Sunday's Thoughts
by Alice-Alexandra-Sofia
 

Archive_September_2010

 

The Future

The Absolute Power

Idolatry

Divination

 

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Sunday, September 5, 2010

 

The Future

 

“…the people of Nineve … turned every one away from their evil ways

and from the iniquity on their hands …

…and God saw their works that they turned from their evil ways …

…and the Lord said … shall not I spare Nineve, the great city …?”

{Jonas 3:5, 8, 10; 4:10–11}

 

 

The Book of Jonas is one of the smallest among the books of the Old Testament, yet, it conveys some of the most important revelations (one of them, for instance, sustains the systems concept of the future).

Jonas entered the history of the Hebrew Prophets as the reluctant one: he was sent to warn the people of Nineve that the inevitable retribution for their wickedness is near, yet, in naïve attempt to escape the presence of God, he sailed through the sea, and, because of his disobedience, got himself in big trouble…

Eventually, Jonas accomplished his task: he preached to the Nineve’s inhabitants as God commanded, and he announced that in three days the city would be overthrown. Yet, his prediction did not come true: the Nineve’s people repented and God spared the city with all inhabitants.

Then, the strange thing happens: Jonas asked God to take his life – he does not want to live. He is afflicted with the bitter disappointment: against his will {because he knew that merciful and forgiving God would definitely spare the sinners – Jonas 4:2, so why he – Jonas – should take such a hard labor in vain?}, he came to preach in the alien land; he got tired walking through the streets of the great city; he promised destruction, and nothing ensued.

God awoke the Jonas’ heart with a simple lesson: He made a gourd to come over the Jonas’ head to protect Jonas from the sun. Jonas rejoiced for this plant, yet, the next morning, it withered away. Jonas was smote by the sun and burning wind; he grieved even to death because this plant was a source of the great joy for him – the disheartened and homeless Prophet.

So, Jonas pitied the plant, which he did not sow and which he did not bring up: it came up before one night and perished before another night. So, why God Who created everything and Who loves all His creations should not spare Nineve, the great city in which multitudes of human beings and also many cattle dwell?

Three inferences follow:

a/ a system’s creator always possesses control over the system’s conditions; in a case of human control, most of system’s settings, parameters, and the time–range of existence can be changed with knowledge of system’s code/law, by which it was created/established, overall design, life–maintaining processes, and access to the resources, which sustain system’s existence

b/ until some point of time–event–condition–completion of latent processes, the future exists not as the fixed unchangeable end–state–condition

c/ until some crucial thought–knowledge–word–event–action, the future can be changed.

The practical question: how to determine the point when/where the future from the probability becomes the unavoidable reality – the actuality, which is separated from the Present only by a few moments/days/months of time, or learned knowledge, or spoken words?

The answer might be inferred from the logical chain of historical events mentioned in the Holy Scriptures.

1. Before the beginning of the current civilization, Abraham received the vision of the future in which the great nation will be settled in the Promised Land, and the endless eternal kingdom will be established. Yet, the time of the great nation will come only after four hundred years of slavery and humiliation of Abraham’s descendents, because the measure of sins committed by the Amorites (the Amorites was the nation of idol–worshipers, which populated the land at the time of Abraham) is not filled up yet. Later, answering Abraham’s plea for mercy, God promises to spare the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah if He finds at least ten righteous among the sinners. Yet, no one righteous left but Lot – Abraham’s nephew. Lot and his daughters who fled with him were spared; two cities were ruined {Genesis 12:1–3; 13:14–18; 15:1–7; 17:1–8; 18:17–32; 19:1–29}.

2. Moses, descendent of Abraham, conveys revelations of God in conditional terms. At the time of formation of the chosen nation, Moses offered a choice between two possible futures: life and prosperity would be the destiny of those who observe the Law and accomplish the will of God; suffering, slavery, and death await those who break the covenant with God, violate His Law, disobey His commandments, and serve “other gods” {Deuteronomy 30:15–20}. 

3. When God speaks with Solomon and His other servants, His promises also contain conditional “if”: the future is defined by observance of the Law and fulfillment of the commandments of God {2 Chronicles 7:17–22}. Also, God changes the future of a repentant sinner, as well as the future of the entire nation, if He wishes so.

4. Then, the Prophets of the post–Solomon era begin to announce the coming disasters as the inevitability. However, the end still could be changed: Nineve was spared; king Ezekias did not want to die and asked God’s mercy – he was granted additional fifteen years of life, moreover, during his life–time, God protected Jerusalem from the king of the Assyrians {Jonas 4:8–10; Isaiah 38:1–8}, while the Assyrian kingdom devastated the surrounding lands and nations (in VIII–VII BC).

5. Isaiah the Prophet (in VIII BC) conveys the revelation of the future, the end, which is set for the Earth and her inhabitants:

1/ because of their wrongdoing and iniquities, the chosen people became abomination to God {Isaiah 59:1–15; 64:5–7},

2/ the name of those once chosen shall be for a loathing, and the Lord shall destroy them {Isaiah 65:15}

3/ the servants of God will be called by a new name, which shall be blessed on the Earth because it is the name of true God {Isaiah 65:15–16}

4/ the Savior shall be born into the world, Who shall rule forever, and the Great Light shall shine upon the people who dwell in the zone of death {Isaiah 9:2, 6–7}

5/ the fire of God shall come on the earth {Isaiah 66:15}

6/ the messengers of God shall be sent to all nations to proclaim the name and the glory of God to those who did not know the Lord: all the nations will be gathered for the Lord, the new brethren shall come from all the nations, and from them God shall take His priests and Levites {Isaiah 66:18–21}

7/ the fire of God shall judge and destroy those who rejected God and who became the abomination to God {Isaiah 66:15, 17–18, 24}

8/ it shall be a new heaven and a new earth, and they shall not remember the former, neither it come into their mind {Isaiah 65:17}

9/ the new world shall remain before God, as well as the seed and name of those who will come in it {Isaiah 66:22}*1*.

6. The revelations given through Ezekiel the Prophet (in VI BC) disclose the next change of the conditions of salvation: from this point of time, only the righteous man himself can be saved, not even his children, and righteousness of one man is not enough for salvation of the others. Should Noah, Daniel, and Job be amidst of the cursed land, by their righteousness they would deliver only their own souls, yet, none of their children be spared {Ezekiel 14:13–20}. The significant modification of conditions–terms had happened:

 

in the time of the Flood, slavery, trials of Job, and the Babylon exile

the families were delivered, destroyed, and rewarded along with the righteous member of the family

in the time of Abraham, it would be enough to have only ten righteous men

for salvation of two cities – Sodom and Gomorrah {Genesis 18:20–32}

at the Ezekiel the Prophet’s time, everyone is responsible only for own future.

 

The initial conditions when the family was the seed of the future are changed:

–– only the personal deeds and thoughts define the future of a human being

–– establishments of men lost the remnants of their significance as the settings for survival and development

–– now, only mercy of God saves the righteous from injustice and death.  

Although the destiny of some people – the sinners who repent and turn to God – still might be changed, the destiny of mankind and of the entire world already was set at some point of time; then, it was revealed through Isaiah the Prophet.

Consequently, it might be said that the choice of men to seek protection besides God is undone {the choice, which the chosen nation made in the time of Samuel the Prophet: to have the king and to be as all nations – 1 Kings 8:5–22; 10:17–19; that is to have the kingdom/state/establishment as the protector and defender (and the master–owner)}.

From this point of time, the establishments and structures, which people set for protection, would serve oppression, promote slavery (and with slavery, its inseparable companion – degeneration), and accomplish annihilation of humans. This inference is confirmed by

–– the history of Israel after the Babylon exile: corruption of priests, ruling elite, and the kings, which culminated in destruction of the state and submission of the people to the heathen Roman Empire

–– rejection of the Messiah – the Word–God and the plot to kill Him for the sake of survival under the Roman authorities {Luke 7:30; John 11:47–53; 19:11–15}

–– dishonorable reign and dishonorable death of Herod {Matthew 14:1–12; Mark 6:14–29; Luke 3:1, 19–20; 13:31–34; Acts 12:1–4, 21–23}

–– the history of Western civilization, which had embodied the main patterns of Plato–Aristotle’s utopia, made them the actuality (e.g., the Inquisition and the papal empire), and reached its apotheosis with the totalitarian states of the twentieth century. Now, this civilization is rushing to the final stages of degeneration–readiness for assimilation by the alien establishment, the Islamic Caliphate that will cast it thirty–five centuries back, to the time of slavery, when the laws of retribution were set {the laws of Moses pursue extermination of evil by revengeful and ruthless punishment and execution of the evil’s carriers: eye for eye, death for death  – Exodus 21:23–25; Leviticus 24:19–21; Deuteronomy 19:16–21}. Probably, then, the memories of past liberties and mercies will become the subject of forbidden stories through which the Caliphate’s slaves will learn the dreams of freedom and start ascent to humaneness…

7. Lord Jesus Christ speaks in the terms of accomplishment:

–– the time of harvest began

–– He came to cast the Fire upon the Earth {to build the temple from the human clay and to ignite the Fire within –– make it the dwelling of the Living God – Isaiah 64:8; Psalm 17(18):28; Matthew  5:14–16; Luke 12:49; John 5:35; 2 Corinthians 4:6–7}, to call the sinners to repent, and to heal those who seek to be healed

–– His disciples would harvest the fruits–results of the others’ labor

–– the end is close, although the exact time is sealed from men: only God the Father knows the day {Matthew 24:34–44; Mark 13:1–37; Luke 21:29–36; John 4:35}.

8. The Apostles write about the last days of the Earth – completion of the times, preparation to the end, the final transformation, and new beginning:

–– not we all die, yet, will be transformed

–– the trial by the Fire will overcome all our deeds

–– new Earth, new creation of God, will appear {2 Peter 3:1–13; 1 Corinthians 3:13–15; 15:51–58; Hebrews 1:10–12; Revelation 21:1–5, 22–27; 22:10–12}.

It is probable that the mankind’s road turned to the apocalyptic future at some point of time, between

 

the first division of Israel, after the death of Solomon 

and 

beginning of a process of re–structuring of the ancient empires,

which would prepare the world for brief dominance of the Greeks

and establishment of the common Greek language (Koine) as the universal language of the ancient world

(the Books of the New Testament are written on Koine).

 

So, what have happened, for instance, between two points of reference: the time of Abraham when the words of God contain the conditional “if,” and the time when Lord Jesus Christ warns His disciples that the inevitable end is close?

There are three hints pointing to the answer.

1) The ancient Israelites entered the Promised Land only after the wickedness, corruption, and perversion of the native nations made impossible their further existence, because the measure of their wickedness–sins–evil was filled up. Moses especially warned his fellow tribesmen:

–– they are stiff–necked and disobedient people who tempted God many times

–– it is not for their righteousness that God – the consuming Fire – comes before them to annihilate other nations

–– the nations living in the land, which God promised to Abraham, have to be destroyed because of their wickedness and abominable deeds, including divination – source of the false knowledge*2*.  The native nations cognized the ultimate evil (e.g., they sacrificed their first–born to the idols – figments of their imagination and “went after another flesh”); they became abomination to God, thus, they have to be destroyed along with their idols, false knowledge, and manner of life. The same pattern describes the destiny of the following generations: as soon as those who have knowledge of God reject it and imitate the alien ways of life and iniquities of the others, they share the destiny of the others – degradation and annihilation {Genesis15:1–21; Deuteronomy 7:17–26; 9:3–6; 12:29–31; 18:9–14; Psalm 105(106):34–42; Romans 1:21–32; Ephesians 4:17–24}.

2) There are repeated mentions of the filled “measure” and “fulfillment” of the time; for instance,

–– before the Flood, God tells Noah that the time of fulfillment – καιρος *3* – came: the Earth is filled with iniquities of men and all flesh had corrupted its way upon the Earth; men and Earth are to be destroyed {Genesis 6:12–14}

–– the Balthazar’s kingdom is measured and found to be filled, it is weighed and found to be insufficient, and then, it is destroyed – divided between two nations, because Balthazar exalted himself against God {Daniel 5:1–28, 31}

– Ezekiel the Prophet has a vision of measurement of the land, the temple, and the altar; the context connects these measures with righteousness, observation, and fulfillment of the ordinances and commandments of God {Ezekiel 40:3–49; 41:1–26; 42:1–20; 43:1–12}

3) To obtain life and salvation, the mind has to pass from knowledge of the ultimate evil – heathenism, which grows up on ignorance and which is sustained by the corrupted imagination, to knowledge of the ultimate or absolute good, firstly, the Law of God {Deuteronomy 4:5–29; 8:5–6; 11:1; 29:29; Proverbs 2:3–15}.

Lord God Jesus Christ reveals the meaning of the absolute good – the eternal life that is in knowledge of God and of the Word–God sent onto the earth for salvation of the world. In the time of Moses, fear of death sustains the laws of men. In the time of the New Testament, people are granted understanding that the ruthless laws are given to those with the ruthless heart, yet, the Omnipotent God–Father is perfect Love without fear and suffering, and He is merciful and kind even to the unthankful and evil ones. Merciful and perfect God desires mercy not sacrifice: He came to save the world not to destroy or to judge it, and the condition of forgiveness is an ability to forgive the others {Matthew 5:21–24, 38–48; 6:14–15; 7:12; 9:13; 12:7; Luke 6:27–38; 9:51–56; John 3:16–21; 17:3; 1 John 4:8–21}. 

Therefore, knowledge of the ultimate good (love and mercy of God, which open the eternal life) is granted to all those who is able to accept – this measure is filled up. The measure of the ultimate evil is close to completion. Whatever time left, it will increase the number of those who cognized evil and embodied the knowledge of evil into thoughts, words, actions, and establishments; however, it also will increase the number of those who cognized good and embodied the knowledge of good into their life {e.g., Revelation 22:11–12}. In general, the process of evolution of the mind*4* had been defined, it was set, and it is coming to the end along with the destiny of the Earth, which accommodates evolution of the human mind.

The referred above texts of the Holy Scriptures lead to the conclusion: the destiny becomes unchangeable when

– some measure is filled; this measure might be the Earth, the kingdom, mankind, nation, and the mind with its creations (all of them are systems created for achievement of the purposes); a filling is the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil: the righteousness–virtue–optimization or lawlessness–iniquity–corruption embodied into knowledge, actions, and creations of the mind (e.g., social, political, religious establishment – kingdoms, empires, states, societies, etc.). In general, the measure is evaluation of the fullness and completeness of the knowledge either of good or of evil

– the mind does not have any reason, potential, or desire for a change; for instance, a sinner does not wish to repent, or does not know God, or does not want – or is not able – to learn the knowledge of good. However, if the sinner turns to good, discontinues to violate the Law (to sin), and asks forgiveness*5* for the committed evil, the mercy of God changes the destiny of the sinner – in this life or in the Eternity.

Therefore, the universal Law, which controls the world, defines the meaning of the future for the creatures under the Law. For those who can find the way to God, the future is changeable, because if God wills, He restores the original nature/perfection of the human mind, His love (the divine life–creating energy) supplements the insufficiency, which develops after violation of the Law. Consequently, the future is transformed from the strictly defined set of final conditions–parameters–settings and processes of disintegration into the open system with the degrees of freedom, which are limited only by the potency of the system’s nature.

Consequently, it might be inferred that the parameters of the future are defined by the pool of resources and opportunities, from which the mind – in accordance with the knowledge it possesses – derives own purposes and creates the systems for accomplishment of the chosen purposes. The mind’s purposes, therefore, the future of the mind and its creations, might be inferred from the mind’s knowledge.

For some minds, the future is unpredictable until the purposes are set. If the purposes are chosen, the mind begins the process of structurization of its resources: it builds establishments (creates systems) for accomplishment of the purposes and the future from an opportunity becomes the reality.

In summary, the Law, which controls the world, defines the meaning of the future for those created by the Law and living under the Law. Consequently, the mind derives own future and future of its creations from a pool of resources and opportunities defined by the knowledge, actions, and decisions of the Past and the Present; usually, the systems logic describes the futures of such systems adequately.

However, for the mind, which finds the way to God, the earthly future is changeable, sometimes, beyond all expectations; for instance, such a mind might discover a possibility to acquire new knowledge and access wisdom – the key to the Eternity. The unchangeable law of irreversibility of cognition governs the dimension of time. It means that the mind is not able to unlearn the knowledge of the Past. Figuratively speaking, the learned (or absorbed by the mind) knowledge might be compared with the threads interwoven into “the fabric” of the mind. Any apparent loss of the knowledge, which was absorbed–integrated into an individual mind’s database–memory, signifies the process of disintegration–dying of a human being who possesses this individual mind. Yet, existence and disintegration are controlled by different laws.

Consequently, at least one component of the meaning of ultimate freedom becomes understandable: knowledge gives freedom – freedom to learn, to think–create new knowledge of the Past and Present, the freedom to choose the future and the freedom to create the chosen future.

