Friday, February 12, 2010

A Word to the Gentiles

If you take into account the course of modern human history--when we began writing down our emotions on homemade parchments and animal hides--you might discover that our particular race of creatures agree on one notion: Life doesn't end at death. If you consider the event we call death, and we all have, the course of human history declares loudly that life continues beyond this mortal state, that our Dead move from this sphere of existence into a new, as yet unseen, realm.

This story of life after death is far from consistent, as it is scattered across innumerable cultures, carved and inked in dozens of languages, played out in countless verses and prose over the millennia, attached to varied mythos of deities and demi-gods. This alone is evidence that humans know in their hearts that our own lives cannot simply evaporate away when the life in our eyes dims for the last time. It's impossible, we deduce. It can't be. Unfathomable.

The concept that our emotions--the accumulation of our loves, our hate, our joy, our anger, our knowledge, our wisdom and experience--simply closeout for all time and eternity doesn't ring true. Even if we have beef with organized religion, even if we revile the cult of fear created by the sludge of tele-poli-vangelists and the depraved slaughter unleashed by mullahfascists (all in the name of some believed god), squared away in the back of our minds, under lock and key, we know that our consciousness, the sum total of Life, can't flame out like a match and decompose in the ground after they bury us. Less formally: it's just not fair.

Why is this? Why do we have this compulsion to cling to the idea that our lives can't end when our bodies finally die?

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Acts: Emphasis on the Holy Ghost

Acts 1:
1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen...

Acts 2:
2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance...

Acts 4:
7 And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
13 ¶ Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.