Archive for Age of Pisces

Age of Pisces and Appearance of Jesus

Posted in Astronomy, Atheist, belief, Christianity, faith, religion, science, scriptures, theology with tags , , , , , on January 16, 2014 by chouck017894

All of mankind’s faith systems happen to have been fashioned by drawing upon Earth’s astrophysical backdrop. Indeed there are prehistory and ancient monument structures such as Sumerian-Babylonian ziggurats, Stonehenge, the pyramids of Egypt and other innumerable detailed sites which openly attest to their having been aligned with astronomical phases. For those who could not understand the intricacies involved in the studies of astronomy’s mechanics, a bridge of understanding was attempted by painting the heavenly exhibition with a polish of myths. Ancient cycles of heavenly display were even recorded, such as the Age of Virgo (13,020-10,860 BCE), the Age of Leo (10,860-8,700 BCE), the Age of Cancer (8,700-6540 BCE), etc.

Our Age of Pisces can be dated as having begun c.60 BCE. Zodiacal “Ages” span 2,160 years, so the much touted “Age of Aquarius” is now on Earth’s doorstep and will enter for an extended visit by modern calculation c. 2100. Early in the Age of Pisces, as social and cultural systems were shifting gears, it was a timeframe of roaming “prophets,” mystics, diviners, messiahs, and teachers of spiritual mysteries. In the regularity which could be witnessed in heaven and nature’s movements the concept of divine law had long been accepted by humankind. Interpreting that divine law for human conduct had opened the opportunity for manipulative men to establish themselves as having been called upon by a higher force to guide followers in heaven-approved disciplines. Not surprisingly not all those who claimed for themselves the mantle of heavenly messenger interpreted what they saw in the same way.

Early into the passage of Earth into this Age of Pisces timeframe, around 30 BCE, there flourished a Jewish rabbi and teacher named Hillel (to 09 BCE). Hillel was the first Jewish scholar to systematize the interpretation of scriptural law, becoming a leading authority on law. An interesting fact to be considered is that Hillel was born in Babylonia and migrated to Jerusalem when he was forty years old. Thus he brought with him the more moderate spiritual influence that had fashioned that culture. In that general timeframe the greater part of Palestine (districts of Judaea, Samaria, Galilee, etc.) were administered by Herod and his successors.

In 30 BCE Hillel was elected president of the Sanhedrin, the supreme council of the Jews. It should be noted that Herod had captured Jerusalem earlier in 37 BCE, and upon taking power had forty-five members of the Sanhedrin executed. This severely weakened the hardline influence of the Jewish supreme council. In this calamitus situation Hillel founded the school of Scriptural interpretation which expounded a liberal view of Mosaic Law. There was, however, another school which was ruled over by an eminent doctor of the Jewish law named Shammai who was rigidly insistent upon a harsh, merciless interpretation of the Priest-composed “Mosaic” laws. This, of course, made for complications. Shammai happened to be vice-president of the Sanhedrin (the supreme council) under Hillel. The conflict between the two schools of interpretation of Mosaic Law was to endure for nearly one hundred years after Hillel died. It is certain that any member of the Herod family in Jerusalem and the aristocrats and literati in Rome were also well aware of this conflict of law interpretation within the Jewish faith system. Also, Hillel would have taught at the Temple in Jerusalem in the period just prior to the time in which the character of Jesus would supposedly have been a boy. Thus there are allegations that Hillel had been a great influence upon young Jesus. This seems understandable, for many of the sayings that are attributed to Jesus are startlingly similar to those recorded of Hillel.

The Gospel story of Jesus thus just happens to characterize the anxieties of the timeframe in which the Roman army occupied the Palestine region. Jewish resistance to the language, laws and Roman way of life is understandable, but their spiritual elitism and reliance on hymns and prayer to Yahweh to defeat the battle-hardened Roman soldiers led to the eventual destruction of Jerusalem under Hadrian in 70 CE. Even through many defeats, the Jews continued to believe that they, as God’s “chosen ones,” were spiritually superior to everyone. To explain why the “chosen ones” had not been spared all the indignities of suppression, the great anthem of suffering, as payment for God’s divine love, was hammered into place, which allowed them a sense of false dignity in the face of heavenly indifference.

