save the world

Its the time of year when Christianity, Islam and Judaism have holidays which seem both complementary yet somewhat antagonistic to each other. One of the phenomenon’s of the past generation has been the idea of interfaith and combining global concerns with some form of spiritual /religious strain that in addition to the above mentioned religious groupings would also invite to the big tent for a seat at the table the straggling entities comprising “atheists, agnostics, feminists and anyone else who has suffered from the oppression the globalization of selfishness and materialism,” as one such invitation appeared.

---The battle for justice in Middle East is our battle. It is part of the vast, global battle against the 1 percent. It is a battle against the fossil fuel industry, the weapons manufacturers, the security and surveillance state, the misuse of public funds that wastes $ 4 trillion on wars that never had to be fought, the trillions more in looted taxpayer money to prop up insolvent banks and swell bloated military budgets, the battle to protect working men and women who are left struggling in the name of "austerity" to save their homes and find work. Join us at Occupy AIPAC this weekend. Help us make the voices of the 99 percent—the voices of mothers, fathers and children in the squalid refugee camps in Gaza, in the suburbs of Tehran and in the bleak industrial wastelands in Ohio---Read More:

The Jewish variant of what seems a form of messianism is termed Tikkun Olam , those who want to heal, repair and transform the world. Any religious liturgical material is always prefixed by the word “liberation” or “freedom” or “higher meaning.” I can’t help but not be dismayed by the discrepancy between the outwardly hyper-liberal peace and love, groovy share etc. demeanor and how that is transformed when you question or disagree or just poke at some inconsistencies or lack of coherence. It’s the Zimbardo Stanford Prison experiment under live enemy fire. There is an underside of militant aggressivity that is rooted in some strange sector of the psyche that I need a map to get away from. If I don’t sign an on-line petition against the possible military strike in Iran, then I am for fascism for example. And on it goes.

---Feast of Esther, painted by Jan Lievens circa 1625--- Read More:

The other plank in the rhetoric is that the world has never been more close to the brink of total destruction than it is now. There is something intrinsically fatalistic about this, a pathological strain of romanticism looking for some pretext to fall onto a sword or be immortalized like Keats or swallow hemlock like Socrates or be discovered centuries later in some forsaken cave in the Judean hills. So, even if the West masters its war gene and neutralizes Iran, there is always the shadow of global warming, which will plunge us into the Dark Ages without warning and by extension disagreement is a vote for brackish drinking water and soot filled skies and the unpredictability of the salmon run off the British Columbia coast. The rejoinder that that our parents and grandparents with the Cuban Missile Crisis, Cold War fallout shelters, and WWII seemed equal to the challenges of today, that is these prophets of destruction resemble fear mongering fire and brimstone types of the woebegon years, a super secular priesthood of self anointed holy men and women who hold the truth and are marching the front ranks, the pole positions of those closest to the light.

---Jan Victors (1616-76), who studied with Rembrandt in the 1630s, created art that was very much influenced firstly by the Master and then by Govert Flinck. Victors painted mostly large Old Testament scenes, apparently for Calvinist patrons. He first painted Esther and Haman before Achashverosh in c1639, Cologne (see image), where the older king patiently waited while Esther and Haman traded accusations. Esther was leaning forward in her earnestness; Haman moved back in shock, as if stunned that someone would hurt him. --- Read More:

Its hard to know where it all began. No shortage of wild and wooly cult leaders from the past, but perhaps the modern phenomenon can be attributed to Martin Buber and Gustav Landauer where radical secular politics, varieties of non-violent anarchism and deep left fieldism, were a natural extension based on religious interpretation. ” Socialism without god is like a body without a soul and religion without socialism is like a soul without a body.” This is the mantra of the religious left, and the message is plausible, but can be interpreted in many ways, centering as it does around the larger, and very complex ideas of charity, its role and administration. In Buber’s time the idea that a man like Gates or Buffet or Steve Jobs would hold more wealth than most sovereign states would have seemed like science fiction.

---Lastman - Triumph of Mordechai --- Read More:

…finally this flyer for this free the wounded earth supper said the meal would be an “Easter Seder”. I told the organizer that this does not make sense. That its either yids for jesus or something like Salvador Dali, ” I don’t d

ugs, I am drugs” sort of message. I cannot see any Catholic prelate eating matzo ball soup or doing the wine drops on the napkin story. But I don’t know. Apparently I’m on the pharoah’s side or lack the necessary elevation of consciousness to fully appreciate the “come together” message.


This eloquently articulates some of the views of Buber :

the dialogue with the eternal thou takes place through the engaging in dialogical encounters between people, and between people and nature. dialogue with the eternal thou is not a separate category of activity, it is the natural extension of our life of dialogue across all three realms of being. in this context, libertarian socialism refers to the organization of society along dialogical principles. socialism should not be understood solely as an alternative to capitalist economic oppression. capitalist oppression is not just a matter concerning the production and distribution of material wealth throughout a class divided society. religious socialism views the oppressive character of capitalism as essentially spiritual in nature.

the pursuit, administration, safeguard and reproduction of excessive material wealth and the consumerism that serves as its life-line, subordinates to its demands our ability to engage in the alternative pursuit of a creative spiritual life. capitalism transforms every space and time into a category of trade-commodity, thereby rendering the whole of being a continued and permanent realm of “it”.

it is important to clarify that the dichotomy here is not between matter and spirit, as this dualistic dichotomy is not intellectually sustainable. the dichotomy is between materialistic commodification and the realm of the creative spirit. religious socialism argues that the creative spirit is actualized through the creation and sustaining of communities of dialogue. it is in this sense that we read martin buber’s genial statement: socialism without god is like a body without a soul and religion without socialism is like a soul without a body. Neither case can be alive…Read More:

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