Sunday's Thoughts
by Alice-Alexandra-Sofia
 

Archive_Page_7_2008–2009

  

Slavery

Mysteries

Those Always Learning

Origin of Illness

The Depths

 

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Slavery

 

..but slave does not remain in household to the age: the son remains to the age.

If then, the Son sets you free, indeed, you are free…

{John 8:35–36}

 

The references to slavery in the Holy Scriptures imply more than physical submission of one human being–slave to another human being – slave–owner. For instance, the conversation of Lord God Jesus Christ with “the Jews who had believed in Him” {John 8:31–59}:

–– God promises the knowledge of truth, which sets man free, and they respond with pride and anger: they are the seed of Abraham, and to no one they have been enslaved*1* – never! So, why He promises them that they would become free?

–– God explains that anyone who practices sin is the slave of sin; He knows that they are descendents (seed) of Abraham, yet, they seek to kill Him because His Word–Λογος has no place in them

–– again, they insist that they are the sons of Abraham

–– God tells that they are not the sons of Abraham because they do not act as Abraham did: they seek to kill Him – a man who speaks the words of God, because they commit the deeds of their father

–– after their statement that they have not been born by fornication, they have God as their Father, the Lord degrades them into the sons of devil who was a murderer from the beginning and has no truth in him, and He explains why:  they seek to kill Him Who speaks them the truth and accomplishes the deeds of God

–– then, they decide to stone Him, yet, He hides Himself from their sight, passes among them, and leaves; so they stay with their stones.  

The arguments of opponents of Lord Jesus Christ, the answers of God, and the overall dynamic of conversation written with the precision of beholder reveal how the confined and insufficient logic of ignorant, yet, proud (therefore, impotent) human mind encounters the judgment of Almighty God–Creator. The Gospel makes visible

1/ the difference between freedom and slavery

2/ death behind the slave’s judgment.

Similarly to the lightning strike by the double–edged sword, the words of God destroy the edifice of human pride and trigger off the actions, which disclose the true intentions of those who “believed in Him.” The ignorant human mind in an attempt to save own dream world of pride and self–exaltation makes higher and higher claims:

1/ the seed of Abraham who never were enslaved*1*



2/ sons of Abraham



3/ sons of God.

 

Yet, God casts the human clay into its actual miserable place:

1/ ignorant slaves of sin



2/ slaves who desire to murder the messenger of God,
 because they are not able to perceive the Word–God



3/ sons of devil who was a murderer and liar from the beginning.

 

The Gospel discloses the irreconcilable conflict between the human self–exaltation sustained by imagination and pride and reality: “the sons of Abraham” who claim to have God as their Father, pretend that they have reached the Heaven and they are free. In fact, the abyss separates them from the actuality – because of the committed sin, they lost the ability to understand and to hold the words of God; therefore, they lost their true Father and enslaved themselves to the arch–evil – source of lies and death.

The text where God tell that the people became incapable to comprehend His words relates with writings of Jeremiah the Prophet who wrote that the nation of God committed two evils:

–– they left God – the spring of the living water

–– they carved from themselves the λακκους  συντετριμμενους broken cavities incapable to hold the water.

These two evils are abandonment of God and enslavement to idol–worship. Eventually, they became slaves and the subjects of mockery imprisoned in a quarry of beasts of prey {Jeremiah 2:13–20}.

{Greek word  λακκοv denotes also underground prison; for instance, when Jeremiah the Prophet was imprisoned for bringing the message about the will of God, he was cast into  λακκον – the underground pit  – Jeremiah 45:7–13.}

There is also another logic line in this conversation: the meaning of slavery extends; it begins from the physical slavery in the material world and envelops the realm of the mind.

The puzzle of slavery comes to its resolution during the Last Supper: Lord Jesus Christ tells His disciples that He no longer calls them slaves (δουλους); He calls them friends (φιλους), because slave does not know the works of his master, yet He made known to them everything He heard from God the Father. These words of God follow His explanation of the meaning of the greatest love and friendship: the friend should lay down his soul for his friends. Then, the ultimate revelation– God tells His disciples: “you are My friends if you do whatever I command you” {John 15:12–15}. Two inferences due:

1/ the knowledge of God makes freedom of man

2/ the human mind is granted the ability to ascend to the power, desire of which became the trigger of the original sin: the power to know God and His works. Now this power is seen as abilities of becoming His child and His friend and doing the works He does {conf. in: John 1:12–13; 14:12–14; 15:12–15; 1 John 4:16–17, 21; 5:13–15; Wisdom 7:27; Isaiah 41:8}.

However, this time, the methods to obtain this power are different. Now, with acceptance of the Word–God, with love to God, through observance of His commandments and accomplishment of His will, a human being–child of God finds the way home and enters the house of God the Father {John 1:1–5, 9–14; 14:2, 6, 12, 26}. Only love annihilates slavery of the mind–reason; neither disobedience nor deceit facilitates fulfillment of aspirations and purposes.

The historical background, on which this conversation unfolds, underscores the significance of the freedom promised by God.

The roots of slavery are hidden in the pre–Flood civilization: when Noah cursed his grandson Canaan, he predicted that Canaan would be a slave of his relatives; therefore, Noah definitely knew the meaning of slavery – the part of the burden of evil, which triggered the annihilation of the pre–Flood Earth along with all corrupted flesh {Genesis 6:9–18; 9:18–27}.

Before receiving the Law, the chosen nation underwent four hundred years of slavery in idol–worshiping Egypt, the land of descendents of Cham who sinned against his father Noah and whose son Canaan was cursed to be the slave to his brethren {Genesis 15:13–14; 9:18–27; Psalm 104(105):23, 27}. So, the people would learn slavery and to be prepared to appreciate freedom.

Later, when the idol–worship spread all over Israel and, instead of peaceful and prosperous life in the Promised Land, the people encounter famine, wars, and slavery, Jeremiah the Prophet explained the reasons for their affliction: those who had abandoned God and enslaved themselves to alien gods in their land would become slaves of the aliens in another land {Jeremiah 5:19}. The prophet disclosed the correlation between two plagues of mankind: idol–worship and slavery are inseparable.

At the time of establishment of Christianity, the Promised Land was conquered by the Roman Empire; its population cognized slavery well: it became the daily manner of existence. Nevertheless, the true meaning of slavery shifted and for many began to denote only physical submission, although the master⇐⇒slave pattern describes all dimension and levels of life within the heathen establishments. For instance, the Roman social hierarchy was maintained exclusively with master⇐⇒slave relations –

  –– starting from the Roman soldier who during the military campaigns grabbed his portions of loot, enslaved the survivals of conquered cities, and retired to become a farmer living by the labor of slaves who had to toil at the fields and provide all bodily services to their master

                                and

  –– finishing with the “divine emperor” who treated senators, patricians, and other citizens of Rome in the same way as his subordinates – senators and other citizens – treated their slaves.

