There were giants Num. 13.33 in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
David Ord, our preacher went from that text to the mythology of the giants from some apocrophal literature, in Enoch. The text seems a bit thin for the sermon he gave, but I'll try to hit some of the main points anyway.
The mythology of the giants was taken as the giants formed in groups and organizations of men working to some common goal. In ancient times the instutions of the priestly class, the military and the landed gentry (sounded almost like the mideval castle as David explained, but put in times much more ancient)
These giants ate men, defiled nature and were finally only to be overcome by the earth herself (the flood of Noah?)
David's resetting of the myth in our current social institutions as the giants which eat men, defile nature and so on was an interesting idea.
Our institutions certainly have the potential to harm those they are supposed to protect. I read again this morning of the scientist in biological warfare who had been hounded by FBI investigations and the press. Driven from about three jobs with rumors that he is the "anthrax guy" he's reminding the world of the sad fate of Richard Jewel. Our institutions of law enforcement, with no sense of justice, media, with an eye to the almighty dollar, and no shame at following the latest unidentified sources and ruining people's lives with impunity, they are giants, feeding on people.
The only check on the power of these giants are other giants. But when we become pawns in the power games of our institutions, maybe it is time for a very big flood. Kenneth Lay and Whazisname at World Com are so caught in the corporate culture of greed that not only is there no remorse over accounting shenanigans, they are well compensated for their chicanery. And a couple scape goats may serve a few minutes of prison time, but we have once again let our institutions betray us.
Guess I'd better go check the value of my portfolio.
**From the website whose url is http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/~www_sd/enoch.html
Among the many Dead Sea Scrolls is a work called the Book of Giants which is also closely tied to the person of Enoch and is based on the story about the angels who sinned. The giants are their overgrown offspring. Milik believes that the Book of Giants once occupied the second position in an Enochic pentateuch, the position now held by the Book of Parables; it was later replaced by the Book of Parables. There appears to be no concrete evidence in support of his view, although he does think that the Book of Giants was copied after the Book of Watchers on one of the cave 4 manuscripts
It feels like just any other morning, the sun is shining after yet another drenching downpour last night. But in the last few hours we have had to work through the crisis of the day. The reason that adult children should not live with their parents is ... Ok, ONE reason is that this parent doesn't care to know so much about the kids traumas. Every five minutes this morning, I've had to remind myself, this is not my problem, this is not mine to try to find solutions. But it hurts to see Marianne come home from work and get maybe two hours of sleep before having to go find her car wrecked and her boyfriend arrested. Thom is home now, and I think after the discussion I was trying not to overhear, the silence means Marianne is finally getting some sleep. I just cannot go into Thom's crazed behavior. I'm sure Marianne has tried to browbeat him into responsibility. But we are what we are, and Thom is a Peter Pan. Loveable, charming and irresponsible. Repeat again, "It's not my responsibility. It's not my problem. They must work this out in their own way, and I must hope they don't ask for my help or opinion, cause I would give it all too gladly. It's not my responsibility. They are both good people, grown and capable, and they don't want or need my help or guidance. It's not my problem." Fortunately, I have another week that I don't need a car. After that, it WILL be a problem if they haven't got the car fixed, and Marianne felt like it was going to be a big auto repair. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
A friend earlier this week was talking about the thumb smashings that we inflict on ourselves as punishment. He says that since he works with his hands he has to carefully check to make sure he is mentally present and self forgiving, so not likely to set up an accident.
Years ago, when I was in Greece, I traveled with a group of students. One of the girls got the nickname "Crash" because she was always an accident in progress. She was continuously hurting herself in ways that individually would have been written off as a nick by the wheels of fate, but collectively made me wonder why she was punishing herself so.
Last week I got to watch the baby boys, Quentin, my grandson, and Kelly, my nephew run full tilt at the world exploring, falling, hammering, tipping over chairs. By the time we are three or so, we have gathered enough facts about how the world works to not put ourselves in harms way unless we want to. So can someone please explain recreational bungee jumping and skydiving to me?
Repeat... this is not my problem. I can only love them and hope they deal with their own problems! Another day, another weblog.
"We need to see a change in administration," the rallying cry of those who are talking about an impending attack on Iraq. Now I would not try to paint Saddam Hussein as a leader who should be defended, but pardon me if I am less than impressed by the need to remove Mr. Hussein. There have been horrendous leaders of countries and genocidal activities and there was never a move to remove them.
My own experience with the Ugandan despot Idi Amin certainly removed some of the hopes of the "goodness" of the human race from my mind. He removed a huge population of Indians from Uganda because he could. There was no outcry by the US government to remove him. Pol Pot was removed because he was dispicable? No, but Salvador Allende was removed because he was inconvenient.
So what makes Saddam Hussein such a dispicable leader? Could it be that the oil resources that Iraq has in reserve are an issue? http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/iraq.html "Iraq holds more than 112 billion barrels of oil - the world's second largest proven reserves. Iraq also contains 110 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and is a focal point for regional security issues." Why do we hear over and over the stories about George Bush the elder's failure to get rid of Saddam. Is there really a need to finish the job now? The bombing of the world trade towers and the militant Islamists are being used as a pretext for some pretty basic economic issues.
I get really irritated by the proclamations of humanitarian concern or domino theories or point of pride as a justification for a foreign policy that is more of "might makes right." It wasn't right when the Soviets rolled over Poland, and it wasn't right when the Germans rolled through Europe. And it's not right just because it is the US. It would sure be refreshing to hear the real issues, and not the spin doctor's version of why Saddam needs to be taken out. The Senate is not even putting up a token resistance to the need to go into Iraq. They are just talking about objectives and costs. What a civilized society! We cannot honestly discuss what is happening and why. We listen to the spin doctors of various stripes on the news outlets and nod or shake our heads. But we never demand honest reasons or honest debate.
So what does an exhibitionist feel like when contemplating a bit of "exposure"? I suspect that I know!
Wanting to write is a lot different than having something to say, but it has not stopped me from trying yet. And we all have our own perspectives if in fact we live in the same world. And I'm pretty sure we don't live in the same world.
My cage has locks that I cannot see, mechanisms known by their actions, rather than by visible evidence. Just as we know the wind by the movement of the fields of grass, we find hinges in our realities. The most galling of these is the fear that lies just below the surface, making some acts that should be simple incredibly difficult. Trying to face a new fear and do something positive to combat it every day would be a great exercise.
To live without fear would unlock our amazing potential selves, or perhaps people as drab as the bus stop lady!
So, a bit of weblogging... now maybe I can write newsy letters to my family and get philosophically silly in public.