Kingdom of God (rewilding the bible)

Ah the names. I haven’t thought about the two names in Genesis for God in a long time. Personally, I think elohim as a plural really worked as a plural, and not as a “majestic plural” (like the Queen of England saying “we” when she really means “I”) and lingers as a throw-back to the polytheistic days of the Hebrews.

A friend and I had recently talked about how YHWH might have been some upstart spirit from the region who got tired of the other spirits like molech stepping on his tread, so he aligned himself to a particular group of people and tried to beef them up and get them to stamp out the worshipers of the other spirits. I mean, he does say that he’s a jealous god.

Interestingly enough, Abrams hit on a similar idea in The Spell of the Sensuous. He points out how the importance behind breath and spirit (the same word) and how the Semitic alphabet had no vowels, that one had to inspire the text anew each time one came to it, as well as the fact that YHWH often appeared as an atmospheric phenomenon like smoke or fire all seem to indicate that YHWH was a wind spirit who wanted to get the people to worship him and not any of the other spirits.

If you haven’t read them, I highly recommend The Spell of the Sensuous, Fenriswolfr, and also Daniel Quinn’s Ishmael for his take on the importance of the garden of Eden mythology and how it points out a lingering Leaver myth that got incorporated into the Taker mythology of the Torah.

By the way, I’m writing this response, having not read the links you posted, Fenriswolfr. I’ll try to take a look at them tomorrow and respond more fully to you. But the concept jogged some thoughts, and I wanted to get them out before I forgot them. :slight_smile:

An interesting article I found…

Points to the modern destruction of the world not because of adhering to Genesis… but rather because of removal of fear and freedom, and NOT adhering to the full of Genesis (the two parts together). He points out that Quinn only attacking the one aspect of dominion sets up a straw man. Idk I found this a decent read.
It’s funny though, the modern day freedom from fear, being touted by Bush and Gov’t, while sounding honorable, are simply using this to create more invasive and regulatory gov’t. Hardly Freedom if you ask me, and now I fear the gov’t more than anything else. Which is why the you shall know the truth thing hits pretty hard with me, that Jesus was saying don’t rely on the gov’t of men, but that of which I stated on my first post…

What’s in a name?

In response to the What’s in a name? site you posted.

To begin with, in our English versions the word “GOD,” when all letters are capitalized, has been translated from the Hebrew word Jehovah.

First of all, Jehovah is not a Hebrew word. It’s an Anglification of a Germanic transliteration of a compound of two Hebrew words that resulted because the Hebrews feared to speak one of them.

The Jews would not speak aloud the “name” of God, represented in writing as the four radicals (consonants) YHWH, so they used the vowels from the word adonai (lord) whenever they wrote it with the vowels (a recent practice) to indicate that the reader should say the word adonai instead of whatever lost pronunciation the word YHWH once had.

When the German theologians first stared a non-Latin translation, they didn’t understand the complexities behind this compound, and simply transliterated the word. In German, you would pronounce the J as our Y and a V as our W. So they transliterated the Hebrew letters Yod and Waw as J and V, respectively.

Now, that alone doesn’t necessarily discredit this author’s other statements. I just have a pet peeve against the misunderstanding of the word Jehovah.

I definitely think the author has a point in that the usage of different words to represent God indicates a purposefulness behind the original text. I don’t think it necessarily indicates the same thing he proposes. I don’t like the retroactive continuity of going back into the Old Testament and saying “this points to God as the Father, this points to him as the Son, and this points to him as the Holy Spirit.” The Trinity came about as a very late construction – well after Jesus’s time. And going back into the Hebrew texts to point to words that had a specific meaning for their original author and audience and twisting them to mean what we want for our current theology represents a mishandling of the original texts.

I definitely think the Old Testament had Messianic prophecies. Certainly lots of scriptures pointed to a coming Messiah. Hell, even some of the texts that gospel authors say indicated prophecies that Jesus fulfilled blow my mind because they don’t look like they have anything to do with Jesus – they seemed to have a very literal meaning for the original audience. Perhaps the gospel authors did some [acronym=retroactive continuity]ret-con[/acronym] of their own.

I think, though, that the different terms used for God in Genesis point more to the amalgamation of a text from different sources. I tend to think that the documentary hypothesis posits the best untangling of the different terms used for God.

What Hath Man Wrought?
Subduing, Dominion, and Cultural Location

[quote=“Fenriswolfr, post:22, topic:426”]An interesting article I found…[/quote]

In response to the Bangsund paper you posted a link to:

Indeed, “cutting trees aimlessly and burning forests are destruction not dominion”

But the purpose behind the “aimless” cutting and burning resides in domination. The statement makes it sound like the Tanzanians just run around willy nilly with saws and torches. But why do they cut and burn the trees? They don’t do it aimlessly. They do it with a specific aim in mind – to use the bark for their roofs, to take the land over for agriculture. To dominate the trees and land and put them to use for their own purposes without regard to the ecology. I think, contrary to his argument, that the cutting and burning, while destructive, very explicitly exemplify dominion.

