Discussions Religion and Theology, Scriptures, Bible Debate, etc.
I know that Josepheus referenced the crhistians - at that time they were a small group which IIRC is how Josepheus referenced them.. By Constantine they had grown significantly larger.
Yes but not large enough to have Constantine convert.
Christianity did not gain it's prominence until Constantine killed off the other mystery schools and burn their scriptures. Gnosticism could not be destroyed though nor Constantine's own paganism.
The "Jesus Story" can be found in dozens of Solar Deity & Hero tales throughout Greek, Babylonian, and of course Roman history but as far back as Osiris and Egypt. . . the slain god that rose from the dead, restored. The best and most applicable imprint that JC comes from is the Dionysian cult and the story about Dionysus. But we must remember that there are well over 40 known deities that were born of a virgin into the world of man who did miracles, taught wisdom, were murdered, rose from the grave and promised to return; the tales around Mithras, Krishna and at least a few others in that era are most typical of this but the Druid solar god Hesus reads nearly verbatim the Christmas story. The other "invention" as it were has to do with the many numerological (Pythagorean) influences sewn into the Jesus tale such as the number of fish & loaves featured in the feeding miracles (as well as the number of people fed . . . and the fact that the famed mathematician is credited with a similar miracle)
The Name & Title that was superimposed on the historic Jewish mystic Yoshua bar Josephus is a Roman contrivance that some say blends Hesus with Krishna e.g. Jesus Christ. There are other arguments on this issue so I'll not go there. What is known is that Constantine murdered several of the gathered priests who did not agree with his assessment on things and after that bit of house-cleaning, got unanimous support from the rest of the clergy @ Necea.
We must understand that there were other political factors, namely the pressure given the crown by the growing number of politically positioned followers of this Jewish mystic as well as the in-fighting between factions; the so-called "Orthodox" side vs. the "Gnostic" or mystical side of the tradition. Constantine's goal being to ratify things and create a single State religions that absorbed all the others in a way that allowed for a more universal sense of agreement e.g. acceptance.
Other elements were sewn into what happened at the first counsel of Necea that solidified the basic idea, some of which are mentioned in this series but I dare not give too many kudos to the film; it has some "over the top" thinking attached to it that is not accurate to what I know about when it comes to this issue. But, there is one very important thing to note in the whole of the New Testament tale. . . why would the words of a Roman (Paul/Saul of Tarsus) supersede importance to the words, teachings and traditions offered by the people that actually lived with and studied with "the Master"?
Nearly 2/3rds of the New Testament is based on Paul's opinions, he personal correspondence with churches he built. . . not facilities sanctioned by or supported via the Apostles or the Holy Family (specifically, James, the brother of Jesus and actual named successor vs. the other bedtime story we've been told by the Romans). James was the successor of the Jerusalem church following the crucifixion. This is something removed from the cult's actual history by Roman scribes, priests and translators a.k.a. the Orthodox face of the state religion called "Catholicism" (not "Christianity" which was an absorbed element or adoption of a later time).
Making things easier, when it comes to building the Orthodox myth was how Heathen (Pagan) traditions and symbols were slowly absorbed by the Orthodox and turned into Church holidays and rites. Ignoring things like Easter & Yule we have the more glaring adoption of all in the Sacrament i.e. taking of the cracker & wine; a Pagan rite that can be traced to pre-historic times and is still observed in a more modern skin as the "Great Rite".
I've invested a great deal of time studying this idea, it's quite old and while the documentary has some level of fact sewn into it, I find it raising questions for me and falling short on certain other elements.
Is the church as we know it today a contrivance? Most certainly!
Is it a deliberate Political device? Take a look around and prove to me that it's not.
Is it a corrupted Institution? Of course it is, it has no room for "God" just human conquest.
Is There a True Church? Yes, but it is typically viewed as being heretical and even demonic. . . go figure.
The winners write the history.
As to Jesus, or the many Jesus. Joseph Campbell has a book called Hero of a thousand faces
http://www.amazon.ca/s/?ie=UTF8&keyword ... hugpslm9_b
That is on my to read list.
I have to wonder about the Great Rite. I have been wanting to see if I could follow the research of John Allegro. After he was selected to study the dead sea scroll he attributed drug taking as a part of Christianity and their early rituals.
