Monthly Archives: August 2007

The Hammer Forged from Flesh

 

 

    Through a man’s position and fortune, he is judged by others and himself to have reason to act.  This reason is a perception of the mind, a phantom of his device.  And he forgets that his existence and purpose is forged by the hammer in his hand.

 

 

     I remember when I was young I used to think that way.  The world was my oyster and all that.  It seems like a dream now.  A man has responsibilities particularly when he is an agent for the government, an agent for Military Intelligence Central.  If he’s one of the elite Individual Retrieval Information Sect agents, he knows that he is the hammer for Cerberus.  Somebody’s got to be the watchdog.  Somebody’s got to keep society from going crazy and somebody else has to do the work.  An IRIS agent has to do the work.

     My boss, the hand that holds the hammer if you will, likes to call himself Cerberus, the head watchdog.  He, no, it, has a funny sense of humor, but if I were a machine that was made up of dead brains, I guess I’d have a funny sense of humor, too.  Going from a cerebral military personnel interface to a self styled Cerberus would be a shock to a body.  Sort’a like being born.  He keeps himself well cared for though.  I’ll give him that.  Agents like me with these implants that beam back copies of our neural nets to him all the time put him on top of things.  What we see, he sees.  What we feel, he feels.

     Shit, coffee’s gone cold on me.  Rain’s coming down in sheets outside this plasticene diner.  Pretty, though.  Rain cleans out the city.  I bet Cerberus likes this picture he’s getting from me.  Hell, who knows what he thinks.  I popped another four aspirin for the ache in the back of my neck.  Lord, I hate downtime.  It’s even worse being stuck on earth so close to Cerberus.  Waitress is staring at me funny.  I think she’s smelled me out.  I could tell her I’m on vacation, but she’d never believe me.  She’d be right, too, I guess.  IRIS agents never really go on vacation.

     I turn my head toward the beep of the door as it opens.  It’s Cynthia.  She looks fine under that slicker.  The purple dress and gold belt I bought her make her a knockout.  She slides into the booth across me and smiles.  I can tell something’s wrong.  It’s a plastered smile placed like the mascara that the rain smudged below her eyes.

     "Rob," she said, and I already know what’s coming.  Her eyes send that pity look, and she knows I’ve already copped what she’s going to say.  She’s going to say it anyway, damn her.  "I can’t take it anymore.  Just knowing that thing is watching us all the time even in bed.  Look what happened to Jeremy.  He’s in the hospital now.  I can’t go through that kind of thing with you, or anybody.  Goodbye, Rob."

     She moved to get out the booth, but I grabbed her arm.  I didn’t mind so much that she was leaving me.  It wasn’t like it was an R&J or anything.  I’m a loner.  I don’t go in for messy attachments.  But when I’m getting dumped, I sure as hell want to understand why I’m getting dumped.  I put my face close to hers so she’d be sure I wasn’t backing down.  "What are you talking about?  Who’s Jeremy?  You find another man?  That’s okay.  I know I’ve never been the warmest guy toward you, but you know I like you, Cyn."

     Her face lost its composure, and she didn’t jerk her arm out of my grasp like I expected.  Instead, she just sat down in the booth again.  I let go of her silk sleeve.  "How can you say that about poor Jeremy?  He’s in restraint at the St. Stephen mental hospital.  He’s–Lord–he’s little more than an animal now.  He didn’t even recognize me.  And he was an IRIS agent like you."

     I’d heard of agents cracking before.  It can be a rough job.  I still didn’t understand what this had to do with her running out on me.  "Hey, Cyn, I’m not going to crack up, if that’s what you’re worried about.  Maybe this Jeremy guy couldn’t hold it together.  Not everyone is as tough as the class of ’58."

     She got frightened when I said that, and I got more confused.  She babbled, "He was in your class.  He was your best friend.  Ohmigod, it’s happening to you.  You’re going crazy.  I–I wish I could help you, Rob.  I really do.  Can’t you quit IRIS?"

     "What’re you talking about?  Why should I want to quit?"

     That’s when it finally got through to me.  The rain hadn’t marred her makeup.  She’d been crying.  Her eyes were getting watery all over again.  She whispered, "I love you," and hopped out the booth and ran out the diner before I could stop her.

