Identity

Who am I?

I don’t know who I am apart from what I want and what I do…

I have always assumed that what I do defines me, and what I want gives me the trajectory.

Is there anyone behind the persona? Or am I all “Oz The Great and Powerful” with no man behind the curtain?

What if I am merely a hologram or projection?

I don’t know if there is anything underneath my ambition and will… What if I am merely a husk doll in the shape of a man? What if I am nothing more than dried leaves acting aimlessly because I have adopted a “ethos package” with a set of attitudes, actions, and thoughts, arbitrarily?

What if my life has no meaning? Merely searching for meaning is a worthless meaning.

What if I don’t matter?

What if nothing arises from my nothing?

What if all that is there is merely smoke and phantasms, and are of no substance? What if it is all magic tricks and illusions?

If the persona kills the original, and takes on a form of life, then what?

What if there is a self beneath the projection that we desire others to view us as? What is our truest nature and our truest self?

I must make a list of the things which I think that I am in an attempt to understand myself and determine my true identity. However, are preferences and taste valid things by which to determine identity?

Taste and preferences change. Now, Self-Identity is a fluid construct, and is not at all immovable. In fact, it would be accurate to say that our self-perception is always growing changing and evolving, which means that identity is a product of the is/ought dilemma and also lies in the crisis of being vs becoming.

What is the basis of identity? I would argue that it is at least partially found in relationships. These relationships are four-fold: 1. Relationship to himself – his mind, spirit, body and will; 2. Relationship to others: family, friends, community, society, world; 3. Relationship to the Natural world and universe; and 4. Relationship to God, Philosophy, the Divine, the Supernatural, ideas, Art, etc – I include anything that helps Man transcend himself and his limited potential.

For the purposes of this musing, I am going to assume that I exist, and that my general perceptions of reality more or less approximate at least a functional reality that is universally perceived by others of the human race.

1. Relationship to Self
I invest great time into myself: I read, I learn, I contemplate, I experience as much as I can. I try new foods, and I generally try to eat healthily. I exercise somewhat. I promote healthy self-talk and internal monologs. I explore new attitudes, tastes, and preferences. I do not do drugs, except for a little bourbon/scotch and the occasional cigar. I listen to music, and view art. I spend much time and energy in developing my character, my force of will, my integrity. I seek to become increasingly Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent. I am a Thinker. I am a Dreamer. I am a Man. I like novelty. I like words, and have a decent vocabulary. I like Classical Music, and Opera. Art moves me and has great power, and I love creating it. I am a Creator, and a Destroyer. I like skydiving, rock climbing, and hiking. I play Cello, Ukulele, drums, and I sing. I love Early Grey tea, both sweetened and iced, or sweetened and hot. Shiny things attract my attention. I love the taste and experience of eating meat. I love how it makes me feel. I love testosterone rushes. I am fairly strong. I am also Strong willed. I have decent discipline. I have much control over my emotions, but I am seeking to let them be a bit more free in order to bolster the efficacy of my art. I am a Director. I like th way sunshine feels upon my face. I don’t generally like being wet. I love orange juice and the colors red and blue, though I don’t like them together. I love and need light. I love driving fast. I try to live according to an ethical code.

2. Relationship to Others
I am the First Born Son to a Pastor/Theologian and a Nurse/Teacher/Missionary. I am the eldest brother to an aspiring Naval officer, a U.S. Marine Corp 2nd Lt, and a College student. I am the 4th generation in the Hiatt family that has borne the name James. I am the grandson to a Coast Guard Quarter Master Master Chief Petty Officer (QMCM), and grandson to a Navy airplane Mechanic. My lineage includes Gods and Kings, Heroes and Legends, Saints and Popes. I am a fiercely loyal friend, and once who challenges others to be excellent. I am a Leader, and a terrible follower. I am intent upon changing the world for the better. I want to impact my community, society, and the world first through my art, and then through politics. I want to help everyone. I want to open minds, imaginations, and hearts.

3. Relationship to Nature.
I love nature, I recycle, I minimize my carbon footprint. I hike, backpack, camp, rock climb, etc. I leave no trace. I support environmentalists and policies which protect nature and natural resources. I support and study science which has understanding the world around us as it’s chief goal.

4. Relationship to the Unseen/Divine
I am philosophically bent. Contemplating and discussing the nature of the universe are two of my favorite activities.
I was raised Protestant (Nazarene – Wesleyan Holiness) Christian, and I suppose that While intellectually I am agnostic, by pure feeling, I sense (and hope) that there is something more out there. I can create systematic theologies or internally consistent philosophies once I assume a couple of baseline axioms from which I can build. However, all of those axioms are inherently unprovable which makes all knowledge suspect, right down to epistemology. I love ideas, and playing with them, and I hold none too dear. I am seeking Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and Excellence and wherever I find them I shall adopt. I create Art in the pursuit of Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and Excellence.

