by means of the law, both in their limited nature, that judges an act as good or bad, as correct or incorrect. The awareness that makes such a judgment is flawed by being limited and that is why anything appears to be bad or incorrect before the law. The flaw is with the awareness and not the act. A society is determined by the individuals that work together. Individuals acting solely in their own interest does not look much like a society, but as is the nature of infinity, there is an obvious example of individuals seeking solely their own individual interests constituting their own society – free enterprise ! It would not take much, however, to analyze and find individuals acting in the common interest in societies that promote free enterprise. An obvious example is the idea of an employee, not to mention a corporation. Nevertheless, the limitations of a law begin with the limitations of the individuals awareness.
Once again, the way to deal with lawlessness is to forgive, the same way as how one would deal with sin. Furthermore, in a closed system with a determined outcome, the only way to improve or grow is to take apart the system and recreate it. This would be seen as a destructive act, this dismantling to recreate. Sin is the same thing. It is a destructive act that moves the system toward a better, more aware system. It is the limitations of our awareness, as manifested in the law or conventions of our society, that call a sin a sin, and fail to see a sin as a manifestation of further infinity that is not considered in our awareness, convention and law. That is how a being created as good appears to act or omit badly.
If confession is one thing, profession is another. When one confesses, it is considered differently from when one professes. I believe this is more a convention of language rather than a considered choice of words, although I deliberately changed “confessing” to “professing”.
“Confess” means to admit or acknowledge a fault, crime, belief or other. “Profess” means to declare openly or affirm. So if a sin is something committed by someone who is trying to dismantle in order to recreate, as a good person would, than why wouldn't one want to profess it? Sin is real and forgiveness is how to deal with it. An endless battle attempting to eliminate another or at least another's behaviour only limits further the infinite world we live in.
Let's try a few examples. Men are men and women are women. Some like their gender and others may not. That is a choice and one proceeds to choose their behaviour. One's behaviour influences what one will become. As a man I like being a man, more than I like to be a woman. But the best for me is when I am a man being a man with a woman. Experience influences our decisions. I find it quite conceivable, in my experience with woman, that I might prefer to be a man being a man with another man or men, and this is not uncommon. If I spend too much time with women I begin to look forward to time spent with men, and vice versa. What would be accomplished if I were to limit myself to certain associations and behaviour. Ideals would still be ideals and I would still hold up my ideals whether I am working towards them or taking a break. Society is the same. If one chooses to partner with the same sex, that may be a limitation of sorts, but the convention of our society is to allow people to choose their challenges. No one would deny that a heterosexual partnership has its' limitations. A sin is a sin, and forgiveness is the way to deal with it. There are many opportunities to sin whether one is in a heterosexual relationship or a homosexual relationship. All relationships require an environment of forgiveness. I do personally and idealistically believe a heterosexual relationship is potentially more rewarding, and certainly more challenging than any other relationship.
Another example is murder. How could this be any act of a good person? How would forgiveness be the way to deal with this? There are many types of murder. Many people feel abortion is murder. Many people feel war is murder. Many people feel capitol punishment is murder. Let's look at horrific murder – Paul Bernardo – if that is how his name is spelled. Is this a case of horrific unjustifiable murder? Before the Crown – yes – this has been decided in court. But before infinity – this is worth discussing. Certainly Paul Bernardo's decisions have led to his being limited in his life – prison. It can be argued that he has separated himself from God, by his sins. Nevertheless if he asks the heavenly father for forgiveness he will be forgiven. Where is the good in this story? Paul has brought attention to the consequences of unrestricted lust. His lust led him to do worse than just fornicate. It is a path he chose and it has been shown where that path leads. His choices were his alone to make, but many feel such a case casts our society in a poor light, and consider their actions accordingly. Is Charlie Sheen's womanizing his own choice or a symptom of society's modern values. Likely both. Certainly the situation comedy called Two and a Half Men is presenting ideas that society wants to celebrate and profess, if only the ways that a divorced man and a womanizer are treated. And the actions of Paul Bernardo were to a certain extent celebrated through proliferation. Both Charlie Sheen and Paul Bernardo are professing rather than confessing, and their actions are the culmination of our actions if our actions were taken to the infinite extent, We all feel the pain of these situations because we feel partly responsible through commission or omission as members of our society. This awareness may be the only good from such a sad situation, along with the warning that evil is possible if we do not limit our behaviour to appropriate infinite ends.
Limiting our behaviour – that is what the law is all about. But life is infinite. The situation is like the scientific method – observation, hypothesis, testing, observation, hypothesis, testing, etc. The law is the hypothesis, and is constantly changing in the light of observation and testing. When one is fully aware of the world through the law, then the miraculous takes place in our awareness. It is only knowing that there is snow all around and the world is cold that reveals the miracle of a crocus emerging. The law exists for offenders and the behaved, but it shows the miracles to the behaved and the coincidences and luck to the offenders, if not forgiveness.
Finally, it is only in the world of incorrectness that a new creation will emerge. Jesus was a condemned criminal. Jesus was executed and went to hell. He accepted God's love for him and is crowned. That is why acknowledging those who profess their sins is so important. If there is a crime it is for a reason, and would not be a crime if a legitimate solution was available. Why is this so important? What if you found you were face to face with pure evil and had to forgive it? This is what it may feel like in a marriage. If your awareness is that partial is all and wholistic is evil, you will find yourself having to forgive the evil, to really live, and vice versa.
Saturday, April 2nd, 2011
The law has been taking a bad rap in these discussions – let's set the record straight. There are many blessings for those who can find their way within the law. Miracles happen and benevolence abounds for those who obey the law – whether a finite law or an infinite law. If one is challenged by circumstances and is finding it hard to obey the law, a herculean effort is rewarded by those who witness the commitment of one trying desperately to obey. In most cases people will go above and beyond for someone who despite severe difficulty is making a supreme effort to obey the law. And this is by no means the greatest benefit of obeying the law, whether the finite law of man or the infinite law of God.
Miracles and blessings are witnessed by those who have the awareness to notice such events, and this awareness is provided by obeying the law. Otherwise such events are overlooked and dismissed as coincidences or just good luck on the part of the casual observer. Here is an example – taxes ! If one works under the table there is not an official record of the income. The individual may save twenty percent of their income but will have no record on which to get credit to expand, and will not have any opportunity to get the benefits of having worked, that are available to those who have a record of work. This is important when today's society so religiously values labour and free enterprise.
There is a lesser value to life on the wrong side of the law. Picking one's nose may suffice, but is considered wrong and is obviously not as good as a good blowing of one's nose. Lawlessness is the same – it may seem like a good idea in a specific situation but it pales by comparison to the benefits of obeying the law.
I will provide a free DVD of HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Three Fold , complete with this entire completed discussion, to anyone and everyone who can get correct word to me identifying what the members of the congregation are brandishing in this scene of the animation !! It illustrates what a shortcoming life on the wrong side of the law really is . . … . .
The two most important laws are, first, love God with all your heart, mind and soul; and secondly, love your neighbor as yourself. Note that both these laws are laws of love. This is infinite law. This is the full intent of finite law.
Nevertheless, when you oppose God or just your neighbor, you begin down the path of opposition, and Satan is the opposer. A contest between neighbors can serve as a test of which is the better way to proceed, but opposing one who is professing may never come to a good end. Separating yourself from God or your neighbor, limits your existence, and subsequently the extent of your real life is limited. On the other hand, considering God, or the infinite aspect of everything and everyone can be so full of life as to be overwhelmingly wonderful. At the very least it leaves all possibilities on the table.