In general, the fabric of the Roman slavery–based society was woven with the Greek theology, philosophy, and logic, especially, with the Stoicism.

Stoicism is the offspring of doctrines left by the Greeks – Heraclitus, Socrates, Diogenes of Sinope, and Zeno of Citium, modified by the Romans (Cicero), and supplemented with deities, ideas, and customs borrowed by the Romans from the conquered Mediterranean and Asian nations. Today, the ancient – heathen – Greek philosophy still is considered as the pinnacle of human reasoning. So, what the human reasoning devoid of true knowledge of God could invent, for instance, in such sphere as slavery and freedom?

The ancient Greek philosophers left two different concepts of slavery, which differentiated the general and personal outlook of the people within the social groups–layers of the Roman Empire. One of them belongs to Socrates, another – to Aristotle.

Socrates defines slavery as the death of reason: slavery “prohibits growth, integrity, and freedom” and produces dead minds, which are not able to create “a single wholesome thought” [Plato Theaetetus173a–b]. If Socrates believes that thinking is life, he should perceive the slave–owning society as the society of murderers – the living dead who destroy the life of reason. He was right in his assessment, because the democratic slaves–owning Athenian society condemned him to death [Plato Euthyphro; Phaedo]. So, the philosophy of Socrates obviously did not fit the democratic environment.

About thirty years separate the year of Socrates’ execution (399 B.C.) from the year when Aristotle the Macedonian entered the Plato’s Academy. The Athenian society had not changed: the historical settings in relation to slavery at Socrates’ Athens and in Aristotle’s Athens are almost identical. However, if for Socrates, slavery is the death of reason, for Aristotle, slavery is a natural law and the natural foundation of social order: he postulates that for a man, it is proper to observe “the ruling factor” in all matters, as for a slave to live “with reference to the rule of master.” Moreover, Aristotle believes that the “natural merit” of master⇐⇒slave  pattern is beneficial and just [Eudemian Ethics VIII.iii.14–15; Politics I.5.1254b; I.6.1255b].

For instance, when Aristotle describes the household–part of a nation, and the polis (the Greek city–state) – the political association, which is established by the men–heads of households for their own protection and survival, he applies his universal pattern of slavery to every level of the establishment. He asserts that the human chattel (slaves) is the most indispensable part of the property. Then, he made the following statements:

–– humans are slaves of gods

–– a free citizen–master owns his parts–slaves

–– the city is a single whole, formed by a certain quantity of different parts–compounds–citizens

–– a part “belongs entirely” to the whole similarly to an article of property: the slave “belongs entirely” to his master as “an article of property,” and an instrument for purposeful actions

–– a citizen, as a part of the city, belongs to the city, not just to himself

–– the community owns its parts–citizens

–– the Polis/state has the natural right to subjugate the barbarian nations, because they are slaves by their nature [Oeconomica I.i.2; I.v.1; Politics I.4.1253b–1254a; I.6.1255b; III.1.1274b; VII.14:1333b; VIII.1.1337a].

The logic of slave–owner fashions an entire framework for all Aristotle’s speculations; he perceives the world as an embodiment of the universal master⇐⇒slave  pattern: humans are slaves of gods, thus, slavery must be the natural foundation of any human society and establishment. The vision of the deity as a slave–owner has brought Aristotle to the idea of separation of the good of man from the good of gods, because, in his society, that what is good and natural for the master is not intended and is not accessible for his slave. Such separation resulted in substitution of the practicable material good of the society for the Absolute Good: the good material, discernible, verifiable, and understandable by man took the place of the good of gods and the physical perception became the foundation of ethics. 

The Aristotle’s line of arguments prompts some inferences:

1/ the citizens are the slaves of the city, instruments of the city, or the city’s chattel/animated articles (that is the property without faculty of deliberation); therefore, as all slaves, they do not have freedom to live as they like to

2/ the proclamations of the unity of interests of the city and its property with comparisons with the body, soul, benefits of friendship, appeals to the nature, etc. have the purpose to facilitate persuasion of the citizens to accept interests of the city as their own          

3/ the speculations concerning justice, wisdom, happiness, free way of life for the citizens–parts–property of the city, and other lofty words have one down–to–earth practicable end. Aristotle attempts to deceive the enslaved population with the imagined freedom, because he needs to facilitate management of the citizens and to make the sacrifice of citizens–property of the Polis to the interest of their master–Polis/state to look as the free, purposeful, and virtuous choice. Consequently, in the Aristotelian model of a political establishment,

a/ lies and slavery become companions

b/ proclamation of freedom of democracy disguises slave–owning hierarchy

c/ manifestation of beliefs in slogans and false promises of those who strive for the political power sustains the political rituals similar to rituals of the idol–worshiping societies.

The Aristotle’s doctrine nurtured countless generations of rulers and philosophers of all scales; his concept of slave as the means to provide for the bodily needs of the master received the ultimate completion in the nineteenth century when Nietzsche declared that the vast majority of the population is entitled to exist only because they are used for “service and general utility” [Nietzsche Beyond Good and Evil  §61 43].

Then, Adolf Hitler adopted the Aristotle’s habit of self–assertion as the judge of other nations and portrayed the future of the German super–race as the master of all other nations [Hitler My World of Tomorrow  4–5].

The basic concepts of the Nazi ideology – deification of the state, cult of the dictator–Fuhrer as an embodiment of the deified state, racial superiority of the Germans and their right to use other nations as the slaves – all of them have their roots in Aristotelian concepts:

a) a man is the part–property–slave of the community/state

b) the human chattel–slave is the property designated to serve the needs of the master–state

c) one nation might possess special superiority over all the others.

The same logic of slavery might be discerned in the ideologies based on Marxism {e.g., bolshevism and communism}. In fact, all totalitarian states of the twentieth century employed the same Aristotle’s method – they promulgated absolute freedom of their subjects, while, in fact, transformed their countries in the most inhumane slave–houses ever existed.

Historically, each oppressive establishment had slavery as its foundation, and not only physical slavery provides the necessary ground. The main foothold is the particular attitude of mind, which impels citizens–subjects to accept any command, wish, desire, policy of their leader as the divine will –– unconditionally, in spite of negative consequences this policy, command, wish, or desire would cause.

