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Faith, a manifesto : Part 2 : Failed mysticism in the Christian tradition

The progress of modern science has revealed that traditional Christian theology is false. This particular expression of failed mysticism could only be appropriate for the dark or middle ages, and is revealed as completely obsolete in the modern world.

Faith, a manifesto : Part 2 : Failed mysticism in the Christian tradition


The progress of modern science has revealed that traditional Christian theology is false. This particular expression of failed mysticism could only be appropriate for the dark or middle ages, and is revealed as completely obsolete in the modern world.

Failed mysticism in the Christian tradition

I n a previous section I discussed the collapse of the Jewish prophecy movement, and it is clear from this study that failed mysticism correlates directly to ignorance. When people don't have a proper understanding of a situation they mystify both the process and its results, and the end product is a mythology which temporarily provides a satisfactory explanation of the world around them and serves as a framing narrative which seeks to explain their experiences.

First century Christians were just ignorant as the ancient Jewish people were, and come to think of it, people in the 21st century are bound to be just as ignorant about many things as well (of course, they wouldn't know it, but at the same time we should be able to learn from the examples of the past and thus come to know that we do not know when we encounter the contradictions and difficulties that are bound to arise from a failed mysticism...the proper response would then be to learn to live with uncertainty and doubt, and in the end I believe that is the main lesson to be learned here, since our ignorance is bound to exceed what we know, and problems arise when people think that they know what they do not know, instead of acknowledging their natural (and inevitable) human limitations).

The progress of scientific knowledge is a relatively recent phenomena. Bacteria have only been understood for perhaps a century or century and a half, and human understanding of the nature of disease and pathogens is thus something completely new. What this new understanding reveals is that traditional Christian theology is riddled with errors. It is obsolete, but the understanding is so recent, that the impact of modern understanding has not yet affected traditional Christian philosophy. Christian theology as it has been understood for thousands of years is only appropriate for the dark ages and the middle ages, when people could actually believe that a disease was caused either by the conjuring spells of an evil witch or infestations of demonic devil spirits.

According to old beliefs, the Jesus Christ figure was a god like being incarnated on earth. Ancient Jewish beliefs that held that bad things happened only because people were bad permeate Christian philosophy, and thus we find the belief that this god like being was sacrificed, much like the ancient Jewish cult sacrificed sheep and goats to appease the anger of their god of the rains and god of the plagues and so forth.

Now if you read these first century documents you find that the Jesus Christ figure is portrayed as being distinctly ungodlike. He is remarkably ignorant when you consider that theology teaches that he was supposed to be 'the creator of the world' and 'god incarnate'. For example, the Jesus Christ figure was an exorcist. He diagnosed all diseases as being caused by infestations of devils. In one remarkably poor example, he diagnoses epileptics as being possessed by shaking demons, who lived inside of people, and then periodically would grab hold of them by their insides and shake the living daylights out of them. The cure for epilepsy was of course a really good exorcism. Today we know that epilepsy is not caused by shaking devils, but rather is caused by the way neurons are improperly wired in the brain. Thus epilepsy can be cured surgically. Similarly, the Jesus Christ figure diagnosed schizophrenia as being caused by tormenting indwelling devil spirits, when we know that it is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. This is treated not by performing one of those Jesus Christ type exorcisms, but rather by the use of medication which serves to adjust the chemical imbalance in the brain.

That a god like being, who was supposed to have 'created the world' could have been as atrociously ignorant as Jesus Christ is revealed to have been is a pretty clear indication that Christian Theology is obsolete, and represents another one of those failed mysticisms which was created through the process of first the development of legend followed second by the descent into mindless dogmatism.

It is obvious that the Jesus Christ figure was no god. This is a relatively new understanding, and even two hundred years ago people might have found it credible to believe that a devil was shaking an epileptic, which helps to explain how traditional Christian theology managed to maintain its hold on the human imagination for thousands of years. It also explains the rise of reactionary fundamentalism in the modern world, since fundamentalism is a response to the threat posed to what is obviously a false belief system by the rise of modern scientific understanding which reveals that the Jesus Christ figure was not what he was claimed to have been.

The problems with Christian theology go much deeper than this, however, since Christian theology is a victim blaming ideology. We are told that everyone is born in a state of eternal damnation to the fiery flames of hell, because they inherited 'sinful genetic code' from some guy named Adam. No one chooses their genetic code, and so it hardly seems fair to be damning the victims of faulty programming, in particular when the supposed punishment for being born is so atrociously sadistic as a flaming eternity spent in a barbeque. (So we can see that Christian theology is also unreasonably sadistic and this a major problem as well.)

In its original form (stripped of the accretions of centuries of priestly theological 'development') the crucifixion image of Christianity is a politically charged symbol. Before the Christian age, crucifixion was a political statement being made by Caesar. The meaning of the message was 'I am Caesar. Screw with me and this is how you will be tortured to death.' The entire Roman economy was dependant on the wealth generated by slaves, who were kept in line using the threat of crucifixion (torture). The post Easter meaning of the crucifixion became an insult to Caesar, and the political content of this new subversive message could be described using the phrase, 'Caesar crucifies slaves, but God raises his victims from the dead.'

