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Sunday, April 08, 2012

The Ultimate Miracle. We are all Cosmic.




The Jesus debate: Man vs. myth

By John Blake, CNN
(CNN)– Timothy Freke was flipping through an old academic book when he came across a religious image that some would call obscene.
It was a drawing of a third-century amulet depicting a naked man nailed to a cross. The man was born of a virgin, preached about being “born again” and had risen from the dead after crucifixion, Freke says.
But the name on the amulet wasn’t Jesus. It was a pseudonym for Osiris-Dionysus, a pagan god in ancient Mediterranean culture.  Freke says the amulet was evidence of something that sounds like sacrilege – and some would say it is: that Jesus never existed. He was a myth created by first-century Jews who modeled him after other dying and resurrected pagan gods, says Freke, author of  "The Jesus Mysteries: Was the ‘Original Jesus’ a Pagan God?"
“If I said to you that there was no real Good Samaritan, I don’t think anyone would be outraged,” says Freke, one of a group of mythicists who say Jesus never existed. “It’s a teaching story. What we’re saying is that the Jesus story is an allegory. It’s a parable of the spiritual journey.”
On this Easter Sunday, millions of Christians worldwide will mark the resurrection of Jesus. Though Christians clash over many issues, almost all agree that he existed.
But there is another view of Jesus that’s been emerging, one that strikes at the heart of the Easter story. A number of authors and scholars say Jesus never existed. Such assertions could have been ignored in an earlier age.  But in the age of the Internet and self-publishing, these arguments have gained enough traction that some of the world’s leading New Testament scholars feel compelled to publicly take them on.
Most Jesus deniers are Internet kooks, says Bart D. Ehrman, a New Testament scholar who recently released a book devoted to the question called “Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth.”
He says Freke and others who deny Jesus’ existence are conspiracy theorists trying to sell books.
“There are people out there who don’t think the Holocaust happened, there wasn’t a lone JFK assassin and Obama wasn’t born in the U.S.,” Ehrman says. “Among them are people who don’t think Jesus existed.”
Does it matter if Jesus existed?
Some Jesus mythicists say many New Testament scholars are intellectual snobs.
“I don’t think I’m some Internet kook or Holocaust denier,” says Robert Price, a former Baptist pastor who argues in “Deconstructing Jesus” that a historical Jesus probably didn’t exist.
“They say I’m a bitter ex-fundamentalist. It’s pathetic to see this character assassination. That’s what people resort to when they don’t have solid arguments.”
 The debate over Jesus’ existence has led to a curious role reversal. Two of the New Testament scholars who are leading the way arguing for Jesus’ existence have a reputation for attacking, not defending, traditional Christianity.
Ehrman, for example, is an agnostic who has written books that argue that virtually half  of the New Testament is forged. Another defender of Jesus’ existence is John Dominic Crossan, a New Testament scholar who has been called a heretic because his books challenge some traditional Christian teachings.
But as to the existence of Jesus, Crossan says, he’s “certain.”
He says some Jesus deniers may be people who have a problem with Christianity.
“It’s a way of responding to something you don’t like,” Crossan says. “We can’t say that Obama doesn’t exist, but we can say that he’s not an American.  If we’re talking about Obama in the future, there are people who might not only say he wasn’t American, but he didn’t even exist.”
Does it even matter if Jesus existed? Can’t people derive inspiration from his teachings whether he actually walked the Earth?
Crossan says Jesus’ existence matters in the same way that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s existence mattered.
If King never existed, people would say his ideas are lovely, but they could never work in the real world, Crossan says.
It’s the same with an historical Jesus, Crossan writes in his latest book, “The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction about Jesus.”
“The power of Jesus’ historical life challenges his followers by proving at least one human being could cooperate fully with God. And if one, why not others? If some, why not all?”
The evidence against Jesus’ existence
Those who argue against Jesus’ existence make some of these points:
-The uncanny parallels between pagan stories in the ancient world and the stories of Jesus.
-No credible sources outside the Bible say Jesus existed.
-The Apostle Paul never referred to a historical Jesus.
Price, author of “Deconstructing Jesus,” says the first-century Western world was full of stories of a martyred hero who is called a son of God.
“There are ancient novels from that period where the hero is condemned to the cross and even crucified, but he escapes and survives it,” Price says. “That looks like Jesus.”
Those who argue for the existence of Jesus often cite two external biblical sources: the Jewish historian Josephus who wrote about Jesus at the end of the first century and the Roman historian Tacitus, who wrote about Jesus at the start of the second century.
But some scholars say Josephus’ passage was tampered with by later Christian authors. And Price says the two historians are not credible on Jesus.
“Josephus and Tacitus – they both thought Hercules was a true figure,” Price says. “Both of them spoke of Hercules as a figure that existed.”
