Garden of Eden

Discussion in 'Abrahamic Religions' started by Lunitik, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    if we were not slaves in egypt, then judaism is a lie. who we are as a people is fundamentally based upon the experience of knowing slavery and liberation and the process we went through as a result. it is why we are who we are. what next, are you going to suggest that we burnt down our temples ourselves, or exiled ourselves to babylon, or that it was our own fault we were persecuted by christians? why would we make up such an undignified story as a foundational myth?

    Egypt says Jewish slaves didn't build pyramids - CSMonitor.com

    this says slaves didn't build the pyramids, not that jews weren't slaves. we don't have a religious position on whether we built the pyramids or not, which is also pointed out in the article. furthermore, this is from the egyptian archaeological establishment - no friend to jews, as is politic with all professional bodies in egypt - and with a vested interest in eliminating jews from middle eastern history. there's a similar bunch at the Temple mount palestinian waqf that spend all their time trying to prove that jews have no connection to jerusalem and, as far as most people can see, actively trying to destroy evidence.

    No evidence that Jews or Hebrews were ever slaves in Egypt - Democratic Underground

    this is one view, of course, but i notice further down the thread this particular comment:

    i could hardly agree more.

    slavery in jewish law is more like indentured servitude and has features, benefits and protections that, as far as i am aware, are unique in human history and certainly for the historical and cultural context. the classical sages disliked even that and took steps to legislate it out of existence by loading it with safeguards and associated costs, leading to the famous talmudic dictum: "he who acquires a slave for himself, has really acquired a master."

    frankly, this is oil and squeaking we can well do without, but people seem determined to make us go through it over and over again. nobody else seems to have to justify their existence quite so minutely.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  2. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    Not so!
    All intelligent religions are truths, they are huge paradigms of focus. I find the Judaic beliefs (and I am by no means an expert) to be the pinnacle of Abrahamic philosophy. If this system was borrowed or not from Egyptian and Chaldean beliefs, doesn't matter to me.

    I believe that all religions and belief systems are paradigms of the psyche and deserve to be heard equally without plunder from another system.

    We all get too involved in trying to 'prove historically' that our religion is the righteous one. As you know I am a practitioner of the LHP and these days I call myself a Luciferian, I study and take what I desire from any and all Beliefs, philosophies, and psychologies in order to evolve towards my Goal which is nothing more than a Faith that this goal exists.

    Isn't that what we ALL are doing?
     
  3. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    True. I bought a cheap copy of a Passover Haggadah, and its all about liberation. Every year Jews reenact their enslavement and liberation. For example: at their passover meal they taste bitter herbs to symbolize the enslavement. Jews were for this very reason, contributors to the abolitionist movement generations ago in my own USA, whereas some other religious groups seemed divided on the issue. It had nothing to do with being squeaky wheels but that they identified themselves as ex-slaves.
     
  4. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    i appreciate the sentiment, but if so, why bring it up in the way that you did, if you believe it to be irrelevant? what i think i should point out here is that there is a major difference between something that, intellectually, you know to have been the case and something that you have a moral obligation based upon a covenantal agreement; it's the difference between intellectual commitment to a customary observance and moral commitment to a sacral or theurgic observance. you might put it thus: i am a british citizen and, as such, i am deeply committed to the democratic heritage of britain; i will go to the barricades for my right to vote, the sovereignty of parliament, free speech, the commemoration of the fallen on armistice day and other matters of principle. i do not have the same commitment to, say, robin hood, king arthur or re-enacting the battle of trafalgar, however deeply intellectually, aesthetically or emotionally interesting and exciting these may be. jewishly speaking, i do not have the same commitment to, say, observance of the customs of the C19th baghdadi sage, the ben ish hai, or engagement with the philosophical positions of maimonides, as i have to observe the biblical commandment of "keeping and guarding" the sabbath, including punctilious observance of the preparatory rituals for the prescribed meals; the former i have an intellectual, aesthetic and emotional attachment to and the latter is a binding agreement with G!D that is incumbent upon me as an adult jewish male, in remembrance of the exodus from egypt.

