Sunday, December 14, 2008

Age of a Coming Rainbow

For forty years
I repeated the tape
I sat and saw TV -
shadows -
the human struggle
its rise and fall, on
black and white and
then color TV.
The rainbow was gray
on the little b & w TV
in the high school
music room (1968),
no music that day.
Only the echo of
Those who would, could
move us - lead us
to a better place
their voices were stilled
- silent.
And the music teacher
procalimed "Gentlemen,
we are living in very
sick - sick country".
Rainbows of the human spirit
fled - ran - hid away
that day, not to be
seen since.
Oh color survived
but the techno rainbow
is not a child of nature.
Forty years of color TV.
Forty years of b & w
Gray silence gave way,
witness in fact, to a
rage of a man
not a sage of a man
with new (low) standards

of leadership met, set for
decades to come.
Rage on tapes,
still spewing hate,
rave on beady eyed man -
leader - the world survived
without you - Thank God!
But it was still
an age without rainbows until
the drought of the human heart
persuaded a cleansing rain
to descend here below.
And to some it might
seem a flood -
the people's age
to replace the corrupt
Age of the CEO.
Obama -
stands to be sworn in (2009).
Blessings upon us all
(we deserve them, earned them).
Forty years of no rainbows.
(Era sin arcos iris)
Gives way to great floods
("Et Grands Deluges"...)
of the human spirit.
Life giving water descend.
Purify a bygone age.
Arrive to announce
not a golden age
but a rainbow multi-colored
age of mankind. (dawning)

(My thanks for inspiration to Michel de N. Century One, Quatrains 17, 76)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sede Vacante Temporis

I thought I was finished with this blog but something kept nagging at me. It was the concept of the Latin Mass in the R.C. church and Vatican II.

I thought that maybe if John XXIII was Pope and official head of the R.C. church (CEO) that he could have merely stated that a vernacular language Mass could have been used in any parish that asked permission of the local bishop to do so. The Pope of tradition is supposed to have power to do something like that. Ecumenical sentiments could have grown from local vines and worked its way up to major importance.

To most Protestants the Papacy ended in 1517 with Martin Luther and his 95 Theses. Not so. The priest Luther was petitioning, going through channels, with grievances against spiritual abuse. Rome was so corrupt that it went into bunker mode and has been in such ever since.

Luther was no saint and his Augsburg Confession is still half valid truth and in perspective it is half doubtful propaganda with time.

There is a movement in modern times that states that no Pope has in fact been a valid head of the church since 1958 and the death of Pius XII.

The Chair – the seat of Peter - is vacant to some.

A Latin term used by Catholics who think that the R.C. is in heretical freefall since the election of John XXIII and the calling for a church council Vatican II is sedevacantism – boy, what a mouth full.

This group of Catholics think that Vatican II was nothing more than a modernist Public Relations display and an invalid crutch to John XXIII to permit the vernacular language Mass or Common Service to flourish where it was wanted within the sacred body of Christ and or the church.

I do not think that on this point. I think that John XXIII was asking for an open council in which Protestant observers were invited to witness an opening of windows on faith to all Christians. He was asking for consensus from all his bishops.

John XXIII died at age 81 and the bureaucrats took over. Some think that this succeeding clique interpreted Vatican II and resulted in a cabalistic like bubble version of spirituality.

Alas, I am no longer in the R.C. Church but I think I am in grace to Christ and his message. I feel I can make these observations from a slight distance to the matter.

Sede Vancante Temporis.

The Chair is temporarily vacant.

I personally after much thought - think about the long drawn out death of John Paul II. I thought it vain and out of date. The man in ill health should have been able to retire to a cloistered environment and finish his days in privacy and with dignity. Instead he put his death and importance on display like a Rock Star/Modernist cultist personality.

What I say and I do not wish to sound fanatical is that if the R.C. Church elects bishops/cardinals past the age of 65, they are in fact admitting that this election is an honorary thing for some R.C. bureaucrats with good crony connections.

That if you use the modern realistic age bracket of 65 – 70 as an understood retirement age for most human beings – at 65, there has been 7 years of valid working aged years input to the bureaucratic job of pope since 1958.

