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On Dec 26, 2016, at 5:03 AM, rhino ranch <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
TomNext time, you are greeted by the Maori Elder ... say ... "what barbeque sauce ...I'm ready for new experiences."On Mon, Dec 26, 2016 at 4:59 AM, rhino ranch <email@example.com> wrote:awesome reply Tom ... HallelujahI am patiently waiting for the Sun God to awaken and rise up in the East and shed some warmth and light on our frozen landscape .... oh, wait, I mean, I am patiently waiting for Planet Earth to continue its wobbly, off axis rotation toward the Sun on this fine winter day ...On Sun, Dec 25, 2016 at 11:23 PM, Tom Greenbaum <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:Thanks to Rhino for starting this contemplative email chain.Thanks to Rob for your insightful reply and well wishes.Larry? Aloha bruh. What's up?Happy year-end/winter-begin celebrations.It is an interesting time for the Northern hemisphere folks for sure.Lots of ritual and cultural traditions.How far back does all of this go?Probably as far back as Homo Sapien started conceptualizing seasonal cycles.That's pretty f-ing far back.Waaaayyyy previous to theistic concepts (religions), deities, gods, etc.The ancients first cognated the great powers central to all life processesThe elements, sun, moon, earth, stars, planets, animal, vegetable,Male, female, child, elder, river, lake, ocean, mountain, desert, valley, etc.You know, the really big stuff that has real big impact to primitive people.Creation stories came later; of secondary importantance to our really ancient ancestors.The sun god (Ra) was the greatest of all personifications.Creator of dayThe rule of the sun over every aspect of human existence is undeniable.The sun descends into the netherworld and the earth becomes dark.The great infinite plane of earth divides the universe into heaven aboveAnd the unseen, dark world beneath our feet.The dead are buried in the netherworld (although burial is not a universal cultural practice)Only the mighty sun god Ra may travel to the netherworld dailyRa defies deathRising above every glorious morning, starting a new day.Religion and rules of behavior and morality came much later.Ra ruled civilization for thousands of yearsRa ruled until the Pharoahs claimed ownership of Ra's titleMonotheism eventually replaced pantheismA single creator god could then replace the oppression of the PharoahHah, hah, hah, ho, ho, ho ...Wonderful experience in Hawaii at the Polynesian Cultural Center.The Pacific Island peoples' culture was quite advancedTheir understanding of celestial navigation combined with theirTremendous skills building ocean-going vesselsHarnessing forces of wind and water (Wai),To travel great distances across the Pacific ocean.These feats were impressive, especially given the resource constraints,But it is amazing to see the products they derived from the coconut palm tree.Also, note that the Pacific Island people did not believe in a single creator god,In fact, they did not conceive of monotheism -- it was not needed.Their beliefs were still aligned with the very ancient respect of the sun god Ra,And the other gods of mountains, rivers, sea, wind, etc.They never had to deal with a Pharoah so pantheism persisted.Neither did they share a common set of religious precepts, or morale edicts.Back in 2012 I had the rare privilege ofSpending several weeks with a great New Zealand Maori Elder,Te Huirangi Waikerepuru and his daughter Te Urutahi Waikerepuru were my guests.(See the photo below http://karmatetra.com/El
ixir_Bowl/content/DSC00780_lar) ge.htmlI brought them to Albuquerque on an Intel Artist Residency which I managed during theISEA 2012 (International Symposium on Electronic Arts) festival.During that time I had the rare privilege of learning from a remarkable Maori elder.Te Huirangi Waikerepuru told me that the concept of a single godResponsible for the creation of all the universeWas quite humorous....Hah, hah, hah, ho, ho, ho ...In regards to religious rules of behavior and moral conduct,Te Huirangi Waikerepuru told me the traditional welcome in the Maori language,Given to a visitor of their village, approximately translated as:"Welcome to our village, we will treat you as our family,But if you fuck with us, we will eat you and shit you out."The kindly old Maori Elder actually said this to me including the expletive.They still repeat this greeting, although they don't mean it literally anymore.That was really the only moral code they needed.In older times, they kept that code literally, as they were fierce warriorsCannabalism was the customFollowing the defeat of enemy warriorsThey ate them, and as it goes ... they shit them out.Hah, hah, hah, ho, ho, ho.Wishing everyone a wonderful winter seasonStay warm and feel protected alwaysMay earth's abundance be available to you even in the depths of winterMay you wake up morning after miraculous morningFace east and consider the sunriseWhich in actuality is the spinning of earth on its axis tiltedTo the ecliptic, which is the great plane created by earth'sOrbit about the sun, the sun is the sole sourceSource of all matter and energy in our local planetary systemExcept for the heavy elements such as uranium which the earthReceived from other suns exploding at great distances but stillWithin a galactic neighborhood of stars and star systemsAll orbiting a great supermassive black hole at the center ofOne spiral galaxy amongst almost inconceivable numbers ofOther galaxies included within the known universe.Let us be thankful for all this at the beginning of each dayAnd the fact that we as human beings have sentienceOur mind capable of