first of all pleasures
CAN THE BRAIN FOOL THE EYES?
A fan asked if I could write, in a nutshell, about Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772), a Swedish scientist and theologian; regarded a mystic and “seer” in his days. In The Blue Mirror I write extensively about the Swedenborgian faith founded by two Methodist clergymen after his death in London.
“Emanuel the Seer” was a senior citizen (56) when he began having visions. He first saw and spoke with Jesus while in The Netherlands celebrating Easter, 1744 (the apostle Paul had his encounter on the road to Damascus).
Emanuel’s “interior sight” (optical mirage?) was opened a year later when through his eyes spirits and angels “saw the world” and called it “the miracle of miracles”. Communication was this way opened between earth and heaven and heaven with earth.
Soon after, Emanuel had an encounter in his London lodgings with a man who said that he was the Lord God—the Creator and Redeemer of the world—and that He had chosen Emanuel to declare to the world the spiritual contents of Scripture; and that He would reveal what Emanuel should write on this subject. Right away, the world of spirits—hell and heaven—was opened to him. .
After this experience—becoming an instrument of revelation—Emanuel’s sexual desires were “removed”. He often practiced “breath-control” (yoga). He suffered from nightmares. He began to interpret his dreams, where mental images became “symbols”. That’s when he started his famous method of “correspondences”. (No doubt, Sigmund Freud would have been most interested)
Emanuel was overly fond of very sweet coffee and tea as well as “snuff”, which he took regularly. He made his living in the mining industry; he inherited mines from his step-mother. At age 35, he got a seat on the Board of Mines in Sweden. Emanuel used his “trained” intellect to interpret his spiritual experiences (especially on the Soul, the divine Light he saw) when in trance.
ANYONE INTERESTED IN SPACE TRAVEL?
The Earths In Our Solar System Which Are Called Planets: The earths in the starry heaven, and their inhabitants; also the spirits and angels there. From things heard and seen.
Heaven And Its Wonders And Hell—From things heard and seen.
I recommend his biography by Signe Toksvig:
Emanuel Swedenborg: Scientist and Mystic. (1948 Yale U. Press) – (1983 The Swedenborg Foundation, Inc. New York City)
Doing research, I got a sneaky idea that Emanuel had read the book OPUS MAGO-CABBALISTICUM ET THEOSOPHIMUS by Georg von Welling (1655-1727), who was Director of Building and Mines for the state of Baden-Durbach (Kassel region), Germany. The men shared the same profession: MINING.
Volume 3, Chapter 3, deals with—On religion, according to the “clear and precise meaning” of Sacred Scripture and on the true Mago-Cabbala.
Chapter 7 deals with—On the New Heaven and the New Earth, as well as the New Jerusalem, etc. (Book of Revelation).
Georg’s “On Eternal Wisdom” is, no doubt, the “prelude” to Emanuel’s idea on this subject (on which he spent considerable time writing).
The eyes are the mirror of the soul
GOD HAS NO GENDER
There is a book with the title Islam for Dummies.
My motto is that the road to success is always under construction. I received a message that I should not wait to strike till the iron is hot but make it hot by striking now. The Blue Mirror is my book on Religion for Greenhorns.
On a right idea of God the whole body of theology hangs like a chain on its first link.
In my opinion, the most interesting religion is SIKHISM (Chapters 22 & 23) because their God has no gender.
JAINISM (Chapter 23) is a religion of love and kindness.
I also like SUFISM, considered a branch of Islam. “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.” I describe their spiritual ceremony (a mystical journey) called SEMA; the spinning Mevlevis –whirling dervishes of Konya, Turkey (Chapter 8). Anyone interested in converting to Islam? Read about the origins of the Caliphate and the Imamate (Chapter 13). I can highly recommend joining the Ismailis (headquarter in Mumbai, India), Sufis per excellence (Chapter 13). The amazing Fatimid family’s present leader is Karim Aga Khan. Toronto (Canada) has a large Ismaili community.
The BAHA’I faith (Chapter 13).
MORMONISM (Church of the Latter Day Saints, Utah) has a touch of Orphism, an ancient movement; they believed that everyone should be a demi-god.
The Jewish KABALLAH/ the ten Sefirot (Chapter 12).
Japanese SHINTO – the Way of the Gods – religion; they worship the sun-goddess Amaterasu.
