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Genesis, Creation and Early Man: The Orthodox Christian Vision
Genesis, Creation and Early Man: The Orthodox Christian Vision
by Seraphim Rose
Edition: Paperback
32 used & new from $27.58

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to the Future, March 28, 2004
_Genesis, Creation and Early Man_ by Father Seraphim Rose is a sizable tome which containing his studies on the Patristic writings on the creation of the world. This book was compiled and edited from among Fr. Seraphim's many papers, articles and letters that he had written on the subject, much of it in response to questions concerning the place of the evolutionary origins of humanity in Orthodox teaching. The primary sources Fr. Seraphim uses are from the ancient Fathers St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil the Great, St. Ambrose and St. Ephraim. The basic patristic doctrine concerning the creation of the world is that it was originally a Paradise, totally different from the fallen, disunited world of today. The Genesis record (according to tradition revealed by God to Moses) is a divine revelation; the true origins of the world cannot be fathomed and totally explained by rational science. Human reason alone cannot give us a glimpse into our primordial origin because disobedience and sin have clouded the eyes of man. The species of animals and plants were created all at once, in different varieties, and the Genesis record notes that the plants were created before the sun was formed. The meaning of this is that since the plants grew without the sun, then God, not the sun, is the true origin of Life. God also created humans into male and female, itself in anticipation of the fall. Fr. Seraphim quotes the writings of the Fathers stating that before the fall from Paradise, mankind would have been able to reproduce itself without sexual intercourse. Thus, differences between male and female will exist, along with the sacrament of marriage until the resurrection. Death was also unknown to primordial man, and physical decay is also a result of sin. After the fall, the entire world was radically changed. As man became more and more corrupt, life spans decreased and the world was transformed again by the waters of the great Flood. At the tower of Babel, man also became disparate in all parts of the world, members of different races, nationalities and languages. In this scheme, Fr. Seraphim brings into question many presuppositions of modern science. Evolutionism holds that the various species of life, plants and animals, evolved from a common source hundreds of millions of years ago. Therefore, man apparently evolved from form of ape in the past couple hundred thousands of years. The fossil record and similar genetics and traits are touted as evidence of evolutionary origins. However, the question is not settled as to where this primordial ooze that we evolved came from. There can be variations within different species and different "breeds" like cats and dogs as well as different human races. Also, Fr. Seraphim demonstrates how fossil dating techniques are arbitrary and designed by the scientists who support evolutionary theory in the first place. Current rock formations may indeed be the work of a cataclysm like the Flood, an event that Genesis describes as having radical environmental consequences (the rainbow). _Genesis, Creation and Early Man_ is an excellent resource for an introduction to the philosophy of the more predominant Fathers of the Church and a critique of popular scientific beliefs. Fr. Seraphim demonstrates that there is no real conflict between objective science and religion as long as the science is not used to answer fundamental questions of human existence.

