Let's Talk 2000

"The heartbeat of 2000 A.D. from cyberspace"

May 1, 1998, Volume 4, Issue 5, a monthly bulletin

Topics covered in this issue:

The Millennium Doctor Speaks
News from the Field: Talk from the Forum: New Millennial Sites: Contact Information

The Millennium Doctor Speaks:
"Taking the pulse of 2000 A.D."

Our lead feature reports on EXPO 2000, whose advance ticket sales open a month from today, a full two years before the gates open on June 1, 2000. June will also witness the release of the first "travel guide" to the millennium in book form.

Our "Talk from the Forum" section is lengthy this month because I wanted you to catch the feel for how one millennial scholar engaged an articulate millennial advocate regarding his "messianic claims."

Our web section points to an outstanding "State of the Future" annotated bibliography by the Millennium Project. If you enjoy alternative scenarios of what the next century or millennium could bring, don't miss this jewel.

News from the Field:
"Here is the latest news on year 2000 efforts."

EXPO 2000 TO BEGIN TICKET SALES
Advance tickets to EXPO 2000 will go on sale June 1st, two years to the day before the start of Germany's first World Exposition. Organizers expect the demand will be intense for the six month spectacular: 40 million visitors, making it the premier turn of the millennium exhibition.

"We have signed up a total of 150 tour operators in 74 countries as "Tourism Sales Agents," according to Ralph Jarrett, an EXPO 2000 Hannover GmbH organizer. These include the major tour operators "Touristik Union International" and the American Automobile Club "AAA".

According to independent surveys, every fourth person from neighbhoring France intends to visit, partaking of a universal tradition which dates back to 1851. In that year, London hosted the first universal "think-tank" at its "Crystal Place" in Hyde Park.

The EXPO 2000 key theme "Humankind-Nature-Technology" is already apparent in the shape of the exhibition stand on the Hannover grounds. The 400 square metre large EXPO exhibition stand (Hall 7.2b) was completely constructed out of natural materials, including its high birch arches. As the heart of the world's fair, the exhibit stand will serve as a meeting place, a source of information, and an attraction. The centre is dominated by a 139 square metre corridor - The Gallery - linking the different exhibition areas on stand: the Culture and Events Programme, the Participating Countries, the Thematic Area, the world Projects. The EXPO 2000 web site features a daily web camera shot of the stand at http://www.expo2000.de/index-e.html

In terms of official participants, EXPO 2000 can now boast a World Exposition record: of the 186 countries and international organisations invited to participate at EXPO 2000, 169 have already registered (as of February 1998) from 1 June to 31 October 2000. Registrations include two of the world's largest countries with the Russian Federation and India; as well as smaller participating countries such as the Vatican, Monaco, or Samoa. Architectural competitions are already running in many countries for the design of their pavilions. Recently, Ethiopia presented its design to exposition officials.

Currently, 1.6 million US citizens travel to Germany every year. Last fall, the U.S. Congress and President Bill Clinton pledged to develop a dynamic contribution. This past fall, Clinton wrote Chancellor Kohl: "I congratulate Germany on its first World Exposition. The theme chosen - the use of technology in harmony with the environment to solve global problems - is very appropriate for our times."

Trade industry experts expect EXPO 2000 to cost $55 million dollars to organize. Why is it drawing record breaking response already? Two reasons: 1) this is a "turn of the millennium" world's fair, 2) pent-up demand from the cancellation of EXPO '96. Source: EXPO 2000 Hannover GmbH

MILLENNIUM "ROUGH GUIDE" PUBLISHED
The first intelligent travel guide to the millennium has been published by the UK-based "Rough Guides" company. Authored by Nick Hanna, this 260-page pocket book offers an "essential travel guide to 2000's festivals, projects and mega-events."

