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Remember the Maine: False Flag patterns, and a very significant date

Remember the Maine: False Flag patterns, and a very significant date

Above is a video version of an astonishing interview on The Higherside Chats between host Greg Carlwood and researcher Ole Dammegard which was published on April 11 of this year (04/11/2015).

In light of recent events, it is worth going back and carefully listening to this interview, because many of the patterns of recent events that Ole and Greg explore during this conversation from seven months ago are shockingly similar to patterns we have seen over the past seven days.

The interview explores the abundant evidence which suggests that fear-inducing events may be deliberately employed in order to shock the emotions of a large number of people, in order to enable the pursuit of policies that the majority of the people would strongly oppose or vigorously protest had it not been for the emotionally-manipulative event that was staged in order to overcome that resistance (and in fact to change the popular opinion towards demanding an action that they would  have otherwise opposed).

Such deliberately provoked or artificially manufactured events, designed to arouse the populace to clamor for actions that they would previously have opposed, are often referred to as "false flags," a term from the days in which sailing ships flew their colors to show their nation of origin: if a ship falsely displayed the flag of an enemy, and then committed some kind of atrocity in order to blame that act on the enemy and arouse the anger of the population so that they would demand revenge or other violent action as a response, then that incident could be termed a "false flag" event.

Beginning at about 0:06:10 in the interview as time-stamped in the YouTube version embedded above (and linked here), the conversation between Greg -- who is an excellent interviewer and prepares pages of questions before an interview -- and Ole proceeds as follows:

GREG: That is tragic and strange enough, but let's get into some of these shootings, these -- quite possibly staged events, I mean: we've seen several here in the United States, but now it seems like they're on a world tour -- just going all over the place. Just in the past six or seven months we have events in Paris [referring to the Charlie Hebdo shootings of January 2015, since this interview was published in April 2015], Copenhagen, Sydney and Ottawa and a couple of others -- and they all seem to fit a pretty predictable pattern, which is one of the first clues someone can look at to see if these events really are random, or if they're part of a larger agenda, but -- you know -- you've been looking into these pretty heavily: what are you finding, man?
OLE: I've spent some thirty years of my life looking into these things, and learning how they think, and how very strict they are: they are not very flexible, I would say, they haven't got a lot of imagination either when they carry these things out. They are all based on the old Roman tactic: Problem -- Reaction -- Solution. 
I know we've talked about that before -- I'm just going to repeat it because it's so essential to understand what's going on. The people in power -- in so-called "power" -- they secretly create a problem. The reason for that is to get the reaction, from the population: we're talking globally, now. The reaction is always fear-based, like: "Oh my GOD! Something needs to be done!" Where, it's an emotional reaction they're looking for, so we do not use our skills of observation or good-thinking -- we just freak out, and say "Oh my GOD! We are under attack -- something needs to be done!" and then we turn towards these people, that we are not aware of secretly created the problem, that will then serve us the solution -- and we will welcome it; we will even see them as heroes, you know. 
And the solution is every single time something we would never ever have accepted, had it not been for the problem: Problem -- Reaction -- Solution. And every single time as well, you will see the solution -- if it's a "false flag" or if they are the ones behind it -- the solution is the same, every single time: "You  have to pay." You have to  give up your civil rights, your human rights, you have to accept more and more militarized police, robo-cops, military vehicles in the streets, martial law -- give up the rights for privacy, for your computers, for the surveillance cameras, for scanners, for you-name-it [. . .]
So this is the signs to look out for. When you see them, before you even start looking into the details of what's going on: see what happens straight after these things [. . .]

Much later in the interview -- actually during the "Plus" part of the show which is for subscribers to Greg's THC+ program (which enables Greg to pursue this valuable radio-podcast format without any commercials and thus without having to worry about leverage or pressure being applied on him to change his show by those paying for the commercials) -- Ole and Greg explore the possible significance of dates upon which suspicious events (which may have been false flag events designed to arouse the anger of the populace) have taken place, and the locations where they happen:

OLE (beginning at around 1:18:00 of the "Plus" version of the interview): [. . .] OK, so, we look at the date -- and if you remember right it [. . .] was also Valentine's Day, which they use that for Satanic rituals as well -- and the name of the place was Khoten, which in Danish means "the Gunpowder Keg," and if you look at one of the most famous false flags ever, it was the Guy Fawkes thing, the "Gunpowder Plot," you know when he was about to blow up the Parliament and so on. I'm just pointing these out -- I'm not saying it is totally sure -- I'm just pointing them out, OK? 
And the second part of this happened on the 15th of February. And many of these false flags happen on the same dates but different years. And the 15th of February was when they -- another false flag -- when they blew up the USS Maine in the harbor of Havana, on Cuba, in 1898 I think. This was -- it's been proven now to have been an inside job, either an accident or an inside job. But, Spain was blamed for it -- that they had blown up this American ship -- and it gave the US an excuse to start a war with Spain, and the result was that Spain had to give up the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam. I mean, those were stolen, and that was the first part of the American Empire, that was started on a false flag, and that was exactly on the 15th. [. . .]

The fact that the explosion on the Maine (the masts of which I'm told have been claimed to serve as the flagpoles at two different military service academies in the US -- West Point and Annapolis -- as well as at Arlington national cemetery, which is ironic because the ship itself only had two masts) was used as justification to launch a war when in fact the ship was not destroyed by enemy action would appear to indicate that the Spanish-American War was thus an illegal war of aggression launched under false pretenses, either deliberately or mistakenly.

The same can be said for the infamous Gulf of Tonkin incident from the 1960s which led to a massive buildup of troops and combat action in Vietnam, which would probably have been much more strongly opposed had the extremely suspicious supposed attacks in the Gulf of Tonkin (which turned out not to have been attacks at all) not been exploited in much the same manner as the USS Maine incident had been exploited nearly seven decades earlier.

These historical precedents, in which an incident which in hindsight can now be seen to have been presented to the people in a completely misleading manner in order to effect a profound change in popular opinion, and in fact to start wars under false pretenses, should be examined very carefully today, in light of the events of the past week and in light of the evidence which Ole Dammegard presented in his April interview based on the patterns he has found in studying possible false flag events from the recent past.

Most concerning is the pattern he points out regarding the importance of looking closely at what happens after the event in question. In the case of the horrible events in Paris last week, we are told that the crime was solved in an amazingly short amount of time, so quickly that the movements of all the perpetrators and their origins could be definitively determined, and then large-scale military actions could be planned and actually carried out, less than forty-eight hours after the Paris event took place.

So, given the patterns described by Ole and Greg in their interview from April of this year, and based upon details which can be seen surfacing again and again in suspicious "public-opinion altering events" going back all the way to the USS Maine, are there any significant patterns present in the date and location of the horrendous public-opinion altering event that took place in Paris last week?

In fact, it is possible to find some extremely significant correspondences.

The attacks took place on Friday, November 13th (just as the financial markets in the US were closing, which amazingly is yet another pattern that Ole brings up in his interview with Greg from April of this year, in which Ole points out how many suspicious, shocking, public-opinion altering events take place late on a Friday, as the markets in the US are closing).

November 13 happens to be a date of tremendous significance in the tremendously important myth of Isis and Osiris, as related by the ancient philosopher (and initiated priest of the ancient mysteries, including possibly those of Isis) Plutarch or Plutarchus (AD 46 - AD 120).

In his very important account of the Isis and Osiris myth, entitled De Iside et Osiride in Latin, Plutarch writes that the murder of Osiris (the husband of Isis) by his treacherous brother Set (or Typhon, as Plutarch calls Set, based on Greek mythology) took place at a big party amidst much revelry -- and Plutarch relates:

They say also that the date on which this deed was done was the seventeenth day of Athyr, when the sun passes through the Scorpion [. . .].

This is significant, because according to the footnote in the Loeb classical edition of 1936,

the seventeenth day of Athyr on which Osiris was said to have been slain corresponds to November the 13th.

If you want to look that up for yourself, see footnote number 72 (a very significant number, oddly enough, and one that corresponds to the number of henchmen who helped Set kill his brother Osiris, according to Plutarch's account) in the web page linked above containing a translation of Plutarch's text.

So much for the significance of the date.

The significance of the place is fairly obvious -- many authors and analysts down through the years  including the insightful Robert Taylor (one of the pioneers of what today is sometimes called "aztrotheology") have opined that Paris is the city especially dedicated to the goddess Isis

(Par-Isis). And indeed, the fact that the city's most famous cathedral is dedicated to Notre Dame -- our Lady, the Queen of Heaven -- who can be shown to correspond to the goddess Isis in the celestial system underlying all the world's mythology (including the stories in the New Testament) seems to be evidence supporting such an identification of Paris and the goddess Isis.

It is also significant that the initial bombing by the US of the terrorist group which the western media chooses to refer to as "ISIS" commenced on September 22, 2014 -- a date of tremendous significance on the zodiac calendar, associated with the fall equinox, and presided over by the zodiac sign of Virgo the Virgin, who can be shown to relate to both the goddess Isis and the Virgin Mary (see for instance the analysis presented in this video).

The accusation that a nation or entity is using a false flag event in order to deliberately inflame the people to clamor for military action that they would otherwise not support is very serious, and it is of course too soon to draw any conclusions about the very recent events of November 13, 2015.

However, the shocking number of significant points of correspondence with the patterns that Ole Dammegard has found in his examination of serious and suspicious events from the past, and which he described in an interview with Greg Carlwood which aired back in April of this year, should cause everyone to pay very close attention to what Ole and Greg are talking about in that interview, and also to think very carefully about the implications of events such as the sinking of the USS Maine in 1898 and the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964.

Those incidents caused massive changes of public opinion in support of wars which in hindsight may well have been illegal in nature, not wars of self-defense but something else altogether.

