Archive for April, 2010

An Imaginary Jerusalem

April 8, 2010

    What’s real about Jerusalem?

Seeing that the city is really questionable as to why it even exists in such a horrid spot of a place: it’s hilly, no water (it’s a backwater city, though), there’s a dead sea, and a couple of holy people; let’s say I walk into such a place. What’s real there? The reason why people find Jerusalem so fascinating are for reasons that I can’t even see. They describe their city as a “spiritual,” “holy,” and “sacred” place, yet all of those are like air.

ALL IMAGINARY. How imaginary?… ?
? ? ? ?
? ? ? ??

A sea of questions marks still arise within me. Because how can a city like that survive and feed off the imaginary for so long? Maybe I should look closely at the idea of those three words Cargill says is required for a place to be deemed “sacred space.” Founding/Consecration, and an Axis Mundi–there’s something about these characteristics that create powerful, imaginary (?), unseen feelings.

    Founding the Imaginary:

A couple of our examples were 1. The garden of Eden, and 2. the story of “Melchizedek,” and the story of Isaac, the human sacrifice. In all stories, something was founded and consecrated: the Garden, a blessing upon a man named Abraham, and lamb was revealed by quote on quote, “God.” Let me get this straight: three objects were pretty much called special…. In addition, spaces and times have also been called special, such as the Christian reverence during a Sabbath, or the boundaries of a Temple. Strangely, in all these cases, the traditional phrase “BECAUSE I SAID SO….” somehow actually holds deep power.

    Making the imaginary the center of the world–axis mundi (tradition magnets):

Examples include: Abraham makes an alar for God and the Twelve tribes of Israel (Exodus 24), David takes ownership of the Threshing floor of Araunah, Gehenna is depicted as hell, and the Dome of the Rock sucks in almost every other tradition. Not to mention how Moutn Sinai, Moriah, and Zion fused in one. What power! and from where? Everyday objects don’t do this, but for some reason these objects have this imaginary power to gravitate all surroundings.

All things considered, these imaginary and unseen features of Jerusalem seem pretty real. Air was a one time considered imaginary…what if…? Maybe Jerusalem’s secret to survival isn’t so imaginary.

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Jerusalem: Why is it?

April 4, 2010

Nerd is to Girls as Jerusalem is to the World

Why is it? Why is it that Jerusalem is so poplular. It’s like the popular boy with all the girls chasing after him, except without all the popular qualities. Jerusalem does not have that many popular qualities: it has no major trade route running through it, has no source of fresh water (except the small Gihon Spring), has no major port, and is a backwater city, banked up in the Judean mountains and out of the way of everything. It practically in the middle of nowhere. So why are all the girls, aka the rest of the world, so enthralled in it?

I can see only two larger reasons why this is so–two reasons for why, for more than six thousand years, have people inhabited it.

ONE, the city is like a natural castle. It sits on a plateau, protected in the east by the Kidron Valley, to the south by the Hinnom Valley, and to the northeast by the Tyropeon Valley (The Cheesemaker’s Valley). It has the higher ground in almost every direction in the event of a battle, except from the northwest. And TWO, the city is holy. In Revelations 21 God founds Jerusalem as the new holy place and center of the world for his people–axis mundi. Again and again we see temples built, destroyed, and rebuilt in this same exact spot.

Reason number ONE, may be why the city has existed physically, but reason TWO is the reason why anyone would want to defend the city in the first place. I mean, why protect something if you don’t even care about? What is the meaning of these words called “holiness,” and “sacredness,” and why does it capture the rest of the world the way it does? Why are we, aka “the girls” standing around a nerd? I know why, actually.

Because that nerd is a blessed, that’s why.