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Luke and Western Civilization

Lorin Friesen, April 2023

This is the first part of a two-part, 550 page essay that interprets the Gospel of Luke as a prophecy of Western civilization. This essay assumes a basic understanding of the theory of mental symmetry. An introduction to this theory can be found elsewhere. A similar 800 page analysis has been done of the Gospel of Matthew.

This essay assumes a basic understanding of the theory of mental symmetry. An introduction to this theory can be found elsewhere.

Whenever attempting a bizarre project such as this essay, it is imperative to start by discussing methodology. This essay uses the same methodology that I use to analyze any topic, secular or religious, academic or speculative. Mental symmetry models the mind as seven different interacting cognitive modules. Each cognitive module uses a specific kind of processing with many kinds of different data. For instance, Perceiver thought looks for repeated connections, connections that remain the same in many places and many times. This leads to object recognition, because a solid object contains matter that is bound together by connections that remain the same both when the object is moved and when one returns to the object after some time. For instance, a stone retains its shape when thrown or when left over time. A fact is an abstract form of solid object, because it describes the unchanging connections of some situation. At the most abstract level, truth can be defined as a set of connections that remain the same over space and time. This cognitive similarity leads to the concept of cognitively natural symbolism. For instance, if Perceiver thought analyzes both objects and facts, then a solid object such as a stone is a cognitively natural symbol of a solid fact. This summarizes the methodology that is used to interpret biblical books such as the Gospel of Luke.

This methodology can be made more rigorous by applying the following rules: 1) Every symbol is given the same symbolic meaning every time it occurs. For instance, a stone will always be interpreted as a solid fact every time that a stone is mentioned. 2) The interpretation will be based in the original Greek text, using the meanings of the Greek words taken from official Bible dictionaries. 3) The meaning of every name and every place will also be considered from a symbolic perspective. 4) The entire text will be treated as a single connected sequence. 5) The symbolic interpretation will be analyzed from a cognitive perspective to ensure that it makes sense. This is a demanding set of rules. I am not aware of any author who even attempts to follow these rules when analyzing the Bible. If these rules are followed, then the resulting interpretation is sufficiently rigorous and rational to be consistent with scientific thought. However, this interpretation will not respect the traditional division between secular and religious, and it will not respect the current assumption that only physical reality exists. Thus, a distinction needs to be made between respecting scientific thought and respecting the assumptions of the current scientific establishment. Mental symmetry tries to do the former. It does not care about the latter. On the contrary, the very idea that the Gospels of Matthew and Luke contain detailed prophecies of Western civilization utterly violates the assumptions of the scientific establishment. But I suggest that the scientific establishment is currently facing an existential crisis, because scientific thought is being destroyed by postmodern questioning, critical race theory, and related approaches. I suggest that mental symmetry provides a way of protecting scientific thought at the cost of letting go of current scientific assumptions.

Table of Contents


1:1-4 Dedication to Theophilus

1:5-10 Zechariah the Priest. Medieval scholasticism.

1:11-14 Zechariah sees the Angel. Mendicant orders and mysticism.

1:15-17 The Angel describes John the Baptist. Mysticism inspires medieval learning.

1:18-20 Zechariah loses his Voice. Medieval learning silences mysticism.

1:21-25 Zechariah completes his Service. Mysticism inspires theology.

1:26-30 The Angel speaks to Mary. Renaissance humanism.

1:31-35 The Angel describes Jesus. The birth of science is predicted.

1:36-40 Mary visits Elizabeth. Renaissance humanism rethinks scholasticism.

1:41-45 Elizabeth welcomes Mary. Scholasticism discovers better texts.

1:46-50 The Magnificat. The Renaissance man.

1:51-56 Lifting up the Humble. New scholarship questions existing authority.

1:57-61 Birth of John the Baptist. The Protestant Reformation.

1:62-67 Zechariah finds his voice. Protestant theology.

1:68-75 Zechariah’s Song. Protestant military struggles.

1:76-80 Zechariah prophesies. The path of Protestantism is predicted.

2:1-5 Context of Jesus’ Birth. Thirty-Years War and Counter-Reformation.

2:6-7 Birth of Jesus. Scientific Revolution and coffeehouses.

2:8-12 Angels appear to Shepherds. Lutheran Pietism.

2:13-15 A Host of Angels. The Enlightenment.

2:16-20 The Shepherds Visit Jesus. Public lectures and Methodism.

2:21-24 Jesus is Presented at the Temple. Adam Smith and economics.

2:25-35 Prophecy of Simeon. The Quakers.

2:36-38 Prophecy of Anna. Schleiermacher and liberal theology.

2:39-42 Jesus as a Child. Industrial Revolution.

2:43-50 Jesus stays in Jerusalem. The rise of higher criticism.

2:51-52 Jesus Submits to his Parents. Darwin’s theory of evolution.

3:1-3 John the Baptist. Colonialism and Protestant missionaries.

3:4-6 The Message of John the Baptist. Colonization disrupts local cultures.

3:7-9 The Warning of John the Baptist. Colonization versus local cultures.

3:10-14 The Advice of John the Baptist. Colonial society and the rule of law.

3:15-17 John the Baptist versus the Christ. Victorian technology and the Rapture.

3:18 The Doctrine of John the Baptist. Christian fundamentalism.

3:19-20 Herod imprisons John. European imperialism.

3:21-22 Baptism of Jesus. The second Industrial Revolution.

4:1-4 First Temptation of Jesus. World War I physics and propaganda.

4:5-8 Second Temptation of Jesus. World War I propaganda versus technology.

4:9-15 Third Temptation of Jesus. World War I upper class and technology.

4:16-20 The Synagogue at Nazareth. Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points.

4:21-27 Response to Jesus at Nazareth. Response to Wilson’s Fourteen Points.

4:28-30 The Crowd tries to kill Jesus. Post-World War I revolutions.

4:31-37 Jesus Rebukes an Unclean Demon. The Roaring 20s.

4:38-41 Jesus Heals Simon’s Mother-in-law. John Watson’s behaviorism.

4:42-44 Jesus Preaches in Towns and Synagogues. The Great Depression and scientific infrastructure.

5:1-5 Jesus helps Simon Fish. Radio broadcasting.

5:6-11 The Catch of Fish amazes Simon. Radio drama and propaganda.

5:12-16 Jesus heals the Leper. Nazism and Jewish refugees.

5:17-22 A Paralytic is brought to Jesus. The Marshall Plan.

5:23-26 Comparing Forgiveness with Healing. The rebirth of Germany.

5:27-32 Jesus calls Levi. The European Coal and Steel Community.

5:33-35 Questions about Fasting. Postwar opportunities.

5:36-39 Patches and Wineskins. The 1950s and rock and roll.

6:1-5 Lord of the Sabbath. Technical thought and quantum field theory.

6:6-11 Jesus heals on the Sabbath. Transcending technical specializations.

6:12-19 The Twelve Disciples. Predicting the path of civil rights.

6:20-23 The Beatitudes. Civil rights protests.

6:24-26 The Woes. Preserving white entitlement.

6:27-31 Love your Enemies. Non-violent resistance.

6:32-36 Receiving Credit by doing Good. Capitalism, communism, and foreign aid.

6:37-42 Examine Self before guiding Others. Social sciences become anti-establishment.

6:43-45 A Tree and its Fruit. The cognitive revolution.

6:56-49 The coming Flood. A flood of postmodern thought.

Part 2


I discovered recently that the Gospel of Matthew makes sense as a detailed prophetic outline of Western civilization. This hypothesis is presented in a 640 page essay on Matthew 2-24, with Matthew 2 starting in the late Roman era and society currently being in Matthew 24. I then noticed that the beginning of Acts corresponds symbolically with current society. Acts 1-12 was then analyzed as a prophetic sequence, starting with the present and continuing into the future. This meant that Matthew 25-28 should be talking about the same period of time as Acts 1-12, with the crucifixion of Jesus in Matthew 27 representing some major future transition in society. That hypothesis is explored in a 160 page essay. The book of Acts follows the Gospel of Luke and both are written by the same author, leading to the conclusion that the crucifixion story of Luke corresponds to the current era. Comparing the crucifixion account in Matthew with the account in Luke leads to the conclusion that the language used in Luke corresponds to the current era, while the language used in Matthew does not correspond to the current era. If the crucifixion account of Luke describes current society, then the Gospel of Luke must be a detailed history of Western society, ending with the current era. This essay explores that possibility. Luke is 24 chapters long. When starting this analysis, I assumed that we would currently be somewhere in about chapter 20. It turns out that the present day (2023) corresponds to chapter 12, which means that the major transition of the crucifixion is still several ‘chapters’ in the future. However, Luke 12 also refers to a major transition.

As mentioned earlier, this essay does not respect the division between religious and secular and it violates the materialistic assumption that only physical reality exists. However, 1) It is logically coherent and uses consistent technical definitions. 2) It corresponds in detail to the facts of Western history. 3) It makes sense within the framework of a neurologically sound cognitive theory. 4) It is theologically necessary according to the definition of incarnation.

Looking at this in more detail, mental symmetry suggests that a concept of incarnation emerges within the mind when the precise definitions of abstract technical thought become combined with the cause-and-effect of concrete technical thought. Precise definitions relate to point 1), cause-and-effect relates to point 2), and a concept of incarnation relates to the point 3). Science observes the world for repeated connections of cause-and-effect and then uses the precise definitions of mathematics to analyze these connections. However, science attempts to avoid personal emotions of Mercy thought by remaining objective and it attempts to avoid theoretical emotions from Teacher thought by remaining specialized. A concept of incarnation—like scientific thought—is based upon a combination of abstract and concrete technical thought but it goes beyond the specializations of abstract technical thought to follow a universal concept of God in Teacher thought. Theologically speaking, incarnation is the word or ‘logos’ of God, and a ‘logos’ will be interpreted cognitively as the paradigm that lies behind some technical specialization. A concept of incarnation also goes beyond the objective thinking of concrete technical thought to ‘save people’ within Mercy thought. The name Jesus means ‘salvation of God’. Putting this together theologically, Incarnation is a combination of Christ and Jesus. Christ refers to the abstract side of Incarnation that is the ‘logos of God’ while Jesus refers to the concrete side of Incarnation that ‘saves people’. It is also possible to give a cognitive definition to the term ‘God’. Mental symmetry suggests that a concept of God emerges within the mind when a sufficiently general theory in Teacher thought applies to personal identity in Mercy thought. Thus, any reference to God will be interpreted as some form of universality in Teacher thought that has personal implications. This cognitive definition is consistent with the theological concept of a monotheistic God, which is defined as a universal being who deals with universal principles and does not inhabit the realm of visible Mercy experiences.

One might think that it is anti-religious to analyze a concept of incarnation in such a manner. However, Luke 24 actually devotes 23 verses to a re-thinking of what the Bible says about incarnation, with the resurrected Jesus saying in verses 25-26, “O foolish and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken. Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Christ refers to the abstract side of incarnation. Luke appears to be describing the process by which a concept of Christ will ‘suffer and enter into glory’. And this description will encounter an audience that is ‘foolish and slow of heart to believe’. (Foolish is used once in Luke and means ‘non-thinking’ while believe means to ‘be persuaded’.)

Humans live within Mercy experiences. Therefore, humans will naturally start with a mental concept of Jesus—based upon the historical Jesus described in the Gospels—and then extrapolate from there to the universal principles of a concept of Christ. But theologically speaking, a concept of incarnation begins with Christ in abstract thought and then becomes the incarnate ‘word made flesh who lives among humans’ of Jesus. This essay reinterprets the Jesus of the Gospels as a Christ of universal cognitive principles who has become incarnate through the history of Western civilization. In other words, this essay takes the theologically necessary step of transforming a concept of Jesus Christ into a concept of Christ Jesus.

Thus, whenever Jesus is referred to in the Gospels, this will be interpreted symbolically as some aspect of integrated technical thought that extends to Teacher universality and/or applies to people in Mercy thought.

At first glance, one might think that if some story in Matthew represents a certain historical period, then that same story in Luke would also represent the same historical period. However, stories and parables that appear in both Gospels are not in the same order, making that interpretation impossible. In addition, Matthew and Luke also use slightly different language to describe the same stories, which suggests that these same stories represent similar but different periods of Western history.

Matthew and Luke also have a different focus, related to the kind of transition that is being depicted in the crucifixion. My hypothesis is that each of the four crucifixion accounts refer to a different major transition within society. The crucifixion account in John was interpreted as a cognitive transition within the historical person of Jesus. Thus, the Gospel of John focuses upon the cognitive development of the person of Jesus. (Stated theologically, Christ was with God from eternity, but Jesus was born as a human and went through stages of cognitive development. This is quite different than the suggestion that Jesus was a human who gradually acquired the idea that he was Christ.) The crucifixion in Matthew represents a future transition that will involve the birth of a new society. Thus, the focus of Matthew is upon society and historical events. The crucifixion in Luke portrays a current transition that will involve the birth of a new rational and spiritual concept of Christ. Thus, the emphasis of Luke is upon paradigms and intellectual thought. This emphasis can be seen in the dedication of Luke to Theophilus, which means ‘friend of God’. A friend is someone with whom I am comfortable, while a concept of God is based in a general Teacher understanding. Thus, a ‘friend of God’ would be someone who is comfortable working with general theories in Teacher thought. The typical scientist is not a ‘friend of God’ because, as Thomas Kuhn pointed out, science spends most of its time solving technical puzzles within specialized paradigms and not working with general theories in Teacher thought. The typical theologian is also not a ‘friend of God’, because most theology assumes that God in Teacher thought ultimately ‘transcends’ rational thinking. It is not possible to be comfortable with some person if I am convinced that that person is utterly different than I am. Finally, the typical fundamentalist is not a ‘friend of God’, because the underlying assumption of fundamentalism is that I am nobody compared to God. Friendship is a two-way relationship, which is not possible if I believe that I am nothing and the other person is everything. Instead, a friend of God would refer to a mindset that is attempting to construct an integrated understanding that is compatible with human existence. Such a mindset combines the rigor of secular thought with the focus upon emotional issues of religious thought. More generally, I suggest that one can define religion as ‘an attempt to address the deepest issues of human existence’.

This essay will be quoting from the Berean Literal Bible because it appears to be closest to the original Greek text. I used to use the New American Standard Version, but I have become increasingly disappointed with it. When quoting from the Bible, any words that are in italics are also in italics in the BLB to indicate that these words are not in the original Greek, but rather have been added to make the English flow better. I have found that is very important to look at the precise meanings of the original Greek words when doing a prophetic interpretation, and a Bible translation will often obscure the original meaning in order to ensure that the text makes more sense to the reader, the underlying assumption being that the modern translator needs to help either the original human authors who were limited by their imperfect grasp of language or the modern readers who are limited by their imperfect grasp of past language and culture. My assumption, in contrast, is that the ultimate divine author is more clever than either the original human authors or the modern translators and has chosen precisely what words to use. In other words, I am trying to interpret these books as a ‘friend of God’. This essay will also be treating Christian theology as cognitively meaningful. Saying this more carefully, if one starts with the theory of mental symmetry and explores the task of reaching mental wholeness, then one ends up deriving Christian theology—at the level of systematic theology. This is being stated here as a throwaway comment, but it involved years of careful thought. This essay will not be focusing upon systematic theology, but theological doctrines will be discussed from a cognitive viewpoint as they arise in our look at Western history.

The methodology that I use was mentioned earlier and is described in the introduction to the essay on Matthew. Every name, fact, and place is interpreted symbolically in a cognitively natural manner. Most of these symbolic meanings were originally defined in previous essays and the phrase ‘is interpreted as’ will indicate a symbolic meaning originally used in a previous essay. Thus, a rigorous form of symbolic interpretation is being used that always assigns the same symbolic meaning to a Greek term whenever it is encountered in the biblical text.

Isaac Newton wrote more about biblical subjects than he did about science. I am not sure if any of his prophetic interpretations are valid (because he focused upon numbers and numerology whereas mental symmetry focuses upon cognitive development), but he put together a list of sixteen rules of prophetic interpretation which are interesting because they are quite similar to the methodology that I have been using. Looking at this in more detail: Rule 1 says that prophecy applies to people and movements within society. Rule 3 says that each term should be given the same symbolic interpretation wherever it appears. Rule 4 says that a symbolic interpretation should not contradict a surface reading of the text. Rule 6 says that the text should be interpreted as a connected sequence and not as isolated verses. Rule 7 says that similar patterns can be found at different points in history. Rules 8 & 9 say that one should look for structure and simplicity in the interpretation. Rule 11 says that an existing interpretation should only be rejected if a better interpretation can be given. Rule 12 says that a prophetic interpretation should fit historical events. Rules 13 & 14 say that major biblical statements of prophecy should correspond with major events in history. The only rules of Newton that I would disagree with are rule 10, which seems to say that one should not focus upon history when interpreting the book of Revelation, and rule 15, which says that any prophetic interpretation should assume that God works primarily through the church. In contrast, I have found that God guides history by using many segments of society, both religious and secular. Looking more generally at Newton’s approach, one webpage observes, “Note the ways in which his view of the Bible is shaped by his scientific thought and method. Note also how Newton views nature and scripture as similar things. Rule number 9 is most revealing in this respect.” In rule 9, Newton views God from the perspective of Teacher thought and universal theories. “It is the perfection of God’s works that they are all done with the greatest simplicity. He is the God of order & not of confusion. And therefore as they that would understand the frame of the world must endeavour to reduce their knowledge to all possible simplicity.” Similarly, I have found that scientific thought and scientific findings provide patterns and analogies that help me to understand Scripture. Curiously, I cannot find anyone on the Internet who either advocates or follows Newton’s rules of prophetic interpretation.

The essay on the Gospel of Matthew quoted extensively from Wikipedia and that essay would have been impossible to write without the exhaustive, reasonably rigorous content of Wikipedia. I took two episodes from the essay on the Gospel of Matthew and discussed them in an academic paper using more rigorous references from academic papers. These rigorous sources did not add anything to the material in Wikipedia, but merely made the process of gathering information more difficult. This essay will also be quoting extensively from Wikipedia, but interpreting the Gospel of Luke requires more detail than is present in Wikipedia. Thus, this essay will be quoting from many sources, including academic papers, newspaper articles, and reputable personal websites. One helpful source has been I do not have an academic account that gives me free access to jstor but they recently made it possible for independent researchers to access most of the older articles for free. I am thankful for this access and I think that Aaron Swartz would also be thankful.

A prophetic interpretation of Luke (or Matthew) does not replace the traditional practice of preaching a sermon or homily from a passage of the Bible. That is because the plan being described here makes cognitive sense with each step following the previous step in a natural cognitive progression. These cognitive principles are universal principles that always apply to the mind. Thus, it is meaningful to focus upon some passage and teach moral or psychological principles based upon this passage. But a prophetic interpretation does change the context for preaching. Most sermons interpret the Bible using the general theory that God is an incomprehensible being who transcends human rational thought and that humans should approach God with an attitude of religious self-denial. A prophetic interpretation replaces this with a God of righteousness, which means that God interacts with humans by following universal cognitive processes. Christian theologians understand the concept of juridical righteousness (also known as justification), in which God declares a person to be righteous. However, my experience is that very few Christians understand the concept of righteous behavior guided by a righteous God (also known as sanctification) as expressed in verse 3 of Psalm 23, the well-known shepherd psalm. “And He guides me in the paths of righteousness for the sake of His name.” In contrast, the concept of righteousness is known within scientific circles, as expressed by Thomas Kuhn’s statement that science is based in exemplars and not just verbal theories.

When a person speaks a foreign language fairly well, then one will naturally remark ‘You speak this language quite well’. But when a person speaks a foreign language fluently, then one will forget that a foreign language is being spoken and focus upon the conversation. Similarly, the correspondence between biblical passage and episodes of Western history will usually be so natural in this essay that the focus will shift from the fact that the Bible accurately predicts Western history to a discussion of what the Bible is saying about Western history. If the reader does not like what the Bible seems to be saying about some period of Western history or does not agree with my analysis of some aspect of Western history, please remember that such a reaction is implicitly accepting the thesis that Luke is a prophecy of Western history. The very idea that the Gospel of Luke is a detailed prophecy of Western history is an outrageous proposal that has massive implications about the nature of God and human existence.

The analysis will use the following pattern: First, a verse will be quoted from the BLB. Second, the meanings of the primary Greek words in the verse will be given using definitions taken from Third, these Greek words will be translated into cognitive concepts. Fourth, this may be followed by a cognitive analysis of these concepts. Fifth, these cognitive concepts will be mapped onto historical events within the era being analyzed by quoting from Wikipedia or some other source. The prophetic interpretation will start out somewhat general but as we get closer to the present the analysis will become much more detailed.

Going further, the analogical reasoning used in this essay will initially feel wrong to a ‘scientifically trained mind’. I remind the reader that ‘feeling wrong’ is not a legitimate reason for rejecting a theory. I also remind the reader that analogies have historically played a major role in scientific thought and that analogies are consistent with scientific thought if they focus upon functional similarities and map from one system to another in a one-to-one manner. My advice is to keep reading. Coming up with one or two analogical relationships is not difficult. The rigor comes from repeatedly coming up with analogical relationships one biblical section after another and one historical era after another. This repetition will only become apparent if one keeps reading. I would estimate that this essay contains between 20 and 50 times as much detail as other books on biblical prophecy. Let me repeat this. The prophetic analysis in this book is at least twenty times as detailed as any other biblical prophetic analysis that I have encountered. This amount of detail leads to a qualitative difference because what emerges is not just a collection of facts but rather a framework that is sufficiently detailed to support rational analysis. However, this framework will only become apparent if one keeps on reading.

Dedication to Theophilus 1:1-4

Verse 1 begins, “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to draw up a narration concerning the things having been accomplished among us.” Undertaken is found once in Luke and means ‘to put one’s hand to’. Hands represent the use of technical thought, because one uses hands to perform detailed manipulation. Draw up is found once in the New Testament and combines ‘up’ with ‘to place in a particular order’. ‘Up’ is interpreted as heading in the direction of Teacher generality. Narration is used once in the New Testament as a noun and combines ‘thoroughly’ with ‘to lead the way’. Putting this together, many people have attempted to use technical thought to come up with an integrated Teacher understanding of primary sequences and processes. For instance, science uses technical thought to gain an integrated understanding of natural processes.

Accomplished is used once in Luke and means ‘to bring in full measure’. Among means ‘in the realm of’, and thing refers to ‘the habit needed to accomplish what is necessary’ and is the source of the English word ‘pragmatic’. Thus, the focus is upon habits and processes, sequences of actions that have acquired stability through repetition. ‘Accomplished’ indicates a full set of mature habits, and these developed habits are in the realm of human activity. In the same way that science focuses upon the ‘how things work’ of natural processes rather than physical events, so Luke is focusing upon the ‘how people work’ of fully-developed human habits and methods.

Verse 2 continues, “Just as those from the beginning having been eyewitnesses and servants of the word delivered them to us.” Just as means ‘according to the manner in which’ and indicates an analogical similarity in which one thing behaves like another. Delivered is a significant word that is translated either as ‘to hand over’ or ‘to betray’ and is the word used to describe Judas betraying Jesus. The general principle is that God requires human cooperation to carry out some major transition. One option is for some human or group of humans to gain a new understanding and apply this new understanding through faith. That leads to a positive ‘handing over’. The other option is for some individual or group to destroy existing understanding and application to the extent that a new approach has to be taken. That describes a negative ‘betrayal’. Verse 2 begins in the Greek with ‘just as delivered’ indicating that the focus is upon the pattern of humans making such major transitions. Delivering and crucifixion go hand-in-hand because the delivering describes the human individuals who are causing the major transition to happen while the crucifixion refers to the major transition itself.

Beginning means ‘the initial starting point’. Eyewitness is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘self’ with ‘to see with the mind’. Servant is found twice in Luke and means ‘an under-rower who mans the oars on a lower deck’. Word is the word ‘logos’ which means ‘reasoning expressed by words’ and is being interpreted as the paradigm that lies behind some technical specialization. The Greek phrase is more literally, ‘Those from the starting point, under-rowers who saw with the mind, having become of the logos’. This group was ‘betrayed or delivered to us’. Looking at this cognitively, the Bible is naturally viewed as absolute truth revealed by some set of original experts to their underlings. Some of these underlings started to ask questions and think critically. As a result, they developed technical thought guided by paradigms. That type of thinking has to go through a major transformation or ‘betrayal’ in order to gain a proper understanding of the sequences and habits of society. This summarizes the approach taken by these essays, which attempts to view the absolute truth of the Bible from a new perspective of looking for sequences and patterns of behavior. (The term absolute truth will be used to describe a mindset that regards certain Perceiver facts to be ‘truth’ because they come from respected sources in Mercy thought. Using an analogy, absolute truth looks at the name on the envelope. If this is an important name, then the contents of the envelope will be regarded as ‘truth’.)

Verse 3 mentions Theophilus. “It seemed good also to me, having been acquainted with all things carefully from the first, to write with method to you, most excellent Theophilus.” Seemed good means ‘forming an opinion’. Having been acquainted is used once in Luke and means to ‘follow closely, especially through a detailed comparing’. From the first is found once in Luke and actually means ‘from above’. ‘From above’ means starting from a general theory in Teacher thought. All things means ‘each part of a totality’. Putting this together, Luke is taking existing technical theories and re-thinking them in a detailed manner starting from a general theory in Teacher thought. And Luke is doing this in an intuitive manner guided by personal opinion. This summarizes the approach taken by these essays, which examines biblical scholarship and the biblical text in a detailed manner in the light of the general theory of mental symmetry. Personal opinion is normally not a good foundation for rational thought. However, Luke is not using personal opinion guided by subjective bias to extrapolate from personal experience. Instead, Luke is using personal opinion guided by a general understanding to map a general theory onto technical scholarship. I have come to the realization that this type of mapping can only be done mentally by individuals because some person has to hold all the pieces together internally and try to fit them together properly. This is similar to the way that Richard Feynman the physicist described his scientific thinking as ‘imagination in a straitjacket’. Feynman used intuition, but his intuition was carefully shaped by the technical scholarship of scientific knowledge.

Carefully is used once in Luke and means ‘with exactness’. With method means ‘in order, in succession’. And write means ‘to write’. Again, one sees the focus upon Server sequences and processes. And ‘carefully’ means that Luke’s imagination is also functioning within a straitjacket of exactness. Luke is the only Gospel writer who refers to himself as writing, suggesting that the focus of Luke is upon putting a new verbal understanding down on paper. In contrast, Luke does not begin Acts by talking about writing to Theophilus. Instead he refers to the ‘first logos’ that he ‘did or made’ concerning everything. This suggests that the purpose of Luke is to construct a general paradigm of how God functions and that this paradigm provides the starting point for the book of Acts.

Theophilus is used twice in the New Testament, here and in Acts 1:1, and means ‘friend of God’. One can now see more clearly what it means to be a friend of God, and why many who think that they are friends of God actually are not. Being a friend of God means being comfortable with thinking in general terms about the character of God and how God works. Becoming a friend of God requires going through some sort of ‘handing over’ or ‘betrayal’ that makes a transition from absolute truth to a rational understanding. Excellent means ‘strongest, noblest’ and is used once in Luke. It is also used three times at the end of Acts to refer to people of nobility. Several decades of developing mental symmetry have led me to the conclusion that breaking through to becoming a friend of God leads to a path that is stronger and nobler. It is stronger because it is based upon the solid foundation of how God functions, and it is nobler because it provides an uplifting and civilizing motivation for core human needs and desires.

Verse 4 adds, “So that you may know the certainty concerning the things which you were instructed.” Know combines ‘fitting’ with ‘experiential knowing’. Instructed is used once in Luke and means ‘to learn by nuanced repetition; to catechize’. Things is the word ‘logos’. And certainty is used once in Luke and adds the prefix ‘not’ to ‘totter’. In other words, absolute truth begins with the ‘catechism’ of verbal repetition and blind faith. Luke’s goal is to turn this blind faith into appropriate, experiential knowledge. Luke can do this because what has been learned through blind faith is paradigms, and not just random knowledge. The end result is a form of belief that is more stable than blind faith. For instance, the elementary student starts by reading and regurgitating facts from a textbook. But if these facts really describe how the world functions, then it is possible to examine reality in the light of these facts and gain a fitting experiential knowledge. The result is a more solid understanding: ‘I used to believe because it was in the textbook. Now I believe because I know from personal experience that this is how things work.’

Before we continue, notice how a detailed look at the original Greek generates an understanding of the text that is more ‘scientific’ and more cognitive than the meaning that is conveyed by the typical English translation. The English translation basically says that Luke is telling a detailed account to his friend Theophilus. The Greek text indicates that this telling involves a fundamental paradigm shift and re-thinking of knowledge.

Zechariah the Priest 1:5-10

My hypothesis is that Luke presents a detailed prophecy of Western history, focusing upon the development of integrated rational thought. Verse 5 describes a mental context that can be used to historically place the starting point for Luke. Verse 5 begins, “There was in the days of Herod king of Judea a certain priest named Zacharias.” A day refers to ‘the period from sunrise to sunset’ and is being interpreted as an era lit by the ‘sun’ of some general Teacher understanding. Herod means ‘son of a hero’. Judea is the feminine version of ‘Jew’ which means ‘praised’. Judea is mentioned 44 times in the Bible, but this is the only reference to a ‘King of Judea’, and this term is similar to the term ‘King of the Jews’ which is applied several times to Jesus in his trial. Judea is interpreted as a realm of absolute truth in which sources of truth are given emotional status and praise. Thus, ‘Herod King of Judea’ would represent a society ruled by personal status and absolute truth.

This combination can be seen in medieval scholasticism. In the words of Wikipedia, “Scholasticism was initially a program conducted by medieval Christian thinkers attempting to harmonize the various authorities of their own tradition, and to reconcile Christian theology with classical and late antiquity philosophy.” Notice the focus upon the absolute truth of theology as well as the various authorities of tradition. Quoting further, “The Christian scholasticism emerged within the monastic schools that translated scholastic Judeo—Islamic philosophies, and thereby rediscovered the collected works of Aristotle.” These monks were religious heroes who denied themselves in order to focus upon God. Scholasticism can be regarded as the ‘son of a hero’ because it emerged within monastic schools. Rediscovering the works of Aristotle is also a version of ‘the son of a hero’ system because books of absolute truth written by ancient heroes are being rediscovered and ‘praised’ by a new set of believers. ‘In the days’ implies that this is a mindset that remains over several eras of society. Similarly, scholasticism began with the schools of Charlemagne in the ninth century while the 13th and 14th centuries are regarded as the high period of scholasticism.

Priest means ‘sacred because belonging to the temple’. Priests are mentioned 11 times in the Gospels, but this is the only time that a priest plays a major role in the Gospel stories. This major role implies that the only education is religious education. This applies to scholasticism which ‘emerged within the monastic schools’ and gave birth to the earliest universities. Zechariah means ‘Jah has remembered’. The basic premise of monasticism is that one focuses upon God by turning one’s back upon physical reality, because God is viewed as too high and holy to care about physical existence. ‘Jah has remembered’ suggests that attention is returning from the concept of a lofty and distant God to remember the reality of human existence. Notice that this is a transitional mindset that heads from ‘Jah’ to remembering. Part of this ‘remembering’ would involve the rediscovery of ancient classic Greek texts. This rediscovery happened especially in 12th-century Spain. Quoting from Wikipedia, “After a successful burst of Reconquista in the 12th century, Spain opened even further for Christian scholars, and as these Europeans encountered Judeo-Islamic philosophies, they opened a wealth of Arab and Judaic knowledge of mathematics and astronomy.”

Verse 5 continues by explaining that Zechariah was “of the division of Abijah, and his wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name Elizabeth.” Of literally means ‘from out of’ and is the source of the English word ‘ephemeral’. Division means ‘for the day’ and is only used in the New Testament here and three verses later. ‘For the day’ would refer to a mindset that only exists during some era. That is because ‘Jah has remembered’ is a transitional mindset. Before this period the assumption will be that Jah is a distant and holy God who does not remember. After this period the focus upon human reality will cause the concept of a high and mighty God to be forgotten. Abijah means ‘Yah is my father’ and is only mentioned here and in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1. Looking at this cognitively, a transition of ‘God remembering’ will not automatically happen. Instead, it emerges out of the underlying assumption that God is my father. Mental symmetry interprets male and female as referring to male and female thought, with male thought focusing upon technical thought and female thought focusing upon mental networks. ‘God is my father’ views God as the ultimate source of human reality and believes that this relationship can be explored using the technical thinking of male thought. Father also implies some sort of personal relationship between God and creation. Wikipedia describes this attitude being present in early scholasticism. “In the early 13th Century, a syndicate of priests and scholars collaborated and sketched a rough draft of a raw market economy. These scholars and priests fostered Christianity and addressed the philosophical issues of an early economic thought... The early set of rules for trade were first introduced by the Christian Theologians. Theologians had spiritual beliefs with morals driven by religion... Scholastics adopted their moral and ethical behaviors from the early theologians.” Notice how the absolute truth of theology is being regarded as a technical set of rules to guide human commercial activity.

Wife is the generic word for ‘woman’. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, this essay will be interpreting all references to men and women as references to male and female thought. I know that this is currently a controversial subject. However, the most solidly established difference between male and female thought is that men tend to prefer to work with things while women tend to prefer to work with people. A focus upon things indicates the realm of technical thought, while a focus upon people indicates the realm of mental networks, because the mind uses mental networks to represent people. I am not suggesting that men only use technical thought and that women only use mental networks. Instead, it appears that gender biases the mind towards focusing upon either things or upon people. Aaron probably means ‘high mountain’ and a mountain represents a pragmatic theory, a height of land from which one can get an overview. Thus, a daughter of Aaron would represent a culture that deals with general theories and lofty concepts. Elizabeth means ‘God is an oath’ and is only mentioned in the first chapter of Luke where she appears nine times. Thus, Elizabeth would represent an academic culture of dealing with general theories guided by a strong sense of religious absolute truth. Wikipedia describes some of the topics debated during this era. “Around this period several doctrinal controversies emerged, such as the question of whether God had predestined some for salvation and some for damnation... Is the host the same as Christ's historical body? How can it be present at many places and many times? Radbertus argued that Christ’s real body is present, veiled by the appearance of bread and wine, and is present at all places and all times, by means of God’s incomprehensible power.” Notice the focus upon God’s absolute power and authority, evidenced by God deciding who is saved and who is damned, and being able to impose the body of Christ upon bread and wine through incomprehensible power. However, notice that these are also pragmatic theories, because God is deciding the eternal fate of humans and is imposing divine character upon physical bread and wine.

Verse 6 describes the character of Zechariah and Elizabeth. “And they were both righteous before God, walking blameless in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.” Righteous means ‘conformity to God’s standard’ and is interpreted as Server actions that are consistent with a general Teacher understanding of God. Thus, this is not just a verbal system of religion in abstract thought, but a verbal system that is backed up by concrete actions. ‘Both’ means that this righteousness is present in the technical thinking of male thought and also the mental networks of female thought. Walking comes from a word that means ‘to transport, moving something from one destination to another... emphasizing the personal meaning, which is attached to reaching the particular destination’. This ‘transporting’ is interpreted as movement that is accompanied by change. Thus, society is going through a transition and this transition is being guided by applying absolute truth about God to the actions of human society. Commandment ‘focuses on the end result of a command’. Ordinance is used once in Luke and refers to ‘an act God approves’. Blameless is also found once in Luke and means ‘without fault’. Putting this together, society is going through a transition and the behavior of this transition is being guided by rules taken from the commands of absolute truth recorded in the Bible. This combination describes the transition from theology to economy that happened during early scholasticism. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Early theologians, mainly Christians accepted certain set of rules from Christian Bible as their model of outlook. Spiegel highlights that scholastics’ economic thought had its principle sources in the Bible. He further emphasizes on the teachings and writings of the Father of the Church which designed the groundwork for exercising economic and moral thoughts.”

Verse 7 presents a problem. “And to them there was no child, inasmuch as Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in their years.” Was is the verb ‘to be’, which indicates a situation related to existence. ‘To them’ means that this situation applies to this couple. Child means ‘a child living in willing dependence’. Inasmuch means ‘as far as, or inasmuch as’. Barren is used to describe a barren woman and means ‘hard, stiff’. Looking at this cognitively, the mindset that ‘God is an oath’ has the inherent problem of being hard and stiff. It cannot generate offspring that depend upon it, because it places submission to a strict God above everything else, which leaves no room for human compassion.

Advanced means ‘to go forward’. The word year is actually ‘day’ which is interpreted as an era of society. This means that the mindset of ‘Jah has remembered’ and ‘God is an oath’ has progressed significantly and it is becoming evident that this is an inflexible source for giving birth to a new society.

One can see these qualities in the medieval monastic schools. Wikipedia observes that they were “the most important institutions of higher learning in the Latin West from the early Middle Ages until the 12th century.” Thus, they had a long history. These schools served primarily as preservers of classical knowledge that did not spread their knowledge widely to dependents. Wikipedia summarizes, “In the grand scheme of intellectual advancement, monasteries and monastery schools make up a small portion of the larger whole. They were, however, important in their own right in their contribution to the preservation of textual philosophical and scientific tradition. Monasteries provided a stable environment for learning in Medieval Europe. While much of the learning was contained to the confines of the monastery walls, knowledge did extend beyond the relatively isolated centers through travelers and pilgrims who would stay at the monasteries.” Universities arose primarily as an alternative to monastic schools rather than as an offspring of them. In the words of Wikipedia, “Although some monastic schools contributed to the emerging medieval universities, the rise of the universities did not go unchallenged. Some monastic figures such as Bernard of Clairvaux considered the search for knowledge using the techniques of scholasticism to be a challenge to the monastic ideal of simplicity. The rise of medieval universities and scholasticism in the Renaissance of the 12th century offered alternative venues and new learning opportunities to the students.” However, “In the heyday of the monastic schools in the 9th and 10th centuries, the teachings of important scholars... raised the prestige of their abbeys and attracted pupils from afar to attend their courses.” Thus, the barrenness of verse 7 would apply primarily to the later stages of the monastic schools when this era was coming to an end.

Verse 8 sets the scene for a transition. “Now it came to pass, in his fulfilling the priestly service before God in the order of his division.” Came to pass means ‘to come into being’ which means that something new is gradually emerging to replace the previous state of existence. In means ‘in the realm of’. Fulfilling the priestly service is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to be a priest’ which comes from a word that means ‘sacred because belonging to the temple’. In other words, something new is coming into existence within the realm of the normal monastic practice of turning one’s back upon secular society in order to live as a monk for God. Order is used once in Luke and means ‘an arranging, order’. Division is only found here and in verse 5 and means ‘for the day’. Wikipedia describes such a transition. “Before the 12th century, the intellectual life of Western Europe had been largely relegated to monasteries, which were mostly concerned with performing the liturgy and prayer; relatively few monasteries could boast true intellectuals. Following the Gregorian Reform’s emphasis on canon law and the study of the sacraments, bishops formed cathedral schools to train the clergy in Canon law, but also in the more secular aspects of religious administration.” Notice that this new emphasis is happening in the realm of the religious system with its focus upon God and holiness. Notice also the focus upon improving the ‘arranging and order’ of religious administration. This came into being because of the development of Western society. Wikipedia explains, “With the increasing growth and urbanization of European society during the 12th and 13th centuries, a demand grew for professional clergy.” This was all being done ‘before God’ in Teacher thought and not primarily for the benefit of human society, because the focus included “logic and disputation for use in preaching and theological discussion, and accounting to control finances more effectively.” Notice the goal of improving Teacher order and structure within the religious realm.

Verse 9 continues, “According to the custom of the priesthood, it fell to him by lot to burn incense, having entered into the temple of the Lord.” Custom means ‘an unwritten custom’ and priesthood is used once in Luke and means ‘the office of the priesthood’. Thus, this would refer to the unwritten rules governing what it means to exist apart from secular society. Burn incense is found once in the New Testament and has ‘the sense of smoking’. Fell by lot indicates that this does not happen as a result of deliberate choice. Smell is an effective way of triggering mental networks and unwritten customs are enforced by mental networks. Thus, some set of mental networks are implicitly developing as a result of maintaining the division between sacred and secular. Temple refers to ‘that part of the temple where God himself resides’. And Lord means ‘a person exercising absolute ownership rights’. Thus, normal mental networks of holiness are entering the inner sanctum of interacting directly with God in Teacher thought.

Verse 10 describes what is happening within the secular realm. “And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of the incense.” Whole means ‘each part of a totality’. Multitude means ‘a great number’. People is the source of the English word ‘laity’. Pray means ‘to exchange wishes’. This laity is ‘outside, without’. And this is happening during the period of the incense. In other words, secular society as a whole is paying attention to what is happening within the religious realm and is interacting emotionally with this religious realm at the level of mental networks. Thus, there are two trends within society. In the religious realm, there is a renewed focus upon encountering God at the level of mental networks. In the secular realm, society as a whole is composed of religious adherents who are looking to the priesthood to satisfy emotional needs, also at the level of mental networks.

These various elements can be seen in the mendicant orders, such as the Franciscans and Dominicans, which were established in the 13th century. Wikipedia explains that “The Dominican Order came into being in the Middle Ages at a time when men of God were no longer expected to stay behind the walls of a cloister. Instead, they travelled among the people, taking as their examples the apostles of the primitive Church. Out of this ideal emerged two orders of mendicant friars: one, the Friars Minor, was led by Francis of Assisi; the other, the Friars Preachers, by Dominic of Guzman. Like his contemporary, Francis, Dominic saw the need for a new type of organization.” In other words, the mendicant orders did not arise through the deliberate choice of the church, but as a result of a change in societal expectations. The purpose of the Dominicans was to use education to meet the emotional needs of the new urban population. Wikipedia explains that “Dominic sought to establish a new kind of order, one that would bring the dedication and systematic education of the older monastic orders like the Benedictines to bear on the religious problems of the burgeoning population of cities, but with more organizational flexibility than either monastic orders or the secular clergy. The Order of Preachers was founded in response to a then perceived need for informed preaching.”

Zechariah sees the Angel 1:11-14

In verse 11, an angel appears. “And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of the incense.” Angel means ‘messenger’ and can refer in the Bible to either a human or angelic being. Appear often means ‘to see with the mind’ which would refer to intellectual sight. Stand means ‘to stand’ and is interpreted as acquiring Perceiver stability. At means ‘from out of’. Right means ‘right hand or side’ and is interpreted as left hemisphere thought which controls the right side of the body. Altar is mentioned twice in Luke and refers to ‘the meeting place between God and the true worshiper’. Putting this together, a heavenly message is being mentally acquired and is being treated as a source of truth. This message has its source in mental networks of worship, approached from a left hemisphere Teacher perspective. This describes mysticism, which is analyzed in other essays. Stated briefly, mysticism combines Teacher overgeneralization with Mercy identification. Teacher thought overgeneralizes in order to come up with the uber-theory of a God of Oneness who transcends all rational content. Mercy thought then identifies with this mental concept of God. This combination leads to ecstatic feelings because Teacher feelings of universality are being combined with Mercy feelings of identification. It will feel as if one is unified personally with God. If a person continues to focus upon these ecstatic feelings, then mental networks of mystical worship will form that are impervious to logical or rational thought. As verse 11 points out, mysticism functions within the mind and is based in Teacher mental networks. This makes it possible for a mendicant monk to maintain feelings of holiness without having to live in a monastery separated from secular existence. This emphasis upon mysticism can be seen in the Dominicans, “Dominic inspired the members of his order to develop a ‘mixed’ spirituality. They were both active in preaching, and contemplative in study, prayer and meditation. The brethren of the Dominican Order were urban and learned, as well as contemplative and mystical in their spirituality.”

Zechariah responds to the angel in verse 12. “And having seen him, Zechariah was troubled, and fear fell upon him.” Troubled is used twice in Luke and means ‘to agitate back and forth’. Seen means ‘to see with the mind’. Fear means ‘fleeing because feeling inadequate’. Fell means ‘to fall upon’ and falling is interpreted as heading away from Teacher generality toward specifics. Such ‘agitating back and forth’ can be seen in the ‘mixed spirituality’ of Dominic, with its alternating between active preaching and contemplative meditation. The basic principle of mysticism is that God in Teacher thought is totally different than human thought and behavior. Thus, alternating between preaching and meditation would lead to an agitating back and forth between rational interaction with people and mystical union with God. The ecstasy of feeling union with a God who transcends all finite existence will make normal human existence feel very inadequate. Such inadequacy can be seen in Francis of Assisi. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Francis was inspired to devote himself to a life of poverty. Having obtained a coarse woolen tunic, the dress then worn by the poorest Umbrian peasants, he tied it around himself with a knotted rope and went about exhorting the people of the countryside to penance, brotherly love, and peace. Francis’s preaching to ordinary people was unusual as he had no license to do so.” Notice in passing how his preaching to ordinary people was something new and forbidden. Similarly, “Dominic abstained from meat, observed stated fasts and periods of silence, selected the worst accommodations and the meanest clothes, and never allowed himself the luxury of a bed... Guiraud also states that Dominic frequently traveled barefoot and that rain and other discomforts elicited from his lips nothing but praises to God.” In both Francis and Dominic, mental networks of ‘encountering a heavenly message’ led to feelings of deep inadequacy that caused them to flee mentally from any attempt to seek personal comfort.

In verse 13, the angel delivers a positive message. “And the angel said to him, ‘Fear not, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard, and Your wife Elizabeth will bear to you a son, and you shall call his name John.’” Prayer is a different word than before which means a ‘heartfelt petition, arising out of deep personal need’. (Here the NASB is a better translation than the BLB because it uses ‘petition’ rather than ‘prayer’.) Heard is used once in Luke and means to ‘hear into’. This suggests that the initial attitude of feeling deep inadequacy in the face of the heavenly message is being answered by a positive response in Teacher thought.

Wife means ‘a woman’ and is interpreted as referring to female thought. Elizabeth means ‘God is an oath’. Thus, the mental networks that regard God as the source of absolute truth are going to give birth to a ‘son’ of male technical thought. Call indicates a verbal response in Teacher thought, while name refers to a verbal label in Teacher thought. John means ‘the Lord has been gracious’. Looking at this cognitively, mysticism leads to a contradictory response. On the one hand, a mystical concept of God results from the overgeneralization that becomes possible when God in Teacher thought is regarded as totally separate from any facts of reality. On the other hand, thinking about a mystical concept of God will create a Teacher mental network that will impose its structure upon how one thinks about facts of reality. This contradiction typically leads to a form of apophatic theology, in which one writes many words saying that one cannot say anything about God. One can see this, for instance, in the 12th century Jewish philosopher Maimonides. In the words of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Although Maimonides thinks this argument gives us sufficient grounds for saying that God is, he does not think it provides any grounds for saying what God is. To see why not, we have to recognize that God is not one in a way comparable to anything else: one person, one number, one idea... If Maimonides is right, there can be no plurality of faculties, moral dispositions, or essential attributes in God. Even to say that God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-good is to introduce plurality, if one means thereby that these qualities are separate attributes. The same is true if we say that God is a composite of matter and form, genus and specific difference, or essence and accident. All introduce plurality where none can be tolerated.” Notice how many words are being used to say that one cannot say anything about God. Thinking about mystical ecstasy causes a Teacher mental network to form, which will motivate the mystic philosopher to write and write and write about nothing. And the erudite language will convey the impression to others that the mystical philosopher is saying something meaningful about God.

The reader may think that it is anti-Christian of me to speak disparagingly of mysticism. However, medieval Christian mysticism did not come from the Bible but rather was based largely in a forged document attributed to a convert of Paul mentioned in Acts 17:34. As Wikipedia explains, “In the early sixth century, a series of writings of a mystical nature, employing Neoplatonic language to elucidate Christian theological and mystical ideas, was ascribed to the Areopagite. They have long been recognized as pseudepigrapha, and their author is now called ‘Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite’.” Unfortunately, “The Dionysian writings and their mystical teaching were universally accepted throughout the East.” And in the West, “Thomas Aquinas wrote an explanation for several works, and cites him over 1700 times. Bonaventure called him the ‘prince of mystics’. It was subsequently in the area of mysticism that Dionysius, especially his portrayal of the via negativa, was particularly influential.” Jewish mysticism is also based in an extra-biblical fabrication. Wikipedia explains that “Jewish Kabbalah is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between the unchanging, eternal God—the mysterious Ein Sof—and the mortal, finite universe (God’s creation). It forms the foundation of mystical religious interpretations within Judaism.” Going further, “Kabbalistic knowledge was believed to be an integral part of the Oral Torah, given by God to Moses on Mount Sinai around the 13th century BCE according to its followers; although some believe that Kabbalah began with Adam.” And “According to Rabbinic Judaism, the Oral Torah or Oral Law are those purported laws, statutes, and legal interpretations that were not recorded in the Five Books of Moses, the Written Torah, but nonetheless are regarded by Orthodox Jews as prescriptive and given at the same time.” Summarizing, Jewish mysticism is expressed as Jewish Kabbalah which comes from the Oral Torah, which the rabbis say came either from Moses or from Adam but was not written down in the Bible. In conclusion, both Jewish and Christian mysticism resulted from religious scholars literally putting non-canonical words into the mouth of God.

This mystical philosophy led to a more positive result in the case of the mendicant orders because of the ‘female’ culture of ‘God is an Oath’, since the mystical concept that God is totally different than creation becomes combined with the idea that God is the ultimate source of stability for human existence. This combination leads to verbal activity within Teacher thought that goes beyond saying a lot about nothing to saying something about how God affects creation, reflected in the name ‘the Lord has been gracious’.

This indirect positive Teacher response is described in verse 14. “And he will be joy and gladness to you, and many will rejoice at his birth.” Joy means ‘the awareness of God’s grace’ and is one of several related words that all refer to Teacher emotion. Gladness is used twice as a noun in Luke and literally means ‘so glad one jumps in celebration’. Jumping leaves the ‘ground’ of human rational thought in order to temporarily enter the ‘air’ of Teacher theory. This Teacher emotion then spreads to others because many will rejoice at the birth of John. This positive Teacher impact can be seen in the history of the Dominicans. Wikipedia summarizes that “Founded to preach the Gospel and to oppose heresy, the teaching activity of the order and its scholastic organisation placed the Preachers in the forefront of the intellectual life of the Middle Ages. The order is famed for its intellectual tradition, having produced many leading theologians and philosophers.” Notice the attitude of ‘God is an oath’ reflected in preaching absolute truth and opposing heresy.

A similar juxtaposition can be seen in Bonaventure who became a Franciscan monk in 1243 and was the seventh leader of the Franciscan Order. (Francis of Assisi died in 1226 at the age of 45.) Wikipedia relates that “He steered the Franciscans on a moderate and intellectual course that made them the most prominent order in the Catholic Church until the coming of the Jesuits. His theology was marked by an attempt completely to integrate faith and reason. He thought of Christ as the ‘one true master’ who offers humans knowledge that begins in faith, is developed through rational understanding, and is perfected by mystical union with God.” Notice how rational understanding is being ‘perfected by mystical union with God’ indicating that mystical feelings of unity are acting as an inspiration to discover knowledge that ‘begins in faith’. One can also see a culture of ‘God is an oath’. As leader of the Franciscans, Bonaventure clamped down on dissident viewpoints, and “promulgated a decree prohibiting the publication of any work out of the order without permission from superiors.” Among other things, this temporarily shut down the work of Roger Bacon. Bonaventure then wrote an official biography of Francis of Assisi that “was approved as the only biography of Francis and all previous biographies were ordered to be destroyed.” I mention these details not to attack Bonaventure, but rather to point out what it meant in practice for ‘God is an oath’ to be the ‘mother’ of an intellectual movement.

The Dominican monk Albertus Magnus describes mysticism acting as an inspiration for rational thought. In the words of Wikipedia, “Love in the soul is both the cause and result of true understanding and judgement. It causes not only an intellectual knowledge of God, but a spiritual and emotional knowledge as well. Contemplation is the means whereby one can obtain this goal of understanding... contemplation forever produces a mystified, imperfect knowledge of God. The soul is exalted beyond the rest of God’s creation but it cannot see God himself.”

As for the ‘jumping in the air’ of Teacher thought, this can be seen in the proto-science of Roger Bacon, Bonaventure’s attempt to ‘completely integrate faith and reason’, and in another well-known scholar who received his degree in the same time and place as Bonaventure: Thomas Aquinas.

The Angel describes John the Baptist 1:15-17

Verse 15 describes the character of John. “For he will be great before the Lord. And he shall never drink wine and strong drink.” Great means ‘large, great, in the widest sense’ and is interpreted as referring to Teacher generality. The term before means ‘in the eye of’ and is used 95 times in the New Testament, but this is the only use of the phrase ‘great before the Lord’. In other words, there will be a combination of Teacher generality and regarding God as the source of absolute truth. This combination does not exist today, because the general theories of science suppress any discussion about God, while those who regard the Bible as the source of absolute truth about God invariably treat God as a God of the gaps who has become sidelined by mainstream secular existence. (That sidelining will be discussed in Luke 7.) One can see such a ‘great before the Lord’ illustrated by the Franciscan Bonaventure, the Dominican Thomas Aquinas, the Franciscan Anthony of Padua, and the Dominican Albertus Magnus. These four individuals all lived during the 13th century. The Catholic Church regards these four as doctors of the church, a “title given by the Catholic Church to saints recognized as having made a significant contribution to theology or doctrine through their research, study, or writing.”

Wine means ‘wine made from grapes’. Liquid is interpreted as Mercy experiences, and wine is interpreted as pleasant cultural experiences. Strong drink is used once in the New Testament and means ‘fermented liquor’. (The NASB translates it as liquor.) Drink is the normal word for ‘drink’ and is preceded in the Greek by a ‘no’ and a ‘not’. Alcohol removes personal inhibitions, allowing a person to forget about the facts and enjoy the immediate situation. ‘Never drinking wine’ describes a mindset that shuns pleasant culture. This can be seen in the vows of poverty and celibacy taken by Franciscan and Dominican monks. ‘Not drinking liquor’ suggests a lifestyle that does not escape from the facts of reality. This also can be seen in the Franciscans and Dominicans who did not retreat to monasteries, but rather remained in contact with reality through teaching and service.

Verse 15 continues, “and he will be full of the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb.” Holy means ‘set apart’. Filled means ‘fill to the maximum’. A concept of the Holy Spirit emerges from Platonic forms, which are discussed in previous essays. Stated briefly, Perceiver thought organizes Mercy experiences into categories. A Platonic form is an imaginary image in Mercy thought that emerges when Teacher thought comes up with a general theory that summarizes the essence of some Perceiver category, such as the ideal squares, circles, and lines of geometry. A concept of the Holy Spirit emerges when Teacher thought comes up with a general theory that ties together many Platonic forms, leading to what Plato called the form of Good. Being full of the Holy Spirit implies a mindset that will focus fully upon Platonic forms and how they relate. ‘Even from his mother’s womb’ suggests that this focus upon Platonic forms will emerge directly from the culture that gives birth to this academic thought.

For instance, Albertus Magnus “effectively invented entire special sciences, where Aristotle has not covered a topic. For example, prior to Albert, there was no systematic study of minerals. For the breadth of these achievements, he was bestowed the name Doctor Universalis.” Thomas Aquinas “has been described as the most influential thinker of the medieval period and the greatest of the medieval philosopher-theologians. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy is derived from his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory.” A similar focus upon grand themes can be seen in Anthony of Padua. “According to historian Sophronius Clasen, Anthony preached the grandeur of Christianity. His method included allegory and symbolical explanation of scripture.” Finally, “Bonaventure wrote on almost every subject treated by the Scholastics (see Scholasticism) and his writings are substantial. A great number of them deal with faith in Christ, God and theology. No work of Bonaventure’s is exclusively philosophical, a striking illustration of the mutual interpenetration of philosophy and theology that is a distinguishing mark of the Scholastic period.” This quote describes scholasticism as a ‘great before the Lord’ characterized by a ‘mutual interpenetration of philosophy and theology’. Such a focus upon grand topics flowed naturally out of a monastic culture that turned its back upon the physical reality in order to think upon God.

Verse 16 adds “And he will turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God.” Israel means ‘God strives’ and is being interpreted as the group of people through whom God interacts with the world. This would include the nation of Israel, but within the prophetic context of this essay, it would refer primarily to the Catholic Church. This does not mean that every individual within such an organization is a friend of God. As Paul says in Romans 9:6, “For not all who are of Israel, are these Israel.” But one can still make a legitimate claim that the institution in some way represents God. Turn means ‘to revert’. Verse 16 does not say that all Israel will turn to God, but rather that many aspects of male thought within the institution that claims to represent God will actually revert to God. If one interprets reverting to God as acquiring rational Teacher understanding, then Wikipedia relates that “By the 13th century, almost half of the highest offices in the Church were occupied by degree masters (abbots, archbishops, cardinals), and over one-third of the second-highest offices were occupied by masters. In addition, some of the greatest theologians of the High Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas and Robert Grosseteste, were products of the medieval university.” Notice that this reverting is happening primarily within male technical thought.

Verse 17 continues, “And he will go forth before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah.” Go forth means ‘to go forward’. Spirit represents Platonic forms. Power means ‘to be able, to have power’ and is interpreted as an expression of Perceiver thought. Server thought uses the physical body to perform actions. Perceiver thought adds power to these actions, as illustrated by electrical power or machine power. Elijah means ‘Yah is God’. A Platonic form is an imaginary Mercy image that forms when Teacher thought determines the simple essence of Perceiver facts. If these facts come from reality, then the Platonic form will be an idealization of reality. For instance, the Platonic form of a circle is an imaginary image of a circle that is more perfect than any real circle, but is also an idealization of real circles. In contrast, if Perceiver facts come from the words of books that are regarded as holy or special, then the resulting Platonic forms will be disconnected from physical reality. This can be seen, for instance, in the typical Christian Platonic form of heaven, which is regarded as a perfect place unrelated to physical earth. ‘In the spirit and power of Elijah’ would represent this second type of Platonic form that is unrelated to reality, because it is based in a concept of God that is high and separate. While such Platonic forms are unrelated to physical reality, they still have the power to inspire and uplift reality. ‘Going forth’ suggests that these heavenly Platonic forms will become a driving motivation. This heavenly focus can be seen in the courses that were taught at a university. Quoting from Wikipedia, “All instruction was given in Latin and students were expected to converse in that language. The trivium comprised the three subjects that were taught first: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The quadrivium consisted of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy... The curriculum came also to include the three Aristotelian philosophies: physics, metaphysics and moral philosophy.” Medieval Latin “functioned as the main medium of scholarly exchange, as the liturgical language of the Church, and as the working language of science, literature, law, and administration.” Using a special language for religion and academia will naturally cause any resulting Platonic forms to be disconnected from reality. Grammar, logic, and rhetoric are all verbal skills involving abstract thought. Arithmetic involves the abstract realm of numbers, geometry is based in Platonic forms, music inspires, and astronomy studies the physical heavens. None of these subjects are directly related to normal human existence. Pre-scientific physics was also disconnected from reality, while metaphysics and moral philosophy deal with the Platonic form of ideals. This combination definitely describes ‘going forth in the spirit and power of Elijah’.

Verse 17 continues, “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Turn means ‘to revert’. Heart means ‘the affective center of our being’ and ‘is mentioned over 800 times in Scripture, but never referring to the literal physical pump that drives the blood’. The heart is interpreted as personal identity within Mercy thought. Thus, turning hearts would mean a change in personal identity that leads to a new emotional focus. Two revertings are being described. The first is from fathers to children. A child is ‘a child living in willing dependence’. In other words, male technical thought will feel personally motivated to acquire willing dependents. This connection can be seen in the earliest universities. Wikipedia explains that “A university was not a physical space but a collection of individuals banded together as a universitas... It was also characteristic of teachers and scholars to move around. Universities often competed to secure the best and most popular teachers, leading to the marketisation of teaching. Universities published their list of scholars to entice students to study at their institution.” As for the students being children, “Students often entered the university at fourteen to fifteen years of age, though many were older.” It may be significant that verse 17 does not use the word child that means ‘a child under training or strict oversight’ because medieval university students were not under strict oversight. Instead, “Students are frequently criticized in the Middle Ages for neglecting their studies for drinking, gambling and sleeping with prostitutes.”

The second reverting is from disobedient to ‘wisdom of righteous’. Disobedient means ‘unwilling to be persuaded’. Wisdom is used once in Luke and ‘is difficult to translate into English because it combines the visceral and cognitive aspects of thinking.’ Righteous is interpreted as Server actions that reflect Teacher understanding. This reverting can be seen in the Renaissance of the 12th century. Wikipedia explains that “The renaissance of the twelfth century was far more thoroughgoing than those renaissances that preceded in the Carolingian or in the Ottonian periods.” Thus, many were influenced, as mentioned in verse 16. Cathedrals were built that used physical actions to represent heavenly Platonic forms. “From 1100, he wrote, monumental abbeys and cathedrals were constructed and decorated with sculptures, hangings, mosaics and works belonging to one of the greatest epochs of art and providing stark contrast to the monotonous and cramped conditions of ordinary living during the period.” At a more pragmatic level, the Hanseatic League transformed the ‘unwillingness to be persuaded’ of medieval conflict into the righteousness of law-abiding commercial behavior. Quoting again from Wikipedia, “The League originated from various loose associations of German traders and towns formed to advance mutual commercial interests, such as protection against piracy and banditry.” The Hanseatic League functioned primarily through persuasion, using Server actions to increase Teacher order. In the words of Wikipedia, “The Hanseatic League managed to endure and thrive for centuries under a quasi-legislative diet that operated on deliberation and consensus. Members united on the basis of mutual interest and comity, working together to pool resources, raise levies, and amicably resolve disputes to further common goals. The League’s long-lived success and unity during a period of political upheaval and fragmentation has led to it being described as the most successful trade alliance in history.” Notice how both Cathedrals and the Hanseatic League directly impacted personal identity. The Cathedral transformed the way that the average person experienced Christian religion, while the goal of the Hanseatic League was to bring personal prosperity to its members.

Make ready means ‘to prepare’, while prepared means to ‘make exactly ready, skillfully using implements according to a tooled-design’. And people is the word ‘laity’. In other words, secular individuals were acquiring technical skills. On the one hand, cathedrals do not help the average individual, and attention eventually turned away from building massive churches. On the other hand, the challenge of constructing a cathedral taught technical skills to many lay individuals. Wikipedia summarizes, “The construction of Gothic cathedrals was an ambitious, expensive, and technically demanding aspect of life in the Late Middle Ages. From the late 11th century until the Renaissance, largely in Western Europe, Gothic cathedral construction required substantial funding, highly skilled workers, and engineering solutions for complex technical problems.” More specifically, “The stone-cutters, mortar-makers, carpenters and other workers were highly skilled but usually illiterate. They were managed by foremen who reported to the master mason. The foremen used tools such as the compass to measure and enlarge the plans to full size and levels using lead in glass tubes to assure the blocks were level. The stone dressers used similar tools to make sure the surfaces were flat and the edges were at precise right angles.” The Hanseatic League was also eventually superseded. In the words of Wikipedia, “Even at its zenith, the Hanseatic League was never more than a loosely aligned confederation of city-states... By the mid-16th century, these tenuous connections left the Hanseatic League vulnerable to rising competitors such as England, the Netherlands, and Russia.” Wikipedia describes the technical skills that were acquired by secular individuals as a result of the Hanseatic League. “Starting with trade in coarse woollen fabrics, the Hanseatic League had the effect of bringing both commerce and industry to northern Germany. As trade increased, newer and finer woollen and linen fabrics, and even silks, were manufactured in northern Germany. The same refinement of products out of cottage industry occurred in other fields, e.g. etching, wood carving, armour production, engraving of metals, and wood-turning. The century-long monopolization of sea navigation and trade by the Hanseatic League ensured that the Renaissance arrived in northern Germany long before it did in the rest of Europe.”

Zechariah loses his voice 1:18-20

In verse 18, Zechariah responds to the angel. “And Zechariah said to the angel, ‘By what will I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in her years.’” Zechariah means ‘Yah has remembered’. By means to ‘bring down exactly, complete’, which suggests heading down from theory to specific application. Know means to ‘experientially know’. In other words, how can an overgeneralized concept of God in Teacher thought be turned into experiential knowledge in Mercy thought? Old man is used once in Luke and means ‘a mature man, having seasoned judgment, an elder’. Advanced means ‘to go forward’ and year actually means ‘day’. In other words, male thought has acquired considerable experience, while female thought is reaching the end of an era. One of the attributes of absolute truth is that it leads to a conservative mindset, because the assumption is that truth was revealed in the past by experts. This dilemma can be seen in the following summary of scholasticism. “A new method of learning called scholasticism developed in the late 12th century from the rediscovery of the works of Aristotle; the works of medieval Muslims and Jews influenced by him, notably Maimonides, Avicenna and Averroes. The great scholastic scholars of the 13th century were Albertus Magnus, Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas. Those who practiced the scholastic method defended Roman Catholic doctrines through secular study and logic. One of the main questions during this time was the problem of the universals.” On the one hand, scholasticism focused heavily upon truth revealed in the past through dead experts. But on the other hand, scholasticism was attempting to reconcile the Christian revealed truth of the Bible with the newly rediscovered Greek revealed truth of Aristotle, as interpreted by Muslim and Jewish non-Christian philosophy. Discovering a new source of absolute truth is cognitively like scientific research that discovers new facts about the physical world. In both cases, one has to use rational thought to attempt to analyze the new information. Saying this more carefully, technical thought uses logical rules to manipulate some set of carefully defined facts. These facts can come from the discoveries of science, or they can come from the words of some revered text. The source and validity of these facts may vary, but technical thought can develop as long as a collection of related facts exists that is known with sufficient certainty. Such certainty is reflected in the name ‘Elizabeth’, which means ‘God is an oath’.

The angel replies in verse 19. “And the angel answering, said to him, ‘I am Gabriel, the one standing before God; and I was sent to speak to you, and to bring these glad tidings to you.’” Gabriel is only mentioned in the New Testament in this verse and verse 26 and means ‘mighty man of God’. Standing means to ‘stand close beside’ and this standing is happening ‘in the eye of the God’. We saw earlier the feelings of extreme personal inadequacy exhibited by Dominic and Francis. Gabriel represents a totally different attitude of acquiring Perceiver stability within the presence of God. However, notice that this is a ‘standing close beside’ which the NASB often translates as ‘bystander’. Putting this together with the previous paragraph, a Theophilus or ‘friend of God’ uses truth to work with general theories. Scholasticism is working with revealed truth, but the discovery of new revealed truth means that rational thinking has to be used to reconcile these various sources of truth. Religious scholars are being driven by Teacher feelings of mysticism based in overgeneralization. But the culture of ‘God is an oath’ is causing the overgeneralized concept of God to be regarded as the source of human existence. Sent means to ‘send away’ and is the source of the English word ‘apostle’. Thus, God is not directly speaking, for a God of mysticism is incapable of speaking. Instead, the message is coming from a ‘mighty man of God’ who is standing beside God and being sent away on a mission. The result is an ambiguity regarding the source of absolute truth and Platonic forms. As the quote from Wikipedia mentions, ‘One of the main questions during this time was the problem of the universals’. For instance, “Scotus believed that such properties as ‘redness’ and ‘roundness’ exist in reality and are mind-independent entities.” In contrast, “According to Ockham, universals are just words or concepts (at best) that only exist in the mind and have no real place in the external world.” Such questions cannot be answered when truth comes from the words of books written by dead authors and the concept of universality comes from an overgeneralized concept of mysticism. But it is possible for a few individuals to develop considerable rational tools of analysis. Looking at the limitations that have to be overcome, learning about truth requires reading and thinking about many books in an era when books have to be copied by hand. Acquiring a monotheistic concept of God means breaking through mentally to the ecstasy of mysticism. And one has to acquire the confidence—and permission—to think for oneself in an era that regards truth as revealed by exalted sources and only allows those with official standing to preach. Bring glad tidings is a single word that means ‘to announce good news’. The nature of this good news has been described in the previous paragraphs.

The angel continues in verse 20. “And behold, you will be silent, and not able to speak until that day these things shall take place.” Behold means ‘look, behold’ and is interpreted as something new appearing. Silent simply means ‘to be silent’. Able refers to power, a characteristic of Perceiver thought. ‘Not able’ would mean losing power in Perceiver thought. Speak means to ‘talk, chatter in classical Greek’ and is interpreted as normal conversation as opposed to rigorous or academic communication. Take place means ‘to come into being’ and day refers to some era in society. Thus, this silence will continue until the beginning of some new era. One can determine the nature of this silence by looking at the reason given by the angel in the rest of the verse. Verse 20 continues, “because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their season.” This is the first use of believe in Luke, which means to ‘persuade, be persuaded’. Word is ‘logos’, which means ‘reasoning expressed by words’ and is interpreted as a paradigm in Teacher thought.

Teacher thought can come up with theories in two primary ways. Teacher thought can use overgeneralization to make sweeping statements. A mystical concept of God is based in Teacher overgeneralization. Teacher thought can only overgeneralize if Perceiver facts are ignored. This suppression of Perceiver facts will be stated religiously as ‘God transcends rational thought’. However, Teacher thought can also use generalization to form rational theories. Generalization builds upon Perceiver facts, assembling them in an ordered way to construct general theories. A paradigm is a general theory that provides a framework for technical thought. Teacher overgeneralization naturally happens when knowledge is limited, especially if people feel that they are inadequate compared to God. The basic principle is that one cannot simultaneously shut down Perceiver thought and build upon Perceiver facts. The angel is complaining that Zechariah was not persuaded by Perceiver facts to construct rational paradigms. Looking at this prophetically, the mendicant monks pursued the Teacher overgeneralization of mysticism rather than ‘reasoning expressed by words’, and they looked for ecstatic experiences rather than ‘being persuaded’ by Perceiver facts. When a mystical mindset is used to inspire rational thought, then the contradiction between suppressing Perceiver thought and using Perceiver thought can only be maintained by keeping silent about mystical experience. This silence of Zechariah lasts until verse 63 when John is born and Zechariah writes down his name. Cognitively speaking, the mystic/scholar can start talking about mysticism once rational thought acquires an independent existence in written form. The mystic/scholar will then assert that God ‘transcends’ this rational thought.

The angel adds that his words ‘will be fulfilled in their season’. Fulfilled means ‘to make full, to complete’. Season means ‘time as opportunity’ as opposed to clock time. In other words, the mystic may claim that God transcends rational thought, but cognitive mechanisms still apply to the heavenly message. When the mystic asserts that human words cannot describe God, then this assertion actually represents a step in a process by which God manipulates human history in a way that can be described using human words. Saying this another way, mysticism is not a statement about God, but rather a statement about the mind of the mystic. This statement is also applicable to today. Mysticism can act as an inspiration for rational thought when one is starting to learn, but it becomes an impediment to rational thought when objective theories of modern science are supplemented by subjective feelings of mysticism. I have found through personal experience that such a mindset is impervious to logic, because its primary purpose is to find religious meaning by escaping from logic. Overgeneralization is actually a symptom of childish thought; children overgeneralize when learning rules of grammar. In such a situation, it is important to remember that words will still be fulfilled in their season; cognitive principles still govern reality, even when educated men ignore rational analysis and insist upon exalting childish thought.

Turning now to medieval history, this inherent contradiction between mysticism and rational thought can be seen at the end of the life of Thomas Aquinas. Wikipedia relates, “On 6 December 1273, another mystical experience took place. While he was celebrating Mass, he experienced an unusually long ecstasy. Because of what he saw, he abandoned his routine and refused to dictate to his socius Reginald of Piperno. When Reginald begged him to get back to work, Thomas replied: ‘Reginald, I cannot, because all that I have written seems like straw to me’. As a result, the Summa Theologica would remain uncompleted. What exactly triggered Thomas’s change in behavior is believed by some to have been some kind of supernatural experience of God.” Notice how Thomas Aquinas became silenced by his mystical experience.

A silencing of mysticism can be seen in Meister Eckhart. Wikipedia summarizes that “Since the 19th century, he has received renewed attention. He has acquired a status as a great mystic within contemporary popular spirituality, as well as considerable interest from scholars situating him within the medieval scholastic and philosophical tradition.” However, “Pope John XXII issued a bull ... [in] 1329, in which a series of statements from Eckhart is characterized as heretical, another as suspected of heresy. At the close, it is stated that Eckhart recanted before his death everything which he had falsely taught, by subjecting himself and his writing to the decision of the Apostolic See. It is possible that the Pope’s unusual decision to issue the bull, despite the death of Eckhart (and the fact that Eckhart was not being personally condemned as a heretic), was due to the pope’s fear of the growing problem of mystical heresy.” In this case Eckhart’s discussion of mysticism was silenced for being heretical.

Mysticism was also temporarily silenced within the Dominican order. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The master general of the order from 1254 to 1263... wanted his friars to reach excellence in their preaching, and this was his most lasting contribution to the order. Humbert is at the center of ascetic writers in the Dominican Order. He advised his readers, ‘[Young Dominicans] are also to be instructed not to be eager to see visions or work miracles, since these avail little to salvation, and sometimes we are fooled by them; but rather they should be eager to do good in which salvation consists. Also, they should be taught not to be sad if they do not enjoy the divine consolations they hear others have.’” However, “By 1300, the enthusiasm for preaching and conversion within the order lessened. Mysticism, full of the ideas Albertus Magnus expostulated, became the devotion of the greatest minds and hands within the organization. It became a ‘powerful instrument of personal and theological transformation both within the Order of Preachers and throughout the wider reaches of Christendom.’”

Mystical movements among women were also eventually declared to be heresy and silenced. Wikipedia explains that “The Beguines were mainly a women’s movement, recognized by the Church since their foundation in the thirteenth century. Marguerite Porete wrote a mystical book known as The Mirror of Simple Souls. The book provoked some controversy, because of statements which some took to mean that a soul can become one with God and that when in this state it can ignore moral law, as it had no need for the Church and its sacraments, or its code of virtues. The book’s teachings were easily misconstrued. Porete was eventually tried by the Dominican inquisitor of France and burned at the stake as a relapsed heretic in 1310. The Council of Vienne of 1311 proclaimed them heretics and the movement went into decline.” Notice that the mystical movement was suppressed because it declared that the mystical experience ultimately transcends the rational content of the church. Notice also that personal identity is identifying with an overgeneralized concept of God, expressed by the assertion that ‘a soul can become one with God’.

1:21-25 Zechariah completes his service

Verse 21 turns to the audience waiting outside. “And the people were expecting Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delaying in temple.” People means laity. Expecting means ‘to await, expect’. Zechariah means ‘Yah has remembered’. In other words, the average believer expects the religious expert to come up with truth that applies to normal life; the layperson is looking to the priesthood for answers, because a mindset of absolute truth believes that truth comes from those who have emotional status. Wonder means ‘to wonder; by implication, to admire’. Delay means ‘to spend or take time, delay’ and refers to clock time. Temple ‘refers to that part of the temple where God himself resides’. Notice that there is no mention in this verse or the next of any angelic message. Instead, what impresses the audience is the length of the mystical encounter, the amount of time spent within the inner sanctum. This emphasis can be seen in the Wikipedia passages that have been quoted. Thomas Aquinas ‘experienced an unusually long ecstasy’. Dominican monks ‘should be taught not to be sad if they do not enjoy the divine consolations they hear others have’. Looking at another ‘doctor of the church’ (declared a ‘doctor’ in 1970), Wikipedia relates that Catherine of Siena “used the language of medieval scholastic philosophy to elaborate her experiential mysticism. Interested mainly with achieving an incorporeal union with God, Catherine practiced extreme fasting and asceticism, eventually to the extent of living solely off the Eucharist every day.” Going further, “Her major treatise is The Dialogue of Divine Providence... Contemporaries of Catherine are united in asserting that much of the book was dictated while Catherine was in ecstasy.” Here the audience is really impressed because most of a book is being written within a state of mystical ecstasy.

Verse 22 adds, “And having come out, he was not able to speak to them.” ‘Having come out’ would mean leaving the mystical encounter to re-enter normal existence. Able refers to ‘power’ and speak is the word that means chatter in classical Greek’. The cognitive problem here is that a mystical encounter that transcends the words of normal existence cannot be described adequately using the words of normal existence. Verse 22 describes what will be conveyed. “And they recognized that he had seen a vision in the temple.” Recognize means ‘apt experiential knowing’. Vision is used twice in Luke and means ‘a vision, a spiritual seeing’. And see means ‘to see with the mind’. This happens in the inner shrine. Notice that there is no mention of any angel or angelic message. Instead, there is the experiential knowledge that there has been a mystical vision.

Verse 22 finishes, “And he was making signs to them, and remained mute.” Making signs is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to nod or express by signs across an intervening space’. Remain is used twice in Luke and means to ‘fully remain’. Mute means ‘deaf, dumb, speechless’ and comes from a word that means ‘blunted’. This describes the cognitive dilemma of the mystical encounter. Teacher overgeneralization and Mercy identification can only generate the feeling of being one with God if Perceiver thought with its facts and categories steps out of the way, but verbal communication assumes that words can be given meanings by Perceiver thought. Thus, the mystical experience has to be described indirectly by the means of ‘signs across an intervening space’. This problem cannot be solved, because one cannot use Perceiver thought to describe an experience that requires not using Perceiver thought, and any attempt to describe it will end up blunting the experience. Thus, the mystic is left deaf, dumb, and speechless. But thinking about this experience will still create a Teacher mental network that motivates the mystic to try to talk about the mystical experience. The angel does not say that Zechariah does not want to talk or that he does not try to talk, but rather that he lacks the power to talk because he refused to be persuaded by rational thought.

Verse 23 concludes, “And it came to pass, when the days of his service were fulfilled, he departed to his home.” Came to pass means ‘to come into being’. Fulfilled means to ‘fill to the maximum’. Service is used once in Luke and means ‘official service offered by a duly authorized minister’ and is the source of the English word ‘liturgy’. Departed means ‘to go away’ and home means ‘a house, a dwelling’. In other words, the Teacher overgeneralization that God transcends all of physical reality is not treated as a universal Teacher theory that rules over everything. Instead, it becomes regarded as an ecstatic experience which is then treated as a personal aspect of the established system of liturgical worship. The mystic may feel that God is above all human thought and activity, but the mystical experience will eventually be treated as a specific aspect of the Teacher structure of human religious thought and activity. This cognitive disconnect does not disturb mysticism because cognitive disconnects are noticed by Perceiver thought and mysticism shuts down Perceiver thought.

Wikipedia describes this transition of mysticism starting out as transcendental experience and then turning into theological discussion. “The High Middle Ages saw a flourishing of mystical practice and theorization in western Roman Catholicism, corresponding to the flourishing of new monastic orders... as well as the first real flowering of popular piety among the laypeople. The Late Middle Ages saw the clash between the Dominican and Franciscan schools of thought, which was also a conflict between two different mystical theologies.”

In verse 24, Elizabeth gets pregnant. “And after these days, his wife Elizabeth conceived, and she hid herself five months, saying...” Elizabeth means ‘God is an oath’. Conceive means ‘to collect’ and is used to describe women conceiving and also Jesus being arrested. This implies that the mindset of divinely inspired absolute truth is collecting material and reaching a critical mass. Hid is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘all-around’ with ‘to hide’. Saying means ‘to say, moving to a conclusion’. A mindset of absolute truth believes that truth has been revealed in the past to important people. Thus, there is no need to look for truth in the present, because all meaningful truth has already been revealed. Going further, critical thinking will be regarded as dangerous because it might lead to a questioning of revealed truth. Thus, thinking that emerges from ‘God is an oath’ will tend to remain hidden, and this separation will be applied ‘all around’ regardless of the content being discussed.

Medieval universities discussed topics hypothetically apart from reality in order to protect themselves from charges of heresy. Wikipedia explains that “Faculties and students were protected from capital punishment. Such independence was a matter of custom, which could, in principle, be revoked by their respective rulers if they felt threatened. Discussions of various subjects or claims at these medieval institutions, no matter how controversial, were done in a formalized way so as to declare such discussions as being within the bounds of a university and therefore protected by the privileges of that institution's sovereignty. A claim could be described as ex cathedra (literally ‘from the chair’, used within the context of teaching) or ex hypothesi (by hypothesis). This meant that the discussions were presented as purely an intellectual exercise that did not require those involved to commit themselves to the truth of a claim or to proselytize.”

And medieval thinkers may have been talking about gathering scientific evidence, but this was mainly talk based in authoritative texts. Wikipedia elaborates, “At the beginning of the 13th century, there were reasonably accurate Latin translations of the main works of almost all the intellectually crucial ancient authors, allowing a sound transfer of scientific ideas via both the universities and the monasteries. By then, the natural philosophy in these texts began to be extended by scholastics such as Robert Grosseteste, Roger Bacon, Albertus Magnus and Duns Scotus. Precursors of the modern scientific method, influenced by earlier contributions of the Islamic world, can be seen already in Grosseteste’s emphasis on mathematics as a way to understand nature, and in the empirical approach admired by Bacon.”

Verse 25 describes what was achieved. “Thus the Lord has done to me, in the days in which He looked upon me to take away my disgrace among men.” Thus means ‘in this manner, in this way’. Done means ‘to make, do’ and is interpreted as Server actions. ‘In the days’ means this is happening over several eras of society. Look upon is used twice in the New Testament and combines ‘upon’ with ‘visible appearance’. Take away means ‘to take away’. Disgrace is found once in the New Testament and means ‘reproach, disgrace’. And men is the generic word for mankind. Putting this together, the divine authority has acted within the physical world by focusing upon external appearance in order to give people personal status among humanity. There is no concept here of universal laws being applied or any reference to angels or an angelic message. Instead, what has happened is that initial feelings of extreme personal inadequacy have been eliminated. This combination can be seen in a complaint made by Roger Bacon. Wikipedia relates, “Bacon criticises his contemporaries Alexander of Hales and Albertus Magnus, who were held in high repute despite having only acquired their knowledge of Aristotle at second hand during their preaching careers. Albert was received at Paris as an authority equal to Aristotle, Avicenna and Averroes, a situation Bacon decried: ‘never in the world [had] such monstrosity occurred before.’” Notice that the new medieval scholars are now being regarded as equal in status to the ancient experts, even though these new scholars have only secondhand knowledge about what they are claiming to be experts. Looking at this cognitively, when God is regarded in a mystical fashion as being above human rational thought, then rational content will be added by humans who claim to represent God. Thus, those who claim to give ultimate status to God end up being regarded as the real experts who speak for God. Notice that this honor involves mental networks of female thought. Scholastic scholars went to great lengths to use logic to discuss the utter supremacy of God. However, Roger Bacon is describing a non-verbal attitude based in mental networks.

The Angel speaks to Mary 1:26-30

In verse 26 Gabriel makes another visit. “And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee whose name was Nazareth.” Gabriel means ‘strong man of God’ and this is the second and final reference to Gabriel in the New Testament. Send means ‘to send, send away’. In verse 19, Gabriel referred to himself as standing before God and sent away. Verse 26 explicitly describes Gabriel as being sent away by God. Thus, one is dealing again with individuals developing Teacher theories, as illustrated by luminaries such as Thomas Aquinas. But in this case, the individuals are being guided by a concept of God in Teacher thought. City means ‘city’ and is interpreted as a center of civilization. That is because in Greek and Roman times, cities were the centers of civilization. Prophetically speaking, this is significant because until now most of the activity has been happening within isolated monasteries. However, urban centers are starting to form within medieval society. Galilee comes from a word that means ‘to roll’ and is interpreted as cycles of society. The name Nazareth means ‘separated, crowned, sanctified’. Putting this together, a new group of gifted individuals will emerge within a crowned and sanctified region of civilization, guided by the cycles of society.

