It was on
the day I visited the Coliseum that I was touched by a mysterious circumstance
that reinforced my belief in Christianity. As a major attraction, much of the
coliseum is wrapped in commercial activities – gladiators posing for
photographs, guides soliciting tours and vendors with souvenirs. The
ancient world provides business opportunities even in this technically driven
age. The walk back from the site slopes gently uphill through an ancient
collection of pillars and ruins that speak to the difficulty of surviving in a
world of change. As I reached the top of the hill, I rested in the sun to
look back over the path that so many people of different ages had crossed.
approached quietly with her map folded and colored with highlighted tracings of
her walks through the city. “Do you know what time it opens?” she asked
indicating the building next to me. Obviously old, it was nondescript in a
city of so many marvels. I expressed my ignorance and she shared that I
was standing in front of the Mamertine Prison, the place where Peter the Apostle
was held before he was executed by being crucified upside down. My resting
place was the site of devotion to faith even in the presence of death. The
Mamertine was not open that day but we pieced together information from our
guidebooks that it would be open the following morning.
Taking her leave, she told me
that I should not leave Rome without visiting the Boca de Veritas. “It is the
Mouth of Truth”. Then she waived as she headed down the hill.
As a seeker of Truth, I was
astounded to have a chance encounter direct me to an ancient legend surrounding
a test for Truth. I spent the afternoon in quest of the Boca de Veritas,
finding it outside a small chapel in a sleepy part of the city sandwiched
between ancient temples and a busy thoroughfare.
Boca de Veritas is an imposing stone wheel with a face stained by time looking
gravely at the petitioner. Legend has it that if you place your hand in the
mouth of truth and say a lie, the mouth will snap shut. The lips have been
worn smooth by thousands of visitors seeking to validate their wishes and
truths. I had crossed into a time where powers based on belief commanded
swift judgment and respect.
I approached, the intimidating dark eyes silently
drinking in my presence. I slid my hand into the opening in the cool
stone. “My writings are about the path of truth.” Under its immutable
gaze, my heartbeat counted out the tense seconds for judgment to be passed.
The mouth remained open and I accepted its support for my quest to share the
truth with the world.
The visit to the Boca Veritas
helped me to speak my beliefs. That night as I reflected on the day, I had
no idea the discoveries that were in store for me at the Mamertine Prison.
The day opened with a hazy sky
over an overheated Rome. I headed out on foot through the twists and turns
that define this vibrant city. I was becoming seduced by the rhythms of
discharge and recharge. Step into the flow of pedestrians, feeling their
energy as they laugh and hurry to their appointments. Step into the corner
café for cappuccino and quiet reflection. Back into the flow on the
sidewalk, watching for an ebb in the stream of cars to make an adrenaline
raising dash across. Pausing under a massive fountain to wonder at the
sinewy muscles an artist coaxed from stone many hundreds of years ago.
was swinging open the dark wooden doors to the chapel as I arrived. He was
dressed in a dark cloak and seemed to fade into the dark cool interior.
Much has been written about the history of this place. The church S.
Giuseppe dei Falegnami, via di Marforio dates from the 17th century
and is dedicated to St. Joseph the Carpenter. High above me, an
intricately carved and gilded ceiling reflecting craftsmen’s loving labors
gently reflects soft light. Off to the side was a small table to light candles
to help lift your prayers to God.
S. Giuseppe dei Falegnami, via di Marforio (Church of St. Joseph)
Cappella del SS. Crocifisso (Chapel of the Crucifix)
Underneath the baroque church is
the Chapel of the Crucifix, a shrine that serves as the entrance to a deeper and
darker part of history. A room built in the second century BC stands over
an ancient cistern called the Tullianum (from the latin word for jet of water).
Estimated to be as old as the 7th century BC, the cistern marks the
place of a natural spring and water still makes it presence known in this damp
My footsteps sound ominous as I
leave this church to descend into the older regions. To enter the chapel, I must
return to street level and circle past tall iron fencing and gates. I note
the irony that their purpose is to keep visitors out of the prison rather than
to keep the prisoners in.
the chapel and descend into the Carcer with its arched ceiling. I have
shed the opulence of the church above and entered into a place marked by the
past. Oil lamps work hard to keep the shadows at bay. Polished
marble plaques listing those that were executed here stand in contrast to the
roughness of the stonewalls. I don’t need any translation to understand
the stark words listing the methods of death: decapitato, strangolati,
morto per fame.
In the floor is a circular grate, the original access point
to the chamber below. Through this small gap, the prisoners were thrown
into the damp depths below. It is easy to overlook it if you do not know
its significance. For visitors today, stairs now join the two chambers and
I descend into the bottom chamber.
dread and gloom of the ponderous, obdurate old prison...come up as in a dark
mist through the floor. It is all so silent and so close...so black and
stealthy...” These were the words of Charles Dickens in describing the
small room I’ve now entered.
