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Friday, November 29, 2013

Crime and Punishment: re-thinking the message of Christ in the Book of Revelation



"Crime and Punishment" is my take on the New Testament book of Revelation.

It seems clear to me from the parables of Christ that his teaching was intended to open the minds of men and women to a greater understanding of the meaning of their existence.  This story (in the previous link) he told of the wayward son who wasted all his father gave him is generally taught as a story of forgiveness.  However it is more than that because it reveals that the son is not merely forgiven but a child of the house he left. He was always the son of the Father, he would always be the son of the Father. And that never changed. He may have ended up in the gutter with a meth pipe in his mouth, but he was still able to come home freely to his Father. His Father did not lay any guilt trips on him when he came home. The purpose of Christ's teaching was to show those who were wallowing in misery the nature of their own being that somebody, their maker, thought they were worth something. Not only that, he didn't hold anything against them.

The activity of the Christian Church through the ages is evidence it never understood what Jesus was talking about. It made 'politically correct' decisions enabling it to harmonize with the status quo orchestrated by the secular state. Thus the Church became Babylon, the whoring wife of Christ, who declared his kingdom was not of this world.


Christian doctrine has, in my way of thinking, turned Christ into a joke. It presents a God who will send a man to burn in hell forever if he has failed to confess the theft of a candy bar as a child. The English executed people for offenses like that at one point in their history.

They never claimed that the judge loved them while he was hanging them for petty theft or that he was  'merciful' for sending them to the hell hole of Australia. It was representative of the justice of the elite classes defending their private property. These petty thieves were people that needed to be gotten rid of. The book "Orphans of History: The Forgotten Children of the First Fleet" by Robert Holden is an eye opener.  It gives a look into that history of Great Britain which claims the name of Christ and his religion as theirs. The book is hard to find, but I suggest getting a copy and reading it.

The video below is the result of meditating on the meaning of Christ apart from sectarian interpretations.






Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Few Minutes With A Bunch Of Coots (nature photography)












Coots, sometimes called Mud Hens, are fun to watch. The coot is mainly an herbivore. But not entirely.  In the video you can see it diving.

The camera, a Canon Rebel, did a good job.  You can actually see the silvery body of the coot coming up from under the surface in one of the video clips. They stay underwater quite a while. Not as long as cormorants. The coot dives down and fetches vegetation which is a large part of its diet.

They have ruby red eye eyes and their adult feathers are slate grey. Their feet look like chickens feet that tried to be a ducks foot and gave up when it was half way done.  When they congregate in the yard they look like a flock of black chickens.

They're fun to watch and quickly learn if they can expect a hand out.










a Clear Running Water state of mind
 
Photographs, video and article by David H. Roche
 
(C) 2013
 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Grandma I Hate Climate Change

A video I made about the decisions to dig coal for export to be burned in foreign countries because it is profitable.


Friday, November 22, 2013

They Chose Carbon (updated)

Updated 11/23/2013


"They Chose Carbon" is meant to be received as a metaphor referencing the values of the status quo. Human civilization stands at the edge of the abyss created by natural consequences, human choice and cosmic fate. Karma blossoms are soon to bloom,  Having sown to the wind, the harvest is a whirlwind. 

These are lessons I was taught about being responsible for my behavior. It is a principle embraced by many spiritual perspectives from Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism as well as the traditions of Christianity and the Jewish religion. I have added links to sacred texts from the different spiritual traditions the human race has developed throughout its endeavor to figure things out. They make insightful reading and I remark frequently to myself how they resonate with the things Jesus taught.



Do humans bear any responsibility for the choices made with regard to caring for the environment? In particular the issue of carbon which is a topic of public conversation at the present as represented by this New York Times article by Justin Gillis titled "Heat Trapping Gas Passes Milestone Raising Fears" published May 10, 2013. 

The independent news program Democracy Now has been on the scene reporting on the United Nations Climate Change Summit again this year.  Click to find out the information Amy Goodman and crew are discovering and revealing to the rest of us.

