Sexualiteten är en del av att vara människa, oavsett tro

juli 1, 2013 § Lämna en kommentar

Den version på kristen tro som jag är uppvuxen med, och som väldigt väldigt många andra kristna är uppvuxna med, har en ganska knepig syn på sexualiteten, utan att de kristna vet om det själva. Med den kristna lärans gnostiska sätt av att se det materiella som något ont och det andliga som något gott, så klassas lätt det mesta kring sexualiteten, som inte sker innanför giftermålets hägnar, som något ”köttsligt” och ont. Denna syn på ”sexuell renhet” och andra åsikter om ”anständighet” leder  i slutändan till en objektifiering av både mannen och kvinnan. Den slutsatsen drar kritiska kristna debattörer i den anständighetsdebatten som pågår just nu på Twitter och bloggvärlden.

En av dessa debattörer Suzannah Paul skrev det hela så ypperligt kärnfullt i sin artikel on objectification {or, how people aren’t objects no matter what they wear}, det bästa jag läst på en hel månad [svensk översättning nederst i inlägget]:

Sexuality is an integrated part of our humanity even if we are celibate and no matter how we’re dressed. It’s pornography that divorces sexuality from humanity, but strangely, so does much evangelical Christian teaching, especially aimed at single people and teens. We’ve falsely elevated spirit over flesh, misdiagnosed attraction as lust, and sadly expected something resembling asexuality from unmarried Christians instead of wrestling honestly with what it looks like as individuals and communities to honor God and one another with our sexuality (even if we aren’t having sex).

Och ytterligare en citat av Suzanne Paul i sin artikel purity of heart is to will one thing (sex & the evangelical over/under-sell) som ytterligare bekräftar att det inte finns något lömskt smutsigt i vår sexualitet [svensk översättning nederst i inlägget]:

We are embodied people. We are sexual people (even when we are celibate). Sexuality isn’t something that lays dormant until ya put a ring on it. It’s part of what it means to be human, created by God. The Incarnate Emmanuel refutes any claim that human bodies are anything but good.

Nikita Kashner visar detta mycket väl när hon fotar sig själv i spegeln med sin nya Canon:

Photo "Legs" by Nikita Kashner

”Legs” by Nikita Kashner. | Testing out the Canon 5D Mark III before sleepy time. It’s so sexy.

”Legs” (cc) by Nikita Kashner, (cc by-nc-nd) some rights reserved.

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Försök till svenska översättningar:

“Sexualitet är en integrerad del av att vara människa, även om vi lever i celibat, och oavsett hur vi klär oss. Pornografi skapar ett gap mellan det sexuella och det mänskliga, men märkligt nog, så åstadkommer en hel del av den evangelikalkristna undervisningen också ett sådant gap, speciellt dess undervisning riktade till singlar och tonåringar. Vi har felaktligen upphöjt ande över köttet, feldiagnoserat attraktion som lust, och har ledsamt nog förväntat oss något som liknar asexualitet hos ogifta kristna, i stället för att ärligt brottas med hur det ser ut när individer och gemenskaper ärar Gud och varandra med sin sexualitet (även om vi inte är delaktig i en sexakt).”

“Vi är förkroppsligade människor. Vi är sexuella människor (även när vi lever i celibat). Sexualitet är inte något som ligger i dvala tills det får en ring på sig. Nej, det är del i betydelsen att vara människa, skapad av Gud. Den Inkarnerade Emanuel vederlägger varje yrkande att våra mänskliga kroppar är något annat än goda.”

Kärleken saknas i den allmänna uppenbarelsen

februari 8, 2012 § Lämna en kommentar

Det är sällan jag stött på en beskrivning av kärlekens natur som i dessa rader av Rumi från hans Mathnawi/Masnavi:

Being a lover means your heart must ache,
  No sickness hurts as much as when hearts break,
The lover’s ailment’s totally unique,
  Love is the astrolabe of all we seek,
Whether you feel divine or earthly love,
  Ultimately we’re destined for above.
To capture love whatever words I say
  Make me ashamed when love arrives my way,
While explanation sometimes makes things clear
  True love through silence only one can hear:
The pen would smoothly write the things it knew
  But when it came to love it split in two,
A donkey stuck in mud is logic’s fate—
  Love’s nature only love can demonstrate:
Sunshine reveals its nature in each ray,
  So if it’s proof you want just look this way!
Shadows can indicate what’s shining bright
  But it’s the sun which fills your soul with light,

[Masnavi, couplets 109-117; Jawid Mojaddedis översättning; Oxford World’s Classics]

