Friday, January 31, 2014

Dennis Muses: "Otherness and Chosen are Illusions"

"Otherness and Chosen are Illusions"

There are no Chosen People in reality.  There are no special groups ethnically or spiritually.  For every chosen people there are all the rest in the "unchosen" folk.  For every "Holy Nation" and a "People of His Own" there are the unholy and rejected. For everyone that believes in being a King or a Priest there are the common folk they intend to rule over politically and religiously.

This "otherness" reigns supreme in the cultic history of first the Israelites in the Old Testament and then that of ALL the MYRIAD of early Christ followers spawned by the various views of him expressed in the New Testament.  From the specialness of Abraham over all others to the 144,000 male virgins who have not soiled their spirituality with women in Revelation, otherness rules.  Those that come out of the nations are not Gentiles in Revelation.  Revelation is a Jewish Christian book and it is Jews of the Diaspora that are not quite as chosen as the 144,000 who join the group.  The Goyim are not wanted in the Book of Revelation and the otherness is not for them. It is me not you, us not them and we not they.  It is not true, but the need for it to be true is strong in religion.

We are all familiar with Zechariah 14:

16 Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 17 If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. 18 If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The Lord[b]will bring on them the plague he inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 19 This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles.
20 On that day holy to the Lord will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar.21 Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite[c] in the house of the Lord Almighty.

I realize it may be just me, but that approach to sincere worship never seemed all that inspiring to me.  "If you don't come to my services, I will starve you out."   Reminds me of a sign south of Greenville on a barn that says "Love Jesus or burn forever in hell."  Nice motivator!  Can you imagine Canaanites and Egyptians trying to sing Hebrew Hymns?  Can you imagine the utter contempt seething from the unchosen and others who are forced to attend when the song leader says.."Smile brethren?"  I can't.  Forced compliance just seems to be the formula for insincere worship to me.  Notice to that not much is said about Assyrians, Persians and Babylonians who regularly kicked Israel's ass over the centuries.  Being unaware of Inca, Aztec and Mayans  as well as Celts, Romans and Vikings will certainly mess up the seating arrangements.  It is a ridiculous concept of otherness and chosen versus unchosen.  As well, the author here had no concept of anything but his enemies coming to him or else. While somewhere it says "Come, let us reason together," it doesn't really mean it.  The Temple still stands, his proper form of sacrifice and worship is full swing as it was and horses with bells are always going to be part of the picture.  It's a rather  "soon" and "shortly" prophecy that once again did not come to pass.  Worship by threat and coercion so that we can win and you can lose is no way to run whatever truth is.  We won't go into the DNA fact that Israelites of yore were disenfranchised Canaanites of the lower classes much like the Palestinians are today. Don't believe every story the chosen tell you about their conquest of the unchosen.

Sorry...they weren't a Christian people
The Bible says in Deuteronomy...

Otherness produces pogroms and holocausts. It gets soccer  and football fanatics beaten and occasionally killed by the otherness of others.  It splits and divides churches over and over each being more chosen and true than any others.  Otherness multiplies by division and adds to itself by subtraction of others.  Reading through the various and multitudinous screeds in The Journal where on man runs the ad with endless reasons as to why one needs to swing over to his otherness is burdensome.  Cooperation amongst the chosen and otherness obsessed is simply not an option.

No, no, is "In as much as you have done it unto the least of these, MY BRETHREN....Not nasty non RCG people.

The Apostle Dave Pack is big on special, chosen and otherness. In his mind, he fancies himself as the "me" to have those in the splinters rally under.  It can be no other way and it is a ridiculous concept. Never going to happen in this age.  Dave Pack would never attend a "come let us reason together session" unless he was in charge of it and everyone followed his reasonings, which as we know, have failed miserably of late.  In his mind, his minuscule Church is the only one on the entire planet that is worth the time of those so disposed to be sure they are in the really true and exactly right church.  It's a kind of sickness actually. After all, the Biblical consequences for being in the wrong one seem to be quite severe so one must get it exactly right or fall into the unchosen category.  No stress there.  Here is one man who fancies himself the one chosen minister of the God of the whole universe or all universes overseeing  the otherness of a few thousand folk out of billions.  That is otherness at it's best in the COGdoms of God. It is also ridiculous.  For some reason it is inherent in humans to need to feel special and chosen above others to understand mysteries and even additional expansive elements of scripture that no one else sees or even would want to see if they were clear and critical thinkers.

