Conversations with my Christian friends almost inevitably come around to a discussion about salvation. Everyone wants to be saved. Who wouldn’t?
It’s just that I believe that the concept of salvation has been greatly misunderstood. I’m not alone on this subject either. Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and even atheists would all agree with me, though perhaps for different reasons. For a complete discussion on salvation, I would refer you to my article “The True Christianity” which was posted on January 3, 2013.
Enter the Pope
Now the new Pope has publicly declared that God has already saved everyone. What then about church dogma with respect to salvation? Well, the Vatican has shockingly addressed this issue by admitting that “Christians will eventually need to reevaluate their faith and come to a new understanding of the Bible.” So what about the old understanding then and where exactly did that come from? Finally, why are the masses only being told about this now, some two thousand years later?
To understand all of this, one has to go back in history to examine exactly who decided on church dogma. Things like the Trinity, salvation and which religious scriptures would be included or excluded from the Bible was determined by the Church, with the help of the Roman Emperor, some 300 years after the beginning of Christianity. You might want to think of it as being similar to the government (today) trying to rewrite the Constitution.
However, the most important thing history teaches us is that the masses have never been told the truth about God. St. Paul, for one, spilled the beans when he said that, “Now to him that is of power to establish you to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.” Jesus, himself, discussed the revelation of the mysteries to only a select few when he said that, “To you, the disciples, it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them, the masses, it has not been given.” Unfortunately though, even the disciples could not understand the very mystical teachings of Jesus. So Christianity, today, continues to move forward based on superficially constructed stories of the Divine rather than the true teachings of Jesus. This is what the Vatican was alluding to (among other things) when it said that Christians will have to come to a new understanding of the Bible.
So imagine that you knew that you didn’t need to be saved at all. Imagine that you realized that we are all part of the Divine Plan. Imagine that you learned the secret of all secrets, that we’re all part of the Divine itself. Then you would probably want to know why man has been lied to since “the world began”. Then you might try to reclaim the power that you’ve always had, but were told that you didn’t. Then you might actually want to exercise your divine right to co-create the world we live in. Imagine that.
“…Nothing to kill or die for,
And no religion too….”
– John Lennon, from the song Imagine
According to scripture, Jesus was supposedly crucified, dead and buried and later raised from the dead. After a post-crucifixion ministry that lasted just forty days, it was said that he ascended into heaven. Then years later, he mysteriously appeared to Paul, and Paul alone, and then never seen by anyone ever again. Are you confused, because I know that I sure am.
So why for example, did Paul believe that his vision was that of Jesus, a man he supposedly never met? Would you believe a vision to be real because the vision itself said so? Even if you thought the vision was real, why would you blindly accept that it was truly Jesus since you wouldn’t have known Jesus from Adam? I know that if this had happened to me, I would have to believe that the entire episode was either a complete delusion or that it was simply just a dream. Why would any sane person believe that what had happened to themselves was, in any sense, real. Not only that, but Paul subsequently became a completely changed person. He stopped persecuting the followers of Jesus and instead dedicated his entire life as an apostle of Christ.
While it’s possible that Paul was a psychopath, it’s more reasonable to assume that the story was either entirely made up or that he had an encounter with a real flesh and blood Jesus. In any event, you would think that Paul’s vision would get at least a “mention” in any one of his famous letters (which are included in the New Testament). It didn’t. Apparently, the vision that so dramatically and completely changed Paul’s life forever was not worthy of relating to his Christian converts, or to anyone else for that matter.
How can any reasonable person reconcile Paul’s actions? Who would have acted that way? Well, as I’ve said before, one has to read the Bible with a jaundiced eye. Because the scriptures were basically heretical religious writings of the times, the names of people and places (among other things) were intentionally obscured to protect those who were being written about. As for Paul, he was a very intelligent and well-read individual who one would think would act rationally. So for me, there has to be more to the story, a lot more. The story of Paul’s conversion and subsequent path in life, needs a rational explanation. It doesn’t make sense to me…
unless, of course, Jesus was still alive when Paul had his infamous “vision.”
