Farkhunda: Martyr from Afghanistan : Crucifixion

In 2015 Farkhunda, a young woman of Afghanistan, was savagely beaten and put to death by a mob. Her alleged crime was that she had burnt the Qur’an: a false accusation. Jesus Christ was crucified and put to death on grounds of religious blasphemy.

Wherever  spiritual freedom is assaulted and crimes are committed against the innocent — on  grounds of religious absolutism — Jesus is crucified, once again. Here’s an article about Farkhunda:

And another:

Martyred in Afghanistan

In the Christian gospel, the resurrection signifies the victory of life — and justice — over against their opposites (death and injustice). Let’s learn from Farkhunda’s martyrdom and support the cause of justice in Afghanistan and around the world.

Here’s one way to give: Women for Women

Or, if you are not able to donate money, learn and care and give as you are inspired to do.

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Happy Mary Magdalene’s Feast Day: July 22

Hello All,

Happy Mary Magdalene’s Feast Day, July 22!  Notice from these passages in the Gospels that Mary Magdalene is :

  1. Witness at the Cross
  2. At the tomb
  3. Witness/Apostle to the Resurrection (the first to see the Risen Jesus)
  4. In some traditions, she is exorcised of demons by Jesus – and she may have been among the women who supported Jesus financially

Here are the relevant passages:

MARK 15:40, 47:

After death of Jesus and revelation of Jesus as Son of God, Mary Magdalene comes on the scene as WITNESS

39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died,[c] he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

40 Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph,[d] and Salome.

See also Matthew 27:56

Then Mary Magdalene sees where Jesus is laid in the tomb:

46 So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.

See also Matthew 27:61

BURIAL : ANOINTING

Mark 16:1, 9:Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.

FIRST WITNESS TO RESURRECTION

16:9: When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons.

See also Matthew 28:1

And Luke 8:2

This verse elaborates on Mary Magdalene’s exorcism: She is accompanying Jesus, perhaps among those women who provide for Jesus financially (8:3)

8:2 “as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out”

Luke 8:1-3 Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, 2 as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, 3 and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them[a] out of their resources.

The Gospel of John elaborates the role of Mary Magdalene:

At the cross:

John 19:25 – “And that is what the soldiers did. Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.”

At the tomb, where she meets the Risen Jesus

John 20:1 “Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb.”

(John omits burial anointing by Mary but includes tomb scene– see the entire dialogue in John 20)

John 20:11 “But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb”

Witness to the Risen Jesus

John 20:18: “Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Vision of Jesus during NDE

Jesus said that by dying, we open ourselves to eternal life. Our lives then become fruitful. In some instances, through a near-death experience  — or a serious brush with death — a person becomes aware of the source of life, itself, which is eternal. Jesus Christ is revealed.

John 12:24-25: Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Here is a beautiful experience, recounted by a woman who died (in clinical terms) at the hospital. Jesus Christ came to her, as a being of pure golden light, who glowed through the heart with a blue star.

The woman (Charmian Redwood) knew that she had touched the eternal.  Upon returning to her body, and recovering from her illness, Charmian reoriented her life according to sacred values. This short video is quite affecting.

Thomas Paine: Biblical Arguments for the American Revolution and the Thomas Jefferson Bible

Since today is the American Independence day, here is a brief look at the issue of how the founding fathers understood the Bible. In view of our current political challenges, it is worth asking whether the Bible itself supports monarchy or democracy.  (And, as an aside, do we have a new King George, aspirationally or in the making, on our hands. See link: USA Today: King Trump).

Were the founding fathers of America, most of them Deists, opposed to divine revelation or to the inspired quality of the Sacred Scriptures?

Thomas Paine

In his argument for the American Revolution and in his tract Common Sense, Thomas Paine argued, making biblical appeals, that America should accept no King except God. Paine cited Judges 8:23: “And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you.” (KJV). Here is an interesting argument, in this regard, which I quote from the article linked here: Thomas Paine: No King but God

The children of Israel being oppressed by the Midianites, Gideon marched against them with a small army, and victory, thro’ the divine interposition [providence], decided in his favor. The Jews elate with success, and attributing it to the generalship of Gideon, proposed making him a king, saying, Rule thou over us, thou and thy son and thy son’s son. Here was temptation in its fullest extent; not a kingdom only, but a hereditary one, but Gideon in the piety of his soul replied, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you. The Lord shall rule over you. Words need not be more explicit; Gideon doth not decline the honor, but denieth their right to give it; neither doth he compliment them with invented declarations of his thanks, but in the positive stile of a prophet charges them with disaffection to their proper Sovereign, the King of heaven.

Thomas Jefferson 

Thomas Jefferson argued for American democracy on the grounds that Jesus was an exemplary moral teacher, whose principles form the foundation for American democracy.  For Jefferson, in his adaptation of the Bible called the Jefferson Bible, miracles were but superstition.

