Previous William Thomas Sherman Info Page postings, quotes, observations, etc.
["The Kinks - Add It Up" -- Live with bearded Davies in Hour Palas show]
Look at this way, if he can attack his rivals, enemies, and opponents with demons and brain torture radios, is it any wonder he possesses as much wealth and power as he does? But, alas, with one scheme after another, after another, etc. these many years, where does it all end?
"In the misfortunes of our best friends we always find something not altogether displeasing to us."
~ La Rochefoucauld
Which prompts me to remark and to which I would add--
It's pardonable to laugh at the misfortunes of other adults so long as such are not tragic and we did not play an intentional or significant role in causing them.
"...You're this sort of person, aren't you? O.K., then you need this. And seeing how you need this, we'll have to charge you for it."
But what if I don't want this?
"Doesn't matter -- that's just how these things are."
And by what authority do you claim you can force this arrangement?
"Why, He's your friend and benefactor -- and He says we can do this."
That's no my friend and benefactor of mine!
"Well, we think he is."
"Let's see...with your ten and the devil's thousand that makes ten thousand -- for life. After which you get back your ten (plus whatever you take in working as a demon.)"
What usually pleases us greatly ultimately and at other times will not please us even a little if faith is absent, and if courageous honesty and charitable love rule not our minds and hearts.
If you place your highest value in the finite -- you are lost!
By no means let a devil fool you. For Death, in, of and by itself, was all of Yin we ever were actually required or had to answer to on that score. (The rest was someone else's idea and whom he signed up with.)
In these sections from Against Celsus Origen argues, with not a little persuasive force, why Judaism stands as unique and superior to all extant religions prior to Christianity.
"It is evident that, by the preceding remarks, Celsus charges the Jews with falsely giving themselves out as the chosen portion of the Supreme God above all other nations. And he accuses them of boasting, because they gave out that they knew the great God, although they did not really know Him, but were led away by the artifices of Moses, and were deceived by him, and became his disciples to no good end. Now we have in the preceding pages already spoken in part of the venerable and distinguished polity of the Jews, when it existed among them as a symbol of the city of God, and of His temple, and of the sacrificial worship offered in it and at the altar of sacrifice. But if any one were to turn his attention to the meaning of the legislator, and to the constitution which he established, and were to examine the various points relating to him, and compare them with the present method of worship among other nations, there are none which he would admire to a greater degree; because, so far as can be accomplished among mortals, everything that was not of advantage to the human race was withheld from them, and only those things which are useful bestowed. And for this reason they had neither gymnastic contests, nor scenic representations, nor horse-races; nor were there among them women who sold their beauty to any one who wished to have sexual intercourse without offspring, and to cast contempt upon the nature of human generation. And what an advantage was it to be taught from their tender years to ascend above all visible nature, and to hold the belief that God was not fixed anywhere within its limits, but to look for Him on high, and beyond the sphere of all bodily substance! And how great was the advantage which they enjoyed in being instructed almost from their birth, and as soon as they could speak, in the immortality of the soul, and in the existence of courts of justice under the earth, and in the rewards provided for those who have lived righteous lives! These truths, indeed, were proclaimed in the veil of fable to children, and to those whose views of things were childish; while to those who were already occupied in investigating the truth, and desirous of making progress therein, these fables, so to speak, were transfigured into the truths which were concealed within them. And I consider that it was in a manner worthy of their name as the 'portion of God' that they despised all kinds of divination, as that which bewitches men to no purpose, and which proceeds rather from wicked demons than from anything of a better nature; and sought the knowledge of future events in the souls of those who, owing to their high degree of purity, received the spirit of the Supreme God.
"But what need is there to point out how agreeable to sound reason, and unattended with injury either to master or slave, was the law that one of the same faith should not be allowed to continue in slavery more than six years? The Jews, then, cannot be said to preserve their own law in the same points with the other nations. For it would be censurable in them, and would involve a charge of insensibility to the superiority of their law, if they were to believe that they had been legislated for in the same way as the other nations among the heathen. And although Celsus will not admit it, the Jews nevertheless are possessed of a wisdom superior not only to that of the multitude, but also of those who have the appearance of philosophers; because those who engage in philosophical pursuits, after the utterance of the most venerable philosophical sentiments, fall away into the worship of idols and demons, whereas the very lowest Jew directs his look to the Supreme God alone; and they do well, indeed, so far as this point is concerned, to pride themselves thereon, and to keep aloof from the society of others as accursed and impious. And would that they had not sinned, and transgressed the law, and slain the prophets in former times, and in these latter days conspired against Jesus, that we might be in possession of a pattern of a heavenly city which even Plato would have sought to describe; although I doubt whether he could have accomplished as much as was done by Moses and those who followed him, who nourished a 'chosen generation,' and 'a holy nation,' dedicated to God, with words free from all superstition.
