Sunday, July 27, 2008

24 Tammuz 5768: The Three Weeks/Parent’s Day


Relevant to Divine Misconceptions: Back when I was a kid (1987), there was some New Age nonsense about a “Harmonic Convergence”. All the planets would (allegedly) be on one side of the Sun, and this event was supposed to herald a new age of peace and harmony. Obviously it did not actually work out like that. The person behind this bad idea, José Argüelles, is unfortunately at it again, this time promoting another bad idea, the 13-Moon Natural Time Calendar, which divides the year into 13 “moons” of 28 days each, plus one “day out of time”.  Allegedly by adopting this calendar, the whole planet will enter a new age of peace and harmony. To walk through the problems the hard way:
  1. We already have a single planetary calendar.  The Gregorian calendar, while originally the calendar of the Catholic Church, has been adopted as the primary calendar or international auxiliary calendar of probably everyone on the planet who is not a member of a severely isolated group.  Anyone checking the news knows that having a single calendar has not made Earth a peaceful planet.
  2. The 13-Moon Natural Time Calendar is clearly an inferior calendar.  The year length seems to be a uniform 365 days.  No provision seems to be made for the fact that the solar year is about a quarter day longer, so this calendar would get out of sync with the seasons even more rapidly than the Julian calendar.
  3. There is nothing natural about the 13-Moon Natural Time Calendar.  There is no natural division of the year into 13 parts plus a single day, and natural events in the year, the solstices and equinoxes, are not noted.
  4. Calling a 28-day period a “moon” is inaccurate, since a lunation is actually about 29½ days.  And while the human menstrual period may be 28 days, it has nothing to do with the moon, and that period can only be expected to be an average.
  5. The fact that this calendar is allegedly derived from Mayan religion is irrelevant.  Most people do not believe in the Mayan religion, so one cannot expect that the premises of the Mayan religion are necessarily shared by them.
  6. The seven-day week is an inherent part of the Abrahamic religions.  It is irrational to expect a prophetically dictated cycle to ever be suspended for an extra “day out of time”.  The alternative, putting religiously observant members of the Abrahamic religions out of sync with everyone else on the day of the week, is a recipe for causing anything but peace and harmony.  See next item for more.
  7. The proposed calendar reform which was advocated in the United Nations but was rejected due to religious objections appears to be the World Calendar, which is not as badly constructed as the 13-Moon Natural Time Calendar, as it has leap years.  The World Calendar also alternates the month length between 30 and 31 days, something Argüelles considers “disharmonious”, and he is being untruthful in claiming it is essentially his own calendar.  What doomed the World Calendar is the presence of Worldsday and Leapday, which were considered outside of the seven-day week (much as the 13-Moon Natural Calendar’s “day out of time”), something that naturally caused much religious objection.  Since the never-ceasing seven-day week is religiously mandatory and not subject to human tampering, arguments for days outside the seven-day week fell on deaf ears, and this calendar reform proposal never got anywhere.
Today’s news and commentary:Continuing our Lovecraft series for the Three Weeks, today’s story is “The Whisperer in the Darkness”.


Theological review of “The Whisperer in Darkness”:

H. P. Lovecraft finally comes up with something sort of creepy, but disembodied brains and what Albert N. Wilmarth finds at the very end of the story will do that to you. On the other hand, the plot is a step down from “The Dunwich Horror”; the narrator should have been Henry Wentworth Akeley, the man being directly haunted by alien pseudo-gods, rather than Wilmarth, who is a college professor with whom Akeley corresponds. The scientific implausibilities suggested by Lovecraft with regard to space travel do not help either, though arguably at least some of what is suggested may be half-truths or complete falsehoods.

Theologically there is little new here except we learn there is a pseudo-deity colony on Yuggoth, a planet (full-size or dwarf) which may be Pluto. Since they already have a world, what use they have of Earth becomes even less clear.

Theological rating: D.

Scariness rating: Sort of creepy, though my pants stay on.

Up for tomorrow: “The Dreams in the Witch House”.

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