Art Katz: And They Crucified Him (repost)

Crucifixion of Jesus -2011

Image by Bo Insogna via Flickr

Dandelion Salad


September 21, 2009


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14 thoughts on “Art Katz: And They Crucified Him (repost)

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  7. 🙂 The work you do is precious. Always has been, always will be. May Our Father in Heaven Continue to Bless and Keep you and yours. Shalom.

  8. Americans who may not be able to stand pain because it threatens their sense of self, sure know how to condone the massive infliction of organised pain and suffering on others.

    Something is very wrong here.

    The idea of self-transcendence is to “crucify” yourself, not someone else! or let someone else do the hard work for you. That is evasive self-deceit, extreme “indulgence” ~ and perpetuates the victim/perpetrator syndrome. Vicarious suffering is a doctrinal false-flag that sanctions the arrogant exceptionalism, that always justifies bigoted self-righteousness ~ sacrifice is “good” so long as it doesn’t implicate “me.”

    This is the root of the problem. It’s “business-as-usual” so long as the burden of responsibility is off-shored. Religious drama (and make no mistake, that is the core idea) is meaningless unless it conveys the true science of personal metamorphosis clearly understood and practiced through ethical action, that is to say, by initiation; thus, fully internalized, integrated and expressed.

    So long as we make a fetish out of religious narratives we corrupt the living soul of organic socio-spiritual experience, vilify our cognitive evolutionary aspirations and justify endless historical error in the name of authoritarian rectitude. Just because we “believe” something doesn’t make it right. Because some infallible “guru” teaches this, that or the other, is no guarantee. Intelligent skepticism is not cynicism.

    Isn’t it wiser and healthier to recycle the burdensome symbolic lumber of the past and open our eyes to fresh, new horizons ~ to incorruptible vistas of the soul, cleansed of all vestiges of ancient spectral prejudice and doctrinal dogma?

    • David, the real message of the vicarious expiatory sacrifice of Christ on his cross is not and has never been a delusional projection of Victorian America. It is rather an account of an “EVENT” (crucified under Pontius Pilate) that happened once and only once, but because of its eternality is happening all the time. It happened as “the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world”, and continues on in as Polycarp said “we are the continued Incarnation of the Son of Man”.

      In the life of the authentic Christian practitioner, the Cross when worked into a their life imparts to them an ”Eternal Consciousness”. Therefore there is no need for the folly of any attempt to construct any particular Ethos. For Ethics lack the Power of God to impart the infinite into the real finite world with real finite problems. One can re-arrange the chairs on the Titanic, but it will still sink without intervention.

      The decisive qaulitative difference between the Sphere of Ethics and the Sphere of Christocentric Transcendence is one of POWER. The latter has the power to transform a life, the former does not. Those who hear the “Word of the Cross” and keep rejecting it develop what Kierkegaard calls “an offended consciousness”. So, they view the word of the cross as being arrogant, when it is the other way around, because they refuse to humble themselves and pass through the offense of the Cross.

      In order for a person to live with themselves after hearing the message of the cross, they must rationalize their unbelief through a self deceptive form of psychological trickery and use the mind as bulwark against the offense. The bulwark itself becomes a kind of a fetish does it not? this is not to diminish the fetishism of say what Adorno and Horkheimer of the Frankfurt school in the 1920s refer to in American culture … (though i thought that they missed it on their take on American music).

      Now i live smack dab in the middle of America. i see people’s weird obsession with some sort of truncated and distorted Christianity. The BBC documentary “Searching for the wrong eyed Jesus” is by far the best account of this. But Art Katz does not fit into this category. neither do i, nor millions of Christian practitioners around the world. We had to pass through the offense of the cross to be reborn into an eternal consciousness. we have become recipients of divine intervention that kept the Titanic from sinking.

      “CREDO: scales fell from my eyes
      CREDO: mountains fell from my shoulders”

      to quote Thomas Merton.

      • Rocket I had anticipated a robust response from you!

        I need to clarify something because I respect what you are and what you do, not just for walking your talk ~ but rocking the St Louis block!