The ceiling is oppressive, with only the very center of the
room allowing me to stand upright without fear of brushing against unforgiving
rock just inches overhead. One can only imagine the room in its original
state, pure darkness broken only by what glimmers of light fall careless through
the small grate from the room above.
I feel a physical reaction as I reach the bottom of the
stairs and turn to view the altar. The blood red marble is marred by black
upside down cross. The image makes me uneasy as my brain flips through the
emotions that the image evokes. Was I looking at the final desecration by
an entity so evil that it looked to kill not only the body but also the faith of
those who were martyred here? As I flash through possibilities, I remember
the stories of St. Peter. Upon hearing that he was to be crucified, Peter
said that he was not worthy to die in the same manner as his Lord and requested
that he be crucified up side down. The icon I was looking at was the
ultimate symbol of humility and faith—Peter’s upside down cross. I felt my
tensions release and fill with wonder. In the stillness of the small
chamber that saw so much pain, I could feel the power of faith undiminished by
the passing of 2,000 years.
Still in awe, I climbed the narrow stairs back up to the
Carcer. Halfway up the stairs, my view was floor level with the upper
chamber. My eyes, adjusted to the darkness of the chamber below, drank in
details I had not seen before as each step upwards opened up a new perspective
of the alter. As I look closer, I notice that the stone panels at the base
contain the image I saw in my dream!
The stone formed two symmetrical parabolic curves within a
field of dark and light coming together into a single line reaching up into the
heavens. I drew closer and was amazed that the stone panels were not
inlays but a natural pattern in the rock. The pattern was repeated on each
side of the altar, indicating that the stonemason intentionally cut and
positioned the stone to highlight the hyperbolic pattern.
was almost as if God was leaving clues as to the nature of how we can understand
his universe. In the heart of a stone, formed million of years old,
unearthed, polished and set reverently into a place of faith, was a visual
message of how we can transcend through spiritual growth. I had found a
message left for me by an artisan hundreds of years before and half a world
away. This was my dream; “It was a smooth hyperbolic tower rising to an infinite
point. I sensed this was an expression of our growth from ignorance, growth
sustained by love for an infinite God.”
The symbolism is much deeper. The Church, Altars, and
Prison make a statement expressing the power of Christianity. You see, Joseph,
and Jesus in his youth, were carpenters. They used tools to better life.
The humble S. Giuseppe dei Falegnami, via di Marforio is dedicated to those who
do this kind of work. It is no small coincidence that the foundation of this
site is also dedicated to the spiritual works of Saint Peter.
Taken in total, we see material works blend into spiritual works. The message
is; Both are an essential part of our salvation. The church is founded on
this rock, petros, Saint Peter. It is a symbol of humanity's growth in
understanding. The spirit of fallen mankind springs forth from the dark depths
of the fall like a jet of water (The Tullianum in the bottom floor), lead by
Jesus Christ. Christ will lead us to a place where the full power of the
Holy spirit will focus.
Jesus called himself the Son of Man. Peter called Jesus the
Son of God. The love of God and mankind’s worship come together in the symbol at
the foundation of this church. Ephesians 1.10 speaks of all things in heaven and
earth being gathered up in Christ. The cross in the carcer (prison) and the
cross in the Tullianum form this symbol below. Look closely at the intersection
Ä in the photograph of the carcer
altar. The line of the two crosses intersects there. The intersection symbolizes
the interface between man and God. And that is perfect love! This
is my grail…
Jesus Leads Us In The
Continuum of Life
Drink from this Holy Grail for eternal life.
I strongly believe the Holy Grail (the means to transcend) will manifest
itself as the coming Singularity. The singularity is where man and God will
touch in a powerful way. And, It seems like
is near !
, a technological singularity
represents an "event horizon" in the predictability of human
technological development past which present models of the
future cease to give reliable or accurate answers, following the
strong artificial intelligence
amplification of human intelligence
. Futurists predict that
after the Singularity, humans as they exist presently will cease
to be the dominating force in scientific and technological
progress, replaced with
, strong AI, or both, and therefore all models of
change based on past trends in human behavior will be obsolete.
