Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Essays on Satanism and Lucifer

Show me how you live and I'll work out what you believe

Satanism

The beauty of Satanism, as a religion or philosophy, is that it defies definition and it means something unique to everyone who claims it as theirs. This is true of all religions and philosophies, but never more obvious than in Satanism.

The ones who believe in a literal Satan, the personification of evil, tend to be Christians and have a history of being the worst kinds of people. Satanism has arisen in stark contrast, and typically stands against, the slave religion from which it borrows language, symbols and traditions. Alongside all the other philosophies and traditions that Satanists take inspiration from. 

Satanists are both atheist and theistic, although the modern variants charting a beginning in Laveyism tend towards the philosophically atheist. As with all religions in the resurgent its adherents, now most prominently of the TST (The Satanic Temple) variety thanks to the huge and well deserved success of Hail Satan!, tend to think that they are the only true Satanists. Modern rational theistic Luciferians like myself tend to smile at this. There is nothing new under the sun. 
Nonetheless, a unifying strand amongst all the many flavours of Satanism seems to be a rejection of the control of conventionality and the slave religions and a determined individuality of consciousness. Jung called this individuation and the highest goal of religion and philosophy. The transmutation and the phoenix, the philosopher's stone of the ancient alchemy. 

In my personal Satanism Lucifer represents that rejection of control from the outside, by others. Lucifer is the sacred self and the self archetype to use more of Jung's language. Your individuality is sacred and holy.

My personal Satanism is utterly and irredeemably selfish. It recognises that I is an inherently selfish perspective. We all see and understand life from our own perspective, inescapably so. Not only this but our first sacred duty and responsibility is to survive, and then to thrive. You're allowed to care about yourself, to love yourself. Indeed this is the wellspring from which love for all beings springs. Put your own oxygen mask on before attempting to assist others.

You're allowed to think about yourself a lot, everyone does. You're allowed to have a good opinion of yourself. In order to know yourself, to resolve your own trauma, and to understand the world which has shaped you, you have to think about yourself a lot. So it's not something anyone can ever criticise you for. The rest of the world makes up half your life, so it deserves about half your attention. You have an absolute right to explore and find your own true will for yourself, and no-one has any right to stop you.

Further more it seems reasonable that how people treat me personally is how they treat people like me. I love people like me, so if people treat me badly there's a good chance they're an enemy of my people. By that measure I judge people substantially by how they treat me. 
People using disliking you as a social tool for conformity, to stop you saying things they don't like. It's intellectually dishonest and morally repugnant. They'll usually say it's not what you're saying, it's the way that you say it. They don't listen to you because they don't like you. Nasty people. Social exclusion is a great evil. Love is the law, love under will. We choose to love. Saying things you know people won't like you for, if they're true and need to be said, is a character quality worthy of admiration.

Being willing to be enemy, Satan, is a core tenet of my Satanism. That which art love I will trust it completely. That which art the enemy I will fight, even though I am scared I will fight. I am willing to stand up for what I believe in and be me against all opposition. 

And yet my selfishness prompts me towards generosity of spirit, for I know this is the best I can be and my selfishness would have me be the best that I can be. My selfishness sees that I can make the most of my life, and make the most difference in this life, if I am and become all that I am capable of being.

Altruism is another gift from evolution, granting a survival advantage to the group even to the detriment of the individual. Compassion is the deepest pleasure, so the wisest and most self-interested of hedonists pursues compassion with all their heart.

Hail Satan, hail you!


My Personal Satanism

My personal Satanism stands as enemy, Satan and Ahriman the spirit of destructive opposition, to the evil gods of the slave religions and conventionality who are identified with the super-ego. The id, the primal urge and surge, is represented with Leviathan that ancient enemy who dwells in the ocean. I'm a rational theistic Luciferian. Lucifer is the light-bringer, bright morning star, the sacred self and the self archetype. 

The endless, the limitless, the boundless, the infinite. Lucifer is. Guardian of the numinous and holder of the keys to the abyss. Lord of the infernal and of the supernal, dweller on the threshold.

