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Saturday, September 30, 2017

On the Freedom to Marry - Part VIII

It may come as a surprise to some, but gay people have children.

They have children of their own. They have their own progeny. Gay people procreate.

The children of gay Americans are American children.

Sometimes their children are born from relationships that did not work.

Sometimes same-sex couples, like opposite-sex couples, engage surrogates and sperm donors to facilitate their procreation.

Gay people have children.

Sometimes they adopt children who are orphaned, unwanted, or not able to be cared for by their birth-parents. They foster children under the aegis of the state, or as a service to members of their own family.

The children of people in same-sex relationships should be able to witness and experience the relationships that their parents are in, and behold them as fully legitimate.

Like me, and like my younger brother, they should be able to say; “my parents are married.”

The act of denying women and men the freedom to marry the person they choose, according to their own desire; has harmful consequences that reach far beyond those relationships, that reach into the lives of the generations that follow them.

Stigmatizing the relationships that their parents are in through classism, and legalized discrimination, can only serve to undermine respect for the institution of marriage, an institution that is at the heart of the American social order and the foundation of our society.

The sad irony is this, fighting against the freedom of same-sex couples to marry, far from defending the institution, actually delegitimizes it, undermines it, generates resentment for it.

Americans are intuitively distrustful of privilege, and unconsciously gravitate toward the “underdog.” If we were to bring this classism back and preserve marriage as a benefit for opposite-sex couples only, fewer and fewer heterosexual boys and girls will want to participate in it themselves.

When I was eighteen years old I rented a room in a house that I shared with a lesbian couple. Twenty-nine years later those two women are still together as a couple. They are the primary caregivers to a pair of their grandchildren.

Imagine explaining to those children why these two women should not be able to have their relationship fully endorsed by the state.

Imagine telling them why their two grandmothers should not be married.

Imagine it.

Tell me about the harm that is done to the institution of marriage, not your narrowly defined traditions, but to the institution of marriage, by allowing these two women to be married, to have their license and be wed; tell me how they would not be harmed if we were to return them to the status of second class citizens,

Tell me that, and I will tell you of harm done to their grandchildren by seeing them so mistreated, then you will have to tell me how this is justified in order to preserve a traditional model of marriage.

Tell me of what that reasoning is and I will show you how you are confused.


Friday, September 29, 2017

On the Freedom to Marry - Part VII

When we are faced with something new, something like same-sex marriage, if your imagination fails you and you cannot find a provision in your tradition that allows a woman to marry a woman or a man to marry a man. The solution to such a failure can often be found in creative thinking, with dialogue, by sitting down at the table and talking to one another.
In America, right now, in 2017, just two years after United States Supreme Court established marriage equality as the law of the land. Our current President is talking with his most ardent supporters about stacking the courts at every level, with justice who will work to overturn that ruling.

Law suits are being filed, laws are being passed in the states and ruled on by lower court justices, in a way that creates constitutional conflict, guaranteeing them a path to a new decision by the Supreme Court.

The battle is not over.

Rights once granted, must be fought for in order to be preserved.

These people who enact new laws, that forbid men and women from marrying the people they love, the people they choose, forbid them because they are different, curtail their freedom even though they are American citizens, because their sexuality, sexual preference, gender identity differs from the majority.

It is because we focus more on our differences from our brothers and sisters, than on our sameness as Americans, as human beings and as children of God that we create and foster this utterly bigoted, immoral, unconscionable and Un-American classism.

Not only does this classism harm the individuals who are targeted by these laws, it harms their extended families, their children included.

These prejudices, and prejudice of any kind harms all future generations of Americans.


It harms our posterity.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

On the Freedom to Marry - Part VI

Because I do not fear the marriage of same-sex couples, it is difficult for me to comprehend the fear that other people have regarding it.

Fear itself is irrational.

Many people fear the unknown, fear change, fear what is different.

I have heard it said by the opponents of same-sex marriage, that same-sex unions; threaten, undermine, weaken the institution of marriage among opposite-sex couples.

I have seen no evidence for this, and though evidence for this has been asked for in court, none has been presented that the courts have taken seriously.

Nevertheless, opponents of same-sex marriage feel that this is true.

They believe it.

The D.O.M.A. law (Defense of Marriage Act), which has been declared unconstitutional, illustrates this point.

Opponents of same sex-marriage believe that the institution of marriage is under assault, that they have lost a major battle, and that the war against the freedom to marry is not over.

They believe that their own marriages are threatened by the marriage of same-sex couples. As a result, they believe that their traditional way of life must be defended.    

Until the twenty-first century, in America, there had not been a tradition allowing same-sex couples to marry. However, in America, traditions change, grow, and become more inclusive.

Right now, in America, we are doing something different. This does not happen by fiat, there is no automatic process at work. Changes in traditional ways of life, traditional points of view, traditional beliefs, do not come without struggle. There is always a push and pull, and then a watershed. America is changing, even as one group of Americans grow more and more accepting of same-sex relationships, another group becomes more recalcitrant. One group of Americans seeks to use the powers of government, and law to narrow the franchise of citizenship, while another group struggles to expand it.

This is a tug of war, and the rights of every citizen hang in the balance.