In that case, it would have been imperative that nobody know the truth that Jesus had survived the crucifixion. He was supposed to have been dead and people were no longer looking for him; and, of course, they would have wanted to have kept it that way. So I believe that a story was created to show that Paul had a vision of Jesus instead. The Christian movement, led by Peter and Paul, could move forward publicly while Jesus remained in the shadows.
Because of the prevailing culture at the time, Jesus most certainly would have been married and if he was married would have had to have had children. The New Testament (in Acts) mentions that the Word of God “was increased” on more than one occasion. Since Jesus was known as the Word of God, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that this is a reference to the birth of a child of Jesus. The legacy of Jesus would have eventually fallen to his children. In the generations that followed, the legends grew of the search for the Holy Grail, the bloodline of Jesus. They were the rightful inheritors of the Kingdom of God, not the Church. The die was cast and history would forever be changed.
“Reason must be deluded, blinded, and destroyed. Faith must trample underfoot all reason, sense, and understanding….”
— Martin Luther
Everyone wants to know the unknowable. However, do you think that if anyone actually knew that they would tell anyone? Very unlikely, without a large check being attached.
Monday morning quarterbacking
I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries on my recent post entitled “Real Life, True Reality.” One of the problems in writing on this kind of topic is how much of a detailed explanation to give. On the one hand if I were to take a big picture approach, some people will not be familiar with the terms used and therefore not fully understand what I’m saying. On the other hand, a very detailed explanation is very boring, and overly long, especially for those who are familiar with the topic being discussed. Writing style can also be an issue if one is using sarcasm but the reader thinks you’re serious (or the other way around). So let me elaborate on my previous post.
“Real Life, True Reality” revisited
Man has always been fascinated with the unknown. In some respects, the discovery of the unknown is the ultimate high. But the unknown is, for the lack of a better word, unknowable – especially if you’re talking about the Creation of life.
Religion, for one, relies on a bewildering array of holy books each of which is considered by its believers to be the only valid expression of the Absolute. Despite all efforts, their God is nowhere to be found and evil reigns supreme in the world. To its credit, the Vatican realizes that times are changing (and very rapidly at that). In an effort to get in front of the change curve, the Vatican has been making very unusual disclosures recently. For a discussion of those changes, you can read my posts “The Vatican Surprise,” “The Pope Must Be Crazy,” or “The Coming Revelations” if you would like more on that topic.
Science, meanwhile, has also been in search of the unknowable, or as they call it The Theory of Everything. Their Theory of Relativity and Theory of Gravity are two wonderful theories. Unfortunately, however, those two theories cannot entirely co-exist together. That’s what I was referring to when I said that science cannot explain why the physical laws governing building blocks are different than the physical laws governing the building itself. Having two important theories in conflict with one another means that the theories are, at best, only approximate descriptions of reality.
Where science and religion meet
Today, we are on the precipice of the end of science and religion, as we know it. Man can no longer rely on theses two institutions to find God (as if they ever could). However, there is a middle ground – sort of. It was Albert Einstein, himself, who admitted that, “Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe – a spirit vastly superior to that of man….” The spirit that Einstein was talking about was consciousness, the one thing that science can not measure and the one thing that renders it impotent, since science is essentially a process of measurement.
During the Classical Period, civilization flourished. Religion and science were both in their infancy. Great minds, who could embrace both religion and science, ruled the day – men like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. It was the dawning of a new age that led directly to Western Civilization. What’s needed today is to return to that golden age; what’s truly needed is a few good men, or women, who could help create a new philosophy concerning man’s place in the universe, one that wouldn’t involve the dogma of religion or the arrogance of science.
So let’s hear it one more time for the creationists in their never-ending debate with the evolutionists and another round of applause for the deists and the atheists. I suspect that they will still be at it until the end of time. It was Albert Einstein who so correctly observed that, “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
There’s a new theory making the rounds in science these days. It’s called biocentrism and it’s the brainchild of Dr. Robert Lanza. The general premise of his theory is that instead of believing that the universe creates life, Dr. Lanza believes that life creates the universe. Pretty radical, right, but then so is the Truth.
