Building a Narrative, Finding Salvation

Today, while I was talking to my barber, I told her about myself, and she used this word, “Ambitious.” to describe me. She only knows me through my presentation, yet she attempts to prescribe a narrative as to who I am.

When I think about people I admire, I think of the elements that I admire; Long-term planning/action, strength and control, insight, genuine relatability, and many more. Most of these, I lack. So it is no wonder, why I admire to these people.

Much like the barber, I think we are all desperate to create someone. Someone who is better than us, who has better abilities than us, who can complete us.

Most attempt to find completion in marriage. Others, search for a father figure or acceptance from a father figure.

Progressivism, Because Conservatism Failed

Recently I watched “The Two Popes” on Netflix. While it was refreshing to consume media with a spiritual wrapping, the underbelly of the movie seemed to say, “Progressivism is Enlightment”.

This is not an unpopular refrain, in fact, perhaps a bit tired one, to be frank. The idea that “Progressivism” will save us, shows up in social debates about gender, environmental concerns, and political expression.

I think the reason for this, is that conservatism has so deeply failed us.

We tried conservatism, in the form of the Drug War. We were fed that drugs (marijuana) would destroy families and homes. So, those that disobey must be punished. This was the African American communities, the addicts and anyone else who dared to disobey.

The result was nothing. We’ve gained nothing from the Drug War, except the idea that government enforced conservatism is failure.

We also tried conservative flavored war. Following the attacks of 9/11, the government decided that they need to know everything, so that they can protect us. The Patriot Act soon followed, with invasions into the Middle East.

No one knows why we are there. No one knows what we hope to accomplish. No one knows when we will accomplish it. We’ve eroded our own freedoms in the process. But, here we are.

Now, this isn’t a screed against conservatism. This isn’t a sermon praising Progressivism. Progressivism will soon fall, just like its father, Conservatism, as they both rely heavily on the greatest deception of all, Trust In Government.

Our belief in ourselves and the individuals around us, eroded sometime after our belief in God. Now the only thing that has power, seems to be the government, and so in it, we place all power.

Our church-led rituals and personal self-affirmations are replaced by voting and arguments over who the “chosen-one” is to lead (who we only choose through self-identity).

We believe these individuals, once properly ascended on-high, will be endued with power to set everything right, as it should be. We live vicariously through them, knowing that their victory, is our victory; their rule is our rule, only to be betrayed when we realize they are self-actualized beings, fallible in all manners.

The current system loves progressive narratives. We shouldn’t blame it. It used to love conservative narratives, until they failed us.

When progressivism fails, we will not re-examine ourselves. Instead, it will be time to embrace a new story, a new doctrine and a new savior.

Ephesians 4:14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Judges, Kings and God

A notable difference between kings and judges exist in the Bible.

There were many kings who committed many wrongdoings. There were few judges who sinned so greatly, as David, for example.

The difference between judges and kings were the roles they fulfilled.

A judge acted as a conduit between God and the people. Moses led and judged the people, by God’s actions. Whatever power Moses had, was pushed to serve the people of God better.

God used Moses to speak to the people, set laws for the people, and dealt out judgement through Moses. God was acting through Moses, in order to lead the people.

In 1 Samuel, the people moved away from this methodology of leadership. They had a king chosen for them, to represent them.

The king had all power, and the people listened. Consequently, God’s relationship with man changed. God spoke to the king, through the prophets.

The people no longer received the word of the Lord directly, but had to be led, through the actions of the king, in order to serve God.

We notice that God never spoke to David directly. Instead, David would enquire of the Lord, through the priest. God had set up a differentiation between him and the king. A direct line, would have made the king believe that they were on equal footing.

God spoke to David through Samuel and Nathan, Ahab through Elijah and Hezekiah, through Isaiah.

The only notable exception that I have found, was when God appeared to Solomon. This is very notable, as I believe it was the only time God revealed himself to a king.

And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of David his father: only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places. 
And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar. 
In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. 

1 King 3:3-5

This is so incredibly noteworthy to me. God regarded Solomon so highly, that he revealed himself to him. This placed him on equal footing with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses as people who had met with God.

Just to sum up this mess of notes:

  • Israel moving away from a theocracy, to a monarchy, hurt the people, by cutting them off from God, and having to rely on a man as a source of direction.
  • Kings are distinct from judges, as the power of the judge resided in God, and the king relied on the power of state.
  • Kings (almost) never met with God, prophets were used in this capacity.
  • Prophets emerged as mouthpieces for God, and played critical roles in the late Old Testament.

Institutions & Religion

College, church, your local community, your favorite sports team exist within or as an institution.

Over time, institutions corrupt. College has been corrupted by the internet. Its value is network at best, and status at worst.

Then, we wait for a new institution to emerge. This will replace an old institution, or replace part of an old institution.

The most amazing institutions are the one’s that exist across human history. Western Religion is one such institution.

It has a rebirth every so often.

At the risk of oversimplifying:

Judaism turned into Catholicism.

Catholicism turned into Protestantism.

Protestantism turned into ?

Judaism was aided by Jesus, who acted as a unifier of values and central leader. Also, it was aided by the Roman network of roads.

Judaism soon became known as Catholicism, as the Roman government adopted it.

Eventually Catholicism gave way to Protestantism.

Protestantism was aided by Martin Luther, who acted as a unifier of values and central leader. Also, it was aided by the invent of the printing press.