The twin of Lucifer, the evening star, is the goddess worshipped as Asherah and Ashteroth and Ishtar and Astarte. Asherah who was declared a demon goddess and her priestesses persecuted by the Hebrews, along with Baal and Moloch the blind who is industry, whom according to legends the Kings of Judah sacrificed their own children at the Valley of the Children of Hinnom, also known as Gehenna and Sheol and which was cursed by the prophet Jeremiah. Baal who is Ba'al Zəbûl, first amongst Baals, Lord of the Heavenly Dwelling and a Prince of Hell called Lord of the Flies by the Hebrews as an insult.

The precepts I uphold within my Satanism are the precepts of Thelema:
Love is the law, love under will.
Do as you will shall be the whole of the law.
Along with: No hell but what they make.

And my personal moral law which I call the Aslan rule: what other people do is Narnia business.

The culture of these precepts is Radical Inclusion.

You can bridge the rational and the irrational. Once you accept that both are merely the product of the mind there is no need to fear either. And most of our power is in the non-rational, strength resides with Leviathan.

Most people give over their imaginations to television and their minds to banality. And they see no gods or goddesses, neither demon nor angel, and they are pleased with themselves for the failure of their imagination. "What a clever person I am, so much cleverer than those who came before" they say to themselves as they close their mind's eye and change the channel.

93% of our experience is in the rational, 93% of our power resides with the non-rational. This is the 93/93 rule of my Satanism.

Lucifer

I'm a rational theistic Luciferian. The human animal has been gifted by evolution the capacity to connect to the divine, and we either shut that down or we live to the greatest extent using all of our mental faculties.

In my Satanism, religion and philosophy, Lucifer represents the sacred self and the self archetype, but let's look a little bit at what "Lucifer" means mythologically.

In modern Christian traditions, which have informed the popular perception and portrayal of Lucifer, Lucifer is conflated with Satan and is the personification of evil. Lucifer is a fallen archangel, a serpent and a dragon, the worship leader of the angelic host become demon and chief amongst demons. Tempter of the faithful and infernal liar.

The word itself "Lucifer" is old English, but comes from the Latin meaning "bright morning star", Venus in the morning aspect. Venus has been worshipped as a deity for all time. In her evening aspect she is the goddess, appearing even in the Christian traditions as Ishtar and Ashtoreth and Astarte and Asherah the demon goddess whose priestesses were persecuted by the Hebrews.
Lucifer in the Latin was only loosely associated with deities by the Romans until around 400AD when it appeared in the Vulgate, the Latin translation of the Bible which was the predominant form of the Bible from around 400AD-1100AD. The word Lucifer is used for the archangel in Isaiah 14:12. The word Lucifer first appearing itself directly in the King James translation of the Bible in 1611. 

This is the rendering of the Hebrew word הֵילֵל‎ (transliteration: hêylêl; pronunciation: hay-lale) meaning "shining one", rendered in the Septuagint as heōsphoros, "bringer of dawn", the Ancient Greek name for the morning star. Modern religious doctrines of Lucifer are all based on that one verse and that's where the name comes from.

So Lucifer is Venus, the bright morning star. Son of the morning and of the evening. Worshipped in her evening aspect of the goddess. This title, bright morning star, is claimed by The Christ in the Apocalypse of John, chapter 22 and verse 16. Our dark Lord Lucifer died for our sins. As with all the gods they are worshipped under many different names. Worship and veneration of Venus, Lucifer, is older than Christianity, the Greek venerated the god Phosphorus, bright morning star, son of the morning and of the evening.

To the extent that the divine is perceived by our connection with the whole, the choice is not between philosophical atheism or theism but a practical choice between a deeper connection and understanding of life itself or not. The only theory worth a damn is the theory of the practise. A praxis.


"Films use references to other movies and aspects of culture to create meaning. In understanding mythology and sacred texts we find meaning partly through correspondences in them with other mythology and sacred texts."

Friday, 3 July 2020

A Hasty Primer on Intersectional Feminism and Knowing Your Privilege

A Hasty Primer on Intersectional Feminism

A friend asked for a simple summary of Intersectional Feminism. Here's what I wrote, which is longer than it should be but not half as long as it ought to be.

A difficult thing with any social movement or idea is that lots of people contribute to it and shape it and everyone involved (or not involved) has a different idea of what it means or what it is. Definitions are hard and people argue about them. So I'll give you the definitions I use, which come from what I've learned and seen and thought. They're not absolute definitions, just my ideas based on other people's ideas.

