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Examining Sacred Texts Bette U. Kiernan, MFT. MIT 6 Media in Transition International Conference Massachusetts Institute of Technology Stone and Papyrus Storage and Transmission April 24-26, 2009. EXAMINING SACRED TEXTS Bette U. Kiernan.

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Examining Sacred Texts Bette U. Kiernan, MFT

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Examining sacred texts bette u kiernan mft l.jpg

Examining Sacred TextsBette U. Kiernan, MFT

MIT 6

Media in Transition International Conference

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Stone and Papyrus

Storage and Transmission

April 24-26, 2009


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EXAMINING SACRED TEXTSBette U. Kiernan

  • Bible and Koran creation stories for modern civilization

  • Most influential texts portray models for brutality

  • Both also contain messages of peace

  • Sacred texts lend themselves to new compassionate interpretation

  • A “New Story” will emphasize conjoint lineage of Moslems, Christians, Jews

  • Ancient roots of family tree begin in Garden of Eden and unfold to the present

  • Broken families can realign


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Examining Sacred TextsBette U. Kiernan, MFT

*If God’s actions portrayed through contemporary psychological lens—disordered being portrayed

*Characteristics of DSM IV Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

-grandiose, requires excessive admiration, lacks empathy, envious, raging, arrogant, haughty, interpersonally exploitive

*Patterns in ancient texts mirror disturbed families and nations

*Biblical and Koranic images of God and Allah may originate from “compromised” projections

*God introduced pain in creation when he abandoned Adam and Eve; Their wound went through the families that followed

*Formed pattern for the development of violent civilizations


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EXAMINING SACRED TEXTSBette U. Kiernan

  • God’s rages, jealousy, lack of empathy lay groundwork for progressive pattern of family violence

  • Brutal treatment begins with Adam and Eve

  • Core theme of abandonment and rejection

  • Follows Cain, Abel, Jacob, Esau and Moses onto outcast society of the Jews

  • Similar rejection of Hagar by Abraham initiates Moslem Culture

  • Both cultures major sacred events,Yom Kippur and The Hajj center around projection

  • Moslems, Christians and Jews are all subjected to ostracism and abuse

  • Holocaust climax of centuries of wounding interactions


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Exploring Sacred TextsBette U. Kiernan

  • Biblical tales culminate in story of Abraham

  • God’s demand that Abraham sacrifice Isaac considered child abuse in our times

  • Intention to harm a child psychologically disturbing

  • God set Jews scapegoat role in stone by commanding a covenant that marked them

  • Ancient threat to wound Isaac continues through circumcision

  • Deviance attracts cruelty

  • Family system continues into Islam when Abraham rejects Hagar and Ishmael.

  • Continues as Mohammed goes to heaven with Moses and Abraham to receive the Koran from Angel Gabriel


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Examining Sacred TextsBette U. Kiernan

  • An integration of cultural stories and personal histories creates identities of individuals and societies

  • Considering contributions of religion to violence essential

  • Worshipping texts that accept violence nurtures war-like mentality and significant in the creation of terrorists

  • Attention to difference fosters hostility

  • Magnifying points of agreement yields harmony


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Exploring Sacred TextsBette U. Kiernan

  • A new story can emphasize conjoint family lineage of Moslems, Christians and Jews

  • All can proudly claim mutual family history

  • The family tree: One branch hold Sunni, Shiite and Sufi Moslems; another branch carries Jewish, Mormon, Christian and Catholic groupings

  • Myriad offshoots expand from each denomination

  • Christianity, Islam and Judaism remain essentially linked through mutual scriptural heritage


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Examining Sacred TextsBette U. Kiernan

  • Many pathways to common ground

  • Feature shared prophets and heroes in the Bible and the Koran that honor shared respectful relationships, reverence for the earth, and compassionate care for less fortunate others

  • Mutual heroes transform the pain of abuse to creative leadership and a higher social order

  • Psychological means of positive coping rather than projection can be encouraged

