Archive for baptism

Tangled Threads of Belief

Posted in Atheist, belief, culture, faith, Hebrew scripture, prehistory, random, religion, scriptures, theology with tags , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2014 by chouck017894

The average person’s familiarity with scriptural texts (of any 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 must first be anointed (consecrated) by some heavenly certified person and thus made ready to take up the obligations 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 life 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 OT 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 purpose for an individual, 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. The oil 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 book of Amos (6:6). In the Gospel texts of Mark, Matthew and John, each gives a different version of where, when and by whom the anointing occurred. All agree on one odd thing, however; that it was a woman who anointed Jesus. That is because in those pre-history Creation-cosmology lessons upon which the stories were modeled feminine qualities symbolized energy-substane out of which visible matter 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 supposedly healed by Jesus, and twice in John, chapters 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 Eliazar (Eliezer), which is said to mean “God has helped.” Strangely it is only in John that the re-invigoration 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 books 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 is 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 named 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 be honored in the even older Sumerian culture and was known as the “first among the gods”, a reference to the quantum Source. The Egyptian version also exposes where the Hebrew word beth, meaning “house,” originated (as in Bethany and Bethlehem.

Once again the Genesis plotline is followed in the Luke tale, and the Genesis account leaned heavily on the pre-history Creation lessons which were once illustrated with groups of stars (constellations). That connection to pre-history Creation lessons is guardedly apparent 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 avers that Lazarus had “…lain in the grave for four days already.” Only in understanding the ancient lessons concerning pre-physical energies which involve as Creation do these story elements hold any rationality. In ancient cultures the first four phases of primal energy involvement which pass over to congeal as matter were often likened to a grave or tomb: the reason for that metaphor being that the primordial energy conditions hold only the potential for purposeful existence which must be raised into life by the Life Principle. (This is a fact of Creation that anti-abortionists should understand.) The “four days” (as in the “days” timeframe of Creation) of Lazarus’ alleged entombment are therefore in reference to the four earliest periods–or pre-physical stages–of primal energy involvement. The mid-range of energy involvement between prototype and first visible energy-form was known in those ancient teachings as Devolution.

Verse 16 of John 11 then affirms this meaning, saying, “Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.” This bizarre suggestion has long puzzled many Gospel scholars. Didymus, the which not the who of the quoted verse, refers to the constellation Gemini with which was once taught the ancient lessons of Creation energies which are to involve as prototypes of a matter form. It was these involving energies which were equated in those ancient lessons to mental matter, as taught and illustrated with constellation Gemini. In zodiac depictions Gemini is said to govern–to direct through mental energy–the shoulders, arms and hands; Thomas, remember, had to see the two scarred hands of the resurrected Jesus to be sure the transformed man was truly Jesus.

Figuratively, the prototypal forms within the elementary energy planes must 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 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 the void (quantum energy source) out of which Creation takes place was commonly allegorized as a cave. The stone said to be laid upon the cave symbolized the taking on of dense matter form, which is to say, this energy plane where each of us is conscious of self as biological life.

Thus it is that faith systems have been woven from threads of very ancient teachings which once offered genuine scientific understanding of universal principles. Unfortunately those threads tended to be unraveled and recast into contorted assertions. For example, an interesting side-bar to the alleged Lazarus incident is something of a stretch: a tradition in the Roman Catholic Church has it that the resurrected Lazarus later became the first bishop of Marseille. And such is holy truth.

Summer Solstice and Religious Myths

Posted in agnoticism, Astronomy, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, Christianity, culture, humanity, life, prehistory, random, religion, science, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2010 by chouck017894

At noon each year on or about June 21-22 the Sun reaches its highest position in the sky in the Northern Hemisphere, and this recurring event is known as the Summer Solstice.  When this occurrence takes place the Sun is in its zenith at the Tropic of Cancer, and from the most ancient times the constellation of Cancer has always been known as “The Northern Gate,” or as “The Gate of Men.”

