Thursday, 29 March 2012

Apostles and Demons? (#21)

Continued research for my next historical novel: Peter and Paul

Not everyone realizes that the story of Peter and Paul is also, if not essentially, a powerful murder story. We know that eight of the twelve apostles have been murdered in vile, horrifying ways; echoes of the popular ‘thriller’ Angels and Demons.
At the beginning of the modern era, just following Anno Domini 1, things were tough.
A small group of people dared to stand up to the powers that be, against the mighty Rome, the Jewish oligarchy, against various factions, both secular and religious, which wanted to maintain status quo. There was no freedom of religion in those days. Remember Socrates some 400 years earlier? (I touch on the subject in Alexander - Alexander Trilogy Book II). He dared to think for himself and was forced to drink hemlock. Not much has changed in the Middle East since his day. Now that you mention it, in some mid-eastern countries, not much has change to this day. Could that be karmic justice?

Monday, 26 March 2012

Paul’s Visions (#20)

Continued research for my next historical novel: Peter and Paul

Below a quote from my book Visualization—Creating your Own Universe.
All visions are subjective. Subjective religious visions are called Revelations. Subjective non-religious visions (unless held by famous people) are often referred to as hallucinations. Hallucinations can be subdivided into artistic, political, social, idealistic, and a whole array of inspired non-religious fantasies, delusions or insights.”
The problem is: Who is to decide which is which?
If I am right in my analyses, what should we think about Paul’s contribution to Christianity? Would he and Peter invariably agree?
Or could there have been a profound schism in their thinking? Historical novels are not as simple as I thought they would be. Not if one is to deliver the truth… as best one can.
 And yet… did not Yeshûa’s gnosis come essentially from within? Doesn't all gnosis?
Historical novels are not only difficult, they are fascinating!  

Monday, 19 March 2012

And what Paul? (#19)

Continued research for my next historical novel: Peter and Paul

Paul never met Yeshûa. He taught what he thought Yeshûa may have taught. Rather like the priests, padres and preachers of today, not to mention TV evangelists.
Researching the Nag Hammadi Library (see: Key to Immortality), it seems to me that Yeshûa imparted secret knowledge to his immediate entourage only. Perhaps only the apostles. Thus Paul’s knowledge was secondhand. Paul may have had his visions and inspired revelations, but not direct knowledge or gnosis.
There is, it seems, no substitute for the real thing. I wonder how I can convey this fact to my readers without diminishing his, i.e. Paul’s, contribution to the spreading of the ‘faith’. No matter how wrong he may have been.

Friday, 16 March 2012

A Christian What? (#18)

 Continued research for my next historical novel: Peter and Paul

In the beginning of the new era, the Christians were just another Jewish sect. The others were the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, Zealots, and many we probably never heard of.  By the end of the first century, “thirty sects of Christians might be reckoned in Asia Minor, in Syria, in Alexandria, and even in Rome” (Beyond Religion vol. I, The Carrot and the Stick, essay # 28, by the same author).

Peter had to find a way to establish his, or Yeshûa’s, followers as a recognized entity, which followed a similar set of rules, or at least the same teaching. With others competing for the hearts and minds of people around, it couldn’t have been easy.
And the teaching of Yeshûa was characterized by the Master’s often-repeated phrase: “Why do you not understand my speech?” (John 8:43). There is a touch of mystery there; perhaps even irony?
Do we understand the teaching today? Yet Peter had to. He was the ‘Rock’. What could have it been that was so incomprehensible even to his chosen few?

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

A Historical Novel or Murder/Suspense Story? (#17)

Continued research for a historical novel: Peter and Paul

Could there have been a high-level plot to destroy all early followers of Yeshûa’s teaching? Particularly the apostles? If the answer is yes, then my historical novel might turn out to be a historical murder/thriller novel.
It was a question of business—of economics.
One gold talent was worth approximately 27 silver talents. At 3000 shekels per talent, that’s a lot of tithes (see Tithing, essay #39, in Beyond Religion vol. II).
Who would get the new tithes? How much would the Sanhedrin lose? We know how today’s politicians react to any diminution of their income. IRS is on your doorstep in no time at all. The Great Sanhedrin of Israel consisted of 71 members—that’s a lot of people to support. And then there were the priesthood. A whole tribe of them. Add to it all the other assemblies (each town had one) and you need a tax base. With the new Christian sect siphoning off people, the Christians couldn’t have been popular with the ruling classes. Somebody, somehow, had to protect the status quo. What best way is there than to get rid of them altogether. Dead men don’t pay taxes, but they provide a good example. Isn’t this what all the established oligarchies did do in those days? Or later days. Now? 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Atheists or believers? (#16)

Continued research for a historical novel: Peter and Paul

By Gnostic standards, only those people are true atheists who have not succeeded, as yet, in performing acts with, or by, their states of consciousness. Whatever that might mean. It is a sort of, “Look, Ma, no hands.”
Yet this is, it seems to me, exactly what Yeshûa managed to convey to his followers. In those days, I assume, “to be born again”, (as the saying goes amongst some people today, like George W. Bush), did not consist of walking around singing Jeeeeeezus, or Looooord, but in discovering within us the infinity and the affinity of I AM. Apparently Yeshûa managed to plant the seed of immortality in his immediate followers (see Key to Immortality). It’s amazing what you can do if you consider yourself to be closely related to Mary Poppins. 
BTW, I hate preachy books. Can anyone tell me how to write this novel without being preachy?