The freedom to create own future within the limited structured world of the matter controlled by the social, religious, political and other establishments might not be the apparent freedom to manipulate by the states, companies, moneys, to travel worldwide, or to openly manifest own religious and other beliefs – that usually is associated with the traditional meanings of the freedom within the restricted structures and establishments of the contemporary civilization. The ultimate freedom is the freedom to know God and to love God, therefore, the freedom to choose own future in this world and beyond.

The future of free mind is built by the observance of God’s commandments of love, because love is the absolute value and the universal language understandable at any level of any social, political, religious, and other establishments. Even in the time of the Inquisition’s terror, during religious wars, persecutions of the different–minded, and revolutions in England, France, Italy, Germany and other European countries, even in bolshevist/communist Russia in the time of red terror, in concentration camps of Nazi Germany, in Soviet Gulag, in prisons of communist China and communist Cuba, in all other places where human beings are treated and murdered as slaves that lost their market value, within any oppressive establishment, as well as in any other circle of the Inferno created by men, there always were, are, and will be the people who help the others because they have no fear of the executioners and they are not afraid to die for their beliefs {Matthew 10:28}: they know their future – the Eternity.

Therefore, when Lord God speaks about freedom acquired through the knowledge of truth*6*, which He reveals to His followers {John 8:31–36}, when He differentiates this freedom from slavery of sin, which would prevent a slave of sin from access to the Eternity granted to the free child of God, He speaks also of the unlimited future inconceivable for those who do not love God and thus, are restricted with an inability of cognition of the knowledge of God.

And I think that

although the future is defined by the degree of cognition of the ultimate good and ultimate evil

although the mind builds and controls own future through the knowledge it learns,

creates, and embodies into own words and actions

although the mind is not able to unlearn the knowledge of evil

although it might be too late to change anything in the earthly existence

and to prevent the end  –

still, everyone is able to change own eternal destiny

by seeking and finding the knowledge and love of God

and through embodiment of this knowledge and love

into own thoughts, words, and deeds.

 

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Notes:

*1* As it might be inferred from the history, seven Isaiah’s visions have come true:

––- the Savior has come, and the Light shines in darkness, and the Fire – Spirit of God descended into those who are saved, healed, and sanctified by the Word–God, who observe the commandments of God, who became the temple–dwelling of the Living God, and who then, carry the kingdom of God within 

––- those from the chosen people – the Jews, who rejected Lord God Jesus Christ, have been scattered through all lands and nations; their history is the history of unspeakable suffering that reached its climax (as of today) in the death camps of Nazi Germany. All crimes against humanity, which the evil imagination is able to conceive, had been committed against the Jews by the people in whose lands and states the Jews lived. The Jews were the victims of religious persecutions and terror unleashed by the Inquisition in Spain and other countries under the papal authority, of the “pogroms” in Russian Empire (“pogroms” is the Russian word that denotes targeted plundering, rape, mockery, destruction of property and houses, and killing of the Jews, which was committed by the mob), and the others. After murders and plundering, the “pious Catholics” and “patriots” with Jewish blood on their hands came to their churches to kneel before the Crucified Jew, the Son of Man and the Son of God, and to confirm their observance of His commandment of love with murder, robbery, and other crimes committed against the people whose blood is in the veins of His human Mother. In return, the mankind received from the Jews such “gifts” as philosophizing symbolism of Philo of Alexandria, “Christian Cabbala” introduced by the Spanish converts, Marxism, Bolshevism, “meta–psychology” and Oedipus complex of Sigmund Freud, and the others… However, those living by the law of retribution never find the exit from the circle of violence and death; only forgiveness brings peace and prosperous living. Yet, if all human beings are offered the complete knowledge of true history of mankind, would just one man from the entire population of the Earth be found who is capable of forgiveness?

–– the new servants of true God received a new name – they are called the Christians, because they follow true God – Lord Jesus Christ. The Christians are new creations and new servants of the true God; they carry the Fire – the Holy Spirit of God and the peace of God in their soul–heart–mind; their new world is waiting them according to the promise of God {Isaiah 65:15–17; Luke 12:49; John 14:15–20, 23–28; 1 Corinthians 3:16; Ephesians 2:1–22; Revelation 21:1–5}. As of today, the original–true–Orthodox Christianity –– the unaltered teachings of Lord God Jesus Christ –– remains the choice of a few, less than 4.4% of total population of the Earth. By the number of believers, the Greek Orthodox Christianity (about 3% of the current world population) is in the end of the list of the world religions: after Catholicism, Islam, Hinduism, Folk religions, Non–religiousness, Buddhism….

–– the time, when the Gospels will be preached to all the nations is close; as of today, people of many nations became the Christians – the brethren in Lord Jesus Christ; some of them serve as the priests of the Almighty God.

The foreseen by Isaiah judgment and destruction and coming of the new heaven and the new earth – new world created by God are close; they are waiting us in the Future {Matthew 24:3–44; Revelation}.

*2* These nations, obviously, cultivated the knowledge, which they inherited from the pre–Flood Earth and carried through the Babylon language confusion. Noah the Righteous and his family were quite mature people who lived among the people pre–Flood civilization; however, to be righteous does not mean to be ignorant of the manner of live, values, traditions, and sins of the society; in addition, sons of the righteous father have their freedom to choose good or evil, and life or death {e.g., Luke 15:11–31}.

For instance, the descendents of Canaan (the cursed grandson of Noah) developed into the nations of the Amorites, Canaanites, Sidonians {or the Phoenicians} and other nations, which worshiped idols by burning their sons and daughters, and which were later either exterminated entirely or gradually came to the oblivion. In the beginning, when the Earth was scarcely populated after the Flood and all men – descendants of Noah – had one language, they decided to build the city and the tower reaching the heaven, and to fashion for themselves “the name” before they would scatter over the Earth. Evidently, the structure itself could not trigger off the Babylon language confusion – the knowledge behind could. Although the Scriptures provide very short description of this event, the text allows assumption that for some reason God did not approve the similarity of all minds and their mutual consent and understanding: such unity would result in some undesirable endeavors {Genesis 11:1–9}.

Any endeavor is the result of particular knowledge; thus, the main reason of the language confusion is the knowledge, which should not be shared and embodied into the deeds of men.

As soon as before the Babylon confusion the human mind did not have the knowledge of the Law and hence, own nature, the only knowledge they possessed would be the remnants of knowledge for which the first Earth was destroyed plus the knowledge they created themselves. The fact that the knowledge of the first Earth survived in the memory of spared people might be inferred from the curse casted by Noah on Canaan who was the son of Cham. Noah cursed Canaan for the evil, which his father Cham had done against Noah. The evil committed by Cham indicates humiliation and mockery of father by his son, therefore, reveals the immorality of the pre–Flood society, firstly, as absence of the respect to the father–head of the family, that is the foundation on which any life–oriented society would survive. Cham, the son of Noah, was blessed by God along with other Noah’s sons. Although the blessing of God protected Cham from the wrath of his father, his son paid for his sin. Cham’s son – Canaan, who was cursed by Noah, became the father of “the cursed nations,” which possessed the land in which Sodom and Gomorrah were situated, and which came to the ultimate evil; for instance, such as the Sidonians/Phoenicians who invented death penalty through crucifixion and worshiped their idols by burning their children (especially, first–born sons) and prostituting their daughters. The descendents of Canaan formed the nations, which later were exterminated to free the land for the descendents of Abraham. Abraham’s ancestor was Sem the son of Noah who received blessing of Noah; Sem was a brother of Cham {Genesis 6:5–7; 9:1,18–27; 10:6–20; 11:10–31}.  

*3* In addition to “time,” the Greek word  καιρος  conveys the meaning of the moment of accomplishment, “decisive moment,” when something either actually happens or is fulfilled;  καιρος defines the specific time–space point at which a system realizes its potential, creates the most significant knowledge, or achieves its purposes.

 

*4* The processes defining evolution of the human mind include

––- cognition of evil and good

––- development of the potency to distinguish and to choose the good

––- becoming the embodiment of the ultimate good – the temple of Living God.

To the contrary, outcome of the anti–evolution is cognition of the ultimate evil, perversion–degeneration, and becoming embodiment of the ultimate evil – death.

 

*5* Forgiveness is healing of the mind, because sin (or the failure to accomplish the purposes of existence) results in the disorder–disease of the soul–mind ensuing from violation of the Law and commandments of God; the essence of any disorder–disease of the soul–mind is the state of deprivation–insufficiency of knowledge of God. Only those who repent can be forgiven and healed, because the state of repentance is a vision of the committed evil and understanding of own misery–degeneration–perversion resulting from thoughts, words, and actions inconsistent with the normal human nature. The next step is plea for forgiveness: the mind comes to God – the source of life. Then, God Who sees the deepest depths of the human heart and knows all its intentions resulting from cognition of good and evil, decides the destiny of the repentant sinner. 

 

*6* The knowledge of truth is the knowledge of God Who created the Law, and the knowledge of Law on which the world is built. Sin is violation of the Law, therefore, an inability to accomplish the purposes man was created to accomplish.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

 

The Absolute Power

 

…you were redeemed for the precious price, do not become slaves of men…

{1 Corinthians 7:23}

 

 

At the time before giving the Law, when the human civilization was about to begin, everything was apparent: the people worshiped graven images and sacrificed their children to the dead stones.  Then, some people were chosen to worship invisible God Who has no form, no image, no likeness in the world He created, and Whose face a human being is not able to see and to continue to live. The chosen people have been told do not bow before other gods because God is ζηλωτης. English versions of the Holy Scriptures convey the Septuagint text  Θεος ζηλωτης εστι   {Exodus 20:5; 34:14} as “God is Jealous,” as the derivative of  ζηλευ/ω  – to be jealous, envy. However, word ζηλωτης, which is derived from verb ζεω (to glow, to be hot, to be fervid, to be fervent) means excellent, perfect, superior, fervent/burning, ardent. With the summary of the Law given in another Book of Moses {Deuteronomy 6:4–5 –– “The Lord our God is One Lord. And thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, and all thy strength”}, the meanings of the attribute of God conveyed in Exodus with definition “Jealous” reveal a new concept, which the human mind later would define with word absolute  – απολητος: God is the Absolute, the Only One, Perfect, Supreme/Superior – One Lord our God. When Lord God Jesus Christ speaks of the Perfect God the Father {Matthew 5:48} He reminds us of the true meaning of the Law given through Moses. The Holy Scriptures reveal also that Word–God is the Absolute power of God–Creator, by which the word was created and exists now, of which the ancient prophets spoke, and by which this world will meet its end and the new perfect world will be created {John 1:1–4; Deuteronomy 8:3; Psalm 104(105):19; 106(107):20; 118(119):11; 147:1–8; Isaiah 55:8–11; 65:17; Revelation 21:1–5}.

In the time of Moses, until the human mind would be ready to comprehend the concept of Absolute, the chosen people have to learn that they must

– become devout servants of One God Who they never knew, yet Who they should love with all mind, soul/heart, strength

– become unreservedly, completely, and wholeheartedly loyal to God

– not recognize other “gods”

– not make idols

– not serve the idols

– separate themselves from the heathen world in all matters, including physical contact: no marriage, no common food, especially prepared for the heathen rites, and no any connections with other nations {Exodus 20:1–6; 33:19; 34:11–16; Deuteronomy 6:4–5}.

Gradually, they discovered that three things correspond to such attributes of God as Jealous (or Absolute):

a) the will of God is the absolute – universal Law

b) the power of the Creator is the absolute power

c) God is the only true essence of the world; belief into other gods and a possibility to serve to them must not be admitted into the mind; even the names of other gods must not be mentioned.

Through this knowledge, the mind had to enter the reality which makes impossible the original sin – mistrust to God and disobedience to His will, and trust and obedience to the beast instead of God. With this knowledge, the mind of human beast, that is easily deceived, controlled, and slaughtered by other beasts, had to be restored into the being created into image and likeness of perfect God and to become the vessel of His Law.

Therefore, the purification, refinement, and optimization of the human mind (also known as the evolution) began with

a/ revelation of the Law and establishment of the Absolute

b/ separation from the source of contamination (the knowledge and manner of life of the surrounding idol–worshiping nations)

c/ cognition of the Law and implementation of the Law into the life of mind and body.

In the beginning of the New Testament’s time, the ancient definiteness was over: the invisible, yet irresistible for many, phantoms of wealth, power, and pride took the place of stone and wooden idols and crawled into the mind; the apostasy became hidden, covered by the apparent righteousness. Although the people learned to observe the laws of Moses through actions (for instance, such as separation from the heathen nations and donations to the temple), the new profound division, at the level of the mind, became the reality: the people continued to honor God with their words and observe the physical rituals of purification and worship, yet, they have hardened their hearts and separated themselves from God.

For instance, the “blind leaders” (scribes and Pharisees) of “the holy nation of priests” learned to appear righteous by following the rituals (by the flesh), yet, they were full of lawlessness within (in heart); they came to resemble the whitewashed graves, which look beautiful outwardly, yet, are full of dead bones and uncleanness within. God refers to them as to the hypocrites who strive to convert people, yet, when succeed, make a proselyte a son of Gehenna (the Hell)  twofold more than they themselves are {Matthew 15:1–9, 17–20; 23:1–38; Mark 2:16; 3:1–6; John 1:10–11}.

However, centuries of strict observance of the Law prepared some of the people to next phase of development: they became ready to comprehend new knowledge of God and to imitate perfection of God through love and mercy toward all creations of God; they became ready to meet the Messiah, to embrace His teachings, to love Him, to observe His commandments, and through Him, to return to God the Father.

The knowledge of the Absolute–Perfect God does not leave place for other attachments. Lord God Jesus Christ warned His followers that there is no peace for them in this world, because He brought the dividing sword, which would separate them from everything that is not a part of His Kingdom: the Spirit creates life, while the flesh benefits nothing. Consequently, the whole world would not benefit man who forfeits his soul*1*. Therefore, the believers must {Matthew 10:34–39; 16:24–26; Luke 12:51–53; John 6:63}

a/ overcome attachments to the world of the matter and forsake its reflections – the realm of dreams, illusions, assumptions, and earthly values, which people imagine/create/perceive and then, accept as the meaning of own existence and identify with own consciousness and with own conscience

b/ bear own cross – knowledge of the reality and the mission to accomplish the will of God

c/ follow Lord Jesus Christ: to fulfill the will of God the Father as He – the Son of God and the Son of man – does.

The last phase of the evolution of human mind is the ultimate choice between the evil imagination of man and the true knowledge of God: the evolution is accomplished when the mind discards all illusions, fantasies, and false assumptions, embraces the only true reality – the reality of the One Perfect – Absolute – God Whose power is the absolute power and Whose mercy is perfect mercy, and becomes that what it was created to be – the temple–dwelling to the Creator. The first step to the ultimate perfection is understanding that acceptance of the knowledge of God the Father and commandments of Lord God Jesus Christ precedes the birth by the Spirit–Fire Who descends on those who are chosen to became the temple of God and to dwell with God in eternity of His kingdom {Luke 12:49; John 3:3–6; 7:39; 14:15–17, 23, 24; Revelation 21:27; 22:3–5; Isaiah 64:8}.

Then, knowledge of God should fill the mind and become the absolute truth and the only reality of existence: God is the Absolute, the ultimate perfection, the only truth, the only valuable possession; there is nothing besides God. It means also that in the world created by God and given into dominion of man, nothing is able or should attempt to take the place of God or pretend on possession by any of the attributes of God. Whatever good men are able to create, they create it only if the power of God acts through them.

However, the history became the list of leaders of all ranks and establishments – from priests, diviners, and magi, through kings, emperors and popes – who asserted themselves as descendents--personifications--substitutes--embodiments--reincarnations of deities and pretend that they, because of their “divine” status, possess the absolute power, which is the attribute of gods. The candidates on deification chose all kinds of “super/divine” beings, but preferred the highest one (for instance, Alexander of Macedonia pretended to be the son of Zeus, the main Greek heathen deity, who in image of the giant serpent visited his mother – priestess initiated in orgiastic rites of Dionysus; the pope Innocent III*3* asserted that he acts on behalf of the Holy Trinity, and so on). Usually, the oppressive structures, armies, police, and other units/departments of the hierarchies of earthly coercive power corroborate “divine” power of the ruler with the power of weapons, prisons, capital and other punishments, as well as with other kinds of deprivation of life and life–sustain resources.

However, with knowledge of true God, the human mind receives understanding that deification of man (as any other kind of idol–worship) is irrational assertion, which might be imposed only onto the ignorant mind and only through deceit, coercion, and lies.