Flurry and Weinland got all caught up in otherness as well along with Bob Thiel and have made fools out of themselves.

Otherness and chosenness seems to be much of the glue that holds good folk in the seats  (well except when they gyrate) of rather transparent and dangerous to your actual spiritual health helpers of their joy falsely so called.  Everyone likes the idea of being set apart and special.  It just isn't actually true, but it feels good.  It feels safer and that in a pinch, the God of all the Universe has your name near the top of His list to deliver, save, help and feed should the need arise. It is somewhat dis-illusionioning to find out that is not so but having illusions of choseness and otherness is comforting as long as you don't really need it proven to you.  I have buried far too many children of the chosen ones whose Angels must have been on vacation when they were sorely needed to intervene.  Arrows did fall on their right and left and they did fall nigh unto the chosen families as well....  I never found a parent beating on me  to where I had to hold their arms until it passed and screaming "why!!" to be much proof of otherness in any special way.

We truly are all one.  We have lost that view in the otherness and choseness that politics and religion sticks us with if we are so inclined.  This short "sermon" resonates very well the truth that we are all the same, all from one source and all equal.  There are not people more equal than others.  There are huge egos and small minded men who fancy themselves as special and more in tune with their idea of truth than others, but the ego is the false self and full of, well you know.   I am having some of my dad's cremains swirled into a galaxy and embedded in crystal to remind me that we are all conscious stardust for now and we shall return to it.

Enjoy this short sermon on the reality of we all are in the universe and the universe is in us.  THIS is exactly what and how I would give one more sermon to the Churches of God if I had the chance...   I know how he feels and how little place choseness and otherness would have in his vocabulary as well.

Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Ego, specialness and misapplication of scripture has done more for disunity  and confusion in the Churches of God than any Satan could ever inspire....



Joe Moeller said...

Dennis, I do find you interesting.

Here is the problem though with your thesis, should we accept it...

There are those who believe in their "otherness".

If we are enlightened, then we do not believe in our otherness, and realize that those who do believe in their "otherness" are Indeed OTHER than us too.

Therefore those of us who "get it" are OTHER than those who believe they are THE OTHER.

We must seek the state of B-eing . So I am going to add the "B" to the OTHER , and say ... why BOTHER!

Joe Moeller
Cody, WY

Black Ops Mikey said...

I am special.

There aren't many who can support zOS on an IBM Mainframe as a System Programmer.

I have also been known to be a DB2 System Administrator. I have extremely good skills at HLASM (and if you have to ask, you aren't worth my attention).

If David Pack, Ronald Weinland, Gerald Flurry, Victor Kubik, John Rittenbaugh, Roderick Meredith or any of the others can do what I can do and can do it better, THEN I will be impressed.

Note: I just finished a successful build of my I7-4771 Windows 8.1 System with an ASRock Z87 Extreme11/ac LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard -- installing those extended ATX boards is really challenging, especially when trying to match up the on board connections with the EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 P2 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified 1000W Active PFC ATX12V v2.31/EPS 12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready ECO Thermal Control Full Modular PSU 220-P2-1000-XR NEW Intel 4th Gen CPU Ready Power Supply. Does using the Kingston HyperX Beast 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory mean that I have the Mark of the Beast or does it mean I AM the Beast of Revelation? Heck, I'm still getting requests from minister's wives for help with Windows 8. Shouldn't an apostle, evangelist or especially a prophet be able to handle it? What do they know about Thunderbolt 2, USB3 or SATA III SSDs? (Watching them set up Raid 10 should be entertaining -- the sparks from shorting out components should be electrifying!)

Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia Dons are so irrelevant and stupid too -- they should learn some science and achieve some technical skills to have any value at all. Trouble is, they have no talent for it -- and when I say talent, I mean technological as well as being an apostle, evangelist or prophet.

We have a 100% fail rate for them all.

I'm unimpressed.

Their members need to prepare themselves for lowered expectations.

DennisCDiehl said...

