Archive for December, 2015

Mystique of Twelve

Posted in belief, religion, scriptures on December 26, 2015 by chouck017894

The number twelve seems to hold a fascination for humankind that borders on reverence which is hoary with age.  There are, for example, twelve months in the solar-gauged year, and they all pretty much follow the apparent movements of various star groups (constellations).  Human life is so encased in traditions that we mortals rarely wonder why certain numbers serve as standard measures.  Why a dozen signifies twelve, for example.  Even myths usually fail to clarify why certain numbers carry an aura of veneration.

The legendary Atlantis, for example, supposedly had twelve great kings.  A clue does lie hidden in this legend, however; Atlantis was described as being circular in its layout and it regions defined by circles of water.  Something about the number twelve has fascinated mankind for many thousands of years.   Indeed the number twelve has played an important role in most organized by-the-book faith systems of the world, although it is always disguised to suit the faith system’s purpose.

The Egyptian god Osiris, the  Persian god Mithras, the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl, the Gautama Buddha among numerous holy characters have traditions of having been attended by twelve apostle/disciples, just as credited to Jesus.  In Greek myth there were twelve Titans and twelve Olympian gods.  Hercules, the Greek savior-style character, had his twelve labors to perform.  The number twelve plays a pivotal symbolic role in both the Old and New Testaments.  The number twelve also flavors Islam.

In Hebrew Scriptures there is presented in Genesis, the book of beginnings, the character of Jacob who for some mystifying reason is renamed Israel by God.  This character supposedly sired twelve sons who served as the founders of the twelve tribes of the Hebrews–all of whom became revered as Israelites.  And there is Solomon’s Temple of which it is stressed, “…there was neither hammer nor axe, not any tool of iron in the house while it was building”.  And Solomon’s Temple is also claimed to have contained twelve divisions within it.  That temple “not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” certainly could not have been reference to an earthbound “holy temple”, although it is implied to have been one of the greatest man-constructed buildings.  By its description, however, it was roughly 40 fee by 125 feet!  The details given in 1 Kings 7:32-33, if examined, are actually those of the zodiac.  It is for this reason that Solomon is alleged to have had “…twelve officers over all Israel, which provided victuals for the king and his household: each man his month in a year made provisions.”

In the New Testament, the gospel of Mark, first of the Christian series texts to be written (c. 55-60 CE), has a curious conclusion (16:8), and a cautious reader is left to wonder if the apostles (nowhere yet presented as twelve of them) were unwaveringly converted to Jesus’ call or if they even felt the power with which Jesus is said to have endowed them.  Nothing emotional is expressed by Mark.  (Mark was revised c. 70-80 CE)  The gospel of Matthew (written later c 70-75 CE), which was nonetheless canonically placed in first position, is somewhat nebulous also, concluding (28:17) that some of the apostles were apparently uncertain that they had seen the resurrected Jesus.

The claim of Jesus having been attended by a band of twelve apostles was not fully embraced until considerably after the books Luke and Acts were written (traditionally attributed to “Saint” Paul).  By environmental descriptions in the text (Jerusalem as an “abandoned” house, and Jerusalem being surrounded by camps, for example) the gospel according to Luke was certainly composed well after the fall of Jerusalem to Emperor Titus (70 CE).  It was these writing attributed to Paul which were utilized to help develop the principles set forth for the struggling Jesus-cult faith system.  It is noteworthy, however, that never once in Paul’s earliest writings was there ever any mention of the alleged twelve constant companions.  Indeed, the apostles were mentioned only once in writings attributed to Paul, and that is an obvious later insertion.

The fourth gospel as the canonized holy account, which is attributed to John (written c.105-106 CE) was clearly penned well after the alleged occurrence of the crucifixion, and strangely the text sounds somewhat like a rebuttal to some never-acknowledged skeptic.  This is subtly implied in the curious insinuation of rivalry between John and Peter as depicted in the race to the empty sepulcher (20:3-8) after being told that Jesus’ body had disappeared.  Despite the contradictory elements the purpose of the canonized four gospels remains clear; their “canonical” empowerment (by a priest squad) was to establish the authority of the twelve Apostles, which, by extension just happened to institute the priests’ authority over the people in the faith system they sought to institutionalize.

