The Doctrine of Identity


So — even though this blog apparently has the reputation of being a “good ‘ole boys club” that writes constantly about “justifications for polygamy” — I’ve nevertheless noticed that mostly because of the conversations I’ve had with Joana and Elder and Sister Chantdown over the last couple of months, three out of my last four posts have talked about:

God becomes flesh in everyone of us – and it is by the putting on of a “person”

But if the actor gets too into his part and forgets he is acting – he could then become a “hypocrite” [hypocrites, meaning actor].

Galatians 2:6 tells us that God accepts no one’s “person” – He doesn’t care about my mask, or the “Self” I go around saying that I am.

Jesus said, “deny your Self” – quit the act and repent of that stuff.

Have the same mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus, thinking equality with God was not something He needed to be grasping at — but rather devoted Himself to being a servant [Philippians 2:5-8].

The world is not this physical planet or the life that’s on it. The “world” is our ideas about the world. We term the end of the world “apocalypse” – which is nothing but the Greek word for revelation. An earth-shattering revelation bringing about the biggest change in the human state of mind – large enough to completely end this world and usher in a new earth.

It’s interesting that we call God “The Supreme Being” – when “being” is a verb. God is The Ultimate Doing – and we should be about doing the same thing.

[from It maketh no matter to me:  God accepeth no [one]‘s person]

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass…

Jesus’ revelation will end the world as we know it – what we would call an apocalypse. But the power by which God works is agency, meaning He only works through free agents choosing to act by way of persuasion, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, etc.  And Jesus showed the world what the kingdom looks like by the miraculous works of the Father that He manifested – showing us how to end the reign of the four horsemen [statism, war, famine, and death] and establish the Reign of God.  Those works that He did are what bring about an apocalypse – but we [as free agents] must do those works for it to become reality – instead of just being the idea of Zion.

[from Two Plasma Interpretations of Portions of Revelation]

We had to begin seeing ourselves as something not-God – something “fallen” away from Him, pretending that we are not one-in-the-same thing – so we could start to look at God from an outside perspective, see what kind of dance it is He’s doing – so we could do it too.

The Self [a left-brain, rational concept of “I”, a persona] is one-step removed from God because to gain wisdom of God – we must begin to believe that we are somehow separate from God.

You see, the relationship between humans and God is the relationship between humans and the realization of their highest Self. Meaning that the only difference between God and us is that we still see a difference between God and us [because we are using our left-brains to look].

We can our spend lifetime searching for salvation, enlightenment, etc. — when all the time, we carry it around in us: “behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”

We work at trying to do things that would just be part of our nature [how we are] if we would soften our hearts in repentance. God’s commandments are not instructions on behavior that will get the Spirit to work on us – they are descriptions of what results once the inner nature of a person is changed by the Spirit.

There is no “You” who can get something out of this game – life is not a bank that you can rob. Your Self is God attempting to look at itself from billions of points-of-view.

[from Split-brain Model of the Gospel: The Fall of Man]

The broken relationship of mother and father:

The right-brain-heart is the feminine aspect in every one of us. It is the moon-lit, unconscious realm of dreams, visions, instinct, inspiration, etc. It is the “temple of God”, meaning the organ where the Holy Spirit dwells. It is our passive, mute, and resting state of mind. It is eternal in scope and in nature.

The left-brain-mind is the masculine aspect in every one of us. It is the sun-lit, conscious dominion of our language, logic, reason, focus, discernment, etc. It is the tool that gives definition and order, that uses invented intervals of measure to construct a “grid” on top of existence in order to better focus on parts of it and describe it. It is our active and rational male-fire of conscious attention – though limited in its purpose and in its function.

The problem is that the left-brain-mind has been exalted – and the right-brain-heart has been suppressed. The scriptural diagnosis of the problem is a “hardness of heart”. The organ has atrophied – and in many cases is “past feeling”.  Right-brain aspects such as passivity and nothingness are defined as morally “bad” – we are disconnected from our Mother.

The current narrative of God and the universe is the idea of the Creator that is inherently disconnected from the creation. It relates to God in terms of a Manufacturer and His manufacturing – a Potter and His inherently-flawed clay.

However, this left-brain view of God [a view that sees Him as an “out-there” elderly man seated on some throne in another part of the cosmos] originated in cultures where monarchy was the primary form of state – thus God was formulated in the image of the King of the Universe. Thus, minds that relate to the universe in this way feel towards their basic reality as subjects would feel towards their king.

The exalted, left-brain Man sits on the throne. While the Woman is locked away in the tower. With its arsenal of symbols and images – the left-brain casts the right-brain down – and with them, keeps her there.

Deny your self:

We all have different acts we put on [personas we wear]: I play one part at work, one part at home, one part among strangers, and one part at church. If we have online personas — then those are the exact same game. The Justin that speaks through a picture of Robert Downey as Sherlock Holmes is yet another way for the actual Me to express itself — just like the Justin at church and the Justin at work are two other ways for Me to express itself.