Set to hit stores in June, The Millennium: A Rough Guide to the Year 2000 [ISBN: 1-85828-314-0] opens with a well written FAQ, covering everything from when the Millennium really starts to the intricacies of the Y2K computer bug. The heart of guide covers country events in 21 countries, detailing the government's approach, major exhibitions and travel briefs. Hanna wraps up the guide with a chapter on apocalyptic history, a millennium internet directory, and a list of tour groups specializing in millennium travel.

Hanna's guide is head and heels above any travel resource on the millennium I've found on the web. It is worth every penny and more of its $8.95 print price. Rough Guides http://www.roughguides.com has published more than one hundred Rough Guide travel, phrasebooks, and music titles. Source: Let's Talk 2000, talk2000@rmi.net

AC/UNU TO SCRIPT MILLENNIUM STORY
Future strategist and author, Dr. Jerome C. Glenn <jglenn@igc.apc.org>, announced this month that his think-tank has been awarded a bid by the Millennium Society to create a multi-media story of the future for a New Year's Eve 2000 extravanza to be staged at the Great Pyramids in Egypt.

"At the cross-roads of Africa, Europe and Asia, the pyramids will provide the ultimate blackboard for a presentation perfectly suited to assess the past and consider the future," said Glenn, director of the D.C. based American Council for the United Nations University.

Glenn is no stranger to mega-efforts to size up humanity's cultural achievement and future prospects. This past year, he co-edited the 1997 State of the Future. This study drew on insights of 300 scholars, futurists and policy makers from around the world. The 1998 edition is due out this month.

In parallel with this sound and light extravanza, Glenn will also produce an artistic and scientific overview of the material in video format for television networks or symposiums during the year 2000. His D.C. based Millennium Project <http://millennium-project.org> is sponsored by the American Council for the United Nations University (AC/UNU) in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution and The Futures Group. Source: Let's Talk 2000, talk2000@rmi.net

Talk from the Forum:
"Here is a recap of recent conversations"

TITANIC VOYAGE IN 2000
On April 8th, I posted this note to Talk 2000:
Did you catch the news yesterday about a South African firm which plans to build a replica of the Titanic at a cost of $477 million and would sail for New York from Southampton, England, on the eve of the year 2000? Reuters ran a news release on it.

This South African millennial voyage is two years earlier than the voyage planned by White Star Line Ltd, a Swiss-U.S. partnership which announced four days ago it planned to build its own replica to sail in 2002 to mark the 90th anniversary of doomed maiden voyage.

Reuters reports, "The ship will have the original Titanic's lavish details but will be fitted with high-tech engines, navigation and global communication facilities... The ship will be built in South Africa's Indian Ocean port of Durban." The ships interior will be built in the U.K.

The organizer claimed, "We decided that building the Titanic in South Africa will help the local labor industry and will be a great millennium project."

AFTER Y2K, D10K?
Charles Cameron hipbone@earthlink.net>contributed:
At the very bottom of a BBC news report entitled "Y2K: who will save developing world?" which you can get to from their larger Y2K site at: http://www.news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/special_report/1998/03/98/millennium_bug/

comes this cheery bit of news:

:: And finally...after Y2K, D10K? The Wall Street Journal has reported that experts
:: predict financial software may go haywire if the Dow Jones Industrial Average tops
:: 10,000 (it is currently at around 8,800). Many software programs are designed to
:: handle only four-digit Dows, according to one software designer, who says that
:: concern over the D10K problem could spawn another industry to fix it.

One has to laugh, one has to cry...

PROPHETIC CLAIM PROMPTS PEER REVIEW
The Talk 2000 Forum witnessed a fascinating interchange this month between millennial scholar Charles Cameron hipbone@earthlink.net> and Sakina 2000 advocate Chris King king@math.auckland.ac.nz>. On April 2nd, Cameron posted a small litany of questions for King, in the hopes that he would shed some light on his "sense of prophetic calling."