The Romans, despite their obsession to rule over all people, sought more to absorb differing cultures into a broad “family” rather than destroy all individuality. In fact there were even temples to the gods of other cultures within the heart of Rome. Indeed, the Persian cult of Mithraism was favored by Roman emperors because Mithras was the god of victory and served as a contributory discipline for political ends. The intellects of Rome understood that variety and diversity make for healthy economic and academic circulation. So it is not so surprising that a Jew name Jesus, a name derived from Joshua the alleged Jewish dispenser of holocaustic warfare, became the subject of Roman interest around 55-60 CE, during the reign of Nero, with the appearance of the book entitled Mark. It is alleged that John Mark, a Hellenist, wrote this “Gospel” while visiting in Rome, and it is asserted to have been based on the teachings of Peter. There remains the peculiarity, however, that a text known as Ur Markus, which dealt with ancient occult cosmology, had been in circulation among the Roman literati from at least 34 CE. Whoever set out upon a literary counter-movement to the Jewish writings had to have access to Judaic and prehistory literary examples. Equally important, they also had to have the social standing and financial means to have the works copied and distributed. The construction of Jesus as Christ would evolve from the initial Mark text and continue well into the third century. Unlike his murderous namesake, however, the Gospel Jesus was promoted as the Prince of Peace. What the additions to the Jesus storyline reflects is the sporadic rebelliousness and the spiritual narcissism of the Jews in that timeframe of history.

As noted, Jesus was introduced to the Roman public in the book of Mark around 55-60: a second revised version appeared c.70. In this earliest evangelical work there is nothing which suggests that the author was personally acquainted with Jesus. It is obvious also that the author lacked familiarity with the geography of the region. So why is the book revered as “Gospel”? Because it had been penned with the intention of attracting people (principally the Jews) into a more compassionate form of belief. Unfortunately the successive Roman authors of supportive books laced their texts with beaming idioms that were common in propaganda of their timeframe, which further disguised the ancient astrophysical content that had first inspired the author of Mark.

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When Mediterranean Cultures Discovered Judaism

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, faith, Hebrew scripture, history, prehistory, random, religion, scriptures with tags , , , , , , on September 14, 2013 by chouck017894

After the conquest of the Near East by Alexander the Great, c. 332 BCE, there was a gradual and steady increase of awareness and recognition among the Mediterranean cultures in regard to the Judeans. In this 300 BCE timeframe the Etruscans had submitted to Rome, and the Etruscan influence would contribute significantly to Roman culture in matters of ritual and religion. And it was around 300 BCE, in the Hellenistic period, that foreign observers began to investigate about the laws, traditions and customs of the Jewish people. In this general timeframe the Torah, purportedly giving a continuous narrative of the Creation of the world to the death of Moses, had been canonized (by priest-authors) as God’s official word. Strangely, God never showed up to testify personally, so the priestly verdict was all based on circumstantial necessities for retaining authority.

The Greek skeptic, historian and philosopher Hecataeus of Abdera (4th century BCE) recorded observations of Jewish life in his work Peri Hyperborean. Hecataeus noted with some wonderment the Jewish traditions which in that timeframe lavished their conspiring priests with highest prestige, and he pondered over the tribal laws given in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy which prevailed over Jewish social legislation. Indeed, the Jewish monarchy which had crystallized with King Josiah (died 608? BCE), was the same timeframe in which Deuteronomy had been conveniently discovered—in the walls of the Temple no less. But by this later 300 BCE timeframe, royalty had become completely overshadowed: kingship had given way once again to priestly authority.

Jews, Hecataeus noted, were more fanatically devoted to their God than were most Pagan cultures that he had encountered. That Jewish devotion to an unseen being was more strangling than Pagan spirituality which retained a closer affiliation with Nature in which the Pagan recognized the interlocking energy aspects that were eternally at work. The Pagans respected those creative energy aspects as godlike in their displayed energy attractions. The Jews, on the other hand, long dominated by priest-transmitted commandments, had been conditioned for generations through use of priestly writings from the time of King Josiah and so shared the belief in the God-led “history” as composed by the priests of Yahweh which starred Abram/Abraham as their God-blessed progenitor. According to priestly accounts, God had no interest in regard to the rest of the world.

