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The Gospel According to Judas - A Handbook on Life

Hard Knocks

> From this.

Why is life so hard, then, if God is good? There is a method to this mystery, in fact, more than one. To quote from the movie A League of Their Own: “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” Life, though, everyone does do it, else they wouldn’t be a part of everyone? Missing the point. It’s that the hard makes things worth it, right? Climbing the mountain a different sense of things than landing there by helicopter? It comes to the same logic why things are imperfect: you will appreciate it more. You get more with less.

But back to everyone doing it: actually, no, not everyone truly does do it: not everyone truly lives. For things that require craft, the technique of years’ experience tend to produce things that show the care used in creating them. And so it would be with life: one where everything comes by just snapping one’s fingers, however much material treasure is accumulated, this is just not the same as when things are earned through the work. We are not to throw away the conveniences, but also not to stop with what comes easy; an easier environment is to raise the bar higher at what you must achieve in comparison. For a life not well lived is bereft of its meaning. It is unfortunate that some people choose exactly that, forsaking the hard. The meaning of life is how much you’ve loved living it. An easy life is easily a throwaway existence — and love, it might be said, is all the things you keep.

aloft

i am aloft, floating in a stream of information
the idea has been hiding in oblivion, dug out from creation
i have picked at the outline, careful not to break the metaphor
clumps of false equations lie all around me
i do not know to where i drift, but trust these currents
to where next i must excavate, sift through the unknowns
where i dig, i shake the dust of immortals

Tricks

> From this.

Before the last set of visions I had, I had had “episodes” before, when the visions basically took over my day to day existence. It usually onset by my smoking pot and getting off my medication. Not this last time, though: no drugs involved at all, not even as innocuous as marijuana. And every other time, after those visions basically “had their way with me”, I always seemed to come down from the heavenly heights — and all I needed to do to explain things was to say that it was just a trip, just my brain imbalanced of its chemicals, rational explanations. But then this last time, I know from this one, I’m never coming down. The genie is out of the bottle, Pandora’s box has been opened.

In all the other times, I’d always been able before to discern the hallucination from the reality — but they went over the top this last time. On Mac OS X, in the upper right corner is a magnifying glass which, if clicked, accesses Spotlight, to search. I tried that and that didn’t happen. I tried again, and no. It was so ODD. Instead of Spotlight, Dictionary popped up on the screen. And the angels gleefully let me know that they were responsible for it. I tried it a bunch of times. Holy crap, this is real. Then I bring up a directory listing window and I had it sort by name, and that was the most messed up alphabetical order I’ve ever seen! Weirdsort. Whatever you want to make of it, I know what I saw. It made me question just where I was, astral-plane-wise. Or if I were even still alive.

Doing the Math

> From this.

So to make some more observation into the meaning of things, again to notice how much we take for granted, music we’ve covered, but then there’s the subject of mathematics. Physics, more precisely. This is what Albert was talking about how incomprehensible it is the universe’s comprehensibility. Does anyone find it a bit convenient that there are equations that can predict how things will behave in reality? It has made some people think that God is a mathematician at heart, though I believe differently on that matter. But how eerie is it that Newton’s laws of gravitation so closely match how things behave, but then Einstein comes along, and we have an even more precise description of how things must happen?

The greatest gift to knowledge of the twentieth century is the sense of uncertainty — just before it, the Enlightenment had physicists thinking we’d figured it all out, just some trivial details remained to be found. How wrong we were. But the universe seems to be profoundly weirder than we ever before believed it could be. And yet, we can make sense of it. You don’t find that at all peculiar? It’s almost like it makes sense of itself to us. There was one scientist who likened mathematics to archeology. It may seem like a strange comparison, as we like to think of math as being a strictly logical endeavor, but really, it’s a matter of where exactly you’re digging, in both sciences. Sometimes to make a fortuitous discovery, sometimes to dig for years and years and come up with nothing.

If you really think about it, all of science has just barely scratched the surface in the lines of inquiry that currently exist, not to mention the lines of inquiry that have yet to be discovered. Like that dim gold space that I had a vision of, that stretched (as far as I could tell) out to infinity, so is that which can be known about the universe. If God is God, as advertised, this world is stranger than we can imagine. Until we discover it.

When we do discover it, most likely, it will conform to some mathematics. It is utterly strange how closely the weirdest things in our world are explained by purely mental constructs. Why is it that math works so well, but doesn’t, in fact, seem to be “it”, exactly? What does it mean? To the faithful, everything speaks of the Creator, and to the unbeliever, no evidence is sufficient. Mathematics is its own landscape, hearkening to an archeological paradigm again. It is a land within a land, a universe within this universe. Perhaps why it explains things so well is that it exists within the world it is explaining. And perhaps it points to something more: an order above all the observed orders, that explains why it does, in fact, work. Just a thought.

Scripture

> From this.

