Comments about the Sand Images of the Patriotic War (WW II) drawn by Kseniya Simonova

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W e L c o m e  !
 

    To more fully appreciate the sand images drawn by Kseniya Simonova, this site offers comments on the video about The Great Patriotic War ( W W II ).

CONTENTS  -  -

- Overview

    - Background

        - Story  and  Theme  -  with  Music  Titles  -                Indexed  by  minutes . seconds  of  the  video.

            - Song  Lyrics 

                - Summary: THOUGHTS  AND  A  QUESTION

                    - Application

                        - Closing  - WITH  A  CONSIDERATION

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Overview

One of many similar videos showing the sand drawings is found at http://youtube.com/watch?v=3qOmST_yz-4 .

Music and song lyrics help tell the story of the sand scenes. Comments below help connect music and lyrics to sand scenes, hopefully giving a greater appreciation about the story of humanity.

These comments were gathered from your video responses made over several months and from my verifying most items on the web.

I hope any questions you might have will be given helpful answers during your visit. Feel free to offer suggestions or helpful corrections.

Genre music < < 30 seconds

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Genre music < < 30 seconds

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Background

In the former lands of the Soviet Union, the four long years of WW II were known as “The Great Patriotic War”. About 24 million people died ( using 1939 Soviet Union borders - per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties ). Often, each day’s horror was like five 9/11 tragedies. Nazi Germany’s invasion of Russia tore apart the country.

The Ukraine is located north of the Black Sea, covering a large area of Russia. Of all population groups in Russia, Ukrainian deaths during the war were the second highest per-capita percentage, 19.1 %, and nearly equal to the highest listed percentage group, Poland, 19.6 % ( http://www.infoukes.com/history/ww2/page-29.html ). Everyone lost loved ones: sons and husbands in fighting, and children from aerial bombings, wives, daughters, parents, grandparents. The video reveals a sense of longing, loss, and sorrow; seen in faces of the audience three generations later.Ukrainian deaths associated with the war are estimated to have been 5 to 8 million people (

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine at the section titled World War II, last paragraph, using references #’s 78 and 79 ). If total deaths were 8 million, then the distribution yields about: 2.5 mil. military, and 5.5 mil. civilian, totaling 19.1% of the Ukraine population ( infoukes.com/history site, in paragraph above ). This number includes over half a million Jews killed by Nazi SS paramilitary death squads called Einsatzgruppen who were sometimes given aid from local collaborators.

From the closing scene showing the maritime serviceman through the window, this story might be influenced by the Crimean area located at the Black Sea, part of the Ukraine and a historical maritime center. The city of Sevastopol, Crimea, Ukraine has long been a naval maritime base.

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Story and Theme of sand drawing images -

with Music Titles

Music titles link to other music performances, for example http://youtube.com/watch?v=DCTPc2iRtr8 . People might appreciate the trace of Eastern Orthodox influence in most music.

Lyrics for two songs are included after this Story and Theme section. After the lyric section, summary and application sections lead to one question for your consideration.

Sand scenes and music are listed in minutes . seconds of the storyline.

.......

0.0 - a candle of hope ? [ Unsure comments have a ? mark ]

0.0 - music, Cirque Du Soleil-Jeux d'eau “Circus Of the Sun - water games” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mE1YVh4QXs .  First scene - Happiness - Ukraine or Russia as a whole: A couple sit on a bench under a starry sky.

1.36 - a radio declaration that Russia was invaded by Nazis in 1941. The speaker is Yuri Levitan ( Юрий Левитан ): "Attention! This is Moscow speaking. Citizens of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: today, on the 22nd of June, at 4am, without the declaration of war, German forces invaded our country. They ambushed our border in many areas and bombed our cities: Zhitomir, Kiev, Sevastopol ...." WWII is referred to as “The Great Patriotic War” in the lands of the Ukraine, Russia and some other states of the former Soviet Union. Germany attacked the Soviet Union along the entire frontier.

In the Baltic, the first Nazi aircraft attacks began at 4 a.m. upon airfields, ports, and communication centres. Also, strategic cities such as Zhitomir, Kiev, Sevastopol, and Kaunas were bombed. About two hours later, German ground forces moved forward on a second attack wave. Later, the commander of the Soviet 8th Army, Lt.Gen. P.P.Sobennikov, wrote that by the afternoon of the 22nd, the aviation section which was supposed to support his Army had been reduced to 5 - 6 airworthy aircraft.  http://www.latvianaviation.com/WW2_June41.html

1.46 - music Священная война - Svyashchennaya Voyna - "The Sacred War", written in 1941 shortly after the German invasion of the Soviet Union. It memorialized the war. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKRTi584pJE  Warplanes appear in the sky. Happiness is replaced by a crying woman, not to be consoled.


1.57 - A train in the background transports young men and husbands to war. Women look on as a train whistle is heard, followed by the clackity of the railroad track. [ one commentator to the video likened the smoke as a remembrance of German gas chambers. Jews were taken there from Ukraine. ]

2.25 - Song, Тёмная ночь - Temnaya Noch, "Dark Night", Russian, during WWII. Song lyrics are included below, after this Story Theme section. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dkAEHgmtWM Song lyrics are taken from a front-line soldier's letter to his beloved wife back home, as seen in the 1943 Russian film "Two Warriors". The lonely solder wrote in his letter that as long as he knows her love, he is sure to come back to her. She remains at home with a baby. Her sadness is lessened by hope, and perhaps encouraged by her husband’s tender letter. She smiles again. See lyrics below. A light from a candle shines hope.


3.07 - War hits home. Hopes are dashed. Sand obliterates life like bombs, and splashes destruction.

3.19 - Music - “Harmageddon”, by cello band Apocalyptica, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIYSFR9d1tE The word “Harmageddon” is the Greek pronunciation of the Anglicized “Armageddon”. The Greek 'har-magedon' is a transliteration of the Hebrew har-megiddo , likely referring to Mount-Megiddo, an ancient city in northwest Palestine [ present Israel ] on the southern edge of the Plain of Esdraelon. In early history, it was the scene of many battles due to its strategic military position on the crossroads connecting Egypt with Mesopotamia. It is referenced once in the Bible, at Revelation 16:16.

3.43 - Music “Auschwitz Birkenau” - Schindler´s List Soundtrack-08, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GOy6t6TGAg The violinist is Itzhak Perlman. Terror is seen on faces. The war is in full force. Where is hope?

4.09 - Either, 1. - a young woman holds the former endearing letter mentioned in the song Temnaya Noch, "Dark Night", promising that their love will reunite them, or, 2. - she receives a letter informing of her husband's death, or his missing in action.

She grows old as a widow. Time does not separate her memory from his love, nor does it separate the nation from its memory of loved ones; still remembering. From the woman’s face, a soldier's war memorial is formed.

4.50 - Memorials to fallen Soviet soldiers are found in most city subdivisions and towns. Some memorials are in the shape of an obelisk with a red, green, or gold star atop; like a stele with an eternal flame atop. Perhaps inscribed on its side are names of loved ones who died in the war. It might cause a person to ask if there is hope, as seen by the light of a candle amid the darkness, or by a star atop these stelae more brightly in our awareness. Many fallen soldiers were buried in communal 'brother' graves near where they fell. Memorials are the absent grave markers, for our remembrance.

5.06 - Song - Журавли - Zharable - “Cranes”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGUfVjFmgG0 - Russian song about WWII.

People are crying because of memories enlivened by the song lyrics:  “… fallen hero soldiers … Were never buried in the ground … But fly in the sky as snowy white cranes. … we look up and can't turn our eyes from them …. Maybe, it is a place for me.”  The full song lyrics are found in the Song Lyrics section, second part, after this Story Theme section.

As generations: grandparents, parents, and children go to a memorial to remember, whether located in Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Georgia, or to go war cemeteries with crosses put in long rows and columns such as in my country, the U.S., what images from memorials can give us hope?

5.36 - As peoples of the former Soviet Union moved on to rebuild life, and buildings reconstructed from the rubble, what societal structures were challenged to change? What institutions remaining today are challenged to purify their purpose?

6:10 - music, "Nothing Else Matters", played by Apocalyptica, a cello band; from their album “Plays Metallica by Four Cellos”. The song is by heavy metal band Metallica. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-B8k0n_3cs From the safety of home, a woman and her child looks out a window to the neighborhood. What is it that allows her neighborhood and our larger world family living under the same stars to remain a pleasant sight of stability and peace? Amid the consideration, there is one lasting fact from earliest times, a problem exists on both personal and world scenes: evil.

A maritime serviceman is seen through the window, the branch of service shown by his cap and clothing. He is probably leaving or returning in his service to keeping the “bond” of “peace” for his larger family. In the young woman’s arms, her baby wears a like cap; in his image, and in his likeness.

In that likeness, what is the child's future? The child might grow to fill the cap, or might find another way to serve society and to preserve goodness.

8.20 - Happiness comes when we remember and learn from the words, Ты всегда рядом: "you are always near" or "you are always by my side".