In a nutshell, I open your eyes to imagine what people believed in the past. PYTHIA, the Oracle of Delphi, Greece, was “world” famous. Her story is in Chapter 16. In ancient times there were three gods of medicine: Apollo, Chiron, and Asclepius (Chapter 17). The forerunners of our modern hospital were known as Asclepiae/healing centers (Chapter 19).
People said that the source of sin was in our mouth (Chapter 19). The serpent spoke with a forked tongue.
Pagan beliefs and customs have been absorbed by Christians. I especially like the Easter egg frolic (relic of Orphism) enacted each year for the benefit of children.
The candles are many but the light is one.
This month (I was born October 9th) I have CAZIMI – inspiration – a vision for a new “present” so to say.
Indeed – truth is the daughter of time. In “messages to those in my past” I had suggested contacting me (author-email).
Well, three weeks ago my unlisted phone rang and, thinking it was Mother,
I answered right away. “Is this the Bucks County Playhouse?” someone asked. I was speechless because,
to begin with, how the person got my number and, secondly, the playhouse phone number does not match mine at all.
This unexpected contact was a thrilling breakthrough and I replied: “Not yet.” (You bet!).
I want to thank the person for asking “Is this the Bucks County Playhouse?”
And, oh, belated Happy Birthday wishes to the lucky one who saw, thanks to me, the light of day 39 years ago, September.
Last week I received a message that I should review a “closed casebook”—examine fresh information.
No longer should I shield those involved in a lamentable episode that happened 25 years ago when I was writing the “forerunner” of
The Blue Mirror with the title The Dynasty That Came Down From Heaven.
You see, God had given me the gift of the pen!
Well, what are you waiting for? By all means get in touch with me. Peace on Earth!
Remember that I can always write about it in my future “juicy memoir.”
If YOU –yes YOU –keep on boycotting (think of Rafe) my novel, be prepared for a showdown.
Frank Wilson liked Chapter 9 so much that he decided to read the story from A to Z.
Angel Wings: a rose I sprouted from a seed.
Men who want to gather for masturbation parties can join the “Vancouver Jax” in the city of Vancouver, Canada. The penis play is for lustful males; naked, they masturbate in unison.
The commercial “Social Playspace” also hosts other events – such as advice by nurses regarding the prevention of transmitted infections and naked yoga sessions – at 8x6, a business run by two local entrepreneurs as a fitness club. Male group sex is the focus; it’s not illegal in Canada. Men 19 and older are welcome. There’s an annual membership and cover charge.
On Thursdays, “Anonymous” is for men only; members are required to wear masks. Another event is “The Junk Yard” specializing in no holes barred sex parties.
Without our memories, who would we be?
As I’m a local author, I have been invited by our Free Library of New Hope/Solebury to attend a dialogue session on learning and fostering community by providing widespread access to books.
A religion cannot become a global faith without BOOKS to teach (Chapter 2, The Blue Mirror)
Summary account of silver for the governor written
in Sumerian Cuneiform on a clay tablet. From Shuruppak,
Iraq, circa 2500 BCE. British Museum, London
Today we “type” our thoughts on the keyboard of a computer at home or at the office but 5000 years ago in Sumer – Mesopotamia/Iraq—writing was done at the temple of a city-state. The city-state of Ur was dedicated to the moon-god. Shepherds rely on the sky for directions by observing the phases of the moon and the stars (astrology is big business). According to the Old Testament book of Genesis (11:31), Abram left Ur of the Chaldeans to set out for Canaan but settled in Haran (on the border of today’s Turkey/Syria). For a shepherd guiding his flock, it’s a long journey from Ur to Haran.
In those ancient times, writing was considered “magic.” The scriptorium at the temple was their learning center – like Harvard and Oxford universities today. It took 10 to 12 years for boys to learn this magic craft of cuneiform writing. They had to have rich parents as tuition was stiff. Personal wealth was accrued in flocks/herds and land producing agricultural food-stuff (wheat, barley, lettuces, onions, leeks, etc). Transactions of buying and selling were held at the temple courtyard (their market place). Necessity is the mother of invention and priests began to issue IOU tablets: Shepherd A owes farmer A three sheep for two bushels of wheat in return. Of course only priests could decipher/read the writing done with a “stylus/reed pencil” on a wet clay tablet (iPad!) and dried in the sun for keep sake.
