As a child I loved the stories contained in Greek and Roman mythology. My grandfather gave me a red book which contained every Greek and Roman hero, god, godess, titan, nymph; it was all in there. I loved the beautifully drawn pictures with their muscles and the way they stood so strong, noble and elegant. My favourite picture was Ares [Mars]. One story in particular remained a favourite with me. I can remember only bits of it but lately I have looked again at this story. I will reveal the story in another post on this blog. As a lover of Greek mythology as a child I was often misunderstood by my school teachers and my mother and step dad who thought that I actually believed that these stories and myths they really happened. I never believed such a thing but I was enchanted by it all. I didn`t get much praise for the interest in mythology and I did get some scorn from the school teachers who were either Catholic or Christian of some denomination. Because of my interest in Greek and Roman mythology some of the teachers at my school fabricated a story about me sacrificing some chickens [because my step-dad kept chickens in the backyard] to the devil. My mother and step dad was soon visited by social security to investigate it. Now I never believed that these myths were true but I was enchanted by them. I can appreciate them more now because most of the stories of Greek and Roman mythology contain secret mystery teachings.
The story of Jesus Christ is simply mythology from a Jewish soil but today Christianity is believed to be real instead of it simply being a story with hidden meaning. The Gnostic Christians, for example were declared heretics by the Literalist Christians of the Catholic Church in the 3rd century onwards. At the start of the 2nd century much earlier the Jesus story was taught by the fathers of the first new Christian Churches to those Jews [who were disatisfied with Judaism but could not leave the magic of its old stories] as a real true story. When these Jews were ready they were taught that these stories were merely myths that contained secret encoded messages. The Literalist Christians grew in number and finally everywhere people believed that the story of Jesus was real. Meanwhile the real truth about Jesus got buried because the mysteries were taught less and less. One such episode of this is Paul`s [St.Paul] horror at finding that some of the Churches of the diaspora were not being taught the true way and he sought to correct them.
Most of the letters of Paul are considered fakes; the fakes are literal Christian letters [probably written by 3rd-4th and even 5th century Church propagandists who sought to beat and supress the gnostic message] whilst the real ones are clearly gnostic and they show Jesus as a mythical figure. All those letters and no-one writes back! The teachings of Jesus if one looks further can be found in the Neo-platonist philosophies. The words of the sermon on the mount, for example, appears curiously in Plato [some say almost word for word] – “turn the other cheek…” comes from something Plato once said and “it is easier for a camel..” is curiously said better by Plato too. In the cult of Horus, Horus gives some kind of sermon on a mount. Now all this is my point to illustrate that all the religions contain some teachings and that through time the literal belief in these stories took widespread view and the truth of them; the inner meaning of these stories got lost. In the context of the Jesus story the Catholic Church headed by propagandists and other fathers have distorted the true meaning of the story of Jesus Christ which is: The Jesus story is a myth; a Jewish/Hebraic story that contains messages almost those same messages that appear in many pagan myth stories.
The first Christians were gnostic and intended their messiah and Jesus story to be taken like the Dionysians take their Messiah Dionysus to be the son of God and saviour of mankind and to bring eternal salvation. Unfortunately, Jews disatisfied with Judaism had to be taught a literal version [which is why much of Jesus is similar to the Joshua story of Judaism concerning miracles, etc] to soften the blow, so to speak. Over time when a literal believer was ready he would be taken aside and taught the truth that Jesus and his story is merely intended as allegory for higher mystical truths. Pauls Christianity is just that. This is one reason that I am not a Christian because I believe that the first Christians didn`t believe in a real Jesus Christ; only the rabble; the masses believed he was real [because they were taught so] and that is very true even today. Just take a look at the real letters of Paul and you`ll find out that Jesus appears as a mythical character. Even better just take a look at the Catholic Churches history and you`ll find many many centuries of Church leaders scrambling around and plundering the myths and stories of other cults, making use of historical records, editing them back and forth in an attempt to make their literalist Christianity version the more believeable and so keep the critics silent.
One critic in particular is Celsus in his work Against the Christians and The True Doctrine. Celsus was hated and despised by the Catholic Church for centuries [as they was also with Porphyryr] and they burnt all his books. Read this guy if you read nothing else!
My points that may prove that the Christian religion is a false piety: 1. Early Christians [the gnostics paganised Jews] believed in a mythical Christ saviour and God-man.
2. Church propagandists believing in a literalist version gained power and ascendency and taught the uneducated masses this literalism and spread itself out untill it achieved official recognition.
3. The pagan cults and their dieing and resurrecting god-men stories predate Christianity.: Horus, Mithra, Dionysus.
4. The abolition of pagan cults at the council of Nicea and Constantine made first Christian emperor of
Rome and erected the Christian belief and cult into an official religion of
Rome and still infused with paganism [Sol Invictus].
