This is a biography of John Chapman (1774-1845), a Swedenborgian evangelist, known as JOHNNY APPLESEED.
John Pitcairn of Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, is mentioned (page 118); his sons built on their estate the famous New Church Cathedral (see New & Noteworthy—2016). I wrote to the author‘s agent (The Sagalyn Literary Agency) if they would be interested in representing my religious novel The Blue Mirror—also about Emanuel Swedenborg. Author Howard Means focused entirely on Heaven and Hell, in those days an immensely popular book; though Swedenborg wrote about many other heavenly subjects—The Earths in The Starry Heaven, and Their Inhabitants—which I discuss at length in my novel.
Helen Keller (1880-1968), a famous Swedenborgian, wrote My Religion; published in 1927 by Doubleday & Co.
Chapter 2: "God was born on our Earth because we know how to write. I know everything there is to know about God because I read all the books," the bishop said."A religion cannot become a global faith without books to teach."
1688 — 1772
The prophet is God’s associate
My research led to Georg von Welling (1655-1727) who wrote Opus Mago-Cabbalisticum Et Theosophicum (translated into English by Patricia Baker, 2006). Georg discussed "spirit-people".
Warnings against seeking speech with spirits
Heaven and Hell
Speech in Heaven
Number 312: It has been granted me to be in company with angels, and also to talk with those who are in hell, and this now for many years sometimes continuously from morning until evening.
THE KINGDOM OF SPEECH
I refer to my novel—The Blue Mirror—chapter 17—starting at page 384—language is a skill for transmitting survival—ETC
Please go to New & Noteworthy 2016—for more details on SPEECH
Franz Kafka‘s (1883-1924) science fiction story—A Report for an Academy—has an ape named Red Peter.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951): If there were no language, there would be no logic.
(Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936 — Nobel prize for literature, 1907)
If you have an "idea of something", you must express it: either you say it in proper words or you present the idea symbolically.
(Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, 1646-1716)
THE LAST SUPPER
Gospel of John 13—Jesus predicts His Betrayal
13:21—I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me
13:26—It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread. He gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, saying, What you are about to do, do quickly
13:30—As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out
13:31—When he was gone, Jesus said: Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him
Gospel of Luke 22—Jesus arrested
22:48—Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?
Imagine if Judas had not kissed Jesus—to betray him!
The Gospel of the apostle Paul
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David (2 Timothy 2:8)
Koran 4:157—They declared: ‘We have killed the Christ, Jesus son of Mary, the apostle of God’—They did not kill him, nor did they crucify him, but they thought they did
The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, BEGINNING AT JERUSALEM (Gospel of Luke 24: 46/47).
HEAVEN IS MY THRONE, AND THE EARTH IS MY FOOTSTOOL
(New Testament: Acts 7:49)
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them (New Testament: Gospel of Matthew 5:17).
New Testament: Hebrews. The Law requires that nearly everything be cleaned with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (9:22). He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves, but he entered the Most Holy Place once and for all by his own blood having obtained eternal redemption (9:12).
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day (New Testament: Gospel of John 6:51-54).
New Testament: Gospel of Matthew
Jesus stood before the governor (Pilate) and the governor asked him: “Are you the king of the Jews?” --- “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied (27:11). Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS: INRI/Jesus of Nazareth, king of Israel.
Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword (10:34).
New Testament: Acts (5:30-31)
The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him on his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel.
Old Testament: Book of Deuteronomy (21:23)
Anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse.
THE CANDLES ARE MANY BUT THE LIGHT IS ONE
There will be no peace among nations without peace among religions and there will be no peace among religions without dialogue among religions.
WHO WAS JESUS?
John P. Meier, a Catholic priest, is professor of New Testament at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He is perhaps the foremost biblical scholar of his generation.
A STUDY IN CREATIVE MYTHOLOGY
JESUS SON OF MAN
Rudolf Augstein was the founder and publisher of Der Spiegel, West Germany’s most famous newsweekly. He was raised a Roman Catholic and became an agnostic as an adult.
It seems that free speech (dialogue) is what is left over when a community has determined in advance what it does not want to hear.
Nothing is so hostile to religion as other religions
Everybody is entitled to think their faith is superior to others, otherwise—what’s the point of having faith
The truth you believe and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new
How can we learn from the past-unless we—REMEMBER it?
The Frankfurt Book Fair: Freedom of the WORD is not negotiable. The fair is a place for dialogue.
Censorship of free speech has become rampant at universities. Debating controversial ideas is not on the agenda. Views that students find offensive and above hurtful have to be silenced because they can't cope with it (thereby leaving them vulnerable when they enter the workforce).
In the US it is legally OK to say offensive things about a religion and thus provoke hurt or anger. If some want it "criminalized", then we are no longer supporters of free speech.
Salman Rushdie (author of The Satanic Verses) on what is freedom of expression. 'Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.'
Mark Steyn (Canadian journalist and writer): The thin line between free speech and hate speech doesn't exist. Free speech by definition is for the stuff you don't approve of. His book AMERICA ALONE (The end of the world as we know it) is considered politically incorrect. ["If Jesus were alive today, he'd most likely be a gay Anglican bishop in a committed relationship driving around in an environmentally friendly car with an 'Arms are for Hugging' sticker on the way to an interfaith dialogue with a Wiccan and a couple of Wahhabi imams."]
John P. Rossi (Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, January 7, 2007) reviewed AMERICA ALONE-"A cultural critic submits how the West was done in." The West will be confronted with a militaristic Islam and is unprepared to face this threat to the pervasive influence of multiculturalism, and a tolerance of Islamic intolerance that has already crippled many countries in Europe. The rise of an unsustainable welfare state and a decline of religious [Christian] values created a crisis of confidence. Mark Steyn labels multiculturalism the West's "real suicide bomb". It was conceived by Western elites not to celebrate all cultures but to deny their own. Professor Rossi ends the review: It is the best read I have come across in some time.
Amitara Kar (The Daily Star, Dhaka, Bangladesh): "Once we learn how to keep ourselves from 'voicing our thoughts', we forget how to think them in the first place. And ideas perish at conception. What could be more dangerous than that?" Some publishers and secular authors fled Bangladesh in fear of attack over their work because free speech is never allowed to trump blasphemy.