The sand scene likely portrays -

1, sentiment felt by the woman toward her husband who is either leaving or returning in his service, or -

2, a representation of history, giving present hope that we have a future from their past. It helps us remember multiplied millions who died in patriotic wars of brotherhood, protecting the land.

Yet, wars are formed from lack of brotherhood, and from repression and hunger. This timely closing message is in essence: "You are always near to us". Can people develop nearness to each other that can weather tough times? If we do not, then history shows that eventually, war can come near to all of us.

Another commentator wrote in part, “That's not a man standing outside... that's her little son reflection in the window in which she actually recognizes her husband. That's why Kseniya wrote in the end: You are always nearby. 1945.” Should this be so, as the child learns about his image, will it grow to become the image in the window, and go to the world to act well in its image? That is all our hopes.

Another commentator wrote, “I think the last scene, of the woman and the baby seeing the vision in `the window - it's like a flashback. I mean the story develops years beyond the War (ageing, the family visiting the memorial-grave). But then the last scene is a flashback into 1945 when all the women were waiting for their men to return, but this lady only got a desperate wishful image in the window…”. What can be our parts to shape a good image for the future?  Can we preserve the future?

In what Kseniya wrote at the end, “you are always near”, there is another consideration that goodness and evil are also always near. We must always be aware. Yet, as we ponder life choices, as we try to separate from events caused by poor choices, and try to sustain good choices, can love can triumph?

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Songs and lyrics - -

Song: Тёмная ночь - Temnaya Noch, "Dark Night" or “Dark is the Night”: a famous WWII Russian song; sung in 1943 by Марк Бернес - Mark Naumovich Bernes, a Soviet actor and singer of Jewish ancestry ( his father's last name was Neumann ). The song is about man in WWII, who’s thoughts at night and between battles is about his wife at home, sleepless for both him and their baby in it's crib.

Lyrics: translation

1 - The night is dark, only bullets are whistling in the steppe,

Only wind is wailing through telephone wires, stars are faintly flickering...

In the dark night, I know you my love are not sleeping,

And, at the child's crib, out of sight, you wipe away a tear.

How I love the depths of your gentle eyes,

How I long to press my lips to them!

This dark night separates us, my love,

And the dark troubled steppe has come to lie between us.

2 - I have faith in you; in you, my sweetheart.

That faith has shielded me from bullets in this dark night...

I am glad, I am calm in deadly battle:

I know you will meet me with love, no matter what happens to me.

Death does not frighten me, we've met with it more than once in the steppe...

And here it looms over me once again,

You await my return, sitting sleepless near a cradle,

And so I know, nothing will happen to me!

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Song: Журавли - Zhuravli, “Cranes”, Russian song about The Great Patriotic War [ WW II ], written much later as the result of the author seeing the result of war in Japan, at the Hiroshima memorial where he saw origami cranes. See site below for its history. The author of the text is Rasul Gamzatov; lyrics revised by Mark Bernes who asked Yan Frenkel to compose the music; premiered 1969. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zhuravli

Lyrical translation - -

Sometimes I dream that fallen hero soldiers,

That were not to return from fields of gore,

Did not lie down into their beds of honour,

But fly in the sky as snowy white cranes.

Since then, they wing, calling out to us from afar,

We recognize the hearty dear voice.

Maybe it is the reason why we often stop talking ruefully

When we look up and can't turn our eyes from them in sky.

The weary wedge of cranes is flying in sky,

It flies at the end of the day.

And there is a small interval inside this wedge,

Maybe, it is a place for me.

Maybe will come a day and I shall fly

With the flock of cranes in the same blue sky

And I shall call everyone who I left at the ground,

From the sky, with the language of these birds.

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Summary - THOUGHTS AND A QUESTION - -

- - THOUGHTS - -

Focus on the World - - -

Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Kazakhstans, Jews, Tatars, Georgians, Armenians and many other peoples were part of the ex-Soviet republics. Around the world during WWII, at least 50 million people died in war deaths. Future generations were stunted, and families broken. Wars removed generations of accumulated wealth in property and finance, and decades of hard work. Trust was violated.

Focus on Ukraine - - -

During the intervening time between WW’s I and II, Ukrainian farms were collectivized. The Soviet government was flexible during the 1920’s, thus Ukrainian culture enjoyed a revival. By the early 1930’s, Joseph Stalin gradually consolidated power, and government policies were sharply reversed.

Farm workers were not allowed to eat produce until unrealistic farm quotas were met. All foods were forcibly removed to maintain quotas, done by the Soviet government through NKVD (predecessor of KGB) and secret police. People starved to death. A larger part of the purpose for the famine was to break the Ukrainian farmer-land owners of their spirit by depriving them of property, food, and means of survival. Stalin and his followers understood that no normal person would ever voluntarily give up hard-earned property for the idea of a 'bright communist future'. In 1932 - 33, this man-made famine known as Holodomor - "Great Famine" claimed from 2.6 to 10 million Ukrainian lives [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holodomor - and - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine ]. Starvation became widespread in all the Soviet Union. This was an internal war prior to The Great Patriotic War.

Next in the Ukraine, Russian repression from 1929 - 1938 horrifically peaked for a second time in 1937 - 38, to cause mass killings that gained the name the "Great Terror". People killed comprised 80% of the cultural elite, 75% of higher-ranking army officers, writers, artists, and intellectuals [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine, under “Inter-war Soviet Ukraine” ]. Consolidation of Soviet power devastated the Ukraine. During the Great Patriotic War, about 5 to 8 million Ukrainians were killed, as citied in the introductory overview. In repressive political campaigns of the 1930`s, the total untimely deaths were equivalent to losses from The Great Patriotic War. There were two wars.

There has long been a saying: Hitler killed millions, but Stalin tens of millions! In the Soviet Union during WW II’s Great Patriotic War, about 24 million Russian people died. Comparatively, prior from 1932-39, about 23 million Russian people died under the repression of Stalin and his loyalist thugs [ http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/dictat.html ]. How might these deaths affect us in important ways today? As we look to the future, we must fully connect to pain from the past, and mourn it in order that from it we find hope. Without reality of the past, there is no foundation for hope in the future.

As stelae memorials stretch their one high star toward the heaven, they blend into a night sky of stars filling the universe. Hope exists in darkness. We need an Image of hope that shines brightly, like our closest star, the Sun. It can lead us to love, and help us share and sacrifice for the best good of all. It can steer us away from false pride and toward a solid humility, from where we can grow together.

- - A FOCUSED QUESTION > What  is  the  Image?

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Application - - Focusing  on  the  Image:

We firmly state about history, “‘never again’ should this evil happen”! But, there is danger: although we think ourselves different, we can have evil tendencies under the skin. In our human condition, what can lead us toward reality, to mourn our weaknesses, become different, and take steps to peace?

Peace or strife in the house of humanity depends how individuals change and ultimately mature. To avoid repeating pitfalls and atrocities of history, we need to look at the building blocks of society which form its house of destiny, individual by individual, piece by piece. A strong Image of peace gives hope for change. If the image is realistic, then we can mature and practice effective solutions for problems and conflicts. If the image is fanciful, then we will likely foment war as a solution.

As families or nations strive to gain the best quality of life, we must define how love acts. Love characteristically preserves the best quality life, for the most amount of people affected by events. To gain the greatest amount of goodness, often a person or group of people need to sacrifice a desire so that a greater good is allowed. For example, parents will forgo things for the betterment of children, and children for parents. Such sacrifice is done so the greatest amount of goodness is accomplished in the family. What defines the family of nations? In that family, who sacrifices for whom so that the total amount of goodness is increased? What do we accept as our identity and image of what is good?

A solidly formed image of goodness can help nations wisely choose a successful future. And their peoples remain standing better in times of stress. A poor image leads people to shame. The word “shame” comes from the word “sham”, meaning to “cover over”. If we cover over pain that might run through centuries of nationhood, its power will continue to mal-form identities. We would not heal!

The German shame of decades can linger with people of Germany. There is also a type of shame from Stalinist Communism that deeply lingers. If we successfully refocus to an image of goodness, and develop that image in us, then we can lead ourselves and others to healing refreshing hope for the common good. If images are treated with realness, then we can be released from shame and healed.

But, realness about problems usually painfully dredge up hidden things thought to have gone down river long ago. Being real about problems is not easy and often not possible unless there is hope shinning at the end of the darkness. Left alone, problems do not float away, but form sandbars under calm waters, and stall and shipwreck goodness from maturing and changing people and nations. Four steps, below, support change towards goodness. Peace and goodness is a process of change toward a common good, together. Peace is formed by mutual agreement of what is good. What is goodness?

