Archive | August 8, 2012

Thoughts on the 1st Commandment

I’ve always thought it curious that in the first of the Ten Commandments the Hebrew God confesses to a sin. Don’t remember that? “Thou shalt have no other gods before me, for the Lord, your God is a JEALOUS God. Since several of the other commandments say you can’t covet other’s things or family, it’s really odd that jealousy on the part of God is allowed and it’s the one that’s been causing all the trouble ever since.

So why is the Hebrew God jealous? Do the other deities have something he doesn’t have? Like a Goddess? Is this all because the Hebrew God couldn’t get the girl?

Is it over territories? He led them to a fairly desolate area and called it the land of milk and honey. Looks like a desert to me, bait and switch? Was he coveting more fertile lands with water?

Did he want more people besides a few tribes in a desert? Was he already setting his sights on the rest of the world to conquer? It still hasn’t worked so he still must be jealous and I bet his mother, Asherah wasn’t happy to be locked out. Wonder if she still gives him and earful.

Is Tiamat, the dragon or serpent, who he’s trying to exclude? She did move into the Garden of Eden and have a chat with Eve that the Hebrew God was pretty pissed about. Since his henchmen wrote the book she doesn’t even get her name mentioned. Dragons in sci-fi fantasy books even now are the repositories of knowledge. So she is still around even if they don’t know her name.

At the very least, if he’s a jealous God then it means he is aware there are other choices besides him and he would have been a kinder, nicer God if he had learned how to make friends and get along with the other deities. And there would be fewer wars and shootings.

The night we saw the UFO

When I worked at Tahquitz Meadow I was still of the age (20 or 21) where I could try to stay up all night and be able to function the next day. Our camp was up at Mountain Center, a tiny village next to a bigger village called Idyllwild in the mountains above Hemet. In those days I didn’t drive or have a car so I spent most of my days off in camp or exploring the area. Hemet is at 1594 ft of elevation just across from where March Air Force base was and Idyllwild and Mountain Center are at 6065 ft above sea level. This makes for big temperature differences and climate even though they are fairly close together in distance.

S and I had a 2/4 that started at noon which is a 24 day off to those who don’t work at summer camps and after spending the day in Idyllwild and wandering aimlessly after shopping for junk food in the only small market, we decided we were going to stay up all night and play our guitars and watch the shooting stars fall and we figured we could sleep in, in the morning.

Most things went according to plan and around 3 am after our feasts of Cheese Puffs and Coke, we were sitting leaning against rocks in one of the big meadows in camp. We were facing Tahquitz Peak and looking for the fabled blue light that supposedly is a symbol of Tahquitz’s ghost when we saw something in the north end of the far meadow. It had to have been not too far outside the boundaries of the camp property which was just National Forest land and just wilderness there. We started seeing a bright light swing back and forth in an inverted arc. There was no noise. All we could hear were sleepy animal sounds and crickets.

The light looked to be about a mile to 2 miles away and just at the level of the tops of the pines and it was swinging like a pendulum. So it looked to us to be about 50 ft off the ground more or less. We started to get a little freaked out and since we were the only ones up in camp there was no one to go tell. This went on for about a half an hour when we finally got spooked enough to run to the staff bunks and go to bed.

The next morning we told the camp manager and the camp director who both told us we were probably seeing something natural like a shooting star. So we dropped it but we knew what we had seen and it wasn’t any shooting star. They don’t swing and they don’t levitate 50 ft off the ground. We told our fellow staff who just thought we had been drinking. Since neither of us drank very often if ever at that point we were more than frustrated but dropped it.

Our camp was long and flat for the most part but there was a sharp abrupt uphill at the north end of camp behind the last big cabin. It was really just a collection of meadows below the peak.

About 3 days after our shared “hallucination” I was working in the trading post doing some organizing and serving small children “suicides” (A particularly vile drink made of equal parts, Pepsi, orange drink, Bubble Up and Dr Pepper. It was very popular. Blech!) We started to hear a low rumble and then a roar and then it was so loud your ears hurt and we all ran outside to see what it was. It was two fighter jets out of March Air Force Base coming in at tree level. Those pilots just barely cleared the top of that incline at the end of camp and it scared the bejebus out of everyone in camp. It was low enough to see the bolts in the underside of the plane and to see the pilot clearly.

The Staff all ran to the Camp Office to find our boss already on the phone with the base and trying to get to the Base Commander to complain. The horses and barnyard animals were having fits not to mention small children. She finally after much yelling got the Commander who denied it had happened and that no pilots were in the area. She kept yelling at him that we had good evidence to the contrary and he finally told her that the only reason they would even be in that area was to check out credible reports of a UFO. At that point she started to stare at S and I and we had no clue why. She got off the phone with the Commander and told us what he had said.

At least, they finally believed us and we had to tell what we had seen again because now they were ready to hear it.

To this day, I don’t know what we saw. Someone said a helicopter but helicopters don’t swing like pendulums and marijuana growers hadn’t really started to farm the forest at that point. And that area is a really rough piece of ground. I know we saw something and I know it scared us out of our shorts and neither of us spooked easily but we sure saw something.