Price concedes that there were plenty of mythical stories that were draped around historical figures like Caesar. But there’s plenty of secular documentation to show Caesar existed.
“Everything we read about Jesus in the gospels conforms to the mythic hero,” Price says. “There’s nothing left over that indicates that he was a real historical figure.”
Those who argue for the existence of Jesus cite another source: the testimony of the Apostle Paul and Jesus’ early disciples. Paul even writes in one New Testament passage about meeting James, the brother of Jesus.
These early disciples not only believed Jesus was real but were willing to die for him. People don’t die for myths, some biblical scholars say.
They will if the experience is powerful enough, says Richard Carrier, author of “Proving History.”
Carrier says it’s probable that Jesus never really existed and that early Christians experienced a mythic Jesus who came to them through visions and revelations.
Two of the most famous stories in the New Testament – the conversion of Paul and the stoning death of Stephen, one of the first Christian martyrs - show that people seized by religious visions are willing to die, Carrier says.
In both the Paul and Stephen stories, the writers say that they didn’t see an actual Jesus but a heavenly vision of Jesus, Carrier says.
People “can have powerful religious experiences that don’t correspond to reality,” Carrier says.
“The perfect model is Paul himself,” Carrier says. “He never met Jesus. Paul only had an encounter with this heavenly Jesus. Paul is completely converted by this religious experience, but no historical Jesus is needed for that to happen.”
As for the passage where Paul says he met James, Jesus’ brother, Carrier says:
“The problem with that is that all baptized Christians were considered brothers of the Lord.”
The evidence for Jesus’ existence
Some scholars who argue for the existence of Jesus says the New Testament mentions actual people and events that are substantiated by historical documents and archaeological discoveries.
Ehrman, author of “Did Jesus Exist?” scoffed at the notion that the ancient world was full of pagan stories about dying deities that rose again.  Where’s the proof? he asks.
Ehrman devoted an entire section of his book to critiquing Freke, the mythicist and author of “The Jesus Mysteries: Was the ‘Original Jesus’ a Pagan God?” who says there was an ancient Osiris-Dionysus figure who shares uncanny parallels to Jesus.
He says Freke can’t offer any proof that an ancient Osiris figure was born on December 25, was crucified and rose again. He says Freke is citing 20th- and 19th-century writers who tossed out the same theories.
Ehrman says that when you read ancient stories about mythological figures like Hercules and Osiris, “there’s nothing about them dying and rising again.”
“He doesn’t know much about ancient history,” Ehrman says of Freke. “He’s not a scholar. All he knows is what he’s read in other conspiracy books.”
Craig A. Evans, the author of “Jesus and His World: The Archaeological Evidence,” says the notion that Paul gave his life for a mythical Jesus is absurd.
He says the New Testament clearly shows that Paul was an early enemy of the Christian church who sought to stamp out the burgeoning Jesus movement.
“Don’t you think if you were in Paul’s shoes, you would have quickly discovered that there was no Jesus?” Evans asks.  “If there was no Jesus, then how did the movement start?”
Evans also dismissed the notion that early Christians blended or adopted pagan myths to create their own mythical Jesus. He says the first Christians were Jews who despised everything about pagan culture.
“For a lot of Jewish people, the pagan world was disgusting,” Evans says. “I can’t imagine [the Gospel writer] Matthew making up a story where he is drawing parallels between Jesus’ birth and pagan stories about Zeus having sex with some fair maiden.”
The words of Jesus also offer proof that he actually existed, Evans says.  A vivid personality practically bursts from the pages of the New Testament: He speaks in riddles, talks about camels squeezing through the eye of a needle, weeps openly and even loses his temper.
Evans says he is a man who is undeniably Jewish, a genius who understands his culture but also transcends his tradition with gem-like parables.
“Who but Jesus could tell the Parable of the Good Samaritan?” Evans says. “Where does this bolt of lightning come from? You don’t get this out of an Egyptian myth.”
Those who argue against the existence of Jesus say they aren’t trying to destroy people’s faith.
“I don’t have any desire to upset people,” says Freke. “I do have a passion for the truth. … I don’t think rational people in the 20th century can go down a road just on blind faith.”
Yet Easter was never just about rationale.
The Easter stories about the resurrection are strange: Disciples don’t recognize Jesus as they meet him on the road; he tells someone not to touch him; he  eats fish in another.
In the Gospel of Matthew, a resurrected Jesus suddenly appears to a group of disciples and gives them this cryptic message:
“Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
And what did they see: a person, a pagan myth or a savior?
Albert Schweitzer, a 20th-century theologian and missionary, suggested that there will never be one answer to that question.  He said that looking for Jesus in history is like looking down a well: You see only your own reflection.
The “real” Jesus, Schweitzer says, will remain “a stranger and an enigma,” someone who is always ahead of us.

