Independent Country

James Leroy Wilson's one-man magazine.

Friday, May 24, 2024

When anti-wokeism goes south

Donald Trump is scheduled to be a speaker at the Libertarian Party National Convention.


The ESPN Daily podcast episode One Racial Slur Tore a Baseball Team Apart is about events at Florida's Fort Myers High in 2023. A white assistant baseball coach sent a group message to the team that contained a racial slur. He quickly deleted it and said it was meant for some black war buddies. This was a year after an incident involving the n-word on the school's junior varsity team. This coach, a new hire still in his probationary period, was fired.


Many parents of players thought firing the coach was too harsh a punishment, and the families of the two black players on the team were blamed. Later, the head coach was suspended with pay for grabbing one of the black players and for other incidents. Ultimately, the third-base coach, temporarily in charge, led a walkout of most of the team, leaving the two black players in the batter's box and on-deck circle.


Bryant records the observations from an assistant coach on the opposing side:

As the bizarre scene unfolded, he was witnessing the antithesis of what sports were supposed to be about. The cliches of teamwork and togetherness were collapsing in real time. Players wearing the same uniform were not united against Estero [the opposing high school]. They were divided against themselves. His second conclusion was even worse: The walkout did not appear to be a reckless act concocted by teenagers, but rather orchestrated and blessed by coaches and parents. The kids were taking the lead from the grown-ups.

The rest of the season was canceled. Firings at Fort Myers High, investigations, and lawsuits followed.


One of the grievances that led to the walkout was that white people can't say the n-word, but black people are allowed to say it to each other. This is viewed as a double standard and an example of how white people are unfairly treated.


The greater context is the location of the controversy: Fort Myers is in Lee County, named for Robert E. Lee and one of the last holdouts against school desegregation. Moreover, Florida Governor Ron De Santis has led the charge against "wokeism." 


In its original slang meaning, to be "woke" is, as AI puts it, to be alert to ongoing racial prejudice and discrimination. Anti-wokeism, from my understanding, is the belief that the country isn't racist and that those who perceive and speak out against racism are themselves the real racists. In other words, whites are the victims.


The subtext of anti-wokeism is that it's okay for whites to resent blacks. When a white person gets in trouble for saying the n-word, black people are to blame. It's as if there's a plan to steer white voters who do not think of themselves as racist to align with self-avowed racists and protect themselves from the "woke mob."


I can't help but think of this as Donald Trump will speak to the Libertarian Party (LP) national convention this weekend. Since Trump's rise to political prominence some nine years ago, racists have come out of the closet, and the LP has been courting them.


In 2022, the Mises Caucus (MC) took over the LP with the aid of longtime Trump friend and advisor Patrick Byrne. That same year, the MC led the removal of the LP's platform statement calling bigotry "irrational and repugnant." Racist social media posts from official Libertarian Party accounts appeared. Fundraising and membership fell, and the party might not achieve ballot access in all 50 states as it normally does.


One could surmise that the leadership of the Libertarian Party is trying to destroy it. Portray the LP as a party of white nationalists to drive everyone else out in disgust even as white nationalists will vote for Trump anyway. Invite Robert F. Kennedy to speak as well to suggest he's also acceptable. Just don't vote for the candidate we nominate. The LP candidate may dare to talk about abusive, overreaching government when the real enemy is the woke mob.


The original meaning of "apocalypse" doesn't refer to destruction or the end of the world, but to a revelation or unveiling. We might be living in an apocalypse. What I've seen, what has been unveiled to me, over the past several years is that white resentment and racism can lead to the hijacking of a political party. And, 77 years after Jackie Robinson's debut in the major leagues, it can even derail a baseball season.


Perhaps we need less "I'm not racist, they're the racists" and more "I'm not racist, so what can I do to support those who have been wronged?"

James Leroy Wilson writes The MVP Chase (subscribe) and JL Cells (subscribe) and is a monthly columnist at Meer. Thank you for your subscriptions and support! You may contact James for writing, editing, research, and other work: jamesleroywilson-at-gmail.com.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Who is Jesus

 Originally published on Substack April 8, 2024.

Some years ago I recognized a coincidence in a letter arrangement of the French “Je suis,” which means “I am.”


“Jesu” is an archaic form of the name “Jesus.” Shift the letters of “Je suis” two spaces to the right we’ll see “Jesu is.”


This is the quick AI response on the meaning of the name “Jesus” on a Google search:

“Jesus” means “Yahweh is salvation.”

AI on “Yahweh:”

Yahweh comes from the Hebrew verb “To be.”

“Yahweh” is an extension of YWHW, a name of God in the First (aka Old) Testament. AI says that the Masorites, Jewish scribes of the 6th-10th centuries CE, added vowels to aid pronunciation to the formerly all-consonant Hebrew language to create “Yahweh.”


AI also says:

YHWH, also known as the he Tetragrammaton, is the name of God in the Hebrew Bible, and is written as the four Hebrew letters yodh, he, waw, and he. The name is read from right to left, and may come from a verb that means “to be”, “to exist”, “to cause to become”, or “to come to pass”.

Characters in the First Testament invariably have names whose meanings reveal their chief characteristic or role in the story. We can’t pretend that the various names of God don’t mean something. The meaning of YWHW is essential to the character of Yahweh.

