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Who goes to ‘heaven’?

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on September 29, 2010

I was alerted to a blog entry today by thegodguy

I am referring to the words in Deuteronomy 23:1 which read:

He that is bruised with a bruising, or is bruised in the testicle, shall not come into the congregation of Jehovah . . .

What many don’t understand is that this biblical passage is a warning to all people. Even a woman is not spared from such a predicament. People of all genders must guard their “testicles” from being bruised or injured.

Of course, the biblical passage quoted above does not make sense theologically. The condition of a person’s testicles cannot have anything to do with the quality and sincerity of one’s faith. And surely, God’s Infinite Wisdom and Holy Word would not discriminate.

So what gives here?

The passage actually contains a deeper meaning than the literal words convey. This deeper meaning deals with the human psycho-spiritual condition – not the condition of one’s physical genitals. […] Doesn’t it make more theological sense that faulty thinking and wrong beliefs would keep a person from joining Jehovah’s congregation than a sports accident or getting kicked in the groin would? Link

The pasuk (verse) in Devarim 23:1(verse 2 in JPS) is meant LITERALLY. Any MAN who has had their genitals mutilated either by their own will or by others’ cannot become an Israelite – i.e convert to Judaism, join the Jewish People. This has nothing to do with ‘heaven’ or being ‘spiritual’ – this is singularly about the fact that in Judaism – and whatever people say; Torah and Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) is concerned ONLY with the conduct of the Jewish People – it is the male’s obligation to procreate, not the female’s. Torah is all about ACTION, not about thoughts or beliefs or feelings. Also, circumcision is only performed on males, as a requirement for joining the Jewish People and become Jewish and if there is nothing to circumcise, Torah says that they can’t join. But they can pray, they can bind themselves to G-d, be His servants and they are as welcome as any Jew.

Yeshiyahu (Isaiah) 56:1-8 is clear evidence that the ‘interpretation’ you give this pasuk is faulty:

Thus saith the LORD: Keep ye justice, and do righteousness; for My salvation is near to come, and My favour to be revealed.
Happy is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that holdeth fast by it: that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.
Neither let the alien, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying: ‘The LORD will surely separate me from His people’; neither let the eunuch say: ‘Behold, I am a dry tree.’
For thus saith the LORD concerning the eunuchs that keep My sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and hold fast by My covenant:
Even unto them will I give in My house and within My walls a monument and a memorial better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting memorial, that shall not be cut off.
Also the aliens, that join themselves to the LORD, to minister unto Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from profaning it, and holdeth fast by My covenant:
Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer; their burnt-offerings and their sacrifices shall be acceptable upon Mine altar; for My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
Saith the Lord GOD who gathereth the dispersed of Israel: Yet I will gather others to him, beside those of him that are gathered.

Further more King Solomon’s Dedicational Prayer (Melahkim Alef/1 Kings 8:41-43) for the First Temple says:

Moreover concerning the stranger that is not of Thy people Israel, when he shall come out of a far country for Thy name’s sake- – for they shall hear of Thy great name, and of Thy mighty hand, and of Thine outstretched arm – when he shall come and pray toward this house; hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling-place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to Thee for; that all the peoples of the earth may know Thy name, to fear Thee, as doth Thy people Israel, and that they may know that Thy name is called upon this house which I have built.

Naturally each is allowed to have their own understanding – but there are more or less probable ‘interpretations’ of Torah – and yours is very improbable, especially since it is a gross violation of the SPIRIT of Torah, which also says ”You shall not curse the deaf nor place a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God – I am your Lord.” – i.e don’t make life harder for people who are already in a hard situation. Those who are in need of being taught about “faulty thinking and wrong beliefs” will not hear, because they don’t think they need it, and those who are already circumcised in their hearts, but in doubt of their worth to G-d, will increase their doubt through needless self-examination and spiritual self-flagellation. I.e they will stumble on the block you just put in front of them.

Micah 6:6-8

‘Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before Him with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?’ It hath been told thee, O man, what is good, and what the LORD doth require of thee: only to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.

The interesting thing is that instead of actually commenting on my post/comment to his blog – he decided to attempt to change the subject and make it about me by making a slightly mocking comment about the moniker I had chosen for that comment:

Thanks for sharing your knowledge with my readers. However, I had to break out in a little giggle. You see, the symbolic meaning of a “bear” in Scripture is the literal sense of God’s Holy Word SEPARATE from its internal or deeper spiritual meaning. Amazing that you would pick such a name!

I decided to run with his bear-interpretation.

