Yes, I made a hoopla and announcement back about last July, then went quiet.
Why? I am, after all, an ordained Minister. Minsters can set up a church.
But I wanted a bit more. I’d started working on things like an official calendar (and found out that the seasons are not matched to the equinox / solstice points as the arrival to apogee has a slightly different acceleration profile to that of the departure.
Which has “implications” for how to synchronize a church calendar to the movements of the celestial objects.
At that point I figured I needed to “study up” a bit more, and not just on celestial mechanics. I didn’t want to be just “making stuff up”, and while I had a lot of background in various religious texts and readings, I felt I needed a bit of “something more”.
Re: Ph.D. Final Exam answers attached.
Well done! You scored 100% on the final exam. Your diploma will be shipped immediately.
Yes, it’s a “Distance Learning” school, and it’s a degree in Religion, so not exactly like an academic research degree. Then again, the Ph.D. started out as a non-research degree awarded in most cases by religious institutions, way back when.
In the universities of Medieval Europe, study was organised in four faculties: the basic faculty of arts, and the three higher faculties of theology, medicine and law (canonical and civil). All of these faculties awarded intermediate degrees (bachelor of arts, of theology, of laws, of medicine) and final degrees. Initially, the titles of master and doctor were used interchangeably for the final degrees, but by the late Middle Ages the terms Master of Arts and Doctor of Theology/Divinity, Doctor of Law and Doctor of Medicine had become standard in most places (though in the German and Italian universities the term Doctor was used for all faculties). The doctorates in the higher faculties were quite different from the current Ph.D. degree in that they were awarded for advanced scholarship, not original research. No dissertation or original work was required, only lengthy residency requirements and examinations. Besides these degrees there was the licentiate. Originally this was a license to teach, awarded shortly before the award of the master or doctor degree by the diocese in which the university was located, but later it evolved into an academic degree in its own right, in particular in the continental universities. So in theory the full course of studies might lead in succession to the degrees of e.g. Bachelor of Arts, Licentiate of Arts, Master of Arts, Bachelor of Medicine, Licentiate of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine. There were many exceptions to this however, e.g. most students left the university before becoming masters of arts, whereas regulars (members of monastic orders) could skip the arts faculty entirely.
So this is more like the old Medieval kind. Exams and reading. A recognition that one is a “Lover of Wisdom” fit to teach.
In the context of academic degrees, the term “philosophy” does not refer solely to the field of philosophy, but is used in a broader sense in accordance with its original Greek meaning, which is “love of wisdom”
Doctor, as a title, originates from the Latin word of the same spelling and meaning. The word is originally an agentive noun of the Latin verb docēre [dɔˈkeːrɛ] ‘to teach’.
So teacher of the love of wisdom. In the old sense.
So now I think I’ve got a much better handle on the orbital mechanics / calendar issues. (Churches have, from the beginning of time, been the keepers of time and of the calendar. From Stonehenge, that was to set the seasons from the solstice dates, to the Maya, and on to the Gregorian and more.)
I also feel just a little more comfortable digging through old musty books, looking for wisdom, and integrating it here, at The Church Of The Sacred Carbon.
Which leads to two little ‘pontifications’ ;-)
1) The Calendar is synchronized with the heavens on The Winter Solstice. It is a Solar Calendar, but will have an adjunct Lunar Calendar option (so that folks with strong prior roots in a lunar calendar religion can continue to keep those dates, with my blessings.) While the Official Year Zero starts on the Winter Solstice of 2012 (in keeping with the Maya Long Count; for practical purposes, dates will be presented in the current system with 2012 instead of Zero, and 2013 instead of 1. While, technically, there will be a few days between the Winter Solstice and January 1, where the two years are ‘out of sync’, for practical purposes this will have no impact. In reality, one can just have a very long Happy New Years party from Solstice December to January 2nd. Recreations of the 12 days of Yule are encouraged.
There will not be a synchronizing on the other solstice / equinox dates. The formal calendar has a holiday on each of those days, and 12 months of 30 days each between them (2 days on Winter Solstice) but due to the slight irregularity between the two orbital sides, the actual solstice days and equinox days can end up “off by one” from that formality. You may choose to celebrate on an observed Solstice or Equinox date, or on one from the formal calendar, or from the “informal” dates of common prior usage if circumstances make that preferable. So Easter, as the celebration of Spring Equinox, or Christmas that was placed on top of the Winter Solstice celebration of the Druids by the Catholic Church in an attempt to win them over, is an acceptable schedule, even though the Christian calendar has now drifted from the actual Sacred Solstice Day.
In short, while there are formal calendar and holiday dates to be kept, for practical purposes, folks can choose different dates, if needed.
2) The Church Of The Sacred Carbon is a Syncretic sect.
Syncretism /ˈsɪŋkrətɪzəm/ is the combining of different (often seemingly contradictory) beliefs, often while melding practices of various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merger and analogizing of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths. Syncretism also occurs commonly in expressions of arts and culture (known as eclecticism) as well as politics (syncretic politics).
You are encouraged to bring with you any prior beliefs, ceremonies, and wisdom. Specifically, nothing in Sacred Carbon Teachings is exclusionary or prohibitive to the practice of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism, or any other prior faith. I will be sourcing bits of wisdom from the sacred texts of all of those traditions.
On some things, I will have a preference, and will state a preferred practice. So, for example, there is no requirement for circumcision. The practice is not needed and puts the child at risk, and without their consent. They, too, have a right to their own body. Yet a practitioner of Sacred Carbon Teachings may still choose to follow their ancestral traditions on circumcision. The preferences are just that, the preferred way. But other ways are possible.
The Church Of The Sacred Carbon is inclusive, not exclusive. It isn’t about “pitching out unbelievers”, it is about finding what is true, and wise, and common to us all.
The Church Of The Sacred Carbon is a personal quest for understanding, wisdom, and a centered life. One person can not tell another how to make that journey. Each of us is unique, has our own starting point, our own history, and our own path. So each person is encouraged to customize rituals and dogma to fit their own life path. So, for example, a wave offering of wine: can be fermented wine, or it can be simple juice (unfermented wine), or even plain water. Some folks simply do not like wine, and will find beer or champagne more suited. That’s fine too. In fact, any carbonated beverage is full of The Sacred Carbon as CO2 gas making bubbles. That’s a fine offering!
So yes, I will have “preferred insights and teachings”; but you, too, have insights and teachings. I can point out the path that I have found, but each of us walks a slightly different path; and that is fine.
So tonight I’m having a Celebration Dinner.
The Burnt Offering is on the coals as I type. Chicken and vegetables in an American Camp Oven (a.k.a. “Dutch Oven”). A mix of briquettes and natural wood charcoal as Holy Power for the Sacred Carbon burnt offering on the Altar Stones. An Altar need not be fancy, nor elaborate. It need only be sacred to you and consecrated with Sacred Carbon in one of its many forms. Solids, liquids, or gas.
Wave Offering TBD, but leaning toward a nice pink wine…
You are welcome to have your own celebration too. Burnt offerings and wave offerings encouraged.