“Coniferous University students may now enroll in Prof. Darling’s summer courses. Note: Classes on time travel may exceed scope of semester.

Chromatics 411: Abandoning the Photon
Discussing how to survive noncanon colors and poisonous hues. Warning: Includes exposure to neon grey.

Extradimensional Biology 1113: Speciation
How to age and identify beasts of other universes by the whispering shadows they cast on reality.

Time Travel 2833: Causality?
Masters-level class. You now have a failing grade. Completion requires changing it using a single trip to 1943.

Historical Engineering 3610: eUsurpation
Doctorate-level class. Completion requires deposing a reigning monarchy using only online apps.

Time Travel 3942: Eschatology
Doctorate-level discussion on the future of time travel in the approaching post-prophesy world. Pass/fail.”

the tower, pt. 4

Not Sisyphus nor Atlas long could bear
this loathsome Cross I joyously uphold.
I see a distant figure in the cold:
an edifice worn down beyond repair.
I feel, beneath me, heat awakening
to draw, from slate grey clouds, torrential rain:
a flood of ages answering the strain
of writhing masses’ final reckoning.

And midst it all, my loving burden lies,
endowed by Fate - to whom I can but cry:
“Spare not the whip! This flagellated skin
cares not for mercy; and ere long, dear Fate,
repays in kind each malice-driven sin.”
And with each lash I build the tools I need
to finally restore, before the rains,
that edifice I saw with blinded eyes.
No Ark will come to save the plastic dolls;
beyond the gate of sleep, the Tower calls.

“…Mr. Tesla was charmed to hear about the Vedantic Prâna and Âkâshâ and the Kalpas, which according to him are the only theories modern science can entertain. Now both Âkâshâ and Prâna again are produced from the cosmic Mahat, the Universal Mind, the Brahmâ or Ishvara. Mr. Tesla thinks he can demonstrate mathematically that force and matter are reducible to potential energy. I am to go and see him next week, to get this new mathematical demonstration.

“In that case, the Vedantic cosmology will be placed on the surest of foundations. I am working a good deal now upon the cosmology and eschatology (That is, doctrine of the last things — death, judgement, etc.) of the Vedanta. I clearly see their perfect unison with modern science, and the elucidation of the one will be followed by that of the other. I intend to write a book later on in the form of questions and answers. (This was never done. But from his lectures in London in 1896, it is easy to see that his mind was still working on these ideas. (See also Vol. VIII Sayings and Utterances& Letter to Mr. Sturdy .)). The first chapter will be on cosmology, showing the harmony between Vedantic theories and modern science.

Brahmâ = The Absolute
Mahat Ishwara = Primal Creative Energy
Prâna and Âkâshâ = Force and Matter

“The eschatology will be explained from the Advaitic standpoint only. That is to say, the dualist claims that the soul after death passes on to the Solar sphere, thence to the Lunar sphere, thence to the Electric sphere. Thence he is accompanied by a Purusha to Brahmaloka. (Thence, says the Advaitist, he goes to Nirvâna.)

“Now on the Advaitic side, it is held that the soul neither comes nor goes, and that all these spheres or layers of the universe are only so many varying products of Âkâshâ and Prâna. That is to say, the lowest or most condensed is the Solar sphere, consisting of the visible universe, in which Prana appears as physical force, and Âkâshâ as sensible matter. The next is called the Lunar sphere, which surrounds the Solar sphere. This is not the moon at all, but the habitation of the gods, that is to say, Prâna appears in it as psychic forces, and Akasha as Tanmâtras or fine particles. Beyond this is the Electric sphere, that is to say, a condition in which the Prâna is almost inseparable from Âkâshâ, and you can hardly tell whether Electricity is force or matter. Next is the Brahmaloka. where there is neither Prâna nor Âkâshâ, but both are merged in the mind stuff, the primal energy. And here — there big neither Prâna nor Âkâshâ — the Jiva contemplates the whole universe as Samashti or the sum total of Mahat or mind. This appears as a Purusha, an abstract universal soul, yet not the Absolute, for still there is multiplicity. From this the Jiva finds at last that Unity which is the end. Advaitism says that these are the visions which rise in succession before the Jiva, who himself neither goes nor comes, and that in the same way this present vision has been projected. The projection (Srishti) and dissolution must take place in the same order, only one means going backward, and the other coming out.

