WATER

Here are some notes which were prepared for a school…do feel free to borrow as you wish.

the illustrations are fun

ZEN BUDDHISM:

In Japan, in Buddhist temples you will sometimes see a basin called a “tsukubai” which is used for washing before ceremonies. It is also used in the tea ceremony People wash their hands or mouth at the “tsukubai”. It is on the ground so you must crouch. The word “tsukubai” means “to bow down” or “to crouch”

The tsukubai are made of stone and have a small spoon to scoop out water and pour it on your hands etc. both the person giving and the person receiving HOSPITALITY plays an important role in the ceremony.

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The Japanese tea ceremony is part of this image of pure water Note the kanji (special ceremonial/religious writing) from the first picture and the translation below. Everything has a meaning

Screen Shot 2018-04-16 at 11.39.32.pngThe tea ceremony (Cha-e 茶会) involves waiting. Guests come into the tea garden from an outer garden called the Yoritsuki. They wait in the KOSHIKAKE MACHIAI before they are invited into the teahouse.

They walk down the garden path (ROJI) and they are made to feel they are entering a different world. Time is slower.

The Teishu opens a sliding door to the teahouse (Chasitsu: 茶室) to greet the guests

 

Guests begin the ceremony by washing their hands at the Tsukubai

The floor of the teahouse is covered with Enza (special mats)

People kneel on the floor

They are given tea by the TEISHU (tea maker/ host)

They eat WAGASHI (sweets) and drink tea.

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THINKING ABOUT WHAT WE ARE DOING

The tea ceremony is about doing something very simple in a perfect way. It is about hospitality and it is about making simple things beautiful.

 

It is about THINKING about what you are doing.

Most of the time, we do not think about what we are doing. We listen to music. We talk. We think about OTHER things.

The tea ceremony shows us about conscious learning.

This is something that we practice in mediation.

Forms of meditation exist in all the main religious traditions.

 

 

 

 

 

HINDUISM
Brahmins follow the strictest idea of ceremonial washing.

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Many Brahmin wash in the holy river Ganges.

(the man in the picture is wearing the “sacred thread” or UPAVITA which shows he is following a guru or teacher. The sacred thread is won in the same way -over the left shoulder- that a woman will wear a sari)

Every year, up to 40 million people travel to the river Ganges to wash. (Pilgrimage)

A Pilgrimage is a journey where people feel they are doing something to get closer to God. Pilgrimage happens in all the main religions.

Hindus try to make one pilgrimage in their lifetime. The river Ganges is a favourite place of pilgrimage. It is sacred to the Goddess GANGA. Bathing in the river washes people of their sins and helps people to MOKSHA (Release from death as well or “awakening” and it also leads to a greater knowledge of themselves)But many people also travel to sacred mountains and temples linked to particular gods and goddesses

 

Some people believe in achamana which is drinking and touching pure water from the palm of the hand (this is an important p[art of Brahmin rituals but actually any Hindu can perform this ritual) when reciting special prayers called Mantras

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It also involves putting a tilaka on your forehead

Special washing ceremonies called Punyahavachanam are used before marriage, Homa. Water is generally sprinked on people (ASPERGES)

Traditionally, the bride’s parents wash the feet of the groom before the wedding.

Abhisheka: a deity’s murti or image is washed in water, milk, yoghurt ghee, rosewater

It is an important part of the ritual of a coronation (does not happen very often now!)

When a death happens, Hindus may take a bath to clean themselves

Women often take a bath after they have a period.

Many of these traditions are shared across the various faiths.

ISLAM

Before praying, Muslims wash: they wash hands, mouth, nostrils, arms, feet and head It is called “al WUDU” الوضو In Turkish and Albanian, this is known as “abdest”, and in Persian as “dast-Namaz” (literally means: “Before praying” The word Namaz in Punjabi/Sanskrit/Persian means “Prayer”)

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1) After receiving the bread and wine, a priest washes his/her hands in the Anglican/Catholic/Orthodox Church

2) On Ash Wednesday a mark is made with ashes on people’s foreheads. What do you think this symbolizes?

