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6.3.17

Part of an essay by Rev S. Baring Gould

The existence of anti-Law of Moses (the Oral and Written Law) in the Churches of Greece
and Asia Minor, beginning with their foundation, comes from from the letters of St. Paul. It was an open sore in the life-time of the Twelve; it was a sorrow weighing daily on the great soul of the Apostle of the Gentiles. It called forth the indignant thunder of Jude and Peter, and the awful denunciations in the charges to the Seven Churches. The apocryphal literature of the sub-apostolic period carries on the sad story. Under St. John's presiding care, the gross scandals which defiled Gentile Christianity were purged out, and antinomian Christianity deserted Asia Minor for Alex
andria. There it made head again, as revealed to us by the controversialists of the third century. And there it disappeared for a while. Yet the disease was never eradicated. Its poison still
lurked in the veins of the Church, and again and again throughout the Middle Ages heretics emerged fitfully, true successors of Nicolas, Cerdo, Marcion and Valentine, shaking off the trammels of the moral law, and seeking justification through mystic exaltation or spiritual emotion. The Papacy trod down these ugly heretics with ruthless heel. But at the Reformation, when the restraint was removed, the disease brokj forth in a multitude of obscene sects spotting the fair face of Protestantism. Nor has the virus exhausted itself. Its baleful workings, if indistinct, are still present and threatening. But how comes it that Christianity has thus its dark  shadow constantly haunting it ? The cause is to be sought in the constitution of man. Man, moving in his little orbit, has ever a face turned away from the earth and all that is material, looking out into infinity, —a dark, unknown side, about whose complexion we may speculate, but which we can never map. It is a face which must ever remain mysterious, and ever radiate into mystery. As the eye and ear are bundles of nerves through which the inner man goes out into, and receives impressions from, the material world, so is the soul a marvellous tissue of fibres through which man is placed
en rapport with the spiritual world, God and infinity. It is the existence of this face, these fibres —take which simile you like—which has constituted mystics in every age all over the world : Schamans in frozen Siberia, Fakirs in burning India, absorbed Buddhists, ecstatic Saints, Essenes, Witches, Anchorites, Swedenbofgians, modern Spiritualists.
Man, double-faced by nature, is placed by Revelation under a sharp, precise external rule, controlling his actions
and his thoughts. To this rule spirit and body are summoned to do homage. But the spirit has an inherent tendency towards the un limited, by virtue of its nature, which places it on the confines of the infinite. Consequently it is never easy under a
rule which is imposed on it conjointly with the body ; it strains after emancipation, strives to assert its independence
of what is external, and to establish its claim to obey only the movements in the spiritual world. It throbs sympatheti
cally with the auroral flashes in that realm of mystery, like the flake of gold-leaf in the magnetometer.
To be bound to the body, subjected to its laws, is degrading ; to be unbounded, unconditioned, is its aspiration and
supreme felicity. Thus the incessant effort of the spirit is to establish its
law in the inner world of feeling, and remove it from the material world without.
Moreover, inasmuch as the spirit melts into the infinite, cut off from it by no sharply-defined fine, it is disposed to
regard itself as a part of God, a creek of the great Ocean of Divinity, and to suppose that all its emotions are the pulsa
tions of the tide in the all-embracing Spirit. It loses the consciousness of its individuality; it deifies itself.
A Suffee fable representing God and the human soul illustrates this well. " One knocked at the Beloved's door, and
a voice from within cried, ' Who is there V Then the soul answered, ' It is I.' And the voice of God said, ' This house
will not hold me and thee.' So the door remained shut. Then the soul went away into a wilderness, and after long
fasting and prayer it returned, and knocked once again at the door. And again the voice demanded, 'Who is there?'
Then he said, ' It is Thou,' and at once the door opened to him."
Thus the mystic always regards his unregulated wishes as divine revelations, his random impulses as heavenly inspirations. He has no law but his own will ; and therefore, in mysticism, there is no curb against the grossest licence.
The existence of that evil which, knowing the constitution of man, we should expect to find prevalent in mysticism, the
experience of all ages has shown following, dogging its steps inevitably. So slight is the film that separates religious from
sensual passion, that uncontrolled spiritual fervour roars readily into a blaze of licentiousness.
It is this which makes revivalism of every description so dangerous. It is a two-edged weapon that cuts the hand
which holds it. Yet the spiritual, religious element in man is that which is most beautiful and pure, when passionless. It is like those placid tarns, crystal clear and icy cold, in Auvergne and the Eifel, which lie in the sleeping vents of old volcanoes. We
love to linger by them, yet never with security, for we know that a throb, a shock, may at any moment convert them into
boiling geysirs or raging craters. So well is this fact known in the Roman Church, that a
mystic is inexorably shut up in a convent, or cast out as a heretic. The more spiritual a religion is, the more apt it is to lurch and let in a rush of immorality ;