Such establishments manufacture similarly–minded standard parts–subjects with the qualities {through public education, media control, controlled access to the information and knowledge} and in the quantities {controlled reproduction} needed to sustain existence and expansion; any subject’s contradiction {detected through total surveillance} leads to extermination or imprisonment with the purpose to stop dissemination of ideas inconsistent with the official ideology.

For instance, in the Roman Empire, Seneca initiated the irreconcilable conflict between the imperial hierarchy of values and the inner hierarchy of man (therefore possibility of social instability) when he wrote that men are in the power of nothing if death is in their power and that freedom from the fear of death comes with the knowledge of the good and the evil [Epistles XCI 2:447; LXXVIII 2:197–199; CXIV 3:309, 317]. Consequently, the Fate has no power over those who know how to die. Consequently, as Socrates in his time, Seneca had to die because of his convictions. Seneca’s pupil, Roman Emperor Nero (AD 54–68) ordered the aged philosopher to commit suicide (the method of execution reserved for the highest Roman nobility). Obviously, even the mention of freedom had dire consequences in the society of slaves*2*.

And I think: there is an explanation of the widely spread hatred to the Christian teachings. The reason for this hatred is the fundamental concept of Christianity – freedom. We, the Christians, hold that

 

man was created free and for freedom – in the image and likeness
of the omnipotent and free God


slavery is the evil inconsistent with the human nature.

 

Why then, the contemporary mind still is not able to understand that without God there is no freedom?

Now, when the Christianity and even mention of God became “politically incorrect,” where will the people find the power to withstand the evil and slavery of atheism, violence, fear, ignorance, corruption, perversion, and indifference, which have overwhelmed and now are happily digesting the remnants of the Western civilization?

Will the cry of the ancient Prophet – “Who is going to help you as you are being ruined?” {Hosea 13:9} – become our reality, and the current civilization is destined to vanish similarly, for instance, to the Byzantine Empire, which came into oblivion in spite of all her might and grandeur?

 

 

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Notes:

 

*1* In fact, the Hebrew tribe – descendents of Abraham – was enslaved by the Egyptians: four hundred years they lived as slaves in Egypt, the land of Cham {Psalm 104(105):23}, humbled and afflicted, because they have to learn slavery, so they would appreciate the freedom. They received the first knowledge of truth – the Law of God – through Moses. However, gradually, the scribes converted the Law into lies: they took the key of understanding, yet entered not and closed entrance to the others. Therefore, when the opponents of Lord Jesus Christ profess their eternal freedom, they tell untruth. Next, when they took up the stones to throw them on Lord Jesus Christ, they reveal their lawlessness (only their courts and after some judicial procedures had the authority to send man to death) and inclination to murder {Genesis 15:13–16; John 7:19–20; 8:31–33, 59; Matthew 23:1–2; Luke 11:52; Jeremiah 8:8–10; Romans 1:25}. Their problem is that they lost ability of reasoning, because they had lost understanding the Law: they are not able to see that their actions (lies, lawlessness, intention to kill) precisely confirm the evaluation they received from God.

 

*2* There is an interesting illustration of the potential of the heathen philosophy: two from the greatest criminals in the history of rulers – Alexander of Macedonia and Nero – were the pupils of the philosophers considered to be the greatest in their spheres. Aristotle (Greek heathen “classic” philosophy) formed the outlook of Alexander of Macedonia and Seneca (Roman stoicism) was the mentor of Nero.

 

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References:

 

Aristotle. "The Oeconomica." The Metaphysics. v.2. With an English Translation by G. Cyril Armstrong. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard UP; London: William Heinemann, 1935. 321–424. 2 vols.

 

Aristotle. "The Eudemian Ethics." The Athenian Constitution. The Eudemian Ethics. On Virtues and Vices. v. 20. With an English Translation by H. Rackham. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard UP; London: William Heinemann, 1971. 23 vols.

 

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

 

Hitler, Adolf. My World of Tomorrow. New York: Polish Information Center, 1940.

 

Nietzsche, Friedrich. Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future. Trans. Helen Zimmern. Edinburgh & London: T.N. Foulis, 1909–1913. Dover Thrift Editions. Mineola, N.Y.: Dover, 1997.

 

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

 

Seneca. Ad Lucilium Epistulae Morales. With an English translation by Richard M. Gummere. v. 2, 3. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard UP; London: William Heinemann, 1967. 3 vols.

 

 

Sunday, May 11, 2008

 

 

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Mysteries

 

…But there is God in heaven revealing mysteries…

{Daniel 2:28}

 

The Babylonian king {Daniel 2:1–48} had a dream, and his spirit was troubled deeply; when he woke up, he could not comprehend his dream. The king summoned the wise men – the Chaldeans*1*, magicians, sorcerers, enchanters – and demanded to reveal the meaning of his vision, although he – the king – himself could not tell the contents of it. When the wise men asked what his dream was about, the king told that he lost the thought and he expects that the wise men tell his dream and interpret it, otherwise, he would destroy them and their houses, because they speak false and deceit. The wise men again asked the king: what was it that he has seen in his dream, because there is no man on the earth who would be able to reveal the mystery of another mind. Obviously, the king and his advisers entered into the deep crisis – the clash of two logics:

– from the rational point of view, the mind might not decipher visions of another mind without any hint (word or symbol) what actually was seen or experienced

– from the king’s point of view, the Chaldeans and magicians who declared that they possess wisdom and knowledge unavailable to the ordinary people, for instance, such as knowledge of the thoughts of their deities*2*, must prove their exceptional abilities. If the Chaldeans know everything concerning the realms of gods and the realm of men as they claim to know, and still, they cannot tell the king such ordinary thing as the contents of his dream, it means that they are concerted to gain time to compose the ρημα ψευδες και διεφθαρμενον συνεθεσθε – words of false and corrupted fables {Daniel 2:8–9}.

Eventually, the angry and frustrated king ordered to execute all the wise men. Then, Daniel the Prophet, who was captured as a child and brought up at the king’s court {Daniel 1:1–21}, came to the king and asked do not kill the wise men, because it is not in the power of man to know the mysteries, which trouble the king: only God Who is in heaven can reveal the meaning of king’s vision. So, Daniel the Prophet (who received from God the revelation concerning the king’s problem) told the king two things:

1/ what exactly his dream was about

2/ the meaning of his vision is the Future of the kingdoms established by men.

The king glorified God and Master of kings and kneeled before Daniel, because there was no way for any man to know the mystery of king’s untold dream: the intervention of God into the king’s life was absolutely certain {Daniel 2:27–28, 46–47}.

