“Why Guitar?” Stu Ramsay

Recently, I suddenly awoke remembering a horrible dream! The last words I heard spoken were, “And don’t forget to bring your Tuba to the party!”   I sat up, threw my legs over the bed, still perspiring, and motionlessly pondered those words. For the next few minutes, the weirdest visionations flashed through my mind. I saw the Everly brothers swinging great horns back and forth ever so often loosening their lips enough to vocalize a “Peggy Sue” in unison then wrap them back on the mouthpiece. Andre Segovia sat there holding that convoluted bulbous brassy monster with a look of wonderment, or was it a grimace as in “Get this damned thing off me, I’m loosing circulation!” Yet what really got me focused was Elvis in his white sequined outfit gyrating up on his toes clutching a tuba as if it were Marilyn Monroe!

Bring your tuba to the party! What a scary thing to ponder.  Just think about it, Ed Sullivan and the likes of Lawrence Welk had popularized the accordion. Why didn’t every kid want an accordion?  Why not the tuba? What if they just made different sized tubas? (They kind of already did that with the array of horns that already existed.)  So then, why has allure and appeal, and outright stardom embraced the six stringed instrument?

The tuba wasn’t convenient. Lets face it. It isn’t easy to carry with you, and in photo shoots, the big brassy thing takes center stage. It’s heavy, just handling it requires a Sumo wrestler strong man! It wasn’t the instrument so much as it was the persona embodied in the person handling it that made it un-attractive. Oh, and let’s not forget in a diminutive way, it had curves that well, were attractive in a sexual sort of way, but that sexual denotation in the hands of a skilled stage man was the key, an instrument remotely resembling the ultimate object of sexuality. The curvy guitar wielders would eventually dominate the stage. Everyone caught the innuendo when those hunky guys fondled trim waisted instruments.

To borrow a quote from a posting at The Acoustic Guitar Forum,  “You start off playing guitars to get girls & end up talking with middle-aged men about your fingernails” – Ed Gerhard That saying may be closer to the truth than anything else. I remember the first time seeing the reaction of the “girls.” I was 12.

School officials paraded us 7th graders from our classrooms to the indoor gymnasium bleachers. I sat up in the nose-bleed section hoping to sleep through the moment. Before us, down on a solitary chair placed at about the halfway line of the basketball court was this 8th grade kid sitting there with a five string banjo in hand, and his guitar to the side. For about the next 15 minutes or so he wowed us with riffs on the guitar, and flash-flying finger picking on the banjo. Didn’t quite catch why we were there or the full name of the fellow, Ramsay or something. I wasn’t so much impressed with his musicianship as I was in what I saw. The girls were just ogling him and going gah-gah at the experience.

Well, the experience spurned me on. I practiced riffs and difficult fingering on my accordion like nobody’s business, yet no one invited me to their parties! Like, “Hey Henning, come to the party and bring your accordion!” As an 8th grader I wanted to get next to those girls, but didn’t have the mojo. By the first couple years in high school I thought things would change. Nope, still a no-go wandering around looking for his mojo, but at least along the way I had found the pal Sony Terry and Brownie McGee sang so much about in their blues songs.

With the accordion gathering dust in the closet, I was determined to learn to play guitar. Unfortunately, I was alone in this endeavor and could only afford the funkiest piece of crap around for 25 bucks, a three-quarter sized Stella made in the US out of inexpensive plywood, with strings as high off the frets as Mount Everest! (as an aside parents, get your kid the easiest to play guitar that sounds halfway decent right off the bat! Worth the investment.) There weren’t luthiers around back then that could do a guitar set-up. Every guitar I own today new or old has gone to the luthier for a proper set-up, worth the money. So, with funky Stella in hand (didn’t even have a canvas bag case for it!) I started taking lessons from… you guess who? Stu Ramsay, that ogled kid, now a Senior who I had seen way back when. He could only roll his eyes at my Stella, but he didn’t dissuade me ‘cause the three bucks for the lesson felt good in his pocket.

The Ramsay family seemed cool folks to me. They were different, thought differently than I was used to. Stu had a couple brothers and an older sister. His mom was a stately, long-haired woman, nice but stern in a stoic sort of way. At his house we’d smoke cigarettes, and although his mom frowned at it, she wasn’t restrictive. Coffee. They’d throw grounds in a pot with water, and some egg white! After boiling, the egg white settled the grounds, and cups would be poured. Never seen it done that way before or since. Someone, never did learn who, played the Grand piano in the living room. Right next to it Stu kept this strange looking guitar. It had a big round disc in the middle.

