The Bible As DreamWorld: According to the Bible

Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” {And} “Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength [Beauty] which will always spring up if thou wilt always look.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

My earlier stipulation that the Biblical record actually originally consisted largely of the dream material taken from ancient royals, prophets, and more rarely priests was not an ad hoc suggestion.  Years of my personal study and research support it.  Here are some noteworthy points in favor of my own perspective on this matter:

  1. Genesis culminates with Joseph as the chief of both Egypt, and in a way, of the whole planet. This was the result of his stated dream (Gen. 37.8). In the story, he was “called a dreamer” by his brothers who despised him.
  2. Joseph was simply in the tradition of many of the patriarchs before him who all saw visions. The “Bible gateway” search-engine portal online lists 22 references to dreams in Genesis alone.
  3. Here (20.3) king Abimelech has a dream. (28.10- 12) records Jacob’s dream of “jacob’s ladder.”
  4. Gen. 31.11 say an angel of God spoke to Jacob in a dream.
  5. 31.24 Laban dreams a dream.
  6. We are told that “the interpretation of dreams belongs to God,” implying that dreams have prophetic import, not mere a kind of random (trivial) status we apply to them today; and Gen. 41.11 indicates that “every dream has a meaning of its own.” Ecclesiastes 5.7 cynically contradicts this (otherwise nearly universally-held) biblical view, however, saying, “much dreaming is meaningless.”
  7. Numbers 12.6 equates (prophetic) “visions” with “dreams.” Dreams throughout the Bible are consider “night visions,” and while moderns distinguish “dreams” from visions, the ancient most often did not. The apocalyptic visions of Daniel and Revelation are presaged with each falling either asleep, or else into a kind of trance. The visions were dreams.
  8. Deuteronomy 13.3 calls “prophets” “dreamers,” like Joseph.
  9. Judges 7 has Gideon overhearing an enemy’s dream, which both sides take to be prophetic, and it turns out to be so. The man was no prophet, but his dream comes true anyway. This again shows the ancient superstitions about dreams and dreaming – that they determine history.
  10.    1 Kings 3.5 has God appearing to Solomon to ask for whatever he might wish in a dream. He asks for wisdom and impresses God.
  11. Job 4.13 mentions “disquieting dreams.” The ancients called them “night-terrors” when we call them “nightmares.” These are the basis for the apocalyptic literature. Job 7.14 has Job complaining that “even then (when he sleeps) you frighten me with dreams, and terrify me with visions.”
  12. Job 20.8 calls dreams “visions.”
  13.  Isaiah 27.9 again equates prophecy (prophetic visions) and dreams. This is extremely important, because it makes all the prophetic corpus of the Bible, the telling and interpreting of dream material (by clear implication)
  14. Daniel 2.28 takes the same view of all dreams as prophetic, and calls his God a revealer of mysteries because he is the “God of heaven,” not merely the God of kings.
  15.  Daniel 1.7 indicates his unique ability to “understand dreams and visions of all kinds.”   The Revelation continues Daniel’s visions material, and John shows obvious parallels to Daniel.
  16.  According to Daniel 2.9, dreams were so important to some kings in the ancient world, that they would be willing to kill all their prophets (seers and diviners) if they proved unable to tell them the meaning of royal dreaming.  This is because bonuses and other corporate incentives were not yet invented.
  17.  This also implies that the New Testament shows the fulfillment of dreams, and so continues to fulfillment the dream material.
  18. The end of the NT confirms this. Matthew has an angel speaking to Joseph in a dream (tells him to return a by a different route than he had planned) at the outset of the NT, and Revelation shows the fulfillment of all the prophets as a kind of dream-vision material.
  19. Matthew 1.20 shows dreams so important that one should follow them to decide to marry even very controversial persons (Joseph is told to take Mary to wife in a dream, and he does).
  20. Finally, Matthew 27.10 improbably suggests that even Pontius Pilate (a Roman Procurator) decided to follow the advice of his wife, “who suffered many things in a dream” because of Jesus, and PP supposedly complies (at first).  Dreams were this important to ancients, even when they were not the dreams of anyone but — dear God — a woman.  The ancient had little respect for them, including the Christians — who lived, and yet live, in a DreamWorld.
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DreamWorld: The Thought-World of the West for 2000 Years

“Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize?” “The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit. The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Dreams and dreaming have always fascinated the lot of us, from the modern psychologist to the ancient “interpreters” of dreams (among groups called “wise men”). The biblical record is replete with references to dreams and dreaming, from the Genesis crescendo in Egypt (Chapters 37 – 50), which section forms the results of Joseph’s nocturnal insights.

From the Genesis “ dreamer” (his brothers were reported to have called him), to the warning the “other” Joseph supposedly received in Egypt, to return by a different route to his homeland, to those of other prophets, and most notably of Daniel and Revelation’s author, John, dream material seems to form extensive portions of the “canonical narrative.”

I believe that nearly the whole of the Bible’s record came into existence as an oral and written collection of inscripturated dreams, and I think I can give ample evidence from the writings themselves to prove this. These dreams were the dreams of pharaohs, of kings, of “prophets,” and less often, of priests.

They were later edited, trimmed, collated and reshaped to fit together more neatly, with some contemporary details added that were “generally known” about the primary actors in the narratives.

What is the point? The Bible actually creates what I call “Dream World,” a world “alternative” to the harsh realities of the ancient past.  But its primary effect has been to lead us away from the real world, and the study and progress of the sciences and of its benefits to all.

The most noteworthy, and easy to recall dreams are of two kinds – Paradaisical dreams, and night terrors, like those Joseph and Daniel were supposedly called on to interpret. These kinds of awe-inspiring dreams make the world larger than life, where every event carries world-historical (and earth-shaking) importance of the “do-or-die” decision kind.   This is just how the biblical narratives read.

The books of Daniel and Revelation TELL US plainly that their authors fell asleep and saw “night visions” or visions (dream-speak) to learn the material the reader then encounters; other places in the Bible, the dreams of pharaohs and kings are interpreted as VERY IMPORTANT and prophetic.

PLEASE NOTE that the specialized language the visionary-dream texts use – thought forms and idiomatic expressions dot the landscape of the Bible narratives in many places throughout. This shows a pervasive influence of dreams and dream material.

Dreams were considered extremely important by the ancients, and they largely contributed to the magicalistic environment of the ancient dream-world cultures.

Consider this possibility – my view – the whole of the Bible is either directly or indirectly the result of the primary influence of dream material – oral and written traditions built upon the dreams of kings and prophets – and we built an entire civilization upon this dreamscape fiction as “the Word of God” – and never noticed the clear and distinct signs that show us the Bible as DreamWorld.

I shall blog more upon this topic when convenient.

 

Why Religion Needs “Good Versus Evil,” The Cosmic Battle that Never Was

“Whatever anyone does or says, I must be emerald and keep my colour.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

The old religious canard, a theme invested in countless books and movies, from Gothic literature to the Star Wars series has pervaded Western culture from time immemorial. The cosmic battle of “Good Vs. Evil” probably represents the world’s worst scam ever.

The very Anglo-Saxon name (or title) “God” abbreviates “good” only slightly, intending the substantival use of the adjective, meaning “The Good One.” Likewise, the “Devil” shows the Latin inflection, of “D’ Evil” – meaning “The Evil One,” which implies the aforementioned Darth Vader – Obi Wan problem.

May the Farce (not) Be With You.

What does this mean? It means we have been setting the standard of what we aspire to be dreadfully low.  In the world of coin-collecting, for instance, the rating of “Good” is just above “fair,” which is also only one notch below the lowest rating “poor” (or by analogy, “evil” in the world of value).