In addition to those pieces of knowledge about myself, I am human. I am subject to all of the feelings, thoughts, reactions, senses, etc that broadly define us and am a product and contributor to the greater human experience.

I suppose that generally, this is who I am.

Noah – a Christian Philosopher Review

A great article, and here is one of my favorite points,: “from the standpoint of understanding the Bible, there are a few things we might keep in mind. God, in the process of destroying the world, took the time (and effort) to save a breeding pair of every land animal. Preserving each species looks like a legitimate issue of Christian concern. If what lives on our planet is not just the result of blind chance, merely the things that haven’t yet died out or haven’t yet been displaced by a competitive species, but instead is the work of a divine creator, each one is worth saving. If God saves so many of his creatures from a deluge by the miracle of the ark, who are we to be callous to their struggle against extinction? Given our original mandate (repeated in the film, no less), to be fruitful and multiply, to tend and dress the garden, shouldn’t Christians be concerned about what’s left of our garden?”

School of Christian Thought

noah I just watched Aronofsky’s Noah . It was a powerful, disturbing film. I don’t know if it was calculated to please a religious audience, but I think that Christians ought to be pleased by it. What follows is my take on the film, and there are a few spoilers – so be warned.

View original post 1,739 more words

Regarding Poverty: On the Balance of Libertarianism and Government

“By the standard of all scriptures, neglect of the poor, of widows and orphans, of the sick, the homeless, the insane, is an abominable perversion.”
-Wendell Berry
Like ·  · Share · February 4 at 11:53am near Los Angeles, CA ·

  • Richard Bloodworth yes but where in the scriptures does it say that that is a government and not an individuals responsibility
  • Richard Bloodworth No one argues that we should not take care of those individuals we argue that it is an individual responsibility not a government one. Also using this argument negates any mention of Separation of Church and State. You cannot on the one hand say that religion has no place in government and then make an argument from a religious perspective for a government welfare.
  • Col James RW Hiatt All that government is is the collective action and will of all individuals working together.Specific Religion has no place in government. Unless you want the Scientologists to institute Scientology law, if they ever take over.The term “Scriptures” here could actually refer to almost any holy book in the world, from the Torah, to the Bible, to the Quran, to the Vedas, to the writings of Confucius. The perspective embraced is a universal one.Personal Religion has a role in individual lives. The nature of the doctrine of “Separation of Church and State” is designed to keep any singular faith from foisting their individual doctrines upon a people, the way the Anglicans and Catholics and Orthodox have done in the past in Europe. State sponsored religion is intellectual and spiritual tyranny.

    The right wing does not have the corner on faith. Nor should they. There are many left-leaning people with a strong faith. However, they do not legislate their religious faith. They use reason, and ethics as the basis of legislation, and when Scripture reinforces that, a wonderful synchronicity follows.

    The teachings of Jesus are specifically and wondrously socialist. He urges societal principles which cause Ayn Rand to slit her wrists and vomit in rage. Government is the mean collective will and actions of individuals.

    Thus it is right and proper to encourage spiritual arguments when they line up. Also, it is useful to use Scriptures to persuade when speaking to people who believe them. It becomes a matter of urging internal and intellectual consistency, and discourages hypocrisy and Pharisaical behavior.

  • Dulce Chalé · Friends with Robby Strong and 1 other

    If you read the Old Testament, most of the directives to help the poor, the widow and the foreigners were to the nations, and the nations were the ones who were judged, not just individuals.
  • Richard Bloodworth but government is not the collective will of all individuals since there is dissent so obviously your definition is false.
  • Col James RW Hiatt That is the definition of a democratic representational constitutional republic, aka our government.
  • Richard Bloodworth dulce but we do not live in a nation that lives under old testament law and if you read the new testament Christ brought it to the individual level and the individual who shall be judged. Obviously James and I disagree on this because he is wrong. It is was and always will be the responsibility of the individual to take care of the less fortunate. This is a necessity of a FREE Society. Government infringes upon personal liberty and so should be controlled not trusted. The private sector is far more efficient at handling things. Government breeds bureaucracy and waist. Private sector breeds efficiency and results. ALWAYS.
  • Richard Bloodworth oh and I never said that the right had a monopoly on faith nor do I believe in theocracy. I am pointing out the hypocrisy of using a religious argument on the one hand while on the other saying religion has no place in politics. It is logically inconsistent.
  • Andrew Thomas Hussmann loved the Ayn Rand bit haha
  • Nathan Richter “All that government is is the collective action and will of all individuals working together. ” True! Unanimity is the basis of government. Hence the lack of laws and police.On a significantly less dishonest note, it turns out that government is composed of those most able and willing to commit violence.Which is really what the core, profound evil warned against by those who condemn institutionalized socialism on a governmental scale: it turns out that being willing to do violence upon the non-violent, even if one takes their wealth and inefficiently distributes it to others, is not a virtue. A lot of folks try to dress it up in fancy language in order to obscure the issue, but every law that collects money for redistribution is a gun pointed at the wage-earner’s head. It is an act of violence, even if we sanitize our language and hire many degrees of separation to act as middlemen.A fun thought exercise!
    Charity : Wealth redistribution :: Healthy sex : ?