Cameron: You've put yourself "out there" on this mailing list, whose subscribers include a number of scholars of things millennial, as being in your own person "Christ the King", and told us that you've posted no less than "the Logos of the Millennium" in the form of your "Genesis of Eden" at

http://matu1.math.auckland.ac.nz/~king/Preprints/book/genesis.html

You've also announced "Sakina", a conference on and celebration of biodiversity and the renewal of the feminine spirit -- particularly in Jewish, Christian and Islamic cultures -- to be held in the year 2000 in Jerusalem:

http://matu1.math.auckland.ac.nz/~king/Preprints/book/dovcer/dov.htm

and told us:
> You're all invited. Surely you don't want to miss this one? It's the finale. Sakina
> is going to be the gnostic mystery play of the epoch. All those wild energies of the
> Mount of Olives from Zechariah and the Crucifixion pale. Have you booked your
> flight to Jerusalem yet?

-- but you also recently commented on Jay Gary's note about Jewish, Christian and Islamic millennial expectations and the dangers attendent on their convergence in Jerusalem in the year 2000:

> Now you can begin to appreciate how I feel. Why do you think I'm lying low?
> Sakina is not going to be a picnic.

It seems to me that some of your readers here -- the scholars of things millennial, at least -- should by now be "scholaring" you. And as one such, I'd like to ask you a few questions. If you weren't so damned articulate [GRIN], I wouldn't be so hopeful of receiving answers... but you are, so here goes.

Nearly three weeks later, Chris King "responded to Cameron's litany of questions:
> 1. Would you care to characterize yourself as a "rooster" or an "owl" in
> Richard Landes' terms?

....The Genesis of Eden is constructed to confound the dichotomy between nabi rooster and scribal owl by cutting digital logos straight from the source. That said, I intend to regain for the owl its haunting hunting cry.

It is clear I have to be the little red rooster with a bolt of lightning up my tail to even consider doing this. But the dawn hasn't broken. This rooster is ruru, a native night-hunting owl, staging a stealth raid (the Shulamite river) on the existential condition through intent. The 'dawn' is far from an inevitability. It will happen only if the collapsing millennial wave function is met with an impeccable sense of the moment....

I am a screech owl because all orthodox notions of the millennium are going to be scattered as the spring breeze. The proverbial sheep of fixed belief shall disperse once again, because the mandate of life is reality itself. This is the owl of wisdom in action.

But you have to know this from Sakina, I am the Dove of Peace bearing the olive branch of Renewal. Cool it male roosters! I have a friend in Jordan who follows the ancient arts. He sent me an olive jar from the Decapolis dating from the time of Jesus. It still has the fingerprint of the potter on the stem. With it is a dove's feather. This gift is dedicated towards peace in the Middle East.

> 2. As a "nabi" or seer, do you feel that predictions of specific future world events is a
> part of your calling?

Here's one. Transformation is a river of flowing prophecy. The gnostic essence is to transfer the prophetic condition to visionary democracy. Once the Feminine is truly free, we shall all have an equal democratic stake in calling the prophetic shots. The Renewal is a transformation in which women are, you could say, ascendant, but men share the consensus co-evally in a thrilling way - the fertility complement. That energy shines for the male. It's a win-win situation and it begets immortal sustainability. We are all waiting for this condition. It is a huge relief deep inside for everyone, for life's immortal web to continue unbroken. Is this a prophecy or is it a teaching, or is it nudging the bubble of perception through free-will? You tell me Charles!

The eucharist brings the prophetic fantasy down to democratic earth. If we all have a stake in the visionary condition naturally, we don't have to turn to spokesmen as interpreters. We can also laugh at one another.

> 2.1 Would you care to make, or have you made, any such predictions?

Prophecy is a heavy toll on the system. I had a horrific vision on the eucharist that my daughter would suffer a reproductive misfortune. It was a sacrifical nightmare. I tried to dispell it as a 'dark obsession'. I spent years guarding her. Seventeen years later her firstborn, and so far only child, was born with Down syndrome. Would you 'care to make' this prediction?

Most of my time I am riding shotgun for destiny. 'Working against all odds' to defeat the prophecies of doom. How can you be the wild card and call the pips at the same time? Poetry in motion doesn't wait for the fixed condition.