Second, he makes the important move to Gen 2:15: “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.” This move is not new; it has been done before.10 And, of course, the point is that “subdue...and have dominion” is not the only command concerning creation in Genesis (and thus in “the Judeo-Christian tradition”). One must balance acts of dominion with acts of tilling and keeping, words that can also be translated “serving and guarding.”11 Failure to do so—referring only to Gen 1:28, rather than including Gen 2:15 in the discussion—brings about results typical of selective exegesis. Indeed, by so doing, White and Lynn are able to make Genesis appear to be the central problem rather than recognizing the problem as being certain misinterpretations of Genesis.

There are lots of different ways to look at the words “tilling and keeping” or in Hebrew 'abad and shamar.

'Abad could translate as till, serve, worship, embellish.
Shamar could translate as take care of, guard, watch over.

Whereas he seems to try to make a case that 'abad and shamar mean something like the “protect and serve” that you see on police cars, it could as easily mean serve (in terms of being enslaved to something) and guard (in terms of protecting it from some outside source.) You also have to take into account that this verse represents a command in the garden itself, before the curse and before the exile from the garden.

So if you look at it as a command that applies to the current agricultural situation, you could say it means “be a slave to the land and protect if from invaders.” Or if you look at in the context of Quinn’s depiction of pre-agricultural Semitic heritage, it might point to a history of permaculture among the early Semites.

I think we can’t ignore the fact that this command came right after God set man in the Garden. So to apply it to anything post-curse, you have to either see it as obsolete and overruled by later dictums like the post-flood command given to Noah and his sons:

Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand.

Or else you have to see it as a peek at early Semitic history. Which actually goes to support Quinn’s theory that Genesis depicts the Taker/Leaver split and that the curse represents the Leavers’ impression of the Taker mentality.

Sheiza makes an observation that too quickly gets lost or even dismissed in the (western) discussion. Immediately after his conversation with Musa Msagati, above, in which attitudinal changes are laid at the feet of Islam and Christianity, Sheiza writes, “The fear of the so called ‘sacred’ place has made possible the survival of natural trees, thus maintaining God’s creation. However, the fear had made people to be slaves instead of being free as God’s people”. Sheiza makes this observation casually, without “preaching,” several times throughout his paper. For him, it is a given, something which hardly needs to be said. Prior to the coming of the gospel, people lived in fear, and this was not a good thing. On this, too, I will have more to say below, because, for those of us from the west, this point is often not a given, and needs to be explained to us. Perhaps the “simpler” life was not quite as simple and peaceful as we would like to believe.

But the fear kept the people in a respectful relationship with the land. If you see that fear as a type of slavery, why not see the dominion as a slavery? In fact, I think the fear the people showed to the spirits of their sacred places could very well exemplify the worshipfulness of 'abad in relationship to the land.

Why would the past animist life of the people need simplicity or peace in order to work sustainably? Thinking of indigenous life as “simple” it think represents a fallacy of our perspective. Not to align their lack of simplicity with the complexity of civilization, but we need to understand that their relationship with the land worked as a tenuous balance. You need to kill in order to live, so you have to strike a respectful relationship with the things you need to kill – because your life depends on them. You can’t call that kind of relationship simple. It may not have the Rube Goldberg complexities of Civilization, but don’t mistake it for something as straightforward as taking whatever you want from the forest whenever you feel like it.

So, yes, the domination taking place in Tanzania directly results as a loss of fear. But it also represents the dread that God said all the other life would have of Noah and his sons.

One more comment on “What Hath Man Wrought?”:

Yes, cultural imperialism has been real. Awful things have been done in the name of Christ, and still are today. But, as Sheiza and the elders of his community would tell us, going back is not an option. Those among us in the west who speak, whether romantically or polemically, of simpler cultures that were better off without us have valid points to make. But that which must not be forgotten in the discussion is the qualitative difference between veneration and fear. Whether or not the ancient scars of that fear yet remain in our corporate memories, we have all “been there, done that.” We can never go back.

I agree that going back is not an option. We have to live with the legacy of Civilization and what it has done to the land, our minds, and the way we view life. But we can move forward past it. I think Bangsund would do well to examine his own comment about fear and veneration and see how they intertwine. Animism represents a relationship with the land as opposed to the Civilized relationship against the land. A civilized mind would certainly see the actions of the Tanzanians as fear and contrast them to their worship of God which they might call veneration.

But the so-called freedom one might get from Christ (which Bangsund venerates) poses the same problems that American Constitutional freedoms present – where does one draw the line between my freedom and yours? When does my freedom of speech impose on your freedom to not be slandered? Animism struggles to find that balance. It may look like fear of being dominated by the land (as opposed to the freedom to dominate the land) but I think it really boils down to respect for the things you draw your life from.

Maybe the Semites had that balance right back in the mythical Garden. Maybe the really did protect and serve the same way the Tanzanians protected their forest through their service to it. If you want to glean anything from Genesis, glean that: the commandment to practice permaculture. :slight_smile:

Rix just a quick reply, I’ll post more later, I thought about a lot of stuff last night… (when I usually do my thinking… lying in bed… ZzZz) and umm okay the first post, the guy actually makes a huge argument against the trinity, I think you think otherwise? He had two main points in his website, and that was to outline the dual/nature of God (Deity/Humanity) and dispute the Trinity.
I like your contrast to the ‘protect and serve’ - but just to note, the second God… the garden of eden one who said that… is what Quinn pointed to as the leaver.
But let me explain more later, I gotta run to school. I thought of a lot of interesting stuff.