See this article:  Jefferson Bible. Here’s an article about the Bible that Jefferson must have used in making his own adaptation: Editing Jefferson’s Bible

See this video:

Jacob’s Ladder: Eternity Card of William Blake Tarot

Jacob’s Ladder as the symbol of Eternity

NOTE: This post is borrowed from the page (to which I link below), about the Eternity Card in the William Blake Tarot.

Eternity Card – Blake Tarot

00/ —Eternity

The Eternity card has no equivalent in other Tarot decks. Its dual numberation (double-zero or infinity) indicates that it transcends numbers. This image is from the painting called Jacob’s Dream, based on the book of Genesis, showing Jacob and his ladder to heaven. In Blake’s myth, this is Albion asleep on the Rock of Ages. His Zoas have divided, and he lies stricken in spiritual limbo. Fallen from eternity, he is now a mortal man, and his four “eternal senses” — the four divine arts of painting, science, music, and poetry — have become his body, head, heart, and genitals. Albion represents our own sleeping consciousness, dreaming eternity as our ultimate potential. Albion remains asleep throughout the soul’s journey, unable to awaken until his divided soul is regenerated and his Zoas, the “four faces of man,” are reunited. However, his vision of eternity is very much alive in his dream — and Albion’s vision is what this card is about. Eternity represents mankind’s hopes for divine spiritual consciousness, and for living in a world of shining imagination and everlasting truth. For Blake, eternity is an exciting intellectual realm filled with the “fury of poetic inspiration,” from whence “all the passions emanate uncurbed in their eternal glory.”

The sheephook in Albion’s hand represents his mortal innocence. Exalted beings carry symbols of the arts (spiritual sustenance) upon a celestial stairway that literally represents the arts as man’s connection to eternity. The luminous, numinous sun is the “divine imagination,” the god in every human, which shines within us day and night, the ultimate reality from which all things are created.

This card is always significant in a reading, because its declaration of spiritual reality and creative imagination is meaningful in any context. Eternity can be a wake-up call to a spiritual issue in the reading, a promising opportunity to try something new and imaginative, an announcement of a something wonderful happening, a prophecy of angelic or artistic communication (perhaps via a dream or daydream), the advent of a serendipitous occurrence or heavenly ‘coincidence’, or a sudden awareness that life is a spiritual adventure, and not just a material process. This is always an auspicious card, even when reversed, because eternity is irreversibly divine.

KEYWORDS: AWARENESS OF SPIRITUAL DESTINY • ARTISTIC POWERS • A HEAVENLY OUTLOOK • IMAGINATIVE OPPORTUNITY • PROPHETIC PORTENTS. SPIRITUAL ELATION •

THE SOUL’S JOURNEY

The Blake Triumphs tell a story about the spiritual progress of human consciousness. This is the Soul’s Journey, which now begins…

The Cycle of Matter

This cycle consists of eight cards, of which the first introduces the seven that follow.

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Asia Bibi : Christian Jailed in Pakistan

Asia Bibi, Pakistani Christian

The Pakistani Christian woman, Asia Bibi, was arrested and jailed in 2009 for allegedly blaspheming the prophet Muhammed. She was sentenced to death.

In fact, Asia Bibi extended hospitality and friendship towards her Muslim coworkers by sharing water and conversation. Rumors then circulated, and false accusations, claiming that she had defamed the prophet of Islam.

Asia Bibi’s case has been appealed. She has been waiting (in jail) for the Supreme Court of Pakistan to hear the case and render a final verdict.

Jesus fought for Spiritual Freedom : Lightworker

Jesus himself was accused of blasphemy for claiming to be united with God. No matter our religion, all of us have the right– like Jesus–to enjoy such intimacy with God. We ought to openly declare or speak about our faith, peacefully, without incurring retribution by a dogmatic orthodoxy or a strident majority.

Not Just about Religion but about Human Rights

While Asia Bibi’s imprisonment involves persecution on religious grounds, her case goes beyond sectarian differences between religions. Instead, the case puts on trial freedom of speech and basic human rights.

Pakistan, a country which claims to protect religious minorities, ought to uphold the freedom of a person (Asia Bibi) to speak and associate freely with Muslims even while practicing her own different culture and mode of faith.  Is one free, respectfully, to declare one’s own faith (as a Christian) without thereby being accused of allegedly insulting the religion of the Muslim majority?  The charge of blasphemy, if it should ever be legitimate, is illegitimate, here.

This case has not to do with protecting a Christian person, merely, but rather with the democratic right of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

More Information about the Asia Bibi Case 

A journalist risked her life so that she could get Asia Bibi’s story. The book can be found here: Blasphemy: A Memoir

Here are updates about her case:

Update Asia Bibi Appeal Pakistan

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