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Passions in Poetry

. . .a great mystery. . .

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Huan Yi
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25 posted 01-01-2006 02:45 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Baba,

“In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.”

Until he passes his breaking point, then, when God shows up
and Job asks why God answers:

“Who then is he that can stand before me? 11 Who has given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.”

Let others read and decide for themselves:


http://eawc.evansville.edu/anthology/job.htm


John

Baba Michi
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26 posted 01-01-2006 02:52 AM       View Profile for Baba Michi   Email Baba Michi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Baba Michi

Yes, but praying and asking God why he is allowing something to happen is not the same as charging him with wrong.  
Baba Michi
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27 posted 01-01-2006 02:58 AM       View Profile for Baba Michi   Email Baba Michi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Baba Michi

Also, Job does not reach what one would call a breaking point in the passage; he continues debating with his buddies.  
Huan Yi
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28 posted 01-01-2006 03:02 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Baba,

This is beginning to remind me of when I was
once home on liberty, (in the Marines it was liberty
not leave), and stopped for a drink in a bar in East
Chicago.  There a guy from Northern California was
telling the bartender how he punched his girlfriend out
for giving him lip.  He concluded with:  “ I didn’t hit her
to knock her down, I hit her to raise her up!”

Seems no way God’s, being God, not right.

John

Baba Michi
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29 posted 01-01-2006 03:04 AM       View Profile for Baba Michi   Email Baba Michi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Baba Michi

So, your stance is that anytime something unpleasant happens anywhere, God is being as morally reprehensible as a man who beats a woman?
serenity blaze
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30 posted 01-01-2006 03:07 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I understand the analogy, but John?

I have walked much of my life bare footed.

I guarantee I can outwalk the ladies (and gents) who wore foot coddles much of their life.

It's a matter of temperance, m'friend.

You stick that sword in the fire, and watch carefully--the metal turns dark blue before it turns silverblue, and that's when you take it out of the flame and beat the crap out of it, to make it a stronger blade.

A simplistic explanation, but the only one I can find for Job.

And for me.
Huan Yi
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31 posted 01-01-2006 03:11 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Baba,

No, because I personally don’t buy into the omnipotence thing,
but if you do, I don’t see how you can escape it.  And keep
in mind: in Job God does expressly give the Devil  the power
to afflict Job.

John
serenity blaze
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32 posted 01-01-2006 03:14 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

actually John..Satan

the tempter

(thus you get the root word of temperance)

the guy had a job, given to him by birthright by god...tsk.

Baba Michi
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33 posted 01-01-2006 03:18 AM       View Profile for Baba Michi   Email Baba Michi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Baba Michi

I agree, Serenity Blaze.  

  It's not a valid analogy.  A man beats his girlfriend because of his own emotional inadequacies and is not teaching her anything, despite what he might say to his buddies in a bar.  God, however, taught Job that basing one's spiritual views on transient phenomena is unwise; health, money, loved ones... everything with form is impermanent.  Being happy should be based on one's relationship with God.
Huan Yi
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34 posted 01-01-2006 03:24 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


A man beats a dog.
The dog may fear,
may, out of fear, whorship him,
but I don't expect the dog loves him.
On the other hand, some women
are strange . . .

serenity blaze
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35 posted 01-01-2006 03:29 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

"Barkeep? Give me one to go, and give the prophet there, one to keep. It's on me."

Yep.

But I might add? Some women are strange.

It's been my experience that most women are...

*cheers*

and beware of flaming jelly bean drinks--y'blow too hard, and it's all ash and sad dousing soda water...

grin

you are fun John.

I wish you knew that.
Baba Michi
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36 posted 01-01-2006 03:29 AM       View Profile for Baba Michi   Email Baba Michi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Baba Michi

You are quite correct; God does give Satan permission to afflict Job to the point of near-death.  However, we must understand Satan as being representative of lies and misperceptions about how the universe works.  Job is representative of all mankind.  We are assailed by misperceptions about God when we ignore our own spiritual context.  
  God doesn't "beat" Job with Satan so that Job will worship him.  If you recall, Job already worships God at the beginning of the story.  
Stephanos
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37 posted 01-01-2006 01:56 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

John:
quote:
God answers Job’s question as to why he is being afflicted basically with a rhetorical question: “who are you to be asking ME?”  God comes off as a ticked off rather than kindly deity, (after all He did let the Devil have his way).  In this way he’s not that far off from Zeus.