His theory won’t make some scientists happy because he places biology above physics, even if his theory does rely on quantum mechanics. In the bizarre world of quantum mechanics, particles can be in multiple places at the same time. Because particles are simultaneously in multiple places (in what I would describe as a field of infinite possibilities), nothing is certain until an observer (say, you or me) actually observes the particles.
Yet an atom, which is 99.9% empty space, somehow holds together what is seemingly a solid world. Inexplicably, the laws of quantum physics, which govern the microscopic particles that atoms are made of, are different than the classical laws of physics. How that’s possible nobody knows. After all, how can the physical laws of the building blocks be different than the physical laws of the building itself?
the world that we think that we’re seeing is not really the one we’re truly experiencing. Dr Lanza explains this phenomena by saying that everything that we see and experience is a world of information that occurs in the mind. In other words, the cosmos is simply a figment of our imagination, or as Bill Hicks put it, “Life is only a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves.”
But what exactly is it then?
One way of looking at it is that real life and true reality (the Source) exist elsewhere (i.e. not in this world). That somewhere, if it’s not here, would obviously be beyond space and time. As science is beginning to discover, there are other worlds out there; worlds of phenomenal intelligence, beyond anything that we can even imagine. This intelligence has the capability of projecting light and information into our three-dimensional world much as a film projector projects its light and information off of film and onto the movie screen. We then sit and watch the movie, laughing and crying as if the movie was real.
It was the French philosopher Voltaire who said, “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” The reason is that man is forever looking outside of himself in order to explain his existence. For example, scientists are constantly making observations about Nature in an effort to explain what exists beyond space and time. That, of course, is not possible. Likewise, deists try to explain Creation with their religions. That is also not possible; as the Pascal Wager states, “If there is a god, He is infinitely incomprehensible.” As for atheists, some of them endeavor to explain away God by trying in vain to prove a negative.
Man is hopelessly chasing the impossible dream – to prove that he is as smart as the universe/God. In truth, the Cosmos dwarfs the thinking of man what with his puny brain, his limited physical senses and his genetically dumbed-down DNA. How arrogant of us to actually believe that we could know much of anything about the unknowable.
it’s possible to actually experience life in the quantum world and beyond, the way that perhaps the ancient seers and mystics did – in a state of altered consciousness. As the Bhagavad Gita says, “The transmigration of life takes place in one’s own mind. For what a man thinks, he becomes. This is the mystery of eternity.”
So often I hear my Christian friends complain about the fact that their minister’s sermons rarely touch on the teachings of Christ. After all, if one doesn’t understand the teachings of Christ, how can they ever be expected to be a good Christian? There’s a reason why Christianity downplays the teachings of Christ and that reason goes all the way back to the origins of Christianity itself.
As we now know from the Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament story is to a great extent a story about the Nazarean Movement. In that vein, Jesus was often called Jesus of Nazareth. The movement founded The Jerusalem Church and the head of the Church was James, the brother of Jesus. The Nazarenes were a small group of Jews who followed the Torah (the Mosaic Law). They also believed in the Old Testament prophecy of a messiah (king) who would lead them to victory over their oppressors (the Romans). So the New Testament backdrop was more a story of politics and revolution rather than one of religion. With the burning of Jerusalem and destruction of the Second Temple, the Jewish revolt against Rome was broken and those Nazarenes that survived scattered throughout the Diaspora.
The origins of Christianity
The objective of the Nazarene Movement was to restore the Davidic line to its rightful place – on the throne of Israel. In order to accomplish that goal it was necessary to displace the Roman Empire and to do that they would need lots of help, particularly from the Gentiles. What better way than to develop a new religion, a new form of Judaism, one that would appeal to Gentiles as well. For them the rightful heir to the throne, who had descended from King David, was Jesus. With respect to Jesus, the Nazarenes believed that he was not divine; that he lived his life in accordance with the Torah; and that he was the messiah according to Jewish prophecy which they defined as the coming of the Prophet and the Messiahs (plural) of Aaron and Israel.