These elements can be seen in the Renaissance. For instance, Wikipedia explains that “Italian Renaissance painting is the painting of the period beginning in the late 13th century... The painters of Renaissance Italy, although often attached to particular courts and with loyalties to particular towns, nonetheless wandered the length and breadth of Italy, often occupying a diplomatic status and disseminating artistic and philosophical ideas.” Notice how gifted painters are moving between the courts of Italy, prompted by the cycles of Italian society. More specifically, “The establishment of the Medici Bank and the subsequent trade it generated brought unprecedented wealth to a single Italian city, Florence. Cosimo de’ Medici set a new standard for patronage of the arts, not associated with the church or monarchy. The serendipitous presence within the region of Florence of certain individuals of artistic genius, most notably Giotto, Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Piero della Francesca, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, formed an ethos that supported and encouraged many lesser artists to achieve work of extraordinary quality.” Notice again the combination of gifted individuals and a ‘crowned’ segment of society. Going further, “Much painting of the Renaissance period was commissioned by or for the Catholic Church.” As for the focus upon cities, “Italy did not exist as a political entity in the early modern period. Instead, it was divided into smaller city-states and territories... Fifteenth-century Italy was one of the most urbanized areas in Europe.” Wikipedia describes the focus upon Teacher structure that motivated Renaissance architecture—an expression of being ‘sent by God’ in Teacher thought. “Renaissance style places emphasis on symmetry, proportion, geometry and the regularity of parts, as demonstrated in the architecture of classical antiquity and in particular ancient Roman architecture, of which many examples remained. Orderly arrangements of columns, pilasters and lintels, as well as the use of semicircular arches, hemispherical domes, niches and aediculae replaced the more complex proportional systems and irregular profiles of medieval buildings.” Symmetry, proportion, regularity, and orderly arrangement are all expressions of Teacher order-within-complexity.

Verse 27 provides more details. “To a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the name of the virgin was Mary.” Virgin indicates mental networks of female thought that have never interacted at a fundamental level with male technical thought. Betrothed is only used to describe the Virgin Mary and originally meant ‘to woo and win’. Man is the word for male. Joseph means ‘he increases’. David means ‘beloved one’ and is interpreted as those who have an emotional relationship with God. Of means ‘from out of’. ‘From the household of David’ would mean emerging from a mindset of interacting emotionally with God. The name Mary comes from Miriam, the sister of Moses, and means ‘beloved’ in Egyptian and ‘rebellion or bitterness’ in Hebrew. Egypt is a picture of the world, while Hebrew indicates a religious mindset. Thus, Mary conveys the idea of viewing worldly loves as rebellion against following God, combined with a feeling of bitterness which assumes that following God implies turning one’s back upon worldly pleasures. Putting this all together, emotional interaction with God will be experiencing growth in technical thought. This will be expressed as new mental networks of devotion to God and separation from the world.

These various elements can be seen in Renaissance humanism. Humanism eventually became anti-religious and is viewed by many Christian fundamentalists today as the essence of anti-Christian thought. However, we are looking here at the start of a movement, and “During the Renaissance period most humanists were Christians, so their concern was to ‘purify and renew Christianity’, not to do away with it.” The goal of Renaissance humanism was to leave existing culture in order to establish a new culture based upon the Greek classics. In the words of Wikipedia, “The rediscovery, study, and renewed interest in authors who had been forgotten, and in the classical world that they represented, inspired a flourishing return to linguistic, stylistic and literary models of antiquity. There emerged a consciousness of the need for a cultural renewal, which sometimes also meant a detachment from contemporary culture.” The birth of the Renaissance was enabled by the ‘Joseph’ of growth. “The Renaissance began in Tuscany in Central Italy and centred in the city of Florence. The Florentine Republic, one of the several city-states of the peninsula, rose to economic and political prominence by providing credit for European monarchs and by laying down the groundwork for developments in capitalism and in banking. Renaissance culture later spread to Venice, heart of a Mediterranean empire.” The emotional relationship with God can be seen in the primary settings for Italian Renaissance art, which were altarpieces. “Through the Renaissance period, the large altarpiece had a unique status as a commission. An altarpiece was destined to become a focal point, not only visually in the religious building it occupied, but also in the devotions of the worshippers.” There were also fresco cycles that focused upon grand themes, often of a religious nature. “The largest, most time-consuming paid work that an artist could do was a scheme of frescoes for a church, private palace or commune building. Of these, the largest unified scheme in Italy which remains more-or-less intact is that created by a number of different artists at the end of the Medieval period at the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.” And there were devotional paintings. “Devotional images of the Madonna and Child were produced in very large numbers, often for private clients. Scenes of the Life of Christ, the Life of the Virgin, or Lives of the Saints were also made in large numbers for churches, particularly scenes associated with the Nativity and the Passion of Jesus.”

The large number of devotional images of Madonna and child provide an illustration of cognitively natural symbolism, because Italian Renaissance painters are instinctively focusing upon an image that this essay is connecting symbolically with Italian Renaissance painters. A similar cognitive resonance was seen in Matthew 10 with Francis of Assisi being inspired to found his mendicant order by the passage in Matthew 10 that refers symbolically to the mendicant orders.

The Renaissance was a ‘virgin conception’ in the sense that it was not the result of technical breakthroughs from male thought. Instead, it was motivated by an emotional focus upon classical learning and culture. Wikipedia elaborates, “By the 14th century some of the first humanists were great collectors of antique manuscripts, including Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio, Coluccio Salutati, and Poggio Bracciolini. Of the four, Petrarch was dubbed the ‘Father of Humanism,’ as he was the one who first encouraged the study of pagan civilizations and the teaching of classical virtues as a means of preserving Christianity.” Wikipedia describes the focus upon mental networks of female thought that characterized the early Renaissance. “Initially, there were no new developments in physics or astronomy, and the reverence for classical sources further enshrined the Aristotelian and Ptolemaic views of the universe. Renaissance philosophy lost much of its rigor as the rules of logic and deduction were seen as secondary to intuition and emotion. At the same time, Renaissance humanism stressed that nature came to be viewed as an animate spiritual creation that was not governed by laws or mathematics.”

For some, it may seem sacrilegious to connect the Virgin Mary with some era of Western society. But here too one can see a cognitive resonance between history and symbol. Wikipedia summarizes that “The Middle Ages saw many legends about Mary, her parents, and even her grandparents. Mary’s popularity increased dramatically from the 12th century, linked to the Vatican’s designation of Mary as the mediatrix.” Notice that the virgin Mary became very popular during the era this essay is connecting with the virgin Mary. And there is also a historical connection between the Renaissance paintings of Mary and the emotional status given to Mary. “Patrons were expected to purchase any gold or lapis lazuli to be used in the painting. Hence, it was an expression of devotion and glorification to swathe the Virgin in gowns of blue. Transformations in visual depictions of Mary from the 13th to 15th centuries mirror her ‘social’ standing within the Church as well as in society.”

Gabriel speaks to Mary in verse 28. “And having come to her, he said, ‘Greetings, you favored with grace! The Lord is with you.’” Having come means ‘to go in, enter’. Greetings means ‘glad for grace’ and is one of a series of words that describe Teacher generality and emotion. Favored with grace means ‘to make graceful’ and has the same root as ‘greetings’. With means ‘in company with’ when followed by the genitive. This is typically interpreted as flowery religious language, but it actually describes Teacher thought enabling mental networks to express Teacher thought. ‘The Lord is with you’ indicates that this female expression of Teacher thought carries the weight of authority. The previous paragraph mentioned that the Renaissance was based in mental networks of female thought. The Renaissance resulted in extensive Teacher understanding. Wikipedia summarizes, “Renaissance technology was the set of European artifacts and inventions which spread through the Renaissance period, roughly the 14th century through the 16th century. The era is marked by profound technical advancements such as the printing press, linear perspective in drawing, patent law, double shell domes and bastion fortresses. Sketchbooks from artisans of the period (Taccola and Leonardo da Vinci, for example) give a deep insight into the mechanical technology then known and applied. Renaissance science spawned the Scientific Revolution.”

Verse 29 describes Mary’s confused response. “And she was troubled at the statement and was pondering what kind this salutation might be.” Statement is ‘logos’ which is interpreted as a paradigm of technical thought. Troubled is found once in the New Testament and means ‘acutely distressed, through and through’. Pondering means to ‘go back and forth when evaluating, in a way that typically leads to a confused conclusion’. What kind literally means ‘from what country’. And salutation means ‘a greeting, salutation’. Historically speaking, late medieval Europe went through a series of troubled times known as the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages. In the words of Wikipedia, “The Crisis of the Late Middle Ages was a series of events in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries that ended centuries of European stability during the Late Middle Ages. Three major crises led to radical changes in all areas of society: demographic collapse, political instability, and religious upheavals. The unity of the Roman Catholic Church was shattered by the Western Schism.” Looking at this in more detail, “The Great Famine of 1315–1317 and Black Death of 1347–1351 reduced the population perhaps by half or more... Popular revolts in late-medieval Europe and civil wars between nobles such as the Wars of the Roses were common—with France fighting internally nine times—and there were international conflicts between kingdoms such as France and England in the Hundred Years’ War.” Notice the confused ‘going back and forth’ that often involved a literal ‘from what country?’ The War of Roses pitted the House of Lancaster against the House of York. The Hundred Years War pitted France against England. The Western schism pitted the Pope of Rome against the anti-pope of Avignon. There were also numerous peasant revolts. “Before the 14th century, popular uprisings, though not unknown, tended to operate on a local scale. This changed in the 14th and 15th centuries when new downward pressures on the poor resulted in mass movements of popular uprisings across Europe. For example, Germany between 1336 and 1525 witnessed no fewer than sixty instances of militant peasant unrest.” However, “Despite the crises, the 14th century was also a time of great progress in the arts and sciences.” In other words, at the same time that medieval society was going through a time of great confusion and ‘going back and forth’, there was also extensive progress in Teacher understanding. Looking at this cognitively, mental networks form an emotional hierarchy, with stronger mental networks imposing their structure upon weaker ones. Society is normally driven by Mercy mental networks of culture and tradition. Society will only become driven by Teacher mental networks of rational understanding if the development of Teacher mental networks is accompanied by the shaking of existing Mercy mental networks. This leads to the question of divine providence. Is God responsible for human suffering? I have found so far in my prophetic analysis of New Testament books that physical trauma such as World War I or the Jewish Holocaust are described indirectly in emotional terms. For instance, verse 29 describes a major time of distress and confusion, but it does not say what this will precisely entail. Societal distress and confusion can be caused by disaster, but they can also be caused by positive changes. For instance, most societal distress in current society is being caused by the continual development of new science and technology. (This ambiguity is reflected in the dual meaning of the word ‘betray’.)

The angel responds in verse 30. “And the angel said to her, ‘Fear not, Mary; for you have found favor with God.’” Fear means ‘to put to flight’. ‘Fear not’ suggests that an impulse to flee needs to be suppressed. The angel then mentions Mary’s name for the first time. And instead of saying ‘The Lord is with you’, the angel mentions favor from God. Favor means ‘grace’ and is another one of the family of similar words that refer to Teacher thought. Verse 29 was interpreted as a reference to the Crisis of the late Middle Ages. Verse 30 would refer to the response to this crisis. For instance, Wikipedia describes the fearful response provoked by the Black Death. “Renewed religious fervour and fanaticism bloomed in the wake of the Black Death. Some Europeans targeted ‘various groups such as Jews, friars, foreigners, beggars, pilgrims’, lepers, and Romani, blaming them for the crisis. Lepers, and others with skin diseases such as acne or psoriasis, were killed throughout Europe. Because 14th-century healers and governments were at a loss to explain or stop the disease, Europeans turned to astrological forces, earthquakes, and the poisoning of wells by Jews as possible reasons for outbreaks.” These responses can be summarized as blaming the plague upon strange Mercy mental networks, blaming some ‘them’ for the problem. Obviously, such a fearful response would not lead to any ‘grace’ of Teacher understanding.

‘Mary’ represents a mindset that associates following God with having to leave the comforts of the world. ‘Finding favor with God’ describes the positive side of this mindset. Stated cognitively, people are experiencing the ‘stick’ of having to leave existing Mercy mental networks, but this is accompanied by the ‘carrot’ of encountering new Teacher mental networks. Wikipedia describes three such combinations of carrot-and-stick during this period. “The availability of important Greek texts accelerated with the capture of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks, when many Byzantine scholars had to seek refuge in the West, particularly Italy. Combined with this influx of classical ideas was the invention of printing, which facilitated dissemination of the printed word and democratized learning. Those two things would later lead to the Reformation. Toward the end of the period, the Age of Discovery began. The expansion of the Ottoman Empire cut off trading possibilities with the East. Europeans were forced to seek new trading routes, leading to the Spanish expedition under Christopher Columbus to the Americas.” The first cultural ‘stick’ was the fall of Constantinople, the last surviving remnant of the once mighty Roman Empire. But this was accompanied by the intellectual ‘carrot’ of Byzantine scholars with important Greek texts fleeing to Italy. The second cultural ‘stick’ was the Western Schism, which replaced the monolithic, absolute truth of the Catholic Church with two opposing religious authorities in Mercy thought. But this was accompanied by the intellectual ‘carrot’ of the printing press, which made it possible for the average person to pursue Teacher understanding. The third cultural ‘stick’ was the end of the trading routes to the East due to the growing Ottoman Empire, but this was accompanied by the mind-expanding Age of Discovery, starting with Portuguese ships venturing beyond the Mediterranean. Wikipedia describes the connection between the Black Death and the start of the Age of Discovery. “In the second half of the fourteenth century outbreaks of bubonic plague led to severe depopulation: the economy was extremely localized in a few towns, and migration from the country led to agricultural land being abandoned, resulting in an increase in rural unemployment. Only the sea offered alternatives, with most people settling in fishing and trading areas along the coast. Between 1325 and 1357 Afonso IV of Portugal granted public funding to raise a proper commercial fleet and ordered the first maritime explorations, with the help of Genoese, under command of admiral Manuel Pessanha. In 1341 the Canary Islands, already known to Genoese seafarers, were officially discovered under the patronage of the Portuguese king.”

The Angel describes Jesus 1:31-35

The angel describes what will happen to Mary in verse 31. “And behold, you will conceive in womb, and will bring forth a son, and you shall call His name Jesus.” Behold indicates the appearance of something new. Conceive means ‘to collect’ and was used back in verse 24 with Elizabeth. Womb means ‘the belly’. Bring forth means ‘to beget’. These are all normal birth terms. In verse 13, the angel told Zechariah to call his son John. In verse 31, Mary is instructed to call her son Jesus. Jesus means ‘Yahweh is salvation’. Salvation takes someone from where they are to some place better. ‘Yahweh is salvation’ takes someone from where they are to some place better guided by general understanding in Teacher thought. This requires the combination of Mercy stick and Teacher carrot described in the previous paragraphs. Salvation assumes that the current location in Mercy thought is undesirable. And salvation assumes that some process exists to move away from the current location. Emotionally speaking, Teacher understanding generates a ‘carrot’ of positive emotions that makes it possible to handle the ‘stick’ of Mercy pain that comes from leaving the current location. These statements may sound obvious, but current postmodern society has come to the conclusion that it is morally wrong to make anyone feel bad in Mercy thought and that all supposed theories in Teacher thought are actually ideologies backed up by some person or group with emotional status. This postmodern combination makes salvation impossible. Using a medical analogy, postmodernism concludes that it is wrong to say that anyone is sick, and it regards medical expertise as quack medicine. The symbolic interpretation of Jesus becomes apparent if one understands how a concept of incarnation forms within the mind. Summarizing what was mentioned earlier, a concept of incarnation forms when the ‘Christ’ of abstract technical thought becomes connected with the ‘Jesus’ of concrete technical thought. Using the language of the Gospel of John, this happens when the Logos of God becomes incarnate in human flesh. Modern science and technology provide a partial illustration of this integration. But incarnation goes beyond the specialized paradigms of science to be guided by an integrated concept of God in Teacher thought, and it goes beyond the objective salvation of technology to bring salvation to people in Mercy thought.

The angel continues in verse 32. “He will be great, and He will be called Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.” Great means ‘large, great, in the widest sense’ and is interpreted as referring to Teacher generality. Most high means ‘highest, most high’ and would refer to universal theories in Teacher thought. We saw earlier that mysticism uses overgeneralization to come up with a theory of divine oneness in Teacher thought. Overgeneralization can have no ‘son’ of male technical thought because it claims that Teacher universality transcends all human content. A ‘son of the most high’ indicates that Teacher theories are leading to technical content. This can be seen to a large extent in the general theories of science, because science uses the universal language of mathematics to make technical statements that apply in a detailed manner to physical reality. This combination can be seen in the term ‘Lord God’ which combines the authority of Lord with the universality of God. Similarly, a throne indicates ruling over some domain, while David means ‘beloved one’. For instance, the laws of physics can be viewed either as laws of nature that rule over some domain or as mathematical equations that one manipulates guided by Teacher emotions. This is not just a handwaving statement, because entire books have been written about the beauty and elegance of mathematics. Notice that the throne is passing from the father David to his son Jesus. Cognitively speaking, science will begin with the discovery of general laws in Teacher thought, but the authority will then pass to technical specializations emotionally governed by Teacher paradigms.

The angel concludes in verse 33. “And He will reign over the house of Jacob to the ages. And of His kingdom there will be no end!” Reign means ‘to reign as king’. House means ‘a house, a dwelling’. Jacob means ‘to follow, to supplant’. Genesis 25:26 says that after Esau was born, “his brother came forth with his hand holding on to Esau’s heel, so his name was called Jacob.” Thus, Jacob can be interpreted as a new form of thinking that follows ‘on the heels’ of something else and supplants it. This supplanting can be seen in the spread of technical thought in modern society. Every new trend or development is eventually followed by some form of accreditation, regulation, or professionalization that supplants existing thought with technical thinking. ‘To the ages’ in the plural is normally translated as ‘forever’. The point is that incarnation will continue to supplant other forms of thought in all forms of society. Such professionalization has negative side effects in current society because science specializes and is objective. (The solution is not to reject science, but rather to extend the partial incarnation of science and technology to include a concept of God and personal identity.) Kingdom is the noun form of the verb ‘reign’. End actually means ‘consummation, end goal, purpose’. In other words, there will always be something for technical thought to do. Technical thought will never be able to conclude that all the problems have now been solved and everything is now fully understood. This describes the path that science and technology have taken during the last several centuries. Every time scientists think that there is nothing more for science to discover, some new breakthrough happens that requires another re-thinking.

Mary questions the angel in verse 34. “And Mary said to the angel, ‘How will this be, since I do not know a man?’” Man refers specifically to a male and know refers to experiential knowledge. Physically speaking, Mary is referring to the obvious fact that women need men to get pregnant. Symbolically speaking, one is dealing with a chicken-and-egg problem. How can one build a lasting system of male technical thought upon a non-rigorous foundation? Cognitively speaking, the real problem is not ‘virgin birth’. All systems of technical thought start with a non-technical foundation. Even the overgeneralization of mysticism eventually becomes regarded as a technical specialization and is discussed using male technical thought. Instead, the real cognitive problem is using mental networks to come up with a theory that can survive being analyzed by technical thought. For instance, the Bible is regarded by most Christians as a holy book, emotionally supported by mental networks of respect for God. Theologians use male technical thought to analyze the Bible. But can theology survive being analyzed by the technical thinking of modern science? The general consensus within the cognitive science of religion is that theology is basically verbal noise. However, these essays are showing that the absolute truth of the Bible actually survives cognitive and historical analysis.

The angel answers in verse 35. “And the angel answering, said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.’” A concept of the Holy Spirit emerges when Platonic forms are brought together by an integrated Teacher theory, leading to what Plato called a Form of the Good. Come means ‘apt coming’. Thus, the Holy Spirit has to come in an appropriate manner. Power is interpreted as active Perceiver thought. Most high was seen in verse 32 and refers to Teacher universality. Overshadow is seen twice in Luke and means ‘to cast a shadow on’. The same word is used during the Transfiguration. Putting these pieces together cognitively, Platonic forms will come together in an appropriate manner, and the Perceiver facts of a universal Teacher theory will implicitly shape thinking. Notice that this shaping is being done using the mental networks of female thought. A universal theory creates a powerful Teacher mental network. A concept of the Holy Spirit creates a powerful Mercy mental network. A mental network exerts its power emotionally by using emotional pressure to impose its structure (of Perceiver facts and Server sequences) upon the mind. For instance, Richard Feynman, the famous physicist, supposedly said that “Science is imagination in a straitjacket.” This also describes the sort of thinking that I do to expand mental symmetry. Using mental symmetry as a meta-theory has turned it into a powerful Teacher mental network that imposes its structure upon my imagination. Years of personally applying the principles of mental symmetry have created a powerful Mercy mental network of a better and more ideal society that also imposes its structure emotionally upon my imagination. Going further, I keep finding that the ultimate choice is not between mental symmetry and some alternative, but rather between mental symmetry and no alternative—because other supposed alternatives keep exhibiting fatal flaws. As far as I can tell, there is only one possible universal Teacher theory, and there is only one possible concept of the Holy Spirit. This does not mean that one has to use the language of mental symmetry. It is possible to translate the concepts of mental symmetry into the language of many other theories. But these various theories ultimately appear to fit together in only one way.

The angel continues, “Therefore also the Holy One being born will be called the Son of God.” Holy means ‘different from the world’ and ‘one’ is implied. Holiness is normally viewed as something special and different in Mercy thought, as illustrated by holy people, holy places, holy events, and holy rituals. What is being described here is a Teacher sense of holiness, in which something becomes regarded as different than normal experiences because of its universality. If there is ultimately only one universal theory and one Form of the Good, then specific items and words become holy to the extent that they communicate and represent these universal concepts. Verse 32 said that Jesus will be called ‘son of the most high’. In verse 35, he is called ‘son of God’. Thus, Teacher universality will eventually turn into a concept of God. Absolute truth may claim to talk about God, but absolute truth actually is based in Mercy feelings of religious status which the mind then interprets as Teacher feelings of universality. Saying this more simply, if my neighbor says ‘God is Great!’ then Teacher thought will probably ignore this statement. However, if a priest dressed in fancy clothing in an impressive building says ‘God is Great!’ then Teacher thought will notice the emotions and interpret these emotions as feelings of generality. Looking at this logically, the ultimate distinction between God and creatures is that God is infinite and creatures are finite. (This distinction still applies even if one is only talking about a concept of God and concepts of people.) This is a Teacher distinction based in universality. However, Mercy feelings of importance can be generated instantly through defining experiences, while Teacher feelings of universality are gradually acquired over time as one notices which principles remain constant when one moves from one context to another. Thus, a priest in a church saying that ‘God is Great!’ can provide an emotional starting point for discovering actual Teacher emotions of generality. Notice that the angel does not say that Jesus will become Son of the Most High or become the Son of God, but rather that Jesus will be called these things. Thus, universal principles already exist, but they have to be discovered by human observers.

Mary visits Elizabeth 1:36-40

In verse 36, the angel turns his attention to Elizabeth. “And behold your relative Elizabeth, she also has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month to her who was called barren.” Elizabeth means ‘God is an oath’. Relative implies similar ways of thinking. Note that neither John nor Jesus is yet born. However, John has been developing for a while within his mother’s womb. Cognitively speaking, this means that scholasticism is still functioning within the framework of a strong sense of absolute truth. Old age means ‘old age’ and is only used once in the New Testament. In other words, the mindset of strict absolute truth has existed for a long time and is reaching the end of its lifetime. Wikipedia describes the mindset of Renaissance humanism by quoting from the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy: “Here, one felt no weight of the supernatural pressing on the human mind, demanding homage and allegiance. Humanity—with all its distinct capabilities, talents, worries, problems, possibilities—was the center of interest. It has been said that medieval thinkers philosophised on their knees, but, bolstered by the new studies, they dared to stand up and to rise to full stature.” Obviously, the ‘God is an oath’ of ‘philosophizing on their knees’ will not survive long once one ‘dares to stand up’. Verse 7 said that Elizabeth was barren. Verse 36 says that Elizabeth was called barren. Wikipedia describes the meeting together of scholasticism and Renaissance humanism. “In Italy, the humanist educational program won rapid acceptance and, by the mid-15th century, many of the upper classes had received humanist educations, possibly in addition to traditional scholastic ones. Some of the highest officials of the Catholic Church were humanists with the resources to amass important libraries.” Scholasticism and Renaissance humanism were related but distinct mindsets. Wikipedia explains, “In some ways, Renaissance humanism was not a philosophy but a method of learning. In contrast to the medieval scholastic mode, which focused on resolving contradictions between authors, Renaissance humanists would study ancient texts in the original and appraise them through a combination of reasoning and empirical evidence.”

The angel concludes in verse 37. “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Verses like these are often quoted out of context to ‘prove’ the overgeneralization that God is not limited by any of the content of creation. Impossible adds the prefix ‘not’ to ‘power’. With means ‘from beside’ when followed by the genitive. And the word thing actually means ‘a spoken word’. Thus, a more literal translation would be ‘for not lack power from beside God every spoken word’. This is quite different than the overgeneralization that ‘God can do anything’. The Berean Standard Bible gives the more accurate translation of “For no word from God will ever fail.” The American Standard Version is even better: “For no word from God shall be void of power.” Looking at this cognitively, when one starts from the rational concept of God in Teacher thought that is described in verse 35, then even normal words have explaining power.

The discovery of antimatter is a vivid illustration of this principle. An article in the new scientist explains that this “marked the first time something never before seen in nature was ‘predicted’ – that is, postulated to exist based on theoretical rather than experimental evidence. [This] discovery was guided by the human imagination, and arcane mathematics.” Quoting further, “Paul Dirac developed a theory that combined quantum mechanics, used to describe the subatomic world, with Einstein’s special relativity, which says nothing travels faster than light. Through complex mathematical calculations, Dirac managed to integrate these disparate theories. When Dirac himself was once asked what he thought of his equation, he replied: ‘I found it beautiful’.” Stated cognitively, Dirac came up with a universal theory guided by Teacher feelings of beauty. Dirac noticed that this equation had both positive and negative solutions. “At first, Dirac did not appreciate the significance of this finding, and even ignored it out of what he would call ‘pure cowardice’. Eventually he realised that his equation predicted something entirely new to science – antiparticles.” A few years later, antimatter was discovered.

Mary responds in verse 38. “And Mary said, ‘Behold, the Lord’s handmaid. May it happen to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.” Handmaid means ‘female slave’. ‘Behold’ implies that this is a new viewpoint. Happen means ‘to come into being’. Word is the same word that was translated as ‘thing’ in verse 37 which means ‘the spoken word’. (Notice that the Greek word that was translated ‘thing’ is being translated as ‘word’ twelve words later. This also happens in the NASB.) In essence, Mary is echoing the statement of the angel in verse 37. The angel said that spoken words that come from a concept of God do not lack power. Mary is declaring herself to be a slave of this spoken word. Compare this with response of Zechariah to the message of Gabriel. Zechariah lost the ability to communicate and the focus of the audience turned from words to vision. Wikipedia describes the Renaissance humanism ideal of being a servant to the word of the angelic message. “The humanists believed that it is important to transcend to the afterlife with a perfect mind and body, which could be attained with education. The purpose of humanism was to create a universal man whose person combined intellectual and physical excellence and who was capable of functioning honorably in virtually any situation.”

In verse 39, Mary goes to visit Elizabeth. “And in those days Mary, having risen up, went with haste into the hill country, to a town of Judah.” ‘In those days’ suggests that this describes a general characteristic rather than some specific event. The Greek starts with having risen up, which means ‘to raise up’ and is the word used to describe being raised from the dead. Thus, we are looking here at a kind of cognitive resurrection. Using historical language, there is a Renaissance. (The next use of this word ‘resurrection’ will be in 4:16, which corresponds to the university system being resurrected in the early 19th century.) Went means ‘to transport’ and is interpreted as movement that is accompanied by change. Hill country means ‘mountainous, the hill country’ and is found twice in the New Testament: here and in verse 65. A mountain is interpreted as a pragmatic Teacher theory—a height of land that presents a larger perspective. ‘Mountainous’ suggests the presence of many smaller theories. Haste means ‘speedy diligence’. Town is actually the normal word for ‘city’, which represents a center of civilization. Judah means ‘praised’ which is interpreted as a focus upon personal status in Mercy thought. Putting this together, there will be a rebirth—or Renaissance—that will quickly acquire a theoretical perspective, leading to many general theories within a context of civilized society and personal and religious status. Wikipedia describes this combination. “Peter Dear has argued for a two-phase model of early modern science: a Scientific Renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries, focused on the restoration of the natural knowledge of the ancients; and a Scientific Revolution of the 17th century, when scientists shifted from recovery to innovation.” On the one hand, thinking has moved to the ‘hill country’ of scientific theories. On the other hand, this hill country is within the ‘Judah’ of praise for ancient authorities. Looking further, “Initially, there were no new developments in physics or astronomy, and the reverence for classical sources further enshrined the Aristotelian and Ptolemaic views of the universe. Renaissance philosophy lost much of its rigor as the rules of logic and deduction were seen as secondary to intuition and emotion.” Notice the ‘reverence for classical sources’ as well as the focus upon the intuition and emotion of female thought, symbolized by Mary going to the hill country. (Intuition is useful and accurate when it is trained. The expert functions largely at the level of trained intuition.)

Verse 40 continues, “And she entered into the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.” Zechariah means ‘Yah has remembered’. Elizabeth means ‘God is an oath’. Enter simply means ‘to go in’. Entering the house of Zechariah would mean entering the context of a concept of God that remembers human existence. Greet is used twice in Luke and means ‘to draw to oneself’. This suggests drawing to oneself the emotional attitude of absolute truth within a context of truth about reality. This describes what happened after the fall of Constantinople in 1453. Wikipedia summarizes, “Although ideas from ancient Rome already enjoyed popularity with the scholars of the 14th century and their importance to the Renaissance was undeniable, the lessons of Greek learning brought by Byzantine intellectuals changed the course of humanism and the Renaissance itself. While Greek learning affected all the subjects of the studia humanitatis, history and philosophy in particular were profoundly affected by the texts and ideas brought from Byzantium. History was changed by the re-discovery and spread of Greek historians’ writings, and this knowledge of Greek historical treatises helped the subject of history become a guide to virtuous living based on the study of past events and people.” ‘Entering the house of Yah has remembered’ can be seen in the Greek learning from Constantinople that focused upon studying history and philosophy rather than religious topics. ‘Drawing God is an oath to oneself’ can be seen in ‘treating history as a guide to virtuous living based on the study of past events and people’. Entering a house implies a transition happening at a specific point in time. Similarly, the exodus of scholars from Byzantium to Italy was triggered by the specific event of the end of the Byzantine Empire.

Elizabeth welcomes Mary 1:41-45

This leads in verse 41 to an emotional response from Elizabeth’s baby. “And it came to pass, as Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby in her womb leaped. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Came to pass means ‘to come into being’ and would represent some natural transition. Leap means ‘to leap’. Upward movement is interpreted as Teacher generality. Thus, a leap would represent some Teacher insight. This insight causes Elizabeth to acquire a concept of the Holy Spirit. Looking at this cognitively, the absolute truth of ‘God is an oath’ is having a theoretical breakthrough in Teacher thought. However, this breakthrough is not happening to Elizabeth herself, but rather to her unborn baby. In other words, the fundamental mindset of absolute truth combined with mysticism remains unchanged. But there is a theoretical breakthrough at a lesser level. Elizabeth herself acquires a concept of the Holy Spirit which would refer to a focus upon Platonic forms. Wikipedia describes two ways in which the Byzantine scholars affected Renaissance thinking. First, there was a shift from the “central emphasis on rhetoric to one on metaphysical philosophy by means of introducing and reinterpretation of the Platonic texts.” Platonic texts would obviously discuss Platonic forms while metaphysical philosophy would discuss these Platonic forms in an integrated and theoretical manner, leading to a concept of a Holy Spirit. Second, there was “the production of more authentic and reliable versions of Greek texts relevant to all fields of humanism and science and with respect to the Greek fathers of the church. Hardly less important was their direct or indirect influence on exegesis of the New Testament itself.” Abstract technical thought requires precise meanings in Perceiver thought. Studying a revealed text more carefully would add rational Teacher thought to absolute truth. For instance, these essays are going beyond traditional Christian interpretations of the Bible by looking more carefully at the meanings of the original Greek words. This is provoking a mental break from traditional absolute truth within my mind partially because I keep finding bible translators slightly mistranslating the Greek text.

Elizabeth responds in verse 42 with what is typically regarded as a poetic ecstatic outburst. “And she cried out in a loud voice and said, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit your of womb.’” Cried out is found once in the New Testament and combines ‘up’ with ‘give forth a sound’. Moving up is interpreted as moving toward Teacher generality. And loud means ‘great’ which is interpreted as Teacher generality. Thus, there is a verbal outburst of general Teacher theories but this verbal outburst is not necessarily intelligent. This was described a few paragraphs earlier. Expanding upon that quote from Wikipedia, “Renaissance philosophy lost much of its rigor as the rules of logic and deduction were seen as secondary to intuition and emotion. At the same time, Renaissance humanism stressed that nature came to be viewed as an animate spiritual creation that was not governed by laws or mathematics.” ‘Among women’ indicates that the intuition and emotion of female thought is being used. However, the word blessed does not mean warm, fuzzy feelings but rather combines ‘good’ with ‘logos’, which suggests that technical thought is coming up with good paradigms. Similarly, the quote from Wikipedia continues, “Only later, when no more manuscripts could be found, did humanists turn from collecting to editing and translating them, and new scientific work began with the work of such figures as Copernicus, Cardano, and Vesalius.” Notice how the initial intuitive thought is being replaced by more careful scholarship, which then results in paradigms of technical thought. This transition to more careful thinking is related to the fall of Constantinople. “By the early 15th century, an international search for ancient manuscripts was underway and would continue unabated until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453, when many Byzantine scholars had to seek refuge in the West, particularly Italy.” Wikipedia also describes the focus upon ‘good paradigms’ of technical thought. “Virtually all leading mathematicians of the era were obsessed with the need for restoring the mathematical works of the ancients. Not only did humanists assist mathematicians with the retrieval of Greek manuscripts, they also took an active role in translating these works into Latin.” Finally, ‘fruit of the womb’ suggests that the focus is still upon internal thought rather than upon gathering empirical evidence from the physical world. This can be seen in the ‘editing and translating’ of ancient texts which involved a rethinking of ideas more than a gathering of new information.

Verse 43 describes a shift in authority. “And from where is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” This accurately translates the Greek text. Elizabeth is focusing upon Mary as the mother of her Lord and wondering about the source of this authority. In other words, the mindset of absolute truth is examining Renaissance humanism and having questions about the source of absolute truth. That is because absolute truth believes that all Perceiver truth is based in some personal authority in Mercy thought. Wikipedia explains that “Writing around 1450, Nicholas Cusanus anticipated the heliocentric worldview of Copernicus, but in a philosophical fashion. Science and art were intermingled in the early Renaissance, with polymath artists such as Leonardo da Vinci making observational drawings of anatomy and nature.” Notice the mixture of science and art, indicating a confusion over sources of authority. More generally, Wikipedia relates that “The technologies that developed in Europe during the second half of the 15th century were commonly associated by authorities of the time with a key theme in Renaissance thought: the rivalry of the Moderns and the Ancients. Three inventions in particular — the printing press, firearms, and the nautical compass — were indeed seen as evidence that the Moderns could not only compete with the Ancients, but had surpassed them.” Notice that the absolute truth of ‘God is an oath’ is recognizing that something new is about to be born that has greater authority than the ancient texts.

In verse 44, Elizabeth recapitulates what happened. “For behold, as the voice of your greeting came into my ears, the baby in my womb leaped in exultation.” This recapitulation indicates that there is a self-awareness of this shift in thinking. Wikipedia describes this self-awareness. “By the 15th century, writers, artists, and architects in Italy were well aware of the transformations that were taking place and were using phrases such as modi antichi (in the antique manner) or alle romana et alla antica (in the manner of the Romans and the ancients) to describe their work.”

One can see the nature of this self-awareness by comparing verse 41 with verse 44. ‘Behold’ means that something new has appeared. Verse 41 said that Elizabeth heard the greeting, and heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Verse 44 uses the word voice, which means ‘a voice, sound’ and does not necessarily include intelligent understanding. This sound came into the ear, another word that suggests Teacher thought without intelligent understanding. In both verses, the baby leaps in the womb, but verse 44 adds the word exultation, which means ‘so glad one jumps in celebration’. Jumping suggests leaving the ground of rational thought to temporarily enter the air of Teacher theory. This is the second of two times that this word is used in Luke. The first occurrence was in verse 14 which referred to the founding of the mendicant orders. This suggests that reflecting back upon this event is leading to greater Teacher emotion but not necessarily rational understanding. Wikipedia describes the extensive Teacher theorizing prompted by the exodus of Greek scholars from by Byzantium. “The philosophy of not only Aristotle but also Plato affected the Renaissance by causing debates over man’s place in the universe, the immortality of the soul, and the ability of man to improve himself through virtue. The flourishing of philosophical writings in the 15th century revealed the impact of Greek philosophy and science on the Renaissance.”

In verse 45, Elizabeth explicitly recognizes the effectiveness of rational thought. “And blessed is the one having believed that there will be a fulfillment to the things spoken to her from the Lord.” Blessed means ‘blessed, happy’ and comes from a word that means ‘become long, large’. This describes the emotional impact of having theories grow in generality. Believe means to ‘be persuaded’. The angel complained in verse 20 that Zechariah did not believe, describing the way that mysticism acquires Teacher universality by using overgeneralization that denies rational thought. In verse 45, Elizabeth is saying that rational thought leads to general Teacher theories. Fulfillment is used once in Luke and means ‘completion, perfection’. Spoken is the word that means ‘chatter in classical Greek’. ‘From the Lord’ indicates an authoritative source. In other words, rational words that mysticism ignored as meaningless chatter are ending up becoming sources of Teacher emotion. Notice that Elizabeth is saying this, indicating a new attitude to the absolute truth of ‘God is an oath’. Wikipedia describes this shift in thinking and development of rational thought. “Some have seen the Renaissance, at least in its initial period, as one of scientific backwardness... More recently, however, scholars have acknowledged the positive influence of the Renaissance on mathematics and science, pointing to factors like the rediscovery of lost or obscure texts and the increased emphasis on the study of language and the correct reading of texts.” Notice that this rational thinking is still being applied primarily to the absolute truth of revealed texts.

The Magnificat 1:46-50

The next section contains an extended song by Mary, known as the Magnificat. The careful reader may have noticed that the symbolic distinction between Elizabeth and Mary has become somewhat blurred. Elizabeth represents the absolute truth of scholasticism while Mary is being interpreted as Renaissance humanism. Mary greeted Elizabeth in verse 40 while the Magnificat ends with verse 56 saying that Mary stayed three months with Elizabeth. This implies that for a while there will be an extensive overlap between scholasticism and the Renaissance, especially during the period of time represented by the Magnificat.

Verse 46 begins, “And Mary said: ‘My soul magnifies the Lord.’” Magnify means ‘to make or declare great’ and is related to the word ‘great’ which is interpreted as Teacher generality. Soul means ‘breath, the soul’, is the source of the English word ‘psyche’, and is interpreted as the integrated mind. This is the first use of the word ‘soul’ in Luke, suggesting a new focus of attention upon the integrated mind. Mary is finding that the integrated mind leads to authoritative concepts that have greater Teacher generality. This idea of the human soul magnifying the Lord was a fundamental concept of the Renaissance. In the words of Wikipedia, “The intellectual basis of the Renaissance was its version of humanism, derived from the concept of Roman humanitas and the rediscovery of classical Greek philosophy, such as that of Protagoras, who said that ‘man is the measure of all things’. This new thinking became manifest in art, architecture, politics, science and literature.” Stated more clearly, “Many notable polymaths lived during the Renaissance period, a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th through to the 17th century that began in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spread to the rest of Europe. These polymaths had a rounded approach to education that reflected the ideals of the humanists of the time. A gentleman or courtier of that era was expected to speak several languages, play a musical instrument, write poetry and so on, thus fulfilling the Renaissance ideal.” Notice how extensive Teacher generality is emerging from the minds of ‘Renaissance men’ with their well-rounded educations.

The sentence finishes in verse 47. “And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” Rejoice is the verb form of the noun that means ‘so glad one jumps in celebration’. This suggests that Teacher emotion is being actively pursued rather than just happening to a person. The Holy Spirit has been mentioned several times as well as the spirit of Elijah, but this is the first reference to ‘my spirit’ and the word ‘my’ is explicitly mentioned. Looking at this cognitively, the ‘Renaissance man’ was supposed to acquire expertise in many different areas. Such an interdisciplinary education will lead to the development of many Platonic forms as Perceiver thought notices common patterns and Teacher thought comes up with general theories to explain these patterns. But because this understanding comes from personal expertise, the resulting Platonic forms of the spirit are also the related to the personal, leading to a sense of ‘my spirit’. This is different than the scholastic who studies revealed texts leading to a concept of the Holy Spirit—an integrated concept of spirit that is separate from human reality. A concept of ‘my spirit’ does not necessarily have to be opposed to a concept of the Holy Spirit, but the Renaissance was definitely characterized by a shift in attention from the heavenly to the human and earthly. In the words of Wikipedia, “Here, one felt no weight of the supernatural pressing on the human mind, demanding homage and allegiance. Humanity—with all its distinct capabilities, talents, worries, problems, possibilities—was the center of interest.” Savior means ‘savior, deliverer’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Jesus means ‘Yahweh is salvation’ and the word ‘savior’ will next be used in 2:11 to describe the birth of Jesus.

In verse 47, Mary is spiritually rejoicing in a concept of God as Savior. On the one hand, there is a new realization that an integrated understanding in Teacher thought can take people from where they are to someplace better. On the other hand, this realization is happening primarily at the level of the spirit; people are having internal visions of a better society guided by integrated Teacher understanding. This combination can be seen Leonardo da Vinci, the epitome of the Renaissance man. Wikipedia explains, “Revered for his technological ingenuity, he conceptualized flying machines, a type of armored fighting vehicle, concentrated solar power, a ratio machine that could be used in an adding machine, and the double hull. Relatively few of his designs were constructed or even feasible during his lifetime, as the modern scientific approaches to metallurgy and engineering were only in their infancy during the Renaissance... He made substantial discoveries in anatomy, civil engineering, hydrodynamics, geology, optics, and tribology, but he did not publish his findings and they had little to no direct influence on subsequent science.” Notice the extensive theoretical conceptualization of actual devices that might improve human existence. Notice also that most of these ideas remained at the conceptual level of the spirit without being realized.

Verse 48 continues, “For He has looked upon the humiliation of His handmaiden. For behold, from henceforth all the generations will count me blessed.” Looked is used once in Luke and adds ‘fitting’ to ‘fix the eyes upon’. It ‘is common in medical writers for carefully examining the patient’. Humiliation means ‘lowliness’. Handmaiden is only found three times in the New Testament. It was used previously in verse 38 and means ‘female slave’. Behold indicates the appearance of something new. Henceforth means ‘now, the present’. Count blessed is used once in Luke and is a verb form of ‘become long, large’. All means ‘each part of the totality’. And generation means ‘race, family, generation’. In other words, the ‘Renaissance man’ is being recognized as an ideal that succeeding generations will follow in order to achieve Teacher generality. Wikipedia describes this change in status as well as the long-term impact. “Humanist values spread from Italy in the 15th century. Students and scholars went to Italy to study before returning to their homelands carrying humanistic messages. Printing houses dedicated to ancient texts were established in Venice, Basel, and Paris... The longest-lasting effect of Renaissance humanism was its education curriculum and methods. Humanists insisted on the importance of classical literature in providing intellectual discipline, moral standards, and a civilized taste for the elite—an educational approach that reached the contemporary era.” Summarizing, there is still the cultural viewpoint of being a ‘handmaiden’ of classical knowledge. But this is now being viewed as a means of civilizing and educating people. This mindset ‘becomes long and large’, spreading to other countries through books and people. And it will have an impact to succeeding generations that has ‘reached the contemporary era’.

Verse 49 turns the attention to God. “For the mighty One has done great things to me. And holy is His name.” Done means ‘to make, do’ and is interpreted as Server actions. Great things is simply the word ‘great’ which is interpreted as Teacher generality, and mighty one is simply the word ‘power’ as an adjective, which is interpreted as active Perceiver thought. The Greek is more simply, ‘Done to me generality the powerful’. What is new here is the realization that a rational general theory acts. This is a major transition from scholasticism with its focus upon words and logic. Holy means ‘different from the world because like the Lord’. Absolute truth bases holiness in Mercy status, regarding certain people, places, and rituals as special in Mercy thought. Verse 49 describes a new way of thinking, which is regarding a name in Teacher thought as holy. This same concept can be seen in the Lord’s Prayer: ‘holy is your name’. These two statements are fundamental assumptions of scientific thought: General theories reveal themselves through processes and not through static events. And one builds upon theories in Teacher thought and not upon personal status in Mercy thought.

Such a shift from Mercy status to Teacher universality can be seen in the astronomy of Copernicus. Wikipedia explains, “Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance astronomer and Catholic canon who was the first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe.” Humans live on earth. Regarding Earth as the center of the universe implicitly builds upon personal identity in Mercy thought. A heliocentric cosmology places the ‘sun’ of a Teacher theory at the center, both literally and symbolically. Copernicus started with a static model of the solar system based in Platonic solids but he eventually proposed a system of celestial movement which Wikipedia summarizes. “The Earth is one of several planets revolving around a stationary sun in a determined order. The Earth has three motions: daily rotation, annual revolution, and annual tilting of its axis. Retrograde motion of the planets is explained by the Earth’s motion.” Thus, Teacher generality becomes a powerful force that expresses itself through the movement of the planets.

Verse 50 then turns to the personal. “And His mercy is to generations and generations, to those fearing Him.” Mercy means ‘mercy, pity, compassion’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. This also indicates a shift in focus from acquiring personal status to experiencing beneficial results. This distinction can be seen, for instance, in postmodern wokeism because protecting a person from feeling belittled or offended has become more important than actually helping that person. Fear means ‘to put to flight, to terrify’. Mercy fear avoids threatening people or places. For instance, one might avoid entering a holy place for fear of punishment. Teacher fear avoids tampering with theories and verse 50 provides a positive reason for this fear. One avoids altering theories for fear of losing access to compassion. And this is a fear that is ‘to generations and generations’, which means that it survives into modern science and technology. If theories have power to behave as verse 49 stated, then one holds on to a theory in order to ensure that its behavior remains merciful. This focus upon God as a source of mercy can be seen in the late 15th century movement known as Christian humanism. Wikipedia summarizes, “Christian humanism regards humanist principles like universal human dignity, individual freedom, and the importance of happiness as essential and principal or even exclusive components of the teachings of Jesus. Proponents of the term trace the concept to the Renaissance or patristic period, linking their beliefs to the scholarly movement also called ‘humanism’.” Notice how universal Christian principles of human dignity and freedom are being related to personal happiness, guided by Renaissance humanism.

Lifting up the humble 1:51-56

Verse 51 describes the resulting questioning of personal status. “He has shown strength with His arm, He has scattered the proud in the thought of their heart.” Shown means ‘to make, do’. Strength is used once in Luke and means ‘dominion, exerted power’. The idea is that Teacher generality is exhibiting itself in real, concrete results in Mercy thought. Arm means ‘the arm’ and is used once in Luke. Hands represent the use of technical thought. Arms would represent a more general application of male thought that exhibits power and strength rather than detailed application, as illustrated by phrases such as ‘the arm of the law’. Looking at this cognitively, Teacher thought deals with generality. Thus, applying Teacher theories to Mercy experiences will have a general impact that affects many specific people and situations in powerful ways. The ‘exerted power’ of Teacher words and theories became apparent through the ‘arm’ of the printing press. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The arrival of mechanical movable type printing in Europe in the Renaissance introduced the era of mass communication, which permanently altered the structure of society. The relatively unrestricted circulation of information and (revolutionary) ideas transcended borders, captured the masses in the Reformation and threatened the power of political and religious authorities.”

The successful application of a Teacher theory will lead naturally to a questioning of existing thinking. Scatter means to ‘thoroughly scatter’. Proud is used once in Luke and combines ‘beyond, over’ with ‘shine forth’. ‘Shining’ represents the light of Teacher understanding. ‘Shining beyond’ indicates an inappropriate claim to Teacher generality. This describes ideologies, which emotionally inflate the Mercy mental networks of some person or group by giving them the aura of Teacher understanding. Genuine theories ‘thoroughly scatter’ ideologies because they take the inflated words and concepts, rearrange them, and then use the Teacher emotions of understanding to reinforce this rearrangement. A Mercy approach looks at a competing theory and says ‘You are wrong’. This suppresses the competing theory but leaves it intact. A Teacher approach looks at a competing theory and says ‘this is how things really fit’. This dismantles the competing theory and reassembles it in a different way, which the competing theory experiences as thorough scattering. Thought is used twice in Luke and combines ‘thoroughly’ with ‘to use the mind’, leading to the meaning of critical thinking. Heart means ‘the affective center of our being’ and is interpreted as Mercy identity. This describes the source of ideology. Ideology starts with the ‘heart’ of the Mercy mental networks that define the personal identity of some group. Ideology then uses critical thinking to come up with theories that are consistent with these Mercy mental networks. What is being scattered is this combination of using critical thinking to come up with a coherent theory that preserves certain core Mercy mental networks of personal identity. One sees this combination in scholasticism. On the one hand, rational thought and critical thinking are being used. On the other hand, certain mental networks are being regarded as fundamental and untouchable.

Such questioning of existing authority and rearranging of existing ideas enabled by printing can be seen in the Medical Renaissance. Wikipedia explains that “Progress made during the Medical Renaissance depended on several factors. Printed books based on movable type, adopted in Europe from the middle of the 15th century, allowed the diffusion of medical ideas and anatomical diagrams... Better knowledge of the original writings of Galen in particular, developed into the learned medicine tradition through the more open attitudes of Renaissance humanism. Religious control of the teachings of the medical profession and universities diminished, and dissection was more often possible.”

A ‘scattering of the proud’ can be seen in the medical research of Vesalius, who published his first illustrations in 1538. Wikipedia relates that anatomy “had been taught primarily from reading classical texts, mainly Galen, followed by an animal dissection by a barber–surgeon whose work was directed by the lecturer. No attempt was made to confirm Galen’s claims, which were considered unassailable. Vesalius, in contrast, performed dissection as the primary teaching tool, handling the actual work himself and urging students to perform dissection themselves. He considered hands-on direct observation to be the only reliable resource.” Going further, “Vesalius discovered that all of Galen’s research was restricted to animals, since dissection had been banned in ancient Rome... he was a qualified examiner, but his research was weakened by stating his findings philosophically, so his findings were based on religious precepts rather than science.” Notice the ‘shining beyond’ of Galen. Galen used critical thinking, but he based his human facts upon animal research, extending his conclusions beyond their legitimate application, and Galen was being treated as the authoritative source with great Mercy status. Vesalius ‘thoroughly scattered’ the definitive statements of Galen by examining real human bodies.

This leads in verse 52 to a reversal of personal status. “He has brought down rulers from thrones, and exalted the humble.” Brought down means to ‘take down for oneself’. Movement downward is interpreted as going from general to specific. ‘Taking down for oneself’ would mean moving from general Teacher theory to personal identity in Mercy thought. Ruler is used once in Luke and is related to the word ‘power’. Throne is used twice in Luke and means ‘throne, seat’. Putting this together, individuals who used to be regarded as established sources of power in Teacher thought are being regarded as mere people in Mercy thought. Exalted means ‘to lift, or raise up’ which represents moving in the direction of Teacher generality. Humble is used once in Luke and means ‘low-lying’. Looking at this cognitively, ideology is a mental trap because it uses Mercy status to impose inadequate theories upon Teacher thought. Gaining an accurate Teacher understanding of how things work requires getting personal identity out of the way. Wikipedia describes this questioning of existing authority. “The ‘humanism’ of the Renaissance period stimulated unprecedented academic ferment, and a concern for academic freedom. Ongoing, earnest theoretical debates occurred in the universities about the nature of the church, and the source and extent of the authority of the papacy, of councils, and of princes.”

This affects intellectual progress in verse 53. “He has filled those hungering with good things, and those being rich He has sent away empty.” Hungering means ‘to hunger’ and is interpreted as a desire for intellectual food. A mindset of absolute truth is not naturally hungry because it believes that it already possesses the ultimate in truth. This is the first reference to hunger in Luke, suggesting a new form of intellectual curiosity. Filled means ‘fill up, satisfy’. Good means ‘intrinsically good, good in nature, good whether it be seen to be so or not’, and ‘things’ is implied. When truth is based in personal status, then there is no guarantee that this truth has any relationship to reality. Gaining an understanding of how things really work makes it possible to search for intrinsic goodness—things that have their own reward. For instance, a soldier who shows bravery may get the approval of a medal, but there is nothing intrinsically good about war. The printing press played a major role in ‘filling those hungry with good things’. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The sharp increase in literacy broke the monopoly of the literate elite on education and learning and bolstered the emerging middle class.” In terms of numbers, “By 1500, the printing presses in operation throughout Western Europe had already produced more than twenty million copies. In the following century, their output rose tenfold to an estimated 150 to 200 million copies.”

Rich means ‘having many resources’ which would be interpreted symbolically as intellectual and spiritual wealth. Send away adds the prefix ‘out from’ to ‘commission, send forth’. Empty means ‘empty, void’. In other words, existing experts with extensive knowledge are attempting to use and spread their knowledge and finding that it is empty. For instance, I occasionally look at the commentaries in order to try to decipher confusing verses. However, I keep finding that most of the extensive information in these commentaries is theoretically empty and worthless, because it uses the type of thinking described in verse 51, which uses critical thinking to extrapolate from assumed Mercy mental networks. In verse 53, it is becoming obvious that this kind of argument from personal authority is empty. This ‘sending away empty’ can be seen in the decline of medieval scholasticism. Quoting from, “Since the University of Paris failed to achieve a synthesis of all these elements, old and new, one might take the founding of the Collège de France (1530), for the study of classics not provided at the university, as a sign that scholasticism was at an end. In Germany, the vitriolic attacks of Martin Luther on the schoolmen and on philosophy, and the ravages of the Reformation, destroyed whatever scholasticism was in that country.” Notice that scholasticism with its richness of revealed texts is being rejected because of its failure to come up with an integrated understanding.

In verse 54, the institutional church is affected. “He has helped Israel His servant, remembering mercy.” Israel means ‘God strives’ and is being interpreted as the group of people through whom God interacts with the world. Help is used once in Luke and means ‘providing support that directly corresponds to the real need’. Servant means ‘child under training’. This word is used 24 times in the New Testament. Jesus is described several times as ‘your servant’, as is David, but this is the only New Testament reference to Israel being a servant. That is because the institutional church typically ends up opposing what God is actually doing, because it becomes mentally blinded by its status in Mercy thought. However, verse 54 describes an unusual period in history in which the institutional church was actually learning from God in Teacher thought. Remember means to ‘actively remember’. Mercy was first used in verse 50. ‘Actively remembering mercy’ would mean focusing upon actually helping people in Mercy thought. The institutional church tends to forget about helping people because it is too busy worrying about personal status and feelings of holiness. Verse 54 describes a teachable church that rediscovers its initial purpose of helping people. Christian humanism was mentioned earlier. Wikipedia describes the focus of Christian humanism upon helping humanity. “Theologians such as Jens Zimmerman make a case for the concept of Christian humanism as a cogent force in the history of Christianity. In Zimmerman’s account, Christian humanism as a tradition emerges from the Christian doctrine that God, in the person of Jesus, became human in order to redeem humanity, and the further injunction for the participating human collective (the church) to act out the life of Christ.” Putting this into a historical context, “Christian humanism originated towards the end of the 15th century with the early work of figures such as Jakob Wimpfeling, John Colet, and Thomas More and would go on to dominate much of the thought in the first half of the 16th century with the emergence of widely influential Renaissance and humanistic intellectual figures like Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples and especially Erasmus, who would become the greatest scholar of the northern Renaissance.” Thus, incarnation, a core concept of Christianity, is being interpreted as God reaching down to help humanity.

In verse 55, absolute truth is reevaluated in the light of this remembering. “As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his to descendants to the age.” As means ‘in proportion, to the degree that’. Fathers would refer to the sources of male technical thought. In other words, the institutional church is realizing that this rediscovered focus upon mercy is actually consistent with the content of the message being spoken by the institutional church. Abraham means ‘exalted father’ and Abraham was given this name in Genesis 17:5 where God promised to make him ‘the father of a multitude of nations’. If one thinks in terms of personal status, then Abraham has the ultimate personal status as the founder of Israel. But what type of person was Abraham and how did he gain his status? He left existing civilization in order to follow God to some unknown destination. In other words, the institutional church is rethinking personal status in the light of how the institutional church initially gained its personal status. Descendant means ‘that which is sown, seed’. This suggests that the rethinking is extending to what it means to be a descendent of the founder of the institutional church. ‘To the age’ implies that this is thinking in terms of long-term impact, which relates to the Catholic concept of apostolic succession.

This rethinking can be seen in the work of Erasmus. Wikipedia explains that Erasmus “was a Dutch philosopher and Catholic theologian who is considered one of the greatest scholars of the northern Renaissance. As a Catholic priest, he was an important figure in classical scholarship who wrote in a pure Latin style. Among humanists he was given the sobriquet ‘Prince of the Humanists’, and has been called ‘the crowning glory of the Christian humanists’. Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament, which raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation.” The Protestant Reformation fundamentally questioned the legitimacy of the institutional church. Wikipedia describes how this impacted Erasmus. “The Protestant Reformation began in the year following the publication of his edition of the Greek New Testament (1516) and tested Erasmus’s character... Despite all his criticism of clerical corruption and abuses within the Catholic Church, which lasted for years and was also directed towards many of the Church’s basic doctrines, Erasmus shunned the Reformation movement along with its most radical and reactionary offshoots, and sided with neither party.”

Verse 56 describes a temporary relationship between Mary and Elizabeth. “And Mary dwelt with her about three months, and returned to her home.” Notice that this statement of a temporary relationship falls right after the phrase ‘to the age’, highlighting the contrast between long-term impact and temporary connection. Dwell means to stay, abide, remain’. Mary represents the idea of following God by turning one’s back upon an idolatrous world, and ‘her’ is specifically mentioned. Return means ‘to turn back, return’ and describes a change in direction. Looking at this symbolically, Renaissance humanism remained with the absolute truth of ‘God is an oath’ for a while before changing direction and returning to its own environment. What followed next was the Protestant Reformation, represented by the birth of John the Baptist.

Birth of John the Baptist 1:57-61

John the Baptist is born in verse 57. “Now the time was fulfilled to Elizabeth for her to give birth, and she bore a son.” John the Baptist is interpreted elsewhere as Protestant religion with its focus upon the new birth, because John the Baptist taught a gospel of repentance and baptism. Prophetically speaking, the birth of John the Baptist would represent the Protestant Reformation which began with the publication of the 95 theses by Martin Luther in 1517. ‘Now the’ gives the impression that the birth of John the Baptist happens after the Magnificat of Mary. But the Greek starts with the followed by a conjunction that means ‘moreover, indeed now, on top of this, next’. Time means chronological, clock time, And filled means ‘to fill to the maximum’. Thus, this verse can be interpreted prophetically as the Protestant Reformation, represented by the birth of John the Baptist, happening ‘on top of’ the transition to scientific thought being described by Mary in the Magnificat. Looking at this historically, Erasmus did his work during the initial stages of the Protestant Reformation.

The Reformation was triggered by Martin Luther, but it was also a movement whose time had come. Wikipedia explains that “Many religious movements prior to Martin Luther had promoted ideas that he came to adopt including the Hussites, Waldensians, and followers of Girolamo Savonarola. Importantly, the conditions created by the Renaissance allowed thinkers such as Desiderius Erasmus to question the role and nature of the Church itself.” By the time of Luther, there was a receptive audience. Wikipedia elaborates, “In 1517, Luther nailed the Ninety-five theses to the Castle Church door, and without his knowledge or prior approval, they were copied and printed across Germany and internationally. Different reformers arose more or less independently of Luther in 1518 and in 1519.” Thus, Luther’s act was the culmination of several hundred years of Elizabeth, which means ‘God is an oath’. Giving birth to a son would mean some form of male technical thought being birthed from absolute truth. Historically speaking, the nature of absolute truth was at the center of this movement whose time had come. Wikipedia explains, “The faith issues were brought to the attention of other German theologians throughout the Empire. Each year drew new theologians to embrace the Reformation and participate in the ongoing, European-wide discussion about faith. The pace of the Reformation proved unstoppable by 1520.” Notice that this discussion involves male technical thought. As for being a ‘son’ of absolute truth, the doctrine of “Sola Scriptura is upheld by Lutheran and Reformed theologies and asserts that scripture must govern over church traditions and interpretations which are themselves held to be subject to scripture. All church traditions, creeds, and teachings must be in unity with the teachings of scripture as the divinely inspired Word of God.”

Are these essays an expression of Sola Scriptura? No and yes. On the one hand, we are connecting Scripture with secular and scientific concepts in a manner which I have found repeatedly that ‘Bible believing Christians’ will instinctively reject. But on the other hand, I have also found repeatedly that quoting from the Bible will not convince the current ‘Bible believing Christian’ unless one quotes from the Bible in a way that respects the church tradition of fundamentalist Christianity. I have also found that my cognitive analysis of Scripture has caused me to gain respect for the Bible rather than lose respect. Finally, if entire books such as the Gospel of Matthew and the Gospel of Luke are prophetic of Western history, then there is a very real sense in which Western society is functioning Sola Scriptura, because the Bible is literally being imposed in some supernatural manner upon Western history, ensuring that ‘all traditions, creeds, and teachings are in unity with the teaching of Scripture as the divinely inspired word of God’. That transforms Sola Scriptura from a religious dogma to a fact of reality.

Verse 58 describes the impact of this birth. “And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord was magnifying His mercy with her, and they were rejoicing with her.” Heard means ‘to comprehend by hearing’. Neighbor is used once in the New Testament and means ‘dwelling around’. And relative means ‘akin, a relative’. Cognitively speaking, this is a strange combination. On the one hand, there is intelligent understanding in Teacher thought. On the other hand, the message is being spread primarily through Mercy connections of family and physical closeness. Similarly, Wikipedia summarizes that “A 2020 study linked the spread of Protestantism to personal ties to Luther (e.g. letter correspondents, visits, former students) and trade routes.” Wikipedia adds that “The presence of a printing press in a city by 1500 made Protestant adoption by 1600 far more likely. Protestant literature was produced at greater levels in cities where media markets were more competitive, making these cities more likely to adopt Protestantism.” Thus, there was intelligent understanding, as indicated by printing presses and literature. But this understanding happened within neighborhoods, enabled by printing presses and competitive media markets.

Looking at the content of the message, magnify means ‘to make or declare great’ and is interpreted as Teacher generality. This word occurs one other time in Luke in 1:46 which was interpreted as Renaissance understanding flowing out of the mental integration of the Renaissance man. In verse 58, the Lord is doing the magnifying. What is being magnified is ‘His mercy with her’. This concept of God having mercy through absolute truth is reflected in the doctrine of justification by faith. Wikipedia explains, “Luther came to understand justification as entirely the work of God. Against the teaching of his day that the righteous acts of believers are performed in cooperation with God, Luther wrote that Christians receive such righteousness entirely from outside themselves; that righteousness not only comes from Christ but actually is the righteousness of Christ, imputed to Christians (rather than infused into them) through faith.” Notice that God in Teacher thought is making a general declaration of mercy by declaring sins to be forgiven. Cognitively speaking, such a declaration will work if one has sufficient respect for absolute truth. That is because justification for faith takes advantage of the mindset of absolute truth. Absolute truth believes that God has spoken through the words of some holy book. Justification believes that God speaks forgiveness to me through the words of some holy book.

Mental symmetry suggests that there is a version of ‘justification by faith’ that is compatible with rational thought. This version takes advantage of the fact that concrete technical thought functions within time while abstract technical thought functions outside of time. This is a fundamental principle of physics, because the laws of physics function as cause-and-effect within time, while the mathematical equations used to analyze these laws have no sense of time. This version can be explained using the analogy of school. Enrolling in a school system leads immediately to the ‘verbal justification’ of being declared to be a student of the school. But a student still has to go through the steps of attending and passing classes. Using religious language, justification is followed by sanctification. As long as the student remains within the school, the student can enjoy the verbal justification of being ‘declared a student’. This is similar to the Anabaptist interpretation of justification by faith. What tends to be missing from Protestant confessions of faith is the concept of righteousness, which means that a Teacher understanding of how things work can turn into a Teacher mental network that will generate an emotional drive to behave in a manner that is consistent with this understanding.

Rejoice with adds the prefix ‘with’ to ‘rejoice’ indicating a sharing of Teacher emotion. This describes the initial attitude of Luther, who started by trying to use reason to convince his opponents. Quoting from the Mennonite Encyclopedia, “Luther’s sharp differentiation between the Gospel and the world works itself out logically here. ‘The soul’s thoughts and feelings can be known to none but God; therefore it is . . . impossible to command and compel anyone with force to believe thus or so; another approach is needed for this; force will not do it’. This ‘other approach’ was to fight with the word of the Bible, and Luther was firmly convinced that it would win the day with everyone in the one true understanding comprehensible to all. ‘God’s Word illumines the hearts, and thereby all heresy and error will vanish from the heart’.” Similarly, Wikipedia relates that “In the early phase of Luther's career—until around 1536—he expressed concern for [the Jewish] plight in Europe and was enthusiastic at the prospect of converting them to Christianity through his religious reforms.” Unfortunately, this later turned to persecution of both Anabaptists and Jews.

In verse 59, John is named. “And it came to pass on the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child, and were calling it after the name of his father, Zechariah.” Came to pass means ‘to come into being’ which implies a natural progression. Circumcision means ‘to cut around’ and is mentioned twice in Luke: here and in 2:21 with the baby Jesus. Child means ‘a child under training’. Physically speaking, circumcision is applied to the aspect of the male body that interacts most intimately with the female body. Symbolically, this would represent placing some ‘cutting around’ to the aspect of male technical thought that interacts with core mental networks of female thought. In some way, the interaction of male thought with core mental networks is being regulated. The reference to a ‘child under training’ suggests that this regulation involves education and knowledge. Zechariah means ‘Yah has remembered’ which indicates applying a concept of God to physical reality. We saw earlier that scholasticism used revealed truth about God to interpret facts about physical reality. Verse 59 suggests that the Protestant Reformation will start by doing something similar.

But there is a change in verse 60. “And his mother answering said, ‘No, but he will be called John.’” John means ‘the Lord has been gracious’. And mother indicates the mental networks of female thought. Examined cognitively, mental networks are causing this new movement to be viewed in a different light. Instead of viewing God’s primarily as a source of information for male thought, God is being viewed as a source of grace for female thought. In other words, Protestantism became defined by the salvation experience and the feeling of receiving grace from God. Wikipedia describes this focus. “The term ‘Protestant’ was not originally used by Reformation era leaders; instead, they called themselves ‘evangelical’, emphasising the ‘return to the true gospel (Greek: euangelion).’” The word evangelical means ‘good news’. The initial focus upon male technical thought can be seen in the Augsburg Confession. This “is the primary confession of faith of the Lutheran Church and one of the most important documents of the Protestant Reformation. The Augsburg Confession was written in both German and Latin and was presented by a number of German rulers and free-cities at the Diet of Augsburg on 25 June 1530.” More specifically, “The Augsburg Confession consists of 28 articles... that set forward what the Lutherans believed, taught and confessed in positive (theses) and negative (antitheses) statements. The theses are 21 Chief Articles of Faith describing the normative principles of Christian faith held by the Lutherans.”

Verse 61 points out that this is something new. “And they said to her, ‘There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name.’” In other words, absolute truth does not normally leads to a concept of grace from the Lord. Instead, absolute truth leads naturally to the conclusion that personal identity needs to be suppressed. That is because belief in absolute truth will only survive as long as a person feels that the source of truth has much greater emotional status in Mercy thought than personal identity. Martin Luther describes how he experienced this transformation. “Though I lived as a monk without reproach, I felt that I was a sinner before God with an extremely disturbed conscience. I could not believe that he was placated by my satisfaction... At last, by the mercy of God, meditating day and night, I gave heed to the context of the words, namely, ‘In it the righteousness of God is revealed, as it is written, ‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.’ There I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith... Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates. There a totally other face of the entire Scripture showed itself to me.” Notice how Luther starts with the traditional view of absolute truth which feels that God is everything and I am nothing. But he then makes an emotional breakthrough guided by the belief that absolute truth declares personal identity to be acceptable to God. Cognitively speaking, such a breakthrough is possible if absolute truth becomes emotionally based in the Teacher mental network of an integrated understanding. That is because Teacher emotion is independent of Mercy emotion. Teacher thought can have an emotion of understanding without having to suppress personal identity in Mercy thought. Luther describes the Teacher emotion that preceded his born-again experience. “I had confidence in the fact that I was more skilful, after I had lectured in the university on St. Paul’s epistles to the Romans, to the Galatias, and the one to the Hebrews. I had indeed been captivated with an extraordinary ardor for understanding Paul in the Epistle to the Romans.” This explains why the Reformation happened after the Renaissance. The Renaissance created a mindset that was capable of evaluating revealed truth from the Teacher perspective of rational understanding. Using the school analogy, becoming a student of a school will only have a positive emotional impact if that school has acquired a reputation as a source of learning. For instance, becoming a student of Harvard carries more emotional weight than becoming a student at the local community college.

This transformational experience has become the ‘circumcision’ of Protestant faith in the sense that it defines the core relationship by which rational thought interacts with mental networks of God and personal identity. Evangelical Christianity will ultimately judge a system by the way that it treats this core topic of justification by faith. Thus, it was necessary to describe briefly how mental symmetry deals with this topic.

1:62-67 Zechariah finds his voice

In verse 62, the attention turns to the father of John. “And they were making signs to his father, what he might wish him to be called.” Sign is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘in the realm of’ with ‘to nod or beckon’. Interpreted symbolically, those who are ‘rejoicing together’ with this feeling of ‘grace from God’ are looking to male technical thought to provide a theological justification for this ‘born again’ experience. Zechariah was silenced back in verse 20 because he did not believe the message of the angel. That was interpreted as mendicant monks having mystical experiences that acted as an inspiration for rational thought but could not be discussed using rational thought. The salvation experience provides an emotional alternative to the mystical experience. Instead of feeling one with God, one feels justified by God.

Zechariah provides a written answer in verse 63. “And having asked for a writing tablet, he wrote, saying, ‘John is his name.’ And they all marveled.” Writing tablet is used once in the New Testament and is the diminutive form of ‘board, dish’ and was probably made of wood. Say means ‘laying it to rest’. Thus, Zechariah is coming up with a written, verbal label for the new movement and deciding to call it ‘the Lord has been gracious’. In other words, a written theology of the salvation experience is being formulated. Marvel means ‘wonder at, be amazed’ and was previously used in verse 21 to describe the crowd wondering at the delay of Zechariah in the temple. The previous delay was caused by the Teacher overgeneralization leading to feelings of mysticism, and a mystical experience is felt as a ‘marvel’. That suggests that Protestant theology about justification will also involve Teacher overgeneralization.

In verse 64, this written answer allows Zechariah to talk. “And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue, and he was speaking, blessing God.” Immediately means ‘instantly’. Mouth simply means mouth, while tongue is ‘used of flowing speech’. Thus, not only can Zechariah talk, but he is able to communicate in flowing sentences. Blessing combines good with ‘logos’, which would prefer to good paradigms. Blessing God would mean coming up with good paradigms about God in Teacher thought.

Looking at this cognitively, a written doctrine about justification makes it possible for Teacher thought to exist independently of Mercy identity. Teacher thought can now overgeneralize within the context of this written doctrine without destroying either the rational thought or the overgeneralization. We saw earlier when mentioning Maimonides that mysticism cannot survive any rational analysis, even rational analysis about mysticism. The salvation experience, in contrast, limits its overgeneralization to the realm of human behavior and divine expectations. This is an overgeneralization, because one is extrapolating from the words of some book to a universal pronouncement regarding human behavior. But it is a more limited overgeneralization than the mystical statement that I am identified with God. The school analogy, in contrast, is not an overgeneralization because school—presumably—teaches how the universe and the mind really function, and the declaration of justification is based in an actual dichotomy that exists both within the mind and within the mathematical analysis of physical cause-and-effect.

These various elements can be seen in the reformed theology of Calvinism, formulated by John Calvin. Wikipedia summarizes that Calvinism “is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John Calvin and other Reformation-era theologians. It emphasises the sovereignty of God and the authority of the Bible.” Notice the setting down of theology by theologians. Wikipedia describes the ‘flowing sentences’ authored by Calvin. “John Calvin developed his theology in his biblical commentaries as well as his sermons and treatises, but the most concise expression of his views is found in his magnum opus, the Institutes of the Christian Religion... The first edition from 1536 consisted of only six chapters. The second edition, published in 1539, was three times as long because he added chapters on subjects that appear in Melanchthon’s Loci Communes. In 1543, he again added new material and expanded a chapter on the Apostles’ Creed. The final edition of the Institutes appeared in 1559. By then, the work consisted of four books of eighty chapters.”

Calvin’s doctrine about salvation is known as predestination. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Unconditional election is a Calvinist doctrine relating to predestination that describes the actions and motives of God prior to his creation of the world, when he predestined some people to receive salvation, the elect, and the rest he left to continue in their sins and receive the just punishment, eternal damnation, for their transgressions of God’s law as outlined in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. God made these choices according to his own purposes apart from any conditions or qualities related to those persons.” Stated simply, God decided in some eternal moment prior to creation who would go to heaven and who would not, totally independent of anything done by people. This is consistent with a mindset of absolute truth, because it declares that the emotional status of God totally overrules any decisions made by humans. It is an overgeneralization, because the eternal fate of all humanity is being decided in some eternal moment that transcends human creation in a manner that is incomprehensible to human thought. But it is also an overgeneralization about ‘The Lord has been gracious’ because God is deciding to be gracious to some humans by sending them to heaven. If describing this as an overgeneralization sounds like an overstatement, please see the essay written on the systematic theology of Louis Berkoff, a prominent Reformed theologian. He really does reduce everything to the overgeneralization of an eternal moment outside of space and time. What matters for our discussion is that the Teacher overgeneralization behind mysticism has now been changed into a form that can be discussed fluently using words of theology. And in the same way that the mysticism of the mendicants inspired the development of rational thought, so the overgeneralization of Reformed theology has inspired rational thinking within Reformed thought.

Looking briefly at the doctrine of predestination, mental symmetry suggests that the plan of God is written as general equations based in cognitive principles that can be fulfilled in a variety of ways with a variety of people. (It should be pointed out that Calvin developed his theology before science discovered that the physical world is governed by mathematical equations.) That interpretation is consistent with the method of analysis being used in these essays. Consistent with this, the Greek word translated predestination does not mean predestination. Instead, it means ‘to pre-establish boundaries’. Thus, the divine plan leaves considerable ‘wiggle room’ for human free choice. Free will is not open-ended but rather is limited by the emotional constraints of mental networks. This means that free will becomes maximized when the mind is driven by inconsistent collections of mental networks, because a person can then choose which set of mental networks will be followed. While free will is limited, I suggest that it is also real. This means that when the Bible says that God is testing someone to determine their character, this is a legitimate test and not just a divine charade. Calvin’s doctrine of predestination turns all of creation into a divine charade in which God is an evil being who arbitrarily damns people to hell while pretending to interact with humanity. A prophetic interpretation of Luke seems to indicate that such a concept of God will naturally emerge at this stage in society. In contrast, mental symmetry suggests that people build their own hell and then send themselves to it. The current (2023) Russian invasion of Ukraine is providing an illustration of what this means.

Verse 65 describes the response to this theology. “And fear came upon all those dwelling around them. And in all the hill country of Judea all these words were being talked about.” Fear means ‘fleeing because feeling inadequate’. Dwelling around is found once in the New Testament and combines ‘around’ with ‘to inhabit, to dwell’. One paper on Calvinism observes that “The twin premises with which Calvin starts in his Institutes in 1536 are the absolute sovereignty of God and the authority of the word of God.” Such a mindset will cause people to fear and avoid any form of thinking that tends to question the absoluteness of either divine will or divine revelation. Talk about is found twice in the New Testament and means ‘to discuss’. Word refers to ‘a spoken word’. Hill country means ‘mountainous’ and is used one other place in the New Testament back in verse 39, which was interpreted as Renaissance theorizing. In verse 39, Mary went up to a city in the hill country of Judah. In verse 65, the spoken word is being discussed in all the hill country of Judah. Judah means ‘praised’. In both cases, the theorizing is being limited by the ‘praise’ of respect for authority. There is considerable theoretical analysis, but it is limited to the ‘hill country’ of peripheral subjects, with fear causing core concepts to be off-limits. One example of peripheral technical thought can be seen in watchmaking. As one website explains, “In the 16th century, the theologian Jean Calvin fled France, settled in Switzerland and helped the council of Geneva to reform the laws. A reform of 1541 forbade ostentatious luxury such as jewelry, leaving the numerous Geneva jewelers in a difficult situation. In order to continue their trade, they turned to watchmaking. Considered as a scientific instrument, clocks escaped Calvin’s reform and goldsmiths were thus able to produce richly decorated timepieces. Paradoxically, it is Calvin who is at the origin of luxury watches in Switzerland!” Notice how Calvin’s edicts caused the residents of Geneva to flee from Mercy mental networks of personal status and led to the response of technical expertise within the peripheral subject of watchmaking. More generally, Calvinism eventually led to a distinction between common grace and special grace. In the words of Wikipedia, “It is common because its benefits are experienced by, or intended for, the whole human race without distinction between one person and another. It is grace because it is undeserved and sovereignly bestowed by God. In this sense, it is distinguished from the Calvinistic understanding of special or saving grace, which extends only to the elect, those whom God has chosen to redeem.” On the one hand, the core issue of who goes to heaven and who does not depends solely upon divine sovereignty. On the other hand, the concept of divine sovereignty acts as an inspiration for pursuing rational thought in peripheral areas together with individuals whom God has chosen not to save. (Stated crudely, I am going to eternal paradise and you are going to eternal damnation because God decided, but before your eternal damnation starts we can cooperate for a few years on peripheral topics.) As for many people discussing the words of Calvinist theology, Wikipedia relates that “Although much of Calvin’s work was in Geneva, his publications spread his ideas of a correctly Reformed church to many parts of Europe. In Switzerland, some cantons are still Reformed, and some are Catholic. Calvinism became the dominant doctrine within the Church of Scotland, the Dutch Republic, some communities in Flanders, and parts of Germany, especially those adjacent to the Netherlands in the Palatinate, Kassel and Lippe.”

Verse 66 concludes, “And all those having heard laid them up in their heart, saying, ‘What then will this child be? And indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.’” Laid up means ‘to place, lay, set’. Heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Heart refers to personal identity in Mercy thought. Notice the juxtaposition. On the one hand, there is rational understanding of words in Teacher thought. On the other hand, personal identity in Mercy thought is acting as the source of stability. Then is more accurately ‘therefore’. And child means ‘a child under training’. For means ‘for, indeed’. Hand is interpreted as the activity of technical thought. ‘Hand of lord’ suggests that male technical thought is active in an authoritative manner. Putting this all together, the Protestant Reformation started with Martin Luther, but it soon split up into several competing strands, primarily as a result of disagreement over which fundamental doctrines should be taught as official theology to adherents.

Wikipedia mentions the major early strands of Protestantism. “Protests against Rome began in earnest when Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk and professor at the university of Wittenberg, called in 1517 for a reopening of the debate on the sale of indulgences... Parallel to events in Germany, a movement began in Switzerland under the leadership of Ulrich Zwingli. These two movements quickly agreed on most issues, as the recently introduced printing press spread ideas rapidly from place to place, but some unresolved differences kept them separate. Some followers of Zwingli believed that the Reformation was too conservative, and moved independently toward more radical positions, some of which survive among modern day Anabaptists. Other Protestant movements grew up along lines of mysticism or humanism (cf. Erasmus), sometimes breaking from Rome or from the Protestants, or forming outside of the churches.” Wikipedia also describes the focus upon a dogmatic teaching of theology. “Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Ulrich Zwingli are considered Magisterial Reformers because their reform movements were supported by ruling authorities or ‘magistrates’... Since the term ‘magister’ also means ‘teacher’, the Magisterial Reformation is also characterized by an emphasis on the authority of a teacher. This is made evident in the prominence of Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli as leaders of the reform movements in their respective areas of ministry. Because of their authority, they were often criticized by Radical Reformers as being too much like the Roman Popes.”

Verse 67 describes the impact upon Zechariah. “And his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying...” Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit back in verse 41, which was interpreted as the impact that Byzantine scholars had upon scholasticism by turning their attention to the Greek authors and secular subjects. Zechariah means ‘Yah has remembered’ and is being interpreted as a concept of God that impacts reality. ‘His father’ means that this concept of God is being re-thought in the light of the new ‘son’ of the Protestant Reformation. Prophesy combines ‘before’ with ‘assert by elevating one statement over another’. Cognitively speaking, prophecy focuses upon certain concepts or trends and extrapolates where they will lead. Prophesy as a verb is only used twice in Luke. In contrast, Mary ‘said’ in verse 46. A concept of the Holy Spirit emerges as Platonic forms of idealism come together to create an internal Form of the Good—an internal image of the essence of ideal perfection. Such a focus upon ideal perfection can be seen in the Radical Reformation. Wikipedia summarizes that “The Radical Reformation represented a response to corruption both in the Catholic Church and in the expanding Magisterial Protestant movement led by Martin Luther and many others.” This internal vision of a better society initially expressed itself through escapism. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Some early forms of the Radical Reformation were millenarian, focusing on the imminent end of the world... After the Munster rebellion, the small group of the Batenburgers continued to adhere to militant Anabaptist beliefs. Non-violent Anabaptist groups also had millenarian beliefs.” In contrast, Anabaptist behavior was motivated by internal Platonic forms of a better society. This spiritual focus can be seen in the ‘two kingdoms doctrine’. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Anabaptist Christianity adheres to ‘two kingdoms doctrine’, which teaches that: There are two different kingdoms on earth—namely, the kingdom of this world and the peaceful kingdom of Christ... The people in the kingdom of this world are born of the flesh, are earthly and carnally minded. The people in the kingdom of Christ are reborn of the Holy Spirit, live according to the Spirit, and are spiritually minded. The people in the kingdom of the world are equipped for fighting with carnal weapons—spear, sword, armor, guns and powder. The people in Christ’s kingdom are equipped with spiritual weapons—the armor of God, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit to fight against the devil, the world, and their own flesh, together with all that arises against God and his Word. The people in the kingdom of this world fight for a perishable crown and an earthly kingdom. The people in Christ’s kingdom fight for an imperishable crown and an eternal kingdom.”

Zechariah’s Song 1:68-75

The Magnificat of Mary was interpreted as a description of the history of the Renaissance, culminating in the translation work of Erasmus. Zechariah’s song can be interpreted as a history of the Protestant Reformation. Zechariah’s song is even longer than the Magnificat.

