Epistle Sent To Jesus From

Epistle Sent To Jesus From A Jewish Rabbi Who Knew A Certain Woman Taken in Adultery

Barlevim, son of Enosh, to Jesus the Galilean, Hail.

Much has been said of your teachings among us, and concerning your actions the people have spoken much. Though I cannot hear your public speeches, I have carefully weighed all the reports I hear of them. On one hand, these reports often are filled with many innovations and fables, on the other hand, I judge these to be added by the people and the priests who in modern times have been infected with the decadence of Babylon. I know the time comes when we shall be loosened from this exile, and I judge that you and the other prophets will make straight the paths to the ransomer and King promised by our fathers.

Many of the innovations I have heard in your words are clearly children’s fables, that you clearly have never said. Yet there is one story upon which many in my town have borne witness, and upon which many have given the same report. Let it not be said that I follow the vain imaginings of the people, but I must seek from you the exact retelling, for your doctrine is in danger of total destruction from the rumors which now afflict it.

There is a certain woman in this town whose father* was well known to me. On many occasions, this very father sought me, afflicted by the dishonor she would be spreading to her kin. Long before this woman came to the age to be given [in marriage] even then she was of wanton life. She joined herself to many shamefully and would “lie in wait for many on the low roads”. She afflicted her father to betroth her to an unfortunate man, one who would not deal with her according to the way of our fathers. Few came to the feast, for fear of being seen with her, and in sorrow that the pairing was so cursed before the law. Neither did her life become justified from the wedding tent. Still she carried on in secret with strange men, some of the tribe, others even of the nations. As often as she would be suspected or her shame known to us, so often her husband would refrain from the law. Her words “had made him as a broken urn”, and “he was carried away in the nights weeping on his couch”. Yet only to me did he tell his sorrow. The people of the town thought him the greatest of fools, a man most cursed. His afflictions struck him with rot of the belly, and a trembling of the vaporal humors. He took to wine and his afflictions progress even unto death. It was I who first decided to call her before the law.

The circumstances of my decision were these. In the time of the last moon, I found her husband in that place**. He had torn himself with his grief, and was not able to speak. I forced the story from him only through his broken speech. The details are unspeakable, though by this time it is clear that even you have heard of them.

It was I who forced him before the judges to tell his story. This woman had far exceeded the seven times we are called upon to look away; she was long cast aside in the eyes of the Blessed who sees all. The judges met in counsel and decided to delay the judgment another three days. I thought this was a foolish move, for all knew of your intent to come to our town at that time, and I thought that this matter should be dealt with quietly. They denied my wishes by bringing her before you. This could only add to her husband’s shame and disgrace. In the time the woman was being held, I am told she wept many tears. These were all, in truth, false, for a false woman is as rot to a man’s bones. One of the guards, knowing her shameful acts, claimed she tried to seduce him in the prison.

The tales of her meeting you are ever present now, yet the priests, and the other literate men who were there will say nothing. I can only discern from what I see that you did not render to her the appropriate judgment of the law. But that is to be expected. In these modern times, the law has been forgotten by so many that to abide by our the clear Laws of our Fathers would leave all the nations under the sword. It is prudent to leave the enforcement of the law to the most extreme cases, given the Roman dictum. It was not fair to you that you should judge this case, for none but He Who Sees All could immediately discern all the evil and wickedness that I have seen in this woman. No one who truly knows her could turn his face from her crimes.

I write you this that you might reconsider your judgment, which was clearly made without knowledge of all this woman’s crimes. I have had much respect for your doctrine, and I have tried to help you from falling into utter disrepute. I have made it clear to all that you are a Galilean, living some three days away. You were clearly unable to know the true squalor and filth of this woman’s life, unable to know the lives she has ruined, the families she has rent asunder, the children she has so disgraced. I ask that you return to give a second judgment, one that will give to her what she has merited through her actions.

Notes from translator:

* “father” or “legal custodian” the word is ambiguous.

** The place is unclear.

The characters here are ficticious.
——–

The Pleasant as a Habit

The Pleasant as a Habit

Horses are pleasant to the lover of horses, just as acts of justice are pleasant to the just man

Pleasures proceed from the nature of the thing that has them. Dogs enjoy chasing squirrels, cats don’t. Dogs don’t enjoy batting mice, cats do. These sorts of things are pleasant by nature.

Contradicting nature can occasionally be pleasant, but the problem with doing this is that nature will fight against the pleasure. As far as I know, only finite intelligent beings can enjoy contradicting nature. This is because nature is a limit, and by contradicting it we can feel as though we have no limitations. We can feel like gods.