After my first lesson I asked about the ‘Dobro’ leaning there. He grabbed it, put some picks on his fingers, picked up this metal tub called a “bar” and proceeded to fly around gracefully making hillbilly dobro music. How should I know they call the genre Bluegrass. I was stricken. Couldn’t get that dobro off my mind. I went home to practice some major chords on the Stella, but it hurt like hell and sounded like crap!  I remember after about three or four unfruitful guitar lessons, Stu hit me with it. He made me an offer; “I’ll teach you what I know about playing dobro if you practice and then play for me!”

Are you kidding me! Free lessons and the potential chance to play hillbilly music in front of girls, I would have been nuts to say no, I said, “Yes!” And that started my association with Stu Ramsay, multi-musical instrumentalist, child prodigy of Frank Hamilton, Ray Tate and a host of negro blues artists. You see, I didn’t know it at the time, but Stu had spent his junior to senior summer traveling all over the country with two other guys, college graduates mind you, as a bluegrass trio calling themselves, The Knoblick Upper Ten Thousand. They even had a commercial record! Since Stu wanted to finish high school he dropped out of the trio for that senior year. As I heard it the Knoblick lasted a couple years then broke up. The leader went off to NY and started writing R&R songs and promoting a new folk-rock group, The Loving Spoonfuls.

Stu’s musical association began with The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, and of course, because he was an adolescent rising star, his folks made sure he received private lessons from those folk/ blues gurus that only demanded the best. His study/practice habits were without tom-foolery, but strict and concentrated, and Stu expected that attitude from his students. Back then to learn a riff or ‘lick’, you’d slow a Folkways record down to assay the riff, try it out, and do it over and over and over until you got it right. Stu was a master of the method and mechanics. Same with banjo or dobro, and harmonica. He was a serious musician, and I think that one positive attitude would eventually sink his commercial boat.

Stu Ramsay was a good musician, his focus and attention to detail par excellent. He didn’t create songs, he really wasn’t a singer-songwriter, but he did sing. After our couple year stint with bluegrass, he felt himself more and more drawn to the blues styles of the past negro greats. But back to my story. After four months of practicing day and night to the detriment of my junior high school class work, we formed a trio, then bas player Dave Roe came on the scene which rounded us out. Somewhere along the way Stu chose to name the group, Stu Ramsay and the Clary’s Grove Boys. We did mainly Bluegrass renditions after the tradition of the Stanley Brothers, Flat and Scruggs, the Country Gentlemen, etc. This bluegrass wasn’t hillbilly, but the up and coming Americana acoustic music of the sub- suburban middle states. You might regard bluegrass as a genre within folk music generally, often featured at music hoot-n-annys and folk concerts that started to arise back then. Bluegrass music, like blues of the times, really didn’t utilize electric guitars, and that one fact set us apart.

Now, Ramsay had a recording contract with Mercury Records, three years- three records. With the help of a couple studio musicians (guitar and bas) he played acoustic dobro, banjo, guitar, and harmonica often with two or more instruments on the same song. Mercury pressed his album, Stu Ramsay Loves Dobro Banjo Guitar Harmonica. When our little group started playing in public, we were mainly doing non-paid promotional gigs for his album. By the following summer, we had a few paying gigs, too. I remember we got a spot at the popular Chicago lounge, The Gate of Horn. Unfortunately, to play that venue we needed to join the Chicago Musicians Union. That cost each of us 87.50 dollars. The Gate take was 75 dollars apiece! Mercury got us to again pay to play!

Mercury used a great big studio down off Michigan Ave, and Stu cut the tunes for his second album. Once he had the Master tape in hand, he went to visit the promoter, a Frank Friedman if I recall correctly. Stu walked into his north side offices so proud with that Master only to get struck below the belt a hefty blow. Friedman headed Triangle Productions and somehow had finagled contracts with up and coming R&R bands. Stu thinking he had the goods there in his hands for a second pressing, was told they wouldn’t be acting any further on his contract. I remember the line, “We have the Beatles, Stuy, we don’t need you!”  Evidently they handled the Midwest concerts and had found a lepriconic pot of gold.

That was a hard blow for a kid of 19 or 20 years, to think one moment you were worth something in the commercial musical arena only to be kicked in the butt for all your hard work. I don’t think Stu ever recovered from that moment. He stayed with bluegrass and blues and after graduating went off to the mountains to find himself. I know he had at least two name changes, Darsono, and now Wilson. I still like to think of him as Stu Ramsay, cause I had a lot of fun with him when we’d play, or hang at the Old Town School of Folk Music, or at Dawn Greening’s house in Oak Park. Stu introduced me to the guitar and dobro, and for that I’ll be eternally grateful. Bringing my guitar to the party is a whole lot easier than lugging a tuba!