> 2.2 And to what extent should such predictions be interpreted "realistically" or
> "mythopoetically"?

Mythopoetically, but if the poet is in visionary mode, many things expressed will later turn out to be true. I don't accept for a moment this is simply Bayes' theorem in action - i.e. contingent probabilities leading to self-fulfilling prophecies. It is intrinsic to the subjective condition.

> 2.3 If so, are such predictions in the nature of "warnings" and "encouragements" --
> in other words, subject to avoidance or failure by virtue of human effort or divine
> grace -- or do they specify the inevitable?

.... Consciousness is not here to have dominion but to give us an intuitive edge. We can't control the lion's share of the transactional boundary conditions. It is a knack, not a deterministic skill. When Brandt Secunda was lying dehydrated in the desert, Don Jose Matsuwa dreamed him and sent some Huichols to fetch him (Genesis 'Twelve/3'). We have all but extinguished this form of consciousness through the mechanistic fallacy, but it IS the natural condition, so we all have access to it with care.

> 2.4. If you should make or have made such predictions, what should those
> who align themselves with you think (and do) in the event of their
> falsification?

....I try to work with a sense of destiny. I ask no one to align themselves with me but to use their free will to unfold immortal life. I predict we will succeed. Don't cast lots on a seamless garment. A prophecy! Genetics is that garment.

> 3. Do you have any comments on the ways in which diverse apocalyptic
> groups have manifested their visions in recent years? I am thinking
> specifically of the People's Church in Jonestown, the Branch Davidians
> in Waco, the Solar Temple in Canada, France and Switzerland, Aum
> Shinriku in Tokyo, Heaven's Gate in Rancho Santa Fe and the recent
> Taiwanese group in Garland, Texas.

Cult leaders have delusions of grandeur. They are trying to force the Kingdom, but "the female abides and cannot be hastened" (Graves King Jesus 1946). The therapeutic condition in this millennium is to heal science and religion and to bring about visionary democracy, not be a male leader who takes your followers into the valley of the shadow of death. I don't intend this fate for Sakina.

Personally I find guru worship grotesque. I am the noble savage. I follow the latchets tradition. That is, I stoop to the latchets of each gnostic partner, anoint the feet of each Magdalen in humble apology for the repression of the patriarchal epoch and treat each man as a cherished comrade. Sakina is destined to be a feminine revival. I am just the 'doorman'....

Charles, you are free to test me to see if I am also a cracked pot, but don't make the classic mistake. The Davidic messiah of Revelation is NOT here to be killed again, like the Josephic atonement messiah Jesus was. It would cause a very bad unhealing outcome. You are testing me now by civilized peer review and you can mock me in the Saturnalian robes of sarcasm if I don't deliver the immortal age. But don't kill me to see if I squirm, or the women will chop your knackers off in the night. This goes for fundamentalists and transnationals....

> 3.2 To what extent does public, media or governmental pressure on
> apocalyptic groups threaten to bring down precisely the kind of negative
> resolution is overtly seeks to avoid -- thus functioning as a sort of
> self-fulfilling prophecy?

The branch Davidians were pushed to the precipice and a big bomb went off later. Preach war and you get fallout. It's not just the apocalyptic groups, the whole Cold War mentality and the evil empire ARE Armageddon. We are still only scraping by, man against man. Greed is rife. Complacency is dangerous here.

> 4. Should your own vision of the future suffer a disappointment, what
> would your own response be -- or does your expectation perhaps include a
> "failure" or "delay" scenario, and if so, what can you tell us about
> it?

The only disappointment I face is the one I face now. One species (which may contain an anti-cancer elixir of life or the genes of a future evolutionary flowering) going down the tubes every six minutes. Each day I consider putting my sailing shoes on the mantelpiece to protect the safety of my family, but then the holocaust goes on. We don't do it for the rewards but out of exuberant free-will and grim determination. I'm giving what I can back while I am still jumping.