The Gospel of John is most compelling for the theatrical depictions of the Last Supper and the crucifixion account.  Indeed, a similar themed  passion play had long been played out yearly in Pagan locales during the period of the Vernal Equinox (resurrection of Nature).  In John’s account the characters of Thomas and Judas, for example, who are rather nondescript in the Synoptic gospels, have surprisingly prominent roles. (This curious twist is persuasively addressed in the book Voices of the Mystic, by April DeConick.)  As the gospels have been institutionalized and accepted today the supreme tradition that there had been twelve unwavering disciples is secure; indeed, the expression “The Twelve” is used repeatedly by the gospel writers who wrote after John’s account was installed as Gospel.  Thus it is because of Paul being credited with the Luke/Acts accounts in the formative period of what is now Christianity that he is regarded as virutally the thirteenth apostle.

Again, why is there the tradition of twelve Israelite tribes or twelve apostles in the first place?  And why do the gospels infer that these favored twelve somehow represented all the big questions of life?  For the very same reason that in the Hebrew Scriptures the character Jacob/Israel supposedly had twelve sons through which the alleged twelve Israelite tribes developed. It is because both of these faith systems traditions were established upon the much older lessons on Creation/cosmology and life purpose lessons which had utilized various constellation as illustrations for study:  the same constellations known to us today, mostly through horoscope references.

We should note as well that the number twelve holds significance in Islam also.  The number twelve can be seen in Shiite theology as well.  Unlike Sunnite Muslims the Shiites hold a hardcore belief in the role of an intermediary between man and Allah.  This belief allows for the seat of a strong religion-political setup (theocracy) in the guise of god’s mouthpiece.  From the earliest days of Islam’s spread, leaders of the Shiite faction encouraged the claim that there were twelve Imans (successors to Mohammad) which served in the capacity of mediator.  These twelve, not surprisingly, were presented as the rightful successors to the Prophet Mohammad.  Fundamental Shiites today adhere to the belief that the twelfth Iman (prayer leader, scholar, authority of Islamic law) disappeared in the year 940 CE, but will reappear to establish a cleansed Islamic state.

Th Sunnites, on the other hand, follow orthodox tradition that the first four caliphs (secular and religious head of a Muslim state) were rightful successors of Mohammad.  Mohammad died unexpectedly without having specified any descendant as his successor, which seem a curious circumstance for a traditional prophet.  At any rate, the bulk of traditional Muslim law (Sunna or Sunnah) is held to be based on the words and acts of Mohammad as”revealed” by later biographers) and make for the articles of belief and serve as the alleged schema to Allah’s favoritism.  These two factions, Shiites and Sunnites, have ever since Mohammad’s unexpected demise, thus indulged in deadly feuding over which form of dogma serves as Allah’s favored strategy for entry into Paradise.

And thus today our little world rocks with terrorism and death battles that were set in motion by self-professed holy authors and political schemers who institutionalized human spiritual yearnings through their by-the-book faith systems.

 

 

Advertisements

Tangled Threads of Belief

Posted in Astronomy, belief, Bible, faith, prehistory, random, religion, scriptures with tags , , , , , on December 10, 2015 by chouck017894

The average person’s familiarity with scriptural texts (of any western style by-the-book faith system) is selective at best, and typical seekers are content to surrender the tricky situations of otherworldly powers to those representatives who claim to be blessed for interpretation. That leaves the range of “spiritual” control open for swarms of heaven’s self-promoted ambassadors who happily provide the detours around the many “revealed” messages which ordinary persons could often find to bristle with inconsistencies and contradictions. In other words, what we are led to believe as holy truth depends upon the perspective that is brought to bear by those self-promoted interpreters.

Judaic and Christian texts, as an example, tend to revolve around a longed-for coming of corrective influence by some anticipated messiah–i.e. a deliverer or liberator or savior. The Hebrew meaning of mashiah (messiah) is “the anointed,” which suggests that a qualification for being a messiah is that the person first has to be anointed (consecrated) by some heavenly certified person and thus made ready to take up the obligation of guidance. By some interpretations the act of being baptized has been erroneously regarded as virtually carrying the same significance, but baptism is the symbolic washing away of “original sin” so a soul may start with a clean slate, so to speak. An anointed one, on the other hand, was deemed to have been chosen, elevated and supposedly instilled with blessings to fulfill God’s higher purpose. The Old Testament kings Saul, David and Solomon were said to have been anointed, for example.

