DEATH & RESURRECTION

CemeteryHalloween, at least in part, originally was a ceremony for the dead, and in the Christian context an interval to honour or pray for those who had died but were still parked, so to speak, in Purgatory, awaiting their eventual ascent to heaven. It was, and still is, underneath the costumery and fun, a time to think of the dead.

PurgatoryDeath may be the only taboo left in the modern world. We cosmetize to delay its inevitable advent. Botox and surgery are our apotropaic — our effort to ward off carnal dissolution. But other eras were not so skittish about death.

Connoisseurs of death can do no better than to read and read again the great 17th-century rhapsody of Sir Thomas Browne, known as Urne-Burial or Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns lately found in Norfolk. It is a soaring meditation on how humans have sought to cheat oblivion, to secure themselves against time, by the manner and scale of their memorials. The Pyramids of Egypt are the most monumental. And every common headstone is but a poor man’s pyramid.

ecclesiastes12_8Browne scoffs at all attempts: “But all was vanity, feeding the wind and folly. The Egyptian mummies, which Cambyses or time hath spared, avarice now consumeth. Mummy is become merchandise, Mizraim cures wounds and Pharoh is sold for balsams.” (By Browne’s time, the use of “mummy” as a drug was common, and there was a traffic in Egyptian mummies to Europe’s apothecaries.)

He mocks the Emperors who sought to have their names live forever: “There is no antidote against the opium of time … our fathers find their graves in our short memories … Generations pass while some trees stand, and old families last not three oaks.”

John Donne, a Church of England cleric whose works appeared in the early 17th century, was fascinated by the carnal sharing between the dominions of Eros (love) and Thanatos (death). Love’s urgency is seen as a flight from Death.

Perhaps the greatest funeral oration ever given was Donne’s commentary on the text of Psalms 68:20, “Unto God, the Lord, belong the issues of death.” It is an obsessive, morbid-seeming, up-close mediation on the physical Psalm68_19-20decay attendant on death. And what is even more remarkable was that Donne rose from his own sickbed to preach it at Whitehall on the first Friday of Lent in 1630 — in essence, Donne preaching his own funeral sermon: “For this whole World is but a Universall Churchyard, but our common grave and the life and motion of the greatest persons in it, is but the shaking of buried bodies in their graves by an Earthquake. That which we call life is but Hebdomada mortium, a week of death…”

As if in preparation for that sermon, he placed himself in his coffin, wrapped in a winding sheet. Donne was a genius of the erotic in his early life, and a genius of dissolution and decay in his later. The phrase that everyone knows of Donne, unearthed for a title by Hemmingway, is “for whom the bell tolls.” That was, of course, a funeral bell.

In the 17th century, the grave and sex were verbally akin, the most common pun being “to die” signifying both the end of life and sexual climax. In Andrew Marvell’s famous “To His Coy Mistress,” the poet eerily woos the lady to “enjoy” while she can, for after death “then worms shall try / That long preserv’d virginity / And your quaint honour turn to dust / And into ashes all my lust / The grave’s a fine and private place / But none I think do there embrace.”

Shakespeare, naturally, is another who never flinched. Romeo and Juliet is really a gothic love story, told in the shadow of death. Measure for Measure has the brutal soliloquy on the terror of death, from Portia’s imprisoned brother: “But to die, and goe we know not where / To lie in cold obstruction and to rot / This sensible warm motion to become / A kneaded clod.”

So much of what is memorable in language about death comes from this period in history, when brilliant, word-mad minds, in full intellectual fever, sought in language a means to state their fears in order, partially, to quell them.

But if you should want some lift from these dark and chilling ruminations, there is one 20th century poem by Wallace Stevens that has a, let us say, most pleasant tone, his “Sunday Morning.” For Stevens, “death is the mother of beauty; hence from her, alone / shall come fulfillment to our dreams / and our desires.”zKeSq

Happy grey grim Halloween, everyone.