    Hint: just add the threat of (or actual) violence, and see how the virtue flourishes!

  • Richard Bloodworth ooo ooo ooo I got it rape?
  • Col James RW Hiatt Money has no real existence. It is created by a government as a means of transaction, and is regulated by the Gov… It isnt sacred, and neither is wealth. Money is a societal tool.
  • Nathan Richter Is your point that citizens have no right to property? Is your point that because money (like liberty and dignity) is not fundamentally material, it cannot be owned by those who earn it? Or is it reasonable and right for violence to threaten or be committed against the non-violent as long as that of which they are being deprived fails to reach a certain threshold of being sacred? These are, on the face of them, absurd. I cannot understand how so many can consider a course of action reasonable that denies the simple and obvious truth that for every one who receives without earning, there is one who earns without receiving.
  • Col James RW Hiatt Things like Land ownership, Money, etc are created and regulated by Government. They are effectively “leased” to the people for a fee which we call taxes. You do not own your land in the ultimate sense. You do not own your money in the ultimate sense. You do not own or even run the economic system that you have flourished in. You must pay your entry fee into the arcade, and then you must pay for each game that you play. You do not own the game, and you do not own the tickets that you receive for playing the game. The tickets are simply transactional material as well. The arcade can choose to take a percentage of your tickets used in each transaction. You do not own the arcade, or the games, nor the system. You lease it. Taxes are your lease payments. 
  • If you wish to not be governed, go start your own anarchy based or libertarian based society, and see how well that works out for you. I bet Canada would give you a town (because they are such nice people) for this experiment. I bet that it would work perfectly if you keep the numbers small, and hand select the people in your community. As soon as you reach a certain point, it will crumble. It’s like your arguments against Swedish ways of doing things: you claim that things like Universal Healthcare will only work in small places with low population (while in this case I disagree).Libertarianism is truly only viable when there are few people. The Wild West was probably the best example of a laissez-faire economy and libertarianism practically instituted. It was lawless chaos. Gangs and Criminals ran things. Powerful and wealthy ranchers oppressed the small farmers and the smaller ranches. They would dam rivers upstream of whole towns and effectively kill the town, and sweep in and take the abandoned land. Whatever anyone wanted was theirs for the taking if they could build a gang and take it. This is the true face of unchecked capitalism, laissez-faire economics, and libertarianism. Too much personal liberty steps on personal liberty.People are not capable of governing themselves any more than children are capable of babysitting themselves or blind people are capable of leading blind people. A Democratic Constitutional Republic is the best form of Government. It is Government of the people, by the people, and for the people. It is government by a group of men for the benefit of all. Is our current government corrupt? yes, but not irreparably so. Government costs money. You have given your implied consent to be governed by your government, by choosing to live under its rule. Ergo, you have given your implied consent to be taxed and for your taxes to benefit society. You reap the benefits of our government every day. You pay for them. You reap other more indirect benefits by the government choosing to invest in other avenues that come back to benefit you. The Government takes responsibility for certain services so that you don’t have to do it everyday, like warfare, care for the sick and poor, education, etc.Should people only get the education that they can afford? If you can’t afford an education, does that mean that you are screwed, simply by the bad luck of being born to a poor person. Same goes for healthcare: because you are in poverty, and can’t afford to eat healthily, or get vaccinations, or preventative medical or dental care, should you just be allowed to rot and die? This standard of living is the natural end of unchecked libertarianism, and is a violation and an insult to the idea of human value and human dignity. We all benefit if everyone is well educated and healthy. More well-educated people means more entrepreneurs. It means less poverty, which actually means less welfare, and less Government assistance in the long run. Healthy people are more free to innovate and to create a stronger society. Sick and rotting people are innately limited in what they are likely to achieve. They are held back by their physical limitations.

    I strongly believe in Human dignity. Homelessness is an abomination. People Starving Is an abomination. People being held down through a lack of education is an abomination.

    You and I did not choose to be born in the culture that we had the good fortune of landing in that promotes values such as hard work, determination, growth, intelligence, discovery, etc. We did not choose our specific cocktail of genetic traits that makes us successful. We did not choose the socio-economic status that we were born with. In effect, very little of who you and I are is actually due to anything we consciously chose; “but for the grace of God, goeth I.”