In the Dead Sea Scrolls, historians saw the makings of what would eventually morph into Christianity. The rites of the Nazarenes included tithing, baptism, a sacred common meal and a Last Judgment where God would save the righteous. The Jerusalem Church sent emissaries/apostles out into the world to establish a major footprint through the founding of churches. Their vision was an apocalyptic one and the Nazarenes in Antioch (in what is now modern-day Turkey) would eventually add one very important element to their theology – the premise that man was saved from sin through the death of Jesus. In so doing, they invented a religion that would suit the pagans of the Roman world and in the process changed Jesus from a Jewish messiah into a universal savior for all men. It was from that point that the Nazarenes would be referred to as Christians.
Jesus in the Bible
Many consider Jesus to be the greatest man/god who ever lived. So why was there so very little written about him? In fact, much of what was written about him was intentionally excluded from the Bible. Those scriptures that were not included in the Bible were an important part of Christian thought and philosophy for three hundred years after Jesus. Then, overnight, they were considered to be heresies (by the Church) and the writings were destroyed. Three hundred years; that’s longer than the current life of the American Republic! It’s like saying that the Constitution, which was carefully crafted by the Founding Fathers, would suddenly be considered un-American and that anyone who still subscribed to it would be thrown into a FEMA camp. Except back in those days, they just simply killed them.
Politics and religion
What the Roman Empire needed in those days was a cause that could serve as a reason for the people to support the Empire, for it’s much easier to control a far-flung empire with a religion than it is with an army. The Empire didn’t need a god (Jesus) because they already had one (The Emperor), since all of the Roman Emperors declared themselves to be God. Then along came Christianity which had a savior but no Christ. By that, I mean that Christ, himself, was essentially missing from his own religion. The Roman Emperor Constantine couldn’t resist adopting a non-threatening Christianity as a political tool to help save a crumbling empire. As for the Bible, the Holy Roman Church would include very little about the life and times of Jesus and even less about his teachings. All they really ever needed was a savior to mollify the masses.
It’s kind of ironic that Christianity started out as a political weapon in an effort to displace the Roman Empire and turned out being a religious weapon in an attempt to help save it. Two thousand years later, Christians all over the world are still practicing Hellenized Christianity as opposed to the true teachings of Jesus, whether they know it or not.
“One of the problems is that the average Christian in the average church who listens to the average Christian broadcasting has such an oversimplified understanding of both the Bible and of church history – it would be deeply disturbing for them to really learn about church history.”
– Brian McLaren, leading Christian pastor and theologian
Recently, the Vatican and the Pope have been in rare form making statements that can only leave the average Christian scratching their head. Has the Pope gone completely mad or does he know something that we don’t know? Let’s try to break it down.
First the Vatican goes on television several times to declare that extraterrestrials are real. Second, they have publicly stated that Christians will eventually need to reevaluate their faith and come to a new understanding of the Bible. Finally, the Vatican has recently constructed a new telescope at its observatory on Mt Graham (in Arizona). The telescope has been named Lucifer and the ambitious project can be nothing less than a search of the heavens related to the Second Coming. As for the Pope, he declared that God has already saved everyone, even the atheists. Because of the public outcry, they’ve been forced to backtrack ever since on that last one.
So what’s really behind all of this? Well for starters, one needs to begin in the caverns beneath Vatican City which are known as the Secret Archives. The Vatican’s Secret Archives contain ancient manuscripts that explain all of the curious disclosures noted above, and a lot more. I say disclosures because the truth eventually finds a way to finally be revealed.
Since the days of the great Greek philosophers, if not before, the secrets of enlightenment were passed on through something called The Mysteries. The Bible confirms the process of hiding the truth from the masses in a number of places, including Romans 16:25 where Paul says, “… according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.” and also in Matthew 13:11 where Jesus said, “To you, the disciples, it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them, the masses, it has not been given.”
