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OAHSPEPALS

God Goo [The Voice of Man & The Book of Jehovih]

Let no man say: Yonder is hydrogen only, and yondder oxygen only. The divisions of the substances of His creations are not as man would make them.

The Book of Jehovih 6:5

Hello, friends and neighbors, and welcome to Oahspepals. It’s the show where two non-believers read through the Oahspe and try to be jerks about it. We are your humble Sons of Jehovih. I’m Dave White and with me as always, the sar’gis to my su’is, Rob Brunskill.

Rob, how are you today?

I’m doing all right.

Now, I know we said last time we weren’t going to do another one of these, but well, we were lying. It turns out Rob did a more than the assigned reading and wanted to discuss it, and I was happy to oblige.

So today we’re discussing the Voice of Man and the Book of Jehovih, which are the second and third books of the Oahspe and an introduction to all the craziness that follows. If you’re reading along at home, we’re still using the versions in “The Light of Kosmon.”

I think it’s important that we start with the very first chapter that’s presented, that goes through the seven eras of mankind.

Oh, please. I didn’t read this one, so this is all on you.

So, the first era is summed up as “monkeys.” This is where God has created monkeys.

The second era, because we have to get to mankind, is basically summed up as “evolution.” Evolution happens so that monkeys become man.

That’s interesting, given some of the things that happen later on.

Yes. So, the third era is “civilization.” In this case, it is the angels are teaching man how to live in cities. Which, to my mind, brought in the image of a big empty city and there are just angels out there luring humans in, the way I try to lure in the stray cats that live in my back yard to try and domesticate them.

That sounds a little like Defending Your Life, too, the giant empty ultramodern city where everyone goes when they die.

The era after that is “conflict,” which introduces the Beast, who strays mankind from the direction of Jehovih and his angels. “Think not I am come to send peace on the earth.” (Oahspe 9) He speaks a bit like Yoda.

The fifth era is the discovery of meat. Man is deceived by the Beast into eating meat and thus loses all of his psychic superpowers. Which is very Scott Pilgrim, veganism gives you psychic superpowers.

Era six introduces religion, or, you know, all the false religions. Seven million Brahmins, twenty million Buddhists, seven million Christians, two million Mohammedans… and apparently that’s it. No Jews, no other religions.

I see see here that their trade is “killing man” (Oahspe 13) and I wonder what sort of trade school you go to for that.

And 1/6 of mankind’s effort is devoted to war, while 1/3 is devoted to drunkenness.

Hey, here’s to that. I’m drinking a Unicorn Fart right now.

That is a beer with glitter in it.

It’s still delicious. I don’t care if it’s not real unicorn farts.

Era seven is God basically telling humanity, get your [stuff] together. “Go ye down to the earth once more, t o man, whom I created to inhabit the earth and enjoy it, and say ye to man:” (Oahspe 15) Stop having so much fun! Stop it with the drinking and the burgers!

And divides man into Faithists, the chosen, people who follow Jehovih, and the Uzians, or destroyers, people who follow the Beast.

That’s a pretty good summary of everything.

And so we get now the purpose, the whole purpose of the Oahspe, how to attune to hear the creator’s voice and see his heavens.

Well, that starts off in the first real book, The Voice of Man, essentially a crie de coeur from the man of the modern world, confessing that it is not satisfying his needs, confessing his numerous faults, and supplicating Jehovih for guidance. It’s basically John Ballou Newbrough laying out everything he has a problem with and is proposing to solve over the next 997 pages.

One of the most interesting praises I have ever heard to god is: “Thou hast invented a limit to my understanding, whereby I am reminded of Thee, to call upon Thy Name. I perceive my own vanity; that whereas were knowledge mine, I should become less beholden unto Thee !” (Voice of Man 5) In other words, you have made me dumb so that I would follow you, and thank you for doing that.

I don’t know what I should think about that. Siri, what should I think about that?

I like that man says that he is less than all the beasts of the world, save in the power of destruction.

“My failures are worse than any other living creature under the sun. I cannot build my house in perfection like a bird’s; my ingenuity cannot fashion a spider’s net…” (Voice of Man 7) This is obviously somebody who has never seen a bird’s nest and doesn’t know about fishing nets.

Yeah. Those things look majestic from a distance but when you look up close they’re crap. Nature sucks. Step up your game, animals!

And let me also says, this PDF that we’re working from has obviously been run through automated OCR. Given that the original text is supposed to have been created through automatic writing, perhaps then the OCR version may be closer to what was whispered in the author’s ear. So I’m going to point out that the OCR on that passage has the word “jiving” instead of “living” so the phrase is, “My failures are worse than any other jiving creature under the sun.”