“All things in Scripture refer to our inner spirits. “

I respectfully disagree. So does the majority of people with any knowledge of the Scriptures, Judaism and world history. Torah isn’t concerned with our inner spirits, but with our conduct. Torah doesn’t split us into inner and outer. As G-d is One and Indivisible, so is Human One and Indivisible as Human is created in G-d’s image.

“the symbolic meaning of a “bear” in Scripture is the literal sense of God’s Holy Word SEPARATE from its internal or deeper spiritual meaning.“

Oh… what ever makes you believe this?
There are a few references to bears in the Hebrew Bible, and not once can those be understood as anything but references to actual bears. The symbolic meaning you assign to bears doesn’t even fit the passages!

When the ‘bear’ is referred to or described in Torah/Tanakh it’s as a just deliverer of retribution for sins committed either against G-d or other humans or as something preferable to meet when compared to a fool. – Shmuel B/2 Sam 17:8; Mishlei/Pro 17:12, ; 28:15; Hoshea/Hos 13:8

As I said in my previous comment: “Naturally each is allowed to have their own understanding – but there are more or less probable ‘interpretations’ of Torah…”

Unless one KNOWS the origin, context and purpose of any given text in Torah and Tanakh one cannot give an accurate account of Its meaning, and one will, while perhaps aiding oneself (as G-d speaks differently to each of us) ultimately lead others astray from the simple, plain truths of Torah.

It’s really simple. Torah speaks to our conduct here and now – the reward is here and now. There is no Heaven or even Afterlife in Torah. We live, we die and we are no more. Like the grass. The reward for conducting ourselves according to what Torah teaches (summarized in Vayikra/Leviticus 19:18 and Micah 6:8) is the continued existence and prosperity of Human (if one reads in a Global Context – of the Jewish People if one reads in a Jewish Context). Torah teaches us that we get ‘there’ by DOING. What we believe is totally irrelevant. What we DO is everything. In fact Torah says that by DOING we will eventually understand the ‘meaning’ of what we do.
THAT is the reward – not ‘heaven’ or ‘eternal life’.

And then he replies:

I respect your sincere interpretation of the Word of God. However, the Word comes to us from heaven – which is beyond time and space. Therefore, any communication coming from this non-physical source must have first existed in a purely spiritual form, abstracted from all terrestrial qualities. When angels read the Holy Word they understand nothing but the purely spiritual meanings of God’s revealed wisdom!

One thing that I truly dislike is when Torah is said to say things It doesn’t.

So I responded – pointing to his use of ‘heaven’:

“the Word comes to us from heaven”.

To me it seems that Torah disagrees with you – at least if one reads the plain words of It and doesn’t add interpretations and spiritual baggage to It.
Devarim/Deuteronomy 30:11-14
For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not too hard for thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say: ‘Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say: ‘Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?’ But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

G-d IS. If nothing else, Tehillim/Psalms 139 will tell us that this is true according to Torah and Tanakh. It is clear from the way the words speak of all kinds of places that the author of the Tehilla/Psalm suggests he might go and still G-d would be there.

When Torah speaks of ‘heaven’ It is speaking of the actual physical ‘sky’ or ‘space’ that we can see if we look at it. It is not speaking of a spiritual, non-physical ‘place’ or ‘situation’ out-side time and space.

In the Torah that I read, Torah came to us (Globally and Specifically) from G-d, not heaven. Or Moshe would have had to go up to ‘heaven’ to get it, and Torah says he didn’t, (at most he went up a mountain and came down again) – nor was there any need for that – because G-d gave it to us, G-d spoke (if you will from the Mountain to Moshe) and there it was – in our mouths, and in our hearts, so that we might do It.

Where do you find evidence in Torah that the angels read Torah?


Posted in Torah, Torah Observance | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Proper Perspectives

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on June 15, 2010

In the same way that our view of our vulnerabilities and our foreign policy was shaped profoundly by 9/11, I think this disaster is going to shape how we think about the environment and energy for many years to come,” he told the US political website Politico

Finally a president with guts enough to put the WTC-attack in its proper perspective! A horrible incident in USonian history, but nothing more than that.

And again the world is faced with the USonian ignorance and arrogance that make the majority of USonians look dumb, self-centered and boorish:

He’s off-base,” said former New York fire department deputy chief Jim Riches, whose son died at the World Trade Centre. “These were terrorist attacks, not something caused by people trying to make money.”

From the perspective of the impact on the minds of normal, sane and thinking human beings, the leaking, burning oil-well that is spewing its deadly innards into the sea, unto beaches and wet-lands, is a disaster no less in magnitude for the sea-life, wild-life and ecology of the Gulf Coast, than “9/11” was for the citizens of NY.

