Saturday, December 13, 2008


Would the Sun of God send me to hell?

So, just now I was sittin' in the man room on the Route 66-themed futon, still draped with a throw festooned with the logo of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which includes the image of the Confederate battle flag, myself leanin' against one pillow with a fightin' rooster on it, one hand restin' on a Dale Earnhardt Jr. pillow, the other hand holdin' a $5 cigar and a glass of George Dickel whiskey on the rocks, and I read in Jesus Christ, Sun of God: Ancient Cosmology and Early Christian Symbolism:

"After Christianity became the official state religion of the Roman Empire, many churches were constructed atop sanctuaries formerly sacred to Mithras, including St. Peter's in Rome."

And I involuntary uttered out loud. "Well, I'll be damned."


If I'm goin' to hell -- whatever that means -- which one of them sins up there pushes me over?

DrLoboJo, I'm readin' this here book on yer recommendation. I see strains of some of the things I've seen you talk about. What do you think of the book as a whole?

-- ER

I think you're fine, as long as you don't kick a puppy.
Interesting existential vulnerability your showing.

Of all the things mentioned, only George can definitively save your sanity.

As for the rest, it depends on how you use them; what is their "habit" in your life?

Do they function to serve a patterned behavior of being more ready for tomorrow and the people who will be in your tomorrow; more ready to feel joy, more ready to bear sorrow; ready to be made larger and not smaller, active and not static; more curious and less sentimental; more giving and less judgmental?

Hell is a drag... a dragging down into a stasis of self. It cuts out others and it cuts out the MIthraic sun. Heaven is work... it is always moving forward in a larger self abandon.

IMHO and at the risk of sounding like I'm using dynamite in another's pond.
:-) Little sticks of dynamite are fine in this case.

I just find myself unusually self aware, and unusually aware of trappings, because of a couple of massive human-Christian-relational failings in the space of 24 hours.

YIKES! The word verification is "hellific" -- !!!
What do I think about the book?

I think it is a fair compliation of the pre-Christian and parallel-Christian religions, practices and customs that have led to or have been incorporated into current Christian beliefs.

We have taught that there is a solid linear tradition and/or truth that extends directly back through time to real historical events predestined by a One God first prsenting Himself to the Jews and then Paul through Jesus. This linear column of truth is the only Truth, and every other religious variation is of the devil and a distraction from this column of truth. Sort of the silo effect. A silo of salvation.

This book gives you the informmation to see the column as more of a cloud covering the earth. A much broader truth that extends much further back in time.

The book is a scholarly work that shows the roots of our Christian faith are more like an Aspen grove with roots and trees over hundreds of square miles, rather than a lone Pine tree of finite porportions.

Are you going to Hell?
Hell, like Heaven, is an eternity we create and carry with us. It is not a final destination.

Oh yes, did you read the part that the Vatican (cave) itself was owned and used by the Mitheric Religion until 376 when they were killed off by edict and the cave temple was taken over by the Christians? Deep underneath the current Vatican, is a hill with a cave where another risen savior was worshiped. Not buried under the Vatican mind you, but just built over. It is still accessable to a chosen few.
My hell comment was a throw-away, y'all.

I really like the narrative parts of the book, DrLobo. I dig the way he depicts Greek thinkers a couple of generations before Jesus as being ready for a new avatar for Logos -- and I especially dig the parts about Clement seeing Jesus/the Jesus way as the "New Song."

I'll be reading some of Clement -- feel free to recommend reading, anyone.
Clement of Alexandria, that is.
'bout the dynamite...wuz you thinkin that shoe's bout your size?:)

I aint reckonin the sun gods gonna send anyone to hell, cept maybe if theys lobbin shoes at the prez's, dubya's got ninja like reflexonations, huh? Mmm...the secret service tried to take a bullet for Reagan, but they wont even take a loafer for dubya.
Now, ER, you are dealing with dynamite. So I'm going to say a few things.

Clement, Origen and the rest of the early Christian Alexandrian school got their start by reading Plotinus, among others, who is the foundation for what your are talking about. These three are big enough names that you can google a lot of information about them, but Clement is not the most poetic or spiritually helpful of this kind of thing. To read their own work can be a labor of love, but it is most definitely labor.

They all reach their apogee in the Cappadocians (who serve as the foundation of the Eastern Church like Augustine does for the West): Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nyssa his brother, Macrina their sister - though nothing of her writings are known, and Gregory of Nazianzus. Supremely educated and living mostly in religious community, like Augustine, they are far different than Augustine. The Eastern church, because of them, begin with God as Trinity in absolute communion instead of as One and think of this as forming and modeling what human life and community should be. The three bishops are much more expansive and mystically oriented, and Nyssa, in particular, is considered a great of Christian spirituality and is undergoing a renaissance.

But again, if you are going to dig around in the first three hundred years of Christianity, you need patience, perseverance, and really helpful guides. A great guide is Jaroslav Pelikan. And regarding the Greek theologians of the East, he has a great studey, "Christianity and Classical Culture: The Metamorphosis of Natural Theology in the Christian Encounter with Hellenism."

But something Dr. Spam said reminded me of Howard Thurman. Simplistically, he was a modern American example of the great theologians of the East. Some are trying to revive his familiarity among the churches and reissuing his work, which is deeply rewarding and orienting for contemporary Christianity.

Anybody read him?
And a great read summing up the above: The Orthodox Way by Ware.

(I am not Orthodox, but we in the West are poorer for not knowing it's spiritual dimensions more.)
Howard Thurman is not a "spiritual writer". He was a poet, a mystic, and Dean of the Chapel at Howard University for years. His poetry, his prayers, his hymns, his musings - all of them reflect a close encounter with the divine that simultaneously tore him apart and put him back together. Trying to put that in to words was Thurman's struggle for the rest of his life, especially as he had the added burden of being a black man at a time when those two words, put together the way I just did, were meaningless in this country, both legally and socially.

Start with God's Trombone's.

BTW, I once attended a high mass at the National Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC, the service being one written by Gregory Nazianzus in the 4th century. Talk about plugging in to the history of the church! Sitting through that service, 1600 years in origin, and watching a baby of less than a month receive communion from the end of the priest's finger (she suckled s tiny drop of wine) was a visible sign of the on-going life of the church and the way communion binds us all together.
GKS has confused James Weldon Johnson with Howard Thurman. It is very important to know the difference. I'll let him do that.
On a heavier note, I should probably not read anything new, but just be quiet and try to be still for a while. I've been meaner'n ary a snake the past few days. Maybe my head's too full already.
Rather than read just "about" the ante-nicene christians read "from" their own words:
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