Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fragmenti: Scripture as Press Release

Every once in a while, I make a quick note, capturing a floating thought, and then lose that snippet of inspiration in the sea of email, post-it-notes, journal books, backs-o-business cards, scraps of paper etc... whatever is at hand, really - and then run across a fragment of contained inspiration and shake my head and wonder "where the hell did that come from."

Here's the most recent of what I lovingly laughingly call "Fragmenti" as I collect it into shoe boxes from time to time ......
"If the bible is made of of press releases, I want to read the blogsphere of those times. I trust the silent wisdom on the crowds more than the cherrypicked sound bites of the Niscean Council."

This comes from a past book study that had a Biblical theme - The Historical Mary: Revealing the Pagan Identiy of the Virgin Mother" by Michael Jordan (not THAT Michael Jordan). Part of the discussion was about how there were many gospels, many epistles, many chronicles, and that a group of men gathered to determine which version of Christian Orthodoxy would dominate, assimilate and obliterate all other versions of the Faith of the Carpenter from Gallilee.  I have read the Nag Hammadi Codex, and it makes for some very interesting reading.  (Hels Bells - even the subtle differences in various translations of the Holy Writ can provide much divergence in meaning as language changes and evolves over time)

My thought was that this makes the Bible, in all it's gloriously poetic beauty (in the King James version, at least - hate the newer dumbed-down adaptations) - basically a compilation of press releases. Mandated and approved messages to promote and propulgate the faith.  Cards shuffled and then carefully stacked to ensure that a winning poker hand was dealt to the Establishment in Rome to codify a new religious culture and reshape civilization.  They didn't count on the few jokers in the deck getting dealt when the cards got reshuffled in subsequent generations (Luther - Descartes - Henry VIII when he had women problems, to name a few in no particular order).

We all know how reliable press releases are. (ahem). "This is marketing, not a documentary" has never been more true.  Doesn't matter which side is putting out the spin - spin it is and spin it shall always be. Veracity is a rare commodity - almost as extinct as the IndoChinese Tiger (they think the last one just got eaten by hungry villagers, but they aren't sure).

I wish we had access to the full range of Citizen Journalism of the Ancient Times. It is lost to us - there are bits and pieces of historical writings and analysis, but very little remains of the Vox Populi that is fully and truly authentic.  So much of who we are as a culture and what we have done was based on the agenda filled interpretation of a couple books.

What if the same thing happened this century with The Spiral Dance - or The Witches Bible - or Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner - or Teen Witch.  Or a chapter from each one - in no particular order.  If all the Official Pagan Elders /Big Name Pagans from around the world gathered, and put together the Holy Book of Wicca and the government made The Craft the official state religion based on the book that was assembled by the Ultimate Red Cord Council.

I shudder to think.  Sleep tight.


1 comment:

  1. Suddenly, I'm imagining John the Baptist as the @scobleizer in the group (natural extension, @baptiser, much less obtuse).

    Given the natural drift in language, I'm still astounded that more diverse versions of the Official Text don't exist, or haven't propagated as well as some of the main codices.

    Still, with the acceleration in cultural drift that's happened in the last decade, I'd hazzard a guess that this kind of curation of formula is pretty much unrepeatable. The idea of An Unified Codex of Wiccan Thought is fairly remote; even with current communication tools, I'd have trouble reconciling the idea of, say, five hundred well respected elders gathering together to perform such a Council, especially the further away we get from Gardner's Inception and the many headed hydra thereafter.

    Still, "@descartes: Je pense donc je suis" is an amusing thought. Wonder how many RTs he deserves. Imagine what havoc Luther could have done with a Facebook page. Or, if he shows up soon, would La Segunda Venida would do with MySpace.