68 comments:

  1. May God bless all of you. Believers and non believers. Here are my thought for what they are worth.

    Jesus' existence, unlike Mohammed, will always be brought into question because of the claim that He is in fact God incarnate to roughly 1/3 of the world. Of the three largest religions, Christianity is the only one whose believers basically maintain that God directly founded it. All the rest have all too human founders inspired. It is a pretty bold claim and almost a challenge to any skeptic.

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  2. Today is not the day to debate the validity of Christianity,

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  3. As for the last line of the video:

    Now, what are we going to do about That?

    :)

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  4. The Bible that says over 400 TIMES THAT JESUS IS THE ONLY WAY? Don't be deceived by a so-called "Christian" that makes claims that are in DIRECT OPPOSITION to the Word of God.

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  5. Jesus used to pick cotton on our farm.

    He had two brothers: Jesus, and Jesus.

    I remember them well.

    From Ensenora, I believe.

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  6. .

    To say Jesus was God requires an act of faith.

    To say he existed doesn't.

    In today's world, all you need to deny a fact is someone like Dan Brown and a concocted story such as that of the Priory of Sion to base his fiction on.

    Much of the story of Jesus written in the gospels may have been allegorical but I don't doubt they were written about an actual person.

    .

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  7. To your point:

    It is not until c. AD 97 that Josephus publishes his Antiquities of the Jews in which he makes two direct references to Jesus Christ. The first is rather comprehensive:

    Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works—a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day. Antiquities 3:3

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  8. And more non-religious attribution in other sources give more indirect evidence to the existence of Jesus Christ. For instance, Pliny the Younger (AD 61 – c. AD 112) who tortured and executed many Christians described them to the Roman emporer, Trajan:

    They were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and bound themselves to a solemn oath, not to any wicked deeds, but never to commit any fraud, theft, adultery, never to falsify their word, not to deny a trust when they should be called upon to deliver it up. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of a meal–but ordinary and innocent food. (Epistulae X.96)

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  9. Still there are additional references in Roman antiquities:

    Publius Cornelius Tacitus was born in AD 56, approximately 26 years after the death of Jesus Christ. Tacitus was a Roman senator who refers to Jesus Christ in the surviving portions of his Annals (15:44) during the time of the conflagration or burning of Rome. The tone of the writing is dispassionate and hardly deferential to Jesus as Christ, but obviously refers to his actual existence.

    But all human efforts, all the lavish gifts of the emperor, and the propitiations of the gods, did not banish the sinister belief that the conflagration was the result of an order. Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome.

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  10. To deny the existence of Jesus, one may as well deny Julius Caesar or Augustus. Quod erat demonstrandum? Perhaps.

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  11. Happy Easter to the believers and a good heart to those that doubt.

    Christus er Oppstanden! Sandelig Han er Oppstanden!

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  12. Everybody seems normal until you get to know them.