3) Catholics believe that Baptism washes away people’s “original sin”

4) Baptism is a form of “initiation” (Beginning)

Initiation: an important word. Do you remember we talked about the way we “initiate” a class- how does a class begin? When does a class begin?

5) In Judaism people often visit the MIKVEH if they are “unclean”, that is if they have been in contact with dead people, blood –

6) Many people in Christianity make pilgrimages to Rome, Jerusalem (2 million tourists a year), and in the middle ages, people famously travelled from across the kingdom to Canterbury where ArchBishop Thomas a Becket had died. A famous book called “the Canterbury Tales” was written about the journey and the stories people told to each other. Some of the stories are serious and some are very funny. The book is one of the first great bits of English writing by Geoffrey Chaucer.

Sikhs may visit the golden temple of Amritsar. Hindus may visit the Vaishno Devi Temple in the mountains of Kashmir. Buddhists may visit the Bodhi tree or life tree where Gautama meditated for 49 days before his enlightenment. 13 million Muslims visit Mecca every year. In Mexico, 10 million Catholics visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

7) Meditation. There are many forms of meditation in Christianity. In Catholicism, some people say the ROSARY (a series of prayers based on a string of 50 beads), some Orthodox Christians recite the “Jesus Prayer”, some Christians believe in silent prayer. There is a tradition in Sufu Islam of dancing (the Whirling dervish). In Hinduism and Buddhism people often use a simple word or mantra repeated over and over again. They feel this is relaxing and brings them closer to God.

Some people practice meditation without religious belief. It can be a very therapeutic exercise (therapeutic/ therapy- from the greek θεραπεύω I serve, cure, heal)

8) Sharing a meal, hospitality. Remember the story of Abraham and the 3 angels. In Christianity, Hospitality might involve “Holy Communion” where Christians celebrate their community together by sharing a simple meal. “Eucharist” simply means “thankyou”.

9) Images and words help us to “enter another world” and to concentrate.

10) Icons, statues and religious pictures are sometimes blessed and washed in Christian ceremonies. On the first sunday of Lent in Orthodox Churches, it is traditional to bring icons to church to bless them and carry them in procession.

 

Power and the Pope

I did a small film over the weekend about Plato and power. It was a bit of a rethink of the “How to Be Boss” film but the principles are the same. At what point is power invested in someone and at what point is someone grabbing at power.

The theatre, politics and education are worlds that attract a lot of aggression. People love to create their own empires without necessarily doing anything of value. Sadly, there are always casualties.

film title pope and tim

 

 

Finished teddy

A cross between Rackham and Mabel Attwell

teddybears to PRINT.jpg

Prolific and cute, eventually picked up by cleaning products, Mabel Lucie Attwell is among the great british illustrators of the early 1900s. Like Rackham, she also illustrated JM Barrie’s “Peter and Wendy”. She also produced stuff for the illustrated London News and Tatler.

Authority and Luther

Who has the right to make decisions. This is really what lies behind Luther’s reformation. It is 500 years today since Luther nailed his theses to the door. Disestablishmentism, the possibility of the separation  of church and state, secularism, the rise of nationalism and so on, pushed forward by advances in printing which unified german language, arguably paved the way for Shakespeare, established ideas of individualism and led to general agreements on spelling and grammar. New technology, democracy and so on.

That said, Luther’s sense of humour, general manner and anti-semitism do not commend him much. It is entertaining to reflect that in writing against Luther (or getting Thomas More to write against Luther), Henry VIII earnt the crown the title “Defensor fidei” from Leo X in 1521, something retained today by the present queen (by an act of parliament to Edward, his son) and printed on all our coins. Ironic that having earnt this title by writing of the value of the 7 sacraments, most of them would be ditched in the established Anglican church. When Luther responded to henry’s initial book, Thomas More certainly wrote the reply, “Responsio ad Lutherum”.

martin luther theses by TIM

 

Mrs Merkel Martin Luther by TIM

 

The Balfour declaration

On 2nd November, it will be 100 years since the Balfour Declaration:

balfour declaration by TIM

 

 

The Balfour declaration followed shortly after the Battle of Beersheba, one of the last great cavalry charges in history, that led the way to General Allenby’s entry to Jerusalem. Like the Gallipoli campaign, this was an Australian/ New Zealand effort though there is a significant role played by the 60th (London) and 75th divisions of the XX corps and the Egyptian Expeditionary force (commanded by Allenby). But it was the Australian cavalry charge weilding bayonets that carried the day. On the Ottoman side was Enver Pasha

enver pasha

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Abingdon redrawn

Just working on a new version of the Abingdon picture- here is a progress drawing-

Here is the original picture which is now being updated and expanded taking in the whole vista looking towards the church. Essentially, it requires redrawing almost from scratch!