I would even go so far as to suggest that every single human being has a responsibility to consider these matters very carefully -- and to peacefully but vigorously oppose the escalation of military force, physical violence, and the massive violations of human rights which are predicated upon the wide-spread fear-based responses to events whose full significance and origin are still not completely clear.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

The Djed Column every day: Ahimsa

The Djed Column every day: Ahimsa

original image (background): Wikimedia commons (link). "Ahimsa" added by the author.

We've been exploring the concept of "raising the Djed" as part of daily practice, and have been examining some of the different paths from around the world which appear to be related to that idea.

As the preceding post discussed, the practice of Yoga may qualify as one of the most well-preserved of the great "streams" of ancient knowledge which has survived to the present day. It is a practice which contains in its broad current much more than the asanas or Yoga postures which are most commonly associated with Yoga, and it is a practice which has as part of its explicit aims the ultimate transformation of the consciousness and the elevation of the "divine flame within oneself" which is clearly very closely connected to that idea which appears to be so central to the world's ancient sacred traditions, which the ancient Egyptian symbolism described as the "raising back up" of the Djed of Osiris, and which is present in other forms in other myth-cycles, and in the Great Cross of the Year created by the "horizontal line" between the equinoxes and the "vertical line" between the solstices (see here).

While much more can be said about the significance of the Yoga asanas, their very ancient origin (some postures, indeed, being depicted on seals and miniature sculptures dating back to Mohenjo Daro and Harappa, circa 2500 BC, as discussed by Victor H. Mair in the important examination of parallels between concepts in the Taoism and Yoga found on page 158 in the appendix of his translation of the Ma-Wang-Tui texts of the Tao Te Ching, 1990, and other Yoga-like postures depicted in certain artistic representations from ancient Egypt, as discussed by John Anthony West in his indispensable 1979 study, Serpent in the Skyfor example on page 93), and while Yoga itself as a comprehensive system encompasses many important disciplines in addition to the asanas which can each be seen as disciplines for "raising the Djed" in daily life and which are also found in other streams of the ancient wisdom of the human race, we will here focus in on one particular facet of Yogic expression which all by itself can be seen as an essential distillation of the concept of elevating the spiritual aspect in this dual material-physical universe: the concept of ahimsa.

Ahimsa is a Sanskrit word which combines the negative prefix "a-" and the word himsa, which means "to do injury" or "to do harm," and which comes from a root word meaning "to strike a blow." Thus, ahimsa is often translated as meaning "non-injury," "non-violence," "non-harm," and by extension "compassion" and "beneficence towards all." It is often understood to go well beyond the idea of not actually doing physical violence to another, and to encompass also the idea of "not even wishing to do violence" or "not even harboring harmful intent at all."

In an essay on the wider concepts of "Yama and Niyama" published in 1903 (beginning on page 637 of this publication), Yogic and Vedic scholar Hirendra Nath Sinha wrote of this wider understanding of ahimsa:

What appears on the physical plane as an injury to another is from the stand point of spirit, really an injury to one's self. Every act and thought of ours recoils on ourself and affects our prospects. Non-injury has therefore been defined as not injuring another by thought, word or deed. [. . .] There should not be even the least shadow of ill-feeling in the one's mind. We may do a good deed or be charitable on the pressure of circumstances; but if the heart does not concur or the mind hesitates even for a moment we are far away from the realisation of Ahimsa. We generally do greater harm mentally than by words or acts, because our thoughts are not so very easily detectable as our words or acts and capable of being restrained. 645-646. 

Clearly, such an expression of beneficence and non-harm would be very difficult to achieve even for a fleeting instant, let alone for long stretches of the day, and thus the concept of ahimsa can certainly be seen to be a practice we can try to incorporate into the pattern of our lives, without worrying that we will achieve it very rapidly and have to search around for another goal to accomplish once that one's "out of the way"!

In fact, Mahatma Gandhi put a very high value on the practice of ahimsa, positing a symbiotic relationship between the pursuit of ahimsa and the pursuit of Truth, and he himself wrote about how elusive the pursuit of true ahimsa, even for a fleeting moment, was in his own life. He says in his autobiography, entitled The Story of My Experiments with Truth:

My uniform experience has convinced me that there is no other God than Truth. And if every page of these chapters does not proclaim to the reader that the only means for the realization of Truth is Ahimsa, I shall deem all my labour in writing these chapters to have been in vain. And, even though my efforts in this behalf may prove fruitless, let the readers know that the vehicle, not the great principle, is at fault. After all, however sincere my strivings after Ahimsa may have been, they have still been imperfect and inadequate. The little fleeting glimpses, therefore, that I have been able to have of Truth can hardly convey an idea of the indescribable lustre of Truth, a million times more intense than that of the sun we daily see with our eyes. In fact what I have caught is only the faintest glimmer of that mighty effulgence. But this much I can say with assurance, as a result of all my experiments, that a perfect vision of Truth can only follow a complete realization of Ahimsa. 453-454.

Clearly, this concept of ahimsa is very difficult to achieve in this dual physical-spiritual "vehicle," and yet it can undoubtedly be shown to be closely bound up with the concept of "elevating the spiritual" which is expressed in the symbol of the "vertical Djed column" (as also the vertical portion of the symbol of the cross, in contrast to the horizontal element of the cross), and thus with the concept of evoking or re-connecting with the invisible and divine spark that is present but unseen within us and all around us, and thus with connecting to "the ultimate" or with what Gandhi appears to be pointing towards above when he speaks of "Truth" which is also identified with "God."

(For further elaboration on the symbolism of the "vertical component" and the "horizontal component" as they relate to the concept of spiritual and physical and to the concept of the Djed column and to the symbology of the equinoxes and solstices that can be shown to be present in nearly all the sacred traditions, texts and mythologies of the world, see for example this previous post, as well as this video, among others).

We can draw out the connection between (on the one hand) the concept of "raising the Djed" that we have been exploring in all of the recent posts and (on the other hand) the concept of ahimsa by revisiting some of the previous discussions regarding the idea of violence, and the undeniable tendency of violence (whether physical, verbal, or even mental) to "objectify" the target of the violence, to "degrade," to "debase," and to "brutalize" -- that is, to deny or belittle or even to stamp out the presence of spirit and of the invisible and the divine within the object of violence, to reduce to the level of gross matter or to the level of the animal nature (the "horizontal component"), instead of trying to elevate and call forth the "vertical component," the spiritual component, the divine component, the invisible component (all of which is expressed in the "vertical Djed column" as opposed to the "cast-down Djed column").

Ultimately, of course, violence leads to the actual killing of the object of violence, which can be seen as the ultimate in "casting down" or "denying the vertical component," because it reduces the target of the violence to a corpse, a thing, an inanimate object (it seeks to beat down the "vertical" into the "horizontal," instead of lifting up the horizontal to the vertical again, which is the goal described and depicted in virtually all of the world's sacred traditions).

Previous posts which have dealt with the brutalizing or degrading aspect of violence include:

(among many others). Thus, the concept of violence which casts down or suppresses or seeks to deny the spiritual and the divine in others and in the universe itself can be seen to be analogous to the concept of cursing, and the concept of non-violence and even further of compassion and beneficence that is contained in the word ahimsa can be seen to have strong resonance with the concept of blessing, discussed in previous posts here and here.

And, while Mahatma Gandhi and others cited above testify to the elusiveness of the possibility of fully incorporating a spirit of true ahimsa into every minute of our waking life, it is certainly a practice which we can at least pursue whenever we can think to do so, and which would seem to have great benefits to ourselves and to others to the degree we do make it a daily practice in our lives.

Indeed, the Sanskrit epic known as the Mahabharata of ancient India (the origins of which probably stretch back at least as far as 900 BC, and possibly earlier) repeatedly enjoins the practice of ahimsa, saying at one point:

अहिंसा परमॊ धर्मस तदाहिंसा परॊ थमः

अहिंसा परमं थानम अहिंसा परमस तपः

अहिंसा परमॊ यज्ञस तदाहिस्मा परं बलम

अहिंसा परमं मित्रम अहिंसा परमं सुखम

अहिंसा परमं सत्यम अहिंसा परमं शरुतम

सर्वयज्ञेषु वा थानं सर्वतीर्देषु चाप्लुतम

सर्वथानफलं वापि नैतत तुल्यम अहिंसया

अहिंस्रस्य तपॊ ऽकषय्यम अहिंस्रॊ यजते सथा

अहिंस्रः सर्वभूतानां यदा माता यदा पिता

एतत फलम अहिंसाया भूयश च कुरुपुंगव

न हि शक्या गुणा वक्तुम इह वर्षशतैर अपि

ahimsā paramo dharmas tathāhimsā paro damah

ahimsā paramam dānam ahimsā paramas tapah

ahimsā paramo yajñas tathāhismā param balam

ahimsā paramam mitram ahimsā paramam sukham

ahimsā paramam satyam ahimsā paramam śrutam

sarvayajñesu vā dānam sarvatīrthesu cāplutam

sarvadānaphalam vāpi naitat tulyam ahimsayā

ahimsrasya tapo 'ksayyam ahimsro yajate sadā

ahimsrah sarvabhūtānām yathā mātā yathā pitā

etat phalam ahimsāyā bhūyaś ca kurupumgava

na hi śakyā gunā vaktum iha varsaśatair api [17]

which translated means in part:

Ahimsa is the highest religion.
Ahimsa is the highest self-control.
Ahimsa is the highest penance.
Ahimsa is the highest sacrifice.
Ahimsa is the highest friend.
Ahimsa is the highest happiness.
Ahimsa is the highest truth . . .

It should be noted that, while the concept of ahimsa has been interpreted in varying ways by various traditions that look to these ancient texts, and to other ancient texts and traditions which similarly enjoin the supreme importance of ahimsa, the understanding of ahimsa does not always entail what we might term "complete pacifism" -- that is to say, many commentaries (including ancient texts, such as parts of the Mahabharata itself) appear to teach that there is a distinction between not harming another, and using force in order to prevent someone else from harming another.