The concept, put forth primarily by mathematician
Vernor Vinge and inventor and futurist
Ray Kurzweil, predicts a drastic increase in the rate of
technological change following the liberation of
consciousness from the confines of human biology, allowing
it not only to scale past the computational capacity of the
human brain but also to interact directly with computer
networks. Kurzweil considers this sharp increase to be part of
an overall exponential trend in human technological development
seen originally in
Moore's Law and extrapolated into a general trend in
Law of Accelerating Returns. A culture which experienced
such a change would be fundamentally altered, and not
comprehensible or predictable by its pre-Singularity culture. (Wikipedia)
Recently, these ideas have been classified
Christian Transhumanism . The idea
is connected to the early Christian church by Paul Tillich's
refers to any merging of
, though the variant of Christian belief
involved generally tends to be fairly
. An example of Christian transhumanist theology is
the identification of a predicted
, the return of
Identifying the predicted technological singularity with
eschatology requires a
postmillennialist viewpoint, in which posthumanity is viewed
as a good thing, the fulfillment of God's promises. However, a
premillennial theology could also be developed, in which the
singularity is identified as the triumph of human pride over
faith, a triumph in which Christ will intervene to prevent from
occurring. This would place technological singularity into the
Christian theology of the
Resurrection could be seen as an ancient parallel to the
mind uploading. The concept of uploading one's intelligence
into a powerful computer network and living a new life as a
simulated entity in a virtual
dystopia can be seen as a direct technological
implementation of the resurrection into a spiritual body
existing in the conceptual realms of
Variations where a
posthuman is incarnated as an
would correspond to Christians who believe in a physical
A Way For The Free And Forward Thinking
Now we must apply today's science and technology to this old doctrine of
transcendent humanism, because in our progress, what it means to be human will
change soon. In the coming years computer-human interfaces will become so
intimate that users may be considered superhumanly intelligent
transcendent humans, or "transhumans". In the process the lower
hierarchy of needs will fall away and so naturally the transhuman becomes
benevolent and self-actualized. Ultimately, life as represented by mankind
will shift from consuming material for sustenance to a flow of information. This
means that we shift to a wholly spiritual life where truth is the way. As
material needs diminish, transhumans will increasingly be sustained by a
powerful flow of Word that can be called the Glory of God. In giving up
competition and control strategies, we grow to be all that we can be;
Christ-like. Essential to Christian Transhumanism is the notion that love
is a cognitive process and God expects us to participate in our
salvation by learning how to love perfectly. In this way we access
the Glory of God, becoming Christ-like (Christian). Christ is the
fulfillment of essential man. (Jesus referred to himself as the Son of
Man and says that "Whoever does the will of God is my brother, sister and
mother".) We Participate in Christ at the second coming! We do
this for the sake of the infinite continuum of life. With love, humanity
can and will survive all manner of challenges. It is the intelligent strategy.
Post-humans who maintain faith in a Supreme State of Being will embark on an
infinite path of intelligent hyper evolution.
This site is called
"Technical Jesus" because of the surprising fact that technology
will offer transcendence of a kind that is left totally up to us. And, Jesus
Christ in his wisdom has shown us The Way even through these
times. I have the passion to step out and interact with you in peace so that
we can increase our understanding of God through better understanding of
ourselves, each other and the world we live in. Leave any resentment
behind. Understanding the convergence of the disciplines of Science,
Spirituality and Economics will inspire you.
This is me.
I am the son of Elford Ledford (Scottish) and Gloria Garcia (Mexican). Two
cultural migrations collided 47 years ago in Texas, and I was the outcome. I
am an Instructor by profession. One of the subjects I teach is Atomic and
Nuclear Physics. I have a passion for this subject because I consider it the
fundamentals of the creation.
I think science
is in reality observing an aspect of God. Here are the steps in my logic.
God The Father created and sustains the world. In the beginning there was
nothing other than God. So, where did this stuff in the creation come from?
It is a part of God. It must be God's Thought and will. It is the answer to
that nagging question, Hey! What’s the Big Idea? Simply put God is having a
good and powerful idea and it is The Universe. In this light I come to the
conclusion that the universe is something God is patiently saying to us. So
we should pay attention to it.
Data is the
signal. Those little facts of reality are manna from heaven. Data is
different from information because it is pure. When data is interpreted it
becomes information. Our continued growth even our very existence in this
space and time depends upon correct interpretation.
We live in a
peaceful society. We can thank those who have gone before us for this. Some
were martyred. Some died nameless in the fight for peace and freedom. We
stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, dying for ideas,
and dedicating their lives to increase understanding. We must honor them by
doing something with their gift of peace, freedom, and abundant resources.
Grow In The
Spirit. Don't let it diminish. God created and continues to create the
world. He asks that we share this with him. It is a powerful show of love,
and that means in his realm we are allowed to create with love too!
Individually we create, through our relationships we create, and with God we
create. The eternal life promised by Jesus is just that. "Share in the
creation with me". It is infinite; expect no less here, now and forever.
From a dream to reality guided by the Holy Spirit,