Read Karen Armstrong’s: A History of God. YOu’ll find it very enlightening to find out how all that one-right-way-speak got into the bible in the first place. CHristianity was one philosopher and the oopinoin of an emperor form being an animist religion.

Okay first of all I have to lay down a few bases, 1. my reason for using the bible in ‘rewilding’ 2. The bible is about a Kingdom, not a religion 3. the whole genesis/dominion/caretaker thing 4. Cain and Able and what -should- be learned from that.

First of all I was raised Catholic for about the first 10 years of my life, then my mom remarried a mormon, so I met with a mormon church for a year or two… (but honestly did NOT understand some of the stories they told, and never became a mormon), and then we started going to a universal church where y’know they talk about Buddhism, meditation, a lot of Native ‘religions’, Hinduism, energy, crystals, we’d have drum circles, do all this stuff, etc. etc. It was actually kind of interesting even though my little Catholic self seemed to scream against it. That’s what a Catholic upbringing does to you. When that all stopped we stopped the whole religion, church stuff in every direction, by this time I was probably starting high school, and then got myself into atheism, Anarchism, Communism, witchcraft, Asatru, Runes, y’know, harry potter. Then a recently met a man (and the way I met this man to me is a rather large 'coincidence) who was talking about the ‘Kingdom of God’, and in my mind I kept seeing how it related to rewilding, and thus I was finally able to relate to the Bible. Now my biggest purpose in rewilding the bible, or relooking at the bible, because the bible itself is neither civilization, nor primitive/tribal culture, (but we might be able to see which it favours…), is that I feel that it can provide me with both the direction NOT to take to lead to civilization (in rewilding, remember how we can’t go back, but we can go forward, but perhaps its best to look back and see where everything went wrong?), and the legal ability to escape civilization and the ‘Kingdom of Man’ in favor of the ‘Kingdom of God’. Especially in our ‘civilized’ countries where we have our ‘freedom’ of religion. This takes religion to a political scale, no, not using the bible to influence politics… but using the bible in a way politics can understand, This is in effect what Jesus did, he didn’t come talking about a religion, he came talking about a Kingdom. And it should be noted that the Roman empire, was the closest example to the Kingdom of God that man could understand, it was the first empire that worked like the Kingdom of God worked… which might be why Jesus came during the Roman empire… See the purpose of the bible is not to create civilization, it’s about Kingdom. I hold a strong difference between the two. It’s hard I believe for people living in modern day democracies to understand the bible unless one understands a Kingdom. Okay basis #3. The dominion/caretaker, So Gen 1:26 says let US make man in our image… and let them have dominion. Okay in the bible dictionary, I find two definitions for let.
Let - To prevent, hinder, impede, or restrain
To allow or leave someone to do something.
So it appears we are allowed but also restrained and hindered from it as well. Though I am sure much less so now.
Then man is told to be fruitful, multiply, fill, dominate and subdue the earth. And behold everything on the earth was given to man… Okay second creation, and we don’t have one without the other, because it’s obvious having one without the other is a serious cause of hardship, as I shall explain. Man is told to ‘dress’ and ‘keep’ the garden. What is the garden? Basically it’s the paradise of God. So yeah these words are HEB for till, and w/e, basically lets, say work. Okay now, I don’t think Man first picked up the bible, realized he had ‘dominion’ over the earth, and then began agriculture, and began to destroy the earth. If we take the raw form of Man, without the bible, does this raw form, still have the ability for dominion over the earth? Does this raw form have the ability to work, to till, to care for the earth? I’d say so. So what’s wrong? I’d say in civilization, we have one but not the other. Lets put it to a ‘rewilding’ analogy. Lets say I go, and use some materials from the earth, and make a bow, dominion right? But how did I make the bow? Through work. So I used both dominion, and work, the two things man has been told to do, to create the bow. The raw material that makes me, has the capability to do this. Or like native peoples making a boat, etc. So what in civilization has man lost? Well, one of two things, we have some men who have ‘Dominion’ or rule, ownership, etc over land/earth, and some who work it. So some have one, and some have the other, the problem is, there are very few that have the land AND work it. Which I think, is what many people want to do on this site.

