Being Compliant of an unjust law could be a necessity at times and a good strategy sometimes, but rarely both. But in the case of Gideon the Valorous, it was both a Necessity and a Strategy.The Midianites, who were the Overlords to the Israelites, extracted tribute in the form of agricultural produce, which probably kept the Israelites poor, with no reserves or leisure – the twin benefits of prosperous activity. Each day’s labour was expended on earning their bare livelihood.In these hard times for the Israelites, the Overlords kept an eye on the Compliance of the rules the Midianites had made to keep the Israelites in that state of want and lack of leisure.Seeming to be compliant yet threshing wheat near the wine press keeping his activity out of the view of the Midianites was the valorous man Gideon.The Midianites, Amalekites and the children of the East came in multitudes like grasshoppers and entered into the labour of the Israelites and destroyed the very source of their sustenance. This impoverished the Israelites.I can imagine what a plight it would have been when mere numbers are used to subjugate a people in their own land; depriving them of the very source of their sustenance and making them labour without pride & having to conceal their labour and the meagre rewards which accrue out of such clandestine labour, in their own lands. Can one forgive the perpetrators of such cruelty? I guess not.I can imagine a Gideon, a valorous man, slinking and threshing his homegrown wheat in his own land, gathering the same and saving the wheat for his near and dear ones- all because he was ranged against a multitude of men who outnumbered his clan. Yet that spirit in Gideon sustained him to not give up, but toil in silence and in the dark and gather as much as possible.When that ass seeking King Saul spared the Amalekite King Agag, much later despite Prophet Samuel’s instructions, did he recall the plight his ancestor Gideon suffered at the hands of the Amalekites? I guess not. Saul was protecting Agag the king of the Amalekites. Samuel definitely had a longer memory of how that Amalekites had attacked the Israelites from the rear, harming the women. children and the enfeebled lot on their journey to Canaan.Even if Saul hadn’t read that history, he should have had some idea of how a valorous man like Gideon had to cower under the Overlordship of the Amalekites and should have diligently carried out the instructions of Samuel. Alas, Saul didn’t! Saul became a big man in his own eyes – rightly spotted by Samuel and questioned.Gideon, a valorous man threshing in the dark and away from the sight of the Amalekites had a reason. The Amalekites attacked the enfeebled and the impoverished, having no MANLINESS in them nor the courage to risk and make a frontal attack on their enemies.An Amalekite doesn’t need your land, he needs your wheat and corn- the finished products. An Amalekite doesn’t want to administer, he just needs all the resources from others.Moses was able to identify this trait in the Amalekites very early. The Amalekites stole or used violent means to obtain the resources of others without expending any labour on it. At Rephedim, Moses anoints them as enemies of God.If I have not yet convinced the reader about the ways of an Amalekite, look at that Amalekite who found the same Saul – who wanted to save the life of Agag the Amalekite – in a moribund state leaning on a sword in the mount of Gilboa begging the Amalekite to deliver the coup de grace on Saul. That wretched Amalekite dares to kill a King, though ostensibly at the king’s request. Who knows? There were three, one was the dying Saul, the other was that wretched Amalekite and finally, as always, the Almighty. Out of this one killed the other and very rarely God stands as a witness in such sordid human affairs – except in the case of Abel. Now that Amalekite narrates a story to David, the ultimate story teller. David, the Shrewdest King of Israel, knows better‼️ The Amalekite steals the crown and the bracelet from the dead Saul and takes it to David for a reward.David was DAVID. Uses the opportunity to redeem his own image in front of the Israelites – especially the Benjamites but also kills the Amalekite for having dared to have been responsible for the final blow to the dying King of Israel. David remembers how to handle an Amalekite – spare them not!So Gideon was dealing with these type of Amalekites and that needed outward compliance for SURVIVAL – that compliance was strategy.There is another kind of compliance – Compliant so that one doesn’t take up an issue which carries no purpose.Jesus, while in the flesh, asks Peter whether the Kings collect customs and tribute from their own children? Peter promptly answers in the negative and Jesus says something absolutely BRILLIANT and becomes Compliant of those unfair Laws, without any Conviction in what he recommended to Peter to do. Read the following:Matt 17: 24 & 25Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.Jesus tells Peter to pay not out of the offerings given by people or any other laboured money, but tells Peter to cast a hook and pay the money found in the mouth of the fish as tribute/ custom for Him and Peter. He demeans their greed by getting the money from a fish.I sense the contempt Jesus had for such unfair taxation; and the method He used to defray the tax liability was amazing.I see this episode as a clear proof of Compliance without Conviction.In keeping with His saying : Render unto God that which is God’s, and unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, that piece of money that came out of a fish’s belly, is paid out to the Caesar.Don’t rebel when your rebellion is to no avail. Just comply WITH CONTEMPT!
