lykomancer: (OroSasu War is Hell)
I realized today that I do actually believe in Hell; I suppose I should turn in my Universalist card.

I do actually believe in Hell, and that's because I'm in it.
And yes, I mean that as literally as my theology will let me.

Hell is the absence of God.
Hell is the absence of hope.
Hell is other people.

I am in Hell.




Of the three great theological virtues, I hold only on to love.
lykomancer: (UU Jihad!)
This is part one. There will be more parts, but I needed to start at the beginning, so... *shrugs*

The word of the Lord came to Jonah, 'Go at once to Nineveh...' But Jonah set out to flee from the presence of the Lord... )

To be continued, eventually.
lykomancer: (OMG)

Jesus is a Mary Sue is love.


No, really. Jesus is a Mary Sue!
lykomancer: (Default)
It's a dark and stormy night here in Minneapolis, and I am sitting down with a cup of tea, the sound of rain dripping from the eaves, and all my candles burning.

Time for a little dark personal history.

When I was a little kid-- like, first and second grade-- I lived in terror that the sun would supernova and turn into a black hole. In less than ten minutes, the Earth and everyone on it would be sucked past the event horizon and be crushed by the incredible pressure within the hole. This was especially likely to happen at night; I was afraid that the moment I fell asleep, this horrible process would surely begin, and I would never again see the light of day. It's almost as if I made an existential leap of thought and fear, linking my consciousness with the with the existence of the world, as though reality was merely my dream... And if I lost consciousness, everything and everyone would perish.
For endless nights stretching into years, I tossed and turned restlessly under my blankets, fighting off sleep, fighting off the apocalypse and resultant nonexistence.

I slept under the blankets because they were my only shield against the monsters that came out at night. If they saw any of my skin at all, they would realize I was there and rip me apart; it worked on much the same principle as Haku's warning for Chihiro to hold her breath as she crosses the bath-house bridge in Spirited Away.
As far as monsters and demons go, I must admit, mostly, I was afraid of my mother.

I was watching a Discovery Channel Halloween special on vampires and vampirism, and the narrator was describing the seemingly infinite list of ways one could become a vampire...falling off the left side of the hay wagon, being born with a caul over one's head, suicide, being born with teeth. My mother was watching the show with me, and she felt the need to share that, in fact, she had been born with teeth.
Linking this with the fact that she lived in the dark and creepy attic, and that she was most active at night, I came up with the conclusion that my mother was a vampire, and that she came down from the attic after I was asleep, and that one night I would wake up and see her pale face leering over me, eyes glowing and mouth smeared with blood.

Needless to say, for a few years, I didn't get a lot of restful sleep.
One might think that I would learn that the world did not end when I closed my eyes and my mother behaved in far too human a manner to be a vampire, and then I would stop being so irrationally afraid.
Eventually, I did.
But it took a few years.

Sometime about...oh, I don't know...third grade (yeah, that sounds right), I was staying at my Great-Grandmother's house and found a religious tract. This is hardly surprising; my G-Grandma got all sorts of Christian letters and pamphlets and so on in the mail. I guess they thought she cared, or something.
Though I don't remember, I feel confident now in stating that the tract I found was probably from the Seventh-Day Adventists or some similar group, and the message of the tract was based entirely off of the Book of Revelations.
A literal reading of Revelations.
The main thrust of the argument was that people who worshiped on Sunday bore the mark of the Beast, and that real Christians and the saved worshipped on Saturday, which was properly the last day of the week.
Me, I'd been raised unchurched. I don't think I'd ever been in a church in my life when I read that tract, much less been to an actual service. I barely knew anything about the Bible when I first picked it up to research this "Revelations" book the tract authors kept babbling about.
I read all of Revelations.
It scared the hell out of me.

I eventually reread it, and then again; I completed it three or four times within a few months.
And I couldn't sleep for about two months.

Once, between those two different periods of night horrors, I was lying (awake) in bed (under the blankets), and something rolled over in my mind and I suddenly grasped the idea that I would not only grow up, but grow old. Stunned by the implications of this, I was wracked by heart-wrenching sobs.
How could life be so cruel? So unfair? I asked the universe, the questions cracking my lips and emerging only as a low horrified moan.
And the, just as suddenly as I had made this leap of understanding, I became aware of something else.
Someone was there in the room with me.
And He spoke to me in calm, soothing tones about the nature of growing up, growing old, and death, and when He sat on the edge of the bed, it went down under His weight; I felt it. His hand smoothed the blankets as He talked, and I eventually stopped crying. The Stranger spoke sense and wisdom and love; how could I not listen to Him?
The only impressions I can remember of Him is that of bright white light and the chocolately-rich melodic tenor of His voice.
At the time, I thought He was Jesus, stepped right out of that ugly garage-sale-find velvet-and-orange-fabric-paint painting hanging on the wall by the bathroom. I didn't know anything about Jesus, except that He was supposedly the Son of God and liked little children. Certainly that Stranger was kind-hearted to me, a small child, and as wise as only God could be, so that made perfect sense.

