Liminalityis a word that refers to the threshold between in-between times, places, states of being, states of mind, modes of perception, conditions of existence and emanations of the soul. Hypnagogic hallucinations are sensory phantoms lingering in the gate between the dream-state (Theta-wave) and ordinary Beta-wave wakefulness. Whatever their nature, they vanish when the person is fully awake. This is a liminal experience I've had several times. I hear a familiar voice call my name as I wake up, what sounds like my father's voice or my own. The hypnagogic state is like being submerged in water, and it really does feel like I'm swimming back to the surface of the waking world. There is a sense of awe coupled with an adrenal jolt of terror, of having poked through an invisible veil. It doesn't last more than a few seconds, with no lingering effects other than the memory of it happening. When being baptized with water and the Holy Spirit, how long is the person completel…

Murder On the Orient Express Movie-review

The 2017 Murder On The Orient Express film adaptation was a Kansas City Shuffle, both for the audience and for its central character, Hercule Poirot. Like A.C. Doyle's Sherlock Holmes character, Poirot is a private investigator who helps police solve particularly difficult criminal cases. The source material for the movie is a mystery novel of the same name by Agatha Christie published in 1934. The Kansas City Shuffle is the name of an old 20th century confidence game that depends on the mark suspecting that he is being conned, but not knowing exactly how or by whom. The Kansas City Shuffle is a con involving several operatives working together. They surrounding the mark in co-ordinated fashion to present him with a obviously fake con which, once the mark discovers it, will create a false sense of security and thus an end to his suspicion of being conned. This, in turn, allows the trap to snap shut just as the mark thinks he has outwitted the conmen. In the case of the novel,…

The Hour We First Believed

The hour we first believed was the hour of our ruin. It was the hour we died. This death, though traumatic, was actually a transformation. It was the door to life. It was the cutting away of an old identity, leaving a tonsured space where a new, sanctified identity could exist. Because we were terrified of death during that dark night of the soul, we clung to new life being offered and to Him who offered it. A new life, and a newly regenerated self to experience it. We were escaping one form of bondage to be delivered into another! It was terrifying to have the earth tremble under our feet as this brutal realignment took replace, even if we were safe in the cleft of the rock. Before our first encounter with the living God, our own original nature was the easy yoke and the light burden. If dying and being reborn in Christ wasn't traumatic enough, there is the prospect of living in a world not as its child but as its apostate. And why? Because for us, it has become nothing but …

The Postmodern Veritas

"Jesus said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one can go to the Father except by Me."
     -John 14:6 (NIV)

     "Never give your hearts to this world or to any of the things in it. A man cannot love the Father and love the world at the same time. For the whole world-system, based as it is on men’s primitive desires, their greedy ambitions and the glamour of all that they think splendid, is not derived from the Father at all, but from the world itself. The world and all its passionate desires will one day disappear. But the man who is following God’s will is part of the permanent and cannot die."
     -1 John 2:15-17 (PHILIPS)

Behold! I teach you the Postmodern Veritas! She is an obscene mockery of the classical Pax Romana Veritas, whose children are naturally beautiful and winsome. Po'mo'Veri and her bastard children of error are forever busy obscuring Truth yet cannot kill it. They are desperate to obfuscate Beauty yet they cannot steal it. They s…

Does the Invisible Man Cast a Shadow on the World?

"Character is what you are in the dark." -attrib. to American evangelist Dwight L. Moody   (1837-1899)
"Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation.  Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely  what others think you are." -Dale Carnegie (1888-1955)

     The Ring of Gyges was the inspiration for the One Ring of Power in J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings mythos. It isn't like the One Ring of Power, cut from Sauron's own finger by Isildur during Middle Earth's War of the Last Alliance (S.A. 3429 -- S.A. 3441). Gyges was the name of the shepherd who found the ring after an earthquake exposed a strange bronze horse in the Greek countryside of Lydia, the horse being hollow and the ring inside it, on the finger of a long-dead giant, the bronze horse serving as his tomb. Gyges discovered he could "invisiblate" and "de-i…

The Burning of Illusions

To be made perfect in the Lord is to burn in the Refiner's Fire. Because we wish to be holy as He is holy, our impurities are forcibly extracted yet never without our consent. We choose to go into the fire to have our imperfections burned away. The attachments we form to this world during our life's journey become part of us, something like ennervated flesh, a body of death desperate to thrive despite its nature. It goes without saying that the members of such a body cannot endure the fire of purification. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away from you (Matthew 5:29-30). It's better for you to lose one part of your body through temporary suffering than for your whole body to be thrown into hell to suffer eternally. All souls must taste death at least once, and for many the second death will cut off any hope of ascent on Jacob's Ladder. (Jesus Christ is the Jacob's Ladder between heaven and earth upon whom angels ascend and des…

The Tell-Tale Heart ...

From the secret place in our hearts, God’s Spirit compels us. When the Spirit moves us, it is because the Spirit is moving in us, and through our agency others are transformed as a result of His. The painlessness of this dynamic depends, of course, on how much we resist it. The power of the indwelling Holy Spirit can be as much of a burden as a gift, since the eye of the Witness in our hearts is all-seeing. (Psalm 139:23-24)  Imagine the sound of a ticking pocketwatch, wrapped in cotton. It’s the kind of sound only a man with superhuman hearing could detect. Or possibly an auditory hallucination of a man with deathwatch beetles chewing through the timbers of his mind. In Edgar Alan Poe’s short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” (1843) this sound heralds the Narrator’s nervous breakdown while being interviewed by police investigating a disturbance. There had been a blood-curdling scream in the night. The Old Man, who might have been the Narrator’s houseguest or landlord, had disappeared…