There He Lay, There He Lay

There He Lay, There He Lay

Not long ago I wrote a new song. Although I cannot lay claim to the experience depicted myself, it did happen to a military acquaintance, and the gist I have used in the lyrics. I remembered how humbled and distraught he was after returning to the post in Germany, it quite literally shook him. That’s also the thing about Jesus, he fills us in on a remarkable truth, giving us the insight in the example story of the Wheat and the Tares, and then, he preaches love. If I’m right, the Tares are those individuals earmarked for the fires of hell, to no fault of their own. They are Tares, and in the same way a leopard cannot change its spots, a tare cannot cease from being a tare. Yet, we show respect and admiration for the leopard, should it be no less we show respect and concern in this life for all men? 

I know, it is not an easy thing to respect or even ‘love’ everyone. Perhaps that’s why the Greek language has several words translated ‘love,’ so we get it right in the instance. God kind of love is agape, love shown of/for the believing brethren one toward another; eros has to do with intimacy, sexual love; and of course, philio which deals with acknowledgement of the other person, treating your neighbor as you want to be treated, and perhaps, that brotherly camaraderie prevalent in society. The point is that the ‘love’ we show others should be the human epithet.

There He Lay, There He Lay

The old man gazed at me, On the Rue Paris,

As though I wasn’t really there.

His glassy eyes Behind wrinkled skin,

Spoke hardship and despair.

We were all in line, At a picture show,

A title I cannot remember,

When he keeled real hard, Falling to the ground,

Others simply let him go, and

There He Lay, There He Lay.

He had the foulest stench about him, Teeth were rotted clear away.

I knelt and laid my lips upon him, Kissing an open grave.

I breathed life there into his lungs, Kept pressing his chest in time,

My hope was this old soul survived, When the gendarme  grabbed my arm,

There He Lay, There He Lay.

Inside I was rebelling, Strong arms kept repelling,

Of all those gathered round observing, None moved in to help the hurting,

I had laid my lips upon him, To breath life into his lungs,

Restrained, I could only offer tears, As life forces left this one, and

There He Lay, There He Lay.

(x2)

I had hoped to report the medics made haste,

First responders redirected his fate,

That he opened his eyes, And he gasped for breath,

Truth is they all came too late.

I had laid my lips upon him, To breath life into his lungs,

Restrained, I could only offer tears, As life forces left this one,

There He Lay, There He Lay.

© 2021 Theodore A Henning II

Perhaps I’ll get it recorded and posted here…

HEART ATTACKS COMING SOON!

Heart Attacks coming Soon!

When I was growing up, to read the Sunday comics enveloped in the Chicago Sun Times was a great pastime. One particular comic involved this Mandrake the Magician character who would often show up with a supernatural bent. It would be giant hands extending from the clouds, or perhaps a portion of his torso with bare feet touching the ground, a kind of heaven touching earth event. So much for Mandrake. 

Nostradame[1](1560’s) was noted for his rather dark predictions of future events, wars, plagues, catastrophes, etc. that he received during trance moments of an occult nature. Today, many adherents believe his predictions were/ are spot-on accurate. Such foretelling is not an experience of all men or women. But I suppose if a preponderance of predictions do come to pass, than the individual is less a Mandrake prophet, and more the genuine article.

There are two prophetic utterances in the Bible that some people might find ludicrous. Yet, if there is any, and I mean anypossibility of fulfillment, the outcome is magnanimous! Close to the end of Jesus’ earthly walk he makes the statement concerning the future,  “Men’s hearts shall fail them for fear of the things they see coming upon the earth.”[2]

Throughout history there have been many situations that could make one faint. After the prophet Mohammed established the tenants of Islam, the crescent sword took the heads of many infidels. During the Dark Ages, the organized Church of Rome conducted sweeping ‘trials’ and cruel punishments against those felt to be infidels of the Church! Wars and rumors of wars happened right up to the dawn of the 20thCentury.

Ruthless men had for centuries enacted torture, atrocities and death against their fellow man. The Atomic Bomb changed the playing field somewhat; carnage could be widespread and devastating without ever staining one’s hands with the blood of the infidel!

In all these periods, I am sure there were some men who died of heart attack for whatever the stress and strain and trial of it all. But Jesus’ words seem to be larger than the moment, as though he was talking about the consummate end to life on earth as we know it. (My take on it.) Such may be true because Jesus had a wider field of vision then we do, he sees eternity! Proximal periods along the eternity trail may be what we see. In any event, he knows the end from the beginning!

Think about your life. The bravado and machismo of Hollywood movies, television series and the god-like idolization of sports figures that in another life would be vying for that top gladiator position at the local coliseum. Nothing seems to frighten us, mankind smashes the atom, Higgs-Boson to be found, and perhaps, the illusive God particle… the stuff that makes up the mass of the universe we can’t account for. 

And what the Hell, lets just blow up things and destroy, it seems to be what humankind is good at! We create nothing! Like Shiva, Hindu god of destruction and chaos dancing outside CERN visitor center, we are good at destroying, only sometimes do we put the pieces back together. 