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re-doing the shops on the right-

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old man on a bike-

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cobbles

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more cobbles

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and a little more-

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Almost complete: (23rd December!)

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The Good Man Jesus and the scoundrel Christ

Some time ago, I was asked to draw up guidance for a filmed version of Philip Pullmann’s book. I found some of my notes today and thought they looked entertaining-

The Director/Producer had a background in tv comedy and Philip Pullmann pulled out.

Essential problem lies in the history of Christ on film:

The life of Brian dominates any effort to film the Christ story, and the Monty Python analysis is classic- that everyone speaks sententiously…

3 options:

Either Avoid entirely or fully embrace humour

The passion of the Christ ducks this choice by doing really nasty violence, which is another solution!

Is there humour in Pullman? Certainly, but much of it is the narrative voice which does not translate naturally into film.

Historical issues: can film help? Yes:

1) fill out the multicultural environment of Nazareth

a) Geography: Nazareth is Very close to Sepphoris/zippori (5 km away)

It was considered the capital of Galilee and as such, the absence of any ref in the bible is telling. (Herod the Great makes Sepphoris the capital in 47BC, tho the ROMANS already called it the effective capital from conquest in 55BC). It was recaptured by Jewish zealots in 46 and then taken by Rome again under Verrus, burnt and all inhabitants enslaved. Herod Antipas rebuilt and fortified the city. It was then called Autokratoris (autonomous city)

A direct road connects Sepporis(Saffuriyya) to Legio (Meggido) the military Headquarters in Galilee and also to the sea to Tiberias.

Now, although it was Legio that was the major garrison, the Talmud records on a number of occasions that Sepphoris was the major garrison of the area (b Shabbat 121a: this is about a non-Jew who helps extinguish a fire on the Sabbath. “it once happened that a fire broke out in the courtyard of Yosef ben Shimai in Shihin. The Roman garrison (Gastra) of Sepphoris came to extinguish it because Yosef was the guardian of the kind, but he did not allow them to because of honour for the Sabbath. A miracle took place and rain fell and extinguished the fire….”

In AD 67, there was a garrison of 6000 soldiers in Sepphora mentioned by Josephus under the leadership of Placidus. Otheres followed so that in the end, when Titus arrived the garrison numbered some 60,000 men. This may have influenced Talmudic accounts…

b) Mary’s story:

Silence may suggest that the story of Mary’s rape/ seduction by a man the Talmud calls “Ben Pandera” (son of a Panther) or Pantheus, a Roman legionary, may be true. (this is the section from the Talmud Shabbath 104b tractate:

Rabbi Hisda said: ‘The husband [of his mother] was Stada, the biological father, Pandera…The mother [yet another rabbi says] was Miriam, the women’s hairdresser…It’s like they say in [the Babylonian yeshiva town of] Pumbedita: She cheated on her husband.’

Confusion with MAGDALENE

The Aramaic word M’gadla is “hairdresser” so there is confusion in this story between Miriam/mary the mother of Jesus and Mary magdalen.

VIRGINITY:

Pantera may be a joke about “parthenos”, virgin. The greek work Parthenos was apparently very difficult for an Aramaic speaker to pronounce and “Panther” became a mangled corruption.

