RIP Stanton Friedman

I understand that he would do speaking engagements on short notice and wouldn’t try to empty your bank account. Plus, he was a model for how in the modern era, we don’t need professional clerics. Clerics can’t give you the samadhi experience (being Born Again, or resurrected, in Christian terms), but they can stimulate you toward the experience if it is already in your character to go there. Friedman demonstrated that you can participate in that work while still being a normal person with a normal job. No frock-wearing required. He showed how you can preserve mystery and stay with the facts at the same time. The original Jewish scheme was to rationalize their populations by sucking out the mythical back stories for their practices and replacing them with historical (non-magical) bases. The religion was at its peak as a mechanism for chasing out magical thinking. Contrast with most modern churches, mosques, and synagogues, where mystification and an insistence on magical thinking is the norm just to follow the theology.

The inheritors of the Sons of Zadok’s legacy are normal people and not clerics. Clerics are people who may or may not experience samadhi for themselves, but in any case, seek to wring a paycheck and an enhanced social status from it. That makes them disgusting, superfluous, and obsolete. Friedman shows what tomorrow’s cleric looks like.

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