Ok, Jesus forewarned us that something so unexpected and unearthly will transpire, the fear of which causes men to literally drop dead on the spot! Could the second prophetic utterance then be what he is referring to? The prophet Isaiah, said,

And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

This same situation is reiterated again in Revelation 6:14,

 And heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.

If what Jesus referred to is the destruction prophesied by Isaiah above, then we do have reason to fear; unlike Shiva, the true God and Lord of the universe will destroy in order to create a new heaven and earth! Are you prepared for that day or do you merely laugh and brush off the notion of imminent heart failure?


[1]https://www.biography.com/scholar/nostradamus

[2]Scripture found in KJV bible, Luke 21:6

The Silver Bullet

The Silver Bullet

Perhaps a few of you can remember the Black & White cowboy picture series titled, The Lone Ranger, the masked six-gun toting stranger on a white stallion with his sidekick, Tonto. They put fear into the roughnecks willing to break the law. And, there were his shiny, silver bullets! I often wondered why they were silver? He wasn’t shooting the flesh-eating zombies or the blood-sucking vampires that could only be killed with a silver dagger to the heart! Perhaps with all those western silver mines, silver was easier to get than say, lead.

Today, silver is a commodity traded on the stock exchange like apples and oranges, and ranks in the other precious metals category next to gold. It has many medical and industrial applications, is a great electrical conductor, and people like the shine it gives when they wear silver jewelry. But there is an off-missed benefit to silver that I got to thinking about, silver is toxic to many microscopic organisms, e.g. PPLO, bacteria, and perhaps, even viri.

Throughout the 1700’s and into the 1800’s eating utensils were made of or with silver. To some degree, even the commoner might have a silver spoon in his/her mouth. Now, given that silver will kill these organisms noted above, that meant that shoveling food into one’s mouth with a silver spoon invariably had a disinfecting effect on the germs that would enter through the oral cavity. Perhaps those germs that cause mouth sores and tooth decay were ‘driven the nail’ with each shoveled mouthful! So, why then switch to stainless steel? Good question. What about those silver fillings as opposed to fillings with a lead component?

It has been shown that ancient man suffered from tooth decay, but not for eating hard candies and all that 20thCentury refined sugar! I suspect they didn’t have silver utensils. So, if elemental silver is a sleeping panacea, why hasn’t there been a move to get a silver spoon into every person’s mouth?  I think we all know the answer. My daughter alerted me to aqueous silver, silver at the molecular level in liquid solution that is so popular in some circles. Personally, I think there would be enough molecular silver ion lost to the spoon that would enter our body without having to drink the stuff! We would improve our health just by using the silver shovel! But…

You just don’t go down to the local big-box store and buy a sterling silver fork or spoon! And flatware sets in sterling cost thousands of dollars! Again, that money thing, silver sets for the rich and famous, SS for the minions. But wait a minute, many of us do have those silver flatware sets, handed down perhaps from Grandma! Unfortunately, the spoons and knives and forks only come out for special occasions because they shine so nice, we have to keep them polished, hidden in the wooden display case!

The other day at an estate sale I came across a sterling flatware set. It wasn’t complete, but that’s ok cause I’ll probably sell off a bunch of utensils and make a small profit. But I now have a Sterling silver spoon to stick in my mouth whenever I need kill some germs!

Wicked in Contrast to Sinner

Wicked in contrast to Sinner

I think just about everyone in the United States has seen a church on a corner or the cross so prominently displayed on the apex of many such buildings. To each of us, the notion to know and understand is human, and I believe it comes into play with these symbols of faith, Christian faith. I can’t see how anyone is exempt from not at one time asking, “What does that mean?” or “What does that stand for?” Dread be to those who corrupt the seeker with a misguided answer!

If someone set out to destroy Christianity, one of the first things they would do is seek to abolish Christian gatherings; no more Sunday services, no Wednesday night prayer sessions, put a clamp on Chaplains in the hospitals and the military, outlaw home meetings and the like. That would be the first thing, divide and conquer through fear and causation.

Seems like the Covid-19 thing got such a ball rolling. As I drive around Fort Worth, I don’t see any Summer Bible School offerings, and not every church has resumed corporate worship, either. That leaves folks still to themselves with TV-angelists or sequestered at home with their Bible. My parents, if still living, would definitely say “These are the end times for sure!” Thank God we haven’t started book-burning yet!

In an earlier wideastexas blog, Don’t Pray for the Lost,I lay the foundation for understanding these times we are in. The message of Christ’s cross is NOT for everyone! Here I want to approach the subject from a different angle that of wicked in contrast to sinner.