5.3.17

I know one girl {Ukraine} who lives there now in Crimea and she said to me everything is fine there. In her words "everything is in its place."

3.3.17

A:Russia I think is keeping up the pressure on the Ukraine to not let them join NATO or the EU. The more the Ukraine goes in that direction politically the more Russia uses actual violence to stop them. Russia will simply not let NATO get to its door step. Period

M: So you are pro-putin?

A: Not exactly. Rather I can see the concerns of Russia
David B. also told me when the whole thing started that he did not see the purpose in a war about borders that have always shifted  in all directions and never been permanent,


M: Except that it's fueled by greed and does not have the best interest of the people at heart. We see what they did to the Ukrainians with the forced starvation


A: Good points



M: I do that sometimes





A: The best idea I think is not to aggravate Russia. It seems to me they will not let NATO get up to their doorstep at all cost. So why aggravate them?


M: Because um... it's a long-game of survival?



A: Right about that. They Russia does not think NATO is hostile right now. They certainly do not think NATO wants to invade this minute. But as far as they are concerned it is just a matter of time until the next invasion happens.And when it does they do not want to be fighting inside Russia. They would rather repel the enemy before they get to their gates.


2.3.17

The goal that seemed to work best in the West was the Glory of God and living according to the Bible. As Allen Bloom understood the Enlightenment, it was a revolt against Kings and Priests, and that more or less became a revolt against the Bible also. Even Nietzsche –the anti Christ as he thought of himself, as against the kind of Christianity he saw in Germany where people were Christians in word only. The kind of transcendent type of the Aquinas and Meister Eckhart as far as I understood him.

28.2.17

Religious revivals seem to have short  life spans.  This includes bad ones.  Sometime it is just that people get swept up in some spirit. Sometimes it is pure Sitra Achra Dark Side revivals.
But sometimes even from the Bright Side they putter out.  Sometimes it is just purely human potential for delusions with a little help from the Dark Side. Sometimes it is from the Realm of Holiness, but still has some kind of time limit.
It is hard to judge what kind of thing was Flatbush, NY. To me it seemed very much like a religious revival from the Bright Side. It seems to be no accident that three of the greatest yeshivas in the world are there, and there was an amazing spirit of Torah.  Even when the revival aspect is over, it still is clear that the level of learning in these places is far beyond any yeshivas anywhere else with the exception of Ponovitch in Bnei Brak.
So what is the meaning of this? Is it just the moving of the Spirit of God on the face of the waters? Is it like predicting where the wind will blow?
There was an academic book on the experience of the אור אין סוף (Divine Light) that I heard about, but did not see. William James and Dr. Kelley Ross have dealt in thorough way about religious experience (from the Kantian perspective). But what about the positive side of revivals? The Musar Movement, the NY Yeshiva world from 1950 -1990? What is one to make of it?