And again, finally, where will this love of infinity, or God, and love of all our neighbors lead an individual, as a limited person? Where is this love to be directed – how will it be manifested? What law is there that fully respects this infinite love. I profess that marriage is the appropriate first place to direct this love, and will test the ability of the spouses to forgive, and is the appropriate infinite end of all our efforts, leading us to fullness of life, as Jesus promised to all who follow Him.
Sunday, April 3rd, 2011
7But when he saw many of the Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Verse 7 7But when she saw many of the ordained coming to where she was acknowledging she said to them : “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Verse 7 Discussion
The Sadducees were a religious authority of the time, who had their own brand of Judaic religion, along with the Pharisees and possibly others. Today, in Christianity, the religious authorities are Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Monks, Nuns, Deacons, and Ministers. Other religions have Rabbis, Monks, Imams and others. Religion, being in the world although not of the world, has a business side. This business side is a limitation. It takes a heroic effort to maintain religion in the real world, and this maintenance is plagued with problems. Some, however, do quite well in this business, probably due to leaning toward the business side rather than the religious side. This is a problem, this favouring of the maintenance of the religion as a business over the spiritual leadership of the people. Whenever we turn from gazing at the infinite in infinity and instead look at the finite we limit our perception. This limitation has consequences which John calls a “coming wrath”. When a society fails the leaders of that society pay a heavy price, and as the leaders of religions, if the religions fail, the leaders will pay a heavy price. This is especially true of the leaders that fight strongly for the maintenance of such a failing religion. These leaders are what John calls a “brood of vipers”, as they may already be seriously focusing on the finite maintenance of the business of their religion at the expense of spiritual leadership, and placing the cost on the people, as vipers bite without benevolence. And Joan says the same of the ordained leaders of many religions, who have the religious authority throughout the world.
The animation of this verse shows examples of various authorities of world religions, at the entrance to Joan's auditorium, and then a cycle of a hammer and a sickle, common symbols of communism, and more importantly, secularism. This is the consequence of unproductive religion. As an opiate to the masses, religion has no value. It is not an escape from reality, but rather a delving in, headfirst, to reality. If this truth is lost, the secular world, with finite goals, will surpass the benefits of religion, whose purpose is to study infinite goals. If the spiritual leaders fail to produce results, other priorities will take precedence.
Both the Sadducees and the ordained may have been genuinely interested in hearing for themselves, what John and Joan had to say, and may have taken their message to heart, but that is not for us to know. There position as authorities may have given them an advantage in incorporating John's and Joan's message in the practices of themselves and their colleagues, or they may only be looking for flaws and possible traps that could be set for the preachers. We do not know.
Even Jesus had to deal with this business side of religion. For one thing, many wanted to crown him king when he fed the multitudes. He avoided that. In other stories, a wealthy woman funded his ministry, by providing for the needs of his group of followers. The idea throughout, is that people gave freely in the presence of Jesus' group, as the group gave freely of their wisdom. No wisdom - no food.
Jesus established a following and in the book of Acts this following continued without Jesus participation. In the book of Acts, Jesus tells Peter to feed his sheep, -Jesus' sheep- as Jesus did not participate as a person beyond his ascension. The followers of the “Way” tried many ways as to how to keep their practical needs met, throughout the ages. Finally, Jesus taught his followers to give to God what is God's and give to Caesar, or the state, what is Caesar's, or the state's.
This is how marriage will exist, in this society of infinite good – in the same way that the state exists within the world of religion, a marriage will be a spiritual entity existing in the world of the church. The state ministers to its' members, the church ministers to the people and the marriage is ministered by the church and the state and likewise ministers to the church and the state. The practical worldly aspects of the marriage are governed by the state, and the personal challenges of the participants of a marriage are governed by the church, and the relationship between the spouses governs the state and the church. This is not so radical. Imagine a state without the presence of marriage. Most people consider the will of their father and/or mother, or spouse, when they vote or otherwise act politically. Most people consider the will of their parents and/or spouse when they deal with the church or other religion. Family is an extremely powerful influence to this day. And a family is ideally a marriage.
Neither Jesus, John or Joan were compelled to proclaim – they spoke freely from the heart. Likewise, no one is compelled to become a religious authority – they do it by choice. This free will gift is essential to how one must approach religious responsibility. Give what you can and leave the rest up to God. We are finite beings from an infinite source in an infinite world. No one can do everything but everyone can do something. Giving freely of your self, your talent, and your wealth is your only responsibility. No one should ever make a demand of you that is beyond your best effort, or even beyond your effort today. This is true in marriage. Give what you can and leave the rest up to the rest of infinity. We will all fall short – that is a given ! But each of us can do something, and that will all add up to everything. And the first and foremost place to invest your gifts and efforts is in your marriage, or at least your influence on a balance of whole and part.
Friday, April 15th, 2011
Verse 8 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
Verse 8 8 Produce fruit in keeping with rebirth.
Verse 8 Discussion
This one verse is pretty simple. We've already covered the relationship between repentance and rebirth. Repentance is turning from sin or incorrectness and trying again. Rebirth is suffering, condemnation, death, and rebirth to new life in a wider world. Either way, as Jesus taught, one will know whether a tree is good or bad by whether it bears good or bad fruit. Only a good tree can bear good fruit, and a bad tree will bear bad fruit. A body of knowledge, or a religion, or legislation is like a tree – it has roots and branches – it reaches from the depths to the sky, and it will be known by what it produces. Communism was good for Russia for a while but failed to continue to produce and was replaced in the 1990's. Communism is producing fruit, or at lease seems to be providing a growing economy in China, and so China at least nominally, retains communism, albeit with a healthy dose of enterprise and capital.
Can you follow this – that last paragraph was loaded. John wants real repentance that is productive. Joan wants true rebirth that is productive. Either way there will be a falling back and regaining ground. To admit that one has violated the law, make reparations, and begin again may seem like two steps back for one step forward, but the point that is being pressed is that there will be many more steps forward than there would be possible if one continues on the current path – their will be greater production, although there will be an initial loss. This is true for both repentance and rebirth, although rebirth has greater potential than repentance.
This is the test of all this animation of religious marriage ideas – DO THEY BEAR FRUIT ! That is your test, if one needs a test. Just looking around in one's own life and experiences should provide many examples of the joys and productive nature of marriage, or variations of marriage, and any form of balance of whole and part. Marriage is by no means a new idea, but as a primary resource there seems to be little outright teaching giving sufficient prominence to marriage. Many will acknowledge the challenges of marriage, and the failings of relationships and individuals engaged in marriages, and this appears to have dulled the enthusiasm of society to promote strong marriages, out of fear of prolonging suffering. This is like not leading the horse to water because he cannot be made to drink ! This animation is leading the audience to marriage, and allowing it to consider the resource it may find there. The trick is to show the audience how far this resource can take humanity, so that it will drink deeply of marriage, for the wonderful journey that awaits.
Critical thought – that's a wonderful parlour trick ! I believe it was Albert Einstein who said something like no matter how many times a hypothesis is not proved wrong by a testing experiment, it only takes one experiment to prove it wrong. In the novel Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance it is proposed that everything can be proven to not exist, and that is the point at which I stopped reading it. I do believe that anything and everything can be proven to not exist, but what is the point ? The truth of such a proof is that proof is inconclusive ! So be careful with your testing. Keep an eye on the big picture and watch the world open up as each finite model of your infinite world fails !
And now, with the space available this week for this verse, I would like to elaborate as to how far marriage could take a society that freely and fully commits to marriage.