- Four Forward Steps that Bless People and Nations with an Image

First: Inabilities to handle overwhelming needs and weaknesses in our own strength is usually the basic cause of foment and disorder. Foment happens when people claim a supposed strength, but use it to cover weaknesses. It hides weaknesses. That cannot bring growth. Common solidarity among peoples is founded upon being real about weaknesses. That is hard to do. But, humility breaks the hardness and is the first step to maturity and goodness. Words “humility” and “humus” are from the same root, meaning common, earthy, and real. A solidly built house of society must be laid on solid real foundations, not on soft slimy un-reality that does connect to well to truth and love. Becoming abased about life provides a foundation for common solidarity. It is hopeful action, because if fosters recognition that we need to grow toward a good Image. If the Image is to influence us, then the first step is to uncover weak images of the past that hold us. They are real. Looking causes honest pain.Looking is somewhat like the sand drawings portraying the cost of war to families and love. It leads to hope seen in the closing image of the drawings where a small baby in its mother’s arms is clothed in a sailors uniform, dressed in the image of the father who had gone to war. What will be our Image?

Second: We need strong help. This is the basic idea! Problem solving leading to growth must provide good answers for past hurts, especially where societies or individuals were harmed, or stopped their maturing. The first step about being real is so basic that the second step becomes its intimate very real result. Only because of the hope of strength, can mourn about weaknesses and then grow from the strong help. A dependable Image will shine strength like the Sun, and we will become safe enough in its care for its light to uncover painful weaknesses and mourn. Then we can become.

Third: If the Image has a purpose to strengthen and to preserve us, then goodness can be defined as anything that leads toward that dual purpose! We can learn truth, goodness, and love by considering how to be in the shadow of the image. That will allow us to inherit a world, with societies that desire justice. Steps of seeing weakness, seeing a strong Image, and becoming like the Image leads to our inheriting passion for life. This filling of life continues to its fourth step of knowing how to be just.

Fourth: Our change to become like goodness will allow us to go to the world with practical justice.

These are also the first four of eight beatitudes, found in the Bible book of Matthew, chapter 5. All beatitudes interconnect and lead to the next; somewhat like connected stair steps lead upward. They are a story about gaining the good life, progressing in their story akin to the sand images. The first four beatitudes help us to become like the Image of goodness, God. Then, the next four beatitudes lead us in a similar progression to affect the world as peacemakers, with who we will have become.

The above first four beatitudes are summarized as four points:

1. - Be real for growth: see weaknesses because there is hope for growth

2. - Feel true weaknesses because there is a promise of true strength from God, and

3. - Become like the strong Image, because that growth will bring full life

4. - With newly learned traits from the Image, affect the world with passion. This leads to the second set of four beatitudes about affecting the world. You will be filled full.

The following sections offer insights for how the beatitudes can influence us at both home and work, so that we overcome hindrances and become encouraged by a plan that works for the common good.

Contents of Sections for - - Focusing on the Image:

How is the Image of God clearly seen?

Images Form a Story about Growth - - the first half of the Beatitudes

How the Beatitudes Support Memory and Maintain Actions

The second half of the Beatitudes: relations among peoples - beginning with B5

The Image empowers our wheels of action, to meet our roads of life

The Source of the Beatitudes is the Old Testament. - - It is the New Testament Gospel.

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How is the Image of God clearly seen?

Index for this section - -

- The first and last Beatitudes: bring relationship with the Image, for hope and love

- How do the Beatitudes Work Together?

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- The first and last Beatitudes: bring relationship with the Image, for hope and love

It is claimed that God is love. What is that Image of love? Stepping more carefully through the eight beatitudes teaches us how to grow and become like His Image of love. In practicality, this means that we should be able to see God work apart from human power, too, not equating human power to God.

We can find if God really works, or is only a fanciful idea about love. It is the best of all experiments.
It is good to look at the end of the beatitudes story, first. It gives the ultimate light for our hope. The eighth beatitude states, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”. But, no one desires persecution. Yet, people or nations who strive for a more just world will be persecuted. The beatitudes mature so that we remain standing, when persecuted. The eighth beatitude promises “… for theirs is the kingdom of God”. People or a nation of peoples will not get knocked down by tough situations. These people bless, and know what to do. These steps are dynamic practical truths that mature people to become like the Image, and to survive and flourish.

When there is a conflict at home or at work, then we can remember to be like the Image. The first beatitude states “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”. But, before looking more at how this type of poverty blesses, it will be helpful to understand how these literary stair steps work together in the whole. They are written in a format for memory, meant for daily use.

- How do the Beatitudes Work Together?

The first and last beatitudes are similar. Only the first and last beatitudes have the statement, “… for theirs is the kingdom of God”. They act like bookends that frame a training course for life, found within the other six beatitudes, between. They are very important to help us to begin and end well.

Sections of the book of Matthew relate to specific beatitudes, to give further examples and stories that connect us toward the likeness found in each beatitude. The beatitudes set eight steps as a key to help people remember steps of change, and thereby relate stories of change to their daily life experiences.

All eight beatitudes have a first and second part, like a stair riser and runner that forms a step. For example, “Blessed are those who are poor in spirit ….”, and second“… for theirs is the kingdom of God”. The first part of each beatitude is for us to do, and the second part is what God promises to do to form an Image in relationship with humankind. The second parts of the six core beatitudes all have phrases in the future tense, “… for they shall be (__________)”, as a promise from God. These steps interconnect to form a staircase of training. Each “shall be” promise leads to the next beatitude. The second half of the promise is developed as we train in the first half of the following beatitude. By following successive instructions, the promises become reality. This is how we are guided to become like the Image, for our being “blessed”. Each step affects our lifestyle in particular ways, and gives growth that becomes the basis for subsequent steps. The first beatitude introduces beatitude two.

 

Images Form a Story about Growth - the first half of the Beatitudes

Index for this section - -

- The first beatitude: really knowing yourself

- The second beatitude: faith

- The third beatitude: teach-ability

- The fourth beatitude: growing toward true and just justice

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- The first beatitude: really knowing yourself

The first beatitude begins, “Blessed are those who are poor in spirit ….”, People who are poor in spirit are not unrealistically “proud in spirit”. Some Bible translations use “humble” in place of “poor in spirit”. The word humble means to be abased somewhat like lowly earthy “humus”, which word shares the same etymological root as the word “humility”. Being humble and real about weaknesses abases people. It is the requirement for basic change. Truth for us about the “… kingdom of heaven” needs a solid foundation upon which to build. Unless we see light at the end of the tunnel, we will tend to not face weaknesses, but cover them up. The hope is in the second part of the first beatitude: “… for theirs is the kingdom of God”. We need to let the Image shine. Humility opens the gate so that we should enter training course for growth in the beatitudes. We must be real about weaknesses.

- The second beatitude: faith

The second beatitude is both amazing and daunting. Its action happens as a result of dong the first beatitude, being humble and real about weaknesses, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” When we are real about things, then there will be pain and mourning. Being real about weak things takes us back to areas that hurt. It is here that the Image promises “comfort”. We are able to access weaknesses for growth when there is strong caring help. The meaning of the word “comfort” is powerful: “with-strength” [ con- = with / -fort = forte = strength ]. It is the strength of God promised for our weaknesses. He is the Source and Image of true strength for weaknesses. It is here that we begin to see the Image and the story of the beatitudes affecting change. The question might be asked, “Why should I access weakness and pain when things seem manageable and okay?”.

The answer is that if weaknesses and hurts are not covered over, but given support and answers, then life becomes more solid and will survive times when we are challenged to remain standing. But if weakness and hurt are avoided because we do not have good answers for handling them, then they tend to disallow full growth in life. And buried weaknesses usually find amazing ways to leak out of their coffins, yet alive to affect us. Things that trip us up on the road of life usually have a basis here.

We build upon what has happened in life. If we are to enjoy full life and stand when the stress of life comes, then we need answers of comfort and under-standing. This second beatitude connects us to the Source of the Image for comfort. The promise for comfort is given by our doing the first half of the following third beatitude. It will be our responsible part for growing to become like the Image.

A note about hope: When life might be so overpowering that we are not able to cope with it in our own strength, then it can be covered with “despair”. The Latin “desperare” means "stop hoping" [ “spes” = hope ]. Hope begins at the point that we allow the strong Image to shine on our weaknesses.

- The third beatitude: teach-ability

The third beatitude directs us how to become strong like the Image. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth”. The word “meek” means trainable and able to be disciplined. An excellent example of meekness is Moses, the great leader in the Old Testament times. He was given the title, “… Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” in the book of Numbers 12:3 [ simple: numbers 1, 2, 3 ]. This accolade was more than a cup with writing on it. In Egypt, Moses killed an Egyptian to try to bring justice through his own means. The result was that he fled society, to travel to the sparse back side of desert as a fugitive from the law. He spent 40 years in training and earning this title. He became like the Image, usable to guide an enslaved Jewish nation out from Egypt. He abased himself to reality and weakness, to grow and find stability and usefulness.

Rather than the word “meek”, some Bible translations use the word “gentle”. In English history, a “gentleman” was one who broke and trained horses, to make them gentle. A horse’s raw power was turned to purposeful and useable means. The word was eventually applied to men who had become disciplined, gentlemen. Like a horse, meek and gentle people remain with their same strength, but are focused and no longer wild, unfocused, and unusable. They become like the Image so that they enter into the purpose of God on earth. Things change. When we are real about life, we submit to training.