London/England; Tokyo/Japan; Tabriz/Iran; Mumbai/India; Hainan/China; Hong Kong; Hoboken/NJ/US; Toronto/Canada; Cape Town/South Africa-visit Wikipedia!
The tallest clock tower on planet Earth is in Mecca, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Is Google making us stupid because we no longer practice our memory for information recall?
The spiritual meaning for rosemary is "remembrance"
The Italian village of Acciaroli has more than 300 residents aged over 100-and a population of just 2,000 people. Acciarolians follow a traditional Mediterranean diet, but one that contains even more rosemary than most. The residents grow the herb and eat it almost daily. This could be the secret behind the longevity boost, suggest University of California researchers. 'Rosemary is used in herbal medicine to improve circulation, enhance MEMORY, assist digestion and relieve anxiety' says Dr Andrew Flower, a researcher in herbal medicine at the University of Southampton. 'There are also a wealth of studies showing the anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and even anti-cancer effects from compounds in rosemary.'
(London-- Daily Mail, January 17, 2017)
Before events "Fade from memory"
The memoir of Nicola, mother of Nick Clegg (British politician)
Please visit my "biography" for MY childhood memories-of the same Japanese camps-Kramat and Tjideng-mentioned in the book. My 100-year-old mother still remembers!
WHAT IS GOD?
The water-lily pond of Guenther Benes (Vienna, Austria)
Christopher Hitchens: Religion is part of our cultural and intellectual history. It was our first attempt at literature, at cosmology, making sense of where we are in the universe, our first attempt at healthcare, believing in faith healing, and at philosophy.
STONE AGE CUISINE
When I was a student at University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia) Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Professor Bernard Wailes (Cambridge) suggested I write an original essay. "How about Stone Age foodstuffs?" the novice replied with a chuckle. That was 1968.
Twenty years later, 1988, I returned to Philadelphia. Professor Wailes encouraged me to pick up the unfinished essay. I decided to make it into a manuscript for publication: Neolithic Culinary Delights. I spent many months at the museum doing research. At the cafeteria I had met a friendly young woman who became interested in my story and asked if she could read a chapter or two. One day she dropped by at my house and told me that my story was "unique" and I should have it copyrighted before someone could steal it. I told her that I had no idea how to go about it. She offered to do it for me, but she needed the manuscript. I said it was in my bank safe and I would drop by the museum the following week.
Rattled, I called a friend, a private investigator, and asked if it was true that people steal manuscripts. He laughed, and said that maybe my "friend" would put her name to it. He suggested I come to his office with the manuscript and we would go to a patent and copyright lawyer: Gregory Gore of Doylestown, Pennsylvania. In those days few people knew what Neolithic was-so I had it copyrighted as Stone Age Cuisine. The story is still the same but updated- I now have far more FACTS at my fingertips thanks to the Internet.
500 lbs of RESEARCH
100 lbs of DETERMINATION
1 bucket of IMAGINATION
2 handfuls of LAUGHTER
1 pinch of LUCK
March 3, 1957 - March 3, 2017
The road to success is always under construction
I grew this rosebush (Angel Wings) from seed (1990)
VITA EST IN MOTU
Change is the essence of life
Homo Neanderthal - named after Joachim Neander (1650-1680)
My Papa - 20th century Homo sapiens
Otzi's ancestors came from today's India
In nature every species is in the food chain: to eat and be eaten. In the natural world cannibalism is often the rule, not the exception.
CANNIBALISM: A Perfectly Natural History
by Bill Schutt
Sculptor Leonhard Kern
Old Testament Bible-Second book of Kings 6:28/29
Famine in Besieged Samaria
Eat Thy Neighbor
We eat him, because we knew him and were fond of him
In the fields of Austria-photo by Guenther Benes
IN FLANDERS FIELDS
(First World War Poem by John McCrae)
VIENNA, Austria: in 1873, a model of an Italian-design crematorium was erected at the Great exhibition. Hitler lived in Vienna.
Imagine a nerve gas destroying the inhabitants of Manila, Philippines—millions of dead bodies piled in a “mass grave”: decomposing. That’s why every metropolis in this world should have crematoria for disposing of the dead in case of a bomb attack.
Cremation is the reduction of human remains to ash—a sanitary disposal of the dead.
The national cremation societies combined (1937) world-wide and formed the international cremation “federation” for consultative purposes.
In 1956 in Papua New Guinea an unknown disease was discovered; about 35000 individuals among some 160 villages were infected. Every year some died of uncontrollable “shakings”—hence its local name “kuru”—a degenerative disease of the central nervous system with a gradual loss of coordination of voluntary movements followed by multiple infections. The cause was a slow-acting resistant virus similar to mad cow disease.
Mostly women were struck by kuru and this had sociological consequences—a large proportion of single men and widowers were caring for families. It turned out that the women had indulged in cannibalism, eating the corpses of close relatives out of respect for them. The flesh and brains were cooked and the bones were ground up.
Kuru declined when outsiders/whites arrived on the island and cannibalism became no longer a practice.
Another degenerate ailment of the nervous system is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease—identical to kuru.
Le Coeur Mangé
(Jean-Pierre Camus: 1584-1652)
The legend of “the eaten heart”
Memnon, a not rich young man, falls in love with gorgeous Crisele. Her parents finally agree to a future wedding. One day an old, rich widower falls in love with the beautiful young Crisele. The parents persuade their daughter to marry the rich widower.
However, Crisele still loves Memnon and she asks him to leave their town. He enlists in the army and fights in Flanders where he is fatally wounded. Before he dies he writes Crisele a letter and asks a relative to take his heart to his lover. Crisele buries Memnon’s heart in a church cemetery and devotes herself to mourning the loss of her young lover
The old husband has pangs of jealousy watching Crisele’s devotion. So one day he has Memnon’s heart stolen from its grave and orders his cook to prepare it as a “paté.” He then serves his wife the heart of her lover. When Crisele discovers she has eaten Memnon’s heart, she tells the relative who had given her the heart. He kills the old husband in a duel.
Crisele spends the rest of her life in a convent. In spiritual terms this entry is a new beginning: a new life founded on the promised return of the dead and the eventual reunion with Christ. The Eucharist recapitulates the original sin occasioned by the eating of the forbidden fruit—magical metaphor of “food” (the sacred heart) becomes a body: an edible body.