Denna dikt och människor i övrigt kan vittna om kärlekens enorma andliga kraft den kan ha på många olika sätt. Den är så stark att människor kan uppleva Guds närvaro i dess rus. [tillägg 2012-02-08-2124]

Det är lustigt att ingen har tagit upp denna teologiska miss (eller har jag missat nåt?): I den s.k. allmänna uppenbarelsen, har man missat att ta med kärleken. Ifrån musik, litteratur, scenkonst, och film, är det helt uppenbart att kärlek är en central tema i människors liv. Varför är inte kärlek med i den allmänna uppenbarelsen? Eller är det uppenbart att kärleken skall räknas som en del av skapelsen eller Guds försyn? Rumis verspar ovan visar att kärleken är värd sin egen punkt på listan. De punkter jag lyckats hitta,  som skall sammanfatta den allmänna uppenbarelsen  om Gud och andliga ting är följande: genom den fysiska naturen; människans samvete, förstånd, och längtan; och genom Guds försyn. Jag antar att det är meningen att man skall läsa in kärleken mellan raderna, men t.o.m. jag som är mästare på sånt har aldrig lyckats göra det de senaste 30 åren. Skulle det alltså vara alltför opassande att ha kärlek som en egen punkt bland ovanstående? Jag skulle säga att det är pinsamt att det inte står där. Min respekt för den teologin sjönk till botten när jag förstod att det stod till på det viset. 😦

Oavsett så har jag aldrig uppfattat att kärleken ingår i skapelsen såsom det uppfattas i den allmänna uppenbarelsen. Varför? Jo, för att när man förklarar vad denna allmänna uppenbarelse består av så får man som t ex djur, natur, och vackra solnedgångar. Jag kan inte dra mig till minnes en enda gång att man nämnt kärleken? Varför? Är det för att det var medeltida eller antika celibata munkar till teologer som uttryckte den allmänna uppenbarelsen? Antingen kom de aldrig på tanken, eller så motsa det deras tro. Skulle va ganska pinsamt om man trodde på den särskilda uppenbarelsen men inte ens den allmänna.

Jag är ganska säker på att, om kärleken var med som en huvudpunkt i den allmänna uppenbarelsen, så skulle dagens teologi och kristen världs- och livssyn se ganska annorlunda ut.

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Short summary in English: These verses of Rumi, and the experience of people, clearly show that love (earthly or heavenly) can be an enormous spiritual power in a class of its own, even bringing people into the presence of God. As such it is missing among the examples of General Revelation. My explanation of this bothering blunder is that its theology was written down by celibate monks, and it either never crossed their mind, or was contradictory to their faith.

A more natural and rational understanding of Jesus talking of eunuchs

maj 4, 2011 § 2 kommentarer

The current understanding of Matthew 19:3-12 is paramount of the common Christian opinion that Jesus favors celibacy.

Anyone has the right to believe this, but I see this opinion as, not only cruel against humanity, but even irrational and against simple logic. The continual propagation of this strange interpretation of Matt 19:3-12 is just an example of the enormous power that interpretation has on the minds who interpret: who interpret not necessarily according to logic, but according to tradition.

So let me show you the absurdity of the celibate interpretation. Below, I will code the important statements of Matt 19:3-12. I will use the NASB translation, since its a fairly detailed translated version. The words in small caps are words quoted from Jewish scripture.

(A) – And some Pharisees came to Him, testing Him, and saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause at all?”

(B) – And He answered and said, “Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, ‘FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’?

(C) – “Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

(D) – They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to GIVE HER A CERTIFICATE OF DIVORCE AND SEND her AWAY?”

(E) – He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

(F) –  The disciples said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.”

(G) – But He said to them, (a) “Not all men can accept this statement, (b) but only those to whom it has been given.

(H) – “For there are eunuchs[1] who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.

(I) – “He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”

The understanding from (A) to (E) is unproblematic. The current interpretation of the rest is the following: (F) = marrying a wife will give problems for those who want to devote their lives for God; (G) = Jesus agrees, and says that such a high sacrifice is not for everyone; (H) = those who make such a sacrifice are called ‘eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven’; (I) = Jesus makes this the highest manner of discipleship.

The problems with this interpretation is the following: Actually the disciples in (F) are of the same nature as the Pharisees: it is not worth the trouble getting along with and adapting to women. By making Jesus then agreeing with his disciples in (G), we are actually making Jesus agreeing in attitude to the Pharisees he just refuted, thus making Him contradicting himself. This results making eunuchs as the ideal, contradicting himself in (B) where he quotes the scripture where he says that God has made man male and female. Finally we make Jesus saying in (I) that Jesus holds to the ideal of egoistic manhood, actually the same stance as the Pharisees in (A).