“Now as each individual can only see his own universe, that universe is created with his bondage and goes away with his liberation, although it remains for others who are in bondage. Now name and form constitute the universe. A wave in the ocean is a wave, only in so far as it is bound by name and form. If the wave subsides, it is the ocean, but those name and form have immediately vanished for ever. So though the name and form of wave could never be without water that was fashioned into the wave by them, yet the name and form themselves were not the wave. They die as soon as ever it returns to water. But other names and forms live in relation to other waves. This name-and-form is called Mâyâ, and the water is Brahman. The wave was nothing but water all the time, yet as a wave it had the name and form. Again this name and form cannot remain for one moment separated from the wave, although the wave as water can remain eternally separate from name and form. But because the name and form can never he separated, they can never be said to exist. Yet they are not zero. This is called Maya.

“I want to work; all this out carefully, but you will see at a glance that I am on the right track. It will take more study in physiology, on the relations between the higher and lower centres, to fill out the psychology of mind Chitta (mind-stuff), and Buddhi (intellect), and so on. But I have clear light now, free of all hocus-pocus. I want to give them dry, hard reason, softened in the sweetest syrup of love and made spicy with intense work, and cooked in the kitchen of Yoga, so that even a baby can easily digest it.”

–Swami Vivekananda

(A Letter To Mr. E.T. Sturdy. 228 W. 39th Street, New York, February, 13, 1896.

llyesterdat  asked:

What do you think about Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, paganism, and other beliefs?

Judaism is plain false. They believe in the same war god the Christians believe in. Their eschatology was either borrowed or at best co-created alongside Zoroastrians. The rabbis condone unspeakable things in the Talmud and that’s not to mention open disagreements that can’t be coming from the same source. Judaism is plagued by the same thing other religions are plagued by: the fingerprints of religious men. If it were truly a revelation, the fingerprints of men wouldn’t be present at all. If it were a religion revealed by a god that is nothing like humans, there wouldn’t be obvious examples of pedophilia considered halakah, which is a term signifying that an act is in accordance with Jewish law. Jews till this day celebrate Simeon ben Yohai, a rabbi who endorsed pedophilia.

Hinduism and Buddhism are quite connected. The ancient asceticisms were noble, in part, but today’s Hinduism is quite disconnected from that. It’s far more diverse with each locality having their gods and representations of certain gods. Secular versions of Advaita Vedanta or Zen Buddhism are unproblematic as these would ask us to achieve mental equanimity, inner peace, self-control, and a number of valuable things. There’s that and meditation is beneficial. I regard Hindu and Buddhist myths as false; asuras, the Narakas, reincarnation, and their entire eschatology are bunk. I also regard the gods of Hinduism as false, for some are credited with creating the universe and I maintain that this universe simply isn’t created and could not have been.

Sikhism has a militant history, but also has palpable connections to Islam and Hinduism. The issue in Sikhism is similar to what I discussed about Judaism: too many gurus purporting to have a revelation from Ik Onkar. This revelation is achieved through nadar and this is how truth is received and known. Yet the gurus had known disagreements. Once again, the fingerprints of men are too present, the desires of men too pronounced. 

Paganism is quite the umbrella term, but included in it are mythology like the now dead religions of the Ancient Greeks, Romans, and indigenous African cultures, the mystery religions that emerged alongside Christianity, and the occult: theosophy, Thelema, Satanism, and Wicca. My knowledge of each varies, but I’ve found enough in all to know that while some of them teach lessons of value and point to truths, specifically about humans, none of them are worth my affiliation. Thelema, for example, has a Kantian principle at its core: in the Liber, the Thelemite is to respect the autonomy of others. “Do what thou wilt” extends not only to oneself, but to others, and this is achieved in realizing that the distinction between oneself and other people is entirely an illusion. As such, the autonomy in you is also the autonomy in them; implicit in this is the Kantian idea of treating others as ends in themselves rather than as means, treating them as self-governing beings rather than seeking ways to use and exploit them. This, to my mind, is probably the marquee truth in all of ethics and it is echoed in Thelema. Despite that, however, I see no good reason to devote myself to the three gods in The Book of the Law.