Feminism as I learned it, mostly from the feminists in the geek community, is about equality.

Feminism sees that due to a history where men were in charge we have an unbalanced society where women are disadvantaged in things like jobs and suffer sexual harassment, domestic violence etc. You can measure this kind of prejudice and demonstrate that there are quite a few ways where life is harder for women. The standard gender roles for men and women, which are fading, are unhealthy and unhelpful. Men have repressed emotions and women suffer excessively from mental health issues like anxiety.

So the goal of feminism is an equal society, where men are able to display healthy emotions and women can go out at night without being raped and can get good jobs just like a normal person.

Feminism as a movement originated out of "suffrage", the movement to get women the vote. We call this "first wave feminism". Women like Emily Pankhurst went to prison, and some died, fighting for the right for women to vote.

Following that in the sixties and seventies (I think) there was a strong movement for the social liberation of women building on the foundation of first wave feminism and alongside the social movements of love and sexual liberation of the hippies that also included the charismatic evangelistic revival of that time in the house church movement (less sexual liberation there though). Feminists like Simone de Beauvoir were at the forefront of this and many of the goals of feminism were advanced greatly as society changed and feminism became more mainstream. Women having control over their own body was a big part of that.

Third wave feminism was a new movement from the last decade or two. On top of second wave feminism it adds sex positivity and sex worker positivity, the recognition of trans people and included and welcomed more men into the movement. Second wave feminism discouraged men from identifying as feminists, saying they could only be allies. Third wave feminism is for everyone.

Alongside third wave feminism black feminists, women philosophers, worked on a new feminism. They were involved in activism on race issues and gender issues. They suffered oppression both because they were women and because they were black and they saw that the issues they faced were compounded by the intersection of the different kinds of oppression, that they faced difficulties their white sisters did not. They also noted other intersections, disabled black people, disabled women, gay women and gay black people. So they came up with a new kind of feminism called intersectional feminism that understood and took this into account.

They saw that in life there are many different ways people can be oppressed or advantaged. To be white in this world is an advantage. To be straight is an advantage, because people experience oppression because they are gay. And so on. The advantage they called privilege.

Intersectional feminism is the understanding that many different axes (different kinds) of privilege and oppression intersect (come together) in every life. 

We all have some natural advantages and disadvantages in life. Some people suffer under a lot of oppression. So those who are privileged can empathise with and try to understand the suffering of the oppressed, because we've all experienced some suffering and oppression. It also means we all benefit in some ways, unfortunately, from the suffering of others. If others are naturally disadvantaged when it comes to applying for jobs (for example if you're black or a woman) then just being a man is a slight advantage. You can prove this is true by looking at statistics.

So those of us who have gained unfairly from the suffering of others, lots of the wealth of the west came from the oppression of poorer countries and the use of slaves, have some moral responsibility to help right the wrongs of the past and the present. We don't add to any individual and it's on the conscience of every person as to how they deal with that. But it's true anyway.

It can also help us to understand other people, to understand that they've had different lives to us and hard in ways that we haven't had to deal with. That's helpful for being able to empathise and connect with people and show them understanding and show that we care.

I was drawn to feminism, and started to all myself a feminist, because of the positive things I saw people (particularly women but far from only women) doing, in the name of third wave feminism, within the geek and tech community to include people. Django Girls, PyLadies, Transcode, mentoring, etc . So many beautiful people working so hard to actually include people, to love and support people. It wasn't about arguing it was about doing the work. People actually building a community of love. The practise rather than the theory. It's why one of my proudest achievements is my Python Software Foundation Community Award, recognising my work for the Python community. It's a community I'm so proud of and so proud to be part of.
The only theory worth a damn is the theory of the practise.
My psychotherapist, very active within the queer scene in Brighton and London, says she no longer calls herself a feminist due to the transphobia in British feminism. This is largely second wave feminists, and other FARTs, who refuse to see trans-women as women. Not acknowledging that breaking down the evil gender stereotypes is exactly what feminism has always been about. Deborah calls herself an egalitarian now. I saw and see a lot of beauty in feminism, particularly intersectional feminism, so I still call myself a feminist.