The second part of the third Beatitude promises a meek person “ … shall inherit the earth”. This is what people try unsuccessfully do in prior weaknesses and poor power to change! It is similar to what Moses had initially failed to do in in Egypt though his proud self-sufficiency, but what he did as a result of his training, and another step. The promise from the Image in third beatitude becomes true as people apply training in the fourth beatitude. That is the promise and vision. This is not “self-actualization” alone, but the self becoming like the Image. It comes by the power of God, not by ourselves alone. For a nation of peoples, it means a place on earth to exist and thrive; not destroyed.

- The fourth beatitude: growing toward true and just justice

The first half of the fourth beatitude accomplishes inheritance of the earth promised in the third beatitude through application of previous training, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled”. In beatitude three, people who became like the Image acted like the Image. They have come to know how to give righteousness, and they hunger and thirst to do it. In the New Testament Greek, words translated “righteousness” and “justice” are the same original word. The variety in translation is done so that reading does not become mechanical and stale. How does inheritance come? People who go out in the purpose of the Image to do the righteousness of the Image will inherit as they go. It is easy to perceive change at this point in the “poor in spirit” person.

 

How the Beatitudes Support Memory and Maintain Actions

Index for this section - -

- The Beatitudes are an integrated story line, for remembering and doing the Image

- Three Steps: In - Become - Out

- B4 - The transition From The First Four B’s, to The Repeating Parallel Last Four B’s

- Stop awhile to view vast stars in the big night sky, prior to the last four beatitudes.

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- The Beatitudes are an integrated story line, for remembering and doing the Image

The sand images are a storyline made from history, song lyrics, and music. The eight beatitudes are a storyline made from a literary device called parallelism that connects its parts for memory and action.

Like most people a few minutes after a particularly difficult conversation, you might have wondered about how you could have simply remembered to have better handled the situation. The Beatitudes are an interconnected list of how to handle life and mature while doing it. The eight beatitudes split into two halves after its fourth. Both halves tell a similar story in parallel, for memory association.

This is a common ancient associative method of learning. Most people in ancient times were illiterate and learned audibly. Both oral and written communications were often formed in parallel stories to associate ideas. People expected the pattern. Similar story structures exist today, but we might not fully realize their design for drawing us into the story and aiding our memory. They are simple and powerful. This type of parallelism first progresses in three steps, and then is given a second time in a slightly different way, parallel in three steps. What are the steps, and why are there eight beatitudes?

The opening beatitude and the closing eighth are not part of the three steps, though they are similar to each other with the common phrase “… for theirs is the kingdom of God.”. They act like bookends to the central six beatitudes. These six are given in a three step manner, twice. Beatitudes [ B’s ] 2, 3, 4 relate in three progressive steps, and B’s 5, 6, 7 similarly relate in three progressive steps. And since both triads are progressive and similar, the first step, B2, in the first triad will have a common idea with the first step in the parallel triad, B5. The second step, B3, in the first triad will have a common idea with the second step in the parallel triad, B6. Similarly, B4 and B7. Thus, two parallel stories are made for association in memory. Best of all, the three-step progression is natural to how we live.

- Three Steps: In - Become - Out

First, we take IN the comfort { com - fort = with - strength } of God, as the source of growth for addressing our mourning; second, we BECOME like what we take in, through training [ meekness ]; third, we give OUT what we have become in order to complete our growth, and His will. IN, BECOME, OUT. B1 is the basis for all beatitudes: to be real: poor in spirit about weaknesses, not proud in spirit about falsity. B2 provides strength for our needs. The Image of comfort is the source, IN. B3 helps us BECOME like the Image taken in, inheriting life. B4 leads the person to go OUT, to act with purpose and passion like the Image in our challenges of life. We become like the Image.

In the Bible book of Matthew, the beatitudes are included in sayings of Jesus called the Sermon on the Mount. The Beatitudes are the organizing pattern to the book of Matthew, its Sermon on the Mount, and other parts. Step by step, Matthew tells how the God desires that we act in his Image.

- B4 - The Transition From The First Four B’s, to The Repeating Parallel Last Four B’s

The promise not yet addressed in beatitude four is “… for they shall be filled”. It rests on the first phrase of “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness sake …”. Doing the first part of B4 allows the promise of B4 to be fulfilled in our doing first part of the following fifth Beatitude, “Blessed are the merciful: ….” People are filled as they give mercy, similar to love. People who hunger and thirst for right find themselves in situations where mercy allows them to respond well to people’s weaknesses and needs. Those people are filled because people respond to their mercy, confirming that they have given things of value. They have something and are people of value!

Mercy is a topic that will be looked at in more depth later. Helpful mercy toward people not only completes the first half of the training program found in the beatitudes one through four, but it also begins the second portion of B5 - B8. The eight beatitudes split in parallel halves between the fourth and fifth beatitudes, to continue training in a parallel association with slightly different application.

There is a characteristic change between the first four beatitudes and the next four. B1 - B5 develop partnerships between God, the Image, and people. It brings the truth of the Image to us. It becomes the training foundation for the second four beatitudes which focus on relationships between people and other people. it is practical for home, neighbors, and nations. The first portion of the beatitudes might be called a vertical relationship between God and people, from the Source. The second portion is a horizontal relationship between people, patterned on the Image. The relationship between the two parallel triads will reinforce how to act, change, and grow: source IN; BECOME like; OUT like.

That the three progressive steps of a triad developed in literature seems natural due to it being seen naturally in all things. For example within nature, plants take IN light, carbon dioxide, water, and minerals; then BECOME a plant by use of its source materials; then give OUT their modified source materials as oxygen and water vapor. IN, BECOME, OUT. In terms of a computer: source INput by software, data entry, etc. causes the processor to BECOME the source input; then develop OUTput to the monitor, printer, mill lathe, etc. with proper effect. All change happens in this three step way. We get, grow, and give. The Source In, to Become like the source, to go Out as the source: the Image. It is true that only in modern times do we understand the processes of the above examples, but people have always understood that what goes into a person forms them and will be the identity given out.

- Stop awhile to view vast stars in the big night sky, prior to the last four beatitudes.

The bigger picture gives a view about the purpose of the Image for society. The Image does not tear down some people in order to build-up itself or other people. The good Image lifts everyone who reflects upon it. It does not need to subjugate and walk over some people, to draw blood, or give unfair advantage to other people. People who look to the Image for added guidance and strength become disciplined, with a right sort of justice; and with true independence that exhibits dependence upon added strength from God. They build and give like God. But, weak self-imaged people cause conflicts among neighboring nations and tear down people. They destroy in the name of false images.

It is a mistake to think the Image is inconsequential, then become self-sufficient; as self-gods. People inflict misery and pain on other people in order to cover their own self-weaknesses. Mourn about it.

People and nations that realistically mourn about self-weaknesses will have hope and be blessed with a maturity and strength that understands how to build up other peoples and bring lasting solutions.

A person might wonder why this Image can be claimed as the Source of goodness, truth, and love. A way to prove truth is to act out the beatitudes. “Acts” make “facts”, for or against! These two words have the same linguistic root: Latin “facere”, “to do” or “to make”. This is also the scientific method for testing truth. The first sentence of this paragraph is a hypothesis claim, with substantive material for testing. It is the beatitudes and material mentioned later. The words of God are the substantive source materials for testing. Be sure to follow the instructions. If you test something not claimed by God as true, then do not expect true results. Acting on the beatitudes and its related materials will produce facts that either support or deny hypothecated claims about the Image, God: true or false; to accept or reject. Each person becomes the testing medium! Test results should show the Image of God to us. Importantly, testing allows us to understand God well enough so that we can identify His actions in the world around us. Then, by rational faith, we join the active God who works. We must not invent good works and wrongfully call it “God”! The next beatitude continues the Image process.  

The second half of the Beatitudes: relations among peoples - beginning with B5

Index for this section - -

- The fifth beatitude: Mercy given, mercy received. Mercy me, please.

- The sixth beatitude, Forgive and Forget: How to do it - the parallel second step - -

- The seventh beatitude: finishing the training for good relations with neighbors -

- The eighth beatitude: having done all to stand - You will stand

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- The fifth beatitude: Mercy given, mercy received. Mercy me, please.

The fifth beatitude presents a personal challenge about our being merciful and it ends with the same mercy, “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” The first part of B5 answers the promise in B4, “… for they shall be filled.” We are filled with the practice of mercy. But it is not easily done and will challenge us to the core. We are “filled” when loving people in hard situations. Perhaps they are mourning about their own weaknesses and past pain; themselves beginning in the second beatitude. Through our responsibility to do the first half of B5, we become a channel of strength for people; to give to people who enter the training. And, various personal situations in life drive us back to the beginning, too, to develop maturity in a new area. We will need the mercy of God in practicing our endeavors. It is found in the promise from the Source in second half of B5. Like B2, it brings strength from the Source, necessary for B6 - B8.