I suppose the answer one arrives at will be different for people who hold different views of the nature of humanity and therefore themselves. I did a search to find out how the Tea Party felt about this climate change issue and found an article by Suzanne Goldenberg in The Guardian of October 24, 2010

Is there a moral responsibility that goes along with existence with regard to maintaining the viability of the earth?  Put it another way and ask, "Is it immoral to make the world uninhabitable for others?"  In the end does it matter what we do?



Why is this inquiry necessary?  Many voices have set about to convince you of one point of view or another. Confusion is the result of many voices.  Being confident of any information from a politician or special interest group is like believing your priest, pastor or banker. They will tell you 'right' from their point of view. But are they credible?  Do their rules correspond to the reality that is your experience?

I would suggest the use of common sense.  Common sense is an attribute we all have when our minds are not awash in a maelstrom of information from meme makers and propaganda bullshit artists in positions of supposed authority in government and media. Remove yourself from the babel.

 
 
 
Once you are centered in yourself you can discern what's on the end of that long newspaper spoon William Burroughs informed us of.  That galvanizing moment when you realize what it means and who it is that is feeding you full of fears and creating a world no one wants to live in.
 
Okay I made the video below. You can decide if I should have taken the time.








Article video and art by David H. Roche (C) 2013

 
a Clear Running Water state of mind




Monday, November 18, 2013

I Remember You: short fiction by David H. Roche


I Remember You


by David H. Roche

written 8/28/06


revised 11 /18 / 2013
(C) David H. Roche


a story inspired by a song titled "I Remember Loving You" 





Hauling himself up into the freight car as it lurched abruptly he stumbled sprawling against a wall where he turned, pressing himself into the corner and slid down to the floor.  He blew slowly on his fingers, warming them and drew his battered suitcase close to his side hunching forward to save the meager heat of his body inside his coat.

The glare of the freight yard lights flashed through slats in the boxcar door.  Shivering he attempted further to pull inside of himself to escape the cold.  But it was impossible.

Across from him there was the outline of another man huddled in the cold.  He saw the bright orange dot of a cigarette suspended in darkness.  As his eyes adjusted he saw  he had two companions; a man and small dog. 

The train gained speed. Despite the rattle and the jostling he acknowledged his companions with a wave. Settling back he drew inside of himself to control the trembling. There was nothing else but the cold that made him aware he was alive.

The two of them sat across from each other as the train moved. When the train slowed, creaking and jerking to a stop his companion rose, swaying and crossed the length of the car sitting down next to him.  The dog followed, lying alongside of him with his muzzle on the man’s thigh. "Name's Jack,"  the man said.

He looked at Jack.  They were about the same age as far as he could tell.  He reached and stroked the dogs head and said:  "Gabriel; call me Gabe."


The two sat next to each other, their shoulders rubbing as the train jerked again, lurching abruptly picking up speed. Jack reached into his pocket drawing out a bottle and handed it to Gabe saying: "This'll keep the chill off."


Gabe took it thankfully unscrewing the cap taking a swig.  The liquid burned all the way down his throat into the pit of his empty stomach where it settled like a pool of hot lava.  He savored the burning and quickly took a second swig, and another before handing it back.  "Thanks.  I don’t touch it often; sometimes it gets out of hand."


“Yeah, that can happen.  But here's to a merry Christmas anyway."

"Christmas?", Gabe said.


"Yeah, it's Christmas Eve.”  Jack looked at him:  “You didn't know?"

"No. God, I didn't know.  Christmas?   Well, merry Christmas I guess."  Gabe sat quietly, rocking and swaying with the motion of the train.  The whiskey went from his stomach and into his brain the way a mellow summer afternoon becomes an all-encompassing ambiance. After a few minutes he asked:  "What's his name?"


"Ah, the dog. He’s Harry. I named him after the President.  He's tough as nails  ... an honest pup.  I can always count on him."

"Got three of these," Jack said patting the bottle.  Found a box sitting behind a truck outside a liquor store, snatched them before the driver came back.  I figured it would make for a nice Christmas."  He sipped from the bottle and passed it to his companion.  "Glad I got someone to share it with, Christmas and all."


Gabe repeated the word to himself, "Christmas."  It was more in wonder than anything.  Wonder that he hadn't known. Wonder that what had meant so much before could pass unnoticed now.