No one of those persons is the actual Me — they are like the different colors of light extending beyond a prism. But there is only one happening going on. When viewed with the left-brain, which takes something that is a continuous happening [like the universe or God or Me], and breaks it up into measurable bits [matter] and divides it into separate doers [persons], events, and things — it’s like the white light broken into the colors.

The gospel is about denying the reality of any one of these persons or Selfs you go around saying that you are — and getting back to the white light on the other side of the prism. It’s about ceasing to identify your Self as this or that person you claim to be – and start to identify with Christ.

Identify your self as Christ:

“And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”

Thomas saith unto him, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?”

Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”

Philip saith unto him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.”

Jesus saith unto him, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?”

Jesus could not show Philip the Father because to point with the finger and say, “See Him, over there, that’s the Father,” is using the left-brain to look. Jesus is saying that to look upon Him is to see the Father because Jesus had been doing the miraculous works of the Father. He had been doing the same dance – He had been being the Supreme Being.

How do we go where Jesus is going? What’s the way? Jesus is the way. If we go about doing the works which He did, having the same mind in us which was in Christ Jesus — not trying to look at God as though He is something to be grasped at, etc. – then we know the Father, have seen the Father, and will be with the Father.

“And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

This doesn’t mean that we may continue to operate in our left-brain – praying “out-there” to God for the things we desire or think we can get, thanking Him for the things we are thankful for, confessing His hand in the things we’ve noticed it in, etc. – and then tag on “the name of Jesus Christ, Amen” – and receive accordingly.

To pray “in His name” is to stop praying in your left-brain [as your Self] — and start praying as Jesus.  To say the words of Christ, to say what He would say.  It involves identifying ourselves with [or as] Christ in mind and in heart.  And that can only come once we’ve denied [or disowned] our Self, taken up our cross, and started doing the same works as Jesus.

The doing, not the doer:

So what is this “doing” that I keep saying we ought to be about doing too? What is the “dance” that God is dancing that we needed to “fall” in order to get a better look at it, so we could do it too?

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

and

“These things I command you, that ye love one another.”

It’s love – real love – charity – the open-faced, fully-naked, no-stinginess at all, complete sharing of all things kinda love.

…God is love.

which is why God is uncontrollable [or all-powerful] – even anti-control. We fear relative truth or subjective ethics – because they’re uncomfortable, because they aren’t well-defined edges and lines that the left-brain can see. But love requires the situational, the voluntary, the accepting.

It’s funny that among the religious is where one finds the most hostility towards the subjective. Especially given the situational ethics of the scriptures – e.g.

The reason all of the law and the prophets hang on the single concept of love:

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy [right-brain-]heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy [left-brain-]mind, And thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

is because without the context of love – being “true” or “right” is meaningless.

There is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.

It is [not] good [to do] any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

Love is manifested in various ways:

Expediency

This is why there are so many different laws given by God to various people at various times – why one group can be commanded one thing, while another group is commanded the opposite. It’s the spiritual gift to know the differences of administration — tailoring all things to the sundry conditions mankind exists under.

All laws of God are expedient. They are all proper under the conditions in which they were given.

Ask the Father in my name, in faith believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost, which manifesteth all things which are expedient unto the children of men.

Service

Jesus described that His kingdom is one in which the greater serve the lesser and are accountable to the common consent of those that they are “over”.  The rulers are not habitually obeyed, sitting atop their power hierarchy by divine appointment – but, in the Lord’s vernacular, the leaders are in fact stewards who have responsibility to provide for the maintenance and welfare of the concerns of their stewardship. Those who preside the most must serve the most, or consider themselves to be the servant of the most and act accordingly.

[see:  The priesthood, An alternate view of the keys, and The nature of authority: the Lord's stewardship law]

He taught His disciples to bring the miracle, and then request a meal – to heal, and then be invited into someone’s home – to give free compassion that could then be followed by open sharing:

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

and

it is expedient that I give unto you this commandment, that ye become even as my friends in days when I was with them, traveling to preach the gospel in my power; For I suffered them not to have purse or scrip, neither two coats.  Behold, I send you out to prove the world, and the laborer is worthy of his hire.

The servants of Jesus cannot any more require support in order to work miracles – than can a gathered group of people produce community – it’s an inversion of the natural order of things.

Charity

Commensality literally means, “sharing a table” – it is one of the reasons humans are significantly invested [physiologically-speaking] in being bipedal animals — to have free hands in order to share. This isn’t the generous kind-of charitable giving that is usually the last strong-hold against the open-nakedness of complete, anarchic sharing.  No, this is the over-whelming desire and willingness to share all that you have with everyone else.

The family is the charitable society we were born into in order to gain the only spiritual gift that will save us – charity. Those who learn charity while on earth will enter the charitable society that exists in heaven – the family of God.

Joint-stewardships

The doctrine of joint [or reciprocal] stewardships is a manifestation of charity.

And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. [I pray] that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

God promises all those who receive Him:

receiveth [His] kingdom; therefore all that [the] Father hath shall be given unto him.

The Father possesses all things, and yet promises to give all things to all people.  How could this be so?  Because Gods have “all things common” — or share according to the principle of charity and joint-stewardship.

