Showing posts with label Phil-aphorism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Phil-aphorism. Show all posts

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Aphorism of the Day, March 2019

Aphorism of the Day, March 25, 2019

We might be tempted to interpret the parables of Jesus as being applicable to the apparent conflict between Jesus and religious figures of his time.  In so doing we may miss the archetypical features of the parables as models of life.  Prodigal Son, unforgiving brother and generous forgiving father: these are models of behaviors which everyone can participate in even as we assume the loving father bespeaks the definition of God is love.

Aphorism of the Day, March 24, 2019

God as always already future can be note in the divine name of "I am that I am," since "to be" does not have a present tense in Hebrew, it might be better translated as "I will be who I will be."  God as omni-becoming or pure creativity who shares a degree of creative freedom with all that is not God but contained in God, means future total surpassability in occasions of everything and thus would honor the genuine freedom to account to weal and woe and also never assume to knowing the possible as actual.

Aphorism of the Day, March 23, 2019

Burning bush theophanies and speaking to a Rock for it to be a source of water?  Modern people of faith with schizoidal discursive practice entertain themselves with D.C. Comic superheroes because entertainment the place where imagination can allow one's life not to be ruled by empirical verification.  Do these things happen in real life?  No, and we know how to separate the art forms from actuarial behaviors governed by following the rather uniformity of natural causes.  Somehow we will not let the Bible stories be the art of ancient people who did not have so many forms of divided discursive practices as we have in our modern world.  Give them a break, a charitable break.  More identity is formed in our cultural myths than from our "real" histories.

Aphorism of the Day, March 22, 2019

The life of Moses is presented in three trimesters, each lasting forty years.  At the end of his second trimester, he was confronted by the divine presence and voice.  He was convinced that his own adequacy would not make him successful in leadership; rather it was the all-sufficiency of the One who was the Plenitude to fill in all human lack.

Aphorism of the Day, March 21, 2019

Moses encounter with God at the burning bush might be called "Of tetragrammatonology," a pun on the Algerian born Jewish French philosopher Jacque Derrida who wrote a revolutionary book entitled in English, "Of Grammatology."   As I see the account of the presentation of the tetragrammaton, it is a written name of God to represent the phonetic event of Moses hearing the name of God.  After the purported hearing of the name of God, it became represented by four letters and yet those four letters are not to be pronounced because they only represent a great Mystery which cannot be represented in vocal form.  Derrida is famous for generating the notion of "deconstruction," a further development of Heidegger's notion of "destruction."  The tetragrammaton may represent the abnegation of omni-textuality in that deconstruction is the erasure of every linguistic "idol" which becomes such by appearing and seeming to last too long in duration.  The idol can only disappear or be deconstructed when the the foreground and background of text merge to one flat plain where nothing is distinguished so everything disappears and is deconstructed until further articulation events creates the separation of foreground from background in the entire discursive universe.

Aphorism of the Day, March 20, 2019

Moses' life in the number forty.  Leaves Egypt alone in disgrace at 40.  At 80 returns to Egypt to lead the people out of Egypt.  Spent 40 years leading the people of Israel to the Promised into which he was not permitted to go.  40 days and nights on Mt. Sinai/Horeb to receive the law.  And at the end of his second forty years he had the revelation of The Name, Adoni=The Lord, The Holy One, Blessed is He or in the Greek, the four letters, the tetragrammaton, the unpronounceable יהוה which English translators dared to translate and pronounce as Jehovah or Yahweh.  It may seem as though the unpronounceable name of God due to its holiness is what theologian call the apophatic or the via negativa, the negative way as the starting place with God.  God is so different that whatever one says about God, God is not that, or God cannot be contained by any human utterance on which human understanding is understood.  However when it comes to the default position of humanity, namely, having language, one is saying something positive in and with language when one says that God's name is unpronounceable or God as God is unknowable by human being.  Thinking that we can escape language by positing something outside of language is falsified by saying with language, "something outside of language."

Aphorism of the Day, March 19, 2019

"I am that I am," is the translation of the unspeakable name of God, and one can see how theologians could adopt through Heidegger the notion of God as HOLY BEING.  In deconstructive post-modernism one might want to say that such Being co-inheres with the Word which signifies it since lingualocentricism is the default position of humanity.  To even refer to what is not human, one uses words to do so.

Aphorism of the Day, March 18, 2019

People confronted Jesus with the horrific deaths of persons whose blood after they died was desecrated by Pilate.  Also, some opined about the people who died when a tower fell upon them.  In the free conditions of the world, people have power to injure and kill, but also gravitation can cause heavy items to fall on people who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.  And when death happens people speculate about why they happened to specific people as if there might be some comfort in knowing why the free condition result in sudden death of some people and not others.  And if people are going to speculate about why we die when we do, what state of being does Jesus recommend for us?  The state of repentance.  We should go to our deaths in the state of repentance, which is essentially, holy education of the continual renewing of our minds in getting better.  Freedom is the energy of continuous creativity but in that freedom there can be the actions of getting worse or getting better.  Repentance means that we complement the state of creative freedom best by always getting better.

Aphorism of the Day, March 17, 2019

For empiricists who are troubled by visions of the afterlife, they should note that hope itself is an empirical experience even though it is so protean that it cannot consistently conform or be replicated in "test tube" experiments.  Hope creates visions of afterlife and para-life.  We always already life in hope's creation of a para-life, the day dream life which accompanies whatever is going on in our "external" world.  The para-life of hope is both escape from what life is not yet for us now to an alternative and if it is only escape, it might cause atrophy of action.  But if it is the presentation of an abstract difference of what is, it can inspire alternate creative and new response.

Aphorism of the Day, March 16, 2019

Hope is the powerful proclivity of always having a future even though the empirical verification bookend of human mortality contradicts this.  The Bible is a book inspired by hope and the promise of what a future might be.  One of the results of having closed canons of Scripture is the assumption that only Bible stories of hope have the final authority and so we can be tempted to "worship" events of the past without embracing the freedom to endlessly hope and tell our new stories of hope in our time and in new ways.  The Bible as a paradigm of the fact that stories of hope must be told should be seen as a permissive literature for us to embrace telling stories of hope in our lives now.

Aphorism of the Day, March 15, 2019

Having offspring and a promised land is how objective immortality was present to Abraham.  When oppression threatens both life and land, then objective immortality in heirs and land becomes spiritualized to a resurrection in order to judge the oppressor who took life and land as the very symbols of objective immortality.  The situation during the time of Jesus was that land had been taken and so the offering of a new heavenly country and Jerusalem was promised.  Further, Abraham attained immortality in having many heirs of faith; a spiritual posterity as an indication of his immortality in his covenant with God.

Aphorism of the Day, March 14, 2019

Before we "Christianize" Abraham in the Hebrew Scriptures, one should probably acknowledge that Abraham feared in not having an heir, since his future objective immortality resided in his actual offspring.  He received the promise of many future people who would be proof of his objectivity immortality.

Aphorism of the Day, March 13, 2019

Ironic speak of Jesus: "It is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem."  Could be reference to the fact that only in places where power elites dwell that prophets who stand against the order of power become particularly vulnerable to becoming punished to death for their public criticism of the power elites.

Aphorism of the Day, March 12, 2019

In a thesaurus of metaphors for Jesus, Good Shepherd and Mother Hen would be Gospel synonyms.

Aphorism of the Day, March 11, 2019

The fox and the hen.  Jesus referred to Herod as that "fox" and uses the metaphor of a hen protecting her chicks under her wings to refer to how he wanted to be toward the city of Jerusalem.  Apparently the "fox" won; Jesus as the hen was not able to protect himself or Jerusalem but it is also true that the little chickens fled and grew to memorialize Jesus as the "Great Hen" forever.

