Thursday, May 8, 2014

Misreading Colossians 2:8

[8] Beware lest any man cheat you by philosophy, and vain deceit; according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ: [9] For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead corporeally ...

When writing below I was considering from a conflated memory with some other passage, not having the text before the eyes. That is why I mentioned "myth" as well as other things.

Some people think that if I believe Hercules lived or Agamemnon failed to get a second Solar Miracle for routing of Trojans as told by Homer, I go by myths. [Not mentioned in the real passage, as opposed to my memory, but I think mentioned elsewhere.]

Some people think that if I consider Geocentrism as a valid both observation and observational proof for God and even for angels, I go by the false philosophy. [Or get me cheated by a man through philosophy.]

Some people think that if I think there are spirits of the elements, I believe according to spirits of the elements. [Or elements of this world.]

But if so, are they living according to human traditions, if they consider there are such things as human traditions?

["Traditions of men" here sounds very much like what Our Lord mentioned about Pharisees, making the Law empty "through traditions of men".]

The myths that St Paul would be referring to [elsewhere] was not the Heroic Legend like Iliad and Odyssey, nor for that matter primarily the main content of the Theogony (though that too if anyone believed it), but primarily the myths that were fashionable then - Mithras, Odin's bragging about being a Marduk figure (though he was probably already dead, and presuming the Odinist creation myth was not long after his death only associating Odin with such a cosmic role), above all Gnostic myths. And Manichaeic, if they were already around.

The philosophy that was in vogue when St Paul spoke [about getting cheated by philosophy] were more Epicurean and Stoic than Aristotelian and Platonic (these having a low ebb of popularity at that time) and so it is likely he was referring primarily to the popular ones. But there are errors in Plato and Aristotle too. So, accepting Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy can never by a Christian be done integrally. However, watch St Thomas Aquinas how he deals with the ancient authors in divers places. He is free from them for Christ, for Truth.

And precisely as a warning against going according to human - that is non-Christian and non-Ecclesiastic - traditions implies that such exist, precisely so a warning against going by elemental spirits implies that such exist.

The Theogony is not reliable witness to Gaia being alive before the gods that rule the world. It is however reliable witness, more or less depending on how honest Hesiod was (he was not a Cretan), that an elemental spirit or rather nine of them insulted him because he was a shepherd. Plus lied to him (as we Christians are aware of) after even warning him that they were able to speak both truths and lies. Plus were first of all heard singing hymns to the gods they worshipped or pretended to worship, starting with Zeus and ending with Kronos of the crooked mind. The probably same false god that is also celebrated by Pagan Romans as Saturn until they convert to Christianity. And in all probability no one different than the Father of Lies.

An elemental spirit need not be bad. If water and air cannot function and move properly unless spirits guide them (when human machinery is at work, the human will and mind is guiding that), it does not follow that the spirits that take care of them are always evil. But those of them who reveal things like Theogony (I am sure other examples of false revelations come to mind as well) are not the better sort of elemental spirits. Nor of course those who exact human sacrifice before allowing bridges to be built. One Botolph cleansed an area called Iccanoe from evil spirits - it was later called Boston. It includes the river Witham and one Catholic Bishop during the time they were persecuted by Anglicans was surnamed Witham.

His comments - as cited in Haydock comments - have not convinced me there are no elemental spirits or no good ones who won't mislead men with false revelations. He does not contradict this theory at all. And Menochius (a Spaniard who preached apologetics against the Calvinist errors) is cited in Genesis 2:1, where ... can mean either stars or angels. In other words, he probably believed, as do I, that stars are moved by angelic movers.

Going by human traditions seems, as far as I can see, going by them in moral decisions. Going by them as to infirmation about facts about the past, with some exercise of circumspection (not believing there were several different floods, one for each flood myth, but rather that each non-Hebrew flood myth contaminated Noah's story about as much as Darenofsky (or whatever he's called) just did on the white screen, for instance), I consider, as long as not contradicting Bible or Church Tradition, to be licit.

Speaking of elemental spirits ... wonder how those of Rhone like the electric dynamo sluices there. Hope that good angels are giving electricity by good will ... but I am far from sure that is the real story.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
BpI, Georges Pompidou
Apparition of St Michael at Gargano

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