The text from the Book of Jeremiah facilitates understanding of the actual meaning of the Daniel’s triumph over the Chaldeans as well as anger and frustration of the Babylonian king who expected that his wizards possess the divine knowledge, which they claim to have. The main point is the revelation that Daniel the Prophet receives his knowledge from God, while the Chaldeans are the false prophets:

– the human heart is deep beyond the comprehension of man, yet the Lord tries the heart and the essence of man

– the false prophets speak the worthless vision of their heart, not the revelation of God; for their lies they would be destroyed.

Although the Chaldeans created and guarded the knowledge, which became the foundation of one of the mightiest civilization established by men; they were not able to find the true meaning of things, rebelled against those who carried true knowledge of God, and hastened own end.  Furthermore, the Babylonian king’s dream of the destruction of the great and excellent image predicts the eventual destruction of the knowledge embodied into kingdoms–establishments of men, because the true knowledge maintaining existence of the world remains uncognized, yet only this knowledge –– the knowledge of God and His law –– is the pledge of life of this world as well as the condition of the life everlasting. Those who do not possess the true knowledge, or do not know where they should seek it, “drink the spirit of the deep sleep”: the eyes of the prophets, of the kings, and of those who claim that they see the secret things are closed; for them, the meaning of things is like the words in the sealed book, which they cannot read {Jeremiah 17:9–10; 23:16, 23–31; Daniel 2:31–36; 3:8–31; 5:5–12; Isaiah 29:10–11}.

Indeed, this world of ours is the theater in which the greatest tragedy of the mind is performed again and again and again: all is given, and nothing is comprehended, the book of wisdom is at hand, yet no one is able to read it…

The history of the Chaldeans – the creators of the ancient wisdom of men – is completed at the time when their descendents, the Magi, came to worship the Child, the King of Jews, and Lord God Jesus Christ. At this moment, all knowledge of men fell before God and worshipped the true Master of the world and Creator of the human mind; the gifts of the Magi {Matthew 2:1–2, 9–11; John 19:39–40} embody the greatest accomplishments and possessions created by the mind:

– the knowledge of the world – gold, the foundation of wealth, glory, and power

– the knowledge of gods – frankincense, the part of the incense of the sanctuaries

– the knowledge of man – myrrh, the main component of some medical remedies for healing bodies of the living and of the balm used to anoint bodies of the dead.

The Gospel According to John conveys the next great event, which concludes the history of knowledge created by the mind that left its Creator and then, began the long way of cognition of evil and death, yet, still attempted to follow its original nature and to actualize the power of creation through establishments and structures of the world of the matter. The Greeks came to the disciple and asked to see {ιδειν*3*} the Lord. The answer of Lord Jesus Christ reveals that the time came for Him to be glorified: as the grain comes into the dust to die, yet, its death is the beginning of the new life and the plentiful harvest, so the death of the Son of Man on the cross begins new life and opens new world for those who follow Him and will be with Him {John 12:20–26, 31–33}. At this moment, the second greatest creation of man – the ancient Greek philosophy and the language with which it was created – submitted itself to the Creator of man: it became the new dust ready to receive the Light – the divine grain of knowledge, which would grow into the mightiest tree of the Kingdom of God {Matthew 13:31–32}. And indeed,

– the Gospels have been written on Koine – the simplified version of the Greek language, which after Alexander of Macedonia’s wars became the common language of the Mediterranean and the Middle East

– the heathen philosophy, deceit, and emptiness of old knowledge created according to the traditions and elements of the world became worthless, because through the Word of God in Whom all power and all authority dwells, the mind received the completion {Colossians 2:6–10}.

And I think: we, the Greeks, created two greatest branches of knowledge of evil, which became the foundation for civil/common “good” {if to assume that any good is able to exist without the true knowledge of God}:  the mythological–symbolical {modifiable} religion and the heathen philosophy.

They both stem from the core developed by the Chaldeans and embellished by their descendents, including the Orphics, who at first, identified and studied, and then, began to re–fashion the Chaldean patterns of thinking and behavior. However, they are only the sparkles of human intelligence in the darkness of ignorance and superstition – the dreams of the blindfolded mind longing for the lost Light of Paradise. They both became the tools of the slave–owners, rulers, kings, and leaders of religious and political establishments of the pagan Antiquity and of the Present – of all those beasts living by subduing and depriving their subjects of the free will and other possessions.

This knowledge sustained all the civilization of the Past and formed the contemporary civilization as well – its states, politics, sciences, cultures, and religions.

Also, in the Past, the misery of this knowledge–foundation of the world of man was revealed when it kneeled before the only true wisdom – the Word–God:

– the ancient religion – at the time of adoration of the Magi

– the ancient philosophy – at the time when the Greeks came to Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Future, the Word–God will ultimately ruin this knowledge along with the beasts, idol–worship, and sins of men it nurtures. The Old Testament’s prophets predicted this victory: the stone with which David the shepherd–boy disabled Goliath the giant became the mighty stone in the Babylonian king’s dream and the precious stone–foundation of the entire edifice in the Isaiah the Prophet’s vision {Revelation 19:19–21; 21:8; 1 Kings 17:42–51; Daniel 2:34–35; Isaiah 28:16–18}, when man’s covenant with death shall be taken away.

After the Gospels were granted to mankind with the words of the Greek language, the Greek heathen philosophy and based upon it logic of reasoning, civic virtues, and political morals became obsolete, because when the Light shines in the darkness, the sparkles become worthless. Although we, the Greeks, came to God as the tamed beasts*4* who were mercifully fed with the morsels of the children {Mark 7:26–28}, ultimately, we, the Greeks, took the Bread rejected by the sons and carried it to be delivered to all the nations, yet, with this Bread, we also became the children of God, second after the Jews {John 1:11–13; 6:35; Romans 1:16}.

And I think that although in the beginning, we forfeited our firstborn status, disobeyed our Father, and chose the path of the wrong knowledge, then, as in the parable of the Lord {Matthew 21:28–31}, ultimately, we went to work at His vineyard, and He made us the guardians of the Christian Faith and Apostolic traditions. There is nothing more to ask or to desire, but one thing – the wisdom, with which we shall be unchanging in our foundation, steadfast in our faith, remain loyal to our Lord and Master, continue our work for the brethren, and so, shall complete our labor for our God. This wisdom is the most precious especially now: the dreadful time of the final decision came, and the chief–priests of the Greek Orthodox Church have to determine their Future –

– will they and with them those who trust their judgment stay loyal to the faith they were called to keep and guard as the holy nation of priests was called at the time of Moses

– will they kneel before the Roman popes who pretend to stand on the place of God, and thus, accept the unnatural union with the political and religious establishment, which has nothing in common with the Christian teachings? Will they choose to follow those who rejected their Lord and Master {John 11:47–48}, because the political, commercial, and other reasons deprived them of ability to understand that by the Holy Spirit of God lives His Church {Zacharias 4:6}  not by the power, political  or other advantages sought by men of this age?