Getting stuck in a COG seat , to me, cuts one off from real growth. It is as if there is NOTHING more to learn or know outside of booklets and church sponsored by a few others who , to me, are just as unconscious of what else there is to know and real-ize. In the COGs, one just seems to wait and wait for what is surely not really going to come in this lifetime. And yes, to me, I know that. Others may have more insight than I do on such happenings but history is on my side.

DennisCDiehl said...

When I think of otherness I think of the otherness that divides and makes one special over all which religion is wont to do. Everyone is other to me and I to them. But there is no real tension between us over it. Resisting or pointing out the malignant otherness of others is not to deny them their story and quirkiness. But it is to insert a caution that the malignant and special otherness of some is out there and damaging to those who can't or refuse to see it. That they do is really not my business nor if they agree with me or others is not the point either.

Someone telling me that their otherness is the only one and that for me to not accept that is to put me in spiritual danger with the Deity for all eternity is simply not accpetable nor is it true.

DennisCDiehl said...

BOM. I find if one lowers expectations they are more easily met lol

Anonymous said...

Sorry but we are not all one. You might as well say we're all rich, poor, monkys, zebras, negros, women, psychokillers, or david packs. You can count me out of most of those (rich would be okay though).

Black Ops Mikey said...

Armstrongists should forget lowered expectations and have absolutely no expectations: They have put their hope in lies which will not be fulfilled and their religion has already failed them.

Over decades, ministers and CoHAM leaders insisted that I was a lesser person to be ignored or treated with contempt because I was a nothing and a nobody who had no worth -- they criticized me often and made every attempt to publicly humiliate me -- and they still do in their own way.

Their egotistical narcissistic assumption of hubris of their own superiority over others is annoying.

It is high time they admitted the truth and slink away in embarrassment, never to be seen or heard from again.

They deserve to be ignored and treated with utter contempt in their deceitful delusions of grandeur as utter fools with no knowledge of any worth to anyone.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anonymous said...
Sorry but we are not all one. You might as well say we're all rich, poor, monkys, zebras, negros, women, psychokillers, or david packs. You can count me out of most of those (rich would be okay though).

me thinks you missed the point of oneness. We are only 98.4% one with chimps lol

Homer said...

Dennis, thanks for posting these “Symphony of Science” videos. Another is listed below. It became a part of my additional understanding about 4-5 years ago after searching for answers other than the ones “religion” has to offer. It includes comments from Feynman, Tyson, Sagan and Nye. This four minute video has given me additional insight concerning the relationship between us as a people and the universe.

Byker Bob said...

If we were discussing animals, we would be forced to acknowledge that breeding techniques often produce superior purpose-related specimens. I believe this is also true of humans in significant areas. MENSA members are pretty special. So are professional athletes, acclaimed musicians, highly successful business persons, professionals such as doctors and lawyers, talented writers and artists, renowned scientists, and many more groups we could probably easily think of. And, I do not believe it is racist in any way to note that certain identifiable talents often appear to be all but native and natural to specific ethnic groups.

Methodology which promotes success can also elevate one to levels considered to be special, as can select and unique opportunities. Living in a geographic area somewhat restricted to successful individuals can produce a privileged or protected existence or life style, meaning greater safety, and longer life expectancy. These are additional types of specialness.

Can religion cause specialness? I believe that that can indeed be the case. As an example, in the 11th century C.E., followers of Mohammed were considered more advanced than those who lived in areas affected by the Dark Ages. Josephus extolled the virtues of Jewish law, logic, and culture, and the effects these things had on the quality of life of his contemporary citizens. There was also the celebrated Pax Romana.

Having noted all of that, I believe that creating an illusion of specialness, using Armstrongism as the cause and specialness as an effect, was little more than a manipulative and controlling tool. It was also sleight of hand to deflect our attentions from the fact that the precepts of Armstrongism actually worsened or diminished the plights and expectations of most of us. (there were rare exceptions). "They" even dangled carrots which were totally undesirable to some of us like being part of an elite group in our current physical lives, and rulers and priests and kings in the future one. As a personal example, I, a technical person, enjoy solving problems and making repairs for people more than actually socializing with them or becoming close to them. And, it would never even occur to me to want to rule over them. I get off on doing specialized "stuff" for them that they could most likely never do for themselves, which would probably be a great way of quantifying my own target area for specialness. It's also something which I got from my father, and which I share with my son.