When you consider the political message embedded in the symbol of the cross, you can then understand that Christian theology is not only a failed mysticism, it is also a politically reactionary attempt to redefine a revolutionary symbol by stripping the message of its liberation theology, and replacing it with an extremely conservative right wing authoritarian doctrine, wherein Jesus Christ, mass murderer and torturer, actually became so atrociously sadistic as to make Caesar look relatively mild in comparison, which when you stop and think about it, would actually help Caesar to continue the practice of political murder, which was what happened (the only difference being that crucifixion was abandoned, since it was now an embarrassment, and other methods substituted...Jesus wouldn't mind since he had been transformed into one of the most sadistic tyrants, and had then become entrenched as the central figure in one of the most harmful superstitions to have ever been imposed on the human race...the former Jewish religion was mild in comparison to what Christianity became...).

Failed mysticism in the Book of Revelations

T he Christian section of the Bible contains a book of prophecy ('Revelations') which mimics some of the major themes of earlier Jewish prophecy. There are two main themes in the document : environmental catastrophes and tyrannical dictatorship. The latter half of the book is concerned with the rise of a tyrannical state (symbolized by the dictator, the famous 'Beast' of the Revelations - note that the term 'anti-Christ' is not found in the book of Revelations, but rather the dictator is referred to as 'the Beast'). The mid section of the book is concerned with environmental disasters. There are all sorts of weird symbols in the book of Revelations, consisting of strange hybrids created by mixing together different species (for example a human- locust-scorpion cross breed, or a half lamb half dragon creature, and so on).

In Revelations destruction of the environment is a major theme, however once again environmental disasters are mystified, just as they were by earlier Jewish prophets. For example, we are told that angry angels are responsible for problems in the environment. One angry angel causes either global warming or ozone depletion to take place (by causing the sun to become hot and burn people, which could be understood as one or the other of these two possiblities). Another angel is responsible for water pollution (causing many people to die from drinking the polluted waters, for, the book tells us 'the water was made bitter'). Another angel travels the earth causing devastating forest and grass land fires. Another angel is responsible for causing a massive extinction event to take place in the oceans. Now we know, today, that water pollution is caused by human beings, not angry angels. Similarly causing the earth to warm up or an ozone hole is caused by human beings, who would then also be responsible for those terrible fires, not some angry angel. Human beings are also responsible for extinction events. Just as first century people wrongly believed that 'devil possession' was the cause of such things as problems with a woman's menstrual cycle or schizophrenia or blindness, they also wrongly believed that problems with polluted water or forest fires were caused by angry angels, with those angry angels being the opposite of angry devils, the only difference being that when an angry angel did something destructive it was only because people deserved it as their richly deserved punishment while devils went about destroying things simply because it was fun.

The book of Revelations presents a view of reality consistent with the beliefs and superstitions prevalent among first century human societies. There are other problems in the book, as well. For example the first chapters of the manuscript deliver what are supposed to be 'letters from Jesus.' Now in one of these letters reference is made to the story of Balaam. This character was very popular in ancient Middle East, and appears not just in the Bible but in the stories of other cultures in the region as well. Balaam was a ne'er do well and pretender to the office of prophet, who was always found to be getting into one bad spot after another, and this comical aspect might account for his great popularity in ancient mythology.

Now in the story found in the Bible, we are told that Balaam rode on a donkey who was the ancient version of Mr. Ed, the talking horse, or Francis the talking mule (popular television and movie stars in the fifties and sixties in America, for those of you who are unfamiliar with this fact...what they did was stuck a wad of chewing gum or big wad of peanut butter onto the back teeth of some horse or a mule, and then filmed the animal as it vigorously moved its tongue and gums trying to clean its teeth...later an actor would provide a voice over to this motion and thus was born the character of 'Mr. Ed' or 'Francis').

Well we all know very well that both Mr. Ed and Francis the talking mule were intended to be amusing fictions, but, religion being the strange thing that is, the equally amusing story of Balaam and his talking mule is supposed to be taken literally because its 'God's word' and 'it's in the Bible'. What happened is that one day Balaam went off to do his latest evil deed, by being a phony prophet and tricking some people, but an angry angel showed up which only Balaam's talking mule could see, and blocked the road. Well Balaam began beating the living daylight's out of his mule when the animal, seeing the angry angel, refused to take Balaam to his appointment. In frustration, the mule said, 'all these years I have been your mule, and we went everywhere together. And now this one time I refuse to listen to you and now you are going to start beating me. Have I ever behaved like this before? Why are you hitting me with a stick?' Well it was at that moment that the angered angel appeared also to Balaam and tore a strip off of him for his evil designs.