In other words, the concept of ahimsa or "not harming" does not necessarily teach that one may not use force in order to stop someone from being harmed (including one's self). Indeed, it may be seen to be consistent with the concept of ahimsa to use force to stop a violent intruder who has broken into one's household in order to do harm (although, in fairness, it must be noted that some interpretations of ahimsa would disagree).

Nor does it necessarily follow that anyone pursuing the concept of ahimsa must necessarily renounce completely all debates and discussions of what we might call "politics" -- indeed, it seems to follow rather logically that if one perceives that violence, injury, or oppression is being perpetrated against others, the concept of ahimsa would enjoin us to oppose that violence and seek to bring about its cessation.

It should also be said that such a situation -- the stopping of violence -- is the only "excuse" for the use of force, and that no one gets any special "license to kill" simply by virtue of donning a uniform, or quoting a scripture, or through any of the other forms of mind control used to condone violence in violation of ahimsa, which of course cannot be condoned or excused in reality and in the actual karmic laws of the universe.

Much more can of course be explored on this powerful subject. However, in the scope of this particular abbreviated examination of ahimsa, which focuses in particular on the concept ahimsa as it relates to the concept of the "vertical Djed column" and the "raising back-up" of the "cast-down Djed column," it is perhaps enough to simply say that there are many possible "life disciplines" which we can explore as options for connecting with and elevating the spiritual and divine spark that is always present in ourselves and in everyone and everything around us, and which we can choose to make a daily part of our own walk. The conscious cultivation of ahimsa would seem to be one very fundamental and vital "Djed-raising" mindset that we can consider pursuing more consciously and consistently, and one which is perhaps needed today more than ever.

However, in closing this particular discussion of ahimsa as it relates to the contrast between the "vertical component" and the "horizontal component" (both of which are present at all times in us during this incarnation, and both of which are manifest in the dual-natured universe in which we find ourselves), it might not be superfluous to point out that in our daily practice of ahimsa, as we cultivate not just the practice of not harming others but of not even desiring harm or imagining about harm, that we live in a point in time in which visual entertainment is perhaps more violent than at any time in history up until now.

Certainly it could be argued that the epics and sacred scriptures of the world are filled with descriptions of battle, but it can also be countered that describing a battle, even in poetic language, and depicting it along with copious CGI visual effects of gore and ballistic impacts in the visual medium of film are actually quite different in their impact on the brain (it can also be convincingly demonstrated, I believe, that those ancient epics and scriptures are almost entirely allegorical, and describe the "battles" created by the motions of the heavenly bodies and the cycles of the year, and of the sun, moon, stars, and visible planets -- rather than actual literal-historical conflicts in the vast majority of the cases; see examples of my analysis of a few dozen ancient "Star Myths" listed here, and there are many more such analyses which I intend to publish in the future).

But can one really imagine a guru or a serious practitioner of Yoga or of ahimsa actually enjoying the countless execution-style killings depicted in a television series such as the Walking Dead? Or the frenetic blasting apart of swarms of humanoid robots in movies such as the latest Avengers or its previous forerunners?

I mention these particular series, not to pick on them in particular, but to highlight what I believe is an extremely regrettable -- and perhaps an especially insidious -- aspect of these specific orgies of violence, and an aspect which relates directly to the distinction between the "horizontal" and "vertical" components of the Djed column which we are exploring in this discussion of ahimsa (and of the concept more broadly of "raising the Djed" or the spiritual and divine component), and that is that shows which graphically illustrate the repetitive blowing apart of "zombies" or of "robots" seem to be deliberately removing the spiritual or "divine spark" component from the victims of the violence, and thus reducing them to the status of "all horizontal and no vertical" right from the outset.

This "removal of the human spirit" from the victims can perhaps be argued to "make it OK" -- blowing apart robots (or zombies) doesn't really violate ahimsa at all, does it? A robot doesn't have a spirit at all, it's not even alive (neither is an undead creature like a zombie, I guess), and so blowing them apart with large-caliber weapons fired at close range (or other, even more creative ways of physically removing their ability to move around and cause trouble) is just good fun to watch, right?

The problem I see with this particular genre of cinematic mayhem, which is not just popular right now but practically ubiquitous in visual entertainment being offered at every turn, to viewers of all ages, all the time, is that these supposedly "soul-less" robots and zombies actually resemble human beings rather closely (that's part of what makes them so disturbing, after all). Watching the execution-style killing of zombie after zombie may be argued to desensitize the viewer to the fact that in point of fact there is no such thing as a zombie, and anyone being executed in real life is in fact a human being who does indeed have a spiritual component!

Could it not be argued that watching the super-speed blowing apart of what must be tens of thousands of human-shaped robots in movies such as the Avengers, or the agonizingly slow-speed execution-style "killing" of what must also be tens of thousands of "walkers" by now in that popular (and, it must be admitted, well-written -- from the one episode I did actually watch) series actually desensitizes people to the fact that everyone they will ever meet in this world actually does have a human soul (unlike a zombie or a robot), and that the very real and very horrific physical violence being perpetrated on human beings by artillery shells, high-caliber chain guns, depleted-uranium sabot rounds, bombs dropped from jet aircraft, or "hellfire" missiles fired from drone aircraft (to name just a few examples that have taken place in unspeakably large numbers in recent years, and which continue this very minute in various places on our planet) are actually tearing down the spiritual component in real "dual-nature" men and women and children, and reducing them to horizontal bodies?

In short, to what degree do such repeated depictions encourage us to identify with the protagonists, and view people around us as zombies, or soul-less robots? Doing so, of course, is the opposite of blessing and of ahimsa.

It seems that this argument could in fact be made, and that as entertaining as these films and television shows might appear to be, they are in fact very dangerous for our own souls, not to mention inimical to the "cause of ahimsa" in the world at large.


Easter: the Birth-Day of the Gods

Easter: the Birth-Day of the Gods

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

When we begin to realize that virtually every single story in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is built upon celestial allegory -- especially if we have taken them literally for years, even decades -- it can at first feel like this knowledge "ruins" the great annual festivals that we once understood as commemorations of literal-historical events.

Especially the holidays of Christmas and Easter can suddenly feel strangely alien to us, because their celebration has been for so long promoted and controlled almost exclusively by those who insist upon celebrating these holidays as literal and historical, to the point that we "concede ownership" and unconsciously  adopt the mindset that the primary meaning of these annual events belongs to those who take them literally.

The unspoken assumption, if we were to put it into words or conscious thought (which we rarely ever do) is that these holidays have the most meaning for the literalists, and the idea that neither Christmas nor Easter has anything to do with literal, historical events which took place on planet Earth (although they can be shown to have taken place in the circling stars of the sky, and in fact are still taking place there, over and over each year) would be an unwelcome intrusion best kept quiet lest it "diminish" the meaning and sacredness of these special days. 

But what if, in fact, it is the literalist-historicist approach which is actually intruding upon the meaning of holidays such as Christmas and Easter?

What if the insistence upon seeing these stories as episodes in the life of someone else, no matter how revered and holy that one is, and no matter how well-intentioned we are in this insistence, actually ends up subverting their original meaning -- to the point that they are assumed to teach something that is almost "180-degrees out" from what they were originally intended to teach? 

Just such a radical assertion is argued by Alvin Boyd Kuhn in an essay entitled Easter: the Birthday of the Gods, and backed up by some of the clearest explanation found in any of Kuhn's thousands of pages of writing regarding the meaning and the purpose of the esoteric allegorical system which underlies the sacred scriptures and mythologies of the human race.

This blog has previously presented literally dozens of examples from the Old and New Testament scriptures which point very strongly to the conclusion that these stories, in common with other myths from all around the world, are esoteric in nature and that they are all united by a shared system of celestial metaphor as well as by a shared "shamanic-holographic" vision of this universe and our human experience within this earthly existence.

This shared esoteric, shamanic, and celestial foundation actually unites all of the world's sacred traditions, even as those who insist upon literalistic and historical interpretations of the scriptures almost invariably use their literalistic approach to divide humanity (generally into the two groups of "those who also interpret our scriptures our way" and "everyone else"). This fact in-and-of-itself gives us a hint that the literalistic approach tends to completely invert the conclusions reached by the esoteric approach and that it tends to wind up with conclusions that are "upside down" from the esoteric understanding.

It thus becomes very important to understand whether or not the world's ancient texts are actually literal, or if they are esoteric, and the two different approaches will lead to two very different understandings of the meanings of the stories themselves, and the meanings of the annual days associated with the different parts of the stories.

In Easter: the Birthday of the Gods (which can be read online in slightly less-than-complete form here and here, but which is so clearly and succinctly argued that everyone interested in these subjects might want to consider obtaining an actual physical copy for his or her own collection), Alvin Boyd Kuhn powerfully explains his view that all the world's scriptures and sacred stories are in fact esoteric, and his belief regarding the reason that the ancients chose to use metaphors from the natural world (to include the majestic cycles of the heavenly spheres) in order to convey their esoteric teachings.

On page 27 out of 31 in the second of the two online versions of Kuhn's Easter essay linked in the preceding paragraph, he writes -- speaking of those who gave the world their various ancient sacred traditions (whom he generally refers to as "the Sages" in all of his books and analysis) --

[. . .] those venerable Sages never wrote religious books in the form of veridical personal or national history. What they essayed to write was embalmed in forms of suggestive typist, such as myth, allegory, drama, number graphs and astrological pictography. By these methods they put forth the great truths of life and consciousness in forms of representation that would eternally adumbrate their reality to the human mind, however dull. Knowing that the essence of spiritual experience and the mind's realization of high truth are things that can not be expressed or conveyed by words alone, in fact never are fully communicable by language, they resorted to the only method that can impress true meaning even unconsciously on the brain. Every natural object and phenomenon in the living world is an objective pictograph of an elemental truth. Every object in nature mirrors a cosmic or spiritual truth. Man needs but to gaze at and reflect upon outer nature to find glyphs of the basic principles of knowledge appertaining to a higher world and level of consciousness. The laws and ordinances of spirit are adumbrated in nature's operations and spectacles.