Aphorism of the Day, March 10, 2019

Fasting is a discipline in self-control whereby one is learning to take control of one's life by conscious practice of delayed gratification.   Such delaying of gratification is a defining characteristic of mature adulthood as one controls the flows of one's life in order to practice maximally beneficial stewardship for one's life and the life of others.

Aphorism of the Day, March 9, 2019

In his baptism Jesus received a favored designation from a heavenly voice, "Beloved Son."  In the Vision Quest temptation that followed, in the fasting state, Jesus had access to the diabolical voice which taunted his identity, "If you are the Son of God,....."  In temptation, our being children of God is always challenged by being presented with options of disobeying God and image of God that is upon our lives through our birth and its further actualization in baptism.

Aphorism of the Day, March 8, 2019

Propitious and favorable, but unplanned time is called serendipity, and we can hope for the good luck of serendipity all of the time.  The good favor of serendipity does not seem to be the general laws which govern statistical probability in what can happen to anyone in life.  Actuarial wisdom means that from observance wisdom we try to time our behaviors for the best possible outcomes for the greatest number of people.  The wisdom of good laws of justice follow the actuarial wisdom of anticipating probable outcome.  Temptation is mainly about mistiming and being drawn to disobey the highest insights of one's life.

Aphorism of the Day, March 7, 2019

In the temptation of Jesus, Satan tries to get Jesus to treat poetry as science.  Jesus passed the test.  Sadly the people who are often called fundamentalists, don't pass this temptation.

Aphorism of the Day, March 6, 2019

Hypocrisy is trying to prove to the public that one is loving God with religious and churchy behaviors and ignoring the second commandment to love one's neighbor as oneself.

Aphorism of the Day, March 5, 2019

What was Jesus accused of in his lifetime?  Being a glutton and winebibber.  Being mad.  Being in league with the devil.  Hanging out with sinners.  Interesting to note the corresponding temptation regarding food/bread, worshiping the devil, committing megalomania, and suicidal madness to throw himself from a high place to be caught by the angels.  Ironically, the devil tempted Jesus to be the "Anti-Christ" or to be lying false presentation of who God's Christ was to be.

Aphorism of the Day, March 4, 2019

The temptation of Jesus presented to Gospel reader the interior struggle of Jesus of Nazareth.  The constitution of the inner self is a constitution of the words as spirit of our interior lives.  We have in how we take on language an inner symbolic network of meanings and some of these meanings become more made flesh than others in how and when they are actualized in body language acts and deeds of our lives.  The temptation scenario presents to us the reality of freedom within each persons interior life.  With interior words each of us hopes to be constituted as a semi-free agent who can control the timing of our lives regarding our bodily habits, our public recognition and our practical submission to our limitations in our bodily lives, i.e., we believe in gravity so we don't throw our bodies off buildings in hopes that angels will catch us.

Aphorism of the Day, March 3, 2019

The transfiguration event was written about after the post-resurrection appearances of Christ and the many experiences of the Risen Christ of who was much better known than Jesus of Nazareth during his lifetime.  How were the seeds of the post-resurrection Christ to be found in retelling the life of Jesus of Nazareth.  In the transfiguration event, the spiritual essence of Jesus lit up his physical body to make his face shine, indicating that he had a resurrection aspect of himself before it happened.

Aphorism of the Day, March 2, 2019

Jesus did not appear in a "cultural vacuum" as an alien; he appeared within the inherited story traditions of the people with whom he resided.  When the story of Jesus was told it had to be told within the story of the heroes of Jewish culture, namely Moses and Elijah.  G.O.A.T. has become the acronym for Greatest of All Time.  Greatness is based upon comparison and the transfiguration event presents two great ones in their own time conferring a surpassing greatness upon Jesus.  Their presence in the visionary event was to agree with the heavenly voice which declared Jesus as God's chosen one.

Aphorism of the Day, March 1, 2019

In the interaction of language about language we use words to name interior geography or what some might call "inscape" and in naming the inside places we use words that come from the language naming experience of the exterior or landscape.  The features of landscape such as light, clouds, elevation, mountain and valley are used as metaphor for how values are generated and formed.  The transfiguration is presented as a landscape event but in the spiritual symbology of the Bible it is chock full of the language of landscape having corresponding inscape events to celebrate the coming to value of what has come to have value, and in the event of the transfiguration, the coming to supreme value of Jesus.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Aphorism of the Day, February 2019

Aphorism of the Day, February 28, 2019

Transfiguration or metamorphosis had both total and phase specific meaning in the event on the mount of the "transfiguration."  Metamorphosis is the entire cyclic change process in life; the eternal return of the sameness in the repetitive of subsequent events which are like what has happened before.  The disciples experienced a "change" in Jesus; they perhaps got a glimpse of what his resurrection body of like before the resurrection.  St.Paul referred to the human spiritual body which would not see corruption.  In the Transfiguration event, perhaps the spiritual body of Jesus was surfacing or shining through his physical body even as the spiritual eyes of the disciples were seeing him through their physical eyes.  What happened immediately after the transfiguration event?  They went down the mountain to the "demon possessed" valley.  We'd rather be in the transfiguration event of butterflies being born out of cocoons rather than the "ugly" phases of larva, pupa and cocoon.  The life of Jesus ran the gamut of metamorphosis but the resurrection proved that the spiritual was driving all of the phases of appearances of the continual transfiguration of life experience.  We can't live on the mountain top but we can know that the spiritual drives the changing becoming of our lives.

Aphorism of the Day, February 27, 2019

"This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him."  This is what the heavenly voice was heard to said in the mystical state in the event of the transfiguration.  Why did Jesus have to be announced as "chosen?"  What does "chosen" mean in the Scripture traditions?  Was Abraham chosen? Jacob chosen?  Joseph chosen?  Moses chosen?  Saul chosen?  Gideon chosen?  David chosen? Is being chosen how the dynamic aspect of the messianic is described?  The divine is manifest within the human and when it happens, it is declared as "God chosen."  Scriptural chosen means that people understand the divinization of someone or something accessible to human beings to elevate humanity toward the higher purposes for humanity.

Aphorism of the Day, February 26, 2019

Theophanies/Epiphanies in the Bible have their won symbolic order.  Mountain top experience representing "high" experience or establishing a hierarchy of valued events in the experience of humanity.  When is a mountain not a mountain?  When it is the symbolic place designated closeness to God which in turn set the hierarchy of value for the person or event which is "on the mountain."  Often biblical mountain means interior "inscape" and not necessarily external "landscape."  With language one can make things more than they seem to be.

Aphorism of the Day, February 25, 2019

Imagine a stack of transparencies with the traces of the events and descriptions of the past visible to those who are adding a new transparency to the top of the stack to relate a current event.  The Hebrew Scriptures provided for the New Testament writers the templates to use to tell the story of Jesus.  The Transfiguration unites many of the traces of the figures and the theophanic atmospherics of the Hebrew Scriptures.  Glory, Shekinah, Light, Clouds, God's Voice, Glowing Faces, Moses, Elijah, Sinai, Carmel, Mountain Top.  The message was the the "old" was affirming the "new," and the New was Jesus Christ for the New Testament Communities.

Aphorism of the Day, February 24, 2019

Imagine translating the beatitude way of living given to oppressed people who had to learn to survive and be winsome with their oppressors to people who are not oppressed.  The beatitudes for non-oppressed people means that such people should be champions against any sort of oppression of people at all.