In summary, intersectional feminism is about loving and accepting people and understanding and supporting them. The intersectional part helps us to understand some of the disparate forces that shape and influence lives.

Knowing Your Privilege

Intersectional feminism teaches us that women are disproportionately affected by the plight and emotional and mental health of men. You therefore can't care about all women without caring about men.

Socially isolated and unhappy males cause a great deal of suffering and can become very evil.

An important consequence of intersectional feminism is that there's no blame associated with privilege, and that oppression isn't personal either. Isn't the fault of the disadvantaged. It's all just chance and the circumstances of life. That's a freeing understanding.

If you're aware of your privilege, if you know your privilege and use it then you can have a clean conscience. You didn't cause the suffering personally and you don't owe any individual anything, you've been aware of your privilege and tried to pay it forward when you could - so no-one has any hold on you.

I like to say: pay tax, give to charity, give to the homeless and owe nobody anything and have a clean conscience.

That's why I think intersectional feminism is both useful and beautiful. By viewing the world through that lense, and making a reasonable effort to act on what I see, I'm able to have a clean conscience.

And it also tells me how to deal with any privilege I'm unaware of. I'm only morally responsible for it once I become aware of it, because I only have any opportunity to deal with it once I'm aware of it. It's lovely. I don't have to worry about the past and anything I might have done without being aware of the consequences because I'll deal with things as they come up and make an honest attempt not to make mistakes. I think that's just behaving honourably and it isn't really that new.

I'm a a Jewish, British, Socialist, Feminist, Witch, middle aged, middle class, pansexual, ex-christian, ex-homeless, ex-prisoner, GenX, neurodiverse, cult survivor, body positive, university educated, university dropout, sex positive, switch, gamer, raver, hippie, white, cis, mostly male identifying geek. My life has been marked by many different kinds of privilege and oppression.

I've been beaten up on the streets for being homeless. I've helped setup and run a charity for the homeless and disadvantaged in Northampton and worked there part time for about seven years, longer as a volunteer. I lived without money and personal possessions in a Christian communal cult for ten years, working selling bricks during that time, in order to live for something I believed in. During which time I taught myself to program computers. I was eventually ostracised from that "church movement" (and left) for, amongst things, speaking out vocally on the issue of the role of women and sexuality in particular homosexuality over a long period of time. I've always tried to be generous with what life has provided me.

So I feel like I've tried to be honourable with the privilege I've had and I've worked at resolving the trauma I've suffered. I find privilege a really useful tool for understanding life.
And it's intersectional. Women who are homeless are particularly vulnerable and disadvantaged because of their gender. So you can't care about all women without caring about the homeless. Similarly women with gender identity issues are particularly vulnerable and oppressed because society tries to control women's bodies and women are more subject to sexual harassment. So you can't care about all women without caring about gender identity issues.

Conversely, if I've helped the homeless and worked to helping the homeless then I've helped women. Women who were particularly vulnerable.

So for me it's a freeing theory. It allows me to be an ally to the disadvantaged in a lot of what I do, just by helping people which I like doing. And it means I can address social issues and need without guilt. I rarely feel pressured into helping out of guilt, because I know I've tried. So when I do help someone it isn't obligation, it comes from a genuine heart. That's a much nicer way to help people, free from obligation and guilt.

Sometimes I hear "privilege theory", which is both a part of intersectional feminism and a derogatory reductionism of it, is a cult that people don't want to join.

The cult part is interesting. It's mostly a reflection of not wanting to see another point of view. The new point of view does come with a whole worldview that people don't want to buy into, which is why it looks like a cult.

Unfortunately people do a terrible job of selling that worldview, making it seem nasty. Because they're nasty people. That's a shame. Most people are nasty it seems at times. Which leaves you feeling like you have to be a bit nasty yourself just to stand up for what is right. And then you wonder what the difference is.

A lot of those who "don't want to join the cult" don't realise that they need to leave the cult (restricted worldview) they're in and join the rest of the world. There's a really beautiful world out there to discover. Everyone's lost in their own little cult, their own world, their own way of seeing the world. And so many people are trapped in their own hell.

It's awful, more so because it doesn't have to be like this. It starts by helping those out of a hell that other people make.

And of course feminism cares about men. Caitlin Moran speaks beautifully on the subject.

