Archive for God’s alleged demand for sacrifice

Sacred Hints on Sin-Dodging

Posted in Atheist, belief, Christianity, faith, Hebrew scripture, history, life, random, religion, scriptures, theology with tags , , , , , , , on December 19, 2013 by chouck017894

Sin, the alleged estrangement from God due to transgressing what is claimed to be God’s “known will,” is the age-old whip of faith system chieftains. The superstition that offending some god, directly or inadvertently, brings about disastrous consequences seemed plausible in the hostile conditions of primal forests or in the depths of gloomy caves. That trait, born of fear of the unknown, is cast into the DNA of animate life as a self-preserving attribute. That natural preservation trait, unfortunately, can be mined like a vein of gold by crafty schemers for their means of control.

By chapter three of Genesis, after the compressed account of Creation is dispensed with, the plot jumps rapidly into the introduction of sin with Eve nibbling fruit from the do-not-touch Tree of Knowledge. For this alleged sinful incident not only was Eve, Adam and the serpent given a death sentence, but all life forms were condemned to experience God’s endless indulgence in vengeance! Sin is then installed as a vicious circle in Genesis 4:7 with God allegedly saying to Adam and Eve’s son, Cain, “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” Cain, not understanding the concept of “sin,”–perhaps because mom Eve had already tainted all life with “original sin”–by the very next verse (8) he kills his brother Abel. Now that is divine speed-plotting. But God’s earlier condemning judgment upon sin is then shown to be amendable in his setting a protective mark upon Cain’s head so he can avoid consequences. Thus did “sin” become the meal ticket for the CEOs of any western faith system.

The great pivotal moment in sacred “history,” according to 8th century BCE priest-authored accounts, hinges upon the Lord’s alleged call for Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac as a burnt offering to receive special blessings. The Jews celebrate that alleged irrational incident of Abraham’s unquestioning obedience (Rosh Hashanah) as representative of their faith system’s especial characteristic–this despite the fact that in the Genesis timeframe Judaism was not yet an organized faith system. Was Isaac to be a sin offering? It is never said precisely why God would have asked for such a depraved act. Some suggest that it was a test of Abraham’s devotion, but if God is omniscient (all-knowing) as claimed, what could he possibly be uncertain about? As the story is depicted (by the priest authors), neither God nor Abraham inspire any spiritual admiration. And why would Isaac be such a spineless wimp? For some spiritual cowards, however, Isaac is held to be the first Jewish martyr (although Judaism was then far from its 8th century BCE invention as an organized faith system). Functionally, there can be only one purpose for this tale: since God, the personification of the Life Principle, would never condone such child abuse, the story purpose in the priest-written texts is aimed at encouraging submission and obedience to the priest-manufactured faith system.

In the later priest-written book of Leviticus (18:7), jammed between Exodus and Numbers, this priestly lust for ugly showmanship is highlighted in a shift-the-guilt rite–allegedly with God’s okay–from the guilty party to some hapless victim. The alleged God-approved instructions read, “And he shall take the two goats and set them before the Lord at the door of the tent of meeting. And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord, and the other for Azazel.” We should note here that the word “tent” was commonly used as an occult reference to the primordial energy planes out of which Creation is made manifest, which is why it is referred to as the “tent of meeting.” To retain their authority the arrogant priests indulged themselves in the slaughter of one goat on the Temple altar, and sent the other hapless goat out into the wilds to be torn apart by predators. Or, depending upon location, the other goat was hurled by priests from a cliff to be cruelly dashed upon the jagged rocks below. Supposedly Azazel was imprisoned beneath the mount.

Nowhere is it ever explained in Hebrew or Jewish myths why the “Lord”–a self-admitted jealous god–would ever sanction such a custom of equal offerings, for by presenting identical offerings it is openly admitted that Azazel was considered to be the equal to God. Consider also that the name Azazel is said to mean “God strengthens,” so the implication seems to be that one aspect of the creative Source, active as the Life Principle, cannot be honored without the other. What this tale inadvertently reveals is that the Source power cannot create and bring all things into existence except through an interactive process of positive/negative energy exchange and interaction.