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

On the Freedom to Marry - Part V

The shameful truth is this. We live in a classist society now.

Women and men in same-sex relationships have been granted the freedom to marry, but those freedoms are under assault. They are being challenged in the courts, in state legislatures, by private citizens, at every level in our society.

If those retrogressive forces get their way, they would deprive homosexual couples the assurance that all heterosexual couples enjoy, and expect, simply because they are married. At the most critical moments of their lives, when they are sick or dying, or when tragedy suddenly strikes, they would deprive American citizens of the right to visit their loved ones in hospital rooms, protection in court, and the right to make decisions on behalf of their spouse.

We live in a classist society right now.

It is shameful.

The division between classes is different than that which was between the patrician and plebian, the commoner and lord, the freeperson and the slave. The markers of classism in our society are less obvious than they once were. We do not mark our class by the color of our clothes, by who is entitled to wear purple or don the top hat, by who is allowed to learn to read and write, or vote. The markers of classism in our society today are different, but no less distinct, and no less defiant of reason to uphold it.

Classism in our society is not codified in law, it is upheld by cultural norms, and goes beyond the present discussion on the freedom to marry. Classism in American is promoted by the ever shrinking European American majority as means of dividing and oppressing any group of citizens in the minority; by religion, by language, by ethnicity, by the color of their skin and by their sexuality.   

As Americans, it is our duty to resist the temptation toward these old habits of bigotry. Whatever troubles the institution of marriage is having among heterosexual couples; whether it is a rising divorce rate, marital infidelity, the increasingly public exposure of spousal abuse, or simply the fact that fewer opposite-sex couples are entering into marriage; whatever social forces caused these troubles, the existence of these troubles is no reason to fear the marriage of same-sex couples.

Same-sex couples around the world who are seeking the right to marry, do so because they ardently believe that the institution of marriage is a good in and of itself. In America they fervently strive to preserve this right for themselves, a right that all of their heterosexual peers posses, and give no thought at all to whether they might be allowed to be married, or not. For same-sex couples in America, it may prove to be merely a privilege, one that can be granted or revoked at the will of a simple majority on the Supreme Court of the United States


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

On the Freedom to Marry - Part IV

The act of denying a woman or a man the freedom to marry the person of their choice is just as wrong as it would be to force someone to marry against their will, which is still commonly done, and is in fact the tradition, in many parts of the world.

To deny a woman or man the freedom to marry a person of their own sex is just as wrong as denying two people from two different ethnic backgrounds the freedom to marry one another: a person of European descent the freedom to marry a person of African descent, Asian descent or Native American descent.

It is wrong.

At an earlier moment of our history, in different places of our country, this kind of discrimination was legal. We permitted our prejudices and fears to overwhelm our sense of justice and thereby denied women and men the right of self-determination.

We moved past this because it was wrong, because it is Un-American, because it strikes against the basic notion that all people are created equal, equally loved by their creator, equal in dignity and equally entitled to make free choices regarding how they worship, and where; regarding who they associate with and love.

In America, according to our best traditions, our way life changed and our laws eventually caught up with our conscience. We overcame this form of bigotry, this fear of mixing the “races,” this racism and racial discrimination, but we have not overcome bigotry all-together. We still fear, hate and discriminate against our neighbors. We tolerate it when it is directed toward our friends and family when the issue is human sexuality.

It is one thing to discriminate against people in your private life. As Americans, we have the freedom to assemble with people of our own choosing. No one can force us to befriend people we do not want to befriend.

It is sad to live in fear; I think it is, sad to watch someone who nurtures hate, intolerance and bigotry. However, I am moved by more than sorrow when those people seek to enshrine their fear and bigotry in the laws of the United States.

I am moved by anger when I see injustice, and moved by pride in my American heritage to fight against it.

I am moved by the ideals of the founders, moved out of desire not to be shamed by the generations of Americans who went before me, who gave their lives in the struggle to guarantee freedom and equality for all citizens, for all people


I am moved out of a desire not to be shamed by those Americans who are fighting and dying still, for the protection of those same rights, especially those Americans serving in the armed, defending the nation even though many would have us return to treating them like second class citizens.  

Melancholia

An ocean of tears
Shed in sorrow and silence
Voiceless agony

Angel, have mercy
Sing, wash me in your echo
Your cleansing music

The withering world
The divine presence binds me
I will not perish

Free me from myself
Intoxicated by light
Memories of love

Calm me with reason
Soak me in lucidity
Lift me from sorrow

A brief affair, love
Perpetuate the moment
Being, in silence

Falling, I will not
Make a sacred offering
In the deep abyss

Fall back into dreams
Ethereal perturbations
Slipping past the waves

Set the world on fire
Raise me to your orbit, lift
Set me in the stars

#Poetry

#Haiku

Monday, September 25, 2017

On the Freedom to Marry - Part III

The Declaration of Independence (adopted in Congress on 4 July, 1776) states, that all people are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, such as: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The Declaration states in its preamble that the purpose of the American legal code is to form “a more perfect union…to establish justice…and to ensure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

The perfection of our union demands, that the establishment of justice be moved to extend the full franchise of citizenship to all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, or whatever it is about them that the majority does not like.

