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Understanding makes the mind lazy.

Penelope Fitzgerald

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Saturday, May 21st, 2011

🦋 Non misi eos

All joking aside, the final word on the recent prophecies of tribulation comes (by way of the Slacktivist) from my ranine namesake, prophet Jeremiah:

Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let the prophets and the diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, says the Lord.

Update: mediæ, relieved that the world has not ended, is linking some articles on mediæval references to rapture and tribulation. First in the series is Francis Gumerlock's 2002 essay on The History of Brother Dolcino (pdf), an early instance of pretribulationism.

posted evening of May 21st, 2011: Respond
➳ More posts about The Bible

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

🦋 Varieties of Religious Experience: Prophecy

I've been rereading Julian Jaynes' The Birth of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind -- a book which I read shortly before I started blogging about reading and which has pretty strongly influenced my ways of thinking -- and thinking there is a lot I want to write about it; but nothing is coming together yet when I sit down to write about it. Instead I want to quote a passage from another book, from William James' The Varieties of Religious Experience, a passage which surprised me when I happened across it this afternoon.

I was raised a Quaker but never really learned much about George Fox. I guess to the extent that I have any image of him, it is as an ethereal, meditative pacifist, a thoughtful, reflective man. Below the fold, James quotes a passage from Fox' journals which shows him in full-on bicameral, hallucinatory prophet mode. Check it out.

posted evening of May 5th, 2011: 1 response
➳ More posts about Varieties of Religious Experience

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

🦋 Altazor's manifesto

I'm feeling on a bit of a roll with reading and translating the prologue to Altazor. Here is another section, in which Huidobro/Altazor lays out the manifesto of the poem. There is some tricky pronoun-switching here; but I think the way I'm reading it makes sense.

Oh: how beautiful... how beautiful.

I see the mountains, the rivers, the jungles, the sea, the ships, the flowers, the seashells.

I see the night and the day, the axis where they converge.

Oh, oh,-- I am Altazor, great poet, without a horse who eats birdseed, nor who warms his throat in the moonlight; with my little parachute, like a parasol above the planets.

From each drop of sweat on my forehead are born stars; I will leave you the task of baptizing them, like so many bottles of wine.

I see it all, my brain was forged in tongues of prophecy.

See the mountain as the breath of God, climbing its swollen thermometer until it touch the feet of my beloved.

Am that one who has seen all things, who knows all the secrets, without being Walt Whitman -- I have never had a white beard, white like lovely nurses, like frozen streams.

That one who hears at night the counterfeiters' hammers, just busy astronomers.

That one who drinks from the warm glass of wisdom after the flood, paying heed to the doves, who knows the path of fatigue, the seething wake behind the ships.

That one who knows the storehouses of memory, of lovely forgotten seasons.

He: he, shepherd of airplanes, who conducts lost nights and masterful winds to the matchless poles.

His moan is like a blinking web of unseen meteors.

The day rises in his heart; he lowers his eyelids to make night, the farmer's respite.

He washes his hands under the gaze of God, he combs his hair like light, like he's harvesting slender raindrops, satisfied.

The screams are more distant now, like a flock across the hills, when the stars are sleeping afer a night of continuous labor.

The beautiful hunter, looking at the heavenly watering-hole where the heartless birds drink.

(The as-yet-nameless stars will make another very satisfying appearance early in Canto I.)

posted evening of September 14th, 2010: Respond
➳ More posts about Altazor: The Journey by Parachute

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

🦋 Prophecy

In the interview ..., Sourosh made explicit his alternative belief that the Koran was a "prophetic experience." He told me that the prophet "was at the same time the receiver and the producer of the Koran or, if you will, the subject and the object of the revelation." Soroush said that "when you read the Koran, you have to feel that a human being is speaking to you, i.e. the words, images, rules and regulations and the like all are coming from a human mind." He added, "This mind, of course, is special in the sense that it is imbued with divinity and inspired by God."

-- Mohammad Ayatollahi Tabaar, "Who Wrote the Koran?", NY Times Magazine, December 7th, 2008

  1. Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi
  2. Alhamdu lillahi rabbi alAAalameena
  3. Alrrahmani alrraheemi
  4. Maliki yawmi alddeeni
  5. Iyyaka naAAbudu wa-iyyaka nastaAAeenu
  6. Ihdina alssirata almustaqeema
  7. Sirata allatheena anAAamta AAalayhim ghayri almaghdoobi AAalayhim wala alddalleena
"In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds;
Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
Master of the Day of Judgment.
Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek.
Show us the straight way,
The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray."
Souresh's statement makes me (again) very interested in reading the Qu'ran. "Coming from a human mind" is not a sense that I've gotten from reading the Bible, and it has seemed like a shortcoming. Huh, well every year or two I get interested in the Qu'ran, haven't gotten anywhere with it to date; but...

posted morning of December 6th, 2008: Respond
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