I am vacationing with my sons for two weeks, so the posts are few. But I did want to comment about Renaissance and rebirth since we just visited Pisa, Florence, and Rome.
The kids were impressed with the scope and the opulence of the Vatican site. It strikes me that there are two things that kept Western European culture so dominated by the Papacy for 1000 years between Hellenistic Paganism and Renaissance. The guide only mentioned the Renaissance as the “rebirth” of art, but wasn’t it also reason and spiritualism?
What were those two levers of social control during the so-called “Dark Ages”?
1) Eternal Life versus damnation and decay: The promise of rebirth as told by the fresco in the Sistine Chapel about resurrection.
2) And the feeling of awe and one’s own insignificance that the vaulted and adorned ceilings while in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Last year, we were also awed by the high ceilings of the Hagia Sofia, but there, images are discouraged by Islam. Have you ever seen a picture of Mohammed the Prophet? Nope. And you never will.
Roman Catholicism emphasizes obedience and objectifies spirituality in a way that some religious traditions shun. It is called Roman because it isn’t Greek orthodox, which transiently evolved into the iconoclastic church of Byzantium, where idolatry was repressed.
It was both influenced by Islamic culture and a return to the idealistic, Hellenistic traditions of Platonism; religion is allegorical, not literal.
The Vatican demands universal (or Catholic) adherence to the dogma that there is only one God and he is three. Of note, between Emperor Constantine’s mother (Helena) visiting Jerusalem in 326 CE and the Theodosian decrees in 391 AD outlawing all forms of religious expression but one, Christians were bitterly divided into dozens of Christological factions which attempted to resolve logical inconsistencies with a triune god and immaculate conception. It may seem silly, but people treated logical inconsistencies related to Jesus’ birth, death, resurrection, and apostolic succession very seriously although the logic reads a lot like an Abbott and Costello routine.
Reminds me of one of the greatest Star Trek scenes where tortured Captain Picard is tortured to admitting there are five lights instead of four. If you can control the rational mind and the belief in one’s own perceptions, the Kingdom of Man grows stronger.
It strikes me that the single most important question in matters of faith, like those raised by Martin Luther’s Justification by Faith Alone, and the “Namaste” (I see the God in you) of my daily Yoga classes is the following: is the locus of God within or without? Is the Kingdom of God within, amongst, or to be created by a supreme being?
Are we cheap facsimiles of divinity (created of his image) and inherently filled with original sin?
Or are we, as the Sufi poet, Rumi, so perfectly stated:
“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”
Everywhere we go, we see monuments to great men who fashioned conformity using by force and manipulation: Garabaldi, Napoleon, Machiavelli, Augustus Caesar. But we also visit monuments to artists who relinked us with art: Byron, Michelangelo, Sophocles. In one, we honor subjugation by murder, intimation, and thought control. With art, we honor the eternal, beautiful and just.
So in the end, the strength of the Holy See is also its weakness. Instead of allowing the Earth to revolve around the sun, they imprison Galileo. As the kids today might say, “don’t hate the playah” But I say, don’t even hate the game unless you really understand it. But father always knows best, so he fashions order from the chaos of prejudice by just ordering everyone to agree.
Instead of allowing indigenous people to continue religious plurality, local Saints and pagan feast days are co-opted to secure obedience throughout the time of religious and cultural Colonialism.
As the world soul opened and enlightenment threatened other views, the church turned to atavistic dogma in their rebranding campaign known as The First Vatican Council of 1870.
Instead of allowing the Greek, Russian, Coptic or Anglican churches to “agree to disagree” they declared theirs as the “First among equals”. There is only one numero uno. Which leads us to the other three marks of the church.
And they decreed that everything the Pope says is true. Papal infallibility means he can’t be wrong. But does that mean he never makes a wrong turn, even without GPS? Probably not. But he holds the keys to the Kingdom of God, which is decidedly not within you and me.
What is the take home lesson of this musing on the history of Roman Catholicism? It was best said in the reconstruction motto seen in St. Peter’s Square: “Let’s give new life to energy”
Instead of the old ways of magic boulder’s and water to wine transubstantiation, we need new life, as in stem cells, to recharge our energy. Religious expression is personal and abstract until it trans-substantiates our spirits. Religious ritual and obedience, it can be argued, is the antithesis (or prostheses) intended to arrest true magic and the flow of energy that is the divine dance of constant co-creation.
I would say I was raised Catholic (i.e. Universal) in my belief in the dogma of Allopathic medicine. With time, I see that much of what we are trained to do is peddle fear, engender awe, and prepare for the afterlife amidst the earthly promise of suffering.