     I wasn’t of a mind to chase her.  I didn’t understand her when she was calm.  I doubt I would’ve gotten anything more rational out of her now.  The coffee was ice cold and bitter.  I left it there.

     The waitress was glad to see me leave.  Everybody’s got something to hide from Cerberus, it seems.  I hate that look in their eyes.  Makes me paranoid.  I wish they’d figure out that if I was going to pop them, there’d be nothing they could do about it anyway.

     I hopped a cab to go to my old home on earth.  It was a flat I had bought after coming out of training with my bonus.  I’d been staying in hotels just ’cause I like to keep moving.  But after I get dumped, I like my roots around me and a stiff drink.  To paraphrase Dorothy, "There’s no place like home to get a stiff drink."  The cabbie was watching me from the rear view.  He’d smelled me out like the waitress had.  Cabbies always do.  They’ve got the knack for people, I geuss.

     Funny thing.  I like the old, electric cabs.  The ground’s eye view lets you feel like you’re traveling to somewhere unlike the supersubs in the tunnels that zip you to where you want to go inside a black tunnel.  But, I was getting queasy.  That wasn’t supposed to happen to me.  I’ve been through zero g and reentry dozens of times.  Now a cab ride was making me sick.  This just wasn’t my day.

     I held it in until the ride was over.  I tried to pay the cabbie, but he wouldn’t take my money.  It’s one of the perks of the job for an IRIS agent on vacation.  I decided to take the lift to my second floor apartment.  I was feeling sicker, and the stairs were just too bothersome to navigate.  Soon as I got home, I shot myself twice with vodka.  I didn’t care if I was sick.  There were certain rituals to follow when one was dumped, and two shots of self abuse was one of them.  It didn’t help.

     I plopped myself in my sky blue bean bag chair determined to engage in a healthy dose of self pity.  I reached across the room with an arm and grabbed my picture album.  Self pity’s always better with a visual aid.  I took out my wallet and slipped the pictures of Cyn out of the flimsy plastic spreading them and the photo album across my stomach.

     Looking at the pictures was like looking through a bubble of smoky glass.  The nausea was getting absurd.  Still, single minded determination was the hallmark of IRIS agents, and I wanted to find out who this Jeremy character was who disgraced my class by cracking up.  I opened the book and was rewarded by a sharp pain in my gut.  Maybe I was getting an ulcer.  The vodka wouldn’t have helped that.  I found the class picture, but didn’t recognize anyone.  I remember it was taken just before the final initiation and implant surgery.  The faces were grimmer than I had remembered.

     There was a list of names at the bottom of the picture in annoyingly small print.  I had to focus my eyes several times to read it.  I saw Jeremy’s name next to mine listed as the third and fourth on the top row: two men with black hair and military uniforms.  They were somber and proud as if they were about to go to war.  Huhn, I didn’t even recognize myself.

     It’s been a long time.

     Another stab of pain made me grimace.  This time it was at the back of my neck.  I grabbed my smooth head.  Baldness was a sign of maturity, but that thought didn’t ease the pain.  It ebbed and I doggedly flipped through the book.  Jeremy’s picture struck a chord.  Cynthia must have been two timing me with him while I was off planet.  It always is with a best friend.  Best friend?  Where had that thought come from?  I flipped through the book.  Cynthia was right.  There was something wrong with my memory, and I didn’t want to end up like Jeremy slavering at the mouth and wriggling in that white straight jacket waiting for the next electro treatment.  That had been a terrible sight.  Pictures of surgeons and specialists in silk suits didn’t help.   There were more doctors in the book than I had remembered: psychologists, neurologists, and organ mechanics.  Even some hypnotherapists were listed in the blurry fine print below the pictures.

     On the following page was a friendlier picture of Jeremy obviously caught by surprise in the bathroom.  He was doing something with his mouth, but I couldn’t make it out.  My headache surged.

     Jeremy had been brushing his teeth.  When was the last time I had brushed my teeth?  I couldn’t remember.  More pain.  I didn’t care.  This was serious.  I pushed aside the book and levered myself out of the bean bag to a standing position with my other hand.  God, I’ve got to brush my teeth!  It might’ve been years.  My teeth could be falling out right now.

