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greenmaster86
22 May 2011 @ 10:28 pm
I've tried to write this blog for the last few nights, but as usual, it has proven difficult to put down the words.

I've found it difficult to focus on anything of late - my revision has been ok, but not brilliant, I'd say. My understanding of Ancient and Roman Epic is pretty solid - I should be able to answer the exam questions just fine. Whether I have enough secondary to hand is another matter, but I have a few more days to cram that, which is the plan. Roman Love Poetry has been rather more tricky - all the poems have been read, many connections and themes noted, but no secondary has yet been processed.

I've had the time, and there has been no day when I've been inactive, but I've just felt drained, lethargic - slogging through academia hasn't had a great deal of appeal over the last few weeks, you know? In truth, I think I'm slipping back a little into the depression - not massively so, but given the situation I find myself in:

1-Stress over exams, coupled with stress from a parent whose efforts, while laudable, just compound my own problems. I know I'm struggling - I do not need to be told so, and I especially do not need to be told that I'm 'repeating what I was doing in the term'. yes, thanks, that's useful - I am aware of that, PAINFULLY aware. Cheers.
2-I can't exercise - well, I can walk, but limited. The knee is improving, the arm also, but it will be some weeks yet before I can cycle. I can't tell you how irksome this is - I have got such cabin fever, and I just want to escape, yet I can't as the work must be done
3-I feel...lost, again. Geographically lost. I've got a few more weeks in Reading, then the Summer. Work isn't likely to be forthcoming - to be honest I've pushed that way to the back of my mental platter so that I might cope with more pressing tasks. I don't like the idea of going home, as that has attendant stresses.
4-I am worried that I am going to fuck these exams up. But if I worry, that means I work less. It cycles, it spins, and I wind up tripping myself up and over. There's been fleeting moments where the old doubts of whether this is worthwhile have crept back, whether I should be doing this.

Also, I haven't read my reading books in ages - I've got two that have gone stale now. To theorise briefly, perhaps my mindclock, my 'life' hasn't reset after the chaotic rush of the essays followed by the examination period - there has been no time to sit back, assess, regroup. I've just had to barrel on forward. I could have bailed - I'm glad I didn't, as while these exams are going to be difficult, they are far from hopeless. Ancient should be OK, as will RE. Roman LP was always going to be tricky, but I have Catullus on my side there.

I'm not doing great, basically. And most of the above is tried and trusted psychological self-torture on my part, which makes it all the worse. I am very much in Groundhog territory - every day I plan to do X, Y, and Z, but X gets covered only, if I'm lucky. I've always proven too optimistic in my scheduling - something I really should learn to adjust to meet reality.

I just want the entire situation to go away, for me to have CALMNESS about me, to not have a frazzled mind, to not have myself thinking 'hmm, if I pull an all-nighter here...' and whatever. Do I feel that I have let myself down? In a certain sense, yes, but it isn't as if I haven't been trying - I have done a decent amount of work for these exams, and will do so in the days leading up to them. Sure, I haven't stuck quite to the schedule planned, but perhaps that was never to be. In any case, it is too late now.

I would say I feel stupid for letting this wobble take hold of me, but, truth be told, I don't. I am far from happy with myself, but it has happened, end of.

--

Having vented, I am not going to let this little funk develop into something more destructive. I have two days until the exams, and I am determined to make the most of them. Cake will be involved. I have my schedule mapped out, to tackle the weakness in RLP and secondary overall. It will be tight, the days will be long, but so long as I sleep and eat, I should be OK. After that, RE follows on quite swiftly, so Thursday is epic-epic day.

To turn to the post title- that is how I feel I have been of late - just skipping in and out of focus, into academic mode, and out. I've just found myself led astray, my mind wandering, far too often. At times I wonder whether I can police myself better, be a better disciplinarian - no doubt I can, but I must err away from chastising myself endlessly, as that will get nowhere.

So, despite the hiccups, despite the current problems, I must nonetheless continue. Every day engaged, every task completed is another step forward, another step toward healing. What I want is my life back, on my own terms, free from the current level of scrutiny and personal self-analysis. I want to be reading again, to be writing more, to be taking up the reins that I threw down months, if not years ago.

First things first though - exams
 
 
greenmaster86
Public because this book deserves all the publicity it gets

I picked this book up on a whim, from a charity shop I frequent at home. It was in the 'sale', and thus I snared it for a, frankly ridiculous 25p. I picked it up purely on the merits of the author being Russian, and that the critics were heaping adulations, with suggestions that the book served as reminder of the greatness of past Russian literature.

And you know what? They're right. This is an absolutely marvellous novel, deeply intelligent, emotionally balanced, packed to the rafters with delicate social commentary and musings upon humanity, art and Russian history from 1930 through to 1985. I shan't write anything on the actual plot/intrastructure of the book, as to do so would be to spoil it, but rest assured, it is a masterpiece of composition, and the more I think about it, what holes I can find turn out to actually be acts of utter genius on the part of the author (again, something you will ahve to read to understand).

The author attended the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, and her artistic knowledge is prevalent throughout in the detail, the impeccable descriptions of Russia and colour and nature she composes, and in her subtle, humbling, moving musings on the fundamental nature of art itself in relation to man. Add to this a most delicious slice of Bugakovian absurdity, a measure of the psychological trauma of the 19th century giants, and you have an absolute gem of a novel.

I was not expecting such wonders when I picked this book up, but was very happy to be surprised in such a manner. 
 
 
greenmaster86
27 February 2010 @ 07:10 pm
That heaving, multifaceted metropolis can truly be the greatest detoxifying agent in the world, I swear. Feel SO much better for a 6 hour art blast.