The Christian teachings is given by God Who is the only Truth, Life, and Way {John 14:6}; consequently, for the Christians, the words of God convey the truth incompatible with philosophical speculations, false, corrupted imagination, and delusion. In the light of the Word–God, any coercion, forceful conversion, religious persecutions, deprivation of freedom, attempts to put “superiors” with all their hierarchies, lies, and earthly authority between God and His creation – a human being, become the pointless crimes against God and against men. God is the Spirit, and where is the Spirit of God there is the freedom, truth, life, and justice; he who believes in Him must worship Him in spirit and truth {Psalm 146:7; Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:18, 21; John 4:24; 8:31–36; 2 Corinthians 3:17; Romans 8:2}.

Besides, no one is able to come to Lord Jesus Christ until God the Father draws him {John 6:44}: to be a Christian is not a subject of forceful conversion or the caprice of human mind; Christianity is the greatest gift of God, because through Lord God Jesus Christ, mortal men enter the life everlasting.

Indeed, nobody ever was, is, or will be able

–– to force God to dwell in a human being

–– to obstruct the will of God Who Himself chooses those who become His Own

–– to separate the mind from God

–– to deprive any human being of the love of God

–– to enslave the mind that had learnt to love God and thus, obtained the absolute freedom, which comes only with love and knowledge of God.

Although Christian faith enables the mind to comprehend the truth and to obtain ultimate freedom {John 8:31–32}, the freedom of the mind – freedom of conscience and freedom of thinking – does not mean the absence of the responsibilities before the others, disobedience to the laws and authorities of the world: the Apostles left the detail instructions for the Christians {The New Testament – the Epistles, esp.: 1 Peter; 2 Peter, 1 John}.

In spite of Christians’ obedience to the worldly authorities, peaceful and virtuous life, and initial recognition of the Christian teachings as the purely moral doctrine and as the simplified religion of slaves and outcasts, the Christians became the object of hatred and persecutions. Since the very beginning, the worst enemies of Christians are those who identify themselves with the ruling elite – priests–diviners, philosophers, deified emperors and other leaders, probably, because any oppressive establishment identifies the knowledge of freedom as the greatest threat. When such an establishment is not able to terminate the source of knowledge, which gives freedom, it distorts the very meaning of this knowledge in an attempt to exercise the absolute power over mind in the same fashion as a slave–owner exercises power of life and death over body of a slave.

So, what is the meaning of the “absolute” power within the world of men, and what makes the Christian faith so dangerous for the establishments pursuing the absolute power?

In general, the absolute power might be defined as the power

a) to create life and to sustain existence within all dimensions, worlds, establishments, settings (in the heaven and the earth)

b) to give eternal life

c) to actualize the maximal potency of good.

The power is absolute if it controls life of the entire human being – the unity of mind/soul/spirit and body/flesh/matter, therefore, if it works within all dimensions of the universe. To be able to exercise the absolute power, the mind must have an ability to create and to control the energy of creation; in particular, to manage the energy fields, which

–– accommodate transformation of the energy of creation into a being capable of development–evolution

–– sustain the purposeful existence within the world of the matter – the reality described with the time–space–complexity/energy–information–matter parameters.

Such abilities are not a property of the human nature. Moreover, a human being is not able to see the face of God and live {Exodus 33:20}. If even to see the Holder of the absolute power is not possible, so it is understandable that any creature of flesh/matter by the very nature is not capable to access and to control this absolute power. Only God has the absolute power, which a creature of flesh is not able to access due to the very own nature – purposes, conditions, time–range, and meaning of existence. Knowledge of human nature eliminates any basis for assertion of a possibility to possess with absolute power:

– a human being is a wholeness of the matter, which is a manifestation of the divine energy of creation, and the spirit, which is the function of the Holy Spirit – the Spirit of Almighty God–Creator; therefore, man’s life is a manifestation of the power of God, not his own creation that he is able to control

 – a human being as a wholeness of the spirit and matter is able to exist only at those levels of complexity where the unity of matter/flesh and spirit is possible and where the cycle of energy transformation has to be completed according to some purposes, therefore, where such settings as time, complexity, and dimensions accommodating creation–existence–transformation/dissolution of the matter are arranged; for instance, as soon as the pre–determined for each being purposes of existence (cycles of transformation of the universal energy at the particular levels of complexity) are accomplished, the wholeness of the matter and spirit is dissolved (physical death, or death of a body) with transformation of the spirit/soul/mind into another, original, energy form {return of the spirit to God Who gave it –– Ecclesiastes 12:7}

 – the wholeness of the spirit and matter – life – is possible because the divine/universal energy of creation and the life–sustaining power create the energy forms according to the universal law/pattern/code of creation {Λογος – the Word–God, John 1:1–4}, and at the different levels of complexity; again,  life is a manifestation of the absolute power of God, and man is able to hold it only within the time–space range allotted by God

 – a human being, as the wholeness of the matter and spirit arranged to exist at particular levels of complexity, does not have access to the power that controls these levels of complexity. Only by the power of God the Prophets and the Apostles “create miracles” –  demonstrate the direct access (yet, not possession) to the universal energy of creation and ability to manage its transformation into the perceivable matter or into the energy fields, which sustain existence of the matter and only when the power of God acts through them. For instance, the prophets multiplied bread and oil, resurrected the recently deceased {3 Kings 17:1–24; 4 Kings 4:1–44}; however, the demonstrated power is the power of God that works through men, and the human capabilities to accommodate this power are limited: only Lord God Jesus Christ created eyes for the blind and resurrected dead body, which was in a tomb four days {John 9:1–7, 32; 11:1–44}.

So it might be concluded that such a phenomenon as “absolute power of man” does not exist. Absolute power of man is a phantom, figment of imagination, or a dream of the proud mind that desires to exult itself over all other creatures and to take the place of God–Creator within the world made by the Creator. As all dreams, this phantom lives only in human imagination; as all dreams, this phantom influences the actual world only if people embody it into their words and actions.

Those who either are deprived of knowledge of true God or do not believe in true God, and those who are accustomed to worship false gods become the most fervent believers in the phantom of “absolute power,” with which they identify the coercive power over a human being exercised through coercion and with (and within) the oppressive establishments. These three categories of men share one common feature: deprivation of wisdom; otherwise they would comprehend that the power over man might be referred to as the absolute power only it makes possible 

–– to institute the particular knowledge as the truth and to define the morality*2*: to establish the foundation of conscience, the criteria of judgment, and make them work for survival of men

–– to establish or to modify the laws of Nature and the laws, which control the human nature

–– to create life and to resurrect the dead

–– to determine and to control the post–mortem destiny of a human soul.

As soon as no one man ever was or is able to control forces, which create life and control death, the very idea of absolute power of man is irrational construction: the human being’s “absolute” power over other human beings is a figment of evil imagination intended to deprive the others of freedom, to extort profit and benefit from enslavement of the others, and to intervene in the will of God. The belief in the “absolute” power of any ruler/leader might be forced upon the others only by deceit and coercion: the power the people imagine to be the “absolute” power, in fact, is the power of physical coercion and deceit. All what the rulers/leaders/kings/popes/etc are able of is to

–– deprive their subjects of the resources needed to sustain physical existence

–– inflict pain and suffering

–– preclude access to the knowledge they consider detrimental to their interest

–– to defraud the ignorant (those who they already deprived of access to the knowledge of truth)

–– to deceive and corrupt the others by pretending to possess the power over human soul and by asserting special connections with deities who, as they believe or propagate, control the source of life.

Many conquerors, emperors, religious and political leaders chased the phantom of absolute power in different times, civilizations, countries. However, all of them follow the same pattern and they began with the same action: enslavement of their subjects, because, in the world of men, in all times and in all societies, the “absolute” power is inseparable from the absolute slavery. Indeed, to sustain illusion of the absolute power of one man, all other human beings must forfeit the freedom of conscience and freedom of thinking and submit the mind and body to the will of the “absolute” ruler in the absolute (or “holy” – *5*) obedience. Then, everyone must take the allotted strictly determined place among the others assembled into the hierarchically organized, thus easily manipulated, herd. 

Transformation of a free man into an absolute or unreserved slave might be accomplished only after his mind was deprived of the freedom, which accompanies the true knowledge of God: then, his reason becomes focused on the survival within the material world and he voluntarily makes own body the subject of his superior. In present, all these actions are undertaken in such a way that provides the subjects with the illusion that they still can make the free choice.

In the contemporary terms, it might be said that the phantom of absolute power belongs to the shared imaginary world, which demands two groups of “players.”

One group provides the ruling–manipulating–controlling–consuming minority; it includes two types of personalities – a candidate for the rank of the idol (those who seek deification), and those who sustain/organize self–deification:

–– one type assumes own ability to possess the absolute power, therefore, reintroduces the pattern of the original sin and becomes “the son of perdition” who takes the place of God in the temple of God and declares himself to be God {2 Thessalonians 2:3–4}

–– the second type asserts existence of the absolute power of man as the all–known truth, makes this assertion the article of faith, and then, builds the imaginary world, in which the phantom of absolute power becomes the actuality of other “players.”

The ruled–manipulated–controlled–consumed majority constitutes another group; this group consists of those who ultimately would be deceived, enslaved, and exploited by the first group. Usually, these people are intentionally barred from access to the knowledge of truth, because only ignorance makes possible acceptance of the mythical “absolute power of man” and subsequent transformation into the idol–worshippers.

The illusion of absolute power has foothold in the assumption of inequality, roots itself into the mind because of fears and passions of men, and swells up through pride and deceit. It arises when a human being chooses to forfeit the freedom of conscience and freedom of thinking and becomes enslaved until such a degree that

 

the mind is focused exclusively on the world of the matter




the mind accepts physical survival as the main value




the mind rejects own responsibility for own thoughts and deeds.

 

Such a choice signifies the first stage of transformation into the living dead/beast – a physical being/body, which has neither free conscience nor free mind, yet, continues to function at the levels of the matter: it obeys the orders of its master, consumes material resources, and retains an ability of procreation (usually, regulated by the rules established by its master). 

The phantom of absolute power exists only for those who are deprived of the freedom of thinking. Without freedom of thinking, the life of the intelligence, for which a human being has been created, is impossible. Deprivation of the freedom of thinking means slavery, yet, according to Socrates, slavery produces the dead mind unable to create “a single wholesome thought” [Plato 173 a–b]. Consequently, if the suppression of freedom of thinking is assassination of the mind and if a voluntary rejection of the freedom of conscience and freedom of thinking is suicide of the mind, the absolute power over man is just another name for the reality of a manufacturing enterprise known also as a slaughterhouse. In such an enterprise, “the absolute ruler” butchers the mind and produces the living dead for his establishment: absolutely obedient slaves–tools for own enrichment, satisfaction of pride, and – if to use the Aristotle’s definition – bodily services.

In summary,

1/ the “absolute” power of rulers is the power of coercion and deceit: the rulers can inflict pain, enslave and kill a body, and defraud the mind

2/ in the world of men, the “absolute power” has the meaning of power to deprive a body of life–sustaining resources and life and to defraud the mind. Such “absolute power” over a human being can be obtained through the comprehensive control over the mind, conscience, and body, when all components of the human being are controlled and subdued and this being as the wholeness of spirit–mind–flesh becomes the unreserved easily manageable slave by spirit, by reasoning, and by body.

In the heathen Antiquity, the most famous pretenders on possession of the absolute power were

– the Egyptian pharaohs who, for instance, exercised their power over the souls of their subjects by depriving their bodies of traditional burial

– the “divine” king–priest who sacrificed some of their rebellious subjects to promote benefits of unreserved obedience, and to alleviate existence of general population

– military leaders and conquerors, for instance, such as Alexander of Macedonia who claimed to be a son of the main Greek heathen deity – Zeus

– Roman “divine” emperors.

In the history of Western civilization, the phantom of “absolute power” is harbored by the papal church of Rome. In particular, writings of Thomas Aquinas, the main papal theologian, illustrate how the “absolute” power of the pope became the article of papal faith:

–– for the kings, Aquinas asserted that the supremacy of the Roman pope over rulers of the earthly states is absolute and has the power of the divine law*3*

–– for the papal subjects, Aquinas composed the doctrine of obedience, which became the main building block for the papal hierarchy. The starting point is the assertion that obedience to the pope is the condition of eternal salvation. With the reference to the Aristotle’s statement that the virtue/goodness is obedience: slaves – to their master, and citizens – to their ruler [Aristotle Politics I.13, 1260a; III.4, 1277a], Aquinas equates obedience–submission to the control of the others with the virtue and describes obedience to the superior as the divinely established order, as the good and “special” moral virtue and “the regular mode of life” for religious people [Summa Theologica I–II Q. 92 a1; II–II Q.104 a2]. Consequently, Aquinas asserts that disobedience to the superior becomes a mortal sin, which violates two main commandments because it contradicts to the love of God and to the love of neighbor (the Aquinas’ “superior” is also a neighbor). With these Aquinas’ assertions, love is transformed into unreserved obedience of a slave who then, might be compelled to commit any crime (e.g., torture, murder, betrayal), to consider any crime as the act of love, and to interpret any corruption as the virtue, if the superior commands.

The higher is the rank of a superior, the greater is the sin of disobedience. Aquinas explains the special importance of obedience by referring to God with the Aristotelian definition of “the first mover” that moves all things and all wills: the superior naturally moves his subjects by his commands as the divine power naturally moves things and wills.  If the will of God is the first rule, the will of superior is the second rule for the inferior, and the special virtue of obedience is “more praiseworthy” than other virtues [Summa Theologica II–II Q.104, a1, a2, a3, a4, a5; Q.105 a1, a2].

The context of all Aquinas’ speculations with their physical “justifications” constantly correlates obedience to the superior with obedience to God; he asserts that even the wicked superior stands at the place of God. In fact, Aquinas equates obedience to the superior with obedience to God [Summa Theologica II–II Q.63 a3].

In addition to Aquinas’ assertions based on the heathen philosophy, the papacy sometimes obtained the very helpful “revelations” through the nuns who fervently practiced divination.  

For example, Catholic saint Birgitta declared that she received the “divine revelation” that if the pope is not a heretic, he has the absolute power to bind and loose souls. Even if the pope is sinful, vicious, and so wicked that after his death he would be condemned to hell, God confirms his “lawful acts on earth” [Birgitta ref. and qtd. in: Lea 3:641].

The Birgitta’s “revelation” means that sinful and vicious man has such a power that even God has no choice and, as the earthly papal subjects, has to consider the pope’s decisions as the His Own will – the will of God.

However, sinful, vicious, and wicked man is not able to act with the power of God: evil does not exist in the presence of God. Thus, the “condemned to hell” sinner is incapable of the acts consistent with the Absolute Good: the assertion is irrational from the beginning as any figment of imagination and as any assertion of delusional mind. In fact, such misconception concerning the power of man does not differ from the naïve heathen myths in which the mortals bind deities with special magical rituals, so deities have to obey the will of the mortals. The Birgitta’s assertion discloses not only the depth of separation of the papal “hierarchical church” from Christianity; it reveals the world of deceitful evil imagination that manufactures lies and deceit with the purposes to enslave and subdue human beings to the evil.

The Aquinas’ doctrine of the absolute obedience, which equates obedience to the mortal man–pope with obedience to God, explains also why

–– all those obsessed with lust for the absolute power attempt to eradicate or to misinterpret the Christian teachings

–– leaders of the establishments based on enslavement perceive the Christians as the enemies

–– the focus of ecumenism is the Christian Orthodox Churches, especially, Greek and Eastern Churches, although they unify less than 250 million people, the small number in comparison with the army of billion+ papal servants.

The Christian Orthodox Churches are under the special papal attention, because the Christian faith is the obstacle for establishment of the global papal dominance. For the sake of survival of the papacy, the political theology of Aquinas based on the Aristotle’s doctrines (especially, on the concept of slavery as the universal order of the cosmos) must supplant the Christian teachings within the entire world. Corruption of the Christian faith and elimination of the Christian teachings are the true purposes of ecumenical movement led by the papal church of Rome and covered with the slogan of “Christian unity.” Of course, such “Christian unity” demands unconditional recognition of supremacy of the Roman pope over the entire Christendom.

The main reason why the papacy by all means and methods fights for destruction of our Christian faith, which would issue from submission of the Orthodox Churches to the authority of the pope, is incompatibility of true knowledge of God preserved by the Orthodox Christians with assertion of the supremacy of one man – pope – over the Church of Lord God Jesus Christ. In addition,

–– the Christian Orthodox Churches preserved the original Christian teachings and the Apostolic traditions; there is no place for the Christian teachings and the Apostolic traditions in the papal establishment with the Aristotle–Aquinas political theology as its official doctrine

–– the Christian Orthodox Churches keep traditions of mercy, freedom, and peace, which Lord God Jesus Christ granted to His followers; there is no place for freedom and peace of Lord God Jesus Christ in the papal church, which controls the unreservedly obedient papal subjects, and which cannot imitate mercy of God*4*.

