Archive for religion

The Problem with Taking Religion Seriously

Posted in Ethics & Morals, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2019 by Drogo

Christianity forced itself on me when i was a boy, and it constantly tries to get me to submit and sacrifice to the authority of its Churches, so I feel that I always have a right to speak out about it. 

Christianity cannot help itself, it is designed to convert others. When I am critical of Christianity I do it not as a native repelling an alien invader, but as a Christian who wants to try to be something more than what tradition and convention dictated. I am constantly reminded of inescapable antiquated social limits that I will always be contained inside by living in current US culture. We can all agree on some basic ethics and habits (like washing and sleeping and cleaning), but needing one book or a god to tell us is a bit juvenile.

Being able to resist and deconstruct Christian authority is important because it is insipid. Christianity by design gets into all aspects of culture, from churches to schools and governments. Based on the rebel family unit, the slave religion was devastating to the Roman Empire because people were peacefully protesting authority by resisting as sacrifices unwilling to function for the Empire. Rome of course solved this by adopting the slave religion as the state religion, and therefore to resist authority became Christian heresy. The Bible has several passages not only of arrogant egocentric God-level pride, but also dictates about spreading the word to the heathens, so it is constantly on a mission of conversion. If one chooses not to be a Christian in society for the past several hundred years, they must constantly be on guard and resist by every means possible, which means not only ignoring conventions, but also at times mocking the insanity of dogma. Although the Bible says that God is too jealous to be denied his power, joking about religion is certainly a good test of its power. 

This same problem of aggressive religious authority also applies to any fundamentalist religion. The problems of power are not confined to religion, but also apply to government in the form of conservative Nationalism. The Nazis did not need Jesus to act like the Popes of the Crusades.

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Kresge Chapel at M.I.T. by Eero Saarinen

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Recommendations & Tributes, Sculpture, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2019 by Drogo

The Kresge Chapel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by Architect Eero Saarinen in Cambridge, Massachusetts [report written by Walton Stowell II for Modern History of Architecture II in 4/22/96]

 

“No less than religion at its best, architecture is best as a witness and custodian to the spirit of modern man.” – Pietro Belluschi, B’rith Kodesh Synagogue

 

“A brick wall didnt realize how beautiful it was until it was touched by sunlight.” – Louis Kahn

 

Eero Saarinen’s Inter-Denominational Kresge Chapel at M.I.T.

 

While  taking a leisurely stroll through the seemingly haphazard campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), I came upon a sweet and blissfully rotund form that was clearly composed of masonry brick set in a common Bond. It’s cylindrical form appeared pure and abstractly severe from afar. Closer inspection revealed a more intricate reality.  The surface was roughly textured by randomly protruded bricks, and a series of low arches of random size. The arches formed the base of the cylinder, backed by a smooth light-colored secondary interior wall. The base was set into a shallow pit, filled with water and ring with a rim of concrete. the Chapels massing was as conservative as your basic cylinder,  but the sharp alien Bell Tower steeple was an elegant antenna, A giant holy lance piercing the sky as though ready to shoot a beacon.

 

(sketch of perspective looking at Chapel from the front court-yard)

 

In relation to the other neighboring structures on campus, the brick construct was petite. The Kresge Chapel marked itself as part of the MIT campus, distinguished by having a remote location many yards from its neighbors; thus respectfully differentiating its functionality while remaining part of the whole, despite its blatant differences denoted by its particular scale and multi-dimensional form expression. The chapel makes its own transcendental statement  without being an eyesore. It does not fight the more conventional styles of buildings that surround it; in fact the traditional brick that was used matches the surrounding dorms.

 

Across the lawn from the Kresge Chapel, was another of Eero Saarinen buildings, the Kresge Auditorium. Both buildings were designed and built from 1950 to 1955, and dedicated to donor Sebastian Kresge, founder of Kresge (Kmart) Stores. The auditorium was much larger than the chapel, and completely different in style and materials.

