moses: the comic within the cosmic

Theologians as well as philosophers, have long analyzed  Truth and Goodness. Theology though,  unlike philosophy, has neglected serious scrutiny of the study of Beauty and Aesthetics, and has grappled, disconcertingly, with humor. The biblical figure of Moses cuts across the intersection between these two schools, and is not without a hint of the comic within the cosmic.

At Mount Sinai God gave not only the Decalogue along with civil ordinances including assistance to the poor, but also specific directions to construct a lavish structure involving almost every type of artistic skill. It wasn’t an either or an or situation.There was no debate on where to allocate the funds, a committee set up to explore how to distribute alms to the poor. Aesthetics hinged to the holy, and the pretty with the pious was the recipe god commanded.

---Freud develops, and argues for, his own daring thesis, a thesis well known to all psychoanalysts. Michelangelo had not depicted the Biblical Moses about to rise up in wrath and cast down the tablets. Moses had started to his feet, but felt the tablets slipping from under his arm. Then, contrary to the Bible, but according to Michelangelo, he controlled himself, sank back into a sitting position, and saved the tablets: "Michelangelo must have had the presumption to emend the sacred text and to falsify the character of that holy man" (p. 230). He converts Moses "so that the giant frame with its tremendous physical power becomes only a concrete expression of the highest mental achievement that is possible in a man, that of struggling successfully against an inward passion for the sake of a cause to which he has devoted himself '---spruiell read more: image:/2011/02/every-good-work-of-art-is-a-kind-of-joke/

So, Israel was commanded to construct an elaborate sanctuary with precise specifications for the woods, fabrics, dye colors, costly metals and precious gems, and where to procure them. Within these directions, God urges “And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.” . God was architect of it all, even minute details of construction. There are more chapters regarding the plans for and subsequent building of this sanctuary and its furnishings than any other subject in the Pentateuch. Absolutely nothing was left to human devising….

Moses. Philippe de Champaigne.---moses is described as having seen god, spoken to him, chosen by him and given the torah directly by his holy very hands. but with all that he carried no official titles. he was simply "moshe". moses died anonymously, alone, walking away to his death somewhere in a place known only to the warm sands of the desert. he chose to die in the desert he had made his home for most of his long life. no burial rituals, no mass displays of mourning, no "halvayah". no shrine, no temple, no stupa, not even a small monument rises to mark his burial place.--- Read More:

The life of Moses has always been contradictory yet central to our Western culture. The sense of beauty, aesthetics, the appreciation of wealth; and also at the heart of Western culture, there is the figure of Moses incarnated in the  the myth of the rugged individual adhering to a  very singular and highly personal code of ethics that, despite outside influences, coercion,social pressures, will survive and thrive, sustaining this spirit of the righteous loner who chooses his associations and makes his way boldly and courageously through a corrupt and obsequious world.

The John Wayne image, the Ayn Rand construction, Well, it is a bit silly, to the ivy league type,PC advocate, yuppie and so on, but it remains true in its essentials. Its the Moses archetype, that’s whats made the United States,in particular, in spite of all the errors of omission and commission, the greatest most beneficent, open, inclusive and grand culture in history. Its an old aphorism  which states that “democracy is the worst form of government…except ALL the others.” But its still true, despite the dilution.Moses is the pioneer spirit; the spirit that will help push the evolving Trans National Global Industrial Plutocracy into the same swamp Soviet imposed systems drowned in. Was Moses like E.F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful: Can we can get back to business as usual with individuals and small business interacting with one another out of choice as well as necessity and being driven by self interest tempered with a healthy dose of community need.