But rhetorical questions are not always sarcastic questions, are they?  You use quite a bit of this methodology yourself.  Such questions can be asked in a haughty or wrong spirit, but sometimes they can bring the other party into some realization.  And with God, who really IS on a greater intellectual and ontological plane than we are, the motive for such a question was to bring Job to honesty, rather than to shame him.  Was there any shame involved?  Yes, but it was a natural kind of shame that was proper, and it was momentary.  


You've also got to hold things in context instead of taking isolated passages alone, to prove your point.  If God was such a meanie, then why did Job heartily come to revere and love him?  And why (this is the kicker) was Job blessed more abundantly than ever at the end?  


So God's reply to Job, bantering satire?  Maybe.
Bitter sarcasm?  No.

quote:
And keep in mind: in Job God does expressly give the Devil the power to afflict Job.


That's only a cursory or "at first sight" kind of interpretation ... unless the deeper issues of the book of Job are seen.


Firstly, Job is presented by God as a "righteous man".  Then a series of accusatory questions were asked God, by Satan, concerning his "servant Job".  Satan blatantly declared that Job's piety was nothing more than egoism, or selfishness disquised as religion.  Then God, rather than merely disputing Satan in a verbal way, let him afflict Job (although with certain limits or parameters).  The whole excercise seems to be to "prove" in actuality, that the piety of Job was not flimsy as that.  Of course God, being omiscient, knew whether or not Job's faith was more than fluff.  But Satan needed to see it, and be rebuffed.  And perhaps in the end, Job too would not understand or appreciate his own dedication to God, without this experience.  


If you say the testing was unneeded, or cruel, that is your opinion.  But the question of whether faith is based upon an unbroken supply of "goodies", or whether it's commitment is rooted deeper, is still a profound question.  


And I think that unavoidable periods of suffering in our lives, still raise this very significant question.  Will we get angry at God, reject faith in him, become an "atheist"?  If that is what happens then maybe we are egoists at heart, after all.  In which case, we've got too big of a plank in our own eye, to try and reprimand God.


So I think you are not addressing the deeper issues of Job's ordeal.  The tempter who is always trying to 1) alienate God from man, and 2) alienate man from God, has raised certain cosmic questions that will be answered in all of our lives (in varying degrees).  In the book of Job, the ending confirms that God and Job are both vindicated as faithful to each other, with the full consent and agreement of Job.  So the charge of God being a meanie, and Job being no more than a moocher, is answered.  


Now a days, the tempter tries another method, by making Job's agreement with God (at the end of the story) sound like the result of coercion.  But if it were merely out of fear, would not God be able to see this too?  Wouldn't this merely amount to egoism all over again?
Keep these points in mind:

1) God boasted of Job and loved him (Job 1:8)

2) Job's suffering was only God's allowance, but Satan's performance. (1:12)

3) Satan's inclination to afflict was actually limited by God. (Job 1:12)

4) The test, as it were, is not done in a whimsical way, as if God were merely seeking entertainment.  But there were deeper cosmic questions hanging in the air, that needed an experiential answer.  (Job 1:9-11)



And like John, I encourage anyone to read the book of Job for themselves.  Whatever conclusion one comes to about the "deeper" issues at hand, these need to be at least acknowledged as present in the text.  Text-proofing only presents a lop-sided view.


quote:
Newborn babes desire nourishment because of the unconscious drive to live.  We want to believe because in one form or another we want to live forever.



And my point remains the same.  As one desire is proper and fulfillable, so may the other be.  You've merely restated the fact by saying it is "because of the unconscious desire to live" ... you haven't at all explained the propriety or purpose of it.