Aphorism of the Day, February 23, 2019

St. Paul: "Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good."  This is instantiated in the beatitude sayings of Jesus in his recommendation of non-retaliatory forgiveness as the response to hate and curse.  When evil is embodied in the oppressor of any kind, there is the impatience of "justice delayed is justice denied."  Why should we wait for something so important as justice especially if it means protection from bodily harm?  We do not want the terrible dilemma of having to delay justice to wait for the oppressor to be convinced of his ways by the goodness of whom he oppresses.  The passive resistance of Gandhi, Mandela and King had a "good" response in times of delayed justice.  Sometimes the biblical witness seems to look at things in the long run and not the short run.  The belief that God is everlasting meaning that all things will pass, in not a comfort for those who live as the victims of delayed justice.  Pushing the rectification of injustice to eschatological justice in another "afterlife" can wrongly be used as justifying the present injustice.  Patience can be strength to wait for the tyrant to die but who has to be most patient if there is a very slow arc of history towards justice?

Aphorism of the Day, February 22, 2019

People of faith who believe that the correct moral behavior need to be established from some transcendental revelation or humanity has no basis for criticizing atrocity, have to acknowledge that transcendental means the surpassing horizontal quest for universality as each of us speak from a located solidarity with aspirations for declaring what is the best universal behavior for all.  One can say I know how God wants me to behave and the Bible tells me what God wants.  But in saying this, one can naively assume knowing what God wants is so self-evidential that it does not require that one interpret the "universal" from a personal location in history within a particular community that has provided the interpretative framework for understand what is "universal."  Who has the right to speak as an infallible spokesperson for the universal and then assume that all that he or she says will be self evidential in the hearing audience?  Having human discourse means that we have body language actions that comport to the fact that we have and are guided by how we have taken on language.  Having language is the universal and when we use one word, we assume the entire universe of discourse even though we cannot exhaust it because it contains us and not we IT.  From our limited and partial vision within the particular human solidarity, we commit "universal" aspiration in our discourse because we assume the relevance of our particular within the universe of all other particulars, and in so doing we make the case for the maximal benefit for as many language users as possible and so the Golden Rule is uttered as well as the Categorical Imperative of Kant: "Act only in accordance with that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it become a universal law."   What remains is locally adapting the categorical imperative in time and space and in body language actions.  We are always already in need of deciding what is the universal common good beyond local person, family, tribal and national interests.

Aphorism of the Day, February 21, 2019

One should note that St. Paul was not too "carnal" about the resurrection.  The resurrection of the body for him meant the resurrection of the spiritual body.  Such a body would be the belief of the unity of the identity of a person through the changes of time which get fully registered in the demise of the perishable physical body.  One might suspect that many hold the subjective immortality of Christian resurrection in carnal ways wanting a new body in the same way that one had the old body only free from the ticking clock of time and time's effect.  Does one wish for an afterlife of static perfect being or of endless future becoming of surpassing oneself in a future state?  It is always good to pose questions regarding the comprehensiveness, cohesiveness, and consistency of one's metaphorical understanding of the afterlife.

 Aphorism of the Day, February 20, 2019

The beatitudes express the freedom of living beyond the tyranny of being determined by one's past affinities.  I know what and whom I like, and I like whom I know and what I like.  The beatitudes are the moral practice a a new inclusive community; a new experiment in bring Gentile and Jews together in the closeness called fellowship when previous practices of segregation kept people from each other based upon the habits of judging others from one's bias, condemning others as having no future, and loving only those who were familiar.

Aphorism of the Day, February 19, 2019

The beatitudes are the spiritual martial arts attributed to Christ for the winsome behaviors of a minority and persecuted group of people to survive and gain favor with the people who have the power to oppress them.  Forgiveness and the practice of non-retaliation were the winsome rules which required a different kind of personal discipline.  People who turned the other cheek and carried the soldiers' gear for not just one mile but the second mile, willingly, showed the strength of serving without servitude.  The spiritual martial arts of the beatitude was based upon serving the Higher Spirit within in hopes that even the oppressor would be impressed by the God who was being served by the oppressed, so impressed as to be lured to join them.

Aphorism of the Day, February 18, 2019

The "turn the other cheek" advice of the beatitudes is part of the spiritual martial arts and peaceful passive resistance program that the followers of Jesus needed for their survival when they were in a minority.  Fast forward to inquisitional hegemonic Christianity and the times when competing Christians burnt their heretics at the stake.  What happened?  It is easier to romanticize Christians in the minority being forced to practice beatitudinal methods than the Borgia papal Christianity of sheer power in the name of God.  Bad behavior, bad thinking of religious people have created the response of atheists to dismiss all religious discourse as foolishly contradictory and therefore not believable or worthy to embrace.

Aphorism of the Day, February 17, 2019

The Beatitudes in Modern Urban: Let me make lemonade with life's lemons and sugar me Jesus!

Aphorism of the Day, February 16, 2019

To understand the beatitudes one should think about how one has been rebuked in one's comfortable melancholy by a person who is impaired by social or physical circumstances and yet seems to be exuding unspeakable joy.  How can that person seem to be so content, when I in my comfort can't seem to choose to enjoy my comfort?  The blessed state is being able to channel such contentment when it really seems that one has no visible reason to do so.  This says something about the abundant life program that the early church received from Jesus.

Aphorism of the Day, February 15, 2019

Blessing and curses used to be more open and acceptable as is seen in biblical accounts.  The beatitudes seem to overturn the obviousness of the blessing and cursing verification.  One would think that the well-fed, the rich, the powerful are the ones who "verify" the signs of "success" or "blessing."  The words of Jesus in the beatitudes overturns the blessing and curse formula.  Those who seem cursed with poverty, persecution and hunger are those who are declared as blessed.  What's going on in the transvaluation of the blessing and curse formula?  The word of Jesus play havoc with typical human preference for "ideal" conditions.  I suspect this is the appropriation of the "contentment" practice of Paul being expressed in the narrative of Jesus for some people learning how to cope in some difficult times.

Aphorism of the February 14, 2019

The Bible is a collection of writing written in different times and places.  The purpose of the writing was to inculcate a faith identity into the people to whom the writings were written.  People's identities are often formed by what is beneficial and what is woeful.  Blessing and curse are conferred in biblical writings.  Sometimes in appropriating the eternal return of themes embedded in language there are hooks onto which we want to hang our identity and so we appropriate the Bible as being favorable to one's own perspective and condemning of those who disagree with me.  If the Bible can be an "international" book, the interpreters must resist ethnocentric tribalism and understand that like the ideals of the American Declaration Independence, it invites to better selves not found in the peoples of the Bible or in human history.  If we don't understand the invitation to a better future of the Bible we can get bogged down in co-opting for ancient cultural details of chauvinistic practices of all sorts. 

Aphorism of the February 13, 2019

One of the areas of dishonesty through avoidance by Christians with wealth is there assertion of fidelity to the beatitudes.  Affirming the "blessed" state of wealth and comfort and stating the beatitudes as one's "ideals" might leave one in the state of hypocrisy.  It is better not to claim all things biblical as a reflection of one's life, there is however an obvious injunction of Jesus that should be relevant to people of wealth and comfort: To whom much is given; much is required.

Aphorism of the February 12, 2019

About the prehistoric and origins and about extra, non and pre linguistic beings it must be noted that they have human significance because of this phrase in the future anterior tense: They will have come to become language events.

Aphorism of the Day, February 11, 2019

We in American Christianity need to be careful about how casual we are in appropriating the words of the beatitudes as being constituting of our experience.  Such words were called by Nietzsche the "transvaluation" of value; the promotion of slave experience to be definitive of noble values.  We should perhaps appreciate the beatitudes as "coping and survival" values of oppressed people who had to adopt spiritual jujitsu methods of finding dignity in the conditions of mere survival when the social conditions did not allow the free and open practice and expression of their faith.  Oppressed people trying to find dignified survival can relate to the beatitudes more truthfully than the triumphant Christians who now live as those who have "co-opted" the values of the oppressors and don't realize it.

