IF I SEEK US
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Can We Agree on these?
"What men call social virtues, good fellowship, is commonly but the virtue of pigs in a litter, which lie close together to keep each other warm." - Henry David Thoreau
The Question, and My Answer
What Thoreau is referring to above are those that cultivate relationships that are merely symbiotic, based on the trading dynamic, not the love-sharing dynamic. These relationships are not based on the aspects of love beyond being mutually beneficial on a shallow level of commitment. An example may be two immature teenage girls that are doing little more than using each other to reassure themselves of their acceptability and value. I am NOT saying these relationships are wrong or evil, just describing them for what they are. The question is whether it is ever realistic, ever possible to love your brother as yourself?
So, put yourself in my place for a bit while I summarize some of the major things I learned the hard way:
So, I found myself born into a dirty, noisy, messy, troubled, dangerous, insane world under a sentence of death. I learned early that my own body is subject to pain and suffering, damage and disease, via personal experience with the loss of a finger on my right hand at the age of two, measles, tonsillitis with surgery and hospitalization at the age of four, etc. I learned early the members of my own family were not consistent in their behavior and their belief. I have found that men, as more than one philosopher has observed, truly DO desire to be deceived on a vast range of issues. I find myself compelled through experience to acknowledge a deep seated perversity in the mind and soul of Man. I eventually was staggered by the amount of human suffering, and the level of falsity, noise and confusion in the realm of the mind and heart.
I see that the spiritual world of 7+ billion people is hopelessly philosophically and spiritually fragmented where Christendom accounts for about 1/3 of the religious orientation, where Islam accounts for about 1/4, where the balance is made up of the rest, with Judaism accounting for an insignificant number yet with an undue influence upon the civilized world. I see that not one religion, ideology, organization, denomination, sect, or belief system is in a majority. I see there is nothing but fragmentation and minorities with further splintering.
I have been raised a fundamentalist Christian where:
I have learned that the Bible, the cornerstone of Christianity, has its Old Testament based on redacted, dimly understood ancient Hebrew and Egyptian mythology. I have learned that it is hopelessly mistranslated into English on top of that. I have learned that just the discovery of the Ebla tablets pushed one scholar to say that as much as 25% of the Old Testament needs to be retranslated. I had already learned for myself that some of the numbers are logically infeasible and many of the scenarios are physically and/or scientifically impossible, even granting miracles. I have learned that virtually all the words translated as God were names and titles of Saturn, with a few examples of other planet gods thrown in. I have learned that the selection of the books for the canon have almost everything to do with them being culturally treasured with no higher standard involved.
I have learned that the best secular Koine Greek scholars laugh with derision and scorn at the way the New Testament is translated, and yet new and better translations will raise a storm of protest and will not sell well if they change too much. This dynamic ensures translation stagnation. I have learned that the Gospels of the New Testament are hopelessly contradictory in some of their accounts. I have learned that we have almost no original manuscripts of the Gospel material, and that the foundation for accepting most of the New Testament material as genuine and not forged or contrived is tenuous at best. I have learned that the standards for discrimination concerning these ancient documents are so low that the Gospel of Thomas is considered to be Gnostic and unfit merely because it was found with other Gnostic documents. I have learned that the selection of the New Testament canon was probably somewhat if not primarily political and arbitrary, and that there is little reason to think that God was involved at all.
I have learned that some of the scenarios in the synoptic Gospels are patterned in form and content after the Roman Senator Seneca’s plays. I also have learned that there are many parallels between the accounts about Jesus and the ancient Egyptian god Horus and other mythological warrior heroes. I also have learned that the origins and authorship of almost all of the New Testament books are unknown or highly suspect.
After looking at a couple of Greek-English interlinear texts of the gospels, I have learned that the published English translations are wide of the mark in some important places or on important issues. After learning some Greek and painstakingly translating the Gospels for nyself by heavily relying on Greek reference materials, I see that even the most learned theologians do not understand what Jesus claimed to be, why he came, and what he is offering. Not one that I can find even applies to a critical analysis the simple standards of evidence used in our courtrooms.
I learned that 200 concerned Christian scholars have banded together and formed the Jesus Seminar, with the purpose of analyzing and evaluating the Gospel material found in the New Testament. Given that the three Synoptic Gospels are expanded compilations of previous material, their highest criterion for assigning authenticity to the various Gospel documents and passages seems to be whether they can find prior material in which the passages are rooted. Based on this rather arbitrary and unworthy standard, any new and original eyewitness account like the Gospel of John would have no such previous reference. Thus I realize these scholars of the Jesus Seminar unanimously throw out the ONLY Gospel in the New Testament that otherwise proves to be an eyewitness account, the one that is the most historically defensible, the one that deals with the real issues, and the one that makes the most sense. Not to overlook mentioning, the only one that has the really good news in it!
I learned that there are, and I become acquainted with, the half dozen serious books such as The Passover Conspiracy, The Pagan Christ, Revolution in Judea, etc., that challenge a sensible understanding of the Jesus affair. These are all purporting to show in various ways that Jesus was a fabricated myth, or a real man but a sham, or greatly embellished in the crucial aspects, or incredibly rich and connected, or a political zealot, etc., now made into something exotic, unreal and otherworldly by the followers.