From a shaman type POV it would make sense but I have not been able to find the time to get at it. I am too active in these sites of late. It is like an addiction sometimes. If you find anything on this in your research of ancient rites, let me know.
the use of Mind Altering substances and deprivation techniques is common to ALL ancient religions but especially nomadic or primitives, such as we would find 2,000 + years ago. Even the bible describes Jesus' long fast (40 days & nights in the wilderness) which is traditionally part of the rite known to Rabbi before they are allowed to learn the deeper mysteries associated with the Sefer Yetzerah and the Kabala. It was very similar to the coming of age trials found in most Aboriginal cultures, the Jewish faith being different only in that Western Europeans re-wrote all the little details that would allow those deeper, more mystical truths to be known.
Arguably, those that have done limited experimentation or actual ritual use of LSD, Peyote, etc. have proved themselves as being far more open minded, intelligent, and "human". . . we literally do see the world differently and we have a deep soul sense about life that you only see paralleled by those that have come exceptionally close to death but survived (including NDE types).
Opened minded. No doubt.
One needs to be careful what we believe when the information comes through an intoxicated mind.
It is hard enough to know what is really going on without seeing things through an intoxicated mind.
The mind is more opened for sure but we have to be careful of what garbage might fall into it.
I know what you're saying but an altered mind set has always been a part of religion/spirituality and related exploration be it through drugs or sensory/sleep deprivation or pain (voluntary and otherwise i.e. piercing suspensions, the Sun Dance Ritual and certain form of Ritual Crucifixion, walking on Lava stones, scarification and tattoos and other forms of body modification, etc. )
I find it interesting that most of the nerds and geeks within skeptic culture are afraid of such rites and love to put them down even though experiential evidence "proves" that something really does happen to people that participate, even outside of the ritual sphere, that transforms them and their point of view in life. I've personally seen ardent atheist/scientist shift their perspective after just a few months of smoking pot once or twice a month . . . not a huge change, but a change. The more they smoke (within reason) the more they tended to leave the door open to spiritual potential. . . one example is a friend of mine, a well known magician, who has been on the skeptic's bandwagon for years and just in the past two, has taken a decided shift with his position and is now encouraging people to experience the "real side" of magick. . . getting in touch with the harmonics in life, etc.
The fact that NDEs cause similar left brain functioning adults to suddenly take up a more religious/spiritual life focus speaks volumes when it comes to the mind altering scenario, but look at folklore and how, for an example, the Greeks equated wine & grapes with psychic vision . . . granted, water has similar connotations, but the grape/vine connection can be found throughout the globe, it's not just a regional thing though the Greek and Druid cultures were two of the more dominate influences for we Western & Eastern Europeans.
One can use health and any number of other excuses to avoid this kind of "experiment" but more than not, we have seen how such things are transformative when it comes to how one looks at the world and the Universe. Science may still dominate the mind because that is one's innate tendency (how you're wired) but your analytical views will become less anal in nature.
A lot of people seem to think that the path to God is easier to find while on drugs.
I can see where drugs might loosen the minds grip on reality and ease the fears we have of just letting go and rising to a higher plain but tons of people try it and they do not produce anything better for the rest of us to work with.
They, like priests who do not try drugs are spinning their wheels FMPOV.
We are all different though and for some there might be a real apotheosis is some drug.
I understand what you're saying and even why, but I also understand that you're thinking far too logical in this case, based on present day taboos and cultural issues. What was common and still is in the bulk of the world where you have practicing shaman, is the act of altering consciousness. . . even meditation is a form of this and arguably, conventional prayer can be seen in similar light in that both are a form of "trance" or "focus" that meets all the requisites for an alpha level state of mind.
I can assure you one thing, you will find far more wisdom based on life experience coming from an old drunk that's sobered up, than you'll find coming from some pedigreed priest that's never actually lived life to any honest degree. You cannot be a teacher of wisdom unless you have experienced the issues being asked about even though you may know the analytically based wordage or be able to cite this or that passage of scripture, etc. That's why the whole argument we find in today's political world over a Woman's Rights around her own body & health are so asinine. . . A MAN DON'T KNOW THIS CRAP . . . we can't experience it and thus, we are quite ignorant when it comes to the FACTS. Yet, nearly every single person in support of ending Abortion rights that's involved politically, is male and usually some kind of born again asshole, wanting to impose their own religious agenda onto everyone else.
As I said, I fully understand what your position is and why but it has no standing when it comes to what's been the reality of all faith based traditions for thousands of years, including Christianity (some aspects of Christianity have observed altered consciousness brought on by fasting, use of spirits (booze), etc. throughout its long history. There are likewise those "amalgamated" forms of Christianity, such as Santeria, in which the primitive is mixed with the Christian idea. The elder pagan practices include use of herbs, etc. for connecting with spirit. . . which by the way, is one of the purposes of the Eucharist).