    it makes all the difference in the world if i am doing something because of a milliennia-old tribal commitment or because it "means something to me". there are people who hold that the second of these is the only really important reason, but i am not one of them. of course i do feel that these things should have meaning and the meaning can be (and has been) in many cases constructed after the fact, but it is the *obligation* that has the power. we swore - and we sealed the oath with the blood of circumcision and i, too, was initiated into that; without my consent, just as i had no choice in my ancestors.

    i cannot see how such a structured is derivable merely from reconstructed documents of egyptian or chaldean beliefs; it relies on an entire integrated structure which has developed from that day to this; there may be resemblances which may be there for any number of reasons (including evolutionary convergence).

    i'm not entirely sure what you're getting at here.

    then you misunderstand me. i do not rely upon historical proof for my religion; i feel that is both an abuse of academic method and a failure of trust (the word "EMuNaH", having the same connotation as "faith"); i was not the first to bring up historical proof; i base my argument solely on, firstly, the text and, secondly, how the system that is based on it works according to our normative understanding. i cannot prove that my religion is "the righteous one", but i can show how it is the right one for us; we are not permitted to proselytise, nor do i approve of such activity.

    and, likewise, i try to maintain faith/trust that the 13 basic principles outlined by maimonides are in fact true, which includes, inter alia, a) that G!D Exists b) that the Torah was Revealed by G!D and c) the prophecy of moses was true.

    this is precisely the point. as it says in the Torah itself: "you shall tell your child on that day, 'it is because of this that G!D took me out of egypt.'" (exodus 13:8) upon which the mishnah comments (pesachim 10:5) that "in each and every generation, a person is obliged to regard himself as though he himself had actually left egypt."

    Mishnah/Seder Moed/Tractate Pesachim/Chapter 10/5 - Wikisource

    indeed - what does this mean for us? knowing this, how should we act? the Torah, naturally, has the best answer:

    "you must love the stranger, for you yourselves were strangers in egypt." (deuteronomy 10:19)

    so, if we were not really strangers in egypt, would not lessen our moral obligation? well, if you go back to the earlier mishnah, no, because the mishnah is already precise - "as though"; far less certain than the Torah is. i find this implicit doubt, this lack of precision all too human.

    i think we've rather got off topic, though.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  5. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    Because as a Luciferian I am also an Antitheist. :D
     
  6. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    I thought you guys wanted to become Gods? How is that Antitheist?
     
  7. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    Antitheism (sometimes anti-theism) is active opposition to theism. The etymological roots of the word are the Greek 'anti-' and 'theismos'. The term has had a range of applications; in secular contexts, it typically refers to direct opposition to organized religion or to the belief in any deity, while in a theistic context, it sometimes refers to opposition to a specific god or gods.
     
  8. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Like the prevailing attitude towards the "Devil?"

    So The garden of Eden is metaphorically where "antitheism" was spawned?
     
  9. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    Exactly, we are equally against believing in an entity such as the 'devil', as 'He' is usually aligned with Abrahamic dogma anyway, but even older versions such as Set or Ahriman.
     
  10. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    I covered this by saying "no-self", it simply doesn't exist. Yet, beliefs and attachments are going to be harmful, you are going to cling to things which are unimportant. Buddha used to move camps every 3 or so days because he didn't want his disciples to ever get comfortable in a particular place. Likewise, belief is dangerous for Buddha, unlike Christ, blind faith is not a virtue for him.

    Neti Neti is very important, neither this nor that, means both extremes are always wrong. That choosing is not valuable, etc.

    I use this language to get a reaction, and yet Buddhas method will starve the ego. Over time, if you can give less and less attention to the ego, you will feed it less and less and eventually it will actually depart. It is unique to China that they have pointed to the navel as the departing point of the ego, and it is something you can physically feel.