It is not given that one man should possess that which is above another, wherefore the world lieth in sin.

and

That you may be equal in the bonds of heavenly things, yea, and earthly things also, for the obtaining of heavenly things.  For if ye are not equal in earthly things ye cannot be equal in obtaining heavenly things;

The Lord equalizes all things in heaven – not by taking away — but by giving more.

I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and lands, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds.

We are not given all things just for the purpose of having them.  If that was the case, then all people couldn’t possess all things.  That state of having “all things common” works because of the principle of joint-stewardship:

[You are] heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

That’s a part of the probation — the test — to determine if a person has learned charity — the Lord gives, but will we receive?  If we refuse His gifts, then we fall short of exaltation, and only

enjoy that which they are willing to receive, because they were not willing to enjoy that which they might have received. For what doth it profit a man if a gift is bestowed upon him, and he receive not the gift? Behold, he rejoices not in that which is given unto him, neither rejoices in him who is the giver of the gift.

This is the principle by which anyone enters into exaltation — receiving all things that the Lord gives — a principle of reciprocity. We receive all that God is willing and desirous to give to us, and He receives us into His tribal family in heaven.

Next Article by Justin: This and That are Contrary One to the Other

Previous Article by Justin:  On Not Having Polygamy for Polygamy’s Sake


Joana Smith’s Halloween post on what spiritual gifts may await should we have the sensitivity of Being to tap into the female, unconscious power that is innate in us all — instead of our current system of repressing and commodifying our Mother.  

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24 Comments

  1. Justin. I think I have TO STOP DOING FACEBOOK for good….. That’s what you’re saying here, right? And it’s what you’ve been saying all along, To fully break down the tower is to Die to persona…

    We have to do something as drastic as that to fully METAMORPHASIZE into something new.

    We’re so esoteric right now… What if we lived in the middle of towns in the same way we live here?

    “It’s about ceasing to identify your Self as this or that person you claim to be – and start to identify with Christ.”

    and in order to do that, love. …in our homes, in the areas we live, show charity to the people around us, not into a screen.

    It’s like, someone was bored in their room one day and instead of saying, How can I *Be with my friend better, said, “I want to explore deeper into this room, and maybe I’ll find something deeper in here that will get me to my friend.” And there is this *porthole* we’ve invented, but it’s like porn. relationship porn.

    You say:
    “something like social media would be the gestating womb that gets people talking and bridging gaps. And while the womb is an incredibly comfortable and safe place — parturition must follow. I wouldn’t want to extend something beyond its appropriate purpose.”

    I’m ready now to just Be in a place and let the *community* be the community. Go to the Island Grill, the Bellaire Diner, see the old people (who are my friends) there, go to the park, and just be me, MY ROLE in it, *is* me, writer, artist, musician, name-tag maker, whoever., just love it…There aren’t limits in the real world either. We have to be able to dream there, too.

    People have faults. I have faults that I am ashamed of……but we can’t be a perfectionist about it. Speaking through a computer is great because it lets you choose words and edit out the unseemly parts of the Self, but BEING is an “As Is” thing….

    In that spirit, I threw some things into this blog last night…. in response to this. I tried not to be too perfectionist about it, just following the vision.

    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/11/here-are-a-few-ideas-for-holiday-giving-its-not-too-early-i-like-books/

    Love this post ::Keep it flowing! I found this piece of paper on the ground recently, it said ” There is a funnel hanging from a cloud, and if it touches ground it is a tornado.”

  2. That’s what you’re saying here, right? And it’s what you’ve been saying all along

    I’ll say that’s at least what I’ve been saying to myself.

    But I’ve always seen online communities [even this blog, where I still persist] as genuine responses to genuine feelings of detachment in people — so I wouldn’t presume to put that conviction on someone else — I think that’s what Romans 14 [which I quoted in this post] is getting at.

    That having love for people means I can’t dictate your journey — even if I’m “right” about what I’m saying. So I see that people are feeling alone and detached from those around them…

    And there is this *porthole* we’ve invented, but it’s like porn. relationship porn.

    And my heart breaks for that.

    Everyone could certainly be well-served by spending more time unplugged from chairs, wires, cell-phone towers, etc. and getting up and touching things. There’s a whole material world out there that is the end result of all of our mental activity — it’s all out there to be experienced — but we’d need to spend less time in our towers, painting on the walls, and make art on the streets — dance with flowers in our hair, barefoot — my daughter says that’s what’s wrong with the world today, “people don’t dance barefoot in the street with flowers in their hair anymore”.

    We should see exactly how it is God has grown us — what part of the song He’s wanting us to sing — but that takes our right-brain-hearts to see. It can only be seen by losing our Self in service, by looking into the eyes of family, touching them, working in our homes, getting our hands dirty, creating things, etc.

    And yes — it was when I was writing “Connecting with Pixels” [which I intended to be only my take on pornography use] — that I received my vision of a world where human beings connect with human beings. Where we make tribal connections with other humans because that’s already how God sees us — connected.

    And that’s what “tribal” is all about for me — getting real people together — not just the like-minded, but the like-bodied as well.