Ultimately, a religion that earns my affiliation would either have a god that actually exists, rituals that have demonstrable utility, and/or an cosmogony and/or eschatology that is in keeping with what we know about the universe through science. Any religion that is false, unethical, inhumane, or impractical in some way isn’t worth my affiliation. That’s precisely why I’m not religious. Religion is a product of culture, but it is also a response to some sociopolitical need at some given time in that culture’s history. This is why ancient religions that still exist today have as a part of them these inexplicable stories and laws that make modern folks cringe. There’s obviously something repulsive about asking parents to take their disobedient children to the city to get stoned to death and yet, this is exactly what we find in the Bible. Whatever the ancient Jews’ needs were are unbeknownst to us, but such a law makes no sense in the eyes of modern people. Religious law, philosophy, and cosmogony are outmoded and should be treated as such. No religion is a revelation; they are all an inadequate response to a problem at some time in a culture’s history. Clearly, these purported solutions might have covered the wound, but in many cases, they allowed for it to get infected.

Note: I’d like to point out that I lumped in what some may consider cults, but cults and religions are difficult to demarcate and develop over very similar trajectories. While religions serve more communal needs, cults may serve a personal need or the needs of a small group. Joseph Smith may have fabricated his numerous visions just so that he could have multiple wives. Or he could have been trying to undermine the Orthodoxy. Whatever his motivation, it was personal. Mormonism might have started out as a cult, but today it’s a recognized religion.

24 is your age and you wouldn’t be able to tell by the smooth blush of your cheek, the constellation-kissed skin of your nose. you could be fifteen by the shrug of your blazer around your narrow shoulders, but you’re 24 and you’re too old to be playing the spy.

18 is the number of steps to the basement. 18 is the one-two one-two click of kitten heels on dirty cement and side-step around a white collared, glossy-badged senior agent who doesn’t even see you because you’re 18 steps closer to below ground, 18 steps closer to the invisibility he wears like a cloak, 18 steps closer. 

7 seconds is how long he shakes your hand, swings it back and forth like a play-ground swing. he feeds you lines from your thesis, knew your mind before he knew your face. the projector paints you in the supernatural. you blink against the light when he smiles. 

3 is the number of syllables he drawls into “plausible” like he’s reversing the definition. he’s a half-finished magic trick, and you watch him to try and catch him stutter in his sleight of hand. 

30000 feet is how high you are above the ground and you were always endlessly earthbound, sea-legs, rock of the tide. he closes his eyes, stretches across the seat across the aisle like he owns it, like it’s his own leather couch (and you don’t know if he has a leather couch, but you think he should) and you think you like that, the way he touches things like they’re already familiar. 

295 miles is the length of oregon east to west, sunrise to sunset. he drives with one hand on the wheel and asks you about eschatology. you’re not squeamish about these things, but your stomach does a half-turn low in your abdomen every quarter of a mile. you laugh and the window sends it back to you packaged like an echo. 

1 is the number of possible alien bodies you discover in a cracked casket. it is a marked increase from the number you expected. you push your glasses up higher on your nose and tell him so with the slant of your gaze. 

11 pm is the time it is when you turn him away from your door, bouncing on his heels like a beta wave that’s breaking away from its core. you rub the curtains through your hands, paperback pages between your thumb and forefinger, and lose sight of him across the dark, wet horizon. 

5 is the number on his motel door when you knock out a nervous rhythm against the wood. three, you think, was the number of spots clustered low on the base of your spine and years from now you’ll think - you’ll think something must have changed, a realignment of poles, when he pressed candle-warmed fingers to the skin just above the dip of your hips: the place on your skin you’d deemed its own x-file. and it’s fitting, it’s somehow un-ironic, that this inexplicable spot is the first place he touches you.

200 is the thread count of the motel sheets. they are seedy love-affair sheets, dime-store romance cotton made to be used, abused, tangled and gripped in fists. they are secret-telling sheets, and he lowers his voice against the side of the bed. you rest your cheek on your hand while the moon plays the mathematician against the curve of his jaw, calculating angles on the lines of his cheeks. he tells you stories without endings until the phone rings. 

113 is the number of raindrops that fall per square foot per second during a thunderstorm. but the number feels exponential, raised to a higher degree in the early morning of an oregon graveyard. your logic presses against his hypothetical like trees blown together against wind. twin smiles crack across your faces like lightning. you laugh in tandem and, even for a scientist, the decibels are incalculable. 

12 is the number of impossible tasks hercules overcame to obtain salvation. your mind dwells on myth but functions in rationale; he speaks in legends and twists tales with his tongue. you put down the phone and pick up your weapons. this is the numerology of beginnings. this is step one.