Those who want to remain the Christians – followers of Lord God Jesus Christ, should realize that establishment of the papal “absolute” power/supremacy over the entire Christendom means destruction of the institution built by the Apostles for accomplishment of the will of God – preaching the Gospels and propagation of the Christian teachings. This destruction is a clear and present danger, because the universal criterion of judgment given by God Himself {to judge the tree by its fruits – Matthew 7:15–23} already is forgotten by those who pursue ecumenism and envision a possibility of the sacrilegious union with the heretics. Otherwise, the people who are offered the belief in a possibility of “Christian unity” with the papal establishment would evaluate adequately its fruits, for instance, such as

–– deprivation of the Catholic laity of the Cup of Eucharist, therefore, acceptance of the Manichean heresy

–– atrocities of the Crusades

–– crimes against humanity committed by the papal Inquisition

–– persecution and murder of the heretics and schismatics who rejected idol–worship of “supreme teacher” the pope in the Past

–– heathen practices of divination, development of addiction to pain, corruption of imagination, brain–washing and destruction of conscience, without which it is not possible to transform a normal human being into idol–worshiper and unreservedly obedient papal subject who, according to the order of the pope, must see the black as white, crime as virtue, and corruption as righteousness

–– enslavement of the papal subjects who live under the doctrine of the “holy” obedience*5* and therefore, must surrender their free will, freedom of judgment, freedom of thinking, and freedom of access to information to the will of their superiors

–– interference in politics and policies of the states (e.g., through political assassinations, plots, education of children, coercion of adults)

–– the constant scandals with priests–pedophiles, which reveal some of the consequences of the Aquinas’ doctrine, for instance, such as the incompatibility of the Canon laws with the Law of God and with Christian dogma and issuing corruption of the members of the papal hierarchy – those who rape and abuse children and those who cover sexual and other crimes of their counterparts and subjects and allow further spread of corruption.

The destruction of any Orthodox Church will become the reality at the very moment of recognition of the “absolute” power/supremacy of the Roman pope, because the fate of any Orthodox Church, which would kneel before the pope, is heresy, slavery, and idol–worship.  This inference might be easily confirmed by words of Cardinal Bellarmine, Jesuit (the member of the militant papal order founded by the papal saint – Ignatius of Loyola*5*), who has defined the appropriate behavior for the church under the authority of the pope:

–– the church must accept any doctrine prescribed by the pope

–– the church must “blindly renounce all judgment of her own”

–– the church must believe that everything that pope teaches is “absolutely true,” and everything that he commands is “absolutely good”

–– even if the pope had erred, ordered to commit sins, and forbade virtues, the church must consider sins as the good and virtues as the evil in accordance with the order of the pope [Bellarmine ref. and qtd. in: Baybrook 277].

Although the Orthodox Christianity is the main target of papal efforts in the contemporary crusade – ecumenism, the Orthodox Christians will survive if they preserve knowledge that

a) it is not possible to enslave the soul that has learnt to love God

b) it is not possible to assert own “absolute” power over anyone who knows that he has been created in image and after likeness of God

c) the soul, which has learnt to love God, is invincible, and Christianity – the infiniteness of ultimate freedom – has no place for slavery.

The Christians know that any pretense on possession of the absolute power always was, is, and will be the intentional deceit, the abomination to God, and crime before God and men. Only God–Creator has the absolute power over a human being–creation of God, and God warned His children: do not be afraid of those who can kill the body, yet, who are not able to kill the soul {Matthew 10:28}.

Furthermore, the Christians are not expected to seek the absolute power over the others, especially, by deprivation of freedom of conscience and freedom of thinking – that is by transformation of the living creations of God into the living dead. We, the Christians, have another hierarchy: he is the greatest who serves the others {Matthew 23:8–12; Mark 10:42–45; John 13:13–17} as our only Lord, Master, and Teacher did. We do not need “supreme” teachers and masters: we have God as the only Teacher and the Lord and Master. We know that in the same moment when any Christian becomes tempted by the phantom of the absolute power or begins to pretend to possess any kind of supremacy over the others, he begins own transformation into the living dead. If any Christian begins the pursuit of the absolute power, acknowledges existence of the “absolute power” of man, or admits that a mortal man (e.g., the Roman pope) is able to substitute for God, it means that he ceases to be a Christian and becomes the apostate–convert into neo–heathenism.

The phantom of absolute power and thousands of years spent in the struggle for embodiment of this phantom into the daily life of men allow comprehension of three historical events.

At first, it explains why the totalitarian states, empires, establishments, and their rulers aspiring for the absolute power perceive Christianity as the worst enemy: with the Christian faith, a human being obtains the ultimate limitless spiritual freedom – the freedom of conscience and freedom of thinking, which any oppressor perceives as the greatest threat to his aspirations.

At second, it explains why the original Christian teachings has been so barbarically distorted and why, for instance, Aristotle–Aquinas’ political theology (that is the official doctrine of the papal Church of Rome), and Loyola’s doctrine, which elevates “the holy obedience” of the papal subjects into the rank of the main virtue*5*, supplanted Christianity in the papal Church of Rome.

At third, it reveals the mechanics of enslaving employed by the propagandists of all times and fashions: the establishments, which are not able to terminate the source of knowledge that gives freedom,

a/ make the knowledge of truth forbidden

b/ exterminate its carriers

c/ misinterpret this knowledge and distort the very meaning of freedom for their subjects/objects of persuasion.

For instance, the necessity to maintain illusion of the absolute power over human soul, mind, and body of the papal subjects prompted the Inquisition to make the Holy Bible the forbidden book and forced the philosophizing theologians to misinterpret and falsify the Christian teaching with the purpose to justify the terror of the Inquisition*6*.   

However, the true temple of God, that is the free mind/soul/intelligence of man created into the image and likeness of God, the mind that loves and serves God in spirit and truth, is out of reach of the living dead – the sons of perdition {2 Thessalonians 2:3–4} who for the sake of own insatiable pride and lust for the power attempt to dethrone their Creator and take His place in His Own temple. Even in the hour of absolute darkness, the light of God shines, and no one is able to pluck the God’s very Own sheep out of His hand {John 1:5, 9; 10:27–30}.

And I think that many centuries ago, in the world where slavery was the manner of existence, the new–born Christian Church unified the slaves by body who were freemen by spirit; this Church had grown and survived in the caves, catacombs, and desert. Now, after almost two thousand years of existence, she has the greater challenge: to survive in the world in which many are free by body, yet, are slaves by spirit.

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Notes:

*1* The human soul comes to life and lives by the Spirit of God: man became a living soul after God inhaled His breath into the nostrils of a creature formed from the dust of the ground {Genesis 2:7}. The soul–essence of man (the mind in the contemporary terms) is the temple in which God dwells; without God, the mind does not live. If man denies God–Spirit for the sake of the world–flesh–matter, he forfeits his own soul and transforms himself into the beast; he becomes an animated matter or the “living dead,” because of absence of the divine Spirit–breath of God within. Then, an appearance of a human being disguises the living dead – the beast of flesh similar to animals and other earthly creatures, which do not carry the image of God. Yet, the beast exists (and vanishes) according to the laws of the matter, which was created to propagate and to sustain life of other beings. There is an irreconcilable difference between two types of the human mind: the sheep of God and the sheep of man {conf. in: John 10:1–16; Matthew 24:4–5, 11, 23–24; 1 Peter 5:1–3; 2 Peter 2:1–3, 14–21}.

*2* The Christian moral teachings had been granted by Lord God Jesus Christ and propagated by His Apostles: it exists almost two thousand years in perfect entirety and completeness: nothing can be added and nothing must be taken away. If men alter the teachings of God, they substitute figments of own imagination for the truth revealed by God; such actions originate heresy and culminate in sacrilege.

However, there is a special department at the papal office – the Magisterium, which among other functions assumes responsibility for the moral of the papal subjects. According to the pope John Paul II, the first time in the history, the Magisterium has described in detail “the fundamental elements” of its teaching, or the “Christian moral” [John Paul II Veritatis Splendor §115.1, §110.2 in: The Encyclicals of John Paul II 763, 767]. The core of the Magisterium was formed in the time of Origen and Augustine (the third–fifth centuries), about fifteen centuries ago. Why it took so much time for the Magisterium to “set forth” the papal church teachings in its fundamentals and what is this teachings about if already, during at least one thousand year after the Great Schism, the popes continue to claim the title of the “universal/supreme teacher” of the entire Christendom?  

*3* The popes’ definitions of their power illustrate the meaning of the “absolute” power assumed by the popes.

 The pope Innocent III (pontificate 1198–1216) was the first pope to use and widely apply to himself the title of “vicar of Christ.” Innocent III initiated the Fourth Crusade during which the Catholic Crusaders pillaged and destroyed the Christian temples in Constantinople, raised the papacy’s authority and influence in the West Europe to the highest point, and eagerly pursued expansion of the Papal States and establishment of the papacy in the Byzantium, at the ruins of destroyed Christian temples. Innocent III proclaimed [Innocent III ref. and qtd. in: Encyclopedia of the Vatican and Papacy 213–214; La Due 118, 124; Willett 11]: 

1/ God appointed the pope to be “His Vicar on earth”; therefore, “as every knee is bowed to Jesus, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth,” in the same fashion all men must obey His Vicar – the pope

2/ the pope acts on behalf of the Holy Trinity, “by the authority of SS Peter and Paul, and by... own authority.

The pope Innocent III employed different styles for description of the papal power:

–– in 1198, rather in the style of an astrologer, he asserted that the royal power derives its dignity from “the pontifical authority,” as the inferior moon derives its light from the superior sun [Innocent III on Empire and Papacy: “The Moon and the Sun,” October 1198, in: Documents of the Christian Church 123]

–– in 1213 and 1214, after king John submitted his kingdom to the papal authority, with the reference to St. Peter the Apostle, Innocent III proclaimed that ”the single person of Christ’s Vicar” unites kingdom (“a royal priesthood”) and the priesthood (“a kingdom of priests”) [Selected Letters of Pope Innocent III… 149, 177–178].

Later, Innocent III at the pick of his political, judicial, financial, and secular power was compared with Napoleon Bonaparte [Barnes 364]; this reference also evidences the incompatibility of the papal empire with the Christian Church.

The pope Boniface VIII made two statements: the papal authority is divine,” and for the sake of eternal salvation, any human being must be the “subject to the Roman Pontiff.” Then, the pope Pius XII continued: there is the dangerous error to believe that it is possible to accept Christ and to “reject genuine loyalty to His Vicar on Earth” [The Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302, in: Documents of the Christian Church 127; Pius XII qt. from Mystici Corporis Christi in: Sherrard 60].

The pope Pius V (Catholic saint), describes himself as the ruler of all nations and all kingdoms, who was placed by God in the “supreme throne of justice” and designated “to pluck up, destroy, scatter,” etc. [The Papal Bull Against Elizabeth, 1570  in: Documents of the Christian Church 267–268], Four centuries later, the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) defines the pope’s title as the infallible “supreme shepherd and teacher of all Christ’s faithful,” and as “the supreme teacher of the universal church” whose promulgations need neither approval nor judgment of the others [Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils 869].

So far, the word “supreme” remains the uniform papal self–reference through the centuries. Yet, there is no place for human self–exultation and pride in the Christian Church; they are the property of arch–evil and the reasons why Cain murdered his brother Abel.

*4* Thomas Aquinas, the main papal theologian and canonized papal saint, propagated mandatory execution of the relapsed heretics, because the papal church cannot imitate God in His mercy to the relapsed sinners: it does not have God’s knowledge of hearts and sincerity of repentance. Also, in direct contradiction to the Gospels, Aquinas asserts that extermination of the heretics, so “heretics be altogether uprooted by death,” is not contrary to God’s commandments [Summa Theologica II–II Q.11 a3 ro3; a4 ro1]. To the contrary, Lord Jesus Christ commands us to imitate mercy and perfection of God, the Father of mercies, and to leave judgment to God  {Matthew 5:44–48; 9:13; 12:7; 13:24–30, 37–41; Luke 6:35–37; 2 Corinthians 1:3}. St. Paul the Apostle recommends to avoid the heretic: after the first and second admonition the heretic should be excommunicated {Titus 3:10}. Excommunication is deprivation of communion with the church and the believers. Yet, Aquinas contradicts the Apostle: he argues that heresy is much graver sin than money–forging (in Aquinas’ time, money–forger was punished by death); therefore, the heretic must be severed from the world by death: after the second admonition, the heretic must be delivered to secular authorities to be exterminated from the world [Summa Theologica II–II Q.11 a3].

For complete comprehension of Aquinas’ assertions, it should be taken in consideration that the papal church is ruled by the pope who combines the titles of “supreme shepherd” and “supreme teacher of the universal church”*5* with the functions of the universal Inquisitor –“Prefect of the Inquisition.” Then, it becomes obvious that the papacy has invented and follows its own “strange” teachings, which admit impossibility to imitate the mercy of God, and which are irreconcilable with the Christian faith – the faith that makes forbidden any violence, retaliation, and murder (or in Aquinas’ terminology, “pain of death” – Summa Theologica II–II Q.11 a4): the Aquinas’ doctrine is  incompatible with the teachings of Lord God Jesus Christ.

*5* Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), the founder of the Jesuit Order, asserts that “the Church militants” – the Jesuits/papal subjects – must put aside own judgments and see the white as the black if “the hierarchical Church so stipulates.” His doctrine of the “holy obedience” demands the complete abnegation of own will and judgments; the subject must obey “blindly, without inquiry of any kind” to the superior who holds the place of God or the place of Jesus Christ, has “His authority,” and is “obeyed in the place of Christ.” The subjects must accept and actualize the will of superior as the will of God, and the superior’s wish must become own wish of the subject: when the superior gives orders, his voice must be recognized as the voice of God or as the voice of Christ; to “maintain a right mind in all things” means to put aside all own judgments [Spiritual Exercises §352–365; To Rector and Students of the College in Coimbra, 1548, §3–4,7; To Fathers and Brothers in Portugal, 1553, §2–3; On Prophecies and Revelations, 1549, §35, 47; The Final Word on Obedience §2 in: Personal Writings 358; 200, 202; 222, 226, 252; On Perfect Obedience in: Counsels for Jesuits 76, 78, 81; The Constitutions of the Society of Jesus and Their Complementary Norms III.284; IX.765 §20 123, 365].

To the contrary, the Christians follow the advice of St. Paul the Apostle: test everything, and do not become slaves of men {1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 7:23}.

*6* In 1229, for the sake of “prevention of heresies,” the Inquisition prohibited reading of the Bible by all Catholic laity. In direct contradiction to God Who instructed His disciples to proclaim the Gospels to all nations, translations of the Bible into the European native languages became the crime punished by death. In October 1536, William Tyndale was burned at the stake for translation of the Bible in English, yet, his work laid the foundation for other versions, including those known as “Geneva Bible” (1560) and “King James’ Version” (1611). The deprivation of the word of God resulted in catastrophic impediment of development of the European civilization. Gar Baybrook names the suppression of the Bible, acceptance of the heathen beliefs as the articles of the Catholic faith, and “the dictatorial methods” of the papal hierarchy as the reasons why the history of mankind has “the Dark Ages” [Baybrook 427–428, 603–605; Grun 168, Trager 108].

Deprivation of the knowledge of the Gospels facilitated misinterpretation of the Christian teachings for the sake of interests of the papacy. For instance,

1) the papal theologians Henry of Susa (1271) and Jean d’Andre (1348) invented and propagated the special “law of Christ” [Vacandard 128], with which they justified the papal habit to burn human beings at the stake

2) the papal Council granted the Catholics who expel heretics (and apprehend their land for occupation by the Catholics) the “holy privilege” of the Crusaders [Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils 234]. Many generations of the Catholics believed that the Inquisition is in fact the “holy office,” which acts according to the Law of God. Consequently, they betrayed their neighbors to the Inquisition, participated in torturing and execution of the victims, and enriched themselves with the property of the executed “heretics” and the expelled non–Catholics.

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 References:

Aristotle. Politics. Trans. Ernest Baker. Revised with an Introduction and Notes by R.F. Stalley. Oxford, England:   Oxford UP, 1995.

Barnes, Harry Elmer. A Survey of Western Civilization. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1947.

Baybrook, Gar. Heresies of the Christian Church. Payson, Arizona: Leaves of Autumn Books, 1998.

Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils. Ed. Norman P. Tanner. London and Washington, DC: Sheed & Ward, Georgetown University Press, 1990.

Documents of the Christian Church. Selected and edited by Henry Bettenson. 3rd ed. Ed. Chris Maunder. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1999.

The Encyclicals of John Paul II. Ed., Introductions by J. Michael Miller. Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, 1996.  

Encyclopedia of the Vatican and Papacy. Ed. Frank J. Coppa. Westport, Connecticut:  Greenwood Press, 1999.

Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: a Horizontal Linkage of Peoples and Events. Based on Werner Stein's KULTURFAHRPLAN. 3rd revised ed. New York: Simon & Schuster and Touchstone, 1991.

Ignatius of Loyola (Saint). Counsels for Jesuits: Selected Letters and Instructions of Saint Ignatius Loyola. Ed. Joseph N. Tylenda. Chicago, Illinois: Loyola University Press, 1985.

Ignatius of Loyola (Saint). Personal Writings: Reminiscences, Spiritual Diary, Select Letters, including text of The Spiritual Exercises. Trans. with Introduction and Notes by Joseph A. Muniti and Philip Endean. London: Penguin Books, 1996.

La Due, William J.  The Chair of Saint Peter:  A History of the Papacy.   Maryknoll,   New York:   Orbis  Books,  1999.

Lea, Henry Charles. The Inquisition of the Middle Ages. New York:  Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, 1887. 3 vols.

St. Maximus The Confessor. Selected Writings (The Four Hundred Chapters on Love. Chapters on Knowledge. The Church's Mystagogy). Translation and Notes by George C. Berthold. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1985.

Plato. Theaetetus. Trans. with an Essay by Robin A. H. Waterfield. London: Penguin Books, 1987.

Selected Letters of Pope Innocent III Concerning England (1198–1216). Eds. C.R. Cheney and W.H. Semple. London:  Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1953.

Sherrard, Philip. Church, Papacy, and Schism:  A Theological Enquiry. London:  SPCK, 1978

Thomas Aquinas (Saint). Summa Theologica. v. 1, 2: Parts I, II–II, III. First Complete American Edition in 3 volumes literally translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. New York, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago, San Francisco: Benziger Brothers, 1947. 3 vols.

Trager, James. The People’s Chronology: A Year–by–Year Record of Human Events from Prehistory to the Present. Rev. ed. A Henry Holt Reference Book. New York: Henry Holt, 1992.

Vacandard, Elphege. The Inquisition: A Critical and Historical Study of the Coercive Power of the Church. 1915. Trans. from the 2nd edition Bertrand L. Conway. Merrick, New York: Richwood Publishing, 1977.

Willett, Franciscus.  Understanding the Inquisition.  N. Easton, Massachusetts: Holy Cross Press, 1968.

 

 

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

 

Idolatry

 

…Thou shall have no other gods beside Me…

…Thou shall not bow down to them, nor serve them…

{Exodus 20:3, 5}

 

When God gives Moses the Law, He addresses to one being, not to the tribe, and not to the nation: “I am the Lord thy God Who brought thee … out of the dwelling of slavery,” and “thou shall have no other gods beside Me. Thou shall not make to thyself an idol (ειδωλον) nor likeness of anything” whatever exists in the heaven or in the Earth.

In the beginning, God created one man, then, woman – a bone of man’s bones and flesh from man’s flesh to accompany and to assist man in all his endeavors. Then, after human desire to know evil was fulfilled with cognition of slavery, lawlessness, suffering, and death, God sets man free: He grants the ultimate knowledge of good – His almighty Love along with

– the Law of life and freedom

– wisdom and knowledge – the light within the world of ignorance and darkness created by men

– understanding that God is omnipotent: He creates a nation from one man, and raises up “children to Abraham” out of the stones

– the knowledge that the division man vs. woman does not exist in His eternal kingdom {therefore, the punishment of woman for the original sin – in: Genesis 3:16 – will be annihilated and she will not be enslaved to man}

– forgiveness and salvation by His all–embracing life–creating Love 

– the vision of the Future to come – the eternal life in the new perfect world without suffering and death.

The summary: God always speaks to a human mind, not to the marching mob, and God is everything for a human being – the life, the light, the truth, the way, the source of wisdom and knowledge, and the meaning of existence {Genesis 1:26; 2:15–24; Exodus 20:1–6; Wisdom 2:23–24; 7:15–16; 8:17–21; 11:22–27; Isaiah 51:1–7; Luke 3:8; 20:27–38; John 6:27–58; 8:12, 31–32, 34–36; 11:25–26; 14:6; 1 John 4:8–10, 12–21; 5:11–12; Revelation 21:1–27; 22:1–6}.

Three general inferences follow from the referred above texts.

1/ The foundation is always the same: the direct connection–link between God and the mind of an individual human being – a person. The family, tribe, nation, and mankind exist as the derivatives of one man, as multiple reproductions of the same universal pattern, as the means to accomplish the will of God and to cognize the perfection of good and to limit the measures of evil within the particular time–space–complexity setting, which exists to accommodate the created by God totality of transformations of the divine energy and to fulfill some purposes of God; the human mind named this setting “the Universe.”

2/ Each human mind–dwelling of the Living God contains the entire cosmos granted into the dominion of man, and each human being has unlimited abilities of cognition, creation, survival, and procreation: Adam, Noah, Abraham – all of them became the ancestors of the multitudes, which populated the earth, and all of them received from God the knowledge that their descendents either discarded (and vanished) or kept (and survived until they complete mission on the Earth).  Those who survived knew true God and left their knowledge to their offspring; those who substituted dreams and assumptions for the true knowledge perished without trace, along with their establishments – vanished nations, empires, and civilizations. Only knowledge of true God sustains life and secures survival of the chain of generations, which ascend to the completeness of the perfection, accommodates evolution of human mind, and prepares it for the eternity.

3/ There is no limit for the human mind: it might ascend to the perfect love of God as Moses, Abraham, and other friends and servants of God did, and it might fall into the depth of evil and betrayal as Judas Iscariot did {John 6:70–71}. At some time–space point, each human mind comes to the inevitable choice: God or idol; this choice makes the ultimate difference between good and evil, life and death of a person.

So, if all human minds are the variations of the same universal pattern–code – the image and likeness of God–Creator, why one mind chooses God and another mind betrays Him and chooses idolatry, and what is the moving force behind the choice between good and evil? Many generations of philosophers and theologians attempted to find answers to these questions; chiefly, with expectations to eliminate evil from the life of mankind, yet, nobody was able to convince the others to willingly accept the way or manner of live, if this way or manner of life is inconsistent with the inner beliefs and the habitual way of their expression.

Widely known from the history events of forceful conversion and persecution of the different–minded (e.g., tragic history of Spanish conversos) confirm that the power of coercion is able to force the weak to change the appearance and to hide the inner beliefs; however, the strongest would suffer and die because of their convictions and refusal to accept officially propagated beliefs. So, what defines the difference between “the weak” – those who change own beliefs under the pressure or fear of death and suffering, and “the strong” – those who do not change their convictions under the threat of death and suffering?

Understanding or inability to understand the meaning of the absolute power explains each individual choice: the key is in knowledge of the difference between life of a body and life of the soul/mind, and consequently, an ability to differentiate between the power to kill only body and the power to destroy the body and the soul {Matthew 10:28}.

The power over the wholeness – the entire human being (the union of body–mind–soul–spirit) is the absolute power. To be able to recognize the absolute power of God, to know true God, and to discriminate between good and evil, the mind must be healthy. The health of mind is defined as an ability of comprehension of the actual meaning (underlying laws, reasons, development, and consequences) of events/phenomena perceived by senses (eyes, ears).

The mind that lost or never had such comprehension and knowledge (faith) judges by appearances, by manifestations of the matter, without cognition of the true meaning of things. It ascribes possession of power to those who have none, and does not recognize the only true power by which the world lives – the power of God. According to the prophets, such a mind dwells in darkness, under the power of evil.

Only God grants abilities of comprehension, understanding, wisdom, and knowledge. If the mind desires to obtain the freedom of thinking and life, it turns to God; only then, it might be

– healed and forgiven*1* by the love of God

– illuminated by His Word and given understanding and wisdom

– set free from the power of evil and sin and transformed into the child of God. The desire to be with God, an ability to love the others, and mercy to the others are the necessary conditions for the first step to such a transformation–passage from death to life, which results from cognition of God and fulfillment of His commandments {Isaiah 6:9–10; Matthew 13:13–15; John 1:1–5, 10–13; 13:34–35; 15:12–17; Acts 26:15–18; 1 John 2:1–6; 3:14–15; 4:7–8; Romans 3:9–18; Ephesians 1:15–23; 2:1–10}.

The history of mankind suggests some inferences:

1/ any being–image–idea–phenomenon–creature of imagination, to which the human mind attributes the possession with the absolute power over itself and over the others, becomes the deity–god for this mind

2/ the inability to accept the Creator as the only God and the consequent desire to make own beliefs the only universal–absolute truth and to elevate own idol(s) at the position of the absolute–universal deity has originated all evils, which existed in the Past, exist now, and will exist in the Future until the end of this world.

Concerning the absolute power, it might be said that

1/ only God–Creator possesses the absolute power over all His creations

2/ the meaning of absolute power includes the power to determine–sustain–change the human nature and the nature of all other beings; it is the power to control the entire human being – the unity of mind–body/spirit–flesh, as well as the entire world, which accommodates existence of man; this power includes

– the power to create and the power to destroy

– the power to give life and the power to deprive of life (put to death)

– the power to create–change–eliminate any conditions–terms–circumstances of existence, especially, in a manner inconsistent with the logical  expectations inferred from the perceived or assumed conditions and reasons behind the event/phenomenon

– the power to give everything and the power to take everything away

– any other imaginable and unimaginable power over mind, body, conscience, and thinking of man

3/ the possession with the absolute power defines one of the perceivable by mind differences between God–Creator and His creation – man

4/ the human mind created in image and likeness of God–Spirit by its very nature is focused on God, longs for the communication and unity with his omnipotent Creator, and seeks attachment to the Almighty God – source of the absolute power and life everlasting. The meaning of the absolute power of God over the human mind might be inferred from the definitions given by God Himself and through the Old Testament’s prophet and through His apostles: the human heart, with the Law–Word of God within, is the temple–dwelling, which belongs to God only {Luke 12:49; John 14:6, 23; Psalm 39(40):8; Isaiah 64:8–9; Acts 9:15; 1 Corinthians 3:16–17; 6:19–20}.

The practices and rituals of communication, seeking unity with God, and recognition of His absolute power are identified as “worship.” Consequently, idolatry is worship to “other gods” – to those who in fact, have neither power nor life in them. Idolatry begins when the mind turns to “other gods,” therefore, assumes that someone else besides God–Creator is able of possession with the absolute power.

So, who are the “other gods” and how the mind comes to worship the creatures of own imagination?

The minds, which do not share the belief that a particular image–idea–phenomenon–figment of imagination is true deity–god, identify such object of beliefs as idol or false god. The word idol became a definition of “other god” – the alternative authority, which the mind attempts to elevate at the place of true God and to which it ascribes possession of the absolute power.

The Greek word  ειδωλον (idol) has the common root with two words: 

-  ειδον  – to perceive–observe–experience visually or mentally, to find out by observation

-  ειδος – visible form, shape, likeness. 

Consequently, the compound meaning of the word idol suggests more than just “graven image” or manually crafted object of worship. Idols denote the entire sphere of products crafted by a human being – by the mind, by hands, by words, and by actions – with the purpose of deification, worship, elevation to the rank of any authority, which might influence life of human beings: issue laws, rules, norms, establish criteria of judgment, create assumptions and assert them as the knowledge of truth, etc.

Four pillars sustain idolatry: ignorance, fear, imagination that took the place of reason, and deification of power – any kind of power, starting with the power of elements and forces of nature and finishing with the power of coercion exercised by leaders of political, religious, social, and other establishments. Although cults, religions, doctrines and other idols of body and mind assume different appearances, idolatry has two inseparable common features – two “red flags,” which might warn of the danger before the mind accepts the idol:

1/ any idol usurps the place of God 

2/ any idol enslaves God’s creation – a human being.

If the mind knows and loves God and recognizes own connection with Him, the power of God protects it from idolatry of any kind. The mind, which due to ignorance or deceit – deprivation of knowledge of God, seeks and finds its highest authority in “other gods,” falls into idolatry, under the power of the “father of lies” – the arch–enemy and the murderer of men {John 8:42–45}. 

At the same moment when the human mind discovers “other gods,” it slides into the dream world of death (own or shared with the others, e.g., cults, shared imaginary worlds–games created by sci–fi writers or borrowed from movies and books and accepted as the worlds accommodating the objects of worship).

At the next stage, the mind begins to attribute features of the actuality (firstly, possession with power) to a figment of imagination; at this stage, an idol is established as the center of a dream world, or as a top level of a hierarchy.

Then, the mind elevates the figment of imagination at the rank of deity; the idol–making process is completed when the mind assumes that its own creation has any kind of power. At this moment, the mind allocates to the figment of imagination the power over itself or over conditions of own existence. If other minds join the idol–maker, they create shared dream worlds and establish hierarchies and institutions with which they propagate their beliefs, and eventually impose their beliefs onto the others, often, through the power of coercion, threat of deprivation of the life–sustaining resources, and fear of death.

The process of deification is completed with a particular ritual of worship – sacrifice. The meaning of the sacrifice is recognition of the absolute power of idols over human beings; this recognition is confirmed by death of living beings – birds, animals, and humans (children, men, and woman).

From a particular point of view, extermination of the different–minded, or the heretics, might be also seen as a sacrifice: someone’s life is ended with the purpose to prove superiority and “divine power” of the idol. Performance of the rituals of death – killing of sacrificial victims – signifies completeness of idolatry through attribution of the absolute power (in this case, the power to deprive of life is recognized as the “absolute” power) over living beings to the idols, which manifest their power through special men (e.g., priests–sacrificers, and the others of a kind) or special establishments (e.g., the Inquisition).

The nature of idolatry is puzzling: each living being has at least some faculty of deliberation keeping this being alive. If so, why many minds, which their contemporaries praised as the great thinkers/philosophers/leaders/etc., came to idolatry, therefore, have chosen the death of reason? Probably, because the process of creation always is the process of self–actualization: at least in some degree, it is the process of accomplishment of the main mission of man (to create) and – if interpreted wrongly – self–exaltation, which human pride struggles to obtain with all available means. Then, each mind creates into own image and likeness: idols reflect the features of their creators – it makes them look predictable, thus, provide the creator with predictability of his own Future. The evil of creations is believed to be limited by creator’s own limits, and the mask of good covers the depth of evil assumed to be cognized, therefore, controllable by the creator. Consequently, within the idol–ruled microcosm, the idol–creating mind satisfies itself with the illusion of total control over own creation and over those who accept its creation as the actuality. However, all these assumptions of the idol–making mind contain the same degree of truth as the idols it made; they also reveal the main root of idolatry: insufficiency of the power of reasoning issuing from deprivation of true knowledge or inability to perceive it.

The history of ancient Israel {in Books of Chronicles, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Amos, and other Prophets} describes how the nation chosen to become the holy nation of priests relapsed into idolatry again and again and again. Neither mandatory death sentence, which the laws of Moses instituted for apostates and idol–worshipers, nor punishment (such as wars, famine, drought, wild beasts, and incurable diseases) exterminated attachment to idols. The politically, financially, and commercially motivated marriages of kings, starting with Solomon the king of Jerusalem, and other leaders of Israel with Egyptian princesses and women of surrounding nations as well as political and business communications provided constant influx of polluted minds and constant exposure to alien customs and rituals.

In general, the destiny of ancient Israel was set at the moment when the elders demanded Samuel the Prophet to give them a king, so they would be “like all the nations,” and they would have someone to judge them, to represent them, and to lead their battles {1 Kings 8:4–22}. In fact, this choice was rejection of God {1 Kings 8:7–8}. Rejection of God was the first step to idolatry, because “all the nations” surrounding Israel as well as Egyptians from which the tribe of nomads had to learn the meaning of slavery, customarily deified their kings. With this choice,

–– the ultimate pattern of idol–making was established

–– the chosen nation had rejected her exclusive status as the God’s Own people

–– the chance of nation to be ruled by God Himself vanished

–– the idolatry entered the next stage of advanced proliferation, at which deification of the human establishments becomes possible.

With time, the industrious imagination populated the mankind’s world with myriads of “other gods.”

In general, the multitude of idols created by men might be divided into three groups:  

1/ the nature: the elements, the forces of nature, their embodiments, and the objects, which constitute the material world; this group includes planets, stars, other celestial objects, the Earth, beasts, insects, and everything else that flies, runs, crawls over the dust and swims in water

2/ humans: leaders, kings, and other rulers with the power and authority based upon the access to weapon, wealth, and knowledge, which provide the possibility to coerce and deprive the others of freedom, life, natural way of living, happiness, health, and property

3/ creations of humans made by thoughts, words, and actions:

 

figments of imagination/thoughts – assumptions, doctrines, theories

embodiments of thoughts into religions, cults, philosophical and other doctrines,

ideologies, and similar sets of assumptions, assertions, and beliefs,

which would be recognized as the religious/political/social/scientific/etc. truths and imposed onto others

embodiments of sets of beliefs, assumptions, doctrines into religious,

social, political, scientific, and other establishments, institutions,

and structures intended to guard and to propagate the sets of beliefs

things produced by human hands.