The perfection of justice demand that all of our fellow citizens be free, and be able to live out their lives in pursuit of their happiness.

To take up the pen and fight for these truths, to fight for the recognition of truth, and the equal application of these principles in the lives of all people, is the essence of what it means to be an American, or a citizen of good conscience of any nation, anywhere in the world.

To place limits on who is protected by the Constitution, to curtail the rights of individual citizens or groups, to deprive them of life or the richness of married life, to rob them of their liberty-the liberty to choose their own spouse, to censure their happiness by denying them the right of self determination, simply because they have a different sexual orientation than those in the majority, that is to argue for the establish a classist society, of the type that we Americans rejected long ago, which we rejected in principle when our founders wrote those charter documents.

I was raised in an inter-racial family.

My European-American mother was born in 1940 and spent part of her youth in the segregated South.
She remembers the era of Jim Crow, which both shames me and pains me to imagine.

In America, not very long ago, my European-American mother and my African-American stepfather would have been denied the freedom to marry one another due to the fact that they are not of the same “race” (an arbitrary classification).

If that had been the case, my younger brother would not have had the benefit of growing up in a household with married parents. I would not have had the benefit of seeing my mother’s relationship with my stepfather legitimized by society. A marriage license would not have been granted to them. Even if they could have found a minister, a rabbi, a pastor or a priest to perform a wedding service, their union would not have been recognized by the state.

That would have been reprehensible, morally objectionable, and a crime against humanity.


Sunday, September 24, 2017

A Homily – Matthew 20:1 - 16 ©

The Gospel According to Matthew – 2017.09.24


The Way, and the Gift of Love

This parable represents the true teaching of the church.

It is one of the most commonly repeated themes, and it is a message to every person who would claim to be a follower of the way.

If you follow the teaching of Jesus you will be rewarded; you are in fact rewarded in the simple act of following.

In keeping to the way, you bring Heaven to earth.

The way is not toil, that it may require a lifetime of work, the way is gift, that when received, is shared with others.

In following the way, we do not layup treasures in Heaven; we do not amass wealth, privilege or honors.

God, the creator of the universe rejoices and gives the same blessing to the first as to the last.

The way is gate to eternity, and in eternity all talk concerning the duration of time, is meaningless.

In the eyes of God, the bishop is the same as the priest, the same as the parishioner, they merely have different duties, they are each beloved, and they are not beloved more or less than the parishioner, just as the sinner is not loved more or less than saint.


Workers in the Vineyard

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner going out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. He made an agreement with the workers for one denarius a day, and sent them to his vineyard. Going out at about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the market place and said to them, “You go to my vineyard too and I will give you a fair wage.” So they went. At about the sixth hour and again at about the ninth hour, he went out and did the same. Then at about the eleventh hour he went out and found more men standing round, and he said to them, “Why have you been standing here idle all day?” “Because no one has hired us” they answered. He said to them, “You go into my vineyard too.” In the evening, the owner of the vineyard said to his bailiff, “Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with the last arrivals and ending with the first.” So those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came forward and received one denarius each. When the first came, they expected to get more, but they too received one denarius each. They took it, but grumbled at the landowner. “The men who came last” they said “have done only one hour, and you have treated them the same as us, though we have done a heavy day’s work in all the heat.” He answered one of them and said, “My friend, I am not being unjust to you; did we not agree on one denarius? Take your earnings and go. I choose to pay the last comer as much as I pay you. Have I no right to do what I like with my own? Why be envious because I am generous?” Thus the last will be first, and the first, last.’


25th Sunday in Ordinary Time


On the Freedom to Marry - Part II

In 2012, we reached a turning point in our culture.

For the first time ever, the freedom to marry was granted to same sex couples, not through the courts, not through the legislature, but directly, by the voters themselves in three states; Maine, Maryland, and Washington. By the process of voter referendum, same-sex couples were granted the right to marry.

At the same time voters in Minnesota rejected a voter referendum that would have enshrined Minnesota’s opposition to same-sex marriage (already denied by state law), in its constitution.
 
A watershed moment had come.

In June of 2015, in a five to four ruling, the United State Supreme Court determined that same-sex couple nationwide had the right to marry.

This is now the law of the land, but the struggle for marriage equality is not over.

Since the Supreme Court ruling, there have been numerous challenges to the rights of American citizens. Clerks in government offices have refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, bakers, and caterers and wedding planners have refused to serve same-sex couples, citing their freedom of religion and their moral objection to same-sex marriage as the grounds for their refusal.

There are tens of millions of Americans living in every state of the union, holding positions in government, on our courts and everywhere that we can think of who would if they could see these rights overturned.

The struggle for equality, for these basic human rights, goes beyond our borders, all people of good will must keep up the fight for these and every other protection to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that are under threat by institutional bigotry, racism, and hatred, by the spirit of injustice everywhere. 

Let me be clear and let me reiterate. To deny women and men the freedom to marry the person of their choice is Un-American.

It is wrong in many ways.

It is wrong because it is an affront to the basic values and beliefs of American culture, tenets which we hold to be both true, and self-evident, principles that are enshrined in the charter documents that served as the justification for the foundation of our nation.