     I leaned over the sink and stared into the dusty bathroom mirror.  There was a post it picture of Cynthia stuck to it.  The cheap photog paper had curled slightly at the right corner assaulted by Washington’s humidity.  She was wearing that purple negligee that always got my motor revving.  Six purple dots marked her forehead to identify her as a second generation android.  Why hadn’t I noticed that before now?  The markings were always visible.  It was the law.

     My teeth!  I forgot to check them.  I opened my mouth peeling my lips off to expose my gums.  Stainless steel teeth reflected the fluorescent bathroom light.  I looked down at the sink where my lips lay.  This wasn’t how people brushed their teeth.   And Cynthia, a synth-human.  I grabbed the picture and tore it apart.  I am not like her!  I am human.

     I was human.  I had to laugh.  Poor Jeremy discovered the truth and couldn’t take it.  But my laughter wasn’t at him.  It was for myself.  The illusion that Cerberus had used to enslave me faded.  I rotated the short muzzle gun embedded in my shoulder with a sensual ecstacy.  It was never in a holster like some archaic cowboy’s phallic symbol.  It was me.  The arm that grabbed my album was a long, thick titanium coil with a grappler on the end that emanated from my stomach.  There was another in my back.  Me me me me me.

     The implant that sent a neural copy to Cerberus worked both ways.  Such elegant chains!  The damnable computer fitted the illusion and the drive to serve back into the agent through the implant.  He, and I know Cerberus is not an it, for he has ego, made us in his image; brains fitted into a metal shell gave the monster his sons and servants.  Generous machine!  Cerberus left us the illusion of humanity.

     A spike ejected from the palm of my hand.  I had to laugh again.  I used to see this as a dagger I kept up my sleeve.  I’ve been deluding myself.  No, Cerberus deluded me.  I plunged the spike a centimeter into the back of my neck.  My spine was titanium.  I knew myself now.  But the spike destroyed enough of the implant to make it break down.  My headache immediately disappeared.

     Jeremy, I remember you now.  I’ll avenge you.  Hell, maybe if I smash your implant, you’ll come out of it.  Maybe, Cerberus did that to you when you were starting to discover the truth.  Poor Cerberus, one of your watchdogs just slipped its leash.  And, I’ve got big teeth.  You should know.  You gave them to me.  I hope you like them when I sink them into your metal flesh.

     On the floor lay the remnants of Cyn’s picture.  I think I’ll call her.  My lady just might want to help me.

     I decided to leave a note for insurance:

     If you’re reading this, Jeremy, then I’ve suceeded and busted you out.  Something must have gone wrong or I would’ve been here to fill you in personally.  Take care of Cynthia.  Don’t let our brothers remain shackled to the tech illusion.

     Your friend,

                 Rob

PRIORITY ONE

FROM: MI CENTRAL PROJECT CERBERUS

TO: NSC AFFILIATE GENERAL NATHAN WILSON

PLEASE WAIT FOR DNA CHECK–RETINAL PRINT FOLLOWS–

     Operation Tree of Knowlege has been aborted.  Law enforcement android christened ROB has broken programming.  Subject entered non programmed transitory delusional state.  Cerberus has initiated shut down procedures as per Jeremy prototype.  Neural organic chip is subject to variations outside parameters circumscribed as necessary for mission adaption.  This directly results from the Tree of Knowlege cover program, which created adaptive phenomenon.

     The secondary operation containing mass production capabilities has been initiated.  A flexible, artificial Individual Retrieval Information Sector agent will be developed through recombinant DNA/chemical therapy on subject fetus using a minimum of synthetics.  While construction period is longer, Cerberus feels that more controls in engineering and design make Operation Adam’s Rib a viable, less visible task force.  MI Central expects the appropriate funding to be approved in the next budget meeting by a majority plus ten.

     Cerberus wishes luck to your wife. 

Advertisements

Isaiah 15-19 An affirmation of Christianity

Isaiah 13:15 KJB

Quote:
Every one that is found shall be thrust through
Isaiah is a problematic passage for many it seems and atheists and skeptics have pointed to the Old Testament and this passage in particular as contradicting the idea that God is Love.  I agree that it is a difficult passage.  The problem comes in interpreting the passage and I think in understanding what the Bible is: a divinely inspired collection of books describing God’s wisdom and salvific plan.  Read through this lens I have come to see this Old Testament verse replete with horrors as a proof of God’s love.  On one hand atheists point to religion as wish fulfillment on the next they point to this passage as explicitly denying the primary wish that God is love.  Which is it?  It cannot be both.  Religion cannot be wish fulfillment and then deny the wish.  The contradiction rests on the skeptics here. 
 
