Saturday, May 03, 2014

I Never Read Instructions

In addition to true crime stories I am facinated by conspiracy threories and cults. I don't know if that interest is connected to being a ventriloquist but I suspect it is. It's not that I am supporting the stereo type that ventriloquists are weird by the very nature of their profession.  Instead I think a mind that is driven to be curious about such things might find a facination in ventriloquism as well.  Again this is not to suggest that ventriloquism is connected to cults, crime or conspiracies, it is rather that these obscure subjects tend to captivate the curious more than say Algebra. 
The more one tries to normalize an obsession the stranger it becomes so let's move on shall we?
David Koresh was the cult leader of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.  We know his influence ended when he was burned to death with other members of his cult after a long stand off.  Like Jim Jones, Charles Manson and even Warren Jeffs I am drawn to how a single person can sway others to embrace ideas and committ acts so contrary to their own morals and morĂ©s. These cult leaders  had the ability to lead their followers to committ crimes or even die for the "cause". In all of these cases religion or some form of spirituality was used as the hook.  Although Charles Manson was the only one to actually claim he was Jesus Christ, the others claimed they were prophets or devinely ordained  with the same authority.  
In the case of David Koresh, it is said he gained attention of the Davidians because of his unusual mental ability.  Evidently he could quote the entire Bible chapter and verse by memory. The ability to recite obscure Bible quotes to support his ideas was seen as some divine  gift.  I know stage mentalist who can do more impressive mental tricks but they do it simply for the cash. 
It is also known that David Koresh was a dyslexic, a fact over looked by most profilers when studying his influence. Being a dyslexic myself, that fact is not so unimportant to me.  
One of the problems associated with dyslexia is difficulty reading.  It is a chore for us.  We don't read for enjoyment we read because we have to, and slowly at that. However, like a person who looses their sight the mind tends to compensate with increased ablilities in the other senses.  For the blind, hearing and touch are excellerated; for the dyslexic the mind generally compensates with an acute ablility to memorize and recall. (I can still recite my brothers 10 digit Army service number from 50 years ago. I'm not even sure he can.)
So, some how Koresh's dyslexia was confused with divine anointing.  I certainly wish my teachers would have seen it that way when I was struggling in school. Maybe that is why I am not impressed with Bible quoting theology.  Although I can quote only a few verses by memory I have read the Bible cover to cover.  In truth if all you need is a quote of five words or so, you can justify any action with a Biblical quote.  A friend once found a quote for Thanksgiving from Proverbs that stated, "Ye shall eat of a clean bird."  
Just knowing words, even a lot of them, even words refered to as scripture is absolutely useless.  Let's say you buy a desk from Ikea. It comes in a box full of parts and  instructions.  You can read the instructions for hours, studying them and interpreting them all day.  You can even commit them to memory and know where every screw must be placed by heart. You can become an expert on the instructions of assembly, and be revered for the knowledge. People who want to have a desk can come to you and ask questions like, "Why is my desk just a bunch of parts".  The "expert" can quote the instructions and say, "Because you have not attached part A to part B."  But, you are still no closer to having a desk than you were when you opened the box. It is how you put the instructions to use that matters not the memory of the proceedure.
More important to the seeker than the repetition of instructions would be to show them what the desk looks like after it has been assembled. Showing some initiate how you have used the instructions to create the desired result is more important than meer words, no matter how true thoes words might be.
To paraphrase the parable, you will know each tree by the fruit it creates, not by the sap it has stored. 
As you were,

1 comment:

P. Grecian said...

Now THAT is a fascinating kernel of information: The dyslexic mind compensates with incredible recall. I've learned something wonderful and it's not even noon yet.