Even in this twenty-first century of space flights and instantaneous communications around the planet there are still Orthodox Jews who practice the ancient bloody ritual of slaughtering hapless animal life (such as chickens) in an appeal to God for personal forgiveness. In Los Angeles, California, for example, there are Orthodox Jews seeking to save themselves from sin through such indulgence in animal abuse.

The Roman “fathers” and “saints” of Christianity (such as Paul, Jerome, Augustine, etc.) enthusiastically took up the sin entrapment tactic along with the submit-and-obey features of the faith by asserting how Jesus was sacrificed for the sins of the world. On that occasion, however, God did not see any reason to substitute a ram or goat (or whatever) for the spectacle. What is the reason for such spiritual injustice? Allegedly because God so loved the world that he would allow mankind to sidestep responsibility for its sins by letting his “only begotten son” be sacrificed!

Why should this alleged God-approved torture and homicide of his own “beloved” and “only begotten” son inspire the world with any spiritual love or trust? Such a concept hinges upon pre-Christian societies of the Near and Mid East in which no rite was seen to hold more august power than the sacrifice of the king or the king’s son for the redemption of the king’s people. That was impressed upon Roman awareness around 60 BCE when the Roman general Pompey captured Jerusalem, which was then weakened due to the power struggle between the two sons of King Aristobulus. Pompey installed one son, Hyreau, as high priest, and took the other brother, Antigonus (along with his sons), to Rome as displays of triumph. Eventually, however, it was Antigonus who became priest-king of Jerusalem and in his short reign before being taken by Marc Antony in 37 BCE he had slain his own two sons–presumably as sacrifice for the welfare of the people. The whole mystery ritual of redemption seemed to the Jews to be played out once again for them when Antigonus himself was scourged, then bound to the stake, and then beheaded. The Jews chose to see in this his sacrifice to redeem his people.

As noted, exploiting scapegoats, as promoted in Leviticus, was always subtly promoted in Hebrew Scriptures. Unfortunately, the only standard that such alleged godly allowance for subjecting a substitute for the guilty is that it encourages the faithful to always look for ways to sidestep responsibility for themselves. All they need do in either Judaism or Christian practice is pass the buck or find a scapegoat–then they will be free to ascend to Heaven on a comfortable mattress of lies. The rest of God’s creations can go to hell.

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Myth of the Patriarch Isaac

Posted in Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, freethought, history, random, religion, science, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2010 by chouck017894

With the character of Isaac, we come to the second person of the Hebrew Scripture’s trinity (Abram/Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob/Israel).  The birth of Isaac (Genesis 21) is briefly covered in only eight verses.  He is depicted as having been born when Abraham and Sarah were in advanced years; something of an afterthought fulfillment of God’s promise to grant Abraham posterity.  And, typical of myth, little is recorded of Isaac’s formative years, jumping quickly, as myths always do, to how he was willing to be a sacrifice to Yahweh, but was spared that responsibility by the peculiar appearance of a ram provided by God to substitute as the ritual burnt offering (Genesis 22).  This attempted sacrifice is projected to have been sometime around 1898 BCE.  The story (the Agueda) of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only begotten son Isaac to the Lord has been of prime importance in Judaism, finding in it a reminder of the precariousness surrounding Isaac’s son, Jacob/Israel, having been chosen as progenitor: thus the Jewish New Year ritual commemorates the binding of Isaac.  And Christians accept the story as indicating the form of sacrifice that was expected of Jesus.  Strangely, few of these devout ones are aware of the story’s parallel to the Greek account in which Athamas attempted to sacrifice his son Phrixus to Zeus.  In that older tale, the sacrificial performance was interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Heracles and the miraculous appearance of a ram.  If the ram from that myth is recalled at all it is because it is the ram which had borne the Golden Fleece that in later myth inspired Jason and the Argonauts to undertake the holy quest of acquiring that pelt.  In Roman myth the god Saturn (god of sowing seed) was about to sacrifice his only begotten son to his father Uranus (who presided over primordial conditions), but was furnished a substitute.  In India, Siva, the third god of the Hindu triad, was about to sacrifice his son on a pyre when a rhinoceros was sent as a substitute.  But even older references to a ram caught in a thicket can be traced back to the fourth millennium BCE nation of Sumer where the theme was common in their art.