The President is right on the money. Almost.

Considering the damage to the sea-life, wild-life and ecology of the Gulf Coast – including several species of animals and birds that live only there – in the wet-lands of Louisiana – and are either endangered or on the brink of being endangered – like the Brown pelican and the manatee, he is actually falling short in his ‘comparison’. More Wild-life will be lost as a result of the USonian short-sighted and egotistical use of fossil-fuels than the 2500+ human lives that were lost in the toppling of the WTC. While those humans are gone forever and their relatives have every right to mourn, they in no way make even a small dent in the human population on this planet. Yet every Brown pelican lost, every Manatee or other animal dead, either to the oil spill itself or to the ensuing starvation that will follow because feeding grounds are destroyed, will deprive the endangered birds, animals and sea-life of diversity in their gene pool, and in the end they will be extinct. Gone forever.

Now, that is a true catastrophe, a disaster that if not understood in its entirety is worthy of human grief and USonian shame. Jim Riches lost his son, true, but does that mean others have to suffer the loss of never seeing a Brown Pelican or a Manatee?

Jim Riches sees only himself and his loss. Barack Obama sees beyond all the Jim Riches, and realizes that the Deepwater Horizon continuous attack on the coast of the Mexican Gulf is an attack much more devastating to the USonian people living along that coast, in terms of having their environment, livelihoods, families and damaged, destroyed and decimated for YEARS to come, and for what? USonian greed, isolationism and arrogance.

Posted in 9/11, Animals, Barack Obama, Ecology, US Interests, US Politics | Leave a Comment »

OTM of The Logical Fallacy of Life

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 10, 2010

"Religion is not the opiate of the masses, religion is the placebo of the masses." (House season 5 episode 15 – Unfaithful)

Yup, doesn’t do anything but makes us believe that it does, right? Perhaps that’s why so many religious people don’t actually change after they have ‘got religion’?

I mean some do – alcoholics get sober, gamblers stop gambling and thieves stop stealing after having a religious experiences – but the large majority doesn’t. Not really. What they do is believe that religion is the little red pill, they took it so it’s working because Dr. Edgemar said it would.

That’s why so many religious people keep doing whatever evil they did prior to ‘getting religion’. They believe that not only have they changed, but the nature of their actions have changed and suddenly become ‘not-evil’. Because they believe religion has fixed them, and they are now ‘good people’ they believe that they cannot do anything evil or bad.

“But hey”, you say, “that’s not what placebo does, it either does nothing or the belief that it’s the right medication causes an actual ‘mind over matter’ cure of the disease!”. Yes. But go back to the beginning – Dr Edgemar said that it would work, so whether the placebo actually did something or not, is irrelevant because they don’t believe in the placebo, they believe in Dr Edgemar, and he said it works, so with or without physical changes, they must have changed. The Logical Fallacy of Life.

Posted in spirituality | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

OTM of Assumptions 2

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 7, 2010

I witnessed a dialogue between two people – which ended with the person represented by text in red leveling some outrageous accusations against the other – based on nothing but assumptions (and, I suspect, a dark malicious heart dead set on hurting and harming another). Quite disturbing, considering where it took place – in a site where people are supposed to be guided by ‘their higher selves’.

"It doesn’t matter what one’s intentions are, ___.
Hitler’s intentions were to create a better Germany for Germans.
Conquistadors were to create more prosperous home world.
USA attacked Iraq and Afghanistan to defend USonians.
All good intentions.
What they did to reach there was inexcusable and very wrong."

"USA attacked Iraq and Afghanistan to defend USonians."
I had to look up the term USonians as in my entire 53+ years of living as an American I have never heard the term used in reference to my countrymen.[…]My conclusion:  an archaic term which has outlived modern usage and not in use today.  ___, I suggest you update your vocabulary and use the term American when discussing my countrymen so as not to offend or confuse us.”

“I realize you are not American and thus cannot share in my pride in being one, but many nations around the globe would certainly be upset if the money that the United States contributes to their coffers were to suddenly dry up because we American’s decided to stop those payments and instead use those funds to take care of issues at home instead of abroad.  We Americans are getting very tired of criticisms from countries abroad though some are rightly deserved.  Its just that when you get shot down enough with criticisms you lose the desire to help those who shoot you…and there also goes the desire to help with foreign aid…Perhaps it is time for other countries, perhaps yours, to make up the payments the United States has been making to the rest of the world for a few years???”


