Theo Verelst Diary Page

Fri jun 8, 2001

I've decided after good example to write some diary pages with toughts and events.

Oh, in case anybody fails to understand, I'd like to remind them that these pages are copyrighted, and that everything found here may not be redistributed in any other way then over this direct link without my prior consent. That includes family, christianity, and other cheats. The simple reason is that it may well be that some people have been ill informed because they've spread illegal 'copies' of my materials even with modifications. Apart from my moral judgement, that is illegal, and will be treated as such by me. Make as many references to these pages as you like, make hardcopies, but only of the whole page, including the html-references, and without changing a iota or tittel...

And if not? I won't hesitate to use legal means to correct wrong that may be done otherwise. And I am serious. I usually am. I'm not sure I could get 'attempt to grave emotional assault' out of it, but infrigement on copyright rules is serious enough. And Jesus called upon us to respect the authorities of state, so christians would of course never do such a thing. Lying, imagine that.

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Fri 8-06-2001 9:20am

Starting as a diary page I'll do as I promised: go into the 'Cult of the Saints' from Peter Brown, an american historian of reknown, which I think is of major relevance to get to the historic foundations of major and miserable religeous error.

The Cult of the Saints,
Its rise and Function in Latin Christianity

In the in my former opinion quite funny series 'the powers that be' there is a congressman (I think it is), married to the daughter of a complete bitch married to main player, a senator, who doesn't speak more usually than nozzle and general evasive dribble, which is not so bad comparatively speaking, and the only sort of obsessive answer that ever gets even more than emphasis and positively noticable articulation is the anser to questions about the whole of live or otherwise which he seems to want to answer with only one well spoken word: 'death', and then some agreeing, heart meant affirmative 'hm mm'.

Not that the subject is funny, or calls for ridiculisation, the above made me laugh quite well in past, and I guess it is a quite well made show, so it serves as an introduction.

I'll want to discuss the main subjects in book, and start of with a small quote from the beginning of its chapters, to get an impression of the angle, and the foundations.

The book is made from the Haskell lectures, School of divinity, Chicago, april 1978.

Chapter beginnings

1. The Holy and the Grave

This book is about the joining of heaven and Earth, and the role, in this joining, of dead human beings. It will deal with the emergence, orchestration, and function in late antiquity of what is generally known as the Christian "cult of the saints." This involves considering the role in the religeous live and organisation of the Christian church inthe western Mediterranean, between the third and sixth centuries A.D., of whole tombs, of relic fragments and of objects closely connected with the dead bodies of holy men and women, confessors and martyrs.

The cult of saints, as it emerged in late antiquity, became part and parcel of the succeeding millennium of Christian history to such an extend that we tend to take its elaboration for granted. Its origin has received a certain amount of attention and, given the tantalizing state of the evidence, both literary and archeological, it is likely to continue to do so. But the full implications of what is meanto to contemporaries to join heaven and earth at the grave of a dead human being has not been explored as fully as it deserves. Fo to do that was to break barriers that had existed in the back of the minds of Mediterranean men for a thousand years , and to join categories and places that had been usually meticulously contrasted.

2. A Fine and Private Place

We all set out the furnishings suited to a worthy grave,
And on the altar that marks the tomb of our mother, Secundula
It pleased us to place a stone tabletop,
Where we could sit around, bringing to memory her many good deeds,
As the food and the drinking cups were set out,and cushions piled around
So that the bitter wound that gnawed our hearts might be healed
And in this way we passed the evening hours pleasant talk,
And in the praise of our good mother.
The old lady sleeps: she who fed us all
Lies silent now, and sober as ever.
Pagan inscription from Mauretania, late 3d cent. AD

At Saint Peter the Apostle, before the main entrance, at the second column in the porch, as ou enter from the left, on the men's side, Lucillus and his wife, Januaria, a gentlewoman.
'Christian', saint Peter's at Rome, 5th cent. AD

As you enter under the vaults, pass though an exit door and go into a cemetery in the form of a hall, and, on the right side as you come through the door, alongside the wall, you will find the grave. I have wished to make that perfectly plain because, seeing her tomb, we should remember all the good she has done to us, and that this is the place where her bones lie in the sweet perfume of sanctity. And I especially entreat each decsendant that , at least on the day of her death, they go where she lies, ... as is the custom of many.
Florence, early 15th cent. AD, extract from Ricordi, the family memoirs of Giovanni di Pagolo Morelli