Protestantism is currently dying. The successor doesn’t seem apparent yet.

It has the internet, but hasn’t done anything worthwhile with the internet.

Current potential successors:

– Islam

– Astrology

– Politics

11/22/2019 – Update:

Maybe I am too close to it now, but it seems like the most likely successor is Bitcoin.

Perhaps I will write an essay and update with a link to it shortly.

Gods and Nihilism

If religion is an attempt to explain the world around us, then the nihilistic nature of our society seems obvious.

Our gods have become college, government and entertainment. College has become a mechanism to exchange future flexibility for an attempt at a mediocre life. Government has become a cure-all solution, where we ritualistically vote and bicker among ourselves in the belief that it will soon deliver us from our social ills. Entertainment has become an escape mechanism, our previous gods having abandoned us.

When your gods don’t answer, what happens to your society?

Deconstruction of Meaning in Genesis 1:1

Here, I will systematically breakdown the first scripture in the book of Genesis. I’ve always had a fascination with this scripture, and I want to deconstruct and attempt to understand all of the knowledge and information, implicit and explicit, that is mentioned here. Read along, and please leave a comment if you disagree or think something should be expanded upon.

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning

The first concept we are introduced in Genesis is the concept of time from the phrase “In the beginning”. Time is one of the fundamental signs of order and structure.

This phrase is spelled ‘ray-sheeth’. Read this article for a full dress down of this word.

If you didn’t read the article, the synopsis of it is this; perhaps the root of ‘ray-sheet’, which is roshe means “The principle part of”, and the pictograph for that word is a man’s head.

So perhaps this verse isn’t indicating a stark striking of time, but perhaps this word plays into the next word, “GOD”, and gives it a greater deference by symbolizing importance and should begin, “Most importantly”.

I don’t think so, mostly because the primary function of this portion of scripture is not to indicate the greatness of God, but is focused on the construction of the World and how it was brought into life. The theme doesn’t seem to fit this word usage.

Genesis 1:1:

In the beginning God

God is the second concept that is introduced in scripture. Notice how different this verse would be without the first portion. If it did not have this portion, it would simply begin “God”. Then, this would suggest that God works within the limits of time. Everything that he is going to do, is constrained by time.

In a more granular inspection, we could question, “What is God?”.

Suppose we were aliens, reading this book for this first time. How could we understand the notion of God?

Instantly, we can understand that God was at the beginning. But did God come before or after the beginning? Was God brought into being by the beginning? What is the interaction between time and God?

Here we can draw a conclusion about how this is being written. This is not an expository account of the nature of God. Rather, it is written for the reader, who may or may not ever know the limitations of God. And it does not matter if he does understand the limitations of God, because this book is intended to deal with the reader in his time, in his realm of reality, and to expound how God relates to him in this time.

Genesis 1:1:

In the beginning God created

This is the third of three consecutive words that deal with order and construction.

First, we have the beginning, which implicitly marks the end of something, and the creation of something new.

Second, we have God. God is understood, generally, to be the highest ideal man must strive for and that which everyone is subservient towards.

Third, we have the word created.

The word created denotes that there was already material to create something.

To get very “woo-woo” here, perhaps this material was not necessarily a physical thing, but a state of being. This state of being could be chaos.

So far, we can draw that something came to an end, and THEN there was a beginning. In general, when things come to an end, this is typically because of a chaotic force, whether that be an unknown conqueror invading a nation state (a chaotic force invading a structured society) or a hurricane touching down on a city. Perhaps all that remains of something, is a chaotic state of being.

Knowing that God represents structure and order, it seems poetic and very YING-YANG like to assume that he created order out of chaos.

Additionally, we are beginning to get a sense of this story. This is a story of structure, idealism and order in the face of chaos or perhaps nothing.

Finally, we can understand that word created indicates skill and ability in the capacity of God. It is also a testament to his character, as someone who can master something and form it in a way that he sees fit.

To some extent, we could even conclude that so far, this is God imposing himself upon the chaotic nature that he chose to work within. And maybe, this is the moment described earlier as “the beginning”. God created, and so there was a beginning. We understand that the Hebrews worked in an event derived version of time, ie; Something significant occurs, which then marks a significant occasion. It then seems likely that this is the case. Time is hedged on the marker of creation, and without the

Genesis 1:1:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

The final portion of this verse deals with the subject of the creation of God. Finally, we begin to see what God is doing.

Notably, the heaven is noted first. Most interpret this as referencing the galaxy, and I disagree. I’m probably wrong, but then why would God create the firmament and then name it Heaven (1:8)? It seems that this version of heaven (1:1) encompasses the following meaning.

The first, I assert, is as a demarcation between God and man. God is understood to be the inhabit the highest order, while man is stuck in a chaotic structure where he strives to become worth of the highest ideal.

Second, there seems to be an implicit difference between Heaven and Earth, by the description of Earth in the next scripture, and the devotion of the entire chapter to God’s work on Earth. If heaven was in disarray, then it seems likely that God would work on Heaven, as much as he did heaven, but we have no record of that occurring. Instead, we see how God works to make the Earth a place worth inhabiting. This suggests to me a furthering of the ideal discussed earlier; simply Heaven is the highest order, and Earth is a place in need of structure.

The final thing I will say is this; meaning is more complicated than originally perceived. When we dive into understanding the most basic concepts, they are deeply rooted in understandings and concepts that need to broken down in order to understand the entirety of the meaning.