    You argue that it is not the governments role to assist us. The government is comprised of the most fortunate people in society, who are leading society, and voting to help take better care of people. Wealthy and Powerful people are voting to take money out of their pockets, universally and equally to help those who most need it. The Government is not some inscrutable organizational Monolith. It is a group of people who see problems, and then decide the best way to fix them, and the best way to get everyone involved in fixing them. It is like a neighborhood association: you pay your dues, and they hire a security guard, or street cleaning, and sign painters.

    The Government is the aggregate will of the people through time.

There! I fixed it: Revamping The Doctrine of the Trinity, and thus ALL of Christianity.

i035Christianity: Your Paradoxical Mysteries are ridiculous.

I am going to muck around a bit in the theological sandbox.
For the purpose of this thought experiment, I shall make the following assumptions, so as to expedite the process:

1. There is a Creator God, who did indeed create the universe. For our purposes, he can at least be Good, All-Powerful ([omnipotent] within the Universe), All-Knowing ([omniscient] Within the Universe, that which is logically possible for him to know), and Omni-Present.
2. He revealed himself on Earth to Humanity as Jesus, the Son of God, and his Holy Spirit, or unseen presence.
3. His agents wrote the Bible at His behest -inspired (composed of selected books from the Jewish Holy Books, and Letters written by Jesus’ Followers and their Followers. This Holy Book can be taken as true enough in matters of historical fact, in so far as much as any other historical book, recording events, myths,salzburg cathedral legends, etc.
4. God Can be known, through specific revelation, general revelation, tradition, corporate/individual prayer and worship and of course through his son Jesus.

Ok. With that out of the way, let us begin.

The Trinity is simply an inane and absurd bit of sophistry. Defining the Trinity, God is One, but that three distinct “persons” constitute the one God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Also, a sub-belief is that Jesus is both God and Man. This is known as the doctrine of the Hypostatic Union where in the one person of Christ, there are two natures: God and man.

Nowhere in the Bible is the word Trinity used. In fact, it was coined by a Theologian, Tertullian in the early 200’s. 100 years later, an ecumenical council (Nicea) debated the idea when they decided to define the relationship of Jesus to God, in response to the controversial teachings of Arius. Led by bishop Athanasius, the council established the doctrine of the Trinity as orthodoxy and condemned Arius’ teaching that Christ was the first creation of God. Arius also asserted that the Son of God was a subordinate entity to painingGod the Father. The creed adopted by the council described Christ as “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance (homoousios) with the Father.” This of course spawned hundreds (and really Thousands) of years of debate. St. Augustine espoused what sounds like a “partialist” position and described the Trinity as comparable to the three parts of an individual human being: mind, spirit, and will. They are three distinct aspects, yet they are inseparable and together constitute one unified human being.

However, most Orthodox and Catholics will simply shrug their shoulders and chalk the Trinity up to one of those things that is too complicated for our feeble human minds to understand. They also claim that it is indirectly taught in the Bible (though not explicitly). It also bridges the gap between Monotheism, and explains the Holy Spirit and Jesus. However, This is ridiculous.

Many of the problems inherent in the doctrine of the trinity stem from Christological controversies. So, we might as well dive deep. Hold your breath. Hell, grab some scuba gear and a diving bell.

Here are some of the “Heresies” rejected by the Universal Church at various Ecumenical Councils:

1. Adoptionism – God granted Jesus powers and then adopted him as a Son.it denied the preexistence of Christ and, therefore, His deity. Adoptionists taught that Jesus was tested by God and after passing this test and upon His ead6af6b76de3e7910dc945826b9ca55baptism, He was granted supernatural powers by God and adopted as the Son. As a reward for His great accomplishments and perfect character Jesus was raised from the dead and adopted into the Godhead. This error arose out of an attempt to understand the two purported natures of Jesus.

2. Apollinarianism – Jesus divine will overshadowed and replaced the human. The Logos of God, which became the divine nature of Christ, took the place of the rational human soul of Jesus and that the body of Christ was a glorified form of human nature. In other words, though Jesus was a man, He did not have a human mind but that the mind of Christ was solely divine. Apollinaris taught that the two natures of Christ could not coexist within one person. His solution was to lessen the human nature of Christ. The church rejected this solution for they felt that it jeopardized the value of the atonement since Jesus needs to be both God and man to atone for the sins of the world, building off of the idea that the World is a fallen evil place, and must be cleansed. The doctrine of atonement is based off of the Jewish traditions surrounding Yom Kippur: Evil is a debt against God, and debts must be collected (so that God can remain Just) but for man to pay that debt, man would need to be killed, because another central tenet of that idea is that blood is the only way to forgive sins. This is based on the animal sacrifices enacted by Abraham and Moses. All of mankind is individually responsible for their sins, and the individuals death is the only way to atone for their lifetime of sins. Jesus needed to be God to offer a pure and holy sacrifice of sufficient value for all humanity, and He needed to be a man in order to die for men.