For three days during the solstice period there seems to be no movement of the Sun in relation to Earth, and then the minutes of daylight slowly begin to shorten—an initial decrease of light.  It is not coincidence that one of the two Johns in Christian legends is honored at this time.  Thus in Christian gospel John the Baptist is portrayed as having said, “He must increase and I must decrease.”  We should remember here that the other John, “Saint John”, is feasted on December 27th, right after the winter solstice, and represents the cycle of increasing light in the Northern Hemisphere.  It was an open secret among the Pagans that the name John when used in gospel accounts always personified some aspect of  light.  Indeed the Pagans through the Dark Ages guardedly spoke of the year as being divided between the two Johns rather than openly acknowledge the periodic occurrence of the solstices.  The reason for this was that the church considered such wisdom of nature to be “blasphemous” and would retaliated with brutal severity.

John, as the baptizer, is subtly associated with water which is the traditional symbol of life’s flow in nearly all cultures.  In prehistory times and prominent in Pagan background, the understanding of baptize was to be dipped under the waters of the world: meaning a commitment by each self-aware consciousness to take up its experience in physical-matter life.  By the gospel account of John baptizing Jesus it is obvious that baptismal rites were very ancient and had long been practiced in Pagan tradition.  From deliberate misinterpretation of the Pagan understanding that each self emerges out of the creative process as honored with the Pagan rite of baptism there arose the Christian practice where the recipient is alleged to be cleansed of original sin, given a name, and admitted into a specific system of belief.

As constellation Cancer assumes it periodic dominance in the skies, there always arises with it the constellation of considerable length known as Hydra, which Pagan cultures regarded as symbolizing desire and greed that accompanies life forms.  Baptismal rites in Pagan cultures therefore sought to cleanse, or at least dilute, these negative traits from contaminating one’s matter-borne spirit.  The gods of ancient Egypt, Greece, India, etc. were all portrayed as being baptized: indeed, John’s role as baptizer is a reflection of Egyptian myth in which the god Anap was the baptizer of the gods.  In all the Pagan myths the baptismal episode was always ornamented with supernatural phenomena.  So it is recorded in Luke 3:21 that “…Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, (22) And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.”  The same type of ornamentation is even found in the account of the call to duty of Mohammed in which it is declared, “Celestial regions were shaken by the tumult in the prophet’s soul.”  Then it is claimed that stars fell from heaven and frightened jinn fled in terror.  After this the angel Gabriel allegedly brought Allah’s direct command to Mohammed.

John the Baptist is honored during the dominance of the sign of Cancer.  He is presented in gospel as being somewhat older than Jesus, and the honor of John taking place in June thus established that he would be six months older.  The story incident of John leaping in Elisabeth’s womb when she and pregnant Mary met in quiet jubilation is an allusion to the time of the Autumnal Equinox, the halfway or adjustment period which heralds the Winter Solstice. 

John is said to have preached “in the wilderness” (Matthew 3:1), and in sacred language code “wilderness” always refers to pre-physical conditions that are active in the early involvement of Creation energies.  Also, John is portrayed as a “wild man” who was not especially capable of much love or patience for the primal conditions around him.  Because John the Baptist personifies first light emanation that accompanies creation, Jesus is depicted as saying that no one born of woman is higher than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11).

The NT account of Jesus’ baptism by John is a most picturesque and dramatic presentation of transformation, and it is identical in meaning as OT stories where transformation of character is portrayed: i.e. Abram becoming Abraham, and Jacob becoming Israel.  The hidden meaning in these tales is the physical life that is taken up and made manifest is where qualification of primal energies embodied in each matter-form are to be utilized for advanced manifestation.

And the reason for the alleged beheading of John is identical in meaning as the “first-born” being slain in the myths of Exodus. Sacred language is used in both story renditions to disguise a scientific principle active in the Creation process.  That principle involves the heaviest elements in the atomic table. The heaviest elements are the first to be affected with dissolution and radiation.  It is the process of disintegration and radiation that creative elements are made free to create biologic forms, and atomic energy is converted into biotic energy.  Thus is all matter-life baptized in the waters of Creation.