More later,


Stephen.
Huan Yi
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38 posted 01-01-2006 02:22 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Stephen,

The purpose of life is life.
If it could talk a single cell could tell
you that.  The body fights like Hell to live
regardless of what the brain might think.

John
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39 posted 01-01-2006 02:51 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


“How, when there could have been nothing, does it
happen that there is love, kindness, beauty?”

Love and kindness, and to a lesser degree beauty could simply be genetically evolved tools for self-preservation and reproduction. If you view the quote with this in mind then in it’s simplest form once there is something, at least a sentient something, love kindness and beauty are almost inevitable.

As you implied earlier though beauty isn’t a universally recognised thing, what to one society or culture seems beautiful can only be seen as repugnant to people outside those societies or cultures. The only thing that can be said is that each view serves each culture in it's own way.

Baba Michi
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40 posted 01-01-2006 02:54 PM       View Profile for Baba Michi   Email Baba Michi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Baba Michi

That's a good point, Stephanos.  I seem to remember a similar theme in Jack London's The Sea Wolf.  Great book if you've ever got the time..

Yes, our biological programming drives us toward physical survival.  However, to say that this is the purpose of life is an undefendable leap in logic.  What of firefighters who engage in rescues at the risk of losing their own lives?  Biological programming can be overridden by spirituality if the individual is so inclined, because spiritual truth transcends physical tendenceies.
Local Rebel
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41 posted 01-01-2006 02:55 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

You've also got to hold things in context instead of taking isolated passages alone, to prove your point.  If God was such a meanie, then why did Job heartily come to revere and love him?  And why (this is the kicker) was Job blessed more abundantly than ever at the end?  



The converse is the option to take it fully in the context of the source material which is apparently authored by several different writers over a period of a couple of hundred years.

In Talmudic tradition this story is a parable and not a literal occurence.  It's a didactic poem written to ask the question of how a good God can allow evil in the universe.  Not a new question even then.  There are similar poems predating Job out of Mesopotamia and Egypt -- although most scholars would agree that the Job writers were recording a long oral tradition that doesn't really plagiarize the neighboring stories.

The framing prose at the beginning is generally agreed to be the work of a completely seperate author -- the main text contains nothing about the devil and God wagering over Job's loyalty.  It's also interesting that in this account Satan appears as merely a member of God's court who goes down regularly to see who he needs to 'prosecute'.

The ending is less agreed upon.  Many scholars feel that it is original to the recorded version but was added orally during a time when 'happy endings' were in fashion for folk tales.  It makes sense that a post-exhilic version would attempt to tidy things up a bit at the ending.

Chapter 28 is apparently a still completely seperate expository inserted by someone with a completely different theological viewpoint from the original orators.  

For all its eloquence it ends rather clumsily.  'You don't have a right to ask'.

What sin the spiders?  What sin the crows?

quote:

It's too bad she won't live Deckard.  But then again, who does?

-- Gaff, Bladerunner


Stephanos
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42 posted 01-01-2006 06:07 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

LR:
quote:
The converse is the option to take it fully in the context of the source material which is apparently authored by several different writers over a period of a couple of hundred years.



That's fine to do so.  Yet I understand that scholarship is divided about the sources of the book of Job.  And among the Jews, if understand it correctly, there are those who feel the epic poem was entirely didactic, and those who believe it has a basis in truth.  Regardless of whether it has a basis in time-space history "The man from Uz" was doubtlessly written in the style of a didactic parable.  But the Hebrew prophets, and other writers in the NT spoke as if Job was a real person.  And personally I do not doubt it.


As far as other works predating job, of similar theme.  I at least reserve the right to disagree that there was direct borrowing.     For one, the theme of suffering is a universal one, but the monotheism of the Jewis isn't.  But we're likely to always disagree on that point if you believe that YHWH was derived (linguistically and culturally) rather than revealed from Heaven.  


Stephen.
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43 posted 01-01-2006 06:13 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

John:
quote:
The purpose of life is life.
If it could talk a single cell could tell
you that.  The body fights like Hell to live
regardless of what the brain might think.