Religions, states and laws exist for the good of human kind, and not the other way around. At least these three institutions serve to provide an awareness of the bigger picture in the myriad of specific situations individuals may find themselves in. They are finite representations of the world beyond and within the individuals. They are also created by within and beyond the individuals. When a person acts wholistically, another may respond partially, and this two step is a dialogue that never ceases. This dialogue is infinite, from the infinite sources within and beyond the individuals. A person acting wholistically balances the person responding partially, and vice versa. This is the key – this constant dialogue and balance between acting partially and wholistically. This is the purpose of religion, states, laws, and lets add knowledge.
If this is the purpose – balancing whole and part – than could this be done more efficiently ? I propose that the environment of marriage is a more efficient means of balancing whole and part. This is a powerful idea – it is the basis of all awareness, let alone society's institutions.
If a bolt needs to be a certain size and strength in a certain place on a skyscraper this is determined today by previous experience and testing, current knowledge, various building codes, engineering, trades, manufacturing and distribution, etc. All this is generally considered too much for one person to know let alone be responsible for, by the natural limitations of one's awareness. But if one could be sufficiently aware, how much labour and testing could be superseded by common sense ? Imagine if every steelwalker could have the experience of 30 years in the business and the knowledge of the designer who drew up the 300 sheets or more of plans ? How could this be possible ? How is it possible to build a skyscraper today ? Many people have sufficient resources to gain the knowledge and experience that when combined create the skyscraper, but marriage is at the heart of all these resources, and if more fully cultivated could allow even more productivity.
Another example is language. If language can be learned, how many languages can be spoken by one person fluently? This is only limited by one persons awareness, which could be expanded by thoroughly making use of the balance of whole and part in a society where marriage is an ultimate resource. There is an example, albeit somewhat dubious to the non-believer, in the book of Acts in the Bible, where at Pentecost the people gathered spoke in foreign languages that they were not trained in.
So if all these institutions of society are solely to balance whole and part, than marriage will only serve to better these institutions, if not entirely replace them. Perhaps marriage will become an awareness compass, where the state of the relationship dictates the next step in the relationship. The possibilities seem endless to anyone with an imagination.
EASTER Sunday, April 24th, 2011
9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father! I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.
Verse 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves : 'We are ordained.' I tell you that out of these sinners God can raise up ordination!
Verse 9 Discussion
What does it mean to have Abraham as a father ? This was a society that God set apart to bring awareness of himself to the world. The children of Abraham were a culture that maintained an awareness of the one God “I am.” They were an example to the rest of the world of what life in a relationship with God is like. They were in a geographical position and an evolutionary time that set them as an example to the rest of the world. It was a special time and position, but it was not obtained by the worthiness of the Hebrews – it was ordained by God and sustained through his love and mercy, rather than the merits of the Hebrews. It could have been any other race in the same position and time. But it was the Hebrews.
Abraham did not obtain his position with God by his own merit. Rather he was open to God in his life and this allowed God to act on his behalf. This openness allowed God to bless him. This openness is apparent by Abraham allowing himself to have faith in God's word to him, in spite of the obstacles to his having children. Abraham heard the word of God and believed, in the face of the gross unlikelihood of God's word being fulfilled. This openness to God even allowed him to consider sacrificing his only son when he may have felt his love for his son was overshadowing his love for God. Abraham had more faith in God than in his own understanding that he likely would not have another child with which God could fulfill his promise. This is extreme faith. This faith came to Abraham by the grace of God and by Abraham's situation as created by God. Abraham was ordained by God.
Many clergy are ordained by God. There lives and witnessing have set them apart from the world as ministers of the Word to the world. This is not by their own merit but by the grace of God that they can proclaim the Word meaningfully. They are in no way less sinners than the rest of us, but they are able to make the Word known to us in spite of their limited sinful nature. A minister of God's word cannot rely on their ordination but rather their participation in making God's Word known. If they abandon their work ordination will not redeem them.
If the Hebrews failed to listen and participant in a relationship with the one God, they cannot rely on their ancestry to redeem them. Likewise, any other religious leader who abandons his or her commission cannot rely on any sort of authority vested in them to redeem themselves. If the religious authorities abandon their commissions they're work will be taken up by others who can produce. This goes back to bearing good fruit, as discussed previously. A very good example of this is the protestant revolution. The ordained church failed to produce results and were abandoned by the people in favour of other religious leaders who sprung up among them. These leaders were no more sacred than their followers, and all of them were sinners.
All ordained people deserve special consideration of their intent by their followers, but this does not mean they will not be judged as being incorrect. The protestant revolution judged many of it's ordained leaders as being incorrect and that is why there are so many different denominations. So much so that three denominations even reversed this process and joined back together to become the United Church.
Another strong example is Islam. If christianity was failing to produce results another man with a strong relationship to God spoke through faith and is now known as the last prophet of God. Islam produced many results in it's early history and greatly overshadowed christianity. Likewise, if Islam cannot improve the standard of living amongst it's followers it will be overshadowed by other priorities, such as western secularism, and this may be happening in the uprisings in Egypt and Libya of the winter of 2011.
And now back to marriage. If religion cannot produce results it will fail to hold the attention of the people. Likewise, a marriage, if it cannot produce results it will fail to hold the attention of the participants. But what is the alternative to either religion or marriage? Religion and marriage are both doors to the infinite – one is for the infinite purpose of each of many individuals in a society, and the other, marriage, is for the practical application of the understanding of the infinite purposes provided by religion, as well as a source of understanding of the infinite purposes of both society and persons. If religion fails to produce meaning than perhaps personal relationships will take priority. If personal relationships fail to produce meaning than perhaps blind faith will take priority.
This is what is happening in modern marriages – they are failing to produce good fruit. Why is this? If one gives serious intense attention to something they will see it fail and the world of that something will fail and then become a new something. This has happened in religion throughout the ages as well as marriage. This is suffering, condemnation, death, and rebirth. This is the truth of any awareness, that it will fail and then become a new awareness. So the issue becomes what is worthy of our serious intense attention and faith so much that one is willing to follow through with it to death and rebirth. We all know we will die – our experience of the lives of others around us makes this apparent. The question becomes what is worthy of our life and death. And why should we become content with awaiting a comfortable death? Is there more to all of this? I believe there is.
Many people will die for their faith, as history has many examples. I propose that religion may be worthy of death, but marriage is more worthy as it is the purpose that religion points to throughout history. If one is going to die, let it be for marriage. Then the truth of life conquering death through rebirth comes into play. Many people will die for their religious beliefs and go on to rebirth to new life, and many people will loose their awareness for their spouse and go on to rebirth of their marriage in new life. Marriage in no way will replace religion, but rather will be the field in which a personal religious life will play out. Marriage is the practical application of all that religion teaches. Religion teaches that there are many things more important than a limited life, which justifies death, which leads to rebirth. Marriage is where this will all play out and bring forth good fruit, and rebirth. Without a strong faith in God, death and rebirth, marriage has nothing much to offer. But once one has developed a strong faith in religion, forgiveness, death and rebirth, marriage is where one should invest their efforts as that is where new meaning, understanding and good fruit will come from most readily, in spite of our limited sinful nature. Marriage is a compass that will help to determine all other decisions, as it is a living balance of whole and part.
Saturday, April 30h, 2011
10The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
Verse 10 0The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and built into the building!”
Verse 10 Discussion
There is a bit of a theme becoming apparent in this text of the animation. We have already discussed how a body of knowledge is like a tree, reaching from the depths of the roots to the sky. We have also discussed the idea of bearing good fruit or being productive. This verse touches again on those two ideas, and then adds a twist.
