Gordon White, Is Magic Outdated Tech? |405|

#81
Agreed MP, this phrase absolutely has to have a different meaning - because it's wrong. In my work, I find that the cheater, the surreptitious, the methodical, the greedy, those who harm and derive joy from it, the desire to get something for nothing, those who refuse to work, live only for fueling their intoxication, yet consume and have sex and give not a care to serve anything or anyone who results from it, including their own children... They are the one's inheriting the Earth.

I think that either this quote was incorrectly rendered (to garry's point) or Christ was just not exposed to enough of humanity and was flat wrong. The evil are inheriting the Earth - and they are going to inherit the hell they have earned.

But this begs the question, if a phrase so essential to the philosophy of Christianity can be this dramatically wrong - how are we to regard the other, even less-clear tenets of the doctrine set?
One of the things that facinate me about this forum is the way conversations go off at a tangent from the original show's content. Christianity has done the same thing - if we assert that the essence of Christianity is the teachings of Christ. What, for example, in those teachings is the founding logic for the Vatican? The acorn of deep mystical insight has yielded a mighty oak of nothing of the sort, other than a reference back to the acorn - tenuous at best. I don't think that Jesus gives permission for the Pope, or to the Pope, for that matter.

But if the premise of the faith is other than Christ's teachings, we are dealing with meanings intended to achieve an objective that is not clear to us. It cannot be that Christianity's intent and focus is the imitation of Christ, because it expressly militates against such action. And it would police the interpretation of the essential scriptures with a passion - to ensure there was no misunderstanding or misinterpretation - if that were its mission.

Christianity in the West evolved to perform two functions - to preserve and prosper the organised church, and to preserve and prosper preferred secular powers of government (and all that infers). To do this there must be a compliant followership kept from the deeper truths so that it remains compliant and able to be pointed in the right direction.

John 13 is pretty clear: 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” The focus of any community leadership should be on (1) "What does this mean?' and (2) 'How do we enact this meaning?' And yet this is exactly what does not happen. So any misunderstanding and misinterpretation that serves to take attention away from this 'command' contributes to the two above functions - which are secular in nature.

I argue that Christianity evolved away from being a truly spiritual movement into one that became essentially materialistic. It intentionally removed the spirits and the magic from its world view and created an intellectual theology with a deity that was little more than a reference point. So it was easy for the materialists to become atheists - because deity inhabited only an intellectual domain, and could be set aside with no adverse consequence - especially when efforts at proof failed to deliver any convincing result.

Spirit is experiential, not intellectual. But once intellectual you can spin arguments to suit your imperative. It does not matter what 'meek' means if you imagine the whole idea of anybody other than a ruling class inheriting anything worthwhile ridiculous. You do not care what 'fear' properly means because the deeply reverential are trouble and it is better to have followers who are afraid - and hence compliant.

So the question of meaning is real, but the encrustation of endless blather of misdirection and manipulation renders it pointless.
 
#82
Thanks for this Michael. There is a bunch of interesting stuff by Lamsa on Kindle. I just downloaded his Idioms of the Bible Explained and a Key to the Original Gospels. On the money for what Garry and you spoke of.
I had listened to Errico's video on the Awun (Lord's prayer) a while back (maybe a few months), appreciably before I posted it above. Also, I'd learnt it in Aramaic several years earlier than that and wanted to find a translation of it.

The reason that I took to Errico's explanation was that there have always been two NT sayings that I instinctively felt weren't quite right - the first being "lead us not into temptation", and the second "My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me?". Lamsa's Aramaic translation, particularly of the first-mentioned saying, resonates with me better, partly (1) because I've long believed that each man is responsible for his own "salvation" and that Jesus's purpose wasn't to redeem us so much as to offer a way, through personal effort, for redeeming ourselves; furthermore (2) because I don't grok the idea of God purposely leading us into sin/error. For me, that conjures up the Abrahamic version of God who has created us as His playthings, with the idea of a Christ-mediated redemption being one of His get-out-of-jail-free cards. This smacks too much of all-too-human invention for the purposes of priestly control if you ask me.

Nor, I think, was Jesus God -- if he literally existed, but it hardly matters because he's an icon of underlying truth, like the Buddha and many other lesser-known people, real or apocryphal -- at least not moreso than any of us is. Rather, I see him as a more "enlightened" alter than most (maybe all) of us; put metaphorically, a rather more advanced "son of God". We are all alters or sons/daughters of God; all individual instances of beings who, as it were, constitute the organs of perception of God/MAL whereby He/it can come to understand Him/itself better in a meta-cognitive/self-reflective way.