Halloween

Reprinted from THE NATIONAL POST

Rex Murphy: Your quaint honour turn to dust

As a young kid, I loved Halloween in my neighbourhood of Verdun, a poor English suburb of French Montreal. The last Time I went to a Halloween Costume Party was 40 years ago and I went as Father Time.

My Vision and Understanding of Death

There is a morbid fascination by this generation for Zombies, more than earlier generations. Toronto just had a Zombie parade with some real scary looking walking Dead.

Zombies symbolize The Walking Dead among us, and in the context of your writing, most people are the Walking Dead, and without exception, are headed to the same finality in this world.Zombies rising on cemetery

The vanity of the fancy Tombstone or Mausoleum is irrelevant. The Destination of the Grave is the same for all that do not believe Death is only a Doorway to another Dimension of Being.

CalvaryCemeteryQueensJews and Gentiles, Princes, Paupers, Believers and Atheists, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, in Death, end up as dust and ashes in the dirt of this earth by the Great Equalizer.

If only the people could find that Equality while we’re still alive in this world?

And Judgment is turned away backward, and Justice stands afar off: for Truth is fallen in the street, and EQUITY cannot enter.
Isaiah 59Isaiah_59-14

And the nations were angry, and your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, (zombies)
that they should be judged, and that you should give reward to your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear your name, small and great; and
should destroy them which destroy the earth
Revelation 11:18

When you can see it happening in this world, is it Revelation being revealed? Everyone can see the Nations are angry and more people will be sent to the finality of the Grave.

The Christian Faith believes Death entered this world by the sin of one man, Adam, at the Beginning of the Sentient Human struggle thousands of years ago. Humans have gone to the Grave all that TIME.

By the same Faith, Death is swallowed up by the blood sacrifice of one man, Jesus, enduring the Cross in Jerusalem, fulfilling once and for all, the requirement of the ritual blood sacrifice of the ancient Jewish religion.

For as much then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to help them that are tempted.
Hebrews 2

What is the Object and Goal of that Faith in this world, before we get to the Grave? As an Individual, this is the single most important insight of the entire Bible of what is at stake to my Mind and Spirit.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
To HIM THAT OVERCOMES will I grant to SIT WITH ME IN MY THRONE, even as I ALSO OVERCAME, and AM SET DOWN WITH MY FATHER IN MY THRONE.
He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
Revelation 3

Any Individual, recognizing the Spirit of the letter, and willing to have the Patience and Trust to endure whatever Life brings, can Overcome all Life’s difficulties, doubts, reverses and challenges. Then you will have much Time Alone to reason with God since most other people just don’t care, comfortable with their cocoon in The Matrix.

By these words, God invites Humans TO BECOME God with God after Death, preparing for that while we are Alive, Resurrecting with the Risen Christ Day by Day in this world. The paid holiday of Easter is supposed to remind us of this.

Resurrection

Everyone can overcome if they Truly desire and believe with a sincere, humble heart, in finding The Way.

DAY OF AWAKENING – DAVID vs GOLIATH vs ARMAGEDDON

February 1, 1975 was an extra-ordinary, extra special Day for me. To use the commonly known phrase, I was “born again” that Day by the Spirit.

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 

That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

John 1

I was born May 21, 1944, making me a Gemini according to the Flesh, but born again February 1, making me Aquarius according to the Spirit.Up to that Day I was like the majority of the People. Self-seeking, materialistic, earth bound. Sexual fantasies, money and things pulled my strings.

I never thought about God. I made no room or Time for God in my Life, in my thoughts, in my Reality. God did not exist to me in my self-centred life. I did not go to church and the only time I talked with believers was when Jehovah Witnesses or Mormon Missionaries knocked on my door.

Even so, I always had a decent respect for all others whose path in Life crossed with mine.

I was 29 approaching my 30th birthday.

I was already upbeat since I was going to seal the deal to take possession of a 5 room apartment in the heart of Montreal decorated by a French Canadian artist that was well laid out with large rooms and beautifully furnished.

