25 September 2014

Not the Droid you're looking for?

Three droids for the Coder Kings under the sky
 Seven for the Venture Lords in their halls of stone
  Nine for Tech Support doomed to die
    One for the Droid Lord on his Dark Throne
        In the land of Google where the data lie

 One droid to rule them all
  One droid to find them
    One droid to bring them all
And in the darkness bind them
    In the land of Google where the data lie.

Sponsa Christi quae per orbem

Bride of Christ, whose glorious warfare
Here on earth hath never rest;
Lift thy voice, and tell the triumphs
Of the holy and the blest;
Joyous be the day we hallow,
Feast of all the saints on high,
Earth and Heav’n together blending
In one solemn harmony.

First the bless├Ęd virgin mother,
Reunited to her Son,
Leads the host of ransomed people,
Who unfading crowns have won;
John, the herald, Christ’s forerunner,
More than prophet, leads his throng,
Seer and patriarch responsive
Unto psalmist in their song.

Lo, the twelve, majestic princes,
In the court of Jesus sit,
Calmly watching, while the conflict
Rages far beneath their feet;
Lo, the martyrs, robed in crimson,
Sign of life blood freely spent,
Finding life, because they lost it,
Dwell in undisturbed content.

All the saintly host who witnessed
Good confessions for His sake—
Priest and deacon, world renouncing,
Of their Master’s joy partake;
Virgins to the Lamb devoted,
Following with steadfast love,
Bring their lilies and their roses
To the marriage feast above.

All, their happy lot fulfilling,
God omnipotent proclaim;
Holy, holy, holy, crying,
Glory to His holy name!
So may God in mercy grant us
Here to serve in holiness,
Till He call us to the portion
Which His saints in light possess.

- Translated from Latin by John Ellerton (1826-1893)

24 September 2014

The Abrahamic Faiths

"All gods are one god, and all goddesses are one goddess, and there is one initiator."
 - Dion Fortune, The Sea Priestess
In some streams of modern Neopaganism and New Age teaching this text by Dion Fortune is nearly a credo: that there is but One Divine Source, no matter what the name that we call, what the path that we walk.  This teaching reaches back to ancient mystery religions and Western philosophy.  Socrates was already discussing "god" rather than "gods". This is not a theological statement about the Deity, but about man: We make up stories about god or gods but we're all talking about the same thing.

For Neopagans, there is an on-going discussion about "the gods" and reality: are the gods "real" or just projections onto a Nameless Mystery or only Jungian Archetypes that help us understand ourselves? All of these questions play out in other communities, of course.  One Anglican priest, known to me to be a self described Atheist, reports to having rediscovered his inner deity by reading Rodney Bromford's "Symmetry of God", a purely psychological discussion of the "god idea" as good for self-healing.  Think also of the "Higher Power" of the 12 Step Programs, where the "Higher Power" can be anything from "a god" to a tree, the Superego. From there you can either say that "thing" is a real thing or not.  The steps between "All gods are one God" and "God is dead" and "There is no god" are all far too short.