The Overweening Generalist is largely about people who like to read fat, weighty "difficult" books - or thin, profound ones - and how I/They/We stand in relation to the hyper-acceleration of digital social-media-tized culture. It is not a neo-Luddite attack on digital media; it is an attempt to negotiate with it, and to subtly make claims for the role of generalist intellectual types in the scheme of things.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Promiscuous Neurotheology: Pt.4: A Line From Jesus
In John, 10:34, Jesus answered them: "Is it not written in your Law, 'I have said you are gods?'"
I'm gonna have to go with the Rabbi and married man Jesus here. Realize you are god and act accordingly.
Some may think, upon realization and a rather deep internalization of their New Identity, that this gives them carte blanche to lord it over others. But that would be a misuse of your superhero-ish newfound god status; someone once said something to the effect that godsmanship has its benefits for sure, but it also carries with it some big responsibilities. If you meet someone and they haven't yet realized they are a god or goddess, give them the benefit of the doubt: they are Holy too. They just haven't realized it yet.
J.R. "Bob" Dobbs, head of the Church of the Subgenius
When I read in their first Holy Book, "You'll pay to find out
what you think!," I was on board. If you ask me, Mitt Romney
looks WAY too much like "Bob." It's...indecent.
I do not self-identify as a Christian. If I had to identify as anything, go ahead and put me down as some variety of Discordian/Subgenius/Mystical Agnostic/Dionysian. Awe and lotsa laffs, sex and intoxication and music are strictly de rigeur in any religion or anti-religion that might have a congenital non-joiner like myself as a member.
But this passage in John has always puzzled me: why don't people talk about it more? When I first read this, on my own, as a long-haired heathen/pagan/heavy metal rock guitarist around age 19 or 20, I thought, "Whoa! Check out Jesus's ethical gambit here! The rhetoric is solid: his audience knew the scripture. Check the Law book! Look in the Torah. It's right there. 'I have said you are gods.' Now: live accordingly. Brilliant move!"
A Disciple: Wait...where is that? I guess I skimmed past it...Can I get a page number? Jesus? Where is that...
Jesus (somewhat nervously): Somewhere near the back. But that's not the point. Believe me!
Somehow most folks seem to have not paid much attention to this bit, or they went off and interpreted it in some odd or less salutary way. And me, alienated always, just wondered why people insisted they were less than gods and goddesses. I still wonder. But I try not to think about it too much. It seems like one helluva missed opportunity. One of those bottlenecks in history. Missed it by that much, Chief.
I love this rendering of Eris, Goddess of Chaos, who bears much
responsibility for the Trojan War, and therefore The Iliad,
The Odyssey, a bunch of other books and thoughts and art, and
James Joyce'sUlysses. You don't cross Eris and get away with it.
If anyone knows who the artist is here, please write me so I can
give credit...I don't want to cause any sort of Havoc!
Sorry: No Elaboration on McCullough and Religion and Self-Control
I wanted to elaborate on my last post, and had a link in my scatterbrained files for an article that seemed to want to address the issue of religion and self-control. The title of the article was "Does Thinking About God Increase Our Self-Control?" The link was dead, with no explanation. Then I realized: it had been written by Jonah Lehrer, for Wired. I will let the sad irony play out in your own nervous system...