Be that as it may, on further investigation, I've just come across a critique of George M. Lamsa here that has given me pause for thought. It maintains that the original version of the NT was in Greek, not Aramaic, and attacks Lamsa as a false guru and (Nestorian?) heretic. One might expect the latter from a conventional Christian point of view, but the former is something that can be verified. Either the Greek version came first, or the Aramaic version. I'd taken Errico's and Lamsa's word for it that the Aramaic version came first, but if it didn't, then the basis for their assertions is based mainly on gut feeling about how the NT should read. The fact that I also have a similar gut feeling doesn't alter whether or not the Greek version came first.

Nor does any of this say anything about whether the original written version of the NT, if it was in Greek, contained an accurate recension of Christ's words, or was something even at that early stage that was manipulated in support of the aims of a nascent religion focussed more on a means of controlling the masses than on accuracy.

And that isn't helped by the fact that even a cursory reading of the NT leaves one wondering how the vast doctrinal edifice of Christianity was derived from it. Whence came Catholicism with all its pomp and circumstance; its pope (and ex-cathedra papal inerrancy), cardinals, bishops and priests; its insistence on the need for confession to, and absolution by, men purportedly acting on behalf of God rather than God Himself; the doctrine of transubstantiation -- to name but few examples? Methinks one will search in vain in the NT for detailed prescriptions of such things; I think they're much more likely human constructions that arrogate authority for themselves in fantastically elaborate (one might say contorted) ways.

It's perhaps no wonder that Christianity has divided into a thousand different sects. Becoming a new sect is one way different groups of people can put their own spin on the meaning of Christianity for them. In the end, the text that started it all, whether in Greek or Aramaic, remains open to many different interpretations -- perhaps as many interpretations as there are Christians/those at least sympatico with Christianity.

I do not go so far as some who maintain that the whole of the Christian message is a conspiratorial artifice. Errico's take on the Awun may or may not be an accurate translation of some words in the NT, but I feel it is true to at least my interpretation of it, and that the NT does contain, in however distorted a form, something of the nature of Christ consciousness. YMMV, but for what it's worth, this is my take.
 
#83
One of the things that facinate me about this forum is the way conversations go off at a tangent from the original show's content. Christianity has done the same thing - if we assert that the essence of Christianity is the teachings of Christ. What, for example, in those teachings is the founding logic for the Vatican? The acorn of deep mystical insight has yielded a mighty oak of nothing of the sort, other than a reference back to the acorn - tenuous at best. I don't think that Jesus gives permission for the Pope, or to the Pope, for that matter.
I see that you mention something I also mention; I didn't read your post beforehand, because I was composing my own post before I saw it. Great minds think alike, eh?;)
 
#84
I see that you mention something I also mention; I didn't read your post beforehand, because I was composing my own post before I saw it. Great minds think alike, eh?;)
Which point are you agreeing with?
The thread ranged 20 posts ago into Christian views on magic and its role on one's 'recovery' of something lost?
Christianity has extrapolated wildly from its original acorn teachings?
Or the legitimacy of the Pope in this role?
 
#85
I do not go so far as some who maintain that the whole of the Christian message is a conspiratorial artifice. Errico's take on the Awun may or may not be an accurate translation of some words in the NT, but I feel it is true to at least my interpretation of it, and that the NT does contain, in however distorted a form, something of the nature of Christ consciousness. YMMV, but for what it's worth, this is my take.
I think the distinction between the message of Jesus and the faith that grew from it is essential. Like so many folk I abandoned the faith because its irrationalities offended my sense of reason and decency. But I have never been able to abandon the idea of Jesus/Christ - just reframe it in ideas and language independent of its problematic presence in a faith that seems to be inimical to deep spirituality.

In fact I retain my affection for my Sunday school Jesus, who was brutally contrasted against the darkness of the Old Testament when I was obliged to leave Sunday school for church. That forced transition was also an abandonment, and an effective repudiation of the teachings from Sunday School. Innocent love was quit by those who found anger and self-righteousness a better flavour. Many of my peers abandoned religion entirely because neither option spoke to them. They favoured the 'rational' eye of materialism. Others found succour and solace in Buddhism and other traditions client to their culture.