    And that’s why I’ve done the Myers-Briggs “j” thing — and deleted my FB profile [even though it was were I could talk with you] because I do see plugged-in media as a shell — having the form of community, but denying the power thereof.

    To fully break down the tower is to Die to persona…

    But it’s hard to die — seems scary. People just get stuck, I think — we just live out lives in comfy chairs, going to church, going to work, buying stuff — just waiting for God to come and take us up to heaven where we can sit around and do basically the same thing forever.

    We must surrender [or die to] all our earthly attachments [our coins, can't take your coins with you when you die], our vain imaginations, our worldly ideas, and our petty emotions — they must all be killed so we can change our minds [repent] and move on — on to that immortal aspect we have in each one of us, You as God [or God as You] — and that’s who Jesus Christ was — God as man, or man as God. That’s what He was showing us.

    Here, in that gold-lit realm of the Sun — here lies our true reality, where we are who we are in our hearts — once all pretense and persons have been dropped. Where we are the fully naked-self that just is. It’s intimate — and can’t be commoditized — intimacy really being * into-me-see *. It’s about being that naked-Self, and not being ashamed of that.

  3. All this talk of deleting Facebook accounts… Well, I guess this is as good a place to announce this as any…

    I’ve decided that I’m going to delete my Facebook account on November 17. (When I do this, all my posts, pics, notes, and comments will disappear forever. Also, all the comments of others on my posts will go missing. So, I’m giving people one week to save whatever comments they feel are worth saving.) Now, the reason why I’m deleting my Facebook account is because it didn’t serve my purpose. I opened my Facebook account to be able to collaborate on the GEMTAM project with the other GEMTAM collaborators, but I found that during these months its been opened, no collaboration ocurred there. So, now I’m moving on. (Collaboration is still occurring at the FastPencil site, so the work will continue to go forward.)

    However, I still want people to be able to contact me online, so I’ve established a presence on the Wireclub web site, which allows for very private one-on-one chat, as well as very private group chat (and lots of other stuff.) It takes two seconds to register and isn’t at all invasive of anyone’s privacy. If anyone wants to interact with me there, register and then friend me at: http://wireclub.com/users/cupholder

    I will also be deleting my Twitter account, since I never use it anyway. I just opened that to interact with those interested in talking to me, but I never go on it, so I’m going to chuck it into the cyber-garbage, too. From now on, if you want to get a hold of me, you’re going to have to use Wireclub or email (if you know my email address.)

  4. Sorry to keep going on the FB tangent, Justin, but I’m just gonna go ahead and say, I’m not going to *delete* my fb account….. that’s just too black and white/extreme….

    I want to be a writer, not a facebook groupie….And I’ve noticed that it seems condescending when people on facebook (LDS Anarchist) announce to their facebook friends that they’re stopping or cutting back. If you want to cut back, just do it and save the announcment. FB can be a perfect tool to make people aware of stuff online that they wouldn’t have known about otherwise (And circulation online is paperless–good stewardship to the planet), so you wouldn’t want to sabotage yourself by belittling others who invest time and energy into it…Inevitably, they will not be happy with your departure There is never any sense of saying something negative in a made-up virtual world.

    I think there just needs to be some limitations on that imaginary *world* so that it doesn’t overwhelm real world ACTION. Like, I could be making a nametag for Ms. Carla right now –because that’s what she asked me to do. But I’m sitting here. Why am I doing that? Where is it getting me? Where is it getting our world? Is it actually making anything better?

    This is a window not a door, but windows are not all bad. I found you guys. But I could overindulge and interact with you all the time if I’m not careful. I think it’s about keeping the priorities straight. Loving and caring for those souls that are closest, first..Being outside, making your real self available to share a table, look into someone eyes, heal them.

    Part of me liked what your wife called it, what was it? “False interactions”…I can see what she means. But on the other hand, Justin, you have done I lot of healing of me through words. And that was the Spirit working through facebook, I hate to admit it.

  5. One other thing I was thinking about, quickly…..when I was a little girl I had this canary named Michael Jackson and he had won some canary singing contests….

    We put a mirror in his cage and he stopped singing. He would just stare into the mirror. That’s sometimes how I end up doing with facebook if I’m not careful. It can be like a mirror sometimes, and you get lost trying to go deeper. But you can’t “go into” that mirror any deeper. ( And then you stop singing ). For me, I think that’s the most damaging aspect of FB.

    But you know, people don’t need to be a computer addict in order to be lost in the mirror. It can be psychological. We really do need more interaction with real humans in our world…

    The roads, the big houses and tvs, it’s all the problem of separation that alienates us from each other. We need to be the ones who begin to step out of *that* and heal the world. But we can’t just say, “You’re wrong.” ….People hate that, and they don’t like commercials either. We have to model a new and better way, reflect light. It’s easy…. a way that is truth and that people want to do.

  6. Sorry to keep going on the FB tangent, Justin, but I’m just gonna go ahead and say, I’m not going to *delete* my fb account….. that’s just too black and white/extreme….

    Yeah, you had some pretty strong sentiments about how FB was the mission field for your calling — reaching all the lost people in there as the yownah — etc. So I didn’t presume to have changed your mind on that or anything. I’m glad people like you are there to show a different way of doing it.