(Gospel of John 6:54—whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life)
Old Testament book of Isaiah
14:11-- maggots are your bed and worms are your blanket
The practice of cannibalism was to meet nutritional needs; political act/revenge against enemies; magical function/assimilation of the virtues of the deceased or casting out their souls, and as a religious ritual—a feast of the dead.
Book of Judith (Vulgate)
The siege of Bethulia
The Assyrian general Holofernes was warned not to attack the Jews as they were a people supported by God. Judith, a widow, accompanied by her maid servant left the city in a hurry pretending to flee and on her way told Holofernes that he would be victorious. The general invited Judith into his tent. She then tricked him by seducing him with her charms and plenty of wine so that he fell in a deep sleep. Grim-faced, she cut of his head. Triumphantly, Judith then brought the general’s head to Bethulia and a Jewish victory followed
At a party given by king Herod, Salome, daughter of Herodias, second wife of Herod, is enchanted by Jochanaan’s (John the Baptist) voice from the cistern, where he is “imprisoned”, insulting her mother. She orders the guards to allow him out. Jochanaan rants against her and her mother. Enraptured, Salome wants to touch and kiss him but he curses her and returns to his cell.
Herod asks stepdaughter Salome to dance her famous “dance of the seven veils”. She agrees only when he offered her anything she wants to choose. Salome dances and then claims her reward: the head of Jochanaan on a silver platter. The executioner comes up with his head. Salome kisses his mouth. Horrified, Herod orders his soldiers to kill her.
Beef-eating ban in Hindu India
The Holy Cow represents Mother Earth
In 24 out of 29 Indian states the consumption of beef is banned. Restaurant owners who have beef dishes on the menu are fined and jailed.
Koran 5:3—You are forbidden (to eat) carrion, blood, and the flesh of swine.
Koran 22:36—CAMELS: When you draw them up in line for slaughter and they have fallen to the ground eat of their flesh.
Old Testament Bible: Book of Genesis 9:14—You must not eat meat that has its lifeblood in it.
Book of Deuteronomy 12:23—Be sure you do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life; pour it out on the ground like water.
JUDAISM: Shehita is a a special method of slaughtering animals. With a special razor sharp knife an incision is made across the neck of the animal ‘in a single swift sweep’. The cut severs the main arteries, rendering the animal unconscious and permitting the blood to drain from the body.
Jews and Muslims may eat ritually slaughtered meat that is sold/labeled as Kosher/Halal.
Jews and Muslims are forbidden to eat the flesh of swine/pigs because they are considered unclean
HORSE MEAT is eaten in some European countries
In the West, cats and dogs are venerated pets and eating their meat is a crime
Imagination is the beginning of all magical operations
(Einstein: Imagination is more important than knowledge)
Erasmus wrote: RELIGION IS THE CULT OF THE INVISIBLE
ERASMUS of Rotterdam (1466-1536)
In all Semitic languages El means God
El-Elyon = The Most High God
El-Shaddai = The Almighty God
Jacob became Israel—The Old Testament Bible: Genesis 32:22—Jacob wrestles with God. 32:27—“What is your name,” the man asked. “Jacob” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob but ISRAEL, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.” 32:30—So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
Eliakim, son of King Josiah, became Jehoiakim
King Josiah (630 BCE) made all the people pledge themselves to the Covenant (2Kings 23:2-3). The scrolls of the Torah were found during renovation of the Temple in Jerusalem. The high priest Hilkiah handed them to Shaphan the scribe who read them to King Josiah.
The symbol for a god was a STAR
How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like The Most High.”
1 KINGS 20:28
The Lord is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys
O Lord, when you went out from Seir, when you marched from the land of Edom, the earth shook, the heavens poured, the clouds poured down water. The mountains quaked before the Lord, the One of Sinai, before the Lord, the God of Israel.
The research is meticulous
Biblical historical writing: the books of Samuel-Kings and Chronicles
Book of Ruth 1:16
“Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
Ruth the Moabitess was the grandmother of Jesse, father of King David and whose son Solomon built the Jerusalem Temple.
New Testament—Letters—2 Timothy 2:8
“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel”—the apostle Paul wrote.
Paul speaks to the Crowd (ACTS 22:17). “When I returned to Jerusalem and was praying at the temple, I fell into a trance and saw the Lord speaking. ‘Quick’, he said to me ‘leave Jerusalem immediately, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’” (22:21)”Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go; I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’”
All religions tell a story—have a message of hope and promise
However, nothing is more readily believed than what—regardless of the truth—meets our wishes and illusions halfway.
THE BRAIN—the sacred generator—envisions invisible realms
If God is a creation of the brain then God’s brain is our brain. It’s the brain that “believes”—not the liver, the heart, the lungs, or the intestines. The brain makes decisions for survival—it is the organ of adaptive behavior—the medium in which THOUGHT “vibrates”.
Wittgenstein: Imagination depends on perception: the echo of a thought. We live in a linguistic universe where reality is what we construct in words.
What is seen in the mind’s eye and what is heard in one’s head is no proof that there exist things which they SEE and HEAR.
A Brief History of Tomorrow
The Great Decoupling—on algorithms (page 328)
Einstein: We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive. The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.
CHANGE IS THE ESSENCE OF LIFE
WHAT IS LIGHT?
Without darkness LIGHT has no definition
Is light the glue that binds the universe—its energy delivery system?
From SCIENCE to GOD
The apparent location of consciousness does not actually have anything to DO with the placement of the brain but depends on the placement of the sense organs. Our EYES and EARS happen to be situated on the head. So our perception (experiencing the world) is in the middle of the head.
IMAGINATION is the beginning of all magical operations
Imagine…that your eyes and ears are transplanted to your knees—how you observe the world from this new advantage point. Your brain is still in your head but your brain is no longer the central point of perception. Is your consciousness in your knees?
We can now CREATE almost anything we dream of
New Testament Gospel of Matthew 24:30—At that time the sign of the SON OF MAN will appear in the sky. They will see the SON OF MAN coming on the clouds of the sky.
Einstein: I fear the day when technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of fools (idiots).
GOD THE IMAGE OF MAN
Philosopher and anthropologist (1804-1872)
WHAT IS GOD?