Hang On. It only gets deeper from here.

3. Arianism – Jesus was a lesser, created being. We have mentioned this briefly already. Based out of the Plato’s Theory of Forms, which subsequent gnostic schools of thought SAM_2925-e1364771138207latched on to, Arius taught that only God the Father was eternal and too pure and infinite to appear on the earth. Therefore, God produced Christ the Son out of nothing as the first and greatest creation. The Son is then the one who created the universe. Because the Son relationship of the Son to the Father is not one of nature, it is, therefore, adoptive. Though Christ was a creation, because of his great position and authority, he was to be worshipped and even looked upon as God. Some Arians even held that the Holy Spirit was the first and greatest creation of the Son. At Jesus’ incarnation, the Arians asserted that the divine quality of the Son, the Logos, took the place of the human and spiritual aspect of Jesus, thereby denying the full and complete incarnation of God the Son, second person of the Trinity.

In asserting that Christ the Son, as a created thing, was to be worshipped, the Arians were advocating idolatry. Also, denies the whole Homostasis thing, and destroys the atonement doctrine. So this is a no go.

4. Docetism – Jesus was divine, but only seemed to be human. Generally, it taught that Jesus only appeared to have a body. This error developed out of the (Zoroastrian and Platonic) dualistic philosophy which viewed matter as inherently evil, that God could not be associated with matter, and that God, being perfect and infinite, could not suffer. Same logic as Arianism. Condemned. Refuted… blah blah blah.

5. Kenosis – Jesus gave up some divine attributes while on earth. These attributes were omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence.st__gregory_church_2_by_citizenfresh-d6u31gx It states that Christ did this voluntarily so that He could function as a man in order to fulfill the work of redemption. Instead, Orthodoxy claims that Jesus cooperated with the limitations of humanity and voluntarily did not exercise His attribute of omniscience. He still was divine but was moving and living completely as a man. The Kenosis theory would mean that Jesus was not fully divine. If Jesus was not fully divine, then His atoning work would not be sufficient to atone for the sins of the world.

6. Modalism – God is one person in three modes. Modalism is probably the most common heresy concerning the trinity. Modalism states that God is a single person who, throughout biblical history, has revealed Himself in three modes, or forms. Thus, God is a single person who first manifested himself in the mode of the Father in Old Testament times. At the incarnation, the mode was the Son and after Jesus’ ascension, the mode is the Holy Spirit. These modes are consecutive and never simultaneous. In other words, this view states that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit never all exist at the same time, only one after another.

7. Monarchianism – God is one person (The Father). It arose as an attempt to maintain Monotheism and refute tritheism. Monarchians were divided into two main groups, the dynamic monarchians and the modal monarchians. Dynamic Monarchianism teaches that God is the Father, that Jesus is only a man, and that the Holy Spirit was a force or presence of God the Father. Modal monarchianism teaches that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are just modes of the single person who is God. In other words, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not simultaneous and separate persons, but consecutive modes of one person. This destroys the nature of atonement.

8. Monophysitism – Jesus had only one nature: divine. It teaches that Jesus was wholly God, and not Man at all. This, of course, is contrary to the notion of atonement. Monophysitism arose out of a reaction against Nestorianism which taught Jesus was two distinct persons instead of one. Its roots can even be traced back to Apollinarianism which taught that the divine nature of Christ overtook and replaced the human one.

9. Nestorianism – Jesus was two persons. Nestorius was a monk who became the Patriarch of Constantinople and he repudiated the Marian title “Mother of God.” He held that Mary was the mother of Christ only in respect to His humanity. If Jesus is two persons, then which one died on the cross? If it was the “human person” then the atonement is not of divine quality and thereby insufficient.r-CHRISTCHURCH-CATHEDRAL-large570

10. Pelagianism – Man is unaffected by the fall and can keep all of God’s laws.people had the ability to fulfill the commands of God by exercising the freedom of human will apart from the grace of God. In other words, a person’s free will is totally capable of choosing God and/or to do good or bad without the aid of Divine intervention. Pelagianism teaches that man’s nature is basically good. Thus it denies original sin, the doctrine that we have inherited a sinful nature from Adam. He said that Adam only hurt himself when he fell and all of his descendents were not affected by Adam’s sin. Pelagius taught that a person is born with the same purity and moral abilities as Adam was when he was first made by God. He taught that people can choose God by the exercise of their free will and rational thought. God’s grace, then, is merely an aid to help individuals come to Him. This negates the need for atonement, and thereby negates the need for the homeostasis and ergo the trinity. It also fits in nicely with John Locke’s Tabula Rasa though it predates Locke by 1300 years, and some of Kant’s theories on the nature of man.