The priest written “holy” history asserted that from the time of Abram/Abraham a whole string of alleged Israelite ancestors could be claimed by them, all of whom had allegedly spoken directly with God. The history, as presented in Exodus, for example, asserted that God had promised that his “chosen ones” would inherit the land of Canaan–which, inexplicably, was not virgin territory but just happened to have been long inhabited by other people! It was this invented priestly “history” which provided the elements for a shared identity among the Jewish tribespeople in a psychological manner that the mythologies of other cultures could not. Thus conditioned for generations, the Jews shared priest-written law codes attributed to Moses–a whole battery of 613 laws–which, strangely had not been found until the time of young King Josiah (see related post, A Priest’s Convenient Discovery, December 2011). The unity of the Judean people was anchored upon the priest-written holy account and their allusion of their faith’s historic past.

The book of Leviticus was supposedly a testament regarding the Levite people, but that book-heading seemed intentionally deceiving to Hecataeus, for the primary focus remained on claims of priestly authority and offered precious little concerning any actual Levite persons. Foreigners puzzled, therefore, over why Leviticus seemed to have been unceremoniously jammed into the migration narrative between the books of Exodus and Numbers, which interrupted the intriguing story flow with the insertions of ceremonial laws! To foreign investigators such as Hectaeus, it seemed that to be properly explained the priestly code really extended from Genesis through the book of Joshua, which made for a literary whole. Why, then, was Joshua omitted and only the five books, with Leviticus jammed in, promoted as being most holy? Only these five books had been canonized c. 400 BCE (Pentateuch).

Unquestionably, the priests of Yahweh were accomplished story tellers who liberally borrowed inspiration from prehistory astronomy-cosmological lessons which had once taught of Creations’ energies. Those interacting creative energies from the ancient lessons were then personified by the authors as Israelites and presented as having been living historic ancestors. Mesopotamian and Persian religious epics, for example, had offered the same ancient astronomy secrets also, but those creative principles given with those lessons were not presented in a manner which seemed to be directly linked to a certain people’s special history. Neither did the epic sagas of other cultures particularly inspire any principles of moral responsibility or ethics. And the Greek myths of deities and their epics of gods and heroes, as another example, were presented in metaphorical style, which were simply meant to inspire people with a personal sense of purpose, perseverance and strength through larger-than-life examples.

By the second century BCE there had evolved a questioning spirit among the Judean people themselves, which resulted from their association with Syrian and Greek cultures after Syria was conquered by Antiochus III, the Great. Antiochus reigned from 223 to 187 BCE, and he had obtained possession of all of Palestine and Coeli-Syria by 198 BCE. But the excesses of Antiochus’ son, Antiochus IV, eventually triggered what is known as the Maccabean revolt (166 BCE). Antiochus IV had captured Jerusalem and prohibited Judaism; he sought instead to establish the worship of Greek gods. Events would eventually bring Syria (and the Jews) under Roman control (64 BCE). The world was, in this timeframe, at the entrance into the Age of Pisces (c. 60 BCE), which would bring with it the construction of two faith systems that, in their turn, would reinterpret the Jewish formula of faith for their own purpose.

Far East Influence on Christian Development

Posted in Atheist, belief, Christianity, faith, random, religion with tags , , , , , on June 22, 2013 by chouck017894

Throughout the Roman occupation of Palestine c. 40 BCE there were living in that country a number of missionary Buddhist monks. This fact is indisputably evidenced by a number of clay figurines that these monks carried into Palestine dating from this general timeframe. Buddhist monks industriously traveled far and wide in their avid pursuit of converts. Palestine, as a commercial crossroad between nations, was a natural target area in a Buddhist missionary appeal that was aggressively aimed to convert others away from the many competing and indistinguishable faith systems simmering there.

Earth had just entered into the Age of Pisces, and the majority of cultures in this pivotal age were content to quietly tend to their own beliefs, practicing an illuminated tolerance of “live and let live.” Perhaps each small sect or mystery school may have been calmly convinced that the rest of the population was destined for spiritual oblivion, but they did not feel duty-bound to rush out to imposed their teachings upon others, or even offer a prospect of salvation for the price of conformity. The concept of active recruitment, introduced among the western cultures by the Buddhist monks, was viewed as not only strange and aggressive, but as an inexcusably offensive intrusion into other people’s personal affairs.