I found myself in Kensington for 9:30, and at the Victoria and Albert for 5 past 10. It was a good thing I did, as the new Medieval & Renaissance exhibition is 3 things:

1-Colossal
2-All-encompassing
3-Utterly astounding.

There were moments of overload, it has to be said - one can only take so many pots, spoons, items of glassware and fancy cloaks. But the variety of works, the sheer immense quality of much of it, and the magnificent layout (lots of open space, clear signage, lots of interactive elements - TV quizzes, 'touch this!!' sections, etc) truly made for a superb exhibition. The sheer wealth of items on display - many fine religious artifacts, priestly garments, all sorts of Renaissance artwork and statuary, a fully-rounded cornucopia....I shall definitely be returning, as the damn thing wasn't even FINISHED - 2 sections at least were 'in the works'. Some of the altarpieces were just exquisite, as were the garden statues.

They had some massive altarpieces, whole tapestries, all sorts of other odds and ends. It was exhausting, though, as there was just so so much to see. Do you do the institution a disfavour if you don't read everything, or just yourself? For I did skip the plates in the end.

Otherwise, the V&A looks very interesting - I shall return for a longer visit just to standard V&A at some later stage, no doubt.

After 4 hours in the V&A (which really was enough - I had other tasks to attend to and the mind was getting a little addled by the sheer magnitude of the exhibition),  I headed up the road, towards Harrods, inadvertantly, where I ran into the anti-fur protestors, who I nearly, nearly fired back at with such a witticism as 'I want to buy a Tiger!'. But that idea rapidly evolved into a plot to steal a bear costume, which in turn metamorphosed into a puppy salesperson with a binliner....yep, that wasn't good.

I tubed it over to Leicester Square (the Tubes were up, well, the tubes today - Circle was completely out of action, same with Victoria. Made for fun times...), and headed up to Fopp, where I scored 5 albums for £15, those being:

Fear Factory - The Soul of a New Machine (Their debut - grand stuff)
Fear Factory - Remanufacture (Remixes of Demanufacture, thus insane)
RATM - RATM
Daath - their debut (have been told it is excellent)
Chet Baker - 2 albums in one, because the guy is just beauty defined.

After that musical extravagance I headed to my final destination, the National Gallery. Upon entering I noticed that the Titian which normally graces the main entrance room was missing. To my joy I found it 3 rooms down, sharing the space with none other than DIANA AND ACTAEON, the £50million gem that the nation now proudly owns. I was under the impression that D&A is a 'Scottish' painting, and thus likely to stay in Edinburgh, but given that amount of English cash ploughed into its acquisition for the nation, I guess the National Gallery has 'arranged' to borrow it for a 'period'. It was such a joy to see it, to see this fabled, exorbitantly priced masterpiece. And truth be told, it is worth it. I mean, fuck it, the government is borrowing more than £50million a DAY at the moment (£4.5billion this Jan alone, AFTER taxes come in! [don't quote me on the figure, I don't care - paintings > banks, nuclear submarines, all that stupid]), so what's £50mill for an absolute gem of a painting? I shall pass no comment on the painting itself, except suffice to say it does live up to reputation - it is a masterpiece of colour, execution and poetic grace.

I proceeded to spend about 25 minutes in and around rooms 57 & 58, focussing on Botticelli's Venus & Mars, my primary painting on the theme of 'innovation' (don't ask, just don't. bloody art...), comparing it to The Martyrdom of St Sebastian, Apollo & Daphne and a few other associated works. I managed to get a few ideas down, then had a proper brain surge, which will hopefully prove most useful in the essay. I realised that Mars is posed like a pieta Christ, mused on the presentation of the work now and how it used to be presented, and other such ideas. Will now make for an essay rather than a mess. Whether it actually comes CLOSE to the concept of 'innovation', fuck knows. :P

So yea, after that I drifted on home, and now am dog tired, but so very happy with this fine day.
 
 
greenmaster86
10 February 2010 @ 03:28 pm
LOL, meet Dante motherfuckers. Hell, meet Aquinas as well for extra neck strain. It doesn't get much more intellectually hardcore.
 
 
greenmaster86
OK, not a review. I can't even begin to compose a coherent review of a novel such as the aforementioned.

I was incredibly impressed by the drive and pace behind the plot - for such a colossal novel, it moves along at a fair clip. There are many lengthy speeches and discourses, some immense, involved asides on religion and morality, but these just add marvellous flavour to the narrative core of the novel. And such an effervescent, potent narrative it is as well - a broiling, turbulent plot, in a novel populated by such colourful, immaculately crafted characters.

The twin temptresses, the three brothers, good, bad and ugly, the uncaring father, the lackey, the whole host of middling and minor characters who all greatly enhance the novel in their contributions, the children...

Actually, I don't really understand the children - why? They seem somewhat superfluous to the plot, and I think this a mark of the plans Dostoyevsky had for the novel - no longer on the Karamazovs, but on the children, on Kolya and Smurov and the rest. They play an entirely dispensable role in the novel, but an enjoyable one, mind.

Also, the very way in which the novel ends, that final scene by the stone, Alyosha and the children, also strikes me as a loose end - many loose ends abound, in fact - the brothers, the women, all remain unresolved. Perhaps this is for the best, but still, the novel doesn't seem entirely complete.

As for the psychological power, the moral potency of the work, the intellectual fury of the composition...words can't express, they truly can't. The religious elements are also very interesting and thought provoking, as they are in all excellent novels.

I greatly admired the intertextuality of the work, but still question the meaning of the opening quotation, from John's gospel:

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds."

Any thoughts?