3. The invisible Companion

The philosphers and the orators have fallen into oblivion; the masses do not even known the names of the emperors and their generals; but everyone knows the names of the martyrs, better than those of their most intimate friends.
Curatio affectionum graecarum, Theodoret

It is in these terms that Theodoret bishop of Cyrrhus sought to convey the extent of the triumph of Christianity: by the mid-fifth century, the cult of the saints had ringed the populations of the Mediterranean with intimate invisible friends. "The invisible friend" -aoratos philos; the "intimate friend" -gneesios philos: these are terms on which Theororet and his contemporaries dwelt lovingly in relation to the saints. What we shall follow in this chapter is the manner in which new invisible companions came to crowd in around the men and women of late antiquity and the early middle ages. In so doing, we shall touch upon the subtle transformation of immemorial beliefs that was involved when Mediterranean men and women, from the late fourth century onwards, turned with increasing explicitness for friendship, inspiration and protection in this life and beyond the grave, to invisible beings who were fellow humans and whom they could invest with the precise and palpable features of beloved and powerful figures in their own society.

4. The Very Special Dead

One of the most moving fragments of late antiquity is now attached to the wall of the Mediterranean room in the Louvre. It is the epitaph of a little Sicilian, Julia Florentina, "a most dear, innocent child," who died at the age of eighteen months, having received Christian baptism, experienced a momentary remission, "and lived on four hours longer, just as she had once been before."

"While her parents bewailed her death at every moment, the voice of [God's] majesty was heard at night, forbidding them to lament for the dead child. Her body was buried in its tomb in front of the doors of the shrine of the martyrs"

We have here a glimpse of a Mediterranean family thinking about the unthinkable fact of death. Their inscription is a reminder of the force of the tensions latent in early Christian attitudes to death and the afterlife.

5. Preasentia

In a characteristic moment of penetrating disapproval, Hegel wrote of the piety of the middle ages:

"The Holy as a mere thing has the character of externality; thus it is capable of being taken possession of by another to my exclusion; it may come into an alien hand, since the process of appropriating it is not one that takes place in Spirit, but is conditioned by its quality as a external object. The highest of human blessings is in the hands of others"
The Philosophy of History, G.W.F. Hegel

Hegel was speaking of the role of the clergy as the guardians of the Eucharist in the middle ages. But in the cult of relics also, late-antique and early medieval piety lived down with gusto to his strictures. This cult gloried in particularity Hic locus est: "Here is the place," or simpy hic is a refrain that that runs through the inscriptions on the early martyrs' shrines of North Africa. The holy was available in one place, and in each such place it was accessible to one group in a manner in which it could not be accessible to anyone situated elsewhere.

6. Potentia

To visit a late-antique Christian shrine could be a noisy and frightening experience. Jerome wrote of the first impact of the tombs of the prophets in the Holy Land on the Roman pilgrim Paula:

"She shuddered at the sight of so many marvelous happenings. For there she was met by the noise of demons roaring in various torments, and, before the tombs of the saints, she saw men howling like wolves, barking like dogs, roaring like lions, hissing like snakes, bellowing like bulls; some twisted their heads to touch the earth by arching their bodies backwards; women hung upside-down in mid-air, yet their skirts did not fall down over their heads."
Ep 103, Jerome

Catholic Europe, as presented to a newcomer of the late sixth century, was mapped out in terms of the places in which such things happened. For possession and exorcism in the great basilicas of Catholic Gaul was held to be the one irrefutable sign of the praesentia within them of the saints.

Scientific considerations

Since this is "just" a diary page, no conclusive ideas are needed here, just a few remarks as I continue.

First the word 'eucharist' cannot be passed by without at least a frown or raising of the eyebrow. Without question the terms is not coincidentally similar to the biblical term 'antichrist', no doubt not unrelated to the concept of the great whore, also from revelation.