Where John talks about the elimination of the tree, or body of knowledge, or religious practices, by the trees that are not bearing good fruit being cut down and thrown into the fire, Joan says something a little different. Joan takes the metaphor a little further and adds a twist. She states that the trees that do not bear good fruit will be cut down and built into the building. This is a new metaphor – the idea of a body of knowledge or religious practices as a building rather than a tree. This goes back to HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Two Four where Hesus says things like “Understand the buildings building !” where in the gospel text he is referring to the temple in Jerusalem. So instead of completely wasting the tree, or religious practices, they would be incorporated into the new religious practices, as trees are turned into lumber and used to build a building of religious practices. Do you see why animation is so suited to the expression of these ideas? Animation can state these ideas very succinctly where literature tends to run in circles.
So if the religious practices will not be completely abandoned and wasted, but rather used in a new religious practice, is this a radical idea ? No ! The christian Bible is more than half made up of the Jewish writings. The New Testament is less than half of the Bible, with the remainder being Judaic or Hebrew writings. The New Testament is the only writings that were added by christianity, no matter which Bible you choose. So if a new idea of religion, where marriage takes prominence, will still rely heavily on the old christian traditions and teachings, this is like taking the religious practices that are limited in their productiveness and re-using them in the light of marriage.
This is like the expression – don't put new wine into old wine skins, or the new wine will cause the old wine skins to burst. A new understanding of the world will make use of the old understanding but cannot be added onto the old understanding, like an appendage, but rather must transform the whole of the old understanding in light of new understanding. Christianity will in no way be abandoned by a view with marriage taking prominence, just as the Hebrew teachings are a strong foundation for christian teachings. The personal experience of marriage requires persons to be like Christ, in character, actions, and perceptions, or the marriage will fail and not experience rebirth.
As well, where there is a balance of whole and part, nothing can be dismissed or abandoned, by consuming in fire, as John states, but rather everything will be a part of the new understanding, with nothing being dismissed as irrelevant or incorrect. This acknowledges a world created by good that is all entirely good. This is a society of infinite good where the balance of whole and part in both marriage as an ideal and marriage as a specific relationship between two individuals, takes priority.
Now in the animation – did you notice the writing on the signs ? The Church that is closed is the called the “Know More Church of Can of Duh”. This expresses that it is not the accumulation of knowledge that redeems, but something else, which I will state here to be the integrity of the knowledge, whatever that may be, of what one already knows. The “Know More Church of Can of Duh” is implied to have promoted the accumulation of knowledge without end, over the integration of whatever knowledge may be had. This church is “no more” in a world where marriage takes precedence.
If a religion is an approach to infinity, then it has an eternal aspect. And the sign states “Thanks for a great eternity!” The Know More Church of Can of Duh has played out its usefulness and is no longer at the forefront of productiveness. As well, the condominium sign expresses the idea that almost everyone has sold out, if not only referring to the units sold. This is the idea that most people have given up on eternal life an joy, implying that this is not necessary.
Everyone these days seems to be content with what they can have now, and do not consider what they may have for eternity.
On the other hand, the sign that is in front of the new church that is being erected, says “Coming Soon ! Church of One !”. This is the same name that is on the bus that is unloading in front of the auditorium in verse 5, previously discussed. Joan's church is expanding. And then tagged on to that sign is a board that states “Free Marriages!”. This is to imply that any attempt at marriage will not be hindered.
Tuesday, May 10th, 2011
11”I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with spirit and with fire.
Verse 1111“I acknowledge your death with rebirth, but after me will come one whose shoes you will wear. His holy spirit will acknowledge you with spirit;
Verse 11 Discussion
John did not see himself as worthy of grace. He saw only the sinful nature of people, including himself, and tried to get people to scrap everything and start over, repenting of their sins and being baptized into a new start. His baptism was one of repentance, not rebirth. Joan on the other hand, acknowledged death with rebirth. This is accepting the wrong of our sins, and dieing to them, to be reborn to a new life and world. This was not accomplished by Joan, but rather by the individuals themselves before God. The individuals would be the sole witness to their rebirth, which they would bring to Joan for acknowledgment, or something like that, as the animation does not go into much detail about the mechanisms Joan actually implemented.
John does not consider anyone worthy of grace, by his statement that the one who is more powerful than him would not appreciate John carrying that persons sandals. This may be true, and likely is, but it sets God and Jesus at a distance from John and us, and does not dare to have a loving intimate relationship with God, Jesus or any infinity. Joan on the other hand, says we will walk in his shoes. This is a play on the expression “Do not judge a person until you have walked a mile in their shoes”.
Jesus commissioned his followers to follow him and serve. This means taking up Jesus' work and doing what he did ourselves. He did not come for us to just listen and learn – he wanted us to follow him and do as he did. We are to take up our crosses and follow him. We are to walk in his shoes. We will wear his shoes.
Whether one is a man or a woman, we all have some sort of awareness. This awareness will die and be reborn many times in our life. We must take up our crosses, suffer, die and be buried, and then awake to the new world that is presented to us. This is not just true for men – women have awareness too, so it is true for everyone.
In a marriage, both spouses have awareness, and any awareness will die and be reborn. This will happen most dramatically and effectively in the marriage relationship. Jesus led the way into the ugknown of the opposite world and taught how to succeed in such a venture - practice forgiveness. He may have been strongly influenced by his mother, Mary, but there were limitations to that relationship which do not hinder a marriage relationship. Regardless of whether one's skills are stronger in whole or partial, everyone has an awareness that will die and be reborn. We all must take up our crosses and follow Jesus, primarily into a marriage relationship.
We must cultivate an intimate relationship with God and Jesus, and follow where it leads. God is not an absent Father. He is as present as an infinite goal is always present in everything anyone does. We are not worthy of God but God is worthy of us. And God does choose to have an intimate personal relationship with each one of us, if we do not limit our world in such a way as to exclude him. Jesus was in an intimate relationship with God and the Holy Spirit, and this is the nature of a marriage relationship – the person of Christ. This spiritual relationship exists between spouses and we are shown how to behave by how Christ behaved. We take on the person of Christ when we enter into a marriage relationship and the relationship speaks to us as Christ spoke to the world. We will still experience death and rebirth, but a marriage is the most appropriate place for our efforts. We may not be worthy of our spouse, but our spouse is worthy of us.
Christ is present in a marriage relationship, and indeed is present in any relationship that has a balance of whole and part, and we will walk in these relationships as he walked in the world – in his shoes. The animation is much better at expressing this idea, if one is willing to consider it, and does not get lost in circular rambling discussion such as this.
The next part is about being baptized with spirit and with fire, as opposed to a holy spirit acknowledging with spirit. Many people are filled with spirit, which drives them to accomplish what they desire. A Holy Spirit is a wholly spirit, and will drive you to accomplish what you will. Many people have a spirit that they feel justifies their actions, and I agree that this is true. Extreme actions that are challenging to others, may be considered evil, but once again the way to deal with evil is to forgive, for the proponent is likely professing, I confess.
None of this is that radical. Especially a Holy Spirit acknowledging with spirit. Everyone decides they must be married based on how they feel, which I would say is how the spirit directs them. So it is not that radical that a spirit will acknowledge a persons actions or situation.
So the acknowledging is by rebirth and by the presence of spirit. This is how you know you have been reborn. This also acknowledges that you were faithful in your death, by maintaining your integrity, and that you have dealt with your demons and begun your new life. This is basically common sense. One suffers many challenges in their life, which take their toll as they accumulate, but one may overcome the burden of such failures by making lemonade with the lemons ! I know, where is the sugar for all these lemons suppose to come from ?! You get the idea. There can be an overwhelming joy if one can come to peace with their life so far. And don't forget that our mistakes are our greatest learning opportunities and experiences.
