Friday, September 12, 2014

Call Me Gilgamesh

Welcome to Scriptural Alchemy. This is a site that will delve into deep and narrowly focused discussions on topics I find particularly compelling. Most importantly this site is for me, but I invite you to join me on my journey. I have a deep love for the sacred writings of mankind. This includes the scriptures that form the standard works of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the histories and journals of the members of that faith, the sacred writings of other faith traditions both ancient and modern, the ponderings of mankind as we grapple with the terrible questions, and the profound beauty that fills the human experience. Alchemy is a great word to describe how I feel about studying these things. It is looking for the purity and gold in the thoughts of mortal men. It is finding the eternal wrapped in the earthly. It is deep symbolism and a search for lost knowledge. It is a science infused with mysticism and magic.

You may call me Gilgamesh. After pondering the pros and cons I have decided it best to use a code name. This is not any serious attempt to hide my identity as it can certainly be learned with a little effort. It is merely to deflect any unwanted publicity to myself and my family. The use of code names has a fine tradition. Joseph Smith used code names in many of his revelations where he was known as Enoch. I have chosen Gilgamesh as he is the central character in what can rightly be called the oldest literature of mankind. Gilgamesh is a hero king who in the course of his adventures looses his best friend Enkidu to sickness and must grapple with his own mortality. Searching for answers he seeks out the wisdom of the ancient Utnapishtim who had gained the favor of the gods. From Utnapishtim he learns methods of attaining eternal life only to be ultimately foiled by his own weakness or a cunning serpent. In the end he must find peace in the joys of this life. Friends, spouse, children, the workmanship of his hands, these are his lot until death. Gilgamesh is the ancient man taking the same journey we all take. All of us are a Gilgamesh, looking for meaning and answers and trying to understand our own mortality.

So come with me on this journey. To Latter-day Saints I hope you will find my analysis of scriptural topics and topics from Church history compelling and useful. To those of other faiths I hope you find my discussion respectful and illuminating. My writings speak for no opinion but my own and I reserve the right to outgrow anything I might write. I welcome civil and uplifting discussion and appreciate a diversity of voices.

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