Archive for scriptural history

Concealed Background of Scriptures

Posted in agnoticism, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, freethought, Hebrew scripture, prehistory, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on February 1, 2011 by chouck017894

Long before the Hebrew scriptures were crafted in 7th century BCE Jerusalem, the nomadic Hebrew tribes were clearly influenced by older cultures they touched upon during their wanderings across the ancient Near East.  In their extended wanderings, often across barren regions, the creative powers that other cultures personified as gods were more easily comprehended by them as a singularly harsh deity that was grudgingly supportive.  Not surprisingly, tribal leaders found it politically convenient to insinuate that they embodied some supernatural connection to that power, and the concept of a priest-like go-between was the accepted custom. 

Centuries later when the nomadic Hebrew tribes had wandered with their herds into the more agricultural region of Canaan, the rank of priest was virtually one and the same as tribal leader.  Even in the more advanced cultures that the Hebrew tribes touched upon—cultures such as Egypt, Babylonia and Assyria—were commonly presided over by priest-kings.  The more prosperous Hebrew tribes that had settled in the northern regions developed into the kingdom of Israel as the southern secondary Hebrew tribes tended their flocks and herds in the more rugged hill country.  But the northern kingdom of Israel fell to Assyrian invasion, and the priests in the little 7th century BCE village of Jerusalem, fearing a similar fate, threw their lot in with the young tribal leader Josiah who dreamed of bringing the scattered tribes of the south into a cohesive society.  To aid and abet Josiah in this ambition, the priests of Yahweh embarked upon a propaganda program to not only inspire allegiance of the people but to intimidate any neighboring cultures that entertained any ideas of taking control of the territory of Judah.

In the process of composing a “history” for their tribal region and the cult of Yahweh, the priests drew upon two teaching devices that they had collected (but little understood) in their wanderings and which were regarded as ancient even then.  One was astronomy-inspired teachings of Sumerian origin that once used  groups of stars (constellations) to illustrate lessons of creation and cosmology.  These astronomy-based educational props were referred to as “logi.”  The second device drawn upon was a text known as Ha-Qabala —a set of guide lines better known today as the Cabala or Kabala.  This is commonly, but erroneously, said to be an occult mystical philosophy of rabbinical origin, which became widely transmitted in medieval Europe.  But the analytical eminence upon which the Ha-Qabala later became interpreted in that medieval timeframe pre-dated any esoteric rabbinical interpretation of the Hebrew scripture.

There is a claim among Cabalists, undoubtedly with much justification, that a kind of religious metaphysics  was taught by word of mouth among some of the Tannaim—i.e. the earliest theology-shapers of Judaism.  Certainly oral instruction preceded the invention of writing.  Not generally known among Bible scholars is that the opening book of the Bible, Genesis, was originally presented in cabalistic script.  The key to cabalistic script lies in understanding the code that was used, which involved the use of graphs derived from twenty-two proper names and which correspond to numbers, symbols and ideas.  The difficulty in translating from this original code was formidable, for the cabalistic presentation of twenty-two proper names did not simply designate identifiable things: the names were regarded as being the things themselves!  This is difficult for most of us to comprehend who are trained in the A-B-C approach to teaching.  We do not use words that have an ontological link with the essence of the object that the words specify.  That is to say, the words that we use do not emanate from the objects that are designated.  An example is the opening line of Genesis; in the schemata of the cabalistic Genesis the words are: Bereschyt Bara Elohim.  From this the Yahweh priests interpreted “In the beginning God…”

Ancient Cabalistic insight was not concerned with any specific persons, nor was it concerned about the history of any group of persons.  Neither did that insight embrace the notion of a humanlike discriminatory god.  The Cabalistic texts from which the priests worked was encoded with names such as Aleph, Bayt, Ghimel, etc., and these pertained to projections of biologically structured energies at various stages of manifestation.  In other words, the Creation process.  The ontological connection with names taken from the Ha-Qabala reveals a startlingly different understanding of Creation than the Yahweh priests interpreted it.  The subject is too vast to be adequately covered here, but consider these few names from the Ha-Qabala texts as examples of how priestly translations perverted the scientific significance of the complicated texts.

Moses:  The Cabalistic name from which the star of the Exodus tale was derived is traced to Mosheh, properly spelled Mem-Sheen-Hay. The Mem part of the name refers to water—the waters (energies) of Creation.  This was altered in priest translation to mo, the Egyptian word for water, which strengthened the association of the character to that earthly locale.  The kingdom of Egypt in the Exodus saga symbolizes the power and abundance that is the generative source of Creation.  The Sheen part of the name means “breath,” and  implies the stirrings of life which emanate from those primal energies.  The Hay part of the name referred to the activation of life.  The biblical character of Moses therefore personifies the Life Principle in its movement through the elemental energy dimensions to manifest as matter form.  The energy involvement as matter is thus presented as the destined “Promised Land.”

Abram/Abraham:  To understand the Cabalistic meaning with these two adjusted names, we have to first look at the ram part of the name.  The ram component carries the crucial meaning of “Cosmic Dwelling”—or what may be interpreted as the non-manifesting conditions out of which all diverse energy forms of matter are projected.  Thus Ab-ram (or Av-ram) indicated the stage of primal energy development out of ram, so Abram represents the Life Principle at the level of cosmic action.

