Archive for early Yahweh cult

Construction of Monotheistic Belief

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, faith, Hebrew scripture, random, religion, scriptures with tags , , , , on June 15, 2013 by chouck017894

In assessing the background giving rise to one-god-only faith systems it is necessary to consider the Yahweh culture in the small settlement of Jerusalem circa the eighth century BCE. Whereas all Pagan cultures affirmed that all things were made manifest out of a single Source, the gods that they recognized were but personifications of various creative energies which they could observe in the panorama of life around them. Thus the ocean, for example, could be addressed as a god, for its might and power was received and reflected from the Source and therefore it could more directly transmit personal appeals through its interaction with the Source. Any energy-as-matter phenomenon was also theorized to hold this capability, which accounted for a pantheon of gods endowed with various degrees of power. The Pagan’s closeness with nature and the observable universe provided a sense of intimacy with the creative power which is lacking in monotheism.

In the timeframe of the struggling Yahweh cult in the hill country of Canaan, the small region which became Judah was being encroached by powerful forces (Assyria). The wily priests of Yahweh in the little village of Jerusalem had long yearned for broader control over regional happenings, and what they contrived was a psychological management system by which the people could be manipulated by claiming that the ultimate creative power could be approached directly through a system which the priests alone could provide. If the priests could convince the people that the priests possessed a system of exclusive access to the Creative Source, the people would stand defiant against any threatening forces of man.

As noted in Time Frames and Taboo Data (pages 108-110): Jerusalem burst forth in sudden expansion c. 720-717 BCE. The little kingdom of Israel to the north had fallen to the Assyrians two years earlier (722 BCE), and the Assyrian provinces and Assyrian vassals surrounded Judah. Under the steady influx of refugees the village of Jerusalem (the so-called city of David) that had covered no more than ten to twelve acres rapidly mushroomed out of its narrow ridge-site to engulf the entire western hill, growing to one hundred and fifty acres of closely packed residences, workshops, businesses and public buildings.

Jerusalem was not yet regarded as a “holy city”–except perhaps by the priests of Yahweh. There was, in fact, a widespread diversity of worship practiced throughout Judah, and there was a widespread mixing of other gods with that of YHWH inside the Jerusalem Temple complex itself. Archaeology has proven that the claimed golden age of tribal and Davidic fidelity to Yahweh was not a historic reality. Cults of various gods and goddesses were prevalent throughout Judah, with “high places” (referring to hilltops, roofs, etc.) being the popular sites for acts of devotion, which included burning of incense to the sun, moon and the planets (especially to Venus, “Queen of Heaven,” Jeremiah 7:18 and 44:15-25). Furthermore, inscriptions from one archaeological site (Kuntillete Ajrud) in northern Sinai indicate that the goddess Asherah was regarded as the consort of YHWH. The priests in Jerusalem, of course, regarded this as blasphemy.

Despite the biblical accounts (written by priests in Jerusalem), Israel and Judah had never been equally powerful sister kingdoms: the implied early united monarchy claimed as being comparable with Israel was nothing more than priestly falsification. As the kingdom of Israel had battled with Assyria, the priests in Jerusalem were well aware that priests in the northern kingdom had composed a “holy” account of beginnings, and so the Yahweh priests busied themselves in writing a similar account which, of course, featured the Creator as Yahweh. The perspective of the two accounts were quite similar, and as Judah rose in power after the fall of Israel and the temple in Jerusalem became the focus of religious attention, the influx of refugees from the north brought a need to blend the two versions of Creation into one text. The result was somewhat uneven. Thus chapter one and chapter two of Genesis as we now receive it seem to present somewhat different versions in the Creation sequence and in the presentation of Adam and Eve. This is marked enough that biblical scholars speak of the version written by priests in Judah as “J”, which called their god Yahweh: the version incorporated from Israel sources is known as “E”, whose authors referred to the Creator as Elohim.

