Tag: Religion

God Wants Me to Have the Women and the Air Conditioner

The first thing he claimed — even though he already had a wife, a 14-year-old girl, pushing legal limits in Texas, but she had her parents permission so the marriage was legal — he announced that God now wanted him to have wives, multiple wives. He pointed out some scriptural passages that he said backed this up, and he claimed that he needed multiple wives because it was his job to sire 24 children who would become elders and help rule after the kingdom of God’s reestablished, at the end times. Then he further announces that among all the women at Mount Carmel, every woman of childbearing age — and that would be, say, from 12 up — were now his wives and could have sex only with him for procreation purposes. The husbands of these women were forbidden to have sex at all anymore. And Koresh said this was a blessing to them because now they could focus their energies on studying the Bible more and becoming more worthy of the Lord. So it was sex. It was everyone else’s wives. And he even decided God wanted him to have the only unit air conditioning in Mount Carmel.

30 years after the siege, ‘Waco’ examines what led to the catastrophe

Interview was regarding:
Waco: David Koresh, The Branch Davidians and a Legacy of Rage
Jeff Guinn

Many spirits are really stupid.

Many spirits are really stupid. To a Christian it seems quite obvious that you cannot fool God, but in many places, fooling superhuman agents is possible and in fact even necessary. In Siberia, for instance, people are careful to use metaphorical language when talking about important matters. This is because nasty spirits often eavesdrop on humans and try to foil their plans. Now spirits, despite their superhuman powers, just cannot understand metaphors. They are powerful but stupid. In many places in Africa it is quite polite when visiting friends or relatives to express one’s sympathy with them for having such “ugly” or “unpleasant” children. The idea is that witches, always on the lookout for nice children to “eat,” will be fooled by this naive stratagem. It is also common in such places to give children names that suggest disgrace or misfortune, for the same reason. In Haiti one of the worries of people who have just lost a relative is that the corpse might be stolen by a witch. To avoid this, people sometimes buried their dead with a length of thread and an eyeless needle. The idea was that witches would find the needle and try to thread it, which would keep them busy for centuries so that they would forget all about the corpse. People can think that supernatural agents have extraordinary powers and yet are rather easily fooled.

Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought
Pascal Boyer

We make our own Gods …

Consider how some people attempt to make what can only be imagined feel real. They do this by trying to create thought-forms, or imagined creatures, called tulpas. Their human creators are trying to imagine so vividly that the tulpas start to seem as if they can speak and act on their own. The term entered Western literature in 1929, through the explorer Alexandra David-Néel’s “Magic and Mystery in Tibet.” She wrote that Tibetan monks created tulpas as a spiritual discipline during intense meditation. The Internet has been a boon for tulpa practice, with dozens of sites with instructions on creating one.

Jack, a young man I interviewed, decided to make a tulpa when he was in college. He set aside an hour and a half each day for this. He’d spend the first 40 minutes or so relaxing and clearing his mind. Then he visualized a fox (he liked foxes). After four weeks, he started to feel the fox’s presence, and to have feelings he thought were the fox’s.
Finally, after a chemistry exam, he felt that she spoke to him. “I heard, clear as day, ‘Well, how did you do?’ ” he recalled. For a while he was intensely involved with her, and said it felt more wonderful than falling in love with a girl.
Then he stopped spending all that time meditating — and the fox went away. It turned out she was fragile. He says she comes back, sometimes unexpectedly, when he practices. She calms him down.

Fun read in the Times –
T. M. Luhrmann OCT. 14, 2013