I shall be telling this with a sigh,
Somewhere ages and ages hence,:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the road less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost
Mysticism versus Understanding
One of the great or fundamental issues for philosophy and/or theology is
mysticism versus understanding, mythos versus logos. Mysticism in religion and
door to all kinds of intellectual chicanery.
The J person calls for
our understanding of “God” as a human being. He equates that with salvation,
as in, “And this IS eternal life, that they understand you and the one that
you have sent.” Where does he call for some mystical connection or loss of
individuality or physicality? In HIS prayer, he asks that we may be “one”
with god, but clarifies that as being in unity. Being in unity MUST mean
being in unity of purpose, values and paradigm! Yeshua had NOTHING to do with mysticism, but
came to eradicate it by demonstrating himself as LOGOS, the
source of purpose, logic and reason versus MYTHOS, the ground of mysticism.
To think that final success is some
mystical, impossible-to-understand-oneness is to deny the
validity of all other natural, normal, morally defensible
desires and needs. In such a situation everything loses
definition. In this mindset there is no valid definition of life, nor
definition of tangible love as fulfilling genuine, natural needs and
desires, no enhancement of life beyond this mystical
oneness. It makes “god” the end all and be all, and denies
his character of humility and service, denies his offering
of equality. It dissolves his being a friend and leaves him
being the ultimate vacuum or black hole that sucks everything up into
himself. It makes him the great demander for being the
center of attention, the ultimate selfish egotist. It leaves
him being defined as the center of power and control. It
leaves him with no beauty or appreciable magnificence at all.
And why am I the problem in this regard? Why is the
burden of submitting to this oneness upon me? If this is the
great solution, then why doesn’t “god” submit to this
oneness with me? I have no memory of choosing to be
separate! The whole thing assumes facts not in evidence
beyond any reason to even care to investigate or think along these lines.
Also, isn’t this idea of the mystical
oneness the ultimate copout? An admission that we CANNOT
understand and relate to as fully dimensional human beings? It
requires that we lay down everything that we naturally
cherish as human beings, including our rational faculties.
Who is doing this completely? No one, and the people that promulgate
this idea are the arrogant ones, the tricky egotistical
deniers of reality. Meanwhile, they strive very hard to be
somebody in the world, make a name for themselves.
This is hypocrisy at its worst! Which was the ultimate (temporary) condemnation by
Mysticism in stark contrast to J
The whole line of thinking is in stark
contrast to the J-person’s life and message as a human being, and
his response to Phillip's request for him to "show us what
God is like." His reply was, “This is it. If you have seen (understood,
experienced) me, you have seen God.” The whole mystical
oneness thing removes J from being the paradigm, the truth that goes into the
paradigm, and the inspiration to care. It denies his claims
of being THE ONE shepherd or messenger of God and pulls him
down to just being another in a long line of mystics. It
denies his claim to be the AUTHORITY on the truth who came
from beyond! Can they not read? “All who came before me are
Buddhism does not resolve the human
condition, but merely helps some people cope with it. Within
the "mystical oneness answer" there
is a complete denial of his promises of “houses and lands”,
the empowerment to move mountains, and the ability to judge
ideas and doctrines; a complete denial of his statement
about a resurrection and an age of justice.
It denies his respect for physicality, personal sovereignty
and freedom. To equate J with this is to be egregiously
irresponsible, careless and sloppy in your reasoning.
"All religions are founded on the fear of the
many and the cleverness of the few." - Stendhal
Mysticisms of Christianity
The Christian paradigm generally posits a mysterious creator-deity of awesome power and ability–sometimes thought
to be infinite–who is the originator of all conceivable things. This
creator-deity is considered to be the author of natural law and a
lawgiver of moral law by fiat. This deity exceeds or transcends being
human; indeed one who is so superior to us mere mortals that we can only get
glimpses of his purpose and ways, so "transcendent"–hear alien–that we
cannot understand any aspect of him except that part of his will that he
reveals. This deity is considered to be an infallible holder of all
knowledge–past, present and future–entirely incapable of learning or
not knowing anything. Of course he has enough human dimension to value
his creation including his creatures so long as they ultimately conform
to his will.