 

With multiplication of idols, the natural connection between two generation – parents and children – began to serve transmission of false beliefs; with each generation, enslavement of man grew stronger. As of today, worship to “other gods” became the manner of daily life, especially, in the most advanced Western democracies.

The heathen Greek philosophy contributed greatly into the idol–creating process (which gradually became the essence of the Western civilization); it prepared the human mind for acceptance of the most destructive false religion – atheism*2*. 

Historically, the heathen cults and philosophical–theological doctrines accommodated plenty of different idols. As the general trend, each new generation of the heathen philosophers supplemented the doctrines of their predecessors and expanded the circle of their deities: from the stars, the army of “gods” descended to the Earth, arranged the Hades, populated temples, palaces, homes, roads, fields, forest, rivers, ocean, air, etc., subdued the mind, and enslaved the spirit and body of man. The more comprehensive the particular heathen religion/cult/doctrine became the more human lives and suffering it consumed; the more human lives and suffering it consumed the higher potential of evil it accommodated.

In the temporal perspective, the heathenism might be identified as the accelerated disintegration of mind and decay of the intellect; this kind of disintegration

– starts with human imagination

– is fed by human blood

– progresses through the corruption and perversion of the human nature and destruction of men’s creations

– comes to its completion with transformation of the human mind into the set of instincts of physical survival similar to those of the beasts of pray.

The common “point of no return” is deification of the idea or the establishment produced by men; at this point, idolatry swallows the remnants of human intellect – the human reason dies and the consequent destruction becomes inevitable. 

For instance,

1/ the pre–Platonic philosophers constructed theological doctrines, which downgraded the concept of invisible uncognizable God to the level of visible celestial objects, forces of nature, and the Universe; still their doctrines preserved some remnants of primordial knowledge of God and promulgated ideals of humanity

2/ the Plato’s doctrine became the next stage: it introduced the concept of “divine philosopher” and prepared the ground for deification of figments of imagination embodied into the men’s establishments. With deification of the consummated philosopher, Plato instituted the “perfect community” with the Nocturnal Council as the means to control the ordinary people’s beliefs and manner of life. The Plato’s utopia propagated the perverted “ideals” of the inhumane “community,” which survives by producing for itself a particular hierarchy of manageable and reliable slaves who themselves are the slave–owners. The hierarchy is organized by the possession of wealth, firstly, slaves. Plato designed the special class of “guardians of a flock” for protection, control, and maintenance of the hierarchical community. The guardians – referred by Plato as the warriors and philosophers – are deprived of family, all human attachments, and human dignity (for instance, they are allowed to commit incest if the random choice – the lottery confirmed by the Delphi oracle – points on sisters as a temporary sexual partners with which their masters reward the guardians for their service). The Nocturnal Council – precursor of the Inquisition – had to monitor the beliefs and the manner of life of the community members [Republic; especially 451b–c, 457d through 461e, 521c, 525b; 549a]. Even today, the Plato’s followers continue to propagate the ideas of “the great philosopher of the Antiquity” and praise heathen philosophy for its “human ideals,” which, in fact, have nothing in common with humaneness as well as with the human nature

3/ the Aristotle’s doctrine deified the matter, perverted the concept of morality by association of the virtues with physical pain or pleasure, and induced worship to the establishments of men; it asserted slavery as the universal pattern and natural order of the society/state, declared divine origin of the state, and degraded man at the level of social–political animal – the part and property of Polis/state; the Aristotle’s speculations and social–political utopia became the foundation for political theology and for ideologies of all slavery–based establishments, especially, the totalitarian states*3*

4/ Aristotle’s doctrines and idolization of the state {which the elders of the ancient Israel chose instead of God – 1 Kings 8:4–22} received their logical completion in works of Georg W. F. Hegel (1770–1831, Germany), to whom McGovern refers to as “the prophet of ‘creative unconscious reason’.” Hegel’s logic underlying deification of the state (and, especially, state’s destructive power) provided the foundation for Darwinism, Marxism, Nietzsche’s doctrine, Fascism*3*, and Nazism. Hegel’s doctrine might be summarized with the following assertions [Hegel 610–611; Hegel ref. and qtd. in: McGovern 318–319, 554, 560–561]:

– concerning the evolution – conflicts, wars, and struggle constitute the basis of evolution

– concerning the war and peace – the war is “the act of supreme power,” which guards and preserves the life; peace corrupts people, thus, war is the means to escape corruption, because the “supreme power,” which protects life, acts through war; the state–winner of all wars is adequate to “the World–Spirit” (“the World–Spirit” is the highest deity in the Hegel’s hierarchy)

– concerning the state in general – the state is “the divine idea”; it is an embodiment of the universal spirit – the “one Universal Person” in whom all mankind is united; the state is “a soul, a person, a potent will conscious of its ends” that is superior to its parts–subjects (these parts–subjects are human beings–persons)

– concerning the national state – the national state is greater and more significant than mankind is; it is “the ultimate goal of evolution” obtainable through inevitable and useful wars

– concerning a human being – individual minds are “unreal abstractions” or “momentary phases” in the development of the universal spirit; a person believes in “the phantom, which he calls his individuality,” yet in fact, he is “little more than a puppet” of the society; his essence (reason, will, conscience) conception of the world, morals and beliefs are determined by the community of the living and the dead: his predecessors and contemporaries.

The Hegel’s doctrine embodies all typical features of the cult centered on idols. The essence of this cult might be inferred from the fascist slogan that conveys the meaning of state for its worshipers: “Nothing outside the State, nothing above the State or against the State; everything in the State and for the State” [qtd. in: Sturzo 480]. This slogan adequately describes the essence of cult of the state – the idol, which usurps the place of God, and in continuation of the traditions of the Plato–Aristotle’s utopias, asserts own exclusive right on possession by its slaves – subjects, persons. The scale of sacrifices to the deified state might be illustrated by the results of the World War II, which in continuation of the Hegel’s assertions was intended to preserve life of the Germans and to elevate the German super–race and its “perfect community” – Nazi Germany in a position of the global ruler and master of all nations:

– the Nazis assassinated 14 millions of “racial inferiors”

– defeat of the Nazi Germany was accomplished through immeasurable suffering and death (one of the estimate is that the World War II cost mankind 54.8 million lives of people from 57 nations [Trager 893, 894].

The history confirms warnings of the Hebrew Prophets: idolatry pollutes the earth and begets the curse, which strikes idol–worshippers with disgrace, madness, premature death, and destruction {Jeremiah 3:9; Deuteronomy 11:26–28, 28:1–68, 30:15–20}. In fact, the idolatrous minds wipe themselves out from the reality of the God’s world and ruin own creations, because they had perverted their nature and became incompatible with the image of God, thus, with the created by God world.  It is the constant never–ending process: testing of the loyalty to God, and then,

 

either the leap to the higher level of cognition and optimization–evolution

or

the collapse into idolatry and consequent self–destruction.

 

However, each generation has the minds that possess the true knowledge of God and recognize the danger of idolatry. Even in the heathen Antiquity there were those who kept the true knowledge of God, which at some point of time was revealed to Abraham and then, to his descendents. One of such Keepers of knowledge, for instance, was the priest of the Most High God – Melchisedek the king of Salem, “a priest in perpetuity” as the presage of likeness of Lord Jesus Christ {Genesis 14:18–20; Psalm 109(110):4; Hebrews 5:6; 7:1–3, 15–18}.

The knowledge and love of God penetrates the universe and breathes in each creation, and it cannot be otherwise, because everything is created by God, worships God, and lives by His love, mercy, and power {Genesis 1:1; John 1:1–3; Psalms 147:14–20; 150:1–5}.  All that the life–oriented mind needs it is to find the road to God.

And I think: since the first act of idol–worship {which, in fact, was committed by our ancestors at the moment when they substituted the false assertions of the beasts for the commandment of God – Genesis 2:16–17; 3:2–14}, countless multitudes of human minds have passed through the Earth; some of them left their lethal legacy – the multitudes of idols and dream worlds created by ignorant and evil imagination. This burden of evil is destroying the human nature and other creations – plants, birds, animals; it ruins the Earth, and pushes mankind toward self–annihilation. So, would it ever be possible to find true God in the world over–populated and polluted by idols of all imaginable kinds? If so, how to awake the mind from the dreams of death?

 

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Notes:

 

*1*  The idol–worshipers have to ask for forgiveness and to be forgiven, because they are guilty of discarding their own inner knowledge – the Law of God and not following own nature, which is focused on God and lives by God. By discarding the knowledge of God and worship to “other gods,” they degraded themselves to the level of beasts and chose the path of degeneration.

In general, the meaning of degeneration of the human nature includes an inability to perceive the true meaning of everything, an inability to seek God, and an inability to find God in each of His creations; all these inabilities are the consequences of violations of the Law of God – The Ten Commandments – and of evil committed to the others.

 

*2Some researchers hold that atheism as denial of God and the heathenism as the set of cults of multitudes of deities apparently are incompatible: the pagans treated atheists as the criminals who should be punished by death or incarceration and even do not deserve the proper burial.

For instance, Plato invented a special oppressive structure – the Nocturnal Council – to exterminate atheism from the life of the perfect communities [Laws 908a–909c]. Yet, in fact, atheism is a collective name for the kind of heathen religions in which the irrational systems of beliefs (essentially identical with the concepts, symbols, and idols of ancient pagans) take place of traditional deities. Clement of Alexandria (AD 150–225) defines atheism as the substitution of the names of non–existing gods for God. The link, which Clement of Alexandria established between two apparently incompatible systems, concatenates the heathenism and atheism as a parent and a child. Some of the contemporary authors accepted the similar vision of atheism, e.g., Jaroslav Pelican writes that atheism and polytheism are synonyms [Pelican 11].

Indeed, modern atheistic philosophy sustains the ideologies, which deify rulers, leaders of the leading party, or the state itself (e.g., communism, fascism).

In view of that, the reason for the Plato’s distaste for atheism could be found in unwillingness of the atheists to accept the rules of the majority; such unwillingness made them the threat to state/social stability of the Polis and other “perfect” communities (“perfect” because they are established on the principles of comprehensive control, unification, and “harmonized” stability of the structured society, which consists from groups of similar replaceable and incapable of deviation–revolt social animals–men, whose beliefs, thinking, and behavior are designed and controlled by “gods,” usually, by the deified political elite, or by the “divine” hierarchy headed by a deified ruler).

The ultimate goals of atheism and all doctrines, which have atheism as the apparent or implied basis, include complete elimination of God from the life of men:

–– atheism attempts to erase the image of God from the conscience and mind, therefore, to downgrade man at the level of beast

–– atheism substitutes the beliefs in some abstract good for the faith in God.

The logical reality of anti–evolution founded upon atheism and other heathen doctrines, which do not recognize true knowledge of God, accommodates the processes of dehumanization of man, transformation of man into the beast without any remnants of humanity, and consequent annihilation of humans.

Suffering, impoverishment, denigration, and extermination of countless human beings in post–1917 Russia under the authority of Marxists–Bolsheviks–Communists illustrate the general potential of atheism.

 

*3* For instance, Alfredo Rocco (1875–1935, a legal expert and Minister of Justice in fascist Italy), envisioned fascism as a successor of the “organic” state founded on the Plato, Aristotle, and Machiavelli’s doctrines [Alfredo Rocco ref. in: Eatwell 180].  In complete agreement with the ancient political utopias – Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Polis, the Rocco’s version of the fascism defines the relations between the state and a person as a formula “individuals for society”:


persons are the means

society is the end

life of the society is using persons as “instruments” for the purposes (“ends”) of the society.

 

The fascist state considers a person as “an economic instrument,” which the state must use and “subordinate when no longer serviceable,” that justifies the death penalty and other “institutions and practices” (e.g., concentration camps and euthanasia) accepted by the fascism and its derivatives (e.g., Nazism) for extermination of the worn out “human instruments” – persons. Alfredo Rocco asserts the supremacy of the rights of the state in all matters: preeminence of the duty of a person to serve–worship the state becomes “the highest ethical value” that transforms the meaning of liberty from the pursuit of interests of the citizens into the pursuit of the interests of the state. Consequently, the “state sovereignty” takes the place of the democratic “dogma of popular sovereignty” and “entrusts” the control of the society to “a selected élite” [Rocco 402–405].

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References:

 

Eatwell, Roger. "Ideologies: Approaches and Trends." "Fascism." Contemporary Political Ideologies. Eds. Roger Eatwell and Anthony Wright. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1993. 1–22. 169–191.

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. "Introduction to the Philosophy of History. Logic. Supplementary Passages." The European Philosophers from Descartes to Nietzsche. Ed. Monroe C. Beardsley. New York: The Modern Library, 1992. 537–608. 609–632. 633–644.

McGovern, William Montgomery. From Luther to Hitler: The History of Fascist–Nazi Political Philosophy. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1941.

Pelican, Jaroslav. "Introduction." Selected Writings by Maximus the Confessor. Trans. George C. Berthold. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1985. 1–13.

Plato. “Laws.” Complete Works. Edited with Introduction and Notes by John M. Cooper. Associated Editor D.S. Hutchinson. Indianapolis, Indiana: Hackett Publishing, 1997.

Plato. Republic. Trans, with an Introduction and Notes by Robin Waterfield. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Rocco, Alfredo. "The Political Doctrine of Fascism." Association for International Conciliation. Documents for the Year 1926. American Branch Doc. 216–225. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. New York City, 1927. Doc. №. 223. 387–445.

Sturzo, Luigi. Church and State. v. 2. London: G. Bless, The Centenary Press, 1939. 2 vols.

Trager, James. The People’s Chronology: A Year–by–Year Record of Human Events from Prehistory to the Present. Rev. ed. A Henry Holt Reference Book. New York: Henry Holt, 1992.

 

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September 26, 2010

 

Divination

 

…They prophesy to you a false vision, and a worthless divination,

and the deceit of their heart…

{Jeremiah 14:14}

 

 

Knowledge of the future always was, is, and probably, will be the most valuable and sought after kind of knowledge. The ability to foretell the forthcoming events differentiates the chosen servants of God – the prophets from all the others: the prophets know and tell the truth, which comes to pass; the others fantasize, dream, and tell lies {Deuteronomy 18:22; Psalm 73:9; Isaiah 41:23; 46:9–10; 48:3–7; Jeremiah 28:9}. By knowledge of the end the people of the Past differentiated message of true God from false claims made by the worshipers of idols. 

When the ancient Israelites lived according to the Law, God sent prophets to teach and to lead them by the path of life – survival. After the chosen nation made the fatal choice to be governed by a king and to be like all other – heathen – nations, the human reasoning of a king gradually supplanted the divine guidance actualized through the prophets. Then, the kings (whom the people preferred to God) became the punishment: when the people violated the Law and worshiped idols, they received the leaders devoid of wisdom, who led them to disgrace, despair and death. Eventually, the people lost the ability to perceive the words of divine revelation; they came to the prophet to be entertained, not to accomplish the will of God, because of their falsehood and corruption they lost ability to perceive the truth and knowledge of the future became unavailable {1 Samuel 8:5–21; Psalm 106(107):40; Isaiah 9:16; 40:23–24; Jeremiah 29:19; Ezekiel 33:30–33; Hosea 7:2–7; 13:9–11}.

As it could be inferred from the history, the road to ruin begins with idol–worship: rejection of God, Who is the Absolute Truth, leads to inability to perceive any truth, even the actuality of the surrounding world. Consequently, the mind becomes incapable of

–– adequate interpretation of events, conditions, and phenomena

–– adequate evaluation

–– choice of adequate purposes, means and action needed to achieve the desirable purposes and conditions.

The Holy Scriptures refer to such deplorable condition of the human mind as, for instance, to

–– to hear yet not to understand, to see, yet not to perceive, inability to understand by heart and to turn to God for healing {Isaiah 6:9–10}

–– inability to discern the signs of time {Matthew 16:1–3}

–– “the blind leaders of the blind” {Matthew 15:14} who lead to collapse.

In summary, although men have abilities of sensory perception (to see by eyes, to hear by ears), they lost abilities to analyze, interpret, and comprehend. The mind in which the natural faculty of deliberation is separated from sensory perception becomes a disintegrating system: wisdom to comprehend the words of God has gone, the intellect descends at the lower levels of complexity, and the mind devours lies of diviners instead of absorption of knowledge conveyed through prophecies. 

Therefore, the prophets lead to a conclusion that only people deprived of the true knowledge of God, the people with impaired judgment, follow the false prophets who lead them to ruin.

For instance, a case of Jeremiah the prophet (who was persecuted for his attempts to convince the people to accept the will of God and to submit themselves to the Babylonians as the punishment for idol worship and corruption): contrary to the will of God revealed through Jeremiah, the false prophets offered the actions, which would satisfy the people’s pride, and the pride prevailed. Jeremiah was thrown into the pit, yet, the future he predicted, became the actuality: the Babylonian army defeated Israel king’s army, destroyed Jerusalem, enslaved the king, enslaved the people and settled them in Babylon {The Book of Jeremiah}.