> 5. Do you have any comments on Joachim of Fiore's view of history as containing
> three "ages" -- the Age of the Father, "old testamental" and highly legalistic; the Age
> of the Son, "new testamental" and with much abridgement of the law, but with the
> commandments to love God and one's neighbor still necessary -- and the Age of the
> Spirit, in which law goes out the window altogether because love itself, in our
> hearts, can guide us....

Synchronicity and visionary poety to my ears. Love can guide us, but gnosis is love on fire - i.e. the visionary cosmic sense is love with Shekhinah's wings.

> 6. Is time itself in your view linear and progressive or cyclic -- and does "eternity" lie
> at the end of time, or within each moment?

Time is a complex relativistic dynamical system. Inside the world of teonanactl we can glimpse the eternal condition - to me it is like a living space-time hologram of history. I sense a vast sentient culture in the future and that what we do now will make or break whether we participate in this universal process of cosmic awareness or become a cul-de-sac. Either way it is glorious, and infinitely compassionate.

> 7. You have said:
> :: You are all about to become 'Christ nature' through an
> :: irreversible intellectual experience called learning.
> In calling this learning an "intellectual experience", you
> effectively sidestep the issue of whether the learning will be primarily
> a "book learning" -- ie one arrived at by reading your encyclopedia /
> logos -- or primarily an "experiential learning" -- ie one where the
> stresses and reliefs of the times will themselves "perform" the
> transformation. Any comments?

Learning IS irreversible. It is the kindest, gentlest, sweet revenge of gnosis.

Knowing is not just book learning because, as Lao Tsu reminded us, "The Way that can be told is not the Countless Way". I have had to abrogate the Bible and Qur'an and risk my life to free the female from the idolatry of the Book. Books are great. I have just written a big one which I hope will last 300 million years, but the wind blows through our hair and the Kingdom and the Garden lie before us.

For me a moonlit night under a manuka tree with the eucharist speaks wonders, but if I say that, I am likely to be sent to prison for blasphemy.

I have a very deep respect for the academic collegial tradition. I hope I am, in writing the Genesis of Eden, setting a new precedent, where religious works will henceforth be subjected to the sceptical tradition to knock their corners right off. Peer review is the 'acid test' of religious insight.

The passion drama is a great potential learning watershed, in the Dionysian tradition, but Sakina depends on women recognising soon enough that immortal fertility is the key. It's hard for women to spiritually trust a male enough to give their hearts even for Renewal, given what has gone down. I hope for our sake women rise to the occasion because it will be a living tide that shall never wane. We could save biodiversity overnight and bring world peace before you even knew it, (despite your Ghandis and Thatchers).

> 8. Finally -- and to give your evident exhuberance and humor a chance to
> express themselves after some fairly "serious" questions -- could you
> explain what on earth a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics is doing being
> Christ the King, or for that matter what Christ the King is doing being
> a Senior Lecturer in Mathematics?

Therapeutae have to address the existential dilemma of the epoch. I come from a medical family. My father and brother were both doctors and my mother was a nurse. I left for university a year early intending also to become a doctor, but by a twist of fate became a mathematician, after my father personally taught me the calculus. Mathematics is the keyboard of reality. It is our language of the universe. How else to pronounce the logos? You may as well ask why I am here in New Zealand when El Nino IS the 'southern oscillation'!

The Christ tradition is a universal world tradition, much older than Jesus and shared by Joseph, Quetzal, Dhu Shara and so on. Jesus used the fertility culture of Edom as much as Galilean Essene desert mysticism. That's why his impact was so infectious and he is a chamelionic enigma even to this day. The resynthesis puts the existential dilemma in fully archetypal terms - a paradigm shift. The same with the Genesis of Eden. All world mythopoetic traditions are part of the Jungian stream. All rivers flow into the abyss.