    These image-based things are tools — which means they are amoral. They can only be “good” or “bad” given a specific context, given how a specific person uses them — getting lost in the mirror, as you said.

    While some faces really can only be reached in the book — some people only get it once the writing is on the wall [so to speak].

    But I could overindulge and interact with you all the time if I’m not careful.

    Right — indulging is fine [I think] — it’s the overindulgence — the taking things beyond their purpose — and that’s what I’d call “getting bogged down in the myth” — mental masturbation — feeling good but producing no fruit.

    I liked your (s)word — “relationship porn“.

    Cause it can be like gorging on processed food — or being hunched over a computer screen watching a pre-packaged sex-scene — etc. It’s enjoying the image but receiving no reality. It can be addicting.

    This all has reminded me of the Lilith aspect, the “Qliphah” of physical reality or material awareness. The unbalanced [or taken out of context] form — representing seduction or addiction or materialism, etc. The one collecting buttons in the Garden — greedily hoarding the material, but taking no thought for the spiritual that’s supposed to come with it.

    I keep wanting to write more and more in response to what you’ve been saying here — but I re-read over:

    But I’m sitting here. Why am I doing that? Where is it getting me? Where is it getting our world? Is it actually making anything better?

    And it made me think that what’s here should suffice — and I should go do something real — and you should sew and have babies in your lap.

    Online conversations will always be there when we get back on the computer — they don’t walk away or anything — the words just sit on idle when we’re not there [My wife reminds me of that whenever I'm doing a lot of commenting].

    But the real people — the spouses, the children, Ms. Carla, etc. — they don’t idle like Robert Downey does.

    It makes me think of something else you’ve said, Joanna:

    your thoughts…as always, were so deep that I could probably just write a book responding and then I would be here for days, and that’s not what you said, you said God is about DOING and BEING. ..So I’ll go now, and thanks! But maybe if you respond back we can talk more about it…

    Talk to you later…

  7. Joana,

    I couldn’t say about the reasons why others delete or cut back on Facebook, but as for me, it seemed to be a common courtesy to give people fair warning that I was going to delete my account. What I write on Facebook are, after all, my own words. Just as I have the right to write something, and then rip it up, whenever I want, I should be able to do the same with words that I write online in a profile. So, I’ve got no problem with just saving what I want to save, of my own words, and then pressing delete. The problem lies in what others have written in response to what I’ve written. If I’ve started a post and others have written interesting things as comments to it, when I hit delete, not only do my words go missing, but their words do, also. That’s unfortunate if they were words that they would have wanted to save. So, again, it is a common courtesy to give a heads up to people that such a loss is about to occur. Facebook doesn’t allow me to merely remove my own words without touching someone else’s, so this is why I am giving people a week to save what they want to save. I don’t see this as being condescending in the least.

    Besides, I’ve only been on Facebook about 5 or 6 months. My beef has never been with social media, per se. We will use whatever means of communication is available and most convenient and effective. If you are across the island and there is no phone, I’ll start beating drums and sending up smoke signals. If you are close enough for a long length of string, well, then we’ll tie a string to two cups and talk that way. If I can’t hear your voice, we’ll send letters, typewritten or handwritten. Textual online communication is just letter-writing, after all. We all enjoy writing and receiving letters from one another, which is why social media is so addictive. It is the post office on steroids. There is power in the written word, which is why all the words of God we are bound to obey are written down.

    I gave Facebook an honest try once, to allow people the opportunity to more easily talk to me, if they desired to. Previously, I had an LDS Anarchist profile that was active for only a few months because Facebook suddenly removed it without giving me any notice. That pissed me off. So, I had turned my back on that site forever and went back to my old and tried and true ways of communication. Namely, you either email me (if you know my email address, and if you don’t, too bad), or you call me up on the telephone (if you know the number, but again, not a lot of people have it, and it’s always busy–on purpose, but that’s another story), or you can just come on over to my home (if you know where I live and are lucky enough to arrive when I’m home.) I have always made it hard to get a hold of me. And I don’t carry a cellphone, so when I’m out, no one can ever find me until I get back. About the only way to track me down is through the Spirit, which is just fine by me. But anyway, back to the subject…

    BiV suggested that I create another Facebook profile to use for the GEMTAM work, so I decided to give it another try. But I did so reluctantly. I never liked Facebook from the get-go and have struggled to find reasons to keep my profile up in light of there being no active Facebook GEMTAM collaboration. When Justin deleted his account, I was delighted to see that everything went into the trash and nothing was left behind. Having seen what the deletion did to what other people wrote, which was a surprise to me, I decided that I would give people fair warning when I finally came to the point when I was ready to delete my profile. Which time is now.