 

(sketch of 2 buildings showing distance adjacency)

 

The narthex was a rectangular hallway encased in black glass, attached to the chapel from behind; like an extended arm connecting auxiliary rooms to the primary cylinder. I say that the hall was located in the back of the cylinder, because of my site orientation. My interpretation  being the front of the chapel was the side facing the auditorium, and their shared lawn space; where as the back was directed towards the alley. The structure of the black back hall was comprised of dark thin Gray repetitive vertical steel members. Each section of black glass was then further subdivided by smaller horizontal muntins spaced unevenly, from inches apart to feet apart. On either side of the black rectangle on the farthest end from the main cylinder, there were doors of Entry. They were double doors on each side of the hall, opposite each other and made of solid Pine with metal knockers as handles that open outward together. It made for a fine contrast between the bright Pine doors, and the sleek black enigma of the hallway repetition.  Above the doors were four conic lights with their tops cut off.

 

I reached for the door handles with no sense of what to expect within. I entered. The interior of the hallway was transparent to the outside, with only a faintly darkened tint. My natural, but false assumption that a dark structure with no direct openings for light makes for an even darker interior, was shattered. The narthex was very generously lighted on the inside, and I felt very safe. Flower baskets were placed on either side along the hall, for lovely interior decor. I turned to look down the glass hallway of adequate human proportions, and saw a beautiful white marble altar, with shimmering gold strands behind it. The richly tiled floor led me to the double height space. All in one breath I was taken into the space, and in one breath I took it all in.

 

Beautiful organ music began playing. It was coming from within that sacred vault, and yet I could see no one, nor even an organ. The tones undeniably complemented the space, and light poured in from an Oculus directly above the altar, which was refracted by a suspended Golden sculptural Screen. It was as if I were in a subterranean Realm, with no direct view to the outside world; but only washes of light on heavy Earthen walls. It was small for most churches and intimate, but I was not scared of being trapped in the confined space. I felt safe. It was as though I had been worming my way through the claustrophobic Labyrinth of Moria, and at last come to the inner Sanctum. I had risen from the catacombs, and been rewarded with the gift of space;  generous and conducive for personal prayer.

 

(sketch of altar with oculus)

 

I felt like an archaeologist after breaking the seals on a tomb, rolling away the barrier stone, and breathing in air undisturbed for eons. Spiritual fervor of ancient mysterious gods for every individual were welcome there. I had made the journey to the dreamy meditational sanctuary,  and now felt cleansed and purified; looking at the vulnerable and innocent white altar. The secret stairs behind the altar made me swoon like a willing sacrifice.

 

There were three walls of the Kresge Chapel itself. The outer wall had low arches which allowed light to reflect off the water in the moat, and up into the inner chamber. The inner wall undulated like a frozen wave, and the lower wall followed its example. In the daylight the textured brick work was highlighted by the exterior light Wells. The floor could fit a Congregation of 130 people,  and as I turned in circles to experience the space, I saw the pipe organ located above the entry-way. A student head their back to me, intent on playing the instrument with its elaborate pipes on display. Mass was about to begin.

 

(sketch of oculus)

 

Criticism of Eero Saarinen was common place because consistency of style was expected,  and his level of architectural innovation was way ahead of his time. Saarinen’s unpredictability and bold diversity irritated and even enraged his critics. Each new project was so vastly different, how could they judge his progress? As Philip Johnson put it “Eero  was all together unpredictable. Had he lived longer, he would have influenced everybody, and all of us.” Saarinen developed his own architectural style which was always a unique combination of Art and engineering. I chose Saarinen’s chapel because i knew about him from when i was a child. When Dad took me to Dulles and JFK (TWA Terminal) Airports, it was clear how special the buildings were, and told me who the architect was. Every building that Saarinen designed has blown my mind with its expressiveness and unearthly beauty. During my first year of architecture studio at RWU, professor Rico introduced me to this chapel based on my sketches of circles for a temple to the elements, and so i was inspired to have light filter in around the edges of the temple floor from water and air outside, on all levels.

 

Eero Saarinen once said that he began his projects with basic considerations of the particular job. Eero also respected the spirit, the client, the expression of the program, and site surroundings. To him the site area should include nature and technology; and a good balance should reduce egotism. He felt that MIT landscape should be more unified with the auditorium and chapel for integral flow. However I enjoyed the seclusion of the chapel, like a humble grove of trees for peaceful worship. Saarinen also felt his connection of the narthex and chapel was clumsily executed, but I feel it was perfectly successful for a small structure. Saarinen’s Chapel has axial intersection with its dominant cylindrical container of spiritual light.

