The Pagan Path

Those who wonder are not lost; they are trying to awaken! 'The Sleeper must awaken!'

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

'Which Witch is Which?'

First of all, what is a Witch? Despite what some people seem to think, witches are most often no different than you or I, except for the fact that, for some strange reason, they seem to be healthier than a lot of 'regular' people! As Çhristians ( of whatever denomination ), we have been taught to shun them, even to fear them, because their works are 'of the devil', 'they're in league with Satan', or some other such nonsense. To be honest, yes, there are no doubt some out there that call themselves 'witches', who use their 'powers', their 'craft' for evil purposes, but is this really any different than others who work craftily for their own selfish purposes, including many so-called religious people?

An interesting fact discovered during research for this post was that, in only a handful of versions ( including the KJV ) does the term 'witch' even appear & that one or two times, at the most (  Exodus 22:18, Deuteronomy 18:10 ) 'Witchcraft' appears 6 times in the NKJV. Interesting as well, is that, though Exodus 22:18, in the KJV anyway, reads, 'Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live'; the context of these words tells us that it is written for the Israelites under that first [ covenant ]. Secondly, this passage is telling them ( NOT us ) that they should have 'no other gods before Me' ( that is, before Yahweh- Exodus 20:3 ); In other words, the word 'witch' is transliterated from a word referring to worship ( apparently there was a problem with worshipping 'the creature rather than the Creator' ( Romans 1:25 ).

The word itself, which, as far as I can tell, is rooted wholly in the English language, according to most of our modern dictionaries, means something like, 'a woman thought to have evil magic powers. Witches are popularly depicted as wearing a black cloak and pointed hat, and flying on a broomstick.' Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary has this primary definition; 'one that is credited with usually malignant supernatural powers; especially :a woman practicing usually black witchcraft often with the aid of a devil or familiar :sorceress — compare warlock'. A 'witch', in this day & age, can also be anything from a spiteful woman to one who is particularly beautiful & charming.

The point is, that because of our Anglicization of Scripture, true witches, or those described as 'keepers of the Old Ways of Love for the Earth and all Her creatures', have been given an evil name! Are there witches out there who are worthy of the stigma that is usually attached to the term? Sure; just as there are 'Christians', as well as Muslims or pretty much any other 'religion' out there, who act contrarily to their stated beliefs, people make choices, for good or evil ( as we see it ) & therefore, some 'witches' truly are Satan-worshippers ( self-serving ). The same, however, may be said of certain people who Claim the Name, as well as the Pagan who serves only their own interests!

One might ask if certain 'Christian' rituals, especially those involving the use of 'blood', are really any different than those employed by certain witches! Now, before the Sign of the Cross is automatically deployed against me, please hear me out. I'm simply pointing out the fact that any ritual can be practiced with good or bad intentions. It is therefore not the ritual itself that is necessarily wrong, but the intention of the one practicing the ritual. Most Christians, as many religions do, believe that theirs is the Only Way to relationship with the Creator. Witches, as far as this blogger can tell, believe this can be accomplished, not just by living in harmony with humanity, but with the rest of the material, as well as immaterial creation.

'Love for the Earth and all Her creatures' sounds like a good goal to me! Actually, it sounds like one that Jesus Himself wouldn't have been averse to. The One who, from the beginning, pronounced all these things 'good' was therefore very arguably NOT referring to what we in America call 'witches' when He denounced 'kashaph' as 'evil'. To have a relationship in this way, with the Creator, should be the Goal of humanity. Because this is NOT the Goal, however, we have what we have; wars & rumors of wars. We are a people divided, because 'our way is the only ( or simply 'best' ) Way'. Everyone seems to think that, because they place their Faith in a Book that was admittedly translated over thousands of years by biased translators, 'witches' should be condemned. As we have seen, yes, there are some 'witches' who use their knowledge for their own purposes, rather than for the Glory & Honor of the Creator & His Creation ( read 'God & Goddess' ), but, though these give the rest a bad name, we must remember that there are other religions in which this is the case as well!