What Jesus was talking about, as is clearly recited in the Gospel of Matthew, is that he, Jesus, preached in parables with an outer message for the masses but with the real knowledge about the Divine restricted to those that, as the Bible says, had eyes to see and ears to hear. As Jesus told his disciples, “Unto you it has been given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand (Luke 8:10).” Yet, even the disciples admitted to not understanding the teachings of Jesus. As a result, the Bible is sorely lacking in its description of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. How could it be otherwise since the truth was never told to the masses; not then and not now.
However with their recent announcements (see above), the Vatican has signaled that this is all about to change. The coming revelations will be extremely unsettling to many, especially Christians. As for what the Vatican will ultimately disclose, you can only assume that some of it will be true, which will undoubtedly show the Bible in an entirely different light. You can also assume that some of it will not be true. After all, humans were never meant to eat from the Tree of Knowledge lest they realize that they were naked.
“No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says – he is always convinced that it says what he means.”
– George Bernard Shaw
What’s going on with the universe? Science says that it doesn’t exist, at least not the way that we think that we understand it and not how we have been led to believe.
A scientific quandary
Max Planck, the father of quantum theory, put it rather succinctly. He stated that, “Matter does not exist.” Einstein echoed that sentiment when he said that, “Reality is merely an illusion, although a very persistent one.” So, exactly when and how did this change in thinking come about and why do so few people seem to know about it?
Actually, science has known about this issue for well over a hundred years. Unfortunately, even though they have their theories and formulae, they don’t exactly know what to make of it. The Double-slit Experiment is a case in point, where photons will sometimes behave as particles and sometimes behave as if they were a wave, all depending upon whether or not the proton was being observed during the experiment. Creation is looking to see if we’re watching it and then acts accordingly. Weird stuff, right?
What does it all mean?
What science has shown is that in the microscopic quantum world the laws of classical physics do not apply. Of course, another way of looking at it is that what we call classical physics exists only in the physical world. In the quantum world, there are an infinite number of possibilities which collapse to one actuality (particle) in the physical world once there has been an observation. Some of the more important conclusions that one can draw are as follows:
The fundamental reality is consciousness. Consciousness organizes quantum energy and belief translates the quantum energy into matter through thought and emotion. Side note: And reality is information.
We exist in a virtual reality matrix where our brains organize information, which is an expression of a deeper order of existence, into three-dimensional holograms. As Morpheus put it, “If real is what you can feel, smell, taste and see, then real is simply electrical signals interpreted by the brain”. Reality is changed by the observer and is therefore created by consciousness; thus, the expression that we are spiritual beings having a human experience rather than human beings having a spiritual experience.
Matter itself is 99.9% empty space and therefore could be said to be non-existent. Side note: Empty space is not actually empty, nor for that matter are “black holes” holes.
The universe is intelligent and operates somewhat independently of mankind (e,g. DNA is self-organizing and self-directing). One could say that instead of being the center of Creation, we are rather the observer of it. While man’s role as a co-creator is crucial, the center of Creation is…well, Creation itself. We are simply part of the universal consciousness (Cosmic Mind) and life is about that universal consciousness experiencing itself.
The laws of physics do not apply to us, except in the physical world. Nor are we subject to man-made belief systems. Therefore, concepts concerning evil and sin are not applicable; and death is simply an illusion. All that there is – is consciousness, a circle of life with no beginning and no end. We are all connected, part of the same infinite energy that exists beyond space time and at the same time interpenetrates the physical world.
The act of observing is, in reality, an act of creation. That is, atoms appear in one place at one time if, and only if, they are observed (e.g. measured). Since we, ourselves, are made up of atoms, we exist throughout creation until such time as we are observed. The electrons which our bodies are composed of, among other things, exist in what I call a cloud of probabilities. We are continuously blinking in and out of existence at all times. Sometimes, we are here and sometimes we are….Well, only God knows for sure the answer to that question.
“Life is only a dream and we are the imagination of ourselves.”
– Bill Hicks