Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Subtle Knife, sleight of hand, and Scientology


Jewish date:  10 Marḥeshwan 5770 (Parashath Lekh-Lekha).

Today’s holiday:  Feast Day of Theodor Reuss (Thelema).

Worthy causes of the day:  “Take off Walmart's health care "mask"”, “End So-Called Pre-Existing Conditions!”, and “Health care reform is around the corner”.

Topic 1:  Last night I read chapter 1 of The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2) by Philip Pullman.  Not really much new theologically so far.  Lyra Silvertongue (she has adopted a new last name) and her dæmon/soul Pantalaimon have so far retained physically separate form.  Naturally she finds unusual that the only other person she has met so far, the runaway boy Will Parry, does not have an external dæmon; she concludes that he carries his dæmon inside.  Will, unlike Lyra, managed to reach the universe of their meeting via a barely visible gateway whose origin has not yet been disclosed.

Somewhat off the topics I have discussed previously, so far Pullman’s protagonists have come from broken homes.  Lyra, the product of an adulterous union, was fought over between the neglectful Lord Asriel and the power-hungry psychopath Marisa Coulter.  Will’s father has long been absent, and his mother is mentally ill.  This tendency may simply be to create drama, but intuition suggests there may be something else to it as well.

Topic 2:  “The Obsession With Israel”.

This video asks the question of why there is so much focus on the alleged crimes of Israel when there is so much real, preventable suffering happening.  Perhaps the point is something akin to distraction techniques used by magicians:  to keep the focus off the real, preventable suffering, especially when perpetrated by the enemies of Israel.

Topic 3:  “French Branch of Scientology Convicted of Fraud”.  All those who did not see this eventually happening, stand on your head.