Like anything else, specialness can be used in either positive fashion, or detrimental fashion. But, it does most certainly exist.


DennisCDiehl said...

I am not speaking of "specialness" in regards to specialities such as skills or superior information that one group has over another.

I am speaking of the fact that when you strip all that away , take away luck of birth or location, circumstances and religious or political beliefs which are the clothes and masks we all wear, we are all the same.

I was speaking specifically to the fact that , in my view and experience, it is more harmful than helpful for one group of folk to think the Deity has chosen them as special in his/her sight and thus can torment and commit genocide on others in the name of their "truth" All die. I have buried any number of inexpendible people who just had to be to work on Monday.

In particular I am referencing the idea that each of the splinters views themselves as the one true church and too many ministers as God's only who know how it all is when they do not. They cut off knowledge for the members and opt for generalities based on mythologies rather than how the world really works and the processes that drive it .

The Old Testament is a testament of chosen and special people who believe the deity likes them best. As a result, 1,600,000 others as documented in the texts get slaughtered not to mention the flood story where everyone gets it after being pronounced "very good" a few chapters earlier. The Satan in the same text kills 10 in Job . :) This is where special and chosen goes awry

DennisCDiehl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Homer said...

Sorry folks, I failed to mention the title of the video previously mentioned. It is "We Are All Connected." I may be wrong, but maybe "otherness" or "religion" divides us as a people rather than allowing us to recognize we are all connected in many ways. How many times have we heard, 'Religion is the cause of more wars and death then anything else throughout human history.' I mentioned in a COG group discussion a few years back, "All religion is manmade." Without hesitation one person said, "Except ours." In my opinion, for what it is worth, that is the "otherness" Dennis is writing about. The video is listed below.

Allen C. Dexter said...

BB, the muslims basically did nothing. They inherited the Greek and Roman knowledge the Bzantines had preserved while the barbarians who conquered Rome just destroyed it. Then, the barbarity of Catholicism kept the western world in darkness for centuries. Secularism slowly cast that off, but nothing comparable happened in the muslim world. They're as regimented and ignorant as they ever were. Religion stultifies and retards all progress.

Black Ops Mikey said...

It may be helpful to some for this subject to examine the book, "Your Natural Gifts" by Margaret Broadly to understand the 19 inherited aptitudes.

It is fairly obvious that Byker Bob inherited high Structural Visualization from his mother and is thus predisposed to be an excellent advanced technologist.

Unfortunately, the CoHAM in power seem to have inherited nothing more than high ideaphoria so that they can just "make things up" on the fly for nonsensical explanations for phenomenon they cannot explain -- and using British Israelism to do it. Anyone who has heard a 5 hour sermon by Gerald Waterhouse understands what I mean.

My assessment of how special a person may be is centered on the core of what they can do that is useful. Giving distorted perceptions of rubbish and attempting to enforce them by perceived authority lacking any force of concrete reality does not qualify.

Byker Bob said...

I fully understood your premises, Dennis, but I don't believe you can artificially separate all of the influences out, be they religious influences, genetic, or cultural. They are all part and parcel of the gumbo, of who we are, and what we are. And, actually, I have a history of rebelling against the alleged "specialness" inherent in Armstrongism. I remember as a young WCG boy being told how privileged I was to be one of the very few chosen to have the special knowledge that "Mr." Armstrong imparted to us, and thinking, I don't want to be special, I just want to be a regular guy, a productive member of society, not a ruler, and certainly not one who ruins other people's lives by spreading this particular type of specialness.

Had the second resurrection been what they preached it as being, it would have been preferable for everyone to come up in that rather than taking the path through a lifetime experiencing the horrors and oppression of Armstrongism "qualifying" one to come up in the first. When I was an atheist, it really only changed worst case scenario by removing perhaps a few moments of fiery pain, and then, the same blissful state of nothingness. I called it opting out. Freedom from Armstrongism. Fortunately, it is not as we were taught.

