Friday, October 17, 2008

Your Egypt Is No More

By Mila D. Aguilar

Here you are,
Bowing before the pyramid
When Egypt is no more.
How many decades
Will the genuflection last?
Egypt is now
A relic of the past.

And yet He said
To not God anything
But Him. Bud, what
Are you trying to save
Of Egypt then? The meme?
And where to take it?
On what wall to beam?

Your Egypt's nothing
But library now. Go,
Leave it. Let God move
With His own plan.
If it's another Pharoah,
So be it, fight on
With Heaven in your hand.

October 16-17, 2008


RainB said...

wow...i still have difficulty digesting the full metaphor...looking for my own seems an attack on my Christian faith...or maybe not...but i love the taste of this poem, indigestion notwithstanding

mda said... can it be an attack on your Christian faith when it's an affirmation of God's will, I wonder?

What is your church, RainB, may I ask? Nice to meet you, by the way.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I practice catholicism. It is an affirmation of God's will, but the poem seems to denounce the relevance of structures that promote worship, does it not? Or maybe I can taking it personally because of my own personal process. Nice meeting you too. I have been your admirer for some time. My aunt, Wilma Racho Balistoy, was also part of your former group.


mda said...

That's an interesting reading of the poem, RainB, and it could very well be so. But it's not what I meant.

Egypt in the Bible is the country that Moses and his people left on God's promise of a land of milk and honey. While Egypt enslaved them, Israel's descendants kept on wanting to return to it after their difficulties in the desert. As a result, where they could have gotten to their land of milk and honey in two years, they wandered about the desert for forty.

So Egypt has become a symbol of the worship of some seemingly great entity outside of God. This despite God's foremost commandment, which says, "I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Jesus summed up the first four of the ten commandments handed down by God to Moses this way: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This, He said, is the first and greatest commandment. The other six commandments, on the other hand, He boils down to one, saying it "is like it": "Love your neighbor as yourself."

So one must not love Egypt in place of God and one's neighbors.

I am very glad to have made your acquaintance indeed. I don't remember having met your aunt, though perhaps she had another name at that time; but since we were some tens of thousands, I may not even have met her at all.

Rain said...

Wow, so that is the symbolism of Egypt. I never thought of that because our religious studies did not present Egypt as a "symbol of the worship of some seemingly great entity outside of God", rather we were given the impression that Egypt was a symbol of slavery, as opposed to freedom. Thanks for the enlightenment, although it amazes me that you are well-versed in biblical hermeneutics. My aunt has given up on the concept of a higher being a long time ago. I though atheism or agnosticism goes with the ideology. Or is it possible that you read the scriptures as a literary piece? Sorry if that question sounds like a judgment but I am interested to know.

mda said...

I am a believer, RainB, have been for the past 18 years and 8 months almost to the date. As a believer, I have read at least six versions of the Bible cover to cover, aside from a great many Bible commentaries. I also listen to various priests, prophets and pastors every Sunday and whenever else they're available. I can attest to you that the Egypt symbol I just gave is already very common.

But what ideology are you talking about? And were you a seminarian or priest once in your life, or still?

Rain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rain said...

hank you. That's quite a feat considering that I haven't completed any version yet. I plan to do so before I reach fifty. My knowledge of the scriptures ended with the basic exegesis and hermeneutics offered in college. No, I have never been a seminarian. I studied Theology of Liberation though, and our scriptural commentaries were based on the teachings of Carlos Abesamis.

What ideology was I talking about? Hmmmm, I think I was referring to the Marxist-Leninist ideology.

mda said...

The Theology of Liberation is good at heart but limited because it can't account for the workings of the Spirit. I first encountered it underground, would you believe? It was there, in 1975 or 76, where I first learned that Jesus had a heart for the poor.

But basically my Liberation Theologian friends denied the fact that Jesus wrought real-life miracles. They had to explain everything He did in material terms -- like the miracle of the loaves and fishes being a miracle of collective action.

However, I knew my Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought by heart too, having read them the way I read the Bible now -- that is, thoroughly. So I knew its limitations, what it could and couldn't explain, what it could and couldn't do. That is all in hindsight, of course.

Now that I know the dialectic between the material and the spiritual much better, I must tell you that the only way to get through the Bible is to, first of all, believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.

Otherwise, you will end up like I did when I was in Bicutan in 1985, stopping at Deuteronomy or Numbers, frightened by that fearsome God, not understanding why He did the things He was said to have done.

RainB said...

I have no doubt that it is our faith in Jesus Christ that will bring about salvation/redemption/fullness of Christ. I know I am still a young man and couldn't really fathom the meaning that lies in the Gospels.

My dilemma though, and this is why I read the Poem differently, is because the Roman Catholic church/ or any organized religion can twist the bible to fit to its teachings and traditions.

I am a gay person, and I love Jesus Christ as my savior, but my church does not allow me to live the fullness of this life, and in fact tries to disconnect Jesus from me.

What is your take on organized religion? Isn't it just like ideology? Is it really necessary? Or is just faith alone, or sola fide? sola scriptura?

Sorry for the questions, but I seldom find someone who seems to share the paradigm where I am coming from.


mda said...

It doesn't take age to understand the Bible, Rain. I know nine-year-olds who do. If you've truly surrendered your life to Jesus, you will too.

Do not mind organized religion, just cultivate your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He has all the answers you need.

All those who truly understand God's Word are against religiosity, that attitude of stripping away meaning from our personal relationship with God. However, churches are necessary, because churches are meant to reach out both to those who believe and don't; churches can of course become organized religion in time.

But why waste your time in bitterness over organized religion when you can enjoy a personal relationship with Christ through the Bible? Start reading and enjoying it, Rain. I will pray for you while you do.

Rain said...

Thank you maam. I will. I appreciate the prayers.

mda said...

God bless you, Rain. Start with the Book of John, then compare its first chapter with the first chapter of Genesis. Go on with Genesis, but continue to Matthew after. And so on.

Praying for you!

Rain said...

I hope this does not come across as a crazy question. I have difficulty reading the texts from the point of view of my faith. I mean, my trainings in criticism take over and suddenly I am analyzing texts rather than being enlightened or inspired by them. Is there a particular method that is more helpful for critical/radical/analytical minds like mine. Thanks.

mda said...

Ask Him to take over your mind, Rain. It's all you need to do.

Abraham V. Llera said...

Hi. My name's Abe, I'm Ilonggo, and I'd like to invite you to visit my blog at

mda said...

I've visited your site, Abe. For whom is it?

I got another note from you on my other email address. Well, well, now how was such interest in me sparked, I wonder? Correct me if my interpretation of your other letter is wrong: Is it a publicist you need?