Was Noah’s God A Mass Murderer?


If you live in a western society, especially one with a strong Judeo-Christian influence, you are familiar with the story of Noah and the worldwide flood sent by God to punish all those very bad humans he created and supposedly loved. Guess even the god of the Jews and Christians reserves the right to change his mind and turn mass murderer if he gets pissed. But is there any evidence that such a flood really existed? Are there other historical accounts of a global inundation? If so, do these ancient records claim that it was punishment from the heavens or something else?

Actually, there are many ancient cultures and texts that contain a similar story. Here’s a few of the most well-known that also bear some similarity to the Judeo-Christian flood of Noah:

Sumeria: Translations of ancient Sumerian tablets tell of a great deluge that dates back to 200 BCE. Not sure there is anyway to compensate for a discrepancy of about 2800 years for this to be the same flood that occurred, according to Bible scholars, around 3000 BC. But the gringa has always believed that the math of Judeo-Christianity is a bit flawed. I put my trust in good, hard science. But, for curiosity’s sake, I still want to know what the Sumerian flood was like.

As the story goes, Earth saw a population explosion of humanity. Apparently, all those humans were rather noisy and the main god in power wanted a little peace and quiet. Seems he couldn’t sleep. Which is strange. I mean, if you are immortal, who the heck needs to sleep, right? But, I digress.

So, the big god who is living on Earth with the creatures he made gets cranky over lack of sleep thanks to his human rabble that had pro-created like crazy. So, with a bit of buyer’s remorse when his creation turned out to be a pain in the patootie instead of a pleasure, the big god first sent a devastating famine and drought to kill off the noisy buggers.

When that didn’t have the desired effect, the main god and his lesser gods high-tailed it off the planet. Once their great escape was accomplished, they turned around and sent a horrible flood to clean up the noisy mess of humanity left behind. Then, once everything was globally squeaky clean and QUIET, they returned.

If the Sumerian account is the truth, then we would all be the descendants of these returning gods since all humanity was killed. I mean, it’s only logical to believe that they wouldn’t return and re-create humanity, the very project that went south to begin with which is why they had to skedaddle and clean house. They wouldn’t be very smart gods if they re-created humanity. In fact, according to logic and psychiatry, they would be insane gods. The very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over yet expecting a different outcome.

So, since none of us are immortal and vested with magical, supernatural powers, the gringa’s pretty sure that the Sumerian tale is just that, a tale. And very close to the account of Noah: mean gods who get sick and tired of humans so come up with a solution of human genocide.

Greek mythology’s Deucalion: Deucalion, son of Prometheus, the last Titan, tried to intervene on behalf of mankind when Zeus decided humans were just too much trouble and needed to be wiped out. Zeus decided that he would only have mercy on Deucalion and his wife, Pyrrha. Zeus considered them to be the only righteous humans among an entirely corrupted generation.

Deucalion’s father told him to build a large boat (ahem, Noah’s “ark”). Duecalion and Pyrrha took shelter on their boat, surviving the ensuing flood after Zeus sent a storm that lasted 9 days and 9 nights. A shorter lived storm than Noah’s 40 days/40 night account.

Unlike the biblical account that declares that all humanity was destroyed except for Noah and his family, the Greek myth allowed for a few stragglers to survive. It recounts that some people survived by escaping high into the mountaintops.

Another similarity between Deucalion and Noah is where the boat ended up. Noah’s account claims the ark came to rest atop Mount Ararat. Deucalion, too, ran aground atop a mountain, presumably mount Parnasus.

Chinese myth of the Gun-Yu: Occurring during Emperor Yao’s reign, this flood would have happened about the 24th century BCE. Best estimates place Noah’s flood about 3000 BC. Give or take several hundred years, the timing is consistent for both accounts. But the 40 days and nights of rain and several weeks of waiting for floodwaters to recede of the Noah story is a very different schedule of events compared to China’s record. As well as the disposition of Noah’s god as compared to the god of the ancient Chinese.

As the story goes, for 9 years Yao’s cousin, Gun, struggled to serve his emperor by devising different methods to keep the flood waters at bay. His efforts a failure, Yao resigned as emperor. His distant relative Shun took over ruling the country. He spent the next 4 years also battling the rising waters. The months of flooding Noah dealt with seems like a walk in the park compared to what China’s tale reveals of a torrential storm system lasting more than a decade.

Although attributing the flood as an act of the supreme deity, the Chinese do not attribute cruelty and punishment as the diety’s reason for sending the deluge. The Gun-Yu story also does not record the worldwide death of all humanity and wildlife as a result of the flood.

If you find this kind of history fascinating, there are many other cultural and religious tales that channel the Noah story. Check out:

  • K’iche’ lore
  • Mayan lore
  • North American tribe, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa
  • Muisca people
  • Hindu mythology
  • Scientific evidence

Yes, the gringa said scientific evidence. Scientists and geologists who have studied sedimentary layers believe there is evidence that suggests that the waters of the Mediterranean Sea once merged violently with the waters of the Black Sea about 7,500 years ago. That timing would place the event around the estimated time of Noah’s flood.

One thing the gringa finds incredibly interesting about the scientific evidence: Scientists say that the chain of events that culminated in this worldwide flood actually began much earlier, about 20,000 years ago during Earth’s last great glacier age. A global warming event occurred that caused massive ice melt and catastrophic sea level rise.

What do we know about global warming and rising sea levels? El Nino phenomena that causes catastrophic, extreme weather systems. So, that period of extreme drought and famine that culminated in a catastrophic flood as told by the Sumerians? Yep. Could have happened. Nearly 15 years of heavy downpours and flooding that ravaged ancient China? Yep. Could have happened. A storm that lasted 40 days and 40 nights, flooding the entire MIddle East where Noah was from? Yep. Could have happened.

But was the Noah account correct with regard to an angry, vengeful god who regretted creating humanity so turned mass murderer? The gringa thinks not. The gringa thinks that particular twist to the story was inspired by the same human instinct a parent exhibits when they tell their child to stay in bed lest the boogey-man grab them. Parents want some peace and quiet which can’t be had if kids don’t do as their told and go to bed and stay there!

So, the leaders of mankind often terrify the people they lead so they will behave. It makes the job of leadership easier. And nothing is more terrifying than thinking that an omnipotent god could wipe you out in the blink of an eye just because he found you annoying.

The moral of the story? Go ahead. Be annoying without fear. You’re only human. You can’t be expected to behave all of the time.

Sources:

Ancient Origins

Smithsonian Mag

Dave Livingston

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Maasai Boys

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Laurent Larraillet

Russia Gets Blamed For Hell


The gringa is wondering just what this world is coming to, thanks to what many call the “Trump Effect”. It seems that all sorts of hidden hostilities, that have been simmering below the surface of many in society, are now bubbling up, out in the open. And it’s making for some very ugly accusations and stereotyping. 


Now, the gringa’s dear readers may think I am going to point out the rise of Islamaphobic cruelties perpetrated by religious bigots, or alt-right racists attacking the Black Lives Matter movement. A glance at this post’s title may also cause the dear reader to assume that the gringa is going to deliver a detailed account of the Trump-Russia investigation. But I’m going to go somewhere else entirely. I’m going to take my dear readers straight to hell.

The gringa would like to ask the media several questions:

  1. Is the media using the heightened sensitivities about all things Russia to try to stereotype Russia in general as a generic boogey-man? 
  2. Is the American media hoping to stir the pot of nationalist pride even among those in liberal-land who proclaim loudly that they are, in no way, shape or form, nationalists? 
  3. Is the media pouncing on the liberal left’s blame of Russia meddling that cost them the election as an opportunity to stir up hate for all things Russian? 
  4. Is the media trying to demonize Russia for all Americans? 
  5. Could such a demonization strategy be behind the outrageous claim in the news that scientists actually discovered in Siberia the gateway to the realm of demons and devils? 
  6. Is there really an entrance into hell in Russia’s remote Siberia wilderness? 
  7. Is Russia the gatekeeper for the damned, who are spirited away to eternal torment below the frozen tundra of Siberia, or is this just opportunistic political propaganda?