Many Christians today feel special, but it isn't the type of specialness that puffs one up; it is based on gratitude for being saved, and much of that is pretty humbling rather than an arrogance-producing or chauvinistic frame of mind. Elitism should have been a huge red flag for all of us right from the get-go, but for some it ended up being a "benefit" or selling point. Our entire church culture in WCG was patterned after the Bronze Age covenant, a closed, and very controlled society driven by "special" gnosticism, and enforced by the so-called leaders of the specialness. A "pulling back" if you will, much as many Arabs try to pull their people back to the time of their 11th century prominence. To do this in either case, one must forget Einstein, forget the Renaissance, forget or misinterpret Jesus, and most certainly forget the philosophers. The stuff some people try to replicate is time-sensitive, and only appropriate to the conditions of the time. That's why more educated theologians speak of dispensations.

How could anyone respect a God who was limited to being capable of only interacting with His children if they replicated the conditions and experiences specific to a certain era?


Anonymous said...

I remember the booklet,"A World Held Captive" we where the ones held captive by Armstrongism. Armstrongism is a neatly packaged box containing all the answers. This attracted a lot of people looking for answers to life's biggest questions. What we didn't realize was this neatly packaged box was actually used to imprison our minds and keeping us from growing as human beings as is essential to our happiness and stability. In a nut shell this neatly packaged box was just a tool of mind control.

Head Usher said...

BB made a good point in the previous post about Armstrongism being essentially gnostic. It applies equally here on this thread as well, since "otherness" and "chosen" are just different words for esotericism (gnosticsism). It's our possession of "hidden knowledge" that makes us "chosen" and your lack of it that makes you "other." Of course, there's no evidence that any deity has done any choosing. In reality, we've done all the choosing ourselves in our own fertile (not to mention biased) imagination.

Britain W. Stevenson said...

"Did Ramona really wear red lipstick and steal his silver, and this was the reason HWA divorced her?"...just wondering LOLLL

Anonymous said...

Dennis, you are absolutely correct about this oneness. Religious "specialness" is a metaphorical autoimmune disease to the humanity body.

Thanks for the reminder on Feynman. And if you haven't already discovered Nassim Haramein, you should check him out. He's one of the current "genius" minds out there now proving that "oneness" is not a new age mumbo jumbo. It is scientifically demonstrable. His gig now is The Resonance Project ( and will be putting out a doc. soon called The Connected Universe.

This is the sort of inquiry where unity and peace can begin to be woven.

Keep up the good work. Lotsa folks here are just going to need more time to grasp the truth of what you've shared here.

DennisCDiehl said...

" And if you haven't already discovered Nassim Haramein,...

I have! Interesting for sure and his accent makes it more so. He has much to offer and is brilliant in presentation.

Byker Bob said...

The problem is often one of focus. True spirituality is seeking a oneness with God. "Religion" is man adapting a set of taught precepts espoused by a particular group, and then seeking a oneness with that, and by implication, with one another. One is a direct connection, the other is filtered through anthropomorphism.

Many of the "special" groups throughout history didn't get to make a personal choice. By birth or geography, they ended up being surrounded by and caught up in the prevailing circumstances. We in the USA have a great deal of personal choice. At the birth of Islam, Mohammed began as a salesman, and then turned to conquest by violence, because he realized he could bring many more into the fold by force rather than by using reasoning and persuasion. Communism was ushered in by force by the followers of Karl Marx. Those who resisted were "purged".

The Bible is often sparse in verbiage, but seems to imply that 100% of the Israelites participated in the Exodus. Knowing people, and human nature, I've often wondered if some Israelites didn't attempt to disguise their ethnic origins and secretly remain behind there in Egypt. I also wonder whether some few openly rebelled, saying (in Egyptian), "Why that's just bullshit, Moses!" Such examples would be typical, not at all unusual.


DennisCDiehl said...

, I've often wondered if some Israelites didn't attempt to disguise their ethnic origins and secretly remain behind there in Egypt.

Aside from the improbability of the story of the Exodus , I can imagine many not getting on board in such a circumstance. The OT stories are all very idealistic and improbable in reality as presented.

I for one had no intention of going anywhere or telling anyone to do anything should , as Gerald Waterhouse always said, "Mr. Urmstrong said it was time to flee."

Not in my world ever