—  nine is the number of minutes you lose when you look at him (episode 1) // j.a.s

God needed to leave someone he could trust in charge while away on vacation. So he created a robot god, and being in a hurry he didn’t realize that if there are two omnipotent beings, singularity becomes an impermeable duality. None the wiser, God made his new robot god and split for Cabo San Lucas for the weekend.

On Saturday after getting drunk in awful tourist trap God found himself in an amateur wresting match on the other side of the tracks, pitted against a massive luchador called El Poopo.  El Poopo’s finishing move was called ‘Aplastar!’ it involved El Poopo whipping his opponent into the turnbuckle and then launching his four hundred pounds into them. No one usually got hurt because the turnbuckle was padded. Little did anyone realize that young Raoul Huerta, the 9 year old janitor at the gym, used the padding for a little bed and had forgot to put it back. So, God hit the turn buckle full force and got his bell rung when El Poopo launched into him.

After that no one was sure what happened. Some say God wandered off to Belize and started a peyote cult, others say he ended up in Tijuana, a drunkard in the street, sometimes turning himself into an eagle for a couple of pesos. I heard he went back to heaven but they wouldn’t let him in.

All this time, the new robot god and old true god, arguing over the price of a bottle of tequila.

Apocalyptic thought has at times been criticized for its ‘pie-in-the-sky-by-and-by’ attitude. Critics have accused apocalyptic writers of encouraging people to focus only on the world to come with the result that the present world, with its social and political ills, is ignored. Apocalyptic ideas, they claim, lull people into accepting life as it is now by offering them hope for the afterlife. This is an unfair critique of apocalyptic writings, however. Properly understood, these writings are a challenge to the established order of things, not an endorsement or even an acceptance of them. Apocalyptic literature calls upon its readers to resist the charms and delusions of the present world, to look beyond them and see a better world, to realize the ultimate authority in the world. The vision of the world as God intends it should serve as a catalyst for resistance and change, not a sedative to encourage hopeless acceptance of the current situation.
—  Mitchell G. Reddish, Apocalyptic Literature:  A Reader

“Suddenly, as the century drew to a close, that great uncertainty spun on its axis, and the derision of madness took over from the seriousness of death. From the knowledge of that fatal necessity that reduces man to dust we pass to a contemptuous contemplation of the nothingness that is life itself. The fear before the absolute limit of death becomes interiorised in a continual process of ironisation. Fear was disarmed in advance, made derisory by being tamed and rendered banal, and constantly paraded in the spectacle of life. Suddenly, it was there to be discerned in the mannerisms, failings and vices of normal people. Death as the destruction of all things no longer had meaning when life was revealed to be a fatuous sequence of empty words, the hollow jingle of a jester’s cap and bells. The death’s head showed itself to be a vessel already empty, for madness was the being-already-there of death. Death’s conquered presence, sketched out in these everyday signs, showed not only that its reign had already begun, but also that its prize was a meagre one. Death unmasked the mask of life, and nothing more: to show the skull beneath the skin it had no need to remove beauty or truth, but merely to remove the plaster or the tawdry clothes. The carnival mask and the cadaver share the same fixed smile. But the laugh of madness is an anticipation of the rictus grin of death, and the fool, the harbinger of the macabre, draws death’s sting.”

Michel Foucault, from History of Madness tr. Jonathan Murphy and Jean Khalfa


“Why you shouldn’t believe ‘Heaven is For Real’”

This 5 minute video is so important.

What has eschatology to do with ethics? What has the new heavens and new earth, for which we long, have to do with my moral struggles here and now? Exactly this, I’ll tell you . Love is not our duty, it is our destiny. Love is the language they speak in the new creation and we get to learn it here. Oh, it’s difficult. There are lots of irregular verbs. There’s vocabulary that will be very difficult to get into your head and get your tongue round. But learn it and one day you’ll be singing in it.
—  N.T. Wright

Myth Parallels → The End of Time

“The end time (also called end times, end of time, end of days, last days, final days, or eschaton) is a future time-period described variously in the eschatologies of several world religions (both Abrahamic and non-Abrahamic), which believe that world events will achieve a final climax.” {x}

suggested by anon (thank you!)

Would you be happy in heaven if Christ were not there?

The critical question for our generation—and for every generation— is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beau- ties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?

John Piper (2005). God is the Gospel (p.15). Crossway Books.