Verse 68 begins, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, because He has visited and has performed redemption on His people.” Blessed combines ‘good’ with ‘logos’ and is used once as an adjective in Luke. Israel means ‘God strives’ and represents the institutions through whom God interacts with the world. Israel is mentioned 68 times in the New Testament, but the phrase ‘God of Israel’ only occurs here and in Matthew 15:31. That was interpreted as the development of the Humboldt University system in the 19th-century, which was a major example of the institution of the university being guided by an integrated concept of God in Teacher thought. Visit means ‘to inspect, to go to see’. In verse 68, the Protestant Reformation is responding to church corruption by reforming the institution of the church to be guided by an integrated concept of God in Teacher thought, and this focus upon God is being accompanied by the development of technical paradigms of theology.

Performed means ‘to make, do’. People is the source of the English word ‘laity’. Redemption means ‘the payment of the full ransom-price to free a slave’ and is only used three times in the New Testament: here, in 2:38, and in Hebrews 9:12. In 2:38, people are looking for the redemption of Jerusalem; Hebrews 9:12 talks about eternal redemption. Verse 68 says that the God of Israel has ‘done redemption to his laity’. This describes God working through an institutional church to bring redemption to laity who are following an internal concept of God. At a general level, this describes the Protestant Reformation itself. Individuals and groups had protested against the domination and corruption of the Catholic Church before, but the Protestant Reformation was the first protest to succeed in redeeming the ‘laity’ of God from the institutional might of the Catholic Church. And while the Protestant Reformation emphasized belief and doctrine, this redeeming was successful largely due to the ‘doing’ of secular government and armed force. For instance, “Luther survived after being declared an outlaw due to the protection of Elector Frederick the Wise.” More generally, “Luther’s articulation of the two kingdoms doctrine had little effect on the practical reality of church government in Lutheran territories during the Reformation. With the rise of cuius regio, eius religio [the prince determines the religion of his state], civil authorities had extensive influence on the shape of the church in their realm, and Luther was forced to cede much of the power previously granted to church officers starting in 1525.” This ‘doing of redemption’ happened officially in 1555 with the Peace of Augsburg, which “officially ended the religious struggle between the two groups and made the legal division of Christianity permanent within the Holy Roman Empire, allowing rulers to choose either Lutheranism or Roman Catholicism as the official confession of their state.”

Verse 69 continues, “And has raised up a horn of salvation for us, in the house of His servant David.” Raised up means ‘to waken, to raise up’. Horn is used once in Luke and means ‘an animal horn; (figuratively) an instrument of power’. Salvation means ‘to save, rescue’. It is used four times in Luke, three times in the song of Zechariah. These three terms can be seen in the Protestant Reformation, which primarily awoke the people and saved them by raising up horns of government power. Wikipedia summarizes, “In August 1552, weary from three decades of religious civil war, Charles guaranteed Lutheran religious freedoms in the Peace of Passau... A precursor to the Peace of Augsburg of September 1555, the Peace of Passau effectively surrendered Charles V’s lifelong quest for European religious unity.”

In means ‘in the realm of’. David means ‘beloved one’ and is interpreted as some kingdom founded in an emotional relationship with God. House implies living within such an emotional relationship. Servant means ‘a child under training’. In other words, the salvation may have involved the horn of princely might, but this was being applied within the context of people living within the Protestant concept of receiving grace and forgiveness from God. Wikipedia describes this interaction. “Although the Imperial forces were victorious over the Schmalkaldic League, crushing them, the ideas of Luther had by this time so overspread Europe they could not be contained by military force. However, on 15 May 1548 Charles V, feeling at the height of his power, dictated the Augsburg Interim to prepare the reintegration of the Protestants into the Catholic Church. The edict provoked another revolt by the Protestant princes in 1552, known as the Second Schmalkaldic War. This time the Protestant princes were led by Elector Maurice of Saxony and backed by King Henry II of France. Charles V had to flee from the superior Lutheran forces and to cancel the Interim with the Peace of Passau.” Summarizing, the Protestant princes formed a Schmalkaldic League that was militarily defeated by Charles V. But when Charles V tried to outlaw Protestantism, the spread of Protestant ideas provoked a second successful military rebellion.

Verse 70 builds upon the past. “As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets of old.” As is a comparison word which means ‘according to the manner in which’. Holy means ‘set apart’. Prophet means ‘asserting one idea over another’. Spoke means ‘talk, chatter in classical Greek’. Old means ‘a space of time, an age’. Cognitively speaking, verse 70 contains a juxtaposition of terms that reflects the juxtaposition of the Protestant mindset. The human authors of the Bible are being regarded as individuals from another era who were ‘set apart’ by God. These individuals are being regarded as prophets who emphasized certain doctrines as fundamental to the exclusion of other doctrines. The Protestant Reformation is functioning in a similar manner by emphasizing certain doctrines as fundamental. But even though the sources of absolute truth are being regarded as holy individuals from a different era, the focus is upon the words of the prophets and not upon the emotional status of the prophets themselves. However, this focus upon the words is being guided more by the words coming out of the mouths of the prophets than by an integrated Teacher concept of God guided by the verbal paradigms. This relates to the idea of being in the ‘hill country of Judea’.

Verse 71 describes the kind of salvation. “Salvation from our enemies, and from the hand of all those hating us.” Notice that this is a salvation from rather than a salvation to. In other words, the Protestant Reformation was primarily a protest against the established Catholic church—it was a protest-ant reform. From means ‘from out of’ which indicates a separation or leaving. Enemy means ‘someone openly hostile’. This salvation out from open hostility can be seen generally in the formation of the Protestant church as an independent entity free of the political and religious control of the Catholic Church. More specifically, the open hostility can be seen in the person of Charles V. Charles V eventually inherited the domains of four grandparents. Wikipedia relates that “He adopted the Imperial name of Charles V as his main title, and styled himself as a new Charlemagne. Charles V revitalized the medieval concept of universal monarchy and spent most of his life attempting to defend the integrity of the Holy Roman Empire from the Protestant Reformation, the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, and a series of wars with France.” Wikipedia concludes, “Ultimately, Charles V conceded the Peace of Augsburg and abandoned his multi-national project with a series of abdications in 1556 that divided his hereditary and imperial domains... In 1557, Charles retired to the Monastery of Yuste in Extremadura and died there a year later.”

Hand represents technical thought. Hate means ‘to renounce one choice in favor of another’. All means ‘each part of the totality’. These terms describe the salvation in a more detailed manner. Protestantism was not just a matter of being saved from enemies. It also involved being freed from a technical system that had systemically rejected the Protestant perspective for centuries in favor of another viewpoint. For instance, the “Waldensians were a 12th-century movement often viewed as a precursor to the Reformation. The Waldensians did not baptize infants and they rejected the use of indulgences; the Waldensians also denied transubstantiation. The Waldensians wanted to follow Jesus in poverty and simplicity. The Waldensians later joined the Protestant reformation.” Waldo, the founder of the Waldensians, lived at the same time as Dominic and Francis of Assisi and also went to the Pope to start a mendicant order. Wikipedia explains that “In spite of some similarities between this principle and some of the fundamental ideas of the followers of Peter Waldo, the brotherhood of Assisi succeeded in gaining the approval of Pope Innocent III. What seems to have impressed first the Bishop of Assisi, Guido, then Cardinal Giovanni di San Paolo and finally Innocent himself, was their utter loyalty to the Catholic Church and the clergy.” Thus, what really mattered to the Pope was not following God but rather blinding following the Pope. And the mendicant orders served the Pope well in the Inquisition. Wikipedia summarizes, “In 1231 Pope Gregory IX appointed a number of Papal Inquisitors, mostly Dominicans and Franciscans, for the various regions of Europe. As mendicants, they were accustomed to travel.” Other well-known examples of groups suppressed by the Catholic Church are the 14th-century Lollards of John Wicliffe and the 15th-century Hussites of Jan Hus. I am not suggesting that all Catholics were monsters. However, one can safely conclude that the Renaissance Catholic Church exhibited a ‘hand of hating all’ who opposed them.

Verse 72 heads in a positive direction. “To fulfill mercy toward our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant.” Fulfill means ‘to make, do’. And mercy means ‘mercy, pity, compassion’. Toward means ‘with, in company with’ when followed by the genitive. Fathers would represent previous systems of male technical thought. ‘Mercy toward our fathers’ is a strange phrase, because how can one show mercy to one’s ancestors? However, it makes sense in the context of the Protestant Reformation in the light of the previous maltreated movements mentioned in the previous paragraph. For instance, “The Medieval Inquisition was established in response to movements considered apostate or heretical to Roman Catholicism, in particular Catharism and Waldensians in Southern France and Northern Italy.” Thus, the Waldensians were one of the two primary targets of the medieval Inquisition. However, “In the 16th century, the Waldensians were absorbed into the Protestant movement, under the influence of early Swiss reformer Heinrich Bullinger.” Absorbing a proto-Protestant movement that was officially persecuted for failing to submit to papal authority would qualify as ‘doing mercy in company with our fathers’.

Remember means to ‘actively remember’. Covenant means ‘testament, will, covenant’ and is used twice in Luke: here and in 22:20 where Jesus refers to a new covenant during the Last Supper. This term is significant because “The concept of covenant is so prominent in Reformed theology that Reformed theology as a whole is sometimes called ‘covenant theology’.” Covenant can be viewed, especially in the context of the Reformation, as an alternative to submission to the Catholic Church. The Dominicans and Franciscans made primarily a covenant with the Catholic Church because they agreed to submit to church authority and the church agreed to give them freedom to preach and practice. Covenant theology replaced this with a covenant between God and humanity. Humans submit to the authority of God and God responds by giving humans freedom from eternal damnation. Of course, submitting to the authority of God is usually interpreted as submitting to some church’s interpretation of the authority of God. But a distinction can still be made between these two approaches. For instance, when Martin Luther was told to submit to church authority in the 1521 Diet of Worms, he responded, “Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God.”

Verse 73 returns to the source of absolute truth. “The oath that He swore to Abraham our father, to grant us...” The word oath means ‘fence, enclosure’ and is only used once in Luke. This is different than the word swear, which means to swear by some higher power and is also used only once in Luke. Abraham means ‘exalted father’ and was ‘the father of the Jewish nation’. ‘Our father’ indicates that one is still thinking in terms of sources of male technical thought. Looking at this cognitively, when a mindset of absolute truth encounters corruption and hypocrisy, it will typically respond by replacing the existing source of truth with some earlier and more authoritative source. This can be seen in the Protestant Reformation, which responded to the corruption and hypocrisy of Catholic Church authority by appealing to the authority of Scripture. On the one hand, God swore to Abraham. Cognitively speaking, the human authors of the Bible were supposedly overwhelmed by the emotional status of God to write their words. (And if the Gospels of Matthew and Luke are prophetic of Western civilization, then the human authors really were supernaturally manipulated in some manner.) But on the other hand, the Protestant Reformation is not treating the Bible as swearing based in Mercy status, but rather as an oath that sets divinely imposed boundaries and walls upon human thought and behavior. Grant simply means ‘to give’ and the concept of salvation as a gift of God is a primary doctrine of Protestant faith. Wikipedia summarizes that “In general, the Reformers argued that salvation in Christianity was a completed status based on faith in Jesus alone and not a process that requires good works, as in the Catholic view.”

Looking briefly at the concept of salvation by faith, mental symmetry suggests that a distinction can be made between Perceiver facts and Server actions. This is illustrated by the Greek word translated keep, which means to ‘to watch over, to guard’. For instance, in John 8:51 Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word, he shall never see death, to the age.” (‘Word’ means ‘logos’). This does not describe using Server thought to obey commands, but rather using Perceiver thought to hold on to the facts about Teacher paradigms. Stated simply, salvation is based upon personal honesty and not upon actions. One holds on to the facts in Perceiver thought, no matter how bad they make personal identity feel. One then uses Teacher thought to gain an understanding of these facts, and the positive emotions of Teacher understanding make it possible to handle the Mercy pain of honesty. This Teacher understanding needs to go beyond static Perceiver facts to an understanding of processes and universal sequences. An understanding of how things work will then provide an emotional drive from Teacher thought to perform Server actions that are consistent with this understanding. Thus, faith leads to understanding and understanding leads to action. But salvation is built upon faith and not upon action.

Verse 74 continues, “Having been saved from the hand of our enemies, to serve Him without fear.” Without fear is used once in the gospels and adds the prefix ‘not’ to ‘fear’. Hand is interpreted as technical thought. Enemy was used in verse 71 and ‘implies irreconcilable hostility’. Save is not the normal word but rather means ‘to snatch out for oneself’. And serve means ‘to render technical, acceptable service’. The Greek begins with the word ‘without fear’. The medieval Catholic Church used fear to maintain its control, instilling fear of God backed up by fear of religious and government persecution. For instance, when Martin Luther appeared before the Diet of Worms in 1521, he was promised safe passage. A previous reformer John Hus was also promised safe passage in 1415. Wikipedia summarizes, “When the Council of Constance assembled, Hus was asked to be there and present his views on the dissension within the Church. When he arrived, with a promise of safe conduct, he was immediately arrested and put in prison. He was eventually taken in front of the council and asked to recant his views. He replied, ‘I would not for a chapel of gold retreat from the truth!’. When he refused, he was put back in prison. On 6 July 1415, he was burned at the stake for heresy against the doctrines of the Catholic Church.” We looked earlier at ‘salvation by faith’. Promising personal safety and then violating this by burning someone at the stake is an extreme example of not holding on to truth in Perceiver thought.

The Protestant Reformation did not replace the Catholic Church with anarchy but rather with other systems of organized worship. For instance, when the peasants revolted in 1524, Martin Luther eventually sided with law and order. Wikipedia summarizes, “Without Luther’s backing for the uprising, many rebels laid down their weapons; others felt betrayed. Their defeat by the Swabian League at the Battle of Frankenhausen on 15 May 1525, followed by Müntzer’s execution, brought the revolutionary stage of the Reformation to a close. Thereafter, radicalism found a refuge in the Anabaptist movement and other religious movements, while Luther’s Reformation flourished under the wing of the secular powers. In 1526 Luther wrote: ‘I, Martin Luther, have during the rebellion slain all the peasants, for it was I who ordered them to be struck dead.’” The Anabaptists also rejected violence and anarchy. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Typical among the new leaders of the later Anabaptist movement, and certainly the most influential of them, was Menno Simons, a Dutch Catholic priest who early in 1536 decided to join the Anabaptists. Simons had no use for the violence advocated and practiced by the Münster movement, which seemed to him to pervert the very heart of Christianity. Thus, Mennonite pacifism is not merely a peripheral characteristic of the movement, but rather belongs to the very essence of Menno’s understanding of the gospel.” I come from a Mennonite background and my father did alternative service in World War II. One of my primary motivations for doing research in mental symmetry is to discover a way of defeating evil that does not require war or chaos. This is not a trivial question because war appears to be the only current valid response to the current Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Verse 75 adds, “In holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life.” Holiness is used once in Luke and ‘looks to the application of what God defines as sanctioned’. Righteousness is used once in Luke as a noun and ‘refers to what is deemed right by the Lord’. ‘Life’ is implied. This describes going beyond being declared righteous by God to actually behaving in a righteous manner. For instance, while Martin Luther taught ‘salvation by faith alone’, he also taught moral behavior. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy quotes Luther as saying, “‘A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none’, in so far as the Christian is freed from following the law in an instrumental manner and out of fear for its penalties; on the other hand ‘A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all’, as the Christian feels a gratitude to God and to Christ that also opens them up to their neighbour, who they serve in love.’ Luther thus insists that works still play a fundamental role in the Christian life, but a role that takes a different and healthier form.” One sees here the combination of serving God free from fear and living in holiness and righteousness. This focus upon a daily life of holiness and righteousness is especially clear in Anabaptism. Wikipedia explains that “Most Anabaptists adhere to a literal interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5–7, which teaches against hate, killing, violence, taking oaths, participating in use of force or any military actions, and against participation in civil government. Anabaptists view themselves as primarily citizens of the kingdom of God, not of earthly governments. As committed followers of Jesus, they seek to pattern their life after his.” Notice the explicit focus upon ‘applying what God defines as sanctioned’ within normal life. (The original Mennonites were excluded from participation in civil government. Mennonites are currently having to grapple with this issue in countries such as Paraguay.)

Zechariah Prophesies 1:76-80

Verse 67 said that Zechariah prophesies. The final part of Zechariah’s song is explicitly prophetic, describing what the Protestant church will accomplish as well as its inherent limitations. Verse 76 predicts, “And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways.” Child again means ‘a child under training’, emphasizing the Protestant focus upon the Bible as the ultimate source of truth. Thus, a Protestant Christian ultimately remains cognitively at the level of being ‘a child under training’ by revealed truth. Prophet combines ‘beforehand’ with ‘asserting one idea over another’. And ‘highest, most high’ refers to the most general statements in Teacher thought. Curiously, verse 76 does not say that John will be a prophet of the most high, but rather that he will be called a prophet of the most high. In other words, Protestantism will acquire the reputation of preaching about the trends of society. One academic article summarizes, “Preaching has always been central to the dissenting Protestant tradition. The fact that sermons were a crucial means of mass communication ensured that ‘hotter Protestants’ would be locked in a perpetual struggle with the ecclesiastical and political authorities for possession of parish pulpits and town lectureships. This chapter explores the means by which dissenting preachers were trained and deployed, and how they managed to deliver their message to a wider audience in the face of often intense official harassment and censorship.” Notice how Protestant preachers are attempting to use verbal proclamation to direct the attention of society away from the official message being proclaimed by existing authorities to a higher message that supposedly comes from God.

Verse 76 finishes by saying what Protestantism will actually do. Go before is used twice in the New Testament and combines ‘before’ with ‘to transport’, which is interpreted as movement accompanied by change. Before means ‘in the eye of’. Prepare means ‘to prepare’, and way means ‘a way, a road’. Thus, Protestantism performs the pioneering role of following a path of personal change that lays the foundation for the paths of God. Thus, one finds the juxtaposition of a movement that does not understand the concept of righteousness laying the foundation for righteousness.

Looking at this cognitively, mental symmetry suggests that the path of personal transformation can be divided into the three major steps of personal honesty, righteousness, and rebirth. Protestant faith emphasizes the first step of personal honesty. The Protestant believer recognizes that personal human behavior falls short of the standard proclaimed in the Bible. This is followed by the recognition that the Bible teaches that God forgives those who come to him in an attitude of personal honesty recognizing that they fall morally short of the biblical standard. Notice that this is all occurring within a framework of absolute truth—the assumption that the Bible was written by a divine being who is far more important than any human in Mercy thought. Because such an attitude recognizes that personal identity in Mercy thought needs to submit to words in Teacher thought, it is possible to form a concept of God that is based in rational Teacher thought, as opposed to the amoral Greek gods who were basically rationalizations of inadequate human behavior. However, a Protestant concept of God will still be heavily influenced by the Mercy focus upon places, events, and situations. Moving to the second stage of righteousness has to be cognitively enabled by choosing to follow God in daily life, as described in verse 75. This personal behavior may view God as the source of a set of static moral rules based in Mercy status, but the personal path of submitting to these rules in daily life will be a journey that enables change, making it possible to start thinking of God in terms of processes and divinely guided paths. However, in order to make the transition to righteousness, the concept of absolute truth has to be replaced with a concept of universal truth, which means no longer viewing God as the most important person in Mercy thought, but rather viewing God as the ultimate source of ‘how things work’ in Teacher thought. What typically happens is that Protestant faith that is personally applied creates a societal foundation for other groups to break through to an understanding of God as a source of righteousness. Such an indirect relationship can be seen with both capitalism and science. Wikipedia summarizes, “Similar to Max Weber’s famous claim on the link between Protestant work ethic and the capitalist economy, Merton argued for a similar positive correlation between the rise of Protestant Pietism and early experimental science... Although scholars are still debating it, Merton’s 1936 doctoral dissertation... raised important issues on the connections between religion and the rise of modern science, became a significant work in the realm of the sociology of science and continues to be cited in new scholarship.”

Verse 77 adds details. “To give knowledge of salvation to His people, in forgiveness of their sins.” Knowledge means to ‘experientially know’. And salvation is the normal word that means ‘to save, rescue’. People is the word ‘laity’. Forgiveness means ‘something sent away’. And sin means ‘not hitting the target’. Verse 77 does not say that the laity of Protestantism will actually be saved. Instead, they will gain an experiential knowledge of what it feels like to be saved, based in the experience of having their shortcomings mentally sent away. This can be seen in the Great Awakenings of the Protestant movement. Wikipedia explains that “Each of these ‘Great Awakenings’ was characterized by widespread revivals led by evangelical Protestant ministers, a sharp increase of interest in religion, a profound sense of conviction and redemption on the part of those affected, an increase in evangelical church membership, and the formation of new religious movements and denominations.” Notice the experiential knowing of a ‘profound sense of conviction and redemption’. I am not trying to belittle these feelings of divine forgiveness. However, I suggest that these feelings need to be viewed as an emotional enabling that makes it possible to follow a path of personal transformation, rather than the final destination. Using the school analogy, these feelings need to be viewed as becoming enrolled in God’s school of character development. Becoming a student of this school can lead to profound feelings of divine forgiveness. But Christianity is not a diploma mill. One enrolls in school in order to take the classes and pass the exams. Using theological language, justification needs to be followed by sanctification.

Verse 78 emphasizes this enabling role. “Through the affections of compassion of our God, in which the Sunrise will visit us from on high.” Affections is used once in Luke and means ‘the internal organs’. Compassion has been used several times in this chapter and means ‘mercy, pity, compassion’. Through means ‘through, on account of’ when followed by the accusative. This describes the gut-level feelings of a personal relationship with God that summarizes the essence of Protestant faith. But ‘through’ indicates that something else is happening on account of this personal relationship. Visit means ‘to inspect, to go to see’ and was previously used in verse 68 to describe the Protestant Reformation in general. On high means ‘height’ which is being interpreted as Teacher generality. And from means ‘from out of’. Thus, the feeling of a personal relationship with God enables the idea that God descends from Teacher generality to inspect human behavior. This is not a concept of righteousness, but rather a sense that God is a source of rules that apply to personal behavior. Sunrise is used twice in Luke and means ‘a rising’. It is usually translated as ‘from the east’ because the sun rises in the east. This has several symbolic connotations. Rising is interpreted as acquiring Teacher generality. The sun represents a general Teacher understanding that illuminates some era of society. A sunrise represents the emergence of such a Teacher understanding. Finally, the East relates to the subjective and religious emotions, as opposed to the West, which represents rational thought. Putting this together, the Protestant subjective experience of being forgiven by God can enable the rise of the sun of a general understanding that govern society. For instance, describes the enabling of the first Great Awakening. “The Great Awakening notably altered the religious climate in the American colonies. Ordinary people were encouraged to make a personal connection with God, instead of relying on a minister... Many historians claim that the Great Awakening influenced the Revolutionary War by encouraging the notions of nationalism and individual rights. The revival also led to the establishment of several renowned educational institutions, including Princeton, Rutgers, Brown and Dartmouth universities.” Notice how the ‘affections of compassion of our God’ enabled the rising of a ‘sun’ of American democracy and higher education.

Verse 79 concludes, “To shine upon those sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, to direct our feet into the way of peace.” Shine is used once in Luke and combines ‘suitably’ with ‘to bring to light’. Darkness means ‘darkness’. Shadow is also used once in Luke and means ‘the shadow of a looming presence’. Death refers to ‘physical or spiritual death’. These words describe the role of absolute truth as a starting point. Light represents Teacher understanding. Approaching the Bible with an attitude of absolute truth is capable of bringing appropriate light to those sitting in darkness. Looking at this cognitively, the childish mind is naturally built upon important people and experiences in Mercy thought, as described by Piaget’s preoperational stage of cognitive development. Absolute truth packages truth within a framework of Mercy status making it possible to communicate with those who are sitting in darkness. These essays are showing that the Bible describes significant cognitive principles, both at a surface level and at a symbolic level. Thus, absolute faith in the Bible will introduce suitable light to those in darkness. However, a person will only be receptive to new sources of truth if it becomes clear that existing sources lead to a dead end. Hence, the reference to sitting in the shadow of death. Historically speaking, the Protestant message tends to be most effective to the ‘down and out’ who know that their lifestyle is leading to a dead end. For instance, the Great Awakening expressed itself in England primarily through the founding of Methodism. Wikipedia summarizes that “Early Methodists were drawn from all levels of society, including the aristocracy, but the Methodist preachers took the message to labourers and criminals who tended to be left outside organized religion at that time. In Britain, the Methodist Church had a major effect in the early decades of the developing working class (1760–1820). In the United States, it became the religion of many slaves who later formed black churches in the Methodist tradition.” Notice the focus upon bringing light to ‘laborers and criminals’, the ‘working class’, and slaves.

Direct is used once in Luke and adds ‘exactly according to’ to ‘make straight’. The hands are used to perform detailed movement. The body rests upon the feet which are used to move the physical body. Thus, hands represent male technical thought, while the feet would represent fundamental mental networks upon which the mind rests, which must be changed in order to make personal progress. ‘Directing the feet’ would represent coming up with straightforward paths that lead to personal development. For instance, Methodism acquired its name from the methodical approach taken to spiritual growth. Wikipedia summarizes that “John Wesley took on the concept of small groups, and has been called the ‘Father’ of the modern small-group concept. Wesley encouraged different kinds of small groups to develop, so that both leaders and members of the Methodist societies could receive support and challenge in their faith. He formed class meetings to ‘bring small numbers of people together (usually twelve) to pray, read the Bible and listen to exhortations, and to encourage and enjoy each other’s company.’” I am not suggesting that Methodism is the ultimate expression of Christianity, but it was an effective method of its era for ‘directing the feet’ of those who were ‘sitting in darkness’. And Methodists “were willing to evangelize the slaves to the point that they numbered about 20% of the membership. By 1840 the Methodists had become the largest denomination in America, outstripping the reigning colonial denominations—the Presbyterians, Congregationalists and Anglicans.”

Again, this is a transitional form of thinking indicated by the phrase ‘into the way of peace’. Way means ‘way, road’. This is the first use of peace in Luke, which means ‘to join, tie together into a whole’. Verse 79 does not say that Protestantism is a way of peace, but rather that it appropriately guided personal development into a path of wholeness and integration.

Verse 80 finishes the chapter (finally) by describing the growth of John. “And the child continued to grow and was strengthened in spirit; and he was in the deserted places until the day of his appearance to Israel.” As usual, child means ‘a child under training’. Continued to grow means ‘to make to grow, to grow’. In other words, Protestantism has gone through many stages, each of which added new facets, often expressed as the emergence of some new denomination, leading to continual growth for the Protestant church as a whole. Strengthened to means ‘to strengthen’ and a concept of spirit relates to Platonic forms. ‘Strengthened in spirit’ suggests that Platonic forms of ideal perfection are becoming more potent and gradually becoming transformed from escapist ideals of unreachable perfection to internal standards that guide personal behavior. This trend can be seen in the brief overview of the Protestant movement in the previous paragraphs.

Deserted place means ‘an uncultivated, unpopulated place’. Appearance is used once as a noun in the New Testament and means ‘to lift up and show’. Israel represents the institutional church (as well as the current country of Israel). This describes the method by which the Protestant church has usually continued to grow. Some new movement emerges that functions outside of the existing established church in some uncultivated region. This new movement grows until it becomes visible to the existing churches. The new movement then becomes adopted by much of the established church, leading to the growth and strengthening of Platonic forms for the Protestant church as a whole.

One can also see a transition from ‘deserted places to Israel’ in the 1555 Peace of Augsburg. Wikipedia explains that “The principle of cuius regio, eius religio (‘Whose realm, his religion’) provided for internal religious unity within a state: the religion of the prince became the religion of the state and all its inhabitants. Those inhabitants who could not conform to the prince’s religion were allowed to leave: an innovative idea in the 16th century.” Notice how the religious preference of the political leader is being ‘lifted up and shown’ to the local institutional church. This added a political dimension to religious faith. Wikipedia describes this political dimension. “Under the principle of cuius regio, eius religio, states were categorised as either Lutheran, then the most usual form of Protestantism, or Catholic, based on the religion of their ruler... These agreements were undermined by the post-1555 expansion of Protestantism into areas previously designated as Catholic, as well as the growth of Reformed faiths not recognised by Augsburg, especially Calvinism, a theology viewed with hostility by both Lutherans and Catholics. The terms of Augsburg also gave individual rulers within the Empire greater political autonomy and control over the religion practised in their domains, while weakening central authority.” Notice how the subsequent spread of Protestant faith had political consequences. Notice also the desire for Calvinism to become an officially supported institutional church. Anabaptism, in contrast, never achieved the blessing (curse?) of becoming a state-sanctioned church.

Context of Jesus’ Birth 2:1-5

Chapter 2 begins with the birth of Jesus. These verses are familiar to me because reading them was part of our family Christmas tradition. Luke 1:5-7 set the context for this essay by mentioning a number of names which were interpreted symbolically. Similarly, the first five verses of chapter 2 contain several names, which will also be interpreted symbolically in order to set the context for the birth of Jesus.

Verse 1 begins, “And it came to pass in those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the world.” Came to pass means ‘to come into being’, which suggests a natural progression. A day presents some era of society. Thus, ‘came to pass in those days’ would indicate something emerging naturally out of European society as a result of the Peace of Augsburg. Went out means ‘to go or come out of’. From means ‘from close beside’ when followed by the genitive. Decree is used once in Luke. It comes from a word that means ‘to have an opinion’ and is the source of the English word ‘dogma’. Caesar was the title given to a Roman Emperor, which would represent secular power. Augustus means ‘majestic, venerable’. Putting this all together, secular power is seeking majesty and this desire is turning into a dogma that is going out to society at large. Register means ‘to copy, enroll’. All means ‘each part of the totality’. And world means ‘the inhabited earth’. ‘Register all the world’ suggests an active attempt to involve everyone in this empire building.

Such empire building that increasingly involved the entire inhabited world can be seen in the Thirty Years War. Most modern historians “argue its scope and extent were driven by the contest for European dominance between Habsburg-ruled Spain and Austria, and the French House of Bourbon... The first phase from 1618 until 1635 was primarily a civil war between German members of the Holy Roman Empire, with support from external powers. After 1635, the Empire became one theatre in a wider struggle between France, supported by Sweden, and Emperor Ferdinand III, allied with Spain.”

Wikipedia describes how this emerged from the Peace of Augsburg. “Before Augsburg, unity of religion compensated for lack of strong central authority; once removed, it presented opportunities for those who sought to further weaken it. These included ambitious Imperial states like Lutheran Saxony and Catholic Bavaria, as well as France.”

Wikipedia also describes how everyone became ‘enrolled’ in this frenzy of imperial ego. On the one hand, new “tactics needed professional soldiers, who could retain formation, reload and fire disciplined salvos while under attack, as well as the use of standardised weapons. The first half of the 17th century saw the publication of numerous instruction manuals showing the movements required, thirty-two for pikemen and forty-two for musketeers.” On the other hand, “The breakdown of social order caused by the war was often more significant and longer lasting than the immediate damage... Soldiers devastated one area before moving on, leaving large tracts of land empty of people and changing the ecosystem. Food shortages were worsened by an explosion in the rodent population.” Thus, everyone became ‘enrolled’, whether they chose or not.

Verse 2 explains that “This registration first took place when Quirinius was governing Syria.” Quirinius is mentioned once in the New Testament. explains that Quirinius was “An ancient Roman god of war, identified with the deified Romulus; a personification of the Roman nation.” Governing is used twice as a verb in the New Testament and means ‘to command’. Syria means ‘hard pebble, flint’, and a hard pebble would represent fragments of Perceiver truth. Putting these terms together, kings and princes who regard themselves as personifications of their kingdoms are pursuing war by exerting hegemony over pebbles of truth. When the religious preference of the ruler determines the religion of his state, then this can be described as princes regarding themselves as personifications of their kingdom and ruling over the truth of religious conviction.

Verse 3 adds, “And all were going to be registered, each to his own city.” Going means ‘to transport’ and is interpreted as movement that generates change. To be registered is the same word used in verse 1, which means ‘to enroll, copy’. Each means ‘each individual unit viewed distinctly’. And city represents a center of civilization. Such ‘individualistic registering’ can be seen in the behavior of the armies during the Thirty Years War. Wikipedia explains that “Obtaining supplies thus became the limiting factor in campaign planning, an issue that grew more acute later in the war when much of the Empire had already been fought over... Many historians argue feeding the troops became an objective in itself, unconnected to diplomatic goals and largely uncontrolled by their central governments. The result was ‘armies increasingly devoid of intelligible political objectives...degenerating into travelling armed mobs living in a symbiotic relationship with the countryside they passed through.’” On the one hand, armies of professional soldiers are being hired and trained. On the other hand, these armies are acting as individual units apart from central control. The fragmented nature of the registration is also apparent in the peace negotiations that led to the 1648 Peace of Westphalia. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The peace negotiations had no exact beginning or end, because the 109 delegations never met in a plenary session. Instead, various delegations arrived between 1643 and 1646 and left between 1647 and 1649. The largest number of diplomats were present between January 1646 and July 1647. Delegations had been sent by 16 European states, 66 Imperial States representing the interests of 140 Imperial States, and 27 interest groups representing 38 groups.” The path that led to these various groups to the Peace of Westphalia changed the nature of those groups. “By laying the foundations of the modern nation state, Westphalia changed the relationship between subjects and their rulers. Previously, many had overlapping, sometimes conflicting, political and religious allegiances; they were now understood to be subject first and foremost to the laws and edicts of their respective state authority, not the claims of any other entity, religious or secular.” And “While differences over religion remained an issue throughout the 17th century, it was the last major war in Continental Europe in which it can be said to be a primary driver.”

Verse 4 turns to Joseph and Mary. “And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the City of David, which is called Bethlehem.” Went up means ‘to go up, ascend’ which is interpreted as heading in the direction of Teacher generality. Joseph means ‘he increases’. Galilee comes from a word that means ‘to roll’ and is interpreted as cycles of society. The name Nazareth means ‘separated, crowned, sanctified’. And town actually means ‘city’. (There is another Greek word that means ‘village’.) Looking at this symbolically, amidst all of this warfare, the cycles of society are leading to growth accompanied by increasing Teacher generality. However, this is happening primarily to a select, privileged group within civilized society. For instance, a French Academy to regulate the French language was founded during the Thirty Years War. Wikipedia relates that “The Académie had its origins in an informal literary group deriving from the salons held at the Hôtel de Rambouillet during the late 1620s and early 1630s. The group began meeting at Valentin Conrart’s house, seeking informality. There were then nine members. Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister of France, made himself protector of the group, and in anticipation of the formal creation of the academy, new members were appointed in 1634... The Académie Française was ‘to labor with all the care and diligence possible, to give exact rules to our language, to render it capable of treating the arts and sciences’. The Académie Française has remained responsible for the regulation of French grammar, spelling, and literature.” Over in England, “The philosophical underpinnings of the Scientific Revolution were laid out by Francis Bacon, who has been called the father of empiricism. His works established and popularised inductive methodologies for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method, or simply the scientific method... Bacon proposed a great reformation of all process of knowledge for the advancement of learning divine and human, which he called Instauratio Magna. For Bacon, this reformation would lead to a great advancement in science and a progeny of new inventions that would relieve mankind’s miseries and needs. His Novum Organum was published in 1620.” Notice how a select individual from civilized society is proposing a new method for the growing of knowledge guided by Teacher generality.

Continuing with verse 4, Judea means ‘praised. David means ‘beloved one’ and is interpreted as founding a kingdom based in an emotional interaction with God in Teacher thought. David is mentioned 59 times in the New Testament, but the city of David is only mentioned in this verse and in verse 11. Bethlehem means ‘house of bread’ and is only mentioned in Luke here and in verse 15. Bread represents intellectual food. A ‘house of bread’ would represent acquiring food within a personalized setting. Such an intimate environment can be seen, for instance, in the Académie Française, which began as a group of nine members meeting at Valentin Conrart’s house. Over in England, “The first moves towards the institutionalization of scientific investigation and dissemination took the form of the establishment of societies, where new discoveries were aired, discussed, and published. The first scientific society to be established was the Royal Society of London. This grew out of an earlier group, centered around Gresham College in the 1640s and 1650s.” Judea represents a mindset that focuses upon religious and political status. These early groups had official backing from the nobility of society. For instance, “On 22 February 1635, at Richelieu’s urging, King Louis XIII granted letters patent formally establishing the council... [of] the Académie Française.” As for the Royal Society in England, “Founded on 28 November 1660, it was granted a royal charter by King Charles II as The Royal Society.” And Roger Bacon “is famous for his role in the scientific revolution, begun during the Middle Ages, promoting scientific experimentation as a way of glorifying God and fulfilling scripture. He was renowned as a politician in Elizabethan England, as he held the office of Lord Chancellor.”

Verse 4 concludes, “because of his being of the house and family of David.” House means ‘a house, a dwelling’. Family is used once in Luke and is related to the word ‘father’. In other words, this new way of thinking comes out of a form of thinking based in religious and political status, both at a personal level and also at an intellectual level. This can be seen, for instance, in the previous description about Roger Bacon, who was ‘renowned as a politician’ and viewed ‘scientific experimentation is a way of glorifying God and fulfilling scripture’.

Such a focus can be seen more generally in the Counter-Reformation, which Wikipedia explains “was the period of Catholic resurgence that was initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation. It began with the Council of Trent (1545–1563) and largely ended with the conclusion of the European wars of religion in 1648.” More specifically, “Reforms included the foundation of seminaries for the proper training of priests in the spiritual life and the theological traditions of the Church, the reform of religious life by returning orders to their spiritual foundations, and new spiritual movements focusing on the devotional life and a personal relationship with Christ, including the Spanish mystics and the French school of spirituality. It also involved political activities that included the Spanish Inquisition and the Portuguese Inquisition in Goa and Bombay-Bassein etc. A primary emphasis of the Counter-Reformation was a mission to reach parts of the world that had been colonized as predominantly Catholic.” Comparing this with verse 4, the Catholic Church is responding to the ‘Galilee’ of various Protestant movements by attempting to increase its dominance and control and by ascending in Teacher thought by training priests and founding seminaries. This movement is coming out of the ‘Nazareth’ of the established church leadership and it is heading in the direction of the ‘Judea’ of religious praise. The goal is to find spiritual food in the home of a devotional life. This movement included the ‘city of David’ of civilized art that focused upon a personal connection with God. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The goal of much art in the Counter-Reformation... was to restore Catholicism’s predominance and centrality... In areas where Catholicism predominated, architecture and painting, and to a lesser extent music, reflected Counter-Reformation goals. The Council of Trent proclaimed that architecture, painting and sculpture had a role in conveying Catholic theology. Any work that might arouse ‘carnal desire’ was inadmissible in churches, while any depiction of Christ’s suffering and explicit agony was desirable and proper.” Notice how praise and religious self-denial have become central themes.

Wikipedia also describes the ‘enrolling’ that characterized the Counter-Reformation. “The organization of religious institutions was tightened, discipline was improved, and the parish was emphasized. The appointment of bishops for political reasons was no longer tolerated... The Council of Trent gave bishops greater power to supervise all aspects of religious life. Zealous prelates, such as Milan’s Archbishop Carlo Borromeo (1538–84), later canonized as a saint, set an example by visiting the remotest parishes and instilling high standards.”

Verse 5 describes the purpose of Joseph. “To register with Mary the one being betrothed to him, she being with child.” Register means ‘to copy, enroll’. Mary represents the idea of following God by turning one’s back upon an idolatrous world and has been interpreted as Renaissance humanism. Betrothed is only used in the New Testament to describe the relationship of Mary to Joseph and comes from a word that means to ‘be mindful of’. With child is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘in the realm of’ with ‘a wave, surge, billow’. Putting this together symbolically, following God by leaving the world has become connected with growth. This combination is surging and on the verge of giving birth to something. The idea of ‘following God by turning one’s back upon an idolatrous world’ can be seen literally in the writings of Francis Bacon. Bacon “listed what he called the idols (false images) of the mind. He described these as things which obstructed the path of correct scientific reasoning.” Quoting further from Wikipedia, Bacon “held that knowledge was cumulative, that study encompassed more than a simple preservation of the past. ‘Knowledge is the rich storehouse for the glory of the Creator and the relief of man’s estate,’... Bacon’s idea of idols of the mind may have self-consciously represented an attempt to Christianize science at the same time as developing a new, reliable scientific method.” Using the language of verse 5, one grows in a knowledge of God by turning one’s back upon the idols of society in order to study nature in a rigorous manner.

Using the language of verse 5, Bacon’s writing was riding the wave of thinking that was about to ‘give birth’ to the Scientific Revolution. In the words of Wikipedia, “Bacon’s work was instrumental in the historical development of the scientific method. His technique bears a resemblance to the modern formulation of the scientific method in the sense that it is centered on experimental research... On the other hand, modern scientific method does not follow Bacon’s methods in its details, but more in the spirit of being methodical and experimental, and so his position in this regard can be disputed.”

Birth of Jesus 2:6-7

The time of birth arrives in verse 6. “And it came to pass, in their being there, the days of her giving birth were fulfilled. The first phrase is accurately translated and indicates that simply being in this state of mind caused the time of birth to come into being. Fulfilled means ‘to fill to the maximum’. A day is interpreted as an era of society. And give birth means ‘to beget, bring forth’. In simple terms, all the factors are now present within society to give birth to scientific thought. I am not suggesting that Jesus is science, but rather that science and technology are a partial expression of incarnation; a concept of incarnation is based in the integration of abstract and concrete technical thought and these two come together in science and technology. But incarnation goes beyond scientific specialization in abstract thought to be guided by a concept of God; incarnation goes beyond the objective tools of technology to save people; and incarnation goes beyond the materialistic fixation of science to be guided by an integrated understanding in Teacher thought that includes both the seen and the unseen. However, science expresses the character of incarnation in a way that current religion does not, and this partial expression of incarnation came to birth in the Scientific Revolution.

Jesus is born in verse 7. “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and she wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger.” Firstborn is used once in Luke. The apostle Paul uses this term to refer to Christ as the firstborn. Cognitively speaking, technical thought plays a pioneering role that is followed by other cognitive strategies. Stated more carefully, technical thought emerges when Contributor thought chooses to focus upon some collection of Perceiver facts and Server sequences and then treat this as a goal to pursue or a paradigm to expand. For instance, technical thought can choose to focus upon the rules of the game of chess and then pursue the goal of winning chess or the paradigm of analyzing chess. Technical thought is capable of pursuing chess (or some other specialization) in a rigorous manner even when surrounded by a world of chaos. This narrow-minded specialization of technical thought has to be unfolded by other forms of thinking in order to extend beyond winning a game of chess to making the world a better place. Thus, technical thought is a firstborn that is followed by other children. Son is specifically mentioned. Cognitively speaking, the male mind naturally emphasizes technical thought, which is why this essay refers to ‘male technical thought’.

Wrapped in swaddling clothes means to ‘wrap with strips’ and is only found in this verse and in verse 12. Lay is usually translated as ‘recline’ and combines ‘up’ with ‘to cause to bend’. Manger is only used by Luke and describes ‘a feeding box for cattle’. Clothes represent the fabric of society. That is because people (usually) use clothes to cover themselves when they interact with other people. Wikipedia explains that “Swaddling is an age-old practice of wrapping infants in blankets or similar cloths so that movement of the limbs is tightly restricted. Swaddling bands were often used to further restrict the infant.” Symbolically speaking, swaddling uses strips of social interaction to restrict the movement of thought. This brings to mind Richard Feynman’s comment that ‘science is imagination in a straitjacket’. This straitjacket is imposed within academia by the ‘strips of social interaction’ of peer review, in which all scientific thought passes through some narrow process of evaluation before being accepted by the scientific community at large. Looking at the history of peer-review, Wikipedia relates that “The first record of an editorial pre-publication peer-review is from 1665 by Henry Oldenburg, the founding editor of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society at the Royal Society of London.” I know about this process personally because I just received a letter of rejection today. My primary problem is that I am attempting to publish a paper on a meta-theory of second language acquisition in an academic system that uses ‘narrow strips of social interaction’ to evaluate specialized research.

Cattle are domesticated animals that produce meat and milk, but they live in a concrete world of experience devoid of abstract thought or language. Laying the baby in a feeding box for cattle would represent feeding technical thought with the knowledge of concrete experience. This brings to mind the scientific emphasis upon empirical evidence. I also know from personal experience what this means, because one of the journals I submitted my paper to commented that my paper was well-written and enjoyable to read, but too speculative. Using mental symmetry to explain the empirical evidence gathered by other researchers and by neurology was not sufficient. Instead, one must lay in a cattle feeding trough and eat the animal fodder of empirical evidence. Empirical evidence is an important starting point. But eventually one has to stand up out of the ‘cattle feeding trough’ and decide to be a human who is guided by rational understanding, and my personal experience indicates that most of academia is currently unwilling to do this. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Bacon has been called the father of empiricism. He argued for the possibility of scientific knowledge based only upon inductive reasoning and careful observation of events in nature. He believed that science could be achieved by the use of a sceptical and methodical approach whereby scientists aim to avoid misleading themselves.” When some scientific specialization is in its infancy, then self-deception can be avoided by ‘careful observation of events in nature’. However, as scientific paradigms develop and science becomes more abstract, then one must also avoid the self-deception caused by Teacher mental networks of paradigms, worldviews, and meta-theories. Peer review cannot eliminate such self-deception, because everyone within a specialization shares the same self-deception. That explains Thomas Kuhn’s comment that most new theories are introduced by those who are new to some field, who have not yet become ‘shortsighted’ by the systemic bias of that field.

Verse 7 concludes, “because there was no place for them in the inn.” Place means ‘a place’ and represents some location or specialization within the field of knowledge. Inn means ‘lodging place’ and comes from a word that means ‘to destroy, overthrow’, the idea being that resting for the night involves the breaking up of a journey. It is translated as ‘guest room’ the two other times it is used in the New Testament. Such an alternate lodging place for academic thought can be seen in the coffeehouse. Wikipedia explains, “An early example of science emanating from the official institutions into the public realm was the British coffeehouse. With the establishment of coffeehouses, a new public forum for political, philosophical and scientific discourse was created. In the mid-16th century, coffeehouses popped up around Oxford, where the academic community began to capitalize on the unregulated conversation that the coffeehouse allowed. The new social space began to be used by some scholars as a place to discuss science and experiments outside of the laboratory of the official institution. Coffeehouse patrons were only required to purchase a dish of coffee to participate, leaving the opportunity for many, regardless of financial means, to benefit from the conversation. Education was a central theme and some patrons began offering lessons and lectures to others. The chemist Peter Staehl provided chemistry lessons at Tilliard’s coffeehouse in the early 1660s.” Notice how a new place is being found for scientific discussion and academic discussion outside of the university structure within coffeehouses precisely because they are ‘feeding troughs’ that permit unregulated conversation. Wikipedia explains that “Oxford’s coffeehouses’ power lay in the fact that they were in daily touch with the people.” In other words, they were chosen precisely because they were ‘feeding troughs’. Wikipedia adds that “The first coffeehouses established in Oxford were known as penny universities, as they offered an alternative form of learning to structural academic learning, while still being frequented by the English virtuosi who actively pursued advances in human knowledge.” Thus, the ‘baby Jesus’ of scientific thought was being laid in this feeding trough. And there was a form of swaddling clothes as well, because “Coffeehouse conversation was supposed to conform to a particular manner. The language of polite and civil conversation was considered to be essential to the conduct of coffeehouse debate and conversation... The importance of the portrayal of utmost civility in coffeehouse conversation to the public was imperative for the survival of coffeehouse popularity throughout the period of restoration-era anxieties.”

Angels appear to Shepherds 2:8-12

Shepherds show up in verse 8. “And there were shepherds in the same region, lodging in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.” A shepherd takes care of sheep and Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd and his followers as sheep in John 10. Sheep are social creatures that tend to lack intelligence in other areas. Thus, a shepherd would represent someone who is leading a group of people who are functioning primarily at a social level. Region means ‘a wide-open area’. Lodging in the fields is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘a field’ with ‘courtyard’. Keeping means ‘to preserve by having an eye on’ and watch is the noun form of the same word. Night indicates the absence of the ‘sun’ of a general understanding. And flock is closely related to the word ‘shepherd’. A field represents some field of knowledge for growing intellectual food. Shepherds taking care of sheep in the field would represent a form of learning that emphasizes social interaction. Doing this at night would indicate the lack of any general understanding in Teacher thought. The next verse helps to establish the identity of this group. This symbolism is encapsulated by the word ‘pastor’. As Wikipedia explains, “Pastors are to act like shepherds by caring for the flock, and this care includes teaching.”

In verse 9 an angel appears. “And an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they feared with great fear.” The previous two angelic visits were by Gabriel. This is an ‘angel of the Lord’. This same term was used in 1:11 to describe the angel visiting Zechariah, which was interpreted as a mystical encounter. This combination of elements can be found in Pietism, leading to the conclusion that the shepherds represent Pietism. Wikipedia explains that Pietism “is a movement within Lutheranism that combines its emphasis on biblical doctrine with an emphasis on individual piety and living a vigorous Christian life... Although the movement is aligned exclusively within Lutheranism, it had a tremendous impact on Protestantism worldwide, particularly in North America and Europe. Pietism originated in modern Germany in the late 17th century with the work of Philipp Spener.” Looking more closely at the details, Pietism attempted “(1) to more thoroughly acquaint believers with Scripture by means of private readings and study groups in addition to preaching; (2) to increase the involvement of laity in all functions of the church; (3) to emphasize that believers put into practice their faith and knowledge of God; (4) to approach religious discussions with humility and love, avoiding controversy whenever possible; (5) to ensure that pastors are both well-educated and pious; and (6) to focus preaching on developing faith in ordinary believers.” ‘Private readings and study groups’ indicate a pastoral form of social learning, ‘increasing the involvement of laity’ focuses upon the sheep, while the other qualities emphasize caring for the sheep.

Continuing with verse 9, stood by actually means ‘to stand upon’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. The implication is that the mystical feelings are building upon the personal devotion and study. This is the first occurrence of the word glory in Luke and this word is consistently used in the New Testament to describe some external manifestation of internal value and character. ‘Glory of the Lord’ suggests that this external manifestation is a result of submission to some higher authority. Wikipedia explains that “The main difference between the new Pietistic Lutheran school and the orthodox Lutherans arose from the Pietists’ conception of Christianity as chiefly consisting in a change of heart and consequent holiness of life. Orthodox Lutherans rejected this viewpoint as a gross simplification, stressing the need for the church and for sound theological underpinnings.” Notice how an internal ‘change of heart’ is leading to the glory of ‘holiness of life’. Notice also the de-emphasis of theology, consistent with shepherding a flock by night.

Shone around is used twice in the New Testament and combines ‘all around’ with ‘to shine’. Fear has been mentioned several times in chapter 1, but verse 9 uses fear both as a verb and a noun, adding the word great, which is interpreted as Teacher generality. This goes beyond an experience of fear to a behavior that is fearful guided by feelings of Teacher generality. This attitude describes Pietism. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Many Pietists maintained that the new birth always had to be preceded by agonies of repentance, and that only a regenerated theologian could teach theology. The whole school shunned all common worldly amusements, such as dancing, the theatre, and public games.” Notice the focus upon fear of God expressed both through a ‘great’ feeling of repentance and as a general avoidance of ‘worldly pleasure’ in daily behavior.

I grew up in a somewhat pietistic environment. I suggest that the emphasis upon a change of heart leading to character transformation describes the Mercy side of the path of personal transformation. What is missing is the Teacher ‘sun’ of an integrated understanding. Building a concept of God in Teacher thought upon an understanding of how the natural world and the mind function transforms the motivation from fearing that some judgmental God will punish me to fearing that I might experience the consequences of violating either natural law or cognitive mechanisms. Going further, such a concept of God transforms behavior that avoids sinful places and events to behavior that uses a knowledge of cause-and-effect to seek lasting, inherent goodness. A pietistic faith usually leads—to some extent—to a search for lasting, inherent goodness, but it will invariably contain the additional element of the feeling of religious self-denial that naturally accompanies a mindset of absolute truth, typically expressed as the gut feeling that God frowns when I have fun.

The angel speaks in verse 10. “And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring good news to you of great joy, which will be to all the people.’” The angelic visit to Zechariah also began with the words ‘fear not’. Literally speaking, it would be scary to encounter a supernatural being. Cognitively speaking, any system based in absolute truth has to overcome the inherent feeling that I am nothing compared to my source of truth. Behold indicates that something new is about to appear. Bring good news means ‘to announce good news’, and is the source of the English word ‘evangelize’. Joy means ‘joy because of grace’ and refers to Teacher emotion. Great represents Teacher generality. In 1:19 the angel told Zechariah that he was sent to bring good news, but this failed because Zechariah ended up silent and unable to speak. In verse 10, the angel succeeds in bringing good news of great Teacher generality. Cognitively speaking, the angelic message to the mendicant orders led to the Teacher overgeneralization of mysticism, and talking about mysticism will hamper the experience of mysticism by placing limits upon Teacher overgeneralization. The Pietism of verse 10 also leads to mystical-like feelings of great Teacher generality, but in this case it is possible to talk about these Teacher feelings without eliminating them. In fact, this emotional message of Teacher generality will ‘be to all the laity’, indicating that it will be possible to experience these Teacher feelings while continuing to live a secular existence within normal life. This worship by the laity can be seen in the songs and hymns of Pietism. Wikipedia explains, “From about 1670, Pietism became the dominant flow of German-language hymn literature... Pietism quickly found its place in private homes, where the pietistic hymn was of central importance. The new songs were mostly subjective in emphasis, characterized by linguistic images in which descriptions of personal feelings stood foremost and in front of clear theological expression. Expressions of love from the believing soul to her bridegroom or the Lamb Jesus Christ, exaggerated expressions of feeling underlined by interjections such as ‘Oh’ and the rejection of the world as a ‘vale of tears’ were familiar contents. In addition, militant-missionary songs were created, which called for a new, conscious conversion.” Notice the mystical-like feelings of intense personal devotion to God. Notice also that these songs of devotion are finding their ‘place in private homes’, indicating a spreading ‘to all of the laity’. Talking about bringing good news can be seen in the ‘militant missionary songs’ that are ‘calling for a new, conscious conversion’. Wikipedia describes how the established Lutheran Church responded. “Authorities within state-endorsed Churches were suspicious of pietist doctrine which they often viewed as a social danger, as it ‘seemed either to generate an excess of evangelical fervor and so disturb the public tranquility or to promote a mysticism so nebulous as to obscure the imperatives of morality.’” Notice the combination of evangelical faith and mysticism.

Going further, Teacher thought will generate personal feelings of generality to the extent that a Teacher theory rules over personal identity. Mysticism generates its universal Teacher theory by saying that God transcends all the facts of normal human existence. Living personally within such a theory requires turning one’s back upon physical existence as much as possible, as expressed by the ascetic monk or nun. For instance, Catherine of Siena, a doctor of the Catholic Church from the 14th century, died at the age of 33 because she “practiced extreme fasting and asceticism, eventually to the extent of living solely off the Eucharist every day. For Catherine, this practice was the means to fully realize her love of Christ in her mystical experience.” Pietism, in contrast, forms a relationship between personal identity and a concept of God in Teacher thought through the conversion experience and then creates personal feelings of generality by allowing the words of the Bible to govern more of normal human existence.

The angelic message continues in verse 11. “For today in the City of David a Savior has been born to you, who is Christ the Lord.” ‘Day’ has been mentioned several times in Luke, but this is the first reference to this day, suggesting a new focus upon the current era of society. Savior means ‘savior, deliverer’. This is the first mention of Christ in Luke, which means ‘anointed one, messiah’. Jesus was mentioned in 1:31 where Mary was told to call her baby Jesus. A concept of incarnation emerges as abstract technical thought with its precise definitions becomes connected with concrete technical thought with its sense of cause-and-effect. Cognitively speaking, Jesus represents the concrete side of incarnation, which uses a knowledge of cause-and-effect to save people. Christ represents the abstract side of incarnation, which uses a knowledge of precise definitions to be the ‘living word’ of God. This combination of abstract and concrete can be seen in Philip Spener. The Christian History Institute explains that “In all of his work, Spener believed his ideas were the logical fulfillment of the Lutheran Reformation. He was increasingly concerned with the worldly nature of the church and the overemphasis of the sacraments and the doctrine of justification by faith. Practical suggestions were necessary.” Notice the combination of abstract doctrine and practical suggestions viewed as a ‘logical fulfillment’ of the Reformation. The Anabaptists had emphasized practical Christian living, but often at the expense of theology, and theology has never been a primary emphasis of Anabaptism. It was also difficult for Anabaptists to develop a comprehensive theology because they were persecuted vigorously and had to continue hiding from persecution, even after the 1648 Peace of Westphalia gave official sanction to Lutherans and Calvinists.

This is the second of two New Testament references to the ‘city of David’, which represents some official, civilized, personal interaction with God. Such a ‘city of David’ can be seen in Philip Spener. The Christian History Institute adds that “In a series of key pastorares at Frankfurt on Main, Dresden, and Berlin, he easily became the most prominent German clergyman of his day... He advised local churches to establish pastoral care groups and a functional eldership. Further Spener urged the establishment of devotional and Bible study groups which would raise the level of personal piety.” On the one hand, Spener was ‘the most prominent German clergyman of his day’. On the other hand, he encouraged ‘Bible study groups which would raise the level of personal piety’.

Notice that the progression in verse 11 is from savior to Christ. Jesus means ‘savior’. Thus, what is being born is practical salvation. But an extrapolation is then being made from the concrete person of Jesus to the abstract concept of Christ. This happened in two ways: First, one reads about the historical person of Jesus in the Gospels and then extrapolates from ‘how Jesus lived’ to ‘how everyone should live’. This can be seen in Spener’s encouragement of ‘Bible study groups’ to ‘raise the level of personal piety’. Second, one forms an internal concept of ‘Jesus as my Savior’ and then extrapolates internally from that to ‘Jesus as Lord of my life’. This can also be seen in the Pietistic movement. These two methods are symbiotic: Bible studies teach rational content while the personal conversion experience provides the motivation.

One can see a similar extrapolation in the coffeehouses mentioned earlier, because those too can be viewed as ‘study groups’ that extrapolated from empirical evidence of ‘how the real world functions’ to abstract principles of natural law. One might think that this is an invalid comparison, but remember that we are dealing with the birth of modern scientific thought before the unifying theories of Isaac Newton. Such proto-scientific thought would have felt somewhat like a Bible study group, with its semi-rigorous experiments, tentative scientific theories, lay involvement, and religious sentiments. Those coffeehouses also were the beginning of a ‘bringing of good news of great joy’, because the average person was discovering for the first time a new message of Teacher generality spreading beyond the university with its scholastic arguments to the real world of concrete experience.

The angel concludes in verse 12. “And this is the sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths, and lying in a manger.” This is the first mention of a sign in Luke, which is ‘a sign (typically miraculous), given especially to confirm, corroborate or authenticate’. A sign provides a simple way for the layperson to recognize the true expert. In Luke 11, the audience demands a sign and is not given one. In verse 12, a sign is given. Find means to ‘discover, especially after searching’, implying that some critical thinking will be required to recognize this sign. Baby means ‘newborn child’. Thus, the first part of the sign is a new form of life, which suggests looking outside of the established institutions. This new life can be seen spiritually in Pietism and it can also be seen scientifically in the coffeehouses and similar groups. Wrapped in swaddling clothes occurs one other time in the New Testament back in verse 7 and was interpreted as peer-review. The peer-review of today has become highly institutionalized and reduced to the level of a job requirement for professors. 17th century peer review would have contained merely the essentials, in which the members of a study group imposed standards of careful and civilized speech on each other. We saw earlier that this was a primary characteristic of the coffeehouse, and the Pietist Bible study group also exhibited a form of peer-review. This combination of ‘baby’ and ‘wrapped in swaddling clothes’ can be found in the conventicle, which Wikipedia explains “came to be applied specifically to meetings of religious associations, particularly private and secret gatherings for worship.” In England, “The Conventicle Act 1664 forbade conventicles of five or more people, other than an immediate family, meeting in religious assembly outside the auspices of the Church of England. In Germany, “The conventicle played a part in Pietism... All sorts of scandal were rife about these conventicles, and the over-enthusiastic manner in which some of them were conducted, lent colour to the charges. In Württemberg a wise middle course was adopted. Those conventicles in which the great principles of Lutheranism were respected received legal sanction, while the more radical assemblages were banned.” Notice how the ‘baby’ of a new personal faith is being ‘swaddled’ with the ‘cloth’ of social convention in order to restrict the movement of this baby. The final part of the sign is ‘lying in a feeding-trough’. The emphasis here is upon concrete, empirical evidence. We saw earlier that one of the strengths of the coffeehouse was that it discussed real problems experienced by the average man-on-the-street (and there probably were far more men than women at these coffeehouses). Pietism “shunned all common worldly amusements, such as dancing, the theatre, and public games.” Shunning ‘common worldly amusements’ places the baby that is wrapped in swaddling clothes in the manger of real life. Such an emphasis upon practical behavior was a necessary step after the post-apocalyptic nightmare of the Thirty Year War with its religious witchhunts. And this is not an exaggeration. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Soldiers devastated one area before moving on, leaving large tracts of land empty of people and changing the ecosystem... Contemporaries spoke of a ‘frenzy of despair’ as people sought to make sense of the relentless and often random bloodshed unleashed by the war. Attributed by religious authorities to divine retribution for sin, attempts to identify a supernatural cause led to a series of Witch-hunts, beginning in Franconia in 1626 and quickly spreading to other parts of Germany.”

A Host of Angels 2:13-15

In verse 13, the angel is joined by a multitude. “And suddenly there came with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying...” Suddenly is used twice in Luke and means ‘suddenly, unexpectedly’. Came means ‘to come into being’. With means ‘together with’. And angel means ‘messenger’. In other words, a small intellectual movement that is growing naturally suddenly turns into a massive collection of messages working together. Multitude means ‘a great number’. Host means ‘an army’ and is only used in this verse and in Acts 7:42, where the term ‘host of heaven’ also appears. Praise means ‘to praise’. In Acts 7:42, God turns away from those who worship the golden calf and delivers these idol worshipers to worship the host of heaven. This describes something that is not nice, which is interpreted in the essay on Acts as a form of hierarchical, controlling spirituality that will emerge in the future. In contrast, the angelic host in verse 13 is typically viewed as the ultimate angelic expression of Christian worship of Jesus. I suggest that both of these interpretations are valid. On the one hand, a ‘baby Jesus’ must be put in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, which means a controlled expression of spirituality that emphasizes empirical evidence. On the other hand, developing a fully mature concept of Jesus Christ requires going beyond the controlled specializations of technical thought to interdisciplinary understanding, and beyond a materialistic fixation upon empirical evidence to Teacher understanding and supernatural existence. These two elements summarize the primary stumbling blocks that I am currently encountering in academia. Current academic thought appears incapable of going beyond technical specializations to the transdisciplinary perspective of mental symmetry, even if this holistic approach is sufficiently rigorous to pass the threshold of technical thought, and it seems incapable of analyzing any system that starts with a general theory in Teacher thought, even if this system explains the empirical evidence that has been gathered by other theories. I have yet to find an exception to these two limitations within academia. However, we just saw that these two limitations were essential for the birth of both the scientific revolution and evangelical Christianity.

Wikipedia describes the sudden spread of Pietism. “Although the movement is aligned exclusively within Lutheranism, it had a tremendous impact on Protestantism worldwide, particularly in North America and Europe.” In America, “It influenced Protestants of other ethnic and other (non-Lutheran) denominational backgrounds, contributing to the 18th-century foundation of evangelicalism, an interdenominational movement within Protestantism that today has some 300 million followers.” I should add in passing that evangelical Christianity is currently imploding, triggered by politicians such as Donald Trump and the response to the covid pandemic. Thus, it has become clear that a reformulation of evangelical Christianity is required, and I have found that mental symmetry is capable of performing this task.

The appearance of a ‘host of heaven’ in scientific thought can be dated to Isaac Newton’s publishing of the Principia Mathematica in 1687. Wikipedia summarizes, “The Principia forms the foundation of classical mechanics. Among other achievements, it explains Johannes Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, which Kepler had first obtained empirically.” As Wikipedia states, Newton’s laws of motion and universal gravitation applied mathematical and technical rigor to the empirical data of the physical movement of ‘heavenly bodies’. Mathematically speaking, this describes a ‘host of heaven’. Looking at this more carefully, Newtonian mechanics is a form of hierarchical authority: the planets revolve around the sun, moons revolve around planets, and so on. Everything functions within a single system of authority. The special relativity of Einstein replaced this with fractal authority: Every system is governed by the same set of rules, but the rules of one system become distorted when applied to other systems. A ‘host of heaven’ is a hierarchical system of authority because it is a military-like structure. Absolute truth is also a hierarchical system of authority because all truth comes from some single source of truth and is then interpreted to the laity by subsidiary custodians of truth. Verse 13 says that the angels are ‘praising God’. This describes a hierarchical system in which everyone acknowledges the supremacy of the same source of truth. Giving glory to God, in contrast, is fractal, because each entity expresses the same character of God in a unique way.

Verse 14 describes the message of the host of heaven. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased!” Glory refers to this personal expression of internal character. In is ‘in the realm of’ and highest would refer to the most general theories in Teacher thought. ‘Glory to God in the highest’ would mean recognizing at the most general level that physical existence is an expression of a concept of God in Teacher thought. Earth means ‘the arena we live in which operates in space and time’ and is interpreted as human rational thought and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Peace means ‘to tie together into a whole’. With whom he is pleased is a single word that means ‘what seems good or beneficial to someone’. Men means ‘mankind’. This common word was used once previously in 1:25, where Elizabeth felt that her pregnancy would ‘take away my disgrace among men’, which was interpreted as scholastic scholars feeling that they no longer had to kowtow to the ancient experts. Verse 14 is also talking about approval, but in this case, humanity itself is receiving approval. These two phrases are connected by an ‘and’, which indicates that heavenly perfection and human wholeness are being regarded as related.

Neil Degrasse Tyson describes how this was achieved by the laws of Isaac Newton. “Until Isaac Newton wrote down the universal law of gravitation, there was little reason to presume that the laws of physics on Earth were the same as everywhere else in the universe. Earth had earthly things going on and the heavens had heavenly things going on. Indeed, according to many scholars of the day, the heavens were unknowable to our feeble, mortal minds. When Newton breached this philosophical barrier by rendering all motion comprehensible and predictable, some theologians criticized him for leaving nothing for the Creator to do. Newton had figured out that the force of gravity pulling ripe apples from their branches also guides tossed objects along their curved trajectories and directs the Moon in its orbit around Earth.” Notice that theologians who regard God in a mystical manner as transcending human physical reality are feeling that Newton’s laws ‘leave nothing for the creator to do’. That is because the physical heavens are being regarded at the most general level as an expression of the character of God in Teacher thought. Saying this another way, when mysticism acts as an inspiration for rational thought, then one ends up with a God of the gaps that relegates a concept of God to whatever science cannot explain. ‘And on earth’ indicates that the expression of God in the heavenly realm of universality is connected with the human realm of rational thought. In other words, Newton ‘rendered all motion comprehensible and predictable’. Newton’s laws of movement brought wholeness to the human realm because they used the same three laws to render all motion comprehensible and predictable. Absolute truth, in contrast, assumes that following God means suppressing personal identity, leading to the implicit conclusion that God is not pleased with human activity. ‘With whom he is pleased’ describes the emotional result of using the same Teacher theory to describe both heavenly perfection and earthly movement.

A similar shift can be seen with Pietism. Believing that personal character should glorify God may restrict personal behavior and motivate a person to ‘shun all common worldly amusements’ but this is quite different than mysticism, which leads to the feeling that all physical existence lies outside of the realm of God’s pleasure. Shunning worldly amusement is quite different than trying to subsist on communion wafers like Catherine of Siena. It also brings peace and wholeness to the human realm because human activity is being guided by Teacher feelings of order-within-complexity. Mysticism, in contrast, can coexist quite nicely with an Inquisition, because God has nothing to do with human existence.

The angels leave in verse 15. “And it came to pass, as the angels were departing from them into the heaven...” Came to pass means ‘to come into being’, which describes a natural progression. ‘Departing from them into heaven’ suggests a gap naturally emerging between theoretical research in Teacher thought and the shepherding of human individuals. Wikipedia describes the ‘departing into heaven’ of science. “Science during the Enlightenment was dominated by scientific societies and academies, which had largely replaced universities as centres of scientific research and development. Societies and academies were also the backbone of the maturation of the scientific profession. Another important development was the popularization of science among an increasingly literate population.” We saw earlier how the coffeehouses made it possible to pursue scientific thought outside of the University system with its scholastic thought. Eventually, this independent thinking coalesced into the structure of scientific societies and academies. This ‘maturation of the scientific profession’ can be described symbolically as ‘the angels departing from them into the heaven’.

A similar organizing and maturing can be seen in Pietism, which eventually led to the more structured form of Methodism. summarizes this progression. “Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700–1760), strongly influenced by Pietism, granted refuge to a group of Moravians on his estate in 1722, where they were able to found the community Herrenhut (the Lord watches over). Under Zinzendorf’s leadership the community spread quickly throughout Europe and to North America, where it inspired John Wesley (1703–1791), the founder of Methodism.”

Verse 15 then describes the response of the shepherds. “The shepherds were saying to one another, ‘Let us go through indeed as far as Bethlehem, and let us see this word that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.’” Saying means ‘talk, chatter classical Greek’. Saying to one another suggests that the shepherds are discussing this in an informal manner and coming to some conclusion. Let us go through means ‘to go through’. As far as means ‘till, until’. Bethlehem means ‘house of bread’. Thus, the shepherds are willing to follow this new theoretical emphasis to the extent of finding the ‘bread’ of intellectual food for the ‘house’ of personal existence. This involves the ‘going through’ of a significant change but it also goes so far and then stops. For instance, we saw a few paragraphs earlier that ‘Another important development was the popularization of science among an increasingly literate population.’ This involved substantial learning but did not mean that everyone attended university. See means ‘to see with the mind’. Word refers to ‘a spoken word’. Come to pass means ‘to come in to being’. And made known refers to experiential knowledge. Thus, there is a desire for mental understanding, but not necessarily at the level of the ‘logos’ of a technical paradigm. Instead, the focus is upon experientially knowing what has come into being as a result of theoretical progress.

This type of limited public curiosity can be seen in the public lectures that presented scientific advances. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Between 1735 and 1793, there were over seventy individuals offering courses and demonstrations for public viewers in experimental physics... The importance of the lectures was not in teaching complex mathematics or physics, but rather in demonstrating to the wider public the principles of physics and encouraging discussion and debate... New advancements in the study of electricity offered viewers demonstrations that drew far more inspiration among the laity than scientific papers could hold. An example of a popular demonstration used by Jean-Antoine Nollet and other lecturers was the ‘electrified boy’... Such marvels would certainly have entertained the audience, but the demonstration of physical principles also served an educational purpose.” Notice the emphasis upon experiential knowledge through demonstrations, rather than ‘teaching complex mathematics or physics’. However, these demonstrations ‘also served an educational purpose’.

This section has been interpreting the visitation of the angels as both Pietism and early science. The Mertin thesis suggests that these two are in fact related. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Merton focuses on English Puritanism and German Pietism as being responsible for the development of the scientific revolution of the 17th and 18th centuries. He explains that the connection between religious affiliation and interest in science is a result of a significant synergy between the ascetic Protestant values and those of modern science. Protestant values encouraged scientific research by allowing science to identify God’s influence on the world and thus providing religious justification for scientific research.”

More specifically, John Wesley, one of the founders of Methodism, wrote an encyclopedia on practical science. In the words of one academic article, “Unsatisfied with the way that existing general texts on science linked God and nature, Wesley began in 1758 to prepare the Survey of the Wisdom of God in the Creation: or a Compendium of Natural Philosophy for his ‘common man’ readership. He sought to provide work, which was ‘exprest in the most clear, easy, and intelligible manner, that the nature of things would allow: particularly free from all the jargon of mathematics, which is near heathen Greek to the common readers.’... the 1777 edition grew to five volumes.” In other words, John Wesley as a ‘shepherd of his flock’ was willing to ‘go through indeed as far as Bethlehem’ in following the ‘angelic’ message of science by writing an extended summary of science that avoided technical jargon.

The Shepherds Visit Jesus 2:16-20

The shepherds act in verse 16. “And having hurried, they came and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby, lying in the manger.” Hurried means ‘to hasten, urge on’. Found is used twice in the New Testament and adds the prefix ‘upward’ to ‘discover, especially after searching’. This suggests rational thinking that heads in the direction of Teacher generality. Both is explicitly mentioned. Mary represents the idea of following God by turning one’s back upon an idolatrous world and was initially interpreted as Renaissance humanism. Joseph means ‘he increases’. Baby means ‘newborn child’.

Looking at this symbolically, Renaissance humanism does not exist anymore, but in the same way that Renaissance humanism added a human element to the scholastic study of books, so the shepherds of verse 16 are adding a human element to the study of scientific and religious books. This can be seen in the public lectures mentioned earlier. It can also be seen in the systematic approach of Methodism. Wikipedia elaborates, “To be a probationary member of a Methodist congregation, a person traditionally requires an ‘earnest desire to be saved from [one’s] sins’. In the historic Methodist system, probationers were eligible to become members of class meetings, where they could be further discipled in their faith. Catechisms such as The Probationer’s Handbook, authored by minister Stephen O. Garrison, have been used by probationers to learn the Methodist faith. After six months, probationers were examined before the Leaders and Stewards’ Meeting where they were to provide ‘satisfactory assurance both of the correctness of his faith and of his willingness to observe and keep the rules of the church.’ If probationers were able to do this, they were admitted as full members of the congregation by the pastor.” Both the public lectures and the Methodist process illustrate theoretical searching. The math and rigorous theology may be lacking, but there is legitimate searching and a heading in the direction of Teacher generality. There is also a recognition of the increase of Joseph, because there is an underlying assumption of scientific development and personal growth. It is interesting that lying in the feeding trough is mentioned, but not the swaddling clothes. Looking at this cognitively, the practical emphasis remains, but not the rigorous thinking. In contrast, the new teaching specifically avoids using rigorous, abstract language. ‘Hurrying’ can definitely be seen with the Methodist ministers. For instance, John Wesley “travelled widely, generally on horseback, preaching two or three times each day. Stephen Tomkins writes that ‘[Wesley] rode 250,000 miles, gave away 30,000 pounds, ... and preached more than 40,000 sermons.’” His brother Charles “was a prolific hymnwriter who wrote over 6,500 hymns during his lifetime.”

Finally, there is the new life of a newborn baby. A new way of scientific thinking had just come to birth, and the focus of Methodism was also upon new birth. While there may be a limited explicit relationship between these two, I suggest that they are implicitly and cognitively related. The general principle is that a religious approach will succeed if it resonates with current trends in society. For instance, Pentecostalism came to birth in California during the first stages of the consumer revolution. The Pentecostal claim of receiving personal power from the Holy Spirit resonated with the secular experience of receiving personal assistance from the new labor-saving devices of the consumer society. Similarly, the Methodist message that careful study combined with personal repentance leads to personal rebirth and growth would resonate with the secular message that a careful study of science combined with a letting go of traditional thinking leads to a rebirth of scientific thought and transformation. By the same token, the modern theory of evolution resonated mentally with the Industrial Revolution of 19th century Britain because both are based upon continual progress through survival of the fittest.

Verse 17 continues, “And having seen, they proclaimed abroad concerning the saying having been told them concerning this Child.” Having seen means ‘to see with the mind’. Proclaimed abroad comes from the word for experiential knowledge. Saying refers to ‘a spoken word’. And told is the word that refers to chatter. Child is not the word for baby but rather refers to ‘a child under training’. These various terms have already been seen in the previous paragraphs. Both the public lecturers and the Methodist preachers mentally grasped what they were trying to teach others. However, in both cases, the goal was to share experiential knowledge rather than esoteric math or doctrine. And in both cases, the audience was treated as ‘children under training’—beginners who needed to be taught systematically at a basic level. Wikipedia describes the teaching aspect of public lectures. “Class sizes ranged from one hundred to four or five hundred attendees. Courses varied in duration from one to four weeks, to a few months, or even the entire academic year. Courses were offered at virtually any time of day; the latest occurred at 8:00 or 9:00 at night. One of the most popular start times was 6:00 pm, allowing the working population to participate and signifying the attendance of the non-elite. Barred from the universities and other institutions, women were often in attendance at demonstration lectures and constituted a significant number of auditors.”

The audience responds in verse 18. “And all those having heard marveled concerning the things having been spoken to them by the shepherds.” Heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Marvel means ‘astonished out of one’s senses’ and was previously used in 1:63 to describe people marveling at Zechariah writing that his son should be called John. Spoken is the word for chatter. Cognitively speaking, verse 18 describes an interesting juxtaposition. The shepherds are speaking to their audiences at a non-technical level. This is leading to a response of astonishment, but this is happening to those who comprehend the words. Astonishment normally indicates a lack of comprehension. In this case, the astonishment is following the comprehension. That is because the comprehension creates the mental framework for the marvelling.

Looking at this more carefully, the age of Enlightenment is experiencing a Scientific Revolution but has not yet experienced an Industrial Revolution. The gadgets that are emerging from science are still primarily at the level of parlor tricks. Thus, the amazement is not coming from a continual flow of new-and-improved gadgets, as it does today. Academia so far has functioned within the verbal realm of arguments, scholasticism, and ancient texts. The public lectures are introducing people to a new kind of academic thought that actually impacts normal reality. For instance, I remember being amazed when I first encountered a TI 89 calculator, because it blew my mind that a small device was capable of symbolically manipulating mathematical equations. The average consumer would not find this amazing. I found it amazing because I was teaching algebra and calculus and comprehended what such manipulation involved.

Similarly, Pietism required the mental foundation of the comprehension of a Protestant Reformation. The mendicant orders showed that pursuing a personal relationship with God without such a mental foundation of doctrine led to the mysticism and silence of ‘Zechariah encountering the angel in the temple’. Pietism is a form of personal relationship with God that emerges from a mental foundation of doctrine. One website explains this doctrinal foundation. “Lutheranism lapsed into a rigid orthodoxy and sterile scholasticism. Ironically, though Luther had unseated Thomist scholasticism from its throne of power over theology, the Lutheran scholars of this period consciously reintroduced it in order to formulate their doctrinal statements. The University of Wittenberg declared that the resulting creedal formulations of Lutheranism ‘possessed the force of divinely revealed and binding truth, not only in matters of doctrine, but in all affairs.’” Pietism took this doctrine and applied it to personal identity. “The Pietists insisted that biblical faith is more than merely mentally assenting to doctrinal truths (assensus); it is a personal faith (fiducia) which lays hold of the life of Christ and therefore results in regeneration and sanctification. To prove that this definition of faith was no doctrinal innovation, Spener was fond of quoting Luther’s ‘Preface to Romans’.” Notice that Pietism is adding the process of personal sanctification to the Lutheran doctrine of verbal justification, leading to a perspective that is similar to the school analogy mentioned earlier. Thus, the system of Lutheran doctrine is being applied to personal life, which means that the amazement is following the comprehension.

Verse 19 describes Mary’s reaction. “But Mary was treasuring up all these matters, pondering them in her heart.” Treasuring is used once in Luke and combines ‘with, together with’ and ‘guard, keep’. Matter means ‘a spoken word’. Pondering is used twice in Luke and combines ‘with, together with’ and ‘to throw, cast’. Throwing is interpreted as moving through the air of a Teacher theory. The heart is ‘the affective center of our being’ and is interpreted as personal identity in Mercy thought. Putting this together leads to the statement, ‘Mary was keeping together the spoken words, theoretically combining them in the realm of personal identity’. This is a strange combination. That is because current science uses Teacher thought to puts words together to construct general theories in an objective manner that avoids the subjective feelings of Mercy identity. But in verse 19, Teacher thought is doing its verbal theorizing in the realm of Mercy identity. Science avoids this kind of thinking because it naturally leads to rationalization rather than rational thought. However, it will lead to rational conclusions if personal identity submits to verbal understanding. Such a combination can be seen, for instance, in an airplane simulator. The pilot in a simulator is learning from subjective experiences. But this learning is consistent with rational understanding because the simulator has been carefully programmed to behave in a manner that is consistent with the laws of nature. Similarly, ‘pondering in your heart’ will tend to work in a pietistic context, because Pietism allows biblical doctrine to govern personal feelings and personal behavior. In a similar manner, the pondering of the audiences to the public lectures would also tend to lead to legitimate education because this was happening within the context of an age of Enlightenment. Notice that this beneficial impact is happening to Mary, which represents a mindset that follows God by turning its back upon the world. Remember also that this type of thinking is happening in a pre-industrial society. In modern society, technology provides rational feedback that can help to further scientific progress. In a pre-industrial society, this feedback has to come from personal identity. For instance, much of my progress in mental symmetry has been guided by imagining in Mercy thought what a better world would look like. I have to use imagination because mental symmetry is not being applied by any group of people in reality. I have found that this imagination leads to rational results because I have tried for years to apply the concepts of mental symmetry to personal identity. Wikipedia describes this emotional treasuring of scientific thought. “The influence of science also began appearing more commonly in poetry and literature during the Enlightenment. Some poetry became infused with scientific metaphor and imagery, while other poems were written directly about scientific topics. Sir Richard Blackmore committed the Newtonian system to verse in Creation, a Philosophical Poem in Seven Books (1712). After Newton’s death in 1727, poems were composed in his honour for decades.”

Verse 20 finishes the story of the shepherds. “And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all things which they had heard and seen, as it was said to them.” Returned means ‘to turn back, return’, which implies a change of direction for those who shepherd the people. This is the first use of glorify as a verb in Luke, which means expressing internal character in some physical fashion. Praise means ‘to praise’ and was previously used in verse 13 to describe the heavenly host praising God. ‘Things’ is implied and all things means ‘each part of a totality’. Heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Seen means ‘to see with the mind’. Thus, the personal application is still happening primarily at the level of mental understanding. As means ‘according to the manner in which’. Said means ‘chatter’. Verse 20 does not say that theory is being applied through technology and that this technology is consistent with theory. Instead, the shepherds are noticing that there is a consistency between the words being spoken and mental comprehension. This verbal consistency is leading to concrete results that express the character of God as well as an attitude of praise. These elements can be seen in the Methodist Church. Wikipedia explains, “Methodism is known for its rich musical tradition, and Charles Wesley was instrumental in writing much of the hymnody of Methodism. In addition to evangelism, Methodism emphasizes charity and support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the works of mercy. These ideals, collectively known as the Social Gospel, are put into practice by the establishment of hospitals, orphanages, soup kitchens, and schools.” Notice the combination of praising God and giving glory to God primarily in a subjective, non-technical manner. Notice also how Methodism is returning to a pastoral ministry of ‘shepherding the flock’.

This is the final mention of shepherds in Luke. The implication is that Pietism and evangelical Christianity no longer play a major role in the development of incarnation after this. This does not mean that evangelical Christianity has no further impact, but rather that as far as the development of science and technical thought is concerned, evangelical Christianity will respond to the intellectual movement of secular society rather than act as a source of technical thought for society.

Jesus is Presented at the Temple 2:21-24

Jesus is named and circumcised in verse 21. “And when eight days to circumcise Him were fulfilled, then His name was called Jesus.” Fulfilled means ‘to fill to the maximum’. A day represents an era of society. Thus, eight days would presumably represent eight eras of society. However, I do not know how to identify such stages, other than to observe that the birth of science has gone through several stages before reaching this point. This is the second of two times that circumcision is mentioned in Luke, which is interpreted as placing some sort of limitation on the way that technical thought interacts with core mental networks. Jesus means ‘Yahweh is salvation’ and was mentioned once previously in Luke in 1:31 where Mary was told by the angel to give the name of Jesus to her baby.