Pagan understanding was that spiritual attunement is highly personal and was meant to be experienced by each person individually. The reason why Pagans were not encouraged to actively solicit others to join any particular spiritual quest was the belief that the impulse for spiritual enlightenment must originate within the person himself. Such an inner longing for enlightenment was not viewed as a commercial project. The Pagans knew that the first place of one’s spiritual preparation had to germinate from within each being’s heart. Spiritual preparation, they understood, was not something acquired through exterior pressures. To the Pagan, regardless of what small sect or mystery school he or she might ascribe to, it was always accepted that those in any leadership-counselor positions were like elder brethren who, just as the postulants, were sharing in a similar search for divine enlightenment. Attainment of enlightenment was understood to be attained through personal effort, not through watching priestly theatrical performances.

How different from the western world’s rivalling solicitation-faith systems with their hierarchical structuring and constant clamoring for monetary donations and political clout and which, as a result, promote precious little in personal spiritual advancement.

To the Pagans, no bribery in Creation could cancel out or alter a seeker’s personal responsibility of proceeding at one’s own pace and standing totally responsible for self at all times. To attempt otherwise was simply a futile attempt to bury the truth of one’s personal relationship with the universe and their consequential responsibility under the carcass of a fictional scapegoat. Destined also to influence Christian practice (primarily Catholic) was how the Buddhists, from the earliest periods, had utilized relics that were claimed to have produced miracles. The origin of Buddhist relic worship, some scholars have suggested, can be traced back to the story that at his death the bones of Buddha’s limbs had been scattered over the world. This is not too dissimilar to myths surrounding such revered holy ones in other cultures such as the Egyptian god Osiris, the Greek god Zagreus, etc. The prime duty of Buddha’s descendants and followers was professed to be for them to search out and collect the scattered relics and entomb them.

The aggressiveness with which the Buddhist monks had approached the western cultures in Palestine did not go unobserved by the officials and aristocrats of the Roman Empire—especially since that foreign spiritual credo had managed to carry on in the region of Palestine where the Jews were routinely a source of conflicts with Roman authority. Through the course of time reports of contacts with Buddhists would filter into Rome from centers of commercial trade–Antioch, for example–and curiosity of the Far East would lure adventurers to investigate. Apollonius of Tyana, Cappadocia (early first century CE) was one who traveled widely, particularly in India where he was initiated into the doctrines of the Brahmans. This is noted here because Apollonius would translate a story about the Hindu god Krishna, son of the god Indra, which he altered somewhat according to his own philosophy while retaining all the major story components. That literary work became widely discussed among the Roman aristocrats and literati, and elements of the work would influence the author of the book of Mark, the first Gospel to be written.

By the later timeframe, c. 75 CE, within the struggling faith sect that would become Christianity, the Buddhist type activity of recruitment became a requirement even before its basic faith-articles were defined! Thus Christianity was founded upon the aggressive concept of a proselytizing religion–one which seeks out to convert others into their formulated manner of faith. This mania for drawing everyone they could into a religio-club-like atmosphere for practicing prescribed manmade formulas of devotional practices has infected the western world ever since.

It was this commitment to active religious competition as Christianity muscled it way into a position of broad material power which came to influence other cultures to also engage in similar competitive tactics of spiritual pretense. Personal spiritual integrity, so highly prized by the Pagans, became crucified upon practices of prejudice and rivalry. Abandoned and lost was the truth that acive recruitment into a religious affiliation is itself an act of premeditated aggression and is nothing more than a devotional practice of intolerance.

[This post was abridged from Time Frames and Taboo Data, pages 153-155 and 184. All posts are under copyright.]

Haggling Over What To Believe

Posted in Atheist, belief, Christianity, faith, history, random, religion with tags , , , on January 21, 2013 by chouck017894

Very few persons who faithfully toddle to church in search of spiritual guidance in some man-formulated faith system ever bother themselves to ponder how God revealed the particulars that were to serve as their faith system’s beliefs, values and ceremonial activities. The fact that organized faith systems are structured as authoritarian conglomerates is typified in the manner by which their creeds, tenets and doctrines came to be standardized as “holy guidance.” The means by which the “fathers” received divine direction from the Omnipotent Being may seem a bit illogical, but hey, God moves in mysterious ways. Mostly the process of gaining godly instruction on things like tenets, doctrine and the theatrical regimentation promoted as being preferred by God came when representatives of the faith system met to haggle over such things.