The Holy Scriptures teach us the comprehensive lesson: the wisdom of man comes only from God. Whatever we attempt to create and compose ourselves, without our Father and Creator, is meaningless and worthless: it culminates in destruction, because without God, the mind sees only own dreams – figments of imagination. With God, the human mind knows the foundation of everything, and the most significant is that even if there is no hope left here, at the Earth, still, there is the life everlasting to enter, and to explore, and to live through.

Indeed, all the mysteries of the world and all knowledge of the Past and the Present created by men are nothing before the greatest mystery of all the times: the mystery of the human mind, which lives by the Word of God.

 

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Notes:

 

*1* In the Book of Daniel, the reference to the Chaldeans identifies the priests and wizards, who maintained the structure of the mighty Chaldean/Babylonian civilization. Originally, the Chaldeans populated the southern part of Babylonia; they “salvaged” all the remnants of pre–Flood knowledge, which the family of Noah carried into the post–Flood Earth, and which determined the long–lasted supremacy of the Babylonian kingdoms and empires (~3000 B.C. until the sixth century B.C.) – the unprecedented power, glory, and wealth made it the golden head of the ancient empires {Daniel 2:31–38; 4:19; Isaiah 13:19}. Later, one branch of the Chaldean priests was referred to as the Babylonian Magi; another branch became the Persian Magi, the priests of ancient Persian pre–Zoroastrian religion. The ancient religion established by the Chaldeans became the core of many religious and philosophical doctrines: the Chaldeans planted the root from which all heathen religious beliefs, philosophical, political, social, and cultural assumptions sprang, probably, in the same fashion as the Babylonian language confusion produced from one primeval language the languages of all the nations, which spread over the face of the Earth. For instance [Burckhardt 333; Chaeremon Fragment 2 11; Ehrhardt 38–39; Gilbert 35, 49–50, 66, 77; Graves 1:104–106, 114, 183; Plato Timaeus 22–24; Sherrard (1978b) 83–84],

– the Minoan civilization with its splendor and might was the derivative of the knowledge kept by the Chaldeans; the simplified version of the Minoan hieroglyphs became the Greek alphabet, and, in the seventeenth century B.C., the Egyptians developed their alphabet in the likeness of Minoan hieroglyphs 

– the Egyptians made themselves disciples of the Chaldeans to obtain the access to the astronomical data, because the original Egyptian records had been destroyed by the Nile flood; then, Egypt became some kind of a depository of knowledge for the chain of consequent civilizations

– after the destruction of the Minoan civilization, the Greeks found in Egypt the local version of own sacred knowledge – the “old” knowledge, which Solon learned from the Egyptian priests; even the garments of the Minoans became the Egyptian ritual costumes, which later returned to the Greeks: the Orphic initiated wore them at their rites; the names of Greek deities and rites of worship are the Egyptian version of the ancient common inheritance

– the similarities of the Vedas, the Upanishads, Orphic and Pythagorean doctrines, and the Eleusinian mysteries allow the inference: all of them have the same source of origin

– the vine cult and the rites of orgiastic worship as a form of group ecstasy came in Egypt, Pharos, and India from the same source; according to the Greek mythology, Dionysus traveled in Egypt, Pharos, and India to “enlighten” the population

– the Greek philosophers, especially Pythagoras, borrowed their philosophical and theological knowledge from the Magi and the priests of Egypt who philosophized in their temples.

 

*2* There is a deep meaning of the text concerning the contradiction between the Chaldeans and the king. The anger and rage of the king seems to be irrational indeed, because he wants the others to look into his mind and to tell him the meaning and the purpose of his dream, what definitely is not possible for any ordinary mind. However, there are the clues, which would facilitate the understanding of this episode from the history of human thought. The Chaldeans devised the core of the heathen wisdom: the heathen theology, philosophy, and their derivatives – the politics of the kingdoms and empires. Although such legacy of the Chaldeans as the written texts has not survived, their teachings originated the Orphism and secret doctrines of the Egyptian priests and their apprentices. These doctrines became the foundation of the Greek heathen philosophy: the rest is the matter of the logic of reasoning. Consequently, the clues might be found in Plato’s concept of the “divine philosopher.”

For Plato the Intelligence is the supreme power of the Universe or the main deity; furthermore, he deifies the thoughts of gods that explains his notion of a divine philosopher. If the philosopher has the link with the realm of gods, he thinks by the realities–essences–Ideas/Forms of the discernible things. He penetrates the thoughts of gods that makes him “possessed by god” or as much divine as his human nature can be [Parmenides 134b–e; Phaedrus 249d; Republic 500b–d].

However, as it always happens with any false doctrine, the Plato’s practical inferences disagree with his theoretical speculations. Logically, when his “divine philosopher” after elevation to the divine realm and contemplating the thoughts of gods returns to the “misery” of the world of men, he should be happy to share the divine knowledge with his brethren – to bring the knowledge of reality to the prisoners of cave. Yet, Plato immediately introduces the contradiction between philosopher and all the others –“the masses.” Plato divides mankind into two unequal parts (the consummated “divine” philosophers and the others – ignorant mass or the mob–beast). The ground for distinction between the ignorant mob–beast and the divine philosopher Plato finds in knowledge: his philosopher thinks by essences, has the direct connection with the realm of gods, and knows the thoughts of deities. The philosopher encounters with the “madness of masses,” as with the “ferocious beast,” for which it is not possible to love knowledge, and which kills those who attempts to set it free with the knowledge of truth and to lift it up to the real world. It is useless for a philosopher to intervene with the madness and immorality of masses; he should lie low and to protect himself. Consequently, Plato writes about the necessity to conceal true knowledge from “untrained people”; he is not interested to reveal the nature of things and truth to mankind: only few people who are able to discern truth “with a little guidance” should receive instructions [Republic 484b–d, 494a, 496c–e, 500b–d, 514a–516c, 517a–d; Letters II: 313–314; VII:340–342a, 344c–345c].

However, if to evaluate the compliance of the Plato’s doctrines with the actual life and the true nature of man, it becomes evident that the difference between the “divine” philosopher and the “ignorant mob” exists only in the Plato’s imagination. In particular,

1/ concerning true knowledge – both are similarly ignorant, however,

– Plato’s philosopher pretends to know; he deceives and attempts to control the mob with the power of imagination, which he calls “knowledge”

– the mob does not pretend to know; it simply follows its rulers as sheep led to be slaughtered

2/ concerning ethics and morality – both are killers, although they use different weapons 

– the mob kills persons with stones, sticks, or public sentence

– the philosopher kills persons, the states, and the nations with his false and deceptive ideas.



