Archive | September 2014

The Earth and Plants

Perhaps you have never asked yourself of the importance of soil. Maybe you have not even attributed to it any special function or importance in your life or society. These sort of thoughts may be forming in you because, today, most urban western societies live in almost a soil-free environment. Now, I am not against having concrete or whatever, and the purpose of this essay is not to speak of the negative impacts of urban civilization on earth. But I am writing this because we need to become more conscious of the importance of earth than the one we give to our world. Why?

Life was not created with our world, but with earth (soil, dirt, etc.) and water. Out of the earth and the water came all of the living organisms we have knowledge of, and even those of which we do not know. The truth is that even in the most arid area there is life, for the mere reason that there is earth.

Therefore, if everything came from the earth and water, what then, were the first major organisms that came to be from these elements? If we can know those that were formed primarily, then we can come to understand an intrinsic relationship between those initial organisms and the earth.

These organisms are seeds and plants. Did you know that plants have a consciousness? They can detect the frequency of your thoughts and know, for example, if you will hurt or not hurt them. Plants are here on earth to serve us and they have an intimate relationship with earth because without it they would not be capable of birthing, growing, and reproducing, including underwater plants.

Earth and its soil provides plants with the necessary minerals, nutrients, and habitat to keep them alive and well. Hence, soil is not just simple “dirt” to hold the plant up and still, there exists a mutual influence between abiotic (nonliving) factors and biotic factors with soil. Weather/climate, temperature, moisture, acidity, minerals, insects, worms, fungi, microbes, animals, manure/wastes, and of course, vegetation, just to name a few, are all dependent of and affect soil.

Earth helped in the unfolding of life within the planet, and thus, it is important we begin to think differently of it. Let´s appreciate it.

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Religion vs. The Truth

We need to wake up, our society is yearning for a drastic change; it is longing for liberty and a reformation that tests our beliefs much greater than that one of the XVI century. People are tired of hypocracy, political correctness, and sermons that preach a “light” gospel. Who will rise up? Who will hear this cry?

What are the differences or similarities between Greek and Hebrew religion?

A religion is every form, structure, or system that does not allow you to develop your spirit, faith, and ultimately, your whole being to the fullness of what it is meant to be. In other words, it does not permit you to go higher than “tradition” and thus, there is no progress. Religion does not impact society to bring real change.

For so much time has mankind exalted, religion, the soul, the mind, intellect, reason, formalities, education, etc. For so much time have we ignored the Spirit. Religion finds pleasure in visible and temporal things, but the spirit delights in invisible and eternal things. We need to undertand that we are a spiritual being with a soul that resides inside a body. Once humanity “unlocks” this reality that is hard for the mind to comprehend, great mysteries will come to light.

Therefore, God (the real and true God: YHWH, not Budah, Mohamed, the Virgin Mary, Zeus, G.A.O.T.U, or whatever) is not a religion. Because YHWH is not temporal, a tradition, a system, a structure, or a form, He is the unmeasurable, almighty, sovereign, and omnipotent Maker of the Universe, whom gave susbtsance to all things with the power of His Light and makes all things new (Isaiah 48:6), including you ( Corinthians 5:17). A being that no understanding can ever come to fully grasp. If the heavens cannot sustain Him (1 Kings 8:27), then how can we expect Him to fit in a religion, call it Christianity or whatever?

Do you feel that “crash” in your mind while reading these words? We have become accustomed into believing in something with form but without substance! (2 Timothy 3:5) Our beliefs have no real foundation, which is the substance of the Light of YHWH. The revelation of Jesus Christ, in other words (Matthew 16:15-19, 1 Corinthians 3: 11, and Ephesians 2:20).

Darkness is form without substance, but once you “turn on” the light, darkness disappears, and your eyes always have to become used to the light after being in the dark. This act in the physical realm is uncomfortable at first, but when you adjust to the light, you realize that you prefer the light than the darkness. The same is true for the spiritual realm. The Light of Jesus, which is the truth, makes all you are and your traditions or religions shake. Hence, He has been utterly rejected by many.

For the same reason, the Pharisees did not understand or “like” Jesus. They wanted to see a visible Kingdom, and their mind could not assimilate an invisible Kingdom. ( Luke 17:20-22) They wanted to keep their culture and tradition, something Jesus just would not do. This is why Jesus was able to impact and change the world.