For this reason the priests of Yahweh declared Ab-ram to be the seed bearer—the biological regeneration factor that is carried into manifestations of life.  These energies evolve and transform as matter forms of life, and this transformation was indicated in scripture with the character’s name being changed from Ab-ram to Abraham.  It is at this point that the four skins of matter are initiated (mental, astral, etheric and dense energies).  In the priest contrived “history,” Abraham is then characterized as a fervent, unquestioning believer in Yahweh.  The Ha-Qabala, however, stated only that the manifested life form recognized its energy alliance with the Life Principle.  This is what is declared by the priests of Yahweh to be God’s covenant with Abraham.  But to advance beyond the imperfect stage of dense matter development, the four energy dimensions from which a matter form is made manifest (the four skins of matter) must be transcended (cut around), and it is from this Cabalistic teaching that the practice of circumcision was instituted as a condition of Jewish faith.

Ararat:  The mountain upon which the scriptural character of Noah is alleged to have landed after the Deluge is given as Ararat, a name derived from a Cabalistic name that vibrates in meaning as “new cycle.”  Noah is depicted as riding upon the waters of Creation into a new cycle of energy involvement that is represented as having taken place over forty days.  This disguises the involvement with, and passage through the four elemental energy planes that manifest as matter—identical with the four energy planes mentioned with Abram-Abraham.  Thus in scriptural myth Noah’s ark was launched upon Creation’s waters to navigate out of timelessness to become grounded upon the peak of matter where a new energy cycle is begun.  The scriptural version then asserts that Noah planted a grape-vine, made wine (of life), and became drunk (intoxicated with life) all in the same day after he landed!

These few examples of the prehistory astronomy knowledge and the Cabalistic source material used to manufacture a “history” of ancestors of the Judaic faith system provide reason for Jews, Christians and Muslims to reevaluate their “holy words;” and maybe reconsider their contentious relationship to each other.

Assembling Bible Style History

Posted in agnoticism, Astronomy, Atheism, Atheist, belief, Bible, culture, faith, freethought, history, life, random, religion, thoughts with tags , , , , on October 3, 2010 by chouck017894

The extraordinary “history” of ancient Israel and Judah that make up the early parts of Hebrew Scriptures was composed by Yahweh priest-authors in the small village of Jerusalem in the 7th century BCE.  The alleged historical saga that recounted Moses and the deliverance from Egyptian slavery up to and through the episodic accounts of the rise and fall of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah cannot be supported by either genuine historical documents from the times or by archeological science.  Indeed, the alleged history  is a product of propaganda that implied godly protection of a small segment of the world population and was intended to inspire caution among the heavily armed neighboring countries of Assyria and Egypt from mounting attacks against Judah.  The composed history also served to inspire a unity among the widely varied people around Jerusalem through the implication that they all shared a common ancestry, the Israelites, whom Moses had allegedly led to the borders of Canaan. 

At the time of the feverish assembling of the early books of scriptural history, the kingdom of Israel to the north of Jerusalem had recently fallen to the Assyrians, and the alarmed priests of Yahweh, the scribes, elders, king and members of his court sought any means to protect their independence.  At their disposal was a rich collection of literary works, considered ancient even then—some of which contained remarkable cosmological and astronomical knowledge that were not completely understood by them, but which were highly admired.  The importance of ancient cosmological and astronomical lore in the 7th century BCE should not be underestimated, because for many generations the heavens had not alway presented a peaceful appearance. (See related post, Threats From Heaven, Sept. 2010.)

Jerusalem, in this 7th century BCE timeframe, was not a bustling city as many imagine: the village sat perched on a narrow ridge that bordered along a steep, rocky ravine.  The hill country around the region was sparsely settled, populated mainly by shepherds and cultivators of small, cleared plots of land.  And add to this scene the pugnacious priests of Yahweh who adamantly insisted that their Temple must remain untarnished from any association with any of the numerous sanctuaries throughout the Near East.  The priests of Yahweh, who controlled more social and judicial power over the people than even the king, would resist any ecumenical willingness to conduct relations with others if it required honoring any potential allies who believed in false deities.  As priestly power became stronger, the numerous rural shrines that had been set up through the region were systematically destroyed under the propaganda that they were the same sources of evil that had caused the fall of the  kingdom of Israel.  This purification of the countryside left only the Jerusalem Temple—which the priests declared was imbued with special holiness—upon which the populace could focus their desire for heavenly attention.

Jerusalem grew with refugees arriving from the occupied kingdom of Israel, and the village in this timeframe expanded to cover approximately 150 acres.  And the political ambitions of the priests and the king flared accordingly.  Their city had become the center of Israelite consciousness.  Through the program of inventing a history of the Israelites, the sudden collapse of the kingdom of Israel was widely seen even by the new citizens to be the result of some direct and purer relationship of Jerusalem with God.  Then and only then did the region take on the mantle of “Holy Land,” and so impressive was the sales pitch that the whole world has been willing to accept the assertion for around three thousand years.  But archeological science has shown that there really were no divine circumstances that led to ancient Jerusalem attaining such star quality.  It simply involved a bit of calculated hype, a bit of rigorous purging of competing faiths, and taking advantage of the insecurity of the refugees and displaced peasants.  This is not said in the spirit of deconstruction, but to point out that claims of supernatural nonsense are not really necessary for acknowledging that something greater than ourselves energizes all that exists.  Like Nature, which is the bearing principle of that power, it is indifferent to what it creates or how it is used.  That is not saleable merchandise for the faith system merchants, and so the farce continues.