A Halloween Tale

The small town of Druckel had fallen on hard time so they welcomed the news that wealthy industrialist Baron Von Bierstein was buying the old castle on the edge of town with plans to restore it.  None of them had ever heard of Baron Von Bierstein but they figured he must be important if the local newspaper said so.  They awaited his arrival.
As they people of the town hoped, the Baron hired many to help restore the castle.  Stone masons, carpenters, electricians, carpet layers and others.  The Baron was spending quite a lot and the town was doing well.
Soon the castle was ready and since it was a few weeks before Halloween, the Baron announced that he would throw a Halloween party in the castle and all were invited.
The people of the town loved the idea.  They all started thinking about costumes.  There would be werewolves and vampires of course.  Witches and goblins as well.  Perhaps a fairy princess or two.  The coach  made himself a genuine leather loin cloth so he could go as Tarzan.  The biology teacher was going as a gorilla.  The banker thought it would be funny to go as a beggar.  Even the children were invited and were all making or getting interesting costumes.
Finally the big day arrived.  Everyone put on their costumes and headed to the castle.  They were amazed at how nice it looked now, inside and out.  The food was good and the Baron had a live band and everyone was dancing and having a great time.
Unfortunately the fun soon ended.  It seems the Baron was actually an evil wizard.  He cast a spell over all the people at the party so at midnight they would all forget who they really were and would think that the character they came disguised as was who they really were.  The spell worked.  The banker now thought he was really a penniless beggar leaving the baron free to take over the bank.  The coach thought he really was Tarzan.  The same for the vampires, werewolves, fairy princesses and all the rest.  And while they were caught up in the fantasy, the baron was free to loot the town and move on.  After casting spells so no one would remember he was ever there of course.

I would like to say this story is complete fantasy.  Trick or treat!  Unfortunately, that is not the case.  While the town of Druckel and Baron Von Bierstein are fictitious characters, much of the rest of this story is true.  Many years ago we put on masks, costumes and mud pie bodies and many of us have become so accustomed to them over the centuries that we have forgotten who we really are.  Eternal spirits.

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Pythagoras: Mathematician and More

Pythagoras is probably best known today for his contributions to mathematics and particularly to geometry but he was much more than a mathematician.  He was a Scientist, astronomer, philosopher and Mystic.  He ran his own school of philosophy and mysticism but not much is known about it since students were sworn to secrecy.  Some of the basic teachings of his school were:

(1) that at its deepest level, reality is mathematical in nature,
(2) that philosophy can be used for spiritual purification,
(3) that the soul can rise to union with the divine,
(4) that certain symbols have a mystical significance, and
(5) that all brothers of the order should observe strict loyalty and secrecy.

In fact, it has been said that he opposed the mundane use of geometry for secular purposes because he considered it the sacred language of the soul.

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A Star in the East

for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”
Matthew 2.2, King James Bible

for behold, there shall be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day.”
Helaman 14.3, The Book of Mormon

And Behold, there shall a new star arrise, such an one as ye never have beheld; and this also shall be a sign unto you.”
Helaman 14.5, The Book of Mormon

The brief account in Matthew doesn’t tell us much, but the description in the Book of Mormon tells us this was not just a bright star.  Some writer’s have tried to associate this with a planetary conjuction that took place in 2BC.  While that may have appeared as a bright star, it would not have made the night appear as day.  It has also confused some that the star is in the east but the Magi from the east followed the star to Jesus which would have been in the opposite direction.  One possible explanation for that apparent contradiction is that the Magi didn’t literally follow the star, but rather followed directions from the star, or from an angel speaking from the star.  The Magi who followed the star are believed to have been Zoroastrian. Zorastrianism was a religion of Light.  Light and Fire were considered the highest and purest elements.  Zoraster taught that Ahura Mazda was the supreme and only true God.  Ahura Mazda was the God of wisdom and Light or “The Solar creator of all things.”  So if the Magi were Zoroastrian, what bright star would they be looking to for guidance?

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