And I also think that properly basic, and meant to be.  And the fulfillment is resurrection.  

Bodily death points to sin and futility ... a reluctant journey, to say the least.

Bodily life points to being created in the image of him who is the author of Life .    


Stephen.
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44 posted 01-01-2006 06:19 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Love and kindness, and to a lesser degree beauty could simply be genetically evolved tools for self-preservation and reproduction.

Go tell that to your wife, and see what happens.  There will probably be no more reproduction.      

Also in the wee hours of the morning, when you're grappling with the deep questions, tell yourself that a mere propagation of double-helix molecules, is the reason you "love" your children.  That's cold, and that idea is the end result of a total naturalism.  It would be more accurate to say that there is no real "love" than to say that it's only an evolutionary contruct.  


Stephen.
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45 posted 01-01-2006 06:54 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


Stephanos,

If love, kindness and beauty are genetic constructs to ensure self-preservation they aren’t diminished once the origin is discovered, my wife wouldn’t suddenly stop loving me, people would continue being kind and beauty would still be beautiful.

To believe that something suddenly becomes cold or something less than it is once the origin is understood doesn’t make any sense, I also can’t understand why you would prefer to believe that there is no love at all than a love created through evolutionary processes, could you explain?

Love doesn't change just because its origins are natural rather than supernatural.
Local Rebel
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46 posted 01-01-2006 09:15 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Love is a bit of brain chemistry.  Oxytocin, PEA, Adrenaline.  These brain-produced drugs make us bond, usually long enough to mate and get a child walking (in direct correlation to the so-called seven year itch).

But, the question is still So.  What?

The reason I inserted a quote from Bladerunner is because it really posits the human condition in the form of a replicant... it (she-- Sean Young) has someone elses memories, someone elses loves... but, does the origin really matter?

Regardless of the authorship of Job it was an important work to Jesus who laid the foundations for the freedoms we enjoy today -- a castless society where starting over is the expected response to failure and is applauded.

The priests in his day were isolated, cold, puritanical -- shut off and inaccessible -- as was YHWH.  Performing a healing ministry was a direct assault on the prevailing Hebrew thought of the day that if you were sick it was because you deserved it.

Ordinary people couldn't even touch the priests who walked over their heads on elevated sidewalks into the Holy of Holies...

The message of Job could well have been the catalyst that led to the turning over of the tables of the money changers who were ripping off the people who came in with their best first fruits.

Slowly the human condition has improved as a direct result -- so I applaud Job, and Jesus -- (and resultantly have no secular argument with the celebration of Christmas)

On New Years day it's a good examination.. and a good time to say the past is past -- regardless of ontology -- regardless of biology -- we're here.  What are we going to do in the morning?  How do we live?  There is, after all, only so much time.
Huan Yi
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47 posted 01-02-2006 10:42 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


LR,

"For all its eloquence it ends rather clumsily.  'You don't have a right to ask'."

Which is not contingent on how, when, or if anyone else was first,
asked.

Thank you

John

Baba Michi
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48 posted 01-02-2006 03:49 PM       View Profile for Baba Michi   Email Baba Michi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Baba Michi

I am not of the opinion that discovering something's origins makes it cold and lifeless.  However, the question of whether or not we know for sure "What makes love?" is not entirely answered by biology.  Sure, we have hardware which helps us experience love in physical ways, but to say that that's all that constitutes it is to deny our spiritual context.  
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49 posted 01-02-2006 04:15 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

To me the book of Job shows that irony of the question (in man) of God's judgement on a man, in the face of the truth that God is almighty over all things.  It is not against the question, but it is about the irony of it.

Even though on one hand we know God is almighty and righteous over the universe, ironically when it comes to our individual lives we still wonder if God is right about us.  I think the end emphasizes God's right power and judgement over nature to emphasize his right power and judgement specifically over Job too.  In other words, if God can deal with the rest of nature rightly, the whole universe, he can certainly deal with something so little as a man rightly too!  Just some thoughts.    



[This message has been edited by Essorant (01-02-2006 05:13 PM).]

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