Aphorism of the Day, February 10, 2019

We often romanticize the Gospel fishermen because we project upon them our notion of fishing as a relaxing recreational activity.  So, anyone who would give up the love of fishing to follow Jesus is seen as one with heroic love.  But when hauling fish nets in the family business is the apparent occupation that one is trapped in for the rest of one's life even when one has intellectual and skill sets that remain underdeveloped in the fishing business, seeing Jesus and following him would provide a spiritual mobility, even an escape from an over-determined life.  Jesus surely was a pied piper who called some people from what they perceived was the curse of a "boring" life script.

Aphorism of the Day, February 9, 2019

It turns out that God seems to call people for failure in their own situation even while the traces of their call are revived to find significant relevance many years later.  Isaiah was an unrequited prophet; his message fell on deaf ears, yet many years later Jesus of Nazareth understood the "good news" program of Isaiah to be definitive of his life and the followers of Jesus came to call the life of Jesus "superlatively messianic."

Aphorism of the Day, February 8, 2019

People who are given insights before the time for public acceptance of those insights are called to public irrelevance and being ignored.  After Isaiah's fantastic vision of God and his response to God's call, he realized that he was called to say things that would be ignored and not understood by his audience.  It takes a visionary faith to be called to be irrelevant to people in one's own time and place but it is the lot of some people to initiate the tomorrow which they themselves will never see.

Aphorism of the Day, February 7, 2019

Ponder the accounts of the "appearings" of Jesus/Christ.  One notes that Jesus was present to Pontius Pilate but to what effect?  St. Paul wrote about the appearings or re-appearings of Christ after he had died on the cross.  How Christ appeared to him was significantly different than how Christ re-appeared to others.  St. Paul did not regard the appearance of Christ to him to be an "inferior" sighting because of the way it changed his life.  We do not hear about appearances of Christ to people who then say they reject the significance of him to their lives.  The appearings of Christ are nuanced with the effects of what these appearances did to the lives of the people who experienced them.  The sacraments involve the linking of the appearances of Christ within the regular "rites of passage" issues of people, not to exhaust how Christ can appear to anyone; rather the sacraments encourage anticipation of the serendipitous sublime presence to arise with God's playful "peek a boo, I see you." 

Aphorism of the Day, February 6, 2019

An adjective for God is "holy," which means to be set apart.  So God is so difference as to be unique in the most unique sense of the word unique.  And if every snowflake is unique, then God is the biggest in snowflake-like uniqueness.  Each person in claiming holiness is to discover how one is unique or set apart.  But if being set apart means that there is no inter-communication between beings then we would not even be able to speak about being set apart.  Being set apart happens within the myriad community of all different things and beings.  Life is learning how to be holy in the sense of being unique toward the maximum benefit of the whole.

Aphorism of the Day, February 5, 2019

From now on you will be fishing for and catching people.  This is a Jesus saying for evangelism, certainly not a metaphor to be taken literally since a fish would not be one who would want to be caught and served up as the food for humans.  But when a grand child charms a grandparents one might remark that the winsomeness of the child, "hooks the doting grandparents and reels them in" and with such winsomeness is able to manipulate grandparents to perform copious acts of reward by being charmed.  Evangelism might be simply learning how to be winsome in the presentation of God's love to other people such that they are "charmed" by the charismatic encounter to make a decision to respond to the love of God.

Aphorism of the Day, February 4, 2019

Epiphany is another name for a "call" from God.  The Bible gives examples of such epiphanies and we can conclude that there are as many epiphanies and calls as there are people and times and places.  Such assumption would follow from divine omnipresence or Christ being all and in all.

Aphorism of the Day, February 3, 2019

Paul's "poem" to love may as well be a poem to what is humanly impossible and refer to possible omni-presence of God who is love and lures us to understand more and more what it means to be loving in better ways.

Aphorism of the Day, February 2, 2019

St. Paul wrote about love and "omni-faith" in the phrase "love believes all things."  This is not to say that "love believes all things have equal value."  Such great love is an inclusive belief because it expresses an honor for the Freedom of everything to happen; it is the freedom of everything coming to language that can come to language in the experience of any theoretical language user.  Such great love is honor the honest conditions of freedom but such love can also inspire the best values of the conditions of freedom, like justice itself.

Aphorism of the Day, February 1, 2019

The way in which one tolerates the reading of much of the Bible is through the lens of hermeneutic charity, which means we are forgiving of people in the past who have not attained the same level of justice which we have regarding the dignity and equality of all people.  When we read Scriptural rules regarding women and slaves, we engage in comparative horror.  We reflect that if this is the way people were treated in the past as a matter of their "law," what must life had been for people before they had such laws.  That such laws governing the treatment of women and slaves was seen as an advance, means something much worse must have preceded it.  We moderns will need hermeneutic charity from our future readers as well.  One can think about what was regarded as an era of peace and liberation in the 1960's in culture and songs, and as we look at the words and songs of that time we now see patriarchal sexism there as well as many views of the world that have come to be regarded as not fully enlightened.  We can have hermeneutic charity without perpetuating the virtue of the past that has become today's vice. (Joseph Campbell: Yesterday virtue is tomorrow's vice).

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Aphorism of the Day, January 2019

Aphorism of the Day, January 31, 2019

When events of love happen within a person they seem so right and providential that one in poetic utterance one exclaims that such must have been preordained and designated from the beginning, wherever and whenever the beginning was.  Love seems preordained when it happens.

Aphorism of the Day, January 30, 2019

Love is one of those trillion megaton words; it has exploded and its energy is diffusely omni-present but it does seek specificity in human situation and testimony of the same even if comes in a meaningfully corny Country luv song.

Aphorism of the Day, January 29, 2019

St. Paul famous praise of "love" is proof that the biblical language is mainly poetic and aesthetic.  Even the historical narrative with actual references to seemingly actual people and places are used for spiritual teaching goals.  When one speaks of love, it is a meaningful word but rather imprecise.  Most everyone knows what it means but knows the meaning of it in highly personal and individual ways.  When one moves from the general meaning of love to the more individual experiences of it, it moves into the subjective meanings and truths.  Subjective truths cannot be general truths and so when religionists present religious meanings as empirically verified truths they should not be surprised at the rejection.

Aphorism of the Day, January 28, 2019

St. Paul wrote some incredible things about what/whom he seems to make a person in his 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians.  What does it mean to say "love believes all things?"  Is love an impersonal "virtue" or is love a personified force?  By saying such a thing, he is implying that to invoke the word love is to speak about the most valuable value of all namely, namely the force of such a positive regard for existence that "believing" all things means that regard is given toward everything that could possibly come to language by a language user or language users.  Too much of theology is built upon the negative or what we don't believe about God because we hold that God is too big to presume that we know how and what to believe.  Love is believing all things because it is the affirming of the positive plenitude of everything that has and will become.  Love is the cure for those who commit quietism and apophatic minimalism for fear of unwieldy involvement with everything.

Aphorism of the Day, January 27, 2019

Propriety can be regarded as a sentimental flowery flattery language used to impress people about one's cleverness or propriety might be regarded as saying and acting in the way that fits a situation in the best possible way.  In this sense propriety is good news and Gospel.  One should seek propriety in the way in which words come to structure one's life so one can live good news for others.

Aphorism of the Day, January 26, 2019

I would like to add to the meaning of Gospel, the rhetorical goal of the belle-lettrists, namely propriety.  Gospel means enlightened and wise propriety, or saying, writing or doing the best possible language manifestation in the particular situation such that the poor have good news, the captives are freed even as the captors are rebuked and the oppressed are freed and the oppressors rebuked and the blind are given the understanding eyes to see what is truly good for them.