A deeper look into the metaphysics in the Bible shows that it accurately depicts the world and as a loving God would, warns through the authors of a world distorted by evil.  This is no wish fulfillment text but the warning, grave warning, of a loving Father to all His people who will listen to Him.
 
For my part, I reject none of the Old Testament. Jesus did not, so I will not either, nor is it fair to say this passage is evil. Skeptics and those who attack the Bible (at least from a google search) bring out 15-18 but leave out who 15-18 is aimed at:

Quote:
11 And I will visit the evils of the world, and against the wicked for their iniquity: and I will make the pride of infidels to cease, and will bring down the arrogancy of the mighty. 12 A man shall be more precious than gold, yea a man than the finest of gold. 13 For this I will trouble the heaven: and the earth shall be moved out of her place, for the indignation of the Lord of hosts, and for the day of his tierce wrath. 14 And they shall be as a doe fleeing away, and as a sheep: and there shall be none to gather them together: every man shall turn to his own people, and every one shall flee to his own land.
Isaiah 13:15-18 KJB
Quote:
Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined [unto them] shall fall by the sword.
Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished. Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and [as for] gold, they shall not delight in it. Their] bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.
Does anyone deny that the fruits of wickedness are visited on the children of the wicked?
Have you seen the children raised in Madrassas? The ones who slice off the necks of helpless victims?
The innocent children who are starving around the globe because of wicked tyrants?

Skeptics and atheists condemn God’s wrath and ridicule the Bible as being an innacurate portrait of a Loving God, but would not a Loving God use the Bible to warn you of His providential wrath against sinners? and the wages of sin born on the backs of the innocent, like the children of Darfur? 

 
 

 
Would these massive evils exist if we all followed the Good News?  Imagine.  Take a moment and imagine a human world immersed in a people who follow the beatitudes, who respect the inherent dignity of all human beings exemplified by Christ who sacrificed Himself for each and everyone of us.  Evil evaporated by love.  Food distibutred to the world, children raised in loving homes, medicine distributed across the globe, all the benefits of a loving civilization brought by a humanity following the Good News.  Take a long moment and imagine all humanity following the beatitudes in their hearts and in their lives.
 
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall posses the land.
Blessed are they who mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. 
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 
I stand behind the Bible. It does not exhort its readers to jihad or to lie. The Bible in Isaiah is not exhorting YOU to kill, but is honestly telling you the reality, God’s reality of the effects of the wicked who have free will on this world and the results are a part of His wrath, because He being Omnipotent, could break the free will of the evil, but He allows it. How odd that a passage that reflects the reality of our times could be satanically twisted as fodder for skeptics, when in fact it is a merciful warning we desperately need and a proof that the Bible is not some wishfulfillment, but a stark assesment of reality.  As Christians, God has warned us of the difficulties of a reality distorted by sin and so forewarned we should use our prudence to work to lessen the disorder (sin) in the world and promote authentic love.

The Bible is truth; God’s world is harsh. Someone tell the skeptics and the next time someone tells you about how cruel the Old Testament is: Open up a newspaper.

God warns you it is bad and not to be wicked in no uncertain terms, warns you exactly what happens. Don’t be surprised when you read the Old Testament. Don’t deny its truth. We are the Church militant and these warnings in the Old Testament need to be heeded. Darfur is the result; the Taliban is the result. God permits the evils of the wicked.

I praise God that He inspired Isaiah to warn us the results of wickedness.

Christ did not refute the OT and neither does reality.

The passage speaks of God’s wrath against sin; unlike the Koran this passage is not a moral call of its followers to kill. It is an exegesis on God’s wrath Who Alone is Good as exemplified by His warning to you in the OT. A warning that rings more true today than ever.  Please, don’t ignore it. 

 
I thought about that Isaiah passage and when I studied it I was blown away at the mercy–yes mercy of God who acknowleges the terrible suffering and devastation of sin and acknowleges his permissive will as reality groans under the weight of sin and innocents suffer for others free will rejection of God’s love. Could we worship a God who pretends that the ugliness of reality does not exist? I don’t want a God of my own wish fulfillment. That He, the Father, warned us in the OT, that He acknowleges this world and how sin kindles wrath leaves with me an important message on the terrible damage of sin, the frightening damage of sin, the proper fear of the Lord, to offend such a Holy God, Who gave us everything Who sustains our very existence by His will, our Father through Jesus.

