I had to wake up super early to see my neurologist. If I didn’t go then I would not be able to get meds. I hate insurance. I’ve been dancing around to different doctors and different tests and I still have *requirements* on top of that. I had another appointment later in the day just so I could hand a piece of paper to my main practitioner because the insurance wouldn’t recognize a procedure request directly from a neurologist. What? And the procedure? Another EEG.
I talked to my neurologist about all my medication issues and sending info to a second opinion doctor. We discussed the possibility of VNS, or Vagus Nerve Stimulation. Basically it would be a pacemaker for the brain. It’ll be a last resort, but I’m running out of options.
Much of my day has been waiting in… places. I had breakfast at a diner which then turned against me. I haven’t really eaten lunch. To top it all off I told dad about an anthropology book that I’m reading that discusses the possibilities of Jesus being more militant than portrayed. He proceeded to go into a rant about this author not understanding exegesis and incorrectly interpreting historical context. It was fun to see him go on the defensive for once. Our religious conversations usually have me trying to argue a point to a brick wall. (Christmas and Easter are pagan holidays, dammit.)
Here are some images that reflect my frustrations with modern Christianity:
With the new Harry Potter movie hitting theaters today, I wanted to post a humorous personal experience I’ve had with the series. First I’d like to say that this stems from being a comparative religion major and curiosity brought this upon me. Ergo, I don’t advocate either point of view, although you may be able to tell which side I’m not too fond of.
When Harry Potter first came out there was a lot of confusion from Christian parents about how “good” for their children this series really was. Obviously it encouraged their children to read and have active imaginations, but extremists couldn’t help overlook Potter’s powers. Once the concept sunk in that this was possibly a corrupting occult force, articles and films were distributed to inform the populace that we may just have to burn these books in the street. That’s what you do with
books you’re afraid of witchcraft, right?
Okay, I’ll stop with the tired rhetoric. My personal story is that I loved the books and the movies. I ignored the anti-Potter hype because I knew it wouldn’t go anywhere. Truth be told, I didn’t know how bad it was until my third year of college when I was immersed in my religion studies and I came upon a movie. The movie was Harry Potter: Witchcraft Re-Packaged. I had (and still kind of do) Pagan leanings at the time and wondered what sort of point this movie could make. It was amazing(ly bad). Harry Potter can be associated with any faith, if you try hard enough. J.K. Rowling, however, wrote with a Christian notion of the power of love. Jeremiah Films set out to disprove that and show Harry Potter used witchcraft as a vehicle to teach moral relativism and the Dark Arts.
I own this film. I have watched it several times. I have watched it with Pagans and Christians alike. I have seen it with several hardcore Harry Potter fans. I have watched it with fellow religion students. (Many of these overlap as you may guess.) But not one of them could find a single point to agree with. What disturbs me is that (judging by the YouTube comments) there are people who took this to heart. Or if they weren’t sure, there are other sources willing to provide answers, such as Christian Answers.net:
“Author Richard Abanes has written a book called Harry Potter and the Bible. He says that the movies and books not only teach anti-Christian lessons on the occult, but also moral relativism, and desensitize children to profanity and off-color humor.”
Also Jeremiah Films is still up and running and although the HP movie is gone from their product page, in its place are several Pagan Invasion movies – including one on Twilight.
Since my father is going to a seminar on a book called The Gospel According to Harry Potter, written by Connie Neal, I did a little research. I wanted to know how the silent majority thought and up popped several recent articles of the same title, not related to this book. I’m sure that every time a new HP book or movie comes out there are similar articles. They are from Christian bloggers and ministers who want to get the word out that they have listened to what J.K. Rowling keeps trying to say:
“In the last book, “The Deathly Hallows,” of which the first two-part movie episode was released last week on DVD, Harry discovers an inscription on his parents’ tombstone: ‘The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.’
“In case you don’t recognize it, it’s from the Bible: 1 Corinthians 15:26.
“In an interview, Rowling said the verse ‘is the theme for the entire series.'”
–Randy Patrick of The Winchester Sun
“Only when Harry and his friends learn to trust in that power of love can they defeat evil and transform the wizarding world into a place where — as the Book of Revelation says — there is no more pain or tears.”
–Danielle Tumminio of Episcopal News Service
I can’t chose a side for Christianity, but as a student of religion I can say the first argument doesn’t have a lot of solid ground. My personal view is that if someone converts outside of a family’s religion simply because of something they saw on T.V. or read about then there are two issues: 1. the religious structure may not be strong in that child’s life and 2. there may be something else that’s pushing the child to seek love or power someplace else (teens convert or lose faith due to abuse, broken homes, or neglect… just sayin’).
I think the books are well written, but as my friends know I kept going back for
Snape thinks the most corrupting force is fan fiction. Have you talked to your children about slash?
Not a long post today as I have much to do in preparation for the Rapture. I hope it’s more like Blondie’s Rapture. Jesus can take the sinners and the rest of us can be eaten by a bar-crazed, punk-rock-loving alien. Actually, I wouldn’t mind being taken by Jesus if only he were like that crazy Queensland hottie who’s claiming to be the new incarnation of said prophet:
Yes, Cult Fever is in the air this year. It isn’t just Camping’s group, but there’s also a video on YouTube going around talking about Prince William? The Lizard? Secret Societies? I’m going to be watched carefully by the Freemasons from now on? Wat?