Sexual Revolution
Sexual Revolution
by Jeffrey Escoffier
Edition: Paperback
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8 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sexual Revolution: Yet Another Utopian Heresy., March 14, 2004
This review is from: Sexual Revolution (Paperback)
Why give this book five stars? It is a catalogue of the nihilistic heresy of the twentieth century--a democratic utopia fueled by an orgy of sexual expression and "free love." What is the sexual revolution actually revolting against? Traditional Christian views on morality and along with it, societal and familiar structure. The worst part of this is many people in Third World, non-Christian states view this type of license as representative of America and the West in general, when in fact this is nothing further from the truth. An overemphasis on sexuality took off with Freud and his questionable theories in the late 1800s. The sexual revolution started swinging in the fifties and early sixties as more or less male fashionable dalliance idealized in _Playboy_ magazine. It later became embroiled with accompanying liberalizing factors in Western society during the sixties such as the civil rights movement and spilled over into feminism and the campaign for "gay" rights. This whole thing is anti-Christian, anti-patriarchal, anti-family and anti-Western to the core. It is constantly bombarding the world's populaces who are (un?)fortunate enough to be in some way to experience the television set, rock n' roll CD or Hollywood blockbuster movie. The sexual revolution is at the end of the day a fraud. No sooner than women began to spill into the workplace there was plenty of money to be made by lawyers specializing in sexual harassment lawsuits. Some progress humanity has made. The sexual revolution has its antecedents in history. A few ancient Gnostic sects, because they believed the material world inherently evil, indulged in the pleasures of the flesh because it supposedly did not affect the state of one's spiritual being, a few well documented here. When Christ is ignored, man will instead look for earthly means to bring about the Kingdom of God and eternal bliss on merely human terms. Christ's Kingdom is "not of this world" and will not be experienced in this life, but only in the Age to Come. In the case of the sexual revolution a millennial utopia is attained though the grossest desires of the flesh. Has the sexual revolution failed? Well, people are just as disgruntled as they ever were. At least Marx's economic utopia of the proletariat looked serious and businesslike. It's best to stick to traditional, moderate sexual values, which are especially important to maintain in the face of the world's dissolution and media propaganda. If you want the obscene details then look no further than _Sexual Revolution_. Everybody with some opinion and agenda are mentioned somewhere in here, from Freud, Wilhelm Reich, Norman Mailer to _Time_ Magazine, Larry Flint, Susan Sontag, etc.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 17, 2011 9:02 PM PST

An Introduction to Reading the Apocalypse
An Introduction to Reading the Apocalypse
by Columba Graham Flegg
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.00
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reading the Apocalpyse., March 13, 2004
Father Flegg's _An Introduction to Reading the Apocalypse_ is a short book that tries to give an Orthodox perspective on the most controversial text of the New Testament. There are many different interpretations of the Apocalypse (or more commonly known as the Book of Revelations), which introduces itself as "the Revelation (Apocalypsis) of Jesus Christ." Some of these are true; others partially true drawing from older traditions and of course a great many blatantly false and even heretical. Among the misguided interpretations are those of the "Rapture" of the Church and Christ coming to inaugurate a literal Millennial Kingdom on this earth before the final battle with Satan. Another abberent interpretation holds that the Church will somehow "take over" the world's institutions and Christ will come when most if not all of the population is converted to Christianity. Both of these and their respective variations arose from the odd beliefs of a medieval Catholic monk Joachim of Fiore who taught a "third millenium of the Holy Spirit" would envelop the world and renew the Church because he was the current "Age of the Son" as becoming grossly corrupt. They are also influenced by the slip-ups of various teachers of the later Protestant Reformation and backwoods American and British evangelical-revivalists in the 19th century. Orthodox Church tradition holds that the Apocalypse was written sometime after the year 90 AD by the St. John the Theologian, Apostle of Christ and Evangelist who wrote the Gospel of John. It is also very similar to the visions in the Prophets Ezekiel and Daniel in the Old Testament. Ezekiel describes an apocalyptic battle between God's people and the vast armaments of the nations of Gog and Magog culminating in a victory for the besieged New Jerusalem understood as the Church. Daniel's vision is one of a succession of four worldly kingdoms: Babylonia, Persia, Greece and "Beast of Iron," the Roman Empire. During the period of Roman domination, God's kingdom on Earth would be established, "a Kingdom not of this world," and would last forever. The Apocalypse is a reiteration of those Old Testament prophecies and also of the discourses of Jesus before He was crucified on the end of the world and his Second Coming. Also, St. Paul, who characterized the apocalyptic era as one of mass apostasy also, wrote Christ's Second Coming about, unbelief and sin run rampant. Above all, however, the Apocalypse is a revelation of Christ's victory over the worldly and demonic evil, sin and death that are man's mortal enemies and shall be cast into the Eternal Fire. Christ, revealed as the Lamb of God, has conquered in the beginning of time, is conquering as we speak and will conquer in the future. The Apocalypse is full of symbols of Christ's Kingship. Regarding the Second Coming, Fr. Flegg notes St. Peter's dictum that "a day with the lord is as a thousand years." Although the Apocalypse was written nearly 2,000 years ago its message of Christ's immanent return remains relevant today. Fr. Flegg's Introduction_ is by no means an exhaustive treatment on this subject, although it gives a decent summary of the meaning of Revelation. It does well by highlighting the correct interpretation of the Apocalypse as opposed to more of the recent novel innovations that are (in my opinion) the products of persons with ulterior religious agendas or persons out of touch with reality.