The rest of verse 21 refers to this previous mention. “Which He had been called by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.” Conceive means ‘to collect’ and was also used in 1:31. And womb is a generic word for ‘belly’. Looking at this cognitively, technical thought is not necessarily interested in saving people. For instance, technical thought can also be used to construct better weapons to kill people. Scientific thought was conceived after the crisis of the late Middle Ages made it clear that humanity needs saving and the Age of Discovery provided a positive motivation for going beyond existing European culture. This provided a sufficient combination of stick and carrot to ensure that technical thought developed in the general direction of helping people.

A similar focus upon personal improvement can be seen in European colonization. Quoting from Wikipedia, “From its very outset, Western colonialism was operated as a joint public-private venture. Columbus’ voyages to the Americas were partially funded by Italian investors, but whereas the Spanish state maintained a tight rein on trade with its colonies (by law, the colonies could only trade with one designated port in the mother country and treasure was brought back in special convoys), the English, French and Dutch granted what were effectively trade monopolies to joint-stock companies such as the East India Companies and the Hudson’s Bay Company.” I am not suggesting that colonization brought personal benefits to everyone, because it did not. Instead, I am making the weaker claim that the business perspective of Western colonization ensured the presence of a ‘bottom line’ in concrete technical thought. This becomes clear when one compares this commercial mindset with the seven Chinese treasure voyages of the 15th century. Wikipedia summarizes that “The treasure fleet was, as Mills (1970) characterizes, ‘an instrument of aggression and political dominance.’ It brought forth the manifestation of China’s power and wealth to awe foreign lands under Chinese hegemony. This was actualized by showing the Ming flag and establishing a military presence along the maritime trade routes.” Going further, “The cessation of the Ming treasure voyages primarily happened as traders and bureaucrats, for reasons of economic self-interest and through their connections in Beijing, gradually collapsed the framework supporting both the state-controlled maritime enterprise and the strict regulation of the private commerce with prohibitive policies.” Ultimately, “After 1433, the civil officials succeeded in halting subsequent maritime expeditions. The ships were left to rot and their lumber was sold for fuel in Nanjing. The mariners were reassigned to load grain on barges of the Grand Canal and to build the emperor’s mausoleum.” In other words, the Chinese treasure voyages were not driven by a profit motive and were ultimately sabotaged by a profit motive, causing existing technological abilities to be squandered. This also explains why this essay is focusing so far upon Western history. 15th century China was far more advanced than Europe. But China lacked the mindset required to make the intellectual and religious breakthroughs being described in this essay.

This is quite different than the situation in Britain just before the Industrial Revolution. Wikipedia explains that “The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain, and many of the technological and architectural innovations were of British origin. By the mid-18th century, Britain was the world’s leading commercial nation, controlling a global trading empire with colonies in North America and the Caribbean... The development of trade and the rise of business were among the major causes of the Industrial Revolution.” Again, I am not suggesting that everyone benefited from ‘a global trading Empire’. But the fact still remains that “The Industrial Revolution marked a major turning point in history... The Industrial Revolution influenced in some way almost every aspect of daily life. In particular, average income and population began to exhibit unprecedented sustained growth.”

Verse 22 adds some details. “And when the days of their purification were fulfilled according to the Law of Moses, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present to the Lord.” Purification means ‘eliminating impurities’. This is the first use of the word law in Luke, which ‘can refer to the law, or law as a general principle’, and this word is used three times in verses 22-24. This is also the first mention of Moses in Luke, which means ‘to draw’. Exodus 2:10 explains that this name was given because Moses was ‘drawn out of the water’. The law of Moses would represent a system of laws drawn out of the water of Mercy experiences. The actual law of Moses qualifies as such a system because it was given to a tribal society that lived within the waters of Mercy experiences. Brought means ‘to lead up, bring up’ and this is the first use of this verb in Luke. ‘Moving up’ is interpreted as heading in the direction of Teacher generality. This is the first mention of Jerusalem in Luke. Jerusalem is interpreted as the center of religious and societal authority. Present means to ‘stand close beside’ and was previously used in 1:19 by the angel Gabriel to say that he stood beside the face of God. That was interpreted as scholasticism finding inspiration in mystical experiences. In verse 22, the infant Jesus is being brought to the religious center to ‘stand beside the Lord’, and this is being done according to the ‘law of Moses’ after a period of purification.

These elements can be seen in the economic theory of Adam Smith. Wikipedia summarizes that “Adam Smith was a Scottish economist and philosopher who was a pioneer in the thinking of political economy and key figure during the Scottish Enlightenment. Also seen as ‘The Father of Economics’ or ‘The Father of Capitalism’, he wrote two classic works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776). The latter, often abbreviated as The Wealth of Nations, is considered his magnum opus and the first modern work that treats economics as a comprehensive system and as an academic discipline. Smith refuses to explain the distribution of wealth and power in terms of God’s will and instead appeals to natural, political, social, economic and technological factors and the interactions between them.” Notice how human behavior is being interpreted purely from a rational perspective without any admixture of absolute religious truth. Instead, Smith “developed the concept of division of labour and expounded upon how rational self-interest and competition can lead to economic prosperity.” This describes the essence of concrete technical thought, in which people specialize in order to pursue different goals in Mercy thought. I have used mental symmetry to analyze economics from a cognitive perspective in an academic paper. A concept of incarnation emerges when abstract technical thought becomes integrated with concrete technical thought. Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations describes a purified form of concrete technical thought. A combination of concrete technical thought, saving people, and a system of law can be seen in “Smith’s belief that when an individual pursues his self-interest under conditions of justice, he unintentionally promotes the good of society.” Looking at the historical impact, “During the Industrial Revolution, Britain embraced free trade and Smith’s laissez-faire economics, and via the British Empire, used its power to spread a broadly liberal economic model around the world, characterised by open markets, and relatively barrier-free domestic and international trade.” And Smith’s book can be described as ‘drawn from the water’ of personal experience. In the words of Wikipedia, “The Wealth of Nations was the product of seventeen years of notes and earlier studies, as well as an observation of conversation among economists of the time concerning economic and societal conditions during the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and it took Smith some ten years to produce.”

Verse 23 clarifies, “As it has been written in the Law of the Lord: ‘Every male opening a womb shall be called holy to the Lord.’” As means ‘according to the manner in which’. Law was used in verse 22, but there is a progression from verse 22 to verse 23. In verse 22, Jesus was brought to Jerusalem according to the law of Moses, indicating a new system of thinking being proposed to the leaders of society. Similarly, Adam Smith’s ideas began as a system of law drawn from the water of experience being proposed to existing authorities. In verse 23, the pattern is being set by what has been written in the law of the Lord, suggesting that Smith’s theory is being adopted and applied as official policy. Wikipedia describes this progression from theory to official policy. “In light of the arguments put forward by Smith and other economic theorists in Britain, academic belief in mercantilism began to decline in Britain in the late 18th century. During the Industrial Revolution, Britain embraced free trade and Smith’s laissez-faire economics, and via the British Empire, used its power to spread a broadly liberal economic model around the world.”

Male means ‘male, man’ and is only used once in Luke. This less common word for ‘man’ probably comes from a word that means ‘to raise, take up’. This word implies using male technical thought to come up with general theories. And Adam Smith formulated a general theory of economics based upon the male thinking of concrete technical thought. Opening means ‘to open up completely’. Womb is used twice in the New Testament and comes from the word ‘mother’. Holy means ‘separate’ and called indicates a focus upon the words of Teacher thought. The cognitive principle here is that a mental network will take ownership of any behavior that it motivates. Selfish behavior is motivated by Mercy mental networks of personal identity. A theory will only be motivated by the Teacher mental network of a theory if it is not motivated by Mercy mental networks of personal identity. Thus, when one is making a transition from the mental networks of female thought to the technical thinking of male thought, it is important that behavior is initially motivated by Teacher thought and not by Mercy thought in order to establish a proper theoretical foundation. Such a progression can be seen in the order in which Adam Smith published his two major works. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Rather than viewing The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations as presenting incompatible views of human nature, some Smith scholars regard the works as emphasising different aspects of human nature that vary depending on the situation. In the first part – The Theory of Moral Sentiments – he laid down the foundation of his vision of humanity and society. In the second – The Wealth of Nations – he elaborated on the virtue of prudence, which for him meant the relations between people in the private sphere of the economy.” Notice how Smith wrote a volume on humanity from a general Teacher perspective before turning to the personal perspective of the selfish individual.

Adam Smith personally was an absent-minded professor who was almost totally unaware of the concrete world with its Mercy feelings. In the words of Wikipedia, “Smith was described by several of his contemporaries and biographers as comically absent-minded, with peculiar habits of speech and gait, and a smile of ‘inexpressible benignity’. He was known to talk to himself, a habit that began during his childhood when he would smile in rapt conversation with invisible companions... According to one story, Smith took Charles Townshend on a tour of a tanning factory, and while discussing free trade, Smith walked into a huge tanning pit from which he needed help to escape.” A ‘smile of inexpressible benignity’ is usually an expression of positive Teacher emotion, and talking with imaginary friends indicates a rich internal world of Teacher theory, while ‘walking into a huge tanning pit’ indicates a mind that is unaware of normal Mercy emotions and experiences. Thus, one finds the curious situation of a professor who lives almost totally in abstract technical thought writing a definitive work about the functioning of concrete technical thought. Going further, I am not suggesting that Adam Smith was a Christian and “Considerable scholarly debate has occurred about the nature of Smith’s religious views.” However, we are looking here at the birth of rational concrete technical thought, and from that viewpoint, the life and writings of Adam Smith qualify.

Verse 24 concludes, “And to offer a sacrifice, according to that having been said in the Law of the Lord, ‘A pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.’” Sacrifice means ‘an official sacrifice prescribed by God’ and is used one other time in Luke. Verse 23 said ‘as it is written in the law of the Lord’. Verse 24 says ‘as having been said in the law of the Lord’. Pair means ‘a pair, a yoke’. It is used one other time in the New Testament in Luke 14:19 where it is translated ‘yoke’ and it comes from a word that means ‘yoke’. Turtledoves is used once in the New Testament and comes from a word that means ‘to murmur, coo’. Young is used once in the New Testament and comes from a word that means ‘young bird’. Pigeon means ‘a dove’ and is used one other time in Luke in 3:22 to describe the Spirit descending on Jesus like a dove. Two just means ‘two’. Thus, the alternatives are a yoke of cooing birds or two young doves.

These are fairly obscure terms, but it is possible to use logic to work out a plausible interpretation. ‘Official sacrifice’ means functioning in a way that is consistent with a concept of God in Teacher thought. ‘What the law says’ suggests following the spirit of the law, as opposed to what is written in the law. Birds live within the ‘air’ of Teacher thought. ‘Little birds’ are mental networks that fly through the air of Teacher thought. Putting this into the context of economics, business activity leads implicitly to the formation of mental networks. Capitalism says that each individual should use technical thought to develop some specific skill rather than learning to do everything. Using technical thought to pursue some specialization will lead to an implicit paradigm that guides the specialization, and continuing to follow this paradigm will turn it into a Teacher mental network, which will emotionally imprison the mind within this paradigm. Saying this more simply, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. This is inevitable. Verse 24 appears to be describing how to pursue business in a way that preserves a concept of God in Teacher thought. One escapes the mental prison by ‘yoking’ it with some other specialization. Stated simply, be interdisciplinary and pursue at least two distinct specializations. Moving on, turtledoves are traditionally a symbol of love. Wikipedia summarizes, “In Roman mythology, the turtle dove was one of the emblems of Fides, the goddess of trust and good faith. Perhaps because of Biblical references – especially verse 2:12 from the Song of Songs – its mournful voice, and the fact that it forms strong pair bonds, European turtle doves have become emblems of devoted love.” Such a relationship is emphasized by a ‘yoke’ of turtledoves. Presumably a ‘young dove’ refers to a concept of spirit since the other reference to a dove refers to the Holy Spirit. A concept of spirit is related to Platonic forms, which means pursuing some ideal. Applying this to economics, if one continues to pursue the bottom line of money, then money itself will turn into a Platonic form that will emotionally drive the pursuit of money. This is unavoidable. However, it is possible to ‘yoke’ this love with some other love. Moving between these two loves will help a business person to mentally escape the mistaken sense of value that comes from being driven by a ‘love of money’.

Prophecy of Simeon 2:25-35

The next section contains a prophecy by Simeon. Verse 25 begins, “And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.” Man here is the generic word for mankind. And Jerusalem represents the center of society and religion. Simeon means ‘to hear’. This is quite different than mysticism, which is incapable of hearing and maintains that Jerusalem is too holy for mankind. Verse 25 continues, “And this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him.” Righteous is interpreted as Server actions that reflect a Teacher understanding of God. Devout is used once in Luke and means ‘taking hold of what is good’. Righteousness involves Teacher thought, because one is allowing actions to be guided by emotions of Teacher understanding. ‘Taking hold of what is good’ involves Mercy thought, but it goes beyond just Mercy feelings to pursuing what is good in Mercy thought as a goal. These two terms describe a form of thinking that goes beyond technical thought to a legitimate expression of incarnation. Waiting means to ‘wait actively, expectantly’. This goes beyond hoping for some result to developing the knowledge and skills that are required to use this result, beyond hoping to receive an airplane to taking flying lessons in preparation for having an airplane. Consolation is used twice in Luke and refers to ‘a personal exhortation that delivers the evidence that stands up in God’s court’. Thus, it is both emotional and technical, personal and legal. Israel represents an official group through whom God interacts with humanity. Putting this all together, some individuals within the center of religion in society have an integrated concept of incarnation and are functioning personally within this concept of incarnation. However, the opportunity to live out this concept of incarnation within society does not yet exist. What does exist is a guiding of the Holy Spirit—an internal integrated image of a Form of the Good. For instance, pursuing mental symmetry has given me an integrated understanding and vision of a better world. This better world does not exist, but I am trying to think and behave in a manner that develops the skills and knowledge required to live in such a better world, and I have an integrated internal image of this better world.

This kind of mentality can be seen in the Quakers. Wikipedia summarizes, “They based their message on a belief that ‘Christ has come to teach his people himself,’ stressing direct relations with God through Jesus Christ and direct belief in the universal priesthood of all believers. This personal religious experience of Christ was acquired by direct experience and by reading and studying the Bible. Quakers focused their private lives on behaviour and speech reflecting emotional purity and the light of God, with a goal of Christian perfection.” Notice the focus upon allowing understanding to guide behavior, pursuing goodness, and being guided by inner light. We are not looking here at doctrinal correctness and I am not suggesting that verse 25 refers only to the Quakers. Rather, I am observing that a group of people did exist within history that satisfies the strict requirements mentioned in verse 25. The Quakers also qualify as living within the center of society and religion because “The Quakers, though few in numbers, have been influential in the history of reform. The colony of Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn in 1682, as a safe place for Quakers to live and practice their faith. Quakers have been a significant part of the movements for the abolition of slavery, to promote equal rights for women, and peace. They have also promoted education and the humane treatment of prisoners and the mentally ill, through the founding or reforming of various institutions. Quaker entrepreneurs played a central role in forging the Industrial Revolution, especially in England and Pennsylvania.” Most of this quote describes a group of people who are preparing to live in a better society. But notice also that Quakers ‘played a central role in forging the Industrial Revolution’. Thus, the group of people that was preparing for a better society took advantage of opportunity when it arose.

Wikipedia explains how Quakers entered business. “People began to recognize Quakers for their integrity in social and economic matters. Many Quakers went into manufacturing or commerce, because they were not allowed to earn academic degrees at that time. These Quaker businessmen were successful, in part, because people trusted them. The customers knew that Quakers felt a strong conviction to set a fair price for goods and not to haggle over prices. They also knew that Quakers were committed to quality work, and that what they produced would be worth the price.” Thus, Quakers developed character traits of integrity and quality that were prerequisites for functioning successfully within the capitalist society of Adam Smith. It should be pointed out that we are looking here at the beginning of capitalism, before governments passed rules that enforce business standards and before the formation of today’s large corporations that typically provide an appearance of personal choice and a facade of personal integrity. When capitalism was starting in the 18th century, then the only guarantee of honesty and quality would be the internal character of entrepreneurs, characterized by groups such as the Quakers. This explains the use of the word ‘consolation’ in verse 25, which combines the personal with the legal. Groups like the Quakers had personal integrity that extended to legal and commercial matters.

Verse 26 continues, “And it was divinely revealed to him by the Holy Spirit...” Divinely revealed is used once in Luke and means ‘to transact business’. The inclusion of the word ‘divinely’ is strange, because it is used in three ‘literal’ translations but is not in the original Greek. This may be because the word is also used ‘to give a response to those consulting an oracle’. However, the primary meaning is to transact business. ‘By the Holy Spirit’ is normally interpreted as some supernatural form of divine revelation but it also has a cognitive interpretation which relates to the idea of ‘transacting business’. This can be seen in the concept of a ‘spiritual economy’, which is discussed in the essay on Acts. A spiritual economy relates to the principle that mental networks take ownership of behavior that they motivate. Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount that righteous behavior will only be rewarded by God if it is not rewarded by people. Groups like the Quakers and the Anabaptists chose to behave in a righteous manner guided by their concept of God, even when receiving substantial disapproval from people. However, the Quakers did this at the meta-level of mental networks themselves. Wikipedia summarizes, “Two acts of Parliament made it particularly difficult for Friends. The first was the Quaker Act of 1662 which made it illegal to refuse to take the Oath of Allegiance to the Crown. Those refusing to swear an oath of allegiance to the Crown were not allowed to hold any secret meetings and, because Friends believed it was wrong to take any ‘superstitious’ oath, their freedom of religious expression was certainly compromised by this law. The second was the Conventicle Act of 1664 which reaffirmed that the holding of any secret meeting by those who did not pledge allegiance to the Crown was a crime. Despite these laws, Friends continued to meet openly. They believed that by doing so, they were testifying to the strength of their convictions and were willing to risk punishment for doing what they believed to be right.” An ‘oath of allegiance to the crown’ publicly recognizes that behavior should ultimately be motivated by the mental network that represents the monarch. The Quakers recognized that this was a ‘superstitious oath’ and they responded by continuing to meet publicly guided by ‘the strength of their convictions’ despite ‘risking punishment’. As the Sermon on the Mount points out, this sort of behavior will be rewarded by God. ‘Rewarded by God’ is typically interpreted as some sort of nebulous divine ‘pat on the back’ that will be received sometime in the distant future. But there is also a more immediate cognitive reward which is the ability to be guided by a concept of God in Teacher thought without being swayed by mental networks of personal approval. Among other things, this will be exhibited as honesty in business, as well as an ability to conduct business transactions. As for the spiritual aspect, my hypothesis is that there is an actual spiritual realm that interacts with the human mind by empowering mental networks. Thus, the cognitive principles that have just been mentioned would also apply to any interaction with an actual spiritual realm.

Verse 26 continues by describing what was revealed to Simeon: “...not to see death before that he should see the Lord’s Christ.” See is used twice and means ‘to see with the mind’. Thus, a mental seeing is being described and not necessarily something visible. Death refers to ‘physical or spiritual death’. The terms ‘Lord Jesus Christ’ or ‘Christ the Lord’ are both quite common, but I think that this is the only occurrence of ‘the Lord’s Christ’. Christ refers to the abstract side of incarnation. The Lord’s Christ would refer to an abstract concept of incarnation that comes from submitting internally to some lordship. And we just saw that one of the fundamental principles of the Quakers was to submit to an internal concept of God as Lord rather than swear an oath to the king. ‘The Lord’s Christ’ describes a mental concept of incarnation that will result from such behavior. This is not a concept of incarnation based in theology. Theologically speaking, the beliefs of many Quakers were unorthodox. As Wikipedia explains, “The Friends had no ordained ministers and thus needed no seminaries for theological training. As a result, they did not open any colleges in the colonial period.” Instead, it is a concept of incarnation that is based in the exemplars of personal conduct mentally transformed by ‘obeying God rather than men’. Going further, a concept of Christ will prevent a person from mentally seeing death. That is because a concept of Christ is based in generic principles that can be satisfied in many specific ways. For instance, suppose that I really like oranges. I will be disappointed if oranges are out of stock. Suppose, in contrast, that I really like fruit. If oranges are gone, then I can still be satisfied with apples, pears, or even some strange fruit such as apple pears that are not native to my homeland. An appreciation for fruit is less likely to experience mental death than an appreciation for oranges because it is more abstract and generic. Looking at the history of the Quakers, first “The Netherlands were seen by Quakers as a refuge from persecution in England and they perceived themselves to have affinities with the Dutch Collegiants and also with the Mennonites who had sought sanctuary there. However, English Quakers encountered persecution no different from that they had hoped to leave behind.” But “English Quakers in Rotterdam were permitted to transport people and cargo by ship to English colonies without restriction and throughout the 18th century many Dutch Quakers emigrated to Pennsylvania.” Looking at occupation, “Many Quakers went into manufacturing or commerce, because they were not allowed to earn academic degrees at that time.” I come from a Mennonite background and the Mennonites went through a similar process of escaping to other countries when experiencing persecution.

The Mennonite Encyclopedia has an extensive article on the interaction between Quakers and Mennonites. In brief, the Quakers managed to convert some Mennonites when staying in the Netherlands and a number of Mennonites moved to the Quaker colony of Pennsylvania. However, there is no evidence of any direct influence of one upon the other. Wikipedia relates that Quakers “were considered heretics because of their insistence on individual obedience to the Inner Light.” Looking at this briefly from a cognitive perspective, a completely internal concept of Christ will lead to the most generic and flexible concept of incarnation. The Mennonite Encyclopedia article points out that “George Fox never used the expression ‘inner light,’ but spoke of the ‘light of Christ,’ meaning the guidance of the indwelling Christ in the converted individual. He called for simplicity and brotherhood in all things, high and holy living, and a worship without any sacraments, ordinances, clergy, or liturgy.” However, this will also lead to extensive fragmentation and doctrinal strangeness in the absence of any general Teacher understanding because everyone will be internally driven to follow their own ‘inner light’. The early Quaker movement experienced such an episode which led to the imposition of church authority. Wikipedia relates, “In 1656, a popular Quaker minister, James Nayler, went beyond the standard beliefs of Quakers when he rode into Bristol on a horse in the pouring rain, accompanied by a handful of men and women saying ‘Holy, holy, holy’ and strewing their garments on the ground, imitating Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. While this was apparently an attempt to emphasize that the ‘Light of Christ’ was in every person, most observers believed that he and his followers believed Nayler to be Jesus Christ. The participants were arrested by the authorities and handed over to Parliament, where they were tried... Many historians see this event as a turning point in early Quaker history because many other leaders, especially Fox, made efforts to increase the authority of the group, so as to prevent similar behaviour.” Mental symmetry suggests a possible solution to this dilemma. The theory of mental symmetry appears to describe how the mind works and it is consistent in detail with current neurology. It is possible to reformulate Christian doctrine in terms of cognitive mechanisms as a pursuit of mental wholeness. This makes it possible to pursue the ‘inner light’ of mental wholeness while remaining within biblical Christianity.

In verse 27, Simeon enters the temple. “And he came in the Spirit into the temple.” Temple refers to ‘the entire temple complex’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Stated cognitively, Simeon is approaching the general concept of holiness with a spiritual attitude of Platonic forms. In contrast, Zechariah in 1:9 entered the holy place guided by religious ritual and custom. One can see such ‘coming in the Spirit into the temple’ in Quaker worship. In the words of Wikipedia, “The first Quakers were known to sit in silence and meditate on the words of the Bible until they felt the inward light of God shining upon them and the Holy Spirit speaking. Early Quakers taught: God reveals Himself within each individual’s conscience and consciousness by the Holy Spirit.”

Verse 27 adds, “And in the time when the parents were bringing in the child Jesus, the thing they were doing for Him according to that having become customary by the Law.” Bringing in means ‘to bring in’. Parent comes from the word ‘to come into being’. And child means ‘a little child in training’. Jesus refers to the concrete side of incarnation that brings salvation to people. In other words, the new ‘child’ of using technical thought to help people is being placed into a religious context. Doing means ‘to make, do’ and refers to Server actions. Having become customary is mentioned once in the New Testament and comes from a word meaning ‘an unwritten custom; behavior based on tradition’. Law refers to ‘any system of religious thinking’. In the Greek, ‘for Him’ is at the end of the sentence, implying that the focus is upon satisfying religious tradition rather than upon doing something for Jesus. Notice the contrast between the mindset of Simeon and the mindset of the parents of Jesus. Simeon is thinking in terms of Platonic forms of the spirit. The parents are behaving in terms of religious tradition. Thus, Simeon represents a spiritual rethinking of the new child of practical technical thought. Such a rethinking can be seen in the topic of slavery. In the words of Wikipedia, “In general Quakers opposed mistreatment of slaves and promoted the teaching of Christianity and reading to them. Woolman argued that the entire practice of buying, selling, and owning human beings was wrong in principle. Other Quakers started to agree and became very active in the abolition movement... After initially finding agreement that they would buy no slaves off the boats, the entire society came to unity (spiritual consensus) on the issue in 1755, after which time no one could be a Quaker and own a slave.” This kind of fundamental rethinking extended to many areas of thought. One website explains, “In 1709 the Darby family pioneered the commercial production of iron using coke as a fuel. Until then the fuel of choice had been charcoal but the Royal Navy declared wood to be a strategic resource and Abraham Darby I (there were four generations of them in total), who was familiar with the brewers’ use of coke to malt grain to make beer, seized upon it to smelt iron. For the next century-and-a-half Coalbrookdale was in the thick of the development of iron products of all kinds, starting with pots and skillets but soon scaling up to pumps and engines, bridges and railways, boats and buildings. The Quakers and their Nonconformist brethren, who at one stage comprised nearly 50% of the entrepreneurs in the country, repeated the astonishing success of the Coalbrookdale enterprise all over England in other industries such as banking, chemicals, china, food and steel. They were also social activists and innovators, transforming hospitals, schools, prisons and asylums.” Notice how Quakers and other nonconformists were rethinking everything from hospitals and prisons to pots and skillets. On the one hand, the Quakers did not formulate the scientific and technical thinking required to give birth to the Industrial Revolution; they were not the parents of the child. On the other hand, they went beyond tradition and custom to rethink fundamental principles when encountering the child.

Verse 28 describes this receiving of the child. “Then he received Him into the arms, and blessed God, and said...” Receive means to receive in a welcoming way’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. We have just seen how Quakers and other nonconformists welcomed the ‘child’ of practical science. Arm is used once in the New Testament and means ‘the bent arm’. Hands represent the use of technical thought. A bent arm implies using reasonably technical thought in a new way that heads in a different direction. For instance, using coke to smelt iron rather than malt grain would be an example of a bent arm. (Coke is made by heating coal or oil in the absence of air.) Bless combines ‘good’ with ‘logos’. Blessing God occurred once previously in Luke in 1:64, which was interpreted as Calvinism being able to combine an overgeneralized concept of God with the words of religious doctrine. In verse 28, traditional social standards and technological methods are being rethought from a spiritual perspective, leading to the development of good technical paradigms. For instance, “Coke-smelted cast iron went into steam engines, bridges, and many of the inventions of the 19th century. Coke smelting made possible the great quantities of iron produced which drove the Industrial Revolution.”

Simeon speaks in verse 29. “Now Lord, You dismiss Your servant in peace, according to Your word.” Dismiss means ‘to set free, release’. Servant means ‘slave’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Word refers to ‘a spoken word’. Lord is only used once in Luke and means ‘an authority figure who exercises complete jurisdiction’. It is the source of the English word ‘despot’. Peace means to ‘tie together into a whole’. Looking at this cognitively, an internal concept of God is a strict master. For instance, when someone is totally honest in business, then this means that the internal master that tells them to be honest is stronger than any external pressures to be dishonest. This feeling of being a slave of some despot can be overpowering, and is reflected in the word ‘Quaker’. Quoting from Wikipedia, “According to Fox’s autobiography, Bennet ‘was the first that called us Quakers, because I bade them tremble at the word of the Lord’.” It is difficult to escape from such a feeling of slavery to a despot, especially if the moral standards imposed by this internal despot are reasonably consistent with moral cause-and-effect. That is because moral consequences will mentally prove that the despot is right, reinforcing the internal power of this despot. Having grown up in a conservative Mennonite home, I know what this feels like. The solution is to replace the rules with a rational understanding, which requires embracing rational technical thought from some other source. This suggests one reason why Quakers and other nonconformists embraced Adam Smith’s Capitalism and the Industrial Revolution, because it made it possible for them to reformulate their strict standards of religious behavior as living within a practical expression of rational scientific thought. For instance, being honest in business could be reformulated as participating most effectively within the new economy. Notice how being released from slavery to an internal despot is being replaced by functioning in the realm of peace or mental wholeness. Similarly, mental symmetry redefines Christian theology and practice as a search for mental wholeness.

Verse 30 provides a justification for this shift. “For my eyes have seen Your salvation.” Seen again means primarily ‘to see with the mind’. Eye means ‘the eye’. The brain uses the eyes to scan the physical environment in order to build up a mental map within Perceiver thought. Thus, the eyes would be interpreted as using Perceiver thought to approach reality in a factual manner. Salvation means ‘saving’ and is an adjective used to modify ‘of you’. The name Jesus means ‘salvation of Yahweh’. Putting this together, Perceiver thought is observing the physical world from a factual perspective and concluding that salvation is coming from the Lord. In other words, the Lord is not just a despot to whom one submits as a slave, but actually the source of saving people. Stated simply, the strict internal standards that governed Quakers and other nonconformists enabled these individuals to experience the benefits of the Industrial Revolution. Notice that it is the actual seeing of external results that leads to the feeling of being released from bondage. Speaking from personal experience, I have only experienced this feeling of release from bondage to a partial extent, because whenever something starts to change in the external world, then I keep finding that the door shuts in my face, leaving the overall situation unchanged.

Verse 31 makes a more general conclusion. “Which You have prepared before the face of all the peoples.” This is an accurate translation and people means ‘laity’. On the one hand, the preparation comes from the Lord. On the other hand, the people are now seeing what Simeon saw in verse 30. What once was an internal vision is now obvious to the ‘laity’ who are following this new movement of incarnation in some manner. Stated simply, the industrial and social breakthroughs have turned into an Industrial Revolution. A Quaker website explains that “As the Industrial Revolution unfolded in Britain in the 18th century, many Quakers poured their energies and talents into innovative business ventures. Like other nonconformists, they were barred from English universities, and most professions, so business was a natural outlet for their talents. They also often had ready access to advice and support, and start-up resources, within their community: Quakers had become a close-knit network of mutually supportive families, many of whom were involved in interconnected businesses.” Notice how the preparation of the Industrial Revolution is spreading to the laity of the Quaker movement.

Verse 32 concludes. “A light for revelation of the Gentiles, and glory of Your people Israel.” Light represents the light of Teacher understanding and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Revelation means ‘an uncovering’. It is used once in Luke and the same word is used to introduce the Book of Revelation in Revelation 1:1. Glory describes the external manifestation of internal character. Gentile means ‘people joined by practicing similar customs or common culture’ and is the source of the English word ‘ethnic’. This is the first use of this word in Luke. People again is ‘laity’. Israel refers to a group through whom God interacts with the world. Applying this to the Quakers, non-conformist Christian groups had for centuries been following their concept of God rather than submitting to mental networks of common culture. These groups have now broken through to a new form of behavior that is a revelation to outside cultures. The nonconformists who were regarded as unacceptable in Mercy thought are now being viewed as a source of understanding in Teacher thought. The use of the word ‘revelation’ suggests that it is appropriate to connect this verse historically with the world-changing revelation of the Industrial Revolution. Modern technology has led to many breakthroughs, but the initial appearance of modern technology was a revelation of something that had never existed before.

One primary example of this light involved the abolition of slavery. Wikipedia summarizes that “From 1755 to 1776, the Quakers worked at freeing slaves, and became the first Western organization to ban slaveholding. They also created societies to promote the emancipation of slaves. From the efforts of the Quakers, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were able to convince the Continental Congress to ban the importation of slaves into America as of December 1, 1775.” The Quaker light also included railways and chocolate. “Edward Pease opened the Stockton and Darlington Railway in northern England in 1825. It was the first modern railway in the world, and carried coal from the mines to the seaports. Henry and Joseph Rowntree owned a chocolate factory in York, England. When Henry died, Joseph took it over. He provided the workers with more benefits than most employers of his day. He also funded low-cost housing for the poor. John Cadbury founded another chocolate factory, which his sons George and Richard eventually took over. A third chocolate factory was founded by Joseph Storrs Fry in Bristol.” As for the glory, one can see from these quotes that many Quakers became very rich.

The parents of Jesus respond in verse 33. “And His father and mother were marveling at the things having been spoken concerning Him.” Father and mother are both explicitly mentioned. Marvel means ‘to marvel, wonder’. And spoken refers to ‘chatter’. Notice that the parents are marveling at the words. Looking at this literally, Jesus is still a baby who has not done anything. But the symbolic interpretation is that the intellectual and cultural sources of scientific thought are being intellectually amazed by the physical results of the Industrial Revolution. The Encyclopaedia Britannica explains that “It is difficult to show any direct effect of scientific discoveries upon the rise of the textile or even the metallurgical industry in Great Britain, the home of the Industrial Revolution, but there certainly was a similarity in attitude to be found in science and nascent industry... It was not, however, until the second half of the 19th century that science was able to provide truly significant help to industry... Until that period science probably profited more from industry than the other way around. It was the steam engine that posed the problems that led, by way of a search for a theory of steam power, to the creation of thermodynamics.” Notice that ‘science probably profited more from industry than the other way around’, consistent with the idea that the ‘parents’ of scientific thought are being amazed by the words of the ‘child’ of the Industrial Revolution.

Verse 34 focuses on Mary. “And Simeon blessed them and said to His mother Mary:” Blessed combines ‘good’ with ‘logos’. Mary is interpreted as a mindset that follows God by turning its back on the world. Looking at this symbolically, we have seen that Quakers and other nonconformists provided society with many good paradigms involving both social progress and technological progress. As Wikipedia summarizes, “The most important effect of the Industrial Revolution was that the standard of living for the general population in the western world began to increase consistently for the first time in history... Economic historians are in agreement that the onset of the Industrial Revolution is the most important event in the history of humanity since the domestication of animals and plants.”

Verse 34 continues by describing a more ambiguous result. “Behold, this Child is appointed for the falling and rising up of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against.” As the italics indicate, ‘child’ is implied. Thus, the focusing is upon the verbal marveling. Appointed is the same word that was used in verses 12 and 16 to describe Jesus lying in a manger. That was interpreted as a focus upon empirical evidence. This same empirical focus is going to have implications. Falling is used once as a noun in Luke. Rising up is translated as ‘resurrection’ both in the NASB and the KJV the other 41 times it is used in the New Testament. This ‘falling followed by a resurrection’ will happen to many within the ‘Israel’ of the institutional church. (And it appears that something similar happened to Institutional Judaism as well.) Wikipedia describes this falling and resurrection of Protestantism. “The dominant intellectual currents of the Enlightenment promoted rationalism, and most Protestant leaders preached a sort of deism. Intellectually, the new methods of historical and anthropological study undermine automatic acceptance of biblical stories, as did the sciences of geology and biology. Industrialization was a strongly negative factor, as workers who moved to the city seldom joined churches. The gap between the church and the unchurched grew rapidly, and secular forces, based both in socialism and liberalism undermine the prestige of religion... [But] Shrugging off Enlightenment rationalism, Protestants embraced romanticism... The stirrings of pietism on the Continent, and evangelicalism in Britain expanded enormously, leading the devout away from an emphasis on formality and ritual and toward an inner sensibility toward personal relationship to Christ. Social activities, in education and in opposition to social vices such as slavery, alcoholism and poverty provided new opportunities for social service.” Notice how the scientific focus upon empirical evidence and rational thinking is leading to a major questioning of a religious mindset that believes in miracles and absolute truth. In addition, industrialization is creating a new secular culture disconnected from the previous religiously guided culture. However, the objective progress of science and the Industrial Revolution are creating an emotional vacuum and also leading to significant personal hardship. Protestantism is becoming resurrected as a way of addressing these of emotional and personal needs.

A sign is ‘a sign given especially to confirm, corroborate, or authenticate’ and is interpreted as a simple way that the lay individual can distinguish the ‘real’ expert from the fraud. Spoken against means ‘to speak against, hence, to contradict’. This ‘sign spoken against’ can be seen in liberal theology. Wikipedia explains that “Liberal Protestantism developed in the 19th century out of a need to adapt Christianity to a modern intellectual context... Traditional Protestants believed scripture and revelation always confirmed human experience and reason. For liberal Protestants, there were two ultimate sources of religious authority: the Christian experience of God as revealed in Jesus Christ and universal human experience. In other words, only an appeal to common human reason and experience could confirm the truth claims of Christianity.” Notice how verbal amazement at the ‘experience’ of physical transformation caused by ‘common human reason’ is being used as a ‘sign’ to reject Bible-based Christianity. Notice also the subjective resurrection of Christianity as ‘the Christian experience of God’. Wikipedia describes this attitude of verbal amazement at physical transformation. “Nineteenth-century liberalism had an optimism about the future in which humanity would continue to achieve greater progress. This optimistic view of history was sometimes interpreted as building the kingdom of God in the world.”

Verse 35 describes what Mary herself will feel. “And a sword also will go through your own soul.” The soul is interpreted as the integrated mind. Go through means ‘to go through’ and was previously used in 2:15 to describe the shepherds going through to Bethlehem. That was interpreted as ‘pastors’ of science and Christianity teaching a simplified and personalized version of science. Sword only appears in this verse and in the book of Revelation and describes ‘a large, broad sword that both cuts and pierces’. Metal represents hard facts that have been purified through the fire of testing, such as the tested, empirical facts of science. This sword will go through the integrated mind of those who are following God by turning their back on the world. Wikipedia describes the fundamental split that existed within the Victorian mindset. “There was a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches, such as the Methodists and the evangelical wing of the established Church of England. Ideologically, the Victorian era witnessed resistance to the rationalism that defined the Georgian period, and an increasing turn towards romanticism and even mysticism in religion, social values, and arts. This era saw a staggering amount of technological innovations that proved key to Britain’s power and prosperity.” Notice the fundamental split between ‘romanticism and even mysticism in religion’ and ‘a staggering amount of technological innovations’. Within this mental split, there was ‘a strong religious drive for higher moral standards led by the nonconformist churches’ guided by their belief in the absolute truth of the Bible. On the one hand, the subjective is becoming more driven by feelings and absolute truth, while on the other hand, the objective is becoming more driven by facts and scientific progress. Living through such a split is going to cut and slash the integrated mind to the core. Going the other way, I lived in South Korea from 2002-2010 and I found it deeply strange to encounter a society that did not split between science and Christianity but rather regarded these two as facets of Western thought, because the primary split in South Korea is between Western and Asian thought.

Verse 35 continues, “So that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Revealed is the verb form of ‘to uncover, reveal’ used in verse 32. Of means ‘from out of’. Heart is interpreted as personal identity in Mercy thought. And thought means ‘back and forth reasoning’. In other words, it is normal for people to make a mental split between objective and subjective. That is because male thought naturally emphasizes objective facts and skills whereas female thought naturally emphasizes mental networks of subjectivity and integrated thought. However, the split between subjective and objective became especially apparent in Victorian society because of the continual back-and-forth reasoning between the ‘objective self’ of technological progress and the ‘subjective self’ of religious morality.

The Prophecy of Anna 2:36-38

The prophecy of Simeon dealt with the transformation of male technical thought through the Industrial Revolution. The prophecy of Anna looks at the change of female mental networks. Verse 36 begins, “And there was a prophetess, Anna, daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.” Anna is mentioned once in the New Testament and means ‘to show favor, be gracious’. Prophetess is used twice in the New Testament and is the female form of prophet, which means ‘asserting one idea over another’. A prophetess would focus upon certain mental networks and predict where these mental networks will lead. Phanuel is mentioned once in the New Testament and means ‘face of God’. Tribe means ‘the descendants of a common ancestor’ and is used twice in Luke. Asher means ‘happy one’. Putting this together, a mindset that approaches a relationship with God in a positive manner is showing favor.

Verse 36 continues, “She, being advanced greatly in years, had lived with a husband seven years from her marriage.” Advanced means ‘to go forward’ and years actually means ‘days’. The same phrase ‘advanced in years’ was used in 1:7 and 1:18 to describe the parents of John the Baptist, and that was interpreted as a mindset that has been in existence for many eras of society. Life refers to both physical and spiritual life. The word marriage is used once in the New Testament and actually means ‘virginity’. Thus, Anna lived together with her husband for seven years ‘away from the virginity of her’.

Verse 37 describes her current condition. “And she was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart the temple, serving with fastings and prayers night and day.” I do not know what 84 represents. I deliberately try to avoid interpreting numbers when doing a symbolic analysis of the Bible because I have found that focusing on numbers leads to a dead-end. Depart means to ‘make to stand away’. Temple refers to ‘the entire temple complex’. Fasting is mentioned once in Luke and would be interpreted as avoiding intellectual food. A person who fasts uses existing knowledge without gathering any new facts. Prayer means ‘praying for a specific, felt need’. Serving means ‘to render technical, acceptable service because specifically qualified’. ‘Night and day’ would indicate that this serving continues both when society is lit by some general theory and when it is not.

In verse 38, Anna speaks. “And having come up at that hour, she was giving praise to the Lord and was speaking concerning Him to all those waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.” Having come up means ‘to set upon’ and was previously used in 29 to describe the appearance of an angel of the Lord. Giving praise is found once in the New Testament and means ‘to acknowledge fully’. This full acknowledgment is being addressed to God. Talk means ‘chatter’ and ‘him’ presumably refers to God. Waiting means ‘to welcome with warm reciprocity’ and was previously used in 2:25 to describe Simeon waiting for the ‘consolation of Israel’. Redemption means ‘a ransoming, a redemption’. And Jerusalem is interpreted as the center of religion and society.

This passage does not say anything about Anna acknowledging or interacting with Jesus and/or his parents. Instead, Anna seems to be gaining inspiration from this moment in order to continue doing the same thing that she has been doing for most of her life. The cognitive principle is that mental networks can be self-reinforcing; the more one continues to perform some habit, the more one is driven to perform that habit. This brings to mind the religion of Friedrich Schleiermacher. Wikipedia summarizes, “Because of his profound effect on subsequent Christian thought, he is often called the ‘Father of Modern Liberal Theology’ and is considered an early leader in liberal Christianity.” Wikipedia explains that “Schleiermacher used different terms to represent the character and relation of religious feeling. In his earlier days he called it a feeling or intuition of the universe, consciousness of the unity of reason and nature, of the infinite and the eternal within the finite and the temporal. In later life he described it as the feeling of absolute dependence, or, as meaning the same thing, the consciousness of being in relation to God.” Looking at the various attributes mentioned in this passage, Schleiermacher was a university preacher and professor of theology who was qualified to render technical service to religion. Wikipedia points out that “At the foundation of the University of Berlin (1810), in which he took a prominent part, Schleiermacher obtained a theological chair and soon became secretary to the Prussian Academy of Sciences.” However, I cannot find any indication in the lengthy Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on Schleiermacher that he had an educated knowledge of either science or technology, consistent with a mindset of ‘ignoring the baby Jesus’. Instead, his religion could be summarized as fasting and ‘praying for a specific, felt need’ in the temple. The ‘praying for a specific, felt need’ can be seen in Schleiermacher’s ‘feeling of absolute dependence’. The fasting can be seen in the following quote, taken from Wikipedia. Religion “answers a deep need in man. It is neither a metaphysic, nor a morality, but above all and essentially an intuition and a feeling. ... Dogmas are not, properly speaking, part of religion: rather it is that they are derived from it. Religion is the miracle of direct relationship with the infinite; and dogmas are the reflection of this miracle. Similarly belief in God, and in personal immortality, are not necessarily a part of religion; one can conceive of a religion without God, and it would be pure contemplation of the universe.” Notice that religion is ‘essentially, an intuition and a feeling’ that does not need to learn anything from metaphysic, morality, dogma, or belief. ‘Not standing away from the temple complex’ is evidenced by the way that ‘the miracle of direct relationship with the infinite’ is viewed as the source of dogma. Finally, Schleiermacher is using many erudite verbal constructs and endless tomes to describe the age-old practice of mysticism, which has been continuing through numerous days and nights of society. If one lives in a night when there is no understanding, then one can respond to this lack of knowledge by overgeneralizing that God holds everything together. If one lives in a day when there is understanding, then one can overgeneralize that the oneness of God transcends all rational understanding. The female mental networks of mysticism have never really been married to male technical thought. But mysticism did lose its ‘virginity’ with the mendicant orders, because it had to coexist with rational thought. I am NOT suggesting that women are inherently stupid. Schleiermacher was physically a man and he used extensive male technical thought. But his religious sentiments were pure mental networks.

Mysticism is a descendent of ‘happy one’ because it luxuriates in the ecstasy of combining Teacher overgeneralization with Mercy identification. It is a ‘daughter of Phanuel’ because it approaches the ‘face of God’ from the female perspective of mental networks. There is a form of ‘grace’ here, because religious feelings of mysticism can provide inspiration for normal life. And it is a ‘prophetess’ because it takes an overgeneralized concept of God in Teacher thought and elevates it above all other mental content. Notice that the verses about Anna follow directly after the back-and-forth thinking of verse 35. What happens cognitively is that people rediscover mysticism whenever religious and moral truth becomes sufficiently vague and uncertain.

Looking at the content of verse 38, ‘having come up’ suggests a rediscovery of mysticism prompted by questioning of religious dogma. This rediscovery ‘fully acknowledges’ scientific facts but uses scientific skepticism as a means of enabling mysticism. Wikipedia describes this juxtaposition. Liberal Christianity “is a movement that interprets Christian teaching by taking into consideration modern knowledge, science and ethics. It emphasizes the importance of reason and experience over doctrinal authority. Liberal Christians view their theology as an alternative to both atheistic rationalism and theologies based on traditional interpretations of external authority, such as the Bible or sacred tradition.” Notice how scientific thinking is being fully acknowledged but materialistic scientific thought leaves a vacuum within the subjective realm of religion and personal identity. This emotional vacuum can no longer be filled by the absolute truth of the Bible, because scientific skepticism has led to a questioning of religious belief. Therefore, liberal Christianity fills this vacuum with a rediscovery of mysticism. Summarizing, “Liberal theology was influenced by several strands of thought, including the Enlightenment’s high view of human reason and Pietism’s emphasis on religious experience and interdenominational tolerance.”

Scientific questioning eliminated the supernatural aspects from the Bible while leaving the rest intact. In the words of Wikipedia, “Liberal Christians sought to elevate Jesus’ humane teachings as a standard for a world civilization freed from cultic traditions and traces of traditionally pagan types of belief in the supernatural. As a result, liberal Christians placed less emphasis on miraculous events associated with the life of Jesus than on his teachings.” Thus, the mystical feelings of Liberal Christianity acted as an inspiration for helping people, which expressed itself through the social gospel. In the words of Wikipedia, “The Social Gospel is a social movement within Protestantism that aims to apply Christian ethics to social problems, especially issues of social justice such as economic inequality, poverty, alcoholism, crime, racial tensions, slums, unclean environment, child labor, lack of unionization, poor schools, and the dangers of war... The Social Gospel was more popular among clergy than laity. Its leaders were predominantly associated with the liberal wing of the progressive movement, and most were theologically liberal.” Notice how the social gospel is being proclaimed primarily by liberal Christian clergy to those who are attempting to ‘redeem’ the ‘Jerusalem’ of religious and social authority.

At this point, the average reader may conclude that I do not like mysticism, but I suggest that it is more accurate to say that mysticism does not like me. Mysticism is the ultimate overgeneralization in Teacher thought. Mysticism exists by getting rid of Perceiver thought, because Perceiver facts limit Teacher overgeneralization. That affects me personally because I am a Perceiver person who lives within the realm of Perceiver truth and facts. The way to intellectually defeat mysticism is by replacing overgeneralization with generalization, which means coming up with a legitimate, rational, universal theory that extends to the realm of God and personal identity. The theory of mental symmetry has these features and I am currently trying to explain remaining pockets of overgeneralization by adding details to mental symmetry. Thus, I get very tired of educated individuals with PhDs and MDivs using fancy words to say that one cannot say anything about God. If you cannot say anything about God, then for God’s sake (literally), SHUT UP!!

Jesus as a Child 2:39-42

In verse 39, Mary and Joseph return to their home town of Nazareth. “And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their town, Nazareth.” Performed means ‘consummation, completion’. Law means a system of law and was mentioned several times in the prophecy of Simeon. ‘Law of the Lord’ indicates submitting to some authoritative system. Return indicates a change in direction, and Galilee is interpreted as the cycles of society. Town means ‘city’ and represents a center of civilization. Nazareth means ‘separated, crowned, sanctified’. Putting this together, following a system of law has come to a conclusion and society is returning to its normal state of cycles guided by respected individuals. Looking at this cognitively, introducing major social reforms requires submission to some system of law, but the next generation will regard these social reforms as part of normal society reinforced by the leaders of society.

Verse 40 describes the growth of the child. “And the Child continued to grow and become strong, being filled with wisdom. And the grace of God was upon Him.” Child means ‘a child under training’. Strong means ‘attain mastery, the upper-hand’. The same phrase ‘continued to grow and become strong’ was used in 1:80 to describe John the Baptist. In other words, The Industrial Revolution continues to grow and gain mastery over other forces of society even when the initial generation that started the Industrial Revolution is replaced by the next generations that return to a cultural perspective. Such a continuation is not guaranteed. For instance, the Chinese treasure voyages eventually became squelched by social forces.

Wikipedia describes the initial Industrial Revolution coming to completion and being replaced by the cycles of society. “An economic recession occurred from the late 1830s to the early 1840s when the adoption of the Industrial Revolution’s early innovations, such as mechanized spinning and weaving, slowed and their markets matured. Innovations developed late in the period, such as the increasing adoption of locomotives, steamboats and steamships and hot blast iron smelting. New technologies, such as the electrical telegraph, widely introduced in the 1840s and 1850s, were not powerful enough to drive high rates of growth.” Notice how ‘an economic recession occurred’ when ‘early innovations and their markets matured’. Notice also that innovations continued to develop despite the recession.

Filled means ‘to make full, to complete’. Wisdom means ‘clarity’ and is used for the first time in Luke. Grace means ‘leaning towards to share benefit’ and is one of several words related to Teacher thought. ‘Grace of God upon Him’ would mean continual, lasting help from a concept of God in Teacher thought. This ‘fullness of clarity and benefit’ can be seen in the development of the research university. Wikipedia summarizes, “The concept of the research university first arose in early 19th-century Prussia in Germany, where Wilhelm von Humboldt championed his vision of Einheit von Lehre und Forschung (the unity of teaching and research), as a means of producing an education that focused on the main areas of knowledge (the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities) rather than on the previous goals of the university education, which was to develop an understanding of truth, beauty, and goodness.” Research attempts to gain a clearer understanding of the natural world. A ‘unity of teaching and research’ ensures that the clarity of research is combined with the benefit of teaching. The ‘grace of God was upon’ this new research university because “It was regarded as the world’s preeminent university for the natural sciences during the 19th and early 20th century, as the university is linked to major breakthroughs in physics and other sciences by its professors, such as Albert Einstein. Past and present faculty and notable alumni include 57 Nobel Prize laureates (the most of any German university by a substantial margin), as well as eminent philosophers, sociologists, artists, lawyers, politicians, mathematicians, scientists, and heads of state.”

Schleiermacher was discussed in the previous section because ‘He is often called the ‘Father of Modern Liberal Theology’ and is considered an early leader in liberal Christianity.” However, the Humboldt University “was established by Frederick William III on the initiative of Wilhelm von Humboldt, Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Ernst Daniel Schleiermacher as the University of Berlin in 1809.” Notice the inclusion of Schleiermacher, mentioned previously in the discussion of liberal Christianity. Thus, while Schleiermacher was ignoring the ‘young child of Jesus’ in the subjective realm of religious experience, he was championing this child in the areas of scientific technology and biblical scholarship.

Verse 41 sets the scene. “And His parents were going to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover.” Going means ‘to transport’ which is interpreted as movement accompanied by change. ‘Going to Jerusalem every year’ suggests that the leaders of religion in society are being regularly affected by the transformative movement of the Industrial Revolution. This is the first use of feast in Luke, which means ‘a feast, a festival’, and this word is repeated in the next verse. Passover means to ‘pass over’ and this is the only mention of this word in Luke outside of the crucifixion story in chapter 22. The original Passover was celebrated when the Israelites left Egypt to follow God in the wilderness. Thus, the Passover represents a major societal transition from the Mercy mental networks of society to follow Teacher understanding in a new way. (Egyptian culture remained unchanged for thousands of years, indicating that it was strongly guided by Mercy mental networks of status and tradition.) Going to Passover every year suggests that society is going through a series of major transformations away from traditional culture to a rational Teacher understanding, which summarizes the long-term impact of the Industrial Revolution. Wikipedia describes the extent of this transformation. “Life in Great Britain during the Industrial Revolution shifted from an agrarian based society to an urban, industrialised society. New social and technological ideas were developed, such as the factory system and the steam engine, in this time period. Work became more regimented, disciplined, and moved outside the home with large segments of the rural population migrating to the cities. The industrial belts of Great Britain included the Scottish Lowlands, South Wales, northern England, and the English Midlands. The establishment of major factory centers assisted in the development of canals, roads, and railroads.” Notice how traditional culture was replaced by the discipline and regimentation of work as large segments of the rural population migrated to cities. The result was ‘industrial belts’ and ‘major factory centers’ connected by ‘canals, roads, and railroads’.

Industrial progress was celebrated in France by actual feasts, with 11 exhibitions held between 1798 and 1849. Wikipedia summarizes, “The Exposition des produits de l’industrie française (Exhibition of Products of French Industry) was a public event organized in Paris, France, from 1798 to 1849. The purpose was ‘to offer a panorama of the productions of the various branches of industry with a view to emulation’. It was a precursor to the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London.” The Great Exhibition had 13,000 exhibits, including the first modern pay toilets, “with 827,280 visitors paying the penny fee to use them.”

Verse 42 focuses upon a specific feast. “And when He was twelve years old, they having gone up according to the custom of the Feast.” Having gone up means ‘to go up, ascend’ and is interpreted as heading in the direction of Teacher generality. Custom means ‘an unwritten custom; behavior based on tradition’. And feast was mentioned in verse 41. Comparing this with the previous verse, there is no mention of a Passover. Instead, what started as a major transition for society has turned into celebrated tradition. Stated simply, people now expect that there will be continual technological progress, just as people today expect that each year will bring new-and-improved technological gadgets. In addition, the ‘movement that produces change’ has been replaced by a movement towards Teacher theory. Putting this together, people expect that research will lead to new-and-improved products.

This combination of research and technical improvement can be seen in the emergence of engineering. Wikipedia elaborates, “In the UK during the early 19th century, the division between civil engineering and military engineering, coupled with the demands of the Industrial Revolution, spawned new engineering education initiatives: the Class of Civil Engineering and Mining was founded at King’s College London in 1838, mainly as a response to the growth of the railway system and the need for more qualified engineers, the private College for Civil Engineers in Putney was established in 1839, and the UK’s first Chair of Engineering was established at the University of Glasgow in 1840.” Similarly, “During the 19th century, material sciences advances had begun to allow implementation of steam engines into Steam Locomotives and Steam-Powered Ships, quickly increasing the speed at which people and goods could move across the world. The reason for these advances were the machine tools [that] were developed in England, Germany, and Scotland. These allowed mechanical engineering to develop as a separate field within engineering.” Notice that the ‘child’ of technical thought is ‘growing up’ and maturing into technical specializations that combine theoretical education with technical advances. This expectation of new gadgets is reflected in newspaper advertising. Quoting from Wikipedia, “British newspapers in the 1850s and 1860s appealed to the increasingly affluent middle-class that sought out a variety of new products. The advertisements announced new health remedies as well as fresh foods and beverages. The latest London fashions were featured in the regional press. The availability of repeated advertising permitted manufacturers to develop nationally known brand names that had a much stronger appeal than generic products.” Marketing products under brand names is an example of the ‘feast’ of progress becoming part of the culture of society. This has become such an integral part of modern society that it is difficult for us to imagine it not existing.

Jesus stays in Jerusalem 2:43-50

In verse 43, Jesus stays in Jerusalem. “And having completed the days, in their returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem. But his parents did not know.” Boy means ‘child under training’. Returning means ‘to turn back, return’. Remain behind is used once in Luke and means ‘remaining under the load’. Know refers to ‘experiential knowledge’. In other words, the parents of Jesus make regular trips from practice to established theory and then return back to daily life. But Jesus is ‘remaining under’ within Jerusalem. Looking at this symbolically, technical thought acquires a new dimension that is independent of its parents. It is not that technical thought is doing something new but rather that it continues in Jerusalem without doing the normal returning. Jerusalem represents the center of religion and society. Thus, verse 43 implies that the moral and societal development that was driven by individuals becomes taken over by the center of religion and society. Wikipedia describes this moral shift in Britain. “Between 1780 and 1850 the English ceased to be one of the most aggressive, brutal, rowdy, outspoken, riotous, cruel and bloodthirsty nations in the world and became one of the most inhibited, polite, orderly, tender-minded, prudish and hypocritical.” This moral shift was initially driven by religious groups. For instance, “Opposition to slavery was the main evangelical cause from the late 18th century, led by William Wilberforce (1759–1833). The cause organized very thoroughly, and developed propaganda campaigns that made readers cringe at the horrors of slavery. The same moral fervor and organizational skills carried over into most of the other reform movements.” This turned into government policy where “The Royal Navy patrolled the Atlantic Ocean, stopping any ships that it suspected of trading African slaves to the Americas and freeing any slaves found. The British had set up a Crown Colony in West Africa—Sierra Leone—and transported freed slaves there.” Notice the transfer in technical thought. Initially, the ‘evangelical cause’ was ‘organized very thoroughly’. This was followed by the government organization of patrolling the Atlantic Ocean, setting up a crown colony and transporting freed slaves there. A similar combining of the technical thinking of the ‘young Jesus’ with the ‘Jerusalem’ of social and religious authority can be seen in policing. Wikipedia summarizes, “After 1815, there was widespread fear of growing crimes, burglaries, mob action, and threats of large-scale disorder. Crime had been handled on an ad-hoc basis by poorly organized local parish constables and private watchmen... The Metropolitan Police Act 1829... was not so much a startling innovation, as a systemization with expanded funding of established informal practices. It created the Metropolitan Police Service, headquartered at Scotland Yard. London now had the world’s first modern police force... They were well-organized, centrally directed, and wore standard blue uniforms.”

The final sentence of verse 43 suggests that this shift from personal to public morality goes unnoticed at the experiential level. In other words, the government applies the same standards that had been previously been promoted at a personal level. Wikipedia points out that “Victorian era movements for justice, freedom, and other strong moral values made greed, and exploitation into public evils. The writings of Charles Dickens, in particular, observed and recorded these conditions. Peter Shapely examined 100 charity leaders in Victorian Manchester. They brought significant cultural capital, such as wealth, education and social standing. Besides the actual reforms for the city they achieved for themselves a form of symbolic capital, a legitimate form of social domination and civic leadership.” Notice how private morality is turning into ‘a legitimate form of social domination and civic leadership’.

In verse 44 the parents finally notice. “And having supposed Him to be in their company, they went a day’s journey, and began seeking Him among the relatives and the acquaintances.” Suppose comes from the word ‘law’ and means ‘to assume a prevailing custom, law, practice’. This goes beyond personal opinion to assuming a certain set of societal standards. Company is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘together with’ with ‘a way, road’. In other words, the private groups that have championed industrial and social changes are assuming that the ‘young Jesus’ is still traveling along their path and expressing their system of morality. A day represents an era in society. Journey is the word for ‘a way, road’. Thus, the separation of Jesus from the private groups becomes apparent over time as the paths diverge. Seeking is a strengthened version that adds ‘up to down’ to ‘seek by inquiring’. It is used three times in the New Testament, twice in this verse and the next verse. Among is actually ‘in the realm of’. Relative means ‘a relative’ and acquaintance comes from the word ‘experientially known’. Thus, the intense searching is happening within the Mercy realm of similar people and experiential knowledge.

Wikipedia describes some of the intense searching that happened in the realm of religious and scientific authority as a result of scientific progress. “Natural history at that time was dominated by clerical naturalists who saw their science as revealing God’s plan, and whose income came from the Established Church of England... In the 1850s Darwin met Thomas Huxley, an ambitious naturalist who had returned from a long survey trip but lacked the family wealth or contacts to find a career and who joined the progressive group around Herbert Spencer looking to make science a profession, freed from the clerics.” Notice the implicit assumption that natural history belongs within the realm of revealed truth interpreted by the official clergy. Notice also the desire of Darwin and Huxley to free natural history from this clerical control. More generally, “This was also a time of intense conflict over religious morality in England, where evangelicalism led to increasing professionalism of clerics who had previously been expected to act as country gentlemen with wide interests, but now were seriously focussed on expanded religious duties. A new orthodoxy proclaimed the virtues of truth but also inculcated beliefs that the Bible should be read literally and that religious doubt was in itself sinful so should not be discussed. Science was also becoming professional and a series of discoveries cast doubt on literal interpretations of the Bible and the honesty of those denying the findings. A series of crises erupted with fierce debate and criticism over issues such as George Combe’s The Constitution of Man and the anonymous Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation which converted vast popular audiences to the belief that natural laws controlled the development of nature and society.” Summarizing, the initial assumption is that Christian belief and morality should guide scientific research. However, the clergy are becoming increasingly professional and educated. Science is also becoming more professional. This results in intense debate and searching causing many people to choose science over the absolute truth of the Bible. Using symbolic language, nobody in the group knows the location of the ‘Jesus’ of science and technology.

In verse 45 they return to Jerusalem. “And not having found Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him.” Find means ‘to discover, especially after searching’. Returned is the same word that was used to describe the parents returning from Jerusalem in verse 43. Seeking is the same intensified verb that was used in verse 44. Stated symbolically, the search for ‘Jesus’ spreads to the center of religious and societal thought. In the words of Wikipedia, “German higher criticism questioned the Bible as a historical document in contrast to the evangelical creed that every word was divinely inspired. Dissident clergymen even began questioning accepted premises of Christian morality, and Benjamin Jowett’s 1855 commentary on St. Paul brought a storm of controversy.”

In verse 46, Jesus is eventually found. “And it came to pass after three days, they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both hearing them and questioning them.” Came to pass means ‘to come into being’. Three days implies that this searching happens over several eras. Temple means ‘the entire temple complex’. Sitting is used once in Luke and means ‘to sit down’. Teacher means ‘an instructor acknowledged for their mastery in their field of learning’. ‘Sitting in the midst of the teachers’ implies that technical thought is now the center of attention for academic and religious authorities. Hearing means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Questioning means to ‘ask appropriately’. In other words, academic theories are being translated into technical thought which is then being used to ask appropriate questions.

Verse 47 describes the response. “And all those hearing Him were amazed at His understanding and answers.” This is the first use of the word amazed in Luke, which means ‘to remove from a standing position’, and this is the first word of the sentence in Greek. In other words, technical thought is providing answers that are shifting established positions. Hearing means to ‘comprehend by hearing’, implying that this shifting is not happening to everyone but rather to everyone who comprehends what is happening verbally. Understanding is used once in Luke and means ‘facts joined together for holistic understanding’. This describes the integration of paradigms and Teacher theories, which goes beyond gathering facts to putting these facts together. Answer means ‘an answering’ and indicates meaningful interaction rather than proclaiming or preaching.

The development of the periodic table of elements in chemistry provides a scientific example of such intellectual questioning. Wikipedia relates, “Mendeleev began arranging the elements and comparing them by their atomic weights... After finding a consistent arrangement, his printed table appeared in May 1869 in the journal of the Russian Chemical Society. In some cases, there appeared to be an element missing from the system, and he boldly predicted that that meant that the element had yet to be discovered... In 1875, the French chemist Paul-Émile Lecoq de Boisbaudran, working without knowledge of Mendeleev’s prediction, discovered a new element in a sample of the mineral sphalerite, and named it gallium. He isolated the element and began determining its properties. Mendeleev, reading de Boisbaudran’s publication, sent a letter claiming that gallium was his predicted eka-aluminium. Although Lecoq de Boisbaudran was initially sceptical, and suspected that Mendeleev was trying to take credit for his discovery, he later admitted that Mendeleev was correct.” Notice how Mendeleev used technical thought to ‘put the facts together for holistic understanding’ and used his paradigm of chemical elements to ask appropriate questions, resulting in meaningful interaction with existing experts. Going further, the idea of a table of elements shifted chemistry away from its existing foundations.

A similar kind of questioning was happening within Christian thought. Wikipedia summarizes, “The 19th century saw the rise of Biblical criticism, new knowledge of religious diversity in other continents, and above all the growth of science. This led many Christians to emphasize the brotherhood, to seeing miracles as myths, and to emphasize a moral approach with religion as lifestyle rather than revealed truth.” Notice the focus upon a ‘holistic understanding’ of brotherhood, the desire to react meaningfully with ‘religious diversity’, and how scientific questioning is shifting people away from existing foundations of Christian belief.

Jesus’ parents react in verse 48. “And having seen Him, they were astonished, and His mother said to Him, “Child why have You done thus to us?” Seen means ‘to see with the mind’. This is the first use of astonished in Luke, which means ‘to strike out, hence to strike with panic’. Child means ‘a child living in willing dependence’. Done means ‘to make, do’. Putting this together symbolically, when the parents mentally grasp what has happened, they go into panic mode and respond at the level of mental networks treating the behavior as a personal affront, because they were assuming that the child was emotionally dependent upon them. Verse 48 continues, “Behold, Your father and I were seeking You, distressing.” Seeking means ‘to seek by inquiring’. Distressing means ‘to experience intense emotional pain’. Thus, what started as an emotional panic has turned into intense emotional pain that affects male technical thought.

This type of reaction can be seen in much of the Christian evangelical response to Darwin’s theory of evolution. explains that “In the United States, the scientific community embraced Darwin, and praise for his work was nearly unanimous. The religious community reacted with revulsion, and was highly vocal in its opposition. To the religious community, particularly among the fundamentalist movement, Darwin’s theories presented earth populated with creatures locked in an eternal struggle for survival, a brutal and savage world in which only the strongest survived.”

Jesus answers in verse 49. “And He said to them, ‘Why is it that you were seeking Me? Did you not know that it behooves Me to be in the house of My Father?” Seeking is the same word used in verse 48. Know is a common form that is being used for the first time in Luke, which means ‘seeing that becomes knowing’. This is interpreted as empirical evidence, which bases its knowing in physical events. Behoove is another common word that is being used for the first time in Luke, which means ‘it is necessary’. In verse 48, the mother of Jesus responded at an emotional and personal level: ‘You caused this emotional stress. You depend upon us. Why did you do this to us?’ In verse 49, Jesus focuses upon physical cause-and-effect—what is necessary based upon empirical evidence. As the italics indicate, ‘house’ is not in the original. Instead, the Greek says, ‘Did you not empirically know that in the realm of the Father of me it is necessary for me to be.” This describes a mindset that is thinking in terms of general theories in Teacher thought and not in terms of Mercy experiences, places, or people. This mindset can also be seen in Darwin and On the Origin of Species. explains that “When the book was published, Darwin withdrew himself from the debate, and the relentless attacks on his work and his character by churchmen. Criticism of his science he responded to, those of his religious views he did not. Darwin amended the original text for each subsequent edition during his lifetime, incorporating the views of critics and correcting what he later perceived to be errors in his original work. Still, the view of the general public, untrained in science, was often shaped by what was heard from the pulpit. Darwin was unable to defend his work in the arena of religion, and it was left to his supporters.” Notice that Darwin ignored the Mercy-based ‘relentless attacks on his work and his character by churchmen’, while responding at a Teacher level to ‘the views of critics’ and ‘errors in his original work’.

This Teacher-based thinking can also be seen in the response of one Anglican clergy to Darwin. Quoting again from, “One of the leading supporters of Darwin’s work was a priest of the church and mathematician Baden Powell. Powell called Darwin’s work a ‘masterly volume’. Powell argued that creation included natural and physical laws, which could not be violated, and that the violation of which would be miraculous. Hence to Powell, the belief in miraculous intervention was in itself atheistic. Only adherence to faith in natural, physical, and spiritual laws was true belief in God. Darwin’s work, according to Powell, was an expression of natural law in action over thousands of years.” Notice the focus upon empirical evidence as well as the universality of natural law in Teacher thought. Stated more carefully, Teacher thought is emotionally disturbed by exceptions to a general rule and miracles are being interpreted as exceptions to the general rules of science.

The parents do not understand in verse 50. “And they did not understand the word that He spoke to them.” Understanding is the verb form of the noun used in verse 47, which means to ‘put facts together’. Word means ‘a spoken word’ and spoke is the word for ‘chatter’. In other words, they are not functioning at the level of paradigms in which Perceiver facts are assembled into a general Teacher theory. Therefore, Jesus’ verbal interaction with his parents is happening at the level of conversation and spoken words and not technical theory. For instance, physics defines the word ‘energy’ in a precise technical manner, guided by technical paradigms. But the average person hears the word ‘energy’ as a normal word with a vague meaning.

Science reached a level of technical theory in the 19th-century that was no longer comprehensible to the average person. Looking at a primary example from physics, Maxwell’s equations “describe how electric and magnetic fields are generated by charges, currents, and changes of the fields. The equations are named after the physicist and mathematician James Clerk Maxwell, who, in 1861 and 1862, published an early form of the equations... The publication of the equations marked the unification of a theory for previously separately described phenomena: magnetism, electricity, light, and associated radiation.” Maxwell’s equations are written either as integrals or as differential equations. The quantum field theories of current physics are far more complicated mathematically, but Maxwell’s equations are sufficiently complicated to be incomprehensible to the average person. However, “The equations provide a mathematical model for electric, optical, and radio technologies, such as power generation, electric motors, wireless communication, lenses, radar etc.” The Quakers who led the early Industrial Revolution were forbidden by law to attend university, and the early Industrial Revolution did not require a university education. Participating in the later Industrial Revolution required a technical understanding of theoretical subjects, such as electromagnetic theory. For instance, electric motors were invented in the 1830s.

Jesus Submits to his Parents 2:51-52

In verse 51, Jesus, functioning at the level of abstract technical paradigms, submits personally to his parents. “And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He was subject to them.” Went down is a common word used for the first time in Luke which means ‘to go down’ and is interpreted as moving away from Teacher generality to Mercy specifics. With means ‘in company with’ when followed by the genitive. Come means ‘to come, go’ which implies that there is no personal transformation to this movement. Nazareth means ‘separated, crowned, sanctified’. Subject is used for the first time in Luke and combines ‘under’ with ‘arrange’. Thus, technical thinking is still functioning in a structured manner, but it is submitting itself to special people and situations. It may be significant that verse 51 does not say ‘parents’ but rather refers twice to the generic ‘them’. One academic author describes this relationship. “Although much has been made of a mid-Victorian crisis of faith, perhaps triggered by the sciences, this seems to have been a feature of a certain class of intellectuals, and not an accurate description of the majority of society (especially middle-class society), which retained a religious faith long after most expert men of science.”

A submission to popular authority can be seen in Darwin himself. Darwin referred to himself as an agnostic rather than an atheist. When questioned, “Darwin smiled and responded ‘Why should you be so aggressive? Is anything gained by trying to force these new ideas upon the mass of mankind? It is all very well for educated, cultured, thoughtful people; but are the masses yet ripe for it?’” More generally, “The Autobiography of Charles Darwin was published posthumously, and quotes about Christianity were omitted from the first edition by Darwin’s wife Emma and his son Francis because they were deemed dangerous for Charles Darwin's reputation.”

Verse 51 continues, “And His mother was treasuring up all these matters in her heart.” ‘His mother’ refers to the mental networks that were the source of technical thought. Treasuring is used twice in the New Testament and means to ‘thoroughly keep’. Matter refers to ‘a spoken word’. And heart refers to personal identity in Mercy thought. Looking at this symbolically, the words of scientists are being regarded as solid truth that affects personal identity. The average person is not understanding the paradigms or mathematical equations of science. Instead, the average person is noticing the words of scientists who work with mathematical paradigms and regarding these words as truth that applies to personal identity. Stated another way, the scientist is being treated as a kind of religious preacher.

For instance, a British Library article describes the impact of Darwin’s theory upon popular imagination. “Perhaps the most surprising thing is just how quickly Darwin’s radical ideas were assimilated into the culture... Being human evoked the mind, consciousness, will, moral feeling, spirit and the nature of the soul. But Darwin’s ideas transformed these notions, reshaping how human beings were understood. The theory of evolution affected not just scientific debate but was soon part of the Victorian imagination, shaping the plots, images and metaphors of its literature and culture.” More generally, an academic paper observes that “The rise from 1830 to 1860 of illustrated weeklies like the Penny Magazine, for example, made diverse imagery widely available and affordable for the first time. During the same period the public enthusiasm for science began to grow... The interest in science and the thirst for images came together in the visual displays to be found in scientific museums, exhibitions, lectures, and publications.”

Verse 52 concludes, “And Jesus continued to advance in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Continue to advance is used once in Luke and was used ‘originally of the pioneer cutting his way through brushwood’. Wisdom actually means ‘clarity’ and was previously used in 2:40 to describe the growth of the young Jesus. Stature means ‘maturity, age’. Favor means ‘grace’ and refers to Teacher thought. Men is the generic word for mankind. In other words, the technical thinking of science and technology are continuing to provide pioneering structure that benefits general theories in Teacher thought as well as humanity in Mercy thought. The vast railway network of the 19th century is an example of pioneering Teacher structure benefiting humanity.

Before we leave the topic, I would like to discuss briefly how mental symmetry treats the theory of evolution. This is discussed in detail in another essay and only a few points will be mentioned here. I suggest that the theory of evolution meets primarily a psychological need because it provides a way for scientific thought to become free of a religious mindset of absolute truth. In simple terms, saying that ‘God created everything’ shuts down rational thought. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Huxley would make advocacy of evolution a cornerstone of the program of the X Club to reform and professionalise science by displacing natural theology with naturalism and to end the domination of British natural science by the clergy. By the early 1870s in English-speaking countries, thanks partly to these efforts, evolution had become the mainstream scientific explanation for the origin of species.”

Looking at this more carefully, blind faith uses Mercy emotions of religious status to overwhelm Perceiver thought while an overgeneralized concept of God shuts down Perceiver thought, because overgeneralization cannot handle rational thought. In contrast, these essays portray a God of generality who uses rational cognitive mechanisms in a general manner to shape human history. It is possible to view the creation of life in a similar manner as God working in a rational manner with intelligent beings. My general hypothesis is that God pre-existed in the form of primal Teacher thought and has been differentiating from this primal order one step at a time. The first differentiation happened within the ‘Godhead’ in eternity before creation. This differentiation is reflected in the Nicene Creed, which refers to Jesus Christ as ‘begotten of the Father’ and the Holy Spirit as ‘proceeding from the Father’. Mysticism attempts to undo this differentiation by personally identifying with a God of primal Teacher thought. This means that any successful attempt to ‘unify with God’ would lead to personal annihilation, which provides an existential reason for rejecting mysticism. (Early Buddhism ignored this fundamental question of whether achieving Nirvana would lead to personal annihilation.)

A second differentiation happened during the creation of life, and one of the first steps of this differentiation would have been for God to create primal beings who interacted with the primal nature of God to generate Teacher strings of information. Protein folding indicates that all living biological tissue is composed of crumpled Teacher strings of information, which are transcribed and then translated from strings of information stored in the DNA. This is not an analogy but rather a fundamental principle of biochemistry. If all biological life is composed of Teacher strings of information, then it makes sense that biological life was designed and constructed by beings who function at the level of Teacher strings of information. This is consistent with the hypothesis that primal beings designed and constructed the DNA that forms life. Thus, it is possible to place biological life within some sort of ‘evolutionary hierarchy’, but this hierarchy reflects the increasing sophistication of primal design rather than random progress. This is similar to the way that it is possible to place computers in an ‘evolutionary hierarchy’, but this hierarchy reflects the increasing sophistication of computer designers and computer design as existing computer components are being reused and refined. Consistent with this hypothesis, a detailed analysis of biological DNA indicates that similarities in DNA can be explained better as computer code being reused among different software projects than as an evolutionary tree of descent. In the words of one website, “Winston’s central thesis is that the nested hierarchical pattern observed in subsets of genes is better accounted for by a dependency graph which reflects the fact that programmers re-use similar coding modules in different independent systems to fulfill similar functional needs.”

Going further, a distinction needs to be made between the Big Bang theory and biological evolution. It is mathematically plausible to talk about the evolution of the universe. It is utterly implausible to talk about the evolution of biological life. This implausibility became especially clear to me after going through a college textbook on biochemistry. For instance, the textbook points out that all cancer is the result of mutations and describes in detail the various mechanisms that protein synthesis takes to avoid mutations. But this same textbook then claims that all evolution is the result of mutations. Thus, the mechanism that is responsible for cancer is supposedly the mechanism that generated all of life. Stated simply, I found a cognitive disconnect between the facts and mechanisms described in the textbook and the occasional extrapolations to the theory of evolution. Thus, a distinction needs to be made between the facts of biochemistry and how these facts are interpreted.

Looking more generally at the concept of gradual evolution, partially developed biological mechanisms cannot function. The cellular ‘factories’ that produce biological structures are so interwoven and interdependent that they can only function if all of the pieces are in place. However, it is possible to functionally separate these biological structures into specific components with specific functions. This is like saying that a car engine will only function if all the parts are present and assembled. However, it is possible to separate a car engine into distinct parts with distinct functions. Therefore, the only rational hypothesis I can come up with is that these distinct biological parts with distinct functions were designed and constructed by primal beings who live outside of physical space and time. These various parts were then assembled in a very short period of physical time to produce functioning biological life. This may sound like a bizarre suggestion, and I am not aware of anyone else having made this precise hypothesis, but I know of no other rational alternative. The essay on Acts builds upon this hypothesis.

Summarizing, the theory of evolution provided a way for 19th century science to escape a Christian evangelical mindset of absolute truth—at the cost of destroying the Christian basis for morality and personal meaning. I suggest that mental symmetry provides an alternative way of escaping the Christian evangelical mindset of absolute truth in a way that preserves Christianity, morality, meaning, and scientific thought. One advantage of a cognitive theory is that it is one step removed from empirical evidence. This is actually necessary, because the scientific insistence upon empirical evidence does not provide an adequate basis for scientific thought. In contrast, a cognitive theory can explain scientific thought while remaining consistent with empirical evidence. In addition, a theory that is one step removed from empirical evidence can also be extended to include the spiritual and the supernatural. Mental symmetry explains spiritual ‘reality’ as a plane of existence that resonates with mental networks. Similarly, the supernatural realm of angels and aliens is explained as a plane of existence that can be manipulated through the words and sequences of Teacher thought. This is consistent with the word angel, which means ‘messenger’.

John the Baptist 3:1-3

Chapter 3 talks about the Ministry of John the Baptist. John the Baptist is interpreted as Protestant religion with its emphasis upon absolute truth and personal rebirth. The first two verses set the scene, making it possible to determine the historical context. Verse 1 begins, “And in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip being tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and of Trachonitis, and Lysanias being tetrarch of Abilene.” Reign is used once in the New Testament and is related to a common word that means ‘an official who leads’. Tiberius is mentioned once in the New Testament and means ‘of the Tiber’, the river that flows through Rome. A river is interpreted as the flow of society. A river flowing through Rome would represent the flow of secular and military society. Caesar is ‘a title of the Roman emperor’, which again would relate to secular and military authority. Governor is used twice in the New Testament and is related to the word ‘reign’. These terms so far suggest an expanding military empire. The name Pilate means ‘skilled with the javelin’ and is interpreted as using abstract technical thought to make more effective weapons to subjugate people. That is because a javelin is thrown through the ‘air’ of Teacher thought at a person. Pontius means ‘belonging to the sea’ and the sea represents the realm of Mercy experiences. Humans grow up within a ‘sea’ of Mercy experiences. Pontius Pilate represents a materialistic mindset that insists that only the sea of human Mercy experiences exist and that the role of technical thought is to live more effectively within this sea of Mercy experiences. Judea means ‘praised’. Putting this together so far, empirical science and technology are being used to develop more effective weapons, this technology is being praised, and it is under the leadership of an expanding military empire.

Tetrarch means to rule over one fourth of a territory. This verb is only used in this verse where it occurs three times. Thus, society is divided into different segments. First, Herod means ‘son of a hero’ and Galilee is interpreted as the cycles of society. Thus, the cycles of society are being led by a nobility who are the ‘sons of heroes’. Second, Philip means ‘horse-loving’ and is interpreted as government and military organization. That is because horses were the ancient equivalent of tanks and required extensive resources to maintain. Philip is the brother of Herod, which means that nobility and government and military organization are related. Ituraea is mentioned once in the New Testament and means ‘a row’, as in a row of stones. A row is composed of many identical items arranged in order. Trachonitis is also used once in the New Testament and means ‘rough’. These two terms are described together as a region which means ‘a country or region’. This combination suggests structure and order being applied in an uneven and rough manner to a large area. Third, Lysanius is also mentioned once in the New Testament and means ‘ending sorrow’. Abilene means ‘grassy meadow’. This suggests the food of knowledge growing from the ground of rational thought. But this is ephemeral knowledge, similar to the ‘grass of the field’ of Matthew 6:30 which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow. However, this ephemeral knowledge is ‘ending sorrow’, implying that it is being used to make life less miserable for people.

That is a long description, but it corresponds to Europe (and the United States) during the 19th century, and especially to the British Empire of Victorian England. Wikipedia summarizes, “The British Empire was composed of the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates, and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It began with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power.” It is appropriate to associate the Tiberius Caesar of ‘an expanding military empire’ with the largest empire in human history. Going further, “British imperial strength was underpinned by the steamship and the telegraph, new technologies invented in the second half of the 19th century, allowing it to control and defend the empire.” This illustrates the ‘Pontius Pilate’ of using empirical technology to control people. In fact, as a naval empire, the British Empire can literally be described as ‘belonging to the sea’. In the words of Wikipedia, “After the defeat of France in the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815), Britain emerged as the principal naval and imperial power of the 19th century and expanded its imperial holdings.” Wikipedia also describes the general attitude of praise for empire. “In Britain, the era of new imperialism affected public attitudes toward the idea of imperialism itself. Most of the public believed that if imperialism was going to exist, it was best if Britain was the driving force behind it. The same people further thought that British imperialism was a force for good in the world.” More generally, “The notion of rule over foreign lands commanded widespread acceptance among metropolitan populations, even among those who associated imperial colonization with oppression and exploitation.”

The praise for Empire can be seen in the phrase ‘The empire on which the sun never sets’. Wikipedia explains that “From the mid-nineteenth century, the image of the sun never setting can be found applied to Anglophone culture, explicitly including both the British Empire and the United States, for example in a speech by Alexander Campbell in 1852: ‘To Britain and America God has granted the possession of the new world; and because the sun never sets upon our religion, our language and our arts...’”