Ludwig called religion a form of self-deception. For God (himself) is nothing but the essence of man’s imagination and “heart”; to believe that something exists which does not exist. Originally, God was the essence of NATURE. And the source of religion is man’s feeling of dependence “on nature”—its very purpose and END is the destruction of such feeling; the independence from nature (thereby creating the divinity of man).
What is the difference between a god that is not a person and no god at all? (Ronald Dworking)
Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself (Erich Fromm)
Life isn’t about finding yourself; life is about creating yourself (George Bernard Shaw)
Life is made up of time. We live in time.
The Dalai Lama: My religion is KINDNESS
The Language God talks: On Science and Religion
This is a mini-autobiography that the author entwines with reading the TALMUD and interviews with famous scientists—ON—science and religion.
From physicist Richard Feynman he learned that CALCULUS is the language of “the creator God”. We calculate when designing an object or project.
Calculus means PEBBLE
The reader is entertained with the adventures, as told by the author, on—“working on the atomic bomb”.
Physicist Steven Weinberg wrote The First Three Minutes; on the human quest for “order & purpose”. There are talks on the Apollo program and NASA, as well as on Copernicus, Edwin Hubble and Einstein regarding the universe.
In 1953, the discovery of DNA by Francis Crick and James Watson solved the prime secret of life which governs the “structures” of plants, bacteria, mice, elephants and Homo sapiens: of all living things.
Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discussed the cosmic microwave background radiation—solving the prime secret of the universe? Is “this” without a beginning or an end in time, or did “an origin” out of nothing once occur [in the beginning was darkness]?
The book ends quoting PSALM 104—(the wonder of a child, the author calls it)—104:14, He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate, bringing forth FOOD from the earth. WINE that gladdens the heart of man, OIL to make his face shine, and BREAD that sustains his heart (see Genesis1: 11-12)
104:29—when you take away their breath, they die and return to DUST (Genesis 3:19, by the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for DUST you are and to DUST you will return)
In my novel The Blue Mirror I tell the story of creation according to the Sumerians who invented writing 5000 years ago; having told the story orally before settling down to “cultivate plants” (agriculture).
I AM STARDUST
RUMI: When the secret of an atom-of-an-atom will become clear—then the secret of all created things will be clear, and then you will see God.
A PEBBLE (calculus) is a collection of ATOMS of different kinds
How many atoms in a pebble? The pebble is truly a MICROCOSM of the universe.
Science teaches how the heavens go
religion teaches how to go to heaven
MUSIC OF THE SPHERES
Creating sounds into meaningful structures=WORDS
WORDS are the most powerful DRUG used by mankind
We live in a linguistic world where reality is what we construct in WORDS
How to distort notions of what’s real and not real: THE TROUBLE WITH REALITY by Brooke Gladstone; 2017, workman.com
QUID SIT IDEA
If you have an “idea of something”, you must express it: either you say it in proper WORDS or you present the idea symbolically. The VISION of the symbol is powerful.
A PICTURE is worth more than a thousand words
THE STONE(d) AGE
Old Testament – book of Genesis 9:20
Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk.
Book of Genesis 31
So Jacob took a STONE and set it up as a PILLAR. He said to his relatives, “Gather some STONES.” They piled them up in a HEAP. Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha and Jacob called it Galeed.
Laban said to Jacob, “Here is this HEAP, and here is this PILLAR I have set up between you and me. This HEAP is a witness and this PILLAR is a witness that I will not past this HEAP to your side.”
Gobeklitepe --- SANLIURFA ---Turkey
From the town of KARS one can view Mt Ararat, bordering Turkey and Armenia. Sanliurfa is north of biblical Haran.
Old Testament—book of Genesis 6—THE FLOOD
Noah, his wife, three sons and their wives as well as clean and unclean animals and birds entered the ARK he had built according to the instructions of God: to escape the waters of the flood. The Lord then said to Noah: “I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”
7:17—for forty days the flood kept coming on earth and every living thing that moved on the earth perished including all mankind. Only Noah was left and those with him on the ark.
8:4—on the 17th day of the 7th month, the ark came to rest on the mountains OF Ararat (country?) 8:18—Then God said to Noah: “Come out of the ark (everyone and all creatures) and be fruitful and increase in number upon it.”
The broad stones represent female deities and the narrow stones male deities.
Perhaps?—these seven deities are the famous Sumerian ANUNNAKI who determined the destinies of the universe, including mankind.
(Biblical Archaeologist, September 1990)
TREES are BIG WEEDS
Any green-leafed plant generates chlorophyll to convert carbon dioxide into cellulose, starches and sugars. In ancient times a large OAK tree has often been “a center for meetings and worship”.
Old Testament—book of Joshua 24:26—Then Joshua took a large stone and set it up there—under the OAK at Shechem.
Buddha under the Bodhi Tree
GET A GRIP ON YOUR MIND
ATTITUDE – Attitude is everything
Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
- Phra Acharn Chah
Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. So, accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a “bit” of reality—against which they are dashed to pieces.
- Sigmund Freud
Twenty-first century stupa at Benalmadena Costa (Malaga), Spain
Inaugurated October 4th, 2003
Buddha grew up in HINDU India where people worshiped the gods, believed in the law of Karma and rebirth, and salvation from Samsara: the cycle of life and death. Hindus practice cremation.
There is no death for the body, only an exchange of atoms, their changing places and taking different forms is what we call ‘death’. In reality, nothing is born and nothing is dead. [so: recycled atoms=reincarnation—from dust to dust?]
Uppaluri Gopala Krishnamurti (1918-2007)
The MANGO TREE—in ancient times growing in the foothills of the Himalayas—is considered SACRED and is India’s national tree.
World-wide, Hindus celebrate their New Year by lighting lamps/candles. The festival of LIGHT is known as DIWALI.
is considered the world’s FIRST monotheistic religion
The great god AHURA MAZDA is represented by the sacred symbol of
FIRE – TRUTH
It was to be a Cosmic Battle between Ahura Mazda and his ANGELS versus Ahriman the devil: between GOOD and EVIL
Ahura Mazda had twin sons—SPIRITS—Spent Mainyu chose good (truth, justice, life) and Angra Mainyu chose the lie (destruction, injustice, death).