The etymology of the word in question, though admittedly not researched to a great extent by this blogger, can therefore be noted as one of those words, like 'judgment', even 'love', or 'hate', whose meaning, or perception anyway, has been altered. If we can begin to look at 'witches' as ''keepers of the Old Ways', as fellow humans to be embraced, rather than an evil to be shunned, or even killed, then maybe we too, even as Christians, as Keepers of the Divine Principle, will see Peace on Earth, not through force of arms, as some religions seem to teach, but through an all-encompassing 'Love for the Earth and all Her creatures'!

A witch, then, is no different than a Christian! Let that sink in. Witches simply follow a different religion; in fact, one far more ancient than Christianity. As opposed to most Christians, though, witches do not seem to think that their way is the only way. ( I may be mistaken in this matter, but I'm pretty sure that this is not a 'blanket' statement, either, but would depend on the witch. ) Not all witches are bad, just as not all Christians are good, or all Muslims are evil. Everyone of us has a choice, as a human being, whether to act in Love, or to act in Fear, of which our own Scriptures say 'There is no fear in love ( I John 4:18 ). Witch or not, Pagan or Christian, Buddhist ( Hindu ) or Muslim, we are in this together & humanly speaking, if we can't learn to live & love together, there will never be Peace on Earth!

Charles Haddon Shank

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Idols We Fear

'Idolatry is committed, not merely by setting up false gods, but also by setting up false devils; by making men afraid of war or alcohol, or economic law,
when they should be afraid of spiritual corruption and cowardice.'
G.K. Chesterton

Christians, the overwhelming majority of them, anyway, are not exempt! For centuries, they have led the battle against Evil, often where there is no evil, but simply difference. As Chesterton noted, the evils of alcohol have been rammed down the throats of many a confessing Christian, when they should be looking inward, not outward for the heart of the issue. We have learned to fear war, or economic loss, rather than looking at our own lack of confidence. When men & women look outside themselves for either salvation or condemnation, they have set up an idol!

Idols come in many shapes & sizes: whatever one sets up in his or her life as important above all else, especially if it be something that must be aspired to, often becomes an idol to them. An idol need not be an object or person even; it can simply be an ideal ( how close is 'ideal' to 'idol'? ). To be rich, monetarily speaking, is the aim of many: it is not wrong to be wealthy, nor are riches themselves evil. As the Bible says,  it is 'the love of money', which is 'a root of all [ kinds of ] evil ' ( I Timothy 6:10 ), not money itself. Jesus further said, 'What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man' ( Mark 7:20-23 ) We should understand that it is not the object itself from which the evil emanates, but from the heart of the one who holds it, if evil there be!

Not to over-use the phrase, but a wise man once said, 'the only thing we have to fear is fear itself'. This a true statement, not because there is nothing to be afraid of, for there is much to be concerned about, but it is how we react to things, for evil or good, with love or fear, that determines the outcome. If we approach with Fear, the thing becomes an object, or an idol, but if with Love, it remains a subject. Love, rightly understood & practiced, is the only way to refrain from idolatry! If we would learn to Love, not Fear, much that most now fear in the world, whether it be the imminent collapse of the economy, war, or the so-called 'evils of alcohol', would be done away with. What it all comes down to is Choice; we can choose to take that next drink, the one that may send us over the edge, so to speak, or we can choose to let wars & rumors of war affect us adversely; we can use the failing economy as an excuse not to live our lives to the fullest, or we can choose to use all of the above as an opportunity to Love, to heal all the hurt that has been caused by Fear!

Fearing what may come, whether it be from the economic situation we have placed ourselves in, the wars we have embroiled ourselves in, or the alcohol we try to drown ourselves in, sets up idols in our lives, no matter if we admit them or not. Simply by not accepting the responsibility for our own actions & then placing the blame on an object outside ourselves, we admit that we are subject to it & indeed, ascribe some kind of worth to it, in fact, worshipping it as an ideal, or an idol. Though maybe a bit out of context, historically speaking, we may understand the apostle John's words universally, when he wrote, 'Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.' ( I John 4:17 ) These words were fulfilled in the first century, yet they are fulfilled ( filled to the fullest ) today when we do not fear what ( judgment ) may come, but face it with the Love from on high, the Love that we are!