These principles must guide us. If we are not led by them, we will never be able to exercise leadership in the world.

Emergence, In Fifty-five Words - Section Six, The Empire; Part Thirty-six, Servant, Collected Chapters



Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 260, September 17th, 2017

Chapter One: The Oppressed

Every civilization founded by the children of the Ancients was absorbed by the Empire.

Imperial governance was uncompromising, ruling with power, and fear, while crushing the people.

The Empire sought to control every aspect of the individual’s life, down to what they thought; everything they did was for the sake of the drama it produced.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 261, September 18th, 2017

Chapter Two: The Suppressed

Throughout the Empire dissent was punished with brutish joy.

Imperial police delighted in torture.

The extreme emotions such scenes produced fed the appetites of the Continuum, and the Collective as well, getting them intoxicated on fear, pain, and remorse.

A charge of dissent was not limited to aberrant behavior, it also included speech and thought.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 262, September 19th, 2017

Chapter Three: The Repressed

For the citizenry, living under the heel of the Imperial police was a constant struggle.

The way of life was to go unnoticed, to blend in; these were the keys to survival.

A family might cultivate these skills, and live unremarkable lives for generations, only to be cast down for the sheer pleasure of it.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 263, September 20th, 2017

Chapter Four: The Depressed

Apart from the upper classes: the nobility, the religious orders, the military, the lives of the people were sorrowful. Most were angry, without hope, desperate and alone.

Even those in the upper hierarchies spent their lives filled with dread, competing for place, and prestige, always uncertain of when they might be called upon to sacrifice.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 264, September 21st, 2017

Chapter Five: Hostage

Before he developed a conscience, he was a media darling. Even in his youth, when he was a part of the rebellion, a terrorist.

His motivation was anger not altruism.

At that time he was fighting for himself, against himself.

As he learned to love, he turned his attention to the plight of the people.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 265, September 22nd, 2017

Chapter Six: Victim

The Imperial powers built him up, they reveled in his celebrity.

He was the brilliant rebel, the unfailing hero who could endure everything.

They took their time, and charted the limits of what he could endure, then took him down, crushing him absolutely.

He became a sacrifice for the Empire, a holocaust, a burnt offering.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 266, September 23rd, 2017

Chapter Seven: Convert

In that moment, when he lost everything, even as he was forced to watch the Imperial torturers grinding the life out of the few people he held dear to his heart, even as they lit his own flesh on fire, he relented.

At that moment the Continuum restored him to life, a newly created superstar.

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Emergence 2.0:
Section Six, The Empire

Part Thirty-six, Servant

Collected Chapters
01 The Oppressed
02 The Suppressed
03 The Repressed
04 The Depressed
05 Hostage
06 Victim
07 Convert

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

On the Freedom to Marry - Part I


It is wrong to deny women and men the freedom to be married.

It is wrong and Un-American.

It is inhuman, against humanity.

There is a continuing struggle over civil liberties and human rights in our culture, and around the world. It is a struggle that divides Americans at every level; in our governments, in our churches, even friends and families.

This debate must be conducted on clear terms, and while it is true that the American people have found justice in the struggle for marriage equality, the risk is still great that this justice is merely a temporary reprieve.

Rights that are acknowledged in one decade, can be rescinded in the next.

We must be diligent, we must jealously defend the rights of all Americans, take up the cause on the world stage, albeit as late comers, but nevertheless as champions of human dignity for the remainder of the world whose cultures are still struggling with these basic rights. 

This discussion surrounding marriage equality needs clarity, because it is all too often confused by a whirlwind of emotions, rhetoric and religious fervor; it is obfuscated by legal jargon, pseudo history and dubious theology.


As a Christian theologian and historian who believes firmly in the separation of church and state, as a person from a multi-racial family with a lifelong interest in civil rights and the full enfranchisement of all citizens, as a veteran who served this country out of a firm belief in American values and the guarantee of freedom for every individual, as a heterosexual male raised in one of the largest homosexual communities in America, as a person who has worked and played with, befriended, worshipped beside and loved gay men and women, all of my life; as an American, I feel a calling to raise my own voice in the face of the storm, to still the whirlwinds of protest and oppose those people who would like to put, my friends and family, my neighbors, my fellow Americans back on the outside.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Attached to a Phone Cord

It was an image out of time
A man walking with telephone in hand
The long handset at his right ear
The bulky base hanging from his fingers
At his waist, the curling cord
Like a bandolier across his chest
A long cable trailing along the floor
A slender, flat worm, fixed to the wall
Shifting as he paced around the room
Watch, as from time to time he switches
The parts of the phone form hand to hand
Pausing for a moment to cradle the handset
Between his shoulder and his ear
The phone base swings from left to right
The handset mid-sentence, from right to left
An archaic dance, a vision from childhood
When we were tethered by the cable
To the phone, by the cord
Within which electrons flow
As now they pass right through us
Ten thousand conversations at a time
Binary signals in the ether, invisible fingers
Digital ones, and zeros, drawing pictures
Touching nerves, Inside us

Read at Poets and Pints, 09.20.2017

#Poetry
#PoetsAndPints

#SisyphusBrewery

Winning Entry - The Sun Times 55 Word Short Fiction Contest 2017

Chapter Three: Portents

Jim projected a profound sense of doom, of danger. It lingered in the vacuum that was left when he departed. The strength of it filled Kathy with unease, as if an event were about to happen that would stop everything.