For every person you meet you have no idea what struggles and oppression and suffering they've experienced, nor who they have loved and helped or where their passion burns.


"90% of our experience is in the rational, 90% of our power is non-rational. The 90-10 rule."

In Praise of Kurzgesagt: String Theory


Quantum mechanics, as I'm sure you know, is the deepest and lowest level exploration of reality that science has any understanding of. It leaves beautiful space for the spiritual. Things exist and don't exist (wave particle duality and uncertainty) and can teleport (quantum teleportation), information can travel faster than the speed of light (quantum entanglement), and everything exists as probability waves (also wave particle duality and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle), and all of empty space is a seething morass of virtual particles that fleet in and out of existence in a dance choreographed by pure chaos (Kasimir effect and Hawking radiation). It seems that none of it exists at all without an observer.

Reality is weird and beautiful and improbable and science explores and affirms this.

Understanding scientific theories as different abstract models of reality is helpful, especially if you know the classic model of physics (Newton) and the relativistic model (Einstein). Similarly the particle physics model of the world and the quantum model.

There is no electron, it's a metaphor. That it is a point charge is a fiction of the particle physics model of the world which makes certain kinds of math easy. The quantum view of the same particle sees it as a fuzzy cloud with different probabilities at each point.

The quantum model is incompatible with the relativistic model so we know there are missing pieces. We can't make gravity work with quantum mechanics and we're still looking for a grand unified theory of everything which is what we hoped string theory would be.

One of the best places I know for getting reliable information about state of the art science, in an approachable way which will still leave your mind thoroughly blown, is the Kurzgesagt video series. If you're interested in particle physics, black holes, aliens or philosophy it's well worth browsing their videos. They're where I first learned about Positive Nihilism from, which is my fallback philosophy and from which I believe you can still derive a living spirituality as the rational conclusion.

This video is on string theory, which we hoped would provide a theory of everything but didn't. It starts with a quick primer on particle physics as a good background. If you're interested in aliens have a look at their videos on the Fermi paradox. Their videos on CRISP-R DNA replication are really good, but the black hole ones are the best.

Fundamental reality is chaos and uncertainty and I love her with all my heart.

We rejoice in the uncertainty for the uncertainty is what makes the best possible.
"Most authority systems are thinly veiled pecking orders. Pecking orders, and disapproval and exclusion, are how the patriarchy and social conventions are enforced socially. Authoritarianism in the micro."

Short Meditations: ACAB, Positive Nihilism, My Personal Satanism, Babylon the Great, The Prophet & Lucifer

Conventionality is an evil god

My Personal Satanism

My personal Satanism stands as enemy, Satan, to the God of the slave religions and conventionality, identified with the super-ego. The id, the primal urge and surge, is represented with Leviathan that ancient enemy who dwells in the ocean. I'm a rational theistic Luciferian. Lucifer is the light-bringer, bright morning star, the sacred self and the self archetype.

The precepts I uphold within my Satanism are the precepts of Thelema:

Love is the law, love under will.
Do as you will shall be the whole of the law.

Along with: No hell but what they make.

And my personal moral law which I call the Aslan rule: what other people do is Narnia business.

The culture of these precepts is Radical Inclusion.

You can bridge the rational and the irrational. Once you accept that both are merely the product of the mind there is no need to fear either. And most of our power is in the non-rational, strength resides with Leviathan.

Most people give over their imaginations to television and their minds to banality. And they see no gods or goddesses, neither demon nor angel, and they are pleased with themselves for the failure of their imagination. "What a clever person I am, so much cleverer than those who came before" they say to themselves as they close their mind's eye and change the channel.

90% of our experience is in the rational, 90% of our power resides with the non-rational. This is the 90-10 rule of my Satanism.


ACAB a Poem

AFAB, AMAB, ACAB, AHAB
TWAW, TMAM
YMMV
YHVH

Trans Women Are Women, Trans Men Are Men

Towards thee I roll, thou all-destroying but unconquering whale; to the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee.

Read from right to left the Hebrew letters Alef Chet Alef Bet. אַחְאָב
ACAB
This is the Hebrew spelling for the name of the seventh King of Israel and more evil than all who had come before, Ahab who was husband of Queen Jezebel. Under his reign the Prophet Elijah slaughtered the Prophets of Baal and the Priestesses of Asherah.