In the “J” version the priest-authors seemed to be uncertain over whether or not Yahweh was the sole Creator of heaven and earth and man. Vacillating between the “J” and “E” accounts of Creation, the “J” version’s singular God thus suddenly and unexpectedly says,”Let us” create man in our image” (Genesis 1:26). In the second chapter, however, it is declared that God (again singular) carefully formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life… (Genesis 2:7). This cunning verse about man being fashioned from dust effectively blocked any idea that man might share some divine attributes of the Creator as Pagan versions seemed always to accept. This “dust” assertion intentionally invalidated all earlier Pagan versions of Creation which routinely presented primal energy conditions (presented as the Almighty) as essentially active within any and all defined matter forms.

The priest-authors of the “J” version of Creation then purposely sought to bind Creation activity into ordinary time and in this manner fashioned a pseudo-“history” of their “chosen” status. The priests of Yahweh thus brought God (personification of the almighty Creative Principle) down to Earth. In this dimension of energy-as-matter, the Creator-God then allegedly interacted directly with man and participated with his “chosen people’s” national events instead of presiding over universal management from within sacred time–i.e. the pre-creation conditions. For this reason the progression of life development as narrated in Genesis speeds along rapidly until Genesis 12 where Abram is introduced and from whom the “history” of Israel allegedly descended. When the archetype of life form, which is referred to as Abram, takes up mortal life (rather than remaining an energy-archetype), God renamed him Abraham and allegedly told him that he had a special destiny and his descendants would one day possess the land of Canaan. Monotheism, which the Yahweh priests thus introduced, and the alleged promotion of Abraham’s descendants into some “special destiny”, would expand to become permanently etched upon western man’s conscience and set the stage for constant religious conflicts over which one of today’s three interrelated faith systems supposedly holds God’s especial favor.

Monotheism and Disguised Polytheism

Posted in Atheist, Bible, faith, Hebrew scripture, history, religion with tags , , , on April 17, 2012 by chouck017894

Monotheism, belief in a one-god creator, it could be argued, is not exactly the natural approach to understanding our individual relationship to the creative Source.  Such a belief system tends to ignore the fact that all things that make up Creation are directly interrelated, and by ignoring that fact naive seekers may thereby be inspired through crafty manipulation of their egos to become bigoted with a false claim of exclusivity.

The basic layout of the four parts of what would become Jewish scriptures has been confirmed as having been significantly blocked out from the late 8th century BCE.  Assyria destroyed the little kingdom of Israel to the north (722 BCE), and the threat of a similar fate was in the minds of the people of Judah.  Archeology has shown that regardless of biblical accounts, Israel and Judah were never sister kingdoms.  Jerusalem in this timeframe was a tiny village, but the cult-priests of Yahweh were located there and they were obsessed with making their temple the religious center of all the surrounding territory.  Polytheism, the belief that there were numerous gods, was common among the Hebrew people, but the priests in Jerusalem were determined to convert all tribespeople to Yahweh.  With the fall of the kingdom of Israel, Jerusalem burst forth in sudden expansion c. 720-718 BCE, and the village that had covered no more than ten or twelve acres rapidly mushroomed out of its narrow hill site to engulf the entire western hill, growing to 150 acres.  It was the “holy city” of Yahweh, but the new population was resistant to belief in a single god.

It was not until after the Captivity (537 BCE) that the priests of Yahweh managed to fully impose their concept of one god upon the disoriented returnees to Jerusalem.  The monotheistic concept issued out of a fanaticism of the Yahweh priesthood which sought social and political authority, not a desire to teach spiritual integrity.  The priesthoods’ fraudulent propaganda was that Israel’s suffering had always come about as punishment for the people turning their devotion to other gods. And with their fanatic contempt of neighboring people the monotheistic “faith” that the Yahweh priests offered actually sank morally lower than the polytheists who could recognize the interrelationship of all gods and all life.  And that unyielding attitude of the Yahweh priests was welded into Jewish credo, which insured a destiny of senseless conflicts for them with the many other cultures they met through subsequent centuries.