Moving to Quebec City, he was turning over the apartment with artwork and furnishings for $1000. The rent in 1975 was $65 a month plus oil heat and hydro.

Arriving with a friend to make the final arrangements, after taking care of business, we got into an intense discussion of Society, Morality, Politics and Religion. In other words, the Human Condition,  Life and Death on Planet Earth.

I was sitting back listening to them go at it, when at a certain point, it was as if a veil was removed from my eyes, and with the sound of rushing water, within myself I felt and thought, ‘God! You’re alive! You exist! You really exist!’ In a Spiritual sense of another dimension, I came alive to God or God came alive to me that Day.

From that moment on, I began communion with God and Christ in me. Because I did not understand exactly what was happening, I said nothing to the others who did not have the same experience.

I had experienced much in my life but never anything like this. At 24, in 1968 dollars I was making $25,000. This bought me the stuff that costs $175,000 in Today’s dollars.

At that day you shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

John 14:20

What I didn’t know then, was there was a long period of time preparing the ground for me to Spiritually, Mentally, Emotionally and Socially accept the God of Abraham still Lives!

Part of that preparation I understood only with the benefit of hindsight can be seen here:

Over many years I moved to several neighbourhoods in Montreal, but could never get any apartment together, always remaining an unfinished work with no progress once I got comfortable. This apartment and furnishing was beautiful. My wealthy Jewish friend who lived in an expensive apartment on the slope of Mount Royal said he was jealous.

Later that evening, I was with another group of friends and did not tell them about the change now starting to take root within me. We were joined by another friend who was also a promising artist, not the one turning over his apartment to me earlier in the Day.

Three months earlier, to encourage him, I asked him to do my portrait and paid him a deposit. He arrived with the finished work.

While I was expecting a conventional portrait, I was surprised when he presented me with the portrait you see above. The image above is a reduced size photo copy of a full size photo copy of the original artwork. It was done in pencil and did not have the Canadian Coat of Arms on the Shield which I added later.

A thief stole the original drawing in a break & enter to my apartment and it is probably hanging on some wall in Ottawa.

Again I emphasize, no one knew the new feelings that came alive in me earlier that Day. It is said art is in the eye of the beholder and as I questioned the artist I said these words:

“Dave, that’s a jock looking type of image. I wish my body looked that good.” Pointing to the shield I asked, “Is that a cowboy hat?” He answered, “No. It’s not that. That’s a shield and that’s a slingshot. You know. Like David and Goliath”

Imagine my surprise and wonder as he laid those words on my ears, not knowing what was happening inside me. I didn’t fully know what was happening inside me.

Examining it further, I noticed the the car, the symbol of the driving force of the economy and the license plate with the D between the legs. I asked Dave if the D was for his signature. He answered, “No. It’s not that. It could be Death. It could be Divinity. I have no idea.” Again, I had to wonder what all this meant and how could I make sense of it all? It was the sense of Timing that was amazing.

Studying the drawing further, I reasoned since a headless body could not stand. To me it symbolized God of the Universe is the Head of the Body.

The automobile, the engine of the economy, is at a cliff with no place else to go, much as the Global economy has arrived at the point of stagnation requiring radical change. The bare veins of the Canadian Maple Leaf, the unfinished Canadian Mosaic, represents the theme in my earlier article ‘CanaDa.’

The head in the stump represents the earth bound man oblivious to what the Spirit is doing and the Signs of the Times.

At home later that night, I was experiencing the most sublime feelings of Peace, Joy, and Liberation. I was crying with Gratitude on the thoughts GOD IS thinking, ‘God I don’t know what you’re doing with me, but whatever it is, keep on doing it. I love it! I love you! At the instant of those thoughts, a radio broadcast started with the words, “NOW that you’re a Christian, your work is just beginning.”