In general, the Plato’s “divine philosopher” is a liar and criminal, because he deceives “the mob” and directs it to ignorance and inhumanity. 

The referred above texts explain two things:

1/ why the king expects the Chaldeans to know his own thoughts and dreams – the Plato’s “power” of the divine philosopher over the realm of gods reveals the claims of the Chaldeans

2/ the deep secrecy with which the Chaldeans and all their spiritual descendents, including the Orphics, the Gnostics, and the multitude of orders and sects, covered their core assumptions and made them unavailable to the general population. To the contrary the Gospels of Christ are given to the entire world, to all nations, to each living mind. Yet, for the pseudo–prophets living by the imagination and pride, the Christian teachings remain the sealed book they cannot read, even if it is in their hands {Isaiah 29:10–11}.

 

*3* the word ιδειν that usually is translated as “to see” has the profound meaning, which is not associated with the physical act of seeing by eyes only; it means to behold, to make an opinion of, to accept into own mind, to comprehend: the Greeks came to accept the Lord and perceive the wisdom, which would become known as the Christian teachings.

 

*4* Although many interpreters translate κυναριοις {Mark 7:27} as “dogs,” the precise meaning is “domesticated beasts.” In the Antiquity, the wild beasts of the fields (cheetahs, tigers, lions, and other animals) were tamed and kept at the courts of rulers as the symbol of the power over the realm of beasts as well as over men; some of them (e.g., cheetahs) were also used in hunting. The compound Greek word  κυναριοις  contains the roots of words for identification of two kinds of beasts – subdued to man or domesticated (κτ, κυν, or  κυ) and wild (ρι); for instance, 

ρι- as in θερια {Genesis 2:19}, θηριαλωτον – referred to by Jacob {Genesis 31:39}, and θεριων {Daniel 4:12}, which denote wild beast of the fields

κυν– as in κυνων of nomads {Job 30:1}, and –κυ–  as in σκυλος, that is "dog.” 

In summary, κυναριοις is derivative of words used in the Septuagint for definition of living creatures–beasts: κτηνεσι – the animals, which received their names from Adam {Genesis 2:20} or κτηνους referred to by Moses {Exodus 11:7}, that is as contemporary κτηνος - “beast” or “brute”, and θερια or  θηριαλωτον  {Genesis 2:19; 31:39}. The contemporary κυναιλουρος (cheetah) is also a derivative close to κυναριοις.

The overall meaning of this text suggests the difference between

–  the chosen people – the holy nation of priests who are entitled to receive the Messiah – the daily Bread and the knowledge, which sets man free

– the carriers of human knowledge who created the social, political, and religious utopias based upon the doctrine of the universal slavery (e.g., the Aristotelian universal master⇐⇒slave pattern) and worship of beasts and employed this knowledge to hunt and enslave the human reason and to subdue the free mind to the false of evil and to the power of the hierarchies of all kinds.

The inability to understand the thoughts of God is true blessing for the human self–esteem, because the mind does not face the contempt its truly deserves for its misery of evil and ignorance covered with the pretence of wisdom.

Ultimately, there are many people who similarly to the ancient Chaldeans do not have true knowledge of God, and therefore, are not able to realize that they exist only by the mercy of God and for the purposes of God. Yet, they think of themselves as of the superior shepherds, fathers, teachers, scientists and other mankind’s enlighteners and benefactors; they pretend to possess the knowledge hidden for the others; they promote their vision of “improved” {in fact, perverted} human nature and claim abilities to develop/alter the human mind, to protect the faith and dignity of human life. However, they all with all their pride are nothing more than  κυναριοις – tamed beasts trained to hunt the prey for their master, the evil.

 

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References:

 

Burckhardt, Jacob. History of Greek Culture. Trans. Palmer Hilty. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1963.

Chaeremon, Egyptian Priest and Stoic Philosopher: The Fragments. Collected and translated with explanatory Notes by Pieter Willem van der Horst. Leiden, The Netherlands: E.J. Brill, 1984.

Ehrhardt, Arnold. The Beginning: A Study in the Greek Philosophical Approach to the Concept of Creation from Anaximander to St. John. With a Memoir by J. Heywood Thomas. Manchester, England, and New York: Manchester UP and Barnes & Noble, 1968.

Gilbert, Adrian G. Magi: The Quest for a Secret Tradition. London: Bloomsbury, 1997.

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

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

Sherrard, Philip. The Wound of Greece: Studies in Neo–Hellenism. London, U.K.: Rex Collings, and Athens, Greece: Anglo–Hellenic, 1978.

 

 

Sunday, June 22, 2008

 

 

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Those Always Learning

 

 

…always learning, but never being able to come

to the complete knowledge of truth…

{2 Timothy 3:7}

 

St. Paul the Apostle describes the people of the last days: although the people might have appearance of godliness, they are the puffed up reprobate in faith, haters of good without natural feeling and with the corrupted mind. Among all the definitions of various features of the people who are destined to live in the world prepared to annihilation, he names the worst consequence of death of reason: they always learn, yet, they are not able to come to the complete knowledge of truth {2 Timothy 3:1–9}.

If to set aside the personal traits of the sinful men {well, we the Christians do not have permission to judge the others – Matthew 7:1–5: a person’s sins are the person’s own business until those sins – e.g., attempt of assassination, forceful conversion, intentional deceit – intervene with life and well–being of other persons}, one definition fits perfectly many contemporary establishments, for instance, atheist–materialist–darwinist scientific and research institutions. In theory, they are created for the good purposes – health, technical progress, development of the society or a particular (usually underprivileged) group of the society, etc., yet ultimately, they never receive the good results and they do not achieve their purposes, probably, because they do not come to the complete knowledge of truth. So, what is the complete knowledge of truth and why the ethics–free sciences, which work within the framework of atheism–materialism–darwinism and on the basis of Aristotelian logic, are not able to achieve it?

For instance, if someone who is reprobate in faith strives to understand the laws, which control existence of the earth and to comprehend the past, present and future of our world, how and why atheism, for instance, makes the process of cognition incomplete, therefore, pointless?

St. Paul the Apostle provides the first indicator of impossibility of complete cognition: absence of natural feeling. Feelings are the means to comprehend the world around us. Naturally, by all feelings, comprehension, and understanding, the mind must love God {Matthew 22:36–38; Luke 10:27}: love of God is the meaning of human life and love of God sustains the life of human reason. For such a mind, for instance, the process defined as “evolution,” is cognition of love of God following with development of the ability to transform the love and knowledge of God into the thoughts and deeds of man: by the love of God a human being exists, by the love of God the human mind lives, and the love of God is the essence of the world given into dominion of man. 