The transition from B4 to B5 is also a change of focus found in the first four beatitudes and the last four beatitudes. The first half develops the Image of God in us. The last half guides in developing relationships among people. Both halves are parallel. B5 directs us to be merciful with people who have personal weaknesses and needs for growth. Thereby, it parallels B2 of the first triad about the comfort of God for our mourning about weaknesses. In both, God is the Source. As we give mercy in B5, we are giving truth to need, not rejection or excusing. That is what love does.

Often, a person who is very mature in various areas of life is also very stunted in other areas of life. Perhaps this disparity happens from hurts, or from things previously avoided, or even from simple lack of experience. The practice of mercy and the second half of four beatitudes will challenge our remaining weak areas. As B5 - B7 progresses for developing relationship among people, we will often return to B2 through B4 for developing the Image of God in us.

The first beatitude remains the essential foundation for all the beatitudes. If a person would cease from humility-realness, then none of the beatitudes would work. Since B5 is the first step of the second triad , it similar to B2, the first step of its prior triad. Their common characteristic is strength from the Source, either comfort or mercy. The promise in B5 “… for they shall obtain mercy.” is sourced IN from God, as is the B2 promise of comfort. If people would fail in foundational humility, then they would be not feel the need to dependently source either promise. Both triads would fail.

People often love well because they have been real and identified weaknesses needing help from the Image which are similar to the needs of the person requiring mercy. Having been humble, they have found solutions to their problems. They know what works. But, people who do not remain humble toward God will tend to act unwisely, weakly, and without requisite love. They have not trained to become mature like the Image. They are prideful and often miserably subjugate other people. It is typical of tyrants in human history. And it is typical of people who join with them, to empower them.

The B5 promise, “… for they shall obtain mercy”, is realized through the sixth beatitude, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.”. As a person both gives mercy to people and recycles through B2 to B4 for their own weaknesses, they BECOME more like the Image; pure in their actions and pure before their neighbors. B6 parallels B3. We BECEOME more like God. Purity will help people wisely make good moral decisions that affects economy and lifestyles. B6 is not only the second step in the second parallel triad, but also the fifth step of the combined triads [ B1 is a foundational opening and not part of the parallel triads. ]. As will be seen later in parallelism from other parts of the Bible, the fifth core step often relates stories about forgiveness. As parallelism has opening and closing, then this is the sixth step.

The act of forgiveness is one of the most maturing concepts to be learned in life, and of which parents can teach children to “become” mature in order to promote lifelong success. We must understand how forgiveness helps society to “become” mature among its neighbors and nations. It will also help elucidate the promise of B6 and the following step B7. After its consideration, we will finish the B’s.

- The sixth beatitude, Forgive and Forget: How to do it - the parallel second step - -

The word for-give is hyphenated here to highlight its root ‘give’. “For-get” and forgive have a like prefix, “for-” meaning “not” in Latin. What are we to “not” - “give and get“?! Attitudes of “give and take” help make successful relationships. For receiving B5 acts of mercy, we must B6 purify our attitudes for becoming like the essence of what God does for us. First, “not-give” what? - hate and rejection, irritation and bitterness, etc. Second, love gives goodness. And love gives goodness so that all people affected by the situation receive the greatest amount of goodness possible. Forgiveness requires thought, problem solving, and planning. Forgiveness allows an about-face toward give-ness.

By being alive, we are always giving something: either good or bad, acceptance and help, or hate and rejection; yes or no. As a person enters a room full of people, their presence and attitude gives a message that is understood. What to we give? For example, when there is a problem at home or at work, what is for-given, so that truth can be given? Here is a Biblical image: “It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”, Lamentations 3:22. And, Lamentations 3:23, “They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” God forgives what we deserve, so that we can be offered what is needed: truth for life. How much forgiveness is right?

In the “give and get” of relationship, what are we to for-get; that is to “not-get”? Forgetting is often thought of as ‘not remembering’. True, but its meaning is more profound. We are to “not-get” again the wrong that had been done us! Forgiveness does not require people to become door mats; to be walked over again. In order to set a standard, someone must begin it. People are to “not get” hate and rejection, irritation and bitterness, etc. This means the other party for-gives, too, so that more badness is not-given and we do not-get the badness! The beatitudes are about change. Often, people do not know what goodness looks like until they are shown examples. And we might not know what goodness looks like unless someone shows us, too! Be patient, but behavior is to eventually change.

How can we know if we have truly forgiven? If we in our own power cannot handle problems and bury them with a covering of false pride, and then wishfully think that they will “never again” affect us, then we have not forgiven. We know that we have for-given well if we can give goodness to the same or similar problem situations. Avoid or give. Perhaps a person or nation who needs forgiveness and your giving of goodness is not realistic nor humble to accept it. Offering goodness does not mean that it will be accepted. Perhaps a person has died and cannot receive goodness. Forgiveness is primarily about not giving hate and wrong, but giving what is needed and right. It is primarily about the giver. It secondarily affects receivers. It wants justice, for ALL. And as we give, we are matured.

Forgiveness allows give-ness: God does not destroy us, but gives truth for life. People who are real about self-image, and who desire to become like the strong Image, obtain mercy from God. These people BECOME the “pure in heart” in B6; not hateful in heart. God continues to give until our sand in the time glass is gone. At death, forgiveness is no longer available. Opportunity for humility about falsity and weakness will have passed. We can actively become part of the story and its purpose, now.

How do we love? Beatitude six is step-two of the second triad, for “becoming / training”. It reaches to the depths of our “Be Attitudes” [ a sound-alike phrase, but without etymology ]. We BECOME more like the Image, to act out as the Image. ‘Pure-in-attitude’ people are able to “see - understand” the promise of the sixth beatitude. It will be fulfilled though their doing the first part of the seventh.

- The seventh beatitude: finishing the training for good relations with neighbors -

The seventh beatitude teaches us how to go “OUT”, to practice who we have become, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” The promise of the sixth beatitude, “… for they shall see God.”, is answered as we “see = understand” the purpose of the Image for us: to be peacemakers. This is the third step of the second triad, parallel to the third step of the first triad: hungering and thirsting for righteousness. But, it is more. It is also about bringing people to relationship with the Image: making peace with God. People need to come in, to become, to go out.

The first half of the beatitudes develop relationships between us and the Image. The second half applies that growth to help form relationships between people. Here, developed skills received from the Image should attract people to desire peace with God. Neighborly peace first gains experience to understand what makes peace with the Father. Then making peace involves our understanding how God desires us to inculcate a harmony of common values. This seventh step is the culmination of much past training and growth. People need opportunity to go to the Source for growth and maturity.

The eighth beatitude: having done all to stand - You will stand

The promise of the seventh beatitude, “… for they shall be called the children of God.”, is realized in the eighth beatitude: “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” People might think, “Why would I want to be persecuted!” If you are doing something right for people, community, or society, someone will likely become upset; especially a non-humble individual who cannot stomach the first beatitude. If you are persecuted for doing well, it probably means that someone else is not doing well. They feel uncomfortable. But, if you are not doing anything, the scenery might be peaceful for awhile. But unrestrained evil often expands to not only visit your home, but to it take over. Here, you are promised that yours is the kingdom of heaven.

The children of God do not get knocked over and stepped on by life. They have been through the training course and know how to remain standing, with God. Their skills allow the Source of truth to accomplish goodness far beyond their own abilities. Children hear and do the will of the father, and they experience the Father working. When people walked in the front door of the first beatitude, theirs was “the kingdom of heaven”. Now people are strong and mature because they remained in it.

People who identify with God help other people to do the same. The word “identity” is helpful. Its root, “idem”, means the “same”. Identical twins are the same. We identify with someone because of the “same” values or characteristics. We identify objects by their similarities or differences. And, we identify with the Image because we have become children of the Father, doing the same work as He.

Both people and nations can have peace and enjoyment. They can be persecuted and remain standing because they can gain an internal moral gyroscope from the Image that points them toward Him and gives them balance. They can give help instead of hatred. They under-stand what stands-under truth; a foundation of reality strengthened by the Image. They know the difference between good and evil.

Evil is like noxious weeds growing among a field of good wheat. Evil is not easily separated. If the weed is pulled, then the good plant is damaged. Evil mixes with goodness, to “fuse” with personal and institutional roots, and cause “con-fusion”. Separation of good and evil is not done by yanking terribly hard at evil, but by producing good wheat heads which eventually can be separated from the weed seed. What we produce depends on our Image. Our Image guides our acts to make facts, which can eventually be harvested and separated. Societal institutions confused with evil need to produce new futures with peacemaking acts. Do justice. When a crop of goodness grows among weeds, then there is good substance to work with, while rejecting the rest. Goodness brings a harvest to separate!

The Image helps empower our wheels of action, to meet our roads of life - -

Index for this section - -

- If frustrated about life, then step backward. The first beatitude is essential for all.