I have seen that some of the world’s most intelligent men born as Christians, men of admirable integrity and learning, like Ernest Renan, John Stuart Mill, Henry Sidgewick, et al, lost their faith while thinking and advancing in understanding and intellectual responsibility. I have seen that wonderful men of vision like Voltaire, Rousseau, Spinoza and contemporaries struggled to free Europe from the dark, oppressive control of superstitious Christianity and bring it into some form of reasonable enlightenment.
Now in the age of enhanced communication and travel, I found the world to be a cacophony of confusion where there are a multitude of voices all claiming to have the truth and assailing me with powerful calls to come their way, with alluring promises of universally desired payoffs if I do. I see that, when men are doing their best to persuade you, they are mostly only trying to convince themselves of what they say they believe. I now see the world on the brink of a most terrible World War III fostered by incompatible religious and political belief.
In the first 35 years of being available 24/7/365 for serious, open, honest discussion, I have found only two men, dear friends, that would systematically dedicate significant time to actually go over the fundamental issues and the Gospel material point by point with a responsible critical attitude in logical study and discussion, only to find ultimately that the first was fatally flawed; too old, too tired, too wasted to open his mind and travel all the way. He committed suicide. I have learned that most men would actually rather die than take intellectual and spiritual responsibility and change what they believe in a fundamental way.
After 40+ years of studying the ancient astral catastrophes through ancient literature and accounts, mythology, geology, astrophysics, anthropology, archaeology, petroglyphs, psychology, etc., and studying the surface scarring record left on the moon, Mars, and other moons and planets including the earth, I have learned the material can coalesce to make coherent sense within the paradigms of the Saturnian Reconstruction of Ancient Times and the Electric Universe paradigm. Yet these heavily supported and powerful constructions are suppressed, rejected, or ignored by both academic and religious institutions.
After 40+ years of honing my understanding with other serious paradigms such as the Holographic Universe, the Collective Consciousness, the Morphogenetic Resonance Field, and the Bicameral Brain Mind, I have developed sensible answers for the widespread mystical experiences of special, timely dreams, visions, voices, mass hallucinations, and documented, undeniable paranormal phenomena. The latter includes telepathy with I have unequivocal personal experience. These explanations are more reasonable than to ascribe them as gifts from God or support from a fantasy devil.
After 60 years of scientific learning, including the recent 40+ in consideration of the Electric Universe paradigm and the Saturnian Reconstruction, I see that scientists in the fields of geology, paleontology, biology, genetics, astronomy, anthropology, psychology, mythology, et al, all have major anomalies to deal with that should force seeking a different paradigm, and yet they often don’t even have much of a clue as to the major forces or factors at work in their own fields. For example, mainstream geologists still appeal to vast amounts of time, and wind and water erosion to explain electrical scarring that took just minutes to occur. Of the most prominent psychologists like Freud, Jung, Adler, et al, only Velikovsky offered a sound basis for the unhinged psychology of the human race.
After conversing with several people who claim that God visited or talked with them, I find the conclusion TO BE inescapable that they are all deluded into thinking that bicameral brain communications resulting in visions and voices are the special revelations from God, and they feel privileged and special because of it. I have even experienced this myself when under severe emotional distress, yet now consider that God had nothing to do with it. Time and time again, the majority of these pronouncements and prophecies have proven false, but this is all generally overlooked and forgotten.
In the face of all this, after I have suffered the "slings and arrows", the significant vicissitudes of life, I came to be comfortable in considering and challenging the big picture of reality with which I was programmed, and the efficacy of any religion at all outside of humanism. Then I finally saw, during my Gospel translation endeavor that even the Gospel writer John gives five laments in his first three chapters about the efforts of Jesus being misunderstood, not working and essentially coming to naught. This is astounding in that in four dozen years of extensive Christian education and church-going, I have NEVER heard this admitted or even ever referenced at all!
Since I was NOT there to SEE with my own eyes and HEAR with my own ears, where ALL I have to go on is 1300 years (2000 in mainstream chronology) of failure and disappointment, and tiny black letters on white paper giving tenuous, sketchy, and sometimes false accounts, where all seems to be delusion or shifting sand, I canvassed my own soul as to the reason to believe or not to believe.
Finally, I must be deal with what some think is the bottom line, which sentiment is buttressed by the very words of Jesus, "By this will all men know that you are my followers, that you have love for one another." When I began to seriously challenge my denomination's doctrinal positions, it was treated as being absurd and threatening, and not ONE person was willing to seriously engage with me, sit down and reason out the issues. EVERYBODY had an agenda that was higher than to study and discuss with me as a serious seeker of truth and save my fellowship. One pastor tried to publicly humiliate and shame me. The boss or senior pastor, in light of a divorce that was initiated by my wife, told me I was welcome to come to church and "fellowship" as long as I didn't say anything. I was rebuked, rebuffed, demeaned, soon treated as a pariah and ultimately effectively shunned. All by people that are profoundly ignorant. All of this, not because I was unethical, or womanizing, or not paying my tithes, etc., but because I was challenging the dogma.
Given the above, what IS it that could or would convince me that Jesus IS who he said he was and that I should take what he said seriously enough to order my life around it?
I just wouldn't want the character, purpose, values, plan, demeanor, and behavior of the Creator to be any other than what Jesus portrayed and DEMONSTRATED them to be. The vision that I have gotten from taking a completely fresh look at the life and message of Jesus--decoupled from Christian and Gnostic thinking--is too elegant and compelling for me to live without believing! I want what is being offered and can never settle for anything less.
See also: Why I am not a Christian