Reading holy books for fun

  • #101
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From the Buddhist side - one should read the Dhammapada and the Tripitaka (Sanskrit)/Tiptaka (Pali), or Three Baskets.
Unfortunately, Tipitaka alone is larger than all other major religions' sacred texts, combined (see here), and even larger than the http://img15.nnm.ru/3/3/1/e/c/2c6f477db664fc523c69fb1f569.jpg [Broken], and much of it is simply unavailable in English, except maybe in some ancient translations that you can only find in big libraries. You'd have to stick to Dhammapada. Also, if you're interested in Zen, check out http://www.shastaabbey.org/1dogen/Shobogenzo.pdf [Broken].
 
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  • #102
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Yes! And the Finnish http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalevala" [Broken]. Actually, I haven't read the Kalevala. If we were all going to read something together I'd definitely vote for that. It's more of a narrative than the Koran is.
"The Finnish epic Kalevala devotes more lines to the origin of beer and brewing than it does to the origin of mankind."

Shows what people considered relevant those days.
 
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  • #103
atyy
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  • #104
EnumaElish
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Anyone reading (or having read) the bible: which version did/have you read?

When I decided to read it about 3 years ago -- still going -- I went to Amazon and bought the North American Standard Bible. It has been a rewarding read. Meanwhile I've looked at other versions that I chanced upon, like the Gideon; their language seems nearly impenetrable. Some passages make no sense at all, even though I think I should know the story/moral it's trying to communicate (from reading the NASB, or by way of what I'll call the popular religious culture).
 
  • #105
marcus
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"The Finnish epic Kalevala devotes more lines to the origin of beer and brewing than it does to the origin of mankind."

Shows what people considered relevant those days.
Here is an 1888 translation into English of Rune 20 of the Kalevala.
The poetical discussion of beer begins about one quarter of the way down the page. It is long and intense.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/kveng/kvrune20.htm

You can see from this brief sample that considerable attention is given to the problem of the beer not getting fizzy.

You put the good stuff together but how do you start it fermenting? Several attempts, involving maidens and magic animals, are made and finally there is success and the beer gets fizzy.
==quote==
"Time had travelled little distance,
Ere the hops in trees were humming,
Barley in the fields was singing,
And from Kalew's well the water,
This the language of the trio:
'Let us join our triple forces,
Join to each the other's powers;
Sad alone to live and struggle,
Little use in working singly,
Better we should toil together.'


"Osmotar, the beer-preparer,
Brewer of the drink refreshing,
Takes the golden grains of barley,
Taking six of barley-kernels,
Taking seven tips of hop-fruit,
Filling seven cups with water,
On the fire she sets the caldron,
Boils the barley, hops, and water,
Lets them steep, and seethe, and bubble
Brewing thus the beer delicious,
In the hottest days of summer,
On the foggy promontory,
On the island forest-covered;
Poured it into birch-wood barrels,
Into hogsheads made of oak-wood.

"Thus did Osmotar of Kalew
Brew together hops and barley,
Could not generate the ferment.
Thinking long and long debating,
Thus she spake in troubled accents:
'What will bring the effervescence,
Who will add the needed factor,
That the beer may foam and sparkle,
May ferment and be delightful?'

Kalevatar, magic maiden,
Grace and beauty in her fingers,
Swiftly moving, lightly stepping,
In her trimly-buckled sandals,
Steps upon the birch-wood bottom,
Turns one way, and then another,
In the centre of the caldron;
Finds within a splinter lying
From the bottom lifts the fragment,
Turns it in her fingers, musing:
'What may come of this I know not,
In the hands of magic maidens,
In the virgin hands of Kapo,
Snowy virgin of the Northland!'

"Kalevatar took the splinter
To the magic virgin, Kapo,
Who by unknown force and insight.
Rubbed her hands and knees together,
And produced a snow-white squirrel;
Thus instructed she her creature,
Gave the squirrel these directions:
'Snow-white squirrel, mountain-jewel,
Flower of the field and forest,
Haste thee whither I would send thee,
Into Metsola's wide limits,
Into Tapio's seat of wisdom;...
==endquote==

Just to let you know, the squirrel does bring back the magic pine cone from the distant tree, but it doesn't work. There are other magic animals and birds that fetch other magic things. Until finally they get it right. Getting fermentation started seems to have been a major issue.

To me, the excellent thing is to have the barley, water, and hops all speaking with voices and saying how they want to get together and combine forces and join into beer.
 
  • #106
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That's great marcus and thanks to hamster for bringing it up.

A magic white squirrel, I want one.
 
  • #107
marcus
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It may be of interest that according to the clues we have in both among the Finns and in Sumerian society the women brewed the beer. Clay tablet pictures show women brewing beer. Legal texts refer to beer shops owned and operated by women (rather than men).

For some reason the Sumerians liked to drink beer through reeds---like our soda straws.

The Sumerians had a special goddess for beer. Her name was Ninkasi, sometimes written Nin-kasi. There is a Hymn to Ninkasi. This is appropriate to quote because this thread is about enjoying holy texts.

Selected stazas from the 1800 BC Sumerian Hymn to Ninkasi, the Beer Goddess

...
...

You are the one who soaks the malt in a jar,
The waves rise, the waves fall.
Ninkasi, you are the one who soaks the malt in a jar,
The waves rise, the waves fall.


You are the one who spreads the cooked mash on large reed mats,
Coolness overcomes,
Ninkasi, you are the one who spreads the cooked mash on large reed mats,
Coolness overcomes,

You are the one who holds with both hands the great sweet wort,
Brewing [it] with honey [and] wine
(You the sweet wort to the vessel)
Ninkasi, (...)(You the sweet wort to the vessel)

The filtering vat, which makes a pleasant sound,
You place appropriately on a large collector vat.
Ninkasi, the filtering vat, which makes a pleasant sound,
You place appropriately on a large collector vat.

When you pour out the filtered beer of the collector vat,
It is [like] the onrush of Tigris and Euphrates.
Ninkasi, you are the one who pours out the filtered beer of the collector vat,
It is [like] the onrush of Tigris and Euphrates.



The whole hymn is given here:
http://beeradvocate.com/articles/304 [Broken]

I helped make some beer recently, being taught by the son of a friend (apparently in our society it's primarily men who make the beer). The cooked barley malt and hops liquid, before it ferments, is called the WORT, a nice word. When the wort begins to ferment, it churns with the action of the yeast. The jug of wort is alive with turbulence---it roils and bubbles. There is sound.

I think the Sumerian poet was very good to point out the sounds of beer making, and to compare with the rushing waters of the mighty Tigris and Euphrates.

There is a part of this or another hymn where another goddess, the sky goddess if I remember correctly, comes to visit Ninkasi, and they drink together.
 
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  • #108
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Today I watched a special on the history of beer, and in ancient cultures, women indeed brewed the beer. They mentioned that in many current tribal cultures women still do the brewing much as it was done thousands of years ago.

Nice find marcus.
 
  • #109
lisab
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Many years ago, I read Genesis to get better at crossword puzzles.
 
  • #110
Ivan Seeking
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Many years ago, I read Genesis to get better at crossword puzzles.
I can only think of one instance in which that would be a useful: A five-letter word relating to procreation.
 

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