Today we say it so easily, “Yes, Jesus is the savior, how pretty is the Kingdom of God, let’s all be happy in church…” Let me ask you something, do you know Jesus is the Savior because someone else told you He is, or because you experienced the power of His glory? Many people today, declare that no one can prove the existence of God, but the Bible says you clearly can. “That your faith wouldn’t stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:5

How can you have a faith cemented in the power of God, if you are not going to feel or even know His power? Today, religion just has a bunch of theory based in the wisdom and reason of men. You see, Paul here is talking by the Spirit to Corinthians who are Greeks.

If we (Western Civilization) truly believed in a God that is almighty, then we would seek Him for healing, deliverance, salvation, wisdom, etc., not yoga, medicine, alternative medicine, psicology, many books, mortal men, etcetera and etcetera (I’m not saying this to thwart your freedom; you can live according to your individual will). It is widely believed, that God is someone out their in the universe who maybe hears your prayers, but it is uncertain if He will truly answer them.

Ancient Hebrews believed in the Son of the living God, but they never lived to see Him manifested. Nevertheless, the Israel of today is, what many would call, “messed up”. They do not believe in the Savior of humaity and through this, they reject Him. Therefore, this does not make them God’s people. Then, those who call themselves the people of God practically mock God and cause great unbelief in many, like atheists, because they do not manifest the power of God. People want to feel something that has substance, power, and reality, not religion.

What is it going to be then? Jesus prayed in John 17:21 “That they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me.” This unity is acquired through the unity of our spirit with the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17), as it says in the book of Romans chapter one, “who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Therefore, if we do not have the power of God, then that means we do not have the Spirit of Holiness, and if we do not have the Holy Spirit, then we do not have a kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is righteousness, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit. If we do not have a kingdom of God, then the world will not believe that Jesus Christ was sent and that we are sons of God. This is the condition of the “people” of God today.

That is the difference between the Greek religion and the true Hebrews. Greeks believed in darkness, and Hebrews believe in the powerful Light of men.

Persian and Peloponnesian Wars

The Persian Wars were a series of conflicts between the Persian Empire, the most powerful and organized empire of the time, and the Greek city-states. It all began when Cyrus the Great conquered the independent Ionian Greeks in Asia Minor. The Persian error was that they established tyrants to rule these somewhat free people.

Eventually, this drove to a rebellion later supported by Eretria and Athens,whom rendered 20 naval ships. In 494 BC, the Persians defeated the Ionians and brought the revolt to a hault. Nevertheless, the Persians were not satisfied with this victory. King Darius sought revenge against the Greeks and planned to conquer them and utterly stop any future uprisings. In 492 BC, the Persian general, Mardonius, conquered Thrace and Macedon, but his campaign was early ended by some contretemps.

Two years later, in 490 BC, a second army was assembled to attack Greece. This force traveled across the Aegean Sea, captured Eretria and then arrived on Marathon. Here the Geeks absolutely crushed the more numerous Persian army. This Greek victory conveyed them that the “almighty” Persians had their weaknesses and could be defeated. The Spartans witnessed this victory in showing up the day after the battle with 2,000 men and seeing dead Persian bodies all over the place.

After his loss in Marathon, King Darius began to formulate a plan and train an ever large army to completely conquer the Greeks, but he never lived to fulfill his desires. Darius died in 486 BC and his son, Xerxes, assumed the Persian empire and restarted his father’s preparation of a Persian invasion in Greece, which began in 480 BC.

Ten years after the Battle of Marathon, Xerxes traveled to Greece with a quarter million men and more than 500 ships. Many Greek city-states united to repel the invasion, but the Persians were just too strong and advanced with might. The route of the Persian land forces to Athens was through the narrow pass of Thermopylae, which was protected by 300 Spartan soldiers. These Spartan men fought, gave their lives, and bought the Athenians time to flee from Athens into the island of Salamis. Hence, when the Persians reached Athens, it was basically a ghost town and they burned it all down.