Looking at the first segment of the ‘tetrarchy’, summarizes that “The Victorian Upper Class consisted of the Aristocrats, Nobles, Dukes, other wealthy families working in the Victorian courts... The hereditary aristocratic families by the early 19th century had taken a keen interest in the industrial sector. Due to the changing nature of the basic standard of living of the people, the traditional families were now slowing disappearing and instead, a new combination of nobles and the steadily growing wealthy class comprised of the Upper Section of the society. The Upper Class was by inheritance a Royal Class. Many Aristocrats did not work as for centuries together their families had been gathering enough money for each generation to live a luxurious life. However, there were a number of aristocrats who managed large industries like mining or shipping, etc.” Notice how the cycles of society are being controlled by a nobility that are the ‘sons of heroes’. Turning to the second segment, “The administration of the empire was undertaken by a relatively small number of officials but this was partly because British rule was often ‘indirect’ working through local elites who did much of the actual day to day governing, and with the implicit threat of military intervention if there was trouble.” This describes a form of rough government structure that applies to a large area.

The ‘brothership’ between the first and second segments can be seen in the relationship between nobility and military organization. Wikipedia explains that “The purchase of officer commissions in the British Army was the practice of paying money to the Army to be made an officer of a cavalry or infantry regiment of the English and later British Army.” Thus, “Social exclusiveness was preserved not only by money, as regimental colonels were permitted to – and often did – refuse the purchase of a commission in their regiment by a man who had the necessary money but was not from a social background to their liking. This was especially the case in the Household and Guards regiments, which were dominated by the nobility.” Stated simply, military rank was bought and the upper class had the money to buy military rank. As for being ‘horse-lovers’, the military headquarters for the British Empire was known as Horse Guards. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Horse Guards is a historic building in the City of Westminster... It was, between the early 18th century and 1858, the main military headquarters for the British Empire.”

The third segment can be seen in the rise of consumerism. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The Industrial Revolution dramatically increased the availability of consumer goods... The advent of the department store represented a paradigm shift in the experience of shopping. Customers could now buy an astonishing variety of goods, all in one place, and shopping became a popular leisure activity. While previously the norm had been the scarcity of resources, the industrial era created an unprecedented economic situation. For the first time in history, products were available in outstanding quantities, at outstandingly low prices, being thus available to virtually everyone in the industrialized West.”

Verse 2 describes the religious context. “During the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came upon John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.” High priesthood means ‘high priest’. Annas is mentioned once in Luke and means ‘Yah has been gracious’. Caiaphas probably comes from a word that means basket or tub. Came means ‘to come into being’ which implies a natural progression. Word refers to ‘a spoken word’. John means ‘the Lord has been gracious’. Zechariah means ‘Jah has remembered’ and was interpreted as applying a concept of God to human reality. Wilderness means ‘an uncultivated, unpopulated place’. Putting this together, religious thought is ruled by a concept of God in Teacher thought that has been gracious, combined with a flimsy mental container. This describes Victorian mentality. On the one hand, the Teacher theories of science have led to incredible technological breakthroughs. On the other hand, subjective feelings of religion and faith are housed within a flimsy basket of religious doctrine. These two are interacting, because the religious faith is providing moral direction to the technology, while the success of the technology is lending credence to the religious faith. Within this context, people are applying a concept of God to human reality by recognizing that submission to the Lord leads to grace, and this is happening in the realm of uncultivated and unpopulated places.

These various elements can be seen in the massive missionary activity to foreign lands that accompanied British Empire. In the words of Wikipedia, “In the 18th century, and even more so in the 19th century, missionaries based in Britain saw the British Empire as a fertile field for proselytizing for Christianity. All the main denominations were involved, including the Church of England, Scottish Presbyterian, and Nonconformists. Much of the enthusiasm emerged from the Evangelical revival.” Notice how missionary activity is happening within the context of the British Empire. This is being mentally supported by the ‘basket’ of Christian doctrine. This is spreading ‘a spoken word’ of ‘the Lord has been gracious’ through ‘evangelical revival’, which involves hearing a message about Jesus and salvation and then experiencing the grace of personal forgiveness by submitting to the lordship of this message. Finally, Wikipedia adds that “Missionaries increasingly came to focus on education, medical help, and long-term modernization of the native personality to inculcate European middle-class values. They established schools and medical clinics. Christian missionaries played a public role, especially in promoting sanitation and public health. Many were trained as physicians, or took special courses in public health and tropical medicine at Livingstone College, London.” Notice the focus upon functioning within the ‘wilderness’ of uncultivated foreign lands, which often involved a literal wilderness of some jungle or savanna. Here, the ‘grace’ of education and medicine is being spread by submitting to the lordship of Western culture. Stepping back briefly to look at the bigger picture, did Western missionaries have a positive impact? One can answer this question by looking at the number of mission schools and hospitals that still exist today. However, this positive impact was also intertwined with the colonization and domination of European empire accompanied by feelings of European superiority. But Wikipedia points out that missionaries were not just puppets of Empire. “Missionary societies funded their own operations that were not supervised or directed by the Colonial Office. Tensions emerged between the missionaries and the colonial officials. The latter feared that missionaries might stir up trouble or encourage the natives to challenge colonial authority. In general, colonial officials were much more comfortable with working with the established local leadership, including the native religions, rather than introducing the divisive force of Christianity.”

Verse 3 describes the activity of John the Baptist. “And he went into all the region surrounding the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins.” Went means ‘to come, go’. Surrounding region adds the word ‘surrounding’ to ‘region’ used in verse 1. Jordan means ‘to come or go down, descend’ and is mentioned one other time in Luke in 4:1. ‘Going down’ could be interpreted as heading away from theory to specific Mercy experiences or as focusing upon the lower classes of society. These two interpretations are related because the upper classes tend to be more educated and tend to deal with the larger issues of society. ‘Going down’ would mean focusing upon the lower classes with their specific needs either in one’s home country or abroad. The ‘region surrounding the Jordan’ would mean a general focus upon lower classes and specific needs. Such a focus can be seen in the Salvation Army, founded in 1865. Wikipedia explains, “The Salvation Army's main converts were at first alcoholics, morphine addicts, prostitutes and other ‘undesirables’ unwelcome in polite Christian society, which helped prompt the Booths to start their own church... The Salvation Army’s reputation in the United States improved as a result of its disaster relief efforts following the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.” More generally, as was mentioned previously, “Missionaries increasingly came to focus on education, medical help, and long-term modernization of the native personality to inculcate European middle-class values. They established schools and medical clinics. Christian missionaries played a public role, especially in promoting sanitation and public health.”

This is the first use of proclaim in Luke, which means ‘to be a herald, proclaim’. Baptism means ‘submerge’ and is used for the first time in Luke. Repentance is being used for the first time in Luke and means ‘a change of mind’. Forgiveness is also being used for the first time and means ‘to send away, forgive’. And sin means ‘forfeiture because missing the mark’. Looking at this verse literally, it describes the essence of the evangelical Christian message. Wikipedia summarizes, “Evangelical Christianity or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide interdenominational movement within Protestant Christianity that affirms the centrality of being ‘born again’, in which an individual experiences personal conversion, the authority of the Bible as God’s revelation to humanity (biblical inerrancy), and in spreading the Christian message.” A biblical message is proclaimed. One repents through the conversion of accepting this message, and one experiences the personal rebirth represented by baptism, leading to the feeling of forgiveness of sins. Quoting further from Wikipedia, “To evangelicals, the central message of the gospel is justification by faith in Christ and repentance, or turning away, from sin.” Viewed purely from a cognitive perspective, this works. This message has been proclaimed by the Protestant church since the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, but the Industrial Revolution added an extra dimension which implicitly increased the impact of this message. The native who was being colonized could see that local technology fell short of the mark when compared to advanced European technology. The native also realized that the Europe was teaching a new language of scientific understanding. A native could have ‘a change of mind’ of attending a Western school or hospital. But this required being ‘submerged within the water’ of strange cultural experiences.

I realize that a huge can of worms involving empires, local culture, colonization, and Christianity has just been opened. So, before going any further, I will make a few brief comments. First, it works. An explicit Christian proclamation of salvation through personal faith in a verbal message will be implicitly reinforced by technology developed through the application of abstract scientific theory—because these two are cognitively similar. They both leave existing Mercy mental networks by embracing verbal Teacher thought in order to return transformed to Mercy thought. This process is universally recognized because (essentially) every country sends its children to school for several years before allowing them to participate in society. Stated bluntly, there is no such thing as a noble savage. Second, while the Christian message of personal salvation can and has been corrupted by feelings of tribal, national, and religious superiority, the theory of evolution naturally turns into a form of Social Darwinism that justifies the strong controlling and exploiting the weak. Thus, the biggest moral question is not why Christianity has become corrupted but rather why rational individuals would choose a theory that is so red in tooth and claw as biological evolution. Third, many Christian organizations recognized early on that a distinction needs to be made between the Christian message of saving people and the imperial practice of conquering people. Quoting from Wikipedia, “By the 1870s, Protestant missions around the world generally acknowledged the long-term material goal was the formation of independent, self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating churches. The rise of nationalism in the Third World provoked challenges from critics who complained that the missionaries were teaching Western ways, and ignoring the indigenous culture.” Fourth, the next verses in Luke will describe the incomplete form of thought practiced by 19th century Christian missionaries.

Verse 4 continues. “As it has been written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness’.” As means ‘as, like as’ which means that one thing is similar to another. Book means ‘a scroll, a book’ and this is the first of two times that this word is used in Luke. A book implies a written theory, because a book takes written words and organizes them in a structured manner. This structure is emphasized by the term words which is ‘logos’. This term was last used in 1:29 to describe Mary being perplexed at the ‘logos’ of the angel, which was interpreted as the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages that caused society to go beyond questioning specific facts to questioning general paradigms. Isaiah is mentioned twice in Luke and means ‘salvation of Yah’. This is similar to the name Jesus which means ‘Yahweh is salvation’. And a prophet ‘asserts one idea over another’. The cognitive principle is that a concept of God is based in universal principles in Teacher thought. Therefore, when God brings salvation, then this will be a universal salvation that affects everyone. This does not mean that everyone will be saved, but rather that the process of salvation will be a universal process. Individual people are saved or damned by how they respond to this universal process. This universality can be seen in books and paradigms that go beyond specific words, as well as societal crises that affect all of society. Such totality will naturally emerge whenever dealing with a concept of God based in Teacher thought. On the one hand, positive Teacher feelings of order-within-complexity can be increased by extending the domain of a theory. This explains why bureaucracies, governments, and empires want to grow. On the other hand, Teacher thought feels bad when there is an exception to the general rule. This explains why bureaucracies, governments, and empires try to extend their tentacles to more aspects of society.

Voice means ‘voice, sound’. Crying means ‘shouting with intense feeling’. A ‘crying voice’ implies Teacher emotion. Wilderness means ‘an uncultivated, unpopulated place’. Thus, Teacher emotion is being expressed outside of the frontiers of civilization. For instance, this emotional drive can be seen in the person of David Livingstone, who died in 1873. Wikipedia summarizes that “He had a mythic status that operated on a number of interconnected levels: Protestant missionary martyr, working-class ‘rags-to-riches’ inspirational story, scientific investigator and explorer, imperial reformer, anti-slavery crusader, and advocate of British commercial and colonial expansion.” Notice how Livingstone functioned in a cross-disciplinary manner that involved many aspects of thought and society. Livingstone also had an integrated concept of science and religion. Quoting from Wikipedia, “David’s deep interest in nature and science led him to investigate the relationship between religion and science. In 1832, he read Philosophy of a Future State, written by Thomas Dick, and he found the rationale that he needed to reconcile faith and science and, apart from the Bible, this book was perhaps his greatest philosophical influence.” Going further, “His motto—now inscribed on his statue at Victoria Falls—was ‘Christianity, Commerce and Civilization’, a combination that he hoped would form an alternative to the slave trade, and impart dignity to the Africans in the eyes of Europeans.” This describes a ‘voice crying in the wilderness’, because it is proclaiming a verbal message to ‘uncultivated places’, but this proclamation is a verbal cry driven by Teacher emotion that lacks detailed understanding.

The Message of John the Baptist 3:4-6

The message continues in verse 4. “Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.” Prepare means to ‘prepare, make ready’. Way means ‘a way, road’. Lord means ‘master’ and ‘the’ is implied. Stated simply, get ready for a path of submission to authority. Straight means ‘without unnecessary zig-zags’ and is used twice in Luke: in this verse and in the next. Make means ‘to make, do’. Thus, the elimination of zig-zags is happening at the practical level of Server actions. Path means ‘a rut or worn track’ and is only used in this quote, which also appears in two other Gospels. Stated simply, convoluted traditional methods will be replaced by the straight-forward procedures of ‘the lord’. This can be seen, for instance, in the legacy of David Livingstone. “Partly as a result, within 50 years of his death, colonial rule was established in Africa, and white settlement was encouraged to extend further into the interior. However, what Livingstone envisaged for ‘colonies’ was not what we now know as colonial rule, but rather settlements of dedicated Christian Europeans who would live among the people to help them work out ways of living that did not involve slavery.” Notice how Livingstone prepared the way for the lordship of colonization. Livingstone envisioned a cooperative relationship with local groups, but what actually emerged was a colonial relationship that replaced traditional ways with Western efficiency. This addresses one of the primary complaints against colonization. For instance, one article summarizes that “European colonist have since their arrival imposed their traditions and customs upon Aboriginal or Indigenous inhabitants in every country they have colonized and exploited while devaluing indigenous peoples way of living.” Western colonizers tended to see this as an imposition of industrial efficiency. In the words of another article, “The industrial revolution gave Europe the power to efficiently maintain and profit from so many colonies around the world. Humans had never gone faster than horses could carry them, but now steam-powered trains and ships moved people and goods faster and cheaper than ever before. The impact of infrastructure projects was staggering. A journey on a steamer from Bombay to Liverpool was accomplished in twenty-one days thanks to the newly opened Suez Canal. Railroads were built and penetrated rural areas. In Asia and Africa, the ‘great transformation’ reached, for the first time, into areas remote from port cities. Thanks to the telegraph, orders could be wired and received over great distances in a short amount of time. Industrial capitalism brought a new form of global economic integration. The rising power of manufacturers, and the particular form of capital they controlled, created a relationship between capital and territory as well as the people who dwelled on it, and allowed for new ways to mobilize their labor.” Notice the implicit struggle between Teacher and Mercy thought. The Industrial Revolution was emotionally driven by Teacher feelings of order, efficiency, and rational understanding. Meanwhile, local groups saw this from a Mercy perspective as an ‘imposition of traditions and customs’ that was ‘devaluing indigenous peoples way of living’.

Verse 5 describes this ‘devaluing indigenous ways’ in more detail. “Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be made low.” Valley is used once in the New Testament and means a ‘chasm, ravine’. Filled means ‘to make full, to complete’. Mountain means ‘mountain’ and represents a pragmatic form of general Teacher theory. Hill means ‘a hill’ and would refer to lesser theories. Made low means ‘to make low, to humble’. This describes a theory as opposed to a meta-theory. A theory replaces previous theories by emotionally minimizing them. A meta-theory regards other theories as partial explanations and finds a place for each theory. For instance, even though mysticism is adamantly opposed to the very concept of a meta-theory, a meta-theory recognizes that mysticism can act—for a while—as an inspiration for the development of rational thought. A mindset of absolute truth will naturally think in terms of theories, with old theories being belittled and replaced by new theories. Using Perceiver thought to look for connections will lead to the concept of a meta-theory, in which competing theories become alternate ways of organizing information. Luke 3 is describing the ministry of John the Baptist. This can be interpreted as Protestant Christianity sending missionaries to convert the unreached, and it can also be interpreted as Western Europe civilizing the rest of the world through colonization. And for many within Europe, these two interpretations were one and the same. The ‘making low of every mountain and hill’ can be seen in the way that Western powers remapped Africa. Wikipedia summarizes that “They remapped Africa without considering the cultural and linguistic borders that were already established. At the end of the conference, Africa was divided into 50 different colonies. The attendants established who was in control of each of these newly divided colonies. They also planned, noncommittally, to end the slave trade in Africa.” Notice how the traditional ‘hills’ of indigenous society are being regarded as irrelevant to the imposition of Western ways. A more subtle form of ‘bringing mountains low’ was practiced in India. “In 1818, the British controlled most of the Indian subcontinent and began imposing their ideas and ways on its residents, including different succession laws that allowed the British to take over a state with no successor and gain its land and armies, new taxes, and monopolistic control of industry.” One sees here both the imposition of Western ways upon traditional society and the belittling of traditional mountains of government.

‘Filling every chasm’ describes the result of such ‘re-mapping’. A chasm is a gap that cannot be crossed. A traditional society that is governed by Mercy mental networks will contain many chasms that must not be crossed, such as religious taboos, respect for tribal leaders, divisions between one tribe and another, expected roles for groups or genders, and so on. Western colonization ‘filled in’ these gaps. This could be interpreted as making it possible to cross these divisions, and to some extent this happened. But what tended to happen is that European powers exploited these divisions which ended up ‘making them full’. This was done by the British in India after the rebellion of 1857. Wikipedia explains, “On religion it was felt that there had been too much interference with indigenous traditions, both Hindu and Muslim. On the economy it was now believed that the previous attempts by the Company to introduce free market competition had undermined traditional power structures and bonds of loyalty placing the peasantry at the mercy of merchants and money-lenders. In consequence the new British Raj was constructed in part around a conservative agenda, based on a preservation of tradition and hierarchy.” Notice how colonization is taking advantage of existing religious and social divisions. But this indirectly ended up filling in these chasms. Wikipedia elaborates, “Indians were drawn into government at a local level. Though this was on a limited scale a crucial precedent had been set, with the creation of a new ‘white collar’ Indian elite, further stimulated by the opening of universities at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras, a result of the Indian Universities Act. So, alongside the values of traditional and ancient India, a new professional middle class was starting to arise, in no way bound by the values of the past.” This happened because Western exploitation of native divisions implicitly applied Western thinking. A more blatant form of ‘filling up traditional chasms’ was practiced in the Dutch East Indies. Wikipedia quotes a book written in 1869: “The mode of government now adopted in Java is to retain the whole series of native rulers, from the village chief up to princes, who, under the name of Regents, are the heads of districts about the size of a small English county. With each Regent is placed a Dutch Resident, or Assistant Resident, who is considered to be his ‘elder brother,’ and whose ‘orders’ take the form of ‘recommendations,’ which are, however, implicitly obeyed.” Such a system is a natural byproduct of absolute truth, which views important people as the sources of truth in Mercy thought. Thus, ‘truth’ will tend to be proclaimed to the natives through individuals whom the natives regard as important in Mercy thought.

Verse 5 continues, “And the crooked will become into straight, and the rough ways into smooth.” Crooked is used once in Luke and means ‘crooked because dried out’. Straight is the word that means ‘without unnecessary zigzags’. Become actually means ‘to be’ and not ‘to come into being’. In verse 4, the traditional paths were being straightened. Verse 5 describes something else being straightened. ‘Dried out’ represents solid Perceiver facts that have lost the ‘moisture’ of Mercy experiences. What started as flexible Mercy experiences has gradually solidified into rigid Perceiver rules. In verse 4, a voice was crying out. Verse 5 describes a new kind of being, in which rigid Perceiver rules lose their zig-zags. Saying this another way, Perceiver rules become reduced to their essentials. This happens naturally when different cultures collide for an extended period of time. Each side is forced to rethink its positions in order to decide which principles are essential. For instance, this happened in India after the 1857 rebellion. Quoting from Wikipedia, “John Robert Seeley, a Cambridge Professor of History, said, ‘Our acquisition of India was made blindly. Nothing great that has ever been done by Englishmen was done so unintentionally or accidentally as the conquest of India’... The new administrative arrangement, crowned with Queen Victoria’s proclamation as Empress of India in 1876, effectively replaced the rule of a monopolistic enterprise with that of a trained civil service headed by graduates of Britain’s top universities. The administration retained and increased the monopolies held by the company.” Notice how haphazard rules are being replaced by carefully thought out policies. A similar process happened in the Dutch East Indies. Wikipedia relates, “Due to the high monetary costs of several Dutch conquests in the 19th century, the Cultivation System was implemented in 1830. Under this system it was stipulated that Indonesian farmers had to use 20% of their farmland for the cultivation of cash crops for export such as indigo, coffee and sugar... The system proved disastrous for the local population... Farmers were often forced to either use more than 20% of their farmland, or the most fertile land, for cultivation of cash crops. The system led to an increase in famine and disease among Javanese peasants in the 1840s. According to one estimate, the mortality rates increased by as much as 30% during this period. Due to widespread criticism of the system, it was abolished in 1870.”

Rough means ‘rough’ and is used once in Luke. Way means ‘a way, road’. Smooth means ‘smooth’ and is found once in the New Testament. This transformation from rough to smooth roads happened literally with the development of railroads. For instance, in India “The British also began connecting Indian cities by railroad and telegraph to make travel and communication easier as well as building an irrigation system for increasing agricultural production.” A 1926 academic article gives an example that involves my great-grandparents, who emigrated to Manitoba, Canada in the 1870s. “The story of the colonization of the West is not altogether the story of fearless men pushing at random into an uncharted country, nor of bands of settlers traveling in covered-wagon trains, desperately withstanding one dire calamity after another... It is a story of colonies of Mennonites and sects from South Russia, journeying out to the prairies of Kansas, not with wagons and ox-teams, but in the drab passenger coaches of the early Western railroads.” Railroads have to be smooth roads, because a locomotive cannot climb steep hills or make sharp turns.

Verse 6 concludes, “And all flesh will see the salvation of God.” See means to ‘see with the mind’. All means ‘each part of a totality’. Flesh is used twice in Luke and refers to the physical body. Salvation means to ‘deliver out of danger and into safety’. Verse 6 does not say that everyone will be saved or that salvation will extend to the mind. Instead, it says that people will mentally see physical salvation involving the human body that comes from a concept of God in Teacher thought. And this did happen with colonization. Western colonization spread around the entire globe. Western colonization showed everybody how the Teacher-based thinking of science can transform the physical world through technology. Local people were physically affected by colonizing technology. And colonial control lasted long enough to ensure that everyone grasped mentally what was involved. In many colonies, only a few of the locals got to personally experience this physical salvation. However, everyone mentally saw it. Everyone grasped mentally that Western technology can take a society physically from where it is to someplace better. Verse 6 is typically read in a vague manner as God bringing salvation to everyone. But if it is read carefully, then it describes precisely the limited form of salvation that was experienced in most colonies.

In verse 7, John speaks again. “So he was saying to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him.” Coming out combines ‘out from’ with ‘transport’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. ‘Transport’ is interpreted as movement accompanied by change. ‘Transporting out from’ would mean leaving existing society through a journey that involves change. Crowd means ‘a crowd, multitude, the common people’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Baptize means ‘to immerse’. In other words, crowds are coming out of existing cultures by taking a journey that changes by being ‘immersed’ within the water of Mercy experiences.

This description can be applied to both Europeans heading out to the colonies and to local natives attempting to adopt European ways. For instance, the well-known Protestant missionary, Hudson “Taylor, a thorough-going nativist, offended the missionaries of his era by wearing Chinese clothing and speaking Chinese at home. His books, speaking, and examples led to the formation of numerous inland missions and of the Student Volunteer Movement, which from 1850 to about 1950 sent nearly 10,000 missionaries to inland areas, often at great personal sacrifice. Many early SVM missionaries traveling to areas with endemic tropical diseases left with their belongings packed in a coffin, aware that 80% of them would die within two years.” 10,000 missionaries would qualify as a crowd and traveling to a strange culture with one’s belongings packed in a coffin would qualify as going through a journey that generates change through being immersed in the water of Mercy experiences. Looking at an example in the other direction, “The Dutch school system was extended to Indonesians with the most prestigious schools admitting Dutch children and those of the Indonesian upper class. A second tier of schooling was based on ethnicity with separate schools for Indonesians, Arabs, and Chinese being taught in Dutch and with a Dutch curriculum. Ordinary Indonesians were educated in Malay in Roman alphabet with ‘link’ schools preparing bright Indonesian students for entry into the Dutch-language schools. Vocational schools and programs were set up by the Indies government to train indigenous Indonesians for specific roles in the colonial economy.” Notice how crowds of ethnic natives are coming to be ‘baptized’ in foreign schools and are being sent on journeys that create change. It has recently become taboo in Canada to say anything positive about such schools. However, the late 19th century was a different era than the present. The present era will be discussed when we get to Luke 12.

The Warning of John the Baptist 3:7-9

Verse 7 then mentions John’s message. “Offspring of vipers, who forewarned you to flee from the coming wrath?” Offspring means ‘offspring, child, fruit’. A viper is mentioned once in Luke and is a ‘poisonous snake’. Verse 7 does not say that all of these individuals are ‘offspring of vipers’, but rather that John the Baptist is calling them ‘offspring of vipers’. A mindset that is based in absolute truth will naturally view opposing sources of truth as wrong and evil. Wikipedia elaborates, “First with the arrival of Islam in Africa, then during the Christian colonial efforts, the religiously justified wars, the colonial portrayal of idolatry as proof of savagery, the destruction of idols and the seizure of idolaters as slaves marked a long period of religious intolerance, which supported religious violence and demeaning caricature of the African Traditional Religionists.” I know that it has become almost taboo these days to make disparaging comments about native religion. However, what European colonizers met was raw tribal religion that had never encountered modern technology. What is being defended today is a modern memory of tribal religion viewed through rose-colored glasses which has been sanitized through decades of exposure to Western society. These two are not the same. Looking at this from another perspective, 19th century Europe was in the middle of experiencing the Industrial Revolution, which involved letting go of traditional Mercy mental networks of culture and religion in order to embrace Teacher-driven thinking of science and technology. When a Western missionary or colonizer came to a tribal village and saw idol worship in its original form, then the instinctive response would be to tell the native to get rid of traditional culture and religion.

Looking at this symbolically, a snake is a living string. Teacher thought thinks in terms of sequences and strings of words, while Mercy thought uses mental networks to represent people and other living entities. A snake is the simplest living combination of Teacher and Mercy thought which lacks any of the ‘hands’ of technical thought. A viper is symbolically a snake that uses words to kill life. Mysticism can be described cognitively as a snake. Mysticism tends to express itself in more primitive societies through magical thinking. Describing this in more detail, “In How Natives Think (1925), Lucien Lévy-Bruhl describes a similar notion of mystical, ‘collective representations’. He too sees magical thinking as fundamentally different from a Western style of thought. He asserts that in these representations, ‘primitive’ people’s ‘mental activity is too little differentiated for it to be possible to consider ideas or images of objects by themselves apart from the emotions and passions which evoke those ideas or are evoked by them’.” A form of thinking that is ‘too little differentiated’ is mentally like a snake because it does not differentiate between ‘ideas or images of objects’ and ‘The emotions and passions which evokes those ideas’ in Mercy thought. I know that I am quoting from a 1925 book, but verse 7 describes what John the Baptist is calling members of his audience, and the 1925 volume conveys this impression.

Stepping back for a moment, I would like to point out the bizarre nature of this discussion. I have just been defending the Western missionary and colonizer against postmodern accusations of ‘How dare Western missionaries consider the Bible superior to traditional religion, and how dare Western civilization consider itself superior to traditional culture!!’ But we are in the middle of interpreting the entire biblical Gospel of Luke as a detailed prophecy of Western civilization, and an 800 page essay has been written interpreting the biblical Gospel of Matthew as a prophecy of Western civilization. I challenge the reader to find anything else in any other religion ancient or modern that is comparable. (The Jewish Bible, which Christians refer to as the Old Testament, appears to contain similar prophetic sequences.) Thus, evidence suggests that Western civilization has been supernaturally guided in a manner that was supernaturally predicted in the Christian Bible. This does not mean that Western civilization can view itself as inherently superior. 19th century Europe did view itself as inherently superior to the rest of the world and it took the hell-on-earth of the First and Second World Wars to cure Europe of this idolatry.

Continuing with verse 7, forewarned means ‘to show by placing under’. Flee means ‘to flee’. Wrath is used twice in Luke and means ‘settled anger, rising up from an ongoing opposition’. Coming means ‘at the very point of acting’. This statement is being made to those who are coming to be baptized. Applying this to colonization, many locals are coming to the colonizers for personal help and education. Similarly, many locals are coming to the missionaries and adopting Christianity. Verse 7 is asking the question that naturally comes up whenever Western missionaries or aid organizations go to Third World countries. The general Third World assumption is that all Westerners are rich and that one can get access to some of this wealth by befriending Westerners. Applying this to the age of colonization, the locals are encountering a level of wealth and technology that is beyond their wildest dreams. They know that there is a fundamental incompatibility between the Mercy-based thinking of a tribal society and the rational technical thinking required by science and technology. They also know that the colonizers are here to stay and that traditional tribal society will come to an end. When locals come to be baptized by the colonizers/missionaries, what mental networks are motivating them? Under what system is their thinking placed? This type of rethinking can be seen in the aftermath of the 1857 Indian Rebellion. In the words of Wikipedia, “Until 1857, the British, especially under Lord Dalhousie, had been hurriedly building an India which they envisaged to be on par with Britain itself in the quality and strength of its economic and social institutions. After the rebellion, they became more circumspect... The British felt disenchanted with Indian reaction to social change. Until the rebellion, they had enthusiastically pushed through social reform, like the ban on sati by Lord William Bentinck. It was now felt that traditions and customs in India were too strong and too rigid to be changed easily; consequently, no more British social interventions were made, especially in matters dealing with religion.” Notice the initial assumption that turning India into a version of Britain would be straightforward, followed by the realization that ‘traditions and customs in India were too strong and too rigid to be changed easily’. A similar question of motivation can be seen in Sechele, a convert of David Livingstone. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Sechele, by then the leader of the African tribe, did not like the way that Livingstone could not demand rain of his God like his rainmakers, who said that they could. After long hesitation from Livingstone, he baptised Sechele and had the church completely embrace him. Sechele was now a part of the church, but he continued to act according to his African culture, which went against Livingstone’s teachings.”

John continues in verse 8. “Therefore produce fruits worthy of repentance.” Produce means ‘to make, do’. Fruit means ‘fruit’. Worthy means ‘weighing as much as, of like value’. Repentance means ‘a change of mind’. Fruit grows and implies the presence of mental networks. It is not possible for one person to read the mind of another person. Instead one must use Theory of Mind to guess what another person is thinking based upon their actions. Verse 8 is looking for actions motivated by mental networks that are of equivalent value to a change of mind. One can see this, for example, in missionaries requiring Christian converts to get rid of their idols. For instance, when I taught in Korea, one of the big questions in Christian circles was whether Christians should participate in the traditional religious ceremony of visiting the graves of their ancestors. One Korean Bible professor concluded that visiting graves is fine but not bowing. For an outsider, this is an inconsequential matter. But for a local person, such behavior reflects which mental networks are dominant.

Wikipedia quotes one author writing in 2004. “Christopher John Fuller states that an image in Hinduism cannot be equated with a deity and the object of worship is the divine whose power is inside the image, and the image is not the object of worship itself, Hindus believe everything is worthy of worship as it contains divine energy. The idols are neither random nor intended as superstitious objects, rather they are designed with embedded symbolism and iconographic rules which sets the style, proportions, the colors, the nature of items the images carry, their mudra and the legends associated with the deity.” That may describe how the author himself views idols or how people from that tribal group view idols today when looking back retrospectively from a modern perspective. However, for the vast majority of tribal individuals first encountering the West, idols represented core Mercy mental networks.

Verse 8 continues, “And do not begin to say in yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as father.’” Begin means to ‘commence, rule’. Say means ‘to say, moving to a conclusion’. Putting this together, a group of people are discussing the matter and being ruled by some conclusion. Abraham is the father of the Jewish nation who left the civilized city of Ur in order to follow God to some unknown place. Similarly, the locals coming to be ‘baptized’ into Western civilization and/or Christianity were leaving what they knew in order to enter the unknown. However, when one leaves tribal thinking as a group, has one really left tribal thinking? Something similar happened in the case of Abraham. In Genesis 11:31 Abraham’s father leaves Ur with his family to go to Canaan but settles down in Harran, a city on the edge of Mesopotamian civilization. God calls Abraham in Genesis 12 after his father dies.

Verse 8 finishes, “For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.” Able means ‘to have power’ and is interpreted as active Perceiver thought. A stone represents a solid Perceiver fact. Raise up means ‘to awaken, to raise up’. Children means ‘anyone living in full dependence’. Putting this together, solid Perceiver facts based in a Teacher concept of God have the power to take people out of existing culture and make them dependent upon rational thought. This transition can be seen in an earlier quote from Wikipedia which describes the aftermath of the 1857 Indian rebellion. “On a political level it was also felt that the previous lack of consultation between rulers and ruled had been another significant factor in contributing to the uprising. In consequence, Indians were drawn into government at a local level. Though this was on a limited scale a crucial precedent had been set, with the creation of a new ‘white collar’ Indian elite, further stimulated by the opening of universities at Calcutta, Bombay and Madras, a result of the Indian Universities Act. So, alongside the values of traditional and ancient India, a new professional middle class was starting to arise, in no way bound by the values of the past.” The British realized that their previous approach had failed. Therefore, they created a new group of Indian civil servants based in the ‘stones’ of British law and the general Teacher theory of British Empire. These civil servants ‘lived in full dependence’ of leaving existing culture, because they were ‘in no way bound by the values of the past’. And evidence suggests that this has had a lasting impact. In the words of one article, “There were advantages from colonization as well, especially for those colonies within the British Empire. English institutions, such as the common law, property rights security, contract enforcement, and banking and trading practices provided a positive basis for economic growth in the colonies that has persisted.” I should emphasize that I am not attempting here to justify all aspects of colonialism but rather to observe that history does seem to support the symbolic interpretation being made here of verse 8.

Verse 9 delivers a verdict. “And already also the ax is applied to the root of the trees.” Axe is mentioned twice in the New Testament: here and in the parallel passage in Matthew. Luke 3:9 is identical to Matthew 3:10 except for an additional ‘and’. The Matthew reference was interpreted as the impending fall of the Roman Empire. In the 19th century, traditional societies all over the world were coming to an end. A tree is interpreted as a ‘tree of knowledge’ in which the birds of the air of various academic specializations nest, as described in Luke 13:19. A root is the part of the tree submerged within the earth, which supports the tree and acts as a source of nutrients for the tree. Symbolically speaking, a tree of knowledge acquires its ‘nutrients’ from the ‘ground’ of rational thought. Metal represents solid facts that have been purified in the fire of testing. Thus, applying an axe to the root of the trees would represent using tested knowledge to question the manner in which a certain academic system gathers its information.

A modern example of this relationship can be seen in the current Canadian (and American) academic embrace of ‘indigenous ways of knowing’. We are not looking here at Native expertise. Any group that lives in direct contact with Nature will acquire extensive knowledge about Nature and such knowledge needs to be respected. Instead, we are looking at the more basic question of how knowledge is gathered. Quoting from, “Indigenous worldviews see the whole person (physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual) as interconnected to land and in relationship to others (family, communities, nations). This is called a holistic or wholistic view.” This addresses the primary shortcomings of scientific technical thought, which is that it is specialized, objective, and materialistic. These shortcomings were mentioned earlier when looking at incarnation. An ‘indigenous worldview’ replaces specialization with a ‘wholistic’ perspective in Teacher thought, it replaces objectivity with ‘family, communities, nations’, and it replaces materialism with ‘the whole person (physical, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual)’. This needs to be done, and mental symmetry attempts to address these three shortcomings of Western science. But how should this task be carried out? What kind of knowing should be used? The opentextbc page mentions a number of principles. One primary theme is an attitude of respect: “Encompasses an understanding of and practicing community protocols... Continually seeks to develop and sustain credible relationships with Indigenous communities. It’s important to be seen in the community as both a supporter and a representative of the institution... Honours that the integrity of Indigenous people and Indigenous communities must not be undermined or disrespected when working with Indigenous people... ensure Indigenous knowledge is valued and that the curriculum have culturally appropriate outcomes and assessments.” Cognitively speaking, this means giving pre-eminence to Mercy mental networks of indigenous culture and personal authority. Unfortunately, this is fundamentally incompatible with scientific thought. In the words of Wikipedia, “Scientific skeptics maintain that empirical investigation of reality leads to the most reliable empirical knowledge, and suggest that the scientific method is best suited to verifying results. Scientific skeptics attempt to evaluate claims based on verifiability and falsifiability; they discourage accepting claims which rely on faith or anecdotal evidence. Paul Kurtz described scientific skepticism in his 1992 book The New Skepticism, calling it an essential part of scientific inquiry. The Skeptics Society describes it as ‘the application of reason to any and all ideas—no sacred cows allowed.’” Stated simply, ‘indigenous knowing’ treats indigenous culture and elders as ‘sacred cows’ while scientific inquiry demands that there be no ‘sacred cows’. We saw earlier that Francis Bacon is regarded as the founder of the scientific method partially because he emphasized the questioning of ‘sacred cows’. Looking at this from a cognitive viewpoint, will Teacher mental networks of rational understanding take priority over Mercy mental networks of culture and status or will they be forced to kowtow to mental networks of culture and status? And responding to this statement by claiming that I am offending ‘indigenous knowing’ is itself an example of kowtowing to mental networks of culture and status.

Verse 9 concludes, “Therefore every tree not producing good fruit is cut down and is thrown into the fire.” Produce means ‘to make, do’. Good means ‘attractively good’. Cut down is an intensive form that means ‘to cut off, cut down, cut out’. Throw means ‘to throw, cast’ and is interpreted as moving through the ‘air’ of Teacher thought. This is the first use of this word in Luke. Fire generates energy by consuming matter. The cognitive equivalent is motivation that consumes itself through some form of frustration. This can have a transformative effect because being frustrated at one level forces a person to develop a higher level of functioning. Putting this together, any system of thought that does not lead to attractive results will be theoretically rejected and faced with frustration. Verse 9 provides a possible way of maneuvering through the thicket of cultural imperialism, which Wikipedia defines as “The exercise of power in a cultural relationship in which the principles, ideas, practices, and values of a powerful, invading society are imposed upon indigenous cultures in the occupied areas.” In simple terms, examine each aspect of the local culture to see if it leads to attractive results. If so, then leave it as part of the existing tree of knowledge. If it does not lead to attractive results, then remove it from the tree of knowledge and allow it to burn itself out through the frustration of the pain that it generates. On the one hand, if pain-generating practices are suppressed, then the pain will be blamed upon the colonizing power that is oppressing the practice, because a tribal mentality thinks primarily in terms of people and not in terms of cause-and-effect. On the other hand, pain-generating practices should not be officially supported through government subsidies, because that simply perpetuates human misery.

Verse 9 follows naturally from verse 8. Verse 8 was interpreted as the rise of a new class of civil servants taken from the native population. This new class of individuals will change the nature of the questions, causing irrelevant ‘branches’ of the tree to be cut off and thrown into the fire. Wikipedia describes this process happening in India. “By 1880, a new middle class had arisen in India and spread thinly across the country. Moreover, there was a growing solidarity among its members, created by the ‘joint stimuli of encouragement and irritation’. The encouragement felt by this class came from its success in education and its ability to avail itself of the benefits of that education such as employment in the Indian Civil Service... [and] encouragement came from the work of contemporaneous Oriental scholars like Monier Monier-Williams and Max Müller, who in their works had been presenting ancient India as a great civilisation... On 28 December 1885, professionals and intellectuals from this middle-class—many educated at the new British-founded universities in Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras, and familiar with the ideas of British political philosophers, especially the utilitarians assembled in Bombay. The seventy men founded the Indian National Congress... Social reform was in the air by the 1880s. For example, Pandita Ramabai, poet, Sanskrit scholar, and a champion of the emancipation of Indian women, took up the cause of widow remarriage, especially of Brahmin widows.” Notice how the Western trained civil servants coalesced into a new cultural group. This new group looked back at pre-colonized India and emphasized what was attractively good as well as forming the nucleus of an organized group that expressed Western ideas and actions within an Indian context. And this new group re-examined harmful traditional Indian practices (such as forbidding child widows from ever marrying again) in the light of Western Christian morality. I am not suggesting that everything was peaches and roses, but one can see a progression happening as described in Luke 3. Remember also that this chapter is describing the ministry of John the Baptist, representing a moral mindset based upon absolute truth.

The Advice of John the Baptist 3:10-14

Verse 10 then turns to specific questions of morality. “And the crowds were asking him, saying, ‘What then shall we do?’” Ask means to ‘ask appropriately’. In verse 7 the crowds were coming up to be baptized. Such a baptism has happened because the crowds are now ‘asking appropriately’. Looking at the example of India, we saw at the end of verse 10 that a new Indian ruling class emerged that started asking moral questions about colonial rule using Western concepts of morality. Do means ‘to make, do’, which suggests a focus upon actions.

Verse 11 provides the first answer. “And answering, he was saying to them, ‘The one having two tunics, let him impart to the one having none; and the one having food, let him do likewise.’” A tunic refers to the ‘undergarment worn next to the skin’. Impart is used once in Luke and means ‘to give a share of’. Clothing is interpreted as the fabric of social interaction. A tunic would refer to core aspects of social interaction. Looking at this cognitively, the cultural changes induced by colonization (or some other major shift) will eventually threaten core mental networks of identity. This is when a colonized group typically stops conforming and goes to extreme lengths to preserve the fundamentals of its culture. Cognitively speaking, when a mental network continues to receive inconsistent input, it will eventually start to fall apart and generate extreme negative emotions. This can be seen when attempting to break a habit. Verse 11 suggests turning to those who have two tunics—who are capable of naturally fitting into both the colonial and the native culture. These individuals need to assist those who are feeling cultural angst. Such individuals would include both local individuals who are comfortable within Western culture as well as Westerners who have gone native. Food represents intellectual food. Likewise means ‘in like manner’. Notice that the intellectual food is not treated as a separate category but rather is supposed to be treated like the tunics. That is because we are looking here at the emotional and cultural packaging of information. Those who do have information need to share it in a cross-cultural manner that is consistent with both cultures. Verse 11 does not say that everyone has to undergo sensitivity training in order to avoid offending the feelings of those who are experiencing cultural angst. But it does say that those who are going through some sort of cultural crisis need to be given a cross-cultural helping hand.

Looking at a colonial example, Wikipedia explains that “The Indian National Congress ... Founded in 1885... was the first modern nationalist movement to emerge in the British Empire in Asia and Africa.” Looking at the cross-cultural aspect, “British-controlled India... worked to try to support and justify its governance of India with the aid of English-educated Indians, who tended to be more familiar with and friendly to British culture and political thinking. Ironically, a few of the reasons that the Congress grew and survived, particularly in the 19th century era of undisputed British dominance or hegemony, was through the patronage of British authorities and the rising class of Indians and Anglo-Indians educated in the English language-based British tradition.” Notice the presence of a ‘rising class of Indians and Anglo Indians educated in the British tradition’. A postmodern perspective might view this as a betrayal of Indian culture, but remember that we are dealing with ‘the 19th century era of undisputed British dominance’. The current Russian invasion of Ukraine illustrates what happens when a nation adopts modern technology without making a transition from Mercy feelings of tribalism and cultural superiority to the rule of law in Perceiver thought.

Verse 12 turns to financial aspects of colonial control. “And tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, ‘Teacher, what shall we do?’” Tax collector means ‘a tax-collector, gathering public taxes from the Jews for the Romans’. The Romans were also a ‘colonizing power’ who got local individuals to do the dirty work of collecting taxes for them. Came simply means ‘to come, go’. However, the tax collectors are the only one of the three groups mentioned where baptism is explicitly mentioned. Thus, there is no journey that involves change, but there is a rebirth that can come from staying in the same location. This group is also the only one that uses the term teacher, which means ‘an instructor acknowledged for their mastery in their field of learning’. Do indicate an emphasis upon Server actions. Tax collectors would represent all of the native civil servants who are implementing the policies of colonial control, because most of these jobs would include some aspect of collecting money for the government. The term ‘teacher’ implies that these local employees are looking to colonizing authorities for instructions on how to carry out their tasks.

John answers in verse 13. “And he said to them, ‘Collect nothing more beyond that having been appointed to you.’” More means ‘greater in number’ and beyond means ‘alongside of’ when followed by the accusative. Appointed means ‘to command with detailed instructions’. And collect actually means ‘a routine or habit’. Verse 13 describes a major concern of most Third World countries which is corruption among government employees. In simple terms, a civil servant will ask for some extra money under the table in order to perform the official task. This is a natural byproduct of a tribal society that thinks in terms of Mercy status. A civil servant has Mercy status and will use this status to impose mental networks of personal identity upon the public. Choosing to carry out detailed instructions in a habitual manner without asking for anything extra will build Server sequences of technical thought backed up by the Teacher order of the system. Bureaucracy is a problem for Western societies that are attempting to move beyond technical specializations to a more integrated approach. However, the development of a locally implemented, corruption-free bureaucracy is a major step in the transformation from a tribal society to a technological economy. That is why this transition qualifies as a baptism, because choosing to process laws and money as a civil servant without skimming off the top will lead to mental transformation for a tribal mindset. Notice that this comes after the comment about the two tunics. That is because questions about honest government can only be addressed after feelings of existential angst regarding core culture have been resolved. Stated simply, it is not possible to fix government corruption when locals are rebelling militarily against the government.

For instance, a 2012 article in the Guardian looks back at the British civil service, observing that “The IAS [Indian Administrative Service] owes it structure to the British India Civil Service, the ICS, which administered the country as a colonial possession from 1858 until 1947... The IAS still possesses a nobility that comes from its long and dutiful record of public service, and the people who join it do seem touched by idealism. On our last night, a company of actors came from Mumbai and put on a play in which an IAS bureaucrat becomes massively corrupt and only at the last minute renounces his dubious career. The audience cheered this resolution, and not only because that was expected of them.” Notice how the mindset of the British servant service has remained intact, along with the expectation that bribery needs to be resisted. I am not suggesting that this civil service, or any civil service, is perfect, but rather pointing out that verse 13 describes a transitional form of colonialism that is capable of surviving into postcolonial times.

Notice also that John does not condemn the tax collectors as quislings. Part of this is pragmatic. Historically speaking, John the Baptist was addressing a Jewish audience that was under the thumb of Roman authority. Similarly, European colonizing powers in the 19th century had such a technological advantage that the locals had no hope of kicking them out. But it also indicates that the ultimate goal is not to preserve tribal mental networks intact, but rather to take the ‘attractively good’ elements of local culture and place them within the rule of law. This combination can be seen in a quote mentioned earlier. “By the 1870s, Protestant missions around the world generally acknowledged the long-term material goal was the formation of independent, self-governing, self-supporting, self-propagating churches. The rise of nationalism in the Third World provoked challenges from critics who complained that the missionaries were teaching Western ways, and ignoring the indigenous culture.” Missionaries are recognizing that local culture needs to be respected; one cannot take away a person’s ‘tunic’ and expect him to survive. The solution is not to stop converting people to Christianity but rather to encourage the formation of self-propagating churches that are capable of sharing tunics with those who have none, self-governing entities that will not collect more than has been appointed, and self-supporting entities that will be content with their wages.

Verse 14 turns to soldiers. “And those being soldiers also were asking him, saying, ‘And what shall we do?’ And he said to them, ‘Extort no one, nor accuse falsely, and be content with your wages.’” Soldier is mentioned once in Luke and means ‘to make war, to serve as a soldier’. Extort is used once in the New Testament and means to ‘shake thoroughly’. This could be interpreted as excessive violence. But looking at this symbolically, shaking disturbs Perceiver facts there are supposed to be solid and unmovable. This means that armed force should never behave in a manner that attacks public stability. A tribal society tends to be characterized by continual conflict as each tribe is emotionally driven by the Mercy mental networks of its group to impose itself upon other tribes. Verse 14 describes a different function for armed force which is maintaining public order. Accuse falsely is used twice in the New Testament and combines ‘fig’ with ‘bring to light’ (yes, really). The other occurrence is in Luke 19:8 where it is translated as ‘defraud’. The fig tree is the first plant mentioned by name in the Bible in Genesis 3:7 where Adam and Eve ‘sewed fig leaves to cover their nakedness’. Thus, fig leaves are interpreted as compensation mechanisms that one uses to ‘cover one’s nakedness’. Putting this together, soldiers should not use their powers to violate personal privacy, which would include obvious measures such as avoiding rape and torture. The current Russian invasion of Ukraine has made the relationship between this point and the previous point crystal-clear. In the words of, “Corruption in the Russian armed forces, and society in general, has been a long-acknowledged truism. The Russian public sector has consistently ranked near the bottom of’s Corruption Perceptions Index, placing 136 out of 180 countries in 2021. Corruption has been perceived as a particular problem within Russia’s military and is seen in some regards as a part of military life.” Among other things, this expresses itself as an army that naturally rapes, tortures, deceives, and pillages. This even describes how Russia treats its own army. In the recent September 2022 mobilization, Russian civilians were being sent with inadequate equipment to the front lines to fight after two days or less of training. Thus, the honest government of verse 13 appears to be a prerequisite for the professional army of verse 14.

Content is used once in Luke and means ‘to assist, suffice’. Wages is used once in the New Testament and means ‘the purchase of meat’. This can be interpreted as soldiers being content with their wages and not having to pillage, but there is also a deeper cognitive interpretation. Europe was able to conquer the rest of the world because it had technological weaponry. Using technology requires skill, leading to the need for a professional army. A professional soldier is emotionally driven by Teacher feelings of order and technical competence. This provides an emotional alternative to the Mercy feelings of personal status and dominance that enable raping, torturing, and pillaging. What drives the professional soldier is the respect that comes from the ‘purchasing of meat’ of new skills. Meat is a form of ‘solid food’, which is interpreted as the food of knowledge, but it comes from animals, which the mind represents using mental networks. Thus, eating meat would represent knowledge that has to be applied within an emotional realm of mental networks. This describes military skills which have to be ‘performed under fire’. Wikipedia describes the professionalization of the British Army in the later 19th-century. “The army insisted on minimum standards of education for soldiers promoted to the rank of corporal, and higher standards for those promoted to sergeant or above. From 1871, there were compulsory education classes for new recruits...The illiteracy rate within the army declined from 90% in 1871 to almost zero by the 1890s.” And “After the abolition of Purchase of commissions, most officers obtained their commissions after attending the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst... officers were still drawn mainly from the upper classes, but they at least had to pass competitive examinations before entering the Academy, and had to attain minimum standards of education and military training before receiving their commissions.”

John the Baptist versus the Christ 3:15-17

Verse 15 describes the general attitude. “And the people are expecting and all wondering in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ.” Expecting means ‘to await, expect’ and was previously used in 1:21 to describe the people waiting for Zechariah. That was interpreted as the impact of the mystical experience upon normal life. In verse 15, the Victorian morality of absolute truth is having an impact upon normal life. Expecting means ‘to await, expect’ and was previously used in 1:21 to describe the laity waiting for Zechariah to emerge from the temple, which was interpreted as the impact of mystical experiences upon normal thought. In Chapter 3, the absolute truth of John the Baptist is having an impact upon normal thought. People means ‘laity’, as opposed to the crowds of the previous verses. Wondering means to ‘go back-and-forth when evaluating’ and was previously used in 1:29 to describe Mary pondering the message of the angel, which was interpreted as the back-and-forth thinking caused by many duelling powers during the Crisis of the Middle Ages. When two opposing powers each claim to be the valid source of absolute truth, then this will lead to a doubting of absolute truth. Physical powers, such as France and England, or the pope and the antipope, were fighting during the Crisis of the Middle Ages, leading to a time of great personal misery. In verse 15, the struggle is between absolute truth and personal prosperity, provoked by an time of unprecedented great personal prosperity among the ‘laity’ of European citizens. Some of this prosperity was trickling down to the ‘crowds’ in the colonies, but verse 15 refers to the questioning that is happening within the laity and not within the crowds. The heart refers to personal identity in Mercy thought. This confusion is concerning John, which means ‘the Lord has been gracious’. Looking at this cognitively, the basic assumption of absolute truth is that the source of truth has much greater personal status than personal identity. However, we have been seeing that the absolute truth of the Bible accurately describes principles of personal transformation. Thus, applying the absolute truth of the Bible will lead to personal benefits, as illustrated by the moral and social progress of the Victorian era. Experiencing these personal benefits will cause personal identity to rise in importance relative to the source of truth, causing belief in absolute truth to fall into doubt. The result is a back-and-forth thinking within the ‘heart’ of personal identity. On the one hand, absolute truth requires self-abasement, while on the other hand, applying absolute truth lifts self up.

Might be is simply the word ‘to be’. Christ refers to the abstract side of incarnation, and this is the only mention of Christ in chapter 3. Looking at this symbolically, the later 19th century was the high point of Victorian civilization, because the personal prosperity created by the Industrial Revolution was still being morally guided by the memory of absolute truth. A similar crossover happened in the 1970s and 80s with the personal freedom of the ‘hippie era’ still being guided by a memory of traditional Christian morality. During such a time of crossover, a juxtaposition of absolute Christian truth and objective science and technology will feel like a concept of incarnation.

Looking at this more carefully, a concept of incarnation goes beyond technical thought to save people in Mercy thought guided by an integrated understanding in Teacher thought. One aspect of saving people can be seen in the increase of leisure. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Opportunities for leisure activities increased dramatically as real wages continued to grow and hours of work continued to decline... Furthermore, a system of routine annual holidays came into play, starting with white-collar workers and moving into the working-class. Some 200 seaside resorts emerged thanks to cheap hotels and inexpensive railway fares, widespread bank holidays and the fading of many religious prohibitions against secular activities on Sundays. By the late Victorian era the leisure industry had emerged in all cities. It provided scheduled entertainment of suitable length at convenient locales at inexpensive prices.” Notice how more people are experiencing more personal happiness. Wikipedia also describes attempts to ensure that leisure was ‘morally uplifting’. “Gambling at cards in establishments popularly called casinos was wildly popular during the period: so much so that evangelical and reform movements specifically targeted such establishments in their efforts to stop gambling, drinking, and prostitution.” More personally, “In Great Britain, elsewhere in Europe, and in the United States, the notion that marriage should be based on romantic love and companionship rather than convenience, money, or other strategic considerations grew in popularity during the Victorian period.” A ‘Christ’ of integrated technical thought can be seen physically in the infrastructure of the second Industrial Revolution. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Advancements in manufacturing and production technology enabled the widespread adoption of technological systems such as telegraph and railroad networks, gas and water supply, and sewage systems, which had earlier been concentrated to a few select cities. The enormous expansion of rail and telegraph lines after 1870 allowed unprecedented movement of people and ideas, which culminated in a new wave of globalization. In the same time period, new technological systems were introduced, most significantly electrical power and telephones.” Notice all the references to general structure in Teacher thought: ‘widespread adoption’, ‘ technological systems’, ‘ railroad networks’, ‘sewage systems’, ‘enormous expansion’, unprecedented movement’, and ‘globalization’. This external infrastructure substituted for an integrated Teacher understanding that was able to bridge science and religion.

John replies in verse 16. “John answered all saying, ‘I indeed baptize you with water, but the One mightier than I comes, of whom I am not worthy to untie the strap of His sandal.’” Notice that verse 16 does not describe what is happening but rather how John the Baptist responds verbally to what is happening. Water represents the realm of Mercy experiences. Come means ‘to come, go’. Mighty means ‘strong, originally and generally of physical strength’. Strength describes the ability to impose oneself upon others. For instance, Western civilization was using technological strength in the 19th century to impose itself upon other societies. This is a comparison in which ‘the mighty’ is being compared with ‘I’. Such a comparison lies at the basis of absolute truth, because absolute truth requires a source of truth that is more mighty than personal identity. Worthy means ‘reach to, attain’ and is used for the first time in Luke. This describes the sense of personal inadequacy that is inherent in absolute truth. Untie means ‘to loose, to release, to dissolve’. Strap means ‘a thong, strap’ that is used for fastening. And a sandal is a sole bound under the foot. Looking at this symbolically, the feet hold up the body and sandals protect the feet from the ‘hard ground’ of rational facts. Thus, sandals would represent the way that one protects fundamental personal facts from hard reality. This describes the functional role of absolute truth. For instance: ‘My personal life is difficult but the Bible says that God loves me.’ Notice that we are not looking at the content of absolute truth here but rather the personal role played by absolute truth. ‘Loosing the straps’ would mean questioning this role of absolute truth. John is saying that personal identity does not have enough personal status to question the role of absolute truth. A similar distinction can be seen today with evangelical Christianity. Generally speaking, the content of absolute truth is not discussed. Instead, what is being defended is the idea of absolute truth. Instead of focusing upon what the Bible says, the focus is upon the religious system based upon respect for the Bible. Absolute truth is responding to the personal success produced by technology by insisting that the source of absolute truth is still far more important than anything generated by personal identity.

Verse 16 then describes a positive alternative. “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Fire was interpreted previously as motivation that consumes through some form of frustration. A concept of spirit is based in Platonic forms, while a concept of the Holy Spirit emerges as Teacher thought integrates various Platonic forms leading to a Form of the Good. Both science and absolute truth lead to the formation of Platonic forms, but these function in a different manner. Science observes the real world, leading to Perceiver facts about reality, such as facts about round things. Teacher thought then comes up with a theory that summarizes the essence of Perceiver facts, such as the Platonic form of a circle. The Platonic form of a circle is more perfect than any real circle but it is also an idealization of existing circles. Absolute truth also leads to Platonic forms, because thinking theoretically about absolute truth will lead to internal images of ideal perfection. But these facts came from some holy book and not from reality. Therefore, what will emerge is the Platonic form of a heavenly realm with heavenly perfection that has nothing to do with earthly reality.

Putting this together, the Industrial Revolution led to a ‘baptism by water’ as technology immersed people within a sea of new Mercy experiences. Europe experienced this baptism during the Industrial Revolution and was now forcing the rest of the world to experience it through colonization. John the Baptist is preserving absolute truth by postponing the Platonic forms of absolute truth to the future. Stated simply, ‘Science and technology have transformed the physical world now, but the absolute truth of the Bible will transform the world much more fully in the future’. This is a form of Holy Spirit, because it is extrapolating beyond the technological and social improvements of Victorian society to the internal image of a more complete future transformation. But it is also a fire of frustration, because Platonic Forms that come from a book that is unrelated to physical reality cannot be realized in physical reality, and if they ever were realized, then the resulting personal enjoyment would lead to the fading of absolute truth. The end result is a hope for a coming heaven-on-earth that must forever remain pie-in-the-sky by-and-by. This can be seen in the evangelical belief of the Rapture. Wikipedia summarizes that “The rapture is an eschatological position held by some Christians, particularly those of American evangelicalism, consisting of an end-time event when all Christian believers who are alive, along with resurrected believers, will rise ‘in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air’... The idea of a rapture as it is currently defined is not found in historic Christianity, and is a relatively recent doctrine.” Wikipedia describes the historical source of this doctrine. “John Nelson Darby first proposed and popularized the pre-tribulation rapture in 1827... Darby and other prominent Brethren were part of the Brethren movement which impacted American Christianity, especially with movements and teachings associated with Christian eschatology and fundamentalism, primarily through their writings. Influences included the Bible Conference Movement, starting in 1878 with the Niagara Bible Conference. These conferences, which were initially inclusive of historicist and futurist premillennialism, led to an increasing acceptance of futurist premillennial views and the pre-tribulation rapture especially among Presbyterian, Baptist, and Congregational members. Popular books also contributed to acceptance of the pre-tribulation rapture, including William E. Blackstone’s book Jesus is Coming, published in 1878, which sold more than 1.3 million copies.” Notice how the doctrine of the Rapture was developed by a small group within evangelical Christianity during the early Industrial Revolution and then spread to the rest of evangelical Christianity at the end of the Industrial Revolution. Such a spread indicates that the concept of a Rapture mentally resonated with evangelical Christians during the late Victorian era. There is also a mental resonance between the personal character of John Darby and the doctrine of the Rapture. In simple terms, Darby taught that God will treat the world the same way that Darby himself treated his fellow Christians. Going further, I grew up believing in the Rapture and these prophetic essays began as an attempt to determine the scriptural validity of the Rapture. I have examined all the New Testament passages that supposedly refer to the Rapture. My conclusion is that some kind of supernatural intervention is required because current society is now headed straight for a brick wall in about a half a dozen different ways. And scripture seems to indicate that society is on the verge of some major transition that will go beyond current physical reality to include aspects of what is regarded as heavenly Platonic forms. However, it appears that this ‘heavenly perfection’ can be analyzed rationally using cognitive mechanisms and will express itself physically in a manner that is similar to current science and technology. And I do not find any scriptural basis for the kind of Rapture described either by Darby or portrayed in the Left Behind series.

The Doctrine of John the Baptist 3:18

John continues speaking in verse 17. “Of whom the winnowing fork is in His hand to clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn. But He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” This verse is almost identical to Matthew 3:12, which was interpreted as the rethinking of all information as the Roman Empire fell and was replaced by the medieval church. Winnowing fork is used twice in the New Testament and means ‘a winnowing shovel’. This was used to throw grain into the air in order to allow the wind to separate the wheat from the chaff. Symbolically speaking, information is being thrown into the air of Teacher thought in order to ‘separate the wheat from chaff’. Hand represents technical thought. Thus, this separating of ‘good’ from ‘worthless’ information involves the use of technical thought. Clear is used once in Luke and means to ‘thoroughly cleanse’. Cleansing removes all admixture. In other words, information is currently mixed into good and worthless. Technical thought needs to be used to get rid of the worthless in order to hold on to the pure and the good. A threshing floor implies that this filtering of information is happening within some limited area. Gather means ‘to lead together’, which implies an awareness of Teacher structure. Wheat is ‘a generic term for any edible grain’, which would refer to knowledge that is worth consuming. A barn is ‘a place for putting away’. And this is ‘His’ barn, indicating an ownership of information. Burn up suggests a fire of frustration that is sufficient to eliminate any content. Unquenchable is used once in Luke and indicates that nothing will be able to avoid this fire of frustration.

Putting this all together, notice that John the Baptist is saying that this will happen, and that this follows on from verse 16, which means that it is related to the concept of the Rapture. What is being described is a type of thinking that combines technical thought with absolute truth, a type of thinking that became dominant in the Middle Ages and led to scholasticism. The facts of absolute truth are being studied in a systematic manner leading to general Teacher theories, but the goal is not to discover principles of cause-and-effect, but rather to sort existing information into the two categories of ‘acceptable’ and ‘rejected’. Acceptable information is gathered together as a collection of facts because there is no concept of Server actions or sequence. This means that any rejected information that is based in real events or real cause-and-effect will have to be repeatedly rejected because it will continually be reimposed upon the mind by reality.

This combination describes fundamentalism. Wikipedia summarizes that “Fundamentalist Christianity is a religious movement emphasizing biblical literalism. In its modern form, it began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries among British and American Protestants as a reaction to theological liberalism and cultural modernism. Fundamentalists argued that 19th-century modernist theologians had misinterpreted or rejected certain doctrines, especially biblical inerrancy, which they considered the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Fundamentalists are almost always described as upholding beliefs in biblical infallibility and biblical inerrancy, in keeping with traditional Christian doctrines concerning biblical interpretation, the role of Jesus in the Bible, and the role of the church in society.” Comparing this with verse 17, this is a technical, theoretical focus upon theology and doctrine. Information is being run through a filter of ‘traditional Christian doctrines concerning biblical interpretation, the role of Jesus, and the role of the church’ in order to decide which doctrines need to be accepted or rejected. The focus is not so much upon applying biblical truth or understanding moral issues but rather upon gathering acceptable doctrine into a storehouse of pure, fundamentalist doctrine. This mindset of filtering and gathering is described in another Wikipedia quote. “George Marsden has defined Christian fundamentalism as the demand for strict adherence to certain theological doctrines, in opposition to Modernist theology. Its supporters originally coined the term in order to describe what they claimed were five specific classic theological beliefs of Christianity.” Notice that theological doctrines are being thrown into the Teacher air of ‘five classic theological beliefs’ and being rejected as chaff if they violate these core beliefs.

Quoting further from Wikipedia, these five beliefs are “Biblical inspiration and the infallibility of scripture as a result of this: Virgin birth of Jesus. Belief that Christ’s death was the atonement for sin. Bodily resurrection of Jesus. Historical reality of the miracles of Jesus.” Mental symmetry approaches these doctrines from a functional perspective, adding a sense of time and sequence that the mindset of fundamentalism is missing. Looking at this in more detail, these essays are showing that the Bible is ‘inspired’ because it predicts the course of Western civilization in a manner that is inhumanly accurate and detailed. And if one interprets Jesus cognitively as the concrete side of incarnation that saves, one can see from this essay on Luke that human history had to be supernaturally guided to reach the point where Jesus is capable of functioning in mature form. In fact, we are about to reach this point in the gospel of Luke after 2 1/2 chapters of preparation covering several centuries of history and about 120 pages of analysis. The death of Christ is also interpreted cognitively as the rethinking of the abstract side of incarnation. This rethinking will happen at the end of Luke. Luke 24:26-27 says, “‘Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?’ And having begun from Moses and from all the Prophets, He interpreted to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” This essay on Luke is interpreting ‘the Scriptures’ as a description of ‘Christ suffering and entering his glory’. Thus, the bodily resurrection of Jesus is more than just a person rising from the dead but also an entire concept of how to save people becoming reborn in a practical manner that really saves people and does not just talk about saving people. Finally, the miracles of Jesus become reinterpreted as concrete illustrations of a cognitive sequence. Instead of being violations of natural law, they are illustrations of cognitive principles. More generally, the historical person of Jesus as described in the Gospels becomes viewed as a physical expression of the universal principles of Christ. This is consistent with what Jesus says in John 5:19. “The Son is able to do nothing of Himself, if not anything He may see the Father doing; for whatever He does, these things also the Son does likewise.” This is normally interpreted as a mindset of total submission to authority as required by absolute truth, but this essay, together with the essay on Matthew, shows that this statement should be interpreted as embodying universal Teacher theories within the Server sequences of personal existence. Saying this another way, the life of Jesus was an exemplar of the universal principles of Christ. Going further, Wikipedia explains that “The Princeton Seminary professor of theology Charles Hodge insisted that the Bible was inerrant because God inspired or ‘breathed’ his exact thoughts into the biblical writers (2 Timothy 3:16). Princeton theologians believed that the Bible should be read differently than any other historical document.” These essays are showing that the idea of Scripture being God-breathed (a word taken from 2 Timothy 3:16) is actually a hypothesis that can be rationally defended, because some supernatural entity must have guided the human authors of the Bible to write specific words and sentences that reflect deep cognitive principles and detailed prophecy. Because fundamentalism and mental symmetry share a respect for the content and doctrines of Christianity, one might think that fundamentalists would find mental symmetry attractive. That was my initial assumption, but I have found through repeated experience that fundamentalists will reject mental symmetry because it uses the ‘wrong’ kind of thinking.

Wikipedia adds that “Fundamentalism was first mentioned at meetings of the Niagara Bible Conference in 1878” which is the same Bible conference mentioned previously as playing a role in popularizing the doctrine of the Rapture. Thus, there is a historical connection between the symbolic interpretation of verse 16 and verse 17.

Verse 18 summarizes, “Therefore indeed exhorting many other things, he was preaching the good news to the people.” Therefore indicates that verse 18 follows logically from verse 17, which means symbolically that verse 18 is a logical result of the Fundamentalism described in verse 17. Other things means ‘another of a different kind’ and this is the first use of this common word in Luke. This is also the first occurrence in Luke of the common word exhort, which means ‘personally make a call’ and ‘has legal overtones’. Preaching the good news is a single word that is the source of the English word ‘evangelize’. The first phrase suggests that the mindset of Fundamentalism will spill over from doctrine into other unrelated areas, resulting in emotional pressure to conform to some sort of legalistic rules. This spillover has been noted in an academic paper that examined “responses to abstract moral dilemmas that pit rule-based moral processing against more flexible consequentialist moral processing outside the political and religious arenas. Across five dilemmas, Christian fundamentalism and political conservatism were associated with the use of rule-based moral processing.” Notice how the mindset of fundamentalism is affecting moral thinking in areas unrelated to religious doctrine, resulting in the promotion of ‘rule-based moral processing’. Quoting from the Encyclopaedia Britannica, “Although fundamentalists are not notably ascetic, they do observe certain prohibitions. Many fundamentalists do not smoke, drink alcoholic beverages, dance, or attend movies or plays. At most fundamentalist schools and institutes, these practices are strictly forbidden.”

The evangelizing is illustrated by Charles Spurgeon and Dwight L Moody. Wikipedia relates that “Spurgeon’s sermons were published in printed form every week and had a high circulation. By the time of his death in 1892, he had preached nearly 3,600 sermons and published 49 volumes of commentaries, sayings, anecdotes, illustrations and devotions.” In 1887, Spurgeon left the Baptist Union because it was questioning the doctrine of biblical inerrancy. Wikipedia relates that, “Spurgeon alleged that an incremental creeping of the Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis, Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, and other concepts were weakening the Baptist Union. Spurgeon emphatically decried the doctrine that resulted: ‘Assuredly the New Theology can do no good towards God or man; it, has no adaptation for it. If it were preached for a thousand years by all the most earnest men of the school, it would never renew a soul, nor overcome pride in a single human heart.’” Notice how holding onto biblical inerrancy is being regarded as a prerequisite for preaching an evangelical message.

Turning to Moody, Wikipedia summarizes that “During a trip to the United Kingdom in the spring of 1872, Moody became well known as an evangelist. Literary works published by the Moody Bible Institute claim that he was the greatest evangelist of the 19th century... The famous London Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, invited him to speak, and he promoted the American as well. When Moody returned to the US, he was said to frequently attract crowds of 12,000 to 20,000 were as common [sic] as they had been in England.” The Moody Bible Institute was founded in 1886 as “a school to train young people for evangelism to carry on the Christian revival tradition.”

Herod imprisons John 3:19-20

In verse 19, John the Baptist attracts the attention of the ruling authorities. “But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him concerning Herodias the wife of his brother, and concerning all the evils that Herod had done.” Herod means ‘son of a hero’. Tetrarch means ‘someone who rules over a fourth part of a province’ which is being interpreted as the mindset of a segment of society. Reproved is used once in Luke and means ‘to convince with solid, compelling evidence, especially to expose’. Herodias is mentioned once in Luke. She was the granddaughter of Herod the Great, and her name also means ‘son of a hero’. Matthew 14:4 adds that “John had been saying to him, it is not lawful for you to have her.” However, verse 19 just points out that Herodias was Herod’s brother’s wife, without referring to any inappropriate relationship. Herod would represent a form of male thought based upon heroism, such as a military system. Herod’s brother’s wife would represent a female culture arising from a system that is related to the military system. In Matthew 14, Herodias was interpreted as the Imperial culture that characterized Prussia under Frederick II as well as the Imperial culture of Louis XIV of France. A similar Imperial culture came into prominence in the 19th century within various European powers.

This Imperial culture is referred to as New Imperialism. Wikipedia explains that “New Imperialism characterizes a period of colonial expansion by European powers, the United States, and Japan during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The period featured an unprecedented pursuit of overseas territorial acquisitions. At the time, states focused on building their empires with new technological advances and developments, expanding their territory through conquest, and exploiting the resources of the subjugated countries. During the era of New Imperialism, the Western powers (and Japan) individually conquered almost all of Africa and parts of Asia. The new wave of imperialism reflected ongoing rivalries among the great powers, the economic desire for new resources and markets, and a ‘civilizing mission’ ethos.” Notice that this goes beyond colonization to a culture of imperialism in which various European powers are vying among each other for emotional status. Looking specifically at Britain, “While there were pockets of anti-imperialist opposition in Britain in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, resistance to imperialism was nearly nonexistent in the country as a whole. In many ways, this new form of imperialism formed a part of the British identity until the end of the era of new imperialism with the Second World War.”

This is the first use of the word evil in Luke, which means ‘pain-ridden, emphasizing the inevitable agonies that always go with evil’. This is not violating societal standards or breaking fundamentalist rules but rather experiencing unpleasant moral consequences. Thus, fundamentalism is going beyond merely preaching rules to examining moral cause-and-effect. This is happening in many areas as shown by the word all, which means ‘each part of a totality’.

The Second Boer War of 1899 provides an example of the ‘evils that Herod had done’. The first Boer War was triggered by the discovery of diamonds, the second by the discovery of gold. Wikipedia summarizes, “Following the discovery of gold deposits in the Boer republics, there was a large influx of ‘foreigners’, mostly British from the Cape Colony. They were not permitted to have a vote, and were regarded as ‘unwelcome visitors’, invaders, and they protested to the British authorities in the Cape. Negotiations failed and, in the opening stages of the war, the Boers launched successful attacks against British outposts.” This is when things got nasty. Boers engaged in guerrilla warfare. In response, “British troops were ordered to destroy farms and slaughter livestock to deny them to Boer guerillas, and over a hundred thousand Boer civilians (mostly women and children) were forcibly relocated into concentration camps, where 26,000 died of various causes, mostly starvation and disease. Black Africans in the same areas were also interned in concentration camps as well to prevent them from supplying the Boers; 20,000 died in the camps as well.” Destroying farms, slaughtering livestock, and imprisoning over 100,000 civilians with one quarter of them dying of starvation and disease definitely qualifies as ‘the inevitable agonies that always go with evil’.

Wikipedia describes the moral questioning of British policy. “Moral unease developed following reports about scorched earth policies adopted by the British military or the forcible internment of Boer non-combatants in concentration camps... the anti-war elements switched to an emphasis on humanitarianism, with heart-rending depictions of the suffering of Boer women and children in the camps. Emily Hobhouse in June 1901 published a fifteen-page pamphlet reporting on the horrific state of the concentration camps, and Lloyd George openly accused the government of ‘a policy of extermination’ directed against the Boer population.” More generally, “The overwhelming public sentiment in neutral countries, especially the Netherlands, Russia, Germany, France, and the United States, was highly negative. Anger against the British was high, and many people supported the Boers.”

The Canadian response to the Boer War provides one example of a culture of Herodias. Wikipedia summarizes, “Protestant Canadians, typically of British descent, were strong supporters of the Empire and the ‘mother country’. They sent thousands of volunteers to fight alongside the British Army against the Boers, and in the process identified themselves even more strongly with the British Empire.” Notice the Protestant intertwining of God and country, leading not to stronger faith in God but rather to closer identification with Empire.

Verse 20 describes this imperial hijacking of Protestant faith. “Added this yet to all: He also locked up John in prison.” Added means ‘put together for a purpose’, which implies a deliberate choice. Locked up is used once in Luke and means ‘shut up, confine’. John means ‘the Lord has been gracious’. And prison means ‘a guarding, guard, watch’. Burning people’s farms and then locking up 100,000 civilians in concentration camps so that they can die of disease and starvation would qualify as ‘taking the Lord has been gracious’ and confining it together and placing it under guard. Lord Kitchener was primarily responsible. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Kitchener came to prominence for his imperial campaigns, his scorched earth policy against the Boers, his expansion of Lord Roberts’ concentration camps during the Second Boer War and his central role in the early part of the First World War.” Looking ahead briefly to the First World War, Kitchener took the lessons that he had learned in South Africa and applied them to the British people. Wikipedia summarizes, “Kitchener correctly predicted a long war that would last at least three years, require huge new armies to defeat Germany, and cause huge casualties before the end would come. Kitchener stated that the conflict would plumb the depths of manpower ‘to the last million’. A massive recruitment campaign began, which soon featured a distinctive poster of Kitchener, taken from a magazine front cover. It may have encouraged large numbers of volunteers, and has proven to be one of the most enduring images of the war.” This appeal was initially very successful. “Due to the huge numbers of men wishing to sign up, in places queues up to a mile long formed outside recruitment offices... Almost 2.5 million men volunteered for Kitchener’s Army.” Notice how millions of men who were experiencing ‘the Lord has been gracious’ of Edwardian prosperity are being ‘put together for a purpose’ and then being ‘confined’ to military barracks and trenches under the ‘guard’ of their officers. It is difficult to say who suffered more of ‘the inevitable agonies that always go with evil’, Boer civilians in concentration camps dying of starvation or British soldiers in World War I trenches going over the top to be mown down by machine gun fire. Kitchener was also responsible for a particularly blatant version of the progression from ‘the Lord has been gracious’ to ‘put together, confined, and guarded’ to ‘agonies that go with evil’, known as the pal’s battalions. Wikipedia explains that these were “groups of men from the same factory, football team, bank or similar, joining and fighting together. The idea was first suggested at a public meeting by Lord Derby. Within three days, he had enough volunteers for three battalions. Lord Kitchener gave official approval for the measure almost instantly and the response was impressive... One consequence of pals battalions was that a whole town could lose its military-aged menfolk in a single day of battle.” What started as the fun of ‘going to fight a grand war with my buddies’ turned into all the working men of a town being killed off in a single day.

One author examines the motivation for these soldiers, especially the junior officers for whom the average life expectancy was six weeks. “How could these young officers have been so unflinching in the face of battle? ... These were mostly boarding school-educated children brought up in a regime of muscular Christianity, team games, cold showers and immersion in history and the classics. They read Henty and Kipling and the famous Newbolt poem with the line, ‘Play up, play up, and play the game!’ They knew that King and Country were in peril: if the Kaiser seized the French and Belgian coastlines he would control the Channel, Britain’s lifeline. So here they were, living in a dream of chivalry in which all the romantic, valorous episodes from past history rose up before them and beckoned them to their fate.” Notice the underlying presence of a Herodias: British Empire had a ‘brother’ of British education who had a ‘wife’ built upon mental networks of childhood ‘team games and cold showers’. This ‘Herodias’ took over Christianity, leading to a ‘muscular Christianity’, in which submission to the absolute truth of the Bible turned into submission to the absolute truth of King and Country.

A recent academic paper describes the extent to which Christianity became captive to Empire. “Both the establishments of Russia, Germany, and Britain, as well as the disestablished churches of France and America, joined almost without exception in support of the war as a national crusade, a righteous cause, and an opportunity for martyrdom. Nonconformist and minority groups, such as Pentecostals and Catholics in Britain or French Protestants, also mustered nationalist fervor mingled with religious zeal for the war effort. Religious institutions and rhetoric formed a key element in shaping national imaginaries and mobilizing the war effort.” We have looked at the example of Britain. As this quote suggests, similar forces were at work all across Europe. In all these countries, the Herod of Empire took the Herodias of ‘Duty to God and Country’ and used this to hijack religious absolute truth.

The Baptism of Jesus 3:21-22

Verse 21 turns from John the Baptist to Jesus. “Now it came to pass, in all the people having been baptized, Jesus also having been baptized and having prayed, the heaven was opened.” Came to pass means ‘to come into being’, suggesting a natural progression. Baptize means ‘to immerse’ which is interpreted as being immersed in experiences in some transformative way. All means ‘each and every part making a complete unit’. And people means ‘laity’. Several baptisms happened in the 19th century. Europe went through the baptism of the Industrial Revolution. Europe dragged the rest of the world through a baptism of colonization. And individual societies went through the baptism of turning into a global society. The presence of a new global society is illustrated by the eruption of the Krakatoa volcano. A Forbes article explains that “The eruption of the Krakatau (or Krakatoa) on a small island located in the middle of the Sunda Strait (at the time part of the Netherlands East Indies) in August 1883 was, in many aspects, the first global catastrophe. And thanks to modern communications, Krakatau was the first news story to go (literally) around the world.” In contrast, “The eruption of the Tambora only 70 years earlier and in the almost same region is almost forgotten today, despite being more powerful. At the time only some local western merchants and diplomats recorded that eruption and only one year later an account of the catastrophe was published in the little known History of Java.” in addition, “Krakatau was also the first scientifically well recorded and studied eruption of a volcano, from the very beginning to its disastrous ending.” This describes a transformation in the way that natural events are being observed.

Within this context, Jesus is also baptized. Jesus refers to the concrete side of incarnation that saves people. The nature of this baptism is indicated by the phrase ‘having prayed, the heaven was opened’. Pray means ‘to exchange wishes’ and this is only the second use of this common word in Luke. Open means ‘to open up’ and the ‘up’ suggests moving in the direction of Teacher generality. This is also the second use in Luke of heaven. It was previously used in 2:15 to describe the angels leaving the shepherds to go into heaven, which was interpreted as science becoming increasingly theoretical at the end of the 18th century. In verse 21, there is an exchange of wishes between people living in concrete thought and science living in abstract thought, which is leading not to the separation of angels from shepherds but rather to the opening up of the heavenly realm of theory.

This ‘baptism of incarnation’ describes the second Industrial Revolution, which I refer to in other essays as the Consumer Revolution. I have mentioned several times that a concept of incarnation goes beyond technical thought to be guided by an integrated Teacher understanding and save people in Mercy thought. The integrated Teacher understanding was mentioned a few paragraphs earlier when looking at verse 15. Repeating part of that quote, “The enormous expansion of rail and telegraph lines after 1870 allowed unprecedented movement of people and ideas, which culminated in a new wave of globalization. In the same time period, new technological systems were introduced, most significantly electrical power and telephones.” Science may come up with universal theories, but a theory feels universal when it rules over all of my experiences. The spread of rail and telegraph around the world created a ‘wave of globalization’ that felt universal. And when universal Teacher theories interact with personal Mercy experiences, then it becomes possible to ‘exchange wishes’ between Teacher understanding and Mercy experiences. Wikipedia describes the resulting baptism by technology. “The period from 1870 to 1890 saw the greatest increase in economic growth in such a short period as ever in previous history. Living standards improved significantly in the newly industrialized countries as the prices of goods fell dramatically due to the increases in productivity. This caused unemployment and great upheavals in commerce and industry, with many laborers being displaced by machines and many factories, ships and other forms of fixed capital becoming obsolete in a very short time span.” Notice how the incarnation of technical thought is making life better for the individual. In the words of Wikipedia, “The changes resulted in the creation of a larger, increasingly professional, middle class, the decline of child labor and the dramatic growth of a consumer-based, material culture.” But this unprecedented growth and development is leading to a new baptism of obsolescence, because workers are becoming displaced, job skills are becoming obsolete, and tools are becoming outdated. The ‘baptism’ of the Crisis of the Middle Ages was a baptism of suffering in which people experienced unprecedented hardship. This new baptism is a baptism of plenty in which people experience unprecedented growth. In both cases, people are being forced by their environment to let go of existing Mercy mental networks.

Verse 22 describes this new relationship. “And the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in a bodily form as a dove.” A concept of the Holy Spirit comes from Plato’s Form of the Good. Descend means ‘to go down’ and was previously used in 2:51 to describe the young Jesus going down from Jerusalem to live with his parents. Bodily is used once in Luke and means ‘of the body’. Form means ‘visible appearance’ and is used twice in Luke. Dove means ‘dove, pigeon’ and the other occurrence in Luke is in 2:24 which referred to two pigeons. (I suspect that the translators felt that ‘descending from heaven like a pigeon’ didn’t carry sufficient religious gravity.) It was mentioned earlier that studying a holy book will lead to Platonic forms and possibly a mental concept of the Holy Spirit, but it is not possible for such a Holy Spirit to ‘descend in bodily form’ because it is based in the words of a holy book that are regarded as separate from normal reality. Such a Holy Spirit can inspire and comfort with internal images of a perfect heaven, but this heaven cannot come down to earth. However, Platonic forms can also emerge by using Teacher thought to idealize facts about reality. This idealization of reality can be seen when solving high school physics problems: Objects will be represented by point masses, friction will be ignored, pulleys will be regarded as massless, gravity will be treated as a constant, and so on. When Platonic forms come from idealizations of reality, then it is possible for the resulting concept of a Holy Spirit to descend back to reality in bodily form as a stream of new-and-improved labor-saving gadgets. This expression of the Holy Spirit is suggested by the image of a common dove (or pigeon), which is as common as a typewriter (invented 1867), telephone (invented 1876), electric lightbulb (invented 1878), safety bicycle (invented 1880s), matchbook (invented 1889), or even toilet paper (invented 1880). All of these common items began as images of possible perfection within inventor’s minds. It might seem sacrilegious to connect these with the Holy Spirit, but verse 22 describes the Holy Spirit descending in the bodily form of a pigeon. Going further, we saw in verse 16 that absolute truth responded to the Industrial Revolution by placing God and the Holy Spirit within a heavenly realm that transcended human activity. A core doctrine of Christianity is that Jesus became incarnate in physical reality in a physical body. If Jesus had lived in the 19th century, he would have used typewriters, telephones, light bulbs, bicycles, matchbooks, and even toilet paper.

