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Same Sex’d and Saved

June 9, 2010 2 comments

Recently, I was designing visuals for a new client whose work was with the medical industry. As this work dealt with sexual health and prevention, I had the opportunity to experience different viewpoints regarding safe sex and HIV/AIDS preventive measures. Watching one of the client’s video clips covering a Gay Pride celebration, I couldn’t help but marvel as anti-gay hecklers appeared onscreen that in a society where social, intellectual, material, and spiritual diversity are espoused a person must yet be categorized and branded, perhaps even treated as inferior if his or her personal desires happen to differ from the generally accepted norm. And what group to better brand as queer than queers? I suspect that no sub-culture of American society has survived more acts of violence and hate for simply daring to exist than the GLBT community, and this largely from God-fearing fellow Americans!

Several years ago I first glimpsed an anti-gay protest sign which declared, “God Hates Fags.” I was instantly perplexed by that statement; would God actually sanction the use of such derogatory terminology? I had been raised to believe that the Creator is the ultimate pure Being of love, light, and peace, so I was unable to accept the notion of Him fuming and hating any one of his treasured creations, especially since God doesn’t make mistakes, which I’m sure every God-fearer could agree. I was also very interested in how the people who waved hate banners of Divine proclamation had obtained such up-close-and-personal knowledge, apparently from God Himself. Since childhood I had heard chatterings of how the Scriptures condemned homosexuals. However, I was not compelled to pursue any academic investigation of the matter until the 1990’s, a period when the Universe began to shed light on a wealth of disinformation which had been socially propagated, having held citizens of the civilized world in spiritually-induced psychological bondage for centuries.

For example, did you know that the word abomination does not even appear in the Old Testament? “But I just read in Leviticus 18:22 that for a man to lie with another man as with a woman is an abomination!” someone might contend. While many English translations do in fact use condemning words where homosexuality is mentioned, if we apply the academic principle of Hermeneutics—which Merriam-Webster defines as “the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible)”—we arrive at an entirely different conclusion to the matter.

First, it is important to remember that the language and culture of the Middle-Eastern world 3400+ years ago (which is when historians believe that Leviticus and Deuteronomy were written) was a very different place with very different customs, beliefs, and traditions than our modern world of smart phones, GPS navigation, and high-fructose corn syrup. The original texts from which the Old Testament was eventually translated and published in Elizabethan English in 1611 were given by God to Moses for the Hebrew people for their journey across barren wilderness in what is known as The Exodus from Egypt. Leviticus 18:1–3: “Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘I am the LORD your God. According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances.” At that time Pagan temple prostitution within various religions was not uncommon, and apparently God was forbidding the Children of Israel from involvement with such rituals as found in Egypt and Canaan for worshipping Him. Fertility cult priests such as those of the Pagan god Molech would dress as women and receive financial offerings to engage in sexual union with farmers and other participants during religious orgies, the purpose of which was to secure the god’s blessing of their families, livestock, and crops.

Curiously, the word used in the original Hebrew text of Leviticus 18:22 by God to describe Pagan practices was toeyvah, which refers to ritual or cultural impurity. This is also the word which was erroneously translated abomination by the time it reached English. One must ask the question of why a man lying with another man would be considered ritually unclean. Obviously, this demands a deeper answer than simply a prohibition of same-sex relations…what ritual has been violated, and by whom (i.e., what is the offender’s relationship to said ritual)?

The extensive list of commands given in Leviticus and Deuteronomy have been termed by Bible scholars as The Holiness Codes, and were specifically intended as lifestyle guidelines for the Hebrew, and no one other. Things such as the eating of pork, lobster, shrimp, crab, or beef from a crossbred cow were strictly forbidden, punishable by death. Shaving the beard or wearing clothing woven from more than one kind of material would also get you stoned. It is difficult to make a case for God’s alleged distaste for homosexuals from these texts, as they do not speak to the condition of homosexuality itself but rather to a circumstance in which happens to be found homosexual behavior. In the case of The Holiness Codes, the bottom line of all the forbidding was against the worship of false gods.

In further support, another word was commonly used to denote the act of pure sin, which is zimah. Should this second word have been used if God had intended to make a blanket statement against same-sex relationship? I suggest so, for as meticulous as the Hebrew scribes were regarding the Holy Scriptures (they would not even write the complete word “God” because of the perfection of His Being, a Jewish tradition still recognized today), it seems unreasonable to suppose that an incorrect word choice would have been made for such an extremely volatile topic. The aforementioned dictionary defines abomination as “extreme disgust and hatred,” which allows the word zimah a more accurate translation to the English word abomination than the more specific toeyvah, which addresses religious practices. Think of it as a football: while it is perfectly alright—even necessary—to throw a football on a football field, it would be totally inappropriate for that same action to occur in the sanctuary during a church service. In like manner, while it is perfectly alright in God’s eyes to be homosexual, it is totally inappropriate for that same action to occur within the worship of a false god.