 

By abstracting the Chapel’s form, Saarinen also simplified specific needs for spiritual practice. The shape and form of the chapel was derived from basic instincts like our desire to feel loved, protected, and respected. A circle symbolizes oneness like the power of the earth, the sun, the moon, and even a mother’s womb. Saarinen was deeply inspired by one of his travels as a student to the mountain village of Sparta, Greece. Eero recalled sitting with bright moon-light over-head, and a secondary light band around the horizon, soft and hushed.

 

“Kresge Chapel is all about light, drama, and interior serenity.” – Architectural Record Lighting (Nov. 1994)

 

End Report.

AA Economics – SCOD Transition Systems

Posted in Economics, Philosophy, Psychology, Spiritual, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2017 by Drogo

Religious vs. Business

Christian, AA, Buddhist vs Capitalist Business

Economics is a belief based philosophy that we can use psychology (behavioral) and accounting (math) to facilitate successful transactions of commerce. Some people want rational and peaceful economic systems in harmony with nature, and others want predatory ‘winner takes all’ systems as over-bearing master abusers. Before Marx wrote about communism and socialism, Christianity was founded on communal living and social services (similar to tribal Pagans). Christian social services are based on the concept that ‘giving is its own reward’ because God loves them, wants them to give without material or monetary benefit, and will reward them in the after-life for their sacrifice. AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) uses a Christian prohibitionist type of addiction therapy, run on member based donations and volunteer work. Buddhism has a similar charity concept that encourages vows of poverty and sacrifice.

Rather than predatory State Capitalism, or dogmatic Church Monarchy, we could change towards more moral humane systems. We can reward ‘givers’ more than ‘takers’. We need to be aware of the poor who give it all away, and the rich that take more than their fair share; because the system currently works in reverse. So we can develop a middle-ground between the two extremes of Religion and Business ideology. Communism clearly has the modesty of religious morality, and Socialism has the best aspects of trade & barter ethics. Clearly the best type of Capitalism (if it is to survive) will embrace egalitarianism for the majority of the population, that makes more property public and rewards those that give to others the most.

Predatory Capitalism is like an addiction, it is very hard to break a harmful habit if we feel we cannot stop ourselves from doing, even when it hurts ourselves and others more than it benefits them. Therefore perhaps a SCOD system of economic transition can be similar to AA, where we can admit we have a problem, and that by helping others we are solving the problem. Then we can begin apologizing to all those we could have given more to, when we only practiced Capitalism.

* This essay is an addition to the book:

SCOD Economics: Alternative Economic Theories

Magic Epochs, Branches, & Types

Posted in Philosophy, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on December 17, 2016 by Drogo

Epochs or Historical Periods of Western Spiritual Magical Practice

1.   Pre-Historic (millions BC – 2, 500 BC):  Shamanic, Animism, Orphism, Oral, Musical

2.  Pagan (2,500 BC – 0 AD):  Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek, Celtic, Roman, Viking

3.  Christian (0 – 1900 AD):  Catholic, Occult, Protestant, Evangelical

4.  New-Age (1900 – 2016 AD): Occult, Wicca, Yoga, ESP, Metaphysics, Scientology, Hippy, Asian Martial Arts

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Branches of Magical Practice

Christian Occult:  gnostic, mystery cults, satanism, theosophy, thelema, chistian science, jehovah’s witness, mormon, rosecrutians, masons, eastern star, solomonic orders, witch-craft, hermetic

New-Age Occult:  golden dawn order, eclectic, neo-pagan,

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5 Types of Magical Practice

Aversive – hiding, transference, sacrifice,  cleansing, warding

Imitative – possession, satire, absorbing, mime, illusion, astrology

Contagious – fetish, consummation, symbiosis, dance, mental will, divining

Destructive – curses, traps, evil, poisons, wars, martial

Productive – healing, education, good, coaxing, placation, making, inspire / catalyze, transforming, alchemy

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3 Ways of Magical Practice

Giving / Healing, Taking / Harming, Exchanging

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magic-branches

Note: This is from a World Cultural perspective, not from individual belief perspective; as our own personal systems will have unique eclectic structures. Also ‘New-Age’ can be added to the tree on the outer-most branches.