95% of the world is not USonian. I am 100% sure that there are more people who would be happy to have the “Yankees (and especially Dixies) go home” and take their armies, coca cola and MacDonald’s with them, than people who would be sad.

USA is not alone in the world, and it has deserved every bit of criticism it gets. USA does a lot of good, but also a lot of bad. If you get tired of the criticism, don’t blame the critics, DO SOMETHING TO IMPROVE YOUR ACTIONS.

Don’t help us. We can manage fine without you. We did it thousands of years before United States of America was even thought of, and we will do it fine even after you have long ceased to exist.
Besides, most of the USonian help comes with a price tag that is way too expensive.
Look at what happened to Hawai’i when US came to “help” them. :->
When US UNFAIRLY AND ILLEGALLY attacked Iraq and Afghanistan, and some countries objected to this, what did US do? Started demanding “gratitude for WWII”, when “you saved us” AND a slander campaign against these countries. :-> You seem to have forgotten it, but I haven’t.

Don’t forget that your dear US has a national debt held by foreign nations of about 3 trillion dollars. That is 3 and 12 zeros.
Don’t forget that USA hasn’t paid its due to ODA nor UN for years, if ever.
Don’t forget that 75% of US aid money is private donations, and that  PROPORTIONALLY EACH OF THE DEVELOPED COUNTRIES GIVE MORE THAN USA, even after the private donations are counted.
You might need to read this: USA: Foreign Aid
Don’t forget that USA has been very active in CAUSING the damage countries need help with. Not only by warring (always on someone else’s land, huh?), but by murdering democratically elected presidents, because they happen to be socialists, forcing countries to accept unfair trade contracts, colonialism and not to talk about the environmental damage.
Don’t forget that most of your oil comes from somewhere else. Do you still remember when the gas price started rising and how the US reacted on that? Now, think what would happen if you didn’t buy any oil at all from outside US.
Don’t forget that most of your human resources are foreign imports, immigrants or their children.

I think you would do better to be less prideful and more realistic, understanding that you might be one of the richest, biggest and strongest countries of the world, but you are still only one country among the about 200 countries of the world.”[…]

“I had to look up the term USonians as in my entire 53+ years of living as an American I have never heard the term used in reference to my countrymen.”

“Isn’t it great that you learn still new words in English after half a century of using it?

Actually, it’s not an archaic term. More and more people are starting to use it in this new Millennium, to synchronize the language use in the world that is getting smaller.

I can tell you that I too was used to use the word “American” of only USonians, until some years ago I participated in a discussion in which many non-USonian Americans expressed being offended by the use, as it was making United States THE America, as if no other American country mattered.

It’s not “American army”. It’s “US army”.
In your stamps it doesn’t say “America”, it says “USA”.
In many maps the country you live in is called “United States” or “USA”.
Everyone knows what United States mean, but America – could mean a lot of things.

The Olympics start next Friday – there are five rings on the Olympic Flag, representing the five continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and America.
When I say “Asian”, I mean a person who comes from the continent of Asia.
When I say “African”, I mean a person who comes from the continent of Africa.
When I say “European”, I mean a person who comes from the continent of Europe.
Naturally, when I say “American”, I should mean a person who comes from the continent of America.

I could suggest you update your vocabulary and use the term USonian when discussing with non-USonians so as not to offend every other person living on the continent of America.

As I don’t assume you are after offending anyone, and because I understand that the world is so used to use words for which the reasons to use them is past recall, I’m not suggesting it.

But, you might take it under consideration. An old Swedish man protested in the newspaper against the prohibition of the N-word, as he was used to use the word and didn’t mean anything negative, offensive or derogatory with it. In Sweden, we are discussing other such words that have become part of the colloquial language, but that are obviously offensive, when one understands the reasons why people started using it.”

"I spent time Google searching the term and any reference to the term in describing American’s was old, or infrequently used by non-American’s but the vast majority of references to the term Usonian was to the style of architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright who was designing housing before I was born in the 1950’s.

I find the term archaic and every time I see you use it I cringe because I do not consider myself Usonian but American.  I am not a type of architecture and I find that when you use that term to describe me and my countrymen you are offending us, an entire nation of Americans. 

You have to be careful how you approach people in the words you use to them.  You went out of your way in that discussion to use that term at every point just to be obstinate so you could offend me and my countrymen time and again and you were successful.  You went out of your way to be hurtful and this is the type of activity that you engage in that offends people again and again ___.  Since you engage people in these ways time and again you get the negative reactions/responses you get from people ___.  Stop intentionally trying to be hurtful to others like you did to me and you will stop having those types of reactions."