Fear is a serious thing. Fear can control one. Fear is ridiculous though. Does anyone really expect to live to 400 years old? The strain on the retirement system would be enormous ! So if we all know we will die what is there to be afraid of ? Fear of suffering is another thing. This is a little trickier because it can go on for so long. A weak moment is more likely to occur over an extended period of suffering. But than if we know we are forgiven than what is there to fear ! God loves us and knows all our shortcomings, so go out and live ! This is even more thrilling if one chooses to live a spiritual life full of spiritual challenges and growth. And marriage is one of the most spiritually challenging endeavours out there .
Sunday, May 15th,2011
12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”
Verse 12 . . . 12 his spirit will test you, and gather you in, and there will be no one left out.”
Verse 12 Discussion
What's a winnowing fork ? What's a threshing floor ? John is using the metaphor of threshing to illustrate what God is doing with the people of the time.
Once the wheat had been harvested the grain had to be separated from the straw and chaff before it could be ground into flour. This was done outdoors on a threshing floor with a winnowing fork. The wheat would be trampled to make the grains fall off of the stalk or straw. Then the winnowing fork was used to throw the mix into the air where the wind would blow away the chaff, which is anything other than the grain, and the grain, being heavier would fall straight down and not be carried away with the wind. One would be left with a large broad pile of chaff and a smaller separate pile of grain. The grain would be collected and the chaff would be discarded and possibly burned as waste.
So the good people are the grain who pass the test and the bad people are the chaff who will be wasted. The winnowing tests the mix or people and then each group, either grain, good people, or chaff, bad people, are dealt with appropriately.
Once again, John does not see a merciful God, and in his illustration, the chaff, or bad people, are burned up with unquenchable fire. But once again, if God created everything and saw that it is good, then where do bad people come from ? Joan on the other hand, in her Church of One, says something different.
In the animation text, the whole testing metaphor of threshing and winnowing is summed up in the phrase “. . . his spirit will test you, and gather you in, and there will be no one left out.” This is different from what John is saying in that there is not any waste. If God created an entirely good world, than all is good and there is nothing left over to waste. The trick is to see the good in everything, rather than limiting what is judged as being good to a portion of what exists.
Nevertheless there will still be testing and failure. A marriage relationship is full of testing and failure, and how does one deal with failure ? Forgiveness. The testing is more to learn about what is possible. Just because the hammer misses the nail doesn't mean it will always miss the nail. Practice teaches what is necessary and possible with whatever means one has at their disposal. A hammer that misses the nail likely still hits the board nearby. There is a certain level of success that encourages one to try again. When a spouse fails as a spouse, the other spouse still tries again to get the intended result. They may change their approach, and the failing spouse may try again in the light of the last mistake, with a new approach. Most mistakes are not fatal, and therefore the opportunity to try again is usually there. This is the nature of infinite forgiveness. This is necessary. This is common today. Joan is acknowledging this.
“His spirit” is the masculine form of the relationship between the spouses. This spirit is like Christ and ministers to the spouses as Christ ministered to the world. The relationship will test the spouses and they will fail but go on to forgive and be forgiven. One may have no control over the other spouse, so this forgiveness from that spouse is a gift from God, or the infinite. This makes the marriage relationship a gift from God or the infinite.
There has been discussion of relationships that identifies different types of relationships in terms of the participants being parents, adults, or children. All three roles exist in a marriage relationship. Sometimes a spouse acts like a child and the other spouse responds as a child. Other times a spouse acts like a child and the other spouse responds as a parent. Again, sometimes a spouse acts like a child and the other spouse responds like an adult. We are to approach God, or the infinite, as a child, with an open and loving mind, ready to hear the wonderful truth of existence and accept it with Joy. We are to approach God, or the infinite, as a parent, full of love for what could be, and gently encouraging and guiding the manifestations to fruition. We are to approach God, or the infinite, as an adult, aware of what is, what could be, and what has been, seeking companionship.
A marriage relationship does not exist in a vacuum – it is affected by the world around it and has an affect on the world around it. One marriage can lead to many more, and One marriage is all it takes. The only ones who can witness to this One relationship are the participants themselves.
Placing marriage as an asset to society, and supporting the spouses in their roles is essential to maintain one and all marriages. When one fails, others may follow. A society of infinite good supports all marriages in their many forms, as they are essential to such a society and every member of such a society knows this. The strains on a marriage are further testing and when failure comes, forgiveness is how to deal with it. Marriage is too important to abandon, even though the darkest places in the world could easily be found in a marriage.
Christ, Jesus, went to hell and overcame the demons, and this is what is necessary in marriage. There will definitely be as many challenges in marriage as Christ had to face, and when failure comes, one's awareness must die in the failure or else die in the world, overcome and be reborn to a new life and awareness. Jesus had to die in his awareness that society was not going to embrace his understanding officially. Judas had other ideas. Judas may have felt that Jesus could overcome the official understanding of the time if he was forced to face it head on. Jesus knew in his heart that such an embrace was not coming. Judas had to see it for himself, and did not die to his awareness that Jesus teaching should be embraced officially, and so died to the world, separating himself from God in the process.
Monday, May 23rd, 2011
The Baptism of Jesus
13Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.
Verse 13 The Baptism of the One13The One came in from another place, into her church to be acknowledged by Joan.
Verse 13 Discussion
What is baptism ? Is it being born again ? There is a lack of clarity. John the Baptist's baptism was one of repentance. Jesus' disciples baptized to acknowledge the presence of the Holy Spirit . John spoke of such a difference between his baptism and the baptism that Jesus would provide.
A baptism of repentance is an acknowledgment that one has committed themselves to a new start and has the intention to obey the law. Jesus' disciples baptized to both acknowledge and provide the presence of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless baptism was an acknowledgment that one was beginning a new life, whether in obedience to the law or in cooperation with the Holy Spirit.
Why did Jesus choose to be baptized by John ? Did Jesus need to repent ? I doubt it. Jesus himself says “It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” I believe Jesus was acknowledging a new beginning in his life – his public ministry.
Many people chase miracles. Their interest is in manifestations of the supernatural – like a magic show. In the book of Acts there is a story of a sorcerer who tried to buy the trick of bestowing the Holy Spirit. He was chastised by Peter. Jesus was not a magician and neither was John. Baptism may have overwhelming spiritual consequences but it is not magic. It is an acknowledgment.
John ministered from the banks of the Jordan river in the wilderness. This was his sacred place, and Jesus came from Galilee to be baptized by him there. In the animation the One comes in from another place, into Joan's sacred place to be acknowledged by Joan. Who is the One ?
The One is the relationship, which is like Christ, a balance of whole and part. The one is nurtured by the spouses and in turn, ministers to the spouses. It is a living ideal. It is a living manifestation of the infinite. It is real. The One exists. Sure you can't touch it, but it is as real as anything else one may identify. It exists in the perception of the spouses and the people around them. It is witnessed by the spouses and proclaimed by the spouses to exist. This is common today – a couple will proclaim their relationship exists and is valid.
Again, in the animation text, the One comes in from “another place”. If real marriage exists, where is it ? It is beyond, it is always out in front of us, ahead of us. It is safe in a place beyond our reach, yet we reach for it. It cannot be bestowed by any person, and cannot be found in society. It is in the perception of the spouses and calls them forward. As well, at the end of HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Two , the couple and their One, not finding support in the conventional church, must dwell in another place, outside of society, yet they may physically exist amongst other people. The One is among us, calling us up and out to new life.
So what will marriage accomplish ? What did Jesus accomplish ? This is not a simple question. I believe Jesus established many things, not the least of which was the church, the living body of Christ. I am Christian because Jesus established that forgiveness is fundamental. Jesus died for forgiveness. He gave up everything, including his life for forgiveness. Forgiveness has nothing to do with being polite or nice. Forgiveness is messy, dirty, painful, expensive and ultimately fatal, in the end. But rebirth is real – more real than death. Marriage is the foremost intention of forgiveness. The dichotomy of whole and part meets and kisses in marriage, creating all awareness. We do not live in our bodies, we live in our minds. Marriage is the birthplace of all that is created, to the extent that Christ lives in a marriage.
