Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Matthew 21:25  John’s Baptism - where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin. They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?'
Mark 1:4 “And so John the baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”
Mark 1: 7  “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and unit.  I baptize you will water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
Mark 1: 9 “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice from came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased."
Baptism is a central ritual of the Christian faith.  At the time of the writing, John and Jesus were Jews.  Indeed much of Christian history Christianity was thought to be an errant Jewish faith. The orthodox Jew therefore might well consider Jesus a minor prophet and teacher but that he is not the Messiah. There is a formalism in Judaism that Jesus challenged. He criticized the teachers of  the law of his day, the leaders of the synagogue of his day and the bureaucrats of his day.  King Herod is said to have tried to kill him even as a child because he was a threat to the political authority of the day.
Asked about money, he picked up a coin with the face of Cesar stamped on it and said, “Give unto Cesar, Cesar’s due.”  There’s definitely an irony in this but he said his “Kingdom was in heaven”.  There is a duality here.
Yet, we know from modern science and physics that Energy and Matter are one, except for appearance, matter, simply being slow energy. As scientists we accept the unseen whereas the materialists of an earlier day would say, “show me”.  Electricity and wind and other forms of energy are today seen no longer as ‘spiritual forces’ but they once were.  We are closer to understanding that which matters but not yet there.  Heisenberg with his ‘uncertainty principle’ and Neils Bohr with his intuitive grasp of quanta pointed us further all the while Einstein insisted, ‘God does not play with dice’.  Newton before him was a Godly man.
Central to the idea of baptism is this idea of ‘sin’.  To sin meant in the day to ‘miss the mark’.  It was likened to an archer aiming at a target, having the intention of hitting the bulls eye but despite all manner of effort unable to consistently 100% of the times actually shoot a bullseye. This deviance from perfection, the coordination between intent and outcome was what was at stake.
Modern ballistics continues to struggle with this ‘idea’.  That’s just at the physical realm where the scientists continue to struggle with concepts of precision and consistency, all in an attempt to remove ‘confounding variables’ and ‘lab error’ .  The words are different but the ideas of the ancients remain as true today as then.
I might indeed have ‘good intentions’ but the outcome is like my experience with love.  Married I ‘loved’ with the best intentions to the best of my ability believing thoroughly that I was only to be perceived by my now ex wife as unloving.  In my earlier life I really believed ‘all you need is love’ and devoted myself to the depth and exploration of romantic erotic love. Like the majority of rock and rollers, writers and artists of my day I failed.
I was thoroughly defeated by the abortion. Ironically the birth control pill which had promised freedom through prevention lead to the slippery slope that culminated in abortion.  I was powerless to stop this result so that what had seemed like a good thing, pleasure, without consequence became the deepest injury.  Homosexuality, anal sex, oral sex, masturbation all followed from the death of the child.  Heterosexual love and children were so intertwined but the church and society celebrated murder in every form.  I was a member of this society, and a murderer by association.
Repentance is an interesting word from another error, just like the word ‘sin’.  Today there is a low brow approach to cause and effect.  Determinism or fate suggests that there can be ‘no praise’ and ‘no blame’. Yet our society and most individuals I know who consider themselves ‘modern’ personally accept praise while rejecting blame.  Most of the social constructs and isms are devoted to this ‘dualism’.  Feminism attributes wrong to men and right to women.  Racism attributes ‘oppression’ to the others and defines the terms of reference to a convenient era that excludes the period when the oppressed were themselves the oppressors.  Nationalisms attribute good to their people and blame the outsides. There’s a kind of tribalism throughout the society and lawyers are mostly involved in playing this ‘blame game’.  Everyone including murderers and pedophiles and whatever flavour of the month is in fashions claims ‘I’m right. You’re wrong’.
People worship the ‘law of the jungle’ and ‘survival of the fittest’.  “Give unto cesar what is cesar’s due”.  Yet Arendt’s description of the ‘banality of evil’ is lost on the present generation.
Sprinkling or immersion in water.
Forgiveness of sins.
There is inherent in this the consideration of ‘morality’.  Morality is an individual code perhaps taken from the group ethics inculcated in the child by the social order.  When great atheist Sartre said that God was dead, the great theist ,C.S. Lewis said that the evidence of death would take a generation or two to show because the morality and ethics of a country were created around the idea of God, that ‘ultimate’ expression of ‘good’.
Kultura was the idea of a national expression of the highest.  Oswald Chambers book, “My Utmost for his Highest’ is laughable in today’s era where art is a woman’s shit on a piece of paper. Faeces art sells like Rapp and fashion like religion becomes a ‘who’s in’ with daily shifts of sentiment and emotion chasing the tail of the dragon, so much created in drug hazes and alcoholic blurs.  The emperor has no clothes.
Holy Spirit is a strange word. When psychiatrists wrote of ‘discovering the unconscious’ they were addressing the ‘inner world’ concepts which were little appreciated in the ‘age of reason’.  A man was judged by his ‘actions’.  Everyone understood that a variety of thoughts and feelings preceded the act but policing moved into the judgement of language then ultimately ‘thought’.  Today the ‘thought’ police are as evident as the ‘feeling or emotion’ police.  We all must think a particular way and feel a particular way.
The one became many and the many became one.  Someone along this line of development, this oscillating linear consideration there is a comfort zone for the individual.  The struggle between isolation and participation is a lifelong process starting when the individual leaves the ‘fated’ family of origen to create a new family or new group.
Holy is a word that doesn’t get much air play today either.