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    Replies
    1. .

      Just as everyone has his own idea of what is normal.

      .

      Delete
  13. An Easter Miracle!

    How Many Refugees From the Assad Regime Are There? Try 500,000.

    Today more Arabs have been displaced and made "refugees" in Syria then were displaced by the modern day rebirth of Israel.

    As Jesus was reborn, Israel was as well.

    The time of the Arab is over.

    The time for God's apple, Israel is here.

    The modern state of Israel has awaken from the ashes of centuries of Christian and Arab/Islamic violence.

    Happy Easter to one and all...

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  14. Don't make me use UPPERCASE.

    John Derbyshire, the conservative columnist who set off a firestorm of outrage over his advice for white and Asian parents to protect their children from black people, was fired yesterday from the National Review, reports Politico. While calling "Derb" a "deeply literate, funny, and incisive writer," National Review editor Rich Lowry said the infamous column "lurches from the politically incorrect to the nasty and indefensible."

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  15. I like Christmas better.

    You get gifts.

    You get to look at beatiful pictures of snow laden, country cottages,

    and some of the chocolate Christmas trees have marshmallow centers.

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  16. Derision Magnet Alert.

    What we have here is a failure to translate. The Big Idea crowd from the hip modern coffeehouses like PM, Powerline et al took political shape as the Tea Party movement, blew into Washington in 2010, only to be confronted with the unpleasant reality of ... looking for a simple succinct word ... governing.

    Now racial tension is rising for reasons that are not even remotely profound - human social stratification. A crude way of putting it is that the minorities who had the desire and ability to "get out" have gotten out, leaving what has been described, very aptly, as a distillate of condensed dysfunction at the bottom.

    This is one problem that won't be solved by blaming the "grim and determined" socialists for playing god at the altar of central planning. (Room for further explication but (a) don't feel like it right now and (b) the stratification is now essentially complete and no longer amenable to ideological solutions.)

    The Republicans bring absolutely nothing to the table except a hatred of government.

    The permanent lower class problem will only get worse as robotics replace the low to moderate skill level jobs that used to provide a "way out." And they are now very well armed, moderately organized, and driven by the hot-blood of young male biology. The dystopia of escaping from NY or LA is not that far fetched a vision.

    ****************

    I think I'll slip into something more comfortable, like a coma.

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    Replies
    1. I think it is worse than that. It is not that many years ago that “credit scores” were unknown. Now they are pervasive and are used for everything including jobs, bank accounts and insurance rates. After the wreckage of this recession many of these people will always be economic untouchables. It gets worse. There is no being forgotten. Every indiscretion is permanently placed in a public data base. Why is this necessary and who benefits from it?

      This underclass will grow and society will be much worse for it. The well-to-do will be able to isolate and protect themselves but that could change with the politics. I believe that we are dangerously close to a majority that will demand and receive more.

      Delete
    2. This is a different country when that happens.

      Delete
    3. This is a different country when that happens.

      And the American dream of *relative* societal fluidity goes up in smoke.

      What discourages me is the inability of - distaste for - the Mensa crowd to carry the water of their Big Ideas - do the dirty work - of governing, of arguing, of compromising, of prioritizing and balancing short-term with long-term. As Rufus always says, It ain't easy. No it's not. My suspicion is that the Big Thinkers have an esthetic distaste for the "messiness" of implementation and an absolute revulsion for the impurity of compromise. Which is why I am moderately encouraged to hear this "purity" concept enter the mainstream dialogue. Self-righteous has many faces.

      Delete
  17. And they are now very well armed, moderately organized, and driven by the hot-blood of young male biology. The dystopia of escaping from NY or LA is not that far fetched a vision.

    "well" armed is relative...

    they have their weapons and a they have some ammo...

    most of those of the other camp have THOUSANDS of rounds, food and the practice and forethought on how to deal with gang bangers.

    let the games begin...

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  18. After an extremely long Friday night, which must have aggravated my "normal" disc degeneration, last Saturday afternoon I put the History channel on and the first words uttered before my four hour nap was, there is no written evidence that Jesus existed.

    And no I don't have a link to support my statement. I can't find it on History.com and I'm not looking elsewhere for any other information.