I certainly don’t want to go the way of Galileo for my beliefs, but even Michelangelo had a little jab at religious authority and a wink to the rebirth of science when he put a neuroanatomical “Easter Egg” (cadaveric dissection was a sin, after all) right smack in the middle of Pope Sixtus IV’s chapel:
The Prefrontal cortex is where JHVH’s gift is emerging from so maybe Michelangelo was affirming the importance of consciousness over obedience in this masterpiece with this incredibly unsubtle salute to disobeying religions coercion?
These are exciting times now that we have the new Pope Francis embracing a sort of Liberation Theology-light (or Eye of the Camel-light, if you will)
Perhaps we are headed to a more syncretic, inclusive and grassroots version of the church which continues to give so much meaning and hope to people around the world? Even if only meant as hyperbole, the Bible states it is easier to get a rich dude into heaven than to fit a camel through the eye of a needle. Well, here’s a whole caravan!
Maybe it’s time to adjust our expectations and fulfill the promise of rebirth here, among us, in this kingdom of all of us.
If you would like to exercise your right to independent thought and possible rebirth of your new energy, then hop on over to my new site, Lokahi.guru, to check out my new Recharge™ supplement, which is all that I currently take. It won’t give you eternal life, but the adaptogens in it may help you stay healthier and happier while greater minds work out the details of immortality (as they undoubtedly will, now that every genius isn’t just lying on his back painting for the Pope).
6 thoughts on “Forget DaVinci – Michelangelo’s Code was hidden for 500 years in the Sistine Chapel!!”
Dear Dr Park,
A very interesting set of observations during your trip to the Vatican,
I myself observe that there are labs at CalTech wherein welll known
biologists study the Genome of various worms. When asked why worms,
I heard one of the scientists say they do so because of the similarity
of the worm DNA to that of the human species. I hope you’ll agree to her
assessment. That said, how can human beings who are basically carrying
DNA approximating worms and NIH lab monkeys, even begin to serious contemplate a
creator of the 10 x -14 sec known Universe ? Why even bother?
Worms and lab monkeys may know better, and fortunately for them aren’t so brazen to even try.
I believe that what is more important is your RELATIONSHIP with God — not your RELIGION. Religion is man’s way/ideas of how to worship God. God has a few black and white guidelines, but most of His instruction/answers are rather individual (since we all come from different strengths, weaknesses, and experiences). Your comment “Even if only meant as hyperbole, the Bible states it is easier to get a rich dude into heaven than to fit a camel through the eye of a needle. Well, here’s a whole caravan!” is backwards….. Actually the Bible states in Matthew 19:24 (also Luke 18:25 and Mark 10:25) — NIV (below) translation:
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
This was a common Jewish saying, in those days, to mean that something was really hard to do…. so it was easier for a real camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Not because the man had riches, but if he were asked to give them up and follow God, he would not want to give them up. (God blessed many men with riches, but from what I observed, they were not enamored with their riches, but were obeying and following God. So I am not suggesting that riches/money is bad. Bible also states that the LOVE of money (or putting money first or above all else) is the root of all evil — not the money itself.
Also I remember (somewhere?) that the “eye of the needle” was one of the gates into the city that was not very tall. A man could bend down and walk through it, but it would be difficult for a camel to go through it on his knees.
Hello Dr. Park, How are you? I am seeing a great enlightenment inside of your mind. Thank you for sharing it. I am not a chemist, just a Naturopath Research Scientist and Consultant in Ala. I have been doing my own research on attaining perfect health for 38 years. I found the missing link between the Neanderthal and humans. It is a common link to life on this earth. It converts the Sun’s energy into oxygen and chlorophyll through photosynthesis. Inside our body it can act as oxygen. It carries extra electrons. It is used for all diseases, as well as in electronics such as radar, fiber optics,transistors, diodes, computer chips, infrared technologies. It is the common thread of our evolution. I would like to share this with you when you get the time and maybe we can do some teamwork to do more research on this regarding the light that it sheds. Do you like to do research? I would like to talk to you about this as well as other common threads to our Evolution back to the human’s that we are meant to be. I like the way you think ,using your imagination. Thank you for pursuing the telomeres. My phone number is 256-292-3343. My name is Debbie.
It’s time to rethink everything about morality because our image of man will change if we live for hundreds of years. Death and growing old and feeble will not drive us as they have in the past. I’m 66 years old and I just talked to my business partner about planting maple trees to harvest in 30 years. Imagine if one could live for a thousand years. I could take 10 years, go off into the wilderness and just experience the world totally alone and I’d see if I had what it took to survive. . It would be a ‘grounding’ experience but it could be done. I’ve heard that some cultures required that of their young men before they came ‘of age’. If telomerase activation fulfills its promise, almost everything needs to be rethought, including the meaning of Morality. Alone in the wild, what becomes of Morality there? What is good and what is evil?
