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  Combing through the Dustbin
General Thelema Posted by Xnoubis on October 29, 2001 @ 02:06 PM
from the salvation-army-surplice dept.

It doesn't look as if Christianity is about to go away anytime soon. But the desire to see the Cult of the Dying God disappear is implicit in many people's readings of Thelema. Suppose that it were possible...

Is there anything about Christianity that you'd keep?

(For instance, I recently encountered the word "perichoresis" for the first time: the doctrine that each of the persons of the Trinity interpenetrate each other, and indwell within one another. My Trinity isn't the Christian one, but perichoresis? I'll take it.)


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    Re: Combing through the Dustbin
    by Will on Monday October 29, @05:30PM
    Is there anything about Christianity that you'd keep?

    The sexy nuns and maybe the part about the monkey.

    Will

    • Re: Combing through the Dustbin
      by Mordecai on Monday October 29, @06:11PM
      (getting off the floor after a fit of hysterical laughter) I'd also keep Satan and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

      perichoresis sounds like a disease of the muscular nervous system to me, but knowing Xnoubis I can see why the idea excites him.


    Re: Combing through the Dustbin
    by Meliny on Tuesday October 30, @10:43AM
    Is there anything about Christianity I'd like to keep?

    Yes. Christ.

    • Re: Combing through the Dustbin
      by Fra THA;M on Tuesday October 30, @08:47PM
      Yeah, I'd have a beer with him. Probably have a fascinating conversation to boot.


      • Re: Combing through the Dustbin
        by Mordecai on Tuesday October 30, @10:39PM
        I'm curious if Meliny means the "Historical" Jesus or if she means Christ in the sense of that experience of the divine in the "heart" which does not require the existence of some actual character who literally lived the stories of the Bible, but rather is a "face" of the spirit.


        • Re: Combing through the Dustbin
          by Fra THA;M on Wednesday October 31, @12:06AM
          Both are fascinating.
          The "historical" Jesus, anarchist and revolutionary opposing the repression of Rome, preaching tolerance and social responsibility (unfortunate that Paul so perverted his ideas).

          The spiritual formula known as YHShVH, as utilized so beautifully in the Golden Dawn tradition energizing the nephesh and ruach.

          I'd also add the Gnostic Jesus as well, the one who kills his playmates when they laugh at him, only to see his error and ressurect them (Infant Gospel of Thomas), the one whose spirit sits on the crossbeam at the crucifiction laughing with mirth (from which apocryphal gospel i forget).

          I'd have a beer with any of them.


        • Re: Combing through the Dustbin
          by Meliny on Wednesday October 31, @11:29AM
          I'm curious if Meliny means the "Historical" Jesus or if she means Christ in the sense of that experience of the divine in the "heart" which does not require the existence of some actual character who literally lived the stories of the Bible, but rather is a "face" of the spirit.

          To put it simply, both. In regard to keeping something from Christianity, though, I was referrancing the former.

          The Bible gives us a picture of a man, Jesus, who was compassionate to the poor and sick, who was patient with those who did not fully understand his teachings, and who did not seek out confrontation but who did stand his ground. As a "historical" man, he can be a role model for those of us whose Will it is to be care-givers and teachers.

          Jesus was a teacher. His precepts are useful today if we separate them from what many of us carry as Christian baggage. "Love thy neighbor. Blessed are the pure in heart. Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven is within you. Judge not that you be not judged." Any one of these is fodder for a great discussion of what it means to be human, what it means to be divine and how to stretch our humanity closer to our divinity.

          To step away from the "historical" Jesus and into what might be called the "literary" Jesus (of course, from the same "historical" source), we see the mythology of Jesus.

          Consider Christmas. Historians tell us that Jesus was most likely born in March or April, and we need to explore that possibility as we research our Western religious heritage. Yet we are enriched by the myth if we let ourselves be. The story of something new and glorious, born in the humblest place at the darkest time of the night and the year. The story of how we may be led, as though by a star, toward our highest selves, our destiny, our meaning. There is something there for us.

          Is there also something for us in the myth of one crucified, brought back from the dead and then taken from us again until we meet him in the afterlife?

          Perhaps this mythological Jesus is the answer to the second portion of your question. Yes, he's a "face" of the experience of the divine for me.

          I have to admit, though, that I'm a sucker for a long -haired man with a beard, so that does have it's influence. *grin*


          • Re: Combing through the Dustbin
            by A. Carper on Friday November 02, @12:34PM
            I thought you meant Isa, he who is so beloved of the muslims, and who, imho, is probably to be identified with the historical Jesus--if there was one that is!


            • Re: Combing through the Dustbin
              by Meliny on Friday November 02, @01:56PM
              I thought you meant Isa, he who is so beloved of the muslims, and who, imho, is probably to be identified with the historical Jesus--if there was one that is!


              I confess to knowing very little about the Muslim religion. Perhaps Isa would be a good starting point for me. Thank you. As to questioning the historical Jesus, I believe that's why Fra THA;M put the word historical in quotes. We can prove that there is a "historical" Jesus. =)


              • Re: Combing through the Dustbin
                by J. A. on Friday November 02, @02:58PM
                >We can prove that there is a "historical" Jesus.

                No you can't. Historical whether in quotes or not, my laughing friend, means that the man had actually lived. Stop playing punctual word games here.


                • Re: Combing through the Dustbin
                  by Mordecai on Friday November 02, @04:57PM
                  In fact, in English usage, putting the historical in quotes does make a difference. It could thus refer (as I meant it in the original citation) to the whole tradition of Jesus as having been a real person without necessarily endorsing the idea (I do not believe in such a person's existence myself, though the legend may have some slight basis in the doings of some real person or persons).


