Blow My Mind Mr. Jesus

  • Why do people hate/love Christianity?
  • Why do so many people believe / disbelieve Christianity?
  • Why does it make so much sense / nonsense to so many?
Let the above soak in. Place yourself in the spectrum of pro or con.(sorry  to have to say it, but in the above I am referring to the really zealot type persons like Sam Harris or Pat Robertson or such )

Then forget all about it.

My sermon today is on the teachings of Jesus, but not about belief, truth or whatever.

If you actually read the Gospels and weed out the history, miracles, prophecy what you are left with is the actual teachings. And if you really look at the teachings it is pretty freaking shocking. And really shocking in that it is completely opposite from the way of life our Christian Nation or Religion-less world is supposed to be aligned.

Take the Sermon on the Mount (or plain). It is antithetical to modern, much less “conservative Christian” worldviews.

But before I take off I just want to say the messages in the New Testament are as anathema to non believers as they truly are for the modern Christian believer. They really are “unto Jews (basically the modern Christian) a stumbling block, and unto Gentiles foolishness (the modern non believer)”

Here are the greatest hits

Blessed are the poor in spirit, - for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” First off, modern society is all about presence and branding and attitude and I defy anybody to find and example in popular culture where humility and meekness is presented in a positive light. From superheroes to pop stars and politicians, it is all about style baby.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” - Again meekness is weakness. Hats off to Steve Jobs, Donald Trump and anybody in the modern capitalist system.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” - Any conservative Christian will tell you water boarding is good and criminals deserve more prison time.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous" - I listened to conservative Christian radio today and that is a REALLY angry bunch of people. I don't think they heard the bit about not hating. What's else is there to say, hate rules the day. Christians hate Muslims and Atheists, Atheists hate Christians and Muslims and I don't presume to know who Muslims hate, but the ISIS dudes seem to hate just about everybody.

And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” - Need I say more?

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth”. How about that 401K?

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? “What is American life other than buy more clothes, food or drink?

There is more like this stuff, but what is the point. If you take the opposite of the sermon on the mount you have modern American values, Christian or otherwise.

Basically for the non Christian the above thoughts are crap because they feed an oppressive religion and Christians pay no attention to them because really it is about a social values religiion not a radical change in their way of thinking.

That is all I have now.

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Update: I am again reminded that things that seem obvious to me are somehow considered illogical to others. I admit the fault may be with me. It is a hard truth to accept that my thinking may not be as clear as it seems to me.

To fight this I will try to pare down my argument on this pont to the essentials later.

But to start, I offer that the Sermon on the Mound should be considered as vital to the teachings of Jesus. If someone disagrees then my argument has no weight. Otherwise we may continue.


Graph Paper is the Road to Hell!

or..."If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him

A simple notion, concepts are wonderful and necessary tools we have to have in order to live in the modern world. But for human creativity and the human soul, define that as you will, they are anathema. Try this, make a mental leap and imagine Buddhist enlightenment. It comes when you recognize your true self, the oneness of all things, and this can only happen if there are no filters, and no conceptions (much less PRE-conceptions).

I offer up that short of total mind blowing enlightenment, we can catch glimpses of this through creative acts. At those “AH HA!” moments the idea comes through of its own accord…let’s say “Inspired”. We may have been trying to solve problems by using tools and concepts to handle the data in front of us, but the inspired innovation is born as if of its own accord.

There is hard mental work preparing for the inspiration, but the flash is without attachment, even if it is immediately put to work adapting known concepts.

So why is graph paper the road to hell?

This comes from thinking about the late designer Richard Sapper, who (I am told by a friend who would know) really disliked using graph paper during the creative process. Which you might think is just a technical observation about the best way to loosen the mind with approaching a problem. But for some reason I always remembered this dictum and thought it was deeper than that.

The same friend mention above, suggested I read one of Sapper’s favorite books, by his early mentor Romano Guardini, called Letter’s from Lake Como by. And this quote from it really struck me

“Machines are steel concepts. They lay hold of many things in such a way as to disregard their individual features and to treat them as though they were all the same.”

Machines are steel concepts” Man! That is a great phrase. I bet it is even better in German

Anyway, it reminded be about Sapper’s graph paper aversion (OK, maybe another mental stretch, but bear with me). Graph paper presupposes right angles and it would be hard not to fall into grid like and “pre-conceived” thinking. So in a way the Graph gives us concepts in paper. Not as poetic as “Steel Concepts”, but the graph lays hold of any ideas and treats any of them as if they are the same, with the same lattice nature.

AND, if these fleeting moments of creativity are those few times we let go of concepts and see into the world’s true nature…well, to avoid that divine spark means to embrace its opposite.

From Third Letter: Abstraction…

Mind and spirit are not abstractly universal like a formula that fits all things of the same type. They are life; they are concrete. Concepts, however, are abstract, mere forms, signs, abbreviations of thought, means of simplification, cation, and, in a final sense, aids.