Last night’s sunset was tempestuous, and so am I. Watching the U.S. dollar rise yet again, while everything else falls faster and faster into oblivion, is unsettling to say the least. My blog is not religious, but I am a spiritual person, meaning I am affected by things that are not material or physical, and I believe that intelligent life was created by a great intelligence rather than a chaotic and random ordering of things. I’m not a Bible scholar, and I haven’t read all the books, but I am working on it, little by little, slowly. Regardless of what anyone believes about the Bible, the collection of books contains magnificent writing, some of which I’m going to share with you at the end of this post.
I’ve watched The Passion of Christ many times. It’s a powerful film that everyone should see at least once. I walked and stayed where it was filmed, and I’m convinced the story is playing out again. In the modern-day version, Christ represents liberty. We have the mean-spirited bullies killing her, those taking bribes who betray her, the silent ones pretending nothing is different, her supposed friends saying “I never knew her,” and many who are clueless and don’t have any appreciation for liberty and her elegance. Ad interim, liberty is being slaughtered. “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.’ And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice” (Luke 23:34). While Christ is masculine, and liberty is feminine (in Latin languages), the Satan in The Passion of Christ is curiously androgenous.
Liberty is the responsible use of freedom under the rule of law, which doesn’t deprive anyone. Liberty is outlined in the First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. But people can’t understand anything without first understanding its opposite, and there are lots of people in the world that have no idea about the opposite of liberty. Forgive them, Father, for they truly don’t know what they are doing. To take away liberty is to take away your legal freedom to worship God in the way you choose, among many other legal freedoms you take for granted (property rights, for example).
It’s as if the majority of the population has undergone some kind of brain surgery that removed their ability to think and reason. Just try sharing some piece of information with these folks. People with Master’s degrees and PhDs are now programmed to go look for smear campaigns on the author and source before they’ll look at the content. In other words, they don’t trust you or your judgment—your thoughts about it are not enough to convince them even to look or listen. If there are any smear campaigns, or if the content is not affiliated with an approved authoritarian source, they reject you and the content entirely. You are now “dumb” to them and they stop sharing anything with you, liking anything you say or do, and completely write you off… making you feel rejected for being different. Is this a human or a mechanical reaction?
According to William Perry there are four consecutive stages of cognitive student development:
1. DUALISM – There are right/wrong answers known to authorities.
2. MULTIPLICITY/SUBJECTIVE KNOWLEDGE – There are conflicting answers; therefore, students must trust their “inner voices,” not external authority.
3. RELATIVISM/PROCEDURAL KNOWLEDGE – Disciplinary reasoning methods. Connected and empathetic knowledge (why do you believe X?; what does this poem say to me?) vs. separated objective knowledge (what techniques can I use to analyze this poem?).
4. COMMITMENT/CONSTRUCTED KNOWLEDGE – Integration of knowledge learned from others with personal experience and reflection.
It seems to me these people have regressed back to dualism. What do you think? And why? I think it’s something in the media. This brings me back to the market, the world, everything that’s going on, and my feeling extremely tempestuous. I started thinking about the Book of Revelation in the Bible, and there are two beautiful chapters that I’d like to share with you today. It’s pretty clear to me that we are here in this parallel story, and the great prostitute is the U.S. Dollar and her “global reserve” system. Beautifully written, and rather wild, it gave me some peace about the present. I’ve eliminated the numbers and footnotes, making it easier to read. I’ve also inserted some comments. Enjoy! Revelation 17-18, New Living Translation…
One of the seven angels who had poured out the seven bowls came over and spoke to me. [I wrote a post several years ago on the significance of the number seven] “Come with me,” he said, “and I will show you the judgment that is going to come on the great prostitute [as you read this think of her as the U.S. fiat dollar], who rules over many waters. The kings of the world have committed adultery with her, and the people who belong to this world have been made drunk by the wine of her immorality.”
So the angel took me in the Spirit (or in spirit) into the wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that had seven heads and ten horns, and blasphemies against God were written all over it. The woman wore purple and scarlet clothing and beautiful jewelry made of gold and precious gems and pearls. In her hand she held a gold goblet full of obscenities and the impurities of her immorality. A mysterious name was written on her forehead: “Babylon the Great, Mother of All Prostitutes and Obscenities in the World.” I could see that she was drunk—drunk with the blood of God’s holy people who were witnesses for Jesus. I stared at her in complete amazement. [Iran coined the term “The Great Satan” for the USA and the U.S. dollar]
“Why are you so amazed?” the angel asked. “I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns on which she sits. The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon come up out of the bottomless pit (abyss, or the underworld) and go to eternal destruction. And the people who belong to this world, whose names were not written in the Book of Life before the world was made, will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died. [The beast? What comes to mind? Slavery? Satan?]
“This calls for a mind with understanding: The seven heads of the beast represent the seven hills where the woman rules. They also represent seven kings. Five kings have already fallen, the sixth now reigns, and the seventh is yet to come, but his reign will be brief.