Christianity, for example, came into formation in Rome (not in the “Holy Land”) and the principles of empire-building served as the example for authoritarian management when the Jesus cult began to attract a broad array of seekers (c. 75 CE). There was no such word as “church” in that early timeframe (despite the claims that Peter established a “church” in Rome): there were ecclesiae (from Greek, meaning a duly summoned assembly but nothing that could be considered a specific center of organization. That developed spasmodically and arose due to the various forms of interpretation which various satellite groups accepted concerning the early cult writings Mark and Matthew). Serious attempts at establishing an authorized interpretation began in the general timeframe 84-96 when the NT book Acts of the Apostles was written. With the character of Paul introduced into the spiritual scuffle the original focus on the Jesus cult was skillfully shifted away from spiritual teaching attributed to the Jew Jesus on how to lead a moral life and shifted to more mundane issues such as establishing an organizational structure as a faith system. And new writings would continue to appear up through 135. The NT book Hebrews was actually the last NT book written (c. 137), not Revelation.

There were numerous “councils” throughout the early couple of centuries in attempts to standardize the set of views for Christian faith followers, but a conformist or orthodox set of rules of belief continued to evade the headstrong fathers. It should be noted in association with this, the cross still was not the popular symbol of what would become the Christain faith. Among the early members of the movement the prominent symbol was of two arced lines resembling a fish, which was accepted as being appropriate for the new Age Of Pisces (calculated to have begun c. 60 BCE). This and many other early perceptions would get put aside over time, primarily in the early part of the fourth century with the first of seven scrappy councils concerning what was to be believed. The doctrine and tenets that are subscribed to today as Christianity were debated and argued over, and whatever the majority of “fathers” grudgingly came to agree upon has influenced every branch of Christianity that split off from the initial movement.

The First Council of Nicea was held in 325, which sought to bridge the argument over Christ’s divinity. A Greek ecclesiastic and theologian, Arius (died 336), taught that if Jesus was the son of God, then there had to be a time when Jesus did not exist. This view spread rapidly through Christian communities and had been condemned by a council of 100 Egyptian and Libyan bishops in 321. An opponent, Athanasius of Alexandria (293?-373), on the other hand, taught that the godhead was composed of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. These conflicting interpretations prompted the call for the Council of Nicea in 325, which determined that Athanasius’ assessment—that Father, Son and Holy Spirit—were fully equal, and so was to be considered the correct precept. Athanasius thereafter became bishop of Alexandria about 326, and of course is regarded as a “saint” in Catholic lore.

The next council to decide what is now expected to be believed as holy truth took place in 381, and is known as the First Council of Constantinople. Debates over the Trinity aspect of the godhead still disturbed the Christian world, with many groups still denying the full divinity of “Holy Spirit.” This called for clarification, and the outcome of this rowdy council was a more expanded version of the stance that had been taken at Nicea. This makes for some confusion, for what is spoken of as the Nicene Creed is in reality the form that was hammered out at Constantinople.

With the Trinity version then thought to be set in theological concrete, the next major debate arose over what may be termed Christology—or the relationship between Jesus’ divine natures and his human manifestation. This debate necessitated the third major council, the Council of Ephesus in 431. The variant teachings of Nestorius, the Patriarch of Constantinople (428-431), concerning the nature of Jesus rocked the orthodox Catholic doctrine. Nestorius taught that the divine and the human nature of Jesus acted as one, but these natures were not joined to compose a unity of a single individual. This meant that the Virgin Mary could not and should not be presented as the “mother of God,” reasoning that if Jesus was born of a mortal woman then Jesus’ divine nature (Christhood) could only be derived from the Father. The Council, under the leadership of Bishop Cyril of Alexandria, who taught that the divine and human natures were fully united, condemned Nestorius’ precept as “heresy.” Cyril’s interpretation of heavenly things triumphed, and Nestorius’ followers were then heavily persecuted, and forced to seek refuge in Persia, India, China and Mongolia. Bishop Cyril had long been fanatical in his spiritual interpretations, as revealed in 415 when, as bishop or Alexandria, he had acted as ringleader behind the murder of the popular Greek philosopher, the beautiful and wise woman named Hypatia. Despite this fault the church awarded Cyril the title of “saint.”