Now, just as the Persians took advantage of the ten years, the Athenians also did, and under the influence of Themistocles they built a substantial navy. Athenians at Salamis were waiting for the Persians with this strengthened navy and defeated the Persians by burning down their huge ships with fast and small Athenian ships; a strategy proposed by Themistocles. Seeing his defeated army, Xerxes fled to Persia, but left a military in Greece. However, the Greeks overcame this army in 479 BC through land and naval battles at Plataea and Mycale, which culminated all Persian threats over Greece.

With their winnnings, the Greeks formed the Delian League under Athenian direction to eliminate all Persian invasions in the Aegean islands and Asia Minor. However, the League’s aid in an anti-Persian revolt in Eypt resulted in a catastrophic defeat that suspended all further campaigning.

The Delian League required resources, thus the Athenians demanded the supply of ships and money. Years went by and some Greek-city states began to wonder if there really was such a Persian threat to keep funding the Delian League and prevail with its membership. Those Greek city-states began to ask themselves where the money was being catered to. They started to notice that Athens suddenly was undergoing a remodeling process. To create even greater suspicion, the Delian League moved its treasury from Delos to Athens itself.

With this impudent move, some cities withdrawed from the Delian League and seized contributing money to it, but the League obliged them back in. This ultimately led the Athenians to grow in “significant” power and as Greek historian Thucydides said, “The growth of the power of Athens and the alarm which this inspired in (Sparta), made war inevitable.” Sparta began growing concerned that Athenian Imperialism was a threat to all Greeks and it committed itself into fighting for the sake of Greek liberty.Therefore, in 431 BC, the Peloponnesian League (constituted by Sparta and its allies) invaded Athens, giving shape to what would be known as the Peloponnesian Wars.

Athens would not fight by land, but by sea, their specialty. In the midst of a probable Spartan invasion, Pericles advised the Athenians to hide behind long walls that they had built with public funds to transport food safely from the harbor to Athens. Yet, inside the walls, the space was very narrow and people were congested. This provoked them to not resist a plague that broke out in the year of 430 BC, which killed one third or maybe even two thirds of the Athenian population, including Pericles himself.

Even so, with this devastating massacre Sparta still could not seem to be capable of inflicting a definite blow on land and, as mentioned, Athens just dominated the sea. So, from the years 421 to 415 BC there was a stalemate and truce. But this temporal peace was then interrupted by the Athenian expedition to Sicily.

During the expedition, the Syracusans fought the Athenians with determination, causing Greek commander, Nicias, to call for reinforcements. Athens sent the reinforcements, but this second expedition was also proved to be worthless.

As the athenians were on the verge of heading out of the land, they saw a lunar eclipse. Comander Nicias interpreted this as an omen and was told by seers to stay and put off the evacuation for nearly four weeks. That was sufficient time for the Syracusans to block the mouth of the harbor and prevent the Athenians from escaping. The Greeks realized this and they desperately attempted to escape by land, but they were crippled. About 50,000 men from the forces of Athens and its allies perished.

Sparta had now risen arms against Athens due to its expeditions to Sicily, Spartans were fearful of it growing too powerful. Athens was routed, but this yielded no satisfactory victory for the Spartans, so the Peloponnisian War continued. The decisive impact was in 404 BC, a Spartan victory finally dissolved the Delian League.

Sparta was able to this by allying with the Persians to receive the help of becoming a mighty naval power. The conditions of this alleigance were that Persia would supply the necessary resources to Sparta for it to build ships and when Sparta won, they would have to give Persia back their dominance over the Ionian cities. So much for committing to the liberty of Greeks.

Anyway, Sparta defeated Athens and became an empire for a short period of time; Athens had to submit to it. This directed to the rule of the thirty Tyrants and now several city-states thought that Sparta was becoming too powerful. For that matter, they repeated the whole process of war once more and overthrew the Spartan Empire in 371 BC. By the mid-fourth Century, no one city-state was dominant. The whole Peloponnesian War had left the Greek city-states exhausted and vulnerable to the conquering of an ambitious leader, this would be Phillip II of Macedonia.

For all this, if Greece would have not survived these wars, Calssical Greek Civilization would have never developed to become a foundation of Western Civilzation. Their influence has endured throughout history and for this reason, their wars were vital moments in European history.