That if you push the envelope of retirement age to the age of 70 – then in the fifty years since the death of Pope Pius XII, only sixteen odd years of able bodied adherence to a job description has been accomplished in the job description of Pope – Bishop of Rome.

Sede Vacante Temporis

The chair is a part time position for some (other than the totally honorary title guys).

The chair seems more like a honorary title and in a real sense – functioning like the out of touch, performing for the public, obsolete British Crown.

Once Vatican II came along and the Pope as a photograph came down off the wall or the Pope in your hand as a holy card disappeared - the whole office and concept of the centuries old function of the job changed forever. The office of pope no longer exists or functions in line with any true historic sense - it is now like a TV style illusion. It is a now primarily a modernist entity and function.

Interesting idea and or schism. Where does the R.C. church go from here on that one?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Jerusalem – the new Global Capital

The recent attack on the global city of Mumbai (Bombay) in India illustrates how as the world’s population expands, the land does not match the needs of a growing population. You can talk about finances and universities and commerce – the free market system can accommodate some of this global flow but it cannot accommodate fanatical religious beliefs that mask political agendas.

While you can expand enterprise in a global sense, you cannot perpetuate that old timed bubble to protect your old time religion in a shrinking land bubble.

I can presume that the recent bloodshed is over the decades old disputed territory of Kashmir and the dividing line in politics which happens also to be a dividing line in religion.

In the decades to come as we adapt to the new needs of a global population in a global economy, we can expect more bloodshed sad to say.

Land was the basis of the recent worldwide fraud of American securities packaged and sold as valid with a MBA Imprimatur. In the end, the land with improvements was not as valuable as the inflated promise of return. Land is not the answer to much of the future’s problems so much as cooperation of all peoples globally.

You reap what you sow. If your government and your religion and or your government/religion cannot promote tolerance and win-win negotiation, the global equation is not doomed. Innocent bystanders will be collateral damage of imperfect human thinking – intolerance - clinging to outdated ideas from the past. These are unbending ideas that refuse to be groomed in the possibilities of a new global way to look at all things in a new way - and deal with them accordingly.

The heart of most religions preach and practice the tolerance necessary to arrive at a new global future. It is the fringe edge of reality that clings to a local view in a local bubble going up against global reality and with violence. There is a place for both local and global ideas in the future.

Like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, if they don’t want a Third Temple, fine, build it elsewhere. Ideas are more important than armies or mere square footage of land.

The New Jerusalem, the new Global Capital of Earth will be built one day. It will not be built on land. It will be built on faith, hope, love and the good will of all men and all women on this one planet.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Third Temple

As I have said elsewhere here, God works in his own time and in his own way.

I have spent many hours reading and researching the concept of the Third Temple.

The first Temple was built by Solomon. It was rebuilt or restored after the Babylonian captivity.

Then you have the aftermath of Alexander’s world empire collapsing on itself and the Jews in Judea being in the middle of politics and religious persecution at the hands of Hellenistic rulers which results in more revolt and lack of peace in the Middle East and this happening a hundred and fifty years before the time of Jesus.

The rebellions against the Greek rule resulted in a short peace and headed by a family dynasty called the Hasmonean Dynasty that lasted until the so called Herod the Great. Herod of course is mentioned in the Gospels and he was as nasty as King Henry VII of England who married an heir to the throne and then killed off all rivals or pretenders to the throne (his throne).

This favored son of Rome was able to seize power and crown himself as the King of Judea with his Roman puppet master’s approval.

Herod the great took the Hellenistic Alexander the Great view of the world and started to build and rebuild on a scale only rivaled in the city of Rome itself. No amount of taxes or slaves’ sweat or blood would keep Herod from trying to outshine the not forgotten with the people Hasmonean Dynasty. It had been they that recaptured Jerusalem and the defiled Temple and the story of Hanukah comes from this period and the miracle of oil in the Menorah, the ultimate symbol of Judaism, which burned for eight days.

In the end Herod’s cutting edge technology port part of the city of Caesarea fell back into the sea. The rebuilt expanded second Temple disappeared in several waves of recycling and eradication. His Xanadu, his Masada Palace, is remembered not for its builder but for the courage of the last vestiges of the Revolt of 66-73 C.E.