It is astonishing what a few words can do. They can mislead, distort and precipitate suffering and harm. We must, I suppose, be grateful that good scholarship is restoring our ability to know what might have been true, or believed, so long ago.
 
#86
They treated magick more aesthetically, which is technically true about one aspect. Many dive in to the misunderstood practice of black magick, which is not evil or bad per se
good topic... I keep listening to the left hand path folks with the hope that they'll say something sensible... it always comes out as gobbledygook to me. i see a connection with to next episode with jeffrey martin... i.e. how could the left hand path possibly lead to well-being... I just don't see it
 
#89
And this is the sad fact of it. The term 'ritualistic' is often applied to what is thought to be the enactment of repeated and empty performances. Yet it can and should be powerful and beautiful. Like so many things it can be spoiled and debased by insincerity and in authenticity.

If you are not engaged and the performance is not gripping there is no point in being there. Dragging another to something you value, and which they merely suffer, is never a good idea.

Magic on the public stage is never good idea either. By that I mean there really should not be 'big names' in magic. Crowley is especially misrepresented by foes and friends - and he ended badly if you take the merely overt rendition of his life - and there is no reason why you would would not. Magic is pretty much like sex and poetry - to be performed by consenting adults in private - and with a good motive.

In a sense you are right, in saying the intention is paramount. But what are the presumptions, the knowledge, that forms that intent? At a deeper level we have to examine the grounds upon which we form an intent., For example a magical act might be performed to aid a friend in strife, because they are a friend and in trouble. But on a deeper level perhaps the better thing might be to do nothing. How do we know? How do we judge?

There is the Wiccan Rede which say "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will". But exactly how do we know whether an act we intend to perform harms none? There are Buddhists whose commitment to doing no harm means they will not step on an ant. In my days of being involved in Wicca (which I continue to esteem highly) I found few people actually able to think through what constituted harm.

Its actually a deep, profound idea - to do no harm. The interesting thing, I found, was that there are no discussions about the Rede, even while it was being promoted. The idea promoted was that we had to come to our understanding of what the Rede meant. Well, of course we did, but where was the guidance to think through the very real complexity of the idea.

The Wiccan Rede is, I think, borrowed from Mill's essay On Liberty. Despite the adornment, there is nothing magical about it.

So I agree. Intent matters, but how to do we know our intent is well formed?

I have to say I do not have any use for old school magic these days. My motive to intervene is tempered by what I hope is a deeper sense of necessity. And when I am moved to intervene I seem to have more subtle ways - still 'magical' in some ways. I think the formulation of intent and the expression of will is different and deeper as we mature.

I'd say that magic is old tech for most of us. I really can't speak for others - to praise or criticise. Some evidently still find value in it. Its not my path, that is for sure.

As I think on this, it strikes me that a better question from Alex might have been "Is magic of value to us now'? In which case my answer would have been 'Yes', because if we understand how it works we understand something crucial about the nature of our reality - something proper shamans and mystics already know. Does this mean it is the proper subject of science? Yes.

Does it means we should be worried? Yes. Any human undertaking that is not governed by a proper code of conduct should concern us.

I may make myself immensely unpopular in saying that questions about whether magic is old tech or not have no real meaning until we address the more fundamental question about the nature of human morality.,What does it mean to be a 'good' person. Pre-Enlightenment the answer to this question was presumed to be answered - but it wasn't. Post-Enlightment we still thought we knew, but we could not agree. So we didn't know at all.

I agree that "intention is paramount". But we have a quagmire of sentiment, bluster, nonsense and bullshit to wade through. We no longer know what good is. For example I look at POTUS Trump and see a man manifestly unfit to hold that high office, and yet a very substantial portion of the US population (not a majority, but that is not the issue) disagrees with me. How and why? How are our estimates of fitness so divergent? Why are they so?

I have said it before on this forum that I am an Australian with no investment in US politics. For me it is an utterly compelling drama - my Game of Thrones really. I am engaged, but not invested. Domestic politics depress the crap out of me, so the only way I can indulge my love of politics without entangled angst is go abroad. UK politics is a train wreck with no redeeming qualities. Once again the US delivers the biggest and most spectacular.

So if you can't answer the Trump dilemma you can't answer the Wiccan Rede's problem of interpretation - and that means you can't work through the intention issue and come up with a universal answer.

Of course there will be those who will insist that there is no problem here and they have the answer. Really? Let's hear it, read it.
contrast this with next episode and the non-dual/yoga thing... I always get the strange sense that magic is a false step... i.e. not really getting at the core issues.
 