I think I've only ever mentioned that to maybe three people in my entire life.




Why do I write so many dark fantasy and horror stories? Why have I written at least five about the end of the world, the Rapture, the Apocalypse, or some other form of end times? Why am I obsessed with spirits and vampires and werewolves?

Impressions left on my vulnerable young psyche, that's why.
lykomancer: (UU Jihad!)
"Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States. We are Unitarian Jihad. There is only God, unless there is more than one God. The vote of our God subcommittee is 10-8 in favor of one God, with two abstentions. Brother Flaming Sword of Moderation noted the possibility of there being no God at all, and his objection was noted with love by the secretary.

"Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States! Too long has your attention been waylaid by the bright baubles of extremist thought. Too long have fundamentalist yahoos of all religions (except Buddhism -- 14-5 vote, no abstentions, fundamentalism subcommittee) made your head hurt. Too long have you been buffeted by angry people who think that God talks to them. You have a right to your moderation! You have the power to be calm! We will use the IED of truth to explode the SUV of dogmatic expression!

Startling new underground group spreads lack of panic! )

This is my religion, ladies and gentlemen. The whole essence of it.
lykomancer: (depressed)
A friend-- you know who you are-- once commented that she was boggled that I could be happy going to seminary.
I am.

Cause I Get Tired of Seeing How Much I Babble, This Is Cut )

Anyone wanna help me write/draw up Unitarian Universalist versions of Chicktracts? XD
lykomancer: (depressed)
Soaring Dragon

~my body stretches and balances, recalibrating; colors ripple and swirl around me in fiery currents of chi, drifting upward like smoke and blazing behind my gently closed eyelids-- yellow... I see yellow like pure sunlight on fields of jonquils and daffodils, bobbing and bending in the cool, damp spring breezes and I bend with them, bending with the currents of tranquility and it's yellow, it's all yellow... saffron and sunshine and topaz and lemon...caramine, cornsilk, butter, amber flickering all around me, twining in my hair and sliding over my skin like tendrils of primrose-scented incense, burning my mind with brightness like the sun: my mind is as keen as the play of light on the edge of a blade; I am radiance~

Swimming Dragon

~my body curves sinuously, hips and spine twisting like a snake navigating the Susquehanna River, all skin and scales and sleekness; I part pools of deep, restful serpentine-blue and inhale, sucking the currents into me and feeling my own body (82% H2O) respond, resonating with the Tao that is like a river returning home to the sea, sliding sensuously beneath the serene eye of the full moon which traces over it shimmering silver and subtle shadows, seducing me into submerging myself beneath the slow-moving surface-- I must leave shallow waters and safe shores to seek my own soul's true strength~

Standing Dragon

~my body rests; the dragon waits aside the bubbling hot spring, claws buried in the clean, wet, heavy earth-- my bare feet sink into the floor like the gnarled roots of wise, ancient willows, soaking up the power and stability from the ground... I am the bridge between heaven and earth; I am the dragon of Midgard wrapped around the meridian, eating her own tail, causing tectonic plates to roil against one another my food moves down my gullet; I bleed red (red-hot magma, liquid stone) and sweat geysers... I bring forth life~
lykomancer: (Default)
I am constantly amazed by the shifting weather and the power of nature in northern Wisconsin. It's so simple to walk outside and within fifteen minutes, find redemption, peace, grace, forgiveness, and mindfulness.

Where is God? IT is in the Chequamegon National Forest, pumping through the gills of a sturgeon, in the greenery and concrete beneath your feet, in the depths of Lake Superior. "The Father's Kingdom is within you and outside of you... Split a piece of wood and you will find me; lift a stone, and I am there."
How does one begin to worship? By running one's hands through the thick, wet spring grass, by attending to the change in scent that heralds a new season, by licking the rainwater from your lips, by listening to birdsong and the rush of a swollen stream, by watching the Northern Lights burn the night sky. Raise thy voice in wolf-song, and listen for IT's reply in dark, wind-swept forests! "Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each."
"Read Marcus Aurelius of each thing..."

I went outside for about an hour, and walked bareheaded and barefoot in the rain. "Walked" is actually a bit of an exaggeration; for about ten minutes I simply stood in the grass... a sort of silent meditation.
It felt good, calming, centering. The moment of rebalancing, washing away previous sin.
I feel like writing on "Phoenix" again, or drawing, or maybe beginning to pack. Wash more laundry. Straighten up and organize. Write poetry about Northland. Jam out to Stuart Davis.