There might be a lot of rejoicing by the Angels when someone is lost and found. But to be lost or not, is entirely in one’s own own hands, to a very large extent. I say ‘very large extent’ as otherwise, Jesus wouldn’t have taught his disciples the Lord’s prayer with ‘lead us not into temptation’!
And, it is not exactly our business to create ‘rejoicing’ in the Angels, in fact there is more for the three, if one had not taken half of the property and returned without the one half he had demanded and taken from his father.
The story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15, is a parable of Salvation & Redemption and NOT a parable which prescribes the benchmark for Christian life.
The context of Chapter 15 is explained at the outset by Luke, wherein it is mentioned that the ‘righteous’ Pharisees were indignant of the Publicans and sinners, listening to Jesus and consequently repenting and obtaining Salvation.
Jesus gives three parables, of how a shepherd lost his one sheep among hundred and found that one sheep, after much searching, and rejoiced over it.
Second is when a woman had lost her silver coin and when she searched and found it, she rejoiced over it with her friends & neighbours.
Jesus says that when these two had searched diligently and found it, in the first case, there was ‘rejoicing in heaven’. In the second case of the coin, Jesus says, ‘the angels in heaven rejoiced’.
The first two parables involve an animate sheep which had strayed from its flock, which necessitated the shepherd to leave the 99 sheep in a fold or in a fellowship and go looking for the Lost Sheep.
The second was a coin, an inanimate object, which couldn’t have got lost on its own, consequently, the woman sweeps her place and recovers it. In these two cases, there was EFFORT by the owner to trace it.
However, the third parable of the PRODIGAL SON required no effort from the outside. This parable involves a human being’s Realisation after depleting his salt. Still, it can be ‘salted’ through the magnanimity of God.
The beauty of the arrangement of the third parable is such that the problem was beyond effort. The solution was self-realisation and repentance.
The third Parable involves property, a father and two of his sons.
Jesus doesn’t talk of whether the properties in the hands of the father were self earned or ‘inherited’.
But I am inclined to believe that the father had inherited those properties, as otherwise the second son couldn’t have been emboldened to ask his father to divide the property into portions that fell unto him, nor would the father have been duty bound to divide the property into two portions. Alternatively, though it was not the second son’s ‘right’ to receive half, the father wanted to sever his properties into two so that he could secure for his first son the father’s half of the one third share and not be molested by the second son in future, on some venial pretext if the second son were to return for more.
This parable is an amazingly apt parable in the context. The second son asked for what fell for him, which means, his father could rightfully divide his inheritance from his forebears into three and keep one share for himself and the other two to be given, one each to the two sons. But the Wise & Compassionate father divided his ‘living’ into two parts, and gave the second son half of all that the father had. What the father did was a SEVERANCE OF NOT ONLY THE INHERITED PROPERTY BUT ALSO THE SELF GAINED PROPERTY AND DIVIDED HIS LIVING EQUALLY AMONG HIS SONS. The father left nothing for himself, either he trusted God like Abraham and/or had faith in the righteousness of his first son. Either way, he was right by hindsight.
The scripture says that the second son wasted his goods in riotous living, though his resenting elder brother, upon the return of the younger brother says that the younger brother “hath devoured thy living with harlots”! In any case, the resultant Fact was that the second son’s share and half of the father’s one third share were irretrievably lost.