 Aphorism of the Day, January 25, 2019

The conversion of Paul may be the most important turning point in the Jesus Movement  Why?  Paul as Saul opposed the nascent Jesus rabbinical movement as being heretical within Judaism.  Saul not only wanted to excommunicate followers of Jesus from the synagogue and Temple; he wanted to remove them from life.  The threat of their success obviously troubled him greatly.  Saul snapped when his life situation devoted to keeping the commandments found him trying to justify a holy war to kill some heretics.  Saul internal condition made him vulnerable to a major event.  It happened on the road to Damascus when the one who was devoted to love and forgiveness even at his death, call Saul to a mission of love.  When Saul became Paul, he became the architect of Gentile Christianity and his mission was subtly written into the later Gospel stories to highlight the arc of a message out of Israel reaching the entire known world.

Aphorism of the Day, January 24, 2019

The self understanding of Jesus about his ministry? Bring good news to the poor.  Release to the captives.  Recovery of sight to the blind.  Proclaim the year of God's favor.  Jesus of Nazareth in three years of known active ministry was limited to doing this in very context specific ways.  To do this in a general way to the vast need requires that the Gospel become institutionalized, politically activated and complete systemic for maximal effect.  The church has become comfortable with handing out context specific band aids in a world that is hemorrhaging from a great bleeding wound of need.  The Gospel has to convert toward great systemic healing acts to ably do the Gospel healing that is needed in our world.  Will our world heal if 26 people own equal to what half of the rest of the world own?

Aphorism of the Day, January 23, 2019

Evangelicals have reduced the meaning of the Gospel or Good News (Evangel=Gospel=Good New=euangelion=basar) to preaching about "accepting Christ" but what is forgotten is that the Gospel for Jesus meant the "doing of the good news" as defined by the prophet Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."  The messianic action=anointing is about having the power to make good news happen in the lives of people who need it.

Aphorism of the Day, January 22, 2019

One result of success is the institutionalization of success to make it further accessible and available to more people.  In the process of institutionalization, the truth of administration subtly becomes more important than the original attractive effervescence.  What happens is that cookie cutter membership ensues and the institution says to many who do not fit the molds, "I have no need of you.....unless you can contort yourself to fit one of the institutional molds."  And so people get locked out.  It happened in the history of churches.

 Aphorism of the Day, January 21, 2019

It is easy to assume that "gospel" originated in the Jesus Movement but it is as old as the prophet Isaiah.  Good news or "basar"  is what the prophet said the Spirit of the Lord was on him to bring.  And when Jesus read Isaiah, he understood that bringing "basar" or good news summed up the purpose of his life.

Aphorism of the Day, January 20, 2019

Consistent with the first verse of John's Gospel of the Word, being God, Jesus is Word in flesh and as Word in flesh he is a sign and a sign maker pointing to the fact that language is inseparable from human experience as anything that can be known. In the trivial and the crises, all occurs within the field of language users being used by Language.

Aphorism of the Day, January 19, 2019

St. Paul called Christ as "all and in all?"  How could that be possible?  In the Gospel of John Christ is the omni-linguistic reality of everything that we can know.  The WORD was God.  By privileging Word as co-extensive with even knowing that we exist or that we are language users, we posit through having words that we have words as language users and the omni-language user would the total possible discursive universe.  That God is Word and we are in God's image because we are word users.

Aphorism of the Day, January 18, 2018

Today, the feast of the Confession of St. Peter, one might note that the Gospel presentation of the same is not without poignant irony.  Peter confesses Jesus as the "Messiah" and is rebuked by Jesus when his view of the Messiah does not line up with what Jesus tells him about his imminent suffering and death.   Peter and the disciples in the Gospels are presented as naive and unenlightened as teaching examples all disciples in the process of coming to know about the mystery of Christ as it was known in Jesus.  The Gospels are teaching stories which use the disciples as examples of any disciple in the process of coming into the higher mystagogy of the Risen Christ.

Aphorism of the Day, January 17, 2019

The Gospel of John is a narrative form of the Pauline and metaphorically poetic exclamation regarding Christ as "all and in all."  The Book of Signs within the Gospel of John presents the sign as a faith switch that occurs within a person something what happens when one switches from seeing the duck to seeing the rabbit in the famous op art picture.  Where is Christly presence to be found?  Everywhere including a wedding, stormy sea, starving crowd, blind person, lame person, in foreigners and strangers, at a well of water and in death.  Being born again is having one's faith switch engage to perceive another kingdom, another reality at work in the midst of the seeming quotidian or everlastingness with everydayness.

Aphorism of the Day, January 16, 2019

In spite of John's Gospel, Irenaeus said the "Plain reading," was the preferred reading for Scripture.  John's Gospel uses the term "sign" to refer to the acts of Jesus which defy the natural laws of causation.  Sadly, the aesthetic and artistic value of the John's Gospel has been diminished because empirical verification has been the sole arbiter of what is "true," even while in experience we have more honest evocative experiences because of aesthetic and artistic truth.  Why have we sold out the incredible value of aesthetic truth, artistic truth of beautiful moving truth?  John's Gospel perhaps uses the notion of the sign for people to "switch" their interpretative behavior from the literal to the spiritual.  This is back up by the continual scorn that Jesus shows for his interlocutors who are "crassly" literal, e.g. Nicodemus trying to get back into his mother's womb, the disciples thinking that Lazarus is "sleeping," and the Pharisees reflecting on what "blindness" means.

Aphorism of the Day, January 15, 2019

In the mysticism of the early church the historical Jesus was seen as lifted up on the cross something like a rocket to become the Risen Christ who poetically was "all and in all."  Such an ascension from particular Jesus of Nazareth to universal Christ is indicative of the continuum between the particular and the general or universal.  The "re-entry" of the universal Christ back into the particulars of each person's life is a testimony to the adaptability of the Gospel message.  If my particulars of the Risen Christ are not yours because you have different context and setting, then so be it.  However, one should not elevate the relativity of one's differences in the particular to overwhelm the universal Christ who is "all and in all."  Once institutions, nationality, politics and other particulars are elevated to the universal, people find reasons to fight and disagree and become divided over having a Common Christ.  To which I say, "Rise to the universal to protect oneself from the pettiness that can occur because of the prison of the particular."

Aphorism of the Day, January 14, 2019

On the scale of significant problems, Mary had a rather trivial one but important if one is helping in some way to cater a wedding in Cana of Galilee.  What was the problem?  They've run out of wine.  Guests are going to think the hosting family was unprepared and it will be major family embarrassment.  Seems that Jesus had at first, a "mom, it's no big deal" kind of response.  Mary, despite his dismissive response, put Jesus in charge of getting the wine.  No late night convenience stores open, Jesus did his first "sign" in perhaps hypnotically bringing the feast members to agree that anything served in a wine goblet was wine.  And water can taste winely, if wine is a standard of what tastes best.  And if one is honest, water is the "wine" of all beverages.  People who live on wine get drunk; people who live on water are properly hydrated for living.  The sign of God's incarnation in Jesus is that God being with us reaches to all of the trivial things of life too, even running out of wine at the wedding party.

Aphorism of the Day, January 13, 2019

Jesus was with humanity; he became so much "with humanity" that he died with humanity, because every human being must die.  Jesus is God being so baptized, so immersed into humanity that he  even went to the terminal place of humanity, death itself.

Aphorism of the Day, January 12, 2019

The baptism of Jesus presented as a Trinitarian event.  Jesus is declared to be Son by a Heavenly Parent and the Dove Spirit descends upon Jesus.  That Jesus underwent baptism by John in John's community is a sign that he saw himself in solidarity with a particular group of people.  Baptism is the ritual of solidarity with God and one's community with solidarity being expressed in vows: vows of the baptized to God and the community, vows of the community to the baptized and faith in the vows of the Trinity to initiate the baptized in the "holy" family.