The Book of Enoch the Prophet
The Book of Enoch the Prophet
by Richard Laurence
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.79
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72 of 81 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thus Spoke Enoch, March 4, 2004
The "Book of Enoch" is a lost manuscript of a book ascribed to the prophet Enoch, the antediluvian Old Testament Patriarch, seventh generation from Adam, whom God took into Heaven for his righteousness. It is also a tradition in the Church that Enoch (along with Elias) to witness for Christ against the Antichrist. The book is a part of the widespread Apocalyptic literature of its time, filled with visions of God, the Messiah, angels, the saints, Hell, Judgement, the ordering of the world, the Fall of Satan, etc. "Enoch" is a pseudepigraphal text ("falsely ascribed," i.e., the actual Enoch didn't write it) most likely written in Hebrew, and this translation was made into Ethiopic, the language of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It was probably written a few centuries or so before Christ. "Enoch" was clearly an influence to be reckoned with in the early Church because many of its passages parallel the New Testament, in particular the Gospels. Jude even quotes it in his Epistle, "Behold He comes with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgement..." (Enoch c2v1). Many Church Fathers alluded to it in their writings and it appears to have been accepted as authoritative by some of them. For instance, Origen used "Enoch" to compile his outline of Heaven's angelic hierarchy. It was not accepted as Scripture in either the Old or New Testaments in the long run however. The only Church that preserved it in translation was the Ethiopian Orthodox that remained totally isolated from the outside world until an English explorer brought three manuscripts of "Enoch" to Europe in the late 1700s. It's a curious fact of history that Ethiopia, along with Armenia and later the Roman Empire, was among the world's first officially Christian countries. An element of controversy in "Enoch" is certainly its depiction of the Watcher angels. These Watchers are the questionable "sons of God" recorded in Genesis 6 who lusted after the daughters of men, had intercourse with them and begot wicked children. The Watchers also instructed humans in the arts of sorcery, technology and encouraged the women to use makeup and other artifices to allure men, which brought God's wrath upon them. This explanation of the beginning of the world's evil is rather "unorthodox" however. Angels are not created either male or female and do not possess physical bodies and therefore would not have been able to impregnate human females. The edition of this book is poorly printed and makes uncomfortable reading. The font was enlarged and photocopied from the original printed editions back in the 1800s so it looks like a large print edition.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 3, 2010 3:02 PM PST

Rising Tide of Colour Against White World Supremacy
Rising Tide of Colour Against White World Supremacy
by Lothrop Stoddard
Edition: Hardcover

14 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Racial Conflict for the Twentieth Century., March 4, 2004
Lothrop Stoddard's _The Rising Tide of Color Against White-World Supremacy_ is a notorious "racist" book published in 1920 in the aftermath of the inter-European slaughter of WWI. This is about as stereotypical, and non-PC as can be imagined, making it a amusing and rebellious to a reader not totally indoctrinated by the multicultural-inclined Establishment. Stoddard outlines the different races of the world and focuses on the position of the White, especially the "Nordic" race and its dominant position in world politics. After the fall of the Roman Empire, whites, centered in Europe, have been on the defensive against outside invasions of Asiatics and Moslems until the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. European and expansion brought most of the "colored" world under the control of white nations in Europe, America was established as a colony of Britain in North America, and Russia extended its empire all the way across Asia crossing over to Alaska. Some non-white countries, such as China, Japan and Persia maintained a form of independence but their trade policies came to be dominated by European nations. Against this white hegemony arose during the later 19th century nationalist movements against European imperialism. Stoddard divides the world into five general categories, based on races (White, Yellow, Brown, Black and Red (in Latin America). The book's biggest shortcoming is that it is based on an evolutionary theory of human origins and it views the entire field of human conflict on racial terms alone. It is true that racial differences do exist and "good fences make good neighbors" but there are other factors at play in the world's affairs rather than race by itself. Also, since this was written in the twenties it is very dated regarding some of its predictions. However, it is clear that the breakdown of racial barriers and the slow but steady cultural-ethnic assault on former Christendom is one of the many factors to cause chaos in the world.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 30, 2011 2:45 PM PDT