Anyway, here’s a fun video I found in regards to tomorrow’s hyper-rapture-activity. It’s one of the xtranormal based animations, so if you don’t care for those you don’t need to watch, but it repeats the logical fallacies that makes the rest of us look at the May 21st-ers with great confusion. (I almost wrote “phallacies”. I’m not sure what that means.) Good luck to everyone tomorrow!
(Eats people meat:)
Since today is Sunday and this is my first “education week” post, I’m focusing on beliefs. There was a YouTube video I had encountered that showed a friendly German man making a bottle of “healing water” by playing music at it. I was intrigued and went to his website. It contained several audio tracks that would (for free) teach you how to purify your own water and fill it with love, peace, healing, etc. It was his gift to me, to you, to the oceans. I read more.
Was he Pagan? Pagans tend to shy away from offering their own personal energies willy nilly… but that’s not unheard of. Was it a “Christian healing” sort of site and I was going to see angels and links to tracts and Biblical quotes? Nope. He had a section quoting the “Ascenddani”, saying “We are Teachers of Light”. The links to the videos were broken. Time to go hunting.
The Teachers of Light are a New Age group concerned with bringing teachings of past life beings, such as Yada, to warn of the self-destructive behavior of humans and enlighten them with Metaphysical-Christian-Buddhist-esque knowledge. The Age of Aquarius is not dead. I became obsessed with this for several hours because the wisdom imparted would waver back & forth from making perfect sense to becoming utterly absurd. Maybe, as the followers would say, it’s because I’m too insane to comprehend the teachings. It may also be because, as New Age followers, they merge Biblical teachings with too many ideas and spiritual beliefs, but are not Deists in the traditional sense. I will get to that in a minute.
My favorite lines of Yada (I know – taking things out of context removes the understanding, but for a neophyte, this is what you come away with):
“To understand is to love. Why do you do what you do? When I know that I can no longer criticize you, nor can I really praise you, I simply know you act that way because of something that happened to you earlier.”
-This I agree with and like this point he makes.
“The ass within resents the Christ within. The lower self does not like to have you let it go. The ass within resents the Christ within. It resents it because that once you recognize the Christ, the ass dies.”
-We all have a God-hood we can achieve like Christ? Once we achieve purity/enlightenment or let go of Id/self we become Christ-like or we can be Christ? The Catholics aren’t going to like that. There is a lot of this human/god association, which has been a common theme found in esoteric religions, but not common in modern Christianity. It becomes jarring to come across it. Correct me if I’m wrong.
“Audience: In fact, when someone comes along who has some knowledge he is attacked by the world and destroyed immediately. That always happens.
Yada: Of course, these are robots, the zombies I have been speaking of.
Audience: The insecure ones.
Yada: That is what a robot is – insecure.
Audience: Never certain of himself.”
-He talks a lot about robots & zombies on the second page. Truly he speaks to our generation. I am just confused about the analogy though. I wouldn’t describe a robot as “insecure”. I can see the zombie idea, but robots?
Enough mocking of Yada. I am sorry if I insult anyone from the Teachers of Light who happen upon this. My main goal is to explain New Age groups. His words (if he is indeed some spiritual creature and not just Robert saying he’s possessed so people will listen to him) are different from how people view faith and understanding of God or religion. Some may believe this group to be a cult. I turned to my trusty “Bruce & Stan’s Guide to Cults, Religions, & Spiritual Beliefs” (Harvest House, 2002). Now, while “Teachers of Light” does talk about spreading the word and purport to be the *best* way to live, there is no element of absolute salvation or reference of end times (in fact, they look forward to a brighter, unified future). As this book notes, New Age is what you want it to be. It’s hard to sum up their chapter on New Age, but here is their summation at the end of the chapter (on p.279):
“1. The influence of New Age spirituality is embedded in all aspects of society: health care, business, science, politics, sports, and entertainment.
2. Many New Age practitioners are thoughtful professionals who have a common vision to transform society and bring about a new era of harmony and human progress.
3. Although there is no central authority or set of beliefs, New Age spirituality has characteristics of monism, pantheism, deification of humanity, transformation, ecological centeredness, and a belief in a new world order.
4. New Age beliefs are rooted in Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Gnosticism, Native American religions, and occultism and spiritualism.
5. The New Age and the Bible present different realities about God, truth, and salvation.”
Teachers of Light: check, check, check, check, and check.
If you want a more recent explanation – since Yada’s transcription happened in the 60’s before man landed on the moon and we hadn’t found inhabitable planets so all was speculation (albeit his speculations held true) – there’s this YouTube video:
Or you can play the game!
Man. Long post was long. I promise to have something more interesting and easier to digest over the rest of this week. As I said, it was just a personal obsession for a day or two. This is the culmination of being a Religion major and not getting any use out of that damned Liberal Arts degree in six years.