 

Angiosperms and Gymnosperms

The great majority of plants are classified into two different groups, gymnosperms and angiosperms. The name gymnosperm comes from the greek words gymno (naked) and sperma (seed). Their name literally means “naked seeds” because gymnosperms are nonflowering plants that produce their seeds in the open spaces of cones. On the other hand, angiosperm is formed by the greek words angeion (vessels) and sperma (seed). With this said, angiosperms are flowering plants that are formed inside containers basically known as fruits. However, in order to comprehend in greater detail the differences between angiosperms and gymnosperms we must also take note of their forms of reproduction and ultimately, their life cycles.

Angiosperm and gymnosperm life cycles are similar to each other, in that they have a sporophyte to produce spores, a gametophyte to produce gametes, and use meisosis and mitosis to pass from one stage to the other. Nevertheless, their are major distinctions found in the details of each one of these processes.

Gymnosperms are more primitive than angiosperms and therefore, you could probably say that their reproduction and life cycles are much simpler than those of angiosperms. At their sporophyte stage (dominant stage of plant with which we are all familiar with), gymnosperms have two sets of chromosomes, which undergo meisosis and produce two kinds of diffrent spores in a process denominated as heterospory.

The two spores produced are megaspores and micropsores. Megaspores have one set of chromosomes. These are those of the female formed in the ovulate cone where they go through mitosis to later develop into a female gametophyte which will create unfertilized eggs. Micropsores have one set of chromosomes and belong to the male, where they grow in the pollen cone, go through mitosis, and later unfold into pollen grain.

The male gametophyte (pollen grain) will contain two nonflagellated sperm. This means that the sperm will not have flagella (tales) because they will not travel through water to reproduce. As a matter of fact, the nonflagellated sperm will be carried in the pollen grain propelled by the wind to pollinate an ovulate cone and fertilize a different plant’s egg to create genetic diversity. For this purpose, gymnosperms will normally produce exagerated amounts of pollen for them to reach at least one ovulate cone.

When the sperm and the egg join in fertilization, they will end up generating the next generation’s sporophyte. This will first occur through the creation of seeds. The seeds will possess three parts, the embryo (baby sporophyte), food for the embryo, and a seed coat to protect it from being damaged.

Angiosperms, just as gymnosperms, have a sporophyte phase which has two sets of chromosomes, undergoes meiosis, and creates two types of spores with one set of chromosomes: a megaspore and a microspore. The megaspore (of female) grows in an ovary, suffers mitosis and forms an embryo sac (female gametophyte). The microspore (of male) evolves in the Anther, submits to mitosis, and gives shape to pollen grain. The ovary will pass through mitosis and create eggs or female gametes and the pollen grain will also have mitosis and form two nonflagellated sperm or male gametes.

Some angiosperms like to use wind pollination, but many others stick to a more efficient route and utilize animals such as insects, birds, bats, and other sorts to disperse their pollen. Unlike gymnosperms, these guys encounter a double fertilization event, where one sperm fertilizes the egg and the other fertilizes a central cell. This central cell has two sets of chromosomes and the sperm has one. When they unite, they form a substance called an “endosperm” which is triploid or has three sets of chromosomes. The endosperm will be the food surce of the developing embryo. Let’s understand this process a bit better.

Flowers hold a female part recognized as carpel or pistil. This area within the flower consists of a stigma, a style, and an ovary that has many ovules. The stigma is a sticky place at the entrance of the pistil that catches pollen grains. Then, the pollen begins to institute a pollen tube into a long tube-like structure known as the style, to finally access the ovary of the carpel.

The ovary sustains many parts. First, it has the micropyle, which is in its essence a small opening that enables the pollen tube to enter an ovule. Once inside the ovule, the pollen will deliver its two nonflagellated sperm. Inside the ovule is the embryo sac made of 7 different cells: three antipodal cells at the hind of the ovule, one central cell, and three cells next to the micropyle. Those last ones are of great attention. They practically consist of the egg cell and two cynergids beside it that generate chemicals to make a concentration gradient that leads the pollen tube into the egg cell.

Once in the egg cell, one sperm will fertilize it and the other will head to the central cell with two polar nuclei, fertilize it, and create the endosperm. Hormones will then be produced and a seed will develop. To form the seed coat will be the ovule and the ovary will become the future fruit, whether edible or small enough to stick on an animals fur and deposite the seed somewhere else.