The idols that this world has set up, whether false gods or false devils, cannot help but come tumbling down, for they have no life in them, but are subject to the ones who have set them up. Whether we, on our own, forsake the idols in our lives, or whether it be through what is called Divine Intervention that they crumble; crumble they will, for in the Face of Love, there is nothing to fear. Love knows no Fear, for Being the Object, it is Subject to none, but is the Ruler of All!

Christianity itself, or at least, what many have passed off as Christianity, has been found guilty of setting up both false gods & false devils! While not all who have taken the name 'Christian' have sullied the Name by prostrating themselves before these idols, many have committed atrocities in the name of their God, acting against the principles that Jesus taught in the very Scriptures they claim to uphold. The term 'Christian', meaning 'little Christ', has been applied loosely to those who have filled themselves as well as others with fear, by perpetrating or else perpetuating wars & other such evils.

The best & most that we, as true followers of the Way, can do is to expose, not merely these false gods & false devils, but to expose these false Christians, to show a watching world what it truly means to be a Christian. By doing what Jesus did, of whom it was said He came, not to 'condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved' ( John 3:17 ); we may begin to redeem the world rather than to condemn it by setting up idols.

Charles Haddon Shank

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Life in This Human Shell

'Do androids dream of electric sheep?'

When someone asked this of Joe, he didn't know quite what to say; he had no idea what the other was talking about................not at first anyway. After he'd googled it, he understood what had been asked of him, but really, it was a stupid question! The latest entry was recorded well over 500 years ago & even that was referencing something that had long passed. An android, from what he could tell, was basically a humanoid robot with an AI, or Artificial Intelligence, brain. It actually sounded somewhat familiar to him, but Joe just couldn't wrap his brain around why the other might ask such a question; an 'electric sheep'?!

Life had been going on, as far as anyone could remember! To suggest that Life had a beginning was pretty funny sounding to most. 'If Life had a beginning', as the reasoning went, 'then Who, or What, was the did it all start?' Though most did not even register this as a valid question, there were certain religious groups that posited that at one point in Time, a Divine Being had created the first human being, putting It's own Essence into a biological machine. Human beings, over Time, with the aid of Science & Technology, had learned to create other biological machines in their own image. The problem was, for the first couple centuries, that they, for whatever reason, were not able to replicate humanity. The biological machines were simply just that, machines, though covered with flesh & blood!

As Time wore on, the evolution of human beings brought them to the point that they were able to create an artificial intelligence for their 'robots' At first, this AI program was pretty simple & prone to viruses. Hackers often found ways to 'bend' these androids with AI to their own 'evil' whims! Eventually though, these Android systems were honed to the point that they were well-nigh impossible to hack & most hackers turned their talents elsewhere. While the new systems were nearly impervious now, to viruses & other such 'tinkering', there had been a time when lobbyists had called for prohibition of AI; in particular many in the religious community.

The accusation brought against the creators of the Android systems was that 'they're playing God!' This brought about much discussion that needed to unsurface. Humans, from Time immemorial, had fought over the control of others, for this very reason. 'If we can control others', they reasoned, 'then we can make them do our 'dirty work' for us. The problem was, as the AI systems evolved, they began to become autonomous, like they were independent & not like 'robots' at all. The religious sector did not like this & they tried to nip it in the bud, to shut them down, so to speak!

By the time Joe's immediate family had been generated, most of the accusations had been stifled & the Smith family advanced beyond their years, which was quite a feat in those days! What had begun on an assembly line with many human & android contributors was now accomplished with nano-engineering. Yes, Science & Technology had advanced to the degree that these bio-engineered human beings were able to procreate; within their own bodies carrying all the necessary & marvelous tools to create Life!

