Vocabulary & Definitions
from Many Religions
COSMOLOGY QUESTIONS (ALL ARE ANSWERED "IMHO")
Why was matter created?
I believe that Spirit God made Matter Goddess because God was lonely and knew himself completely (i.e., he got bored real fast). Each new aspect to matter had more and more free will and enabled God to see and understand himself from another perspective. So far, humans are the farthest removed, being many, many generations removed from the initial created matter. We perceive God as a separate entity from ourselves.
What about the Bible?
The People of the Book (Jews, Christians, and Muslims) all share the Old Testament, or at least the first few books of it. I also think the first four books of the Bible have a lot of important things to say, considering they have been handed down for nearly six thousand year, and existed in oral tradition before then! I understand the process of creation as outlined in the Bible to reflect the magical Elements, the course of evolution, and the concept "as above, so below."
Having been raised in a Christian tradition, I also understand Jesus of Nazareth to be the anointed messenger and prophet of God, chosen from before birth to spread teachings about the wonderful possibilities of a close relationship with God. I am careful to seek the original source of New Testament writings, since much of what the Roman Catholic Church included (or didn't!) was written by religious scholars long after the time of Jesus' ministry.
I do not believe the Bible to be infallible. I view the Bible as part science treatise, part theological commentary, part history, and part allegory. I view it as a valuable piece of religious literature that has been modified by many people throughout history, but which still has a great deal to offer in the way of comfort, inspiration, moral example, and socio-historical understanding.
Call me crazy, I also accept that the Old Testament and other similar documents may chronicle human interaction with people from another planet. See the works of Zecaria Sitchin for more details on the Annunaki and the Nibiru.
Do demons exist?
Short answer, yes. Long answer, I believe there are non-corporeal entities that thrive on energy, hence the need to erect a protective circle when raising magic or traveling out-of-body. Do all non-corporeal entities have an evil nature? No, not all humans are jerks either, but there's one in every crowd, so you have to know how to handle them. In other words, when you are using magic, DON'T BE STUPID!
I believe he was. He was described as a good Jewish rabbi, after all. And the disciples were always jealous that he spent so much time with a woman, Mary Magdalene.
Another reason I believe this is my reading of the account in John, chapter two, of the miracle at the wedding in Cana. I prefer to use the Wycliffe translation of the New Testament because I believe it is the most accurate one of all.
But first, a little history lesson about Jewish marriage customs. Before a NT times Jewish couple married, the couple would be engaged, much like modern Western relationships. The couple gets to know one another and their families. Betrothal and marriage complete the process of getting hitched in ancient Judea and in Jewish families today.
There were three ways a couple could begin the second stage of the marriage process, called kiddushin, or "sacred betrothal."
1) The groom could permanently give the bride a token payment or ring of a determined value,
2) The groom and bride could sign a boilerplate contract with or without amendments,
3) The couple could have sex.
In any case, the woman is the one agreeing to the union. A rabbi was not required to consecrate any Jewish marriage; that is only a modern accommodation of American civil laws regarding marriage, and frankly, an imitation of Christian customs. This is the first step to marriage and is not revokable.
Before the ceremony and feast to publicize the marriage and begin the final stage of marriage called nisuin, or "elevation", which occurs when the husband brings his new wife into his home, there is a period of one week where the groom is not allowed to see the bride, who still lives in her father's house.
The story in John of the wedding at Cana states Jesus et al. were "called" to the wedding. This makes sense if he hadn't been allowed to see his betrothed wife the whole week before. He does not put on the feast, he is told when to show up.
Also, the servants obey Jesus. They are familiar with his role in the celebration, a role that apparently permits him giving orders about filling pots with water and then taking the magically transformed wine over to the master of the feast.
In the NT account, the master of the feast (or maitre d' for lack of a better term) "called the spouse." "The spouse" is not named, but this is a simple story with relatively few characters. And it clearly shows that Jesus and maitre d' were not in the same location of the room/field/whatever, hence the "calling". And it seems unlikely that the writer would insert an extra character.
And why would Mary be involved in the supply issue if it wasn't a party in honor of her own son's marriage? I mean, was she revealed in this story as some sort of hyperactive stage mom trying to get her son to show off for the crowd? I doubt that very much.
And I highly doubt Jesus was working magic without the knowledge of "the spouse", which would certainly cause a stir if the spouse was anyone besides Jesus, because earlier in the passage Jesus' mother tells him about the wine shortage and he, A) is annoyed at being bothered during the feast (because it's his?) and B) says he wasn't supposed to reveal himself to have powers yet.
So I'm thinking he just quietly transforms the water 'offstage' because he wants to shut up his mother and get back to the party with a minimum of fuss and bother. I mean, come on, it's only the servants who would know where the wine came from anyway, so he wouldn't really be blowing his cover too much, right?
By the way, the "water" that he magically transforms was the leftover water from everyone scooping out "two or three measures" of water for ritually washing their hands and feet before eating bread at a meal. They would scoop it out with a tool called a wash cup.
Here is a bit of research I did on St. Paul's "Fruits of the Spirit". It talks about correspondences with numbers and edible fruits based on Bible passages. It also talks about the history of Bible translations. It was written for a spiritual talk I gave in July 2008. We actually made the fruit salad recipe using: Tbsp honey, 2 watermelon cubes, 3 halved Bing cherries, 7 almonds, Tbsp chopped dates, Tbsp whole-berry cranberry sauce, 3 halved green seedless grapes, 1/3 bag Bigelow Mint Medley tea, and 7 whole pistachio nuts. YUMMY!
Here is the handout I provided at the talk which summarizes all the information in the essay. (It's basically a glorified recipe!)