Verse 22 continues, “And a voice came out of heaven: ‘You are My Son, the beloved; in You I am well pleased.’” Voice means ‘voice, sound’. Out of means ‘from out of’ and came means ‘to come into being’. In other words, the heavenly realm of Teacher theory is acknowledging what is happening within reality. This acknowledgment can be seen in the development of research labs. For instance, “In 1876, Thomas Edison set up his home and research laboratory in Menlo Park... The Menlo Park lab was significant in that it was one of the first laboratories to pursue practical, commercial applications of research. It was in his Menlo Park laboratory that Thomas Edison invented the phonograph and developed a commercially viable incandescent light bulb filament.” Going forward a few years, “General Electric Research Laboratory was the first industrial research facility in the United States. Established in 1900, the lab was home to the early technological breakthroughs of General Electric and created a research and development environment that set the standard for industrial innovation for years to come.” Turning to Germany, “Based on its leadership in chemical research in the universities and industrial laboratories, Germany became dominant in the worlds chemical industry in the late 19th century.” Notice again how abstract research is emerging from the labs to transform industry.

A son represents ‘anyone sharing the same nature as their father’. Beloved is used twice in Luke and is derived from the word ‘agape’, which is defined as ‘love which centers in moral preference’. Looking at this cognitively, the behavior of incarnation is leading to Teacher pleasure, because incarnation is behaving in a structured manner that is similar to the integrated theories in Teacher thought. Applying this to the Consumer Revolution, technical thought is functioning in the real world in a manner that reflects the rational order of scientific understanding. This is totally different than the mindset of absolute truth, which insists that personal identity is nothing compared to the perfection of God and which responded in verse 16 to the Industrial Revolution by insisting that the perfection of God transcends all of this. Such a response may sound worshipful but in practice it leads to technology that becomes hijacked by Herodias, which ends up putting absolute truth in prison. Notice that this ‘belovedness’ is the result of similar behavior. Incarnation is behaving in a manner that is similar to universal theories in Teacher thought. This is only possible if one forms the mental image of a God who behaves. In contrast, absolute truth with its focus upon Perceiver facts will tend to lead to a concept of God of rules and walls in which one believes. Going further, well pleased means ‘what seems good, pleasingly acceptable’. Using religious language, this goes beyond the justification of feeling forgiven by God to the sanctification of behaving in a manner that is pleasingly acceptable to God. Applying this to the 19th century, this emotional pleasure of theory in technical thought expressed itself in research and development, or R&D. Wikipedia explains that there are “two primary models of an R&D department either staffed by engineers and tasked with directly developing new products, or staffed with industrial scientists and tasked with applied research in scientific or technological fields, which may facilitate future product development.” An engineer uses concrete technical thought to develop products guided by a scientific understanding in abstract technical thought. An industrial scientist uses abstract technical thought to research topics that may facilitate the ‘product development’ of concrete technical thought. In both cases, one is descending from theory to practice in a way that maintains Teacher order and structure.

The rest of chapter 3 contains an extended genealogy of Jesus. I suspect that a chronology of technical thought can be found in the meanings of the names. However, attempting to decipher this long list of 77 names would require going back in history before the Roman Empire, guided merely by a sequence of names. This means that there is a high probability that my analysis would contain significant errors. Therefore, this essay will be skipping this genealogy. As is mentioned sometimes in math textbooks, the passage is ‘left as an exercise for the reader’.

First Temptation of Jesus 4:1-4

Chapter 4 begins with the temptation of Jesus. Verse 1 sets the scene. “And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.” ‘Full of Holy Spirit’ would indicate that technical thought is being motivated completely by internal Platonic forms of possible perfection in Mercy thought. The second Industrial Revolution would qualify cognitively as being full of the Holy Spirit. That is because designing new products requires an internal vision of ‘what could be’ that is different than the reality of ‘what is’, which requires the internal presence of Platonic forms. Return means ‘to turn back, return’ and suggests a change in direction. Jordan means ‘descend’. Thus, ‘returning from the Jordan’ would represent a change in direction from developing new products to doing general research. Led means to ‘lead, bring, carry’. Being led by the spirit would mean being guided by internal Platonic forms. Wilderness means ‘an uncultivated, unpopulated place’. Being led by the Spirit into the wilderness would mean being driven by internal Platonic forms to explore regions where humanity has not gone. This combination can be seen in Einstein’s Annus mirabilis papers. Wikipedia explains that “The annus mirabilis papers (from Latin annus mīrābilis, ‘miracle year’) are the four papers that Albert Einstein published... in 1905. These four papers were major contributions to the foundation of modern physics. They revolutionized science’s understanding of the fundamental concepts of space, time, mass, and energy.” This was a returning from specifics because “Einstein was able to derive all results obtained by his predecessors – and in addition the formulas for the relativistic Doppler effect and relativistic aberration – in a few pages, while prior to 1905 his competitors had devoted years of long, complicated work to arrive at the same mathematical formalism.” Einstein’s theory of relativity can also be described as ‘being led by the Spirit into the wilderness’ because he was being mentally guided by internal concepts to propose a view of the physical universe where no one had gone before. In the words of Wikipedia, Einstein “independently derived and radically reinterpreted the Lorentz transformations by changing the fundamental definitions of space and time intervals, while abandoning the absolute simultaneity of Galilean kinematics, thus avoiding the need for any reference to a luminiferous aether in classical electrodynamics.” Translating this into normal English, physicists used to believe that physical reality contains some ‘aether’ through which everything moves. Einstein replaced this with the idea that light travels at the same speed for everyone in every situation, and that space and time itself warps to ensure that the speed of light does not change.

Verse 2 adds, “Being tempted forty days by the devil. And He ate nothing in those days, and they having ended, He was hungry.” ‘Ate nothing’ suggests that no additional evidence is being gathered. This describes a form of abstract research in which one is rethinking existing data rather than gathering new data. This rethinking of existing data can be seen in Einstein’s thought experiments. Wikipedia explains that “A hallmark of Albert Einstein’s career was his use of visualized thought experiments as a fundamental tool for understanding physical issues and for elucidating his concepts to others. Einstein’s thought experiments took diverse forms. In his youth, he mentally chased beams of light. For special relativity, he employed moving trains and flashes of lightning to explain his most penetrating insights.” Einstein’s ‘eating nothing’ continued ‘for several days’, because Einstein’s 1905 theory of special relativity was followed by Einstein’s theory of general relativity in 1915 which looked at the effect of gravity upon space and time. Wikipedia describes one of the thought experiments of general relativity. “Consider a man inside a large enclosed chest or elevator falling freely in space. While in free fall, the man would consider himself weightless, and any loose objects that he emptied from his pockets would float alongside him. Then Einstein imagined a rope attached to the roof of the chamber. A powerful ‘being’ of some sort begins pulling on the rope with constant force. The chamber begins to move ‘upwards’ with a uniformly accelerated motion. Within the chamber, all of the man’s perceptions are consistent with his being in a uniform gravitational field.” Einstein wasn’t the only one to rethink physics. For instance, “Minkowski is perhaps best known for his work in relativity, in which he showed in 1907 that his former student Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity (1905) could be understood geometrically as a theory of four-dimensional space–time, since known as the ‘Minkowski spacetime’.”

Having ended means ‘to complete, finish’. Hungry simply means ‘to hunger’. In other words, physics has just been transformed by several years of rethinking. It is now time to see if these new theories are backed up by physical evidence. Devil means ‘to slander, accuse, defame’ and this is the first use of this term in Luke. Tempted is used twice in Luke and means ‘to test, to try’. Biblehub suggests that ‘the word means either test or attempt’ and ‘context alone determines which sense is intended’. However, these essays follow the principle that every Greek word must have the same meaning everywhere it occurs. That is because abstract technical thought is based upon precise definitions. There is another Greek word which means ‘to approve by testing’. Therefore, these essays interpret ‘tempt’ as a negative attack that is trying to destroy something, as opposed to ‘testing’ which has the positive goal of strengthening something. Temptation can have a positive result if the item being tempted does not fail, but the goal of temptation is for the item to fail. In verse 2, incarnation is being negatively attacked by slander.

Applying this to Western history, the First World War started in the middle of the rethinking of physics, and Germany was both the world leader of physics and the primary aggressor country of World War I. (In World War II, Germany was both the aggressor and evil. In World War I, Germany was the primary aggressor, but all the combatants were a mixture of evil and good.) Wikipedia summarizes the initial interaction between physics and war in Germany. “When the ‘Manifesto of the Ninety-Three’ was published in October 1914—a document signed by a host of prominent German intellectuals that justified Germany’s militarism and position during the First World War—Einstein was one of the few German intellectuals to rebut its contents and sign the pacifistic ‘Manifesto to the Europeans’.” Wikipedia adds that “A report in 1921 in The New York Times found that of 76 surviving signatories [of the Manifesto of the Ninety-Three’, 60 expressed varying degrees of regret. Some claimed not to have seen what they had signed.”

This manifesto can be described as ‘devilish’ or slanderous. Wikipedia explains that “The manifesto articulated moral indignation, laid charges against foreign governments, academic institutions, and scholars whom the authors believed had wronged the German nation. They also probably hoped to undermine support for the war among the civilian population of the Entente powers by demonstrating that German scientists — who at the time were very highly reputed — were fully in support of their country, thereby inducing the intellectuals of other European nations to put pressure on the governments of their respective countries. The reaction of both the European and American press and of academic institutions around the world indicate that this attempt was a failure.” This manifesto was no small matter. It “galvanized support for the war throughout German schools and universities, but many foreign intellectuals were outraged.” And “The 93 signatories included Nobel Prize laureates, artists, physicians, physicists, chemists, theologians, philosophers, poets, architects and known college teachers.”

Verse 3 contains the first temptation. “And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, speak to this stone, that it should become bread.” ‘The devil said to him’ indicates a verbal message of slander. In 3:22 a voice came out of heaven describing Jesus as ‘my Son’. ‘If’ indicates that this verbal slander is starting from the premise that Jesus is the Son of God, but not necessarily accepting this premise as valid. Both said and ‘speak’ are the same word that means ‘bid, bring word, command’. Thus, the underlying assumption is that words have authority. A stone represents a solid fact in Perceiver thought. In Matthew 4:3, Jesus is told to speak to the stones in the plural, which is interpreted as the gathering of Greek manuscripts after the fall of the Roman Empire. When the Roman Empire fell, all intellectual food turned into the solid facts of revealed truth from ancient manuscripts. In verse 3, Jesus is told to speak to some specific stone so that it will become bread. Bread means ‘bread, a loaf’ and would represent some package of intellectual food. Speaking to some stone would mean acting like a voice of authority over some specific facts within a general context of regarding facts as solid. For instance, a scientist does not manipulate facts but accepts them as solid. However, scientists often ‘speak to a stone’ by using their expertise in some area to make authoritative pronouncements in other areas where they have no expertise. In the ‘manifesto of the 93’, a group of scientists who generally accepted facts as solid were using their personal authority to speak to the specific facts of the German nation in order to create a ‘package of intellectual food’ composed of moral indignation and charges against foreign governments and institutions. Notice the inherent contradiction, because the personal authority of being a scientist who builds upon the facts is being used to attack a specific set of facts. Thus, this manifesto would be an example of failing the first temptation. The opposing Manifesto to the Europeans that Einstein signed was only signed by three other scientists, even though many other German scientists had an opportunity to sign it. So, Einstein passed the first temptation. A distinction needs to be made between passing this specific temptation and being a nice person. Einstein was not a nice person. This is illustrated by the set of conditions that he eventually imposed upon his first wife. These included doing the laundry, serving three meals a day, not sitting or travelling together with him, not expecting any intimacy, and stopping talking and leaving his bedroom whenever requested.

Jesus replies in verse 4. “And Jesus answered to him, ‘It has been written: “Man shall not live on bread alone.”’” (Some manuscripts add ‘but on every word of God’, a phrase that is included in Matthew 4:4.) Written means ‘to write’. This could refer to the writings of Scripture, but within the context of science, it would refer to peer-reviewed literature: facts that are accepted as solid because they have been put in written form and carefully checked. Live refers to both physical and spiritual life. Man is the generic term for mankind. ‘Shall’ is not an imperative but rather indicates the future tense of ‘live’. Combining this with the word order of the Greek suggests that a literal translation like the Weymouth is more accurate: ‘It is not on bread alone that a man shall live.’ Thus, Jesus is not telling a person to eat cake as well as bread, but rather pointing out that bread by itself cannot support life.

Turning now to the prophetic interpretation, Wikipedia explains that “World War I was the first war in which mass media and propaganda played a significant role in keeping the people at home informed on what occurred at the battlefields. It was also the first war in which governments systematically produced propaganda as a way to target the public and alter their opinion.” Notice again the inherent contradiction. Mass media assumes that facts will be transmitted accurately using words that have meanings and read by an audience that is capable of accurately understanding written material. But this general context of factual reliability is being used to transmit the altered facts of propaganda. Using the language of verse 4, propaganda is turning stones of solid facts into bread for the public to consume. Controlling the people through propaganda started in 1914 at the beginning of World War I. For instance, “In 1914, a secret British organization, Wellington House, was set up and called for journalists and newspaper editors to write articles that sympathised with Britain as a way to counter statements that were made by the enemy.” The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes this initial focus in more general terms. “War was looked upon by many leaders in 1914 as a contest of national wills, spirit, and courage...”

This first temptation of incarnation was not defeated by any group of people, but rather by the impact of science and technology upon people. Wikipedia summarizes that “Pre-war military tactics that emphasised open warfare and the individual rifleman proved obsolete when confronted with conditions prevailing in 1914. Technological advances allowed the creation of strong defensive systems largely impervious to massed infantry advances, such as barbed wire, machine guns and above all far more powerful artillery, which dominated the battlefield and made crossing open ground extremely difficult.” Stated simply, the propaganda of ‘God and Country’ eventually had to recognize the solid reality of machine guns and artillery. Propaganda does not work on dead people.

Second Temptation of Jesus 4:5-8

Verse 5 sets the context for the second temptation. “And having led Him up, he showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.” Led up combines ‘up’ with ‘to lead’, implying moving in the direction of Teacher generality. Show simply means ‘to show’. Kingdom means ‘the realm in which a king sovereignly rules’. World refers to ‘the inhabited earth’. Moment is used once in the New Testament and means ‘a point’. And time refers to clock time (as opposed to ‘time as opportunity’). Applying this to the First World War, a regional European conflict grew in generality until it involved all of the kingdoms of the inhabited world at that point in time and became the First World War. One article summarizes that “Between 1914 and 1918, more than 100 countries from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australasia, and Europe were part of the conflict... Some countries mobilized millions of troops and fought hard for more than four years; some were used as reservoirs of goods and manpower by their colonial rulers, while others simply declared war later on and contributed only moral support. Many were drawn in by colonial links: When Britain, France, and Germany declared war, they also committed their empires, involving most of Africa, India, and Australasia, while the 1917 entry of the U.S. prompted much of central America to follow.” Notice the uneven levels of involvement, determined by the state of each country at that point in time.

Verse 6 describes the second temptation. “And the devil said to Him, ‘I will give to You all this authority, and its glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I wish.’” Give simply means ‘to give’. Authority means ‘conferred power, delegated empowerment’. Glory is interpreted as the external expression of internal character. Applying this to the First World War, Europe (and other Western powers) had acquired dominion over the entire inhabited world because of the conferred power of Western technology, and not because of any inherent superiority of ‘white men’ over other races. This technology was really a glory of scientific thought and not a glory of the European person.

Verse 6 contains a phrase that is not in Matthew 4:9, which is ‘for it has been delivered to me’. Deliver means ‘to give or deliver over, to betray’ and was used previously in 1:2. As was mentioned there, the general principle is that God requires human cooperation to carry out some major transition. One way is for some human or group of humans to gain a new understanding and apply this new understanding through faith. That leads to a positive ‘handing over’. The other way is for some individual or group to destroy existing understanding and application to the extent that a new approach has to be taken. That describes a negative ‘betrayal’. Applying this to World War I, the conferred power of technology and the glory of the Industrial Revolution were betrayed to the slander of Western propaganda. Wish means ‘to desire, wish’. In other words, when authority and glory became betrayed to propaganda, then propaganda could reassign ownership of this authority and glory to whomever it wished, because that is the power of propaganda. A previous quote referred to the secret British organization of Wellington House. Continuing with this quote, “Wellington House was so secret that much of Parliament was in the dark. Wellington House had a staff of 54 people, which made it the largest British foreign propaganda organisation. From the Wellington House came the publication The War Pictorial, which by December 1916 had reached a circulation of 500,000, covering 11 languages. The War Pictorial was deemed to have such a powerful effect on different masses that it could turn countries like China against Germany.” More generally, “The media was expected to take sides, not to remain neutral, during World War I... Censorship regulations were put in place in Berlin, with the War Press Office fully controlled by the Army High Command. Journalists were allowed to report from the front only if they were experienced officers who had ‘recognized patriotic views’... Contact between journalists and fighting troops was prohibited, and journalists spoke only to high-ranking officers and commanders... When World War I started, the United States had become a leader in the art of filmmaking and the new profession of commercial advertising. Such newly-discovered technologies played an instrumental role in the shaping of the American mind and the altering of public opinion into supporting the war. Every country used careful edited newsreels to combine straight news reports and propaganda.” Notice the combination of straight news and propaganda, indicating that only some stones are being turned to bread.

The devil concludes in verse 7. “Therefore if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” Worship means ‘to do reverence to’. This word is used three times in Luke: this verse, the next verse, and 24:52 where the disciples worship the resurrected and ascended Jesus. Before means ‘in the eye of’. Notice the circular reasoning being used by the devil. Western science and technology made worldwide colonization possible. This worldwide empire was then betrayed to the slander and propaganda of World War I. This slander is then offering to give the Empire back to science and technology, if they bow before slander. This bowing of technology to slander was reflected in Britain in the establishing of a Minister of Munitions. Wikipedia explains that “The position was created in response to the Shell Crisis of 1915 when there was much newspaper criticism of the shortage of artillery shells and fear of sabotage... Under the very vigorous leadership of Liberal party politician David Lloyd George, the Ministry in its first year set up a system that dealt with labour disputes and fully mobilized Britain’s capacity for a massive increase in the production of munitions.” More generally, this “was a recognition that the whole economy would have to be mobilised for the war effort if the Allies were to prevail on the Western Front. Supplies and factories in British Commonwealth countries, particularly Canada, were reorganised under the Imperial Munitions Board, to supply adequate shells and other materiel for the remainder of the war.” This new relationship is also described in an encyclopedia article. “Scientific research at universities and affiliated institutes flourished as it proved instrumental to the war effort. Faculty realized that never before in history had science played such a critical role in the security of their nation... The military and civilian government in the combatant state now drove more of the direction of scientific research by offering grants and, as important, releases of staff from military service for projects relevant to developing weapons.”

Jesus replies in verse 8. “And Jesus answering, said to him, “It has been written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and you shall serve Him only.” Written implies a source of words that is more solid than any verbal commands. Worship was used in verse 7 and means ‘to do reverence to’. Serve means ‘to render technical, acceptable service’. ‘The Lord your God’ describes being ruled by general understanding in Teacher thought. Stated cognitively, technical thought should be guided by Teacher understanding and not by Mercy authority. Note that Jesus refers to God as someone who is currently ‘the Lord your God’. Thus, this worshiping and serving is recognizing a relationship that already exists.

This existing relationship became apparent in World War I, which turned from a battle between one army against another into a war between ‘the guns’ and human flesh. And ‘the guns’ won. This is vividly portrayed in the introduction to episode 13 of The Great War, a 1964 BBC documentary series on World War I. Quoting from the soundtrack, “We are the guns and your masters. Know ye our pleasures? Heard ye the scream of our shells in the night? And the shuddering crashes. Know ye our work by the roadside? The shrouded things lying moaning to God that He made them. The maimed and the dying. Husbands or sons, fathers or lovers. We break them. We are the guns.” This episode is describing the Battle of the Somme.

Putting this into the bigger picture, one history article explains that “It was on this First Day of the Somme that saw Kitchener’s Army in action en masse. Here the ‘Pals’ battalions, those locally raised units of comrades, of men encouraged to join to be with their ‘own kind’, faced the deeply entrenched and fearsomely efficient German army... The Official History puts the dead of that single day at 19,420... And this was just the first day. The total deaths on the Somme, from all British and Commonwealth divisions, would add up to 108,724.” Thanks, Kitchener. Thanks, Huxley. Maybe having the clergy in charge of science isn’t such a bad thing after all. Maybe following country is not better than following God. Notice that technical thinking is imposing itself upon human flesh, forcing Western society to stop worshiping the devil and his slander. (And I am trying very hard when writing this essay not to descend into slander. But the emotions are almost overwhelming.) Saying this more objectively, World War I turned into a war of materiel. Thus, making technology bow to propaganda ended up turning the front lines into a hell-on-earth that forced humanity to submit to the supremacy of technology.

Third Temptation of Jesus 4:9-15

Verse 9 describes the third temptation. “And he led Him to Jerusalem and set Him upon the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, cast Yourself down from here.’” Jerusalem represents the center of society and religion. Set means ‘to make to stand’ and is interpreted as a source of stability in Perceiver thought. Pinnacle is only used here and in the parallel passage in Matthew 4 and means ‘a little wing’. And temple refers to ‘the entire temple complex’. Thus, the first phrase would represent leading technical thought to the center of society and finding stability in some miniature angelic system of order that is regarded as different and holier than normal existence. In other words, the elite of society are creating some haven of order to which they can retreat and live in comfort apart from normal society.

Continuing with verse 9, cast means ‘to throw, cast’ and is interpreted as moving through the air of Teacher theory. Down means ‘down’ and is interpreted as heading in the direction of Mercy specifics. Luke adds the word from here, which is not present in Matthew 4, suggesting that this leap involves crossing some gap. In other words, the elite are moving outside of their place of refuge to interact with the common person, assuming that their special structure will protect them.

Verse 10 describes this special protection. “For it has been written: ‘He will give orders to His angels concerning You, to guard You.’” In this third temptation the devil says that it has been written, indicating a stable system of written rules and solid content. Order is used once as a verb in Luke and means ‘to command, emphasizing the end-objective’. And concerning means ‘about, concerning’ when followed by the genitive. Guard is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘thoroughly’ with ‘keep watch over’. Thus, the angelic message is being accepted, but its application is being limited to a specific group of special people. ‘Him’, ‘you’, and ‘you’ are explicitly in the original Greek and not just implied by the grammar.

Verse 11 continues, “And in their hands will they bear You up, lest ever You strike Your foot against a stone.” Hands represent the use of technical thought. Bear means ‘to raise, take up, lift’, which would represent moving in the direction of Teacher order. Strike means ‘to strike against, to stumble’ and is used once in Luke. A stone represents a solid fact in Perceiver thought. The body rests upon the feet when moving. Thus a foot would represent something upon which a person is currently putting their weight. Adding this to verse 10, whenever one of the elite leaves the cocoon of comfort, technology will be used to ensure that this individual is always cushioned from the hard facts of reality.

The upper classes have always attempted to live a privileged lifestyle, but what was different about era of the First World War was that enough modern technology now existed to make this possible, while the culture of Herodias meant that an upper class of nobility and clergy still existed. Episode 19 of BBC The Great War describes one soldier’s view of the privileged upper class. “If you were to ask me who it is we despise and hate the most, my answer would be, first of all, the war profiteers. Businessmen of all kinds and with them the professional patriots, the humbugs, the literary gents who dine each day in pajamas and red leather slippers off of dish of bosh.” Notice how the third temptation follows naturally from the second. If technology chooses to worship the elite, then obviously the elite will use technology primarily to protect themselves. Another article examines the role of class in World War I. “The army was rigidly divided between officers, drawn mainly from the upper classes, and the other ranks made up from the working class... [Officers] were treated in ways which emphasised the social gap. Their accommodation, whether at the front or not, was more comfortable. As well as higher pay and better uniforms they had servants and even grooms. Some rejoiced in showing their rank by shouting orders and abuse to which the victims could not reply. Certainly, they spent time in the trenches and led the advances. But at the end of hostilities they usually retreated to a roof over their heads and a batman to clean them up. When on leave they travelled first, not third, class. If they did show cowardice, deserted or voiced opposition to the war, they were rarely executed... They had the cushier life,’ wrote Ronald Skirth of the officer caste. ‘They rarely suffered the miseries and hardships of the rank and file. They saw our war but didn’t live it.’” Notice how the officers have ‘angels’ to ‘lift them up lest they strike their foot against a stone’.

However, technology was again the great equalizer. An incoming artillery shell does not distinguish between officers and enlisted men. And the BBC series describes such an equalizing taking place in the trenches. Quoting from episode 19, “‘The war years’, said one British soldier who served there, ‘will stand out in the memories of vast numbers of those who fought as the happiest period of their lives.’ He went on. ‘In spite of all differences in rank, we were comrades, brothers dwelling together in amity. We were privileged to see in each other that inner ennobled self which in the grim commercial struggle of peacetime is all too frequently atrophied for lack of expression. We could note the intense affection of soldiers for certain officers, their absolute trust in them.’”

Wikipedia describes a similar shift happening at the personal level with royalty. “The first extended campaigns of strategic bombing were carried out against England by the German Empire’s fleet of airships... This campaign was approved on 7 January 1915 by Kaiser Wilhelm II, who forbade attacks on London, fearing that his relatives in the British royal family might be injured. These restrictions were lifted in May, after British attacks on German cities.” Notice how an initial prohibition against harming the elite is being rescinded as a result of the spread of technology. Notice also the twisted thinking of the Kaiser, who is happy to send millions of soldiers to their death but does not want to harm his cousins. (My grandfather sent two German books of Christian poems that he had written to Kaiser Wilhelm when he was in exile in Doorn and received a personal letter in response in which the Kaiser hoped that these poems would help to spread the Christian message. I have a copy of the letter but not the original.)

Jesus replies in verse 12. “And Jesus answering, said to him, ‘It has been said, “You shall not test the Lord your God.”’” Jesus replied to the first two temptations by saying ‘it is written’. But when the devil said ‘it is written’ Jesus responded with ‘it has been said’ and said means ‘say, speak’. Test is used twice in Luke and adds ‘out from’ to ‘tempt’. This bears some theological discussion because James 1:13 says that “God is unable to be tempted by evils.” Unable to be tempted is a single word that occurs once in the New Testament which adds the prefix ‘not’ to ‘tempt’. Evil means ‘inner malice flowing out of a morally-rotten character’. Looking at this cognitively, evil is motivated by corrupt Mercy mental networks. A concept of God, in contrast, is based in a general Teacher theory. Thus, a ‘morally rotten character’ lacks the Teacher order that is required to attract the attention of Teacher thought, which means that God is not tempted by evil. Teacher order is present in the third temptation, but it is limited to some ruling class. A limited application of Teacher order can tempt a concept of God because it is possible to replace the existence of universality with a feeling of universality. A Teacher theory will feel universal as long as no contradictions to this theory are encountered. In the third temptation, the ruling elite lives within a limited world of Teacher order and is protected by ‘angels’ from this limited world from encountering harsh reality when venturing beyond this limited world. Such an arrangement can create a feeling of Teacher universality.

It was suggested earlier that Einstein passed the first two temptations. I suggest that he failed the third temptation. Einstein did much of his early work while working at a patent office outside of academia. But once he got famous, then he could retreat to the limited world of academia, protected from any direct contact with the outside world. It is interesting that Einstein did not publish anything of major significance in his later years. Wikipedia summarizes that “For much of the later part of his career, he worked on two ultimately unsuccessful endeavors... As a result, he became increasingly isolated from the mainstream of modern physics.” Going further, Einstein’s second wife acted as a personal ‘angel’ to protect him from encountering the hard facts of reality. In the words of Wikipedia, “Elsa spent most of her marriage with Albert acting as his gatekeeper, protecting him from unwelcome visitors and charlatans. She also was the driving force behind building their summer house.” Wikipedia explains that Elsa “began a relationship with her cousin Albert Einstein in April 1912, while Albert was still married to his first wife.” And when Elsa was dying in 1936, then Einstein found ‘angels of protection’ in his work. Quoting from Wikipedia, “He believed ‘strenuous intellectual work and looking at God’s nature are the reconciling, fortifying yet relentlessly strict angels that shall lead me through all of life’s troubles’. Thus did Einstein try to escape from his troubles by focusing on work that would distract him from Elsa’s dying.”

The temptations end in verse 13. “And the devil, having finished every temptation, departed from Him until an opportune time.” Finished combines ‘closely with’ and ‘to complete, finish’. It is used one other time in Luke in 4:2 which was used to describe Jesus reaching the end of his fasting. That was interpreted as physics being re-thought, largely motivated by Einstein’s two theories of relativity. World War I also led to a major rethinking of society. The nobility lost its hold upon society, as illustrated by the fall of four empires: the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Russian Empire. Temptation means ‘temptation’. Depart means to ‘make to stand away’ which would mean finding a different source of stability. Opportune time refers to ‘time as opportunity’ as opposed to chronological time. The implication is that the slander is not yet finished but rather biding its time to reappear. This can be seen historically in the ‘stab in the back myth’. Wikipedia explains that this “was an antisemitic conspiracy theory that was widely believed and promulgated in Germany after 1918. It maintained that the Imperial German Army did not lose World War I on the battlefield, but was instead betrayed by certain citizens on the home front—especially Jews, revolutionary socialists who fomented strikes and labor unrest, and other republican politicians... When Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party rose to power in 1933, they made the conspiracy theory an integral part of their official history of the 1920s, portraying the Weimar Republic as the work of the ‘November criminals’ who had ‘stabbed the nation in the back’ in order to seize power.” This describes a slanderous opinion that is ‘making a stand away’ from society in order to wait for an opportune time.

We have finally arrived at the start of Jesus’ ministry after about 140 pages of analysis. The underlying principle is that a mental concept of incarnation requires a substantial cognitive foundation that takes many steps to construct. The Gospel of Mark skips all of this prologue, which suggests that Mark describes a cycle of society that will happen in the future when a concept of incarnation already exists. However, that is mere conjecture at this point.

Verse 14 begins, “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report concerning Him went out into all the surrounding region.” Returned means ‘to turn back’ and suggests a change in direction. Power was last mentioned in 1:35. ‘Power of the spirit’ means that Platonic forms have acquired the power to affect reality. Power was not mentioned in chapter 3 in the ministry of John the Baptist. That is because the Platonic forms that come from absolute truth are disconnected from reality. In contrast, the incarnational thinking of science and technology can transform Platonic forms into real items. The power of these Platonic forms was shown in the third temptation, because technology had the power to override Mercy mental networks of societal status. That was not a nice power, though we saw that it did have some positive emotional benefit even in the hell of the trenches. However, in verse 14 Jesus has changed directions and has returned to Galilee, which represents the cycles of society.

Report is used once in Luke and comes from a word that means to ‘bring to light by asserting one statement over another’. Went out means ‘to go or come out of’. All means ‘where all the parts are present and working as a whole’. Surrounding region means ‘neighboring country’. Thus, the light of Teacher understanding is being spread in an integrated manner. This is different than the third temptation, which attempted to restrict Teacher order to some elite group of people. This spreading is ‘concerning Him’, which means that knowledge of the integrated thinking of science and technology is spreading. This spreading is described in one economics article. In the United States, “Conspicuous wartime efforts, which appeared vital to national purpose, drew the corporate research laboratories more fully into the limelight and tied them more firmly in the public’s mind with the generation of new products... These startling accomplishments secured a firm place for corporate laboratories and organized research and development in American industry. Between 1919 and 1936, U.S. manufacturing firms established over a thousand industrial research laboratories.” Notice how the power of wartime technology is causing the light of technical research to spread throughout American industry. This is not so much a spread of technology but rather a spread of the idea of research and technology.

Verse 15 describes this theoretical emphasis. “And He was teaching in their synagogues, being glorified by all.” Teaching means to ‘instruct, impart knowledge’ and this is the first occurrence of this common word in Luke. This is also the first mention of a synagogue, which means ‘a bringing together’. Glorify means ‘to ascribe weight by recognizing real substance’, consistent with the idea that glory is an expression of internal character. All indicates that this is a universal response. This academic imparting of knowledge in Britain is described in an academic paper. “Few institutions were as profoundly impacted by the war as universities... Governments realized the significance of research and higher education to the national war effort, making the Great War a scientific conflict as well as a military one. The war years and immediate post-war period saw the establishment of institutions and bodies that would shape the university and college sector for many years... In the years following the Armistice, a large number of ex-servicemen entered higher education. Overall, nearly 17,000 ex-service students attended university institutions in Britain and Ireland during the 1919–20 session, constituting nearly half of the student population.”

The Synagogue at Nazareth 4:16-20

In contrast, Jesus does not receive approval when he comes to Nazareth. In verse 16, Jesus performs his traditional role. “And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and according to His custom, He entered into the synagogue on the day of the Sabbaths, and stood up to read.” Nazareth means ‘separated, crowned, sanctified’. Brought up actually means to ‘feed, nourish’. Thus, technical thought was nourished by the elite of society and is now returning to the elite of society. We saw earlier that the ruling upper class nourished science and technology before and during the war in order to pursue imperialistic goals. Enter means ‘to go in, enter’. Custom is ‘behavior based on tradition or custom’, which describes Mercy mental networks of culture. Normally, Jesus speaks to others who are following custom. In verse 16, Jesus is following his custom, which would represent some tradition of technical thought. Sabbath means ‘cease, desist, rest’ and Exodus 20 says that no work is supposed to be done on the Sabbath. Verse 16 refers to ‘the day of the sabbaths’, which is an unusual construction. This suggests a period during which many groups of people pause from pursuing personal goals in order to focus upon general structure in Teacher thought. Stood up means ‘to raise up’ and is the word used to describe resurrection. Thus, a resurrection of technical thought is happening during this ‘day of the sabbaths’. Read is a fairly common word but this is the first occurrence in Luke. It combines ‘again’ with ‘personally know’.

This ‘day of the sabbaths’ can be interpreted prophetically as the Versailles peace negotiations after the First World War. Wikipedia summarizes, “Although the armistice of 11 November 1918 ended the actual fighting, it took six months of Allied negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference to conclude the peace treaty.” We have seen several examples of war being followed by some peace conference in which technical thought is used to re-structure political power. These peace negotiations were a sabbath in the sense that countries ceased normal human activity in order to focus upon the abstract political structure within which normal activity occurs. Wikipedia describes the extent of the Versailles negotiations. “Initially, 70 delegates from 27 nations participated in the negotiations... Initially, a ‘Council of Ten’ (comprising two delegates each from Britain, France, the United States, Italy, and Japan) met officially to decide the peace terms... The minor powers attended a weekly ‘Plenary Conference’ that discussed issues in a general forum but made no decisions. These members formed over 50 commissions that made various recommendations, many of which were incorporated into the final text of the treaty.” This goes beyond a sabbath to a ‘day of the sabbaths’.

Verse 17 describes what he reads. “And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to Him, and having unrolled the scroll, He found the place where it was written.” Given means ‘to give over, give way’. Scroll means ‘a paper, book’ and is only used in Luke in this story where it appears three times. A scroll would represent an integrated written theory, because a book takes words and organizes them in written form. Thus, some system of knowledge is being handed over to technical thought. Isaiah means ‘salvation of Yah’, which is close to the meaning of ‘Jesus’. However, Isaiah is a prophet. Isaiah is mentioned one other time in Luke in 3:4 where a quote from Isaiah described the ministry of John the Baptist. That was interpreted as 19th century colonization driven by a mindset of absolute truth in which existing structures are flattened and straightened and everyone physically sees the salvation of God. Unrolled is used once in the New Testament and combines ‘up’ with ‘to fold’. This conveys the idea that incarnation is choosing to view the book of Isaiah from a different perspective that will move up in the direction of Teacher generality. (When a word is used once in the New Testament then the symbolic meaning of that word is usually derived from the components of that word as opposed to the meaning given in a translation. That is because the translation usually tries to make the surface reading sound more natural, whereas the meanings of the component parts of the word convey the symbolic message.) ‘Found the place where was written’ indicates a deliberate decision to view a different aspect of the message of Isaiah. This suggests a reappraisal of the entire system of thought that was driving 19th century colonialism. Notice that this reappraisal involves reading another passage from the same book and not changing the book itself. Looking at this prophetically, this peace negotiation will involve the same colonial powers with their scrolls of integrated, written, technical authority. But this will be a different kind of negotiation that reads from a different part of the scroll. Wikipedia describes this change from the normal. “The United States entered the war against the Central Powers in 1917 and President Woodrow Wilson largely shaped the peace terms. His war aim was to detach the war from nationalistic disputes and ambitions. On 8 January 1918, Wilson issued the Fourteen Points.”

Verse 18 describes the passage being read. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because of which He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor.” Spirit has been mentioned several times, but this is the only reference to a ‘spirit of Lord’ in Luke. The idea is that technical thought is being ruled by Platonic forms of the spirit. This ruling is indicated by the word because which means ‘on account of, because of’. Anointed is used once in Luke and means ‘to anoint by rubbing or pouring olive oil on someone to represent the flow (empowering) of the Holy Spirit’. Preach good news means ‘to announce good news’. It was previously used in 3:18 where John the Baptist was ‘preaching the gospel’ to the laity. In verse 18, the good news is being preached to the poor, which means ‘to crouch or cower like a beggar’, and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Looking at this cognitively, absolute truth preaches good news to the laity who believe, whereas incarnation preaches good news to the poor who need the good news. This is the opposite of the third temptation which reserved the benefits of science and technology for the elite.

The attitude of verse 18 can be seen in the Fourteen Points of president Woodrow Wilson. Wikipedia summarizes that “Wilson directly addressed what he perceived as the causes for the world war by calling for the abolition of secret treaties, a reduction in armaments, an adjustment in colonial claims in the interests of both native peoples and colonists, and freedom of the seas. Wilson also made proposals that would ensure world peace in the future. For example, he proposed the removal of economic barriers between nations, the promise of self-determination for national minorities, and a world organization that would guarantee the ‘political independence and territorial integrity [of] great and small states alike’ – a League of Nations... Wilson’s idealism pervaded the Fourteen Points.” Notice that these Fourteen Points are ‘announcing good news’ that is ‘pervaded’ by the Platonic forms of ‘Wilson’s idealism’. And these points are meant to help the small person and the small country that is ‘crouching and cowering like a beggar’ in the face of world powers. More generally, Wilson’s points were interpreted as preaching good news to the poor. In the words of Wikipedia, “Wilson gained support from anti-colonial nationalist leaders in Europe’s colonies and countries under European influence around the globe who were hopeful that Wilson would assist them in their goals. Around the world, Wilson was occasionally elevated to a quasi-religious figure; as someone who was an agent of salvation and a bringer of peace and justice.” Being ‘elevated to a quasi-religious figure’ indicates that Wilson’s proclamations were resonating with people’s Platonic forms of moral perfection.

Wilson’s Fourteen Points were a proclamation to the rest of the world and not a negotiation. Wikipedia clarifies that “The speech was made without prior coordination or consultation with Wilson’s counterparts in Europe... As a major public statement of war aims, it became the basis for the terms of the German surrender at the end of the First World War. After the speech, House worked to secure the acceptance of the Fourteen Points by Entente leaders.”

Verse 18 continues with this theme of helping those who need help, “He has sent Me to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth in deliverance the oppressed.” Send means ‘sent on a defined mission by a superior’ and this word was used in 1:19 and 1:26 by the angel Gabriel to describe his mission. The same word is used for ‘send forth’. This is not some vague overgeneralization, but rather involves the details of technical thought. Deliverance means to ‘send away, forgive’ and was previously used in 3:3 to describe the ‘baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins’ of John the Baptist. Proclaim means ‘to herald, proclaim’ and was also used by John in 3:3. Captive is used once in the New Testament and comes from ‘a spear’ and ‘to be taken, conquered’. Recovery of sight is used once as a noun in the New Testament and comes from a word that means ‘to look up, recover sight’. Blind means ‘blind, physically or mentally’, and sight is interpreted as using Perceiver thought to construct a mental map of the surroundings. Oppressed is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to break in pieces’. Summarizing, there are ‘captives’ who have been conquered through military force and oppressed who have been broken into pieces. Both of these are going to be set free. And the blind will be given sight. Comparing this with Wilson’s Fourteen Points, ‘self-determination for national minorities’ is setting free the captives as is ‘a reduction in armaments’. ‘Ensuring world peace’ along with ‘freedom of the seas’ sets free a world that has been broken into pieces. And a League of Nations would hopefully bring sight to the blind.

Verse 19 concludes, “To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Proclaim is the same word that was used in verse 18. Year means ‘a cycle of time, a year’. Lord means ‘lord, master’. Favor is used twice in Luke and means ‘what is received favorably’. In other words, those who are in charge are going to be nice for a period of time. Wikipedia describes this attitude of a special time of favor. “During this ‘Wilsonian moment’, there was considerable optimism among anti-colonial nationalist leaders and movements that Wilson and the Fourteen Points were going to be an influential force that would re-shape the long established relationships between the West and the rest of the world... [and] would establish new relationships which would be more favorable and equitable than what had existed beforehand.”

Jesus concludes in verse 20. “And having rolled up the scroll, having delivered it to the attendant, He sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon Him.” Rolled up is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to fold’. It is the same word as ‘unrolled’ in verse 17 without the ‘up’ prefix. In other words, what followed in verse 17 was a set of general written principles. Verse 20 will describe the application. Deliver means ‘to return, especially as a payment’. Attendant means an ‘under-rower who mans the oars on a lower deck’. Sat down implies resting in some conclusion. The eye represents using Perceiver thought to analyze the environment. Fixed is used twice in Luke and means ‘to stare at because only occupied with’. Putting this together, some written conclusion has been reached and it is now time to look at the details. These details involve payments and subordinates. Everyone is now fixated factually upon incarnation. This combination describes the result of the Paris Peace conference. Wikipedia summarizes that “The Paris Peace Conference was the formal meeting in 1919 and 1920 of the victorious Allies after the end of World War I to set the peace terms for the defeated Central Powers. Dominated by the leaders of Britain, France, the United States and Italy, it resulted in five treaties that rearranged the maps of Europe and parts of Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands, and also imposed financial penalties.” This conference was literally a sitting down. Everyone was factually fixated upon how boundaries of the world were going to be redrawn. Payments and reparations were discussed. The written conclusion of the armistice had been reached and now it was time to work out the details, which the five major leaders would then give to their ‘under-rowers’ to implement.

Response to Jesus at Nazareth 4:21-27

Jesus speaks in verse 21. “And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’” Began implies that something new is being said that wasn’t said before. Today focuses upon the present. Fulfilled means ‘to make full, to complete’. And scripture means ‘a writing, scripture’. This word has been seen several times as a verb but this is the first occurrence as a noun and the only other occurrences are in Luke 24 where Jesus explains the Scriptures to his disciples. Thus, scripture would be interpreted as a reference to the Bible. Hearing means ‘the ear’ and would refer to verbal language in Teacher thought. This statement in verse 21 totally violates the assumptions of absolute truth. As mentioned before, absolute truth can only survive as long as the source of truth is regarded as far more important than personal identity. Thus, while absolute truth can lead to the formation of Platonic forms of ideal perfection, these Platonic forms cannot turn into reality because they come from words that are regarded as separate from reality, and these Platonic forms must not turn into reality because that would raise the importance of personal identity, causing absolute truth to fall into doubt. That is why absolute truth responded in 3:15 to the idea that Victorian progress might be ‘the Christ’ by declaring that God’s work is far greater than anything that humanity might achieve. In contrast, verse 21 claims that the biblical message of deliverance is being fulfilled now. Going further, absolute truth was spoken in the past and then recorded in written form to be preserved for the present. Verse 21, in contrast, is verbally proclaiming truth in the present. This explains why verse 21 says ‘and he began to say’.

This attitude of delivering a message today can be seen in Woodrow Wilson. Wikipedia explains that when he became president, “Wilson introduced a comprehensive program of domestic legislation at the outset of his administration, something no president had ever done before... Wilson introduced these proposals in April 1913 in a speech delivered to a joint session of Congress, becoming the first president since John Adams to address Congress in person.”

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library quotes a 1924 article describing Wilson’s religious beliefs. “Mr. Wilson was one of the most devout of our Presidents. His religion was marked by constant and regular prayer, not a formality but a sincere outpouring of his spirit and supplication for divine guidance. He read his Bible consistently every day, meditated on what he read, and sought to put into action the teachings of the Scripture. He was an habitual church attendant and an Elder in the Presbyterian Church... He conceived of such things and many more -- all in the League of Nations’ Covenant -- as an application of Christ’s law to national affairs. This was the public climax of Woodrow Wilson’s Christianity. Other Christians had dreamed before of a government of the world in accordance with the precepts of the Lord Jesus, but here was a man in great power, consecrated to the service of his country and of Christ, and perceiving that the time had come when nothing but the law of Christ could preserve nations from repetitions of the madness and bloodshed of the Great War.” This quote is basically a restatement of verse 21, because Wilson is announcing that the dreams of previous Christians will now be turned into reality through the League of Nations, guided by what is written in the Bible.

Verse 22 describes the initial response. “And all were bearing witness to Him and marveling at the grace of the words that are proceeding out of His mouth.” Bearing witness is used once in Luke and means ‘to bear witness, testify’. This bearing witness is to the person of Jesus. Marvel means to ‘wonder at, be amazed’. And words is ‘logos’, which is interpreted as paradigms of technical thought. Grace means ‘favor, grace’ and is one of several related words that describe benefit from God in Teacher thought. Proceeding adds the word ‘out from’ to ‘transport’, and ‘transport’ is interpreted as a movement that is accompanied by change. Putting this together, paradigms regarding help from universal Teacher theories are being spoken in a manner that indicates movement accompanied by change, and this is leading to a response of amazement accompanied by confirmation from personal experience. Wikipedia describes this kind of reaction to Wilson’s Fourteen Points. “Wilson’s 1917 Fourteen Points had helped win many hearts and minds as the war ended in America and all over Europe, including Germany, as well as its allies in and the former subjects of the Ottoman Empire. Wilson’s diplomacy and his Fourteen Points had essentially established the conditions for the armistices that had brought an end to World War I. Wilson felt it to be his duty and obligation to the people of the world to be a prominent figure at the peace negotiations. High hopes and expectations were placed on him to deliver what he had promised for the postwar era.” Notice how all sides are bearing witness to Wilson and placing high expectations in his paradigms, hoping that his words will transport the world to a new postwar era of peace.

Verse 22 continues, “And they were saying, ‘Is this not the son of Joseph?’” Not means ‘definitely not’. Son would refer to male technical thought. Joseph means ‘he increases’. Applying this to Woodrow Wilson, the others are pointing out that his thinking actually comes out of the increase of Western civilization and does not represent a new mentality. Wikipedia describes this realization. “The nationalist interpretations of both the Fourteen Points and Wilson’s views regarding colonialism proved to be misguided. In actuality, Wilson had never established a goal of opposing European colonial powers and breaking up their empires, nor was he trying to fuel anti-colonial nationalist independence movements. It was not Wilson’s objective or desire to confront European colonial powers over such matters, as Wilson had no intention of supporting any demands for self-determination and sovereignty that conflicted with the interests of the victorious Allies.” In other words, it became clear that the ‘real father’ of Wilson is the ‘he increases’ of Western Empire.

Jesus responds in verse 23. “And He said to them, ‘Surely you will say to Me this proverb, “Physician heal yourself!”’” Parable combines ‘close beside’ and ‘to cast’ which conveys the idea of using Perceiver connections to show that two situations follow the same general principles in Teacher thought. Physician comes from the word ‘to heal’. And heal is the source of the English word ‘therapy’ and ‘usually involves natural elements in the process of healing’. Wikipedia explains that “Wilson’s calls for greater autonomous development and sovereignty had been aimed solely at European countries under the rule of the German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires... Wilson was not by character or background an anti-colonialist or campaigner for rights and freedoms for all people, instead he was also very much a racist, a fundamental believer in white supremacy.” Thus, Wilson’s cure for the world was addressed primarily to the defeated side. As the previous paragraph indicates, these magnanimous principles did not necessarily apply to the winning side. Personally speaking, Wilson himself was not necessarily a magnanimous person. This became apparent when Wilson rejected his own treaty because it had been modified by others. Wikipedia summarizes, “Wilson consistently refused to compromise, partly due to concerns about having to re-open negotiations with the other treaty signatories. When Lodge was on the verge of building a two-thirds majority to ratify the Treaty with ten reservations, Wilson forced his supporters to vote Nay on March 19, 1920, thereby closing the issue.” This defeating of Wilson’s proposal by himself is implied by the indirect statement of verse 23: ‘Surely you will say to me this proverb’.

There is also another, more literal, fulfillment of verse 23. In the words of Wikipedia, “President Wilson contracted Spanish flu at the beginning of the Paris Peace Conference and became severely ill with high fevers and bouts of delirium giving way to French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau to advance demands that were substantially different from Wilson’s Fourteen Points.” Thus, Wilson’s lofty Fourteen Points became sidelined by Clemenceau’s desire to punish Germany because Wilson got very sick and needed healing from a physician.

The response continues in verse 23, “Whatsoever we have heard has been done in Capernaum, do here in Your hometown also.” Whatsoever means ‘how much, how many’. Heard means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Done means ‘to come into being’. Capernaum means ‘village of consolation’. Do means ‘to make, do’. Hometown is only used in Luke in this verse and the next verse and means ‘of one’s father’s’. In other words, the audience comprehends that comfort and consolation have come into being, and they want this same thing to be done within the speaker’s system of thought. Applying this to the Peace Conference, western colonies wanted some of the comfort that Wilson has been talking about to be done to them as well. In the words of Wikipedia, “In many of the Fourteen Points... Wilson had focused on adjusting colonial disputes and the importance of allowing autonomous development and self-determination. This drew significant attention from anti-colonial nationalist leaders and movements, who saw Wilson’s swift adoption of the term ‘self-determination’ (although he did not actually use the term in the speech itself) as an opportunity to gain independence from colonial rule or expel foreign influence.”

Jesus responds in verse 24. “And He said, ‘Truly I say to you that no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.’” Truly means ‘verily, truly’ and is the source of the English word ‘amen’. A prophet ‘asserts one idea over another’. Acceptable means ‘what is received favorably’ and is used one other time in Luke in 4:19, which was interpreted as Wilson’s declaration of a ‘year of the Lord’s favor’. And hometown means ‘of one’s fathers’. Applying this to the Paris Peace Conference, Wilson’s idealism was overruled. Wikipedia summarizes that “Once Wilson arrived, however, he found ‘rivalries, and conflicting claims previously submerged.’ He worked mostly trying to sway the direction that the French, led by Georges Clemenceau, and the British, led by David Lloyd George, [had] towards Germany and its allies in Europe and the former Ottoman Empire in the Middle East. Wilson’s attempts to gain acceptance of his Fourteen Points ultimately failed after France and Britain had refused to adopt some of their specific points and core principles.” Notice that Wilson tries to ‘assert one idea over another’ with France and Britain, who presumably share the same Western ideals of freedom and democracy, and he fails. Cognitively speaking, the explicit message became sidetracked by implicit ways of doing things. This implicit structure was mentioned back in verse 16, when Jesus entered the synagogue ‘according to his custom’. ‘Truly’ means that this is a general principle that is more solid than any message, no matter how good the message. And it appears to be a general cognitive principle that any system must first be applied somewhere else before it can return successfully to the region where it was developed.

Verse 25 then gives a specific example. “And in truth I say to you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up for three years and six months, when there was a great famine upon all the land.” Truth means ‘true to fact, reality’ and this word will next be used in chapter 20. Thus, verse 25 describes a fundamental principle of reality. Widow means ‘widow’ and is interpreted as female mental networks that are no longer supported by male technical thought. Elijah means ‘Yah is God’ and was previously used in 1:17, which was interpreted as the scholastic concept of a God who is unrelated to human reality. ‘In the days of Elijah’ would presumably refer to that era of scholasticism. Heaven represents the realm of Teacher thought. Shut up means ‘to shut’. I do not know what three years and six months represent and I generally avoid attempting to interpret numbers. However, If heaven is shut up for a period of time, this would indicate that all attempts to use Teacher thought are failing. This is reinforced by the term famine, which would represent the absence of intellectual food. Great means ‘large, great, in the widest sense’ and is interpreted as Teacher generality. Thus, there is a general lack of intellectual food. Land means ‘the arena we live in which operates in space and time’, which represents human rational thought. Thus, this absence of intellectual food is within the realm of human rational thought. This would describe the scholastic era before the development of scientific thought. A great intellectual famine would refer to the Dark Ages which ended with the Carolingian Renaissance and the start of scholasticism. This period is examined further in the essay on Matthew. Wikipedia summarizes, “The first significant renewal of learning in the West came with the Carolingian Renaissance of the Early Middle Ages. Charlemagne... established schools in every abbey in his empire. These schools, from which the name scholasticism is derived, became centers of medieval learning. During this period, knowledge of Ancient Greek had vanished in the West except in Ireland, where its teaching and use was widely dispersed in the monastic schools.”

Verse 26 adds, “And Elijah was sent to none of them, except to Zarephath of Sidon, to a woman, a widow.” Zarephath is mentioned once in the New Testament and means ‘smelting place’. Sidon is mentioned once in Luke and means ‘to hunt’. The sending of Elijah would correspond to the beginning of scholasticism. A smelting place would represent a place of testing. Hunting suggests that this testing is happening through some kind of physical conflict. This describes the Carolingian Empire. Wikipedia summarizes, “Charlemagne’s reign was one of near-constant warfare, participating in annual campaigns, many led personally.” Government itself was a form of hunt in which authority was continually being tested. Wikipedia explains, “The Carolingian Empire was the largest western territory since the fall of Rome, but historians have come to suspect the depth of the emperor’s influence and control... His administration was an attempt to organize the kingdom, church, and nobility around him, however, its efficacy was directly dependent upon the efficiency, loyalty and support of his subjects.” Going further, “The royal household was an itinerant body (until c. 802) which moved around the kingdom making sure good government was upheld in the localities.” Western society at that time no longer had any ‘husband’ of male thought to rule over mental networks of culture and family. Wikipedia describes this type of mentality during the time of Charlemagne’s grandfather Charles Martel. After one significant battle, “Martel’s reputation increased considerably as a result, and he attracted more followers. This battle is often considered by historians as the turning point in Charles’s struggle. Richard Gerberding points out that up to this time, much of Martel’s support was probably from his mother’s kindred in the lands around Liege.” Notice how there is no system of government. Instead, loyalty is coming from Mercy mental networks of family and emotional status is being acquired through testing.

But Western civilization began with these illiterate warlords who were constantly on the warpath. These warlords needed education to run their empire and had to import this education from another source. In the words of Wikipedia, “A lack of Latin literacy in eighth-century western Europe caused problems for the Carolingian rulers by severely limiting the number of people capable of serving as court scribes in societies where Latin was valued. Of even greater concern to some rulers was the fact that not all parish priests possessed the skill to read the Vulgate Bible... To address these problems, Charlemagne ordered the creation of schools in a capitulary known as the Charter of Modern Thought, issued in 787. A major part of his program of reform was to attract many of the leading scholars of the Christendom of his day to his court.” Thus, the Carolingian Renaissance is an example of a prophet being honored because he is not in his hometown. Going further, Western colonization is also an example of prophets being honored because they are not in their hometown. And in both cases, the enabling power was a military power.

Applying this principle to Woodrow Wilson, Wikipedia clarifies that “Wilson did not believe the third world was ready for self governance, asserting that a period of trusteeship and tutelage from colonial powers was required to manage such a transition. Wilson viewed this approach as essential to the ‘proper development’ of colonised countries, reflecting his views about the inferiority of the non-European races. Moreover, Wilson was not by character or background an anti-colonialist or campaigner for rights and freedoms for all people, instead he was also very much a racist, a fundamental believer in white supremacy... and strongly believed that the U.S. was morally obliged to impose Western ways of life and governance on such countries, so that eventually they could govern independently.” I know that it has become taboo in postmodern times to suggest that ‘Western ways of life and governance’ need to be imposed upon colonized countries so that they can ‘govern independently’. However, suggesting that some society can go directly from tribalism to Western democracy is wishful thinking that is not borne out by the facts. The post-colonial history of most ex-colonies bears this out. I know that it is politically incorrect to say so, but if one wants to speak ‘in truth’—true to fact—then one concludes that something like Western colonization was required. I am NOT suggesting that all colonization was good. For instance, King Leopold’s fiefdom of Congo was a crime against humanity. But the cognitive principle still remains that ‘no prophet is acceptable in his hometown’. In some way, the movement for change has to come from the outside.

Verse 27 provides another example. “And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed, except Naaman the Syrian.” Leper means ‘scaly’ and was used to describe several skin conditions. The skin is the major source of the physical feelings of pain and pleasure that program Mercy thought. Thus, a leper would represent someone who is dysfunctional in Mercy thought. Israel represents a human group through whom God interacts with the world, such as the organized church. (These essays are showing that God interacts with human society in many ways, including ways that do not involve either the land of Israel or the organized church.) Elisha is mentioned once in the New Testament and means ‘God is salvation’. Cleansed means ‘removing all admixture’. Naaman is mentioned once in the New Testament and means ‘pleasant, delightful’. Syrian comes from a word that means ‘a hard pebble, flint’. Putting this together, The Second Industrial Revolution (or consumer revolution) of the late 19th century was a partial example of ‘God is salvation’ that cleansed dysfunctional Mercy thought. Part of this cleansing was the purifying of Victorian morality, which had a genuine impact. And part of this cleansing was the literal cleansing of water supplies and sewer systems, such as the construction of the London sewer system in response to the Great Stink of 1858. But this moral and physical purification did not happen equally to all of the world. Instead, it happened primarily within Europe which was already relatively ‘pleasant and delightful’, guided by the ‘hard pebble’ of absolute truth.

There is a cognitive reason for this which goes beyond the third temptation and its limiting of technological benefits to some ruling elite. Stated simply, Teacher thought and Mercy thought are connected. This principle became clear to me when developing the theory of mental symmetry, because I realized that I would only continue to understand the mind in Teacher thought if I continued to apply what I knew personally in Mercy thought. Thus, Teacher thought will only continue to develop in an environment that is reasonably ‘pleasant and delightful’ for Mercy thought. This leads to the virtuous circle of research and development, in which research leads to development which lays the groundwork for further research. Applying this to Western colonization, one cannot kick out the colonizers, revert to a tribal society, and expect civilization to continue. The history of ex-colonies makes this abundantly clear. This principle may be unpopular and uncomfortable, but it is ‘true to fact’.

The Crowd tries to kill Jesus 4:28-30

These uncomfortable facts explain the response in verse 28. “And all in the synagogue were filled with anger, hearing these things.” Anger is used once in Luke and means ‘an outburst of passion’. Filled means to ‘fill to the maximum’. Synagogue means ‘a bringing together’. The synagogue in verse 28 is presumably the same synagogue as in verse 20, which suggests that verse 28 is representing a response to the Paris Peace conference. Hear means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. And ‘these things’ would refer to the two points previously mentioned. Wikipedia describes this ‘outburst of passion’. “The Revolutions of 1917–1923 was a revolutionary wave that included political unrest and revolts around the world inspired by the success of the Russian Revolution and the disorder created by the aftermath of World War I. The uprisings were mainly socialist or anti-colonial in nature.” Communism violates the two principles mentioned in the previous paragraphs. The first principle is that structure must be applied by a group that is different than the group that developed the structure. This principle is seen, for instance, in the separation between legislative and executive branches of government. Communism violates this principle by allowing the party that controls government to come up with central plans that are imposed upon the people, thus removing the separation between legislative and executive. The second principle is that civilization requires a civilized mindset. Communism assumes that the wealth of the civilization can be seized through revolution, but the mindset of revolution will end up destroying the wealth of civilization. Thus, the revolutions of 1917 to 1923 can be interpreted as rejections of these two principles: one can impose ideology upon the people and one can seize the means of production. This is obviously an oversimplification, but this essay is an overview of Western civilization and not a detailed look at communist revolutions.

The physical response is described in verse 29. “And having risen up, they cast Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill upon which their town had been built, in order to throw Him over.” Risen up means ‘to raise up’ and is the word used to describe resurrection from the dead. Cast out means ‘to eject’ and combines ‘from out of’ with ‘to throw’. This is the first use of this word in Luke. Throwing represents movement through the air of Teacher thought. Thus, ‘cast out’ would indicate some sort of rejection at the level of Teacher theory. The rejecting is emphasized by explicitly including the preposition ‘from out of’. A city represents a center of civilization. Brow is mentioned once in the New Testament and means ‘an eyebrow’. Hill is more accurately ‘mountain’. A mountain represents a pragmatic form of general theory. The brow of a mountain would literally be some overhang at the top of a mountain. Symbolically, the brow shades the eye, and the eyes use Perceiver thought to construct a mental map of the environment. Thus, ‘leading to the brow of a mountain’ would represent ‘throwing some shade’ upon using Perceiver thought to analyze the physical world in a general way. Going further, town is the same word that was translated as ‘city’ a few words earlier. (Most of the translations repeat the word ‘town’ or the word ‘city’, but in this case the BLB translates the same Greek word as two different English words.) This is the first use in Luke of the word built which means ‘to build a house’. Thus, the Perceiver thinking that is being questioned is the Perceiver thought upon which civilization is built, especially Perceiver thought having to do with houses and private property. Throw over is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to throw over a precipice’. In order means ‘so as to’, which means that the goal of this questioning of the Perceiver principles of private property upon which society is built is to throw existing technical structure over a precipice. This summarizes the essence of a communist revolution. Communism questions the principles of private property upon which modern civilization is based. A communist revolution ‘throws shade’ upon the ability of Perceiver thought to subdivide the physical environment into mine and yours and theirs. And a communist revolution attempts to overthrow the existing technical structure of society. Repeating the quote from Wikipedia, “The Revolutions of 1917–1923 was a revolutionary wave that included political unrest and revolts around the world inspired by the success of the Russian Revolution and the disorder created by the aftermath of World War I. The uprisings were mainly socialist or anti-colonial in nature.” This does not mean that verse 29 refers only to communism. It could also refer to a non-communist revolution that includes attempting to redefine how private property is distributed.

Verse 30 concludes, “But He, having passed through their midst, went away.” Having passed means ‘to go through’. And the preposition through is explicitly added. The midst means ‘middle, in the midst’. And went away means ‘to transport’, indicating movement accompanied by change. ‘Away’ is implied. Looking at this symbolically, technical structure is going through communist revolutions and is being changed in the process. Looking at the change, Wikipedia summarizes that “The revolutions had lasting effects in shaping the future European political landscape, with for example the collapse of the German Empire and the abdication of the German Kaiser.” However, as a general movement, existing societal structure emerged from this crisis relatively unscathed. Wikipedia describes the cresting and fading of this wave of revolutions. “The October Revolution of 1917 in Russia sparked a revolutionary wave of socialist and communist uprisings across Europe, most notably the German Revolution, the Hungarian Revolution, Biennio Rosso and the revolutionary war in Finland... Particularly between 1918 and 1919, it seemed plausible that capitalism would soon be swept from the European continent forever. Given the fact that European powers controlled the majority of Earth’s land surface at the time, such an event could have meant the end of capitalism not just in Europe, but everywhere. Additionally, the Comintern, founded in March 1919, began as an independent international organization of communists from various countries around the world that evolved after the Russian Civil War into an essentially Soviet-sponsored agency responsible for coordinating the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism worldwide... [But] the European revolutions were crushed one by one, until eventually the Russian revolutionaries found themselves to be the only survivors.” And even in Russia, technical structure eventually re-emerged. “The complete failure of Comintern-inspired revolutions was a sobering experience in Moscow, and the Bolsheviks moved from world revolution to socialism in one country, Russia. Lenin moved to open trade relations with Britain, Germany and other major countries. Most dramatically, in 1921, Lenin introduced a sort of small-scale capitalism with his New Economic Policy.”

Before we continue, I would like to make a personal observation. I am feeling a bit freaked out at this point because Luke is prophesying modern Western history in such a specific manner. I have been doing this sort of analysis for a while, so I should not be getting freaked out, but the prophecy in Luke is significantly more detailed than the prophecy in Matthew. I do not know if this detail will continue. At this point I do not even know what the next section represents. But I do know that this level of specific detail cannot be faked. (I have left this paragraph in because it illustrates my mindset while writing this essay.)

Jesus Rebukes an Unclean Demon 4:31-37

Verse 31 begins, “And He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And He was teaching them on the Sabbaths.” Went down means ‘to come down’ and is interpreted as heading from generality to specifics. Capernaum means ‘village of consolation’ and was interpreted as the centers of Western civilization in verse 23 where it was mentioned for the first time. Galilee means ‘to roll’ and is interpreted as the cycles of society. Thus, this sentence would represent technical thought being applied in specific ways to the cycles of society in the centers of Western civilization. Teaching means to ‘impart knowledge’. And Sabbath means ‘rest’. Thus, the practical developments are interspersed by episodes of learning. An article in Forbes describes the practical technical transformations of this period. “The technological revolution of the 1920s was driven by the continued development and widespread adoption of the internal combustion engine, the development of electrical machinery and the spread of electrification to households and manufacturing. This great transformation led to a rise in productivity in the agricultural sector that remade society. It changed productivity in the household, and altered fundamentally the size and organization of households and the lives of women. And it improved productivity in the manufacturing sector to an extent that raised living standards for many and changed both the rewards, and the nature, of work.” Notice that these technical transformations are happening primarily within the ‘village of consolation’ of the centers of Western civilization.

Verse 32 describes the reaction. “And they were astonished at His teaching, for His message was with authority.” Astonished means to ‘strike out of one’s senses’. The final phrase provides the reason for this astonishment. Message is ‘logos’ and is interpreted as paradigms of technical thought. Authority means ‘conferred power’ and was used once previously in 4:6 where the devil said that the authority of empires had been betrayed to him. In verse 32, technical thought is teaching paradigms that have conferred power. This conferred power of technical thought is seen in the new technologies that became popular. Looking at the situation in France, the 1920s were “a period of strong economic growth. New products and services in booming markets boost the economy: radio, automobile, aviation, oil, electricity. French production of hydropower increases eightfold during the decade. Cheaper electricity favored industrial companies, which in 1928 had three of the top five highest market capitalizations on the Paris stock exchange.” Radio, automobile, aviation, oil, and electricity are all enabling technologies that confer power to individuals. They also require technical infrastructure to use, guided by paradigms of conferred power. And they all transform society in a way that would ‘strike out of one’s senses’. For instance, imagine hearing the voice of a distant person coming from a box. Imagine getting into a flying box and being transported in a short time to a distant location. Imagine turning a switch and having the room illuminated with an electric light. The Forbes article describes the conferred power of electricity. “The introduction of electrically driven machinery to the manufacturing process had dramatically accelerated productivity in the 1920s. By 1929, more than 70% of the industry was powered by electricity.”

There is an interruption in verse 33. “And in the synagogue was a man having a spirit of an unclean demon; and he cried out in a loud voice.” Man is ‘the generic term for mankind’. Unclean means ‘not pure because mixed’. Unclean spirits are mentioned quite often in the New Testament and demons are mentioned 23 times in Luke. But as far as I can tell, this is the only reference to a ‘spirit of an unclean demon’. Looking at this cognitively, a spirit refers to some internal Mercy mental network of Platonic perfection. A spirit will be ‘unclean’ if these mental networks of the spirit are inconsistent with one another. My hypothesis is that there is a spiritual realm that functions in a similar manner to the way that Mercy mental networks function within the mind. Thus, one can analyze ‘unclean spirits’ from a purely cognitive perspective while leaving room for a real spiritual realm. The term ‘unclean’ is combined with ‘spirit’ every time it occurs in the Gospels except for verse 33.

Going further, the Encyclopaedia Britannica explains “that theos emphasizes the personality of the god, and demon his activity. Hence, the term demon was regularly applied to sudden or unexpected supernatural interventions not due to any particular deity.” The word used in the New Testament is ‘daimonion’, the diminutive form of ‘daimon’. This focus upon activity describes a habit. Looking at the formation of a habit, the structure of some set of repeated Server actions will lead to an implicit Teacher theory, the repetition of these actions will turn this theory into a Teacher mental network, and this Teacher mental network will emotionally drive the habit to be repeated. My hypothesis is that daimons are different than spirits, but I suspect that daimons and spirits inhabit the same spiritual realm. Again, it is possible to interpret daimons from a purely cognitive perspective, which is what this essay will be doing. The scientific requirement for empirical evidence means that science tends to become dogmatically materialistic, insisting that only physical reality exists. The cognitive focus of mental symmetry is one step removed from physical reality. Thus, mental symmetry attempts to remain consistent with empirical evidence but can handle the existence of other realms if they function in a manner that is compatible with cognitive structure. Putting this together, a ‘spirit of an unclean demon’ would be a collection of inconsistent habits that have become idealized as Platonic forms.

This display of a collection of inconsistent habits can be seen in the chaotic behavior of the Roaring 20s. Wikipedia quotes Gordon Craig as saying, “In all countries, the First World War weakened old orthodoxies and authorities, and, when it was over, neither government nor church nor school nor family had the power to regulate the lives of human beings as it had once done. One result of this was a profound change in manners and morals that made a freer and less restrained society. Women benefited from this as much as anyone else. Time-worn prescriptions concerning what was or was not proper behavior for them no longer possessed much credibility, and taboos about unaccompanied appearances in public places, or the use of liquor or tobacco, or even pre-marital sexual relationships had lost their force.” In other words, behavior had been regulated by Mercy mental networks of traditional authority, but we saw in the previous sections how these became discredited during the First World War. This allowed a plethora of suppressed mental networks to emerge, leading to vibrant, chaotic, and amoral behavior. Looking first at Germany, “1920s Berlin was at the hectic center of the Weimar culture... Germany, and Berlin in particular, was fertile ground for intellectuals, artists, and innovators from many fields during the Weimar Republic years. The social environment was chaotic, and politics were passionate.” ‘Passionate’ indicates the presence of mental networks. ‘Hectic’ and ‘chaotic’ indicates mental networks that are inconsistent and impure. And ‘fertile ground for intellectuals, artists, and innovators’ indicates that these chaotic mental networks are extending to the realm of abstract thought. A similar chaotic culture emerged in France known as the Années folles, which means ‘crazy years’. Turning to America, summarizes that “coming immediately after the hardships of World War I and the Spanish flu epidemic, the Roaring Twenties also gave many middle-class Americans an unprecedented taste of freedom, unbridled fun and upward economic mobility unsurpassed in U.S. history.” However, “Many Americans, however, were uncomfortable with this racy urban lifestyle.”

The spread of technology helped to enable this chaotic behavior. In the words of Wikipedia, “Customs, technology, and manufacturing all moved quickly into the 20th century after the interruption of the war. The rise of the automobile was an important factor in flapper culture, as cars meant a woman could come and go as she pleased, travel to speakeasies and other entertainment venues, and use the large vehicles of the day for their popular activity, petting parties. Also, the economic boom allowed more people the time and money to play golf and tennis and to take vacation.” More generally, the Forbes article explains that “The 1920s were a period of dramatic technological change that transformed the fundamental structure of the economy, altered the nature of the family and challenged the social norms of the 19th century.” Notice the connection between the teaching of verses 31-32 and the unclean spirit of verse 33.

Cry out adds the prefix ‘up’ to ‘scream or shriek’, implying a gut response that is extending to Teacher generality. Voice means ‘a voice, sound’ and indicates Teacher activity that lacks intelligibility. Loud means ‘large, great, in the widest sense’ and is interpreted as Teacher generality.

The demon speaks in verse 34. “Ha! What to us and to You, Jesus of Nazareth? Are You come to destroy us? I know who You are, the Holy One of God!” Ha is found once in the New Testament and expresses ‘surprise, indignation, fear’. ‘What to us and to you’ is a Hebrew idiom which means that two people have nothing in common. Jesus means ‘Yahweh is salvation’ and Nazareth means ‘separated, crowned, sanctified’. This is the first use of destroy in Luke, which ‘implies permanent destruction’. Know means ‘seeing that becomes knowing’ which is interpreted as empirical evidence. Holy means ‘set apart and therefore different’. And God refers to a universal understanding in Teacher thought that applies to personal identity. Obviously, it would be an existential threat for a set of inconsistent habits to meet an integrated theory, because habits are driven by positive Teacher emotions of ordered, repetitive behavior, while inconsistency leads to negative Teacher emotions. Thus, an impure demon is being driven by positive Teacher emotions to behave in a manner that attacks positive Teacher emotions. This explains why an impure demon is only mentioned once in the New Testament.

These characteristics can be seen in the ‘Lost Generation’, a term used to describe those who survived World War I. Wikipedia summarizes, “The immediate post-World War One period was characterised by continued political violence and economic instability. The late 1910s saw the Spanish flu pandemic, which was unusual in the sense that it killed many younger adults of the same Lost Generation age group that had mainly died in the war. Later, especially in major cities, much of the 1920s is considered to have been a more prosperous period when the Lost Generation in particular escaped the suffering and turmoil they had lived through by rebelling against the social and cultural norms of their elders.” ‘Escaping the suffering and turmoil’ describes ‘crying out’, while a ‘Lost Generation’ means that this is extending to Teacher generality.

Quoting from Thoughtco, “Members of the Lost Generation viewed the idea of the ‘American Dream’ as a grand deception... To the Lost Generation, ‘living the dream’ was no longer about simply building a self-sufficient life, but about getting stunningly rich by any means necessary. The term ‘American Dream’ refers to the belief that everyone has the right and freedom to seek prosperity and happiness, regardless of where or into what social class they were born. A key element of the American dream is the assumption that through hard work, perseverance, and risk-taking, anyone can rise ‘from rags to riches’.” Cognitively speaking, the ‘American Dream’ is a partial mental concept of Jesus, because in both cases the goal is personal salvation through personal transformation. ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ suggests that this personal salvation is being associated with the elite of society. ‘The idea of the American dream as a grand deception’ indicates that people are questioning the relationship between the American dream and personal identity, as described by the phrase ‘what to you and to us’.

Thoughtco adds, “Having witnessed what they considered pointless death on such a massive scale during the war, many members of the generation rejected more traditional ideas of proper behavior, morality, and gender roles. They were considered to be ‘lost’ due to their tendency to act aimlessly, even recklessly, often focusing on the hedonistic accumulation of personal wealth.” A concept of God emerges in Teacher thought when a sufficiently general theory applies to personal identity. Experiencing ‘death on such a massive scale during the war’ would create a potent concept of God. But this is a holy and separate God of ‘pointless death’ who has ‘come to destroy us’. This concept of God is coming from the empirical knowing of having experienced a massive war. Rejecting more traditional ideas’ frees demons of chaotic behavior, expressed as ‘acting aimlessly, even recklessly’.

In the words of Wikipedia, “The war had a profound effect on many of its survivors, giving many young men severe mental health problems and crippling physical disabilities. The war also unsettled many soldiers’ sense of reality, who had gone into the conflict with a belief that battle and hardship was a path to redemption and greatness. When years of pain, suffering and loss seemed to bring about little in the way of a better future, many were left with a profound sense of disillusionment.” Summarizing, there is a ‘profound sense of disillusionment’ with the ‘Jesus’ of redemption through hardship, leading to the chaotic demons of ‘severe mental health problems’.

Jesus deals with the demon in verse 35. “And Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent and come forth out of him!’ And having thrown him into the midst, the demon came out from him, in nothing having hurt him.” Rebuke means to ‘assign value as is fitting the situation’. Be silent is used once in Luke and means ‘to muzzle’. Come forth means ‘to go or come out of’. Throw means ‘to throw, cast’, which is interpreted as using Teacher thought. ‘Throwing him into the midst’ would mean occupying the center of attention in Teacher thought. Hurt is used once in Luke and means to ‘hurt, injure’.

This technical muzzling of chaotic behavior occurred through the use of advertising and was spearheaded by a nephew of Sigmund Freud. Wikipedia summarizes that “Of his many books, Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923) and Propaganda (1928) gained special attention as early efforts to define and theorize the field of public relations... He described the masses as irrational and subject to herd instinct—and he outlined how skilled practitioners could use crowd psychology and psychoanalysis to control them in desired ways.” Notice how the ‘daimons’ of subconscious habit are theoretically occupying the center of attention and then being ‘muzzled’ in a way that ‘assigns value as is fitting the situation’. And because existing urges within some group are being exploited, one can ‘muzzle’ a group without having to hurt or injure people.

The audience responds in verse 36. “And astonishment came upon all, and they were speaking to one another, saying, “What word is this, that He commands the unclean spirits with authority and power, and they come out.” Astonishment is used twice in Luke and means to ‘make immovable’, ‘to dumbfound’. Speaking means ‘to talk together’ and one another is explicitly added. Word is ‘logos’ which represents a technical paradigm. Authority means ‘conferred power’. And power means ‘power, might, strength’ and is interpreted as active Perceiver thought. Command means ‘command which appropriately orders things’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Unclean was first used back in verse 33 and means ‘not pure because mixed’. Come out means ‘to go or come out of’. Wikipedia describes this process of using the conferred power of cognitive principles and the power of propaganda to bring appropriate order to the ‘mixed spirits’ of mental networks. “Bernays touted the idea that the masses are driven by factors outside their conscious understanding, and therefore that their minds can and should be manipulated by the capable few. Intelligent men must realize that propaganda is the modern instrument by which they can fight for productive ends and help to bring order out of chaos. Propaganda was portrayed as the only alternative to chaos.” Wikipedia also describes the astonishment. “Businesses found these covert methods irresistible... better to implant an idea in a group leader’s mind and let him spread it than to write up an idea and send it to the papers as a release, in the old-fashioned way.” And Bernays’ methods were talking about. Wikipedia provides some prominent examples, “In 1924 Bernays set up a vaudeville ‘pancake breakfast’ for Calvin Coolidge to change his stuffy image prior to the 1924 election... A desperate Herbert Hoover consulted with Bernays a month before the 1932 presidential election. Bernays advised Hoover to create disunity within his opposition and to present an image of him as an invincible leader. Bernays advised William O’Dwyer, in his candidacy for mayor of New York City, on how to appear in front of different demographics.”

Summarizing the steps of this section, prewar society was controlled by mental networks of traditional authority based in church, state, and nobility. These mental networks were all overcome by technology during the war, as described in the three temptations of Jesus. After the war there were two primary results. In the objective, the success of technology led to many new empowering and labor-saving inventions. In the subjective, the failure of traditional authority gave freedom to chaotic mental networks of suppressed habit and desire, which expressed themselves through various kinds of social upheaval including communist revolts, massive labor strikes, moral rebellion, and the roaring 20s. It was then discovered that these mental networks could be subtly manipulated through the use of propaganda and advertising.

Verse 37 concludes, “And the report concerning Him was spreading into every place of the surrounding region.” Report is used twice in Luke and means ‘noise, sound’, which indicates Teacher words but not Teacher comprehension. Spreading is used twice in Luke and adds ‘out from’ to ‘transport’. Thus, the message that is going out may not be comprehended but it is still leading people on a journey that generates change. This message is ‘concerning him’, which would refer to the partial incarnation of modern technology. ‘Into every place’ means that the news of modern technology is spreading into all aspects of life. Surrounding region means ‘neighboring’, which suggests that technology is spreading primarily in restricted areas rather than globally. In the words of one PBS article, “Having been through a war of shocking horrors, people felt ‘life was too short’ to hold back on anything. And manufacturers obliged them, aided by an advertising industry that grew more powerful, especially with input from behaviorist John Watson. Meanwhile, the mass production techniques pioneered by Henry Ford were applied to industries from food canning to movie-making. Electric appliances for the household were one of the biggest new market segments in the 1920s. Brooms and carpet beaters were replaced by the Electrolux, introduced in 1921. In 1923, Schick marketed an electric shaver. The spin dryer was introduced. The icebox gave way to the Frigidaire... While science entered more and more intimidating realms of abstraction, what with general relativity and the uncertainty principle, technology seemed more and more accessible as people mastered the use of machinery in their homes.” Comparing this quote with verse 37, the partial incarnation of ‘mass production techniques’ is being applied by many industries and manufacturers. Advertising is spreading an awareness of this mass production technology to those who are in the neighborhood in many different areas, but not necessarily conveying an understanding of this technology, consistent with the idea of a ‘noise’ or ‘sound’. A lack of understanding is also coming from ‘science entering more and more intimidating realms of abstraction’. However, this ‘sound’ of mass production is leading the consumer on a path of change, in which brooms are being replaced by vacuum cleaners, razors by shavers, and ice boxes by refrigerators. Finally, notice how the growing consumerism of verse 37 summarizes this section. First, there is the technology described in verse 31 and 32. Second, there are the chaotic desires being satisfied, described in verses 33-35. Third, there is the manipulating of these chaotic desires by advertising, described in verse 36.

Jesus Heals Simon’s Mother-in-law 4:38-41

Verse 38 describes a change of location. “And having risen up out of the synagogue, He entered into the house of Simon.” Having risen is the word used to describe resurrection. Out of means ‘from, away from’. Synagogue means ‘a bringing together’. Thus, the first phrase describes technical thought becoming reborn in a non-academic environment. Enter means ‘to go in, enter’. House means ‘house, dwelling’ and would refer to the Mercy experiences of personal life. Simon means ‘to hear’. The ‘house of Simon’ would represent words that apply to personal life.

This section corresponds to the rise of Behaviorism in the 1920s, and we will be quoting primarily from a 1955 academic journal article in American Quarterly on John Watson. The emergence of Behaviorism can be described as a resurrection. “Watsonian Behaviorism had emerged from the animal psychology laboratory and should have aroused little interest beyond academic psychology. That it became, instead, one of the most popular ideas of the decade was partially related to the promotional talent of its founder, Dr. John B Watson.” The article describes ‘the rising up away from’ the ‘synagogue’ of academia. “When, in the 1919 edition of Behaviorism, Watson asserted that his was the only valid psychology… He was asked to resign from John Hopkins. Watson was offered a vice presidency in a prominent advertising agency, and from this time on, the career of Behaviorism resembled a large-scale advertising production.” A ‘prominent advertising agency’ could be described as a ‘house of Simon’. Advertising delivers words to a listening audience, and these words deal with personal life. Watson was not just leaving the ‘synagogue’ of academia, but he was entering the ‘house of Simon’ of advertising. Notice that Watson’s use of advertising follows right after the verses describing the development of advertising. Advertising in today’s world of multimedia has become strongly visual. Advertising in the 1920s would have been more oral and verbal because radio had been invented but not television. The article describes the ‘Simon’ or hearing of this age. “This was a decade of self-improvement crazes, food fads, and remarkable thirst for any scientific ideas about man.”