 

 

 

 

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Friend In Need – Christian Witchcraft

Posted in Book Reports, Crafts, Religions with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2015 by Drogo

This is a reprinting of an extremely rare (only one copy known to exist by experts) old American spell book by the Wizard Zittle. Pennsylvania-Deutsch (German immigrant) braucher pow-wow hoodoo folk-lore magick literature, spread into Boonsboro, Maryland. Inspired locals like Michael Zittle made and used original and pirated books for medicine cures and magical charms of self-help, self-reliance, and self-sufficiency. While considered dark-evil ‘powwow magick’ during the 1800s, these independent publications were Christian folk-lore witch-craft; as most European immigrants were proudly Christian Protestants (Lutheran) and Catholics. This curious occult local artifact has now been revived by local occultist, and Pagan Priest Drogo Empedocles!

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Dianetics & Scientology

Posted in Religions with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2013 by Drogo

 

~ Have you ever done Dianetics? I am about to undergo the starter-kit capsule that has been buried in my basement for decades. I am assuming it will be like LSD laced with Scientology-Cult, so it should be fun for the old brain-box. I have a chronic type of ‘Analysis Paralysis’ that gives me insomnia. In other words it’s related to my PTSD and i end up over-analyzing perceived problems which gives me great anxiety on a regular basis. Sleeping aids do help, and a stable living and work environment have helped alot too over the years. So here is my investigative summary of Dianetics and Scientology. ~

Dianetics was a book written by L. Ron Hubbard in 1950, that evolved into a popular self-help movement, and eventually became the religion of Scientology. Dianetics is a metaphysical ideology that combines elements of philosophy, psychology, science, fiction, and religion; thus it is known as a classic ‘psuedo-science’ cult. The name Dianetics means “Through the Mind” (Greek: dia-nous).

The main assumption of Dianetics is that ‘humans are all good’, because our analytical-minds are perfect when cleared of subconscious reactive-mind aberrations (engrams). The conclusion is that we must conduct therapy procedures (called auditing) to cleanse our engrams, and become spiritually ‘Clear’. Auditing is an ethical form of mild hypnosis, or suggestive talk therapy that is similar to hypnosis; but Dianetics claims it is not hypnosis because they “do not use drugs”.

~ Now let us pause for a moment here, and just reflect on the basic concepts. Although I disagree with the main assumption, and find many problems with Dianetics methodology, I will attempt to further explain how it ‘works’. Have you thought about the mystery of subconscious engrams? Ok… ~

 

The goal of auditing is to become ‘Clear’ of engrams, which means becoming more ethical, aware, happier, and saner in accordance with the ‘Dynamic Principle of Existence’ (four types of survival urges in life). The four natural Dynamic Urges are: 1. Self 2. Sexual/Family 3. Groups 4. Humanity. Auditing takes place typically between two people; an auditor (guide), and a preclear (subject). The auditor asks questions about the preclear’s engrams, so that by recalling past incidents, their spiritual pathways can be ‘cleared’ and restored to operate on pure Dynamic Urges. There seems to be a belief in Dianetics that all ills and pains are psychosomatic, and so other therapies and medicines are virtually ignored.

Scientologists claim they have over 50,000 ‘Clear’ members. The name means ‘Study of Knowing’. They believe that human souls (thetans) reincarnate, are immortal, and have lived on other planets previously. They are opposed to other forms of psychiatry, therapy, or hypnotism (besides Dianetics). Scientology is like a new-age spiritual pyramid-scheme company and a church; it is in the business of selling products, and getting more loyal members that pay into it. Their E-Meter devices are religious artifacts. Our Universe is MEST (matter, energy, space, and time). Scientologists believe that contact with ‘suppressive’ antisocial psychotic individuals has an adverse effect on one’s spiritual condition, necessitating disconnection. Hubbard was influenced by Durant and Freud in his writings. The three levels are Preclear (initiate), Clear, and Operating Thetan. They believe that other religions are compatible fantasies. The ARC and KRC triangles are concept maps of triple concepts that form another concept. These two triangles are present in the Scientology logo. ARC = Affinity, Reality, Communication.