Aphorism of the Day, January 11, 2019

The Spanish language departure blessing for good bye (God be with you) means Go with God.  The name of Jesus borrowed from Isaiah was Emmanuel or God with us. In the solidarity ritual with humanity expressed when Jesus was baptized by John, ironically we have the divine expression of Humanity with God.  God with us as humanity; Humanity with God.  This expresses the reality of the divine as a human experience.  The incarnation is the admission that within human experience there is the designation of such an exalted horizon that seems so extra-human in our experience as to be called the Divine.  So the incarnation is the acceptance of human experience as a valid way to come to know what is very best about human experience, namely, the divine or the exalted Horizon expressing the best and greatest.

Aphorism of the Day, January 10, 2019

People who deride baptism for its irrational silliness should be careful to be consistent and rid themselves of all "silly" significant initiatory ritual of human solidarity.  It is impossible to do; might be better and more humble to say "my silly initiatory is not yours.  For those who admit that they are embedded in the web of language, they also must admit they practice all sorts of initiatory rituals which bind them within the communal solidarities of their lives even if they absent themselves like a hermit from physical presence with others.  The stealthy tether of language co-opts one everywhere and cannot be escaped from the always already coding of community participation.

Aphorism of the Day, January 9, 2019

Since people have language, they are made for solidarity.  Baptism is a body language rite of human solidarity aided by the helpful discourse of grace need for successful human solidarity.

Aphorism of the Day, January 8, 2019

Baptism has been both an active and passive rite of human solidarity.  Passive when it is ministered to infants who have no choice but to have their lives through their linguistic words thoroughly coded with the taxonomic practice of their adult mentors.  As a child becomes more active in language use, he or she can embrace the received baptismal values in the development freedom which occurs with aging.

Aphorism of the Day, January 7, 2019

Why baptism?  Why the baptism of Jesus by John?  One could ask, why human solidarity and human solidarity rituals?  To be human is to have language and be organized by having language.  The essence of language is communication among language users.  Language is also visual in body acts and rituals are body language acts signifying solidarity which expresses the personal identity of an individual within a community.  The mutual dynamic between an individual and community has both the promise of aid and support and the crisis of conflict and disagreement.  The ritual of baptism is a declaration that the group ego will be checked to receive one more person who will change the group even as the individual ego is checked in submission to the solidarity identity.  Baptism signifies the continual human dynamic of individual in community and community in the individual.  Baptism is different from "secular" initiation ritual in the acknowledgement of the need of interior Spirit grace to achieve the beneficial marriage of individual and community.

Aphorism of the Day, January 6, 2019

The Epiphany is referred to as the Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles.  Gentiles comes from Hebrew words meaning nations in a general sense but sometimes specifically refers to people other than the people of Israel.  The Epiphany sums up the paradigm shift in religion and theology for the Jesus Movement which began as a party within Judaism and became separated "structurally" from Judaism when the theology of Gentiles embracing Jesus as the Messiah became definitive of the Jesus Movement without the requirements of the ritual purity observances that characterized those who frequented the synagogue as an expression of their practice of religion.  Christians, who had a Jewish upbringing, found it difficult to remain ritually pure in their piety as they embraced Gentile followers of Christ who did not observe the rituals of Judaism. The Christian Movement purported to be a Movement of the interior event of having the Risen Christ realized in oneself through the Holy Spirit.  This interior event gave one freedom to dispense with the piety requirements of synagogue Judaism, even while it began the process of Christians beginning to develop their own ritual piety.  Becoming a follower for Christ meant a change in ritual piety.  The change in ritual piety requirements signaled that a paradigm shift had occurred.

Aphorism of the Day, January 5, 2019

What about the motive of the "unrequited" in New Testament writings?  The preachers who saw the success of the Gospel for many Gentiles were disappointed that the Gospel was offered to and not accepted by many in the synagogues.  One cannot discount the experience of incommensurability between the church and synagogue which factors into the New Testament writings.  The paradigm shift to the Gentile populace meant that the Jesus Movement and the synagogue were using the same words but the words had different meanings within the different paradigms, e.g., God as Father,Son and Spirit and Messiah as Jesus.

Aphorism of the Day, January 4, 2019

The appearance of the magi in the Gospel after the writings of St. Paul were an apology for letting the Gentiles into the stream of salvation history without full ritual compliance means that wise people everywhere are to follow the natural signs to find the birth of Christ within.  Like the story of Simurgh in Attar's "Parliament of the Birds," so is the meaning of the birth of Christ as the discovery of the always already image of the divine upon each person.  The birds of the Parliament decided to journey to find the mystical "Simurgh" and they came back to their original location and found out that "Simurgh" was themselves, viz., Simurgh means "30 birds," and that how many they were in number.  The wise travel long distances to discover the "original" blessing that has been so close but missed.  The image of the divine upon each is the Christ nature which resides like a Trojan House within each of us and is ready at any vulnerable moment to break out within us with an Epiphany.

Aphorism of the Day, January 3, 2019

The magi symbolize the long journey that Gentiles made to receive the "Christ event."  The heavens declaring God's glory in the form of a star became the guide to bring these foreigners to Christ.  The story of the magi evokes one of the many "non-standard" journeys that are taken on the way the epiphany of the realization of the Christ nature within oneself.  The journey to Epiphany has as many paths as there are travelers.  Each person is to follow the "lodestar" to one's highest insight.

Aphorism of the Day, January 2, 2019

When someone has an epiphany he or she experiences a revealing, an uncovering of something hitherto unknown.  An epiphany marks human experience with life changing results.  It is an event which does not let one's life be the same and it is an event which requires response to a new state of enlightenment.  The Epiphany as it has come to be known in Christian faith community sums of the effects of the life of Jesus Christ for the world.  The world couldn't and hasn't been the same since Christ has been manifested in many different ways to many different people.  And the Epiphany is still ongoing.

Aphorism of the Day, January 1, 2019

On the feast of the Holy Name one can observe the competing dynamics of the Gospel writings  There is great care to present Jesus and his family as fully observant Jews in the ritual life of his nascent community; at the same the Gospels present Jesus as a radical reformer of the practices of Judaism of his time such that the basis of the separation of synagogue and the Jesus Movement is "anachronistically" presaged.  The Gospels were written as "we want to be the legitimate successor of the Hebrew Scripture tradition" even while we have broken with some of the basic requirements of Judaic identity enforced in the practice of the synagogue.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Aphorism of the Day, December 2018

Aphorism of the Day, December 31, 2018

Stories invite elaboration in their re-telling and their application in new contexts.  Sometimes we are so fascinated with the story, we might neglect to consider the teaching goal of the story by the original writer.  Case in point:  The magi.  They became the Three Kings when the attempt was made to line it up with Hebrew Scripture motifs.  They became "three" in number when identified with the three different gifts, and probably lost was the details of the likely caravan of many who would have traveled together in their time.  But stories don't need to include all of the practical details.  The magi eventual attained names and places of origin.  Melchior, Balthazar and Caspar.  And for lack of scenery space in church chancels they get placed at the manger with the shepherds and the sheep.  But what did the Gospel writers intend?  The Epiphany or the manifestation of Christ to the "nations."  The magi signified that Christ was God universally offered to everyone.  The star that people follow is the interior star of the image of the divine within each person that locates the manger of Christ within one's heart.

Aphorism of the Day, December 30, 2018

In the beginning was all of the possible Scripts of life and from all possible Scripts the script of freedom resulted in some actual scripts coming into being and some actual scripts will come into being in the future.  People are scripts who have scripts and though we have our limits, we have within those limits, significant freedom to choose the scripts which we want to guide our lives.  Like an very particular actor, one can reject scripts which are not fitting.

Aphorism of the Day, December 29, 2018

"And the Word was God.  All things came into being through the Word."  There is a world outside of words but one has to use words to say and realize it.  One does not even escape words in claiming an "independent" Signified.