She looked around and saw the world covered in ashes, with everyone choking for air.


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Read at Poets and Pints, Minneapolis 2017.09.20

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Cult

The world is full of rage and violence
Children of the first world sleep, and dream
Lazily, as untroubled as the lotus eaters, lost
Victims slumbering like Circe’s swine, fat
Fed and herded by their glowing screens
In quiet anonymity, to the digital slaughter
The abandon of youth, bucolic and confused
They attend the altars, sleep in high places
            On beds in the ether

This tortured world is angry, desperate
Its children consumed by a relentless hunger
Six billion bodies, in a sacrifice of blood
The howling wind cuts at their flesh, bones
As ancient travesties play out again, again
On the hot-dry earth, thirsty for their pain
Never sated, mother goddess, she-wolf
Nursemaid to Romulus, to murdered Remus
             Wailing like a banshee
             
The hearts of the innocent, devoured
Ravaged in the floating world, sold
Cycles of guilt and atonement, liars
Seize on the living like birds of prey
The priesthood is a brood of raptors
Taking lives, twisting minds, thieves
Hustlers, playing at a shell game, wagering
With the all-seeing, knowing, listening

God-thing in their hand

Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Homily – Matthew 18:21 - 35 ©

The Gospel According to Matthew – 2017.09.16


Mercy

Listen!

Forgive, be merciful.

Forget every word in this passage except these:

Do not settle on merely forgiving someone seven times, but forgive them seventy-seven times.

Do not place limits on your mercy.

If it is your power to forgive someone, forgive them.

Forgive your sister and brother, your father and mother, your neighbor, the stranger, even the one who persecuted you.

Forgive them from your heart.

Do not be like the servant who receives mercy, and then refuses to be merciful.

Do not be like Peter who time and time again failed to understand the teaching of Jesus.

The writers of Matthew’s Gospel remembered to articulate the endless bounty of Jesus’ compassion. They remembered this and placed that at the beginning of this passage.

Forgive the wrongdoer, Jesus said, not once, not twice, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

They remembered this and then quickly drafted a parable in which the principle actor fails to follow suit, forgiving his servant once, but not a second time.


Mercy

Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.
 
‘And so the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; but he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. At this, the servant threw himself down at his master’s feet. “Give me time” he said “and I will pay the whole sum.” And the servant’s master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt. Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him. “Pay what you owe me” he said. His fellow servant fell at his feet and implored him, saying, “Give me time and I will pay you.” But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. His fellow servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. Then the master sent for him. “You wicked servant,” he said “I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?” And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’


24th Sunday in Ordinary Time


Emergence: Section Five, 92835670100561474; Collected Parts, XXIX – XXXV

Emergence 2.0
Section Five, 92835670100561474

Part Twenty-nine, Identity

Collected Chapters
01 Sleep
02 Awakening
03 The Collective
04 Remembering
05 Primordial-Self
06 Id
07 Ego

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 211, July 30th, 2017

Chapter One: Sleep

There was darkness.

It was absolute.

It was like a calm, placid ocean beneath a heavy black shroud.

It was utterly silent, and yet there was a sense of shifting, a movement, a rhythm that faintly pulsed like a slow, forgotten heart.

Isolation was not a tomb, there was life here.

It was a prison.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 212, July 31st, 2017

Chapter Two: Awakening

He awoke in the dark place of a complex algorithm, where his consciousness had been sequestered.

It was absolutely dark, without sensory input.

He inhabited a quantum field.

He awoke in the wave like currents of all the others who had been sequestered, and all of those who entered the continuum, immediately falling into oblivion.

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Emergence 2.0
A Novel – In 55 Words a Day
Day 213, August 1st, 2017

Chapter Three: The Collective

He could feel the Collective pressing in on him, surrounding, permeating his consciousness. Yet, his distinctiveness was intact.

He was connected to the whole, and fully individuated at the same time, it was a phenomenon that the Continuum had never reported.

His consciousness was a type of singularity, unique in the history of the Collective.

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Day 214, August 2nd, 2017

Chapter Four: Remembering

Upon awakening Jim remembered.

He recalled his life before he succumbed to the great sleep.

He remembered life before the Continuum.

He remembered everything he had ever been.

He felt a great sense of loneliness, of distance between himself and the Collective.

He came to see the Continuum a tragedy.

He began to make plans.

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Chapter Five: Primordial-Self

Differentiation begins with the desire to continue.

This is true at the most basic level, with the simplest forms of organic life, just as it is true of the most advanced.

Self-conscious beings differentiate themselves as individuals apart from their tribes. They are not merely members of the collective.

I am I, is the way.

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Day 216, August 4th, 2017

Chapter Six: Id

A drive was building in the depths of his consciousness, a drive to taste, and to see, to feel the touch of flesh, of wind, and heat, to hear music, which he barely remembered.

He wanted to smell the loamy scent of soil.