So if Christ saved the world, where are we going now ? If God became man, whose mother was a woman, and this man was called “Emanuel”, or “God with us”, then can God continue to dwell among us ? Where is God ? He is here among us, in the faces of the people we meet every day. Can we see God among us ? This depends on our awareness and if our awareness is sufficient to see God . Where is this “Kingdom of Heaven” or society of infinite good ? It is very, very, very close – as close as our spouse, or the nearest thing to our spouse. Does anyone really believe heaven can exist on earth ? Could we really have a society of infinite good ? I believe the means to obtain a society of infinite good are at hand, in marriage. This is what marriage will accomplish – a society of infinite good, the Kingdom of Heaven, God dwelling amongst us, infinite good.
Death will be swallowed up in life. The lamb will lie down with the lion. Evil will be swallowed up by Good. Fear will be meaningless. Everyone will live – either long or reborn
Friday, May 27th, 2011
14But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me ?”
Verse 14 14But Joan tried to deter One saying, “ I need to be acknowledged by you and do you come to me?
Verse 14 Discussion
Yeah, John tried to argue, almost, with Jesus! This must have been like someone arguing with a person who has just complimented them for some reason. “No, my drawing is not any good, and I cannot draw well!” The draftsperson is too focused on how far their work is from perfect, and looses their awareness of how much more they have achieved than if they had never made an attempt ! John was very aware of his shortcomings in the sight of God, and had lost sight of how much he had accomplished on God's behalf. He blazed a trail for Jesus that was straight and true. Jesus came to John and continued on. Jesus walked in the path of an itinerant preacher as John had. The people were accustomed to preachers, partly because of John, and they were aware that things could be better, as well due to John's work. John had the peoples attention, and the people were now of a mind that was open to Jesus.
John knew Jesus and Jesus knew John, since they were cousins or something, and John had jumped in his mother Elizabeth's womb when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, came into Elizabeth's presence. They were well aware of one another, so that Jesus sought out John's acknowledgment when he had decided to begin his mission. This would have been important to Jesus, the man, that John, who had an established ministry, acknowledge Jesus as worthy of engaging in a similar type of endeavour. Jesus was a man, who had doubts, which he wrestled with, as any man does, and overcame as God does. John's acknowledgment was important to Jesus, and this was the righteousness that was to be fulfilled, for if John had misgivings about Jesus beginning a public ministry, . . . . Jesus had to allow the opportunity for John to express any concerns he may have about such an endeavour on Jesus' part.
John had no misgivings about Jesus' ministry – he was overjoyed to see it coming ! This must have been a great relief to Jesus, who had not acknowledged his own worthiness outside of his own mind. When he saw John's overwhelming Joy and encouragement of his decision, he must have felt wonderful, and this Joy was apparent to all present. John's emotion must have been greater than the joy of a father's when the lost son gets accepted to university and intends to follow in the father's career choice.
Both John and Joan have been working hard for a distant goal, that they may never see in their lifetime. They both know that whether Jesus, or the One, there is another who will take their work far further than they ever could. They long to see the completion of their work, by the saviour for whom they labour, every day. John is preaching a more thorough adherence to the law, and Joan is preaching a more thorough adherence to following Jesus, which she preaches leads to a One of marriage. Joan is not married, and John cannot die for the forgiveness of humankind's sins, yet they both long for their goals, whether the One of marriage or the salvation of humankind from their sins.
Both John and Joan know they need Jesus or the One more than Jesus or the One need them. This is why they protest. Nevertheless, both John and Joan are essential to the work. The One must be acknowledged, so that there is an outward and visible sign of inward and spiritual grace. That is it – there is no more ! There is not any magic although there is likely a great deal of overwhelming emotion, for all present.
Finally, in today's marriages, the celebrant at the ceremony merely acknowledges the witness of the spouses that there is a sacred relationship, or One, that exists between them, the spouses. There may or may not be certain tests that the celebrant may attempt to use to verify the existence of a sacred relationship, but such a relationship is beyond any tests, so they are meaningless. But when there is a sacred relationship, or One, the celebrant needs to be acknowledged by the couple, and this is not such a radical idea. Many couples today, who have drifted away or outright chosen to not participate in any organized religion, have voted with their feet that the church or other religion has failed to serve their spiritual lives. They fail to acknowledge the validity of the celebrant and the organized religion, and therefore do not bring their relationship to be acknowledged by an organization that they themselves do not acknowledge. This is akin to Joan saying “I need to be acknowledged by you, and do you come to me ?” Couples procreate, so if there is to be a continued organized religious presence, it is very important to that organization that families participate. Don't get it mixed up the other way around ! The fact that couples may be a greater resource than anything else demands religions' attention. Keep in mind that a religious marriage does not in any way incline the relationship to last. And a casual relationship without determined forgiveness will fail to last . This is more important than any ceremony.
Monday, June 6th, 2011
15Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.
Verse 15 15One replied: “Let it be so now, it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then Joan consented.
Verse 15 Discussion
Now – why is it good enough for now ? How does one break out of a closed system and bring about an infinite system. There is no way out of a closed system, and that is why it is a closed system. Consider a building – if it is constantly in use every day how does one expand such a building ? Our cities have not been abandoned to become new – they have become new and modern while people have inhabited them. Modern economics demands growth but where does this come from in a closed system. First of all, many economies annex neighboring economies, but this practice has limits. The exploration of space may have begun but this world will be all we have for many more generations. Our world, Earth, is finite, as ecologists keep reminding us. The universe may be infinite, but we are limited in our ability to access anything beyond this planet.
So we are all in a closed system, and the system somehow has to be changed to a new system for there to be growth. There was the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. There was the colonial age and the industrial revolution. Each of these periods found opportunities to expand from within, which was followed by an outward expansion that was equipped with the technologies that were found within the original closed system. Jesus, the man, found new opportunities in the Hebrew religion and had to adjust and expand the awareness of the Hebrew religion to draw attention to these new opportunities. This was his ministry to the Hebrews. He was not to minister to any other people, although “even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master's table”. Jesus took advantage of the opportunity that John had built and began there, with a more intense look at the Hebrew law and where such a thorough understanding could lead. Joan is doing the same thing with christianity – taking a more intense look at where a society of people who have taken on the character of christ could lead, and proclaiming that marriage is the obvious direction in which to head. Both are beginning with what they have and wherever they find themselves – NOW !
Jesus was within the law, and could easily accept the baptism of repentance that John was offering, especially if Jesus was committing himself to a new extremely thorough following of the law. This is why he says “Let it be so for now” - this is where he was beginning. It was proper for him to do so to fulfill all righteousness, before he continued on into even more intense righteousness. The One of the couple, will take the world farther than the single person of Joan ever could, but before they become more intensely involved in their relationship, Joan's acknowledgment becomes a milestone and a cornerstone on the road of their One accomplishments. They need Joan to acknowledge that this is the One and this is what it is doing. Sure there will be other relationships worthy of the title One, but all these relationships are One.
It is very often forgotten that we are to dwell in peace with God with us. Few people believe this is possible in light of all the suffering they have witnessed in their lives alone. They have abandoned even the idea of an infinite purpose such as God, let alone a loving infinite person. When a child learns to ride a bike it is miraculous that they find that they can continue on if they respect the limitations of balancing left and right. They are full of joy at the realization. This is the nature of the infinite One. It seems impossible in the present reality but nevertheless it comes into our reality almost by accident and calls us toward it from then on.