The word "adumbrated" comes from the Latin word for "shadows" -- umbra -- along with the prefix "ad-" which means "toward" or "ahead of" and thus literally "foreshadowing" or "pre-shadowing" or (more expansively) "conveying ideas to us through shadows or representations or 'magic-lantern shows' so that we will grasp them through the 'fore-shadowing,' rather than trying to explain them to the mind in words, which does not work for some types of deep spiritual truths or concepts."

In other words, Alvin Boyd Kuhn is here expressing an idea which was also put forth in the writings of the esoteric scholar R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, who asserted that the ancients did not use "esoterism" in order to hide truths, but rather in order to convey them! In a short but extremely helpful little book entitled Esoterism and Symbol (first published in French in 1960 as Propos sur Esoterisme et Symbole and translated into a first US edition in 1985), Schwaller begins his discussion with the proclamation:

Esoterism has no common measure with deliberate concealment of the truth, that is, with secrecy in the conventional sense of the term. [page 1; italics in the original].

Having told us what it is not for, Schwaller does not, however, proceed to tell us exactly what esoterism is for, in so many words . . . but as we follow his discussion throughout the rest of the book we realize that Schwaller is showing us that esoterism is designed to convey something he calls "intelligence-of-the-heart," which cannot be conveyed through the methods normally used for the purposes of "cerebral intelligence." The entire category of spiritual truths, Schwaller argues, were seen by the ancients as of a nature that is qualitatively different from anything that "cerebral intelligence" is able to grasp -- and that the esoteric was employed in order to impress these great truths upon the "intelligence-of-the-heart," bypassing the mechanism of the cerebral intelligence, which has its own proper sphere for which it is very useful but which becomes an actual obstacle when it comes to matters of spirit.

Schwaller writes:

Spirit is found only with spirit, and esoterism is the spiritual aspect of the world, inaccessible to cerebral intelligence. 3.

This is what Alvin Boyd Kuhn is also saying in the passage quoted above, in which he says that the ancient Sages used "myth, allegory, drama, number graphs and astrological pictography" in order to "eternally adumbrate their reality to the human mind, however dull." He is not, I believe, talking about some human minds being more or less dull than others, but rather saying that there is an aspect of human mind, in all of us, which is inherently dull when it comes to matters of spiritual understanding -- the aspect of our mind which Schwaller de Lubicz calls our "cerebral intelligence."

The cerebral intelligence has its place -- it is, indeed, an essential tool that we need every day of our lives -- but it "chokes" on certain types of learning.

This is exactly why, for example, Mr. Miyagi in the original Karate Kid chooses to teach Daniel-San through the unforgettable "wax-on, wax-off" method, in what may well be the best cinematic representation of the concept of "the esoteric" ever put into a movie -- and why martial arts are traditionally passed on through exactly this type of "esoteric" methodology. If Mr. Miyagi had instead tried to teach Daniel by sitting him down and explaining the angles of the arm and elbow and shoulder and body needed in order to stop a charging opponent's punch, Daniel-san's "cerebral intelligence" would have "choked" on the explanation, and spit it back out, and started firing off all kinds of questions about "what if this" and "what if that" and "will this really work" and "what about this other?"

Alvin Boyd Kuhn says that "the essence of spiritual experience and the mind's realization of high truth are things that can not be expressed or conveyed by words alone, in fact never are fully communicable by language." Instead, the esoteric is in fact "the only method that can impress true meaning even unconsciously on the brain."

And here we begin to perceive the reason that taking stories and rituals which are intended to be understood esoterically and instead turning our intelligence loose on them as if they are supposed to be understood as literal and historical events for us to analyze can lead us to do more than just "miss the point" of their esoteric significance: it can lead us to come up with a completely different conclusion altogether, and one which in fact undermines and even totally reverses the message that the stories are trying to convey.

And this, says Alvin Boyd Kuhn, appears to be exactly what has happened with the sacred myths collected in the books which make up what we call today "the Bible," and in particular with the Easter story.

And that terrible misinterpretation, Kuhn argues, is made infinitely more serious when we consider the wonderful truths which the Easter story is intended to convey -- for Kuhn has an extremely "high view" of the spiritual meaning of the Easter story, to the point that he says that when we grasp what it is telling us, words fall short and "the one remaining mode of expressing the profundity and the majesty of our uplift is song" (from page 2 of the version linked previously).

For, the Easter story as found in the stories of the so-called "New Testament" (which themselves are but a "re-casting" of the same themes found in slightly different form in the sacred mythology of ancient Egypt, and found in many other forms in the other sacred scriptures and myths of other cultures literally across the globe) expresses a very specific point in the cycles experienced by each and every human soul.

According to Alvin Boyd Kuhn's analysis:

Easter is the ceremonial that crowns all the other religious festivals of the year with its springtime halo of resurrected life. It is to dramatize the final end in the victory of man's long struggle through the inferior kingdoms of matter and bodily incarnation in grades of fleshly existence. Other festivals around the year memorialize the various stages of this slow progress through the recurring round of the cycles of manifestation. Easter commemorates the end in triumph, all lower obstacles overcome, all "enemies" conquered, all darkness of ignorance vanquished, all fruits and the golden harvest of developed powers garnered in the eternal barn of an inner holy of holies of consciousness, all battles won, peace with aeonal victory assured at last. 3.

In other words, he argues, it refers to a point towards which we all are working in our successive visits into this realm of incarnation, this realm in which our spirit-nature is "planted in" our physical nature as a seed is planted in the earth, in order to grow: it "adumbrates" that point when the work of such cycles of incarnation is complete, and the soul triumphantly soars into an entirely new realm of consciousness.

If all that seems just a little too much to swallow (if, in other words, the "cerebral intelligence" chokes upon encountering such assertions), Kuhn in this essay Easter: the Birthday of the Gods provides what may be the best, succinct explanation found anywhere in his extensive writings of the way that the esoteric celestial allegories found throughout the world's mythologies (and operating quite clearly in the Easter story, as discussed in the previous post about the zodiacal symbolism in the gospel accounts of the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and the Betrayal by Judas Iscariot).

As you read through the extended quotation reproduced below from pages 4 and 5 of Kuhn's essay on Easter, you can follow along on the now-familiar zodiac wheel discussed in countless previous posts (see for instance hereherehere and here), which is arranged such that the June solstice (summer solstice for the northern hemisphere) is at the top or "twelve o'clock" position on the wheel (in between the signs of Gemini and Cancer, in the Age of Aries used in so many surviving ancient mythologies including those in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible), and the fall equinox is at "three o'clock" (between Virgo and Libra), the winter solstice is at "six o'clock" (between Sagittarius and Capricorn), and the glorious spring equinox after which Easter is celebrated (as is Passover from the Old Testament, both commemorations representing the successful crossing of the lower half of the year, which symbolized the physical incarnation here in this body of earth and water).

Both of the important equinoxes are marked with a red "X," because at the equinoxes the sun's ecliptic (along with the sun and also -- generally speaking -- all of the visible planets appear to travel) crosses over the celestial equator, and as it crosses either "down below" this line or back "up above" this line, the days either change over to being shorter than the nights (on the way "down" to the winter solstice) or to being longer (on the way back "up" towards the top of the year):

And here now is Alvin Boyd Kuhn's explanation of the esoteric or spiritual use to which the "venerable Sages" who gave the sacred stories to the various cultures of humanity employed the above awe-inspiring annual cycle:

Using solar symbolism and analogues in depicting the divine soul's peregrinations round the cycles of existence, the little sun of radiant spirit in man being the perfect parallel of the sun in the heavens, and exactly copying its movements, the ancient Sages marked the four cardinal "turns" of its progress round the zodiacal year as epochal stages in soul evolution. As all life starts with conception in mind, later to be extruded into physical manifestation, so the soul that is to be the god of a human being is conceived in the divine mind at the station in the zodiac marking the date of June 21. This is at the "top" of the celestial arc, where mind is most completely detached from matter, meditating in all its "purity."
Then the swing of the movement begins to draw it "downward" to give it the satisfaction of its inherent yearning for the Maya of experience which alone can bring its latent capabilities for the evolution of consciousness to manifestation. Descending the from June it reaches September 21, the point where its direction becomes straight downward and it here crosses the line of separation between spirit and matter, the great Egyptian symbolic line of the "horizon," and becomes incarnated in material body. Conceived in the aura of Infinite Mind in June, it enters the realm of mortal flesh in September. It is born then as the soul of a human; but at first and for a long period it lies like a seed in the ground before germination, inert, unawakened, dormant, in the relative sense of the word, "dead." This is the young god lying in the manger, asleep in his cradle of the body, or as in the Jonah-fish allegory and the story of Jesus in the boat in the storm on the lake, asleep in the "hold" of the "ship" of life, with the tempest of the body's elemental passions raging all about him. He must be awakened, arise, exert himself and use his divine powers to still the storm, for the elements in the end will obey his mighty will.
Once in the body, the soul power is weighed in the scales of the balance, for the line of the border of the sign of Libra, the Scales, runs across the September equinoctial station. For soul is now equilibrated with body and out of this balance come all the manifestations of the powers of consciousness. It is soul's immersion in body and its equilibration with it that brings consciousness to function.
Then on past September, like any seed sown in the soil, the soul entity sinks its roots deeper and deeper into matter, for at its later stages of growth it must be able to utilize the energy of matter's atomic force to effectuate its ends for its own spiritual aggrandizement. It is itself to be lifted up to heights of cosmic consciousness, but no more than an oak can exalt its majestic form to highest reaches without the dynamic energization received from the dart at its feet can soul rise up above body without drawing forth the strength of the body's dynamo of power. Down, down it descends then through the October, November, and December path of the sun, until it stands at the nadir of its descent on December 21.
Here it has reached the turning-point, at which the energies that were stored potentially in it in seed form will feel the first touch of quickening power and will begin to stir into activity. At the winter solstice of the cycle the process of involution of spirit into matter comes to a stand-still -- just what the solstice means in relation to the sun -- and while apparently stationary in its deep lodgment in matter, like moving water locked up in winter's ice, it is slowly making the turn as on a pivot from outward and downward direction to movement at first tangential, then more directly upward to its high point in spirit home. So the winter solstice signalizes the end of "death" and the rebirth of life in a new generation. It therefore was inevitably named as the time of the "birth of the Divine Sun" in man; the Christ-mas, the birthday of the Messianic child of spirit. The incipient resurgence of the new growth, now based on and fructified by roots struck deep in matter, begins at this "turn of the year," as the Old Testament phrases it, and goes on with increasing vigor as, like the lengthening days of late winter, the sun-power of the spiritual light bestirs into activity the latent capabilities of life and consciousness, and the hidden beauty of the spirit breaks through the confining soil of body and stands out in fulness of its divine expression on the morn of March 21. This brings the soul in a burst of glorious light out of the tomb of fleshly "death," giving it verily its "resurrection from the dead." It then has consummated its cycle's work by bursting through the gates of death and hell, and marches in triumph upward to become a lord of life in higher spheres of the cosmos. No longer is it to be a denizen of lower worlds, a prisoner chained in body's dungeon pit, a soul nailed to matter's cross. It has conquered mortal decay and rises on wings of ecstasy into the freedom of eternal life. Its trysting with earthly clay is forever ended, as aloft it sweeps like a lark storming heaven's gate, with "hymns of victory" pouring from its exuberant throat. From mortality it has passed the bright portals into immortality. From man it has become god. No more shall it enter the grim underworld of "death." 4-5.