Secular Humanism: An Orthodox Perspective
Secular Humanism: An Orthodox Perspective
by John F. Bockman
Edition: Paperback
7 used & new from $10.16

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Tyranny of Secular Humanism., March 1, 2004
_Secular Humanism: An Orthodox Perspective_ by Fr. John F. Bockman is a treatise on the "religion" of Secular Humanism, the collection of academics and pseudo-scientists who are its main brains and its pernicious influence in America today. It was originally printed in 1991 so some of its references and speculations are rather dated. Bockman begins by defining Secular Humanism as a belief system, a naturalistic religion of Man, formulated as an "anti-religion" that places humans and human experience at the center of Being. It errs by denying man's fallen nature and by relying on man's rational wisdom and the much-toted scientific method to technologically solve the world's problems. If technology does not work, then bureaucratic social and education programs need to be imposed and administered by the government (i.e. brainwashing). Humanistic strains began of course with several of the ancient Greek philosophers, adopted by many in the Roman Empire and then reemerged in Western Europe before, during and after the Protestant Reformation. Interestingly, Bockman considers the heresy of Pelagianism (free will) which challenged the Church in the West as a Christian theological element in humanism as well. Secular Humanism had its ghosts in the volumes of Thomas Aquinas and pervaded the "Enlightenment" of Diederot, Rosseau and Voltaire, reaching its modern codification in the writings of Darwin, Marx, and Freud. Marx's materialism bred the aberrant Latin American liberation theology of revolution and economic utopia. The noted architect of America's education establishment, John Dewey was in line with Marxism and far-left socialism as well who later in life renounced his original support for Stalin's Soviet Union in the thirties. The famous psychologists Erich Fromm ("Adam's disobedience the first act of autonomous humanity", Carl Rogers ("encounter groups"), Abraham Maslow (hierarchy of needs and "self-actualization), and Rollo May (existentialist) were influenced by Freud although psychology diverged into many different branches and theories. Freud's pre-occupation with sex and an "Oedipal complex" being the root of religious beliefs was part of a general trend to emphasize sexual sins as the worst in society, which Bockman characterizes as another aspect of Western rationalism and apostasy. Bockman overviews different classes in American society who are likely to either sympathize with, oppose or remain indifferent to the social programs of Secular Humanism. Those likely to support Secular Humanism are mostly upper class: the "Seculars," highly educated, affluent individuals who vote democratic, 60's Democrats who are basically ex-hippies and "the Enterprisers" who are milking the capitalist system for what its worth and generally vote Republican. Those opposed are generally less educated and affluent and reside in the middle and working class, "the Moralists" who lean toward a general social conservatism and vote Republican; "New Dealers" who are aging, predominantly Catholic, socially conservative Democrats. "God and Country Democrats" who have lower economic standing, most likely to support censorship but usually support Democratic candidates because of social welfare programs. Those not interested in the debate are usually either poor, and/or young and not interested in politics or religion, or middle class, middle-aged, middle of the line pessimists. There is little consensus because both political parties often support (or are supported by) similar Secular interests, coupled America's convoluted cultural, class and religious scene. Bockman also discusses the influence of secularism on America's culture, which started off with a militant Calvinistic Puritanism in the 1600s. A detached deism and rationalism predominated in the later 1700s and witnessed a reversal to cater to religious immigrants from Europe in the 1800s, veering back toward secularism (at least among the higher echelons) in the twentieth century. Secularism's fruits include a demoralized, despairing and cynical populace, abortion on demand, broken marriages and a multi-billion dollar pornography dominated by organized crime. Bockman cites the AIDS crisis as the current pinnacle of the ultra-Secular Humanist gay-liberation movement, although he doesn't take into account many factors regarding it currently. The first is that he makes it seem exclusive to sodomy, but the vast majority of cases today are in sub-Saharan Africa and spread by heterosexual contact. He also overreacts when he cites a prediction that AIDS will claim 25 million victims in the US by 2005. Bockman is also too radical when criticizing Blessed Augustine, implied as being a heretic. The book concludes with an exhortation to Orthodox Christians to remain separate from the world while living in it, as the soul inhabits the body.