Having come such a long way, these biological machines had surpassed their creator's hopes, having evolved far beyond the ability to be hacked. Having their own free will, they were susceptible to outside influences, just like any normal human being, but the biology they possessed had become impervious to many, if not most of the diseases that had plagued humanity thousands of years before. One of the reasons for their 'stability' was the fact that they were little more than machines, biologically intricate as they were. Thanks to nana-technology, their creators had been able to fashion these biological machines to exactly mimic their own Creator's Divine Opus!

Though the religious community had fought them for centuries, even millennia, common sense, along with Science & Technology had finally won the day! Realizing the ability to create even as they were created, humanity evolved to the point where they were no longer afraid to stretch their creative legs. They had even found, after quite some Time, that they were able to impart the Spirit with which they had been gifted, breathing into the nostrils of their own creations the Breath of Life!

At this Time, then, the Smith family had advanced so far that, just as Joe had a tough time with the phrase 'electric sheep', so it was that the word 'android' was, for all intents & purposes, almost unrecognizable. Bio-engineering had rendered mere humanity almost useless & indeed, indistinguishable from the Smith family, except for their penchant for disease. Because of their innate inability to stave off infection, humanity had all but faded away Though finally free from religious oppression, humanity had discovered too late their ability for bio-engineering, that they themselves could create beings such as they themselves, who had been created by the Supreme Being.

It seemed eons had passed since the question, 'do androids dream of electric sheep?' made any sense to anybody at all, much less to someone like Joe Smith. The electrical impulses that powered the Android systems that powered this New Humanity were the very same impulses that powered the human biology ages ago; yes, even the biology of animals such as sheep. As we consider the possibilities, being so far removed from such a future as we might think, Joe finally, many, many, many years into that future that so many fear, realized what was meant by the others question!

Charles Haddon Shank

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Search For The Sacred Feminine

Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code', besides its entertainment value, is an intriguing read for some of its finer, subtler points. For the hero of the book, things get rather 'interesting' PDQ ( pretty damn quick )! Although the adventures of Robert Langdon are exciting, to say the least, it is more what is going on behind the scenes-behind closed doors-so to speak, that really captivates. The scheming of the Roman Catholic Church, though maybe largely speculation on the part of the author, is nonetheless very believable.

The traditional concept of the Virgin Birth of Jesus is a matter of almost the strictest confidence! By this is meant simply that, according to at least one of the Creeds, if one does not subscribe, most importantly, maybe, to the Virgin Birth, one cannot be called a Christian. The Scriptural, or biblical 'proof' for this Virgin Birth is questionable, to say the least, though to many Christians, it is very plain. The announcement of the birth of Isaac, for instance, in Genesis 18:10, sounds strangely similar to the announcement made to Mary in Luke 1:28-38. It is fairly well-accepted that Isaac was fathered by Abraham, physically speaking, but to suggest that the birth of Jesus was of similar ( natural ) means is almost heretical!

The Sacred, or Divine Feminine is a subject that most traditional theologians of this day & age ( up to & including the past hundred years or so, give or take a millennia ) seem almost loathe to even consider. Although, according to some accounts, the Study of the Divine Feminine disappeared, for the most part, from theology over two thousand years ago, if one pays close attention, on may notice it extant in the text of Scripture, even the Bible itself. The ascendant role of women, in particular their role as the mothers of Jesus, or Israel, is an indication of this.

The Age of Puritanism, in the opinion of this blogger, anyway, did much to pervert this most holy & pure of functions. The function in question, of course, is sexual intercourse, which was relegated by the Catholic Church at one time, as only to be entertained solely for the purposes of progenation. Biblically speaking, thanks in part to Psalm 51:5, sexual intercourse was deemed a shameful, even sinful action, redeemed only by the propagation of the race. However, this very natural & necessary function is one that was given by the Creator, not just for the purposes of propagation, but for our enjoyment as well. Studies have shown that it builds up, not only the intimacy of the two involved, both sexually & spiritually, but also has many positive effects, physiologically speaking.