    She who exists in my house, the holier than thou agnostic, says there was written evidence by his cell mates.

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    1. .

      There you have it. Nuff said. The only appeal to authority better than the History channel is the Discovery channel or possibly The American Thinker.


      .

      Delete
  19. And Rufus?

    Candy, dude, candy is what we eat on Easter.

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  20. college degrees and good credit scores are meaningless for the white male...

    now if you are a "minority" then you are ok

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  21. The ULTIMATE candy....

    GOD

    "Take, eat, this is my body." Dinner conversation at Donner's Pass? Nope. Hannibal Lector humor? Wrong again.

    These are the words that generate the Mystery of most sacred ritual of the Christian religion, Transubstantiation. This Mystery defies laws of science, changing the chemical structure of bread and wine into flesh and blood.

    No Christian can take Communion, according to 1st Corinthians, unless they have faith that they are eating Christ's flesh and blood. Transubstantiation enables believers to dine on their deity.

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  22. Is God savory or sweet...

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  23. Jews eat of the fruit of the vine and they thank the Lord for the bread..

    simple...

    Christians drink of the blood of Christ and the Host, which is the body of Christ..

    amazing...

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    Replies
    1. .

      Evidently, Jews can't afford the good stuff.

      .

      Delete
    2. Nope we do not eat G-d, we settle for the cheap stuff like wine and fresh bread.

      Delete
  24. Ah, Republicans don't hate "Guvmint." They love guvmint. They just don't like guvmint that applies to them.

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  25. Everyone over at the Easter Service this morning said Jesus was real.

    Anyway why would anyone want to make up a new dying/rising god, there were already several at hand.

    And a dying/rising god worth his salt wouldn't cross the lake to get away from the long arm of the law.

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    Replies
    1. Everyone over at the Easter Service this morning said Jesus was real.

      Perhaps that was the reason for them being there.

      Delete
    2. Either that or the wafers were fresh

      Delete
  26. This is a pretty good argument, it seems to me -

    The words of Jesus also offer proof that he actually existed, Evans says. A vivid personality practically bursts from the pages of the New Testament: He speaks in riddles, talks about camels squeezing through the eye of a needle, weeps openly and even loses his temper.
    Evans says he is a man who is undeniably Jewish, a genius who understands his culture but also transcends his tradition with gem-like parables.
    “Who but Jesus could tell the Parable of the Good Samaritan?” Evans says. “Where does this bolt of lightning come from? You don’t get this out of an Egyptian myth.”

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    Replies
    1. Besides, Chavez thinks he existed and still does as he is praying to Him, and not to the Cuban hospitals or 'Che' Guevara.

      I still think he ought to swallow his pride and come to the Mayo Clinic in the US.

      Delete
    2. While it is still worth something and hasn't been ruined by ObamaCare.

      ObamaCare will do wonders for the 'Pray to Jesus' movement.

      Delete
    3. And Rufus will have succeeded in what he did not set out to do: ruin health care, and strengthen religion.

      Delete
  27. In the 20th century, most US presidents and presidential candidates were Baptists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians—in other words, Protestants. But in the 2012 presidential race? With a Mormon, a traditionalist Catholic, and a nondenominational Christian with ties to liberation theology, "we finally have a presidential field whose diversity mirrors the diversity of American Christianity as a whole," writes Ross Douthat in the New York Times. "These divergences reflect America as it actually is: We’re neither traditionally Christian nor straightforwardly secular."

    On the other hand, Douthat misses the unifying force religion once held. In the old days, church leaders could embrace diverse interests when politicians cowered—during the civil rights movement, for example. But today, religious diversity is contributing to America's political polarization and partisanship. "In this atmosphere, religious differences are more likely to inspire baroque conspiracy theories," he writes, "whether it’s the far-right panic over an Islamified United States or the left-wing paranoia about a looming evangelical-led theocracy."

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    Replies
    1. The WASPs are completely buffaloed now in this country.

      I demand a Protestant on the Supreme Court.