The fourth recognized council, the Council of Chalcedon, was called in 451; its primary purpose was to reverse the views of a previous council, the Second Council of Ephesus which became snubbed by the church as having been a “gangster synod.” That unrecognized council, which had been led by Dioscuros of Alexandria, had also revolved around the nature of Christ. After bad-tempered debates the Council of Chalcedon managed to weld a theological concept of Christ’s nature into a prescribed belief that Christ’s nature was to be considered both fully divine and fully human. That just happened to be the view in this timeframe preferred by Pope Leo I.

The fifth major council is considered to be the Second Council of Constantinople, which was called in 553. Christology was still a thorn in the faith’s posterior, making it difficult for orthodoxy to sit comfortably upon the seat of “revealed” wisdom. Called to session by Byzantine Emperor Justinian, the emperor promoted a Monophysite tenet (doctrine held by Coptic and Syrian Christians) in condemning the Nestorians. This council condemned the Nestorian writings, but this, unfortunately, only created a new schism in the Western Church.

Faith rattled along with continuing skirmishes for another 127 years, and then in 680 the Christological war flared up again. Central to the debates was still the issue of Christ’s natures. To pacify seekers in search of what was proper to believe, the weary Byzantine emperors attempted to soothe things with the philosophy that regardless of Christ’s natures they could at least still agree that the savior had a single will. Predictably that attempt at compromise did not fly very well and was held by many to skate along the brink of heresy. The Third Council of Constantinople in 680 thus wound up proclaiming that the official belief was therefore to be that Christ possessed not only two natures but also two wills.

The seventh ecumenical council concerning what was to be considered the orthodox guiding principles of Christian faith is known as the Second Council of Nicea in 787. In this timeframe (720-787) the dispute tearing at the fabric of Christian faith (then known as Catholic) concerned the use of icons and images in sacred places. This gathering of 375 bishops, the majority of whom were Byzantine, was convened by Empress Irene of the eastern Roman Empire. Despite fervent objections from iconoclasts, the Byzantine-dominated council validated the veneration of images and approved their restoration in churches throughout the Roman Empire. The little catch allowing for these graven images was that such depictions were to be venerated, and worship was to be directed solely to God.

There have been, of course, many more councils called since these, but these seven early council debates established the basic belief strategy that even today continues to color all the varieties of Christian faith systems.

Surge of Spirit c. 1000 BCE

Posted in Astronomy, Atheist, belief, Bible, faith, history, prehistory, random, religion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 5, 2009 by chouck017894

The first millennium BCE, mainly the first half, was an oddly productive period in which there was being produced across the world insightful expressions and explanations of spiritual nature in the affairs of man.  Little acknowledged in history, religion, or the science of astronomy, this particular period of time was overshadowed by the planet Mars.  The skies were troubled in those days, and during times of conjuctions the atmosphere of Mars stretched into a shape that appeared like a sword.  The ancients tended to classify comets according to their appearance, and in their ancient astrological texts the comets that were said to take the shape of a sword were acknowledged as related to the planet Mars.  This celestial turmoil undoubtedly played a part in the worldwide longing for a modicum of understanding.

In this era  the Vedas and Upanishads, ancient sacred literature of India, were among the earliest texts on spiritual linking with our cosmic environment, dating back perhaps even earlier than 1200 BCE.  And there was already in existence in Egypt in this general time a book known as The Wisdom of Amenhotep, mentioned here for its influence on texts that would be written later in Jerusalem.  Zoroastrianism was forming in Persia; Buddhism and Taoism began unfolding in the east; and the classical age of Greece was beginning to set its mark on history.  This flurry of philosophical and theological conjectures, emerging in the later part of the Age of Aries (c.2208-60 BCE), all of which labored with notorious inconsistencies, set down the foundation upon which would arise the burgeoning faith systems that were to dominate our Age of Pisces (c.60 BCE-2100CE).