There is also a reference in ORIGEN that the Jews claim Jesus was the son of a married Jewish woman and her Roman lover

The Talmudic story is set in the 2nd Century but the writing seems to go back only to the 6th Century

2) Other sects:

Essenes: meaning expectant. John the Baptist may have been an essene. Was Jesus an essene?  (Idea of John the Baptist as an essene is certainly this is implicit in Kazanzakis)

DEAD SEA SCROLLS and NAG Hammdi library: essene scrolls

dead sea scrolls hidden around 70 AD

Nag hammadi library hidden around 200AD to keep away from Irenaeus’ heresy hunt

Archaeology: ossiaries have been found in Talpiot with names of Miriam, Joseph, Joshua and James

Gnostics. A great scene in the book (Christ and the prostitute) suggests Paulician, Waldensian or cathar beliefs about degradation of the body to hasten the judgement,

  • the devil made the world and corrupted the teachings of Christ by making the system of the church
  • -you cannot eat eggs because they are a result of sexual activity- There was a belief that only the mind can sin, so any activity below the waist was not permanently sinful. The lower orders of the Cathars were in slavery to the devil so anything they did was ok because it was not their responsibility! They were saved through the efforts of the elect who had taken a special baptism to free them from slavery to the devil and the world.
  • belief in reincarnation
  • the Heresy of the Free spirit: a corruption of Sufi thought in France – if God created everything then he also created evil: blind obedience to a master and total freedom of action: the individual is above the law, there is no afterlife. Heyday between 1250- 1330

(in the East, there was a similar heresy called the EUCHITES)

Mary’s annunciation:

Rasputin’s sect were called :”the men of God” or Khlysty and they had naked parties, singing, drinking and dancing onto a trance-like state followed by degenerate parties which led to pregnancies. The resulting children were said to be “begotten by the Holy spirit”!!

GREEK! establish Christ as a Greek name, why would Mary opt for a Greek (ie: Roman) name.

(remember the lingua Latina of Ancient Rome was Greek…)

Maybe the Magi speak to Mary in Greek…

Jesus is sometimes referred to in Yiddish as Yoyzl (Hebrew name would be Yeshu, a shortened version of Joshua) Yoske Pandre, little Jo (yoysif) Today, rabbis will say that the word Yeshu is an acronym for “y’mach sh’mo ve-zichrono”, may his name be forever forgotten.

Again, links to Sepphoris would allow for greater use of Greek.

Sepphoris represents the urban elite: Jesus is described as “a friend of tax collectors and sinners and there was a rich young man in the audience (Mk 10:17-22) and a tax collector among the apostles (Mark 2: 13-17); there is even a steward of the royal household among the followers( Chuza, steward to Herod Antipas who is rebuilding Sepphoris…luke 8:3)… does that imply he dined in Sepphoris?? Grin…(maybe he visited John in prison there: Matt 11:2)

Capernaum: needs to be brought into the story. This is where Jesus “settled down”

Fisherman (Matt 4:12-22)

Toll house (mark 2:13-14)

Centurion garrisoned there (John 4:46-54)

Ambiguity : need to preserve ambiguity of the angel/ stranger. Maybe link to soldier Ben Pantera.

Pullman explains the temptation story but not the prayer in Gethsemane. Could the angel be linked to this prayer as a dialogue?

The gethsemane monologue is very important in turning Jesus into a wholly likeable figure.

What should have been, improving the narrative – think of the trinity addition to end of Matthew 28. 19..(vs Acts 2.38 baptism in Jesus’ name only…) no texts contain chapter 28 before 4th century tho the trinitarian formula linked to this text to baptize existed by the time of Ignatius of Antioch, letter to the Philippians (107-112), Irenaeus Against Heresies (130-200) and Tertullian (He commanded the eleven others, on His departure to the Father, to “go and teach all nations, who were to be baptized into the Father, and into the Son, and into the Holy Ghost“) the Prescription Against Heretics 160-220.

  1. History and truth- stupendous
  2. Stolen body from the tomb (the legion of angels/ satanic horde “my name is legion”)

Albert Schweitzer (1906) thinks Jesus was deluded, thought the kingdom would come soon and thought he would usher it in as a triumphant messiah. He expected to be saved from the cross. I think this is the source of much of the Pullman book. What Schweitzer wrote still has relevance today and anyone writing about Christology or the “life of Jesus” is frankly writing footnotes to Schweitzer.

scweitzer by Tim

It is Schweitzer who inspires kazanzakis.

Christ is Judas. Christ is a nickname. A fairly routine idea actually and also routine would be the idea thatJesus is the twin of Thomas- hence the name didymus, “Twin”