This epoch IS the climacteric of nature, so the Bridegroom appears naturally as the fertility hero doing what is necessary to undo the Fall of biodiversity - i.e. giving back the fruit and freeing Eve from bondage, instead of shaming her and trying to bring the Kingdom without the Garden. What else can her own consort, the 'Son of Man' - bene Adamah - do after all that has gone down? It's not just the witch burnings and Inquistion and stonings and circumcisions, but the rape of the whole planet!

.... And what of the insurrectionist? Wait for the gathering of the tribes! World biodiversity is being destroyed by multi-national corporations, none of which are democratically elected by the people of this planet.

After this response, King posted a "Sakina Peace Message" to Talk 2000 with this request:
> Please DO criticize this paper. This is setting the tradition of religious peer review so
> badly needed for a sane world.

Charles Cameron responded:
Well, Chris, you were kind enough to answer my fairly detailed questions a short while back, and I'd like to return the favor by offering my own critique of your "Sakina peace message". In what is almost your opening sentence, you declare:

> As the Bridegroom, it is my beloved duty

and I think you have already lost almost all your intended readers right there.

I don't mean that people won't read further, I think their eyes may well trace the rest of your message, and that their minds and hearts may in some cases find themselves in great sympathy with your analyses of many or all of the topics you discuss.

And I personally find your analyses on the whole agree pretty well with my own, and have the sense that you are providing a series of summaries of the situation which are valueable in and of themselves, quite apart from the issue of who or what is the Bridegroom.

The result is that I find reading your writings to be both fascinating and frustrating.

Fascinating because you bring together more of the "threads" than I am accustomed to seeing in one place, and particularly because you combine the biologic / scientific threads (eg the crucial importance of biodiversity as a non believing ecological activist might view it) with mythic / gnostic threads (eg the importance of wisdom as a non doctrinal gnostic or poet might view it).

And frustrating because your self-claim as Bridegroom, it seems to me, gets in the way of some otherwise very cogent and complete presentations of such important ideas.

It gets in the way of their listeners, it gets in the way of their delivery. Now there's something funny afoot here, and I think I can nail it down by recourse to your term "religious peer review": Who are the Bridegroom's peers?

There is a laudable Jungian view, much older of course than Jung himself, as almost all of his ideas are, that *hubris* is the tragic flaw, the risk run by any large or lofty human endeavor. And viewing oneself as "the Christ" clearly carries a hubristic risk with it, as witness the ward in a Jerusalem hospital dedicated to the care and cure of those who routinely get such ideas into their nogginses while visiting that Holy City ("the Jerusalem Syndrome"), and the strange and interesting tale of the Three Christs of Ypsilanti who, as I recall, worked out a far better arrangement among themselves as to their mutual Christhood than one might expect of three rival claimants to the same title locked up together in a mental instiitution -- see: Rokeach, Milton: The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, a Psychological Study, Columbia University Press, 1981.

I am not one of those who finds it a summary matter to dismiss any and all human claims to divine status, either: I recall the great Moslem mystic, Mansur al -Hallaj, who proclaimed that he was the Truth --"Ana-l Haqq" -- and was martyred on that account: see: Massignon, Louis: The Passion of Al-Hallaj, Mystic and Martyr of Islam, Princeton University Press, 1981. The debate still rages (as I understand it) in Sufi circles, between those who feel he died for "blurting out" a gnostic truth best kept hidden, and those who view him as having rendered a service in making such a proclamation at cost of his own life.

The "perennial philsophy" position as I understand it -- and I believe this persuasion to be far more widespread than the Christian heresy called gnosticism, indeed to lie at the heart of most if not all mystical traditions -- is that the thing we refer to as the divine, and which people therefore posit or refute, believe in or disbelieve in, as an entity outside us, outside indeed all times and spaces, is more properly understood as the "creative wellspring" of our being, the ground of consciousness itself, in us and in all things. It is that in which, knowing or oblivious, we "live and move and have our being".

[Obviously this by itself is not the orthodox interpretation, and it sidesteps the important cosmic question of the origin of the wider creation: it is also something that the doctrinally orthodox (eg such Catholic mystics as St John of the Cross) would view as needing to be dovetailed with and sharpened by revealed truth.