Once priests became proficient, having extended the “magic symbols”, writing their history—their “past” memories included—became “the” mission. The famous GILGAMESH EPIC was preserved and much more; about incessant rainfall, floods destroying the land; lamentations to the goddess Inanna (Ishtar) to save her suffering worshipers from famine. Chapter 8 of The Blue Mirror narrates the germ of ancient thoughts about deities and their creation of mankind
I would like to add a P.S. regarding sexual mores in those ancient times.
When I lived at the Costa del Sol (Spain), I encountered during one of my solo outings on horse-back a shepherd having “sex” with a sheep. It was especially disgusting because I knew the man; he and his family lived close to where my horse was stabled.
Pagans worshiped many “animal-gods” with which they had sex (the reason is mentioned in Chapter 8). Abraham worshiped one God (only), so these practices were, therefore, outlawed by the Israelites. The Old Testament book of Leviticus (20:15): If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he must be put to death and you must kill the animal.
Jesus was called The Lamb of God (Gospel of John 1:29); his blood was atonement for the sins of this world. “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (New Testament book of Hebrews 9:22).
IMAGINATION is the beginning of all magical operations
A fan wrote me that the description of the “sexy goat story” (Angelica narrating her honeymoon to the bishop) in Chapter 3 of The Blue Mirror reminds him of Chapter 1 of The Kiss where Janine watches her ex masturbating. He likes the way I write and I should create another story with sexy scenes. My third novel, She Had to Plan, he finds boring, good enough for teenagers and housewives.
Well, my fourth story, Neolithic Culinary Delights, is about the first farmers who started The Age of Flour Power. To make him and other voyeurs happy, I can fit in a sexy scene or two in a cave or under the stars; sex has made the world go around and around---.around like a carousel. So, “let’s do it!”
All is well that ends well
I owe Frank Wilson a lot. Thanks to his wonderful commentary, my novel is again on the shelf of the New Hope/Solebury Free Library. For some time the book had disappeared into thin air (smokeless book burning). Readers have again the opportunity to read Chapter 9 of The Blue Mirror. Perhaps their appetites will be whetted, like Frank, and they may want to read the entire novel.
The director of our library put my three books, The Kiss, She Had to Plan and The Blue Mirror, on the shelf for general fiction. And the novel is again featured on the library Author website. I’d like to write a mystery story, The Case of the Filched Novel.
I would like to see the Peter&Paul comedy –Gifts Tempt Even the Gods—on stage at the Bucks County Playhouse and, if Lady Luck waves her magic wand, on Broadway. Why not?!
Messages for those in my past
Doctor Tango – We met at Kithira-Diana’s place n’est ce pas? (Mme Poirot). Please give Proxy at “Limone Fiorita”, enjoying a new lease of life, my heartfelt congratulations. My lips are sealed.
Buddhist Bob – You were smart to exit.
Dante Alighieri – You did your best. Don’t feel bad.
Mary – You and “MJ.W” should go to the Bucks County Playhouse and attend the play: Envy and Spite Boomerang.
And last, but not least--many thanks to my deceased aunt Olga for keeping the ball rolling with her “hints”; so the fuzzy puzzle eventually became “a picture”.
Truth is the daughter of TIME.
You all: feel free to contact me. Peace on Earth!
Veritas vos liberabit.
A fan contacted me --- see welcome page – regarding grand-daughters; it should be corrected. It was done on purpose!
The girls played a pivotal role.
Euripides: Gifts tempt even the gods.
Everyone needs an incentive. Peter disliked Paul; no money on earth could have made him accept Paul as an apostle. When Paul saw the girls, he knew how to coax Peter. ‘Plain girls need large dowries to catch a husband,’ he says. ‘A shame yours aren’t beautiful.’ And when Peter’s wife enters the “deal-making”, she does so her granddaughters will have fat dowries. She would cooperate with Paul in order to get her share of “gifts” (money). Even today, in many cultures dowries are important.
From Agatha Christie I learned how and when to put the “clue”.
Readers can think for themselves, Frank Wilson wrote in his commentary.
If the girls had not entered the “picture”, what would the incentives have been for
Peter and his wife to accept Paul as an apostle of Jesus Christ?
What’s your idea? Please let me know.
I had a most wonderful time creating the Peter and Paul comedy story that includes Peter’s wife and grand-daughters. This tale was hatched when I read Galatians- 1:18- ‘After three years I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days’.
Fifteen days?! This little tidbit made me think hard. In those days it was etiquette/custom to stay just three days. Even today we say: Guests and fish stay only three days fresh. So I began to plot; I became a female Sherlock Holmes.