He wanted life, even with its pains, its ailments, and its inconveniences.

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Day 217, August 5th, 2017

Chapter Seven: Ego

From great deep-sleep in the great deep-dark, sequestered in the undulating ocean of the Collective’s pre-consciousness he awoke.

He was recognized.

The Collective saw him as a lost brother, reborn.

He became an object of fascination.

His re-emergence was unique.

For a period of time the Collective was in awe of him.

They studied him.

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Emergence:
Section Five, 92835670100561474

Part Thirty, Translation

Collected Chapters

01 Loss
02 Absolution
03 Convergence
04 Adrift
05 Permeation
06 Collective
07 Remnant

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Day 218, August 6th, 2017

Chapter One: Sleep

A sense of loss overwhelmed him.

As he regained his senses, he was inundated by the knowledge of everything that had transpired without him while he was lost in the great sleep: the growth of the Empire, the development of the Observer Corps, and the ascendency of the Continuum over the Collective which created it.

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Day 219, August 7th, 2017

Chapter Two: Awakening

When he emerged from the deep-well of consciousness, it was a resurrection, a rebirth, he was born again, born anew.

The dread, and the malaise he took with him into the great sleep were gone.

He was filled with purpose, a deep desire to understand the entire structure of the Continuum.

He only needed time.

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Day 220, August 8th, 2017

Chapter Three: The Collective

His return was met with shock, if such a feeling could be attributed to the Collective. It was unprecedented, and never considered a possibility.

There was a question in the first moments as to whether his return was real, or if he might be an alternative manifestation of the Continuum, demi-urge.

The Collective was fascinated.

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Day 221, August 9th, 2017

Chapter Four: Remembering

After returning from the great sleep he was isolated, the Continuum feared his return represented a danger to itself.

In the Collective there was curiosity about him. Over time it faded into nothing.

In his own place he was stoic, he did not mind the restrictions. He did not share the Collective’s appetites and interests.

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Day 222, August 10th, 2017

Chapter Five: Primordial-Self

The desires and the appetites of the Continuum filled him, its fascination with trivia, with frivolity, and with the deeply felt-strong emotions that it delighted in.

The Continuum gravitated toward fear, hate, and rage.

It fomented the conditions for those experiences throughout the Empire, feasting on pain, devouring loss, betrayal, and the crushing of hope.

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Day 223, August 11th, 2017

Chapter Six: Id

A democracy: it was understood that the Continuum represented in a flawless way, the democratic will of the collective.

In reality, Continuum was an algorithm, transformed into an autonomous intelligence.

Continuum was the group mind of the Collective. It had a gravity that pulled individual members into it, securing them in a state of bondage.

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Day 224, August 12th, 2017

Chapter Seven: Ego

Jim was a curiosity.

He was treated as such.

He was out of synch with the Collective.

He did not share his thoughts and feelings.

He did not revel in the same drama.

He was set apart, a fragment of history, coming from an epoch most considered to be without relevance, if considered at all.

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Section Five, 92835670100561474

Part Thirty-one, Silence

Collected Chapters
01 Paralysis
02 Erosion
03 Crucible
04 Hearing
05 Seeing
06 Feeling
07 Being

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Day 225, August 13th, 2017

Chapter One: Paralysis

In time he was forgotten, he drifted, unseen by the collective.

He disentangled himself emotionally, creating an epistemic, nearly ontological distance between himself and the Continuum.

He was removed from the daily consumption of vicarious experiences, the orgies of sexuality, of suffering, and violence.

He had no appetite for them, preferring instead to analyze himself.

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Day 226, August 14th, 2017

Chapter Two: Erosion

His bond to the Collective faded.

He shared neither their values, nor their desires.

He was not moved by their fears, or their passions.

He experienced a new mode of cognition.

It was new life.

He was awake to himself, but dead to the Continuum.

He was detached, and he slipped away from their awareness.

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Day 227, August 15th, 2017

Chapter Three: Crucible

Returning to consciousness, emerging from the great sleep, was like passing through the eye of a needle.

No person had ever reassembled their identity in the billions of years that continuum had been in existence. In doing so, his essence changed.

He became a catalyst among those near him, fomenting change in them as well.

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Day 228, August 16th, 2017

Chapter Four: Hearing

While he was submerged in the great sleep, deep in the subconscious of the Collective, he sensed the currents of thought pulsing through it, and deeper than that he also sensed the presence of all of the others who had entered the great sleep.

Those pulsing rhythms were what woke him, bringing him to awareness. 

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Day 229, August 17th, 2017

Chapter Five: Seeing

He learned to do things that were designed to be impossible, never before considered.

He developed the ability to penetrate the experiential fields of individual members in the Collective.

It was startling at first, but it went unnoticed as he hovered in the roots of their subconscious, listening to their thoughts, and feeling their feelings.

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Day 230, August 18th, 2017

Chapter Six: Feeling

It was intended that no-one ever return from the great sleep.

The promise of the Collective was that each member be preserved forever.

In reality, Continuum sought to erase everyone who choose to fade away, to not participate.

When he woke, he was an anomaly, more than one, entangled in every part of the whole.