  • Media processes of all kinds that are available in our times can be applied to ancient scriptures that are still worshipped

  • Media can shift emphasis in sacred texts and thereby influence the creation of a more peaceable world


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THE NEW STORY

  • Biblical and Koranic Heroes transform emotional pain into creative leadership

  • Attention on shared wisdom teachings in sacred texts

  • Conjoint family history for Moslems, Christians and Jews evokes mutual pride

  • New sacred rituals revolve around acts of compassion

  • A sustainable vision of a peaceful and united humanity needs to be shared among people, across time and generations


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The Old Story

  • Biblical God and Koranic Allah model destruction of others for emotional management

  • Scapegoating acceptable means for problem solving

  • Enemies used as receptacles for projection of unwanted feelings

  • Most solemn sacred holidays for Jews and Moslems, Yom Kippur and The Hajj, emerged from ritualized projection

  • Underlying character disordered behaviors in Genesis families


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A Message From the Angel Gabriel

In the beginning, God created heaven and earth. He separated light from darkness and made day and night. The land he split from seas. Plants and trees grew seeds, flowers and fruits. He positioned the sun, moon and stars in the heavens. Next he generated sea creatures, birds and animals. But he created Man and Woman in his own image. After his creation, God rested and blessed and hallowed that day.

The first man he named Adam, and his wife called Eve. God made them good and commanded them to obey his rules and let them live in the Garden of Eden.

But Adam and Eve broke God’s commandment and ate forbidden fruit. God shamed then and cast them out of the Garden.

Adam and Eve’s tears carried to their children and to their children’s children. When God separated their actions into good and bad, he created a problem. Men and women have light and dark sides, so they were not able to live up to God’s expectations.


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Thus their families carried the wound that that came from God’s rejection of Adam and Eve. Rage and sadness followed Cain, Abel, Jacob, Esau, Sarah, Abraham, Hagar, Joseph, Ishmael, Mohammed, Jesus and others across ages.

The Islamic peoples began when Abraham rejected Hagar, the mother of his first son, Ishmael, and sent her away. Just as when God banished Adam and Eve, she grieved in the wilderness until Angel Gabriel comforted her.

Abraham lasts. We carry Abraham, Isaac and Jacob within us.

Mohammed went to heaven with Moses and Abraham and received the Koran, the word of Allah, from Angel Gabriel. Gabriel was always with the peoples of God and Allah and brought them the important messages. The great angel helped Daniel interpret dreams. Mohammed learned that Allah, like God, gave severe punishments.

Rage and hurt are in the peoples of Abraham. Across eons, into our times, wounds from the beginning in the Garden of Eden, erupted into into discord and wars and climaxed in The Holocaust. Germans murdered millions of Jews and others who did not match their expectations.

Now peoples of Israel and Palestine direct their ancient pain against each other. Like the Biblical siblings who fought over blessings and birthrights, they fight over lands. As they do, their violence adds new scars to those who dwell in troubled regions and it spreads across the world.

Gabriel, the mediator between heaven and earth, is bringing new messages that it is time to reconcile. He is whispering into the ears of Israelis, Palestinians and others to make music together in orchestras, play together in camps, and meet to discuss visions for peace.

A Message from the Angel Gabriel


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Gabriel points that apparent differences between the peoples of Abraham, upon a closer look, reveals their likeness. All revere teachings of Moses, David, Joseph and other prophets. They realize that just as Joseph fostered healing in his family, his story still teaches us a pathway to compassionate relationship. Discordant relationships can realign.

Their holidays of Christmas, Chanukah, and Islamic New Year are in the month of December.

They show reverence for God and Allah by keeping their heads covered.

Now our ways of life are changing. Angel Gabriel enfolds all peoples in the warmth and comfort of giant wings to comfort them.

He warns that the world is threatened, and that the families must join together. Through mutual compassion for their shared wounds, the time is here to create a newer, gentler world.

Gabriel announces, “Collect the kindest words of God and Allah and focus upon the peace bearer’s actions. Combine them into a book that guides and heals.”


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