    This doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the online friendships I’ve made. I do, but I’ve got to be me and me is an anarchist who doesn’t like monopolistic, information hogs like Facebook. Me is the guy that no one can get a hold of. (It drives everyone up the wall, but that’s me.) Me is the man who believes in working behind the scenes, in the background, anonymously, privately, to better society and further the Lord’s work, as well as destroy the Babylonian systems of control. Me is the guy who says take my words and run with them, they are now your words, I give them to you, don’t even give me credit. Me is the person you know nothing about, because I haven’t told you anything, nor will I. I’m the guy who only says some of what he thinks, because of the reactions I’ve typically gotten when I say too much. My spiritual standing orders have been “Keep your mouth shut” for the past 5 years now, and these orders haven’t yet changed.

    With all of this in mind, I am the last person that should be using Facebook. I’m not supposed to be answering Facebook’s question, “What’s on your mind?” Same goes for Twitter. Neither of these social media sites are useful for me. Anonymous chat is useful. Tight privacy controls are useful. But the other stuff is not.

    So, it may seem condescending to you to make an announcement, but I consider it a courtesy. Also, it’s not like I’m giving up an online presence, (though we will all eventually be forced to do that anyway.) People can still get a hold of me through Wireclub, which is superior in its privacy settings and offers more of what I really want. Let people continue to divulge their entire lives’ histories to Facebook. Let them reveal their inner-most thoughts in public and allow Facebook to gather up all of that useful information to use against them. They’ve got their agency. No one is forcing them. And I’ve got no problem with that. But I don’t want to do that anymore.

    (Btw, sorry, Justin, for the threadjack and Facebook/Twitter rant.)

  8. LDSA

    (Btw, sorry, Justin, for the threadjack and Facebook/Twitter rant.)

    It’s fine — I basically asked for it. It’s what I have been talking about with Joana and Elder and Sister Chantdown for some time now — so it’s not out of place here at all, I don’t think.

    And I think it can still apply to this post too. One of the ways love is manifested is in sharing — and I’ve seen that’s what someone like Joanna can do with FB — use it that way. Facebook [like any other part of our left-brain-personhood] — is amoral on its own. It’s a tool — some waste away their time doing nothing with it, some use it for ill, and others use it to try to reach out and connect with detached people looking for something.

    And that gets into love expressed as expediency too — a person’s unique personality, a person’s own way of sharing, etc. — that really defines what kinds of tools they’ll use to get their story out there. The Lord needs agents of change in every place — those who feel called should labor where the Spirit leads them, I think.

  9. And now expediency has made me think of a question I’ve asked before — but don’t really feel settled on an answer:

    At what point are we “misleading lambs” [as Joana has put it before]?

    By way of example — my wife asked me [when we started the FastPencil stuff] if I’ve thought about what it might mean for me spiritually if someone reads the stuff I put out there publicly — and then they try it b/c it sounds good and logical, etc. — but then ruins their life b/c it wasn’t expedient for them to make such a change.

    I think most people with non-”mainstream” views in the LDS church [Joana can tell me if it's the same way in Christian churches or not] feel better just keeping their mouths shut. To speak-up on something in a place like a Sunday school class just makes everyone else in the room feel uncomfortable and feel like they have to re-direct the conversation back to the “approved” opinions — and makes the leadership feel like they have to “deal” with the dissenter — causes family stress –etc.

    What’s the balance point between reaching out to preach to the lost — and leaving people to travel their own journey, loving them as they are?

    I don’t want to go around bothering everybody and upsetting them with me and my beliefs [because it's been my experience that saying whatever I think usually upsets people] — just so I can feel like I’m operating truthfully and with full-disclosure.

    These online communities pop-up so people can express their Self in ways they can’t in real life b/c of dynamics such as this. I liked Joanna’s question:

    We’re so esoteric right now… What if we lived in the middle of towns in the same way we live here?

    That’s what I want to do — but is that really expedient? Is that really sticking to something like Romans 14 that calls us to let our brother or sister not eat meat if that’s what she’s called to do — even though eating meat isn’t “wrong”?

  10. Justin, I just want to say that I am really pondering a lot of what your saying here, the deeper I ponder all aspects of your blog/site, the more it makes sense and is beautiful.

    Thank you

    Eva

  11. You know, I think everyone has a beautiful story to tell — it’s just how to get us together so we can tell them to each other — so thank you for reading Eva, and for writing yourself too.

  12. Sorry, One more thing I was thinking about,….when I was a little girl I had this canary named Michael Jackson and he had won some canary singing contests….

    And when we put a mirror in his cage (as you do with some birds) he stopped singing. He would just sit and stare into the mirror all day. That’s sometimes how I end up doing with facebook. It can be like a mirror, and you get lost trying to go deeper. But you can’t really “go into” a mirror any deeper.

    The roads, the big houses, the tvs, it’s all the problem of separation that alienates us from each other and forces us inside ourselves. We need to be the ones who begin to step out of *that* and heal the world. But we can’t just say, “You’re wrong.” ….People hate that, and they don’t like commercials. We have to model a new and better way, .

    …. a way that is truth and that people want to do. Reflect light. It should be easy. It’s what we were created to do, but we also have to be more brave. We hold the keys.

  13. ^^Sorry guys, for some reason when I got up this morning this comment was still sitting in the box like it hadn’t published and I couldn’t see any of your subsequent comments, so I edited it and put it up.