My research regarding the Jerusalem Temple created a Eureka moment, and that’s why I gave credit to the Maccabaeus family; thanks to them the Jews celebrate Hanukkah.
Another festival that still is celebrated – and especially popular in South America and Germany – is carnival. Long ago, at a holy shrine at Abydos, a royal cemetery, Egyptians celebrated “The Death and Resurrection of Osiris”, god of the dead. Ritual is religion in action and this was a mystery play, a fertility festival. Temple sex was considered sacred and women whose husbands were impotent or sterile had an official opportunity to get impregnated. Today, carnival is held before Christians start Lent in preparation for Easter.
Olga and I have been corresponding off and off since I was The Inquirer’s book editor. Recently, we started corresponding again, and she told me about The Blue Mirror and hoped that someday I might read Chapter 9, which I take it she regards as central to the novel. So I got a copy on my Kindle and did precisely that. I’m glad I did. I found it to be a very good presentation of evidence and argument in support of a point of view regarding the early development of Christianity that is both factually sound and imaginative. It doesn’t just follow through on Paul’s admonition to think on these matters. It also reminds the reader of what those things are – specific, crucial details that from casual usage over time have been worn down to cliché.
The chapter demonstrates how such matters can benefit from a conversational presentation, and the fictional dimension underscores the ambiguity of the subject. Antonio is nothing if not confident, his evidence is sound and his arguments well-framed. The young woman he is talking to is very taken with him and with what he has to say.
But he is not only a character in a fiction, he is also spinning a tale, about how Paul managed to persuade Peter that Gentiles ought to be allowed to become followers of Jesus without first becoming Jews. Antonio makes it into a domestic comedy, with Peter’s wife brokering the deal. Antonio’s irreverence, by being so down-to-earth, makes his account seem all the more plausible.
In fact, it is because this chapter works as fiction that it works as exposition. Fiction can open a door to discussion and, by means of ambiguity, leave it open. Antonio touches upon a good deal more than what was decided at the Council of Jerusalem. There is the business about the Egyptian god Osiris and the notion of resurrection, which reminds the reader that Judaism almost certainly owes something to the Egyptians who had enslaved them. Similarly, Antonio’s reference to the Septuagint should bring to mind thoughts about the connection between Judaism in Alexandria and Jerusalem.
Perhaps the most interesting exchange in the chapter comes at the very end: “It seems that our ancestors had much common sense,” our heroine says. “They used it,” Antonio replies.
Yes, our ancestors were responding to the world as they experienced it, and they did not experience it from a modern scientific viewpoint. Chapter 9 works because it encourages us to see matters from our ancestors’ point of view, rather than to see that point of view as a benighted version of ours.
Antonio’s point of view is persuasive, but, like all such points of view, including my own, not decisive – the deciding factor is whatever catalytic agent serves to trigger an act of faith. This Chapter 9 introduces the reader to all sorts of fresh perspectives, but doesn’t really insist on any of them, leading the reader to think on them independently.
Great news for THE BLUE MIRROR:
Frank Wilson was so intrigued with Chapter 9 that he intends to read the novel from A to Z.
A religion cannot become a global faith without books to teach. And because the bishop had read all the books, he knows everything there is to know about God.
Frank Wilson (book critic of the Philadelphia Inquirer) has accepted my request to give his commentary on Chapter 9 of my 707-page novel THE BLUE MIRROR. This chapter deals with the early rise of Christianity; the Maccabaeus family of Jerusalem was instrumental.
I read that creativity is the ability to grasp the essence of one thing, and then the essence of some very different thing, and mash them together to create some entirely “new thing”. This is what Chapter 9 is all about.
Message from Albert Einstein for our planet:
We shall require a substantially NEW MANNER OF THINKING if mankind is to SURVIVE.
“My oracle throne”
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere
This story is about the invention of religion. When hunter/food gatherers began to farm – plant their own food – and eventually settled into cities; where the center of “civilization” was the temple. This period has “affectionately” been called the “Age of Flour Power”.
From the Stone/Bronze/Iron Ages until our 21st century – the Scientific and Industrial Age – upheavals in lifestyles have been the norm. We no longer are agrarian societies ruled by ancient decrees/laws, and our familiar institutions are rapidly crumbling.
Topic for 2014:
Climate change involves lifestyle changes.