For the mind living by faith and by love to God, the evolution is the process of coming to the ultimate point of the natural chain of transformations through which the divine creative energy –– love of God –– becomes the thoughts and knowledge, which man embodies into own creations – the systems and realities of the material world.

 

God

Divine Creative Energy

Human Mind

    Thoughts  ⇐⇓⇒  Knowledge


Evolution

 

 

The evolution also might be interpreted as the constant ascent to the higher degrees of complexity – perfection that is the constant increase of goodness of man and the constant increase of goodness and prosperity of the world. The increase of goodness and prosperity of the world–dominion of man is achievable only naturally, through the increasing ability of the mind to access the divine energy – love of God–Creator and to transform it into thoughts, words, and deeds. The fruits of evolution are perfection, actualization of the maximal creative potency, and completion of the purposes for which God has created a human being.

In summary, four inseparable processes compose the essence of evolution: cognition of God, acceptance of love – divine creative energy of God, coming to the complete knowledge, and transfer of the complete knowledge into creations of man – the systems and realities of the material world.

For the reprobate in faith mind that belongs to the puffed up hater of good (any hater of good, firstly, is the hater of God), the very meanings of truth and knowledge differ from those, which exist in mind that loves God. The reprobate in faith mind operates within the void of evil, which it creates by rejection of God and violating His commandments: the hater of good violates the main law of Love, firstly, because he has hatred, yet, hatred is the state of death {cf.: 1 John 3:14–15}. Consequently, those abiding in death are not able to cognize life. However, there is no complete knowledge without knowledge of life; the logic of reasoning and the assumptions, which are accepted as “knowledge,” also differ. It means that without knowledge of good there is no true knowledge of life: any science based on the ethics– or values–free foundation, that is primarily, on the Aristotelian logic, is not sufficient – it produces only false knowledge or advances in knowledge of death and destruction.

In particular, atheistic philosophy put the concept of eternal indestructible matter in the place of God and a chance in the place of God’s Law. The main premise is that the matter itself does not have intelligence, but, by chance, has created the intelligence, the mind, and the wholeness of the Universe. The Universe developed into the wholeness by chance: only by the blind chance it became the wholeness of the infinite multitudes of purposeful intelligent beings that perfectly fit and support existence of one another through the continuous evolution, which the misery of the mind deprived of its foundation –– knowledge of God –– interpreted as survival of the fittest. Consequently, the evolution is portrayed as the process of blind selection of the species that fit their environment – not the best, just fitting, therefore able to survive and to produce offspring within the existing environment.

If to apply the simplest logic of reasoning, or the common sense, toward the referred above assumptions based on atheistic philosophy, it becomes evident that for the atheist–materialist–darwinist sciences, evolution ceases to be the process of development and optimization: their “evolution” identifies an ability to survive – maintain physical existence within the given, determined, already existing environment.

For instance, the concept of survival of the fittest allows conclusion that only slaves are the best fitting species within the totalitarian state: they live as unreservedly obedient slaves – the silent and solid buttress of the regime – and produce slaves. Slavery – as Socrates convincingly explained and proved by his own life and death – is death of reason, thus, the society of slaves is the society of animated corpses incapable of development. Yet, without development there is no evolution, there is degeneration and death, as it has been confirmed by the history of totalitarian regimes. 

So, the evolution according to the atheist–materialist–darwinist sciences turns in degeneration: the term “evolution” applied by the contemporary atheistic sciences covers the process of degeneration and decay culminating in death.  Therefore, in the world controlled by “knowledge” produced by such sciences, the mission of man to actualize the evolution of the world, which he receives from God to dominate and cherish, fails. This failure (or sin) contradicts the will of God and triggers further degeneration and death of the beings, which did not accomplish the mission–purpose of existence, as well as disintegration of the establishments created by the sinners.

And I think that if to evaluate by the results – fruits, it becomes evident that “evolution” as progress and development does not exist: the proper words for definition of the results of man’s dominion over the earth would be “degeneration” and “regress.” The earth indeed begins to look as the cursed and dying earth of the ancient prophecies {Isaiah 9:18–20; 24:5–6, 19–20; 34:1–3; Hosea 4:1–3, 10}:

–  many species disappeared from the face of the earth deforested and polluted by men

–  fishes of the seas are dying

–  poisonous drugs developed on rodent and other animals, genetically modified viruses, and transgenic experiments  trigger abnormal mutations of nature

–  mental and physical disorders and illnesses have reached unprecedented scale

–  devastating changes of the climate increase suffering and advance impoverishment of people in the affected by wildfires, volcanoes, tornados, and hurricanes regions

– uninterrupted bloodshed, wars, conflicts, social and political unrest cover the face of the earth and undermine any ground for pretense of the current civilization to be identified as “human” civilization.

 If to identify the overall results of the technical, economical, and social development as the increase of human well–being, it might be concluded that there is no significant progress (if any at all). Many nations are facing dire economics, impoverishment, inability to protect own health, wealth, and possession, necessity of the enormous investments into weapons and inhumane research, fraud in all spheres of life, de–humanization of political, educational, research, religious and social institutions, utter corruption of political, social and religious leaders of all scales and all kinds as well as many of their followers, servants, and constituents. Figuratively speaking, the ills of contemporary men fit the description given by Isaiah the Prophet to his tribesmen {Isaiah 1:3–7}; they do not fit a portrayal of happy people who consume the fruits of evolution and technical progress.

If such is the Present, can we pretend to have any – even not complete – knowledge, which is available right now for improvement of our life and decisions of the most pressing problems? If not, do we have the Future? Is any sense in continuation of dehumanization of sciences, education, and all other aspects of our daily existence? Can we just simply turn to our God and beg Him for forgiveness and for the knowledge of truth, which would lead us out of the inferno we have built for ourselves and for our children?

 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

 

 

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Origin of Illness

 

 

…the earth… shall not continue to give its strength to thee:

thou shall be groaning and trembling on the earth

{Genesis 4:12}

 

 

In the beginning God created the perfect and beautiful world where the water and the earth perceived the Word–God and brought forth the living creatures according to their nature. This world was good; it was full of life and all its inhabitants were blessed to live, to increase, to multiply, and to fill their domains. The matter, which was the source of their creation, sustained their existence: all creatures with the breath of life received for food every seed–bearing herb sowing seed and every tree, which had in itself the fruit of seed that is sown*1*. This world did not know insufficiency, illness, and death: God saw all things He created and all of them were very good {Genesis 1:1–31}.