5. The works of Celsus and Porphyryr.
6. The Gnostic Gospels found at Nag Hamadi; the Q gospels; the sea scrolls.
7. The earliest known copy of a Christian text is dated in the 4th century only. None earlier than this has been found. The gospels contradict one another, written in the Midrashic tradition of telling myths and stories.
To stress the point I want every Christian to know that I have no problem with Christians so long as they believe in what they believe in as a form of allegoricalism. I do have a problem with these Christians who believe that the story of Jesus really happened. It never happened; he isn`t real. He is a character penned from the Talmud [and possibly from other seditious leaders called Jesus way back] and then infused with divinity from the remnants of other pagan cults and made believable at the hands of Church progandists! Something is very wrong when the teachings of a cult or religion are buried beneath the weight of literalism that distorts and muddles its true message. A good example of this is in the scene from Monty Python were a rabbi or soothsayer gathering a crowd of people says “Blessed are the meek..” and only a few at the front hear it but the greater number hear different “Blessed are the seekers and soothsayers” [my version]. And at the far back they think they hear; “Blessed are the cheese-makers…”. This is what has happened within the history of Christianity as a distorted version was taught to those who could only hear its message from the far back!
In a nutshell the true message of Christianity brought by paganised Jews is roughly the same message that we find in many pagan mystery religions: that we are all suffering, we all have a cross to bare, and we all are divine, we die to the lower self and get resurrected. The pagans thought that the mysteries of their teachings were to be found inside everyone and hence why Christianity today still maintains its gnostic message “Christ is in you“. How many Christians know that today? A denial of the mystery message contained within the set up character of Jesus Christ is what constitutes Christian belief today by many literal believers. Dionysus, Horus, Mithra and possibly many other such dieties and God-men are simply the templates that paganised Jews used with good and bad effect to erect a Jewish religion for those Jews cut off from Judaism. Roman emperors soon settled for the Jewish version but infused it with pagan meaning. Over time Christianity was established as the one true official religion; all other cults fell by the way side and often died out altogether. Cults that didn`t die out got integrated into the Jewish theme [Christmas; nativity, fir tree, etc].
Overall when I look at all this and when I see before my eyes the distorting message of Christianity; the denial and the broken seal of the pagan mysteries which infused vitality and world magic into their religions I often shift from feelings of anger to boiling rage to feelings of tragedy and depression. For many atheists and unbelievers the mystery of life has took place by science and other cold ways of looking at the universe. The mystery has been robbed of its intrinsic value and its significance. But were pagans happy? I don`t know. But the mysteries that they taught did give life a different take on things and perhaps some were intoxicated by the mysteries which gave them some profound happiness. Perhaps there were unhappy pagans who practised their paganism because of fear or something like that. Who knows? Also there probably is no reason for thinking that the messages contained with these mysteries are meant to give us happiness. I see no connection between truth and happiness anyway. The truth hurts; it is often ugly. But I do see that the eyes needed for creating newer and better religions has been robbed from us and I make Christianity the number one culprit for this tragic and criminal act. Nietzsche was right when he said “2000 years and no new God!” In my attempt and effort to refute Christianity both inside of me as a personal and spiritual looking back into the history of the European and outside of me as a social and neo-spiritual looking forward into the future of humanity to present meaning and significance for living life I must inevitably come upon religion not as a super-power of fear, literalist lies and propagandism as in the case of the Catholic Church but instead as a way of infusing a seemingly cold and often isolated universe and existence with warmth, meaning and magic. Humans being need mystery; science is too cold; useful but too cold. Men and women need mystery but it must transfigurate life and not hide behind a lie or other world. A mystery needs its characters and stories to carry it off – let`s not believe that these Characters are real but instead learn their message that they embody and signify. If you don`t need the Mysteries then that is okay. No shame. No guilt. And certainly no punishment. You are no lesser or greater than anyone else. You want to infuse existence; your life with the flames of ice and cold hard reason and facts. Take science and be warmed by its coldness. Take what you need. Use it. Have the freedom to change and change back again.If you do need the Mysteries then that is okay too. No shame. No guilt. No punishment. You are no lesser or greater than anyone else. You just like to infuse existence; your life with heat and tension and the reflection of forms and grand divine truths. Take gods, goddesses and heros and heroines and be warmed and enchanted by their stories. Take what YOU need too. Use it. Have the freedom to change and change back again.The Mysteries are only masks of knowledge; they are designed to carry a message.