                  • Re: Combing through the Dustbin
                    by Fra THA;M on Friday November 02, @05:13PM
                    There is little doubt that from among the Essene revolutionaries there most likely arose a messianic leader from whose existence the gospels extrapolated. All our sources are secondary, the earliest existant gospel dated decades after the purported events occured. As for this figure being a god? Why not, aren't we all?


                    • Re: Combing through the Dustbin
                      by Fra THA;M on Friday November 02, @05:15PM
                      Does anyone know what Josephus or his contemporary historians say on the matter?


                      • Re: Combing through the Dustbin
                        by Mordecai on Friday November 02, @06:21PM
                        In my opinion the philological evidence indicates that the passages in Josephus dealing with Christ are later interpolations added by Christians who were embarassed by the absence of anything about Christ in what was the major historical source for the period. The earliest verified Roman sources I know of are Tacitus and Pliny (turn of the first century).


                • Re: Combing through the Dustbin
                  by Fra THA;M on Friday November 02, @05:16PM
                  What about the "historical" Crowley, my frowning friend?


    Re: Combing through the Dustbin
    by Shasu Ma'akheru on Tuesday October 30, @11:47PM
    The better cathedrals, partly because they are stunning works of art, but mainly for the same reason that we keep Nazi concentration camps: lest we forget. St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel ought to be turned into museum depicting the atrocities of the Crusades and the Inquisition. The contrast between the high art and low barbarity will provide a striking message for posterity about gilded lies. Cologne Cathedral and Notre Dame would make good museums dedicated to the appalling living conditions of the peasants who lived in their shadows, and the Vatican Library might make a good backdrop for an exhibit on the oppression of women and overpopulation in the name of a "god" who endorsed marital rape and the sanctity of childhood malnutrition.

    The paintings and sculpture should be kept, too, partly as a tribute to the artists' skill, but also to demonstrate the loathsome repetition of the same two dozen subjects over more than a thousand years of church-controlled artistic expression.

    As for the lesser buildings -- let them be carefully dismantled and the raw materials reused to build uncensored libraries in every town and hamlet of the earth. Let the wood of a million pews be used to build free dispensaries of contraceptives. Let the paper of their bibles be recycled to provide textbooks on logic and science, sex education, and gender equity.

    By all means, yes, let's keep all of it. But let us make of it a salve to heal a world savaged by ignorance, bigotry, and spiritual self-mutilation.

    Re: Combing through the Dustbin
    by nexist on Wednesday October 31, @12:59PM
    I would keep all the elements that have carried through to Thelema: Agape, Christos, Babalon/Scarlet Women, Therion/Beast, the indwelling spirit of god (the flame that burns in every heart of man), etc.

    In addition, I see usefulness in the idea of tolerance & forgiveness for one's fellows, and the redemption of man into a spiritual being (from the sleeping "sinful" base nature).

    Re: Combing through the Dustbin
    by Alone In The Desert on Wednesday October 31, @01:03PM
    I'd keep the uncompromising attitude torwards the sanctity of holy practice, places and rituals in the face of materialism, and the spirit of radical, unquenchable idealism.

    Jesus's tirade in the temple against the money changers who profaned the image of God with their greed is a potent lesson for our day. I'd expand the metaphor into a more Gain centric view, however, and point to the world as the temple, and the continual ravages of globalization as the modern day equivalent of the money lenders.

    We are all in the shadow of Moloch as it seeks to wipe the world clean with its stealy, precision guided instrumental rationality which rests on a skewed positivist/materialist/egoist paradigm.

    Jesus might not applaud the deaths and suffering of innocents, but he might angrily shatter the Twin Towers of our own ego driven, money focused modernity with the flaming logos tongue of one pointed truth speaking.

    Our task in the New Aeon is one of the integration and synthesis of opposites. Jesus's Osirian Devotion must be melded to a higher order call for creativity.

    We must synthesize the sacred with the world of scientific and artisitic creativity and exploration. Jesus today might be a Physicist/Artist Kabbalist who could heal the world and walk on water to boot!

    Re: Combing through the Dustbin
    by J. A. on Thursday November 01, @11:22AM
    If I thought it couldn't be completely destroyed, and only then, would I keep "Crowley as the only rightful authority regarding all matters of the religion."

    But I'd rather erase history with a big eraser.

    • Re: Combing through the Dustbin
      by Fra THA;M on Thursday November 01, @03:20PM
      "...I keep "Crowley as the only rightful authority regarding all matters of the religion."

      You would want to substitute the dogmatism of Xtianity for the dogmatism of Crowleyanity? Same book, different cover.


    Re: Combing through the Dustbin
    by A. Carper on Friday November 02, @12:41PM
    I would certainly keep the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, to which Crowley was no stranger. This contains about all you need to know about the Cult, especially the Athanasian Creed's statement on the Holy Trinity (with MTP Chapter 0 and Motta's gripes kept in mind). The King James' Bible? Naw! I prefer Shakespeare!

    Re: Combing through the Canticles
    by Virbius on Tuesday November 06, @07:48PM
    To begin with: The Canticles


    "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth
    For thy love is better than wine"


    "Thy name is as ointment poured forth
    Therefore do the young women love thee"


    Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my spouse;
    thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck.


    How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how
    much better is thy love than wine! and the smell of thine ointments than all spices!


    A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.


    I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I
    have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.


    "Oh my dove, in the clefts of the rock
    Let me see thy countenance
    Let me hear thy voice
    For sweet is thy voice
    And lovely is thy countenance"


    Draw me, we shall run after thee


    Love is the Law


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