"As Celsus, however, is of opinion that it matters nothing whether the highest being be called Jupiter, or Zen, or Adonai, or Sabaoth, or Ammoun (as the Egyptians term him), or Pappaeus (as the Scythians entitle him), let us discuss the point for a little, reminding the reader at the same time of what has been said above upon this question, when the language of Celsus led us to consider the subject. And now we maintain that the nature of names is not, as Aristotle supposes, an enactment of those who impose them. For the languages which are prevalent among men do not derive their origin from men, as is evident to those who are able to ascertain the nature of the charms which are appropriated by the inventors of the languages differently, according to the various tongues, and to the varying pronunciations of the names, on which we have spoken briefly in the preceding pages, remarking that when those names which in a certain language were possessed of a natural power were translated into another, they were no longer able to accomplish what they did before when uttered in their native tongues. And the same peculiarity is found to apply to men; for if we were to translate the name of one who was called from his birth by a certain appellation in the Greek language into the Egyptian or Roman, or any other tongue, we could not make him do or suffer the same things which he would have done or suffered under the appellation first bestowed upon him. Nay, even if we translated into the Greek language the name of an individual who had been originally invoked in the Roman tongue, we could not produce the result which the incantation professed itself capable of accomplishing had it preserved the name first conferred upon him. And if these statements are true when spoken of the names of men, what are we to think of those which are transferred, for any cause whatever, to the Deity? For example, something is transferred from the name Abraham when translated into Greek, and something is signified by that of Isaac, and also by that of Jacob; and accordingly, if any one, either in an invocation or in swearing an oath, were to use the expression, 'the God of Abraham,' and 'the God of Isaac,' and 'the God of Jacob,' he would produce certain effects, either owing to the nature of these names or to their powers, since even demons are vanquished and become submissive to him who pronounces these names; whereas if we say, 'the god of the chosen father of the echo, and the god of laughter, and the god of him who strikes with the heel,' the mention of the name is attended with no result, as is the case with other names possessed of no power. And in the same way, if we translate the word 'Israel' into Greek or any other language, we shall produce no result; but if we retain it as it is, and join it to those expressions to which such as are skilled in these matters think it ought to be united, there would then follow some result from the pronunciation of the word which would accord with the professions of those who employ such invocations. And we may say the same also of the pronunciation of 'Sabaoth,' a word which is frequently employed in incantations; for if we translate the term into 'Lord of hosts,' or 'Lord of armies,' or 'Almighty' (different acceptation of it having been proposed by the interpreters), we shall accomplish nothing; whereas if we retain the original pronunciation, we shall, as those who are skilled in such matters maintain, produce some effect. And the same observation holds good of Adonai. If, then, neither 'Sabaoth' nor 'Adonai,' when rendered into what appears to be their meaning in the Greek tongue, can accomplish anything, how much less would be the result among those who regard it as a matter of indifference whether the highest being be called Jupiter, or Zen, or Adonai, or Sabaoth!
"It was for these and similar mysterious reasons, with which Moses and the prophets were acquainted, that they forbade the name of other gods to be pronounced by him who bethought himself of praying to the one Supreme God alone, or to be remembered by a heart which had been taught to be pure from all foolish thoughts and words. And for these reasons we should prefer to endure all manner of suffering rather than acknowledge Jupiter to be God. For we do not consider Jupiter and Sabaoth to be the same, nor Jupiter to be at all divine, but that some demon, unfriendly to men and to the true God, rejoices under this title. And although the Egyptians were to hold Ammon before us under threat of death, we would rather die than address him as God, it being a name used in all probability in certain Egyptian incantations in which this demon is invoked. And although the Scythians may call Pappaeus the supreme God, yet we will not yield our assent to this; granting, indeed, that there is a Supreme Deity, although we do not give the name Pappaeus to Him as His proper title, but regard it as one which is agreeable to the demon to whom was allotted the desert of Scythia, with its people and its language. He, however, who gives God His title in the Scythian tongue, or in the Egyptian or in any language in which he has been brought up, will not be guilty of sin."
He later goes on to observe (and which we in retrospect might construe as a bit of "divine comedy"):
"He [Celsus] next pours down upon us a heap of names, saying that he knows of the existence of certain Simonians who worship Helene, or Helenus, as their teacher, and are called Helenians. But it has escaped the notice of Celsus that the Simonians do not at all acknowledge Jesus to be the Son of God, but term Simon the 'power' of God, regarding whom they relate certain marvellous stories, saying that he imagined that if he could become possessed of similar powers to those with which be believed Jesus to be endowed, he too would become as powerful among men as Jesus was among the multitude. But neither Celsus nor Simon could comprehend how Jesus, like a good husbandman of the word of God, was able to sow the greater part of Greece, and of barbarian lands, with His doctrine, and to fill these countries with words which transform the soul from all that is evil, and bring it back to the Creator of all things..."
~ Origen (c.185–254), Against Celsus, Book 5, Chs. 42, 43, 45, 46, 62.
For us (as human beings), the only real test of God or legitimate religion is wisdom and righteousness, and the only means of beginning to know wisdom and righteousness is by means of fundamental honesty and rationality. Without honesty and rationality you cannot know wisdom and righteousness, and without wisdom and righteousness you have no means of knowing or adequately speaking about God. Spirit people, predictions, spirit people implanted visions, these of themselves prove nothing -- and may indeed, and despite surface appearances, be something quite poisonous, sinister, or malevolent. But a coward, because he will ever be in awe of spirit people will never (unless he change himself) understand this.