Anachostic

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Tag Archives: religiosity

Bible Study

I was sitting at my little bistro table, eating some dinner – double-decker peanut butter sandwich and potato chips – and absently studying a snow globe in the middle of the table.  Inside the snow globe were “the three wise men” from the birth of Jesus.  My mind started wandering a little bit.

My first thought was AK’s nativity post that had four wise men.  And me, being the insensitive heretic I am wondered, “was the fourth one Shemp?”  What were their names anyway?  Frank, Goldman-Sachs, and MIR?  And then I got thinking about the gifts.  I don’t know about the other things, but I know gold.  That’s a pretty fine gift, right there.  Of course, nowadays, you better be bringing bitcoin.  But, despite not having a 600% growth curve, gold is still useful.  You know, it could pay for a room at the inn, instead of being stuck in the stable.

And how about those lodgings?  I mean, you must be the son of god to survive being born in a stable.  There’s no incubator, no heart monitors, no nothing.  But I’ll bet there was a whole lot of blood.  The innkeeper was probably like, “When’s she due?  Oh, I don’t have any rooms for that kind of mess…”  So, you deliver the baby and now to clean up.  “Where’s the water?”  “Oh, just get some from the trough over there.”  “Good god.”  “Yes, he’s right here!”  “Put some clothes on him.”  “He’s a mess!”  “Well, don’t use the good clothes, use the… I don’t know… swaddling clothes!”

As I was making these horrible jokes, I started to get a little concerned.  Not because of the sacrilegious-ness of the jokes, but because I wanted them to be accurate.  You can only stretch the truth so far in a joke and then people will be like, “That’s not even funny.  That never happened.”  Of course we’re joking on a topic that some people take literally.  LITERALLY.  So for everyone’s benefit, I wanted to do some research before I do any more insulting.

Here’s the problem.  I don’t have a bible.  Funny, huh?  I was raised Catholic and went through all the sacraments until I became a free-thinking adult, but I don’t seem to have my bible anymore.  Nor my rosary, nor my crucifix.  I kinda miss my crucifix, it was actually pretty sleek and modern, despite the dead, wasting body of Jesus on it.  In fact, I think if I did still have it, I might actually hang it in my house, because I understand modern Christians – the ones that think they can do whatever they want and just say, “I believe in Jesus” before they die and get a free pass to heaven – find crucifixes creepy as fuck because of the dead body.  They prefer unadorned crosses instead.

Anyway, my lack of bible.  Ironically, all the Family Christian stores have recently closed down around me, so I couldn’t go get a top-notch bible.  I mean, yeah, I could probably buy a bible at Dollar Tree, but seriously, would you trust a one-dollar bible that was made in China?  Harreruyah!  My other option would be to get a hotel room for the night and steal the bible from the nightstand, but that seemed wrong.  And too expensive.

The obvious option was an online bible, but, even though I hadn’t shaved for a few days, I felt like I had a full hipster beard when I recoiled at the thought of accessing the oldest printed text in the world through a non-printed medium.  Reading the word of god online?  That’s how they get ya!  Goddamn liberals.  Oh wait, I am a liberal.  So I shaved off what whiskers I had on my face, opened my browser of choice (Vivaldi, now) and went to what I thought would be the most likely guess for a place to read the bible – bible.org.  Fucking shit.  There’s no bibles here.  This is a website where you learn about the bible.  Blah, blah.  Let us tell you about this or that from the bible.  No, I want to read the goddamn fucking… oh, there it is.  Never mind…

So, I checked out Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, who are like the Ninja Turtles of the bible.  And I was surprised at the lack of detail I got about the birth of Jesus.  I remember stories about how Joseph and Mary travelled from inn to inn looking for shelter and the details of how they were turned away and how finally someone took pity on them and let them stay in the barn.  I don’t remember if they got charged for staying in there, but that detail, along with all the others I thought I remember, aren’t there.

I was also really surprised at how fast the plot moved along.  It was only a few minutes of reading and suddenly Jesus is like 30 years old.  Understand, I went to Catholic elementary and high school.  We did a lot of bible study.  I was even motivated enough to draw out the family tree from Adam to Jesus in elementary school, which impressed the hell out of my teacher (odd choice of words, that). So, I don’t where I spent all my time studying.

But concerning the Jesus birth, I wanted a lot more detail.  Like, yeah, Jesus had a manger (which, BTW, if you search for images of “manger”, the ratio of baby Jesus pictures to actual farming equipment pictures is stupid), but where did Joseph and Mary sleep?  On bales of hay?  Sleeping bags?  And this guiding star that keeps getting mentioned.  I’ve gone geocaching a lot and there’s plenty of times I can’t find a cache with 15ft accuracy from nine satellites.  How can someone find a baby in a city with essentially one satellite?  Using a single star as a GPS unit is just a poor navigational decision.

In the end, it was all just a great time diversion.  I didn’t really learn anything and I did not attain a physical bible.  The lack of useful joke material in the bible kind of squelched my ideas, but the journey certainly made for a provocative post.

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Coming Back

Recently, I’ve had a slight uptick in my interest in reincarnation.  Reincarnation is something I’ve believed in for some time now.  If you’re curious about it, you can read a few books like Many Lives, Many Masters and Elementary Theosophy, or read case studies of verified reincarnates at http://www.iisis.net.

The Internet is making rediscovery of past lives all the easier, and I was wondering if there should be created a website where a person could voluntarily submit their information to be discovered when researching past lives.

Some of the data points that could be recorded would be:

  • Facial photos at different ages
  • Birthmarks or significant scars
  • Phobias
  • Date of birth (and death if submitted by estate executor)
  • Natural talents or skills

I could see that someone could set up their own profile and set a “publish date”, so their personal information wouldn’t be searchable until after an expected death.  It seems like most people reincarnate between 50-100 years after death, so you could set a publish date far into the future.

One of the issues is, what will the website be in 50-100 years?  Will it be around and if so, it will be run on whatever the current technology is for the era.  Fascinating to think of that possibility.

The larger issue is, what would anyone get out of this?  It seems that reincarnates don’t really care about their past lives.  It’s probably a nice curiosity, and may be beneficial in working through irrational fears, but for the most part, your lives are not a continuance of a single life.

I think the broader message that needs to be made is that reincarnation is a real thing.  And by realizing and accepting this, racism, classism, sexism, and hatred should subside.  After all, you have no guarantee of what body you are going to come back into.  What if Nazis knew their next life could be that of a Jew?  What if Boko Haram or any other Islam extremists knew that they could come back on the other side of the fight?

Oh, There You Are.

Driving home late last night, I caught a glimpse of a billboard.  As tired as I was, I didn’t get a chance to read what was on the sign, but billboards being what they are, I noticed the image on it.  The image showed a standing pregnant woman, holding her package, and Michelangelo’s “hand of god” reaching out to her, complete with E.T. glowing fingertip.

Now, I live in Florida, which has a fair amount of religiousness, and I’m pretty much used to to the fetus billboards that say “Your baby’s heart is already beating!!!!!!!!”  However, this billboard got me pretty riled up.  It was broadcasting the message that now that you are pregnant, God is right there with you.

So where was God a few months ago when you were getting boned by some guy you met at a party?  Where was God when you were grinding on that guy a few hours earlier?  Who was there when you were downing shots like water that night?  Who was watching over you when you were picking out the hottest, sexiest outfit for the party?

If certain people are going to imply that being pregnant is a religious experience, then they have to accept that God either approved, condoned, or encouraged the manner in which the pregnancy occurred.