But it *does* take the argument of believer vs atheist away from a *purely* external focus, the focus on an "image" or "idea" of what God is vis-a-vis the creation and maintenance of galactic clusters, etc., and allow for an experiential and contemplative dimension of *devotion* which is, I think, much harder to refute from a "scientistic" and atheistic standpoint.]

I myself hold some such "perennialist" position, though I am I trust cautious in the extreme about making it into a dogma for myself, using it as a defence mechanism or basis of rationalization, and so forth.... I hardly think one can be a decent poet *without* holding at least some glimmering of this idea... What then to do about it?

There is a sense in which the poet speaks not from the egoic mind but from some deeper knowing -- gnosis would be the Greek term for this, surely -- though all the verbal skills of the egoic mind my be at the service of the utterance. With what voice, with what authority does the poet then speak?

I once tried to begin a poem about this question -- which I see as a "lesser analog" of my question for you, Chris -- and began with the words "I claim the highest authority"... fully intending a poem about the poet's status qua poet. It was instructive to see what happened: the poem refused to be about that topic, and phrased itself instead as a poem about the Fool, in the Tarot, and in the Court:
I claim the final authority,
speak from the steps below the throne:
kings look to me for approval, fool
that I am, for at court I alone
see all men as wind in a cage of bone.
There's a paradox here, the paradox of authority deriving from humility: in that the final authority speaks from below the throne, *sub umbra alarum tuarum*, under the shadow of thy wings, so to speak. And I think that paradox is an important one, ie that those who espouse the view that we are all "as gods" do so at their peril unless a vivid sense of their own dust-like insignificance in the vaster picture is also present.

Having said all that by way of giving a context in my own thought for what it to follow, I believe that anything but the most cautious statement of the principle, anything that looks like a truth claim for one's own divinity or special status is a very rapid road to being ignored by almost everyone in the western world -- and particularly by those who run organizations such as the Catholic Church.

There's an audacious quality to many of your statements, Chris: your "abrogation" of the Biblical injunction "thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" for instance -- and I certainly agree that the burning of witches on the basis of Exodus 20 is something which has in fact caused much unnecessary suffering in the past, and should not be encouraged in the future.

But I'd rather get this point across by vividly portraying the suffering, showing how the reading of Exodus in this sense is part of a pattern of reading which includes many other interpretations now known to be fallacious, from viewing Nero as a "sign of the end times" on, emphasizing the mythopoetic quality of scriptures, pointing out the weaknesses and dangers attendant on literal readings in general, and so forth...

Now I don't think that's an option for you, Chris, or at least not an option as you presently view yourself, though to may have been your option in the past. But I would say that *assuming* you intend to maintain your present sense of yourself roughly along the lines of "we are all like Christ in having the divine spark in hour heart" and "I have recognized this, and that in some way represents a special calling" -- your best bet is to *distinguish* what you are saying as a bright contributor to current world conversations about ecology, biodiversity, mythopetics, wisdom, the feminine and so forth -- all of which can and should receive "peer criticism" -- from what you have to say about your own "place" or "mission", which may not be susceptible to such an approach.

I would present the latter *afterwards*. And I would present it in the most explicit way you know how, with backgrounding in the sense in which from a gnostic / mystical perspective, we are all christs-in-potentia, the sense in which in the Catholic Mass, as I've said in another poem, the priest's and Christ's hands move to a single pattern, a single passion -- the sense in which you are saying no more of yourself than you would say of any other... And with a clear distinction made if you find such necessary, as to the specifics of your own position.

Not to provide this sort of (a) background and (b) clarity seems to me to make what you *are* claiming very hard indeed to swallow.

To say "I am thus and so" sounds very different from "stepping aside, I attempt to allow thus and so to shine through me" -- and I'm really not too sure how the balance between them works in your own case, how much of what you feel impelled to say about yourself is present in the second formulation. Making this more explicit, and phrasing these things in such a way that the reception of your truth claims about yourself interferes as little as possible with your truth claims about the human situation, would seem to me to be the way to go....