I've seen the future of mankind / Which is not Hell / Which is not bliss / But all I can say is it looks like this / Mmmm...
lykomancer: (Default)
Go, you Unitarian bastards, go! BWAHAHAHAHA!

Boo-yah!
lykomancer: (Default)
I gotta say one more thing before I am locked out of the library.

I've been sittin' around reading UUWorld, and I realize now what it means to really belong to an oragnization-- in mind and heart if not always in body.

I was reading the UUA's current stance on gay marriage, and dammit! I literally had chills and goosebumps; I wanted to cry; I wanted to fuckin' get up and dance and shout and get in people's faces and say, "Yes, goddammit! I am part of an organization that won't just take this! We will fight back until we can't anymore! This is who we are and what we stand for!"
lykomancer: (Default)
Just got back from church.

On Unitarian Universalists, weepy psychology professors, change, death, and rebirth. )

Maybe I'm just feeling better by daylight. Maybe it's the large amounts of cold medicine I consumed earlier with the liquid sugar I call tea. Maybe the pseudo-Christian part of my mind tripped over and has convinced me that today is a day of second chances. God only knows.

I still don't feel like writing that history paper. I feel like crashing somewhere and watching Saiyuki and Chobits until my brain explodes... maybe even while getting my Christian Thought homework done.
I have to remember that I have to call that woman who's giving me a ride to the Cities on Tuesdayish, and to check with Daysha before then to see if she can take me over to Duluth for Sunday. I also have to remember to maybe study a bit for finals, find a place to dump the rats for two weeks, and pack up for Tom's.
Ahh, Tom's. Where I plan on sitting on my ass studying astrology and Japanese for a full week, and life will be good.
lykomancer: (Default)
Since there is something carthetic about making fun of your own religion, in good faith I offer the best Universalist Unitarian jokes I thus found:

Q: What do you get when you cross a Unitarian and a Jehovah's Witness?
A: Someone who goes door to door and doesn't know why.

___
On a related note...

From Beliefnet.com
Unitarians Begin Aggressive Proselytism Campaign
Tired of being the butt of jokes about their lack of an accepted creed and a reputation for wishy-washy, anything-goes theology, the Unitarian Universalists are on the warpath. Emulating the success of Jehovah's Witnesses, UUs are going door to door in an effort to proselytize for their liberal faith--whatever that is.

"People must have the right to gather in Someone's name for fellowship and weak coffee in red mugs," thundered UUA president Rev. William Sinkford. "People wounded by archaic creedal religions with rigid musical standards should be able to join a choir-regardless of singing ability!" There is even talk of sending missionaries to Third World countries for no obvious reason.

___
A man went to a Unitarian Universalist service for the first time, and later was asked what he thought of it. "Darndest church I ever went to," he replied, "the only time I heard the name of Jesus Christ was when the janitor fell down the stairs."

___
Q: How Many UUs does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: The Unitarians wish to issue the following statement:
"We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a lightbulb; however, if in your own journey you have found that lightbulbs work for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your personal relationship with your lightbulb, and present it next month at our annual lightbulb Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of lightbulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence."

___
Arguing with a Unitarian Universalist is like mud wrestling a pig. Pretty soon you realize the pig likes it.

___
A sign at a UU church read: "Bible Study after service today. Bring your own Bible and a pair of scissors."

___
A street corner evangelist rhetorically asked a passer-by, "Friend -- do you know what path leads to the denial of God and Christ straight into the arms of heathenism and atheism?"
"Oh, sure," said the passer-by. "The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is just two blocks that way."

___
A visitor to a Unitarian Universalist church sat through the sermon with growing incredulity at the heretical ideas being spouted. After the sermon a UU asked the visitor, "So how did you like it?"
"I can't believe half the things that minister said!" sputtered the visitor in outrage.
"Oh, good -- then you'll fit right in!"

___
For the members of any religion...
To have a few doubts is normal.
To have many doubts is a crisis of faith.
To have constant doubts is a conversion to Unitarian Universalism.

___
Q: Why did the Unitarian-Universalist cross the road?
A: To support the chicken in its search for its own path

___
You might be a UU if . . .

--you have ever been in an argument over whether or not breast milk is vegan. (OH GOD, I HAVE!)
--when you dress for a formal evening out you wear a little black dress, pearls--and Birkenstocks.
--you are unsure about the gender of God. (God has gender?)
--you own six pairs of Birkenstocks and your favorite pair needs to be thrown away.
--you get Newt Gingrich confused with the Grinch who Stole Christmas.
--the money you sent to the Sierra Club last year was more than you spent on your mother at Christmas.
--you think the Holy Trinity is "reduce, reuse and recycle."
--you study the "ten suggestions" instead of the "Ten Commandments."
--the only time "Jesus" is mentioned at church is when someone trips or stubs a toe.
--your child says to you before eating dinner at a friend's house "I'll remember to say my 'pleases' and 'thank yous' but I'm not going to say that dinner 'pledge of alliegance'."
--You think a Holy day of Obligation is your turn to do coffee.
--You get mail from committees you didn't know you were on.
--You know at least two people who are upset that trees had to die for your church to be built.