Frederick Goodall. ---In this scene, Moses has led the Israelites to Mt. Sinai, the place God had told Moses at the beginning of his adventure to come and meet up. Now, Mt. Sinai is no Mt. McKinley, but it was still a good mile and a half hike to the top. The Israelites set up camp at the base of the mountain and 80 year old Moses started to climb. He was probably keeping his eye open for any burning bushes during his ascent, since that’s how God spoke to him the last time he was in the vicinity....Here’s the funny part. Moses had just made his third trek up Mt. Sinai and God’s first words to him were, “GO DOWN and bring Aaron up” (v.24). Up and down, up and down, up and down. Isn’t that just the way it feels sometimes? But Moses spoke not a grumblin’ word; instead the Scripture says, “So Moses went down” Read More: image:

Moses showed that all the big dicks can be dicked back. Imagine, if we wake up one morning and there is no more globalization, multinationals, colonialism, rogue states, bad politics. Unfortunately, there will never be such a world. The Corporations may vanish, but are likely to be superceded by some other as yet unknown form of oppressive control. We still need lots of little Moses’s with spray cans and crayons, and blogs to write their own response to mega-million dollar mind control ad campaigns and continue  as part of the grand, though inconsistent history of individual thought and the sloppy and dirty, yet necessary ideals of the democratic.

…Even the garments of the officiating priests were specifically designed for aesthetic appeal. God instructs Moses: And you shall make holy garments for Aaron, your brother, for glory and for beauty. For Aaron’s sons you shall make … them … for glory and beauty. Ex 28:2, 40.Besides manifesting glory, the priestly vestments were to be made ‘for beauty.’ This is specifically mentioned two times. BEAUTY is thereby perceived as an appropriate end in itself. The Creator of colors, form, and textures, the author of all natural beauty, clearly values the aesthetic dimension. They have a place within the will of God. Even Solomon’s magnificent temple was also designed by God, Read More:

Ghent Altarpiece. Jan Van Eyck. ---He issued an individual call to a particular person from a certain family and tribe by name. Bezalel was specifically called by God to be an artist: See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel, the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah' ...Moreover, we see here that artistic ability is God's gift: "And Moses called Bezalel ... in whose mind the Lord had put ability ..." Ex 36:2, RSV. We are instructed that artistic talent is not some innate human skill, nor the accomplishment of individual genius, but a gift of God.This passage then continues to detail the specific qualifications Bezalel was endowed with, providing us with the divine perspective on human artistry. The first gift given to Bezalel is arresting. 'He/God has filled him with the Spirit of God' (Ex 35:31). The minist

f the Holy Spirit is not regularly ascribed to artistic talent. But here we find it as the initial gift given to Bezalel. In fact, Bezalel is the very first person recorded in the OT, in all Scripture, as inspired by the Holy Spirit. And he is not a priest or a prophet, nor a preacher, but an artist. Read More: image:


Lawrence Alma-Tadema. ---it is those gestures of refusing rank and self-worship that makes moses, in my eyes, the prophet to which no equal will ever arise. moses wanted to be seen and remembered as a thou-prophet. he was just moses, not a religious 'it' with all the trappings that transforms a person into an it. the subsequent prophets of israel were not different in this respect: they were also known as just amos, isaiah, ezequiel, jeremaiah, hosea and so forth. --- Read More:

…it would seem that the decline in spiritual content and dialogical social practices in our culture in general, coincides with the increase in such practices as bestowing religious hierarchical titles, institutionalized ordination and the size and splendor of temples.

but the true spirituality of no ranks, no titles, no temples, no master-worship, no prophet-worship, is still there, in that desert. paraphrasing the psalmist, i turn my eyes to the desert, to where the sand swiped image of this one moses is still reflected on every red sun and white moon.Read More:

… the intricacies of the creation by Freud of a paper that had a special personal meaning. “The Moses of Michelangelo” was the product of the imaginative processes of a genius. Freud was first fascinated with the statue, then fascinated with his own fascination. Over 13 years, he spent many, many hours standing before the statue, brooding about its meaning. The final work of art— and that is what the paper turned out to be—came as a result of insights that were simultaneously derived from unresolved conflicts out of Freud’s infantile past, unresolved conflicts in his contemporary external world, and unresolved conflicts of a transference nature toward his own creation, psychoanalysis. The paper represented an actualization of a complex synthesis Freud made: it was at once a work of art which could be shared with others, an intimate (and highly “mutative”) interpretation made to himself, and a joke that he enjoyed privately. Read More: aaa

The Finding of Moses. Edwin Long. Read More:


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