In these legends Asherah is a demon goddess; by other traditions she is the consort of Yahweh and she is also known as Ashtoreth, Ishtar and Astarte. Worshipped as the evening star, the twin of the bright morning star who is Lucifer.

It was to Baal, and Moloch the blind who is industry, that the Kings of Judah are said to have sacrificed their own children in The Valley of the Children of Hinnom, also called Gehenna and Sheol and which the Prophet Jeremiah cursed. Baal is Ba'al Zəbûl Lord of the Heavenly Dwelling and a Prince of Hell called Lord of the Flies by the Hebrews as an insult.

It was whilst in hiding from Queen Jezebel, after slaughtering all her prophets, that one of the most important moments of the Old Testament happens. Important from the perspective of Christian mysticism, and as an allegory on the nature of inner truth.

1 Kings 19: 11-12
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a still small voice.


Positive Nihilism (again)

Positive Nihilism teaches us the meaning of life.

Positive Nihilism acknowledges that it really looks like the universe came from nothingness, and one day will return to the same place. Therefore there is no inherent meaning or purpose in life.

So, we know that the only meaning and purpose to be found in life is the meaning and purpose that we find, create and invest in life.

But if this meaning is the only possible meaning, then it is complete meaning and purpose. As much meaning and purpose as it is possible to have in this life is within our grasp. All we have to do is do it, to find, create and invest meaning and purpose in our lives together.
And the alternative is to not do that, which would be a shame.

The nice thing is that as you set about finding, creating and investing meaning and purpose in life you discover that humans have been about that task for about as long as there have been humans. And we get to join in.

All ways is the one true way. Abide.


The Prophet

Prophet is a religious title. By popular meaning a prophet is one who prophesies, who can tell parts of the future. The title Prophet is just as likely to be used within a religious organisation to mean patriarch or person with religious authority. Devoid of any genuine spiritual meaning as so much of religion is. 

In the flavour of religions I have tended to favour prophecy is treated slightly differently. Prophecy is one of the spiritual gifts listed in what is considered the main list of spiritual gifts in the New Testament. 

1 Corinthians 12: 4-11
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, a and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, who distributes them to each one, just as they determine.
Not only that, but prophecy is considered one of the higher gifts and the office of the prophet is second only to the apostle in the traditional hierarchy ascribed to the early church. Later in that same passage we are exhorted to earnestly desire the higher gifts, of which prophecy is one. 

1 Corinthians 12: 27-31
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.
An ambitious heart clearly desires the greater gifting for personal gain. My understanding of the act, gifting and office of prophecy is that the prophet is one who is close to the heart of G-d, who knows the heart of G-d. This is why we are to earnestly desire the higher gifts, because those giftings come out of the nature of G-d and out of a closeness to the heart of G-d. The one who is close to the heart and nature of G-d may know more clearly the Christ mind and may speak the heart and mind of G-d, and this is the gift of prophecy. It may speak to the present or the future, but it always speaks to the heart. 

Many come as prophets, Sturgeon's law applies. Almost everyone is a charlatan. The injunction is to test the spirits.

1 John 4: 1
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 
For a good yardstick to measure the worth of a prophet we can turn to the fifth book of the Hebrew Torah, Deuteronomy, which tells us that a false prophet will prophesy things which do not happen. The measure is truth and reality. 

Deuteronomy 18:22
When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of them.


Lucifer

The name and title Lucifer, bright morning star which art Venus, is most associated with Satan and the Devil of the Abrahamic religions. 

Satan, Lucifer and the Devil are all different names and ideas and legends with separate but intertwined histories and stories. 

In the Old Testament the name Lucifer comes from the King James Translation, via the Latin Vulgate, and one verse in the book of the Prophet Isaiah:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations.
In the New Testament the title of Lucifer, bright morning star, is given to the Christ in the apocalypse of John, chapter 22 and verse 16.
“I, Joshua, have sent my demon to give you this testimony for the cults. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star (Lucifer).”
The myths of Lucifer and the role of both the morning star and the evening star in the legends of the gods is neither limited to the Abrahamic religions and nor are they the earliest references. 