Now I want to relate this to the Kingdom a bit… in a Kingdom, the King owns the land, and the citizens work it, and are via citizenship entitled to use the ‘crown land’. It helps to note that one of the main goals of the Gods plan is to create a Kingdom of Sons. Not servants, if we were just servants we would just work the land. This raises the status of Gods Kingdom over the Kingdom of Men to me. So in this way, Gods goal is to create a Kingdom of Kings, Sons liable for the land. I mean okay natural ‘disasters’ come and destroy parts of the earth, and I’d say has many uses… But if you are liable for something, and you destroy the entirety. and the person who gave you the item comes back and finds out what you’ve done with it… I say what we’ve done with the earth is hardly God’s intention. If you want to say that man then shouldn’t have ‘dominion’, well whatever, but whether via God, or evolution, or w/e, this raw form of Man has the ability for it, and to deny that… well yeah… so sure you can say, no we don’t have dominion over the earth, don’t use it, don’t, w/e… well, sure this would halt the destruction of the earth, but then you may as well wipe man off the earth, I mean, look at how many different things we look at using, making, infusing, etc. here on this site. So perhaps that’s one of the reasons WHY man is on the earth, to see all the wonders of the earth, all the discoveries, the laws, and various uses from the ‘raw material’ of the earth. So really, its in the way its used. And I’d say it certainly has not been used well. Certainly we have made many scientific discoveries, and certainly these have often not been used well. So maybe it’s -our- purpose, us rewilding, to put this to a different use (perhaps of appreciation), and not to partake and use, the misuses that destroy the planet. Remember Liable, I’d say no one owns the planet, but we are all liable for it. The natural disasters, and the other animals, are NOT liable for it, while they do function, and do fit into the scheme of things, one would do well to note how each animal fits into it, this remains what man does well. Back to the Garden thing, put the earth like a garden, God’s garden, that man is liable for, (I’d also say man might be liable for the well being of his fellow man, another thing civilization has utterly failed and misused (because it can’t)). If I made someone liable for a Garden, and they mow half it down and build a shrine (city) to their greatness (or even greatness in my name), well… they might find me a little pissed. If I came back and the garden was still growing, because it had been tended in a sustainable way, yeah…
So what might this whole tree of Good and Evil and Tree of life be? Well first of all I want to point out that the tree of life, I see as a tree for man, and was taken away, when man ate from God’s tree, the tree of knowledge of Good and Evil. Hence God said, if you eat from this tree, YOU WILL SURELY DIE. So what does the serpent say to eve, YOU WILL NOT SURELY DIE (if you eat of the tree), you’ll just be more like God… So if God’s Tree was not taken away, but man’s tree was, I’d say we are still eating to this day from God’s tree. And as Quinn says, WE NEED TO STOP. What might This tree represent? Good/evil, honestly I think it represents Judgment. If you know the difference between good/evil than you will judge (and act) accordingly. Now Jesus talked about the whole bind/loose on earth, bind/loose in heaven thing, (Greek lock/unlock), I think this deals with three things mainly (but their could be more), Judgment, and forgiveness are only need mentioned.
Did Jesus not say…

Mat 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Mat 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
This all relates to how man through Jesus, can quit eating at Gods tree which causes the world this harm, and eat at the tree given to him… that of life… instead of eating from the tree of death…

Okay enough of that I’ve typed enough, onto Cain and Able.
I really don’t get why man has not learned more from this story… I think the religious folk seem to take this just as a story, and not something where one can gain something from.
Taking this from wikipedia… (and I’d inquire anyone to look up more on this…)
According to Genesis, Cain and Abel were the first and second sons of Adam and Eve, born after the Fall of Man. Cain is a farmer and Abel is a shepherd. God (called YHWH) accepts Abel’s sacrifice but not Cain’s, and in response Cain kills Abel. God curses Cain to wander, but marks him so that others will know not to kill him. Cain later founds a lineage and a city.
Modern scholars suggest that the story may have been based on a Sumerian story representing the conflict between nomadic shepherds and settled farmers.
Okay so Cain is marked, sparing his life, forced to wander (which he then settles down, builds the first city, which, also collapses on him). So I mean, it quite seems Cain is what we should not be? And yet I’d say this is quite the land of Cain… Able is looked at as the first martyr, kind of like Jesus, yada yada, actually this might be important, if Able is akin to Jesus, might it be better to follow his path, like that of the nomadic shepherd, than that of the settled farmer? HMMM looks like another thing this ‘Christian’ civilization has failed at. Actually lets call it Christianity of Cain. So here, we have the bible favour the nomadic shepherd, over the tiller of the ground, but, it might seem that God favours Cain because he curses him with the mark that no man should kill him. Well… I hold that that should still be taken to us rewilders, not to kill the farmer… not only because of course we’ll be hunted down… but then we’ll act as Cain did (the farmer does), and thus a vicious cycle.
And so perhaps this may result in why Cains way becomes more popular… farming, cities… because one feels afraid of death, and Cains mark seems to spare them from this… le sigh…
Oh also to note: the ‘walking with God’ it’s not, tilling the ground with God, or ‘settling the land with God’… but walking, I kind of like that, it fits my nomadic-ism-ness

Okay just my thoughts… -rewilding the Bible-

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One of the big things I am trying to point out.

Don’t know if I’m throwing a wrench in here or what, but I thought I’d like to this for fun:

These gods all had this in common: the lack of family ties to the humans over which they ruled.

See my Kingdom of Sons above… honestly I don’t see this to be at ends from what I get out of the Bible.

Okay, I hope this post really clears up the crux of the matter, and gets rid of the biggest myth of the bible, the one that separates man from the rest of the earth. Now regardless of what you believe, I am bringing up what the bible says here, and from those who get the soul basis off the bible. So remember, this is all according to the bible.

The myth of the immortal soul
(as presented in the bible)

I hinted to it when I spoke of the two trees, how God said you will surely die, and satan said ye will not surely die. And ever since then, man has believed to have an immortal soul, despite the fact God says you will die. I mean the Catholic church, the eternal soul, burning in hell for eternity, etc. etc. All (according to the bible) a big lie by Satan (the slanderer).