They drank together shoulder to shoulder sharing the warmth in the bottle and their bodies as they rocked in place with the motion of the train.  Gabe took a half empty pouch of tobacco from his pocket, removed a pinch and spread it along the crease of a rolling paper.  He'd done it many times and none spilled as he moistened the seam and put it between his lips. He struck a match and after taking a drag handed the pouch to Jack who took it saying; "Thanks.”


The two men sat talking while they smoked, passing the bottle back and forth.  Jack was coming from New York and heading to California or maybe Oregon hoping to find warmer weather and pick fruit and maybe get a room.  He had wanted to get going earlier in the year but ended up in jail in New York and had just been released a week before. 


"I’m not really going anywhere", Gabe replied.  "Just some place warm enough for my clothes."


"Any family?"; Jack asked.


"Yeah, I got…”, then stopped. “No not really.  None I can go and see, so I guess not." 

Gabe pushed back into the crevice with Jack where the corners made a ninety degree angle and settled into the comfort of the alcohol.  Already the numbness from the frigid night was vanishing, replaced with an imitation of warmth as the amber liquid radiated like a hearth inside of him.


"How's it going Harry?"  He stroked the dog’s head absently but his thoughts were drifting without his will back to another Christmas Eve. 


It was a Christmas Eve four years before that Gabe remembered as the whiskey and conversation released him from his preoccupation with the cold reality of the boxcar. 


The first bottle was emptied and the second opened.  Gabe spoke absently to Harry.  Harry nuzzled his snout into his master’s lap and gave a sigh. 


Gabe's thoughts went their own way as the three rocked back and forth together in the semi-darkness.


He remembered the Christmas Eve that had brought him to this place in time.  He didn’t want to.  But his memories were a cascade that seemed to have no end.  His mother, and Sherry came to mind; both gone forever from him now. 


The ring that was to be Sherry's had been his mother's engagement ring.  It was a two carat diamond in a platinum setting. It was the only thing of value he had.  But he had come on hard times and had to get a loan against it at Goldfarb’s pawn shop.   He had made weekly payments.   As Christmas approached he made double payments from October on and had it all paid off except for the last payment he was going to make that Christmas Eve after work so he could take it home to Sherry.  It was an engagement ring for the second time.  The thought of Sherry's face when he would put the ring on her finger that evening had made him smile all day.  That's what he told everyone when he stopped at O'Leary's for drinks after work. 

He had gotten carried away and forgot the time.  When he looked at his watch he knew that he'd have to hurry.  By the time he got there it was just past closing but he saw Goldfarb locking the door and turning to go down the street.  He ran up behind him and called:  "Sol.  I'm glad I caught you.  I need to get my ring."

The pawn broker continued walking and didn't turn to acknowledge him.

"Hey Sol," he called again as Goldfarb continued without responding.  "I was afraid I'd miss you, wait up."


Goldfarb turned slowly and looked at him with eyes absent the light the living have and said: "I'm closed.  See me after the holiday."

"Sol.  It's me, Gabe Walker; I've got the last payment.  Just open up and let me get the ring.  It won't take more than a minute."  Gabe grabbed Goldfarb's sleeve, "I need to get my ring tonight.  It's an engagement ring for my fiancé.  It's Christmas Eve."


"I know who you are and you're late.  I'm closed and I'm going home. We have a celebration tonight.  You should have gotten here earlier.  See me after the holidays."  He removed Gabe's hand from his sleeve and walked away.

 Gabe grabbed him again and held on.

Goldfarb turned to him with the same lack of emotion he had cultivated during 40 years behind the counter in his shop.  He looked at him with the same eyes he used to view those whose humanity he refused to recognize as he took their money and sold their possessions when they couldn’t redeem them:  "It's not your ring until you make the last payment.  It's my ring until then.  I'm closed.  Good night, have a merry Christmas."  

He yanked his arm out of Gabe's' grip, turned away down the sidewalk into an alleyway leading to his car behind the storefront.  Gabe watched him as others hurried home to celebrations and families.  His anger rose and turned into despair.  "The hell I will you god damned piece of shit."  He ran after him down the unlit alley and jumped on his back dragging him down.