Dear Dr . Park Where to start? First, thank you for allowing me as a Facebook ‘friend” . I have really enjoyed traveling with you and your sons abroad. I just wish I had known you were visiting Rome. I have a friend who has lived there for 50 years now who teaches English and is also a professional pipe organ tuner – the big boys. He actually goes inside of the pipes , polishes, repairs, i,e, tunes acoustically the sound of the antique Italian pipe organs. It would have been something your sons would never have forgotten. If you ever go back let me know and I will try to arrange a tour for you.
I am not sure of the correct venue with which to discuss esoteric medical knowledge with you so I will make this a short and to the point memo until I receive further instruction on how you prefer me to correspond with you.
Subject : NIP – zinc- finger-like alpha helical chiral metallo supra molecule complex (Ni2L3)4+Penantiomer) which appears to uncap cancer telomers and induce apoptosis but does not affect normal cell telomers Hence, chiral selectivity.
I found this at http://www.GenScript.com Click “resources”, then click “Senescence and Aging”. This information is emanating from , I believe I have this right, Chang Chum University, Jillin China. The article will eventually lead you to the Oxford Journals “Nucleic Acid Research”
Please let me know what you think about NIP. How about a podcast form Dr. Ed on this one? One thing the Oxford article does not cover at all is what happens to the hTERT that is introduced into the cytoplasm and diverted from the telomeres. Will this overload lysosomeal responsibility, ) lord knows they have enough to do already, or will the molecular constituents of hTERT be converted usefully inside the cell perhaps by the mjtochondria or other cellular organelles . Your thoughts please.
I want to thank you very much last week for returning my phone call. I know you are a very busy man and I don’t want to bother you, but as I have told you before I do health/medical research for my doctor , Dr. Thomas Lucky M.D., Doctor of Internal Medicine. I met with him every Monday morning 8:00 a.m. E.S,T. for an hour , sometimes longer depending on his patient schedule and dispatch to him synopsisses of information garnered the previous week
Once again I don’t want to bother you, but I have received such an abundance of information from you, esp. your podcast, I more or less feel an obligation to at least try to give you something useful back in return.
I write poetry quite often and use poems of different poets to help explain different times of my life. Seeing pictures of you and your boys reminded me of a poem I received in the 8th grade, The poem,”George Gray” written by Edgar Lee Masters may be something you would like to pass on to your eldest son now and perhaps to your younger son later. The decision(s) here are of course yours.
The poem “Eros Turnnos”, by Edwin Arlington Robinson, is considered by many to be the greatest (best) poem, short poem (50 lines or less) ever written. I have been reading and internalizing it now for 50 decades. Finally, starting to understand this thing called “Love”. Then along comes epigenetics and life on Mars and did you know that you can not even observe a subatomic particle because the energy generated from your mind by the mere act of observing causes
the particle to change and from nano- second to nano-second the object is changing before the human mind can calculate what it is/was seeing?
My poem to you, “Barter”, by Sara Teasdale. “Children’s faces looking up, holding wonder like a cup”. The expressions on your son’s faces when they are with their Dad and he is showing them all the majesty of our world, that makes me trust you and want to become better friends with you. You send me “Holy thoughts that star the night”, may I endeavor to send a star or two back to you!
Finally, Robert Frost wrote a poem, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”. I abhor that poem. It is so despondent. I have written a poem, “Always Gold the Way” in rebuttal to the antiquated puritanical nihilistic fatalism of his period in history.
Before I get “Too Far Out and In Too Deep” Laters (You have read “50 Shades of Grey haven’t you?) ,
that’s because I and Aubrey De Grey
plan on being here another 1000 years or so. 🙂
Another quick note. I have spent most of today reading “How to Reprogram Your DNA for Optimum Health” by Adelle LaBrec .It is a short book, only 110 pages you may want to pick up However, the thing I think you may find most interesting is her attitude towards TA-65, especially on p.100 where she concludes, “there is no evidence that this proprietary medicinal formulation of TA-65 would impact telomerase production any differently than a high-quality astragalus supplement.”
F.Y.I. This book is published by Think-Outside-the-Book Publishing LLC, 311 N. Robertson Blvd, Suite 323, Beverly Hills Ca. 90211. http://www.undergroundHealthReporter.com
Growing Younger Everyday.