Wow.

I really don’t have a ton of notes on this chapter. I do want to call out a Satan Watch on verse 15: “And they tripped up on tip-toe, elated by the honey of my words! O Jehovih, how have I not covered up my wickedness; how have I failed to make the flow of my brotber’s blood tbe relish of satan!” (Voice of Man 15)

I believe the relish of Satan is Heinz hamburger relish. It does not hold a candle to my mother-in-law’s pickle-lilly.

It is an interesting book to read, especially when you consider the context of when it was written. He mentions “half of my offspring die in infancy” and in the 1880s infant mortality rates were 46%. In one of the other comments he says man cannot fly like a bird or go underwater like a fish…

Both things which… Actually, “underwater like a fish” they managed during the Civil War, and “fly like a bird” is only 20 years in the future.

It is important, your mention of the Civil War, this is somebody who obviously has a lot of Civil War regret. “I have said war was a necessary evil to prevent a too populous world.” (Voice of Man 28)

I’ve never hard overpopulation as an excuse for the American Civil War.

Or any war, for that matter. Interestingly, Newbrough did not fight in the Civil War. He was a little too old at the time, and an established dentist.

Also, “Stubbornly I persisted in not seeing justice on the other side” (Voice or Man 28). Which, when you’re talking about the Civil War, ouch.

Though his parents had moved to the North from the South to get away from slavery, Ballou himself was not pro-slavery but did not have nice words to say about abolitionists in the run-up to the Civil War.

And the classic phrase, “Thou alone wast sufficient in the olden time.” (Voice of Man 40). The good old days were always better.

Why back in the old days we just had God and it was wonderful.

There’s some chapters decrying capitalism again and false gods, but you can get a sense what this book is about by listening to anyone at a senior center ramble on about the old days.

And that brings us to the Book of Jehovih, wherein is revealed the three great worlds, Corpor, Atmospherea, and Etherea; as in all other bibles is is revealed that this world was created, so in this bible it is revealed how the creator created it; as other bibles have proclaimed heavens for the spirits of the dead, behold, this bible revealeth where these heavens are, and the manner and glory and work that the spirits of the dead enjoy, whereby the wisdom, power, love and glory of the almighty are magnified for the understanding of man.

Yeah, that’s a high bar that’s been set right off the bat. We’re going to find out how God created the world, we’re going to find out where heaven is, we’re going to find out what there is to do when you’re dead…

I will spoil that right now and say it does not clear that bar.

It does it in about the way that Five Minute Crafts teaches you anything.

How did God create the heavens and earth? He’s God! That’s the sort of answer you’re going to get.

Now underneath that subtitle there is what looks like a bunch of hieroglyphics written by someone who has never seen hieroglyphics before and is going off a crude description.

And incorporating relatively modern symbols as well in some cases.

This is not an illustration. This is actually part of the text, the apologia. It is presented in Panic writing, the universal language we talked about in the last episode. And it says: “The universe is full; all things are members. Speech they have: bid them speak. The recorder of their words be thou. Such is Panic language, tbe first language. What saith the bird? The beast? The star? The sun? All? It is their souls speaking. The soul hear thou, and repeat it. This light leadeth tbee to origin.”

We start with chapter one, where God declares himself to be God.

Yes. He basically just says “I am” and boom! he exists. Which got me thinking about a superhero, God-Man, and he gets into a situation where he desperately needs something and he just declares “I am!” and suddenly creates a whole pocket universe and guides everything in that universe to a final outcome and that universe dies and at the end it pops out whatever he needs.

I will never think of the White Event the same way again.

This is not without precedent. It’s roughly the same sort of idea as the beginning of the Gospel of John. I did like the bit where God creates man…

He creates man and the very first thing he tasks him with is naming everything. First of which is God himself.

That’s a pretty big task for someone who’s only five minutes old.

And it’s like asking a newborn to name their parents. You get the not-surprising result of E-O-IH.

Which is prenounced “Jehovih” by the way. And is written with what looks like a crosshairs with a leaf in it, like the Punisher had a vendetta against trees.

Leaf assassin.

This is the symbol of the Faithists, it’s kind of a Celtic cross with an acacia leaf impaled on it.

It’s also the Creator Formerly Known as Jehovih. Or currently.

God basically leaves the naming of everything up to man.

Man really fumbles the ball on a lot of this.

We get Corpor, the physical world, with corporeans as the inhabitants. We get Es, the spiritual world, eseans, spirits and angels as the inhabitants. Made up of two parts, Etherea and Atmospheria, and isn’t it good that God isn’t still having us name things or he might have been named Goddy McGodface.