Prophet ZARATHUSTRA (618-541 BCE) was sent by Ahura Mazda to preach that humans are to combat EVIL and increase righteousness by achieving the three principles of: Good Thoughts; Good Words; Good Deeds—and that one’s life on Earth determines the afterlife: whether it will be spent in heaven or hell. Every departed soul had to cross the Bridge of the Requiter—for the good and just it widens to allow easy passage to heaven but for the wicked it narrows to a hair’s breadth and they fall into hell.
Followers of this religion are known as PARSEES (Sanskrit for almsgivers). Prayers are recited in Avestan, an ancient Iranian language. NAVRUZ is the best-known festival as it is the first day of the New Year, timed to the spring equinox.
Zubin Mehta (1936), a Zoroastrian, is a world-famous western classical music director. Composer Richard Strauss wrote a tone poem: ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA based on philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s most popular work.
Louis Appignani, a wealthy atheist, donated $2.2 million to the University of Miami to establish an academic chair “for the study of atheism, humanism and secular ethics”; to eliminate discrimination against atheists—to make atheism legitimate. Upon hearing the great news, Richard Dawkins (author of The God Delusion) said, “It’s enormously important to shake off the shackles of religion from the study of morality”. (Times of India, May 21, 2016)
A UNIVERSE FROM NOTHING --afterword by Richard Dawkins
Proof of God, The Times, Malta, January 13, 2012
Old Testament—book of Proverbs 18:21
The TONGUE has the POWER of life and death, and those who LOVE IT—will eat its fruit.
This history is our western Christian history
(The Hebrew Bible, the Greek Old Testament, and the Greek New Testament)
The Babylonian STORY of the FLOOD
SEVEN SAGES, called ADAPU/born in the sea, emerged after the DELUGE.
These sages were known as APKALLUS. Their body was that of a fish, but a human head had grown beneath the fish’s head. Human feet had grown from the fish’s tail. These mythical beings had a human VOICE.
The POWER of DIVINE SPEECH
UAN/ the light of sky god An/ was the first apkallu. He gave men the KNOWLEDGE of: letters, sciences, and all types of crafts. Uan taught them HOW to found cities, establish temples, introduce laws and measure land. He also revealed them how to grow seeds and collect fruits for food to eat and in general gave men everything which is connected with civilized life. (Adapted from: Adapa and the South Wind, by Shlomo Izre’el).
To SUMER the world owes ALL its basic arts of LITERATE civilized life
FROM THE BEGINNING OF TIME
OUR STORE OF KNOWLEDGE
The Sumerians invented a system of writing but also developed “THIS” into a vital and effective instrument of communication: from word-writing to sound-writing.
NABU, he who wielded the reed pen,
was the inventor of writing. He was the secretary of the gods.
Latin CUNEUS means wedge and FORMA means shape
With cuneiform writing literature progressed—Latin LITTERATURA (alphabet, grammar). This language/script (borrowed by different systems/languages) remained the language of religious and literary culture until the end of Mesopotamian civilization (about 3000 years).
Writing became an instrument of wisdom/power
The Sumerians were a people of unknown origin; their language was agglutinative and monosyllabic. Their most ancient writing was a pictographic script. When they wanted to convey the IDEA of a fish, they drew a fish. The Sumerians proved their ingenuity in their ability to denote ABSRACT IDEAS by the use of SYMBOLS. A star for heaven or a deity; the combination mouth and water for the verb ‘drink’. Great King had two signs—a man and a ‘fly-swatter’—the emblem of royalty.
Land sale contracts were etched in stone—to be kept in MIND (memory)—and were deposited in the temple. Registering transactions and recording surpluses of foodstuffs and quantity/‘numbers’ necessitated them to ‘make’ clay tablets: oblong, square, round, oval or wedge-shaped. These soft unbaked (sun-dried) tablets could be reused by soaking in water. If an ‘obligation’ (loan/work) was ‘released’ (nullified), the tablet was wiped clean—a clean slate/tabula rasa. When a contract expired, the tablet was broken. The texts were written with a sharpened (on a grindstone) handmade REED stylus.
Once tablets were baked in an oven, the durability was unlimited.
THE FEEDING OF THE GODS
The main concern of scribes/priests was the glorification and exaltation of the gods and their deeds. The poet’s literary tools were IMAGINATION and FANTASY.
The working of the world was in the hands and will of the gods.
It was the gods who PLANNED—and man had to follow divine orders
Man was fashioned of clay (like the handmade tablets) and created for one purpose only—to serve the gods by supplying them with food, drink, and shelter so that they might have full leisure for their divine activities.
The priests/scribes were required to read, write, and learn Sumerian—that took many years of education in a school situated within the temple complex: an intellectual center. There were teachers and workshops for preparing tablets and eventually they accumulated a substantial ‘LIBRARY’.
The priests lived ‘of the altar’—from sacrifices. Every sacrifice was a ‘gift’, an offering presented to a divinity for its benefit and pleasure. The temple became an economic power: the sacrificial feeding of the gods; and at times played the role of money-lender (banker). [New Testament-1Corinthian 9:13- Those who work in the temple get their food from the temple. And those who serve at the altar share in what is offered at the altar. 9:14- Those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel]
“You may have a lord, you may have a king, but the man you really have to fear is the tax-collector.”
According to tradition, scribes/priests ‘SANG’ their epics to the gods and the audiences. “When only the gods lived in the universe, they had to toil for their daily bread,” they chanted.
HOW THE UNIVERSE WAS CREATED
The boundless SEA surrounded the universe
The primeval sea-goddess mother NAMMU gave birth to heaven and earth: A mountain whose base was the bottom of the earth and whose peak was the top of heaven. In between—separating heaven from earth—was the moving atmosphere. Out of this atmosphere were fashioned the moon, sun, planets and stars.
Conceived as gods in human form AN (heaven) was the male and KI (earth) was the female. From their union was begotten (air) ENLIL. Enlil separated heaven from earth—and while An carried off heaven, Enlil carried off his mother earth.
The union of Enlil and mother earth set the stage for the organization of the universe—the creation of man, animals, plants and the establishment of civilization.
Enlil’s son, (moon) NANNA, was created from the atmosphere.
The children of Nanna were daughter INANNA and UTU the sun.
O Inanna-Ishtar!—Lady of Heaven,
Daughter of the Moon, beautiful you are!
O Joy of Eanna the House of Heaven,
Child of the Night, beloved Morningstar!