imagining all this glory.Where our mind's eye reachesThere exposed is existenceAll else is unknownHallelujah!Love,TomSee photo of me with the Matahiapo Artist Residency meeting at Intel for the first time.Matahiapo and Tom Greenbaum meet for the first time in preparation for a collaboration during ISEA 2012See Wikipedia article:Dr Huirangi Eruera Waikerepuru (CNZM) is a New Zealand Māori language activist and trade unionist. Of Taranaki and Ngāpuhi descen t,he was active in the foundation and governance of Māori language radio and television.On Dec 25, 2016 9:02 AM, "rhino ranch" <email@example.com> wrote:actually -- I think that there may be more than one correct answer, if one is willing to recognize the general similarities in the message taking into consideration differences in cultural influences, language and development -- all the world's religions, in one way or another, attempt to explain the universe and our existence with terms and imagery that clearly require us to recognize a temporal physical presence marked by suffering with tenets requiring observance through certain moral codes of a force, power or spirit beyond our bodies all for the purpose of bringing harmony, peace, love and well-being to the world. Naturally, there are some exceptions to the last part of that sentence mostly because of adherents to violence overcome by the darkside.On Sun, Dec 25, 2016 at 8:01 AM, Robert Greenbaum <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:Interesting thing is the history that we can track is only a few thousand years old whereas the planet is millions of years old. So what happened before man started thinking and coming up with reasons to explain life?There are many different religions and many have similar beginnings but can't be all right. So study all of them to cover your bases.Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah to all! And a splendid Kwanzaa too. Hope you had a beautiful Bodhi Day. To all my Zoroastrian friends, best wishes on Yalda.MahaloRob
On Dec 24, 2016, at 10:11 AM, rhino ranch <email@example.com> wrote:Often, I have heard claims that the Torah is the word of god, scribed by hand by Moses -- that it is not open to debate. No other religion is true or correct. Jesus could not have been the Son of God, didn't happen because of x y & z didn't happen, and there is no real proof that he was the Messiah. And of course this is all premised on the acceptance of the first book as being divine ... which is then further substantiated by self-proving tautologies [note intentional redundancy]. Can't argue or doubt that which is clearly stated to be the word of god, right. As if no one else on the planet has contemplated existence, no other religious texts or religions are valid whether pre or post the old book.And of course, we remain to ponder too the possibility that there is no god in the sense of a singular spiritual being or creator in the image of a heavenly father spiritually embodied in the form of a single man. That it may be possible there was no creation. There is no order to the universe or that there is but that order does not necessitate the existence of a creator anymore than randomness. Perhaps the best we can do is to attempt to struggle to make our lives cause less harm and pain or suffering while acknowledging that there are things that we may never know beyond our language or intellect to understand, comprehend or communicate.
History of religious texts
A complication is presented when studying the history of religious texts because many religious traditions existing within oral tradition instead of within written tradition. Oral tradition includes many of the same elements included in written religious texts. Again, there may have been texts printed which are not widely considered as religious or did not survive throughout history, as well as texts whose religiosity is debated. Furthermore, scholarly debate surrounding the timeline of known religious text creates discrepancy, but some texts commonly believed to among the oldest in existence are given as follows:
Of written tradition, one of the oldest known religious texts is the Kesh Temple Hymn of Ancient Sumer, a set of inscribed clay tablets which scholars typically date around 2600 BCE. The Epic of Gilgamesh from Sumer, although only considered by some scholars as a religious text, has origins as early as 2150-2000 BCE, and stands as one of the earliest literary works that includes various mythological figures and themes of interaction with the divine. The Rig Veda of ancient Hinduism is estimated to have been composed between 1700–1100 BCE, which not only denotes it as one of the oldest known religious texts, but also one of the oldest written religious text which is still actively used in religious practice to this day.
There are many possible dates given to the first writings which can be connected to Talmudic and Biblical traditions, the earliest of which is found in scribal documentation of the 8th Century BCE, followed by administrative documentation from temples of the 5th and 6th Centuries BCE, with another common date being the 2nd century BCE. Although a significant text in the history of religious text because of its widespread use among religious denominations and its continued use throughout history, the texts of the Abrahamic traditions are a good example of the lack of certainty surrounding dates and definitions of religious texts.
High rates of mass production and distribution of religious texts did begin until the invention of the printing press in 1440, before which all religious texts were hand written copies of very which there were relatively limited quantities in circulation.