Even though it was a multi year struggle for me to finally have an apartment that would impress and make  any visitor feel comfortable, I gave it up 8 months later, on September 1, 1975, and entered the United States to discover more of God, and the Spirit of ’76.

I hitch hiked through 45 States before I was arrested as an ‘Alien’ for deportation from Kansas City in December 1976 back to CanaDa.  (you are in the world, but not of the world– a confirmation?)

The US Authorities would have never known about me had I not become highly visible at the Republican National Convention, unexpectedly finding myself standing at the Podium of The President of The United States on a Secret Service restricted balcony, with my shoulder length hair, beard and #13 football jersey, waving to all those Republicans below and the TV networks broadcasting live.

I was a guest on a phone in Radio Talk show about a dozen times, did a TV interview and 2 newspaper reports.

Reasonable people might acknowledge having just arrived in Kansas City as a solitary stranger with no  money, organization or name recognition, is an accomplishment having accumulated such a Public Record as a Marker of Time from 1976 to NOW.

I had convinced the authorities to allow me to leave on my own without formal deportation, but having to report to US Customs before exiting the US and returning home to CanaDa.

It turned out to my good fortune and Blessing I met someone driving to upper New York State not that far from home in Quebec with a spare ticket for the Eagles Concert at the Kemper Arena. We flew away right after the show. I have not visited the US since then.

Even though it is 42 years later, I am still trying to make sense of it all in a David vs Goliath struggle to prevent the coming Armageddon in a world where people don’t care and don’t give a damn.

I have come full circle. That apartment in 1975 was on Hotel De Ville Street close to Sherbrooke Street, one of Montreal’s main arteries, and St. Laurent Blvd., the dividing line between East and West.  Today, I live on Hotel De Ville Street in Ottawa-Hull. It is perfect for me, having so many reasons to thank God for something every Day.

The LORD IS my Shepherd. I shall not want. Surely Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the Days of my Life and I will dwell in the House of The LORD forever.      

Psalm 23

 

Biography of Ray Joseph Cormier

What is in the record is this:

Paterson, Kathleen (13 September 1976), “Prophet Choose Park for Vigil”, Kansas City Times

¨There are 30 months before the fate of the world will be sealed with EITHER destruction OR the Universal Brotherhood of Man,¨ he said. ¨The 30 month figure concerned a Treaty between Israel and Egypt.¨

Not 29 or 31 but exactly 30 months later, in March 1979, history shows a Treaty between Israel and Egypt was signed, The Camp David Accord.  History shows the talks broke down on the 12th day and no Treaty was to be signed. Begin and Sadat were leaving.

It was on the 13th Day, as in the date of the article and the picture accompanying it, an unexpected window of opportunity appeared and opened the way for the Treaty to be signed.

This signified the Universal Brotherhood part of the quote.

The Destruction part is signified in the November 2nd article. The Iranian Revolution in 1979 was also foretold in the September 13, 1976 report. With the looming conflict between Israel and Iran visible on the horizon only these Days, all things are possible.

To see for yourself, the original reports of The Kansas City Times appearing on September 13 and on All Souls Day, November 2 in the Spirit of ’76 can be read in the 1st article of this Blog, ‘From the Revolutionary Spirit of ’76 to the Revolutionary Spirit of ’11‘ bearing in mind I had no editorial control over what was written, the dates of publication or the images used by that major daily newspaper.)

 

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the thieves, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they are doing. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.     

Luke 23:33-34

Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.        

Matthew 27:38

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 

Isaiah 53:6-9

After 36 years, I have come full circle. That apartment in 1975 was on Hotel De Ville Street close to Sherbrooke Street, one of Montreal’s main arteries, and St. Laurent Blvd., the dividing line between East and West.  Today, I live on Hotel De Ville in Ottawa-Hull. It is perfect for me, having so many reasons to thank God for something every Day.

The LORD IS my Shepherd. I shall not want.

……………….

Surely Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the Days of my Life and I will dwell in the House of The LORD forever.      

Psalm 23