The two men struggled but Gabe was stronger. Goldfarb, older and weak from decades behind the counter was no match for the younger man whose strength came from manhandling swine carcasses in the slaughterhouse five days a week.  Gabe subdued him quickly and went through the older mans pockets.  Finding the keys he ran to the pawnshop leaving Goldfarb on the ground.

Once inside he went right to where he knew the ring was and grabbed it.  He placed the last payment along with the keys on the counter, and left.  He gave a fleeting thought to Goldfarb as he passed the alleyway and almost went in to see if he was alright.  But then said to himself: "The hell with the god damned bastard," and walked past. 

What had made him snap?  Whether it had been the afternoon drinking, the anger at Goldfarb or the thought that he would come home empty handed to Sherry who deserved more than he could ever give her.  He had never been able to figure it out and he had run it through his mind a thousand times.  But what he did know was that he had taken the ring and left Goldfarb in a heap, gasping for breath in the dark.

Sherry had been as happy as a girl is when the man she loves gives her a diamond.  But the day after Christmas Goldfarb's murder was front page news.  Apparently there had been a witness.  The police had also lifted a fingerprint from the jewelry counter. Gabe had a record and it wasn't long before they knew who to look for.

A few days later there was a flashing red glare across the walls of their flat.  He nervously pulled the curtain back and looked out the window.  There were two Chicago Police cars stopped and two cops in the street below were looking up at his apartment.  He didn't have time to explain. And in the cold rumbling box car he could see Sherry standing there trembling and scared repeating: "What's going on Gabe?  What's going on?"  He had run out the back door of the apartment and down the stairs. She had heard a knock at their door and found the police standing there. 

Running for his life, dashing through alleys, across busy streets, and over railroad tracks he ended up in the freight yards and found himself in a boxcar.  The next day he was in Idaho.

Jack nudged his ribs rousing him from the reverie and offered him the bottle again. He took it gladly, gulping it.  Settling back more memories filled him. The rocking of the car settled him and the cold seemed only to be outside. The warm glow inside gave him comfort and distance from everything.

Behind his eyes he saw Sherry again and now she was telling him she was pregnant.  He remembered how she was scared. But he had taken her in his arms and swung her around in the center of the parlor, they ended up giggling, kissing and laughing.  That was the summer before Goldfarb's death.  They would be married before the baby was born and they began to make plans and choose names.

But by the next summer he was in California and by October had made his way back to Chicago hoping to find Sherry and their child.  He found out where she was living through friends who told him where she was, warning him that the police were still asking about him.  They told him something more. She had married one of his friends who promised to look after her.  And the baby was a boy.


In the frigid night images passed behind his eyes and leaked down his cheeks.  The plans they had made and the happiness they had felt were like the leaves of autumn after a glorious summer.  But summer was gone, none the less.

He had gone to the neighborhood where she was living.  After walking the street all morning he saw her pushing a carriage and stop at a market.  From the doorway of a tobacco shop across the street he watched her talking with Graziano, the grocer.  There was a forlorn sensation in his chest as she bent and lifted his son from the carriage. She jiggled him on her hip as she talked with Graziano and selected produce.  He wondered what she had named him. 

He wanted to rush across the street and take her in his arms, but he didn’t. 

In the cold night air he felt the desire as vividly as he had felt it that day. He bent his head and wept, his body shaking uncontrollably. 

He felt Jack's hand on his back. When he opened his eyes, he saw in the flashing lights from outside the expression of the most supreme kindness in Jack’s face.  Without words his eyes conveyed the deepest sympathy and tenderness.  .


In the grubby, rattling boxcar traveling through the night a transcendence of some sort had occurred.  A light in the darkness was turned on.   He pressed his face against the filthy fabric of his companions coat and cried until he couldn't cry anymore.  The comforting arm was a refuge. As his sobbing slowly ended he heard Jack's voice:  "Christmas is always hard for men like us,"  and offered him the bottle again. 


"Yeah, Christmas is always hard," Gabe answered.  He took the bottle and drank deeply finally passing into something that resembled sleep. 


When he opened his eyes he was cold and hungry.  The train was stopped at a siding.  He couldn't tell where it was; only that it was a little warmer than the night before.  They rolled cigarettes and sat side by side smoking silently.  Jack opened the third bottle, took a drink and handed it to Gabe. 