Aphorism of the the Day, December 28, 2018

"Nice play, Shakespeare," is often said in jest and irony because we regard Shakespeare to be the premiere playwright of the English language.  A chief biblical metaphor might be God as the Playwright who has Word as a Divine Equal because Word is the means of speaking living scripts of events and occasion into existence within human experience, or as Heidegger wrote, "Language is the House of Being."  Being would be "an empty space" if the walls and ceilings and roofs of language did not tell us it was there.  If God is the eternal Word who has spoken our life scripts into being known as life scripts by human actors, we the actors live trying to interpret the meaning of the original Playwright.  The limits that we have are the language products of speech, writing, interpreting what our external and internal senses process and our body language deeds.  As actors we have freedom to interpret the script given to us and we do so by the mutual influence of co-actors.  If God is the eternal Word and we are Word products/producers, we owe it to God to be sublime language used and users.

Aphorism of the Day, December 27, 2018

The Book of Proverbs are words in the quest of Wisdom.  For the writer of Proverbs Wisdom is a Divine manifestation who says: "The LORD created me at the beginning of his work,
the first of his acts of long ago."  If Word is God from the beginning and all things come into being through Word, that is existence as it can be humanly known, then the proper ordering of words would be called Wisdom.  Wisdom is the invitation in life to make the very best possible arrangement of words in our speech, writing and body language actual in lives of love and justice.

Aphorism of the Day, December 26, 2018

St. Stephen is probably responsible in his death for the conversion of Saul.  Saul knew the law and the commandment, "thou shalt not kill."  And he found himself in the banal normalcy of participating in the stoning of Stephen, a "heretic" to what Saul thought was God's Judaism.  But when the background banality of killing Stephen was foregrounded into Saul's conscience the contradiction made him vulnerable to his Christophany on the road to Damascus.  When his participation in murder in such a casual way lost in an anonymity that one receives in a mob, Saul entire psychical life cracked.  And he was put back together again by experiencing forgiveness.  He was "fortunate" that there was  not a justice system which charged him as a co-conspirator in murder, convict him and punish him.  But forever in a state of forgiveness, Paul referred to himself as the "chief of sinners."

Aphorism of the Day, December 25, 2018

Before Bethlehem was written about in the Gospels, the birth of Risen Christ happened in the lives of many people.  And it kept happening and it created communities in many places.  And these communities wanted to teach the mysticism of the birth of Christ into their lives to anyone who would want to have this experience.  The Christmas stories are teaching stories about the mystical birth of Christ into the lives of the willing to let it be according to God's word.

Aphorism of the Day, December 24, 2018

Interesting Trinitarian problem arises when appropriating names for Jesus from the prophet Isaiah.  A child has been born for us who shall be Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.  Certainly one can say that Jesus is the original church "Father," but the Everlasting Father title would more likely designate another member of the Christian Trinity.  

Aphorism of the Day, December 23, 2018

The ascendancy of the "plain reading" of biblical texts coupled with modern historicism and scientific method has led to the diminishing of the poetic and mystagogic appropriation of the biblical writings and so poetic discourse is misread as empirical verification.  And we're still looking for unicorns.

Aphorism of the Day, December 22, 2018

The Gospel preachers and writers were very inventive in their appeals to the members of the community of John the Baptist to become followers of Jesus in John's posthumous days.  If John the Baptist was able to recognize Jesus when both he and Jesus were still in the womb, that is quite some sign.

Aphorism of the Day, December 21, 2018

If followers of John the Baptist were wondering if they should follow Jesus, what appeal would convince them?  How about gestational John the gymnast?  When the mother of John, Elizabeth met with Mary who was with child, John the gestational gymnast in Elizabeth leapt in recognition of Mary and the One whom she carried.  So the pre-born John recognized the pre-born Jesus.  This is why followers of John the Baptist should move on and follow Jesus.

Aphorism of the Day, December 20, 2018

He has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.  Mary's prayer is a prayer of the lowly for an enhanced sense of esteem that can only come from realizing that the over-shadowing Spirit has birthed within oneself the divine presence, or the Christ who is all and in all, rises to enhanced recognition in the soul.

Aphorism of the Day, December 19, 2018

It is interesting to note the aspirational use of the present perfect tense in the Magnificat.  "HE" (God) has shown strength, has brought down, has filled, has scattered....  Faith is proclaiming the not yet as the already will of God because faith is always pointed toward the perfect direction of Hope.  This is perhaps why people of faith come off as Quixotic because they choose to express aspiration in the direction of utopia rather than dystopia.  The utopian inspires as different kind of present action than the perpetual focus upon dystopia.  Dystopia is the fearful vision which can inspire actuarial wisdom for current living because freedom permits negative outcomes life based upon dystopia breed perpetual cynicism and the misanthropic.

Aphorism of the Day, December 18, 2018

The Bible is a collection of writings which developed within diverse communities even while there is a unity of motifs and genre.  The marvelous/miraculous birth motif is a repeated motif to retroactively extolle why a certain person became great.  Such motifs are expressed in the words like, "when you were still in the womb I knew you."  Marvelous and miraculous birth motifs are also accompanied with the genre of songs of praise, e.g., Hannah, Zechariah, Mary and Simeon.  These songs proclaim the special providence of the newly born and the vindication of those who have suffered.

Aphorism of the Day, December 17, 2018

Often Isaac, Samuel, John the Baptist and Jesus are presented as those who had marvelous or miraculous births.  This is probably a mischaracterization since births happen in the natural ways that they do, i.e, in how baby arrives from inside of mother to the outside world.  The marvelous or miraculous or immaculate conceptions seem to be the issue.  When a great person, an unsurpassed great person is born, then the story of the origin of  must be that the divine necessarily was involved in some providential way at the origin of a child or the child conception.  In a strange way, post-Pentecostal Christianity changed the meaning of conception stories.  Each person is over-shadowed by the Holy Spirit to have the Risen Christ conceived/born within one's inner life as it is constituted by words, which is why Christ is also called The WORD who was with God and who was God from the beginning (as human know beginning because they first have language).

Aphorism of the Day, December 16, 2018

John the Baptist is presented by the Gospel writer as one who did not have a Messiah Complex.  He is presented as the one who pointed to Jesus the Messiah who could do an inside job upon us.  Surely such presentation stemmed from the mystical experience of the Risen Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.  This mystical practice and understanding of the same came to be presented in the Gospel story form and John the Baptist is viewed as the bridge to Jesus.

Aphorism of the Day, December 15, 2018

The Gospels record that people asked John the Baptist if he were the Messiah?  What does this mean?  The presence of the question reveals that people were expecting the Messiah.  That John was considered a candidate for being the Messiah meant that he must have made a significant impact upon the people of his era such that he would be a "contender?"  How did John characterize the Messiah in contrast to his own ministry?  John was a "water baptizer," and Jesus was a "Spirit baptizer."  The Christian Messiah was the Risen Christ born in the lives of people after the conceiving event of being over-shadowed by the Holy Spirit.  One can see in the discourse of John the Baptist, the words of the early church explaining how they understood their mysticism.

Aphorism of the Day, December 14, 2018

The stinging harsh words of John the Baptist and Jesus have to be reassessed in light of them being the oracles of the same being channeled by early church preachers and writers who lived after the church/synagogue split.  In the wake of immediate separation, the words are perhaps harsher and the historical consequence of the harshness has been manifest in how Christian majorities treated Jewish minorities.

