Urban-Bred Christianity

Unlike Judaism and Islam in the western world, the spiritual perception that is Christianity had its inception, emphasis, message and character in the urban centers of the Roman Empire.  Economic and cultural attractions of city life, especially Rome, thus made a deep and lasting influence on the developing movement, which undoubtedly accounts for Christianity being the most unnatural religion in the world.

The faithful will, of course, protest this, but grant some charity to rational thought.  It is historic fact that for around 1500 years after the advent of what became the Christian theory of spiritual meaning, the prime and most steadfast opposition to it came from the nature  religions of the peasantry.  The practice of walling oneself into a limited artificial space to attain an illusion of oneness with the out-of-this-world Creator seemed demonstratively contrary to the Creator’s  expressions to those who were accustomed to working with nature.  Surrounded with the awesome atmosphere of nature, resplendent with untainted air, sky, clouds, stars, mountains, seas, trees, flowers and astonishing diversity of life, there was a natural sense of oneness with all these things.  There was no need for droning sermons by ego-centered practitioners of an improvable theory: in the walled-in Christian atomosphere faith became not what one felt and experienced but was only what one attempted to will into feeling.

More than any other faith system, the Christian approach to spiritual meaning has been that nature is a force that is to be dominated and any sense of oneness with all else in nature has been looked upon as causing man to in someway lose mastery.  This is one of Christian religion’s many half truths.   Nature, as enticing as it is, is not really the face of immorality even though below the aesthetic surfaces everything pursues its existence only at the expense of something else—a system of predators and prey apparently instituted by intelligent design.  And this everything-lives-at-the-expense-of-something-else playbill of nature happens to be the framework and general idea behind the entire Old Testament and which glaringly confirms that the evil and deceptions of  man far exceed the most vicious of nature’s predators.  It is this nature of  man that must be overcome and dominated by man, not the indiscriminate environment that is merely the bearing principle of matter life.

Ethics and morality are, after all, concepts of man, not nature.  This, of course, is held up in western religions–especially Christianity–as evidence of man’s superiority, and so all of man’s artificial constructs are claimed to more  closely reflect the perceived supernatural essence that is thought of as god.  This at least extends the hope of life beyond life as opposed to the nature religions that numbed the spirit with resignation that as part of nature man is held in a system that is indifferent to the concept of good and evil.

On the other hand, sealing believers away in orderly, artificial enclosures with light filtered through colored glass, stocked with altars and incense and secluded away from the open sky and earthy scents is not the best way to transend  personal nature.  Such man-created objects only gratify the apprehensive ego.  Ultimatelly the only true shrine to life is within ourselves.

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One Response to “Urban-Bred Christianity”

  1. ‘Such man-created objects only gratify the apprehensive ego. Ultimatelly the only true shrine to life is within ourselves.’

    Very sharp and true.

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