Eternity and Time
Eternity and Time
by Dumitru Stăniloae
Edition: Paperback
15 used & new from $7.52

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eternity and Time, February 26, 2004
This review is from: Eternity and Time (Paperback)
Dimutru Staniloae's "Eternity and Time" is a transcript of a lecture given by this noted Romanian Orthodox theologian who at one time was imprisoned during a period of official Communist persecution against the Church in the 1950s. Time is the temporal world itself continually sustained by the Eternity of God and the period where God offers salvation to man, and also of man's voyage toward Eternity. Eternity is where there is everlasting life and newness. If something has no movement, no change, no life then it can said to be in a form of death. Staniloae offers in interesting perspective on Hell; it is a state of complete stagnation and ultimate boredom. The greatest feeling one can experience in Time is that of anticipation of meeting a loved one. Therefore, Heaven is the place of eternal Communion between God and deified man while Hell is the separation from God in for eternity.

The Egyptian Desert in the Irish Bogs: The Byzantine Character of Early Celtic Monasticism
The Egyptian Desert in the Irish Bogs: The Byzantine Character of Early Celtic Monasticism
by Gregory Telepneff
Edition: Paperback
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mystical Celtic Church, February 25, 2004
_The Egyptian Desert in the Irish Bogs: The Byzantine Character of Early Celtic Monasticism_ by Fr. Gregory Telepneff is a lengthy essay that discusses the topic of the Irish Church, founded by the noted Orthodox luminary, Saint Patrick. What differentiates the Celtic Church (in Ireland and Scotland) was the Church's center of gravity were the monastic Abbots/Bishops and the strict ascetic nature of Celtic monasticism. Fr. Telepneff begins his analysis by differentiating the different strains of monastic practice that originated in the Middle East during the early period of the Church. Palestinian-Syrian monks practiced a semi-coenobitic life, with an emphasis on study, as exemplified by the Latin Saint Jerome who was well versed in Hebrew and Greek and traveled to the Holy Land. The monks of Cappadocia, personified by St. Basil the Great placed the most stress on learning and a coenobitic/communal life. The most ascetic of monastic groups, however, arose in Egypt (the Copts) following the Desert Father, St. Anthony the Great. These monks were the most concerned with total renunciation of the world, many of them becoming anchorites, or hermits living in total isolation and prayer in the sterile desert. Telepneff notes the system of different types of martyrdom recognized in the traditions of the Orthodox Church. White martyrdom consists of renouncing the things of the world, including family ties for the sake of Christ. Green martyrdom takes the otherworldliness a step further and seeks salvation in living in total isolation from the world, they way of solitary hermits. Red martyrdom is of course where one goes down in blood in witness to Christ and partakes in His sufferings. Celtic monasticism follows the model of the Coptic Fathers, and maintained a strong tradition of "Green Martyrdom." Numerous eastern, including Egyptian texts were found in the possession of Celtic monasteries. St. Patrick, the Irish monk/bishop who converted the Celts in Ireland in particular was influenced by the monasticism of the East. There are similarities between Celtic artwork and illuminated manuscripts and those found in Egypt and Byzantium as well. There are some legends of monks traveling from the Eastern Mediterranean all the way to Ireland in the West and Irish ascetics traveling to Egypt, Byzantium and the Middle East. Fr. Telepneff speculates to great length that the Eastern influences in the Celtic Church were derived from Gaul, the obvious conduit, although Gaul was nowhere as similar to the Christian East in its traditions. He concludes that the Celtic Church formed from direct contact and reciprocation between Celtic and Coptic monks and the numerous writings of the Eastern Fathers circulating in Ireland.