> I abrogate original sin

See the comments above regarding your status to make this abrogation. In my own view, the guilt-ridden abuse of the doctrine may need to be refuted, but the doctrine that there are obscurations which hide what zen would call our "original face" from most of us, and that we tend to side with them and become very uncomfortable when they are challenged, seems to me to be a useful piece of psychologivcal insight: compare the buddhist notion of avidya or ignorance....

Sheesh, Chris, I hope this is of some use -- and that you'll pick up on what I see as the *major* issue -- the question of just how the "inner christ" / "buddha nature" in everyone relates to your specific circumstances -- and clarify things a little farther.

Chris King responded to Charles Cameron:
Charles, T2k, thanks for the very helpful and insightful review and for the living poetry of perennial philosophy. I wish I could do what has to be done without adopting the 'Davidic fertility dance before the ark of the covenant' but it's not practicable.

I'm not making a 'divine claim' but a gnostic sociobiological challenge to hubris which has devastated the world and still pretends to universal authority. Fertility needs the Bridegroom now of all times. I am merely answering the call with the slingshot of Wisdom democracy. Whether the Catholic Church will be able to ignore this is something we will all have to wait and see. I certainly won't be calling the shots.

By comparison with the atrocious account of history, my expression of catholicism is the spring breeze, freeing from prison those that are bound by all forms of orthodoxy and repression. 'Knowing' stakes an irreversible claim by its very existence. Later you will all realize I pronounced in these very syllables the gnostic liberation of reality and nature. then you will come to realize the meaning of stealth.

Following this flurry, co-listowner of Talk 2000, USC Associate Professor Stephen O'Leary soleary@rcf.usc.edu> wrote:

I just wanted to thank Chris King, Charles Cameron, and Bob McClenon for their posts of the past few days. In my book Arguing the Apocalypse as well as the currently-in-progress -and-soon-to-be-completed A Prescription for Millennium Fever, I have tried to make the point that it is a serious error to regard religious claims as beyond the reach of rational argument, or to treat millennialists as necessarily insane or deluded, and therefore impossible to engage in reasonable dialogue.

Apocalyptic and millennarian thinking are widespread right now precisely because many of the assumptions that undergird this discourse, and the conclusions which are thought to follow from these assumptions, do appear reasonable to reasonable people. To take this discourse seriously requires us to treat its followers reasonably and engage in precisely the sort of discussion which I have found here on this list recently.

I find this sort of conversation preferable by far, and a necessary alternative, to the easy dismissal of messianic claims that allows (for example) government officials to surround a peaceful "compound" of believers and burn it to the ground. Such militant and coercive secularism is just as dangerous to public order and civil liberties as the worst excesses of millennial messiahs and the movements they lead. So, thanks again to all who have contributed to this discussion; and I look forward to following the dialogue as it proceeds, and perhaps even contributing to it. It's not often, after all, that claimants to the messianic throne invite us to criticize their proclamations.

Perhaps we could update Rokeach's Three Christs of Ypsilanti with a modern millennial anthology, in which a variety of claimants to the title of messiah, world redeemer, Maitreya Buddha, Kalki avatar, would be invited to submit a written statement making whatever case they wished to make, followed by responses and critique from the other contributors and from scholars. Just a thought......but I find it an intriguing one. Would anyone buy such a book?

New Millennial Sites:
"Here are new sites in cyberspace"

STATE OF THE FUTURE: "An Annotated Scenario Bibliography"
The Millennium Project offers a bibliography which gives readers a "taste" of plausible stories of the future through short summaries of what the scenarios are about, prefaced by reference information so the reader can locate the original material. Future scenario books are arranged under seven classifications, with the last being "Whole Futures."
http://www.geocities.com/~acunu/millennium/sof/app-f.html

Contact Information:
"Your link to the third millennium"

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