      Delete
    2. “Mormonism was created by a guy in upstate New York in 1830 when he got caught having sex with the maid and explained to his wife that God told him to do it,” O’Donnell said on his show. “Forty-eight wives later, Joseph Smith’s lifestyle was completely sanctified in the religion he invented to go with it. Which Mitt Romney says he believes.”

      Raul Speaks

      Proud to say I voted for Raul.

      (rufus doesn't know what he is missing)

      Delete
  28. The insistence than any one human knows or can know who or what embodies a, let alone the, one true God is specious, self-serving, and frankly offensive. I can think of better ways to spend my time. (What the Supreme Court needs is a good Wiccan.)

    ********************

    U.S. stocks are at the start of a more meaningful correction and possibly even a bear market, Marc Faber, the editor and publisher of the Gloom, Boom and Doom report told CNBC in Singapore on Saturday, though he added that further money printing would likely limit the decline in the S&P 500.

    “The technical underpinnings of the market have been a disaster in the last couple of weeks,” Faber said on the sidelines of the Maybank Invest Asia conference. “The number of new highs have declined, the volume has been poor, insider sales just hit a record.”

    Faber said the weakness in economically sensitive stocks such as mining and industrial goods was particularly “disturbing.”

    Known as a contrarian, Faber's views are at odds with those of Byron Wien who told CNBC last week the bull market in stocks would continue throughout the year.

    *********************

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  29. Spirituality loses authenticity when corralled into the organized mobocracy of formalized religion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It doesn’t ring true to me. I don’t understand spirituality. I never find it authentic.

      Delete
  30. More than 110,000 active-duty Army troops last year took antidepressants, sedatives and other prescription medications. Some see a link to aberrant behavior.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t these drugs have potential psychotic side-effects?

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  31. RE: authenticity

    Another approach. When pressed for a definition, I call myself a deist which means I find the universe awesome - and authentic. The various multitudes of anthropomorphic manifestations, less so.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Throw in some ET and I become cosmetic.

      Blog space is largely pseudonymous and we pine for authenticity?

      *******************

      Bill Cosby is arguing for getting guns out of the hands of the community watch groups. A little nuanced the way I'm reading him - not arguing against private ownership, but against ownership by the quasi LEO groups. I could be wrong.

      Delete
    2. Blog space is for thinking out loud. Authenticity is for someplace else.

      Delete
  32. What the hell else are you going to know anything about other than the various multitudes of anthropomorphic manifestations? You are a human are you not?

    Through what other eyes are you going to see it, those of a carp?

    Besides we've all been there, done that.

    When I'm in a bad mood I find the universe irritating as hell, and not worth two hours sleep.

    But 'when I breathe with the birds the spirit of wrath becomes the spirit of blessing and the dead begin from their dark to sing in my sleep.'

    The gentle finger of the Lord brings up the laggards.

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    Replies
    1. Tune in HERE
      you motherfuckin' turtle people, you fuckin' crackers, whitey you get race war up yo ass......

      Let's see, The New Black Panther Party has endorsed Obama, just like ruf.

      Delete
  33. Who blinks first?

    LONDON -(MarketWatch)- Iran stopped shipping oil to Greece and may halt supplies to Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSB.LN, RDSA, RDSB) over unpaid bills, Iran media said Friday, as the impact of sanctions widens. The news suggests a decline in Iranian oil exports last month may accelerate as banking sanctions add to an upcoming European ban on Tehran oil. That could lead to upward pressure on oil prices, which have recently surged to a four-year high.

    The Mehr news agency said that, due to unpaid bills, Iran stopped deliveries to Greek refiners Hellenic Petroleum and Motor Oil . Greece has long been the European Union country relying the most on Iranian oil--sometimes for as much as a third of its supplies.

    A spokesman for Motor Oil confirmed it had stopped buying Iranian oil and had found replacements.

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  34. Another approach. When pressed for a definition, I call myself a deist which means I find the universe awesome - and authentic. The various multitudes of anthropomorphic manifestations, less so.

    It's hard to get away from anthropomorphisms seeing we are humans. Everything you think is an anthropomorphism, including your above statement.

    You are not a carp. You may have been a carp, but you are not a carp now. If you were a carp now you would be seeing things through carpomorphisms. You wouldn't even have carpal tunnel vision.