It is very much a thought-provoking, mentally challenging, intellectually invigorating novel. You feel exercised for having read even 10 pages, let alone 893. It stretches the mind, pushes at preconceptions, then explodes with emotion and pathos in equal measure.

The dance between good and evil, truth and falsity, damnation and salvation, the internal strains of guilt, the ravages of attraction, all are explored with depth and great sensitivity in this most accomplished of works.

Further than that, I really have few words worth uttering-as with all great art, it takes a genius to review, let alone to compose them. Let not my fumblings put you off - Karamazov is a stupendous, rewarding novel, whose reputation is very much deserved.

Is this better than 'The Idiot'? Is this the best novel I have ever read?

These days I don't even try to answer such questions, but just plough on into the next tome. But let it be said that Karamazov will leave an indelible mark upon your life and soul, and you will be grateful for having read it. Give it the time and it will repay you with limitless dividends.

I am very much looking forward to C&P, as the title of this blog might suggest. In a way, this novel could well have been given that title, with little alterations needed. I no doubt shall find myself reading about Raskolnikov within 6 months.

---

So, Kundera. Never a more appropriate time.

"We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can never compare it to our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come"

Oh yes, Anna Karenina seems to play a role in the novel. Another novel I've yet to conquer.
 
 
 
greenmaster86
06 January 2010 @ 12:18 am
Things are gradually working out here - well, progress in the right direction, at any rate. NOT looking forward to the snow later in the week, though.

So, Dostoyevsky. Words obviously will fall far short of communicating the sheer colossal brilliance of his work, so here are some brief bullet-points:

-The level of explicit intertextuality - that is, the biblical, poetical & other learned references & quotations, is utterly astounding, and lends the work tremendous intellectual weight. It also serves as a great window on the enormity of literature I have yet to explore, joy!

-The vivacity of the language! The vibrancy of the characters! A novel this long could very easily be slow, stodgy, but so far, 4 days in 500 pages, multiple raging arguments, the full range of human emotions, a few colossal asides on religion, and the old man has only been dead 40 pages! What on EARTH lies in the other 400!

-Such utter mastery of prose...

---

Orphaned Land. I am getting so hyped for this new album, I really am - thus far I've heard nothing conclusively excellent, but one really can't judge a 70minuter from 15 minutes of material. Certainly nothing BAD so far, but perhaps nothing to better Mabool?



---

A final note - it seems I need to pay more attention to the internets, or I miss things. Nearly, NEARLY missed Opeth's show at the Royal Albert Fricking Hall!. As it is, I'm stuck up in the Gods, but hey, I'll be there, and that is invaluable. Buggered that I missed the VIP option though :-/ Never mind...Mailing lists ftw
 
 
greenmaster86
1-Karamazov
2-Dante
3-Kierkegaard
4-Kundera - The unbearable lightness of being
5-Voltaire?
6-Njal's saga
7-The Metamorphoses & other stories
8-Virgil (Aeneid, again, but in Verse - probably Fitzgerald]
9-Ideally a couple of other modern novels as well - maybe Birdsong, deffo some more Coetzee, maybe some FUCK WHO THE HELL WROTE THE....ah yes, Salman Rushdie. That'd be good.

So, a shedload, really. Probably should do some course reading as well...:p

Oh yes, then to start next term

1-War.And.Peace. Cos it is going to have to go some to beat Karamazov.
 
 
greenmaster86
11 June 2009 @ 08:52 pm

Leviticus 1

The Burnt Offering
 1 The LORD called to Moses and spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting. He said, 2 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'When any of you brings an offering to the LORD, bring as your offering an animal from either the herd or the flock.

 3 " 'If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he is to offer a male without defect. He must present it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting so that it [a] will be acceptable to the LORD. 4 He is to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. 5 He is to slaughter the young bull before the LORD, and then Aaron's sons the priests shall bring the blood and sprinkle it against the altar on all sides at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 6 He is to skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. 7 The sons of Aaron the priest are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. 8 Then Aaron's sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, including the head and the fat, on the burning wood that is on the altar. 9 He is to wash the inner parts and the legs with water, and the priest is to burn all of it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.

 10 " 'If the offering is a burnt offering from the flock, from either the sheep or the goats, he is to offer a male without defect. 11 He is to slaughter it at the north side of the altar before the LORD, and Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle its blood against the altar on all sides. 12 He is to cut it into pieces, and the priest shall arrange them, including the head and the fat, on the burning wood that is on the altar. 13 He is to wash the inner parts and the legs with water, and the priest is to bring all of it and burn it on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.

 14 " 'If the offering to the LORD is a burnt offering of birds, he is to offer a dove or a young pigeon. 15 The priest shall bring it to the altar, wring off the head and burn it on the altar; its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar. 16 He is to remove the crop with its contents [b] and throw it to the east side of the altar, where the ashes are. 17 He shall tear it open by the wings, not severing it completely, and then the priest shall burn it on the wood that is on the fire on the altar. It is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.

Leviticus 2

The Grain Offering
 1 " 'When someone brings a grain offering to the LORD, his offering is to be of fine flour. He is to pour oil on it, put incense on it 2 and take it to Aaron's sons the priests. The priest shall take a handful of the fine flour and oil, together with all the incense, and burn this as a memorial portion on the altar, an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 3 The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the offerings made to the LORD by fire.

 4 " 'If you bring a grain offering baked in an oven, it is to consist of fine flour: cakes made without yeast and mixed with oil, or [c] wafers made without yeast and spread with oil. 5 If your grain offering is prepared on a griddle, it is to be made of fine flour mixed with oil, and without yeast. 6 Crumble it and pour oil on it; it is a grain offering. 7 If your grain offering is cooked in a pan, it is to be made of fine flour and oil. 8 Bring the grain offering made of these things to the LORD; present it to the priest, who shall take it to the altar. 9 He shall take out the memorial portion from the grain offering and burn it on the altar as an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 10 The rest of the grain offering belongs to Aaron and his sons; it is a most holy part of the offerings made to the LORD by fire.