After man made his free choice, the tragedy of suffering and death began: with the knowledge of evil, death entered the perfect world, which was designed for the eternity. The nature of life–creating earth was changed: pain, labor and sweat awaited those who would seek food to sustain life of their bodies, and in the end of the miserable existence, the earth would receive their remnants {Genesis 3:2–20}.

However, that was not all. After Cain killed Abel – his brother, he was cursed from the earth, which opened her mouth to receive the blood of Abel: because of the unnatural and horrifying act of bloodshed, the earth discontinued to give its strength to man. Cain was the first from those assassins destined to be groaning and trembling upon the earth and to be deprived from the presence of God; he became so weak that anyone that finds him could slay him {Genesis 4:8–16}.

The story of the perfect world was ended with the Flood. After all flesh corrupted its way upon the earth (that is perverted its nature), and all the earth was filled with iniquity, the world became the embodiment of evil: men’s wickedness multiplied and everyone’s heart was concerned with evil and contemplated only evil. So, καιρος*2* of each man came before God and He decided to destroy men and the earth. The very source of origin became the source of destruction: the first earth created with the water was destroyed by the water; all creatures which had the breath of life died. Only the family of Noe (and those creatures taken into the Noe’s ark) has been spared. Noe began new life with sacrifice – killing and burning – some of those creatures spared by God. And God decided that He will not curse the earth for the deeds of men, because the imagination of man is inclined to evil. Yet, the spared men were allowed to populate the next world, to keep it in the dread and fear, and to consume flesh of its inhabitants {Genesis 6:6–14; 7:17–24; 8:20–22; 9:1–7; 2 Peter 3:5–6}. From the pre–Flood world, men inherited the ability to become sick: the original life–sustaining connection with earth has gone forever.

The Holy Scriptures mention three worlds: the first, which was destroyed by the water, the present, which will have its end in the fire, and the promise of new world to come {2 Peter 3:5–13; Revelation 21:1–5; 22:1–5, 10–15}. Two of them are destined to death because man – who is just a creature made in image and after likeness of God – wanted to be as God, yet, he was not able to overcome the evil. Man brought suffering and death to those who were given in his discretion, and in his turn, received illness, suffering and death as the reward for the evil he had done to the others.

And I think, would Eve see with her own eyes the consequences of the knowledge of good and evil – the pain, illness, and suffering: her own as well as her offspring – would she still want the knowledge? She did not know the difference between good and evil; we do not know what she knew: now, while the true nature of things is not seen {1 Corinthians 13:9–12}, there is no possibility to answer this question.

In our world, the reason why so many wrong decisions are made is that for many, it is almost impossible to foresee all the consequences. However, the inability to foresee the consequences is nothing more than illness of the mind: the insufficiency of reasoning. The only source of this illness is insufficiency of knowledge of God, and the only cure for this illness is knowledge of God: only God grants wisdom and understanding. Without God, the destiny of men is death. The world without God is dissipating dust, which absorbs the decaying flesh after its time of groaning, trembling, and sickness comes to the end…

 

 

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Notes:

 

*1* The ability to produce seed reveals the ability to transfer the energy of life, therefore, to give strength and to sustain life. Along with seed–bearing herbs and trees, the inhabitants of the first earth received the energy, which prevented any energy insufficiency and energy disbalance. The roots of any illness or disorder are the problems with life–sustaining energy: insufficient energy, energy disbalance and inability to restore the original energy flow. The energy transferred through the seed–bearing herbs and trees made impossible any of those conditions known as weakness, pain, suffering, physical and mental disorders.

 

*2* The Greek word  καιρος denotes not only a period of time; this word conveys the meaning of the moment of accomplishment, “decisive moment,” when something actually happens, or a specific point of the time–space, where a system realizes its potential, creates the most significant knowledge, or achieves its purpose. God considered accomplishments, actualization, and potential of each man, and all were evil.

 

 

Sunday, November 15, 2009

 

 

 

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The Depths

 

 

…Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord…

{Psalm 129(130):1}

 

 

        From the abyss of despair and from the very essence–depths of the heart, comes the Prophet’s plea of mercy, forgiveness, and redemption.  The theme of the utter desolation can be easily found in the Psalms, in the Book of Job, and visions of the Old Testament Prophets. All of them are hungry and thirsty for the presence of God, for the knowledge of God, and for a slightest possibility to discern His mighty hand in the course of the mankind’s history.

        In all times, the prayers of the righteous evoke the images of a stranger in the desert who is lost and who is dying of thirst, of the misery of a rejected and lonely man who runs away from his enemies and has no means to redeem himself, and of the poverty of a bankrupt who has nothing left to pay his debts. They roam through the depths of despair and lament their iniquities before their sins are annihilated, their debts forgiven, and they reach the life–giving waters of the presence of God {Job 30:19–26; 1 Kings 22:1–2;  Psalm 39(40):12–13; 41(42):2–3; 62(63):1;  64(65):9; 142(143):1–2, 6–11; Isaiah 64:5–7; Matthew 6:9–15; 11:28; 18:23–35; John 4:7–14}.

        The main reasons for the misery of men – strangers and debtors – are the same in all the times: deprivation of knowledge/presence of God and the consequent loss of hope. However,

if in the Old Testament, at the time of promise,
the wisest man comes to the conclusion that
knowledge of God is the complete righteousness and
comprehension of God’s power over man is the root of immortality
{Wisdom 15:3}

in the New Testament, at the time of fulfillment,
God teaches His followers:
the Word of God is the Light giving the freedom,
the authority to be the child of God,
and the life everlasting
{John 1:1–4, 9–13; 6:44–47; 8:31–36, 51; 9:5, 39; 11:25–26}.

 

With the teachings of God, it is possible to rise from the abyss of human misery into the presence of God. The human soul is a creation of God living by the breath of God, and a human being is the temple of the Living God –– all of us have been born to carry the Spirit of God and to imitate the mercy, love, and perfection of our God, Creator, and Father {Genesis 2:7; Job 33:4; Matthew 5:48; Luke 6:36; John 2:19–21; 4:24;  13:34; 14:23; 15:12–13, 17; 17:26; 1 Corinthians 3:16–17; 2 Corinthians 3:17; 6:16; 1 John 3:16–17; 4:7–21}: this is the essence of human nature.

And I think that if vessels of clay made to carry water or clay lamps made to illuminate darkness {Isaiah 64:8; Matthew 5:14–16} could have the faculty of deliberation, therefore, could understand the meaning of a purpose and decipher the purposes of own existence, would their emptiness without water and their darkness without light (that is uselessness and nothingness because of the impossibility to fulfill their destination) be similar to desperation of the human heart deprived of God?

 

 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

 

 

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