The destiny of Jeremiah, as well as the destiny of other prophets–messengers of God, prompts the question: what is the force that compels men to discard and violate the Law and commandments of the Creator, to rebel against God and persecute His servants – prophets, or to misinterpret and disregard the messages of God conveyed through the prophets?

The prophets addressed the facts, which already became the reality; for example, rejection of the word of God, idol–worship, hiding of the condemned property, which had to be destroyed, divination by prophets for money. Their warnings and revelations also disclose the starting point of evil: when the heart of man turns away from God and discards His Law, it comes to worship other gods, accepts the false instead of the truth, and presumes priority of the visible, discernible, perceivable matter over the invisible Spirit {Deuteronomy 30:17; 1 Samuel 15:17–23; Jeremiah 8:5–9; John 8:40–45}.

The manifest phase of decay begins with the shift of the mind’s focus: instead of God Who is the Spirit {John 4:24}, the mind becomes concentrated on the material discernible things; it perceives the matter and discards its Creator – the Spirit of God. Why this shift becomes possible, why the mind rejects knowledge revealed through the prophets and accepts false knowledge received from diviners, what activates the consequent inevitable annihilation, what transforms the creation of God into the creature that is “not of God” {John 8:47}, how to detect and prevent this transformation, and where is the point of irreversibility – who ever was able to answer these questions?

The Greek word προφητης means “someone who speaks on behalf of another”; prediction is just one of the components of the prophetic phenomenon. The comprehensive meaning of prophecy includes establishment and protection of the particular truth that must be absolute for a system (society, state, nation, world) if it seeks survival. The true evolution of mankind begins with the Hebrew Prophets, and the knowledge of future is crucial: after revelation of the Law, the prophetic guidance and the foreknowledge secure life and survival within the heathen world, which worships death and is destined to annihilation.

Consequently, the prophetic knowledge might be seen not only as one of the means by which a system corrects own chances of survival: prophecies direct the people to fulfillment of particular purposes; one of them is survival of the state, nation, or other establishment/system. In general, prophecy is precise knowledge of the system’s past, present, and future, or its purposes, interim and final states–conditions–terms of existence. A prophet works at the higher level: he observes–analyzes–comprehends the system and sees it in its entirety – the code–essence–core, from which the system develops, the current conditions–degree of development/degeneration, the system’s optimum or highest potential, the purposes of existence, and the end –


disintegration

or

transformation and consequent growth and readiness to fulfill other purposes.

 

The complete tragedy of the choice to be as all “other nations” ruled by the earthly kings becomes clear, if to realize that “other nations” live by the will of humans corrupted by power, greed, etc. The first priority of any corrupted and corruptive leadership is political and social stability, which would allow pursuit of the purposes of ruling group. Those with the access to the power of coercion assume that such stability is possible only if to mold thinking of the subjects according to the purposes of the ruler and if to transform all population into the manageable herd, which is

–– organized (structured–divided by hierarchical levels, groups, classes, other units, usually with some controlled hostility and intentionally fostered differences, which are intended to prevent unification against the main ruling group)

–– divided by different functions–works needed for maintenance of the ruler’s establishments

–– controlled, produced, and disposed according to the purposes of the ruler.

Consequently, they transform the free mind into a replaceable part of manageable herd by deprivation of the access to knowledge of truth: they trigger degeneration of the mind and thus, make it ready to absorb false knowledge, which would keep it under control. Divination is the first source of such knowledge discovered in the Antiquity and widely used through the entire history of mankind – in the past, as well as now.

After the mind descended at the lower levels of complexity (degenerated), it composes a set of assumption with the interpretation of myths, symbols, and fantasies of diviners programmed by the controlling center or the ruling group. Then, the mind attributes the status of prophecy to any set of assumptions, and with own words and actions attempt to make them the reality. However, the inadequacy of such knowledge to the actuality results in annihilation: the false prophecies had destroyed countless establishments of men often along with their creators.

The disciples of Lord God Jesus Christ considered divination or soothsaying as the possession by the unclean spirits and exorcised them by the name of God {Matthew 8:28–32; Luke 4:33–35; Acts 16:16–18}. Such a treatment does not leave any doubt concerning danger of the “foreknowledge” received through divination.

Divination is creation of knowledge by imagining the hidden meaning of the events, underlying connections of the seemingly unrelated phenomena, and the consequences of the events and phenomena – the future. The mind engaged in divination creates a pattern of underlying connections and the set of assumptions based on own interpretation of the current reality and possibilities of its modification, which it perceives or communicates to the others as the vision of the future.

In general, divination is the special mode of reasoning, which results in creation of an alternative reality (new dream world) by the means of symbolism, analysis, and logic. The consumers of diviner’s products expect to receive advanced knowledge of the future or of the reasons for the present significant events; in fact, they receive the diviner’s figments of imagination, which they, then, embody into their thoughts, words, and actions.

Divination is a deadly dangerous game, because diviners supply programs and scenarios for creation of the dream worlds of the anti–evolution: the essence of diviner’s “knowledge” is distorted reflection of the reality supplemented with the diviner’s assumptions concerning improvement, modification, or destruction of the existing reality of the diviner’s client. If to judge by the history of societies, which employed diviners, implemented their “prophecies,” and perished, the diviners might be seen as some kind of programmers of annihilation: they develop programs of transformation of already infernal past or present into the most advanced (in the way of corruption) future. Usually, diviners identify themselves as prophet, seer, wizard, the man of vision, etc., while an appropriate name for a diviner might be criminal  or false prophet.

The origin of divination is covered with darkness of the unknown past; neither verbal legend not written evidence revealing the history of divination survived. Seemingly, diviners always had place within all known civilizations, empires, states, societies. Researchers who studied the phenomenon of divination left more questions than answers, and the most difficult task is evaluation of the adequacy of knowledge provided by diviners. For instance, why some of the diviners’ “predictions” came to fulfillment if in general, nobody can expect truth from dreams, lies, and deceit offered by people with over–stimulated imagination, mental disorder, or with a desire to make living by exploiting the others?

However, the cases when diviners predicted the future might have at least some explanation; for instance,

1/ the remnants of innate ability of comprehension, or the natural faculty of deliberation: the logic of reasoning and its fruit – understanding of the actuality – allows comprehension of the observed phenomenon; then the mind finds its roots in the Past, and extrapolates the pattern of interconnections, causes, and consequences onto the future; for the systems at the lowest levels of complexity it might work, sometimes

2/ in a case of cosmic and natural events, diviners conceal the knowledge of astronomy and observations of the nature behinds the rituals intended to convince their clients either in the divine origin of their own assumptions or in their “possession by gods.”

Divination and soothsaying were customary for the nations in Canaan, Asia Minor, and the Near East [Hölscher ref. in: Haldar 110–111]. Through Moses, God forbade His people these practices, and the Hebrew Prophets defined the difference between


prophesying as conveying the message of God

and

divination as the abomination to God.


The Hebrew Prophets equate diviners and false prophets – “foxes among ruins” who spoke falsehood and “divined a lie”; they name the false prophecy (similarly to divination) as “rebellion against the Lord.” In the Holy Scriptures, seeing vanities and prophesying falsehood are mentioned in the context of committing the great oppression by injustice and robbery {Deuteronomy 18:10–14; Numbers 22:18; 23:12; 24:3–4, 13, 15–16; 1 Samuel 15:23; Isaiah 2:6; Ezekiel 13:1–6, 9; 22:28–29;  Jeremiah 27:9–10; 28:15–16; Zechariah 10:2; Micah 3:11}:        

– Moses warns that God cast out the idol–worshipping nations from the Promised Land because of their abominable practices, which include divination and soothsaying

– Isaiah cries that God rejected His people because they had accepted the diviners from the East and soothsayers like the Philistines

– Samuel correlates the sin of divination with the rebellion against God

– Zechariah describes the diviners as those who lie and provide “empty consolation”

– Ezekiel unifies corrupted ruthless princes who shed blood for profit and take bribes, priests who profane the Law, and false prophets into one group of the criminals sorely oppressing the people with injustice and robbery 

– Balaam has “the opened eye,” sees vision of God in his dream, and speaks the words, which God sent him to speak; Balaam rejects gold and silver offered by king, because he is not able to disobey the will of God and to speak against the will of God

– Micah prophesies that Jerusalem will become the place of ruin and desolation, because the prophets prophesy for money, therefore, they are the diviners who lead the people astray from God and toward ruin and death.

The Hebrew Prophets warned that false prophesies of the diviners are the grave danger: although the false prophets pretend to speak on behalf of God, in fact, they convey “false visions” and “devices of their own heart.” They have own imagination as the source of visions, dreams, and oracles: they speak on behalf of idols – products of evil imagination and on behalf their corrupted masters – kings and rulers. Consequently, they spread corruption, mislead, deceive, and ruin the people (for example: the king of Babylon stays at the head of two ways, he uses divination, shakes diviner’s staffs, questions the carved images, and observes the sacrificed victim in a search of guidance concerning the attack on Jerusalem, yet, he receives emptiness and lies) {Deuteronomy 18: 20; Ezekiel 12:24; 13:2–7; 21:21–22; Jeremiah 14:13–16; 23:13–17, 25–32; Zechariah 10:2; Lamentations 2:14; Micah 3:5}.

In summary,

1/ false prophets have imagination as the source of their revelations; their visions are delusive, false, and deceptive

2/ false prophets do not speak the truth; they speak “visions of their own minds... lying dreams” – “the deceit of their own minds,” and utter a lying and worthless divination, false and misleading oracles composed by their imagination – they speak of behalf of “other gods” 

3/ false prophets fill people with vain expectations; they mislead others by “lies and recklessness”

4/ the false prophets “walk in lies” and do not expose corruption of Israel; their divinations are flattering; they lead people astray, support evildoers, and make those who listen them to forget God.

The people have at least three reasons to denounce false prophets {Psalm 118:160; Isaiah 45:19; Jeremiah 23:11–32; 28:15–17; Zechariah 13:3; John 8:44; 17:3}:

a/ the false prophets fabricate and tell lies, while the father of lies was the murderer from the beginning: lies kill all – those who spread lies and those who trust them – the false prophets and diviners serve as the means of destruction

b/ the false prophets obstruct development–evolution of the people needed for the purposes of God; they attempt to interfere with the purposes of God by covering their lies with the name of God, and by disguising their insanity with the references to the revelations and wisdom of God

c/  falsehood of the pseudo–prophets leads people astray, to ruin, destruction, and defeat by enemies.

The referred above texts of the Holy Scriptures, logically, should discourage anyone from seeking advice or guidance from divination; indeed, for any reasonable mind,

someone’s dreams are nothing more than reflection of someone’s cognitive processes

rods and graven images are nothing more than wood and stone

the sacrificed victims are nothing more than the dead flesh.

Consequently, if a ruler of the Babylonian Empire made the decisions with “knowledge” received through divination, it becomes understandable why this empire eventually collapsed and vanished without a trace.  

The Hebrew Prophets stressed out the very significant distinction between the true prophet–messenger of God and a diviner: the false prophets divine for money or personal gain; they tell whatever the rulers want to hear, and attribute own dreams to the will of God. However, the pseudo–prophets commit crime by prophesying false and unrighteousness; as a result, they become the scornful men moved by the evil spirit – they have night and darkness instead of a vision and prophecy; the destruction awaits those who prefer the comforting lies of pseudo–prophets to the harsh warning of the true prophet {2 Chronicles 18:4–34; Jeremiah 5:30–31; 6:13; Zephaniah 3:4; Micah 3:5–7

To the contrary, the majority of survived ancient texts describe the main role of priest–diviner as the true communication with gods. For example, in Sumero–Babylonian temples the specialty of bārū priests was communication with gods for the sake of knowledge of the future [Haldar 2]. The texts from Mari archives mention individual diviners and official cultic diviners [Huffmon 7, 17] organized in special clans/orders (according to some researchers, Māri, the city on the Middle Euphrates, is the place where the pre–Israelite tribe was formed [e.g., Albright ref. in: Haldar 107].

The diviners of the pagan antiquity pretended to obtain the ability to predict the future by two ways: unintentionally, as the granted above, and as the developed artificially, by the rigorous training, by the specific behavior (e.g., ecstatic dances), or by the specific means (e.g., self–inflicted pain, narcotic substances). They produced their oracles by interpretations of dreams, omens, and signs reflected through the material subjects, which (as they believed) were moved, placed, or shown in particular meaningful order by the mysterious forces–mediators between gods and mortals or by gods themselves. Another type of oracles was communicated during special/altered (or “alternate”  [Zinberg in: Marsh 130]) state of the mind: ecstasy, self–identification with deities, or direct communication with them. The altered state was evoked by the smoke of specific herbs, consuming or inhalation of narcotic substances, by ritual behavior, dances, and special mental techniques.

Whatever the cause of their mental condition was –– inherited mental disease, manner of life, narcotic substances, body movements, self–hypnosis, self–inflicted suffering, special training, or other means –– during the altered state of the mind, diviners conveyed the fruits of their imagination. Corrupted imagination and insanity are the source of diviners’ oracles and “divine” knowledge. When their forecasts and predictions had the apparent truthfulness, it was either the consequence of the diviner’s analytical reasoning or disclosure of the will and realization of the plans of the earthly rulers for whom the diviner works.

The sources and contents of the oracles might be divided into two groups: 

– divination by the material items; the information provided by diviners was their own verbal interpretation of material subjects, omens, and signs; for example, the order of animal’s or bird’s bones cast by a diviner, or an explanation of the meaning of celestial phenomenon and its connection with the destiny of a ruler

– divination by “inspiration” resulted from the state of ecstasy; this type of information usually was presented as the interpretation of direct messages of gods with minimal apparent involvement of diviners; for instance, the special priests, or sometimes the seekers of oracles themselves, interpreted the obscure oracles, which the Delphi priestess uttered after she consumed hallucinogen and reached the altered state of the mind. 

For the ancient Greeks, the divination by material items (especially the interpretation of celestial phenomena) was the serious matter, perhaps, in the same degree as today’s scientific and weather forecasts. They constructed their astrological predictions upon the observations made by the Assyrians since the beginning of times and ascribed celestial events to the laws of nature, which they identified with gods. The Greeks also employed different methods of divination and widely applied the “knowledge” obtained during ecstasy or altered states of the mind [e.g.: Bevan 130, 134–141].

For instance,

––- the first set of methods is based on an ability of mind to reach the state of ecstasy, which was expected to activate clairvoyance of diviners and soothsayers (Professor Meek defines soothsaying as an ability to reach the state of ecstasy and to become a shaman [Meek ref. in: Haldar 109])

––- the second set included submission to deities who – as the pagans believed – forcefully enter the diviner’s body. The ancient Greeks, for instance, believed that Apollo speaks and discloses the divine will through a Delphi priestess. When diviners and priests attempted to convince their spectators that gods have entered their bodies and are communicating through them, they manifested the symptoms of insanity (for example, see description of the Sibyl’s behavior in The Aeneid). The ancient Greeks recognized such madness as the gift of gods and named “prophecy”; they believe also that the senders of “divine” madness or “prophetic” trances were Apollo and Dionysus.

Dionysus – “the god of senses,” absorbed the features of different ancient deities of death, insanity, and destruction. Artificially invoked and then (for the next generations), inherited insanity became the distinguishing mark of the cult of death. The Maenad rites vividly illustrate the “divine” madness cultivated by the Dionysus followers. The symptoms of the same insanity can be traced in behavior of Alexander of Macedonia whose mother was the initiated of orgiastic rites of Dionysus [Graves 1:105, 114; Plato Phaedrus 244a, c, 265a–b; Plutarch Alexander 253–254; Vergil 6:51–58, 84–89]. However, sometimes insanity presented as “possession by gods” was a carefully designed show intended to influence the society and, firstly, its rulers.

The most elaborated rites of divination came from the orgiastic Dionysian cult. Heraclites refers to Dionysus as “the god of death” [Heraclites qtd. in: Bevan 140]. Not only the physical destruction caused by the Maenads could be the source of such a reference: the artificially evoked altered states of the mind, which result in temporary or permanent insanity, spell death of the reason. Perhaps, it is one of the explanations, why the Hebrew Prophets defined divination as abomination, rebellion, and sin against God – our God is God of wisdom and knowledge.

The source and the place of origin of Dionysian cult remain unknown. Some researchers assert that the ancient Greeks considered the earliest version of orgiastic Dionysian cult as the insult to gods, men, and the social and political disorder [Jaeger 57–58]. Another assumption is that this cult was introduced by the tyrants who struggled for power and therefore, needed the deprived of reason and unreservedly obedient human weapon. However, the nature and rites of Dionysian cult are the logical inference from the dark clandestine cults practiced by the elite of the Chaldeans and the Minoan civilization and modified for consuming by the ordinary population (those cults were rooted in the remnants of the knowledge created by the evil imagination of the first race of men from which the first Earth was purified with the Flood). 