After Isaac’s dramatic escape from being an altar offering, and Sarah his mother dies to remove her from the plot, things jump quickly to how Isaac acquired his wife, Rebekah (Genesis 24).  Abraham was anxiously insistent that his son’s wife must come from his own people (primary elements), and to accomplish this Abraham’s older servant, Eliezer, was sent back to the city of Nahor where Abraham’s brother, Haran, lived.  Genesis 24:10 says, “And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed…” to go to Nahor in Mesopotamia.  The timeframe in which a bride was sought for Isaac is traditionally placed at c. 1857 BCE.  Isaac then gets shuffled into more of secondary role, with prime attention placed on the servant and Rebekah’s family.

Abraham’s servant Eliezer encounter the lovely Rebekah while she is drawing water from a well.  In all biblical tales that have a well scene, it refers in  some way to the waters of life, and here Rebekah is drawing water to nourish the dimensions of energy-substance necessary for development as defined life forms.  This also explains why in Genesis 26:18 Isaac is portrayed as the well-digger.

Oddly, Rebekah, like Isaac’s mother Sarah, remains “barren.”  For a people so proud of their “begatting” power, this seems strange.  But if the material upon which these “history” tales were constructed are again consulted, the divine mystery is explained: Female characters in these tales always symbolize primordial energy-substance that is not yet activated with the genetic principle of life.   This comes from ancient cosmological lessons which taught of primal energy-substance forming as planets—and biological life does not bud out of these until settled into a defined form.  Thus Rebekah remained barren for twenty years, and Isaac had to pray to God to lift the curse, after which she was soon pregnant with twins.  But the fetuses were so competitive and struggled so with each other that Rebekah yearned for death.  And again  God says to Isaac exactly what he allegedly had said to Abraham (in Genesis 22:18); “And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed (repeated to Isaac Genesis 26:4).  This is deliberately worded to make it seem that the Israelites, and by extension the Jews, glorify any nation they may inhabit.  History has not supported that idea.  Of the “seed” which is repeatedly stressed, God allegedly said this to Abram, not to Abraham: “And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered (Genesis 13:16).  This is cosmic seed that is being blessed, i.e. the earth, which is why it had been stated, “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and  to thy seed for ever” (verse 15).  It is, therefore, life which blesses all nations; it is not some land grant to some god-favored part of the human species as seems implied. 

 It is in chapter 26 that Isaac and Rebekah become embroiled in an episode involving “Abimelech king of the Philistines” that is like a distorted echo from the account of Abram’s wife, Sarai, taken into the king’s harem.  Isaac, like Abram, deceives the king, saying his lovely wife is his sister, but after the king discovers the immoral lie, Isaac is then rewarded with land ownership in Gerar!  From these examples from the “good  book” we are supposed to learn moral conduct and ethics?  The common excuse given for this alleged happening is that the use of deception was alright when Israelites were in danger abroad.  Huh?  All actions in the stories of Genesis take place in amoral primordial stages of Creation.

As is common in myth telling, time is surreal, and  Isaac has quickly become a near-blind old man (Genesis 27), and he is deceived by his son Jacob into giving Jacob the blessing of the firstborn that properly belonged to his twin brother Esau.  It is Rebekah that allegedly counseled Jacob into deceiving Isaac, and the reason for this assertion is that Rebekah, as we have seen, personifies the  process of energy-substance attaining materialization.  That process is not accomplished by deception, however,  but through involvement of primal energies.  Blind Isaac, although deceived, foresaw cosmological consequences, saying to Esau, “…and it shall come  to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that thou shalt break his yoke from off thy neck (verse 40).  There is a secret of Creation processes hidden in Isaac’s words: It is that breaking the devotion to matter is the means of gaining higher potential.  The spiritual value in Isaac’s words rests in recognizing that focusing one’s consciousness on material things is the cause of most of life’s pains, conflicts and “sins.” 

With this, Isaac’s role is fulfilled, but the saga of primal energies forming into mass must advance so they may pass over into defined matter form.  But the time of famine (energies not yet defined), mentioned at the opening of chapter 26, was not yet over.  There it had said, “…there was a famine in the land, besides the first famine that was in the days of Abraham…”  It is here that Isaac’s son, Jacob, then moves to center stage.