The message of the Cross is that all true human beings are under law, especially in the case of original sin, because we all trace our lineage back through the lineage of man to Adam. Adam disobeyed a direct command from God, and the consequences fell upon him and all who descend from him. This is called ‘original sin.’ There is no way a true human being can escape this. However, Christ’s cross, his unwarranted death in our behalf, satisfied the righteous judgment of God. The Cross was the game changer for mankind because Jesus’ death in our stead repaired the separation caused by original sin, freeing us, and paving the way for us to freely respond to God! Those who believe Jesus died for them, are exonerated, and in faith believing they have favor with God through Jesus, and are saved from the judgment to come upon the whole world. This message changes lives, but is not for everyone.

Those affected by the Cross of Christ are referred to as sinners. Yet there is another grouping the bible terms, wicked. A sinner can be touched by the message, repent of their sinful ways and be forgiven. Someone who is wicked, or evil through and through cannot change. The apostle Paul speaks of individuals who have their consciences seared, having made evil their way of life[i]. Why do we sear meat before cooking it? Searing seals the essence of flavor inside the meat, thus it is not lost during the cooking process. Searing steak meat keeps the good elements of taste inside. Likewise, but conversely, a conscience seared is one that has sinful elements of evil locked inside! 

Now, just as there is no way to un-sear a piece of meat that has already undergone the process, so too with the heart/ soul of man that has been seared, locking in only evil continually. This is Paul’s lament.[ii]A seared human conscience is beyond repentance. Well, you might say, what about a death-bed confession and acceptance of Christ? To which I say, it doesn’t happen! The wicked soul is so far removed from the grace that could have been, from the opportunity for contriteness of heart, of true repentance, and a saving faith in Jesus! Can’t happen. That’s what searing does. It is not a blinking of the eye occurrence, but a radical change over time. Searing takes time. In the end, a wicked person might demonstrate some measure of remorse, but I think that’s just lip service of the moment. Their lot is with the wicked.[iii]

These then may very well be those who once had their names written in God’s book of life, but have since had it scratched out![iv]Wicked versus sinner, there is a difference. This message is not for average folk who might think they are “wicked” but are not. Examples of wicked are Hitler, Musolini, Pol Pot, and the like…


[i]Another reference to conscience in the New Testamentis to a conscience that is “seared” or rendered insensitive as though it had been cauterized with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:1-2). Such a conscience is hardened and calloused, no longer feeling anything. A person with a seared conscience no longer listens to its promptings, and he can sin with abandon, delude himself into thinking all is well with his soul, and treat others insensitively and without compassion. (gotquestions.com)

[ii]Hebrews 10:29. KJ21. Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath accounted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath despised the Spirit of grace?

[iii]Revelation 9:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and lewd men, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Weymouth)

also in 11 Corinthians 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that everyone may receive (for) the things done in hisbody, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (KJV)

[iv]Revelation 17:8b And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world. (KJV)

UFOs, Intergalactic? Not Likely!

There has been quite a lot of internet racket concerning what our government knows, what it suspects, and what it keeps secret from the populus. Coupled with that is the complicity of our military branches in keeping a lid on what is really going on, and it has been a world-wide phenomenom since Fatima!

I have previously laid out the whole scenerio in my two part blog series, The Art of War in the Heavenlies. The truth is our government may be in league with beings claiming to be aliens, and in physical forms not in human likeness. What we are now seeing is in part the lowering of the veil so to speak.

Physicist-engineer Stan Deyo has a book detailing his role in the design and construction of propulsion engins used in disc crafts, working back in the 60’s, 70’s under perils of secrecy. What we need understand is that these entities (aka aliens) are nothing more than angelic creatures and the like, part and parcel to the workings of Lucifer here in the earth. In ages past, scriptures states that Lucifer fell from heaven to earth, being barred from returning to his former heavenly realm of existence, barred from the presence of God. Some unknown number of heavenly beings chose to follow him. Choose to believe in God or not, cultures galore contribute to the fallen angel thesis with their myths and legends of other-worldly visitors. But think for a moment, if there is at least a thread of truth to what the Christian scriptures portray, then we must come to the conclusion that UFO activity is promulgated by beings co-habiting terra firma right along with us.

Hitler believed in a hollow earth, many North American Indian tribes ascribe their earliest ancestors as coming from inside the earth. A hollow earth theory can account for these fallen angel alien entities not so readily being seen. Yet there remains another aspect I brought up, that of cross-dimentional travel. We find evidence of Jesus using this means in the gospels and Acts. Do these fallen angels use this means of travel too?

These unseen entities are referred to as the “powers of darkness,” and you don’t have to travel far in 3rd world countries to learn of the fear and dread perpetrated upon many cultures. And those of us Westerners who have come in contact with the ‘dark powers’ understand they are real, yet being unseen, they remain anomalous.

When Demons Walked The Earth

On the heals of my previous post The Witness of Two I feel urged to share in short episodes something I previously published at Smashwords in 2016. I trust you will find this prose most interesting.