        However, as an esotericist (don’t ask…) I cannot concur with the notion that there is one and one only spiritual narrative. E F Schumacher’s Titanic metaphor is entirely apt, but the supernatural rite you speak of (…Rudolph Steiner for one, was obsessively contorted about this cuspal drama for example…) or the soteriological “event” for which there is no conclusive de facto evidence (I know you’ll throw the whole patristic library at me, but I cannot subscribe to any dogmatic contrivance that precludes diversity and is therefore symbolically exclusivist, because it pleads a special divine authority that is historically and philosophically implausible if it erases a colossal body of spiritual traditions as a consequence ~ for example, re the Sanhedrin: confer The Trial and Death of Jesus (1968) by the distinguished Israeli lawyer, jurist, judge and former Justice Minister, Haim Cohn who cites the precise terms of judicial process then in effect.

        I will however concede certain deeply relevant concepts. The first is the idea and experience of initiation as a sacred responsibility and rigorous process. The second is that this entails spiritual reflexivity (since it is continual) and also implies the authentic existence of an occult pleroma, or consciousness of intent that constitutes an arcane “mystical body” that is in effect a “secret church.”

        The danger of dogmatic faith is that it is divisive and exclusionary so leads to cultural exceptionalism. Anything that draws a line and eclipses social and visionary possibility ~ that must by definition, be open, inchoate, inspired and unpredictable ~ is therefore actually counter-evolutionary because it fixes the contours of what truth or symbolic action can mean within the boundaries of a literal universe, limited by the speculative hypotheses of partisan theologians. It’s just bad politics and anti-science.

        You can’t confine the “Dao-De” in a magic bottle, however cunning its design. Impossible.

        • David , well …. yes i have read Coen’s” the trial and death of Jesus” . as far as being exclusive , the real gospel of Christ is just the opposite . there is a paradox in this : it is exclusive in order to be ALL inclusive . it allows for the free will of the hearer to make up their own mind . ..hence ”him who has ears to hear ….”

          As far as it being divisive — when christ said ”i came not to bring peace but division ..a son will be at variance with his father , a daughter with her mother ….etc. notice that he goes after the axis of power between the generations . why ? because that is where the the lethal shadow of abuse can happen within the family values crowd. He is trying to break them out of that dogma to a Christocentric universalism . ..that human solidarity is where its at , and is found in the power and grace that he can give to bring it about . apply to all things that appear divisive in Christ teachings , and you see what he was after. ..namely division in order to bring real unity . he is actually destroying the things that divide us ..the constructs and projections from the human finite mind that are not from heaven . any Zen master worth his salt would understand this . clear out the head brush first.

          The Cross . why is this so important . first off — crucifixion in the Ancient world was considered to be by both pagans and jews ”outside the divine order”. Hence , it is God incarnate that identifys the Godhead with those also outside that order , the marginalized , the destitute, etc.. Peter Rollins work on this called ”The idolatry of God ” , as well as Martin Hengels ”Crucifixion ” really deal with this .and of course Crossan . Why is the Roman Centurion’s statement of Jesus being ”truly the SON OF GOD ” so important in the Markan account ? because it redefines divinity . it redefines it for what it is –humble , vulnerable , sacrificial , loving , and all accepting . the exclusivity does not come from the christ on the cross but from those who keep rejecting it and its redefinition of divinity . Herein lies the rub. one must pass thru this offence and believe .

          as far as the good news being bad politics. so be it . politics is bad. the good news is intrinsically GOOD . as far as it being anti-science . so what ? science gave us the bomb , genetic engineering ,terrible things for our environment , and a whole host of things that are truly counter evolutionary . the Soteriology of the Orthopraxis of the Christocentric model in its redefining divinity , and its power to actually bring about true human solidarity is evolutionary because it is the Revolution. and i agree that it should be confined , but it can be lived out . this is called sainthood . And sainthood is the goal of life. and it is impossible ….unless God intervenes . when God does , all things are possible .

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