Where did the person represented in blue text “go out of their way to be obstinate…to offend…”? Where did the person represented “go out of their way to be hurtful…”?

The answer is: Nowhere. The person represented by text in red and green is going by nothing but their own assumptions about another’s motivations and intentions, and formulating accusations and personal attacks based on this assumed ‘fact’ – which they have no way of knowing anything about. This is accepted in a site where the tolerance for personal attacks is supposed to be zero. Where people who give air to their personal perceptions – clearly stating them as such are told by the Site Admin that they should be careful about ‘assumptions’. Pardon my French, but what kind of frigging crap is that??


Posted in General, spirituality | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

OTM of Convictions, Passions and Persuasions

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 7, 2010

I am so frigging tired of being asked to be less than I am. Sick and tired of being told that I am too convincing, think too highly of myself, speak too passionately, defend my convictions too vehemently or argue my points too persuasively.
If I am convincing enough, passionate enough and persuasive enough to rattle your convictions, passions and persuasions to a point where you you feel you have to make your insecurities about me – then your convictions, passions and persuasions are weak my friend, and you need to look at them, because then they might not be worth holding on to.

Yes, I am a big person, but I am not big at the expense of others, never, because I know my own size and I take care not to stomp on others. I am who I am. Deal with it for crying out loud! Don’t take your own sense of inadequacy and bad self-confidence out on me. Don’t make your shortcomings and failures about me. Don’t make your insecurities about me. If you feel challenged by me – GOOD! But don’t make it about me.

I know who I am, I know what I am, I know why I am what I am and I am not ashamed of that. So just deal with it, because I am not gonna shrink my breeches because your Mommy can’t sew and you cry about a frozen @ss!

The world is big enough for all of us. So let’s just BE all that we can be and relish how awesome that is!

Posted in Belief, Personal | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

OTM of Broken Trust and Self-Righteous People

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on March 3, 2010

I decided to trust someone with a fact about my life and my family, and this someone decided that she knew better than I what was good for me and for my marriage and for my wife. She broke my trust and then she had the audacity to lecture me on the ‘meaning of marriage’.

Here is what I responded to her when she had broken my trust and violated my confidence and insulted me to boot. Now if she had any decency, any simple, common, human decency, she would respond to me in the discussion or in private, but sadly to say, I believe she is one of those self-righteous and sanctimonious people who can’t admit that they were wrong or acknowledge that they have seriously hurt another person. The funny thing is that I am 99% certain that she did it on purpose – she is probably so convinced that she knows the Truth about me, that she honestly believes she has the right to punish me for my shortcomings and character defects she thinks I have. It might play into it that I had the gall to censure her husband when he went overboard with the personal attacks and insults in an attempt to teach people how not to act and interact on-line. I normally keep people’s names out things when I write, but this time I need to share the Truth, as well as warn others not to share private, personal or sensitive information with this individual, because she will most likely violate your trust.

For the context please refer to this thread for the complete context

Yes Dov, Your wife isn’t going to object to your presence now is she and yes, you are the one person in the world who is most likely going to know anything about what it she that she needs and wants.  So why then is she coming to this forum and asking others what did she do wrong? How is it that she feels the need to come to others for answers if she can get all she needs and wants from you?

Perhaps because I don’t think she has done anything wrong. She doesn’t understand what she has done wrong, so she asks the people who seem to be the ones thinking she has done something wrong. If you believe that you will get everything you need and want from your husband, you are in for a disappointing ride, Barb. As well as laying a huge burden on Torch. But that is the most common mistake made by married couples.

She is asking for critiques from others about what she in her perception did wrong.  I am not even responding to that topic but I am asking you to give her some room to grow from others answers.

I can read, Barb, you don’t have to repeat what Ket already said in her original post. She has all the room she wants and needs to learn from others – the problem here was that Torch wasn’t teaching her anything or responding to her in a respectful manner, so I moderated, as I should. If I had been so hot on preventing her from learning, don’t you agree that I would have responded to Mary or Mr. who seemed to take her questions seriously and answer in a respectful manner? Ask yourself – what was Torch saying that prompted me to come and engage him? How did he go about saying it? Don’t bother about whether you agree or not or what you feel about him – if you read Torch’s posts from 6:08 to 8:43 – are those posts made by a man who is actually answering the honest questions asked in the thread starter? Someone who is giving constructive and helpful guidance to a person asking for help? If I had written those posts, would you have thought that those posts were made by a man who is actually answering the honest questions asked in the thread starter? Someone who is giving constructive and helpful guidance to a person asking for help?

