My best student told me the other day that he thought that the tree of KOGAE was the same as the tree of life.  

 

And when I explained to him the difference . . .  he let out a big sigh.  And said "now it  all makes sense"  

 

I replied "what's up?"   He said . . . the whole story of the garden of Eden was confusing to him   even the  words and actions of God in the garden . . .  but now it was cleared up because . . . he was assuming both trees  as one. 

 

In my experiences with other humans and reading about their ideas about Justice.  Anyone that demands or sides with Justice in any situation . . . they do not understand their  spiritual  attitude.  They are totally blind.  In fact they are sitting on one of the branches of the tree of KOGAE.

 

Anyone that thinks Justice solves problems is deceived.  Justice is not the problem solver . . . in fact Justice is the problem.

 

 

Views: 129

Comment by Forrest Curo on 5th mo. 13, 2011 at 12:16pm

Two sorts of "justice". One is retributive, punitive.

 

What Jesus (and many of his fellow Jews) meant by the word was more like "fairness". People with a dispute would ask a judge to settle it in a way both parties could live with. "Justice" as "everyone under his own fig tree," that's the sort of justice the Torah was supposed to be about, & what they were calling for.

 

Late last century we had a legal movement concerned with what they called "restorative justice", which was pretty close to what I think Jesus had in mind. If one person had harmed another, it didn't make much sense for someone to harm him. But if you could get both people talking, so that the one who'd done harm could recognize that he'd done wrong... and try to set up some way he could undo, mitigate, etc.-- where this was possible it was much better than our conventional "justice" of suffering-for-suffering.

 

Maybe both trees are one, but the fruit has some potentially sickish side effects? I know, 'death' is supposed to be a consequence of KOG&E; but Jesus died, with no loss of his 'eternal life.' (Interesting, that it was our system of "justice" that did him in...)

 

Comment by Rickey D. Whetstone on 5th mo. 13, 2011 at 6:47pm

Well . . . the death . . . that is the result . . . of being in the tree of KOGAE  is not a physical death.   The word death from the tree of KOGAE  is actually our word for hibernate . . .   to be dormant. 

 

Anyone that sides with Justice . . . will not be able to be spiritually active . . . or growing spiritually mature.    

 

This is why Jesus tells us to forgive 70 x 7  in one days time. 

Comment by Forrest Curo on 5th mo. 13, 2011 at 9:22pm

There's the Jewish Day of Atonement. One is supposed to ask God for forgiveness for whatever one may have done to offend God...

 

But it's commonly understood that God is not supposed to forgive anyone for harm he's done another person. You have to contact that other person and secure his forgiveness first; then God is allowed to forgive.

 

"Justice" ain't "retribution." I agree it's a mistake to call for that sort of 'justice.' [It seems odd to be arguing despite that agreement, as if one word can only mean one thing(?)]

 

Not to forgive is a bad mistake. But we aren't entitled to blame people who can't. And we certainly shouldn't blame the poor of this world, for wanting justice-- meaning a fairer distribution of what God has given us all, for the purpose God intended in giving it: so that "there will be no poor among you. " That's Torah.

 

Hanging around this life too long, all caught up in rigid judgments... would seem to call for an occasional 'dormancy', a chance to 'sleep it off' and come back with a new outlook.

Comment by Rickey D. Whetstone on 5th mo. 14, 2011 at 4:48pm

Well . . . every seven years . . . every Jew was to erase any debt without any negotiations from either side . . . it's interesting that the Jews do not practice  this instruction.  Why . . . because they like Justice.  They falsely think that God is judgmental.

 

 

 

Comment by Forrest Curo on 5th mo. 14, 2011 at 6:09pm

Well, alas, pretty near everybody thinks that God is judgmental, because people are, and haven't realized how much that distorts their view of God (etc).

 

There's more to it on this land/debt stuff.. Before you had empires that could squeeze out enough from people they ruled to support a standing army... If you were a king, the bulk of your army would be a bunch of peasants with spears. No peasants == no army.

 

If you had a clever class of prosperous folks... loaning money to your peasants every time the burden of supporting themselves (plus those clever folks) got too high... It was like playing Monopoly for real money and real lives, and those peasants lost out every time. You'd need an army for some reason: a war planned or threatened; or you were a new king; or you'd been ruling a long time and someone might be probing you for weakness... and your army would all be in debtors' prison. Hence this jubilee custom, which was widespread in the ancient Middle East.

 

That system broke down when transportation got better enough that a major ruler could support an army of professional killers by conquering a larger area, etc. A power like Rome... could grow, and grow, feeding itself on new conquests... until it reached limits where the maintenance costs of such a huge region just couldn't be raised by conquering anything available outside.

 

But before that happened, Israel had already run into trouble with the 'free lending' practice. Torah said, "Lend to your needy neighbor and don't harbor unworthy thoughts about his ability to repay." But when peasants were hurting, their wealthier neighbors starting thinking those unworthy thoughts. Peasants were always going into debt, couldn't avoid the need. So Hillel said: The peasant can promise a court to repay-- and that way, the court can later foreclose and repay the lender. Jesus has a lot of stories about destitute and dispossessed peasants, trying to survive via casual labor-- because that had become the actual situation by his day. "Justice", as Jesus' followers saw it, would have meant a return to the earlier practice of Torah-- no one heaping up fortunes & large estates at other people's expense.

Comment by Rickey D. Whetstone on 5th mo. 14, 2011 at 9:56pm

Well . . .  what ever is the popular notion or practice . . . does  not make it righteous.  

Land is not important to God.  This is the biggest stumbling block for Jews today.

The principle of erasing all debts every seven years . . . is to allow the people to experience a  joyful trait of God.

 

And anyone that is not spiritually mature . . . will claim there is a problem with the free lending practice.

 

Comment by Forrest Curo on 5th mo. 14, 2011 at 11:01pm

That's the human concept of justice, too much of the time! Jesus is supposed to (eventually) implement God's version, which might arouse indignation among people who already have much, and think they somehow earned it, without God's help & without unjustly depriving anyone.

 

But this would be according to Jesus' form of government... Which is?... Roughly, Jesus looks at you with big black eyes and asks you what you think is fair, what you really think is fair. And you might think you could fudge the issue, like people have been doing since The Beginning. But I hope & expect that everyone will reach a point when they can't do that anymore.

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