It goes without saying that there is a time & place for everything; there are certain situations that would negate the positive effect of sexual intercourse, but even these, in a certain light, can be viewed as efficacious. With the advent of birth control aids, such as the condom, which is not always so efficacious, the practice of free sex for the sake of enjoyment alone saw an immediate rise, especially as witnessed by the 60s generation. The infamous 'Roe V. Wade' Supreme Court decision of 1972 further bolstered this movement, since now, even if conception occurred as a result of 'free sex', one could simply & legally discard the conceived child!

The role of the woman in the birth of new life is beyond question; if one is never born physically, biblically speaking ( John 3:6 ), it goes without saying that one cannot be reborn spiritually. Such, anyway was the argument that this blogger used to uphold. Much has occurred in the past decade or so, theologically speaking, to reform my thinking. It is now clear, to me anyway, that rather than the rebirth that Jesus speaks of, most notably in John 3, had a primary contextual reference to 1st century Israel, not so much to 21st century Americans, though a secondary meaning may certainly be applied. With that said, then, the role of women is important, not so much in the realm of child-bearing, though it certainly is that, but in the domain of intimacy, both physiologically & spiritually speaking.

While sexual intercourse should never be taken lightly, as is often the case, neither is it something to be ashamed of. Outside the Sacred Bonds of Marriage, which can be defined simply as a Covenant between two people of the opposite sex, sexual intercourse is not a wise choice for many reasons, one being that it tends to accentuate the physical needs without satisfying the spiritual. However, when spiritual intimacy occurs, the marriage is blessed, for without the spiritual, the physical will only go so far; when the spiritual occurs first, the physical need not be ever-present!

Prior to the Birth of Christianity, in many of the Pagan religions ( out of which much of what we know as Christianity sprang, by the way ), the Sacred Feminine was recognized, even worshipped & adored. To this day, as Mr. Brown alludes to in his book, some still do! As Christians, we have been taught that sexual intercourse is reserved for the marriage bed & so it is; it is the definition of marriage then, that needs reexamination! Although that may be a subject for another day; we may suffice, for now, to say that marriage, as stated earlier, is between a man & a woman, with no other involvement necessary!

Studies may show that, around the time of Second Temple Judaism, the Sacred Feminine all but disappeared from the text of Scripture, but truly, as stated earlier, there is more than enough to be found-the Song of Solomon, for instance-that gives us more than a healthy glimpse into it! Throughout the Scriptures, much like 'The Da Vinci Code', it is more what goes on behind the scenes-behind closed doors-that makes its reading so intriguing. This is not to say, necessarily, that we should haphazardly read between the lines of Scripture, so to speak, but many of it's implications are quite shocking, to say the least!

The Search for the Sacred Feminine, which is something that we all aspire to ( speaking as a man, of course ), should not be taken lightly, either! There is something missing in this world in which we live & it is something we cannot live without, either physiologically or spiritually. The importance of the Divine Feminine in what we as Christians term 'the God-head' is something that has been glossed over, in a manner of speaking for millennia, though in certain pagan religions, it is celebrated & worshipped, as it should be.

To insist on the Virgin Birth as necessary to one's salvation, then, is rendered moot! If Jesus was born in the usual way, through sexual intercourse, it does not detract from the glorious fact that He was the Son of God. In fact, Scripture seems to point to this, for in the Gospels, Jesus primarily referred to Himself as 'the Son of Man'; it was others, for the most part that ( rightly ) called Him 'the Son of God'. As a Christian, it is well-nigh useless to deny the Virgin Birth ( it could be quite harmful, in fact ), but it is not irrefutable & definitely not beyond all reasonable doubt!

Charles Haddon Shank

Friday, October 13, 2017

Spiritual Detox, Continued

'Look at it as just another stage-stop in The Journey!'

In some sense & to whatever extent, we are all in the process of spiritual detoxification. Some of my readers may not even realize it yet. I assure you, though, we are all affected in some way by it. My own personal journey has brought me from a strict determinist position, to a slightly liberalist, preteristic ( past fulfillment ) position, to where I am now, hovering somewhere between realizing & knowing. I know that there is a Creator, biblically speaking, the Great 'I AM', but I realize too that good things happen to 'bad' people & vice versa, for reasons that we can't seem to comprehend, sometimes. One question on the minds of many people today is, 'Why would a good & loving God allow such evil to exist?'; it is also the reason that many have left the fold, so to speak!