The Claim: It is alleged that Finnish newspaper, Ammennusatia, ran an article that tells the tale the excavation of a 14,000-meter-deep-well that was drilled by Russian geologists in 1989. Scientists at the site claim to have heard voices emanating from the hole expressing regret and begging for mercy and water. There is supposed to be 25 seconds of audio recording of these voices before the microphone melted from the incredible heat of “hell”. 17 seconds of this audio were the horrific screams of the damned. The Russians who supposedly witnessed the discovery of “hell” claimed that Jacques Cousteau had a similar experience with deep-water ocean caves which motivated him to retire.

What We Know: 

  • The Finnish newspaper, Ammennusatia, doesn’t seem to have ever existed. That should be all the proof my dear readers need. However, for those who require a bit more de-bunking proof, please do read on.
  • There are 1,609 meters in a single mile. The radius of the Earth is 3,959 miles.The 14,000 meter hole was about 8.7 miles deep, nowhere near the center of the Earth where hell is supposed to be. The Kola Superdeep Borehole holds the world record for the deepest hole ever drilled for scientific study, 7.5 miles deep. It took more than 2 decades for Russian scientists to inch their way through the Earth on the Kola Peninsula. Although the hole produced signs of Precambrian life, the scientists didn’t say anything about finding any signs of hell.
  • The Earth’s liquid core meets the Earth’s mantle at a depth of 1,800 miles below the surface. 8.7 miles seems a bit too shallow for anyone to become overwhelmed with the heat of hell. So much for temperatures that would melt audio recording devices.
  • Jacques Cousteau was born in 1910. He was still performing oceanic research on board Calypso until it sank in 1996. This was the vessel he used to film his TV series The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau. In 1996 Cousteau would have been 86-years-old. The urban legend of Cousteau encountering the screams of the damned are related to a research dive of Lake Tahoe in the 1970s. 
  • For supposedly being terrified, it would seem he continued to dive for 20 more years. Also, the particular Lake Tahoe dive of the damned was not performed by Jacques himself, but by his son. The maximum depth of Lake Tahoe is 1,645 feet. Although there are plenty of underwater caves, after dozens of dives and footage from dozens of submersibles, um, no hell as of yet.

The Gringa’s Conclusion: Russia is not the gateway to hell. Neither is Lake Tahoe. Jacques Cousteau was one of the most courageous explorers to ever live. If he had encountered the gateway to hell, he would have studied it, not retired.

When it comes to sensational news, dear readers, enjoy the fun but fact check so you can enjoy it the way it is meant to be enjoyed. Like a sci-fi novel. Because if you take such things at face value, you could be swallowing, hook-line-and-sinker, the early stages of political propaganda designed to make you hate Russians, or Lake Tahoe, or BLM, or whatever is politically expedient for whoever controls the media. And that, my dear readers, is why we grown up humans can’t have nice things.

Sources:

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Before The 10 Commandments, There Was Ma’at


(Originally posted 8/3/2017 on Read With The Gringa)

The 10 Commandments, which are the foundation principles of Judaism and Christianity, may actually be an economy version of the 42 Principles of Ma’at that were crafted 2,000 earlier than Moses’ fateful appointment with god on Mt. Sinai. So why has the gringa not heard about the Ma’at? Cultural, religious and political jealousies are most likely to blame. 


Despite all the insults the ancient Hebrews leveled toward ancient Egyptians in the sacred texts of Jews and Christians, the reality is that a bit of copycat was at play. Egyptian citizens modeled their daily lives according to Ma’at, which may have been the same guidelines adopted by the ancient Hebrews despite their impassioned protests of all things Egyptian. Despite Israel’s insistence that they delivered a genuine religion directly from god to define the Hebrew people from everyone else, they may have just been a cheap imitation of a much more refined original.


Let’s see if Jewish and Christian pride has, for centuries, blinded the faithful to the truth that their respective religions were not at all original but, simply, appropriation. Here is the most simplistic English translation of the 42 Principles of Ma’at or, as some have translated it, the 42 Negative Confessions:

  1. I have not committed a sin.
  2. I have not committed a violent robbery.
  3. I have not stolen anything.
  4. I have not killed anyone.
  5. I have not stolen food.
  6. I have not ripped off religious offerings.
  7. I have not stolen from a god or goddess.
  8. I have not lied.
  9. I have not carried away food.
  10. I have not cursed.
  11. I have not refused to listen to truth.
  12. I have not committed adultery.
  13. I have not made anyone cry.
  14. I have not felt sorrow without a reason.
  15. I have not assaulted anyone.
  16. I am not a deceitful person.
  17. I have not stolen the land of another.
  18. I have not been an eavesdropper.
  19. I have not falsely accused another person.
  20. I have not been angry without reason.
  21. I have not seduced another person’s wife.
  22. I have not polluted myself.
  23. I have not terrorized others.
  24. I have not disobeyed the law.
  25. I have not been exclusively angry.
  26. I have not cursed a god or goddess.
  27. I have not behaved violently.
  28. I have not disrupted the peace.
  29. I have not acted without thinking first.
  30. I have not overstepped my boundaries and butted into another’s business.
  31. I have not exaggerated when speaking.
  32. I have not pursued evil.
  33. I have not thought, spoken or pursued evil.
  34. I have not polluted the water.
  35. I have not spoken in anger or in arrogance.
  36. I have not cursed others in deed, thought or word.
  37. I have not placed myself on a pedestal as better than others.
  38. I have not stolen that which belongs to a god or goddess.
  39. I have not stolen from, or disrespected, the rest of the dead.
  40. I have not taken food from a child.
  41. I have not acted insolently.
  42. I have not destroyed property belonging to a god or goddess.

Now, the gringa sees the thoroughness of the Ma’at and wonders why anyone would think that a dumbed down version of the 10 Commandments would be thought to be an improvement? What are the significant differences between the 10 Commandments and the Ma’at? How would the differences most likely manifest in society? Would the changes make for a better or worse society?

What the 10 Commandments contain that the Ma’at lacks:

  • Declaration of a single god
  • Abolishment of statues that declare a certain image to be that of god
  • Establishment of a day of rest, the Sabbath
  • Creation of Patriarchal/Matriarchal society
  • Wanting what others have forbidden

What the Ma’at establishes that the 10 Commandments lack:

  • Special protected status of food
  • Kindness as sacred
  • Happiness and contentment a duty
  • Special protected status of land belonging to another
  • Duty to live a healthy lifestyle
  • Meanness and cruelty outlawed
  • Intellect is sacred
  • Preserve environmental integrity
  • Mind one’s own business, leave other people alone to live a life different from your own
  • Obligation to protect a child’s right to nutrition
  • Snobbery is a sin

By omitting dozens of very important negative confessions, the ancient Hebrews made it easier to live a selfish life yet declare that selfish life to be a holy one. Instead of a society where every person was, in essence, a civil servant accountable to all the gods and goddesses that governed the many different aspects of humanity, the Hebrew religion streamlined authority, coalescing it into a single god that answered to no one. Next in line to govern was the patriarchy that was served by the matriarchy and everyone else.

 

How would this affect life for the average person? Would a person have been better off in an ancient Egyptian city or a Hebrew city?

Well, a child would have enjoyed more protection in Egypt, with assurances of being fed. A woman would have enjoyed equal status in a society that had female gods who co-governed with male gods. If a god seemed to be arbitrarily cruel, an Egyptian could appeal to the compassion of another god.

A Hebrew, on the other hand, just got whatever god wanted to give. And that didn’t always work out too well. Just look at poor, pious Job who supposedly did everything right only to be tormented and lose it all.

