Saturday, October 4, 2014

Santa Claus reindeers as Disciples of Jesus

(You Tube Video narrated and illustrated)
It being October, the month when the department stores put up their Christmas displays along with an aisle or two of Halloween costumes, where stylish witches hats still are most popular, I was Googling the origins of Christmas.

All agree that December 25 is not the correct day for the birth of Jesus, but it does not matter because it is really the climax of the Roman festival of Saturnalia, which was appropriated by the Church. The festival of Saturnalia began at the beginning of the the astrological sign Capricorn and ended on December 25 on the winter solstice. December 25, being the solstice and thus the day of the birth of the Sun God, was a perfect day for the birth of the Son of God.

A rabbi makes the case that it is a Jewish hate day because many misused Saturnalia as a time to degrade the Jews, since, as St. Nicholas taught, were responsible for killing Jesus. It is not surprising that Saturnalia, given its theme of a Mardi Gras atmosphere, would be expropriated by those with no conscience as an excuse to commit murder and rape, but it was not meant to be that way.

Saturnalia was a time that servants would be treated as masters (reminiscent of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples in John 13:1-17) and all would exchange small presents. Someone would be named as the "Lord of the Feast" and would play "Simon says" (This expression originated from Simon Magus who claimed to be the leader of the early Christian Church). This lord could instruct the guest, for instance, to get naked and stand on one leg and all would have to comply.

Perhaps, we all need a week of partying to celebrate the end of the solar and human darkness and, if it was not so cold, to run naked in the streets. Given that it is the Mass of Christ, we should follow the Golden Rule of Jesus, Hillel, Buddha, and Mohammed: "To do to others what you would have them do unto you." "Turning the other cheek" would not be advised as it should be a week of self-expression and innocent-exhuberance, not to encourage a repression of future trauma.

In line with the weakening of Christianity and the replacement of the birth of Jesus with Santa Claus, it dawned on me that the reindeer of Santa Claus were his disciples.

The first six were his trusted disciples:
1-2 Dasher (Peter) and Dancer (Andrew),
3-4 Prancer (Philip, head of the unmarried daughters - Acts 21:9) and Vixen (John Mark, the disciple whom Jesus loved - John 13:23),
5-6 Comet (James Niceta), and Cupid (John Aquila who was married to Priscilla - Acts 18:2)

The last two were actually the superiors of Jesus:
7-8 Donner and Blitzen are from the Dutch "Dunder" and "Blixem" meaning "Thunder" and "Lightning". "Sons of Thunder" are the nicknames of James and John (Mark 3:17) and by the Pesher of Christ, can be shown to be "Thunder" as the nickname of Jonathan Annas, the disciple know as James, son of Alphaeus, with his adversary being Simon Magus, know as Simon, the Zealot/Canaanite as "Lightning" (Luke 10:18).

9 Rudolph, being a 20th-century inclusion, would clearly fit as St. Paul, who was ostracized by the other disciples (reindeer), but whose prominent nose guided Christianity through the fog of the pagan world.

As to the other disciples, they were not so helpful: Judas who betrayed him, Thaddaeus who was Barabbas, Matthew who was a subordinate to Jonathan though later he would take over for him, and Thomas, who was "the doubter" being the disinherited son of Herod the Great.

So let us not spend another Christmas engaging with the news reporters' "War on Christmas" or reading reports of beheadings in the name of religion, but take joy that Santa Claus is coming to town, bringing toys for girls and boys and knowing that they all try to be nice and not naughty. For Santa Claus says, simply, that a joyous life awaits us with the coming of the next Spring and let the festivities of Saturnalia begin, "Ho, Ho, Ho"!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Urban Ark (Performance Art)

Urban Ark was the name that Wendy-Bird and Dylan came up with for this
Performance Art Work for Harlech Biennale XI - 2014 Published on Sep 7, 2014
International Contemporary Art Wales (ICAW)
Exhibition: "In and Out of the Citadel"
To the song Earth Ship by Dylan Stephens
performed by the Stephens family: (Dylan, Wendy, Kes, Nirvana, Llyr, and Atira)
Sonotubes protected by Rainguard (Note the pun for Rain and God)
Filmed at Garage-Mahal located on Rainbow Lake, Bellingham, Washington.

The theme is a family who are building an Urban Ark to survive the coming catastrophe. It is built from Sonotubes which are cardboard molds used to make concrete pillars. It ends with Wendy trying to contact others, "This is the Urban Ark. Anyone there in outer space. Hello" Then the signal fades.

It is based on the song by Dylan Stephens:
Earth Ship (Published on Aug 20, 2014)

Earth Ship, Pleasure trip, People overboard.
The whole world is drowning.
Won't you save us, Lord !
Money quest, Emptiness,
Drifting in the void.
It won't take much
To become an asteroid.

Flood gate,
Can't escape
Sickness of the mind.
It's only the naive
Believe a human could be kind.
Every day
Stories say:
People rape and kill.
We're abused by the news,
Yet we've never had our fill.

Stop the clock;
We're growing old too fast.
Where's the treasured hope
That was always in our past.
Brave knight
Wins the fight,
But she can't be his bride.
We've grown so cynical
That we've even lost our pride.

Olive branch,
Cosmic dance,
Peace must be proclaimed
And not just to the chosen ones
Of whom the church has named.
True love,
White dove
Flying o'er the sea.
Only with compassion
Can the world be truly free.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

God is Fun

The article by David Graeber in The Baffler Titled What’s the Point If We Can’t Have Fun? got me to thinking. To paraphrase its premise: fun appears to be innate in organic life and inorganic life and may actually explain the creation of more complex organisms and of the universe itself.

So I thought that one could take it a step further and say God is Fun. Far better than the God that judges and punishes. However, fun clearly must have ethical restrictions. (Perhaps ethics are innate also. We all knew the Golden Rule before Buddha and Jesus.)

Then I thought how Gurdjieff's division of man/woman into Body. Emotions, and Mind has significance here: where Body is passive, Mind active and Emotion neutralizing and that these three forces Passive, Active, Neutralizing are the building blocks of everything, including inorganic matter. Therefore the fun part is the reconciliation of the two opposites: passive and active and that this process creates something higher as one 'do' note passes to the higher 'do' in the enneagram.

I have been wrestling with Gurdjieff's apparent mistake in the Food Octave and I believe that I have resolved it. The Food Octave is a perfect representation of how person with just a physical body could grow a Spirit (Astral Body) and a Soul.

So I say, "Down with Darwin's survival of the fittest and down with the atheists, God is Fun because God is the neutralizing force that balances depression and elation and makes us happy."