 11 " 'Every grain offering you bring to the LORD must be made without yeast, for you are not to burn any yeast or honey in an offering made to the LORD by fire. 12 You may bring them to the LORD as an offering of the firstfruits, but they are not to be offered on the altar as a pleasing aroma. 13 Season all your grain offerings with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offerings; add salt to all your offerings.

 14 " 'If you bring a grain offering of firstfruits to the LORD, offer crushed heads of new grain roasted in the fire. 15 Put oil and incense on it; it is a grain offering. 16 The priest shall burn the memorial portion of the crushed grain and the oil, together with all the incense, as an offering made to the LORD by fire.

Leviticus 3

The Fellowship Offering
 1 " 'If someone's offering is a fellowship offering, [d] and he offers an animal from the herd, whether male or female, he is to present before the LORD an animal without defect. 2 He is to lay his hand on the head of his offering and slaughter it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. Then Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood against the altar on all sides. 3 From the fellowship offering he is to bring a sacrifice made to the LORD by fire: all the fat that covers the inner parts or is connected to them, 4 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the covering of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys. 5 Then Aaron's sons are to burn it on the altar on top of the burnt offering that is on the burning wood, as an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD.

 6 " 'If he offers an animal from the flock as a fellowship offering to the LORD, he is to offer a male or female without defect. 7 If he offers a lamb, he is to present it before the LORD. 8 He is to lay his hand on the head of his offering and slaughter it in front of the Tent of Meeting. Then Aaron's sons shall sprinkle its blood against the altar on all sides. 9 From the fellowship offering he is to bring a sacrifice made to the LORD by fire: its fat, the entire fat tail cut off close to the backbone, all the fat that covers the inner parts or is connected to them, 10 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the covering of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys. 11 The priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made to the LORD by fire.

 12 " 'If his offering is a goat, he is to present it before the LORD. 13 He is to lay his hand on its head and slaughter it in front of the Tent of Meeting. Then Aaron's sons shall sprinkle its blood against the altar on all sides. 14 From what he offers he is to make this offering to the LORD by fire: all the fat that covers the inner parts or is connected to them, 15 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the covering of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys. 16 The priest shall burn them on the altar as food, an offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma. All the fat is the LORD's.

 17 " 'This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live: You must not eat any fat or any blood.' "

Leviticus 4

The Sin Offering
 1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Say to the Israelites: 'When anyone sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands-

 3 " 'If the anointed priest sins, bringing guilt on the people, he must bring to the LORD a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the sin he has committed. 4 He is to present the bull at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting before the LORD. He is to lay his hand on its head and slaughter it before the LORD. 5 Then the anointed priest shall take some of the bull's blood and carry it into the Tent of Meeting. 6 He is to dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle some of it seven times before the LORD, in front of the curtain of the sanctuary. 7 The priest shall then put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of fragrant incense that is before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting. The rest of the bull's blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 8 He shall remove all the fat from the bull of the sin offering—the fat that covers the inner parts or is connected to them, 9 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the covering of the liver, which he will remove with the kidneys- 10 just as the fat is removed from the ox [e] sacrificed as a fellowship offering. [f] Then the priest shall burn them on the altar of burnt offering. 11 But the hide of the bull and all its flesh, as well as the head and legs, the inner parts and offal- 12 that is, all the rest of the bull—he must take outside the camp to a place ceremonially clean, where the ashes are thrown, and burn it in a wood fire on the ash heap.

 13 " 'If the whole Israelite community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands, even though the community is unaware of the matter, they are guilty. 14 When they become aware of the sin they committed, the assembly must bring a young bull as a sin offering and present it before the Tent of Meeting. 15 The elders of the community are to lay their hands on the bull's head before the LORD, and the bull shall be slaughtered before the LORD. 16 Then the anointed priest is to take some of the bull's blood into the Tent of Meeting. 17 He shall dip his finger into the blood and sprinkle it before the LORD seven times in front of the curtain. 18 He is to put some of the blood on the horns of the altar that is before the LORD in the Tent of Meeting. The rest of the blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar of burnt offering at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 19 He shall remove all the fat from it and burn it on the altar, 20 and do with this bull just as he did with the bull for the sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for them, and they will be forgiven. 21 Then he shall take the bull outside the camp and burn it as he burned the first bull. This is the sin offering for the community.

 22 " 'When a leader sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the commands of the LORD his God, he is guilty. 23 When he is made aware of the sin he committed, he must bring as his offering a male goat without defect. 24 He is to lay his hand on the goat's head and slaughter it at the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered before the LORD. It is a sin offering. 25 Then the priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 26 He shall burn all the fat on the altar as he burned the fat of the fellowship offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for the man's sin, and he will be forgiven.

 27 " 'If a member of the community sins unintentionally and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands, he is guilty. 28 When he is made aware of the sin he committed, he must bring as his offering for the sin he committed a female goat without defect. 29 He is to lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and slaughter it at the place of the burnt offering. 30 Then the priest is to take some of the blood with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 31 He shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. In this way the priest will make atonement for him, and he will be forgiven.

 32 " 'If he brings a lamb as his sin offering, he is to bring a female without defect. 33 He is to lay his hand on its head and slaughter it for a sin offering at the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered. 34 Then the priest shall take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering and pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. 35 He shall remove all the fat, just as the fat is removed from the lamb of the fellowship offering, and the priest shall burn it on the altar on top of the offerings made to the LORD by fire. In this way the priest will make atonement for him for the sin he has committed, and he will be forgiven.