Now I am sure we can all appreciate the 'humor' intended in that ancient story of Francis the talking mule. But apparently Jesus, being as dumb as a stump, not to mention a fundamentalist of the most extreme kind, could not appreciate the fact that the Balaam stories were mythological legends, not to be taken literally, for in one of what are supposed to be 'letters from Jesus' found at the beginning of the book of Revelations, we find Jesus, in all seriousness, quoting earnestly from that Balaam story, and I find that kind of ignorance to be just appalling. You know, you expect more from a god like being, and while Jesus might have been as ignorant as hell about leprosy or epilepsy while he was alive, as a raised letter writing god you would expect him to at least be able to appreciate the fact that the story of Francis the talking mule was fictional. There are other problems with those letters, contradictions between the book and other manuscripts in the bible, not to mention internal theological contradictions and inconsistencies as well, but that quote in one of those letters that references that talking mule story is one big problem I have with the entire manuscript.

Now I find it hard to believe that anyone, even in the first century, could possibly have been mindless enough to hold to a literal belief in that story of Francis the talking Bible mule, but apparently that letter writing Jesus was not the only one who held this belief, for we find that talking mule mentioned in all seriousness in a letter supposedly written the apostle Peter. Peter holds that talking mule up as a good example, a role model you might say. Now it is worth noting that this so called 'letter from Peter' is an extremist right wing rant against people who have sex without being married ( they are doomed for an eternity to the deepest blackness, they are pigs who roll in their own manure and dogs who eat vomit, who are reserved for the fires of destruction at the end of the world, and so on and so on...the excessively violent language used in this letter has always convinced me that it was written by a depraved sociopath). Now, whoever might have written that tribute to that talking mule, we can say that, perhaps, literal belief in that talking mule story is just a religious right wing thing (for the religious right believed it back when 'Peter' was ranting about sex in wild maniacally raving letters, and I am sure that if you asked the religious right today, when they can spare a minute and break away from their assigned task of ranting about sex, it would turn out that they also believe that Francis, Balaam's talking mule, was a real mule who really literally lived in the literal real world...it's in the Bible after all...that no talking mules exist today just goes to show you that the world was a much more interesting place back in the times described in the Bible...)


INDEX


links 08.Nov.2003 07:36

brent

Faith, a manifesto : Part 1 : Jewish prophecy as Failed mysticism
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/11/274528.shtml

It is interesting to note just how bound up the Jewish prophets were with their environment, and the ancient view of 'environmentalism' presents us with a lesson in failed mysticism, as well as teaching some valuable lessons in the theology of 'divine intervention.'



Faith, a manifesto : Part 2 : Failed mysticism in the Christian tradition
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/11/274527.shtml
The progress of modern science has revealed that traditional Christian theology is false. This particular expression of failed mysticism could only be appropriate for the dark or middle ages, and is revealed as completely obsolete in the modern world.


Faith, a manifesto : Part 3; A reason to have faith
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/11/274526.shtml

In parts one and two of this manifesto on faith, I discussed examples of failed mysticism, using the examples of failed mysticism in the ancient Jewish and Christian traditions. My purpose in discussing this issue was to help prepare the ground for a discussion of certain very strange experiences I have had which are the seed bed of my faith in the future, while at the same time, hopefully, I can help people to avoid the pitfalls encountered when mystification is used to attempt to explain the unknown and the uncertain.

i feel sorry for you bro! 16.Jul.2004 00:57

tiffanylovesjesus fashionista21666@hotmail.com

first of all how is being a exorcist "ungodlike"? to cast out demons would be something only god could do? tell me, exactly what chemical is it in the "chemical imbalance" of schizophrenia that causes the disease? i would like to know, for then there would be a cure if patients would take that chemical, right? they wouldnt have to take antipsychotics, which block dopamine receptors to the brain(there is no imbalance of dopamine levels, it dulls your senses) and are nothing more than a something to pacify and brainwash the patient, 75% of schizophrenics dont take their medicine because it makes them feel worse- it does not stop the voices (unless theyre asleep). perhaps you were speaking of bipolar disorder also known as manic depression, which there is an imbalance of lithium, a chemical naturally found in the body. for your ill informed information there is no known cause of schizophrenia, and there is no known cure-sometimes it just goes away , usually, it never does.How do you explain Mother Theresa healing hordes of those with disease? us idiots who beleive in God like to call those things miracles.Obviously, you have never had a life changing experience with Him, because if you had, you wouldnt be saying these things. did you ever notice that people with true faith are ecstatically happy? the christians are not ignoring modern medicine. He tests us. im really going to piss you off here, but, do you really beleive we evolved from apes? that is perposterous. when are the present day apes going to evolve into humans? if you would just have faith in Him ,you would see everything in a brand new light, and let me tell you it is the most beautiful feeling in the world when you know you are saved. He doesnt have millions of followers because we need an explanation, its becuase those with true faith are given God's grace , and then you dont need any explanations. Amen!

Get it Right 07.Oct.2005 20:27

Rob

Hey Pal,

If you are going to claim to be a exegete, please get your facts
straight. You might check out Cicero for what the cross meant to the average Roman citizen and also take note: The last book of the Bible is Revelation
not "Revelations".

Rob