In its development over the course of 2000[*] years, Christendom
and the other religions have
generated, borrowed, and incorporated many mysticisms that not only defy
the spirit of Logos, that which is apprehended by logic or reason, that
which can be understood, but
which also are incompatible with John 1:18, "No one has ever understood God,
but Yeshua his only begotten son has made him clear." Some of these
- Divine versus human
- The trinity as 3 gods in one, or, 3 different faces of god, or 3
different roles of god
- God the Father as a person
- The Holy Spirit as a person
- The dual nature of Yeshua as human and divine
- Angels as belonging to a higher-than-human race of beings
- The devil and demons as fallen superior beings called angels
- Heaven as a literal place in the universe or sky
- The soul as something that leaves the body at death and returns to
- The soul as something that God injects into a human upon birth
- The logic of God that defies the logic of man
- Transubstantiation of unleavened bread and wine into the flesh and blood
- Sprinkling a person with water, or dunking them in it, infusing them
with the Holy Spirit
- The mysterious judgment of God, where we cannot understand the
- Hell as a literal place with literal burning of the human flesh of
- The substitution of Christ's merits for our own
- Our bodies belong to God as his temples
And here is what Jack Zwemer has to say:
Catholicism began to teach that Christian righteousness is some quality poured into the soul,
which gives a mystical fulfillment to life on earth apart from any secular
status or position, indifferent to intellectual learning or attainment, and
contrary to any bodily exercises or condition.
Some of these mysticisms have even risen to the level of dogma in the overwhelming
majority of Christian sects and denominations. Let's endeavor to
de-mystify each of these in the light of using Yeshua as the paradigm.
Divine versus human
The word divine is an adjective and comes from roots meaning healing,
and was never originally meant to denote or connote something alien to being human.
The now accepted contrast is a somewhat modern and fallacious development. Yeshua says
nothing to affirm this contrast. Enough said!
Trinity as 3 gods in one
This doctrine has its foundation in ancient planet worship of the
Trimurti, a unity of three of the major planet gods in perfect
alignment, and Christendom feels its "affirmation" is in the words of Yeshua, "In the name
of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. However, in the paradigm of Yeshua as
the creator or the originator, the "Father"–the literal father of Yeshua
as a child of the virgin Mary–would be all of the unfallen human being citizens
in the universe, and the "Holy Spirit" would be their spirit or
mentality, their attitude of perfect unity in the truth. No trinity of 3 different
person-gods-in-one, and no mystery!
God the Father as a person
Yeshua called the unified unfallen citizens of the universe "the Father"
because they initiated the conception that resulted in his birth. There is
now no single being in the universe that wasn't created or in the case
of Yeshua, recreated. Nowhere
in the book of John does he refer to God as our father until after the
resurrection, when the believers could claim the Father to be their
Holy Spirit as a person
Unfortunately or perversely in the early English Bible translations, the
word "pneuma" got mistranslated as "Ghost" (the Greek word for
ghost is phantasma) in the phrase that should be translated as
"Holy Attitude" or "God attitude", and this helped set the tone for thinking of the Holy
Spirit as a person and member of the Trinity.
Yeshua in his everyday communication with his disciples used the
sayings, figures of speech and cultural language mechanisms of the time.
In that culture it was popular to personify certain important aspects.
For instance, wisdom was personified as a woman called Sophia. So also
did he personify the corporate unfallen as the father. He personified
the original lie, the origin of evil, as the divider, as one going about
as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Finally, he personified
the great spirit of unity of purpose, principles and plan as the Holy
Spirit. Again, no mystery. The Holy Spirit can best be understood as the
god attitude, the indomitable, triumphant, inferior to no one,
never-give-up, adequate attitude, the human spirit to the max.
The dual nature of Yeshua
The psyche (modern meaning) or soul–which is what defines a person as human–of Yeshua is, was,
and always will be totally and only human. Nowhere does he imply that
he is anything other than human, and his favorite term for himself was
"son of man", which means human. This term was alternated with "son of
god". The term divine simply means healing, and does not
imply being other than human.