O Inanna-Ishtar!—Queen of Heaven,
Shepherdess of the Igigi, benevolent you are!
O Brilliant One the Torch of Heaven,
Light of all mortals, O blessed Morningstar!
(copyright Olga Pitcairn)
In control of their COSMOS were four ‘creating’ deities:
AN of heaven, ENLIL the air-god, ENKI the water-god and NINHURSAG, the great mother-goddess.
At divine meetings and banquets they took the seat of honor
WHEN THE GODS HAD TO TOIL FOR FOOD,
Enlil and the seven great ANUNNAKI, children of god An, made the IGIGI, fifty junior gods, work—by digging the river and canals on which agricultural prosperity depended. For forty years they toiled, and then they rebelled, confronting Enlil at night when they surrounded his temple proclaiming WAR. Enlil told his vizier NUSKU to take up arms and defend him but Nusku was reluctant. Enlil then ordered him to fetch An down from heaven and Enki as well as the Anunnaki. Enlil told them that the Igigi had come right up to his gates. An suggested that Nusku find out why they were disgruntled.
So, Nusku told the Igigi that An and Enlil wanted to know who the instigator was of this declared war. The Igigi replied that all of them declared war because of their hard work—they suffered distress and felt exploited; they even had destroyed their tools!
Enlil’s eyes filled with tears upon hearing of their hardships and asked An to summon a god and kill him. Well, An ordered the Anunnaki to fetch birth-goddess Belet-ili: Mami/Ninhursag.
Then Enki addressed the gods, saying that Belet-ili should create LULLU. “Let Lullu bear the yoke, let MAN carry the toil of the gods.”
MAMI, midwife of the gods, told the gods that to ‘MAKE THINGS’ was the job of Enki—for he cleansed everything. “Let Enki give me the clay so that I can make Lullu,” Mami said.
Enki revealed that on the first, seventh and fifteenth of the month he would ‘MAKE a purifying bath’. The god would be slaughtered and all the gods would be ‘cleansed by a dipping’. Let Belit-ili mix clay with his flesh and blood that god and man maybe thoroughly mixed in the clay. Let there be a ‘SPIRIT’ from the god’s flesh. Let “IT” proclaim LIVING MAN. The Anunnaki who administer destinies said YES.
The LIFE of the universe was the
Language is not merely a mode of communication it’s the outward expression of an unusual mode of thought symbolic representation.
Language is the doorway into our virtual world
(21st century CHATSPEAK: LOL
So, Enki made a purifying bath. They slaughtered god ‘WE’ who had ‘personality’ (‘farmer/shepherd/slave/scribe’?).
From his flesh and blood Mami mixed clay. She summoned the Anunnaki and the Igigi and they ‘spat on the clay’.
Mami spoke: “You commanded me a task. I have completed it. You have slaughtered a god together with his personality. I have removed your heavy work. I have imposed your toil on man. I have loosed the yoke—I have established ‘freedom’”.
The gods kissed her feet, saying, “You are Mami. Now let your name be Mistress-of-ALL-the gods: Belet-kala-ili.” (Ninhursag: mother of all living things)
Enki and the mother of all living things entered the HOUSE OF DESTINY (DUDU). Enki took the clay in her presence. She recited her incantation, Enki seated before her. After she had finished her incantation, she nipped of FOURTEEN pieces of clay. Seven she put to her right (males) and seven on the left (females). Between them she placed the ‘birthing-brick’ and the cutter of the umbilical cord.
Old Testament—book of Genesis 1; God created man in his own image. The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and the man became a LIVING BEING.
Koran 55:16; He created man from potter’s clay.
Koran 96:1; Recite in the name of your Lord who created man from clots of blood.
Man is matter (clay) activated by the addition of DIVINE BLOOD
To DIE was to return to one’s CLAY
LIVING MAN is a memorial to the SLAIN GOD and his spirit likewise
THE HUMAN RACE MULTIPLIED
and their NOISE bothered the gods
Angry Enlil sent them Epidemic, then Illness, and lastly Drought—resulting in Famine.
Upset, king Atra-Hasis asked Enki for help—as it had been his idea to create Lullu/Man. Enki taught him how to get rid of Misfortune by the ritual of exorcism.
But the NOISE became even louder. Unable to sleep, exasperated, Enlil decided to terminate the human race by sending THE FLOOD: rising rivers and torrential rain. Enki (water-god) was bound by an oath to co-operate. But Enki was super creative. Determined that the Igigi would not have to toil again, resulting in another strike, Enki decided to preserve at least one man (Atra-hasis) and his family by putting them in an unsinkable boat together with what was needed to restore the fauna of the world. He communicated, asking for help, with the REED HUT in which king Atra-hasis lived, and then instructed the king to pull down the house and build with the reed-bundles a boat, making it water tight with pitch. This the king did. Then Atra-hasis explained to the elders of his kingdom that Enki and Enlil were not on good terms and therefore he could no longer live on Enlil’s earth. So he was taking off in his boat to be with god Enki. Atra-hasis and his family embarked with all his possessions, animals and birds.
The FLOOD lasted seven days and seven nights. The HUMAN RACE was wiped out. Ninhursag, who had given birth to the first humans, blamed An and Enlil that the supplies of food and drink for the gods were cut off.
On disembarking, Atra-hasis made an offering for the gods to ‘placate’ them; that they should look favorably on the remnant of humans that survived total destruction.
Enlil was furious that his punishment had again been thwarted. However, he accepted the fact that the human race would continue on earth. But he ordered Enki and Ninhursag to spare him their NOISE and ‘make rules’.
So, to prevent overpopulation, Enki proposed to reduce their life span as well as inflicting infant mortality, infertility among women, and ‘bisexuality’ (homosexual love). Ninhursag suggested that some women should not bear children and become priestesses/nuns—saved for the gods.
[Christian nuns are devoted to god Jesus who was slain on the cross]
During the Isin dynasty (about 1900 BCE), the theme of the FLOOD which wiped out all but a handful of the human race became popular. The story stressed the ‘repopulating’ of the EARTH—conceived as a vast cultivatable field—after the destruction by the FLOOD.