The System of Antichrist: Truth and Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age
The System of Antichrist: Truth and Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age
by Charles Upton
Edition: Paperback
Price: $27.95
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Matter is Entropy., February 16, 2004
Charles Upton's _The System of Antichrist_ is a lengthy treatise that discusses the nature of the power of evil in today's world and functions as an introduction to the reader of the various thinkers of the obscure "Traditionalist" school. The Traditionalists are a small group of scholars (Rene Guenon, Huston Smith, Frithof Schoun, Coomaraswamy, etc.) who believe in the "Transcendent Unity of Religions." What this doctrine teaches is that there was once one universal spiritual state of mankind that was corrupted during a primeval fall. The traditional religions of the world (Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, Sufi and Shiite Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroasterianism, and a few versions of tribal Shamanism) share common roots and maintain similar views on the nature of the universe and the first and last times. Basically the universe operates on a vicious cycle where the created world starts off with a Golden Age, a Garden of Eden of perfection and Divine Love, but humanity falls from this state and progressively gets worse and worse. Demons rule openly and work to convince humanity to accept the rule of the Antichrist, totally opposed to Godliness. The Messiah, Christ, Madhi, Tenth Imran, Kaki Avatar, Buddha, i.e. Truth Incarnate arrives, slays the Antichrist and initiates a new Golden Age, an New Heaven and New Earth and utterly transfiguring the old, sinful world. Part of the mass apostasy seen today manifests itself in the philosophical development of postmodernism and blatant demonic activity giving psychic weight to the New Age phenomenon, UFO sightings and government mind control. Upton also differentiates between different types of religions, such as folk/worldly, Church/otherworldly and mystical paths that seek liberation from the world and connection to God. Mainline and Evangelical Protestantism have lost their esoteric, ascetic, mystical aspects (such as can be seen in monastic practice) that go above and beyond merely living in the world and believing a set of laid out precepts. Most of America practices a form of secular folk religion in the public sphere which does not have much to do with the liberation of the soul or beliefs but rather good luck in this life (pep-rallies for instance). The hippie movement erred seriously when it equated folk religion with mystical traditions. The biggest problem with this book is that it deals with a metaphysical perspective and is not a specific religion itself, although Upton attempts it in a fashion towards the conclusion. He says to choose one of the world's traditional faiths and stick to it in its conservative form, but I would question the whole process of "choosing" a religion. Religion is above human decisions and if the decision behind choosing them is not overtly political or social, they are not "chosen" in the same way as a kid deciding to buy a lollipop or chocolate bar (the Spirit goes where it will). Also the Transcendent Unity of Religions is a bit questionable itself. It works fine as a metaphysical perspective because of the similarities between Orthodox Christianity, Sufism and Zoroasterianism for example, but is not in itself a religion. The god of "Traditionalism" is one who initiates repetitive cycles of time from eternity to eternity, from Golden Age to Kali Yuga to Golden Age to Kali Yuga again. This is derived from the Hindu and ancient Greek belief in the cycles of eons. It is a lot more on track with the True natures of things than the liberal belief in "progress" ascendant today, but it really does not offer man any hope of ultimate salvation in the love of God. As an Orthodox Christian, it is impossible to believe that Christ is anything less than "true God and true man, of one Essence with the Father, etc.," so some of the comparisons with Islam feel a bit sketchy. I also question Upton's reference to the Kabbalah, a system of mysticism drawn up based on the oral traditions of the Pharisees who conspired to crucify Christ and incite the Roman state to persecute Christianity. International Jewry is antithetical to tradition. Generally speaking, whenever a society, nation or religion abandons its traditions, the position of Jews will increase. Upton notes that the Antichrist will indeed rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem and be worshipped by most of the world's Christians and Jews. This signifies the mass apostasy of Christians and Jews from the true Faith. The world of Islam will however, instantly recognize this imposter as the Antichrist (Dajjal) and oppose his reign. It is not all that clear what will happen at the end times though. What I find interesting is that Upton believes, based on the Apocalypse 17-18 that the Antichrist (the Beast) will overthrow the One World Government (the Whore of Babylon) and set himself up as God in its stead. Religious fundamentalist groups are doing their part to fuel the flames of the rule of Antichrist in a scenario like this. The more chaos there is in the world, the more many people will wish for a figure who will hold out a carrot and offer to solve the humanity's problems if he is given unquestioning obedience. "Traditionalism" remains an interesting school of thought among a handful of scholars, but it is nothing more than "a school." It cannot attract a mass of believers of all levels of intelligence and education like the Church can. In all, a great book on the nature of reality. The second law of thermodynamics states that as the universe continues, so does entropy. You will NEVER get as much out of something as you put in. Loss, decay, death, dissolution, disorder, darkness. "Matter is entropy," writes Upton, as even our earth is nourished by a Sun, slowly burning itself out. The only hope in this age is indeed a return for whoever can to repent, return to the ancient Way, realize that the world only ends in death, the ultimate defeat, and look forward to where one's state will be in Eternity, unto Ages of Ages.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 18, 2008 11:11 AM PDT

