Preparing for my first Ayahuasca experience: Moses, Parmenides and Aliens

Ayahuasca is a Peruvian vine that has traditionally been used to send visionaries into "the world beyond" for shamanic and spiritual rituals. Although I was in Peru this summer, I didn't have the opportunity to join a ceremony. Imagine my surprise when I returned to my semi-permanent home in Taiwan and found a couple of different organizations that practice Ayahuasca use. First off, let me be clear that Ayahuasca is not a "recreational drug." The purely ...

Dionysus, Hades and Jesus: Marriage in Death to Lords of the Underworld

One of the literary threads I hope to investigate in the future is the tie between vampirism and the ancient tradition of linking death and marriage together; many religions deal with death as an intimate reunion or marriage with a god of the underworld such as Hades or Dionysus. Much of this symbolism was later preserved in Christianity. The following is a paper I wrote recently for a PhD course on Antigone (by Sophocles) Death, Marriage ...

The “real” Samson and Goliath discovered in Israel? (Does archaelogy prove the Bible as history?)

An article that caught my attention this summer is suggestively called "In Israel, diggers unearth the Bible's bad guys." The article continues to detail the archaeological discoveries by a team in Southern Israel, of what used to be the Philistines city of Gath. Although fairly objective, the article mentions the discovery that names similar to "Goliath" existed, as well as a temple with two pillars - which is reminiscent of the one Samson tore down ...

Bible archaeologists discover tablet that refutes Jesus’ resurrection

Did Jesus Christ really resurrect from the grave after three days? Probably not, it turns out. In 2008 archaeologists found a stone tablet that tells of a Jewish rebel hero who died and came back to life after three days. Jesus? No! His name was Simon, and he lived decades before Jesus. What we learn from this is that the Jews already had a template of the messiah that they expected, and they began applying ...

Was Jesus Gay? Homo-eroticism in the Secret Gospel of Mark, the Wedding Chamber and Christian Marriage

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A fragment of the Secret Gospel of Mark, a Gnostic text claimed to have been rediscovered by Prof. Morton Smith in 1958 at the Mar Saba monastery southeast of Jerusalem, describes Jesus performing initiation rituals. Before the discovery of Gnostic writings, our only knowledge of this secret gospel came from a letter written by Church Father Clement of Alexandria (150 AD - 211 AD), which refers to it as “a more spiritual gospel for the ...

Mad Max and Old Testament: A Shattered Vision of historical greatness

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Mel Gibson’s classic post-apocalyptic movie Mad Max (1979) is a good model for understanding the situation which gave rise to the Old Testament. According to the Bible (if we had no other historical records) all of history was the formation of the covenant between Israel and God. All other cultures were backwards, pagan, demonic, idol worshipers. They were dirty. They had cooties. God came to the Jews and gave them laws, guidance, victories in battle ...

Should I murder my kids? Christians and Child-Sacrifice

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I'm reading "What's a Christian to do with Harry Potter". Overall, considering the subject matter, Connie Neal is great. She argues that Christians can read Harry Potter and use it as a platform from which to reach out to and convert non-Christians. Not something I agree with, but she's fair, relatively impartial, and well-informed. Except for one irksome passage, which I'd like to discuss below. First of all, the basic Christian debate concerning Harry Potter comes ...

God and the Three Little Pigs

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A couple of Bible quotes make me think of the three little pigs. There they are, followed with an analysis of the theological meaning. "Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, and has not stood in the way of the sinners, and has not sat in the seat of the evil men. But his will is in the law of the Lord; and in His law he shall meditate ...

Biblical Archaelogy: Proves the Bible is True?

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www.biblemap.org is an amazing website; a bible student's dream come true, with cool widgets and history and trivia and facts - all built over a map of Israel and the middle East. You can select any part of the Bible by book and verse number, and all the geographical places mentioned in the text will show up on the map. A student of history or culture should also be interested - whether or not you ...

The Jacob Testament: Wives, Whores and Sex-Slaves

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I should've been a Patriarch. Although the characters of the Old Testament repulse me, for their lies, tricks, and general lack of character, I like the Old Testament: where else can you find stories about dishonest sex-maniacs like Jacob. Ok - he got screwed by Laban into working for 7 years for the wrong daughter (Leah) but gets the curvy Rachel too for only another 7 years of work; and he eventually pays Laban back by ...

Elijah Kills the Prophets of Baal: Kings 1

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Kings 1: 25-29: Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull and prepare it first, for you are the majority; invoke your god by name, but apply no fire.” They took the bull that was given them; they prepared it, and invoked Baal by name from morning until noon, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no sound, and none who responded; so they performed a hopping dance about the altar that ...

Ethics of the Old Testament: Lies, Cheats and Dirty Tricks in Genesis

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Isaac and Jacob are a real couple of bungling wanderers. They lie, cheat, steal and seem completely without moral character. Isaac is the son of Abraham that was offered up to God in sacrifice - an episode that likely freaked him out and led to perpetual trust issues. He married Rebekah and settled in Gerar, telling everyone that Rebekah was his sister because he was afraid that the other men might get jealous of her ...