Finally, about 98% of angiosperms can be divided into dicots and monocots. Monocots usually have petals in multiples of three, vertical veins, adventitious roots that look like spread fibers, scattered vascular bundles in their stem, and one cotyledon (a seed leaf) inside the seed. Dicots have petals in multiples of four or five, are net veined, have a taproot (main or central root), have their vascular bundles at the edge of their stem, and have two cotyledons.

In conclusion, the basic difference between gymnosperms and angispoerms is that ones have naked seeds and the others are flowering plants. Notwithstanding, in their life cycles they are very similar, except when you go into detail about each’s reproductive organs and ways.

Greek Religion Uncovered

It is interesting to see how the ancient greeks exalted reason so much, and yet believed in a whole bunch of stupidities that are pretty much irrational. If we are not going to be fond of their religion, then we might as well not be fond of their art, culture, etc. that basically ended up honoring their beliefs. We must renew ourselves and our society.

Most people do not openly recognize or ignore that the classical greek culture was filled with moral and sexual depravity. Most Greek art is what we would call today “a picture of a nude or half naked man or woman”. We need to wake up to the reality of things and truly challenge the substance of our beliefs and admirations. If almost everything done in Ancient Greek society ultimately was dedicated to their deities, then we must revise to the depths what this religion meant. For that matter, Hesiod and his Theogony, are a good place to start.

My theory is that Hesiod was a man that had somehow contact with the “dark side” of the spiritual realm. Therefore, he believed a bunch of lies and created a whole religion that honored hundreds of demon-like gods whom strangely provided the ethical models for mankind. I call them “demon-like” becuase they practically had no ethics, were full of hatred, wanted revenge all the time, lived sexually immoral stories, no one was absolutely sovereign, and many of them just desired to curse mankind.

While studying the Theogony, my attention was grabbed in noticing how Aristotle spoke of friendship and yet, believed in the Greek religion which says that Night gave birth to Doom, Fate, Death, Sleep, Dreams, Blame, Woe, Destinies, Avenging Fates, Deceit, FRIENDSHIP, Age, and Strife. And I asked myself, how can something give birth to both good and evil things or gods at the same time? I found the answer in Genesis, in the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil which brought death to mankind.

You see, if Aristotle later said in one of his books that better than eudaimonia, human fulfillment is found in the worship of god, then what can we expect to obtain from his proposal of “human flourishing”? The friendship that Aristotle speaks about, because it is conditioned by his beliefs, also brings us Death, Doom, Blame, Woe, Avenging Fates, Deciet, and Strife. Why? Because everything originates from the spiritual realm, and if Night or Darkness, gave birth to all those demon-like gods, then Aristotle’s “good” Friendship is accompanied by them.

In Genesis, Good and Evil came together, and they did too in Hesiod’s Theogony. However, Elohim (the God of the Bible) separated Life from Death or the Light from the Darkness. His Light brought and brings His order to the universe because it seperates it from Darkness, which is Chaos or disorder. This brings me to my next attraction in Hesiod’s Theogony, where he says that Chaos is the origin of all things. Genesis says that God, especfically the Light of God is the origin of all things, but Hesiod attributes it to Darkness. Then we wonder why there is so much chaos in Western societies. Let me ask you something, has your reason solved anything?

Even so, we continue to hear everywhere we go that the Ancient Greeks gave the fundamentals for our Western World, and indeed they had their influence. In Hesiod’s Theogony you find that war and conflict were basic to the gods, that deception was universal, and that no resolution could be found to create peace. Does that sound similar to what we live today? I shall repeat it to you, everything in this physical realm originates from the spiritual realm. At least that is what the book of Genesis alludes to in saying that the omnipotent spiritual being of Elohim gave substance to all that exists.

Eudaimonia?

From the day we are born and throughout our lives we grow up with preconceived ideas about who we are and practically everything that surrounds us. These philosphies condition us to develop, live and act in a certain manner within our culture, religion, morality, ethics, etc. They all become deeply rooted within our beings that we barely even take the time to question what we believe and why we believe it. We do not analyze the substance of our creeds; if they are a true reality or a mere illusion that lacks the power to change our innermost being or will take us to acquire that which we are longing for. Whether we realize it or not, we live in intranquility because we try to find what is real and what is truthful. This is part of our human nature, “the seeking of the essence of all things, the purpose of the universe, and the reason of our being.” In other words, “Why are you/ is it/ am I here? Why are things done?”