    Mindfulness is again something which is understood wrong, you are comparing practice leading to enlightenment which the result after enlightenment. You are to be mindful of the tricks of mind, of the identifications which are harmful to advancement, to do things like saying to yourself "a thought is arising; a thought has arisen; a thought is disappearing".... this way you will not cling or identify to the thought. These are exercises to still the mind... remain mindful of this, because it will deliver you to no-mind.

    Upon enlightenment, now the mind is still, now mindfulness will be a negative thing. Now it will break your enlightenment because ego will be asserted. Now you life intuitively, you go with the flow as Lao Tzu describes - you live naturally.
     
  11. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    That in itself is an extreme. Saying that "self" cannot be traced is the middle path.
    Knowing "when to grasp and when to let go" is more in line with the middle path of skillful means.
    I would say that ignorance is what is more dangerous, imo.

    It is a means by which to negate rationalizations and speculations that lead to madness and vexation.

    Ego does not necessarily depart. Ratnasambhava is the transformation of pride and greed into the wisdom of equality, and is associated with the navel.

    Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Zen master, once equated mindfulness as being "filled with the holy spirit." It took a while for me to understand that, but now I agree with him.
     
  12. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    I agree, it is being filled with the Holy Spirit, but what space has it occupied? The space where self used to occupy.

    Most of this shows your lack of understanding Buddha and other great masters of his way. I would suggest looking into Tilopa and Saraha at least, I think they will be valuable for you.
     
  13. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    I am a big fan of The Way, the first 'out of the box' religion I looked into when I was I guess 8 or 9 yrs old (I am 50 now). But again, this is merely atoning with the objective universe and surrender the Self to something else. Not what a Luciferian is looking for ultimately.
     
  14. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    Ah! It has always amused me when an Israeli spokesman is speaking English in a plummy UK accent and then comes out with a word like, say, "IsRaeli", where that growl gives away that it is not actually the Baronet of Covendale-Renfrew speaking.
    And Gaza is an interesting case, because while Gomorrah is first seen with a "g" in the Septuagint (Greek) translation, 'Azzah "Gaza" changes its spelling in cuneiform from a.za. to ga.za. in the much earlier period when the Philistines took it. Whatever language they spoke (they were from the Aegean, so their speech is probably related to the Eteo-Cretan of the "Linear A" tablets from the Minoan Empire; a language nobody has made much headway with, but do. "two" and ku.do. "four" like *kwetwor in Proto-Indo-European suggest it was not terribly alien) didn't apparently have that 'ayin or ghayin sound either.
    Linguists use palatal for the front half of the palate (velar for the rear); the word should be avoided in discussing Hebrew, because that is a place of articulation that Hebrew mostly avoids: the ghimel is the voiced velar fricative, which is to khaph as hard gimel is to khaph, and certainly not, as you point out, like the pharyngeal rasp of Arabic ghayin (for which "gh" is not a great transcription, but Roman alphabet is limited).