Aphorism of the Day, December 13, 2018

John the Baptist says to a crowd, "You brood of vipers..."  This is like saying you offspring of that serpent who deceived Adam and Eve, a rather harsh judgment indeed.  This raises the issues of the harsh pronouncements of prophets against their own religious and political establishments in their time.  There is the sentiment that one can criticize the members of one's own family but one comes to the defense of one's family, even if flawed, when outsiders criticize a family member.  John the Baptist and Jesus were Jews offering prophetic criticism of the religious authorities of the Jews in their own time, but when they appear in the Gospels, they are presented by members of the Jesus Movement who have left or are leaving or have been excommunicated by the synagogue.  Are the words of John the Baptist and Jesus then out of context when they are presented by members who have left the synagogue?  One can note how Gospel words have been used by Church and State to mistreat Jewish minorities, and therefore it is very important note the different missions of Judaism and Christianity which came after their separation.  The ancient separation and the rhetoric of that separation must not be used for oppression of another community.  Any oppression betrays a belief in the providential winsomeness of the message to the people for whom the message comes to benefit.

Aphorism of the Day, December 12, 2018

The Gospels are discourses of the early Christians asking, "How did we get to where we are?"  And where were they?  They were a burgeoning movement with no signs of decreasing and they were in need of "origin" discourses to explain to new members how they had come to be the movement that they had become.  How did they become separated from the synagogue?  In part the separation began with John the Baptist and his community which were a separation movement within Judaism which started as a radical reform but became a "proto-church" when John was gone and when members of his community made their way to the communities of Christ.

Aphorism of the Day, December 11, 2018

John the Baptist as the bridge to Jesus can also be seen a bridge that was burned for followers of Christ ever being able to return to Judaism.  John is quoted as saying that the ax was lying at the root of the tree (of Judaism) ready to be a stump into which Gentile Christianity would be grafted.  One can find Paul's theology of Gentile Christianity represented in the ministry of John the Baptist.  John the Baptist is a polemical figure who is presented as one who prepared the way for the separation of the church and synagogue.

Aphorism of the Day, December 10, 2018

Providence or favorable aftermath sometimes clouds or overturns the stark reality of what actually happened.  John the Baptist as an itinerant firebrand prophet who gathered crowds during the time of Roman occupation was a threat to the rather tenuous situation for the Jewish religious coalition of the Sanhedrin that wanted to avoid any gathering of crowds which would bring Roman disapproval.  The fact that John drew crowds before Jesus drew crowds was a prelude to the popularity of Jesus being interpreted by the Romans as an insurrection which needed to stopped by removing the leader through crucifixion. 

Aphorism of the Day, December 9, 2018

The church and any organization can accrue much in our histories.  We can begin to carry lots of baggage and slowly the task of carrying our baggage make us forget that we are really here to make the journey directly to God; we are not here to do luggage shopping.

Aphorism of the Day, December 8, 2018

The importance of John the Baptist was articulated by the early church as it explicated the outcome of the success of Jesus Christ in his post-resurrection mode.  In face of the rejection of Christ by many in the synagogues, the community of John the Baptist were more likely to convert to the Jesus Movement and so John the Baptist and his community are presented as a "seamless" transition to the Jesus Movement.  The emphasis upon "individual" repentance for spiritual validation rather than the automatic validation through birth into Judaism was a prelude to the individual faith event that Paul saw as the validation of Gentile inclusion in salvation history.  John the Baptist's stress on "individualism" in matters of faith was seen as a set up for the Jesus Movement which moved far beyond the synagogue community.

Aphorism of the Day, December 7, 2018

Repentance is a word that for some has a bad reputation.  It is associated with the one's past sins for which one is supposed to grovel in penitential reparations.  The word itself is very "futuristic."  The Greek word is "meta-noia," or the after mind, the future mind or as St. Paul wrote, "be transformed by the renewal of your mind."  Repentance is literally the renewal of one's mind which expresses what education really means.  Such a view is based upon the location of the "mind" as being a command center which works with the emotions and the will to expedite what one actually does with the entire body language of one's life.  The mind might be an interior place where the synthesis of language events collects information and creates the interior hierarchies which results in the volitional expression of the priorities of one's life to the point of driving the words and deeds of one's life toward the coalescing of the character of one's life.

 Aphorism of the Day, December 6, 2018

In hagiography, the most made-over saint of all is probably Nicholas of Myra who after many cultural make-overs to be the Dutch Sinterclaus, became the most famous secular saint in the world, the commercial world.  One could say he is the Mad Saint, aka the Madison Avenue saint whose Americanization has elevated him to rivaling popularity with the Christ Child at Christmas.  Santa Claus has been exported around the world as lots of country need American Christmas excess to build all of the trinkets which the mythical Santa Claus delivers, not with angels, but with flying reindeer and elves.  If one believes that the Virgin Birth is fantastical, what about Santa Claus?  At what age does a child reach doubt about the reliability of empirical verification of Santa in your household?

Aphorism of the Day, December 5, 2018

One of the schizoidal results of people who limit themselves to biblical piety or who try to privilege biblical language to equality with empirical verification in all applications, is that one is trying to cram rounded poetry into the square hole of places where it does not fit. "All flesh shall see the salvation of God."  What does that literally mean except a poetic aspiration for everyone who ever is born to know an enlightened original health as intended by the One who is the greatest?  What is empirical about aspirations is that people have aspirations which come to poetic verse; what is expressed in poetry is the fact that people are constructed to have all manner of imaginations which function for their existence.  The human task partly involves how to weave the imaginations as they arise out of the great imagination maker, Language itself.

Aphorism of the Day, December 4, 2018

The long history of religious faith in societies at different times means that institutions grow and accrue lots of extraneous practices and pieties which subtly become elevated in importance even to the point of covering up what is central to faith.  Reformers like to return to the quickest route, "as the crow" flies.  John the Baptist was regarded to be such a reformer; no more long journey on a curvy path with detours, no more high mountains or low valleys to impede the direct arrival.  If John the Baptist were a piece of machinery, according to the Isaiah passage, he would be a "bulldozer."  He was to make the path straight and direct.

 Aphorism of the Day, December 3, 2018

How does the Gospel of Luke describe the ascendance of John the Baptist in becoming a "bridge" person to Jesus of Nazareth?  Luke wrote, "the word of God came to John."  The word was "like" the words of the prophets but it was unique in its "liturgical" innovation.  John made everyone including the Jews go through what had heretofore been required of proselytes to Judaism; he made everyone undergo "mikvah" or baptism in the living waters of the Jordan.  To treat his fellow Jews as proselytes to Judaism was a prologue to the redefinition of the church being the new Israel.  John could be seen as a "bridge" to Jesus, but he also could be understood as one who began to initiate the re-interpretation of the themes of Hebrew Scriptures in a way that eventually could no longer be called Judaism in Gentile Christianity.

Aphorism of the Day, December 2, 2018

Jesus said that the trees on the leaves change and they mark a seasonal change and we can read these natural signs.  He also invited us to learn how to read more complicated signs found in human life cycles both personally and as communities of people.  The oft fickleness of human behaviors, though repetitive in nature, are not also so easy to read and predict as are the cycles of nature.  A goal of living is to attain the gradual actuarial wisdom from our observation of probable outcomes so that we can wisely ponder how to respond to the next transitions which await us in our lives.

Aphorism of the Day, December 1, 2018

The cultural effect of deconstructive postmodernism is to live on the surface of everything.  Why?  In the postmodern world, there is no "inner world of ideals," and no "deep structures" because the access to the "inner world" can only be achieved by generating more "surface" signifiers about the "previously known signified" within the classic and modern systems of processing reality.  The solution may be to re-hierarchize the importance of the language signifiers regarding interiority.  With language we can elevate the importance of the language of the value of interiority (since language is essentially INTERIORITY),  particularly as signifiers represent human solidarities which speak on behalf of what love and justice can mean for everyone.

Quiz of the Day, March 2019

Quiz of the Day, March 25, 2019 What was the context for the Magnificat of Mary? a. She sang it to Gabriel at the Annunciation b. She ...