Anyone in Egypt who was vested in property could expect to enjoy their land without an invasion of squatters. For the Hebrew people, they conveniently left this special protection out of their society’s guidelines. Perhaps that was because they were nomadic herdsman who wanted to exploit the best grasslands. Respecting land ownership would mean they would have to restrict their movements. This would require, consequently, the cultivation of land to prevent over-grazing.

Perhaps the ancient Hebrew were not that industrious. It was easier to simply drive their herds hither and yon, wherever the best grass grew and ignore any right another might have to land they may have been preserving and cultivating for a particular purpose. But, after appropriating an entire religion, appropriating the land of others seems small potatoes.

 

It also seems that it was perfectly okay for an ancient Hebrew to be a snob and just plain mean. In Egypt, kindness and even-temperateness were the ideal. An open-minded Egyptian who pursued truth, not matter how inconvenient that truth may be, was also the kind of person the gods were grooming. Such open-mindedness is left out of ancient Hebrew righteousness according to the 10 Commandments.

So what really happened when Moses stomped up Mt. Sinai? I mean, think about it. He was not just raised in Egyptian society, he was raised an adopted son into the royal family that was ruling at the time. He was highly educated and attained a position of leadership that was practically next in succession to Pharaoh himself. He also married the daughter of one of Egypt’s high priests. That would indicate that, according to Egyptian religious standards, Moses would have been a pious, righteous Egyptian, faithfully adhering to the 42 Principles of Ma’at.

Did Moses simply get mad because, as a biological Hebrew, he would never be allowed to become Pharaoh? Was spite the inspiration for a revolution? Did he turn to his ancestral peers and convince them he could lead them to a better life than the one they had in Egypt? Would he have made promises that it would be an easier, less complicated life with more freedom?

Would this have been reason to pare down and amend the 42 Principles of Ma’at to a religious code that would give him more power as an individual, male ruler and muster the masses with more promises of indulgence for their selfish tendencies the 42 Ma’at laws forced them to keep in check? Was the ultimate goal of Moses simply unfettered, unopposed power supported by people willing to compromise the finest principles for selfish reasons?

Did he alter the Ma’at to suit his selfish purposes then convince a nation of immigrants living within a host nation that there was a particular god who wanted them to revolt? Did he explain that this one particular god, out of all the other gods they were familiar with and worshipping as Hebrews culturally integrated into Egyptian society, that this one particular god wanted the Hebrew people all to himself, considering them very special? Did he play upon base human emotions of jealousy, envy and pride to incite a rebellion? Did his amended version of the Ma’at make it convenient for these rebels to then invade the land of other people and slaughter every man, woman and child without conscience with a “god made me do it” justification?

When one sees what practical application of the Ma’at results in, it is easy to see that the Ma’at defines a superior society than what we live in today that is defined as a 10 commandment based Judeo-Christian US culture. The gringa thinks a religious revolution is in order:

How different history always looks when one steps outside their comfort zone and long held cultural beliefs to view things from a different perspective. The gringa thinks that the only thing the Ma’at is lacking is establishing curiosity as sacred.

Although curiosity often lands the gringa in all sorts of trouble, in the end, such trouble is always worth it just to know the truth of a matter. Or, at least another version of the truth. Different opinions and different ways of life, that’s the SPICE of life. And one thing’s for sure, the gringa hates a boring life. I say keep it spicy!

Sources:

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Was Jesus A Buddhist Monk?


In a world where groups of people continue to wage war in the name of their religion, what would happen if a group suddenly realized they were practicing the wrong religion? Or, at least, using the wrong label? What kind of identity crisis might be created if Christians realized their messiah was actually Buddhist? Yeah, the gringa’s going there. What if Jesus was actually a Buddhist monk?


First of all, Jesus and his disciples never called themselves Christians. They called themselves things in Aramaic and Greek that has been translated into English words like “believer” and “church”. But what did those foreign words really mean in the context of their culture and historical era?


There are innumerable versions of the Christian Bible. However, the earliest and most widely used English version is the King James Version. The New Testament translation was based on the ancient Syrian language, Aramaic, and ancient Greek. The words these ancient authors used to refer to themselves with respect to religion are:

  • Greek ecclesia, the equivalent of the Hebrew term kahal, used by ancient Jews to refer to any assembly of people, translated into church.
  • Greek adelphos, translated into brethren, denoted a religious relationship between non-familial people that was equal to that of a biological sibling.
  • Greek electus, translated into elect, literally meant chosen for a specific public service.
  • Greek christos, translated into christ, the equivalent of Hebrew mashiach, which referred to an Israelite chosen by God to rule as a religious leader, like a priest, or as a political leader, such as in King David, and were anointed with oil by religious leaders to symbolize their special role.

When the words of Jesus are examined, the gringa discovers some very interesting and provoking conundrums that today’s Christianity would do well to resolve. First of all, Jesus most often refers to an enlightened being who has tasked him with the mission of correcting the false religious practices of the Jewish people. Although his mission was to the Jews, he admits that what he teaches can be believed by anyone. Jesus most often refers to this enlightened being as Father, or, Abba in Aramaic. But what does all of this mean?

Abba’s most simple translation is a slang term for Father, as in calling someone Daddy. So Father is a stretch. The gringa looks to other meanings in the Aramaic language for the choice of Abba by Jesus. It’s most literal use is to call someone teacher. 

Mankind, hoping to craft a religion that could be used politically to control a populace, would naturally choose the patriarchal. However, patriarchies and monarchies were the very things Jesus was resisting in his teachings. That’s why Jewish high religious society murdered him by exploiting Roman law. 

So why would Jesus use a patriarchal term? He wouldn’t. He didn’t. But today’s organized Christian religious leaders want you to believe that he did. But Jesus was referring to an enlightened being who was his mentor and responsible for his re-birth into enlightened spiritual life. He became transformed into an immortal being by following the teachings of this mentor.

The enlightened being who tasked Jesus with his mission is considered by Jesus to be the Creator of mankind. Creation is performed through the power of words. Jewish Kabbalistic mystics teach this as well. The power of syllablic resonance is practiced throughout Buddhism and many other ancient Eastern mystical belief systems. 

What was it Jesus said about the power of words? Perhaps it is best understood through John’s interpretation of what he learned about the power of words from his teacher, his Abba, his Father, his monk, Jesus: 

“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” John 1:1

What this means is that Jesus’ enlightened mentor did not create the physical world. Jesus was never interested in the physical world. He always taught detachment from the physical. The creation Jesus spoke of was the creation and the world that mattered, the non-physical creation, the non-physical world. And to reside there one must become enlightened or, in the preferred English, re-born.

The enormous gap of time from Jesus as a 12-year-old until he arrives on the religious scene in Israel as a 30-something-year-old man, organized Christianity ignores. But it was during this time that he was becoming the great teacher that he was and achieving immortality through re-birth. 

All of his teachings are indicators of where he learned his ideology, which was by no means Jewish or anything like today’s Christianity. It is, in fact, very Buddhist. The words of Jesus found in John chapters 3 & 5; Luke chapter 4, and Matthew chapters 5, 6, 7 are the most revealing:

  • Works prove what one believes 
  • Fame and concern for what other people think of you will prevent enlightenment and immortality
  • Enlightened religious leaders seek to teach those the enlightened being prefers: the impoverished, the sick, the addict, the depressed, the emotional needy, etc.
  • A truly enlightened teacher will be recognized by the rejection and criticism leveled at them by the most powerful and popular religious institutions who feel threatened 
  • The attributes of the enlightened faithful: lack of greed, emotionally sensitive, meek, integrity, kind, gentle, followers of peace, quiet when slandered and criticized 
  • Good works are required to demonstrate what you believe 
  • Anger is as destructive as murder 
  • Forgiveness and reconciliation with enemies required for enlightenment 
  • Physical isolation from physical/emotional temptation may be required to become enlightened until self-discipline is achieved 
  • Accept that you have no control over life 
  • Do good unto all, friends as well as strangers and enemies 
  • Prayer, meditation, charity and kindness is private 
  • Sacrifices for the sake of another’s service should be done privately and with no outward indication of discomfort, but, rather, a show of happiness
  • Wealth is not to be pursued and should be given away generously to those in need, keeping only what you need for the basic necessities of life
  • Mind your own business and don’t pass judgment on the lives of others being lived differently than your own
  • Don’t waste time with those uninterested in following the path of enlightenment
  • True believers in Jesus will live the lifestyle he taught
  • The most dangerous situation a person can find themselves in is to claim the label of Jesus’ “god” yet live a life contrary to the teachings of Jesus. Such people can never achieve enlightenment

Now for a history lesson to tie all of this together. During the time that Jesus would have been a young adult making his own way, discovering what he believed, Buddhism was alive and well. It was going strong throughout India. And there are indications in Jesus’ neck of the Middle Eastern woods that Buddhism was also reaching his home shores as well. And its influence may have inspired a young Jesus to seek the origins of this faith, seeing how his own people’s religion had become a mockery of what it taught.