Or rather I mean to ask a practical question. How to avoid the bad ones? How to tell if one is good? I got some good insight into this from Dr Michael Huemer's essays about objective morality and Dr, Kelley Ross and also Steven Dutch as I mentioned in this blog a few years ago when I was involved in reading their works. In the meantime my philosophical studies went on from Kant and to Hegel. At this point in life I am more in the ''after the revival'' mode even a good and great one like the Yeshiva World, how to get on with simply living according to God's will.
The yeshiva world itself in Israel seems to be mainly about money. I was very disappointed in what I saw in Jerusalem. Or, rather I was horrified.
It is like a condemned building. The best thing is the leave it before it falls down. The best idea is to learn at home, or find place of Torah that is real and has the real spirit of Torah.
People that are totally against Isaac Luria might not appreciate my point of view, but my basic feeling about  the kinds of phenomenon discussed here really comes from my reading the Eitz Chaim of the Ari. I dare not mention the Ari much because if anyone is misused, it is him. Still I think I gained a lot by reading him.   In fact being part of the religious revival that was the NY Yeshiva scene and then learning the Ari and then coming to Israel I believe kind of lit a fuse in me.  





27.2.17

Strengthen faith and political stability will result.

Russia I think is keeping up the pressure on the Ukraine to not let them join NATO or the EU. The more the Ukraine goes in that direction politically, the more Russia uses actual violence to stop them. Russia will simply not let NATO get to its door step. Period. That is in chess like guarding the queen. What Russia would like to say is this: "Don't join NATO. If you abide by this, we will respect your borders and sovereignty, and give you special trading privileges as you have always enjoyed and will continue to enjoy. But do not join NATO."
But Russia cannot say this openly because it sounds like violating the sovereignty of Ukraine. So it has to say this in a way that is implicit, not explicit.
I do not see in this problem any solution except what  already some people have seen-- not political but a religious revival.  To me it seems clear what this area of the world needs is a kind of religious revival--or better put--that each individual makes a commitment to get right with God. Thus I see a place for the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical churches. That is because I see politics downstream from faith.  Strengthen faith, and political stability will result.

26.2.17

religious world Jewish

The trouble with the religious world is that being religious has nothing to do with getting right with God.

For the religious, rituals become the main thing. 

Getting right with God is something  different. It is paying one's debts, it is having compassion, it is not depending on charity but working honesty for a living. 

In the religious world it seems the greatest mitzvah is to convince secular Jews to give them money. But instead of gratitude this creates an attitude of מגיע לי--as if it is owed to them.

Merkel says she wants to fulfill her obligations towards NATO.

I had a very good impression of Merkel before the problem with Muslims arose. I am not sure any more what to make of the whole situation with her. 

In terms of NATO, I would love it see it disbanded. I think they are out to start WWIII with Russia by their constant provocations.
I simply see no use in it anymore.

25.2.17

Trends in Christianity.

The most public face of Christianity is Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Evangelical, Left Wing Protestant with is apathetic Protestant and Emergent Protestant.
Evangelical is actually a euphemism for Pentecostal, it is basically the same thing without the theatrics.

So outside of the general spitting of Protestant we see a more fundamental splinting along these lines. Post Modern Protestant, apathetic Protestant, social Justice politically militant Protestant,  emergent Protestant. Apathetic and Evangelical is actually pretty close in doctrine but differ in amounts of fervor.

All go with Paul, who I see as distorting the message of Jesus badly as you can see in the Clementine Homilies and Recognitions.[I would rather not go into the scholarly debates because the Recognitions simply confirm what is already implicit in the NT itself but hidden in such a way as to make it not obvious except to the discerning eye.]
Ken Wilber and Eastern Religions are not all that up on understanding of evolution so their ideas base on faulty understanding of evolution sound good but have no real justification. The Emerging Church just got too caught up in the allure of Post Modernism when we are already in the era when it is been falsified and shown to be based on fallacies. 

Paul does not need the Recognitions of Clement to refute him, because his message is at odds with everything reported in the name of Jesus and it takes too much intellectual gymnastics to ignore Jesus and pretend that Paul understood him better that his actual words say. 