___
A lifelong unchurched man suddenly develops a vague religious urge and decides to join a church--any church. So he sets out to find one.

His first stop is a Roman Catholic church where he asks what he has to do to join. The priest mentions diligent study and the affirmation of the Nicene and Apostles' Creeds, then--just to see how much the man knows--asks him where Jesus was born. "Pittsburgh," he answers. "Get out!" cries the shocked priest.

Next stop is Southern Baptist where the seeker is told he would have to learn Bible verses, swear belief in the Nicene and Apostles' creeds, swear off booze, and be baptized ("By immersion, not just some sissy sprinklin'"). The Baptist preacher then, to see how much this man knows, asks him where Jesus was born. "Philadelphia?" he asks tentatively (once bitten, twice shy). "Get out, you heathen!" yells the preacher.

Our perplexed protagonist finally walks into a Unitarian church where he is told all he has to do is sign a membership card. "You mean I don't have to renounce anything, swear to anything, or be dunked in anything?" "That's right. We have no special tests for membership, no dogma. We support total individual freedom of belief." "Then I'll join! But tell me--where was Jesus born?" "Why, Bethlehem, of course." The man's face lights up. "I knew it was some place in Pennsylvania!"

___
UUs address prayers, "To whom it may concern."

UU Prayer: "Dear God, if there is a God, if you can, save my soul, if I have a soul."
___
At one Sunday morning service, in of the very big Unitarian churches in Boston, a man was making a ruckus in the back pew. After every sentence the minister spoke, he would shout, "Amen! Halleluia!"

One of the ushers approached the man and spoke to him discreetly. "Sir, uh, we just don't do things like that here."

"But I got religion!"

"You certainly didn't get it here."

___
I'm not even sure if I am a UU. I suppose that removes all doubt.

___
Q: Where do Unitarian Universalists go when they die?
A: The Peace Corps
lykomancer: (Default)
While watching another of the Joseph Campbell Power of Myth videos tonight, I learned an interesting story.

According to ancient Persian myth, God created all of the angels, and he told the angels to worship Him.
After that, God created mankind, and, regarding humans as being superior to angels, He ordered the angels to bow also to man.

Lucifer would have no part of it. So great was the highest angel's love for his creator that he refused to obey anyone but God Himself. God-- being God-- was wrathful and demanded Lucifer bend his proud neck and serve the humans, but Lucifer loved only God and would not serve another.

God threw Lucifer from Heaven, forcing the angel to live forever separated from that which he loved most intensely... And what is Hell, truly, but eternal separation from love and the light of God?

However one must ask: is it better to be in Hell with a tormented, lonely Lucifer, or in Heaven with a God who cannot even comprehend love and passion?

I think I really wanna draw Lucifer now...

___
David Saetre quotes:

After talking about the wounding/castration of the Fisher King by the Muslim knight in the Grail lore:

"For a millennium and a half, we've been living out that myth. I'm tired of it...and I resent any religion that reinforces it."

We started talking about the iconography of the Catholic Church, and about the suggestion that the Virgin Mary statues were originally based of off Egyptian Isis sculptures:

Me: I hear that idea someplace else, actually. Jack Chick uses it as proof that the Catholics are goin' to Hell.
David: Jack Chick? Oh, Chick Publications?
Me: Yeah.
David: Well...Jack Chick is going to Hell.

(If you don't know who Jack Chick is, just Google it.)
lykomancer: (Alex)
So I went and saw "The Passion of the Christ" with some friends tonight.

I will say right off that I hate going to a crowded movie. People are assholes! They talk (loudly), they run around the theater, they show up late for the movie and wander around, they sit directly in front of you even when they could have sat elsewhere. Not to mention the people that came with me... I spent half the show getting Annie and Crystal's attention, shutting them up, enjoying a few scenes, and then trying to get their attention again to shut them up.

GAWdamn, children!

Right.
Commentary on what I got out of the movie. )

I'm kind of hungry now, and though Crystal and I were going to go shopping she's wandered off somewhere with the other monkeys. Oh, well.. I can still hit the Chub.
lykomancer: (Default)
Oh yeah...

Sleepover with Annie. )

God Loves You! )

Professor quote of the Day:

History professor Paul Shue in History of Modern Europe, on Freud's ideas about the subconscious:
"There's something going on in your head that you don't know about... there's a party and you weren't invited."

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