    When the tendon on the inside of my right leg strains and damn near makes me shake in pain I think the universe isn't worth two hours of good sleep.

    But when I breathe with the birds the spirit of wrath becomes the spirit of blessing and the dead begin from their dark to sing in my sleep.

    It's all metaphor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One would have to be a dunce to advocate a race war when one's race is 12 percent of the population.

      Sound's cool, though, right?

      Delete
    2. It's all metaphor.

      And the subject of this thread was what again?

      Delete
    3. When the tendon on the inside of my right leg strains and damn near makes me shake in pain I think the universe isn't worth two hours of good sleep.

      Exactly so. The non-metaphorical part demands our attention.

      But damned if some don't insist on the "will of god," usually accompanied by an exchange of money and/or exploding devices.

      Delete
  35. Emily said:

    Pain

    PAIN--has an Element of Blank--
    It cannot recollect
    When it begun--or if there were
    A time when it was not--

    It has no Future--but itself--
    Its Infinite Contain
    Its Past--enlightened to perceive
    New Periods--of Pain.


    She's either making it up or I'm not there yet because I can remember when I held my leg just so, a little while ago, then there was no O!

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    Replies
    1. Even Risky's shoulder hurts.

      Lucky horse, three humans were tending him today, and putting ice pads on his left shoulder. Shea kicked him up a good one it seems. He should have stayed in the stall by himself but the spring weather called him out. He was bruised and swollen.

      Can we sue?

      Delete
    2. Emily said:

      Pain

      PAIN--has an Element of Blank--
      It cannot recollect
      When it begun--or if there were
      A time when it was not--

      It has no Future--but itself--
      Its Infinite Contain
      Its Past--enlightened to perceive
      New Periods--of Pain.

      She's either making it up or I'm not there yet because I can remember when I held my leg just so, a little while ago, then there was no O!

      Delete
    3. Ah, see here, American Thinker says Rufus is full of shit.

      Funny how he rails against "giveaways for the oil companies" -- which turn out to be tax write-offs afforded to most businesses -- yet had no compunctions about paying out 45 cents per gallon to ethanol producers.

      Read More Rufus Is Full Of Ethanol Here

      Rufus is addicted to subsidies, since back when he was a farmer, and now, because they have helped his favorite government run energy program.

      Delete
  36. I Once Was A Carp

    argh, scratch that -

    it's -


    A Garden Beyond Paradise

    Everything you see has its roots
    in the unseen world.
    The forms may change,
    yet the essence remains the same.

    Every wondrous sight will vanish,
    every sweet word will fade.
    But do not be disheartened,
    The Source they come from is eternal—
    growing, branching out,
    giving new life and new joy.

    Why do you weep?—
    That Source is within you,
    and this whole world
    is springing up from it.

    The Source is full,
    its waters are ever-flowing;
    Do not grieve,
    drink your fill!
    Don't think it will ever run dry—
    This is the endless Ocean!

    From the moment you came into this world,
    a ladder was placed in front of you
    that you might transcend it.

    From earth, you became plant,
    from plant you became animal.
    Afterwards you became a human being,
    endowed with knowledge, intellect and faith.

    Behold the body, born of dust—
    how perfect it has become!

    Why should you fear its end?
    When were you ever made less by dying?

    When you pass beyond this human form,
    no doubt you will become an angel
    and soar through the heavens!

    But don't stop there.
    Even heavenly bodies grow old.

    Pass again from the heavenly realm
    and plunge into the ocean of Consciousness.
    Let the drop of water that is you
    become a hundred mighty seas.

    But do not think that the drop alone
    becomes the Ocean—
    the Ocean, too, becomes the drop!

    Rumi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why do you weep?—
      That Source is within you,
      and this whole world
      is springing up from it.

      If one wanted to make a big deal out of it one might say we create the world and that if the tree falls in the forest and no one hears it no tree has fallen in the forest as there is never matter without mind but one would be immediately misunderstood and one might not understand oneself if one hasn't had one's coffee after a good night's sleep.

      Delete
  37. RE: religion as metaphor

    As long as you understand that there are a great number of practitioners as well as theologians who vigorously dispute the metaphor part.

    ReplyDelete