And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah.Then Rachel said to Leah, "Give me, I pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes."And she said unto her, "Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son's mandrakes also?"And Rachel said, "Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son's mandrakes."And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, "Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes."And he lay with her that night (vv. 14-16).
Sunday, October 30, 2022
Thursday, October 27, 2022
As time passed, Dew worked especially hard and tirelessly to build up a large amount of wealth. He bought a scythe, hoe, axe, new clothes, and other equipment. Dew then told his mother his plan: he would tell Anansi that she had died and would then make a mock coffin in which to bury her. In the meanwhile, Dew wished for his mother to hide in their home upstairs while he prepared, so she did. Dew then made a coffin and announced her death to the village, inviting them to come see her burial. Once they had arrived, he snuck his mother from upstairs and had her hide underneath the floor where the mock coffin lay, as well as the many things he'd purchased, as he knew Anansi's greed would spurn him to steal from Dew if he saw them laying around. Now that the plan was in order, it was time for the mock burial to begin. . . .
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Sunday, October 23, 2022
Friday, October 14, 2022
Thursday, October 13, 2022
Just a very minor sync, but I note it in case it develops into something bigger.
A day or two ago I encountered somewhere -- perhaps one of the Catholic blogs from Synlogos? -- the unfamiliar term parrhesia, which I had to look up. It refers to frankness or boldness of speech. It is also a genus of moths.
Today, in the concluding chapter of Histoire de la magie, I encountered a passing reference to Ixion and how he attempted to rape Hera but was tricked by Zeus into assaulting a fake Hera made from a cloud. Having only the vaguest recollection of this particular myth, I looked it up to get the details. The Hera-shaped cloud apparently became in some way a real woman who went on to bear children to both Ixion and Athamas, and this cloud-woman's name was Nephele (from nephos, "cloud").
The disambiguation page on Wikipedia notes that Nephele is also (like Parrhesia) the name of a genus of moths, and that it is the title of a 2014 song by the instrumental progressive metal band Animals as Leaders. This band's most recent album, released in March of this year, is called Parrhesia.
The Nephele genus belongs to the family Sphingidae, called "sphinx moths" or "hawk moths." The hummingbird hawk moth is a subject of the TMBG song "Bee of the Bird of the Moth," which has appeared in sync posts here before. As for the other common name for this family, both "Nephele" and Parrhesia were released by the indie label Sumerian Records. Despite the fact that Sumer and Egypt were quite distinct ancient civilizations, this is their logo:
The Sphinx's nature as a human-animal chimaera is also relevant. The son of Ixion and Nephele was Centaurus, father of the centaurs. According to the Byzantine poet John Tzetzes, Centaurus was a nickname, and his true name was Imbrus -- which is more usually the name of one of the sons of King Aegyptus, son of Belus. Aegyptus obviously means "Egypt," and Belus has been connected with Bel Marduk, a god of Sumerian origin.
Update: This post led me to peruse the Wikipedia article on "Egypt-Mesopotamia relations," where I found this:
The "Master of Animals" motif bears an obvious conceptual relation to the band name Animals as Leaders. The king flanked by two lions also reminds me of depictions of the Mesopotamian Anzû.
Like the sphinx, Anzû is a chimaerical creature -- typically depicted as a sort of griffin in reverse: a lion-headed eagle. This looks quite a bit like an owl and calls to mind the Chinese word for "owl" -- 貓頭鷹, literally "cat-headed eagle."
Update 2: Now this is weird. When I looked up Sumerian Records on Wikipedia while writing this post, the intro paragraph said, "They have signed artists such as Black Veil Brides, Poppy, Bad Omens, Palaye Royale, and The Smashing Pumpkins." The Smashing Pumpkins were the only ones I had heard of, and I realized that I don't really know anything about them but the name. I clicked the link but then didn't really read anything. I just saw that the frontman's name was Billy Corgan and clicked for the article about him. Then I didn't read that article, either! (I'm not really sure what the point of clicking was.) I just noted that the name seemed off: "Corgan"? I know corgi and Kurgan, and Corrigan, but not Corgan.
Then that made me think of Corgunard, a character created by my brother for a D&D campaign back when we were teenagers. This was in the Dark Sun setting, where evil wizards gradually change into dragons, and good ones transform into something called an avangion (though we always pronounced it avagon), which is basically a giant humanoid moth. Corgunard was an avangion, and somewhere along the line he magically merged with the dragon sorcerer-king Nibenay to become a single being called Nibenard. Nibenay was created by the D&D guys, not by us, and when I looked him up just now (here), I read that "His templars [i.e. magic-wielding bureaucrats] are known as Shadow Brides." Sounds a lot like the "Black Veil Brides" from Sumerian Records.
Later this evening, I checked the Anonymous Conservative blog and found this:
While we are on shapeshifting, there was another account by Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corrigan, who said the record industry is controlled by them. He seems to believe it, in the videos online of his statements on it. So him, maybe credible, Odom, and then best selling author M. Scott Peck, who I would say is definitely credible, given his academic history alone.
Not just a reference to Billy Corgan, but one by someone else who apparently thought Corrigan looked more like a real name!
Retracing my steps online in order to write this update, I noticed something I hadn't caught before in the intro to the Sumerian Records article: "In early 2022, Sumerian acquired Behemoth Entertainment, a comic book and video game publisher, in order to increase their merchandise options and further expand the brand."
See "Be he moth or be he bird" for the word behemoth and its relevance to "The Bee of the Bird of the Moth."
