Note to Adi, you're right about www.templeofthejediorder.org/forum/open-...portant/reply#239649 . I was being a BITCH. You don't deserve to be treated that way. Please know it was not personal. I was extremely depressed and frustrated at the time (no excuse) and anyone in my path was getting a serving of BITCH.
I'll eat a Humble Pie, Beg your Pardon and pray that when it's darkest the moon flowers bloom for you.
I guess meditation could be seen as a ritual of transmutation in the experience of ones awareness.
In the same way I do some rudimentary lightsaber stuff to assist my lucidity in dreaming, because if you could be anything in a dream why not entertain a Star Wars theme as a bridging foundation for lucidity
I think I have others but I keep forgetting them, almost as if sometimes things just seem to deserve the sort of attention something might get like it was a ritual.
Just wanted to give this a quick bump!
Also, I wanted to let you all know that though the closing date seems far away, it would be wonderful if you could submit your name as early as possible. Even if you have an errant thought about the possibility of applying, do it.
Your application needn't be anything elaborate. Just a simple note letting the Synod know you are interested
Next random installment of my non-poetry...
It had been a while since the cathedral had served its first purpose, that of a place of worship.
The stone altar, which had so far been swallowed by the shadow unnoticed, stood now in a pool of candlelight. A circle of red church candles surrounded it, each barely melted and smelling strongly of their wax. The book from the plinth now rested on the altar open to a page around the beginning, one of the earlier writings and less legible. The robes I barely ever wore hung heavy on me, a mirror of the feelings I had about not having performed the ritual more often.
My finger on the page at the first words, I noticed suddenly that he was standing beside me.
“This is for you,” I said, confused.
“And I am here for you” he replied. I nodded.
I lit the incense and together we spoke the ancient words, their sound echoing not just throughout the cathedral but through my own body. They sounded like nonsense but each word held a meaning understood by flesh as well as mind. I was the priest, not just in robe and word, but in feeling and knowledge also. I struck the gong and the sound reverberated through every cell in my body and every thought in my head… for a moment the two of us were one within the sound, both vibrating at the same frequency. I knew all that he knew, felt what he felt, thought as he thought… all manner of being directed into this channel, him experiencing my reflection in return.
The sound dissolved, my consciousness returning to my own… I breathed deeply in the found silence and felt a new strength.
“Thank you” I said, turning to him… but he was no longer there. And I noticed, as I looked down at my hand on the book, that I was now wearing his ring.
It may help to remember the example you mention (Mark 11:12-14 and Mark 11:20-23) as metaphorical, since metaphor was a common way of conveying truths if not facts in the ancient world. A common metaphor for Israel, throughout its history, was a fig tree. It's a metaphor that the first readers or listeners of the Gospels would have been familiar with. Considering the context of the Gospels (Jesus upsetting the power balance of Israel - especially its religious authorities), it's not a stretch to see this (especially with the command that no one may eat fruit from the tree again) as a critique of the religious power structure in 1st century Judea.
The verses immediately following the encounter with the tree (Mark 11:15-17) but before the verse about moving mountains feature Jesus going into the Temple and turning over tables of "money changers" and merchants selling doves, making a powerful statement through his actions (that is, that temples ought to simply be houses of prayer rather than functioning as banks/marketplaces as they often did in the ancient world.) Jesus was, in a way, doing literally what he did metaphorically to the tree, enough that the Jewish religious authorities immediately set out to try to kill him.
So, there is more to it than Jesus simply killing an innocent tree, and that is the tricky part about myths. You can interpret it as a hungry, angry Jesus lashing out at a poor, hapless tree that would not bear fruit for him outside of its season, or you can see it as the metaphor it was *probably* intended to be. The Gospel of Mark is full of cases of metaphorical "side stories" like that which shed light on the "main" story being told, but seem to be irrelevant on the face of things.
Thanks Adi, that's a great interpretation!