11. Semi-Pelagianism – Man and God cooperate to achieve man’s salvation. Semi-Pelagianism did not deny original sin and its effects upon the human soul and will. But, it taught that God and man cooperate to achieve man’s salvation. This cooperation is not by human effort as in keeping the law, but rather in the ability of a person to make a free will choice. The semi-Pelagian teaches that man can make the first move toward God by seeking God out of his own free will and that man Slave-Angel-bycan cooperate with God’s grace even to the keeping of his faith through human effort. This would mean that God responds to the initial effort of person and that God’s grace is not absolutely necessary to maintain faith. The Churches problem with this compromise is that this is no longer grace. The doctrine of Grace states that it is the completely unmerited and freely given favor of God upon the sinner. But, if man is the one who first seeks God, then God is responding to the good effort of seeking him. This would mean that God is offering a proper response to the initial effort of man. This is not grace, but what is due the person who chooses to believe in God apart from God’s initial effort. Also, this negates the atonement.

12. Socinianism – Denial of the Trinity. Jesus is a deified man. Socinianism denies the doctrine of the Trinity claiming it denies the simplicity of God’s unity. Instead, God is a single person with the Holy Spirit as the power of God. Since it emphasizes the unity of God, there could be no divine and human union in a single person as Christ. Therefore, Socinianism denies the incarnation and deity of Christ as well as Christ’s pre-existence. It teaches that Jesus was only a man. it taught that Jesus was a deified man and was to be adored as such. Nevertheless, since Jesus is not divine by nature, His sacrifice was not efficacious; that is, it did not result in the redemption of people who would trust in it. Instead it was an example of self sacrifice. Again. Denies Atonement.

13. Subordinationism – The Son is lesser than beloved-haiti-blog-post-450x450the Father in essence and or attributes. Subordinationism (Jesus is different in nature than the Father) should not be confused with subordination (the Son submitting to the Father). the Son is not eternal and divine (Arian Subordinationism), and is, therefore, not equal to the Father in being and attributes. Another form of Subordinationism states that though the Son is divine, he is not equal to the Father in being, attributes, and rank.

14. Tritheism – the Trinity is really three separate gods. In the late 11th century a Catholic monk of Compiègne in France, Roscelin considered the three Divine Persons as three independent beings and that it could be said they were three gods. He maintained that God the Father and God the Holy Ghost would have become incarnate with God the Son unless there were three gods.

Ok, the beauty of sloughing through the various so-called heresies is that they represent a rather exhaustive and exhausting summary of most possible logical deviances. Effectively, the reason that the doctrine of the Trinity doesn’t make sense is that it is trying to fill an illogical hole: it is akin to having jig saw puzzle with a couple of extra pieces thrown in. The primary problem is one of logic:

rock_of_cashel6The Earth has Fallen and requires Redemption. Due to the Jewish Code of Atonement, Sin requires Blood Sacrifice. Traditionally this was done with pure animals. Because we are all so fallen and evil, we each deserve to die and fulfill our own sacrifice. God’s Grace and Love counter his Justice, so that in order to satisfy his Just Nature, and defend his love for us, He decides that the price must be paid and that he must pay it himself. Thus Jesus must be God in order to be pure and great enough to Atone for everyone, and he must be a Man in order to take our place. This is the logic of the millennia: this is what Theologians have come up with for the necessity of Christ’s death.

The Church’s problem with the various heresies are that they negate Christ’s dual nature which negates his grace and ability to atone for sin. At first glance, If Christ doesn’t have a dual Nature, then the Trinity doctrine falls apart. However, by stripping away Christ’s Humanity, the doctrine of the trinity becomes much easier. Monophysitism simplifies the whole thing.

Sub-note, the idea of the Trinity is not found nor supported by Judaism. Obviously, Muslims also reject it.

Ok. Now, let us try to imagine a scenario in which the Trinity does make sense and fits the requirements placed upon it.

Assuming that God exists, and assuming 7st-a-cath-gravesthat God visited earth, and assuming that people have experienced him as his “Holy Spirit”, I see one very easy way out of this: If we have no need of “atonement” because we never “fell.” What if Man Kind and the Earth are as we have always been. The human condition is as we have created it. Of course, this puts God in an awkward position: Would a perfect God create something less than perfect? Can perfection be a process of increasing perfection, like the expanding Universe? What if, like the Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians believe, we each fall, and there is no universal fall? What if we each start with a blank slate, and are only victim to our own bergama-asklepion-2actions? What if the only Grace we require is God’s willingness to forgive our sins? Then the death on the cross need only be symbolic, and Christ would only need to be God, and not Man. If the Atonement is nothing more than a ritual, and not some deep-seated blood-lust-filled command, demanded by an angry war god for transgressions against his will, then God’s Triune Nature is easily explained by a combination of Modalism, Monarchianism, and Monophysitism. Of course, denying the “Sin Nature” also negates a need for a literal hell. Assuming that there is an afterlife, hell would simply be existence after death without God’s Presence: something akin to being isolated in the darkness for all eternity, effectively “outside the Universe.”