Ancient documents in Tibet were revealed to a traveling Russian doctor who convalesced in a Buddhist monastery, Hemis, in 1887. It took seven years of painstaking translation and literary work but Dr. Nicolas Notovitch eventually published The Unknown Life of Christ. It chronicles the time of a young adult Jesus, Issa, who spent his lost gap years under the tutelage of Buddhist monks in Tibet. 

Regardless of whether or not a person believes this history, there are a few things that can definitively be said:

  • If you consider yourself a Christian yet are supportive of the depravities of war, any kind of war, particularly a war you consider to be a “war on terror” which is code for “war on Islam”, you are not living a life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus. 
  • If you call yourself a Christian, yet are not committed to replacing a capitalist economy of greed with a socialist economy of service to humanity, you are not living a life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus.
  • If you call yourself a Christian, yet pursue goals that deprive anyone of the right to live their own life different from yours, a life that causes no harm, you are not living your life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus.
  • If you call yourself a Christian, attending a huge “mega-church”, where staff roll in to the parking lot in gleaming, high-end cars, passing the homeless along the way, you are not living your life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus.
  • If you call yourself a Christian, believing in “prosperity theology” or “name it, claim it” theology, you are pursuing greed and not living your life in accordance to the teachings of Jesus.

Jesus’ ideology is one of non-judgment, austerity, kindness, no violence, no war, and becoming your brother’s keeper. It’s not rocket science. He also taught that mankind’s innate flaws of greed and pride are the two main reasons people will convince themselves they are following his teachings while actually following that which satisfies themselves. And they will be shocked at “judgment day” when they see him frolicking in “heaven” with prostitutes, non-heterosexuals, and other “sinners”. And these same people will get a second, much greater, shock when Jesus tells them to get lost. After all, the money, the luxuries, the glory of a grand reputation, etc. were their “heaven”. They have already enjoyed it. It’s just not a “heaven” that was meant to last forever. Too bad for them.

So, in essence, most Christians today are blowing it big time. And the ones who truly do follow the teachings of Jesus are actually Buddhists. They just haven’t realized it yet.

Sources: 

Image Credit: YouTube

Bruno, Where Are You?


What do you think is behind the story of the disappearance of a UFOlogist who left behind a bedroom covered in strange symbols and a coded language? Insane? Hoax? The real deal? Let’s take a look at Brazil’s Bruno Borges and his personal “X-Files” style life journey.

This past March the 24-year-old disappeared. Not only were the walls and ceiling of his room plastered with his life’s work, but he also had 14 books written in the same coded language that were ready to be published. Media images of his room reveal the organization of an ordered mind, although a tad obsessive-compulsive about order when the gringa compares own surroundings. I tend to be tidy with a splash of comfortably messy.

But Bruno was not just a fringe science recluse, shuttered away from the world, scribbling away in an alien tongue. He was also a psychology student at university.

But alleged coded languages from another world were not the only curiosities of his room’s décor. There was also a prized work of art, valued at nearly $3,000. Central to Bruno’s small room is a life-size statue of Giordano Bruno, a 16th century philosopher, set within a circle of symbols. Was this a tribute to a namesake kinsman or a tribute to the work of the philosopher?

6.27.2a

You see, the Italian Dominican friar, Giordano Bruno, was not just a philosopher. He was also a theorist as to the mysteries of the cosmos, which meant the Catholic Church eventually labelled him a heretic. He threw off his friar robes and converted to Calvinism.

However, Protestantism was no great fan of his science, either. Eventually he would be burnt at the stake in Rome with his tongue tied down to prevent him from addressing the crowd. In today’s science and philosophical circles, Bruno is considered a martyr to scientific truth.

Now, dear reader, don’t think that this means younger Bruno was also a misunderstood religious devotee of the Christian faith. More fascinating clues remain to be discussed. Also decorating the walls and floor of the young man’s room were sigils and symbols affiliated with the legendary Illuminati and Satanism.

But wait, there’s more. Lacking any furnishings typical to a bedroom, there was, instead, religious furnishings crafting a shrine. Instead of a religious shrine to a long, dead philosopher, Jesus, Mary or Satan, the shrine was dedicated to the extra-terrestrial world young Bruno Borges believed in.

One of the key elements of his shrine was a self-portrait of the young man standing alongside a bulbous-headed, glowing-eyed ET against a backdrop that obviously points to the two of them being on another planet. The gringa supposes the implication is that his true biological origins are from this alien world.

6.27.2c

For about a month young Borges locked himself away in this room and produced all of this. This is absolutely incredible. It defies, in the gringa’s mind, the rules of biology. It seems physically impossible. Especially since there is no bed in the room for the poor guy to get a good night’s sleep. How in the world could one remain super-humanly productive for 4 weeks?

Truly, this fellow was quite an enigma. But what does it all mean?

The first clue lies in one of his passages translated by a Brazilian cyber expert. It reads:

“It is easy to accept what you have been taught since childhood and what is wrong. It is difficult, as an adult to understand that you were wrongly taught what you suspected was correct since you were a child”

Now, although this quote indicates that Borges was faulting his parents for instilling false beliefs in him, it seems that they weren’t really so bad. After all, they were willing to pay for his college education, provide the funding for his project and patiently indulge a child they most likely considered an eccentric intellectual who would one day make them proud with his published works of brilliance.

And Borges, despite his seeming criticism of his upbringing, was not above taking money from those he blamed. When approaching his family for financial assistance in his project he assured them that he was going to “change humanity in a good way”.

From the moment the disappearance became known, Brazilian authorities have been investigating. The latest news indicates the possibility that the young man is alive and well and continuing his “humanitarian work”. Here’s the latest:

4/10/17 a page of binary code popped up online. It translates to the following:

“Hello. My name is Bruno de Melo Silva Borges and I am 24 years old, I am a psychologist and I am very smart, I left 14 books with messages with different letter, the answer will be revealed on 04/14/17 at 17:00, so stay tuned. The statue I bought and left in my room, I left the room all white and wrote many things. Good and this. #3301”

What does #3301 mean? It most likely refers to the Cicada 3301 organization, an internet mystery for codebreakers. It started January, 2012 and is, in effect, a test looking for the smartest individuals who are able to solve the puzzle.

Solving the puzzle delivers the clues necessary for the codecracker to find the Cicada organization. Each year leading up to 2016 (excluding 2015), new puzzles were posted. Speculations as to the organization that might be behind the Internet’s most fascinating mystery are groups like the NSA, CIA, MI6, cyber mercenaries. Then there are those who believe it is an alternate reality game, possibly from an off-planet source.

4/17/17 @ 17:00 hours, what happened? The Cicada website changed. Is this change what Borges’ message predicted? It seems so because the change made available an MP3 audio file named “Bruno”. So, seems pretty obvious that Bruno cracked the code and got accepted into Cicada. He informed the curious public, via cryptic message, of when a formal announcement would be made to that affect.