Around daybreak the door of the car was drawn open and a disheveled visage appeared in the opening struggling to climb in.  It was a woman.  Jack scrambled to the doorway grabbing her hand, pulling her into the car as the train began to move.  She sprawled forward onto the floor and sat up.   Harry approached her cautiously, wagging his tail slowly, and sniffed her.

There was a wild look in her eyes.

"Merry Christmas", Jack said.

She said nothing until after looking back and forth between the two men and the dog, ascertaining they were all who were in the freight car with her.  Her first words were:  "I could use a cigarette". 

Gabe handed her his pouch.  "I'm Gabe, he's Jack, and that's Harry."  He pointed to the dog.  "Jack's going to California or Oregon.  I'm just going."

He waited for her to say where she was headed, but she offered nothing.  Finally she said; "I'm Angel.  God, it was cold last night."  She trembled, shivering as she looked back and forth at each of them.  "The bastards in the jungle wouldn't keep their hands off me. Every time I went near the fire they started pawing me.  You know, like I’ve got time or interest in that!”  She made her point clear by fixing her eyes on theirs as she spoke.  “I couldn't sleep because I had to keep my eye on them.  Finally I knocked one out with a rock and left.”


"The jungle can be rough if you're a woman and got no one to watch out for you." Jack said and pulled the bottle from his pocket handing it to her.  She took it without hesitation and gulped quickly.


"About thirty, had been pretty ... but beat up now."  Jack thought.  Her face was smudged and darkened lines filled creases below her eyes. She was less than thin looking ravished like a milkweed in tatters at the end of summer.  She sipped, shuddering at the burn of the whiskey.  Then waited a moment and took a larger sip and another before leaning back against the side of the car between the men.

Becoming comfortable with her new companions she said: "I've got some food."  She took a mashed loaf of white bread from inside her coat and laid it on her lap.  Then she took out another equally misshapen loaf and laid it next to the other one. 


The men's eyes opened wide.  Jack said: "That looks awful good Angel.  I’ve had nothing but whiskey for two days now."

"It's better than nothing, here."  She picked up the loaf and broke off a piece handing it to him explaining with a laugh:  "The grocer chased me down the street, but I never looked back.  I just kept runnin'.  I'm not gonna starve when someone's got more food than they need."


"There's a lot who don't have anything and a few that got more than they need;" Gabe said.

Jack took the hunk of gooey white bread and pulled it apart with his fingers letting it dissolve in his mouth.  Angel took another piece from the loaf and passed it to Gabe.  Jack passed the bottle.  They ate and drank silently together.


"Here Harry."  Angel put a piece of the bread in front of the dog.  He devoured it and looked  into her eyes imploring her for more.  She gave him another piece and he ate it just as quickly.  She patted him and he lay down resting his head on her leg, never taking his eyes from the remaining bread.

"Angel remembered you Harry, even if I didn't.  Sorry old boy."  Jack stroked the dogs back and Harry sighed deeply.

"Got a family Angel?"  Gabe asked.

"I had a man and a son; a baby boy."

"Had?"

"His father killed him, the son of a bitch.  He shook him cause' he wouldn't stop cryin'.  He was only hungry and the bastard couldn't afford a place for us to stay or a meal.  He just shook him till he snapped his neck.”

"Bastard is right.  But why are you here?"

"I couldn't stay with him after he did that and he was all I had after he killed my son.  I buried my baby in a jungle in Idaho and left the damned bastard there.”

"So where are you going?"

"Hadn't thought about it.  Right now I'm just goin' I guess. I'm sure I’ll find out." 

"I think we always find out at some point," Jack answered as much to himself as her.

Gabe said: "Yeah, I guess that's what I'm doin' too.  Don't know if I'll ever find out though."  He was silent for a moment:  "I try to make sense of it all and I can’t."


The train jerked abruptly, began moving and picked up speed. The freight yard passed in a blur and the morning light brightened, flickering through the door of the car illuminating Angel's face as she passed the second loaf to her companions. Each man took the loaf and tore a piece from it.  The loaf was shared between the four of them until it was gone.