In our pursuit we become desperate in discovering what is tangible that a time arrives in which we end adopting the next philosphy that is exposed to us, not percieving that it is not ultimate in what it mentions. Today’s Western thought is fundamented in the “combination” of the philospohies of ancient Greek thinkers that were determined by their own civilization. Even though we might purpose ourselves to absorb the “good” of their thoughts and omit the inconvenient, I believe that we will inherit, at some point or another, whether consciously or unconsciously, their whole manner of thinking and believing. Of course, we will also include to their ideas our definite conceptions of what is true until we create an entirely combined structure of thought. The result of those actions will be looking something like our current Western Civilization.

All of this to say that we cannot and must not believe something just because it sounds “pretty” or “benevolent” to our ears and hearts.

Aristotle was an intelligent greek philosopher who intended to propose a manner to acquiring the living of a good life. He basically said that we do goods in order to attain other goods, but we ultimately endeavor for a final good. According to Aristotle there are three types of goods: 1. instrumental goods, like wealth 2. mixed goods (both instrumental and intrinsic), such as honor, pleasure, reason, and virtue 3. only one intrinsic good (a final goal or motivation) and that is happiness or eudaimonia.

Different than to the happiness we normally refer to, eudaimonia alludes to something like “human flourishing”. Human beings are ultimately desirous of living up to their full potential. Eudaimonia, which is in its essence virtous activity, is the one that chaperones us to unfold our absolute human capacity.

However, to obtain eudaimonia, we are compelled to initially understand what our purpose is. The knowledge of our destiny is revealed to us when we notice what makes us unique and, for Aristotle, this is reason. In other words, we reflect things before acting upon them and this enables us to make rewarding decisions. When we comprehend this fact, we will become upright human beings, because we will be doing what we were made to do.

We were meant to actualize all our human abilities, but specially our reason. The necessity of our being is to live according to reason and engage in rational activity to win eudaimonia.

In other terms, rational activity creates in us virtuous activity, that yields true pleasure. Doing the correct thing becomes our second nature in seeing that it is good for YOU to treat others well. Assimilating this way of thought propels us to be trained in the practice of virtue until it becomes a habit to do the proper thing. Eventually, our reason will lead our virtues to be perfected and live a balanced life between two extremes. For example, generosity is the balance between prodigality and illiberality.

Lastly, Aristotle speaks about friendship and tries to show the satisfying relationships virtuous people will tend to have. First, he says that there are three kinds of friendships: of utility, of pleasure, and of the good of virtue. This last one points out that it is a relationship where people seek what is best for one another. Aristotle concludes that friendship brings the opportunity to implement virtues and reinforce the development of each other’s character.

It all sounds so beautiful, but how many people have achieved or made the intent in acquiring all of this and not ended up in eudaimonia? One could probably say, that the reason for that matter is because they did not fulfill it to the essence of what Aristotle meant. Yet, I think that even if they performed it to the letter, they would still not be able to completely flourish. Now, before you conclude that I am crazy, allow me to explain.

I think that the things Aristotle mentioned cannot be executed to the plenitude of their significance. Primarily because thriving according to our reason will never usher us to live up to our full potential. We have a mind and soul, but we also have a spirit and as I mentioned in Ancient Greece’s Contribution, the spiritual realm is boundless and therefore many times irrational. Secondarily, because relationships that are based on YOUR own good or ego (“it is good for YOU to treat others well”) can become unstable. What if your friend starts acting inadequately with you? Will you still believe that it is good for YOU to treat the other one well?

You see, that is when true love is tested. I believe that true love is when you are willing to give your life for the other. In other words, you care for the other more than you care for yourself. The other’s good is most important to you than yours. And I know that sometimes you do not miss the Christian that does not understand the Bible and says that Jesus said we must love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Yes, Jesus did say those words, but He too said that you must love your enemy and love God above all things, and that includes yourself. This means that when you learn to love God in absoluteness, your ego (or you) will be no more.