I have no doubt that Herod the Great ordered the death of many innocents in many places including Bethlehem in his syphilis crazed paranoid rule of Judea that was signed off on by the elites of Rome.

Fast forward on the timeline and in the Six Day War the Israeli Army takes all of Jerusalem but not Temple Mount. The Islamists have a thirteen hundred year real estate claim. In real time and real money and real estate, their claim is legitimate.

The Temple Mount remains a sore thumb in any perception of or resolution of present political tensions between Israel and Palestine.

Putting aside the political issue, nobody is quite certain where the second temple was located and of course saying that the Dome of the Rock mosque is the exact place puts a lot of stress into any formula for archeological research or digging. The Islamists will never concede any territory atop the Temple Mount. Barring a massive earthquake or an act of God, the Temple Mount is likely to stay the same for decades or centuries to come.

This brings me to an idea. Why does the Third Temple, as many Jews want to build, have to be built on the present Temple Mount in Jerusalem? Build it nearby. Extend Temple Mount and build. There is no eminent domain in the state of Israel to build next door??? If the Third Temple is inches or mere feet from the original Second Temple, what really matters ? - location, location, location or the heart and desire to build and to please the Lord.

Of course if they actually were able to build a third Temple anywhere in the vicinity of the present Temple Mount I think that looking back is a bad idea. I for one would have to side with animal rights advocates on the number and frequency of the slaughter of animals as sacrifice to God. I believe that the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross was the whole idea of Christianity moving forward out of a primitive pagan like era of blood sacrifice.

Another suggestion - Why not just build a replica of the second Temple on a mountain top in a desert somewhere and treat it with respect and a place to acknowledge the idea of a sacred place dedicated to the one God?

And if politics and bureaucratic inertia stops the rebuilding of the Temple in the middle east why not build it elsewhere on God's planet?

There are many mountain tops in the desert southwest United States and northwest Mexico that could accommodate a second Temple replica to become a place of pilgrimage both as a museum and a functioning place of worship. I think of the suggestion of the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and his idea to build a Mosque, a Synagogue and a Church together on the top of Mount Sinai. That idea died with the man and got entangled in politics. And these days, the meal ticket academics would dispute where the real Mount Sinai is located, it being the place where God handed down his laws to Moses.

Don’t make it a tourist trap, make it a place of pilgrimage, walk up a mountain and limit parking at the base and put the food court at the base with the parking. Imagine it, a second temple replica and a simple basilica like church and a mosque. It would be unique and more importantly than that it would be a universally recognized sacred place.

There are so few sacred things truly left in this growing secular global world. Why not create a new one?

Just a thought.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving USA

It is Thanksgiving this week in the United States. It is without a doubt a totally secular holiday centered on the family. Very little direct commercialism is connected with this holiday other than the infamous turkey dish and as the gateway date to the very commercial Christmas season.

The roots of the holiday go back to the harvest festival brought over by the Europeans almost four hundred years ago.

Putting food aside, both Washington and Lincoln asked for days of prayer and thanksgiving during the War of Independence and the very bloody Civil War.

Lincoln had fixed the last Thursday of November as the official time of prayer and thanks to the Creator for the bounty and blessings of the nation. Lincoln’s call for a thanksgiving day in 1863 was set one week after his Gettysburg Address, at the dedication of a military cemetery at the battlefield as tribute to so many who gave so much at a critical turning point of the Civil War.

FDR named the fourth Thursday in November in 1939 to be Thanksgiving, pushing the date up slightly in order to promote Christmas sales during the depression. The fourth Thursday in November has more or less stuck these last three quarters of a century.

No need to mention that when you get relatives and friends together to gather and pray, you are likely to have a community meal thrown into the equation.

On a scale of one to ten with 1-4 as secular, 5-6 overlapping with the secular and 7-10 as sacred – Thanksgiving is a 6.

I have a mixed bag of memories of family Thanksgiving gatherings - meals, people, and friends – one day for many when the crazy American quilt work of people, cultures, religions come together in a seemingly singular ritual.