Sure, it was lost. But the father is compassionate and gets the best robe for the Repentant Son, gets him a ring, shoes et al, upon his return; but the father was Not foolish enough to tell his first son to transfer half of his father’s share -which was half of one third of the original property divided between the sons- to the Repentant son, instead tells the disgruntled first son, let us celebrate now and make your brother happy, but still whatever is my share I have secured it for you and the Repentant son will have no say in it.
That’s why Jesus says “JOY SHALL BE IN HEAVEN”, but in no way would the original title as an ‘INHERITOR’ be restored for a Prodigal Son.
Look at the self proclamation of Paul in Philippians 3:6 “touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless”. Even though Paul glories in the Grace of God, he did NOT give up on his ‘blameless’ past. That still continued as a good qualification in the eyes of the gentiles and Paul knew it and exploited it. So to have a blameless past is great, but to insist on such a blameless Past is Pharisaical and anti Christian. That is the pith and substance of this parable.
Jesus says, In my father’s house are many mansions, definitely a Repentant sinner would find a place there, but to exalt the Second Son and glorify him over the first is to grant the Repentant sinner the sceptre of power, which is neither tenable as per the Scriptures nor advisable on grounds of compassion. The Repentant sinner has to ‘restart’ with no talent in his hands to work on. He gets a start at life without being consigned to the dustbin of despair, but by no means would a father say ‘All that I have is yours’.
The Second Son got relief from his despair, but his return in now way restored his role as a potential Inheritor. The Second Son might have created the ripple of rejoicing but it does not guarantee the return of his former Prince-hood.
The Preacher in a Church today, 03/02/2019, was eulogising the Second Son, forgetting that human endeavour is not to create ‘rejoicing in heaven’ or ‘rejoicing among the angels’; but to be granted adoption as God’s children.
I am amused at the interpretation of rehabilitation being exalted above Inheritance. It is time preachers stopped taking Parables out of context and flying kites with their warped interpretations and making those parables the mules to carry their pet half baked hypotheses.
Blasphemy by a Poetess – Lucille
The above is a poem by Lucille Clifton, once poet laureate of the State of Maryland in the USA.
The poem is drawing its imagery from the Rod of Moses, which was cast by him before the Pharaoh which turned into a serpent. Another imagery deployed in the poem is also from the life of Moses, when he saw the burning bush, out of which Jehovah spoke to Moses during his stay with his Midianite Father-in-law Jethro.
I would fain explain the contents of the poem were it not to lead to an inescapable conclusion that I relish smut. Consequently, I refrain from expatiating the contents thereof. However, I’d like to furnish the title of the poem, “To A Dark Moses”. That this poem has been written by a “poetess” gives greater credence to the intensity and meaning of the iconic imagery around which this short poem is woven.
If this poem were to have been penned by a male poet, the question would be on authenticity and a natural question: How would he know?, unless he were a Tiresias with a distinct memory of both his existences!
In any case, taking a Biblical imagery and revered characters out of the Bible and portraying it in matters relating to carnal matters in a kind of this poem would in no way have ingratiated herself to the Christian community which would have bothered to read it.
But it is also a point that since she was a Poet Laureate, this poem must have been scrutinised by the puritans of his time. Probably, it was their ilk which prevented her from winning the Pulitzer Prize, though having been a finalist twice.
In India, we are a touchy lot. When our icons are drawn to furnish parallels on carnal matters, there is a serious risk of the poet running not only ‘offending the religious sentiments of fellowmen and fellow women, but may even trigger riots and reprisals of the worst kind.
I am sure that in the US no such things happened, as poets like Ginsberg, EE Cummings, Plath, Bob Dylan had already liberated free expression from the thorny sensitivities of the Christian folks, by then.