Everything Pans Out In The End

Episode One of several

Episode Two

“Predetermined! Everything is predetermined; where you live, what college you will go to, whom you will fall in love with, and then of course, when and how you die, and even your fate afterwards,” Bobby had said during the discussion on the Saturday before. 

“What happened to free-will?” Diedra had asked.

“It’s locked within the myriad upon myriad of episodes each and all funneling you forward like a venturi effect on to the next episode until you are at the end!”

Auburn haired 25 year-old Diedra Prost, had never seriously considered the notion before. She was a restorative curator at one of Philadelphia’s most prestigious museums, highly educated, and near to be at the top of her game. To her, there is no God, everyone is a free soul, able to decide for oneself from the differing choices that confront us every day. Still, the tenants of the conversation disturbed her.

Every day she made her way to the preservation room at the Sternholz Museum, which might appear foreboding to the uninitiated. For Diedra it was her sanctum, a place she usually felt vibrant and alive. Located below ground, her expansive room was specially engineered within the basement of the building. Without windows, it is a dry, secure atmospherically controlled environment for safely keeping the ancient artifacts catalogued there.

The somewhat macabre space she utilized was home to several sarcophagus, dozens of bowls, pots, and other items of everyday use in Egyptian life, many items dating back several hundred years B.C. In addition to the lone mummy of a young teenage woman, kept hermitically sealed under glass, there were the papyri scrolls and fragments.

Diedra Prost, Ph.D. candidate Egyptologist, Deedee to her few close friends, sat alone at the broad wooden worktable under a special wavelength emitting florescent light. She carefully pieced together papyrus segments that had long ago separated, long before the museum had acquired them. These fragments were considered more ‘modern’ than the truly ancient texts cut in stone, these fragments contained pictographs and hieroglyphs she was quite familiar with.

Her given field of study had brought her to this moment. She had but to finalize her dissertation, then defend it orally, and that would be that. Diedra looked forward to when she could drop the Ms. from her title, and replace it with Doctor. The journey had been arduous, and up until now, worth the struggle. She had spoken the epithet silently in her mind many times before. Doctor Diedra Prost.  It has a nice ring to it,she had said to herself.

Shaking her head as if someone had blown in her ear, she felt air movement when there shouldn’t have been any. The sensation sent a cold chill down her back.  She shrugged, momentarily remembering the hours of discussion she had had with ‘the girls,’ Tammy, Bobby and Gloria Jean over the weekend.

 Life as she had previously foreseen it was settled, chiseled in stone perhaps. Now, after that one discussion, she wasn’t all that confident. What she once gaged to be her stoic existential outlook had been pummeled, and a resultant chink in her confident demeanor surfaced. For the first time in her life she felt fear, real lingering fear, the kind of sensation that has substance, you know, almost as if you could cut it with a knife!

It had been a late Saturday afternoon gathering of friends around an each-one bring-one salad mixer. The topics of discussion had spanned the gamut of female interests.  Then the mood changed when Tammy breached the tranquility with her outburst, and everything went downhill from then on.

Episode two (June 14)

The television had been on, muted in the background. Their heads occasionally bobbed up to catch the picture, and then back down to their salad portions, and conversation. All of a sudden the news channel displayed a graphic video of a Buddhist monk in Thailand dousing himself with gasoline and self-igniting!

“Holy shit! Look at that guy! He lit himself up like a candle!”  Tammy shouted pointing to the screen. They all glued their gazes to the figure engulfed in the flames.

They bantered. “That’s got to hurt,” someone remarked.

“Why do you think he did that?” said no one in particular.

“Got to be a religious statement.”

“He’s a monk for heavens sake! Aren’t they the ones closest to God or something?”

Deedee had a thought she didn’t voice, “He’s going to meet him/her now.”

 “Why think that when I don’t even believe in God, any god,”she had asked herself after thinking the thought. It was a strange thought for an educated woman who really didn’t believe God existed to have. Diedra is an agnostic from a family of agnostics. Although she had no particular spiritual or religious beliefs, she had spent a good part of her life studying the archaeological record of a culture group who spent most of their livelihood preparing for death, and a hoped for afterlife existence!

No matter how hard she tried to avoid the subjects of religion, god and death, aspects always found a way into the discussion. Maybe that was because she was always dealing with the stuff of dead people, Diedra had figured. That, and being close to ‘piled higher and deeper’ as her friends put it. They were only jesting, she understood. 

Yet even though the ‘girls’ were of differing aptitudes and interests, they had grown to like each other’s company. And given the competitive attitude amongst them, that figure of speech was simply a gentle jab in her ribs, to bring her down to earth so to speak, and Diedra wasn’t the least bit slighted by it. She laughed right along with them.

“You know, only about 17% of our world’s population believes in annihilation when we die, the rest believe in some sort of existence after death,” Tammy remarked to the group.