An infinite awareness of an infinite balance of whole and part will lead to infinite possibilities within a finite world. The door to growth and expansion lies within this One balance of marriage. Infinity will sit with us and be an everlasting opportunity. This infinity will be an always available recourse in the event of a tragedy. It will be found that good is infinite and bad is finite within this infinity. This can become our world NOW !
Friday, June 10th, 2011
16As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.
Verse 16 16As soon as One was acknowledged, One went up, out of the church. At that moment, heaven was opened, and Joan saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on One.
Verse 16 Discussion
People use to tell me, in my early adulthood, that it doesn't matter what I do with my life, as long as I get committed. A university professor told me I could write about anything that I want, as long as I get engaged; but that's another story. What's done is done, so move on. Jesus has made his commitment, and begins to head out of the river, but then notices that things are different, as his commitment has made a difference.
Once one has wrestled with a decision, there comes a time to decide, and then move on. What's passed is past. The decision is made and the issue is no longer open for deliberation, discussion or debate. Others may try to maintain a state of deliberation in one's mind, but this only makes one's resolve stronger, and one closes them self off to anyone who wants to question the decision. For me this was the issue of whether I would complete grade thirteen, on the path to university. I had already made up my mind and had obtained an offer to become an electrician's apprentice, and I was already employed on that decision. But then my parents returned and at least my mother, if not both my parents, as well as an uncle in a lengthy soliloquy, made it clear to me that they wanted me to attend grade thirteen, even going so far as to tell me they know I want to attend grade thirteen, and I found their audacity amazing. Solely out of respect for my parents wishes, I attended another year of secondary school, and promised myself this was the last thing I would do out of deference to my parents wishes.
There is a freedom and joy that comes when one's mind is made up and the decision has been made and the die has been cast. When I am drawing the animation, it takes extreme concentration, and then I am exhausted, relieved and pleased that it is done, regardless of the shortcomings I am all too well aware of in the quality of my work. This joy may be what Jesus felt once he had committed himself to his ministry, by deciding to follow the law in such an intense fashion. The decision had been made and he no longer deliberated on where why and how, only considering what he would do next to follow his Father on the path He chose for Jesus. The relief of having the decision made would be enough to invite the spirit of God to alight on him, like a dove landing, and it would remain with him into his temptation trials in the desert in the fourth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. It was the same spirit that drove him into the desert, and the same spirit that brought him back out.
It is not clear to me who the “he” refers to in the original Gospel text – is it Jesus who saw the spirit of God, or was it John who saw the spirit of God descend upon Jesus. Perhaps it descended on both of them ! In the animation, it is Joan who sees the spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on One, the couple. We are not made aware of how the couple felt as they left the church to continue on in their relationship. They appear to be driven by the spirit that is upon them.
Heaven was opened so that one, or even the One, can have a glimpse of what where we are heading would be like. The environment is heavenly. Joy reigns.
The spirit of God is portrayed in the animation. It is two tori linked and moving. This is a finite, limited image of infinite existence. God is infinite, and made manifest in our finite world. This animated image of the spirit of God is the least limited image I can find for my understanding of the universe or the nature of infinite reality.
The Hebrews did not create any images of God that were endorsed, so this discussion excludes things they created like a golden calf. Even the name of God was never said out loud, only written as “YHWH”, which lacking vowels could not be said. The gentiles added an “a” and an “e” to make it “YAHWEH”, and pronounceable. In other writings, a German “j” pronounced as a “y” made the spelling “JHWH” or “JAWEH”, which has become “Jehovah”, as in “Jehovah's Witnesses”. Regardless, Yhwh translates to “ I am “. This is God's name - “ I am “.
Jesus taught that we should call God our “ Father “, which implies he is a personal parent apart, who has a vested interest in each of us personally. This is more familiar than “ I am “, which comes across as a little cold. Nevertheless, if one is, there must be other than one, that is separate from one. So “ I am “ implies there is a “ You are “, or “ It is “. Jesus also taught that we are children of God and that the peacemakers will be called sons of God. Jesus presented a God that is much more familiar, personal and intimately involved in each one of us. Each of us at some time has used the phrase “ I am “ in contexts such as “ I am happy “ or “ I am hungry “.
Christianity uses the symbol of the cross ( ΐ ), which implies two aspects perpendicular to one another. Jehovah's Witnesses claim there is only the upright and dismiss the horizontal, and others claim the horizontal bar is at the top of the upright, so that the upright does not pass through the horizontal. There is a mythology represented in these symbols, whether intended or not. Another symbol is the Jewish star of David, made up of an equilateral triangle pointing down into another equilateral triangle pointing up, creating a six pointed star. The mythology of this symbol could be that God is reaching down to us as we reach up to God. It appears to represent a dichotomy.
In this animated symbol of infinite existence, there are two tori oriented perpendicular to each other, and linked. Each surface of each tori is moving laterally and longitudinally, each at the same rate as the other, each completing one revolution both laterally and longitudinally in the same time period. This means that at the inside of each tori, where each touches the inside of the other tori, the motion is continuous and in synch, even though the tori are perpendicular to each other. However, where the outside of a tori touches the inside of the other torus, the outside the torus is moving at least twice the speed of the inside of the other torus ! This is an inconsistency in the model. This would be a boundary between the two tori, but where the insides of each tori touch there would not be any boundary. This boundary gradually progresses from where the insides of the two tori touch and are in synch, where there is not a boundary between them, to where the outside of one torus touches the inside of the other torus, where the boundary is most distinct, due to the greatest discrepancy between the speeds of the two surfaces of the tori.
Friday, June 17th, to Sunday, June 19th, 2011
17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Verse 17 17And a voice was heard: “This is my One, with them I am well pleased.”
Verse 17 Discussion
Stepping back from the discussion of macro physics, and the nature of existence, the voice from heaven says that Jesus is his son, whom he loves, and with whom he is well pleased. In the animation text, there is not a statement of love. This may have originally been an oversight, but the die has been cast, and what was said is what was said. To make sense out of it, going back to the beginning of this discussion, everything has an inclination to either whole or part, female or male, and this inclination can be seen as love. So the love of an aspect is for it's inclination. Males love to be male, and females love to be female. The greatest joy, however, is when the two parts of the dichotomy are united. So this joy is beyond love, as love can exist in one part without the other whole reciprocating, yet when the whole reciprocates there is joy, and vice versa, and this Joy is the One.
Love is what animates existence, and this is the movement of the two tori, as animated. To illustrate this movement in the surfaces of the tori, I have illustrated an arrow on each tori, pointing in the direction of the movement of each surface. As a further complication, the arrow on the male torus is a positive image, with anything other than the arrow being transparent. In the female or horizontal torus, the arrow is transparent and the remainder of the surface opaque. These two arrows have a positive resultant vector, but point in perpendicular directions – at right angles to one another.
There are twelve divisions both laterally and longitudinally on each torus. The arrows are determined by drawing a grid on the arrow image and mapping the image onto each torus to create 24 images, which when viewed in order, animate the tori.
The result is a very complex animated image. Originally, in the computer animated image of the tori in HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's One Too! , the tori simply rotated longitudinally, did not touch, and had a random pattern on their surfaces. Then in HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Two , the surface of each torus had a spiral on it, like a candy cane, with the male having blue stripes and the female having red stripes. If the animated image represented merely the idea of the One, the image was in black and white, but if the One was present, the image was in colour. Furthermore, if the idea was newly acquired, and juvenile, the tori were static and not moving, without any pattern on the surfaces. This appears in the section entitled The Escape to Civilization .