At one point while discussing the Etherean worlds he mentions that they’re composed of a substance called “ethe”…

Yes. Ethe, the most rarefied.

…I am surprised that the atmospherean worlds aren’t made of a substance called “atmosphe.”

It does have three densities of material. The nebulae, the a’ji, and the ji’ay. And at this point God decides, you know what? You’re done naming things. So when it comes time to name worlds that are part of Atmospherea, God tells man “you’re going to name these comets.”

We’re done having you think for yourself.

I want to back up a bit. At one point he mentions that the Etherean worlds are hollow and inhabitable and painted in colors that’ll blow your mind, maaaaan.

It sounds almost like a clockwork reality.

Chapter three, God explains how he created the entire solar system.

In that he basically threw it in a blender.

That’s being a little disingenuous. He says “vortexes” though that’s basically the same. If you were looking for someone in the 1880s to explain how the solar system was formed, this isn’t too far off what a scientist might say.

There are vortices in which material is thrown into and they spin around until a body is formed. I suppose you could see it as gravity pulling things together. But these vortices continue to carry all bodies around the heavens.

And some of them have rings so people will know they were made with vortexes.

God was showing off when he put rings on some of the planets.

Chapter four we get an explanation of how the realm of Atmospherea works by comparing it to… the atmosphere. If the previous chapter sounds like someone read a Popular Science article about the solar system and tried to turn it into cosmology, this sounds like someone read an article about cloud formation and tried to turn it into cosmology.

Clouds are the sign of the unseen made visible.

There’s also the assertion that when corporeal things disappear they are becoming spiritual.

Everything evaporates in time moving from Corpor to Atmospherea to Es. All corporeal things have a beginning and an end, while all invisible things are eternal. It was interesting to know that diet, desires and behavior determine which heaven you get to go to.

God, I hope there’s a Big Mac heaven.

There’s a natural progression of things that’s described. You have a childhood, in which something condenses from vortex and vapor into a molten globe. You have genesis, in which you have se’mu, that’s when living creatures are brought forth. You have old age, or ho’tu, which is past the age of begetting or dotage. You have death, also known as a’du, when nothing can generate upon something. And eventually you have dissolution, also known as uz, in which something is spirited away into unseen realms.

This is one of the first appearances of uz in the Oahspe, and confusingly here it is a general concept of things seen becoming things unseen.

You can kind of see in the later books how that sort of applies as a concept, because it is sort of the last society of man going from existing to not existing anymore.

Within this book uz will also be a place and a person.

That is definitely confusing.

Chapter four, verse nineteen he name-checks some extinct animals, just to prove that he is actually reading Popular Science.

Chapter five, Jehovih tells us how life came to be on the world.

“Tell me, O my Creator, whence came life? This unseen within me that is conscious of being? Tell me how all the living came into life. Jehovih heard the words of man, and He answered him, saying: Let a sign be given to man that he may comprehend se’mu. Thereupon Jehovih caused the jelly-fish and the green scum of the water to be permanently coming forth in all ages, that man might understand the age of se’mu, when the earth and the shores by the water, and the waters also, were covered over with commingled atmosphere and corporeal substance. And this substance was called se’mu, because by Jehovih’s presence quickened He it into life.” (The Book of Jehovih 5:3-4). And I think I need a hot shower.

My Oahspe glossary describes se’mu as “gelatin” and I kept thinking of it as “God goo” which is probably not helpful.

I’m very glad that the modern euphemism is “the birds and the bees” and not “the jellyfish and the pond scum.” It’s interesting that God says “Each and every: living thing created I new upon the earth, of a kind each to itself; and not one living thing created I out of another.” (The Book of Jehovih 5:9) Specifically saying, no evolution does not exist.

And he doubles down on it in the next verse! “Let this be a sign upon the earth, that man in his darkness may not believe that one animal changeth and becometh another. Thereupon Jehovih gave permission for different animals to bring forth a new living animal, which should be unlike either its mother or father, but he caused the new productto be barren. Jehovih said: And this shall be testimony before all men that I created each and all the living, after their own kind only.” (The Book of Jehovih 5:10-12)

So, despite the whole second era in the first chapter describing how the original animals Jehovih created becoming new ones, despite comments about druks being made into men, evolution does not exist.

Chapters six through eight are essentially God giving a Cliff’s Notes summary of the historic books that are going to follow this in the Oahspe. Chapter six verse one is notable for the appearance of Uz, only this time Uz is a person, Son of Jehovih, and not a concept.