King ‘Ziusudra’—‘prolonged life’ in Sumerian and in Akkadian it was Atra-hasis and Utanapistim (of the Gilgamesh epic!)—ruler of five cities was told that a storm would sweep over all the dwellings: kingship was to be overthrown and the destruction of mankind was due. For seven days and seven nights, destructive winds, gales, swept over the capitals of the country and rocked the huge boat in the high water. The sun came out illuminating the Earth and the Sky. Ziusudra made an opening in the boat and the sun-rays entered. In awe, the king got on his knees before the sun-god. He then slaughtered bulls and sheep.
King Ziusudra was elevated to eternal life—like a god—because he had protected the SEED OF MANKIND.
They settled in an overseas country, in the orient, in…..
HEBREW BIBLE and SCRIPT
To SUMER the world owes ALL its arts of literate civilized life
From the BEGINNING of TIME
The SEPTUAGINT—Old Testament Greek Bible
The Hebrew Bible was translated into Old Greek about 275 BCE. According to legend, there were 70, or rather 72, translators (six from each of the 12 tribes of Israel) who worked in separate cells—in the end all their versions were found to be identical.
The VULGATE—Latin Bible
The Septuagint (Greek Old Testament) and the Greek New Testament were translated into Latin, starting in 382 CE, by Jerome on orders of Pope Damasus.
RELIGION IN HUMAN EVOLUTION
From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age
by Robert N. Bellah
Book of GENESIS 31: 30-35
Laban to Jacob: ‘But why did you steal my gods?’ Jacob replied: ‘If you find anyone who has your gods, he shall not live.’ Laban searched the tents and when he entered Rachel’s tent—she had taken the household gods and put them inside her camel’s saddle, sitting on them—she said to him: ‘Sorry, Dad, that I can’t stand up but I’m having my period.’
Book of 1 Kings 20:28
The Lord is a god of the hills and not a god of the valleys.
ASCLEPIUS and his daughter “Hygiene”
The Greek god of medicine, Asclepius, was the union of a mortal woman with divine partner, the god Apollo, whose motto was ‘a healthy soul in a healthy body’. The mission of Asclepius was not merely to preserve the body, but to strengthen its very reason for existence. By healing the sick, Asclepius actually revived them from near death, and in the eyes of everyone, he was the magician and the soul of the cosmos.
The Delphic Oracle decreed that he was born at Epidaurus; that’s why Epidaurus and its SANCTUARY became the center of the ASCLEPIAN RELIGION.
OLD TESTAMENT—book of Proverbs 18:21
THE TONGUE [Language] HAS THE POWER OF LIFE AND DEATH
[What is your mother tongue?]
NEW TESTAMENT—gospel of John 5:8
Healing at the Pool (Bethesda)
'Get up!' Jesus said to the invalid. 'Pick up your mat and walk!'
THE RISE AND FALL OF ADAM AND EVE
by Stephen Greenblatt
PARADISE LOST (Milton)
The CONCEPT of life and death
A life lived WITH knowledge of good and evil
and a life lived WITHOUT knowledge of good and evil
OLD TESTAMENT—book of GENESIS
1:27—God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
2:22—Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman’, for she is taken out of man.”
3:16—Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.
NEW TESTAMENT—1 Corinthian 11:8
For man did not come from woman, but woman from man, neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.
KORAN 96—Recite in the name of your Lord who created, created man from clots of blood.
KORAN 55—He created man from potter’s clay.
OLD TESTAMENT—book of GENESIS
3:19—By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.
Uppaluri Gopale Krishnamurti (1918-2007).
There is no death for the body, only an exchange of atoms, their changing places and taking different forms is what we call ‘death’. In REALITY, nothing is born and nothing is dead.
OLD TESTAMENT—book of GENESIS
The Fall of Man: 3:3—God did say, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must NOT TOUCH it, or you will DIE.”
3:4-5—“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman, “for God KNOWS that when you eat of it your EYES will be opened, and you will be LIKE GOD, knowing good and evil.”
Gospel of Matthew 20:29
Two Blind Men Receive Sight: “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us! We want our sight!” Jesus had compassion on them and TOUCHED THEIR EYES. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.
1 Corinthian 15:56
The sting of death is SIN and the power of SIN is the LAW.
3:20—through the LAW we become conscious of SIN.
4:25—He was delivered over to death FOR OUR SINS and was raised to life for our justification [Jesus: the new Adam].
THE VEDAS—THE SEARCH FOR LIGHT
Author Frits Staal sheds light on mantras and rituals (sacrificial feasts providing social integration) that contributed to what came to be known as “HINDUISM”.
Indra was the warrior god—Agni god of fire, and Soma the deity of the soma-plant: plant of immortality.
The Hindu temple, as displayed in architecture, sculpture and painting, is a sermon in STONE: eternal and changeless.
This religion (a fire cult) has been around for at least 3500 years. It readily accepts statues of deities (like Jesus Christ) from other faiths which are outside its own pantheon.
The Bhagawad Gita means ‘Song of God’.
It is a handy manual of LIFE
September 12, 2017, Times of India
HINDUISM IS THE ONLY TRUE RELIGION IN WORLD
RSS CHIEF BHAGWAT
Amend Constituion, align it to Indian value system
“Hinduism only true religion in world, those who want to return to its fold are welcome,” Mohan Bhagwat said. “Other religions are ‘just sects’ that emerged from Hinduism.”
And, that people hailing from other sects were ORIGINALLY Hindus who drifted to these sects over the course of TIME….
Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age
Page 494: An evolving social system
“The first constitution of India” described the four orders of varma, caste/class system, the basic structure of Indic society.
Brahmin, Warrior, People, Servants
SHIVA, Lord of the Cosmic Dance
The partition on August 15, 1947 of British India into the mainly Hindu Republic of India (20% religious minorities/2017) and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (96% Muslim/2017) was a milestone in history. The Times of India, November 3, 2016, The Speaking Tree explains Why blasphemy is alien to Hinduism. Quote: Edward W. Said wrote in the New York Times in 1979: Semitic monotheism has something to do with the tribal supremacy prevalent in the region that these three faiths originated from. There were constantly embattled tribes fighting for their respective supremacy.. . . This tribal mentality of complete totalitarianism naturally crept into the formation of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The followers imposed, rather transferred, their ‘one tribe, one chief’ idea upon their god because god is always conceived by human beings. In Islam, juxtaposing any other god with the omnipotent Allah deserves excommunication and is condemned to suffer in hell—in an extreme case, even beheading of the apostate. There is no such frightening condemnation in Hindu belief system.