    Now I can see that it did publish yesterday. You could delete it if you want to. I couldn’t seem to…..Now I have to great and respond again

  14. Since the end part is different:

    …. a way that is truth and that people want to do. Reflect light. It should be easy. It’s what we were created to do, but we also have to be more brave. We hold the keys.

    I like it — and unless you object, I think I’ll leave them both up.

  15. Blah, blah…I can’t seem to type this morning…

    This part, “What’s the balance point between reaching out to preach to the lost — and leaving people to travel their own journey, loving them as they are?”

    I think it’s just about a creative approach. Once I went into the Whole Foods market by our house on Valentines day and gave people “Valentines” inviting them to our church (which is right next door) on Sunday and I made people very *uncomfortable.* It’s actually taken me awhile to live that down because I go shopping there and I’d see some of the employees.

    When I had the idea (at home) I thought it was a great idea, but when I actually implemented it I could see the problem. I felt fake, like a commercial. And based on that experience I will never do something like that again.

    That was two years ago…Now I think I try to advertise a better world by just being myself, being outside, riding my bike –I’ve been riding everywhere in my little town of West University Place for two years now, people know who I am because they can see my face (I’m not inside a car) and people talk to me about it all the time. And the local paper just did a story about how more people are getting out on bikes. I know that I was part of changing that. It’s real change, and it’s fun. You don’t want to preach, but people do need ideas. A real revolution, a move to real community takes time, but I think as more people get onboard you eventually reach something called the tipping point, and the idea fuels itself.

    I’m going to be blogging more on elephant next week, and I was sort of wondering if there was a way for us to collaborate more.

  16. Joana — you wrote:

    ….a way that is truth

    And that makes me think of Jesus saying:

    “I am the way, the truth, and the life…”

    it’s that Supreme Being — that thing that when people see, it shows them the Father and they want to do it too.

    And you wrote:

    It’s what we were created to do, but we also have to be more brave. We hold the keys.

    and

    Now I think I try to advertise a better world by just being myself…

    As I’ve told you before — the socially-awkward penguins thing — I’ve always kept to myself, staying in my own head-bubble out in public because of my experiences with sharing me and my beliefs — how it’s always been met with opposition.

    I use the anonymity because that doesn’t force people to have to be confronted and deal with *me* and my beliefs — like they’d have to if I lived in the middle of my town like I live here — like what you talked about the Whole Foods employees. I can go to this-or-that blog and be myself and I don’t have to see them next week when I go to buy milk.

    But the calling to deny my Self, take up the cross, and identify my Self with Jesus won’t let me stay in the bubble. That calling tells me to just live my life [do my dance] and be who I am without being ashamed of that — without censoring this or that part of me with Persons when I’m in this or that context.

    Such superficiality really just seems like insincerity to me. And it’s nice to know *You* get it too:

    It’s real change, and it’s fun. You don’t want to preach, but people do need ideas. A real revolution, a move to real community takes time, but I think as more people get onboard you eventually reach something called the tipping point, and the idea fuels itself.

  17. Oh yeah:

    and I was sort of wondering if there was a way for us to collaborate more.

    Certainly — just let me know what I can do — when trying to birth something, it’s nice to have a co-labor-ator — I think.

  18. OK, I know what it is — ever since I started wanting to publish a real paper book I could see a vision for what it looked like: lots of itty bitty words in columns integrated with small photos of objects and life like a manual or guidebook. And then I got my new Anthropologie catalog in the mail yesterday, and I wrapped that painting of the pink peace sign with the princess I have around it. And it looked just about right. 10 1/2″ X 9 1/2″ 88 pages, full color, and on some sort of recycled paper stock. It would be something of a cross between a magazine and a newspaper. So, here’s my idea– I think we could make a beautiful book using some of the articles from the egalitarian multi-husband, multi wife tribal model for it. And then put some amazing beautiful images, and sell it for cheap, like 10 bucks. or 2 bucks, in Houston, to the people at the farm, or wherever.

    I mean, you’re talking about establishing Zion. It’s kind of a crazy- far off, shoot for the moon idea, so you should just make it look like that, too. Fun, but also a manual. Maybe we can try some things. I think I can start working on integration with the elephant blog. I’ve been thinking about the keys of the priesthood post and nature artifacts for Monday:::

  19. Do have any specific articles you have in mind — that would work for what you want to put together — any ones you like more than the others?

    You are also free to take text from anything here and put it into any of your future posts on Elephant Journal — to experiment with the idea of mixing the swords and cups.

  20. Expediency*, is it a positive or a negative? …God is expedient, and all things that benefit Him benefit the All. I can’t figure it out.. If we are expedient then we are using something as a means to an end? is that the right? I keep wondering exactly what you mean because you mention it a lot, and, I think I need to pay more attention and (possibily) act accordingly.

    I’m still wondering where Evil is in all this. Darkness and light are both present.

  21. Expediency — n, Being suitable to the circumstances or conditions of the case.

    Expedient — adj, Conducive to advantage in general, or to a definite purpose; fit, proper, or suitable to the circumstances of the case.
    The modern adjective sense follows the Latin verb “to forward matters, be helpful or serviceable”, as also in “expedite”.