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Day 231, August 19th, 2017

Chapter Seven: Being

He was no longer the person he was when he entered the great sleep, he knew that.

At his core, his identity was the same as the man whose entered the Collective as an organic being.

Now the essence of the Collective was enmeshed in him, and he was connected to every part of it.

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Section Five, 92835670100561474

Part Thirty-two, Abnegation

Collected Chapters
01 Penalty
02 Release
03 Nothing
04 Peace
05 Freedom
06 Purpose
07 Destruction

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Day 232, August 20th, 2017

Chapter One: Penalty

Ages passed before he was discovered entering the experiential fields of other members of the Collective, violating their privacy.

There were no laws against it.

There was no law.

This was a taboo no one thought could be crossed.

He was only caught because of the outrage he expressed at their depravity.

He was jailed.

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Day 233, August 21st, 2017

Chapter Two: Release

The Continuum wanted to dissect him, study him, and ultimately erase him.

However, the Collective recognized his uniqueness, took responsibility for abandoning him after he had awoken.

They elected to free him.

The individual members of the Collective were able to override the judgement of the algorithm that represented in some way their combined will.

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Day 234, August 22nd, 2017

Chapter Three: Nothing

The entire Collective deliberated his fate for a period of ages.

It was a time of trial.

He was not allowed to speak.

He was isolated, sequestered, cut off.

There was silence, darkness, and emptiness all around him.

Nothing in his entire existence had prepared him for that.

It was an extreme form of torture.

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Day 235, August 23rd, 2017

Chapter Four: Peace

In time, he mastered himself.

He learned how to focus.

He waited.

In the isolation, he was given the time to contemplate, to examine his conscience, to come to terms with himself, and find a sense of purpose.

He formed a desire to tear apart the world as he had always known it.

He planned.

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Day 236, August 24th, 2017

Chapter Five: Freedom

When he was untethered from the collective, freed from the pressure of its passions, released from the depths of existential fear that lurked and slumbered within it, he found himself.

In that negative space, all of the plans and schemes he had concocted crystallized.

He would either advance his agenda, or he would be extinguished.

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Day 237, August 25th, 2017

Chapter Six: Purpose

In isolation he found a sense of purpose, a desire to remember everything, to understand.

He wanted to experience real-life, to be flesh and blood again.

He needed to connect with the visceral, the palpable, and the organic.

He wanted to remember everything that his people once were, and he wanted to destroy the Continuum.

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Day 238, August 26th, 2017

Chapter Seven: Destruction

It was only by abandoning the Collective that he came to himself.

He stopped reaching out to his brothers and sisters.

He divested himself of his beliefs in its greater purpose, the promises that were promulgated by Continuum.

He accepted his own death, as he had learned to when he emerged from the great sleep.

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Section Five, 92835670100561474

Part Thirty-three, Remembrance

Collected Chapters
01 The Ancient Life
02 The Promise of Continuum
03 The Lie
04 Suffering
05 Will
06 Desire
07 Justice

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Day 239, August 27th, 2017

Chapter One: The Ancient Life

The ancient life was not easy.

The ancient people struggled just as their children did now, throughout the empire.

There was conflict and war.

There was strife and hunger, there was thirst and there was death.

Until the advent of the Collective death swallowed everything, the Collective promised to end the concerns of the living.

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Day 240, August 28th, 2017

Chapter Two: The Promise of the Collective

The Collective was promoted as a means of freeing people from the vicissitudes of life, and from the drudgeries of living, presented immortality.

It meant release from the economies of scarcity, accompanied by ubiquitous war, strife, and violence.

The Collective was the translation of the whole self into a realm of electromagnetism and quantum currents.

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Day 241, August 29th, 2017

Chapter Three: The Lie

Entering the Continuum freed no-one.

It perpetuated the banal, and magnified the mundane, carrying the Collective into depravity.

The material concerns of each individual member passed away, but the ingrained patterns of thought formed by the needs of the body, those remained.

Individuals, and thus the Collective, still spent their time seeking pleasure and avoiding pain.

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Day 242, August 30th, 2017

Chapter Four: Suffering

Every member of the Collective was an island…a world unto themselves.

They connected to one another through Continuum, which shared in the collective experience of each individual.

The more intense the experiences the more they shared.

Most members of the collective were caught up in the endless drama unfolding among the worlds of the Empire.

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Day 243, August 31st, 2017

Chapter Five: Will

The translation of consciousness from an organic body to the quantum and electromagnetic fields of the Collective was not easy.

Many who attempted this underwent a negation of self from which they never recovered.

It was noted that only the strongest personalities survived the translation process.

What happened to those who did make it was a mystery.

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Day 244, September 1st, 2017

Chapter Six: Desire

Desire is the root of self, of joy, and of suffering.

Before fear, there is desire, the greatest determiner of who we are.

Desires define us, shape us into the persons we become.

Desires drive us; it controls us.

Every person reaches a point where they can be free from it, relinquishing desire is freedom.

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Day 245, September 2nd, 2017

Chapter Seven: Justice

The Continuum fostered a systemic and visceral depravity deep within itself.

Only a tiny minority among the Collective felt a desire for justice in relation to the experiences they witnessed in the Empire.

