Previous William Thomas Sherman Info Page postings, quotes, observations, etc.
* Although it is the mind's province to know the world and the past, only the heart (by its faith) knows love and tomorrow. (Rod McKuen eat your heart out.)
* Even if your enemy conquers the world to plunder it, one can always find something wrong with the world that makes his doing so seem less of an achievement than he would have you think.
* If they would breed and raise people solely for purposes of servitude, rape, torture, and slaughter, now what does that tell you?
* Even if we say Satan interacts personally with God, how he presents himself and his views to his lieutenants and others is not necessarily the same.
* They lie, hide and sneak so much that when they come in their heavenly glory, a person of quality and discernment will detect or feel that phoniness with which they are otherwise so richly suffused.
* There is a drastic and most fundamental difference between undercutting the competition through crime and outdoing it through merit.
If we look at morals from a medical standpoint, it may not be without some value to posit and conceive the notion of demonism or evil as a kind of psychological "germ" that can be present in persons in diverse quantities, depending upon the individual. And just as, say, less than pure water is sometimes deemed palatable when there are only very tiny trace elements of pollutants; so a person might be considered "reasonably" healthy if the germs of evil in them are very few in number. And yet even if we grant this, the germ is still an extremely deadly one, and might start to affect and even arouse misconduct in a person if that they are living with or around others who with a much greater amount of such "germs" -- a circumstance, presumably, noxious and manipulative spirit people (some of whom are the most expert masters of biological and psychological warfare) would know how and want to play upon. I'm not a medical doctor to explore this idea much further at present, but thought it at least worth raising in the odd chance that someone more informed and better situated than myself might possibly be able to further contemplate, inquire, and expand upon it.
The events described in this passage from, again, Durant are another one of those many instances we find in the long, sad history of lurid and vicious religious persecution; but as is not done and we must emphasize in such circumstances, it is not really the oppressive rulers who foment such unbridled savagery and orgiastic fervor, but rather criminal spirit persons who will incite the rulers and or the populace to such acts; for it is criminal spirit people alone (aside perhaps from some isolated regular person individuals involved only incidentally) who have the appetite and wherewithal to have and make such outrages take place on a wide scale -- or so, at any rate, is, as you could expect, my customary contention.
"Galerius at every opportunity argued the need of religious unity as a support to the new monarchy; and at last Diocletian yielded. In February, 303 [A.D.], the four rulers [i.e. Maximian and his appointed successor Galerius in the Western empire (governing from Milan), and Diocletian and his successor Constantius Chlorus in the East (ruling from Nicomedia, in Asia Minor and just south of Byzantium)] decreed the destruction of all Christian churches, the burning of Christian books, the dissolution of Christian congregations, the confiscation of their property, the exclusion of Christians from public office, and the punishment of death for Christians detected in religious assembly. A band of soldiers inaugurated the persecution by burning to the ground the cathedral at Nicomedia. The Christians were now numerous enough to retaliate. A revolutionary movement broke out in Syria, and in Nicomedia incendiaries twice set fire to Diocletian's palace. Galerius accused the Christians of the arson; they accused him; hundreds of Christians were arrested and tortured, but the guilt was never fixed. In September Diocletian ordered that imprisoned Christians who would worship the Roman gods should be freed, but that those who refused should be subjected to every torture known to Rome. Infuriated by scornful resistance, he directed all provincial magistrates to seek out every Christian, and use any method to compel him to appease the gods. Then, probably glad to leave this miserable enterprise to his successors, he resigned.
"Maximian carried out the edict with military thoroughness in Italy. Galerius, become Augustus, gave every encouragement to the persecution in the East. The roll of martyrs was increased in every part of the Empire except Gaul and Britain, where Constantius [Chlorus] contented himself with burning a few churches. Eusebius assures us, presumably with the hyperbole of indignation, that men were flogged till the flesh hung from their bones, or their flesh was scraped to the bone with shells; salt or vinegar was poured upon the wounds; the flesh was cut off bit by bit and fed to waiting animals; or bound to crosses, men were eaten piecemeal by starved beasts. Some victims had their fingers pierced with sharp reeds under the nails; some had their eyes gouged out; some were suspended by a hand or a foot; some had molten lead poured down their throats; some were beheaded, or crucified, or beaten to death with clubs; some were torn apart by being tied to the momentarily bent branches of trees. We have no pagan narrative of these events.
"The persecution continued for eight years, and brought death to approximately 1500 Christians, orthodox or heretic, and diverse sufferings to countless more. Thousands of Christians recanted; tradition said that even Marcellinus, Bishop of Rome, denied his faith under duress of terror and pain. But most of the persecuted stood firm; and the sight or report of heroic fidelity under torture strengthened the faith of the wavering and won new members for the hunted congregations. As the brutalities multiplied, the sympathy of the pagan population was stirred; the opinion of good citizens found courage to express itself against the most ferocious oppression in Roman history. Once the people had urged the state to destroy Christianity; now the people stood aloof from the government, and many pagans risked death to hide or protect Christians until the storm should pass. In 311 Galerius, suffering from a mortal illness, convinced of failure, and implored by his wife to make his peace with the undefeated God of the Christians, promulgated an edict of toleration, recognizing Christianity as a lawful religion and asking the prayers of the Christians in return for 'our most gentle clemency.'"
~ Durant, Caesar and Christ, pp. 651-652.
No truly great philosopher, scientist, or sage was ever a product of mere wealth and or worldly pedigree (let alone club or party membership); which only goes to show that even the materially and socially poorest are potentially, if possessed with sufficient desire and given the chance, capable of as great or greater wisdom and intelligence as any person of riches or heredity might be; so that when it comes to the power and title of being intelligent and judicious all men are indeed created equal; and to that extent and on this basis are as qualified as any for ruling and governing.
There is, or so someone like a Neo-Platonist or else a Brahmin versed in the Vedas might argue, no "one" or any "one" without the consent of the One. And if "good" or "bad" or something else succeeds, it is as one, and the approval of the One. Yet what actually is "one" and what merely seems "one," if it can be known cognitively (versus, say, known emotionally) by us at all, can only be known through a logical and right reasoning mind. By comparison, "One" that is known (in a cognitive mind) in a way or manner that is sub or ultra rational is at best flighty and conjectural.
All right, let's say you've adopted a credible religion and decided against crime, lying and gross immorality. You know what will happen if you find yourself dealing with busy-body spirit people? They will act like they represent higher authority and wisdom, and tell you where you fail to meet or live up to the faith and standards which you have chosen. So, for example, this ghost might be an unrepentant mass murderer and serial killer, and yet assume for himself the high airs and pompous responsibility of chiding you for how you have fallen short of the glory of God. True, their criticism might, in the given instance, even be just and correct, yet obviously you are not obliged to be so much a fool as to take such coming from them (of all people.)
It always has to conform to and be approved by the (fill-in-the-blank) party -- and that is why also it is (almost) always junk or no good.
Speaking of lions, here's a bunch (many of them anyway) that would put utmost fear and trembling even into some of those most dread spirit people we write about. Before you watch, however, download this .txt list (right click, "Save as...") by means of which you can follow who's who.
Finally, just to lend some finish to your seven minute higher education.