The problem with doing this is that nature never gets tired out by our pretended attempts to transcend it. Try making a stone become tired of falling down by repeatedly tossing it up.

When we make a habit of an action which contradicts nature, we become far more enslaved than nature does. We become like men who are addicted to throwing a stone in the air, waiting for it to fly away. The habit makes what was once a novelty become a farce. Our only relief is to try to cease to be, to use our life to make death. But this is as impossible as trying to train stones to fly.

But the one who follows nature can love his life. The solipsistic, vain, and comical attempts to become as a god, which he can see all around him, vanish and recede more and more into darkness and oblivion. Over time, even the darkness recedes, driven out by light.

——–

Gorgeous Latin thought Haec prima

Gorgeous Latin thought

Haec prima basia multorum

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A Transcript of a PBS

A Transcript of a PBS Special about the Carribean: Narrated and Produced by Polar Bears

(Opening sequence: Still shots of the beach at dawn, soundless with no signs of life)

Narrator: It is dawn in one of the most forbidding places on earth. The morning temperature is already a swealtering sixty- five degrees, and by noon it will skyrocket to almost seventy- seven degrees.

(Cut to a shot of the beaches)

Beaches compose most the the equitorial habitat: these bleak and lifeless tracts of sand stretch on for miles, without any vegitation or native wildlife. For those who come, the struggle for existence is hard and unrelenting…

(Cue intro music, the National Geographic theme song, followed by various sponsors of Polar Bear products)

(return, show random humans walking on the beach)

During summer, when the conditions on the beach are the most difficult and desolate, humans flock to the beaches. To protect themselves against the sweltering heat, humans must wear the bare mimimum of clothing…

(Cut to various shots of people in swimsuits)

they also have evolved various behaviors which allow them to deal with the oppressive conditions. Here we see a human seeking refuge under a thin palm tree (show). But often this is not enough. When the temperature gets too extreme, the humans are forced to plunge themselves into the boiling ocean.

(show humans running into the water and swimming)

This provides the humans with a small relief from the high sun which beats down on them. But within the oppressive conditions of the ocean, there are many lurking dangers…

(cue ominous music, cut abruptly to the sleek, fluid body of a 12 foot shark)

Far away from the comfortable arctic waters, the shark is on the prowl. Scientists have estimated that over 150,000 sharks live within fourty miles of the carribean shoreline. These sleek killers have razor sharp teeth, and can easily prey on the humans, who have no claws, and pencil- thick limbs…

(Cut to an underwater shot of humans treading in 10 foot deep water. Then cut to shots of a shark, then cut to a person swimming, then show a picture of a shark, then show a person running onto the beach, then show the shark swimming away)

This human has run back onto the beach, but others have not been so lucky

(show various black and white pictures of human shark-attack victims)

Over eight humans a year are massacred by these deadly predators, those who survive, live to pass on their their genetic ability to avoid these killers of the slow… and the weak.


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On Christ’s Preference for Superabundant

On Christ’s Preference for Superabundant Quantities

The Gospel makes use of several exorbitant amounts. In the parable of the man who would not forgive the small debt, the man himself owed 10,000 talents to the King (The Parthenon was built for 470 talents, and this was reckoned to be a very hefty price- like building a 700 million dollar stadium). One talent is, by itself, an exorbitant sum- which could provide one person with more or less anything they desire- but consider that this is the smallest sum given in the parable of the talents. Christ’s first miracle is the creation of 156 gallons of wine for a wedding. The fish which he multiplies are multiplied well over 2500 times (and how large are the 12 baskets which are left over?). The fishes which Christ causes Peter to catch are so numerous they risk bursting the nets.

Cosider also the superabundant number of angels that the new testament speaks of. Before we even start counting the hosts of heaven, we have to count the guardians (“I assure you, the face of their angels is always before God”). This immediately commits us to tens of Billions of angels.

——–

On Anxiety Anxiety is the

On Anxiety

Anxiety is the inactivity proceeding from disorder. Anxiety destroys ends, because when an person suffering from anxiety looks into the future he sees no attainable good. But whatever destroys an end must destroy action, for all actions are for some end. The modern psychiatric term for anxiety is “depression”.