The preoccupation with death and semitaries, and the building of cities counterbalanced by such in the countryside as places of pelgrimade and worship, the use of actual dead body parts as relics and associated rituals, are indications of purposes that become part of the new, growing religion, or maybe religions, because I'm sure the rise of catholicism as world dominating religion is not the religion that brought the major changes in the world that was about, that there was a 'new' faith, christianity in a form that had the content being spoken about by Christ and his apostles, that did have a place in history which is not lacking the main necessities of spiritual life, nor found it necessary to strife for the greatest riches and abundance of power, or found it necessary to add to their security or well being or sense of defeating death to worship statures and cherish relics.

The mixing in of pagan religions with this successfull worldwide sect of jewish origine is explicit purpose of catholic foremen for centuries, and the taking over of the like at least some romans and their emperors, bad as they generally may be, must have had for this new and different than all former religions phenomena is clear enough a purpose from observing what historically happened. Greed for riches, human lives, esteem and glory, power and other clear sources of misery lying in the nature of man together with the success of the new sect in the world are sufficient motivation and characterisation of circumstance to understand what may well have gone on.

Just like in our days there must have been ample reasons of other nature for human behaviour, from child sacrifices in celtic, germanic, eastern and mediteranean religions to superstition, the greeks' stage of gods and demi gods acting as though material through the roman worship of idols and their cruel but succesful military basis of world dominion.

Religious systems are completely commongood in both greek roman, jewish, babylonian, egyptian, and eastern history. The romans seem to have ruled mainly and primarily through military power, and of course were faced with the mechanics and need for leadership skills to rule their empire and sustain it.

Without trying to generalize too much, such considerations are at least not strange when trying to explaining the setting and advent of a 'new' world religion, largely irrespective of the faith in statements such as in revelation.

I'm not at all an expert in ancient pagan religions, though aware of their usually uncanny and cruel nature, and their often unclearly defined nature and purpose. Egyptions seem to at least have been ironic about life and religeous issues, while I'm sure the babylonians had horrifying systematic ways of realizing hell on earth. Clearly the greek were at least at times not that much into loosing themselves in the pits and deep waters of religeous consideration, while the jews were a particular (and small) people.

Historically, it seems valid to take it that through the person of Jesus, and the lets call them religeous changes following, the worlds' course changed. On itself, there are others that had effect as well, and without question there are many persons and events that also changed or effectuated major historic lines, but the rule of the roman empire combined with a appearently fundamental change in the availability of various religious systems combined brings together world level gouvernment with a power and effectiveness in religion that must have appealed to many.

Probably it was hard to sell the religions of old, they needed major mysteries and systematic oppression to have success, which is hard when all comes together in a family or political system, the mysteries tend to unravel, the knowledgeable ones are probably just as bad as they advocate others to be, so no-one likes eachother anymore, and power from sheer physical means all to easily frustrates rituals and itself is subdued to general clan behaviour, making for not easy integration of little communions.

The new religion at least seemed to remedy fundamental problems, and must have been sucessful to do so effectively to some extent. That must have been noted by many, if after some time not all, and made for different motivations taking a place in the minds of people, including of all kinds of not good people who want to also have a go at positions of power and potential riches.

The major idea I want to point to here is that altough every human being probably by birth is at least to some extent part of what calls for and lies in corruption and lies, mixing up the idea of a religion that is at least worth consideration to remedy essential problems of the human condition, with a system that historically and effectively exists because it is greedy and wants to thrive on the idea of being such a religion, is a bad idea. For everyone except maybe a few rich and highly placed that want to rule on the basis of such idea. Maybe when people are stupid enough to buy what such kinds tell them, such system can 'work', but I don't think ever it is advantageous to mankind as a whole.

And personally, I refuse to take chances with the idea, and certainly am not willing to exploit people faith in a lie unless there is very clear and good reason for it, which is generally not my idea. The idea of asking for power and esteem and goods on the basis of a religeous calling that is a lie is not just delusive, it is the idea that the new babylon is built on that has wasted many desirable life forms and sanity, and much happyness and peace and well doing, and is therefore in my opinion only good enough to make go to waste with the ones that deserve so, because they have and tend to continuate evil religeous intentions, which them may destroy themselves and their kinds.

For any sane enough life, mixing up what is good and bad is of just as little general avail as the playing in the lottery or a casino, over the whole, nothing is gained.