Angels higher than human
In the Old Testament, two terms have been confused with referring to living
beings, or types of living angels. The term cherub means monster, beast, or non-human
entity, and the term seraph means fiery entity, such as a comet or
meteorite. These terms were not originally used to apply to what we
would call human or higher-than-human life forms. The issue gets
confused, though, because the ancient people anthropomorphized the
planets and other aspects of heavenly phenomena into gods and their
The other terms that are translated as angel, both in the Old and New
Testaments, simply mean message and/or messenger. In the Old testament, we
have the account of the man-angel-lord visiting Abraham. See: Genesis 18:2 &
10. Previous to this in the story of Abraham, the terms Lord and the Angel
of the Lord have been used interchangeably. In the NT the term angel is used
in the Gospels interchangeably with human or some variation of human such as
man or youth. See: Matthew 28:2 where the term angel of the Lord is used in
the visit to the tomb; where Mark 16:5 has it being a youth; where Luke 24:4
has two men, and where John 20:12 has two angels. Yeshua says nothing to
indicate that angels belong to a higher race, and he even has it that we
will be judging THEM some day. Remember,
he referred to us as sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. It doesn't
go any higher than that!
Devil and demons as fallen angels
At times in the gospels Yeshua speaks of the devil as a person, but we
must remember that it was a common practice of the time–maybe even
dictated by their paradigm of personifying into demons that which makes
men act–to personify in your speech significant aspects of the human
experience. As delineated above, he thus personified Wisdom, the Holy
Spirit, and the Father. He personified the original lie as the evil one or
the devil. However, these Thus, these "literary" personifications should not give us liberty to take these
agencies as living persons. When there is no literalized personification
there is no mystery
to our way of thinking today.
Heaven as material place
Dealing with this one takes some rather extensive groundwork. First of
all, modern Christendom tends to be materialistic in its thinking and
translation of ancient words. The phrase translated "kingdom of heaven"
should better be translated as "kingship of the heavens". The first is materialistic and directs our thinking to a
literal region in the material universe where there are buildings,
streets of gold, etc. The latter directs our attention to the empowerment of a
king that is promised to us. I remember being quite dismayed when I first heard
the suggestion that heaven was not literally material, but I came to
realize that we can have both; the fulfillment and empowerment being by
far the most important facets. You want bejeweled buildings and streets
of gold? Then have them, but the spiritual or non-material aspects of IFISEEKUS make these material
things fade into insignificance.
The ancient word Cosmos literally means "the
designed, organized system" and does not specifically refer to the
material universe. The word "heavens" came from old English and meant
"the heavings", such as what one would take out away from the home and
heave like potato peelings into the brush! The stars and planets were considered to have been heaved by the
creator into the material universe. All so confusing? Welcome to the world of semantic problems, which
no doubt contributes to the confusion in our thinking.
Another aspect of the valid understanding of the term "kingship of the
heavens", usually stated in the plural, is that at that time the general
thinking apparently was oriented to three "heavens". The first heaven was the
sky of atmosphere, clouds, and the domain of birds. The second heaven was
the realm of outer space, the domain of the planets and stars. The third
heaven was considered to be the actual physical dwelling place of the
godhead, whatever and wherever that might be. The point is that the phrase
"kingship of the heavens" as used by Yeshua covered or included all of those.
In modern street language it meant empowerment in ALL the realms.
Soul leaves body & returns to
When a person dies, the soul, the pattern of the body, mind, character
and personality is not lost, but is perfectly kept just as it was. This
does not imply that it is a living thing in and of itself nor that it
"goes" anywhere in the material realm. The soul is not material but is like software,
where as long as a master copy is kept, it is not lost
God injects Soul upon birth
God doesn't inject anything into a new human, upon conception or birth.
The human father and mother create a new person, and the soul or psyche
is the product of both nature and nurture. It is to a
various degree nurtured and developed by the interacting humans that
influence the purpose, values, attitudes and approach to life of the individual.
Logic of God defies logic of man
The logic, reason and wisdom of God are not alien, just not atrophied and
diminished like our own.
Transubstantiation of unleavened bread and wine
The bread and wine are just symbols, and are NOT changed in any way into the
body and blood of Yeshua. The idea of anything that goes beyond this
is unmitigated superstition. Yeshua had no intention of starting any kind
of rite or sacrament at the last supper. He just was asking the disciples
to be and stay mindful of him, the meaning of his message, what he
represented, until his death and resurrection.
Baptism infuses with Holy Spirit
Yeshua never baptized anyone or put his stamp of approval upon this
ritual activity. His claim was that he came to baptize with fervor and spirit
(mindset or attitude).