#90
I entirely agree that people in governments may behave in ways that indicate deep exposure to adverse metaphysical agents. But that is not what Gordon said. Gordon referred to past professional roles that gave him useful insights. Government was not one. I have spent my adult life with a spiritual and esoteric focus in government service most of the time. There may be an argument there is a dark/deep side to our governments, but making comments that are lacking in nuance and specifics, as Gordon did, is, I think, reckless and inexcusable for a person who represents himself as a serious commentator on the world state. There's a lot Gordon says that I respect, He has a singular capacity for insight. This was not one of his smarter utterances.
I have an interview coming up with Sarah... her investigations would confirm Gordon's position:
National Security Used to Protect Criminals w/ "Jimmy Boots ...
 
#91
ood topic... I keep listening to the left hand path folks with the hope that they'll say something sensible... it always comes out as gobbledygook to me. i see a connection with to next episode with jeffrey martin... i.e. how could the left hand path possibly lead to well-being... I just don't see it
It all comes down to intent and the beliefs/assumptions upon which that intent is formed. That is to say that all acts of magic are ultimately acts of self-justification - and why it is that not doing magic may be the higher way. The debate between religion as a devotional act and religion as magic is buried because its an awkward topic to deal with.
 
#92
I have an interview coming up with Sarah... her investigations would confirm Gordon's position:
National Security Used to Protect Criminals w/ "Jimmy Boots ...
Governments are exposed to being vehicles of evil. I simply thought that Gordon made a sweeping statement that was neither justified nor defendable. Gordon is, in my view, no position to have an informed opinion on this. There is no doubt that the power players at the top of the chain can be, and often are, corrupt, It is also certain that corruption and misconduct is present through all layers of government.

But I say that the overwhelming majority of people in government are decent people acting with good intent. I am happy to talk questions competence, of course.

Michael Lewis' The Fifth Risk is something all Americans should read.
 
#93
all acts of magic are ultimately acts of self-justification - and why it is that not doing magic may be the higher way.
well put. seems to me that the magical position is quite sensible with regard to how life is normally lived and experienced... but as you're alluding to, I think we're all looking for a "higher way."
 
#94
Governments are exposed to being vehicles of evil. I simply thought that Gordon made a sweeping statement that was neither justified nor defendable. Gordon is, in my view, no position to have an informed opinion on this. There is no doubt that the power players at the top of the chain can be, and often are, corrupt, It is also certain that corruption and misconduct is present through all layers of government.

But I say that the overwhelming majority of people in government are decent people acting with good intent. I am happy to talk questions competence, of course.

Michael Lewis' The Fifth Risk is something all Americans should read.
IDK... seems like we're now again talking about the murky middle... about the "git er done" world as opposed to the "higher way."
 
#95
IDK... seems like we're now again talking about the murky middle... about the "git er done" world as opposed to the "higher way."
Alex, you want to expand that thought? What is the murky middle? Government is a necessary function of a society. I get that US history makes the idea of government sometimes deeply unappealing, but it also has a higher function as well. It is in forgetting, or being ignorant of, the latter that ills and evils are permitted to flourish. It is always the collective good and not individual benefit. My government has, as all morally and intellectually bankrupt regimes do, has promised tax cuts ahead of a national election. An appeal to petty and venal self-interest - pocketing next to nothing (that wouldn't be causally wasted in self indulgence in any case) - while vital services to the common good are being run down debases our duty of shared compassion., The fact that we don't know how to be good and compassionate does not mean we should abandon trying to get it right. he fat that government is infested by predators does not mean we cease to esteem it as a noble function.
 
#96
Alex, you want to expand that thought? What is the murky middle? Government is a necessary function of a society. I get that US history makes the idea of government sometimes deeply unappealing, but it also has a higher function as well. It is in forgetting, or being ignorant of, the latter that ills and evils are permitted to flourish. It is always the collective good and not individual benefit. My government has, as all morally and intellectually bankrupt regimes do, has promised tax cuts ahead of a national election. An appeal to petty and venal self-interest - pocketing next to nothing (that wouldn't be causally wasted in self indulgence in any case) - while vital services to the common good are being run down debases our duty of shared compassion., The fact that we don't know how to be good and compassionate does not mean we should abandon trying to get it right. he fat that government is infested by predators does not mean we cease to esteem it as a noble function.
I completely agree. you said it much better than I could :)
 
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