This is reflected in God’s self-description:

Exodus 3:13 Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name? ‘ what shall I say to them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” 1 And he said, “Say this to the people of Israel: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” [English Standard Version (ESV)]

Yahweh’s primary characteristic is existence itself. Awareness of existence, meaning awareness of one’s own existence, is awareness of Yahweh. Neville Goddard writes in At Your Command, “God is man’s awareness of being.”


It was by reading Neville that I became interested in why YHWH, or Yahweh (or, archaically, Jehovah) is so frequently translated in English as “The LORD” in small caps. The meaning of the identity of God changes if one is talking to the self-existent being to the “master” or owner, as “Lord” implies.


I finally found an answer. The paper “Translating YHWH” by Nico Daams quotes Katy Barnwell:

In many English translations of the Hebrew Bible the form “LORD,” written in small capitals, is used to represent the four Hebrew letters YHWH. This is a proper name, the personal name of God, not a title or a general noun. How did the term LORD come to be used to represent the personal name of God? It seems clear that, until about the time of the prophet Ezra, the Israelites pronounced the name of God (YHWH) freely. But sometime after the time of Ezra, they came to feel that the name YHWH was so holy that it should not be pronounced. So, whenever YHWH was written in the text, they read it aloud as ‘adonay which means “(my) lord/master.”

Daams adds:

When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek (the Septuagint), YHWH was represented by the Greek word κυριος, meaning lord, still respecting the fact that the name itself was considered too holy to be pronounced.

I agree with Daams when he writes:

[It] would be inaccurate and misleading to render [YHWH] as a title such as ‘Lord’. Not only would the name itself be lost, but a new meaning with connotations of lordship would be introduced. This is never part of the complete meaning of YHWH. Most English Bibles use this option though as the result of long tradition. An attempt is made to distinguish it from the Hebrew word ‘adonay, which actually means ‘lord’, by writing the latter with lowercase letters (Lord), while writing the name YHWH with small caps (LORD). The reader is supposed to realize that LORD represents the name of God, while Lord represents ‘adonay. I don’t think this method of distinguishing between two different words would be acceptable anywhere else in translation.

Because most literate Jews knew Greek but not the archaic Hebrew of professional scribes, the Septuagint would have been the Scriptures they knew. And Yahweh was translated as Kurios, meaning Lord.


The New Testament, written originally in Greek, not Hebrew, uses Kurios/Kyrios five times in saying “Jesus is Lord” or “Lord Jesus.” The same name the Septuagint used for Yahweh.


The conclusion I draw is that the New Testament is saying Jesus is the same being as Yahweh, the persona or character largely credited for the inspiring wisdom but also blamed for the appalling atrocities and rigid rules in the First Testament.


Surely if the message of the New Testament was something else, Christians could disregard the First Testament entirely. That Jesus is Yahweh can be hard to accept, especially for fans of Jesus who aren’t fans of the First Testament God. It also might throw a curve to those who’ve understood the First Testament God as “the Father” and Jesus as “the Son.”


It’s true that Jesus, by that name, doesn’t appear in the First Testament (unless he is Joshua; Jesus is the Hebrew name for Joshua), but Yahweh does appear in various forms and modes of communication. In the New Testament, Jesus is Yahweh as a man.


This makes sense when you view the Bible from Neville Goddard’s perspective: nothing in the Bible literally happened, and almost none of the characters ever existed in history, including Jesus.


Goddard asks you to see God as your own “I am.” As an organism, your mind is focused on finding nutrients, safety, and sex — things outside of yourself. But your self-awareness, or consciousness, your ability to imagine, your inner being, is your God and there is no other. In imagination — in God — one can transcend the known laws of physics. One can also forgive others and imagine them as you want them to be.


Goddard believed that if you assume what you have imagined is fact, it will become fact in ways our conscious minds are incapable of knowing.


So Yahweh, or Jesus, is your inner being, your capacity to transcend reality as you mold and shape it according to your imagination. This inner being told the woman in the Garden of Eden that it is foolish to glean knowledge from the fruit of a tree or anywhere else outside of herself. Through this inner being, seas are parted, city walls fall, and giants are slain because these events are imagined first, when people call upon the name of Yahweh. By the same cause, sickness is healed, the dead are resurrected, and fortunes are reversed.


This inner being tells us there are no gods outside ourselves to worship or make idols of. The First Testament is full of metaphorical tales of the people of Israel pursuing external idols and ignoring their own God, their inner guidance. The tales are set in countries and empires with laws and traditions just like all stories are set in a time and place in novels and movies. The details of the social infrastructure aren’t what the story is about, it’s about the inner being within you and how your faith in it works wonders.


The story of Jesus in the New Testament is the story of Yahweh fully embodying and expressing the inner consciousness outwardly so that not even physical death is a barrier. It’s not that the miracles of the being known as Yahweh and then Jesus factually happened, but that we can perform them ourselves through imagination and faith.

It might be unusual to believe that all the “miracles” in the Bible are possible but probably didn’t happen. But miracles are happening all the time in one corner of the planet or another, all stemming from the faith of one’s inner being that it is possible.

Jesus is a name for your inner self or higher consciousness. As an alternative to searching for leaders to solve your problems, Jesus says “Follow me.”

James Leroy Wilson writes The MVP Chase (subscribe) and JL Cells (subscribe) and thanks you for your subscriptions and support! You may contact James for your writing, editing, and research needs: jamesleroywilson-at-gmail.com.