And with good and bad, things are worse, because bad is rarely ever going to yield something good, while there is no actual need for the evil in these religeous forms, except for the few that use it to enrich themselves. And sanity of mind for many costs just as little as for a few, there is no extra cost involved, normally.

It may be argued that it is a fun and maybe usefull game to engage in a lyarish system to see what happends and if some gains can be had by them, which without question it the sort of edonic idea that a little snake has told many to make a point of it being more fun to go astray from solid enough thoughts, especially about religion. At that point, it comes down to either believing such a sane position is possible (and maybe retainable), or that the whole of the world is such a miserable mess that no fake or real God is going to change that the only way to hope for something worth while in life enough is to subscribe to the next (new) babylonic circles torture ritual to arrive at the next lie.

Society-wise, it is hard to maintain that such complete depression and hopelessness is hard to maintain as overall idea. Most of us live in a society that is all to much based on ideas of the opposite kind to ignore that that is not possible. To much history in the development of state after the middle ages exists to make clear that the roman catholic system and its affiliates is a miserable guide in leading any part of the world at all, and that other ways have been quite succesfull and even maintainable enough.

Observations of explicit christian origin

Taking the biblical ideas I've been aware of quite some time as a starting point, the book at least alludes to the ideas like the natural death of man from God (no direct contact possible except through Christ by the Holy Spirit), the real God that is, the occult nature of the catholic religion, including all the miserable demonic oppression that goes with it, the state of the world where no one can save themselves, and where the spiritual outside man consists of nothing good, the world has been the dominicile of the satan and everyone in it enslaved to sin by nature, meaning bad and inclined to evil. So religeous systems are quite called for for many kinds of acclaimed salvation, for which there indeed is quite some need.

The liar from the beginning, and since the time of peter letter scriptually founded many antichrists take the role of deluders in the form of the religion of Jesus Christ, who in the name of the real God and Himself can claim to bring salvation, by atonement trhough his once and for all sacrifice with God, through the people he gives as changed, new persons as gifts to the world, through their spiritual gifts and friends, though His and His followers' power in the spiritual, also over nations and their spiritual dominions, and through His word and the spirit of revelation to break barriers against the truth, and make people live in Him, in truth.

Considering that the new man, new person, as opposed to the old person, in those people having been found by Christ, who personally had a change of heart through the souvereign work of the Holy Spirit, not because of some denomination membership or works or ritual, because Christ Has known and predestined them before the world was formed, is created in true righteousness and goodness, it is of not much use to try to corrupt such persons and their relations, the good that is there is worth it, the things that could be made corrupted aren't.

A major error is to think that sacrifices must be made to mix up what is good with what is bad, to satisfy some of the basic errors found in te doctrince of probably quite some general deamoms, what else would the do. It is possible that people are tested and therefore suffer, or are achieving something that takes effort, but there is never a point in making them bad when they could be good, for anyone else with some sanity.

There is no such spiritual or natural rule in Gods' kingdom, and there never has been. That though is to get an angle on the people that constitute the true religion that originates with God, which is to be a blessing of good and at times a curse and power over evil, but never is worth wrecking or trying to corrupt. The Holy Spirit himself will stay holy anyhow, God remains almighty anyhow, and what point is there taking the place of a person who is good and capable, and making some miserable lying member of a bitch live in his or her place, except from the perspective of a yeleous or greedy party that in the end and along the way doesn't even achieve much, and is of course not outside the complete power potential of the true God.

Contemparary value

By going over the subjects present in their first form with the advent of the liarish religeous systems that to some has a call of being justified, holy, or otherwise desirable, we may trace back what has gone wrong long ago, and what has led to the various lies and mistaken and erronous positions that such faith has in this life, at least logically. Wether that will set us free from our sinfull nature, the deamons and authorities the greek wrote ironically or carefully about, make us survive the perils of nature and of our own dealings with it, and generally make life better cannot be answered completely, but I'm sure it is at least of a blessing (something normal people probably don't want to miss) to consider these subjects with some sanity, except of course when one wants to be damned, or intellectually speaking later on claiming 'wir haben es nicht gewusst' and simply 'befehl ist befehl'. Not many of that kind have ever reached great heights of creative or intellectual honour in this world to last even short. Probably none of either kind much, though maybe some popes would try to present it as if their own abusiveness isn't releveant, and indeed forgiven for real by their subdued followers.