There is a bounty of evidence that planet Earth experienced considerable buffeting through many centuries from interaction caused by the passage of a large object into the solar system.  The threat in the heavens would continue up to the seventh century BCE, and served as the basis for the “prophets” in that period who prophesied from study of the skies (astronomy).  This is disguised in O.T. accounts in which Isaiah, Hosea, Ezra and Ezekiel are featured.

In Greece c. 1000 BCE, the classic Olympian gods (Zeus, et al) were attaining dominance.  Ionians were driven from their homeland in Greece and founded twelve cities on the west coast of Asia Minor.  In Egypt the 20th dynasty was in decline, about the time of Rameses XI: civil war and leprosy raged in Egypt.  Leprosy was also rampant in India.  In India, Brahmanism and Atmanism developed.  We should note that the Indian lunar-year calendar of 360 days was adjusted in this general time to coincide with the solar year.  In China the height of the sun was measured in relation to the incline of Earth’s polar axis; events in the heavens made it urgent to keep track of Earth’s motion and relationship with neighboring planets.

This time frame, c. 1000 BCE, marks the beginning  of the true Iron Age in Palestine and Syria.  In the north mass migrations of Germanic peoples were taking place.  The Assyrian empire was fortifying against migrating people from the north, and moved to capture Babylon.  In Nineveh, capital of ancient Assyria, the Ishtar temple (to Venus) and the royal palace was being rebuilt after planet-wide earthquakes.  A winged celestial object—commonly and erroneously interpreted as the sun—was revered in most eastern Mediterranean cultures.

In Mesoamerica the Olmecs were actively at work on Teotihuacan, and had developed hieroglyphs, a calendar, and a system of religious and societal leadership that would endure through all succeeding Mesoamerican cultures.

And in the Near-East, c. 1000 BCE, writings were being collected by migrant Hebrews that would eventually be edited in Jerusalem c. 850 BCE—in which there would be included almost verbatim portions of the aforementioned Egyptian book The Wisdom of Amenhotep.  The plagiarized portions are known to us as Proverbs 22:17 through 23:11, and are attributed to Solomon by the priest-authors.  In this  time frame, c. 1000 BCE, spiritual texts (composed and edited c. 850 BCE) assert that the principal characters of Jewish faith—the alleged “historical” characters Saul, David and Solomon—had founded the kingdom of Israel.  These scriptural characters would become firmly installed as testimony of a Hebrew cult’s alleged especial link with god.  Unfortunately, archaeological research does not support such persons or events.  But the Age of Judges is said to have followed, and the earliest Hebrew sky-watching “prophets” would come upon the scene c. 900 BCE.

The Old Rugged Cross

Posted in Bible, Christianity, culture, history, religion with tags , , , , on June 27, 2009 by chouck017894

Long, long before the Christian movement began, the symbol of the cross was used across the world for more life-affirming beliefs than as used today with a tortured dead male body hanging upon it.  In fact the cross symbol was appropriated from Pagan mythology by the Christian movement around 250-300 CE to replace the cult’s original symbol that had consisted of two arced lines suggestive of a fish form–for planet Earth had then only recently (c.60 BCE) entered the Age of Pisces.

Babylonian, Egyptian and other Near East cultures had long used the cross symbol as a sacred emblem, not necessarily as an object of worship but as emblematic of the power that gives forth with life.  For this reason the cross was referred to as the “tree of life,” and it was not uncommon to show the cross with leaves and blossoms, sometimes even fruit, springing from it.   In ancient Rome, even the Vestal Virgins wore crosses suspended from their necklaces.  The ancient city of Nicaea of Bithynia, in Asia Minor, built in 316 BCE was laid out in the form of the cross.

To quote from Time Frames and Taboo Data (TF&TD, page 191), “The cross was a focal  point in Babylonian mysteries long centuries before it was made the central symbol for Christianity.  Worship of or before the cross–the mystic Tau–was simply because the T-form stood as representative of the god Tammuz (personification of nature) resurrected every spring.  Those initiated into the mysteries were marked upon the forehead with water with the sign of the mystic Tau, a cross, as a mark of new life.   The T symbol had always implied the salvation of life, being as it was one of the symbols for the male organ of generation.”  In other words, the T-cross represented for them the means of creation and renewal of life and the ecstasy of that divine release. 