For example, a search on Wikipedia for the Greek god Eosphorus who is Phosphorus the son of Astraeus and Eos you find this gem:
Alternatively, mythologically, the morning and the evening stars are Venus and Sirius, and the frequent error in mistaking one for the other becomes incorporated in various stories across several cultures.

Known as Sopdet in Egypt, as Sotor, Σωτήρ "Savior" in Ancient Greek astrological texts, and as Seth in Babylonian/Jewish astrology, Sirius "the Eastern Star" and its corresponding partner Venus, known as Ishtar, Ester, Asherah, Astarte, become the Christ and the Anti-Christ.
Note also that Ashtoreth (who is Ishtar and Astarte) and Asherah (consort of Yahweh) both appear in the Old Testament as evil Goddesses.

So the erroneous dualism inherent in the practise of Christianity since around 300AD might be said to be down to not realising that the morning and evening stars are the same entity.


Babylon the Great

The Apocalypse of John, the prophecies and visions captained in the book of the Bible called Revelation, have probably driven more people mad than any other writing in history. 

For some reason the descriptions of Babylon and her destruction always reminded me of the excesses of that great temple to consumerism we call America. Maybe the star called Wormwood represents a nuclear warhead on a missile falling from the sky. As a child I thought the boulder thrown into the sea would be the Statue of Liberty which has become a symbol of oppression in the name of liberty, a blasphemy.

Here are some extracts. 
Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’
She has become a dwelling for demons
and a haunt for every impure spirit,
a haunt for every unclean bird,
a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal.
For all the nations have drunk
the maddening wine of her adulteries.
The kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”

They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your luxury and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’ The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn and cry out. 

Give her as much torment and grief
as the glory and luxury she gave herself.
In her heart she boasts,
‘I sit enthroned as queen.
I am not a widow; 
I will never mourn.’
Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
death, mourning and famine.
She will be consumed by fire,
for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

"When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry. 

Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said:

“With such violence
the great Babylon will be thrown down,
never to be found again."

The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.
 

"The idols are the forms of the ego, the archetypes are the gods and goddesses, the angels and demons. Alive within our collective life."

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Wage Theft and Defund the Police

The British Are Coming

In the UK wage theft cost workers and the economy about £2.7 billion a year [1]. Wage theft is where employers steal money from their employees by not paying them for all hours worked or not giving holiday required by law. Those who suffer most are typically amongst the poorest and this is money that would have gone directly back into the economy, as well as feeding hungry children and reducing the burden on benefits. Those affected, if they even know, have recourse to an employment tribunal but it's not something the police are interested in.

Meanwhile, shoplifting in the UK (2016-2017 figures) costs British retailers about £500 million a year [2]. Shoplifting is substantially done by drug addicts which is totally unnecessary and caused by the inhumane and immoral way we treat drug users, who are also substantially comprised of the traumatised and the socially marginalised and disadvantaged.

So wage theft, in terms of disruption to the UK economy, is a massively more serious problem than shoplifting. Shoplifting is done by the poor, wage theft is committed against the poor. Which do we criminalise and set people trained in violence, the police, to deal with?

Meanwhile benefit fraud is estimated to cost the UK about £1.3 billion a year. Tax evasion is estimated to cost the UK around £34 billion a year [3]. How many more police are working on catching benefit fraud than tax evasion, which crime do we criminalise and pursue most vigorously.

A recent report into stop and search use in Northamptonshire found that if you were black you were five and a half times more likely to be stopped and searched by police [4] than if you were white. In response to this Northamptonshire police decided to give all police officers tasers [5].

In 2015 over a million police hours were spent on enforcing the cannabis prohibition [6]. Seizing property, ruining lives, throwing people in prison all at great cost to the economy in lost business and destroyed property and the cost of enforcement. Meanwhile relatives of members of the government make fortunes growing and exporting cannabis [7] whilst denying this medicine to everyone else.

And that's before we talk about things like the 35 000 people working for the police who haven't been vetted or checked [8] and the many complaints of high rates of domestic abuse by the police [9].

These are the sorts of reasons why there are calls to defund the police. They're not working for the majority of people, they're working for the rich.



"There is a great harvest of unwilling believers to be  had" -- Joshua the Christ, apocryphal