Thursday, March 22, 2007

ALEA IACTA EST

To lubricate the mind, a nice creative writing exercise is to particpate in a random one of the zillions of surveys at places like bzoink - and amusingly, this one came up today:

Do you read your Bible daily? No.
What's your favorite book in the Bible? Song Of Solomon.
Favorite character? The Shulamite maiden.
Why? Because I enjoy ancient erotic poetry, and the rest of the bible is desperately lacking in anything remotely as pleasing as these verses. It's actually rather interesting how this book slipped through the mesh, and ever since it was accepted into the canon, theologians, church fathers and popes (including the incumbent ex-Hitler Youth Prada-loving Ratzinger) have had to perform extraordinary linguistic and interpretative contortions to give it some kind of divine allegorical meaning.
Anything you just don't get? Christians of the world, I'm a cosmic genius, I get everything; so if you'd like me to explain anything to you, just knock on my door, or ask me politely me in the street and I'll do my best to help you get it too.
Would you name your children after people in the Bible? Sure, many ancient names are eminently beautiful, not because they're in the bible.
Favorite passage? 'This thy stature is like to a palm tree, and thy breasts to clusters of grapes. I said, I will go up to the palm tree, I will take hold of the boughs thereof: now also thy breasts shall be as clusters of the vine, and the smell of thy nose like apples; And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.'
Do you pray a lot? I've never prayed in my entire life.
Define prayer. A triumph of hope over destiny.
Are your friends Christians? Yes, I even have some friends who are Christians.
What do you think of other religions? Just as little.
Jesus is... A famous mythological personage.
The Bible Is... An anthology of poorly translated, heavily interpolated, mythological literature of extremely varying quality.
God is... John Cassavetes (but tomorrow it will be someone else).

5 comments:

Luke McElroy said...

Hi William, I found a pretty good discussion with Robert M. Price where he talks about Jesus and mythology, etc. Although you most likely know all this from the books (and being a cosmic genius..) I thought I'd share:

http://www.pointofinquiry.org/?p=100

(mp3 link on the linked page)

joseph said...

'a triumph of hope over destiny'?! i think of you as someone who chooses words carefully, so i am taken aback to see you using the word 'destiny'; just a figure of speech, i hope. prayer: a failure of the imagination.

William Bennett said...

I thought a long time over this question and I stick by the original definition, at least to the extent that I personally understand 'destiny'. In some part, one could contend that prayer is in fact a successful manifestation of the power of our imagination: a strengthening of a belief system (albeit flawed) through visual or auditory hallucinations.

joseph said...

you've gone far afield from any definition of prayer i had in mind at the time of my comment (something along the lines of deluded appeal and/or offering to a supernatural entity); i would say that imagination can exercise quite successfully in a local sense and still be a failure with regard to intent. i would very much appreciate a description of your personal understanding of 'destiny'. (although i think it may be getting clearer to me!)

William Bennett said...

Destiny, as I see it, is the eternal paradox that marks the resulting difference between that which is inevitable and the illusion of free choice.