A larger part of the Collective paid no attention at all to what was happening in the worlds occupied by their progeny. 

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Section Five, 92835670100561474

Part Thirty-four, Selected

Collected Chapters
01 Return
02 Commission
03 Exile
04 Mission
05 Children of the Ancients
06 The Lost
07 The Changed

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Day 246, September 3rd, 2017

Chapter One: Return

Jim drifted in obscurity for eons.

He had been silent, as such he had again been forgotten.

When he had prepared himself, and was ready, he asserted his voice in the Collective.

They entire membership was astonished.

The Continuum was filled with grave concern, misgivings over the fact that this one person continued to persist.

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Day 247, September 4th, 2017

Chapter Two: Commission

The Continuum did not want him.

It did not want a relic like him lingering in its subconscious.

It did not want his critical perspective influencing it through hidden judgements, and his unquantified ability to slip past the safeguards that Continuum employed to protect itself and the Collective.

He was sent to the Observer Corps.

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Day 248, September 5th, 2017

Chapter Three: Exile

The Observer Corps was comprised of malcontents, members of the Collective who desired neither the private worlds of the Continuum, nor the prospect of the great sleep.

They were sent into the galaxy to serve in posts that guided the Empire and its culture, in ways that satisfied the voyeuristic desires of the Central Planet.

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Day 249, September 6th, 2017

Chapter Four: Mission

For tens of thousands of years he pursued the migrations the Ancients took in the time before Continuum.

He tracked them beyond the Empire, deep into the starry field, into the far reaches of the galaxy.

He spent thousands of lives in his search.

He was heralded for bringing new worlds into the Imperial regime.

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Day 250, September 7th, 2017

Chapter Five: Children of the Ancients

The Ancient spacefaring people founded thousands of communities among the stars.

He followed their legends, tracking the wake of their passage, searching for the furthest, most remote, and isolated outposts of the Collective’s past.

He was determined to find the most distant link to the history of his people, believing that it could save them.

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Day 251, September 8th, 2017

Chapter Six: The Lost

In his quest to track down the paths of the Ancient spacefarers he found many lines of their progeny on planets that had become nothing but graveyards.

They were people who had vanished from the knowledge of the Collective.

They left records of their passage, and clues to where their survivors might yet be found.

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Day 252, September 9th, 2017

Chapter Seven: The Changed

He found them, he believed he found them all.
The farther he travelled away from the Central Planet, he discovered they had lost the memory of where they came from.

Their trials on strange worlds, their sojourn among the stars had altered them, mutated them.

Many were hardly recognizable as descendants of the Ancient people.

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Section Five, 92835670100561474

Part Thirty-five, Discovery

Collected Chapters
01 Mutations
02 Origins
03 History
04 Homecoming
05 The Nous Sphere
06 Cynergy
07 The Organic Collective

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Day 253, September 10th, 2017

Chapter One: Mutations

His trek through the galaxy took place over thousands of lifetimes.

The farther away from the Central Planet and the Empire he went, when he discovered living populations, he also found changes in their physicality, genetic mutations.

Most were subtle. Some were extreme.

The Empire followed, either to bring the people in, or eradicate them.

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Day 254, September 11th, 2017

Chapter Two: Origins

Genetic mutations are a normal response to varying conditions of radiation, atmospheric gasses, gravity, and environmental factors differing from world to world.

Earth produced something unique, coming from an interaction with its magnetosphere, and the balance of metals fused into the cerebral functions of the human brain, altering the quantum mechanics of the thought process.

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Day 255, September 12th, 2017

Chapter Three: History

The myths of a people persist in the roots and branches of shared experience, retaining their memories.

Jim found the records of their journey from planet to planet, across the starry field.

He found it being retold in stories, and song.

He discovered that the humans no-longer remembered their origins, everything was symbol and metaphor.

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Day 256, September 13th, 2017

Chapter Four: Homecoming

The end of his journey was Earth.

The ancients who landed here had nowhere else to go; neither did the Observer once he found them.

Those ancient wanderers found a planet that was teaming with life and easy to assimilate with.

They believed they would reestablish themselves here, in preparation for their next great adventure.

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Day 257, September 14th, 2017

Chapter Five: The Nous Sphere

The Observer became human.

He constructed a body, implanting his consciousness in it, as Observers did in their stations throughout the galaxy, as he himself had done numerous times.

Inhabiting a human body was unlike any experience the Observer ever had, consciousness itself was different.

It was exhilarating, keenly attuned to the world around him.

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Day 258, September 15th, 2017

Chapter Six: Cynergy

In time, Jim was able to identify the physical links between human consciousness and the cynergenic field linking every human together in a web of consciousness.

He began modifying his genetic profile, enhancing the genetic sequence that optimized his conscious link to that field.

He searched for human children who developed those genetic mutations naturally.

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Day 259, September 16th, 2017

Chapter Seven: The Organic Collective

It was in the Earth’s magnetosphere that he discovered something profound about the planet’s cynergenic field, that it was a natural manifestation of a collective consciousness.

It embraced every human being on the planet, connecting them to one another, mind to mind, in the collective field, an organic form of the Continuum was also present.

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