I had serendipitously fallen on the Judgement of a Madras High Court Justice by name Seshasayee, recently, wherein the Hon’ble Justice had averred that there was no need of any legislation laying down ‘reasonable restrictions’ in terms of Article 19(2) of the Constitution of India, by the Legislature or the Executive, but that it was the ‘Duty’ of every citizen to respect the sentiments of his fellow citizens. The Hon’ble Justice goes on to state that when a citizen demands a ‘Right’, he has to also observe the ‘Duty’ cast on him as they are jurisprudentially correlatives.
My understanding of Hohfeld is that when I have a Right, then the Jural correlative would be a Duty on the other and not on the person who has a Right.
Secondly, when the State is infringing in my justiciable Rights, how far would the argument be correct that I have to be Duty bound by the nebulous sensitivities of all humans in India who could be affected by my freedom of speech and expression?
The Fundamental Duties in Article 51A of the Constitution is worded as a positive command and non justiciable, consequently enforceability would be lacking.
May be the judgement is a good step towards building harmony by making those persons who provide a platform for others to conduct programs, responsible; however, how could the police take action based on an assurance given to the police and other civic authorities on behalf of a person who has been guaranteed Fundamental Rights Himself?
Seems we are poised for interesting times with the elections round the corner.
Shorn of all aesthetics these are men and women who are not ppl who inspire one’s imagination, they just are safety valves of Relief. Depending on them is merely depleting and boring.
Freud in his book JOKES AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNCONSCIOUS alludes to a pithy saying:
“ A wife is like an umbrella, sooner or later one has to take a cab.”
I’m sure, every reader has got what it means. That comparison of an ‘umbrella’ with one’s spouse has happened merely because the institution had been reduced to one of RELIEF.
To not fall into it, one has to glorify Romance. What is that? Not that one should pamper one’s spouse with all the material needs – the reason being ‘needs’ met may provide a thankful heart but never a craving mind.
Romance is linked to the MIND. The person has to get preoccupied with the thoughts of the other- that’s Romance. When preoccupied with lovely thoughts our minds imaginatively improve it and make it colourful than reality. Reality may be drab, but the very thought of being with that person alters the surroundings because of an idyllic mental setting created all by they person. To prolong that is Romance.
From this relief there can be culmination but not a ‘relief’ as there is a craving to perpetuate that state of mind.
If one gets into the mode of building pressure through the process of natural welling up, that needs Relief, but when the Mind effervesces and builds up volume it needs Sustaining. That’s why in the first case, one catches a cab. If one enjoys the drops and droplets which splatter on him and the dripping of those edges off the umbrella and relishes each moment, the Mind looks for NO ALTERNATIVE.
When I read this Freudian book as a boy of all 19 years, it was posited by me with a physical meaning, which today feels CRASS, but with mellowing down and cooling of the hotheadedness of youth, the ‘joke’ is to be interpreted to sustain ways to enjoy the umbrella during rains.
OR Is it just that the same data is getting interpreted by a mind that doesn’t remember the exigencies of the youth? Maybe.
Winds that blow
Move the leaves;
Leaves that move
Sway the stalks;
Stalks which shift direction,
Alter the equilibrium of the branches; &
Branches which move laterally
Strain the trunks –
And that my friend
Breaks the trunks.
Except the winds, there
Is no Fact- Rest is all Reaction.
But the Trunk breaks.
Winds of change, though mild
Has to be sensed by the Trees
To avoid a fall.
Allow the wind to go through
Because, the root can’t hold out against
The turbulent winds of change.
A PIL filed before the SC challenges the recital of certain Sanskrit shlokas by all students in the assembly proceedings in KV schools. When the matter came up before the SC, the SG of the Union Govt argued that Sanskrit shlokas were a part of even the words written on the emblems of the Supreme Court and the Nation. His averment was that the words were secular and therefore cannot be declared a religious text forced on children in education.
The matter has been referred to a Constitution Bench.
The question to be framed to answer this issue is whether the Liberty of a child to be educated in a Govt. run school be taken away, if the compulsory recital of a phrase – moral in its content, but ostensibly taken from a religious text and uttered in a language which is neither the student’s medium of instruction nor a regional language – be not followed by any student.
