Saturday, 8 December 2007

Part 1. "What the Faith industry do not want you to know"

WHAT the Church doesn't want you to knowIt has often been emphasised that Christianity is unlike any other religion, for it stands or falls by certain events which are alleged to have occurred during a short period of time some 20 centuries ago. Those stories are presented in the New Testament, and as new evidence is revealed it will become clear that they do not represent historical realities. The Church agrees, saying:"Our documentary sources of knowledge about the origins of Christianity and its earliest development are chiefly the New Testament Scriptures, the authenticity of which we must, to a great extent, take for granted."(Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. iii, p. 712)The Church makes extraordinary admissions about its New Testament. For example, when discussing the origin of those writings, "the most distinguished body of academic opinion ever assembled" (Catholic Encyclopedias, Preface) admits that the Gospels "do not go back to the first century of the Christian era" (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. vi, p. 137, pp. 655-6). This statement conflicts with priesthood assertions that the earliest Gospels were progressively written during the decades following the death of the Gospel Jesus Christ. In a remarkable aside, the Church further admits that "the earliest of the extant manuscripts [of the New Testament], it is true, do not date back beyond the middle of the fourth century AD" (Catholic Encyclopedia, op. cit., pp. 656-7). That is some 350 years after the time the Church claims that a Jesus Christ walked the sands of Palestine, and here the true story of Christian origins slips into one of the biggest black holes in history. There is, however, a reason why there were no New Testaments until the fourth century: they were not written until then, and here we find evidence of the greatest misrepresentation of all time.It was British-born Flavius Constantinus (Constantine, originally Custennyn or Custennin) (272-337) who authorised the compilation of the writings now called the New Testament. After the death of his father in 306, Constantine became King of Britain, Gaul and Spain, and then, after a series of victorious battles, Emperor of the Roman Empire. Christian historians give little or no hint of the turmoil of the times and suspend Constantine in the air, free of all human events happening around him. In truth, one of Constantine's main problems was the uncontrollable disorder amongst presbyters and their belief in numerous gods. The majority of modern-day Christian writers suppress the truth about the development of their religion and conceal Constantine's efforts to curb the disreputable character of the presbyters who are now called "Church Fathers" (Catholic Encyclopedia, Farley ed., vol. xiv, pp. 370-1). They were "maddened", he said (Life of Constantine, attributed to Eusebius Pamphilius of Caesarea, c. 335, vol. iii, p. 171; The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, cited as N&PNF, attributed to St Ambrose, Rev. Prof. Roberts, DD, and Principal James Donaldson, LLD, editors, 1891, vol. iv, p. 467). The "peculiar type of oratory" expounded by them was a challenge to a settled religious order (The Dictionary of Classical Mythology, Religion, Literature and Art, Oskar Seyffert, Gramercy, New York, 1995, pp. 544-5). Ancient records reveal the true nature of the presbyters, and the low regard in which they were held has been subtly suppressed by modern Church historians. In reality, they were: "...the most rustic fellows, teaching strange paradoxes. They openly declared that none but the ignorant was fit to hear their discourses ... they never appeared in the circles of the wiser and better sort, but always took care to intrude themselves among the ignorant and uncultured, rambling around to play tricks at fairs and markets ... they lard their lean books with the fat of old fables ... and still the less do they understand ... and they write nonsense on vellum ... and still be doing, never done."(Contra Celsum ["Against Celsus"], Origen of Alexandria, c. 251, Bk I, p. lxvii, Bk III, p. xliv, passim)Clusters of presbyters had developed "many----to be continued in part 2 Tues Dec 11.

8 comments:

lower deck lawyer. said...

Great reading mate, looking forward to next episode. Mike.

Bla said...

Seconded.

;)

Jim said...

One thing that must be said to the reader about to embark upon a first-time reading of the Gita is simply this: Do NOT take the words in a literal sense.

Although Arjuna sits before a great field of battle as he examines his doubts about the value of proceeding and as he listens to Krishna urge him on, do not think that this is a work about "Krishna's Counsel in Time of War " as one academic has it.

What is in doubt is how to live one's life and what to think of, and how to face death. This is what Krishna (as Arjuna's charioteer) is at pains to explain to the young "strong-armed slayer of the foe." Furthermore, it is good to realize that Krishna's argument, as beautiful and insightful as it is, is not a rationally coherent one in the Western sense of argument.

Instead Krishna considers various points of view and compares them as guides on how to live and how to die.

He presents four of the five traditional yogas: jnana yoga, karma yoga, bhakti yoga and raja yoga. Tantric yoga, or the so-called "left-handed path," is not presented in the Gita.

(Note, by the way, that Edgerton is one of those old-fashioned translators who makes a point of not using the word "yoga." "Discipline" is used instead. Thus instead of the "Yoga of Action" in Chapter III we have the "Discipline of Action."

This bit of silliness is explained in part because when Edgerton wrote his translation the word "yoga" was still quite exotic and not very well understood by English-speaking readers.)

Another thing to understand is that Krishna's central message of renunciation (seemingly ironic since he is advising Arjuna to fight) is not easily appreciated without some extensive study and practice.

A central idea, shared by Buddhists, is that we do not exist in the way we think we do, that we are not "alive" and conscious as the individuals that we think we are--and therefore we "do not die" and cannot be either slayer or slain.

This also takes some considerable study and insight to appreciate, especially for those of us brought up in the Western tradition influenced by the three great religions of the Middle East.

Finally it is counterproductive to concern oneself with the apparent contradictions in Krishna's counsel.

As Edgerton explains (referring to the early Upanishads, upon which the Gita is based): Claims to "an absolute and complete truth about man and the universe...are to be understood as tentative, not final" and such claims may find contradiction in "an adjoining passage."

Edgerton adds that this "trait of intellectual fluidity or tentativeness" is also found in the Gita. (p. 109)

I would add that the expression in the Gita is primarily symbolic, as it is in all venerable religious works, and that one must read (and study!) between the lines to fully appreciate what is being said.

One final point. Edgerton asserts that the early Hindu thinkers "sought to control the most fundamental and universal powers by knowing them." He adds that the Sanskrit word "vidya" means both "knowledge" and "magic."

Consequently there is the idea in the Gita that knowledge is indeed magic that allows the knower to overcome the infirmities of this world. On a personal level I am convinced--at least for myself--that knowledge of who we really are does in fact conquer death, and it is literally true, as Krishna's says, that we do not die. Comment | Permalink | Was this review helpful to

Jim said...

the FAITH INDUSTRY
hehehehehe

Amy... swansea. said...

I am a doubting catholic, unconvinced, but nevertheless I do abide by many of the C/church humanitarian principles, the remainder is pure Pantomime.

Jim said...

Amy
i was a good catlik

but when that asshole Benedict donned the shoes of the fisherman

i lost my religion

Jim said...

Amy

i dont believe that the Bible and the christian church is the only route to salvation


GOD has no religion

Vest said...

Apparently Woolworths is selling all their Xmas stock of teddy-bears at half price after the recent fiasco in the Sudan where a teacher was jailed for allowing her students to name a bear 'Mohammed'.



A spokesman for Woolworths' explained "......we don't wish to be seen to

be making a prophet out of the teddy bear...!!"

Goodbye Dear Rosemary. (Final)

      It was around 3 pm Wednesday March 8 That Rosemary returned from 'Day Care', she looked fine and healthy and bubbly and gave ...