The audio ends at the 5:36.666 mark. “Oooh,” the gringa says to herself, “666. The legendary mark of the Beast from the book of Revelations of the Christian’s religious text.” So, does that have any significance?

It might indeed be a clue but not of the devilish variety. It is more likely related to that devil of devils, money. An amateur sleuth tracked down the number 5:36.666 and found it to be the number of a Mastercard debit card issued in… Brazil, Borges home country.

Thus far we have a missing Bruno, now a part of Cicada with traceable funds likely linked to his announcement. And the detective found more footprints along the Borges trail.

A new YouTube channel was found named Bruno GiordanoIt has 2 posted videos. The first video posted about a month ago. It’s entitled with a long list of numbers:

1/C12H2406/c1-2-14-5-6-16-9-10-18-12-11-17-8-7-15-4-3-13-1/h1-12H2 

It lasts only 35 seconds and sounds like the mumblings and ravings of someone who just dropped some ‘shrooms. The image is, of course, constant and depicts more symbols and code. What the heck does it mean?

There is a description listed for the content. It claims to be Borges’ magnum opus, accomplished directly and indirectly, consciously and unconsciously. He was able to achieve his goal through what he calls the “practice of the absorptive capacity theory, oCc9rs an inevitable large scale chemical reaction”.

He explains that there are exponentially decreased numbers of awakened people while the numbers of people sleeping through their potential of enlightenment is exponentially increasing. He claims that the truth enlightens although we are taught that this “truth” actually does the opposite.

He says that the “observer” is actually the “observed”. He encourages everyone to become a spectator and that through preparing for this enlightenment you will understand its meaning. Following your intuition is the next step toward enlightenment.

He notes that nothing happens by chance and says “Remind the future”. He claims that this enlightenment that he has achieved is available to every man. In fact, it lives within every man as a world that is the Universe itself, dwelling within each individual. The gringa subscribed and the video is posted here for the dear reader’s convenience:

4/21/17 A new message was discovered online in the paste bin of YouTube channel, If You Believe Anything Matters. The channel is accredited to Borges. He states that he is living in caves and does not want to be disturbed.

The gringa subscribed to that channel, too. There are now 13 videos although there were 8 when the gringa began the first draft of this post. It looks like uploading has been going on since around mid-May with 5 more being uploaded in just the last couple of weeks. The gringa explored the videos and will follow up with posts regarding them. They were incredibly interesting.

I will mention here, however, that one of the videos featured a comment by Borges. It was, of course, coded. Consisting of Roman numerals only, a code breaker provides a translation:

“I gave a cry of astonishment. I saw and thought nothing of the other four Martian monsters; my attention was riveted upon the nearer incident. Simultaneously two other shells burst in the air near the body as the hood twisted round in time to receive, but not in time to dodge, the fourth shell.”

Bruno Borges’ trackers have found comment threads in various other online sites, crediting the comments to Borges. He claims to still be alive and living in hiding to protect himself. That, even in hiding, he is still bothered by those who would harm him. He claims to be in Portugal and will continue to update the world on what is happening.

Psychics are even getting involved in the hunt for Bruno Borges. One claims that she channeled his own thoughts. She said that he was in contact with an extra-terrestrial species called “tall whites”. Apparently, these ETs gave Borges the mission that he is on. While sequestered in his room during the month that he drafted his coded writings, the psychic said he was in regular contact with these aliens.

So what the heck is going on with this guy? Well, the gringa doesn’t put much stock in psychics. What we do actually know is provided by the law enforcement officers on the case. Borges left his home and took a taxi to a hotel about half a mile away. The gringa wonders why he didn’t just walk that short distance unless he wanted a record of where he was going.

The taxi driver attested to a phone call between Borges and others, discussing the hotel destination. However, Borges never checked in. If Borges was intent on disappearing without a trace, he would not have had such a conversation with a taxi driver present. The gringa is convinced Bruno was leaving a breadcrumb with the driver for investigators to follow to the hotel. When they didn’t find him there, naturally they would look around outdoors, nearby. Which is where they found a gathering area in the forest behind the hotel that had 4 white chairs, one red chair and remnants of a recent fire.

A local seamstress testified to creating 3 white robes similar to one depicted in a painting in Borges’ room, embroidered sigil on back and everything. Because of its detail, she asked if it was for something related to the church and Borges allegedly said, “Almost that.”

6.27.2b

What could be going on with Borges is an hermetic initiation. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn is an order of the Jewish Kabbalistic (mystical) tradition. It is ancient and devotees commit themselves to studying the occult, paranormal and metaphysics. The gringa’s read a few of their texts and it sounds like a reasonable enough explanation to me.

So, Borges wasn’t abducted by aliens and he’s not a raving lunatic. Instead, he has been initiated into a secret society that claims to be in contact with supernatural and extra-terrestrial beings. The gods of the religious community are the advanced alien species of the esoteric science communities. And Borges is inviting all of mankind to join him. His online communiques are creating a pathway to enlightenment for all who are interested in joining him.

Sources:

UK Mirror

NY Post

Britannica

World Socialist Website

Uncovering Cicada

WNYC

Hermetic Golden Dawn

Image Credits: Bing

Video Credit: Fright Knight

Bruno Giordano

If You Believe Anything Matters

The Mayans Wrote Books, Too


Mention the Mayan civilization and you probably think of strange celestial calendars carved in stone, Meso-American pyramids and human sacrifice. You probably wouldn’t think about an ancient library book. Well, the gringa says, “Think again.” And what scholars have translated from the pages of this 17th century Mayan book might have a plan of strategy for those Americans engaged in the Trump resistance of today. Who knew?!

During the time the manuscript was written, European colonialism and Christian religious oppression was in full swing over the indigenous people of pre-Columbia America. Although the entire manuscript is comprised of entries by different authors, it does open a very revealing window to how the influence of Pope Urban IV affected the Mayans.

The manuscript itself is a map of linguistic evolution. Four different languages are represented. It would be only natural to find Latin and Spanish. But two native tongues of the Mayan Empire, K’iche’ and Kaqchikel, are also part of this written record.

The K’iche’ language was already thousands of years old by the time European invaders arrived. But the K’iche’ dialect was what was commonly spoken between the Spanish speaking Europeans and the Mayans. Even today K’iche’ is still used in parts of Guatemala and Mexico by more than one million people, although the influence of Spanish and Latin can be detected in the most current versions. Thousands of immigrants to the United States also speak this ancient language.

The existence of this language into the modern age is a testament to a people who vehemently resisted the Catholic Church’s attempts to convert them and the efforts of Europeans to assimilate them. K’iche’ eventually lost status as an official language in Guatamala. Priests tried to convert Mayans through catechisms and confessionals performed in Latin and Spanish. But the Mayans wanted none of it.

By refusing to assimilate to European customs and the Catholic religion, Mayans were able to preserve their culture. They defended their beliefs by adapting certain elements of their public spaces.  This compromise, a public recognition of the political and cultural sovereignty of the Europeans and the Catholic Church, created a buffer, allowing the resistance to live wholly Mayan in private, unmolested.

The religion practiced by the K’iche’ speaking Mayans evolved over time. It eventually became a hybrid with indigenous and Christian elements easily recognizable in their tenets, documents and art.

One example is the most fundamental concept of sin in Christianity. No such concept existed within Mayan beliefs. Dominican missionaries introduced the concept through a play on words. The K’iche’ word “mak” literally translates “will”, as in personal desire or impulse. The missionaries used the idea of personal impulse to illustrate sin because man is not to follow his own impulse but, rather, the will of god.

Even today, when visiting a Catholic church in Guatamala one will find a very different religious environment than a traditional Catholic setting. The effectiveness of the Mayan religion was a heritage that has reached far, even into our own current era.