These are incredible concepts, but there is little doubt that Kuhn's analysis as outlined above must be considered a very defendable explanation of the insistent personification of the "stations" of the great zodiac wheel, found in virtually every single ancient sacred tradition of the human race, on every continent of our planet and indeed on all the scattered islands of the great Pacific and other oceans as well, and that it may in fact be the reason why those unknown ancient Sages chose to employ it, and what they intended us to understand from these stories.

And, although Kuhn himself does not go this far, I can show you to my complete satisfaction (and I believe to yours as well) that it is equally evident that the events depicted in the Easter week contain this very cycle in its entirety, from the

  • Triumphal Entry at the beginning of the week, replete with imagery of the top of the zodiac wheel, to the 
  • Agony of Christ and the Crucifixion "outside the gates" of the city -- that is, at the point of the fall equinox, which is one of the two "gates" of the year through which the sun and all the visible planets must pass as they "cross over" the line of the celestial equator and descend down into the lower half of the year (or back up, at the other equinox), and which represents the throwing down of the soul into the "grave" of the incarnate body, to cross through this incarnate life in which we are all struggling on this earthly surface, and finally turning back upwards to the
  • Resurrection and the "rising up" out of the lower realm, which takes place on the other side of the year at the spring equinox, which is replete with imagery that has to do with both the fish of Pisces and the lambs and ram of Aries, and which represents the ultimate triumph of the soul, after the lessons and necessary consciousness-raising that take place during the cycles of incarnation in the "underworld" of this material realm.

Obviously, in the Easter week series of stories, the one point of the wheel which is not really emphasized is the point of the "birth of the Christ-consciousness," which is emphasized at a different special celebration on the annual calendar: at the sun's turning-point back upwards after the winter solstice, which is celebrated as Christmas. But the starting point of the summer solstice (in the Triumphal Entry and the "Upper Room"), followed by the "casting down" point of the fall equinox (with the Crucifixion) and the "raising up" point of the spring equinox (Resurrection) are all very clearly depicted and emphasized.

Now, in the above extended quotation of the passage found on pages 4 and 5 of Alvin Boyd Kuhn's Easter thesis, when he speaks of "the divine soul" or "the soul entity" or even "the soul power," he is referring to the individual soul of each and every person. He is not referring to something outside of any one of us: an examination of the bulk of Kuhn's work makes it abundantly clear that he believes that those who gave us the sacred stories intended for us to understand that they are not about ancient men, women, heroes or demigods, but that they are about each and every reader or hearer of the story: the "star" of every story is in fact your own soul.

In a different passage from a different essay by Alvin Boyd Kuhn, quoted at the end of this post from the time of the winter solstice, he writes:

Bible stories are in no sense a record of what happened to a man or a people as historical occurrence. As such they would have little significance for mankind. They would be the experience of people not ourselves, and would not bear a relation to life. But they are a record, under pictorial forms, of that which is ever occurring in the reality of the present in all lives. They mean nothing as outward events; but they mean everything as picturizations of that which is our living experience at all times. The actors are not old kings, priests and warriors; the one actor in every portrayal, in every scene, is the human soul.

Therefore, Kuhn asserts, we will necessarily go astray if we "externalize" or literalize the sacred myths: they must be grasped by, and applied to, each and every person for himself or herself.

And this again is where, according to Kuhn in the essay Easter: the Birthday of the Gods (and according to quotations which Kuhn brings in to his essay from psychologist and scholar of mythology Carl Jung, who says the very same thing), the externalization of the Bible stories, and their use to encourage the veneration of a supposed external and historical-literal figure -- even a figure so admirable as the figure of Jesus in the gospels -- can lead us seriously astray, to the point where we not only miss the actual message of the story but end up with a message that is directly opposite from the original esoteric message.

Because, as Kuhn discusses in the extended quotation cited above, during the discussion of the September equinox and the "casting down" into the Balance of Libra and the reawakening of divine consciousness at the nadir-point of winter solstice, our sojourn in the incarnate body is a time of our own soul's passing through the "Scales" between the horizons, and of our own need to awaken the higher divine spark of consciousness within: not a time to look at the external stories and conclude that someone else has passed through the balance for us and awakened consciousness so that we don't have to!

And yet, that is exactly how the stories are interpreted by the majority of the literalist-historicist camp, lo these past seventeen centuries: the one in the stories has done those things, so that we don't have to.  

It is exactly, if I might bring in some films which did not appear until long after Kuhn wrote this essay, someone were to watch the movie The Matrix(1999) or The Truman Show (1998), and conclude: "I'm sure glad that Neo took that Red Pill -- so that I don't have to!" or "I'm so happy for Truman, that he finally 'woke up' and walked out of that 'dome of illusion' -- now I don't have to!"

Such a response would undoubtedly confuse the creators of those films -- because the whole point of the movie is that you, the viewer, need to consider waking up like Truman to the illusionists manipulating the world within the dome, or waking up like Neo to the illusion of the Matrix.

The point is not to curl up inside your "pod" in the Matrix -- or inside your little house in the dome -- and say, "I'm sure glad Truman, or Neo, woke up for me!" And the makers of those movies would probably be both surprised and dismayed if everyone interpreted their films that way.

According to Alvin Boyd Kuhn, we are not at the point described by the Easter symbolism just yet: we are still on the Scales of the Balance, down here in this mortal existence: and what we do here has an enormous impact on the progress of our invisible soul. As he says elsewhere, everything we are doing "down here" in the body is making its mark upon the record of the mighty Scales, as depicted in many "vignettes" or scenes in the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, whose correct name as Kuhn notes in the Easter essay is in fact the Book of Going Forth by Day, envisaging the future point of Easter and the soul's "Day-Break" of triumph (scene from the Book of the Dead of the scribe-priest Ani is depicted below).

The danger of the literalist misinterpretation, in Kuhn's opinion, can be seen in the "dismal" record of literalist Christianity down through the centuries since it took hold, and since the tragic triumph of literalism over esoterism during the second and third centuries "A.D.": seventeen centuries of "bigotry, superstition, persecution, hatred, war and the most fiendish inhumanity ever to be entered into the world's annals" (Easter, 16).

Ultimately, Kuhn argues in this essay, the question of whether Easter is about what the literalists say it is about, or whether it is meant to depict one of the most glorious parts of the esoteric teaching outlined above thus becomes an incredibly important question. He says, as he draws towards his conclusion,

Easter meaning and Easter ecstasy will forever elude us if we can not understand it as the drama, not of one man's history long passed [. . .] but of our own life history, the scenario of our transfiguration yet to come. [. . .] if we for a moment permit it to lure us into the belief that another man's alleged conquest of death in the long past in any degree relieves us of the evolutionary task of achieving our own resurrection, the myth becomes the source of a tragic psychological calamity for us. For to the extent we look to a man, or a miracle, or any power outside ourselves, to that extent we will let the sleeping divinity within us lie unawakened. 28-29. 

And thus, it may well be that -- far from being those with an esoteric understanding of Easter (or Christmas) who are intruding upon holy ground that "belongs to" those who take these stories literally -- it is the literalist-historicist approach that has in fact intruded upon, and thrown over, the ancient sacred meaning of these significant annual days of commemoration.

To the extent that this overthrow has led to the teaching of something entirely the opposite of what the sacred stories were actually intended to teach, this is a tragic mistake that calls out to be remedied. It is very similar to the way that the stories of Adam and Eve or of Shem, Ham and Japheth

have both been used to divide humanity and pit men and women against one another, even though if these are understood as the esoteric celestial allegories which I believe they can be shown to be, they actually teach a message that should unite men and women instead of dividing them. 

And, to the extent that this overthrow has led to "persecution, hatred, war and the most fiendish inhumanity," the question of which understanding of Easter is a twisting of the message to mean the opposite of what it was intended becomes a very important question, and not a "merely academic" question at all.