Hinduism is not a prescriptive religion. It is a reflective religion. It is full of paradoxes and contradictions. What makes it unique is that it does not have a holy book, a message or messenger. One blogger recently described it as an ‘open-source religion’. (The Speaking Tree, Times of India, March 24, 2017)
Hinduism is a way of life: searching for the truth. And SOUND (Aum/Om) is the substance of cosmic creation that occurs throughout the universe.
WHERE DID GOD COME FROM?
You believe there is God or you believe there is no God, you just believe something that you do not know. Belief essentially means that you are assuming something that—YOU DO NOT KNOW.
The supernatural is the product of the brain
WHEN DID RELIGION BEGIN?
“Rock-a-bye Baby, in the treetop
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock …..”
To SEE with his thoughts (images)—and with the LENSES of his MIND (imagination)—MAN CREATED THINGS.
And then MAN MADE them with his HANDS
Religion in Human Evolution: From the Paleolithic to the Axial Age
The AXIS (of the ancient world) in Palestine happened
between 800 BCE and 200 BCE
Book of 1 Samuel 10:5
You will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with LYRES, TAMBOURINES, FLUTES and HARPS being played before them, and they will be prophesying.
The Triumph of the Symbol
Book of Deuteronomy 5
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
You shall have NO OTHER GODS before me
[The Yahweh-alone movement did not mean the denial of other gods, only the obligation not to worship them. Page 299: Religion in Human Evolution]
Navel of the earth
One of the defining aspects of axial culture is the capacity to IMAGINE things differently from what exists.
The AXIS (of the ancient world) in Greece happened
between 800 BCE and 200 BCE
Ancient Greece was a “temple culture”—it was in the temples that Greek art and architecture reached their peak, dominating Mediterranean architecture for nearly one thousand years.
[July 1969, I had the pleasure of watching the moon(landing) from the temple of Poseidon (Neptune) at Cape Sounion]
There was no theocracy under the guidance of a high priest. It was the state that controlled the real estate, the buildings, and the treasures. The true center was the market (agora). The spread of coinage facilitated trade—colonies were established on the Mediterranean coast.
HOMER—this epic poet was the teacher of the Greeks. He composed the ILIAD and ODYSSEY. In six-century Athens these “poems” were “performed” as part of a major festival. The bard may have chanted the tales to emphasize the rhythmic nature of the text.
The ACROPOLIS of Athens and the theater below
Andrew Lloyd Webber (opera)—Oscar Hammerstein (musicals)
20th century composers
THE GREAT DIONYSIA FESTIVAL OF ATHENS
Alphabetic script replaced Mesopotamian cuneiform. External memory—written language—is a prerequisite to construct theories. To think analytically, and combine this with narrative preached by free-floating intellectuals, became the “fruit” for a new Greek culture—a society without a king.
THE BIRTH OF DEMOCRACY
The forerunner of 20th century democracy
PERICLES of Athens, 495---429 BCE
Pericles was the son of distinguished parents. Is mother’s uncle Cleisthenes was the founder of democracy.
Pericles was a gifted diplomat; he had foresight as well as forcefulness and was a firm believer in the sovereignty of the people. He completed the building of the Long Walls from Athens to the Piraeus (port) and launched building numerous temples—the Parthenon is still standing. For fourteen years, he was elected by all citizens as their general. He was able to dominate the assembly and impose his will in domestic and foreign policy.
THE LIGHT OF REASON—entered the stage
The polis was founded on the rejection of monarchy. The deity had become the monarch, the temple the emblem of wealth and power. The development of an inclusive polis religion—centering on sacrificial rites performed at ever more imposing temples (built by Pericles) devoted to the patron deities of the poleis—was the essential precondition for the development of Greek rationality.
The Greeks invented POLITICS—and made political relationships the core of the form of state.
Athenian citizenship was granted only to (free) men (age 18) of Athenian parentage on both sides. Equality of political opportunity under this democracy
was therefore safeguarded. All male citizens were eligible to vote for the city’s magistrates and for the members of a Council of 500 which prepared legislation.
Debate was free and open. There was a growing emphasis on argument/critique in the assembly and in the law courts. Eventually, Pericles enlarged the number and the powers of the people’s courts and introduced a system of state pay which benefited the poorer citizens—enabling them to fulfill political and judiciary functions.
THE PERICLEAN AGE: 445—431 BCE
The Delian League—a confederacy of Greek states under the leadership of Athens with headquarters at DELOS—was founded in 478 BCE after the repulse of the Persians from Greece. Pericles converted the Delian League from an “alliance” to an EMPIRE by planting outposts of Athenian citizens at strategic points on “allied” territory.
THINKING ABOUT THINKING
The launching of a new era in human history:
From a world of “make believe” to “reality”
Greek philosophy expressed reservations about the gods and “their impact on human life”.
THE SCHOOL OF ATHENS
Plato: 427---347 BCE
Aristotle: 384—322 BCE
Philosophy (love of wisdom) is a way of thinking about the world, universe and society. The IDEAS are mostly general and rather abstract. What is an IDEA?
Plato was the founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the western world. The purpose and nature of philosophy is a process of constant questioning and questioning necessarily takes the FORM OF DIALOGUE. Plato’s “SYMPOSIUM” is well-known. He believed in a cosmic SOUL. What is a SOUL?
The POWER of TRUTH: Truth is the daughter of TIME
The theory of TRUTH: defining the FORM (method) of argument that could lead to the truth.
Parmenides—reality versus appearance.
Heraclitus—on paradox and conflict. People have eyes but do not see, ears but do not hear, not comprehending, they hear like the deaf: absent while present.
Aristotle contributed logic and scientific thinking to western philosophy. “Youth is easily deceived because it is quick of hope”.
[Wittgenstein (20th century)—We live in a linguistic world where reality IS what we construct in WORDS]
Socrates (469—399 BCE): I am a citizen, not of Athens or Greece, but of the world. He was the teacher of Plato. Aristotle was Plato’s pupil who, in turn, was tutor to Alexander the Great.
THE GREEK CENTER OF CULTURE
that contributed to the western world
gymnasia, schools of philosophy, medicine, arts and politics
COMING UP: 2018
THE STORY OF MY LIFE