Leviticus 5

 1 " 'If a person sins because he does not speak up when he hears a public charge to testify regarding something he has seen or learned about, he will be held responsible.

 2 " 'Or if a person touches anything ceremonially unclean—whether the carcasses of unclean wild animals or of unclean livestock or of unclean creatures that move along the ground—even though he is unaware of it, he has become unclean and is guilty.

 3 " 'Or if he touches human uncleanness—anything that would make him unclean—even though he is unaware of it, when he learns of it he will be guilty.

 4 " 'Or if a person thoughtlessly takes an oath to do anything, whether good or evil—in any matter one might carelessly swear about—even though he is unaware of it, in any case when he learns of it he will be guilty.

 5 " 'When anyone is guilty in any of these ways, he must confess in what way he has sinned 6 and, as a penalty for the sin he has committed, he must bring to the LORD a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin.

 7 " 'If he cannot afford a lamb, he is to bring two doves or two young pigeons to the LORD as a penalty for his sin—one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. 8 He is to bring them to the priest, who shall first offer the one for the sin offering. He is to wring its head from its neck, not severing it completely, 9 and is to sprinkle some of the blood of the sin offering against the side of the altar; the rest of the blood must be drained out at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering. 10 The priest shall then offer the other as a burnt offering in the prescribed way and make atonement for him for the sin he has committed, and he will be forgiven.

 11 " 'If, however, he cannot afford two doves or two young pigeons, he is to bring as an offering for his sin a tenth of an ephah [g] of fine flour for a sin offering. He must not put oil or incense on it, because it is a sin offering. 12 He is to bring it to the priest, who shall take a handful of it as a memorial portion and burn it on the altar on top of the offerings made to the LORD by fire. It is a sin offering. 13 In this way the priest will make atonement for him for any of these sins he has committed, and he will be forgiven. The rest of the offering will belong to the priest, as in the case of the grain offering.' "

The Guilt Offering
 14 The LORD said to Moses: 15 "When a person commits a violation and sins unintentionally in regard to any of the LORD's holy things, he is to bring to the LORD as a penalty a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value in silver, according to the sanctuary shekel. [h] It is a guilt offering. 16 He must make restitution for what he has failed to do in regard to the holy things, add a fifth of the value to that and give it all to the priest, who will make atonement for him with the ram as a guilt offering, and he will be forgiven.

 17 "If a person sins and does what is forbidden in any of the LORD's commands, even though he does not know it, he is guilty and will be held responsible. 18 He is to bring to the priest as a guilt offering a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value. In this way the priest will make atonement for him for the wrong he has committed unintentionally, and he will be forgiven. 19 It is a guilt offering; he has been guilty of [i] wrongdoing against the LORD."

Leviticus 6

 1 The LORD said to Moses: 2 "If anyone sins and is unfaithful to the LORD by deceiving his neighbor about something entrusted to him or left in his care or stolen, or if he cheats him, 3 or if he finds lost property and lies about it, or if he swears falsely, or if he commits any such sin that people may do- 4 when he thus sins and becomes guilty, he must return what he has stolen or taken by extortion, or what was entrusted to him, or the lost property he found, 5 or whatever it was he swore falsely about. He must make restitution in full, add a fifth of the value to it and give it all to the owner on the day he presents his guilt offering. 6 And as a penalty he must bring to the priest, that is, to the LORD, his guilt offering, a ram from the flock, one without defect and of the proper value. 7 In this way the priest will make atonement for him before the LORD, and he will be forgiven for any of these things he did that made him guilty."

The Burnt Offering
 8 The LORD said to Moses: 9 "Give Aaron and his sons this command: 'These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar. 10 The priest shall then put on his linen clothes, with linen undergarments next to his body, and shall remove the ashes of the burnt offering that the fire has consumed on the altar and place them beside the altar. 11 Then he is to take off these clothes and put on others, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a place that is ceremonially clean. 12 The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings [j] on it. 13 The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.
The Grain Offering
 14 " 'These are the regulations for the grain offering: Aaron's sons are to bring it before the LORD, in front of the altar. 15 The priest is to take a handful of fine flour and oil, together with all the incense on the grain offering, and burn the memorial portion on the altar as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 16 Aaron and his sons shall eat the rest of it, but it is to be eaten without yeast in a holy place; they are to eat it in the courtyard of the Tent of Meeting. 17 It must not be baked with yeast; I have given it as their share of the offerings made to me by fire. Like the sin offering and the guilt offering, it is most holy. 18 Any male descendant of Aaron may eat it. It is his regular share of the offerings made to the LORD by fire for the generations to come. Whatever touches them will become holy. [k] ' "

 19 The LORD also said to Moses, 20 "This is the offering Aaron and his sons are to bring to the LORD on the day he [l] is anointed: a tenth of an ephah [m] of fine flour as a regular grain offering, half of it in the morning and half in the evening. 21 Prepare it with oil on a griddle; bring it well-mixed and present the grain offering broken [n] in pieces as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 22 The son who is to succeed him as anointed priest shall prepare it. It is the LORD's regular share and is to be burned completely. 23 Every grain offering of a priest shall be burned completely; it must not be eaten."