I do understand your need to be protective of her but I also see her as a very capable woman who can take excellent care of herself with extremely high communication skills.  I am just suggesting that maybe she doesn’t need the knight in shining armor to come to her defense that you see yourself being.

No you don’t understand. In fact you have misunderstood completely, and it’s connected to the idea you have that I do, whatever it is you think that I do, because I am married to Ketutar. I don’t see myself as her knight in shining armor. I don’t think I ever have, that’s one of the reasons I lover her – she doesn’t need or want me to be, so I don’t have to try and be something I can’t be.

I know that she is totally capable of fending for herself – she a member in more Forums than this, and she’s doing just fine there (interestingly enough though, she doesn’t have the problems there that she has in Gaia)  – I hear her mutter away at her keyboard and yes, she is extremely intelligent, has extremely good communications skills, plus a lot of other things that one needs to participate on-line. 

You telling me this, which I have known for 15 years, as if I am 15 year old boy on his way to his first date, getting some last advice from Mommy, is rather ridiculous. Especially since Ketutar the one who needs to come bail me out 😀 among all the debris of logical fallacies, Schopenhaueric Techniques and what not that litter people’s posts like it was candy here.

As to my responding in a “wifely” manner…I would have made the comment I made whether my husband had made his comments here or not.

But I can’t possibly be making my comments out of simple agreement or because Ketutar is a human being and at times I see something that is out of whack in a response? It has to be because she’s my wife, there is no other possible reason.

You don’t know me Barb. If you did, you would know that I would defend anyone if I thought they were being unfairly treated or at a disadvantage somehow. That’s who I am and that’s what I do. If you do not believe me, you can ask Dale Husband, he is the one person here in Gaia who has known me the longest, except for Ket.

The only reason that I am here, is that I am a mod in this Pod, and this is the only discussion where there is any activity at the moment (since this mess started). The only reason I am in any other discussions around Gaia is because I want to be. The only reason I was in any of the discussion linked to was because I wanted to be. It’s that simple.

As to my comment about your and Ket being a married couple…what is so wrong about that being common knowledge?  First off, I thought I had read somewhere in the last couple of months that it had already been exposed elsewhere though i can’t recall where at this point in time and Torch remembers that as well.  Additionally, what do the two of you have to hide from everyone else in keeping your marital status secret from the community? 

Our marriage is not a secret, Barb, and there is nothing I would have liked more than tell all of Gaia what a lovely wife I have and how proud I am of her and her accomplishments both here and elsewhere. However, we have been together/married for almost 15 years – and during those 15 years we have learned that people will assume that married couples are joined at the hip, share a hive mind and/or defend each other blindly and regardless of their own opinions, much the same assumption you are making here.

Leading to people who dislike one spouse automatically disliking the other spouse – guilt by association sort of. You yourself implied this thinking once to me, when you asked me if I could consider being friends with you despite your husband (I think you might have thought that I disliked him after the chronic pain thread or something like that). All of which results in a bloody mess, such as accusations leveled at one spouse for things the other was involved in, insinuations about one spouse leveled at the other. Other things, from people thinking that one spouse is using the other’s account, is really a sock-puppet, to really nasty little gang-ups where a ‘loathed’ couple is being subjected sexual harassment or suggestions about their sex-life being circulated and even posted in public.

I don’t think you can even imagine what it’s like to be sent pictures in email or have pictures posted in groups you host – pictures of naked molested women, where the face is replaced with that of your wife. Or be sent links to private pods where your wife’s picture is being displayed with all sorts of lewd comments and she is being voted the ugliest woman in I hope to G-d that you and Torch will never have to go through something like that, Barb.

All of the above was the reason I asked you to keep it to yourself that Ket and I are married. Do we have anything to hide? No, but I have learned that it’s safer for both of us if we don’t tell people that we are married. Yes, one of our friends, who also has ADHD, like I do, posted in his pod a short welcome note when we joined his pod – the note was there for perhaps 5 hours before I saw it and asked him to remove it/edit it. He made a mistake. You breaking your word to me here was not a mistake.

We wanted it kept out of the Gaia Forums so I and Ket could feel safe, and you just couldn’t imagine any other reason than that we somehow must have something to hide and you used that information to what?

To point a finger at me and tell me that I am pretending to be my wife’s knight in shining armor and that I am preventing her from growing personally? You broke a trust to score a point?!

Do you now understand why I was having that row with Nicole about the ethics of sharing private information in public – the one that Torch is having such a fit over in his 8:43 post?