Anxiety is, like all mental disorders, irrational. The one who suffers from it cannot “understand” it any more than the one who does not suffer from it. There is, in the last analysis, nothing to understand. Anxiety doesn’t “make sense” to anyone. If we don’t have it, we simply assume those who have it are weak and effeminate (and we are in a certain sense right). If we have anxiety, it is of no use to tell us that what we are doing is irrational- because our very problem is that we have embraced the irrational. It is of no use to tell the anxious person “to do something”- his very problem is that he has crippled his power to act.
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On Nostalgia Daily life is

On Nostalgia

Daily life is ruined by trifles. The sort of things that usually ruin our day are things which won’t be remembered in three days. Perhaps we won’t even remember them in the morning. Think hard about a “bad day” you had over a week ago. Chances are you can’t even remember it. If you do remember such a day, go back another week, and try to remember why the day you had that day was bad. Chances are that you can’t even remember two weeks past in terms of “good days” and “bad days”.

The little things that ruin days are forgotten. The day was probably not ruined anyway. “I made an ass of myself in front of _____”, “I totally screwed up______”, “I can’t stand it when he does _______”

In all likelihood, the guy you thought you made an ass out of yourself in front of never thought you were doing anything terribly wrong, and no one cared that you screwed up______, and you don’t really care that some guy did _____, you just bring it up to have a story to tell.

trifles are the stuff of a day; they have their hour, and are forgotten. But because we forget them, we can sometimes be inclined to see the past as better than the present. The present always has its trifles, but the past has only forgotten ones. Many people would prefer to live in the past: as they remember it. Things are always getting worse: compared to the time we have forgotten.

It is possible to do the opposite, of course; because we can’t remember the past, we think the present is better. The principle is the same as nostalgia (and just as fallacious) but the conclusion is contrary. Progressivism is as irrational as nostalgia. Beware any general trends you think you see in history.
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On Prophecy in Bats. Everything

On Prophecy in Bats.

Everything existing in our mind is immaterial. But everything in our mind comes through sensation, and all our sensations are of material things. So with everything we know, something must be stripped away, or taken off. The sort of things we know are not the sort of things most fit for knowledge, because we have to take away some things from them in order to know them. This is one way to understand the classical dictum “the things most knowable to us are least knowable in themselves”.

The classical example of this is that our minds are to the most knowable things as the eye of the bat is to the sun. Philosophy seeks to understand these things least knowable to us- and if you want to understand what philosophy is like, try constructing the account that a bat would give of daytime.

How would the bat describe color? For his whole life, the bat has viewed the forest as a more or less homogeneous color- bark is the same as leaves and as dirt. The moon, stars, and snow are a contrasting color. What would the bat say if he suddenly had a vision of day? How would he describe the distinction in color between the tree trunk and it’s leaves? “Behold, I saw the tree apart from its branches, yet it did not change it’s shape!”

How would he describe the sun? “Lo! In the sky the moon burned as ten thousand moons! and the stars were wiped from the sky!”

How would he describe the sky, which for the bat mind is the same color as the land? “I saw heaven and earth parted from each other as with a knife, they were rent apart, and yet rested without motion or seam!”

“as snow on the field blinds us in the full moon, so the world blinded me. A blinding as of snow was in front of me, and above- and yet I felt only the warmth of the summer winds. And in that blinding world, I saw clearly. What was once far off was now almost at hand.”

The Bat philosophers and theologians would have quite a time working this all out. And they would struggle for ages over what is, to a higher mind, self evident.
——–

Manipulation requires only an excessive amount of self love.

The Locus of Refutation No

The Locus of Refutation

No philosophy since Descartes (and some earlier ones) has been able to give an account for the principle of contradiction, and if they could they could not account for its primacy: i.e. how it is the first thing known. The Principle of contradiction requires the concept of being as such. Being is, and cannot not be (some add, “at the same time and in the same respect”). We must say thet “being” or “thing-ness” or “quod quid est” or even “stuff” is primary to our intellect.

Most modern philosophies fail because thay think man has no access to being as such. They take some part of being, and treat it in isolation. Ask any modern philosopher how he articulates the principle of contradiction. He won’t be able to answer. You will get many long- winded sermons about subjectivity, intuitions, sensation, possible worlds, critical theory, horizons of experience, possible experience, empirical knowledge, sythetic a priori judgments, feminist critical theory, “the correspondence theory of truth”, object- creation, Dasein, categories of possible experience, the revealing of being, the primacy of politics and the good, “the Socratic turn”, hypothetical formation, falsifiablity, evolution, brain cortexes, brain hemispheres, language games, regulative principles, complex intuitions, clear and distinct ideas, paradigms… etc.

What do all of these things have in common?

NONE OF THEM ARE TRULY PRIMARY AND KNOWN.

because all presuppose the principle of contradiction.

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