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
The King James Version will always be the Bible I know and love best, but reading a different translation from time to time can be helpful, too, as it makes the familiar unfamiliar and helps one to see it in a new way. Such has been my recent experience reading the Penitential Psalms in the Vulgate translation of St. Jerome. My attention was particularly arrested by the 10th verse of Psalm 32 (called Psalm 31 in the Greek numbering used by Jerome). This is the King James Version I have always known:
Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.
And here is the Vulgate, followed by the Douay-Rheims, which is an English translation of the Vulgate rather than of the original Hebrew.
Multa flagella peccatoris, sperantem autem in Domino misericordia circumdabit.
Many are the scourges of the sinner, but mercy shall encompass him that hopeth in the Lord.
Insofar as I can judge, the sorrows, wicked, and trusteth of the King James are more faithful to original Hebrew than the Vulgate's flagella, peccatoris, and sperantem. However, Jerome sticks closer to the Hebrew when he translates the first clause without a verb, literally "many scourges to the sinner." This is not really grammatical in English, though, so the King James inserts shall be, italicized to indicate that those words are not present in the Hebrew, while the Douay-Rheims instead uses are. I think both are justifiable from the Hebrew, which has no verb at all.
I've always read the KJV Ps. 32:10 as one of those contrasts between the righteous and the wicked that one associates more with the Proverbs than with the Psalms: one type of person will suffer, while a contrasting type will be encompassed with mercy.
The Vulgate suggests a different reading: not a contrast between two types of people, but between the present state of sinners and (what may be) their future state. All sinners suffer, but those (sinners) who trust in the Lord will be encompassed about by his mercy (chesed, "lovingkindness"). I think this is a much better fit for the overall tenor of the psalm, which is not about how much better it is to be righteous than wicked, but about a sinner who suffered, acknowledged his sin to the Lord, and found forgiveness.
I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah (v. 5).
The idea of confessing to the Lord sheds important light on what it really means to confess one's sins. It cannot primarily mean admitting that one has in fact performed this or that action. God obviously already knows what you have done! Acknowledging or hiding one's sin cannot be a question of letting God know or trying to prevent him from knowing. I think confessing to God does not mean telling him what you have done but rather recognizing that what you have done was sinful -- rather than making excuses or trying to justify or rationalize it.
When I said that obviously no one would literally try to prevent God from knowing what they had done, Cain came to mind as a possible exception. When God asks him where his murdered brother Abel is, doesn't he lie and say, "I know not"? Then I realized that, while this was clearly an evasion, it was probably not actually a lie. Cain really didn't know where Abel had gone, only that he was no longer in his body.
Just after thinking that, I checked Bruce Charlton's blog and read this in his latest post: "Men die and their spirits leave the world, and go... nobody knows where."
As a further synchronicity, the title of the post is "Tolkien's Elves and Men both need to trust in God." The pre-Christian David's trust in God is similar in nature to the kind of trust Tolkien's Men, similarly ignorant of Christ, would have needed.
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
Monday, October 10, 2022
After Confucius came the materialistic Fo, who substituted the traditions of Indian sorcery for the remnants of Egyptian Transcendental Magic. The cultus of Fo paralysed the progress of the sciences in China, and the abortive civilisation of this great people collapsed into routine and stupor.
To the revelation of Krishna succeeded that of Buddha, who married the purest religion to philosophy of the highest kind. The happiness of the world was thus held to be secured and there was nothing further to expect, pending the tenth and final incarnation, when Vishnu will return in his proper form.
Sunday, October 9, 2022
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
In my dream, I was explaining to various friends and family members what was troubling me:
"This is driving me crazy. I remember that there was a literary movement in the early 20th century, and they had a short, simple name -- but I can't remember what it was, and I can't find any reference to it anywhere! It wasn't the Beatniks, although the two movements had a lot in common. This movement was earlier than the Beats, sort of a precursor I suppose, but they had a name just as simple and memorable as Beatniks. Something like Rat Pack, maybe? Not that, of course, but that sort of name. The strange thing is that I can't remember the name of a single figure from this movement, although it feels is if they're all on the tip of my tongue. When I try to think of their names, all I can come up with is Francis Scott Key, which obviously isn't even the right century. I can't name any of the novels, either, though I do vaguely remember one of the movies associated with the movement. It was called The something Kid -- like The Topeka Kid or something like that, or maybe just The Kid -- and I can remember what the picture on the DVD case looked like: black and white photo with a young boy standing there in oversized clothes and -- oh, I can't remember what those hats were called, either, but one of those hats, you know, like you'd wear in a Guy Ritchie movie. One of their themes was that kids grow up too fast, and their work was a bit sentimental sometimes, but there was also a certain element of tough-guy posturing. They foreshadowed film noir in certain ways, I think you'd say. Anyway, that DVD apparently no longer exists. I can't find any trace of it anywhere. . . ."
I gave this explanation to one person after another, and no one had any idea what I was talking about -- with the exception of one of my brothers, whose only suggestion was, "Wasn't there a group of writers around that time called the Schmucks?" I became convinced that this was some sort of Mandela Effect -- that this whole literary movement had been retroactively erased from history, leaving only a few fragmentary but insistent memories in the minds of a few people like myself.
Upon waking, I figured that I had been describing garbled memories of F. Scott Fitzgerald (full name Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald) and the 1921 Charlie Chaplin film The Kid -- but would anyone say that Fitzgerald and Chaplin were part of the same "literary movement"? And the movement of which Fitzgerald was a defining member was given the boring, nondescript label Modernism -- nowhere near as cool or memorable as Beatniks or Rat Pack. Or maybe Lost Generation was the name I was trying to remember? Anyway, a very strange dream.
Sunday, October 2, 2022
Saturday, October 1, 2022
Is calling a woman a dog less offensive if you say she's one of the most beautiful breeds in the world?
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