"You got to keep going' " she said.  “Ain’t no use in stopping cause it seems everyplace you stop is bad’.”

Gabe answered: "Some people got a place to go.  Jack's going to California, or someplace out there to find work.  Others like you and me are just going, going away from everything, not to somethin'."

"Well" she said, "the way I see it we're all going to something.  Sometimes you can't tell from where you are but that’s what you’re doing.  I think you don't find out till you get there.  Maybe we're always there and don’t know it. In any case we just got to keep going and take what we got now.  This might be all there is.  We'd be mighty poor if we threw it away looking for something else if this is all there is.”

They sat silently together until she let out an piercing cry and crumpled onto her side in pain rolling over with her head landing in Gabe’s lap.   Her long coat opened. It wasn't until then that the men saw she was pregnant.

"It's time!” she cried. “Oh God no, don’t let it be time.”  Her face twisted with fear and pain.

Jack helped her stretch out on the floor and took some soiled clothes from his bag placing them under her head. He spoke soothingly to her: "I know what to do.  I delivered two babies in one night in a jungle in South Dakota.  As long as nothing goes wrong there ain't nothing to get excited about.  You're gonna be alright Angel."  He stroked her matted hair and his voice reassured her as the train with its cargo traveled on. 

Gabe cradled her head as Jack tended to her.  The fear in her eyes vanished by degrees as she listened to Jack’s voice. Slowly she realized that he knew what to do.  She screamed and her body contorted.  Some time in the afternoon before the sun went down she gave birth.  Jack poured the remaining whiskey on his hands and rubbed them together catching the babe as it was pushed out into the world. 

He opened Angel's blouse and laid the baby on her chest, quickly covering her with her ragged coat. 

Clasping the new life to her breast she asked:  "What is it?”

"It's a boy," Jack said.

"A boy, a baby boy!"  She began to cry but her tears turned to laughter and she clasped the unnamed infant tightly.laughing and crying on the floor holding her precious son as the train rocked them back and forth.

Gabe got up and went to another corner to give her privacy as she nursed the infant.  He sat and rolled a cigarette, gazing in astonishment at Angel and the baby boy lying in a pile of dirty clothing on the filthy floor of a freight car on Christmas Day.


They were going that’s for sure; he still didn’t know if they were going someplace or just moving.  But it seemed to him now that they were going together, all five of them; Angel, Jack, Harry, the unnamed baby boy, and himself. 

Something had changed.  Something had happened. They had been thrown together with their separate needs, helping each other with the little they possessed.  He wasn't able to say what it was he felt.  But it was something to do with hope and the quality of human kindness.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


I took the time to collect some photographs and art and read the story to put on YouTube. It's something I enjoy doing.  Here it is.  You can listen as I read story above.  I made some slight edits to remove some of the clumsiness.  I most likely need to do more work on it.  But the story seems to me to be a compelling and humanly spiritual story.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Night Sounds A poem by David H. Roche


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Night Sounds

 

Between intervals of sleep
rain taps like fingers
on the roof,

 
                                                                          the wind abruptly shakes the trees
                                                                                    leaving quietly …
                                                                                    before returning.

                                                                           In the meantime a kitten under the blankets
                                                                                     snuggles against my chest, warm,
                                                                                     purring loudly.

Poetry and photography by David H. Roche

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Coffee: a poem

Coffee and blueberry pie at 4 a.m. in an all night diner.



Coffee: A Poem About Life With Coffee

In the morning
coffee wakes me up,

by afternoon
coffee picks me up.

In the evening
or late at night;

anytime with coffee
is time spent right.






Click on the video for a reading of the poem and some original art.
 
Photography and art by David H. Roche
"Coffee" written and spoken by David H. Roche
(C) 2013
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Merry Christmas From Jack and Qkjea


I have many memories of Christmas. Not all of them are happy. Most of them are. Recently Christmas has taken on an expanded meaning as I seriously began to inquire into what Christ means to the human race.

For much of the world, history is referred to as divided before and after the birth of Jesus. That confirms the significance of the impact the appearance of Jesus has left on the world.

