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Chapter 6: APOLLYON

Please use this thread to discuss chapter 6

Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:01 am
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Ch 6 Apollyon

From wikipedia:

Abaddon (Hebrew: אֲבַדּוֹן‎, 'Ǎḇaddōn, Greek: Apollyon, Latin: Exterminans, Coptic: Abbaton, meaning "A place of destruction", "The Destroyer", "Depths of Hell") in the Revelation of St. John, is the King of tormenting locusts and the angel of the bottomless pit. (KJV, Rev. 9:1-11). The exact nature of Abaddon is debated.

Revelation 9:1-11 describes Abaddon as being the king of the bottomless pit locusts that resemble battle horses with crowned human faces, having womens' hair (denoting length), lions' teeth, locusts' wings, and the tail of a scorpion. It appears to have been St. John who first personified the term to stand for an angel.

The symbolism of Revelation 9:11 leaves the exact identification of Abaddon open for interpretation. Some bible scholars believe him to be the antichrist[4] or Satan.[5][6][7]

Jehovah's witnesses believe that Abaddon is Jesus. [8](However, original Jehovah's Witness doctrine stated that Abaddon was Satan.)[9]

Some also believe Abaddon to be just an angel. Concerning the angel holding the key to the bottomless pit from Revelation 9 and 20, Gustav Davidson, in A Dictionary of Angels, Including the Fallen Angels, writes:
In Revelation 20:1 he "laid hold of the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years." According to the foregoing, Apollion is a holy (good) angel, servant and messenger of God; but in occult and, generally, in noncanonical writings, he is evil [10].

I remember going to a reading by John Keeble. He had written a book on a white supremacist group that lived in northern Idaho. The point of Keeble's reading was that these are normal people. This is the kind of thing people do. We rationalize our fears and hatreds and make of them the Other – we take away their humanity and make them the personification of evil; we refuse to see that they are people just like us. Keeble talked eloquently for about 45 minutes; his story showed this humanity even while it underscored the dreadfulness of the attendant behaviours. Yet one of the very first comments from the crowd (academics and students) was to suggest that to be a white supremacist one must be sick, not normal, deficient, inhuman in someway. The woman missed the point entirely.

The head of the prison wasn't Satan. He wasn't something that no good human being could become. He was a man and exactly what we become when we pretend not to be limited by our natures.

I've always found it rather exciting to remember that there is a difference between what we experience and what we think it means.

Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:16 pm
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Ch 6 Apollyon part 2

Boy what I would give to to see Cummings through Celina's eyes. He calls her Celina Tek. With a name like that she is almost certainly Romani. And his description of her...”The cult of Isis never worshipped...her perfect teeth...reminded you of an animal..” He repeatedly describes her through her body alone, using that to be able to describe her as an “it.” Given this is a book about the soul, this should be a bit of a clue as to her place in the story.

I get that Cummings is equating the “dregs” of society as the place from where true Christianity can grow, and by this he means his characterizations as a compliment. I suspect all those romantic evocations of Native American people as noble savages were meant in the same way. But they aren't compliments. Not really. They are projections of some inner part of author that he projects on the (as far as he is concerned) blank canvas that is the Other. What would have been a compliment would have been to allow her to speak for turn over his moral scalpel so that it could be used on him.

For example, did Celina know that Cummings was no different than the Director? Could she have told us that Cumming's need to turn see her behaviour as part of his religious drama was just as evil as the guards beating of her?

I've always found it rather exciting to remember that there is a difference between what we experience and what we think it means.

Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:15 pm
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