Traditional prayers of thanks on this day are Psalms 100, 111, the Our Father or any others you may feel to be appropriate.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Green Apocalypse

I speak perhaps of a personal epiphany and it has to do with the Book of Revelation/Apocalypse. If you have read this blog in bits and pieces you will no doubt know how I do not like or understand why the Book of Revelation got tacked onto the Greek Testament. It seems more like hateful propaganda than anything that would have come out of the mouth of Jesus.

There is an entertainment show on Cable TV called the “Naked Archeologist” hosted by one Simca Jacobovicki who is not an archeologist. Mr. Jacobovicki is no doubt well read and self taught which I hold in higher esteem than all the diplomas that rich people can afford to buy their children these days.

A quote from the show’s website:

“My goal,” says Jacobovici, “is to demystify the Bible in general, and archaeology in particular, to brush away the cobwebs and burst academic bubbles.”

I have disagreed with many of his quaint and or crackpot theories. One is that the Jewish Exodus coincided with the volcanic destruction of Thera/Santorini about 3500 BPT (before present time). Thera is or was a good candidate for the basis of the Plato fable about a place called Atlantis.

Never the less, looking at something from a fresh or unprejudiced and not prejudiced academic point of view is something I look for in this present stifling infant global world with its lack of creativity and growing non-open economic, religious and cultural points of view.

My personal epiphany came last night on a show about the Jewish community in ancient Rome. Simca is standing in a Jewish catacomb and sees what he thinks is a Christian symbol amidst the seemingly exclusive Jewish burial place. His guide and professional academic refuses to acknowledge the possibility of the symbol being Christian. Simca has to make a living and is looking for sellable tangents to add to and in accordance with the flavor of his show.

I know that feeling. You don’t have a Doctor of Divinity from Yale or Harvard. What makes unimportant you think you have any interesting theological question to ask me on my divine academic pedestal?

Enough with background and with some thanks to Simca helping me break through a wall regarding the book of Revelation and my opinion that it is originally a Jewish document or fragments of many Jewish end of the world themed documents not unlike the bulk of documents found and labeled as the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Book of Revelation, as Protestants call it, or the Book of the Apocalypse as the R.C. and Orthodox Christians label it, seems to me to be a green or recycled text co-opted for Constantine’s official Christian Church. That maybe the true break between Christian and Jew was not a religious break among brothers. Maybe the split between Christian and Jew was an official political decision for the greater glory of the Roman General/Emperor Constantine.

Not being a professional academic, I base my logic more on timelines and critical symbols in the book of so called revelation.

The biggest symbol in the book is the “666” figure of the anti-Christ with most scholars these days agreeing that the numerology is about Nero.

You have this story that the Christians tell about how an incredibly small unknown cult of Jews called Christians got singled out as the scapegoat for the fire in Rome 64 C.E.. The Christians are so important in Roman propaganda and in a state that eventually elevates the Christian Messiah to the level of a Roman god under Constantine.

Before Simca, I had already thought that maybe it was the Jews, with a few Christians mixed in, that Nero went after in 64 C.E. That maybe those tensions and aftermath and backlash worked its way back to the holy land and was the basis of the start of the great Jewish Revolt starting in 66 C.E.. That revolt led to the destruction of Jerusalem and the second Temple in 70 C.E.. Look at the timelines.

I think that until the time of Constantine, Jews and Christians are inseparable in terms of shared traditions and living in the same part of town, towns.

There is a great deal of recycled Old Testament prophetic symbolism in the Book of Revelation and the thought occurs to me that when there is a warning to seven churches in Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, that before it was a warning to Christian basilicas, maybe it was first a warning to the Jewish communities in these cities just as or right after the destruction of Jerusalem occurs. Like there were no Jews in the biggest cities of Asia Minor – yeah right – and that only the Christian communities existed there alone - sure.

And of course the end of the book has the supreme Jewish symbol of a New Jerusalem topped off with the second coming of Christ as Messiah at the end of this very long, tedious, nasty, symbolic pile of possibly green recycled words currently known as the Book of Revelation.

Oh well. Just a thought. Thank you Simca for part of the inspiration.