Sunday, October 17, 2010


In High Priests Group today, the subject came up of disaffected people's objection to the persnicketiness of mormonism. Coffee, baptism, etc. My comment was that when people say drinking coffee or not getting baptized are no big deal, they are right. Living an ethical life, treating other people kindly, etc. these are requirements for a terrestrial life.

The afterlife is strangely a subject that is glossed over sometimes by many religions. They don't like to talk about it too much, and view it as maybe a bit beside the point. In fact, mormonism is usually viewed as kind of silly because we have such a detailed and seemingly complex map of, not just the afterlife, but of an existence before birth. I think it reminds people of pagan mythology. Yet, our fate after death looms hugely in our minds, whether we talk about it or not. I came to find this out on my mission. People were very concerned about if there was a life after they died and where their dead loved ones were, etc. The major problem with sectarian Christianity is that it has never proposed anything other than a heaven and hell. The extreme granularity of this formulation has frustrated and scared and disaffected people for ages. Yet, the book of Revelation, where some of Christianity's cosmology comes from, says that at some point hell will deliver up the dead that are in it. Mormonism teaches that hell is a temporary place where those who have not availed themselves of the atonement of Jesus Christ will suffer for their own sins. But after this is over they, along with those who have repented and everyone else, will go to heaven, a place of unspeakable bliss, i.e. one of the three kingdoms of glory.

The genius of mormonism is that it affirms the idea that it doesn't matter which church you belong to, what you believe in, etc. as long as you live a good life. That is, in fact, the law of the terrestrial kingdom, and of terrestrial beings. These beings live with Jesus Christ in a realm very much as traditional Judeo-Christian-Islamic descriptions of heaven. They will live in the millennium. etc. There is nothing wrong with aspiring for a terrestrial life. It is admirable and wonderful. And this kingdom itself, if we understand Jesus and latter-day prophets, is not singular. Everyone will be rewarded for everything good they have ever done, whatever kingdom they go to. The Celestial kingdom, is a very special case. It has additional requirements on top of the requirements for the Terrestrial kingdom. It requires an incredible suspension of incredulity (i.e. faith) in order to do many things that most people consider a bit crazy. i.e. like abstaining from coffee, believing and reading books with unsubstantiated and miraculous origins, participating in arcane rituals, etc. So naturally a small minority of humanity will participate in a lifestyle that is required for Celestiality. Of course we desperately hope that everyone will join in, but we also are incredibly glad for all of the good that exists in the world and the joy that each kind and good act will bring temporally and eternally, from whatever source or religion.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wall Street

Don't bother. I liked the original Wall Street. This was a real mess. Completely disorganized collection of non-sequituurs. The weirdest thing is that it doesn't make a point. It doesn't even seem to be committed to a critique of the excesses that led to the 2008 meltdown. Oliver Stone's movies have gotten more and more rambling, as have a lot of Hollywood movies. I get the impression that they are so flush with money that they create to much stuff and then try to edit a 5 hour movie down to 90 minutes. It never works. I prefer the opposite. An economy of means.

I'm listening to a wacky Braxton piece. Composition 173 for actors, instrumentalists, video projections and constructed environment. He uses the term mythodology. I think that's the only word to describe this.