Above the “good” rating of value, however, sits “Very good,” “fine,” “extra fine,” “uncirculated,” and then at the top we find “proof,” or “mint” condition. “Good” is a mediocre fifth place in other words, only two notches above the trash heap.  This means that if your Western God is merely “good,” you have an infinitely mediocre problem.  And following him will mean that the best you can hope for in the end, in the teen parlance, is that you suck. You imitate the divine perfectly and you get a C-.

Instead, a far better value system would offer you an A+, and would tell you never to settle for good, but to strive instead for the excellent in all things, even the most excellent rating of mint condition. Be Minty.

Mint condition coins shine with a mirror-like finish of great beauty and value. Good sucks. And evil?  Well it doesn’t really exist.  It’s a farce.  Let me explain.  It would be a straight F, or an even more insulting “F+,” on our grading scale, except for this – the ideal world (which is the real one) actually has no reference to evil at all.  The word does not exist, like folly and other so-called “vices,” in the ideal dictionary. It has no “Ideal” extra-linguistic reference. It cannot be real in the “Natural [world]” sense of the word.

This means it is but a human artifice, born of bad beliefs and actions based upon them. This gives it a veneer of reality, especially notable when you watch the news, or read the headlines. But it actually has no real reference, but amounts to an expression of moral disgust, often at the wanton disregard or destruction of value, in the form of life, reputation or property of others.

Some would say, “That is just what we mean by evil.” But my point remains – it is purely a human creation, that did not, and could not exist before humans existed. We created it, and we can (and must) “uncreate” it. What they call evil is actually “Imposed chaos.” That is why some codes have noted that the problem is “disorderly” conduct, “Conduct unbecoming,” or even in another context, “Unsportsman – like conduct.”

Conversely, the ideas that some things are “Set in order” versus the “disorderly” — now that is something that science, rooted in the real world, can manage. The real problem is value-accretion versus value-ablation.

This will then bring us back to the ideal value system (profit-and-value [accretion] as the material adequacy of wisdom and understanding – an important component of which is science/ technology, and the skilled management of the environment that it brings.

The religious era of “Good (one) versus D’Evil (one)” is over. The Fiction has been exposed. The Deconstructionists have done this also. Religion cannot survive without it.

Bach And Roll: Vocal Harmony as Ideal Music

DNA is chatty (in the form of humans) and it even sings — naturally.   The Ideal language (A Language free from all the problems of the natural languages as they are today, which corresponds as an analog to DNA) is directly related to the question of ideal music.

I believe that the closest thing yet in the world of music to its ideal genre represents what we might call the Romantic tradition, with its natural themes, human focus, emotive drive (love and human relations), traditional association with the violin, piano and/ or guitar (stringed instruments and/ or what we might call “aspirant” instruments occasionally — instruments that “breathe”).

DNA favors this.  Remember that the human voice is a stringed instrument through which the vocal harmony professional must send a great deal of wind (its a guitar!, no its a flute!) to sound excellent and beautiful.

The versions or variants we have had so far run a little bit wide of the mark in several ways, but we have wandered closer and closer to the more ideal range over time.  The Neo-Romantic tradition bears a variation called the vocal harmony tradition (In addition to John Denver, Air Supply and England Dan & JF Coley, I mean) which some associate with groups like Westlife, One Direction and the Backstreet boys (and others like these) — different though they may be.  For those unfamiliar with 1D, go to utube and type in “I Wish.” (You Neo-romantics won’t be sorry).

To begin with the sounds of the ideal music, its lyrical sounds, should be as beautiful-sounding as possible.  This singular, fairly obvious (to those who see ideal music as “auditory beauty”), criterion would eliminate from the language (LGG hereafter) we use in music what are called “gutturals” in LGG studies.  These include “harsh sounds” like words ending in “ck” or the hard “g” sound.

One wisdom tradition has it that “harsh words” stir up anger.  We do not want in ideal music either melodies we might describe as “volatile and jagged” (but smooth and streaming) nor do we want harsh-sounding lyrics.

