Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Cosmic mindmaps of Christian doctrine
When living in Loisaida many years ago,
a good eye for discarded treasure
was an essential part of the tribal toolkit.
I got a great 2 foot tall
electric delicatessen wall clock
surrounded with a pink neon light
from Katz's Deli's trash,
which graced my loft until my marriage,
I once found a set of about 6 or 8
hand-bound volumes, carefully laced
with rawhide strips,
each book about 12" x 18" x 4" thick.
It was handwritten
in a tiny, meticulous cursive script,
almost like some bible of 1000 years ago,
and it listed real estate.
Heavenly real estate, that is.
It may or may not have had any true biblical provenance,
but it looked like it did, and it certainly read like it did.
Who owned what, and who lived where in paradise
was spelled out parcel by parcel, in about 450 pages.
Different "kingdoms" and "Legions" of angels, archangels,
demons, spirits, saints, and other less recognizable species
were named in minute detail, from archangel down to the least foot-soldier,
with all organizational duties and responsibilities spelled out
in what could only be termed, a charter of the heavenly host.
One volume dealt with wartime arrangements of Seraphim & Cherubim.
One volume dealt with sacerdotal ceremonies, standing honorific duties
by various thrones, portals, wells, and choirs.
One volume dealt with heavenly judicial matters, and proper etiquette
for approaches to the godhood throne.
I thought it was an extraordinary trash trophy,
and carted it home, taking 2 trips to get it there.
The very first time I showed it to my domestic companion,
she became extremely agitated, and would not rest until
I let her take it right back down to the trashcan on 7th street
from which it had been picked. Did she know something I didn't?
I sometimes wonder now, decades later,
what in the sam hill the damn thing was,
who would have taken the immense time
obviously required to craft it,
Anyone ever see anything like it?
until jpiskor42 mentioned it,
I googled it last night, and got a huge hit count.
There is an amazing mass
of Urantia-related stuff out there.
I read debunking tomes that trace its plagiarisms,
and I acknowlege its bogusness,
but what about the hit count?
Somebody out there is buying it!
I therefore read portions of the book itself,
skipping what insulted my intelligence,
and found a couple of good aspects to it.
1) It tries to fit itself to modern science
2) It tries to fill the "needs void" left
in the wake of atheistic Darwinism
So, despite its sham beginnings
(all religions began as scams)
It's intentions point out stuff that all churches
ought to be paying attention to:
A) a lot of people want to believe
B) They are prevented from this by the
apparent "fact" of atheism in
Who, or what is at fault ?
When scientifically debunking naive old beliefs,
is there a human, societal, or ethical duty
to do so only after pondering
what belief structure
will replace the old belief structure?
Is it a productive act
to induce despair in newly created apostates?
Or is it a vicious serial-killer mindset,
a kind of "mind over cattle" misuse
of mentality, erudition, and paradox,
to create an iconic vacuum,
into which any manner of less altruistic
claptrap can infiltrate, diminishing us all?
Or is the constructive work simply just too hard?
Are there limits to the analytic frame,
limits smaller than the entire psychic frame?
Is there a duty to create synthesis?
to at least one old belief in toto,
is the mere debunker not equipped
to understand the china shop
into which his skeptical bull
Is aspiration more mature, complete, and human,
than rejectionism for its own sake?
Like I'm going to memorize some guys 75 year old map to guide me to heaven when I die.
Do people actually do this?