So how are we to read the Bible, if we cannot count on it being in totality free of errors? First, read the Bible. It is first and foremost a book of the worship in the God who made heaven and earth, who made us. A lot of it may not make sense to us, for a lot of it espouses a philosophy created thousands of years ago. There are things like God telling the Israelites to eradicate all life in a city: men, women, children, even the animals. Surely we cannot be expected to follow such dictates in this day and age? If God were to tell me personally to kill someone, I would have to decline. But for all that’s “wrong” with it, there is much that is right: and this is why it continues to be a bestseller. For it is convenient to God as a method for Him to write the Law in our hearts, which comes with the new covenant.

So when you do read the Bible, let it be known that it is an insane philosophy to be of the sort that takes every word of it to be literally true. When the Law is indeed written in our heart, we may gain the gift of discernment. It is those who do need to take every word as being infallible who lack the Spirit: the spirit of truth, the spirit of love. For God not only gave us the Bible, He gave us a mind, and He gave us a heart. There is reason upon reason to believe that the world is billions of years old, and was not created in six twenty-four hour days. That Adam and Eve were not the parents of us all. I will go no further in this vein, for if you cannot have faith except with the crutch of blind faith to the Word, there is nothing I can say that will make you leave your crutch behind, and stand, and walk on your own.

We must look upon the Bible as what is now known of it: not everyone said what the Book says they said, nor did they all do what they are said to have done, and not all things happened like it said they happened. Is there a simple formula to discover which is true, and which needs a more reasoned approach? The Lord told us what this is: love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. And if the first is interfering with the second, you’re doing it (all) wrong.

Blasphemy

> From this.

When it comes right down to it, when the Holy Spirit asks something of you, is it yes, or no? Even easier, when we are unencumbered by the weight of the world, when it is purely choice, do we say yes to Him, or do we say no? For the offense that we will not ever be forgiven for, what is termed blasphemy to the Spirit of truth, is simply that: to say no. This is a very controversial bit of scripture, when the Lord tells us of this, the unforgivable offense: to say a word against the Holy Spirit. Sounds incredibly easy to breach this regulation. At one point I thought it was so stupid that I said out loud that “the Holy Spirit is a piece of s#!t.” If you were going to damn me for something that innocuous, that kind of Heaven was not for me. Then the Lord told me that it was simply to say, “no”, and that made even less sense. No sense at all, until much later.

When there is no devil your shoulder (nor angel on the other), faced with a decision that is pure choice, pure free will, which way will you go? For if you say no to the Spirit of love, that part of you dies: for we are made in the image of love. But we know very few decisions are so cut and dried, free from the weight of the world. Not to worry, because God understands if somehow we cannot sometimes abide by the rule of love: these would be that which encumbers us in our choice, which I mentioned. You are forgiven, if within you something still holds true. It is when nothing true remains in you that you have died as a child of God. And it is well taken by God when you do have the weight of the world pressing against you, and you still say yes — it is thus how saints are made… Sometimes we to say yes and it translates wrong. And perhaps rather to say no to ourselves, than to love.

Truth, Money, Power

> From this.

There is no truth in power, nor is there truth in money. Where do you suppose the truth is? The wise man will see both of those, the ruling and the riches, as necessary evils used as sparingly as possible to get things done in the world, and thinks it is better if possible to get things done without having to deal with either. It is too easy to get caught in the pursuit of one or the other, and often both together, and for a good man to lose his goodness by good intentions, to slip into the madness that sings so seductively: what he collects he would use for the betterment of all, but in the collecting makes room for that money and power by the squeezing out all remnants of his soul.

With power, one may believe that he can make truth by his own word or action; of course, this is an illusion, for to effect something does not create a physics. And he may find that reality will twist towards his own image or vision only so far before it snaps in two that which he does make. With money, one may think he can buy truth, but as you cannot buy love, with the truth it is the same: he may just find that he only buys the hollow forms that resemble what things in truth genuinely are. What power and money do get you, at the very best, is an artificial comfort. Yes, that not an illusion, but it is usually not what any soul actually longs for. Those who have one or both, money or power, is likely not going to be satisfied with so meager a prize, not when the world makes so big a production on how great is the ruling, how great is riches.

Shall we not, then, engage with the world at all? To strive, while in the world, to be a success and to live within that society as a good man, not as a recluse who hides in the desert to be alone with his God? The Lord said to a rich man: to be perfect, that he should sell all he has, give it to the poor, and to follow Him. Is this the only way? Can no one live in the world anymore, to effect change in how things operate, to do the Lord’s will to achieve the greatest outcome that may be realized within the hustle and the bustle? Can we be Heaven’s agent in a world that is ultimately ruled by the Devil? Perhaps, then, only needing to remember, though this is crucially to be called to mind: power and money are to be used, and people are to be loved. Not the other way around. Hearken.

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The Great Blasphemy