The reader might try an interesting experiment, which I also tried on upon a time.  Try to produce with friends the best sounding “phonemes” (approx. a syllable that yields a distinct sound), and list them for use in ideal music. Eliminate the harsh and ugly ones from your library of most excellent phonemes.  It is great fun and the one I undertook came up with these as the most important letters to use for their sounds in ideal music.

(My experimental language actually ended up sounding a bit French (mon ami); I plan to allow enough time to pass to try the same experiment afresh and see if my results differ a great deal, else just a little, and compare them).  According to ideal math, everything done in music-writing world should be done in even numbers and with base 8 math (Think “Octaves”) — as much as is reasonable plausible.

The (16) “best letters” list for the (beautiful) sounds made in the English alphabet looked like this:

A, B, D, E, L, (soft) G, H, M, N, O, S, T, U, V, W, Y.   Syllables with one or more of these can be constructed and added to the list.  ‘Keep “music world” beautiful’ is the romantic’s cry.

Long Live.

 

 

The Ideal Value System

I derived this system of values by studying the success features of groups and individuals throughout history and by learning the operational, structural and functional preferences and priorities of DNA.  This is what it means to be truly human and humanitarian.  It is what some would call “secular,” and it leads us well into the future.

The ideal Value system is as follows:

  1.  Wisdom and Understanding
  2. Life and Joy
  3. Profitability and Value
  4. Excellence and Progress
  5. Dignity and Honor    (This maintains human value and protects vs. the wanton dismissal of life needs)
  6. Beauty and Majesty  (What you see in the sky at night)
  7. Gentleness and Kindness
  8. Truth and Integrity

Below is an earlier post on the subject I shall need to edit shortly.

Introducing the Ideal Value System

I’ve been studying a great deal lately, as usual; consequently, I have many new insights to offer.  Here are some of them in brief:  I now believe that not all value systems are created equal, and that, DNA, taken as our template, prefers one of them in particular, and represents the “telos” of human design, the purpose at which it aims — notice its hendiadic (two fold) and 8-fold form [these display the highest values, which should define the future — “Progress” toward what?], and which we ought to pursue and promote):

Wisdom & Understanding

These include

A. Patience & Self-Control

B.  Discretion & Discernment

C.   Strategy & Tactics (= Efficient Management & Finesse)

D.  Education & Training

E.  Insight & Innovation

F. Study and Application of Ideal Values and Principles

G.  Study of Systems and Time (Includes a future-oriented — not past-oriented — optimistic outlook).

Life & Joy

These Include:

A. Ultra-life (Vegan) Diet & Exercise

B.  Freedom & Opportunity

C.  Friendship & Work/ Labor  (Wealth)

D. Entertainment & Leisure (Fun/ Play time)

E.  Romance & Marriage (Family Life)

F.  Arts & Culture (Includes Community-life, including 8 Annual, Festival-Days – )

G.  (Skilled/ Rehearsed) Language & Humor

  1. Profitability & Value
  2. Excellence & Progress
  3. Honor & Dignity
  4. Beauty & Majesty (What you see in the sky at night)
  5. Gentleness & Kindness
  6. Truth & Integrity

As opportunity shall avail, I intend to expound upon these Ideal Values (please note that they remain a SYSTEM of values) at some length to illumine just what I mean by invoking this sort of language.

I will attempt to expound these at greater length at a later time when convenient.

New Insights: the Ideal World is the Real World

This post will doubtless meet with extreme skepticism. But I plan to prove my point here, as usual.  As almost everyone would suggest, this identification, the real with the ideal, encounters too many obvious counter-instances — meaning every tragedy you might read of in the news that makes the headlines.  But these do not clinch the debate so easily as one might imagine.  There’s more.

Recently, in my continuing studies, I began to ponder the point that only one real world exists, and that, when the (more) ideal world arrives via progress of whatever sort, the referent — that thing that our words intend to point at when we say “ideal World” will index exactly the same referent we name today when we say “real world.”  The TRAITS of the real world might change, but not the matching referent to the phrases, Real world, and Ideal World.

