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"I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you."
Welcome to our inner sanctum ( Information intermediation) where your studies are served up each day
Note: All Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Coptic translations are my own unless noted otherwise.
To our new readers:
In order to appreciate the ongoing studies you need to know how to follow my wee writings. Since some of these tend to be bookish in length at times and if I put them in book form to sell on Amazon or Barns & Noble it would cost you which is not my purpose for sharing these studies. I’d much rather you read them for free and save your money for that once in a lifetime trip to Ireland. But I digress. Since we have currently more than 1,500 articles you may need directions (or as we like to say bread crumbs to follow the study). You will find on the left side of your computer screen a list of subjects, under the title Archive you can click on this and it will take you to the articles listed by date from the current post written and going backwards. Also if you note I do most of the time list the posts as Part 1, 2, etc. so it becomes easier to go back at the beginning to follow my train of thought. I also allow one to follow at their own pace, and will explain terms or concepts if I feel that they are not commonly understood. For the more casual reader you will find between the "serious" stuff Irish humor or observations about life, politics, and or Irish perspective as an Expat ( from Ireland). So enjoy.
Part 26 Worship of Jesus as Evolutionary Development
Part 25 To Live and Die for Jesus: Social and
Political Consequences of Devotion
to Jesus in Earliest Christianity
Part 24 Early Jewish Opposition to Jesus-Devotion
Part 23 The Change of the Ages
Part 22 The Wandering Paul
Part 21 A Thirst for the Irrational
Part 20 How we came to religion
Part 19 the Son and the Saviour
Part 18 "Christianity"
Part 17 Class is in session (Part One)
Part 16 Was Christ real?
Part 15 Could have Jesus been divine?
Part 14 Some recent thoughts to consider
Part 13 What you thought you knew because someone else said so!
Excursus-"Grandmother read to me"
Part 12 "but wait there are two sides to a pancake"
Part 11 Did Jesus claim to be God?
Part 10 "Who was Jesus ?"
Part 9 Caesar's Messiah
Part 8 Jesus of Nazareth
Part 7 Jesus God or merely man (part 1)
Men and Gods (Part 6) Myths or mysticism?
Finding your story How Myths begin (Part 5)
Anyone lose a continent? (Part 4)
Part 3 The Irish Island that wasn't there (or was it?)
Part 2 Mysticism a part of the fabric of Myth
Part 1 the search begins mythology fact or fiction?
The Mythological Matrix Paradigm
Part 5 The Divine Feminine
Part 4 the Divine Feminine
Part 3 The Divine Feminine
Part 2 continued the Divine feminine
(Part 2) a new look at ( The Divine in feminne terms)
Our One story "As above so below"
Recent Blogs (in case you missed something)
See the Archives...
The Blood Sport we call in America, Politics (Parts 1-10)
The Tomorrow people parts 1-9
The Apocalypse (The First Gospel) 40 part series [ Nov 2012-Sept 2013]
There are 20 less angels on earth tonight The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They're our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we're reminded that that capacity may well be limitless We add our prayers to all of yours for the 20 angels we lost ... Three Years past and no help in sight!
Formerly, religion had been tied to the state, an expression of the state's interests. People took part in it as members of a larger whole. But in the Hellenistic age, the focus of religion changed to one of personal concerns. With the world around them unsettled and fragmented, people felt a greater thirst for understanding that world and how to cope with it. But even more so, how to transcend it.
Instead of the pursuit of philosophy for the sake of pure truth and to further the health of the state, as Plato and Aristotle had largely indulged in it, philosophical movements were now designed to help individuals find a place in a troubled world and give them peace of mind. The most important were the Stoics, Epicureans and Platonists. These and other systems had as a central concern the nature of Deity and how one should relate to it (or ignore it), together with the question of proper and beneficial behavior. Only in Stoicism
Part One: Preaching a Divine Son was there any significant focus on taking an active part in public life; otherwise, the principal goal was to achieve freedom and self-sufficiency from the world. Such doctrines were preached by wandering philosophers. They were a kind
of "popular clergy," offering spiritual comfort—though usually demanding a fee.Some had immense influence on a wide audience, such as the Stoic philosopher Epictetus, who taught that the universe is governed by a benevolent and wise Providence, and that all men are brothers (in the sexist language of the time).
But philosophical advice was not the only thing people had recourse to.
Healing gods, astrologers, magicians with their potions and spells, helped cope with evil forces in the world, and not only human ones. The conviction that unseen spirits and forces of fate were also working against them added to people's distress. Demons were regarded as filling the very atmosphere of the earth and were thought to cause most misfortunes, from personal accidents and sickness to natural disasters. They even tempted the believer away from his faith.
Like the savior gods of the mystery cults, Christ Jesus offered deliverance from these evil forces, for the sacrificed god of the Christians was said to have placed all the supernatural powers of the universe under his subjection.
Some of the new Greek philosophical systems would have nothing to do with such superstitions. Stoicism and Epicureanism began as essentially rationalist philosophies. They aimed at living life according to Nature or to some rational principle by which the observable world could be understood or at least coped the. Views of Deity were fitted into this "natural" outlook. But during the 1st century BCE a fundamental shift developed, and it coincided with the revival of Platonism which had lain, to a certain extent, in eclipse for a couple of centuries.
In this new outlook, says John Dillon (The Middle Platonists, p. 192), "the supreme object of human life is Likeness to God, not Conformity with Nature." Middle Platonism, which soon came to dominate philosophical thinking in the era of early Christianity, was fundamentally religious and even mystical. A. J. Festugiere (Personal Religion Among the Greeks, p.51) describes it as embodying a desire to escape: "Ah! To leave this earth, to fly to heaven, to be like unto the Gods and partake of their bliss."
This was the great religious yearning of the age: to undergo transformation, to transport oneself into a new world, an immortal life, union with the divine in a metamorphosed universe. The new buzzword was "salvation." The ways to achieve it became the central concern of a proliferation of schools and cults, both Hellenistic and Jewish.
Higher and Lower Worlds It is largely to Plato (who absorbed earlier ideas from the mystery religion known as Orphism) and to the stream of later "Platonic" thinking which he set in motion, that we owe this sense of alienation from the world and the urge to move
beyond it. In Platonism, there was a clear separation between the higher world (above the earth) of spiritual ultimate realities, where things were perfect and unchanging, and the earthly world of matter and the senses of which humans were a part. As an imperfect reflection of the upper one, comprised of things that were changing and perishable, this lower world was decidedly inferior. Human
To be continued. . .