So if you are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transexual, the next time someone exercises their own personal insecurities by proclaiming how much God hates you, tell ’em to prove it…from the Bible.

Not If, Why, Because

June 1, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve been in love before, but that was child-like, if not silly

This is not in love, for it grew out of the love I already had for you as my friend.

This is not new, because it has been living, growing, becoming for a long time,

A time as long as this is deep…

Eternity, I think, if there is such a thing; I think not, for time is what must be used to measure that, a task time is not quite up to the task of measuring.

And to measure the fact that I’ve loved you forever couldn’t be done anyway.

Each day as I try to deny that I feel this. More of it emerges through my soul, my heart, my being. My speech: I love you.

Not if, not why, not because, nothing else added, just the fact. I don’t care who knows it, what nobody thinks about it.

I only care what you think and how you feel. Whatever I can do for you is the only thing on my mind

And when I finally figure that out…

The Only Constant

May 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Where would we be without change? This unchanging aspect of life often appears as a surprise, accompanied by questions, doubt, confusion, and many times anger. For some, it seems disasterous that change takes place, yet it is the road leading into the future…out with the old, in with the new. Indeed, we are creatures of the new, constantly searching for the next exciting sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, or idea. Change can be ultimately good, if not always pleasant, allowing for a sense of equality in aspiration, knowing that whomever or whatever is presently on top will not always hold that position.

But what about people? How is change good for people who exhibit no real need for development? Since no one is perfect, one can always find room for improvement. Observing someone who suffers from the desire to bring destruction into the lives of others, we can see that a belief system modification is necessary. In contrast, a person who might be considered a productive citizen—that is, he or she is well-educated, gainfully employed, has a healthy and happy home life, is regularly involved in community or religious activities and has no criminal record—the need for improvement may not be as easily identifiable.

The shelves of libraries and bookstores are crammed full of theses which revolve around the subject of change. The sectioning of this topic as it pertains to the human experience is a nearly endless task: one could easily spend a lifetime identifying various aspects and philosophies of change. The focus in this particular discussion of change is psychological and spiritual. Simply put, for the disparate consciousness of the human family to become one, there must first come a new way of seeing the world and the Universe. Civilized society on earth has turned out to be quite uncivilized when viewed just slightly below its sugar-coated surface. For example, an elderly lady in the fourth-largest city in the United States of America who, being unemployed and receiving only $700 per month income, applied recently for welfare assistance from her government, was denied on the premise that her income was too high. It is almost certain that she is not the only such person to have been turned mercilessly back to her poverty by a government which has no problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars to fight a war on foreign soil that has yet to merit public justification.

This manner of relating to human beings cannot contribute to the cohesiveness and progress of the human family. Sadly, however, it mirrors the way of life for much of “civilized” society, not only on the Federal level, but in person-to-person everyday interaction. Instead of unifying mental energies to achieve dramatic and fulfilling ends such as true environmental restoration, near-annihilation of global hunger and disease, or even loftier aspirations such as interplanetary travel and extraterrestrial colonization, humanity is in a constant state of bickering and strife to out-perform, subdue, even destroy one another in an insatiable quest for profit, a wanton behavior not even found among beasts.

Change is needed.

Religious Rethink

May 26, 2010 Leave a comment

 

Religionin its noble effort to offer enlightenment for personal, relational, and societal development; in its drive to instill humility, devotion, patience, and trust; in its forging of a moral code of conduct to ideally strengthen and heal the soul, mind, and physical body; and in its promise of the ultimate reward, eternal life, for having survived the human drama after all has been said and donehas become its own worst enemy

What went wrong? Neither religious nor philosophical pontification has ever managed to convince a significant demographic of any known society to reason lovingly, respectfully unify, nor prosper with longevity. Interestingly, this historically viewable condition strongly appears to deny the very moral and ethical creeds espoused by both. As a result, humanity has also historically failed to rise beyond a general state of social mediocrity, including today’s developed North American societies, and most curiously the United States with its contemporary exponential procession of technological prowess.

Ironically, as essential as society accepts religion to be for personal spiritual enhancement, it is religion that binds up the mind with nearly incomprehensible lists of rights and wrongs, do’s and don’ts that are deemed necessary to “please God.” Christianity, for example, teaches that “all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God,” and “there is none righteous, no, not one.” Yet, I have observed that much of the Christian church seems to exist in a perpetual state of moral finger-pointing in condemnation of acts or promotion of beliefs which often do not even appear in the ancient Hebrew or Greek documents from which the Bible has been derived.