The Sin Offering
 24 The LORD said to Moses, 25 "Say to Aaron and his sons: 'These are the regulations for the sin offering: The sin offering is to be slaughtered before the LORD in the place the burnt offering is slaughtered; it is most holy. 26 The priest who offers it shall eat it; it is to be eaten in a holy place, in the courtyard of the Tent of Meeting. 27 Whatever touches any of the flesh will become holy, and if any of the blood is spattered on a garment, you must wash it in a holy place. 28 The clay pot the meat is cooked in must be broken; but if it is cooked in a bronze pot, the pot is to be scoured and rinsed with water. 29 Any male in a priest's family may eat it; it is most holy. 30 But any sin offering whose blood is brought into the Tent of Meeting to make atonement in the Holy Place must not be eaten; it must be burned.

Leviticus 7

The Guilt Offering
 1 " 'These are the regulations for the guilt offering, which is most holy: 2 The guilt offering is to be slaughtered in the place where the burnt offering is slaughtered, and its blood is to be sprinkled against the altar on all sides. 3 All its fat shall be offered: the fat tail and the fat that covers the inner parts, 4 both kidneys with the fat on them near the loins, and the covering of the liver, which is to be removed with the kidneys. 5 The priest shall burn them on the altar as an offering made to the LORD by fire. It is a guilt offering. 6 Any male in a priest's family may eat it, but it must be eaten in a holy place; it is most holy.

 7 " 'The same law applies to both the sin offering and the guilt offering: They belong to the priest who makes atonement with them. 8 The priest who offers a burnt offering for anyone may keep its hide for himself. 9 Every grain offering baked in an oven or cooked in a pan or on a griddle belongs to the priest who offers it, 10 and every grain offering, whether mixed with oil or dry, belongs equally to all the sons of Aaron.

The Fellowship Offering
 11 " 'These are the regulations for the fellowship offering [o] a person may present to the LORD :

 12 " 'If he offers it as an expression of thankfulness, then along with this thank offering he is to offer cakes of bread made without yeast and mixed with oil, wafers made without yeast and spread with oil, and cakes of fine flour well-kneaded and mixed with oil. 13 Along with his fellowship offering of thanksgiving he is to present an offering with cakes of bread made with yeast. 14 He is to bring one of each kind as an offering, a contribution to the LORD; it belongs to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the fellowship offerings. 15 The meat of his fellowship offering of thanksgiving must be eaten on the day it is offered; he must leave none of it till morning.

 16 " 'If, however, his offering is the result of a vow or is a freewill offering, the sacrifice shall be eaten on the day he offers it, but anything left over may be eaten on the next day. 17 Any meat of the sacrifice left over till the third day must be burned up. 18 If any meat of the fellowship offering is eaten on the third day, it will not be accepted. It will not be credited to the one who offered it, for it is impure; the person who eats any of it will be held responsible.

 19 " 'Meat that touches anything ceremonially unclean must not be eaten; it must be burned up. As for other meat, anyone ceremonially clean may eat it. 20 But if anyone who is unclean eats any meat of the fellowship offering belonging to the LORD, that person must be cut off from his people. 21 If anyone touches something unclean—whether human uncleanness or an unclean animal or any unclean, detestable thing—and then eats any of the meat of the fellowship offering belonging to the LORD, that person must be cut off from his people.' "

Eating Fat and Blood Forbidden
 22 The LORD said to Moses, 23 "Say to the Israelites: 'Do not eat any of the fat of cattle, sheep or goats. 24 The fat of an animal found dead or torn by wild animals may be used for any other purpose, but you must not eat it. 25 Anyone who eats the fat of an animal from which an offering by fire may be [p] made to the LORD must be cut off from his people. 26 And wherever you live, you must not eat the blood of any bird or animal. 27 If anyone eats blood, that person must be cut off from his people.' "
The Priests' Share
 28 The LORD said to Moses, 29 "Say to the Israelites: 'Anyone who brings a fellowship offering to the LORD is to bring part of it as his sacrifice to the LORD. 30 With his own hands he is to bring the offering made to the LORD by fire; he is to bring the fat, together with the breast, and wave the breast before the LORD as a wave offering. 31 The priest shall burn the fat on the altar, but the breast belongs to Aaron and his sons. 32 You are to give the right thigh of your fellowship offerings to the priest as a contribution. 33 The son of Aaron who offers the blood and the fat of the fellowship offering shall have the right thigh as his share. 34 From the fellowship offerings of the Israelites, I have taken the breast that is waved and the thigh that is presented and have given them to Aaron the priest and his sons as their regular share from the Israelites.' "

 35 This is the portion of the offerings made to the LORD by fire that were allotted to Aaron and his sons on the day they were presented to serve the LORD as priests. 36 On the day they were anointed, the LORD commanded that the Israelites give this to them as their regular share for the generations to come.

 37 These, then, are the regulations for the burnt offering, the grain offering, the sin offering, the guilt offering, the ordination offering and the fellowship offering, 38 which the LORD gave Moses on Mount Sinai on the day he commanded the Israelites to bring their offerings to the LORD, in the Desert of Sinai.

Leviticus 8

The Ordination of Aaron and His Sons
 1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Bring Aaron and his sons, their garments, the anointing oil, the bull for the sin offering, the two rams and the basket containing bread made without yeast, 3 and gather the entire assembly at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting." 4 Moses did as the LORD commanded him, and the assembly gathered at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

 5 Moses said to the assembly, "This is what the LORD has commanded to be done." 6 Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and washed them with water. 7 He put the tunic on Aaron, tied the sash around him, clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him. He also tied the ephod to him by its skillfully woven waistband; so it was fastened on him. 8 He placed the breastpiece on him and put the Urim and Thummim in the breastpiece. 9 Then he placed the turban on Aaron's head and set the gold plate, the sacred diadem, on the front of it, as the LORD commanded Moses.