Verse 38 continues, “And Simon’s mother-in-law was oppressed with a great fever, and they appealed to Him for her.” A mother-in-law is the mother of my spouse. In this case, ‘hearing’ has some ‘wife’ of mental networks and this passage is talking about the mental networks that precede those mental networks. Oppressed means ‘to hold together, to hold fast’. Fever is only used in Luke in this verse and the next and comes from the word ‘fire’. Great is interpreted as Teacher generality. This is the first use of appeal in Luke which means ‘requests from a preferred position’. This request is coming from some generic ‘they’ to Jesus on behalf of the mother-in-law.

Fire would represent the heat of intense emotions, and we have seen that such fire was burning intensely during the Roaring 20s. More personally, Watson grew up in a household of ‘feverish’ emotion and his Behaviorism was at least partially a reaction against this. Wikipedia summarizes, “His father, Pickens Butler Watson, was an alcoholic and left the family to live with two Indian women when John was 13 years old—a transgression which he never forgave. His mother, Emma Kesiah Watson was a very religious woman who adhered to prohibitions against drinking, smoking, and dancing... In bringing him up, she subjected Watson to harsh religious training that later led him to develop a lifelong antipathy toward all forms of religion and to become an atheist.” This personal struggle within Watson’s household reflected a national struggle within the American nation, because this was the time of prohibition against alcohol. On the one hand, “It has been argued that organized crime received a major boost from Prohibition. For example, one study found that organized crime in Chicago tripled during Prohibition... A profitable, often violent, black market for alcohol flourished. Prohibition provided a financial basis for organized crime to flourish.” On the other hand, “The greater [the] prevalence of revival religion within a population, the greater [the] support for the Prohibition parties within that population... The temperance movement had popularized the belief that alcohol was the major cause of most personal and social problems and prohibition was seen as the solution to the nation’s poverty, crime, violence, and other ills.”

A chapter on psychology in the 1920s describes this general appeal for help. “Psychologists already had a public that hungered for advice about all aspects of their lives. How to choose mates, how to resolve marital disagreements, how to raise or discipline children, how to manage sex relations—all of these were areas where popular advice-givers including clergy, politicians, and ‘experts’ of varying credibility and honesty had proliferated for decades. Now, psychologists, in possession of new knowledge about learning and memory, job prospecting, child development, and all other aspects of life realized that they had an opportunity to do more than share their findings with their colleagues in journals and conferences. The 1920s was a boom market for popular psychology treatments.”

This general appeal involved the ‘mother-in-law of Simon’. “Watson filled a deep need for most Americans in this period. This was the need for a system of values in an era that had outgrown the beliefs of the 19th century but found nothing to put in their stead.” Simon represents the receptive audience of the 1920s. Simon’s wife would be the cultural mental networks of the Roaring 20s. Simon’s mother-in-law would describe the cultural mental networks of the previous era, the ‘outgrown beliefs of the 19th century’. In Watson’s case, his ‘very religious’ mother played the role of Simon’s mother-in-law.

Jesus responds in verse 39. “And having stood over her, He rebuked the fever, and it left her; and immediately having arisen, she began to serve them.” Having stood means ‘to set upon, set up’, which would indicate resting upon some source of stability in Perceiver thought. Over means ‘on the top of’, which indicates that technical thought is asserting a position of authority over these mental networks. Rebuke means to ‘assign value as is fitting the situation’ and was previously seen in verse 35, which was interpreted as using advertising in a technical manner to shape people’s desires. In verse 38, the fever is being ‘rebuked’. Left means ‘to send away, leave alone’ and is typically translated as ‘forgive’. Immediately means ‘instantly, immediately’. Such immediate change happens cognitively when existing mental content is reinterpreted. Having arisen is again the word that means resurrection. In this case, it is the mother-in-law who is being resurrected. Serve means ‘to serve, minister’ and is the source of the English word ‘deacon’. This describes Server actions meant to help people.

The 1955 article describes Watson’s standing over the fever and rebuking it. “Parents, according to Watson, were too sentimental to bring up their children properly. Ideally the children would be better off reared institutionally... Watson, the psychologist turned baby authority, asserted: ‘Never hug and kiss them, never let them sit in your lap. If you must, kiss them once on the forehead when they say good night. Shake hands with them in the morning.’” And this rebuking is addressed to the mother-in-law of Simon. “The proponents of Behaviorism asserted that the opposition were disturbed because their emotions had been conditioned to the old traditions.” Telling a parent never to hug or kiss their child sounds almost criminal, but one needs to remember that this advice is being given in the context of the feverish Roaring 20s. And Watson’s rebuke caused the fever to leave. In the words of the article, “Man, said Dr. Watson, is a machine. Nothing more... Watson found an audience thoroughly prepared to accept the idea. The reach of science by the second decade of the 20th century have become so long that it was not inappropriate for the next object for the dispassionate gaze of the scientist should be man himself.” Watson’s rebuke was not an emotional condemnation but rather presented as a scientific conclusion that ‘assigned value as is fitting the situation’. The goal of Watson’s rebuking was to generate servants of society. In the words of the article, “Behaviorism, according to Watson, was designed to ‘mold the good worker – not the griper or clock watcher.’”

Verse 40 looks at the bigger picture. “And at the setting of the sun, all, as many as had any ailing with various diseases, brought them to Him.” Setting is used once in Luke and means ‘to sink into’. The sun is only mentioned three times in Luke, here and in chapters 21 and 23. The sun represents the light of some general theory that illumines society. ‘Setting of the sun’ indicates that some general understanding is fading from society; there is the general awareness of being at the end of an age. Have means ‘to have, hold’. ‘Having’ indicates a form of possession that is more peripheral than ‘being’. Ailing is used once in Luke and means ‘to be weak, feeble’. This suggests an inadequacy of Server thought as opposed to any specific problem. Disease means ‘a chronic, persisting disease’. Various means ‘many colored’ and is used once in Luke. If light represents Teacher understanding, then ‘many colored’ would indicate various Teacher theories. Brought means ‘to lead, bring, carry’. This again suggests an objective approach to peripheral problems, because one is bringing weaknesses that one has rather than coming as one is. The 1955 article describes this kind of massive response to Behaviorism. “Watsonian Behaviorism became the next rage, and it won the largest popular audience of all... The groundswell of popular enthusiasm for Behaviorism started after the 1919 edition was published. The excitement, however, did not come until the 1925 edition... From 1925 to 1928 Watson articles crowded the pages of Harper’s, Collier’s and other magazines.”

Verse 40 then relates the response of Jesus. “And having laid the hands on each one of them, He would heal them.” Hands represent the application of technical thought. Each means ‘each individual unit viewed distinctly’. This individuality is emphasized by the word one, which is the number one. Lay means ‘to lay upon, to place upon’, which would indicate taking a position of authority. Thus, technical thought is being used to address problems in a specialized and specific manner. Heal ‘usually involves natural elements in the process of healing’ and is the source of the English word ‘therapy’.

The 1955 article portrays the isolated individuality promoted by Behaviorism. “Santayana described the Behaviorist millennium: walking automatons, each armed with a radio, never interfering with one another, all smiling, all their glands functioning perfectly.” The individualized, socially isolated philosophy and approach of Behaviorism can also be seen in the following reference to a famous quote by Watson. “The infant inherited neither general intelligence nor special abilities. Watson asserted: ‘Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I’ll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any specialist I might select’.” Notice how each person is being treated as an isolated ‘one’ upon which authority can be placed to mold this person into any possible form. Another article clarifies that “This quote routinely appears in introductory texts in education and psychology and is used to illustrate the radical environmental views of behaviorists... In taking this quote out of context, authors have presented Watson and classical behaviorism as having an extreme perspective on the importance of environment.” However, Watson is still treating people as isolated entities that can be shaped into almost any form, without regard for personal abilities or genetic background.

Verse 41 mentions demons again. “And demons also were going out from many, crying out and saying, ‘You are the Son of God.’” A demon represents the mental network driving some unwanted habit. Going out simply means ‘to go or come out of’. Out from means ‘from, away from’. Many suggests that this is happening widely, but not to everyone. Cry out means ‘to cry out with loud screaming or shrieking’, which indicates a gut response that lacks rational thought. Saying indicates rational communication. Are is the word ‘to be’. ‘Son of God’ indicates a recognition that technical thought comes from an integrated concept of God in Teacher thought. The therapy in verse 40 was happening in a fragmented manner at the peripheral level of having, while the response of the demons in verse 41 is happening in an integrated fashion at the central level of being.

In other words, the ‘demons’ of emotionalism that Behaviorism cast out are attaching themselves verbally to the idea that technical thought is based in universal Teacher theories. One major example of this can be seen in the theory of eugenics. Wikipedia explains that “Eugenicists believed that immigrants were often degenerate, had low IQs, and were afflicted with shiftlessness, alcoholism and insubordination. According to Eugenicists, all of these problems were transmitted through genes... With the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924, eugenicists for the first time played an important role in the Congressional debate as expert advisers on the threat of ‘inferior stock’ from eastern and southern Europe. The new act, inspired by the eugenic belief in the racial superiority of ‘old stock’ white Americans as members of the ‘Nordic race’ (a form of white supremacy), strengthened the position of existing laws prohibiting race-mixing. Whereas Anglo-Saxon and Nordic people were seen as the most desirable immigrants, the Chinese and Japanese were seen as the least desirable and were largely banned from entering the U.S as a result of the immigration act.” Notice how emotional prejudices of culture and Western superiority became verbally reformulated as the technical knowledge of genetics held together by a universal theory of eugenics, and eugenics was regarded as the primary determiner of personal being.

Another major example was the stock market. Quoting from, “Before the 1920s, most ordinary people had been unfamiliar with the buying and selling of stocks, but now a wide variety of individuals invested with enthusiasm. Some used their own savings, while others borrowed the money to buy stocks. Still others purchased stocks ‘on the margin’... Across the nation, people believed in the prospect of instant wealth. By the late 1920s the New York Stock Exchange was trading six to seven million shares, or stocks, per day, compared to a more normal rate of three to four million. The prices of stocks had risen so high that they often far surpassed the stocks’ real value or the amount of profit the companies could possibly earn. Yet people kept up their frantic pace of investment, convinced that this boom could go on forever.” Note the extensive emotions of which Behaviorism would disapprove, based in the assumption that the technical system of the stock market will continue to be upheld by a universal Teacher theory of economic progress.

Verse 41 continues, “And rebuking them, He did not allow them to speak, because they knew Him to be the Christ.” Rebuke means to ‘assign value is a fitting the situation’. Allow is used twice in Luke and means ‘to permit, which implies misgiving that goes with the allowing’. Speak refers to ‘chatter’. Thus, the demons are not being permitted to chatter because of where this might lead. Know means ‘seeing that becomes knowing’ and is interpreted as empirical evidence. To be indicates the central level of ‘being’, as opposed to ‘having’. Christ refers to the abstract side of incarnation, which brings unity to the specific, concrete side of incarnation. Verse 40 described salvation happening at the level of concrete specifics. The demons are recognizing a general Teacher message behind this specific salvation and are being shut up specifically because they are moving beyond the concrete benefits of incarnation to the abstract side of incarnation.

This focus on concrete thought characterized psychology the 1920s. One chapter summarizes that “In 1920, in America, psychology was dominated by two main currents. The first was a tendency to reduce life to habit, and the second was to establish differences between humans by test. Typifying the first tendency was John B. Watson’s behaviorism, which tended to reduce life to its simplest terms of action and reaction.” A similar focus upon pragmatics characterized the American economy of the Roaring 20s. Quoting from, “While the money flowed, few paid attention to the warning signs. Ordinary people were only following the lead, after all, of the nation's most powerful figures. The federal government was now dominated by men who considered business the lifeblood of the United States... The administrations of all three presidents who served during the 1920s... followed the same laissez-faire approach. That is, they believed that if government would just stay out of business affairs, for example, by lowering taxes and loosening regulations, the economy would thrive and everyone would benefit.” In both psychology and economics, the focus was upon concrete technical thought and the more general thinking of abstract technical thought was deliberately suppressed.

Jesus Preaches in Towns and Synagogues 4:42-44

A new day starts in verse 42. “And daybreak having arrived, having gone out, He went into a solitary place.” Having arrived means ‘to come into being’. Daybreak is actually the word ‘day’ which means ‘the period from sunrise to sunset’ and represent some era in society. Went means ‘to transport’, which is interpreted as movement accompanied by change. Solitary means ‘an uncultivated, unpopulated place’ and is normally translated as ‘wilderness’. It was previously used in 4:1 to describe Jesus being led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted. And place means ‘a place’, which indicates some location or context within Perceiver thought. Seeking is used twice in Luke and is an intensified version that adds the prefix ‘fitting’.

The new day obviously corresponds to the new society that emerged after the Great Crash of 1929. In the words of Wikipedia, “It was the most devastating stock market crash in the history of the United States... The crash, which followed the London Stock Exchange’s crash of September, signaled the beginning of the Great Depression.” In other words, this went beyond a financial crisis to the start of a new day in society. Verse 42 does not say that Jesus went to a solitary place to pray or to preach but just that he went to ‘an uncultivated, unpopulated place’. This describes what American technology did in the 1930s. In the words of a PBS article, “The 1930s witnessed major construction projects from coast to coast... But the South and the West, regions that had not already experienced development of their infrastructure as had the Northeast, were the principal beneficiaries of 1930s development. In the South, the Overseas Highway linked the Florida Keys, and the dams of the Tennessee Valley Authority brought electricity and flood control to the Valley. Major projects in the West included Shasta Dam in California, Hoover Dam on the Colorado River, the nation’s first freeway in Los Angeles, and both the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.” Notice how most of the development is happening in ‘uncultivated and unpopulated places’. Another American example is the Civilian Conservation Corps. Wikipedia summarizes that this “was a voluntary government work relief program that ran from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men ages 18–25 and eventually expanded to ages 17–28... [that] supplied manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state, and local governments.”

Verse 42 continues, “And the crowds were seeking Him, and came up to Him and were detaining Him, not to go from them.” Crowd means ‘crowd, multitude, the common people’. Up to means ‘even, as far as’. In other words, the average person is choosing to pursue technical thought. Detaining means ‘to hold fast, hold back’. And go is again ‘to transport’. From means ‘from, away from’. Thus, the crowds are trying to hold back the progress of technical thought so that it will not change any further.

The ‘seeking and coming up’ of the crowds to technical thought can be seen in the public works of the Great Depression. Wikipedia summarizes that “By June 1934, the agency had distributed its entire fund to 13,266 federal projects and 2,407 non-federal projects. For every worker on a PWA project, almost two additional workers were employed indirectly. The PWA accomplished the electrification of rural America, the building of canals, tunnels, bridges, highways, streets, sewage systems, and housing areas, as well as hospitals, schools, and universities; every year, it consumed roughly half of the concrete and a third of the steel of the entire nation.” This can be described as a ‘fitting seeking’ because those who worked on these projects were gaining technical skills and not just purchasing consumer gadgets.

But there was also a ‘holding back’ of science to prevent it from moving away from society. Quoting from an article in Physics Today, “After the crash of 1929 many Americans began to ask whether chemistry produced more than consumers could absorb, whether machines destroyed more jobs than they created. Going beyond earlier humanist critiques, thoughtful citizens wondered whether science was not responsible, at least in part, for the end of the miracle, for the failure of machine civilization.”

This holding back is described more explicitly in another article. “In 1933... the city of Chicago celebrated its first 100 years by hosting the World’s Fair... In a speech dedicating the hall [of science], the head of Bell Labs... [sounded] this note of alarm: ‘In some quarters a senseless fear of science seems to have taken hold. We hear the cry that there should be a holiday in scientific research and in the new applications of science, or that there should be a forced stoppage in the extension of old usages by mandatory legislation.’”

Jesus replies in verse 43. “But He said to them, “It behooves Me to preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because for this I have been sent forth.” Other means ‘another of a different kind’. Town is the word ‘city’. Preach good news is the source of the English word ‘evangelical’ and was previously used in verse 18. Behooves means ‘it is necessary’ and this is only the second use of this word in Luke. This describes something that has to be done as opposed to something being imposed by people. What is being preached is the ‘kingdom of God’. Kingdom was previously used in 4:5 where the devil showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world that had been betrayed to him. Sent forth means ‘sent on a defined mission by a superior’. This describes submission to some source of authority. In verse 42 the crowds were trying to hold back the transformation of technical thought. In verse 43, technical thought is saying that it must continue spreading to other areas because of necessity guided by submission to some authority. This desire to spread comes from Teacher emotion, which feels good when a theory becomes more general and feels bad when there is an exception to the general rule. The Teacher drive for increased generality is shown by the phrase ‘kingdom of God’. The necessity comes from natural principles of cause-and-effect which must be obeyed in order to avoid bad consequences. However, obeying principles of cause-and-effect leads to good consequences, resulting in a message of good news.

The Physics Today article mentions this scientific attitude of ignoring the people. “By late 1933 the physics community were alarmed about the criticism of science... Their approach was to deny that science had caused unemployment... The major emphasis of the scientist’s response was simply that the answer was more rather than less science... They had assumed that science and technology were the sources of progress that would lead to desirable improvements in the social condition... [but] It was not enough merely to reassert that the basic science – applied science – technology cycle would alleviate the economic and social crisis.” Notice the assumption that preaching the ‘kingdom of science’ is a message of good news. describes this continuing optimism. “Some thought the advances in science and technology would automatically trigger great social progress. Though it was soon discovered this might not be the case despite the ongoing mechanical and scientific advances, still people believed the new technologies could at least cure some problems. For example, the Committee on Technocracy, formed in 1932, called for a larger role of the engineering profession in running the nation.”

Verse 44 finishes the chapter. “And He was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.” Preaching means ‘to be a herald, proclaim’. Synagogue means ‘a bringing together’. Judea means ‘praised’ and is interpreted as a region of thought guided by truth based in authority. In other words, academic institutions are proclaiming within the established institutions of society. describes this proclaiming. “The philosophy of social reconstruction formed at Columbia University Teachers’ College... This group became the most influential leaders of educational philosophy during the early-and mid-1930s. The Depression convinced them that collectivism was necessary and the old social order was doomed. The reconstructionists, or ‘frontier thinkers,’ as they called themselves, believed that they should inspire educators with a sense of direction as to where society should be moving. They hoped by a peaceful evolution to clarify American’s needs and assure that abundance was properly redistributed. They wanted progressive teachers to turn classrooms into a forum for political education... To teachers the message of social reconstruction—that they could actually build a new social order—was compelling.” Summarizing, social reconstruction attempted to ‘turn classrooms into a forum for political education’, in essence ‘preaching in the synagogues of Judea’. Education as propaganda met some resistance in the United States, but during this period it was the dominant strategy in both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

Summarizing this section, the Great Crash led to a new era of society. One primary response was to create jobs by developing infrastructure in undeveloped places. This taught technical skills to many workers, but there was also a backlash against further scientific progress. Scientists responded primarily by continuing to assert that science leads to progress and progress leads to societal benefits. And many educators attempted to redirect academia towards the proclaiming of propaganda.

Jesus helps Simon Fish 5:1-5

Verse 1 begins, “And it came to pass, in the crowd pressing on Him also to hear the word of God, and He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret.” Came to pass means ‘to come into being’. In means ‘in the realm of’. Pressing on is used twice in Luke and means ‘to lie on’. Thus, the crowd is imposing itself theoretically upon technical thought. To hear means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Word is ‘logos’. Thus, ‘word of God’ would mean technical paradigms held together by a Teacher understanding. Stand means ‘to make to stand, to stand’ and is interpreted as some source of stability in Perceiver thought. Lake means ‘a lake’ and is only used in Luke and in Revelation. Gennesaret is used once in Luke and means ‘a lyre’.

Two streams of society are mentioned in verse 1. On the one hand, there is a strong desire for technical thought based in Teacher understanding. On the other hand, nearby is a ‘lake’ of Mercy experiences associated with the lyre of music. Deciphering what these two represent requires reading further.

Jesus reacts in verse 2. “And He saw two boats lying by the lake, but the fishermen, having gone out from them, were washing the nets.” Saw means ‘to see with the mind’. Boat comes from a word ‘to sail’ and is used six times in the first eleven verses of this chapter. A boat allows a group of people to sail upon the water and water represents the experiences of life. Thus, a boat would represent some company or organization that makes it possible for a group to maneuver through the experiences of life without getting submerged. In verse 2, there are two boats. Lying means ‘to make to stand, to stand’ and is interpreted as some source of Perceiver stability. Lake is the same word used in verse 1. Fisherman means ‘fisherman’ and is only mentioned once in Luke. Fish would represent people who mentally live within the waters of Mercy experiences. A fisherman is a person who is capable of catching and pulling such an individual out of the water of experience, which means packaging learning into a form that is compatible with a mind that is built upon Mercy mental networks. For instance, children are mental fish whose minds are built upon Mercy mental networks. Primary education teaches children in a way that is compatible with being a ‘fish’. Gone out combines ‘away from’ with ‘foot’ and is used twice in Luke. Wash is used once in Luke and means ‘to wash’. A net is ‘the generic term for any type of fishing net’ and is only used in Luke in this story where it is found four times. A net is a crude form of cloth and cloth represents the fabric of social interaction. Therefore, a net would represent some social fabric of education for beginning students.

It is fairly easy to determine what these two boats represent, because one of them is described in verse 3 as belonging to Simon, and Simon means ‘hearing’. Verse 3 also says that Jesus steps into this boat to teach. Going further, this teaching is not happening within the ‘synagogues’ of academia. Applying this to the 1930s, an organization that teaches through hearing would correspond to a radio broadcast, in which some organization broadcasts programs on the radio. This also clarifies the two streams mentioned in verse 1 because early radio was composed largely of technical thought existing alongside music. The other boat would probably be print media, but that is secondary to this story.

Looking at the technical side of radio, Wikipedia explains that “Radio listening became a popular hobby, and the crystal was the simplest, cheapest detector. The millions of people who purchased or homemade these inexpensive reliable receivers created the mass listening audience for the first radio broadcasts, which began around 1920.” However, even “At the beginning of the 1920s the radio receiver was a forbidding high-tech device, with many cryptic knobs and controls requiring technical skill to operate, housed in an unattractive black metal box, with a tinny-sounding horn loudspeaker. By the 1930s, the broadcast receiver had become a piece of furniture, housed in an attractive wooden case, with standardized controls anyone could use.”

The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes the presence of music in the early radio. “Radio quickly became popular anywhere signals could be heard, but how best to utilize the medium—what to place on the air, or to ‘program’—remained to be seen. Most early broadcasts were characterized by haphazardness, though two attractions quickly stood out: the warmth of the human voice... and almost any type of music, classical or popular, instrumental or vocal.” Notice how radio stations are ‘fishing’ for an audience. Notice also that listeners are not being attracted so much by what is being said but rather by music and the ‘warmth of the human voice’.

‘Fishers of men’ is traditionally interpreted as seeking religious converts and this sort of ‘fishing’ was also prevalent in early American radio. In the words of, “The entrepreneurial spirit of America combined with the growing appeal of radio and the missionary zeal of evangelical Christianity to launch dozens of radio ministries.” For instance, “In the summer of 1922, Rader brought a brass quartet to the roof of city hall and preached a sermon in a makeshift studio on local station WHT. The success of this cameo appearance encouraged Rader to reach an agreement with radio station WBBM to broadcast fourteen hours of religious programming every Sunday.” Notice again the inclusion of music.

A ‘washing of the nets’ of radio accompanied by a temporary cessation of the ‘fishing’ of radio happened in the late 1920s and early 1930s. describes this transition. “In 1927... new regulations issued by the commission for licensed stations effectively closed down over half of the nation’s radio ministries, many of them fundamentalist in orientation.” Finally in 1934, “A compromise plan allowed secular networks such as CBS and NBC to allocate a given amount of free airtime each week to public-interest programming... When it became apparent that there were more applicants than airtime, the networks and representatives of major national religious bodies... agreed to sort out the competing claims in an equitable manner. The effect of this agreement was to shut out independent evangelicals and fundamentalists who were not represented by national groups.” Notice how the ‘nets’ of radio broadcasting are being ‘cleaned’ of haphazard broadcasting leading to a regulated industry for the ‘boats’ of various organizations.

Jesus acts in verse 3. “And having entered into one of the boats which was Simon’s, He asked him to put off a little from the land.” Entered combines ‘in the realm of’ with ‘foot’. Simon means ‘to hear’. Ask means ‘to ask on special footing’. Land represents the realm of human rational thought. Put off means ‘to put out’. ‘Putting off from land’ implies leaving the realm of rational thought in order to enter the sea of Mercy experience. This can be seen during the Golden Age of American radio. The Encyclopaedia Britannica explains that this was the “period lasting roughly from 1930 through the 1940s, when the medium of commercial broadcast radio grew into the fabric of daily life in the United States, providing news and entertainment to a country struggling with economic depression and war. During American radio’s Golden Age, much of the programming heard by listeners was controlled by advertising agencies, which conceived the shows, hired the talent and staff, and leased airtime and studio facilities from the radio networks... Soap operas such as Ma Perkins and The Guiding Light kept housewives company through the afternoon. Children listened to the adventure series Little Orphan Annie and the science-fiction show Flash Gordon. Amos ’n’ Andy, a situation comedy, was the most popular show ever broadcast, lasting more than 30 years.” Notice the emphasis upon drama and comedy rather than the facts of reality. Notice also the underlying control of the ‘Simon’ of advertising, discussed in the previous verses.

Verse 3 concludes, “And having sat down, He was teaching the crowds from the boat.” Sat down means ‘to sit down’ and represents taking a position of authority. Teach means to ‘instruct, impart knowledge’. Teaching the crowds from the boat would mean imparting knowledge to the average person through some kind of organization.

The position of authority that radio achieved in the 1930s is illustrated by the infamous ‘War of the Worlds’ broadcast of 1938. One author summarizes that “Welles and his troupe dramatized the near destruction of the world as attacking Martians overran humanity. Welles’s account of an event that never took place—the invasion from Mars—would become one of the most renowned single radio broadcasts ever... Over one-million listeners, about one-fifth of the program’s audience, believed the broadcast invasion to be both real and terrifying. The program’s enduring fame, of course, comes from the fear it spawned. Listeners fled, clogged phone lines seeking information, prayed, went into shock, and contemplated suicide rather than die at the Martians’ hands... Listeners taken in by Welles’s hoax often suggested indignantly that they had believed in the startling invasion because they had learned—appropriately, many felt—to have faith in radio.”

Jesus addresses Simon in verse 4. “And when He left off speaking, He said to Simon, ‘Put off into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’” Left off means ‘to make to cease, hinder’. Speaking refers to ‘chatter’. Said means to ‘answer, bid, bring word, command’. Thus, technical thought is advising verbal learning. Put off was used in verse 3 to tell Simon to put off from land. Deep is used once in Luke and means ‘depth’. If water represents the realm of emotional experiences, then putting out into the deep would mean going into the realm of deeply emotional Mercy experiences that are far from the land of human rational thought. Let down means ‘to slacken, let down’. Catch is only used in this verse and in verse 9 and means ‘hunting, a catch’. A similar story is told in John 21, but in John there is no mention of nets breaking, ships being in danger of sinking, or Peter referring to himself as a sinful man. This suggest that John 21 is referring to something else than Luke 5.

Wikipedia describes President Roosevelt choosing the ‘boat of Simon’. “Roosevelt believed that his administration’s success depended upon a favorable dialogue with the electorate, possible only through methods of mass communication, and that it would allow him to take the initiative. The use of radio for direct appeals was perhaps the most important of Roosevelt’s innovations in political communication. Roosevelt’s opponents had control of most newspapers in the 1930s and press reports were under their control and involved their editorial commentary.” Notice how Roosevelt is taking advantage of the general perception of radio as a voice of authority.

Roosevelt’s ‘fireside chats’ attempted to let the ‘nets down’ into the ‘deep water’ of personal experience. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The term ‘fireside chat’ was inspired by a statement by Roosevelt’s press secretary, Stephen Early, who said that the president liked to think of the audience as a few people seated around his fireside. Listeners could see Roosevelt in his study, in front of the fireplace, and imagine they were sitting beside him.”

Religious radio broadcasting is another example of ‘putting down nets into the deep water’ of personal experience. One primary example of this is HCJB. In the words of one shortwave radio website, “Save perhaps for Vatican Radio, which was founded in February 1931, the earliest major religious shortwave station was HCJB, Quito, Ecuador... It too began broadcasting in 1931, on Christmas Day. Starting out with a 200 watt transmitter, it increased power over the years, reaching 500 kw. in 1982. Over the years HCJB developed a major shortwave presence. It had strong technical and production capabilities, and its extensive English and foreign-language schedule served listeners throughout the world.”

Simon replies in verse 5. “And Simon answering, said, “Master, having toiled through whole night, we have taken nothing; but at Your word, I will let down the nets.” This is the first use of master in Luke, which combines ‘fitting’ with ‘standing’. This word describe leadership based upon expertise rather than upon personal authority. Night means ‘night’ and would represent a society that lacks the ‘sun’ of a general theory. Toil is used twice in Luke and means ‘exhausting labor’. Take means to ‘actively lay hold of’. Word means ‘a spoken word’. Let down is the same word that was used in verse 4.

Looking at this comment cognitively, it was not the content that made radio effective. The messages that were being conveyed through radio were the same kind of messages that had been used less effectively before ‘in the night’. However, the new ‘day’ of broadcast technology caused the medium to emotionally amplify the message. That is because saying the same words to millions of listeners will convey implicit Teacher feelings of order-within-complexity even if the words themselves contain no Teacher order. Similarly, if a message is conveyed through a technical device of great complexity, then this will also convey the impression that the message itself has technical complexity. To some extent, the medium is the message.

The Catch of Fish amazes Simon 5:6-11

Verse 6 describes the results. “And having done this, they enclosed a great multitude of fishes; and their nets were breaking.” Done means ‘to make, do’. Enclosed is used once in Luke and means ‘to shut together’. Multitude means ‘a great number’, and great means ‘much, many’. Fish means ‘fish’ and this is the first mention of fish in Luke. Breaking means ‘to tear asunder’.

Wikipedia describes the major success of Roosevelt’s first presidential broadcast. “As president, Roosevelt began making the informal addresses on March 12, 1933, eight days after his inauguration. He had spent his first week coping with a month-long epidemic of bank closings that was hurting families nationwide... Roosevelt spoke to a radio audience of more than 60 million people, to tell them in clear language ‘what has been done in the last few days, why it was done, and what the next steps are going to be’. The result... was a ‘remarkable turnaround in the public’s confidence... the public recognized the implicit guarantee and, as a result, believed that the reopened banks would be safe, as the President explained in his first Fireside Chat.’ Within two weeks people returned more than half of the cash they had been hoarding, and the first stock-trading day after the bank holiday marked the largest-ever one-day percentage price increase.”

Germany experienced a similar consolidation and exploitation of radio under the Nazis. An Engineering Magazine article relates that “Goebbels argued that ‘the radio will be for the twentieth century what the press was for the nineteenth century.’ He noted the failure of the Weimar Republic to embrace radio and claimed that the National Socialists would not have been able to take power without it... To make that happen, Geobbels had seized control of... a national network of regional broadcasting companies. After solidifying control of the broadcast infrastructure, he imposed rules on permissible content.”

In verse 7 the fishermen ask for help. “And they beckoned to the partners in the other boat, having come, to help them, and they came and filled both boats, so that they were sinking.” Beckon is used once in the New Testament and means ‘to nod to, make a sign to’. Partner is used once in Luke and means ‘change due to sharing’. Other means ‘another of a different kind’. Help means ‘to collect’ and is usually translated as either ‘arrest’ or ‘become pregnant’. Both means ‘both of two’. Sink is used twice in Luke and is related to the word ‘deep’ that was used in verse 4. In other words, the multitude of ‘fish’ in the organization are causing the organization to sink into the depths of Mercy emotions. Most of the English translations say that the boats ‘began to sink’ or ‘were in danger of sinking’ because in the actual story the boats obviously made it back to shore. However, ‘they were sinking’ accurately translates the original Greek. Thus, from a symbolic perspective, verse 7 appears to be saying that the boats of organization really do sink into the depths of Mercy emotions.

Nazi Germany provides an example of this beckoning to partners of a different kind. In the words of one article, “In the 1930s, everyone wanted a radio. The still-new invention brought news, music, dramas, and comedy right into the home. Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels saw its potential to transmit Nazi messages into the daily lives of Germans. The only hurdle was producing and disseminating the devices on a mass scale. Under Goebbels’s direction the Volksempfänger, or ‘people’s receiver,’ was born.” More generally, “Hitler’s speeches became widely broadcast all over Germany, especially on the radio, itself introduced by the Ministry of Propaganda. They were shown in weekly newsreels and reprinted in large editions in books and pamphlets all across Germany. Hitler’s speeches became so significant to the Nazis that even restaurants and pubs were expected have their radios on whenever he was delivering one, and in some cities public speakers were used so passersby could hear them.”

Nazi radio broadcasts also provide an example of sinking into the depths. “Ads positioned the Volksempfänger as the intermediary for the greater German community that would make the country strong and prosperous again by bringing political, cultural, and economic ideas into every household. The national emblem of the eagle near the tuning dial identifies the product as part of state propaganda efforts. Later models also included a swastika. That the interviewees could recall, with fondness, the details of a radio decades later shows how deeply it infiltrated popular culture. People viewed it not as a cold tool of propaganda but as a welcome sign of normalcy and progress—exactly as Goebbels had intended.”

Simon responds in verse 8. “And having seen, Simon Peter fell at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, Lord. For I am a sinful man.’” Having seen means ‘to see with the mind’. Peter means ‘a stone’ and is interpreted as solid Perceiver facts. Simon has been mentioned several times, but this is this first reference to Peter and the only mention of Peter in this chapter. John 1:42 explains that Jesus gave the name Peter to Simon. Fall means to ‘fall down before’. Peter falling before Jesus implies that existing truth is crumbling. Knees are mentioned twice in Luke and would represent the process of moving personal identity, because knees flex as the feet are used to walk. Depart simply means ‘to go or come out of’. Man refers specifically to a male person. Sinful means ‘to forfeit by missing the mark’. ‘Sin’ has been used before in Luke, but this is the first use in Luke of either ‘sinful’ or ‘to sin’. Lord means ‘lord, master’. In the actual story, Jesus does not leave. But the fact that Peter is not mentioned again in this chapter while Simon is mentioned twice in verse 10 suggests that, symbolically speaking, technical thought does depart temporarily from Perceiver truth. The next reference to Peter is in 6:14, which refers to ‘Simon whom he also named Peter, suggesting that technical thought reconnects the hearing of Simon with the truth of Peter at that point.

We looked earlier at the Christian broadcasting example of HCJB. It is interesting to note that the HJCB website clarifies that “HCJB has always made it a policy to only report the news, not try to sway people’s opinions. This has earned HCJB widespread respect for truthful, un-biased reporting of the news.” Thus, the connection between Peter and Jesus does not have to be severed if one is not behaving as a sinner, especially if one has a cognitive mechanism for dealing with feelings of sin.

In contrast, “Many people have compared the Nazis’ manipulation of radio to mobilize hate with the use of the Internet and social media to radicalize fringe groups and disseminate false information... Goebbels ended his speech at the 1933 Berlin radio show with a high-minded wish: to unite science, industry, and intellectual leadership with a common goal of a ‘glorious German future.’ His success in this effort helped trigger a world war while concealing an architected program of genocide, mass murder, and oppression.” Thus, the underlying sin of Nazi methods and goals caused the ‘Jesus’ of a ‘glorious German future’ to become disconnected from the ‘Peter’ of factual reality.

Verse 9 describes the reason for this response. “For amazement laid hold on him, and on all those with him, at the catch of the fish which they had taken.” Amazement means ‘utter amazement with a sense of wonder’ and is used three times in the New Testament. The other occurrence in Luke is in 4:36, which was interpreted as amazement at how propaganda could be used to manipulate the people. Laid hold is used twice in the New Testament and means to ‘have all-around’. This describes something pervasive at the peripheral level of ‘having’ rather than ‘being’. ‘And on all those with him’ indicates that this same feeling spreads to everyone around. Catch means ‘hunting, a catch’ and the only other occurrence in the New Testament was in verse 4. Fish are then mentioned for the second time in Luke. And taken is the word that is normally translated as ‘arrest’ or ‘get pregnant’ (and is translated that way the other times it occurs in Luke).

Wikipedia quotes Albert Speer at the Nuremberg trials describing this ‘amazement’: “Hitler’s dictatorship differed in one fundamental point from all its predecessors in history. His was the first dictatorship in the present period of modern technical development, a dictatorship which made the complete use of all technical means for domination of its own country. Through technical devices like the radio and loudspeaker, 80 million people were deprived of independent thought. It was thereby possible to subject them to the will of one man.”

And there is a direct connection between Bernays mentioned earlier and Nazi propaganda. “In the 1920s, Joseph Goebbels became an avid admirer of Bernays and his writings – despite the fact that Bernays was a Jew. When Goebbels became the minister of propaganda for the Third Reich, he sought to exploit Bernays’ ideas to the fullest extent possible. For example, he created a ‘Fuhrer cult’ around Adolph Hitler.”

Verses 8-9 require a cognitive explanation. Simon Peter represents abstract thought using words that have Perceiver meanings. Jesus represents technical thought. These two can coexist when dealing with unimportant information. But the situation changes when dealing with emotional topics in Mercy thought. That is because technical thought is no longer just playing games but rather dealing with real topics of deep human significance, and this will bring personal inadequacies to mind. For instance, one can use technical thought combined with Perceiver truth to analyze words of prophecy as long as these prophecies involve obscure and/or improbable topics. But the prophecies being discussed in these essays strike personally, because they talk about Western culture in detail. This may be why I have yet to receive any feedback from anyone on the historical analysis of Matthew. I have had discussions regarding the prophetic portions of these essays that deal with the future but nothing so far about the past, even though I have mentioned it in an academic paper on science and theology that has had a significant number of views. I am finding this essay difficult to write, but I find that I am able to continue because I have tried over the years to personally apply the principles of mental symmetry, and I find that I have to continue writing because every other path forward appears to be blocked. Applying this principle to verse 8, technical thought leaves the ‘Simon Peter’ of verbal thinking that is factually based and interacts with the verbal thinking of ‘Simon’, because Simon is mentioned twice in verses 10 and 11.

Applying this to the 1930s, American radio left the realm of Perceiver facts to deal primarily with fantasy. The Encyclopedia Britannica describes this plethora of fantasy. “As radio developed, daytime shows such as soap operas and children’s programs generally ran 15 minutes. Dramatic shows and situation comedies, the bulk of prime-time programming, ran 30 minutes each... Beginning in the 1930s and continuing for more than two decades, a majority of prime-time network programs were actually created by advertising agencies employed by sponsors. For example, during Bing Crosby’s tenure as host of The Kraft Music Hall, the talent and staff were hired by the Kraft food company’s advertising firm, the J. Walter Thompson agency. The networks merely provided the airtime and studio facilities.” Notice the combination of advertising and fantasy, all broadcast through the technical medium of radio. And a similar principle would apply today because most current television could also be described as a plethora of fantasy. Factual television programs exist as well as did factual radio broadcasts, such as the news. However, one can definitely see an overall trend towards fantasy as the effectiveness of the medium becomes apparent.

Nazi propaganda also turned into a plethora of fantasy. The primary difference with America was that Nazi audiences were forced to live within this fantasy. However, in both cases, Peter and Jesus were not interacting. The cognitive connection between falsehood and effectiveness can be seen in the Nazi concept of the ‘big lie’. Wikipedia summarizes that “A big lie is a gross distortion or misrepresentation of the truth, used especially as a propaganda technique. The German expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his book Mein Kampf (1925), to describe the use of a lie so colossal that no one would believe that someone ‘could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously’... The Nazis used the idea of the original big lie to turn sentiment against Jews and justify the Holocaust. Herf maintains that Joseph Goebbels and the Nazi Party actually used the big lie technique that they described– and that they used it to turn long-standing antisemitism in Europe into mass murder.” A ‘big lie’ takes advantage of the fact that the strong emotions of an effective propaganda program will tend to disable Perceiver thought in the minds of the listeners.

Verse 10 adds. “and likewise also James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.” Partner is used once in Luke and means ‘a participant who mutually belongs and shares fellowship’. James is the same as Jacob and means ‘heel, footprint, hind part’. Jacob was given this name in Genesis 25:26 because he held on to Esau’s heel when being born. Thus, ‘Jacob’ would represent something that naturally follows ‘on the heels of’ something else. John means ‘the Lord has been gracious’ and this is a different John than John the Baptist. Zebedee means ‘Yah has bestowed’ and this is the only mention of this name in Luke. Looking at this symbolically, a mindset followed the development of radio propaganda that was based in Teacher understanding rather than Mercy mental networks of culture and prejudice.

The rest of verse 10 describes the benefits of this mindset. “And Jesus said to Simon, “Fear not; from now on you will be catching men.” Fear means ‘to fear, withdraw from’. Men is the generic word for mankind. Catching is used twice in the New Testament and adds the prefix ‘alive, living’ to the word ‘hunting, a catch’ used in verses 4 and 9. (Out of dozens of English translations, only two obscure translations include the word ‘life’ or ‘living’. But it is clearly in the Greek word. This is another example of Bible translators thinking that they know more than the author of the Bible.) The implication is that a new method of ‘fishing for people’ is starting that does not kill mental networks of life. In verse 8, there was a withdrawing driven by emotions of inadequacy as Peter asked Jesus to leave. The word life refers to both physical and spiritual life. Thus, fishing that keeps people alive could refer to helping people rather than harming them, or it could refer to preserving existing mental networks without altering them. Cognitively speaking, behavior that is driven by a Teacher understanding sidesteps Mercy feelings of personal inadequacy.

Verse 11 describes this kind of emotional sidestepping. “And having brought the boats to the land, having left all, they followed Him.” Brought is used once in Luke and means ‘to bring down’, which is interpreted is heading away from Teacher generality. Land represents the realm of human rational thought. Left all means ‘to send away’ and is normally translated as ‘forgive’. Follow comes from a word that means ‘a road, way’, which is interpreted as following some Server sequence, and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Cognitively speaking, this indicates a transition from focusing upon Mercy experiences to following the Server processes of technical thought. This describes the mindset of the professional, who carries out technical procedures regardless of personal identity. Such a mindset is capable of fishing for humans without being affected by personal mental networks. For instance, a medical doctor is supposed to provide medical help for all people regardless of who they are or what they have done.

But notice that Teacher-driven professionalism is being followed at the expense of Mercy feelings. What is being ‘brought down’ to the ‘land’ of human rational thought is not a general understanding but rather the boats of organization. And everything else is being ‘sent away’ rather than included. What is left is the professionalism of following the Server sequences of technical thought. This is not necessarily good because we will see later that many Nazis at the Nuremberg trials will use the excuse that they were just ‘following orders’. Wikipedia summarizes, “Just following orders, is a plea in a court of law that a person... should not be considered guilty of committing actions that were ordered by a superior officer or official... One of the most noted uses of this plea, or defense, was by the accused in the 1945–1946 Nuremberg trials, such that it is also called the ‘Nuremberg defense’.”

The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes this professionalization of radio. “Early commercial radio broadcasting was more akin to a small-scale ‘mom-and-pop’ operation than to a smooth-running corporate enterprise. Throughout commercial radio’s first decade (the 1920s), the broadcast day was often filled with anyone who was available... The development of planned schedules featuring popular programs of specific lengths, defined formats, and clear beginnings and endings developed slowly in the United States and elsewhere through the 1920s. Until about 1930, however, radio offered little or no drama or situation comedy, few sports broadcasts of any kind, and no regular newscasts or weather reports.”

A mindset of professionalism can also be seen in Bernay’s response to Nazi propaganda. “Bernays learned that the Nazis were using his work in 1933... He later recounted in his 1965 autobiography: ‘They were using my books as the basis for a destructive campaign against the Jews of Germany. This shocked me, but I knew any human activity can be used for social purposes or misused for antisocial ones.’ What Bernays’ writings furnish is not a principle or tradition by which to evaluate the appropriateness of propaganda, but simply a means for shaping public opinion for any purpose whatsoever, whether beneficial to human beings or not.” Notice this shift in focus from goals to method.

At this point, the reader may feel that I am making an inappropriate—or even blasphemous—connection between Jesus and Nazism by suggesting that there is some similarity between Nazi behavior and following Jesus. However, Matthew 7:21-22 points out that following Jesus does not guarantee personal salvation. “Many will say to Me in that the day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare unto them, ‘I never knew you; depart you from Me, those working lawlessness.’” Know refers to experiential knowledge, while lawlessness adds the prefix ‘not’ to ‘law’. That passage says that many will be following Jesus at a professional level of methodology but will ultimately be rejected by Jesus because there is no personal knowledge in Mercy thought or any concept of a law that rules over personal behavior. In other words, moving from Mercy feelings of personal involvement to Teacher feelings of professionalism and following sequences is an effective method of becoming free of Mercy feelings of inadequacy—and this is a legitimate method of achieving Mercy feelings of forgiveness. But the goal of feeling forgiveness is not to forget about personal inadequacy but rather to transform personal identity. Using the school analogy, the goal is not to become enrolled in school but rather to become enrolled in school so that one can take and pass the classes.

Jesus Heals the Leper 5:12-16

In verse 12 Jesus meets a man with leprosy. “And it came to pass in His being in one of the cities, that behold, a man full of leprosy.” ‘Being in one of the cities’ would mean that this section applies to some center of civilization but not universally. Behold indicates the appearance of something new. Man means a male person and would represent male thought. Full means ‘full, abounding in’ and is used twice in Luke. ‘Leper’ has been used before but leprosy is only used in Luke in this verse and the next and describes ‘a deeply infectious, contagious skin disease’.

This type of ‘deeply infectious, contagious skin disease’ describes the Nazi Germany adoption of Arianism and anti-Semitism. Wikipedia summarizes that “The Nazis considered the putative ‘Aryan race’ a superior ‘master race’, and they considered black people, mixed-race people, Slavs, Roma, Jews and other ethnic groups racially inferior ‘sub-humans’, whose members were only suitable for slave labor and extermination. These beliefs stemmed from a mixture of 19th-century anthropology, scientific racism and anti-semitism.” This was a ‘skin disease’ in the sense that it focused upon physical appearance that was ‘skin deep’. In the words of Wikipedia, “The Nazis defined Nordics as being identified by their tall stature, their long faces, their prominent chins, their narrow and straight or aquiline noses with a high base, their lean builds, their doliocephalic skulls, their straight and light hair, their light eyes, and their fair skin.” It was also a ‘skin disease’ in the sense of emphasizing Mercy mental networks of culture and race to the exclusion of everything else. An atomic history website describes what happened at the university level. “In the spring of 1933, the University of Gottingen, the seat of brilliant achievement in years past, became the focal point of Hitler’s anti-Jewish policies. Student demonstrations proclaiming the coming of the ‘new order’ became an everyday occurrence. Respected scholars were brutally expelled... In April of 1933, Hitler’s first anti-Jewish law was promulgated, stripping all ‘non-Aryan’ academics of their teaching posts. 25% of German physicists, including eleven past or future Nobel Prize winners, lost their jobs. Emigration was the only solution.” More generally, “More than 15 percent of university professors, teachers, doctors, lawyers and other professionals were dismissed from their professions.” Notice the presence of both mental and physical ‘skin disease’. On the one hand, the ‘skin disease’ of racism mentally infected university students. On the other hand, these students declared that their non-Aryan professors were infected by a physical form of ‘skin disease’ by belonging to an ‘inferior race’.

Verse 12 says that this happened ‘in one of the cities’. Similarly, the ‘skin disease’ of Nazi racism was centered in Germany. Verse 12 also refers to ‘his being’ in one of the cities, and Nazi racism used technical language and technical expertise to reformulate traditional xenophobia. ‘Behold’ suggests that this skin disease is becoming visible in a new manner. Similarly, the Nazi beliefs ‘stemmed from a mixture of 19th century anthropology, scientific racism and anti-Semitism’, but they became open and visible during the Nazi era. And what became visible was not just a minor infection, but rather a ‘full abounding in’ a plan of genocide.

Verse 12 continues. “And having seen Jesus, having fallen upon his face, begged Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You would be willing, You are able to cleanse me.’” Seen means to ‘see with the mind’. Mentally seeing Jesus would mean getting a mental concept of helping people. Fall means ‘to fall’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Face means ‘the face’ and would be interpreted as verbal and nonverbal communication, because most nonverbal communication happens through facial expressions. Beg means ‘to feel pressing need because of lack’ and this is the first occurrence in Luke. Lord was previously used in verse 8 where Peter told Jesus to ‘depart from me Lord’. Willing means ‘to desire, wish’. Able means ‘to be able, to have power’ and is interpreted as active Perceiver thought. Cleanse means ‘removing all admixture’. The use of ‘cleanse’ is interesting because the Nazis used this term ‘cleansing’ to describe their policies. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Judenfrei, ‘free of Jews’ and judenrein ‘clean of Jews’ are terms of Nazi origin to designate an area that has been ‘cleansed’ of Jews during The Holocaust. While judenfrei refers merely to ‘freeing’ an area of all of its Jewish inhabitants, the term judenrein has the even stronger connotation that any trace of Jewish blood had been removed as an alleged impurity in the minds of the criminal perpetrators.”

Physically escaping the anti-semitism of Nazi Germany involved significant ‘falling on one’s face and begging’ to various ‘lords’ because most other countries had quotas that limited the number of Jewish immigrants and it was initially those who ‘saw with the mind’ what was happening who tried to escape. Quoting from the Holocaust Encyclopedia, “Looking first at Nazi Germany, those who mentally saw what was happening were generally more successful at escaping than those who stayed until the persecution became visibly apparent... The events of 1938 caused a dramatic increase in Jewish emigration... The sudden flood of emigrants created a major refugee crisis... Despite the participation of delegates from 32 countries... no permanent or comprehensive solution to the refugee crisis was found. The plight of German-Jewish refugees, persecuted at home and unwanted abroad, is also illustrated by the voyage of the St. Louis.” Notice how the main problem was not Jews wanting to flee but rather the willingness of others to accept them. Hence the begging.

Turning to the larger picture, Nazi policy actually illustrates significant cognitive principles. In verse 8 Peter, representing Perceiver thought, asked the salvation of technical thought to leave because of feelings of personal inadequacy. In verse 12, the leper is asking the salvation of technical thought to actively use Perceiver facts to purify Mercy thought. Verse 8 separated technical thought from Perceiver thought, while verse 12 uses technical thought to enable Perceiver truth. This is a mental enabling, which means that one has to mentally see Jesus. It is also an emotionally traumatic transition, in which existing methods of self-preservation collapse and one falls on one’s face feeling ‘a pressing need because of lack’.

Saying this more clearly, Jesus saves, which means using concrete technical thought to implement a plan that takes personal identity from its current location to someplace better. But the possibility of salvation will generate feelings of guilt: I am not responsible for my shortcomings if I can do nothing to change myself. But once it becomes possible for me to change, then I will feel guilty about my current state. However, following a professional plan that is guided by Teacher feelings of order-within-complexity can replace Mercy feelings of personal inadequacy with Teacher feelings of professional behavior, making it emotionally possible to handle the personal trauma of being saved. That explains cognitively why the feeling of personal condemnation in verse 8 is separated from the salvation of verse 12 by the development of professionalism in verses 9 to 11. More generally, the cognitive principles being described in this paragraph make it possible to explain the process of ‘Christian sanctification’ from a cognitive perspective.

Cleansing means to eliminate any impurities. Cleansing is driven by Teacher emotions, because Teacher thought feels bad when there is an exception to the general rule and an impurity will feel like an exception to the general rule. Applying this principle to Nazi Germany, Nazi racism went beyond normal Mercy-driven prejudice to a Teacher theory of racial purity, in which anyone who was racially impure had to be physically expelled and/or eliminated. In the words of the American Holocaust Museum, “From 1933 to 1945, Nazi Germany carried out a campaign to ‘cleanse’ German society of individuals viewed as biological threats to the nation’s ‘health.’ Enlisting the help of physicians and medically trained geneticists, psychiatrists, and anthropologists, the Nazis developed racial health policies that began with the mass sterilization of ‘genetically diseased’ persons and ended with the near annihilation of European Jewry. With the patina of legitimacy provided by ‘racial’ science experts, the Nazi regime carried out a program of approximately 400,000 forced sterilizations and over 275,000 euthanasia deaths that found its most radical manifestation in the death of millions of ‘racial’ enemies in the Holocaust. This campaign was based in part on ideas about public health and genetic ‘fitness’ that had grown out of the inclination of many late nineteenth century scientists and intellectuals to apply the Darwinian concepts of evolution to the problems of human society.” Notice how technical thought is being enlisted to generate Teacher feelings of ‘German purity’. Notice also how Nazi policies went beyond Mercy feelings of prejudice to a systematic, integrated, professional, scientifically-supported incarnation of a Teacher-based universal theory of racism.

The previous quote mentions ‘the inclination of many late nineteenth century scientists and intellectuals to apply the Darwinian concepts of evolution to the problems of human society’. This connection needs to be discussed. Evolution is currently supported by scientific experts who will heap abuse upon anyone who dares question this theory. For instance, one can see such abuse in the Wikipedia article on intelligent design as well as repeated appeals to scientific authority. “The unequivocal consensus in the scientific community is that intelligent design is not science and has no place in a science curriculum. The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that ‘creationism, intelligent design, and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life or of species are not science because they are not testable by the methods of science.’ The U.S. National Science Teachers Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have termed it pseudoscience. Others in the scientific community have denounced its tactics, accusing the ID movement of manufacturing false attacks against evolution, of engaging in misinformation and misrepresentation about science, and marginalizing those who teach it.” Notice all the emotional assertions: unequivocal consensus, has no place, not science, pseudoscience, denounced, false attacks, misinformation, misrepresentation, marginalizing. People who use such language are not functioning in a scientific manner. Instead, this is a form of ‘contagious skin disease’ in which male technical thought has become infected by strong Mercy emotions. This is a significant point because support of biological evolution by ‘scientists and intellectuals’ played an enabling role in both the carnage of World War I and the genocide of World War II.

Looking at this cognitively, the theory of biological evolution performs a form of mental ‘cleansing’. On the Mercy side, it frees the mind from the oppression of a God of blind faith based in the ‘inferior thinking’ of Mercy status. We saw earlier that Huxley championed evolution in order to cleanse science from the influence of the clergy. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Huxley recognized that unlike the earlier transmutational ideas of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, Darwin’s theory provided a mechanism for evolution without supernatural involvement, even if Huxley himself was not completely convinced that natural selection was the key evolutionary mechanism. Huxley would make advocacy of evolution a cornerstone of the program of the X Club to reform and professionalise science by displacing natural theology with naturalism and to end the domination of British natural science by the clergy.” On the Teacher side, the theory of evolution provides a general framework for biological research. In the words of Wikipedia, “Evolution is the central unifying concept in biology... More recently, the merge between biological science and applied sciences gave birth to new fields that are extensions of evolutionary biology, including evolutionary robotics, engineering, algorithms, economics, and architecture.” Cognitively speaking, the problem with intelligent design is that it attempts to reverse this cognitive shift from Mercy status to Teacher theory, because it says that life is too complicated to have evolved but does not provide a theoretical alternative. Instead, one is supposed to return to the blind faith of believing that God ‘snapped his fingers’ and it all happened by magic. Wikipedia describes this apprehension, explaining that “Theistic evolution had largely disappeared from the scientific literature by the end of the 19th century as direct appeals to supernatural causes came to be seen as unscientific.” However, the concept of hopeful monsters in biological evolution can itself be described as an example of the ‘God’ of Nature magically snapping his fingers.

More generally, biological evolution itself can be viewed as a ‘god of the gaps’ that functions within the gaps of normal biological order. As mentioned earlier, I noticed this when going through a textbook on biochemistry (Biochemistry by Berg, Tymoczko, and Stryer, Fifth edition). The textbook describes the extensive biological mechanisms that are in place to ensure the accurate copying of DNA. For instance, “DNA replication must be highly accurate... The free energies associated with base pairing within the double helix suggest that approximately 1 in 104 bases incorporated will be incorrect. Yet, DNA replication has an error rate estimated to be one per 1010 nucleotides. As we shall see, additional mechanisms allow proofreading of the newly formed double helix” (p.746). “The maintenance of the integrity of the genetic message is key to life. Consequently, all cells possess mechanisms to repair damaged DNA” (p.770). Accurate copying of DNA is vital because “Many human cancers are caused by exposure to chemicals. These chemical carcinogens usually cause mutations, which suggests that damage to DNA is a fundamental event in the origin of mutations and cancer” (p. 773). But evolution supposedly used the mechanism of inaccurate copying to generate biological life. “We can now examine the mechanisms of evolution. Earlier, we considered how variation is required for evolution. We can now see that such variations in living systems are changes that alter the meaning of the genetic message. These variations are called mutations” (p.25). Saying that all of biological life emerged as a result of violations to the natural order of biological mechanisms is cognitively the same as the Christian looking for God in miracles that violate the order of the laws of nature. In both cases, one is dealing with a ‘god of the gaps’. In contrast, these essays are constructing a concept of a God who does not just ‘snap his fingers’ and do things by magic but rather follows a step-by-step process of cognitive transformation.

Notice again that I refer to biological evolution. The Big Bang theory does have mathematical justification, though it also has major problems, having to appeal to the ‘fairy dust’ of dark matter and dark energy. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Dark matter is a hypothetical form of matter thought to account for approximately 85% of the matter in the universe... No one has directly observed dark matter yet.” If physics is permitted to suggest ‘a hypothetical form of matter’ for which no direct physical evidence exists, then I suggest that it is permissible for mental symmetry to postulate the existence of spiritual and supernatural realms as extensions of a cognitive model. Who knows, maybe these spiritual and supernatural realms are the ‘fairy dust’ of physics.

Returning to Luke, Jesus responds positively in verse 13. “And having stretched out the hand, He touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be you cleansed!’ And immediately the leprosy departed from him.” Stretch out means ‘to extend’. ‘Stretching out the hand’ would represent the deliberate application of technical thought. This is the first use of touch in Luke which means ‘to modify or change by touching’. Willing is the same word used in verse 12 which means ‘to desire, wish’. Cleanse means ‘removing all admixture’ and is in the imperative. Immediately means ‘at once, directly’. And leprosy is the same word that was used in verse 12. Departed means ‘to go away, go after’. Verse 13 does not say that the impurity was instantly removed, because it is not possible to purify something instantly. What is being removed instantly is the dreadful ‘skin condition’ within Mercy thought, which is being cured through the active touching of technical thought.

Verse 13 also does not say that the leprosy was cured but that it ‘departed from him’, giving the impression that the skin disease still exists but has gone away from the needy person. If one views German ethnic cleansing from a cognitive perspective as an attempt to replace inadequate Mercy feelings with a universal Teacher theory, then one concludes that the Nazi regime was ‘willing’ to ‘cleanse’ its population. One can see this by comparing Germany with the United States. The concept of racial purity was also widely accepted at that time in the United States. In the words of one article, “As unthinkable as it may seem today, people from all walks of life supported the eugenics movement in the United States in the late 19th and 20th centuries. It represented a public policy that promised to address the social mores of the time, and as such, it was taught in schools, exhibited at the World’s Fair, propagated by scientific journals and conferences, and condoned by prominent social figures.” The primary difference is that Germany was more willing than the United States to practice such ethnic cleansing—it was more willing to ‘stretch out the hand’ of technical thought and ‘touch’ the leper. Quoting further from the article, “Both in the United States and in Germany, eugenics became an agent of social control. It was an instrument designed to be used by an economic, social, and racial elite. But in Germany, the emphasis on race became a platform for extreme anti-Semitism and subsequent systematic killing—a feature that was to some degree present in American discourse, but absent from policy.”

Nazi willingness to place all of society within a technical structure of Teacher order-within-complexity also expressed itself through a policy known as Gleichschaltung. In the words of Wikipedia, “Every national voluntary association, and every local club, was brought under Nazi control, from industrial and agricultural pressure groups to sports associations, football clubs, male voice choirs, women’s organizations—in short, the whole fabric of associational life was Nazified. Rival, politically oriented clubs or societies were merged into a single Nazi body... Gleichschaltung also included the formation of various organizations with compulsory membership for segments of the population, particularly the youth of Germany.”

The ethnic cleansing practised by Nazi Germany was ultimately motivated by a German desire to escape the ‘leprosy’ of deep Mercy feelings of guilt and inferiority as a result of losing World War I. A 1958 academic article describes the intensity of this feeling. “No one who has surveyed even a small portion of the massive material written by the Germans on ‘War Guilt’ and the ‘stab in the back’ can fail to notice the curious air of unreality, of contrived self-deception that surrounded both subjects in pre-Nazi Germany. The protests against the charge of ‘War Guilt’ were too passionate, too insistent, and too pretentious... In the last analysis, the deep emotion that gave rise to these myths in pre-Nazi Germany was essentially an overwhelming sense of communal shame. It was not at all a shame related to the responsibility for causing the war. Much more, it was a shame related to the responsibility for losing the war.”

However, hidden within this shame was a deeper Nazi ‘leprosy’ of thinking in terms of race and physical appearance while ignoring cognitive and moral development. German Jews tried to cleanse themselves of this racial thinking by fleeing Nazi Germany. While other countries placed restrictions upon Jewish immigration, technical thought did express a willingness to ‘stretch out the hand’. An article in Physics Today describes the effort taken to help scholars flee Germany for other countries. The “SPSL would help more than 2500 scholars from Germany and occupied countries flee to the UK. A similar organization in the US, the Emergency Committee in Aid of Displaced German (later Foreign) Scholars, rescued more than 300 academics.”

Looking cognitively at the topic of personal change, the cleansing of verse 13 places personal experiences within an internal map: Verse 8 led to the general feeling that ‘I am a sinner. I cannot handle the feeling that I need to improve’. Verse 12 places personal identity into a map that says, ‘You are here. You cannot become perfect instantly. But you can get from where you are to the next location.’ This replaces the vague ‘I need to change’ with a more specific ‘Here is the next step’. However, placing personal identity within a mental map requires a mental map that is held together by something other than personal identity in which the various locations are connected by roads. Verses 9-11 developed such a mental map that was held together by a Teacher understanding and included Server sequences.

However, it is also possible to follow this process only part of the way by focusing totally upon Server sequences and leaving everything else, as described in verse 11. That summarizes the approach taken by Martin Heidegger. I have not read Heidegger in the original, because his language is impenetrably technical. However, one of my earliest essays is a cognitive analysis of Heidegger based upon the description of others. (Back then, I thought that a ten page essay was a major undertaking. Little did I know...) The basic principle is that Heidegger’s 1927 Sein und Zeit makes sense as an attempt to abandon Perceiver thought and explain everything in terms of Server thought. For instance, instead of defining self as some person occupying a certain Perceiver location in space, self is defined as a functioning unit that performs Server sequences for a limited time. Similarly, instead of viewing an object as close to me in Perceiver thought, it is defined as ‘ready to hand’, a tool that is available for me to use in Server thought. In the words of Wikipedia, on the one hand “Heidegger rejects the Cartesian view of the human being as a subjective spectator of objects”, while on the other hand, “Dasein’s essential mode of being-in-the-world is temporal: Having been ‘thrown’ into a world implies a ‘pastness’ to its being. Dasein occupies itself with the present tasks required by goals it has projected on the future. Thus Heidegger concludes that Dasein’s fundamental characteristic is temporality.”

One can tell that Heidegger’s philosophy was effective at removing feelings of personal guilt because Heidegger was an enthusiastic member of the Nazi party who never apologized for his involvement, and there is even a Wikipedia article about this. After some of his private letters were released in 2016, one article concluded, “Martin Heidegger never apologized for his support of the Nazis. He joined the party in 1933 and remained a member until the bitter end, in 1945. First, he spoke out enthusiastically in favor of a conservative revolution with Hitler at its helm. From about 1935, he found his own ambitions disappointed, and grew more silent. Yet, when he called his dalliance with National Socialism his greatest mistake after the war, he was upset not at his crime, but at the fact that he got caught. Not that Heidegger has had to apologize, either. For the past seventy years, his many apologists and acolytes have gone to astounding lengths in trying to prove that his philosophical oeuvre exists independent of what was, they avowed, a mere weakness of character.” Notice that not only did Heidegger feel no need to apologize, but those who support the philosophy of Heidegger feel no need to apologize. The point I am trying to make is that verses 10-11 describe a cognitive mechanism for dealing with feelings of guilt that works but can be misused—and was misused during the Nazi era.

Jesus instructs in verse 14. “And He ordered him to tell no one: ‘But having gone, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.’” Ordered means ‘give a command that is fully authorized because it has gone through all the proper channels.” No one means ‘not even one’. Tell means to ‘bring word, command’. Having gone means ‘to go away’. Show means ‘to show’ and was used previously in 45 when the devil showed all the kingdoms to Jesus. Priest comes from ‘sacred because belonging to the temple’. Offer means ‘to bring to’. Cleansing means ‘eliminating impurities’. As means ‘according to the manner in which’ which indicates in analogical similarity. Command is used once in Luke and combines ‘move towards’ with ‘to place, arrange’. Moses was given this name in Exodus 2:10 because he was ‘drawn from the water’. Moses represents a system of law that is ‘drawn from the waters of Mercy experiences’. This would include any religion based in the absolute truth of some holy book. Testimony means ‘a testimony, a witness’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Putting this together, the immediate feeling of cleansing needs to be followed by a more extensive actual cleansing, which requires reconnecting with traditional, moral, higher standards while avoiding the ‘telling others’ of propaganda.

Looking at this cognitively, verse 13 led immediately to a departure of the leprosy. But verse 13 did not say that there was any cleansing. Instead, verse 14 talks about cleansing. Applying this to Nazism, Nazi racism defined cleansing in purely biological terms as having the right biological parents. Nazism then turned this into an ideology that it told to everyone. Stated crudely, one was deemed to be ‘cleansed’ if one had the right parents, even if one was mentally, morally, and spiritually an impure pile of steaming excrement. Nazi Gleichschaltung then imposed social organization upon these ‘cleansed’ individuals, making it possible for individuals to become professional, nationally organized, piles of steaming moral excrement. Such character qualities are epitomized by the infamous Dr. Mengele. On the one hand, “Mengele became the symbol of perversity of the medical science in Nazi Germany. Nicknamed the Doctor of Death, he typified the cruel camp doctor who conducted all kinds of bizarre experiments on inmates.” But on the other hand, “‘He behaved gallantly and radiated a quiet self confidence hovering between complacency and utmost charm,’ according to Arminio Wachsberger from Rome. ‘He whistled a Wagner aria while he directed prisoners to either left or right.’” Right led to the concentration camps, left to the gas chambers.

Victor Frankl, in contrast, is an example of someone who followed the advice of verse 14. Wikipedia summarizes, “In 1942, just nine months after his marriage, Frankl and his family were sent to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. His father died there of starvation and pneumonia. In 1944, Frankl and the surviving members of his family were transported to Auschwitz, where his mother and brother were murdered in the gas chambers. His wife died later of typhus in Bergen-Belsen. Frankl spent three years in four concentration camps... In 1948, Frankl earned a PhD in philosophy from the University of Vienna. His dissertation, The Unconscious God, examines the relationship between psychology and religion.” Frankl was silenced from sharing his theories by being sent to a concentration camp. But his concentration camp experiences eventually served as a testimony of deeper meaning to the ‘priesthood’ of academia. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Man’s Search for Meaning is a 1946 book by Viktor Frankl chronicling his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, and describing his psychotherapeutic method, which involved identifying a purpose in life to feel positive about, and then immersively imagining that outcome... Man’s Search for Meaning belongs to a list of ‘the ten most influential books in the United States.’” Verse 14 does not talk about developing a new theory but rather focuses upon personal testimony. Similarly, Frankl’s theory of logotherapy originally emerged within the context of Nazi thought. In the words of Wikipedia, “Frankl’s founding logotherapy paper, was submitted to and published in the Zentrallblatt fuer Psychotherapie [sic] the journal of the Goering Institute, a psychotherapy movement, with the ‘proclaimed agenda of building psychotherapy that affirmed a Nazi-oriented worldview’.” And in 1977 Frankl stated “People think I came out of Auschwitz with a brand-new psychotherapy. This is not the case.” Instead, the importance of Frankl’s work was his personal testimony that becoming human requires finding internal meaning that goes beyond Nazi racism and eugenics. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Frankl concludes from his experience that a prisoner’s psychological reactions are not solely the result of the conditions of his life, but also from the freedom of choice he always has even in severe suffering. The inner hold a prisoner has on his spiritual self relies on having a hope in the future, and that once a prisoner loses that hope, he is doomed.”

More generally, when the war ended, then Germany itself was ordered through official channels to appear before a higher authority and give testimony at the Nuremberg trials. Germany officials were judged by a new standard known as a crime against humanity. Wikipedia explains, “The first prosecution for crimes against humanity took place during the Nuremberg trials. Initially considered for legal use, widely in international law, following the Holocaust, a global standard of human rights was articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Notice that this is a ‘global standard of human rights’ that applies universally within Teacher thought to all people and all countries. Similarly, a crime against humanity is defined in universal terms. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The Rome Statute Explanatory Memorandum states that crimes against humanity ‘are particularly odious offenses in that they constitute a serious attack on human dignity or grave humiliation or a degradation of one or more human beings. They are not isolated or sporadic events... [Instead] murder, extermination, torture, rape, political, racial, or religious persecution and other inhumane acts reach the threshold of crimes against humanity only if they are part of a widespread or systematic practice.” Thus, a specific incident in Mercy thought is not a crime against humanity. Instead, a crime against humanity, by definition, extends beyond specific incidents to Teacher generality. Going further, ‘human dignity’, ‘grave humiliation’, and ‘degradation’ all recognize that a human being is more than just an expression of genes and that human interaction is more than just a physical struggle for survival.

Compare this with the theory of biological evolution. Wikipedia summarizes that “Evolution is the process of change in all forms of life over generations, and evolutionary biology is the study of how evolution occurs. Biological populations evolve through genetic changes that correspond to changes in the organisms’ observable traits. Genetic changes include mutations, which are caused by damage or replication errors in organisms’ DNA. As the genetic variation of a population drifts randomly over generations, natural selection gradually leads traits to become more or less common based on the relative reproductive success of organisms with those traits.” Notice how all life is defined ultimately as an expression of genes and that social interaction is ultimately a physical struggle for survival. Notice also ‘a god of the gaps’ that functions through ‘damage or replication errors’. Mutations do happen and new traits do emerge as a result of mutations. This became clear during the recent covid pandemic when new variants emerged as the covid virus mutated. The problem arises when genetic mutation is universalized into a Teacher theory that is used to explain all of life. That is when the theory of biological evolution turns into a crime against humanity, because it reduces all of human existence to the level of a genetic mistake.

German concentration camps also provided a testimony against Nazi racial policy after the war. The Nazis had pursued a policy of racial and social cleansing, in order to ‘purify’ the German nation. The horrors of the concentration camps revealed that this had created the impure mental hybrid of a human monster who whistled Wagner while sending victims to gas chambers. Stated simply, the Nazi search for racial purity created extreme human impurity.

The Nuremberg trials also made it clear that Heidegger’s path of reducing humanity to Server actions and Teacher order is inadequate. As quoted earlier, Wikipedia explains, “The trials gained so much attention that the ‘superior orders defense’ has subsequently become interchangeable with the label ‘Nuremberg defense’, a legal defense that essentially states that defendants were ‘only following orders’ (‘Befehl ist Befehl’, literally ‘an order is an order’) and so are not responsible for their crimes.” Looking at this cognitively, ‘only following orders’ reduces humanity to Server actions placed within some Teacher system of order-within-complexity. Perceiver facts are ignored as are any personal Mercy experiences.

Looking at verse 14 more carefully from a cognitive perspective, the starting point is an ordered mental map which includes ‘going through proper channels’—the sort of map that we are attempting to construct in this essay. The next step is to shut up. That is because speaking about a theory tends to release the mental pressure that is required to apply such a theory. The emotional pressure that results from being unable to speak will internally attract the attention of core mental networks of identity and religion. When these mental networks become activated, one does not respond in a ‘scientific fashion’ by remaining objective. Instead, one chooses to offer one’s personal discomfort to one’s internal sense of holiness. The goal of this offering is not to have a spiritual experience but rather to become pure, which means having the same mental substance and structure in both the objective and the subjective. This purity does not come from taking a ‘leap of faith’ to some holy book. Instead, one needs to look for analogical similarities between the rational process of personal transformation and the content of absolute truth and view this absolute truth as ‘moving towards’ the ‘arrangement’ of Teacher order. These essays provide an illustration of what that involves. Extending from the objective to the subjective in such a manner will provide a ‘testimony’ or example for those who place blind faith in religious truth but only partially understand what the words are saying.

Verse 15 describes a more general impact. “And the report concerning Him was spread abroad still more; and great crowds were coming to hear and to be healed from their sicknesses.” Spread means ‘to go through, go about, to spread’. Report is the word ‘logos’. Still more means ‘more than what is compared to’. Thus, technical paradigms are already spreading, but this makes it happen even more. Coming means ‘to come together’ and is used twice in Luke. Crowd means ‘crowd’ and great means ‘much in number’. Hear means to ‘comprehend by hearing’. Thus, there is an intelligent audience but these are not followers and there is not great Teacher generality. Heal ‘usually involves natural elements in the process of healing’. Sickness means ‘weakness, frailty’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. The focus here is upon empowering existing answers. Summarizing, verse 15 does not say that Jesus is being accurately understood or that people are getting to know him personally. Instead, what is spreading is a paradigm about the nature of incarnation that is bringing the crowds together in order to rectify human weakness and frailty.

Such a paradigm can be seen in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is an international document adopted by the United Nations General Assembly that enshrines the rights and freedoms of all human beings... A foundational text in the history of human and civil rights, the Declaration consists of 30 articles detailing an individual’s ‘basic rights and fundamental freedoms’ and affirming their universal character as inherent, inalienable, and applicable to all human beings... The Declaration is considered a ‘milestone document’ for its ‘universalist language’, which makes no reference to a particular culture, political system, or religion.” The UN is an international forum for coming together, a declaration with 30 articles qualifies as a paradigm, and an international document adopted by the UN describes ‘spreading still more to great crowds’.

Verse 15 can also be applied to Jewish scientists who fled Nazi Germany, a Stanford university article summarizes that “U.S. patents increased by 31 percent in fields common among Jewish scientists who fled Nazi Germany for America... Their innovative influence rippled outward for generations, as the émigrés attracted new researchers who then trained other up-and-comers.” Looking at a non-American example, an academic article summarizes that, “The core incidental timing of the dismissal of Jewish professors in Nazi Germany beginning in April 1933, and the creation of two major universities in Brazil during the following two years resulted in a number of refugee scientists immigrating to Brazil and contributing to the development of modern science there.” And these fleeing scientists made such a difference in the Second World War that “Churchill’s military secretary... [said] that the Allies won the war ‘because our German scientists were better than their German scientists.’”

Verse 16 concludes, “And He Himself was withdrawing into the wilderness and praying.” Withdrawing is used twice in the New Testament and means ‘to vacate down’. Wilderness means ‘an uncultivated, unpopulated place’. And pray means ‘to exchange wishes’. ‘Vacating down’ suggests leaving normal society and heading towards applications. This describes science during World War 2 which vacated normal life in order to come up with new applications in areas that were ‘uncultivated and/or unpopulated’. Praying indicates an interaction between Teacher theory and Mercy experiences, because one is appealing emotionally to Teacher thought in order to achieve certain Mercy results. The content of this prayer was generally ‘May God slay my enemies and protect my friends’, but that does describe an emotional exchange of wishes between me and my concept of God.

Looking at this generally, Wikipedia explains that “Military weapons technology experienced rapid advances during World War II, and over six years there was a disorientating rate of change in combat in everything from aircraft to small arms. Indeed, the war began with most armies utilizing technology that had changed little from World War I, and in some cases, had remained unchanged since the 19th century. For instance cavalry, trenches, and World War I-era battleships were normal in 1940, however within only six years, armies around the world had developed jet aircraft, ballistic missiles, and even atomic weapons in the case of the United States.” Notice that technical thought is vacating existing methods in order to come up with new technologies in areas that have previously been uncultivated, such as jet engines, ballistic missiles, and atomic weapons.

Los Alamos provides a more specific example of verse 16. Wikipedia summarizes that “The Los Alamos Laboratory, also known as Project Y, was a secret laboratory established by the Manhattan Project and operated by the University of California during World War II. Its mission was to design and build the first atomic bombs... In order to enable scientists to freely discuss their work while preserving security, the laboratory was located in a remote part of New Mexico.” Los Alamos was literally in the wilderness, and those who worked there vacated normal life in order to come up with the utterly new application of an atomic bomb. There is also a major connection between the Jewish refugees of the previous section and Los Alamos. Quoting from a Hadassah Magazine article, “From 1943 to 1945, the allies’ most gifted scientists—most of them Jewish refugees from Europe—congregated in the center of this rugged terrain. They were working to fashion a weapon that would halt the relentless conquest by the Axis forces.” And this involved extensive Jewish ‘praying’ of appealing to general Teacher theories in order to solve specific Mercy problems. “According to a May 1945 roster, Jews made up about two-thirds of the leadership in the Manhattan Project’s Theoretical Division (T-Division)— the group tasked with calculating critical mass and modeling implosions.”

A Paralytic is brought to Jesus 5:17-22

The next section appears to describe the postwar Marshall Plan. Before continuing, an important question needs to be addressed: If Luke is an accurate prophecy of Western history, then why are the two World Wars not specifically mentioned? These wars are also not mentioned specifically in the book of Matthew. Thus, this omission appears to be deliberate. The answer is theologically simple. If the Bible predicts specific wars, then God is a cause of evil, which contradicts the basic theological premise that God is good. The general principle is that God’s plan for history takes the form of general ‘equations’ that could be fulfilled in a variety of specific ways. This provides one primary reason why biblical prophecy is described using symbolic language. Symbols can represent a wide variety of specific events and situations. One of my primary motivations for doing this research is to see if the biblical ‘equations’ of human history can be fulfilled in a manner that is less painful for humanity. This motivation comes partially from my upbringing as a pacifist Mennonite. I hate war; I hate suffering. And the more I study about war and suffering, the more I hate it. But just saying that war is bad is not enough to stop war. For instance, the current Russian invasion of Ukraine has made it crystal clear that words mean nothing to the Russian government and to most Russian people. Any verbal agreement is simply viewed by Russia as a sign of weakness and an opportunity for another war crime. Thus, the only remaining options are to pursue war—which I hate, or to probe the supernatural realm to see if beings exist who function at the level of words and who have the power to guide human history. Supposedly, such beings exist and are known as angels. Given the two choices of acting like demons or appealing to angels, I choose to pursue the latter. And part of this pursuing is to find a replacement for the theory of biological evolution, which insists that it is natural for humans to act like demons and then heaps abuse on anyone who dares to suggest otherwise. I choose to dare to suggest otherwise.

Verse 17 sets the context. “And it came to pass on one of the days that He was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were there sitting by, who were come out of every village of Galilee, and of Judea, and of Jerusalem.” Day represents some era of society. Teaching means to ‘impart knowledge’. Sitting means ‘to be seated’ and represents occupying some ‘seat’ of authority. Pharisee means ‘a separatist, a purist’. This is the first mention of Pharisees in Luke, and they will be mentioned four times in the rest of this chapter. It is interesting that the first mention of purists happens right after a section that talked about becoming pure.

Teacher of the law is used once in Luke and ‘This person was so highly learned in the Hebrew Scriptures, they had the status of teaching-jurist’. This uber-expert is only mentioned three times in the New Testament: here, in Acts 5:34 to refer to the uber-expert Gamaliel, and in 1 Timothy 1:7 to describe people wanting to be uber-experts but lacking the expertise. The English translation has referred numerous times to towns, but in each case the actual Greek word was ‘city’. In verse 17 the word village is used for the first time in Luke. Galilee represents the cycles of society. Judea represents a mindset of submission to authority and absolute truth. Jerusalem represents the center of societal and religious authority. In verse 17 uber-experts are coming out of many kinds of villages. This is bizarre because uber-experts normally live in cities, not villages, and one normally goes to the uber-expert. Thus, verse 17 describes a very unusual situation.

This situation existed historically at the end of World War II. Cities were systematically destroyed, leaving the villages. In the words of one academic article, “No other war in human history has been waged with such ferocity and devastation done to cities, against cities, and in cities... Civilians and towns have always suffered from war. Yet World War II was the first war in which military strategies systematically aimed at and succeeded in devastating towns and cities and killing civilian populations on a massive scale. It was by no means an accident that the atom bombs were dropped on cities, too.”

The end of World War II was a major time of rethinking, especially at the ‘pharisaical’ level of ideological purity and the ‘teacher of the law’ level of how a society will be governed. In the words of one university article, “The Cold War began almost immediately after the end of the Second World War. It was a conflict between the only two superpowers in the world, Soviet Russia and its satellite states and the United States and its allies. It was in many ways an ideological conflict between communist and capitalist countries which had an important impact on Europe... Once Germany was defeated, a fault-line was created that split the European continent in half. In the East was the Soviet sphere of influence, comprising states such as Poland, Czechoslovakia and East Germany, while Western Europe was in the American sphere of influence.” Notice the ‘Galilee’ of ‘an important impact on Europe’, the ‘Judea’ of ‘Soviet sphere of influence’ versus ‘American sphere of influence’, and the ‘Jerusalem’ of ‘an ideological conflict’.

Looking at this more carefully, the Encyclopaedia Britannica explains that “The Cold War was a strategic and tactical contest to influence the nature of the governments and societies of the world’s countries. On one hand, the United States and its allies sought to spread democratic capitalism; on the other, the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China attempted to export their versions of communism. In seeking to advance their worldviews, the superpowers provided military, material, technical, and financial aid to countries they hoped to bring into their spheres of influence. They formulated policies aimed at advancing their geopolitical agendas, blocking their rival’s advance, and deciding when and how to intervene in the affairs of other countries. Much thought and effort went into trying to understand each other’s motives, objectives, and strategies and how to best counter them.” Notice how the teaching of technical thought is being affected by ‘pharisees and teachers of the law who are sitting by’, who are trying to ensure that technical development happens in a way that satisfies pharisaical demands for purity and fits within the system of the ‘teachers of the law’.

Verse 17 finishes, “And the power of the Lord was there for Him to heal.” Power means ‘ability to perform’ and is interpreted as active Perceiver thought. Lord means ‘lord, master’. Heal refers to healing, particularly as supernatural’. Such a need for healing that went beyond normal therapy was present after World War II, as well as the power to carry out this healing. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Especially damaged was transportation infrastructure, as railways, bridges, and docks had been specifically targeted by airstrikes, while much merchant shipping had been sunk. Although most small towns and villages had not suffered as much damage, the destruction of transportation left them economically isolated. None of these problems could be easily remedied, as most nations engaged in the war had exhausted their treasuries in the process. The only major powers whose infrastructure had not been significantly harmed in World War II were the United States and Canada. They were much more prosperous than before the war but exports were a small factor in their economy. Much of the Marshall Plan aid would be used by the Europeans to buy manufactured goods and raw materials from the United States and Canada.” On the one hand, Europe required major reconstruction but lacked the resources to perform this. On the other hand, North America had both the resources and excess production capacity. Notice in passing how ‘most small towns and villages had not suffered as much damage’, consistent with the idea of ‘emerging from the villages’ mentioned earlier.