Gloria Jean added, “Correct me if I’m wrong, the remaining 83% is divided between those who believe in reincarnation and those who don’t. Some non-reincarnators even believe the human soul simply goes off wandering, wandering forever and ever, aimlessly. “

It seemed ludicrous, and in a way, humorous to think of a nebulous soul wandering aimlessly forever. They laughed at that, in part to temper the horror of the monk’s action caught on TV. 

“Others believe in oneness of souls, each soul becoming one with a greater consciousness, the sum total of all the earthly departed,” Bobby said. “But we can’t dismiss the millions of people who believe Hell of the Bible is real.”

“I like that oneness thing,” Tammy had said.

That sounded kind of Jung-ish to Diedra, for which she added little to the discussion.

Someone blurted, “But jihadists believe if they die for the cause, they’ll be rewarded with 70 virgins in heaven!”

They all belly laughed together discussing the virgins, and concluded the poor fellows didn’t know what they were asking for! You would think if jihadist heaven offers all that sexual pleasure a guy would desire 70 women with some experience! Now, that would be some kind of memorable party they agreed!

Someone posed the question about women Jihadists. No one ever mentions the reward they get! Seventy male virgins?  The giggling continued but they didn’t even let their discussive imaginations go there. It was hard for the conversation to stay serious.

For several weeks, Diedra had been piecing together funerary papyri of utterances, commonly viewed as spells in her trade, spells that in part comprise the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. The earliest pharaohs were acutely aware of the dangers facing their royal soul after death. Priests by the scores kept their amanuenses busy carving the royal tomb walls and sarcophagus with the prescriptions necessary to protect the pharaoh’s remains.  The ‘Book’ consisted of pronunciations dealing with re-animation, and the subsequent means to pass through the heavens, to Ra, that each deceased soul must follow in becoming Osiris, the Egyptian deity of afterlife. Yet Diedra knew that at some point in Egyptian history, the focus of the death religion changed, as did the spell rituals, no longer to be prescriptive of a heavenly journey, but of a dangerous, oft frightening underworld trek.

Dante had written of a hellish place deep in the bowels of the earth. His description of Hades was emphatically brutal to the senses; unbearable heat, diabolical creatures, and a tortuous existence ever prolonged without an end in sight. It was a fate any sane person would give everything to avoid. Diedra thought of the long-ago Egyptians, and the fears they must have had. She considered her own newfound apprehension in light of the predetermination discussion that had gone on.

“Was it possible the Egyptians were predetermined to build pyramids and great religious complexes?”she wondered. “Were the Mayas and Aztecs also predetermined to carve still-beating hearts out of sacrificial victims atop their pyramidal structures?”

Along the way Diedra had mentally calculated that the pharaohs literally spent millions and millions of dollars, and untold lives of laborers preparing for that ultimate experience touching us all. She could only imagine the expenses other cultures had made. It was a realization that knocked her squarely upside the head. She had focused her whole life preparing for a future, and had given little thought, or prep, or money, for that matter, to her own mortality. Up until this moment, ‘come-see, come-sah’ had been her mantra, and the thought that not only her life, but perhaps, even the events leading to her death were predetermined, deeply disturbed her. (to be continued…)

The Witness of Two

The Testimony of Two

Whenever we are confronted with new information it is good to have a number of sources that speak to the same idea/ concept/ or truth. In other words, truth, say in the scientific world, might come from differing avenues but address the same thing. Water for instance is known to the chemist as two hydrogen molecules attached to a single oxygen molecule. The biologist sees water as a fluid component of nearly every living life form, and emphasizes such. To the physicist water can exist in several forms, liquid, gas, or semi-solid. Each of these scientific voices would speak to the importance and character of water.

When Bill Gates licensed his Microsoft operating system software to those making the actual physical computer, it brought the device a special life of its own; it could then perform analytical tasks, correlate and co-gregate untold bytes of data, and even allow the user to process such materials with the creation of documents! Yet, Steve Jobs and his Apple computing devices brought about the same results, while using a different underlying operating system, and sometimes, different physical components! In other words, from two mutually differing sources the same end can be achieved.

The above are positive instances of convergent differences. This can also work in the negative. What comes to mind is in the area of legality. Just on the accusation of one person, another can be tainted for life. In this regard I’m reminded of how precarious the field of teaching is in this day and age. Children often have a disregard for teachers if not even for their own parents. The instances of lip-giving to teachers by their charges is alarming. In some areas, the teens rule the school and not the other way around. A teacher today has to tread on eggshells as it were, nay say any child say, “He touched me!” or “She touched me!” And if a child is reprimanded in school, what’s stopping them from bringing some measure of retribution by faulty accusation? The accused is presumedguilty until proven otherwise! They wear a scarlet letter no matter what the outcome.