    So yes — God is expedient because everything He commands people is proper and suitable under the circumstances and conditions under which he commanded them to do it, His laws will always be helpful or serviceable to those whom He reveals them to.

    In the LDS church, people will usually divide the laws of God into “higher” laws and “lower” laws. For example:

    The law of tithing is a lower law given because the Saints couldn’t live the higher law of consecration of all things…
    or
    The law of Moses was a lower law given until the fullness of times when the people could receive the law of the gospel…
    etc.

    But LDS or not — most religious people want to divide and define things in terms of “right” or “wrong”. The doctrine of expediency says that there isn’t anything wrong [or right] of itself — rather all things must be taken in context of expediency [whether that thing is suitable to the circumstances or conditions of the case] — dividing God’s laws into expedient-laws and laws that are not expedient.

    Living the non-expedient laws, even if men have interpreted them to be “higher laws” — will always work towards a person’s damnation — while the expedient ones always expedite salvation.

    So what I worry about in being expedient [misleading lambs, etc.] is — to go back to my story above:

    My wife asked me [when we started the FastPencil stuff] if I’ve ever bothered to think about what it might mean for me spiritually if someone reads the stuff I put out there publicly — and then they try it because it sounds good and logical, etc. — but then ruins their life because it wasn’t expedient for them to make such a change.

    I think “expediency” means that there is a difference between being “right” and being “proper”. I wouldn’t want to forgo “proper” in my desire for what is “right” — essentially making an idol out of what’s “right”. And I think that’s the message behind a scripture like Romans 14, which is saying that even if it isn’t “wrong” to eat meat or drink wine or to not observe the Saturday sabbath [etc.] — it doesn’t matter how “right” you are if eating meat, drinking wine, and ignoring Saturday sabbath [etc.] causes your brother or sister to stumble and/or take offense.

    Which is what makes me wonder about the balance-point between reaching out to preach to the lost — and leaving people alone to travel their own journey and loving them as they are, without bothering them with me and my beliefs?

  22. I was reading through the scriptures this evening — and I came across some verses in Galatians that pertained to something in the book of John [which I quoted from in the OP]. I didn’t address those particular verses in John due to the length of the post — but having read Galatians this evening — I guess I’ll put this is a comment.

    Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.

    Verily, verily, I say unto you, [Those] that believeth on me, the works that I do shall [they] do also; and greater works than these shall [they] do; because I go unto my Father.

    Seeing the works of the Father manifested is how you may know if a person has Christ in them — or has been identified as Christ in their mind and heart. They will speak His words — do His works — etc.

    Now — for the verse in John 16 that I didn’t address in the post:

    A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

    The “woman in travail” is the Mother, the feminine aspect in each of us — the right-brain-heart. She is in sorrow — repentance bringing about a broken heart or contrite spirit.

    This scriptural pattern of a conversion is seen in Alma the younger’s recounted story to his son in Alma 36 — how the period of sorrow in the right-brain-heart eventually burst into sheer joy once the new man was birthed — meaning Alma as Jesus Christ [God in the form of a human, or a human in the form of God -- either one].

    What I read in Galatians that made me remember all of this from the book of John that I didn’t put into the OP was:

    My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

    Christ is the “man that is born into the world” referred to in John — Christ formed [or born] in You.

    And once we are “in Christ Jesus” — or identified as/with Him:

    For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

    and

    For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

    Meaning — once we’ve denied our Self, and identified in mind and heart with Jesus Christ — we are birthed as the new creature [Christ formed in us] — and now faith [which worketh by love] is all that avails us anything lasting/enduring.

    For, you have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love, serve one another.

    For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

  23. Identity is simulcrum. There is a new identity…

    I found this DVD outside my tent….with a note…

    This communication is protected by Anonymous.

    The Democratic Party has failed us

    The Republican Party has failed us

    Both parties are desecrating the american democracy and committing crimes against humanity on behalf of american people.

    Both parties are funded by the same mega corporations.

    The same corporations that fund political campaigns

    The same corporations that buy lobbyist

    the same corporations that operate the united states government

    The Primarys and Caucasus put on by these parties are part of an elaborate scam the deceives the public into voting for candidates that serve the private interests of the mega corporations.

    these parties have deliberately driven tens of millions of people into poverty

    Voting for these parties is unethical, they have destroyed the american democracy

    We are calling upon you to occupy the campaign offices of presidential headquarters in Des Moines Iowa on December 27th, and peacefully shut down the first in the nation Iowa Caucuses on January 3rd.

    operation empire state rebellion… continues

    we are Anonymous

    we are legion

    we do not forgive

    we do not forget

    expect us…

    http://www.occupyiowacaucuses.org/
    http://www.occupyiowacaucuses.org/
    http://www.occupyiowacaucuses.org/
    http://www.occupyiowacaucuses.org/
    http://www.occupyiowacaucuses.org/
    http://www.occupyiowacaucuses.org/
    http://www.occupyiowacaucuses.org/
    http://www.occupyiowacaucuses.org/

  24. *simulacrum


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