I welcome all atheists, agnostics, and unbelievers as they look to science, cold hard facts, historicis, and the material atomistic world for meaning in their life and that this can give cooling relief from the heat and passion of the mysteries that the interpreters say they have knowledge of. And I also welcome the interpreters; the interpreters of the mysteries not as pomp and ceremony; not as literal believers but as people who are clever and understand that all our religions contain messages that can offer a little magic and enchantment; that they are myths and that they contain spiritualisation that may be useful to humans. Knowledge carries forward; belief makes stupid! The Mysteries contained in these religions, Christianity, Judaism, Mithraism, Horus cults, etc, etc all convey the same sort of message more or less. None of them were intended for their literal use. All of them try to configurate life and convey a mystical teaching to carry forward whatever truth it might reveal to humans. Story telling will always do this. But to believe that the stories themselves are true is nothing short of tragic; nothing short of a depressing realization that today such literal belief has guided the destinies of men and women! No wonder our world is becoming inceasingly hostile, no wonder people are dispirited and wonder whether they are comming or going thinking that happiness lies solely in material things. I`m not in any way saying that knowledge brings about goodness or happiness at all but what I am saying is that humans are thinking beings that have in their veins and blood a will towards mystery and magic and of course if mystery is what we are and what some of us might need on our particular “path” then surely it is better to be what we are and tread that path than supress it or deny it outright or demolish that path and opt for a sea and swim in it without a compass. I like science. It cools things down. It moulds the Mysteries into a form that closely resembles cold hard facts. It can remove the splinters that the Mysteries might create and it can smooth out the rough edges of the Mysteries when they get too metaphysical and too absurd.
My 5 key points: 1. The Mysteries are useful as a form of human spiritual meaning of which the storys and characters are pure myth and are not true.
2. Science is the great cooler and can offer relief from the passion and heat from the fires of the Mysteries.
3. A literal belief in the Characters and stories that the Mysteries are contained within must be stamped out.
4. Science when it becomes unchecked and intrudes on the Mysteries is a form of nihilism which can be harmfull but it is a path to knowledge nevertheless and must be checked by humans to avoid it becoming over-bearing.
5. The Mysteries must be checked too and prevented from becoming over-bearing. Too much of the Mysteries can harm us as there will no doubt be people who will take up a literal belief and assert their literalism and stiffle young minds with false doctrines.
The Mysteries operate behind science as a mouldable mechanism operating in the background whilst science offers a relief from this mechanism and we are able to reflect and take a step away [not back. Science and spiritual Mystery is always a looking foward; always stepping forward] from the Mysteries as its heat might scorch us too much. When science gets too cold the Mysteries once again comes into the fore and we are able to connect once again with that very old instinct called religion or cultism, better said. If it is true that humans are faced with the instinct for mystery and allegorical meaning then it may do us well not to deny our spiritual past; but we must stop this literal nonsense that our religions have come to signify. A literal belief is madness; madness that borders on injustice and bad business as the history of the Dark ages of the Catholic Church and today with Islamic fundamentalism illustrates. Sure, an unliteral or belief by gnosis might also be madness but that kind of madness is just imagination and intellect and the path of knowledge and its twists and turns and many divertions and I don`t think [if it transfigures and embodies life itself] that it necessarily makes bad businness. I see knowledge as a form of power that is unavoidable for humans. Like I said, ‘belief'; ‘literal belief’ is NOT knowledge. Literal belief lacks vitality; it symbolises the closed eyes cut off and denied and because it breaks, distorts and poisons the orginal seal of the Mysteries. Christianity with its literal rabble and absurd moralism as envisioned by church fathers came along and broke all the Mystery seals!
What is needed today is a Heraclitus, a Herodotus, a Plato or Socrates, a Marcus Aurellius or Julian the apostate or some other pagan; someone to approach Christianity and take it by the ear and tell it how naughty and mischievious it has been and how it has led astray the greatest part of European man and a civilisation for more than 2000 years and lied to it about what the true use and meaning of religion, mysticism, thought, God should be for.
The Christian religion has broken the sacred seal of the pagans which infused the sacred message of self-transfiguration and personal power over the seeming futility of existence given by the atomists and cold philosophers of the past. Now that the seal is broken forever existence is futile and many people feel that life lacks meaning; a nihilism encroaches into the picture. The Christian is born from this nihilism because it has broken the original seal that the pagans tried to furnish their lives with for centuries. The Christian is the Nihilist. He believes in a true message by a true character carrying the message and now the character itself whether historically human or historically divine or not becomes more important than the actual message and you have what is called the Catholic demoniation of the Christian religion. You have so-called born again Christians who believe in a literal Jesus Christ. That kind of literal belief heralds the death of its message and not as some Christians would have us believe is the proof of its authenticity of its claims.