Don’t you think its pretty obvious from the way you post in such evident support of each other that you are a couple?  Denying each other and your love and support of each other has to be harmful to your marriage.

You yourself told me that you had no idea when I told you – so why would others, just because we occasionally (we are not members of the same Pods, I hardly know what Ket does here, except when I see her I a discussion we are both in) agree in discussions or support each other in some way?

You are reading in 20/20 hind-sight, Barb.

You know we are married and therefore everything we do becomes an obvious sign that we are married – when we could just as well be very good friends or siblings.

In fact our marriage is healthier when people on-line don’t know, because it doesn’t have to suffer the strain of on-line life, and we are healthier too, because contrary to common belief about marriage, it’s strengthening factor when each of us can move about without constantly being thought of as ‘the other’s spouse’. We want to feel safe. I don’t want to be half a human being with an appendix, or  simply an appendix, nor does Ket as far as I know, what’s so wrong about that?


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OTM of Pain 3

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on January 14, 2010

Pain is not a good thing. 
Pain is not a teacher. 
Pain is not healing. 
Pain is not a blessing. 
Pain is not love. 
Pain is not sweet. 
Pain is not inevitable.

When people talk about pain in positive terms like this:

Pain is a good thing. 
Pain is a teacher. 
Pain is healing. 
Pain is a blessing. 
Pain is love. 
Pain is sweet. 
Pain is inevitable.

They are not speaking about PAIN as something that comes without warning, without their own control. They are speaking about self-imposed pain. Self-mortification, self-flagellation. That is not PAIN, that is the self-centered and egotistical imitation of pain. Ultimately it’s an attempt to avoid pain.

Judaism has always held self-mortificators in low regard, as exactly that, self-centered and egotistical imitators and attention seekers.

Torah says about this:

“‘Now this is the law of the Nazirite when the days of his separation are fulfilled, he shall bring the offering to the doorway of the tent of meeting. 14 ‘He shall present his offering to the LORD: one male lamb a year old without defect for a burnt offering and one ewe-lamb a year old without defect for a sin offering and one ram without defect for a peace offering, 15 and a basket of unleavened cakes of fine flour mixed with oil and unleavened wafers spread with oil, along with their grain offering and their drink offering. 16 ‘Then the priest shall present them before the LORD and shall offer his sin offering and his burnt offering.”

Torah allows self-imposed mortifications (becoming a nazarite), but does at the same time consider the act in itself a sin for which the person needs to bring a sin-offering to be cleansed from.

People who seek pain as a teacher, healing, blessing etc, will learn nothing, heal nothing and get no blessing from it, because they are not seeking real pain, they are creating a controllable imitation of pain, which means that they have removed the one element of pain, emotional or physical, that makes pain into painpowerlessness to make it stop.

This is akin to the self-victimizers who create situations, f.i online in discussion forums, where they are ‘victimized’ by others through being ‘misunderstood’, ‘ignored’ or ‘met by aggression’. The nature of the ‘misunderstanding’ or ‘aggression’ is always defined by the self-victimizer, and is seldom visible to an objective eye. They are ultimately in control of those situations, and are quite adept at manipulating the situations so that the victimizations are never specifically severe. Once they have had their ‘fix’ they leave the discussion or the Forum entirely, and are satisfied for a while, until they need their next ‘fix’, at which time they will come back and create a new situation in which they can be ‘victimized’ under controlled forms.

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OTM of Pain 2

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on January 12, 2010

“what hurts us most heals us most”

Another fantastic nonsensical statement that is meant to cement pain and suffering as a path to a healthy spiritual living…and of course pure bullshit as well 🙂 – and one of the most horrifying examples of Spiritual Double-Speak that I have ever come across.

In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance it was believed that pain and suffering had an ennobling, sweetening and cleansing effect on everything.


So in order to sweeten the meat of animals, they were cooked alive and eaten while still alive in that cooked state. [linkWARNING, the text is extremely graphic and disturbing, read at your own risk, and don’t tell me I did not warn you] witches, prostitutes and homosexuals were thought to be cleansed from their ‘sins’ by the repeated insertion of hot-red iron rods and iron-‘eggs’ (nice little contraptions that could be opened inside the body once they had been inserted) in their mouths, rectal orifices and vaginas. There was even a special chair that could insert those implements simultaneously in all orifices of the human body. Gay men were also subjected to what was called “the ring” – a red hot iron ring were pressed on and around their penis repeatedly.