Carl Jung, the great psychiatrist, described the nuministic feeling, that sense of ‘awe’, what C.S.Lewis called ‘joy’.  There’s a sense of the ‘transcendent’.  It’s the ‘elusive’ high that the drug addict seeks.  Paul Simon wrote the song the “mother and child reunion’ and that sense of expulsion from the ‘womb’ or the ‘severing of the umbilical cord’ or the ‘leaving home’.
Death is the ultimate fear that humans have though they remain in greatest denial about this, puffing themselves up, building all manner of attempts at ‘immorality’ from the reproductive family to a whole range of institutions and ultimately art. The ‘fountain of youth’, the rocket ships to another galaxy all are like medicine a search for pleasure and a flight from death.
Death is the great unknown.  We go to sleep but Hamlet said, “to dream that is the rub’.
We’re a shallow, ignorant group today. Lots of business and words and grovelling but none of the truth of another day when the real questions were asked and discussed.
Today conversations are limited to reality tv and talking heads stupidity.  The clever man amasses wealth.  We are lazy.
War is due if only to challenge the complacent.  A new pairs of shoes and a new breakfast cereal is all we really can grapple with.
Baptism, sin, repentance, right and wrong, holy spirit.  “Like a dove”.  Heaven.
In fear we don’t even look up or look inward any more.  In fear we are caged and don’t disturb the cage.  We kill the young before they are born.  We kill our old.
Scott Peck described this world as a kindergarten.
Jesus participated in baptism.
A voice came from heaven: You are my son, whom I love, with you I am well pleased”.  That’s not something I’ve heard in this world. When I look at my life I am to others mostly a failure.  I have seen the disappointment of my parents, my teachers, my classmates, my family, my friends.  The taxman is the most disappointed.  I am utterly convinced today that my government would kill me for body parts they have so little faith in me or any other Canadian.  They kill the children and now take refugees to teach abortion to.
When you get an atheist together, even a few, they’re fine fellows but whenever there have been many in a group they have destroyed society.  Communists are aetheits. These leftist socialist have murdered hundreds of millions and persecuted everyone who is religion. The religion of atheism makes the religions of theism look cuddly by comparison.
But individually there will always been a Hitchens or Bertrand Russel.  Academics.  But in foxholes and at sea they say there are no atheists.
When one is faced with the great unknown, disease, that horrors of horrors, or death that ultimate unknown there’s a real challenge.
Working with thousands of suicidal people I offered to kill countless explaining I’d not intentionally murdered anyone and would gladly ‘experience’ this ‘new and novel’ ‘high’ with them allowing me to participate in achieving their ends. They were horrified at this because it meant ‘loss of control’.
The illusion of control is central.  It’s not been the essence of the debate of the state sanctioned suicide, euthanasia.  Yet when I offered to kill a person, none, not one, not a solitary individual, accepted the offer.
When I hit a fish over the head I ‘felt’ it’s life go out from it.  I have ‘felt’ the ‘death’ of a carrot when I uprooted it and at it. I felt the death of a baby when I performed an abortion.  I did not feel this when I took milk from the tit of a cow with my father and grandfather laughing as they squirted the milk in my face.  I did not feel I had ‘killed’ like I did with the abortion and the fish, when I cut out cancer.
These are not things we discuss today.
I have been told it is ‘UnCanadian” to think and talk as I do.  I have been consistently condemned for the actions that follow from these thoughts.
I have prayed for stupidity and smoked dope because when I did I ‘fit’ into the world as one who had drunk the kool aid. I didn’t ‘care’ when I was ‘wasted’ and I didn’t care when I was drunk.  My heroin addicts tell me that the only problem with their addiction is not having enough money to support it. To this end the government is supplying free drugs, morphine now, but the plan is for heroin.  The injection sites, distribution centres, are being established.  Marijuana distribution sites are being extended.
Atheists have no ‘prohibition’.  The fall of the USSR is said by some to be a product of the ‘vodka disease’, Russia was the only ‘modern’ nation to show a rise in ‘fetal mortality’ and this was directly a consequence of ‘fetal alcohol syndrome’.
Baptism by water by John was a public event.  Crowds gathered at the Jordan river and participated in this community ritual for the individual.
I did.
I flew to Israel and was baptized in the Jordan river.
Jesus did too. (this is theologically complicated because hair splitters would argue that he was ‘without sin’ so that later he could be a ‘perfect sacrifice’  yet here he is ‘participating’ in a baptism.
Baptism is a ‘drowning’ like ‘ritual’.  The individual who has been baptized is described as ‘reborn’ or ‘born again’.  The old life is demarcated by this event when a new life begins.  The prisoner is let out of jail with a ‘clean slate’.
In the Baptist Churches there is an actual pool, like a mini swimming pool, with sufficient depth that a minister can hold a person fully immersed.
The Anglicans, a much more effete and less robust Christian sect, sprinkle hair on the forehead.
It’s all in the symbolism.
Baptist sinners were sometimes held down by the minister who actually sometimes perceived with good intention he was drowning demons despite the sense that he was a bit sadistic and authoritarian. I saw a near drowning in my childhood church. The minister held this struggling woman underwater and there was a whole lot of thrashing and eventually he let her up blue.  I expect her ‘baptism’ was much more ‘memorable’ than my own in the Anglican church “sprinkling."
The full immersion was however different but no more or less ‘memorable’ . Each in it’s own way was ’transcendent’ . Transcendent or pneuministic might be better described as ’spiritually orgasmic’.

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