Actually, lets look at the whole SOUL thing in general, and why we (from the bible) believe we have a soul that is somehow different from that of animals. The biggest reason, is a bad translation of the Hebrew word NEPHESH. Here’s the KJV translation…

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)
The word "soul" to most people has become synonymous with immortality. Their soul lives for eternity. However, God formed man from the dust of the ground, and we know that our physical bodies die. Therefore, our soul must be a separate entity residing within our body. Consequently, great evangelists make statements such as:
            You have a body, but living inside of you is your spirit or soul. And when a person dies, what happens? The soul lives on.</blockquote>

Contrast this to “the soul (nephesh) that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:4)”

Okay so what does this word nephesh means and why does its mis translation have everything to do with how ‘people of the bible’ (for lack of a better term) see the world?

Nephesh occurs over 750 times in the Hebrew Bible. It is used to describe living, breathing, beings, both man and beasts. It is best translated as a "living breathing being." In the plural it could be translated as "creatures or animals that breathe."

further more…

The same Hebrew word nephesh was used to refer to all animals and man. One of many instances where it obviously referred to beasts is Genesis 2:19:
            And whatsoever Adam called every living creature (nephesh), that was the name thereof. (Genesis 2:19) 

So in the original Hebrew language, the same word is used to refer to man and animals. That word is nephesh. There is an excellent reason that the original inspired word of God used the same Hebrew word to refer to both man and beasts. The writers understood that all physical fleshy bodies are basically the same! They knew that there are two body types, physical and spiritual. In references to man, a separate word was not required since man had no preeminence over the other animals:

            For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. (Ecclesiastes 3:19-20)</blockquote>

So anyone see how this immortal soul myth for people of the bible might be the cause of extreme detriment to the earth?

so real quick, the bible talks of two different beings, nephesh, physical beings, and spiritual ones. This remains the same in the new testament, and a verse like this might confuse people… so…

Consider the following verse:
            And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28) 

Those who believe the “soul living within the body” myth might point to this verse as “proof,” as it indicates to them that they have a body and a soul. Since this verse is from the New Testament, the original scripture was probably written in Greek. In that case, the word translated as soul would have been the Greek word “psuche.” Psuche is correctly translated into English as a living being that breathes. Notice that this verse and many others indicate that the soul can be killed. That is, it is not immortal.

In actuality, this verse refers to the two deaths which can befall mankind. The first death that man suffers is that which terminates his short one hundred and twenty year maximum first physical life on the earth. This is the death which is spoken of as sleep or rest throughout the scriptures.

The second death is after the ressurection with the whole book of life, and throwing those into the lake of fire, which is the second death, which is permanent.
Yes that’s death, not eternal suffering, but permanent death. Of which…
…the dead know not anything… (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

So then, how is man any superior then the animals, if we are both from the same father (God) and the same mother (the earth) ? Does that not make the other nephesh of the earth our brothers and sisters?

so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast
So the difference only remains man is LET to have dominion, and tend the earth. Man is liable for it.

Okay now animism actually is the exact opposite of the bible, and yet comes to the same essential goal of those on this site, that I get.
taken from wikipedia… for lack of anything on my part better…

Animism was the term used by anthropologist Sir E. B. Tylor, as a proposed theory of religion, in his 1871 book, Primitive Culture. He used it to mean a belief in souls.

Most animistic belief systems hold that the spirit survives physical death. In some systems, the spirit is believed to pass to an easier world of abundant game or ever-ripe crops, while in other systems, the spirit remains on earth as a ghost, often malignant. Still other systems combine these two beliefs, holding that the soul must journey to the spirit world without becoming lost and thus wandering as a ghost (e.g., the Navajo religion). Funeral, mourning rituals, and ancestor worship performed by those surviving the deceased are often considered necessary for the successful completion of this journey.

Rituals in animistic cultures are often performed by shamans or priests, who are usually seen as possessing spiritual powers greater than or external to the normal human experience.

Kinship is central to Animistic systems. Everything is related in some way as kin, and if it cannot be found to have such a relation it often is not even deamed to exist. Thus animals are kin to humans and people often have an animal spirit.

On the other hand, some Wiccans may use the term animist to refer to the idea that a Mother Goddess and Horned God consist of everything that exists[16]. This Pantheism, in which God is equated with existence, is different from animism because it imputes value to individual living beings and/or objects only because they might reveal a larger reality or divinity behind everything. Animists respect beings for their own sake - whether because they have souls or because they are persons.

Pantheism (wikipedia): literally means “God is All” and “All is God”.

Remember what I said about what ‘end’ goal of the bible is?

that God may be all in all
1Cr 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

1Cr 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

This is slightly different from pantheism, because God IS not all, but God wants to be IN all. Man is not God, though made in God’s image.

But from this same reasoning I come to the kinship idea in animism. Where all have souls. So either way really, either all or none.
It’s the misconception of Christianity and the like that only man has a soul. And I’d suppose that Man in the end is given everlasting life, but then, wouldn’t the living beings have it too? So…
Any major heartburn with what I said?

oops forgot the link I’m taking my immortal soul info from…

Okay anyhow, I’ve got another post on this, that relates the bible and animism.