To satisfy the Church that they were being compliant, the K’iche’ speaking Maya simply picked and chose the elements of Catholicism that seemed interesting or agreeable. Visiting Catholic officials would see an amalgamation of rites and rituals, many they easily recognized, and would go away satisfied. It was a resistance perpetrated through  appearing to appease the oppressor.

Many people, especially Catholics, prefer to visualize the Catholic Church for its many charitable works it performs today. It is easier on the Catholic conscience to overlook the history of cruelty and brutality. But the reality of violent measures to mandate conversions are the reason the Church was met with such virulent resistance. Who wants to love and serve a god who is represented by something like that?

And it wasn’t just a cruel example of god that turned off the Mayans. The Europeans enslaved them. They, a proud, free and dignified people, a wealthy empire that had built massive monuments were forced into labor, slaves for their invaders. To refuse to serve their taskmasters and worship their overlord’s god often meant imprisonment, torture and, eventually, death.

Although the need for a slave class prevented the physical genocide of the Mayans, a cultural genocide was attempted as a means to force their religious conversion. Prized artifacts and relics were destroyed. Sacred shrines desecrated and razed to the ground. Any written text burned. So, it isn’t that ancient Meso-Americans intelligent enough to build pyramids were illiterate. It’s that their conquerors were effective book-burners. But one amazing book escaped their fires.

If you want to see it in person, it can be perused at the National Museum of History. Or, a digital version can be enjoyed online.

Sources:

Smithsonian

History.com

Britannica

Peoples Of The World

World Atlas

Image Credit: Smithsonian

Video Credit: SmithsonianNMAI

Is God A Hermaphrodite?


The gringa wonders, if there is a god, would such a being actually have a gender? I mean, if you are all powerful and omnipotent, you don’t need to pro-create, you just create. If your creation powers give you the ability to manifest every emotion and feeling, good or bad, then you wouldn’t need an intimate partner to experience feelings of ecstasy. You just make it happen. So why do the major monotheistic religions insist that god must be a guy?

The god of the Jews and the Christians is called by many names, like:

Elohim (Hebrew for “Authority” singular & plural, considered a feminine synonym when used as a descriptor or genderless when used as a noun), El (Hebrew for Power & Sovereignty, masculine),

El-Shaddai (Hebrew for God Almighty),

Adonai (Hebrew for Lord),

Christ (from the Greek Kyrios for Lord),

God (from the Greek, Theos),

Abba (Aramaic for Daddy).

Now, all of these names are man-made, hence the gringa’s sneaky suspicion that they have been masculinized for nefarious purposes.

The name god supposedly gave himself, referring to it in answer to Moses’ question of who the heck he was speaking to, Exodus 6:3, is best understood as YHWH (Yahweh is usually translated into the English version, Jehovah). The original spelling of the name god gave for himself has been purposely lost over time, considered by ancient Hebrews as being too powerful a name for mankind to actually know.

Often, after the first revealing of his name to Moses, the deity uses YHWH in conjuction with Elohim. When paired, YHWH is interpreted to signify the deity and Elohim as a descriptor of the deity, thus pairing masculine and feminine Hebrew words. This would indicate a self-given title representing a genderless god or, if you will, a being that is a blend of both gender characteristics, what many humans might call androgynous, or even a hermaphrodite. Truly, if there is a god, god would have no single gender. But the gringa thinks that god would also not be gender-LESS. Why create two genders to represent your “image” unless your image embodies both genders?

This type of gender balance was the norm for most ancient civilizations. It is only modern western civilizations that have masculinized god. Like the gringa said before, certainly for nefarious purposes. Once a culture can craft a justification to subjugate and oppress one class, women, it is closer to finding the means to subjugate and disempower all classes a society seeks to create. What does class division result in for society? Chaos as the oppressed forever seek to throw off the yoke of their oppressor.

Believers of any monotheistic religion are relying on a masculine god crafted by the pens of men who composed their holy texts. Such believers may want to question the nature of this theology. Just ask the right questions.

– Have such faiths contributed to a balanced, equitable and peaceful society or has such tenets resulted in the chaos of a rigid class-based society where those who are perceived as weaker are exploited and oppressed?

– What is it that their god actually wants adherents to achieve? Balance and equanimity or power struggles?

Some religious scholars who understand this hermaphrodite god principle find it difficult to think of god as embodying any form of sexuality. Instead of an androgynous hermaphrodite representing both sexes, they see god as without sex, gender-less.

A masculine god, a patriarchal deity is truly a god created in man’s image rather than a god who claimed that man and woman alike were created in the image of a god who cannot be defined by gender. The gringa knows where she stands on this issue. I will bow to no man, mortal or immortal.

Sources:

Ancient Hebrew

Yahweh-Elohiym

Student Soul InterVarsity

Image Credit: Exotic Indian Art

Video Credit: Balarama Lila Das

Hamza Yusuf – Topic

Are You A Passive Terrorist?


As the US has continued a long, pro-tracted war on terror that focuses on the religious element of a perceived terrorist enemy, what about the religious position of the US? Does the election of Trump signal the possibility that religious extremists have taken over the Republican party? Are Americans now living in a nation poised to become, in essence, a theocracy? With executive orders shooting out of the White House in quick succession, most citizens know little about what they actually mean. We read the headlines, perhaps even the wording of the orders. But what about the motives inspiring them? Even more importantly, what are the long-term consequences? In other words, what is the hoped for end-game the Republican party desires for the country they are re-shaping?

The gringa finds it pointless to try to ascertain motives. The private discussions and hidden agendas are just that, private and hidden. But there are clues that have been laid out right in the open long before Republicans began fuming openly about Obama’s presidency. And many of these clues point to a Republican party effectively taken over by religious extremists.

As early as 2005 there was at least one Republican concerned about the direction the party was headed:

“This Republican Party of Lincoln has become a party of theocracy.” – U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays, R-CT, 3/25/05, with regard to the Terri Shiavo case.

To discover how this happened, interested dear readers must look to activities within American churches prior to 2005.

“… true Christian citizenship… [involves engagement in society to] take dominion over all things as vice-regents of God.” Rev. D. James Kennedy, Sept. 1994 when addressing the national convention of political special interest group Christian Coalition.

What does dominion ideology mean to American Christians? The first command God gave to Adam was to have children (Gen. 1:26). The second command was to subdue the entire earth. For dominionist Americans, the Republican party platform that is anti-abortion is in perfect alignment with the first commandment.
Despite the instruction of Jesus to turn the other cheek and, in essence, co-exist peacefully with all of mankind who are our brothers, dominionist Americans believe in military aggression in order to rule the world as an obligation of their religious calling and duty. Dominion theology is no less dangerous than the perversion of Islam used by ISIS.

“There will never be world peace until God’s house and God’s people are given their rightful place of leadership at the top of the world.” Pat Robertson, The Secret Kingdom.

Here’s a taste of Pat Robertson’s ideology that the Christian God is the only way to make America great. Do not miss all the phrases which make it clear that he believes that America was originally designed to be a theocracy, not a democracy. He is the star of a recruitment video for the Christian Coalition:

But how influential are special interest groups like the Christian Coalition and well-known religious leaders like Pat Robertson? After all, most people are inclined to believe that churches are playing by the rules, not preaching politics from the pulpits. When Time magazine interviewed Pat Robertson in 1995 regarding the most recent elections, here is what he reported about the effectiveness of the strategy implemented by the Christian Coalition:

“… eager volunteers down to the precinct level… handing out 33 million voter guides, often in church pews, prior to last November’s election, the Coalition is credited with providing the winning margin for perhaps half the Republicans’ 52 seat gain in the House of Representatives and a sizable portion of their nine seat pickup in the Senate”

Consider the terms of George W. Bush. Religious leaders made no secret of their support of the Bush-Cheney administration.