The original Dionysian cult focuses on death and destruction. At the first stage of initiation, orgiastic rituals suppress, then, destroy the inner structures of the consciousness. The resulting impairment of thinking allows repetitive re–programming of the conscience: the initiated become easily managed slaves who are deprived of faculty of deliberation. The second stage involves ritual killings and human sacrifice: the initiated learn to please the deity with death of living beings and to focus own existence on death and destruction of the others. Then, the initiated pass through the selective rites: the followers of the Dionysus are divided into two groups – the elite that would live to spread and administer the cult, and the ordinary initiated who compose the majority of the followers. The majority becomes the ultimate weapon of destruction unreservedly obedient to the elite. The selected part of the ordinary initiated (those who do not fit for the purposes of the elite or are unable to serve the elite’s purposes) is allowed to pass into the third stage, which must be completed with ritual suicide as the offering to the deity [The Sunset Knowledge].

The main product of the Dionysian cult – unreservedly obedient human weapon – became the most valuable asset of any tyrant and of any social and political establishment, which builds own authority and struggles for the absolute power with the means of suppression, deterrent, and enslavement of own subjects and other establishments, nations, or states. Consequently, the traces of Dionysian cult could be found in all heathen concepts and doctrines, which provide the foundation for the wide range of cults, religions, and establishments based upon human weapons and other means of self–annihilation.

Usually, the diviners, sibyls, and priests began divination – entered the altered state of mind – with the artificial means. For instance,

– before uttering her oracles, a Delphi priestess inhaled gas from underground of the cave and drunk water from the sacred spring; obviously, there were some chemicals in the gas and water, which facilitated her entry into the altered states of the mind

– in their rites and revels, the Maenads intoxicated themselves by wine infused with some herbal substances; during the wild run through forest and mountains, they came into such a rage that they tore to pieces any living being they encountered

– Mesopotamian priests used different alcoholic drinks to evoke the state of ecstasy

– the temple priests (e.g., the Baal’s prophets and Sumero–Accadian priests) performed ecstatic dances and cut themselves with swords and lances {1 Kings 18:22–29} [Graves 1:105, 112; Haldar 26}.

According to some researchers [e.g., Haldar 2–7, 25–27, 30–31, 199], within the Semitic regions, all multitudes of forecasts were derived by two methods: “technical oracle” methods and the state of ecstasy. 

In the Sumero–Babylonian civilization, the temple priests had to learn the secret knowledge and to pass special rites of purification and initiation; their main responsibility was to reveal knowledge of the future as the will of gods. The oil in water, the internal organs of the sacrificed animals, celestial phenomena, different omens (e.g., flight of birds), interpretations of dreams, the images and light “seen” during the ecstasy, etc., served as the means to learn the will of gods.

The Romans – consistently with their practical orientation – eagerly accepted the ancient practices of soothsaying with the material objects. The special priests–augurs became the state officials, and each significant event of the official or social life began with the animal or bird sacrifice and “reading” the future or the will of gods in the internal organs (liver, etc.) of the victims.

Oracles by the “divine” inspiration were the mostly admired and trusted type of forecasts. A prophesying priests and soothsayers were acknowledged as “the man of god” or as “the holy man.” However, the descriptions of the behavior of diviners, sibyls, or temple priests and of their behavior at the states of ecstasy and “prophesying” prompt the inference that the diviners experienced or imitated insanity.

The descriptions of experiments conducted in the recent Past with LSD–25, mention visions and illusions similar to those, which ancient pagan diviners had during the altered states of consciousness. The encounters with such visions had led to re–discovery of the world of the ancient “spiritual systems” and placed heathen divination within the focus of contemporary psychological (usually Freud–based or openly atheistic) research.

For example, during the sessions of the LSD–assisted psychotherapy or specific “workshops” [Grof with Hal Zina Bennett 15–17, 110, 154],

–  “The Divine had manifested itself ... in a modern laboratory … in a communist country” and had taken over the life of the person (who was under the LSD–25) in the person’s “extraordinary encounter” with own “unconscious”

–  some patients with various emotional disorders had visions of deities and demons, “past life” experiences, cosmic events, etc.

–  a young German woman identified herself with both –“the archetypal great mother goddess” and with the planet Earth

– a professor of philosophy had an encounter with a “council of cosmic elders,” who are the guardians of the universal billion–year old knowledge.

The referred above examples point out the danger of artificially evoked altered states of consciousness and visions, which laboratory volunteers or patients with mental disorders experience under the psychotic drugs or as the result of special body–mind techniques. Such visions activate imagination, which substitutes



the phantasms for the real world


the death of reason for the life of reason.

 

Also, it is noteworthy, that when the contemporary psychologists, armed with materialistic philosophy and all modern scientific tools and techniques, face the necessity to explain the barren world of psychotic imagination, they are not different from their ancient pagan counterparts.

The Stoics attempted to apply their arithmetical logic, which they define as the laws of reasoning, toward cognition of the future. Their vision of the Universe as an embodiment of the Intelligence led them to the logical inference: the Universe has the fixed order – the Fate. Chrysippus (third century BC) envisions the Fate–destiny as the unchangeable physical order: one thing is always caused by and results from another, and this interrelation cannot be changed. Such a position discloses the simplified mechanical vision of the world: arithmetical logic is incapable of understanding the laws, which govern the phenomena with the complexity exceeding “2+2=4” equation.

In attempt to penetrate the mystery of the future, the Stoics used two kinds of knowledge:

–– the knowledge inferred or artificial, received through a synthesis of observation

–– conjecture resulted from the logical reasoning and knowledge of diviners, and “natural” knowledge, which the soul receives from gods.

In some sense, the contemporary analysts and forecasters (who consider the laws of causality, mathematical and other trends as the means to predict the future) follow the practice of the ancient Stoics; consequently, their chances to comprehend the actual future do not differ from those of their ancient counterparts.

Some thinkers of the pagan Antiquity did not share belief in value of the diviner’s knowledge. For instance, Cicero wrote that the knowledge collected as the result of constant observation might provide with the understanding of the links between cause and effect and between sign and event; furthermore, such knowledge could be collected without “intervention and aspiration” of deities [Gellius and Cicero ref. and qtd. in: Watson 58; Cicero De Divinatione II.XI.26].

In the Past, the term divination embraced different practices of “knowledge”–making tools, including omens, signs, incantation, “communication” with the departed, use of the “elements” (especially, fire) to “purge” people and to “heal” their diseases {Deuteronomy 18:10–14}. Since, some manifest sides of the “art of divination” have changed: as it is open to the general public, apparently, the contemporary diviners use technical devices and the methods of the ancient fortunetellers, which do not demand sacrifices for prediction and appeasement of their idols. At least today, they do not kill publicly to predict the future by observation of the internal organs (liver, etc.) of the victims as their forerunners – augurs of the heathen Antiquity – did. The most popular means of contemporary divination include

– traditional for the Westerns applications of heathen philosophy, such as astrology, numerology, palmistry, interpretation of dreams, “communication” with spirits and with the dead

– tea–leaf reading, Feng shui, I Ching, and other practices borrowed from the East

– interpretations of the sets of symbols provided, for instance, by tarot cards and runes

– interpretation of images obtained with self–hypnosis (crystals), etc.

Infrequently mentioned contemporary methods of divination include “readings” of texture and cracks of cheese (tyromancy) and layers of an onion (cromniomancy).

Contemporary diviners continue to use tools and auxiliaries (e.g. astrological charts), the definite and limited initial sets of material objects (e.g., strictly defined quantity of tarot cards, runes, signs of Zodiac, etc.), and rules of combination and interpretation. As the result, they produce a combination of images or symbols, and offer their interpretations–fantasies as revelation of the past, explanation of the present, and guidance/design of the future of their clients.

The tools and methods of divination disclose the essence and danger of divination particularly clear: the limited set of symbols selected and defined during the centuries of practice is expected to provide all possible combinations of the possible futures, which might expect the people within the setting in which the diviner operates. The diviner has instantly to analyze and to evaluate the status, expectations, possibilities, and probabilities of development, which might be available for a client, then, to make initial and general suggestions, to wait the reaction of the client, and to proceed with more specified statements tailored in accordance with the client’s reaction and expectations revealed with this reaction. In all times, successful diviners (whoever they are: a slave girl who earned money for their masters on the street by alluring the passersby or an astrologer who advised the kings, therefore, should be informed in all state, political, and social issues) had to be shrewd and skilled analysts and psychologists.

However, in all the times, the diviners negatively influenced the well–being and sometimes destroyed life of their clients, and not only because they are unable to reveal the actual future. The very source of the “art of divination” simultaneously is its main problem: the imagination of one mind limited and restricted by own conditions of existence is expected to decipher and explicate the life–conditions, expectations, and the future of other people sometimes with background, level of development, expectations, and potential, which are incomprehensible for the diviner. With his “guidance” and “revelations,” diviner provides the simplified prescription, which intervenes with the client’s processes of development, and might obstruct the optimization of all establishments in which the client participates.

In general, the process of divination remains the same as it was in the pagan Antiquity and has the striking similarities with the descriptions left by the Hebrew Prophets. The danger of the divination also remains the same in spite of differences between the contemporary and ancient attributes of daily life: with their “predictions,” the diviners offer the false guidance. Consequently, if a contemporary woman accepts the astrologer as her adviser and guide, she is not different from women of the Phoenician civilization, which came into oblivion for the abominable practices, and if a politician or any leader follows the advice, which he or his wife received from astrologer or any other diviner, he leads his country and his subjects to ruin. Yet, the ancient plague of divination noticed by the Hebrew Prophets still hunts the contemporary society: the specific groups of people who make living by deceit still negatively influence the life and well–being of their clients.

In conclusion, the overall analysis of divination leads to the following inferences (1 through 4), which might facilitate comprehension of the danger awaiting those who accept it as the guidance or designate it any place in the process of decision making:

1/ diviners work with the images of the existing – thus, disintegrating – systems; any existing system undergoes manifest or latent processes of disintegration, which are the natural part of existence; the existence within the world of the matter is defined by prevalence of processes: a system apparently exists if the processes resulting in actualization of its innate potency (the  life–maintaining processes) prevail the processes resulting in disintegration of the material structures composing the system; a system might be classified as dying or disintegrating at the moment when the latent processes of disintegration prevail, therefore, enter the manifest stage

2/ as soon as the diviners work with the images of the dissipating world, they are able to compile only a simplified picture of the world – a model instead of the actuality; it means that they create the simplified, therefore, wrong pattern of the present, which they offer as a prediction and guidance to the future. Design of the future according to the simplified inadequate pattern inferred from the present results in degradation instead of development, because the simplified pattern of development (or the decrease of complexity) makes the evolution–optimization impossible

3/ even when the diviners use the wordings from the Scriptures, they pursue the purposes of their masters or their own; they speak on behalf of “other gods” – idols and phantasms created or adopted by their imagination; consequently, they are not capable of the unbiased comprehensive analysis of the actuality: they lost the ability to create knowledge, which any human establishment needs if it intends to survive and prosper

4/ as soon as the diviners provide wrong “guidance” and offer inadequate “knowledge,” which reflects the deficiency of their reasoning and not the strategy of development necessary for accomplishment of the evolution, they mislead, deceive, and ruin the people.

In general, the following features constitute the irreconcilable difference between the Hebrew Prophets – the true prophets, and the diviners/soothsayers – the false prophets {Deuteronomy 18:10–14; Psalm 118:160; Isaiah 61:1; Jeremiah 2:8; 5:30–31; 23:9–32; Ezekiel 11:5; Zechariah 13:3; John 1:9; Acts 16:16–18; 2 Peter 1:3–4; 2:19–21; Revelation 22:16}:

– the source of knowledge – for the false prophets, it is their imagination; for the Hebrew Prophets – it is God

– the power, which originate the message: the true Prophets speaks by the spirit of God; the diviner is moved by evil – he speaks by own evil imagination; according to the prophets and St. Apostles, false prophets/diviners are possessed by the spirit of divination that is by the evil spirit

– the purpose of knowledge – for the false prophets, it is mostly knowledge of the future – fortune–telling, which is pursued for the sake of the material or political purposes; for the Hebrew Prophets, it is fulfillment of the will of God

– the sanity and the clear consciousness of the Hebrew Prophets during the state of prophesying, and insanity of the false prophets – seers and diviners during the altered states of mind and intentionally evoked insanity

– the motivation: the false prophets divine for money – they sell their lies for the sake of own enrichment and worldly convenience; the true prophets speak the will of God – they are unselfish and impartial; moreover, they encounter persecutions, imprisonments, and death for their loyalty and love to God and for love to the people who they must protect, enlighten, and prepare for the Messiah

– the true prophet is a servant and even a friend of God as Moses is; the prophet speaks by the Holy Spirit; the prophetic world is the lamp, which would shine in the darkness until the bright morning Star – Lord God Jesus Christ –  rises in the heart of man; any false prophet is either pagan (who never knew true God) or apostate (who rejected true God).

In summary,

a/ divination resulting in lies is abomination to God, “an appalling and horrible thing,” the straw, which would be consumed by the fire of the Last Judgment

b/ diviners or false prophets speak on behalf of “other gods”; they invent destructive heresies and false teachings; because of covetousness, they use others for own gain

c/ divination is the means of destruction.

d/ false assumptions, unclean imagination, intentional deceit, and artificially evoked insanity compose the set of symptoms for identifying a diviner

e/ divination is the name tag for decay and destruction of the mind that already has lost its God – God of wisdom and knowledge.

And I think that in all times and in all circumstances, three roots originate all evils and three inseparable companions ruin human establishments:



ignorance that is absence of the true knowledge of God


the corrupted and misguided imagination


self–deception.

 

To survive, a mind must be focused on God–Creator; otherwise, the mind becomes disoriented and unable to discern truth and false; it rejects the Creator, accepts phantasms and fruits of imagination as the truth, and eventually, faces ruin and destruction of all its creations. 

And I try to imagine which progress our societies would be able to make if we and our children learn true knowledge from the beginning and would not waste the best time of life on studies of false dreams produced by imagination of diviners of all kinds and scales – philosophizing theologians, atheistic philosophers, marxists, ethics–free researchers, and other false prophets…

 

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References:

 

Bevan, Edwyn Robert. Sibyls and Seers: A Survey of Some Ancient Theories of Revelation and Inspiration. Norwood, Philadelphia:  Norwood Editions, 1977.

Cicero, Marcus Tullius. "De Divinatione." De Senectute. De Amicitia. De Divinatione by Cicero. With an English trans. by William Armistead Falconer. 1923. Cambridge, Massachusetts; London: Harvard UP, 1992. 222–539.

Graves, Robert. The Greek Myths. 1955.  Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England:  Penguin Books, 1986. 2 vols.

Grof, Stanislav, with Hal Zina Bennett. The Holotropic Mind:  The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives. San Francisco, California:  HarperSanFrancisco, 1992.

Haldar, Alfred Ossian. Associations of Cult Prophets among the Ancient Semites.  Uppsala:  Almqvist & Wiksells, 1945.

Huffmon, Herbert B. "The Expansion of Prophecy in the Mari Archives:  New Texts, New Readings, New Information." Prophecy and Prophets: The Diversity of Contemporary Issues in Scholarship. Ed. Yehoshua Gitay. Atlanta, Georgia:  Scholars Press, 1997. 7–22.

Jaeger, Werner Wilhelm. The Theology of the Early Greek Philosophers. The Gifford Lectures 1936. London and New York:  Oxford UP, 1967.

Marsh, Caryl. "A Framework for Describing Subjective States of Consciousness." Alternate States of Consciousness. Ed. Norman E. Zinberg. New York:  Free Press, 1977. 121–144.

Plato. “Phaedrus.” Complete Works by Plato. Edited with Introduction and Notes by John M. Cooper.  Associated Editor D.S. Hutchinson. Indianapolis, Indiana:  Hackett Publishing, 1997.

Plutarch. "Alexander." The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives  by  Plutarch. Trans.  and  annotated  by  Ian Scott–Kilvert.  Introduction by G.T. Griffith.  Harmondsworth,  Middlesex, England:  Penguin Books, 1973.  252–334.

The Sunset Knowledge: The Sacred Doctrines of Babylon, Egypt, and India. St. Petersburg, 1837.  (Russian)

Vergil (Vergilius, Publius Maro). The Aeneid: An Epic Poem of Rome. Trans. L.R. Lind. Bloomington:  Indiana UP, 1962.

Watson, Gerard.  The  Stoic  Theory  of  Knowledge.  Belfast:  Queen’s University,  1966.

 

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