Friday, October 11, 2013

temptations: leaping their scattergories and not to be listened to...and feeling hunger/beauty as pain

Among the interesting takes Anne Rice weaves into her "Christ the Lord:   The Road to Cana" account of Jesus experiencing the temptations in the wilderness is that she seems to suggest a "cross-mingling" (synesthesia?) of the temptations.

I have spent so much time with students on the taxonomy of the individual "testations" (see chart below, and these links : Timelines and Testations: Jesus, Sexonomics and Facebook  
that Jesus experiencing
hunger during the temple temptation got me thinking about how temptations can comingle/cotempt:

.. I stopped short at the edge of the parapet of the Temple, the Temple in Jerusalem, under the huge sky, and above the enormous crowds of those who wandered in and out of it. I was standing on the pinnacle. I was looking down into the vast lower courts.

The sounds and scents of the crowd rose up in my nostrils. I felt the hunger so deeply it was a pain. And out on all sides lay the rooftops of Jerusalem while the people swarmed below in its tangle of narrow streets.

"Look on all this," he said beside me.
             (read the whole chapter here....even though it claims a copyright, not sure it's a legal site, if Rice wants me to remove the link, I will) .

For fun...and to learn something, the other night  I had students fill in some blanks in a non-graded "pop quiz".  I knew the results would be intriguing...and you can see which answer caused me to literally LOL..when I included this "fill in the blank":

  Every temptation, at heart, is about __________.

Would anyone put "power?"  (yes!)
  If i had clarified "Every temptation of Jesus," would anyone have put "to operate out of his divine nature and not his human nature?

a few answers:

  • forgiveness
  • power
  • selfishness
  • choice 
  • desire
  • "I don't listen to The Temptations"
But of course, that last answer may well be profound..if all temptations (and all of life...and according to string theory, all of the universe) are sound- based and maybe sound-activated.  See Webb's "The Divine Voice"!


I also love Jesus' line in Rice:

 I felt the hunger so deeply it was a pain.

It connected me to two lines in  Rice's delightful "Called out of Darkness: a spiritual confession":

  • "It's important to stress here  that my earliest experiences involved beauty...things which evoked such profound feeling in me that I often felt pain. (6)
  • "I remember thinking, tiny child that i was, that this was so incredibly beautiful that it hurt me"(16)

I love so much that Jesus was human.

A I asked the same class:
"The Bible says that Jesus was able to do miracles because He was ___________"

Check out there answers.
Note again a brilliant offbeat answer (by the same person who doesn't listen to The Temptations"):

I was hoping at least one would give the best answer.

Hardly anyone ever does..

Look up the Scriptures (or the third question here) if you're wondering...

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