The early Jewish priests, like all typical cult administrators, never treated the people outside their control as worthy of any respect.  In that manner, the Jewish faith retained its tribalism and localism, and it was shored up even further with ego delusions of special status with the creator-god.  In other words, stimulation of ego was equated with spiritual quality—a perversion of spiritual understanding, which unfortunately now also stains Christianity and Islam.  Such spiritual haughtiness was seldom an indulgent sin of Pagan conduct.  And that self-serving spiritual understanding taught by the priests of Yahweh did nothing to improve the status of the feminine sex within that faith system.

Polytheism sees the creative source-power, which monotheism personifies as God, as a presence within everything, and not something that is given to a select few as special darlings of the Creator.  By its very nature polytheism thus encouraged religious tolerance, and respected the creative power’s law of diversity.  That refusal of the monotheist theory to respect the spiritual equality within all things amounts to spiritual greed, a serious indulgence in blasphemy.

The disguise of polytheism’s “lesser” gods is first seen in Genesis (16:18), the book of beginnings, when Abram’s concubine, Hagar, is fleeing the wrath of Abram’s wife Sari.  Hagar, alone and frightened and carrying Abram’s infant son Ishmael, is visited by an “angel” at a fountain of water in the wilderness.  (No one in this story has yet had their names changed, which indicates to those who know the code that this is story is set within the pre-physical planes of energy formation, so the prototypes are not yet defined [named] as matter.)  In that meeting the account is intentionally made indistinct with the lesser “angel” seemingly absorbed by the higher creative deity to convey the illusion that “angels” are simply an expression of god.  Clearly this is myth, not history, and it skirts very close to admitting that the higher creative presence is within all things.

Then in Genesis 19:18, Abram’s nephew, Lot, who lived in Sodom (primal energy plane), is said to have been visited by two angels, but strangely, the two are addressed singularly by Lot as “My Lord.”  This method of disguising the lesser gods of polytheism as “angels” was a convenient business tactic for installing a hierarchical priest-style faith system, and that tactic was carried over into Christianity and Islam.

In Judaism’s early traditions, the heavens were perceived as being administered by divine attendants or assistants of god.  By the time Deuteronomy (32:8) was written, angels were portrayed as god’s vice-regents and administrators in a hierarchical bureaucracy over the world.  How is this so different from polytheism where a variety of gods administered to different aspects of everyday life?  The primary difference, as the priests fashioned it, rested in personifying the creative Source as a prejudicial being who allegedly chose adherents of the priest-invented faith system to Yahweh above all else in Creation.

Angels as messengers of god were not so different from the Greek god Hermes who was characterized as the messenger and herald of the Olympian gods.  Angel Gabriel is thought of as an intermediary, an agent between persons or things, so he is in the same general category as messenger.  The warrior angel Michael, as another example, is not that far removed from the Roman god Mars.  The angelic hierarchy became increasingly explicit (as in Daniel 10:13; Ephesians 6:12; Jude 9; and 1 Peter 3:22), and archangels then came into the imagined heavenly lineup.

The minor gods of the polytheists were transformed by the holy word authors into the role of angels for monotheistic use, and that usage increased in later stages of Hebrew scriptures.   And that convenient tactic is found throughout the New Testament.  In the NT, however, angels more often deliver messages to humans (as in Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:11, 26:2-9;  Acts 8:26, 10:3).  When the angels appear to humans, they were generally described as descending from heaven as minor gods might do (as in Matthew 28:2; and John 1:51).  The next step was the suggestion that each person has his or her own protecting angel (as in Matthew 18:10; and Acts 12:15).

The history of monotheism as practiced by those pioneering priests of Yahweh does not support the claim that it made for a higher, more principled life.  The priests were fixated upon ceremonial laws, a maze of taboos, performances of animal sacrifice, and political maneuvering, none of which taught any moralizing or ethical concept of life, let alone teach any spiritual enlightenment.  Thus was lost the understanding that every “created” thing has its origin in the Source, which means that all things are interrelated and equal within that power.