Jesus is generally recognized as having been born in the early years of the 1st century. For an interesting insight into life in year one you can take a look at NPR's interview with religious scholar Scott Korb who has written "Life in Year One: What the World Was Like in First-Century Palestine" .  This is an immensely interesting and informative interview.

It was a hard life which did not last much past the mid 40's at best.  There were no effective social provisions to address the needs of the citizen.  No healthcare. Often there was not enough food and outbreaks of insanity or other diseases were rampant. Misery was the lot of the average citizen.

To top it off the known world was under the foot of the Roman Empire. In the 1st century the Roman Empire was the most highly developed form of military and political agency ever developed by man. It is appropriate, therefore, that in one gospel passage the Christmas story begins with the entire world being taxed. You can't have an empire without taxes.

It was the cosmic as well as the political circumstances which drew Mary and  Joseph to Bethlehem. That is where they had to go to pay their taxes.  The previous two links are to the bible passages describing the appearance of the expected deliverer, the Messiah.

The expected Messiah was an archetype whose light had been gleaming for a long time.  It was common knowledge there would come a deliverer to rectify the political and economic oppression that had overtaken them. The times were rough and expectation was high.  It is in direct response to the misery level of the world that Jesus appears with the information needed to transform the human mind.  "In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not." Matthew 2:18

The words from the bible give an idea of how rough it was to live under the heel of the Roman Empire. And the passage Jesus quoted was a reference to and about a long history of political oppression, homelessness and war as a way of life.  Christ appeared the first time in response to the depths of human misery. His appearance among us reveals the priorities and the intent of the Kingdom of God.

Jesus' activity on earth had as its purpose the delivery of information.  This information was coined "The Gospel of the Kingdom of God" . What Jesus said and felt about this information is quite significant.  "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,..." Luke 4:18.

So his message is addressed to rectifying the hardships that are the way of life. However his remedy is not concerned with with political activity or social reform. His remedy is to be born again spiritually.



Grasping the message of Jesus is difficult. There is evidence his disciples did not catch on for a long time.  Jesus had said his teaching would divide family members from one another, that he had not come to bring peace but a sword.  He spoke in koan like stories which he likened to seeds which would grow in the minds of those who listened and then thought about what they had heard. This was essential information as far as Jesus was concerned.

Jesus is more than the baby born in a stable and the young man executed for sedition. Jesus had a history that extended beyond his  few years as a teacher. The Kingdom of God is known by his teaching.  It is easily obscured by the teaching others have readymade to give you. 

If you recognize the voice follow it.

To appreciate the baby Jesus who has been born and the young man who was executed it is imperative to understand the knowledge of Christ through the lens of two theological concepts that describe characteristics of Christ.  They are the "Logos" and the "Alpha and Omega".  Christ as "Logos" and "Alpha and Omega" explains the purpose of Christ in the stable and Christ on the Cross.  Without reference to all Christ is, the Christmas story becomes like a sad; but strange fairy tale.

In Christ as the "Logos" we understand the mystery of our origins. We understand it is a mystery, but knowledge of the nature of The Kingdom of God allows faith to germinate in the mind. In the parlance of spirituality faith is both substance and evidence.

The "Logos" is understood as the creative organizing principle men of old recognized as being intimately associated with "God".  The concept of the "Logos" (The Word) was directly applied to Jesus by the gospel writers.  In this description we grasp something of the grandeur of what it means to see this "Logos" born in a stable and executed by the very ones, the human race, he came to see born again through his teaching. 

Christ is also described as the "Alpha and Omega", the beginning and end.  This has reference to the alphabet as well.   In other words Christ is the Word of God.

This sounds all so mysterious doesn't it?

It is.

Don't remove the mystery from fellowship with Christ.


Merry Christmas from
 
Jack & Qkjea





Below is a video I made on the topic including original art by myself.





(C) 2013 David H. Roche
 
the music in the video was provided by YouTube
 
 


Friday, November 08, 2013

Kratschitz Annual "Low Achievers" Award Winner Announced

The Kratschitz  Foundation announced its annual choice for the ignominious "Low Achievers" award. This year the honor goes to the Federal Government. It wasn't long after the winner was announced that Uncle Sam's first name was revealed by "Poor People Need Food Too."  "Poor People Need Food Too" a newly organized grass roots pro food rights activist group carried signs which had printed on them the words:   "Uncle Sam's first name is Ebenezer" and  "Uncle Ebenezer Sam!" 