I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. Galatians 2:20

By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 1 John 3:16

 

Socrates vs The Sophists

One of the greatest points of controversy in greek philosophy is that one of Socrates and the Sophists. The Sophists were a group of thinkers that believed in no absolute truth, that man was the measure of all things, that laws were a mere convention and that through logos (speech or thought) you could come to persuade people into believing the illusion of reality. This moral relativism corrupts because everyone acts in their best interest and according to what is right or wrong to each individual.

The sophist way of thought was utterly opposed by Socratese. Socratese is thought to be the main or one of the three greek phiosophers to have laid foundation for the west’s way of thought. This man sought absolute truths and that took him to realize that there could only be one true justice. With the existence of truth being discovered only through reason, Socarates explained that knowledge is virtue and a good life is that one that examines itself and pursuits knowledge. Socrates destroyed the whole Sophist belief in sayng that if the Sophists were to be right, then those who disagree with them are correct as well because their philospphy is true for them.

 

Photosynthesis and Energy

Photosynthesis is one of the most fundamental processes to help in the sustainability of life on earth. This process converts luminous energy originating from the sun into stable chemical energy. Being light their primary soure of energy, green plants, some algae and other microorganisms utilize chlorophyll in a type of cytoplasmic organelle known as chloroplast to convert inorganic matter, like atmospheric carbon dioxide and water, into organic matter, such as glucose, lipids, and proteins. Oxygen , which is basic for respiration, is a “waste” product of this whole process.

The great majority of orgnisms to carry out photosynthesis are denominated photoautotrophs, many of them which are green plants. In their ecosystems, green plants are primary produces, for they are the main or “primary” source of energy for other organisms. This is not only because they are consumed by heterotophs, but also becasue they provide the necessary oxygen for aerobic cellular respiration to take place.

Therefore, photoautotrophs utilize the sun’s energy to supply indispensible organic matter and vital oxygen. These components are consumed and absorbed by other organisms to use for energy and survival. In short words, food webs lead back to the energy produced by plants and microbes through photosynthesis.

 

The Power of Sin is the Law

Why do we have a law today? We are told that the world needs an ethical standard or an order of law to have morally correct and righteous societies. However, our society seems to be going into a downfall more and more, even when there are new additions to the law or there is a supposed increase in the enforcement of it. Definitely, the question comes in saying “will we ever get all people to follow or at least respect the law? Or will we have to ultimately surrender into corruption?”

Some people might blame the government, others might blame other people, many might blame cultures, or even the laws themselves (by the way, many laws are just plain confusion).  Nevertheless, no one dares to analyze themselves and be counted as responsible for what goes on around them, but we justify ourselves in saying that we are a mere single human being that lives under a law.  I’ve been asked “What is the view of the biblical materials on the role of ethics in the development of history?”

The bible is a spiritual and divine book and its purpose is to reveal to us the Christ. This book can only be comprehended through the revelation of the Holy Spirit, because it originates from the realm of the Spirit. We cannot use the bible to support human theories, philosophies, ideologies, etc. By doing this we completely misunderstand the purpose of the bible. The bible is not a book about the history of Israel or the law, but about the revelation of the way, the truth, the life, the light, and the love, who is Jesus Christ, who is God.

The Torah was given to people that were falling into corruption and forgetting to love God. It was given to the Israelites to prepare them for the understanding of what the coming of the Messiah would do for and to humanity. It was showing them the righteousness and holiness humanity would be able to live in through the Spirit of Christ.

What then is the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise has been made. It was ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator. Galatians 3:19

Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote: Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” John 1:45

He said to them, “This is what I told you, while I was still with you, that all things which are written in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me must be fulfilled.” Luke 24:44

But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the law and the prophets. Romans 3:21

Jesus is the righteousness of God that was revealed through the law and the prophets that had the spirit of prophecy, who is the testimony of Jesus Christ (Revelations 19:10). Therefore, the law was given to the Israelites in a time when they needed the testimony of Jesus Christ that they may be differed from the practices of the other peoples of the earth. Yet, they still continued to live by good and evil because the law was just a shadow of the life, not the Life or Light Himself. As Romans 7:21 says, “I find then the law, that, to me, while I desire to do good, evil is present (Romans 9:32).”