Mushrooms and Mankind: The Impact of Mushrooms on Human Consciousness and Religion
Mushrooms and Mankind: The Impact of Mushrooms on Human Consciousness and Religion
by James Arthur
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.93
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8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mushrooms and Mankind., February 8, 2004
_Mushrooms and Mankind_ posits that the origin of human religious experience comes from consumption of hallucinogenic mushrooms and a variety of other plants, such as poppy flowers and marijuana. The most notable type of mushroom is the amanita muscaria mushroom. The author, James Arthur, says that the altered state of consciousness coming from this type of `shroom creates the life-to-death-resurrection which is central to world religion, especially Christianity. Arthur's book is full of pop-culture New Age speculation, conspiracy theories (it's those sex-hating fascists again), the standard liberal social-political diatribe, etc. He claims that Freemasonry created Christianity and used it for population control. Many of these things I disagree with, especially Arthur's notion of a conspiratorial theory of Christianity's origins. Arthur argues that some drugs be legalized. I agree that SOME drugs that are today illegal should be made legal for legitimate purposes, either medicinal or recreational. The primary function of the drug alcohol is to make people stupid, but it is legal for those over twenty-one. I absolutely do not advocate hallucinogenic use, but making them illegal causes more problems than are solved (for instance, alcohol became more popular AFTER Prohibition made it illegal than before it).
I enjoyed the book's layout. The cover has an icon of Jesus from an 11th century Psalter. Jesus is shown as "Lord of magickal plants," presiding over four mushrooms and poppy flowers with a vine of marijuana beneath. The book is full of grainy photographs of the most bizarre scenes: gnomes in Christmas art, ancient pottery and statues, pyramids, Asian temples, mushrooms, religious symbols, etc. What really interested me was the connection between the `shroom and the bomb. Michael Hoffman in _Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare_ makes the enigmatic statement that the mushroom represents hyper-rationality taken to dangerous and deadly levels. Therefore a mushroom shaped cloud that appears when a nuclear device is detonated. Jesus said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last." If Arthur is correct (and it's highly questionable that he is) about religious experience beginning with psychedelic mushrooms, then mushroom clouds carry the seeds of human death. But I can see the connection more clearly now... If you like goofy and offbeat theories (even when you don't agree) than _Mushrooms and Mankind_ is worth a look.

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