In verse 18 someone is brought in. “And behold, men carrying upon a mat a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and to place him before Him.” Men refers specifically to men, whereas man is the generic term for humankind. Carrying means ‘to bear, carry’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Mat means ‘a small couch’. Paralytic means ‘to loose from the side’. Seeking means ‘to seek by inquiring’. Bring in means ‘to carry inward’. Place means’ to place, lay, set’ and is used for the first time in Luke. Before means ‘in the eye of’.

Wikipedia describes the paralyzed state of postwar Germany. “In Germany in 1945–46 housing and food conditions were bad, as the disruption of transport, markets, and finances slowed a return to normality. In the West, the bombing had destroyed 5,000,000 houses and apartments, and 12,000,000 refugees from the east had crowded in. Food production was two-thirds of the pre-war level in 1946–48, while normal grain and meat shipments no longer arrived from the East. The drop in food production can be attributed to a drought that killed a major portion of the wheat crop while a severe winter destroyed the majority of the wheat crop the following year.”

Wikipedia describes the initial unsuccessful attempt to use male technical thought to bring the paralyzed humanity of Germany before the ‘Jesus’ of postwar reconstruction. “The recovery effort began in June 1948, moving on from emergency relief. The currency reform in 1948 was headed by the military government and helped Germany to restore stability by encouraging production. The reform revalued old currency and deposits and introduced new currency. Taxes were also reduced and Germany prepared to remove economic barriers. During the first three years of occupation of Germany, the UK and US vigorously pursued a military disarmament program in Germany, partly by removal of equipment but mainly through an import embargo on raw materials, part of the Morgenthau Plan.” The Morgenthau plan was “A proposal to eliminate Germany’s ability to wage war following World War II by eliminating its arms industry and removing or destroying other key industries basic to military strength. This included the removal or destruction of all industrial plants and equipment in the Ruhr.” On the one hand, male technical thought is carrying the social fabric on which the paralyzed humanity of Germany is resting by introducing currency reform, reducing taxation, and economic barriers. But on the other hand, Germany is being prevented from meeting the ‘Jesus’ of technical reconstruction because of being regarded as ‘outside of the house’ of Western democracy.

Verse 19 describes an unusual entrance. “And not having found what way they should bring him in, on account of the crowd, having gone up on the housetop, they let him down with the mat through the tiles, into the midst before Jesus.” Find means ‘to discover, especially after searching’. What way means ‘of what sort’. Bring in means ‘to carry inward’ and was used in verse 18. This phrase describes the ‘other hand’ of not finding a way to bring Germany into the ‘house’ of the West. ‘On account of the crowd’ could be interpreted as the massive number of people requiring assistance in postwar Germany or as popular opinion against the defeated enemy. For instance, “An opinion survey among US soldiers in April 1945 indicated that 76 percent ‘hated’ or had ‘negative feelings’ toward German civilians, while 71 percent of soldiers felt that ‘all or most Germans’ were responsible for the war. The discovery and liberation of the concentration camps in the following month most likely intensified these negative feelings.”

Having gone up means ‘to go up, ascend’ and is interpreted as heading in the direction of Teacher generality. Housetop means ‘housetop’ and comes from a word that means ‘to build a house’. Tile is used once in the New Testament and comes from a word that means ‘to mix’. Through means ‘through, throughout, by the instrumentality of’ when followed by the genitive. Physically speaking, the tiles would have to be removed from the roof in order to make room to let down the paralytic. Symbolically speaking, the mixture of the tiles is providing the means for letting down the paralytic. (Mark 2:4 talks about the roof being dismantled but not Luke.) Let down means ‘to let down’ and is used once in Luke. Midst means ‘middle, in the midst’.

Such an ‘ascending’ and then ‘letting down’ happened with Germany after World War II. The economic reconstruction of Germany was reformulated as a theoretical problem related to the economy of Europe and the ideological conflict with the Soviet Union. “By July 1947 Washington realized that economic recovery in Europe could not go forward without the reconstruction of the German industrial base, deciding that an ‘orderly, prosperous Europe requires the economic contributions of a stable and productive Germany’... The emerging doctrine of containment (as opposed to rollback) argued that the United States needed to substantially aid non-communist countries to stop the spread of Soviet influence.”

The implementation of the Marshall plan involved a letting down of the ‘mat’ of social interaction together with the paralytic of the German economy. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The Marshall Plan money was transferred to the governments of the European nations. The funds were jointly administered by the local governments and the ECA. Each European capital had an ECA envoy, generally a prominent American businessman, who would advise on the process. The cooperative allocation of funds was encouraged, and panels of government, business, and labor leaders were convened to examine the economy and see where aid was needed.” Notice how Germany is being assisted within the context of helping Europe in general, consistent with the idea that mixing is enabling the assisting of the ‘paralytic’ of Germany. And this approach succeeds in attracting the attention of Jesus. In the words of Wikipedia, “With the Western Allies eventually becoming concerned about the deteriorating economic situation in their ‘Trizone’; the US Marshall Plan of economic aid to Europe was extended also to Western Germany in 1948 and a currency reform, which had been prohibited under the occupation directive JCS 1067, introduced the Deutsche Mark and halted rampant inflation.”

Jesus responds in verse 20, “And having seen their faith, He said, ‘Man, your sins have been forgiven you.’” Having seen means ‘to see with the mind’. Faith means to ‘be persuaded’ and this is the first use of this common word in Luke. Man is the generic word for mankind. Sin means ‘missing the mark’. Forgiven means ‘to send away, leave alone’ and was previously used in verse 11 to describe the Heideggerian method of abandoning Perceiver facts for Server sequences. Verse 20 returns to the topic of forgiveness. Faith is traditionally interpreted in Christian circles as either blind faith or as some leap of faith from limited evidence. However, the word actually means ‘to be persuaded’, which means being convinced by rational thought. For instance, this essay provides extensive evidence that the Gospel of Luke is a prophecy of Western civilization, and a previous essay provided extensive evidence that the Gospel of Matthew is a prophecy of Western civilization. Apart from a handful of individuals, I have found that this evidence does not persuade anyone, even though this evidence is far more extensive than the evidence provided for an interpretation such as the Rapture. Such an unwillingness to be persuaded indicates a lack of faith.

Wikipedia describes the persuasion that led to a forgiveness of the ‘paralyzed humanity’ of Germany. In America, “Congress reflected public opinion, which resonated with the ideological argument that communism flourishes in poverty. Across America, multiple interest groups, including business, labor, farming, philanthropy, ethnic groups, and religious groups, saw the Marshall Plan as an inexpensive solution to a massive problem, noting it would also help American exports and stimulate the American economy as well.” In Europe, “Turning the plan into reality required negotiations among the participating nations. Sixteen nations met in Paris to determine what form the American aid would take, and how it would be divided... Agreement was eventually reached and the Europeans sent a reconstruction plan to Washington, which was formulated and agreed upon.”

Wikipedia summarizes the initial punishment of Germany and how Western countries were eventually persuaded to extend forgiveness to Germany. “After World War II, according to the Potsdam conference held between July 17 and August 2, 1945, Germany was to pay the Allies US$23 billion mainly in machinery and manufacturing plants. Dismantling in the west stopped in 1950. Reparations to the Soviet Union stopped in 1953. Beginning before the German surrender and continuing for the next two years, the United States pursued a vigorous program of harvesting all technological and scientific know-how as well as all patents and many leading scientists in Germany. In 1947, the Marshall Plan... was initiated. In the years 1947–1952, some $13 billion of economic and technical assistance—-equivalent to around $140 billion in 2017—were allocated to Western Europe. Despite protests from many beneficiaries, the Marshall Plan, although in the less generous form of loans, was in 1949 extended to also include the newly formed West Germany... By 1950, the UK and France were finally induced to follow the U.S. lead, and stop the dismantling of German heavy industry.”

The scribes and Pharisees react harshly in verse 21. “And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who is able to forgive sins, except God alone?” Pharisee means ‘a separatist, a purist’ and was mentioned in verse 17. Scribe means ‘writer, scribe’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Notice that ‘teacher of the law is not mentioned’. Symbolically speaking, the ‘teachers of the law’ were the architects of the Marshall plan. Instead, the complaints are coming at a more specific written level. Reason means ‘to go back-and-forth when evaluating, in a way that typically leads to a confused conclusion’. Blasphemy means ‘slow to call something good, and slow to identify what is truly bad’ and this is the only use of this noun in Luke. Forgive is the same word that was used in verse 20. Able means ‘to show ability, power’ and is interpreted as active Perceiver thought. Alone means ‘alone’.

Wikipedia describes some of this back-and-forth reasoning. “France’s major concern was that Germany not be rebuilt to its previous threatening power. The Benelux countries, despite also suffering under the Nazis, had long been closely linked to the German economy and felt their prosperity depended on its revival. The Scandinavian nations, especially Sweden, insisted that their long-standing trading relationships with the Eastern Bloc nations not be disrupted and that their neutrality not be infringed. The United Kingdom insisted on special status as a longstanding belligerent during the war... A majority of Congress members were committed to free trade and European integration, and were hesitant to spend too much of the money on Germany.”

The initial postwar treatment of Germans indicates that such forgiveness would have been considered blasphemous. Wikipedia relates that “Many Germans in what would become East Germany were forced by the Communist authorities to work in German uranium mines producing the majority of the raw material of the Soviet atomic bomb project... The work was dangerous and stressful and the Soviets made no effort to improve it... Quotas were repeatedly set and raised, and conscription took place without regard to health or work experience.” In Western Europe, “German prisoners were forced to clear minefields in Denmark, Norway, France and the Low Countries... by September 1945 it was estimated by the French authorities that two thousand prisoners were being maimed and killed each month in accidents.”

‘Who is able to forgive sins, except God alone’ could be interpreted morally as only God being able to forgive German crimes against humanity such as the Holocaust. It could also be interpreted cognitively as forgiveness for Germany requiring a universal paradigm shift similar to the paradigm shift suggested by Heidegger in response to World War I. (And it has been argued that Sein and Zeit was a response by Heidegger to World War I.) Finally, it can also be interpreted as the Morgenthau Plan, which aimed to reduce Germany to the level of a ‘pastoral state’ so that it could never make war again. Quoting from Wikipedia, “There have been general policies of destruction or limitation of possible peaceful productivity under the headings of ‘pastoral state’ and ‘war potential’. The original of these policies apparently expressed on September 15, 1944, at Quebec, aimed at: converting Germany into a country principally agricultural and pastoral, and included, the industries of the Ruhr and the Saar would therefore be put out of action, closed down.”

In verse 22 Jesus questions this reasoning. “And Jesus, having known their reasonings, answering, said to them, ‘Why do you reason in your hearts?’” Know refers to ‘apt experiential knowing’. Reasoning means ‘back-and-forth reasoning’ and is used twice in this verse. The heart refers to personal identity in Mercy thought and was previously used in 3:15, which was interpreted as Victorian morality driving social progress. The implication is that nobody has been thinking about the heart since then. The Nazis wanted racial purity. The empires in World War I wanted willing cannon fodder. The British in the Boer Wars wanted gold and diamonds. And Darwin and Huxley wanted a theory of physical evolution that would stop clergyman telling them how to think. But when one comes face-to-face with a Holocaust, then one finally has to face the heart again. However, notice that Jesus, representing technical thought, addresses the heart with the rational language of apt experiential knowing. Quoting from, “In the formulation of Zionist policies in those years, the Holocaust and its consequences were mentioned in practical rather than in moral terms. The primary emphasis was on the problem of thousands upon thousands of survivors, uprooted, clamoring for a solution, asking to enter Palestine. The Holocaust was certainly very much present in the minds of the delegates at the Zionist Congress in 1946, but the tone of the resolutions was directed against British policy in Palestine and in favor of opening the gates of Eretz Israel to the European refugees.”

A similar addressing the heart in rational terms occurred in selling the Marshall Plan to American voters. Wikipedia summarizes, “Prior to passing and enacting the Marshall Plan, President Truman and George Marshall... spent months attempting to convince Americans that their cause was just and that they should embrace the higher taxes that would come in the foreseeable future... During the period leading up to World War II, Americans were highly isolationist, and many called The Marshall Plan a ‘milestone’ for American ideology... Americans swapped their isolationist ideals for a much more global internationalist ideology after World War II.”

Comparing Forgiveness with Healing 5:23-26

Verse 23 provides a comparison. “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk?’” Easier means ‘with easier labor’. Sin means to ‘miss the mark’ and forgive means ‘to send away’. Arise means ‘to awaken, to raise up’ and is also used to describe waking from the dead. Walk means to ‘walk around’, ‘conduct my life’. The first option is a mental letting go of past pain and failure. The second option is a physical relearning of behavior. One would think that the first involves less labor than the second. But Soviet history indicates that the second is actually the easier of the two.

Applying this to postwar Germany, what is easier, choosing to forgive Germany or rebuilding Germany so that it is no longer paralyzed? This question can be answered by comparing the response of the West with the response of the Soviet Union. Quoting from a Polish academic website, “The sacralised Soviet victory over Nazism is a central element of the politics of memory, as utilised by the Russian state today. It constitutes an important theme in the Kremlin’s ideological offensive that is intended to legitimise Russia’s great-power ambitions. The messianic myth of saving the world from absolute evil is supposed to cover up the darker chapters of Soviet history and to legitimise all subsequent Soviet or Russian wars and military interventions... The war mythology and Russia’s great-power ambitions continue to resonate with the wider Russian public; thus contributing to legitimisation of the authoritarian regime in the eyes of a large swathe of society and offsetting the effect of growing socio-economic problems.” Summarizing, Russian society has never mentally ‘sent away’ the ‘absolute evil’ of Nazi Germany. Instead, it has clung mentally to this grievance as a ‘messianic myth’ and has used this myth as a justification for ‘all subsequent wars and military interventions’. This inability to forgive has survived the transition from Soviet Union to Russia and has hampered the ability to deal with ‘socio-economic problems’.

Verse 24 describes the relationship between forgiveness and rebuilding. “‘But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on the earth to forgive sins...’ He said to the one having been paralyzed, ‘I say to you, arise, and having taken up your mat, go to your house.’” Know refers to empirical knowledge. This is the first reference to the Son of Man in Luke, which will be used several times in the rest of the Gospel. Man is the generic word for mankind. Son of Man is a concept of incarnation that comes from generalizations about human activity. The implication is that society has finally arrived at the point of using technical thought to deal rationally with moral issues. For instance, verse 23 dealt with morality as a problem of optimization: Which option involves less labor? This is different than using absolute truth to place moral restrictions upon technical thought, or using technical thought to find loopholes within moral restrictions. Instead, one is pursuing a moral goal using rational technical thought. This is reflected in the term ‘Son of Man’. ‘Son’ refers to male technical thought while ‘man’ refers to humanity. Male technical thought is starting to be used on behalf of humanity.

Authority means ‘conferred power’. Earth refers to ‘the arena we live in which operates in space and time’ which represents human rational thought. And ‘forgive sins’ means to let go mentally of failure. Thus, verse 24 is not talking about feeling forgiven before God but rather the practical issue of letting go of the past within the human realm of rational thought. And we just saw that Russia is an example of a society that is incapable of letting go of the past within the human realm of rational thought. In other words, a Son of Man deals with theological issues such as sin and forgiveness at a pragmatic, human level. ‘Authority on the earth to forgive sins’ is an important concept. The Catholic Church, for instance, would interpret this as a priest being delegated by God to pronounce that ‘your sins are forgiven’. There is a cognitive effect here, because such statements carry much more internal weight when backed up by mental networks of religious institutions. But verse 24 illustrates another cognitive effect, which is that words in Teacher thought acquire authority as they are backed up by actions in Server thought.

Verse 24 contains an interplay of two cognitive factors. First, the technical thinking of the Son of Man has delegated power within the earth of rational thought to forgive sins. Second, rising up and walking provide empirical evidence for this power. The requirement for both of these factors can be seen by looking at the behavior of the Soviet Union after World War II. First, the technical thinking of the ‘Son’ did not have delegated authority. This was politically true, because each company or group would have a communist party official that had the power to overrule the decisions of that group. It was economically true, because the central government would impose a central plan that overrode local knowledge and expertise. This was militarily true, because the Soviet army did not have a set of noncommissioned officers to whom authority was delegated. (And this is still true of the Russian army today in Ukraine.) This was ideologically true, because communism bypasses the technical thinking of a capitalist system to go directly from the words of the party to the experiences of the people. And this was theologically true, because the Russian Orthodox Church lacks the filioque clause. This Latin word means ‘and the son’ and is an extra phrase that was added by the Catholic Church to the Nicene Creed. The Orthodox version says that ‘the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father’, while the Catholic version says that ‘the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son’. This is typically regarded as an obscure theological controversy but it was one of the primary reasons for the East-West schism of 1054. In simple terms, the Russian Orthodox version does not delegate authority to the Son while the Catholic version does. This goes beyond a theological statement to a mindset that pervades all of Russian society even today. The Holy Spirit is the aspect of God that deals with the human realm of Mercy experiences. One of the primary problems of Russian society is going directly from the universal words of ‘the Father’ to the personal experiences of ‘the Holy Spirit’ without any delegated authority through ‘the Son’. The result is a society that is cognitively incapable of letting go of the past and forgiving. Moving to the second point, the Soviet Union did not provide Germany with any empirical evidence of forgiveness. Several hundred thousand German women were raped by Russian soldiers right after the war. Soviet soldiers looted extensively, but all evidence was deleted from East German archives. The Soviet dismantling of German industry continued after it was stopped in the West. And the Soviet Union imposed communism upon East Germany. In contrast, the relationship between the Western Allies and Germany changed during the Berlin blockade when the allies flew in supplies to Berlin for several months in order to preserve Berlin from Soviet control. In the words of Wikipedia, “The Berlin Blockade served to highlight the competing ideological and economic visions for postwar Europe. It played a major role in aligning West Berlin with the United States as the major protecting power, and in drawing West Germany into the NATO orbit several years later in 1955.” Summarizing, the Soviet Union did not delegate authority to ‘the Son’ and it did not demonstrate forgiveness and rebuilding. Thus, Russian society has been incapable of moving on emotionally from the Second World War. In contrast, the West did delegate authority to the son and did (eventually) demonstrate forgiveness and rebuilding. Thus, western society has moved on emotionally from the Second World War.

This is then followed by a very specific set of words that are addressed to the paralyzed person. Verse 20 only addressed the paralytic peripherally, saying ‘human, your sins have been forgiven’ because of the faith of those who are carrying him. Verse 24 explicitly includes ‘I say to you’ indicating that the paralyzed person is being directly addressed. Arise means ‘to waken, to raise up’ and includes rising from the dead. ‘Arise’ has been discussed as a hypothetical possibility, but now is being given as a command to the paralytic. Looking at this symbolically, Germany is being told to resurrect as a country. Take means ‘to raise, take up, lift’ which implies heading in the direction of Teacher generality. Until now the paralytic has been lying on a mat which has been carried by others. He is now being told to raise up his own mat. Symbolically speaking, Germany is being given control over its own social fabric so that it can come up with its own general Teacher theories. Go means ‘to transport’ which is interpreted as movement accompanied by change. House means ‘a house, a dwelling’. The paralytic is being told to go to his house in a process that involves change. Symbolically speaking, Germany is being told to go back to its own culture in a manner that generates change. These various factors can be seen in the Western rehabilitation of German identity.

Wikipedia describes the nature of the rebirth of Germany. “Although the legal personality of the German Reich was considered to have survived into that of the Federal Republic, all of the organs and institutions of the Reich had long since been extinguished by the actions of the Nazi Regime, and their post-1949 successor state institutions were in no sense their continuators. The entire German federal state apparatus had been newborn, ‘rebuilt from the ground up’ since 1949.” On the one hand, the nation as a whole was reborn. On the other hand, the path to rebirth was a ‘transporting’ that changed all existing institutions.

One example of ‘picking up your mat’ can be seen in the choice of a new capital city, because the previous capital of Berlin was now in the middle of East Germany. Quoting from Wikipedia, “In the controversial selection for a ‘provisional capital’ of the Federal Republic of Germany, Adenauer championed Bonn over Frankfurt am Main. The British had agreed to detach Bonn from their zone of occupation and convert the area to an autonomous region wholly under German sovereignty; the Americans were not prepared to grant the same for Frankfurt.”

And Germany returned to its ‘house’ of previous identity. “The Marshall Plan made it possible for West Germany to return quickly to its traditional pattern of industrial production with a strong export sector. Without the plan, agriculture would have played a larger role in the recovery period, which itself would have been longer.”

Verse 25 describes the results. “And immediately having stood up before them, having taken up that on which he was lying, he departed to his home, glorifying God.” Immediately means ‘instantly’. Stood up means to raise up, to rise’ and is also used for resurrection. Before them means ‘in the eye of’. Taken up means to raise, take up, lift’. Lying means ‘to lie down, recline’. Departed means ‘to go away, go after’.

Looking at this symbolically, Germany is asserting itself as an independent entity in the face of Allied occupation and taking theoretical control of the social fabric upon which it was resting. One prime example of this was the end of denazification. In the words of Wikipedia, “On 20 September 1949, Adenauer denounced the entire denazification process pursued by the Allied military governments, announcing in the same speech that he was planning to bring in an amnesty law for the Nazi war criminals and he planned to apply to ‘the High Commissioners for a corresponding amnesty for punishments imposed by the Allied military courts’. Adenauer argued the continuation of denazification would ‘foster a growing and extreme nationalism’ as the millions who supported the Nazi regime would find themselves excluded from German life forever.” In essence, Adenauer (the chancellor of West Germany) was using the same logic that the Allies used, saying that rebuilding required letting go and moving on in Mercy thought. And “In 1949 West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer wrote to the Allies requesting that [the dismantling of German industry] end, citing the inherent contradiction between encouraging industrial growth and removing factories and also the unpopularity of the policy.”

Glory means ‘to ascribe weight by recognizing real substance’ and is interpreted as an external expression of internal character. ‘Glorifying God’ would mean behaving in a manner that expresses universal Teacher order. This glorifying of God is reflected in the West German Constitution of 1949. Wikipedia explains that “The authors of the Basic Law sought to ensure that a potential dictator would never again be able to come to power in the country. Although some of the Basic Law is based on the Weimar Republic’s constitution, the first article is a protection of the human dignity (‘Menschenwürde’) and human rights; they are core values protected by the Basic Law. The principles of democracy, republicanism, social responsibility, federalism and rule of law are key components of the Basic Law.” I know that ‘preserving human rights’ is often now an excuse for avoiding personal development, but we are looking here at the transformation of a country that was just emerging from being hypnotized by the mental networks of Hitler. Democracy, republicanism, social responsibility, federalism, and rule of law are all examples of society being governed by Teacher structures of order as opposed to being ruled by the Mercy mental networks of some dictator. And protecting human dignity is far more godly than pursuing a pure race. The German Wikipedia page on Menschenwürde points out that this can be traced back to Genesis 1:27, which talks about humans being made in the image of God, and to Galatians 3:28, which says that we are all one in Christ Jesus. (Curiously, the equivalent English Wikipedia page on dignity quotes three times from the Quran but not from the Bible. Associating Islam with human dignity seems somewhat like associating the German Democratic Republic with democracy. The words are there, but I am not sure if the substance is.)

Verse 26 begins, “And amazement seized all, and they were glorifying God.” Amazement is used once in Luke and means to ‘take out of regular position and bring into a state of ecstasy’. Seize means ‘to actively lay hold of’. Looking at this symbolically, postwar Germany entered a period of growth known as the Wirtschaftswunder, or economic miracle, in which society was taken out of its standing position and ‘seized’ by rapid growth.

One economics website describes the sudden start of this economic miracle. “Taking the country by surprise, Erhard went on the air on a Sunday night in June 1948. First, he announced that each German would be given forty Deutschmarks (replacing the old Reichsmarks)... [Second], controls would end on a wide range of consumer goods. Within six months, controls on food would be dropped. Erhard gained support for his measures by billing them as a patriotic move designed to replace a ‘foreign’ economic system that had been imposed on Germany. The German people were astonished to hear that all these changes would commence the next morning. Almost immediately, the German economy sprang to life. The unemployed went back to work, food reappeared on store shelves, and the legendary productivity of the German people was unleashed. Within two years, industrial output tripled.” Thus, ‘amazement seized all’ is not an overstatement. Notice also the standing up of Germany in the face of its occupiers.

The corporate ‘glorifying of God’ can be seen in the French Schuman declaration of 1950. Wikipedia explains that this “was a proposal to place French and West German production of coal and steel under a single authority that later became the European Coal and Steel Community... The ultimate goal was to pacify relations, especially between France and West Germany, through gradual political integration to be achieved by creating common interests... Germany responded positively to the Declaration, as did the governments of the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and Luxembourg. On 18 April 1951, the six founding members signed the Treaty of Paris. It created the European Coal and Steel Community – Europe’s first supranational community, which paved the way for the European Economic Community and subsequently the European Union.”

Verse 26 concludes, “And were filled with fear, saying, ‘We have seen remarkable things today.’” Filled means ‘to fill to the maximum’. Fear means ‘to flee, withdraw’. Seen means ‘to see with the mind’. Remarkable means ‘contrary to opinion or expectation’, it is used once in the New Testament and is the source of the English word ‘paradox’. The economics website article describes how Erhard’s reforms went ‘contrary to opinion or expectation’. “‘Lifting wage and price controls? That went against current orthodoxy. When General Clay, military governor of the American Zone, informed Erhard that all the American economic experts were gravely concerned about the consequences of scrapping the wage and price controls, Erhard replied, ‘So are mine.’ Yet Erhard plowed ahead.” The article also portrays the fear that filled Germans before this transition. “German men and women, for the most part ragged, hollow-eyed, thin, for-lorn-looking, peddled what wealth had escaped the bombing and burning—silver, jewelry, Zeiss binoculars, Leica cameras, Meissen china (frequently chipped) and bric-a-brac including ashtrays, lamps, clocks, and cheap paintings—all at fancy prices... There was little hope for improvement. Incredibly, the Allies—who had freed Germany from the Nazi terror—imposed their own form of economic tyranny by maintaining Hitler’s price and wage controls.” The Germans were filled with fear over their circumstances while the allies feared lifting control over the German economy.

Jesus Calls Levi 5:27-32

The next section involves tax collectors. Verse 27 begins, “And after these things He went forth and saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the tax booth. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’” After means ‘what results after the activity’, which tells us that this section follows as a result of the previous section. Went forth means ‘to go or come out of’. Saw means ‘to observe intently, especially to interpret something’, it is the source of the English word ‘theatre’ and is being used for the first time in Luke. The word tax collector is τελώνης (telones) and tax booth is a related word. One Bible Encyclopedia explains that “there were many forms of indirect taxation. Charges were made on all imports and exports, including the transportation of slaves. These were collected by the τελῶναι of the gospels. They examined goods and collected tolls on roads and bridges. There was also a market toll in Jerusalem introduced by Herod.” In other words, this section is referring to taxes collected for trade and commerce. Sitting represents a position of authority. Levi means ‘joined’ and is mentioned three times in the New Testament: in this verse, in verse 29, and in Mark. Putting this all together, technical thought is examining the taxation of commerce from the perspective of joining. Follow comes from the word for ‘road, way’. Thus, taxation on commerce is being asked to follow sequences of technical thought in a way that implements the salvation of Jesus.

This combination describes the European Coal and Steel Community, which grew out of the Schuman declaration mentioned earlier. In the words of Wikipedia, “The ECSC was first proposed as the Schuman Declaration by French foreign minister Robert Schuman... as a way to prevent further war between France and Germany. He declared he aimed to ‘make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible’ which was to be achieved by regional integration, of which the ECSC was the first step. The Treaty would create a common market for coal and steel among its member states with freely set market prices, free movement of products, and without customs duties or taxes, subsidies, or restrictive practices.” Notice that technical thought is being used to carefully examine the taxation of trade in order to join the economies of several European countries. And the goal is to bring salvation to Europe by making war impossible.

Levi responds in verse 28. “And having left all, having arisen, he began to follow Him.” Left all means ‘to leave, leave behind’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. Having risen is the word that is used for resurrection. And follow is the same word that was used in verse 27. Wikipedia describes the leaving behind that was involved in negotiating the ECSC. “A key issue in the negotiations for the treaty was the break-up of the excessive concentrations in the coal and steel industries of the Ruhr, where the Konzerne, or trusts, had underlain the military power of the former Reich.  The Germans regarded the concentration of coal and steel as one of the bases of their economic efficiency, and a right. The steel barons were a formidable lobby because they embodied a national tradition... While the articles as finally agreed were more qualified than American officials in touch with the negotiations would have wished, they were ‘almost revolutionary’ in terms of the traditional European approach to these basic industries.” In other words, Germany had to leave behind its traditional industrial conglomerates so that its coal and steel industries could become resurrected.

This is followed in verse 29 by a celebration. “And Levi made a great banquet for Him in his house, and there was a great multitude of tax collectors and others, who were reclining with them.” Made means ‘to make, do’. Banquet is used twice in the New Testament and comes from ‘receive in a welcoming way’. Great is interpreted as Teacher generality. And Levi means ‘joined’. ‘In his house’ indicates that this general receiving is being done in a way that joins at a personal level. Multitude is the word for ‘crowd’ and the second great means ‘much in number’. Others means ‘another of the same kind’. Reclining means ‘to lie down, recline’ and was previously used in verse 25 to describe what the paralytic had been lying on.

This ‘general receiving’ corresponds to the 1951 Treaty of Paris. It “was signed on 18 April 1951 by ‘the inner six’: France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The ECSC was based on supranational principles and was, through the establishment of a common market for coal and steel, intended to expand the economy, increase employment, and raise the standard of living within the Community.” The Encyclopaedia Britannica adds that others were invited to this general receiving and joining. “The first step was to be limited, but the ultimate objective was the creation of a ‘United States of Europe.’” Notice how the social fabric upon which a paralyzed postwar Germany was initially lying has turned into a general social fabric for trade and commerce.

I know that it is common in evangelical circles to regard the European Union as the ‘evil beast’ of Revelation 13. However, cognitively speaking, the European Union is an example of ‘glorifying God’. I am not suggesting that it is heaven on earth, but rather that it is driven by a different kind of emotion than the Europe of the past. Before the Second World War, Europe was split into many fighting kingdoms, each driven by its own Mercy mental networks of culture and xenophobia. The European community is a different kind of Europe that is driven by Teacher feelings of cooperation and integration. These Teachers feelings are often implemented in a bureaucratic and inefficient manner, but they are still a better alternative to the endless wars of the past. Going further, the recent response of evangelicals to the covid vaccine campaign has made it clear what is happening cognitively. Evangelical Christians (and many other groups) use rational thought at a local level and then take some kind of leap of faith to Teacher overgeneralization. Such a leap of faith is only possible if national and supra-national organization happens invisibly. The covid vaccination campaign violated this by explicitly organizing at a national and global level. Similarly, The European Union is also an explicit organization that functions at a supra-nation level, replacing the leap of faith with rational thought. This essay commits a similar ‘sin’ by replacing the mysterious maneuvers of a transcendent God with rational cognitive steps.

Verse 30 describes the reaction. “And the Pharisees and their scribes were grumbling at His disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with the tax collectors and sinners?” Grumbling means ‘to murmur or mutter’ and is used once in Luke. Pharisee means ‘a separatist, a purist’ and was mentioned in verses 17 and 21. Scribe means ‘writer, scribe’ and was mentioned in verse 21, but the order is now different. Verse 21 referred to ‘the scribes and the Pharisees’ while verse 30 refers to the Pharisees and their scribes, suggesting that the scribes are being guided by a mindset of separatism. Disciple means ‘a learner, a disciple’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. describes the separatist grumbling. “Opposition arose in all six countries: the communist parties considered that the plan was against the USSR’s interests; the German social democrats refused any kind of national concessions; the French Gaullist party opposed any loss of national sovereignty; but also industrialists, such as the Belgian coal producers and the French, Luxembourg, and Belgian steelmakers, particularly feared the future High Authority’s interventionism.” In addition, “The UK Prime Minister Clement Attlee opposed Britain joining the proposed European Coal and Steel Community, saying that he ‘would not accept the [UK] economy being handed over to an authority that is utterly undemocratic and is responsible to nobody.’” Notice how all of this grumbling is coming from national and industrial groups that want written laws which will keep them ‘separate and pure’ from outside influence.

Eat means ‘to eat’ and represents consuming intellectual food. Drink means ‘to drink’ and represents the ‘consuming’ of experiences. Tax collectors have been mentioned in verses 27 and 29. Sinner means ‘missing the mark’ and has occurred once previously in 5:8 to describe the response to the effectiveness of catching fish. That sinful response eventually led to Nazi propaganda. Thus, presumably the same group of people are being referred to in verse 30. Looking at this symbolically, the separatists have two complaints. First, why is technical thought dialoguing and interacting with trade and taxation? Second, why is it interacting with those evil Germans?

The first characteristic is described by the article. “All types of discrimination (quotas, prices, taxes, subsidies, or transport costs) were forbidden and, for the first time in Europe, precise antitrust legislation was applied: cartels, concentrations, and mergers were allowed by the High Authority only if they helped the market to function better. Social dumping was prohibited and the free circulation of qualified workers inside the community was promoted. Besides this, the supranational body was also empowered to intervene actively in the market.” Notice that this goes beyond setting tax policies to ‘eating and drinking with tax collectors’ on an ongoing basis. Notice also the forbidding of any ‘separatist’ policies such as quotas, taxes, subsidies, or cartels.

The second characteristic is implied by the article. The goal was “to keep German industrial cartels and rearmament capacities under close control. In exchange for this economic concession, an opportunity was given to Germany to reenter international politics with equal rights for the first time since the end of the war. By accepting and endorsing the idea, despite strong opposition in his country... Adenauer, the German chancellor, played a decisive role in the success of the plan.” Notice that this is Germany’s first chance after the war to interact with the rest of Europe as a normal country. That describes ‘eating and drinking with sinners’. Notice also the grumbling from the ‘separatists’ of the ‘German industrial cartels’.

Jesus responds in verse 31. “And Jesus answering, said to them, ‘Those being well have no need of a physician, but those being sick.’” Need means ‘need, necessity, business’ and this is the first use in Luke. Well means ‘in good working order’. Physician comes from the word ‘to heal’. Sick means ‘inwardly foul, rotten’. One sees again the salvation-minded thinking of concrete technical thought. Jesus means ‘salvation’, which takes a person from where they are to someplace better. Jesus is associating with sinners and tax collectors in order to take people to a better place. The term ‘physician’ suggest that this salvation is being performed in a professional manner. And the goal of the ECSC was to save a Europe that was ‘inwardly foul and rotten’ by bringing it to a better place. Quoting from Wikipedia, “The Schuman Declaration had the stated aim of preventing further antagonism between France and Germany and among other European states by tackling the root cause of war. Schuman proposed the formation of the ECSC primarily with France and Germany in mind: ‘The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany.’” Notice the desire to tackle the ‘root cause of war’ by addressing the ‘inwardly foul and rotten’ ‘age-old opposition of France and Germany’.

Verse 32 concludes, “I have not come to call righteous ones, but sinners, to repentance.” Call means ‘to call’ and indicates a verbal approach that can be accepted or rejected. Righteous is defined as Server actions that reflect Teacher understanding. Sin means to ‘miss the mark’. Repentance means ‘a change of mind’. Looking at these two options cognitively, righteousness is an expression of abstract technical thought, in which behavior is guided by some paradigm in Teacher thought. Sin involves concrete technical thought, because one is aiming at some goal and failing to reach it. We saw after World War I that most of the benefits happened to the inner circle of the European nations. The goal here is to change the thinking of those who have failed to reach their goals. Nazi Germany failed to reach its goal of the Thousand Year Reich. This failure meant that it was willing to have a change of mind. And a change of mind was really needed because Nazi Germany had focused upon purity of race at the cost of becoming mentally and spiritually putrid. As for not calling the righteous, Britain was reasonably righteous compared to Germany, Italy, or the Western European countries that had experienced several years of Nazi occupation, but Britain was not included. relates that “After Germany, the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg) and Italy agreed to enter the discussions by accepting the idea of a supranational authority. The categorical rejection by the United Kingdom brought much disappointment and doubt, but could not stop the process.”

In conclusion, the ECSC was not some heavenly paragon of righteousness. But it did serve the essential function of leading to a change of thinking for a sick Europe that really needed to change its thinking, and it paved the way for the current European Union.

Questions about Fasting 5:33-35

The next section appears to change the subject completely. “And they said to Him, ‘The disciples of John fast often and make prayers; likewise also those of the Pharisees; but Yours eat and drink.’” John the Baptist has not been mentioned since 3:20 when he was locked in prison. Verse 33 refers to the disciples of John. This reference to disciples is interesting because disciples were mentioned for the first time in Luke only three verses earlier. In addition, ‘eating and drinking’ was also mentioned for the first time three verses earlier. (Drinking was mentioned once before that in 1:15 but not eating.) This suggests that we are dealing with a conflict between two schools of thought.

Fast comes from a word that means ‘not eating’. This is the first use of this word in Luke and it is used three times in three verses. Often means ‘frequent’ and is used once in Luke. Prayer means ‘praying for a specific, felt need’. If food represents intellectual food then fasting would mean avoiding new intellectual facts. Fasting naturally accompanies the absolute truth of John the Baptist, because absolute truth believes that all significant truth has already been revealed in the past through some authoritative book such as the Bible. Maintaining a mindset of absolute truth requires frequent fasting, because one stops learning from other sources in order to refocus upon the ultimate source of truth. Absolute truth also leads naturally to the feeling that I am nobody compared to my source of truth, leading to prayer that is not an ‘exchange of wishes’ but rather consistent with the idea of personal need and inadequacy. Likewise means ‘likewise, in like manner’. Pharisee means ‘a separatist, a purist’. In verse 33, outsiders are noticing that separatists are behaving in a manner that is like absolute truth, by frequently avoiding outside information and by thinking in terms of personal need. Notice that these statements are being made by outside observers and not by the disciples and Pharisees themselves. In contrast, the disciples of technical thought are eating and drinking, as seen in the previous section. Symbolically speaking, I suggest that ‘disciples of John’ refers primarily to German bureaucracy while ‘Pharisees’ refers primarily to German nationalism. Explaining this interpretation requires looking at the next two verses.

Verse 34 clarifies what is meant by ‘fasting and prayer’. “And Jesus said to them, ‘Are you able to make the sons of the bridechamber to fast while the bridegroom is with them?’” Able means ‘to have power’ and is interpreted as active Perceiver thought. Bride chamber means ‘the chamber containing the bridal bed’, comes from the word ‘bride’ and is used once in Luke. Bridegroom means ‘bridegroom’ and is used twice in Luke: in this verse and in the next. Notice that the bridegroom is mentioned but not any bride. This strange combination also occurs in Matthew 22. Looking at this cognitively, the bridegroom represents male technical thought while the bride represents female mental networks. One of the characteristics of modern Western society is that male technical thought has developed as a result of science and technology while female mental networks have remained largely unchanged. Right after World War II, an unusual situation existed where it was possible to use male technical thought to change female mental networks at a fundamental level. Using the language of verse 34, technical thought was functioning as a bridegroom. Fasting implies analyzing existing information. Scientific thought fasts frequently in the sense that most scientific thought works with an existing pool of officially acknowledged information and new information has to pass major barriers in order to be accepted by the scientific community. The purpose of this filtering and analysis is to maintain a high standard of technical thought. A different mindset existed right after World War II, because the goal was to use technical thought to save the mental networks of female thought. Thus, the disciples of incarnation at that point were acting as ‘sons of the bride chamber’ because ‘the bridegroom was with them’. For instance, a 1988 article quoted earlier complains that “Since the 1960s, Germany has turned away from Erhard’s free market policies... The move toward socialism has manifested itself in higher taxes (West Germany has the highest corporate taxes of any Big Five economic power), unreasonable demands from labor unions, a 37.5-hour work week, and over-regulation. The result is that West Germany is, as one commentator put it, ‘Rusting on the Rhine.’”

Verse 35 describes the mindset that will come. “But days will come also when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.” ‘Days’ in the plural implies that this new thinking will span several eras. Taken away is used once in Luke and means ‘to lift off’. Upward movement is interpreted as heading to Teacher generality. Thus, the bridegroom being ‘lifted off away from them’ means that general theories in Teacher thought will pull attention away from the concept of being a bridegroom. When that happens then ‘they will fast’.

This combination can be seen in the development of a bureaucracy. A bureaucracy is a form of absolute truth, because the bureaucrat implements rules that have been ‘revealed from on high’ in written form. As Oscar Wilde infamously said, “The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.” Cognitively speaking, a bureaucracy is driven by Teacher feelings of order-within-complexity to grow and develop for the sake of growing and developing. Such growth is internally motivated and will happen even when there is no additional information that needs processing or when there is no need for a larger bureaucracy. Using the language of verse 35, bureaucracy will lift off technical thought away from any bridegroom in the direction of fasting. A 2012 article in a German newspaper describes the deep relationship between Germans and bureaucracy. “Is there anything more German than bureaucracy?... Armies of conscientious civil servants make sure the rules are followed. Bureaucracy is Germany’s pride and joy. Although the term originally comes from the French, the actual concept was dreamt up by the Egyptians, some 5,000 years ago. But it was the Germans who refined it into a system that regulates every last detail of every single area of life... A ‘Bureaucracy Reduction Masterplan’ was launched back in 1983 by then Chancellor Helmut Kohl, but all it did was generate more paperwork. Its main legacy was a de-bureaucratization office in Bonn with a few employees and a lot of lovely brochures.” It is interesting that the Humboldtian University, another key innovation of German thought, also emerged during a brief window of opportunity when Prussia had just been defeated by Napoleon.

Turning now to German nationalism, Wikipedia summarizes that “Though the Nazi regime itself was rarely glorified in popular memory, in the 1950s World War II and the Wehrmacht were intensely gloried and celebrated by the public.  In countless memoirs, novels, histories, newspaper articles, films, magazines, and Landserheft (a type of comic book in Germany glorifying war), the Wehrmacht was celebrated as an awesome, heroic fighting force that had fought a ‘clean war’ unlike the SS and which would have won the war as the Wehrmacht was always portrayed as superior to the Allied forces had not been for mistakes on the part of Hitler or workings of ‘fate’.  The Second World War was usually portrayed in heavily romantic aura in various works that celebrated the comradeship and heroism of ordinary soldiers under danger with the war itself being shown as ‘...a great adventure for idealists and daredevils...’ who for the most part had a thoroughly fun time. The tendency in the 1950s to glorify war by depicting World War II as a fun-filled, grand adventure for the men who served in Hitler’s war machine meant the horrors and hardship of the war were often downplayed.” Notice how Teacher-driven Platonic forms of the ‘clean war’, ‘superior Wehrmacht’, ‘heroism’, and ‘idealism’ are causing thinking about the war to move beyond the ‘eating and drinking’ of factual analysis to the ‘fasting’ of romantic fantasy, driven by an emotional need to ‘downplay the horrors and hardship’. Verse 35 does not describe this as wrong but rather as inevitable. Part of coming to terms with one’s sinful past is being able to look at aspects of this past in a positive manner. But this ‘remembering the past through rose-colored glasses’ also means that one ceases to be a ‘son of the bridechamber’; one loses the ability to use technical thought to transform cultural mental networks in a fundamental matter.

Patches and Wineskins 5:36-39

The final section of chapter 5 focuses upon this incompatibility between change and traditional structure. We saw when looking at Victorian society in chapter 3 that there was a fundamental incompatibility between the absolute truth of the Victorian morality and the technological progress of the Industrial Revolution. Similarly, the 1950s juxtaposed traditional subjective values with objective technological progress. This is related to the idea of a bridegroom without a bride. On the one hand, the postwar economic boom used male technical thought to produce a stream of new gadgets. On the other hand, the use of these gadgets was guided by traditional mental networks of religion and culture.

Verse 36 begins, “And He was speaking also a parable to them: ‘No one having torn a piece of new a garment, puts it on an old garment.’” A parable combines ‘close beside with’ and ‘to cast’. ‘Casting’ represents moving through the ‘air’ of Teacher thought. Similar movement through Teacher thought indicates an analogical relationship, in which one situation functions like another situation. Jesus talked about a proverb being quoted at him 4:23, but this is the first time in Luke that Jesus himself uses a parable. Parables are cognitively significant for constructing a concept of incarnation. That is because every system of technical thought is limited to some area of specialization. A concept of incarnation uses technical thought but extends beyond specializations with their paradigms to be guided by a concept of God in Teacher thought. Making this extension from specialization to universality requires the use of analogies—or parables—that show similarities between one specialization and another. While analogy is not as rigorous as technical thought, it is possible to find semi-rigorous analogies that are compatible with technical thought.

Piece is only used in the New Testament in this story, it means ‘that which is put on’ and comes from the word ‘to throw over’. Symbolically speaking, this describes some fragment of theory. Garment refers to ‘an outer garment’, which would represent the ‘fabric’ of social interaction. New means ‘new in quality, innovation’. Torn means ‘to cleave, split’ and is the source of the English word ‘schizo’. Thus, one is ripping off some fragment of social interaction that follows a new theory. Put on is the verb form of the noun ‘piece’ which means ‘to throw over’. The second ‘garment’ is the same word as the first. Old means ‘old, ancient’ and is only used in Luke in this story, where it is used five times. Putting this together, some technological innovation that requires new Teacher understanding is being placed within a traditional social framework. describes this fragment of new technology patched onto existing social interaction in 1950s America. On the one hand, “The United States was the world’s strongest military power. Its economy was booming, and the fruits of this prosperity–new cars, suburban houses and other consumer goods–were available to more people than ever before.” On the other hand, “The booms of the 1950s had a particularly confining effect on many American women. Advice books and magazine articles (‘Don’t Be Afraid to Marry Young,’ ‘Cooking to Me Is Poetry,’ ‘Femininity Begins At Home’) urged women to leave the workforce and embrace their roles as wives and mothers. The idea that a woman’s most important job was to bear and rear children was hardly a new one, but it began to generate a great deal of dissatisfaction among women who yearned for a more fulfilling life.” Notice the theoretical discomfort that is coming from attaching new ‘consumer goods’ onto existing social roles. Notice also that this discomfort is being felt by women, who are being expected to live within the mental networks of traditional society.

The rest of verse 36 describes the result. “But if otherwise, he will tear the new also, and the old will not match the piece which is of the new.” ‘Tear’, ‘new’, ‘piece’, and ‘old’ are the same words used in the beginning of the verse. Match is used once in Luke, it means ‘a harmony of voices’ and is the source of the English word ‘symphony’. Putting this together, such a juxtaposition will cause the fragment of new theory to become ‘schizo’. In other words, combining incompatible fragments will become an aspect of the new theory. And these incompatible fragments will not speak harmonious messages in Teacher thought. Notice how the consumer paradise of enjoying new technology within traditional culture is creating a meta-theory of cognitive disconnects and theoretical disharmony. This is the result of having a bridegroom and a bridal chamber but no bride. describes the growing focus upon societal disconnects. “A growing group of Americans spoke out against inequality and injustice during the 1950s. African Americans had been fighting against racial discrimination for centuries; during the 1950s, however, the struggle against racism and segregation entered the mainstream of American life.”

Verse 37 moves from theory to experience. “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if now otherwise, the new wine will burst the wineskins, and it will be spilled out, and the wineskins will be destroyed.” Put means ‘to throw, cast’, which is interpreted as Teacher thought. Liquid represents Mercy experiences. Wine is a liquid associated with culture and enjoyment, and wine also has to be grown in a vineyard. Thus, wine would represent the pleasant experiences of a developed culture. New means ‘new in time, in contrast to... new in quality’. A wineskin is ‘a leather wineskin’ and is only used in the New Testament in this story. This is not a case of something new being discovered, but rather something that has not been around for a while. For instance, Europe has a long history, which has led to the ‘old wine’ of long-held traditions and customs. New technology leads to the formation of new traditions and customs. These are not necessarily better or worse than the old ones, but they have not been around as long. An old wineskin would represent the mental and societal framework for these old traditions and customs. ‘New wine into old wineskins’ would mean trying to place new traditions and customs within this old framework. In the case of Europe, the experiences of postwar prosperity are being placed within the framework of traditional European society.

Looking at the result, burst is used twice in Luke and means ‘to break apart’. Thus, the new cultural experiences will end up breaking apart the old social framework. That is because the new cultural experiences come from a new Teacher understanding that has replaced traditional thinking. Because the new technical gadgets make the old gadgets obsolete, the implicit assumption will be that traditions and customs based upon the new technical gadgets also make old social traditions and customs obsolete. This is not a logical conclusion but rather an implicit, emotional one. However, it will have a major impact because there is a bridegroom to create the new gadgets but no bride to enjoy these new gadgets in an integrated and intelligent manner.

The emergence of rock ‘n roll is an example of new wine. Quoting from Wikipedia, “Popular music in the early 1950s was essentially a continuation of the crooner sound of the previous decade... [with] more emphasis on a conservative, operatic, symphonic style of music... The middle of the decade saw a change in the popular music landscape as classic pop was swept off the charts by rock-and-roll... In the mid-1950s, Elvis Presley became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll... The new music differed from previous styles in that it was primarily targeted at the teenager market, which became a distinct entity for the first time in the 1950s as growing prosperity meant that young people did not have to grow up as quickly or be expected to support a family. Rock-and-roll proved to be a difficult phenomenon for older Americans to accept and there were widespread accusations of it being a communist-orchestrated scheme to corrupt the youth, although rock and roll was extremely market based and capitalistic.” Notice how ‘growing prosperity’ is leading to the ‘new wine’ of ‘rock and roll’, which is leading to the ‘breaking apart’ of the ‘old wineskins’ of the traditional family as ‘the teenager market’ separates from ‘older Americans’.

Going further, spilled out means ‘pour out, shed’. It is used two other times in Luke: in 11:50 to describe the blood of the prophets being shed, and in 22:20 during the Last Supper to describe Jesus’ blood being shed. Destroyed means to fully destroy, cutting off entirely’ and this word was used once previously in 4:34 by the demons being cast out, which was interpreted as the traditional habits of the First World War I generation being destroyed by their wartime experiences of new technology. Summarizing, placing new social traditions and customs within an old framework will lead to a dissipating of the new traditions as well as a complete destruction of the old framework. describes the old wineskins. “As American society attempted to return to some version of normal following World War II, it became of utmost importance for all citizens to fit into their proper roles and conform to appropriate social behavior... Americans wanted their youth to play by very specific rules. Short movies, called ‘mental hygiene films’ like this one were produced covering everything from how to date, improve your personality, respect your parents, and be a good citizen.” And the same article describes the dissipation of the new wine. “Many of the new American teens followed the 1955 lead of James Dean and became Rebels Without a Cause. This was the age of getting cozy at drive-ins and cruising around town. It was during this decade that rock and roll was born, and that the music culture, courtesy of renegades like Elvis Presley and the Beatles, began to fundamentally change the culture of American youth.” Notice all the meaningless activity that is dissipating energy without going anywhere: ‘getting cozy at drive-ins’, ‘cruising around town’, ‘rebels without a cause’. Going forward, the social rebellion of the 1960s would lead to a complete destruction of the old wineskins of traditional culture and social norms.

Verse 38 describes what needs to be done instead. “But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.” New means ‘new in time’ while fresh means ‘new in quality, innovation’. Put is used once in the New Testament and comes from ‘to throw, cast’. In other words, new cultural experiences need to be theoretically associated with a novel framework. For instance, the Internet is an example of a wineskin that is ‘new in quality’, while sending letters through the mail is an example of an old wineskin. This has an implicit emotional impact because it will feel harmonious in Teacher thought to combine new social conventions with novel technology.

This combination of novel culture and technological developments can be seen in the 1950s focus upon various aspects of futurism. Looking at this most generally, one academic article explains that “Back in the 1950s and 1960s there was a general optimism and excitement about science, technology and engineering; citizens believed that scientists could free humanity from the constraints of Earth and reach for new frontiers.” The 1950s were a heyday for science fiction. In the words of one website, “Off screen and on, the 1950s was a spectacular era for science fiction. In literature, Ray Bradbury kicked off the decade with his masterpiece, The Martian Chronicles, while digest magazines like Galaxy were publishing the works of such sci-fi luminaries as Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein.” At a more practical level, an article on Heathkit explains that “There once was a time in electronics when you could actually build circuits and equipment yourself... In the late 1940s and 1950s, someone invented the kit business. Companies designed a product and sold it as a bundle of parts called a kit. You could buy the kit for a fraction of what a comparable wired unit would cost and then build it yourself. The outcome was quite favorable—a workable electronic product and a great sense of accomplishment you got from the construction.” These various factors expressed themselves in what is now known as ‘geek culture’. In the words one website, “In the ’50s, ‘geek’ was adopted into post-World War II slang, and came to mean ‘a person who is extremely interested and knowledgeable about computers, electronics, technology, and gadgets.’ Geeks often worked as engineers and scientists, developing these machines out of pure passion.” Notice how the wineskin of technological progress is being filled with a new wine of ‘pure passion’ and ‘extreme interest’. Geeks tended to be ostracized as socially awkward by the ‘rebels without a cause’ who were ‘cruising around town’, but Geek culture is an example of new wine that is not being dissipated but rather being channeled into the developing of new machines. What choice was there in a society with a bridegroom but no bride? Looking forward again, Wikipedia summarizes that “Technologically oriented geeks, in particular, now exert a powerful influence over the global economy and society. Whereas previous generations of geeks tended to operate in research departments, laboratories and support functions, now they increasingly occupy senior corporate positions, and wield considerable commercial and political influence.” I am not suggesting that geeks are paragons of mental wholeness. One of the major goals of mental symmetry is to extend scientific thought into the subjective realm in a manner that is socially, morally, spiritually, and theologically appropriate. However, geeks are an example of pouring new wine into novel wineskins, and instead of leading to dissipation, geeks drove the computer revolution and ‘now exert a powerful influence over the global economy and society’.

Verse 39 describes the final problem, which is that of tradition. “And no one having drunk old wine desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’” Drunk means ‘to drink’ which represents partaking of experiences in Mercy thought. Old means ‘old, ancient’ and ‘wine’ is implied. Desire means ‘to desire, wish’. And new means ‘new in time’. Better is used twice in Luke and means ‘serviceable, good’. The cognitive principle is that any behavior that is repeated will lead eventually to the formation of mental networks. Going further, mental networks that continue to be followed will tend to become core mental networks that impose their structure upon other mental networks. Eventually, these mental networks of tradition will shape society, causing anything new and different to be regarded as less useful. Summarizing, verse 37 describes a theoretical problem, verse 38 describes a cultural problem, while verse 39 describes a problem of habit.

This preference for tradition can be seen in 1950s television. In the words of one website, “The image that we recall, largely as a result of the American television shows of the time period, is the picture perfect family consisting of the bread-winning, rule-making middle-class father, the doting housewife who was thrilled to wake up every single day and clean the house and cook all of the meals, and their children who never seemed to get into any sort of trouble that could not be fixed.” Notice the difference between the consumer watching television and the geek building electronic kits. The geek is thinking about the future and being motivated to learn technical skills, while the consumer watching the typical 1950s television show is using technology as a tool to focus upon the past and avoid learning about the technical future. The article quoted earlier mentions these two alternatives. “While many at the time were fascinated by computers, others feared these new machines. Would the advent of computer technology lead to a future in which machines ruled humankind?”

A preference for tradition can also be seen in 1950s church. One author recalls that “Churches and schools were being greatly expanded to accommodate the growing population, and organized religion was in its heyday. On a typical Sunday morning in the period from 1955-58, almost half of all Americans were attending church – the highest percentage in U.S. history.” But this focus upon traditional religion and culture was also often a form of emotional escapism. “Fifties males felt deep, probably almost inexpressible, tension between the postwar nesting instinct and those restless other drives. Expressed in religious or quasi-religious ways, the alternative impulses helped shape the spiritual underground.”

Lord of the Sabbath 6:1-5

The first two stories of chapter 6 involve the Sabbath. Verse 1 begins, “And it came to pass on a Sabbath, He is passing along through grainfields; and His disciples were plucking and were eating the heads of grain, rubbing them in the hands.” Sabbath comes from a word that means ‘cease, desist, rest’. The idea of the Sabbath is to regularly stop from being motivated by personal Mercy mental networks in order to focus upon the Teacher mental network of God. Saying this another way, one should devote some resources to pure research. Passing along adds the prefix ‘through’ to ‘transport’ and this is the first use of this word in Luke. And the preposition through is explicitly added. Grainfield is only used in the New Testament in this story and means ‘sown’. Pluck is also used only in this story and means ‘to pluck, to pluck off’. Eating is the normal word for ‘eat’. Heads of grain comes from the word ‘to stand’ and means ‘a head of grain’. Rubbing is found once in the New Testament and means ‘to rub’. Hands represent the use of technical thought.

This combination is rather obscure, and I did not know how to interpret it symbolically until I stumbled across an academic paper written in 1977 that describes this kind of shift happening in academic thought starting in the 1950s. Science in the 1950s was a pharisaical realm of separatism and purity. “To be a true professional, it was necessary to commit oneself to a specific field, and to develop ‘sound’ habits of work. The goal was excellence, and professional ‘excellence’ was perceived as attainable only within a field in which well-defined standards of achievement were acknowledged and applied.” Using cognitive language, this describes the total domination of abstract technical thought with its specializations and standards of technical expertise.

But some of the disciples of science started thinking differently. “By the mid-50s, it was becoming clear to some younger philosophers of science that certain crucial questions on the subject could not be tackled with any hope of success, unless they set aside all formal or logical issues, and paid attention instead to the processes of historical change out of which the basic concepts, theories, and methods of science have emerged, and to which they are continually subject.” In other words, philosophers of science started to focus upon how technical thought changed as it was ‘transporting through the grainfields’ of academic development.

Saying this more clearly, “The task for historians and philosophers of science becomes, not so much to establish and exemplify the formal and universal Ten Commandments of the scientific method, as to map out the historical development of its jurisprudence: showing how, as we move from one age or branch of science to another, the progressive changes in the standards of ‘good argument’ and ‘rational inquiry’ and functional responses to the changing problematics of the different sciences in different milieux.” Thus, the ‘heads of grain’ that are ‘standing’ within each ‘grainfield’—the ‘standards of good argument and rational inquiry’—are being ‘plucked’ by the philosopher of science, ‘rubbed’ through the application of technical thought and then being treated as intellectual food.

The Pharisees question this in verse 2. “But some of the Pharisees said, ‘Why are you doing that which is not lawful on the Sabbaths?’” Some indicates that this is not a universal response. Pharisee means ‘a separatist, a purist’. Doing means ‘to make, do’ and refers to Server actions. This is the first use of lawful in Luke, which means ‘permitted, lawful’. Applying this to the 1950s, academic purists and separatists regarded this type of cognitive thinking about scientific thought as ‘unlawful’. Quoting again from the academic article, “All genuine problems in the philosophy of science were to be construed as problems about the logical structure of the sciences, rather than about the psychology of scientific discovery or about the historical evolution of scientific concepts... In their view, the empirical goings-on of the scientific life in the process of discovery... were matters for the behavioral and social sciences, and had nothing to do with the philosophy of science.”

Jesus replies with a story in verse 3. “And Jesus answering, said to them, ‘Not even have you read this, that which David did when he himself was hungry, and those who were with him.’” ‘Have you read this’ indicates that one discovers this by looking at the written record. David means ‘beloved one’ and represents a mindset that is emotionally driven by general understanding in Teacher thought—a person who ‘loves God’ and is ‘loved by God’. David was also the second king of Israel and many chapters have been written in the Old Testament about his life story. Hungry indicates a need or curiosity for intellectual food. Thus, what is being described is the behavior of those who were emotionally motivated to develop the scientific theories that are now written down in the textbooks. One basic principle is that the founders were driven by Teacher emotions and not necessarily by technical standards of acceptable academic behavior.

This can be seen, for instance, in the quantum wave equation of Paul Dirac. An article in physicsworld summarizes, “Dirac’s construction of his wave equation for the electron... contained one of those outrageous leaps of imagination shared by all great advances in thought... When someone asked him ‘How did you find the Dirac equation?’ he is said to have replied: ‘I found it beautiful.’” Notice that Dirac’s wave equation was originally developed as an ‘outrageous leap of imagination’ driven by Teacher feelings of beauty. This describes a mathematical version of responding to intellectual hunger as a ‘David’ who loves general theories in Teacher thought. I am not suggesting that Dirac was a dedicated Christian or even a wonderful human being. He was neither. But later on in life, Dirac acquired the mental image of a God of universal mathematical theories. Quoting from an article that he wrote in 1963, “It seems to be one of the fundamental features of nature that fundamental physical laws are described in terms of a mathematical theory of great beauty and power, needing quite a high standard of mathematics for one to understand it. You may wonder: Why is nature constructed along these lines? One can only answer that our present knowledge seems to show that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could perhaps describe the situation by saying that God is a mathematician of a very high order, and He used very advanced mathematics in constructing the universe.”

Verse 4 describes what David did. “How he entered into the house of God, and having taken the loaves of the presentation, ate and gave to those with him, which it is not lawful to eat, except to the priests only?” Enter means ‘to go in’. House means ‘a house, a dwelling’. A ‘house of God’ is a strange concept because God is a universal being who does not occupy any specific physical location. This idea of David mistakenly thinking that God dwells in a house is described in Acts 7:45-48. “...until the days of David, who found favor before God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built Him the house. Yet the Most High does not dwell in hand-made houses.” Notice that David is finding favor within the realm of universal Teacher thought and is responding by trying to place God within a house. But ‘the Most High’ of Teacher universality does not ‘dwell in hand-made houses’ of human construction. Saying this more carefully, the universal laws of Nature involve the realm of universality where God lives as an infinite being, while humans are finite beings who have limited knowledge of a small fragment of reality. Therefore, humans have to come up with universal theories by extrapolating from a small collection of facts and experiences. This leads to the inherent contradiction of treating universal theories as a ‘house of God’.

Loaf means ‘bread, a loaf’ and was previously used in 4:4 where the devil tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread. Presentation is the word used to describe the shewbread but it really means ‘providence, a setting forth in advance for a specific purpose’. Take means ‘to actively lay hold of’. Lawful is the same word used in verse 4, and the focus is upon eating food that is not lawful. This would refer to technical thought placing restrictions upon the intellectual food that is permitted to be consumed within some technical specialization. Priest means ‘sacred because belonging to the temple’. Shewbread is supposed to be an offering for God. Interpreted symbolically, the intellectual loaves of universal theories describe the character of the Universal Being of God. They are to be used by finite humans as ‘providence’, which means predicting how the universal character of God will guide the paths of Nature. For instance, Newton’s laws of gravitation can be used to predict how objects will behave when they are dropped or thrown. But David is ‘actively laying hold of’ these universal theories and treating them as intellectual food for himself and those who are with him. However, these ‘loaves’ of ‘intellectual food’ should be eaten with the mindset of a priest, which means recognizing that they are an expression of God in Teacher thought.

This may sound obscure, but it can be illustrated with an anecdote involving Paul Dirac. Wikipedia relates that “Another story told of Dirac is that when he first met the young Richard Feynman at a conference, he said after a long silence, ‘I have an equation. Do you have one too?’” Notice how Dirac is treating the wave equation as his own equation. But this equation does not belong to Dirac, it belongs to the Universal God. And this equation does not describe Dirac because Dirac is a finite human who lives within physical reality. This category mistake of treating universal theories as intellectual food for finite humans pervades science. For instance, we refer to Newton’s laws of gravitation, implying that Isaac Newton is responsible for creating these laws, maintaining them, or owning them. Similarly, almost every law of nature and unit of measurement is named after the scientist who originally regarded this law as an ‘intellectual loaf’ to satisfy personal feelings of intellectual hunger.

Verse 5 concludes, “And He was saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.’” Lord means ‘lord, master’. The previous paragraphs have clarified the cognitive function of the Sabbath. Humans normally live within the Mercy realm of finite experiences, performing Server actions to reach various goals in Mercy thought. But humans need to periodically leave the realm of human Mercy experiences in order to focus upon God in Teacher thought, guided by the mental content that was acquired from living within human reality. Unfortunately, this normally leads to rationalization rather than rational thought. Therefore, science imposes intellectual standards upon academic thought in order to protect rational thought from being warped by Mercy emotions. But verse 5 is describing something new, which is that ‘the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath’. We saw earlier that the ‘Son of Man’ describes an adequate concept of incarnation based in human society and human thought. Verse 5 is saying that a concept of incarnation based in human experience has now reached a sufficient level of theoretical integration to impose its structure upon the ‘Sabbath’ of reasoning from human experience.

Looking now at theoretical physics, a new formulation was developed in the 1950s that interpreted finite as an expression of infinity, known as Quantum Field Theory. Wikipedia explains that “The history of quantum field theory starts with its creation by Paul Dirac, when he attempted to quantize the electromagnetic field in the late 1920s... Major advances in the theory were made in the 1940s and 1950s, leading to the introduction of renormalized quantum electrodynamics (QED). QED was so successful and accurately predictive that efforts were made to apply the same basic concepts for the other forces of nature. By the late 1970s, these efforts successfully utilized gauge theory in the strong nuclear force and weak nuclear force, producing the modern Standard Model of particle physics.” Notice in passing the initial role played by Paul Dirac. Notice also that most of the development of the theory happened in the 1940s and 50s, the period of history that we are currently examining. Finally, notice that this research eventually led to the current standard model of physics, which is able to mathematically explain all of the forces of Nature except for gravity. I should add that I do not know enough math to be able to do the calculations of QED. But I do have sufficient mathematical knowledge to grasp the general framework of what is being calculated.

An MIT article describes the problem. “QED produced unphysical infinities, rather than finite answers, when pushed beyond its simplest approximations... Infinities began cropping up throughout the theorists’ equations, and their calculations kept returning infinity as an answer, rather than the finite quantity needed to answer the question at hand.” The end result was that “by the start of World War II, QED seemed an unholy mess, as calculationally intractable as it was conceptually muddled.” This was eventually solved by diagrams that were invented by Richard Feynman in 1948 and then developed and taught by Freeman Dyson in the mid 1950s. “Dyson went on to demonstrate how, diagrams in hand, the troubling infinities within QED could be removed systematically from any calculation, no matter how complicated.”

QED recognizes that finite human experience puts the infinite God in a finite house. Wikipedia describes a “critical step in identifying the source of ‘infinities’ and ‘divergences’. The ‘bare mass’ and the ‘bare charge’ of a particle, the values that appear in the free-field equations (non-interacting case), are abstractions that are simply not realized in experiment (in interaction). What we measure, and hence, what we must take account of with our equations, and what the solutions must account for, are the ‘renormalized mass’ and the ‘renormalized charge’ of a particle. That is to say, the ‘shifted’ or ‘dressed’ values these quantities must have when due systematic care is taken to include all deviations from their ‘bare values’ is dictated by the very nature of quantum fields themselves.” In other words, the mathematical equations of QED lead to infinities in Teacher thought. But finite human experience in Mercy thought does not encounter the infinities of ‘bare mass’ and ‘bare charge’ because they are ‘covered’ through a form of renormalization.

Another form of describing finite existence using infinite math can be seen in the path integral formulation. Wikipedia summarizes that this “replaces the classical notion of a single, unique classical trajectory for a system with a sum, or functional integral, over an infinity of quantum-mechanically possible trajectories to compute a quantum amplitude... This idea was extended to the use of the Lagrangian in quantum mechanics by Paul Dirac in his 1933 article. The complete method was developed in 1948 by Richard Feynman.” (It is interesting that Dirac and Feynman keep showing up in these quotes.) Stated simply, path integral formulation says that a particle travels from point A to point B by taking all possible paths simultaneously, and that all of these paths cancel out except for the actual path taken by the particle.

Summarizing, science has historically made the category mistake of claiming human ownership of divine equations. But physics in the 1950s went through a reformulation that 1) described the mathematical laws of nature in terms of infinite fields and infinite interactions, 2) formulated these laws using equations that require extreme mathematical skills to manipulate, 3) recognized that what humans experience is a covered and finite version of this infinite interaction. This reformulation has had sufficient cognitive stability sufficient to mentally override the human tendency to claim ownership of the universal laws of Nature. This may seem like a strange or irrelevant interpretation of this passage, but verse 1 talked about the dominance of abstract technical thinking being questioned by philosophers of science. That is the start of the process of postmodern deconstructionism which will eventually declare that all Teacher theories are merely ideologies based in Mercy mental networks of societal status. And this deconstructionism has corrupted all of the social sciences and theology. Thus, it is imperative to ensure that the technical thinking of physics remains immune to this mental corrosion.

Jesus heals on the Sabbath 6:6-11

The next section describes another controversy over the Sabbath involving the Pharisees. Starting with verse 6, “And it came to pass on another Sabbath, He entered into the synagogue and taught; and there was a man there, and his right hand was withered.” Another means ‘another of a different kind’. That tells us that this story is dealing with a different kind of problem. Enter means ‘to go in’, synagogue means ‘a bringing together’, and teach means ‘to cause to learn’. ‘Entering into the synagogue to teach’ indicates that this controversy is happening within academia. Man is the generic word for mankind. Hand represents the application of technical thought. Right means ‘the right hand or side’ and is interpreted as left hemisphere thought, because the left hemisphere controls the right side of the body. Withered means ‘dry’, which would mean an absence of the moisture of Mercy experiences. Thus, a ‘withered right hand’ indicates that the left hemisphere thinking of Teacher and Server thought is devoid of Mercy experiences or Mercy emotions. This describes pure abstract research which remains purely within the realm of equations, logic, mathematics, and abstractions.

Verse 7 describes the mindset of the Pharisees. “And the scribes and the Pharisees were closely watching Him, whether He will heal on the Sabbath, that they might find reason to accuse Him.” Closely watch adds the prefix ‘from close beside’ to ‘maintain, preserve’. A scribe means ‘a writer, scribe’ and a Pharisee is ‘a separatist, a purist’. Both scribes and Pharisees were previously mentioned in 5:30. However, in 5:30 the Pharisees were mentioned first while in verse 7 the scribes are mentioned first. 5:30 was interpreted as the various special interest groups of postwar Europe trying to use laws to maintain their positions. In verse 7 the goal is to maintain the purity of some written set of laws.

Heal ‘usually involves natural elements’. Find means ‘to find’ and ‘reason’ is implied. Accuse means ‘to make accusation’ and is only used in Luke here and in the trial of Jesus. Thus, this is not a question of logic or reason. And the controversy is not over healing but rather over healing on the Sabbath. Looking at this symbolically, will the taboos preserving the isolation of academic thought be violated? Will academic thought be extended to include something more than abstract reasoning? Doing so will lead to formal accusations within the system of academia.

This mindset is described in the 1977 academic article quoted when looking at verse 1. “For the intellectual world of the 1950s, such terms as rigor and technique tended to mean, more often than not, formal rigor and formal technique. The focus of academic attention was on the general, the abstract, and the timeless. Physics, for instance, still aspired above all to be mathematical and universal... As for mathematics, it was still focused largely on its own structure and foundations... The material existence of electronic computers had no more serious disciplinary significance than the material existence of hot dogs. Philosophy, for its part, still aspired to be logical... Elsewhere, again, the goals of disciplinary development were widely perceived as yielding new styles of formal technique.” Notice how academic attention is focused upon abstract ‘scribal’ writing and that this emphasis is being maintained with ‘pharisaical’ purity. Notice also the ‘withered’ nature of the left hemisphere of thought, with even computers being regarded as irrelevant to the abstract writings of mathematics.

And this article also describes the pharisaical taboo against going beyond formal thought. “For about twenty years, the prohibition against confusing formal or logical issues with empirical matters, whether in the history, the psychology, or the sociology of science, was widely observed even among people who were otherwise quite far from the logical empiricists in their thinking. To be convicted of ‘the genetic fallacy’ – as having muddled historical origins with logical justifications – was to risk being laughed out of court.” Notice that this prohibition is being maintained as a taboo without any logical justification. Cognitively speaking, abstract technical thought is insisting that it is the only valid form of thought and it is pretending that it exists independently of other forms of thought. However, this essay has shown the extended historical sequence that Western civilization went through in order to develop the abstract technical thinking of the early 20th century. It has taken us 200 pages of cognitive analysis to reach the point where abstract technical thought is capable of standing on its own.

Notice that this is a different kind of problem than the problem addressed in the previous section. The goal of the previous section was to override the tendency of researchers to take ownership of universal laws with sufficient strength to be able to resist the coming delusion of postmodern thought. The goal of this section is to transform academic thought into something that is more integrated.

Jesus takes a cognitive approach in verse 8. “And He knew their thoughts, and He said to the man having the withered hand, ‘Arise and stand in the midst.’ And having risen up, he stood.” Know means ‘seeing that becomes knowing’ and is interpreted as empirical knowledge. Thought means ‘back-and-forth reasoning’ and was previously used in 5:22 to describe the back-and-forth thinking regarding Germany after the Second World War. Man in verse 8 refers specifically to ‘a man’, which would represent male technical thought. Withered and hand are the same words that were used in verse 7. Jesus can see the physical evidence of the back-and-forth reasoning of the Pharisees. But he talks to the man rather than to the Pharisees. Arise means ‘awaken, to raise up’ and is also used of physical resurrection. Risen up also means ‘to raise up, to rise’ and is also used to describe physical resurrection. Stand means ‘to make to stand’ and is used twice in this verse. It is interpreted as some source of Perceiver stability. Thus, the first step is to say Perceiver facts that give stability to the withered form of male thought and bring it to the center of attention. This is followed by the actual resurrection of this form of thought.

A 2014 paper on the philosophy of science describes this focusing of attention. “During the first half of the twentieth century logical empiricism dominated philosophy of science; it began to lose its hold during the 1950s. Two factors were largely responsible for this change. First, there were persistent failures by logical empiricists to solve problems generated by their own framework... Second, the emergence of a rich body of research in the history of science made it clear that the development of even the most successful sciences was more complex and less certain than had previously been assumed.” The basic premise of logical empiricism is that “only statements verifiable through direct observation or logical proof are meaningful in terms of conveying truth value, information or factual content.” Stated cognitively, abstract technical thought is not just superior to other forms of thought, but it is the only form of thinking that qualifies as thought. Using the symbolism of verse 8, this describes a man with a ‘withered’ hand of technical thought that has been reduced to ‘dry’ Perceiver facts by removing any ‘moisture’ of Mercy experiences. This focus upon ‘direct observation or logical proof’ became discredited during the 1950s because of the empirical evidence of failing to solve its own problems, as well as the empirical evidence gathered by studying how science really emerged in history.

Jesus then asks a moral question in verse 9. “Then Jesus said to them, ‘I ask you whether it is lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy?’” Ask means to ‘ask appropriately’, which suggests that this questioning of abstract technical thought is being done using the language of technical thought. This is an important distinction because postmodern questioning does not ask appropriately but instead avoids addressing the facts in order to focus upon the people and groups making the statements. This ‘appropriate asking’ focuses upon what should be regarded as lawful on the Sabbath. Do good combines ‘make, do’ with ‘intrinsically good’ and is only used in Luke in this chapter where it appears four times. Do evil is used once in Luke and combines ‘make, do’ with ‘inwardly foul, rotten’. Life is the word ‘psyche’ which means ‘soul’. Save means ‘to deliver out of danger into safety’. And destroy ‘implies permanent destruction’. These are moral questions that focus upon what is happening within the mind, which is a total shift from the racial thinking that was dominant before World War II.

Theoretical physicists had to face moral questions personally after World War II because they had invented the atomic bomb. For instance, Paul Dirac “provided a method to enrich uranium in larger quantities than other physicists were doing prior to World War II and the early war years.” And Feynman joined the Manhattan project as a theoretical physicist at the age of 24. describes the impact this had upon theoretical academics: “Physicists, chemists and others among the thousands and thousands of individuals who contributed to the Manhattan Project finally accepted a terrible truth: They had helped to create a weapon of mass destruction that, if abused, had the potential of destroying the world. Historian Richard Rhodes quotes Victor Weisskopf, a member of the project’s theoretical division, as saying that ‘our beloved physics was pushed into the darkest part of reality.’” Notice the moral dilemma of the ‘theoretical division’ of ‘our beloved physics’ being ‘pushed into the darkest part of reality’ by creating a weapon that ‘had the potential of destroying the world’. Notice also the tendency of physics to take personal ownership of universal laws illustrated by the term ‘our beloved physics’.

This caused many scientists to question the idea of academic separation in order to engage with moral issues. Quoting further from, “Scientists had largely been trained to think of themselves as being separate from social issues. But a group of leaders felt the need to speak up about the moral issues related to the development of the bomb... Once they had done that, it opened up the possibility that they should remain publicly engaged.”

The question of life versus annihilation became central during the early 1950s as a result of the development of the hydrogen bomb, which uses an atomic bomb to trigger the fusion of hydrogen. summarizes, “On January 31, 1950, U.S. President Harry S. Truman publicly announces his decision to support the development of the hydrogen bomb, a weapon theorized to be hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II. Five months earlier, the United States had lost its nuclear supremacy when the Soviet Union successfully detonated an atomic bomb... On November 1, 1952, the United States successfully detonated ‘Mike,’ the world’s first hydrogen bomb.”

Verse 9 presents saving life and permanent destruction as two extreme options between which one must choose. This choice can be seen in the ‘Atoms for Peace’ speech delivered by president Eisenhower to the UN in 1953. Wikipedia explains that “Eisenhower was determined to solve ‘the fearful atomic dilemma’ by finding some way by which ‘the miraculous inventiveness of man would not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life.’” The hydrogen bomb has the power to destroy physical life on earth. However, what was experienced in the 1950s was the fear of annihilation rather than annihilation itself. In the words of Wikipedia, “Eisenhower’s speech opened a media campaign that would last for years and that aimed at ‘emotion management’, balancing fears of continuing nuclear armament with promises of peaceful use of uranium in future nuclear reactors. The speech was a tipping point for international focus on peaceful uses of atomic energy, even during the early stages of the Cold War.”

Jesus solves the problem in verse 10. “And having looked around on them all, He said to him, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ And he did, and his hand was restored.” Looked around is used once in Luke and combines ‘all around’ with ‘to be observant’. Stretch out means ‘to extend’. In 5:13, Jesus stretched out his hand. In verse 10, the man is being told to stretch out his hand. Restore is used once in Luke and ‘emphasizes separation from the former, negative influence to enjoy what is forward’. This restoration can be seen in the Cognitive Revolution. Wikipedia summarizes, “The cognitive revolution was an intellectual movement that began in the 1950s as an interdisciplinary study of the mind and its processes. It later became known collectively as cognitive science. The relevant areas of interchange were between the fields of psychology, linguistics, computer science, anthropology, neuroscience, and philosophy. The approaches used were developed within the then-nascent fields of artificial intelligence, computer science, and neuroscience.” Notice that the cognitive revolution involved an ‘extending’ of technical thought—a stretching out of the hand—into interdisciplinary thinking as well as into the new areas of computers and science.

One author describes the relationship between the questioning of abstract technical thought mentioned earlier and the development of cognitive science and the enabling role played by the development of the computer. “It is of note that cognitive science began to emerge in the mid-1950s, close to the time that the shift away from logical positivism began. Many of the intellectual forces that caused the philosophical change were also the causes of the emerging new cognitive paradigm, but, even more importantly, one needs to note the impact of the computer and its related ways of acting and thinking. The computer was not only a tool for calculation, reasoning and processing, but also became also a model for thinking about human beings, and, even, for thinking about science.” Describing this relationship more simply, thinking about the new digital computers made it possible to think more clearly about human thought.

There is a strong reaction in verse 11. “And they themselves were filled with rage, and were discussing with one another what they might do to Jesus.” Filled means ‘to fill to the maximum’. Rage is used twice in the New Testament and adds the prefix no to ‘mind’, and mind specifically refers to ‘the reasoning faculty, intellect’. Discuss is also used twice in the New Testament and means to ‘converse together’. This verbal interaction is emphasized by the explicit use of one another. Do means ‘to make, do’. This ‘filling to the maximum’ of ‘no mind’ expressed by ‘conversing together’ can be seen in the 1950s Beat Generation. Wikipedia summarizes that “The Beat Generation was a literary movement started by a group of authors whose work explored and influenced American culture and politics in the post-war era. The bulk of their work was published and popularized by Silent Generationers in the 1950s. The central elements of Beat culture are the rejection of standard narrative values, making a spiritual quest, the exploration of American and Eastern religions, the rejection of economic materialism, explicit portrayals of the human condition, experimentation with psychedelic drugs, and sexual liberation and exploration.” A ‘literary movement started by a group of authors’ qualifies as ‘conversing together’. ‘Rejection of standard narrative values’ as well as ‘rejection of economic materialism’ describes a mindset that is attempting to decide what to ‘do to’ the ‘Jesus’ of Postwar economic prosperity. And ‘exploration of Eastern religions’, ‘experimentation with psychedelic drugs’, and ‘sexual liberation’ are attempts to pursue ‘no mind’ to the maximum. I cannot find any article that compares the cognitive revolution with the Beat Generation. However, one can see that these two responses are diametrically opposed to one another. The cognitive revolution is working within the existing academic system to understand rational thought, while the Beat Generation is rejecting existing technical systems in order to embrace irrational feeling. More specifically, cognitive science was described as an interchange between the fields of psychology, linguistics, computer science, anthropology, neuroscience, and philosophy. A ‘literary movement’ replaces linguistics, ‘explicit portrayals of the human condition’ replace anthropology, ‘experimentation with psychedelic drugs’ replaces neuroscience, ‘making a spiritual quest’ replaces psychology, ‘Eastern religions’ replace philosophy, while ‘rejecting economic materialism’ replaces computer science. Thus, the Beat Generation could be described as an emotional rejection of everything that cognitive science represented.

The Beat Generation was explicitly a response to the threat of nuclear annihilation. Quoting from a 1997 academic volume by Daniel Wojcik, “A sense of doom and decline is also exemplified by much of the writing associated with the Beat movement in the 1950s, the first generation of writers after the invention of the bomb... Ginsberg’s ‘Howl,’ for instance, with its revelatory language condemning the modern world, proclaims the doom of American civilization—‘Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen!’—and presents banal images of waiting for the H-bomb.” And relating this to the discussion of physics, “The sinister connotations of nuclear weapons as devices of inevitable apocalypse were also reinforced by popular depictions of the physicists who worked on the development of the atomic bomb. Similar to the legendary Faust character, atomic scientists were often portrayed as evil geniuses or maddened technological wizards engaged in nuclear alchemy, obsessed with harnessing the sacred powers of the universe, who would ultimately destroy the world in the pursuit of divine, forbidden knowledge.”

The Twelve Disciples 6:12-19

Verse 12 introduces a new context. “And it came to pass in those days, He went out to the mountain to pray, and He was spending the night in prayer to God.” ‘In those days’ suggests that verse 12 is talking about a general trend from this period of time. ‘The mountain’ suggests a single ‘height’ of pragmatic understanding. ‘Going out to the mountain’ indicates that this pragmatic theory is apart from normal life. Pray means ‘to exchange wishes’ which indicates an interaction between personal identity in Mercy thought and general understanding in Teacher thought, and ‘pray’ is used both as a verb and a noun in verse 12. ‘Praying’ and ‘prayer’ are mentioned several times in Luke, and ‘God’ is mentioned numerous times, but this is the only mention in Luke of ‘praying to God’. Spending the night is used once in the New Testament and adds ‘through’ to ‘pass the night’. Night represents the absence of the ‘sun’ of a general understanding. Putting this together, there is a pragmatic understanding, but this is not being applied to society in general. Instead, technical thought is interacting with universal understanding in an isolated manner that does not affect society at large.

It is possible to decipher what verse 12 represents by looking forward to the rest of the