The Kratschitz Foundation chooses one public organization which by its efforts has produced the greatest sense of hopelessness in the current year.  For year 2013 the choice was an easy one.


The Kratschitz Foundation's annual "Low Achievers" award winner was announced in conjunction with the revelation the federal government had appropriated another 60 billion dollars from food stamp programs to invest in a get rich quick oil scheme with a co-conspirator on the opposite side of the border.
  
 Until two days ago it was certain the Democratic party was a shoo in for the award for the second straight year. But that was before their Republican comrades joined together with them agreeing to reduce the amount of food aid for the poor just before the holidays. It was this singular slap in the face to the poor and elderly that enabled the Kratschitz  Award committee to make the choice easily.


The increased hardship of hunger brought to rest on the backs of the most vulnerable is not the only accomplishment of the food stamp defunding.  In many communities this decision is certain to increase shoplifting and other petty crime resulting in police overtime and jail overcrowding.  While all of the above are major factors in choosing the award recipient it was the cold blooded choice to let entire families go without food right at the time of seasonal festivities that tipped the scales in favor of the Federal Government receiving the annual "Low Achievers" award from the Kratschitz Foundation. 


President Offal declined the honor of receiving the award saying he had already agreed to reprieve the national turkey for Thanksgiving. He assured the public he was not referring to the Vice president whom he said would beat the charges when he "has his day in court."


But in a public assembly across the street from the white house a good sized crowd cheered as the award was presented to an actor dressed as Uncle Ebenezer Sam.  Ebenezer gave an impromptu speech thanking the Kratschitz Foundation for the award.  After his speech he disrobed to his skivvies which were decorated with a Humpty Dumpty design.


This is a Pie in the Face News Report where the story is true but the facts are wrong.


Wednesday, November 06, 2013

"The Alchemist": new poster art from Art From Another Dimension



This came out pretty good so I put it up for sale at my store Art From Another Dimension. I utilized two "Fire People" characters along with a full moon, some flames and a bird.

Below is the poster.  Clicking on the image takes you to Art From Another Dimension at Zazzle.com where it may be seen in greater detail and may be purchased.  "The Alchemist" is available in a variety of  prices, frames and sizes.

This will look really nice on a wall near you.


See another framed artwork on Zazzle
 
 
 
Imagine a visit to a medieval apothecary and coming back with a potion. While going to the pharmacy offers a different experience in the 21st century it's only different because it's in the 21st century. The more things change the more they stay the same seems to be right in this instance.
 
 
Have a nice daydream.
 
 
 
a Clear Running Water state of mind

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Three Spooky Letters or Keeping An Eye On You


After watching Democracy Now on November 4, 2013 (click here to watch the news report) I made the art below. After watching the report you'll have an idea why I was inspired to make the art in the video below.

While feeling numb like a man who had been betrayed by his best friend I began doodling with the three letters NSA. If you are not dead you know those three letters have caused a big stir around the nation and world in recent months. So I began to shuffle the letters and they became so much like the gobbledygook they represent. For a Wikipedia definition of gobbledygook click here


Some people are offended by the use of the word gobbledygook. Maybe they've had a bad experience with it at one time.

Whatever the reason is I made the art and video below. Sometimes it just ain't worth watching the news. But sometimes you get inspired.

Enjoy, have a nice daydream.






Sunday, November 03, 2013

"Sunset On The Highway" a video daydream

Sunset On The Highway is a video daydream.  Recorded at the time of day when light changes to dark. Sometimes there is a magic portal.  I may have found one.

Beneath the video is a nice looking coffee mug featuring two of my "Fire People" characters Jack and Qkjea.  If you'd like to have such a mug it is available at "Art From Another Dimension" @Zazzle.com
Have a nice daydream.
Just click on the image below the video is the quickest way.













Jack and Qkjea: "Fire People" mug
Jack and Qkjea: "Fire People" mug by Hermenutic
View other Fire people Mugs at Zazzle.com



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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.