Mystra,_veduta_rovine_08The classic Trinity is more like an Aspen tree: Genetically identical aspen trees (Populus tremuloides) grow in large stands throughout cooler regions of North America. The individual trees within these stands are interconnected by a shared root system and it is that root system that ranks as the largest on the planet. New aspen trees grow as root sprouts that grow off of a parent tree. The largest known aspen grove, nicknamed Pando, is located in Utah and covers 106 acres and is estimated to weigh 6000 tones.
God The Father is the great Aspen tree. Jesus and the Holy Spirit stances. grow out of the same root system, but come up out of the ground in different places. They are three separate trees, and yet they are one, connected by a shared root system. We experience each tree separately, yet there is no difference. They are the same. They can act independently, and communicate directly with each other. They can also act as one. It is a bit Schizophrenic.

I submit that experientially, the Aspen Treephoto-710568 might make a bit more sense than some of the other models, but it still is actually heresy, according to the classic Church.

Ok, so let us address the Resurrection. In classical Theology, the Resurrection is what proves Jesus’ claims of divinity. It is what proves his power to forgive sins, and proves his right to die for those sins in the first place. It proves his power over death, and instills hope in an afterlife. The Resurrection also assures those victims of Zoroastrian style Cosmic Dualism, that God won, and Satan lost.

Without the need of atonement, and without the need of a fall, there is no need for a Satan figure to accompany the lack of need for a hell.

So, let’s just assume that Christ went ahead and died on the cross and even rose again: this is fine, and fits with the rest of my postulation.

Effectively, by creating an ontology that rovinemakes logical sense, and building a systematic theology from there, we actually create a version of Christianity that is much closer to traditional Judaism, and makes much more solid logical sense within the Christian Universe of Axioms.

To recap: We toss Original Sin, Satan, Hell, Atonement, Dual Nature of Christ, and we actually have a Christianity that reflects our basic human experience much better: Toss in a little Pelagianism and semi-pelagianism and we are set!

We can thus redefine sin as a conscious decision to violate the relationship of a person to God.

Naturally, There are other ramifications of this train of thought, but I am too tired to express them now.???????????????????

Directing, Creative Freedom, and Vandalism

Good reminders for us directors.

Bitter Gertrude

Once upon a time I worked at a theatre that received two cease-and-desist orders in two seasons– one for copying dialogue from a Disney film word-for-word and performing it without permission, and one for rewriting the lyrics to Godspell. The artistic director of the company told me, “The New Testament is so boring! Stephen Schwartz would have LOVED what we did with it if he had seen it. Ours was SO MUCH BETTER.” She then proceeded to tell me that she had learned her lesson, and asked me to write a commission contract for a playwright that would give her “total artistic control” over what the playwright wrote. “It’s my idea to adapt [name of book she didn’t write nor for which she possessed the adaptation rights] into a musical, so I own it.” Instead of writing her contract, I quit.

Around this same time, Boxcar Theatre in San…

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Brilliance? Or Dark Shade?

I hate when my mind is like this…

It is a strange and uncanny state of being.

It is like my mind wants to be creative and brilliant, for no reason, but it lacks inspiration, and only thinks ordinary thoughts. Except that it is self conscious of its lack of brilliance, and of its capacity for inspiration. Yet, it cannot make sparks.

Imagine a perfectly formed campfire, pre-flame. The Perfect logs, arranged just so, around a small kindling log cabin, with hyper-dry and flammable tinder. Yet, your Sparker won’t spark, your matches won’t ignite, your lighters are out of fuel. In short, You are perfectly ready to burn if you could simply spark!

I shall leave you with this thought from Howl, by Allen Ginsberg:

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,…”

6 Word Story Challenge: Accepted!

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6 Word Story Challenge: Accepted!

6 Word Story Challenge

Here are my best tries.