    A "palatalized" or "soft" g in a Slavic language is something different: pushed forward in the mouth, though not quite as far as where the "soft d" gets pushed back to. The "gyeen" syllable in the pop-singer Regyina Spyektor (born in Russia) is not quite like the "dyeen" in the patriotic hymn Do-svidanya Rodyina "Goodbye, Motherland!" and neither is quite like English "jean" (again, best suggestion is "j" without the final "zh" continuation; English "j" is an affricate or stop+fricative combination and we are after the "stop" part only; Hebrew has the alveolar affricate tzade indifferently voiced "dz" or unvoiced "ts" according to context, although the original alphabet had separate letters for the two). Hungarian "gy" in the self-name Magyar is right in the middle (interestingly, Serbo-Croatian transcribes it with "soft d" rather than "soft g").
    The text doesn't claim anything about building "pyramids": it says the Hebrew slaves built the cities of Pithom and Ramesses. We know of a city Pi-Ramessu begun as a royal residence by Rameses I and extended by Rameses II, and indeed this was a period when Semitic immigrants who had entered Egypt in preceding periods were despised (the Semitic "Hyksos" had taken over the country for a while; the Hyksos capital of Hatware was demolished and its building blocks cannibalized for the construction of Pi-Ramessu) so there is nothing unlikely about them being used as slaves.
    In the Abraham narrative, it is stated that if he had no son, his chief servant Eliezer would inherit: I use "servant" rather than "slave" because obviously this is not a "chattel slave" system such as we found in the Mesopotamian cities of the time: there, a slave would never inherit, but indeed would be inherited along with the rest of the "property" by Abraham's nearest cousins if he was childless; the nomadic society presumed by the narrative is not the same as the urban society of Hammurabi's Code (even locating Abraham's cousins might have been problematic, unlike in the cities; so obviously practicalities change the practices). This is one reason I don't really believe that the Ur ha-Khashdim from which he came was really the Mesopotamian city of Ur, although most of the literature takes that identification for granted: Khashdim moved into downriver Mesopotamia at a later period, and the name became eroded to "Chaldeans"; but by that period Ur was already in steep decline (its heyday had been in Sumerian times). More likely he was from some little hamlet up in Kurdistan.
     
  15. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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    Heh. Autotelic personality

    Wiki has an interesting article:
    Mechanism of flow
    In every given moment, there is a great deal of information made available to each individual. Psychologists have found that one's mind can attend to only a certain amount of information at a time. According to Miller's 1956 study, that number is about 126 bits of information per second. That may seem like a large number (and a lot of information), but simple daily tasks take quite a lot of information. Just having a conversation takes about 40 bits of information per second; that's 1/3 of one's capacity.[7] That is why when one is having a conversation he or she cannot focus as much of his or her attention on other things.
    For the most part (except for basic bodily feelings like hunger and pain, which are innate), people are able to decide what they want to focus their attention on. However, when one is in the flow state, he or she is completely engrossed with the one task at hand and, without making the conscious decision to do so, loses awareness of all other things: time, people, distractions, and even basic bodily needs. This occurs because all of the attention of the person in the flow state is on the task at hand; there is no more attention to be allocated.[7]
     
  16. Etu Malku

    Etu Malku Mercuræn

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    Not quite sure what you were reading but the very first sentence is;
    subsequent sentences are;
     
  17. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    at the risk of further hijacking the thread, surely you would also recognise that there has to be some purpose to being an anti-theist, presumably linked to the supposed harms of theism, so i suggest you start a thread in the "comparative religion" part of the forum on how you see anti-theism.

    we've never seen the point either; the closest we get to a "devil" with ha-satan is the idea of a somewhat overzealous public prosecutor that isn't above entrapment to get a conviction.

    holy crap, when was the last time i heard one of them, it's usually either "studied in new york" accent or full-on "eeuuuuuhhhhh, ze euuuuuuh terroristik infrastructure". i think the new ambassador to the uk is actually a hendon-born brit originally, so he probably tuts every 20 seconds unless they've smacked that particularly annoying speech tic out of him.

    precisely.

    oooh, this is a new one - there was more than one ur? that sounds quite interesting. of course, back then people hadn't come up with that many names. i bet there were loads of places called ur simply because people had to stop and try and remember the name of the city, as opposed to calling it "the city" (oi'm going to sell my camels in.....ur...."). or perhaps they just didn't like the look of it ("that's where you're from? ur!") perhaps it's the near-eastern equivalent of someone from somerset going "ooo-AAAAAARRRRRRR" and singing that famous old folksong:

    now pass me the cider, worzel.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  18. Lunitik

    Lunitik Interfaith Forums

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    This is not valuable, psychologists cannot understand mind because they are analyzing it FROM mind. Consider it like the difference between a rabbit and a bird. While low to the ground, the rabbit is left to react to what is going on immediately before it. The bird can go high into the sky and look down at everything going on. Which will know the situation better? The bird obviously, the rabbits perspective is too much limited.
     