This interpretation is totally absurd.

Compare this with the following rational interpretation:

The disciples in (F) show that they are of the same male way of regarding females. Jesus counters this in (G)(a) by saying that ‘not all men can accept this statement’, ‘this statement’ meaning, not what the disciples said but what he himself said that ‘what … God has joined togehter, let no man separate’.[2] And it’s true, the Israelite men could not accept marriage without divorce because of their ‘hardness of heart’ (E), and of course, the disciples were these same stubborn Jewish men that Moses (and God) had to compromise with.

Jesus continues in (G)(b) saying that ‘only to those to whom it has been given’ can accept living in a life-long relation with his wife, and that these  ‘to … whom it has been given’  are those Jesus has granted a higher level of living, which I see as a facet of the resurrection life Jesus is introducing in the gospel.

Then Jesus gives the exceptional examples (H) when one can impossibly live up to this high level of marriage relationship (G)(a) of which his own disciples are ample examples (F): the eunuchs, … which sounds a bit weird: eunuchs are extremely exceptional examples. But that’s exactly the twist of thought Jesus wants to convey: the absurd way of religion thwarts against the original plan of God (E).

And so Jesus gives the exceptional cases (H) when one cannot follow Jesus’ standard of marriage (G)(a): eunuchs of birth (fair enough), eunuchs who were made that way by men (fair enough), and ‘eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven’, that is, his own disciples, a tragically ironic description of how far religious men, with too much ego, can go to justify their actions and egoistic mode of living.

And the most ironic and tragic response to this, is that His so-called followers through history have not detected Jesus’ irony, have not detected their own egoistic disposition, … and have even maintained a totally illogical interpretation to justify their hostile stance to God’s vision of man and woman.

But, quoting Jesus in (I), ‘he who is able to accept’ this high ideal for man and woman that God had from the beginning (B) and which Jesus is now restoring in the gospel (C), ‘let him accept it.’

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… yes, I hear someone yelling back there: “But if a man does not marry (F), then one is not breaking Jesus ideal, because divorce is then not an issue (A)!”

But then you are disregarding Jesus quote from Genesis (B): ‘He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, … FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL … CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE’. Mark ‘He created them … male and female,’ and this ensued in a relationship. He didn’t create them not to marry.

… yes, I hear someone else yelling: “But Paul says that we shall not seek a wife if we are not married!”

Yes, but Adam never seeked a wife. He missed a wife, but never seeked a wife. On the contrary, in the beginning, THE LORD GOD MADE A WOMAN … AND HE BROUGHT HER TO THE MAN. (Gen 2:22). Adam didn’t seek, but God brought: ‘Male and female’ is totally on God’s own initiative, not man’s, which Jesus has come to realize: a life-long ideal with total respect and love for each other … simply because God made us male and female.

“He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”

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Footnotes:

[1] Some translations replace ‘eunuch’ with something like ‘those who cannot marry’, which is misleading to say the least. Translators thus deny the possibility of letting readers of the holy writ understand for themselves the words of Jesus.

[2] This is attested in the Greek where the disciples’ ”like this” in v. 10 (F) and Jesus’ ”this” in v. 11 (G)(a) are the words stressed in Greek in these sentences; according to Gary Hills HELPS system in The Discovery Bible, Moody Press, Chicago 1987. Thus, Jesus is not referring to what the disciples are saying by his ”this”, but to the ”this” of the disciples, which is ”What therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate” (C).

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Version update May 5: Divided (G) into an (a) and (b). Added footnote [2]. Made the small caps small. Added category and tags. Made the text more clear in places, especially telling more of the gospel of this passage.

Johannes döparen var gift / John the Baptist was married

april 2, 2011 § 2 kommentarer

Det borde mandéerna veta som har Johannes döparen som en central figur i sina skrifter. I deras Johannesboken finns bevarad en sarkastiska, retliga, och intima dialog mellan Johannes och hans fru Anhar, med bitterljuv efterklang. De frågar varandra om den andra kommer att glömma bort honom/henne när han/hon en dag går bort.
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The Mandaeans should know who have John the Baptist as a central figure in their scriptures. In their Book of John, they have preserved a sarcastic, teasing, and intimate dialogue between John and his wife Anhar, with bittersweet reverberation. They ask each other if the other will forget about him/her when he/she one day will pass away.