1. Looking Glass: grave lined crows feet.

2. Bed-ridden. Liver hurts. Never again… Again!!!

3. Dark Park. Flash Dash. Sprained Ankle.

4. Her Unwanted Familiarity. Passive-Agressive Lashing Out.

5. Too close for comfort. Pushed away.

6. Tears filled rocks glassed. Poor Bartender.

7. Secret Raid. Dead Comrade. Proud Parade.

8. Crisp Salute. 21 Guns. Dead Brothers.

9. The Muses Strike. Artistic Unconsciousness descends.

10. Life of Necessity. Unrealized Dreams. Funeral.

11. Money Talks. B.S. Walks. Impostors Balk.

12. Go Make Disciples. Perpetuated 2,000 Years.

13. Luck is for Schmucks. Make Opportunity.

Music Video Ideas #3

Music Video Idea:

The Goddess Athena, tied, suspended in air from 20 different fabrics pulling in all directions, in the moon light, from a courthouse, with javelins hurled through her body, while Blind Justice looks away. Red billowing fabric oozes from her wounds like blood and covers the stairs beneath her, and flows across the heaped bodies of slain blacks, gays, women, men, whites, muslims, christians, babies, young, straights, old, latino, buddhist, jocks, musicians, artists, politicians, and bankers.

A Giant Spider climbs the courthouse, and proceeds to bite off Athena’s head, and hang her upside down in the rafters next to a bald eagle, the statue of liberty, MLK, JFK, Jesus, Andy Warhol, Galileo, Micky Mouse, and other recognizable icons.

Music Video Brainstorms…pt 2

Art Thieves, rainbows, white water rafting, midwest plains thunderstorm, giraffes, the dish running away with the spoon with the owl and the pussy cat in their pea green boat with the gingham dog and calico cat

zoo on a yacht, in a sea of jello, with an army of 5 year old girls. And Amazon Warriors

dionysus, bubble bath, flamingos, Louis XIV, Scuba Diver, Tolkien-esque Elves

Hands with Ears for fingers, Feet with noses for toes. wrists and ankles each with two eyes, and a face that is only a mouth.

Exotic Cages full of squeaking parrots, Belly Dancing Girls, Pole Dancers, Roman Phalanx, Fijords, Saudi Arabia

Tibetan Monks/Temple, Time Machine, HG Wells, Furbies, Fire Breathing, Indian Drum Circle and rain dancers.

Music Video Brainstorms…

Music video starter kits:
(Otherwise Known as ridiculous combinations of random ideas. It is a loose brainstorm to facilitate creativity.)

half pipes and rock climbers and giant boa constrictors.

running dwarfs, paleontologists, pterodactyls, casinos.

plumbers, sunset meadows, caesar, pit bulls.

painting, hang gliding, Chinese calligraphy.

Sex with Body paint, fashion runway, whole foods, fire staff spinning.

Flea Circus, Renaissance Painters, Pope in the Vatican, Indian Tribal Dance.

Hearts cut from chests, Donald Duck, and Harold Hill leading a big Zombie Parade.

WWII Bombers, Unicorns, London, Rodeo.

Ballet, Russian Roulette, Orient Express, Ice Fishing.

Punch and Judy, Magic Castle, Pizza Guy, Stairmaster

fruit guillotine, colosseum, lion tamer, skydiver ironing space suit.

Moonwalk, Mummies, M&M mascots, Mustard.

Ivory Throne, Bolsheviks, Old Sports Cars, Monkeys.

Naked River Spirits, Neptune, Napa Winery, Druids.

Bonnie and Clyde, King Kong, Geronimo, Custer.

Antebellum South, Pyramids, Great Wall of China, Roman Army.

Sewers, Ninjas, Pirates.

Raining Flowers, Stone Henge, Atlantis, Walking up skyscrapers.

Carnival, Eiffel Tower, Home Birth, Baking Cookies.

Smashing Chandeliers, Volcanos, Giant Robots, Eggs hatching sunrise.

Clovers, Castles, Flying Carpets, Zodiac

Dragons, Mermaids, Giant Kittens, Aerial Dog fights.

Boxing Match, Cellos, Sunset Cliffs, Forest Fire, Giant Lion fighting Giant Bears.

Comedy Club, Mime, Afghanistan War, Chair Warehouse.

Ark of the Covenant, BDSM club, Edgar Allen Poe, Riverboat

Treehouse Mansion, George of the Jungle, Alien Assault upon Children, Food fight.

Flying Lessons, aerial big game dinosaur hunting, 20,000 leagues under the sea, peanut butter and jelly.

Loch Ness Monster, Cthulu, Grey Aliens, Pharaoh, etc Poker game for the fate of humanity.

Apocalypse, Last Kiss, Yoga, Dance flowing Violin on hill overlooking mushroom cloud

J. Edgar Hoover in drag, Samurai, Moses’s 10 Commandments, Rabbit Punch

Basketball, X-rays, Straight Jacket, Strawberry Patch.

Circus, Mafia, Music on Beach, Canoe in swamp in morning mists

Marine Basic Training, Kids Summer Camp, Bonsai Tree Zen, Laundromat.

Gun Range, Pillow Fight, Chess,

Botox Injections, Photoshop Models, Architecture Design

Sailing the Mediterranean, Morocco, Skunks, Farming