I am convinced that when all become one in mutual love and respect for all life, humanity will be revolutionized. But how can this happen, a global collective of minds unified in a state of conscious single-mindedness of purpose? First, it is important to realize that this kind of monumental adjustment to the human psyche is not likely to happen overnight, and in actuality could only be expected were a fundamentally enhanced viewpoint implemented into the daily lifestyle of the individual. Transformed consciousness is the work which is required, and demands little physical effort at all.

Before a person can begin this monumental journey into “oneness” with the Universe, one must be convinced that it is not only possible, but necessary. The desire to bring resolution to the needs of another over one’s own similar needs must become common place—me first has to take a back seat to you first. This does not mean becoming a doormat to be walked over no matter what, but when the option to choose exists, an immense state of peace can result from making a choice to favor another over one’s self.

Preferring another to self is the beginning of oneness. Interestingly, this is a central message in most religions, though certainly is not the only valuable aspect of religion. But just as few people would allow their physical bodies to be enslaved and limited in freedom of decision and mobility, the spirit should not be allowed to be bound by unrealistic ideals which choke out peace and burden down the mind with guilt. Some people may feel that if they examine a more free way of thinking that their God will somehow punish them if they “cross the line” in their life-search. Since religions share the common theme that no human being is perfect, the truth of the matter is this: if the Divine was on stand-by in hopes of catching a curious mind in a wrong move, there would literally be no one left alive for the contemplation to even be of concern.

Another Religious Post (not)

May 24, 2010 Leave a comment

I think some people in my world believe that I’m about to step off the deep end any minute, now, but think about this…where would we be if no one had ever stopped, took notice of the strange, the bizarre, the inconsistent, challenged the status quo, and then found the courage to say something about it?

For decades I was proudly a devout, verse-quoting, bible-thumping Christian, in church every Sunday and most Wednesdays, and was an absolute 24-hour TBN drone. Time and revelation of knowledge have since re-purposed my faith, yet fundamentally I remain deeply partial towards the character and integrity of the Christ. I no longer attend church, so I’m not that variety of believer, but I have love for people who do go to church/synagogue/mosque/etc—I’m not making a statement, it’s just that religion is not my bag. In my rational mind, I see the Universe as a Matrix-like construct (consider the beginning of the book of Genesis for a moment where God “created” the heavens and the earth…by default, it seems to me, this creation would have to be a matrix construct of some kind, wouldn’t it?…a structured system of reality where literally every single thing within it is catalogued—every blade of grass, every leaf, every crack in every sidewalk, every grain of sand…every hair on every head, if Jesus’ words are taken at face value). I sometimes see this world as structured similar to one of my favorite video games, Mortal Kombat, where there are characters in a digital world who interact with each other, crash into walls, get hit with ‘material’ objects, etc.

Using the Mortal Kombat example, if I wanted to interact person-to-person with the characters who appear onscreen, I couldn’t just knock on my TV screen and get their attention. It seems to me that I would actually have to create from scratch a completely new character who can appear in their digital world, and interact with them based on the existing rules of that simulated reality. We do it all the time with a computer mouse: your finger never actually touches the Send email button, or the Play button on YouTube. In reality it’s the digital cursor on your screen made from pixels that performs the actual interaction between your mind and the response onscreen. This is how I perceive the role of the Christ. He is a character, if you will, who entered the game (our world) from a higher dimension, having interacted with the characters of this game, only not to fight, but to give healthful guidance (love one another, help one another, etc.).

O, God, not another religious post!! No, thank heavens, it’s not. But there is a high frequency of coincidence today which I think it’s safe to say go beyond the very definition of the word coincidence. All of the signs of “last days” prophecies in the Old Testament and New Testament scriptures have come to life and fervently ravage our world at large today. Israel as the unlikely center of global political unrest, famines, earthquakes, ferocious storms, the seas damaged and ocean life destroyed, immoral leaders burdening down the backs of the people with unreasonable demands and laws, parents killing kids, kids killing parents…it’s all in there, jotted down thousands of years ago.

So essentially, I’ve said all that to say this (mainly to my readers who, for reasons good or otherwise, give no credence to biblical texts): what if there really is solid-world substance to the bible, and the astonishing, nearly daily disasters we survive (those of us who do) are the very topics the scriptures spoke of?