- Foolish strength and wise weakness

- Where not to live or travel: autocratic lands

- Bad consequences from the Source: The eight Woes

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- If frustrated about life, then step backward. The first beatitude is essential for all.

Are you bearing tasty fruit? If you might be sour, then focus on the beatitude that fits your situation, then step back one beatitude to consider its supporting role. For example, if you get knocked down by life and feel B8 weak knees, then go to B7 to ask if you know how to help people make peace with the Image. If you can correct it, good. But if confusion remains, then go back another step to check the B6 purity your intent. If not, do you source the B5 mercy of God, or are you “still”: not moving?

If you B5 acts of mercy toward people do not B4 fill you: satisfying your hungers, then do you often cycle from B4 to B2, for comfort? If so, are you B4 hungry and thirsty for righteousness, or is there no passion to inherit the earth? If not, are you B3 trainable, to gain strength? If not, do you mourn in the reality of your weaknesses, to depend upon the strength of God to affect you? If not, step back to B1 humility about the spirit. Question if you operate in the kingdom of heaven. We must enter the door as “poor in spirit” at the first beatitude and never leave it. This is the residency of the kingdom.

- Foolish strength and wise weakness

We all will be fooled sometime. We can choose wrong turns. But it is a big tragedy when a person continually fools them self! Fools fool themselves by not facing facts! Facts about weakness are painful, because we realize our lack of ability to change. We must admit dependent need for strength from the Image. If a person sees weakness, and asks God to become the image of strength, then that allows them to test a claim for truth about life, and centrally: with a testable hope based upon facts.

National memories cause concern for how to “never again” be stepped on, stabbed, and reduced to people’s false images. National choices have historically been for people to either dwell and dote on national abused histories and weaknesses, or to grow into the ability of the image of God. Both Hitler and Stalin acted on weak self-sufficient images, with many supporting followers, but done to preserve themselves, alone. If we would follow leaders who call evil as right and weaknesses as strength, then our image remains stunted and immature; guiding ourselves, alone. They step up, over people, rather than lifting people. Where is the true Image? There is maturing strength and uplift through following the Image! It guides us to passionately desire justice and making peace. Its steps are a real process.

When there is pain, individual people or nations of peoples, can create fanciful false images. Such images lack humility, then subjugates its neighbors. Hubris avoids weakness, to grow a bigger head rather than a strong body of character. It is based in anger, but more foundationally, anything without uplift comes from a false image. Using an example, Eurasia is a land of historic crossroads bringing bloodshed, with a history of being invaded and invading. People have suffered horrific campaigns of bloodshed, stepping on neighbors internally and nations externally, created by self-insufficient weak over-inflated big-head images which grind upon needs of healing pain in Europe and Asia. Perhaps pain manifests as controlling a boarder nation, to develop a self-protective buffer from hurt, rather than face hurt with strength from the Image. We must gain the greater power of the caring Image.

There is one inalienable human right that supports all other rights: to be lifted: loved. The Image never put some people down in order to lift itself up or other people up! If we look to the Image, we will B3 meekly learn and shall inherit the earth, as we B4 hunger and thirst for righteousness-justice.

The Image lifted all people who would allow it. All people have the right to love, to be lifted so that the most amount of goodness can be accomplished, considering all people who are affected by our actions. The invalid image must put some people down, and invalidate them rather than lift them; to blame them rather than face facts; to cause pain rather than feel unbearable personal pain in their own weak strength. Where is hope in darkness? Consider the bright Image than shines within a universe of hope. If we see the Light and our darkness, and mourn about it, then we will receive strength, be taught, inherit, and hunger and thirst for right, to be filled full with mercy beyond ourselves. We will forgive and give, because we will have become peacemakers like the Image; people not tempted to walk in ways that depresses humanity’s hope, or lift self. Ours will be “… the kingdom of heaven.”

- Where not to live or travel: autocratic lands

Land is essential to life. Raw solid earth gives a home on which to raise families and work. The Fatherland, including people who exercised poor weakened images to foment the Great Patriotic War, can produce lasting goodness. People of a Motherland who became bloodied by following leaders, can give uplift and give families hope for their futures. Become like the good Image: Be B1 humble about B2 weaknesses; to B3 learn truth; to B4 promulgate truth, and then be B5 merciful with truth, to purely B6 forgive and then give. Then we will B7 make peace. We will not be led into temptation, to make mayhem. We must become earthy, humble as soil humus, before we will accept guidance.

Humility and wisdom can buffer people from evil more than can land! It offers peace and security.

Love skills are from the God of love. He is right about goodness. His goodness lifts us to Rights.

Europe, Asia, Africa, Americas, Southern Seas, and peoples around the world develop images amid hard challenges. Give goodness. Matured people of the Image have learned how to stand tough though persecution, and how to “not-give” hate. They survive evil whippings of history, and most importantly, they do not whip history! Definition: Love … gives … the most amount of goodness … by considering ALL people and things affected by its giving actions. God came to the Earth as Jesus, to love: forgive, and give His sacrifice, so the total available goodness will lift up all humble people.

What is goodness? What is right and wrong? Sin is doing wrong; a wrongdoing that results from acting independently, apart from the Image. What is evil? That which leads to curses, with Woes.

- Bad consequences from the Source: The eight Woes

The eight maturing beatitudes steps are located in the Bible book of Matthew, chapter 5. But, it is not a unique list in Matthew. There is another version of these eight steps, called the “Woes” at Matthew 23:13 - 30, five chapters from the end of the same book. The Woes are eight steps that end in destruction. They parallel each step of the beatitudes in an opposite way. They are anti-beatitudes.

Jesus pronounced Woes upon corrupt leaders of His day, and people who rejected the Image and beatitudes. It happens, naturally. The Woes give a stark comparison for how evil persons and their societies develop. Reading the Woes is somewhat like reading newspaper articles about evil in modernity. They show actions and characteristics of people who live from their own self independent images, and thereby hurt people and society. They compare their progression to the beatitudes, step by step. The word “beatitude” means “blessed” and the word “woe” means “cursed”, and both words have the same divine force of authority in their opposite meanings. Each beatitude begins with “Blessed are ….”. Each woe begins with “Woe unto you …”. Below, I greatly paraphrase them.

Woes to evil people:

- - the full passage is in the Bible - - compare with corresponding beatitudes.

1 - Matthew 23:13, they never humble themselves to reality and their weaknesses, and are never freed from gnawing pain and hurt. They never find the humble entry door to the kingdom of the Image.

2 - Matthew 23:14, they devour the needy; [ note: some Bibles, such as the NIV translation, do not include this verse because of considerations about what are considered reliable “majority” ancient manuscripts. Some Bibles include it. The verse also exists in parallel synoptic books, at Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47. A false void here is more about whether judging ancient “majority” manuscripts as the most reliable, is itself reliable. Some deficient manuscripts parented many children copies. The parallel structure of orality and its offspring writings are highly structured, especially as in Matthew. ]

3 - Matthew 23:15, with self-righteous passion, they guide followers to become more evil than they.

4 - Matthew 23:16 - 22, they create alluring societal images that are vacant of any meaning and help;

--------- 5, 6, 7 are parallel to 2, 3, 4

5 - Matthew 23:23 - they form unmerciful laws, obsess on light matters, and omit weightier matters of justice. Their light matters are self-focused aggrandizement, leaving Image-focused goodness blind.

6 - Matthew 23:25 - they polish their personal cups holding extortion and excesses; drawing people into them. When they should have become forgiving and giving, they became duplicitous hypocrites.

7 - Matthew 23:27 - they claim to seek and create beauty, but are children acting out stench and death.

8 - Matthew 23:29 - they give great honor to past social reformers who died for a cause, but then claim themselves righteous when killing people who speak for truth: “If we had lived in the days of past honored social reformers, we would have defended them!” They remain in their own self-image.

Full life, or its emptiness, results from choosing to walk toward the Light of the Image, or not. If Light allows us to gain hope for a blessed reality and future, then stand for what is right in the Light.

 

The Source of the Beatitudes is the Old Testament. It is the New Testament Gospel.

Index for this section - -

- The Beatitudes are the Ten Commandments -

- Ten Commandments [ TC ], Beatitudes [ B ], and “Our Father” prayer [ OF ]: for memory.

- Steps for Ten Commandments [ TC ], Beatitudes [ B ], and “Our Father” prayer [ OF ]:

[ and a slight comment about the classic question, “Why would an all powerful, loving, personal God allow evil and suffering?”, which has been woefully answered in Christian apologetics ]

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- The Beatitudes are the Ten Commandments -

The Beatitudes are the Ten Commandments [ TC ], restated. The “good news” about God originated in the Old Testament, and transferred to letters which formed the New Testament. The Bible in use during New Testament times was the Old Testament. Parts of the Beatitudes are found in various Old Testament passages, but the TC is the source. In society’s transition from Old Testament to New, the Ten Commandments remain an essential revelation that centrally forms New Testament good news.