Unlike baptism, an anointing was a selective ceremony reserved to signify some alleged God-selected life purpose, such as royalty or dignitary or messiah. The esteem that was placed upon the anointed one was signified with the use of very expensive oil made available for the ceremony. It is this expense–the high cost–which clouds the depiction of Jesus’ anointing. In other words, it was a cosmetic luxury, particularly of the Near East and Greek cultures where it had been the highlight in a ceremony establishing kingship. The practice, however, was condemned in the OT book of Amos (6:6). In the Gospel texts Mark, Matthew and John, each gives a different version of where, when and by whom the anointing of Jesus occurred. All agree on one odd thing, however; that it was a woman who anointed Jesus. That is because in those prehistory Creation-cosmology lessons feminine qualities symbolized energy-substance out of which matter then evolves. According to John that anointing episode occurred only after Jesus had allegedly raised the dead man, Lazarus, who had “lain in the grave four days already,”

The name Lazarus appears only three times in New Testament texts; once in Luke 16 as a leper who was healed by Jesus, and twice in John 11 and 12 in regard to an alleged miracle of raising up the dead man. The name Lazarus is claimed to be abridged from the Hebrew name Eleazar, which is said to mean “God had helped.” Strangely it is only in John that the reinvigorating from the dead of the man Lazarus of Bethany is addressed, an alleged miracle which is suggestive of far greater power and consequence than any of the miracles presented in the book of Mark, Matthew or Luke. The plot purpose of Lazarus in John is to serve as a kind of prelude to Jesus’ own greater miraculous resurrection that was to come. As noted in a previous web-post, the characters of Lazarus and his sisters in John’s account have a peculiarly close relationship to a far older Egyptian story concerning a man name El-Azar-us and his two sisters named Meri and Merti who happened to live in a village called Bethanu. The Egyptian name of the village meant “house of god,” referring to the Egyptian god Anu. The god Anu happened to have been honored in the even older Sumerian culture and was known as the “first among the gods.” The Egyptian version also exposes where the Hebrew word beth, meaning “house” originated (and was re-interpreted as Bethany and Bethlehem in Gospels).

It should be recalled that the Genesis plotline leaned heavily on the prehistory Creation lessons which were once illustrated with groups of stars (constellations). That connection is guardedly apparent in John’s account in the seeming indifference of Jesus upon hearing of Lazarus being “sick unto death” and saying, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God…” Then in John 11-17 it is averred that Lazarus had “…lain in the grave for four days already.” Only in understanding the ancient lessons concerning the pre-physical energies which involve as Creation do these story elements hold any rationality. In prehistory cultures it had been explained that the first four phases of primal energy involvement are to be passed over to congeal as matter; this was often likened to a grave or a tomb. The reason for that metaphor was because the primordial energy conditions hold only the potential for purposeful existence which must be raised into life by the Life Principle. The “four days”(as in the “days” timeframe of Creation) of Lazarus’ alleged entombment are therefore in reference to the four earliest energy dimensions–or pre-physical stages–of primal energy involvement. The mid-stage of energy involvement between the primary energy dimensions and first visible energy-forms was known in those ancient teachings as Devolution.

Verse 16 of John 11 then affirmed this meaning, saying, “Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto disciples, Let us go, that we may die with him.” This bizarre suggestion has long puzzled Gospel scholars. The name Didymus, the which not the who of the quoted verse, refers to the constellation Gemini (the Twins) with which was once taught the ancient lessons of Creation energies which were equated in those lessons to mental matter, and was taught with constellation Gemini. In zodiac depictions Gemini is said to govern the shoulders, arms and hands: Thomas, remember, had to see the two scarred hands of the resurrected Jesus to be sure he truly was Jesus.

Metaphorically, these four prototypal stages within the elementary energy planes must figuratively die (or be passed over) in order to involve as defined matter. Note also that near the conclusion of John’s version of the crucifixion events that the grave of Jesus was described as: “It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.” (John 11:38) In those prehistory Creation-cosmology lessons upon which John’s version was based the void (quantum energy source) out of which Creation takes place was commonly allegorized as a cave. The stone which is said to be laid upon the cave symbolized the taking on of the involving primal energies as Dense Matter form, which is to say it is a reference to this energy plane where each of us becomes conscious of self as biological matter-life.

This example serves to indicate how all faith systems have been woven from threads of very ancient science-based teachings which had once offered genuine technical understanding of the energy principles which involve as Creation. Unfortunately those threads of true wisdom tended to be intentionally and systematically tangled and recast into contorted assertions. As an example of how extreme “faith” merchants chose to rework ancient wisdom as “holy word” consider the alleged Lazarus incident mentioned here–it is something of a stretch. A tradition in the Roman Catholic Church has it that the resurrected Lazarus, who had been dead for four days, later became first bishop of Marseille. And from such tangled threads of ancient wisdom has been woven the fabric known as holy truth.