Secondly, whether for non- recital of such shlokas a student could face penalty?
Thirdly, whether the school authorities have a Right to impose a duty on a child for recitation of an Ethical statement having a strong nexus with a Religious text, especially in a language which has no common application and stands in line with languages, like Latin, which are considered ‘dead’ but are in vogue only in religious ceremonies?
Fourthly, are the school authorities who are merely tasked with providing liberal education, become disciplining authorities in the event of disobedience or refusal by a student to submit to such recital on the grounds that the child believes or has been made to believe that the recitation of such shloka was an anathema to his or her religious beliefs?
The SG’s comparison of certain Sanskrit words like Satyame ve jayete, in Sanskrit is distinguishable on the grounds that those words, though taken from the religious texts of a particular religion, have been secularised in its application by serving as Declaratory statements and not a PERSONAL AFFIRMATION OF ANY INDIVIDUAL.
It would be interesting to watch the outcome in the next two decades!
This was not a Queen bee with its own colony, it had become the princess fed with Royal Jelly and kept secure in its own quarters.
This princess bee used to see its mother Queen bee being frequented by drones which came from time to time to discharge their duties and urges. These drones never understood the power politics of the Queen bee.
The Queen bee felt that the numbers of worker bees which made up the colony were not sufficient to let the Princess bee take off with its own supporters and decided to retain the Princess, well quartered and nourished with royal jelly, but it felt that when the need to make its own offsprings arose, the Princess bee would fly away and take away those meagre workers.
So this Herodias of a Queen bee told a drone, why don’t you visit the quarters of the Princess bee.
The Drone was not happy, as the workers didn’t recognise the authority of association that came to him when he was associated with the Queen bee. However, as is wont of all Drones to have irresponsible romantic behaviour, the Drone visited the Princess.
The Princess, which saw the intruder with suspicion, started giving way to his glob talk of how she should embellish her quarters like her mother Queen. Fascinated by such descriptions and such security and servility shown by the worker bees, the Princess bee was drawn like Desdemona to the black Moor.
It culminated in consummation and the Princess bee became another Queen been in the same hive.
The Queen bee was eager to know about the thraldom in which the Drone has kept her, so that the hive could be repopulated and at an appropriate time the Queen II could be sent away.
The Drone became a story teller at one quarters and a seller of dreams at the other. This continued as long as the Queen II did not visit Queen Bee I.
But alas! The Queen Bee II crawled her way with her paraphernalia to the quarters of the Queen bee I and found that neither the quarters of the Queen I was as exotic as portrayed by the Drone, nor was the Queen I as young and attractive as she had imagined. After paying respects to the mother, the Queen bee II trundled back to her quarters, whereupon the Drone entered the hive and straight made it to the Queen Bee II.
The Queen II listened to all those imaginative stories and was still enamoured of such a possibility if she could get away and get the Drone to implement its imaginative ideas in a hive of her own.
Now that the population of the hive had increased, the Princess bee, apprehending like Jacob the reprisal of Laban at severance, took off to a new destination.
The hive was halved and the Queen was happy that she had done enough to keep the hive bustling.
The Drone searches for the Princess bee and found it far away, when it was guided by a spy worker bee, which went with the Queen II and after knowing the location came back to the Queen bee I and was in her service.
To the utter shock of the Drone, it found that Queen Bee II was surrounded by three drones all competitively displaying their skills to impress Queen II. When the original drone entered and tried to shoo away the other drones, the newly coronated Queen said, Dear Drone, do not bring your hierarchy of that old hive with that hag Queen here. I set the rules and I am entitled to my imperial pleasures at my will, I’ve learnt that it is the day to day existence of a bee which is important and not those fanciful castles you told of as being the residence of my mother Queen.
If I let someone he shall like, Esther come and serve me. The sceptre is in my hand and you may come in only at my pleasure.
The Old Drone flew away chastened with the thought : A DRONE HOWEVER INFLUENTIAL IS NEVER POWERFUL.