“It is the responsibility of… every evangelical Christian… to get serious about re-electing President Bush.” Jerry Falwell as reported by The New York Times, July 16, 2004

And Bush made no secret that he was God’s vessel in the White House. There was no separation of church and state as he led daily devotionals every morning, reading from “My Utmost for His Highest” with his staff. George W. made no secret of using descriptors like “messenger of God” with regard to himself. As he made executive decisions like going to war, he was never too shy to claim that he was doing “the Lord’s will”.

In the book, “Plan of Attack”, written by Bob Woodward, based on his personal conversations with President George W about the Iraq war, he clearly lays out the case for perceiving the war as a holy war waged by the US on behalf of George W’s god. Fulfilling his god’s will was all the justification George W. needed to lie to Congress, the American public and even certain members appointed to his cabinet. In George W’s mind he was embarking on a modern day Christian crusade.

Despite George W’s criticisms of the Afghani Taliban regime’s brutal enforcement of radical religious fundamentalism, George W was actually paving the way back home for Republicans to re-shape the US into its own Christian Fundamentalist regime. And now we are seeing the fruits of his labor in the attacks on freedoms here at home and threats to non-Evangelical nations abroad by the Trump administration.

Who are the radical Christian fundamentalists in the Trump administration?

  • ·     Jerry Falwell, Jr. is leading Trump’s higher education task force assigned to overhaul the accreditation process and operations of universities and colleges. What this means is that whether or not an institution of higher learning receives any government funding will rely on teaching what suits the US government. If that government is a theocracy, that means teaching religious ideology and rejecting anything, even sound science, if it conflicts with the religious ideology of the government.
  • ·     Steve Bannon is most often depicted as a racist white nationalist. However, don’t overlook the significance of his religious fervor. In 2014 he delivered a speech via Skype for a Catholic conference at the Vatican. He attributed the economic and social crisis of the US as a result of the erosion of Judeo-Christian beliefs rather than the effects of capitalism. In other words, only re-shaping the nation into earlier models of a stricter religious-focused American society can the country become great again.
  • ·     Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, poses the greatest danger because she is in a position to affect the belief system of our upcoming generations. She wants to remove the teaching of evolution in public schools and replace it with the religious doctrine of intelligent design. By re-directing money away from our public school systems through the voucher system she supports, DeVos can accomplish her goal of government funding of religious education and destroying public education that, by law, cannot show preference to any specific religion.

But why does any of this matter? The primary reason all of this matters is that radical fundamental evangelicalism culminates in Zionism. The ultimate goal of Zionism is world domination as the duty of Jews and Christians to subdue the world and rule for the sake of their god’s glory. When this is achieved, their god will return and manifest in the flesh, restoring world peace and order while doing away with suffering and death.
The only way fundamentalist Christians and Zionists can achieve this goal is with enormous wealth that is the means to military dominance. This wealth, for the US, is generated through the invasion of non-Evangelical countries who are subjugated and exploited without conscience because they are not god’s people.

This ideology thus makes the US no different than ISIS in its motives for waging war. The primary difference is that the US makes a concentrated effort to keep up appearances at home. In order to have a free hand around the world the US must maintain a homeland population that is easily managed.

Within the Republican party are the war hawks who are religiously motivated as well as the war hawks who are motivated solely for the purpose of amassing more wealth, the investors in corporate interests abroad. So long as the Republican party continues to be in power, the US will continue to be at war, and shamefully so. For we are not protecting, preserving and spreading democracy. We are exploiting others while we destroy their native lands for national gain.
When Americans become fully aware that the humane social norms, luxuries, freedoms and comforts of American culture are by design, to keep them compliant, they must then accept that their silence and inaction also makes them complicit in their nation’s ability to perpetrate religious inspired terrorism around the world. By refusing to be a part of the resistance, an American allows the US to continue business as usual without so much as a hiccup. Americans who prefer to keep their eyes closed become, in essence, a passive terrorist.

Sources:

NY Times

Occupy Democrats

Theocracy Watch

Christian Headlines

Image Credit: The Gospel Coalition

Video Credits: PFAWdotorg

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbiFt3UdxX7LxferwDmuegQ

Sun Worship


Earlier this month celestial lovers throughout south and central Africa got to enjoy a spectacular solar eclipse that produced a ring of fire as the Moon transversed across the pathway of the Sun. The peculiar occasions when the Earth, Moon and Sun all line up together doesn’t happen too often. Such a rare event has historically been linked with all sorts of predictions and paranormal expectations.

The funniest recording of a solar eclipse is, perhaps, also the earliest record. Occuring in October of the 2137 B.C., two royal astronomers, Ho and Hi, offended the fourth Emperor of China’s Hsia Dynasty,  Chung-K’ang. The eclipse was an unexpected event. The poor astronomers were unprepared to perform the customary rituals that should have taken place. The pair of official stargazers were drunk and failed to launch the traditional arrows and beat out the right rhythm on the gongs and drums so that the Sun could be delivered from the mythical beast that was attempting to devour it.

Convinced that chaos would soon consume the empire, the astronomers were summarily executed as an appeasement sacrifice for their drunken dereliction of duty.  A public record of their death was translated in 1839 by scholars to reveal an amusing verse indicating that, although brutal in enforcing their expectations, the ancient Chinese did have a sense of humor:

“Here lie the bodies of Ho and Hi,

Whose fate though sad was visible –

Being hanged because they could not spy

Th’ eclipse which was invisible.”

In November of the year 569 an eclipse was recorded before the birth of the Prophet Mohammad in 570. There are many religious historians who link this eclipse as the moment of Mohammad’s conception. Interestingly enough Mohammed’s son Ibrahim died at the age of two-years-old during the occurrence of a solar eclipse. Mohammed wrote of this event as a sign sent from his God, Allah, of personal condolences. Muslims today still consider eclipses significant religious events. When the recent eclipse occurred mosques throughout Africa had special calls to prayer for safety and deliverance from harm.

Perhaps the most significant solar eclipse in modern history is the one of May, 1919. Commonly called “Einstein’s Eclipse”, it is considered to be the solar eclipse that changed the universe. For more than 200 years scientists had accepted Isaac Newton’s principle that the space of the Universe was as inflexible as mathematical principles.  Einstein set out to challenge this longheld belief. Einstein believed gravity was curved and flexible, affected by the mass of planetary bodies. He proposed that warping of space allowed planets to remain in their orbital paths, gravity distorted by the mass of a celestial body, the greater the mass, the stronger the force, which would result in more bending of light. This was to become known as Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.

When the 1919 eclipse occurred, British astrophysicist Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington led the charge for an experiment to take advantage of the expected eclipse. Eddington traveled to Principe which is in the Gulf of Guinea off of Africa’s western coastline. A horrible thunderstorm threatened to ruin Eddington’s chances but, fortunately, by afternoon the skies had cleared. Eddington’s celestial photographs and measurements were compared with photos and measurements recorded by Andrew  Crommelin at the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. The findings were announced by Britain’s Royal Society’s Astronomer Royal Sir Frank Watson Dyson. It was announced in London on November 6, 1919 that Newton’s theory had been disproven by Einstein’s new Theory of Relativity.

To make sure that you are ready for the next opportunity to view a solar eclipse, log on to www.timeanddate.com and keep a watch on the countdown clock for eclipses listed under their Sun & Moon tab. It seems we are only about 5 months away from the next big event.  There is a handy search window everyone can use to see if their city or country is going to be in the most fortunate position of being able to see the eclipse.

To view a solar eclipse it is important to wear protective eyewear. A homemade viewbox can also be created called a pinhole camera. All you need is a box with a small hole on one side for light to pass through and project an inverted image of the eclipse on the opposite side.  Below is a video with an example of how to make and use a homemade pinhole camera. One tip: The bigger the box the better the view.

 

 

Sources:

eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov

www.timeanddate.com

Image Credit: cherokeebillie.files.wordpress.com

 

Good Guy/Bad Guy – Who Needs ’em?