And we get a reminder, “Out of se’mu I made man, and man was but as a tree, but dwelling in ha’k; and I called him Asu (Adam).” (The Book of Jehovih 6:11)

I also liked that at one point man asks God to explain heaven and God’s response is, “I would explain it to you, but you really had to be there maaaan.”

It also goes off into a bit that he keeps all his stuff carefully sorted in bins from the Container Store. “As a farmer soweth corn in one place, and wheat in another and roots in another, and flax — everything in a separate place; even so doth Jehovih store the ingredients of which worlds are made everything in its place — the substance of the iron in one place, the substance of the stones in another, the substance of the vegetable kingdom in another, and even so of the substance of the animal kingdom; and the oils and sand; for He hath places in the firmament of heaven for all of them.” (the Book of Jehovih 6:5)

God is very neat and orderly.

He is an anal-retentive God.

There is also a “time for se’mu” and I don’t know how the Byrds missed that one.

God notes that he sent his angels to earth to live side by side with the first beings, the Asuans, and they interbred with the Asuans and created a new race called man. Which he had just told us in the previous chapter was not possible.

Consistency!

I also have a note here at the end of the chapter that God seems like a real quiverfull type. “Fruit of your seed bave I quickened with My spirit, and man shall come forth with a birth-right to My etherean worlds. As I have quickened the seed of the first born, so will I quicken all seed to the end of the earth.” (The Book of Jehovih 6:20-21) Which is dragging God into the reproductive act and that’s a little icky. There’s already two people in this bed, don’t make room for Jesus.

Or maybe, make room for Jehovih.

It’s good to be the king.

Chapter seven establishes that every three thousand years or so God gives the dead the ability to speak to the living, which is what Spiritualists were doing at the time.

We find out that the Earth and the sun travel in an orbit, the circuit of which requires of them four million seven hundred thousand years, with road signs every three thousand years letting you know that God exists.

This is all done so people can learn the origins of the world. He also explains how various angels and gods are given supervisory roles of the affairs of the Earth. It’s not terribly interesting if you’re not going to read the historical books.

God also forgives the angels for getting their bone on with the Asuans, because in doing so they have made creatures capable of becoming angels themselves. And he commands them to rule over the mortals with virtue and lead them to virtue.

My note here is that God loves delegating in this book. Which is interesting because in every later book he is a micromanger par excellence. In this book he’s happy to let the angels run the show but in The Book of Shalam he is literally speaking through anyone and everyone every opportunity he gets.

Well, he may have realized that the angels kept getting it on with the humans. There may have been a decision there, you know what? You guys need to back off.

That’s basically what chapter eight is. He says, “the angels are going to screw things up.” Which makes you wonder, if he already knows this, why did he put them in charge? It’s the whole theodicy question.

It’s interesting that God apparently has a trust and compliance department. “And in the times of My harvest a copy of these records shall be taken up to My etherean kingdoms and filed with My Orian Chiefs and Archangels in the roadway of the travel of the great serpent,’ for their deliberations as to the progress and management of the inhabitants of the earth and her heavens.” (The Book of Jehovih 8:2)

God loves red tape.

Yes he does.

I do like that humans and angels will make war with the “foul gases of atmospherea.”

And we find out the fate of any soldier who gets slain in war. They are damned to be in war for all eternity.

That’s some D&D [stuff] right there.

“And mortals who shall be slain in war, shall be born in spirit in chaos on the battle-field; in chaos shall such spirits enter the es world. And they shall not know that they are dead, (as to earth life,) but shall still keep fighting right and left.” (The Book of Jehovih 8:6)

And that brings the book to an end. Is there anything you think I’ve missed?

Not really.

Oh, one important thing. At some point in this book God establishes his first Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, which is called “Hored” because it is “the place of the first abiding organic place of the first God of this world.” If you listen to our full episode about Shalam, “Camp Hored” is where they started their planning for the commune.

“Thus endeth the inorganic habitation of the earth and her atmopherea.” (The Book of Jehovih 8:18) Which is also confusing because he wavers between whether Atmospherea is our actual atmosphere or some theoretical realm out past the material world.

Everything that’s not on the earth, the sky, the heavens, that’s all Atmospherea.

But also Earth has an atmosphere which we’re still going to call the atmosphere.

Any final thoughts?

No, not really. It is kind of crazy. Definitely not consistent.

You should read the historical books. They’re buck wild. They are absolutely insane. If you listen to the main episode I read a whole page out of one of them and it’s like reading some Stan Lee comics stuff. Just page after page after page of sheer gibberish.

Now this time when I say we’re not doing another one of these I mean it. Seriously seriously. Cross my heart and hope to die. You will not see another one of these in your feed next week.

Thank God. Thank Jehovih!

Praise be to Jehovih!

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