Okay, correct me if wrong, the hebrew text of the bible does not naturally contain a to-be verb?

MODIFICATION: Personally, IDGAF! Why should I!? From your examples and what you have said about the verb you don’t seem to understand it at all, to any degree anyway, nor do you seem to me to have a want to even ATTEMPT the use of it, but I donno! Keep trying! :slight_smile:

?? your post confused the crap out of me?


if your referring to my use of the verb I realize it, but sometimes fail horribly at it and don’t take the time to correct myself -_-

Okay, here goes.
In the above post I already stated that nephesh, equates to a breathing being. I would say that every nephesh is unique (through the spirit). How to make a nephesh? Well you take a body, and you give it the ‘breath of life’ and it BECOMES a living, breathing, being (nephesh).

Okay so an argument against the bible and immortal soul…
So their argument…

Clearly, man not only has a physical composition, but a soul which departs in death, but by the power of God can come back into a person.
So where does the soul go? This is the problem, they believe the myth they won't die, and believe the nephesh, breathing being, goes some place (depending). Which is where the ideas of purgatory, or heaven, or hell, and all come from. However, I would contend, that all nephesh go to hell, or the grave, and even it says Jesus did. Hell, is translated in hebrew as sh'ol (or abode for the dead)- or something of that effect, Sheol.
In the Hebrew Bible, it is a place beneath the earth, beyond gates, where both the bad and the good, slave and king, pious and wicked must go at the point of death.[2] Sheol is the common destination of both the righteous and the unrighteous dead, as recounted in Ecclesiastes and Job.
In the greek NT it's hades. contrast this to the lake of fire.. not the same.. idk.. maybe the lake of fire, is like.. the molten lava core of the earth type thing.. -shrugs- Remember though, how the -dead- know not anything. But I digress..

So their argument… continues…

Their souls, therefore, were still living because God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.
But a soul can be dead, the word dead and nephesh are found side by side in the bible. And they back it up with these verses.. quick note the slip.
The spirit departs the body at death. James 2:26 (it's actually this.. For as the body without the spirit is dead) It returns to God who gave it. Eccl. 12:7

Okay if you have an eye, maybe you noticed they changed the words on us, hoping we wouldn’t notice. Instead of the word, soul, they use the word spirit. First is the hebrew word ruach, and second the greek word pneuma.
Neither of these ever translates to “soul”.

Now for the spirit. In the bible I find three different uses of the spirit.
One is Spirit, the other spirit, and another word that links the two.
We first find the word ruach in Gen 1:2 And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. ruach elohiym. This has the capital S, and refers directly to God. The next direct translation to spirit is in gen 6:3
And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man.
In the bible this is refering to the fact of the fall of man, and that man shall die, for until then the only death was of Able. This basically refers to the fact that the spirit of god will leave them, and they eventually die. Also the word remains lowercase, in the fact it refers to men, when capitalized, it only refers to God.
The third ‘spirit’ link the spirit of God to the spirit in man. It’s found for the first time during the formation of man.

And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath (n-shamah) of life (chay); and man became a living (chay) soul (nephesh). See man becomes a chay nephesh, contrast to a dead nephesh. But the word I point out here the word ‘the breath (n-shamah)’

Consider this:

"All the while my breath (neshamah, pnoe) is in me, and the spirit (ruach, pneuma) of God is in my nostrils" (Job 27:3). [The "spirit" lives in the nose.]

“The Spirit (neshamah, pnoe) of God hath made me, and the breath (ruach, pneuma) of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4). [God’s “spirit” gives us life.]

“If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit (ruach, pneuma) and his breath (neshamah); all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust” (Job 34:14, 15). [Man cannot live without his “spirit.”]

“The spirit may be recognized as the life principle bestowed on man (and all life) by God,
the soul as the resulting life constituted making up the individual, the body being
the material animated by the spirit.”

Okay so what does all this have to do with rewilding you ask?
Consider this verse again:
"For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts (b-hemah); even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath (ruach, pneuma); so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit (ruach, pneuma) of man that goeth upward, and the spirit (ruach, pneuma) of the beast that goeth downward to the earth" (Eccl. 3:19-21). [There is no difference between the "spirit" of animals and the "spirit" of people.]
And both become nephesh..

So if nephesh is soul, and animism is that all creatures have souls… and the bible shows that all men and animals have ‘souls’ and ‘spirit’ as shown here, “so that men have no preeminence above a beast (b-hemah) for all is vanity”
Okay, here we get a bit of a problem don’t we, these translators suck!

First of all the words used are awful. The word “beast” makes it sound like zomg I r higher than a beast. Beast was chay in genesis, or life… which seems like obvious influence of the translators to the word ‘beast’.
And here beast is b-hemah, which translated first to ‘cattle’. I looked up this word b-hemah…from an unused root (probably meaning to be mute)… B-hemah is created in Gen:1 as ‘cattle’ and gen:2 when adam is called to name the cattle (b-hemah), I’m trying to find what distinguishes b-hemah from chay of the field, I think the chay of the field is a larger group that also includes b-hemah, which from what I find would refer to ‘beasts of burden’, like cattle and such… I think I found another meaning in which this word may refer to humans as well, in which it might refer to acting like a -dumb beast- (I suppose it’s easy to see how cattle can be seen as dumb…)

Gen 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast (chay) of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof. Gen 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle (b-hemah), and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast (chay) of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
So really, animals should not be translated as 'beast'.. but life (animal, or plant, or community), or at least . It's the same chay of man. And it says, one should not see themselves as above the b-hemah (for it is vanity).