 10 Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them. 11 He sprinkled some of the oil on the altar seven times, anointing the altar and all its utensils and the basin with its stand, to consecrate them. 12 He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron's head and anointed him to consecrate him. 13 Then he brought Aaron's sons forward, put tunics on them, tied sashes around them and put headbands on them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

 14 He then presented the bull for the sin offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 15 Moses slaughtered the bull and took some of the blood, and with his finger he put it on all the horns of the altar to purify the altar. He poured out the rest of the blood at the base of the altar. So he consecrated it to make atonement for it. 16 Moses also took all the fat around the inner parts, the covering of the liver, and both kidneys and their fat, and burned it on the altar. 17 But the bull with its hide and its flesh and its offal he burned up outside the camp, as the LORD commanded Moses.

 18 He then presented the ram for the burnt offering, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 19 Then Moses slaughtered the ram and sprinkled the blood against the altar on all sides. 20 He cut the ram into pieces and burned the head, the pieces and the fat. 21 He washed the inner parts and the legs with water and burned the whole ram on the altar as a burnt offering, a pleasing aroma, an offering made to the LORD by fire, as the LORD commanded Moses.

 22 He then presented the other ram, the ram for the ordination, and Aaron and his sons laid their hands on its head. 23 Moses slaughtered the ram and took some of its blood and put it on the lobe of Aaron's right ear, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. 24 Moses also brought Aaron's sons forward and put some of the blood on the lobes of their right ears, on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet. Then he sprinkled blood against the altar on all sides. 25 He took the fat, the fat tail, all the fat around the inner parts, the covering of the liver, both kidneys and their fat and the right thigh. 26 Then from the basket of bread made without yeast, which was before the LORD, he took a cake of bread, and one made with oil, and a wafer; he put these on the fat portions and on the right thigh. 27 He put all these in the hands of Aaron and his sons and waved them before the LORD as a wave offering. 28 Then Moses took them from their hands and burned them on the altar on top of the burnt offering as an ordination offering, a pleasing aroma, an offering made to the LORD by fire. 29 He also took the breast—Moses' share of the ordination ram—and waved it before the LORD as a wave offering, as the LORD commanded Moses.

 30 Then Moses took some of the anointing oil and some of the blood from the altar and sprinkled them on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. So he consecrated Aaron and his garments and his sons and their garments.

 31 Moses then said to Aaron and his sons, "Cook the meat at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and eat it there with the bread from the basket of ordination offerings, as I commanded, saying, [q] 'Aaron and his sons are to eat it.' 32 Then burn up the rest of the meat and the bread. 33 Do not leave the entrance to the Tent of Meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are completed, for your ordination will last seven days. 34 What has been done today was commanded by the LORD to make atonement for you. 35 You must stay at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting day and night for seven days and do what the LORD requires, so you will not die; for that is what I have been commanded." 36 So Aaron and his sons did everything the LORD commanded through Moses.

Leviticus 9

The Priests Begin Their Ministry
 1 On the eighth day Moses summoned Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel. 2 He said to Aaron, "Take a bull calf for your sin offering and a ram for your burnt offering, both without defect, and present them before the LORD. 3 Then say to the Israelites: 'Take a male goat for a sin offering, a calf and a lamb—both a year old and without defect—for a burnt offering, 4 and an ox [r] and a ram for a fellowship offering [s] to sacrifice before the LORD, together with a grain offering mixed with oil. For today the LORD will appear to you.' "

 5 They took the things Moses commanded to the front of the Tent of Meeting, and the entire assembly came near and stood before the LORD. 6 Then Moses said, "This is what the LORD has commanded you to do, so that the glory of the LORD may appear to you."

 7 Moses said to Aaron, "Come to the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and the people; sacrifice the offering that is for the people and make atonement for them, as the LORD has commanded."

 8 So Aaron came to the altar and slaughtered the calf as a sin offering for himself. 9 His sons brought the blood to him, and he dipped his finger into the blood and put it on the horns of the altar; the rest of the blood he poured out at the base of the altar. 10 On the altar he burned the fat, the kidneys and the covering of the liver from the sin offering, as the LORD commanded Moses; 11 the flesh and the hide he burned up outside the camp.

 12 Then he slaughtered the burnt offering. His sons handed him the blood, and he sprinkled it against the altar on all sides. 13 They handed him the burnt offering piece by piece, including the head, and he burned them on the altar. 14 He washed the inner parts and the legs and burned them on top of the burnt offering on the altar.

 15 Aaron then brought the offering that was for the people. He took the goat for the people's sin offering and slaughtered it and offered it for a sin offering as he did with the first one.

 16 He brought the burnt offering and offered it in the prescribed way. 17 He also brought the grain offering, took a handful of it and burned it on the altar in addition to the morning's burnt offering.

 18 He slaughtered the ox and the ram as the fellowship offering for the people. His sons handed him the blood, and he sprinkled it against the altar on all sides. 19 But the fat portions of the ox and the ram—the fat tail, the layer of fat, the kidneys and the covering of the liver- 20 these they laid on the breasts, and then Aaron burned the fat on the altar. 21 Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh before the LORD as a wave offering, as Moses commanded.

 22 Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down.

 23 Moses and Aaron then went into the Tent of Meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. 24 Fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.

Leviticus 10

The Death of Nadab and Abihu
 1 Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. 2 So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. 3 Moses then said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD spoke of when he said:
       " 'Among those who approach me
       I will show myself holy;
       in the sight of all the people
       I will be honored.' "
      Aaron remained silent.

 4 Moses summoned Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Aaron's uncle Uzziel, and said to them, "Come here; carry your cousins outside the camp, away from the front of the sanctuary." 5 So they came and carried them, still in their tunics, outside the camp, as Moses ordered.