Proof 1 — the terms bear precisely the same “extralinguistic referent.”   Think on this.  There never has been any “fall.”  I believe this blog post is an absolute paradigm-shift – in – the – making.  I shall attempt to post more about this subject later.

 

Because Vocal Harmony Is Just Better: P. Craig’s Top Twenty Favorite Songs (In Stereo)

We may live in tough times, but we can still enjoy the music. Thankfully, the world is not going to hell in a fruit-basket.

Westlife  (I might Change this order later — feeling fickle)

  1. Walk Away
  2. That’s Where You Find Love
  3. Obvious  (Shane rules)
  4. Something Right
  5. My Love
  6. Puzzle Of My Heart
  7. Maybe Tomorrow
  8. Us Against the World  (Here, Mark rules the known world).
  9. Amazing
  10. Evergreen
  11. Closer  (One Word: PLAT – IN- UM)  Did Clive Do This?
  12. If I Let You Go
  13. Dance  (It really does make you feel like …. singing?)
  14. Close
  15. Beautiful in White
  16. Shadows
  17. Reach Out
  18. Lay My Love On You
  19. If You’re Heart’s Not In It
  20. Change The World
  21. How Does It Feel
  22. Don’t Say It’s Too Late
  23. (Somewhere on this list I am placing “What About Now,” fantastic remake)

Backstreet Boys  (Order subject to change later). Problem I have here is that Backstreet have so many great songs.  Grrr.

  1. Drowning  (Brian is “off-the-hook” excellent is this song)(Sorry, Starving, Sarbaeng. Don’t care — love it no matter what).
  2. Safest Place To Hide
  3. Don’t Wanna Lose You Now  (This Song could not end more perfectly. And they all sound spectack).
  4. Light On   (AJ is fantastic as usual here).
  5. Make Believe
  6. Shape of My Heart  (I esp. like Nick’s part in this song).
  7. Lose It All
  8. Climbing the Walls
  9.  Unmistakable
  10. I Still
  11. Downpour    (I did not like this song when I first heard it; now I LOVE IT. Learning curve.).
  12. Make Believe
  13. Feels Like Home
  14. Never Gone
  15. Inconsolable
  16. Best That I Can
  17. Just Want You To Know
  18. Crawling Back To You
  19. Spanish Eyes
  20. How Did I Fall in Love With You

I would give my right flying shoe if I could get Backstreet to undertake the creation of a few remakes (Lobo is superb — I’d Love You To Want Me; Don’t Expect of Me 2B Your Friend); REO Speedwagon has 3 songs); etc.  They could rule planet “remake.” (But so far they generally avoid remakes). My #1 pick for a BB remake is John Denver’s Annie’s Song, or Mark Wills’ “I do” (Cherish You).

The Ideal Value System: Life + Joy

Here are the most important elements of this extremely important hendiadic value:

  1.  The ultra-life diet and lifestyle
  2. Freedom & opportunity
  3. Friendship & work
  4. Entertainment & leisure
  5. Romance and Marriage (Living Together in Harmony & Joy)
  6. Arts & Culture (Including 8 Annual Festivals, each of which celebrates one of the ideal values)
  7. Language & Humor

Further Studies in Ideal Values: What We Mean By “Wisdom & Understanding”

What is WIsdom and Understanding?

The ideal value system has a decidedly empirical emphasis in its grasp of W & U because this virtue must be practical; it has to work well in the real world to count as wisdom.

To grasp what we might mean by this hendiad [value], we will begin to specify its eight parts this way [Here, the “*” means to indicate the connctive “and”] :

1. Patience * Self-control

Time remains the important element here.  Patience is extremely important because it takes a longish time to develop excellent character, and to grow one’s wealth.  Patience enables one to take the long-term view, to create a 1-year, 5-year, 20 year * 50 year (or even 100 year) schedule to live out his/ her life wisely, and to follow the schedule.