I think the translators were very vain? And carried their vanity with it.

So quick recap, all ___ are “souls”, and all “souls” of the same “spirit”, and the “spirit” is what holds life, a soul can be dead, and according to the bible, the spirit when it departs the body goes back to God from where it came.

So umm… what does this have to do with animism?? Now I can’t say I’m super familiar with ‘animism’ except from what I’ve read and what not on it, so… from what I get from wikipedia and the like, is that basically, animism is the belief in souls.

Most authorities incline to the view that the idea of a soul is the original nucleus of the animistic system, that spirits are only souls that have made themselves independent, and that the souls of animals, plants and objects were constructed on the analogy of humans

so if nucleus of animism remains the idea of a soul, I’d say the bible is animistic, even to the extent that

many use the term "animism" to refer to a specific group of religions--specifically, religions that attribute souls to non-human entities.
It goes on to state
Animism is used primarily to group non Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions and to mark them as less "sophisticated" in concept because they lack the anthropocentrism (the idea that, for humans, humans must be the central concern, and that humanity must judge all things accordingly) found in Judeo-Christian-Islamic dogma.
Which.. I'd say is the "fall of man" (the judging). Which as noted, must stop..
Some evangelical Christians have also been critical, viewing a human-centered worldview, rather than a Christ-centered or God-centered worldview, as a core societal problem. According to this viewpoint, a fallen humanity placing its own desires ahead of the teachings of Christ leads to rampant selfishness and behavior viewed as sinful.

Lynn White sees the anthropocentric worldview that is due to Christianity as a cause of environmental degradation.

Now, I would in the context of everything I’ve said here, agree with the first part of that last quote, and also with the second, but not ‘due to’, but sadly carried on with… or due to if Christianity does not follow the bible
n some animistic worldviews found in hunter-gatherer cultures, the human being is often regarded as on a roughly equal footing with animals, plants, and natural forces. Therefore, it is morally imperative to treat these agents with respect. In this worldview, humans are considered a denizen, or part, of nature, rather than superior to or separate from it
I'd say this agrees with what I've gathered
In more elaborate animistic religions, such as Shinto, there is a greater sense of a special character to humans that sets them apart from the general run of animals and objects, while retaining the necessity of ritual to ensure good luck, favorable harvests, and so on.

From what I gathered, I would hold this ‘more special character to humans’ remains as that man was created in the image of God, and that if God created all things, than man can take on that ‘spirit’ (which comes from God, that ALL have) of any animal.
I think civ has taken to much to the ant/hive mentality… (specialized labour)
and needs to get back to that freedom which makes up man. Whether through ‘animism’, or looking Genesis in this animist way, rather than a vain interpretation.

Alright going to bed, I’ve been writing this for awhile… the other differences between ‘animism’ and the bible are not needed to go through at the moment… and I gotta sleep.

Resources: well there were more but this was the lol best one

The myth of the immortal soul (as presented in the bible)

This post is an effort to prove through Bible scripture that the immortal soul is a myth.

Two body types are described in the Bible, natural and spiritual. Natural is also referred to as terrestrial or physical, and spiritual may be referred to as celestial or heavenly:

There is a [b][u]natural body[/u][/b], and there is a [b][u]spiritual body[/u][/b]. (I Corinthians 15:44)

There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. (I Corinthians 15:40)

The two body types are celestial and terrestrial, and they are different. The glory of the celestial is one and the glory of the terrestrial is another. In other words, they do not mix. There is no hybrid consisting of a spirit or soul living within a physical body described anywhere in the scriptures! Man is a terrestrial body, and angels are spiritual bodies. Two trees in the Garden of Eden represented differences between man and the angels, the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the Tree of Life. When man sinned by eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge, he drew closer to God and the angels in that he could distinguish good from evil. After Adam and Eve sinned, the Tree of Life was still available in the garden for them to eat from and live forever. Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden of Eden to prevent them from eating from the Tree of Life!
And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, [b][u]lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever[/u][/b]: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. (Genesis 3:22-23)
Obviously at this point, neither man nor any part of man is going to live forever! He had the opportunity. Man was never commanded not to eat from the Tree of Life! Man could have eaten freely from the tree of life, but he chose poorly.