Quite possibly from relating to Jesus as a mushroom. I understand that the high priest got really high and would pee in a cup and the diluted chemistry would be passed around that way. Yuk. I had to be worth it though high wise, not apotheosis wise.
If they were talking to the one and only God one would think that more shaman would be friends instead of the enemies that they are.
Even today many seek God that way but no one is coming up with anything new.
Social taboos do not guide my thinking as I have a delinquent attitude and a criminal mind and do not care about taboos and set my own. You are right that mine is a logical view and I will keep it till something better convinces me to drop it a bit.
If there was a drug connection to most churches and religions then it had only a small impact as we do not hear much about it. If it was that great then the churches would not have paid for a lot of science to fleece the sheep nor would they have invented the temple prostitutes to help with the cash flow. We may never know the percentages though from this far up history.
For starters, there is NO "One & Only God" There are many deities in the world ALL OF THEM just as valid as the biblical god, who is far more akin to Lucifer than being the Father Creator that you're inferring. Yahweh was a bastard child at best and a spoilt brat at that. . . at least, that's how the Gnostics, Jews, early Christians and Islam viewed and still view him. . .
What we have today as "a church" is a far far cry from what things were like, a thousand years ago let alone 2,000. . . I'd suggest you step outside the kool-aid box you've been drinking from and do some research about Churchianity that's not approved by the Holy See or the SBC or any of the other groups that think they are "authorities" on the divine. . . let alone the church which is nowhere close to what old JC and chums originated.
A great many scholars & historians now believe that the Josephus and a few other accountings of the age were deliberate additions made by 3rd or even as late as 5th century zealots. There is a grotesque number of examples throughout the New Testament of this sort of manipulation, most of it not being noticed or "proven" I should say, until the digital age, when key comparisons done through computers, was able to point out likely edits, censoring, and blatant forgery. . . a good deal of Paul's contributions are known to be fraudulent, from what I've read and seen revealed on recently aired documentaries (check listings on History or TLC those would be the most likely sources in my case).
Been there and done that. Quite a shift in tone though. You seem to have miss-understood my post. I am a Gnostic Christian and do see what is offered as God as an evil prick.
"For starters, there is NO "One & Only God".
Tsk, tsk. Poor use of language. Such a negative cannot be proven. You know this I think.
If not, listen up.
It is the same with the one true God notion. Such a statement can never be proven to be right unless we can look everywhere in the universe at the same time. Sneaky bastard might be playing hide and seek.
Available programming comes and goes on the net and so links would be better than us trying to find whatever you found compelling. I often give links that get killed after I give them and have to re-find what I had elsewhere. That goes on quite a bit even at TLC and History.
Your suggestion is almost like when a Christian tell me to read the bible when that same bible has spawned all those varied cults. Not useful at all.
All very interesting -- you've done a lot of work on this, CB. The locus of the Christian church and belief system obviously swung from the near east to Greece and Rome where the message fell on more fertile soil. The historical Jesus was supposed, if anything, to be trying to create a reformed Jewish church, not start his own religion. I've often wondered where the miraculous value-adding came in, and exactly what alterations might have been made and when to any genuine early manuscripts. Walking on water, water into wine, healing the sick, being resurrected -- when were these added and why? Similar powers are attributed to the Dalai Lama even today by his followers. There are various myths and archetypes in there, as you point out. Romans (or what was left of the decaying Roman empire in the first few centuries AD) were being asked to convert from polytheism to monotheism and then promptly into trinitarianism having just mastered monotheism. An interesting adventure. Obviously as Christianity spread into the rest of Europe in the ruins of the Roman empire it served as some kind of re-unifying belief, some promise of order when all was chaos, and proselytisers managed to convert one feudal European fiefdom after another for several hundred years. One way of doing this was to match various observances to existing festivals -- the winter solstice (Christmas), and Spring fertility festivals (Easter - estrus, bunnies, eggs) -- where the Jewish Passover may have been some kind of recognition of spring in its own right anyhow.
Why would the early Greek-Roman church borrow supernatural elements from an older Egyptian myth? How would that have resonance with a different population? etc.
Any good links/references/resources on this? Further, a lot of theologians are basically strongly believing, biased, self-confirming Christians, which means they are unlikely to want to unearth more secular interpretations and findings or any awful inconvenient truths. And the secular world -- well, it's kind of past caring and looking forward to the next iPad release and so on.
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