 6 Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, "Do not let your hair become unkempt, [t] and do not tear your clothes, or you will die and the LORD will be angry with the whole community. But your relatives, all the house of Israel, may mourn for those the LORD has destroyed by fire. 7 Do not leave the entrance to the Tent of Meeting or you will die, because the LORD's anointing oil is on you." So they did as Moses said.

 8 Then the LORD said to Aaron, 9 "You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the Tent of Meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. 10 You must distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, 11 and you must teach the Israelites all the decrees the LORD has given them through Moses."

 12 Moses said to Aaron and his remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, "Take the grain offering left over from the offerings made to the LORD by fire and eat it prepared without yeast beside the altar, for it is most holy. 13 Eat it in a holy place, because it is your share and your sons' share of the offerings made to the LORD by fire; for so I have been commanded. 14 But you and your sons and your daughters may eat the breast that was waved and the thigh that was presented. Eat them in a ceremonially clean place; they have been given to you and your children as your share of the Israelites' fellowship offerings. [u] 15 The thigh that was presented and the breast that was waved must be brought with the fat portions of the offerings made by fire, to be waved before the LORD as a wave offering. This will be the regular share for you and your children, as the LORD has commanded."

 16 When Moses inquired about the goat of the sin offering and found that it had been burned up, he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's remaining sons, and asked, 17 "Why didn't you eat the sin offering in the sanctuary area? It is most holy; it was given to you to take away the guilt of the community by making atonement for them before the LORD. 18 Since its blood was not taken into the Holy Place, you should have eaten the goat in the sanctuary area, as I commanded."

 19 Aaron replied to Moses, "Today they sacrificed their sin offering and their burnt offering before the LORD, but such things as this have happened to me. Would the LORD have been pleased if I had eaten the sin offering today?" 20 When Moses heard this, he was satisfied.

Gotta love the 'then they were incinerated, because they did not OBEY"

OR

'He who offers to me with devotion only  a leaf, or a flower, or a fruit, or even a little water, this I accept from that yearning soul, because with a pure heart it was offered with love." Bhagavad Gita 9:26

I don't know about you, but the concise beauty is wholly superior to the Jewish tract above. Go wave that thighbone, sinners! The Gita does more in 18 chapters than the bible does in 66 entire books.
 

 
 
greenmaster86
02 May 2009 @ 11:03 pm
This weekend is a bank holiday, and with no parents around I plan to get an awful lot of things cleared. Make a lot of calls, read a lot, get some exercise in, tidy my desk so I can see some wood rather than paperwork, etc.

The plan today was to go the gym in the morning. It didn't happen. But I did get the lawn mown before work. My word was it long. Took me at least twice as long to do the back - went about 20 yards then had to empty the bucket. I'll do it again next weekend - just whisk over it.

I met mum down-town at 3, for shopping, evensong, then a meal. Firstly I trawled the usual bookshops, but more on that later. With mum I purchased some new trousers & jeans, as I've dropped about 6 inches from my waist since I last purchased any clothes. I don't really do clothes shopping - some of the pants I have are horrendous. It is good to now have some trendy-ish, new, nicely cut lower garments, which didn't put too much of a dent in the pocket either (Matalan - sorta Primark but with less blood on the cuffs)

The service was at the Cathedral, with multiple choirs from 7 other Cathedrals visiting. It was powerful, uplifting music, some astonishing vocal flourishes. Very much a good thing to experience, but would have been all the better in a Cathedral mightier than the diminuitive version we have in town (2nd smallest in the land).

Dinner was in a cheap pub, as everywhere else was either not serving or expensive. It did the job is all that can really be said for the food. It was a really nice day - great weather, and it was nice to spend some quality time with mum.

BOOOOOOKS

I found a copy of Richard III, for a pittance at 25pence, in one charity shop. That was the first of the goodies. I need to read some more Shakespeare, and some history plays in particular, and R3 & H4pt1 are surely good places to start.

There happened to be a book fair in the High Street for some reason, so I went along and found some truly unexpected gems. 3 to be precise. Maxim Gorky, all three volumes of his autobiography (My childhood, My apprenticeship, My universities). I had previously seen hte third part, but to find all 3 together, in decent nick (though I think part 3 might be 'physically abridged...'), ALONG WITH a copy of Othello (oh yes, so SO SO want to read it), all for £2? That is a win. 

But if that is a win, then what of this?

Tolstoy.

War and Peace.

Good condition, box-set, penguin editions (to match the rest of the library).

20pence.

That is just plain mental.



 
 
greenmaster86
27 April 2009 @ 06:36 pm
Apollonius of Tyana

And waffle.

I can't say I was particularly impressed by the work. It seemed somewhat amateur, with attempts at Herodotan descriptions, but little of substance. The 'philosophy', though admirable, never really came across as powerfully as it does with the Plato I have read. It was of interest as an insight into the 1st century in the Medittereanean, the cultures, the practices, but I can't say I will be recommending it or returning to it in a hurry. Definitely a minor text, rather than something to focus on for research. As for me once thinking I could use it as a weapon against Christianity? Dead.and.Buried.

Atrahasis

This was rather better. I gained a much better understanding of the nature of these Akkadian Epics - that is, they were recorded as backbones, around which poets would work, transforming what can seem rather dry, formulaic written works into much grander, oral renditions. The poem itself was rather bland, with a great deal of repetition, but the divine dispute, leading to the deluge, was interesting, as was the God-man relationship which parallels Noah & Yahweh. It is difficult to write a review of these fragmented poems, as you only ever get a portion of the whole, and a reconstructed portion at that. They are still of interest and worthy of exploration, given their impact upon later literature, but they are rather a struggle to work through. One is rather overburdened by Lacunas.

I am going to read the Enuma Elish next, then move on back to Greece proper.