If the esoteric understanding outlined above is closer to the intention of the "ancient Sages" who gave these sacred treasures to humanity so many millennia ago, as I believe that it is, then it is a very dangerous thing for the majority of the people to conclude that they can just "curl up in their pod in the Matrix," because Neo already woke up and achieved consciousness so that I don't have to.

Alvin Boyd Kuhn argues that Easter is one of the most beautiful symbols in all of the New Testament version of the esoteric myths. I believe that when we understand it esoterically, it actually becomes even more beautiful, and more meaningful for our lives, than ever.

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

How long? Not long! Because no lie can live forever

How long? Not long! Because no lie can live forever

image: Wikimedia commons (link).

March 25, 2015 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the culmination of the Selma civil rights marches, which finally arrived at the capitol of Alabama on March 25, 1965. 

Approximately twenty-five thousand marchers converged on the capitol building in Montgomery, Alabama and stayed there until they delivered their petition to the governor's representative.

There, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous speech referred to today by its rousing series of rhetorical questions during the finale: "How long? Not long!"

A written transcript of that speech can be read in its entirety here, and a portion of the actual speech given by Dr. King on that day fifty years ago can be heard and seen here.

And, on that same day fifty years ago, between 8:30 and 8:55 pm, Viola Liuzzo was murdered when the car in which she and Leroy Moton were traveling on highway 80 was fired upon by another vehicle.

Those not familiar with this terrible crime can (and should) seek to learn more -- a good start might be reading (or re-reading) the excellent examination of the sickening events of the murder and the events which led up to it and which followed afterwards, written by Mary Stanton, first published in 1998, entitled From Selma to Sorrow: The Life and Death of Viola Liuzzo.

Many questions remain regarding that tragic incident, around which many deliberate lies were fabricated for various reasons, all of them sinister.

It is clear that violence and deliberate deception are often used together in order to oppress people and to keep others from seeing the injustice that is being perpetrated.

It is clear that Martin Luther King was well aware of the central role which lies always play in the perpetration of such injustice and oppression -- and that he was aware that for those lies to lose their power, the truth must be made known.

In his speech How long? Not long! delivered on that day, fifty long years ago and yet not so long ago, he proclaims:

How long will it take? Somebody's asking: "How long will prejudice blind the visions of men?"
I come to say to you this afternoon, however difficult the moment -- however frustrating the hour: 
It will not be long.  Because truth crushed to earth will rise again.
How long? Not long!
Because no lie can live forever.
How long? Not long!
Because ye shall reap what ye sow.
How long? Not long! 

Selma: Natural Universal Law vs. Artificial Legalities

Selma: Natural Universal Law vs. Artificial Legalities

Fifty years ago, on the 7th of March, 1965, the first attempted march from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama along US 80 to protest unjust, illegal, unconstitutional, racially-motivated restrictions on voting -- as well as recent deadly police violence -- was broken up by "law officers" and "deputies" using clubs, whips, cattle prods, tear gas, and physical barehanded violence.

The violence of that day was captured on film and video and shown around the country and around the world, and that first march became known as "Bloody Sunday." It was a tremendous turning point in public opinion, and the disgust that it generated, among those who saw the images of violence against unarmed, non-violent men and women and even children, finally accomplished changes which decades of litigation in the court system could not achieve in the unjust courts which were dominated in many cases by those who also supported racial oppression.

It is quite possible to make the argument that the nonviolent marches beginning in Selma were deliberately designed to bring into the light of day -- to reveal and make obvious -- the officially-condoned, soul-crushing reign of violence and racial oppression that had been going on for decades in the United States but which had been largely ignored, excused, and overlooked by those not directly threatened by it. 

This is the argument proposed by David J. Garrow in Protest at Selma: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, published in 1978, a book which began from a thesis he began in 1973 while a student at Wesleyan College and which as a book won the 1979 Chastain Award of the Southern Political Science Association for "best book on politics, government, or public administration in the US South."

In that book, he presents evidence that:

The first federal attempts to protect southern blacks' right to vote [. . .], based upon the Civil Rights Acts of 1957 and 1960, employed a litigative strategy of enforcement which placed much faith in the federal courts' ability to rectify racial discrimination in the electoral process. As we shall see, this faith was badly misplaced. Recalcitrant, obstructionist judges in most southern jurisdictions all but stifled the Justice Department's attacks on voting-related racial discrimination and harassment. Only minute gains in black registration and voting resulted from the Justice Department's long and costly attempts to eliminate racial discrimination in the electoral processes of several dozen southern counties. Recently one scholar has asserted that the courts eventually would have proven successful in effectively enforcing southern blacks' right to vote. Consideration and analysis of this claim shows how erroneous it is. 5.

It was not until the events of "Bloody Sunday" that people around the country finally became sickened by the spectacle of seeing on a large scale and in undeniable images and film footage the kind of violence and ugliness which had been operating in the shadows and on a more individual-scale for decades but which -- for whatever reason -- they had not previously considered and had therefore tolerated, ignored, or "excused away."

This view of the events of Selma in March of 1965 is incredibly important, I believe, for a number of reasons, because it shows that:

  • "Artificial legalities" were being used to thwart natural universal law. Natural universal law says that no one has a right to use force to stop another person from doing something lawful (nonviolent) such as voting, assembling peaceably, riding in a car with another person regardless of the color of their skin, or protecting their mother from assault -- and certainly no one has the right to use deadly force and thereby kill someone for any of the above actions. Artificial "laws" (which really are illegal and hence no laws at all, which is why they will be referred to here as "legalities" instead) are often written which supposedly bestow upon some men or women a free pass to violate the rights of other men and women, or even to use physical force against them to oppress them and deny them of their human rights and dignity.
  • These artificial legalities ("artificial legalities" in this case being used as a term to describe those laws on the books which are deliberately designed to subvert or "get around" the requirements of natural law, and in doing so to do violence to the natural law rights of some group of men and women) are often supported by a variety of mental "smokescreens" or "illusions" (or "paradigms," or "narratives") which prevent their careful examination by those not directly violated by them. We could use a shorter, blunter word and call them "lies." These lies or illusions, when widespread among the general populace, act to prevent outrage which could in fact bring about the rejection of those artificial legalities. Because of this fact, in these types of extreme cases, attempts to address obvious natural-law violations through the courts can be thwarted by what Garrow calls "recalcitrant, obstructionist judges" -- that is, judges who do not care about natural universal law but actually wanted to continue a system built upon the violation of natural universal law, which they assisted by their reliance upon artificial legalities.
  • In reality, the judges and their artificial legalities are only a small piece of the puzzle: the bigger piece is the perception of the public at large. There were some men and women who actually used physical violence against blacks, in a way that was almost "casual" in its brutality (Garrow, 228).  These acts of outright violence were enabled by the courts and the system of artificial legality described above -- but they were also enabled by the many more people, not just in the south but around the country, who were neither judges nor active perpetrators of violence themselves, but who supported, overlooked, condoned, or otherwise excused the racism and thus the violence and the violations of the rights and dignity of other men and women.
  • As long as that larger body of men and women -- the ones who generate that nebulous thing known as "public opinion" -- did not examine their support of the violations of natural law that were taking place, the courts could continue to use artificial legalities to paper over clear violations of natural law, and those who were accustomed to actually inflicting almost "casual" forms of physical violence against other men and women based on the color of their skin could get away with it, often with complete impunity. 
  • In other words: there were enough judges (and juries) in the courts who were devoted to a system that clearly violated natural universal law, and which condoned systemic, brutal, often murderous violence against some men and women in the society. As long as enough people in the "society at large" either consciously supported that same unjust system, or simply failed to examine it and thus failed to become outraged by it, these courts could use their artificial legalities to thwart natural universal law, and those criminals who actually perpetrated violence against African-American men and women and children could do so with impunity.
  • That is why a strategy of simply trying to go through the courts would not work and did not work from 1957 to 1965 (or in decades before 1957, as there actually were voting rights acts on the books going back to the 1800s).
  • The events at Selma in 1965 represented a completely different approach, a new strategy: the attempt to appeal to the inherent sense of natural law and human dignity in the public-at-large. While there will always be some upon whom such an appeal will not work, if the majority of people become outraged at clear violations of natural universal law, the artificial legalities can be swept aside by the tide of public opinion. The key is to wake people up to the point that they examine the assumptions and illusions -- in fact, the lies -- which they had been listening to or subscribing to without questioning or examining up to that point.
  • David Garrow's 1978 book presents specific evidence that the marches originating in Selma, Alabama were deliberately designed to bring about a situation in which the injustice of the system that controlled the courts and the agents of "law enforcement" in Alabama would be on full display to the world.

Note that the assertion that the Selma marches were part of a deliberate strategy of nonviolence as a means of waking people up to injustice does not in any way suggest that they were somehow less-than-authentic, or that the very real injuries and violence and abuse (and even loss of life) that participants suffered as a result of their decision to march (or their decision to shuttle marchers back in their cars afterwards) are in any way less valid.

On the contrary, as the evidence shows, other methods of ending the institutionalized discrimination and oppression and violence were not working. A strategy of peaceful protest in a city and county where the police and sheriffs and deputies would be likely to exhibit on a large scale the almost "casual" violence that individual black men and women were at risk of encountering on an individual scale at just about any moment in their daily lives if they violated the unwritten norms and mores of that society was both courageous and intelligent -- and it turned out to be extremely effective, at least in terms of securing the ability to register to vote. 

It was also an extremely moral strategy -- it appealed to natural universal law, and it appealed to the higher aspect of human nature, the spiritual aspect of human nature.

Racism, violence, and other violations of natural law are by their very nature degrading, brutalizing, de-spiritualizing. If every human being has a physical component and a spiritual component, racism and violence emphasize the physical component and attempt to deny the spiritual component. 

They emphasize the visible and deny the invisible. 

They emphasize our animal nature and deny the inner, hidden, but undeniable divine spark present in each and every human being.