Xenu was the alien dictator of a ‘Galactic Confederacy’ who, 75 million years ago, brought masses of confined aliens to Earth (then known as “Teegeeack”) in airplane-like spaceships, dumped them at volcanoes, and killed them with hydrogen bombs. Their souls (now called Thetans) were collected and subjected to motion pictures about religions to brainwash them. We may be descended from the survivors, and our souls are the same Thetans, some of which are attached negatively to others.

The dangerous aspects of Scientology include blackmail from audit information and surveillance, brainwashing, and loss of money because of donations. The positive aspects are imagination, creativity, and pseudo-science self-help therapy. It is a popular cult with similarities to Mormonism, in the fact that it is American, fairly recent, and claims it was founded by one charismatic author who ‘knew the truth’.

Harpers Faery Magic Bible

Posted in Book Reports, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Matras Quotes Tips, Pagan, Religions, SCOD Online School with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2013 by Drogo

 

New-Age Testament & Neo-Pagan Scripture

by Drogo Empedocles 2013

Introduction

Multiple religious myths and spiritual magics for polytheistic Neo-Pagans

This book is a modern eclectic Pagan Bible. It is the personal beliefs of Prophet Drogo Empedocles, and his interpretation of world religions, New-Age philosophy, and Neo-Pagan magic. Polytheistic Celtic-Wiccan influence is finally proudly written here, in contrast to many Hebrew, Christian, and Muslim beliefs; because of their doctrines of cultural war against Pagans. As a handbook guide of holy Pagan scripture, this book is meant to be a shield and a sword for our faith, in the hands of the chosen guardians. This Pagan Bible includes stories about the magical town of Harpers Faery, and is a combination of historic-fiction, occult magic, and autobiography.

Eclectic-Pagan Celtic-Wiccan New-Age Bible

The word bible, is from the Greek word biblia, meaning simply books. According to religious tradition a bible is also a canon of holy scripture; an authoritative collection of rule books. The dominant rule of this Neo-Pagan Bible is the proclamation of a new covenant with ancient religions, modern Paganism, culture, and individuals in the form of universal spirituality, and acceptance of unique personal magic, and our diverse environments within the Universe. Most of the major religious rule books are now outdated guides. Please help spread the good news of the Pagan Bible!

The word pagan, from Latin paganus, means “rural country folk”. Paganism usually refers to religions or beliefs which are polytheistic or indigenous (non-Christian). Within Paganism are categories such as polytheism, shamanism, pantheism, or animism. Neo-Paganism is the revival of the ancient old ways, adapted in a new way for our modern times. There are many important reasons for this “New-Age” movement, but perhaps most of all Neo-Paganism exists because Mother Earth deserves some respect again, more than ever before!

In various religious and spiritual writings, we may find some answers; or at least stories we can relate to, and are helpful. We may also become upset or troubled by what we read. One curious pattern to notice about written history and other bibles, is how their texts ignore and degrade goddesses, women, and nature-based faiths in general. While mythical stories may be interesting, it is only through our own self-realized connection to civilization and nature that we may put ourselves in context with the true Universe. Remember we are not alone, even when we feel alone.

My name is Drogo Empedocles, and I am a faery. Well, part faery anyway. It is complicated, so I will explain my blood line later. I call myself a faery because fae magic is in my blood, and most of my friends are faeries of one kind or another. I wrote this as my Bible, and it is based on my beliefs and my home town. I encourage everyone to write their own bible. History happens to real people everyday (before it becomes history). This Bible supports polytheism, faerie equal rights, and bloody swear words; in addition to conventional biblical morality and multicultural ethics. This is my Bible.

Dr. Rev. Drogo F.H. Empedocles

HFM Chapters

World Religious Mythology

Harpers Faery Creation Myth

Harpers Faery Songs & Poems

New-Age Testament of Drogo

Harpers Faery Spells and Rituals

Images, Bibliography, References

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1st Edition Ebook – Available on Amazon Kindle!

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2nd Edition –  Paperback  /  Kindle

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