It was believed that it was good for their souls – that they, because they eventually died from this treatment (the longest recorded time anyone lived through this treatment is said to have been 4 days), were not only cleansed from their sins, but ennobled and elevated human beings.

In addition to this belief, flagellants – self-mortificators – were held in high regard because it was believed that the repeated act of whipping, cutting and branding themselves lead to an ennobling of the soul.

The honest fact about all this ‘pain is enlightening, ennobling and good for the soul’, which was not just high spiritual fashion in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, but is high spiritual fashion today, and in Gaia, is that it is all a way to find purpose in that which we cannot explain – it is a way to solve the problem of human suffering.

If I can say (and believe) that “what hurts us most heals us most” is a spiritual truth, then suffering is not suffering at all, and pain is not pain at and I can go on denying the facts of my life – especially if I take road of Siddhartha Gautama and sits me down under a tree and close my eyes to it all. Spiritual Double-Speak. It also removes the responsibility of being compassionate, caring and kind from me, because if suffering and pain is GOOD for people, then I shouldn’t work to alleviate wars, famine, torture, abuse or human rights violations, because in doing so I would be robbing people of much needed spiritual growth., like this child here:

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OTM of Pain 1

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on January 12, 2010

Pain is inevitable,

Suffering is optional

Bullshit, pure unsifted horse manure, is what it is.

Pain IS suffering – even if it’s just a mild headache. With a mild headache I might be able to function, and unless my headache is chronic, it will eventually cease. I can perhaps quicken its demise by taking an aspirin. Good. Then I do that.

Yes, you can learn to live with pain – cope – but it’s still suffering and it still affects every aspect of your life. Inevitably. To claim anything else is lying and delusional.

Contrary to common belief, exposure to prolonged pain doesn’t desensitize us to pain, it makes us more sensitive to pain.

Something that is often observed in victims of chronic pain – after a while the pain medication seem to not be working, and the dosage needs to be adjusted – not because the pain in itself increased, but because the body itself and the nervous system has became more sensitive, and thus the experience of pain changed and the pain increased.

Because – and this is important – even if pain-medication blocks the pain-signal from the site of the pain, it does not REMOVE or HEAL the cause of the pain. That is still there, and the body is still experiencing it in full, the nerves and tissue are still exploding with pain. What happens when we get more sensitive to pain as we are exposed to it is that the tissue, nerves, the area of pain is getting fatigued, and we all know that fatigue makes anything more sensitive, from inorganic minerals to human flesh. So the site of pain will raise its voice and break through the pain-medication block, and tell us that it hurts and even more than before.

We experience pain differently to begin with. What to some might be mild and bearable may to others be excruciating. That’s why in modern pain-management the sufferer is asked where on a scale from 1-10 their pain level is, so that they can get pain-medication or pain-relief that is adapted to their personal and actual experience of the pain, not to a standardized dosage scale.

I will be getting at the ‘pain-worshipping’ that we are so fond of, in my next entry. Until then contemplate the victim of torture in the picture, and meditate over how his pain is a spiritual experience to be embraced for the betterment of his soul, and how the trauma will teach him a valuable lesson about the kindness of humans and the omnipresence of G-d 🙂

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OTM of Being Real 1

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on January 11, 2010


by Margery Williams

(this starts at the point when the Skin Horse and the Rabbit are talking)

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn’t how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn’t happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

"The Boy’s Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always."

“Get Real!”

Here in Gaia I have heard this – people demanding, coaxing, requesting, wishing for others to be Real.

What’s it mean? Following a few discussions it seemed that what it means is “Be Honest, Take Responsibility, Be a Mensch!”

I was reminded of a few concepts I am familiar with from the 12 Step Movement – Rigorous Honesty, Spiritual Awakening.

But that’s not something we can demand of people. It’s something that takes time, if it happens at all.

Some people never get there – they can’t seem to grasp even the smallest morsel of what it is. They skirt the issue entirely. Some get it fast – they reach out for it and embrace it in bounds and leaps – and most often we admire those people.

And yet some others approach this tentatively, slowly in small increments at an almost invisible pace. That is how it must be. For them.

Some talk high and low about it, but when asked to actually DISPLAY realness they turn out to be all talk and no walk. It’s disappointing when that happens, but it has to be ok, that too. Others don’t even have the concept in their vocabulary – yet when you meet them they exude Realness.

It is not something we can demand of people, because when all is said and done, it’s something that happens as a result of being loved to bits. All we can do, for those who have not yet found their Realness, for whatever reason, is compassionately love them by being as Real as we are capable of in our dealings with them and leave the rest to G-d.

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