Thus violence and racism and the lies that support and enable them act to pervert and reverse the teachings of the collective ancient sacred teachings of humanity, which (I believe) can be shown to be designed to help us recognize and emphasize and "coax out" the invisible, spiritual, hidden-and-almost-forgotten divine spark inside ourselves and others and the world around us. 

We can say this succinctly by saying that violence and racism, by their very nature, curse and do not bless.

The violence displayed against the marchers at Selma in March of 1965 place this brutalizing aspect of racism on full display: white "law officers" and "deputies" (many of these deputies being private citizens, "deputized" and given clubs to use against the marchers) used whips, cattle prods, and horses against the marchers in Selma, as well as clouds of tear gas which is composed of pulverized glass and attacks the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth, causing the eyes to burn and begin to flow with tears and the nose and lungs to burn and begin to flow with mucous -- thus emphasizing the body and bodily functions and pulling the consciousness down from any sort of higher considerations to the problem of wiping off the snot that is hanging down like long icicles from one's own nostrils, and figuring out how to get fresh breaths of air into one's lungs without choking or gasping or vomiting.

In previous civil rights marches (notably in Birmingham), police also let big German shepherd police dogs brutalize marchers, leaping at them and biting them and ripping their clothes off. They also turned powerful firehoses on men and women, which is also extremely brutalizing. (Photo gallery).

Garrow recounts some of the injuries after the march at Selma:

The parsonage next door to Brown's Chapel became one treatment center, as the New York doctors and nurses treated the less seriously injured, most of whom were suffering from the effects of the tear gas. At Good Samaritan Hospital several blocks away, fifty to sixty marchers were treated, and seventeen were admitted. Injuries included fractured ribs and wrists, severe head gashes, broken teeth, and what was thought to be a fractured skull sustained by SNCC's John Lewis. More than half a dozen others  were treated at the Burwell Infirmary. Estimates of the total of injured ran as high as ninety to one hundred. 76.

Even after the marchers had retreated to the churches, "tear gas was fired into the First Baptist Church, and lawmen threw a black teenager through a window" (76).

Some human beings are so gripped by a consuming mental lie that they will not recoil at such an exhibition of violating the rights of other men and women for the non-crime of peaceably assembling to protest a culture of institutionalized racist violence and severe voter registration discrimination by walking across a bridge and down a highway,* but most know that such brutality is profoundly wrong. Garrow cites first-hand accounts by people around the country after watching the news that night of Bloody Sunday, and being shocked and outraged.

I believe this analysis of the Selma marches is extremely important in any struggle against the systematic, institutionalized violation of natural universal law and human rights. 

The peaceful marchers at Selma did not have "superior physical force" to match what the law enforcement personnel (and the private citizen "deputies") brought to bear against them. In fact, the peaceful marchers did not have weapons at all, while those who opposed them had weapons, tear gas, helmets, and in some cases even horses.

What they did have, however, was truth on their side. Systems which say that it is excusable to violate the natural human rights of another man or woman, and even to use physical violence against them for virtually any arbitrary reason whatsoever, can only be supported by lies. 

We are all, sadly, capable of accepting stunning lies and of overlooking grievous violence -- even of condoning it or promoting and praising it. The illusions or paradigms or smokescreens or narratives that we accept and buy into, and which can blind us or numb us to the criminality of what is taking place literally all around us -- and which we are in fact enabling and supporting through our failure to examine the assumptions underlying those narratives or paradigms. 

Until something blows that fog of illusion away, rolls back the smokescreen, we probably will not exhibit any outrage, because we remain willfully blind to the outrages that are taking place.

In such an environment, criminals can perpetrate acts of almost "casual" violence with impunity. In extreme situations, the courts will look the other way, fail to convict those criminals of their crimes, and actively seek to subvert natural law through twisted structures composed of artificial legalities.

The leaders of the Civil Rights movement eventually realized that their plan of going through the courts first was being thwarted, obstructed, and subverted by some of those who were running the courts themselves. They hit upon the strategy of appealing directly to the general public at large -- behind whose apathy those criminal violations were being allowed to continue with impunity.

The events of Bloody Sunday were an absolutely historic turning point which led to a widespread re-examination of previously unquestioned assumptions, paradigms, and lies -- and which led many to reject those previously unexamined paradigms. It had dramatic results. Of course, there has been more progress in some areas of ending racially-based violations of rights than in others, and so the process of calling for the examination of assumptions, paradigms and narratives must go on.

There is much, much more that could be said about the details of the events leading up to the Selma marches, and about the importance of what took place in Selma and other cities in the South fifty years ago. Far too little of the truly ugly and disturbing details of some of the violence that took place before and after the actual marches is ever studied or discussed or examined in classrooms or in "the news," with the result being that far too little of it is examined and considered for its applicability to our individual lives and to the situations we find ourselves facing today.

We owe it to ourselves to seek out and study this information and this history on our own. And, we owe it to those who at great personal risk to their own physical security participated in those marches so many years ago: we should learn as much as we can about what they were really facing in their lives, and to learn the lesson that they taught us about the importance of natural universal law, about the ability of peaceful protest to blow away the fog of lies, about the courage to stand up to violence and injustice, about human dignity, and ultimately about the elevation of the human spirit -- about blessing -- and about refusing to be dragged down by people or forces or systems that want to degrade and brutalize us.


and, by the way, the artificial excuse that Sheriff Clark had put US Highway 80 "off limits" due to possible public safety concerns and that the assembly was thus "unlawful" is a canard, as Clark had in previous months authorized his lawmen to use billy clubs -- and used his own billy club -- to prevent blacks from entering by the front door of the courthouse, and to force them into a side alley where they and their protest against voter registration discrimination would be more out of sight, and as no one can argue that preventing them from going in the front door was a "public safety concern," neither can we believe that Sheriff Clark was really issuing his injunction against the marchers because he had "public safety concerns" about their crossing the bridge or walking down the side of the highway in this peaceful protest.

One Foundation

One Foundation

video link 

From the 1973 album Burnin' by The Wailers, these are the lyrics to "One Foundation," written by the immortal Peter Tosh. The words sung by Peter Tosh (lead vocals on this song) are in non-italicized  (upright) text, and those in italics are sung by the accompanying artists: 

Got to build our love

On one foundation

Got to build our love

On one foundation

Got to build our love

On one foundation

[or] There will never be

No love at all

There will never be

No love at all

Got to put aside

Man's segregation

Got to put aside

Them organization

Got to put aside

Them denomination

There will -- there will never be

No love at all

I mean there will never be

No love at all

Got to build our love

So build our love

on one foundation

On one foundation

We got to build our love

Come let us build our love

On one foundation

On one solid foundation

Got to build our love

Got to build our love

On one foundation

On one foundation

Or there will never be

A single drop of love

You won't have no

True freedom, yeh

Got to come together

We are birds of a feather

We got to come together

'Cause we are birds of a feather

We got to come together

'Cause we are birds of a feather

Or there will never be

Lord have mercy

No love at all

There will never be

Yeah yeah

No love at all

We also got to realize

We are one people


We got to realize

That we are one people yeh

We got to realize

We are one people

Or there will never be

No love at all

There will never never never be

No love at all

Got to build our love

On one foundation

We got to build our love

On one foundation

Got to build our love

On one foundation

Got to build our love

On one foundation

Got to build our love

On one foundation . . . 

I believe it can be demonstrated that literalist interpretation of sacred texts tends to lead towards what this song describes as "man's segregation" and "them denomination," while esoteric interpretation tends to reveal the underlying unity between the messages of the ancient scriptures and mythologies of virtually all of the world's cultures.

This divisive tendency in literalist interpretation has been explored in some previous posts, including "The sacred celestial metaphors refute racism and sexism," "Shem, Ham and Japheth," "PTAH, JAH, TAO and BUDDHA," and "'Vision A' or 'Vision B'."

The reason that the literalist approach tends towards divisions, segregations, and denominations, is that when sacred texts are interpreted literally, this often leads to the conclusion that one group is literally descended from or blessed by the divine, to the exclusion of all others. 

It also leads very commonly to the conclusion that only those who accept the specific form of literal interpretation favored by that particular group can expect to be blessed in this life and especially in the afterlife, and that all others will be punished in the afterlife -- in some cases, eternally (for some discussion of the reasons I believe the doctrine of eternal punishment in hell is a misinterpretation of texts which are meant to be interpreted esoterically and metaphorically rather than literally, see "No hell below us . . .").

This represents a very severe form of dividing humanity, of setting some people outside of the "family" of those who are supposedly accepted and deserving of love and blessing -- and thus represents the very opposite of what is being urged in "One Foundation." And it can clearly be seen to be in operation among numerous groups to this very day.

The belief that some men and women are more valuable, more blessed, more worthy, or more connected to divine favor than others is actually a reprehensible teaching, and can and very often does lead to the sanctioning of violence (the violation of rights, including the right to security in their physical person) against those deemed to be less favored.

On the other hand, I believe that it can be demonstrated that the ancient scriptures and sacred traditions can be shown to teach that each and every man and woman is equally connected to the divine, that each in fact embodies the universe (each is a "microcosm" of the infinite "macrocosm"), each is inherently possessed of infinite and unmeasurable value. Such a realization, of course, would lead directly to the conclusion that violence against another such being is inherently wrong, and cannot be excused by any appeal to membership by one in some favored group to which the other does not belong.

It might be objected that such a doctrine of non-violence is unrealistic, in a world in which some (regardless of their actual inherent and inextricable connection to the divine) choose nevertheless to exercise violence against their fellow men and women. However, this does not follow at all: such a view would argue that the use of force is in fact permissible to stop someone who is in the act of inflicting physical harm upon another, and that such force is in fact only justified by the intrinsic value of each individual man or woman no matter who they are. Using force to stop violence is not a violation of anyone's rights but rather a protection of them (see further discussion in the post entitled "Why violence is wrong, even in a holographic universe").