While on the one hand, I am aware that the secular historicity of the bible is not entirely sound—I know about Utnapishtim; the alleged structures, strange artifacts on the moon, UFO’s;  the Council of Nicea; Planet X and the Anunaki, and I am strongly intrigued by these and many other little-known accounts from history. On the other hand, could God have used some degree of fiction to tell our very real future? If not, why not? I’ve heard atheists decry the Judeo/Christian scriptures with statements like, “That’s ridiculous, the bible is just used to control the masses.” Problem with that is, the texts forewarned of circumstances and events to occur in the “last days” which just so happen to match the types of circumstances and events that today appear daily as breaking news…how did the writers know with accuracy what would happen thousands of years after them?

After learning that the bible was not as airtight as I had been led from childhood to believe, I took an unofficial stance as agnostic, and set out to prove the entire thing was a hoax. What confounded those efforts to disqualify the bible, however, was the fact that the relevance of its content simply won’t go away.

Consider what the Christ spoke regarding the end times in Matthew 24, and in the book of Mark 13: “In the last days…”

•  there would be famine (always had it, always will, I know)

•  there would be plagues (rise in global disease)

• there would be earthquakes in odd places (a friend informed me that their driveway was significantly cracked during a tremor in Amarillo, Texas not long ago. Amarillo. Seismic activity may be rising in Texas, the state where I reside…not a smoking gun, necessarily, but TX is not prone to earthquakes such as locations along the Ring of Fire)

• there would be nation rising against nation (war today…anyone?)

• there would be ethnic group rising against ethnic group (racial unrest)

• there would be roaring of the waves of the sea, enough to cause significant fear in the heart of man (Katrina of 2005 was a Category 5, and now scientists speak of having to upgrade the rating to 6)

• terror in the heavens (I’ve never been consciously abducted, but a Grey can be rather disturbing, so I’ve heard)

If there really are spiritual dominions in high places as Paul discussed in Ephesians of the NT, would these forces ever manifest somehow in the physical world? Perhaps through the use of technology and political influence such forces might find a way to infiltrate the leadership of nations and implement destructive, damnable regimes and therefore policies to systemically dissect the foundations of true democracy, poisoning one generation through greed, lust, financial stress, and chemical additives to the food and water supply, additives which also help to dumb-down the minds of the subsequent generation so that once it matures, as a whole the new generation is simply intellectually and psychologically unfit to lead.

Perhaps this has already occurred…

Categories: Humanity, Spirituality

The Honor is Mine

May 20, 2010 Leave a comment

 

Greetings and great peace be unto you, welcome to my weblog. Over the years, people from many different walks of life have related to me in many different ways. However, my mental ascension from the gripping (if not lustful) desires of the Matrix has occurred, having faded my material past infinitely distant from my etherial present, which may also be understood simultaneously as my future. As such, I may only intimately be known from this time forward as Jahriel (Jáh-ree-él), my spiritual designation. I am a creator of many aesthetic results in the visual arts, music, poetry, lyric composition, digital design, and presently have begun work on two different books: one science fiction on purpose, and the other very much not so, though equally as bizarre in context.

I am certain without doubt that anyone who has known me in the past knows full well that I care; perhaps too much, sometimes, but how can loving and giving ever truly be wrong? I am passionate in my love for humanity, spirituality, and creativity, and would sooner die than renounce attachment to any one of these reasons for living. I share the common sentiment that life is indeed good, and am certain that—in its purest form—always will be. The great Creator, a name for the one true Presence, is good, and supremely good. That said, I surmise that so then must also be the Creation.

However, I have found myself living a very unexpected kind of lie, and by no means intentionally so. This has not been a lie of deception towards another person, not one of religious hypocrisy, theft, nor any other immoral example of fraudulence. The false god I have served for so many decades was the force which the Christ in biblical texts identified as mammon and an adversary to faith. This power today has manifested as the Corporate system of influence and ultimately dominance over the lives of so many across the globe. It is this realization along with sheer and utter shock I have lived under for the last few years after having been shown exactly how deep the rabbit hole goes, to borrow a phrase. Much of the content of my posts will likely deal with the vast scope of discovery which a few sharply-focused questions led to, revelations which many times have seemed more fantastic than any fiction might ever hope to be.

As for my blog posts, comments are welcomed, but not required. I am more interested in receiving and sharing useful knowledge with minds of serious inquiry, but not at all interested in philosophical debates which offer little to no chance for fruitful outcome. For me, few things are more invigorating than deep intellectual exchanges of ideas, even if we are in respectful disagreement regarding the subject at hand. It is fulfilling simply to interact with another person at the heartfelt level, to vibe and counter-vibe with the special uniqueness that defines every one of us, and gives each and every one of us Divine distinction in the eyes of the One true power.