 

Lover, © All rights reserved by h.koppdelaney @ flickr (used with permission)

Lover, © All rights reserved by h.koppdelaney @ flickr (used with permission)

From the Book of John §31 / Från Johannesboken §31 på engelska

Yahyā [John/Johannes] opened his mouth and spake to Anhar in Jerusalem: ”If I leave the world, tell me, what wilt thou do after me?”

”I will not eat and will not drink,” she answered him, ”until I see thee again.”

”A lie hast thou spoken, Anhar, and thy word has come forth in deception. If a day comes and goes, thou eatest and drinkest and forgettest me out of thy mind. I asked thee rather, by Great Life and by the eve of the Day whose name is dear: If I leave the world, tell me, what wilt thou do after me?”

” I will not wash and I will not comb me,” says she to him, ”until I see thee again.”

”Again hast thou spoken a lie and thy word has come forth in deception. If a month comes and a month goes, thou washest and combest thee and forgettest me out of thy mind. Again did I ask thee, Anhar, by the first bed in which we both lie: If I leave my body, tell me, what wilt thou do after me?”

”I will put on no new garments,” she answers him, ”until I see thee again.”

”Again hast thou spoken a lie, Anhar, and thy word has come forth in deception. If a year comes and a year goes, thou puttest new garments on thee and forgettest me out of thy mind.”

”Why dost thou not tell me all, Yahyā,” says she to him; ”and how sorely thou bruisest the whole of my body! If thou dost depart, when wilt thou return, that my eyes may fall upon thine?”

”If a woman in labour descends into Sheōl(1) and a bell is hung up for her in the graveyard. If they paint a picture in Sheōl, and she then goes forth and they give a feast in the graveyard. If a bride parades round in Sheōl, and they celebrate marriage in the graveyard. If the wedding-companions borrow in Sheōl, and the paying-back takes place in the graveyard.”(2)

Then answered she him: ”My lord, how shall it be that a woman in labour descends into Sheōl and a bell is hung up for her in the graveyard. If they paint a picture in Sheōl, and she then goes forth and they give a feast in the graveyard. If a bride parades round in Sheōl, and they celebrate marriage in the graveyard. If the wedding-companions borrow in Sheōl, and the paying-back takes place in the graveyard.”

”If thou knowest,” he makes answer unto her, ”that this does never happen, why dost thou press me with asking: When dost thou return? I go hence and return not. Happy the day when thou dost still see me. If there were a going-away and returning, then would no widow be found in this world. If there were a going-away and returning, then would no fatherless be found in the world. If there were a going-away and returning, then no Nazōræans would be found in the world.”

Thereon Anhar opened her mouth and spake to Yahyā in Jerusalem: ”I will buy thee for dear gold a brick grave and have a boxing of wood joinered together for thee in the graveyard.”

But Yahyā opened his mouth and spake to Anhar in Jerusalem: ”Why wilt thou buy a brick grave for dear gold and have a boxing of wood joinered for me in the graveyard? Art sure that I am returning, that thou dost say: No dust shall fall on him? Instead of buying a brick grave for dear gold, go rather and share out for me bread. Instead of getting a boxing joinered together, go rather and read for me masses for the departed.”

Thereon Anhar opened her mouth and spake to Yahyā in Jerusalem: ”Thou dost go hence and forget me, and I shall be cut off in the Sinners’ Dwelling.”(3)

[But Yahyā answered her:] ”If I forget thee, may the Light Dwelling forget me. If I forget thee, may my eyes not fall on Abathur. If I ascend to Life’s House, thy wailing will arise in the graveyard.”

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footnotes/fotnoter:

(1) That is, dies.
(2) It was the popular custom apparently, which, however, the Mandæans did not follow, when a woman was in labour, to ring a bell to ward off evil influences (cp. the Egyptian sistrum); and a picture (or pantacle) also, with a similar apotropaic purpose, was painted. If the birth was successful, a birth-feast was given. It was also the custom, when bride and groom were poor, for their friends to borrow money or to bail for the expenses of the wedding-festivities.
(3) That is the Dwelling of the Seven Rulers, and therefore this world.

Text and footnotes from G. R. S. Mead’s book Gnostic John the Baptizer
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Text och fotnoter från G. R. S. Meads bok ”Gnostic John the Baptizer”

source/källa: http://www.gnosis.org/library/grs-mead/gnostic_john_baptist/gjb-2-1.htm

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Du bläddrar för närvarande bland inlägg taggade celibatPataphysics of Simulacra.