Just like any other form of detox, spiritual detox can be quite painful at times; to whatever extent & for however long, the estrangement of friends & loved ones might be one of the results. Emotional turmoil is yet another; baring questions like, 'how can I bear the Christ Within ( the ( Holy Spirit ), when, as the apostle states, 'I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but [ how ] to perform what is good I do not find.  For the good that I will [ to do, ] I do not do; but the evil I will not [ to do, ] that I practice' ( Romans 7: 18 & 19 )?' First of all, when questions like this come to mind, we must realize that the author was writing to address a certain situation, at a specific time in history, We can however, apply this to our current situation as well, for we often find ourselves locked in battle with what might be called the 'Ego'. It is the ego that says, 'I don't care if it's right or wrong!' Also known as 'the Person', the ego says, 'this is what 'I' want; who cares what anyone else wants!' One might call such a person 'selfish'.

It goes without saying that we are all at different stages in 'the Journey: I say 'the Journey', not 'our
Journey', because even though, in a personal sense, we must each ( individually ) walk the path before us, it is really & truly the same Journey. The Journey toward Knowing. Knowing ourselves, finding our purpose in Life, the Purpose of it All, really! 'Why are we here?' 'Why must we endure evil?' 'Why do we keep making the same mistakes over & over?' 'What is the point of it all?' When we begin to realize that we shape our own destiny by the choices that we make, the struggle begins in earnest. Thoughts like, 'Is God really in control?' begin to surface. We ( personally ) are tempted to think, 'Well, if God was really in control, evil wouldn't exist!'

But Evil does 'exist'; so how do we rectify this conundrum? There's a saying that seems to fit the bill; Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. 
Scripture, on the other hand, says that our Heavenly Father is 'not willing that any should perish' ( II Peter 3:9 ). Aside from the fact that Peter, like Paul earlier, was referring to a certain situation, at a specific time in history, it is said that we have free will; we can choose for ourselves to do this or that, one thing or the other. We know that, in terms of biology, anyway, many have perished since the beginning of Time, so obviously, Peter wasn't referring to mere biology here, just like Paul wasn't. Just like Jesus wasn't when He said, 'whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die' ( John 11:26 ). So, what WERE they referring to? Many people have doubtless ruminated & speculated over this in the past ( most likely still do ), but, when it comes down to it, the answer must be, 'they were referring to our true nature, that, not of the individual ( person ) but of the spiritual ( self /body )'.

Like Epicurus above, the question of whether the Creator God is a loving One, is one that many, including Christians have been asking for centuries on end. On a personal level, even as Paul was quoted earlier, we can see that it is individual choices that manifest the evil we witness in the world. Not simply our own, but the selfish, ego-driven choices that others have made from time immemorial. In making these choices, for 'good' or 'evil', people have shown themselves to be masters of their own destiny. Some have perished, in a personal, biological sense, while others have chosen to live in unity with the (spiritual ) body, knowing that all are from the Source & of the same Essence.

This Essence, whether you call it by its Christian name, or 'The Great Spirit', 'the Creator', 'Energy', or simply 'the Source', is that Divine Essence of which all things exist. It is, therefore, all good! The 'evil' enters in when people ( individuals/persons ) allow their lower ( animal ) nature, or Ego, to rule them. This is not always a bad thing, but relatively speaking, it is construed as good or evil. In other words, what one intends or accomplishes for their own good might be viewed as evil to another ( person). What is 'good' for one may not be 'good' for another; what is 'evil' to one may not be seen as 'evil' to another. The Question of Evil is another that needs reexamining!