The use of the cross in connection to the Christian movement apparently arose out of Egypt and regions of Africa where the familiar Pagan symbol, the ankh or Crux Ansata, was eagerly embraced.  In the early third century CE, Tertullian (c. 160-c250 CE), the Latin ecclesiastical writer regarded as one of the greatest of  the Latin Church “fathers,” complained bitterly that the Church of Carthage was infected with the Pagan symbol–meaning the Crux Ansata–the sign of life.  Again from TF&TD, “Thus the cross emblem used first by Christian cult members in Egypt had absolutely nothing to do with the crucifixion of the cult’s central figure.  The symbol gradually became shorn of  its loop ‘handle’ to become the simple Tau cross and was  first  employed on the sepulchers of Christian cult members.  This is a revealing clue: the symbol professed belief in life–the sustenance of life–and not as the gross reminder of a savior’s torture and death.

On the other side of the world the Aztecs, who never heard of Jesus Christ, would address the Cosmic Principle–the life affirming principle–from some high point by standing erect with arms outstretched as a living  model of the mystical T symbol. 

It was around the years 250-300 that the “fathers” of the Christian church chose to identify more with the harsher interpretation drawn from the gospel story of Jesus’ crucifixion, which provided a rich launching base for judgment-passing and apocalyptic threats.  Thus the early peace-suggestive fish emblem was discarded in favor of the symbol of Roman instruments of  torture and death which, they rationalized, more compellingly symbolized the doctrines of sacrifice.  And as an added plus, the cross symbol also inflicted upon the followers a subliminal sense of trepidation and unworthiness.

Christian: Fish or Cross

Posted in Astronomy, Atheist, freethought, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on March 6, 2009 by chouck017894

When the movement that was to grow into Christianity was being initiated out of Rome (not the Palestine area), the Earth had only recently (c.60 BCE) entered the Age of Pisces. An “Age” is the period of time during which the Sun rises and traverses across a dominant constellation at the vernal equinox, a period of time that lasts some 2160 years. This slow shifting viewpoint of Earth’s relationship with the cosmos is known as Precession of Equinoxes.

 
Earth had just exited from the Age of Aries (c.2220 BCE to c.60 BCE), during which the ram and lamb had played prominent roles in various religious movements of the world. Prior to that, in the Age of Taurus (c.4380 BCE to c.2220 BCE), the bull (and cow) had been focus of much of the world’s religious attention.

 
In the early years of the Christian movement the symbol used by the cult as an indicator to other followers was of two arched lines that suggested the form of a fish. The arched symbol would be the standard for the struggling society well into the third century CE. (How, where and why this early cult symbol was replaced by the cross is given in detail in Time Frames and Taboo Data.) The cross as emblematic of Jesus’ death, allegedly for world salvation, was not regarded to be symbolic of the instructive teachings of the master that were held central to the earlier emerging society.

 

Proof of the importance given to the fish symbol was uncovered not long ago at Megiddo Prison, Israel, where the remains of an early church were discovered under rubble being removed from a planned site of a new prison ward. There was much awe and excitement at finding two mosaics, one of which had as its central focus a depiction of two fishes, each facing opposite directions–acknowledgement of spiritual movement into the new Age of Pisces.

 

Considerable hype was given to the ancient Christian symbol of the Fish in the mosaic as predating the stark cross, and that the Greek writing used in inscriptions revealed that the money for the church and the mosaic were donated by a Roman officer and a woman named Aketous. The depiction of the two fish forms indicate that the church was active up until the fourth century–or just before Constantine, who recognized the political clout of the fanatical converts to Christianity, legalized Christian observances across the Byzantine Empire.

 

After the fourth century CE, altars also began to be used in Chrisian churches for priestly theatrics, and focus was deliberately altered from the fish symbol to the cross to emphasize the claimed physical sacrifice given for the believers. With Jesus’ death thus installed as the central theme of the movement, ritual and circumstance were made to overshadow all the early attention that believers had given to the teachings that had once offered a means of experiencing inner peace.