Parallelism found in the Ten Commandments also forms the structure of the book of Matthew. It is seen in the beatitudes and similar multiple parallelism lists. Its parallelism is also used to relate the stories of Matthew which draw us into their action. Its purpose is to help us identify how God desires to communicate with us in relationship. God desires to actively promote His goodness through us.

In order to bring clarity about the beatitudes’ [ and all the book of Matthew ] relation to its source, the Ten Commandments [ TC ], we need to first apply the TCs to practical daily experiences. Then we can see their steps in the Beatitudes [ B ] and also to the parallel-stepped six-stanza “Our Father prayer” [ OF ]. The OF is found in chapter six of Matthew, and follows the beatitudes in chapter five.

- Ten Commandments [ TC ], Beatitudes [ B ], and “Our Father” prayer [ OF ]: for memory.

The eight beatitudes [ B ] have opening and closing steps [ B1 and B8 ], which leaves six core steps, itself formed by two repeating [ parallel ] of three-step sections. These six core steps are the TC.

How are the TC formed from six steps? TC1 - TC5 are five steps. Commandments 6 - 10 are a final unified step in parallelism, as will be shown. The TC is not only the basis of the B, OF, but also other passages such as the eight Parables in Matthew 13, eight Woes, and all Narratives and Discourses.

It is important to know that among various religions, the TC slightly varies in its divisions! There are three groups of similar agreement: 1 - Jewish, 2 - Latin Catholic and Lutheran, 3 - Eastern Catholic and Orthodox and most Protestant churches. My presentation of the TC, below, is the same as group 3, except for this variation: the Jewish religion includes with Commandment one what some non-Jewish religions call the TC preamble. This writing follows the Jewish tradition in that variation.

Thus, the TC is formed of Six steps: two parallel parts of three-steps each; fully seen in the TC, B, and OF. I paraphrase their comparisons below. Full writings are in the Bible: The TC is at Exodus, chapter 20, and also Deuteronomy, chapter 5. Both passages fully reveal this application of the TC.

A deeper scholarly discourse about the six steps of TC parallelism is interspersed below, especially at the last five commandments: found under the setting section of TC6-10. We begin now with step 1.

 

- Steps for Ten Commandments [ TC ], Beatitudes [ B ], and “Our Father” prayer [ OF ]:

[ The comment to “Why would an all powerful, loving, personal God allow evil and suffering?”, which has been woefully answered in Christian apologetics, is at the setting section under TC4 ]

TC1 - God is strong, having brought people out of bondage in Egypt, and there is no other like God.

B2 - God provides strength [ comfort ( forte )] to replace our mourning about weaknesses.

OF1 - Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Setting: The TC is in the form of a societal contract between a king and subjects, used by Mideast nations contemporary to the period of the TC, such as Ugaritic, etc. Societal contracts between king and subjects predicated that the good king was the source and standard of goodness. The standards were usually stated in the negative, to prick the conscience of the subjects when not followed. The positive was easily elucidated. The king is the image of goodness, to which subjects look for right.

Rubric for parallelism: Source / IN

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TC2 - No other images. If people wrongly follow other images, they will not do the commandments, and then a visit of iniquity will get their attention. If people follow commandments, blessings follow.

B3 - To get comfort [ strength ], become trainable. You will inherit the earth as you hunger and thirst.

OF2 - Thy kingdom come. It becomes as you become.

Setting: A king would desire a good kingdom, made of good subjects. Thus, he gave commandments which emanated from his goodness, so that people become his Image. Each TC assumes a person did not follow the previous. Most TC’s are negatively stated. In TC1, if people did not accept God as the Image, then in TC2, they would ascribe power to other images in order to BECOME like them instead of like God. The animals in heaven above, etc. would become their supposed source of power. They would make up their own weak commandments, instead of discovering power in the commandments of God. If they did this, the king would visit iniquity upon them, a temporary condition to get their attention. If they accepted him as the Image, then they would follow his commandments and be blessed. It was the king’s prerogative to give land inheritances to people who had served him well, and in the second part of B3 about inheritance, it is given to us by our doing the steps set forth here.

Rubric for parallelism: BECOME

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TC3 - Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain [ in thinness or emptiness ]: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

B4 - passionately do righteousness, not with false thin meaning about God. Be filled doing His will.

OF3 - Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Setting: if a person does not take in the king’s image, TC1, to adulate a false image, TC2, but then go out into the world claiming to be in the Image of the King, then the king would be wroth! Your image identity is about the identity of God: his personage and his goodness for us. The king will not hold the bearer of another image guiltless, implying eternal judgment. Our job is to take In the Image, to then Become it, and then go Out taking its Image of righteousness as our actions; not in vanity. If people turn away from the king because of our false image, then we denigrate the purpose for which we exist! We are to represent the Name, by going out to do His will on earth, as it is done in heaven.

Rubric for parallelism: OUT / go

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This completes the first parallel half of three parts: In, Become, Out. Now it repeats.

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TC4
- Cease from your work, one day in seven. Remember the mighty God who delivered you from slavery. [ Be merciful to people all week, then on the Sabbath celebrate the mercy of God, Isaiah 58. ]

B5 - Be merciful with that which you have become. And remember that God continues mercy to you.

OF4 - Give us this day our daily bread.

Setting: The Sabbath is for our celebrating that God is the source of all things. It helps us remember our purpose and mutual relationship with Him as the Source. TC4, like its parallel C1, does not give a promise of reward, but only a demand: do it. Honor the Image, and discover God! Both C1 and C4 refers to the strength of God delivering people from Egyptian slavery. [ Deuteronomy 5:7, 8 & 5:15 ].

If we recognize God as the source of life, of both needed mercy and comfort, then we can happily put our self-independent foolishness to rest. B5 and B2 [ TC core steps 4 and 1 ], are like OF4 wherein God was the giver of daily manna during the wilderness exodus, and like the hallowed strong Father of OF1. God is the Source. We are to hallow the Image of the good Father so that we do not become self-independent images that grind on our neighbors, bringing evil falsity to earth. The Sabbath was instituted by God on the seventh day, ceasing creation, to work the plan for which creation was made!

The best translation from Hebrew for Genesis 2:3 is that God “ceased”, not “rested” from six days of creation. God is not snoring, but works the plan for which creation was purposed! Genesis 2:3 also states that God blessed and sanctified the seventh day [ Sabbath ], meaning that it was set apart for a special purpose. The seventh day is the only day to not have an associated phrase of an evening and a morning, showing completion. We are in it. The Sabbath command memorializes the plan of God through the creation. After six days of creating our environs, to finally make us, God called it “very good” because it serves the purpose of the plan. Goodness is defined by that which serves a defined plan. And God is greatest, thus defines the plan, thus what is goodness which serves the plan. We are the active Image bearers in the seventh day, the apex of creation able to be in the Image. The plan leads to separation of goodness from evil, to heaven and hell. Evil was a problem to be solved from before creation. We tend to blame God for evil, when the creation is the process leading to contain it.

Unless you read Bible passages highlighted below, you will likely not understand comments about “Why would an all powerful, loving, personal God allow evil and suffering?”. I Peter 1:19 - 20, and other passages show that the plan of the death of Christ on the cross, for obtaining our justice, was designed [ fore ordained ] from before creation. Creation was fashioned to solve a problem: to separate goodness from evil that existed from before creation. The plan was from before Adam and Eve sinned. Their culpable acts are not main focus, but only a predicted blip on the time line. Evil would be more clever than they. Their free choice was known from before their acts, predicted, and a healing answer prepared. Human creation is the apex of the Creation story, made for a “very good” purpose; to help separate goodness and evil into two places, heaven and hell, eternally; end of story.

Goodness is not perfection. Goodness is defined by what supports the plan and purpose. Satan slithered in the garden of Eden, so it was not perfect! We were created for the plan, to do our part which is portrayed in the second of eight parables, listed together in Matthew, chapter 13. The eight parables match the eight Beatitudes, and their core six, P2 - P7, match the TC’s, thus the OF, etc. The second parable is separated in two parts, at Matthew 13:24 - 30 and 13:35 - 43. Its abstract is that goodness and evil are intertwined, like roots of good wheat and bad weeds growing together. Pull the weed root and the wheat is pulled too, ruined. The big plan is for humans in creation is to produce good wheat heads or bad weed heads, from which fruiting heads can be separated. What we choose to produce are our works, what we do. In, Become, Out. When evil Satan showed up in the Garden of Eden, and Adam and Eve doubted the good God, God did not need an alternate plan. He expected this to happen to His human separators working in day seven. His plan was in place before creation and it continues now, unaltered His resurrection is the notice of being God. The other is his control of significant events in time, measured and accountable with counting numbers. Present apologetics are too humanly self-centered in its answers about the plan of God, focusing on the Garden fall as the main event needing correction. We are an essential part of the plan process, but not its prime motive.