Paul had to contradict himself also because of circumstances that arose due to his original letters. The original letters supported "No Laws". Then as we see in latter letters people acted on what he wrote. Then he had to go back to the Eeny Meeni Miny Moe method about which laws of Moses to keep and which not. So Paul ends up being incoherent at best. To Peter and James, that would be the least of his problems. 

Since all historical Christianity comes from Paul who had enormous success in planting churches all throughout the Roman world which even after he was gone kept on spreading like wild fire, thus the problems in Paul keep on being played out every day.What one person wants to prove from one letter, someone else can always find an opposite statement in another letter.
Luther put the antinomian [anti law of Moses] into this explicit phrase: "We do not want to hear about Moses." {See rejection of Moses}
The whole quote is this: "Now then, let us get to the bottom of it all and say these teachers of sin and Mosaic prophets are not to confuse us with Moses. We don’t want to see or hear Moses. How do you like that, my dear rebels? We say further, that all such Mosaic teachers deny the gospel, banish Christ, and annul the whole New Testament. For Moses is given to the Jewish people alone, and does not concern us Gentiles and Christians. We have our gospel and New Testament." (1967b:170) 

Also from that PhD Thesis: "Nevertheless, we cannot escape Luther’s negative expressions against Moses, for example, “beat Moses to death and throw many stones at him”; “we shall make new Decalogues,” and, “Moses is nothing to us” (Avis 1975:152, 154, 156). 
Luther's sermon on Moses

"But we will not have this sort of thing. We would rather not preach again for the rest of our life than to let Moses return and to let Christ be torn out of our hearts. We will not have Moses as ruler or lawgiver any longer. Indeed God himself will not have it either. Moses was an intermediary solely for the Jewish people. It was to them that he gave the law. We must therefore silence the mouths of those factious spirits who say, "Thus says Moses," etc. Here you simply reply: Moses has nothing to do with us. If I were to accept Moses in one commandment, I would have to accept the entire Moses. Thus the consequence would be that if I accept Moses as master, then I must have myself circumcised, (3) wash my clothes in the Jewish way, eat and drink and dress thus and so, and observe all that stuff. So, then, we will neither observe nor accept Moses. Moses is dead. His rule ended when Christ came. He is of no further service."

In any case the Law of Moses is forever as is stated many times about particular commandments and about the whole law itself in Deuteronomy 6 and also at the very end of the Torah in Haazinu, and at the end of the prophets זכרו תורת משה Remember the Law of Moses. 

So my approach is to say that Paul, Luther, and Calvin, while intending to do well, were mistaken in their approaches and also did not pay much attention to the Law of Moses  in the first place. Their views are simply incoherent and make opposing statements all the time. At least I have to admit Aquinas and Hegel tried hard to make sense out of it all.

I should add that as many people have noticed, "What does it matter?" For attachment with God, sincere service to God surely is not dependent on doctrines? I have to agree with that, but to understand right from wrong is not possible without the Law of Moses.



See the Rambam's approach to natural law and the law of Moses in the Guide.  
There is an any case an argument between R Shimon Ben Yochai and R Yehuda and the sages about if a mizvah applies when the reason for it does not apply. R Shimon said no. It is famous that the law is like R Yehuda but Rav Shach noted that this is  a mistake. The actual Law is like the sages that hold with R. Shimon in certain cases.  But does the Rambam allow hidden reasons for commandments? Clearly he must as we see in the Guide about the difference between natural Law and Torah Law. He says Natural law was a needed stage before Torah Law. So he obviously sees some difference even in essence. So we have to say like this to R Shimon and the Rambam when the open reason for the law does not apply so the hidden reason also vanishes.




Frankfurt school.

The USA seems to have been influenced by the Fabian plot to turn the world into a socialist nightmare. From what I saw in a UTube video this was imported through the Frankfurt school. But now it looks to me that many people are beginning to notice the problems of socialism.  I still recall a time when existentialism was the "in thing". It took time but that stupid fad thankfully disappeared.