Now let’s skip forward to the New Testament. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, must come to earth and live a sinless human life so He can sacrifice His life for ours. The wages of sin is death and all humans sin. If Jesus lives a sinless human life He does not have to die and may give His life freely to pay the penalty for our sinning. But there is an obvious problem with this scenario. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and God is a spiritual body that lives forever. Spirits cannot be killed. That being the case, how could the Son of God die for our sins? The answer is in the Bible:

But we see Jesus, who was made [b][u]a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death[/u][/b], crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9)
Jesus Christ was made to be "a little lower than the angels," exactly as man was created!
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? ...For thou hast made him [b][u]a little lower than the angels[/u][/b]. (Psalm 8:4-5)
Both Jesus Christ and man were made "a little lower than the angels." However, we are given the [b][u]one, and only one[/u][/b], reason Jesus was made lower than the angels for His thirty-three years on earth. He could not [b][u]die[/u][/b] as a spirit! He was made lower than the angels so He could suffer death! That was the only change He had to make to become a human being! He had to change His body type from spiritual to physical so He could die! If the Son of God had to make only [b][u]one[/u][/b] change to become a human, then there is one, and only one, remaining difference between humans and the angels! That difference is a physical body versus a spiritual body. One characteristic now separates God and the angels from mankind! Still, many Christians point to Genesis 1:26 and incorrectly conclude that man is exactly like God:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness ... (Genesis 1:26)

We were created in the image and likeness of God, but not exactly like God. Otherwise, the Son of God would not have to be remade a little lower than the angels to become a human. When Jesus was asked how men could enter into the Kingdom of God, He gave only one requirement which man had to accomplish:

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)
Jesus is addressing living men who have [b][u]already[/u][/b] been born of water. Human bodies are approximately 70% water and were carried in the womb in water. Man is the only animal which may gain eternal life since he is the only animal created with freedom of choice. One must choose whether or not to accept Jesus as their Savior. Thus to enter the Kingdom of God, one must first be born of water as a human and not some other animal. No one has control or choice over their first birth. For those choosing to accept Jesus as their Savior, their second birth after Jesus returns to the earth will be a spiritual birth into the Kingdom of God. It is a real event, not simply some emotion! You are born a second time as a spirit, or born again. Therefore, the one remaining requirement for any existing man or woman to enter the Kingdom of God is to be born again as a spirit! This birth [b][u]is[/u][/b] optional, you choose or reject this birth. Man must be born as a spiritual body to enter the Kingdom of God because flesh and blood physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God:
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall ([b][u]future tense[/u][/b]) also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that [b][u]flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God[/u][/b]... (I Corinthians 15:49-50)
The two body types defined in the Bible, physical and spiritual, each require a separate and distinct birth:
That which is born of the [b][u]flesh is flesh[/u][/b]; and that which is born of the [b][u]Spirit is spirit[/u][/b]. (John 3:6)
Conclusion: There are two body types and they do not mix. Each type requires a separate and distinct birth. Jesus had to take on a physical body to die as a human, and man must be born again as a spirit to enter the Kingdom of God. Man was ejected from the Garden of Eden so that he could not eat of the Tree of Life and live forever. But Christians shall bear the image of heavenly bodies in the future. They do not bear it presently. If you do not have a spiritual body, you are not immortal. Immortality is a gift in the future for Christians, not a birthright:
For the wages of sin is death; but the [b][u]gift[/u][/b] of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

This gift is awarded to those believing in Jesus as their Savior from sin at or after the Second Coming. Therefore, the belief that all mankind is born with an immortal soul is a myth!


I fail to see how the presence or absence of an immortal soul relates to rewilding.

Please tell me your understanding of rewilding and how this thread supports others in their journeys of rewilding.

I fail to see how the presence or absence of an immortal soul relates to rewilding.

Please tell me your understanding of rewilding and how this thread supports others in their journeys of rewilding.

I was supporting Fenriswolfr’s statement in post #31 that the immortal soul is a myth.

Hmm well, I had posted it in my write of the Soul/spirit as presented in the Bible overall, and how it relates to animism (or how animism relates to it >>), I think the poster after me… just came to post because I had quoted some information on his site.

The nature of the soul/spirit, I feel however, holds importance to rewilding, and that a twisted view of it (especially if the views are based off a religion based off the bible…) not only implants the perception of the Bible as an opposing force to rewilding. My goal was also to reveal the nature of the ‘soul’ in the bible, in that it related to both man and animals.
The immortality view leads to the separateness I think some have said earlier on how the Bible goes against rewilding.
It may however, reveal a fundamental difference that lays in the Bible as opposed to virtually every other belief system.

Much of this immortality view comes from greek-roman philosophy, like that of the views of Plato and Socrates, and because Christianity has so famously intermingled with so many other religions and philosophies (look at ‘christian holidays’ for example)… here is an interesting look at the contrasting views of Jesus and Socrates.

Socrates: The body is a prison
Jesus: Body is a magnificent creation

Socrates: Body is temporary
Jesus: Body destined for resurrection / everlasting life

Socrates: Death is the door to the heavenly abode
Jesus: Death is an enemy to be destroyed

other views
Socrates: Death the avenue to achieve personal authentic living
Calvin: “The body which decays, weighs down the soul… confining it with an earthly habitation.”

etc. etc.

Anyhow, I don’t believe I share all the same views of the Bible as the previous poster from whom I took some work from, I don’t think his intent was to come here to post on rewilding and the Bible, but to support my statement and share his views.

I hope others do not see this as me merely sharing my views, but that my purpose here is to view and use the Bible in a way that promotes many of the same essential principles this site holds, and with their being so many people in the world who practice the many different religions, this seems like a good means for me to share with others to come out, out of babylon, out of the ways of life that so damage this earth and everything that lives on it.

Anyhow as I said, as I continue to learn I’m sure I will rescind or change some of the things I say, but I am working to create the best argument I can.