The Sabbath is important to remember, because it memorializes the plan of creation, what God does, and why we exist. Have land; have a nation: God told Israel to keep their land fallow as a “land Sabbath” every seventh year, for one year, as a memorial. God is the Source. Israel did not do it for 490 years and then was put into Babylonian captivity for 70 years to the exact measured day, so that the 70 “seventh year” one year Sabbath memorials were kept [ 490 years / 7 = 70 fallow years of no farming ]. Land is foundational. Nations exist on it or disappear from it. Creation is foundational to the plan of God to separate goodness from evil. God was serious that his chosen people honor the memorial, to remember His plan. If we do not do the plan, but take His Name-purpose-Image in vain, then we will not be held guiltless. Israel’s captivity should not have been a surprise because God forewarned them about consequent blessing or curses for their actions, given in great detail, and for their informed choices: given before, in Deuteronomy, chapter 28. Fair. God always has a plan.

The plan leads to the final Sabbath rest. We are considered His partners in His work. Hebrews 4:9 is the culminating of a long passage begun in Hebrews, chapter 3, about the final “rest” ore “ceasing”. It is identified to be when humanity’s work is “ceased”, “sabbatismos” in Greek at that verse, like when God “ceased” from His work of creating. Therefore, there now remains a future rest, as part of the long and purposeful plan of our existence. Whether it was daily manna given as daily bread [ except on the Sabbath so people would remember the Source ], or OF4 “daily bread”, or the TC4 Sabbath, His pro-visioned planning is the process toward the promised land, heaven. It is our choice to see and follow His plan with resultant blessings, or reject it with resultant curses. God is the source of uplift.
Rubric for parallelism: source / IN

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TC5 - By honoring Mom and Dad, people mature to learn how to survive well in this big world, in the land which the LORD your God gives. This is true no matter our age, as a son or a daughter.

B6 - become pure, and you will understand what God is doing in this big world in which we live.

OF5 - And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Setting: TC5 and the parallel TC2 both give consequential promises! And while TC2 makes God the giver of commandments, TC5 makes the parents commanders in His Image. TC1 through TC3 fosters vertical relationship between God and humanity. TC4 through TC10 is horizontal application, among humanity. This commandment fosters an essential relational skill for life: forgiveness, so we can then give. By their image of forgiving and giving love, parents teach. It is the most important life skill that humanity can develop. After the OF passage in Matthew, chapter 6, God states that people who do not learn to forgive will not be forgiven by Him. Children can become the Image of God, through parents who teach in the image of God. B6 is about becoming pure, to see [ understand ] God, and OF5 is about forgiveness, what God does in uplifting life and eternal separation from evil.

The parallel to B6, which is B3, is to be teachable [ meek - moldable ] and gives the promise is to inherit the earth, that we live long upon the land. The land is the creation, and nations exist to do His plan on that land. We learn skills from the commandments of God and cease from self-independence.
Rubric for parallelism: BECOME
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TC6-10
- is like TC3. As people affect the world, if they go OUT in the name of the Image, they will not do things that dishonor His purpose. Do not murder: it kills the ultimate creation, humans who are necessary for the plan of the seventh day to proceed with their help. Satan wants you obliterated in order to stop the plan! / Do not commit adultery: it creates havoc with families and stunts society and the plan in numerous ways. / Do not steal: it harms community production and growth. / Do not bear false witness against your neighbor: neighborhoods become severely disfunctional by bad neighbors. / Do not covet: acting as though you control everything. God controls and gives. / The kingdom of God serves the end plan through His: creation, society, community, neighbors, and you.

B7 - Go. Make peace from your purity; lead people to the Source of your image, so they can make peace with God who can become their image.

OF6 - And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:

Setting: Why is OF6 stated in the negative? It is because it represents TC6-10 which are stated in the negative, as one grammatical unit in Hebrew. When we are led by the Image of God, then we will NOT be led into temptation as we go OUT to the world as His Image. We can bless society, to NOT do the list in TC6-10. Instead, we can respond to difficult situations by becoming peacemakers who follow the will of God, as His children. Hebrew grammar is insightful at the TC6-10 unit. TC7-10 begins each commandment with a Hebrew “vav” letter prefixed to a verb. It is called a “consecutive vav”, properly translated “And”. Each of C7-10 begins with “And” connecting TC6-10 in tight union. The TC English translation at Exodus 20 does not show the “and” at beginnings of C7-10, and the Deuteronomy 5 passage only intimates it with the word “Neither”. Hebrew grammar is Verb-Subject-Object oriented, whereas English is Subject-Verb-Object oriented, and thus a translation can obfuscate this grammar. Hebrew has two types of “and” meanings. English readers are accustomed to a conjunctive “and” which joins sundry ideas into a group. Hebrew also has a conjunctive “and” when a “vav” letter prefixes to a noun. But when the “vav” letter prefixes to a verb, it is clearly a “consecutive vav” which joins ideas consecutively, making them one interdependent inseparable unit.

A comparative example from in the Bible might help. The creation story from Genesis 1:3 - 2:3 is a unit, which in Hebrew has a prefixed vav at the beginning verb of each verse from Genesis 1:3 - 2:3, translated “And” [ Note: Genesis 1:30 is with a vav prefixed to a noun, and thus conjunctive; due to that verse continuing a list begun in the Genesis 1:29. Such “verse” divisions are later artifacts, not in the original Hebrew. ] Bible translation sometimes uses “Thus” or “Now”, and thereby looses the consecutive vav story within its unification of a story. Genesis 1:1 - 2 is a story “ summary heading”, giving its setting prior to the first creative command at Genesis 1:3. Likewise, the sequel second creation story begins with a heading at Genesis 2:4 - 6, with first action at Genesis 2:7. Genesis 2:7 refers to the full first creation story, and following verses continue about the second-half of creation day 6 in more detail. It is similarly unified with “ consecutive vav - And”’s from Genesis 2:7 onward.

The consecutive vav is not a “slight-of-hand” grammar, but a very clear signal like a bright fire in the night. Also, the verb to which a consecutive vav is prefixed is written in an opposite aspect [ tense ] from which it is to be understood. For example, if an idea is perfected [ or “completed”, equivalent to past tense ], and there is a vav prefixed to the verb, then the verb is written as oppositely unperfected [ not completed - not past tense, but in a future tense ]. In the creation story, the first command at Genesis 1:3 is translated as, “And God said, ….” but is written in Hebrew as “And-will say God ….” [ in VSO form ] , not as “And-said God ….”! Its consecutive vav prefix informs understanding as “And-said God ….” Similarly, a consecutive vav prefixed to verb understood with an unperfected aspect, is written in the opposite perfected aspect. The consecutive vav is a clear grammatical tool for intimately connecting things, consecutively; forming them into a complete story unit: inseparable!

Consecutive vav usage in the first creation account has a consecutive time meaning for events, too, and identifies the creation as a story unit. Consecutive vav usage in TC6-10 also unifies it, and gives it a progressive story from TC6 to the TC10 last commandment. That story was slightly given above at TC6-10. Also, TC10, contains a list of ‘what not to covet’ which is almost identical to the former TC4 list of what to put to rest’ on the Sabbath. TC10 is the end of step 3 of the triad In-Become-Out and TC4 the first step [ in the parallel second half ]. Part 3 cycles back to part 1 as we mature in various areas of life. Our following heed, to put to rest items on these almost identical lists, helps us to not consider ourselves as gods; the Source! We can take a rest from self! We can recognize God as the Provider - IN! Going from TC6-10, which is a step OUT to the world, back to the IN - Source at TC4, offers a means of checking on ourselves, because do not mature in all areas of life at one time.
Rubric for parallelism: OUT / go

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1. - Source and take God in, 2. - to become like God, and then 3. - go out to do as His Image, in love!

The book of Matthew puts the Ten Commandments into stories to help us identify how to live them.

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CLOSING - - with a consideration -

Consider a night sky filled with shining stars. It inspires that hope can exist in darkness. The root of the word “con-sider” is “-sider” and means “star”, from Latin ‘siderus’. The whole word means “with - star”. Its root is found in words like sidereal time or sidereal month. If we “consider” something well, we closely look at it, like a person looking at a gleaming star. Truth is revealed. Similarly, how we look at life is affected by considering the word: “respect”. The root “-spect” means to “look”, like the word spectacles. The suffix “re-” is to look “back / again”, almost like the sand images that looked back to 1945 to remind us to consider. We “look back again” to “consider” people we love.

Some people might look back again to a high star atop an obelisk memorial for fallen soldiers, or as a person from the United States, I might consider the Statue of Liberty memorial given to us by France; on which are written the words, “Give me your tired, your poor, …. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”. These gleaming points of hope need a higher Image, like the light of a strong Sun. When our doors of humility open to the Image, hope from God shines its strong light into our darkened places, and gives strength for weaknesses. I hope you are blessed in your consideration of this review about the sand images and its music, as I was in viewing it. Like grains of sand that become images in the hands of a designer, are you available to be in the hands of the Maker, for His goodness? The ancient three-step “In, Become, Out” is the view and literary portrayal for how life works. It is memorable.

Then we see God work,

Steve Huffey, copyright © 2010, P.O. Box 1381, Monrovia, California, USA, 91017

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