Diary Page continued

Because the former part is more of a scientific, albeit not very official nature, I thought I'd make some seperation with more diary like writings clear at least.

Just as a little (dutch) joke, the 'dik voor mekaar show', as I mentioned earlier in its latest incarnation, has a contest, where the prize is a backpack, with 'golden inscription': 'tros' which is the broadcast organisation pillars' name, which is sort of a 'all together now' phrase in the show. And guess what: the a5 sized booklet has on the side of its brown cover written 'in golden letters' ... 'the cult of the saints'. Ceci n'est pas tres serieux. Just kidding.

I was thinking about the nature of for instance this sort of internet writing. The copyright notice on top makes it sort of officially tainted, which stems from a time when I was concerned some might abuse some of my writings for wrong purposes, which might still happen, but I think I'm too much known in certain ways now to make it possible to realy mess bad with that now. I wanted to prevent misquotes in sensitive areas, which could have been pretty bad, given circumstance, and the internet is quite a good way to secure the source and reliability of texts: everyone can check for themselves, all over the world, and easily enough: a public library suffices usually. I don't think some people are too willing try now to play a sort of double game around my work and words, so currently the notice is probably too predominant, though I still like to make sure that my writings, works and thoughts are taken as I have presented them, and that some with interest in it are not taken by a housebuilders' strawman method of being allowed the old hit songs only in some miserably deformed way with approval of the local house medicine man and his spiritual lies.

The internet medium is not that different from what one may write in a book or magazine, layout can be similar even, and letters are letters and words are words no matter wether they are from an sms, an email, a newspaper or an encylopedia. Reading this kind of volatile yet eternally replenishable type of pages, various kinds exist, is in certain way personal and interesting that probably can be explained through the speed of publising and the width of access, and the choice of funding some to ones' liking from over the whole world. It can be pleasant to read serious pages even though they are written by someone far away writing and picturising about everyday considerations, like a one sided converstation witht the advantage of the single sided peephole and potential, with some quick pictures, of near personal contact meeting.

I wasn't even talking single X here, I just tried to think about what such pages do, as I sometimes read, and found good idea to make myself.

I was making fun the other day of being at work in the library, which on itself wasn't unpleasant. I had the idea some people relate to the idea that I'd first sort of place my hands together in devout admiration to some imaginary madona way high, then ray in some good charms into the books I was going to read, and then maybe claim them in the name of whatever sorcerer seems to favour me, in the end betraying all first with a little arm halfway up in great greating of whoever or the nothingness in myself, or maybe just bow down and make myseld utterly small in the direction of any bookshelf that seems to have appealing constitution.

I was reading for instance an article about the production of 'apocalypse now' by Bob Moog, about the synthesizers being used and how, how the many tracks of the soundtrack multitrack were made and managed, such things, and also about the reverb patterns in concert halls and churches, for instance the effect of the reverberation of high mid and low harmonics of the tone of a trumpet, what the (3 dimensional) radiation patterns are of such and other instruments, science with a practical side.

More graphically: the cover of a collection of articles from the internationally known magazine 'keyboard' shows a moderately colorfull setup of classic synthesizers, and I cannot help being drawn to forinstance the appearance of lets say the multimoog or a prophet-5, also simply by its (equipment) esteatics. I guess an unwritten rule is that it is preferable that the power and strength and beauty of such equipment must at least have some relation with its appearance.

The church reverberation characteristics as the physical model of functional historical architectural considerations has to links with my life. First, I find it interesting, and am thinking about making reverberation algorithms myself, preferably when I'll again have the computer resources to properly run them on, which I can do with the knowledge I have with satisfactory enough results for practical use, I've done that before, and I know many parameters of known machines to do such jobs, and can partly reverse engineer their digital signal processing, but is is of course nicer and more fundamentally pleasing and of wiser scope to here too take the physical modeling approach as well. Second, I've for quite some time now regularly played a good enough piano in an old church building, where reverberation plays a (relatively miserable for concert situation, but bearable) a role, and its fun to contemplate a little on that. For instance I've long ago for years occupied myself with microphones, recordings, amplification and acoustics, not without success, and then also I had an interest in for instance making a space sound right, for instance with damping materials, using the right amplification system and setup, and listening positions.