Self-control aims to manage one’s self internally and externally to maximize behaviors consistently with profitability and the creation of value over time, & to make these as useful for promoting the success of others as one might.  My favorite Chinese addage is this: He who rules his spirit, rules the world.

2. Discretion * Discernment

Discretion identifies the limits (legal and ethical boundaries) of excellent speech and behavior, carefully managing to stay well within them, while navigating one’s course to success, throughout her lifetime.

Discernment studies to place within their correct categories the various ideas & objects, processes and phenomena, one encounters.  It manages them with skill the way a taxonomist does the animals he works to classify accurately.  Which members belong with which sets?  Discernment answer this question aright every time.

3. Education [Includes sciences and free market studies] * Training [To Develop profitable skills and skill sets]

Not just any education will do. The point of real education skips the bare memorization of scads of obscure factoids, say, to impress people at cocktail parties.

One’s education should aim at studying those elements of human achievement and cultural development that most closely fit the ideal value system — the wise, the innovative, the profitable, the ideal, the humanitarian, the way systems actually work (science and technology), and how to improve them, business ethics, etc.

4. Strategy * Tactics

5. Insight * Innovation

6. Ideal Studies * Ideal Principles

7. Studies in Intelligence and Learning [efficiency]: LE is called “Heuristics”

8. The Study of Systems * Optimal operations/ functionality

If any important change takes place in my view on this topic, I will post it here.  The reader can also expect elaborations on these subtopics [8] to appear here.

Letters of Credit, Debt and Banking — What To Do If the Whole System Like Taxation Turns Out to Be Wrong-headed?

Since the time of the late middle ages, the innovation of letters of credit opened up new avenues of access to gaining wealth through borrowing.  A relatively new industry – banking – began to grow up around the practices of lending and borrowing.  They also offered insurance of various kinds.  The liquid capital afforded by the issuing of loans, at various rates of interest (over the years), spurred on new developments in commercial and venture capitalism.

But the rise of the newly wealthy and their newfound “vertical mobility” came with an extraordinary price that few noticed – the future.  “Future cost” forms an idiom that should have been part of the vocabulary of technical economics for hundreds of years by now, but it shall lags behind (trekonomics).  When one makes a purchase, let us say,  Jeff buys a chair, on credit, he whips out the all-powerful credit card and the clerk runs in “through the machine,” which transfers funds from Visa to the business account of “Jack’s Furniture Store.”   Here is what just happened.

Jeff created his own “debt obligation” on a given date (say, April 10, 2019) and then will have to make payments (per the terms of his credit card contract) over the next 6 months to pay off the debt. He received a “good” (i.e. the chair) on April 10, and must repay more money than the cash was worth on that day, by an amount that “depends.”   The final amount of his repaid debt depends on how long Jeff takes to repay it, the interest rate he incurs, and any penalties that might (or might not) apply.

Notice that the future has to pay more by far than the “present” would if it “paid in cash” on April 10. This means that the use of credit DEVALUES the future against a (comparatively) more valuable past. This is exactly false according to the Ideal Val Sys.   It effectively subsidizes the past as being worth more than the future – just of opposite of what is entailed by “progress and excellence.”  This stymies progress by subsidizing its competitor.

Credit creates obligations TIED TO THE PAST, and IT DEVALUES THE FUTURE. It in effect sacrifices a superabundance of future labor value for present assets that quite often depreciate in value.  And the entire banking system that has grown up since the Middle Ages both presupposing and fostering this as a relatively universal condition and even a way of life.   I believe that good economics works precisely the opposite way – here, one sacrifices the ownership of present goods and services, investing instead of spending, in order to build a greater future at the cost of what is calls the “past.”

We should think this over, and ask how we can convert an entirely-global system (over the long haul) from a debt-driven, credit feeding, economy to one that favors and subsidizes its complement – like the investor’s practice of deferred gratification mentioned above. It can be done, and I shall attempt to blog on these topics more later.  Until then, have a think about it.