Dogmas or ideologies which excuse the violation of the rights of other men and women can properly be described as a form of mind control, in that they are used to override our inherent knowledge that the violation of the rights of others is wrong (just as we inherently know that the violation of our own person and our own rights is wrong and unjust, and we naturally rebel against it, even from a very young age and without having to be taught it).

Such dogmas are not always based upon literalistic interpretations of ancient scriptures, but they certainly can be. And, to be fair, those who interpret scriptures literally do not always condone violence or the violation of the rights of others, or even the devaluation of some groups versus others. The point is that I believe that literalist interpretation can tend to invite such division.

"One Foundation" recognizes that these divisions between members of the human family are in fact artificial and based upon illusion, and that thus so are the reasons which are built up to excuse the violation of the rights of some men and women, or to excuse the elevation of one group at the expense of everyone else.

It smashes through these artificial divisions and segregations, and the man-made organizations which seek to institutionalize and enforce them. 

That is what great art does: it smashes mind control. 

So come let us build our love / On one foundation . . .

Martin Luther King, Jr. (01/15/1929 - 04/04/1968): "But if not" and the moral law of the universe

Martin Luther King, Jr. (01/15/1929 - 04/04/1968): "But if not" and the moral law of the universe

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born this day -- January 15 -- in 1929.

Above is an audio track of the sermon entitled "But if not," delivered by Dr. King on November 05, 1967 -- only five months before his earthly life was violently ended by a cowardly criminal act of assassination.

Dr. King was a powerful and eloquent orator, and his words speak for themselves. If you have never listened to his sermons before -- and even if you have -- his birthday is an appropriate day to listen to them again, and this sermon is rightfully famous.

While Dr. King's message needs no elaboration or additional explanation, a few particular points impressed me as being especially worthy of brief comment (below -- you may prefer to listen to Dr. King's sermon first).

Here are a few brief comments for those interested -- but of course the entire sermon is deeply moving and worthy of careful consideration from start to finish. Longer direct quotations from the sermon are printed in a blue font in order to make it easier to distinguish those quotations:

  • The title of the sermon is taken from the scriptural passage in the Book of Daniel, chapter 3 and verse 18. There, the three Hebrew youths who have in their captivity been given the Babylonian names Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, famously declare that they will not bow down to the king's idols, and specifically they will not bow before and worship the golden image he has raised in the plain of Dura, and that they will trust their God for deliverance, knowing that he can save them -- "But if not," they concede (that is, even if he does not deliver them), they will still do what is right and obey the law of God over the arbitrary and tyrannical proclamation of the king. 
  • In this sermon, Dr. King points to this story as an example of civil disobedience. Beginning at 03:30 in the track above, he defines civil disobedience, saying: "Now I want you to notice first here that these young men practiced civil disobedience. Civil disobedience is the refusal to abide by an order of the government or of the state or even of the court that your conscience tells you is unjust. Civil disobedience is based on a commitment to conscience. In other words, one who practices civil disobedience is obedient to what he considers a higher law. And there comes a time when a moral man can't obey a law which his conscience tells him is unjust."
  • Without using the terminology of natural law as articulated by abolitionist and political philosopher Lysander Spooner in the 1800s, Dr. King draws the exact same distinction that Spooner draws, between artificial (or man-made) law and natural law (which Dr. King calls "conscience," "higher law," "moral law," or "eternal and divine law" in this sermon). In other words, both declare any immoral "law" to be no law at all -- Spooner using the example of the Fugitive Slave Acts in the United States, and Dr. King using the example of criminal acts perpetrated in Nazi Germany under Hitler which were "legal" but only in the sense of artificial law -- they were actually immoral and illegal and Dr. King declares he would have openly disobeyed them. Warming to this theme, he declares beginning at the 06:50 mark in the above audio: "And so it is important to see -- that there are times -- when a man-made law is out of harmony with the moral law of the universe; there are times when human law is out of harmony with eternal and divine law: and when that happens, you have an obligation to break it. And I'm happy that in breaking it, I have some good company!"
  • He later connects this obligation to resist man-made laws which oppose the moral and eternal and divine law with the statement by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in Daniel 3:18 beginning with "But if not." Dr. King explains that our obligation to oppose immoral law is not dependent upon being spared from negative consequences in doing so, nor is it dependent upon being promised positive rewards for doing so: it must be done because it is the right thing to do. This leads him directly to his soaring and justly famous conclusion, a portion of which is quoted next, beginning just prior to the 17:00 mark in the above audio.
  • Notice that directly connected to his assertion that we must come to the place where we cannot but stand up for the moral law irregardless of reward or consequences is Dr. King's mention of the conventional doctrines of heaven and hell -- and he likewise declares that we do not simply decide to stand up for the right either for the promise of the one or the fear of the other. At 16:46, building to a crescendo, Dr. King proclaims: "What does this mean? It means in the final analysis, you do right NOT to avoid hell. If you're doing right merely to keep from going to something that traditional theology has called 'hell,' then you're not doing right. If you do right merely to go to a condition that theologians have called 'heaven,' you aren't doing right. If you are doing right to avoid pain, and to achieve happiness and pleasure, then you aren't doing right. Ultimately, you must do right because it's RIGHT to do right. You've gotta say, 'But if not.'"
  • It is impossible not to notice that Dr. King's framing of the concepts of heaven and hell as "something that traditional theology has called 'hell'" and "a condition that theologians have called 'heaven'" serve to call into question the traditional or conventional (that is to say, "literal") understanding of those two concepts, and to distance himself those traditional literal theological interpretations. The fact that Dr. King here appears to strongly call into question the traditional literal understanding of those two ideas is in keeping with the argument put forward in the preceding post (and elsewhere in other previous discussions), that the literal interpretation of the scriptures can be (and historically has been) used to control thought and behavior and even to oppress and enslave, whereas the sacred scriptures and ancient teachings of humanity (including those in the Bible) were actually intended uplift (and not oppress), to liberate (and not enslave). For further discussion of the likelihood that the concepts of both hell and heaven in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments relate to celestial metaphors connected to spiritual teachings about our incarnate condition, rather than to literal places of eternal punishment or reward as they have been interpreted by literalistic theologians (and then used as convenient tools to control thought and behavior), please see "No hell below us . . ." and "A land flowing with milk and honey."
  • This aspect of Dr. King's sermon is very important, because the entire thrust of his sermon is to place the moral obligation of "doing right," including when necessary civil disobedience to immoral laws, upon an ancient scriptural foundation. Following other researchers, including Mark Passio, I have argued that widespread institutionalized violations of natural law must necessarily be accompanied by some form of mind control: those techniques which are used to "hypnotize" large numbers of people into (wrongly) believing that violations of natural law are actually right or good or moral or acceptable. Misinterpreted, the Biblical scriptures have in fact been used in the past -- and continue to be used -- as an instrument of mind control, to condone oppression of one group by another, for example, or to condone the use of force for reasons other than protection against violence. But, this does not mean that we should "throw out" the Biblical scriptures, or any of the other ancient scriptures and traditions of humanity, just because they have in the past been twisted around to try to support the opposite of what they really mean. On the contrary, these ancient teachings, properly interpreted, actually stand against mind control (I believe). Dr. King in the above sermon clearly evidences a high regard for the ancient scriptures -- in this case, the Book of Daniel from the Hebrew Scriptures (or the "Old Testament") -- and I believe he can be seen to be using them in a way that dispels mind control and promotes human freedom and natural law.
  • Ultimately, I believe that open, non-violent civil disobedience itself is designed to call attention to ongoing violations of natural law (or, as Dr. King puts it, "human law out of harmony with eternal and divine law"), and to remove the "veil of legitimacy" which techniques of mind control attempt to throw over those violations of the natural law. By his willingness to face consequences while non-violently doing actions which do not violate natural law (but which may indeed break these "out of harmony human laws") -- the same willingness he connects back to Daniel chapter 3 and verse 18 -- Dr. King helped to "wake up" those who had previously been too hypnotized to notice that those human laws were actually profoundly immoral.

At the end of this famous sermon (beginning around 18:20), Dr. King declares that "if you have never found something so dear and so precious that you will to die for it," or if

"some great opportunity stands before you and CALLS upon you to stand for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause," and you refuse to do it because you are afraid, you refuse to "take the stand" as he puts it, then you will die inside. He prefaces these stirring words by saying "you may be 38 years old, as I happen to be" -- but those of us who are already older than that need not think that it is already too late for us to find such a cause, whether we are 48, or 68, or 88 or 108 years old! There is never a lack of need for the kind of willingness to stand up for justice that Dr. King proclaims in this sermon!

I would humbly suggest that, if we are unsure of what "great principle" that we ourselves might stand for, we could perhaps hardly go wrong if we decide to stand for natural law, which is the same as the universal law, the eternal law, the divine law, and the moral law. 

From there, we can be alert to identify places in which human law is, as Dr. King puts it,

"out of harmony with the moral law of the universe,"

and then to stand against them and to show others how they are illegitimate and ultimately illegal. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of such human laws and actions going on today, any more than there was in 1967.

Martin Luther King, Jr. clearly understood natural law, and the fact that natural law is woven into the very fabric of our universe. He understood that, because of this fact, widespread institutionalized violations of such law actually require forms of mind control, to veil their illegitimacy. He clearly understood the importance of exposing this mind control, in order to dispel it, and he saw that nonviolent civil disobedience was a way to seize the moral high ground and expose the illegitimacy of actions which run counter to natural universal law.

He also understood the importance and power of the ancient scriptures, and held them in high esteem, and he saw that they teach resistance to illegitimate artificial laws, and that the scriptures actually illustrate non-violent civil disobedience, and provide a basis and foundation for it.

All of these lessons, and the sermons of Dr. King, are as vital today as they have ever been. And, they are vitally important for our own well-being as moral individuals.