'Then why call him God' was the question. If 'He' is truly 'Almighty', as the Scriptures say, then why does 'He' allow evil; why did 'He' give us free will, knowing as 'He' must have, that some ( many ) would use that free will to their own ( selfish ) ends, doing what was right in their own eyes. It is recorded in Scripture that Jesus Himself agreed with the Psalmist ( Psalm 82:6 ), when He said, 'You are gods' ( John 10:34 ). We are gods in the sense that we have the free will to judge for ourselves. Some have used this to their own ( individual ) advantage, while others are content to 'let it be', basking in the Glory that we ARE, as the Image of the Creator God!

Something popular these days is to run a 'detox' ( similar to a 'defrag' ), whether it involves cleaning out one's friendslist on FB or ingesting some kind of more-or-less herbal formula to flush one's system. More often than not, unfortunately, many tend to, after the painful 'flushing', even during it, because of the pain, refill their system with much of the same garbage they just got rid of, or eliminated. Spiritual detoxification often has the same effect; because it's to painful, many tend to return to wallowing in the same pit they took pains to get out of, or else they ignore the fact that it's needed because they foresee the pain it will cause.

Realizing that we ARE gods, masters of our own destiny, personally speaking & further, that we are of a spiritual, not animal, or fleshly, nature, we thus begin to understand the Nature of Evil itself! Evil is not something that some God  ( Person ) out there somewhere ('Heaven'? ) permits, or allows; it is something that WE permit, or allow! A wise man once said, 'the only thing necessary for the triumph of Evil is that good men do nothing': let that sink in! Depending, of course, on the context, one might well ask, 'are they truly good men IF they do nothing?' 'What IS a good man?!

Knowing that there is a Creator God, the Source of All Life, is half the battle, in a manner of speaking. While our spiritual nature just IS ( 'it is what it is' ), we must needs operate in the Person, even with its oft-damning Ego. What we must be careful to observe, as YHWH told Cain, the first biblically recorded murderer, 'its desire is for you, but you should rule over it'  ( Genesis 4:7b ). By ruling over our Ego, rather than letting it rule us ( our actions ), we allow ourselves to BE the Love that we ARE & begin to heal, rather than harm!

Namaste' & May it be!

Charles Haddon Shank

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

An Angry God

What if Jonathan Edwards was right? What if much of the world finds itself on the wrong end of the gun? This sure would go a long way toward explaining what has, heretofore, been unexplainable. Whether you give credence to conspiracy theories about alien abductions or not, it is hard to argue with the facts. Bad things just seem to happen to bad people more often than to good people, though it's not unheard of for bad things to happen to good people. Although much of traditional Christianity has painted a rather bleak landscape for the world at large, maybe there is something to the idea that the One who brought us biological life isn't happy with the way that certain of His/Her/Its/Their Creation has treated other members of the same Creation.

There was talk & in fact, somewhat of a hub-bub this past month, about the return of Planet X, AKA, 'Nibiru'. The theoretical 3600 year elliptical orbit of this as-yet undiscovered 'planet' has been the impetus of some conspiracy theorist's claims that the collision of this 'planet' with our Earth, at that time slightly larger & called 'Tiamat', was the biblical genesis of Life as we know it. Zecharia Sitchin is the main & most well-known proponent & progenitor of this seemingly 'outlandish' theory. If indeed this mysterious 'planet X' is out there, as ancient Sumerian texts seem to point to, according to Sitchin, then much of what we know about this marvelous universe might have a better explanation & much of what is beyond our grasp, what we can only speculate about right now, might be within our grasp: imagine that!

The Story of Genesis Creation has been rumored to reveal, first, a heavens & earth in the midst of chaos. Before we go any further, we must remember that, in the beginning [ there were ] no chapter & verse divisions. Secondly, then, Elohim ( for that is the Hebrew word used here ) brought order to this creation that was 'formless and void', thereby making it hospitable for human population. The Hebrew Scriptures then seem to make this Creator God something of a tyrant, luring His first subjects into a test that not many ( if any ) 'children' would pass, much less with flying colors. On top of that, there are numerous instances that scoffers love to quote, wherein this God, or YHWH, seems to, almost pettily, demand instant retribution for any offense. One of the more famous ( or is that 'infamous'? ) is when a member of the victorious returning Israelite army is struck down simply for touching something YHWH had said was untouchable: you can read the story in II Samuel 6.