I made an audio tape of some example synthesizer sounds from my Z80 based machine, driven by an old PC using additive synthesis, analog simulation and string simulation software to fill the synth hardware with sounds with. Basically, I stuch to explicatore examples, some analog samples I stored on disc with some bass runs to make them sound right, including a few with the analog filter sweeps and growls to potentially interest such audience, a set of string simulation examples, building up to parameters of the simulation making recogniseable bass sounds and some others, like a plucked banjo, ending with a some additive synthesis fantasy sounds and sequences of hip enough pattern with varying sounds doing the arpegio justice, with the run time root note change option, which I use to modulate arpeggios at will, also with interesting timing, that is change the pitch of a (16 note) arpeggio over an octave and a half during the sequence, not just after 16 note patters, which makes for wonderfull house-like but interesting, possibly funky and even jazzy patterns. Fun.

The real better ones didn't end up on tape yet, I guess I didn't feel right making clear what this setup has already been up to yet on the tape completely, and of course that can wait until real time mpeg3s are spdif-ed from a serious dsp running the these simulations and some effects in with direct control..

But at least some people had the chance to listen to some serious sounds I made with my current possibilities, and I guess that makes it more serious. Maybe I should make a bit higher qualitity demo (which is hard now), or even computerize something together, though I'm not certain that will make all better per se, my wonderfull java and javascript example page didn't get me a direct job offer for a short project in the direction, it seems. A small high tech setup, with decent pc and for instance a TI dsp board and devkit is a great idea, though. And then some perspex and other plastics, some wood and a serious stock of electronics parts and controls not either.

Last week I did some rock and roll performing, isn't that something, as well as blues and what was it, oh, a shadows song, there was even a roland juno 60 synth, which was definately fun. Good organ sound, certainly for an analog synth, gutsy and growly enough, though hardly 'neat', which is fun, and of course a nice chorussy basic string sound can always be put to use to make good padding or melodic lines with.

As an idea of electrical engineering fun I thought about the comparison of having a little electrical car or something, like on a fair, where you have the chicken fence about, and some conductive floor below, and a little car completely surrounded with protective rubber to make great collisions with long before the time of an official license and vehicle. Great fun as a kid, and a reminder that electrical vehicles can work, now what if this idea is like the experiment I learned about as a kid, where the robot behaviour of mechanics was shaped into recogniseable forms to experiment with the human emotions they can evoke.

The idea was to have a little toy cart, basically two big wheels and a very small one at the front, with rechargeable batteries, little light sensors as eyes, and two pieces of metal poking forward, which can find their counterparts inthe form of a wall socket equivalent, but with outward contact points, which have a light in the middle. The idea of course being that the little cart does its own steering, being in the direction of light sources, by determining the difference in light perception between the left and right light sensitive tube, and steering in the other direction.

When it would hit the contact, it would light a light bulb of its own, charge its batteries, and even a humming sound of satisfaction would arise from it. Some versions also allowed stroking, and had furry skin on top to call for this, which made them make sort of purring noises.

One of the experiments of course would be to let the thing play around a bit give it nice and appealing colors, bring a hammer, and start taking a pose of blowing the whole thing to a thousand pieces, and then measure the response of the audience...

There are more technologically advanced modern counterparts where the batteries are replaced more conventionally, with which similar experiment can be endeavoured. At least they don't have to go, and the japanese seem to mass produce them.

The idea now was to take the former version a bit further, by making all kinds of metal in the world carry a safe voltage, which officially would be under 42 volts, and have a fair cart drive around all they, recharging as it can at some points. Some hilarious video and cartoon footage must be possible with that idea. Bring a can of silver and gold conductive paint.

The point, apart from maybe a little fit of affirming (not compensating) childishness I can see in certain systems and peoples acts ? That life is complicated, and that I find it intellectually repulsive that so much sanity is sacrificed for as it seems often so stupid reasons and insipid doctrines. And that I play around a bit in at least a educationally unvoid manner by acting little things that people can understand, knowing that at least quite some seem to know who I am, and maybe a bit what I stand for and would like to achieve. And especially to raise understanding for the idea that the world as so many seem to want to accept it is not described by rules and thesises I necessarily find even true, which such example can make clear.

I do serious work enough.

More than enough, in fact.