This duality in the law did not stop the Israelites from mixing themselves with the cultures of the earth and partaking in their morally corrupt practices. And the question of “Why didn’t the law stop them?” arises. The answer lies deeply within the reason Adam and Eve had when they ate from good and evil; to be gods. They wanted the comfort of their own righteousness and not God’s. They wanted the comfort of the knowledge* of good and evil (*Romans 3:20) at the expense of losing the Life, who is the Promise.

No one could fulfill the law1. Jesus was the only man ever to fulfill the law2, and He was punished for it so that God could break the power of sin3 over humanity. Through His blood, Jesus came to restore what was lost in Eden, which is the access to the life, its knowledge, and holiness, which is the unity of our spirit with the Holy Spirit4.  Jesus went with the Father and sent the Holy spirit that we may truly have faith, love, righteousness, and holiness.

1- “Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17

2- Or have you not read in the law, that on the Sabbath day, the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are guiltless? Matthew 12:5

3- The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 1 Corinthians 15:56

4- But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit. 1 Corinthians 6:17

You see, the law only works for those who are under the flesh and its mind5. However, those under the Spirit are above the law6, but they still fulfill it7. Jesus broke the power of the law through the flesh8. Living by the law today would be living as if Jesus had not come to pay the price for our redemption. Ignoring the sacrifice of Jesus Christ would make us guilty of it9. Jesus did not abolish the law, but He fulfilled it, He fulfilled it for us so that whoever loves like He does and has faith in Him, might receive the Holy Spirit and accomplish the law, too10. Even so, the law is for the old covenant, toady justification and righteousness is found in the blood of Jesus, which is the new covenant.

5- Because the mind of the flesh is hostile towards God; for it is not subject to God’s law, neither indeed can it be. Romans 8:7

6- But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Galatians 5:18

7- That the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:4

8- For what the law couldn’t do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God did, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh; Romans 8:3

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death. Romans 8:2

9- I don’t make void the grace of God. For if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nothing!” Galatians 2:21

You are alienated from Christ, you who desire to be justified by the law. You have fallen away from grace. Galatians 5:4

 What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be! Romans 6:15

10- But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 1 John 3:16

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

The heart of the matter is that the law cannot be fulfilled without the Holy Spirit. You cannot tell a politician or anyone to live by the law of God, or to reform the constitution to be based on the law of God. The law by itself produces the wrath of God11, because you might accomplish 99% of it, but the 1% that you break makes you guilty of the whole law. What man is perfect enough to fulfill 100% of the law12? Transgressing the law brings judgment of God. A nation based on the law of God, but without counting the Holy Spirit and the sacrifice of Jesus in and the obedience, love, and faith in Him, becomes a cursed nation13.

11- For the law produces wrath, for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience. Romans 4:15

12- For whoever keeps the whole law, and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. James 2:10 

They have all gone aside. They have together become corrupt. There is no one who does good, no, not one. Psalm 14:3

He said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Matthew 19:17

13- For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who doesn’t continue in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them.” Galatians 3:10

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.” Galatians 3:13

You might see a corrupt nation and believe that they need a greater enforcement or tightening in the law, or they simply need a new government or a new law. Today, the world’s system is founded upon the choice of Adam and Eve, thus we have so much corruption (1 Corinthians 1:20).

God’s Kingdom has an ethical system that differs from any other we have known. It is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit14. In other words, without the Holy Spirit there is no real or permanent peace, no real or permanent joy, and no true righteousness. Without the Holy Spirit there is no Kingdom of God. It would be like saying, “I want the Kingdom of God and its judicial system, but without God.” Well the same thing is true in saying, “I want a righteous nation, thus I will establish the ethics of God in my constitution, but without the Holy Spirit and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.” What sense, then, is there to establish the law of God if you are not going to count in the one who brings it to humanity in the first place? You cannot fulfill the law without the Holy Spirit, and you cannot have the Holy Spirit without repentance, a change in the way you think15.

14- For God’s Kingdom is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17 

15-“Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” Matthew 3:2 

For I, through the law, died to the law, that I might live to God. Galatians 2:19

Having abolished in the flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making peace. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesús. Galatians 3:28 and Ephesians 2:15

For Christ is the fulfillment of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Romans 10:4

Yet knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, even we believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law, because no flesh will be justified by the works of the law. Galatians 2:16

Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin. Where then is the boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. Romans 3:20 and Romans 3:27