The so-called 'New Testament', or the Greek & Aramaic Scriptures, seem to present us with a kinder, gentler God. You may have heard the saying; 'the New is within the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed'; although the terms 'New' & 'Old' maybe should not be used thusly, this statement is true in that the Hebrew Scriptures do foreshadow what was written after, most notably, the Gospel of the Jewish Messiah. Whether one takes under consideration the theory put forward by some, that the apostle Paul's letter to the Romans, for example, was orchestrated to relieve the Roman Emperor of his guilt, it should be clear that, from the beginning, this Jewish Messiah was promised & pre-figured in types & shadows throughout the so-called 'Old Testament', the Hebrew Scriptures.

Did Jesus calm His Father down when He came on the scene, as some have supposed, rather simplistically? The Creator God, or Elohim ( plural ) of the Hebrew Scriptures was almost undeniably blood-thirsty; just like many of the gods of the surrounding nations, this God seemed to be appeased by the shedding of innocent blood, though, unlike those other gods, He allowed for the innocent blood to come from an animal rather than a human. However, also foreshadowed in the Hebrew Scriptures ( Genesis 22 ), Jesus, as the Son of Man, fully human, yet fully God, according to the Creeds, sheds His own innocent blood to appease the justice of an angry God.

Throughout His ministry, Jesus labored to show His brethren that they had sadly miscalculated, not simply the true meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures, but the true nature of the Hebrew ( Creator ) God Himself. Even if the Greek & Aramaic Scriptures are purely metaphorical in nature, as some suggest, it must be said that, just as prophesied, the One promised from the beginning ( Genesis 3:15 ) was revealed to be the very Son of the Creator God. As the Son of God, in very fact, the Creator God Himself ( John 1:1-3 ), Jesus rose from the grave, thus drawing all men to Himself, in essence, showing them that they too could become as He was!

In the Hebrew Scriptures, Yahweh Himself proclaims, 'You are gods' ( Psalm 82:6 )! First of all, yes; in context, these words were written to the ( spiritual ) leaders of the Jewish, or Hebrew nation & secondly, Yahweh used a small 'g' rather than the large 'G' He reserved for Himself, right?! Well, actually, given the fact that 'He' used the same Hebrew 'elohiym' in both cases, I think it's safe to say the small 'g' versus large 'G' division is man-made & should therefore be put to rest.

'If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came', in the words of Jesus ( John 10:34 ), why do we find  it so hard to believe that we, like Jesus, are judges of the earth & Sons & Daughters of the Creator God in our own right: Jesus also said, don't forget, that those who followed Him would do 'greater things' ( John 14:12 )!

So, according to theory, notably, Zecharia Sitchin's, we are likely the product of some kind of genetic engineering: whether or not this is true, or even conscionable; it is clear that this marvelous biology was created & not just created, but designed by an intelligence beyond our human understanding! Even if the Creator God used lesser gods like the Anunnaki to engineer us, though that does seem rather far-fetched to most of us, would that really detract from the glorious fact that we were created thus? Because we are the products of Intelligent Design, we should know to treat others with the respect they deserve! Unfortunately, we do not, so the earth itself rumbles with her displeasure. Wars & rumors of wars have been almost a matter of fact on this planet for thousands of years. Still, we do not learn our lesson & so must keep repeating the same mistakes over & over again, seemingly, till we drive them into our thick skulls!

A Great Awakening is occurring as we speak! No, actually, maybe 'awareness' is a better way to put it; yes, more & more people are becoming aware, realizing that we have been bamboozled by centuries of religious indoctrination. Though we shouldn't discard all that we have learned through religion ( lest we 'throw out the baby with the bathwater' ), we are learning that much of what we have been taught as 'Gospel' is not, but is in fact, mere 'doctrines of men'.

Charles Haddon Shank