In the bible, Jesus speaks to the lawyers in John 8:17,

“Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true.” 

I would hope that the authorities would value the word of two or more than the accusation of one. And this brings me to my point. When one does research on a topic, it is hoped that multiple data points are found that support a thesis, at the very least, two sources, and I think I have a second source for an ear-tickling topic.

On youtube.com[i]Dr. Kim presents a case for Satan having a literal son. I believe most of his points are valid, and would add my support as corroborating the thesis he puts forth, by offering a second source of proof to the matter. To begin we must understand the foundational verse in the bible that potentially establishes such a thesis.  

Soon after the fall of Adam and Eve, God addresses the beguiling serpent there in the garden stating: I will put enmity between you and the woman, between thy seed and her seed. He shall bruise thy head and you shall bruise his heel.(Genesis 3:15)[ii]

Theologians generally agree that the wording “her seed” is a reference to Christ who would incarnate many hundreds of years later as Jesus, Jesus the Messiah. Yet, these same experts gloss over the wording “thy seed,” by delegitimizing what the text plainly indicates; that as the woman (will have) a physical descendant, so shall the serpent have a physical descendant! For them, it is ok to take and teach the woman’s seed literally, but the satanic seed figuratively. This is a no-no. If this God-given curse / prognostication be taken literally, then many other bible passages jump to the light of true understanding. For instance, in the parable of the Wheat and the Tares,[iii]Jesus instructs us that the farmer established good seed of wheat in his garden but an enemy came and sowed the tares. Given that what is at stake here is the integrity of human DNA, Jesus instructs us that the enemy is sewing something of differing DNA, thus we understand these tares to be human-angel hybrids! Where is this indicated?

Three chapters over in Genesis 6 we find that the “sons of God” have taken human woman and raped them producing a race of fallen ones, the Nephilim, regarded as giants in the earth. Before the chapter comes to an end, God is bringing a flood to cleanse the earth. What do you think the flood is cleansing the earth from? Not only does the bible state the wickedness of continual evil thoughts and imaginations, it speaks to the sexually corrupted human DNA of his creation! The evil perpetrated by fallen angels (sons of God) upon humankind only continually caused evil to multiply, and salient to this was the sexual promiscuity amongst the whole bunch that continually corrupted the human DNA gene pool! The flood erased the blackboard, and with Noah, the human population began again, he being “perfect in his generations,” meant true human. Ah, but the bible tells us that although there was a new start, corrupted DNA was still with us.[iv]Now catch this, the second voice of proof.

Exodus chapter 32 records a most grievous sin. The Israelites have been delivered from Egypt, are in the wilderness, and Moses has gone up the mountain to receive the Law of God. God tells him the people below are sinning and wants to consume the whole bunch! After Moses confronts them, he heads back up the mountain to plead for their lives with God. In verse 32 Moses asks God to forgive their sin, and if not, he asks God to ‘blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written!’

There are two instances where such a ‘book’ is mentioned within the New Testament, but in Revelation, it is plainly referred to as the ‘book of life.’ Revelation 3:5 has Jesus speaking, saying “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white rainment, and I will not blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”

What this verse tells me is that God has a book with names in it, I believe it to be a book of the names of all true human beings (having no corrupted DNA), and that perhaps, every true human at birth has their name in this book. For reasons only Jesus knows, those names may be blotted out of the book of life.

Now, over in Revelation 13:8 we find it is the beast worshipers that do not have their name written in the Lamb’s book of Life, and then we see in Revelation 17:8 individuals living upon the earth that have neverhad their names written in the Lamb’s book of Life from the beginning! Never been there at all!

Thus in proof, we see there are three groups:

  1. Every true human with his/ her name in God’s book of life
  2. a grouping of true humans who have had their names blotted out of the book,
  3. and a group of beings that have never had their name in God’s book to begin with!

How do we account for this latter group if they are the Tares planted by the enemy? And remember, by the very tenants of the parable, Wheat and Tares are not the same thing, similar, but not the same. Hey folks, I didn’t implicate this, the Lord himself forewarned us!


[i]https://youtu.be/BK_JUg22efs

[ii]King James Bible, Genesis 3:15

[iii]Parable of Wheat and Tares is found in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 13

[iv]Long after the world repopulated after the Noahic Flood, we come to understand that God again chose a man, Abraham, to initiate a special people group, one with a covenant with God Almighty. After traveling to the land where God would bless Abraham, and he establishes there, we see in Genesis 19 that a relative has chosen to live in the city Sodom. Angels are sent to destroy the city for its continual wickedness, and again we see the sexual promiscuity has gone so far that the men of Sodom wish to have sex with the two angel messengers. This indiscriminate sexual behavior was prevalent before flood, and is now witnessed again enraging the Lord. That human men had a deep desire to fornicate with male angels demonstrated the ongoing corruption of human DNA.