The good guy/bad guy narrative is a literary classic. It seems rooted in religious beliefs of good and evil and non-religious esoteric beliefs of Yin & Yang. For every good guy there seems to be a universal need for a counterbalancing bad guy. Is this realistic? Is this necessary? The gringa would like to believe that bad guys and evil are simply obsolete. I mean, haven’t we reached that point yet in the evolution of humanity that we don’t need the contrast of the bad in order to recognize and appreciate what is good? And if we are basing our good guy/bad guy theory on ancient teachings that use real world examples of good and evil, what if those past histories are incorrect? After all, aren’t historical records always skewed according to the perspective of the author, whether they be the victor or the vanquished?

Take, for example, one of the earliest examples of good guy/bad guy: Egypt and the ancient Israelites. According to the religious teachings of Judaism and Christianity, it is widely accepted that the Egyptians were the “bad guys”, enslaving the Hebrew people who were eventually chosen by God to be the “good guys”. However, historians and archaeologists who specialize in Egyptian history, not to mention Egyptians themselves, argue that this is an unfair depiction of the relationship between the ancient Egyptian empires and the surrounding less powerful nations and peoples. Can science and historians reveal the truth?

David Wolpe is a rabbinical scholar who argues that archaeological evidence simply does not support the biblical notion that ancient Egypt practiced widespread enslavement of the Hebrew people, or any people for that matter. But just because evidence hasn’t been found doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. So let’s look at the historical facts that are known and the science of archaeology to understand these facts.

1700 B.C.

Before their enslavement, the Hebrew people migrated to Egypt to survive a famine. The biblical record maintains that they were there for several generations. There is basically a 300 year gap between the appearance of the Joseph story and Moses.

1400 B.C.

The earliest possible date suggested by the Jewish and Christian religious texts for the enslavement of the Hebrew people by Egypt would have been 1400 B.C., in other words, about 300 years after the era of the pyramids.

So what was going on in Egypt from 1700 B.C. to 1400 B.C.? Why would Egypt need widespread enslavement if the grand monuments had already been constructed?

14th Dynasty

Egypt’s 14th Dynasty ruled anywhere from 1725-1650 B.C. or 1805-1650 B.C. depending on which historian you talk to. Regardless, this would have been the dynasty in power when Jewish and Christian texts claim that Joseph took his family to Egypt in order to survive the region’s famine. His family would grow to become the Hebrew people. Does the known history and archaeological science support that a famine occurred in the region during this time? What kind of science might be used to find out?

Interestingly enough, an examination of pollen buried deeply in Egyptian soil around the Nile reveals that a devastating drought occurred at this time in history. This region was dependent upon the annual floods of the Nile Delta to enrich their agricultural lands. A drought would have, indeed, resulted in a famine.

So what would life have been like as an immigrant in an ancient Egyptian kingdom?

Archaeology reveals that rulers during the 14th dynasty had names that indicated Canaanite or Western Semitic origins, with one king and queen with Nubian names. So, it seems that at this time Egypt was an ethnically mixed bag. These kings and queens would be involved in conflicts with neighboring rivals to control the strategic area of the fertile Nile Delta. Control the agriculture, control the food. Eventually a prolonged period of famine and disease weakened the kingdom which then fell to a takeover by the Hyksos. The Hyksos takeover would have occurred after the suggested time of the Hebrew Exodus story.

So, pre-Hyksos Egypt was noted by industrious multi-ethnic rulers who jealously defended the Nile Delta with military might and concentrated on building extravagant monuments to demonstrate their success as rulers. Rulers during the time period 1800 B.C. to 1650 B.C. contain a series of non-contested figures as well as controversial names:

  • Yakbim Sekhaenre (contested): 1805 B.C. – 1780 B.C.
  • Ya’ammu Nubwoserre (contested): 1780 B.C. – 1770 B.C.
  • Qareh Khawoserre (contested): 1770 B.C. – 1760 B.C.
  • Ammu Ahotepre (contested): 1760 B.C. – 1745 B.C.
  • Sheshi Maaibre (contested): 1745 B.C. – 1705 B.C.
  • Nehesy Aasehre (uncontested): 1705 B.C., name means “The Nubian” inscribed on 2 known monuments.
  • Khakherewre (uncontested): 1705 B.C.
  • Nebefawre (uncontested): 1704 B.C.
  • Sehebre (uncontested): 1702-1699 B.C.
  • Merdjefare (uncontested): 1699 B.C.
  • Sewadjkare III (uncontested): 1698 B.C.
  • Nebdjefare (uncontested): 1697-1694 B.C.
  • After this there is a list of names established as Egyptian kings of the 14th Dynasty but without designated dates for their reigns.

What do we know about these kings and the conditions of their kingdoms that might have any affect on the good guy/bad guy designations in the Jewish and Christian religious texts?

  • Majority of the cartouches excavated refer to each reigning king as “son of Ra” in addition to whatever the king’s individual name was.
  • During Sheshi’s reign 1745-1705 B.C., seals with his provenance have been discovered in archaeological digs in Egypt, Nubia and Canaan suggesting that his kingdom enjoyed widespread trade and relations outside the immediate borders of Egypt. Some scholars believe this to be the Sheshai mentioned in Jewish and Christian religious texts as being of the Anakim of Hebron when the Hebrews conquered the land of Canaan.
  • If Sheshi had good trade relations with the people of Canaan and was the ruler of Egypt when the Hebrew people conquered Canaan, it would only be natural that Egypt might then take a posture of hostility toward the Hebrew people.

It is then possible that the ancient Hebrew people were not victims of the ancient Egyptians. They may have been viewed as nomadic invaders who disrupted trade with allies. It reminds the gringa of European history and stories of Viking raiders. The Hebrew people also practiced a foreign religion that was monotheistic. It is easy to see even today how religion can play a big part in hostilities between cultures that can lead up to oppression and even war.

I mean, think about it. The Hebrew people first show up needing a place to survive a famine. Egypt graciously takes them in. Then, after weathering the storm, growing fat and happy as well as increasing in population and herds who need grazing land, the Hebrews, within one generation, rise up and attack a trade ally, Canaan, a rich land for Hebrew herds of sheep and goats. The Hebrew people take over the nation by slaughtering, according to the biblical account, every man, woman and child because God “told them so”. The gringa can imagine the horror of Egypt at these actions. I can also understand how the polytheistic Egyptians would decide that the single God of the Hebrews was a backstabbing baby-killer. No suprise then, that there would be no love loss between Egyptians and Hebrews that continued to live together in Egypt. Hebrews were probably eyed suspiciously and discriminated against, though probably not enslaved.

These resentments, deep in the heart of the Egyptians who saw their trade allies vanquished by people they considered to be dangerous heretics, would have most likely been an attitude that would have been passed down for generations. Just as politicians have used such emotions and history to stir up support for their cause throughout my own country’s history, the gringa thinks it is very possible the same type of politics were at play when it came time for the Hebrew people to rise up, claim oppression, revolt and march out of town. They just seemed to forget that they started it all.

The natural result would be for the Hebrew people to villainize Egypt, victimize themselves, then paint a heroic picture of their escape to inspire their own people and motivate them for noble purposes. On the other hand, the ancient Egyptians would have historians creating records for the pleasure of their rulers. They would depict their nation as benevolent and tolerant. Factions such as the immigrant, nomadic, heretical Hebrews would be painted as radical rebels stirring up unrest and not wanting to work.

So, in the end, the gringa does believe that, much as I would like to think that humanity has evolved to the point where we no longer need the good guy/bad guy narrative because people know better now, that’s simply not the case. As long as we have politicians who have something to gain by exploiting the differences in groups of people, we will always have the good guy/bad guy narrative. But it is a human creation, not a spiritual reality. And for kids who adore science as much as they adore truth, the science involved in archaeology can help resolve many divisive differences that exist today because of politicized religious teachings of yesterday. Become an archaeologist and change the world.

Sources:

www.biblicalarchaeology.org

www.ancientegypt.co.uk

wikipedia.org

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