  19. bob x

    bob x New Member

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    When I said "the text" does not talk about Jews building the pyramids, I was reading the text of Exodus. The text of the news articles you cited did talk about the folk-legend that Jews built the pyramids (Begin, as noted, was responsible for propagating that one) but that has nothing to do with the Biblical story.
    Well, by "we" here you are not including all Jews, but only the post-Pharisaic stream of thought from after the sack of the Temple. In Persian, Seleucid, Hasmonean, and Herodian periods, when there were all kinds of "Jewish" schools of thought, it was not unusual to include an "anti-God" in the metaphysics, typically called Belia'al and maybe or maybe not identified with S'atan (and/or with Ba'al Zebub "lord of the flies", a minor god of diseases denounced by Elijah). And while that strain of thought is pretty much extinct within Judaism, it was presumed as background by the early Christians: mojobadshah is quite correct to interpret this particular bit of ideology as a derivation from Zoroastrian influence (not really derived from the Hebrew tradition in the Tanakh); though it should be noted that the medieval Christian conception of "The Devil" also includes a very non-Zoroastrian component, namely the rejection of the popular European "Horned God" Cernunno whose goat-form and association with dreaded sexuality formed a large part of the medieval picture.
    Yeah, Benny the Yahoo is an archetype of the "New York pseudo-Yiddish" accent, and Avigdor Lieberman of the alien-and-proud-of-it. The classic "upper-crust Brit" accent was most fully displayed by Abba Eban, who is probably before the time of most people here. I remember an old joke, possibly even a true story, about Golda Meir and Abba Eban visiting Nixon and Kissinger; Eban took some very non-kosher food from the buffet, joshing "I can't get this at home", and Nixon said, "Heck, my Secretary of State is a better Jew than yours", to which Golda retorted, "Yes, but mine speaks better English!"
    That's probably who I was thinking of.
    I thought I'd been through this a long time ago. Ur was the generic Sumerian word for "city" and occurs compounded with other roots (sort of like "-burg" or "-ville") in names like Uruk and Nippur. So when the Khashdic people lived up in "Kurdistan" rather than down in "Chaldean" (both "Kurd" and "Chald" are erosions of that difficult "Khashd") one of their towns could have been called Ur ha-Khashdim, and I have a candidate. Another generic city-name was the Hurrian Arrapha; Kirkuk was just called Arrapha "the city" much like Sumerian Ur was just "the" city (here in the Bay Area, "The City" means San Francisco, of course!) But there was an Arpha-Khashd on the upper Zab between lakes Van and Urmia, a fairly logical place for descendants of survivors of the boat-crash on Mount Ararat (assuming that has some historical basis) to settle eventually: Ptolemy gives its co-ordinates (under the name Arraphachitis) and it occurs in the genealogy from Shem to Abraham (under the vowel-pointing Arphakhshad; I'm assuming the genealogy is a rough summary of the history, and that the name "Arphaxad" doesn't refer to a person but to the occasion "and then we built this town..."); in 1980 I went hunting for the site, and found an old section of mud-brick walls sticking out of a swamp. Unfortunately the site would be very difficult to excavate, both physically (the river broadens out and has buried the area in slime) and politically (it is a Military Exclusion Zone in Turkey, very near to the Iranian border; I got arrested just for being there).
     
  20. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    sorry, i meant we as in that. it's the only "we" there still is!

    apparently we also have goat-demons, associated with esau, mount se'ir and the "azazel" of the scapegoat ritual. i'm not sure how much older that stuff is though; the scapegoat ritual is in the Torah but the rest of it is, i think, much later.

    you mean the crooked-racist-scumbag-and-proud-of-it.

    my uncle, a great fundraiser, once had to drive abba eban somewhere; apparently he was excellent value for money as a conversationalist although so flatulent they had to keep the wind open.

    i don't think so, i'd have remembered. it's jolly interesting.

    you were lucky, they only just let those two blokes out today for doing the same thing.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     

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