Mysterious judgment of God
There is no Mysterious judgment of God, where we cannot understand the criteria
used. We can understand the judgment of God, because the citizens of the
universe just want us to come into meaningful unity with them and with
each other. Traditionally at the time of Christ, the word judgment of
God was tantamount to "judgment for."
Hell as literal place with literal burning
"En passant Boulanger demonstrated that so monstrous a conception as
Hell, which had tormented mankind for centuries, could never have been
conceived by reasonable, natural man unless he had experienced in the flesh
pangs as violent as the Hell of the religionist." - F. E. Manuel, The
Eighteenth Century Confronts the Gods (Cambridge, Mass., 1967), p. 215.
As is shown elsewhere on this site, "Hell" is a construct derived from the
fiery, deadly, disastrous ancient planetary catastrophes, some of which are
described in the Old Testament.
Regardless of its origins, this construct of hell is the most atrocious, bizarre, macabre, evil doctrine that has
ever come from the mind of man, and has no valid foundation in the words
of Yeshua or even in the New Testament. This concept cannot be found in the Gospels, and is a
monstrous fabrication from misunderstanding what the term "Hades" meant
in that culture, and from a misunderstanding of what Yeshua prophesied as
to where the Romans would later cast the dead bodies to be burned from
the sacking of Jerusalem. The valley of Hinnom, or Gehenna, was the metropolitan
refuse dump where the fires were kept burning and were not allower ("never") went out.
Substitution of Christ's merits for ours
Every human being has merit and unlimited potential merit. Merit is not
the issue. It is our sin, our wrong concept of the nature and character
of God and our perverse clinging to it, that must be eliminated, and no sham symbolic
transfer or bookkeeping entry of righteousness or pretension of justification will do.
Our bodies belong to God as temples
First of all, we are HUMAN BEINGS not temples, and our bodies belong to
US! Even as a metaphor this is distasteful, but to push it beyond this
becomes irrational. Rather than focus on enlightened self interest,
there is pressure put upon many Christians to be concerned about how God
feels if we don't follow the very best health practices in order to not
defile God's "temple". It is absurd to not realize that if God is so
concerned about his "temples" he could stop the decay and aging process,
protect us from being victims of accident, disease, environmental,
hereditary and systemic problems.
Belief focused on the miracles
In the context of the miracles, a great mistake is made in understanding
what Yeshua means when he says, "Because of your belief...". The efficacy
for the result does NOT come from intense belief in or focused on the
development or outcome itself, but is released from a belief in the
mercy and goodness of God. The former type of belief is little more than
Godless magic or mind over matter, and the latter is what is needed to
"heal the nations" and bring about the great resolution.
Righteousness means NOTHING more than being intellectually responsible
and reasonable within the
ultimate human value system. It cannot be poured, transferred or replaced by
that of someone else!
The Bottom Line? Christianity has
Christianity never got off the ground by focusing on the message of Yeshua,
but rather was always based on the thinking of certain disciples and Paul. It has degenerated
into JUST another major, mystical and false religion.
Anyone that can't see that has to be in major denial!
Christians should be alarmed enough to be asking why?, when?, where?, and how?!
Mysticism in religion opens the door to all kinds of intellectual
chicanery. If you can be "mystical", you can entertain all sorts of
fantastical, exotic concepts that are decoupled from any reality that we
experience or that we would upon sober reflection even desire. Mysticism allows people to continue
to live in denial and to be intellectually irresponsible, dishonest with themselves, on the most
Lastly, sometimes this line of thinking makes me the source of evil.
Anything that I see as evil and cannot see as good is strictly my own fault
for thinking wrongly. All of the distasteful aspects of the world are only
because I relate to them wrongly. Nature red in tooth and tong, the wanton
destruction wrought by geophysical catastrophic agencies, the nefarious
activities of fellow human beings, the relentless assault on ourselves by
disease and aging, the unspeakable suffering of myself and others are all
WONDERFUL? Give me a break from this insidious denial of REALITY by my
fellow homo sapiens! It is the ultimate frustration to try to reason with
people that are addicted to mysticism, because they have already been broken
with it. Just as well save your pearls.
[*] The 2000 years is the approximate value
within the existing standard chronology. The value would be 1300 years in
the revised chronology favored by this site. Still a time much too long.