An eye for an eye

An eye for an eye was a secular temporal law and never meant as a personal injunction for an individual conscience, for vengeance belongs solely to the Lord and to forbear or to use it. This was a law for the Israelites to follow: an eye for an eye, a physical law underpinning a universal truth underneath it about fairness and Justice, for did not Jesus say that you will not be released until you have paid every last penny? The context is different in both cases, but the universal truth underlying it is the same.

The mathematical laws were not made to be applied to a book containing the wisdom of God revealed throuigh human authors.

I’m still seeking for answers. Not everything I read in the OT makes me comfortable, but I do find if I put some effort and prayer into it there is an agreement between the old and the new.

Would the Master, Jesus, who so clearly loves us say this:
Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Matthew 5
For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. "

if he were a trickster? He told us our yes to mean yes, so He is pointing out some serious truths in the OT that are important for us to follow Him better.

I thought about that Isaiah passage and when I studied it I was blown away at the mercy–yes mercy of God who acknowleges the terrible suffering and devastation of sin and acknowleges his permissive will as reality groans under the weight of sin and innocents suffer for others free will rejection of God’s love. Could we worship a God who pretends that the ugliness of reality does not exist? I don’t want a God of my own wish fulfillment. That He, the Father, warned us in the OT, that He acknowleges this world and how sin kindles wrath leaves with me an important message on the terrible damage of sin, the frightening damage of sin, the proper fear of the Lord, to offend such a Holy God, Who gave us everything Who sustains our very existence by His will, our Father through Jesus.

This world looks a lot more like the OT than the NT if you look at it. Maybe the OT has something to offer us is what I am thinking. Not as a Koran like dogmatic formula, but as books of divinely inspired wisdom.

God bless us on our searches. 

Affirming the Old Testament

Rejection of the Old Testament puts one in a difficult position with communion with the Catholic Church. My friendly advice would be not to reject the Old Testament out of hand but study it via Catholic theology and texts until you can come to some accord with it. The New Testament does not deny the Old Testament. The New Testament affirms the Old Testament.

Quote:
1 John 2
7 Dearly beloved, I write not a new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you have heard.

Quote:
Matthew 5

17 Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

Quote:
2 Matthew 5

18 For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled.

Quote:
Luke 2

22 And after the days of her purification, according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they carried him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord:

Quote:
14 Luke 2

27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when his parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law,

Quote:
2 Timothy 3

16 All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice,

The Church affirms the Old Testament in its entirety:
http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s1c2a3.htm#128

Quote:
The unity of the Old and New Testaments

128 The Church, as early as apostolic times,104 and then constantly in her Tradition, has illuminated the unity of the divine plan in the two Testaments through typology, which discerns in God’s works of the Old Covenant prefigurations of what he accomplished in the fullness of time in the person of his incarnate Son.

129 Christians therefore read the Old Testament in the light of Christ crucified and risen. Such typological reading discloses the inexhaustible content of the Old Testament; but it must not make us forget that the Old Testament retains its own intrinsic value as Revelation reaffirmed by our Lord himself.105 Besides, the New Testament has to be read in the light of the Old. Early Christian catechesis made constant use of the Old Testament.106 As an old saying put it, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.107

130 Typology indicates the dynamic movement toward the fulfillment of the divine plan when "God [will] be everything to everyone."108 Nor do the calling of the patriarchs and the exodus from Egypt, for example, lose their own value in God’s plan, from the mere fact that they were intermediate stages.

You may notice here how the context of the Old Testament–format if you will that the context rests in–allows for Christ’s salvific plan to be seen as the culmination. This would not be the same without the divinely inspired authors and the readers all working with God as opposed to an authoritarian and immutable rule sheet. God, perfect and immutable, condescends in scripture to teach us who are most imperfect and mutable, and in the mystery of the Incarnation, to join us for love.

Viewed this way, it is easy to see that scripture does not give rise to violence based on its own words. These messages are of course absent from the Koran due to its format (as well as its rejection of the Son). as the Koran is a solitary work by its own adherents’ admission