Even I, with the greatest familiarity with this animated image, still have a difficult time seeing the arrows moving on the tori. I completed the animation in faith, having confidence in the final output because I was able to be consistent in the mapping of the arrows onto the tori. Nevertheless, if this simple construction is the basis for such a complex animated image, it is easy to imagine how there could be so much confusion, discouragement and conflict in the world if this extremely complicated image is the nature of existence.
Yet this image appears to be consistent with my experience. In Physics, they are trying to unite quantum physics, or micro physics, with macro physics, or Einstein's Theory of Relativity, to determine the nature of the universe and physical existence. The last time I checked, the universe, of multiple dimensions, appeared to be saddle shaped, or at least that is what I remember from the book A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. The shape of the surfaces of the tori, where the insides touch, is just such a saddle shape, and is homogenous and consistent, without any singularities or boundaries.
From another approach, Pope John Paul the second, wrote his book, Theology of the Body where all the aspects of relationships amongst people, including sex, are discussed in the light of God's revelation. It has been stated many times that this one writing, is a time bomb sitting in the church, that will blow popular thinking both within the church and within society, right out of the water ! Suffice it to say that this book, written by the Pope, as Pope in all his official authority, claims that the sexual revolution of the nineteen sixties did not go far enough in opening up peoples ideas of relationships and sexuality. There is a lot of potential between the sexes and in our relationships.
Furthermore, when looking at this animated model of existence, it seems to suggest that there are places in time and existence where everything is homogenous and moving together, yet in other parts of existence there is conflict and discord. There is also an exterior area in which to expand, but expansion is not so simple in this model. This is because, although male or female may expand freely in the open area outside of the longitudinal circumferences, expansion beyond the longitudinal circumferences into the inner circumference of the other, across the boundary, will create conflict. This seems to suggest that under certain circumstances the male must lead, but also equally strongly suggests that the female must lead in other circumstances that occur just as often. And the corollary would seem to be true as well – that there are circumstances where the male must limit himself, and there are equally occurring similar circumstances where the female must limit themselves.
Sunday, June 19th, 2011
Closing Notes OVERVIEW
Well here we go ! We were a third of the way through discussing the seventeen verses of HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Three Fold , when I took take a break to consider the wordage that was then pushing seven thousand words !
A body of knowledge has it's limits, and one limit has nothing to do with how many pages are written about such a body of knowledge. When one ( or a group ) creates a body of knowledge they are making many decisions, or rather, assumptions that are not stated outright. These assumptions are made early on in the creation of a body of knowledge but seriously limit the effectiveness of that body of knowledge. So as an example of how creating a body of knowledge can become ridiculous, usually around the point at which academia takes over, I have chosen to write about everything I know about how to pick up a stick.
I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of a man in his fifties who left the aerospace industry to go to school for landscaping. That alone is ridiculous enough, but the point is that this gentleman was accomplished in academia and technological industry, who when he decided he wanted to work outdoors it was only natural that he would go to school to learn an outdoor trade. He studied for three years at Humber College and graduated from the landscaping technician program. Sadly, he only lasted five months as a landscaper, in spite of working for a very reputable, good and established company, and was able to get into good enough shape in spite of his many years of age, but could not tolerate the bystanders looking at him with the expression of 'look at that nice old man picking weeds' ! His academic and thorough understanding was not appreciated by the casual observer, so was it worth anything at all ? Likewise, this thorough understanding of how to pick up a stick is ridiculous and not worth anything at all to the casual observer. And the discussion of HESUS JOY CHRIST / Matthew's Three Fold is not worth anything to the casual observer – unless an awareness is cultivated by considering the discussion, but a thorough consideration of the animation would have the same effect of cultivating an awareness, not to mention considering life would cultivate a thorough awareness.
The moral of the story, here, is PAY ATTENTION !!!
Tuesday, April 12th, 2011
HOW TO PICK UP A STICK !
Here is how to pick up a stick.
First determine the size of the stick. Is it a twig, a limb, or a full branch? If it is a twig, how many of them are there? If there are many, then get a rake and a tarp. If there are not enough to warrant a tarp than get a garbage bag or a bucket.
Drop the garbage bag or bucket in the general middle of the twigs, and begin a loop path, starting and finishing at the bucket and extending only far enough to allow you to fill your hands with twigs. If you make the loop path too big you will waste time walking back to the bucket when your hands are full. If you make the loop path too small you will be dumping too few sticks in the bucket for each loop and that wastes time loading too small a load of twigs in the bucket. This becomes a concern when the bucket begins to get full and the twigs must be stuffed into it and can no longer just be dropped into it. If you are using a garbage bag, however, this is always a concern as the twigs must be placed into the bag lengthwise as otherwise the bag cannot hold as much and is too quickly filled.
Actually picking up the twig must be done standing with legs extended but not locked. Lean down like you are touching your toes and bob down to pick up the twig, and as you bob up transfer it to your off hand until it is full, and by that time you should be more than halfway along your loop path. Finish the remaining path holding the sticks in the good hand that picks them up, so that you arrive at the bucket with two full hands. Do not crawl around on your hands and knees because you need your hands to hold as many twigs as possible. It likely isn't good for your knees, crawling in the damp ground. As well, bending your knees to crouch down to pick up the twigs will be too much bending for your knees. Bobbing will get you well stretched out.
In the case of many twigs, a rake can be used to gather the twigs into piles and onto the tarp, to be dragged or carried to the truck. The first sweep of the rake will orient the twigs perpendicular to the sweep of the rake, and then the pile can be rolled like a snowball as it gathers more twigs. Maintain the coherency of the pile if the twigs are to be tied into bundles, as such a fagot can be rolled onto the twine to allow the twine to be wrapped around the fagot and tied. Do not attempt to rake a twig that is parallel to the path of the rake. This will break the rake. It may still be necessary to gather the remaining twigs by hand. Larger sticks may need to be picked up by hand, following the above mentioned method, as they cannot be gathered by a rake. DO NOT BREAK THE RAKE !
Usually, a large area of twigs will occur in the spring as summer or spring maintenance is beginning, but may also occur when pruning. Pruning will produce limbs and perhaps branches. Branches may also need to be picked up at the beginning of spring maintenance or after a storm.
When picking up a limb or a stick that is larger, pick it up by the stump end as that will give you the most leverage over a tapered limb if you pick it up by it's heaviest end. Otherwise the limb will be unwieldy and if you can get it into your armload, you may not be able to toss it in the truck. Gather all that you can hold under one arm and make sure you are on your way back to the truck by the time you have a full load in your arms. Again, bob down and up to pick up the sticks, keeping in mind your armload. There is no way you could crawl or even crouch with an armload of sticks.
Branches are larger sticks that branch into more than one stick. They may be very large. If they are very large, do not cut them up, but instead drag them by the stump end, so that no further branches are broken off, and heave them by the stump end, into the truck. The best place to cut them, to pack them into the truck efficiently, is right in the truck. If one was to cut them up before they are in the truck, that is only more sticks to pick up and more sticks to throw in the truck and more sticks to pack into the truck to get a large load and reduce the number of trips with the truck. Once a few branches are aligned with the stump end at the head of the truck, tread on the branches carefully and with loppers, cut the branches at the crotches where the smaller branches head out from the main branch. It is the crotch that sets the limbs at angles to one another and prevents efficient loading in the truck bed. By cutting the branches at the crotches the limbs are able to fall into alignment with one another. I have seen a load of branches come out of the truck body and maintain the rectangular shape of the truck body as it sits on it's own after being dumped.
Finally, for a good laugh, try to wield a branch by the small end – it will wobble around and you may not even be able to get the stump off the ground ! The use of a wood chipper greatly improves the packing and removal of large branches, but there will still be twigs to be gathered, according to the appropriate method.
1000 words Tuesday, April 12th, 2011