Friday, 9 March 2012

Ye are gods? (#15)

Continued research for a historical novel: Peter and Paul

In Blog #10 I quoted the scriptures that, under certain circumstances, we have to power to “move mountains”. While the statement is probably symbolic, ‘mountains’ symbolizing raised states of consciousness (see Dictionary of Biblical Symbolism), the statement assumes new meaning in the light of today’s knowledge of physics. Firstly, we already move mountains by ‘hands’, i.e. by our advanced machinery. The question is can we move them by the power of our minds – directly, without resorting to our heavy equipment? Modern physics state that matter surrounding us, indeed of which we are all composed, is… 99.999999999999% empty space (see discussion in Delusions – Pragmatic Realism). In the light of this fact, moving mountains is paramount to moving the lightest of feathers, indeed, a tiny spec of dust.
It seems that Yeshûa must have known of the illusory nature of the world we live in. But our faith, rather than the truth (which has been predicted to “set us free”) is much stranger. We know that the chair we sit on is virtually empty space, yet we believe it to be solid and thus it supports our (equally illusory) weight. Please note: all this is science, not religion. Pure 21st century science. 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A Secret Place? (#14)

Continued research for a historical novel: Peter and Paul

Peter asked Yeshûa, “Lord, where go you? Jesus answered him, Where I go, you can not follow me now; but you shall follow me afterwards.” (John 13:36)
The response Peter got implies that Yeshûa knew his destination, thus he must have visited it before. Likewise, it states that Peter will follow him, i.e. Yeshûa later. It suggests that Yeshûa was familiar with his impending destination. Where?
To quote Shakespeare, “that is the question”.
The problem is that writing a historical novel, I cannot get lost in the “mambo-jumbo” (no offence intended) of religious interpretations. All statements must make logical sense. Yes, logical sense.
It seems to me that there is only one ‘place’ one can ‘go’ without physically leaving the earthly environs, and that is to go within. The travel takes place within your consciousness. There are ways.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Free Download of Delusions

I interrupt the research for my book Peter and Paul, to share with you a coupon for a free download of my latest book Delusions. Only the first 25 copies are free. Hurry! 
The coupon code for FREE download is  HD79F

As of this week, DELUSIONS are ONLY available on Amazon Kindle. 

"The author advances compelling arguments regarding Delusions ingrained and perpetrated by both, the religious and the scientific communities. He concludes that science/religion argument is equally as deluded on both sides of the equation, particularly when advanced from the preeminently fundamentalist point of view. "
The book is dedicated to Richard Dawkins, in gratitude for many hours of enjoyable reading. While he and I don’t always see eye to eye, the doctor might find, here, additional arguments for his Cause Célèbre. 

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Where did Yeshûa’s Gnosis come from? (#13)

Continued research for a historical novel: Peter and Paul

Unfortunately for the so-called ‘believers’, unlike all the gods of the past (Krishna, Osiris, Zeus, Jupiter, et al.), Yeshûa was not born omniscient.
In Luke 2:52, the evangelist states that: “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” Surely such a process of amelioration is hardly necessary for a god.
In my book Yeshûa – Personal Memoir of the Missing Years of Jesus, I attempted to show how Yeshûa, the apostles’ mentor, acquired his knowledge. It took him 18 years of hard work to prepare himself for his mission. Not many people, of whatever profession, are willing to spend such length of time to acquire their knowledge. In addition to external sources (books, teachers, universities), there are two principle sources from which we can draw information.
First, our subconscious, which supplies us with the knowledge acquired over, perhaps, millions of years of our physical or material existence.
And then there is the other source, which many tend to ignore. I’m talking about our unconscious. This latter source seems to give us access to ideas not previously experienced. Carl Jung’s archetypes of collective unconscious? We can but speculate.
But how can we access this Source? They say that few years of meditation (or contemplation) will show us. It took Yeshûa just eighteen short years. I suspect this is the Gnosis Yeshûa was trying to impart to his disciples. It couldn’t have been easy. 

Thursday, 1 March 2012

What happened to the Gnostics? (#12)

 Continued research for my historical novel: Peter and Paul.

There are two ways to practice religion: through faiths or through knowledge. The inner knowledge is referred to as Gnosis. Faith is often regarded as a ‘gift’, as in ‘gift of faith’; knowledge requires effort. Lots of effort—as in this research for P and P.
It is my contention that Yeshûa was a Gnostic. His power and philosophy sprang from knowledge, not from an act of faith. Thus the Gnostic Gospels of Nag Hammadi (see my Key to Immortality) must be closer to his teaching that the 4 gospels, written 100 years+ after his death, translated hundreds of times, rewritten by hand, and adapted to various predilections by various Christian churches. The matter is further discussed in the chapter Reviewing the Elements in my book Visualization – Creating your own Universe.
No matter.
While Bishop Irenaeus (2nd century AD) of Lugdunom (now Lion in France) had been canonized most probably for his infamous “Adversus Haereses”, (Against Heresies), might be forgiven in his day for attempting to destroy Gnosticism, we have no such excuse. The Gnostic Gospels survived in spite of his unholy onslaught on Yeshûa’s teaching, extended to this day by dubious ‘scholars’ of ‘established’ churches.
To put it differently, when you know something, it is easy to have faith in it; faith “greater than a grain of mustard seed.” (Luke 17:6). Indeed, you could move mountains…