“The scarlet beast that was, but is no longer, is the eighth king. He is like the other seven, and he, too, is headed for destruction. The ten horns of the beast are ten kings who have not yet risen to power. They will be appointed to their kingdoms for one brief moment to reign with the beast. They will all agree to give him their power and authority. Together they will go to war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will defeat them because he is Lord of all lords and King of all kings. And his called and chosen and faithful ones will be with him.” [The Lamb is surely Jesus Christ and liberty]
Then the angel said to me, “The waters where the prostitute is ruling represent masses of people of every nation and language. The scarlet beast and his ten horns all hate the prostitute. They will strip her naked, eat her flesh, and burn her remains with fire. For God has put a plan into their minds [World Economic Forum? New World Order? One-World Government?], a plan that will carry out his purposes. They will agree to give their authority to the scarlet beast [and they already have], and so the words of God will be fulfilled. And this woman you saw in your vision represents the great city that rules over the kings of the world.” [To me, the great city is NYC, NY Fed, home to the dollar system]
After all this I saw another angel come down from heaven with great authority, and the earth grew bright with his splendor. He gave a mighty shout:
“Babylon is fallen—that great city is fallen!
She has become a home for demons.
She is a hideout for every foul (Greek unclean) spirit,
a hideout for every foul vulture
and every foul and dreadful animal (Some manuscripts condense the last two lines to read a hideout for every foul, unclean, and dreadful vulture).
For all the nations have fallen (Some manuscripts read have drunk)
because of the wine of her passionate immorality.
The kings of the world
have committed adultery with her.
Because of her desires for extravagant luxury,
the merchants of the world have grown rich.” [U.S. foreign policy?]
Then I heard another voice calling from heaven,
“Come away from her, my people. [GET OUT OF THE DOLLAR]
Do not take part in her sins,
or you will be punished with her.
For her sins are piled as high as heaven,
and God remembers her evil deeds.
Do to her as she has done to others.
Double her penalty (or Give her an equal penalty) for all her evil deeds.
She brewed a cup of terror for others,
so brew twice as much (Or brew just as much) for her.
She glorified herself and lived in luxury,
so match it now with torment and sorrow.
She boasted in her heart,
‘I am queen on my throne.
I am no helpless widow,
and I have no reason to mourn.’
Therefore, these plagues will overtake her in a single day—
death and mourning and famine.
She will be completely consumed by fire,
for the Lord God who judges her is mighty.”
And the kings of the world who committed adultery with her and enjoyed her great luxury will mourn for her as they see the smoke rising from her charred remains. They will stand at a distance, terrified by her great torment. They will cry out,
“How terrible, how terrible for you,
O Babylon, you great city!
In a single moment
God’s judgment came on you.”
The merchants of the world will weep and mourn for her, for there is no one left to buy their goods. She bought great quantities of gold, silver, jewels, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet cloth; things made of fragrant thyine wood, ivory goods, and objects made of expensive wood; and bronze, iron, and marble. [Putin recently gave a speech about how the West is printing fake money and buying up all the real things that other countries make and mine.] She also bought cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, wagons, and bodies—that is, human slaves.
“The fancy things you loved so much
are gone,” they cry.
“All your luxuries and splendor
are gone forever,
never to be yours again.”
The merchants who became wealthy by selling her these things will stand at a distance, terrified by her great torment. They will weep and cry out,
“How terrible, how terrible for that great city!
She was clothed in finest purple and scarlet linens,
decked out with gold and precious stones and pearls!
In a single moment
all the wealth of the city is gone!”
And all the captains of the merchant ships and their passengers and sailors and crews will stand at a distance. They will cry out as they watch the smoke ascend, and they will say, “Where is there another city as great as this?” And they will weep and throw dust on their heads to show their grief. And they will cry out,
“How terrible, how terrible for that great city!
The shipowners became wealthy
by transporting her great wealth on the seas.
In a single moment it is all gone.”
Rejoice over her fate, O heaven
and people of God and apostles and prophets!
For at last God has judged her
for your sakes.
Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a huge millstone. He threw it into the ocean and shouted,
“Just like this, the great city Babylon
will be thrown down with violence
and will never be found again.
The sound of harps, singers, flutes, and trumpets
will never be heard in you again.
No craftsmen and no trades
will ever be found in you again.
The sound of the mill
will never be heard in you again.
The light of a lamp
will never shine in you again.
The happy voices of brides and grooms
will never be heard in you again.
For your merchants were the greatest in the world,
and you deceived the nations with your sorceries.
In your (Greek her) streets flowed the blood of the prophets and of God’s holy people
and the blood of people slaughtered all over the world.”
Let that sink in deeply. It’s going to be quite a spectacle, my friends. At first the dollar will rise like a torpedo while everything else collapses. Then, in a sudden clamor, she will fall onto the rocks at the edge of the sea and her majestic reign will be over. Her body will be swept away and the sharks will devour her flesh. What then rises in her place? Use your imagination.
I’ll leave you with one final thought. Without clouds, the sunset quickly becomes ordinary and old. Note, the photo below was the sky in St. Joseph before the sunset above, and I just knew it was going to be spectacular. Fortunately, I was right, and truly awed. Watch the clouds, and more sunsets, and let them calm your soul like this one did mine. I’ll soon be starting a new section of this blog with all my best sunset photos and more. I am an artist, and have been for most of my life. I got away from it for awhile, but recently I’ve been making good contact with my creative self again.
Thank you for being here, and reading my musings. If it moves you, please pass my blog forward.